3/25/11

Basically, taxes are a bitch. Below are some selected quotes from the article (which I urge all of you to read).

In the ongoing debate over whether to use tax policy to help resolve the nation's massive deficit, a single number has emerged from the crossfire: $250,000.

By most measures, a $250,000 household income is substantial. It is six times the national average, and just 2.9% of couples earn that much or more. "For the average person in this country, a $250,000 household income is an unattainably high annual sum -- they'll never see it," says Roberton Williams, an analyst at the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.

But just how flush is a family of four with a $250,000 income? Are they really "rich"?

The bottom line: It's not exactly Easy Street for our $250,000-a-year family, especially when they live in high-tax areas on either coast. Even with an additional $3,000 in investment income, they end up in the red -- after taxes, saving for retirement and their children's education, and a middle-of-the-road cost of living -- in seven out of the eight communities in the analysis.

Taxes take a hefty toll. Everything from property taxes and the alternative minimum tax to the taxes added to cell phone bills and the cost of gasoline, when combined, takes a massive bite out of earnings -- in some cases even more than the federal income tax. And it's not likely to get better soon. States and municipalities have been steadily raising income tax rates to help close gaping holes in their budgets. Property taxes are also increasing, even though real estate values have cratered. And sales taxes are hitting record levels, in some areas nearing 10%. Gas taxes, alcohol taxes and hidden surcharges on everything from airline flights and ferry rides to vehicle registrations, rental cars and even sodas have also been stealthily rising.

On top of that, additional tax increases for couples with salaries of $250,000 or more (and single people earning $200,000 or more) are scheduled to go into effect in 2013 under the health care bill passed a year ago.

As educated professionals, the Joneses buy books, newspapers and magazines; they own computers and pay for Internet access. But they don't take lavish vacations, don't belong to a country club, don't play golf, don't drive luxury cars, don't have a swimming pool, don't buy designer clothes, don't own or rent a second home and don't send their kids to private schools. They don't even shop at high-end grocery markets. (They spend what the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines as a "moderate" amount on food for the average family of four.) In short, they're not "wealthy," even if they're in the top 5% of earners.

Consider the tax profile of the Joneses when they're based in Huntington, a suburb of New York City. Thanks to all their smart pretax contributions and a fat deduction for mortgage interest and state and local taxes, the couple's federal income tax is only $29,344. But what often goes overlooked is the toll taken by state and local taxes. In this case, it exceeds that of the federal income tax bill: $31,066. State income taxes, taken alone, are just $10,557. But factor in the gas tax ($2,679), property tax ($15,222), phone service taxes and surcharges ($350), and sales tax ($2,258), and the picture looks far different. Their total tax bill, including the AMT and payroll taxes: $78,276.

And costs assumed by the Joneses could be significantly higher if their circumstances changed. For example, if they worked for themselves, they would have to foot the bill for all their medical insurance premiums, which average $14,043. As it is, they pay 30% of the premiums, and their employers pay the rest.

The bottom line: For folks like the Joneses -- who live in high-tax, high-cost areas, who save for retirement and college, who pay for child care to enable them to earn two incomes and who pay higher prices for housing in top school districts -- $250,000 does not a rich family make.

Comments (107)

3/25/11

That's why you have to be batshit nuts to live in NYC unless you are making $500+K a year...

Consultant to a Fortune 50 Company

3/25/11

Hahaha, agreed. NYC is a great city if you make $500K+ or >5K. Anything in between, it's not fun.

One interesting thing to note, however, is that the family seems to be doing well financially despite this. The article notes their "smart pretax contributions". AKA, 401k savings. If my federal taxes went up 5%, It would not impact my lifestyle immediately or even my savins too severely because I live well below my means.

Bottom line is that $150K/year of spending just about anywhere is a very comfortable life.

3/25/11

250k in san antonio texas is rich

250k in new york city is poor

250 k in los angeles is middle class

IVY for Life

3/25/11

Poor joneses :( I guess people in other income brackets pay a lower tax rate on their property, gasoline, utilities, and purchases :(

More is good, all is better

3/25/11

Ill take 250k and make it work. Fuck all this tax shit. Cant cry when only 3 percent of the population makes your salary and your living within your means. Idc what city its. Of course Id perfer some cities over others

I Got a dollar and a dream...

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:

Poor joneses :( I guess people in other income brackets pay a lower tax rate on their property, gasoline, utilities, and purchases :(

Its not a comparison to tax rates on property, gasoline, utilities, ect ect. The post/article is a statement about the insanity that is obamas obsession that if a household makes more than 250k a year that they suddenly strut around in private jets, own exoctic sports cars, live in 10MM+ penthouse suiets. Could some of the people who make 250k plus afford to pay some more taxes sure, the problem you cant pick and choose people based on where they live to pay taxes or not on a national level. Is all this stupid discussion does is add fuel to the class warefare fire and give people who dont have alot a something to cling to, in the form of a flawed arguement, while they thrust their hands out for more.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

3/25/11

The 250k amount is AGI, yes?

If you live in NY or CA yes, you most certainly feel the pinch more than anyone else. However, it's hard to feel compassion for people that have 2+ children. They made the CHOICE to have children, and guess what ? Raising children is expensive. Whether you make 60 or 250k we all have to anticipate taxes and I doubt that the additional 3% tax increase (that is the amount, yes?) will sink anyone.

The distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny.

3/25/11

Any adult (30+) who works in NYC and is making $250K is obviously not in a FO role. Therefore, their hours probaby are not so bad and there is no reason to live in NYC. If you are making $250K/yr you can easily buy a fine house in a nice NJ suburb and make the commute. Thousands of people do it every single day. If your wife is working in addition to this, then you should be quite comfortable.

On the other hand, if you think you're the shit and try putting your kids through prep schools and buying them nice cars - you're trying to be someone you are not.

If you can't live on 250K, you're an idiot.

3/25/11

And btw, that was not to attack the Jones'. I didn't say 250K is rich, because it isn't at all. But it's comfortable. You can live a "sitcom-family" lifestyle on it.

In reply to heister
3/25/11
heister:

Its not a comparison to tax rates on property, gasoline, utilities, ect ect. The post/article is a statement about the insanity that is obamas obsession that if a household makes more than 250k a year that they suddenly strut around in private jets, own exoctic sports cars, live in 10MM+ penthouse suiets. Could some of the people who make 250k plus afford to pay some more taxes sure, the problem you cant pick and choose people based on where they live to pay taxes or not on a national level. Is all this stupid discussion does is add fuel to the class warefare fire and give people who dont have alot a something to cling to, in the form of a flawed arguement, while they thrust their hands out for more.

If it's not a comparison to tax rates on property etc, then why are they mentioned in the article on INCOME tax?
Joneses paid a total 40 k of income tax on their 250 k income - that's SIXTEEN fucking percent. And I am supposed to feel sorry for them ?

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:
heister:

Its not a comparison to tax rates on property, gasoline, utilities, ect ect. The post/article is a statement about the insanity that is obamas obsession that if a household makes more than 250k a year that they suddenly strut around in private jets, own exoctic sports cars, live in 10MM+ penthouse suiets. Could some of the people who make 250k plus afford to pay some more taxes sure, the problem you cant pick and choose people based on where they live to pay taxes or not on a national level. Is all this stupid discussion does is add fuel to the class warefare fire and give people who dont have alot a something to cling to, in the form of a flawed arguement, while they thrust their hands out for more.

If it's not a comparison to tax rates on property etc, then why are they mentioned in the article on INCOME tax?
Joneses paid a total 40 k of income tax on their 250 k income - that's SIXTEEN fucking percent. And I am supposed to feel sorry for them ?

You're ignoring about $12K/year of deferred taxes from their IRAs and the fact that mortgage interest is typically a line item countering income.

3/25/11

Someone making 250k would pay 27% to Federal. Even in a low tax state/city like Philly, there's another 7% in combined state+local tax, so you are paying 34% in total.

To me, that's ridiculous. The way I look at it you are a slave to the government until May 1st - the portion of the year before that you earn nothing and the government takes everything from you (you just use temporal transfers to not feel so bad about it).

Does the government provide adequate services to warrant such a hefty price (more than your mortgage, more than food, more than any single expense)? In my mind, no.

In reply to absinthe
3/25/11
absinthe:

Someone making 250k would pay 27% to Federal. Even in a low tax state/city like Philly, there's another 7% in combined state+local tax, so you are paying 34% in total.

To me, that's ridiculous. The way I look at it you are a slave to the government until May 1st - the portion of the year before that you earn nothing and the government takes everything from you (you just use temporal transfers to not feel so bad about it).

Does the government provide adequate services to warrant such a hefty price (more than your mortgage, more than food, more than any single expense)? In my mind, no.

Well, Philly is hardly low tax. Chicago is 5%- used to be 3% before a temporary tax hike. Dallas/Houston are 0%. Boston is 5-6% as well.

In most major cities in the country, local taxes average about 5% for high-income individuals.

In reply to twobitmanchild
3/25/11
twobitmanchild:

The 250k amount is AGI, yes?

If you live in NY or CA yes, you most certainly feel the pinch more than anyone else. However, it's hard to feel compassion for people that have 2+ children. They made the CHOICE to have children, and guess what ? Raising children is expensive. Whether you make 60 or 250k we all have to anticipate taxes and I doubt that the additional 3% tax increase (that is the amount, yes?) will sink anyone.

