Tax Freedom Day

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Here's a link to the Tax Foundation's 2011 Tax Freedom Day, as reported by the Orange County Register (CA)

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/work-294274-californians-pay.html

The most interesting statistic is toward the end of the article that states that "to pay the "real cost of government," taxes plus this year's deficit, Americans would have to work until May 23."

These articles are presented usually to rile up angry taxpayers to demand lower taxes, dammit! I look at it a different way: if we have to work until May 23 (at present income tax rates, and with enormous deficits, and with a miserable economy) that is 143 days out of 365, or a little more than 39%. So if we had a flat income tax rate of 39% (and NO other taxes - no sales, no property, no payroll, no NOTHING) that would pay for ALL government spending, federal, state, and local.

So we're not really broke now, are we?

I seriously doubt the analysis by these right-wing outfits (likely static,) but the left should learn to grab the data from their propaganda and use it against them.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Comments

Are we really broke if we're spending less than 40% of our output on ALL governement services?

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I have to work to the end of July to pay my rent and bills. Why is no one calculating that?

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planetxan
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

You're saving 5/12 of your income? You stud, you!

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote chilidog:

You're saving 5/12 of your income? You stud, you!

Je ne comprends pas.

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planetxan
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The post is about tax freedom day, the day in the year where supposedly we've paid all our tax obligations (assuming 100% of our income goes to paying tax.)

You remarked that you have to work til the end of July to pay your rent and your bills. I assumed you were using the same logic - July is the seventh month of the year, therefore everything else you earn goes into the bank.

Merde!

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The more I look at this the more fun I have:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday/

On this page there is a chart adjusting "tax freedom day" for how many days we all have to work to cover not only current tax collections, but also the current deficit.

In 1980 it was somewhere around May 2.

In 2007 it was somewhere around May 2.

SO WHAT THE HELL DID WE GET WITH 26 YEARS OF CONSERVATIVE TAX POLICIES???!!!!

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

You have a choice on where you live, your rent, and none of those choices impact me. Paying your rent is part of being all grown up! Being forced to be a slave for 5 months out of 12 to pay for insane government spending is INSANE.

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nogoodcommies
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Jul. 20, 2011 8:57 pm
Quote chilidog:

Are we really broke if we're spending less than 40% of our output on ALL governement services?

Well, the Germans pay taxes a wee bit higher than us.. Of course , they have about double our wages,, healthcare,, free higher education, etc..Higher taxes and higher take-home pay plus social goodies.

Union scale for a German autoworker is double ours. Wages structures reflect that throughout the German economy..

Now if we can just get U.S. incomes down to 50 cents and hour like the sensible Chinese, and cut taxes to the level of an enlightened but impoverished Haiti,, and live in rat infested hovels,like the rest of the Third World,, .we may finally be able to compete with the over-taxed, extravagant Germans.. LOL

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Tax Freedom Day for 2012 is May 14.

http://taxfoundation.org/tax-topics/tax-freedom-day

That's to pay for all government spending, federal, state, local, Social Security, everything, AND the current federal deficit.

So, 135 days divided by 366 (leap year 2012) is 37%. So if we had a flat tax of 37% that would cover everything.

Again I ask, are we really broke?

Tax Freedom Day comes 9 days earlier than last year.

"As the economic recovery continues, the growth in individual incomes and corporate profits will increase tax revenues and push Tax Freedom Day ever later in the year." - Conveniently incorrect for the periods 1982 to 1985, 1986 to 1990, and 1992 to 2000.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Well, transfers are hard to account for.

You pay when young for Social Security, but the elderly get that payment when they get old.

So should you could the entire amount you spend on Social Security as 'Government Spending'?

And, shoudn't you discount the amount you set aside for medicare or other social services by the probability of recieving those things in the future?

And what about people who get government paychecks? How are they supposed to measure their tax day? In a sense, they don't really have one.

So I think if you want to measure the cost of government, you should measure how many resources it is taking away from the economy - that would be government consumption and investment. And that number has been flat or falling for several years.

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Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I don't disagree.

In addition, I doubt that the Tax Foundation subtracts the buildup in the Social Security Trust Fund since the 1980's, from the total taxes paid.

Again, the point is that this right-wing outfit wants everyone to get riled up over how much we all pay in taxes, and I'll bet they've overstated the amount. And when it comes to total 37% of our production, that suggests to me that we can afford to tax more.

BTW, as many can already guess, Tax Freedom Day comes latest in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. It comes earliest in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday/

Choose wisely.

I was surprised to see California, Virginia, and Florida all about the same.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote planetxan:

I have to work to the end of July to pay my rent and bills. Why is no one calculating that?

You expecting for somebody to spend a bunch of time, labor and money to build you a place to live then let you live ther for free? Would you do that for me?

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am

We are not broke. We the people are unfortunately stupid to believe the nonsense economics propagated by the mainstream media. TAXES are not required for spending. The govt can create all the money needed to keep the economy operating full bore.

Taxation is required only for adjusting income inequality. Fiat money is like a token. An introduction is in

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartalism

The national debt is not what people understand it to be. For currency issuing govts,

(Federal Deficits = Net Private Savings+ net imports), Both federal deficits and net exports add to private savings.

