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Taxes...

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Its now less than a month until we have to submit our tax returns. As we get our own numbers sorted and hope its all good with the IRS, consider the following amazing and disquieting information:

- General Electric made $10.3 billion in 2009, but received a $1.1 billion tax rebate.

- Forbes said about Bank of America in 2010: "How did they not pay any taxes on $4.4 billion in income?"

- Oil giant Exxon made a $45 billion profit in 2009, but paid no taxes in the United States.

- Citigroup had 4 quarters of billion-dollar profits in 2010, but paid no taxes.

- Wells Fargo made $12 billion but purchased Wachovia Bank to claim a $19 billion tax credit.

- Hewlett Packard's U.S. income tax rate was 4.3% in 2008 and 2.3% in 2009.

- Verizon's 10.5% tax rate, according to Forbes, is due to its partnership with Vodafone, the primary target in UK Uncut's protests against tax evaders.

- Chevron's tax rate was 1% in 2008.

- Boeing, which just won a $30 billion contract to build 179 airborne tankers, got $124 million back from the taxpayers in 2010.

- Over the past 5 years Amazon made $3.5 billion and paid taxes at the rate of 4.3%.

- Carnival Cruise Lines paid 1% in taxes on its $11.5 billion profit over the past 5 years.

- Koch Industries is not publicly traded, so their antics are kept private. But they benefit from taxpayer subsidies in ranching and logging.

- In 2008 CorporateWatch said Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp paid "astoundingly low taxes" because of tax havens.

- Google "cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years by shifting its money around foreign countries.

- Merck, the second-largest drugmaker in the U.S., last year brought more than $9 billion from abroad without paying any U.S. tax.

- Pfizer, the largest drugmaker in the U.S., erased $10 billion in taxes with an "accounting treatment."

All the above has been documented by US Uncut Chicago members on PayUpNow.org .

Who's projected for the Final Frauding Four?

Best Defense: Google uses a game plan called a "Double Irish Defense," which moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.

Best Offense: GE's 2010 SEC 10-K tax filing boldly states: "At December 31, 2010, $94 billion of earnings have been indefinitely reinvested outside the United States...we do not intend to repatriate these earnings.."

Most Steals: Citigroup: 427 tax haven subsidiaries

Best Trash talk: A General Electric spokeswoman: G.E. pays many other taxes including payroll taxes on the wages of our employees, property taxes, sales and use and value added taxes."

Most game-ending bailouts: Bank of America received $45 Billion in tax payer bailout funds in 2008 and 2009. In 2009 the company earned a pretax income of $4.4 billion, but claimed a $1.9 Billion tax benefit from the government.

Teams with the most reserves:
General Electric: $77 billion
Google: $24 billion
That's 2 companies holding $101 billion that could be invested in jobs.

Tax Haven Tourney Champion? GE is the Duke of Tax Avoidance.


**

Is this what America is about?
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post #2 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Is this what America is about?

Definitely....
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post #3 of 33
While there's certainly a lot of Corporatism on display there, this should also serve as evidence of why the "tax the rich" and "tax the corporations" schemes won't produce more revenue for the US federal government. Better to simply lower (and simplify) everyone's taxes. Probably drop income taxes altogether. And, of course, reduce government spending substantially. Make the US a "tax haven." But all of that would involve ending the welfare/warfare state. That ain't going to happen any time soon...and probably not without a revolution of some sort.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Definitely....

And any attempt at correcting this farce is screamed at by the free market fucktards as "socialism".

LOL MJ beat me to the point.

Yeah, right, closing tax loopholes that allow companies to make billions without (directly) contributing any taxes isn't going to add any revenue... Right.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

And any attempt at correcting this farce is screamed at by the free market fucktards as "socialism".

Tonton, we already know how much you despise freedom. But must you also resort to juvenile name-calling? Isn't that a little beneath you?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

And any attempt at correcting this farce is screamed at by the free market fucktards as "socialism".

LOL MJ beat me to the point.

Yeah, right, closing tax loopholes that allow companies to make billions without (directly) contributing any taxes isn't going to add any revenue... Right.

