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Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the rich-get-richer dept.

Government 866

theodp writes "You know what they say — it takes money to avoid paying money. TechFlash reports that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos have contributed $100,000 each to an effort to defeat an income tax on individuals in Washington state making more than $200,000. The backers of Initiative 1098, which is set for the November ballot, include Bill Gates (Sr.), who has emerged as one of the most vocal proponents of the income tax. Under the proposal, which has drawn the ire of the Bezos and Ballmer-backed Defeat 1098, no tax would be due on the first $200K of income, 5% tax would be owed on income between $200K and $500K, and everything above $500K would be subject to a 9% tax (cutoffs are doubled for joint returns)."

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866 comments

Whither 9%? (1, Flamebait)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649396)

Who will do more to stimulate the economy with that 9%? Balmer or the Obama?

And the answer is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649442)

Neither! It was a trick question.

Re:Whither 9%? (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649474)

Obama? Since when is he the governor of Washington State? Personally I don';t care because I don't live there. Me worrying about WA's tax would be like some guy in Poland worrying about a tax increase in Portugal.

However I like the idea of 0% income tax on the first $200,000. I wish my state had that. Heck I wish the whole continent had that.

Re:Whither 9%? (3, Informative)

denobug (753200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649918)

Just for the background information. The State of Washington does not have personal or corporate income tax at this time. So to add a 5% income tax, which has very little deductions, would obviously sounds like a big change for the State.

I can't really comment too much on the benefit of having the tax excised, since I live in Texas and we do not have state income tax, either. That is a real plus for me. I do like the fact that they skipped the entire section where people making less than 200k. I think that is wise.

However, to be fair. A sudden increase of 9% of the tax liability is quite a bit, from the perspective of going from 0 to 9% in one jump. Also there are no provisions on how to adjust the brackets up with the inflations in the coming decades. Keep in mind any tax code in place will be in place for a long time, so if the spirit of the law is to tax the highest income brackets, they need to address that in the proposed bill as well.

This is a STATE tax, not a federal tax (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649478)

It has nothing to do with Obama.

Complaining about having to pay to support the poor? Then help them stop being poor! Henry Ford knew it - when he was asked why he paid his workers more than the competition, he said "I want them to be able to buy my cars."

Looks like Gates Sr. also gets it - growing the tax base takes money, and you can't get that money by taxing people who don't have it.

The middle and lower classes are no further ahead after 3 decades, after inflation, while the top income earners have seen real increases in their finances.

Question, adjusted, remains (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649514)

Who will do more to stimulate the economy of Washington state with that 9%? Ballmer & Bezos or Governor Gregoire?

Re:Question, adjusted, remains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649696)

Unless the State of California hires H1Bs, I would guess the Governor.

Re:Question, adjusted, remains (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649704)

The latter. Trickle-down is bullshit.

Stimulus is best applied to the people at the lowest rungs of the economic ladder, as they're going to spend that cash immediately. The state is best to enact this extremely modest tax increase, and then to put the funds toward local improvement projects (which hire labourers and tradesmen), and funding a social safety net for the many many people who are under- or unemployed.

Re:Question, adjusted, remains (0, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649820)

>>>The latter. Trickle-down is bullshit.

The former. Government only returns 45% of the money it takes. The rest gets squandered on internal corruption, white collar welfare (my previous no-work job), and interest payments to China.

And trickle-down isn't bullshit, when you consider that it's the rich who hire the workers. If the government takes away all the rich person's money (say 100% income over 1 million) then the rich can't hire anyone.

Re:Question, adjusted, remains (0)

logjon (1411219) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649892)

Until you consider that they're not really hiring workers. They're giving themselves raises and outsourcing.

Re:Question, adjusted, remains (2, Informative)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649726)

FTA:

Initiative 1098 calls for a reduction in state property taxes and the elimination of the business and occupation tax for some of the state's smallest businesses. Proceeds from the income tax would be used for health services and public education, proponents argue.

Since 1098 is reducing taxes for small businesses and lowering state property taxes, I'm guessing the answer is Washington State.

