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grundle
03-13-08, 09:08 PM
The tax code is already way too long and way too complex.

It should be made shorter and simpler, not longer and more complex.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20080313/pl_bloomberg/are4y0wpjqxu

Obama Tax Plan Stresses Inequality, Clinton Focuses on Behavior

Alison Fitzgerald and Matthew Benjamin Thu Mar 13, 2008

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both propose significant changes to the tax code that would add to its complexity. His plan emphasizes income inequality, while hers seeks to change Americans' behavior.

Obama's proposal would shift the tax burden toward the rich from low- and middle-income workers. Clinton proposes targeted tax breaks designed to change the way Americans use energy, save money and care for elders.

Obama, 46, ``seems to have focused on redistribution,'' said Michael Graetz, a professor at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, and a former Treasury official.

Clinton, 60, ``is proposing tax credits for everything short of flossing your teeth,'' said Lee Sheppard, a tax lawyer and columnist at Tax Analysts in Falls Church, Virginia.

The two candidates' plans -- especially Clinton's -- would further complicate a tax system that experts say is already Byzantine. Obama would tweak and augment current laws, while Clinton would introduce even more rules by adding at least nine new credits with complex qualification requirements, phase-outs and sliding scales.

`Complicate the Process'

``The inevitable consequence,'' said Joel Slemrod, an economist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, ``is to complicate the process.''

Both candidates would allow President George W. Bush's tax cuts to expire for workers in the top two tax brackets and set the estate-tax rate at 45 percent with a $7 million exemption. Obama wants tax rates on capital gains and dividends to rise from the current 15 percent rate to perhaps as high as 28 percent, the rate under former President Ronald Reagan.

Clinton spokesman Brian Deese said the New York senator would also raise the rate on investment income, though she hasn't provided details.

The centerpiece of Obama's tax plan is a $1,000 tax cut for workers that would cost more than $80 billion annually and effectively eliminate all taxes for about 10 million low-income Americans.

`Signature Difference'

That tax cut is ``the signature difference,'' said Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington research center funded partly by labor groups. ``That costs some serious money.''

The Illinois senator would also offset the cost of his cuts by eliminating ``corporate loopholes,'' including one that allows executives of hedge funds and private-equity firms to pay a 15 percent capital-gains rate on most of their income rather than the 35 percent regular income-tax rate, and by cracking down on overseas tax havens.

Obama also offers a 10 percent mortgage credit that can be claimed by people who don't itemize deductions and eliminates taxes for senior citizens who earn less than $50,000.

His approach is aimed in part at giving a boost to workers whose incomes have been stagnant in recent years by allowing his $1,000 credit to offset payroll taxes as well as income taxes, which means it will reach lower on the income scale.

``That's a problem that faces a pretty wide swath of the population,'' said Austan Goolsbee, the candidate's chief economic adviser and an economics professor at the University of Chicago. ``Targeted credits do not properly deal with that problem.''

Clinton's Credits

Clinton, by contrast, proposes credits and deductions targeting specific groups or activities. She offers a $3,000 ``caregivers credit'' to offset the cost of caring for an elderly or disabled relative, a refundable credit ``to make health care affordable,'' and a $1,000 credit for people who save in a retirement account.

``For tens of millions of families, Senator Clinton's plan would provide more tax relief,'' Deese said.

Clinton also proposes credits for those who make homes and offices more energy efficient and for small businesses that provide health insurance to employees.

``These provisions certainly seek to use the tax system as a principal vehicle to deliver social policy,'' Slemrod said.

Obama's plan includes targeted tax provisions, too, including a $4,000 college credit and an extension of the renewable energy credit, though not as many as Clinton's.

Income Groups

The candidates' plans differ as to which income groups they help most, says Margaret Simms, director of the Low-Income Working Families Project at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social-policy research center in Washington.

Clinton's plan ``seems to be more pitched toward middle- class families,'' Simms said. ``Obama's appears to be slightly more tilted to lower-income families.''

Neither plan will be approved by Congress in current form, even if Democrats increase majorities in both houses, Bernstein said.

