Lion of the Blogosphere

Wealthy can pay a lot more tax

The New York Times rebuts the conservative argument that the rich are taxed too much.

It is “absurd” to argue that most wealth at the top is already highly taxed or that there isn’t much more revenue to be had by raising taxes on the 1 percent, says the economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel in economic science, who has written extensively about inequality. “The only upside of the concentration of the wealth at the top is that they have more money to pay in taxes,” he said.

Raising their total tax burden to, say, 40 percent would generate about $157 billion in revenue the first year. Increasing it to 45 percent brings in a whopping $276 billion. Even taking account of state and local taxes, the average household in this group would still take home at least $1 million a year.

If the tax increase were limited to just the 115,000 households in the top 0.1 percent, with an average income of $9.4 million, a 40 percent tax rate would produce $55 billion in extra revenue in its first year.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 17, 2015 at 10:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

109 Responses

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  1. The editorial assumes that the government will do a better job of using the swing/marginal dollars than the taxpayers. That is a bad assumption. My marginal dollars–the ones that would go to the government if my taxes were raised–are used to purchase a variety of goods and services that help to keep other Americans employed and their families fed. They also go to a variety of charitable causes.

    Chris

    October 17, 2015 at 10:25 am

    • “The editorial assumes that the government will do a better job of using the swing/marginal dollars than the taxpayers.”

      The money could simply be used to lower taxes on the bottom 90%, so it would be citizens spending the money and not the government.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 17, 2015 at 11:32 am

      • You yourself have said they will simply use this extra money to spend on prolish consumables rather than investments. Exactly why is this desirable? By the way, rich people buying a third house (any house past the first one is a consumable) isn’t any better.

        Who knows how to redistribute status? That’s what people really want. Actually, when will corporate and swpl types simply learn how to be nice to those who don’t want to be like them? When will there be an ass-hole tax? Yes, tax ass-holes.

        cultural meat grinder

        October 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      • Any serious economist, not simply crazy free market ones, believe taxes will have to be raised on the 90% too to cover debt obligations.

        This is wishful thinking.

        Dain

        October 17, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      • A large percentage of the bottom 90% pay little or nothing in federal taxes but receive all kinds of benefits paid for by other taxpayers. In this respect they’re freeloaders or parasites. How exactly is that more fair?

        Jonathan Silber

        October 17, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      • What percentage “pay nothing” in federal taxes? You might be talking about federal *income* taxes, but most Americans pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes. If you break groups down to quintiles and then take into all of the taxes everyone pays, you’ll find that the rate is relatively flat.

        Vince

        October 17, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      • The Bush tax cuts already lowered taxes on the bottom 90%.

        dsgntd_plyr

        October 17, 2015 at 7:32 pm

  2. When it comes to voting my single issue is taxes. That’s it. Single and renting in NYC, while paying over 50% in tax is not fun. I don’t get any deductions, and I get the bill for supporting other people’s kids, including pre-k now, and other people’s homes (rent control is like that). I see a lot of people around that live on basically hand-outs. Sorry, but I work for my living, and when you pay over 50% in tax you have to worry: do you work for yourself or for somebody else? Also, it’s worth pointing out that US has the most progressive taxes in the world… by far! I’m ok with paying more taxes if EVERYBODY pays the same. The democrats in the debate where “debating” which way to screw me by raising my taxes and helping loosers in the South Bronx with more handouts. The argument put forward is that I can afford to pay more. Fuck that. No I can’t.

    Zack

    October 17, 2015 at 10:30 am

    • Higher taxes on the rich means they’d have less money to give to their children living in Manhattan who are increasing the cost of rent because they are flush with cash they didn’t earn. So the cost of rent would come down. You’d personally benefit.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 17, 2015 at 11:34 am

      • This depends on how sensitive to income changes the demand for luxury housing and housing in high-demand neighborhoods is among the rich. I suspect it’s not very sensitive at all and to tax the rich to the point they stop driving up rents in places like NYC would take a truly huge tax rate.

        chairman

        October 17, 2015 at 11:51 am

      • Would raising the tax burden of the rich to 45% get this effect? Unlikely.

        The quickest way to lower rents and get rid of the annoying rich kids, if you really want it, is to use De Blasio to return to a 70s-era level of crime and dysfunction for a decade or so.

        Glengarry

        October 20, 2015 at 4:45 am

    • I’ve been saying this for quite sometime. Any who has taxable income in NYC, is subsidizing the undesirables who live there.

      JS

      October 17, 2015 at 11:34 am

      • Why do undesirables need to live in NYC? I mean if the only work you are qualified for is food service, why live in NYC? You aren’t going to be able to do any of the fun stuff there anyway. You could have a better life elsewhere.

        not too late

        October 19, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      • Not too late — NYC has the best housing project complexes in the nation. Furthermore, undesirables could never have the convenience in other parts of the country, simply because NYC has everything shoved into one place. No need for a car, and NYC’s politics is very NAM and immigrant friendly!

        JS

        October 19, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    • Though I certainly sympathize, I’m afraid you have the wrong single issue.

      Glengarry

      October 20, 2015 at 4:37 am

  3. In theory it’s not a bad idea but as a practical matter the middle class and moderately wealthy would end up getting screwed by such a tax increase, sooner or later.

