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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 11:14 AM   #101
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
It's too bad that the Green Party supporters do not understand Politcial Science.
Or it is a good thing, depending which end of the political spectrum you are on
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 11:16 AM   #102
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

(), don't know about France, but in Italy we've had a porn-star MP (Cicciolina, ex-wife(?) of 'artist' Jeff Koons).

An ex-Speaker of the House (equivalent) now shows up in high heels and dominatrix-type gear to host the Italian version of "The Swan" along with a huge blonde transvestite named Platinette (think Divine from the John Waters movies).

Andreotti could count as a midget, but AFAIK there haven't been any actual midgets.

It's pretty fun.
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 11:27 AM   #103
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
(), don't know about France, but in Italy we've had a porn-star MP (Cicciolina, ex-wife(?) of 'artist' Jeff Koons).
Interesting:

"She proposed on two separate occasions to sleep with Saddam Hussein if he would just agree to knock it off already. She made the original appeal in September 1990 during the Gulf War buildup. Cicciolina announced to the world: "I am available to make love with Saddam Hussein to achieve peace in the Middle East."

Too bad her solution didn't work
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 11:57 AM   #104
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006



The lady on the left is Pivetti, once Presidente della Camera. I guess you could say an improvement on Tom DeLay!
The "lady" on the right is the fabulous Platinette!
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 12:02 PM   #105
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

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Too bad her solution didn't work.
Maybe he was waiting for Madeline Albright to step up to the plate.
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 12:39 PM   #106
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

Just keep 'em all away from the hot tubs!
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 01:12 PM   #107
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

"My breasts have never done anyone any harm, while bin Laden's war has caused thousands of victims."
-Cicciolina in 2002

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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 02:14 PM   #108
 
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

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Originally Posted by davew894
Just because it may work out OK that two parties are better than three under your scenario, that doesn't make it OK that those two parties are squelching the voice of the third.

Millions of people across the country had to sign petitions in their states to get the Libertarians on the ballot. Some people out there must think more than two parties would be beneficial or they wouldn't have signed. I don't know when it became acceptable, or even beneficial, as you point out, to keep political views, parties or candidates repressed.
Sigh......
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 02:24 PM   #109
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

Little fuzzy, but I think it was the 1980 election, with two of my favs - Carter and Reagan - that I voted for Ed Clark, the Libertarian candidate. Election results were later posted in the local rag, by precinct. Two people voted Libertarian in my precinct; I'm pretty sure I knew who the other one was... :P

Presidential debates are useless anyway... I've taken to calling them "mass-debations"...
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-10-2006, 08:20 PM   #110
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Sigh......
Hawaii's governor isn't considered noteworthy for being:
- a woman
- Jewish
- twice divorced
- the daughter of one of the state's biggest car dealers.

No, what really gets people revved around here up is that she's:
- a Republican.

The next election promises to be pretty interesting.
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-11-2006, 08:23 AM   #111
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
If you took a political science class, you would understand why this is so. It is the rules of the election that 'decide' how many 'effective' political parties that there will be.

In the U.S. the winning candidate only needs the most votes (a Plurality) to win. In France the winning candidate needs a Majority of the Vote to win (51%). That is why in France there are many many poitical parties. They can hold their votes and agree to 'trade' them to another politcal party for concessions. A small party in France is much more effective than a small party in the U.S.

Small politcial parties in the U.S only help the party at the other end of their spectrum. For example the Green Party (which is left of center) voted for Nader in the 2000 election, the candidate that was most far from their point of view (Bush) was helped. If they would have thrown their support for Gore he would have had enough votes that the Supreme Court would not have had to step in an annoit Bush.

It's too bad that the Green Party supporters do not understand Politcial Science.
And it's too bad that Ross Perot didn't know this prior to Bill Clinton's election. OTOH, I think Ross did know it. He just hated the Bushes.....
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-11-2006, 08:27 AM   #112
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

Was that Bill's election or his erection?

I was never much of a fan of Bush Sr. until W came along... :P
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-11-2006, 01:38 PM   #113
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
(), don't know about France, but in Italy we've had a porn-star MP (Cicciolina, ex-wife(?) of 'artist' Jeff Koons).
I think I rmember a photo of La Cicciolina topless on a freeway overpass, during some election or other maybe 15 years ago. It was in Corriere della Sera- or maybe I just imagined it after reading about her doing that.

Our elections are also theater, but not so sweet.

