You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 05, 2016, 12:47:50 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"  (Read 5428 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Etah dna Evol

  • I LIVE FOR THIS
  • Lord
  • Bacchae
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Location: Every drop of blood, every bitter tear, every bead of sweat
  • Gender: Male
  • Cursed and freed
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2012, 03:16:38 PM »
Which will still be a much smaller fraction of their income.

This isn't about "evening the odds." There are plenty of European countries that try that. Have fun with the 50% tax rates. This is about collecting enough money for the Federal Government to function without needing a body like the IRS and without singling out and punishing success.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

  • Time flies like an arrow ~ Fruit flies like a banana ~ Elliquiy's Fair-E Godmother
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Location: Faeleacanvald ~ The Steeler Nation ~ Home of Lord Stanley's Cup 2016 ~ She won't stay throwed! ~ 48\22-5\1\11-5\7
  • Gender: Female
  • Perpetual Notion Machine ~ 'What if...?'
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2012, 03:19:05 PM »
The lower your income the more of it you spend on good and services, sometimes as much as 100% and frequently go into debt to acquire the necessities.

Those who earn a higher income don't spend all their money.  They reinvest it.

I don't see how a proportional tax is fair.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2012, 03:24:16 PM »
Have fun with the 50% tax rates.

You mean as was the case in the States from 1932 to 1986? Except when it was as high as 92, I mean.

I assume we're talking top brackets here. As far as I know there's no flat 50% tax rate anywhere.

This is about collecting enough money for the Federal Government to function without needing a body like the IRS and without singling out and punishing success.

Without the IRS, who collects the tax? At any rate, "punishing success" is still a canard. A higher tax rate on high earners still leaves them with a boatload more money than low earners. Not really seeing what the disincentive to make a lot of money is there.

Online Vekseid

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2012, 03:41:57 PM »
http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/08/17/how-buffett-saves-billions-on-his-tax-return/

Are you offended that Buffet takes a charity deduction? It's a deduction, not a credit, mind you.

You made a rather specific claim - that he finds every loophole he can. You point to him taking... a charity deduction.

Quote
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.

Any sales/vat/use tax system is by definition regressive. The 'Fair Tax' system starts off with a credit, however, so the extremely poor end up getting some benefit, and its cost gets shifted to the middle class, hollowing them out.

However, the economic burden placed by a 30% consumption tax is never really considered by the frauds promoting it.

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.

Even the those who promote the 'Let's rape the Middle Class' tax a.k.a. FairTax widely acknowledge that those making over $200k per year will pay even less than they do now. On top of being patently ridiculous and an economic disaster waiting to happen - it's the very definition of the 'nanny state'. Give everyone a bit of free cash - enough to live off of, if poorly - and take a 30% cut out of every single purchase made, meaning those whose money moves the fastest (i.e. the poor) are paying 30% less. And that's assuming production doesn't fall (because some people will actually try to live off of their quite-literal government handouts) and demand along with it (because the vast majority of the country just took a ~20% pay cut).

You mean as was the case in the States from 1932 to 1986? Except when it was as high as 92, I mean.

94, actually.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2012, 04:01:41 PM »
I looked into the fair tax and have a simple question: what about the homeless? Most have no residence, a good number lost all their ID including social security and I know most have no mailing address and none use banks.

And it will not destroy the underground economy, all I and many would do is order from places outside the US, deal with undergrounders who would not collect the tax and make those ignoring taxation to charge under the competition for their goods and services that are taxable. Say I want to sell cigarettes off the books I would order them from Mexico, sell them without any taxes and charge a fair markup and since its cash its pretty much untraceable. You could do this for clothes, food, prepared foods, most services and the like. If you don't bother with licenses and insurance taxes are the next thing an undergrounder ignores. And small internet sellers would collect it to pocket the profits and charge less for the goods that is what I would do. How do I know lets say I know from experience on what I would do.

In my area this would amount to a 30% sales tax that is crazy.

Offline DeMalachine

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2012, 04:32:20 PM »
If a consumption tax is a tax on goods and services, richer people who buy more expensive things will pay a lot more.

Perhaps, but not necessarily their fair share. When I used to work for a wholesale firm that traded goods with Value Added Tax, I'd regularly take orders from middlemen established in offshore tax-havens (UK Crown Dependancies, to be exact) who could avoid paying the tax...on behalf of clients and other firms who were actually based on the UK mainland.

In fact, a lot of the firms involved in the industry I was working in (nutritional supplements) established offshore offices in order to trade goods while avoiding the tax.

Offline Saerrael

  • ~~~Seraph ; In love~~~ Do you like what you see? Let me entertain ya ’till you scream.
  • Champion
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2009
  • Location: You don't know how you took it You just know what you got Oh Lordy you've been stealing from the thieves And you got caught
  • Gender: Male
  • Hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 6
Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2012, 10:49:40 PM »
I assume we're talking top brackets here. As far as I know there's no flat 50% tax rate anywhere.

