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8/15/11

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-cod...

Apparently Warren thinks the government will spend his money better than he can. He keeps mentioning this shared sacrifice thing, but I fail to see any sharing since over half this country shoulders no burden.

The government does not have a right to your earnings. We, the people, give it the funds to function. The government doesn't kindly let us keep our money, it should grovel and prostrate itself in homage to the tax payer.

I am glad I didn't read this bullshit before I met him. Made me lose all respect I have for the man.

Comments (150)

Best Response
8/17/11

People who bitch about capital gains fail to realize that that money is earned before it is taxed. For example, someone gets an income, and then reinvests it in companies gets a capital gain. Sure, some people get capital gains without it first being taxed as income (founders of companies, fund managers, etc.), but it's still good to point out that it's sometimes a double tax (often a triple tax, you earn income, invest it in a company, the company pays taxes, and then when you sell it or get dividends, you pay taxes on that too).

Honestly, the only services I like from my government are what the city and state provide me. Let's see what the Federal government provides me. It's basically Medicare, Medicaid, SS, defense, and a bunch of other minor discretionary programs, most of which are totally useless. So let me see, a bunch of transfer payments to the poor, and a bloated defense system that also sucks in way more than it should. Like newsflash guys, we have nukes; no one's EVER going to invade us. We should just beef up homeland security by bringing all the troops home. Medicare is a total waste, as is Medicaid. Why do I have to be someone's nanny? So they can buy an ipad instead of saving for healthcare? I'm all for a safety net, but we should have a policy of never borrowing to provide a safety net. That makes no sense because the ROI is negative. Same for social security. You want a retirement? Then save your own motherfucking money, you don't need the government to do that for you. The Federal government is the plague, not the city and state governments. America used to be great when the Federal government was tiny and generally inconsequential. There once was a time that basically the only service the Federal government provided was defense. That was literally it. Not surprisingly, that's when America became the global superpower. As the New Deal and the Great Society became implemented and were never modified for changing demographics, not to mention the implementation of income taxes, a new interpretation for the Commerce Clause, etc., the Federal government has become so bloated that it's destroying this country.

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8/15/11

That pinko commie bastard.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

8/15/11

The one big secret about Warren Buffet is the fact that ever since he started "investing" he has hitched his wagon to the government. Just look at most of the business's he owns in his portfolio, a lot of them have some sort of subsidy or mandate from the government.

Ahem Geico..... forced car insurance mandates from the government.

Think about it.

The one who does not fall, does not stand up

In reply to Flake
8/15/11

Seriously, since when do the super wealthy have to pay taxes? That's sooooo middle class. For fuck's sake, the problem is too much spending, not lack of funds!

Get busy living

8/15/11

Warren has done little more than talk his own book for two decades.

And I always find it comical when he mentions that "the rich" should pay higher taxes. We would never put someone making 41k in the same tax bracket as someone making 410k. But we seem to have no problem putting the 410k guy in the same bracket with the 410MM guy. Create 2 more higher brackets so Warren can feel better about himself.

8/15/11

For how much I love the guy, I really hate his politics

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

8/15/11

A new capital gains tax rate for Buffet should be created.

In reply to ProvincialPeasant
8/15/11
ProvincialPeasant:

A new capital gains tax rate for Buffet should be created.

Someone might be able to make that a successful campaign platform.

8/15/11

I'm pretty sure he was one of the biggest beneficiaries of TARP. Don't quote me on that though.

8/15/11

I can never tire of saying this: socialism is the GREATEST WEALTH HEDGE known to man.

For those worth a ton of money, giving it away and encouraging a centralization of fiscal policy is the absolute top method of excluding the young, ambitious and capable of overtaking them at society's peak. This is precisely why, so many of very wealthy lean so far to the left whether we are talking about the ultra-old money attitude of FDR, or the jolly old wealth spreads of Soros and Buffet they all have a common goal.

The continuation of the war on ideas and abilities, vis-a-vis the class warfare apparatus.

For those who have 45 minutes this may be the best and simplest explanation of who they are and why they so easily and readily find allies among the stupid and petty.

8/15/11

"Last year my federal tax bill -- the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf -- was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income -- and that's actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent."

I think that's the point Buffett was trying to make. It's not that taxes should just be higher because the government can do it better than he can, it's that the rich shouldn't be paying such a lower effective rate relative to the other 98% of society. I agree with him on that.

8/15/11

GEICO

Government Employees Insurance Company..

In reply to ....
8/15/11
redninja:

"Last year my federal tax bill -- the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf -- was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income -- and that's actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent."

I think that's the point Buffett was trying to make. It's not that taxes should just be higher because the government can do it better than he can, it's that the rich shouldn't be paying such a lower effective rate relative to the other 98% of society. I agree with him on that.

Agree. There are too many conservatives that scream SOCIALIST, COMMUNIST, AHHHHH!!!! whenever taxes come up. Why SHOULD a guy who makes $10MM a year pay at the 18% bracket and I pay at 33%?

Until I see someone stand up for the rest of us getting out taxes lowered, I see no reason to side with the big guy at the top of the heap. Taxing him more will not stop me from moving up in the world. ANT, you don't make $1MM+ a year and likely won't anytime soon, why do you think this is so unfair.....the difference falls on your shoulders and mine.

Get busy living

8/15/11

We need total tax reform. Lower tax rates, a couple more brackets for upper income earners and close all loopholes.

People like Buffet make me sick when they say this. That fuck can pay more taxes if he wants or he can contribute more to the governement debt if he wants. Talk is Cheap Warren...

In reply to txjustin
8/15/11
txjustin:

We need total tax reform. Lower tax rates, a couple more brackets for upper income earners and close all loopholes.

People like Buffet make me sick when they say this. That fuck can pay more taxes if he wants or he can contribute more to the governement debt if he wants. Talk is Cheap Warren...

Hah! "Buffet cuts huge ass check to gov't" .....yeah right.

Get busy living

In reply to UFOinsider
8/15/11
txjustin:

We need total tax reform. Lower tax rates, a couple more brackets for upper income earners and close all loopholes.

People like Buffet make me sick when they say this. That fuck can pay more taxes if he wants or he can contribute more to the governement debt if he wants. Talk is Cheap Warren...

That's a bullshit argument, and you know it. By that logic, why don't we just do away with all mandatory taxes, and shut down all government that people don't want to pay for. No more police, no more fire-fighters, no more judges, no more hospitals, no more research grants, no more public education of any kind, no more prisons, no more immigration to protect our borders, no more FBI, no more federal reserve, no more CIA, no more nukes, no more FDIC to protect us from bank runs, no more USDA to certify your food isn't poisonous, no more army, navy, marines or air-force to protect us from other countries - and that's just off the top of my head.

It's easy to forget sometimes, but the government is NECESSARY. And it only works if EVERYONE pays for it in an EQUITABLE way. Our society cannot function with a volunteer government that gets paid with charity money. What Buffett has a problem with is that the mega-rich only pay 15% in taxes, while the middle class pays closer to 40%. That's not fair and we collectively suffer as a result.

By the way, Buffet DOES pay more taxes to society - he's donated more money to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation than anyone who reads this will make in their lifetimes. So STFU.

