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Thread: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

  1. #81
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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    You seem to assume quite a lot about my finances. Probably not a good pursuit. As for benefits from taxes, yes, but that was not the discussion. If you want to have that discussion, we can do it. Thje question is the amount of taxes commonly paid. I might also add the myriad areas where government adds cost to the average person, but it is not a tax. I didn't count these.
    I don't think I made any assumptions about your personal finances. You laid out the rates and where they went. I guess I assumed you lived in Illinois based on your profile data, but acknowledge that could be outdated or you might live in Indiana.

    But I think you're really missing the point. You latched on to the 20% figure that Benjamin used, but missed the point of why he used it. His example showed the flaw in the argument of "if only we paid less taxes we could give more to the poor." Whether it is 20% or 50% doesn't really matter - the point is that today, the government takes some money and spends it on things. We all like the idea of paying less taxes, but we're not so high on the idea of either 1) losing the various benefits we receive, or 2) having to give the money we save to others.

    If your tax rate went from 50% to 20%, would you give the savings to poor? Maybe you would, and kudos. I fear that I wouldn't. And I'm confident that the majority of Americans would not. So, I begrudgingly pay the % that I pay, but take some solace in believing that more good is being done under this system than would be done in any realistic alternative.
    Thanks Benjamin Hobbs, Rich Schmidt, Gina Stevenson - "thanks" for this post

  2. #82
    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Stapleton View Post
    Your 50% is probably a bit high. Consider that many of those tax rates apply only after multiple deductions. Sales tax is only on what you purchase (excluding the largest spending areas like housing), and I believe Illinois is one of the states that exempts a lot of necessities like grocery items.

    I have known self-employed people who complain loudly about their tax burden...never mind that they write off almost all of their spending as 'business expense' and so they maintain a high standard of living while paying less in taxes than a W2 employee with similar income.

    I don't really care if so-called 'small business owners' have lots of ways to legally avoid paying taxes, but when they complain about the paltry amount that they *do* pay, I have zero sympathy for their plight.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis
    Thanks Benjamin Hobbs - "thanks" for this post

  3. #83
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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    I have known self-employed people who complain loudly about their tax burden...never mind that they write off almost all of their spending as 'business expense' and so they maintain a high standard of living while paying less in taxes than a W2 employee with similar income.

    I don't really care if so-called 'small business owners' have lots of ways to legally avoid paying taxes, but when they complain about the paltry amount that they *do* pay, I have zero sympathy for their plight.
    Agreed. Ultimately, there are some costs which society will inevitably bear. There is just disagreement on where the line is. Most people agree that the Fire Department is worth funding with communal dollars. There's a little more controversy on Welfare and Healthcare. And apparently Foreign Aid is also up for debate. But as members of a democratic society, I think it is our duty to both 1) advocate for the things we think should be included in the invoice we send to "society," 2) accept that sometimes we are in the minority, and are therefore on the hook for what the majority has decided society will pay for.

    I for example hate the amount of money spent on the military. I have a family member who is pro military, and against refugee resettlement (something that I advocate for). But I do some mental justification and just tell myself that my taxes go to pay for refugee resettlement, their taxes fund the military, so both of us can be satisfied to some degree.

    We both happen to be in favor of paying for sewage.
    Thanks Rich Schmidt - "thanks" for this post
    Laughing David Troxler, Rich Schmidt - thanks for this funny post

  4. #84
    Senior Member Dan Henderson's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    I have known self-employed people who complain loudly about their tax burden...never mind that they write off almost all of their spending as 'business expense' and so they maintain a high standard of living while paying less in taxes than a W2 employee with similar income.

    I don't really care if so-called 'small business owners' have lots of ways to legally avoid paying taxes, but when they complain about the paltry amount that they *do* pay, I have zero sympathy for their plight.
    Businesses don't pay taxes. They never have and they never will. Businesses do not pay taxes in the US or in any part of this world or Mars. Payroll taxes are passed on to employees in the form of lower wages. The check that may or may not be written to the IRS each year by businesses is passed along to the consumer in the form of higher purchase prices.

    Businesses do not pay taxes. Businesses expense taxes.
    Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. - Gilbert K. Chesterson

  5. #85
    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post
    Businesses don't pay taxes. They never have and they never will. Businesses do not pay taxes in the US or in any part of this world or Mars. Payroll taxes are passed on to employees in the form of lower wages. The check that may or may not be written to the IRS each year by businesses is passed along to the consumer in the form of higher purchase prices.

    Businesses do not pay taxes. Businesses expense taxes.
    That's all nice, but I'm talking about self-employed individuals, not businesses. I do acknowledge the strategic value of changing the subject, but I'm not biting.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

  6. #86
    Senior Member Dan Henderson's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    That's all nice, but I'm talking about self-employed individuals, not businesses. I do acknowledge the strategic value of changing the subject, but I'm not biting.
    In that case, they pay the highest percent by far. In the macro numbers, they are included in the individual tax numbers, not the corporate. They pay a minimum of 15% on the first dollar. 15.2% in self employment taxes and they pay excise taxes. Then, they pay whatever the State and Local demands.

    The effective tax rate of a self employed person approaches 50% all day, every day.
    Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. - Gilbert K. Chesterson
    Thanks Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Rich Schmidt's Avatar

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    Re: CotN signs letter to Congress re. U.S. foreign aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    Still confused? The point is simple 50% of what goes out my door pays taxes. Most Americans who own a home, or work for a living are in the exact same boat.
    You're reminding me of Tax Freedom Day... which attempts to calculate all income and all taxes to figure out when in the year, on average, we've earned enough to quit working to pay our tax bills and start working for ourselves. It counts all levels of taxes (federal, state, etc). Their number is much lower than yours, figuring we've finished paying the tax man before April is out, about 31% of the way through the year.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Freedom_Day

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