Taxing the "Rich"

@mattic (282)
United States
December 4, 2010 10:02am CST
Barack Obama said earlier this year, and I paraphrase, that "there comes a time when you have earned ENOUGH MONEY." I am looking for the exact figure for "enough money". Is it $1 million, $1 billion... and who is the arbiter? And at what earnings levels do individuals lose the right to keep everything they earn? Apparently Nancy and the nimwits think it is $200,000.
2 people like this
15 responses
@jb78000 (15173)
4 Dec 10
since when has a 100% tax rate ever been imposed anywhere? nobody except slaves works for nothing. you earn more, you get more, you pay more taxes, you whinge, fine. btw are you in the 'big earners'?
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
5 Dec 10
Back in the early sixties, someone earning over $200,000 could pay a 90% tax rate. So, after taxes, their income would be $20,000. If they had made only $20,000 they would have paid 38% in tax, leaving them with an income of 12,400. You have to wonder why anyone would work hard enough to earn the extra $180,000? In the sixties in the UK, the top tax rate was higher at 95%. The Beatles even wrote a song about it. It was eventually lowered because so many artists from all genres were leaving the country for a less taxing environment. Government is not very good at policing itself. Let them tax at will and you end up with these kinds of outrageous tax rates.
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15173)
5 Dec 10
well the tax situation in a foreign country twenty or thirty years before i was born is not my area of expertise. basic tax though i can cope with - you earn peanuts = you pay a little you earn coconuts = you pay a bit more you earn islands = you pay a bit more still. nobody replying here is in the 'earn islands' bracket so why so defensive?
@mattic (282)
• United States
5 Dec 10
"Why so defensive?" The people who "earn islands" are the ones who write the checks that keep my business afloat. They are the ones who provide loans so that others can buy houses. They invest in technology that may one day save a loved one's life. And, they are a minority. I thought all you leftists stood up for minorities. So, yes I defend those who create wealth because it is they - not government - who make it possible for me to obtain wealth.
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
5 Dec 10
I think people need to focus on the first part of your discussion - the idea that anyone can decide that another person has made "enough money". Certainly, some people make more money than any of us could imagine having, needing or spending... but that doesn't mean that they have no right to it. It doesn't mean that I have a right to it, even if I have less than I need and they have more than they need. Besides, I thought the old saying was "you can never be too rich or too thin"?
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Dec 10
Except that they've been convinced by the government, I don't understand how anyone who doesn't work can think they have a right to the money a worker has earned. Do failing students think they have the right to the honor roll student's grades? Does the losing team have a right to some of the winning team's points? Does the candidate who doesn't have as much campaign money as another candidate have a right to that candidate's money or votes? How did we get to the place where the have nots think they have a right to what belongs to someone else?
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
7 Dec 10
Would you expect the sick and disabled...as well as the poor who need help...to just crawl off into the woods somewhere and die?
@jb78000 (15173)
7 Dec 10
probably. they've 'lost the game' - in this case life. it could be only temporary but hey that wouldn't be 'fair' would it?
• United States
7 Dec 10
If it was only the sick and disabled who received help, I wouldn't mind; but most people on welfare are able bodied and could work except that the government has conditioned them to be idle and dependent on the government.
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
4 Dec 10
Do you have a link to this information where it indicates that 100% of earnings above $200k would be taxed? Have you read the guidelines, by the way? Members should not have to ask for supporting information.
@mattic (282)
• United States
4 Dec 10
The $200,000 ($250,000 for families) threshold has been arbitrarily set by Princess Perma-grin and her boy toy Barry as the point at which the current tax rates should not be extended. I never stated that 100% of earnings over that amount would be taxed. I simply asked at what income amount should Americans be allowed to keep their earnings?
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
4 Dec 10
The implication is there when you speak of people who have earned "enough" money according to the president, followed by: "And at what earnings levels do individuals lose the right to keep everything they earn?" If you lose the right to keep everything you earn...you keep nothing so obviously no one should lose the right to keep everything over a certain amount. People who earn over $250k usually are able to take advantage of pre-tax shelters like Roth IRAs by the way.
@jb78000 (15173)
4 Dec 10
i think mattic is slightly confused. defending the right of the rich not to pay any taxes is kind, but not exactly in your own best interests if you are not, in fact, very rich. i can't see anything that suggests anybody hand over their assets to the government. i could chime in here about my family, but i won't.