There will be an opportunity to overhaul the tax code when many of Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire in 2010. The next president will face pressure to renew some of the breaks to avoid a sudden across-the-board tax increase that could disrupt the economy.

Officials including Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Representative Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat who heads the House Ways and Means Committee, have put forth proposals to redesign the system.

Clinton and Obama, however, haven't focused on streamlining the federal tax code, which runs to more than 66,000 pages when regulations and rulings are counted, said Chris Edwards, director of Tax Policy Studies at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington.

The Democrats' proposals ``would add thousands more pages,'' Edwards said.

Th0r S1mpson
03-13-08, 09:32 PM
Should just be another 5 or 6 lines on the return though, right? I'd venture to guess that most people don't mind more lines if those lines are chances at getting money back. Not that I disagree with you.

NCMojo
03-13-08, 09:54 PM
"Tax simplification" and "tax reform" are just code words for tax hikes. Like Thor said... I'd much rather see an extra 5 or 6 lines on my tax form than to pay an extra $2000 or so.

Ranger
03-13-08, 10:00 PM
A 66,000 page book. I wonder what size that would be if it was a text-only PDF file.

grundle
03-13-08, 10:16 PM
Should just be another 5 or 6 lines on the return though, right? I'd venture to guess that most people don't mind more lines if those lines are chances at getting money back. Not that I disagree with you.


Each extra line on the return could have many paragraphs or even pages of instructions.

grundle
03-13-08, 10:20 PM
"Tax simplification" and "tax reform" are just code words for tax hikes. Like Thor said... I'd much rather see an extra 5 or 6 lines on my tax form than to pay an extra $2000 or so.


I'd rather see lower marginal tax rates and a much shorter tax code. The only legitimate purpose of having a tax code is to collect money to pay for the operation of the government. Anything beyond that is social engineering.

There should be a standard deduction equal to twice the poverty level. Above that, there should be progressive tax rates of 3%, 6%, 9%, 12%, and 15%. And that's it. Nothing else. The tax code should be short, simple, and easy to understand.

However, for people who prefer the 66,000 word tax code, that should still remain an option.

Then, let each person choose which tax code they use.

kvrdave
03-13-08, 10:35 PM
I think their tax talk are losing strategies in the general, so I don't mind them spouting all the ideas. I already knew that Obama sees the tax code as a punative instrument. Everyone knows that the "poor" don't pay any taxes as it is. It is even pretty easy to be middle class and not pay. What they really mean is that "the rich" (which is just a buzz word that will include plenty of people that aren't) did to pay a lot more than they do.

The one thing that this might do is help the real estate market as people try to sell and take capital gains now before either of them can double or triple them.

orangecrush
03-13-08, 10:49 PM
The one thing that this might do is help the real estate market as people try to sell and take capital gains now before either of them can double or triple them.
Which you will have to pay more taxes on. Those people are always trying to keep you down kvrdave.

kvrdave
03-14-08, 01:05 AM
Not if people sell property this year, which may happen.

And there are a lot of people who are carrying contracts on property that could have their capital gains tax go up significantly. A good time to buy those at a discount. I'll probably wait until Oct. before I get serious about it, though.

MartinBlank
03-14-08, 02:12 AM
I don't care how long it is, just so long as it makes those damn richies pay their fair share!!!!!!!!111!!!1


From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs

al_bundy
03-14-08, 07:19 AM
i think it should be eleventy billion pages

lordwow
03-14-08, 07:50 AM
Size DOES Matter. The more the better.

GreenMonkey
03-14-08, 07:55 AM
Thanks for the update. I didn't realize that a new politician would want to tweak on the tax code. Wow, what a surprise!

Seriouly, what's new here? Why don't we post a news story: "New President will have different policies than the old one!"

wendersfan
03-14-08, 08:00 AM
Both candidates would allow President George W. Bush's tax cuts to expire for workers in the top two tax bracketsA majority of the Senate voted for this yesterday, essentially.

OldDude
03-14-08, 08:11 AM
Each extra line on the return could have many paragraphs or even pages of instructions.

And WORKSHEETS. Don't forget the NUMEROUS worksheets you have to fill out to complete a line on the tax form, but don't send in the sheet (save for your records). You have 66000 pages of instructions, 6600 worksheets, and a 6 page tax form.