Ha
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-11-2006, 06:59 PM   #114
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

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Originally Posted by davew894
* * At least you stopped with the 18% nonsense you were originally spewing on this board .* Although I wish you were correct, it is nice to see you work up some numbers instead of asking me to do it for you.* I am coming up with a married filing tax number of $4,306 per the tax tables... $50k income less $16,400 for standard deduction and exemptions is $33,600 in 'taxable income'.* Also, the full FICA is not $7,515, it's $7,650 ($50,000*15.3%).* Partial FICA is wrong too.* I can't confirm what the NY state tax is and I'm not going to look it up, but my gut, and your federal calculation, tells me this number is low too.

We need numbers that make sense if there is going to be any type of realistic debate here.

1) My federal # is correct.* The calculation is for a family of 4 as stated in the original post. ("most" families have children)
2) FICA was a typo 15.03% instead of 15.3% - doesn't really change anything.
3) This is the 3rd time I've done specific calculations.
4) The only difference between these calcs and the 18% # is property taxes.* Although the 18% is a perfectly good calculation for a family who rents, most people own a home so property taxes belong in a calculation trying to figure what "most people pay".

What we've learned, however, is that no one has been able to calculate a realistic (or even an unrealistic) all-in tax burden anywhere near 60%.* No one has even realistically calculated one near 50% - your calc, done properly, yields a tax burden somewhere in the low 40s and probably reflects one of the highest taxed families in the country (two earners making low six figures, without children, or itemized deductions and including taxes they don't actually pay - i.e. not the experience of "most people").*

Cheers.
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-12-2006, 04:42 AM   #115
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

Another thing "most people do" is have a mortage, which, with the interest deduction, takes a big chunk off your taxes.

Without this deduction, you are unlikely to be able to itemize, so a lot of other potential tax savings go out the window. No figures, but I know one year I paid almost as much in taxes as someone making a lot more than I did, just 'cause he had a big new house and thus a big new mortage to write off, while I owned my home outright.

Another area where I felt ripped off when self-employed was health care. I couldn't deduct health insurance (now it's changed and you can deduct some), whereas employees didn't get taxed on their health benefits, from what I recall.

Yes, the self-employed can "take advantage" of certain business deductions, but they were things I didn't want to pay for in the first place, or have to try to justify, like a big company SUV. Dollar for dollar I was not ahead of the game.


Investigating state taxes in RI I found these:

CORPORATION FRANCHISE TAX (.25% of capital)
TAX ON GROSS EARNINGS OF PUBLIC UTILITIES (cable 8%; electric 4%; gas 3%; telecom 5%)
BANKING INSTITUTIONS – TAX ON INTEREST-BEARING DEPOSITS (.0695% of deposits)
BANKING INSTITUTIONS – EXCISE TAX (9% of net income)
HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ASSESSMENT (6% of gross)
NURSING FACILITY PROVIDER ASSESSMENT (6% of gross)
HOTEL TAX (5%)
MOTOR FUEL TAX ($.30/gal.)
UNIFORM OIL RESPONSE AND PREVENTION FEE ($.05/barrel)
CIGARETTE TAX ($1000/distributor plus $1.71/pack)
TAXATION OR MARIJUANA AND OTHER CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ($400/10 "dosage units")
RENTAL VEHICLE SURCHARGE (6%)
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION REGULATORY FEE ($.01/gal.)
ESTATE TAXES (not explicitly listed; prob. 6%)
MOTOR CARRIER FUEL USE TAX ($.30/gal.)
BEVERAGE CONTAINER TAX ($.04/case)
LITTER CONTROL PARTICIPATION PERMIT FEE ($25-$250)
HARD TO DISPOSE MATERIAL ($3 new vehicle-paid by everyone upon receiving title; $.05/qt. motor oil; $.10/gal antifreeze, $.50/tire)
TAX ON INSURANCE COMPANIES (2% gross premiums)
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES TAX AND SERVICE IMPORT FEES (not listed)
* Taxes and Service Charges
* Liquor Licenses
PARI-MUTUEL BETTING AND BREAKAGE TAXES – DOGS (6% of bets; plus a complicated percentage of winning purses)
JAI ALAI BETTING AND BREAKAGE TAXES (4% plus one-half the "breakage"(?))
ADMISSIONS TAX TO RACING EVENTS (20%)
SIMULCAST TAXES (4% plus "4% of multiple wagers therein involving 2 animals; and 5.5% on exotic wagers therein involving 3 or more animals.")
REAL ESTATE CONVEYANCE TAX (.4%)
CONVEYANCE TAX ON MOBILE OR MANUFACTURED HOME (.028%)
TOBACCO PRODUCTS TAX (30% of wholesale)
LOCAL MEALS AND BEVERAGE TAX (1%)
SURCHARGE ON TRANSIENT PARKING ($10/space permit plus 5% of receipts)
WITHHOLDING ON SALE OF REAL PROPERTY BY NONRESIDENTS* (6%-9%)


Now a lot of these are either piddly sums, or make perfect sense, or both.. but for the purposes of our discussion what interested me were the banking taxes and estate/real estate taxes.