I think sammi_jo provided the evidence. Close one loophole and they find another. They will find a way. This basic and obvious fact is constantly ignored by tax-loving folks such as yourself.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #7 of 33
But why not just get RID of ALL loopholes... make a SIMPLE tax code.

"Everyone pays 10% of earned income as taxes."


... no loopholes, no rebates, no subsidies, no move-forwards.

I'd no longer need to pay a tax attorney... saves me money.
Government could lay off most of the IRS ... saves the gov't money.

10% is just pulled out of the air... I'd be fine with 15 or even 20%... if that one sentence encompassed the entire tax-code. ... On second thought, I'd ALSO need to see a simple balanced budget amendment before I could sign off on that.
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

But why not just get RID of ALL loopholes... make a SIMPLE tax code.

"Everyone pays 10% of earned income as taxes."


... no loopholes, no rebates, no subsidies, no move-forwards.

I'd no longer need to pay a tax attorney... saves me money.
Government could lay off most of the IRS ... saves the gov't money.

There's at least part of the reason why not.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #9 of 33
I would prefer

- tax corporations and individuals the same way
- dividends tax free for recipients, since they are already taxed at the corporate level
- capital gains indexed to inflation, otherwise taxed as income
- first 15k tax free per person, everybody files singly (no married filing), 20% tax on earned income above that, keeps progressive tax system that does not crush the poor
- no mortgage deduction, or any other deduction either
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post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I would prefer

- tax corporations and individuals the same way
- dividends tax free for recipients, since they are already taxed at the corporate level
- capital gains indexed to inflation, otherwise taxed as income
- first 15k tax free per person, everybody files singly (no married filing), 20% tax on earned income above that, keeps progressive tax system that does not crush the poor
- no mortgage deduction, or any other deduction either

Why not simplify even further: One tax (sales). One tax rate. Eliminate everything else.

One of the issues is that taxes change behavior. This is a simple fact. The goal should be to allow the greatest amount of freedom, allow people to keep as much of the money they earn as possible, and to avoid creating incentives or disincentives in the wrong way. And don't forget that, ultimately, all taxes get passed onto the consumers of goods and services. This happens in a myriad of direct, indirect, obvious and not so obvious ways...but it happens. And the people who can least afford this? The poor.

So...stop taxing income, investment earnings, savings, etc. Stop double-taxing. If you must tax, tax consumption. Keep it low and the same for everyone on everything.

Also, where possible, make a tax basically a "user fee" that goes directly for the service being provided. Gas taxes are a close approximation of this. Gas taxes go to pay for roads. People who pay for gas taxes (directly or indirectly) are benefiting from the roads.

From a practical perspective if you basically eliminated the welfare/warfare state spending...got government back to basic services of justice, law enforcement around protecting people, their freedom and their property, you wouldn't need much more than probably a 5% sales tax to fund it all.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #11 of 33
I have seen sales taxes like that in Canada, and it is very inefficient. Much better to tax income, since it is a lot less work for the government to do. Government looking at every transaction and taxing it = big government no matter what else you do.
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post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I have seen sales taxes like that in Canada, and it is very inefficient.

How? For who?


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Much better to tax income,

Depends on your goals.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

since it is a lot less work for the government to do.

This is doubtful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Government looking at every transaction and taxing it = big government no matter what else you do.

Actually, this could be simplified too. They don't have to "look at every transaction. There can simply be some basic simple rules for retail businesses about what is taxable revenue. Then add 5%. Yes, you may need to maintain records (as a business) in case they choose to audit you (the government loves to assume its subjects are liars and thieves.)

But there are other problems with the income tax besides the fact that it taxes (and therefore disincentivizes) a behavior we want to encourage (working, productivity)...is that it invades people's privacy.

Better to tax retail sales, eliminate income, capital gains, dividend and property taxes.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I would prefer

- tax corporations and individuals the same way
- dividends tax free for recipients, since they are already taxed at the corporate level
- capital gains indexed to inflation, otherwise taxed as income
- first 15k tax free per person, everybody files singly (no married filing), 20% tax on earned income above that, keeps progressive tax system that does not crush the poor
- no mortgage deduction, or any other deduction either

I don't know about you, but I don't pay anywhere NEAR a 20% effective rate. More like 10 percent. I support the overall idea. Actually, I'd like to us eliminate income taxes entirely...go to a consumption tax.
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post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I don't know about you, but I don't pay anywhere NEAR a 20% effective rate. More like 10 percent. I support the overall idea. Actually, I'd like to us eliminate income taxes entirely...go to a consumption tax.

