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View Diary: Political Jujitsu and the "half don't pay any taxes" lie (97 comments)

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  •  That's Excellent (4+ / 0-)

    I also use the simple fact that if the top 1% controls 40% of the wealth of the nation then they need to pay at least 40% of ALL Taxes. Otherwise we who aren't nearly as well off are picking up their tax bill.

    Since they can't possibly pay 40% of ALL taxes (how can they possibly pay that much of all sales taxes for instance) then they need to pay more based simply on income.

    And since they don't, you and I my wingnut friend are subsidizing these people- or we run huge deficits. Both things happen now, actually, all because that 1% will not pay what they must to have a fair tax bill for everyone.

    Couple that with this jujitsu idea of Fickle's and it's a one two punch.

    "Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system." - Dorothy Day

    by Dave925 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:06:09 AM PDT

    •  The top 1% pay 23% percent of all income taxes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk

      I've never heard of a wealth tax before, probably isn't constitutional.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:22:36 AM PDT

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      •  No, not a wealth tax (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Angry Architect

        and you're right that would need an amendment (I believe we should have that) but there is no easy way to figure what % of income they control and how that income is defined- earnings, cap gains, stock dividends, etc. so I selected the amount they control and called it wealth.

        If you want to get technical, it's not the top 1% per se but a futher division, the top 1/10th of that 1%, that's who REALLY doesn't pay anywhere near their fair share since they take their money as cap gains subject to a whopping 15%. The average income in that strata is around $20 million. Willard is a perfect example- he doesn't even pay 15%.

        "Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system." - Dorothy Day

        by Dave925 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:57:10 AM PDT

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        •  Yes, there is a way to tell how much. (4+ / 0-)

          The IRS reports every year by income category (1) how much of the country's income that category gets, and (2) how much of the country's income tax that category pays.

          The latest IRS data is reprinted here.  The top 1% has 17% of the income and pays 37% of the income tax, for the last year that the IRS reported data, tax year 2009.  2010 data should be coming out soon.  

          If you want to see what percentage of income each income level pays in ALL federal taxes, the CBO keeps that data under "effective federal taxes."  That CBO  data is summarized here.   As that shows, most of the top 1% pays a higher effective tax rate than any other group -- the average effective tax rate -- all taxes -- on the top 1% in 2007 was about 29.5%.  (the first chart there is all federal taxes; the rest break it out by tax.)  It is true that some in the top 1% pay a lower effective federal tax rate -- that is an average.  Which means that some in the top 1% pay an effective federal tax rate (all taxes) of higher than 30%.  

          •  But that income level (0+ / 0-)

            Stretches from the average of 340K to the aforementioned $20 Million.

            That's why it's not useful nor does it tell the full story of what actually happens in that one percentile.

            It really needs to be broken down by tenths at the least to tell the full story because 340K is simply upper middle class in high cost of living locales such as NYC or LA and these people are not "rich" especially when you consider the $20 Million average of that .01% means there's lots of folks in the top 1% that don't make near that 340K average and that's why the CBO information is misleading in the extreme.

            "Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system." - Dorothy Day

            by Dave925 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:36:52 PM PDT

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    •  nice point but you miss the underlying frame (3+ / 0-)

      conservatives think it's good that the rich pay lower tax rates--- they view taxes as a punishment, not a duty, and they believe that the rich and the business class are inherently good.  That's why they don't need regulation (but we do), that's why they shouldn't be 'punished' with taxes (but the filthy poor do), and so on.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:54:33 AM PDT

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      •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        non acquiescer, averybird

        It's how they rationalize their greed.

        "Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system." - Dorothy Day

        by Dave925 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:58:15 AM PDT

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      •  Yes, my wingnut relatives are social Darwinists. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave925

        They think that wealth equals virtue and being better than other people.

        Life is a school, love is the lesson.

        by means are the ends on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 11:11:22 AM PDT

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        •  do you know any times when they've been cheated? (2+ / 0-)

          I mean, truly cheated, by some douchenozzle or something?  Or do they get upset with cheaters in sports?  

          What I'm getting at is this--- the problem with saying that wealth = virtue is that the scoreboard doesn't care how you got the points--- they count whether you cheat or not.  

          Hardly anyone likes a cheater, because they violate our sense of competition, and conservatives fetishize competition.  They don't like cheaters (they think welfare recipients are cheaters, for instance).

          To reduce the chances of a Social Darwinist response, you should start with a situation where they take the side of the victim of cheating.  THEN you pivot into wealth, since the balance of your bank account doesn't say if you got that money honestly or not.  Even if you're changing the subject to politics.  Because there are cheaters, too.  The point of regulations is to make sure the winners actually deserve it.

          You won't "win them over" right away, at least on the surface--- their pride will prevent it.  At most you can create some cognitive dissonance, and that's always a start.  Either they will think about it and take a step toward our side, or they will throw up some ridiculous rationalization to erase the dissonance, and that will make it harder for others to take their side (viz. Obama with the Republicans).  

          Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

          by nominalize on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 03:57:48 PM PDT

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          •  You'll often find (0+ / 0-)

            That wingnuts "hate" cheaters but they limit their definition of cheating. Many's the time I've pointed out what any honest definition of cheating would include activities by the uber rich and corporations only to have the wingnut say;

            "But that's just BUSINESS!"

            A society that rewards individuals simply on the basis of their wealth regardless of how that wealth was acquired is to invite a society lorded over by Sociopaths- they sure as hell don't care how they get that wealth and power, either.

            Consequently here in America we have a system that selects for Sociopaths and that is what we get. I can't think of any of the bull goose Pukes that don't impress me as pure Sociopaths nor many CEOs that come into the public eye, either.

            "Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system." - Dorothy Day

            by Dave925 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:44:32 PM PDT

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      •  I'm not sure all conservatives believe this.. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave925

        The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question. For there are few things as useless–if not dangerous–as the right answer to the wrong question. -- P. Drucker

        by The Angry Architect on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:33:47 PM PDT

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        •  me neither... (0+ / 0-)

          which is why I didn't say they all did.

          I used what's called a generic expression: I'm describing the typical conservative.  But that's not the same as describing every conservative.  

          To see my point more broadly, compare sentence (a), a generic, with sentence (b), a universal:

          (a) Human beings have ten fingers.
          (b) All human beings have ten fingers.

          You can tell they are different by looking at their truth-conditions (i.e., their semantics).  Sentence (a) allows for humans with fewer or more than 10 fingers, even though they are not typical.  That is, it is still true even if some people have, say, 9 fingers.  Sentence (b), however, is a much stronger claim.  If you encounter someone with nine fingers, either (b) is false, or that person is not a human being.  

          Coming back to what I said:  It allows for some conservatives who do not believe in wealth-based moral hierarchy.  But those are atypical, as any examination of conservative statements and writings will demonstrate.

          What you've done is pragmatically strengthen my generic statement into a universal; your reply is a useful retort to a universal, but not to a generic, since the generic allows for it to be the case.  Listeners (typically but not always!) strengthen generic statements into a universal, for reasons of linguistic pragmatics.  But generics and universals are very distinct, and I meant what I said, no more and no less.

          Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

          by nominalize on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 01:40:54 PM PDT

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