Why Do Americans Worship Billionaires ?

  

Category:  Op/Ed

By:  john-russell  •  one month ago  •  103 comments

Why Do Americans Worship Billionaires ?
America doesnt exist to make people like Elon Musk wealthier than god.  It exists to provide for the common good. 


It is said Joe Manchin is becoming accepting of the idea of taxing billionaires in order to partially fund Bidens social spending agenda. 

The idea of "wealth tax" on the richest of the rich somehow sends Fox News types into fits of rage.  On Fox and Friends this morning the wealth worshiping cheerleader Stuart Varney was very upset that someone wants to tax Elon Musk, who has 200 billion dollars. A 3% annual tax on billionaires has been suggested , which would cost Musk 6 billion per year. After 100 years or so the government would have confiscated all his money. Woe is him. 

Or, Elon Musk will continue to make money at the pace he has been (an average of 10 billion per year has been added to his personal wealth over the past 20 years) .

Elon Musk would only be subject to a "billionaires tax" as long as he is a billionaire. If something unfortunate befell his finances and he wasnt uber wealthy anymore, the tax wouldnt apply to him. 

America doesnt exist to make people like Elon Musk wealthier than god.  It exists to provide for the common good. 

The government has every right to tax extreme wealth and use those funds to better the lives of the "peons".  You could say it has a duty to do so. 


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  author  JohnRussell    one month ago

Stuart Varney said today that those who want to tax wealth are jealous of people like Elon Musk. 

I doubt it. I think people just instinctively realize that no one "earns" 200 billion dollars. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago
I doubt it. I think people just instinctively realize that no one "earns" 200 billion dollars. 

How many jobs did Elon Musk create?


(Answer: 35,000)



What is amazing to me is how naive billionaires are about politics. Mark Zuckerberg spent $419 million to help left-wing activists rig the vote in battleground states (per Hemingway ’s book Rigged ), yet they’re still ripping him. Lesson for billionaires: appeasement never works

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1    one month ago
How many jobs did Elon Musk create?


(Answer: 35,000)

Is it your contention that if Elon Musk has 194 billion dollars next year instead of 200 billion he will stop creating jobs ? 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    one month ago

It is my contention that if Elon Musk is taxed on unrealized Capital gains, he will cease investing in the stock market. And yes that will hurt job creation.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1.3  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.2    one month ago
It is my contention that if Elon Musk is taxed on unrealized Capital gains, he will cease investing in the stock market. And yes that will hurt job creation.

I doubt he would cease investing. Why? Out of spite? I think he is too smart for that. 

Our financial system massively favors people who already have money. Why do we allow this?  People are brainwashed. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.4  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    one month ago
I doubt he would cease investing.

There are other things to invest in John that can't be taxed right away like the Market can. That's where they will go.

Right now the wealth tax is dead via Senator Kyrsten Sinema. The democrats are looking at the worst thing they could be looking at - unrealized Capital gains!

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
1.1.5  SteevieGee  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1    one month ago

Bezos created 1.3 million crappy low wage jobs.  He even thanked his workers for paying for his trip to space while they slaved away trying to make rent this month.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
1.1.6  Sparty On  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1.5    one month ago
Bezos created 1.3 million crappy low wage jobs. 

I'm no fan of Lex Bezos but those people are free to better themselves and find better paying jobs like many of us did but no.  

They want to bitch about the unskilled job their minimal skills qualify them for and expect to make top wages doing it.

Ridiculous!

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
1.1.7  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1.5    one month ago

Bullshit crappy low wage jobs.

"How much is Amazon paying an hour 2021?

Amazon said on Tuesday it is boosting its average starting wage to $18 an hour for 125,000 new hires in the U.S. in jobs in transportation and fulfillment. Some locations are also offering sign-on bonuses of up to $3,000. The new jobs may pay up to $22.50 an hour in some locations, Amazon said.Sep 14, 2021"
 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
1.2  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago
Stuart Varney said today that those who want to tax wealth are jealous of people like Elon Musk.

Obviously.  Just listen to them.

I doubt it. I think people just instinctively realize that no one "earns" 200 billion dollars. 

Out of curiosity, what's the threshold there?  How much money am I allowed to have before you and AOC arbitrarily decide I haven't "earned" it?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.1  Texan1211  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2    one month ago
Out of curiosity, what's the threshold there?  How much money am I allowed to have before you and AOC arbitrarily decide I haven't "earned" it?

That is a question I have yet to see answered.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.2.2  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2    one month ago

43 dollars

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.3  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @1.2.2    one month ago

So poor people who work don't "earn" their money?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
1.2.4  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @1.2.2    one month ago
43 dollars

That's the point.

You'll start off by telling us that "nobody earns a billion dollars".  Pretty soon it's "nobody earns a million dollars".  Then it's "nobody earns $500k".  

The threshold will keep dropping until you stop thinking you know better how to spend my money than I do....which is never.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.5  Texan1211  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2.4    one month ago
You'll start off by telling us that "nobody earns a billion dollars".  Pretty soon it's "nobody earns a million dollars".  Then it's "nobody earns $500k".  