A flat tax would raise your tax rate if you only pay 10%. Estimates that I have seen are all north of 20%. And if you want to reduce the average taxes to 10% you would have to default on all the debt and fire all the soldiers, most "small government" types want to cut about 5% of the total budget.

If you think you can cut that much, detail the exact financials of the government cuts! The US gov collects 24%-28% of GDP as taxes, good luck keeping that going with a 10% flat tax. On good years I pay 30% or so, bad years much less (and it is all bad lately).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...centage_of_GDP
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post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Estimates that I have seen are all north of 20%.

These are probably based on an assumption of revenue neutrality for the tax plan. Spending need to be cut.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

And if you want to reduce the average taxes to 10% you would have to default on all the debt and fire all the soldiers,

This is not necessarily so.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

most "small government" types want to cut about 5% of the total budget.

It's true that there are many people in politics that don't have the courage to recommend any real cuts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

If you think you can cut that much, detail the exact financials of the government cuts!

There are plenty of websites that have simulators where people can try to do this. These are a good start for the exercise. The problem with them is getting any real visibility into the details of what some of the categories are. Another problem is that some put hard limits on the cuts you can make.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

The US gov collects 24%-28% of GDP as taxes, good luck keeping that going with a 10% flat tax.

It's probably actually higher than that...just for the federal government. But, here again, you're sticking with the assumption that spending stays where it is. It shouldn't and doesn't have to.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Why not simplify even further: One tax (sales). One tax rate. Eliminate everything else.

One of the issues is that taxes change behavior. This is a simple fact. The goal should be to allow the greatest amount of freedom, allow people to keep as much of the money they earn as possible, and to avoid creating incentives or disincentives in the wrong way. And don't forget that, ultimately, all taxes get passed onto the consumers of goods and services. This happens in a myriad of direct, indirect, obvious and not so obvious ways...but it happens. And the people who can least afford this? The poor.

So...stop taxing income, investment earnings, savings, etc. Stop double-taxing. If you must tax, tax consumption. Keep it low and the same for everyone on everything.

Also, where possible, make a tax basically a "user fee" that goes directly for the service being provided. Gas taxes are a close approximation of this. Gas taxes go to pay for roads. People who pay for gas taxes (directly or indirectly) are benefiting from the roads.

From a practical perspective if you basically eliminated the welfare/warfare state spending...got government back to basic services of justice, law enforcement around protecting people, their freedom and their property, you wouldn't need much more than probably a 5% sales tax to fund it all.

Sales tax is pretty much the most regressive tax that exists. It very heavily burdens the poor compared to the rich, as the poor are forced to spend a higher percentage of their income on goods and services.

Under a sales tax only system, would corporations pay tax when they buy other companies? If not, then how the heck would a bank pay any taxes above their office supplies? I guess that's what you want.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Sales tax is pretty much the most regressive tax that exists. It very heavily burdens the poor compared to the rich, as the poor are forced to spend a higher percentage of their income on goods and services.

I know the arguments very well. Couple of things, if you were to really cut spending you could get the rate down to a pretty low level. Probably 5-10%-ish. Second, you fail to realize that the poor still end up paying the taxes that you wish to levy on businesses and the rich. They just do so indirectly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Under a sales tax only system, would corporations pay tax when they buy other companies? If not, then how the heck would a bank pay any taxes above their office supplies? I guess that's what you want.

Not sure, but probably not. Businesses buy many things besides office supplies. Besides, the taxes they're not paying any longer and the money saved my laying off their massive tax departments (one company I know of has 90 people in their tax department alone!) would be invested in making more and better products and services for all of us to enjoy.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #18 of 33
Yeah...clearly the extra pocketed money will be invested in R&D or put into jobs. It's entirely unheard of for companies to hold ungodly amounts of money. Yup.

Oh wait, READ THE GODDAMN OPENING POST.

 

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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
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post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Here's some more.

