I'm so angry with the U.S. and Chinese governments right now!

GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
You might be correct, Trell, some of us brand any proposal for income redistribution and giveaways without accountability (like paying off all student loans, making all college education free, "fair share" discussions, and universal basic income programs) as socialist. Frankly, I don't care what you call programs like that, I think they're a really bad idea, and they lead to unsustainable welfare states that result in overall national decline and dependent populations. I don't care how many derogatory names you call me, I still believe that most adults must take personal responsibility for their own lives, and if that means they have a lower standard of living because they're not as productive as other people, so be it. And what really turns me off is that the greediest, most power-hungry, most controlling people I've ever known are the ones advocating that someone else isn't paying their fair share, and they're the ones who need to take the money that's in "the wrong hands" and control it.

Interesting that you bring up the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Since its inception my wife and I have personally contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the incremental taxes passed to fund it, and we received no direct benefits at all. And due to a sudden large influx of new patients into the healthcare system, the ACA was almost certainly inflationary to healthcare costs. However, the ACA included two statutes that had nothing to do with funding the program or wealth redistribution that were so popular that even Republicans thought they were a good idea. One said insurance companies had to cover dependent adults under their parent's plans until they were 26 years old. We took advantage of that provision for four people, and while it raised our personal coverage costs it saved our extended family a considerable sum of money. The second statute was that health insurance providers couldn't take existing conditions into account for approving coverage or determining premiums. In reality both laws increase the overall cost of insurance for those that don't take advantage of them, but the broad support for them indicates that they were simply areas of customer demand that needed the regulation to force application. Much like safety features and pollution controls in motor vehicles.

"...the greediest, most power-hungry, most controlling people I've ever known are the ones advocating that someone else isn't paying their fair share, and they're the ones who need to take the money that's in "the wrong hands" and control it."

You need to start hanging out with different people. ;)

I get it - you are philosophically opposed to compulsory income redistribution. The rich don't particularly care for the voluntary kind either.*
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/04/why-the-rich-dont-give/309254/

*I'm not saying that you're rich; I have no idea what income/assets you have and it doesn't matter.

Even when they do give, it's often just a quid pro quo - getting their name on a hospital building or their feckless offspring into the best universities.

Look, I don't agree with buying ponies for everyone either. I don't think university should be free - students need to put some skin into the game, as well, since such education generally results in higher incomes. But, tuition costs shouldn't be such an impediment and public support is warranted.

I'm not opposed to - in principal - a universal basic income from a sheer self-interest standpoint. If a UBI turned out to be more cost-effective than a smorgasbord of income supports and gets more money into the economy, I'm all for it. Previous experiments have been promising. I'm a free market advocate, but I won't be held prisoner to that philosophy.

The ACA looks like an attempt to get a universal public health care system through the private system, rendering it neither fish, nor fowl. If young healthy people are able to opt out of it, of course it will increase the cost of coverage for people who need it. From my perspective, it looks like an utter poop pageant.

I would rather that this discussion NOT become heated, as there is no need to see it shut down like the Mueller thread if we can avoid...strong language, I'll call it. :)
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
"...the greediest, most power-hungry, most controlling people I've ever known are the ones advocating that someone else isn't paying their fair share, and they're the ones who need to take the money that's in "the wrong hands" and control it."

You need to start hanging out with different people. ;)
Unfortunately, I don't hang out with them, I just listen carefully to what they say. The person who I sort of quote about money being in the wrong hands was Bill de Blasio, the current mayor of New York City who is running for President.

I get it - you are philosophically opposed to compulsory income redistribution. The rich don't particularly care for the voluntary kind either.*
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/04/why-the-rich-dont-give/309254/
I completely agree. For a long time I've thought the most hypocritical rich people are those who advocate raising taxes on themselves. My immediate thought years ago when Warren Buffett advocated this position was that he should just donate millions to the USG now. It is easy to do; there's even a formal process for it. Recently the Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial about it:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-open-letter-to-patriotic-billionaires-11561590264

Put up or shut up, Warren.

