Letters to the Editor

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DEBT: Don’t let the richest skate

Letter by Ann Fessler, Gig Harbor on July 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm with 54 Comments »
July 28, 2011 1:30 pm

This debt ceiling game of Russian roulette is making me crazy.

In the last 50 years, the debt ceiling has been raised 70 times. So what’s the problem this year? The Democrats and the Republicans both believe that the U.S. debt has to be curbed big time. Congress has got to do its job, and like the legislators in Olympia, they have to make the hard choices.

What is important is that we can not lose our AAA rating and have the economy of the U.S. turned upside down

I do not want the issue to come up again in the next six months like a bad burp. Speaker John Boehner and the members of his party that he cannot control (the tea party) will not compromise.

The biggest issue for me is that the folks making the most – the multimillionaires and billionaires and companies that are raking in huge profits – are not being asked to pay taxes commensurate to the rest of us.

Congress must not allow the people who have the most wealth in the United States to skate and receive tax deductions and breaks that the rest of us don’t have.

 

Leave a comment Comments → 54
  1. aislander says:

    The rich pay much more than you do in dollars and in percentage. Check your facts before you make assertions, (I almost called you word that equates to one of the three classic degrees of feeble-mindedness)…

    The latest IRS numbers have the richest one percent earning 20% of the available income, and paying close to 40% of the entire tax bill. The United States has the most steeply “progressive” tax system of any major industrialized nation, which may explain a LOT about the current state of our economy. That and the Federal government sucking all the good money out of the economy and replacing it with scrip…

  2. LarryFine says:

    Ann, the good thing about your letter is I don’t have to watch Good Morning America, CNN, Msnbc, etc. to know what the current leftist talking points are… so thank you.

  3. the3rdpigshouse says:

    The major issue facing the U.S. Congress is to incentivize the companys and people who make huge profits from moving middle income jobs overseas, thru the tax code, to return the jobs to the U.S.

    The citizens of the U.S. will become a much less fluent citizenry with our current policies!

  4. In 2008,

    The top 1% (adjusted gross income > $380,000) paid 38% of the collected income tax but controlled 42% of the wealth.

    The next 4% (adjusted gross income between $160,000 and $380,000) paid 21% of the total collected income tax but controlled 27% of the wealth.

    So the top 5% controled 69% of the wealth but paid only 59% of the tax.

    Which leaves the remaining 95% us controlling 31% of the wealth and paying 41% of the taxes:

    However:

    The next 48% whose adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $160,000) paid 41% of the collected income tax.

    The lowest 47% (adjusted gross income under $50,000) paid no income tax.

  5. LarryFine says:

    No source xring ?

  6. Top / Share of AGI / Share of Income Tax / Income Split
    1 / 21% / 40% / $364k
    5 / 35% / 59% / $145k
    10 / 46% / 70% / $103k
    25 / 67% / 85% / $62K
    50 / 87% / 96% / $30k
    50 / 12% / 3% / $30K

    Hope this post decently if not the point is that xring is way off with some mismash of numbers from somewhere.

    source: IRS

  7. Top / Share of AGI / Share of Income Tax / Income Split
    1 / 20% / 38% / $380k
    5 / 34% / 58% / $159k
    10 / 45% / 69% / $113k
    25 / 67% / 86% / $67K
    50 / 86% / 97% / $33k
    50 / 12% / 3% / $33K

    Hope this post decently if not the point is that xring is way off with some mismash of numbers from somewhere.

    source: IRS 2008 (updated October 2010)

  8. The biggest issue for me is that the folks making the most – the multimillionaires and billionaires and companies that are raking in huge profits – are not being asked to pay taxes commensurate to the rest of us.

    They don’t, they pay more than their fair share…. why is this so hard people?

    Your money is your money… the government only gets to get what We the People decide to give them.

    Is it too much to ask that you only speak for the money that you actually control… your own.

  9. For the love of god, xring. The more I read of your comments, the more I believe you are a paid DNC poster.

    The numbers you posted show that the “evil rich” do indeed pay taxes. You seem to have an issue with the fact that they actually are allowed to keep the money they have.