    Note that the original income tax applied only to the top few percent. I myself am nowhere near the 1% but I still pay AMT.

    sabril

    October 17, 2015 at 10:43 am

    • In theory it’s not a bad idea but as a practical matter the middle class and moderately wealthy would end up getting screwed by such a tax increase, sooner or later.

      The absolute number of wealthy isn’t large enough to close the budget deficit long term, even if their rates are levied at high percentages.

      For this reason, Sweden’s welfare state is paid for by heavy taxes (VAT, income, payroll, sales…) on middle class Swedes; and, while ordinary Swedes are buried under punitive taxation, rich Swedes still get around more than a little of their obligations by offshoring accounts to Switzerland, the UK, and other investment friendly havens.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      October 17, 2015 at 4:55 pm

  4. This post drips with envy. Besides the numbers are peanuts. Karl Denninger estimates simply enforcing the anti-monopoly laws to the medical industry would save the federal budget $900 to $1000 billion a year (medicare and medicaid).

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=230529

    Andrew E.

    October 17, 2015 at 10:48 am

    • I dunno… the writing on that site is prole. It looks like the rantings of a lunatic. Very ransom note-ish. Francis E. Dec. Esq. lives.

      Vince

      October 17, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      • Prole or not, what matters is whether he’s right about the magnitude of the effects of the medical monopolies on the budget and health care costs

        Andrew E.

        October 18, 2015 at 4:58 pm

  5. And Bill Gates can afford to pay $100 for a pack of gum, but that doesn’t make it right/fair.

    Brendan

    October 17, 2015 at 11:40 am

    • Bill Gates is a Democrat; if he thought high taxes were really that unfair he’d be voting Republican.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

      • “Bill Gates is a Democrat; if he thought high taxes were really that unfair he’d be voting Republican.”

        Bill Gates doesn’t care that much for politics, since he uses the big charity loophole to do his agenda in the world. At that kind of money you don’t care about politics, since you’re really above it (and pay no tax anyway due to charity work)

        Also, Bill Gates would tend democrate for PR reasons. Sounds much better to show that you care for the poor. Look, if Bill Gates cared about inequality that much, he could just increase the engineers’ salaries (middle class) at MSFT and put all the profit in them. Did he do that? No! He just pays market rate and lobbies to get more workforce from the outside to lower the costs.

        Also, I think Gates and Buffet do their charities for ego. They want a place in history that goes beyound tycoon. Building churches or universities like the previous rich people is not enough. Ego. That’s it.

        Zack

        October 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      • That’s the only rational reason for sticking it to the rich — raise their taxes until they agree their taxes are high enough and they stop with this leftwing nonsense. The problem with raising taxes, however, is that it’s used to subsidize people who should have never been allowed in the country in the first place. I recently read that 75.2% of immigrant households with children receive medicaid and 85.8% receive food aid. We’re talking trillions of dollars of spending. So, basically, taxes are being used to fund a 3rd world invasion. The only thing these high taxes accomplish is to turn 1st world countries into 3rd world countries. Not much sense in raising taxes to fill a bucket with no bottom in it. Might as well keep taxes low and let the debt chips hit the fan sooner rather than later. That will only mean fewer 3rd world parasites to kick out when the time comes.

        destructure

        October 17, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      • If he likes his taxes high, he can forgo the break he gets on them for his charitable work. Does he do so?

        And even if he thought the amount of taxes he pays unfair, he probably wouldn’t vote Republican if, as is likely, the crowd he runs with votes Democrat: he would risk losing the approval of his friends—and in some cases, the friends themselves.

        Jonathan Silber

        October 18, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      • I keep getting the impression that Gates grew up in a Rockefeller Republican type of family. I think his father is long-time friends with Dan Evans who was a three term liberal Republican Governor and later one term US Senator of Washington State back in the 60s. There was an entire party faction surrounding Evans back in the day that has now effectively disappeared.

        Curle

        October 18, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      • Bill and the rest of Silicon Valley probably didn’t care much about politics before that unfortunate DoJ affair in the 90s. But that was Washington’s way to tell them to play ball, and as we know things are rather different now.

        Glengarry

        October 20, 2015 at 4:56 am

  6. They can, but who cares? We don’t NEED more tax revenue from the rich because we don’t need more tax revenue to spend more. So politically unpopular policy, like tax increases, should be tempered. The only taxes I would favor increasing would be the estate tax, and not with the goal of raising revenue but with the goal of diminishing the importance of inherited wealth.

    chairman

    October 17, 2015 at 11:48 am

    • “They can, but who cares? We don’t NEED more tax revenue from the rich because we don’t need more tax revenue to spend more. So politically unpopular policy, like tax increases, should be tempered. The only taxes I would favor increasing would be the estate tax, and not with the goal of raising revenue but with the goal of diminishing the importance of inherited wealth.”

