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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:03 AM   #41
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pizzaman to me that is a whole different issue. Nobody said anything about being rich, or at least I didn't, I was simply referencing KA's comment about 200k not being "all that much money"
I understand your comment.
I have a pretty good friend/business aquaintance that makes a Sh&* load of money, well over $250K and always broke.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:04 AM   #42
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I like the idea of a flat tax, because I think it is fair, but I have NO CLUE if it would actually work.
Maybe if gradually implemented. The people most affected are those who could least afford it.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:07 AM   #43
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All this talk about rich and $200k and $20k households. It's all subjective and like in business its about debt to income ratios.
I know people that make under $50K and are "happy" and living comfortably. I also know people that make over $200K and are broke all the time.
Very true. Even though I try to live within our means, and do a pretty good job of it, it always comes down to the more you make the more you spend.

I wonder if there is an income level where that saying no longer applies. At some point you have to make more money than you can possibly spend.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:09 AM   #44
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All this talk about rich and $200k and $20k households. It's all subjective and like in business its about debt to income ratios.
I know people that make under $50K and are "happy" and living comfortably. I also know people that make over $200K and are broke all the time.
= stupid
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:10 AM   #45
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Very true. Even though I try to live within our means, and do a pretty good job of it, it always comes down to the more you make the more you spend.

I wonder if there is an income level where that saying no longer applies. At some point you have to make more money than you can possibly spend.
Or have self control.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:19 AM   #46
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I like the idea of a flat tax, because I think it is fair, but I have NO CLUE if it would actually work.
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Sure in perspective if you make 20k a year 100k seems like a lot, but there are a LOT of expenses in life that everyone has to bear the brunt of (which I tried to illustrate on an "average" standpoint in my post), regardless of your local cost of living, and regardless of whether you are living outside, inside, or below your means.

Nobody can control the cost of certain things, like utilities, groceries/food, necessary communication (some sort of phone), etc.

Sure, you can be frugal, but you kind of need some of those things and can't get away from it. Even at 100k most people should be comfortable. So to say 200k isn't a lot of money twists me around the wrong way.
Those two comments kind of contradict each other.

Like you said the impact of life's necessities is very different for someone making 10k a year, 50k a year, and 100+k a year. $100 a month for heat is a drop in the bucket for someone making $100k, but a devastating bill for someone making 10k.

To me that's where the potential, and probably more like eventual, failure of a flat tax would come in. 10% flat off the top with no allowances or deductions would actually probably benefit most people making $100k a year. But that same 10% for someone below the poverty line that counts on deductions for kids and what not would be horrible for them.

I'm not actually trying to be argumentative. I too think its the only "fair" way to do it. But I don't think it would work because it will leave people behind.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:27 AM   #47
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Those two comments kind of contradict each other.

Like you said the impact of life's necessities is very different for someone making 10k a year, 50k a year, and 100+k a year. $100 a month for heat is a drop in the bucket for someone making $100k, but a devastating bill for someone making 10k.

To me that's where the potential, and probably more like eventual, failure of a flat tax would come in. 10% flat off the top with no allowances or deductions would actually probably benefit most people making $100k a year. But that same 10% for someone below the poverty line that counts on deductions for kids and what not would be horrible for them.

I'm not actually trying to be argumentative. I too think its the only "fair" way to do it. But I don't think it would work because it will leave people behind.
While my posts may seem to contradict the idea of a flat tax, it doesn't mean I give a shit about the affect a flat tax will have on those who don't make as much money. I find myself for the first time in 5 years getting a decent tax return this year. Apparently I fucked up on my w4 and put in too much money.

I make more than the 50k household average, I make far less than the "200k isn't all that much money 2%er's out there). A flat tax of whatever percentage would seem very fair to someone like myself who sees (look at previous post) friends who are single moms getting back more then they put in, you know who's leaching off the system and still getting nice returns, etc.

If everyone put in an even percentage, or the tax code made more sense to those who don't have a PHd in bullshittery, class divide may not seem quite as bad.

sure, it may give an advantage to those who make more, but if everyone put in 10% or 20% or 30% at least we all would know everyone is putting in a fair share of what they make.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:34 AM   #48
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While my posts may seem to contradict the idea of a flat tax, it doesn't mean I give a shit about the affect a flat tax will have on those who don't make as much money. I find myself for the first time in 5 years getting a decent tax return this year. Apparently I fucked up on my w4 and put in too much money.

