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Yes, America, There is a Class War, and You Just Lost It


#21

I’ll get back to this if someone else doesn’t take it to task. There are any number of ways to look at this. I think the issue is that most high levels of wealth are not represented on Individual income tax returns for one thing.


#22

I, for one, don’t want to pay for those things.

I want you to pay for those things and I want to lend you (through the government) the money needed to pay for those things so that I can live very comfortably off the interest. As long as this scam runs I will save up even more money, acquire more income producing property, and lend more to you at interest as long as this scam runs. Life is good.


I do not want to pay for the wars that I profit so handsomely from either, but at least my class only has to pay for half of the billed cost of them and the upper middle class pays most of the balance. Life is good.



#23

Sure, we don’t tax wealth, we tax income and profit. Point is, the author tried to state that the rich aren’t paying for things the Federal government provides. That’s not true, no matter how you look at it.


#24

No one wants to pay, they want others to pay. Point is, any type of argument that the rich don’t pay for things and the poor or middle do is demonstrably wrong.


#25

This morning on NPR, an east coast democrat representative was welcomed with “Good morning.” He replied with the same but I was hoping to hear something like, “Maybe you won’t think it’s so good on the day that republicans put NPR funding on the chopping block because of this tax cut for millionaires they’re enacting today, and I’ll be forced to agree with them and fund healthcare for the poor instead as a higher priority.” I finished this train of thought with how public broadcasting could still rely on private foundation money (Koch, Alfred Sloan, Ford, etc) and corporate funding (Boeing, BNSF, Exxon Mobil, etc) for their paychecks as long as public reporting and TV specials deceitfully slant their view to favor big business.


#26

Conservative dogma holds that we should tax that of which we disapprove, and subsidize that of which we approve. So by that standard, conservatives disapprove of wage labor, and approve of inheriting wealth, speculating on margin, environmental poisoning and collecting rents.

Paraphrasing Orwell, “Some kinds of income are more equal than others.”


#27

I don’t think so. It has more to do with trying to collect some taxes from everyone (labor) and then once that money’s been taxed give it favorable status (cap gains, inheritances and “collecting rents”). There’s no reason for the government to continually reach into our pockets once we’ve exchanged our labor for wages and then decided to reinvest them to secure a higher standard of living. That all flows into the concept of limited government which I think is more “conservative dogma” (is there any Democrat or progressive “dogma”?) than what you typed.


#28

So why do some multibillion dollar corporations, like ExxonMobil, receive net tax REBATES?


#29

For Exxon specifically proly some combo of loss carry forwards, profits kept overseas and depreciation / write-offs for drilling and exploration costs.


#30

Yes, much of the order of battle for the class war is contained in the thousands of pages of the US tax code. Congratulations on your victory.


#31

Yes, the tax code is a mess. It has little to do with any class war.


#32

I’m not American, so don’t understand your tax system to comment in depth, I don’t know, for example if you have VAT or not (tax on products purchased such as alcohol, petrol, energy, food etc, etc) but generally it looks to me like you are making a false equivalence (perhaps deliberately) in how you present these statistics, because, if you’re earning very high amounts of income running into even billions, then what seems to others like high sums (relatively speaking to everyone else) in tax are insignificant to you, whereas if you are on a middle or low income, the money you do pay, even though it is a smaller amount, involves a bigger sacrifice and bigger negative impact on your life. So by those standards, the rich are getting away virtually scot free. For someone earning millions even a hundred thou is a drop in the ocean whereas to anyone else it can be several years wages earned from hard graft. This is disingenuous to say the least, cunning trickery in how statistics are presented. If you have VAT or the equivalent in the USA, then the lower classes will pay significantly a larger proportion of their actual income in real terms than any rich person would. For even things they need to live on, like food, their electric bill, clothes, a beer, will take a significant chunk of it in the VAT paid whereas it will be an atom sized dint in the income of a millionaire. To anyone with a sense of social justice, this is not fair.


#33

Agreed. I make around $60K/year and I pay way more than that chart says I am. Factoring in the fact that I will be losing quite a few deductions thanks to the Rethug tax scam that just passed, and the fact that my tax rate will actually go UP in 10 years thanks to the same tax scam, I will be paying even more then.

And what the chart fails to mention is how many deductions and loopholes those higher income people are taking that are not available to us plebes. I.e., the fact that rich people only have to pay FICA taxes on the first $118K of their income, while the rest of us have to pay it on 100% of OURS. Or the fact that they can deduct “offshore” earnings, etc, and take advantage of all sorts of sneaky little loopholes (put in the tax code by Dems and Rethugs alike, year after year) like carried interest deductions and “passthrough” business income (for real estate developers like…Donald Trump!) that the rest of us cannot. I.e., most people who make $800K/year are not paying the actual “tax rate” for their income bracket. Their REAL tax rate is WAY lower after taking all of their cute deductions, loopholes, and the fact that they only have to pay FICA taxes on a tiny percentage of their overall income, while the rest of us have to pay it on ALL of it.

Jim is a Republican, and he is in the higher income-brackets of that chart, obviously. Way to regurgitate those right-wing elite tax talking points, Jimbo! You’re not going to convince most working-class/middle-class people to feel sorry for you richies “getting bilked so much in taxes,” however. But A for effort.


#34

No VAT. I understand what you are saying and that’s more of a philosophical issue. All I’m doing is correcting people who say or think that rich pay “nothing” or don’t pay their “fair share” or don’t “pay” for things when the truth couldn’t be more to the opposite.

I personally don’t subscribe to the ideal that being taxed 30% of your earnings is getting away virtually scot free, regardless of how much you made or have. However I do believe our system need some mechanism to make the higher earners pay more, similar to the Obama “millionaire tax”.


#35

You don’t pay “way more” than anything. That chart is showing the % of total taxes collected from each income group. It has nothing to do with your personal rate.

You would pay $10k with no deductions or credits this year if you make $60k. 2017 brackets below.

10%
$0 to $9,325 10% of Taxable Income

15%
$9,325 to $37,950 $932.50 plus 15% of the excess over $9,325

25%
$37,950 to $91,900 $5,226.25 plus 25% of the excess over $37,950


#36

There’s also no reason for the gov’t to maintain a standing army nor countless security agencies.
There’s no reason for the gov’t to maintain police forces or public education, roads, ports and harbors, or restaurant health inspectors. In fact, there’s no reason for a gov’t to do anything. You want limited gov’t? Sounds to me like you’re an anarchist.

Let me ask you this: would you prefer to pay 30% of your income to an organization that will keep your money and never see it again -or- would you prefer 30% of your income to go towards services that will benefit the community at large which includes you and see your money get circulated back into the economy?


#37

I support all of those things, it’s just that we waste billions on them currently. The growth of our government via any measure is off the rails compared to it’s historical growth.


#38

You didn’t answer my question.
Do you have a chart for that “off the rails growth”?
Please do explain how the taxes are being “wasted”.
School teachers aren’t being overpaid.
But CEOs for gov’t contractors sure to rake it in. Oops, I might have provided the explanation I was looking for from you.


#39

Teachers, specifically under performing teachers, are being overpaid. Google “New York rubber rooms” and yes no bid contracts or other quid pro quo arrangements with the government are part of the problem.


#40

I recently read a fascinating book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild, a professor of Sociology at U.C. Berkeley, where her research explores and reveals interesting aspects of this very attitude.