"Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

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keelio
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"Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby keelio » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:28 pm

Reed Hastings Op-Ed piece in the NYT suggests something mentioned by others: instead of capping executive pay, just raise the marginal rate for anyone making over $1,000,000 to 50%.

Of course, it’s galling when a chief executive fails and is still handsomely rewarded. But with the concept of “tax, not shame,” a shocking $20 million severance package would generate $10 million for the government. That’s a far better solution than what we have today, not least because it works with the market rather than against it.

Another advantage is that it would also cover the sometimes huge earnings of hedge fund managers, star athletes, stunning movie stars, venture capitalists and the chief executives of private companies. Surely there is no reason to focus only on executives at publicly traded companies.

(quoted from the linked op-ed piece)

Even Reagan had a top marginal rate of 50% until 1987 - on income levels much lower than $1 million ($88K in 1982 stepping up to $175K in 1987).

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby nevermore » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:06 pm

Do you have any idea how much Bitch McConnell would scream if that was proposed?

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby Galoot » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:27 pm

Great idea, but it doesn't go far enough. Why not raise the highest tax rate up to what it was for much of the 1950's and 1960's? IIRC, it was up above 80% for the highest income levels. Set it at that rate for any incomes above a million or so per year.

The neocons scream about how high tax rates on the rich are PROVEN to cause slow/negative growth, but the growth of the economy during the 50's and 60's was fairly good.

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:29 pm

I thought He ran on a platform of lowering taxes?

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:32 pm

You will be amazed at how many people suddenly make 950K a year. At least in their own name.

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby keelio » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:39 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:I thought He ran on a platform of lowering taxes?


Reagan?!? I think the whole lowering taxes thing was part of that Reagan myth. Bush Senior and Clinton did his dirty work.

Obama ran on lowering middle class taxes, which is what...up to maybe $150K joint? Not sure what the threshold is now.

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:40 pm

I thought He ran on a platform of lowering taxes?


Who? Reed Hastings? Because HE is the topic of this thread. And no I don't remember him running at all. If by HE you mean Obama. Then yes he did, yes he can, and he's about to if the Republicans would man up and work with Him instead of against him.

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby O.J. » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:53 pm

Galoot wrote: Why not raise the highest tax rate up to what it was for much of the 1950's and 1960's? IIRC, it was up above 80% for the highest income levels. Set it at that rate for any incomes above a million or so per year.


What tax rate do you propose for someone making $900K? If it stays the same rate(35%), that person takes home $585K, while the person making $1 million brings home $200K. How is this going to work?

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:56 pm

Galoot wrote:Great idea, but it doesn't go far enough. Why not raise the highest tax rate up to what it was for much of the 1950's and 1960's? IIRC, it was up above 80% for the highest income levels. Set it at that rate for any incomes above a million or so per year.


And you would be okay with that if you suddenly became a legitimate hardworking entrepreneur pulling down a million bucks a year? I wouldn't.

The over-the-top punishment of success only sounds good to people who aren't successful and resent those who are. For every over-compensated CEO that might deserve it, there are several honest productive people who probably work their ass off and don't deserve to lose 80% of what they make.

A tax rate like that would only lead to extremely creative accounting and even less for the government than if they stuck with a sane rate.

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby Ned Flanders » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:59 pm

At some point people just stop working. Diminishing returns and all.

Can anyone make the arguement that people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Howard Schultz weren't worth more than $1MM/yr to their respective companies?

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby eriedasch » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:59 pm

Although I agree that the uber rich should be giving up a greater percent of their income for taxes I don't like the idea of some cap of 50% for anyone making $1m. Seems kind of random and ignores a lot of factors (location, work done to earn the money, etc.).

But no matter how much you raise the taxes for the rich, what I wonder is how many of them actually pay what they owe? All the loop poles, tax codes, and mumbo jumbo that the IRS cannot even interpret maybe part of the reason why so many people can get away with tax fraud. At least that is what I would call it.

