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  1. #1 The 97%'ers 
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    This thread derives from a discussion with p45 wherein he talked about those "productive" members of society as opposed to those "moochers" (Palin's "real Americans" vs. faux Americans). It got me to thinking regarding an often cited statistic here that the top 3% (or 5% in some versions) of the population pay some large percentage (80, 90, 95) of the taxes. That, in turn,. reminded me of a post by a short-term, heavy-posting member who indicated that he wouldn't be paying any federal taxes this year (as he didn't make enough), but he certainly had opinions regarding the way those taxes he wasn't paying should be spent.

    I'm curious. I'm certainly in that bracket and, therefore, according to all reasonable logic, should be able to express my opinion about it, i.e., according to p45's definition, I'm a producer in terms of generating income, taxes, spending, etc. But of the others who cite that statistic, are you a member or simply a wannabee? If the latter, how do you speak for me and those others who are actually in the category which you seem to know so much about? Why should you have a voice in the way those taxes, of which you pay the vastly minority share, be spent? After all, we're all Galtian capitalists here, no?
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    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    I believe most people, even those who make very little in the way of income, are producers if they work, are reasonably law abiding and are decent to their families.

    I believe that there is dignity and value in those who work and are basically self-reliant. These are the people who do much of the work we all depend on, and from whose ranks often come the ones who are called upon to serve in the military and defend our nation.

    Lincoln said that God must love the common man, he made so many of them. While most people would not much appreciate being called 'common' I think I know what Old Abe meant. I believe there is worth in most of our citizenry, and that there aren't that many of them, percentage-wise, who are actually moochers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
    I believe most people, even those who make very little in the way of income, are producers if they work, are reasonably law abiding and are decent to their families.

    I believe that there is dignity and value in those who work and are basically self-reliant. These are the people who do much of the work we all depend on, and from whose ranks often come the ones who are called upon to serve in the military and defend our nation.

    Lincoln said that God must love the common man, he made so many of them. While most people would not much appreciate being called 'common' I think I know what Old Abe meant. I believe there is worth in most of our citizenry, and that there aren't that many of them, percentage-wise, who are actually moochers.
    As you know, my friend, I actually believe those things as well. I've been through some rough times in my life, including a bankruptcy at one point. I grew up amongst the lower middle class on the north side of Jacksonville. I know.

    However, that doesn't take away from my essential point -- people here throw around terms like "moochers" all of the time, yet don't see that, in hard terms, they're really moochers as well. They like to cite statistics like that in my OP, but don't apply it to themselves (because of their special circumstances, of course). If they look in the mirror and apply their own criteria which they apply to others to themselves, they might be a bit more humble.
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    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Closet View Post
    As you know, my friend, I actually believe those things as well. I've been through some rough times in my life, including a bankruptcy at one point. I grew up amongst the lower middle class on the north side of Jacksonville. I know.

    However, that doesn't take away from my essential point -- people here throw around terms like "moochers" all of the time, yet don't see that, in hard terms, they're really moochers as well. They like to cite statistics like that in my OP, but don't apply it to themselves (because of their special circumstances, of course). If they look in the mirror and apply their own criteria which they apply to others to themselves, they might be a bit more humble.
    I agree. What I think of during a discussion like this is the ability of a really good communicator like Ronald Reagan to reach out to all citizens, including people of modest means, and to make them feel valued and included in his vision for America.

    If too much is made of material wealth and shared values (of the wealthy and of the not-so-wealthy) are not considered then at best politicians can only cynically manipulate the populace and, at some point, even those who may not be particularly well educated will figure out the game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba Dawg View Post
    I agree. What I think of during a discussion like this is the ability of a really good communicator like Ronald Reagan to reach out to all citizens, including people of modest means, and to make them feel valued and included in his vision for America.

    If too much is made of material wealth and shared values (of the wealthy and of the not-so-wealthy) are not considered then at best politicians can only cynically manipulate the populace and, at some point, even those who may not be particularly well educated will figure out the game.
    Ah, but you're a 209.5! What do you know you commie bleeding-heart liberal. Let's hold these a**holes to their own standards and see how they pan out. Perhaps, like Jesus, we can then separate the wheat (productive ones) from the chaff (moochers). :D
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    A fair tax or a consumption tax would certainly remedy your concerns. However, it will never happen because of legal implications. Obama stated that he will streamline the system. I got to see it to believe it.