*I'm not saying that you're rich; I have no idea what income/assets you have and it doesn't matter.
People have different definitions of what being rich is, but I probably am.

Even when they do give, it's often just a quid pro quo - getting their name on a hospital building or their feckless offspring into the best universities.
Personally, I would be embarrassed to have my name on a hospital, like Mark Zuckerberg does, but no worries, I'm not even vaguely in that league. On the other hand, society does seem to benefit from that class of giving. In our case, my wife and I focus on the performing arts. Sometimes we even get our names in a symphony performance program! ;)

Look, I don't agree with buying ponies for everyone either. I don't think university should be free - students need to put some skin into the game, as well, since such education generally results in higher incomes. But, tuition costs shouldn't be such an impediment and public support is warranted.
I know you don't. Actually, I think we have more common ground than differences.

I'm not opposed to - in principal - a universal basic income from a sheer self-interest standpoint. If a UBI turned out to be more cost-effective than a smorgasbord of income supports and gets more money into the economy, I'm all for it. Previous experiments have been promising. I'm a free market advocate, but I won't be held prisoner to that philosophy.
I'm on the fence about UBI. It would take means-testing and a long list of conditions to win me over, but I'm admittedly a tough one to convince.

The ACA looks like an attempt to get a universal public health care system through the private system, rendering it neither fish, nor fowl. If young healthy people are able to opt out of it, of course it will increase the cost of coverage for people who need it. From my perspective, it looks like an utter poop pageant.

I would rather that this discussion NOT become heated, as there is no need to see it shut down like the Mueller thread if we can avoid...strong language, I'll call it. :)
I'll try to behave myself. The ACA was an attempt to increase healthcare benefits participation without up-ending the entire system. Personally, I think the Republicans hate the ACA because they hated Obama. I still hold it against the Republicans that they are dead set on dismantling the ACA, but refuse to eliminate the taxes it imposed. That's hypocrisy.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
People have different definitions of what being rich is, but I probably am.
I would call myself a 10 percenter, but at the bottom of that range. Of course, that range is pretty freakin' wide, so I most certainly would not call myself rich. Although, somebody in the bottom 10 percent would probably call me rich.

On the other hand, society does seem to benefit from that class of giving. In our case, my wife and I focus on the performing arts. Sometimes we even get our names in a symphony performance program! ;)
That's very commendable - and I mean that. :) Although, some SJWs would call that donating to the rich, because symphonies are seen as catering to the well-to-do. Of course, the average orchestra member probably appreciates your help putting supper on the table.

I'm on the fence about UBI. It would take means-testing and a long list of conditions to win me over, but I'm admittedly a tough one to convince.
Oh, I hear ya. I was sceptical before and it was reading about the different experiments conducted that made me reconsider. As you say, the devil is in the details.

I'll try to behave myself. The ACA was an attempt to increase healthcare benefits participation without up-ending the entire system. Personally, I think the Republicans hate the ACA because they hated Obama. I still hold it against the Republicans that they are dead set on dismantling the ACA, but refuse to eliminate the taxes it imposed. That's hypocrisy.
Partisanship really does play into peoples attitudes towards various policies.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
I would call myself a 10 percenter, but at the bottom of that range. Of course, that range is pretty freakin' wide, so I most certainly would not call myself rich. Although, somebody in the bottom 10 percent would probably call me rich.
My brother-in-law and I just had a conversation about this very subject. He didn't realize that the top 10% in the US "only" made over $118K per year. What's even more surprising is that the top 5% is $166K. Both of these figures are household income. Individual income of over $100K puts people into the top 6% according to the linked article.

We then started looking at different cities to see what the average household income was. The results were surprising in a lot of places. I still can't believe that the average in the US as a whole is only $$31K. Becomes much more obvious why most people have two incomes.
 
