Liberals and Taxing the Rich - a favorite topic

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    Mar 26, 2011 8:14 PM GMT
    Two articles in today's Wall Street Journal that might be of interest. Having noted the content and tone from the left on RJ for many months, it is my opinion: 1) Liberals will not believe or even allow themselves to consider the possibility that the study is accurate, 2) Even if the evidence was overwhelming that taxing the rich more did not improve the lives of anyone in the population, and, in fact, hurt the economy, many liberals would still favor such taxes because their animosity towards the rich is much stronger than their desire to see everyones' lives improve.

    The Price of Taxing the Rich - The top 1% of earners fill the coffers of states like California and New York during a boom—and leave them starved for revenue in a bust.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704604704576220491592684626.html?mod=ITP_review_0
    Excerpts:

    Nearly half of California's income taxes before the recession came from the top 1% of earners: households that took in more than $490,000 a year. High earners, it turns out, have especially volatile incomes—their earnings fell by more than twice as much as the rest of the population's during the recession. When they crashed, they took California's finances down with them.

    New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois—states that are the most heavily reliant on the taxes of the wealthy—are now among those with the biggest budget holes. A large population of rich residents was a blessing during the boom, showering states with billions in tax revenue. But it became a curse as their incomes collapsed with financial markets.

    Another article same topic:

    The Battle Over The Millionaire's Tax
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704517404576223012169093834.html?mod=ITP_review_0
  • roadbikeRob

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    Mar 26, 2011 8:20 PM GMT
    All the extremist liberal hens on here will continue to defend taxing business and the wealthy just to maintain the costly status quo of big government and generous social programs. I am all in favor of compelling the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes but in states like New York, Illinois, and California the taxation has gotten too excessive and business is fleeing these three overtaxed states which is only going to worsen their already horrendous budget problems.
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    Mar 26, 2011 8:41 PM GMT
    Punish those fiscally responsible, and make them pay for those who are not, like many liberal governments; opposite in Oz, as Liberal government is conservative.
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    Mar 26, 2011 9:23 PM GMT
    There is a difference between state taxes - which differ from state to state - and federal income tax rates.
    Duh.
    We support raising federal tax rates on the rich, as has been done in the past in this country to help pay off great debt.
    With great success.

    The states you refer to, have large budget gaps because of the effects of the Bush recession.
    The tax rates have nothing to do with it.
    There are many states with equally large budget gaps like TX and AZ, even though those states have low taxes.

    And the evidence IS overwhelming that taxing the rich improves the economic state of middle and lower income Americans.
    That's exactly what happened during the Clinton administration, when taxes on the rich were higher, and that's exactly what happened in the post-WWII years when taxes were extremely high on the rich.
    History has proven repeatedly that higher taxes on the rich pays down the National Debt without having a negative impact on the economy or average Americans.
    That's why a majority of Americans support raising taxes on the rich.

    FYI - we progressives do NOT have "animosity" towards the rich.
    We just care more about the 98% of Americans who are middle and lower income workers, than the richest 1-2%.
    We care more about AMERICA, than keeping taxes low on the rich so that millionaires can become billionaires.

  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Mar 26, 2011 9:29 PM GMT
    I am often perplexed at the truths espoused -- that truthfully are nothing more than ill formed opinions -- of many posting to RJ forums. While many liberal "opinion providers" who share their beliefs on RJ can often base their truths on academic and government generated data, these "opinion providers" have not lived the life of an individual who has lived what I will call the "1% life." Their opinions or truths are suppositions. These opinions dwell in the shadows.

    Having said that, I do not assume my opinions are in any way the one and only set of truths by which all should live life. My opinions however are based in a real world context that is a missing element in many of the posts to RJ.

    Life, government and its' associated politics, economics, personal desires, and a whole host of other complexities are the substance of our individual lives. We ALL have choices. Do not assume that a preference for high tax rates on the 1% crowd will provide a net gain to government in revenue. Do not assume such taxes are a solution for America’s ills. The game of politics moves slowly. The game of wealth moves quickly.

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    Mar 26, 2011 9:49 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidAll the extremist liberal hens on here will continue to defend taxing business and the wealthy just to maintain the costly status quo of big government and generous social programs. I am all in favor of compelling the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes but in states like New York, Illinois, and California the taxation has gotten too excessive and business is fleeing these three overtaxed states which is only going to worsen their already horrendous budget problems.


