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Political Prediction TIme: Tax Cut Expiration
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Big Mac
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Nov 30, 2010, 08:19 AM
 
Will the Bush-era tax cuts be allowed to expire by this lame (duck) Congress? Or will they be renewed, and if so, partially or fully and for what period of time?

My prediction: At this point in the game it seems to me that it's more likely than not that they will be allowed to expire. A less likely outcome is a full extension for two or three years. Least likely of all is a partial extension as advocated by the president, given that there is just too little time to negotiate a compromise.

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ebuddy
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Nov 30, 2010, 08:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Will the Bush-era tax cuts be allowed to expire by this lame (duck) Congress? Or will they be renewed, and if so, partially or fully and for what period of time?

My prediction: At this point in the game it seems to me that it's more likely than not that they will be allowed to expire. A less likely outcome is a full extension for two or three years. Least likely of all is a partial extension as advocated by the president, given that there is just too little time to negotiate a compromise.
I believe the GOP is meeting with the President today in fact. I believe there will be a permanent extension for the filthy poor (those below $250k) and a two-year extension of cuts for the filthy rich. (those above $250k) The GOP can afford to relent on seeking permanent tax cuts for "the rich" to have the talking point for the 2012 elections.

They will not be allowed to expire.
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Nov 30, 2010, 09:46 AM
 
I hope the exchange gets 'ugly' with the new House folks basically telling Obama his spending days are over. Maybe they can ask him about his lip....
     
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Nov 30, 2010, 09:50 AM
 
I can't see them letting it expire. The US is haemorrhaging "rich" money at the moment, and they'll want to do everything they can to prevent the wound from opening further.
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Nov 30, 2010, 10:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I believe the GOP is meeting with the President today in fact. I believe there will be a permanent extension for the filthy poor (those below $250k) and a two-year extension of cuts for the filthy rich. (those above $250k) The GOP can afford to relent on seeking permanent tax cuts for "the rich" to have the talking point for the 2012 elections.
I'd be surprised if this happens. The GOP wants to keep all the cuts linked: If the tax cuts on the low-end are made permanent and the ones on the high end are not, it becomes much harder to renew the high-end cuts on their own merits the next time they come up for renewal. As long as they are linked, the cuts are legitimately "across the board" cuts, which is easier to sell.

It's much more likely the whole issue gets approved for two years, essentially punting it into the next election.
     
Laminar
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Nov 30, 2010, 11:31 AM
 
Warren Buffett: I 'Should Be Paying A Lot More In Taxes'

I caught part of this program on Sunday, it was interesting. The problem I see is that they're advocating extra taxes for people making significantly less than them. I'm sure that in some areas, $200,000 a year barely gets you a place to live.
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 30, 2010, 11:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Warren Buffett: I 'Should Be Paying A Lot More In Taxes'

I caught part of this program on Sunday, it was interesting. The problem I see is that they're advocating extra taxes for people making significantly less than them. I'm sure that in some areas, $200,000 a year barely gets you a place to live.
To which some people will say "Maybe you should move somewhere you can afford to live then."

Of course, you could solve the problem by adding another bracket for those making above 500k, but that'd be politically impossible to manage.

I'll go with Obama doing the (politically) dumbest thing possible – extending them all for two years, so he has to deal with the issue during his reelection campaign.
     
Laminar
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Nov 30, 2010, 11:47 AM
 
In the program, Buffett did a survey of those working in his office, and of the 23 people that responded, he pays the lowest tax rate, at around 16%.

But like you said, as soon as a political candidate advocates extra taxes on the high income earners, they're going to lose the support of the high income earners.

Also, Gates, Buffett, and Turner are planning on donating half of their fortunes, which amounted to something like $200 billion (going from memory). They repeatedly said it's much easier to make the money than it is to donate it intelligently.
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 30, 2010, 11:50 AM
 
Not even that, I wouldn't see it making it through Congress.
     
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Nov 30, 2010, 12:02 PM
 
If they want to donate money there is a line item on every single 1040 form where one can voluntarily give money to the Federal government. Please excuse me if I am not reaching for Kleenex to assuage their crocodile tears.
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Nov 30, 2010, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
In the program, Buffett did a survey of those working in his office, and of the 23 people that responded, he pays the lowest tax rate, at around 16%.
16%? What a mug.

Originally Posted by Macrobat View Post
If they want to donate money there is a line item on every single 1040 form where one can voluntarily give money to the Federal government.
Bingo. If Buffet (and I believe Trump's been on about something like this) want to give their money to government, they can do so. But then they should shut the f up until such a time as they're elected to represent.
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OAW
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Nov 30, 2010, 03:38 PM
 
I'm going to stick with my prediction I outlined in the other thread .....

Originally Posted by OAW
The Obama Administration will offer the following compromise to the GOP:

The Bush tax cuts will be made permanent for those making up to 250K. A temporary extension of 1 - 2 years will be made for those making more .... provided that unemployment benefits are extended for the same time frame.