  10. bobcat1a says:

    The richest 400 people in America pay 16% average income taxes. Those making $100,000 pay 21% on average. (Forbes magazine)
    FAIR? HA!

  11. bobcat – what are the tax rate table comparisons between the top 400 vs the $100k club.

    What is the income cut off of the top 400?

    Is the top 400 federal income tax only? Capital gains only? A mix?

    Any business income vs expenses?

    Are all the top 400 married? All Single (doubtful)?

    Is payroll tax included / not included?

    It will help to know that before we can draw any conclusions.

  12. aislander says:

    “The United States has the most steeply “progressive” tax system of any major industrialized nation, which may explain a LOT about the current state of our economy.”

    In China the income tax brackets range from 5% to 45%, Japan’s from 5%-45%, Australia’s from 0%-45%, India’s from 10%-30% with a 35% corporate tax.

    So in your own words, “Check your facts before you make assertions,”

  13. aislander says:

    No problem, cirrus. What are the state, local taxes in the nations you mentioned? MY figures come from the UN…

  14. concernedtacoma7 says:

    So cirrus wants the US to follow the fiscal policies of China or India? Or Japan? Japan, one of cirrus’s examples, has had one of the lowest levels of growth of all 1st world nations over the last 20 years.

    Not only apples and oranges, but pure ignorance.

    Move to inner China cirrus, after two years I want to hear about the great tax policies.

    Bobcat- why do the richest 400 pay a lower percentage of income tax? Why was the tax code written that way? Which political party do the mega rich support? Answer those questions before posting selective data.

    We have heard about Buffet and his secretary. We all know his political bias also.

    Last, prove you percentage figure for the top 400 earners.

  15. harleyrider1 says:

    I guess we could demand every movie and television star; and every basketball, football, and baseball player start by giving 5-million dollars of their money each year.

    My question for you is, what do we do when we run out of other people’s money?

    Oh and one final question: What did your parents do that caused you to be raised in such a manner that one day you would want your neighbors and friends to pay more taxes than you, to support you?

  16. What the heck is this “other people’s money” crap???

    We ALL pay taxes in one form or another.

    The lack of responsibility on the Conservative side for the money already spent is enough to make me puke.

    “We have heard about Buffet and his secretary. We all know his political bias also.”

    So, because Buffet isn’t a greedy Conservative, that makes his analogy wrong?

  17. What the heck is this “other people’s money” crap???

    It’s the theme of the letter… are you asking Ann that question?

    So, because Buffet isn’t a greedy Conservative, that makes his analogy wrong?

    It’s wrong because it’s a BS comparison.

  18. gonefishin69690 says:

    First of all, this whole scenario is nothing more than Political posturing. it has nothing to do with the debt ceiling, spending, the deficit, etc, but has EVERYTHING to do with 2012 election. Once again, our partisan officials have worked the country into a panic, put on gloves, and are both trying to prove that THEY are the saviors of the country, and deserve to be elected. I for one will not buy into this crap. How many of you all bought generators and stored water in 1999?

  19. Roncella says:

    Ann, You need to change your source of information, quickly.

    Your facts and statements are completely Wrong.

    Hopefully your not tuned into MSNBC or CNN or NPR or News outlets like them.

    Good Luck Ann….

  20. This IS what these representatives were elected to do; stop Obamas job killing, out of control spending.

    Bobcat-we have an income tax, not a sales tax as our national revenue. Wealthy people don’t need to have an income, or have a taxable income. Long term capital gains rates capped at 15% is the rhetoric that you are spewing “that Buffets secretary pays more than Buffet”. She is obviously very well paid if she pays more than 15% in taxes. I’d guess she must be in the 100k plus club if she is truly paying a higher rate of interest. Its hard to explain to liberals, but a reduced capital gains tax actually encourages sale of assets, and money moved around/re-invested in the economy. I personally sold 10 properties a few years ago JUST because of the low long term capital gains rate AND the carryforward losses that build up on rental losses when you get to a higher income(you are not allowed to take the same losses as people making under 100k). Low capital gains rates stimulate growth.