Re:Question, adjusted, remains (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649780)

Let's see, Ballmer and Bezos do most of their hiring overseas or in other states - if at all.

The Governor will blow money which will reward the politically connected.

The answer is that whatever happens, the middle class (what's left of it) gets fucked and gets the bill. Any income tax passed will mostly be the burden of the middle class.

Bezos and Ballmer are morons for giving money because being members of the super wealthy, they can just pick up and move to Texas or Florida and get around the whole thing.

Bingo: less tax = more growth (0, Flamebait)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649642)

help them stop being poor! Henry Ford knew it - when he was asked why he paid his workers more than the competition, he said "I want them to be able to buy my cars."

Bingo. Henry Ford's solution to poverty was to employ more people and pay them more as private corporate policy, and not by giving the "extra" money to the state. Ballmer & Bezos can't hire more people, or pay employees more, if they don't have that 9%. The state sure isn't going to create as many jobs or raise pay nearly as much with it.

Re:Bingo: less tax = more growth (4, Insightful)

sabs (255763) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649748)

Uh Ballmer and Bezos don't use their personal money to hire more people.

They use their corporations money for that.

So it's a fallacy.
That extra 9% would actually be sitting in their investment portfolio.. probably in Dubai :)

Re:Bingo: less tax = more growth (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649990)

And where do you suppose that corporations get their money? Do you suppose that you just file a corporate charter and (with apologies to Emril) -- bam! -- money starts flowing in? Of course you don't think that.

Microsoft and Amazon each began as small startups. In order to start those businesses, their founders had to get investment from (drum roll) -- private individuals! Jeff Bezos, in particular, is well renknowned for his funding of new startups.

New companies == more jobs.

'

Only straw men getting a raise? (3, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649794)

That's such a straw man argument -- were both Bezos and Ballmer planning on:

1) ...using the money they would otherwise be taxed on to give their employees raises?
2) ...bringing jobs sent to low-cost overseas work centers back to the US?
3) ...repatriating H1B visa workers, allowing demand to increase wages and allow greater work opportunity for Washington residents?

I'll take a wild guess and assume "none of the above" and that both men are merely parroting vague anti-tax sentiments, following the advice of paid consultants & lobbyists, or, perhaps, merely greedy and have no plans to pay higher wages or offer greater work opportunity.

Re:Only straw men getting a raise? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649902)

That's such a straw man argument

It's a bullshit argument, is what it is. I can understand how you'd confuse the two, since they often get mixed on a farm.

Re:Bingo: less tax = more growth (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649840)

Do you really think that perconal income tax will have any affect on the hiring practices of a corporate entity? There is a think called corporate tax, and that is seperate from personal tax. Just because Steve is paying less taxes to the man, do you think that he will pay his gardener more? His maid? Mistress? I doubt it. In any case, I imagine that money will be funneled to offshore accounts which will provide no stimulus, but also no tax revenue either. The only stimulus outcome I see here is $100,000 to the lobbyists.

Re:Bingo: less tax = more growth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649852)

Ballmer and Bezos are not hiring anybody with their "personal" income. They simply horde it away like every other wealthy person. This is a individual tax not a corporate tax.

That said, if this were a "corporate" tax, then someones going to have to show me where all the "growth" is that the idiotic deficit creating, debt inducing tax cuts of the last decade on the federal level.

Then please explain if lower taxes are the only thing that create growth why is it that during the highest tax rates this country ever saw we had the largest growth the country ever saw...............ww2 to the 1960's.

Re:Bingo: less tax = more growth (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649868)

Except that these days, if Henry Ford paid his employees more, he'd be sued by his shareholders. Business today isn't about stimulating the economy, it's about putting the most in your own pocket.

Secondly you're confusing personal income tax with corporate taxes. TFA is about personal income tax which has nothing to do with hiring employees, unless you count the money Bezos spends on gardeners, pool-boys, maids, and other perks of being a multi-billionaire.

Boo-hoo. He actually has to pay his fair share that might be used to fix the roads he drives his multiple expensive supercars on. Or police protection so that his gated mansion is safe. Or firehouses that might prevent his mansion from burning to the ground.