If the GOP balks at this offer, the Dems in the House will pass legislation making them permanent for those making up to 250K. Expiration for those making more. And with public opinion clearly in favor of the Dems on the issue ... they will dare the GOP in the Senate to block it and cause everybody's taxes to go up in 2011.
Here's how I see all of this. From a deficit reduction standpoint, the Bush Tax Cuts should be allowed to expire. All of them. It was a boneheaded thing to do from a budgetary standpoint. When Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill objected to the second round of tax cuts in 2002 VP Dick Cheney infamously said to him "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter. We won the midterms. This is our due." And when Secretary O'Neill didn't get with the program he was fired soon thereafter by VP Cheney. And as we know, the GOP Congress and the Bush Administration decided to defy simple mathematics and common sense and go forward with the tax cuts anyway. They used the budget reconciliation process to circumvent Democratic opposition ... and this is what necessitated the 10 year sunset provision in the legislation. As predicted, it blew a hole in the budget resulting in the trillion dollar deficit that President Obama had to deal with from Day 1 of his term. That wasn't the only contributor of course. 2 wars and Medicare Part D put on the national credit card ... along with the lowered revenues and increased costs of the Great Recession were definitely in the mix. But the point remains ... the tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible given the Bush Administration's agenda. Moreover, the fact that the 8 year Bush Administration had a net job creation of ZERO and middle class household income was less in 2008 than in 1999 when adjusted for inflation absolutely runs counter to the GOP argument that the Bush Tax Cuts ... which delivered a third of their total benefits to the wealthiest 1% of Americans .... is sound economic policy because they are the "small business owners that create jobs". Furthermore, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center estimates that extending the Bush Tax Cuts would add yet another 3.7 trillion dollars to the deficit over the next 10 years. So it's hard for someone to credibly argue that extending them is the fiscally responsible thing to do.

Now having said that, from an economic growth standpoint, raising taxes on those most likely to spend it is generally not a wise idea during a fragile and anemic economic recovery. The problem in the economy right now is significantly decreased demand in the private sector due to high unemployment and underemployment. Taking money out of private hands that will actually spend it and sending it to Washington in the form of taxes won't help that problem. So even though the individual impact of allowing the Bush Tax Cuts on those making less that 250K per year is somewhat negligible (because they disproportionately benefited the wealthy to begin with) .... the cumulative impact is substantial to the economy as a whole.

Now of course, these two things are in direct opposition to each other. So which one should have the higher priority? Deficit reduction or economic growth? My contention is that in the short-term ... economic growth should trump deficit reduction in order to get the economy back on track. But in the long-term .... deficit reduction should take precedence. And a strong economy is key ingredient to getting the deficit back under control. We simply can't do both at the same time ... however, just because one takes precedence doesn't mean that the other should not be considered at all. So where should lower priority consideration of deficit reduction fit into the mix? Well the GOP is presently blocking an extension of unemployment benefits to the long-term jobless ... insisting that the measure be paid for and not add to the deficit. Yet at the same time the GOP is insisting that the Bush Tax Cuts be made permanent for the wealthy ... even though the contribution to the deficit of this action would DWARF what extending unemployment benefits would do. Oh no ... those don't have to be paid for. IMO ... this is a morally reprehensible and economically stupid position to take. Morally reprehensible because at a time when there are 5 people unemployed for every job opening ... the GOP would rather look after the interests of the wealthy than those of the jobless. Certainly not surprising of course because the GOP traditionally caters to the wealthy and corporate America. But to be so bold about it in an economic environment like this? But moreover, this is economically stupid because extending unemployment benefits would cost approximately 60 billion whereas making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent for the wealthy would cost nearly 700 billion over 10 years. Furthermore, we absolutely KNOW that the long-term jobless will spend unemployment benefits ... which contributes to economic growth. It's their lifeline. Whereas the wealthy MIGHT create a job with the tax benefit. (Never mind that they have such a tax benefit today and they are not in any significant way. And the net job creation since they've been in effect has been ZERO. ) But the GOP seems poised to allow unemployment benefits to expire for the long-term jobless TODAY ... which will instantly suck 5 billion a month out of the economy.

President Obama is holding all the cards on this IMO. Public opinion is firmly on his side on this issue. Economic sanity is on his side. He should lay down a marker in the upcoming "Slurpee Summitt". If Congress sends him a bill extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy ... at a cost of 700 billion over the next decade ... he will veto it. Period. In the lame duck session or the new Congress where the GOP will have a majority in the House. And then dare the GOP to allow taxes to rise on the middle class over their insistence on keeping tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. But of course, that's what I think he should do. The thing is, he strikes me as someone who'd rather avoid confrontation if possible ... so what I think he will do is the prediction I outlined above.

OAW
( Last edited by OAW; Nov 30, 2010 at 07:27 PM. )
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Nov 30, 2010, 03:44 PM
 
Economic sanity is on Obama's side? $70 billion a year in extra confiscated revenue pales in comparison to the enormous government spending we're dealing with. It's a scratch on the surface when you're looking at $1.5 trillion deficits, the fruit of decades of Progressivism run amok and the Entitlement State they reared.

