The 2% Illusion

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

Heisenberg
Posts: 3789
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Uncertain

The 2% Illusion

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:21 pm UTC

The 2% Illusion
Take everything they earn, and it still won't be enough.

President Obama has laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda since LBJ, and now all he has to do is figure out how to pay for it. On Tuesday, he left the impression that we need merely end "tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans," and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won't see their taxes increased by "one single dime."

This is going to be some trick. Even the most basic inspection of the IRS income tax statistics shows that raising taxes on the salaries, dividends and capital gains of those making more than $250,000 can't possibly raise enough revenue to fund Mr. Obama's new spending ambitions.

Consider the IRS data for 2006, the most recent year that such tax data are available and a good year for the economy and "the wealthiest 2%." Roughly 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 in 2006. (That's about 7% of all returns; the data aren't broken down at the $250,000 point.) These people paid about $522 billion in income taxes, or roughly 62% of all federal individual income receipts. The richest 1% -- about 1.65 million filers making above $388,806 -- paid some $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax revenues, while earning about 22% of all reported U.S. income.

Note that federal income taxes are already "progressive" with a 35% top marginal rate, and that Mr. Obama is (so far) proposing to raise it only to 39.6%, plus another two percentage points in hidden deduction phase-outs. He'd also raise capital gains and dividend rates, but those both yield far less revenue than the income tax. These combined increases won't come close to raising the hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue that Mr. Obama is going to need.

But let's not stop at a 42% top rate; as a thought experiment, let's go all the way. A tax policy that confiscated 100% of the taxable income of everyone in America earning over $500,000 in 2006 would only have given Congress an extra $1.3 trillion in revenue. That's less than half the 2006 federal budget of $2.7 trillion and looks tiny compared to the more than $4 trillion Congress will spend in fiscal 2010. Even taking every taxable "dime" of everyone earning more than $75,000 in 2006 would have barely yielded enough to cover that $4 trillion.

Fast forward to this year (and 2010) when the Wall Street meltdown and recession are going to mean far few taxpayers earning more than $500,000. Profits are plunging, businesses are cutting or eliminating dividends, hedge funds are rolling up, and, most of all, capital nationwide is on strike. Raising taxes now will thus yield far less revenue than it would have in 2006.

Mr. Obama is of course counting on an economic recovery. And he's also assuming along with the new liberal economic consensus that taxes don't matter to growth or job creation. The truth, though, is that they do. Small- and medium-sized businesses are the nation's primary employers, and lower individual tax rates have induced thousands of them to shift from filing under the corporate tax system to the individual system, often as limited liability companies or Subchapter S corporations. The Tax Foundation calculates that merely restoring the higher, Clinton-era tax rates on the top two brackets would hit 45% to 55% of small-business income, depending on how inclusively "small business" is defined. These owners will find a way to declare less taxable income.

The bottom line is that Mr. Obama is selling the country on a 2% illusion. Unwinding the U.S. commitment in Iraq and allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire can't possibly pay for his agenda. Taxes on the not-so-rich will need to rise as well.

On that point, by the way, it's unclear why Mr. Obama thinks his climate-change scheme won't hit all Americans with higher taxes. Selling the right to emit greenhouse gases amounts to a steep new tax on most types of energy and, therefore, on all Americans who use energy. There's a reason that Charlie Rangel's Ways and Means panel, which writes tax law, is holding hearings this week on cap-and-trade regulation.

Mr. Obama is very good at portraying his agenda as nothing more than center-left pragmatism. But pragmatists don't ignore the data. And the reality is that the only way to pay for Mr. Obama's ambitions is to reach ever deeper into the pockets of the American middle class.

--------------------------------------

Article + filter = awesome article.

User avatar
Indon
Posts: 4433
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Alabama :(
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Indon » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:56 pm UTC

Mr. Obama indeed!

