Additionally, you never answered the original question. Basic logic would suggest that if you tax the rich until there are no more rich, the end result should be a society with neither rich nor poor. You suggest that the poor would remain poor. I asked where the money went. You had no answer.
I had an answer. You take all the money, and they end up poor - and the poor are no better off, either. By eliminating the super wealthy, do we eliminate the poverty line? Is that your assertion? If not - then eliminating the super-wealthy, and spreading their money around (not nearly enough of it to raise everyone out of poverty), all we've done is increase the number of poor.
Benjamin Franklin said it best: "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became rich."
That doesn't make the poor appreciably any better off
I think the poor would disagree with you there. That $283 is more than they make in a year. Typical western ignorance.
Yes, your ignorance is showing, but this is slashdot and talking out your rear is welcomed. So how much of a change would $283 be? Have you spent time in Ghana, or Haiti, or Uruguay, or Laos? I have - and whilst $283 would definitely help out - it would not significantly change anyone's lifestyle. It's going to take more than that - meaning it's better to focus on growing economies, not just handing out dollars (like ignorant Western people want to do).
There is reason many native Africans call for a halt to charity - and to refocus our efforts on assisting building economies. The whole "give a man a fish/teach a man to fish" argument. But then, if you weren't doing that, how can you refocus your class envy?
The wealthiest individuals do not pay income tax because they don't have income. Their "income" is actually long term capital gains with the highest rate paid at 20%. They don't pay SSI, Medicare or Medicaide and even if they did they are capped at $125,000 in income. Because of this Mitt Romney had to pay extra taxes for his effective rate (the actual taxation rate) to be 15%.
Again, please see the actual data. The top 1% average a 24% income tax rate. And IF it was just the 15% you claim, then it's still in the top 6%. Meaning more than 94% of all US taxpayers pay.
How is paying a much higher rate than 94 out of 100 in any way NOT progressive?
Also, if a top earner is actually paying 24 percent income tax, they don't live in one of the states with no income tax.
Real top earners have a median income tax of around 8 percent.
Only suckers who can't afford tax lawyers and tax accountants pay 24 percent.
Fwiw, my brother and uncle both work in tax and insurance law in NYC.
Wrong. See the actual tax return data for yourself. I've linked it above and now here - it is quite eye-opening. The FEDERAL (not State - FEDERAL) tax return data shows the average income tax rate of the top 1% is 24%. AVERAGE, FEDERAL. Nothing to do with State. If you're unlucky enough to live in California (like I do), then you get the privilege of paying up to another 10.5% on top of that.
1. Please read the rest of my comment. I factor in Social Security - and that will only INCREASE their effective tax rate (how can additional taxes paid REDUCE their tax rate?)
2. Provably false. See EITC. You can have an income and get tax back - even refunded more than the taxes you paid in. Meaning you can, in effect, not only not pay taxes on income, but get paid to not pay those taxes.
3. And how does that factor into anything? Tax payments, tax rates are still going up for the rich - and down for the poor. How are the taxes paid by all taxpayers NOT heavily progressive?
4. Yes, that's the point of savings! A little saved every month over a long period builds up. Pass it on to your next generation, and it grows even faster. Of course, you get to pay up to a 20% capital gains tax rate on that income you earn from accumulated wealth. It's hardly tax-free - and is at a rate to put you solidly in the top 5% in terms of tax rates.
As far as progressive tax, WE HAVE progressive tax! Everything I've shown proves as much. How much more progressive should it be?
Proof that Forbes lies? Because looking at Apple's published, audited financial information, I see an income before taxes of $17.7 billion - and they pay $4.6 billion in taxes, about a 23% tax rate. Now, if you are privy to some secret information you could make history and become a "Woodward and Bernstein" level famous journalist by revealing counter information and having Tim Cook and the rest of the executive team sent to prison for violating SOX laws...
It seems to me that Forbes is telling the truth. And the published, SOX-compliant reporting from Apple backs that up.
You mean like the 2008 Financial collapse? If you kept your money still invested in stocks, it would be back up to beyond where it was in 2008. How is that wiped out? Only those who were living on leveraged money took it in the shorts. Sure, my house dropped 30% in value in 2008 - but it's now back up over where it previously peaked. I didn't have a 2nd and 3rd mortgage on the place, though - so I wasn't gambling with "on paper" money - leveraged assets.
Not sure of your age, but I am sufficiently advanced (two score and 6!) that I can remember my grandparents AND parents who constantly harped on saving, paying with cash as much as possible, and paying off your debts as quickly as possible. They all lived through financial nightmares that would make today's issues seem like a stubbed toe. Where did they learn those lessons? Seeing what happens when you didn't - the results of bad decisions. Preventing people from experiencing the results of bad choices does not help them learn from those bad choices.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got, I got from the first engineer I ever worked for, at the young age of 19. He said "you only learn from failure. Success can be dumb luck, but failure is all you". Perhaps we need to let people learn more - not everyone wins first place, not everyone will get a beachfront house and Mercedes.
As far as HOW to do it, look south to Chile. It's a system that works, works VERY well, encourages personal savings (heck, we could do the same - lift the annual cap on IRA contributions), and is guaranteed - unlike our Social Security system. It's become the model that most of South America has adopted and, when it's not riddled with corruption (Argentina) it works really really well.
You do understand that SSI "contributions" AND payments are capped, don't you?
Peruse the latest income tax return data. The top 1% have a 24% income tax rate. They also average just under $1 million in income. So they are paying at least (assuming they are NOT self-employed and have to pay both halves) another 1.1% SSI effectively on their entire income. Meaning that their SSI, FICA and income tax rate is, on average, 25%. I wonder how many other people have a tax rate approaching that?
What tax rate is "suitable" for the rich? Where do you draw the line on "rich"?
And which include Apple and other corporations paying 1/1000th the tax rate that individuals do.
Apple is paying about an 18% tax rate, so I guess the average individual has around a 0.018% income tax rate?