If all yearly deficits are added we get

cumulative deficits = cumulative savings, which means

total national debt of the govt = national wealth.

See data in
http://pshakkottai.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/national-debt-and-national-wealth-compared/
http://pshakkottai.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/misunderstood-deficits/

The govt has borrowed money from itself and given to the people. People collect interest. They DON'T have to pay any debt back. The govt is in debt to itself and has to do NOTHING.

The national debt everyone frets about is NOT REAL!

The best way of understanding is to see how the game monopolis works. In this game govt is the score keeper and the players are the private sector and money is the SCORE.

Playing Monopolis Monopoly: An inquiry into why we are making ourselves so miserable | | New Economic PerspectivesNew Economic Perspectives

at http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/05/playing-monopolis-monopoly-an...

The debt clock is a symbol of economic ignorance.

http://rodgermmitchell.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/the-debt-clock-a-symbol-...

Dollar Monopoly: Kickstarter Project

has nice diagrams of the money system of USA at http://dollarmonopoly.blogspot.com/p/kickstarter-project.html

I also have a simplified flow diagram of money which shows taxes do not recirculate in

http://pshakkottai.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/157/

You can also read more about money(7 Deadly Innocent Frauds) in

http://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF.pdf

pshakkottai's picture
pshakkottai
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Jul. 11, 2011 11:27 am
Quote pshakkottai:

Taxation is required only for adjusting income inequality.

I'm not really interested in income inequality. I think a lot of our problems stem from wealth inequality, especially when it gets too top-heavy, as I think is the situation today.

Set an annual tax of 3-6% of net worth. That's the Treasury. Every two years a new Congress can decide who gets the Treasury. When the GOP is in charge they can redistribute it back to those who paid it, if they think that is the best policy.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

chilidog, I keep getting confused by your claims to see "wealth inequality" as the problem to be fixed and the "solutions" you offer. Sorry to say, they seem to be pretty half-assed and subject to the emotional quick fix instead of economically wise.

"Tax Freedom Day" is one of those Rightie inventions that ought to be condemend by its own evidence. Look where it comes early and where it comes late. Look at who is doing better and worse. Notice the match between higher taxes and higher shared prosperity?

Once you force the Tax Freedom Day crowd to do more than put "ideas" around their emotions and actually think about taxes, all the evidence destroys the meme. I think you really do appreciate the problem of wealth inequality, but your tepid and simplistic remedies do not really do the job. The biggest problem is the emotional, ideological and religious overlay to "economics" and taxation rather than what the management of a modern economy requires. We have a revenue problem, and to solve it we need shared prosperity and the end of poverty. Austerity is poison, not a cure.

High marignal income taxes and actually paid corporate taxes encourage responsible investment instead of a cash drain. Free public health, education and affordable food and housing are great public investments in shared prosperity, not some robbery of the rich. They can be as rich as humanly possible without becoming royals and still pay these taxes for the good of all. How it is done is not nearly as important as knowing that it has to be done for the good of all, including the rich. It would be stupid to set up a "system" that gave the ideologues permission to continue to abuse the economy instead of doing what is needed to reverse "wealth inequality."

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

I'll be the first to admit that it's half-assed. Maybe 3% is too low. I base that on when someone stops working at age 60 or so, almost all of her assets will be taxed before she dies in 33+ years. And I suggest an estate tax of 100%.

It's probably going to take 20+ years to fully implement, and some other policies will have to be implemented in the interim. But it's a step in the right direction. As opposed to President Obama, who's lowered estate taxes to below anything Bush and his GOP Congresses could dream about.

I think you're missing my points about posting Tax Freedom Day: we are not taxed to death, as the right constantly harangues. And they've been bitching since before 1980, and after having historical power in Washington and several states for 28 years, Tax Freedom Day NOW COMES LATER than it did in 1980. And it does not count the parabolic rise in debt at the personal and state levels in that period. The right needs to own their record.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Well, that's wierd. Yes of course the nation owes some of the money to itself. The problems with deficit spending (and debt) is:

1) We have to pay interest on the debt. It is currently at some 330 billion, which is no small chunk of change.
1b) Most people who own the debt are upper income people.
2) We owe some of it to international interests. This then means we can no longer have a free international policy
3) It also means we come to depend on international finance, which is also a dangerous thing.
4) If the debt gets too large, people will start to wonder about the ability to pay it back, and won't lend anymore. Thus interest rates will have to rise.

There are reasons to have a deficit and economic slowdown is one of them. But, in the natural course of things, we should have a balanced budget - or run a surplus so that if there is an emergency or recession we can deficit spend.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

But that would require a cut back in the "lifestyles of the rich and narcissistic" as well as a commitment to "liberty and justice for all." Sound economics, which you symbolize, has nothing to do with what the Right is about. They are about theology, and the worship of very false but popular gods. Mars and Mammon have seduced many who could afford to worship at their temples. The sacrifices are paid, in pure Wall St., by others and not by the acolytes of these gods. How cool is that if you have the cash!

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

OK chili, I am relieved and less confused about your intentions. I think the better rhetoric is strength rather than small numbers, but I saw the value of the Buffett Rule as callinig the bluff of those who thought the current policy was just fine. When you are calling the change trivial, you beg the question of what would be sufficient or substantial.

