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White House Proposes "Wealthy Tax"

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the ante-up dept.

The Almighty Buck 2115

President Obama is proposing a new tax rate for people making over $1m a year. The new rate is part of a larger plan which seeks to bring in $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue and is sure to meet opposition in congress. From the article: "The core of the president's plan totals just more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. It combines the new taxes with $580 billion in cuts to mandatory benefit programs, including $248 billion from Medicare." GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said, "Class warfare may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics."

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Tax planning and rich people (2, Interesting)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440842)

So all they did was give even larger incentive for rich people to start playing games with taxes. Remember that tax planning isn't illegal, nor is forming offshore companies. It's unlikely to change as well, because foreign companies are needed too. As long as you keep the money in the offshore company accounts and not your personal ones, you don't need to pay taxes from them. The people making over one million dollars a year have all the means to do this - normal working people don't.

You know what, maybe start looking if the huge companies pay taxes? For example Google does a insane amount ($60 BILLION) of tax dodging [bloomberg.com] .

Re:Tax planning and rich people (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37440896)

Who cares how 'large' the incentive is? There will always be incentive for people to cheat to keep their money. It's our patriotic duty to make sure they pay their fair share for this country. This is a step in that direction.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441026)

Keeping the money that you earned and worked for is cheating, as opposed to having it taken from you by force and redistributing the money to what other people lobbied for? Or failed projects like Solyndra? Or questionable involvement in wars that have no impact on us?

This is not patriotic. This is just a step towards tyranny. Obama could take 100% of what the rich make and it wouldn't solve any of our problems.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441096)

"Or questionable involvement in wars that have no impact on us?"

How about "Or questionable involvement in wars that may harm us or have no impact on us?"

Trust me, wars have impacts on us. Even the ones we aren't involved in, few as they are.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441194)

Getting our fiscal house in order wouldn't solve any problems...? Infrastructure projects don't serve any purpose...? What state do you live in?

Re:Tax planning and rich people (5, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441204)

Keeping the money that you earned and worked for is cheat

BWAHAHAHAHAHAH. LOL.

The vast majority of this income in this range is "Unearned Income." People aren't earning nor working for multi-million dollar annual incomes, they are enjoying the benefits of others work by collecting dividens and stock profits.

-Rick

Re:Tax planning and rich people (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441240)

No, using public services to make money, then hiding your earnings so that you don't have to pay for those public services is CHEATING. EVERYONE in this country benefits from tax-funded services. But the rich seem to think that because they make millions, they don't have to contribute.

Let's put it this way: I am one car on the road, and I have to pay taxes for road upkeep. Mr. Millionaire has a fleet of 1000 semi trucks to deliver his product, but he doesn't have to pay for road upkeep? Does that seem fair to you?

Re:Tax planning and rich people (4, Insightful)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441252)

Keeping the money that you earned and worked for is cheating...

Only true if you did not in any form, directly or indirectly, benefit from society. Say, by ever buying anything that used any sort of public infrastructure (and benefitting from the reduced price).

"Money you earned and worked for" is not as simple a term as you might think - tied in with that work and its value are layers upon layers of additional worth, all stemming from the society you live in. Society is not robbing you - even if you paid 90%, you would still be getting a bargain, compared to how you much you and your time is worth sans society.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1)

hittman007 (206669) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441136)

...It's our patriotic duty to make sure they pay their fair share for this country...

Define fair share.

To some people that means they need to pay a higher percentage.
To others that means they need to pay the same percentage.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (0)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441228)

And for some people, it means complaining that their taxes are too low while somehow forgetting they have the option of paying more if they want to.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (2)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441230)

...It's our patriotic duty to make sure they pay their fair share for this country...

Define fair share.

To some people that means they need to pay a higher percentage. To others that means they need to pay the same percentage.

I'll settle for same percentage.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1, Insightful)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441264)

Rich people use more public services than poor people in support of their activities. So yes, a larger percentage.

Not to mention if you fail to regulate capitalism by tweaking the "score," the inevitable result is slavery.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441146)

It's also our patriotic duty to get this Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Obamacare, Acorn, SEIU, TSA sexually molesting, cash for clunkers, corrupt shithead our of office.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (-1, Flamebait)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440946)

Corporations do not pay taxes at all.
That's economics from junior high school.
All corporations do is pass their tax costs on to the price of their goods.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441042)

What should they do, magically produce money out of thin air to pay the taxes, entirely separate to their revenue stream...? Of course the money for taxes come from the price of their goods.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441090)

Corporations do not pay taxes at all.
That's economics from junior high school.
All corporations do is pass their tax costs on to the price of their goods.

