I’m a financial analyst and see how people and corporations can twist numbers into any disillusion they see fit. Heck the McCain campaign could probably make Mother Thereasa look like a crook. Right now McCain has renewed his desperate attempts to link Bill Ayers to Obama. Haven’t we already been through this?? How pathetic and sad. Can’t wait until this is all over!!!!!
Regarding all this crying of higher taxes for folks making $250K or more: If “Joe the Plumber” did buy that plumbing business and was able to magically earn $280K for himself(that was what he was projecting if he did buy that business), he would only have a tax increase of about $900 under Obama. Heck if I could somehow make $280K/year, I don’t think I’d notice that extra $900. Seems fair to me.
Here’s something I received from a friend. This website shows the tax savings you’d receive under Obama
I agree, I cannot wait until this election is over! Just because someone doesn’t support Obama doesn’t mean they support McCain. I found the test to be very informative. And the test address’s all of Obama’s views not just his tax plan.
Frankly I don’t trust anything that comes out of either candidate’s mouth. So the fact that the link you posted comes from Obama’s website doesn’t make me trust it anymore. Also I found sort of funny that you told me to get my information from more neutral sources when I got my information from a source identified itself with no candidate and you posted something straight from a candidate’s website.
Anyway I do agree with you and how politicians can twist numbers to support anything they want. And how excited I am for this to be over!
Okay, so i took the test, but it doesn’t help that i don’t get to follow the election and i have no idea what 1/2 of these things are that they’re speaking of. So, is there a site out there that actually does a test like this to see what candidate would be best for your views and opinions? Obviously this one was biased but it seems that most sites out there are! It gets frustrating. So, if anyone knows of any un-biased sites that would help me to decide, that would be wonderful! Thanks!
I took this one way back when we were still in the primaries. so there are other people who have dropped out on it but it was the only other test I could think of. Give it a shot. let me know what you think.
How will you earn when technology puts you out of work? This is an issue that we all must face. Basic human rights and resources can no longer be distributed based on ones ability to earn money. The profit system is restricting development, innovation and progress. It’s time has come.
Joyce – I agree with most of your points, but I do think it is a bit misguided to think that folks making $250K and up (and for those of us who are single, the level is lower than 250 – 250 is for families) should not mind higher taxes. I am a big Obama supporter, but I am not happy about the fact that my taxes are going to go up under his policy. To get to the point where I am in terms of salary, I had to go deeply in debt to pay for law school – over $130K in loans. On top of that, I live in one of the two most expensive cities in the country and have a number of expenses – some that are my fault, and some that just are. I do not feel like I am rolling in money just because I make over $200k a year. I will miss that extra $900 a year. Will it hurt me? No. Will it break me? No. But do I feel good about paying it? Hell no! I do not think our government is in debt because people like me (who are far far far from wealthy) aren’t paying enough in taxes. Our government is in debt because it is damn inefficient with the money it collects. There is so much waste in our government spending it is ridiculous. I would have no problem paying high taxes if I got something in return for it – like free health care – but as a person with no children, no family members in prison;), and no attempts to collect welfare or government aid, I do not feel like I get what I pay for. Friends who live in Denmark pay only slightly higher taxes than I do and get much much more from the state in return.
I wish the president could find a way to start eliminating some of the inefficiencies in our government so that we could find the money for our country’s needs without forcing debt-addled recent(ish) graduates like me to foot an unfair portion of the bill.
The government needs to recognize there is a difference between folks in SF and NYC making over $200k a year and multi-millionaires and not lump as all in to some soundbite of “the top 5% of wealthiest Americans.” I’m not feeling like a 5 percenter.
That’s such a good point Dagny. I don’t make over $200k but does it matter? If I did I would be working hard to earn that and probably very independent from the government. If they don’t provide important services in my life(healthcare, public transit,better roads, etc) then I’d feel somewhat cheated.
The solution to these problems lies in the government getting in shape enough to best serve the people. Isn’t that what our government is for?