Well, eventually the money they take from the billionaires won't be enough to fund all the things they want to be given to people. That's when they will have to lower the threshold to keep funding the giveaways.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.2.6  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2    one month ago

A lot of wealthy people don't EARN it, they INHERIT it.

 
 
 
arkpdx
Masters Participates
1.2.7  arkpdx  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.6    one month ago

So?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.2.8  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  arkpdx @1.2.7    one month ago

My comment was a response to Jack_TX's comment...

"How much money am I allowed to have before you and AOC arbitrarily decide I haven't "earned" it?"

Simply to point out that although some people "earn" it, others don't, but inherit it in which case they haven't earned it at all.  Should they be treated differently?

Kapish?

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
1.2.9  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.5    one month ago

I just got a notice that Paypal is requiring tax ID information now so they can report all transactions of $600 or more to the Fed.   I know they are discussing raising that number but regardless, i just got the notice with that amount of $600.

I am done with PayPal or any other electronic service like it if that happens.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
1.2.10  evilgenius  replied to  Sparty On @1.2.9    one month ago
I am done with PayPal or any other electronic service like it if that happens.

So you'll stop earning money because you have to report it? That's interesting. I worked on 1099 for 20 years and that reporting requirement is $600 or more. I never got a break.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
1.2.11  Sparty On  replied to  evilgenius @1.2.10    one month ago
So you'll stop earning money because you have to report it?

Interesting response to me simply saying i won't use a service like Paypal anymore.

That's interesting. I worked on 1099 for 20 years and that reporting requirement is $600 or more.

That was your choice.   Besides, that's a completely different thing.   You are talking income.   The Fed is talking EVERY financial transaction over $600.

It's very Orwellian.   No other word for it.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
1.2.12  evilgenius  replied to  Sparty On @1.2.11    one month ago
Interesting response to me simply saying i won't use a service like Paypal anymore.

Why? Are you quitting or limiting yourself to cash only? 

That was your choice.

Of course it was my choice. I could have stuck with cleaning up vomit and plunging toilets after Packer's game days at the Bar.

The Fed is talking EVERY financial transaction over $600.

So? if it's not "income" they can't do anything about it. And aren't you still legally required to report it anyway?

It's very Orwellian.

I don't like it either. I'm not closing my bank accounts. The IRS is looking for those people who are making off the books income. I don't know why that's a bad thing. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
1.2.13  Sparty On  replied to  evilgenius @1.2.12    one month ago
Why? Are you quitting or limiting yourself to cash only? 

Never said i was.   I said i would stop using Paypal.

Of course it was my choice. I could have stuck with cleaning up vomit and plunging toilets after Packer's game days at the Bar.

Yep, your choice.

So? if it's not "income" they can't do anything about it. And aren't you still legally required to report it anyway?

So?   It's none of the Feds business what i spend my money on.   The Fed is already too intrusive in that regard in my opinion.   This would make it even more painfully so on EVERY American.    Not just the rich.   You can be blissfully ambivalent about more government intrusion if you want.   I'm won't be and never will.

The IRS is looking for those people who are making off the books income.

Lol .... if that's all i thought this was i'd agree with you but you are being blissfully ignorant imo.   But hey, that's just my opinion, i could be wrong.

 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
1.2.14  Jack_TX  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.6    one month ago
A lot of wealthy people don't EARN it, they INHERIT it.

About 1/3, according to Forbes.

But in America, if your parents croak and leave you $1billion, you owe about $400 million in estate tax.  

How many times do we intend to tax that money?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Senior Principal
1.2.15  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2.14    one month ago
How many times do we intend to tax that money?

Bazinga!!

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
1.2.16  Jack_TX  replied to  Sparty On @1.2.9    one month ago
I am done with PayPal or any other electronic service like it if that happens.

That's not going to help you.  Any account of any kind that has more than $10k worth of inflow or outflow is going to be reported to the Inner Party and the Ministry of Truth.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
1.2.17  Sparty On  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2.16    one month ago

Yeah i know.

Hard to believe more people aren't up in arms about this .....

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.2.18  Sean Treacy  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2.16    one month ago

The sad part is they claim they are trying to catch billionaires, as if billionaires are hiding money in accounts with first $600, and now $10,000.

It's an attempt to squeeze people who make money on cash tips, or self employed businesses that take cash or perform services for cash/personal checks.  It's not billionaires they are after, but waitresses. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.2.19  Sean Treacy  replied to  evilgenius @1.2.12    one month ago
he IRS is looking for those people who are making off the books income. I don't know why that's a bad thing

Do you think the FBI should have no warrant access to your house to prevent crimes? IF you aren't committing a crime, why be upset if the cops can walk in to your house whenever they want? 

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
1.2.20  evilgenius  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2.19    one month ago

The IRS isn't looking through my books they are requiring financial entities to report data. It's an amount change on a reporting they were already doing.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
1.2.21  Sparty On  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2.14    one month ago
How many times do we intend to tax that money?