Allow me. 52%; the Netherlands. People earning € 56.491 and above.

Source (Dutch);
http://financieel.infonu.nl/belasting/81171-inkomstenbelasting-2012-belastingtarieven-en-schijven.html


Sorry to not source from the official tax site as... that site sucks balls (in my modest opinion) in ways of linking and generally finding ones way.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 10:53:58 PM by Saerra »

Offline Etah dna Evol

  • I LIVE FOR THIS
  • Lord
  • Bacchae
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Location: Every drop of blood, every bitter tear, every bead of sweat
  • Gender: Male
  • Cursed and freed
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2012, 11:04:28 PM »
My statements were my general opinion based on legal knowledge, political knowledge and awareness of current events and I am entirely out of my depth. I hope I came bow out of this conversation gracefully without looking like to much of a wad.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2012, 11:05:31 PM »
It's rather sad to see people still talking about Warren Buffett and his desire to pay more in taxes.  Do people not realize that his firm owes like a billion dollars in taxes?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/warren_buffett_hypocrite_E3BsmJmeQVE38q2Woq9yjJ#ixzz1WRoIlYSf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/29/warren-buffett-taxes-berkshire-hathaway_n_941099.html

You can certainly write a check to the government, but if he's not paying what he already owes by law, of course he's not going to.

It's like how Al Gore talks about global warming caused by CO2 which are destroying the coastline, buys a house on the coastline and has an insanely high carbon footprint.  You can see the lie because if they actually believed these things, maybe they wouldn't do extra, but they wouldn't act so openly contrary to their own claims.

Offline vtboy

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2012, 02:05:29 PM »
It's rather sad to see people still talking about Warren Buffett and his desire to pay more in taxes.  Do people not realize that his firm owes like a billion dollars in taxes?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/warren_buffett_hypocrite_E3BsmJmeQVE38q2Woq9yjJ#ixzz1WRoIlYSf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/29/warren-buffett-taxes-berkshire-hathaway_n_941099.html

You can certainly write a check to the government, but if he's not paying what he already owes by law, of course he's not going to.

It's like how Al Gore talks about global warming caused by CO2 which are destroying the coastline, buys a house on the coastline and has an insanely high carbon footprint.  You can see the lie because if they actually believed these things, maybe they wouldn't do extra, but they wouldn't act so openly contrary to their own claims.

Your comment illustrates one of the problems with celebrity. No matter how valid the message, it is almost certain to get lost in the cacophony which is sure to follow over the celebrity's own foibles. Are Berkshire's tax arrears really an answer to Buffet's point that it is grotesque for the rich to pay personal income taxes at rates shockingly lower than those paid by working stiffs? Does Al Gore's large carbon footprint mean he is wrong about the effect of greenhouse gas emissions and that we should now blithely continue to burn fossil fuels? All too often, despite good intentions, celebrities end up only providing opportunties for those with other agendas to distract from matters of real consequence with dim witted cynicism, like that offered up by Chris Christie. And, to be fair, I don't think Stephen King's coarse rant has done much to improve the level of public discourse on tax policy.


Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2012, 03:23:42 PM »
This isn't about "evening the odds." There are plenty of European countries that try that. Have fun with the 50% tax rates. This is about collecting enough money for the Federal Government to function without needing a body like the IRS and without singling out and punishing success.

The problem with that statement is that too many people are "successful" (read: rich, your definition) whilst contributing little to nothing of actual value.  Consider the people who made millions and billions inventing phony "securities," peddling dodgy mortgages, etc., etc., etc.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2012, 09:42:39 PM »
Your comment illustrates one of the problems with celebrity. No matter how valid the message, it is almost certain to get lost in the cacophony which is sure to follow over the celebrity's own foibles. Are Berkshire's tax arrears really an answer to Buffet's point that it is grotesque for the rich to pay personal income taxes at rates shockingly lower than those paid by working stiffs? Does Al Gore's large carbon footprint mean he is wrong about the effect of greenhouse gas emissions and that we should now blithely continue to burn fossil fuels? All too often, despite good intentions, celebrities end up only providing opportunties for those with other agendas to distract from matters of real consequence with dim witted cynicism, like that offered up by Chris Christie. And, to be fair, I don't think Stephen King's coarse rant has done much to improve the level of public discourse on tax policy.

See, if Buffett actually believed that he should pay more taxes, he would at the very least pay the taxes that he owes.  If Al Gore actually believed that carbon dioxide was a problem, he wouldn't create so much of it.

Perhaps the example isn't obvious enough.

Let's say that some celebrity named Joe Doe has published books talking about how great chastity is over the last twenty years, that you should save yourself before marriage and all such, and a scandal breaks out that he's slept with a few hundred women over the last few years.