8/15/11

Buffet pays 15% in taxes because he takes advantage of the various incentives built into the tax code. I wouldn't be surprised if his massive charitable donations lower his taxes. Regardless, his tax rate is his business. The USA should not raise rates because one guy manages to only pay 17%.

To the poster above, you seem to be confused. Local property taxes pay for free public schools. Police, fire, etc are all paid through state and local taxes. Thruways are paid for by tolls. 911 is paid for by cell phone taxes. Prisons are state finance issues. Research grants are largely private and really don't need government funding to skew things.

Think about it like this. Imagine if people kept more of their hard earned money. They would spend more, invest more, have the money to pay for better food, better schools, etc. They would make economic decisions which would benefit them the most, provide the most utility. Increased taxes only means increased government and increased waste. Once that dollar you give to the government goes through all the agencies and federal workers, it comes out a fraction of what went in.

1) The money you earn is fundamentally yours. No one else.

2) Government exists to do things the individual cannot (ie. national defense, police, etc).

3) The government has taken on a role of quasi parent. It adds layers of costs to businesses and individuals.

I think we should cut spending. I think 1/3rd of a mans wages is enough. How anyone could advocate the government taking 50% of what someone earns is beyond me. The government has no right to that money. It wastes so much money as it is. We are not broke, we just poorly manage what has been given to us.

This BS about low tax rates always kills me. Suppose you are a millionaire in NYC. You not only pay the top tax bracket on the Federal level, but you get dinged in the state and city. On top of that you pay sales tax, tolls, cell phone tax, liquor tax, fees and fines, etc. You get bled dry by a million little cuts that are not called taxes, but are effectively the same thing.

If Buffet wants to cut the government a check, he is free to do so. He has no right to speak for other free Americans. Frankly, I find it sickening that he would even advocate this. Especially from Buffet, who donates money directly to the cause. Taking money that he would otherwise donate, to fund this bloated and disgusting entity we call an ever growing government is shameful.

In reply to TNA
8/15/11
ANT:

Buffet pays 15% in taxes because he takes advantage of the various incentives built into the tax code. I wouldn't be surprised if his massive charitable donations lower his taxes. Regardless, his tax rate is his business. The USA should not raise rates because one guy manages to only pay 17%.

The incentive you're referencing is the capital gains tax being at 15%.

People who make their income through manufacturing or services pay a regular tax rate as follows:
up to 25% on income up to $83k
28% on income up to $175k
33% on income up to $380k
35% on income above that.

My understanding is that those who make money through capital gains pay 15% no matter what their income level is. This would make sense if capital gains had some overwhelming positive social impact that couldn't be internalized, but it doesn't. The injustice is compounded by people like Buffett making billions of dollars anualy through capital gains. The amount of money they make isn't unfair (in my opinion), but that tax rate is.

ANT:

Think about it like this. Imagine if people kept more of their hard earned money. They would spend more, invest more, have the money to pay for better food, better schools, etc. They would make economic decisions which would benefit them the most, provide the most utility. Increased taxes only means increased government and increased waste. Once that dollar you give to the government goes through all the agencies and federal workers, it comes out a fraction of what went in.

This makes perfect sense in theory, but tax cuts have shown to have almost no multiplicative effect.

Was our economy really that much better off under Reagan than it was under JFK, when taxes were much higher?

Was our economy really better off under Bush II than it was under Reagan, when taxes were much higher?

Get ready for the coup de grace!

Is our economy really better off under Obama than it was under Bush 2? Obama is essentially presiding under the lowest tax rates for all tax brackets since FDR. Corporations pay almost nothing in taxes. Hedge fund managers pay almost nothing in taxes. It doesn't seem to be doing much for the economy.

ANT:

To the poster above, you seem to be confused. Local property taxes pay for free public schools. Police, fire, etc are all paid through state and local taxes. Thruways are paid for by tolls. 911 is paid for by cell phone taxes. Prisons are state finance issues. Research grants are largely private and really don't need government funding to skew things.

Would be nice if you mentioned me by name =) But no, I'm not that confused, I wasn't talking about federal taxes, I was talking about mandatory taxes in general. The attitude people have when they say "Buffett should just write the government a check" is that taxes shouldn't be mandatory for people who don't want to pay them. What if I don't feel like paying property tax? If you want to pay property tax so our neighborhood can have a good school, go ahead and cut the local government a check. I'll send my kids to that school for free. I'll also use the police and firefighters for free. I don't want to pay my federal income tax. Do you like having a military? Go ahead and write Obama a check then. I'll just go ahead and get protected by that military for free.

Can you see why this doesn't make sense? I'm only really making two points
1) Some taxes and government are necessary.
2) Taxes and government only work if everyone pays into them equitably.

8/15/11

This is the same guy who spoke out against derivatives when his firm has $63 billion of them on the books, right?

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
8/15/11

We all pay taxes. If Buffet feels compelled to pay additional taxes, he is free to do so. I am not saying taxes should be voluntary, but the argument to raise them because I think I don't pay enough is BS.

How do you get investment income? You earn it at some point. What does investment income do? It provides capital so companies and entrepreneurs can grow and expand their business. It provides a social benefit, that is why it is taxed lower.

Capital gains, in most cases, is also double taxes. Companies pay 30-40% and then the investor pays 15%. This is why dividends are usually the worst use of excess cash. The company should buy back shares, invest in positive IRR ventures, etc.

Yes, governments need taxes. I think paying 1/3rd of your income to the government is plenty. God only asks for 10% tithe.

Equitable? Well you're not talking about the USA. Equitable would mean everyone paying into the system we benefit from. Right now half, if not more, pay nothing. The middle, upper middle and rich shoulder all the burden.

I am a simple man. I believe the USA provides opportunity and freedom. Sometimes life is hard, sometimes easy, but if you consistently fight and work hard you will do fine. If you slip and fall, we are there with plenty of safety nets to catch you.

Unfortunately, for some people, that is not enough. They look at others who have more than they do and they hate them. They don't think someone who worked should have what they don't. They blame life, unfair, circumstance, everything but themselves. They want the government to punish the rich to make them feel better.

Increasing taxes on the rich will not close the budget gap, make the poor smarter or healthier, anything measurable. It will simply make them feel better that they are sticking it to the "man". This type of base pleasure is something that should not be encouraged or fed.

1/3rd of a mans wages is enough. If you cannot make due with that you need to become more efficient or cut spending. Sorry, but I do not believe that the government is entitled to half what someone makes.

In reply to ....
8/16/11
redninja:
txjustin:

We need total tax reform. Lower tax rates, a couple more brackets for upper income earners and close all loopholes.

People like Buffet make me sick when they say this. That fuck can pay more taxes if he wants or he can contribute more to the governement debt if he wants. Talk is Cheap Warren...

That's a bullshit argument, and you know it. By that logic, why don't we just do away with all mandatory taxes, and shut down all government that people don't want to pay for. No more police, no more fire-fighters, no more judges, no more hospitals, no more research grants, no more public education of any kind, no more prisons, no more immigration to protect our borders, no more FBI, no more federal reserve, no more CIA, no more nukes, no more FDIC to protect us from bank runs, no more USDA to certify your food isn't poisonous, no more army, navy, marines or air-force to protect us from other countries - and that's just off the top of my head.