As many times as possible said every progressive ever.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.2.22  Sean Treacy  replied to  evilgenius @1.2.20    one month ago
ing through my books they are requiring financial entities to report data

Data about your personal account. The "only the guilty don't want to share everything with the government" threat is what totalitarian governments claim. 

 
 
 
gooseisback
Freshman Silent
1.2.23  gooseisback  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2.18    one month ago
It's an attempt to squeeze people who make money on cash tips, or self employed businesses that take cash or perform services for cash/personal checks.  It's not billionaires they are after, but waitresses. 

They should start printing money now they're going to need it, because no one will be using a bank they'll keep it in a safe at home. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.2.24  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2.14    one month ago

$600 million dollars invested conservatively at 5% will earn $30 million a year and with clever offshore planning no tax is paid - Gee whiz, how can I buy a new palace in Palm Beach and a French vinyard and a new Rolls Royce and a new yacht every year if the government applies a 3% tax on my $30 million?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
1.2.25  Jack_TX  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.24    one month ago
$600 million dollars invested conservatively at 5% will earn $30 million a year and with clever offshore planning no tax is paid - Gee whiz, how can I buy a new palace in Palm Beach and a French vinyard and a new Rolls Royce and a new yacht every year if the government applies a 3% tax on my $30 million?

That's not what they're talking about.  

They already tax the $30m gain, at 37%, plus whatever state and local taxes you get assessed.  

They're talking about taxing the $600 million....again.  And again.  And again.

Their attitude is...."Yes, we know you already paid taxes on that, but we don't think you should have that much so we're just going to keep taxing it over and over and over until you don't have any of it left and we don't have anything to be jealous of."

 Because that's really their idea of your "fair share".

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.2.26  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2.25    one month ago

I thought they were just talking about a tax on income.  I don't agree with their chipping away at capital.  That's nothing better than theft. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.2.27  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.26    one month ago
The 59 Americans whose fortunes have ballooned amid the coronavirus pandemic now have more wealth than half the nation’s population, new data show.

The poorest 50 percent of Americans, or roughly 165 million people, collectively owned about $2.08 trillion in wealth in the second quarter of 2020, according to Federal Reserve data released last week.

That’s less than the net worth of the nation’s 59 richest billionaires, who have a combined fortune of about $2.09 trillion, Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index shows — a number that’s grown this year despite the COVID-19 crisis kneecapping the global economy.

Those elite tycoons are among the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans, who were worth a total of $34.23 trillion in the second quarter — meaning they were more than 16 times richer than the nation’s poorest 50 percent, the Fed’s figures reveal. They include Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Just 59 Americans own more wealth than half the country: data (nypost.com)

One can either say "thats the way the cookie crumbles" or say "thats not right" . I will side with the "thats not right" group. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.2.28  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @1.2.9    one month ago
I am done with PayPal or any other electronic service like it if that happens.

I haven't used Pay Pay in years. Haven't missed it any.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
1.2.29  Jack_TX  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.26    one month ago
I thought they were just talking about a tax on income.  I don't agree with their chipping away at capital.  That's nothing better than theft. 

I explained that incorrectly.

They're talking about taxing the gains, whether those gains have actually been realized or not.  

So if the $600m worth of investments increases in value by $30m, you'd have to pay taxes on the $30m, whether you actually cashed out or not.

 

 
 
 
dennis smith
Masters Silent
1.2.30  dennis smith  replied to  evilgenius @1.2.12    one month ago

Why now and not before? 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.2.31  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2.29    one month ago

I didn't think that capital gains were taxed until they were realized (i.e. the asset or investment sold).  At least that's the way in Canada.  

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
1.2.32  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @1.2.28    one month ago

Yeah i don't either but i have friends and family who insist on it.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Quiet
1.2.33  Snuffy  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.31    one month ago

And that's the way it still works here in the US, we pay capital gains taxes on profit created when we sell an asset (stock/property/etc).

What the Democrats were trying to do is add a new tax. The way I read it is that for those really really rich (cuz their all bastards who don't deserve what they have   /s )  at the end of the year if their assets grew by say $100 million in value then they would owe a tax of $3 million on that increase in value. 

The two obvious problems that were not covered are :

1) If at the end of next year your assets decreased in total value from the beginning of the year would you be able to get a refund?  probably not.

2) There was no mention of doing away with the capital gains taxes so you would be taxed again on that money when you sold the asset also.

The double-taxation is what I believe would end up in court and cause it to eventually be tossed out anyway, but it would be a huge mess in the meantime. But hey, initially getting it included in the bill would allow  them to claim victory in showing the bill is paid for and help get it passed now. That seems to be the Washington mantra, push off to tomorrow everything we can in order to claim victory today.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
1.2.34  evilgenius  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2.22    one month ago
The "only the guilty don't want to share everything with the government" threat is what totalitarian governments claim. 

