America’s Unequal Economic Recovery

Slim Tubby

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No one is mad at the working poor. They disagree with you on how to help the working poor.
Take all the financial assistance away from the people sitting on their couch not even looking for a job and give it all to low income workers that prefer to earn their money.
 

Spoofin

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Regardless of the billionaire targets, is no one here bothered by the implied corruption in the IRS for this leak?
OUTRAGE is way more important.
The illegal leak - not important.
The fact no laws were broken - not important.
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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Succinctly, 25 is a good start. Distressed? no. But a little concerned may be appropriate. The top twenty five people, and corporations probably could afford to pay a little more. Not starve. Just chip in a little more.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...e-us-are-worth-as-much-as-poorest-165-million

https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/countries-by-gdp

Old links, but readily available:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianah...s-that-of-the-average-worker/?sh=288eb07b776d

https://fcic-static.law.stanford.edu/cdn_media/fcic-docs/2007-01-18 Frydman-Saks Trends in Executive Compensation.pdf
This riveting discussion/outrage is right up there with the one that took place (I checked, you missed it, better give it a look) in this thread a few months ago about Rolls-Royce sales going up.

Never understood why people care so much about what other people are doing, especially when it's literally a microscopic portion of the populace. Take care of your own house, live and let live, that kind of thing, no?
 

Spoofin

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Never understood why people care so much about what other people are doing, especially when it's literally a microscopic portion of the populace. Take care of your own house, live and let live, that kind of thing, no?
Jealousy.
 



forever a gopher

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Richest 25 Americans reportedly paid ‘true tax rate’ of 3.4% as wealth rocketed


The 25 richest Americans including Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk paid a “true tax rate” of just 3.4% between 2014 and 2018, according to an investigation by ProPublica, despite their collective net worth rising by more than $400bn in the same period. The report by the non-profit news organization exposes the US tax system as income and wealth inequality continues to widen.

ProPublica used Internal Revenue Service data to dive into the tax returns of some of America’s wealthiest and most prominent people. It found that in 2007 Bezos, the founder of Amazon and already a billionaire, paid no federal taxes. In 2011, when he had a net worth of $18bn, he was again able to pay no federal taxes – and even received a $4,000 tax credit for his children.

ProPublica created what it called a “true tax rate” for the wealthiest 25 Americans by comparing federal income tax paid between 2014 and 2018 to how their net worth increased on Forbes’ well-regarded rich list over the same period. “The results are stark,” ProPublica wrote. “According to Forbes, those 25 people saw their worth rise a collective $401bn from 2014 to 2018. “They paid a total of $13.6bn in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That’s a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%.”

By contrast, the median American household paid 14% in federal taxes, ProPublica reported. The top income tax rate is 37% on incomes over $523,600 for single filers, having been reduced from 39.6% under Donald Trump. ProPublica found that Buffett, founder of the investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, paid $23.7m in taxes from 2014 to 2018, on a total reported income of $125m. But Buffett’s wealth grew by $24.3bn, meaning he had a “true tax rate” of 0.1%. Bezos’s wealth grew by $99bn over the four-year period, but he paid a true tax rate of 0.98%, according to ProPublica. Musk and Michael Bloomberg paid 3.27% and 1.3% respectively.

“America’s billionaires avail themselves of tax-avoidance strategies beyond the reach of ordinary people,” ProPublica reported. “Their wealth derives from the skyrocketing value of their assets, like stock and property. Those gains are not defined by US laws as taxable income unless and until the billionaires sell.”

Am I just totally missing something? The last paragraph perfectly summarizes why they pay (relatively) low taxes, and more or less nullifies the whole point of the article. And this is earth shattering news that is supposed to rile us up and make us want to take down the wealthy?

The VAST majority of the net worth of people like Bezos, Zuckerberg, etc. is from stock valuations. So maybe one of these people is “worth” $10 billion dollars. But they don’t have $10 billion in liquid cash just sitting around, and not paying taxes on it. If they need some of that money to buy their new Learjet, they’d have to sell some stock and pay capital gains tax, just like you or me. If Facebook stock tanks, Zuckerberg is worth a crap ton less money. He is running that risk by having his net worth mostly tied to one stock. The advantage is obviously that he can delay paying taxes until he sells some. But if he wants to diversify and sell stock, he’ll have to pay the piper just like everybody else.

People like Buffett (and the “give all my money away” club) are terrible examples, as they probably have more than enough tax deductions through charitable donations to offset much of their tax liability.