I would love to hear more about these people who earn over 200K workin’ hard. I’ve never met anyone like that. I’ve worked with many a multi-millionaire business owner and I’ve never known any of them to do any real ‘hard work’. Their hours and stress levels varied, but hard work… NOT.
Crop Picking, Fast Food cook, Front Line Soldier, these are the lowest paying type of jobs that there are. When will we stop glorifying others completely based on their income level? People are starving for God’s sake.
What will it take to make you demand more, instead of just hoping that the latest idiot offered for your approval might actually change things.
DagnyTaggart – point taken! (good for you to put yourself through school and make that kind of $. that’s very cool!) Yeah, I can see where folks making over $200 in places like NYC and SF might not feel like the wealthy 5% elite that Obama keeps mentioning. On the other side of the coin, I certainly don’t think McCain’s proposed tax cuts for the wealthiest elite (capital gains tax cuts) and tax cuts for large corporations and trickle-down economics will solve problems either. Look at the state of our country after 8 years of Republican economic policies.
I totally agree about the ineffiencies in the US govt today. I only hope that if Obama gets elected, he’ll hold true to his promises of working on eliminating years of grossly wasteful govt spending. What if he did help turn this country around? It’s going to be super tough after what’s happened with the economy, mtg crisis, illegal war in Iraq, etc etc, but if anyone is capable of turning things around, I believe Obama is the smartest and most cabable.
I think most people who get lumped into that “rich” category are not happy about it. Frankly, I busted my butt for years to get where I am and it is not for anyone else to judge what I would or would not miss. No matter what Obama says he is definitely all about punishing successful people. I am one of those people, not because I was born well off but because I have worked more in the last ten years than many people do in their entire careers. Why should I be punished or forced to support people who make different choices according to their values. God bless them – I wish them well but that doesn’t mean I owe them anything because I am may be monetarily better off.
I got this forward from a friend today and I thought it was so appropo as everyone is crying that the so called “rich” aren’t paying enough:
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comesto $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would gosomething like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do.
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with thearrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you areall such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost ofyour daily beer by $20.’Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the firstfour men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about theother six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall sothat everyone would get his ‘fair share?’ They realized that $20 divided by sixis $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifthman and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, thebar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughlythe same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). The sixthnow paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings). The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7(28%savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninthnow paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of$59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued todrink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare theirsavings.
‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’declared the sixth man. Hepointed to the tenth man,’ but he got $10!’
‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved adollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!’
‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get $10back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!’
‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’tget anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat downand had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, theydiscovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all ofthem for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our taxsystem works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from atax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they justmay not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where theatmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
This is the barstool version of Barack Obama’s tax plan
David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia
For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do notunderstand, no explanation is possible.
Why is it that Democrats want to make things “fair” by bringing successful people down rather than raising up those with less? It is an insult to the “middle class” in my humble opinion to say that the only to raise them up is by lowering their neighbors! Give them liberty, give them freedom, and let them do – do for themselves! Hand outs are not needed and not wanted!
Why would you demand more?? Go out and make more, do more, offer more! If people starving moves you, teach them to feed themselves. If you see a problem, offer a solution. The fastest way to make any problem worse is to turn it over the government.
Demand better of yourself! The tools are there for anyone to make as much as they wish and be anything they wish as long as beaurocrats get out of the way. Stop going to your Uncle Sam with your hand out and do better for yourself!
I know plenty of people who earn over 200k and work hard – and have for many, many years.
Just because a job isn’t hard physical labor does not make it easy. Intellectual/service jobs can be just as challenging if not more.
I was in the middle of a post and the computer froze. This time I’ll be far more brief – and part of my point was just made by others anyway.
Troublesjustabubble – thanks so much for your comments. I appreciate it.