It's easy to forget sometimes, but the government is NECESSARY. And it only works if EVERYONE pays for it in an EQUITABLE way. Our society cannot function with a volunteer government that gets paid with charity money. What Buffett has a problem with is that the mega-rich only pay 15% in taxes, while the middle class pays closer to 40%. That's not fair and we collectively suffer as a result.

By the way, Buffet DOES pay more taxes to society - he's donated more money to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation than anyone who reads this will make in their lifetimes. So STFU.

No it's not a bullshit argument. It's the typical Democrat argument. By the way, that argument is do as I say, not as I do. That's the Democrat creed. I never said anything about a bunch of shit in you reply so don't put words in my mouth. I'm not going to argue everything you stated, it would take forever.

The 15% you are referring to is capital gains. Do you blame him for legally taking advantage of it? I thought not.

Before you speak to me again, know that I'm a Libertarian and believe in limited government.

I know he contributes a lot to charity, that's one of my points against raising taxes. You raise taxes on the rich and they will donate less. Seems like common sense to me.

Last thing, I am in absolute agreeance with total tax reform, adjusting/adding tax brackets and closing of loopholes.

Oh ya, you STFU.

In reply to txjustin
8/16/11
ANT:

Equitable? Well you're not talking about the USA. Equitable would mean everyone paying into the system we benefit from. Right now half, if not more, pay nothing. The middle, upper middle and rich shoulder all the burden.

...

1/3rd of a mans wages is enough. If you cannot make due with that you need to become more efficient or cut spending. Sorry, but I do not believe that the government is entitled to half what someone makes.

Who ever said that half the US population paying taxes is a good thing? The fact that the poor and lower middle class don't pay taxes is as much a disaster as the extremely low effective tax rate that the rich pay. I love how conservatives and libertarians are always the champions the cutting taxes for the super-rich, and point to the poor paying "nothing" as their justification. What kind of justification is that? That's just eye-for-an-eye logic, and now both ends of the spectrum are causing the decay of american infrastructure with the middle class is left bearing the burden by itself.

That's not to say that there should be a flat tax. The current tax rates for different incomes make sense, largely because those with lower incomes pay a large percentage of their incomes to the secret taxes you mentioned earlier. When someone who makes $10k a year and someone who makes $10m a year both pay a $1 sales tax on a movie ticket, the person making $1 is disproportionately affected. This is offset by a lower income tax rate, but that effective rate shouldn't be 0% for the poor, or 15% for the super-wealthy. The EFFECTIVE tax rate should be roughly 30%-40% for everyone, and honestly ANT, I think you agree with me there.

txjustin:

No it's not a bullshit argument. It's the typical Democrat argument. By the way, that argument is do as I say, not as I do. That's the Democrat creed. I never said anything about a bunch of shit in you reply so don't put words in my mouth. I'm not going to argue everything you stated, it would take forever.

The 15% you are referring to is capital gains. Do you blame him for legally taking advantage of it? I thought not.

Before you speak to me again, know that I'm a Libertarian and believe in limited government.

I know he contributes a lot to charity, that's one of my points against raising taxes. You raise taxes on the rich and they will donate less. Seems like common sense to me.

Last thing, I am in absolute agreeance with total tax reform, adjusting/adding tax brackets and closing of loopholes.

Oh ya, you STFU.

I apologize, I was being an asshole and you didn't deserve that. I just find the whole "he should just send the government a check" argument to be off-putting. Here's something else I believe: If something is legal, we can't blame people for doing it. If there is a loophole that lets people pay lower taxes by cheating, I don't believe you should blame people for using it. Similarly, if corporations can essentially by our government by financing political campaigns, then we shouldn't be blaming them for destroying our political system. They have a fiduciary duty to maximise their profit, and Buffett (like all people) has a personal responsibility to maximise his cash flow.

What should be done, however, is fixing the system so people can't take advantage of it. Those loopholes the rich use should all be closed. Campaign finance reform is pretty important as well. As long as these loopholes exist, Buffet is doing our society a service by advocating against them. If all his multi-billionaire friends are paying 15% effective tax by using loopholes, then he's entitled to do that as well, but unlike most other billionaires, at least he's arguing that those loopholes should be closed so he and his ilk should pay a fair share. Just because Buffett uses the loopholes doesn't make his argument that the loopholes should be closed wrong.

Anyway, I'm curious about your opinion on the whole lower taxes > better economy argument that libertarians love (sorry, this is from an earlier post):
- Was our economy really that much better off under Reagan than it was under JFK, when taxes were much higher?
- Was our economy really better off under Bush II than it was under Reagan, when taxes were much higher?
- Is our economy really better off under Obama than it was under Bush 2?

Whether you like it or not, since FDR we have seen a gradual decline in taxes. Here's a graph of top marginal tax rate: http://www.jaysrants.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/0...

Tax rate used to be 90%. That'd criminal. Under Nixon, it was 70% That's criminal. Under Reagan, it was 50%. That's actually pretty legit. My opinion is that when you start bringing it down to 30% official, 15% effective, then we can't fund important things like education or infrastructure and everyone suffers. As a libertarian, how low would you like to see these tax rates go?

8/16/11

30-40% for everyone? Please let me know where you got that crack you are smoking,

Always amazes me how people can just happily say that 40% of what you work for should be taken by the government. How about everyone pay 20% and the government becomes more efficient and smaller?

Sorry, but no way on earth someone else should be entitled to 40% of what I earn. No fucking way.

8/16/11

50% is criminal to the highest degree.

I'm sorry, at 50% I either work for cash or stay home. No way in hell I am going to kill myself so someone else can be taken care of.

Man oh man, this country is going to hell.

In reply to TNA
8/16/11
ANT:

Yes, governments need taxes. I think paying 1/3rd of your income to the government is plenty. God only asks for 10% tithe.

...

1/3rd of a mans wages is enough. If you cannot make due with that you need to become more efficient or cut spending. Sorry, but I do not believe that the government is entitled to half what someone makes.

ANT:

30-40% for everyone? Please let me know where you got that crack you are smoking.

... are you serious? You do know that 1/3 = 33%, and 33% is between 30% and 40% ... right? I was pretty sure we agreed on this...

Also, you act like the government takes this money and burns it. It uses it to do stuff that benefits you IMMENSELY, but you wouldn't pay for otherwise because of free-rider principles.

Imagine if we didn't have government-run police enforcement or jails. If you wanted someone jailed, you would have to personally purchase a police officer to arrest them, rent a jail-cell to house them, purchase a prosecutor and a judge and rent out a courtroom to try them in, and then continue to pay rent for the cell they occupy until their sentence is served. Nobody would do that, and there would be madness. When the government takes x% of money from everyone's paycheck and uses it to pay for stuff like police officers, judges, courthouses and jails, you're getting your money's worth.

Does the government waste some money? Absolutely, but it doesn't waste 50 cents of every dollar you give it. That's why it's been so hard to cut federal spending. Here's a breakdown of discretionary spending for 2011 under the plan just passed: http://davidw57.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/discre...

What parts would you like to cut out?

8/16/11

Warren can say whatever he wants about taxes but fact of the matter is his investing success came from the fear of paying them.

Agree with Midas as well, that's why Soros and the rest of these limousine liberals are so hot on ramping up taxes, most of us here dream of taking them down but how can we if we have to give most of it to the government?

