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Old 03-06-2009, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
426 posts, read 1,296,003 times
Reputation: 176

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagibig View Post
I'm actually in similar position as Amylee134. I'm SINGLE and in a higher tax bracket. Just bought a house in 2008 and hoped to get that $7500 credit (that you're suppose to pay off in 15 years), but CPA says that I make too much to benefit from it. Owe "Uncle Sam" for my education...help my parents and put my brother thru college (who finally graduated)...now I have no savings. All I want/need is a little tax break. But it feels like I'm being punished for being on a "straight path". I've always been taught to work hard to be able to afford the finer things in life, but with how it is, I consider myself in a working/middle class.

I'm not an economist, but I'm a professional. I work hard, but only to be taxed more. So, what's the motivation/incentive to work even harder?

I'm just trying to contribute my thoughts in this thread
Do you always need a monetary incentive to work hard? I work hard not because I get paid well but because that's what I *do*. It's part of my value system. If I worked in a factory, I'd still work hard even if I didn't get paid 1/10th of what I get now.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:59 PM
 
60 posts, read 254,723 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbanawan View Post
Do you always need a monetary incentive to work hard? I work hard not because I get paid well but because that's what I *do*. It's part of my value system. If I worked in a factory, I'd still work hard even if I didn't get paid 1/10th of what I get now.

I work hard because that's just my nature. But, it is always nice to see the fruits of your labor. You would work EVEN harder to get a promotion from your "factory work"; hence higher pay; hence better for your family and maybe even pay-off debts. That's positive reinforcement. A person studies hard to get good grades to get scholarships to go to best schools and eventually jobs. I'm just fortunate that I love what I do for a living. It's not all "Mine mine mine" as what you have mentioned...I do contribute to charities, whenever my pocket allows for it. I just don't like it being "mandatory"

I had no interest on politics nor the economy in the past, but I have been an active voter for other reasons. Therefore, I'm not well-versed on deficits/surpluses and the likes.

I guess, the debate btwn political views depends often on the environment people live in wherein it offers one view of a situation or a different view. And I know that this has been an ongoing issue....

But as my mother says:
"You cannot help the poor bydestroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. [SIZE=3]You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. [/SIZE][SIZE=4][SIZE=3]You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."[/SIZE] ---[/SIZE][SIZE=2]ABRAHAM LINCOLN[/SIZE]

My take on this little quote is that...FAIRNESS!! If there's a benefit for the economically blessed and the challenged (under Obama's plan)...then it's only fair to also have one for the "middle" class", including you and me.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:47 PM
 
3,576 posts, read 5,904,462 times
Reputation: 1431
Quote:
Originally Posted by pagibig View Post
I'm actually in similar position as Amylee134. I'm SINGLE and in a higher tax bracket. Just bought a house in 2008 and hoped to get that $7500 credit (that you're suppose to pay off in 15 years), but CPA says that I make too much to benefit from it. Owe "Uncle Sam" for my education...help my parents and put my brother thru college (who finally graduated)...now I have no savings. All I want/need is a little tax break. But it feels like I'm being punished for being on a "straight path". I've always been taught to work hard to be able to afford the finer things in life, but with how it is, I consider myself in a working/middle class.

I'm not an economist, but I'm a professional. I work hard, but only to be taxed more. So, what's the motivation/incentive to work even harder?

I'm just trying to contribute my thoughts in this thread
Most of US who are the loudest complainers of Obama's tax on the "rich" are not really rich at all. We are as an article on cnn.com considered a

"HENRY" Higher Earner Not Rich Yet

Are you a high earner but not rich yet? Higher taxes ahead - Oct. 26, 2008

This is the "working upper middle class" Obama is targeting. It's surprisingly that most of this group voted for Obama and now he's turning around and going increase their taxes.

A lot of people say on this board...who cares, you are ONLY paying $5000-7000 extra in increased taxes. Well that's a lot of money. Obama is trying to impose these stealth taxes.

Lets not forget about the AMT. Most everyone I know (including myself) gets hit with this additional tax. Last year I ended up paying about $4000 extra in AMT. My brothers and sisters paid an additional $12000 in AMT taxes. Imagine paying 120K in Federal taxes and an additional in 25K in state income tax and the CPA tells you to write another 12K in AMT taxes. How would you feel? They eliminiate child exemptions, they eliminiate property tax deductions, they tax private municpal bonds which normally are tax exempt etc. The entire system is broken.

Congress knows they can't go after the "super rich." Those making more than 7 figures but the HENRY's of the world end up paying for it in the form of higher taxes.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:59 PM
 
1,134 posts, read 2,469,695 times
Reputation: 481
To the OP:

Good, I say.

The mortgage interest deduction is the most regressive part of the tax code. The deduction was intended to spur home ownership, not bail the uber wealthy out of gobs of tax obligations. The wealthy don't even NEED to carry a mortgage - many do so simply in order to game the system and increase their already extravagant lifestyles (low preferred rate, mortgage interest deduction, and likely returns on the cash they have invested elsewhere rather than buying their home outright... the wealthy are making out WELL! Who'd have guessed that?)