That joke of a post reminds me why I have you on ignore, OAW.

No, OAW, Americans don't support the Democratic line. Most Americans know that we send far too much money to the feds as it is and that it's not a revenue problem they have but a spending problem.

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OAW
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Nov 30, 2010, 04:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Economic sanity is on Obama's side? $70 billion a year in extra confiscated revenue pales in comparison to the enormous government spending we're dealing with. It's a scratch on the surface when you're looking at $1.5 trillion deficits, the fruit of decades of Progressivism run amok and the Entitlement State they reared.
We'll just note how when the facts don't suit you ... you simply change the subject. The comparison I made was between 70 billion in unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless vs 700 billion over the next decade for tax cuts for the wealthy. I made that abundantly clear. Yet, true to form, you seem incapable of dealing with a specific issue and resort to the same old ideological generalities of "enormous government spending" and "decades of Progressivism run amok" blah blah blah.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
That joke of a post reminds me why I have you on ignore, OAW.
Well if you had me on ignore then your responding to my post is a pretty neat trick. Seeing as how you can't claim you saw it because somebody else quoted me. You really should've thought that one through before posting such an obviously false comment.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
No, OAW, Americans don't support the Democratic line. Most Americans know that we send far too much money to the feds as it is and that it's not a revenue problem they have but a spending problem.
Again, do try to stick to the subject. I didn't say a single word about the "Democratic line". I said most Americans support the President Obama's position when it comes to the Bush Tax Cuts expiring. Which IIRC is the topic of this, your own thread? N'est-ce pas?

CNN Poll: Only one-third favor tax cut extension for wealthy – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

OAW
     
stumblinmike
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Nov 30, 2010, 06:52 PM
 
OAW, you have the patience of Job....Keep up the good work!
     
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Dec 1, 2010, 03:39 PM
 
He should just write a f*cking check to the IRS for the amount he feels he's being undercharged. That would make him a real American, right?
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olePigeon
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Dec 1, 2010, 03:57 PM
 
Ideally, I'd like to see removal of sales tax, and a single, low income tax applied to everyone under 65. All income would be taxed. That would include unearned income.
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Big Mac  (op)
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Dec 1, 2010, 04:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Ideally, I'd like to see removal of sales tax, and a single, low income tax applied to everyone under 65. All income would be taxed. That would include unearned income.
What do you mean by unearned income? Capital gains?

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Dec 1, 2010, 04:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Ideally, I'd like to see removal of sales tax, and a single, low income tax applied to everyone under 65. All income would be taxed. That would include unearned income.
There's no general Federal Sales Tax, so Congress can't remove it. Most general sales taxes are imposed by the States. (Congress does impose sales taxes on specific things, like gasoline, but I think the state sales tax on those items are higher.)
     
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Dec 1, 2010, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
What do you mean by unearned income? Capital gains?
Only if withdrawn and used as income when under the age of 65. Investments that remain as investments are tax free until you withdraw the money, just like normal. Capital gains (sales, interest, dividends, corporate bonuses, gifts exceeding $1000, etc.) would not be taxed if the monies are reinvested within 3 months. Otherwise, it's a source of income and is taxed as if received from any other employer.

If you're over 65, capital gains are treated as retirement and are tax free.
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olePigeon
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Dec 1, 2010, 04:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dork. View Post
There's no general Federal Sales Tax, so Congress can't remove it. Most general sales taxes are imposed by the States. (Congress does impose sales taxes on specific things, like gasoline, but I think the state sales tax on those items are higher.)
Yeah. I think my idea is dead in the water unless the states cooperate. Fat chance.
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Dec 1, 2010, 05:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon
Only if withdrawn and used as income when under the age of 65. Investments that remain as investments are tax free until you withdraw the money, just like normal. Capital gains (sales, interest, dividends, corporate bonuses, gifts exceeding $1000, etc.) would not be taxed if the monies are reinvested within 3 months. Otherwise, it's a source of income and is taxed as if received from any other employer.
I'm confused by your explanation. Capital gains, dividends, and the other things you mentioned are different things. A capital gain (loss) is the difference between a higher (lower) selling price of an investment, like a stock, and its purchase price. A dividend is a portion of corporate profits paid out to shareholders over some interval, based on the number of shares each holds.

Usually "unearned income" means anything other than wages. So I understood your initial comment to mean that there would be a flat tax rate applied to all income types, regardless of source.

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Dec 1, 2010, 05:32 PM
 
The GOP Senate Caucus unanimously pledged to block all legislation in the Senate until the Bush Tax Cuts and current funding of the government are extended.

Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.

All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, vowing to prevent a vote on "any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers."
Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved - CNN.com

Bear in mind that unemployment benefits for the jobless start to expire TODAY. So they are going hard in the paint to prevent the tax rate for millionaires and billionaires to return to Clinton Administration levels for income above 250K .... you know, the last time we had a balanced budget and good economy. In other news, the Democrats are considering holding a vote for extending the Bush Tax Cuts for those making up to 250K only on Thursday. And then holding a separate vote on extending them for those making more than that in legislation tied to an extension of unemployment benefits. We'll see if the GOP actually filibusters legislation extending the tax cuts to 98% of the American people ... which would essentially be taking a position that if the upper 2% can't have their tax cuts extended for their income above 250K, then nobody can have them extended at all.