    If you're going to refer to people with Left views "liberal hens", you're going to get the "douche bag" treatment that SB gets.

    I read both articles and have no problem with the data. Of course, it's a bad idea to base your revenue projections on a boom economy with no contingency planning. But it's only a small portion of the picture which would include sales taxes, cigarette taxes, etc., all of which fall much more heavily on middle, working class and poor citizens. I like the idea of "rainy day" funds, which most businesses and nonprofits have to ensure operations during a downturn.

    And, as Rick said, our politics have nothing to do with "animosity toward the rich." In my line of work, I interact with and have friends who are quite wealthy. I don't begrudge them their success. But I do believe that we - as a society - and they - as individuals - have a responsibility to take care of our citizens and because the wealthy use more of "the commons" then do the poor, they need to pay more into the coffers.
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    Mar 26, 2011 9:52 PM GMT
    conservativejock saidI am often perplexed at the truths espoused -- that truthfully are nothing more than ill formed opinions -- of many posting to RJ forums. While many liberal "opinion providers" who share their beliefs on RJ can often base their truths on academic and government generated data, these "opinion providers" have not lived the life of an individual who has lived what I will call the "1% life." Their opinions or truths are suppositions. These opinions dwell in the shadows.

    Having said that, I do not assume my opinions are in any way the one and only set of truths by which all should live life. My opinions however are based in a real world context that is a missing element in many of the posts to RJ.

    Life, government and its' associated politics, economics, personal desires, and a whole host of other complexities are the substance of our individual lives. We ALL have choices. Do not assume that a preference for high tax rates on the 1% crowd will provide a net gain to government in revenue. Do not assume such taxes are a solution for America’s ills. The game of politics moves slowly. The game of wealth moves quickly.



    If you're as wealthy as you say, which I don't believe. I just hope I'm there when the villagers come for you with pitchforks and torches. Perhaps that will wipe the smug arrogance for your face.
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    Mar 26, 2011 9:59 PM GMT
    conservativejock saidI am often perplexed at the truths espoused -- that truthfully are nothing more than ill formed opinions -- of many posting to RJ forums. While many liberal "opinion providers" who share their beliefs on RJ can often base their truths on academic and government generated data, these "opinion providers" have not lived the life of an individual who has lived what I will call the "1% life." Their opinions or truths are suppositions. These opinions dwell in the shadows.

    Having said that, I do not assume my opinions are in any way the one and only set of truths by which all should live life. My opinions however are based in a real world context that is a missing element in many of the posts to RJ.

    Life, government and its' associated politics, economics, personal desires, and a whole host of other complexities are the substance of our individual lives. We ALL have choices. Do not assume that a preference for high tax rates on the 1% crowd will provide a net gain to government in revenue. Do not assume such taxes are a solution for America’s ills. The game of politics moves slowly. The game of wealth moves quickly.





    Thank you for your "ill formed" OPINION.

    Here are some historical facts for you to study.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_history_of_the_United_States#Postwar_prosperity:_1945.E2.80.931973

    People should read up on the history of our country and become aware of the facts and the lessons to be learned from our history - and should "not assume" that you aren't playing "the game of politics" when you post your OPINION.
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    Mar 26, 2011 10:17 PM GMT
    I guess I actually *do* have an idea of how the "1%" live because I come from an aristocratic family in the UK. My ancestors were building empires while yours, I imagine, were plowing fields. For the majority of British history, this made me a human and you a vassal.

    My observations of the 1% life are as follows:

    (i) Humans regardless of their wealth spend too much time worrying about money. Poor people worry about feeding their children; the rich worry about the mortgage on their flat in Paris.

    (ii) Rich people spend their money on fairly pointless baubles that prove how rich they are. My great Aunt Honoria had a lovely collection of Fabergé eggs; my half-brother has a couple of porsches. I have an uncle who owns a Picasso [it's not a very good one]. Whether these things really made them happy, I have no clue.

    (iii) Rich people have really really good lawyers and accountants who are absolutely amazing at avoiding taxes, etc. My half-brother's lawyer actually came up with a scheme for me to avoid paying taxes in the US by becoming incorporated as a nonprofit on some rock near Jersey [the Channel Island] and drawing up my contract as some form of consulting/pro-bono work with payment in kind [actually, it may have been completely different. I just remember feeling really ill and having my head spin round many times. I was in the middle of writing my PhD thesis, though].