I'll accept the argument that if Joe Doe was fooling around before marriage, he could theoretically have "seen the light" and done the whole born-again virgin thing.  However, if he's still having sex even after putting out books on chastity, he obviously does not believe that chastity is the way to go, or else he'd be doing so himself.

I can see why a drug addict might be a special case for this, where an addict talks about the problems inherent with using drugs yet is unable to stop.  An alcoholic can honestly believe that they shouldn't be drinking and do it anyway. 

It doesn't mean that the message is wrong; it means that they themselves do not believe what they are saying.  If they don't believe it, and it's demonstrable that they don't believe it, why would you use them as an example?

I get that if the problems are unrelated, it's not a fair critique.  If Joe Doe has a cocaine habit, there's always someone will blast him for that and try to infer that chastity is wrong as a result.  However, these are direct problems with what these people say, which shows that they cannot possibly believe what they say.

Sorry for repeating myself; I don't know how else to say it.

Offline vtboy

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2012, 04:05:38 PM »
See, if Buffett actually believed that he should pay more taxes, he would at the very least pay the taxes that he owes.  If Al Gore actually believed that carbon dioxide was a problem, he wouldn't create so much of it.

Perhaps the example isn't obvious enough.

Let's say that some celebrity named Joe Doe has published books talking about how great chastity is over the last twenty years, that you should save yourself before marriage and all such, and a scandal breaks out that he's slept with a few hundred women over the last few years.

I'll accept the argument that if Joe Doe was fooling around before marriage, he could theoretically have "seen the light" and done the whole born-again virgin thing.  However, if he's still having sex even after putting out books on chastity, he obviously does not believe that chastity is the way to go, or else he'd be doing so himself.

I can see why a drug addict might be a special case for this, where an addict talks about the problems inherent with using drugs yet is unable to stop.  An alcoholic can honestly believe that they shouldn't be drinking and do it anyway. 

It doesn't mean that the message is wrong; it means that they themselves do not believe what they are saying.  If they don't believe it, and it's demonstrable that they don't believe it, why would you use them as an example?

I get that if the problems are unrelated, it's not a fair critique.  If Joe Doe has a cocaine habit, there's always someone will blast him for that and try to infer that chastity is wrong as a result.  However, these are direct problems with what these people say, which shows that they cannot possibly believe what they say.

Sorry for repeating myself; I don't know how else to say it.
I don't believe I've used Warren Buffet or Al Gore as examples of anything, save the possibly destructive effect of celebrity on advocacy.

Acting inconsistently with their messages doesn't necessarily mean that Buffet and Gore do not believe what they are saying. More plausibly, I think, it would suggest they are selfish or weak or have an overweaning sense of importance. In any case, it is difficult to imagine their supposedly inconsistent behavior would cause nearly so much of a stir were it not for their celebrity.

In any case, please note that Buffet's situation is materially distinguishable from Gore's. Buffet's famous comment concerned unjustly discrepant effective tax rates paid on widely disparate personal incomes. I have not heard, and strongly doubt, Buffet is in arrears on his personal taxes. The link you provided is instead to an article about Berkshire Hathaway's corporate income taxes, a very different matter. Though the article is hardly a font of enlightenment, it appears that the tax arrears, which the company acknowledged, are more likely the result of some previously unsettled issue of tax law or accounting than of impropriety. Moreover, as CEO, Buffet is under a fiduciary duty to Berkshire's shareholders to minimize, to the extent legally possible, what the company pays out in taxes. Berkshire's indebtedness for back taxes in no way makes Buffet a hypocrite.       

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2012, 04:20:12 PM »
Though the article is hardly a font of enlightenment, it appears that the tax arrears, which the company acknowledged, are more likely the result of some previously unsettled issue of tax law or accounting than of impropriety. Moreover, as CEO, Buffet is under a fiduciary duty to Berkshire's shareholders to minimize, to the extent legally possible, what the company pays out in taxes. Berkshire's indebtedness for back taxes in no way makes Buffet a hypocrite.     

Well stated.. I like the way you said it. It properly draws the line between his personal and business outlooks, which might at times class. Well said.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2012, 08:57:01 PM »
I don't believe I've used Warren Buffet or Al Gore as examples of anything, save the possibly destructive effect of celebrity on advocacy.

You likely haven't.  I wasn't targeting you as an instigator in this problem, and apologies if it came out that way.

Quote
Acting inconsistently with their messages doesn't necessarily mean that Buffet and Gore do not believe what they are saying. More plausibly, I think, it would suggest they are selfish or weak or have an overweaning sense of importance. In any case, it is difficult to imagine their supposedly inconsistent behavior would cause nearly so much of a stir were it not for their celebrity.