People who are against taxes should, I guess, live without the benefits those taxes provide. In the meantime, can I vote whether the US goes to war or not, because I don't want my taxes spent that way? You people have such a sense of entitlement it's astounding, like the world revolves around you because you make a shitload of money.

Re:Bingo: less tax = more growth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649982)

They hire with their own personal income?

Re:Whither 9%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649482)

Who will do more to stimulate the economy with that 9%? Balmer or the Obama?

Obama has nothing to do with this. We are talking about a *state* income tax, so unless Obama gives up the Whitehouse to run for governor of Washington he won't get any direct say in how the money is spent.

Re:Whither 9%? (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649518)

Considering this is a tax proposed by Washington STATE, can we moderate you -1 for being wrong?

Re:Whither 9%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649532)

Balmer! He eats far more cheeseburgers, and breaks more chairs, thus he stimulates McDonalds AND Ikea. Whereas the grandchildren who will pay the bills for the deficits, they're toddling around in diapers and completely unproductive!

So of course the grand children should pay Balmer! And Glenn Beck too, everyones children should be saddled with more debt so that Glenn Beck can pay less taxes!

Re: Oh brother, there should be a Godwin law... (4, Insightful)

colinnwn (677715) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649582)

First, "Obama" (really the US Legislature) wouldn't have this revenue to stimulate with. That titillating pleasure would go to Governor of Washington Chris Gregoire. Second, if the choice were Balmer and Obama, I'd say Obama would more likely spend it in a manner that benefits the most people in the USA; just look at the value of Micrsoft stock since Balmer took the reigns at MS.

Third, why does every time taxation and government spending come up, does Obama get blamed? Taxes were too low during the GB43 admin to support the level of spending his administration endorsed. The proposed increases in taxes of the Obama administration would be lower than during the Reagan administration. And a vast majority of the spending that has so far occurred during the Obama administration was congressionally scheduled spending from the GB43 administration. And of the remaining optional government spend, it went toward correcting the GB43 caused recession.

I wish I had a -1 Space Cadet for you...

Re: Oh brother, there should be a Godwin law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649924)

I assume by GB43 you mean GB 43 acupuncture point: Gall Bladder Merridian. Chinese name: Xia Xi; English name: Pinched Ravine... I just can't figure out what that has to do with Obama.

Re: Oh brother, there should be a Godwin law... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649972)

@colinnwn #stfu #retard

Re:Whither 9%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649588)

Yeah because Obama = US Gov't.

Re:Whither 9%? (2, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649602)

Parent is just a right-wing nutjob who'll blame *everything* on Obama. His car didn't want to start this AM, so it must be Obama's fault... because he's black! Or a democrat. Or a muslim. Only Glenn Back can make everything right by... .... ... what is the Glenn Beck can do? Or Palin? Or any of those other teabaggers? They have no plan. Other than get elected. Or make noise.

I really, really hope that Obama *doesn't* win the presidential election next time around. Heck, if Obama is as smart as I hope he is, he won't even run. Because the Republican who gets in, in 2012 will face the same problems Obama did, and that guy isn't going to make a miracle happen either. And then you people, who blame everything on Obama will finally have to admit that the turkey you voted for aint any better.

Re:Whither 9%? (2, Insightful)

Compholio (770966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649822)

I really, really hope that Obama *doesn't* win the presidential election next time around. Heck, if Obama is as smart as I hope he is, he won't even run. Because the Republican who gets in, in 2012 will face the same problems Obama did, and that guy isn't going to make a miracle happen either. And then you people, who blame everything on Obama will finally have to admit that the turkey you voted for aint any better.

You assume that some sort of rationality is involved in this equation, trust me that it isn't. I can assure you that they will still blame Obama.

