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Author Topic: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"  (Read 5445 times)

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Offline Question MarkTopic starter

Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« on: April 30, 2012, 11:11:06 AM »
Article Linky

Stephen King lays out a pretty solid argument for raising taxes on the rich, and clarifies a lot of tax equality talking points and misconceptions.

To me, the article makes a lot of sense.  In fact, I think it's goddamn amazing!  He laid it out better than I ever could.  I can't really see any obvious flaws in his argument or logic.  But what about you guys?

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 11:44:27 AM »
One easy way to remove a tax break for high income earners is to remove the FICA tax cap.

Everyone pays 6.2% of their income into FICA (i.e. Social Security) every year, if you aren't one of the very few, such as clergymen, who are exempt.

That tax is capped at $106,800. Every dime an employee earns over that amount is free from the FICA tax (not Medicare though, there is no income cap on Medicare earnings).

Removing that cap would go far to easing SSA's solvency issues.

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 12:17:17 PM »
What I'd like to know is:  with all these people coming forward and saying 'take my money!', is there an agency that they could simply write a check out to without filing 87 pages of obfuscating forms?  If not, maybe there should be.  If there is, why don't they?

Offline Question MarkTopic starter

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 12:25:42 PM »
What I'd like to know is:  with all these people coming forward and saying 'take my money!', is there an agency that they could simply write a check out to without filing 87 pages of obfuscating forms?  If not, maybe there should be.  If there is, why don't they?

The number of generous rich people is not a big number.  Yes, there are some philanthropists and so on, but if you have a choice to write a million dollar check, I think most of us would say no.  Having the government REQUIRE that payment helps a great deal.  It's the same reason people tend to perform better when there's a structure/rule/guideline.  It keeps things from falling through the cracks, gives the sensation of a safety net, and makes it a higher priority.

Offline Etah dna Evol

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 12:53:22 PM »
I also think you'll find this wave of "tax me already" is a political gimmick.

Offline Question MarkTopic starter

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 12:58:02 PM »
I also think you'll find this wave of "tax me already" is a political gimmick.

I don't think I understand you.  Could you elaborate?

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 01:00:07 PM »
I don't think I understand you.  Could you elaborate?

+1.  I fail to see how someone who is not running for any sort of public office is using this as a "political gimmick".  Publicity, sure.  But political? 

Offline Etah dna Evol

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 01:13:06 PM »
+1.  I fail to see how someone who is not running for any sort of public office is using this as a "political gimmick".  Publicity, sure.  But political?

I don't think I need to make the case that celebrities and politicians are often intertwined. I think we can assume that premise to be true.

What I mean is that people like Warren Buffet use tax gimmicks all the time. I very much doubt that he doesn't take every deduction he can and pay as little in taxes as he can to increase his profit margin. He also failed to inform the public what he pays a 15% tax rate and what capital gains tax is. The entire argument is for show and plays well only on the uninformed. Celebrity politicking is all it is.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 01:15:27 PM by Etah dna Evol »

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 01:21:20 PM »
Celebrity politicking is all it is.

To what end? For whose benefit?

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 01:21:45 PM »
Who and/or what are they politicking for and why?

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 01:46:44 PM »
Those are the questions I am also interested in seeing answered as I just don't instantly see "celebrity makes political statement = celebrity becoming politician".

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 02:05:38 PM »
To what end? For whose benefit?

To their own benefit and the group they associate with.

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2012, 02:10:38 PM »
So who is Stephen King associating with here for benefit? Writers? Maine residents? Rich people? People who hate Twilight? He fits into all those categories, but I can't see any of them benefiting from his statement.

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2012, 02:11:56 PM »
To their own benefit and the group they associate with.

What benefit accrues to Stephen King from advocating for higher taxes on his income bracket?

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2012, 02:16:54 PM »
If you're implying that Stephen King's stance on being taxed is going to benefit a politician who who would that be and how does it benefit them? 

I'm not going to vote for a person because Stephen King wants to pay more taxes. 

