Federal Tax Brackets

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In your opinion, what is the end game for the Federal Tax Brackets? In a perfect world where you were in charge of these brackets, what would they be? Also thoughts on itemmized deductions?

Jan. 4, 2013 11:31 am


One thing to remember is that there used to be 30+ different tax brackets - progressively higher rates for progressively higher income levels.

Now I believe we have only 5 different brackets and you get to the higher brackets at a mich lower income level than you used to.

Scappoose's picture
Mar. 30, 2012 6:49 am

The number of brackets was reduced over the years because of bribes to politicians and lobbyists from the millionaires and billionaires who have benefited the most from this slow-march towards their eventual goal of a flat tax.

They somehow, through paid lobbyists such as Grover Norquist, and other spokes people like Frank Luntz and conservative talkers and media types and the Koch heads, have convinced (fooled, brainwashed, lied to) many in the lower and middle class into believing that the little guy would benefit from a flat tax, when the opposite is true.

The little guy has been lied to and believes mistakenly that every dollar will be taxed at the rate set by the highest bracket their income places them in. They don't understand "marginal" tax rates; that is no accident, that is part of the plot. Note how conservatives often avoided explaining how only the income ABOVE the 200K / 250K $ level would see the restoration of the pre-Bush era tax rate after the end of the 3.9% tax cut. They made it look like ALL income for people in the top tax bracket would be taxed at that level.

We need more brackets, with the next at $1 million, then $5 million, $10 million, then one or two or three above that, at a minimum. Don't bother whining about how complicated that makes planning your finances or processing tax forms ... as they say in the ads, "there is an app for that!. The top bracket should tax income above $1 billion at a higher rate which should be high enough to discourage the rampant speculation in the financial markets these people perpetuate whenever the top rate is below 50%.

With the current republican obstructionists in congress, it is not very likely to happen anytime soon. The combined corporate and personal tax revenue as a percent of GDP is at about a 50-60 year low. Spending under Obama as a percent of GDP is lower than under the administrations of most if not all of his recent predecessors.

We don't have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem.

All this fiscal cliff hysteria generated by people who would profit from such fear mongering pushed the administration into rushing this deal before the end of the 112th congress. The WH was concerned that people and business had been scared into not spending money, which would cause another downturn in the economy.

I doubt we will see any new tax brackets coming out of the approaching amateurish hostage taking that will be the latest debt ceiling limit fight.

Jul. 7, 2011 11:13 am

O God Yes the game has been rigged to favor the rich! David Cay Johnston has documented this crap from PERFECTLY LEGAL to his latest attack on the "entitled" for their greed and fraud.

The theoretical measure of good design for a democratic society where we prize the participation in our shared democratic power of all would insure that profit and wealth be returned to productive investment and credit rather than pocketed by the elite or used to game the system through their crooked private Casino. O, we do get to bet on the main floor and see some acts. But the real action always takes place upstairs with the high rollers.

One does not need to measure precisely how far from desired this present scheme falls to know that it is way off from where we need to be. America has gone through these reactions to the indulgence and ugliness of greed and conspicuous consumption/dynasty snobbery. For all its failures, the suburbs began as a model of middle-class community for Americans succeeding in the post-WWII vision of leisure as well as careers. The Great Society was supposed to eliminate poverty in cities, but also in Appalachia and other pockets left out of this shared prosperity goodness. A lot of good was done, btw.

War has derailed the Great Society or any vision beyond equal citizen participation as passengers on the Deathstar. You can enlist in the service of power, of course. But you don't really participate in it when you do. I remember hearing America's leading CEO's bemoaning how powerless they were at the top. Figures. Driving a dinosaur does not mean deciding for the dino what the dino is going to do. Being highly paid to go along for the ride was not fulfilling their souls. We are not getting much other than alienation and fear around America, either.

What has been trashed in the propaganda has not really been Big Government. It has been Big Government doing anything FOR the American People, not the Imperial powers at home and abroad. The Right loves the National Security State much as the lost tribe of Libertarians bemoans the threat of tyranny from "liberals" as they hold their guns and bibles to their chests. Like 'isolationist re-enactors,' they do not want to be part of an alternative globalism, they just want to go back to being alone and apart.

Then there are the Tea Party/militia nostalgics who can't stand the fact that the Civil War is over and both sides have managed to lose it and America in the myth of the American Century. This time it is Morning in America and what a hangover we have! We have to stop going back to hair of the dog. No! I do not mean "spending." That is such a dumb down it sucks. We have to get out of the empire business and figure out how to take care of ourselves and get along with others in a global world NOT run by Corporate Order. Whatever democracy means, we need it. Figuring out what it means is what we need to be about in practice as well as thought.

Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

Just eliminate taxes on income and transactions and tax net assets at a flat rate of 4%.

Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote chilidog:

Just eliminate taxes on income and transactions and tax net assets at a flat rate of 4%.

Then the rich will legislate ways to write off assets. Changing a rigged games rules doesn't change the rigging. Unfortunately.

Bush_Wacker's picture
Jun. 25, 2011 6:53 am
Quote leftout:


In your opinion, what is the end game for the Federal Tax Brackets? In a perfect world where you were in charge of these brackets, what would they be? Also thoughts on itemmized deductions?

There should be only one tax bracket for everyone. There should be one standard deduction for everyone. With that in place, the entire tax code will fit on one piece of paper.

Unfortunately, with that in place, congress critters will not be able to sell their souls anymore.

Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Of course they could sell their souls....to eliminate taxes on the top tier totally. Can't tax the "Job creators". They need their billions to create jobs. As soon as they get enough, they'll start doing that. LOL

There is a country that has one tax rate. Russia. 13%. Putin is inviting all of the over-taxed billionaires to move there and become Russian citizens. Poverty up. Life expectancy down.


Strange twist of history. The rich fleeing to Moscow!

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

So you think You'll Get a Tax Break, or tax cut? Really?

A letter was sent out recently by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians.

You're not hearing Breitbart News or Common Dreams - right or left - organizations or news sites with a point of view other than that they are committed to healing people.

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