Re:Whither 9%? (1)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649802)

Well Balmer would probably spend that money to buy another fancy European car (jobs overseas) or a new painting or a very expensive dinner in Paris. I doubt whether the income tax he would pay would go towards providing many jobs, more likely go to savings somewhere. Well lets see what would happen if the money were sent to the State of Washington. Maybe it would go towards paving a road, or constructing a State Building, or paying a teacher, or a food stamp program, or a buying State contracted supplies from a local business to provide printer paper to the State Government, or the salaries to the enormously wealthy State employees, or go to a pension fund. Now lets see how will that money get into the economy efficiently to provide jobs? Maybe its the tide that lifts all boats?

Cry me a river, billionaires (5, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649412)

Living in a state that does have an income tax, I have to say that I don't have much sympathy for the billionaires who are crying over the fact that they might get taxed on the part of their income over $200,000 per year. Aw, isn't that just too bad.

Re:Cry me a river, billionaires (3, Funny)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649756)

The pressure of being a multi-billionaire is immense. Maybe these tragic ones could find peace in some other climate. Maybe a place where Monsoons are spelled with accent marks? But why there? Well, that was were their wealth came from of course. There's good times there, and everyone knows their name.

Re:Cry me a river, billionaires (0, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649888)

You don't have to sympathize with someone to understand that their money is their own, not yours, and not the state's.

-jcr

Re:Cry me a river, billionaires (4, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649952)

Their money is their own? But where did that money come from? Let's see Ballboy and Bozo earn their Million dollar salaries from a hut in Bora Bora.

When you reap rewards from a community you are obliged to help support that community.

Re:Cry me a river, billionaires (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649958)

Taxes are the cost for civilized society. If you don't like them, go buy your own island and live there. Stop driving on my socialized roads, using my socialized utilities, and basically utilizing anything my taxes paid for if you're spiteful about it.

Re:Cry me a river, billionaires (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649992)

I dunno about "billionaires". I bet many of their better software engineers are making close to that much, and many of them in 2-income families (I assume the threshold there is higher but still present). That marginal rate is half of California's. And unlike Seattle, Silicon Valley has pleasant weather. All of a sudden Seattle is going to look a little less attractive, and a little less competitive a location to do business.

my word, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649418)

makes the UK 40% tax for income over £40k look enormous! That been said I guess there are hidden costs of healthcare etc in the US which we pay for in taxes instead.

(which is a good thing as when I was ill for a short period a while ago and wouldn't have been able to afford the private healthcare costs incurred ($150k+).

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rates/it.htm

Re:my word, (1)

SSpade (549608) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649806)

makes the UK 40% tax for income over £40k look enormous!

That's 9% state income tax _on top of_ 35% federal income tax. And there are a bunch of other taxes too. It would still be less than California income tax, which tops out at over 10% state income tax (along with sales tax of up to about 9.5%).

Around half of US residents don't actually pay any income tax (family of 4 earning $50k (£32k-ish) - or thereabouts is the threshold before you pay anything), so there's a fairly heavy income tax burden on those who pay them in order to carry the rest.

Just pay the tax (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649420)

>>>"contributed $100,000 each"

It would be cheaper for them to just pay the tax.

Re:Just pay the tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649466)

you'd be surprised. and no, i don't think more than that amount in taxes is bad. magnitudes of scale, ppl.

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649490)

It wouldn't: After you take into account all their income, they are both probably over 7 figures, making the tax cost them a whole lot more than 10k.

That's the CEO life for ya.

Re:Just pay the tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649496)

>>>"contributed $100,000 each"

It would be cheaper for them to just pay the tax.

Are you unaware of just how obscenely wealthy they are, or that taxes are levied each year?

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

kLaNk (82409) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649534)

>>>"contributed $100,000 each"

It would be cheaper for them to just pay the tax.

Last time I looked WA didn't have a state income tax. 9% off the top would be huge for folks at Ballmer's income level. 100k to fight it is probably a sound investment and I'd imagine they would be willing to donate more to that end.

Especially since 9% would only be the start. Once a tax exists people will always find ways to increase it.

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

berzerke (319205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649784)

Especially since 9% would only be the start. Once a tax exists people will always find ways to increase it.

How true. I remember reading (offline source) that when the income tax amendment was passed, it was promised that only the top 1% of earners would pay any tax. It's amazing how that number has grown over the years.