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh.

This doesn't matter atall, the purpose of tax is to fund the government spending. If the corporations evade taxes as opposed to passing them to the users of the services, the government doesn't get the revenue it needs.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (2)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441184)

Nol, the government gets that revenue from other taxpayers. Me, for instance. And perhaps you.

Again, the equaton shouldn't be how much in taxes we pay, it should be how much we need to pay for a well-functioning government. It's the well-functioning part where the argument bogs down. Too much? Too little? Wrong things?

We're in a bind now that was inevitable - economic conditions warrant goverment expansion, but both the tax base and debt load make that counterproductive. Our fault. Our fix. Painful no matter what we do.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (2)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441108)

Corporations do not pay taxes at all.
That's economics from junior high school.
All corporations do is pass their tax costs on to the price of their goods.

Well, that's a silly argument. You might just as well say individuals don't pay any taxes, it just goes on their wage bill.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441238)

...not quite understanding what you're getting at, since if taxes go up, I sincerely doubt that my wages will go up in order to compensate for that shift.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441274)

Sorry, but that's just stupid. You could as easily say that working people aren't taxed, they just pass the costs to their employers.

You can't pass the cost to your customers if your competitor doesn't. I have no choice in my personal taxes, but I choose whether or not I pay Kraft's taxes.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441290)

You clearly didn't pay attention in junior high school, if you think that taxes on profits are a cost to a company. Profits are what you make after costs are netted out. Corporations are only taxed if they turn profits.

They would function in a roughly cost-like manner if the rate of profit were completely fixed, so e.g. a company that suffered a 2% reduction in profit had to and was able to raise its prices by 2% to compensate, but rates of profit fluctuate according to a number of factors. Where the 2% reduction in profit will come from: price increases, wage decreases, dividend decreases, pressure on suppliers for price decreases, etc. depends on a lot of factors.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441306)

No shit sherlock. You are a smart one!

Except of course that everyone over 4 years of age knows this already. That you think it is a revelation says lots about the quality of your junior high school and nothing about anything else.

tax incidence Re:Tax planning and rich people (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441342)

This is a subtle point that is covered in first semester microeconomics. The "incidence" of a tax (who actually pays it, seller or buyer of a commodity) depends on the relative slopes of the supply and demand curves. If the commodity is inelastic (i.e. demand doesn't depend much on price: gasoline in the short run), then if you put a tax on the seller, they can just bump the price, and their revenue remains the same, while the buyer pays the full tax. On the other hand, if you have a very elastic commodity (where people are happy to not buy it if the price goes up a little bit), then a tax applied on the mfr falls mostly on the mfr, because if they raise prices, people stop buying. (Example would be a tax on domestically produced toys vs imported ones. There's a lot of toy mfrs out there, and people buy just on price)

So, corporations send tax money to the govt, and some of it is manifested in higher selling prices, but some is manifested in lower revenue. If you have a tax policy that is uneven across lines of business/commodities, you can use this to encourage/discourage certain lines of business (e.g. tobacco taxes). The problem is that different commodities all have different elasticities, and that elasticity changes with time scale (gasoline is inelastic in short run, you still have to drive to work today, but quite elastic in the long run, jack the price of gas up to $6/gallon, and people stop buying Escalades and start buying Honda FITs) If you put a huge tax on gasoline (to encourage reduction in consumption) it would hit the consumer first, but the manufacturers in the long run. So you could give individuals a rebate on the tax when they file everyyear.. OK that helps the overall consumption reduction goal, but now the tax code is more complicated. And so it goes

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440956)

You know what, maybe start looking if the huge companies pay taxes?

That will just push companies to go offshore too. Look at how much GE paid last year. Its arguably even easier for these big companies to go off shore anyways since most of them are already multinational

Re:Tax planning and rich people (5, Interesting)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440988)

Then how about we tell the multinationals where to get off and push heavy incentives to actual local businesses, who make up more of the economy than the huge companies and can't hold regions hostage when they throw a tantrum about not getting treated special?

Re:Tax planning and rich people (-1, Flamebait)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441030)

Google will move its operations to countries where they have tax advantages. It's just going to happen. The existence of multinationals is a consequence of corporate tax policy across industrialized nations.