Groucho
03-14-08, 08:21 AM
What's McCain proposing, if anything?

creekdipper
03-14-08, 09:23 AM
This is all so stooooopid.

Congress should just collect everyone's total wages, deduct whatever amount it deems necessary for earmarks in each district, divide whatever is left over by the adult population, and then send an equal distribution to each adult (whether working or nonworking).

Now, that would be a simple and fair system.

I'm hoping for a yacht.

classicman2
03-14-08, 09:47 AM
Simply because changes to the tax code are complex doesn''t necessarily mean they're bad.

btw: I hope Bush's tax cuts expire.

I also hope a Democratic controlled Congress & White House will enact new tax cuts. And some tax increases also.

wendersfan
03-14-08, 09:50 AM
Simply because changes to the tax code are complex doesn''t necessarily mean they're bad.

btw: I hope Bush's tax cuts expire.

I also hope a Democratic controlled Congress & White House will enact new tax cuts. And some tax increases also.Do you disagree with the 99-1 vote yesterday?:

http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00042

NCMojo
03-14-08, 09:57 AM
I think their tax talk are losing strategies in the general, so I don't mind them spouting all the ideas. I already knew that Obama sees the tax code as a punative instrument. Everyone knows that the "poor" don't pay any taxes as it is. It is even pretty easy to be middle class and not pay. What they really mean is that "the rich" (which is just a buzz word that will include plenty of people that aren't) did to pay a lot more than they do.
Whaaa? The poor and the middle class can easily not pay taxes? How exactly are you defining those terms?

Most poor people, and most middle class people, overpay their taxes, because they don't know enough to take advantage of all the tax breaks and deductions. Meanwhile, a heckuva lot of "rich people" -- including people who clearly should belong to that list -- pay absolutely no taxes at all, and get away scot-free. And many major corporations, who report billions in earnings, somehow also end up paying no taxes.

wendersfan
03-14-08, 10:44 AM
Whaaa? The poor and the middle class can easily not pay taxes? How exactly are you defining those terms?

Most poor people, and most middle class people, overpay their taxes, because they don't know enough to take advantage of all the tax breaks and deductions. Meanwhile, a heckuva lot of "rich people" -- including people who clearly should belong to that list -- pay absolutely no taxes at all, and get away scot-free. And many major corporations, who report billions in earnings, somehow also end up paying no taxes.This is the liberal equivalent of welfare moms driving Cadillacs and homeless people walking around with cellphones. It's not true. Rich people pay an ever-increasingly disproportionate percentage of federal taxes.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2167/2333372890_e2ed6603c7.jpg?

Now, it's fine that with a progressive tax system they pay more, but let's not get carried away with crap about rich tax cheats working a rigged system.

crazyronin
03-14-08, 10:52 AM
Whaaa? The poor and the middle class can easily not pay taxes? How exactly are you defining those terms?

Most poor people, and most middle class people, overpay their taxes, because they don't know enough to take advantage of all the tax breaks and deductions. Meanwhile, a heckuva lot of "rich people" -- including people who clearly should belong to that list -- pay absolutely no taxes at all, and get away scot-free. And many major corporations, who report billions in earnings, somehow also end up paying no taxes.


Whaaaaaa? (http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr151.pdf)

*chock full of graphy goodness

Th0r S1mpson
03-14-08, 10:55 AM
Now, it's fine that with a progressive tax system they pay more, but let's not get carried away with crap about rich tax cheats working a rigged system.
The question is, how much is too much? Because you're right... it's ever higher and that group is always an easy target because:
1) They do make a lot of money... amounts hard to comprehend by many
2) 99% of people are not affected by the increase

I'd think that if you locked 100 people in a room with no knowledge of how much any tax group currently pays and had them put together a scale of what amounts each percentile should rightly pay, the amount they come up with for the top tier would be nowhere near what they are presently paying.

Jeremy517
03-14-08, 11:04 AM
This is the liberal equivalent of welfare moms driving Cadillacs and homeless people walking around with cellphones. It's not true. Rich people pay an ever-increasingly disproportionate percentage of federal taxes.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2167/2333372890_e2ed6603c7.jpg?

