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Taxes and fiscal cliff

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby kurt_w » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:57 pm

Huckleby wrote:The 50 percentile is what I expect is the very bottom of the middle class. With half the country not paying income tax, maybe the cutoff is even higher these days.

In my perception, I the comfortable middle class occupies the 75 to 95 percentile range. I do not consider households with income under say, $2M to be wealthy.


Mitt, is that you?
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:00 pm

wack wack wrote: Tax the wealthy like the Beatles. Tax wealth as well as income.
This will just cause the wealthy to move their assets and property overseas.

wack wack wrote: Increase capital gains taxes greatly. Make off-shoring money illegal: get caught, lose it all.

In short: make greed cost, not pay.


You can't make international investing illegal. That is preposterous, America would never become so authoritarian and protectionist.

I agree that capital gains should be taxed like regular income.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:04 pm

kurt_w wrote:Mitt, is that you?

You are thinking in meaningless stereotypes. My comments have nothing to do with typical liberal or conservative views.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby rabble » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:06 pm

Huckleby wrote:
wack wack wrote: Tax the wealthy like the Beatles. Tax wealth as well as income.
This will just cause the wealthy to move their assets and property overseas.

Oh, the Atlas Shrugged scenario. They haven't done it yet, even though they've been whining and crying for decades, because we haven't yet crossed that invisible tax line.

Once we do that, it triggers the vast "assets and property transfer" machine already built by the vast rich people secret society, and waiting in the wings.

Bam. All that wealth and property, shifted to mysterious overseas lands, while we all sit here in the shambles, screaming to the sky because our benefactors have deserted us.

And we know this will happen because they did it when Eisenhower was taxing them way past that line.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby wack wack » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Huckleby wrote: You can't make international investing illegal. That is preposterous, America would never become so authoritarian and protectionist.

I agree that capital gains should be taxed like regular income.


Don't make it illegal, just make international investing a post-tax proposition.

Capital gains should be taxed significantly higher than regular income.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby kurt_w » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:09 pm

Huckleby wrote:
kurt_w wrote:Mitt, is that you?

You are thinking in meaningless stereotypes. My comments have nothing to do with typical liberal or conservative views.


I'm not talking "liberal" or "conservative". I'm talking about someone who thinks that any income less than $2 million isn't wealthy, and whose idea of "middle class" excludes half the population.

Where do you live, Lake Wobegon? All your middle class families are above average.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:18 pm

kurt_w wrote:It doesn't really matter if Congress responds to the wealthy [i](and, yes, 90th percentile is wealthy, and there's no reason to assume they don't respond even more strongly to the desires of the 95th or 97th or 99th percentile)


Your perceptions about how many people in this country are wealthy are wildly off the mark.

http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-10 ... ddle-class

According to the data in the Census report shown in Table 1 below, which presents the thresholds for being in different parts of the income distribution, the median household in 2011 had an income of $50,054. A household with an income of $143,611 was at the 90th percentile point, or in the top 10th of the income distribution. A household with an income of $186,000 was at the 95th percentile, or in the top 5 percent. The table does not even show households with $250,000, but they must be in the top 97th or 98th percentile.


People who make 250K are hardly wealthy, especially if they live in nice areas where housing costs are high.

"Wealthy" in the sense of an *individual* being able to throw around significant political dollars probably starts at about $3M household income. That's got to be the 99.8 percentile.

Relevant to my points, the "upper middle class" occupies something like the 85 to 98 percentile range. That group is going to have substantial similar lifestyles and interests.

So the graphs you presented *completely* validate my point. But I'm not completely sure how much to trust that study.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:27 pm

rabble wrote:
Huckleby wrote:
wack wack wrote: Tax the wealthy like the Beatles. Tax wealth as well as income.
This will just cause the wealthy to move their assets and property overseas.

Oh, the Atlas Shrugged scenario. They haven't done it yet, even though they've been whining and crying for decades, because we haven't yet crossed that invisible tax line.


Look, there obviously is much truth to the fact that people can and will move property overseas at some point.
Gerard Depardieu just renounced his French citizenship and is moving to Belgium, taking his assets with him.
The Beatles, by the way, moved assets overseas.
It does happen.

rabble wrote:Once we do that, it triggers the vast "assets and property transfer" machine already built by the vast rich people secret society, and waiting in the wings.

If you want to have an intelligent conversation, resist painting someone you disagree with using the brush of extreme ideology.
The world is not a choice between Ayn Rand and Karl Marx.

rabble wrote:And we know this will happen because they did it when Eisenhower was taxing them way past that line.