G.E., America's largest corporation, paid ZERO in taxes last year, despite recording profits of over $14 billion, and then claims a $3.2 BILLION tax benefit, just to add insult to injury. In 2009, they made $10 billion profits, got a $1 billion tax rebate, and also paid ZERO taxes.

Mussolini would be proud. So would Al Capone.

What's a taxpayer to do?
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post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Here's some more.

G.E., America's largest corporation, paid ZERO in taxes last year, despite recording profits of over $14 billion, and then claims a $3.2 BILLION tax benefit, just to add insult to injury. In 2009, they made $10 billion profits, got a $1 billion tax rebate, and also paid ZERO taxes.

Mussolini would be proud. So would Al Capone.

What's a taxpayer to do?

Realize that the rich and corporations have much more to defend and at stake with regard to taxes and thus any politician who declares they are just going to confiscate it for good intentions should be treated like a lying and naive idiot.

Likewise since government spending is on a scale no greedy corporation could imagine or fathom, realize that crony-capitalism is far more of a concern than any actual greed related to true capitalism. Apple computer, the second most expensive company in terms of market cap at $323b after over 30 years of toil and progress equals about one month of federal spending. The federal government is spending about $11k per person per year. There isn't a business in existence that could hope to get that out of me and my family whether by hook, crook or honest deliver of goods or services.

They are the problem because nothing can compete with, hold accountable or even attempt to match in scale or deal with THE GOVERNMENT.

Considering this is only at one level and you also have to deal with city, county and state governments as well and it is a wonder we've survived as long as we have. No matter who you think some greedy Wall St. types have robbed or who banks may have mislead, the scale is miniscule compared to the government. There simply is no comparison.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Realize that the rich and corporations have much more to defend and at stake with regard to taxes and thus any politician who declares they are just going to confiscate it for good intentions should be treated like a lying and naive idiot.

Likewise since government spending is on a scale no greedy corporation could imagine or fathom, realize that crony-capitalism is far more of a concern than any actual greed related to true capitalism. Apple computer, the second most expensive company in terms of market cap at $323b after over 30 years of toil and progress equals about one month of federal spending. The federal government is spending about $11k per person per year. There isn't a business in existence that could hope to get that out of me and my family whether by hook, crook or honest deliver of goods or services.

They are the problem because nothing can compete with, hold accountable or even attempt to match in scale or deal with THE GOVERNMENT.

Considering this is only at one level and you also have to deal with city, county and state governments as well and it is a wonder we've survived as long as we have. No matter who you think some greedy Wall St. types have robbed or who banks may have mislead, the scale is miniscule compared to the government. There simply is no comparison.

The massive money scale difference aside...people complain about the greed and power of corporations (BTW...corporations aren't greedy and don't have power...they are abstract entities with no actual life)...and specifically about corporatism (though most simply paint all companies and the free-market with a broad brush) but fail to look at the root...the epicenter of power and money: government. As government grabs more money and power it will attract those who want more money and power and who manipulate there way into getting a share of that money and power. Reduce the size, scope, power (and budget) of government and these problems will go away. Of course we need an informed, educated and vigilant public to smack down any politician that tries to expand it again.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Realize that the rich and corporations have much more to defend and at stake with regard to taxes and thus any politician who declares they are just going to confiscate it for good intentions should be treated like a lying and naive idiot.

Likewise since government spending is on a scale no greedy corporation could imagine or fathom, realize that crony-capitalism is far more of a concern than any actual greed related to true capitalism. Apple computer, the second most expensive company in terms of market cap at $323b after over 30 years of toil and progress equals about one month of federal spending. The federal government is spending about $11k per person per year. There isn't a business in existence that could hope to get that out of me and my family whether by hook, crook or honest deliver of goods or services.

They are the problem because nothing can compete with, hold accountable or even attempt to match in scale or deal with THE GOVERNMENT.

Considering this is only at one level and you also have to deal with city, county and state governments as well and it is a wonder we've survived as long as we have. No matter who you think some greedy Wall St. types have robbed or who banks may have mislead, the scale is miniscule compared to the government. There simply is no comparison.

