US Income Tax

turbo
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Title- and paycheck-loan shops are ubiquitous here in South Carolina, including my small rural city which is 60+ miles from the nearest military base (Fort Jackson outside Columbia). Like most other rural towns in SC, we have a lot of people who live from paycheck to paycheck and sometimes come up short. The local TV stations run lots of commercials for these companies, especially late at night (e.g. the reruns of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" which I automatically record at 2 AM to watch the next day).
I understand. Maine is extremely rural and poor, and we have no shortage of pawn shops, rent-to-own shops etc. Still, I had never seen a title-pawn shop until I got down south, and found tons of them around military bases. The two documents that I linked above (both from government sources) indicate that the military is concerned about the effects of predatory lending practices on security and military readiness. Not good.
 
Evo
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Payday loan places are everywhere here, to say that they are more prevalent around military bases is nonsense. They are prevalent where there is a population that needs them. Most times, the fee they ask is much less than the penalties, fees, and time and troble they help to avoid.

Late on rent & won't get paind for a week and a half. You can get a payday loan for $500 for two weeks for a fee of $75. Being 6 days late on rent $250 penalty. Which is cheaper?

Car getting repossessed? Same $75 fee and you keep your car. I have no idea how much it would cost you in penalties to get your car back (if you even can), but I'm sure it's hundreds of dollars.

I understand. Maine is extremely rural and poor, and we have no shortage of pawn shops, rent-to-own shops etc. Still, I had never seen a title-pawn shop until I got down south, and found tons of them around military bases. The two documents that I linked above (both from government sources) indicate that the military is concerned about the effects of predatory lending practices on security and military readiness. Not good.
Sorry, but DUH, do you think the military would be happy that their servicement can't handle their finances?

Title loans and pawn shop commercials fill the late night tv here and we don't have military.
 
turbo
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Payday loan places are everywhere here, to say that they are more prevalent around military bases is nonsense. They are prevalent where there is a population that needs them. Most times, the fee they ask is much less than the penalties, fees, and time and troble they help to avoid.

Late on rent & won't get paind for a week and a half. You can get a payday loan for $500 for two weeks for a fee of $75. Being 6 days late on rent $250 penalty. Which is cheaper?

Car getting repossessed? Same $75 fee and you keep your car. I have no idea how much it would cost you in penalties to get your car back (if you even can), but I'm sure it's hundreds of dollars.

Sorry, but DUH, do you think the military would be happy that their servicement can't handle their finances?

Title loans and pawn shop commercials fill the late night tv here and we don't have military.
I never said that such businesses don't exist apart from the military bases.

turbo-1 said:
That doesn't mean that they don't exist in areas away from military bases, and they probably do, but they are very heavily concentrated around large bases. They are perfectly situated to confiscate assets on the titles that they hold when military personnel are transferred or deployed on short notice, and don't have the time or resources to repay the pawn and recover their titles. Judging from the concentration of title-pawn shops near some large bases, it must be a very profitable business-model. They are VERY prevalent in Georgia, which allows them to charge up to 300% APR.
It really shocked me to approach the main gates of a large military base, and find the access road lined with such businesses. The guy who managed my training projects for GP is an ex-Navy sub officer, and he explained to me what a title-pawn business was. I never had seen one before. Basically, anything that is paid for and is properly titled can be used for collateral on a loan for a small fraction of the value of the item (generally cars, motorcycles, etc). Naval personnel on boomers are subject to deployment on short notice and for unknown duration, so reliance on such predatory lenders was highly discouraged.
 
Vanadium 50
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I never said that such businesses don't exist apart from the military bases.
What you said is that the businesses were "established to suck money out of out of our military personnel" and "There is a whole industry built around exploiting the members of our armed services."

Have you ever been to cities that are dominated by military facilities? If so, you will know that that these business are established to suck money out of out of our military personnel. You will also see (in the deep south, especially, IME) a preponderance of "title-pawn" companies that are set up to steal the assets of people who might have to ditch things of value to provide for their families before they are deployed overseas. There is a whole industry built around exploiting the members of our armed services. Do you not know this?
If things are as you say, why are these companies building so many stores away from military bases? Are they just stupid?
 
turbo
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If things are as you say, why are these companies building so many stores away from military bases? Are they just stupid?
These companies are designed to make profits from poor people. Our military does not pay well, and signing bonuses encourage military personnel to over-extend and get deeply into debt, so these companies cluster around military bases to prey on our service-people. Is this a great mystery? What motivates such nay-saying in the face of so many government studies to the contrary?

