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Comment: pfSense + VPN Tunnel (Score 1) 164

by palesius (#43046325) Attached to: Home Server On IPv6-only Internet Connection?

This may be overkill as many people have suggested just using a linux VPS. But we are using a VPS from arpnetworks to host an instance of pfSense (FreeBSD based firewall distro). This is connected to our main site's firewall via a VPN tunnel. We have a /29 on the arpnetworks side to get a few extra public IPs (we need them to host SSL web sites). We then route traffic from those IPs over the tunnel to our internal network. There's no reason you couldn't do the same thing for a single address. I think it costs us $10/month +5/month for the /29 (single IP would be free).

Comment: Re:Higher threshold. (Score 1) 866

by palesius (#33654088) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

At the risk of being redundant, for those who haven't even read the summary, let alone the original article. The income limit is double for families. So the family would have to be bringing in 400k. (And yes a family doesn't necessarilly have to mean married filing jointly, but even then we would be looking at each person's income independently, and the family as a whole could be making significantly more than 200k without paying a state income tax.)

As for small businesses, this is a PERSONAL tax, not a business tax, and the small business owner would not be claiming 200k as income if they are making 200k and paying out 150k in salaries. They would be claiming 50k as income. (The business wouldn't even be claiming 200k as profit).

Comment: Re:Flat Tax (Score 1) 866

by palesius (#33652204) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

Nah, I think those sites oversimplify things. IANAAccountant, but I believe if you have under $100k you have to use the tax tables, which break it up into $50 increments, so you are bound to have these stair step artifacts. But as I said above, this is very different from people who think going up $1 in income could cost you thousands of dollars. This is more of a rounding error, and caps out at $14. Also, after $100k you calculate it based on percentages, so it is a continuous function.

Comment: Re:Flat Tax (Score 1) 866

by palesius (#33652142) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

Yes, taxes as determined by tax tables are not a continuous function. But plenty of people are misconstruing things in a big way.
They think that because the tax rate jumps from 25% to 33% at 60k, that at $60001 you are paying a 33% tax on every cent of your income.
That's a very different issue that being out $12 from a rounding error. (And ignoring the people who make $49 extra dollars in income and pay no extra tax whatsoever in it.) Maybe it's to prevent errors, or because the IRS doesn't trust everyone to do the math, but you're coming at a different side of this than most people are arguing against.

Comment: Re:Flat Tax (Score 2, Informative) 866

by palesius (#33652020) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

But that is not how tax brackets work.
In your not fully fleshed out example, I'm assuming the rate is 30% below 40k and 35% above it, right?

That means if you made 39800 you would pay 11940 and take home 27860.
If you make 40200 you would pay 30% on the 1st 40k ($12000) and 35% on the remaining $200 (or $70)
So your total tax bill would be $12070, and you would take home $28130 which is shockingly more than $27860.

The tax codes weren't made by idiots, but by beaurocrats.

Comment: Re:WA has the most regressive tax in the nation (Score 1) 866

by palesius (#33651870) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

Sort of. If you include sales taxes and property taxes. These generally will not increase as fast as your income.
In the grandparent's study, the lowest income range paid almost nothing in income tax nationwide, but almost 11% of their income in sales/excise/property tax.
The top 1% paid about 2% in sales/excise/property and another 4% in income taxes.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 866

by palesius (#33651764) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

Alternatively if you do this, then those taxes need to be high enough that everyone's basic necessities can be provided for them when they can no longer feed/cloth/house/doctor themselves.

Or, if you need $20k to survive and are paying 25% of your $20k income in taxes, then you could just get $5k back from the government either in cash or social services. There are many different ways of accomplishing the same thing, with varying degrees of efficiency. Is a soup kitchen more efficient than welfare? It probably depends on the individual and the soup kitchen. Of course you can just let people starve, which is free, until they steal your car stereo to feed themselves.

Comment: Re:The Cheapskate (Score 1) 866

by palesius (#33651678) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

Your figures are a bit off. I'm going to ignore his marital status and his spouse's income (if he has one).
He'd be paying 5% on 200-500k. ($15k)
9% on 500k-554833 (almost $15k)
for a total of $30k.

And for the people acting like this is a huge burden on people who make something like $210k a year. They would be paying $500 dollar as a result of this tax.

Comment: Re:Only 9%? (Score 1) 866

by palesius (#33651624) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

For our international readers who may not be familiar with the rigamarole of the US tax structure there are many layers.

Income is taxed at several levels:
Federal (35% on income over about 375k, 25% between 35 and 80k, and various other levels above and below that)
State (0% to 11% with each state having their own rates and brackets
Municipal taxes (with some random searching i found up to 3% in parma heights, ohio I'm sure some are more, and many there are none)

And there are of course many other non-income sources of taxation:
Property (meaning houses, usually taxed at the county level in my experience, in between state and Municipal, depends on the value of the house, sometimes the use)
Property (some states tax additional forms of property, cars, boats, etc.)
Sales tax (most states have this in some form or another, but also some counties and some towns will tack on some themselves)

Payroll Taxes (15.3 for social security and medicare combined, which is genrally split with your employer)
and of course some states have their own disability insurance or unemployment insurance that is taken from your payroll as well.

Then you have to mix that all together. Some taxes will not count as income for other taxes (e.g. money you pay on your property tax may not be counted as income on your federal and state taxes). And each type of tax may allow various different deductions and credits (e.g. medical insurance payments may count as income on your federal taxes but not your state, etc, etc.

As a random and personal yardstick, about 25% of my paycheck is deducted for various non-voluntary things.

Comment: Re:Flat Tax (Score 1) 866

by palesius (#33651608) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

And those are almost universally phased out gradually.

To use a large and recent credit, the 1st time homebuyer credit. It's an $8000 credit that you are fully eligible for at an income of under $125k. It phases out linearly over the next $20k, so for each extra $1k of income between 125 and 145k you are only effectively bringing in $600 because you are losing some of your credit. But YOU ARE STILL GETTING $600 more, not $0 more or $400 less. Also that is a one time credit, and quite large, not something that recurs year after year.

Can you provide an explicit example of a $1k bump in gross income resulting in less net income?

Comment: Re:Flat Tax (Score 1) 866

by palesius (#33651518) Attached to: Ballmer, Bezos Fund Effort To Undermine Bill Gates

Granted. And I have some experience with this, and the rigamarole you need to go through when a grandparent is going into assisted living, making sure they have enough income to pay for long enough that they will be covered, but not so much that they are ineligible.

But this is a problem at the opposite end of the spectrum (and highlights the absurdity of healthcare costs). A cutoff of medicaid at $20k or so is not a problem for people making 200k+ a year.

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