Middle Class is getting screwed by the Rich!

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I just saw NOW on PBS, and they had an investigative journalist talking about how the tax burden is shifting to the middle class. The richest people in the US now pay 20 cents on the dollar (after deductions, etc.), while the middle class pays 18 cents on the dollar (after deductions, etc.). 10 years ago the richest people paid 27 cents on the dollar and the middle class paid 15. The Bush tax cut is screwing middle class people, yet many still stupport him. How dumb/ignorant are these people?



The name of the journalist/author who was talking about this stuff is David Johnson, and his book is called Perfectly Legal (or something like that).
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    So? Even if the rate were equal a rich man would still pay more taxes than I would.





    What do you have against equality?
  • Reply 2 of 51
    Yes.

    Where is the equanimity of taxing people differently? Please explain in detail.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    brbr Posts: 8,395member
    HOW DARE PEOPLE BE TAXED AT NEARLY THE SAME RATE!! I AM OUTRAGED!! OUTRAGED I SAY!



    The middle class and upper class are BOTH being screwed by the government. Taxes on BOTH are outrageous. THAT is the problem.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,455member
    Maybe PBS ought to ask if the rates for progessive taxation haven't moved enough with inflation and thus the "rich" are now the middle class and taxed accordingly.



    You do know that you move into the 25% tax bracket at a whole $57k now don't you? Lots of families with two college educated people easily reach $100k for salary and are at a 28% tax bracket.



    Nick
  • Reply 5 of 51
    By all means, let's reward people for being productive by taking more of their money away.
  • Reply 6 of 51
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BR

    HOW DARE PEOPLE BE TAXED AT NEARLY THE SAME RATE!! I AM OUTRAGED!! OUTRAGED I SAY!



    Regressive income taxes are inherently unfair to the poor. Come on, BR. Don't you want to argue something about "individiual liberty" or "personal responsibility" or some other catch phrase that ignores that fact?
  • Reply 7 of 51
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ganondorf

    By all means, let's reward people for being productive by taking more of their money away.



    No, no, no. Let's not do that.



    Let's discourage economic mobility by perpetuating a class system instead!



    Google it: The veil of ignorance. John Rawls.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    The poor population represents that pool of humanity which is least worth its weight in dollars. And we all know the real world is not fair.



    The best way to encourage economic mobility is a free market.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    brbr Posts: 8,395member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ShawnJ

    Regressive income taxes are inherently unfair to the poor. Come on, BR. Don't you want to argue something about "individiual liberty" or "personal responsibility" or some other catch phrase that ignores that fact?



    Explain how 20% across the board is regressive. Note: leave out the bullshit about how the rich are left with more money. Duh. That's obvious because they are rich and 80% of two numbers, one being larger than the other, will result in two different numbers, one still being larger than the other. Your notion of fairness appears to be a total redistribution of all money so that everyone makes the same amount of money no matter how much work people do to account for the initial differences.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    I'll address BRs post first (why pay taxes at all) and perhaps it will help address the others.

    In order to live in a democratic, economically secure country, we need a public education system, we need health care, law enforcement, etc..



    Would you agree that it is important, for economic and moral reasons to have an educated population? There are plenty of third world nations that tax their people very little, if at all, like Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, the list goes on and on.

    These countries have much higher rates of poverty, illiteracy, etc, and as a result their economies suffer. The reason developed nations have stronger economies, and higher standards of livings is that they spend money on educating their people, among other things.

    If the US stopped taxing people, or alternatively businesses, the US would turn into a third world country. Many people would not be able to pay for their children's educations, or health care. We would have a permanent underclass. But poverty doesn't only effect the poor. Poor people, like in Africa, don't have access to decent medical care, and as a result diseases become major health crisis (crises?).