Let's come up with some street theater here and pose a telling question.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Quote chilidog:
Quote pshakkottai:

Taxation is required only for adjusting income inequality.

I'm not really interested in income inequality. I think a lot of our problems stem from wealth inequality, especially when it gets too top-heavy, as I think is the situation today.

Set an annual tax of 3-6% of net worth. That's the Treasury. Every two years a new Congress can decide who gets the Treasury. When the GOP is in charge they can redistribute it back to those who paid it, if they think that is the best policy.

That is what pshakkottai is getting at. Taxation is really only required as a tool to keep the super rich from getting so wealthy that the gap between them and everybody else is unsurmountable. Once that happens they become untouchable. They can literally become above the law. Taxation isn't wealth redistribution as the conservatives like to claim. It's a wealth regulator. Other than that there really is no need to tax working Americans. Taxes don't fund the government. The government via the Fed created the tax money in the first place.

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

If you simply print money to fund the government, you would get inflation.

If you borrow it, someone has to reduce their consumption by buying a T-bill, so there is no pressure on inflation.

Of course, this doesn't matter in a recession, but in a recovery it might. And, this effect is mitigated by the extent the banking system is not covered by the FED.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Budgets are always in balance because
(Federal Deficits = Net Private Savings+ net imports), applies to USA and other nations that have their own currencies.
What the mainstream talks about is a particular type of balance where the above equation means
(0 = x- x), in other words only private sector balances net imports. In practice, when when net imports are small, this means
(0 = 0+0 ).
No deficits means no growth! Personal debt and govt debt have opposite meanings!
Federal deficits and only federal deficits grow the economy(mostly the private sector) and this is the reason why the 1% talk always about "unsustainable federal debts". You can see my recent plot of Defict vs. GDP in

http://pshakkottai.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/188/

deficits go with private savings
surplus goes with recessions
federal debt = private wealth
http://pshakkottai.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/another-proof-of-mmt-4/
To understand money follow the game monopolis at
http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/05/playing-monopolis-monopoly-an-inquiry-into-why-we-are-making-ourselves-so-miserable.html
It will be an eye-opener.

"Third, #Occupy must target the media. Contact the media repeatedly. Flood with Emails, snail mail, personal contacts. And march against the media. A hundred knowledgeable, sign-carrying people, standing on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, in front of the Chicago Tribune headquarters, demanding that the Tribune print the Monetary Sovereignty facts, will do more than all that has been accomplished to date.

Force the media to educate the public, which will give the 99% the information and the voice they have been missing. And when the 99% has a voice, the politicians will listen." from
http://rodgermmitchell.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/the-solution-to-the-income-gap-in-less-than-1000-words/

pshakkottai's picture
pshakkottai
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Jul. 11, 2011 11:27 am

Are you replying to me?

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Yes. About "There are reasons to have a deficit and economic slowdown is one of them. But, in the natural course of things, we should have a balanced budget - or run a surplus so that if there is an emergency or recession we can deficit spend. "

Surplus in the govt sector means deficit for the private sector. Deficits increase GDP generally except the wasteful wars in recent times as shown in

http://pshakkottai.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/188/

pshakkottai's picture
pshakkottai
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Jul. 11, 2011 11:27 am
Quote pshakkottai:

Yes. About "There are reasons to have a deficit and economic slowdown is one of them. But, in the natural course of things, we should have a balanced budget - or run a surplus so that if there is an emergency or recession we can deficit spend. "

Surplus in the govt sector means deficit for the private sector. Deficits increase GDP generally except the wasteful wars in recent times as shown in

http://pshakkottai.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/188/ 

Deficits mean you are taxing people to pay t-bill holders in the form of interest. That is a wasteful thing for government to do.

If small deficits don't matter much, large continual deficits are simply impossible - one would eventually doubt the government would pay back the debt without huge tax increases or creating lots of money.

As to this idea of government surpluses means private sector deficits, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Dr. Econ's picture
Dr. Econ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Tax Freedom Day for 2013 is May 9, three days earlier than in 2012.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/tax-freedom-day-2013-april-18-five-days...

Give the Tea Party Congress and Governors the credit they deserve. Now we only have to work 129 days instead of 132 days to pay for all government spending. To put it in another way, we can all go home every day at 4:49 instead of staying until 5 o'clock. Or rather, for most of those working 10 hour days, you only have to work 9 hours and 46 minutes.

So 129 divided by 365 is 35.3%. Is that a crushing tax burden?

It appears that the Tax Foundation does revisit actual data from prior years and revises its figures accordingly. They now report that Tax Freedom Day for the past couple of years has been May 15, 2011 and May 12, 2012. (Earlier reported as May 23, 2011 and May 14, 2012.)

Tax Freedom Day has never come as early as 1979, ever since the GOP vanguished the red diaper doper babies that controlled goverment then.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Probably since sovereign national governments don't require taxation or borrowing unless they want to re-direct already existing money and production..or reduce the money supply...we should have a Tax Free Century or two at the federal level.

Sovereign national governments can simply create and spend money up to a nation's economic productive potential.

The last U.S. Pres. to do so was Abe Lincoln.