On a more serious note, this article further cements my growing opinion that the WSJ is a joke publication.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

The Reaper
Posts: 4008
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: San Antonio, Tx
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby The Reaper » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:59 pm UTC

The wordfilter made the entire post silly in quasiserious way.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Vaniver » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:57 am UTC

It would be nice if N&A and SB were immune from the modifications, but I doubt that'd be easy to implement.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
Jahoclave
sourmilk's moderator
Posts: 4790
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:34 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Jahoclave » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:23 am UTC

Indon wrote:Mr. Mr. Awesomepants indeed!

On a more super cereal note, this article further cements my growing opinion that the WSJ is a joke publication.

Didn't Mr. Murdoch of Fox News fame buy it?

User avatar
Garm
Posts: 2241
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:29 pm UTC
Location: Usually at work. Otherwise, Longmont, CO.

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Garm » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:30 am UTC

This seems to be a very convoluted argument against CEO pay limits. Shoveling more money to the incompetent people who showed they couldn't be trusted with the money we gave them the first time around in order to keep tax revenue up is definitely the way to go.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
- JFK

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:07 am UTC

I don't even understand this article's fucking point. Obama's all ready made it clear that we're going to dig ourselves further into debt to try and address the enormity of this fiscal crisis; we have no choice, it's that or go straight into the shitter. Yes, we're going deeper into debt; does anyone have a better idea?

(No, tax breaks are not a 'better idea'. Shut the fuck up.)

User avatar
MartianInvader
Posts: 809
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:51 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby MartianInvader » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:09 am UTC

That article does seem to be actively biased. "Take everything they earn, and it still won't be enough?" First it talks about the extra amount we need, and how Obama is proposing tax raises that won't be enough. Then it subtly switches to talking about the WHOLE BUDGET, and how that can't be covered by 100% of the income of the richest half a percent.

Another thing that should raise your eyebrow is that the article tries to be all math-y - it throws around numbers like nobody's business. And yet, it leaves out the two most important numbers to its central argument! What I want to know is:

-How much additional money is needed to balance the budget?

-How much money will be raised by the proposed tax increases?

The article NEVER gives us a value for either number! Despite throwing in... let's count... ten other dollar-amounts. You'd think since their main argument is to say that one of these numbers is smaller than the other, they'd want to tell us what these numbers are. The fact that they didn't makes me think that the numbers don't quite back up the article's point.
Let's have a fervent argument, mostly over semantics, where we all claim the burden of proof is on the other side!

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Vaniver » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:11 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Didn't Mr. Murdoch of Fox News fame buy it?
Yes, but he hasn't touched the management of it, from what I've heard. Its problems are its own.
The Great Hippo wrote:I don't even understand this article's fucking point. Mr. Awesomepants's all ready made it clear that we're going to dig ourselves further into debt to try and address the enormity of this fiscal crisis; we have no choice, it's that or go straight into the shitter. Yes, we're going deeper into debt; does anyone have a better idea?
I think the article is upset at the "oh, we'll just tax the people richer than you" attitude that the Democrats (and, notably, Obama) seem to have, because it doesn't add up (let alone, seem fair).
(note: I haven't computed whether or not it adds up; I'm surmising the article's opinion)
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
netcrusher88
Posts: 2166
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:35 pm UTC
Location: Seattle

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby netcrusher88 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:17 am UTC

The article is badly written, incoherent and inconsistent.

To WSJ's credit, it's an Opinion piece.
Sexothermic
I have only ever made one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it. -Voltaire
They said we would never have a black president until Swine Flu. -Gears

User avatar
Dhes
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:27 am UTC
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Dhes » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:09 am UTC

On the Whitehouse site you can download the budget proposal called “A New Era of Responsibility”.
It’s a 142 pages long, detailing the budget with regards to the different department.
The last 30 or so pages is all the fact in figures.
It basically comes down to (for 2009);
Receipts: 2,186 Bllion
Outlays: 3,938 Billion
Deficit: 1,752 Billion

So to make all his plans work he will have to borrow 1,752 Billion.
Bringing the Deficit up to 12.3%

Sound a lot, yes it is. But IMHO it’s a good plan.
You need to fix the problems before you can start rebuilding.
I’m dyslexic, so I tent tot pull things way out of contacts.
Image

Heisenberg
Posts: 3789
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Uncertain

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:49 pm UTC

Numbers disagree with Obama? Clearly mathematics is biased.