What I wonder is what they are thinking in Washington. First, there isn't enough money in million+ income hands to balance the budget. Not even close. Hell, you could take every dollar in profit every company in the US showed last year, and every cent of income from every millionaire, and you haven't even come close to closing the budget gap. Barely half, thinking of some presentation I saw not long ago.

This smells like more class warfare shit. They discredited Keynes by executing a lamebrained stimulus that didn't stimulate much, followed on by the printing of money that was QE/QE2, and now they'll tax the remaining producers into moving their assets out of the country. Maybe it'll get him re-elected, right? We'll worry about the economy in the 2nd term.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (4, Informative)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441346)

This smells like more class warfare shit.

The only class waging war in this country on other classes is the rich.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441040)

So instead of giving them "reason" to seek tax loopholes, you suggest giving up that tax revenue without a fight? How is that going to result in a revenue increase?

Some rich people (and wannabes) always bring up the "they (yeah right) will leave and go to tax havens. I say good riddance. If they like it better in those countries, what's stopping them? Or do they just want to stay here and twist our arms, because they actually like it here, you know, with the jobs and the infrastructure, and just don't want to pay as much taxes?

Re:Tax planning and rich people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441132)

dear god, mod parent up.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441304)

You missed a small step.

It's their money that will go offshore, not them. They'll just continue living here, while shell corporations and other dodges sit comfy and nearly tax-free in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, etc.

Besides, if Warren Buffet wants to pay more taxes that badly, the IRS actually does accept donations. He's more than welcome to give as much as he wants.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441060)

So all they did was give even larger incentive for rich people to start playing games with taxes.

Let them play games then.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (2, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441260)

So because people will play games with taxes we should just set all taxes to 0%, right?

The whole idea for upping the rate is because those on such incomes will be doing such things with their taxes. So since you are only going to get to a tax some portion of their income you have to use a higher rate to get the same end amount. And yes that sucks for the people who don't want to bother tax planning.

And do you really think anyone is going to say - well I was fine with the federal income tax taking $3,500,000 of my income but now that they want $4,500,000 I'm going to start "playing games". I suspect they're already doing all they can.

Re:Tax planning and rich people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441292)

VAT tax on imports -- its the best solution to multiple problems: offshore manufacturing, and corporations paying no income taxes.
When we are the only industrialized country without a VAT tax on imports, we are at a massive disadvantage. Currently, our exports are taxed twice (income taxes paid by corprs in the US, and VAT taxes when imported into other countries), and our imports are not taxed at all.

Honest Question (5, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440856)

Once the wealth accumulates to the top only, how will the economy survive without spending by the middle and lower classes? Won't a lot of business just shutdown because people don't have money to spend?

Re:Honest Question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37440978)

The question may be honest but irrelevant. Nobody with power cares about "the economy". Saying you do just sounds better than "I got bribed to prevent taxes for rich people".

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37440990)

Once the wealth accumulates to the top only, how will the economy survive without spending by the middle and lower classes? Won't a lot of business just shutdown because people don't have money to spend?

Well, doesn't that sound eerily familiar to what is going on out there...

Re:Honest Question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441006)

It is not a zero-sum game. A healthy economy produces new wealth which is the main reason why GDP is not a constant number and why you can have a rising standard of living in general while producing more "rich people." Transferring wealth from earners to non-earners just makes the economy contract as less money is put to accomplishing real work. Economics is fascinating, but most people are completely ignorant of how it works.

Re:Honest Question (3, Insightful)

itsenrique (846636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441214)

I call bullshit. Wealth transferred to non earners is quickly spent, and usually ends up very quickly back in the hands of the wealthy and large corporations (and the government itself). The rich and corporations on the other hand, are known to hoard wealth, and send it out of the country respectively. Also, "non-earners" vs "earners" is bogus, people go back and fourth if you are measuring annually. Unless you are already rich....

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441032)

Once the wealth accumulates to the top only, how will the economy survive without spending by the middle and lower classes? Won't a lot of business just shutdown because people don't have money to spend?

Usually each member of the upper class buy a share of the lower class (there will be not middle class by that time) to subdue another upper class member -- killing lots of lower class members and destroying lots of upper class property. Once this is over everyone will have lowered their expectations from life and there will be a lot to be rebuild -- allowing a group of skilled people to rise from the lower class and form a middle class again.

Don't be an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441050)

"Wealth" is not a fixed number. Bill Gates making a dollar does not prevent you from making a dollar, even that same dollar. The money of the wealthy isn't locked up in a vault or giant mattress, it's out there in investments. The economically innumerate progressive types of this world need to get that through their thick, pig shit filled skulls. and abandon their cartoonish, buffoonish view of reality.