    (iv) Rich people spend most of their money on trying to avoid people who are less rich than them. They buy fancy cars, hotels, holidays, ski lodges, etc all nicely walled away so anyone vaguely poor or even upper middle class has to stay away.

    (v) Anyone with old money --- and no clue how it was obtained --- is generally very reasonable, friendly and often extremely cultured and intelligent. Those with new money --- and this, alas, is apparently all of America --- are utterly insufferable. They are so angsty about being rich and trying to prove they're equal to the old money that they make for extremely tedious conversation. They spend all their time talking about how rich they are. It's trashy.
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    Mar 26, 2011 10:51 PM GMT
    Question for republicans....

    I get upper income republican voters anger about paying enough taxes to cover them and a few poor people too. But when it's the rich feeding off the government, they're silent.

    So I 'm confused and would like you to explain something about Walmart and it's workers. I only pick on Walmart because they have the largest group of people feeding off the public welfare system....but many companies are just as guilty. There are 1.8 million Walmart workers and most make $8/hr. When they're in good health, Walmart profits from them. But most have no health insurance. So when they become sick or disabled, taxpayers end up paying for 100% of their medical and nursing home care.

    Explain this to me....how do current republican policies solve this issue?

    Walmart gets all the upside, but we get all the downside. Looks like a scam to me.




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    Mar 26, 2011 11:14 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidI guess I actually *do* have an idea of how the "1%" live because I come from an aristocratic family in the UK. My ancestors were building empires while yours, I imagine, were plowing fields. For the majority of British history, this made me a human and you a vassal. ...

    I really enjoyed your note. You could really collect them and create an Anthology from the Tiger. There is actually a fair amount of truth to what you say. I know a few super-wealthy old money folks and a number of wealthy new money folks. Of course from the European perspective, all the money in the US is nouveau, but some of our old money people have copied their table manners from the Europeans and are a reasonable facsimile.

    The old money super-wealthy are as you describe. Some, but not all of the new money wealthy are also as you describe. My locale has all varieties. The car is a favorite status symbol here, but the funny thing is you might have a very nice one, but someone will always have something that cost a few dollars more. You might have paid for yours by writing a check, and they might be scraping the money to make monthly payments, but they have the status symbol.

    But the rich are abused by some elements regardless of whether they are old or new. The old are considered no-good, lazy people who inherited their money by pure luck and should have no right to it at all. The new, who might be self-made, are crass, uncouth, uncaring selfish slobs and not deserving of their money either. But both groups need no sympathy. The lawyers and accountants provide protection, and vacations are on the 6 star luxury cruise ships or private sailboats or yachts, where the common folks don't venture.
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    Mar 27, 2011 2:15 AM GMT
    The frequent subject of taxing the wealthy comes about because they don't pay a fair share, tax policies are heavily scewed in the favor of them avoiding taxes, not having to pay them. There are multiple income and asset shelters, deductions that the rest of us dream of being able to use, subsidies for big corps and the list goes on and on.

    So as soon as the loop holes named above are closed so they actually pay somewhere close to that 35% tax figure that they claim but rarely pay, then perhaps the Dems will stop saying "tax the rich"
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    Mar 27, 2011 2:46 AM GMT
    The only reason I don't think it's wise to tax the rich is that they provide the majority of jobs and the more they are taxed, the less jobs they will provide.
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    Mar 27, 2011 2:59 AM GMT
    This is kind of what Walker did with public employees. Even though he isn't directly " taxing" them, in a sense he did by taking away some of their wealthy benefits and pensions and taking away their right to collectively bargain on these things. But all that does is discourages them from spending, which isn't going to help the state's economy. The housing market is already in a slump and now there are even less people in a position to purchase homes. It's never good to tax anyone when the economy is in a slump because taxing discouragess spending and business expansion.
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    Mar 27, 2011 3:04 AM GMT
    jockgymboy saidThe only reason I don't think it's wise to tax the rich is that they provide the majority of jobs and the more they are taxed, the less jobs they will provide.


    That's huge fallacy put out by conservative think tanks...funded by people like the Koch brothers.

    In reality, the middle class and even the lower classes create jobs because that's where the numbers are, necessary to create demand.

