# News Election Day

1. Mar 7, 2010

### Char. Limit

I have an idea. It's 23:00, so it's probably a bad idea, but I'm posting it anyway. So sue me.

Election day should be held on April 16 this year. What's the significance of this year, you ask? Well, what happens the day before?

2. Mar 7, 2010

### Alfi

April 15

did I win anything?

3. Mar 7, 2010

### WhoWee

The date is meaningless to a large number of our citizens.

4. Mar 7, 2010

### Char. Limit

Tax Day is meaningless?

5. Mar 7, 2010

### zomgwtf

I'd say it's meaningless and definitely not worthy of postponing any elections.

Word on the street is that the Tea Party is planning a big protest at Washington on Tax Day too. Yayyyy.

6. Mar 15, 2010

### Staff: Mentor

I suspect WhoWee means that it is meaningless to the 40something percent of the country that pays no (net) federal income tax.

I would say that trying to base voting on tax burden is exactly the wrong thing to do. It encourages a dictatorship of the majority and buying the vote via uneven taxation. The situation we are in now is approaching that already: the bottom part of the country can band together to tax the top part. This is a key part of democratic campaign strategy, creating a 'rich vs everyone else' dichotomy to motivate their votors. The result is a country where a huge fraction contributes nothing to the federal tax burden and a small fraction contributes the vast majority of it (iirc, the top 10% contributes 90%).

Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
7. Mar 15, 2010

### calculusrocks

For conservatives and libertarians, election day can't come soon enough. If the youth had any idea how much of a burden is going to be placed on them, they'd be protesting. Social Security, the politicians spent it. Health Care, if passed it'll be bankrupt before I'm 70. Conjecture? Maybe. All I know is that the numbers don't add up.

Both Social Security and Health Care are two of the biggest Ponzi schemes ever devised in history. Count me in on the protest. The media will do some close-ups and claim only 60,000 came, but who cares.

8. Mar 15, 2010

I'm not sure about that, russ. I saw a chart somewhere describing lower-class, middle-class, and upper-class people. Under taxes, lower-class read $0, middle-class read$25,000, and upper-class read $0. I think it's possible that a taxes paid vs. income graph could look like a Gaussian distribution... 9. Mar 15, 2010 ### WhoWee Did the chart attribute ANY of the corporate taxes paid - which the wealthy individuals own? 10. Mar 15, 2010 ### Char. Limit Of course not. It was an income tax table. 11. Mar 15, 2010 ### BobG russ exaggerates just a little by not checking the actual numbers, but what he says is essentially true - the top 20% pays over 80% of the federal income taxes in this country. Of course, you'd expect them to pay over half, since the top 20% earns 52% of the income. The bottom 40% pay less than nothing and earn around 13% of the nation's income. Numbers from the http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/53xx/doc5324/04-02-TaxRates.htm [Broken]. However, tax rates flatten out if you include things like Social Security Tax, state taxes, etc. (Whether you believe things like Social Security Tax should be included in the comparison depends on how much you believe that people will receive the SS benefits they've invested in, so it's tough to do a comparison for all taxes with any kind of reliability.) Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017 12. Mar 15, 2010 ### calculusrocks http://www.heritage.org/static/reportimages/562B77E355AF972AC1755735C9252C74.gif [Broken] This graph was taken from an http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2004/11/A-Comparison-of-Tax-Distribution-Tables-How-Missing-or-Incomplete-Information-Distorts-Perspectives" [Broken] from the Heritage Foundation. russ is closer to the mark than people like to admit. Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017 13. Mar 15, 2010 ### Char. Limit Any way we could put that in a graph of some sort? EDIT: I started this post before Calculus posted. Now I feel like a dope. 14. Mar 15, 2010 ### calculusrocks No problem, and I'll happily admit that I'm far in the last column. I made less than$25000 last year. I just don't think it's right to tax the 'wealthy' simply because they are 'wealthy'. In the same way we shouldn't punish people for their religions, or their race, or their ancestors. People have a right to their own property. I'm not one of these 'victims' that the politicians pretend to be working on behalf.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

15. Mar 15, 2010

### BobG

Here's data presented in another format by The Tax Foundation. Tables 5 through 8 are the most relevant, although.....