I'm not really sure that celebrity status has any effect upon whether something is hypocritical, though.  I'll attempt to give an example.

When I was young, I really wanted a pool, and talked to my dad about it.  Rather than just dismissing me out of hand (my parents being mostly awesome), he sat me down and talked about the expenses of a pool, and the kinds of things that we'd have to give up.  I soon came to realize that I didn't really want a pool, not because it wouldn't be fun, but because it wouldn't be worth everything that came along with it.

Now, that didn't mean that my childish desire to have a pool suddenly vanished, but my logical side had to accept that it wasn't going to happen, that there were reasons for it and it just didn't work.  I consider it an important experience of growing up, realizing that you can't just take one aspect of something and expect it to work in all circumstances.

If someone said that everyone should have a pool, I would want to look in his yard to check for one.  If he lacked one and I asked him why not, only to receive a host of excuses, I would not believe that everyone should have one.  This happens regardless of celebrity status, because people talk about celebrities more widely than they gossip about their neighbors.

Now, even if he did have one, it wouldn't fully convince me, but it's one way to watch for hypocritical liars.  With politicians, it's one of the easiest.

Quote
In any case, please note that Buffet's situation is materially distinguishable from Gore's. Buffet's famous comment concerned unjustly discrepant effective tax rates paid on widely disparate personal incomes. I have not heard, and strongly doubt, Buffet is in arrears on his personal taxes. The link you provided is instead to an article about Berkshire Hathaway's corporate income taxes, a very different matter. Though the article is hardly a font of enlightenment, it appears that the tax arrears, which the company acknowledged, are more likely the result of some previously unsettled issue of tax law or accounting than of impropriety. Moreover, as CEO, Buffet is under a fiduciary duty to Berkshire's shareholders to minimize, to the extent legally possible, what the company pays out in taxes. Berkshire's indebtedness for back taxes in no way makes Buffet a hypocrite.       

I don't know too much about fiduciary duties, but are you saying that corporations have more of a right to hold out money from the government than citizens do?  If so, please explain.  I think I know what you mean, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2012, 09:31:17 PM »

I don't know too much about fiduciary duties, but are you saying that corporations have more of a right to hold out money from the government than citizens do?  If so, please explain.  I think I know what you mean, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.

I think he means that you can judge Warren Buffet the Individual's actions in his personal statements while seeing that he isn't the ONLY person involved with the decision making process in the processes of his company.

Online Vekseid

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2012, 03:41:34 AM »
In any case, please note that Buffet's situation is materially distinguishable from Gore's. Buffet's famous comment concerned unjustly discrepant effective tax rates paid on widely disparate personal incomes. I have not heard, and strongly doubt, Buffet is in arrears on his personal taxes. The link you provided is instead to an article about Berkshire Hathaway's corporate income taxes, a very different matter. Though the article is hardly a font of enlightenment, it appears that the tax arrears, which the company acknowledged, are more likely the result of some previously unsettled issue of tax law or accounting than of impropriety. Moreover, as CEO, Buffet is under a fiduciary duty to Berkshire's shareholders to minimize, to the extent legally possible, what the company pays out in taxes. Berkshire's indebtedness for back taxes in no way makes Buffet a hypocrite.     

Sortof. "What taxes do we really owe?" is not exactly a trivial question for large corporations, so past-due taxes are common. There's nothing particularly 'nasty' about Berkshire having ~1 billion in dispute over a decade-long period in which it otherwise paid something like ~$50 billion in taxes.

That this shouldn't be the case is, really, just another argument for cleaning up the tax code.

Offline vtboy

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2012, 07:26:29 AM »
I'm not really sure that celebrity status has any effect upon whether something is hypocritical, though. 

Agreed. But, when the hypocrite is well known, the hypocrisy is more likely to take center stage, at least temporarily, to the detriment of public discussion of the merits of the matter in issue. But for Buffet's notoriety, it is unlikely that either his views on the tax code or Berkshire's tax arrears would have drawn much public attention. Due to his celebrity, though, those who oppose raising tax rates on the wealthy have seized upon the latter issue to avoid the former.

Quote
When I was young, I really wanted a pool, and talked to my dad about it.  Rather than just dismissing me out of hand (my parents being mostly awesome), he sat me down and talked about the expenses of a pool, and the kinds of things that we'd have to give up.  I soon came to realize that I didn't really want a pool, not because it wouldn't be fun, but because it wouldn't be worth everything that came along with it.

Now, that didn't mean that my childish desire to have a pool suddenly vanished, but my logical side had to accept that it wasn't going to happen, that there were reasons for it and it just didn't work.  I consider it an important experience of growing up, realizing that you can't just take one aspect of something and expect it to work in all circumstances.

If someone said that everyone should have a pool, I would want to look in his yard to check for one.  If he lacked one and I asked him why not, only to receive a host of excuses, I would not believe that everyone should have one.  This happens regardless of celebrity status, because people talk about celebrities more widely than they gossip about their neighbors.

