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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 60036  
Subject: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 1:06 AM
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God there's a lot of bandwidth wasted on this board with political arguments that generate lots of heat and no light.

I'm 17 months away from my 62nd birthday and the ability to get early SS. There was a time when I was going to forego SS, but not any more.

I have 2 kids paying into SS (1 at the max and the 3rd close to 80% of the max - the third's a teacher and doesn't contribute). Near as I can figure and including employer contributions, my SS will be adequately covered by the contributions of the 2 kids that are paying into the system. Neither of the 2 in the private sector are even close to their maximum earning years. My wife won't be getting SS as she's a retired teacher and has a teacher's pension, so I'll be the only one getting benefits

As I said earlier, I initially planned to forego SS. I changed my mind a couple of years ago when I ran into a DINK (double income, no kids) over on the old REHP board. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against DINK's per se, but this one was constantly complaining about his taxes and how they were just soooooo unfair. You know the type. They have a more than adequate income even after taxes, but for this particular type the Marin County mantra ("too much is never enough") is gospel. It just so happens that this particular joker, despite not needing SS benefits was going to claim SS when the time came. That's when yours truly finally saw the light. If I did without SS, then this joker was going to be sponging off my my kids. Nobody sponges off my kids but me. ;^)

Actually, it's not sponging. The kids' SS contributions will remain in the family. Furthermore, the addition of SS to our income stream will mean that IRA withdrawals will be significantly diminished. Essentially, SS bennies will drop my IRA withdrawal percentage by about 1.25 %/year. When the wife and I shuffle off this mortal coil, there'll be a nice nest egg left over, especially when you toss in non-IRA assets, not to mention the funds we're setting aside for the grandkids' educations.

SS bennies may be cut or means testing may be put in place, it doesn't matter to me all that much since I'm allowing for that happenstance in my financial planning going forward. However, I do love the fact that the DINK mentioned above won't be getting dime one from my kids.

BTW, SP, you going to claim SS when your time comes?

Churchy

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3419 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 3:23 AM
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<<BTW, SP, you going to claim SS when your time comes?

Churchy
>>


Yes indeed. If the government is dumb enough to pay benefits to a multimillionaire, I will cash their checks.


I also favor sharply means testing Social Security and Medicare.

Medicare provides valuable services, but I see no reason to offer them to me for free or a subsidized price.

Why use power of the government to squeeze money from working people to offer subsidized medical care to me? Offer me the benefits only if I will pay for them and I will do so voluntarily ----no government force required.

Perhaps it's reasonable to offer heavily subsidized Medicare benefits to the genuinely impoverished, but why charge your children high tax rates to provide benefits to me?




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: mbarr Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3424 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 9:52 AM
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So it's OK to receive SS benefits if you have kids paying into the system, but not if you don't? I don't get it.

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Author: Trini209 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3427 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 10:39 AM
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This is kinda silly.

If you have a lot of money, do you deliberately neglect to take all the tax deductions you're allowed?

You paid into the system. Now you're reaping the benefits of your contribution. If it makes you feel guilty, contribute your monthly check to your favorite charity.

Trini

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3429 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 10:42 AM
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You might not 'get it'.....

I will turn 62 in a year and 3 months. I will sign up for SS. Do I desperately need it? Not really at this time.

I only worked 31 years according to their formula, so I will get somewhat reduced benefits, but still fairly decent. I will pay taxes on at least half of it, and before long, on most of it. So I will get X, and before long they will take 23% or 30% of it back. Give with one hand, take back with the other.

I have no kids. My sister and hubby are working, and their 2 kids are working and paying in.

I really have no problem taking it. Between my employer and myself, I figure that over $300,000 (in todays dollars) not including interest was paid in. I'd have to live 25 more years to get that much back.

They did put aside all the contributions in a lock box, right? It wasn't a Ponzi type scheme where they spent the current money and never put it aside for the future, right? I shouldn't feel guilty getting back the money they put aside for me, right?

In any event, I am planning on collecting it at 62. Who knows how long I will live. My dad didn't make it to 74, all but one of his brothers kicked the bucket long before that age.

And I'll sign up for Medicare at 65....

t.



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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3439 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 12:47 PM
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So it's OK to receive SS benefits if you have kids paying into the system, but not if you don't? I don't get it.


i don't either ....

i paid in for 40-something years .... significantly more than my parents took out.

my sister has been ( & continues ) to pay ... more than my parents took, maybe as much as i will.

... during which time, i also paid taxes to educate Other People's Kids.

... And rarely complained (never complained about education; complained some about the various wars i thought wrong; complained one time about SS tax)

so .....no guilt.

in fact (or, as a mentor used to say, Sad-but-true-FACT), a vocal minority(?) of 'younger' generation comes across as such tiny pissants, whinging about every bloody dime of taxes ... i have pretty much zero motivation for political compromise ...


-
..... as the Chinese allegedly say, "Interesting Times."

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Author: FCorelli Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3441 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 12:54 PM
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So it's OK to receive SS benefits if you have kids paying into the system, but not if you don't? I don't get it.


I call word-wanking! Churchy didn't say anything of the kind. Perhaps in your knee-jerkery to cast aspirations you didn't quite get his drift. Or maybe, like me, you're still coffee-ing up for the morning. But that was not his pernt at-tall.

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3442 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 1:06 PM
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FCorelli says

I call word-wanking! Churchy didn't say anything of the kind. Perhaps in your knee-jerkery to cast aspirations you didn't quite get his drift. Or maybe, like me, you're still coffee-ing up for the morning. But that was not his pernt at-tall.

I don't think "aspirations" means what you think it means... and I still don't see what kids have to do with it.

Me, I turned 65-and-8-months this month. So yesterday I got online and filed for benefits. I paid in for 39 years. My parents never participated at all; my father was a non-citizen and a U.N. employee, and my mother was never employed. My kid is still in college, paying in an insignificant amount. I'm taking the money and feeling fine about it.

crassfool

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Author: FCorelli Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3443 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 1:12 PM
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I don't think "aspirations" means what you think it means... and I still don't see what kids have to do with it.


Aspersions, man. Read the part about coffee-ing up and interpolate. You ARE that smart I know you are.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3446 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 1:44 PM
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Me, I turned 65-and-8-months this month. So yesterday I got online and filed for benefits. I paid in for 39 years


you started working late .... i paid in for 41 yrs and am not yet 61.


(>

... a 'warning' ... if because you're getting started in March after turning 65, there's a lump-sum payment for previous years ... the tax form is (IMO) complicated ..


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Author: mbarr Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3447 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 1:48 PM
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I call word-wanking! Churchy didn't say anything of the kind. Perhaps in your knee-jerkery to cast aspirations you didn't quite get his drift. Or maybe, like me, you're still coffee-ing up for the morning. But that was not his pernt at-tall.

Well then explain it to me like I'm a 6 year old because it sounded to me like he said it's OK for him to take SS because he has 2 kids paying into it, hence no guilt.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3448 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 1:52 PM
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Well then explain it to me like I'm a 6 year old because it sounded to me like he said it's OK for him to take SS because he has 2 kids paying into it, hence no guilt.


sounded that way to me as well. ..

though it also sounded personal ... not like he thinks folks without kids should feel guilty ... unless maybe they continually piss-and-moan about taxes.


=b

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Author: buzman Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3449 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 1:57 PM
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FWIW,

Most people take SS benes early & that can be a mistake.

The calculators often used don't take into effect COLA. Early benes can impact a surviving spouse especially if they have signifigantly lower earnings.

buzman-

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Author: FCorelli Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3452 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 2:07 PM
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So it's OK to receive SS benefits if you have kids paying into the system but not if you don't? mb

He didnt say this. This is you changing the subject
I have no kids and I didn't see where he was telling me I had no right or reason to take SS when the time comes.

Or hey, maybe I'm being too charitable and not knee-jerky enough in my conclusions...? Or maybe I wasn't fully coffee-'d up

As far as you needing to be treated like a 6 yr old... what can I say...

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Author: mbarr Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3457 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 2:48 PM
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I have no kids and I didn't see where he was telling me I had no right or reason to take SS when the time comes.

I didn't say anything at all like that. Where does that even come from?

Or maybe I wasn't fully coffee-'d up

It wasn't funny the first time. You might want to drop that one.

As far as you needing to be treated like a 6 yr old... what can I say...

You still have not explained how what I said was wrong or how it was different from what the OP said.

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3458 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 2:54 PM
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0x6a74 says

... a 'warning' ... if because you're getting started in March after turning 65, there's a lump-sum payment for previous years ... the tax form is (IMO) complicated ..

I don't believe there's ever any payment for previous years. 65 and 8 months is considered "full retirement age," which means that if I do earn money in the future, my benefit doesn't get reduced. Anyway, I pay a guy to do my taxes.

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Author: JustWhoIAm Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3466 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 4:38 PM
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I have 2 kids paying into SS (1 at the max and the 3rd close to 80% of the max - the third's a teacher and doesn't contribute).

My wife is a teacher and pays her full share of SS. How is it that your child does not?


Keith

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3470 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 5:03 PM
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<<Well then explain it to me like I'm a 6 year old because it sounded to me like he said it's OK for him to take SS because he has 2 kids paying into it, hence no guilt.>>

sounded that way to me as well. ..

though it also sounded personal ... not like he thinks folks without kids should feel guilty ... unless maybe they continually piss-and-moan about taxes.


The question I have is - if his 2 kids (at relatively high incomes) are supplying the money to pay his social security, who is going to supply the money to pay social security to those who don't have kids, or those who have only 1 kid (or those whose spouse also is eligible for SS payments)?

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Author: alaskack Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3471 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 5:07 PM
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My wife is a teacher and pays her full share of SS. How is it that your child does not?