Or just die. That would work, too.

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441074)

Once the wealth accumulates to the top only, how will the economy survive without spending by the middle and lower classes? Won't a lot of business just shutdown because people don't have money to spend?

You assume that there is a fixed amount of wealth. Businesses create wealth. Think of a business as an electric generator, you need to create a potential difference for the electricity to flow. Similarly, you need entities that create and amass wealth so that money will flow. When you think about it that way you understand why redistribution of wealth ALWAYS destroys an economy. It is the same as trying to get electricity to flow in a circuit with no potential gradient. It just won't work.

By the way, didn't we already have a tax like that... The Alternative Minimum Tax... As I recall, because of inflation, that sort of "Go after the rich" tax has been a failure because now it targets the middle class.

Re:Honest Question (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441340)

"By the way, didn't we already have a tax like that... The Alternative Minimum Tax... As I recall, because of inflation, that sort of "Go after the rich" tax has been a failure because now it targets the middle class."

That's not a failure to the people who are so desperate to tax the rich. They are similarly intent on taxing everyone except the 'poor'. And often, but not always, themselves.

We are well on our way to having NO middle class.

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441076)

A lot of smaller businesses will. Larger businesses will just reopen the company store and take credit.

Re:Honest Question (4, Interesting)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441088)

I'm more worried that this taxes people on their way to becoming rich.
I'd rather they taxed those who were already rich and living off their savings/company. I'd rather tax those who are sitting on trust funds than those who are aggressively making lots of money, as they are quite likely to be the wealth creators rather than the fat cats doing nothing but sucking money out of the system.
Tax wealth not income, otherwise all you do is keep those who are already rich rich and make it harder for those who are up and coming to get somewhere.
But i doubt you'll get those in power supporting tax on wealth precisely because they know this, it is in their interest to raise the barrier to entry to the upper class.

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441154)

Yes, that's one of the major problems with a service sector economy -- it's more trivial for people to cancel service spending than it is spending on goods. I can go forever without Starbuck's; I can't go forever without replacing clothes, refrigerator, washer/dryer, leaky roof. By outsourcing everything we have reduced our country's core competencies (yes USA centric author); now we have GenY who have the following core competencies: Barista, Waitress, Programmer, Subway Sandwich Artist ... All of those provide services which can be either skipped forever with no recompense.

I heard a new clip this morning wondering if Obama's next stimulus or jobs proposal is Economic Policy or Political Positioning. Both economics and politics are confidence games -- so why would it be both. To wrap around to the OP, follow the money.

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441242)

The poor will have to keep working to survive. There are a lot more Jumbos that can be bought so that daddy's little girl can fly to go shopping in Paris. If you think rich people are decadent now, you ain't seen nothing yet. We're heading for "voluntary" servitude.

Re:Honest Question (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441296)

That is a possible theoretic outcome and we have begun to see this with the closure of Borders and other businesses. If 10% hold all of the material wealth, that leaves 90% of people with all of the power to either keep the wealthy at their present status or break them. If all of the sudden everyone said, "We are not buying iPads," Apple's infrastructure would collapse. If everyone stopped shopping at Wal Mart and grew some of their own food, the Walton family would be decimated quickly. I advocate a return to microeconomics where the economy centers around a town and people are largely self sufficient. All the poor have to do is start realizing that they have power and start re-learning long forgotten skills, they can be largely self-sufficient. What gives us bills and expenses is, essentially, we look for the easy way out so we pay someone else to do what we do not want to or are unable. I have a friend in Alaska that lives off of the grid. In the summer he grows vegetables and hunts for food. He has a small cabin that he built on his own from materials that he purchased using the proceeds from a 401K cashout. He hasn't had an occupation in over five years, he works at his own pace, and he makes his own clothes.

Welcome to drudgedot, again... (-1, Flamebait)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440862)

Glad to see we are still happily catering to the conservative base on the front page. That, and multiple daily updates on what the creator of facebook is eating for breakfast, has really made this site great.

Re:Welcome to drudgedot, again... (2)

tacroy (813477) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441182)

Please understand this is a COMPLETELY honest comment. Please take it as face value. I am ignorant of this new tax and as I am working I don't currently have time to research. Based on the summery, President Obama is proposing to increase taxes on those that make over 1mil a year and the republicans are calling it class warfare. Which part of that is wrong / pandering to the conservative base? If it is fact then it can't be construed as bias, however, if it is FALSE then it should be discredited. In all honesty, I ask, please fill me in. Thank you.

