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Old 11-23-2012, 07:17 AM   #21
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This is a truly horrible and grossly unfair proposal.....
Of course it is "unfair" but it is consistent with the progressive income tax scheme where the "rich" pay more taxes for the same benefits of government that the less wealthy get.
As far as the government saying "screw you", they already do that with the bend points in the PIA calculation.
I am not advocating this approach but it is a solution that would help solve the issue of the mismatch of income vs expenses in the SS system.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:24 AM   #22
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I have no problem with raising the retirement age and paying more taxes as long as my money goes to more welfare services and helping the underserved.

I know many here will disagree with me.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:37 AM   #23
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The one thing which bugs me whenever Klein (whom I generally like) or someone on the left suggests raising or eliminating the payroll tax cap is that it is that same cap which limits the SS benefits a wealthy wage earner such as Blankfein would receive when he begins claiming SS benefits. To remove the cap without any corresponding benefit adjustment severs this tenuous link turns the program into a welfare-like program. I wish this link to the benefit cap were mentioned every time someone suggested raising the payroll tax cap.
Agreed, a glaring omission as is too often the case when raising the payroll tax cap is mentioned.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:30 AM   #24
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Of course it is "unfair" but it is consistent with the progressive income tax scheme where the "rich" pay more taxes for the same benefits of government that the less wealthy get.
As far as the government saying "screw you", they already do that with the bend points in the PIA calculation.
I am not advocating this approach but it is a solution that would help solve the issue of the mismatch of income vs expenses in the SS system.
In the case of SS benefits, the tax side is flat but the benefits side replaces a greater percentage of income for lower wage earners than it does for higher wage earners, and I have no problem with that. So when you combine these two things you end up with wealthier wage earners paying relatively more for their SS benefits than lower wage earners. Low-wage earners will get 90% of their income replaced (first bend point) but that gradually declines to about 42% (average wage replacement by the time you hit the high end of the 32% bend point). After that, it decline more quickly with the 15% bend point.

What I object to is having some wage earners pay more in taxes to receive ZERO additional SS benefits. That is the "screw you" part of my previous comment. Even the lowest bend point pays 15% of indexed earnings, not 0%. There is no mismatch between income and expenses in SS when both are zero.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:10 AM   #25
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As for me, I'm all for redistributing wealth. There is plenty of money out there, (after all it's just play money) it's just all tied up by too few individuals/corporations.
If all wealth could be redistributed in the US how much would that make for each of us? I am not sure how to figure it. GDP/Population?
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:18 AM   #26
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If all wealth could be redistributed in the US how much would that make for each of us? I am not sure how to figure it. GDP/Population?
Isn't the average wealth what we'd all have if total wealth was redistributed equally among everyone? That number is published all the time Wealthiest Americans have 288 times net worth of typical family - Sep. 11, 2012
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:24 AM   #27
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Was a bit surprised that there was no comment on the point about wealth tax.

The CSpan story was a discussion on this. Pros and Cons laid out here:
Wealth tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mentioned before... the proposal didn't even tax below $2 Million and then well below 1%.

Note the Donald Trump proposal for a once off tax on Worth above $10 million, to raise nearly $6 Trillion.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:26 AM   #28
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I clicked on the link, but did not see how each of us would have if everything anyone has is divided equally.

But in searching for that number myself, I ran across a Web page that contained this excerpt.
In theory, confiscating the wealth of the more successful people ought to make the rest of the society more prosperous. But when the Soviet Union confiscated the wealth of successful farmers, food became scarce. As many people died of starvation under Stalin in the 1930s as died in Hitler's Holocaust in the 1940s.

How can that be? It is not complicated. You can only confiscate the wealth that exists at a given moment. You cannot confiscate future wealth -- and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated. Farmers in the Soviet Union cut back on how much time and effort they invested in growing their crops, when they realized that the government was going to take a big part of the harvest. They slaughtered and ate young farm animals that they would normally keep tending and feeding while raising them to maturity.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:45 AM   #29
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...but most of the liberals work or worked or are married or related to someone who is on a government payroll. Most of the conservatives pay more than they get or ever will get...

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"Thanks for the extra taxes but screw you when it comes time for any extra benefits due to the extra income used to pay those taxes."
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Though there are a number of regular CNBC guests, Ken Langone of Home Depot fame comes to mind, who think it's a good idea. He says he donates his SS check to charity.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:47 AM   #30
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Isn't the average wealth what we'd all have if total wealth was redistributed equally among everyone? That number is published all the time Wealthiest Americans have 288 times net worth of typical family - Sep. 11, 2012
Looks like the article says median wealth for a family is about $73K. But how would we figure the holdings of the Government like land an minerals and that of corporations into the formula?