OAW
     
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Dec 1, 2010, 06:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
I'm confused by your explanation. Capital gains, dividends, and the other things you mentioned are different things. A capital gain (loss) is the difference between a higher (lower) selling price of an investment, like a stock, and its purchase price. A dividend is a portion of corporate profits paid out to shareholders over some interval, based on the number of shares each holds.
Yes, I goofed my explanation.

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Usually "unearned income" means anything other than wages. So I understood your initial comment to mean that there would be a flat tax rate applied to all income types, regardless of source.
That is correct. I was trying to give examples of unearned income, which includes capital gains, dividends, bonuses, etc.
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Dec 1, 2010, 07:28 PM
 
And how would you balance capital gains against inflation without taking into account fiscal drag?

10 years ago, I bought a house for £70k.
It's now worth £140k.

If I sell, I'm charged capital gains on £70k (the difference)... ...even though, in real terms, I haven't made a profit.
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Dec 1, 2010, 08:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
And how would you balance capital gains against inflation without taking into account fiscal drag?

10 years ago, I bought a house for £70k.
It's now worth £140k.

If I sell, I'm charged capital gains on £70k (the difference)... ...even though, in real terms, I haven't made a profit.
Well good, profit is evil. You should be taxed on all 140k. After all, being rich is evil.
     
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Dec 1, 2010, 08:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
The GOP Senate Caucus unanimously pledged to block all legislation in the Senate until the Bush Tax Cuts and current funding of the government are extended.



Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved - CNN.com

Bear in mind that unemployment benefits for the jobless start to expire TODAY. So they are going hard in the paint to prevent the tax rate for millionaires and billionaires to return to Clinton Administration levels for income above 250K .... you know, the last time we had a balanced budget and good economy. In other news, the Democrats are considering holding a vote for extending the Bush Tax Cuts for those making up to 250K only on Thursday. And then holding a separate vote on extending them for those making more than that in legislation tied to an extension of unemployment benefits. We'll see if the GOP actually filibusters legislation extending the tax cuts to 98% of the American people ... which would essentially be taking a position that if the upper 2% can't have their tax cuts extended for their income above 250K, then nobody can have them extended at all.

OAW

If the government officials spent half as much time balancing their own books as they try to fudge ours, maybe they'd be a bit closer to that goal of a balanced budget.

Federal government employees owe $3.3 billion (yes, with a B) in delinquent taxes. Yes, delinquent.

Obama's staff in it of itself owes close to a million dollars. You ever heard the saying charity starts at home, OAW? How can we trust them to take our money and use it properly when they don't even pay taxes themselves.

If you were as worried about the budget as much as you claim, you'd be calling for them to pay their taxes BEFORE asking them to raise mine or my neighbors. I'm not sure your enthusiasm for the issue has anything to do with balancing the budget.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/40215318/Gove...linquent_Taxes
( Last edited by Snow-i; Dec 1, 2010 at 08:30 PM. Reason: added source)
     
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Dec 1, 2010, 08:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
If the government officials spent half as much time balancing their own books as they try to fudge ours, maybe they'd be a bit closer to that goal of a balanced budget.

Federal government employees owe $3.3 billion (yes, with a B) in delinquent taxes. Yes, delinquent.

Obama's staff in it of itself owes close to a million dollars. You ever heard the saying charity starts at home, OAW? How can we trust them to take our money and use it properly when they don't even pay taxes themselves.

If you were as worried about the budget as much as you claim, you'd be calling for them to pay their taxes BEFORE asking them to raise mine or my neighbors.

News Headlines
You raise a fair, albeit essentially irrelevant point. The 3.3 billion in delinquent taxes are a drop in the bucket compared to what the Bush Tax Cuts are contributing to the budget deficit. Which is, after all, the topic of the thread. Additionally, federal employees are your "neighbors". Why do you take such an "us vs. them" mentality on people who by and large fall into the same middle class that people working in the private sector do? The same category that would see their tax cuts extended under the proposal set forth by the Obama Administration? Do you fall into that top 2% of income earners? Do your "neighbors"? If not, then what are you really trying to say here? But back to my original statement in this response .... extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the top 2% of income earners will add nearly 700 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years. Are you really arguing that as a country we should go forward with that because 3 billion are delinquent by federal employees? How much is delinquent by private sector employees? Would you be willing to bet your next paycheck that it's smaller than what's owed by federal employees?

OAW
     
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Dec 1, 2010, 11:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
You raise a fair, albeit essentially irrelevant point. The 3.3 billion in delinquent taxes are a drop in the bucket compared to what the Bush Tax Cuts are contributing to the budget deficit.
I would argue that your point is less relevant than mine. Sure, today, mathmatically, you're correct. But for tomorrow, we must address the cause and not the symptoms. The cause is rampant arrogance, corruption, and incompetence in Washington. Giving them more money to play with isn't going to fix this issue, nor will it balance our budget. We must fix Washington before we can hope Washington will fix anything.