I think this article is suggesting that it's unlikely President Obama will stand by his "no tax increases under 1/4 million" claim. Even throughout the campaign we heard that number drop lower and lower. We'll probably see a substantial tax increase affecting a large number of Americans.

User avatar
Ixtellor
There are like 4 posters on XKCD that no more about ...
Posts: 3113
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:31 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:21 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Numbers disagree with Obama? Clearly mathematics is biased.

I think this article is suggesting that it's unlikely President Obama will stand by his "no tax increases under 1/4 million" claim. Even throughout the campaign we heard that number drop lower and lower. We'll probably see a substantial tax increase affecting a large number of Americans.


I predict that when the Bush Tax cuts, passed by the Republican congress, expire in 2010 as Bush and those Republicans wrote...

You will claim Obama raised taxes. You will wrong, but you will claim you were right none the less.


Ixtellor
The Revolution will not be Twitterized.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Belial » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

Or, like the other folks said, the deficit will increase slightly for that year, to make up the difference.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

Heisenberg
Posts: 3789
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Uncertain

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:43 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I predict that when the Bush Tax cuts, passed by the Republican congress, expire in 2010 as Bush and those Republicans wrote...

You will claim Obama raised taxes. You will wrong, but you will claim you were right none the less.

Whether they are repealed or expire, I won't say Obama raised taxes. I think repealing Bush tax cuts, taxing increases on the "richest 2%," and an additional tax increase on the middle class aren't going to be enough to cover the unprecedented spending. But don't worry, I'm sure the sudden thrusting of trillions of dollars won't have any unintended consequences.

User avatar
segmentation fault
Posts: 1770
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:10 pm UTC
Location: Nu Jersey
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby segmentation fault » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:19 pm UTC

we have had 8 years of not covering unprecedented spending, why does it matter now?
people are like LDL cholesterol for the internet

User avatar
setzer777
Good questions sometimes get stupid answers
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby setzer777 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Or, like the other folks said, the deficit will increase slightly for that year, to make up the difference.


On that note, is it just me, or do a lot of people complain about increasing the national debt without really knowing what the consequences of larger national debt are? I'm not saying that I'm entirely sure myself, but all the criticisms like that seem to end at "and that will increase the national debt X amount" without making a claim about what will happen as a result of that.
Meaux_Pas wrote:We're here to go above and beyond.

Too infinity
of being an arsehole

User avatar
Indon
Posts: 4433
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:21 pm UTC
Location: Alabama :(
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Indon » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:47 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
Belial wrote:Or, like the other folks said, the deficit will increase slightly for that year, to make up the difference.


On that note, is it just me, or do a lot of people complain about increasing the national debt without really knowing what the consequences of larger national debt are? I'm not saying that I'm entirely sure myself, but all the criticisms like that seem to end at "and that will increase the national debt X amount" without making a claim about what will happen as a result of that.


Well, it increases the amount of interest we have to pay on our debt to keep it stable.

And if we can't keep our debt stable, the government goes bankrupt and our money loses all value.

Nobody can say for sure when that will happen, only that it will happen if we keep increasing the debt. There is a chance that Obama's stimulus plan might be the feather (though really, it's more like a few more bricks) that breaks our backs, so it's a legitimate complaint.

The thing is, our economy's already dead. This is the last-second defibrilation portion of our recusitation measures, so if it catastrophically fails and our dollar becomes worthless, we actually aren't all that worse off than we'd be in just the normal great depression that we'd get without trying*.

*-Unless you're rich. If you're rich then a collapse of the dollar might actually make it non-trivial to just effortlessly ride through years of economic hard times on a massive golden parachute.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

User avatar
setzer777
Good questions sometimes get stupid answers
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby setzer777 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:09 pm UTC

That makes sense. Though it seems like in that case someone wanting to make a compelling argument could do the math and calculate how much the increased debt would increase our annual interest (or at least give a rough estimate), but that doesn't seem to happen. Is there some reason it's hard to predict that?
Meaux_Pas wrote:We're here to go above and beyond.