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

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8/16/11

Sort of reminds me of something a friend said regarding the taxman song by the Beatles. He guaranteed me that before they were rich, they probably wanted the rich to be taxed more.

In reply to ....
8/16/11
redninja:
ANT:

Equitable? Well you're not talking about the USA. Equitable would mean everyone paying into the system we benefit from. Right now half, if not more, pay nothing. The middle, upper middle and rich shoulder all the burden.

...

1/3rd of a mans wages is enough. If you cannot make due with that you need to become more efficient or cut spending. Sorry, but I do not believe that the government is entitled to half what someone makes.

Who ever said that half the US population paying taxes is a good thing? The fact that the poor and lower middle class don't pay taxes is as much a disaster as the extremely low effective tax rate that the rich pay. I love how conservatives and libertarians are always the champions the cutting taxes for the super-rich, and point to the poor paying "nothing" as their justification. What kind of justification is that? That's just eye-for-an-eye logic, and now both ends of the spectrum are causing the decay of american infrastructure with the middle class is left bearing the burden by itself.

That's not to say that there should be a flat tax. The current tax rates for different incomes make sense, largely because those with lower incomes pay a large percentage of their incomes to the secret taxes you mentioned earlier. When someone who makes $10k a year and someone who makes $10m a year both pay a $1 sales tax on a movie ticket, the person making $1 is disproportionately affected. This is offset by a lower income tax rate, but that effective rate shouldn't be 0% for the poor, or 15% for the super-wealthy. The EFFECTIVE tax rate should be roughly 30%-40% for everyone, and honestly ANT, I think you agree with me there.

txjustin:

No it's not a bullshit argument. It's the typical Democrat argument. By the way, that argument is do as I say, not as I do. That's the Democrat creed. I never said anything about a bunch of shit in you reply so don't put words in my mouth. I'm not going to argue everything you stated, it would take forever.

The 15% you are referring to is capital gains. Do you blame him for legally taking advantage of it? I thought not.

Before you speak to me again, know that I'm a Libertarian and believe in limited government.

I know he contributes a lot to charity, that's one of my points against raising taxes. You raise taxes on the rich and they will donate less. Seems like common sense to me.

Last thing, I am in absolute agreeance with total tax reform, adjusting/adding tax brackets and closing of loopholes.

Oh ya, you STFU.

I apologize, I was being an asshole and you didn't deserve that. I just find the whole "he should just send the government a check" argument to be off-putting. Here's something else I believe: If something is legal, we can't blame people for doing it. If there is a loophole that lets people pay lower taxes by cheating, I don't believe you should blame people for using it. Similarly, if corporations can essentially by our government by financing political campaigns, then we shouldn't be blaming them for destroying our political system. They have a fiduciary duty to maximise their profit, and Buffett (like all people) has a personal responsibility to maximise his cash flow.

What should be done, however, is fixing the system so people can't take advantage of it. Those loopholes the rich use should all be closed. Campaign finance reform is pretty important as well. As long as these loopholes exist, Buffet is doing our society a service by advocating against them. If all his multi-billionaire friends are paying 15% effective tax by using loopholes, then he's entitled to do that as well, but unlike most other billionaires, at least he's arguing that those loopholes should be closed so he and his ilk should pay a fair share. Just because Buffett uses the loopholes doesn't make his argument that the loopholes should be closed wrong.

Anyway, I'm curious about your opinion on the whole lower taxes > better economy argument that libertarians love (sorry, this is from an earlier post):
- Was our economy really that much better off under Reagan than it was under JFK, when taxes were much higher?
- Was our economy really better off under Bush II than it was under Reagan, when taxes were much higher?
- Is our economy really better off under Obama than it was under Bush 2?

Whether you like it or not, since FDR we have seen a gradual decline in taxes. Here's a graph of top marginal tax rate: http://www.jaysrants.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/0...

Tax rate used to be 90%. That'd criminal. Under Nixon, it was 70% That's criminal. Under Reagan, it was 50%. That's actually pretty legit. My opinion is that when you start bringing it down to 30% official, 15% effective, then we can't fund important things like education or infrastructure and everyone suffers. As a libertarian, how low would you like to see these tax rates go?

To me it is not as important about how low the tax rates can go, rather how those taxes collected are spent. The government is as wasteful as they come. I shouldn't have to give examples of that. In case i do, USPS, SS, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.

I am a big proponent in a fair/flat tax hybrid system. I know this won't come to fruition anytime soon, but one can wish...

In reply to ....
8/16/11
redninja:
ANT:

Yes, governments need taxes. I think paying 1/3rd of your income to the government is plenty. God only asks for 10% tithe.

...

1/3rd of a mans wages is enough. If you cannot make due with that you need to become more efficient or cut spending. Sorry, but I do not believe that the government is entitled to half what someone makes.

ANT:

30-40% for everyone? Please let me know where you got that crack you are smoking.

... are you serious? You do know that 1/3 = 33%, and 33% is between 30% and 40% ... right? I was pretty sure we agreed on this...

Also, you act like the government takes this money and burns it. It uses it to do stuff that benefits you IMMENSELY, but you wouldn't pay for otherwise because of free-rider principles.

Imagine if we didn't have government-run police enforcement or jails. If you wanted someone jailed, you would have to personally purchase a police officer to arrest them, rent a jail-cell to house them, purchase a prosecutor and a judge and rent out a courtroom to try them in, and then continue to pay rent for the cell they occupy until their sentence is served. Nobody would do that, and there would be madness. When the government takes x% of money from everyone's paycheck and uses it to pay for stuff like police officers, judges, courthouses and jails, you're getting your money's worth.

Does the government waste some money? Absolutely, but it doesn't waste 50 cents of every dollar you give it. That's why it's been so hard to cut federal spending. Here's a breakdown of discretionary spending for 2011 under the plan just passed: http://davidw57.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/discre...

What parts would you like to cut out?

I don't think anyone is arguing over police officers, judges, jails, etc. I will say this, government needs to get out of education. They have done nothing but drag it down since the day they got in the education business.

I say everything takes a 5-10% haircut with defense taking a 10-15% haircut and ending all wars by year end and getting our military home by next summer.

8/17/11

How many of you guys are "super-rich" enough to be complaining about Buffet's proposal? I bet all of you guys don't even gross 300K a year lol.

8/17/11

That's not the point jetset. Your reply is what's wrong with America today. The typical lets cut cut cut, but not my SS or medicaid or medicare or anything that has to do with me. Let's fuck the other guy...

8/17/11

That's because we PAID for medicare and social security. It's like if you put $1000 in your bank account every year for 10 years, and then when you go to the bank on the 10th year to get your money out, they tell you they already spent it. Wouldn't you demand to get your money back? Or is that socialism too?

That's basically what happened. We used the Social Security Surplus to pay for the wars, then when people came to ask for the money they've been paying into the social security fund for the last 50 years, you tell them that they're what's wrong with America. There's a reason it's called an "entitlement." You're "entitled" to it because you PAID for it.

8/17/11

Are you fucking retarded? Aspergers?

I never said not give people their money back. I never even gave any options on that front.

A lot more politicians have had their hand in that ponzi scheme pot than warmongers.

In reply to txjustin
8/17/11

Very mature, Justin. No, I don't have autism, nor do I disrespect people who do. And not giving people their money back is exactly what you're advocating.