Which is, after all, the topic of the thread. Additionally, federal employees are your "neighbors". Why do you take such an "us vs. them" mentality on people who by and large fall into the same middle class that people working in the private sector do?
My Us vs them attitude is directed towards Washington's leadership which has allowed this to happen. I've worked for the government before, I've worked as a government contractor, I've seen the song and dance so don't thing my argument is pointed at every last federal employee. But its leadership has broken the camel's back, and its time to start holding them accountable.

The same category that would see their tax cuts extended under the proposal set forth by the Obama Administration? Do you fall into that top 2% of income earners? Do your "neighbors"? If not, then what are you really trying to say here?
Some of my neighbors do. I don't, but I hope to one day. I take issue with the notion that top 2% earners are somehow more responsible in the recession then the rest of us. That somehow this would solve any of the issues this country is facing. I believe the opposite would happen, and have history and a whole ass-ton of economists that agree with me. I believe the reasons for the proposed tax increase on the wealthy is more ideological and not based in practicality, as we've been in this boat before and seen the way out is the exact opposite of whats being proposed.
But back to my original statement in this response .... extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the top 2% of income earners will add nearly 700 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.
Thats if all else remains the same. Get rid of Obamacare, cut federal spending, lower taxes, and get the economy back on track with private sector growth and federal revenues will increase. There are far better ways to balance the budget and ones that won't destroy our economy further in the process.

Are you really arguing that as a country we should go forward with that because 3 billion are delinquent by federal employees? How much is delinquent by private sector employees? Would you be willing to bet your next paycheck that it's smaller than what's owed by federal employees?

OAW
No, I'm arguing that Washginton's credibility on the tax issue is absolutely ziltch. Nada. Nothing. For One the Rangel case, and for two they seem to have trouble paying their own tab while asking for someone elses to go up.

If you take away the current leaderships voice as not credible, you're left with reason, history and economists. All of which saying a tax increase is a terrible idea. I'm inclined to agree.
     
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Dec 2, 2010, 08:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
In the program, Buffett did a survey of those working in his office, and of the 23 people that responded, he pays the lowest tax rate, at around 16%.
I've never understood Buffet on this. If anything, his employee's taxes are too high. If he thinks it is unfair that someone with stable employment is paying higher taxes than one who is risking their [already taxed] money on the market, then he should be advocating to lower their tax rate, not raise his own. He should also be advocating a simplification of the tax code that produces a return document of over 9,000 pages for Berkshire annually. After all, we don't all have access to a battery of tax attorneys to work loopholes for us either. The tax rate on capital gains upon expiration this January will leap from 15% to 27%. Why would any one of his employees risking their hard-earned [already taxed] capital in IRAs or other investment vehicles want to see an increase in their taxes? He's a good investor sure, makes a lot of money for himself, but all investors don't fare this well. He knows it.

Also, Gates, Buffett, and Turner are planning on donating half of their fortunes, which amounted to something like $200 billion (going from memory). They repeatedly said it's much easier to make the money than it is to donate it intelligently.
Apparently donating it to the Federal coffers is not deemed intelligent by Buffet or he wouldn't be avoiding Federal estate taxes by donating his wealth to the foundations he manages.
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Dec 2, 2010, 12:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I've never understood Buffet on this. If anything, his employee's taxes are too high. If he thinks it is unfair that someone with stable employment is paying higher taxes than one who is risking their [already taxed] money on the market, then he should be advocating to lower their tax rate, not raise his own.
Buffet's been called on his little tricks he pulls to get these numbers before- he's a classic big government sycophant. First of all, he only counts his own income as capital gains- which represents a tiny fraction of people able to do the same, and no where near the $200k income range he's in favor of hiking up INCOME taxes on. It's not even accurate that his only income is from capital gains, so that's bogus as well.

Even more insidiously, for these dumb little comparisons he never factors in his employee's eligible deductions- I mean, that's such a dishonest trick that only another nanny state sycophant could possible fall for it.

People who've smelled a rat when Buffet's pulled his crap before, did what the media of course rarely bothers to do- they simply looked into it. It's easy to get the tax tables that people ACTUALLY pay, but federally and for the state of Nebraska that Buffet is HQ'd in. Any of us who've done our taxes know how they work. Once you factor in things like dependents, marriage status, actual deductions that people take in the real world, etc.etc. then one finds that it's very hard to come up with a situation where Buffet's employees pay a higher REAL WORLD percentage of taxes than he does.

He blatantly lied about his secretary when he pulled this trick before; it was found that she of course pays far less a percentage than he does once you factor in her ACTUAL real world tax situation (married, a couple of dependents) with all deductions intact.