      I do agree with that. To make the point stronger, take 2 different guys who were financially successful, say both with 10m. But 1 leaves his 100m to 1 child, while the other to 10 (children and grand-children, etc). The second one is better for society, since it helps 10 people, not 1, and those 10 will have to work in the society, whereas the 1 will not. I think the taxes on these 2 scenarios should be at a different rate. You don’t want to tax via income tax on the financially successful, because part of why he’s working hard is to save for his followers, and taxing him will cut his willingness to work hard. But you do want to tax the extreme cases where wealth gets too concentrated via inheritance. In other words, you want to incentivize people to work and being able to help their kids does that, but you don’t want that wealth too concentrate too many generations. What is the proper decay for a function-able society? At one extreme you have 100% (which is tax everything, more extreme than communism) and at the other extreme is feudalism where basically only 1 follower will inherit the estate just so that the estate doesn’t get broken into many pieces. Both extreme are bad. I think the common sense answer is about 1-2-3 generations (kids, grandchildren, great grandchildren) at most. I also think this is roughly in the society that we live in. The Rockefeller’s used to be a chunk of the US GDP, but by breaking up their estate and being taxed, now their followers are more normal people. Sure, still rich at 4-6th generation, but there’s nobody like Rockefeller anymore (Gates/Buffet would be 1/10th of Rockefeller, and they’re leaving most of their wealth to charity).

      I think most of the discussion about taxing the rich is sour grapes. I think these people are better off taking advantage of what this country has to offer — a lot of opportunity (much more than Western Europe, btw).

      Zack

      October 17, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      • “You don’t want to tax via income tax on the financially successful, because part of why he’s working hard is to save for his followers, and taxing him will cut his willingness to work hard.”

        This is a fantasy. No one says “nah, I’m not gonna make that extra million because I’ll only keep 700,000 of it.”

        “I think most of the discussion about taxing the rich is sour grapes. I think these people are better off taking advantage of what this country has to offer — a lot of opportunity (much more than Western Europe, btw).”

        Social mobility figures tell a different factual story. There is much more opportunity in Western Europe.
        http://www.oecd.org/tax/public-finance/chapter%205%20gfg%202010.pdf

        The reasons not to tax the rich at an extraordinary level is that we simply don’t need it and it’s politically unpopular — even if the public supports taxes on very rich people, politicians who advocate for it tend to develop a general “high tax” image which makes them less popular with the middle class even if they aren’t going to increase middle class taxes (this was the case with Obama). So why do it if you don’t need to? Governments don’t NEED a source of funding because they are always the sole source of the currency. If your problem is inequality then rather than taxing the rich focus on increasing demand to drive up wages and social mobility and improving union protections.

        chairman

        October 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      • No chairman, there’s a lot less mobility in Europe. What those statistics are hiding is that European countries are much more homogeneous. An immigrant in France is fucked. (see the lawsuit with the Algerian work force not getting the same retirement benefits, in fact, not getting retirement benefits while working for the state-ownen railroad company) There’s a lot less immigration, especially when it comes to poor people and undesirables. They (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, etc) gather all the immigrant gypsies and send them back to Eastern Europe. How is that for mobility? I bet it’s not summarized in your numbers.

        Also, while education is liberalized in Western Europe and it’s easier to get a real education if you work hard (in US only the top top benefits of 100% need based fin aid), it’s much much more difficult in the business sector. So, as a local of Western Europe you may get a leg up in education, it’ll be harder on the business level, so you’ll end up working for big conglomerates not having much of a chance of breaking out yourself like you have in US.

        Zack

        October 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      • Now that you mention it, I seem to recall some states (Alabama?) bus their undesirables to San Francisco. I think that should be encouraged. And don’t forget to send all illegal immigrants you can find to the closest sanctuary city and let them enjoy the diversity. (We would like to ask you to quietly skip NYC as such a destination though.)

        Glengarry

        October 20, 2015 at 5:10 am

      • I think the EU legislation says that to move to another EU country you basically also have to get a job there, which gypsies and the like tend not to do. Obviously this rule is more honoured in the breach these days. Because we care.

        Glengarry

        October 20, 2015 at 5:14 am

      • “I think the EU legislation says that to move to another EU country you basically also have to get a job there, which gypsies and the like tend not to do. Obviously this rule is more honoured in the breach these days. Because we care.”

        Correct. Bernie mentioned generous social programs in Denmark. But what he didn’t mention was that to immigrate to Denmark, you need to pull your own. You get points for having education, being relatively young, having the right cultural values (college in EU), speaking English, as well as stuff about Denmark. Most people that get US citizenship would have no chance of getting the danish one.

        Zack

        October 20, 2015 at 8:50 am

      • What those statistics are hiding is that European countries are much more homogeneous. An immigrant in France is fucked. (see the lawsuit with the Algerian work force not getting the same retirement benefits, in fact, not getting retirement benefits while working for the state-ownen railroad company)

        Actually Western Europe is heterogenous. Britain is now 85% white while poor France might already be under 80% (France doesn’t break census data down by race; but from what I understand, proxy numbers suggest they, are at best, in the low 80s.)

        And don’t forget American immigrants are primarily multi-generational failures as well.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        October 20, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      • In the 1990s, 30% of black men in the UK had White female sexual partners. The percentage would be about 40%, even 50% in today’s stats. Everyone knows White women in the Anglosphere generally don’t mix with other racial minorities, in large numbers, but they do, when it comes to blacks. The same is happening in Germany today.

        JS

        October 21, 2015 at 10:25 am

      • And TUJ – I’m sure you’re quite fond of the upcoming Star Wars movie, starring 2 brit actors, that hints interracial unions of black men and white women.

        JS

        October 21, 2015 at 10:27 am

    • Great, and yet readers here complain about NAMs and unsavory immigrants polluting White values in Meriprolestan; meanwhile, Europe isn’t a conducive place for non-Whites to get generous entitlements.