> When you cut SS, you're telling people that paid into an account their entire life that they can't have that money back when they retire.
> When you cut Medicare, you're telling people that have been paying into medical insurance their entire lives that they can't get the benefits they've been promised when they need them.
> When your raise the effective tax rate on the super-rich from the 15-20% of their effective income they currently pay, you're ensuring that their tax burden is equitable to the other 99% of Americans.

txjustin:

That's not the point jetset. Your reply is what's wrong with America today. The typical lets cut cut cut, but not my SS or medicaid or medicare or anything that has to do with me. Let's fuck the other guy...

What you JUST said was jetset attitude of "it's ok to tax the super-rich" is what's wrong with America. You went on to clarify that that attitude of trying to protect SS and Medicare is what's wrong with america. So just to make sure we're on the same page: no, I don't have autism, and yes, you're advocating that we not give people their money back.

8/17/11

Social Security is a current pay system. A ponzi scheme. If you think there is a magic bank account with your savings, then you are dreaming.

How is cutting social security screwing anyone anymore than me paying for welfare that I don't use, paying for children's education that I don't have, etc. Social security is a tax with a nice name.

Also, no one is talking about closing the door on these programs. We are talking about a gradual phase out.

8/17/11

"When your raise the effective tax rate on the super-rich from the 15-20% of their effective income they currently pay, you're ensuring that their tax burden is equitable to the other 99% of Americans"

Please tell me how increasing the top tax bracket to around 50% makes things equitable? You are stealing from people because YOU DONT THINK they will miss it. Half this country gets a free ride, how about me truly make things equitable and have everyone pay into something that benefits all of us.

How about everyone with two cars gives one to someone without. This whole mindset that there is a limit to how much someone can have before the just arm of the government comes and takes their money "to make things equitable" is what I like to call Socialism boys and girls.

This is not Robin hood. The rich are not taxing the poor and forcing them to be their slaves. People are free, have opportunity and have a safety net. If you still CHOOSE to fail, you need to live with it. If someone is hungry and goes out for more, they should have it.

I make plenty of money. More than I need. I didn't magically wake up one day like this. I went to 6+ years of school after high school. While all my friends got high and wasted their life I was busting my ass. Please tell me why they are all of a sudden entitled to the fruits of my labor while they had fun and I suffered.

Let them eat cake.

In reply to alexpasch
8/17/11
alexpasch:

America used to be great when the Federal government was tiny and generally inconsequential. There once was a time that basically the only service the Federal government provided was defense. That was literally it. Not surprisingly, that's when America became the global superpower. As the New Deal and the Great Society became implemented and were never modified for changing demographics, not to mention the implementation of income taxes, a new interpretation for the Commerce Clause, etc., the Federal government has become so bloated that it's destroying this country.

This fantasy America you speak of doesn't exist. It's easy to look back on the 1700s and 1800s and talk about how awesome they were, you just have to ignore slavery, the genocide of native americans, and the civil war. It's easy to look back on the early 1900s and talk about how awesome they were too. You just have to ignore the stock market crash and the Great Depression with unemployment that makes today's economy look like the golden years.

What changing demographics are you talking about? Are you talking about the influx of poor immigrants from Mexico? America is THE country of poor immigrants. The irish and the italians used to be the hated outsiders - one population associated with drunkenness and the other associated with organized crime (think Mafia). The asians used to be the hated other too. Do you remember the clamp-down on chinese immigration? The internment of japanese americans?

Demographics are always changing. In short time immigrants from south of the border will also assimilate and find success, and we'll find some new minority to blame for all our problems.

8/17/11

You mean the legal Italian and Irish immigration? Are you comparing LEGAL immigration with ILLEGAL immigration?

How is slavery, killing Indians and civil war related to the size of the government?

Keep looking to the government to solve your problems bro. Guess your parents didn't do a good enough job of teaching you to be self sufficient.

8/17/11

Red, I was just fuxing with you earlier with the vulgar name calling. Just my sense of dark humor.

Now on to bidness. Are you even in the slightest bit saying the SS, medicare, and medicaid is sustainable?

8/17/11

Couple links on Warren's tax exploits for those interested. Was writing about it actually but Buffett just really pisses me off lol.
http://blogs.forbes.com/greatspeculations/?p=41133
http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2010...

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

8/17/11

So economics is your god and master? That is cool, but it would make much better economic sense to lower the cost of prison, force those who are imprisoned to simply work to repay their cost or simply to kill them. We do have 8 billion people, a few million will not be missed.

I mean if we are going to detach morality and just look at things from an economic perspective I am cool, but don't stop half way. Go to the logical end of things.

In reply to txjustin
8/17/11
txjustin:

Red, I was just fuxing with you earlier with the vulgar name calling. Just my sense of dark humor.

Now on to bidness. Are you even in the slightest bit saying the SS, medicare, and medicaid is sustainable?

Let's get real, when SS was passed American life expectancy was 70 years. Now it's 80 years. Of course it's not sustainable forever. As people live longer, the age of retirement has to be pushed up. But it's also not a crisis, not is it fundamentally flawed. For the same reason as the education example I just gave, having our senior citizens be homeless causes a huge drain on society.

Medicare has the same problem of not being sustainable because it's not flexible enough, not because it's fundamentally flawed. I don't believe that medicare should cover the cutting edge super-expensive medical treatments, but I do believe that if you've paid into Medicare your whole life, you deserve to get what you paid for.

In reply to TNA
8/17/11
ANT:

So economics is your god and master? That is cool, but it would make much better economic sense to lower the cost of prison, force those who are imprisoned to simply work to repay their cost or simply to kill them. We do have 8 billion people, a few million will not be missed.

I mean if we are going to detach morality and just look at things from an economic perspective I am cool, but don't stop half way. Go to the logical end of things.

I'm pretty sure that's unconstitutional.

In reply to TNA
8/17/11
ANT:

"When your raise the effective tax rate on the super-rich from the 15-20% of their effective income they currently pay, you're ensuring that their tax burden is equitable to the other 99% of Americans"

Please tell me how increasing the top tax bracket to around 50% makes things equitable? You are stealing from people because YOU DONT THINK they will miss it. Half this country gets a free ride, how about me truly make things equitable and have everyone pay into something that benefits all of us.

How about everyone with two cars gives one to someone without. This whole mindset that there is a limit to how much someone can have before the just arm of the government comes and takes their money "to make things equitable" is what I like to call Socialism boys and girls.

It's downright amazing what's happened to political discourse over the last few decades. What used to be called a moderate position is now called socialism, what used to be called a conservative position is now the Democratic position, and what used to be known as libertarianism is now the Republican position. The top marginal income tax under Ronald Reagan was 50%, he raised taxes almost a dozen times and raised the debt ceiling even more than that. By your definition, he'd be a militant communist.

In any case, I don't believe in socialism any more than you do. I don't think we should have public education, or health care, or infrastructure, or safety nets because it's "the right thing to do" or because it's "moral" or "ethical" or any of that crap. Nor do I believe we should be taxing the rich because they don't deserve their money or they're not going to miss it.