There was a period when governmental entities could opt out of SS. To do this, they paid the the same amount into a supplemental benefits system for each employee. For example, employees working for the State of Alaska do not pay SS. Think of them as individual SS accounts that many find objectionable. BTW, if you work under a SBS system, you cannot collect SS benefits unless you earned enough SS credits. The SS benefit is reduced based on a formula.

Calvin

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Author: Frydaze1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3476 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 6:36 PM
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The question I have is - if his 2 kids (at relatively high incomes) are supplying the money to pay his social security, who is going to supply the money to pay social security to those who don't have kids, or those who have only 1 kid (or those whose spouse also is eligible for SS payments)?

Those with 5 kids.
Kids whose parents don't live long enough to collect.
Those who themselves contributed but never collect.

Frydaze1

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3478 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/16/2007 7:46 PM
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BTW, SP, you going to claim SS when your time comes?

Of course! I'll probably start at 62 (in two years). I expect that if I'm already signed up for SS, it will be politically difficult (although not impossible) to do away with my benefits entirely.

I'd hoped to delay retirement a few years, but I'll be exercising Plan B. I'm part of a job action and will be retiring a tad sooner than I'd planned.

Because of fancy foot work by the HR department, my separation pay is about a third of what I'd get if I hadn't been outsourced. (They count from "Last Date of Hire", hoping to catch the job hoppers and those who took an earlier package and came back. It also catches those of us who were in-sourced after the outsourcing contract was canceled.)

At least SS is there to help provide a base income.

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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3519 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 7:49 PM
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So it's OK to receive SS benefits if you have kids paying into the system, but not if you don't? I don't get it.

I didn't say that. What I said was that I was going to claim SS:

1. To keep the money my Gen-X kids are paying into SS in the family.

2. To keep 1 particular DINK whiner from getting dime one from my kids' contributions.

3. To enable me to ensure assets to pass on to the kids regardless what happens to SS.

Don't kid yourself. Anyone who gets SS is getting money from someone else's income stream whether there is a family relationship or not. It just helps me to know that the people I will be "sponging off" are my own kids and not someone else's. In any case, my wife and I will return the favor by making sure that there's something left when we snuff it.

A couple of years ago or so, I had a conversation with my daughter and somehow the subject turned to SS. I told her that I was having some trouble justifying claiming SS since my claim would just be adding to the problem. She told me that I would be a damned fool not to claim it (she always was outspoken) and that if I didn't, someone else would be getting the money she and her siblings were paying into SS. So why not? Better me than a stranger.

Churchy









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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3521 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 8:01 PM
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Yes indeed. If the government is dumb enough to pay benefits to a multimillionaire, I will cash their checks.

I also favor sharply means testing Social Security and Medicare.

Medicare provides valuable services, but I see no reason to offer them to me for free or a subsidized price.

Why use power of the government to squeeze money from working people to offer subsidized medical care to me? Offer me the benefits only if I will pay for them and I will do so voluntarily ----no government force required.

Perhaps it's reasonable to offer heavily subsidized Medicare benefits to the genuinely impoverished, but why charge your children high tax rates to provide benefits to me?

Seattle Pioneer


My question was rhetorical, SP, since I was already pretty sure of the answer.

OTOH, doesn't it bother you to be against the kind of tax involved in SS while at the same time claiming the benefits from it?

As for Medicare, my wife turns 65 this year. As a teacher, she isn't eligible except through me when I turn 62 next year. That means we were facing the prospect of coughing up something on the order of over $500/month for her to buy into the program. Fortunately, we just found out that CalSTRS (California State Teacher's Retirement System) will pick up the tab for part A. We don't know why STRS is picking up the tab, but we ain't looking a gift horse in the mouth, either.

Churchy.





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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3522 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 8:12 PM
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This is kinda silly.

If you have a lot of money, do you deliberately neglect to take all the tax deductions you're allowed?

You paid into the system. Now you're reaping the benefits of your contribution. If it makes you feel guilty, contribute your monthly check to your favorite charity.

Trini


Yeah, I paid into the system. So what? It kept my mother able to operate independently and not move in with us (that alone made the payment worthwhile). Social Security is an income transfer from one generation to the other.

As for guilt, if I ever had any, it's not there anymore. My grandkids are actually my favorite charity and that will continue.

Just for the record, I'm not against SS. I just think that the payroll tax ought to be rolled into the income tax so that at the lower end of the pay scale people can at least take advantage of personal expemptions and the standard deduction. Someone who's making $20,000 a year will pay a lot more in the SS tax than in income tax.

Churchy


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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3524 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 8:21 PM
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Someone who's making $20,000 a year will pay a lot more in the SS tax than in income tax.<?i>

Which is just fine. They should pay something, regardless of their limited means.


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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3525 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 8:22 PM
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You might not 'get it'.....

I will turn 62 in a year and 3 months. I will sign up for SS. Do I desperately need it? Not really at this time.

I only worked 31 years according to their formula, so I will get somewhat reduced benefits, but still fairly decent. I will pay taxes on at least half of it, and before long, on most of it. So I will get X, and before long they will take 23% or 30% of it back. Give with one hand, take back with the other.

I have no kids. My sister and hubby are working, and their 2 kids are working and paying in.

I really have no problem taking it. Between my employer and myself, I figure that over $300,000 (in todays dollars) not including interest was paid in. I'd have to live 25 more years to get that much back.

They did put aside all the contributions in a lock box, right? It wasn't a Ponzi type scheme where they spent the current money and never put it aside for the future, right? I shouldn't feel guilty getting back the money they put aside for me, right?

In any event, I am planning on collecting it at 62. Who knows how long I will live. My dad didn't make it to 74, all but one of his brothers kicked the bucket long before that age.

And I'll sign up for Medicare at 65....

t.


Ah, so you turn 62 in June of 2008.

Who knows how long anyone will live? My paternal grandfather lived into his late 80's and my maternal grandfather was 93 when he died (his father was 88). My mother celebrated her 88th birthday last month, so I think I may well live to a ripe old age. If I'm lucky, I won't just be an embarrassment to my kids and grandkids, but also to my great-grandkids. Now that's something to live for.

Churchy




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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3527 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 8:25 PM
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"Just for the record, I'm not against SS. I just think that the payroll tax ought to be rolled into the income tax so that at the lower end of the pay scale people can at least take advantage of personal expemptions and the standard deduction. "

I think everyone should pay 'some' income tax as well. Otherwise, once half the folks get the idea that they wind up paying no income tax, and indeed get money back from other credits (earned income credits) , you get to a point where half the folks have 'no objection' to raising taxes they don't pay, no matter how high those taxes are raised.

If they don't have a stake in the game, they aren't interested in getting the most buck for their tax dollar. If they don't pay taxes, they shouldn't be allowed to vote on tax issues!.....

Everyone has to know what it is like to pay at least some tax. Otherwise, we are at the point where half the people with jobs in this country pay no taxes, and are more than happy to vote to 'raise taxes' which they don't pay - knowing that 'some one else' is going to pay them, so why not? No pain for them, and gain for them.

At $20,000/yr income, they won't pay very much, but everyone should have to pay something (whether it be SS tax - FICA) or not, just so they know what paying taxes feels like. Otherwise, they won't be the least bit concerned, interested, or outraged by pork barrel spending - they won't be paying for it...

t.


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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3528 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 8:26 PM
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Those with 5 kids.

That would be me! :-)

Kids whose parents don't live long enough to collect.
Those who themselves contributed but never collect


But what you are describing is completely unstable as people live longer and longer, and as people have fewer and fewer children per family.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3529 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 8:36 PM
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<<Why use power of the government to squeeze money from working people to offer subsidized medical care to me? Offer me the benefits only if I will pay for them and I will do so voluntarily ----no government force required.

Perhaps it's reasonable to offer heavily subsidized Medicare benefits to the genuinely impoverished, but why charge your children high tax rates to provide benefits to me?

Seattle Pioneer

My question was rhetorical, SP, since I was already pretty sure of the answer.

OTOH, doesn't it bother you to be against the kind of tax involved in SS while at the same time claiming the benefits from it?
>>


If Gen X, Y and Z can't summon up the energy to means test those benefits and cut me off from eligibility, then they can pay the taxes to pay for benefits for me if that's what they prefer.


The drama of a lot of working people paying ever higher tax rates to support me when I could be spending my own money for that is the best leverage I have to cause a change in the status quo.


<<As for Medicare, my wife turns 65 this year. As a teacher, she isn't eligible except through me when I turn 62 next year. That means we were facing the prospect of coughing up something on the order of over $500/month for her to buy into the program. Fortunately, we just found out that CalSTRS (California State Teacher's Retirement System) will pick up the tab for part A. We don't know why STRS is picking up the tab, but we ain't looking a gift horse in the mouth, either.

Churchy.
>>


Most people aren't eligible for Medicare until they turn 65 ---are you sure you wife will be eligible even though you aren't 65 and she doesn't qualify on her own?


And that raises a good question --- if your wife has been employed yet not paying Medicare taxes, why should she ever be elgible to collect benefits she didn't pay towards? More free lunches, I suppose.

If people are eligible for a free lunch from Social Security and Medicare, they are entitled to eat it, as far as I'm concerned. I just hope they will work to end the inequity they benefit from.




Seattle Pioneer



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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3530 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 8:41 PM
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Someone who's making $20,000 a year will pay a lot more in the SS tax than in income tax.<?i>

Which is just fine. They should pay something, regardless of their limited means.


Oh, so the best way to get low income people into a higher income bracket is to tax them more? I just love that logic.

I haven't paid SS tax since 2001 (the year I retired). If I withdraw $48,000/year from my IRA, I would pay roughly $8,000 in state and federal income tax. My wife's small pension basically covers the standard deduction and personal exemptions part of the equation, so her income is essentially tax free.