I hope this measure gets defeated. Introduce it and it will be there forever. According to the book I'm currently reading, Last Call, the income tax was imposed to offset the loss of liquor tax income from Prohibition. Well, Prohibition is long gone, but the income tax is still here.

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649894)

We were still paying the 1890s Spanish-American War tax in the 1990s. When the Republicans finaly took Congress it was one of the things they repealed.... 1000 years too late.

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649544)

It would be cheaper for them to just pay the tax.

No it wouldn't. A 9% tax on ~$1.1 million would break even in one year. I have a sneaking suspicion those guys make more than $1.1 million in a year, and they will probably do so for more than one year.

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649710)

I figured most of their pay is not subject to income tax, like stocks and bonds.

Also 1 million would be a $45k + $15k == $60,000 tax

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649866)

It would be cheaper for them to just pay the tax.

No it wouldn't. A 9% tax on ~$1.1 million would break even in one year. I have a sneaking suspicion those guys make more than $1.1 million in a year, and they will probably do so for more than one year.

Good calculation, except the proposed 9% tax is only on the amount over $200,000 per year, $400,000 if he files jointly. So the correct calculation is that a 9% tax on $1.511 Million earned per year would break even in a year.

This guy Ballmer has a salary of only $1,276,627 per year-- give him a break, he's almost working for free, by the standards of American CEO salary. It will take him a year and a quarter before his hundred grand investment in fighting the tax pays back its cost.

Of course, he owns ten billion dollars worth of Microsoft stock... I guess he won't go into the poorhouse too soon.

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

dragin33 (529413) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649584)

Yea this year

Re:Just pay the tax (2, Interesting)

Barsema (106323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649638)

While CEO of Microsoft in 2009, Ballmer earned a total compensation of $1,276,627

so that would be 5% of 300.000 = 15000 dollar + 9% of 776627 = 69896 making a total of 76779 in taxes, so he would more than recoup his 100.000 in less than 2 years....

and of course in relation to his fortune of roughly 14.5 billion the 100.000 is peanuts but so is the tax....

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649954)

>>>total compensation of $1,276,627

Yeah but how much of it was taxable, and how much was nontaxable stocks/bonds/healthcare benefits? I could claim I got ~$200,000 "total compensation" from my job but only $90,000 of it is taxable. The rest is nontaxable benefits.

Re:Just pay the tax (1)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649720)

Who is to say they didn't accept money under the table from other tax evading millionaires ?

because paying taxes is so middle class (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649444)

Ballmer and Bezos will probably figure out how to deduct their "donation" too.

Seattle COL (2, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649462)

If you live in the metro, own a home, and your wife stays at home with the kids - making $200,000 hardly qualifies you as "rich". Especially if you are a small business owner.

But then again, the government will stop at nothing to take all the money it can away from the people and organizations who create jobs.

Re:Seattle COL (5, Informative)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649520)

If you live in the metro, own a home, and your wife stays at home with the kids - making $200,000 hardly qualifies you as "rich". Especially if you are a small business owner.

From the Summary:

(cutoffs are doubled for joint returns).

The way I take this is they'd have to make 400K before they hit the tax.

RTFA (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649938)

Thanks for the clarification

Re:Seattle COL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649528)

Of course I have not RTFA, but it looks like this would be considered a joint return, so the cutoff would be 400K for the family.

Re:Seattle COL (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649622)

Well then, what if you aren't married?

I don't think it's any better to beat up on single professionals who are homeowners and simply live responsibly and make good salaries.

We are spenders and investors, we aren't on the government dole. We are the people that they in government say they want to create - self sufficient professionals, investors and spenders - so why slap down the responsible class in taxes?

These people need the tax BREAKS because they are buying durable goods and investing, not sending the money directly to the coffers and share price of McDonald's corp or Wal-Mart or whomever. (there's value in that, but that's not what we sorely need right now)

Re:Seattle COL (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649714)

Simply put, if you're making over $200,000 and you're finding it hard to make ends meet, you're living well outside your means. Don't look for sympathy because you can't afford your million dollar home, your five cars, and the yacht.