Currently, the U.S. has about $2 trillion annually in idle potential. It can spend another $2 trillion per year to place a demand on idle potential....just by writing a check. So what's the austerity talk?

It could simply issue Soc. Security checks with or without a trust fund. Ditto unemployment funding, Food Stamps and the like.

If government wants to use bomb making productive capacity for bombs instead of light rail, it can do that just by writing a check to use the productive capacity. It's a wash.

If government wants to create and spend more money than the economic productive capacity of the country can support...sorry. It can only spend up to maximum economic functioning and full emloyment. It can't spend money to hire unemployed workers that don't exist or put factories into production that aren't there.

It can, however, simply create and spend money up to the maximum economic output of the nation without borrowing or taxing a dime. When the Founding Fathers provided for that in the Constitution...they weren't twits. We probably need another "honest Abe Lincoln".He was the last Pres. to utilize it. Banksters, of course, were livid.

Reitred Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

no-new-tax-cuts-will-not-pay-for-themselves

is the refutation of the Laffer curve. Nobel economist Peter Diamond and a colleague found the optimizing rate to be 73% for the top bracket. 66% could be done wiith no effect on productivity.

All the heralding of Thatcher policy this past week neglects the fact that she raised the tax burden to about 34% of gdp, over double the US's rate. Clinton had it at 20%. Currently spending is 25% of gdp.Keeping the mistaken comparison of a household and balancing checkbooks, lets use the home mortgage standard. The 30 year fixed used to recommend 2.5 times your annual earnings as the mortgage you could afford. If we sought 20% of gdp like Clinton had, that would be 3.2 trillion dollars [20% of 16 trillion gdp] National debt should be maintained at 2.5 times 3.2 trillion and we are way over that.. Since the national debt is 12 trillion to achieve the 2.5 times we reverse calculate and get 4.5 trillion +/- . 4.5 trillion as a percent of a 16 trillion dollar economy places the optimal tax burden at 23% up from the current 16.5 percent by about 6.5%

If we went for Thatcher's burden we would have about 5 trillion in revenue instead of the current 3 trillion. Another solution is figuring a 40 year or 50 year mortgage with a higher multiplier of 3 times revenue or even 4 times revenue. At 4 times revenue dividing the 12 trillion debt by 4 we have 3 trillion or about where we are today, as long as some principle is being paid, there is no debt problem. The principle begins when the deficit is eliminated and it has already shrunk by 50%.

Taking a home equity loan against US assets could get some spending stimulus. How about we put up as collateral a few aircraft carriers, or some nukes? All those foreign bases are well maintained, and if we default, foreclosure proceedings would force the moving vans to the base. The debtor ought to post a guard, evicted tenants have been known to strip out the copper plumbing. Who knows what an evicted army base would try to take with them.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

pshakkottai wrote:

Taxation is required only for adjusting income inequality.

chilidog replies: I'm not really interested in income inequality. I think a lot of our problems stem from wealth inequality, especially when it gets too top-heavy, as I think is the situation today. Set an annual tax of 3-6% of net worth.

poly replies: Pity. That means you don't understand that taxation isn't required...unless government wants to re-distribute the existing money supply elsewhere or reduce the money supply.

Taxation is not required anymore than government borrowing is. National governments are sovereign when it comes to money. They can simply create it and spend it to maintain maximum economic functioning.

Dr. Econ wrote: If you simply print money to fund the government, you would get inflation.

poly replies: Actually, that isn't true as long as government doesn't spend more into the economy than economic production can support. Currently, several trillions more per year. It needn't borrow a penney to do that.

Monetary policy is usually a reponse to inflation, not the cause. A shortage of goods with a stable or increased demand causes prices to rise. Government responds by printing more money so people can still buy them. It borrows non-existent money from bankers through fractional reserve banking...then it can print it in exchange for an I.O.U. (Treasury Bond).

This is particularly true in foods and energy. What government should do is simply create and spend the money into the economy to increase the production of the shortages or provide substitutions.. Prices fall accordingly.

Inflation of the 70's was caused by an oil embargo against the U.S. Demand for oil remained high for personal/industrial use while the availability of the product fell.. Prices rose. The money supply was increased to to enable economic functioning to continue. It had to reflect the new oil pricing.

Sovereign government's needn't borrow or tax unless they want to re-direct the already existing money supply or shrink it.

Arguing from the assumption national governments have to borrow or tax (setting austerity in motion) simply means the problems caused by it can't be addressed. It's arguing from a false premise. Problems get worse, as in Greece.

When the Founding Fathers provided for a means to simply create/spend money into the economy, they weren't fools. The last Pres. to do that was Abe Lincoln. Banksters and financiers, of course, were livid. He stepped on their profits and toes.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote chilidog:

So 129 divided by 365 is 35.3%. Is that a crushing tax burden?

To answer your question: Under our current system, Yes it's a crushing tax burden. You're basing your number on everyone paying 35.3%. As you know, that is so not the case. There are some in the US that have Tax Freedom day on January 1.

Now as for a flat tax, I'm all for it. Set it as high as you like. You can even increase my taxes which are already ridiculous. However, I think that EVERYONE should have some skin in the game. Federal Sales Tax, I'm all for it too. Even if you make min. wage.

