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Old 08-04-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boystuition View Post
I think Matt Damon, and others like him, are full of BS when they say they think they should pay more tax. If they felt that strongly, they could always make a gift to the US Treasury to reduce the public debt. I have never heard any of them suggest such a voluntary gesture.
how is what you're saying any different than if i say the people who want to reduce government spending could forgo social security, medicare, etc?

it works both ways. honestly, no one is going to send an extra check into Uncle Sam, but that doesn't mean that they don't think that taxes should go up sometimes. Just like people are going to collect social security because they are "entitled" to it, even though they would like to see it eliminated. maybe it's hypocrisy, i don't know that i would call it that, but it exists on both sides.
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Old 08-04-2011, 02:50 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
Reputation: 3712
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
What intelligent person would listen to an actor on any subject outside of acting?

I mean, seriously. If a famous economist such as Paul Krugman or Milton Friedman decided to opine on movies, would you devote more than a nanosecond of thoughts to his opinions? So why would you care about what an actor thinks about economics?

Listen to me, PLL. An actor is a person who lives in a fantasy world, a Rube Goldberg industry where nothing is made to last longer than the six-week release in theaters and the video sales the following year. He is an attractive man who has learned to mimic emotions in front of a camera. That is it. He is enabled by an entourage of Yes men and assorted handlers and enablers. His life is not based in the least in reality.

Just as importantly, Matt Damon has a small squad of CPAs who do nothing all day but think about how to play keepaway from the IRS. Offshore holdings, investments, you name it. So not only are you giving credence to an actor holding forth on economics, but you're listening to a man who, when it comes down to nut-cutting time, probably won't take his own medicine.

In that sense, what Matt Damon knows about public policy or economics would barely fit on the head of a pin. You might as well ask the cashier down at the grocery store what she thinks of tax policy. In fact, you might get a more intelligent answer, given how she's probably more attuned to the way the world really functions.

Yet credulous people like you actually give this man a bully pulpit, when the guy has absolutely no idea what he is talking about.

Why? Why do you let yourself be swayed by vapid nitwits?
wouldn't this be true of anyone who isn't an economist? it's possible to be educated and know about economics and public policy, even if that's not your profession. I don't know whether Matt Damon is or isn't...but it's simple math that tells most of us that taxes need to be raised (or simplifieid, which is no different than raising taxes, but it's called something else), no matter how much spending is cut. for that, all you need is a middle school education to calculate.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:07 PM
 
85,373 posts, read 82,887,213 times
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tax rates are not that simple or low depending on each persons situation.

at higher incomes its very easy to hit the amt tax which is a flat rate from pretty much dollar one with most deductions eliminated. that carrys over to the state level.

here in nyc when i trip the amt tax if i have a large capital gain its a 40% tax rate almost from dollar one with state and local taxes included
. if your self employed throw on more for social security and medicare . the rate is pretty high once that amt is tripped.

Last edited by mathjak107; 08-04-2011 at 03:23 PM..
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:39 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenScoutII View Post
This is one area where I agree with the conservatives to a great extent. I have no problem with the various social programs and saftey nets, BUT, I also think that everyone should have to contribute something to the system.

A country in which nearly half of it's citizens pay no taxes at all is going to have a tough time funding much of anything at all.
while i agree that everyone should pay taxes, that number that is widely used to display that 47% of people don't pay taxes includes a substantial population of people who work in high school and college and might make $4,000/yr. i don't know what the figure is now, but when i was in high school, if you made less than $4,000/yr, you got all of your federal income taxes refunded to you. you still paid social security and medicare taxes though. so to say that they contribue NO taxes is false.

yes, everyone should have skin in the game.

yes, that stat is grossly misused.
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Old 08-04-2011, 03:45 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
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One shot on taxes: Don’t blow it, Democrats - The Washington Post

very good article on this, related topic.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:00 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
Reputation: 3712
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, you're right about the "optimal tax rate." But there's a classic fallacy in Keynesian thinking that assumes that people will spend, save, and invest in precisely the same way regardless of the tax rates. Because if we get $1 trillion with the tax rate at 20%, then we'll get $2 trillion at 40%. Right? Right?

Not really. I'll give you a classic example. Capital gains taxes in 1998 were lowered from 28% to 20%. The Keynesians howled saying that it was a tax break for the rich, how revenues would plummet, etc. etc. A similar effect happened once again when capital gains were once again reduced from 20% to 15% in 2002. Now, the peak in revenues after the post-2002 capital gains tax cut was slighly lower than the 2000 peak, but I'd attribute that to the 1990s enormous run-up in stocks, along with the subsequent profit-taking.