Too infinity
of being an arsehole

User avatar
cypherspace
Posts: 2733
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:48 pm UTC
Location: Londonia

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby cypherspace » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:29 pm UTC

Either you go further into debt, your economy recovers and you can begin reducing the debt again, or you go bankrupt. Either way the amount of debt doesn't really make a difference.

I'd rather get a loan to help me eat while I get a job, than stay in the black and die of starvation.
"It was like five in the morning and he said he'd show me his hamster"

User avatar
Ixtellor
There are like 4 posters on XKCD that no more about ...
Posts: 3113
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:31 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:27 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:That makes sense. Though it seems like in that case someone wanting to make a compelling argument could do the math and calculate how much the increased debt would increase our annual interest (or at least give a rough estimate), but that doesn't seem to happen. Is there some reason it's hard to predict that?


Its easy to predict. The CBO does it every year.

At its most basic (not factoring in inflation, currency valuation, etc) its just the amount of debt or treasury bills issued X their interest rate X their average number of years held.

Here is a CBO article that shows an interest debt payment chart as % of GDP, prior to the stimulus package.

http://www.usbudgetwatch.org/files/crfb ... osts_0.pdf

Ixtellor
The Revolution will not be Twitterized.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Vaniver » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:49 pm UTC

segmentation fault wrote:we have had 8 years of not covering unprecedented spending, why does it matter now?
It mattered then, and I didn't like it then, either.

Indon wrote:The thing is, our economy's already dead. This is the last-second defibrilation portion of our recusitation measures
Do you know what happens when you defibrillate someone whose heart is beating?
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

ZeroSum
Cooler than Jeff
Posts: 2903
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 10:10 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby ZeroSum » Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:13 pm UTC

Can everyone not use the concept of defibrillation incorrectly here. It's analogies like that that turn debates into crocodiles.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Vaniver » Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:39 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:Can everyone not use the concept of defibrillation incorrectly here. It's analogies like that that turn debates into crocodiles.
Well, but the analogy is apt- there are the people who think that the economy needs to be shocked into moving again, and the people that think that shocks prevent the economy from moving again.* It's the argument of "we need to take control and change things and get money flowing!" against "if the government takes an active role, they'll paralyze business decision-making since they can't predict what the government will do, and what the government will do is important to their future."

*I wish I could say they were Democrats and Republicans, but as is their wont many Republicans have failed at being fiscally conservative recently.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

psyck0
Posts: 1651
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:58 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby psyck0 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:21 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:I think this article is suggesting that it's unlikely President Obama will stand by his "no tax increases under 1/4 million" claim. Even throughout the campaign we heard that number drop lower and lower. We'll probably see a substantial tax increase affecting a large number of Americans.
So what? Politicians have been campaigning on nothing but tax decreases for decades. Tax levels are stupidly low. If the population had any brains at all, they'd stop bitching about taxes. Sadly, they are too moronic to understand their necessity.

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5654
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Diadem » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:23 pm UTC

MartianInvader wrote:That article does seem to be actively biased. "Take everything they earn, and it still won't be enough?" First it talks about the extra amount we need, and how Obama is proposing tax raises that won't be enough. Then it subtly switches to talking about the WHOLE BUDGET, and how that can't be covered by 100% of the income of the richest half a percent.


They seem to argue that raising taxes on just the people won't be enough to eliminate the budget deficient. This is certainly true, but it's also a bit of an open door. Though perhaps it's worth stressing.

Where they go wrong is when they imply that taxing lower-incomes would fix the problem. By their own admission high incomes generate 65% of the total income tax revenue. Why would taxing low incomes extra yield more than taxing high incomes extra? That doesn't make sense. You could tax them both, but even that doesn't work. Their numbers are not very clear, and they don't give some important ones, but estimating based on the data they provide it seems that you'd need a ridiculous high taxrate (80% or so) on everybody, low and high incomes, to have enough income tax revenue.