If 73K is the number then no one could FIRE at all.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:56 AM   #31
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The ratio of federal spending in a state to federal taxes raised in the same state was brought up before, and I found it interesting. However, I have not found further info on what that federal spending is for.

One might have thought that the federal spending was all for welfare or aid to people in those states, but is it really? Is there a breakout of what that federal spending is for, such as the cost of managing the national forests, national parks, BLM land, Indian land, defense installations and bases, etc...?
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #32
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The ratio of federal spending in a state to federal taxes raised in the same state was brought up before, and I found it interesting. However, I have not found further info on what that federal spending is for.

One might have thought that the federal spending was all for welfare or aid to people in those states, but is it really? Is there a breakout of what that federal spending is for, such as the cost of managing the national forests, national parks, BLM land, Indian land, defense installations and bases, etc...?
One thing that comes to mind is spending on the interstate highway system. Some states are much larger in area and have many more miles of highway to maintain even though their population is much lower.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #33
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A way to keep older people employed, for those who want or need to work, should be that their compensation is commensurate with their ability. If their ability is reduced due to age, they should be paid less compared to what younger people get.

The Economist had a few articles on how some European countries had laws to protect the older workers, but at a serious detriment to their younger generations who were underemployed and underpaid. Nations have never survived when people cannibalize their youth.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:10 AM   #34
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Back to Wealth Tax... Have to get by knee jerk reaction that a wealth tax means an even redistribution of wealth and that it would apply to any one of us. Donald Trump's suggestion only applied to those with a net worth of more than $10 million... and that it was a one time tax... (1999) to reduce the US Debt to zero. The tax would have been 14.7%... BTW... not a Trump fan.

My own thinking revolves around the thought that the inheritance tax protection should not go beyond an amount that would provide financial independence for the members of the current and second generation family.
(Thinking in terms of perhaps $5 - $7 million per person in that group.)
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #35
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The ratio of federal spending in a state to federal taxes raised in the same state was brought up before, and I found it interesting. However, I have not found further info on what that federal spending is for.

One might have thought that the federal spending was all for welfare or aid to people in those states, but is it really? Is there a breakout of what that federal spending is for, such as the cost of managing the national forests, national parks, BLM land, Indian land, defense installations and bases, etc...?
I'm still a w*rking stiff; one of you FIREd types with too much time on your hands should report back...

Whattaya do all day?
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #36
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One might have thought that the federal spending was all for welfare or aid to people in those states, but is it really? Is there a breakout of what that federal spending is for, such as the cost of managing the national forests, national parks, BLM land, Indian land, defense installations and bases, etc...?
Unless you mean federal funds spent in each state, federal spending info is readily available. You can readily see discretionary spending (other than defense) is relatively small. When people throw up foreign aid, national parks, the arts, etc. as ways to reduce deficits/debt - I wonder if they've ever looked at how relatively small those expenses are - even taken together? Doesn't mean they shouldn't be scrutinized, but they won't begin to fix our deficit spending issue. And the cost detail for any category can be found in seconds with Google.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #37
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I see no reason why older folks can't work at big-box retail stores until they retire at 70 or 72. Or work evenings emptying the trash cans at investment banks.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:19 AM   #38
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Back to Wealth Tax... Have to get by knee jerk reaction that a wealth tax means an even redistribution of wealth and that it would apply to any one of us. Donald Trump's suggestion only applied to those with a net worth of more than $10 million... and that it was a one time tax... (1999) to reduce the US Debt to zero. The tax would have been 14.7%... BTW... not a Trump fan.
Interesting (I didn't check the math, but assuming it is correct), I have to wonder if that is workable. How much of that wealth is tied up in non-liquid assets? Sell off farms and businesses? Even the liquid ones could be an issue. Could Gates sell 15% of his MS stock w/o causing a drop in the market?


edit/add: of course the debt would start to grow again - how long before the call for another 'one-time' wealth tax?

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Old 11-23-2012, 10:22 AM   #39
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Agreed, a glaring omission as is too often the case when raising the payroll tax cap is mentioned.
Well, I posted a link to a proposed bill where the payroll tax cap is raised but benefits for those it is raised on do go up. I don't actually see that as being unfair.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:25 AM   #40
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Agreed, a glaring omission as is too often the case when raising the payroll tax cap is mentioned.
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Well, I posted a link to a proposed bill where the payroll tax cap is raised but benefits for those it is raised on do go up. I don't actually see that as being unfair.
The article the OP linked to did not, that's a "glaring omission" IMO. What happens to top benefits makes a huge difference...another example of talking about spending with revenue or vice versa. Useless.
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