If I had a job paying $48,000/year under the same conditions, I would be paying an additional $3672 in SS and Medicare taxes. Is it fair that with the same income that someone with a job earning the same amount as I would withdraw from my IRA (assuming identical other conditions) would pay more than $300/month in additional taxes?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to pay anything I'm not required to. Just remember that, if your income is coming from employment, you're paying more taxes than I do for an equivalent income. That's the reason why when I get an urge to get a job for one reason or another I lie down until the feeling goes away.

Churchy



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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3532 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 9:25 PM
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<<Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to pay anything I'm not required to. Just remember that, if your income is coming from employment, you're paying more taxes than I do for an equivalent income. That's the reason why when I get an urge to get a job for one reason or another I lie down until the feeling goes away.

Churchy
>>



Yep. Through a high savings rate and good investment returns, my net worth is more than five times my liftime earned income according to my annual Social Security statement.


That allowed me to sharply reduce my work effort by quitting regular employment at age 49 in 1999, and I expect to say goodbye to earned income altogether in another couple of months.


The penalty of paying 15.3% self employment taxes on every dollar of earned income is a huge disincentive to working and a huge incentive to early retirement.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3534 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/17/2007 11:17 PM
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churchy: "
If I had a job paying $48,000/year under the same conditions, I would be paying an additional $3672 in SS and Medicare taxes. Is it fair that with the same income that someone with a job earning the same amount as I would withdraw from my IRA (assuming identical other conditions) would pay more than $300/month in additional taxes? "

YOu have already paid FICA 2 on the money in your IRA!!!!!

The tax is taken out of your salary. YOu only avoid income tax on the money, not the FICA 2 Medicare. Then when you take it out, you pay the FICA 1 tax on the money and the gain.

You pay tax up to the limit for Medicare each year. Well, if you made over 100K (or whatever the limit was each year) you get a pass, but most didn't make much over the FICA 2 limit, so you paid and paid year after year on all your income including your IRA contribution.

You only escaped paying reg income tax (FICA 1)..on IRA/401K contributions. They get that when you withdraw the money.

t.




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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3535 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 12:53 AM
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Res Nullis: Someone who's making $20,000 a year will pay a lot more in the SS tax than in income tax.<?i>

Which is just fine. They should pay something, regardless of their limited means.


I have seen several libertarian statements to the effect that everyone should pay some tax, rergardless of their limited income. This is histrically not the case in the US. Federal revenues were originally from duties, not income tax, and certainly not directly on the lower income people. State taxes tended to be property taxes, again no tax on anyone who did not own property. Income taxes were found unconstitutional because they were not levied proportionately among the states. With the enactment of the sixteenth ammendment in 1913, congress was able to pass the first income tax law, with NO tax on the first $2999 of income. $2999 was a LOT of money in 1913. Without knowing the actual statistics, you can be sure there was NO TAX on lower income people.

History be damned, the libertarian mantra is now that everyone should be taxed. If that $2999 had a COLA attached, it would likely now be well over $500,000. (Works out to 5.5% per year. So it might be "only" $300,000)

Why should the lowest income folks be burdened with income tax? They already pay a disproportionate percent in the sales tax most states levy.

Even the Romans didn't tax the lowest incomes, only the highest. What's wrong with collecting the taxes from the people with the money? I truly do not see your rationalle.

cliff

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3536 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 2:50 AM
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<<Why should the lowest income folks be burdened with income tax? They already pay a disproportionate percent in the sales tax most states levy.
>>



The tendency is for government to wind up taxing everyone until their pips squeak.

The income tax lends itself to that objective admirably well, especially in it's form as a "progressive" income tax as promoted by liberals. The economic principle of price discrimination allows government to take as much income as they can get away with from everyone, based on their income.

Mao maoing "the rich" allows nominally higher tax rates on the wealthy, which also tends to legitimize lower but still high tax rates on lower income people.


What a great system! Constructed by the left to fleece the rich, managed in the end to fleece pretty much everyone.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3537 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 3:03 AM
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SP: The tendency is for government to wind up taxing everyone until their pips squeak.

The income tax lends itself to that objective admirably well, especially in it's form as a "progressive" income tax as promoted by liberals. The economic principle of price discrimination allows government to take as much income as they can get away with from everyone, based on their income.

Mao maoing "the rich" allows nominally higher tax rates on the wealthy, which also tends to legitimize lower but still high tax rates on lower income people.

I don't understand your comments. I suppose I have to agree with the first sentence, though. But I don't see the last part at all, as noted in my previous post.

Are you saying that the liberals changed the constitution back in 1913? That the "progressive" income tax is a liberal idea? That no tax on income below $3000 was a part of a liberal plot to tax your pips? I am all for going back to the 1913 concept. No tax on any income below $300,000. (I have applied a COLA of 5% to the original $3000 minimum) Were the liberals in such complete control back in 1913 that they got the requisite number of states to ratify an income tax amendment?

Do you have any point at all? Or are you just spouting?

cliff

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3538 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 3:43 AM
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<<I don't understand your comments. I suppose I have to agree with the first sentence, though. But I don't see the last part at all, as noted in my previous post.

Are you saying that the liberals changed the constitution back in 1913? That the "progressive" income tax is a liberal idea? That no tax on income below $3000 was a part of a liberal plot to tax your pips? I am all for going back to the 1913 concept. No tax on any income below $300,000. (I have applied a COLA of 5% to the original $3000 minimum) Were the liberals in such complete control back in 1913 that they got the requisite number of states to ratify an income tax amendment?

Do you have any point at all? Or are you just spouting?

cliff

>>


Oh, yeah. The idea was to tax "the rich". That lasted about four years until WWI started.



Then there was the telephone tax enacted to help finance the Spanish American War in 1898. It, too was designed to tax "the rich." We finally got rid of that a year or so ago after a hundred years of taxing everyone with a telephone line.


Then there was the Alternative Minimum Tax, promoted by liberals in the late 1960s with the idea of taxing "the rich" who escaped paying income taxes. It keeps threatening to swallow up the middle class in its clutches these days because it wasn't indexed and "the rich" who get hit by it are now commonly the middle class.


<<SP: The tendency is for government to wind up taxing everyone until their pips squeak.
>>



But what the heck. If you can take warning from the above comment, you can ignore the rest of my comments without missing much.

The bottom line is that there aren't enough of "the rich" to really generate much money for government, and they tend to be powerful politically and able to defend their interests pretty well.


Taxing the middle class is where the big money is at, and we are often pigeons politicians find pretty easy to pluck.



Seattle Pioneer




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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3539 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 4:19 AM
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The bottom line is that there aren't enough of "the rich" to really generate much money for government, and they tend to be powerful politically and able to defend their interests pretty well.

Disagree with the first part of this sentence. Have to agree with the second. But I have to ask, if the middle and lower-income folks are so powerful that they demand lots of free lunches, why aren't they powerful enough to demand that they not be taxed?

Taxing the middle class is where the big money is at, and we are often pigeons politicians find pretty easy to pluck.

Seattle Pioneer

Not 100% true, but it's what the very rich would like us to believe. How much income tax would be "lost" if all income below $40,000 a year were not taxed? I don't know, but it could be made up by undoing some of the Bush tax breaks for the super-rich. Now, by giving the lower income folks more disposable income, we would have a trickle-up boost to the economy of enormous proportions. The poor seem to spend every penny they can get, while the rich stash it away and it doesn't really trickle down the way Mr. Raygun told us it would.

But you are right, we are pigeons, easy to pluck. You would think that we would demand not to be plucked while we are demanding all those giveaways.

cliff


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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3541 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 9:36 AM
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Cliff666:

"I have seen several libertarian statements to the effect that everyone should pay some tax, rergardless of their limited income. This is histrically not the case..."

Enjoyed your summary, Cliff.

I bet if you look it up you will find that Cato, Murdoch, the Heritage Foundation and the rest of the sock puppet masters made up an "everybody should be taxed" talking point as part of the move to shift the tax burden from the rich to the lower and middle classes and then ran it past their focus groups - and now the "libertarians" and other neocon sock puppets are now bleating it as yet another sock puppet mantra.



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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3542 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 10:06 AM
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<<The bottom line is that there aren't enough of "the rich" to really generate much money for government, and they tend to be powerful politically and able to defend their interests pretty well.

Disagree with the first part of this sentence. Have to agree with the second. But I have to ask, if the middle and lower-income folks are so powerful that they demand lots of free lunches, why aren't they powerful enough to demand that they not be taxed?

>>


Historically Social Security recipients have been very succesful in demanding increases in benefits, and increases in the taxes needed to pay those benefits. I think that's pretty self evident.


The tax increases haven't hit the upper part of the middle class as hard as they might, and have really clobbered the lower end of the working class ----perhaps that's a measure of the relative political power of these groups, too.


I'm pretty much just looking at who has been taxed and who has benefitted as a measure of political power.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3543 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 10:27 AM
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IN 1913, there were no billions of dollars in 'entitlement' programs.

No SS. No Medicare. No subsidies by the gazillions for not planting crops, for 'conserving' farmland. Taxes collected in 1913 went toward the few gov't programs, for necessary military spending.

Folks couldn't vote to increase the entitlements to themselves - there were none. Therefore, it was an entirely different situation.

Now, half the folks don't pay any income taxes. SOme actually get money back by filing in terms of 'earned income credit'. Owe zero taxes, get back any withdheld, and then some more on top of that. Of course they are going to vote for more entitlements since they arean't paying for it.

SS wasn't created till the 30s. Medicare well after WW2.

Average life expectancy up till the 70s was about 18 months after a male retired....so SS paid out little to most.....half the folks died before 66 and 1/2.