      JS

      October 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm

  7. This isn’t even a drop in the bucket to pay for Bernie’s 18 Trillion wish list. If they were trying to defend the Democratic candidates new spending agenda, they failed miserably.

    Mike Street Station

    October 17, 2015 at 11:54 am

    • If you are going to hammer bernie (fair enough) atleast don’t use mouth breathing prole tea party spin. You do realize the amount we spend on health care is 2x-3x the 18 trillion over the period in question (which is mostly driven due to a medicare for all system espoused by sanders).

      Moving to a medicare for all system in the US would definitely force health care spending per capita to fall in the US.

      Now you can argue whether or not quality will fall or R&D will take a huge hit. That’s a valid argument to have.

      Even bernie has a tough time explaining the full economic picture though, after he released that plan.

      uatu

      October 18, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      • You’ve just disclosed the problem with the statement, “…the amount we spend on health care is 2x-3x the 18 trillion over the period in question.” Do you mean the amount of GDP dedicated to health care? Or just the cost of Medicare? Medicare over 10 years would be far less than that, about 6 trillion. But 18 trillion new spending is….new spending. It’s fair to ask if we can afford to spend the same amount on Bernies programs over 10 years as the entire US GDP for one year.

        Mike Street Station

        October 19, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    • It’s funny that most of socialist Bernie’s spending quietly goes not to the poor but to the middle class (free health care, free college, etc). Apart from the small issue that paying for the goodies inevitably will boomerang back to the same middle class, it’s almost worth voting for, eh?

      Glengarry

      October 20, 2015 at 5:23 am

  8. chairman

    October 17, 2015 at 11:59 am

  9. When so much of the tax is redistributed to hostiles, additional taxation is strictly worse than having the same money set on fire.

    FD

    October 17, 2015 at 12:35 pm

  10. Rich people need to be taxed more. They have too much money to advocate for open borders. Why should we do them any favors? They use their money to advocate for our displacement.

    Dave

    October 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    • And their own, but they don’t seem to care. I guess they all think their gated community and private school will be the last to get overwhelmed by the savage hordes.

      Tarl

      October 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm

  11. I’m squarely in the 1% ( >$1M annual income) and from my vantage, two things are true:

    1) I could pay more taxes and not really care. It wouldn’t impact the way I spend, save, or invest to have a couple extra thousand dollars siphoned off my pile.

    2) The American government spends way way too much on such stupid stuff, that I have no confidence increased revenues would lead to a much better world for my loved ones.

    I like my fellow Americans, and would absolutely vote to raise my own taxes (ie. vote for Democrats) if Democrats were serious about cutting military spending (almost 700B annually – could easily be cut by 10-20% without a reduction in our capabilities), getting into fewer no-win foreign wars, and shutting the border so my tax dollars ACTUALLY BENEFITTED CURRENT AMERICANS.

    As it is, most of our (generally reasonable) wealth distribution policies are off-set by our (insane) immigration and (incompetent) trade policies. The money goes from my bank account, through Uncle Sam, and into the hands of Haliburton, Central American illegal immigrants, and various and sundry other beneficiaries I have no great love for.

    So I end up griping about my taxes like your average Republican.

    Jonah

    October 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    • You speak only for yourself, Jonah.
      My husband and I earn >1 million, pay 46% marginal and 31% effective. Ours is EARNED income via decades of deferred sacrifice, risk management, and overtime years.

      You write on classic elite values; we vote prole values.

      Lower taxes would allow faster exit to retirement.
      Let’s define “stupid stuff”: redistribution and government -dependency which destroys people. The recipients are aggressive, demanding and the multi generational recipients have gone feral.

      jz

      October 18, 2015 at 10:06 am

      • Welfare is a bummer, but a) it’s not where most of your taxes go, and b) we have a hundred million citizens who are essentially worthless (and unnecessary) in the modern economic marketplace. What do you do with them? Mass grave? Of course not – we have to feed them, house them, etc. It costs money. My taxes and yours. Which is preferable to letting feral folks fend for themselves. Crime rates would sky-rocket. I’d have to building taller gates and buy more guns. Sounds like Mad Max. No thanks.

        I will say that it would be nice if we would try to lower the birth-rate of the underclass. Welfare benefits should be increased for recipients who voluntarily agree to sterilize themselves.

        Jonah

        October 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      • At the very least, welfare recipients should be doing simple supervised work of some kind for the normal work week, or be directed to federal homeless shelters if they are unwilling to comply. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

        Glengarry

        October 20, 2015 at 5:34 am

    • Sigh. Military spending is not the problem. It is trivial. What is out of control, and breaking the bank, is entitlement spending. I’d be happy to trade a tax increase for reduced entitlement spending, but I know the latter just ain’t gonna happen and I wouldn’t trust any promises to that effect.

      Tarl

      October 19, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      • Military spending is not trivial. It is 16% of federal spending. It is a great place to look for trims. We spend 3x as much as any other country.

        Health care is 25%. Is this even a problem? Does your vision of the future involve citizens dying of treatable diseases while we continue to build ever-more-exotic fighter jets? If so, why?

        Social security is 25%. What is the alternative? What political process could ever end this program? Forget it. This Ponzi scheme ain’t going anywhere.

        No other category of spending comes close. The fact is, military spending is the #1 place budget cuts should happen. Denying entry to 3rd world immigrants is the next best way to improve our bottom line, and even more doable.