Has it always been totalitarian since 1099 K started in 2012? Why didn't Trump cut it off when he was President.  I don't like it either, but it's not totalitarian. I'd like to see that number a thousand dollars higher. Perhaps this will cost Dems more votes.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
1.2.35  evilgenius  replied to  Snuffy @1.2.33    one month ago
What the Democrats were trying to do is add a new tax.

That's what Progressives wanted to do, but from reports out this morning it looks to be dead in the water. Manchin killed it. We should be hearing about the deal struck and when a vote will be held to pass the packages sometime today.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.2.36  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Snuffy @1.2.33    one month ago

You're ax good with that answer as you are with my quizzes.  Thank you, and I agree with you.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Quiet
2  Snuffy    one month ago

And the unintended results ...

While Elon Musk may be worth $200 billion,  he's not holding that all in cash. It's in stock and the value of companies he owns, property he owns, etc.  He will need to sell to raise the $6 billion cash as the IRS doesn't take property title for a tax payment normally. So if the stock Musk holds is worth $200 billion but he is forced to sell a large chunk of it, what is the value of the stock after the sale?  Instead of having $194 billion in stock and $6 billion in cash, he may instead have $6 billion in case but only $188 billion in stock.  So does that $6 billion tax hit get lower due to the loss in total value?  Does Elon Musk just lose?

And this doesn't even take into account the constitutional fight this tax would bring about.  I would expect some rather spectacular court fights over this.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Snuffy @2    one month ago
Does Elon Musk just lose?

I guess he does lose the 6 million in taxes. That is actually the point. 

Lets not fund dental care for senior citizens because Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos or George Soros need more money.  It is insanity. 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
2.1.1  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    one month ago
Lets not fund dental care for senior citizens because Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos or George Soros need more money.  It is insanity. 

Is there any point at which you accept the responsibility to pay your own bills?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.2  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.1    one month ago

Jeff Bezos paid taxes on 83,000 dollars of income last year. 

Do you think that was his entire income? 

Why dont you want investment income taxed? 

Do you think that its right that we have this rigged taxation system? Evidently you do. 

Now we see you think its more important for Elon Musk to have 200 billion dollars rather than 194 billion, instead of having senior citizens have decent teeth in their mouths for their final years.

What the hell is wrong with you? 

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Quiet
2.1.3  Snuffy  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.2    one month ago
Why dont you want investment income taxed? 

The problem here as I see it is that it's not yet income. While it's sitting there as a stock certificate it has no value, it's not income until it's sold because at that point the value is assigned to that stock certificate. This new tax proposal is to tax property, not income. The 16th Amendment clearly states income,  not property or wealth. So any wealth tax that Congress puts into a reconciliation bill will surely be the subject of a court case and end up in front of SCOTUS. 

Just as important, the estimates are that this will raise $200 billion over the next ten years. That's just a very small piece of a $2 trillion package. So how long before they lower the dollar value on wealth before they start to tax everybody like this?  After all we just experienced one hell of a housing bubble where  home prices went up at extreme rates. My home value in the past year went up by over $150k, should I have to pay taxes on that increase now even though it's not income because I'm not selling my home?  And when I sell my home don't I have to pay capital gains on that increased value, so won't that be double taxation? 

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2.1.4  Split Personality  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.2    one month ago
Now we see you think its more important for Elon Musk to have 200 billion dollars rather than 194 billion,

The issue I have with Musk is, for example, the retarded way SpaceX works "with" Cameron County TX.

The Boca Chico Spaceport employees 500 people now.

Rather than Musk build new roads or work with the County, Spaceport private security often closes public roads

and ignores warnings from public officials at all levels.

Tesla/Musk recently "abandoned" California because they would not make exceptions for him.

Now he wants to be an energy broker in Texas in the unregulated energy provider marketplace that failed during the last storm.

We used to call these people robber barons, during their accumulation periods they were ruthless, now they are too big to fail charities

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
2.1.5  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.2    one month ago
What the hell is wrong with you?

We'll start with this one.  My affliction is that I understand both math and money.  This drastically impairs my ability to support batshit extremist dogma from either set of wingnuts.  It severely limits my lifestyle.  Think of all the protests I could be attending if I didn't think they were all morons.

I have additional complicating factors like my age (mid 50s) which means I am old enough to recognize ridiculous bullshit when I see it...and my generation (GenX) which impairs my ability to refrain from rolling my eyes and saying "oh for fuck's sake".

Jeff Bezos paid taxes on 83,000 dollars of income last year. 

Your source on that?  Because he supposedly has reported about $6.5 billion between 2006 and 2018.

Do you think that was his entire income?

I don't think it's accurate, so it doesn't matter.

Do I think he reports his entire income?  Abso-fuckin-lutely.  No question.  He has too much to lose to risk tax evasion.

Why dont you want investment income taxed? 

Oh for fuck's sake.   How do you fit so much wrong into so few words?   