My former sub-service-co-worker was very emphatic about the need for active-duty personnel to avoid that crap. Smart guy with several engineering specialties who might have been deployed about any time with NO expectation of return-time.
 
Evo
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These companies are designed to make profits from poor people.
And as I pointed out they can save poor people a ton of money.

What does any of this have to do with the thread topic?

No more off topic posts, back to thread or closed.
 
turbo, i think you're barking up the wrong tree with the usury services. they prey on the poor and are all over the place in birmingham with no military in sight (closest i know offhand is anniston, and a lot of those are retirees that like buying cheap crap at base stores).

it's just that the military folk are kept artificially poor, and much of this is because for all our capitalist rhetoric, we like to keep a socialist (perhaps commie?) army. what do you suppose the actual going rate would be for a fighter pilot in a truly capitalist system? paid like a CEO maybe?
 
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And as I pointed out they can save poor people a ton of money.

What does any of this have to do with the thread topic?

No more off topic posts, back to thread or closed.
Care to split into a new thread?

Back on topic, I'm starting to wade through the "green" tax incentives for 2011 - every investment proposal I read feels like the old depreciation-dependent tax shelters. Experience tells me a project must have positive cash flow on it's own - without subsidy, uncertain future funding options, or tax credits - can't find any though. For me, 2011 is about (business model) re-tooling and moving forward - tax planning plays a big part - finding a lot of uncertainty.
 
Al68
...it's just that the military folk are kept artificially poor, and much of this is because for all our capitalist rhetoric, we like to keep a socialist (perhaps commie?) army.
I think you're using the word socialist (and commie) rather differently than most. It's socialist for government to use force to restrict or interfere (as a third party) with private transactions, not for government to exercise control over its own transactions, that it is a party to. For military employment, or any government employment, government is a party to the transaction, not an interfering third party.

And (assuming a volunteer force) the terms of the contract are mutually agreed on by all parties to it, which makes it decidedly non-socialist.
 
Mech_Engineer
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Wow my comment on title and payday loans kicked up a firestorm...

I mentioned it for this reason- only fiscally irresponsible individuals utilize them! The resulting interest rates they charge can be in the range of 1000% APR or higher (even credit cards rarely go above 40%)! Their services are largely aimed at people who are a) already in a bad spot financially and can't afford the consequences of failure to pay, and b) tend to be located in poorer areas. The correlation is there- they prey on people with little to no fiscal responsibility who didn't budget and have an "unexpected" bill come up.

I took a financial planning class with my wife and some friends about a year ago- it was a real eye-opener in terms of how irresponsible people are with their own money (including myself)! The class's teacher put it this way (paraphrased): "If most people were being employed as an accountant to handle thier own finances, they would have been fired long ago. Little to no documentation, no future planning, overdrafts, credit cards with outrageous intereste rates... it's a disaster!" This goes into my statement that "poor" people tend to be fiscally irresponsible, while rich people tend to be fiscally responsible; if you save money, live within your means, and don't use credit cards/financing, you end up "rich." It's a miracle!

The "american dream" these days (to my disgust and probably our eventual downfall) is "how much debt can be leveraged with my income" rather than "how much money can I save with my income." People shop for a car based on what the monthly payment will be, rather than the total cost of the vehicle after it's paid off; it's the same with houses. Until you're using 90% of your income to pay for the minimum loan payments on your two cars, house, entertainment system, kitchen appliances, 4 credit cards etc. etc. it doesn't hit you; and once it does your income is stretched so thin you're barely staying afloat. No saved money for an emergency fund, no medical savings. One small hiccup and you're sunk.

The same will happen with the government- we're leveraging debt based on our income, but the bills are starting to take a not insignificant portion of it. Unless we do something about it, the entire country will go into bankruptcy like an individual that overleveraged themselves.
 
Mech_Engineer
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And as I pointed out they can save poor people a ton of money.
You know what would save them more money? Proper budgeting! If a bill of $300 is a threat- maybe you should ask yourself why you didn't see it coming!
 
Al68
I mentioned it for this reason- only fiscally irresponsible individuals utilize them! The resulting interest rates they charge can be in the range of 1000% APR or higher (even credit cards rarely go above 40%)!
They're definitely not cheap, but it's pretty silly to list their fees in terms of "APR", for a loan for just a few days. Very little of that fee is analogous to interest.