Now, even if he did have one, it wouldn't fully convince me, but it's one way to watch for hypocritical liars.  With politicians, it's one of the easiest.

Yes, actions inconsistent with one's stated beliefs are often, but not always, evidence that the beliefs are not truly held. This tends to be especially true when the beliefs concern matters of personal morality. When Senator Larry Craig was caught propositioning a man in an airport lavatory, for example, it was fair inference that his record denunciations of homosexuality were a sham (it is, of course, possible that Craig is afflicted by self-loathing, and that his opposition to homosexuality is sincere, if pathetic).

Personal behavior is a less reliable barometer of the sincerity of one's stated views, I think, when the matter in issue is choice of public policy. One's views on how society may best promote its material welfare -- for example, whether it should enact laws aimed at reducing fossil fuel consumption -- are likely to be products of fact and reason, even if faulty. Personal conduct, on the other hand, is frequently driven only by appetite. Thus, although Al Gore is diminished in my eyes by his rapacious consumption of fossil fuels, I am by no means convinced he does not believe what he has said about global warming. And, Al Gore's hypocrisy certainly furnishes no ground to reject the theory he has advocated, that burning carbon-based fuels creates greenhouse gases which will lead to an ever warmer planet, with catastrophic consequences.   

All that said, I don't disagree that an advocate's hypocrisy provides additional cause to examine his statements closely, especially when the advocate is a politician. 

Quote
I don't know too much about fiduciary duties, but are you saying that corporations have more of a right to hold out money from the government than citizens do?  If so, please explain.  I think I know what you mean, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.

No, of course not. Corporations must pay what the law requires them to pay, just like other taxpayers. However, determination of the amount of tax due can be as much art as science. As you might imagine, the complexity of the calculation varies pretty directly with the size and diversity of the company, and honest tax experts can come up with significantly divergent answers. This is why good tax lawyers and good tax accountants -- i.e., those who know how to minimize the tax bill within the limits of law -- get big bucks.

It is management's legal responsibility to steward corporate assets for the financial benefit of the corporation's owners. The duty requires management to get good tax counsel and to take advantage of whatever lawful means there are -- loopholes, if you like -- to minimize the corporation's tax liabilities.

Whether it makes sense to tax corporate income and, if so, at what rates, and subject to what credits and deductions, are different and thorny questions, probably best left for another thread.   

Offline Lord of Shadows

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2012, 08:27:58 AM »
Allow me. 52%; the Netherlands. People earning € 56.491 and above.

Source (Dutch);
http://financieel.infonu.nl/belasting/81171-inkomstenbelasting-2012-belastingtarieven-en-schijven.html


Sorry to not source from the official tax site as... that site sucks balls (in my modest opinion) in ways of linking and generally finding ones way.

Sorry Netherlands don't have a flat tax of 52%, they have a progressive tax system.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_Netherlands

Offline Etah dna Evol

  • I LIVE FOR THIS
  • Lord
  • Bacchae
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2012
  • Location: Every drop of blood, every bitter tear, every bead of sweat
  • Gender: Male
  • Cursed and freed
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2012, 01:25:45 PM »
Sorry Netherlands don't have a flat tax of 52%, they have a progressive tax system.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_Netherlands

Nobody made the claim that the Netherlands had a flat tax. My original claim that started this line of argument as that some European Pseudo-socialist countries had close to 50% tax rates.

From your Wiki source:
Code: [Select]
For 2011, income tax for persons under 65 is as follows:
. . .
On all income over €55,694: 52%

Offline Shjade

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #45 on: May 05, 2012, 03:04:00 PM »
Nobody made the claim that the Netherlands had a flat tax.

Which is why Saerra's response (the one being quoted in Lord of Shadows's post) is a little misguided and prompted Lord of Shadows pointing out it isn't a flat tax, which is what Avis (to whom Saerra was providing this as an example) stated he was looking for in a prior post:

I assume we're talking top brackets here. As far as I know there's no flat 50% tax rate anywhere.

In other words, Avis said "there's no flat 50% tax rate anywhere, only progressive 50+% tax rates;" Saerra responded, "actually, there's a progressive 52% tax rate;" and Lord of Shadows observed, "right, that's what Avis said: it's progressive, not flat."

And now hopefully everyone's back on the same page.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #46 on: May 05, 2012, 03:29:19 PM »
I think there is something in King's argument. It was quite clear in the past that when we had a more.. tiered tax scale that there was more money going in to the government and a more equitable spread. You can't say that it's fair for someone like me who is barely able to work due to school and disability paying more than someone like Mitt Romney who grossed something like 200+ MILLION last year.

Even Ronald Reagan, king of 'tax cuts', put increases on capital gains.