  • You're not talking about investment income, you're talking about taxing wealth.  If you don't understand the difference, you should stop talking about tax policy.
  • We do tax investment income.
  • We tax short-term capital gains at the same rate as we tax regular income.
  • My reluctance to start a brand new kind of tax is primarily down to the fact that I trust you and every other batshit leftist considerably less far than I can throw you.  You never met a single dollar of somebody else's money you didn't want to spend because of your "feelings", and it's simply a matter of time before you start coming after mine.
Do you think that its right that we have this rigged taxation system? Evidently you do.

Explain how it's rigged, John.  Be specific.  Regale us with your copious understanding of the Internal Revenue Code.

Explain why the 10% of people who already pay 72% of all income tax should have to pay more.  They make far less than 72% of total income.  How much more do you expect them to pay?  What number is their "fair share"?  

 Or do you just want to tax them until you're not jealous of them anymore?

Now we see you think its more important for Elon Musk to have 200 billion dollars rather than 194 billion, instead of having senior citizens have decent teeth in their mouths for their final years.

Tell us why we need to add dental benefits when they're already available as part of most Medicare Advantage plans.  How much is that going to cost those of us who are still working?

Do explain why you imagine that seniors can't buy their own dental insurance or pay for their own dental bills....just as they've always done.

How many more of their bills are you wanting to pay, John?  Are we going to start buying their gasoline so they can get to their doctor appointments?  Maybe free Uber?  We can give them all "Senior Snap" cards so they can eat for free at the 4pm buffet.

Medicare already taxes the poor to pay for the rich.  The median household net worth for people over 65 is 20 times that of those under 35.  So naturally we should tax the shit out of young people so you don't have to pay your own bills. *eyeroll*

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.6  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.5    one month ago

Breaking | Jun 8, 2021, 09:19am EDT | 152,370 views

Updated Jun 8, 2021, 10:39am EDT

Topline

With issues of wealth inequality and tax avoidance by the ultrarich front and center in Washington, a   new analysis   from ProPublica of more than 15 years of leaked confidential individual tax data shows how the wealthiest Americans pay very little—or, in some cases, nothing—in federal income tax.

zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx

Key Facts

ProPublica found that while the median American household earning roughly $70,000 per year paid 14% in federal taxes each year, the 25 richest Americans (by   Forbes’   tally) paid a “true tax rate” of just 3.4% on wealth growth of $401 billion between 2014 and 2018.

ProPublica’s “true tax rate” is a novel and sure-to-be-controversial measure of how much taxes an individual paid each year compared to   Forbes ’ calculation of how much their wealth grew during the same time, meaning that ProPublica is counting unrealized capital gains, which are not taxed under the current U.S. Tax Code.

According to ProPublica’s analysis, billionaire investor Warren Buffett,   an advocate of higher taxes on the rich , saw his wealth grow by more than $24 billion from 2014 to 2018 and paid a true tax rate of 0.10%—a reflection of the fact that he reported just $125 million in income during that period, makes large charitable contributions and (since he pays himself a minimal salary), most of his income comes in the form of lower-taxed capital gains.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos paid a true tax rate of 0.98% as his wealth grew by a staggering $99 billion between 2014 and 2018; he reported just $4.22 billion in reported income during the same period.

As Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla, saw his wealth balloon by $13.9 billion between 2014 and 2018, he reported $1.52 billion in income and paid a true tax rate of 3.27%.

=======================================================

By the way, I dont care if you can do math. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.7  author  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.6    one month ago

Billionaires are able to avoid paying income tax thanks to a huge number of available loopholes, which are then kept in place by politicians who are susceptible to intense lobbying from these same billionaire business-owners.

Guess How Much Jeff Bezos & Elon Musk Pay in Income Tax. Go on, Guess. (msn.com)

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
2.1.8  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.7    one month ago

Get rid of the loopholes, graduated flat tax.

There, fixed it for you.

But it will never happen since a good portion of people who are paying net zero federal income tax right now might have to pay some small, single digit amount and a lot of the people who would vote for the law would miss the loopholes for themselves or for their richer money buddies.

Money truly is the root of all evil and it doesn't matter if you are rich or poor.   Both lust after more.

 
 
 
gooseisback
Freshman Silent
2.1.9  gooseisback  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.2    one month ago
Jeff Bezos paid taxes on 83,000 dollars of income last year

Although I can't stand Jeff Bezos, he paid the tax he is legally required to pay.  

Why dont you want investment income taxed? 

Investment income is taxed, if you sell the investment.  To try and tax an unrealized gain that is still invested is idiotic, if the market goes down then what, they apply for a refund the next year. 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
2.1.10  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.6    one month ago
By the way, I dont care if you can do math. 

The problem is that you either can't or won't, and as a result you have no clue what you're looking at.

Case in point....

ProPublica found that while the median American household earning roughly $70,000 per year paid 14% in federal taxes each year, the 25 richest Americans (by   Forbes’   tally) paid a “true tax rate” of just 3.4% on wealth growth of $401 billion between 2014 and 2018.

I'm guessing you didn't notice them compare the percent of income for average households to the percent of wealth for billionaires. We may as well compare mph to rpm to decide whether one car is faster than another. 