        Jonah

        October 19, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      • No other category of spending comes close. The fact is, military spending is the #1 place budget cuts should happen. Denying entry to 3rd world immigrants is the next best way to improve our bottom line, and even more doable.

        Not true. Enforce the anti-monopoly laws against the medical industry and you reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending — and thus the federal budget — by $900 to $1000 billion per year.

        https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=230529

        Andrew E.

        October 19, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      • The redoubtable Phil Greenspun: http://philip.greenspun.com/politics/health-care-reform


        Suppose that you could give up two years of life expectancy in exchange for the following: paid-for housing, paid-for cars, paid-for college, paid-for vacations, paid-for children. Instead of living 78 years, you’d expect to live 76, but you’d never have to work full-time and could probably pack a lot of enjoyment into those 76 years because you wouldn’t be a slave to day-to-day expenses.

        Let’s compare the U.S. to Mexico. Mexicans share our continent, our love for soda and corn syrup, and our tendency towards chubbiness (source). We spend approximately $8500 per year per American on health care and live to the age of 78. A Mexican can expect to live to age 76. How much do Mexicans spend on health care? Their per-person GDP is only about $13,000 per year, and they supposedly spend about 6 percent of GDP on health care (source) so $800 per person is a good estimate.

        An American will spend $600,000 in order to add two years to the end of his life. Those two years may very well be spent in an intensive care unit or a nursing home and certainly are not likely to be spent on the tennis court or visiting the Venice Biennale.

        For that $600,000, an American could have the following:

        – a house, free and clear of all mortgages (median price for a single family house sold nationwide in May 2009 was $170,000)
        – a lifetime supply of automobiles, assuming $20,000 per car, a 10-year life per car, and 50 years of driving ($100,000)
        – 50 vacations for a family of four (average cost $1600; total of $80,000)
        – a college education ($25,000 of tuition for four years at a public university)
        – two children, reared to the age of 17 ($125,000 per kid, average cost for a basic family (source); note that a pair of Americans could have four children, all of whose costs would be completely paid for out of this $600,000)
        – $75,000 in walking-around money

        On the Mexican plan there would be no helicopter medevacs, no death-after-weeks-in-the-ICU, and many fewer MRIs. A Goldman Sachs employee might well decide to spend $600,000 of his TARP-funded bonus in order to live two years longer, but why should every American be forced into spending this $600,000 on health care? Admiral John McCain, Sr. was famous for saying “Not another penny on doctors! I’m spending it all on riotous living,” in response to his wife’s suggestions that he address some of his health and dental deficits.

        (Apologies for the vast quote, but I liked it.)

        Glengarry

        October 20, 2015 at 5:51 am

  12. I’ve tracked my federal income tax payments since I received my first w-2 in 1978 at age 14. Since that time, I’ve paid over $250K in federal income tax; my effective rate as ranged between 10% to 20% of AGI. This year, I’ve got to get familiar w/ IRS Publication 527, Schedule E, and Form 4562 to report residential rental income, expenses, and depreciation.

    E. Rekshun

    October 17, 2015 at 4:22 pm

  13. Curious: Is there a figure on what the gov. gives away with neg. income tax. To not pay taxes is one thing…to be the recipient of “free” money….quite another

    Knowmad

    October 17, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    • Agree. The freeload factor should be measured.

      Citizen A: I’ve paid 5 million total federal and state taxes over 30 years.
      Citizen B: I’ve collected $900,000 in EITC, Medicaid, rent and utility subsidies, child care credits, section 8 housing, food stamps, free cell phone and data plans over the past 30 years.

      jz

      October 18, 2015 at 10:13 am

  14. Sigh. This topic has been covered. if you increase taxes for “millionaires and billionaires,” you’d only get enough money to run the government for like a month because spending is so high.

    Related. The US government just reported record tax revenues: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/3248723000000-federal-taxes-set-record-fy-2015-21833-worker-feds-0.

    We have a spending/allocation problem, not a revenue problem.

    What’s really going on is envy. Just admit Lion, you’ll feel better.

    dsgntd_plyr

    October 17, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    • Why should I be envious that people who aren’t doing anything particularly useful for society have massively more money than me?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 18, 2015 at 12:52 am

      • Because they didn’t steal it. Being in value transference is not inherently bad.

        DSGNTD_PLYR

        October 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      • Rather than take more money from people who make a lot of it through unproductive ventures you should try to reform the economy so unproductive ventures are less profitable, and there is less value to be appropriated just by being in the right managerial position which doesn’t actually create any value itself.

        chairman

        October 18, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      • Why should I be envious that people who aren’t doing anything particularly useful for society have massively more money than me?

        I suspect Lion transferred more value than he’s prepared to admit.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        October 18, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      • Tens of millions of dollars, but that all got transferred to the corporation I worked for and I got bubkes.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      • Because they don’t prevent you from being successful in your own way.

        Yakov

        October 18, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      • Tens of millions of dollars, but that all got transferred to the corporation I worked and I go bubkes.