Bluntly put, by me, we're needing more cash as well as budget cuts. We're cutting so much 'fat' that we're hitting bone in parts and places. You can't get certain things cut. Ever. God forbid that congress, who by and far are all well off by any measure. (Median income of your 'average' congressman is something around. 1.79 MILLION in 2008) cut their own benefits while looking for ways to cut essential government structure like military and intelligence fields, much less cut the 'bloat' of the post office (such as their own FREE postage. Franking privileges in congress go into the MILLIONS every year. With little or no oversight)

I hear a lot of 'smaller' government, but I see the outcome of it more tellingly. You got things like the mortgage bond issues. Reform not downsize. That takes money. 'Trickle down' doesn't work. 

Offline AndyZ

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #47 on: May 09, 2012, 06:03:21 PM »
Apologies for the delay, but as nice as you've been to me over various threads on here, I wanted to do a little better than just repeat what I've already said, so I've been thinking.

I've been considering an extreme example to see if the law applies.  Let's take the extreme example of a man who believes that all guns should be made illegal, and takes it upon himself to buy a handgun and shoot a lot of people.  "That'll show them how dangerous guns are."

Even in doing so, he must first purchase a handgun and accept the fact that he's going to kill a lot of people to prove his deluded point.  The horrifying act of killing, arguably the worst thing that guns can do, is something that he'll have to do in order to prove his point.

Agreed. But, when the hypocrite is well known, the hypocrisy is more likely to take center stage, at least temporarily, to the detriment of public discussion of the merits of the matter in issue. But for Buffet's notoriety, it is unlikely that either his views on the tax code or Berkshire's tax arrears would have drawn much public attention. Due to his celebrity, though, those who oppose raising tax rates on the wealthy have seized upon the latter issue to avoid the former.

I think it's inherent to celebrity status regardless.  If Stephen King wasn't famous, why would he get any media time telling that he wanted to be taxed further, unless one of the political parties gave him some sudden attention?

Similarly, if Bob from down the block says that we need to have a law that bans growing red roses in your garden, and he has red roses in his garden, people will point that out even though he has no celebrity status.

Quote
Yes, actions inconsistent with one's stated beliefs are often, but not always, evidence that the beliefs are not truly held. This tends to be especially true when the beliefs concern matters of personal morality. When Senator Larry Craig was caught propositioning a man in an airport lavatory, for example, it was fair inference that his record denunciations of homosexuality were a sham (it is, of course, possible that Craig is afflicted by self-loathing, and that his opposition to homosexuality is sincere, if pathetic).

Not overly familiar, but assuming everything is as you say (not that I doubt you, but I lack faith in the media) and he was attempting to ban homosexual acts (since you can't ban homosexuality itself unless you intend to commit genocide) then his attempts to proposition another man for homosexual acts perfectly fit within this logic.

Quote
Personal behavior is a less reliable barometer of the sincerity of one's stated views, I think, when the matter in issue is choice of public policy. One's views on how society may best promote its material welfare -- for example, whether it should enact laws aimed at reducing fossil fuel consumption -- are likely to be products of fact and reason, even if faulty. Personal conduct, on the other hand, is frequently driven only by appetite. Thus, although Al Gore is diminished in my eyes by his rapacious consumption of fossil fuels, I am by no means convinced he does not believe what he has said about global warming. And, Al Gore's hypocrisy certainly furnishes no ground to reject the theory he has advocated, that burning carbon-based fuels creates greenhouse gases which will lead to an ever warmer planet, with catastrophic consequences.   

Here I'm confused with regards to your comparison of Larry Craig and Al Gore.  Both, in my perspective, seem to have lofty claims about what public policy should be yet cannot follow them.

Let's say that Al Gore believes what he says, that every molecule of carbon dioxide kills the planet and shortens the lifespan of humanity.  Short of being a nihilist, how could such a person possibly continue to burn fossil fuels, especially at the alarming rate which he does?

People who have unprotected sex with strangers either believe that it won't cause a pregnancy or that an abortion can be had, or that they'll raise it.  Maybe they don't think about it at all.  People who play russian roulette similarly either want to die or believe that this time it'll be safe.

If you truly believe that actions you take can directly harm the planet on a sufficient scale as to affect billions of people, how could you possibly do it?

People are not dumb beasts, incapable of reason or suppressing their urges.  People who engage in wanton sex aren't incapable of controlling themselves; they choose not to.  People who try to kill themselves aren't being mentally possessed by some outside force, but want to die.

Now, a person can believe that wanton sex, suicide, or flagrant fossil fuel uses are foolish actions.  The issue comes when a person both claims against those actions and indulges them him/herself.