• United States
6 Dec 10
There is no such thing as the right to enjoy the benefits of government without paying one's fair share of the costs of those benefits. One's fair share of those benefits is a function of how much one prospers under the government that provides those benefits, and as a result the more one earns the more taxes one pays.
• United States
8 Dec 10
We must be discussing different benefits: The founders understood perfectly well what benefits come from government, they enumerated them in the US Constitution's Preamble and throughout the document each time it specifically empowering a branch of the government to engage in a given activity. An army to defend the borders, a legislature that regulates trade between the states and, it's all right there, it all costs money to do, and the rich benefit from it being there more than do the poor. Nor have you recreated my logic in the example of the police: the wealthy benefit from living in an society in which there are functioning police systems in neighborhoods other then their own. One need look no further than the recent travesty in which that fire department refused to put out a house fire because the homeowner wasn't a "subscriber" for a perfect example: the fire spread to a neighbor's house, who was a subscriber. They sprang into action to put it out on his house, but the damage was done. Had they put out the fire as soon as they got there, their subscriber would haven't had to repair the fire damage.
@mattic (282)
• United States
12 Dec 10
The example you gave actually makes my point. The "subscription" service was a government agency. Even when the man agreed to pay, they would not act. A private company would have acted and then sought to collect the fee, as that is the means of their income. As far as the enumerated "benefits" of government - these were express limitations placed on the Federal government and based on the consent of the governed. The unbridled taxation of beneficial actions (creating profit) in order to reward wreckless behavior - whether that is unwed motherhood, not growing crops, or making poor investments - would have been deplorable to the founders.
• United States
15 Dec 10
Actually, you attempt to use my example to make your point shows the fatal flaw in your point: In the absence of an existing contract, if the private company put the fire out the homeowner would be under no obligation to pay! If the private company arranges payment upon arrival, that's still time for the fire to do damage to the neighbor. If the homeowner can't afford the private company's services and they don't put the fire out, we're back to the original scenario where your model leads to the neighbor's house catching fire as well. The one and only model in which everyone's house is kept safe from fire is by treating the risk of fire as a shared risk and controlling that risk with a firefighting service funded by everyone because everyone benefits from it. The person with the million dollar house pays more for this public service than the person with the twenty thousand dollar house because that person gets a million dollar benefit instead of twenty thousand dollar benefit. It's exactly the reason everyone pays to fund defending our entire border and not only those people who own land on that border.
@MntlWard (880)
• United States
5 Dec 10
A person making $250,000 pays the same tax rate as a person making $50,000, and President Obama wants to continue the tax cuts for both of those people. A person making $250,001 would only pay the higher tax rate on the extra dollar.
@mattic (282)
• United States
5 Dec 10
And how is that right? Why should those making over 250k pay a relatively higher tax than the others? Do they utilize more of the government "services"?
• United States
6 Dec 10
I don't think that's right mntlward. A person making over the "rich person" amount, whether it be $200,000 or $250,000 would be thrown into the high tax bracket and they would pay the higher percentage on the entire amount, not just the dollar over. At least that's the way I understand it.
@MntlWard (880)
• United States
6 Dec 10
Your understanding is incorrect, millertime. Only the amount over the $250,000 is taxed at the higher rate.
@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
9 Dec 10
I think the real issue should be "there comes a time when you have earned enough money without giving a damn thing back" Because that's what's happened. The idea of giving tax credits to the top in the hope that they will create jobs for the folks further down the food chain has been a dismal failure. The only things that ever trickled down were minimum wage, no benefit jobs and the rich figured out that they could keep their tax credits and get additional ones if they outsourced even those jobs. Exact figures? Depends on the give back to society and NO credits for outsourcing. (It may be a necessary evil but it doesn't have to be rewarded)
@mattic (282)
• United States
12 Dec 10
Funny you list the minimum wage, as that is a creation of the left and unions. It actually cripples employment and stifles those who could make more. It is simply a means for unions to gain increased wages for their members. The idea that someone has to "give back" denotes that they somehow "took from". It is those who receive government entitlements who shoud "give back" as we who have earned our way are having to support their poor choices.