The problem with that argument, is that Wall Street *IS* and has become "THE GOVERNMENT" and more with each passing year. Whatever is done in Washington DC, regarding laws and policy making is as a result of the aggressive coercion that BIG business (where BIG is the operative word) and Wall Street exerts on the people's alleged representatives. Both US and foreign-owned (!) corporations have infinitely more say in how America is run than the pathetic, token input from the American people in the fiasco/money-circus that masquerades as "free elections" every two or 4 years. As the bumper sticker says, we "have the best government that money can buy".... and who are the racketeers? Certainly not you, or I.

We the people are not even on the loop except at the most trivial or parochial levels. What remains of the "4th estate" is also now firmly in the pockets of the corporatists. In other words, the corporate state has taken over. As we all know, corporations, being a hierarchical, dictatorial structure run from the top downwards, which by a bizarre twist of common law now have the same rights as individuals but none of the responsibilities, cannot be trusted to run the country for the benefit of all, since the sole aim, as regards a for-profit corporate entity, is to maximize returns for its shareholders. What kind of world will we have where a few corporate entities have more power than entire nations and actively wield that power to lord it over everyone? Unless you were within the ultra privileged corporate élite, I would hazard a guess that you wouldn't appreciate such heavy manners any more than I.

The privilege of "keeping the government out of Wall Street" must be balanced with an equivalent penalty of "keeping Wall Street out of the government", in order to maintain a civilized society. And as we can all see, as regards "a civilized society"... things are going south at an accelerating pace.

When I mention "corporations" in a negative sense, I am referring to those who abuse the power that they have become accustomed to wielding, on account of their sheer SIZE, international reach and influence... not the large segment of US businesses (mostly smaller entities) which play by the rules, treat their employees as people as opposed to drones, and also make a tidy profit in the process.

As I said earlier, Mussolini would be proud.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

The problem with that argument, is that Wall Street *IS* and has become "THE GOVERNMENT" and more with each passing year. Whatever is done in Washington DC, regarding laws and policy making is as a result of the aggressive coercion that BIG business (where BIG is the operative word) and Wall Street exerts on the people's alleged representatives. Both US and foreign-owned (!) corporations have infinitely more say in how America is run than the pathetic, token input from the American people in the fiasco/money-circus that masquerades as "free elections" every two or 4 years. As the bumper sticker says, we "have the best government that money can buy".... and who are the racketeers? Certainly not you, or I..

So that means you simply have to get rid of the big pot of money to get rid of the corruption and that also means you have to be willing to put those good intentions aside and believe that people will act in their own positive self-interests and if they can't then you let the chips fall where they may rather than letting the corporatists bankrupt everyone.

Yet no one is willing to take step one.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Its now less than a month until we have to submit our tax returns. As we get our own numbers sorted and hope its all good with the IRS, consider the following amazing and disquieting information:

- General Electric made $10.3 billion in 2009, but received a $1.1 billion tax rebate.

- Forbes said about Bank of America in 2010: "How did they not pay any taxes on $4.4 billion in income?"

- Oil giant Exxon made a $45 billion profit in 2009, but paid no taxes in the United States.

- Citigroup had 4 quarters of billion-dollar profits in 2010, but paid no taxes.

- Wells Fargo made $12 billion but purchased Wachovia Bank to claim a $19 billion tax credit.

- Hewlett Packard's U.S. income tax rate was 4.3% in 2008 and 2.3% in 2009.

- Verizon's 10.5% tax rate, according to Forbes, is due to its partnership with Vodafone, the primary target in UK Uncut's protests against tax evaders.

- Chevron's tax rate was 1% in 2008.

- Boeing, which just won a $30 billion contract to build 179 airborne tankers, got $124 million back from the taxpayers in 2010.

- Over the past 5 years Amazon made $3.5 billion and paid taxes at the rate of 4.3%.

- Carnival Cruise Lines paid 1% in taxes on its $11.5 billion profit over the past 5 years.

- Koch Industries is not publicly traded, so their antics are kept private. But they benefit from taxpayer subsidies in ranching and logging.

- In 2008 CorporateWatch said Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp paid "astoundingly low taxes" because of tax havens.

- Google "cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years by shifting its money around foreign countries.