Including lender fees in a quoted APR just doesn't make sense when the lender fee is the bulk of the total.

As far as terms like "prey" and "steal", it's a mutually voluntary transaction between adults. The person getting the loan has determined that the transaction is beneficial to him. Nobody else's opinion matters in a free society, unless that person is a child, or treated as a child due to mental disability, or if force or fraud is involved.
 
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The "american dream" these days (to my disgust and probably our eventual downfall) is "how much debt can be leveraged with my income" rather than "how much money can I save with my income." People shop for a car based on what the monthly payment will be, rather than the total cost of the vehicle after it's paid off; it's the same with houses. Until you're using 90% of your income to pay for the minimum loan payments on your two cars, house, entertainment system, kitchen appliances, 4 credit cards etc. etc. it doesn't hit you; and once it does your income is stretched so thin you're barely staying afloat. No saved money for an emergency fund, no medical savings. One small hiccup and you're sunk.

The same will happen with the government- we're leveraging debt based on our income, but the bills are starting to take a not insignificant portion of it. Unless we do something about it, the entire country will go into bankruptcy like an individual that overleveraged themselves.
IMO - this summarizes our current situation. When the Recession hit, Government revenues fell - the response was to increase spending to record highs. Now, the spending is increased, more borrowing is required, and Government revenues are still lower than previous years.

The only way to cover this gap is to cut spending and raise taxes. The longer the gap widens - the more people tat will ultimately face large tax increases - again IMO.
 
Mech_Engineer
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They're definitely not cheap, but it's pretty silly to list their fees in terms of "APR", for a loan for just a few days. Very little of that fee is analogous to interest.

Including lender fees in a quoted APR just doesn't make sense when the lender fee is the bulk of the total.
You might be right, but it's a fair comparison if only to show what the fees are compared to a credit card or personal bank loan. Ironically, these loans should be relatively low-risk to the company because they demand collateral for the loan (hence the term, "car title loan") but the net interest rate charged rivals a loan shark...

As far as terms like "prey" and "steal", it's a mutually voluntary transaction between adults. The person getting the loan has determined that the transaction is beneficial to him. Nobody else's opinion matters in a free society, unless that person is a child, or treated as a child due to mental disability, or if force or fraud is involved.
You're right, it's a mutual transaction and you should have the right to do whatever you want. Problem is, it's poor (a.k.a. fiscally irresponsible) people that partake in these transactions, and then wonder why they're poor and want ME to give them money (via government taxes) to help them out. If you want the right to deal in transactions of your choosing, you need to also accept the responsibility of dealing with the consequences of such fiscal policy.

No one gets rich by taking out a car title loan.

The only way to cover this gap is to cut spending and raise taxes. The longer the gap widens - the more people tat will ultimately face large tax increases - again IMO.
You're assuming of course that a tax raise will increase federal income- which IMO isn't proven (in fact it appears to currently be the opposite).
 
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You're assuming of course that a tax raise will increase federal income- which IMO isn't proven (in fact it appears to currently be the opposite).
I'm in favor of EVERYONE paying a little more IF the spending is cut (everyone take a little less also) - no more EITC either.
 
Mech_Engineer
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I'm in favor of EVERYONE paying a little more IF the spending is cut (everyone take a little less also) - no more EITC either.
I'm in favor of everyone paying a share as well. Not so much to increase the federal income, as to change the political voting landscape back to one of "leaving money in your pocket" rather than "putting money in your pocket."
 
I think you're using the word socialist (and commie) rather differently than most. It's socialist for government to use force to restrict or interfere (as a third party) with private transactions, not for government to exercise control over its own transactions, that it is a party to. For military employment, or any government employment, government is a party to the transaction, not an interfering third party.

And (assuming a volunteer force) the terms of the contract are mutually agreed on by all parties to it, which makes it decidedly non-socialist.
i find this very interesting. because it implies that nationalizing military contractors is not socialist. and neither would be nationalizing companies that provide any other government services. i wonder how much of the economy that would account for? quite a bit of construction and manufacturing to be sure. even automobile manufacturing.

I've split this off to its own thread.

