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#402 Jan 16 2012 at 4:53 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
They made money because most of the companies didn't fail (over 3/4ths didn't). So on total, they made more money than they lost because on total they saved more companies than they didn't.]


You seem pretty confident in this.

Please list every company Bain invested in and their +/- for each.

You do have that info, right? To back your statement up?


Huh? No. I don't.


Here's a crazy thought: If you can't back up a flat, declarative statement DON'T MAKE IT.


*cough* I didn't claim that I knew the details of dollars gained/lost by every single company Bain invested in. You injected that little strawman all by yourself.

What I claimed was that over 3/4ths of the companies Bain invested in did not fail. And I provided data to back that up.

Quote:
In case you're missing the point, I could give two sh*ts about Bain's profit/loss.


Then why bother asking about it? Seems like you cared a bit right up until I linked the WSJ article which supported everything I said. Now suddenly it doesn't matter that the cases being made were not typical results of Bain's work and that those attacking Romney on this are omitting facts in order to misconstrue what really went on? Seemed to me like that was the key issue.

Quote:
I do care when people make statements they claim to be true and can't back them up. Where I'm from, that's called "making things up"...or - y'know - lying.


I said that over 3/4ths of the companies they invested in didn't fail. That statement wasn't made up.

I also said that they made most of their money by saving companies and not by making them fail. I also didn't make that up (it's in the WSJ article as well).


So wtf are you talking about?
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#403 Jan 16 2012 at 6:13 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
What I claimed was that over 3/4ths of the companies Bain invested in did not fail. And I provided data to back that up.
No, you provided an article that clearly states it doesn't have any investment info from Bain because they won't release it. What the article has is an admitted "best guess" based on a German banks' info regarding less than 100% of Bains' total investments. "Data" would be *all* the numbers from *all* the investments.

You literally have no way of knowing if the unreported 10% involved investment in a single company or hundreds of them. You also have no way of knowing if they were successes of failures.
gbaji wrote:
Seems like you cared a bit right up until I linked the WSJ article which supported everything I said.
Actually I didn't read the article until just now, as I failed to notice the link.

The only way that article supports your "3/4" claim is if you automatically assume that Bain is telling the absolute truth.
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#404 Jan 16 2012 at 8:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
What I claimed was that over 3/4ths of the companies Bain invested in did not fail. And I provided data to back that up.
No, you provided an article that clearly states it doesn't have any investment info from Bain because they won't release it.


And which also clearly states that they do know what percentage of businesses succeeded or failed *and* which percentage of businesses that Bain made the greatest profits from succeeded or failed. And that data supported the statement I made.

You're demanding information which isn't required for me to support my position, then trying to insist that I was wrong because I can't provide it. Kinda iffy logic IMO.

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What the article has is an admitted "best guess" based on a German banks' info regarding less than 100% of Bains' total investments. "Data" would be *all* the numbers from *all* the investments.


Er? What the article has is information about what happened to the companies Bain invested in. Given the accusations of so-called "vulture capitalism", this would seem to be incredibly relevant information. If someone's arguing that Bain's methodology for making money was to essentially strip companies of everything of value, sell it off, and then let them go belly up, data showing that over 3/4ths of the companies Bain invested in didn't go bankrupt is sufficient to show that this *wasn't* their standard methodology.

As I said earlier, if they had some magical means to make money by causing companies to fail, wouldn't they have caused them all to fail? Occam's razor suggests that Bain was trying to save those companies, but were not always able to do so. It makes no sense to assume that they somehow intentionally caused them to fail.

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You literally have no way of knowing if the unreported 10% involved investment in a single company or hundreds of them.


Um... Ok. And that literally has no relevance to the broader statements I made.

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You also have no way of knowing if they were successes of failures.


Huh? Of course I do. So does the WSJ. While the internal details of a bankruptcy may not always be publicly available, the fact that one occurs *is*. Ergo, we absolutely can look at the ratio of companies invested in, to bankruptcies which resulted. Do you think that the WSJ was just guessing? Did you bother to read the article?



Quote:
gbaji wrote:
Seems like you cared a bit right up until I linked the WSJ article which supported everything I said.
Actually I didn't read the article until just now, as I failed to notice the link.

The only way that article supports your "3/4" claim is if you automatically assume that Bain is telling the absolute truth.


Um... Or by looking up which companies filed for bankruptcy. Are you really unaware of this, or are you deliberately pretending to be so as to avoid admitting you are wrong?
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#405 Jan 16 2012 at 8:22 PM Rating: Good
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Its amazing. I haven't read here in ages and it took me a few seconds to figure out what has been going on the past few years.

What a bunch of humps.
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#406 Jan 16 2012 at 8:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Tacosid wrote:
Its amazing. I haven't read here in ages and it took me a few seconds to figure out what has been going on the past few years.