Taxing the 'rich' just doesn't hack it. You ratchet up marginal tax rates and that income folks had suddenly winds up going into tax dodges (legal), or rather than being taken as cap gains, sits there unrealized, and is used to borrow against - thus not generating 'income', or is used for other long term future gain, not taxable year by year. History shows it over and over again...raise marginal tax rates, and suddenly there is less 'income' to tax, and folks move to 'tax free' investments (muni bonds) to escape the higher taxes, and similar.

If you read The Millionaire Next Door, you find those with 50 million in estates don't wind up paying estate taxes - despite huge estates - planning makes the gov't get nothing in most cases.

The 'rich' find creative ways not to pay a lot of taxes.

All the tax burden falls on the 'middle class'.

Yet, half the folks don't pay any taxes, and are more than happy to raise taxes on those who do, whether they want the tax increase or not. At some point, there will be a tax revolt.



t.



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Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 10:50 AM
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<<
Yet, half the folks don't pay any taxes, and are more than happy to raise taxes on those who do, whether they want the tax increase or not. At some point, there will be a tax revolt.



t.

>>



I was doing a little reading on the Alternative Minimum tax that was interesting.

It got started in 1969 with liberal outrage over 200 taxpayers who had incomes of more than $200,000 but paid no income taxes, not infrequently because of large charitable deductions. We created a second income tax because of 200 people!


At the time, the AMT was more or less 10% of income for those caught by it. Additional "reforms" raised that rate to 28% where it is now.

The amusing part is that this tax tends to hit people who live in high cost/high tax states like California, New York and the northeast. That association was so strong as to be considered a "blue" state tax on Democrats.

And of course now the tax doesn't hit 200 people, but tens of millions.



Pretty funny how yet again a tax designed to soak the rich winds up soaking the middle class, at least if you aren't a soakee.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3545 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 2:09 PM
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Seattle: It got started in 1969 with liberal outrage over 200 taxpayers who had incomes of more than $200,000 but paid no income taxes, not infrequently because of large charitable deductions. We created a second income tax because of 200 people!


At the time, the AMT was more or less 10% of income for those caught by it. Additional "reforms" raised that rate to 28% where it is now.


Yup AMT, like the minimum taxed levels shoulda had a COLA attached from day 1. Social Security does. Why not AMT and the tax rates?

cliff

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3546 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 2:13 PM
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Yup AMT, like the minimum taxed levels shoulda had a COLA attached from day 1. Social Security does. Why not AMT and the tax rates?


?? because AMT began as a 'smack the loop-holers tax' ... quickly seen to be 'screw the high income types' (to be distinguished from 'wealthy') ... and soon thereafter as a 'screw the middle incomes' ?


ie, ....extra revenue from middle class so that upper class can keep their own taxes down



=

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3547 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 4:09 PM
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http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2007/03/rich-pay-more-poor-pay-less-taxes.html

The top 5% now pay 57% of all income taxes collected

The bottom 50%,repeat 50%, pay 3.3% of all income taxes collected.

You don't think that bottom 50%, now with the majority power of the vote, isn't going to keep trying to pay even less?

The amount they pay each year is dropping and dropping....

t.


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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3548 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 7:18 PM
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"ie, ....extra revenue from middle class so that upper class can keep their own taxes down"


Bingo.



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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3549 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 7:26 PM
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The problem is that the top 5% of wage earners earn way more than 57% of the income and actually pay a lower percentage of taxes as compared to true net worth - and the gap is accelerating at an accelerating rate.

The Bush tax cuts are actually increasing the tax burden on the bottom 50% in the form of deficits, increased taxes at state and local levela in the form of sales taxes, lotteries and other regressive taxes, higher college tuition fees and so on, and also in the form of reduced benefits, etc.

The real purpose of the Bush tax cuts is to shift the tax burden from the ultra rich to everybody else. And it is working because they are able to dupe them - that includes you and whoever rec'ed your post.

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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3550 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 7:31 PM
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http://www.cbpp.org/9-27-06tax.htm

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3551 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 7:40 PM
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<<The real purpose of the Bush tax cuts is to shift the tax burden from the ultra rich to everybody else. And it is working because they are able to dupe them - that includes you and whoever rec'ed your post.
>>



Right. Everyone who doesn't agree with you is a dupe. Very liberal.


<<The problem is that the top 5% of wage earners earn way more than 57% of the income and actually pay a lower percentage of taxes as compared to true net worth - and the gap is accelerating at an accelerating rate.

>>



There has never been an abstract, rational way to determine how taxes should be assessed, in my opinion. Never.


That gets back to the idea of taxes being taken at the point of a gun. There is just no really just way of doing that that everyone can agree with. It's inherently a political process, which gets back to the idea of things being decided by someone and ultimately enforced by force or the threat of force, as well as by the prestige and power of government to convince people that it's action are fair and reasonable, whether they are or not.




Seattle Pioneer




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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3552 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 7:41 PM
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Seattle: Historically Social Security recipients have been very succesful in demanding increases in benefits, and increases in the taxes needed to pay those benefits. I think that's pretty self evident.

I think you can attribute that to a big special interest group called AARP. One reason I am not a member.

ckuff

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3553 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 7:55 PM
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Telegrapgh: The top 5% now pay 57% of all income taxes collected

The bottom 50%,repeat 50%, pay 3.3% of all income taxes collected.

You don't think that bottom 50%, now with the majority power of the vote, isn't going to keep trying to pay even less?

The amount they pay each year is dropping and dropping....

Your last few posts here lead me to think that you either haven't read or didn't undesrstand what I said earlier. This is, naturally, seen as a very sad thing, since they were witty, well-reasoned, and important.

In 1913 the richest 5% paid ALL the tax. The bottom 50% paid nothing.

Now, of course the bottom half doesn't want to pay taxes. Neither does the upper 50%. In the case of the lower 50%, one has to ask, "So what?" 3.3% only, and dropping? Is it worth the aggravation?

Realistically, the very rich have their money to buy votes in congress or whatever. They can take care of themselves, as even you have noted. You see, I would gladly support a flat rate income tax on everything above $50,000 (With a COLA on that $50K). No deductions. Not for state taxes, not for home interest, no individual exemptions. The poor pay "their share" in the form of sales taxes.

Since my flat rate would also apply to corporations, I expect to hear a lot of whining about that. But it's fair.

cliff

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3554 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 8:28 PM
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"The problem is that the top 5% of wage earners earn way more than 57% of the income and actually pay a lower percentage of taxes as compared to true net worth - and the gap is accelerating at an accelerating rate."

And here we go with your 'wealth' envy again.

You don't tax 'net worth'. The Constitution does not permit taxing 'wealth'. That is why folks moved here in the first place, to avoid having their assets confiscated by the government to fund government folly.

We have an income tax, period.

If you truly believe folks should pay something for the services they receive (rather than nothing for the 50% who don't pay federal income taxes), then everyone must pay something.

The "rich" don't use 10,000 times as much or 1 million times as much federal dollars for one person. They have one car on the highway, just like a low income earner who owns a car. They have one or two kids in school. (or maybe the 'rich' don't even use public school money. But certainly many in the top 10% of income do.... they need one fire dept, one ambulance service, one set of national defense.

Why do the libs always come back to 'they have more net worth' therefore we should tax them more to do away with that 'net worth'?????

You might not have been thinking that, but from your post it is just simply wealth envy!

SO how much do you want to bleed the income of the 'rich'? Say over $150,000/yr? 80% tax bracket? 90% tax bracket? Why not kill all the incentive to work and produce and hit them with 100% fed tax, and whatever taxes the state charges, plus FICA 2...for a total tax rate of, say, 123%?????

t.




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Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 8:33 PM
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The bottom 50%,repeat 50%, pay 3.3% of all income taxes collected.

<>

Your last few posts here lead me to think that you either haven't read or didn't undesrstand what I said earlier. This is, naturally, seen as a very sad thing, since they were witty, well-reasoned, and important.


yeah ....but not up to your usual standards wrt 'witty' .....


personally, i find it 'odd' to be concerned with some groups percentage of *income* taxes paid .... ignoring all the other taxes (payroll, gas, sales, property, liquor, lottery, ....)

but then, i also think it would also be more interesting to think about percentage of income going to tax.



-
....... i paid zero income tax '06 ...but about 15% income in 'other' taxes ...

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3556 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/18/2007 8:38 PM
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cliff: "Realistically, the very rich have their money to buy votes in congress or whatever. They can take care of themselves, as even you have noted. You see, I would gladly support a flat rate income tax on everything above $50,000 (With a COLA on that $50K). No deductions. Not for state taxes, not for home interest, no individual exemptions. The poor pay "their share" in the form of sales taxes. "

In most states, there is no sales tax on rent, no sales tax on food or medicine, and often there are 'tax holidays' to allow school clothes and supplies to be bought tax free. Yes, they pay 'some' sales tax (if they live in a state with sales tax or don't buy on the internet). But not a whole lot.

Right now, there is an escalating tax that rachets up. In addition, the AMT not only whacks you with 28% immediately, you also loose deductions as well, a double whammy - mostly if you live in a high tax state (real estate taxes, state taxes, etc). The same guy with the same income in a different state with lower taxes winds up paying potentially less tax if part of his income is now cap gains - which sudeenly gets whacked with an extra 13% tax, plus looses some of his deductions as well. Not exactly fair.


Cliff: "Since my flat rate would also apply to corporations, I expect to hear a lot of whining about that. But it's fair."

If you look at the amount and percent of taxes that corporations pay, you'll see it is less and less each year for the past 20 years. Corporations have become very savvy in tax avoidance and tax write offs (including buying companies simply for the tax benefits/write offs that come from buying another company). With globalization, it is harder and harder to track how much profit is made here and overseas, and dollars are often not repatriated back to the 'home country' if that triggers tax events at high levels.

Not only would they not whine, they would take steps if that tax rate is higher to reduce their tax burdens even further.