How about a 3% decrease...to the welfare and SSI checks that the bottom feeders collect twice a month? It's only 3%, which shouldn't sink anybody...besides, it was their choice to have 5 kids.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

3/25/11

Illini, I am digging in my heart for compassion, I really am - but I can't find any as I am about to go get raped by the IRS for a higher percentage than that, and I'm not even making half of 250. Oh and now that you put it in perspective, I'm still getting raped despite maxing out the 401 k contributions (yearly limit, not just company match)

They COULD contribute to ROTH instead of traditional IRA and not worry about future taxes, I still don't feel sorry for them.
AND with the mortgage tax break they are getting their house financed at 2/3 the mortgage rates - so if they got a 4.5% mortgage, it's really coming out to be 3% - avg. rate of inflation

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:
heister:

Its not a comparison to tax rates on property, gasoline, utilities, ect ect. The post/article is a statement about the insanity that is obamas obsession that if a household makes more than 250k a year that they suddenly strut around in private jets, own exoctic sports cars, live in 10MM+ penthouse suiets. Could some of the people who make 250k plus afford to pay some more taxes sure, the problem you cant pick and choose people based on where they live to pay taxes or not on a national level. Is all this stupid discussion does is add fuel to the class warefare fire and give people who dont have alot a something to cling to, in the form of a flawed arguement, while they thrust their hands out for more.

If it's not a comparison to tax rates on property etc, then why are they mentioned in the article on INCOME tax?
Joneses paid a total 40 k of income tax on their 250 k income - that's SIXTEEN fucking percent. And I am supposed to feel sorry for them ?

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to cphbravo96
3/25/11
cphbravo96:
twobitmanchild:

The 250k amount is AGI, yes?

If you live in NY or CA yes, you most certainly feel the pinch more than anyone else. However, it's hard to feel compassion for people that have 2+ children. They made the CHOICE to have children, and guess what ? Raising children is expensive. Whether you make 60 or 250k we all have to anticipate taxes and I doubt that the additional 3% tax increase (that is the amount, yes?) will sink anyone.

How about a 3% decrease...to the welfare and SSI checks that the bottom feeders collect twice a month? It's only 3%, which shouldn't sink anybody...besides, it was their choice to have 5 kids.

Regards

Haha. This.

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:

Illini, I am digging in my heart for compassion, I really am - but I can't find any as I am about to go get raped by the IRS for a higher percentage than that, and I'm not even making half of 250. Oh and now that you put it in perspective, I'm still getting raped despite maxing out the 401 k contributions (yearly limit, not just company match)

They COULD contribute to ROTH instead of traditional IRA and not worry about future taxes, I still don't feel sorry for them.
AND with the mortgage tax break they are getting their house financed at 2/3 the mortgage rates - so if they got a 4.5% mortgage, it's really coming out to be 3% - avg. rate of inflation

Actually they can not contribute to a ROTH, they exceed the maxium allowable income levels.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to cphbravo96
3/25/11
cphbravo96:
twobitmanchild:

The 250k amount is AGI, yes?

If you live in NY or CA yes, you most certainly feel the pinch more than anyone else. However, it's hard to feel compassion for people that have 2+ children. They made the CHOICE to have children, and guess what ? Raising children is expensive. Whether you make 60 or 250k we all have to anticipate taxes and I doubt that the additional 3% tax increase (that is the amount, yes?) will sink anyone.

How about a 3% decrease...to the welfare and SSI checks that the bottom feeders collect twice a month? It's only 3%, which shouldn't sink anybody...besides, it was their choice to have 5 kids.

Regards

This is totally necessary, I read an article about this lady from mexico who has like 8 american kids and collects over 12k a month from the feds and state, drives an escalade. Yet has not worked a day in the past 7 years.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to heister
3/25/11
heister:
cphbravo96:
twobitmanchild:

The 250k amount is AGI, yes?

If you live in NY or CA yes, you most certainly feel the pinch more than anyone else. However, it's hard to feel compassion for people that have 2+ children. They made the CHOICE to have children, and guess what ? Raising children is expensive. Whether you make 60 or 250k we all have to anticipate taxes and I doubt that the additional 3% tax increase (that is the amount, yes?) will sink anyone.

How about a 3% decrease...to the welfare and SSI checks that the bottom feeders collect twice a month? It's only 3%, which shouldn't sink anybody...besides, it was their choice to have 5 kids.

Regards

This is totally necessary, I read an article about this lady from mexico who has like 8 american kids and collects over 12k a month from the feds and state, drives an escalade. Yet has not worked a day in the past 7 years.

+1. Our entitlement system is ridiculous.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
3/25/11
IlliniProgrammer:
absinthe:

Someone making 250k would pay 27% to Federal. Even in a low tax state/city like Philly, there's another 7% in combined state+local tax, so you are paying 34% in total.

To me, that's ridiculous. The way I look at it you are a slave to the government until May 1st - the portion of the year before that you earn nothing and the government takes everything from you (you just use temporal transfers to not feel so bad about it).

Does the government provide adequate services to warrant such a hefty price (more than your mortgage, more than food, more than any single expense)? In my mind, no.

Well, Philly is hardly low tax. Chicago is 5%- used to be 3% before a temporary tax hike. Dallas/Houston are 0%. Boston is 5-6% as well.

In most major cities in the country, local taxes average about 5% for high-income individuals.

Some cities without income taxes have high sales taxes and whatnot to make up for it. Not sure if that's the case in those specific cities...

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:

Illini, I am digging in my heart for compassion, I really am - but I can't find any as I am about to go get raped by the IRS for a higher percentage than that, and I'm not even making half of 250.

I feel you, I honestly do. The taxes middle income people pay is ridiculous, as well. So, why not be in favor of tax cuts across the board?

In reply to heister
3/25/11
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

did you read the article?
They paid 29k for state tax and 10k for federal tax. WHAT in the world are you talking about?

More is good, all is better

In reply to heister
3/25/11
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

Let's not forget other taxes, as well. When people only look at income taxes, they don't get the whole effect. What about sales taxes, capital gains taxes, etc? They get in your pocket every which way. I saw a study a few years ago (I might try to dig it up later) that showed how some lady making $50K/year paid nearly 50% in taxes, when all taxes were considered. I've also seen statistics of tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and government spending as a percentage of GDP, and it ain't pretty.

In reply to heister
3/25/11
heister:
Argonaut:

Illini, I am digging in my heart for compassion, I really am - but I can't find any as I am about to go get raped by the IRS for a higher percentage than that, and I'm not even making half of 250. Oh and now that you put it in perspective, I'm still getting raped despite maxing out the 401 k contributions (yearly limit, not just company match)

They COULD contribute to ROTH instead of traditional IRA and not worry about future taxes, I still don't feel sorry for them.
AND with the mortgage tax break they are getting their house financed at 2/3 the mortgage rates - so if they got a 4.5% mortgage, it's really coming out to be 3% - avg. rate of inflation

Actually they can not contribute to a ROTH, they exceed the maxium allowable income levels.

Traditional IRA limits are even lower, so if they qualify for traditional IRA thru would have qualified for ROTH

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

did you read the article?
They paid 29k for state tax and 10k for federal tax. WHAT in the world are you talking about?

30K for federal taxes, and 31K when counting city/state/real estate ect.ect. I counted all taxes paid in the city/state catageory because you get to write these off your federal income taxes. Its funny you asked me if I read the article when you throw out an amount of 10k for federal income taxes.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:
heister:
Argonaut:

Illini, I am digging in my heart for compassion, I really am - but I can't find any as I am about to go get raped by the IRS for a higher percentage than that, and I'm not even making half of 250. Oh and now that you put it in perspective, I'm still getting raped despite maxing out the 401 k contributions (yearly limit, not just company match)

They COULD contribute to ROTH instead of traditional IRA and not worry about future taxes, I still don't feel sorry for them.
AND with the mortgage tax break they are getting their house financed at 2/3 the mortgage rates - so if they got a 4.5% mortgage, it's really coming out to be 3% - avg. rate of inflation

Actually they can not contribute to a ROTH, they exceed the maxium allowable income levels.

Traditional IRA limits are even lower, so if they qualify for traditional IRA thru would have qualified for ROTH

Roth limits are 167,000 for a married couple. Traditional IRAs no one uses those anymore for the most part the tax advantages suck. The statement of a traditional IRA is a misprint.

Also it works differently for ROTH and T-IRA, a T-IRA has what is known as a phase out period where you loose your tax deduction status on the account, meaning you can still contribute if your income exceeds the set limits of ~110,000. A ROTH on the other hand if you exceed the 167,000 in GAI in the previous year you are not allowed to put money into the account at all.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to econ
3/25/11
econ:
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

Let's not forget other taxes, as well. When people only look at income taxes, they don't get the whole effect. What about sales taxes, capital gains taxes, etc? They get in your pocket every which way. I saw a study a few years ago (I might try to dig it up later) that showed how some lady making $50K/year paid nearly 50% in taxes, when all taxes were considered. I've also seen statistics of tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and government spending as a percentage of GDP, and it ain't pretty.

