Here’s a thought experiment for ya

Thinking about the Bush tax cuts and whether or not extending or not extending them will affect certain groups — i.e. small businesses — why not just publish a list of all of the people whom it would affect?

It’s what? one or two percent of the population.  And we all know at least some of the people who would be on that list.  But if you could publish the list of people making over $250,000 by county, then people could check if their names are on the list and see that they are not on it and then know that their taxes will not go up.

I suggest this since I heard untold numbers of people call into wingnut radio stations claiming that their taxes had gone up when nothing of the kind happened.  I think until they can see that they are NOT on the list, then and only then would they believe it.  Otherwise, a tax increase for one wingnut (i.e. the wingnut they are listening to) is a tax increase for all.

I’ll start a local speculative list here and now, and then see how many people’s salaries I can verify.

Michael Berry

(I’d put Chris Baker, but he lives in Minnesota.  And Joe Pags lives in San Antonio.)

Dave Ward

Gina Gaston

Greg Hurst

Lucy Noland

Bill Balleza

Dominique Sachse

Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell (and any professional sports player — except for soccer players — living in the county.  Oh, and maybe not J.R. Richard or Enos Cabell.)

There are, of course, the attorneys and accountants, who would pay a bit more in taxes.  Some educators and academics would fall into the category as well.  There are a couple whom I would love to see pay a bit more since they are dicks as far as my department is concerned and use personal issues with one person to punish an entire department — but I digress.

I don’t think many politicians fall into that category, though I will have to do some digging to find out.  Bill White stands out, but I am sure he wouldn’t mind paying more.  He knows how the cuts have starved the country over the years they have been in place on a first hand basis.

But to my larger point:  I really don’t think that Dems can push the no new taxes for people making under $250,00, because they cut taxes for those folks and there are a few who think they can make people believe their taxes have gone up — despite stark evidence to the contrary — and so, one option the Dems are considering is not raising taxes for anyone.  That way, no one can complain.  I see them working.  It’s premised upon Americans being stupid and the liars on the radio and on teevee winning the argument.

I think my plan is better.  Stop talking abstractions and just name the people in the top tax bracket whose taxes would go up.  It’s not that many people.  Just name them so people can see that they are not on the list and be done with it.

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16 responses to “Here’s a thought experiment for ya

  1. I think this is an excellent idea. It would also be interesting to see individuals on the ‘to-be-taxed’ list in professions one might not expect: law enforcement, organized (& disorganized) religion, political think tanks, former politicians (who rarely do anything but increase their salaries while doing a tiny amount of the work they used to as elected officials: Jimmy Carter being an honorable exception, of course).

    • For me, it’s that the people pontificating and reporting on what happens with the Bush tax cuts have a dog in this race — a very big dog. Since the SCOTUS declared money “speech” they have a bigger and potentially louder voice to advocate against President Obama’s position. I think it’s why the “it will affect small business” nonsense goes unchallenged. Even one of the people involved in the media spewing that will see their taxes go up if Obama’s plan is made law.

      There’s something very wrong with that.

  2. While their income tax may not have resin other taxes they pay have and I think Obama did not make a clear separation of the two and even though healthcare may not be a tax per say employers have had to increase the cost of Obamacare to it employees. So while personal income taxes may not have gone up, all other cost of living has.

    • Like what taxes, timmie? What taxes have been levied on the top 1% of tax payers? Do you have any proof that that same top 1% has had its health care insurance premiums rise?

      As for your last sentence, I guess you weren’t paying attention to prices in 2008. Inflation is nonexistent and prices for everyday items like gasoline are nowhere like they were just two years ago.

      Do you fancy finding yourself on my proposed list?

      • I am really not concerned with the top 1% as they paid over 40% of the taxes in 2007 and provide the majority of the jobs with their business while the bottom 50% only paid 2.9%. And yes the cost of living has increased and will continue to increase under Obama due to his tax increase on business that will be taking effect over the next ten years. Honestly I don’t care if I’m on that list, I wish I was as my income falls into the $50K to $60K range. I have worked hard in the last 30 years to achieve what I have and I apologize to no one for what I earn.

        • Boy, you do just believe whatever your side tells you (i.e. the numbers you find on tax payer advocacy sites are slanted — but you knew that, right?). In reality, the top 1% earns about 17% of the income and pays 23% of taxes, the top 5% earns 31% of the income and pays about 40% of the taxes, and the bottom 80% of income earners (which includes you if you are to be trusted to read you paycheck correctly) make 41% of total U.S. income and pay 31% of the taxes. And remember this is just individuals, not corporations.

          And since cost of living is location specific, tell me just what has gone up in price in the last year and a half? Housing is down, gas is down, basic food is about the same, consumer product prices are the same are lower here. If you are paying more for stuff you are not a very smart shopper.