        Use your imagination – there’s always the option of blackmailing them with threats to go public about their underhanded business dealings. Remember it’s not illegal if you aren’t caught.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        October 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      • Sergeant, I believe this man just confessed to envy.

        jef

        October 20, 2015 at 5:46 pm

  15. The biggest problem the US is facing right now is millions and millions of 3rd world immigrants driving down wages, turning cities into slums and sucking up TRILLIONS of dollars in social spending. I understand you want to jack up taxes on the wealthy but there’s NO WAY raising taxes can overcome that. We’ve got to set priorities. The first thing we need to do is plug that massive hole in the bottom of the boat. Only then can we start bailing out the water. Yes, I understand you’re riled up because you like Sanders’ tax plan better than Trump’s. But Sanders isn’t gone to fix the hole in the bottom of the boat. So stop distracting from what should be the priority with all this stuff about taxes.

    destructure

    October 17, 2015 at 8:55 pm

  16. People should either work for a living and get help from charity and friends when in need. In todays society with all its awesome opportunities there is no reason for government to give anything to anybody. If they don’t want to work ,let them die.

    Yakov

    October 17, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    • This is an excellent point. It also points to how old fashioned morality kept civil society intact. In the old days only those who were worthy of charity received it from their friends and family. This was an added incentive for people to be good and kind to one another. And it worked. Now, any lazy bum, no matter how vile, can get taken care of from cradle to grave.

      B.T.D.T.

      October 18, 2015 at 6:26 pm

  17. A high taxes rate on the rich would definitely make society poorer. Why? Every marginal dollar would be transferred to the poor who would consume 100% and save or invest 0%.

    The net worth of the bottom 1/3 or so is zero or negative. This means that their propensity to save is zero or less than zero.

    Dan

    October 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm

  18. This article buries the lede big time. This is revolutionary. They are proposing taxing ALL of your income at the same effective rate if you are rich enough. Every time an increase to the marginal tax rate is proposed, we find out that there are a lot of low-IQ rich people who think that their EFFECTIVE rate is being raised, and they loudly threaten to STOP WERRKING right before their income hits the annual threshold.

    Well, the more-$-than-sense Internet commenters are now getting the last laugh because this proposal creates the very hazard that they had always been ignorantly squawking about.

    At about $550K/year, you go from Marginal Club to Effective Club and you better believe there’s an incentive to stay $1 below THAT line. If you do the math, they think they can squeeze an average of $125K/year additional out of 1% households.

    Fiddlesticks

    October 18, 2015 at 4:36 pm

  19. I wrote:

    “A high tax rate on the rich would definitely make society poorer. Why? Every marginal dollar would be transferred to the poor who would consume 100% and save or invest 0%.”

    This is in contrast to a rich person like Buffett or Gates who saves and invests 95%+.

    It is by people consuming less than they earn and saving the rest that society grows richer. This is why China, with its tremendous savings rate, grows richer quickly.

    This is supposed to be an HBD-aware blog. As such, it should recognize that propensity-to-save and invest (a form of future-time-orientation) is highly dependent on group characteristics. This is why transfers do not help society’s wealth in a society such as ours.

    Dan

    October 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    • Of course it’s easier for a wealthier person to save/invest a larger portion of their income — this is the exact logic of a progressive tax schedule. A person earning $10,000 a year who gets taxed 10% of their income is going to have a harder time with Uncle Sam than someone earning $100,000 and getting taxed 10%. Everyone needs to eat; everyone needs shelter.

      In your scheme, you would want to seize the dollars of high-income proles, specifically people who have government jobs and get ridiculous benefits. A colleague of mine was talking about how he would probably be out of a job next year, but then said he could still get by since his retirement pension pays MORE than our current employer. He drives a Porsche, but he’s supporting kids and grandkids.

      Vince

      October 19, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      • Telecommuting would save pricey housing costs and other high living expenses of big cities. Work at home in Boise Idaho, where the company is based in NYC. But of course, this won’t happen anytime soon in Meriprolestan. Besides, the disparity between the cities in terms of amenities and the fun factor, are also stark, which tells you why it sucks!!!

        JS

        October 19, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    • China and the rest of East Asia are poor examples of wealth creation, given the less dynamic and creative nature of Asians, when comparing to Westerners.

      Anyone who is aware of HBD, will understand that East Asians and Whites are not interchangeable, where the former group have lagged in many areas, preventing them to be on par with the West. Just a casual observation of the decorum of many East Asian owned businesses, have led me to believe HBD is indeed real.

      JS

      October 19, 2015 at 10:13 pm

  20. Anyone who has spent the majority of their life working in this country knows that a tax on the rich is always a tax on the middle class as well. The wealthy may end up paying more in federal taxes but you can always be sure that your local Democrats in state government will nickel and dime the middle class in added sales tax, income taxes, commuter taxes and property taxes. There is simply no way around the fact that the Democrat Party will steal everything that is not nailed down.

    The more that you feed the beast the bigger and bolder it gets and the last thing it displays is any gratitude.

    B.T.D.T.

    October 18, 2015 at 6:19 pm

  21. Lion, why do you attract so many economic cuckservatives on your blog?

    Massa goin to pay mo taxes! oh noos!

    Winston Smith

    October 18, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    • Destructure wrote,

      “The problem with raising taxes, however, is that it’s used to subsidize people who should have never been allowed in the country in the first place. I recently read that 75.2% of immigrant households with children receive medicaid and 85.8% receive food aid. We’re talking trillions of dollars of spending. So, basically, taxes are being used to fund a 3rd world invasion. The only thing these high taxes accomplish is to turn 1st world countries into 3rd world countries.”