OTHER people pay those taxes too. I am pretty sure that I paid more than they did in sales tax, and I'm gonna have to pay regular income tax rate instead of capital gains because I haven't held any positions long enough to qualify for the capitalization criteria.

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:
econ:
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

Let's not forget other taxes, as well. When people only look at income taxes, they don't get the whole effect. What about sales taxes, capital gains taxes, etc? They get in your pocket every which way. I saw a study a few years ago (I might try to dig it up later) that showed how some lady making $50K/year paid nearly 50% in taxes, when all taxes were considered. I've also seen statistics of tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and government spending as a percentage of GDP, and it ain't pretty.

OTHER people pay those taxes too. I am pretty sure that I paid more than they did in sales tax, and I'm gonna have to pay regular income tax rate instead of capital gains because I haven't held any positions long enough to qualify for the capitalization criteria.

The issue is not whether other people pay those, as well. The issue is how much of a burden taxes are. Taxes are a huge burden for a lot of people who make less than $250K, but they're also a huge burden for the Joneses. In other words, tons of people are getting taxed way too much as it is...

In reply to heister
3/25/11
heister:
Argonaut:

did you read the article?
They paid 29k for state tax and 10k for federal tax. WHAT in the world are you talking about?

30K for federal taxes, and 31K when counting city/state/real estate ect.ect. I counted all taxes paid in the city/state catageory because you get to write these off your federal income taxes. Its funny you asked me if I read the article when you throw out an amount of 10k for federal income taxes.

Correction - 29k for federal and 10 k for state

More is good, all is better

In reply to heister
3/25/11
heister:
Argonaut:
heister:
Argonaut:

Illini, I am digging in my heart for compassion, I really am - but I can't find any as I am about to go get raped by the IRS for a higher percentage than that, and I'm not even making half of 250. Oh and now that you put it in perspective, I'm still getting raped despite maxing out the 401 k contributions (yearly limit, not just company match)

They COULD contribute to ROTH instead of traditional IRA and not worry about future taxes, I still don't feel sorry for them.
AND with the mortgage tax break they are getting their house financed at 2/3 the mortgage rates - so if they got a 4.5% mortgage, it's really coming out to be 3% - avg. rate of inflation

Actually they can not contribute to a ROTH, they exceed the maxium allowable income levels.

Traditional IRA limits are even lower, so if they qualify for traditional IRA thru would have qualified for ROTH

Roth limits are 167,000 for a married couple. Traditional IRAs no one uses those anymore for the most part the tax advantages suck. The statement of a traditional IRA is a misprint.

Also it works differently for ROTH and T-IRA, a T-IRA has what is known as a phase out period where you loose your tax deduction status on the account, meaning you can still contribute if your income exceeds the set limits of ~110,000. A ROTH on the other hand if you exceed the 167,000 in GAI in the previous year you are not allowed to put money into the account at all.

Do you know them personally or something?
how do you know what is a misprint and what is not?

More is good, all is better

In reply to econ
3/25/11
econ:
Argonaut:
econ:
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

Let's not forget other taxes, as well. When people only look at income taxes, they don't get the whole effect. What about sales taxes, capital gains taxes, etc? They get in your pocket every which way. I saw a study a few years ago (I might try to dig it up later) that showed how some lady making $50K/year paid nearly 50% in taxes, when all taxes were considered. I've also seen statistics of tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and government spending as a percentage of GDP, and it ain't pretty.

OTHER people pay those taxes too. I am pretty sure that I paid more than they did in sales tax, and I'm gonna have to pay regular income tax rate instead of capital gains because I haven't held any positions long enough to qualify for the capitalization criteria.

The issue is not whether other people pay those, as well. The issue is how much of a burden taxes are. Taxes are a huge burden for a lot of people who make less than $250K, but they're also a huge burden for the Joneses. In other words, tons of people are getting taxed way too much as it is...

Taxes are a MUCH bigger burden for those making less than 250K, both percentage wise and how little is left after tax, so let's not make Joneses seem like some fucking martyrs when middle class is getting DPd on taxes.
I'm not saying rich/wealthy should be DPd as well, but i think it is at least fair if tax burden is distributed a little more evenly across income groups. AND I am only talking about percentage of income, and not the full burden because even as much as I bitch about taxes it's is still not as much of a burden on me as it is on someone making 20-30 k less, even if we pay the same percentage of income.

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:
econ:
Argonaut:
econ:
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

Let's not forget other taxes, as well. When people only look at income taxes, they don't get the whole effect. What about sales taxes, capital gains taxes, etc? They get in your pocket every which way. I saw a study a few years ago (I might try to dig it up later) that showed how some lady making $50K/year paid nearly 50% in taxes, when all taxes were considered. I've also seen statistics of tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and government spending as a percentage of GDP, and it ain't pretty.

OTHER people pay those taxes too. I am pretty sure that I paid more than they did in sales tax, and I'm gonna have to pay regular income tax rate instead of capital gains because I haven't held any positions long enough to qualify for the capitalization criteria.

The issue is not whether other people pay those, as well. The issue is how much of a burden taxes are. Taxes are a huge burden for a lot of people who make less than $250K, but they're also a huge burden for the Joneses. In other words, tons of people are getting taxed way too much as it is...

Taxes are a MUCH bigger burden for those making less than 250K, both percentage wise and how little is left after tax, so let's not make Joneses seem like some fucking martyrs when middle class is getting DPd on taxes.
I'm not saying rich/wealthy should be DPd as well, but i think it is at least fair if tax burden is distributed a little more evenly across income groups. AND I am only talking about percentage of income, and not the full burden because even as much as I bitch about taxes it's is still not as much of a burden on me as it is on someone making 20-30 k less, even if we pay the same percentage of income.

So your advocating that the bottom 50% actuallys pays income taxes rather then getting it all back with an additional few thousand more than they ever paid in? Am I reading this right?

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:
econ:
Argonaut:
econ:
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

Let's not forget other taxes, as well. When people only look at income taxes, they don't get the whole effect. What about sales taxes, capital gains taxes, etc? They get in your pocket every which way. I saw a study a few years ago (I might try to dig it up later) that showed how some lady making $50K/year paid nearly 50% in taxes, when all taxes were considered. I've also seen statistics of tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and government spending as a percentage of GDP, and it ain't pretty.

OTHER people pay those taxes too. I am pretty sure that I paid more than they did in sales tax, and I'm gonna have to pay regular income tax rate instead of capital gains because I haven't held any positions long enough to qualify for the capitalization criteria.

The issue is not whether other people pay those, as well. The issue is how much of a burden taxes are. Taxes are a huge burden for a lot of people who make less than $250K, but they're also a huge burden for the Joneses. In other words, tons of people are getting taxed way too much as it is...

Taxes are a MUCH bigger burden for those making less than 250K, both percentage wise and how little is left after tax, so let's not make Joneses seem like some fucking martyrs when middle class is getting DPd on taxes.
I'm not saying rich/wealthy should be DPd as well, but i think it is at least fair if tax burden is distributed a little more evenly across income groups. AND I am only talking about percentage of income, and not the full burden because even as much as I bitch about taxes it's is still not as much of a burden on me as it is on someone making 20-30 k less, even if we pay the same percentage of income.

Nobody said the Joneses were martyrs...

In reply to heister
3/25/11
heister:

So your advocating that the bottom 50% actuallys pays income taxes rather then getting it all back with an additional few thousand more than they ever paid in? Am I reading this right?

Maybe something is wrong with your vision too...

Who gets back more than they paid?

20% of the bottom 50% also includes 2/3 households in the 25 to 50 k income group, who already pay from 12 to 17.5% in income tax. AND they don't generally have the creative accounting opportunities.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_t...

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/25/11
Argonaut:
econ:
Argonaut:
econ:
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

Let's not forget other taxes, as well. When people only look at income taxes, they don't get the whole effect. What about sales taxes, capital gains taxes, etc? They get in your pocket every which way. I saw a study a few years ago (I might try to dig it up later) that showed how some lady making $50K/year paid nearly 50% in taxes, when all taxes were considered. I've also seen statistics of tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and government spending as a percentage of GDP, and it ain't pretty.

OTHER people pay those taxes too. I am pretty sure that I paid more than they did in sales tax, and I'm gonna have to pay regular income tax rate instead of capital gains because I haven't held any positions long enough to qualify for the capitalization criteria.

The issue is not whether other people pay those, as well. The issue is how much of a burden taxes are. Taxes are a huge burden for a lot of people who make less than $250K, but they're also a huge burden for the Joneses. In other words, tons of people are getting taxed way too much as it is...

Taxes are a MUCH bigger burden for those making less than 250K, both percentage wise and how little is left after tax, so let's not make Joneses seem like some fucking martyrs when middle class is getting DPd on taxes.
I'm not saying rich/wealthy should be DPd as well, but i think it is at least fair if tax burden is distributed a little more evenly across income groups. AND I am only talking about percentage of income, and not the full burden because even as much as I bitch about taxes it's is still not as much of a burden on me as it is on someone making 20-30 k less, even if we pay the same percentage of income.

How come making things "fair" always includes rules that force things to be unequal and/or lopsided?? It seems oxymoronic, doesn't it?

I also have a feeling that low income people (who pay little to no taxes...or get "earned" tax credits) depend on and use the services provided by the tax revenue far more often than those in the upper income bracket...which isn't fair either...pay more and receive less?