    Letter writer-its scary you are so deluded from the facts. This President is BURYING our children under debt. It is immoral!!

  21. LarryFine says:

    TMell, don’t confuse them with facts. Some people have a difficult time differentiating between “city”… “state”… “federal”.

  22. Uh…Tmell….save the “president is burying” crap for the rubes.

    The majority of our debt was run up from 2001 to 2009 by you know who.

    I didn’t use his name because if I do it causes a reflex action on the part of Conservatives that immediately say “he’s not in office”, as if that magically made his debt disappear.

  23. Roncella….what is NPR and what is the NPR source in this market?

  24. “It’s wrong because it’s a BS comparison”

    Well, then…why don’t you demonstrate your proof that Buffet is lying (assuming “BS” is still “bull_______”)

  25. “xx98411 says:
    July 29, 2011 at 7:34 am
    What the heck is this “other people’s money” crap???

    It’s the theme of the letter… are you asking Ann that question?

    WRONG: DEBT: Don’t let the richest skate

    If you read the letter you’ll see that the contributor is all inclusive – the operative phrase being “taxes commensurate to the rest of us”

  26. karnos – the standard correct your statement first…

    I never said Buffet (nor anyone is lying). I will say his statement can lead to a misleading perception. This has been covered before but the short version is that Buffet’s income comes in the form of capital gain than the Secretary’s federal income tax rate… the capital gain rate is thankfully lower.

    We need the Secretary’s tax return to fully vet Buffet’s statement, remember he made the statement. Buffet just never attempted to really explain the reason.

  27. What the heck is this “other people’s money” crap???
    It’s the theme of the letter… are you asking Ann that question?
    WRONG: DEBT: Don’t let the richest skate
    If you read the letter you’ll see that the contributor is all inclusive – the operative phrase being “taxes commensurate to the rest of us”

    Per your statement, if you prefer that the “rich” pay “taxes commensurate to the rest of use” then wouldn’t the higher tax rates be lowered to the “rest of us” while ours remained the same. Be careful what you wish for here.

    The following two paragraphs from the letter:

    The biggest issue for me is that the folks making the most – the multimillionaires and billionaires and companies that are raking in huge profits – are not being asked to pay taxes commensurate to the rest of us.
    Congress must not allow the people who have the most wealth in the United States to skate and receive tax deductions and breaks that the rest of us don’t have.

    Unless Ann is one of the said “multimillionaires and billionaires” she is talking about other peoples money… not her own.

    Again for all of you that wish to pay more in taxes please feel free to make out your check to the Department of Treasury and send to TurboTax Timmy in DC.

  28. How disgusting it is to witness the total lack of comprehension and reading skills of some of the posters here.

    In correcting a statement made earlier on this forum (4:28 p.m.) that claimed the U.S. has the most steeply progressive tax system in the world, I showed examples (10:28 p.m.) of other major industrial countries that have more progressive tax systems than we have in the U.S. I offered no opinion whether progressive tax systems were positive for a countries economic system or not.

    Concerned Tacoma responds with, “So cirrus wants the US to follow the fiscal policies of China or India? Or Japan? “Move to inner China cirrus, after two years I want to hear about the great tax policies”. “Not only apples and oranges but pure ignorance”.

    What the heck are you talking about? With such total lack of reading and comprehension, no wonder our country is struggling to keep up.

  29. LarryFine says:

    “Per your statement, if you prefer that the “rich” pay “taxes commensurate to the rest of use” then wouldn’t the higher tax rates be lowered to the “rest of us” while ours remained the same.”

    You know darn well that will sail right over their collective heads…

  30. “xx98411 says:
    July 29, 2011 at 11:34 am
    karnos – the standard correct your statement first…

    I never said Buffet (nor anyone is lying).”