Re:Seattle COL (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649978)

I'm not finding it hard to make ends meet. No one said that or anything like that.

I'm making two points. One, making $200,000 is not at all like having million dollar homes or yachts. Anyone can do this. There's no reason to punish people for being successful, responsible producers in this economy.

Second, these people are the ones who are productive in this economy, they put their money to use in useful ways and many help create other jobs.

They are not people whose throats ought to be slashed by the government simply because they can't control their spending habits.

Re:Seattle COL (1)

wolfsdaughter (1081205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649570)

If you own a home and make 200,000 and can afford to keep one partner from working - then you have more than most of the people around you. The only reason that you "own" anything at all, is because the people around you agree that you do. If enough of them feel that you don't deserve what you have, you're going to have a hard time protecting it.

Re:Seattle COL (2, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649716)

The worst political development in American history was that it gradually became ok to just vote other people's money to yourself.

Re:Seattle COL (0, Flamebait)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649768)

The only reason that you "own" anything at all..."

That, and the fact that this guy earned it. You want to take that route then only reason we live or do anything is because the people around allow us to. I just love idiots like you.

Re:Seattle COL (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649834)

Theft by force is illegal for a reason. If you want to go by that logic, if I get 4 of my friends, we can steal a lambo and justify it because nobody "owns" a lambo, I just haven't decided to steal it yet. Anarchy is a poor justification for taxes.

Re:Seattle COL (4, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649610)

Except that if you're married and she stays at home and you file jointly the cut off is $400,000. Personally, paying 5% state income tax on the portion of my household income that exceeds $400,000 sounds like a good problem to have.

Re:Seattle COL (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649646)

Speaking of creating jobs, what's taking them so long? Unemployment is just hanging there at 9.5+% and yet corporate profits are have surged [businessweek.com]

Oops, my bad, they're creating the jobs overseas. I correct myself.

Re:Seattle COL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649684)

Are you fucking joking? When the average household income is somewhere around $40,000.. $200,000 is very fucking rich. I don't care What business you're in.

Re:Seattle COL (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649826)

You really should look up the meaning of the word 'rich'... as I'm fairly sure it doesn't mean what you think it does.

High Income != Rich

Re:Seattle COL (1, Informative)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649702)

$200,000 is 10 times the median salary of $21,587 for the USA so stop whineing about making 10 times more than the average Joe does

Re:Seattle COL (1, Informative)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649796)

"...the median salary of $21,587 for the USA..." Its closer to $45K. 21K is poverty level. You would do well to check your facts.

Re:Seattle COL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649766)

And since there are *two* of you (you and your stay at home wife), you file a joint return and don't pay income tax until you make $400,000 ... that is rich, I don't care *where* you live.

Re:Seattle COL (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649864)

If you live in the metro, own a home, and your wife stays at home with the kids - making $200,000 hardly qualifies you as "rich". Especially if you are a small business owner. But then again, the government will stop at nothing to take all the money it can away from the people and organizations who create jobs.

I earn a reasonably comfortable salary that is quite a bit more than most people, but someone with a $200,000 salary is earning much more in a month than I make in a year. And that's before I pay income tax. And I pay 18% income tax. 5% is nothing. And $200,000 a year is definately "rich" - even if you feel that you need more; and yes, even if you are a small business owner.

Re:Seattle COL (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649876)

If you live in the metro, own a home, and your wife stays at home with the kids - making $200,000 hardly qualifies you as "rich".

Living in the metro, owning a home, and having your wife stay home with the kids are all luxuries. The fact that you have them is evidence that you are rich, not the other way around.

Re:Seattle COL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649946)

The median US income is something around $50k. The top 5% of people earn over $150k -- thus 95% of people live under $150k, which is nowhere near $200k. I think it's safe to qualify the top 5% as "rich", and your $200k example is in that crowd.

All the things you mentioned, like living in the metro, owning a home, having kids, having a stay at home spouse, are *choices* you can make. If this family had bought sports cars instead of having kids, you'd probably consider them rich since you'd see the wealth. Again, though, it's just a choice on how to spend the income. If you're a small business owner, you again have made that choice. And if your take home income is $200k/yr at your small business, you're probably raking it in (unlike the large percentage of small businesses that fail...).