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

In reply to MCBB687
3/25/11
MCBB687:

Any adult (30+) who works in NYC and is making $250K is obviously not in a FO role. Therefore, their hours probaby are not so bad and there is no reason to live in NYC. If you are making $250K/yr you can easily buy a fine house in a nice NJ suburb and make the commute. Thousands of people do it every single day. If your wife is working in addition to this, then you should be quite comfortable.

On the other hand, if you think you're the shit and try putting your kids through prep schools and buying them nice cars - you're trying to be someone you are not.

If you can't live on 250K, you're an idiot.

Stupid generalization with the FO over 30 making 250k. Also, they live in Huntington which I believe is in Long Island and the article stated that it was a NYC suburb. Guess what.....The "nice suburbs of Jersey" are NOT any cheaper. If you have a nice piece of property in Bergen, Morris, or Essex County prepare to pay anywhere from 15-30k in property taxes.

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger

In reply to cphbravo96
3/25/11
cphbravo96:
Argonaut:
econ:
Argonaut:
econ:
heister:

Do you know how the federal gross income tax rate is figured? Let me give you a little insight. In places where there is a state/city income tax you can write that off your tax bill. So with the Jones' example they paid about 40k in state and city income taxes. This would make their federally taxable 210k in a 250 plus bracket. This alone changes the percentage significantly with out including other taxes paid its almost a 5% jump in the percentage of federal income taxes with no change in income.

Let's not forget other taxes, as well. When people only look at income taxes, they don't get the whole effect. What about sales taxes, capital gains taxes, etc? They get in your pocket every which way. I saw a study a few years ago (I might try to dig it up later) that showed how some lady making $50K/year paid nearly 50% in taxes, when all taxes were considered. I've also seen statistics of tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and government spending as a percentage of GDP, and it ain't pretty.

OTHER people pay those taxes too. I am pretty sure that I paid more than they did in sales tax, and I'm gonna have to pay regular income tax rate instead of capital gains because I haven't held any positions long enough to qualify for the capitalization criteria.

The issue is not whether other people pay those, as well. The issue is how much of a burden taxes are. Taxes are a huge burden for a lot of people who make less than $250K, but they're also a huge burden for the Joneses. In other words, tons of people are getting taxed way too much as it is...

Taxes are a MUCH bigger burden for those making less than 250K, both percentage wise and how little is left after tax, so let's not make Joneses seem like some fucking martyrs when middle class is getting DPd on taxes.
I'm not saying rich/wealthy should be DPd as well, but i think it is at least fair if tax burden is distributed a little more evenly across income groups. AND I am only talking about percentage of income, and not the full burden because even as much as I bitch about taxes it's is still not as much of a burden on me as it is on someone making 20-30 k less, even if we pay the same percentage of income.

How come making things "fair" always includes rules that force things to be unequal and/or lopsided?? It seems oxymoronic, doesn't it?

I also have a feeling that low income people (who pay little to no taxes...or get "earned" tax credits) depend on and use the services provided by the tax revenue far more often than those in the upper income bracket...which isn't fair either...pay more and receive less?

Regards

Agree. I think we should have incentive neutral entitlements (lump sum), and a flat tax system instead of graduated.

That way we lower marginal tax rates and provide small but adequate entitlements.

3/25/11

ok, i guess we can remove all the social assistance for the poor and create Tijuana country-wide.
It's not like there are no rich people in Mexico, Colombia, or in South Africa.
It's just that in Johannesburg rich people have to pay anyways, but for things like electric fences around a compound and AK-47 armed guards, and bulletproof SUVs. Oh, and there's always risk that their working people armed guard will tell his buddies exactly when it will be best to rob the house and I am pretty sure he won't be risking his neck when the rich family is getting slaughtered by the pissed off peasants.
So please, do share your views about a comprehensive tax system that in your opinion will ensure the most prosperity for this country.

More is good, all is better

3/26/11

Don't get used to the mockingly sarcastic ANT because it's only a matter of time before angry ANT unleashes the full power of the free market on yo ass.

3/26/11

I'm in a good mood right now. I'll keep mocking.

But seriously, people just glaze over what my point is. Poverty is a behavioral issue, not something the government can just dump money on. There are poor people, high school drop outs, drug addicts, etc in Europe and they have way more tax that us.

Besides, revenues are down because earnings are down. If citizens are not earning a lot the government isn't. This raise taxes all the time crap is annoying.

Am I the only one who thinks that the bar should be set real high for any measure that takes money from people? I don't get how people can be so flippant about pickpocketing people.

3/26/11

Ok, Ant, what IS being suggested? Everyone is just bitching.
I mean come on, this is supposed to be a forum of people who at least somewhat understand macro, not FriendsOfSarahPalin.com

Personally I view tax breaks for the poor as an opportunity to teach them good financial habits (like saver's credit) that will hopefully one day make them if not well off, but at least self-reliant.If they are encouraged to save some money NOW at the price (to the rest of the country) of the tax break, that price is a lot lower than the price of having to take care of them when they are old and have no retirement. OR the cost of having old people begging, dying, and rotting on the streets, I hate to be so graphic.

MOREOVER, poor people make so little money, that even if an equal tax rate is imposed on them, the additional revenue would not even attempt to cover the fucking domino effect that would ensue.
1. forcing a great number of them out of the work force and into crime (because what's the point of working 40 hrs at $8 an hour when you only make $1300 a month, out of which take home pay is $975 IF you are lucky, after a 25%income tax)
2. as a result forcing businesses to either offer a more competitive wage to menial labor employees and thus raise the cost of goods and services, which would in turn AGAIN lower the overall standard of living OR stop expanding/growing/producing, which too, would lower the overall standard of living.
3. Cost of increase in the police force AND a pay increase needed to attract cops because they now would be more likely to have to deal with violent offenders/risk their life.
4. Increasing volatility/destabilization would force the very wealthy who are bitching about paying taxes to move to safer countries and pay more taxes for an opportunity to raise their children without having to pay huge ransoms or bury them young.

Provided we want to avoid turning this great country into the next Colombia/soviet Union/socialist china (BTW, HOW do you think czarist Russia turned into soviet union, huh?) , that leaves middle and upper class as suitable sources of tax revenue. Between the two of them the middle class is getting raped, while the upper class is paying taxes at approximately the rate of the poor, who simply can't pay more.

More is good, all is better

3/26/11

On the government level yes, i agree there needs to be more accountability of how they spend our money.
But again - middle class is too busy slaving to bitch, and the rich don't bitch about the right things "oh, i don't understand why i cant get a big tax break to enroll my kids in a private school"

More is good, all is better

In reply to TNA
3/26/11
ANT:

I'm in a good mood right now. I'll keep mocking.

But seriously, people just glaze over what my point is. Poverty is a behavioral issue, not something the government can just dump money on. There are poor people, high school drop outs, drug addicts, etc in Europe and they have way more tax that us.

Besides, revenues are down because earnings are down. If citizens are not earning a lot the government isn't. This raise taxes all the time crap is annoying.

Am I the only one who thinks that the bar should be set real high for any measure that takes money from people? I don't get how people can be so flippant about pickpocketing people.

This also applies to foreign aid. With no strings attached, it's actually counterproductive and makes the beneficiaries worse off (they become dependent and less efficient).

Anyways I'm out to get some girls with big booties.

In reply to Saccard
3/26/11
LeveragedFiend:

This also applies to foreign aid. With no strings attached, it's actually counterproductive and makes the beneficiaries worse off (they become dependent and less efficient).

Often times, it also helps keep shitty regimes in power...

3/26/11

I don't necessarily support a flat tax because lower income people will be hit harder. With that said, if you look at sin taxes and which socio economic group they hit the hardest, I think you will see that the poor are being targeted as it is.

I've said in many threads that if you really want to help the poor, yoh will ban state lotteries and cut cigarette taxes/alcohol tax. Rich people can go to the Bahamas. Poor people enjoy these little pleasures.

Here is my point at the purest sense. Rich people can afford to carry much more of the tax burden. Absolutely. If your worth 10MM and we take 5MM, you are still far better off than a poor family. Absolutely. It makes economic sense also. Absolutely.

But is it morally and ethically right to simple take from someone who rightfully earned it simply because we set an arbitrary level saying they don't deserve that money anymore?

My stance is that past a certain point, taxation becomes government shake down. We, as a rich nation, should provide a safety net for those who do not succeed. With that said, this safety net should not become some entitlement to live a wonderful life. At the end of the day, the USA gives more tools and more opportunity than any other nation. This is why immigrants from the poorest countries come here. If you don't take advantage of what we offer, we will give you an existance, but not a great one.

And if economic benefit is going to be our ethical system, why not just advocate euthanasia, sterilization and other draconian measure that would have wonderful economic benefits? I don't mind the system, but at least be consistent.

In reply to Argonaut
3/26/11
Argonaut:

Personally I view tax breaks for the poor as an opportunity to teach them good financial habits (like saver's credit) that will hopefully one day make them if not well off, but at least self-reliant.If they are encouraged to save some money NOW at the price (to the rest of the country) of the tax break, that price is a lot lower than the price of having to take care of them when they are old and have no retirement. OR the cost of having old people begging, dying, and rotting on the streets, I hate to be so graphic.