Honestly, if I had my way, I say do away with the mortgage interest deduction all together. Home prices wouldn't be artificiall high, and thus downpayments wouldn't be as crazy big as they need to be in order to get into a home... and simultaneously, homes would be more affordable as people wouldn't see so much of their income going to interest on these ridiculous prices that have partly been spurred on by the mortgage interest deduction.

The only thing the mortgage interest deduction has served to do is provide a regressive break for the wealthy, inflate home prices and thereby increase the burden on average home owners and shift more money into the coffers of banks and bankers.
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:03 PM
 
1,134 posts, read 2,469,695 times
Reputation: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by pagibig View Post
My take on this little quote is that...FAIRNESS!! If there's a benefit for the economically blessed and the challenged (under Obama's plan)...then it's only fair to also have one for the "middle" class", including you and me.
My take on the quote is also fairness. In my view, the wealthy enjoy way too many benefits as it is. It isn't about imposing something unfair on high earners IMO - its about making the system more fair to the majority of earners by reducing the rate of growth in benefits that come with every additional dollar of earnings.

Its easy to rise faster with money than without money.

Anyone who feels that 250k does not make one "wealthy" is on crack. If your household earns 250k+, you are in the top 1.5% of households as of 2005. What's more, high earners have seen their incomes rise at a faster pace than middle and low income earners... in otherwords, while everyone else has basically remained static, the richest among us are not only getting richer, they're getting richer FASTER.

People at that level should spend a couple years at their equivalent on the opposite side of the spectrum: Households earning less than $2,500 (2.26% of the population in 2005).

Then you can cry about your taxes with no objection from me. Then we can talk about fairness and economics.

"Upper middle class" LOL - hell, the top 5% lower limit is about $150,000 / household (again, back in 05). I think some people would benefit from knowing how the "other half" lives.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Househo..._United_States

IMO, the first dollar is the most valuable dollar you'll ever earn. It buys bread. I honestly don't give a rats behind about how anyone is taxed on their 250,001st dollar. And anyone who argues that its a disincentive to hard work can also stuff it. I'm a white collar professional, I've yet to meet an executive who works as hard as my poor-by-any-definition Farmer grandfather. This isnt' about hard work or anything other than the perception (misperception) that Joe Banker has the talent and brilliance to make other people more money. That's what is valued most - making other people more money... 15 million dollar bankers bonuses for a bunch of schemes that come back and bite us all in the arse when reality dawns that Joe Banker really wasn't brilliant after all (as is always the case).

The wealthy over value themselves. They earn more, so they must be doing something "better" right. The older I get and the more people I encounter from all walks of life - the more and more I discover that assertion to be hollow.

Case in point... I'm a well paid IT guy and here I am posting on CD; 10 minutes ago I had a meeting with a VP (earns 250k+) in his office. What was he doing? Reading GQ. It's the end of the day and the janitorial staff is cleaning up (bathrooms, trash cans etc). When I left the office the VP returned to his magazine and the janitor was still moving his bin from place to place - cleaning up.

We're the educated smart guys, the hard workers who did everything right. The janitor must be lazy or dumb right? Vanity is thinking one's success is entirely of his own doing. Wisdom realizes that circumstance has just as big if not a bigger role to play. The market is good for some things, and poor for others. Social justice and equality is not one of its strengths.

I like to think of it this way: The Janitor is paid what he is paid because anyone can do it with no training. I'm paid what I'm paid because it takes a lot of training. Yet, even we were paid the same... I would prefer my work to his. That's one of the many ways I count my blessings and don't complain about paying a higher rate on my next N-thousandth dollar of income. I paid the same amount of tax on my first X dollars of income as the janitor did.

I personally believe you could replace all of the multi-million dollar executives in this country with executives making less than 500k / year and no company would be any worse off. Value is according to human perception... and humans are quite irrational. The market is nothing more than a collection of irrational beings pretending they are fully rational.

Last edited by DvlsAdvc8; 03-06-2009 at 02:40 PM..
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
426 posts, read 1,296,003 times
Reputation: 176
I'd consider myself lucky if I had to pay $120k in taxes. Are you joking? You are making enough money to have to pay more than double *in taxes* what the average family makes in gross salary and you're complaining about being overburdened? Wow. That's so out of touch with so many people's experience it's not even funny...

Let's not get into the ridiculous pay of some fields. That's a topic for another discussion.
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
426 posts, read 1,296,003 times
Reputation: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by DvlsAdvc8 View Post
My take on the quote is also fairness. In my view, the wealthy enjoy way too many benefits as it is. It isn't about imposing something unfair on high earners IMO - its about making the system more fair to the majority of earners by reducing the rate of growth in benefits that come with every additional dollar of earnings.

Its easy to rise faster with money than without money.