The reason for this is simple. People look at what the government bite will be on a given transaction, and then decide how it will affect overall profit and loss. Then they decide whether or not to go through with the transaction. So a higher tax rate actually inhibits commerce.

With this in mind, the question becomes this: Are the calls for increasing taxes to the rich born from a desire to increase revenue or simple envy? Because if it's the first, then the desire is misplaced. If it's the second, it's tantamount to theft.
you are right that we won't get $2T at 40% just because we get $1T at 20%. I'm not sure anyone actually believes that. surely, a few do, but not anyone with any sort of education or knowledge on this topic.

but I believbe you're wrong on the power of taxes on decision making. true, there is a breaking point. but when NJ raised it's sales tax from 6% to 7%, do you honestly believe that people stopped shopping for goods in NJ? maybe a very small number of people do, but not enough. If tolls on the turnpike are raised, do some people stop driving on them? maybe, but you have little other choice.

if i own a stock, and it's up 300%, and I would like to cash it in, whether the capital gains tax is 15%, 20%, or 28% doesn't really matter that much. I have to pay the tax when i sell it, and i have to sell it to use the money, so I'm going to pay the tax. plenty of people buy and sell stocks within a calendar year and pay the full income tax rate on those transactions.

tax policy is part of the very large equation of influencing people's behavior. if i run a business, and i make $249,999.99 by September selling pizza, i'm not going to start turning customers away in september because i'll have to pay 36% tax on every dollar i make from now until december instead of 28% (or whatever it is). and if i do, the people that want pizza will go spend it somewhere else.

the claim that lower taxes is more revenue...i'd love to see where the supposed "proof" is. it works in some cases, and it doesn't in others. there is no perfect expirement, and we know many factors are at play.

now with government, the simple truth is, we've implemented programs over the decades and we haven't paid for them. these are bills that we've already accumulated. if we eliminated ALL government spending, and still somehow managed to maintain the current levels of tax revenue (not sure how, since government spending has to go in someone's pocket as income, which is taxed), it would still take us 7 years to bring the national debt down close to $0. people would die, starve, and lose their homes. but we'd have no debt and can start from scratch!
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:07 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
The thing about the current debate is that we're really dealing with a metastasizing growth of government. And the Raise The Taxes crowd is really trying to find a way to fund their utopian dreams of government as the End All Be All Solution To Everything.
no, we really aren't. we'd just like to be able to pay for the wars that were waged over the past 10 years. the medicare Part D plan that was passed. The funds that have been "borrowed" from Social Security over the past couple decades...etc.etc.etc.

You'd be amazed at how many of us are fiscally conservative. That doesn't mean everyone thinks government should spend less as the only solution. It means that if government votes to spend something, government should pay for it. We've had decades of spending without corresponding decades of revenue. Blame whomever you'd like for the spending, but we are now at a point where cutting spending will only get you so far. We've got aged infrastructure in transportation that needs to be updated. We've got a national debt that is close to 100% of GDP. Sure, there are areas we can cut, and cut a lot. But unless you think math is just a theory...that's not the only part needed to be done to address the issue.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:15 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
Reputation: 3712
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
1) We have a government that is heaping new regulations atop the old ones, with little apparent understanding of long-term market effects - What new regulations have been implemented that go on top of old ones?
2) A Tax The Rich crowd that refuses to hold the line on any kind of restraint in spending and wants those with wealth to pay for it, which in turn affects belief in return - In the recent debt ceiling discussion, didn't we see a proposal for a much larger cut in spending, and an increase in revenues, put forth by this so-called "Tax The Rich crowd"?
3) A tight money policy by the Fed that is choking off lending by banks despite historically low interest rates (Try being a small business and borrow money nowadays) What is the government doing that's choking off lending by banks? Banks are sitting on wads of cash right now. Honest question, please tell me how the current government actions are choking off lending.
4) The continued borrowing of the Federal government and its subsequent corrosive effect on the value of the dollar. - I agree with you on this, which is why we need to balance the budget. Which requires significant spending cuts, and sadly, raising taxes on us ALL, not just "the rich"
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:17 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
Reputation: 3712
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Well, a sales tax disproportionately punishes the poor. Then again, they pay no Federal taxes in the first place.
FALSE

they pay no federal INCOME tax
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:18 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,545 posts, read 19,475,293 times
Reputation: 3712
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
tax rates are not that simple or low depending on each persons situation.

at higher incomes its very easy to hit the amt tax which is a flat rate from pretty much dollar one with most deductions eliminated. that carrys over to the state level.

here in nyc when i trip the amt tax if i have a large capital gain its a 40% tax rate almost from dollar one with state and local taxes included
. if your self employed throw on more for social security and medicare . the rate is pretty high once that amt is tripped.
AMT is insane, and should be fixed. no one has the balls to do anything about it though.
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