You hit dividends harder for investors, and suddenly companies won't raise dividents but do constant buybacks, raising value but not 'distributing it' or start distributing 'stock dividends' that wind up being non-taxable in some way.

There are lots of unintended consequences to trying to raise taxes.

The best gov't policy is to REDUCE SPENDING!

t.



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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3558 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 2:48 AM
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YOu have already paid FICA 2 on the money in your IRA!!!!!

The tax is taken out of your salary. YOu only avoid income tax on the money, not the FICA 2 Medicare. Then when you take it out, you pay the FICA 1 tax on the money and the gain.

You pay tax up to the limit for Medicare each year. Well, if you made over 100K (or whatever the limit was each year) you get a pass, but most didn't make much over the FICA 2 limit, so you paid and paid year after year on all your income including your IRA contribution.

You only escaped paying reg income tax (FICA 1)..on IRA/401K contributions. They get that when you withdraw the money.


What the hell are you trying to say? Of course I paid FICA and Medicare on my on the earnings that went into my 401k (rolled into an IRA after I quit working) when I was employed. So what? That's old news. Are you trying to tell me that I will have to pay SS taxes on IRA withdrawals (essentially unearned income)? Where did you get that notion? I'm with Fidelity and if there were an SS tax on IRA withdrawals you can be damned sure they'd mention it. I even rechecked their page on tax implications. In addition, I checked the SS site. While SS benefits are subject to income tax above a certain amount, I can find nothing about having to pay the SS payroll tax on 401k/IRA withdrawal, nor have I ever heard of such a thing.

In all probability, I will be paying income tax on part of SS bennies. BFD. I plan on keeping our keeping our gross income low enough to stay in the 15% marginal bracket. At the current time, given our situation, as long as we stay under about $80k we'll be in the 15% bracket.

Churchy




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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3560 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 3:00 AM
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<<As for Medicare, my wife turns 65 this year. As a teacher, she isn't eligible except through me when I turn 62 next year. That means we were facing the prospect of coughing up something on the order of over $500/month for her to buy into the program. Fortunately, we just found out that CalSTRS (California State Teacher's Retirement System) will pick up the tab for part A. We don't know why STRS is picking up the tab, but we ain't looking a gift horse in the mouth, either.

Churchy.
>>


Most people aren't eligible for Medicare until they turn 65 ---are you sure you wife will be eligible even though you aren't 65 and she doesn't qualify on her own?


Given that her Medicare card came in the mail a couple of weeks ago and I also accompanied her to the SS office to apply, yeah, I'm sure.


Churchy

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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3561 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 3:47 AM
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The problem is that the top 5% of wage earners earn way more than 57% of the income and actually pay a lower percentage of taxes as compared to true net worth - and the gap is accelerating at an accelerating rate.



If I were withdrawing money from my IRA at a rate that, combined with my wife's pension, gave us a gross income of $68,000, we'd be paying somewhere around $7420 in combined income taxes giving an effective combined income tax rate of just under 11% on the income. The effect on our net worth is about .00034%.

Oh yeah. I'm getting ripped off there. It's not fair. People with less should pay more.

A person with a net worth of $100,000 (roughly the median net worth of an American in 2004 http://tinyurl.com/28lvec ) would be having over 7% of his/her net worth being taxed. And half the people had a net worth less than that $100,000.

Big difference between 7.42% and .00034%.

Churchy







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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3563 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 8:31 AM
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You don't tax 'net worth'. The Constitution does not permit taxing 'wealth'. That is why folks moved here in the first place, to avoid having their assets confiscated by the government to fund government folly.

Actually, many moved here for religious freedom, taxes had nothing to do with it. Others moved here for economic opportunity, but again, "taxes" had nothing to do with it.

If you truly believe folks should pay something for the services they receive (rather than nothing for the 50% who don't pay federal income taxes), then everyone must pay something.

"Everyone" does. There are sales taxes, there are FICA taxes, there are use taxes, and everyone pays something. I guess your problem is solved.

The "rich" don't use 10,000 times as much or 1 million times as much federal dollars for one person. They have one car on the highway, just like a low income earner who owns a car. They have one or two kids in school. (or maybe the 'rich' don't even use public school money. But certainly many in the top 10% of income do.... they need one fire dept, one ambulance service, one set of national defense.

How much benefit do "the poor" get out of SEC regulation? How many dollars are they insuring in their FDIC accounts? How many rocket scientists jobs do they get out of their NASA budget? Since the highways provide a good infrastructure for the delivery of goods and services to markets, who benefits more from "purchasing power", the rich, or the poor?

Speaking of "national defense", if you went to an insurance company and said "I'd like insurance to preserve my assets and my way of life", who would pay more, a person with no assets, or a person with a million dollar home? Oh, and maybe you could tell me who you think gets a better shake from the justice system, the rich or the poor?

Say, have you ever noticed that schools seem to be better equipped in rich neighborhoods than in poor ones? How much do government subsidies and research contracts to universities benefit "the poor"? How much of that research money goes to vo-tech schools, again? What are my chances of interesting the FBI in petty graft in a poor neighborhood versus if I am a wealthy industrialist concerned about counterfeit Gucci's coming into the country?

Subsidies to airlines, airports, and airplane manufacturers probably help Mr. $300,000 more than Mr. $30,000; at least I see lots more ads from airlines in Fortune than I do in Field & Stream. The government spends a fair amount on health research and disease control. Who has access to the latest technologies and the best health care, the rich or the poor?

SO how much do you want to bleed the income of the 'rich'? Say over $150,000/yr? 80% tax bracket? 90% tax bracket? Why not kill all the incentive to work and produce and hit them with 100% fed tax, and whatever taxes the state charges, plus FICA 2...for a total tax rate of, say, 123%?????

Good argument. I love it when you do this, because it demonstrates so clearly the paucity of your thinking.
 


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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3572 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 8:59 AM
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{{Right. Everyone who doesn't agree with you is a dupe. Very liberal.}}


This seems to fit this board very well.



c

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3573 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 9:01 AM
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{{Since my flat rate would also apply to corporations, I expect to hear a lot of whining about that. But it's fair.}}


May I ask why corporations. If one person owns a small business as a c-corp, why should that person pay taxes twice on the same company profits ?

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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3574 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 9:30 AM
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telegraph:

"And here we go with your 'wealth' envy again" and

"You might not have been thinking that, but from your post it is just simply wealth envy!"

You are accusing me of envying myself, telegraph. I am in the group that benefits disproportionately from the Bush tax cuts.

More telegraph:

"SO how much do you want to bleed the income of the 'rich'? Say over $150,000/yr? 80% tax bracket? 90% tax bracket? Why not kill all the incentive to work and produce and hit them with 100% fed tax, and whatever taxes the state charges, plus FICA 2...for a total tax rate of, say, 123%?????"

You are ranting again. I think we can agree that a 100% tax rate would be counterproductive as would a 0% tax rate. Both would produce no taxes as whatsoever.

Now if you want to discuss something meaningful....

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3575 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 9:35 AM
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{{You are ranting again. I think we can agree that a 100% tax rate would be counterproductive as would a 0% tax rate. Both would produce no taxes as whatsoever.}}

So you are a "supply sider" who believes in voodoo economics and the laffer curve?



c

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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3577 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 10:26 AM
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"So you are a "supply sider" who believes in voodoo economics and the laffer curve?"

I do not believe the "supply side/demand side" argument is a religious debate and I do not believe it can be resolved by exchanging dueling sound bites. Therefore I am not sure how to respond to your question. Tax cuts can produce revenue growth, but they do not pay for themselves dollar for dollar so they can also produce deficits and harm the economy in the long run.

I think the CBO cites on "dynamic scoring" say it better than I.

Reagan's tax cuts produced huge deficits and the attempt to blame a "Democratic Congress" for 13 straight years' worth of deficits under Reagan and Bush 1 was beyond wrong and fell in the category of dishonest insofar as Congress' actual budgets were within 1% of what Reagan asked for and insofar as the deficits were almost entirely the result of phony revenue and cost estimates by Reagan. I have cited the stats on that topic before.

Bush's tax cuts are responsible for about 40 to 50% of the present deficits and the invasion of Iraq are partly responsible as well. I have cited stats on that topic before.

I originally supported the Bush tax cuts for the bottom 98 to 99% of taxpayers and opposed only the cuts for the top one or two percent because those cuts averaged over $50,000 per household, and because I was led to believe from reading the CBO numbers and other sources that the cuts for the top 1 or 2% of households would not contribute nearly as much to growth as much as they would cost, and because I believed that they would accelerate the already accelerating wealth gap and deficits.

In that regard, I was in the "Trojan horse" camp with Krugman (I think it was Krugman who said that the tax cuts were basically a trojan horse to disguise the giveaway to the rich that they would hurt the economy in the long run by buying the votes of middle class voters with small tax cuts who did not understand that the overall tax burden was being shifted to them in the form of deficits, more state and local user fees, and so on.)

I think I was proven right on that score - along with the WMD score, al qaeda/Hussein connection score and the "they will greet us with flowers" score.







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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3578 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 10:54 AM
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<<I agree that government should reduce spending. How much has Iraq cost us in the last 4 years? The bill certainly isn't being paid out of current income. Nope, the bill will be passed along to my kids and grandkids thanks to our beloved (your choice of epithet):

1. Prime Putz

2. Supreme Schmuck

3. Main Moron
>>



The United States hasn't begun to pay off the for WWII, Korea or Vietnam either.


Do you want to apply the same names to Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson and Nixon?




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: patchdodd Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3601 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 2:14 PM
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Say, have you ever noticed that schools seem to be better equipped in rich neighborhoods than in poor ones?

