Taxes

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Flopper, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    The following is an excerpt from an excellent article by Sam Harris.

    While the United States has suffered the worst recession in living memory, I find that I have very few financial concerns. Many of my friends are in the same position: Most of us attended private schools and good universities, and we will be able to provide these same opportunities to our own children. No one in my immediate circle has a family member serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. In fact, in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001, the only sacrifice we were asked to make for our beloved country was to go shopping. Nearly a decade has passed, with our nation's influence and infrastructure crumbling by the hour, and yet those of us who have been so fortunate as to actually live the American dream--rather than merely dream it--have been spared every inconvenience. Now we are told that we will soon receive a large tax cut for all our troubles. What is the word for the feeling this provokes in me? Imagine being safely seated in a lifeboat, while countless others drown, only to learn that another lifeboat has been secured to take your luggage to shore...

    Most Americans believe that a person should enjoy the full fruits of his or her labors, however abundant. In this light, taxation tends to be seen as an intrinsic evil. It is worth noting, however, that throughout the 1950's--a decade for which American conservatives pretend to feel a harrowing sense of nostalgia--the marginal tax rate for the wealthy was over 90 percent. In fact, prior to the 1980's it never dipped below 70 percent. Since 1982, however, it has come down by half. In the meantime, the average net worth of the richest 1 percent of Americans has doubled (to $18.5 million), while that of the poorest 40 percent has fallen by 63 percent (to $2,200). Thirty years ago, top U.S. executives made about 50 times the salary of their average employees. In 2007, the average worker would have had to toil for 1,100 years to earn what his CEO brought home between Christmas in Aspen and Christmas on St. Barthes.

    We now live in a country in which the bottom 40 percent (120 million people) owns just 0.3 percent of the wealth. Data of this kind make one feel that one is participating in a vast psychological experiment: Just how much inequality can free people endure? Have you seen Ralph Lauren's car collection? Yes, it is beautiful. It also cost hundreds of millions of dollars. "So what?" many people will say. "It's his money. He earned it. He should be able to do whatever he wants with it." In conservative circles, expressing any doubt on this point has long been synonymous with Marxism.

    And yet over one million American children are now homeless. People on Medicare are being denied life-saving organ transplants that were routinely covered before the recession. Over one quarter of our nation's bridges are structurally deficient. When might be a convenient time to ask the richest Americans to help solve problems of this kind? How about now?

    And the ruination of the United States really does seem possible. It has been widely reported, for instance, that students in Shanghai far surpass our own in science, reading, and math. In fact, when compared to other countries, American students are now disconcertingly average (slightly below in math), where the average includes utopias like Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Albania, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia. President Obama was right to recognize this as a "Sputnik moment." But it is worse than that. This story was immediately followed by a report about giddy Creationists in the state of Kentucky being offered $40 million in tax subsidies to produce a full-scale model of Noah's ark. More horrible still, this ludicrous use of public money is probably a wise investment, given that such a monument to scientific ignorance will be guaranteed to attract an ovine influx of Christian tourists from neighboring states. Seeing facts of this kind, juxtaposed without irony or remedy at this dire moment in history, it is hard not to feel that one is witnessing America's irreversible decline. Needless to say, most Americans have no choice but to send their children to terrible schools--where they will learn the lesser part of nothing and emerge already beggared by a national debt now on course to reach $20 trillion. And yet Republicans in every state can successfully campaign on a promise to spend less on luxuries like education, while delivering tax cuts to people who, if asked to guess their own net worth, could not come within $10 million of the correct figure if their lives depended on it.


    Sam Harris: A New Year's Resolution for the Rich
     
  2. LordBrownTrout
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    LordBrownTrout Gold Member

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    I'm not moved. If our government continues to blow money and fall deeper into debt, they can fail.
     
  3. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    Never read shit from the HuffPuff, it rots what little brain you have.
     
  4. Two Thumbs
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    Two Thumbs Platinum Member

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    What a fucking sob story

    Guess what dumbass, I'm working poor and I don't pay a god damn dime in taxes.

    As a matter of fact I MADE $230 dollars profit last year in by doing my taxes.

    I, me, are not paying our fair share to live in the country.

    If that whiney bitch wants to help, tell that asshole to pay his people more or hire more people to do whatever he can think of.
     
  5. shintao
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    shintao Take Down ~ Tap Out

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    I really don't think I should feel bad for being rich, or working 24/7 for 25 years of my life, sacrificing instead of partying and pissing my money into the urinals of society, but investing it so I could retire young and enjoy what life is supposed to have for each of us. I have not suffered since 911, instead I am buying another house for 1/2 price as an investment of my land holdings on a 3.25% fixed loan using other people's money.

    I didn't create the Wall Street, that steals workers wages and benefits, for people who never worked a day in their lives, and who take the money out of circulation so others cannot use it. But Stocks should be banned as anti-American and worker theft. If cons would stop attacking Unions who make a living wage, and attack Wall Street, they too could make a living wage.

    I didn't create corporations who rape the land, pollute the rivers & air, and leave for cheaper wages than our minimum wage.

    I use my right to vote, while other lazy asses bend over for the rich butt plug, what is it? 1/2 of the nation doesn't vote or care about their life situation? The get what the deserve, same with the poor and the cons and the libs. You have the opportunity to make changes, and allow government to willy nilly fuck you in the ass year after year. While cons blame the poor, the libs blame the cons, and poor blames both the cons & libs for their plight. Tsk!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  6. AVG-JOE
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    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The poor dude making $230 just for filing is just as unfairly disgusting as the $100 millionaire paying a paltry 16% compared to his middle class neighbors 32%.

    The answer is not higher taxes any more than the answer is lower taxes. The answer is fair taxes that don't cost us billion$ every year to do the fucking paper-work on.

    7 - 7 on 3
     
  7. Agit8r
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    Agit8r Gold Member

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    "I know not why any plant or herb of the field should be a greater luxury in one country than another; but an overgrown estate in either is a luxury at all times, and, as such, is the proper object of taxation. It is, therefore, right to take those kind tax-making gentlemen up on their own word, and argue on the principle themselves have laid down, that of taxing luxuries... Admitting that any annual sum... is necessary or sufficient for the support of a family, consequently the second [such sum] is of the nature of a luxury, the third still more so, and by proceeding on, we shall at last arrive at a sum that may not improperly be called a prohibitable luxury. It would be impolitic to set bounds to property acquired by industry, and therefore it is right to place the prohibition beyond the probable acquisition to which industry can extend; but there ought to be a limit to property or the accumulation of it by bequest"
    --Thomas Paine; from Rights of Man, Part the Second
     
  8. Revere
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    European nations already have all the new and higher taxes American socialists want, and they have no military on par with the US, and they are still insolvent.

    It's not the taxes.
     
  9. Flopper
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    Flopper Gold Member

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    While most Americans have no chance of earning or inheriting significant wealth, 68 percent want the estate tax eliminated (and 31 percent consider it to be the "worst" and "least fair" tax levied by the federal government). Most believe that limiting this tax, which affects only 0.2 percent of the population, should be the top priority of the current Congress.
     
  10. Revere
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    If you confiscate all of Warren Buffet's wealth, you can run Obamacare for about a month.

    It's not the taxes.
     

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