I have two underlying rule for how the government should function:
1) If there is a good or service that creates a positive externality that the private sector can't capture, the government should tax the population equitably and provide this good or service.
2) If there is a good or service that creates a negative externality that the private sector doesn't completely internalize, the government should either make it illegal, or tax it to discourage it's existence.

Why? Because it makes economic sense to do both those things. That's it. No Christian morals. No sympathy for the poor. No "It's not fair" this or "bleeding heart" that.

Here is a very simplistic example:

According to the DoJ, roughly 1 in every 15 Americans will spend time in prison. This number is quite significant, not just because it's really high compared to other nations (We're #1!!), but also because it costs about $40k to send an inmate to prison. The average prison term is 4 years, so the cost of a single inmate averages out to about $160k + court and lawyer fees. As a society, we have to pay this cost, and as a resident of the US, you have to bear some of that burden. Thus, if there was a way for us to invest money such that for every $1 invested we would decrease this burden by more than $1, we would be better off.

Well, according to the census, 12% of adults aged 20 or over did not graduate from high school. Despite only being 12% of the population, high-school dropouts make up 60% -80% of prison inmates, depending on the state. Lets say it costs $150k ($12.5k a year x 12 years) to give a child an education good enough for them to graduate high school. If that spend can take someone who would have gone to prison, and keep that person out of prison, saving us a $160k of spending, then we are better off. Ignoring all the other economic benefits to having someone be educated (they buy more, they make more, etc), on prison costs saved alone, this spending was worth it.

There it is. I'm not advocating paying for the education because it's not fair, or because they're poor, or because of their race, or because my heart is bleeding, or because I'm a communist, or any of those reasons. The only reason is because we will all be better off for it, economically speaking.

8/17/11

Just send them to Guantanamo Bay. Outside of the US and realm of the Constitution. Problem solved.

In reply to ....
8/17/11
redninja:
txjustin:

Red, I was just fuxing with you earlier with the vulgar name calling. Just my sense of dark humor.

Now on to bidness. Are you even in the slightest bit saying the SS, medicare, and medicaid is sustainable?

Let's get real, when SS was passed American life expectancy was 70 years. Now it's 80 years. Of course it's not sustainable forever. As people live longer, the age of retirement has to be pushed up. But it's also not a crisis, not is it fundamentally flawed. For the same reason as the education example I just gave, having our senior citizens be homeless causes a huge drain on society.

Medicare has the same problem of not being sustainable because it's not flexible enough, not because it's fundamentally flawed. I don't believe that medicare should cover the cutting edge super-expensive medical treatments, but I do believe that if you've paid into Medicare your whole life, you deserve to get what you paid for.

I'll speak for myself and Ant when I say this. We are talking about phasing the above out, not immediately cutting them off.

In reply to TNA
8/17/11
ANT:

So economics is your god and master? That is cool, but it would make much better economic sense to lower the cost of prison, force those who are imprisoned to simply work to repay their cost or simply to kill them. We do have 8 billion people, a few million will not be missed.

I mean if we are going to detach morality and just look at things from an economic perspective I am cool, but don't stop half way. Go to the logical end of things.

Is this straw man really your response?

Also, still get a kick out of your extreme libertarianism...unless the topic is gay marriage or bank bailouts.

8/17/11

What fucking straw man bro? The guy is talking about making economic decisions. How about we make prisoners pay for their room and board? I didn't realize that was so out there.

Also, I have zero fucking issue with gays forming a legal bond. I honestly think anyone should be able to go to the court house and sign a paper and be legally joined. I don't know why the government has anything to do with it.

Furthermore, I am 100% against child tax credits, mortgage interest deductions, tax credits for being married or any of the bullshit the government tries to pass off as nothing but social manipulation.

As for the bank bail outs, I support them because I think they would of been cataclysmic to this country. This isn't about stepping in to save everything and anything, but if you sat on your hands and let everything fail this country would of gone back to the stone age.

Yeah man, sorry that I love liberty. I mean last time I checked I was an American, a country founded on liberty, but what do I know. Bring on big government and others making decisions for me.

8/17/11

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incest

I support legalizing incest also. Last time I checked we have no right to stop grown adults from having consensual sex. How come the ACLU isn't fighting this bullshit?

8/17/11

It's bad for the genetic pool...

8/17/11

Yeah dude, so is inner city, single mothers, but we don't outlaw that.

Who says they will have kids. I mean gay guys cant have kids, but they can still recreationally fuck.

I support people doing whatever they want as long as it doesn't effect me.

8/17/11

@ANT:

No point in going back and forth on this again, "bro." You're right, "bro," everyone else here hates freedom and liberty. Are you a real person? Are you Rick Santorum?

8/17/11

Awesome come back. Go form an opinion and come back when you are ready to dance.

Please. Extreme libertarian hahahhahahah

You mean someone who embodies what this country is about. Go donate to a charity, maybe you will make a difference, unlike the government who just throws money at the problem. Working peoples fucking money.

In reply to Jorgé
8/17/11
Jorge:

Warren can say whatever he wants about taxes but fact of the matter is his investing success came from the fear of paying them.

Agree with Midas as well, that's why Soros and the rest of these limousine liberals are so hot on ramping up taxes, most of us here dream of taking them down but how can we if we have to give most of it to the government?

Buffet and Soros are both over 80, they will be dead soon so I don't think they care too much about new money replacing them

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

8/17/11

Yup, you clearly embody what this country is all about. Get the fuck out of here.

8/17/11

I embody what this country is about. Responsibility, hard work, education, taking care of oneself. Contributing to society.

Keep dreaming buddy. Go send a check to Obama so he can name an entitlement after you.

8/17/11
8/17/11

I love how a tax paying, highly educated, hard working person who believes in freedom, liberty and the government not influencing the private lives of its citizens is somehow not what this country is all about.

Sorry that my 30% tithe to the god of profligate spending isn't enough for some people.

8/17/11

I highly doubt you pay a 30% effective tax rate to the federal government. I imagine you hit a 30% marginal tax bracket since you're "so educated and hard working," but it isn't like if you or whoever makes $100K a year, a blanket 30% is taxed on that. That's just not how it works.

My bigger issue with you and the reason for my comment is that you come off as an insufferable cunt.

I'm glad I don't know you in real life.

8/17/11

Insufferable cunt? I think you have me confused with yourself dude.

Let me see, I look at my check and I currently have paid around 25-27% in taxes. Total. Total taxes (not counting SSI and Medicare) / gross income.

This is with claiming 2 people. I'll get dicked on my returns, but I don't loan the government money. End of the day I will be close enough to 30% to use the word.

1/3rd of what I earn goes to the government. When you add Medicare to it and SSI, both of which I most likely will never see and which are really taxes that fund social programs, I am well over 30%.

So suck it.

8/17/11

Its cool brah. You wouldn't like me in real life.

I pay for my own drinks instead of drinking on other peoples tab. I am sure you tell yourself that they make more than you and can afford "TheKing's mooching tax".

WSO sweating my balls hardcore as usual.

In reply to TNA
8/17/11
ANT:

Its cool brah. You wouldn't like me in real life.

I pay for my own drinks instead of drinking on other peoples tab. I am sure you tell yourself that they make more than you and can afford "TheKing's mooching tax".

WSO sweating my balls hardcore as usual.

Congrats, "brah," you're a WSO celebrity.

8/17/11

Who said celebrity? Your the one creepin' on all my posts, sweating me.