As usual you are mixing a bunch of facts to present a false argument. Wealthier schools come from wealthier communities paying higher property taxes, not from higher income and use taxes. In fact in my state the poorest school districts get the largest per capita largess from the state government for education. I support this but it flies in the face of your argument that higher income taxes are paying for better schools for the rich. They are, in fact, paying for better schools for the poor.

There is absolutely no question that taxes disproportionately benefit those that don't pay much. Once again, I personally have no problem with this but you are a fool if you think that things like SEC regulation and airport subsidies even begin to close the gap in the orders of magnitude differences between the amount of tax paid by the wealthiest/highest earners and the poorest/lowest earners.

But anyway, "Good argument. I love it when you do this, because it demonstrates so clearly the paucity of your thinking."

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3604 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 2:32 PM
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"If I were withdrawing money from my IRA at a rate that, combined with my wife's pension, gave us a gross income of $68,000, we'd be paying somewhere around $7420 in combined income taxes giving an effective combined income tax rate of just under 11% on the income. The effect on our net worth is about .00034%. "

There is no wealth tax in this country. So forget any arguments about 'net wealth'.

There is an income tax. On current income tax. Period.



"A person with a net worth of $100,000 (roughly the median net worth of an American in 2004 http://tinyurl.com/28lvec ) would be having over 7% of his/her net worth being taxed. And half the people had a net worth less than that $100,000.

Big difference between 7.42% and .00034%."

Again, you are back on the track of 'net worth' and what we should tax people to confiscate some of that net worth. Wealth tax...wealth tax....

We have an income tax. On current incme. Period.

Schools are funded by LOCAL taxes, not income taxes. In some states without income taxes, schools are funded by other taxes - mainly real estate/school tax which is local. There is some state money and some federal money (through federal programs) given to schools as well.

in TX, some of the highest expenditures per pupil are in 'innter cities'.

The federal gov't likely does more to fund 'higher education' through grants, student loan programs. The state gov't provides state colleges. Any kid in TX with good academics can likely get a near free education at a higher institution of learning if the family is in 'poverty'.

FICA 1 and 2 do not fund national defense. And yes, if any of the 'poor' have money in 401K/IRA, a checking account, savings bonds, a mortgage, then SEC and bank regulation are necessary for them. And by the way, banks pay a percentage of the total deposits as part of 'doing business'. FICA 1 and 2 do not fund health research, the FDA, the National Disease Center finding cures for many diseases that affect everyone, providing safe and edible food and tracking down problems immediately. Everyone benefits whether they pay incmoe taxes or not.

A 'wealthy' person or poor one eating contaminated food is just as likely to die from food poisoning. The dog or cat of a person could care less whether it is a rich owner or not if the food is bad for the pet.

It still comes down to every needs to pay some tax (even if only a pittance) to avoid having 'no pain' at tax time.

I'm amazed that the arguments always come back to

a) Those with 'wealth' need to pay pay pay - its not about income, it's about 'wealth' and confiscation of that wealth. Rather than increasing the level of all, it is about bringing down the 'rich' so the poor don't look as bad in comparison. Make everyone the 'lowest common denominator' and equally poor.

b) If you are opposed to taxing and spending, taxing and spending, you must be an evil ogre type wishing to see people in the poor house forever, living on dog food, unable to get an education.

Seems some of the brghtest minds, scientists, lawyers, worked their way up from lower income families BECAUSE they wanted to, not because they kept 'being a victim' all their lives, looking for ever increasing handouts.

t.





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Author: alaskack Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3605 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 3:04 PM
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telegraph: You don't tax 'net worth'. The Constitution does not permit taxing 'wealth'. That is why folks moved here in the first place, to avoid having their assets confiscated by the government to fund government folly.

Goofyhoofy: Actually, many moved here for religious freedom, taxes had nothing to do with it. Others moved here for economic opportunity, but again, "taxes" had nothing to do with it.

Wasn't the Revolutionary War which resulted in the Constitution over taxes? You know, the Boston Tea Party and taxation without representation thingy? While you are correct that religious freedom was one of the reasons for moving here, taxation was a reason for the Constitution.

Calvin



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Author: Diablo2Queen Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3608 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 3:23 PM
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You don't tax 'net worth'. The Constitution does not permit taxing 'wealth'. That is why folks moved here in the first place, to avoid having their assets confiscated by the government to fund government folly.

Bull(Poopie).

Ever heard of slavery and the middle passage?
Those people sure as hell weren't coming here for tax relief.

Ever heard of pogroms?
Not getting killed is a reason more important than whatever stupid conservative propaganda you're promoting.







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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3612 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 3:43 PM
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Not getting killed is a reason more important than whatever stupid conservative propaganda you're promoting.

Honestly, I'm starting to think that kill AND be killed is the only conservative agenda left.

6

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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3613 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 3:54 PM
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Many of the posters on this board started out "plainly wrong" and have since sunk to "dishonest" and/or "incomprehensible".

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3617 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 4:52 PM
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CM: May I ask why corporations. If one person owns a small business as a c-corp, why should that person pay taxes twice on the same company profits ?

I would say that it was his decision to form a corporation. Wonder why he did that? Is he stupid, or is there a benefit he is deriving?

cliff

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3618 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 5:14 PM
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If I were withdrawing money from my IRA at a rate that, combined with my wife's pension, gave us a gross income of $68,000, we'd be paying somewhere around $7420 in combined income taxes giving an effective combined income tax rate of just under 11% on the income. The effect on our net worth is about .00034%.

Wow!!! With that kind of wealth, why are you wasting your time posting here???:-)









[[$7420 is .00034% of $2.18 billion]]

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3619 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 5:18 PM
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I would say that it was his decision to form a corporation. Wonder why he did that? Is he stupid, or is there a benefit he is deriving?

Generally speaking, corporations protect the officers of the corporation from liabilities incurred by the corporation except in instances of malfeasance.

However, the person in c-man's example got bad advice from his accountant. He should have formed an S-Corporation or an LLC, which provide many of the same liability protections, but pay no corporate income taxes. Instead corporate taxes are paid by the individual shareholders of the company.




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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3620 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 5:22 PM
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Generally speaking, corporations protect the officers of the corporation from liabilities incurred by the corporation except in instances of malfeasance.

However, the person in c-man's example got bad advice from his accountant. He should have formed an S-Corporation or an LLC, which provide many of the same liability protections, but pay no corporate income taxes. Instead corporate taxes are paid by the individual shareholders of the company.


i knew that all sounded vaguely familiar ...

so, what's a c-corp?

do shareholders .really. pay double tax? (seems anything 'paid' to the s/h would be income to them (taxable), but expense to the corp (NOT taxable profit)


-

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3623 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 5:45 PM
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<<do shareholders .really. pay double tax? (seems anything 'paid' to the s/h would be income to them (taxable), but expense to the corp (NOT taxable profit)
>>



Not since Bush's tax reforms.


But they will expire in 2010 unless they are renewed. Then Corporations paying dividends will have those dividends taxed. And individuals receiving those dividends will be taxed again as income.

Again.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3625 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 5:50 PM
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i knew that all sounded vaguely familiar ...

so, what's a c-corp?

do shareholders .really. pay double tax? (seems anything 'paid' to the s/h would be income to them (taxable), but expense to the corp (NOT taxable profit)


A c-corp is a normal corporation, the way most corporations are organized. To answer your other question, it depends on how you look at it. For example, with an S-corp or an LLC, the shareholders have to pay FICA on their distributions and everything is taxed as ordinary income. If you are a shareholder of a c-corp, you don't pay FICA and dividends are taxed at a lower rate. I believe common shares are not expensible to the corporation, so it an after profit distribution. But obviously it really depends on a lot of things as to which way you pay more (less) tax.






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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3626 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/19/2007 6:06 PM
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do shareholders .really. pay double tax? (seems anything 'paid' to the s/h would be income to them (taxable), but expense to the corp (NOT taxable profit)
--------
A c-corp is a normal corporation, the way most corporations are organized. To answer your other question, it depends on how you look at it. For example, with an S-corp or an LLC, the shareholders have to pay FICA on their distributions and everything is taxed as ordinary income. If you are a shareholder of a c-corp, you don't pay FICA and dividends are taxed at a lower rate. I believe common shares are not expensible to the corporation, so it an after profit distribution. But obviously it really depends on a lot of things as to which way you pay more (less) tax.


thanks ...
it's coming back i think (Corp.Tax was one law-school class i didn't sleep through)

.... so if you take salary from the corp, it's expense (non-taxable to the corp), but you pay 'regular' income tax & FICA

.... but if you take everything as dividends from the corp, it comes from after-tax (corp.rate) profits, and you pay a lower rate & no FICA ...

in the latter case, there is 'double' tax .but maybe at a lower average rate (thx to no FICA) than is paid by people who work for a living.



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Author: MrCheeryO Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3641 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/20/2007 8:36 AM
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...That is why folks moved here in the first place, to avoid having their assets confiscated by the government to fund government folly....

Exactly why I could never support Bush/Cheney, Tom "The Snake" DeLay or any Republican.

They have confiscated my assets every day with their borrow and spend "weak dollar" policy. Them Saudis and Canadians and Iranians want more US$$$$ for their oil because the US dollar is worth so much less than a mere six years ago.

Every time I fill 'er up I say, "Yep, Bush/Cheney and "The Snake" consficating my assets, again." Wacky.

And even worse, because of their insane new debt of yond abouts 3 trillion dollars and counting, they will consficate the assets of my kiddies and grandkiddies to pay for their goofy wars and corporate welfare state. (See: Haliburton and Big Pharma and farmer welfare queens).

Anyway, saw "The Snake" on the TV this morning and he said Republicans like Al Gonzales should always fight and never give up. Don't be like "The Snake", who folded like a cheap suit when he was indicted. Apparently he has some stupid new book he wants you to pay for and read about that or something.

Dump Bush/Cheney in Boston Harbor?