• United States
5 Dec 10
There's really no other way for me to describe this except as pure crap. Obama does not have the right to decide when you "earn too much money", nor can he decide whether or not you deserve the money you earned. If you worked for your money you should have the right to use it regardless of how much it is. Why would anyone want to work hard and move up in the world if they were going to lose everything they make anyways? Quite simply policies like this could destroy our nation literally.
@djbtol (5498)
• United States
8 Dec 10
One thing we have learned in the Obama administration is that the people deciding what level of income is 'rich' and worthy of heavier taxation, are the same people who have 101 ways to avoid paying taxes. Moral of the story - if you are going to be rich, work in Washington.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
4 Dec 10
I think that the true answer to the question of enough money would really depend on the person that you are talking to. Our family is not wealthy and we will never be wealthy. Therefore, I think for us, enough money would be about $150,000 in a year. That would be enough money that we would be able to pay all of our bills and still have plenty of money to pay taxes and also to ensure the future of our family in terms of stability.
@mattic (282)
• United States
4 Dec 10
So, if you and your family worked hard and made wise decisions resulting in oh, say a $200,000 year, would you be happy with giving the government the extra $50k that you "don't need"? I'm not being rude, I am simply clarifying the point of my question.
@bestboy19 (5482)
• United States
6 Dec 10
What do we do when we reach that magic number, stop working?
@millertime (1398)
• United States
6 Dec 10
I wish I could keep everything I earn! I don't think we'll ever be lucky enough to have that though. The government wants their cut of everything. While I realize that we all have to pay taxes, I sure don't like the idea of ANYBODY telling me I have earned "enough money", let alone the president of the United States. That sounds like a communist tenet to me. Like the government should be able to decide how much money someone is "allowed" to make? I don't think so. The whole issue about taxing the rich at a higher rate can be argued either way. Taxing the rich at a higher rate is clearly a disincentive to achievement. Take a small business that is ready to expand and hire another employee or two. They find out that next year they are going to have to pay 15% higher federal income tax. Now, since they just took a square hit right to the profit margin, they decide maybe now isn't the best time to hire another employee. They can't make up for it by raising prices in this economy so it's probably best to just hold off on hiring. Might just have to let someone go even... If you get my drift, I really don't think now is the best time to be raising anyone's taxes, rich or poor. I think it's best for the economy if we kept taxes at the rates they are at least until the economy improves. Then, maybe look at tax increases. Not that I think raising taxes anytime would help. I don't, but I think raising them now would hurt the economy a lot more than normal. Taxes and tax rates are just a secondary issue though. If you think about it, it doesn't matter how much we all pay in taxes if the government just keeps spending it faster than we can pay it. We could all give everything we make to the government and they would still find a way to spend more than we give them. The real issue is spending. We'll never get anywhere until we get government spending under control. THAT'S the ONLY way to control taxes and how much we need to pay in the first place.
@jer2911 (59)
• Philippines
5 Dec 10
Enough money seems to be like MORE THAN enough money. It's good to tax the rich, afterall, they're the ones whom the government can earn a lot.
@ajett1 (65)
• United States
5 Dec 10
You know, my father would say that there is a word for that kind of thinking he isn't on mylot so I guess I have to say it that entire line of thinking is called COMMUNISM I mean come on 200,000 dollars? this is America if a man wants to make 2,000,000 dollars and works hard and does it legaly then he should be able to I'm from Alabama and I know that means I'm a little backward but I was raised to believe that we are brought into this world with certain talents and capabilities that no one else has and it is not only our right but our DUTY to use those talents and capabilities to the best of our ability. we live, at least we used to, in a country where the best and finest in a man can be brought out and used for the betterment of himself and his children sometimes this means that he won't make all that much money but other times it means he'll make a killing and what is wrong with that besides how much money does the american government spend on the upkeep of the president? how much money would a man have to make to live like that? and Nancy Pelosi too. how much? It is easy to say that when even after they lose their job they will make a lot more than a couple of hundred thousand on the lecture circut.
@hofferp (4739)
• United States
4 Dec 10
Well, I heard the number was $250000, but after negotiation, it could be $1,000,000. No matter what Obama and this lame-duck Congress decide, I hope they start with taxing this President and this Congress...many/most of who are millionaires.
@owlwings (40057)
• Cambridge, England
4 Dec 10
Sounds like he is going in for taxidermy. First he fleeces you, then he stuffs you. I think that no government would dare to impose a 100% tax rate above whatever level of earnings.