That's nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37440916)

...how about we further reduce the fucking out of control spending, too?

Re:That's nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37440972)

Did you miss the part about the more than half trillion cut in benefits spending? Lets ignore that and instead bemoan the fact that some millionaires may have to pay a few thousands more in taxes. They are practically going to be destitute after that!

Re:That's nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441114)

Did you miss the part that these "cuts" are over 10 years?

There's nothing binding here if the next President -- or even the next seated Congress -- decides it is going to change things.

More bread and circuses, with a nice class warfare frosting.

Re:That's nice, but... (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441310)

Did you miss the part that these "cuts" are over 10 years?

There's nothing binding here if the next President -- or even the next seated Congress -- decides it is going to change things.

More bread and circuses, with a nice class warfare frosting.

Because cutting half a trillion as a whole this immediate fiscal year (or even in the next 2-3) starting tomorrow is absolutely possible and practical. You can't have it now so having in 10 years is just impractical. Totally zero-sum. </sarcasm>

I love how people call this idea "class warfare" when it's been heralded not just by one billionaire (Buffett) but several. Ideology trumps logic.

Re:That's nice, but... (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441000)

We could stop having wars*, but the Republicans wouldn't like that idea either.

*and drastically reduce military spending

Nice gesture (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440926)

It's a nice gesture, but it really won't do anything to address the root of the wealth disparity in this country: the military industrial complex that runs our government.

Anti-Rich People Rhetoric (1, Flamebait)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440938)

This whole "fuck rich people" movement is really starting to get on my nerves. Rich people are not the problem, it's all of the tax loopholes companies take advantage of that is the problem, why not do something about them?

Oh wait, that's right. Tax loopholes and corporate tax law are far too complicated for the average American to understand, so they need a common enemy to crowd against...cue the rich person destroyin our 'conomy...somehow.

Re:Anti-Rich People Rhetoric (1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441048)

you're totally misconstruing the "movement". its not at all fuck rich people. its rich people should be equal to us. in previous statements, obama said he's only trying to raise taxes on rich people so that they pay the same amount as the working class people because rich people are able to generate income through avenues that have a lower tax rate.

Re:Anti-Rich People Rhetoric (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441124)

Yup. The interesting thing is that even some of the rich people in question are effectively saying "please fuck us" - tax-wise at least.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html [nytimes.com]

Re:Anti-Rich People Rhetoric (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441234)

no, they are not. warren buffet has dodged billions in taxes. he is not saying "tax me". he is saying tax everyone else who might be catching up to me.

Re:Anti-Rich People Rhetoric (5, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441092)

Wealth accumulating at the top does ruin the economy. The only thing that makes this economy thrive is spending. One person having a billion dollars in the bank isn't going to make Target's quarterly numbers, no matter how much real-estate or stock said rich person invests in. Unless that money finds its way to the lower and middle class to be spent again, our economy will continue to stagnate. So yes, rich people continuing to accumulate a larger share of the wealth in this country every year are the problem. Fixing corporate tax loopholes will not increase demand for goods from the middle and lower classes.

Re:Anti-Rich People Rhetoric (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441142)

Who do you think lobbied and bribed politicians to create all those loopholes and tax shelters? Who do you think perverts the system with massive corruption?

I say the "fuck rich people" movement is spot on. Politicians don't do these things just for the sake of doing it. They do it because they get bribed to do so.

Re:Anti-Rich People Rhetoric (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441222)

This

Work hard, become successful, prosper... (-1, Flamebait)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440950)

..have the fruits of your labor taken away from you.

OK then.

Any question as to why the US is going down the toilet?

Re:Work hard, become successful, prosper... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440994)

Would you be so kind as to enlighten the rest of us how you've managed to do your work in a vacuum so that you've made no use of anything paid for by taxes?

Re:Work hard, become successful, prosper... (0)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441080)

I've paid taxes. Whereas most of the poor have not.

Next.

Re:Work hard, become successful, prosper... (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441130)

So be poor and pay no taxes.

Next.

Re:Work hard, become successful, prosper... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441098)

He lives in Somalia, you insensitive clod!!!!

Re:Work hard, become successful, prosper... (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441210)

don't think he said anything about "anything". providing $1 of services for $100 of taxes is still flushing money down the toilet.