    I see…..accusing someone of bull_____ing is no longer calling their statement a lie. Leave it to a Conservative to parse that…..LOL

  31. The letter writer is saying we all should pay taxes, COMMENSURATE.

    That is not “other people’s money”……

    If anything the letter writer is asking why millionaires get to pay less proportionate taxes. Why do millionaires get to ride on our tax base?

  32. Oh…and by the way…..the Congressional phone banks and email servers lit up again this morning…..

    I can hardly wait for 2012.

  33. larry… i know, but i am trying man…

  34. “It’s wrong because it’s a BS comparison.”

    hmmm, i am done trying to help you with this one… it not about Buffet, it’s about the statement…

  35. If anything the letter writer is asking why millionaires get to pay less proportionate taxes. Why do millionaires get to ride on our tax base?

    This would be an example of the Buffet type statement… I don’t think you are a lying sack… you are just plain wrong… the numbers, from the IRS, don’t lie nor mislead.

    dude, what is up with you?

  36. I searched xring’s quote and it took me to a wiki.

    As usual, xx bluffs with “IRS” as opposed to providing a website address. It’s the old “look it up yourself” game

  37. Well can you imagine this…….?????

    I searched xx’s information the same way I searched xring’s and what did I come up with???

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

  38. The letter writer is saying we all should pay taxes, COMMENSURATE.

    com•men•su•rate
    1. having the same measure; of equal extent or duration.
    2. corresponding in amount, magnitude, or degree: Your paycheck should be commensurate with the amount of time worked.
    3. proportionate; adequate.
    4. having a common measure; commensurable.

    Like I said, do us little people rates go up… or so theirs come down… Ann, your call. Pick one.

    That is not “other people’s money”……
    From the article:
    “Congress must not allow the people who have the most wealth in the United States to skate and receive tax deductions and breaks that the rest of us don’t have.”

    Like I said unless Ann has a Warren Buffet financial portfolio, she is talking about people other than herself.

    If anything the letter writer is asking why millionaires get to pay less proportionate taxes. Why do millionaires get to ride on our tax base?

    Stop please with the well… well beyond misleading statements.

  39. Oh….and….

    The Tax Foundation Story
    The year was 1937, the heart of the Great Depression. During the previous decade, first under Herbert Hoover, then under Franklin Roosevelt, federal spending had climbed 170 percent; over the previous five years internal revenue collections had risen 198 percent.

    Concerned about the effect such expansion might have on private sector growth, a small group of business executives gathered in New York City to discuss how they could monitor fiscal activities at all levels of government and convey the information to the general public.

  40. As xx would say…..”I’m done with you on this”……LOL

  41. You have to love these struggling business owners that have time to finance the monitoring of the Federal Government.

  42. two things…

    Depending on who asks… you and your ilk know the sources. You are just playing a stupid game.

    Again I don’t have a problem providing a source, but ask me because you really don’t know and can’t find a source instead of playing a stupid game of “he just pulled out of the no sunshine zone”

    http://www.taxfoundation.org

    and the problem with them and their charts are…?

  43. “proportionate….hmmm…..OK I’ll back of the “other people’s money” talking point (the more I say it the more I further their cause)…..

    Why don’t those that are living off capital gains pay the same amount of tax as someone making a wage for an employer? Maybe the solution is to tax capital gains the same as wages…..

    Oh…sorry…that would be “other people’s money” as I don’t live off capital gains.

  44. “… monitoring of the Federal Government. “

    somebody has to… this is a duh! Citizen karnos

  45. somebody has to…..LOL

    yeah…all those elected officials that the majority voted for are doing all they can to cheat the taxpayers…..as if they didn’t pay taxes themselves…..

    I love when people try to make the “government” into a third party entity. Sort of like when union workers refer to “the union”…

  46. Speaking of “donations”….

    Why can’t Joe Walsh pay his child support on $175K a year….but he is right there to tell us why “the government” (as if he isn’t part of that body) is incapable of balancing their checkbook.