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2012, 02:18:52 PM »
If you're implying that Stephen King's stance on being taxed is going to benefit a politician who who would that be and how does it benefit them? 

I'm not going to vote for a person because Stephen King wants to pay more taxes.

Well said.  My thoughts exactly.

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2012, 02:19:38 PM »
Either I am talking above your heads, which I shouldn't be. Or you're fighting rhetorically against my associating Obama with Warren Buffett (who is an Obama fundraiser >_<) and the assumption that they have goals that can be furthered by using each other (its not like Obama named it the Buffett tax), by ignoring the unstated assumption and asking inane specifics about a general statement.

Either way, my answer is the same. Re-read my original post.

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2012, 02:25:34 PM »
I also think you'll find this wave of "tax me already" is a political gimmick.

So are you saying that Obama is campaigning on a platform of "Elect me!  Steven King, et al, want to pay more taxes!"

I'm in favor of a flat tax but that has nothing to do with who is running for office although the results of the election might influence the trend toward a flat tax.

I could see it as politicking if Obama took the position Stephen King states and King is supporting him for it. 

Offline Etah dna Evol

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2012, 02:29:57 PM »
So are you saying that Obama is campaigning on a platform of "Elect me!  Steven King, et al, want to pay more taxes!"

I'm in favor of a flat tax but that has nothing to do with who is running for office although the results of the election might influence the trend toward a flat tax.

I could see it as politicking if Obama took the position Stephen King states and King is supporting him for it.

That is what I was inferring yes.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2012, 02:35:26 PM »
Let me put it this way.. even if today.. the government froze everything. Wages, expenditures and every single cent at the current rates we would accure debt faster than we can pay it. Even if we only cut, gutted, and streamlined our budget it will grow.

I have steadily increased in what I pay the federal government, and right now am in month ten of an on going argument with over my disability retirement pay with the IRS. I am a full time student, acruing a fairly big debt with little option of getting a job here in Jax unless things change. (I got a line on a job but it's at least 9 months away before the contract starts)

Looking at the way I have to manage my budget.. when I've cut my expenses.. that leaves increasing payments to reduce my debt. For me that is paying out more interest on what few long term debts I have..and doing without, and occasionally asking family for a bit of help, and a LOT of praying that I do't get a surprise like this weekend where someone spiked my tired (and six other folks in my apartment complex).

So, unless you can show how else to come up with more money.. I would humbly offer that Stephen King is correct in that if we're not going to continue to defer our whopping debt to our children (and theirs in turn) that means less tax breaks for the upper earners. 'Trickle Down' doesn't work. It hasn't for the oh.. 30 years I've watched it get used. Ronnie Reagan increased capital gains and estate taxes..and the economy THRIVED under his leadership. Clinton kept most of those increase for the first part of his term..and the economy CONTINUED to grow.

Bush II cut all those nasty mean taxes..and a mere eight years we got cronyism, debt and influence peddling on a scale that depresses me so much I can watch the national news anymore. It's all about 'kill the Unions' or 'Cut education'. Wow..how incredibly short sighted to gut the infrastructure we need to change the labor market since it's now 'impossible' to deliver jobs back to the US in manufacturing since big business has looted, pillaged and electioneered things to reward them for outsourcing.

We need to increase taxes. Yes, even for people who make a TON of cash. (Horrors). Reform corporate tax codes to lower the MASSIVELY high levels at the upper range, while closing the loopholes that reward outsourcing, hiding cash overseas and all the other tricks. Or do you think it's fair for a company like GE to get tax CREDITS while making record profits and cutting something on the order of 20,000 US jobs in the last 3 years?

We are growing ever more reliant on talent pools in places like China, India and elsewhere. These economies are growing and developing, while we are not. 

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2012, 02:38:19 PM »
What I'd like to know is:  with all these people coming forward and saying 'take my money!', is there an agency that they could simply write a check out to without filing 87 pages of obfuscating forms?  If not, maybe there should be.  If there is, why don't they?

Anyone can just write a check to the treasury.