The left loves to insist that the wealthy should be paying their "fair share" whatever that is. We should all be paying our "fair share." I'm fine with allowing a rebate, return or credit for the lowest income earners in an effort to get them over the poverty line. However, we should all be paying something to provide an understanding of interest in the workings of government. When you exclude some people from paying taxes, you remove some incentive to hold elected officials accountable. After all, it doesn't cost them anything. If you're paying, it cost you. You take notice. You demand better. If you are only receiving benefits at no cost, where is your incentive to limit those benefits? Isn't it always in your best interest to vote for more benefits?

While I'm ranting, I have never heard a convincing arguement for progressive income tax that didn't border on Marxism. And my new favorite latest scam: removing the cap Social Security. How is it that I keep hearing that SSI isn't an entitlement; it's insurance. You pay in; you get back. Now they want to raise the cap and not raise the benefit for high wage earners. It no longer sounds like insurance to me. It sounds more like a welfare program.

Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe there are people out there who, for example, look to pay higher premiums for car insurance without increased coverage. Or people who choose to pay for home insurance at the premium rate of a million dollar home, but only get the benefit of a $100,000 policy.

Conservative_Th...
Joined:
Jun. 15, 2012 12:01 pm

From Above:

Now as for a flat tax, I'm all for it. Set it as high as you like. You can even increase my taxes which are already ridiculous. However, I think that EVERYONE should have some skin in the game. Federal Sales Tax, I'm all for it too. Even if you make min. wage.

poly replies: Probably if some didn't have incomes way beyond the nation's means, others wouldn't be living under bridges and eating other people's garbage.

"The money supply at any given time is finite. For one to have more, another has to have less". - Friedman," Money Mischief"

France had the problem once. The monarch and nobility had most of the wealth. The king lost his head over it.

The nation produces $160,000 annually for every family of four...working or not. Probably out of that, some way could be found to provide enough income for an adequate diet and shelter...maybe even an occasional Dr's. visit..

I do realize that if every family was guaranteed $30,000 a year, it would only leave $130,000 out of their share of the national income to go to the top 1/10th of 1%.

The top 400 might only have the shared wealth of 140 million people instead of 150 million people. Horrors!

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Poly,

For talking purposes, I am going to accept your numbers as fact. I have no reason to believe otherwise. While your post is interesting, it really doesn't address my comment. If anything, perhaps it strengthens my arguement. A flat rate would allow for just the redistribution you seem to support.

I'm not advocating somehow abandoning the poorest and most vulnerable. I'm simply saying they should pay taxes. They should be allowed to be engaged with and impacted by their government. As previously stated, their needs to be a reasonable bottom point at which no taxes are collected or they somehow rebated.

As it stand now, the poorest are treated like children. Ask a child if he/she wants more candy, you'll likely get a positive response. Ask a child if they want to trade their favorite toy for candy, you might get a different response. Or maybe a better example that fits the liberal agenda... It's no different than big oil lobbying for more tax breaks and subsidies. The cost too them in lobbying is relatively low compared to the benefit. In the case of the poorest, there's no cost. So of course they are going to vote for and support more subsidy. I simply want them to pay taxes and be engaged in their governement. I don't see why the left would want to prevent this.

Conservative_Th...
Joined:
Jun. 15, 2012 12:01 pm

Actually, the per cent of my income going towards taxes is probably much greater than yours. Nearly 20% of income just to upgrade the local sewage plant. The combined city, county, state taxes on food are 12%. Then there are hidden property taxes tacked on to rent, utility taxes, gas taxes, public easement taxes, auto licensing taxes, telephone taxes, trash taxes, etc.

My total taxes are about 65% of total income. Can't get blood out of a turnip, though the wealthy are sure trying. I'm allowed to keep 35% of my income for food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Rent takes most of it. Tell me again how you are over-taxed and why I should pay more with a flat income tax.

The U.S. per capita income averages out to about $40,000 for every man, woman and baby...working or not. $160,000 per each family of four. Probably, some means could be found to provide an adequate diet, housing and an occasional Dr.'s visit out of that.

http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/ranks/rank29.html

I do realize that if each a family received a minimum of $30,000 a year, it would slightly reduce the share of the national income going to the top...and acknowledge that from the upper 1/10th of 1%'s points of view, it would be terribly unfair to do that.

Poverty deaths are preferable. Included in that are the 45,000 Americans that die every year from lack of money for health care.

400 familes have more wealth than the bottom 150 million combined. I realize that reducing it to more wealth than only 140 million combined would be a terrible sacrifice from their point of view.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Ahh my favorite talking point! You are probably correct, as percentage you probably do pay a higher percentage when factoring all possible taxes. Many of the taxes you mention, I also pay and probably at the same rate or very similar rate. You know of course the other side of the talking point - the dollars. If a percentage point were some type of usuable currency, that would be great. The reality is that the dollar amount matters too. So, while your percentage of taxation compared to income may be very high, another person may have a very low percentage and an extremely high dollar amount. That's the broken system we have.

I don't think I ever stated I was over taxed. I did say that 35% is a crushing tax rate and I believe it is. I work very hard and spend a great deal of money to minimize my tax percentage to the lowest possible level. With a flat tax system, this would not be possible or at least more difficult.