    A free loader having an opinion about taxes that I pay does not ticks me off nearly as much as having an Admin. and a Congress with a bunch of tax cheats. The freeloaders are just blowing wind opposed to these politicans that are writing tax laws and giving us a screw job. One of my pet peves is property tax special elections for things like improvements to recreation and parks, libraries, etc. The kicker is that people that do NOT own property get to vote to raise my taxes. Most of the time it passes but what the dumb ass rentors do not understand is that the landlord will just pass that cost on to them.

    Under Obama, income taxes, excise taxes, etc are going way up to pay for all these bailouts to the banks, automakers, social programs, stupid energy policies, etc. Those who stated that their was little difference between the O and McCain will find out the hard way that they are wrong. Top income tax rate are going up to 50%. You can bet on it. Plus if you live in a blue state that's running red ink big time, be prepared to get another kick in the ass.
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    Senior Member marinejcksn's Avatar
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    WC,

    I think the stat you're refering to is that the top 1% of earners pay 39% of the taxes, which is accurate. The bottom 40% of earners in America don't pay any Federal Income Tax whatsoever. I have one friend who because we were in Iraq last year only paid 1 thousand dollars in Federal Income tax but thanks to the EIC credit he got a $5,600 "refund". I had the hardest time explaining that we wasn't getting a 5,600 dollar refund, he was getting a 4,600 dollar welfare payment because that money he got was coming from someone else.

    As much as Progressives want to soak the rich, I don't think there are many people who'd disagree that the rich get RAPED in this country when it comes to taxes. Think about it logically; if you pay 5 grand more than me every year in taxes, do you get 5 grand more back in services? Most times, the answer is no. So why should people with more money be forced to subsidize services that many will never need; ie Medicare, Welfare and Social Security? A fair tax would force all Americans to pay their fair share, and I think that if more people actually had to PAY taxes they'd start watching a lot more carefully to see what their tax dollars are paying for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinejcksn View Post
    WC,

    I think the stat you're refering to is that the top 1% of earners pay 39% of the taxes, which is accurate. The bottom 40% of earners in America don't pay any Federal Income Tax whatsoever. I have one friend who because we were in Iraq last year only paid 1 thousand dollars in Federal Income tax but thanks to the EIC credit he got a $5,600 "refund". I had the hardest time explaining that we wasn't getting a 5,600 dollar refund, he was getting a 4,600 dollar welfare payment because that money he got was coming from someone else.

    As much as Progressives want to soak the rich, I don't think there are many people who'd disagree that the rich get RAPED in this country when it comes to taxes. Think about it logically; if you pay 5 grand more than me every year in taxes, do you get 5 grand more back in services? Most times, the answer is no. So why should people with more money be forced to subsidize services that many will never need; ie Medicare, Welfare and Social Security? A fair tax would force all Americans to pay their fair share, and I think that if more people actually had to PAY taxes they'd start watching a lot more carefully to see what their tax dollars are paying for.
    marinejcksn,

    You're missing my point a bit. First, the statistic I was referring to was, in 2006, the top 5% (threshold only $153k) paid 60% of federal taxes (see here). This, or a similar statistic, is often recited by outraged conservatives who make $50k a year. My point is that to whine so loudly, shouldn't you have some real skin in the game?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Closet View Post
    marinejcksn,

    You're missing my point a bit. First, the statistic I was referring to was, in 2006, the top 5% (threshold only $153k) paid 60% of federal taxes (see here). This, or a similar statistic, is often recited by outraged conservatives who make $50k a year. My point is that to whine so loudly, shouldn't you have some real skin in the game?
    Oh ok, I see. Your point being that if you complain about the things taxes are being spent on, you should actually be paying something every year. Got it.

    Still though, even if you pay very little in taxes, if you aren't accepting Government assistance I think you've got a legitimate beef against higher spending.
    "Don't vote. It only encourages the bastards." -PJ O'Roarke
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinejcksn View Post
    Oh ok, I see. Your point being that if you complain about the things taxes are being spent on, you should actually be paying something every year. Got it.

    Still though, even if you pay very little in taxes, if you aren't accepting Government assistance I think you've got a legitimate beef against higher spending.
    Agreed. However, I think that those people should be wary (your word :D) about throwing around the terms "producers" and "moochers" because while some people may consider themselves producers, to others they may be moochers.
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