8/17/11

Dude, you're a fucking loser.

8/17/11

Fuck man.

Can someone pass me a rag, the sweat is too much. You want my phone number so you can text me your love.

Whenever I talk about liberty and freedom you come running and start bitching about one thing or another. So crabby. Chill homie.

8/18/11

ron paul would free us from global militarism without end, the intergenerational ss/medicare ponzi and scale back the legions of government meddlers.

republicans and independents serious about reform would stop compromising and voting for the likes of perry and romney.

but then, they are all just fucking talk.

i will be writing-in for ron paul 10 years after he is DEAD. his bones would have more sense than the average GOP shit for brains prostitute for parasitic international financial swindlers and the war lobby.

8/18/11

The truth is that SS and Medicare are likely unconstitutional. We need to get down to a tiny military, no more SS/Medicare/Medical/Welfare. The congress needs to respect Article One, Section Eight and when they don't SCOTUS should call bullshit. Unfortunately that isn't what happens.

In reply to ....
8/18/11
redninja:

It's downright amazing what's happened to political discourse over the last few decades. What used to be called a moderate position is now called socialism, what used to be called a conservative position is now the Democratic position, and what used to be known as libertarianism is now the Republican position. The top marginal income tax under Ronald Reagan was 50%, he raised taxes almost a dozen times and raised the debt ceiling even more than that. By your definition, he'd be a militant communist.

It's amazing what's happened to political discourse over the last couple hundred years. What used to be unthinkable is now called the Democratic party, what used to be the American government and values is now called fringe politics/libertarianism, and what used to be common sense is now detestable.

Back in 1900 tax rates were at 7% of GDP. They've more or less steadily grown until now where they're at about 30% of GDP. It's pretty ridiculous if you ask me. Or if you ask just about anyone that still believes in the principles this country were founded on. Oh, excuse me, those principles are obsolete. I must be one of those crazy fringe libertarians.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

8/18/11

D M libertarianism is not as fringe today as it was from the 30s to the 00s, there is a bit of a resurgence i.e. the Tea Party, Ron Paul's performance in Iowa etc. The problem is America went from minarchy i.e. no Welfare, SS, Medicare/Medicaid to a nanny state. Why is it that the People's Republic of China now seems more like the People's Republic of Capitalism? The reason is they see it is the best system. The US needs to end governmental intervention in the markets, I wouldn't have bailed out the automakers, the banks, AIG etc, bankruptcy exists for a reason.

In reply to guyfromct
8/18/11
futurectdoc:

The truth is that SS and Medicare are likely unconstitutional. We need to get down to a tiny military, no more SS/Medicare/Medical/Welfare. The congress needs to respect Article One, Section Eight and when they don't SCOTUS should call bullshit. Unfortunately that isn't what happens.

Futurecdoc, I have pondered your 1st sentence for some time now.

By the way, great posts!!

8/18/11

redninja is on fire

8/18/11

Why are people so intellectually dishonest when it comes to this topic?!?

They like to yell about "someone making $10mm a year only has to pay 15% and everyone else has to pay twice that". That just isn't true. Ask a pro athlete, a CEO, a business owner, a professional musician/actor/artist/etc. These people pay a shit ton more than 15%. It's people like Buffett, who have already amassed their wealth and have it invested that are really impacted by the capital gains rate.

The bottom line is, lead by example. If handing money over to the government is the answer, Mr. Buffett, belly up to the bar and cut a check. Put your money where your mouth is.

Also, that $6.9mm he paid this year is probably 10x higher than what most citizens will pay in their entire life.

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

8/18/11

Welcome back CPH! Be warned, grab a towel because there is some serious dude sweating going on.

8/18/11

And cover your nuts because there's some serious ball checking going on to.

8/18/11

Thanks guys. I actually didn't read anything past the first half of the first page.

I just wanted to point out that not everybody who is "rich" is actually rich. And that $1mm made one way is different from a $1mm made another way...therefor you can't say, "Hey, that person made a million dollars and isn't paying their fair share."

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

8/18/11

Average American makes about $50k a year. Multiply that by 40 good working years, and you've got yourself $2 million dollars made over a lifetime.

Any person who can make $1mm in a year is probably pretty well off, it takes most Americans 20 years to make that kind of money.

Any person who can make $5mm in a year is rich. There are no two ways around it. If you're making more in ONE year than most Americans make in two lifetimes, you're rich.

The people we're taking about make the "rich" look poor. Warren Buffett is 80 years old and worth over $50,000 million dollars. If we assume he started working at 20, that means he's been making an AVERAGE of well over $800 million dollars a year ... after taxes.

When Buffet's secretary has to pay 35% of her income in taxes and Warren Buffett only has to pay 17% of his income in taxes, that's not fair. It's so not fair, that even Buffett, who benefits from it, is coming out and saying "hey, this isn't fair".

You'd think the religious right would agree. After all, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven."

In reply to ....
8/18/11
redninja:

Average American makes about $50k a year. Multiply that by 40 good working years, and you've got yourself $2 million dollars made over a lifetime.

Any person who can make $1mm in a year is probably pretty well off, it takes most Americans 20 years to make that kind of money.

Any person who can make $5mm in a year is rich. There are no two ways around it. If you're making more in ONE year than most Americans make in two lifetimes, you're rich.

The people we're taking about make the "rich" look poor. Warren Buffett is 80 years old and worth over $50,000 million dollars. If we assume he started working at 20, that means he's been making an AVERAGE of well over $800 million dollars a year ... after taxes.

When Buffet's secretary has to pay 35% of her income in taxes and Warren Buffett only has to pay 17% of his income in taxes, that's not fair. It's so not fair, that even Buffett, who benefits from it, is coming out and saying "hey, this isn't fair".

You'd think the religious right would agree. After all, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven."

If Buffett truly felt that way, why doesn't he man up and show us what should be done about it? He would rather complain and try to make a political statement. Buffett is a hypocrite of the highest order. As someone pointed out, he was the guy screaming about derivatives being "financial weapons of mass destruction"...yet Berkshire used them to make billions of dollars.

My problem with this whole situation is that we aren't suffering because we don't take in enough revenue, we are suffering because we continue to spend more than we should. I know many people that are against raising taxes because they know doing so would only lead to more irresponsible spending.

Yeah, Buffett and many other people make more money in a year than most will make in several lifetimes, but they also, arguably, work harder, have sacrificed more and helped society in more ways than an average citizen. That's not to mention how infrequent the rich use all the services that are provided by their tax dollars.

Let's be real, who is actually being coddled more, the rich who supposedly aren't paying enough or the 50% of Americans who don't pay anything at all?

As far as the Bible is concerned, you forgot one...

"...For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."

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

8/18/11

Looking at just the Income Tax portion of the equation is going to you very narrow view on Taxes. When you take into account state & local taxes, US Tax rates become a lot more equitable (at least in the absolute sense of the word): the share each income group pays in taxes is very similar to their portion of total income in the nation. America's tax code is not very progressive at all.*

I'd still like to see Capital Gains increased and eliminate the loop hole that allows Fund managers to treat almost their entire income as Capital Gains, but that's more a philosophical point with me. Reforming the corporate tax code and eliminating numerous loopholes that allow giants like GE to pay almost nothing in taxes**, would have a far more substantial impact.