Further, the continued attempt at demonizing the wealthy (or at least wealthier) but constantly bringing in poverty related deaths is nothing more than talking point blather. Why is it the discussion always goes something like this.... The right says we have too much wasteful spending, we need to make some cuts. The left responds with, "why do you want to starve children?" There has to be some reasonable middle ground.

I have said it many times on this board, the poor people in America have no concept of being truly poor. Travel to almost any country in S. America and tell me that someone receiving Section 8 housing, a free cell phone, welfare, WIC, vocational training, food stamps and free education for their children is poor compared a child in the favelas of Brazil or worse, Paraguay.

Conservative_Th...
Joined:
Jun. 15, 2012 12:01 pm

There are some in the US that have Tax Freedom day on January 1.

"Tax Freedom Day provides Americans with an easy way to gauge the overall tax take-a task that can otherwise be daunting due to the multiplicity of taxes at various levels of government and "hidden" taxes and fees that are often buried in the cost of living."

"Every dollar that is officially called income by the government is counted, and every payment that is officially considered a tax is counted."

They're counting EVERYTHING. And likely overstating it.

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Conservative wrote:

Ahh my favorite talking point! You are probably correct, as percentage you probably do pay a higher percentage when factoring all possible taxes. Many of the taxes you mention, I also pay and probably at the same rate or very similar rate. You know of course the other side of the talking point - the dollars. If a percentage point were some type of usuable currency, that would be great. The reality is that the dollar amount matters too. So, while your percentage of taxation compared to income may be very high, another person may have a very low percentage and an extremely high dollar amount.

poly replies: Generally, that is the conservative point. However:

"Even Adam Smith, the 18th century guru of free-market conservatives, saw the wisdom of a graduated tax embodying the principle of equal sacrifice. “The rich should contribute to the public expense,” he wrote, “not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more in proportion.”"

"Equal sacrifice means that in paying taxes people ought to feel about the same degree of pain regardless of whether they’re wealthy or poor. Logically, this means someone earning $20 million a year should pay a much larger proportion of his income in taxes than someone earning $200,000, who in turn should pay a larger proportion than someone earning $50,000." - R. Reich, economist.

http://robertreich.org/post/29659058335

It should probably be the same in fines. A $1200 fine for a min. wage earner is 100% of a month's income. A $1200 fine for a million-dollar annual earner ($80,000 a month) is 2%.. Fines should be in proportion to income for equal effect.

Poor man's $1,200 fine = 100% of monthly income.

Wealthy man's $1,200 fine = 2% of monthly income.

The real effect of that is the poor get punished more severely for the same offense. We call it equal application of the law. Nonsense. Same with taxes.

Probably if you want a 15% flat income tax on the poor, on top of their currently 60-65% tax burden, you should prepare for another summer of burning cities and filled shopping carts leaving supermarkets en masse without payment.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Great point, let us institute a flat fee tax of $20,000,000,000.

Why is it the discussion always goes something like this.... The right says we have too much wasteful spending, we need to make some cuts. The left responds with, "why do you want to starve children?" There has to be some reasonable middle ground.

Between "we must cut" and starving children there is no reasonable middle ground. How many starving children do you think are acceptable? When Obama tried to meet the sequester cuts he stopped White House tours and the Blue Angels US Navy show fliers and conservatives howled. They demand reasonable cuts, except the reality is that there is not much waste. And whatever is cut conservatives cry about.

The IRS estimates the US Treasury loses about $400,000,000,000 annually to tax evasion. Which is 7 times the amount of the sequester and 4 times the amount that would be saved with the Chained CPI for SSI and federal benefits. This revenue does not require a tax increase, just the will for congress to get more revenue agents.

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
Joined:
Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm

Look at it this way. If tax revenues are low, governments have to borrow from banksters/financiers. When governments can't repay the loans, the nation's assets are up for grabs at pennies on the dollar.

Paying no tax, snapping up national assets and collecting revenue from the government is a win win....for some.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Phaedrus76:

Between "we must cut" and starving children there is no reasonable middle ground. How many starving children do you think are acceptable?

Thank you for proving my point. The "how many starving children" is really the old "when did you stop beating your wife?" question. However, I'll play along for sake of the discussion. First, I would ask, are there actually starving children in your neighborhood? I doubt very much that there are "starving" children in your neighborhood. Malnurished perhaps, starving - I highly doubt it. And if there are, what are you doing about it? Shouldn't that be the first step? I'll assume you've already donated canned goods and time at your local food bank. Are you telling me that there is no government program in your area to provide food to children? There is no subsidized lunch or breakfast program at your public schools? Your state does not provide food stamps or WIC?

If that is true, I am outraged. I was under the impression that some portion of my tax dollars were going to fund these type of programs and from what I'm hearing, that money is being misappropriated in your area. Have you contacted your representatives in Congress? Have they not responded? It's probably time to get the local media involved and most certainly an opportunity for an occupy type protest.

Hey wait, I just checked, WIC is available in all 50 states with nearly 9 million participants.

Conservative_Th...
Joined:
Jun. 15, 2012 12:01 pm

Probably actual death by starvation is a rarity. Malnutrition as a contributing factor...probably.