Chris – as TJB and MJMackey both said – hard work is not exclusively comprised of manual labor. I pull many more all-nighters and 18 hour days than the typical ditch digger or apple picker. We all have unique job challenges and benefits – but it is an unfortunate reverse prejudice to only value the non-intellectual jobs. A lot of us who have these jobs have them because we wanted to make sure to provide for ourselves and our familes. Before I went to law school, I was getting a PhD in literature and women’s studies. I watched class after class graduate with their doctorates and not be able to find jobs that paid enough to live on in a big city. I made the sacrifice to switch courses and pursue something that would enable me to pick my city of residence and know I could support myself – particularly after watching my parents get into a terrible financial situation (which is now worsened due to the stock market).
Please don’t assume that people making over $200k are fat cats lazing their way through life – it’s just as close-minded as some rich person assuming that minimal-wage earners are lazy welfare-recipients looking to sponge off of others. Both opinions are invalid.
Joyce, I am totally with you in having more confidence in Barack than McCain to make a dent in the country’s problems. I would not trust McCain to fix my dinner after watching him the past few weeks.
EasyCheetah, I see where you are coming from, but I’m not going all the way with you (that’s what she said….). As you may be able to tell from my screenname, I’m a big fan of Ayn Rand and objectivism. I believe that man’s personal achievement can be the most beautiful thing in the world – and there is a virtue to selfishness when that word includes driving oneself and expecting a lot from oneself. There is something unfair feeling about progressive income taxes – they do punish achievement by taxing it, and in a perfect capitalist society, they would not exist – everyone would contribute equally to the cost of running our society. However, we do not exist in a perfect system. Some poeple have way higher capabilities than others – physically and mentally. Some people are born into much worse situations with little to no access to a good education. Some people just get plain unlucky at various points in their life. Do we really want to live in a community where those people are just left to suffer on their own with no government help? Not everyone is going to achieve, and I am not willing to let all the lesser achievers just fall by the wayside. And if you think you are prepared to do so, I want you to look at some famous revolutions in history and think about what happens when you allow a big segment of society to just fall lower and lower down the ladder – REVOLT! ;)
The reality is that our tax needs are too high to be met by taking an equal share from all citizens while keeping that share at something that our less wealthy citizens can afford.
Your posts ring a bell with me, but I don’t think they take into account some real world realities. I don’t mind paying a higher portion of my salary in taxes when compared with someone making minimum wage, or with my parents trying to keep themselves afloat after retiring. I do mind paying close to 50% of my salary and watching the money be funneled into Iraq and government domestic wasteful purposes.
As someone who has worked in both environments, neck and neck with lawyers and burger flippers, I disagree. What makes work seem hard is fruitlessness or hopelessness. When your work is rewarding that makes it easy to get out of bed in the morning even after pulling an 18 hour day.
I worked over 90 hours a week for years while raising my kids and it was nothing compared to picking tomatoes for 40 cents a bushel with my Mexican friends in Florida one Summer. That was hard work!!! If you think flippin’ burgers or picking tomatoes is a good deal, then why don’t you do it? I know why I don’t, ‘cause it SUCKS!
I don’t consider flipping burgers with no hope of advancement rewarding? This is as far a some will ever get. 90% of all occupations today will disappear because of technology in the next 30-50 years. What job do you have and how long will it last? When you or your children no longer have value as an earner what will you think about the current system?
ps: as far as offering a solution goes Cheetah, How about a resource based economy instead of a profit based one?
So you are saying that for work to be “hard” it needs to be considered hopeless and without reward? I’ve never heard that definition, and I don’t agree with it, but I suppose I have/cannot have any objection to you defining the term as such for yourself.
I would love to say I spring out of bed every morning with a smile on my face and bluebirds braiding my hair. I don’t. I get paid very well, but I still have to drag myself out of bed in the morning – muttering as I make our smoothies for the day. I know very few people who work for others who find their work constantly rewarding.