I can't even fathom the mindset that would cause someone to think that $200k isn't rich. I can't fathom the mindset that would cause someone to think that *$100k* isn't rich. My parents raised 3 kids with one stay at home parent on $60k/yr, and still were able to send us to private school. We lived in a lower cost area of the country, so add another $10-20k for cost of living differences and we're still well under $100k. We had what we needed and were careful. If someone's not doing well on $200k, frankly that person/couple is either a moron or an abysmal money manager.

I personally think this type of income tax in the article is ok given our current tax system, but I'd ultimately rather see an affine flat tax where, say, we set the "zero tax" line at maybe $40k/yr and the rate is linear from there. That way we still don't tax those who make very little money, but there aren't so obvious income-increase-disincentives of the current tax brackets.

Ultimate Greed (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649502)

I would imagine I'd be too busy swimming in pools full of ultra rare money bills and antique coins to care that someone wanted a cut of my 500 million a year salary.
 
Seriously, you'd think these guys would have some sort of hobbies that would be more interesting than political lobbying.

Tax and spend (1)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649516)

What are governments supposed to do when they want more money? Of course you raise the taxes! The last thing anyone wants is an evaluation of where the money is being spent, wasted, or otherwise.

And for those from other parts of the globe, this is just the Washington state tax. The federal tax is still applied (and may be going up as well for the >$200k club).

Re:Tax and spend (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649870)

"...What are governments supposed to do when they want more money? Of course you raise the taxes!"

So your happy when the Gov. raises taxes, takes more of your money from you, and then goes and uses it to build a bridge to nowhere, or squanders it in any of a million more ways? People like you should wake up. Are you simply a worker drone to be tapped by Gov. tax collectors to fund nonsense and broken programs when it suites them? Don't answer, I think I know what it'll be.
People happy to just exist for the purposes of Gov. largess, it boggles my mind.

put your money where your mouth is (or shut up) (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649572)

You're doing good in this economy, pay your fair share, you privileged prats. Or go live in India or China where you outsource all your jobs to.

Re:put your money where your mouth is (or shut up) (1)

KnightBlade (1074408) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649862)

You're doing good in this economy, pay your fair share, you privileged prats. Or go live in India or China where you outsource all your jobs to.

It always comes down to outsourcing jobs doesn't it?

Re:put your money where your mouth is (or shut up) (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649884)

How about if you want all this big government you fucking move to Europe? America is founded on private property, limited government, and freedom. If you want to take other people's private property to fund your big government and take away your freedom, than YOU MOVE!

Re:put your money where your mouth is (or shut up) (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649910)

And the class war continues. I love it when knuckle heads like you chase jobs out of your towns like torch-carrying farmers chasing a monster out of the village, then get upset when those businesses aren't around to give out the jobs.

it's right in the manuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649586)

unprecedented evile (in its' MANY manifestations) dukes(nukes) it out with itself until there's almost nothing left (like now) & then they give us (& more importantly, our children) another chance to become lifetime hostages/servants to debt, yet again. we can hardly wait?

You have it too easy currently (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649590)

I pay 50% out of my sallary to tax and 25% sales tax on what i buy. But then again I have free education free health care and access to housing and more.

Balances out, I get what I pay for, you dont want to pay, so you get nothing :) Not to mention our government isnt bankrupt and in debt.

Re:You have it too easy currently (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649770)

You have 75% of what you earn taken, and you're happy? ...disproving once again that there is any more profitable business to be in than government...

Your terms are acceptable - may I choose them? no. (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649920)

Balances out, I get what I pay for, you dont want to pay, so you get nothing :)

I would be very happy with that arrangement.
I want to pay for my choice of health care, my choice of schools for my kids, my choice of housing, etc.
Problem is the system you back puts a gun to my head and takes 75% of my money regardless of whether I want to participate or not.