What are the taxes paid by Amazon employees? Even if Amazon doesn’t pay a dime in taxes, they are responsible for a ton of taxes paid through payroll. While I do think it’s bullshit Amazon doesn’t pay any taxes, to ignore the fact that they’re responsible for a bunch of tax dollars is disingenuous.
 

Spoofin

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While I do think it’s bullshit Amazon doesn’t pay any taxes, to ignore the fact that they’re responsible for a bunch of tax dollars is disingenuous.
Don’t believe what Biden and Howie say….

Its (Amazon) federal income tax expense for 2019 was more than $1 billion, in addition to more than $2 billion in other types of federal taxes.

In February Amazon said its 2020 tax contributions included about $1.7 billion in federal income tax expense, and $1.8 billion in other federal taxes such as payroll taxes and customs duties. It also reported more than $2.6 billion in state and local taxes.

 

Spoofin

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I don’t see anyone claiming laws were broken. I am pretty sure the implication is that laws that allow this should be changed. Do you disagree? If so, why?
I’d have to do research on exactly what tax breaks are being used here, but at a high level I do disagree. I think we tax too much the way it is and it doesn’t anger me one little
bit when people or companies follow the law to reduce their taxes. I do the same with the investments I make - as does virtually everyone in the world. I simply don’t share the “get Richie”, “they don’t need that much”, “they won’t notice” jealousy approach so many do. I don’t even agree that higher incomes should have to pay a higher percentage in taxes.
 




STPGopher

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This riveting discussion/outrage is right up there with the one that took place (I checked, you missed it, better give it a look) in this thread a few months ago about Rolls-Royce sales going up.

Never understood why people care so much about what other people are doing, especially when it's literally a microscopic portion of the populace. Take care of your own house, live and let live, that kind of thing, no?
Fair enough.
 

STPGopher

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Jealousy.
Jealousy? Hardly. Just don't understand why some get a free pass, yet others get grilled when they are just trying to survive. The same that do the grilling complain about crime. Committed by the have nots of course.

Keep reaching for that carrot.
 


GopherJake

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I’d have to do research on exactly what tax breaks are being used here, but at a high level I do disagree. I think we tax too much the way it is and it doesn’t anger me one little


bit when people or companies follow the law to reduce their taxes. I do the same with the investments I make - as does virtually everyone in the world. I simply don’t share the “get Richie”, “they don’t need that much”, “they won’t notice” jealousy approach so many do. I don’t even agree that higher incomes should have to pay a higher percentage in taxes.
I think tax policy should be consistent. It sounds to me like you think it is ok that it’s convoluted and advantageous to the wealthy. Of course we all use whatever loopholes are available. The question is, should those loopholes exist? I think policy that provides loopholes, rather than simplicity and lower rates is a poor way to lower tax burden.
 



Bob_Loblaw

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I don’t see anyone claiming laws were broken. I am pretty sure the implication is that laws that allow this should be changed. Do you disagree? If so, why?
Because rich people make other people rich. Income inequality is an atrocious thing to try to "fix", you should try to fix poverty.

Silicone Valley is full of people making $100K + per year because of all of the billionaires out there. There is a drastic difference between $10 million per year and $100K per year, but it's really difficult to argue that the person making $100K is being taken advantage of by the system.
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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Fair enough.
I can appreciate the perspective and it's not totally unfounded; I'm sure there are some things that would outrage me as well, but I don't see the point in wasting my time thinking about it. Obviously I disagree with you on a fair amount of issues here but I can tell you that I certainly appreciate your ability to think about what you're saying and articulate your point thoughtfully, unlike the number of people here that I have on Ignore.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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I think tax policy should be consistent. It sounds to me like you think it is ok that it’s convoluted and advantageous to the wealthy. Of course we all use whatever loopholes are available. The question is, should those loopholes exist? I think policy that provides loopholes, rather than simplicity and lower rates is a poor way to lower tax burden.
It depends upon who you ask. A ton of this comes down to whether or not you should be able to write off interest and then the Capital Gains tax.

As far as Capital Gains tax, there are a ton of really good articles/information about the cost and benefit of a lower Capital Gains tax. By almost all accounts, a lower Capital Gains tax INCREASES tax revenue. Isn't that what we want? More dollars for politicians to waste?
 

GopherJake

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Because rich people make other people rich. Income inequality is an atrocious thing to try to "fix", you should try to fix poverty.