Here, ProPublica does the kind of thing that many leftist publications do...they intentionally misuse math because they know their audience is either too ignorant to catch it or so consumed with envy they don't care if data is true or not.

So if you intend to tax people on the increase in their wealth, what will you do when the stock market tanks and their wealth decreases?  Will they get money back?

Not sure why I'm asking.  You don't seem to have any answers.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
2.1.11  Jack_TX  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.8    one month ago
Get rid of the loopholes, graduated flat tax.

The big obstacles to that are, first, that Congress uses the tax code as a massive system of bribery to influence behavior.  They're never going to give up that power.  

Secondly, a flat tax benefits a very small portion of the population and increases taxes on most of the rest, so nobody is ever going to vote for it.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.12  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.10    one month ago
paid a “true tax rate” of just 3.4% on wealth growth of $401 billion between 2014 and 2018.

You just dont want these rich people to pay taxes. "Wealth growth"  within a set time period IS income. If your grandma sends you 20 dollars in a birthday card that is income. If you hit the trifecta at the track that is income.  

Bezos can convert that "wealth growth" to cash whenever he wants, correct? No one is forcing him to hold onto that stock. Pay your taxes, and then do whatever you want with that "wealth growth". 

"Average people" cannot shield their income from tax like this, why in hell should the rich be allowed to? 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.13  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.10    one month ago
So if you intend to tax people on the increase in their wealth, what will you do when the stock market tanks and their wealth decreases?  Will they get money back?

What if someone has a million dollars in cash hidden in their closet for years and then either the dollar crashes or inflation eats much of it up?  So what?  The guy did what he wanted to do.  Bezos doesnt have to hold onto the stock, no one is forcing him. If he is afraid the stock market will crash he should sell it.  That has nothing to do with him paying taxes on wealth INCREASE now.  

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
2.1.14  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.12    one month ago
You just dont want these rich people to pay taxes.

Your accusations grow increasingly petulant with each passing post.

"Wealth growth"  within a set time period IS income.

It isn't.  Seriously.  Read up on this.

If your grandma sends you 20 dollars in a birthday card that is income. If you hit the trifecta at the track that is income.  

Both of those are examples of income.  That's not what you're talking about taxing.

You're talking about something like...instead of the $20, your grandma sends you your dad's old baseball card collection, and in the tattered old shoebox you find a Joe DiMaggio rookie card in mint condition. It's worth about $75,000.  A year later, you find it's grown to $100,000. 

You have a gain of $25k.   That's not income.  Because you didn't actually receive any money.

During that year, your house has gone up in value from $600,000 to $620,000. 

You have another $20k gain.  That's also not income.  Because you didn't actually receive any money for that, either.

Now....if we're going with your thought process, you'll owe taxes on an additional $45k, which will probably work out somewhere around $10k-$15k added tax.  Don't have it?  Too bad.  I guess you better sell that baseball card.  Or the house. 

Bezos can convert that "wealth growth" to cash whenever he wants, correct?

Not necessarily, no.

No one is forcing him to hold onto that stock. Pay your taxes, and then do whatever you want with that "wealth growth". 

Nobody should be forcing him to sell it, either.  

 When he does sell it, he'll convert that capital appreciation to income, and he'll owe taxes.  

"Average people" cannot shield their income from tax like this, why in hell should the rich be allowed to? 

Once again, it isn't income.  And average people do this very thing all the time.  Their assets just don't appreciate as much as Bezos or Musk.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.15  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.14    one month ago

If it wasnt income he wouldnt be able to sell it if he wanted to. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.16  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.15    one month ago
If it wasnt income he wouldnt be able to sell it if he wanted to. 
income
[ˈinˌkəm]
NOUN
  1. money received, especially on a regular basis, for work or through investments.
    "he has a nice home and an adequate income" ·  
    [more]
    synonyms:
    earnings   ·   salary   ·   pay   ·   remuneration   ·   wages   ·   stipend   ·   emolument   ·   revenue   ·   receipts   ·   takings   ·   profits   ·   gains   ·   proceeds   ·   turnover   ·   yield   ·   dividend   ·   incomings   ·   money received   ·   means   ·   take
 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
2.1.17  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.15    one month ago
If it wasnt income he wouldnt be able to sell it if he wanted to. 

That is not how it works. 

Seriously.  Do some reading.  Preferably something that is factual instead of angry leftist bloggers who know nothing about money or math.

Start here:   www.investopedia.com

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
2.1.18  Sparty On  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.11    one month ago

Thirdly many of them are automatically conflicted ..... being CPA's and tax attorneys themselves.

Flat tax means many of them are out of a job.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Junior Quiet
2.1.19  Jack_TX  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.18    one month ago

Once they've spent time as a Congressman or Senator, they don't really ever need to work again.  If they do, they can always hire on at a lobbying firm or an investment house where they get paraded around to impress prospective clients.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
2.1.20  Sparty On  replied to  Jack_TX @2.1.19    one month ago

I know, it's pretty f'd to be sure.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
PhD Expert
3  Greg Jones    one month ago

With only 700 billionaires to tax, not much money will be raised. Perhaps a wiser course would be to reduce spending

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @3    one month ago

So senior citizens should not have dental care so that the extremely wealthy can avoid just taxes ? 