Anyone who claims that sort of thing will solve this country's revenue problem is either lying outright or seriously deluded/misinformed as to the sort of structural revenue problems this nation has. Warren Buffet can write a $30 billion dollar check. Okay. He's paid for a couple of days. But now that's gone.

Forever. Not until he makes it back - he's an old man, and not planning to live much longer.

Forever.

Essentially, hypocrites like Chris Christie and others who clamor for 'just write a check' want these people to give up their own political influence for absolutely no meaningful, long-term, sustainable change in current policy. It's exactly the sort of crap they say they want to prevent in the form of a 'nanny state', even though most of their 'nanny state' bullshit is either a straight-up lie or a system they are actually trying to bring about themselves (FairTax, benefits for the poor going down faster than wages, etc).

To their own benefit and the group they associate with.

Please start providing actual meaningful, reasoned-out commentary rather than knee-jerk reactionary phrases that are only vaguely distinguishable from trolling.

For example:

I don't think I need to make the case that celebrities and politicians are often intertwined. I think we can assume that premise to be true.

What I mean is that people like Warren Buffet use tax gimmicks all the time. I very much doubt that he doesn't take every deduction he can and pay as little in taxes as he can to increase his profit margin. He also failed to inform the public what he pays a 15% tax rate and what capital gains tax is. The entire argument is for show and plays well only on the uninformed. Celebrity politicking is all it is.

This is a subtle version of a lie. Just because you couch it in 'I very much doubt' doesn't make it any less of a lie.

http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/finance-topcompanytaxes/berkshire-hathaway/

Compare another company of a friend of his:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/28/microsoft-tax-havens-profit-bill_n_911779.html

Buffet doesn't route his corporate revenue through Nevada, to name one colossal example that is currently wrecking Microsoft's home state.

Offline Etah dna Evol

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2012, 02:49:41 PM »
We need to increase taxes. Yes, even for people who make a TON of cash. (Horrors).

I agree with tax increases but it also needs to come with budget cuts. I am sick of the Republican/Democrat stand off on this issue. What we need is to abolish the IRS and instead of a "progressive" or "regressive" tax system, we need a proportional tax system.

I personally believe in the Fair Tax. If we tax consumption, then rich people will pay more taxes because they buy more things and not because they are being targeted by socialistic policies.

Online Avis habilis

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2012, 02:52:08 PM »
I agree with tax increases but it also needs to come with budget cuts. I am sick of the Republican/Democrat stand off on this issue. What we need is to abolish the IRS and instead of a "progressive" or "regressive" tax system, we need a proportional tax system.

I personally believe in the Fair Tax. If we tax consumption, then rich people will pay more taxes because they buy more things and not because they are being targeted by socialistic policies.

Proportional in the sense of "take more of the poor's income than the rich's" then? Because a consumption tax eats up a greater proportion of a low-wage earner's income than a high-wage earner's.

We have a proportional tax system now (or at least that's what the idea was) - if you have more, you pay proportionately more.

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2012, 03:04:52 PM »
This is a subtle version of a lie. Just because you couch it in 'I very much doubt' doesn't make it any less of a lie.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/08/17/how-buffett-saves-billions-on-his-tax-return/

Because a consumption tax eats up a greater proportion of a low-wage earner's income than a high-wage earner's.

If a consumption tax is a tax on goods and services, richer people who buy more expensive things will pay a lot more. This is not about becoming a self-appointed Robin Hood, we should not be out to punish the wealthy and successful.

Quote
We have a proportional tax system now (or at least that's what the idea was) - if you have more, you pay proportionately more.

My understanding is that progressive Tax systems shift the tax burden to the richest, regressive systems shift the tax burden to the poorest and proportional tax systems rely on a fixed number like the flat tax or the fair tax.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 03:06:06 PM by Etah dna Evol »

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Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2012, 03:08:29 PM »
If a consumption tax is a tax on goods and services, richer people who buy more expensive things will pay a lot more.

Which will still be a much smaller fraction of their income.