What a bunch of humps.


A few seconds? You're slowing down old man!
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#407 Jan 16 2012 at 8:30 PM Rating: Good
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I blame it on 10 years teacing public school. In the past I could have had it pegged just by typing the forum url.

As always I hope the GOP picks up a supermajority in the house and senate and sends Obama the way of Jimmy Carter.
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#408 Jan 16 2012 at 8:40 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
I wrote:
You literally have no way of knowing if the unreported 10% involved investment in a single company or hundreds of them.
Um... Ok. And that literally has no relevance to the broader statements I made.
Of course it does. If the unreported 10% involved 40 small companies and they all were closed (regardless of profit or loss) then your 75% statement is wrong.

Are you really that dense?





And again, since you seem to be unable to grasp this: A WSJ article is not *data*.

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gbaji wrote:
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#409 Jan 16 2012 at 9:01 PM Rating: Excellent
Silly Bijou, anything Gbaji wants to be data is data, like anecdotes.
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#410 Jan 16 2012 at 9:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I wrote:
You literally have no way of knowing if the unreported 10% involved investment in a single company or hundreds of them.
Um... Ok. And that literally has no relevance to the broader statements I made.
Of course it does. If the unreported 10% involved 40 small companies and they all were closed (regardless of profit or loss) then your 75% statement is wrong.


Except that the report says that the "unreported" 10% was for investments which were not buyout investments. So we could speculate that they lost money investing that 10% in random small businesses, but since those investments were not controlling or even large share investments, we can't say that they somehow used those investments to cause those companies to fail (with some undefined means of somehow making money on this to boot!).

So that 10% in no way affects my point, right? Keep your eye on the ball here. I'm countering arguments that Bain invested in companies and then deliberately caused them to fail somehow. That can only even theoretically be possible in the investments in which they took an active controlling role over.

Quote:
Are you really that dense?


No. I discounted that 10% because it's irrelevant to the "vulture capitalism" claim being examined. Do you see how? You're grasping at straws.

Edited, Jan 16th 2012 7:31pm by gbaji
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#411 Jan 16 2012 at 10:29 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
Except that the report says that the "unreported" 10% was for investments which were not buyout investments.
You mean this?
WSJ wrote:
For its analysis, the Journal used a list of 77 Bain investments inked from 1984 through 1998 that were included in a document that a unit of Deutsche Bank AG circulated in 2000, while soliciting participants in a fund to invest with Bain. The document—which cites Bain as a source—appears to be the most authoritative available for Bain's activities, and says that the deals accounted for about 90% of the money Bain invested during that period. The Journal obtained updated information from a similar 2004 prospectus.


If you're not referencing that, please quote what you are referencing.
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gbaji wrote:
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#412 Jan 17 2012 at 6:47 AM Rating: Excellent
From Colbert's PAC:

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Almalieque wrote:
I know what a glory hole is, but I wasn't sure what the business part was in reference to.

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#413 Jan 17 2012 at 1:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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Romney today told reporters that his income tax rate was "probably" about 15%.

For comparison, that's the average rate paid for a single filer at $38,700 or a married family (filing jointly) at $77,500.

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 1:51pm by Jophiel
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#414 Jan 17 2012 at 3:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Except that the report says that the "unreported" 10% was for investments which were not buyout investments.
You mean this?
WSJ wrote:
For its analysis, the Journal used a list of 77 Bain investments inked from 1984 through 1998 that were included in a document that a unit of Deutsche Bank AG circulated in 2000, while soliciting participants in a fund to invest with Bain. The document—which cites Bain as a source—appears to be the most authoritative available for Bain's activities, and says that the deals accounted for about 90% of the money Bain invested during that period. The Journal obtained updated information from a similar 2004 prospectus.


If you're not referencing that, please quote what you are referencing.


Sigh... I forget that you have bad eyes.

the next paragraph wrote:
The list focused on larger "private equity" investments—typically deals in which Bain took control of a business, or in some cases worked with another buyout firm to do so, aiming to improve the target business's performance. Deutsche Bank lumped into a single line all of Bain's investments of less than $2 million and those that were more of a venture-capital nature, which generally involved buying minority stakes in promising small companies such as Staples.


The remaining 10% not included in that document were not of the same sort of "buy out failing companies" investments that is the heart of the discussion here. They were normal "buy some shares of a company we think is going to do well all on its own" type of investment.

Given that the claim is that Bain bought controlling interests in failing companies and then somehow deliberately made them fail in order to somehow make money, we should only look at cases where they were buying controlling interests in companies. It just seems silly to even speculate that there's some conspiracy to hide something in that other 10%, and even more silly to assume that since the spending that matches the pattern we're looking at doesn't support the claims being made, that something untoward must have been going on with that other set of investments.