To claim that Al Gore knows that fossil fuels are killing the planet, yet continues to use them, is to claim one of two things.  You can proclaim him as a willing and knowing murderer of our planet (or attempted murderer if you don't believe in human-caused climate change), and thus a willing and knowing murderer of several billion people.  Alternatively, you can proclaim him as something beneath human, incapable of understanding the consequences of his own actions even as he warns of the actions of others.

You seem to believe that there's another option.  I'm sorry that I don't see it.  Maybe the gun-banning shooter believes that the sacrifice of a few people in a public way is a small consequence when compared with the many other people who die?  I don't believe any sane and rational person would accept that argument, and I don't believe you're saying that Al Gore is either insane or irrational.

Quote
All that said, I don't disagree that an advocate's hypocrisy provides additional cause to examine his statements closely, especially when the advocate is a politician. 

I should also note that Al Gore's actions do not themselves dispute climate change, simply the belief of a man who claims to know all the facts.  It is more the fact that he himself does not believe which causes relevance.

Quote
No, of course not. Corporations must pay what the law requires them to pay, just like other taxpayers. However, determination of the amount of tax due can be as much art as science. As you might imagine, the complexity of the calculation varies pretty directly with the size and diversity of the company, and honest tax experts can come up with significantly divergent answers. This is why good tax lawyers and good tax accountants -- i.e., those who know how to minimize the tax bill within the limits of law -- get big bucks.

It is management's legal responsibility to steward corporate assets for the financial benefit of the corporation's owners. The duty requires management to get good tax counsel and to take advantage of whatever lawful means there are -- loopholes, if you like -- to minimize the corporation's tax liabilities.

Whether it makes sense to tax corporate income and, if so, at what rates, and subject to what credits and deductions, are different and thorny questions, probably best left for another thread.   

I agree that if loopholes and legal exploits exist, it doesn't make you a bad person to take advantage of them.  If it did, then they should not legally exist.

If I stop paying my taxes for several years, I can expect to have the IRS knocking on my door.  A corporation who fails to pay taxes should expect the same.  In this, I see no difference between a person and a corporation.

If the system is designed so that corporations and people are able to simply avoid paying lots of money for significant periods of time, without interest accumulating for back money owed, then this should be closed.  If it exists, though, I want to know about it because I want to use it.

Offline vtboy

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #48 on: May 12, 2012, 11:05:21 AM »
Apologies for the delay, but as nice as you've been to me over various threads on here, I wanted to do a little better than just repeat what I've already said, so I've been thinking.

I've been considering an extreme example to see if the law applies.  Let's take the extreme example of a man who believes that all guns should be made illegal, and takes it upon himself to buy a handgun and shoot a lot of people.  "That'll show them how dangerous guns are."

Even in doing so, he must first purchase a handgun and accept the fact that he's going to kill a lot of people to prove his deluded point.  The horrifying act of killing, arguably the worst thing that guns can do, is something that he'll have to do in order to prove his point.

Sorry, but I'm lost here. If the point is that this lost soul's opposition to gun ownership cannot reasonably be inferred from his homicidal rampage, I agree. Since there is no question but that he sincerely wants handguns proscribed, your example seems to create room for the possibility that Al Gore has decided to blast greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a means of mobilizing resistance to the practice. Perhaps so, but I think it more likely Gore is just a very flawed human being who, despite understanding the damaging consequences of his conduct, prefers his luxuries to promotion of the commonweal.

Quote
I think it's inherent to celebrity status regardless.  If Stephen King wasn't famous, why would he get any media time telling that he wanted to be taxed further, unless one of the political parties gave him some sudden attention?

Similarly, if Bob from down the block says that we need to have a law that bans growing red roses in your garden, and he has red roses in his garden, people will point that out even though he has no celebrity status.

Yes, to the extent people are even aware of Bob and his views on roses, they may point out his hypocrisy. But, who really cares about Bob? If there is serious and pervasive public debate on the dangers of growing red roses, it is unlikely many will become pro-rosies or anti-rosies because of who Bob is or what he does. The situation is, unfortunately, different with celebrities, as attitudes toward them often rub off on the public positions they take. If Al Gore is perceived to be a hypocrite or otherwise a bad person, there will be many who, without examination, will reject the merits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions simply because they are repelled by him. This is the other edge of the celebrity sword.

Quote

Not overly familiar, but assuming everything is as you say (not that I doubt you, but I lack faith in the media) and he was attempting to ban homosexual acts (since you can't ban homosexuality itself unless you intend to commit genocide) then his attempts to proposition another man for homosexual acts perfectly fit within this logic.

Here I'm confused with regards to your comparison of Larry Craig and Al Gore.  Both, in my perspective, seem to have lofty claims about what public policy should be yet cannot follow them.