I also do not understand the point of your last paragraph, Chris. The world changes – technology makes some jobs obsolete while creating other jobs. Technology is not some faceless force from a sci-fi book. It is man’s invention – what some of the brightest among us conceive and create in order to improve the world. It does not always improve the world – but often it is at least intended to by someone in some way. I’m not scared of technology robbing me of my job. I do not expect that I will turn from a capitalist to a radical socialist or communist because of some evolution of the ‘current system.’ And I assume that if I have children, they will find jobs that are relevant to their place and time. They will certainly not depend on their trust funds, as I’m determined to spend every last dollar before I kick it.
The ratio of job creation to replacement is not close and it is growing exponentially. I think that technology replacing human labor is a good thing and I do not fear it in the least. We can’t all be door greeters at Wal-Mart and who wants to. I’ve got better things to do with my time than to have a job.
cheetah – I don’t think Obama’s intention is to ‘punish’ wealthy people by increasing their taxes. I believe Obama is a millionaire himself which he achieved through hard work. Didn’t he put himself through Harvard law school? That couldn’t have been easy. Just curious, what is it that you do?? You claim that you have worked harder than most people which seems like a very confident statement. My husband and I work very hard and so do most people we know. I put myself through college working two jobs while slaving away as a full-time student (many years ago). I think most folks work pretty darn hard to put a roof over their head and food on the table.
That all being said, my husband and I do very well for ourselves here in Vermont. We’re not in the 250s, but are happy and comfortable. I believe we are probably in a higher tax bracket then a few of our neighbors who share our mountain. One couple in particular works extremely hard but they never had the educational opportunities as ourselves to come close to our salaries. They have also been hit with some rather hard luck (things out of their control). I don’t mind paying a bit more taxes than these neighbors since I know they are working their tail feathers off to feed their kids and pay the bills. I personally am not a fan of this mentality:’every man for himself’. I believe we are all connected in many ways.
And if I personally had the opportunity to make 250+ while living in beautiful Vermont and Obama was working hard to turn this country around, then I wouldn’t mind the extra 3% tax increase (which isn’t on the full 250!).
cheetah wrote: “Why should I be punished or forced to support people who make different choices according to their values.”
Not everyone has that luxury to ‘make choices’ about their lifestyle or career path. Like DagnyTaggart said above, “Some people are born into much worse situations with little to no access to a good education. Some people just get plain unlucky at various points in their life. Do we really want to live in a community where those people are just left to suffer on their own with no government help? Not everyone is going to achieve, and I am not willing to let all the lesser achievers just fall by the wayside.” I’m quoting Dagny b/c she is such a gifted writer and one of my favorite posters on goneraw :-)
DagnyTaggart – No, I am not prepared to leave anyone by the wayside. I just frankly don’t think it is beneficial for the GOVERNMENT to take on the responsibility of helping those people. The government’s solution is shallow and short sighted – take money from those that have and give to those that don’t. Doesn’t work, won’t work, has been tried and failed every time. Yet here we are again poised for half of our country to have that miserable failure shoved down our throats yet again with the other half of the population eagerly waiting with hands out and mouths wide open.
We have a presidential candidate right now telling us flat out that his goal is to redistibute wealth – his words not mine. Anyone who thinks critically about this concept will realize that it takes capital from the most productive sectors of the economy and gives it to the less productive sectors, and is enforcing economic egalitarianism, which reduces productivity and the incentive to work. Any temporary equality of outcome gained by redistribution would quickly collapse without coercion because people have different levels of motivation and native abilities, and would make different choices based on their differing values. Material inequality is a necessary outcome of the freedom to choose one’s own actions without imposing on others – although in my experience those in favor of redistribution of wealth have no problem imposing their will on others and place inherently low value on personal freedom to choose ones own actions.
chriscarlton – a resource based economy wouldn’t change anything but terminology. Some will have resources and other won’t. Same deal – different widget.
â€œFrankly, I busted my butt for years to get where I amâ€ This is a perfect example of rewarding work. How can you call that â€˜hardâ€™ when compared to a 19 year old girl who has been working in a sweat shop for the last twelve years and will probably never leave it.