What we don't see is the .07% skimmed off our accounts, in addition to the 9% of bank profits taxed at the state level.
These add to the per capita tax burden, but they are invisible to us.

Then, when you've put all your after-tax dollars into buying a house, the state will take 6.4% when you sell. When my mom passes, I'll pay 9.4% to sell her house as a non-resident. This is just at the state level.

Being too lazy to crunch the numbers. I'll hazard to say that these kind of things bump a 30% tax-payer into the 40s, and a 40% tax-payer into the 50s. No?

Maybe an easier way to figure out the "average" tax burden is to take all federal revenues and divide by US population. Then take an average of all state revenues and all local revenues and do the same. Add the three. Top down instead of bottom up? At least we would know what per capita spending is, which could be informative to the discussion.


-signed, a democrat who is one step away from the "flat tax " camp!

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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-12-2006, 08:42 AM   #116
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
Maybe an easier way to figure out the "average" tax burden is to take all federal revenues and divide by US population. Then take an average of all state revenues and all local revenues and do the same. Add the three. Top down instead of bottom up? At least we would know what per capita spending is, which could be informative to the discussion.
Bad idea. The top 10% of earners pay most of the tax (I forget the percentages). The distribution of tax burden is very skewed towards the rich (in absolute dollar terms).

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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-12-2006, 09:00 AM   #117
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

Dave,

Why do you ignore the tax savings due to children? If families have children, they generally get a sizeable tax cut. In my particular case, the tax breaks pay for a significant portion of the costs of raising children. I think most families decide to have kids based on factors other than tax savings (even me, the cheapest, most tax-scheming guy I know ).

Why do you want to ignore those individuals, who for whatever reason, pay no taxes or receive government handouts. I'd say those folks have a zero or negative tax rate, and they should factor in to the consideration of what the "average" tax rate is.

Maybe we should clarify the theoretical tax rate we are discussing here. I'd suggest we look at the median rate paid by the median income earners. On the other hand, you seem more interested in looking at someone that is in the top quartile or top decile of income.

It goes without saying that we live in a nation of progressive taxation. The higher income earners shoulder a larger tax burden. If you are examining the tax burden of a high income earning family (I would suggest a family earning $120k/yr would fall in this category), then let's be clear that the tax burden you determine is not the tax burden that "most" Americans would experience.

If your main argument is "progressive taxation, to the extent it exists in the U.S., is unfair", then make that argument. But the argument that "the average U.S. taxpayer pays 50-60% of his income in taxes" has yet to be substantiated here.

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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-12-2006, 09:12 AM   #118
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

I agree it would be most instructive to look a median single wage-earner with average consumption habits. But you do need to take into account a lot more levels of taxation than just the obvious ones.

Quote:
That is a lot of taxes, even more than I would have thought.
That doesn't even get into other ways that money gets into the state coffers (tolls, car registration, excise tax, property tax and more..) beyond the normal state income tax and sales tax. Though racing and jai alai are mentioned here, there's no factoring in of the Lottery, which is a form of tax for those dumb enough or desperate enough to buy tickets. That's why I thought it would make more sense to look at spending, since all state spending has to come from one form or another of taxation, rather than entering into the merits of any particular "revenue-enhancing" aspect.

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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-12-2006, 10:10 AM   #119
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

Dave,

If you consider the explicit costs to raise children (shelter, healthcare, food, etc), then you must also include the implicit benefits your family's children receive: education (among other things). Everyone pays taxes to support public k-12 education and public universities. Only families with children receive a direct benefit from these public services. The benefit received is greatly disproportionate to the taxes paid.

Just an example from my state:

http://www.ncforum.org/doclib/presen...onspending.pdf

The State spends $16000 per year for the university students, $5000 year for k-12 students.

Add that up over 13 years of k-12 schooling and 4+ years of public university, and it is quite a tax subsidy, indeed.

If you're a family man, you just may be taking more than your fair share (assuming your kids go to public school).

Of course, the benefits of educating children are obvious: a well educated citizenry which forms a solid tax base.




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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006
Old 01-12-2006, 06:02 PM   #120
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Re: Ten Things to Stop Doing in 2006

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Originally Posted by davew894
You can include the exemptions and child credits but then you need to include the costs of raising them.*
The cost of raising kids is irrelevant to the question at hand, which is "what percentage of most people's incomes goes to paying taxes."

Dave, I finally get the point that you view every expense as a tax - which explains the merry-go round we've been on. The only thing that surprises me is that you think only 60% goes to the government
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