Without also showing the percentage of the nation's income that those groups control, that graph is fairly worthless.

crazyronin
03-14-08, 11:12 AM
Without also showing the percentage of the nation's wealth that those groups control, that graph is fairly worthless.

Yes, because showing that the bottom quintile pays negative taxes is just mean. :mad:

Jeremy517
03-14-08, 11:15 AM
Yes, because showing that the bottom quintile pays negative taxes is just mean. :mad:

That has nothing to do with my statement.

kvrdave
03-14-08, 11:19 AM
Without also showing the percentage of the nation's wealth that those groups control, that graph is fairly worthless.

It shows income tax, not wealth tax, so what does wealth matter? Neither Hillary or Obama are proposing a wealth tax.

Jeremy517
03-14-08, 11:21 AM
It shows income tax, not wealth tax, so what does wealth matter? Neither Hillary or Obama are proposing a wealth tax.

I meant income, but yeah, you are right. Edited.

wendersfan
03-14-08, 11:21 AM
The question is, how much is too much? Because you're right... it's ever higher and that group is always an easy target because:
1) They do make a lot of money... amounts hard to comprehend by many
2) 99% of people are not affected by the increase

I'd think that if you locked 100 people in a room with no knowledge of how much any tax group currently pays and had them put together a scale of what amounts each percentile should rightly pay, the amount they come up with for the top tier would be nowhere near what they are presently paying.Have you read John Rawls?:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Theory_of_Justice#The_.22original_position.22

You might disagree with him (something tells me you'd be more a fan of Nozick) but I think you'd find it interesting.

crazyronin
03-14-08, 11:31 AM
That has nothing to do with my statement.

While I admit my comment was just to be snarky; since wendersfan's graph was to refute Mojo's statement that the poor and middle class overpay their income taxes it was meaningful, not worthless.

NCMojo
03-14-08, 01:53 PM
This is the liberal equivalent of welfare moms driving Cadillacs and homeless people walking around with cellphones. It's not true. Rich people pay an ever-increasingly disproportionate percentage of federal taxes.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2167/2333372890_e2ed6603c7.jpg?

Now, it's fine that with a progressive tax system they pay more, but let's not get carried away with crap about rich tax cheats working a rigged system.
I wasn't talking about "proportional disparity". kvrdave maintained that it was "easy" for the lower and middle classes in this country to pay no taxes whatsoever, which I found fairly scoff-worthy. My statement was that there was a number of wealthy individuals, including some very, very wealthy individuals, who pay no income tax whatsoever. Note that I'm not saying that all wealthy individuals get away with paying no income taxes, or even that most do -- but there are some, because it is easier for the wealthy to take advantage of existing tax laws.

wendersfan
03-14-08, 02:00 PM
I wasn't talking about "proportional disparity". kvrdave maintained that it was "easy" for the lower and middle classes in this country to pay no taxes whatsoeverHence the negative percentage for the bottom quintile. My statement was that there was a number of wealthy individuals, including some very, very wealthy individuals, who pay no income tax whatsoever. Then their wealthy friends should be even more upset, since that means they are shouldering an even greater share of the tax burden. I'm sure some rich people pay hardly anything, but it's my contention that this is a story liberals tell their children at night in order to scare them, much like conservatives tell their children about welfare cheats in order to scare them.

kvrdave
03-14-08, 02:01 PM
I wasn't talking about "proportional disparity". kvrdave maintained that it was "easy" for the lower and middle classes in this country to pay no taxes whatsoever, which I found fairly scoff-worthy. My statement was that there was a number of wealthy individuals, including some very, very wealthy individuals, who pay no income tax whatsoever. Note that I'm not saying that all wealthy individuals get away with paying no income taxes, or even that most do -- but there are some, because it is easier for the wealthy to take advantage of existing tax laws.

So the plan is to make this an argument about what defines "easy" and then slowly move to the idea that raising taxes on the rich is good because not all, or even most, but a some rich people have loopholes?

You think that if you raise the tax rate that the wealthy will lose their loopholes?

