In Bush's new budget, you're wealthier than you think

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    McClatchy

    There's more, of course. But it never fails so amaze me, the ability of these jokers to coddle the wealthy and stick it to the rest of us.
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    it shouldn't amaze you. how many people even around here are so short-sighted as to look at nothing but the federal income tax rate as a measure of how much a party's policies are costing them?
     
  3. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Heh. Their willingness to do so doesn't amaze me...just their ingenuity in always coming up with new ways to do it.
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    The Democrats need to be out there screaming "the GOP is raising taxes on the elderly" as loud as possible.

    Time to dent that "only Democrats raise taxes" BS that gets passed around as the "conventional wisdom" by the Wise Pundits in DC.
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    The GOP sure knows how to spend, perhaps we should talk about the "tax and spend" Democrats and the "spend! spend! spend! and tax" Republicans?

    B
     
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    Isn't this a tax on the wealthy? It only applies to people earning over $80,000 ($160,000 for couples). It's going to be a long, long time (unless we experience rampant inflation) before, as the director of legislative policy for the AARP states, that applies to all of us.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Ah liberals... so concerned with the truth behind the argument. ;)
     
  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    Indeed I am, and indeed I am. :)
     
  9. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Well, if you want, then, you could argue about the principle of the thing...that if not us, our kids will be receiving fewer benefits so that Bush can preserve his tax cuts for his rich buddies.

    To me it doesn't matter if we're talking now or 40 years from now...it's still wrong. Plus, it's just another Republican way to slowly chip-chip-chip away at social programs, since they can't do away with them outright.
     
  10. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Rampant inflation may well be coming right up, once the petrodollar bites the dust.
     
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    True enough, but I think that will be a slow process, which is well underway.

    As if London isn't expensive enough, London at $1.96 to the pound was pretty crazy. In a few years, London at, say, $2.50 to the pound will probably be worse.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    milo, I think I'd worry more at a reminbi below five to the dollar. that would be a serious hickey for big-box shoppers.

    Folks oughta make up their minds: All that griping at tax cuts, and now there are some minor increases on folks who can afford it and there's more griping. You'd probably gripe were you to be hanged with a new rope! :D

    'Rat
     
  13. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    Why would the value of the reminbi go down? I think eventually China will make further adjustments to its currency revising the value up, if anything. While that will help US exports a tiny bit and help local US manufacture a little bit, it will also serve to further end the era when it was so easy to travel on the dollar.
     
  14. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    Your idea of middle class must be a pretty narrow bracket. Not even taking into account the income disparity between locations, these values are solidly middle to upper middle class.

    You can live comfortably on that kind of income, but it doesn't make you rich by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    How is that possible when the median income is $32,000?
     
  16. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #16
    Less than 6% of American households bring in $150,000 or more.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_quintiles

    referencing:

    http://pubdb3.census.gov/macro/032005/hhinc/new06_000.htm

    $160,000 a year is rich. Even in NYC, let alone Mississippi.
     
  17. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #17
  18. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    I've yet to meet anyone who thought they were rich no matter what their income,most of the Kennedy's think their level of wealth is normal,it's a facet of greed.
     
  19. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

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    I think you mean people that though that they were TOO rich. It's true that even wealthy people feel that they could benefit from being even better off, but I find it hard to believe that they don't know that they are rich. I bet the Kennedy's don't go around telling people that make 160K that they are rich.
     
  20. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    OK, since you seem so set on this argument, where would you roughly draw the lines? What's rich? What's poor? What's middle income? What's upper middle and lower middle?

    There are any number of ways to define these terms, but they tend to expose your line of thinking. I think a reasonable way to define them is by quintiles: up to 20% equals poor, 20% to 40 % is lower middle, 40% to 60% is middle, 60% to 80% is upper middle, 80% to 100% is upper, or rich. This would also correspond to the feeling that most Americans have that they are in the middle class, and would make middle mean average.

    By your definition, what would happen? Would people at the say 10th-6th percentile would be middle, people at the 5th-3rd percentile upper middle. Only people in the 1st and 2nd percentile would be rich? Where does that leave the bottom 90%.

    I think you're making middle and rich a value judgement between OK and too much. Calling someone "rich" implies that they have more than they need. Saying someone is "upper middle class" implies they work really hard and deserve all they get. If that's your definition, well fine. I'd prefer an economic one that reflects income distribution.
     
  21. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

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    Your use of quintiles is just fine except that "rich" and "poor" can't be defined only by income. There's a big difference between someone that makes say $100K and uses almost all of it to service debt and someone that makes that much that has everything they want and need paid for.

    I know at least one "rich" person that only has a taxable income of $40K. He can buy a house or an S class Mercedes for cash if he wants to liquidate some bonds or sell some coins, but he minimizes his taxable income on purpose. I also know of someone that makes at least $120K that couldn't scrape together $20K emergency cash to save his life.

    My point is that by definition, at least 1/3 of Americans are middle class but it seems like all economic arguments are rich versus poor. Someone's got it wrong.
     
  22. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    Well the vast majority of people who live in the US are rich by worldwide standards,doesn't mean there aren't any who are poor for example.The majority of the US population are working class (that fact that they may think of themselves as middle class doesn't change it).Although they may be almost invisible in main stream media (except as semi comedic figures in various soap/comedies ) they nevertheless make up the majority of the population.
     
  23. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    I think you're right Swarmy. Defining "rich" by income (alone, as I was doing) doesn't make a lot of sense. A good definition would have to take into account (probably primarily) wealth/assets.

    Still, I'd argue that someone who makes $120,000 a year and can't scrape together any savings is either very charitable, has many responsibilities like caring for an extended family, or is very stupid at managing their money. A rich fool, if you will. :)
     
  24. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    My savings challenged friend is indeed stupid at managing his money. His "needs" always grow as fast or faster than his income. A savings account with a balance to him is like money "wasted".

    I certainly believe that a pretty nifty book or thesis topic could be written on the subject of the definition of wealth.
     
  25. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    what do those quintiles represent? you've already steered clear of annual income, but what do those numbers mean?

    i think those breakdowns will ultimately not work because of the huge disparity in income distribution. there's that oft-quoted number, where something like 2% of the population controls 90% of the wealth. with such numbers, i don't see how the top 20% could be considered the wealthiest, because of the huge disparity between someone at 80% and someone at 99%.
     

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