You're starting with the assumption that something sinister was done and then looking for it. And when you don't find it where it would be if there was anything to find, you're speculating that it must be hidden somewhere. At what point do you maybe conclude that the assumption you started with is wrong? Or heck. Start by looking at the available facts and *then* draw a conclusion, rather than the other way around? Just a suggestion.
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#415 Jan 17 2012 at 3:53 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Romney today told reporters that his income tax rate was "probably" about 15%.

For comparison, that's the average rate paid for a single filer at $38,700 or a married family (filing jointly) at $77,500.


That's the average top rate. That's *not* the average total income tax as a percentage of their total income. You do understand how income tax rates are applied, right? I'm a single filer making over 100k. Last year my total income taxes was 17% of my total income. I can guarantee you that a single filer earning 40k pays closer to 8-10% in actual income taxes.

I'll also speculate that while the term "income tax rate" is used, Romney was probably talking about the total federal taxes paid. Much of which is certainly capital gains. I'm not aware that Romney has a day job for which he earns a salary. Apples to oranges.
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#416 Jan 17 2012 at 4:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hahahaha.... no. But good work getting it wrong. Gotta circle those wagons post-haste, no time for facts!

The top rate for those income brackets is 25%. The AVERAGE rate for those amounts is 15%.

Here's a calculator that lets you see for yourself. Enter in $38,700 for single filer (which puts you in the 25% bracket) and... Presto-Chango! 15% tax as percentage of income!

Quote:
You do understand how income tax rates are applied, right?

Well, one of us does. Too bad it's not the Romney acolyte Smiley: laugh

Now, what it doesn't include is deductions. Hence my saying that it's the average rate paid at $38,700; i.e. at $38,700 of taxable income. You may wind up making more than and getting some breaks through deductions but that varies from person to person.

Edit: If you actually only paid 17% average income tax, that would mean you declared $48,500 in taxable income. Or a significant portion of your earnings were taxed as something besides standard income.

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 4:08pm by Jophiel
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#417 Jan 17 2012 at 5:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Hahahaha.... no. But good work getting it wrong. Gotta circle those wagons post-haste, no time for facts!

The top rate for those income brackets is 25%. The AVERAGE rate for those amounts is 15%.


Uh... Only barely Joph. Forgive me for not checking the exact cutoff. For a single filer, the tax bracket is 10% on the first 8.5k, then 15% up to 34.5k. Then that last 3.2k is taxed at 25%. So while you're correct that his top rate is 25%, the bulk of his taxes is going to be paid at 15% or lower. I was off by a few thousand on the bracket cutoff. Big deal.

Quote:
Now, what it doesn't include is deductions.


Yeah. That's kinda significant, given that deductions come off the top dollar amounts first, right? So $5.8k in deductions drops that guy down to 22.9k and he's no longer in the 25% bracket at all anymore. Even standard deductions become significant at low to mid income levels. Add to that potential EITC (might not apply at these particular levels though), and other tax credits, and it's not uncommon for that tax rate to actually be much much lower.

I can't find the article right at the moment, but I seem to recall we already discussed this. The "effective income tax rate" (which is the most relevant because it's what you actually pay relative to your income) is much lower than the tax brackets would indicate. The average for those earning less than 50k is under 10%.

Even just taking the standard deduction, with no other credits involved, that hypothetical person with 38.7k income would only pay taxes on 32.9k. That would result in $4,510 in tax. That is 11% of the $48.7k original total. And that's the highest real percentage tax rate possible. Many (most) will pay less.

Quote:
Hence my saying that it's the average rate paid at $38,700; i.e. at $38,700 of taxable income. You may wind up making more than and getting some breaks through deductions but that varies from person to person.


But that actual average is lower than just assuming all their income is taxable. And if you're really just looking at taxable income, then you're playing games with the numbers because the *actual* earnings of any given person would be higher than what you're talking about.

Quote:
Edit: If you actually only paid 17% average income tax, that would mean you declared $48,500 in taxable income. Or a significant portion of your earnings were taxed as something besides standard income.


Huh? Are you smoking crack? Assuming I start with a total $100 in income, 17% is $17,000. To pay that much tax, you must report $83,500 (plug it into the calculator if you're unsure). So I started at $100k and managed to get $16,500 in deductions (mortgage deduction mostly). It's not rocket science Joph.

Even if I'd done nothing but take a standard deduction, I'd have paid taxes on $94,200, resulting is just under 20% total tax rate.

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 4:01pm by gbaji
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#418 Jan 17 2012 at 5:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Uh... Only barely Joph. Forgive me for not checking the exact cutoff.

So you're saying that, as usual, you decided to go into your cute little lecture mode without having a clue.