Perhaps we should first argue about what we believe lower and middle class are.

wendersfan
03-14-08, 02:04 PM
BTW, to "answer" the poll question, so to speak, I have no idea how long the tax code should be. I'm not an expert on federal income taxes and I bet no one else here is, either.

Th0r S1mpson
03-14-08, 02:12 PM
I don't care how long the tax code is as long as we can just have the government open new offices to file everyone's taxes free of charge. The top 1% can pay for it.

I want free snacks in the lobby too. Snacks won't set the top 1% back very much.

foggy
03-14-08, 04:09 PM
Perhaps we should first argue about what we believe lower and middle class are.

What do people believe that lower and middle class are?

Historically, the bottom quintile has been considered the lower class and the middle three quintiles would be the middle class. This leaves the top quintile as the upper class which I know that many here would not agree with since they are themselves in the top 20% of income and some in that category seem to argue not just that they aren't well-off but that they are barely middle class.

foggy
03-14-08, 04:12 PM
BTW, to "answer" the poll question, so to speak, I have no idea how long the tax code should be. I'm not an expert on federal income taxes and I bet no one else here is, either.

I'm working on becoming an expert on the federal income tax. I say make it longer and more complicated. More work and more $ for me.

kvrdave
03-14-08, 04:40 PM
What do people believe that lower and middle class are?

Historically, the bottom quintile has been considered the lower class and the middle three quintiles would be the middle class. This leaves the top quintile as the upper class which I know that many here would not agree with since they are themselves in the top 20% of income and some in that category seem to argue not just that they aren't well-off but that they are barely middle class.

We all have big dicks, too. -wink-

Here is a wiki graph from 2006

<img src=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/66/Income-curve-%2410k.png>

So lower class would be $20k and under, remembering that this is for adjusted income.

So the 2nd lowest quintile would probably be about $38k AGI.

Top Quintile qould be around $80k and up.

Does that look right to everyone?

grundle
03-14-08, 05:26 PM
And WORKSHEETS. Don't forget the NUMEROUS worksheets you have to fill out to complete a line on the tax form, but don't send in the sheet (save for your records). You have 66000 pages of instructions, 6600 worksheets, and a 6 page tax form.

Yes, good point.

wishbone
03-14-08, 05:49 PM
Then their wealthy friends should be even more upset, since that means they are shouldering an even greater share of the tax burden. I'm sure some rich people pay hardly anything, but it's my contention that this is a story liberals tell their children at night in order to scare them, much like conservatives tell their children about welfare cheats in order to scare them.I believe Red Dog has posted this graph in a prior conversation (I could not locate his original post).

http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/4533/guess20who20really20paypu2.jpg
http://www.american.com/archive/2007/november-december-magazine-contents/guess-who-really-pays-the-taxes

kvrdave
03-14-08, 06:41 PM
I believe Red Dog has posted this graph in a prior conversation (I could not locate his original post).

http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/4533/guess20who20really20paypu2.jpg
http://www.american.com/archive/2007/november-december-magazine-contents/guess-who-really-pays-the-taxes


Obviously we need to raise taxes on the rich to make it more fair.

The Bus
03-14-08, 06:51 PM
I assumed the last option is what would make grundle mad, so I picked that.

foggy
03-14-08, 06:57 PM
That's an interesting chart and an interesting article. Perhaps I'm being a bit dense here, but something doesn't seem to add up about the chart. I'm assuming it accounts for all taxpayers individual and corporate (it doesn't say otherwise), but only 79% of income and 88% of tax liability is accounted for. Where is the rest?

The article itself says that only the middle quintile in income (40% to 60% of median) counts as middle class. There is no further explanation but I guess that the author must be breaking the quintiles down into lower class, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class, and upper class.

Aldarion
03-14-08, 07:06 PM
It doesn't show the top 25-50% on the chart, which would account for the remaining income and taxes.

That's an interesting chart and an interesting article. Perhaps I'm being a bit dense here, but something doesn't seem to add up about the chart. I'm assuming it accounts for all taxpayers individual and corporate (it doesn't say otherwise), but only 79% of income and 88% of tax liability is accounted for. Where is the rest?