Sarah Palin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441044)

..have the fruits of your labor taken away from you.

OK then.

Any question as to why the US is going down the toilet?

Palin? On Slashdot?

Re:Work hard, become successful, prosper... (5, Insightful)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441282)

If by "work hard" you mean go to a business school where they will give you a adress book of other self content bastards who will exclusively hire you instead of someone competent and teach you how to maximize short term profit until you can use your golden parachute (only to be hired the next month by another rogue corporation's board), then that's what you deserve. This is about 50% of the rich, "hard working people". Add to that the 45% of lucky sperms, and you have 95% of the rich out there.

Working hard is by far no guarantee to get wealthy.
Being rich is by far no proof to have worked hard.

Re:Work hard, become successful, prosper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441354)

You make it sound as if 90% of your income was being taken away. I look at it as equalizing the system. Some countries do this to a crazy amount (though I can't think of any right this moment).

If you're making $1,000,000 and have $900,000 taken away by taxes, you're still coming home with $100,000 which is about 3-4x what I'm making now. If you're making $1,000,000 and have $350,000 taken away by taxes, you get $650,000 left. That doesn't sound that bad to me. Yes, it's 35%, but the country needs support now and some of the lowest tax rates are here.

Never Happen (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440954)

This is exactly what it is, a proposal. It will never happen! If it does and I am wrong, it will be with significant concessions as to render the thing useless and the middle class will bear the brunt again.

More expenses? (1, Funny)

knuthin (2255242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440966)

Now being rich is a crime?

How do I pay for my Xbox Live subscription, my BBM unlimted data plans, the new iPhone that might launch anytime, the new anytime or my trips around the world every six months, if I am paying taxes for these stupid homeless/poor people who live in the middle of nowhere?

Looting others' money is just not as fun as it used to be.

Re:More expenses? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441332)

Don't kid yourself. You're not rich. This isn't about you, even if Fox tries to convince you otherwise.

At best you're some middle-class chump who generates money for those who are actually rich.

Class warfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37440976)

Yeah, tell the poor people they're dumb for wanting the small proportion of the country that owns most of the wealth to pony up!

Fuck off Republicans.

Yeah, class warfare. That's right. (5, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440980)

It is class warfare to increase tax rates in the highest income brackets to a level that is about half that of the 1950s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States#1913_-_2010 [wikipedia.org] . The current tax rate for the highest income brackets is 33%. In the 1950s and 1950s the highest tax rate was 91%. One can also argue that the proposed increased tax rate won't even restore the high tax rate to the same extent, since the historical tax rates were for income of at least $250,000, whereas this will apply to income of at least a million dollars but this would be slightly misleading since adjusting for inflation $250,000 in 1960 dollars is around a 2 million now. But even given that, the general point should be clear: This is far less than the historic tax rate during a time period that is often considered to be one of the most stable and prosperous.

The other problem with labels like class warfare is how much they miss the point of what actual class warfare is. If one wants to see actual class warfare look at the French Revolution where aristocrats and clergy got executed and this eventually spread to wealthy merchants. Or look at the Russian Revolution and the following years where people were punished and exiled for simply being farmers who owned their own land and equipment. That's class warfare. Voting to increase tax rates to levels well below historical levels is just regular economic policy. One can discuss whether such taxes are a good or bad thing, but it is pretty clear that such discussion isn't going to go very far when people like Ryan are using this sort of ridiculously inflammatory rhetoric.

Re:Yeah, class warfare. That's right. (-1)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441176)

Stop with the sensationalizing nonsense. This is not class warfare. In fact, not enacting this tax would be class warfare. That's nice you quote what their income tax bracket is but why don't you also include that the tax rate on their investments is substantially below what we pay? That's right, they only pay 15% on their long term investments. Please go educate yourself before you go off spouting all this nonsense. Buffet's idea (and I'm assuming Obama's too) is to raise the capital gains tax to rates that match what the working class has to pay.

Re:Yeah, class warfare. That's right. (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441236)

Ok. I understand that sarcasm in titles can be difficult to detect. But did you even read my comment before writing your reply?

Re:Yeah, class warfare. That's right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441256)

Did you read his post before replying? He was saying it wasn't class warfare......

Re:Yeah, class warfare. That's right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441270)

Did you read the OP at all before you commented? If you did, you may need to get your reading comprehension checked...

Re:Yeah, class warfare. That's right. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441248)

The tax rate is 33% on "income." But rich people don't work for a living and make an income. That would be vulgar.