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panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
The ACA was an attempt to increase healthcare benefits participation without up-ending the entire system. Personally, I think the Republicans hate the ACA because they hated Obama. I still hold it against the Republicans that they are dead set on dismantling the ACA, but refuse to eliminate the taxes it imposed. That's hypocrisy.
Agreed, the current administration seems hell bent on undoing the previous administration did. If that's how things are going to continue we'll never make any progress.

If we're ever going to get the insurance/medical system under control normal medical costs have to come down to something people can manage. Insurance really in my opinion should only be for things like major surgery and the like. Make it more like car insurance. I don't use insurance for changing out a filter or my oil so why can't getting a routine checkup at the Dr. be like that? Once a year and make it affordable enough so everyone can do it. I get in a wreck, that's different and where insurance comes into play.

I know that example is grossly oversimplifying something very complicated, but it could work that way and insurance companies/hospitals would still make money and people wouldn't get gouged every month on premiums. Insurance used to be much cheaper for most everyone. Making it more expensive has just made too many people stop going to the doctor unless something major happens. Preventative care is always preferred over emergency care.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Sadly, I don't think it will get much better anytime soon with Trump's recent racist tweets attacking AOC and other women of colour in Congress. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Fox News that "We all know that A.O.C. and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel, they hate our own country." Now I just wait for Trump and some other G.O.P. Congress members to be called fascist, which is much closer to the truth than AOC is a communist.

I expect this to get worse, unless G.O.P. starts pushing back at Trump.
Did he actually mention race in his comments? Like it or not, no, he didn't. Ilhan Omar made a comment about 911- "some people did some things..."- WTF is her problem with stating who did what? Even if he had made a comment about her being Muslim, it's NOT racist because Islam isn't a race, it's a religion. AOC clearly doesn't like American life and wants to force people to accept her version- I don't give a rat's ass where she's from or her ethnicity- I don't like what she wants.

Look at the Democrat polls and you'll see that the most radical leftists are losing ground.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
You do realise that you do have socialism, right? Social security, medicare for senior citizens, food stamps for the poor, etc, are all “socialist” in nature. If you’re referring to the abolition of private property and all means of production to be publicly owned, well, that’s the communist extreme form of socialism.
If you already understand this, I apologise. But, if you “don’t ever want to see socialism here”, that horse has already left the barn.
I favour the capitalist economic model, as well. But, let’s not pretend that opportunity is presented equally to all. And, I think we have a moral obligation to look after those who cannot – whether due to physical/mental limitations or other circumstances – take advantage of the opportunities available to the rest of us.
The problem most people have with Socialism is the aspect where the government requires compliance in their plans and programs- there's no way to opt out. Government digging into our pockets every time they get a bug up their butt about something isn't right.

Sometimes, a program is about helping people but SS has been raped and pillaged for too long for it to last much longer without changing the upper threshold.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Sometimes, a program is about helping people but SS has been raped and pillaged for too long for it to last much longer without changing the upper threshold.
The cool thing about the Social Security Act is that as the income subject to FICA tax goes up, so do the corresponding benefits. I've always been a fan of lifting the cap because I've read the Act, but I don't think most Congressmen or voters understand that a FICA income cap of $400,000 (one of the proposals) might result in maximum monthly benefits for folks meeting or exceeding it of something like $10,000. That debate should be interesting.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Just to make sure we are looking at the same things, I want to point out that Median income and average (or mean) income are entirely different things.
The median personal income in 2017 was $31,786 and the average personal income in 2017 was $48,150 (or a little more than 50% above the median value).
These numbers would be roughly the same if there was an even income distribution in the US and can be used as a rough measure of income equality. However Big Money has figured out how to game the system (buying legal/political decisions so as to benefit themselves disproportionately) and consequently we now have a 50% disparity (through the 60's is was steady at about 10%, increased to 30% by 2010 and 50% by 2017-do you see the trend?)!
I am not an economist and don't know that true income equality is the objective to strive for, but I do have issue with the degree of disparity that we are currently seeing between the bottom 90% of the population and the top 1%!
If money is free speech in elections (Citizens United),the top 1% can speak very much disproportionately compared to the rest of us and if they are interested in gaming the system to their own benefit (DUH!) this is a trend that will continue to spiral out of control. And the relatively new Super-PAC rules allow them to speak anonymously. These are all recent laws that allow big money to dominate decision making in our country!
I am not very comfortable with some of the most extreme measures being proposed by Democrats, but nor am I comfortable with allowing things to continue as they are without checks and balances!
But it is the obscene rate at which the most wealthy have grown their wealth (while the middle class is stagnant) that is giving traction to Bernie and AOC! Interestingly, it is really the same discontent that propelled Trump to his presidency - he promised to be a champion of the common man who had been screwed by the system. As Pete Buttigieg puts it - votes for Trump were disenfranchised people voting to "burn the house down" - IOW, upend the current political system. I would really like to see how many people who supported Bernie shifted their vote to Trump after Bernie was out. Hillary, certainly looked like a continuation of the status quo in comparison!
 