So the paper draws conclusions that are simply wrong. And they do not draw the most obvious conclusion: That to balance the budget you need to cut spending, not increase income. Or you can choose not to balance the budget.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

User avatar
MartianInvader
Posts: 809
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:51 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby MartianInvader » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:35 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
MartianInvader wrote:That article does seem to be actively biased. "Take everything they earn, and it still won't be enough?" First it talks about the extra amount we need, and how Obama is proposing tax raises that won't be enough. Then it subtly switches to talking about the WHOLE BUDGET, and how that can't be covered by 100% of the income of the richest half a percent.


They seem to argue that raising taxes on just the people won't be enough to eliminate the budget deficient. This is certainly true, but it's also a bit of an open door. Though perhaps it's worth stressing.


I know that's what they argue, but they do it so deceptively! They basically say "if we stopped taxing some 80% of the population, we'd barely be able to pay for everything no matter how much we raise taxes! Therefore we can't increase revenue just by increasing taxes to the rich." It's like saying, "If I stop selling any food at my supermarket I won't be able to cover costs, so there's no reason I should try to make more money by selling more cleaning products."
Let's have a fervent argument, mostly over semantics, where we all claim the burden of proof is on the other side!

dwalb
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:55 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:I think this article is suggesting that it's unlikely President Obama will stand by his "no tax increases under 1/4 million" claim. Even throughout the campaign we heard that number drop lower and lower. We'll probably see a substantial tax increase affecting a large number of Americans.
So what? Politicians have been campaigning on nothing but tax decreases for decades. Tax levels are stupidly low. If the population had any brains at all, they'd stop bitching about taxes. Sadly, they are too moronic to understand their necessity.

I want to know how 30%-40% of the average american's income is stupidly low. I think a better label would be stupidly high.

From a personal viewpoint. I dont see why its nessesary for the governemnt to take anyones personal income to [insert charity/form of salvation here]

We justify it by taking it from the richest sections of the populace, thinking that they'll survive anyways, they dont need the money. Anyplace else this is considered theft. But when the government does it its legal, and accepted by 95% of society.

That is bull shit.

User avatar
Grave
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 9:31 pm UTC
Location: MA

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Grave » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:27 pm UTC

dwalb wrote:I want to know how 30%-40% of the average american's income is stupidly low. I think a better label would be stupidly high.

If by "stupidly high," you mean lower than practically the entirety of Europe's by a fairly large margin, then yes, (income) taxes in the United States are "stupidly high."

dwalb wrote:From a personal viewpoint. I dont see why its nessesary for the governemnt to take anyones personal income to [insert charity/form of salvation here]


The government doesn't do charity. What the government does do is invest in it's citizens, because having a educated, healthy, safe, happy, etc. population is good for everyone, not just the people the government's spending the money on initially.

Princess Marzipan
Posts: 7717
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 5:28 am UTC
Location: neither a road, nor an island

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:32 pm UTC

Do you pay for the fire department? Or the police? Or the roads that you and/or people you know use on a daily basis? Do you pay for any of the things that let society actually run, like having a legislature and a court system? Do you pay for schools to be adequate enough to provide a strong education for youths so that when you're old and can't take of yourself, there will be a framework set up so that you don't just die? Do you pay our soldiers to be able to defend us in case the shit hits the fan and we get attacked by a foreign interest on a massive scale? Do you pay to keep organized systems of trade in place so that you can actually be able to buy goods from exotic lands that don't exist here?

What's that? No? You don't pay for any of those things?

Then shut the fuck up and pay your god damn taxes so that the people the rest of hired to pay for those things actually have at least a marginal amount of the money that they cost.

Alternatively, graduate high school and stop being a privileged white heterosexual teenage male.
"It's Saturday night. I've got no date, a two-liter of Shasta, and my all-Rush mixtape. Let's rock!"
"I am just about to be brilliant!"
General_Norris, on feminism, wrote:If you lose your six Pokémon, you lost.

dwalb
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:49 pm UTC

Grave wrote:
dwalb wrote:I want to know how 30%-40% of the average american's income is stupidly low. I think a better label would be stupidly high.