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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3650 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/20/2007 10:59 AM
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There is a board and a thread for such comments.


c

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3734 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/22/2007 6:16 PM
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Wasn't the Revolutionary War which resulted in the Constitution over taxes? You know, the Boston Tea Party and taxation without representation thingy? While you are correct that religious freedom was one of the reasons for moving here, taxation was a reason for the Constitution.

Taxation was only one of the reasons for the Revolutionary War. It was the many and varied laws emanating from Parliament (in England) which controlled the lives of the Colonists, only some of which were about "taxation." (It is true that linking the two, as in "Taxation without Representation" was a great marketing ploy, but it was not the only reason for the Colonists discontent.)

The level of control was great; Parliament forbade the construction of industries which would have allowed the colonies to become self-sufficient. You couldn't legally make a shovel in the colonies; you had to buy it from England. That (and many similar restrictions) made the colonies an economic vassal. (That was OK for a while; many countries have survived periods of colonial resource extraction - but eventually they get tired of that and rebel.)

The following events represent the major events along the way to war. While it would be hard to point to any one event that singularly led to the Revolution, there is no doubt that the American view that they were entitled to the full democratic rights of Englishmen, while the British view that the American colonies were just colonies to be used and exploited in whatever way best suited the Great Britain, insured that war was inevitable.
http://www.historycentral.com/revolt/causes.html

Some things were simply that Parliament changed the Colonial overlords without consulting anyone in the Colonies. They decreed that their representatives in the Colonies would be paid by Parliament, rather than through Colonial taxation, as had been the case. (This, obviously, would insure their loyalty to England and not let them be corrupted by those unreasonable colonists.) Yes, they added, then subtracted many taxes - but the issue was not "taxes" per se, heck, the first thing the Continental Congress did was to pass taxes of its own. It was about representation.

You might want to glance through the Constitution. You'll be surprised how few words are spent discussing "taxes", and how many are spent on other things, presumably hot-button issues of the day, such as "free speech", "freedom of religion", "gun possession", "not quartering soldiers in your house without consent", "right to counsel", "speedy trial", "unreasonable search and seizure" and all the other illnesses which the Mother Country had visited upon the colonists - and who had no redress, since they were not represented in Parliament.

Telegraph is simply wrong when he says "people moved here to stop having their assets confiscated to fund government folly." I know of almost no instances of wealthy people moving to the colonies to preserve their assets. With the exception of those who were given land grants - and who were thereby automatically wealthy, most people who came here were desperately poor, or persecuted because of religion, or in some other state of need.
 


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Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/22/2007 6:25 PM
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As usual you are mixing a bunch of facts to present a false argument. Wealthier schools come from wealthier communities paying higher property taxes, not from higher income and use taxes. In fact in my state the poorest school districts get the largest per capita largess from the state government for education.

Well that's true.

However it appears to me that the conversation morphed from "income taxes" to "taxes". I say this because it was telegraph himself who said:

"The "rich" don't use 10,000 times as much or 1 million times as much federal dollars for one person. They have one car on the highway, just like a low income earner who owns a car. They have one or two kids in school. (or maybe the 'rich' don't even use public school money. But certainly many in the top 10% of income do.... they need one fire dept, one ambulance service, one set of national defense.

How much of "income taxes" go for "fire department", or "ambulance service"? How much for "highways"? And how much for "schools"?

If you want to accuse someone of mixing the message, start with the original mixer, who railed against confiscatory "income taxes", and then went on to show a litany of examples which have exactly nothing to do with "income taxes."

Thanks.

In the meantime, I'll stick to the story that low-wage earners pay plenty in total taxes, often - as a percentage - as much or more than high income people. And I'll even stick to the story that wealthy people get more use out of taxes. Not each and every one, and I'm sure you could point to outliers a plenty of poor people who do better and wealthy people who do worse. But overall, on balance, I think the wealthy get plenty of bang for their tax buck. Mucho plenty, in fact.
 


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Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/22/2007 7:49 PM
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<<Wasn't the Revolutionary War which resulted in the Constitution over taxes? You know, the Boston Tea Party and taxation without representation thingy? While you are correct that religious freedom was one of the reasons for moving here, taxation was a reason for the Constitution.

Taxation was only one of the reasons for the Revolutionary War. It was the many and varied laws emanating from Parliament (in England) which controlled the lives of the Colonists, only some of which were about "taxation." (It is true that linking the two, as in "Taxation without Representation" was a great marketing ploy, but it was not the only reason for the Colonists discontent.)

The level of control was great; Parliament forbade the construction of industries which would have allowed the colonies to become self-sufficient. You couldn't legally make a shovel in the colonies; you had to buy it from England. That (and many similar restrictions) made the colonies an economic vassal. (That was OK for a while; many countries have survived periods >>



Contemplating the reasons for the War of Independence is indeed interesting.


One can be pretty sure that such a war for independence would not have occurred had the Brits not succeeded in ejecting the French from North America as a result of the French and Indian War. Colonial sensibilities weren't too sharp when that kind of self interest and threat existed.


In the absence of such threats, colonial sensitivities could develop at little cost. Even so, for years colonists sought the "Rights f Englishmen" rather than independence and self rule.


In any case, what the constitution is about the most is republican rule through self government. We are mostly not bound by the opinions and values of the founders, but responsible for ourselves through a system of self government.

There is certainly a long history of popular opposition to new taxes and tax increases, and an equally long and even more powerful bias towards ever more muscular government and higher taxes.

But you should be glad for the opposition to higher taxes that conservatives and the right often offer, Goofyhoofy. Without it I would suppose that taxes would be so high that even you would find yourself opposing them.



Seattle Pioneer



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Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/22/2007 8:18 PM
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But you should be glad for the opposition to higher taxes that conservatives and the right often offer, Goofyhoofy. Without it I would suppose that taxes would be so high that even you would find yourself opposing them.

Unless, of course, I valued the investment and the results which they produce.

For instance, suppose I think that having an educated populace is a good idea, and benefits me. I could stay in America, where I pay taxes on such a thing, even though I have no children. Or I could move to Egypt, where there are no public schools, and where children spend their days weaving rugs in the basements of rug stores. Which works better in the long run?

I'm pretty sure having more college education is better than less, so those taxes which support universities - perhaps through scholarships, loans to low-income students, research projects - is better than having less college education.

Suppose I think that have a collective investment in science is what has propelled our economy above all others in the world. I suppose I could make the case that having a few extra bucks in my wallet would be good, although I'm not sure how that would help us develop nuclear power. Or satellites. Which companies would be funding the superconducting supercollider? How would Hubble have gotten funded? There were several dozen telephone companies, hundreds of content providers, thousands of television networks around the world, but not one of them invented the internet. Maybe the development from Darpa to the internet was a good use of tax funds, you think?

Pretend, for a moment, that I believe it was the Erie Canal which led to the rapid industrialization of the North, or that it was the Hoover Dam which brought electricity to the SouthWest, or the TVA which tamed the many and various rivers of the SouthEast and provided power to Oak Ridge so they could separate fissile U-235 from the raw uranium ore and help construct the atomic bomb which ended World War II. Those are all taxes which had a huge payoff, and I am glad we had them.

There are some which have not such an obvious payoff. I am glad to pay taxes which put an attorney at the hands of the indigent, and personally it's OK with me if we feed children who come from homes without a lot of money, but then that's just me.

Now, are there taxes which I abhor? Certainly. George Bush's salary, for instance ;) Also price supports for tobacco, art exhibits featuring urine, and things like that. I would have added "Bridges to Nowhere", but it seems Republicans didn't really care about that, so it's a bad example, at least for your argument.

In sum, I view taxes as the price I pay to live in the richest, strongest, freest, most powerful nation in the history of the world. Every place has a price of admission. You would rather pay less, but somehow you think you can get in to Disneyland for $1.50, and it just isn't so. I am happy to be able to pay the price of admission to this particular place, and I happen to believe that "taxes" are part of what put us in this happy state.
 


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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3740 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/22/2007 8:19 PM
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<<In the meantime, I'll stick to the story that low-wage earners pay plenty in total taxes, often - as a percentage - as much or more than high income people. And I'll even stick to the story that wealthy people get more use out of taxes. Not each and every one, and I'm sure you could point to outliers a plenty of poor people who do better and wealthy people who do worse. But overall, on balance, I think the wealthy get plenty of bang for their tax buck. Mucho plenty, in fact. >>



Somehow Goofy, I don't think I'm going to hear you weighing in on higher sales taxes so that the poor will wind up paying their fair share. I would call the varying tax rates you describe as more of a simple coincidence rather than any kind of plan.


Washington State has no income tax and a high sales tax (8.8% at present).


I rather like this state's tax system, since paying taxes is somewhat voluntary. You don't pay sales taxes unless you buy something (food, drugs, medical care and rent exempt from sales taxes). You get taxed on the value of your car, boat or airplane, but only if you have one.

You get taxed on the value of your home or property, but you can economize on those by buying cheap if you wish.


Spend thrifts get hit pretty hard with state taxes, but frugal people like myself can keep taxes paid down considerably.

Of course, liberals tend to hate the state's tax system with a passion, and have tried many times to institute income taxes and make it more "progressive." Mostly these efforts have been refused by taxpayers, although some things like exempting food and drugs from sales taxes have been agreed to.


The net result of this tax system is that working people get hit quite a bit by state taxes, and hence there is often a good deal of interest by working people in controlling state spending. By contrast, a lot of really wealthy people seem always interested in big dollar government spending programs which they often benefit from but often don't pay for very much.




SWeattle Pioneer


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Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/22/2007 8:38 PM
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<<I'm pretty sure having more college education is better than less, so those taxes which support universities - perhaps through scholarships, loans to low-income students, research projects - is better than having less college education.
>>


Having subsidies for education no doubt does pay dividends for the economy and the country as a whole. But paying too much in subsidies encourages waste of various kinds, and there is plenty of evidence of that in education as well.

