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Old 09-14-2011, 02:34 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
What kind of proportion of income is it though, typically ?
Not everyone has income, so the question is not universally relevant. However, for those who do depend on income from working for a living, I would guess it is close to 100%. For those in debt it is more than 100%, as evidenced by personal bankruptcies brought about by credit card and mortgage debt that exceed what the person can ever pay off, for the accumulated debt exceeds the person's predicted income and assets.

Americans save very little because there is no incentive to save. Currently banks are paying far less than 1% in interest on a savings account. Historically the interest rate had averaged around four or five percent.

Also, as old Mech said, if you were to add up all the taxes you pay in various known and hidden forms, the rate is outrageously high - we are taxed when we earn money, we are taxed when we spend money, we are taxed for having money (as in the property tax), we are taxed if we give it away (gift tax) and we are taxed when we die (estate tax).

The only folks who like taxes are those who are on the receiving end of a benefit. If Peter is robbed to pay Paul, Paul will think it's a wonderful idea and Peter will think otherwise.

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Old 09-14-2011, 03:07 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Frank, you and everyone else bring up some good points here.

Since I have no dependants, I pay higher taxes for schools then those who have 6-10 kid (big familes in Utah).

If i pay off the Mortgage, my taxes go up, since I would lose the Mortgage interest deduction.

So it seems that there are some of us in the USA who bear a greater burden for taxes then those who actually use the services.

Here's a link to the Tax freedom day

Tax Freedom Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Keep in mind that that is just federal taxes, some taxes are compunded, meaning you pay the Federal tax, then there is a sales tax on the money you have already been taxed on.

If you add up all of the taxes it is more than 50% of your income. And the government is bankrupt?

Makes me really angry when I read that huge corporations like GE paid no taxes last year!

Makes living under a bridge and riding a bicycle sound better all the time.
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:21 PM   #23 (permalink)
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As long as we are including the kitchen sink, religion is also used as a tax dodge here in the states.

Humble Mr. Osteen doesn't pay a dime in income tax, yet the property taxes alone on his new house are $260,000.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Thymeclock View Post
Not everyone has income, so the question is not universally relevant...
I'm confused - maybe.

This could stray into politics though, I'm trying to steer it away but apologies if I don't.

Here (UK - Scotland) I pay income tax which varies with the amount from 0% to 20%, 40% and ultimately 50% of my salary (I don't earn enough for the last 2 BTW). I don't see the tax money as it is taken before I actually get any money. It's called PAYE, Pay As You Earn - a nice, friendly way of uk.gov taking my money bit my bit.

ON TOP of that I also pay National Insurance - actually so do my employers for the benefit of employing me - which is supposed to pay for the NHS and my state pension. It actually goes to pay the pensions of people who are getting them now. And anyway some of my income tax also pays for that as NI is not enough - older population nowadays.

I also pay VAT (sales tax) of 20% on most things I buy - some exceptions include food and childrens clothes, up to age 12 I think - which is just odd. Also oddly I don't pay VAT on takeaway food but I do on food when I eat in - so if I go to McDonald's and take my food out it is 20% cheaper than if I sit in. Actually thats not too bad a deal But as I eat at McD's once a decade maybe not.

VAT is also charged on domestic bills so thats phone, internet, gas, electricity. For fuel specifically (diesel and petrol) I pay a "special" fuel tax which more or less doubles the price, oh and then I pay VAT on the total including this tax - double bubble for uk.gov. Again that pays for the NHS and so on.

I also pay a property tax of around 1500 a year which is for the local council, and in Scotland includes some other charges such as water supply and waste removal (sewers). In some places water charges are based on usage (i.e. a meter) but here in Scotland we still have a government owned national water supplier.

My local taxes are also supposed to pay for all local services such as fire, police, education etc. but of course there isn't enough so actually councils get about 75% of their money from the government, i.e. my taxes. Less of course the cost of administering the millions of ways councils can get money. There is also a second hit on this "administration" because the uk government collects all taxes and then passes the scottish bit to the McGovernment which then passes it to councils.

I wish I had trained as an accountant - seems a secure number to me.

As many people from history have suggested, the only things we can rely on happening to us are birth, death and taxation. Taxation seems an established (there are records of it circa 5000 BC) required evil of living in civilisation of any kind so I don't begrudge the idea of taxation itself.

What level it should be and what it should be paying for is a debate - here I like the NHS but in the US this is not as popular - that is a difference, as is the argument about whether people without kids should pay for education - I think they should and I did before I had any children and before I planned to.

What we can agree with is that we all want our taxes to pay for the services that are required and for nothing more - the cake but no icing. In the US that means the examples Frank gave, and others no doubt - here it is expense claiming MPs and public sector union bosses on 0.5m a year renumeration, and council cheifs earning more than the prime minister that make me wonder where it is all going.

And thats before I start noting the additional charges on things like my energy bills to pay for "green stuff" which is usually useless, or like domestic recycling - even though it would be more efficient (and cost less) if we just dumped waste in a bin and let the waste collection companies sort it out.

Same sh*t, different continent.
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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...and, if you get caught, simply tell them you're performing a citizens' "...test of the efficacy..." of their "purple" dye urine-test stuff (wink,wink)!
I think i have a new nickname for you: Rainbow
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:57 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I think i have a new nickname for you: Rainbow
...I "lived" thru the 1960's so "tie-dyed" might work too!
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:53 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
What kind of proportion of income is it though, typically ?
If you pay 100% of your earnings to the various taxes until the end of July, every year, then you are paying 7/12ths of your income in taxes of the various sorts. About 58% (just a rough guess based on some assumptions).

When Harry Truman left the US Presidency, he sold his memoirs for $400k. The post WW2 tax rates skyrocketed as the US actually tried to pay off the enormous debt from WW2. Max rates were 93%. Old Harry got about 10% of his $400k after Federal taxes.

There was no pension for the President at the time he retired, so he lived on his military pension from service in WW1.

Compare that to what Clinton has made after his two terms and the pension he is paid.

Heck there are some people living in certain areas of the country that are paying 30k in property taxes per year on a 500k home.

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Old 09-15-2011, 12:59 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
If you pay 100% of your earnings to the various taxes until the end of July, every year, then you are paying 7/12ths of your income in taxes of the various sorts.
I don't know about that. I've never worked it out in detail, but I don't think I pay anywhere near that much. But of course I don't live a conventional lifestyle, so miss some of the taxes that hit those that spend every last dime.

You know, though, it's not the paying that I mind nearly so much as what gets done (or in the case of things like education, not done) with the money.
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:56 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
It would take a College degree in Calculus to figure out how many taxes we pay in the US.

Fed income
State income
FICA
...
Fun thing with FICA is that it's a 6.2% (well temporarily down a little now) tax that you see on your pay stub... but there is also a 6.2% tax that your employer pays as well. They don't do this out of the kindness of their heart, they are required to do so and pay you less to cover it.

So, your gross income is cut down by this tax without most people even being aware of it.
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:26 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Worth a check :

Tax Freedom Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The US one is 9th April, the UK one 30th May. Burden is calculated as 26.9% US and 40.9% UK.

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