I make more than the 50k household average, I make far less than the "200k isn't all that much money 2%er's out there). A flat tax of whatever percentage would seem very fair to someone like myself who sees (look at previous post) friends who are single moms getting back more then they put in, you know who's leaching off the system and still getting nice returns, etc.

If everyone put in an even percentage, or the tax code made more sense to those who don't have a PHd in bullshittery, class divide may not seem quite as bad.

sure, it may give an advantage to those who make more, but if everyone put in 10% or 20% or 30% at least we all would know everyone is putting in a fair share of what they make.
So say someone who lives borderline but within their means goes from an effective -20%, like your friend, to 10%. Would you still limit their welfare? Because that 30% shift in tax rate pushed them into needing welfare. But since they are paying their fair share they should be able to use it. Purely hypothetical question.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:46 AM   #49
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If everyone put in an even percentage, or the tax code made more sense to those who don't have a PHd in bullshittery, class divide may not seem quite as bad.
I like the PHd in bullshittery.

Flat tax is the most fair concept out there, but holy shit would that wreck some people's worlds...

To me the whole compassion thing that sets us apart from animals is the downfall of our society.

We(others, not me, I don't give a fukc ) care too much about the well being of others that just can't seem to put their shit together and it drags everyone else down.

Non contributors are a drain on the rest of the society's resources. If we cut them off many would wither away, a few would wake up and adapt, but we would be better off in the long run.

It happens in nature every day.

But that's not a very compassionate, PC, humanitarian way to think and we are paying the price for it.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:10 AM   #50
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To further derail this topic with another question...

How many of the $50k a year or even less households are single income households?

Yes, one of the big reasons why Kerry and I are comfortable is because we have no kids. But the bigger reason is we are both working. I guess the biggest reason would be because we both have "professional" jobs on top of that as well.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:40 AM   #51
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So say someone who lives borderline but within their means goes from an effective -20%, like your friend, to 10%. Would you still limit their welfare? Because that 30% shift in tax rate pushed them into needing welfare. But since they are paying their fair share they should be able to use it. Purely hypothetical question.
I am not sure I completely understand your question.

BUT, if I am understanding it like this, here are my toughts.

If what you are saying is how do I feel about someone who makes 10k a year, pays in 2500, and gets back 3500, now paying their fair 10% and paying in 1k, but now being on welfare.

Well in most cases all of the people who owuld currently pay in less than they get back, already qualify for some form of government aid.

That wouldn't change, but what would change is they wouldn't be getting back a big ass tax return to go waste on hookers, blow, 22's, and tv's.

It's a good hypothetical question, I don't know the answer. It kind of leads to some necessary changes for government aid and welfare reform that are a whole new ballgame.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:44 AM   #52
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To further derail this topic with another question...

How many of the $50k a year or even less households are single income households?

Yes, one of the big reasons why Kerry and I are comfortable is because we have no kids. But the bigger reason is we are both working. I guess the biggest reason would be because we both have "professional" jobs on top of that as well.
I have no idea what the statistics on that are, what I did see was that the average male makes around 45k or something (not exact figures just some guestimates I remembered seeing this morning), and let's say women were around 33k if I recall.

so my guess based on that is that MOST households nowadays are going to HAVE to be dual income just to be above average. Average salary that I see at work on a daily basis is probably right around 70k, but most of these people are specialized, degreed, educated engineers. So of course it's slightly higher than the averages.

Think of how many people you see who work at home depot, mcdonalds, etc. and they are supporting a family on $10/hr, thats 20k, say their wife also has a similar job.....$40k.....jobs that were traditionally part time jobs for high school kids and college kids....

Something I didn't factor in earlier is the mortgage payment that I pay in to daycare each month, and I even get to split it with my ex wife, one of the few bills I actually get to split. And it's still a real nice car payment/small mortgage payment.


I agree with your other post on compassion, compassion is ok to a point, unfortunately we have taken it worlds past that point.

Just some food for thought.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:47 AM   #53
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My friend got a tax return a few years back, that was nearly double what she had even paid into the system. Single girl with a child. It blew my mind. I like the idea of a flat tax, because I think it is fair, but I have NO CLUE if it would actually work.
How does that even happen?

It seems like if anything your tax liability should end up being zero and whatever you paid in you should get back. Kinda like when you were a kid in high school and always got back almost all of your taxes.