The article itself says that only the middle quintile in income (40% to 60% of median) counts as middle class. There is no further explanation but I guess that the author must be breaking the quintiles down into lower class, lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class, and upper class.

grundle
03-14-08, 08:47 PM
I assumed the last option is what would make grundle mad, so I picked that.


I am happy that you answered my poll.

orangecrush
03-15-08, 07:40 AM
Whaaa? The poor and the middle class can easily not pay taxes? How exactly are you defining those terms?

Most poor people, and most middle class people, overpay their taxes, because they don't know enough to take advantage of all the tax breaks and deductions. Meanwhile, a heckuva lot of "rich people" -- including people who clearly should belong to that list -- pay absolutely no taxes at all, and get away scot-free. And many major corporations, who report billions in earnings, somehow also end up paying no taxes.
If you are married with kids and make less than say $50K (not good for New York I know) It is very easy to have a negative federal tax rate. You can download free software (or pay $40 to buy it in a store) that will figure out all the tax breaks and deductions for you. As to your other point about "rich people" and major corporations not paying any taxes, well you can thank the ridiculously complex tax code for that.

grundle
04-15-08, 10:33 AM
I like this idea.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080415/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_economy

McCain proposes break in gas taxes

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 43 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH - John McCain called Tuesday for the federal government to free people from paying gasoline taxes this summer and ensure that college students can secure loans this fall, proposals aimed at stemming the public's pain now from the troubled economy.

In the longer-term, the certain Republican presidential nominee said he would double the tax exemption for dependent children and offer people the option of choosing a simpler tax system.

"We know from experience that no serious reform of the current tax code will come out of Congress, so now it is time to turn the decision over to the people," McCain said in a sweeping economic speech at Carnegie Mellon University a week before Pennsylvania's primaries.

To help people weather the downturn immediately, McCain urged Congress to institute a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. He also renewed his call for the United States to stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and thus lessen to some extent the worldwide demand for oil.

Combined, he said, the two proposals would reduce gas prices, which would have a trickle-down effect, and "help to spread relief across the American economy."

Addressing the feared fallout of the ongoing credit crunch, McCain also said the Education Department should work with the country's governors to make sure that each state's guarantee agency nonprofits that traditionally back student loans issued by banks has both the means and the manpower to be the lender-of-last-resort for student loans.

Lawmakers, students and financial experts are worried that the credit crisis might make it more difficult for students and their families to find loans. Nearly two dozen lenders have dropped out of the federally backed student loan program.

Students, McCain said, "should not be denied an education because the recklessness of others has made credit too hard to obtain."

Among other proposals, McCain said he would:

Require more affluent people couples making more than $160,000 enrolled in Medicare to pay a higher premium for their prescription drugs than less-wealthy people.

Raise the tax exemption for each dependent child from $3,500 to $7,000.

Offer people the option of choosing a simpler tax system with two tax rates and a standard deduction instead of sticking with the current system.

Suspend for one year all increases in discretionary spending for agencies other than those that cover the military and veterans while launching an expansive review of the effectiveness of federal programs.

The four-term Arizona senator packaged the fresh proposals with long-standing positions in a wide-ranging economic speech on Tax Day in which he faulted not only Democrats but also fellow Republicans for failing to practice prudent spending and fix pricey entitlement programs.

"In so many ways, we need to make a clean break from the worst excesses of both political parties," McCain said, adding "somewhere along the way, too many Republicans in Congress became indistinguishable from the big-spending Democrats they used to oppose."

He also argued that Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton would impose the single largest tax increase since World War II by allowing tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 and that McCain voted against but now wants to make permanent to expire.

"Both promise big 'change.' And a trillion dollars in new taxes over the next decade would certainly fit that description," McCain said. Playing on the title of an Obama book, McCain added: "All these tax increases are the fine print under the slogan of 'hope:' They're going to raise your taxes by thousands of dollars per year and they have the audacity to hope you don't mind."

The speech was part of McCain's ongoing effort to counter the notion fueled by his own previous comments that he's not as strong on the economy as he is on other issues. He also sought to fend off criticism from Democrats, including Obama and Clinton, that his small-government, free-market stances don't mesh with people feeling the pinch particularly those hurting now.