    In the US, there are a lot of poor people who work in restaurants. I don't know about you, but I like to eat out once and a while, and I don't mind if my tax money is being used to give poor people adequate healthcare. And on a moral level, I don't mind paying a little to help other people who are less fortunate. If someone is working hard 40 hours a week washing dishes, I think they should have medical coverage, regardless of whether or not their labor is "unskilled." A libertarian might argue that they can find another job if they aren't paid enough, they have the choice, but that is an economic argument, not a moral argument. A moral person knows that someone who works hard deserves to be fairly compensated and treated.



    Regarding the other posts, I think that a progressive tax system is fair because real life is regressive. The price of milk, bread and butter does not change for a rich person, a middle class person or a poor person. Food and housing take up a much larger proportion of a poor person's income than a wealthy person's. A progressive tax system is an attempt to compensate for these differences.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    I honestly do think that wealthy people should be taxed more than les wealthy for the following reason:



    Thanks to government (at all levels), there is no such thing as a free market. Transport routes are built and maintained by taxes, workers are trained thanks to taxes, and commerce is thoroughly subsidised. A "progressive" tax is only meet and right, since the wealthy benefit most from government action.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by loopy

    Many people would not be able to pay for their children's educations, or health care. We would have a permanent underclass. But poverty doesn't only effect the poor. Poor people, like in Africa, don't have access to decent medical care, and as a result diseases become major health crisis (crises?).



    I don't find it obvious at all that people without money will be unable to educate themselves. The world is full of information. It is distributed in public libraries, and over the Internet for no charge. It is getting cheaper and easier to acquire all the time.



    Both my parents have a higher education. They funded their studies by taking (admittedly government-backed) study loans, working part-time and some serious saving. They came from low-income backgrounds. My father's parents actively discouraged him to study. Yet they both earned their degrees.



    I can understand the opinion that there is a minimal level of income that people need to survive, there are some people who are unable to support themselves, and we as a society should give some of our own to those people.

    What I find hard to understand, however, is why there should be any tax progression or regression beyond that minimal level of income. Why should rich people pay more than the middle class? Why should the middle class pay more than the people with low incomes (but over the minimal level)? Where's the fairness in that?



    I have to conclude that people defending progressive taxes beyond the minimal income are socialists. They wish to do an one-sided redistribution of wealth, as if that made the society better as a whole, which it doesn't, as seen in Soviet Russia and many other places where communism failed.



    edit: I agree with Greg's assessment of the situation, but I'd want to fight it by stripping away the government intervention and spending, not try to twist two wrongs into a right.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ganondorf

    The poor population represents that pool of humanity which is least worth its weight in dollars. And we all know the real world is not fair.



    The best way to encourage economic mobility is a free market.




    Human worth by the amount of money they have?



    How do people "become" poor?



    (related but not directly: How do people become homeless?)



    Think. A free market system does not encourage economic mobility at all. If your parents are middle class you most likely will be middle class, the same goes for upper class, and lower class. You need money to make money, isn't that a well accepted phrase in the upper echelons of our free market society? Why doesn't that apply to all people?



    Do you have any idea how our system works?
  • Reply 14 of 51
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    i have no problem with a flat tax, but then you should give excemptions for X amount of spending on food, clothing and housing.



    a flat tax is harder on poor people, specifically because they have so little money. if you make $1,000 a month, and you get taxxed 20%, you're left with $800 to live on. that's not much in a month.



    on the other hand, someone pulling in $5,000 a month is left with $4,000 to live on for a month. that's plenty of money.



    if you were going to do a flat tax, then you should just excempt X amount per month from being taxxed. that way the people who make less can still afford to eat and live, while everyone who's making over the base amount to get by is being taxxed fairly.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gon

    I have to conclude that people defending progressive taxes beyond the minimal income are socialists. They wish to do an one-sided redistribution of wealth, as if that made the society better as a whole, which it doesn't, as seen in Soviet Russia and many other places where communism failed.