To teach them about savigs? Your joking right, I have never seen someone from the ghetto save money ever. They dont trust banks would rather have their money as cash in their pocket. And you questioned me when I said that people get more than they pay in. Heres an example for you. A friend of mine was volunteering doing tax returns for poor people. He said that he ran into at least 50 if not more people who were "going" to school on government grants. Mind you they had been going to school for over a decade and had yet to get any kind of degree. They didnt work yet were awarded on average over 7000 dollars on their tax returns. Then you have the people who do work and they try to claim 6 kids when they only actually have 2 but they "promise" they are the sole provider for their nieces and nephews. Then the very next person comes up in line and tries to claim the very same kids. Now if you think that the poor have no "creative accounting tricks" you are just acting like the poor people are this overly oppressed group that can never succeed. I however had have a different view, they are a group of people that would rather take easy street by staying poor then work hard in school/life and try to better themselves.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

In reply to TNA
3/26/11
ANT:

I don't necessarily support a flat tax because lower income people will be hit harder. With that said, if you look at sin taxes and which socio economic group they hit the hardest, I think you will see that the poor are being targeted as it is.

I've said in many threads that if you really want to help the poor, yoh will ban state lotteries and cut cigarette taxes/alcohol tax. Rich people can go to the Bahamas. Poor people enjoy these little pleasures.

Here is my point at the purest sense. Rich people can afford to carry much more of the tax burden. Absolutely. If your worth 10MM and we take 5MM, you are still far better off than a poor family. Absolutely. It makes economic sense also. Absolutely.

But is it morally and ethically right to simple take from someone who rightfully earned it simply because we set an arbitrary level saying they don't deserve that money anymore?

My stance is that past a certain point, taxation becomes government shake down. We, as a rich nation, should provide a safety net for those who do not succeed. With that said, this safety net should not become some entitlement to live a wonderful life. At the end of the day, the USA gives more tools and more opportunity than any other nation. This is why immigrants from the poorest countries come here. If you don't take advantage of what we offer, we will give you an existance, but not a great one.

And if economic benefit is going to be our ethical system, why not just advocate euthanasia, sterilization and other draconian measure that would have wonderful economic benefits? I don't mind the system, but at least be consistent.

Yep, epsilons need their soma.

Let's leave morals and ethics out of this for a while. Morally and ethically I want everyone to be happy, but that's not gonna happen.
Actually, we are discussing a big problem, let's depart from the human element altogether and think in non-human terms.

In a purely economic sense and opportunity cost analysis we have to maintain the balance between getting the golden eggs and not poking the goose that lays them to the point that he (she?) either dies/gets sick, or leaves.

On the other hand we have geese/chickens that lay regular eggs. You also don't want to poke them to the point that they die or get sick.

And then you have birds that don't lay anything right now and can either get nursed health/adulthood and lay eggs, or live off others' eggs.

So, since mystery birds aren't really a source of egg revenue, and golden eggs are definitely more valuable than regular ones, and regular egg producers are already producing at a higher rate than the golden egg geese, where do you think squeezing for more would produce a better result?

Keep in mind that squeezed regular egg producers end up becoming the non-producing birds, which as we already established, have a cost to this "farm".

Frankly, I think that we need a LONG-TERM tax policy that is meant to expand the amount of golden geese and the base upon which they rest and shrink the amount of "non-producers" as well as minimize the length of time "non-producers" remain in that state by facilitating easier upward mobility through all socio-economic layers.

You can't maintain the health and productivity of a "farm" by letting sick birds run amok and steal eggs, and get everyone else sick as well, and stress the producers and affect their productivity because they don't know what's gonna happen to them and their eggs.

More is good, all is better

3/26/11

Fine, if we are going to leave ethics out of this, increase taxes on the rich while enacting laws that do not allow them to move assets overseas or leave this country without harsh tax penalties.

3/26/11

regardless of increasing taxes, i think tax laws need to have purposes other then just collecting the revenue.

Laws that don't allow the wealthy to move sizable assets overseas without tax penalties may be good for this country because we still have the greatest number of rich people than anyone else, so even if such law would discourage foreign investors, preserving what we have may be more important.

I personally would like to see some tax incentive for hiring people in america and a tax penalty for keeping the labor force overseas (or over the border).
$5000 less for a honda or whatever affects me a lot less than the army of the unemployed in detroit. Especially since the people who would have otherwise bought a $2000 old car and took care of it, are now balls-deep in debt on their new piece of shit $12,000 Kia

More is good, all is better

3/26/11

Argo, have you ever 1st hand done business or dealt with the poor who game the system? I don't want to hear you heard this or your cousin did that, 1st hand experiences only. I'm not attacking, I really want to know.

3/26/11

No texas justin, i've never even seen poor people. What are they like? Have they been bred to, like, have 3 arms?
I defer to your expertise.

More is good, all is better

3/26/11

Nice response, I should have expected it.

3/26/11

Kinda off topic Argo, but what's the story behind your avy? Is that you?

3/26/11

More is good, all is better

3/26/11

pssst, don't tell anyone, but my real name isn't actually Argonaut either ;)

More is good, all is better

3/26/11

Slightly racist there argo. For shame.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

3/26/11

Damn, I wanted to imagine that was you. haha.

Nevertheless, would you like to answer my original question without a smartass comment?

In reply to happypantsmcgee
3/26/11
happypantsmcgee:

Slightly racist there argo. For shame.

Not at all, the kid is my hero.
Such a young age, and he is already saving cash money instead of wasting it on stupid crap. ;-)

More is good, all is better

In reply to txjustin
3/26/11
txjustin:

Damn, I wanted to imagine that was you. haha.

Nevertheless, would you like to answer my original question without a smartass comment?

Well, your original question is phrased in a very smart ass way, so I really don't see another way to answer it.

I mean do you really think that I am not aware of people gaming the system?
People can and do. And probably will. And to a degree I am ok with it. I would rather some mother game the system by having 3 kids than by holding up a child care center and shooting 3 kids, ya know.

It is possible to design a "game-proof" system, however that may detract from the main purpose the system is even in place - to ensure greater prosperity and stability of the country as a whole.

I personally feel just as bad for the sick and poor kids in africa as I do for the sick and poor kids in america, but I want my tax dollars to go to health insurance for the sick and poor kids in America, because they affect society to the greatest degree.

Granted, my kids probably won't be going to public school, but most middle class kids will.
And a sick poor kid will be coming to school sick and infecting all the other kids.
So yeah, it is unfair that this kid's parents are fucking deadbeats and the mother can find money for the 3 inch long fake nails but not for the kid's insurance. But keeping this kid sick isn't helping the kid, it's not helping the society, it's not *cheaper* for the society, and it's not teaching his whore of a mother how to be more responsible either.

Mistakes don't require punishment, they require correction.

However back in his day, Bush turned down a CHIP budget increase, and then turned around and gave the same amount of money, that CHIP needed, to some stupid mission to keep HIV-infected alive in Africa.

More is good, all is better

3/26/11

Thanks Argo, good post. I didn't mean my original question as smartass. I understand and agree with a lot you said, to a degree. But, to my original question. Have you ever 1st hand dealt with these people gaming the system?

I'll tell you this, from 1st hand experience, this has become a generational and cultural way of life for these people. They don't want to change. (not all of them obviously) They know they can get disability for whatever reason and collect ~$800 a month. In a former life, I worked in a business that catered to poor people.

There needs to be a change where we wean these people off handouts. This is going to take a long time, IMO. It needs to be taught in schools at a young age. There are a ton of other factors that play into this that I won't get into.

In reply to Argonaut
3/26/11
Argonaut:

Let's leave morals and ethics out of this for a while. Morally and ethically I want everyone to be happy, but that's not gonna happen.
Actually, we are discussing a big problem, let's depart from the human element altogether and think in non-human terms.

LOL - this whole issue is a moral/ethical issue. As far as I can tell, you can't assert the rich should pay more than the poor without invoking morality in the first place. Also, morals and ethics don't really have anything to do with "everyone being happy."

3/26/11

Yeah, I know people who gamed the system. One is a trust fund baby, I won't post details here.

Absolutely, change is needed. But a well-designed rehabilitation program is going to take time and money; the things are in their current state because it's easier to just hand out the fish, rather than organize fishing classes and loan fishing poles, so to say.
Many of the social programs really address the symptoms and not the illness.
It's like if you come to a shitty doctor and say doctor I have a fever, I feel like I'm dying, and he just gives you some fever reducers instead of figuring out WHY you have a fever.

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/26/11
Argonaut:

Yeah, I know people who gamed the system. One is a trust fund baby, I won't post details here.

I want to hear the story. How was he/she gaming the system?

3/26/11

Foodstamps. Pm me for details

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/26/11
Argonaut:

Yeah, I know people who gamed the system. One is a trust fund baby, I won't post details here.

Absolutely, change is needed. But a well-designed rehabilitation program is going to take time and money; the things are in their current state because it's easier to just hand out the fish, rather than organize fishing classes and loan fishing poles, so to say.
Many of the social programs really address the symptoms and not the illness.
It's like if you come to a shitty doctor and say doctor I have a fever, I feel like I'm dying, and he just gives you some fever reducers instead of figuring out WHY you have a fever.

I agree Argo.