Do you worship wealth? 

 
 
 
Ronin2
PhD Quiet
3.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    one month ago

The money gained by taxing billionaires wouldn't even come close to providing free dental care. That is the point!

Democrats and their "You didn't build that, or earn that" BS.

If they really wanted to do some good they would pass a bill targeting the insider trading going on at the federal government level in DC.  Of course that would affect them as well; so it will never be done.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.2  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1.1    one month ago
The money gained by taxing billionaires wouldn't even come close to providing free dental care. That is the point!

So we should not tax billionaires because doing so will only provide part of the money needed. 

That actually makes sense to you? 

 
 
 
Ronin2
PhD Quiet
3.1.3  Ronin2  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.2    one month ago

I am a graduated flat tax person with no loopholes. Everybody pays their fair share. 

None of this selective targeting BS that doesn't do any good; and always has unintended consequences. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
3.1.4  Sparty On  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1.3    one month ago

Spot on!

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1.5  Tessylo  replied to  Sparty On @3.1.4    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1.6  Tessylo  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1.3    one month ago

Flat tax is nonsense. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.7  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1    one month ago
So senior citizens should not have dental care so that the extremely wealthy can avoid just taxes ? 

And why can't they pay for their own care?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1.3    one month ago
I am a graduated flat tax person with no loopholes. Everybody pays their fair share. 

The progressive liberals will never agree to that. They really DON'T want everyone to pay their fair share.

They want to punish the wealthy because they are wealthy.

And no loopholes would be perfect with me.

No deductions for ANYTHING.

You make $XX, you pay $XX.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.9  Texan1211  replied to  Tessylo @3.1.6    one month ago
Flat tax is nonsense. 

Why?

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
3.1.10  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.8    one month ago

Yep it's the progressive way.

As long as someone else is paying for it, they are all for it.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Guide
3.1.11  evilgenius  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1.3    one month ago
I am a graduated flat tax person with no loopholes.

At least we have one point were we can agree. 

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Senior Participates
3.2  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Greg Jones @3    one month ago
Perhaps a wiser course would be to reduce spending

Democrats cut spending.  That's funny.  You stand a better chance of finding a unicorn.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
4  Sparty On    one month ago

Most of us don't, not me anyways.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5  Buzz of the Orient    one month ago

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it's "The American Way".

"[America] exists to provide for the common good."

Wait a sec, that's beginning to sound like someplace else that so many fear.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
5.1  Sparty On  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5    one month ago
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it's "The American Way".

That is all perspective.

I compare the way we grew up to today and there is no comparison.   People were simply not as well off back then in most places.   Americans today, in general are more well off monetarily.   Case in point:

We didn't have cable/satellite and no bill there.    Couple hundy bucks a month for most Americans because they are richer and can afford it.   Access to such services was very limited back in our time even for the rich.   That's okay though because we probably couldn't have afforded it anyways but i think we were still happier back then than people today.

We didn't have cell phones and data plans.   No bill there.   Almost everyone has one now because they are richer and can afford it.

Only rich parents paid for kids college education.   The rest of our parents couldn't afford it.   Many more parents today pay for or at least subsidize their kids college education because they are richer and can afford it.

Our family had one car until three of us kids pooled our money and bought a POS 63 Plymouth Valiant.   Few families had more than one car and fewer kids had their own car.   A majority of families today have more than one car and lot of their kids have their own car because their family is richer and can afford it.

I could keep going but you get the point.   It never ceases to amaze me how people bitch about rich folks like Bezos, Musk, Gates and Walton while they are shopping at Walmart, buying something on Amazon or using a Windows product.    Then they bitch about it some more on Facebook or Twitter.  It's ridiculously hypocritical. 

So to summarize, Americans ARE much better off then previous generations.   Not sure it will continue that way with  the Fed spending money like a drunken sailor on liberty but up to just recently it is basically true that many more Americans are better off monetarily.   Are they happier because of it?   Doesn't seem so because with some folks it's never enough.   I look at starting fast food wage offers of up to $21 an hour in my podunk town and just shake my head.

Any notion that that the middle class "bourgeois" are forced to be slaves to make the rich, richer, is just ridiculous.   No one is forcing anyone to buy their stuff or use the services they are selling.   Folks do it of their own free will.   Bitching about it amounts to nothing more than petty jealousy imo.

But hey, that's just my opinion.   I could be wrong.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sparty On @5.1    one month ago
"i think we were still happier back then than people today."

