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Thread: Fairness? (FoxNews.com)

  1. #1
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    Fairness? (FoxNews.com)

    President Obama has elevated one question to a key campaign issue -- what is a "fair share" of taxes?

    Obama repeatedly invokes tax fairness as a major campaign issue, returning over and over to the phrase "fair share," as he did on June 22 when he talked about a policy "that asks the wealthiest Americans to help pay down our deficit, to do their fair share."

    At a May 14 campaign stop, he used similar language, saying the idea is to make "sure that everybody is paying their fair share."

    Republicans, however, question the premise.

    "You got the top 2 percent paying almost half of all income taxes. Is that fair?" Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

    Kyl was referring to official figures showing how much various income levels earn of the nation's total income compared to how much they pay of the nation's total income taxes.

    IRS figures show the top 1 percent of earners take home 16.9 percent of the nation's total income, but pay 36.7 percent of the nation's income taxes.

    The top 5 percent take home a little more than 31 percent of total income but pay almost 59 percent of all income taxes.

    And the top 10 percent earn just over 43 percent of the total income but pay more than 70 percent of all income taxes.

    "How are you going to make it fairer? If they pay 75 percent?," asks Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute. "If they pay 90 percent? If they pay all of it? Will that finally be fair?"

    As it now stands, 90 percent of all Americans pay only 30 percent of all income taxes.

    "If we want an income tax system that is fair according to the Obama administration's own standards, we already have it," Sen. Kyl says. "The argument that top-tier earners are not doing enough just does not hold water."

    However, advocates of higher rates for the wealthiest Americas typically argue that it is much easier for those top earners to pay more in taxes, as compared to lower-income Americans who have much less discretionary income.

    The president does not mention another factor in the fairness equation -- close to half of American workers pay no federal income taxes at all.

    "That's extremely progressive," says Arthur Brooks. "That's more progressive than our European friends, as a matter of fact."

    And Kyl notes, "people who do not share in the sacrifice of paying taxes have little direct incentive to care whether the government is spending and taxing too much."

    The administration often points to the ultra wealthy who sometimes pay lower rates because they have a lot of deductions. But the averages for all groups paint a more accurate picture.

    The top 1 percent, for instance, pay an average tax rate of more than 24 percent. The top 5 percent -- a tax rate of a little more than 20 percent. The top 10 percent -- about 18 percent.

    For the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers, the average rate is 1.85 percent.

    Though fairness is one of the president's favorite themes, polls suggest voters are not that receptive.

    A Democratic think tank polled independents in 12 battleground states and found the president's fairness message does not resonate.

    "They don't see themselves as victims in the system, so about 60 percent of them say our system is basically fair," explains Lanae Erickson Hatalsky of the Democratic think tank Third Way. "When you ask them how to grow an economy, they didn't talk about fairness. They talked about opportunity."

    "When the president of the United States or any politician basically equates spreading the wealth around with fairness, that's fundamentally at odds with what most Americans think fairness means."

    Even Democrats who agree the system is progressive, though, still argue taxes on the wealthy may have to go up.

    "We have a country that's aging. We have deficit problems going forward," says Chuck Marr of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. "And so in the coming years there's going to be pressure to sort of bring these taxes off the bottom where they are now."

    Nevertheless, few dispute the tax system is progressive, or that the wealthy pay what many see as a fair share.

    In fact, one recent poll by the newspaper The Hill asked people what the maximum tax rate should be, and 75 percent of them said 30 percent or below. That 30 percent is higher than the 24 percent the top 1 percent is actually paying. But the current top tax bracket carries a 35 percent rate, and the president wants to raise that to almost 40.
    It's a question worth having answered. Define, specificly, what "fairness" is and looks like.

    And to cut off the expected talking point, i.e. "We just want to go back to Clinton's Tax Rates", the talking point reply is "Sure, as soon as we go back to Clinton's level fo Spending as a % of GDP".

    Now that talking points are out of the way, we cannot find agreement on what is fair, till we define what we're talking about as "fairness".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    It's a question worth having answered. Define, specificly, what "fairness" is and looks like.

    And to cut off the expected talking point, i.e. "We just want to go back to Clinton's Tax Rates", the talking point reply is "Sure, as soon as we go back to Clinton's level fo Spending as a % of GDP".

