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    FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

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    FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Freakzilla » 20 Sep 2011 10:06

    By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER - Associated Press | AP – 2 hrs 39 mins ago

    ..WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama makes it sound as if there are millionaires all over America paying taxes at lower rates than their secretaries.

    "Middle-class families shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires," Obama said Monday. "That's pretty straightforward. It's hard to argue against that."

    The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.

    There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

    In his White House address Monday, Obama called on Congress to increase taxes by $1.5 trillion as part of a 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion. He proposed that Congress overhaul the tax code and impose what he called the "Buffett rule," named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

    The rule says, "People making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay."

    "Warren Buffett's secretary shouldn't pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. There is no justification for it," Obama said. "It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million."

    Buffett wrote in a recent piece for The New York Times that the tax rate he paid last year was lower than that paid by any of the other 20 people in his office.

    This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

    Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

    Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

    The latest IRS figures are a few years older — and limited to federal income taxes — but show much the same thing. In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4 percent of their income in federal income taxes, according to the IRS.

    Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9 percent in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3 percent.

    Obama's claim hinges on the fact that, for high-income families and individuals, investment income is often taxed at a lower rate than wages. The top tax rate for dividends and capital gains is 15 percent. The top marginal tax rate for wages is 35 percent, though that is reserved for taxable income above $379,150.

    With tax rates that high, why do so many people pay at lower rates? Because the tax code is riddled with more than $1 trillion in deductions, exemptions and credits, and they benefit people at every income level, according to data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress' official scorekeeper on revenue issues.

    The Tax Policy Center estimates that 46 percent of households, mostly low- and medium-income households, will pay no federal income taxes this year. Most, however, will pay other taxes, including Social Security payroll taxes.

    "People who are doing quite well and worry about low-income people not paying any taxes bemoan the fact that they get so many tax breaks that they are zeroed out," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. "People at the bottom of the distribution say, but all of those rich guys are getting bigger tax breaks than we're getting, which is also the case."

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pressed at a White House briefing on the number of millionaires who pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-income families. He demurred, saying that people who make most of their money in wages pay taxes at a higher rate, while those who get most of their income from investments pay at lower rates.

    "So it really depends on what is your profession, where's the source of your income, what's the specific circumstances you face, and the averages won't really capture that," Geithner said.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Omphalos » 20 Sep 2011 12:45

    Glad to know you're out there sticking up for the big guys. :roll:
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Freakzilla » 20 Sep 2011 12:51

    I'm not, just pointing out Obama's deceitfull class-warfare tactics.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Omphalos » 20 Sep 2011 12:52

    If you parse words that carefully, everyone is simultaneously right and wrong.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Freakzilla » 20 Sep 2011 12:55

    I don't think punishing the rich when they already pay more than their fair share is the way to create jobs [or improve the economy].

    I'm in favor of abolishing the IRS and going to a "Fair" or "Flat" tax. Gid rid of the entitlements, too.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Omphalos » 20 Sep 2011 13:22

    Why the hell not? We've been punishing the poor for years.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Freakzilla » 20 Sep 2011 13:26

    By paying for their welfare? Encouraging them to have more babies and not work?
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Omphalos » 20 Sep 2011 13:29

    No. By disenfranchising them and leaving them out of the debate over their fate. Measly entitlement payments are not worth that price. They know it. I know it, and if you think about it, maybe you'll agree.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Freakzilla » 20 Sep 2011 13:49

    Is something stopping them from voting?

    Just look at the last election.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI

    But, of course he didn't... so he won't get re-elected. In fact I wouldn't be suprised if he didn't even get nominated.

    My wife couldn't get food stamps when I was out of work for five months because I made too much money up to that point. But when she lied and said we were seperated they gave it to her. I've paid taxes since I was 13-years-old.

    If someone like me can't get it when they need it it's fucked up.

    I think we need to start holding the government accountable for every dime, just like every American household should be.

    Stop all foreign aid, entitlements and wars until we're in the black. Eliminate earmarks and impliment a line item veto for the president.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby JustSomeGuy » 20 Sep 2011 14:23

    I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car; I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I- if help him, he's gonna to help me.


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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby JustSomeGuy » 20 Sep 2011 14:26

    I'm so used to all of this that I don't even know if it can get any better. Is there a government anywhere that... I don't know how to put this. Is there a government anywhere that't not all fucked up. Not to say that ours is, but you know- you know what I'm trying to say, right?
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Freakzilla » 20 Sep 2011 14:27

    I think we need to disenfrachise the stupid.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby JustSomeGuy » 20 Sep 2011 14:29

    Oh, stop that.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Freakzilla » 20 Sep 2011 14:30

    But it is. As Omph implied, the people that really run things are the lobbyists for sppecial interests who can afford to buy Congressmen.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Ampoliros » 21 Sep 2011 11:24

    Tax the tax loopholes.
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby Freakzilla » 21 Sep 2011 12:09

    $16 muffins, $8 coffee served in Justice audit

    By JoAnne Allen | Reuters – 3 hrs ago..

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the U.S. government grapples to find ways to trim the bloated federal deficit, a new report suggests officials might start with cutting out $16 muffins and $10 cookies.

    "We found the Department (of Justice) spent $16 on each of the 250 muffins served at an August 2009 legal conference in Washington," said a DOJ Office of Inspector General report released on Tuesday.

    The DOJ spent $121 million on conferences in fiscal 2008 and 2009, which exceeded its own spending limits and appeared to be extravagant and wasteful, according to the report that examined 10 conferences held during that period.

    The review turned up the expensive muffins, which came from the Capital Hilton Hotel just blocks from the White House, as well as cookies and brownies that cost almost $10 each.

    The department spent $32 per person on snacks of Cracker Jack, popcorn, and candy bars and coffee that cost $8.24 per cup at another conference, the report said.

    The DOJ also spent nearly $600,000 for event planning services for five conferences, the document said.

    A Justice Department spokeswoman said most of the gathering were held when there were no strict limits on food and beverage costs, adding the DOJ had taken steps since 2009 "to ensure that these problems do not occur again."

    Word of the agency's extravagant spending drew a swift response from Capitol Hill.

    Senator Chuck Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee which has oversight of the Justice Department, said the report was a blueprint for the first cuts that should be made by the "super committee" searching for at least $1.2 trillion in savings.

    "Sixteen dollar muffins and $600,000 for event planning services are what make Americans cynical about government and why they are demanding change," Grassley said in a statement. "People are outraged, and rightly so."

    (Reporting by JoAnne Allen; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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    Re: FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?

    Postby JustSomeGuy » 21 Sep 2011 12:47

    There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government.



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