Buffet is full of shit. If he wants to pay more taxes, then he easily could. But sycophants like him never volunteer their own money. Everyone else- including his employees that he uses as pawns in this, are the ones expected to pay more. You're right in pointing it out- he's NEVER in favor of advocating for their taxes being less.
     
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Dec 2, 2010, 01:20 PM
 
So Buffett is twisting the facts to make an argument for a policy that would disadvantage him personally? You're going to have to explain that one a little better.

First of all, he only counts his own income as capital gains- which represents a tiny fraction of people able to do the same
As I understand it, that's his entire point. People like himself pay a lower percentage of their income as taxes because they earn most of their money in capital gains, as opposed to the lower and middle class.

Also, I think you are using the word "sycophant" incorrectly.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Dec 2, 2010 at 01:26 PM. )

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Dec 2, 2010, 01:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
You raise a fair, albeit essentially irrelevant point. The 3.3 billion in delinquent taxes are a drop in the bucket compared to what the Bush Tax Cuts are contributing to the budget deficit.

OAW
Its NOT tax cuts that is the problem it's spending money we don't have on crap we don't need. Until we elect responsible politicians who know not to piss away money on BS we will have this discussion. We wouldn't need to raise taxes if those tax-n-spenders had any brains. The lefts policies are fairy tails and wrong. Our current 'leaders' have pissed away far more than they originally said (LIARS), even to bailing out foreign entities.
     
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Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
So Buffett is twisting the facts to make an argument for a policy that would disadvantage him personally? You're going to have to explain that one a little better.
I'll tell you what's happening.

Buffet knows that there's no chance of the government taking him up on this, so it's his way of ensuring that the people serving him lunch don't spit in it (hating him for being rich, etc.). All a big ploy to curry favour with the poor.
As we know, the poor are stupid, so they won't investigate further and see through the masquerade.
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Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
Its NOT tax cuts that is the problem it's spending money we don't have on crap we don't need. Until we elect responsible politicians who know not to piss away money on BS we will have this discussion. We wouldn't need to raise taxes if those tax-n-spenders had any brains. The lefts policies are fairy tails and wrong. Our current 'leaders' have pissed away far more than they originally said (LIARS), even to bailing out foreign entities.
We here in the UK are spending too much, so having public sector cuts.
At the same time, we're funding Pakistan to the tune of £665m a year. Who then promptly turn around and fund the Taliban with it.

It makes no sense.
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Dec 2, 2010, 01:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy
Buffet knows that there's no chance of the government taking him up on this, so it's his way of ensuring that the people serving him lunch don't spit in it (hating him for being rich, etc.). All a big ploy to curry favour with the poor.
As we know, the poor are stupid, so they won't investigate further and see through the masquerade.
Careful, you're sounding like a liberal railing against the rich and their evil schemes. The simple fact is that Buffett's basic proposal (have the rich pay more) is not in his economic interest. If you want to attribute to him some secret motivations then I might as well accuse the MacNN account "Doofy" of being some clever agitprop ploy.

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Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
So Buffett is twisting the facts to make an argument for a policy that would disadvantage him personally? You're going to have to explain that one a little better.
No, he knows what he's advocating for won't disadvantage him personally. He's an OLD billionaire. He personally could afford a 100% tax rate for the rest of his (limited) days and not even care- he'll have money to burn until the day he dies.

But what he advocates for would destroy the income, investment, and retirement money of millions of people- the VAST MAJORITY of people- who don't just see their income and planned retirement as playmoney like he does. Someone making 200k or whatever amount doesn't need their investments wiped out because Buffet -lying anyway about his income and real world tax rate anyway- can afford to piss money down a toilet.

Why would anyone sane listen to tax policy advocated for by some aging nanny-state billionaire who won't even be alive to pay any taxes he's currently advocating strangling everyone else with?

It's been established that Buffet's real problem is that early in his career he was rejected by the country club set, and ever since he's been on a vendetta to 'punish' them for it. So he's in favor of constantly advocating to have taxes raised on them (most who earn far less than him) while he of course sits in a lofty position to never be in the least bit affected by what he's pushing. And of course he's willing to throw everyone else under the bus- his employees, other taxpayers, etc. to get at his country-club rivals that he hates.

Buffet is like a lot of leftwingers are as well, in that they too often want to toss out the baby with the bathwater to get at people they have some axe to grind with- usually people that DARE to make more than them, to the point of growing a huge nanny state to do their bidding for them, and screwing everyone with it.

Also, I think you are using the word "sycophant" incorrectly.
Look the term up. It's exactly what the nanny-staters are:

apple-polishing
ass kissing
ass licking
bootlicker
brown nosing
crawler
fawning
flunky
groveling
hanger-on
kowtowing
lackey
lickspittle
sucking up
toady
yes man


Virtually all of those apply.
     
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Dec 2, 2010, 01:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
No, he knows what he's advocating for won't disadvantage him personally. He's an OLD billionaire. He personally could afford a 100% tax rate for the rest of his (limited) days and not even care- he'll have money to burn until the day he dies.
If it means he has less money then it is a disadvantage in some form or another, depending on his personal goals. It means less money to pass on to his heirs or contribute to his charitable causes.

