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Old 11-05-2007, 06:39 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by bright eyed View Post
Having a bad day Robert?

I think it's a stretch to use the "first they came for" in a discussion about taxes and CEO compensation.

I think Godwin just walked in...
I'm positive I saw him over by the water cooler.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:43 PM   #82
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Data from the IRS website:

The most recent data to be released summarizes tax collections for the years 1986 through 2005 and was posted to the IRS web site today, October 4, 2007.
The reason why this is important is because these numbers represent actual collections. They are not projections. There are no assumptions. This is what the IRS actually put into the US Treasury. The numbers are broken down by descending income categories, so this tells us which groups actually paid what portion of the tax that was actually collected, after all tax breaks and exemptions.
If nothing else, these numbers shatter the popular illusion that there are so many loopholes in the tax code, for the rich, that the rich don't pay their share of the tax load.

In fact, in 2005, the top-earning 1% of taxpayers earned 21.20% of the income and paid 39.38% of the tax collected or almost double their share, based upon income earned.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:45 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by eridanus View Post
520,000 people were making minimum wage in 2006 1

"The average CEO of a large U.S. company made roughly $10.8 million last year" 2

If you cut their salary in half, you'd only need 519 CEOs to pay for the increase in minimum wage. That doesn't sound so bad.


I agree with Taleb. Successful CEOs are based on survivorship bias.


1) Who's Afraid of a Higher Minimum Wage? - washingtonpost.com
2) CEO-to-worker pay appears to narrow - Aug. 29, 2007
Of course, you need to raise the wages of everyone that was in that 'slightly above min wage' group also. They were getting paid more for a reason, so they will need that incentive to do the more demanding work. It doesn't stop just at minimum wage.

But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. I really don't know if I support a min wage increase or not, I really don't think I have taken the time to look at all the data I would need to decide that.

I didn't see a number for the CEOs in that story (maybe I missed it), but are there 519 making more than 10.8 M? How many are in that average? I have no idea.

-ERD50
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:48 PM   #84
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2005 IRS Collections DataNumber of
Returns
(000) AGI
(000,000) Income
Taxes
Paid
(000,000) Group's %
Share of
Total AGI Group's %
Share of
Total Taxes Group's
Avg. Tax
Rate (%) Income
Floor for
Group All
Taxpayers
132,612
7,507,958
934,703
100.00
100.00
12.45
(NA)
Top 1%
1,326
1,591,711
368,132
21.20
39.38
23.13
364,657
Top 5%
6,631
2,683,934
557,759
35.75
59.67
20.78
145,283
Top 10%
13,261
3,487,010
657,085
46.44
70.30
18.84
103,912
Top 25%
33,153
5,069,455
803,772
67.52
85.99
15.86
62,068
Top 50%
66,306
6,544,824
906,028
87.17
96.93
13.84
30,881
Bottom 50%
66,306
963,134
28,675
12.83
3.07
* 2.98
(NA)

* The average tax rate for the bottom 50% is drawn from a related IRS spreadsheet.



Earlier I said top 5% pay 70% of total----it is actually 60% of total they pay. It is the top 10% who pay70% of total taxes. My bad, but the point is still the same. The top 5% or the top 105 are already paying more than their share---in fact one could say they are paying more than their *fair* share, could one not?

Honestly, I don't know whjere some of you folks get your economic ideas from.

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:49 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetireeRobert View Post
2005 IRS Collections DataNumber of
Returns
(000) AGI
(000,000) Income
Taxes
Paid
(000,000) Group's %
Share of
Total AGI Group's %
Share of
Total Taxes Group's
Avg. Tax
Rate (%) Income
Floor for
Group All

Taxpayers
132,612

7,507,958
934,703
100.00
100.00
12.45
(NA)

Top 1%
1,326

1,591,711
368,132
21.20
39.38
23.13
364,657

Top 5%
6,631

2,683,934
557,759
35.75
59.67
20.78
145,283

Top 10%
13,261

3,487,010
657,085
46.44
70.30
18.84
103,912

Top 25%
33,153

5,069,455
803,772
67.52
85.99
15.86
62,068

Top 50%
66,306

6,544,824
906,028
87.17
96.93
13.84
30,881

Bottom 50%
66,306

963,134
28,675
12.83
3.07
* 2.98
(NA)

* The average tax rate for the bottom 50% is drawn from a related IRS spreadsheet.