Instead rich people invest their money and get a return on investment. That tax rate is only about 7% once all the deductions are taken into account.

Warren buffet claims that he pays less in taxes than his executive secretary does.

Woah, TIMEOUT! (1, Interesting)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37440984)

What in the world does this article have to do about anything relating to what I should expect from Slashdot politics? I do not see the geek factor in this. First samzenpus needs a ruler slap on the hands. Next time a boot from being allowed to post.

Re:Woah, TIMEOUT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441180)

Agreed. I should never see something on the salshdot front page that's *also* on the cnn and foxnews front pages. This made me sad.

Re:Woah, TIMEOUT! (1)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441272)

Is it a slow news day? There's nothing at all happening in the world of science or technology that would be more important to the average nerd than this? What about every other bill the President has proposed? I haven't seen those on slash dot

Mod parent up. This is just tax policy news. There's no gadget, there's no advanced math - it's pure politics. This isn't news for nerds, this is news that applies to the general public and in no way applies specifically to nerds.

Ryan is ignorant of economic history (5, Informative)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441052)

Remember how awful the economy was when Clinton was president? Eight horrible years of peace and prosperity, thank God that's long gone.
Going back as far as 1950, higher top marginal rates are (weakly) correlated with improved economic growth, not reduced economic growth ( http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/archives/002279.html [utexas.edu] ).

We are doomed (1)

cmdr_klarg (629569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441062)

We insist upon spending gobs and gobs of cash on stupid shit, and when we find we don't have enough to pay for it we lean on the people who don't have much to begin with, while simultaneously spending more of that non-existent cash by giving it to people who already have a lot of it. Makes perfect sense to me.

DOA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441068)

The Jesus-Boys won't let it happen.

Funny thing is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37441104)

BO is also proposing to not extend any of the Bush era tax cuts, which means all our taxes are going up. The "Taxes on millionaires" part is just a distraction.

Actually sounds good to me (1)

durdur (252098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441150)

The top tax rate on personal income has never been lower, anytime in the past 50 years. Furthermore it was deliberately set lower than necessary to fund current spending levels, back in 2001. So raising it is only a sensible move. You would think from the outcry against it that it was some radical move to kill off rich people, but it is neither radical nor would it cause a catastrophe. It will not by itself greatly alter the distribution of wealth. But it will start getting us closer to having tax revenue actually fund what the government spends. (I do not think just cutting government spending is a reasonable alternative - although that can be done too - it was a combination of spending and poor tax policy that got us into this, and fixing both those things is a reasonable way to get us out of deficit).

i will gladly (2)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441158)

tax you today for and promise to cut spending tomorrow.

Class warfare...makes for rotten economics (5, Interesting)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441164)

Yes, that's true. However, I wonder why this comment is usually directed at the working classes, when they are the ones upon whom the warfare is being waged. The rich have been conducting class warfare in the US since the Reagan administration, and they are now beginning to reap what they have sown.

I now make more than twice what my father earned at the height of his career in the early 80's, but I have less actual purchasing power. Rotten economics indeed.

Military spending? (4, Interesting)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441168)

Might it not be better just to cut say military spending in half? Nobody is going to invade the US, without coming home to a glass parking lot anyway, and all that money is just thrown down a hole. Yes military spending is to an extent recycled back into the economy, but surely we can come up with something more constructive to spend it on if one must spend that money?

I was going to journal about this (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441172)

I decided not to. Anyway, the rich righties are pissing me off with "this is class warfare!!!!" Wake up, people, class war is already being waged and we of median income are getting our asses kicked.

Can someone explain to me why Buffett's secretary pays a higher rate than him? What other country has a more regressive tax system?

Federal taxes are lower than any time in sixty years, and the deficit is bigger than any time in history. But the Koch brothers (who started the "Taxed enough" party) think their taxes are too high!

Some of today's rich people disgust me. Kudos to Buffett, one rich guy who isn't disgusting.

Ignorance is a viewpoint and all that (1, Troll)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441178)

It sometimes still amazes me when I meet liberals who don't understand that many people who "make $1M" actually don't keep most of it even before taxes because they run sole proprietorships or partnerships. It's a testament to the fact that we need a "you must know this much to have a right to be heard" sign next to the soap box.

I'm all for giving men like Buffet and Gates precisely what they want. They want more taxes, have at it. Instead of starting the curve ramping up in the low millions, let's have it really start hitting home in the tens of millions and then go nuts when someone takes home over $100M. That way we know we aren't hitting small businesses.