Re:You have it too easy currently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649940)

The thing is, these people making millions can just pay for whatever they need. Of course they don't want the tax. Do you think they give a rats ass about free education or medical care? They can buy that if they want it.

It's necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649600)

We're never going to succeed in wiping out income, if we don't enact policies to deter it.

The way things are right now, if a person works more hours, they get more money. If they get a raise, they get more money. Everything about the old economic system only encourages people to make more. And with people working more and producing more, or doing things more efficiently so that their employers reward them with raises, the overall economy just gets stronger and stronger, leading us into the same trap that devastated the United States from 1945-1999.

Income tax, particularly graduated income tax, is the perfect solution to the problem of personal wealth and national economic growth. It's not unsolvable, people! WE CAN DO IT!

100% (0)

CitizenPlusPlus (1867870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649630)

Make it 100% tax on incomes over $500,000.  If a person doesn't want to pay taxes they can return the money to their business or customers.

Re:100% (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649786)

That would be great, let's just stop all the activity that was so in demand that these high earners became high earners.

Re:100% (1)

mrjatsun (543322) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649926)

your on to something here. Let's all give 100% of the money we make to the government so they can distribute it fairly. /sarcasm

Next year you would not know. (2, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649636)

Following the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court, the corporations are people too with full and unmitigated free speech rights. It also ruled spending is speech. There are no disclosure laws, and next year they will make sure they will create corporations for the exclusive purpose of donating money to election campaigns. Thus you will never know who is funding what campaign, which journalists are on the pay roll of whom, which professors are writing academic papers funded by "research" dollars from those with vested interests. So it is just a blip. Next year when strange ballot initiatives come from nowhere and get enormous media play and succeed you will never know what hit you.

BTW, if corporations are people too, then isn't stock market really buying and selling people? So owning stock of a corporation makes you a slave owner?

Re:Next year you would not know. (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649964)

> and next year they will make sure they will create corporations for the exclusive purpose of donating money to election campaigns

So you are only in favor of 'free speech' from certain types and shapes of groups of people? All one of those evil executives had to do to get involved in political speech prior to the Citizens United case was form or fund a PAC or other types of tax excempt group.

One of the effects of the CU case was that they no longer need to take that step.

And Bill's salary is what now? (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649750)

Is he even collecting one? I think all of his money is in the form of stocks and investments and he's probably already bought about anything he'll need big ticket item wise. Does this tax include capitol gains? I'll fully support a 75% tax on the rich a year after you give me $50M. I wonder what his position would have been 15 years ago.

The wealthy don't worry about income tax. (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649758)

Once you are wealthy an income tax doesn't matter. It's only a problem while you are trying to become wealthy. Income tax helps prevent more people from being wealthy which is why the elite wealthy like it. It's like getting the state to declare the area around your country club a state park so that nobody can build there.

No Tax uner 200K? (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649790)

No way would Americans vote for this.

They are too brainwashed to know that tax cuts for the rich do not help them at all.

The rest will see that increasing tax on the rich and reducing it for the middle or low wage worker as in insidious plot by "the Elites" to take away their chances of being super rich themselves.

Like that's going to happen.

i wonder (1)

DMoylan (65079) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649936)

i've always thought that the way ballmer runs microsoft day to day is like apple in the 90s. no real direction. that some day gates is going to do a steve jobs and waltz back in and 'save' microsoft. he always comes across as wanting to be like jobs. sseeing this just reinforces this opinion.

my 2c.

Flat Tax (1, Informative)

sureshot007 (1406703) | more than 3 years ago | (#33649948)

Why can't everyone just pay the same amount, no matter how much they make? I got a raise this year, bumped into a new tax bracket, and take home less than before the raise. WTF? How is that fair to anyone?

Only 9%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33649974)

Im no expert in taxes myself but in Denmark where im from the tax rate is around 40%. For me the rate is 39% and it currently applies to everything above 41k per yer (or something like that). And keep in mind that this is DKK and not USD. The rate can actually get higher depending on your income. It's probably also a necessary rate if you wanna have the welfare system we have.
Personally i can only say QQ more. 9% is peanuts and with the amount of money that earn already i have no respect for their objections.

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