The actual impact from such increases would be marginal in the grand scheme of the current debt talks. We need to curtail social security and medical entitlements AND raise taxes. Anyone who claims that all we need to do is one or the other is not being honest with themselves.

*See below for a short 2 pager on taxes in 2008:
http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2009.pdf

**GE paying almost squat in Taxes (although that's also debatable):
http://www.businessinsider.com/ge-taxes-2010

8/18/11

Why the government refuses to do a comprehensive reform on taxes and means testing for social programs is beyond me.

8/18/11

Guys, you don't understand. Red Ninja decides how much money someone should have and if he thinks they have too much he makes the decisions to raise taxes. I mean it isn't enough that half the taxable people in this country pay zero federal taxes, the rich should pay more. I mean the money you earn is not really yours, it is the governments and they decide how much you are allowed to keep.

Kind of like a parent giving you an allowance. Because we all know that government is 100% efficient and effective. Stop fighting it, just give the government what you worked for. They know best on how to redistribute it.

8/18/11

We throw more and more money into education and the results keep declining.

We roll out more and more social programs, yet it is never enough.

Fewer and fewer people pay federal taxes, but these people keep crying that the rich don't pay enough.

Why do we listen to the takers and punish the makers? Sorry man, 35% is enough. We need to cut services and make everyone contribute. The rich pay their fair share and if they pay less than 35% it is because they donate to charity, invest money and thereby earn capital gains or take advantage of all the credits that the government has put in place to passively control a free citizenry.

8/18/11

Don't listen to me though, I am a fascist.

I think people who work hard should keep their money.

I think grown adults should be able to live a free life without the government telling them what to do.

I expect grown adults to take responsibility for their actions.

8/19/11

Simple demographics are ruining the social welfare state.

Nothing less, nothing more.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

In reply to TNA
8/19/11

ANT:
Equitable? Well you're not talking about the USA. Equitable would mean everyone paying into the system we benefit from. Right now half, if not more, pay nothing. The middle, upper middle and rich shoulder all the burden.

This one's for you, ANT.


If we took half of everything the bottom 50% of this country owns, it would still only equal the first round of TARP.

Yup, that'd solve everything.

8/19/11

The only reason Warren pays a lower average rate is that most of his income is capital gains, his salary is taxed at a 39% percent marginal tax. People need to see the following two things before saying the rich pay too little, one most of the "rich" are doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs who pay 39% marginal rates. 50% of Americans pay 0 in income tax (they do pay SS/Medicare). This dichotomy is bad as those 50% are truly a free rider program and the 39% kills those who work hard.

In reply to TNA
8/19/11
ANT:

Awesome come back. Go form an opinion and come back when you are ready to dance.

Please. Extreme libertarian hahahhahahah

You mean someone who embodies what this country is about. Go donate to a charity, maybe you will make a difference, unlike the government who just throws money at the problem. Working peoples fucking money.

Founded on your libertarianism? You are what this country is about?

Hahahaa. What a self-absorbed idiot.

Disagree with whoever you want and endorse whatever politics you like, but to think [b]you[/b] were the end game the founding fathers were striving towards is so fucking delusional it blows my mind you would utter it without self-awareness interrupting you at even a single stage of the process.

You don't embody "what this country is about" - you embody what YOU are about. This country embodies what this country is about.

8/19/11

What political concept was this country founded on? Has our governemnt overstepped it's boundaries given to it by the COTUS?

In reply to BearMarket
8/19/11
Howdy Dookie:

This country embodies what this country is about.

There's a lot of embodying going on around here lately

Get busy living

In reply to txjustin
8/19/11
txjustin:

What political concept was this country founded on? Has our governemnt overstepped it's boundaries given to it by the COTUS?

It's not like that's some mystery or rhetorical question. We know what the political concept is. Here's a clue:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

What does "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility ... promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty" mean to you? Does it mean let 1% of the population control 50% of the wealth and leverage that wealth to buy the government? I'm pretty sure the reason we left Britain is because it was a despotism that did not represent the will of the people, and instead represented the will of a small ruling class. Lets see how present day America stacks up?

Public Option for Health Care: In a poll in which the data were gathered on August 19, 2009 Survey USA estimated that the majority of Americans (77%) feel that it is either "Quite Important" or "Extremely Important" to "give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance."

Bush Tax Cuts: In a December 2, 2010 CBS News Poll, just 26 percent of Americans say they support extending the cuts for all Americans, even those earning above the $250,000 level, which is the GOP proposal.

Default Crisis and Compromise: An August 2010 CNN/ORC poll found that 64 percent of those surveyed would prefer to trim the deficit by both spending cuts and tax increases, while only 36% of those surveyed felt that there should be no tax increases.

---

The founding principle of our country was that GOVERNMENT SHOULD REPRESENT THE PEOPLE! That's what "no taxation without representation" was all about. We weren't founded on libertarian principles, we were founded as a democracy in reaction to a monarchy in which the government reflected the will of a minority. Well, it looks like we've come full circle, because government definitely doesn't represent the will of the American people anymore.

In reply to ....
8/19/11
redninja:
txjustin:

What political concept was this country founded on? Has our governemnt overstepped it's boundaries given to it by the COTUS?

It's not like that's some mystery or rhetorical question. We know what the political concept is. Here's a clue:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

What does "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility ... promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty" mean to you? Does it mean let 1% of the population control 50% of the wealth and leverage that wealth to buy the government? I'm pretty sure the reason we left Britain is because it was a despotism that did not represent the will of the people, and instead represented the will of a small ruling class. Lets see how present day America stacks up?

Public Option for Health Care: In a poll in which the data were gathered on August 19, 2009 Survey USA estimated that the majority of Americans (77%) feel that it is either "Quite Important" or "Extremely Important" to "give people a choice of both a public plan administered by the federal government and a private plan for their health insurance."

Bush Tax Cuts: In a December 2, 2010 CBS News Poll, just 26 percent of Americans say they support extending the cuts for all Americans, even those earning above the $250,000 level, which is the GOP proposal.

Default Crisis and Compromise: An August 2010 CNN/ORC poll found that 64 percent of those surveyed would prefer to trim the deficit by both spending cuts and tax increases, while only 36% of those surveyed felt that there should be no tax increases.

---

The founding principle of our country was that GOVERNMENT SHOULD REPRESENT THE PEOPLE! That's what "no taxation without representation" was all about. We weren't founded on libertarian principles, we were founded as a democracy in reaction to a monarchy in which the government reflected the will of a minority. Well, it looks like we've come full circle, because government definitely doesn't represent the will of the American people anymore.

GENERAL WELFARE. What does that mean to you?

Then after this all I see is "I'm socialist, I'm a socialist".

The government made it mandatory you buy insurance. That is not what you suggested in the above. I strongly believe that is unconsititional. One court has already agreed with the way I feel.

If you ever read what Ant and I post you will understand we are not against tax increases. We are against them unless their is somethign attached that makes them go 100% towards deficit/debt reduction. The governemtn is the epitome of waste.

Another thing, you keep posting all these useless and biased polls. We are not a mob rule, which is exactly why we have representatives.

You are right, the government does not represent the will of the people. It can be seen by the all time lows in approval rating for both the President and Congress.

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