      That is not an ‘economic cuckservative’ perspective.

      Dan

      October 19, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      • Sorry, cuckles, I’m not buying it. Debt and middle class taxpayers are where the cash comes from. Don’t you people always say there aren’t enough of those 1%er bulls you like so much anyway. Also, they need to be hit so hard that they actually feel the true cost of the 3rd world invasion they have bribed the politicians to impose on populace.

        Winston Smith

        October 19, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      • “Also, they need to be hit so hard that they actually feel the true cost of the 3rd world invasion they have bribed the politicians to impose on populace.”

        When Dan quoted my comment he left out the first line which was, “That’s the only rational reason for sticking it to the rich — raise their taxes until they agree their taxes are high enough and they stop with this leftwing nonsense.” So we have no fundamental disagreement on that point. But in a choice between raising taxes or ending immigration I’d end immigration every time. Because there’s no way to raise taxes high enough to cover the millions of 3rd world parasites pouring in.First, plug the whole in the boat by stopping immigration. And THEN start bailing out the water by raising taxes. There’s no point in doing anything until we stop that flood of 3rd world trash.

        destructure

        October 19, 2015 at 9:46 pm

  22. Great, tax rich people more. NAMs need more money. They’re starving and they only get $15,000.00 a year spent on them at public school.

    Bored

    October 18, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    • This comment leads to the question I was going to ask. Lion, what do you believe should be done with all this extra tax revenue from the rich? You seem to advocate increased social spending, but you know that increased social spending is going to inevitably subsidize and promote bad behavior that drags society down (e.g., subsidizing illegitimacy.) What gives?

      Also, I’m disappointed that Lion, so skeptical of the New York Times in other posts, buys into their typical rhetoric about taxes “producing” and “generating” revenue. Taxation doesn’t produce anything, it just takes wealth that’s already been produced. Yes, I’m aware that much of the wealth we’re talking about was accumulated through value transference rather than value production, but taxing it doesn’t magically turn it into production.

      Hermes

      October 19, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      • Free college education so that young people don’t start their lives in debt, and lower taxes for people in the bottom 95%.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 19, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      • Lion, the Soviet Union had free education, but you had to pass exams to be accepted. No high school in Russia graduated illiterate and inumerates in those days. If you didn’t study, you were put on a trade school track after sixth grade or you went to a forced labor colony for minors if you made trouble. Now, this is the free education that I can beleive in.

        Yakov

        October 19, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      • Make students entirely price insensitive and hand the windfall to the usual suspects? Much better to simply legislate a low ceiling on total college costs (including extras like room and board). Some diversity coordinators could lose their well-paid jobs, but that’s a sacrifice society may have to bear.

        Glengarry

        October 20, 2015 at 6:07 am

      • “Lion, the Soviet Union had free education, but you had to pass exams to be accepted. No high school in Russia graduated illiterate and inumerates in those days. If you didn’t study, you were put on a trade school track after sixth grade or you went to a forced labor colony for minors if you made trouble. Now, this is the free education that I can beleive in.”

        This is a model I would totally support.

        chairman

        October 20, 2015 at 6:48 pm

  23. I am currently paying 45% tax rate. How high would you like to go?

    100% will be another communist China or soviet union

    IC

    October 19, 2015 at 10:41 am

  24. It’s obvious that it’s not the rich, but the poor and the immigrants that are the problem. Everyone should live by their means, it’s the poor and the immigrants who don’t, not the rich. Anybody can live on $600-800 a month. Nobody should be allowed to procreate without the ability to support the offspring. This common sense approach solves all the problems. Forced labour, flogging and sterilization for the lazy bums. No work – no food! Work = food! As basic as this may be it’s not apparent to a lot of people. Keep it real and leave the rich alone.

    Yakov

    October 19, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    • If rich people making lots of money doing unproductive or ANTI-productive activities is nothing to worry about why are poor people not working anything to worry about (as long as they aren’t committing crimes)?

      chairman

      October 19, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      • Because they commit crimes, dawg. You dig?

        Bored

        October 19, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      • Then just attest the fraction who do.

        The very rich also commit crimes owing to their increasing ability to extract large sums of money for non-value-creating work.

        chairman

        October 19, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      • If the poor are making a fair effort to be self-supporting they are not a problem. Most will make it, a small group that won’t can be helped. The current system breeds parasites and is burden on society. I thought that was clear.

        Yakov

        October 19, 2015 at 10:41 pm

  25. “I favor this liberal policy, because it would work if I was overseeing its implementation.”

    Cuckservatives on immigration, and Lion on taxes.

    Fiddlesticks

    October 19, 2015 at 8:05 pm

  26. Every ef’n time I read/hear about raising taxes – G*d Damn, man:
    I’ve worked in public education for 22 years; my wife has worked in health care (top executive management) for 24. There is so much waste, fraud and graft it’s staggering, sickening, mind-blowing. This size government does not work and cannot work.
    Lion you can raise taxes on the rich all you want – it won’t change the number of bastards (literal bastards) at best addicted to corn & porn, at worst beating the shit out of you and me.

    paleopaleo

    October 19, 2015 at 10:35 pm

  27. Please. Stiglitz is a crusty old-school Soviet commie true believer who was still, back when I had him as a professor in 2007, whimpering about how awesome the Soviet Union had been and how awful it was that that glorious empire broke up.