Silicone Valley is full of people making $100K + per year because of all of the billionaires out there. There is a drastic difference between $10 million per year and $100K per year, but it's really difficult to argue that the person making $100K is being taken advantage of by the system.
If a person makes $100K in “Silicone Valley,” it’s because they have talents worth that much that someone is willing to pay them for. Period. It’s not a bunch of Robin Hoods handing out paychecks from their empires they built alone.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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If a person makes $100K in “Silicone Valley,” it’s because they have talents worth that much that someone is willing to pay them for. Period. It’s not a bunch of Robin Hoods handing out paychecks from their empires they built alone.
Absolutely, but the fact that person WILLING TO PAY THEM is a billionaire does not make it a bad situation.

A billionaire paying 50 people $100 K per year creates vast income inequality.
 


STPGopher

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I can appreciate the perspective and it's not totally unfounded; I'm sure there are some things that would outrage me as well, but I don't see the point in wasting my time thinking about it. Obviously I disagree with you on a fair amount of issues here but I can tell you that I certainly appreciate your ability to think about what you're saying and articulate your point thoughtfully, unlike the number of people here that I have on Ignore.
Likewise. Thanks!

I am much better at face to face conversations. I try to be somewhat fair. I am fully aware that I have biases. Like anyone else, it is a challenge to keep those in check.

Most of the time I would and do reply to issues I think are unfair toward those who may not have a voice or I stick up for others that try to be that voice. It's funny, because if it wasn't for Covid, and a couple of social justice issues that started on the football board, I probably wouldn't be here. Recruiting and perception to potential recruits used to be my concern on the football board. Perhaps the season can't get here soon enough? ;-)
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Who said it was?
You.

You literally replied to this statement by me: Silicone Valley is full of people making $100K + per year because of all of the billionaires out there. There is a drastic difference between $10 million per year and $100K per year, but it's really difficult to argue that the person making $100K is being taken advantage of by the system.
 

GopherJake

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You.

You literally replied to this statement by me: Silicone Valley is full of people making $100K + per year because of all of the billionaires out there. There is a drastic difference between $10 million per year and $100K per year, but it's really difficult to argue that the person making $100K is being taken advantage of by the system.
Quote me, Bob.
 

STPGopher

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Because rich people make other people rich. Income inequality is an atrocious thing to try to "fix", you should try to fix poverty.

Silicone Valley is full of people making $100K + per year because of all of the billionaires out there. There is a drastic difference between $10 million per year and $100K per year, but it's really difficult to argue that the person making $100K is being taken advantage of by the system.
Scale. Try finding housing in Los Altos Hills, Ca. They tear down multi-million dollar houses just to put another up. Yes, some of it is earthquake related, but you get my point.
 

STPGopher

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Absolutely, but the fact that person WILLING TO PAY THEM is a billionaire does not make it a bad situation.

A billionaire paying 50 people $100 K per year creates vast income inequality.
Or a corporation.
 

Spoofin

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I think tax policy should be consistent. It sounds to me like you think it is ok that it’s convoluted and advantageous to the wealthy. Of course we all use whatever loopholes are available. The question is, should those loopholes exist? I think policy that provides loopholes, rather than simplicity and lower rates is a poor way to lower tax burden.
I suspect what you consider "loopholes" would vary from what I consider "loopholes". Most things that reduce tax burden involve investments that help the economy.
 

Spoofin

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Jealousy? Hardly. Just don't understand why some get a free pass, yet others get grilled when they are just trying to survive. The same that do the grilling complain about crime. Committed by the have nots of course.

Keep reaching for that carrot.
Such victims.
 

STPGopher

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I think tax policy should be consistent. It sounds to me like you think it is ok that it’s convoluted and advantageous to the wealthy. Of course we all use whatever loopholes are available. The question is, should those loopholes exist? I think policy that provides loopholes, rather than simplicity and lower rates is a poor way to lower tax burden.
I thought that was the promise. Most middle class lost deductions and got a minimal increase in take home pay. Charitable contributions is one example.
 


Spoofin

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I thought that was the promise. Most middle class lost deductions and got a minimal increase in take home pay. Charitable contributions is one example.
The increased standard deduction made itemizing unnecessary for most middle class families.
 

STPGopher

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The increased standard deduction made itemizing unnecessary for most middle class families.
And what if it didn't? The threshold is a pretty significant for the middle class.
 




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