Understood. I'd say "Don't let it happen again" but who are we fooling Smiley: laugh
Quote:
Huh? Are you smoking crack? Assuming I start with a total $100 in income, 17% is $17,000. To pay that much tax, you must report $83,500 (plug it into the calculator if you're unsure). So I started at $100k and managed to get $16,500 in deductions (mortgage deduction mostly). It's not rocket science Joph.

So you didn't have $100k in taxable income. You had $83,500 in taxable income, upon which you paid 20.36% in taxes.

Wow, you really didn't understand this at all, did you? Well, at least you didn't embarrass yourself trying to lecture us all about it! Smiley: laugh

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 5:57pm by Jophiel
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#419 Jan 17 2012 at 6:10 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Uh... Only barely Joph. Forgive me for not checking the exact cutoff.

So you're saying that, as usual, you decided to go into your cute little lecture mode without having a clue.


And you, as usual, are patting yourself on the back for playing word games. Whatever.

Quote:
Quote:
Huh? Are you smoking crack? Assuming I start with a total $100 in income, 17% is $17,000. To pay that much tax, you must report $83,500 (plug it into the calculator if you're unsure). So I started at $100k and managed to get $16,500 in deductions (mortgage deduction mostly). It's not rocket science Joph.

So you didn't have $100k in taxable income. You had $83,500 in taxable income, upon which you paid 20.36% in taxes.


I didn't say I made $100k in taxable income. I said I was a single filer earning over $100k (just over in this case). You get that most people express their income in total income and *not* taxable income? More to the point, when Romney said he paid about $15%, do you think he's talking about relative to taxable income or total income? Hell. When people argue how little "the rich" pay, don't they complain about unfair deductions and tax shelters? Aren't those people arguing about taxes paid as a share of total income and not just taxable income?

Now, suddenly you're going to inject a term which no one else uses when arguing about whether someone's paying enough or too much taxes? You're kidding, right?


And just for fun, why don't you tell me where you got that $38,700 number Joph? Is that some sort of average or median income number? And is it supposed to represent total income, or taxable income?
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#420 Jan 17 2012 at 6:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
And you, as usual, are patting yourself on the back for playing word games. Whatever.

I guess when you're confused and trying to cover for your ignorance, talking about stuff accurately counts as "word games". Smiley: laugh

Quote:
I didn't say I made $100k in taxable income.

So saying you paid 17% taxes on it was inaccurate. Especially since you referred to the calculator which states "To take an example, suppose your taxable income (after deductions and exemptions) was exactly $100,000..."

So saying "Put in $83,500 and you'll see how it's only $17,000 and so that's only 17% of $100k!!" was pretty fucking retarded, wasn't it?

Oh, I'm sorry. I was using some real math there so I guess it was just "word games" Smiley: frown

Quote:
When people argue how little "the rich" pay, don't they complain about unfair deductions and tax shelters?

Your argument is that it's wrong for people to mention lowering your taxable income via "unfair deductions and tax shelters" when discussing "the rich" not paying their fair share of taxes? This was your go-to argument to try to cover you not knowing what you were talking about? Really? Want a do-over on that one?

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And just for fun, why don't you tell me where you got that $38,700 number Joph?

I put in a plausible seeming number and jiggered it until I hit 15% average taxes. And I already clarified that it was taxable income. Remember? Then you started crying about "word games"? It was only a post ago... look it up!

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 6:21pm by Jophiel
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#421 Jan 17 2012 at 6:24 PM Rating: Decent
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And just because you seem to have lost track of what you're arguing against, here's what I originally said:

gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Romney today told reporters that his income tax rate was "probably" about 15%.

For comparison, that's the average rate paid for a single filer at $38,700 or a married family (filing jointly) at $77,500.


That's the average top rate. That's *not* the average total income tax as a percentage of their total income.


Note, I was not speaking of the percentage of taxable income paid. That would be a silly argument given that no one's disputing the actual tax brackets, but what people actually pay relative to the total amount of money they actually earn.

Quote:
You do understand how income tax rates are applied, right? I'm a single filer making over 100k. Last year my total income taxes was 17% of my total income.


Were you really confused by that statement and thought I said total income but really meant "taxable income"? Why? What possible reason would there be to argue about relative taxable income? Hell. If that's your argument than "the rich" *always* pay a higher tax rate, right? The assumed argument for Romney (or any rich person) not paying enough is that he uses deductions, credits, and shelters to avoid paying his fair share.

If it was just about taxable income, then there's nothing to argue about.

Quote:
I can guarantee you that a single filer earning 40k pays closer to 8-10% in actual income taxes.


Yeah. And actual data from the IRS bears this out btw. Again though, we have to look at the actual income rate (meaning incomes taxes as a percentage of total income).

Quote:
I'll also speculate that while the term "income tax rate" is used, Romney was probably talking about the total federal taxes paid. Much of which is certainly capital gains. I'm not aware that Romney has a day job for which he earns a salary. Apples to oranges.



Funny also that you just ran right past this, even though this is the far more relevant point. Most (all?) of Romney's earnings are in the form of capital gains. We can argue about the relative tax that results, but that's a total different argument than comparing that number directly to someone's income tax rate. But you knew that, which is presumably why you avoided the subject.
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#422 Jan 17 2012 at 6:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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And just because you seem to have lost track of what you're arguing against

Right, so you just misunderstood the whole thing from the top. Why didn't you just say so? You were responding TO ME with inaccurate numbers. I wasn't arguing with you, you just came in and responded to my post by lecturing about stuff you never understood. And now you cry about me not responding the way you wanted when you never even understood what you were responding to Smiley: laugh

Here's a tip: Next time you want to say "You do know" or "You do understand" or any variant, just don't. You never come across seeming more knowledgeable and usually just make everyone laugh at you. Maybe you can find a Firefox plug-in or something to block you from entering that text string.

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 6:37pm by Jophiel
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#423 Jan 17 2012 at 7:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
I guess when you're confused and trying to cover for your ignorance, talking about stuff accurately counts as "word games".


Accurately? Really? So when I say that I paid X% of my total income in taxes and then you pretend that I said taxable income instead, that to you is accurate? Smiley: lol

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I didn't say I made $100k in taxable income.

So saying you paid 17% taxes on it was inaccurate. Especially since you referred to the calculator which states "To take an example, suppose your taxable income (after deductions and exemptions) was exactly $100,000..."


And? I'm well aware that the tax brackets are applied to "taxable income". But if that's the only number we're allowed to discuss, then what the **** are you arguing? So Buffet earned zero (income) taxable income, so by your argument he's poor and shouldn't pay any taxes, right? Why then are people arguing that him (or Romney) paying 15% is low?


Could it be that people are talking about the percentage of "total income" (or total earnings)? Isn't that what this entire debate is about? WTF?

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So saying "Put in $83,500 and you'll see how it's only $17,000 and so that's only 17% of $100k!!" was pretty fucking retarded, wasn't it?


No, it wasn't. Because I'm talking about what percentage of my total income I paid in taxes. I have no f'ing clue what the **** you're talking about. I didn't earn $83,500 dollars last year Joph. I earned $100k (actually more like $103, but whatever). Taxable income is a made up number based on the current tax rules. Assuming we're debating the fairness of those rules then isn't it kinda stupid to look only at taxable income?

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Oh, I'm sorry. I was using some real math there so I guess it was just "word games" Smiley: frown


No. You were playing word games. What else do you call it when I say "total income" and you change that to "taxable income" and argue about that instead? I said precisely what I intended to say. You tried to pretend I said something different. What is that if not a word game?

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When people argue how little "the rich" pay, don't they complain about unfair deductions and tax shelters?

Your argument is that it's wrong for people to mention lowering your taxable income via "unfair deductions and tax shelters" when discussing "the rich" not paying their fair share of taxes? This was your go-to argument to try to cover you not knowing what you were talking about? Really? Want a do-over on that one?



Um... Isn't that assumed when someone argues that Romney paying only 15% is somehow wrong? What else could they be arguing about? It can't be about taxable income and the tax brackets, because that doesn't allow a rich person to pay a lower rate than a poor person. It's only when you compare total income/earnings to total taxes paid that this case can happen, so how can it be wrong to look at that total income to total tax comparison.


I'll ask again: Do you think that the 15% Romney paid was the result of applying his "taxable income" against the tax calculator you linked? If not, then isn't there more to this than just those things?

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And just for fun, why don't you tell me where you got that $38,700 number Joph?

I put in a plausible seeming number and jiggered it until I hit 15% average taxes. And I already clarified that it was taxable income. Remember? Then you started crying about "word games"? It was only a post ago... look it up!


So even though the discussion is clearly about total taxes paid on total income you decided to use taxable income instead? Why? What possible argument could you have been trying to make here?


Edited, Jan 17th 2012 5:15pm by gbaji
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#424 Jan 17 2012 at 7:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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Smiley: laugh

Spin harder, Professor.

Sorry, no point by point. You already made my argument for me. Go ahead now and comfort yourself by saying "See!? I won!" while everyone laughs.
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#425 Jan 17 2012 at 7:26 PM Rating: Decent
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Sigh. Let's do this again:

gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Romney today told reporters that his income tax rate was "probably" about 15%.

For comparison, that's the average rate paid for a single filer at $38,700 or a married family (filing jointly) at $77,500.


That's the average top rate. That's *not* the average total income tax as a percentage of their total income. You do understand how income tax rates are applied, right? I'm a single filer making over 100k. Last year my total income taxes was 17% of my total income. I can guarantee you that a single filer earning 40k pays closer to 8-10% in actual income taxes.



I'm sorry. Could you show me where you specified that you were speaking only of "taxable income"? You didn't. I, on the other hand, was very clear that I was speaking of total income.


You're making this up after the fact Joph (or you're incredibly confused). Using taxable income as your measurement makes no **** sense. Do you think that Romney paid 15% of his "taxable income" or his "total income"? Total, right? So why would you compare it to income tax rates paid by various other "taxable income" levels? That doesn't even make sense.



If you actually intended to make your argument using taxable income, then you were deliberately making a false comparison. It's irrelevant what 15% works out to in terms of taxable income. You, I, and everyone reading this knows you were making a comparison to relative wealth/income and suggesting that someone with a lowish middle class salary pays as much in relative taxes as Romney. But that's not true at all, is it? So stop playing word games and be honest here.


The 15% Romney paid is relative to his total income. That's much more equivalent to what someone earning a high 5 figure salary would pay relative to his total income. And there's nothing wrong with that. You don't hear me complaining that I paid a 2% higher total tax rate than Romney did, do you? Yet you're perpetuating the false argument that a bunch of poor people should be upset because they pay a higher rate. But they don't. You know it. I know it. Everyone who's honest about this issue knows it. But you repeat the falsehood anyway.
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#426 Jan 17 2012 at 8:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm more amused by Romney saying that he's made some money, not a lot, from speaking fees and such.

Estimate of speaking fees he's made is about $360,000.

I guess when you have $200 million dollars, that's not a lot of money, but that's more than I've made in my entire adult life so far.
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#427 Jan 17 2012 at 9:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Sigh. Let's do this again

Soon as you start to understand it, let me know Smiley: nod
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#428 Jan 17 2012 at 9:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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In the "Nothing ever goes away" file, McCain's 200 page opposition-research file on Romney from the 2008 GOP primaries has surfaced on the webbernetz.

It's like the GOP is handing this stuff over on a silver platter.
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#429 Jan 17 2012 at 9:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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I was completely able to understand Joph's points. gbaji's paragraphs, not so much.
#430 Jan 17 2012 at 9:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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#431 Jan 17 2012 at 9:21 PM Rating: Good
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I noticed it some time ago, but I wanted to see how it would turn out.
Gbaji wrote:
I'm a single filer making over 100k. Last year my total income taxes was 17% of my total income

Gbaji is right. He made the claim that the 17% was on his total income, not taxable income. Now you can try argue that this claim is irrelevant or that it is misleading, but it is correct.
#432 Jan 17 2012 at 9:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Allegory wrote:
Now you can try argue that this claim is irrelevant or that it is misleading, but it is correct.

Sure. Except I thought I made it clear enough the first time and made it crystal clear the second time that I was referring to taxable income since everyone's deductions are different. You can't say "Someone making $50,000 pays X%" because one guy making $50k might have $12k in deductions and another guy has $6k and another guy has $15k. For example, this calculator tries to guesstimate. Enter in $100,000 and you get an average tax rate of $19%; 2% off from Gbaji's 17%. Basing it off actual taxable income is a much more solid number.

Gbaji missed the point from the very beginning.

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 9:32pm by Jophiel
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#433 Jan 17 2012 at 9:30 PM Rating: Decent
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Ah. Finally found the article I was looking for.

While the figures for income tax alone are a couple years old, it's unlikely that the average distributions have changed much:

Quote:
In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4% of their income in federal income taxes, according to the IRS.

Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9% in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3%.


That's why just looking at taxable income isn't very useful. Because the method by which taxes are reduced is by deductions to that taxable income itself. And the averages show that most people deduct significant amounts and therefore pay at rates far lower than can be easily correlated to the taxable income Joph was attempting to use. More to the point, it's pretty unfair to suggest that the relative amount of taxes Romney pays is somehow equated to someone making under $40k. As this data shows, he paid double the income tax rate of the average person earning $100-$125k. Those aren't poor people (and apparently, I'm not taking nearly enough deductions).

Even if we add payroll taxes back in (and ignore the whole holiday reduction thing), the numbers still don't look anything like Joph was trying to imply:

Quote:
This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average 29.1% of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15% of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5% of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7%.




Again though, the larger point is being lost here. Romney presumably earns most of his money via capital gains. I'm sure he does have income in the form of book sales, paid speeches, and whatnot, but it's probably a smallish portion of his total yearly earnings. And depending on what he's doing with the money (like giving more to charity than he earned in book sales), it's not unreasonable to see that 15% figure. We could have a larger debate about tax deductions and whatnot, but the kinds of comparisons Joph was making are not only inaccurate, but they are misleading and unfair *and* serve only to perpetuate false assumptions within this topic rather than provide any sort of information to anyone.


The fact is that the wealthy on average *do* pay a higher percentage of their earnings in taxes. So the Buffet rule is meaningless bluster. It's making a rule for something that doesn't happen purely in order to make people think that it's needed or relevant. And that's before even considering that we're looking at two different forms of earnings which are supposed to have completely different tax rates. If you want to compare tax rates, you really need to separate regular income from capital gains first, then separate taxes on that regular income from that paid on the capital gains. Then you can look at the percentages. Muddling them together and trying to compare the result to someone else's earnings is not going to allow you to make any sort of intelligent analysis.


Might give you good rhetoric though! Which is why it's done.

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 7:41pm by gbaji
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#434 Jan 17 2012 at 9:41 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Allegory wrote:
Now you can try argue that this claim is irrelevant or that it is misleading, but it is correct.

Sure. Except I thought I made it clear enough the first time...


No, you didn't. You made a comparison between what Romney paid in relative taxes and what that would equate to in terms of income for a single filer or married couple. Since we can assume that Romney's percentage is based on his total income, you'd be deliberately deceptive to compare that to only "taxable income". I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed you were being honest.

Was I wrong?


Quote:
...and made it crystal clear the second time that I was referring to taxable income since everyone's deductions are different.


Yeah. I've already explained why that's irrelevant though. As you say, everyone's deductions are different. So comparing Romney's pre-deduction ratio to post deduction numbers is at best meaningless. It tells me nothing. So a guy earns a million dollars, but has deductions reducing his taxable income to 38.5k is equally comparable to Romney as someone making $50k but with deductions that reduce his taxable income to the same 38.5k?

What was your point then? Because if that's what you were really doing, then it makes no sense. If your objective was to show that people earning significantly less money than Romney pay a similar amount of tax, shouldn't you use actual total earnings?

Quote:
You can't say "Someone making $50,000 pays X%" because one guy making $50k might have $12k in deductions and another guy has $6k and another guy has $15k.


Yes. Thanks for finally arriving at the point. We can't tell from the resulting taxable income how much the person in question actually earned. That's why it's a meaningless number.

Quote:
Gbaji missed the point from the very beginning.


Um... You still haven't figured it out. It's funny because I've tried to explain it to you at least three times now, but you keep failing. It's like you have a mental block.


Let me say it again:

You can't use taxable income to make the comparison because that number doesn't tell us how much the person in question actually earned.


Get it? You're trying to make a comparison between a "rich" person and a "poor" person, but using figures that don't tell us how rich or poor the second person is. Thankfully, others have done the research you've failed to do and I've linked it for you.
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#435 Jan 17 2012 at 9:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji's Article wrote:
Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15% of their income in federal taxes.

Fascinating.


Before the hissy-fit, yes I know that's on total federal taxes and not purely income tax.

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 9:46pm by Jophiel
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#436 Jan 17 2012 at 9:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Allegory wrote:
Now you can try argue that this claim is irrelevant or that it is misleading, but it is correct.
Sure. Except I thought I made it clear enough the first time...
No, you didn't.

Well, not clear enough for you. No one else complained. I'll buy you a coloring book next time the grown-ups are talking Smiley: laugh
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#437 Jan 17 2012 at 9:53 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Gbaji's Article wrote:
Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15% of their income in federal taxes.

Fascinating.


Before the hissy-fit, yes I know that's on total federal taxes and not purely income tax.


Not at all. That's a relevant number to throw out. However, I doubt comparing Romney's tax rate to someone in the $50-$75k range would have had the same value to you as comparing it to someone making $38.7k. And for the record, I have absolutely no problem with you or anyone else making that comparison (assuming that Romney's 15% figure also includes payroll taxes, of course). My issue was with the misleadingly low number you tossed out initially.


And, as I've stated repeatedly, that still does not address the whole "income vs capital gains" issue. We've gotten past your initially inaccurate statement about income taxes and are only just now arriving at the larger incorrectness of comparing capital gains taxes to income taxes in the first place.
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#438 Jan 17 2012 at 9:54 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Except I thought I made it clear enough the first time and made it crystal clear the second time that I was referring to taxable income since everyone's deductions are different.

And he made it clear he wasn't talking about that. Again ,you could berate him for being irrelevant, but he isn't wrong.

This whole time he was consistent in making his claim as a % of total income. You didn't call him out for choosing total income over taxable income. You called him out about having his nubmers wrong, which he didn't.
#439 Jan 17 2012 at 9:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Allegory wrote:
You called him out about having his nubmers wrong, which he didn't.

He had his initial numbers wrong when he attempted to lecture me about how taxes worked. Actually, he had them wrong twice; once in getting the marginal tax rate incorrect and once again in not understanding what numbers I was using.

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 9:57pm by Jophiel
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#440 Jan 17 2012 at 9:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
However, I doubt comparing Romney's tax rate to someone in the $50-$75k range would have had the same value to you as comparing it to someone making $38.7k.

"...Households making between $50,000 and $75,000..."
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#441 Jan 17 2012 at 10:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Allegory wrote:
Now you can try argue that this claim is irrelevant or that it is misleading, but it is correct.
Sure. Except I thought I made it clear enough the first time...
No, you didn't.

Well, not clear enough for you. No one else complained.


Not clear enough for anyone Joph. No one uses taxable income when comparing relative incomes and tax rates. Here's a Huffpost article going over the Obama's taxes. I'll point out that in two different parts of the article they equate that to a percentage ("about a quarter" and "26%"). In both cases they are comparing it to the total unadjusted income. Heck. Midway through the article, they list the taxable income number. But they don't ever attempt to say that he paid X% in taxes by using that number.


Even Huffington Post, a liberal rag with all the incentive in the world to exaggerate the willingness of the Obama's to pay a high tax rate on their well earned income was honest enough to realize that this wasn't the correct way to express it.


No one talks about the relative amount of taxes someone paid and uses only taxable income. When people complain about corporations making billions of dollars and paying zero in taxes, do you think they're talking about taxable income when they list off how much the corporation made? No, they're not.


Why you choose to use that, I don't know. But you really can't blame me for assuming you were talking about total income and not taxable income.
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#442 Jan 17 2012 at 10:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
However, I doubt comparing Romney's tax rate to someone in the $50-$75k range would have had the same value to you as comparing it to someone making $38.7k.

"...Households making between $50,000 and $75,000..."


Yes. And households making over $1M paid nearly 30%. What is your point? How much of "Romney's earnings" do you think make up "Romney's households earnings"? You do know what a household is from a tax perspective, right?


Please tell me you're not going to attempt to compare that to your earlier number with the married filing jointly bit? Cause that would just be painful to have to explain all the reasons it's wrong and frankly, it was like pulling teeth to get you to acknowledge the first mistake you made.


And I will point out for like the 5th time that all of this is still missing the whole "capital gains versus income" bit. It's the wrong comparison no matter what income figures you use.
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#443 Jan 17 2012 at 10:14 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
once in getting the marginal tax rate incorrect

He was incorrect there and then admitted to it.
Jophiel wrote:
and once again in not understanding what numbers I was using.

He chose not to use taxable income, this was not a failure to understand the numbers you were using. You failed to understand that he was making an argument based on total income.

This isn't a huge deal, but I'm a stickler when it comes to statements that are categorically correct or categorically false. Gbaji was correct in his statement about 17% of his total income of 100k, and you were wrong for asserting that he wasn't.

Edited, Jan 17th 2012 10:56pm by Allegory
#444 Jan 17 2012 at 10:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
However, I doubt comparing Romney's tax rate to someone in the $50-$75k range would have had the same value to you as comparing it to someone making $38.7k.

"...Households making between $50,000 and $75,000..."

Yes. And households making over $1M paid nearly 30%. What is your point?

That "households" aren't "someones", they're typically several "someones" living together and combining paychecks. I thought that was obvious but I've been overestimating you a lot lately. Shame on me.
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#445 Jan 18 2012 at 5:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Fascinating.
That word has no business in this thread.
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#446 Jan 18 2012 at 6:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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I explained why you are wrong on post 206.
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#447 Jan 18 2012 at 8:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'll just leave this here.
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#448 Jan 18 2012 at 8:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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#449 Jan 18 2012 at 11:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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Whisper Mill: Romney is hesitant to release his taxes partially because of millions donated to the Mormon church.
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#450 Jan 18 2012 at 3:30 PM Rating: Excellent
I've got an idea for creating jobs. How about we lower the tax rate on middle class folks, and increase it on the really wealthy folks. Then middle class folks (whom make up the majority of the population) will have more disposable income. When they have more disposable income, they go out and buy stuff or have paid entertainment. With a higher demand for entertainment and stuff to purchase, companies will have to hire more people to meet up with the higher demand.

That's how capitalism is supposed to work anyways, right? Smiley: rolleyes
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#451 Jan 18 2012 at 4:09 PM Rating: Good
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
I've got an idea for creating jobs. How about we lower the tax rate on middle class folks, and increase it on the really wealthy folks. Then middle class folks (whom make up the majority of the population) will have more disposable income. When they have more disposable income, they go out and buy stuff or have paid entertainment. With a higher demand for entertainment and stuff to purchase, companies will have to hire more people to meet up with the higher demand.

That's how capitalism is supposed to work anyways, right? Smiley: rolleyes

Stop your crazy talk! If tax rate goes up on the rich, they will stop being job creators. And if the low-middle class folk want more disposable income, they will get 2nd and 3rd jobs. Us poor folks should be happy with what we get and be thankful our betters let us work at all.
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