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Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Just to make sure we are looking at the same things, I want to point out that Median income and average (or mean) income are entirely different things.
The median personal income in 2017 was $31,786 and the average personal income in 2017 was $48,150 (or a little more than 50% above the median value).
These numbers would be roughly the same if there was an even income distribution in the US and can be used as a rough measure of income equality. However Big Money has figured out how to game the system (buying legal/political decisions so as to benefit themselves disproportionately) and consequently we now have a 50% disparity (through the 60's is was steady at about 10%, increased to 30% by 2010 and 50% by 2017-do you see the trend?)!
I am not an economist and don't know that true income equality is the objective to strive for, but I do have issue with the degree of disparity that we are currently seeing between the bottom 90% of the population and the top 1%!
If money is free speech in elections (Citizens United),the top 1% can speak very much disproportionately compared to the rest of us and if they are interested in gaming the system to their own benefit (DUH!) this is a trend that will continue to spiral out of control.
I am not very comfortable with some of the most extreme measures being proposed, but nor am I comfortable with allowing things to continue as they are without checks and balances!
But it is the obscene rate at which the most wealthy have grown their wealth (while the middle class is stagnant) that is giving traction to Bernie and AOC! Interestingly, it is really the same discontent that propelled Trump to his presidency - he promised to be a champion of the common man who had been screwed by the system. As Pete Buttigieg puts it - votes for Trump were disenfranchised people voting to "burn the house down" - IOW, upend the current political system. I would really like to see how many people who supported Bernie shifted their vote to Trump after Bernie was out. Hillary, certainly looked like a continuation of the status quo in comparison!
I chose to quote the median income because with such a wide range of values, and 1% of those values being at least 10x of the lower values, the average is nearly meaningless.

As for the rest of your post, I'm not sure where to start. Who are these wealthy people growing their wealth at an obscene rate? Just the billionaires? That's about 600 people or so. Or are you talking about people who are merely millionaires, who are rich compared to "the rest of you"? I was recently reading that Fidelity Investments has about 350,000 clients with 401K or IRA accounts with one million dollars or more in them. They don't state what the median account value is, but it can't be much more than $1.5-2.0 million, I'd estimate, because Fidelity said 25% of these accounts fell below $1M in the 4Q18 stock market dip. Nonetheless, that's just Fidelity, and doesn't include the other financial institutions, though Fidelity is the biggest by far. Assuming they're roughly half the market for high-end 401Ks and IRAs, that would mean there are something like 500,000-700,000 accounts with a value over $1M. I was also reading that the US government equivalent of 401Ks, called TSP, has 33,000 account holders with a value over $1M. Throw in 403b retirement accounts and deferred income accounts (so-called "Rabbi Trusts") and I suspect we're closing in on one million accounts with a value of over $1M.