In reply to Argonaut
3/27/11
Argonaut:

Yeah, I know people who gamed the system. One is a trust fund baby, I won't post details here.

Absolutely, change is needed. But a well-designed rehabilitation program is going to take time and money; the things are in their current state because it's easier to just hand out the fish, rather than organize fishing classes and loan fishing poles, so to say.
Many of the social programs really address the symptoms and not the illness.
It's like if you come to a shitty doctor and say doctor I have a fever, I feel like I'm dying, and he just gives you some fever reducers instead of figuring out WHY you have a fever.

The problem is you can diagnose the ailment and prescribe the medicine but if the person doesn't take it then it's worthless. Many would argue that there are plenty of fishing classes already available and poles that are available for loan...the problem still remains that the fish don't jump in the boat, you have to bait the hook and put the pole in the water and reel it in from time to time to see if the bait is still there. Frankly, that's a lot of work and it's likely that the thought of work is what induced that aforementioned fever for most of these people.

This all comes back to the ghetto mentality and behavior that is virtually applauded through out these low income communities. There is nothing the government can do short of printing pamphlets and preaching in class about how you should be ashamed to collect money that doesn't belong to you (which is the mentality I grew up with). The change has to come from within...which apparently isn't a priority given the lack of progress the low income black community has made in the last few decades.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

In reply to cphbravo96
3/27/11
cphbravo96:
Argonaut:

Yeah, I know people who gamed the system. One is a trust fund baby, I won't post details here.

Absolutely, change is needed. But a well-designed rehabilitation program is going to take time and money; the things are in their current state because it's easier to just hand out the fish, rather than organize fishing classes and loan fishing poles, so to say.
Many of the social programs really address the symptoms and not the illness.
It's like if you come to a shitty doctor and say doctor I have a fever, I feel like I'm dying, and he just gives you some fever reducers instead of figuring out WHY you have a fever.

The problem is you can diagnose the ailment and prescribe the medicine but if the person doesn't take it then it's worthless. Many would argue that there are plenty of fishing classes already available and poles that are available for loan...the problem still remains that the fish don't jump in the boat, you have to bait the hook and put the pole in the water and reel it in from time to time to see if the bait is still there. Frankly, that's a lot of work and it's likely that the thought of work is what induced that aforementioned fever for most of these people.

This all comes back to the ghetto mentality and behavior that is virtually applauded through out these low income communities. There is nothing the government can do short of printing pamphlets and preaching in class about how you should be ashamed to collect money that doesn't belong to you (which is the mentality I grew up with). The change has to come from within...which apparently isn't a priority given the lack of progress the low income black community has made in the last few decades.

Regards

True to an extent, but also keep in mind that in order to appreciate the value of hard work you need to see the actual value. When you are running like a hamster in a wheel with no end in sight, and then realize that you could have the same low standard of living without running, you just think: WTF is the point?

if you don't get rewarded for putting extra time and effort, you quickly lose the motivation.

it takes A LOT of willpower, energy, self-awareness, ingenuity, and just sheer egomania to restart and keep going after you run into a wall. Most people don't have that.

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/27/11
Argonaut:

it takes A LOT of willpower, energy, self-awareness, ingenuity, and just sheer egomania to restart and keep going after you run into a wall. Most people don't have that.

So, those who do have it should be forced to subsidize the lifestyle of those that don't?

In reply to econ
3/27/11
econ:
Argonaut:

it takes A LOT of willpower, energy, self-awareness, ingenuity, and just sheer egomania to restart and keep going after you run into a wall. Most people don't have that.

So, those who do have it should be forced to subsidize the lifestyle of those that don't?

Most of those that are in the position to subsidize don't have THAT either.
I can bet that you are successful and comfortable because you were born into good circumstances, not because you possess any special qualities. Have you advanced significantly past the level your parents are at?
Have you even reached their level yet?

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/27/11
Argonaut:
econ:
Argonaut:

it takes A LOT of willpower, energy, self-awareness, ingenuity, and just sheer egomania to restart and keep going after you run into a wall. Most people don't have that.

So, those who do have it should be forced to subsidize the lifestyle of those that don't?

Most of those that are in the position to subsidize don't have THAT either.
I can bet that you are successful and comfortable because you were born into good circumstances, not because you possess any special qualities. Have you advanced significantly past the level your parents are at?
Have you even reached their level yet?

Let's not make this personal and about me, as that's beside the point. But, I will guarantee you that I was far from born into a successful family.

In reply to Argonaut
3/27/11
Argonaut:

True to an extent, but also keep in mind that in order to appreciate the value of hard work you need to see the actual value. When you are running like a hamster in a wheel with no end in sight, and then realize that you could have the same low standard of living without running, you just think: WTF is the point?

if you don't get rewarded for putting extra time and effort, you quickly lose the motivation.

it takes A LOT of willpower, energy, self-awareness, ingenuity, and just sheer egomania to restart and keep going after you run into a wall. Most people don't have that.

I just have to disagree. What about all the immigrants that come here and hold 2 full time jobs that would be considered low class for most people (food prep, busing tables, cab drivers, janitors, etc.)?? To me the difference is if they sit in their home country and not work they will starve to death because they won't get a check every month and thus see a need, or are motivated, to get a job and work so they can eat or do better for their family, etc. When you have a group of people (black Americans) that are undeniably better off than another (1st gen immigrants) but the latter group is leaps and bounds more successful it hinders your above argument greatly.

I just don't think there is really anything the government can do other than throw good money after bad. The social programs that are available which are often taken advantage of just raise the bar of opportunity cost because, like you pointed out before, there just isn't much incentive in working at Walmart or McD's for $7 an hour, 40 hours a week when you net the same or just barely anymore than your welfare/SSI check for doing nothing.

I think we (WSO) often lose sight of reality. There are very few people that are motivated like the members of this community and even fewer that know anything worthwhile about the industry...so yeah, you can argue people in the ghetto don't know what IB or PE is and that certain would be a factor in why they aren't gunning for high finance, but there is so much in between suckling the welfare teet and being an MD at GS or a brain surgeon, etc. Of my closet friends from HS, none know what I do or have any clue about the industry and that is likely the case for the majority of the members here. I didn't learn about IB and PE until after my freshman year and even then I only knew it existed, not what it was all about. The people in the ghetto know that doctors exist along with fireman, cops, teachers, store managers, etc, etc, etc. The problem is the shared mentality keeps them from wanting to pursue the opportunities that would peg them as a sell out because they were successful...and I still maintain that the government can't do anything about that mentality, that has to be changed from within and will, admittedly, take time.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

3/28/11

250k is not enough to live in Manhattan and have a family. It is not only not rich, it is not even a viable reality. At 250k/year with 2 kids you live out on long island/NJ in a blue collar suburb, commute an hour each way, and do about the same as civil employees like cops and fireman who make less but get crazy benefits.

As for the question of taxes, I believe that all taxes are theft and I see no reason why anyone would support giving more money to our government which uses it to kill foreigners in needless wars and bribe various voting blocks to attempt to get elected again. Whether the top marginal rate is set at 40% or 35% and whether it is put at 250k or some other number seems like a fairly small issue when compared to the larger issues of how the stolen money is spent...

3/28/11

I agree - I find that it is more of the way that the tax money is spent that makes people upset rather than the fact that they are paying more with each increase. It's hard to justify paying 3% more if you know that that 3% will be going to be going to a non-revenue generating source (out at least incredibly inefficient at doing so).

'Funny' side story: the adult neighbor living behind my college house was bragging to me a few weeks ago how he will be getting a new regular check because he has recently convinced the government that he is has some sort off mental disorder (he does not). Needless to say he has a new pair of rims on the beater despite his being unemployed...obviously this is not representative of all those who benefit from the entitlement system, but it is an interesting firsthand experience that corroborates a lot of what I have heard regarding entitlement abuse.

In reply to cphbravo96
3/28/11
cphbravo96:

I just have to disagree. What about all the immigrants that come here and hold 2 full time jobs that would be considered low class for most people (food prep, busing tables, cab drivers, janitors, etc.)??

What percentage of their countrymen do they comprise? they are the rare few that have the energy and the drive to repeatedly keep running into the walls. They are also usually from countries that are "overseas". Because a lot goes into being able to make that trip, probably more than it takes to succeed in America.

For the immigrants from countries not as far removed, a trip is easier than success, and so we get an inflow more representative of the general population.

My point is that we get the cream of the crop, you can't compare it with the average population.

More is good, all is better

In reply to heister
3/28/11
heister:

Actually they can not contribute to a ROTH, they exceed the maxium allowable income levels.

True, but first off, a lot of employers are now offering Roth 401ks and second off, anyone can make an after-tax traditional IRA contribution and do a roth conversion on it.

In reply to Argonaut
3/28/11
Argonaut:
cphbravo96:

I just have to disagree. What about all the immigrants that come here and hold 2 full time jobs that would be considered low class for most people (food prep, busing tables, cab drivers, janitors, etc.)??

What percentage of their countrymen do they comprise? they are the rare few that have the energy and the drive to repeatedly keep running into the walls. They are also usually from countries that are "overseas". Because a lot goes into being able to make that trip, probably more than it takes to succeed in America.

For the immigrants from countries not as far removed, a trip is easier than success, and so we get an inflow more representative of the general population.