Listen, I am a tax and spend liberal. I am for higher taxes. I'm just keeping it real, as the kids said in the 1990s.

BTW, references to the Eisenhower tax rates are misleading. The wealthy weren't actually paying that much more than today. Tax codes are complicated and hardly defined by one nominal marginal tax rate.

It's the same thing as when Republicans cite high corporate tax rates in U.S. In actuality, corporations are paying lower dollar amounts of taxes than in most countries.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby wack wack » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:34 pm

Huckleby wrote:People who make 250K are hardly wealthy, especially if they live in nice areas where housing costs are high.


I'm always amused by this argument, as if there are markets where $250k represents the bottom-earners in that market. it's not true.

$250K in an expensive market with a huge mortgage is still much better off, with many more options than anyone in any market making $50k. Sure a family of four living on $250k in Chicago is only living a decent middle-class lifestyle, but they're still living well beyond many in the same market.

When your concern is how you're going to send your kids to a "good college," you are certainly not suffering or experiencing the real economic concern many more face.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:44 pm

kurt_w wrote:I'm not talking "liberal" or "conservative". I'm talking about someone who thinks that any income less than $2 million isn't wealthy, and whose idea of "middle class" excludes half the population.


We are stuck largely in semantic arguments.

I was mistaken about where the middle class percentile starts, but not too far off. Here is how I see people's interest and behavior grouped:

struggling: < 40K household income
40K to 100K: middle class
100K to 2M: comfortably middle class
>2M: wealthy

I believe households roughly in these bands have similar problems and interests.

The household earning $250K really is very middle class in their concerns, nothing at all like a wealthy family.

I want to raise taxes on the comfortable middle class. That's where the money is. It will hurt.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:50 pm

wack wack wrote: When your concern is how you're going to send your kids to a "good college," you are certainly not suffering or experiencing the real economic concern many more face.


Yes, wack, I agree with you. The households earning $250K can and should be paying much more in taxes. In fact, that is my central point.

Yet the $250K earners are also very different from households that have large amounts of wealth. (Forget household income.) The $250K earners are going to suffer a lot more from tax increases than would a $2M household, who can easily pay for college and such. That's my second point. It is only honest to acknowledge the pain inflicted.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby kurt_w » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:52 pm

So, let me see if I have this straight:

40% of US households are "struggling"
40% are "middle class"
20% are "comfortably middle class"
0.1% are "wealthy"

So your "middle class" would include the 50th percentile, to which Congress is almost totally unresponsive. The 90th percentile, to which Congress actually responds, would fall within your "comfortably middle class".

I think any scheme that calls the 99.98 percentile "comfortably middle class" is a joke, but YMMV.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:57 pm

Huckleby wrote:100K to 2M: comfortably middle class


That is a ridiculous jump. Someone making 100K has a completely different lifestyle than someone making 2M(lets say they both live in the same city)

I know a family in Kenosha who was bringing in about 1million. They were living a "wealthy" lifestyle hosting numerous political parties, including many with Paul Ryan, and influencing city and regional politics.

To come out with some arbitrary 2 million dollar number is silly. I don't really know what the definition of "wealthy" is. I see it more as how "well off" are you. Someone making $100,000 a year who is a master at budgeting, may be as well off as someone making $200K a year, but blows their money.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:07 pm

kurt_w wrote: 40% of US households are "struggling"
40% are "middle class"
20% are "comfortably middle class"
0.1% are "wealthy"


Ya, I think this is about right. Although I really don't know exactly what percentage should be considered wealthy.

kurt_w wrote: So your "middle class" would include the 50th percentile, to which Congress is almost totally unresponsive. The 90th percentile, to which Congress actually responds, would fall within your "comfortably middle class".

Yes.

kurt_w wrote:I think any scheme that calls the 99.98 percentile "comfortably middle class" is a joke, but YMMV.

Uhhh, the big joke in this thread was your stating as fact that the 90 percentile people are clearly wealthy. A household with $140K income bares no resemblance to a wealthy family with lots of discretionary money to throw around. So perhaps a little humility on your part is in order, rather than offering more insults.

That term "wealthy" is arbitrary. Maybe it is the upper 3%, maybe the upper .3%, but it's not many people with significant disposable income to offer politicians.
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Re: Taxes and fiscal cliff

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:13 pm

Uhhh, the big joke in this thread was your stating as fact that the 90 percentile people are clearly wealthy.


The even bigger joke is that the 90th percentile isn't wealthy. They damn well should be. There is far too much wealth in the top .001%, the top .01%, the top .1% and then even the top 1% to the point that even the top 10% of us aren't really doing that great.
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