He made his remarks a day after he said he believes the country has already entered a recession, a label the Bush administration has resisted even as a credit crisis, a housing slump, soaring energy costs and rising layoffs combined to soften the economy.

The speech also came the same morning the Labor Department reported another worrisome sign for the economy: Inflation at the wholesale level soared in March at nearly triple the rate that had been expected as the costs of energy and food both climbed rapidly. Oil prices hit a new high, rising over $112 a barrel for the first time.

Groucho
04-15-08, 10:35 AM
McCain is out of touch. Americans don't want a simpler tax code. The results of this poll is proof of that.

wishbone
04-15-08, 10:45 AM
A decade later and still more of the same...Analysis: 'Don't Tax Me,Tax The Other Guy'
By Jeff Greenfield/CNN

NEW YORK (April 15) -- With the tax deadline staring us in the face, we thought about taking our cameras out to ask you, the American people, how you feel about paying taxes. And then we thought, "What a stupid idea. Maybe we should also ask how you feel about head lice."

But you know what? It turns out that we Americans are a lot more confused about our thinking than we think.

Most of us imagine the Internal Revenue Service as an ugly, dark building inhabited by souless workers, as illustrated in the movie "Joe Vs. The Volcano." In the least shocking poll result of the century, the IRS is rated lowest of any government agency.

And polls say most of us think the IRS regularlly behaves unethically, and harasses political opponents.

And speaking of politics, we know what happens to politicians who even hint at a tax hike. Presidential candidate Walter Mondale said during his acceptance speech at the 1984 Democratic convention, "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes; and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did."

Admirable candor, Mr. Mondale. You lost 49 states.

Here's how it's supposed to go: In 1988 Republican nominee George Bush said, "Read my lips -- no new taxes."

Yeah, right. That helped you win in '88, Mr. Bush; when you broke that pledge, it was "see-ya-later" in '92.

But here's the weird part. The same politicians who rail against taxes can't wait to rush back home and brag about the new post office or research center they've snagged for their hometown. The House just passed a $217 billion highway bill. Want to guess how we are going to pay for it?

We're sure the rich get away with murder on taxes, but a recent study says they're actually paying more than they used to. There are simply fewer loopholes to drive through these days.

We say we want "entitlements" trimmed, but not Social Security or Medicare. Hey, those are the big entitlements.

And a new poll says we would be much more likely to back a candidate who favors more spending for child care and education than a candidate who calls for lower taxes.

My own, completely unscientific conclusion is this: we Americans want the government to spend a lot of tax money on things we care about, and we want it to spend the other guy's money.

The late Senator Russell Long had our philosophy nailed: "Don't tax me; don't tax thee; tax that fellow behind the tree."http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/resources/taxes/taxes.greenfield/

GreenMonkey
04-15-08, 10:47 AM
Offer people the option of choosing a simpler tax system with two tax rates and a standard deduction instead of sticking with the current system.

You know what happens then? I run my taxes both ways via Taxcut software and choose whichever gives me the best results. :lol:

Great change.

I respect McCain for criticizing the excessive spending of both parties, but he's a proponent of a huge drain on the American economy - the occupation of Iraq - that will cost far more in the long run than the credit crunch, the gas prices, or whatever else.

And Bush lowering taxes during wartime was crazy anyway.

Red Dog
04-15-08, 10:51 AM
My guess is that the simpler tax options, particularly taking a standard deduction, results in a higher tax.

bhk
04-15-08, 10:51 AM
I don't care how long the tax code is as long as we can just have the government open new offices to file everyone's taxes free of charge. The top 1% can pay for it.

I want free snacks in the lobby too. Snacks won't set the top 1% back very much.

And they should give out free healthcare. And a free car. After all, what good is free healthcare if you can't get to the appointments.

Seriously, the top 50 percentile income earners pay 98% of all federal income tax collected. The share of the top 5% earners has increased after the Bush tax cuts.