Based on just a few of Obama's recent appointment considerations and so many tax issues being uncovered in the process leads me to believe this is more the norm than the exception. And it is almost comical they are all so willing to pay the back taxes immediately. Yet if not uncovered due to being considered for an important position this stuff would have never even come up.

Meanwhile, we've got the IRS chasing their tails going after Joe Blow making $50K / year or less auditing him/her because they are the easy prey.

If nothing else WE NEED TAX REFORM and need it in a way to prevent people from avoiding paying their taxes. After that we need some real penalties put in place for those who do. How about a mandatory audit for everyone making $1M or even $10M or higher? How about doubling what they owe on what they failed to pay? Or even charge them an extra 30% as a penalty.

When I was younger I collected unemployment for a couple years during the off-season for a seasonal job. Not sure if it was neglect or just stupidity, but I failed to pay taxes on the unemployment for a couple years. You think I got away with that? Hell no. Something like 5 years later I got a letter from the IRS with a bill and another 30% tacked on for interest I owed. I was not very happy, but paid it and learned to be more careful when it comes to filing taxes. Think the IRS is that careful looking at rich politicians?

Somehow I don't think the rich politicians and others getting away with tax fraud that simply paying their back taxes when informed of their error is going to teach them a lesson or set any kind of example for others doing the same - whether they claim ignorance or not.

And these are just individual income taxes. Don't even get me started on how many big corporations avoid paying taxes. Google "Does Walmart pay taxes" and that should get you started.

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby peripat » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:03 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:At some point people just stop working. Diminishing returns and all.


In the case of the financial industry we'd have all been better off if they had, wouldn't we?

And what about the bottom feeders who advertise widely about how they can get the IRS to accept a small percentage of what people actually owe. Seems like they wouldn't do that for small amounts

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby massimo » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:21 pm

O.J. wrote:
Galoot wrote: Why not raise the highest tax rate up to what it was for much of the 1950's and 1960's? IIRC, it was up above 80% for the highest income levels. Set it at that rate for any incomes above a million or so per year.


What tax rate do you propose for someone making $900K? If it stays the same rate(35%), that person takes home $585K, while the person making $1 million brings home $200K. How is this going to work?


Not like that. They'd still pay 35% (or whatever) on their money up to $1m, and then 80% on anything over.

Still crazy.

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby snoqueen » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:05 pm

In Great Britain for a while it was 95%. The Beatles had a song about it:

"That's one for you, nineteen for me.
I'm the Tax Man... yeah yeah, the Tax man..."

Forgive me if I messed up the words a little, but that was their protest song as their fortunes started to rise.

Maybe 95% is a bit steep, but it's annoying as hell to see people make a fortune and still try to cheat and get out of paying a fair chunk to keep society functional.

The "flat tax" people are contrarian fools. We need money to maintain a reasonable collective level of living, and we have to get it from those who have it. You can't get blood out of a turnip, and the trickle-down thing is a demonstrated joke.

I think 50-75% at the highest levels would still leave people enough to enjoy a nice house, private-school educations for their kids, vacations, and other luxuries. How in the world can a person run through more than a million dollars a year, anyway? Society has no stake in enabling that level of consumption.

I think wealthy people should be proud if they can contribute generously to the things that make this a good place to live, including an updated national infrastructure, an educated public, clean air and water, and other amenities individuals cannot buy for themselves no matter how rich they get.

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Re: "Raise my Taxes"...now we're talkin'

Postby Bigredhunk » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:23 pm

People are not going to quit working or change jobs if you raise their taxes. That's such b.s. Hmm....I can pay 50% taxes on my $1 million salary, or I can pay 5% of my Mall-Wart salary. I think I'll go work at Mall-Wart because I don't like paying a high tax %. Gimme a break.

The only people I ever hear bitch about money are those who have it. Poor people just get up and go to work every day.


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