If by "stupidly high," you mean lower than practically the entirety of Europe's by a fairly large margin, then yes, (income) taxes in the United States are "stupidly high."

dwalb wrote:From a personal viewpoint. I dont see why its nessesary for the governemnt to take anyones personal income to [insert charity/form of salvation here]


The government doesn't do charity. What the government does do is invest in it's citizens, because having a educated, healthy, safe, happy, etc. population is good for everyone, not just the people the government's spending the money on initially.


They say "We're investing in you!"
I hear "We are acting in the place of good charity and religion!"

The constitution gives us the right to "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" but it does not hold itself responsible as to its guarantee. Protecting those rights should not equate to fulfilling them. Fulfilling them is our responsiblity, not the governments.

This idea that a world with less taxes means poverty, worse health care, non-educated, less happy has yet to hold true. What nation has taxes so low that suffering abounds? Where are the impoverished nations that refuse to tax their people? Why dont they act responsibly and end their peoples suffering by collecting more taxes! Capitalistic Pigs!

I dont argue that there are a few worthwhile things that the government should be collecting taxes on. (education, road construction....) I sincerly doubt that 40 percent of my income is being used in an appropriate way. Its mostly wasted on things that wont ever effect me. As such, it would be much better in my hands, than in the govts.

psyck0
Posts: 1651
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:58 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby psyck0 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:12 am UTC

dwalb wrote:
Grave wrote:
dwalb wrote:I want to know how 30%-40% of the average american's income is stupidly low. I think a better label would be stupidly high.

If by "stupidly high," you mean lower than practically the entirety of Europe's by a fairly large margin, then yes, (income) taxes in the United States are "stupidly high."

dwalb wrote:From a personal viewpoint. I dont see why its nessesary for the governemnt to take anyones personal income to [insert charity/form of salvation here]


The government doesn't do charity. What the government does do is invest in it's citizens, because having a educated, healthy, safe, happy, etc. population is good for everyone, not just the people the government's spending the money on initially.


They say "We're investing in you!"
I hear "We are acting in the place of good charity and religion!"
That's because you're incredibly ignorant and are only listening to the propaganda put out by extreme-right-wing idiots, which is entirely refuted by cold, hard facts.

dwalb wrote:This idea that a world with less taxes means poverty, worse health care, non-educated, less happy has yet to hold true.


Flat-out wrong. The US has less taxes than most of Europe. It also has higher povert, worse health care, poor education, and the quality of life and satisfaction and happiness indexes are significantly lower. In fact, Europe is outperforming the US on almost every index, INCLUDING INDIVIDUAL WEALTH despite having higher taxes.

Citation: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/taxgroup/ ... oks_V2.pdf

dwalb
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby dwalb » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:26 am UTC

psyck0 wrote:
dwalb wrote:This idea that a world with less taxes means poverty, worse health care, non-educated, less happy has yet to hold true.


Flat-out wrong. The US has less taxes than most of Europe. It also has higher povert, worse health care, poor education, and the quality of life and satisfaction and happiness indexes are significantly lower. In fact, Europe is outperforming the US on almost every index, INCLUDING INDIVIDUAL WEALTH despite having higher taxes.

Citation: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/taxgroup/ ... oks_V2.pdf


right. taxes. america you're doing it wrong.

I fail to see the correlation here. Just because other countries do better than the united states doesn't mean its at fault of TAXES.

Come on get real. Stop the name calling and point out how the govt can handle my money better than I can.

Princess Marzipan
Posts: 7717
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 5:28 am UTC
Location: neither a road, nor an island

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:29 am UTC

dwalb wrote:Come on get real. Stop the name calling and point out how the govt can handle my money better than I can.

Really?

You're given a large list of countries that have higher taxes, and a heavily correlated list of those same countries with higher 'scores' by various metrics of personal wellbeing, and you can't make the connection?
"It's Saturday night. I've got no date, a two-liter of Shasta, and my all-Rush mixtape. Let's rock!"
"I am just about to be brilliant!"
General_Norris, on feminism, wrote:If you lose your six Pokémon, you lost.