    Now that talking points are out of the way, we cannot find agreement on what is fair, till we define what we're talking about as "fairness".
    No level of income tax is or ever will be fair.

    There is only one way to truly level the playing field: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairTax

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    No level of income tax is or ever will be fair.

    There is only one way to truly level the playing field: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairTax
    Whoa.

    The government would send me a check for almost $600 a month?

    That's sounds awesome! Sign me up

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    The OP article hits the nail on the head. When you add in the death tax we have an income tax system in place that is extremely progressive. Wealthy people will have paid as much as 70% of their income to the government once they have died. I am OK with the progressive nature of the tax code as it is currently written. The issue is when the takers keep wanting more and more. When you have a president that rails about how the evil rich people don't pay their fair share when all evidence goes against that theory. Taxes remove productive capital from the system. Rich people don't sit on their money. They invest it. Their investments create jobs and more wealth. When Sheldon Adelson opens a Vegas Hotel he puts thousands of people to work. Contractors, architects, stone masons, etc. Then that hotel employs thousands more. Capital is not finite. One person acquiring wealth does not stop another from doing the same. That is the concept that most leftists can't grasp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Whoa.

    The government would send me a check for almost $600 a month?

    That's sounds awesome! Sign me up
    Actually, it would be more like a debit card in which you'd get a monthly deposit that you can use to purchase anything and not have to pay the sales tax on it. And for those of us that actually pay income tax, we'll have even more $ to spend or save. Not to mention the cost of American goods would be lower, and there would be more jobs here.

    Anything you spend above that monthly deposit would be subject to the national sales tax.

    All American citizens would get one. With their picture on it. Could double as a voter ID card.

    And guess what? If you're not a legal citizen here, you now have incentive to become one. Because if you don't, you're going to pay the tax on everything you buy. Drug dealers, criminals, etc who now dodge are system would now be forced to pay in to the system. Everyone would. EVERYONE.

    Fair.
    Last edited by JetPotato; 07-12-2012 at 01:23 PM.

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    Chuckie Schumer was pushing to have the "millionaires and billionaires" tax really apply to them instead of people making $200k and over. Unfortunately, he recently decided that sticking with Dumbama was more important than his constituents so he could eventually become Senate majority leader (or so he thinks).

    Also, Denise Rich called and said "GFY!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Actually, it would be more like a debit card in which you'd get a monthly deposit that you can use to purchase anything and not have to pay the sales tax on it. And for those of us that actually pay income tax, we'll have even more $ to spend or save. Not to mention the cost of American goods would be lower, and there would be more jobs here.

    Anything you spend above that monthly deposit would be subject to the national sales tax.

    All American citizens would get one. With their picture on it. Could double as a voter ID card.

    And guess what? If you're not a legal citizen here, you now have incentive to become one. Because if you don't, you're going to pay the tax on everything you buy. Drug dealers, criminals, etc who now dodge are system would now be forced to pay in to the system. Everyone would. EVERYONE.

    Fair.
    Sign me up. I am amazed that this doesn't get more attention.

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    Misleading thread title.

    I think the tax structure needs to be simplified. How? I have no idea. I am not going to pretend that I am anywhere near smart enough to suggest a practical solution. The only thing I will say is that if the majority of the people don't understand it and the tax codes are thousands of pages then something must be wrong. Less is more.

    We went to the phucking moon yet we can't solve taxes and healthcare. WTF.

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    As for the definition of "fair" as used by the "fair" crowd. I think it is "everyone else pays and suffers as long as I get mine I'm good". The threshold for when taxation should start is $1 above what I currently make.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trades View Post
    Sign me up. I am amazed that this doesn't get more attention.
    It doesn't get more attention because of the damage it would do to the two party strangehold and puts every tax lobbyist in existence out of business. The puppets on both sides of the aisle aren't prepared to kill off their puppet masters.

  11. #11
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    I disike the word "fair", as it has no meaning. My "fair" and your "fair" could be 180 degrees apart.

    I prefer "equallity", because that word does have meaning. The same for everyone under the Law.

    I am a true believer in equallity.

    Fairness? Who knows what that means.

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