Sorry, The term â€œHard Workâ€ means something different to me than long days at the office. I am not suggesting guilt. Please donâ€™t take offense.
In a resource based economy, the resources belong to everyone. No profit. No interest. No waste. No unnecessary work!!! I know it scares the hell out of any capitalist, yet it doesn’t matter. Capitalism and a profit = success system is doomed and will end soon, no matter how much anyone wants to defend it. In a winner/looser system eventually there is only one winner. We were all born onto this earth without obligation and with rights. Then we are stripped of our rights and given obligation. I never agreed to any of this and I still don’t today.
Why did you have to “work so hard to get where you are at”? There is plenty to go around. Don’t you deserve to have a nice life? Doesn’t your family? Who’s making you work so hard? If you can loose so much just by some banker or politician’s decision that crashes the dollar or the housing market, then what have you gained? No country stays on top forever! Spain, Italy, England all used to rule the world. If another country took over America then your deed and bank account would have no value. You don’t really own the land and your bank account is just a number in a computer.
Now that we have advanced enough that we can easily care for everyone on the earth, we have to make the choice to do so. If we can not make this choice then we are not FREE. We all deserve no better life than the worse off one of us must endure today.
Chris-there is only one problem with your ideal. We as humans have an innate sense of ownership over what we in either small or large ways achieve. It is a part of our self worth. Dagny wanted to become a lawyer and she set her mind to and achieved her goal. If someone flipping burgers wanted to become a lawyer they too could achieve that. Which is one of the things that is wonderful about our country. We have opportunity to try hard and be rewarded. But if there is no competition, then there is no advancement and humanity would slump. There wouldn’t scientific discoveries or technological progression. Because there would be no incentive to work without competition and reward. Winning is a part of humanity.
chriscarlton – communism by any other name is still communism. the same communism which has been tried and has failed again and again throughout history and still people try to “put lipstick on the pig” and sell it with a new face. Good grief!
who decides what resources i need? who decides how much is enough for my family? who decides when and where and how i contribute my part to the “all out efforts” that Mr. Fresco outlines? The first fatal flaw with this plan is the obvious question who then is in control? without at least guidelines, there is anarchy which is good for no one.
secondly,if everything is handed to me, why work? why show up? why sit around watch tv and smoke pot all day? that’s a resource right?
Look every time this concept is floated people forget that human beings don’t WANT everything handed to them. Where is the challenge in that? Where is the fun in that? Where is the reward in that? Human beings love to strive, succeed and look back and say “I did that. I accomplished that.” If we could wipe the slate clean, and put your Mr. Fresco’s plan into place within 10 years there would be groups rebellion and moving back to a system where people are free to pursue their dreams of a BETTER life not the SAME life.
Have you noticed that the majority of new technology, cures, new businesses come from American? Why? Because we are rewarded for our effort. Why do people work hard? Because in the end game, we WANT to. We want to earn a better life. We want to leave our mark on society. We want to leave that legacy to our children. It’s called the American dream. It is why people from all over the world for the last 250 years have flocked to this country any way they can get in.
JoyceH – People always have choices. Always. No one is born into any situation without choices. Babies have no choices. But even from a young age of 6 or 8 years old people have choices. Ask any parent who has tried to get their child to do something they don’t want to. They know even at that age that they have choices. We may have to choose between two things that we don’t like but we always always have choices regardless of how poor the situation you were born into. Take a look at the true stories like Pursuit of Happyness, Akeelah and the Bee, Blood Diamond and countless others. Stories of people who appeared to be trapped in miserable,hopeless situation they had control of. They had no “choice”. And yet they all made choices, hard choices, painful choices, no doubt but choices all the same. A choice to rise above, a choice to do better, a choice to reunite, a choice to stick it out. Choices we all make every day that determine our future regardless of our current circumstances. There is ALWAYS a choice.