Depending on the state, up to 30% of households with children don't have consistent access to food. I guess that means some days, they don't eat.

I;'ve seen that, and distribute home-baked, fortified breads to help alleviate it. Lot's of bang for the buck. I've done that for years.

Probably people doing well should provide a few crumbs from their table instead of platitudes. A living wage might be more beneficial than table scraps. If we're going to rely on schools to provide the daily meal for many, they should probably be open 7 days a week year round

http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/child-hunger-fa...

Food Stamps are a joke. A bad one. About all they can provide for are fats, fillers and starches. Welcome to the diabetis epidemic and teens with clogged arteries.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I don't mean to pick on you, but you're numbers don't seem to be correct. According to the USDA 80% of households with children were "food-secure." In 10% of households with children, both children and adults reported food insecurity. Less than 1% (374,000 households) report interrupted or reduced food intake.

Interestingly, the largest concentration of food insecure households are in the south and southwest in major cities and metro areas. The largest ethnic/social groups being Black(Non-Hispanic) and Hispanics single mothers with children.

Again, I'll stand by my earlier comments. We can do better in the US for sure, but I don't know that introducing more programs or providing more money is the answer. Maybe we need to be smarter with resources we have and combine many of these programs. I have never understood why one needs to apply for welfare & food stamps, then WIC, the free lunch programs and so on. Why isn't there one office to provide all of these services in one stop? It seems to me to be a waste of resources. You could probably eliminate some staffing as well.

Conservative_Th...
Joined:
Jun. 15, 2012 12:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Probably actual death by starvation is a rarity. Malnutrition as a contributing factor...probably.

Depending on the state, up to 30% of households with children don't have consistent access to food. I guess that means some days, they don't eat.

I;'ve seen that, and distribute home-baked, fortified breads to help alleviate it. Lot's of bang for the buck. I've done that for years.

Probably people doing well should provide a few crumbs from their table instead of platitudes. A living wage might be more beneficial than table scraps. If we're going to rely on schools to provide the daily meal for many, they should probably be open 7 days a week year round

http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/child-hunger-fa...

Food Stamps are a joke. A bad one. About all they can provide for are fats, fillers and starches. Welcome to the diabetis epidemic and teens with clogged arteries.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You probably didn't notice that your first and last paragraphs contrast each other. As you point out in your last statement; while malnutrition is a major health concern for the poor in the rest of the world; here in the USA, obesity borne illness is the major health concern for the poor. Clearly, this is on the opposite side of the scale from starvation.

Until "healthy" food becomes affordable, it will probably stay that way.

Paleo-con
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Probably until incomes are sufficient to buy healthy food it will stay that way. Since the U.S. generates $40,000 per year for each man, woman and baby....$160,000 for each family of four, a means can be found to do that.

If families had an income of $30,000 a year it would still leave a surplus of $130,000 a year from each to fill the pockets of banksters, food commodity speculators and the Koch Brods.

You should probably understand that one can be obese and be malnourshed. An obese kid with insufficient protein at critical stages of growth will suffer irreversible brain damage.

Perhaps some of our educational woes have nothing to do with the educational system.

Conservative wrote: I don't mean to pick on you, but you're numbers don't seem to be correct. According to the USDA 80% of households with children were "food-secure."\

poly replies: Actually I wrote, "Depending on the state, up to 30% of households with children don't have consistent access to food. I guess that means some days, they don't eat.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Probably until incomes are sufficient to buy healthy food it will stay that way. Since the U.S. generates $40,000 per year for each man, woman and baby....$160,000 for each family of four, a means can be found to do that.

If families had an income of $30,000 a year it would still leave a surplus of $130,000 a year from each to fill the pockets of banksters, food commodity speculators and the Koch Brods.

Just once, it would be nice to see you respond to something without going to your cut and paste bank. This nonsense has been debunked over and over. At the very least, you could update the bank with current information once in a while.

Quote polycarp2:You should probably understand that one can be obese and be malnourshed. An obese kid with insufficient protein at critical stages of growth will suffer irreversible brain damage.

Perhaps some of our educational woes have nothing to do with the educational system.

Now you're just grasping at straws. Lack of protein is hardly a contributor to obesity. Obesity in the poor can easily be contributed to cheap calories. You should probably understand that $10 will buy a lot of Totino's pizza while buying practically nothing from the health food isles.

Paleo-con
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Nah. You're grasping at what I didn't say. One can be malnourished and be obese...cheap calories... instead of eating unaffordable protein, fruits and veggies. Chances are, you don't think a plum or a brussell sprout is an unaffordable luxury.

When I distribute home-baked goods, they are protein-enriched. Soy, milk and eggs. Can't do anything about fruits/veggies. I'm not allowed to have a garden where I live. The slumlord prefers a lawn full of weeds, thorns and an occassional blade of grass..

They die in mid-summer. I'm left with a lawn of dirt. I won't boost my water bill to water weeds and thorns for nothing in return. Neither do my neighbors. We just do extra dusting in the house.

I'd suggest you've no idea what being poor in the U.S. actually is. A piece of fruit is an unaffordable luxury...it's the difference between a cheap empty-calorie, yet filling dinner or no dinner at all. A piece of fruit, or dinner. The choice is obvious, isn't it?