Earlier I said top 5% pay 70% of total----it is actually 60% of total they pay. It is the top 10% who pay70% of total taxes. My bad, but the point is still the same. The top 5% or the top 105 are already paying more than their share---in fact one could say they are paying more than their *fair* share, could one not?

Honestly, I don't know whjere some of you folks get your economic ideas from.

Woa, this chart didn't post like it was formatted before I submitted. But I guess you can figure it out.
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:56 PM   #86
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gee...i went away for a while and stuff happened...thanks everyone for adding to the discussion - and bright eyed you were excellent in parrying the relentless attacks by those defenders of the wealthy elites....there's some good news here in Minnesota - Al Franken is in a dead heat with Coleman for the senate race Franken/Coleman Poll

Here's a one-act play by Al that speaks to the subject at hand The Waitress and The Lawyer
Gives an idea of how he will vote when the tax reform package comes to the senate floor.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:11 PM   #87
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Robert are you in this income group?

Why does this topic make you so ?

I'm doubtful the wealthy (extreme top 1-2%) pay their fair share - or what they are supposed to pay - either personally or via their corporations. A big percentage of corps avoid paying any taxes.
Robert's level of anger at this topic can't match mine

Doubtful that people pay their "fair share"? Why don't we just let you and the other leftists decide how much I should pay?

We're already paying too much in taxes, much of what is stolen from us in taxes is wasted anyway.

I think a good way to show your sincerity would be for you to start by paying more taxes this year than you owe. That way we will know you're serious. I'll just go on paying less than my "fair share"
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:22 PM   #88
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gee...i went away for a while and stuff happened...thanks everyone for adding to the discussion - and bright eyed you were excellent in parrying the relentless attacks by those defenders of the wealthy elites.....
Since the post of the facts from the IRS, there was a long dead silence. Seems a lot of the folks who complained about getting off the subject did not want to get back on the subject themselves when confronted with facts.

Now for those who could not read the IRS chart when my post screwed up the formatting, here it is clearer.

Actual tax collections, data 1986-2005 as per IRS website:

Top 1% of income earners:
Paid 39% of all income taxes collected
Had effective tax rate of 23%
Earned 21% if total income of all taxpayers

Top 5% of income earners:
Paid 60% of total income taxes collected
Had effective tax rate of 21%
Earned 36% of total income

Top 10% of income earners:
Paid 70% of total income taxes collected
Had effective tax rate of19%
Earned 46% of total income

Bottom 50% of income earners:
Paid 3% of total income taxes collected
Had effective tax rate of 2.98%
Earned 13% of total income


So, you folks worried about the "Elites"----it looks like the *bottom* 50% of income earners ARE the elites. All other groups paid a larger percentage share of total taxes than was their percentage share of total income.

The bottom 50% group alone had their percentage share of total income larger (4 times larger) than their percentage share of total taxes paid.

Now, lets *stay on subject*. Enough of throwing in emotion charged myths, and irrelevent tangets----who wants to rationally address these FACTS?
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:27 PM   #89
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Robert - maybe it was just my computer, but your previous 2 posts were scattered all over my screen and couldn't read it. This latest one is very well laid out.
I'm not sure what your point is - is it that you feel it's not fair that everyone isn't paying the same tax rate and your against the progressive tax rates we have.


Someone "earning" $1,000,000 pays 15% tax ($150,000) and keeps $850,000 to pay the bills
While someone making $30,000 pays 15% tax ($4,500) and keeps $25,500 to pay the bills

The person making the $1,000,000 is not an island on to themselves, they need the rest of us and the government to provide the infrastructure, services, the protection of private property, an educated population, young men and women to go fight wars for them so they can enjoy their freedom and wealthy lifestyles, so I feel its much fairer to require them that has to fork over a bigger percentage...