          There are no tax increases in the works for businesses. Period. Corporations in this country pay the lowest taxes in all of the industrialized world. Do you think they should just pay nothing in taxes?

          And in the end, you show your hand: you think you might one day be in that top 1% tax bracket and you want to make damn sure that tax rate is as low as possible. Talk about working against your own self interest. Delusional.

          • Hmmm….so prices have remained the same since at least 2008? Ok if you say so. I thought property taxes have risen, I know they use to increase every year for most people. I thought electrical prices went up? If you live in a MUD district then your water rate has gone up. CFISD I think increased their taxes and want to do away with the Homestead Exception.

            I like to buy my groceries at Wal-Mart, for the most part they have better pricing than Krogers or HEB and in the past year the price on some items have gone up like milk. I’m not going rattle off the prices for everything I buy but I have seen increases.

            Yes housing is down because there is a slump in the market and even though it is a buyers market right now, nobody is buying. The price of oil is down from what it was 2 years ago but it is still at an artifishal inflated rated rate caused buy (1) Spekulators and (2) the growing markets in China and India (3) lack of drilling in America.

            Per The Internal Revenue Service in 2007, the top 1 percent of tax returns paid 40.4 percent of all federal individual income taxes and earned 22.8 percent of adjusted gross income. Both of those figures—share of income and share of taxes paid—are significantly higher than they were in 2004 when the top 1 percent earned 19 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) and paid 36.9 percent of federal individual income taxes. I have not found the number yet for 2008 or 2009. The average tax rate for somebody earning over $410K was 22.45%. As I fall into the top 50% my tax rate was 14.03% (87.84% of AGI) and for the bottom 50% (12.26% of AGI) the tax rate was 2.99%. So for somebody earning $250K how much do you feel they should pay in Federal Income Taxes? In the past I think they paid around 17%.

            Oh and no tax increases for business or corporation over the next 10 years? Congress passed the following Tax increases under Obama.

            Individual Mandate Excise Tax
            Employer Mandate Tax
            Surtax on Investment Income
            Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax
            Medicine Cabinet Tax
            HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike
            Flexible Spending Account Cap or the “Special Needs Kids Tax
            Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers
            Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike
            Tax on Health Insurers
            Tobacco Tax Increase

  3. Timmie, look for the proof before you decide. It’s out there for anyone who has the patience to find it (and it doesn’t take that much patience, believe me!) The only way to fight back against lies and rumors is to inform yourself from reliable sources and Stand Up To The Fear.

  4. No you tell me in your own words what has caused an income gap.

  5. Well, I’m not an economist by training, so I rely on others who have more knowledge and experience than I do — which is why I directed you to the Slate series in the link in my above comment.

    I know from my own experience that wages have been flat for a number of years. While my own department at work has been an income producer (income from international sources at that) for a number of years, the overall economy has ruled whether or not me and my colleagues have gotten even cost of living increases. We haven’t for a number of years.

    That is despite the fact that our enrollment has increased since 9/11/01 steadily. 9/11/01 hit my department hard. (I always sigh when wingnuts go on about liberals forgetting it. We remember it well, for many reasons. If you have ever tried to shame a liberal (whether online or in person) about 9/11 you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Since you have asked me to predict what someone more knowledgeable than I has discovered, I will tell you my prediction:

    The income gap has been caused by stagnating wages — stagnating wages are due to shareholders taking profits and not reinvesting.

    In other words, it’s all about the money. Squeeze every little bit out of the so-called non tax paying 50% (or more) of the wage earners and take your profit to the bank.

    Then invest it in China or India.

    You really are someone who votes like you could win the lottery or will get rich on your hard work.

    Good luck with that.

    • I did not ask you to predict anything I asked why you thought there was an income gap. I’m not an economist either, just a Customer Service Rep. but this is just my opinion I think one of the reasons there is an income gap has to do with education and traing. Another reason is America is no longer a manufacturing nation but has shifted to more of a service industry.

      Yes I agree the economy does dictate wages as well as what region of the US you live. As Texas has not been hit as hard as other regions of the US our wages are still healthy, unemployment is not as high as other regions. The job pool can also dictate wages as well.

      I have been with my company for 10 years and about 3 years ago is when our wages where frozen. This was caused by the economy. We are a manufacturer of plastic goods and our largest customer is a local computer company so when their business dove tails, so does ours.

      We do have plants in Mexico, China and the UK, Americans want inexpensive products so we are meeting our customers requests by producing some items over seas.

      I do not buy into the class envy game, I think we all should be able to earn as much as we can, keep as much of our earnings as we can. If I have advanced as high as I can in business well that is my fault for not continuing my education or training. I make enough money where I can pay my bills, take nice vacations and put some in savings. Anything’s else is icing on the cake.

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