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  • the21lbturkey the21lbturkey Feb 10, 2004 11:59 AM Flag

    Bush Tax Break for the Rich

    A lot of us will be effected by the Alternative Minimum Tax. That Bush is slippery. Keep this in mind when determining when to go long term or short term.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/bizwk/040210/b3870011mz001_1.html

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    • That's another rats nest I run into all the time. I have read that the IRS expects 15% of all returns with a tax burden> $1000 to have an AMT adjustment this year. If not fixed in a matter of years this will baloon to 1/3.

      I heard an interesting book review the other day where the author's thesis is the tax system is now skewed to extract as much as possible from the $50k to $500k taxpayer and as little as possible below and above. Imagine the fiscal turnaround if the upper bracket taxpayers paid at the percentages of the average $100k taxpayer. We're not talking about soaking the rich but leveling the playing field. Families under $50k have no business paying income tax IMO and if corporate and individual taxes were really fair we wouldn't need their money either.

      • 4 Replies to mrexcelerator
      • Mrex, we may be from different ends of the political spectrum, but I agree with your tax comments completely. I believe most Americans feel the same deep down regarding this issue.

      • "and if corporate and individual taxes were really fair we wouldn't need their money either"

        If it was fair....then everyone would pay the same.

        Fair means:
        Free of favoritism or bias; impartial.

        Jim

      • Agree wholeheartedly. This country is very busily spending our children's wealth, which while it doesn't belong to us is offensive enough, but it has such a sweeping impact on the economy that it's mind numbing.

        Greenspan's on as good a track as he can be on with the cards he's been dealt (meaningfully low rates, and currency value suppression to stem the flow of wealth overseas via debt).

        I think a flat tax (probably with NO deductions whatsoever) and a balanced budged is really the fairest and most prudent changes that could be made.

        Many Americans are busy living off their home's equity, and if there's a real-estate bubble enabling that, and if that bursts, now THERE will be a crisis making the S&L nightmare pale. (I have heard a good case that the S&L "crisis" was really a transferrence of wealth from Texas and Colorado to New England via tightening loan portfolia equiety ratios -- especially looking at how the RTC handled things).

        If we think we have it bad with our "dark forces", you'd love what real money in diabolical hands can do when allied with political influence.

        Today, the measure of "success" is how well clever peole do living in the confines of a truly screwed-up system.

      • Amen to that. Us poor saps in the $50k-$250K range are being raped by Bush and his cronies. I am constantly amazed that anybody in that (broad) income region could even think of voting him back in. And the latest golf outing with Cheney and Scalia is enough to make me gag. This administration is disgusting.

        As much as most of the Democrat liberal social rhetoric repels me, it's all about the economy this year, and A.B.B. (anybody but bush).

    • There is no place better. But there could be! That's why I'm buying Cayman Brac and nationalizing it under my own personal authority. :)

      I might even buy a nuke from Kazakhstan and become a charicature of Peter Sellers from The Mouse That Roared.

    • Yeah, right.
      Truman got us into Korea, Kennedy got us into Nam and that murderous LBJ got us deeper and the liberals live them. Carter one of the most ineffectual sniviling nitwits ever almost killed us with interest rates. Nixon got us out of Nam and the liberals hate him. Reagan fought WW3 with money instead of blood and won. Nobody died. Clinton promised tax cuts and gave us one of the largest increases in preace time history. Looking back on our wars there is one hell of a lot more blood on the hands of the democrats than republicans.

      However, no amount of reason or logic will make a difference to the liberals. Theirs is a religion, based on faith. They will fight tooth and nail to not be swayed because if they should ever have to look at the massive damage they have done, from Karl Marx to Pohl Poht, they would jump screaming off the first tall building in shame.

    • As Mr. Spock the Vulcan first officer of the Enterprise said centuries later, "Only Nixon could go to China." :)

      LOL I like that.
      One thing I think we can all agree on: Only the bold end up making a change and only those changes that improve the human condition survive. The communists murdered millions trying to force socialism on the world. It didnt work because it's counter intuitive. We humans, on average, are seekers. We are the inquisitive monkey with the oposable thumb, a large brain and the modified larnyx that allows us to speak. There will always be differences of opinion because other wise we would still be living in caves. And treating teath with jack hammers. :-)

    • Mr. Ex - For a long time I've looked forward to your posts; nice lessons on the movement of BLTI. I must say you've hit the nail on the head today. Nice post and thank you!

    • I think this is chock-full of wisdom:

      "Only the bold end up making a change and only those changes that improve the human condition survive."