Admittedly, even one million accounts is only a small percentage of the total accounts of these types, and not every account represents a separate person, but if roughly a million people can figure out how to accumulate about one million dollars, just in retirement funds, I think that's evidence that the system allows a lot of people to succeed, not just a few thousand, and that there are other explanations for the disparities than the system is just biased. There are more people richer than ever because better technology allows more diverse avenues to riches (like computers and software),and global markets and population increases are making the addressable markets huge by comparison to even the 1990s, which makes the opportunities to get really rich more numerous. That relatively unskilled workers are participating less in that wealth accumulation doesn't surprise me at all; their audience is one employer, not 2 billion people, like Mark Zuckerberg's. Are you really arguing that there should be a relationship between the wealth of a person working an Amazon distribution center and Jeff Bezos? That's illogical.

As for Bernie, he does not have my respect at all. He's a millionaire with multiple homes preaching about the evils of the rich, and supports the New Green Deal while flying around the country in a private plane campaigning to rob from the rich and give to the poor. Such a flim-flam man.
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
I chose to quote the median income because with such a wide range of values, and 1% of those values being at least 10x of the lower values, the average is nearly meaningless.

As for the rest of your post, I'm not sure where to start. Who are these wealthy people growing their wealth at an obscene rate? Just the billionaires? That's about 600 people or so. Or are you talking about people who are merely millionaires, who are rich compared to "the rest of you"? I was recently reading that Fidelity Investments has about 350,000 clients with 401K or IRA accounts with one million dollars or more in them. They don't state what the median account value is, but it can't be much more than $1.5-2.0 million, I'd estimate, because Fidelity said 25% of these accounts fell below $1M in the 4Q18 stock market dip. Nonetheless, that's just Fidelity, and doesn't include the other financial institutions, though Fidelity is the biggest by far. Assuming they're roughly half the market for high-end 401Ks and IRAs, that would mean there are something like 500,000-700,000 accounts with a value over $1M. I was also reading that the US government equivalent of 401Ks, called TSP, has 33,000 account holders with a value over $1M. Throw in 403b retirement accounts and deferred income accounts (so-called "Rabbi Trusts") and I suspect we're closing in on one million accounts with a value of over $1M.
Well, that is what makes the mean/median ratio a generalized metric, but I personally think of it as the top 1% (3.2 million people),or people who had a net worth of over $10,374,000 in 2016, but as far as where the gaming is happening, that is mostly being done at a corporate level.
Admittedly, even one million accounts is only a small percentage of the total accounts of these types, and not every account represents a separate person, but if roughly a million people can figure out how accumulate about one million dollars, just in retirement funds, I think that's evidence that the system allows a lot of people to succeed, not just a few thousand, and that there are other explanations for the disparities than the system is just biased. There are more people richer than ever because better technology allows more diverse avenues to riches (like computers and software),and global markets and population increases are making the addressable markets huge by comparison to even the 1990s, which makes the opportunities to get really rich more numerous. That relatively unskilled workers are participating less in that wealth accumulation doesn't surprise me at all; their audience is one employer, not 2 billion people, like Mark Zuckerberg's. Are you really arguing that there should be a relationship between the wealth of a person working an Amazon distribution center and Jeff Bezos? That's illogical.
No, I am arguing that companies like Amazon (and Facebook is close) that paid $0 in federal taxes are being subsidized by the rest of us when they should at least pay their own share! The rules that allow their legal tax liability to be $0 (actually they received a $129 million rebate) in 2018 on a profit of $11.2 Billion just do not make sense! Please, explain it to me!!! I do think they should think in terms of offering their employees wages such that if a man gives an honest 40 hour work week, he is not on the brink of poverty if a medical event crops up among his family (but that is the result of Pharma gaming the system). Amazon does pay better, but it is a disgrace that the minimum wage is still $7.25! That is $15,080 a year. I am lucky to have earned good money over my career and had the exposure/aptitude to manage it well, but I am not so quick to believe that people who are not lazy and give a solid 40 hours a week (but could not afford to go to college) should not have a decent life! Partly, I am selfish, I have been to 3rd world countries and I don't enjoy having destitute people around me!
As for Bernie, he does not have my respect at all. He's a millionaire with multiple homes preaching about the evils of the rich, and supports the New Green Deal while flying around the country in a private plane campaigning to rob from the rich and give to the poor. Such a flim-flam man.
That is irrelevant (to my post). I was just saying that Bernie and Trump were both ways for a body to give established government "the finger" with their vote and, in that sense, they (ironically) were similar!
 