Public schools through high school too often turn out a poor product, and there seems to be a lot of resistance to improving the quality of education students receive. We'd probably be a lot better by diverting significant numbers of students into vaocational education programs rather than trying to track so many people into college type programs.


Similarly, too many poor prepared, poorly motivated and marginally talented people wind up in colleges, only to do poorly and drop out.

While I got a Master's degree in a program that tracked people into managing union and HR departments, I was not suited by personality for such work and wound up as a tradesman, wasting that rather high level of preparation for work I couldn't do.


So trying to do too much with education is a waste as well, I think.


The biggest crime is the sorry state of too many poorly prepared high school graduates, laregly a function of the politics of public education which can't hold students, parents teachers or institutions accountable for perfomance. That comes at a very high cost to children and society.

<<In sum, I view taxes as the price I pay to live in the richest, strongest, freest, most powerful nation in the history of the world. Every place has a price of admission. You would rather pay less, but somehow you think you can get in to Disneyland for $1.50, and it just isn't so. I am happy to be able to pay the price of admission to this particular place, and I happen to believe that "taxes" are part of what put us in this happy state. >>



Unfortunately, you seem too willing to take pride in paying the price, but not in seeing to it that the money you pay gets results. Paying for public schools which fail to educate significant numbers of children in appropriate ways is not much to crow about, in my view.


I have one nephew graduating from a public high school this year who has been accepted into the honors program of the University of Washington and their computer science program, and will probably be accepted into a couple of other excellent private schools.

The son of a cousin is graduating from Seattle's top public high school and is a National Merit Scholar.

I am pleased that they have made public schools work for them in excellent ways. But perhaps we might agree that for too many students in public schools, the schools and the students aren't doing the job they should. That is a tragedy, and a scandal.




Seattle Pioneer










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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3743 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/22/2007 9:20 PM
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There are way too many students who 'graduate' from high school who can't do the math to balance a check book, or couldn't name more than 6 Presidents of the USA. Yet tens of billions are spend on public education that has deteriorated into 'being PC' all the time at the expense of having thinking students.

Likely half the folks in college are not there to learn, but to get a 'degree' in 'something'.

When I went for my Master's Degree in the 80s, (I had been out of college for more than 15 years), it was amazing how lax the majority of the students in the 'full time' program were. Many of them just taking the easiest courses they could, to get enough credits to graduate. Many of them failed to graduate because they could not pass the comprehensive test at the end.

All too many wasted too much money (whether from their parents or scholarships or loans) wandering around in acedemia, not having any specific job direction or interests, changing majors every few years to delay actually going out and working.

A part of them were very serious. I finished the program in 2 1/2 years at night, going year round. My employer at the time paid most of my tuition. After I graduated, I took another six courses just for the material, in a second program toward a second Master's which I unfortunately could not complete due to job transfer.

Not that this hasn't always been the case. Back in the 60s, 1/3rd of my freshman class never made it to graduation for undergraduate degree. Some learned early they weren't prepared, or engineering wasn't the job track for them, or their interests lie elsewhere. Others took a year or two to have it soak in.

There is more emphasis on 'sports' at many high schools than academic achievement. A good part of that is parents and their expectations. The average "American family" just doesn't seem to value education highly, while many from Asia value it highly and do very well in the same schools and colleges.

In many states, STATE income taxes fund education, and in nearly every state, STATE income taxes fund colleges and universities. Only a few states have no income taxes, and they make that up by higher real estate taxes (that go to the state gov't in large part), state sales taxes, motor vehicle taxes, etc.

The fed gov't kicks back money to education through school lunches, 'headstart' programs, teacher incentive money programs, and various other programs(food give aways). Don't tell me there isn't a gigantic federal burocracy on "education" with thousands of federal employees tracking hundreds of fed programs. My sister has been working on one small program that 'tracks things' that costs tens of millions of dollars to track a program that gives away tens of millions of federal dollars for this and that program. And she is just part of a thousand person 'outsourcing' effort to track where the federal money is going, and if it is 'effective' (big joke....the folks never provide the needed data back to track things the right way.....but the fed bucks flow like water).

The gov't spends a hundred million a year tracking 'compliance' to this and that federal mandate (half the time from courts) about title whatever equal gyms for boys and girls, about school busing mileage and percent integration in ten thousand plus schools, about this program or that program..... which usually winds up proving nothing but spending extra tens of millions to stuff data into useless programs where 1/2 the data is missing and the other half is fudged to start with.

It is a monster that gets bigger and bigger each year. The only way to stop it is to kill entire departments and programs, and that never seems to be politically possible.


t.



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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3748 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/23/2007 12:29 AM
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SeattlePioneer: Somehow Goofy, I don't think I'm going to hear you weighing in on higher sales taxes so that the poor will wind up paying their fair share.

http://news.yahoo.com/comics/uclickcomics/20070323/cx_cand_uc/cand20070323;_ylt=AgQTsrLL7LwqE8esQQbWqdJ8oswF

cliff

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3750 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/23/2007 12:53 AM
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http://news.yahoo.com/comics/uclickcomics/20070323/cx_cand_uc/cand20070323;_ylt=AgQTsrLL7LwqE8esQQbWqdJ8oswF


along with other time zones and planets ...



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Author: ChurchyLaFemme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3751 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/23/2007 1:03 AM
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........

The gov't spends a hundred million a year tracking 'compliance' to this and that federal mandate (half the time from courts) about title whatever equal gyms for boys and girls, about school busing mileage and percent integration in ten thousand plus schools, about this program or that program..... which usually winds up proving nothing but spending extra tens of millions to stuff data into useless programs where 1/2 the data is missing and the other half is fudged to start with.

.......


If you spent 1/10th the mental and emotional energy on things you actually have control over, you'd be amazed at how much better your life would be and how much better you would feel.

You don't have any control over what the government does or does not do. The only one you have any control over is yourself. You can't control government spending, but you can control your own. You can't control the idiocy of others, but you can avoid your own form of idiocy. Like wasting all that energy being pissed off at every little thing that strikes you as wrong.

My wife has an aunt that is constantly complaining about people and things over whom/which she has absolutely no control. She wastes days and hours fretting over things about which she can do absolutely nothing. It's exhausting just being around her. As both her daughters say, she sucks the air out of any room she's in. We live next door to her. We're getting out of here.

Churchy






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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3754 of 60036
Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/23/2007 8:11 AM
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Unfortunately, you seem too willing to take pride in paying the price, but not in seeing to it that the money you pay gets results.

What a curious response. The "results" are all around me. As I have said - repeatedly until I'm blue in the face, frankly - the "results" are that this is the richest, strongest nation in the history of the world. I like to look at results.

The "results" I see are England, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Canada - countries with governments which invest tax money in improving the infrastructure and the human capital in their countries. I see other "results", too, where governments do NOT do that: Burma, Egypt, Somalia and the like.

So trying to do too much with education is a waste as well, I think.

If you are trying to lecture me that all those investments are not "perfect", well, big surprise. There is waste in everything. Every company I ever worked for had waste. Sometimes I buy vegetables and then have to throw them out before I get a chance to eat them. Some of the stocks in my portfolio were mistakes, and I have made a bad investment.

The telling is in the final results. Based on reality, a novel concept, I realize, the investments that American government has made - in science, in technology, in infrastructure, in human capital, in education, MUST have been pretty good, since the results have been so good. Or else I am living in the equivalent of the mega-lottery world, where all the investments have been stupid but somehow we still managed to pull the winning ticket.

I am pleased that they have made public schools work for them in excellent ways. But perhaps we might agree that for too many students in public schools, the schools and the students aren't doing the job they should.

I feel the same way about my broccoli. I wish it was perfect and would last forever, but that's never going to happen. Could it be better? Yes. Could schools be better? Yes. Is the way to improve them to reduce their funding and cut people's taxes so they can buy an X-box? I don't think so.

Based on how swell our privatization of the Armed Forces has worked, based on how swell our privatization of environmental protection has worked, based on how swell our privatization of the health care system is working, I'm reluctant to say that a move to privatize the grade school level education system is a terrific idea. Call me kooky.
 


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Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/23/2007 8:45 AM
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But you should be glad for the opposition to higher taxes that conservatives and the right often offer, Goofyhoofy. Without it I would suppose that taxes would be so high that even you would find yourself opposing them.

I doubt your kids or grand kids will be all that glad. They are the ones that will have to pay for your selfish attitude. You do realize the Bush government spends more than it takes in. You do realize we have record deficits.

Also, I'm sorry that you were led to believe that Bush's war in Iraq was free. Reality is that taxes will have to be raised to pay for his stupidity. Surely you don't think future generations should have to pay for our generations colossal mistake?


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Subject: Re: Claiming SS Without Guilt Date: 3/23/2007 9:32 AM
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I doubt your kids or grand kids will be all that glad. They are the ones that will have to pay for your selfish attitude. You do realize the Bush government spends more than it takes in. You do realize we have record deficits.

Also, I'm sorry that you were led to believe that Bush's war in Iraq was free. Reality is that taxes will have to be raised to pay for his stupidity. Surely you don't think future generations should have to pay for our generations colossal mistake?


It's not just "future generations". It's this generation, right now. We're paying $400,000,000 a year in interest on the national debt. That's real money, paid about half to foreigners and foreign banks, and who get US tax dollars every year from us.

That's like funding another war in Iraq, except it seems invisible, so nobody cares.

400 billion dollars. Every year. Up 25% since 2000. If that's not a "tax increase", I don't know what it is. It's tax dollars not able to be used for anything in this country, or able to be returned to taxpayers in the first place.

"Tax cut" my left ankle. A terrific game of "hide the pea."
 


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