Since most of the truly wealthy seem to have a left-wing streak, I as a conservative, see no reason to not give them what they want good and hard so long as we can spare small businesses.

Class warfare (1)

cmdr_klarg (629569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441212)

I love how the conservatives trot out "class warfare". The non-wealthy must suck at it, because they aren't winning (and haven't been for centuries).

The Fruit of Thirty Years (4, Interesting)

Pstrobus (149491) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441220)

For the past thirty years we have held up the image of the put upon rich person who would love to invest in the US but can't because of our terrible tax burden. So the tax code has been modified to take the burden off the most wealthy [our top tax rate used to be 50% now it is 35%]. We did this in hopes that the wealthy would let the rest of the economy have more. This has not happened. In fact, the money has become more concentrated at the top while wages have stagnated at the bottom and in the middle. Instead of investing in industry, the Giant Pool of Money at the Top has bought US debt [we don't owe our soul to the Chinese, we owe it to the wealthy] and, because T-bills have had lousy returns for a decade, the money also went to fuel speculative bubbles [including the global housing bubble].

In this situation, where the top earners [about 5% of the population] have over 85% of the wealth, to whine about horrible confiscatory tax and wave the class warfare banner is beyond absurd. In order to have class war you need to have class, is the GOP saying that we still have class in the democratic United States?

We've needed another tax bracket or two... (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441250)

...for a long time now. IIRC, the 250K top tax bracket dates back to almost the beginning of the income tax system, when 250K was legitimately rich, and the earner of 250K would likely be a millionaire due to cash reserves from earning that kind of money for years.

Nowadays, 250K is still a very, very good income, but inflation has curtailed its spending power significantly. New brackets every so often that account for inflation, or else a periodic adjustment of all brackets for inflation would probably be good for the country.

As far as those who want to argue that "job creators" in the form the of the wealthy wouldn't create jobs if their personal income were taxed higher, the simple solution would be to offer tax breaks for the demonstrable creation of jobs. This mainly would affect small companies where only a handful of people actually own the companies in question, as they could say, "I didn't take $XX salary because instead I reinvested $XX in the company for salaries for workers" with the ability to produce those figures from the payroll books...

Total Lack of Cognitive Dissonance (5, Insightful)

feidaykin (158035) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441280)

What's going to be entertaining (in the sense that the sad circus of American politics is entertaining) about this whole thing is to watch the about-face the conservatives will make about how much money it takes to be rich. Recently, various state governments have been going after unions, and you see conservative commentators on the various shows talking about how teachers make enough money, how $30-40k a year is plenty when you consider union benefits, blah blah. Now these same exact people are going to go on the same exact shows and, with a straight face, say how those poor folks making a million a year are just struggling to get by and really need a break in this kind of economy while completely ignoring the fact they've spent a better part of a year telling us a teacher's salary is downright lavish. How does a conservative's head not explode from the cognitive dissonance? Do they actually simultaneously believe these polar opposite stances they take, or are they (like all politicians) simply bought and paid for by their masters and puppet whatever talking points they are fed?

For those of you who are going to dispute my point, here are some preemptive replies. First, I know that folks on the left do this shit all the time too. I remember Kerry's "flip flopping" helping cost him the 2004 election. But pointing to the other side and saying "See, they do the same reprehensible thing we do" does not actually make it okay. It's still downright disingenuous. My point is simple: How much money does it take to be rich? Because the conservatives in America have two different definitions that depend not on the amount income, but essentially on class. The fact that these same conservatives are the first to scream "Class Warfare!" at this kind of proposal is deliciously ironic and the whole thing would be fucking hilarious if the stakes weren't so high.

Reality check: to solve the long-term debt crisis, two things need to happen. Taxes need to go up, and spending needs to go down. Either side that says you can do one but not the other is living in some magical fairy-tale land where facts are superseded by what they wish were true.

Small business (5, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441284)

The important thing is to spare small businesses from the tax increase. A lot of small businesses are either simple proprietorships/partnerships or LLCs, for which the profits are taxed as an addition to personal income. Proprietors and partners will pay these taxes from the cash on hand of the business, meaning that the business has fewer resources to expand and hire more employees.

So go ahead and tax the $20M CEOs and such, but try to avoid placing the additional burden on small businesses.

Oh, this is really about news for nerds! (0)

MrJones (4691) | more than 2 years ago | (#37441302)

What does this news have to do with "News for nerds" ???

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