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Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
No, I am arguing that companies like Amazon (and Facebook is close) that paid $0 in federal taxes are being subsidized by the rest of us when they should at least pay their own share! The rules that allow their legal tax liability to be $0 (actually they received a $129 million rebate) in 2018 on a profit of $11.2 Billion just do not make sense! Please, explain it to me!!! I do think they should think in terms of offering their employees wages such that if a man gives an honest 40 hour work week, he is not on the brink of poverty if a medical event crops up among his family (but that is the result of Pharma gaming the system). Amazon does pay better, but it is a disgrace that the minimum wage is still $7.25! That is $15,080 a year. I am lucky to have earned good money over my career and had the exposure/aptitude to manage it well, but I am not so quick to believe that people who are not lazy and give a solid 40 hours a week (but could not afford to go to college) should not have a decent life! Partly, I am selfish, I have been to 3rd world countries and I don't enjoy having destitute people around me!
The tax rule you're talking about has been around for many decades, and it's called loss carry-forward. Basically, the Federal tax laws allow corporations *and individuals* to not only deduct losses from income, but if your losses exceed your income it allows you to carry the loss balance forward and deduct it for years. It is now a strategy used by many companies to lose a lot of money to build the company and create market share, and then deduct the losses when you are making money so the net income is tax free. Actually, it's my understanding that last year Amazon amazingly got a tax refund. Personally I hate the deductibility of losses, even in the current tax year, even though I've taken advantage of this law for capital losses myself. IMO losses should not be deductible AT ALL. Why should the rest of us subsidize poor decisions and outcomes? Nonetheless, it is the current law, though ironically the value of these losses carried forward on corporate books were significantly reduced when Congress lowered the corporate tax rate. Even more ironic is that public companies could be the target of shareholder class action suits if they don't take advantage of the available tax law incentives.

This is why I don't understand the silly "democratic socialist" proposals to dramatically change the tax laws, when IMO all we have to do is close a bunch of loopholes, eliminate special credits, eliminate loss deductibility, and phase out deductions completely above some reasonably high income level. For one thing, this strategy, of modifying existing tax laws, will be a lot easier to get past the House and Senate than any of Warren's or Sander's illogical stuff. Can you imagine the fight over a wealth tax? (For one thing, a wealth tax at the Federal level is arguably unconstitutional.)

FWIW, I agree that the current minimum wage is criminally low. On the other hand, Amazon pays at least $15/hour and provides medical and retirement benefits. And unfortunately there isn't a generally accepted definition for "a decent life". Nor are living conditions a basic right under the Constitution; not housing, not medical care, not even sufficient nutrition.
 
T

Trell

Senior Audioholic
Did he actually mention race in his comments? Like it or not, no, he didn't. Ilhan Omar made a comment about 911- "some people did some things..."- WTF is her problem with stating who did what? Even if he had made a comment about her being Muslim, it's NOT racist because Islam isn't a race, it's a religion. AOC clearly doesn't like American life and wants to force people to accept her version- I don't give a rat's ass where she's from or her ethnicity- I don't like what she wants.

Look at the Democrat polls and you'll see that the most radical leftists are losing ground.
I guess some people have to tell themselves that Trump is not a racist, as his recent tweets clearly shows, so that they can continue to vote for him.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
The tax rule you're talking about has been around for many decades, and it's called loss carry-forward. Basically, the Federal tax laws allow corporations *and individuals* to not only deduct losses from income, but if your losses exceed your income it allows you to carry the loss balance forward and deduct it for years. It is now a strategy used by many companies to lose a lot of money to build the company and create market share, and then deduct the losses when you are making money so the net income is tax free. Actually, it's my understanding that last year Amazon amazingly got a tax refund. Personally I hate the deductibility of losses, even in the current tax year, even though I've taken advantage of this law for capital losses myself. IMO losses should not be deductible AT ALL. Why should the rest of us subsidize poor decisions and outcomes? Nonetheless, it is the current law, though ironically the value of these losses carried forward on corporate books were significantly reduced when Congress lowered the corporate tax rate. Even more ironic is that public companies could be the target of shareholder class action suits if they don't take advantage of the available tax law incentives.