    If you cut Bill Gates taxes to zero, how many more people would he hire? He needs demand for his products before he hires anybody.
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    Mar 27, 2011 3:14 AM GMT
    White4DarkerFL said
    jockgymboy saidThe only reason I don't think it's wise to tax the rich is that they provide the majority of jobs and the more they are taxed, the less jobs they will provide.


    That's huge fallacy put out by conservative think tanks...funded by people like the Koch brothers.

    In reality, the middle class and even the lower classes create jobs because that's where the numbers are, necessary to create demand.

    If you cut Bill Gates taxes to zero, how many more people would he hire? He needs demand for his products before he hires anybody.


    He will create demand for his products by creating jobs--it's the only way people will buy his products if they are put to work so they have some money to buy his products. The rich know you have to put people to work, if you want them to buy your products.

    The people I have worked for were all rich. I've never worked for anyone who was not rich.
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    Mar 27, 2011 3:19 AM GMT
    jockgymboy saidThe only reason I don't think it's wise to tax the rich is that they provide the majority of jobs and the more they are taxed, the less jobs they will provide.


    ______________________________________________________________
    You have this backwards !!

    Jobs come about because of orders for goods and services, not because some wealthy person has money to spend, there are very few billionaires for instance. Billionairs have no needs so they won't be spending because they have all they need, the masses have many needs, but no money to spend to meet them. So who is going to spend more if they have money, a few Billionaires with no needs, or millions of people with lots of needs for goods and services? The wealthy didn't become rich because they supplied goods and services where no demand existed for them.

    The masses must have money to spend to create demand for goods and services for the economy to be active. Cut the income of the masses, and demand for goods and services decreases, jobs are lost, less money circulates and fewer orders for goods and services are originated, more jobs are lost, then even less money circulates and it spirals to less and less money circulating in the economy, and more and more jobs lost.

    Now tell us how the rich provide the majority of jobs again ? If there is no demand the rich set their money aside in some investment rather than hiring people to make things there is no demand for. Don't worry about the rich disappearing, they know how to keep and make money, worry about how our economy will get going again if the masses have no money to spend for necessities, let alone discretionary spending.

    Each time in our history that the current ratios of wealth to population had close to 80% of the nations wealth in the hands of under ten percent of that population, there were severe recessions or a depression such as in the 30's. So worry how this disparity is going to be turned around so the masses have some money to spend so the wealthy will hire to fill orders for goods and services, not about the wealthy paying taxes. Money hoarded serves no one any purpose, money circulated by the masses spending creates a vibrant circulating economy and makes more money for the wealthy.
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    Mar 27, 2011 3:30 AM GMT
    realifedad said
    jockgymboy saidThe only reason I don't think it's wise to tax the rich is that they provide the majority of jobs and the more they are taxed, the less jobs they will provide.


    ______________________________________________________________
    You have this backwards !!

    Jobs come about because of orders for goods and services, not because some wealthy person has money to spend. The wealthy didn't become rich because they supplied goods and services where no demand existed for them.

    The masses must have money to spend to create demand for goods and services for the economy to be active. Cut the income of the masses, and demand for goods and services decreases, jobs are lost, less money circulates and fewer orders for goods and services, more jobs are lost, then even less money circulates and it spirals to less and less money circulating in the economy, and more and more jobs lost.

    Now tell us how the rich provide the majority of jobs again ? If there is no demand the rich set their money aside in some investment rather than hiring people to make things there is no demand for. Don't worry about the rich dissapearing, they know how to keep and make money, worry about how our economy will get going again if the masses have no money to spend for necessities, let alone discretionary spending.

    Each time in our history that the current ratios of wealth to population had close to 80% of the nations wealth in the hands of under ten percent of that population, there were severe recessions or a depression such as in the 30's. So worry how this disparity is going to be turned around so the masses have some money to spend so the wealthy will hire to fill orders for goods and services, not about the wealthy paying taxes. Money hoarded serves no one any purpose, money circulated is good for the masses and makes more money for the wealthy.