    Oy. I don't want to come down as condescending but perhaps you should read a little about 1) Socialism, 2) Communism, 3) Soviet Bolshevism. All three are related, true, but they are not the same. Our country operates as a partially socialist country would -- we have welfare, social security, and other programs that attempt to equalize different classes and for the most part these programs are a good thing (tm) even if there management is poor and the rules they establish cause alternate ill effects on society. Soviet Russia failed primarily because it didn't tap into its own natural resources and depended strongly on the west for food; there were social movements not related to the redistribution of wealth that upended the stability of the government. If you think that our progressive tax system is a redistribution of wealth you have another issue because those above the poverty line do not receive welfare.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,037member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BR

    HOW DARE PEOPLE BE TAXED AT NEARLY THE SAME RATE!! I AM OUTRAGED!! OUTRAGED I SAY!



    The middle class and upper class are BOTH being screwed by the government. Taxes on BOTH are outrageous. THAT is the problem.




    I am starting to like you more and more. Sorry I got you banned that one time. No hard feelings?





    loopy,



    You have touched on great number of issues. But, I have to assume you want to discuss the topic of your thread, that being the poor are getting screwed by the rich. I'm not sure you've made that point effectively in any way. What is this thread about? Healthcare? Education? Poverty? The Bush Tax cuts?



    We could discuss each issue in detail. Suffice it to say that as a very middle class person, I now pay a lot less in taxes as a result of the recent tax cuts. So do you, probably.



    The rest of your "issues" are all predicated on the assumption that social spending actually FIXES many of the problems you address. In fact, I could make a very good case that such spending makes these problems worse.



    Other than that, we simply have a different philosophy. I for one do not believe it is the government's responsibilty to provide healthcare, retirement and education to every man woman and child. It isn't the government's responsibilty to feed and clothe the population either.



    What the hell is your point?
  • Reply 17 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally posted by alcimedes

    i have no problem with a flat tax, but then you should give excemptions for X amount of spending on food, clothing and housing.



    a flat tax is harder on poor people, specifically because they have so little money. if you make $1,000 a month, and you get taxxed 20%, you're left with $800 to live on. that's not much in a month.



    on the other hand, someone pulling in $5,000 a month is left with $4,000 to live on for a month. that's plenty of money.



    if you were going to do a flat tax, then you should just excempt X amount per month from being taxxed. that way the people who make less can still afford to eat and live, while everyone who's making over the base amount to get by is being taxxed fairly.




    Our economy runs on its quality of life. If we force the individual who is earning only 1000 a month to pay some amount of taxes which exempts living and food costs (well he probably wont be paying taxes but...) he will have no money to purchase quality of life items. In addition the government is incredibly slow to update cost of living amounts and it varies from region to region. It would be a nightmare to administer that system (politically as well).
  • Reply 18 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally posted by SDW2001

    Other than that, we simply have a different philosophy. I for one do not believe it is the government's responsibilty to provide healthcare, retirement and education to every man woman and child. It isn't the government's responsibilty to feed and clothe the population either.



    Wow. Read the constitution my dear man. Read it and keep it on you, it could fit in your pocket. The preamble has some nice words about providing for the general welfare of the population, but I guess that has nothing to do with the actual welfare of the people, i suppose it has something to do with, well, I don't know since you obviously forgot all about it...
  • Reply 19 of 51
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,037member
    Oh, and because I can't let anything go: I just saw this....





    Quote:

    The Bush tax cut is screwing middle class people, yet many still stupport him. How dumb/ignorant are these people?



    See, that's just patently false. The middle class now pays less in taxes than it did when Bush took office. Agree or disagree with the tax cuts, how does this demonstrate they are getting screwed? Btw, the poor and lower classes saw their rates reduced dramatically as well. The bottom bracket went from 15% to 10%.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    I have to agree the government is taking in a lot less than it was before bush came to office, a LOT LESS and spending more or slashing good programs. I think the problem is with the relative tax decreases between the various "classes". The higher income bracket is on the whole paying proportionately less than the middle class etc etc.
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