So instead of 15% they pay the equivalent of an averaged rate of 40% they still have $600,000 to live on - of course they might have to cut back on their budget as a result. But they're still doing better than the single mom waitress that has $25,500 to play with....
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:42 PM   #90
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Robert - maybe it was just my computer, but your previous 2 posts were scattered all over my screen and couldn't read it. This latest one is very well laid out.

It wasn't your computer. When I copied the table into the post screen, it all looked good. But then after I clicked submit to post it, it came out spread out all over the place.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:04 PM   #91
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Top 1% of income earners:
Paid 39% of all income taxes collected
Had effective tax rate of 23%
Earned 21% if total income of all taxpayers

Bottom 50% of income earners:
Paid 3% of total income taxes collected
Had effective tax rate of 2.98%
Earned 13% of total income
There are many ways to interpret facts. You mention only the numbers that support your opinion.

If a guy makes $10M/year and pays 23% in taxes he still has $7.7M left. Do you really think that it would be a bad thing if he had to pay say $3.3M and had to live on only $6.7M/year?

I think that an upper tax bracket in the 39-44% range is reasonable. I wouldn't go much above that.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:05 PM   #92
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I'm not sure what your point is - is it that you feel it's not fair that everyone isn't paying the same tax rate and your against the progressive tax rates we have.
I think the point is that it already is progressive. Not only do the big earners pay a higher rate, they pay it on a higher amount.

Sure they have more left over at the end. Isn't that the point of making more money?

Should taxes be more progressive? I don't know, but if you feel that way, present some information, not just cries that the rich are too rich and the poor are too poor.

Can Al's one-act play be put into a table? It would be easier to follow the numbers w/o the sugar packets getting in the way. I lost track a ways into it.

-ERD50
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:10 PM   #93
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There are many ways to interpret facts. You mention only the numbers that support your opinion.
I mention the available IRS data. I form my opinion from the data.

If all you have is an ad hominom attack, you must be lacking for good arguments "from the available data".
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:13 PM   #94
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If a guy makes $10M/year and pays 23% in taxes he still has $7.7M left. Do you really think that it would be a bad thing if he had to pay say $3.3M and had to live on only $6.7M/year?

I think that an upper tax bracket in the 39-44% range is reasonable. I wouldn't go much above that.
Maybe. But only if you think the govt can invest that money better than the individuals who earned it. What do you think rich people do with their money - light cigars with it? It gets invested, often in growth companies that provide jobs. It gets spent. When it gets spent, it buys things that other people made, also providing jobs.

And why set an amount that we should 'take' from people upfront, just because it will still leave them with something? Seems backwards to me.
Figure what the govt really needs to spend, then do the math to fund it. Repeat as needed.

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Old 11-05-2007, 10:28 PM   #95
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Hmm, well I for one think I pay about the right amount of taxes. Of course, our household income is right around $120k so I don't know where that puts us on the % scale, 75%? I don't think the system needs much tweaking one way or the other, we just need the gubmint to spend less, tell the Iraqis good luck and pull the troops home - ooops, but that's another thread. Glad we are back to split power in D.C., Bushie seems to have found religion, and any bill he can veto, he does, now that the pork doesn't help his Repo buddies - I don't think he vetoed one bill before the demos took power, small government my butt! I did find it bitterly ironic that he vetoed a child health care bill because it had 30 billion more than he wanted, which is about 2 months spending in Iraq. Blech, the lies never stop. Am I channeling Unclemick here?

Our progressive tax system is a good one, maybe the tweak I would add would be to raise the cap on SS and medicare tax above the 95k to pay for it's solvency. Yes, that's a tax increase, and it "soaks the rich", but it's the one area of the tax system that is blatantly regressive. And please don't tell me it's different because we are just getting back what we paid in. Most would use up their payments within 5 years, and there is no lock box, current payouts are funded by current taxes. But I'm just rambling now....
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:41 PM   #96
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There are many ways to interpret facts. You mention only the numbers that support your opinion.

If a guy makes $10M/year and pays 23% in taxes he still has $7.7M left. Do you really think that it would be a bad thing if he had to pay say $3.3M and had to live on only $6.7M/year?

I think that an upper tax bracket in the 39-44% range is reasonable. I wouldn't go much above that.
Easy answer... YES
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:42 PM   #97
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RetireRobert...