Welcome to Food Stamp Heaven.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Nah. You're grasping at what I didn't say. One can be malnourished and be obese...cheap calories... instead of eating unaffordable protein, fruits and veggies. Chances are, you don't think a plum or a brussell sprout is an unaffordable luxury.

Actually, I did address exactly what you said. Attempts at doublespeak are sad and frankly, below your abilities. Having a hard day? Chances are that I do think plums or Brussels sprouts are unaffordable luxuries for the poor. Now you're just not paying attention or trying to speak past me. I clearly said that the frozen food section will provide more for $10 than healthy isles. And yes, fruits and vegetables are in the healthy food isles.

Quote polycarp2:When I distribute home-baked goods, they are protein-enriched. Soy, milk and eggs. Can't do anything about fruits/veggies. I'm not allowed to have a garden where I live. The slumlord prefers a lawn full of weeds, thorns and an occassional blade of grass..

They die in mid-summer. I'm left with a lawn of dirt. I won't boost my water bill to water weeds and thorns for nothing in return. Neither do my neighbors. We just do extra dusting in the house.

Ah... Clearly you are someone with no experience at being truly poor. Many weeds, including dandelion and plantain are edible and have other uses. I have eaten many a bowlful. And there is no need for a garden. Just take the seeds from discarded fruits and vegetables (dumpster diving required), then plant them in anything that holds dirt. Tomatoes and raspberries are the easiest. Put down the dust mops and try a little ingenuity; you'll be amazed at what people can accomplish when not sitting around feeling sorry for themselves.

Quote polycarp2:I'd suggest you've no idea what being poor in the U.S. actually is. A piece of fruit is an unaffordable luxury...it's the difference between a cheap empty-calorie, yet filling dinner or no dinner at all. A piece of fruit, or dinner. The choice is obvious, isn't it?

Now you know better than that. In all the years I've been on this board, I have never made it a secret that I have been poor; extremely poor, didn't like it, and won't go back. Seriously, starting in the slums of Puerto Rico, graduating to smarmy trailer parks in Louisiana, and then stepping up to project housing in the Bronx, NY is not exactly the childhood of a spoiled rich kid. I have many memories every day, besides eating weeds, which keep me driven.

I think we already agree on the empty calories. No need to keep beating a dead horse.

Paleo-con
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Paleo-con,

Regardless of what I agree or disagree with you, I respect you a lot more than I did before this post. You truly have experienced poverty, so if you condemn something, you do so with more knowledge than I have about it. You practice what you preach. I salute you!

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 4:57 pm

Paleo wrote:

"Ah... Clearly you are someone with no experience at being truly poor. Many weeds, including dandelion and plantain are edible and have other uses. I have eaten many a bowlful. And there is no need for a garden. Just take the seeds from discarded fruits and vegetables (dumpster diving required), then plant them in anything that holds dirt. Tomatoes and raspberries are the easiest. "

poly replies: Ah, clearly you've never lived where edible weeds are in short supply and where tomatoes are a slumlord no no. Sucn things require a slumlord riding a weed-wacking mower around such goodies. Raspberries require acid vs. alkaline soils.

Unlike Puerto Rico, in most of the U.S. weeds don't grow year-round. We have this thing called snow.

Probably a lot of landlords wouldn't look favorably on planting thorn-bearing raspberries on their property that quickly turn into briar patches if not tended properly. I once lived on such a plot in Ohio where they grew wild...without planting...but 1/2 the property was inaccessible unless you didn't mind getting cut to ribbons. Thornless varieties can be bought. The choice...skip meals for a week to buy a hybrid thornless, sterile-seed raspberry bush, or eat.

It seems we have similar backgrounds. I started in the slums of Denver. The New Deal's G.I. Bill got us out of that I'm glad FDR's New Deal gave you a housing project to move up to .I take it you've done better since then..

I graduated to a luxury home in the hills over-looking L.A. by my mid-twenties. Such self-aggrandizing was a rather stupid expenditure of time, but fairly easy if one wanted to do it. That, of course, was before the right wing wacko's came to power with their trickle down nonsense.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

It just takes a little effort poly. It is not hard to make soil acid. The landlord is not likely to ride his mower over the plants growing inside your window. How did you manage to get rich without some creativity?

Yes, the weather in Puerto Rico made it easier to access green stuff. I will debate if the 100 degree days with 100% humidity made for a fair trade off.

Odd, the right wing wacko's trickle down nonsense didn't slow me down any. Perhaps it was all that favorable treatment they gave us latino people.

Paleo-con
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Of course it's not hard to make alkaline soil acid if you have the resources available to do it. Sorry, the slumlord won't allow any edibles...even planted against the building. He says it causes bugs.

I'd suggest that if you didn't make your first million by your mid-twenties (ten million in today's dollars) the right wing wacko's slowed you down. Probably the gradual shifting of the tax burden onto labor had something to do with that.

When income taxes were first imposed, only the very wealthy paid them. Even then the idiots didn't realize taxes and government borrowing weren't required by a sovereign state unless they wanted to re-direct the existing money supply or shrink it. Ideological thinking gets in the way of seeing that.

Free education on Sovereign Nation money.

http://hir.harvard.edu/debt-deficits-and-modern-monetary-theory

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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