- Merck, the second-largest drugmaker in the U.S., last year brought more than $9 billion from abroad without paying any U.S. tax.

- Pfizer, the largest drugmaker in the U.S., erased $10 billion in taxes with an "accounting treatment."

All the above has been documented by US Uncut Chicago members on PayUpNow.org .

Who's projected for the Final Frauding Four?

Best Defense: Google uses a game plan called a "Double Irish Defense," which moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.

Best Offense: GE's 2010 SEC 10-K tax filing boldly states: "At December 31, 2010, $94 billion of earnings have been indefinitely reinvested outside the United States...we do not intend to repatriate these earnings.."

Most Steals: Citigroup: 427 tax haven subsidiaries

Best Trash talk: A General Electric spokeswoman: G.E. pays many other taxes including payroll taxes on the wages of our employees, property taxes, sales and use and value added taxes."

Most game-ending bailouts: Bank of America received $45 Billion in tax payer bailout funds in 2008 and 2009. In 2009 the company earned a pretax income of $4.4 billion, but claimed a $1.9 Billion tax benefit from the government.

Teams with the most reserves:
General Electric: $77 billion
Google: $24 billion
That's 2 companies holding $101 billion that could be invested in jobs.

Tax Haven Tourney Champion? GE is the Duke of Tax Avoidance.


**

Is this what America is about?

Yes financial destruction of the middle class and demise of the poor here.No justification for this at all.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Tonton, we already know how much you despise freedom. But must you also resort to juvenile name-calling? Isn't that a little beneath you?

Apparently it isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

But why not just get RID of ALL loopholes... make a SIMPLE tax code.

Well the main point of the thread is that the crony-capitalists use politicians claiming good intentions to remove their tax burden and shift it to others. Obviously they wouldn't want this whole fairness thing you mention. Those folks are easily kept in power by the "tax the rich" folks who preach unfairness as fairness as a default. When someone declares the default state is to screw you over disproportionately, it also morally justifies the actions you take to avoid that. If you end up doing it too well and end up owing nothing, then that is just the cherry on top. To get ride of the desire to avoid, you've got to get rid of the desire in many people to have someone else pay for them is what keeps the system in place that screws over so many.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I would prefer

- tax corporations and individuals the same way
- dividends tax free for recipients, since they are already taxed at the corporate level
- capital gains indexed to inflation, otherwise taxed as income
- first 15k tax free per person, everybody files singly (no married filing), 20% tax on earned income above that, keeps progressive tax system that does not crush the poor
- no mortgage deduction, or any other deduction either

How are profits and income different in your proposal? Corporations don't pay themselves a salary. Explain please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I have seen sales taxes like that in Canada, and it is very inefficient. Much better to tax income, since it is a lot less work for the government to do. Government looking at every transaction and taxing it = big government no matter what else you do.

Most states already have a sales tax and the feds and states already collect all manner and array of taxes now. By default it would be easier to administer than sales tax, income tax, dividend tax, property tax, gas tax, car registration (tax), fees, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Why not simplify even further: One tax (sales). One tax rate. Eliminate everything else.

One of the issues is that taxes change behavior. This is a simple fact. The goal should be to allow the greatest amount of freedom, allow people to keep as much of the money they earn as possible, and to avoid creating incentives or disincentives in the wrong way. And don't forget that, ultimately, all taxes get passed onto the consumers of goods and services. This happens in a myriad of direct, indirect, obvious and not so obvious ways...but it happens. And the people who can least afford this? The poor.

So...stop taxing income, investment earnings, savings, etc. Stop double-taxing. If you must tax, tax consumption. Keep it low and the same for everyone on everything.

Also, where possible, make a tax basically a "user fee" that goes directly for the service being provided. Gas taxes are a close approximation of this. Gas taxes go to pay for roads. People who pay for gas taxes (directly or indirectly) are benefiting from the roads.

From a practical perspective if you basically eliminated the welfare/warfare state spending...got government back to basic services of justice, law enforcement around protecting people, their freedom and their property, you wouldn't need much more than probably a 5% sales tax to fund it all.