What is the percent if you throw in the SS and medicare taxes I think it makes it a lot more even (but, that is just my thinking...no facts)..
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:53 PM   #98
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Another big problem that I see is that people think that there are thousands of CEOs who are making 10s of millions of dollars every year.... and it is not true..

With someone else's number here, if the 'average' is 10 mill for the top 500, then you have to have a good number below that number to reduce those 20, 30 and 40 million people...

Another problem is some of the CEOs look like they make a killing when they cash in a lot of stock options they had received over the years.. again, my CEO has over 100 mill waiting to be had at some time and when he takes it people will say he is overpaid... (which, BTW he is but that is something else )....

I remember when I was in NY we had an SVP that was making about $500K... he was looking to get out of the rat race and move to the middle of the country... but it seemed that all of those companies based in the heartland had CEOs that made less than that amount of money.. why would they hire HIM with a lot less experience for a mid level job which they paid $100k or so..

The high salaries are in a few professions... lawyers, investment bankers, accounting partner (the big firms)...

I still say that the problem is a spending one, not a tax one... take a look at the spending and how fast it has gone up and where... it is SS, medicare, income protection, and wealth transfers... if we cut these by 10% we are running at a surplus and could get the debt paid off within a decade or so... but nobody wants to give up their gravy train... they just want the 'rich' to pay more taxes...

One thing I find interesting is I am paying more in federal income taxes than my salary when I graduated back in 1980... and that does not include all my other taxes I pay... do I want or need a tax cut? NO.. But I do want them to cut spending.
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:12 PM   #99
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Robert's level of anger at this topic can't match mine

Doubtful that people pay their "fair share"? Why don't we just let you and the other leftists decide how much I should pay?

We're already paying too much in taxes, much of what is stolen from us in taxes is wasted anyway.

I think a good way to show your sincerity would be for you to start by paying more taxes this year than you owe. That way we will know you're serious. I'll just go on paying less than my "fair share"
i'm sorry, i don't want to increase anyone's level of unhappiness! i swear.

I don't know if taxes are the right answer either - i do think the government isn't doing the best job of following the money, providing transparency or consistant policy - that is what my work involves a lot of - retracing steps, eliminating redundancy etc. i think part of the problem is how much the system is reliant on egocentric electeds to make the right decision?!

and Robert, the lull wasn't the tucking of tails, it was the picking up of kids and making of dinner...

anyhow, we can play numbers all day. i don't think percentage is the only data to consider- as others have pointed out - covering basic needs is a good bar to look at in terms of differentiating how the tax rates affect different people. sure, different levels of education and risk deserve compensation, but it has become so out of proportion...denying that it tips the scales and takes away from others at some point is well, denial.
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:25 PM   #100
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I mention the available IRS data. I form my opinion from the data.

If all you have is an ad hominom attack, you must be lacking for good arguments "from the available data".
Not an attack at all. Just saying that there are others ways to massage the data that may shed some light on the problem in a different way.

The data shows that after paying taxes the top 1% of earners still have 16% of the total gross income or 16% of total income per percentile of population.

The data also shows that the bottom 50% have 0.26% of the total income per percentile of population.

So the ratio of after tax income is still 61:1 for the top 1% compared to the bottom 50%.

Now I fully accept that the top earners should take home more after taxes than the bottom earners. The market is making a judgement that they are making an above average contribution to society and that is a good thing and in general the market is a pretty good scale.

But based on these numbers, I think that the top 1% are still doing pretty well even after taxes and I don't think that they have any basis for complaint.

I haven't studied the academic work but I can't believe that marginally higher taxes for the upper brackets will hurt the economy. I accept that argument for very high tax rates (>>50%) but I don't think that it is valid at the present levels and slightly higher.

It seems to me that after this point it is fairly subjective. I do know some people that believe that the purpose of taxation is to equalize income. (Perhaps that is why the "S" word seems to be such a big deal on this thread.) I do disagree with that.

I think that the purpose of taxation is to allow the government to provide services that the private sector will not willingly provide but I do believe in progressive taxation and I think that making it a bit more progressive than it currently is would be a good thing.

MB
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