But what he advocates for would destroy the income, investment, and retirement money of millions of people- the VAST MAJORITY of people- who don't just see their income and planned retirement as playmoney like he does.
You'd have to demonstrate why that is the case.

Look the term up. It's exactly what the nanny-staters are:

apple-polishing
ass kissing
ass licking
bootlicker
brown nosing
crawler
fawning
flunky
groveling
hanger-on
kowtowing
lackey
lickspittle
sucking up
toady
yes man

Virtually all of those apply.
Sycophancy is to fawn over the more powerful in order to curry favor and gain more benefits. I'm not sure who exactly Buffett is fawning over here, and why his proposal would benefit him personally. As far as I know, he's not advocating that the government is a great steward of money and will do so many worthwhile things with his dollars (his devotion to the Gates Foundation is perhaps an illustration of his views to the contrary). He simply says that the rich should pay a higher share of government expenses than they currently do.

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Dec 2, 2010, 01:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
If it means he has less money then it is a disadvantage in some form or another, depending on his personal goals. It means less money to pass on to his heirs or contribute to his charitable causes.
His heirs are already rich beyond belief. Also, your 'reasoning' makes no sense- he could ALREADY GIVE HIMSELF A TAX INCREASE. Why hasn't he? Why does he continue to insist his taxes are too low, but he does nothing about it? You'll never look into that, and just continue to believe the bullshit that he has no other agenda than merely wanting to pay more taxes.



You'd have to demonstrate why that is the case.
It's been demonstrated time and time again that raising capital gains and income on investments hurts normal people who use invesments for their retirement, not as 'playmoney' like Buffet. If you've actually been smart enough to plan for your own retirement, then you know damned well that some asshole in government deciding to raid your earnings 'because you're just greedy and don't need it anyway!' will effect you for more than it will some billionaire. If you haven't planned for your retirement and just think it would be fun to subject other people to this because how dare they have money when you don't... well, that'd be pretty typical.



Sycophancy is to fawn over the more powerful in order to curry favor and gain more benefits. personally.
Right. That's the government. Are you actually saying Buffet has more money and power than the US government? Bit of a stretch don't you think?

Also, (thankfully) Buffet himself doesn't personally have the power to impose his tax policy bullshit (that AGAIN I point out that he doesn't actually follow for himself) on others. He needs to advocate for and suck up to a big nanny-state government to have it done for him.

And again, all this 'benefit him personally' stuff- where do you get that? Buffet is in a position where either way none of this effects him personally. He can ALREADY DO what he's pretending to want, and yet doesn't. Because he only wants to impose it on others, not himself.
     
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Dec 2, 2010, 01:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
And how would you balance capital gains against inflation without taking into account fiscal drag?
The only thing that changes is if you withdraw the money and use it as income, it's taxed as income. That's it. The point is to not differentiate the source of the income, be it an employer or capital gains.

As I sated before, if it's reinvested within 3 months it isn't taxed. If you see greener pastures in a money market, you can sell some stock and invest within 3 months in the money market tax free.
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Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Careful, you're sounding like a liberal railing against the rich and their evil schemes. The simple fact is that Buffett's basic proposal (have the rich pay more) is not in his economic interest.
Buffet does it. Trump does it. Bentley-driving blinged up rappers do it ("keeping it real, yo!"). Fact is, most rich folks aren't normal people and have to pretend to be on the side of the poor in order to not eat poor person phlegm all the time.

If Buffet was saying this because he believed it, he'd lead by example and donate.

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
If you want to attribute to him some secret motivations then I might as well accuse the MacNN account "Doofy" of being some clever agitprop ploy.
But the MacNN "Doofy" account is a clever ploy... ...to hang out with "normal" people because I really don't do anything like that in real life. In real life, the poor tend to be resentful towards anyone not playing their game - what Buffet's done is to use one of the tricks to lower that resentment level so he can connect with the average a little more.
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Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
The only thing that changes is if you withdraw the money and use it as income, it's taxed as income. That's it.
But it's not income. It's exactly the same money adjusted for inflation.
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Dec 2, 2010, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Buffet does it. Trump does it. Bentley-driving blinged up rappers do it ("keeping it real, yo!"). Fact is, most rich folks aren't normal people and have to pretend to be on the side of the poor in order to not eat poor person phlegm all the time.

If Buffet was saying this because he believed it, he'd lead by example and donate.
He does donate. To private charities. There is nothing in his general proposal that suggests he thinks the government is owed more total money or is a great steward of money. Just that the rich should pay a higher proportion of the (perhaps necessarily evil) tax base.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Dec 2, 2010 at 02:24 PM. )

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Dec 2, 2010, 02:18 PM
 
I've come to a conclusion after thinking about this for a while: it's pointless to bitch about taxes until spending is reined in. The Republicans who want to make Government so small they can "drown it in the bathtub" think that they should lead with cutting taxes, and force the Federal Government to make the hard spending choices later. But if there's one lesson we've learned over the last decade, it's that the Federal Government won't reduce spending in the face of reduced tax revenue, no matter which party is in charge. A different approach is needed. I don't think we're going to get it from the Republicans or the Democrats.