That's just retarded...

for a system so convoluted and complicated no one understands and gets more complicated every year.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 10:53 AM   #54
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Think of how many people you see who work at home depot, mcdonalds, etc. and they are supporting a family on $10/hr, thats 20k, say their wife also has a similar job.....$40k.....jobs that were traditionally part time jobs for high school kids and college kids....
And they are working these jobs because all of the unskilled labor and service jobs that were common place 30 years ago have disappeared or been shipped out of the country.

Then that happened because companies had to provide huge bonuses for management, hefty raises for workers, provide retirement packages for workers that are retired for longer than they worked, and all at the same time keep the share holders happy.

It just seems like you keep peeling this back layer by layer and realize we are pretty much fucked to the core and have been heading down this path for decades.

Its actually a really bleak, sad thing to think about. We have some serious fucking issues in this country and its going to take some very hard decisions in the near future or this whole system is going to come off the rails in epic proportions.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:09 AM   #55
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How does that even happen?

It seems like if anything your tax liability should end up being zero and whatever you paid in you should get back. Kinda like when you were a kid in high school and always got back almost all of your taxes.

That's just retarded...

for a system so convoluted and complicated no one understands and gets more complicated every year.
some sort of earned income credit, plus the deduction for having a child, child care expenses, blah blah a bunch of bullshit.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:15 AM   #56
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To further derail this topic with another question...

How many of the $50k a year or even less households are single income households?

Yes, one of the big reasons why Kerry and I are comfortable is because we have no kids. But the bigger reason is we are both working. I guess the biggest reason would be because we both have "professional" jobs on top of that as well.
My wife and I are both professionals, but with two kids................in hockey.
Yes we struggle.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:35 AM   #57
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Electile Dysfunction: The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for President put forth by either party.



That all being said, I find NOTHING moderate, or conservative in the way the Left has run this country since taking over the Congress in 2006.

Our current President has bent overbackward to cow-tow to other cultures, apologize for "western behavior", alienated allies, lied, and back-pedaled (or mis-stated) so many times that it's more of a joke than Bush's gaffes, or Reagan's memory problems. The former speaker, Pelosi, and the current Senate Majority Leader have countless times attempted to divide, and polarize, rather than seek common ground. (despite public promises to "drain the swamp")

this in turn has resulted in the same vigorous blame-storming from the right.

Neither side has the best interest of this country, or their voters in mind.

Is it any wonder zombie shows are so popular? Are we secretly hoping for some form of survivalist anarchy?
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:45 AM   #58
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What has the government done for any of us? Not much, and part of the reason is it was never the intent that our government provides for us.

I consider myself a Libertarian, but I'm on the fence of the whole "throwing your vote" away argument so I always vote Republican. There are things I don't agree with the Republicans about, such as abortion and gay marriage. I'm also non-religious and borderline Athiest. The things that truly matter to me like gun rights, the economy, etc. is what truly separates them for me.

I once heard that voting Democrat or Republican is just choosing what you want taxes spent on. Republicans meant a stronger military, private sector, etc. whereas Democrats want to support more social programs and such.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:53 AM   #59
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Is it any wonder zombie shows are so popular? Are we secretly hoping for some form of survivalist anarchy?
You might be on to something there. Maybe people think about what it would be like to live in a world where you and you alone are 100% in control of your life or death. There is rarely any government influence or presences in zombie flicks, and if there is it's usually portrayed as inefficient or the root of the evil.

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I once heard that voting Democrat or Republican is just choosing what you want taxes spent on. Republicans meant a stronger military, private sector, etc. whereas Democrats want to support more social programs and such.
If that's the case I'll always choose Republican.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 12:17 PM   #60
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I understand everyone's arguments. I just have 3 questions:

1. How much suffering are you willing to ignore? Are you OK with driving past shanty towns on your way to work? Are you OK with having to step over starving children on your way into a restaurant? While in the long run, (meaning many decades or centuries), maybe we'd be better off by letting the weak die off, are you ready for seeing a short term, (meaning a few decades) of terrible suffering?

2. How much of a gap between the wealthy and the poor can this country handle? Most "first world" nations, like the USA and much of Europe, have a strong middle class and lower gap between the average worker and the wealthy. Most "third world" have a huge gap between the average worker and the wealthy. How long before this country slides down to third world status?

3. If low taxes on the wealthy brings prosperity for all, why isn't our economy going gangbusters right now? Taxes, especially on the wealthy, are near historic lows right now. Where is the prosperity? If high taxes in the wealthy is a "job killer" why is it that some of the most prosperous times in this country (1950's) also saw some of the highest tax rates?
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