  47. BlaineCGarver says:

    Ok, then….back in focus: About half the famlies don’t pay any income tax, and a goodly portion of them receive a big chunk of their money from bennies. Why not dump the entire tax code. You could submit a post card every year for your taxes, or set up a national sales tax, no tax on food and medical, of course. All this class warfare against people with money is getting tiresome. I’d be considered lower middle, or upper lower and I hate the fact that income tax-wise, a goodly proportion of my money lets the lazy, and neer do wells live as good as I do.

  48. Dude, tell me you missed this part of class…

    Why don’t those that are living off capital gains pay the same amount of tax as someone making a wage for an employer? Maybe the solution is to tax capital gains the same as wages…..

    Is it a short-term gain or a long-term gain? If it’s one of them you got your wish…

  49. Ann takes aim…and misfires with –

    “billionaires and companies that are raking in huge profits –”

    That would include Donald (I’m at the White House a couple of times a week) Trumpka?
    That would include Jeffrey (Shovel-ready jobs were not really shovel-ready Hahahahahahahah) Imelt?

    But, but, but..Ann…these “class warfare villains” giddiously support your “class warfare hero”.

    “The rich”= anyone making more than poor little ‘ole me, wah, wah.

    Wasn’t Bill Clinton’s campaign promise of ’92 concerned with the ability to quickly and easily do one’s taxes on a 3″ X 5″ card ?

    That along with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

    Solution : Publicly debate and decide on one specific numerical percentage rate that would apply to everyone equally across the board and base it on Congress’ ( not the non-federal non-reserve) constitutional mandate of fixing the value of currency specie.
    No more theoretical ten year plans.
    An immediately implemented hard policy process….now please…

  50. LarryFine says:

    He’s intentionally obtuse… and uses a diddo. LMAO!

  51. aislander says:

    This thread came just in time–my wife is picking out wallpaper…

  52. L-F,
    Where is your challenge of Islander’s numbers?

    My data comes from:
    http://www.taxfoundation.org

    and

    http://www.nut.org
    (America’s independent, not-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers)

    XX98:
    You can also find your numbers at:

    http://www.financialsamurai.com/2011/04/12/how-much-money-do-the-top-income-earners-make-percent/

    AGI = adjusted gross income = gross income less deductions and other tax breaks which are larger for the upper incomes than from the lower incomes.

    Here is how our numbers look when broken down by income:

    5th Quintile
    Top 1% paid 38% of tax, average income $1,117,000
    Top 2 – 5 % paid 20%, average income $210,000,
    Top 6 – 20 % paid 11%, average income $97,000To 21 – 40%

    4th Quintile (61 – 80%) average income $56,000
    3rd Quintile (41 – 60%) average income $34,000
    2nd Quintile ( 21 – 40%) average income $20,600
    Lowest Quintile (0 – 20%) average income $9,300

    Or to use the old it there were a hundred people:
    1 would earn $1,117,000
    4 would earn $210,000 for a group total of $840,000
    15 would earn $97,000 for a group total of $1,455,000
    20 would earn $56,000 for a group total of $1,120,000
    20 would earn $34,000 for a group total of $680,000
    20 would earn $20,600 for a group total of $412,000
    20 would earn $9,300 for a group total of $186,000

    Total income $3,888,000; of which:
    The top person earns as much as the lower 50 do.

    The top 5 people earn more than the other 95 do.

  53. xring – what is your point?

    Top Income top 1% average income appears to be way off… way, way off.

    If you are arguing what a person makes and some sort of fairness then… yeah, I get it. They make more than you (or I)… so what?

    Based on your own data they also pay dang near double in taxes. Does that count for anything?

    Your 100 person thingy is way off to. That $1,117,000??? Where did you get that number, I don’t see it.

  54. Roncella says:

    xx98411, You have to realize folks like xring and President Obama truly believe in Income re-distribution. That really is what the end game for them is.

    Obama slipped when speaking with Joe the Plumber while he was running for President, he was speaking truthfully when he said something like we need to take your income and share it with other folks, don’t you know, ha ha ha.

    They are not interested in supporting a capitalistic form of Government. What they want is a very left European Socialist form of government.

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