Listing how much each income bracket pays in taxes is kind of misleading, especially if a person is going to omit how much income each bracket earns. Effective tax rates are more important.

The top 1% of wage earners (those earning over $400k) are paying 22.45% of their income in federal income tax. The top 5% of wage earners (those earning over$160k) are paying 20.5% of their income in federal income tax.

The folks in the 6% to 10% range (earning between $113k and$160k) are paying about 12.7%.

The 11% to 25% range ($66k to$113k); about 9.5%

The 26% to 50% range ($32k to$66k); about 7%

So, is it fair that person A, earning over 4 times more than person B, has a tax rate more than twice as high? Since person A is four times as smart and enterprising as person B, shouldn't he enjoy 4 times as much money as person B instead of only 3.5 times as much money?

Actually, if you look a little closer at the tables, is it fair that those in the top 5% have had decreasing tax rates the last few years while everyone else has had tax increases? In fact, wage earners in the top 0.1% (those earning more than \$2 million a year) had their taxes cut nearly 24% from 2001 to 2007. Why are they getting so much better tax breaks than the rest of us? (In fact, the tax rates for the top 0.1% is lower than the tax rates for the top 1%).

16. Mar 15, 2010

### Char. Limit

The tax rates for the top 0.1% are lower than the tax rates for the top 1%? Well... here I wish that the super-rich (the multimillion-income people) would stop influencing our tax code and politicians...

17. Mar 15, 2010

### calculusrocks

Small businesses are taxed more than corporations because they file differently. I don't know the statistic, but a flat tax around 12% would spur the economy. It worked in Hong Kong. The danger we are facing now is that those who rely on the government for their means may eventually outnumber those who don't, and they will keep voting for entitlements until the US is bankrupt. Socialism only works until you run out of other people's money.

18. Mar 15, 2010

### Staff: Mentor

Thanks - I was sure about the 40%+ since I had recently checked, but hadn't looked at the other end in a while and was being lazy last night (yeah, i know - that was bad).

19. Mar 15, 2010

### Staff: Mentor

Now that's interesting and it is counter to what we are typically told. There is that famous interview by Buffett where he says he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, people often cite. Perhaps that is true only of the highest few hundred people (tiny fraction of a percent) and not generally true of rich people vs middle class? It is definitely a loophole needing to be closed, but not a serious problem in terms of its effect on our economic/tax situation.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/tax/article1996735.ece

That doesn't tell the whole story since if you add in the fact that 40% don't pay any income taxes, what it means is that the middle and upper class are getting slammed with most of the personal burden (fraction of their income), while some small fraction at the top pays less and a huge fraction at the bottom pays nothing.

If they are being taxed at a rediculous rate, it certainly is fair to lower it. In recent history, the top tax bracket has at times been absurdly high. In 1986 the top bracket was 50% and just after WWII, it was over 90%! That removes most of the incentive to earn money over a certain level and stifles small business aspirations. http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-federal-individual-1.html

Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
20. Mar 15, 2010

### Staff: Mentor

Sort of. That's what I was discussing above. The reason isn't that the tax table becomes regressive at the top (it doesn't), the reason is that the super rich derive their income differently than everyone else. Their income comes from investments and there is a difficult to close loophole that treats investments differently than other forms of income. For the typical investor, that's a good thing, but for someone who derives their income from investments, they get an undue break. The tax code includes a provision that the profit on a stock held for less than one year is taxed as income instead of as a capital gain and that helps, but it doesn't eliminate the problem.

Perhaps extending that to 2 years or adding an age limit or progressive capital gains system would help close the loophole.