Th0r S1mpson
04-15-08, 10:58 AM
I keep trying to think of a nickname that combines Obama with Robin Hood but they all sound racist unless a black person says them. :(

orangecrush
04-15-08, 11:00 AM
McCain is out of touch. Americans don't want a simpler tax code. The results of this poll is proof of that.
However, they do favor removing loopholes for corporations they don't like (read oil companies). Would we have to create a simpler code to do that? If we could have a more complex code and remove the loopholes, I would vote for that option.

orangecrush
04-15-08, 11:04 AM
You know what happens then? I run my taxes both ways via Taxcut software and choose whichever gives me the best results. :lol:

Great change.
I think that it opens the door for a flat tax more than it radically changes the tax code. Also, if a lot of people opt for the simple plan, it costs the IRS less to process the returns.

RayChuang
04-15-08, 08:47 PM
I'm surprised nobody is talking about the FairTax idea that has been floating around for a couple of years. If they can make it work we're talking about saving the US economy something like US$400 billion in compliance costs, encourage Americans to save (since there's no tax on interest from bank or equity accounts), and the tax terms could actually encourage more investment in the USA.

BKenn01
04-15-08, 09:28 PM
Why not a tax system where everyone (including Bill Gates) pays 0 in taxes on the first 50k of income, then say like 10% (or fill in whatever it the correct number) on all income above that.

My guess a lot of people who didnt pay taxes wouldnt like it because Gates didnt start paying taxes till after 50k.

Th0r S1mpson
04-15-08, 09:37 PM
Why not a tax system where everyone (including Bill Gates) pays 0 in taxes on the first 50k of income, then say like 10% (or fill in whatever it the correct number) on all income above that.
Well, your 10% number is way, way off for starters, if you didn't know that already. And by way off, I mean... way off. You at least need to pick a number that's higher than current tax rates if you are going to eliminate tax under 50K.

The Bus
04-15-08, 10:12 PM
I'm surprised nobody is talking about the FairTax idea that has been floating around for a couple of years. If they can make it work we're talking about saving the US economy something like US$400 billion in compliance costs, encourage Americans to save (since there's no tax on interest from bank or equity accounts), and the tax terms could actually encourage more investment in the USA.

I like it! Like a reverse progressive tax for the wealthy!

BKenn01
04-15-08, 10:37 PM
Who pays taxes now that makes less than 50k. I guess singles maybe. But whatever the number, what would be wrong with a system that says everyone pays the same amount. And you could set threshold at a different number.

As for the fair tax, I dont think it has gained traction because of the number of people who dont pay taxes now who would under that plan

Th0r S1mpson
04-15-08, 10:57 PM
Who pays taxes now that makes less than 50k. I guess singles maybe. But whatever the number, what would be wrong with a system that says everyone pays the same amount. And you could set threshold at a different number.
What do you think would be a fair fixed percentage? Because your 10% ain't happening. You have to make up for the huge percentage of the tax burden that the wealthiest people are currently paying if you're going to reduce their payment to a lower fixed percentage.

BKenn01
04-15-08, 11:06 PM
But what would it be if you took away all the tax shelters. You could adjust it however you want. Of course you would not get away from complication all together, you would have to have rates for singles and families.

But what we have now is a system were the rich pay all the taxes and the left says they dont pay enough. But enough is never enough. I am sure there are lefties who would want to see a 100% tax on any income over 100k.

Hank Ringworm
04-15-08, 11:39 PM
Eliminate charitable donation reductions for a certain bracket, and Bill Gates's 10% is more than what he's actually paying now. Cause that MFer gives a hell of a lot to charity.

We really need to make a decision in this country. Should we force charity or not? It's a philosophical thing; instead of this Aristolean middle road we've been walking, we need to choose a Machiavellian pole. (Philosophically Machiavellian, not "Princian" Machiavellian.) Do we stop entitlement programs, encourage growth, and leave charity to private organizations? Or do we redistribute income and guarantee charity? I'm leaning towards the former, but any clear decision would be nice.

grundle
09-12-08, 08:40 AM
The chairman of the U.S. taxwriting committee failed to pay his taxes.

<i>Mod note: this is already being discussed.</i>

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=539341&highlight=rangel


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