Is the tax system popular? It's fair to say its more popular with the 47% of the population that's paying no income tax than the 1% of the population that pays 35% of the income tax.
i find all of this pointless and misleading. it's a big distraction to set up artificial feuds among the sheep. in the end, all the tax is paid by the end consumer. for that 1% to make enough profit to pay 35% of the tax, they must add enough to the price of goods to extract that cost from the consumer.

i think our individual income tax system is the most silly, asinine, inefficient means of collecting revenue we could have devised. individuals are not CPAs, and not equipped for it. however, businesses are. they already have specialists in place because their size requires it. we should consider moving all revenue to one place. and maybe you would even consider not taxing businesses that only provide services (that would also account for a lot of "individuals" who are also a business). rather, just hit people where they live and tax them for the products they consume. sure, rich and poor alike have to eat, but so what? the rich consume more. much more. the system would still be progressive. and to avoid tax, the rich could consume less and invest more, creating jobs. and if you're a "greenie", what is more green than a system that discourages waste?
 
mheslep
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I like the idea of completely replacing the individual federal income tax with a direct federal tax on the state governments, so that the federal government only taxes the individual indirectly, as opposed to the other way around the way as it is now. This should have the effect of greatly simplifying the tax code as seen by an individual, and allowing the abolition of the IRS while slightly expanding state collection staff. In general the federal government should be relegated to performing tasks that only it can do, and leaving the rest to the states and local governments.

http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=YzVlNjA3NzE5ODk0NWYwYWY2NGU4YjM1ZDBiMjk5MTI= [Broken]
 
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Al68
i find this very interesting. because it implies that nationalizing military contractors is not socialist. and neither would be nationalizing companies that provide any other government services.
Assuming you're referring to government hiring people directly instead of contracting with a private company, that's right. Government choosing not to do business with a private company isn't socialist.

If a private company's only customer is government, they would effectively cease to exist, and their employees may end up working for government instead of the private company.

But in that case, no force is used by government to restrict or interfere with any private transaction. It's no different from me deciding to grow my own tomatoes instead of buying them from the grocer.
 
cobalt124
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I'm in favor of everyone paying a share as well. Not so much to increase the federal income, as to change the political voting landscape back to one of "leaving money in your pocket" rather than "putting money in your pocket."
(Bold mine). This is one of the things I was trying to get at. Why isn't the system more like that, surely it would be simpler and cheaper to implement.
 
Mech_Engineer
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(Bold mine). This is one of the things I was trying to get at. Why isn't the system more like that, surely it would be simpler and cheaper to implement.
It's hard to talk 100 million people into paying taxes when they're used to not paying any. Ironically, they're fine with everyone else paying taxes for them though...
 
Jasongreat
I like the idea of completely replacing the individual federal income tax with a direct federal tax on the state governments, so that the federal government only taxes the individual indirectly, as opposed to the other way around the way as it is now. This should have the effect of greatly simplifying the tax code as seen by an individual, and allowing the abolition of the IRS while slightly expanding state collection staff. In general the federal government should be relegated to performing tasks that only it can do, and leaving the rest to the states and local governments.

http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=YzVlNjA3NzE5ODk0NWYwYWY2NGU4YjM1ZDBiMjk5MTI= [Broken]
Whats the difference of taxing the individual through the federal government, or taxing the individual through the states for the federal government? I think a national sales tax would be the best. If one chooses to buy stuff, one chooses to pay taxes on that stuff. It is basically the way the US government was originally financed, through tariffs, with no individual tax per se.
 
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Vanadium 50
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Whats the difference of taxing the individual through the federal government, or taxing the individual through the states for the federal government?
It makes the federal government more responsive to the states. Whether this a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of opinion.
 
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It makes the federal government more responsive to the states. Whether this a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of opinion.
If the states were able to make the Feds more accountable - instead of Federal mandates telling the states what to do - it might be a good thing? The problem is accountability - nobody (Dem or Repub) owns the problem of deficit spending.

On the morning news I heard a Democrat strategist comment that seats were lost in the House due to legislative gridlock (???) - apparently the Dems couldn't pass any legislation and were punished for it?

How would you feel if PF leaders decided to make a giant advertising push to increase membership, paid consultants to revise the look of PF, and hired hundreds of workers to monitor threads - then notify all members of a need for more revenues - perhaps a pay per post fee - and instead of a discount for the most active members - the rate would increase with activity?
 
mheslep
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It makes the federal government more responsive to the states. Whether this a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of opinion.
Exactly. And for the individual, he/she does not have to deal with a leviathon one size fits all nation wide tax system. The state income tax systems are, visibly, simpler for the individual.
 

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