Even the Tea Partiers won't fit the bill, because they have to manage their genuine desire to reduce spending with the desires of their supporters who want to "keep the Government out of their Medicare".
     
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Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Well good, profit is evil. You should be taxed on all 140k. After all, being rich is evil.
What in hell are you talking about?
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Dec 2, 2010, 02:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
His heirs are already rich beyond belief. Also, your 'reasoning' makes no sense- he could ALREADY GIVE HIMSELF A TAX INCREASE. Why hasn't he? Why does he continue to insist his taxes are too low, but he does nothing about it? You'll never look into that, and just continue to believe the bullshit that he has no other agenda than merely wanting to pay more taxes.
I believe you mis-characterize his views. His view is not "I want to pay more taxes." It is: "The rich should pay a higher proportion of the overall tax base." The views "the rich should pay a higher proportion of the overall tax base" and "I am a better steward of my money than the government (so I will do everything I can to minimize my taxes within the law)" are not incompatible.

It's been demonstrated time and time again that raising capital gains and income on investments hurts normal people who use invesments for their retirement, not as 'playmoney' like Buffet. If you've actually been smart enough to plan for your own retirement, then you know damned well that some asshole in government deciding to raid your earnings 'because you're just greedy and don't need it anyway!' will effect you for more than it will some billionaire. If you haven't planned for your retirement and just think it would be fun to subject other people to this because how dare they have money when you don't... well, that'd be pretty typical.
Like me, most "normal" people who use investments primarily as a way to fund their retirement already store those investments in tax-advantaged accounts (IRAs, Roths, 401ks, etc.)

Right. That's the government. Are you actually saying Buffet has more money and power than the US government? Bit of a stretch don't you think?
I am saying that on this question "the U.S. Government" is not a power broker, i.e. a singular actor that can reward Buffett for his obsequiousness. Tax policy is not so rational (if only!). So I am not sure who specifically you think Buffett is sucking up to, and what he will gain from it since, as you point out, he already does what he can to minimize his taxes and his general proposal will surely counteract some of that.

And again, all this 'benefit him personally' stuff- where do you get that? Buffet is in a position where either way none of this effects him personally. He can ALREADY DO what he's pretending to want, and yet doesn't. Because he only wants to impose it on others, not himself.
No, what he wants is to have the burden raised for every "rich" person, which is not something he can already do by himself.

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Dec 2, 2010, 02:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
But it's not income. It's exactly the same money adjusted for inflation.
Oh, I see. So if you sell a home that hasn't increased in value, but is "worth more" because of inflation, would you be taxed 15% on the capital gains?

Interesting question. I think I would put in a provision. If it's your only home, no. If it's a second home, vacation home, time share, etc., then yes. You can also report it on your taxes as a loss, so depending on how much money you make, you may not lose any money at all on the sale.
( Last edited by olePigeon; Dec 2, 2010 at 02:45 PM. )
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Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Oh, I see. So if you sell a home that hasn't increased in value, but is "worth more" because of inflation, would you be taxed 15% on the capital gains?
Essentially...
£70k in 2000 is approximately equivalent to £140K in today's terms. Same spending power. Inflation has a way of halving the value of money every ten years, so there's no value increase, only a numbers increase.
But yes, in this example the seller would be taxed at 20-50% on the £70k difference if he sold it (capital gains income is just added to your usual income here).

Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Interesting question. I think I would put in a provision. If it's your only home, no. If it's a second home, vacation home, time share, etc., then yes.
But why? It's still not a profit (except by looking at the bare figures).
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Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
No, what he wants is to have the burden raised for every "rich" person, which is not something he can already do by himself.
But what he's advocating would not just hit the rich. When people like him complain about having to pay less than a secretary, they're talking about money derived from investments and money management. And if they succeed in getting those rates raised, it wouldn't just hit them. It would hit millions of normal Americans who have investment portfolios, and it would hit the people who are paid to manage those portfolios.

The power to tax is the power to destroy. Let the government shrink to a reasonable level and then we make taxes low and uniform, instead of depriving people of large portions of their property because of some perverse notion of fairness. Tax policy should be used to raise necessary revenue for essential, Constitutionally mandated government functions, not to punish success or wage class warfare.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 2, 2010 at 04:03 PM. )

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Dec 2, 2010, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
But what he's advocating would not just hit the rich. When people like him complain about having to pay less than a secretary, they're talking about money derived from investments and money management. And if they succeed in getting those rates raised, it wouldn't just hit them. It would hit millions of normal Americans who have investment portfolios, and it would hit the people who are paid to manage those portfolios.
As I pointed out though, most of these "normal" people have a much higher proportion of their investment portfolios in tax-advantaged accounts than Buffett's hypothetical average "rich" person.

I see no internal inconsistency or nefarious purpose in Buffett's view, is all I'm saying. Obviously we can disagree about the worth of his ideas.

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