    Like all good leftists, he hates the middle class, especially since people way less intelligent than him can make billions. $159 billion is peanuts relative to the $7 trillion in new debt that we’ve incurred under Obama and being the lying hack that he is, I’m sure that Stiglitz is assuming that there is no short term or long term deadweight loss. And since you NYT-reading clowns keep chanting the same slogan, I need to keep saying that “”high income in a given year”” “”rich””.

    That’s why the truly rich (don’t need to work) and especially the born rich people are mostly Democrats and laughing at how effectively they are able to pit the poor against the middle class with income tax discussions.

    What the Republicans should do is propose a tax on UNRECOGNIZED capital gains targeted specifically at billionaires like Gates and Buffett who have lobbied for politicians hiking taxes on wage serfs in the $100k – $200k income range.”

    Also, the Republicans need to stop being such amateurs. When Dems start talking about taxing the rich, the Republicans should target their political enemies like wormtongue billionaires like Buffett, dopey political fashion statement entertainers and thieving trial lawyers. How about an advertising tax or a lawsuit contingency fee tax?

    Mercy

    Mercy Vetsel

    October 20, 2015 at 11:04 am

  28. The billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg just don’t have much real income. They sit on an enormous pile of unrealized capital gains. I’d be all for a wealth tax specifically on Zuck, of 100%, and flush that money down the toilet so he can’t do destructive lobbying with it. But in America there are no good ways to stop wreakers like him.

    So the tax policy instead would be, soak the upper middle class.

    Dan

    October 20, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    • I’m just surprised how the wealthy are so stupid not to create make work self actualization jobs for the average chump, which would be a tax write off and their pet project, and might be profitable.

      Epic fail in Meriprolestan again. This goes to show you that Meriproles are just proles!

      JS

      October 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      • Why would they want proles to self actualize? You assume they wish well for flyover country.

        Dan

        October 21, 2015 at 11:25 am

      • Michal Kalecki:

        “2. We shall deal first with the reluctance of the ‘captains of industry’ to accept government intervention in the matter of employment. Every widening of state activity is looked upon by business with suspicion, but the creation of employment by government spending has a special aspect which makes the opposition particularly intense. Under a laissez-faire system the level of employment depends to a great extent on the so-called state of confidence. If this deteriorates, private investment declines, which results in a fall of output and employment (both directly and through the secondary effect of the fall in incomes upon consumption and investment). This gives the capitalists a powerful indirect control over government policy: everything which may shake the state of confidence must be carefully avoided because it would cause an economic crisis. But once the government learns the trick of increasing employment by its own purchases, this powerful controlling device loses its effectiveness. Hence budget deficits necessary to carry out government intervention must be regarded as perilous. The social function of the doctrine of ‘sound finance’ is to make the level of employment dependent on the state of confidence.”

        The rich want as many unemployed people as they can get away with having!

        chairman

        October 21, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      • Dan — Yes, which is why Meriprolestan is a prole country, with perpetual proledom for many years to come. There are so many college grads who are underemployed, entrenched in school loan debt, because Meriprolestan’s higher education is purely vocational or capitalistic (which means those who want to self actualize, cannot, because tuition is too cost prohibitive), and now the capitalists decided to turn them into indentured servants by forcing them to work for scraps.

        JS

        October 21, 2015 at 10:54 pm

  29. O/T – It appears that the Ahmed, the Islamic clock genius, and his family, are moving to a Muslim country.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/%E2%80%98clock-kid%E2%80%99-ahmed-mohamed-and-his-family-will-move-to-qatar/ar-BBmgCus?li=AAa0dzB

    Racial minorities leave, because irrational bigots on the right, tell them to do so. Average Whites should follow suit, because leftist liberals don’t want them around, or want them to live amongst NAMs.

    JS

    October 21, 2015 at 10:51 am

  30. Sad news, Lion. The genius who wowed the world by inventing, from raw materials he dug out of the ground, the first ever device for tracking the passage of time, has left America to fend for ourselves.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/10/20/texas-clock-boy-will-move-to-qatar.html?source=socialflow&via=twitter_page&template=cheat&account=thedailybeast&medium=twitter

    The Dow is plummeting now on this breaking news.

    Dan

    October 21, 2015 at 11:21 am

    • Ahmed’s sister Eyman said the Middle East won’t feel too different from the U.S., except that the family will be surrounded by Muslims like themselves.

      Diversity is their greatest strength.

      Glengarry

      October 21, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      • They will quickly realize what Arabs think of Sudanese people.

        Jimi

        October 21, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    • Let him try bringing that ‘clock’ to school over there.

      Yakov

      October 21, 2015 at 6:22 pm

  31. I don’t resent the rich and don’t want to take away their money. If their children make Manhattan more expensive so be it! I’m thinking of moving to Philly or DC.

    But I would like to give the Rich incentives to stop trying to change the world. Take away their ability to influence politics and run vanity candidates that override the views of American people. This means elimination of nonprofit loopholes and inheritance taxes.

    Sheldon Adelson disrupted the GOP by funding Gingrich. Zuckerburg manipulates immigration policy by setting up fake-conservative pro-amnesty groups. Gates Foundation tries to impose their newest ideas, small schools and common core, on people who don’t want them.

    Jimi

    October 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm


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