My point is that we get the cream of the crop, you can't compare it with the average population.

I just find it very hard to accept a statement like most of the immigrants that come here are the "cream of the crop". Just look at how many people have come to this country from Mexico to work as dishwashers or janitors or bus boys or harvester/pickers getting paid less than minimum wage because it's 'under the table'. This is the best Mexico has to offer? I think not. These people just have some sort of moral obligation to their family/kids to give them a better life than they had and to provide them more opportunities than they had when they were a kid so they make sacrifices and work shit jobs...this is nearly non-existent in America's ghetto communities...and feeding and clothing these folks doesn't provide the least bit of behavior modification.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

In reply to cphbravo96
3/28/11
cphbravo96:
Argonaut:
cphbravo96:

I just have to disagree. What about all the immigrants that come here and hold 2 full time jobs that would be considered low class for most people (food prep, busing tables, cab drivers, janitors, etc.)??

What percentage of their countrymen do they comprise? they are the rare few that have the energy and the drive to repeatedly keep running into the walls. They are also usually from countries that are "overseas". Because a lot goes into being able to make that trip, probably more than it takes to succeed in America.

For the immigrants from countries not as far removed, a trip is easier than success, and so we get an inflow more representative of the general population.

My point is that we get the cream of the crop, you can't compare it with the average population.

I just find it very hard to accept a statement like most of the immigrants that come here are the "cream of the crop". Just look at how many people have come to this country from Mexico to work as dishwashers or janitors or bus boys or harvester/pickers getting paid less than minimum wage because it's 'under the table'. This is the best Mexico has to offer? I think not. These people just have some sort of moral obligation to their family/kids to give them a better life than they had and to provide them more opportunities than they had when they were a kid so they make sacrifices and work shit jobs...this is nearly non-existent in America's ghetto communities...and feeding and clothing these folks doesn't provide the least bit of behavior modification.

Regards

Mexican/cuban/jamaican/etc immigrants would be the "immigrants from the countries not as far removed"

For the immigrants from countries not as far removed, a trip is easier than success, and so we get an inflow more representative of the general population.

the BRIC immigrants couldn't just cross the border to get here and are generally more educated and resilient; not really representative of their people at home.

More is good, all is better

In reply to Bondarb
3/28/11
Bondarb:

250k is not enough to live in Manhattan and have a family. It is not only not rich, it is not even a viable reality. At 250k/year with 2 kids you live out on long island/NJ in a blue collar suburb, commute an hour each way, and do about the same as civil employees like cops and fireman who make less but get crazy benefits.

As for the question of taxes, I believe that all taxes are theft and I see no reason why anyone would support giving more money to our government which uses it to kill foreigners in needless wars and bribe various voting blocks to attempt to get elected again. Whether the top marginal rate is set at 40% or 35% and whether it is put at 250k or some other number seems like a fairly small issue when compared to the larger issues of how the stolen money is spent...

Bravo

In reply to Argonaut
3/28/11
Argonaut:
cphbravo96:
Argonaut:
cphbravo96:

I just have to disagree. What about all the immigrants that come here and hold 2 full time jobs that would be considered low class for most people (food prep, busing tables, cab drivers, janitors, etc.)??

What percentage of their countrymen do they comprise? they are the rare few that have the energy and the drive to repeatedly keep running into the walls. They are also usually from countries that are "overseas". Because a lot goes into being able to make that trip, probably more than it takes to succeed in America.

For the immigrants from countries not as far removed, a trip is easier than success, and so we get an inflow more representative of the general population.

My point is that we get the cream of the crop, you can't compare it with the average population.

I just find it very hard to accept a statement like most of the immigrants that come here are the "cream of the crop". Just look at how many people have come to this country from Mexico to work as dishwashers or janitors or bus boys or harvester/pickers getting paid less than minimum wage because it's 'under the table'. This is the best Mexico has to offer? I think not. These people just have some sort of moral obligation to their family/kids to give them a better life than they had and to provide them more opportunities than they had when they were a kid so they make sacrifices and work shit jobs...this is nearly non-existent in America's ghetto communities...and feeding and clothing these folks doesn't provide the least bit of behavior modification.

Regards

Mexican/cuban/jamaican/etc immigrants would be the "immigrants from the countries not as far removed"

For the immigrants from countries not as far removed, a trip is easier than success, and so we get an inflow more representative of the general population.

the BRIC immigrants couldn't just cross the border to get here and are generally more educated and resilient; not really representative of their people at home.

Yes, I realize this...but successful immigrants don't only come from BRIC countries. The point is, many/most/nearly all blacks in the ghetto are being lazy and conforming...flat out...it isn't about not knowing there are better things or having such a huge hill to climb. If some random Mexican can cross the open desert and find a job in the back on a Chinese restaurant because he wants his future kids to go to college, etc. then I just can't rationalize some excuse about low income Americans not being able to do better.

I realize Mexico is pretty close to the US but it isn't quite as close as the ghettos we've been talking about.

Regards

**EDITED**

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

3/30/11

Not being racist, but welfare is just reparations for African Americans for slavery (AA make up 35% of welfare recipient). The U.S. hands out reparation checks to native Americans too if you didn't know. Native Americans are quite unmotivated since they are entitled to $2,000 a month.

My family is from Asia, I am Asian born American. My family didn't know anything except work when they came over here. Either you starve or work, simple as that. Education was thought of as work, if I did poorly, I didn't get my rice bowl. I believe hunger does make a person reflect more and motivated to accomplish more if given the opportunity.

I believe taxes should only be used as a safety net, not as welfare so people can live off of society. I have seen far too many families in the unpleasant part of town using their ETF cards to purchase massive quantity of food for their obese family. So many "low income" people work under the table and claim welfare that it is epidemic. I know this first hand from family friends.

The filthy rich are not taxed their share, since there so many tax holes for their accountants to dig. $250,000 is enough live off with a family in any city except NY and surrounding areas. If the family was smart, they should have a nest egg of at least $200,000 in fixed income and equities before they had kids.

You get wealthy by not fishing everyday, but by planting seeds for the future.

In reply to starwin
3/30/11
starwin:

Not being racist, but welfare is just reparations for African Americans for slavery (AA make up 35% of welfare recipient). The U.S. hands out reparation checks to native Americans too if you didn't know. Native Americans are quite unmotivated since they are entitled to $2,000 a month.

My family is from Asia, I am Asian born American. My family didn't know anything except work when they came over here. Either you starve or work, simple as that. Education was thought of as work, if I did poorly, I didn't get my rice bowl. I believe hunger does make a person reflect more and motivated to accomplish more if given the opportunity.

I believe taxes should only be used as a safety net, not as welfare so people can live off of society. I have seen far too many families in the unpleasant part of town using their ETF cards to purchase massive quantity of food for their obese family. So many "low income" people work under the table and claim welfare that it is epidemic. I know this first hand from family friends.

The filthy rich are not taxed their share, since there so many tax holes for their accountants to dig. $250,000 is enough live off with a family in any city except NY and surrounding areas. If the family was smart, they should have a nest egg of at least $200,000 in fixed income and equities before they had kids.

You get wealthy by not fishing everyday, but by planting seeds for the future.

umm black Americans and African Americans aren't one in the same... African Americans is a PC term...

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

3/30/11

I was raised to believe Black as more racial and inappropriate, as African American as politically correct term to use in colloquial language .

In reply to starwin
3/30/11
starwin:

I was raised to believe Black as more racial and inappropriate, as African American as politically correct term to use in colloquial language .

Well, welcome to WSO where we don't buy into political correctness and we don't intentionally mislead people. African Americans would be the people that came here (a.k.a. 1st generation) and were born/grew up in African. The group of people we've been referring to are black Americans, or blacks, in colloquial speak. As far as reparations are concerned, there haven't been slaves in the United States for about 5 generations...so I'm not sure why there is a need to pay out now...not to mention it has done nothing but destroy their will power to survive.

Regards

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so."
- Ronald Reagan

3/30/11

So I see you guys are against welfare for people who dont have jobs, but how about the welfare that bailed out all the banks through TARP, used the Federal balance sheet to finance levered credit trades for hedge funds through TALF, and put the whole country's savings at risk by doubling the size of the Fed's balance sheet through the various QE programs? Certainly you all must be equally appalled by these forms of welfare and government intervention to support incompetent white people as you seem to be by the type that often helos incompetent black people?

The irony of a board about wall st complaining about people on the dole is pretty glaring...our whole industry is on the dole in case you didnt realize it...

3/31/11

How about the government just tax the 1% who owns everything in America. The top 1% who owns more than the other 90% of the population in the United States.

In reply to starwin
3/31/11
starwin:

How about the government just tax the 1% who owns everything in America. The top 1% who owns more than the other 90% of the population in the United States.

Good joke.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

In reply to Bondarb
3/31/11
Bondarb:

So I see you guys are against welfare for people who dont have jobs, but how about the welfare that bailed out all the banks through TARP, used the Federal balance sheet to finance levered credit trades for hedge funds through TALF, and put the whole country's savings at risk by doubling the size of the Fed's balance sheet through the various QE programs? Certainly you all must be equally appalled by these forms of welfare and government intervention to support incompetent white people as you seem to be by the type that often helos incompetent black people?