      From a purely philosophical point, what we call communism was neither communism nor marxist. Stalin murdered more Russians during WW2 than there were casualties in the whole war, including the Holocaust. That is fascism on an enormous scale.

      Communism/Marxism is a good idea until one considers human nature. It is in our basic interest to care about ourselves before we care about the greater good

      (Spock again, "The needs of the many outweight the needs of the one" when he sacrificed his life in the engine antimatter chamber to save the ship. I say some of the best quotes come from vulcans and jedi... :)

      A little modernish parable I like is:

      An enormous computer was built. Into it, the whole wealth of human knowledge was stored. This computer could answer questions and follow instructions. So it was asked, "Distill the entire knowledge of humanity to a single volume." So it did so. It was then asked, "From that volume, distill the entire knowledge of humanity to a single chapter." and it did so. From that chapter, it was asked, "Distill that chapter down to a single paragraph.", and it complied. From there it was asked, "Distill that paragraph to a single word.", and it obediently complied. The word was:

      SURVIVE.

    • nice parable... reminds me somehow of the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, where all supercomputer were calulating to find out the answer to the question of the sense of life and in the end it was "42" :)

    • From the first paragraph of the article that you referenced : "With great fanfare last year, President Bush and Congress agreed to slash the tax on both dividends and long-term capital gains to 15%. There's just one problem: Hundreds of thousands of upper-middle-income investors will never enjoy those low rates. Indeed, some may be paying higher taxes on gains than they did before the law was changed."

      By my read, the article, in the first paragraph, infers that the Bush/Congress tax cut is to blame for higher taxes on some people, but fails, in the remainder of the article, to explain the direct linkage between the resulting higher taxes and the Bush tax cut that was passed by Congress. To the contrary, in the next paragraph the author places the blame squarely on the AMT, which, in its various forms, has been around since 1969. Again, from the article: "The culprit? The alternative minimum tax, of course."

      Those who stopped reading the article after the first paragraph might have been left with the impression that Bush's tax cut was to blame for the higher taxes mentioned in the article. To the contrary, it is the extra income generated by the lower taxes that may push some into the AMT, thus causing them to have to pay more taxes. In reality, there are a far greater number of taxpayers that will be positively affected by the tax cut than those who will be negatively impacted by being pushed into the AMT. Did the President and Congress mislead us all by advertising the tax cut to 15%? Absolutely not. There will always be extenuating circumstances that will cause some to pay a different "effective rate", depending on their personal financial situation.

      BTW, I agree that the AMT needs to be abolished and the entire tax code overhauled to make it fairer. Those at all levels of government must be held accountable for the way they spend OUR money. But it seems to me that the author of the article, and other authors using questionable journalistic techniques to promote their own political agendas, are the ones who are being "slippery".

      • 1 Reply to fastazleep
      • There is a rule of thumb for reading articles.
        1) the headline is usually missleading and is designed to misslead those too lazy to read the article.
        2) the first few paragraphs are designed to continue the missrepresentation
        3) Somewhere in the body of the article you will find the truth usually toward the end where the lazy reader rarely treads.

        They insert a few germs of truth so that when they are called on their bull shit they can point to it and say they are fair and ballanced.

    • Communism/Marxism is a good idea until one considers human nature.

      1) it's a lousy idea. Always was and always will be because:
      2) It can only lead to a totolitarian system. It depends on the elites. Marx's "Scientific Solutions" were seen to be flawed by Lenin early on. He knew it couldnt work without the massive use of force and terror. Stalin carried it to its ultimate horror. Recomended reading: "The black book of Communism." Read it and you will not sleep so pretty good.

    • Yah, the deficit is frightening. Mr. Ex, do you mean Regan or Reagan?

      Donald Regan and Ronald Reagan. Don Regan was Reagan's Secretary of the Treasury.

      IMO they had to spend to finish winning the cold war. At that time, the "duck and cover" threat of nuclear armageddon was a real threat. The part they missed is that the threat has just changed. Now we have countries with religous fervor and a hatred of the west willing to use weapons like that against us.

      At least with the soviets, we could negotiate.

      I don't think there's a good way to negotiate with people who hate you for what you are.

      I don't know what's worse. The deficit or nuclear annihilation. The problem and its name just changed, that's all.

      I can survive a deficit. I can't survive the x-rays generated by proximity of a nuclear detonation or being anywhere near ground zero for that matter.

      Look at the recession that 9/11 encouraged. What do we think a nuke on NYC would do? We'd recover, but talk about a leap backwards, economically, to our national self-image, personal security and confidence in our system...

      The "you" in this case is "one" for contemplation.

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