Maybe that's why I keep saying "Please, Scotty, beam me back to the early 1950s."  I had my own car then, at the age of 16,  Nobody had a cell phone back then, but then nobody MISSED having one.  Life is very different now.  A little kid could go out and play at dawn and not come home till dusk and nobody had to keep an eye on them back then.  Of course there are more sophisticated and better things and things nobody knew could exist, but they didn't, which is why people didn't want them.  Now with unbelievable advertising and promotional tricks people are MADE to want things. 

Could it be the more you have, the more you want?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.2  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Sparty On @5.1    one month ago

800

800

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.3  author  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.2    one month ago

In 2020 the median household income is $69,200, and in 1968, adjusted for inflation , it was $54,400.  

There are about 2 1/2 times more two income households nowadays than there were in the 60's. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.3    one month ago
There are about 2 1/2 times more two income households nowadays than there were in the 60's. 

And some very good contributing reasons why that is so.

Credit card debt.

The need for instant gratification.

The "I deserve it" because "I want it now" attitude prevalent today.

Spoiling children beyond reason.

Widespread use (and abuse) of credit today.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
5.1.5  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.3    one month ago

That number (2021 adjusted median income) is going to change significantly in 2021 John when 2021 is adjusted for that years high inflation.

You can play the numbers game all you want.   My real life examples still hold true no matter how hard you try to rationalize your point..

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
5.1.6  Sparty On  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1.1    one month ago

You were the exception to the rule then if you owned a car at that age.   Our HS parking lot was rarely 1/4 full when i was going there in the 70's.   Now a sophomores can't get a parking pass and juniors and seniors enter a lottery in the hopes of getting one.   Not everyone gets one   The lot is full EVERY school day.

Could it be the more you have, the more you want?

It is, which is not always a bad thing imo.   It's a bad thing when i can count the reasons being two or three of the deadly sins.   Lust, Greed or Wrath.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.1.8  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sparty On @5.1.6    one month ago

Because I was only 16 my father owned the car but it was for my own use.  I think he didn't want me driving his car..  My car was a used 2 year old Ford Custom Coach, manual gear shift, but damn, I loved that car, even though it wasn't the one I REALLY wanted, which was a 1939 black Packard limousine sitting for sale at the gas station around the corner that I could have bought for $600.  Take a look at an example of that gorgeous thing .  I'm sure you could hit the fender with a hammer and not make a dent.  My father wouldn't go for it.

R-C.a1145c41625c2736c4e4d746847c29c4?rik=TzFAyJ%2bIYvCL%2bQ&riu=http%3a%2f%2fimages1.americanlisted.com%2fnlarge%2f1939_packard_limousine_28445949.jpg&ehk=EkY9P7mlKfh3miMitJLOsCcE7wFFV8%2bBNdx2W3nrGyQ%3d&risl=&pid=ImgRaw&r=0

In the movie Devil's Advocate, John Milton (Al Pacino) was the devil, and he said that vanity was his favourite sin.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.9  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Sparty On @5.1.5    one month ago

The point is it does not appear we are richer now. It appears the somewhat higher median household income is because more families have both mother and father working. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
5.1.10  Sparty On  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1.8    one month ago

Nice, i have an original 1946 Willys jeep with metal like that.   It is THICK!

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
5.1.11  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.9    one month ago

 I've offered you numerous additional costs that most families have today that we didn't have and i didn't even get into all of them.   That is reality.    Can you explain how people can afford all those extra costs today if they aren't making much more income to cover it?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.12  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Sparty On @5.1.11    one month ago

Credit cards.  Student loans. Much less in savings accounts. 

There is somewhat more money though. That is shown in the figures. The higher you go up the income ladder, also, the greater the gap between the 60's and now gets. High income people are making quite a bit more now than higher income people did in the 60's. In the lower income brackets and the lower middle brackets the rise between now and the 60's is barely there at all. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
5.1.13  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.12    one month ago

Personal debt can only take you so far before bankruptcy but i agree.

People today have no problem accumulating debt they can't afford when prior generations tended to go without when they couldn't.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.1.14  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sparty On @5.1.13    one month ago

My father used to say that if you didn't have the cash in your pocket, you couldn't afford it. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
5.1.15  Sparty On  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1.14    one month ago

Very good advice.  

Advice totally lost of most of the current generation.   Generation P ...... as in plastic.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Quiet
6  Snuffy    one month ago

It's now being reported that Democrats will no longer pursue a proposal to enact a billionaire tax on the unrealized investment gains of the wealthiest Americans.  

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
6.1  bbl-1  replied to  Snuffy @6    one month ago

So if the investment gains of the billionaires are 'unrealized' does that mean that they can't afford to ante up to help pay the grounds keepers at Arlington National Cemetery?  Is this what this is all about?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
6.2  Texan1211  replied to  Snuffy @6    one month ago
It's now being reported that Democrats will no longer pursue a proposal to enact a billionaire tax on the unrealized investment gains of the wealthiest Americans.  

Good, it was a stupid plan anyways!

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
7  bbl-1    one month ago

Americans do not generally worship the super rich.  However, under Supply Side Economics, Americans are owned by the super rich and with the advent of SSE's bastard baby, Citizens United, so is their government.

 
 
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