ZeroSum
Cooler than Jeff
Posts: 2903
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 10:10 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby ZeroSum » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:33 am UTC

The problem is that most of those countries have a very different makeup than the US and the ones that are trending towards a similar situation (France and Germany with Muslims and Turks, respectively) are having an increasing number of similar problems as it develops. That is, most of those countries have a rather homogeneous makeup.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Vaniver » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:37 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:Do you pay for the fire department? Or the police? Or the roads that you and/or people you know use on a daily basis? Do you pay for any of the things that let society actually run, like having a legislature and a court system? Do you pay for schools to be adequate enough to provide a strong education for youths so that when you're old and can't take of yourself, there will be a framework set up so that you don't just die? Do you pay our soldiers to be able to defend us in case the shit hits the fan and we get attacked by a foreign interest on a massive scale? Do you pay to keep organized systems of trade in place so that you can actually be able to buy goods from exotic lands that don't exist here?

What's that? No? You don't pay for any of those things?

Then shut the fuck up and pay your god damn taxes so that the people the rest of hired to pay for those things actually have at least a marginal amount of the money that they cost.

Alternatively, graduate high school and stop being a privileged white heterosexual teenage male.
Hi. I'm a white, homosexual adult. I graduated high school. I pay taxes. I think they're too high.

I don't think that taxes are unnecessary- I like having fire departments, police, and so forth. But while that might be a significant portion of my county taxes, those are nowhere near as high as my state and federal taxes. And if you count how many cents out of every dollar I pay to the federal government go to things I like, you end up with a handful of pennies.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

Princess Marzipan
Posts: 7717
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 5:28 am UTC
Location: neither a road, nor an island

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:39 am UTC

ZeroSum wrote:The problem is that most of those countries have a very different makeup than the US and the ones that are trending towards a similar situation (France and Germany with Muslims and Turks, respectively) are having an increasing number of similar problems as it develops. That is, most of those countries have a rather homogeneous makeup.

Get the hell out of here with your making reasoned counterpoints. No one DOES that here.
(Seriously please stay so that discussion can be POSSIBLE?)
"It's Saturday night. I've got no date, a two-liter of Shasta, and my all-Rush mixtape. Let's rock!"
"I am just about to be brilliant!"
General_Norris, on feminism, wrote:If you lose your six Pokémon, you lost.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26836
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:57 am UTC

ZeroSum wrote:The problem is that most of those countries have a very different makeup than the US and the ones that are trending towards a similar situation (France and Germany with Muslims and Turks, respectively) are having an increasing number of similar problems as it develops. That is, most of those countries have a rather homogeneous makeup.

Yes, you're absolutely right. That's obviously why Hawaii, probably the most racially diverse US state, which had the highest per-capita state tax burden in 2002 and 2003, has such an abysmal healthcare system that only 95% of its residents are insured.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

ZeroSum
Cooler than Jeff
Posts: 2903
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 10:10 pm UTC

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby ZeroSum » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:02 am UTC

And how many major cities and urban areas does Hawaii have? How large of a draw is it to organized crime is there because it's a major hub of traffic or traditional seat of power? How many industrial zones are there and what percentage of Hawaii is reserved or tourist areas and how does that compare to the rest of the US on average? What're the mean and median incomes out there?

Hawaii is far from representative of the rest of the US.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26836
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: The 2% Illusion

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:14 am UTC

ZeroSum wrote:And how many major cities and urban areas does Hawaii have? How large of a draw is it to organized crime is there because it's a major hub of traffic or traditional seat of power? How many industrial zones are there and what percentage of Hawaii is reserved or tourist areas and how does that compare to the rest of the US on average? What're the mean and median incomes out there?

If you're now claiming each one of those things also contribute making the United States so completely different from virtually all of Europe that their tax and spending schemes couldn't possibly work here, then you shouldn't have mentioned only "makeup" and immigrant groups and homogeneity in your earlier post.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests