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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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I'll just leave this here.
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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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