    That's the reason why there is no demand for their products because the rich aren't hiring. And they will never get a demand for their products, if they don't put people back to work. If they are waiting for the demand to come first, the demand will never come because it can't come until they put people back to work. The rich are the ones who have the means and the power to put people back to work. So an enviroment has to be created to encourage them to hire and expand their business, even if the demand isn't there because the demand will come when you put people back to work.
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    Mar 27, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    The rich are the only ones who can change the economy, but if all they are going to do is sit on it and horde it, then they will have to accept the fact that there will never be a demand for their products. They can't expect that there will ever be a demand for their products, if they aren't willing to use some of their weath to put people back to work.
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    Mar 27, 2011 3:46 AM GMT
    The rich aren't as rich as they were before. They are still rich, but their incomes and profits have been cut in half. They don't realize this, but by laying people off they actually caused less demand for their products and services, so they are ones who are totally at fault for there being less demand because they have taken people's jobs away. You aren't going to create a demand for your product or service when you lay people off.
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    Mar 27, 2011 3:54 AM GMT
    Wallker is doing the same thing here in Wisconsin. By expecting public workers to use some of their own money to pay for their health insurance and pensions, he's discouraging spending for other things like cars, houses, etc. and as spending decreases, so do more jobs. It's a vicious cycle to get into, but that's the cycle he's chosen. And the less jobs there are, the less money the state is going to get in income and sales taxes, so by this time next year, the state will have another budget deficit.

    Sure, he's solving the budget deficit for this year, but he's creating a bigger one for next year.
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    Mar 27, 2011 4:06 AM GMT
    Big corporations don't even realize this but when they see how little they can get by paying their workers, they are actually discouraging spending and they are creating an environment of less demand for their products and services. The more they pay their workers, the more money they will have to spend on their products and services and the more their business will expand. But sometimes it's very difficult to get corporations to see that the more they are willing to give, the more they will receive. But right now they are scared and they are hanging on to their wealth, but as long as they do that, they are setting themself up for failure and they will eventually lose what they have. You have to spend money to get money. If you get scared and try to just keep what you got so you don't lose what you have, you will end up losing it all.
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    Mar 27, 2011 4:27 AM GMT
    jockgymboy said... The people I have worked for were all rich. I've never worked for anyone who was not rich.

    You have more perception and common sense than some here more than twice your age. Goes to show both common sense and foolishness are well distributed among the different ages. Whenever guys try to use the age factor to try and back up their point, shows they lost.
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    Mar 27, 2011 5:02 AM GMT
    jockgymboy said
    White4DarkerFL said
    jockgymboy saidThe only reason I don't think it's wise to tax the rich is that they provide the majority of jobs and the more they are taxed, the less jobs they will provide.


    That's huge fallacy put out by conservative think tanks...funded by people like the Koch brothers.

    In reality, the middle class and even the lower classes create jobs because that's where the numbers are, necessary to create demand.

    If you cut Bill Gates taxes to zero, how many more people would he hire? He needs demand for his products before he hires anybody.


    He will create demand for his products by creating jobs--it's the only way people will buy his products if they are put to work so they have some money to buy his products. The rich know you have to put people to work, if you want them to buy your products.

    The people I have worked for were all rich. I've never worked for anyone who was not rich.


    If you've only worked for rich people, I guarantee you haven't gotten very far in life.

    I'm not trying to insult you. But you sound like some kind of toady...making rich people sound like benevolent characters in an Ayn Rand novel. Those 'free market' fair play characters are pure fiction.

    I'm older than you and battled with more than my share of these rich bastards in court. If you ever get involved with that...it will take years off your life. Many of them are antisocial, if not outright sociopaths. They range from miserly and demanding to truly evil and extremely greedy. They're miserable people where backstabbing and family dysfunctions are common...the most screwed up place on earth is an exclusive boarding school for their bratty kids.

    And rich people are going to eagerly pay you big bucks...for exactly what?

    Our ancestors fought the Robber Barons. Read your history books. You'll discover the MIDDLE CLASS was not created by some benevolent gift of jobs from the rich...but came about because Unionists shed blood to fight for things like an 8 hour day, minimum wage, no child labor, safe working conditions and educational opportunities.

    Sadly, the poseur 'rich' people often drive around in leased BMWs and ratty old Mercedes because they want to look rich...but anybody who counts knows they're fakers....they vote republican and defend the rich, like the good little toadys and pathetic syhophants they really are.


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    Mar 27, 2011 5:10 AM GMT
    White4DarkerFL said...If you've only worked for rich people, I guarantee you haven't gotten very far in life. ...

    Total bullshit.