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Old 09-27-2011, 12:06 AM   #117 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Clev View Post
The answer to that is simple: treat capital gains as any other kind of income.
But it is not any other kind of income. Unlike wages (which are a deductible business expense for the employer), money paid out in dividends & capital gains has already had corporate tax taken out.

If that retired person is making zero "income", but bringing in $100,000 in capital gains, they pay zero taxes right now.
Nope, check the tax tables. They're paying 15% on that $100K.

Oh, and by the way, that single person making $379,150 doesn't pay 35%. That's only on income OVER $379,150, and AFTER all of his deductions and credits. (And if he's earning $379,150, you can bet he has some high-dollar accountant that helps him hide half of that.)
And you & I don't do the same thing?

Oh, and don't forget that he only pays SS taxes on the first $106,800 and SDI on the first $93,316.
Sure. Social Security is a defined benefits program. What you get depends on what you pay in, so if Warren Buffett, for instance, paid SS tax on his whole income, he would have to be paid an astronomical amount as a monthly payment on retirement. And then suppose he lives to 110, drawing that payment which of course is indexed to cost-of-living. He could bankrupt the system all by himself.

So you're saying that they use the public roads, fire service, police protection, military and public waterways less than a poor person?
No, I'm saying they probably use these no more than anyone else, and are less likely to use welfare, unemployment insurance, and so on.

That 6,000 pound Land Cruiser (more wear and tear on roads, more oil consumption), yacht and instant police response that comes with living in an 'affluent' neighborhood disagree.
Putting aside the idea that your typical rich person would choose to drive a Land Cruiser (why not a Tesla?), is a 6000 lb Land Cruiser going to cause more wear & tear, or use more oil, than the 6000 lb jacked-up pickup parked in every other driveway out in trailertrash land? (And I say this without prejudice: where I grew up, trailers - at least double-wides - were considered seriously upscale housing.)

And I'm certainly sure that they're going to be using medicare and social security just as much as the poor.
Why shouldn't they? They're required to pay in to the system, why shouldn't they collect the benefits they're entitled to?

You mean that top 1% who control more than 50% of all wealth? If you don't see something wrong with that picture, you're blind.
Yeah, I see something wrong with that picture. It's a lie, that's what's wrong. Consider that the total amount in retirement plans (IRAs, 401ks, etc) is now around $18 trillion (U.S. retirement assets hit $18 trillion again: ICI | Retirement Income Journal - The information forum of the decumulation industry. ), which is just about the worth of all publicly-traded stocks in the US.

The rich like Warren Buffett, who paid a 17.4% effective tax rate last year? And the 400 wealthiest persons in America who paid, on average, less than 20% in taxes last year? And who pay little to no SS, Medicare and SDI taxes, but still are free to collect when they retire?
It's not the rate, it's the amount. They are paying way more than most of us do. If they have earned income, they pay the same amount of SS taxes as we do, and get the same benefits. And if they don't pay into the system because their income is all capital gains, then they don't get to collect.

Ah, now we're at the crux of the argument. "GIVE ME THAT, IT'S MINE!"
Exactly. Why should you get to take what other people have earned, just because you think you need it more than they do?
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