The irony of a board about wall st complaining about people on the dole is pretty glaring...our whole industry is on the dole in case you didnt realize it...

Honestly, I was appalled by the bailouts. I do understand why some people think it saved the nation. I'm not convinced, but I still see their point.

In reply to Bondarb
3/31/11
Bondarb:

So I see you guys are against welfare for people who dont have jobs, but how about the welfare that bailed out all the banks through TARP, used the Federal balance sheet to finance levered credit trades for hedge funds through TALF, and put the whole country's savings at risk by doubling the size of the Fed's balance sheet through the various QE programs? Certainly you all must be equally appalled by these forms of welfare and government intervention to support incompetent white people as you seem to be by the type that often helos incompetent black people?

The irony of a board about wall st complaining about people on the dole is pretty glaring...our whole industry is on the dole in case you didnt realize it...

+1

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
3/31/11
Argonaut:
Bondarb:

So I see you guys are against welfare for people who dont have jobs, but how about the welfare that bailed out all the banks through TARP, used the Federal balance sheet to finance levered credit trades for hedge funds through TALF, and put the whole country's savings at risk by doubling the size of the Fed's balance sheet through the various QE programs? Certainly you all must be equally appalled by these forms of welfare and government intervention to support incompetent white people as you seem to be by the type that often helos incompetent black people?

The irony of a board about wall st complaining about people on the dole is pretty glaring...our whole industry is on the dole in case you didnt realize it...

+1

So Bondarb and Argonaut, why not abolish all welfare (for banks and for individuals)? I suspect what you guys want to do is keep one type of welfare and not the other. I suspect even supporters of TARP don't actually want to abolish welfare (although they probably want it changed). Even ANT doesn't want to abolish welfare. Nice strawman though.

In reply to econ
3/31/11
econ:
Argonaut:
Bondarb:

So I see you guys are against welfare for people who dont have jobs, but how about the welfare that bailed out all the banks through TARP, used the Federal balance sheet to finance levered credit trades for hedge funds through TALF, and put the whole country's savings at risk by doubling the size of the Fed's balance sheet through the various QE programs? Certainly you all must be equally appalled by these forms of welfare and government intervention to support incompetent white people as you seem to be by the type that often helos incompetent black people?

The irony of a board about wall st complaining about people on the dole is pretty glaring...our whole industry is on the dole in case you didnt realize it...

+1

So Bondarb and Argonaut, why not abolish all welfare (for banks and for individuals)? I suspect what you guys want to do is keep one type of welfare and not the other. I suspect even supporters of TARP don't actually want to abolish welfare (although they probably want it changed). Even ANT doesn't want to abolish welfare. Nice strawman though.

No I think both types of welfare are horrible for society and should be eliminated. I am more offended by the corporate-type because all the people at banks still seem to think they are superior to everyone else (evidence in this post) even though they proved that their only expertise is in lobbying the government. But yes, I think all types of government welfare should be scaled back as much as possible or eliminated entirely.

In reply to Bondarb
3/31/11
Bondarb:
econ:

So Bondarb and Argonaut, why not abolish all welfare (for banks and for individuals)? I suspect what you guys want to do is keep one type of welfare and not the other. I suspect even supporters of TARP don't actually want to abolish welfare (although they probably want it changed). Even ANT doesn't want to abolish welfare. Nice strawman though.

No I think both types of welfare are horrible for society and should be eliminated. I am more offended by the corporate-type because all the people at banks still seem to think they are superior to everyone else (evidence in this post) even though they proved that their only expertise is in lobbying the government. But yes, I think all types of government welfare should be scaled back as much as possible or eliminated entirely.

Thanks, man. Nice post.

4/1/11

I don't see why you are getting so upset about TARP Bondarb.

The government earned an extremely healthy profit on TARP for banks...I wouldn't call it welfare for banks at all. The government got to purchase equity at crisis level lows and then benefit from the rise in price as their backing of the financial sector came into play for investors.

4/1/11

Just wanted to chime in here.....

A few years back I analyzed my tax bill, withholdings and other shit. I made exactly $251k that year. My combined tax bill for Federal, NYS, NYC, SS, etc was $94 fucking thousand dollars. My accountant called me and said I was receiving $8k back. I said I was expecting much more than that b/c my commission statements are at a 50% witholding. He answered with, "Well, you would have received $18k back, but the AMT kicked in and you had to pay $10k." So my tax bill was $104k on a $251k income.

So now I ask you, putting all the bullshit aside, even though I'm in that "top earner" potential is it fair that I have 41 cents of every dollar taken away from me when 43% of all families in the US pay ZERO taxes? I live in NYC so for those of you reading this thinking of how much of a pompous asshole I am, please take into account that my living expense are more than double yours. Yes, I CHOSE to live here, but it doesn't mean i should get raped until my ass bleeds. And for those of you that do not know, residents of NYC pay an extra layer of taxes - the NYC local tax which is about 2.5% or so. It's an extra layer of taxation that only we are subject to receive.

There should be a standard of living quotient factored into one's taxes. Not sure how to go about it, but it makes sense to me.

That's my rant for this Friday. I'm not against taxes, I'm against extortion.

In reply to econ
4/1/11
econ:
Argonaut:
Bondarb:

So I see you guys are against welfare for people who dont have jobs, but how about the welfare that bailed out all the banks through TARP, used the Federal balance sheet to finance levered credit trades for hedge funds through TALF, and put the whole country's savings at risk by doubling the size of the Fed's balance sheet through the various QE programs? Certainly you all must be equally appalled by these forms of welfare and government intervention to support incompetent white people as you seem to be by the type that often helos incompetent black people?

The irony of a board about wall st complaining about people on the dole is pretty glaring...our whole industry is on the dole in case you didnt realize it...

+1

So Bondarb and Argonaut, why not abolish all welfare (for banks and for individuals)? I suspect what you guys want to do is keep one type of welfare and not the other. I suspect even supporters of TARP don't actually want to abolish welfare (although they probably want it changed). Even ANT doesn't want to abolish welfare. Nice strawman though.

Your suspicion is unfounded. I view both welfares as sort of a necessary evil. (does not mean I like them)

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
4/1/11
Argonaut:
econ:
Argonaut:
Bondarb:

So I see you guys are against welfare for people who dont have jobs, but how about the welfare that bailed out all the banks through TARP, used the Federal balance sheet to finance levered credit trades for hedge funds through TALF, and put the whole country's savings at risk by doubling the size of the Fed's balance sheet through the various QE programs? Certainly you all must be equally appalled by these forms of welfare and government intervention to support incompetent white people as you seem to be by the type that often helos incompetent black people?

The irony of a board about wall st complaining about people on the dole is pretty glaring...our whole industry is on the dole in case you didnt realize it...

+1

So Bondarb and Argonaut, why not abolish all welfare (for banks and for individuals)? I suspect what you guys want to do is keep one type of welfare and not the other. I suspect even supporters of TARP don't actually want to abolish welfare (although they probably want it changed). Even ANT doesn't want to abolish welfare. Nice strawman though.

Your suspicion is unfounded. I view both welfares as sort of a necessary evil. (does not mean I like them)

Again, TARP wasn't welfare at all. It was a profitable investment.

4/1/11

It *turned out* to be a profitable investment, but it definitely wasn't a sure thing at the time.

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
4/9/11
Argonaut:

Your suspicion is unfounded. I view both welfares as sort of a necessary evil. (does not mean I like them)

Fair enough. I totally respect that.

In reply to tyrets
4/9/11
tyrets:

Just wanted to chime in here.....

A few years back I analyzed my tax bill, withholdings and other shit. I made exactly $251k that year. My combined tax bill for Federal, NYS, NYC, SS, etc was $94 fucking thousand dollars. My accountant called me and said I was receiving $8k back. I said I was expecting much more than that b/c my commission statements are at a 50% witholding. He answered with, "Well, you would have received $18k back, but the AMT kicked in and you had to pay $10k." So my tax bill was $104k on a $251k income.

So now I ask you, putting all the bullshit aside, even though I'm in that "top earner" potential is it fair that I have 41 cents of every dollar taken away from me when 43% of all families in the US pay ZERO taxes? I live in NYC so for those of you reading this thinking of how much of a pompous asshole I am, please take into account that my living expense are more than double yours. Yes, I CHOSE to live here, but it doesn't mean i should get raped until my ass bleeds. And for those of you that do not know, residents of NYC pay an extra layer of taxes - the NYC local tax which is about 2.5% or so. It's an extra layer of taxation that only we are subject to receive.

There should be a standard of living quotient factored into one's taxes. Not sure how to go about it, but it makes sense to me.

That's my rant for this Friday. I'm not against taxes, I'm against extortion.

Thanks for this. People really need to realize how ridiculously many people get raped when it comes to taxes. I seriously don't think anyone deserves to have 41% of their income confiscated, and I only wish more people agreed...

In reply to absinthe
4/11/11
4/12/11

In that same vein regular welfare is a profitable investment as well.
Some "holdings" don't work out very well, but others do. They end up reentering the work force and producing the tax revenue that on top of funding the welfare funds a lot of other shit as well. For example an opportunity to invest into a profitable bank bail out

More is good, all is better

In reply to Argonaut
4/13/11

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4/13/11

More is good, all is better

4/13/11
4/14/11
4/18/11

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
6/14/11

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

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