Very good points (as always) because you note the ridiculous levels of sales tax presume spending at or near our current levels. Even the military should be for use within our borders and drastically cut. The best part about this is it will probably radically ease concerns with things like illegal immigration. If income isn't under the table, but benefits being collected above the table, then 90% of the concerns related to illegal immigration disappear. It is when someone can underbid your business because they are willing to go cash only and under the table (while you pay a 20% income tax penalty) and then turn around and use the lack of claimed income to screw you over by collecting free lunch, WIC, EITC, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I don't know about you, but I don't pay anywhere NEAR a 20% effective rate. More like 10 percent. I support the overall idea. Actually, I'd like to us eliminate income taxes entirely...go to a consumption tax.

Consumption would be the way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

A flat tax would raise your tax rate if you only pay 10%. Estimates that I have seen are all north of 20%. And if you want to reduce the average taxes to 10% you would have to default on all the debt and fire all the soldiers, most "small government" types want to cut about 5% of the total budget.

If you think you can cut that much, detail the exact financials of the government cuts! The US gov collects 24%-28% of GDP as taxes, good luck keeping that going with a 10% flat tax. On good years I pay 30% or so, bad years much less (and it is all bad lately).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...centage_of_GDP

You'd have to go to war on entitlements and be honest about them. No level of taxation will save them or us now in avoiding it. It doesn't matter whether we go to the mat at 20%, 10% or 50%. They are unsustainable and unfulfillable already. The boomers need that bullet if the country is to survive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Sales tax is pretty much the most regressive tax that exists. It very heavily burdens the poor compared to the rich, as the poor are forced to spend a higher percentage of their income on goods and services.

Under a sales tax only system, would corporations pay tax when they buy other companies? If not, then how the heck would a bank pay any taxes above their office supplies? I guess that's what you want.

Corporations consume plenty. Income and other taxes are what cause the entire boom/bust cycle with government revenues. Consumption taxes spread out among the entire population would even out revenues as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I know the arguments very well. Couple of things, if you were to really cut spending you could get the rate down to a pretty low level. Probably 5-10%-ish. Second, you fail to realize that the poor still end up paying the taxes that you wish to levy on businesses and the rich. They just do so indirectly.

Thus the return to the topic of the entire thread. Eliminate the mortgage deduction for example and my rents will go up a couple hundred a month. To me personally I don't care either way. It is the cost of doing business and if the cost of doing business goes up, so do the prices.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

How are profits and income different in your proposal? Corporations don't pay themselves a salary. Explain please.

I'm not sure I understand the question, but my proposal has corporations being taxes on

X percent of (revenue - total costs of that revenue including depreciation of capital goods)
X percent of (capital gains, discounted by inflation based on some fixed inflation table)
0 percent of dividends received from other companies


and individuals taxed on

X percent of income above $15k
X percent of (capital gains, discounted by inflation based on some fixed inflation table)
0 percent of dividends received


where X is all the same number, which is what I meant when I said tax them the same. The biggest change we need to make is to get rid of all deductions, I think that income tax is far better (and easier to collect) than sales tax.
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post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I'm not sure I understand the question, but my proposal has corporations being taxes on

X percent of (revenue - total costs of that revenue including depreciation of capital goods)
X percent of (capital gains, discounted by inflation based on some fixed inflation table)
0 percent of dividends received from other companies


and individuals taxed on

X percent of income above $15k
X percent of (capital gains, discounted by inflation based on some fixed inflation table)
0 percent of dividends received


where X is all the same number, which is what I meant when I said tax them the same. The biggest change we need to make is to get rid of all deductions, I think that income tax is far better (and easier to collect) than sales tax.

There's already some huge holes right there. First revenue and income are not the same. Next depreciation already is and would continue to be a loophole. Inflation isn't fixed and can (and is being) manipulated as well.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

There's already some huge holes right there. First revenue and income are not the same. Next depreciation already is and would continue to be a loophole. Inflation isn't fixed and can (and is being) manipulated as well.

1. Depreciation is not a loophole, unless you mean some weird manipulation - give an example of how it is misused. On our farm it made sense - you buy $1 million worth of stuff and you don't get to deduct it in one year, you deduct a fraction each year for the life of the equipment. If it is a loophole, then we need new depreciation laws, but not getting rid of the concept of depreciation.