Larry Craig and Al Gore are indeed similar in the respect that their private conduct departs from their publicly expressed views. My point was only that Larry Craig's homosexual acts, unlike Al Gore's consumption of fossil fuels, are expressions of a very fundamental aspect of his nature. I think it is thus more likely (but not certain) that Craig's sexual conduct indicates his private views on LGBT issues diverge from his public pronouncements, than it is that Al Gore's personal gluttony provides reliable proof he does not believe the science on global warming.

The fact that I eat to the point of obesity, for example, does not mean that I doubt the connection between obesity and shortened lifespan.

Quote
Let's say that Al Gore believes what he says, that every molecule of carbon dioxide kills the planet and shortens the lifespan of humanity.  Short of being a nihilist, how could such a person possibly continue to burn fossil fuels, especially at the alarming rate which he does?

People who have unprotected sex with strangers either believe that it won't cause a pregnancy or that an abortion can be had, or that they'll raise it.  Maybe they don't think about it at all.  People who play russian roulette similarly either want to die or believe that this time it'll be safe.

If you truly believe that actions you take can directly harm the planet on a sufficient scale as to affect billions of people, how could you possibly do it?

People are not dumb beasts, incapable of reason or suppressing their urges.  People who engage in wanton sex aren't incapable of controlling themselves; they choose not to.  People who try to kill themselves aren't being mentally possessed by some outside force, but want to die.

Now, a person can believe that wanton sex, suicide, or flagrant fossil fuel uses are foolish actions.  The issue comes when a person both claims against those actions and indulges them him/herself.

To claim that Al Gore knows that fossil fuels are killing the planet, yet continues to use them, is to claim one of two things.  You can proclaim him as a willing and knowing murderer of our planet (or attempted murderer if you don't believe in human-caused climate change), and thus a willing and knowing murderer of several billion people.  Alternatively, you can proclaim him as something beneath human, incapable of understanding the consequences of his own actions even as he warns of the actions of others.

You seem to believe that there's another option.  I'm sorry that I don't see it.  Maybe the gun-banning shooter believes that the sacrifice of a few people in a public way is a small consequence when compared with the many other people who die?  I don't believe any sane and rational person would accept that argument, and I don't believe you're saying that Al Gore is either insane or irrational.

I should also note that Al Gore's actions do not themselves dispute climate change, simply the belief of a man who claims to know all the facts.  It is more the fact that he himself does not believe which causes relevance.

I do not agree with your premise, that Al Gore either must be a mass murderer or incapable of reasoned thought.

I am certainly disappointed that, after all his good public work in alerting the world to the global warming menace, Al Gore has not adopted a less pernicious lifestyle. However, to consign him to a category peopled by the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot (actually, to a worse category, since these people killed only millions, not billions), is putting a bit too fine of a point on the matter. 

Nor can I imagine that Al Gore, after so convincingly articulating and popularizing theory and evidence linking human activity to global warming, fails to understand that his excessive con sumpton of fossil fuels is inimical to good environmental health.

Among human beings, perhaps among all things, imperfection seems to be the unfailing rule. I know some very good people, but have yet to meet a saint.

Though I have taken steps to reduce my own carbon footprint, I know there is much more I could do. It would by no means be impossible for me, for example, to bicycle 30 miles to work each day, erect a windmill on my front lawn, install geothermal heating in my home, and eliminate animal proteins from my diet. Each of these choices, however, would involve sacrifices I prefer not to make. If you were to infer from my doing less than I can that I do not believe the science of global warming, you would be dead wrong. I only hope this does not make me a mass murderer or a mindless.   

Is it possible Al Gore does not really believe we are burning up the planet with our profligate ways? Sure, it's possible, but I doubt it. I think it is far more likely that, like me, he is just another imperfect human being.

And, for the record, I don't think human beings possess free will any more than do other beasts. We are all pinballs bouncing off the bumpers of nature and nurture.

Quote
I agree that if loopholes and legal exploits exist, it doesn't make you a bad person to take advantage of them.  If it did, then they should not legally exist.

If I stop paying my taxes for several years, I can expect to have the IRS knocking on my door.  A corporation who fails to pay taxes should expect the same.  In this, I see no difference between a person and a corporation.

If the system is designed so that corporations and people are able to simply avoid paying lots of money for significant periods of time, without interest accumulating for back money owed, then this should be closed.  If it exists, though, I want to know about it because I want to use it.

I am not a tax expert but I am quite certain that when corporations fail to pay what they owe in taxes they, like individuals, become liable for interest and, in appropriate cases, for penalties.
 

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Stephen King: "Tax me, for fuck's sake!"
« Reply #49 on: May 12, 2012, 11:13:14 AM »

I am not a tax expert but I am quite certain that when corporations fail to pay what they owe in taxes they, like individuals, become liable for interest and, in appropriate cases, for penalties.

I would like to comment on this.. but given I just lost 1/4 of my grant to the IRS after something like 19 months of sending them proof I'm still too enraged that they taxed my disability and got away with it.