This is why I don't understand the silly "democratic socialist" proposals to dramatically change the tax laws, when IMO all we have to do is close a bunch of loopholes, eliminate special credits, eliminate loss deductibility, and phase out deductions completely above some reasonably high income level. For one thing, this strategy, of modifying existing tax laws, will be a lot easier to get past the House and Senate than any of Warren's or Sander's illogical stuff. Can you imagine the fight over a wealth tax? (For one thing, a wealth tax at the Federal level is arguably unconstitutional.)

FWIW, I agree that the current minimum wage is criminally low. On the other hand, Amazon pays at least $15/hour and provides medical and retirement benefits. And unfortunately there isn't a generally accepted definition for "a decent life". Nor are living conditions a basic right under the Constitution; not housing, not medical care, not even sufficient nutrition.
I'm onboard with simplifying tax laws. Even for individual taxpayers, the difference between when I started working and now, is dramatic. It used to be pretty straightforward - not anymore. If I needed to call the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) multiple times with the same question, I could get a different answer each time, depending on who you speak with.

And, the more complicated tax laws are for corporations, the more opportunities there are to game them.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
I guess some people have to tell themselves that Trump is not a racist, as his recent tweets clearly shows, so that they can continue to vote for him.
This is pretty amusing.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/trump-tweets-1.5214229
Actually, he may be no more racist than previous presidents or high ranking politicians. He just seems be congenitally incapable of keeping any thought that passes through mind from exiting his lips or thumbs.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
The cool thing about the Social Security Act is that as the income subject to FICA tax goes up, so do the corresponding benefits. I've always been a fan of lifting the cap because I've read the Act, but I don't think most Congressmen or voters understand that a FICA income cap of $400,000 (one of the proposals) might result in maximum monthly benefits for folks meeting or exceeding it of something like $10,000. That debate should be interesting.
I didn't mean cap, I meant the maximum income that FICA affects-at the moment, it's not much more than $100K and with the number of people making up to a million dollars, raising it to $500K wouldn't hurt them but it would definitely help the program. That FICA contribution would be matched by the employer, of course- if they can afford to pay people that amount, they should be able to afford the extra 7.65%.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
I didn't mean cap, I meant the maximum income that FICA affects-at the moment, it's not much more than $100K and with the number of people making up to a million dollars, raising it to $500K wouldn't hurt them but it would definitely help the program. That FICA contribution would be matched by the employer, of course- if they can afford to pay people that amount, they should be able to afford the extra 7.65%.
That's "the cap", referring to the cap on income subject to FICA tax. For 2019 it's $132,900. I'm not convinced that raising the cap would help the program, because benefits would go up too for higher income people. I just haven't seen the math; maybe raising the cap would benefit the program.
 
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T

Trell

Senior Audioholic
This is pretty amusing.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/trump-tweets-1.5214229
Actually, he may be no more racist than previous presidents or high ranking politicians. He just seems be congenitally incapable of keeping any thought that passes through mind from exiting his lips or thumbs.
A funny as well as an informative opinion piece!

No doubt there have been previous presidents and high ranking politicians (of both parties) that where racist, but as you wrote they where not as open and blatant about it as Trump, while they cynically played the race card.

In my opinion, Trump goes far further with his open racism as well as inciting his own base with it where they now are chanting "Send her back" with his approval, and words have consequences. I wonder when a Trump supporter tries to murder one of the four female coloured members of the House that Trump has attacked with his racist tweets.
 

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