Anyone who feels that 250k does not make one "wealthy" is on crack. If your household earns 250k+, you are in the top 1.5% of households as of 2005. What's more, high earners have seen their incomes rise at a faster pace than middle and low income earners... in otherwords, while everyone else has basically remained static, the richest among us are not only getting richer, they're getting richer FASTER.

People at that level should spend a couple years at their equivalent on the opposite side of the spectrum: Households earning less than $2,500 (2.26% of the population in 2005).

Then you can cry about your taxes with no objection from me. Then we can talk about fairness and economics.

"Upper middle class" LOL - hell, the top 5% lower limit is about $150,000 / household (again, back in 05). I think some people would benefit from knowing how the "other half" lives.

Household income in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IMO, the first dollar is the most valuable dollar you'll ever earn. It buys bread. I honestly don't give a rats behind about how anyone is taxed on their 250,001st dollar. And anyone who argues that its a disincentive to hard work can also stuff it. I'm a white collar professional, I've yet to meet an executive who works as hard as my poor-by-any-definition Farmer grandfather. This isnt' about hard work or anything other than the perception (misperception) that Joe Banker has the talent and brilliance to make other people more money. That's what is valued most - making other people more money... 15 million dollar bankers bonuses for a bunch of schemes that come back and bite us all in the arse when reality dawns that Joe Banker really wasn't brilliant after all (as is always the case).

The wealthy over value themselves. They earn more, so they must be doing something "better" right. The older I get and the more people I encounter from all walks of life - the more and more I discover that assertion to be hollow.

Case in point... I'm a well paid IT guy and here I am posting on CD; 10 minutes ago I had a meeting with a VP (earns 250k+) in his office. What was he doing? Reading GQ. It's the end of the day and the janitorial staff is cleaning up (bathrooms, trash cans etc). When I left the office the VP returned to his magazine and the janitor was still moving his bin from place to place - cleaning up.

We're the educated smart guys, the hard workers who did everything right. The janitor must be lazy or dumb right? Vanity is thinking one's success is entirely of his own doing. Wisdom realizes that circumstance has just as big if not a bigger role to play. The market is good for some things, and poor for others. Social justice and equality is not one of its strengths.

I like to think of it this way: The Janitor is paid what he is paid because anyone can do it with no training. I'm paid what I'm paid because it takes a lot of training. Yet, even we were paid the same... I would prefer my work to his. That's one of the many ways I count my blessings and don't complain about paying a higher rate on my next N-thousandth dollar of income. I paid the same amount of tax on my first X dollars of income as the janitor did.

I personally believe you could replace all of the multi-million dollar executives in this country with executives making less than 500k / year and no company would be any worse off. Value is according to human perception... and humans are quite irrational. The market is nothing more than a collection of irrational beings pretending they are fully rational.
All I've got to say:



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Old 03-06-2009, 05:16 PM
 
1,134 posts, read 2,469,695 times
Reputation: 481
I work with a lot of government contractors... high paid engineers and the like who also happen to be very conservative. They constantly complain about taxes.

For some reason, they never seem to see the irony in the fact that their well paying job is funded by public money. Public money gotten mostly from the wealthy - and that any shift of burden to the lower classes, would mean a drop in the public revenue that provides their salaries.

Then they complain about all the money spent on welfare (with the exception of social security perhaps), without acknowledging that FAR more money is spent on government contractors... like themselves.

My favorite response to their ever present: "My taxes are too high" comments...

"... and if they weren't, you wouldn't have your job."
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:24 PM
 
1,134 posts, read 2,469,695 times
Reputation: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by aneftp View Post
Lets not forget about the AMT. Most everyone I know (including myself) gets hit with this additional tax.
Of course, we all make friends with others like ourselves... so that would be obvious wouldn't it?

Thus, that completely fails in its attempt to pursuade us that "everyone" is paying AMT. This is assuredly not the case... nor even close. You must be making well over $100k / yr to pay AMT, and that would put you in the top 16% of earners.

Quite amazing isn't it? Probably didn't figure you were that high? Seems like everyone else is up there with you right? It's all an illusion. Most of us have no perception outside of our social strata.
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 2,898,537 times
Reputation: 546
I actually have no problem with the Bush tax cuts expiring and taxes increasing for the wealthy.

BUT, I'd have to agree with goodbyehollywood, that using a fixed 250k number to determine the cutoff line is pretty silly. Cost of living is different throughout the country, and 250k in NY or San Fran will definitely get you less than 250k in let's say Nebraska.

What would this encourage? Perhaps, it would encourage more businesses, households, and individuals to leave the costly States which would further depress these economies?

After all, we need to distribute the wealth and equalize the wealth between the States too n'est pas?

Increasing taxes on the wealthy is fine... they just need to account for COL adjustments so that it wouldn't encourage people/businesses to leave the higher cost States just because of tax increases.

Perhaps, Texas, and Colorado would benefit the most out of this since they have fairly low cost of living and a viable business climate.

-chuck22b
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