2. You have to index capital gains taxes to something, indexing it to the CPI is better than the hack they have in now (where long term capital gains are taxed at a lower rate to simulate a CPI index).

3. Revenue - costs = income. That is the basic formula, but I am not an accountant and I don't think you are either.
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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

3. Revenue - costs = income. That is the basic formula, but I am not an accountant and I don't think you are either.

Well this is true...and simplistic. If you've read any accounting or finance books or taken any classes you would also know that revenue and costs and profit (and depreciation) are...shall we say..."squishy" and subject to interpretation and manipulation. Often reasonably so. You don't have to be intentionally "cooking the books" to manipulate these numbers in different ways. You can be of course...this is how places like Enron got into trouble. They "squished" things more than was allowed. Just because numbers are involved, don't assume everything is 100% objective and black and white.

But anyway...we should be taxing profits to begin with.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

1. Depreciation is not a loophole, unless you mean some weird manipulation - give an example of how it is misused. On our farm it made sense - you buy $1 million worth of stuff and you don't get to deduct it in one year, you deduct a fraction each year for the life of the equipment. If it is a loophole, then we need new depreciation laws, but not getting rid of the concept of depreciation.

The point is that like most deductions the length of time for the deduction, amount per year and what exactly it can be applied to all are lobbying points and thus areas where the cycle would simply begin again. You think folks who are not corporations get to deduct and depreciate many of the items associated with daily living or work? My rental properties have depreciation tables for their buildings. My personal house does not. When I assign a vehicle to my rentals, it is the same as well along with mileage upkeep, etc. This isn't at all true for the vehicle I drive to work and use for personal use.

The reason you aren't for getting rid of the concept of depreciation is because you benefit from it under tax law. Likewise there are dozens of rules I could desire to see written into tax law that I think make it more fair and representative to me. It simply would reset the process, not stop it.

Quote:
2. You have to index capital gains taxes to something, indexing it to the CPI is better than the hack they have in now (where long term capital gains are taxed at a lower rate to simulate a CPI index).

Ask yourself why the alternative minimum tax needed a fix. CPi is a lie and I don't care if it is officially generated. Like most government entities, they've simply stopped including the numbers they don't like.

3. Revenue - costs = income. That is the basic formula, but I am not an accountant and I don't think you are either.[/QUOTE]

I'm not an accountant but the formula you put up there is for profits. The whole point with many of these businesses is when you find a way to increase your costs, you hide your profits. This is why Warren B pays less than his employee. He can buy the jet, then have the company pay him a dollar in salary but lease it back from him for next nothing which means he owns it but they pay for everything on it. Then they pay for his vehicle, the driver, etc.

Just like with most things it isn't about what you get paid but what you control. A company can control everything for someone and expense it. That is why all these companies pay so little. The profits are money they couldn't hide even when trying.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I'm not an accountant but the formula you put up there is for profits. The whole point with many of these businesses is when you find a way to increase your costs, you hide your profits. This is why Warren B pays less than his employee. He can buy the jet, then have the company pay him a dollar in salary but lease it back from him for next nothing which means he owns it but they pay for everything on it. Then they pay for his vehicle, the driver, etc.

Just like with most things it isn't about what you get paid but what you control. A company can control everything for someone and expense it. That is why all these companies pay so little. The profits are money they couldn't hide even when trying.

Exactly! And when you chose to tax profits, companies will work harder to hide these in expenses that don't necessarily provide newer and better products and services. Things like more elaborate and expensive offices, executive (and sometimes individual contributor) benefits (planes, etc.) These add to the "costs" but they're really just spending profits to reduce profit (and tax liability).

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Exactly! And when you chose to tax profits, companies will work harder to hide these in expenses that don't necessarily provide newer and better products and services. Things like more elaborate and expensive offices, executive (and sometimes individual contributor) benefits (planes, etc.) These add to the "costs" but they're really just spending profits to reduce profit (and tax liability).

What is crazier still is how many areas of life today show how companies almost always end up overpaying for talent, literally almost bankrupt themselves and yet the problem is all the uneducated, and unemployable who often through life choices put themselves in that state and thus it is demanded the system cater to them.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #33 of 33

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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