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Author Topic: So, who IS the 1%?  (Read 8436 times)

Kaso

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So, who IS the 1%?
« on: August 25, 2012, 10:12:53 am »
Okay, I visited my (slightly touched) neighbor lady yesterday, and she was ranting on about the tax code, and how "the 1% needs to pay their fair share!"

I am not going to try arguing with her about it, (I would be nuts to try) but I was curious: How much does one have to make, in order to be considered the 'top 1%' of earners in the US?

What is the annual income of the top 1% of earners?  I ask this, because she seems to think that if they would tax the wealthiest people, they could make everyone prosperous.  ::)

What tax rate would they have to levy against the '1%,' in order to fund the currrent $2 Trillion yearly defecit?  Would it even be possible to pay for the current government spending with tax increases?


I would like to note, that she pays the maximum federal tax rate, as she gets boatloads of money from natural gas wells on her property...  And the amount she gets paid is less than 1/4 of what she was getting five years ago - so she was making $1 million+ back then.  :facepalm  Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!



I have no idea where to find the above information, so if anyone either knows it, or has a source, let me know. 

Thanks.



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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 10:34:23 am »
    From several different sources i've picked up the idea that if we took every dime from every millionaire and billionaire in the U.S. It would only run the Fed for about 45 days.
    New York"If you’re not shootin’, you should be loadin’. If you’re not loadin’, you should be movin’. If you’re not movin’, someone’s gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick."--Clint Smith

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 10:58:08 am »
    I'm not sure it's income that defines a 1%er, at least not right now.  The definition keeps changing to fit whatever the narrative is at the moment. 

    Right now it seems to be the percentage of your income you pay in taxes.  I think I might be a 1%er.  I've seen the commercials that say Mitt Romney paid a 14% tax rate in 2011.  I paid 13%.   :shrug


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    So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #3 on: August 25, 2012, 11:38:17 am »
    Top 1%in income is 380,000 of household income per year.  Top 1% in net worth is 8.4 million.  If you fall into either of those categories you would be considered a 1%-er.

    In 2009 a 1% was 343,00 in income. 

    The top 1% pay about 37%+ of all federal taxes.  Total federal tax revenue was about 1.275 trillion.  You do the math and you can figure out that the top 1% paid  about 470 billion. If you tripled the tax rate from 35% to 100% you would only increase revenue by 870 billion, far short of the deficit.  And I'd your tax rate was that high there is no incentive or the top 1% to produce or contribute to society.  Think Atlas Shrugged.
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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #4 on: August 25, 2012, 11:43:12 am »
    From a Washington Post article last year:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/who-are-the-1-percenters/2011/10/06/gIQAn4JDQL_blog.html

    Exceprt:

    Quote
    Taken literally, the top 1 percent of American households had a minimum income of $516,633 in 2010 — a figure that includes wages, government transfers and money from capital gains, dividends and other investment income.

    That number is down from peak of $646,195 in 2007, before the economic crisis hit, all adjusted to 2011 dollars, according to calculations by the Tax Policy Center. By contrast, the bottom 60 percent earned a maximum of $59,154 in 2010, the bottom 40 percent earned a max of $33,870, while the bottom 20 percent earned just $16,961 at maximum. As Annie Lowrey points out, that gap has grown wider over time: “The top 1 percent of households took a bigger share of overall income in 2007 than they did at any time since 1928.” (And in New York City, it’s even more skewed: the top 1 percent have an average of $3.7 million in income.)

    Also worth reading : http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=159784724

    Quote
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The middle class is receiving less of America's total income, declining to its smallest share in decades as median wages stagnate in the economic doldrums and wealth concentrates at the top.

    A study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center highlights diminished hopes, too, for the roughly 50 percent of adults defined as middle class, with household incomes ranging from $39,000 to $118,000. The report describes this mid-tier group as suffering its "worst decade in modern history," having fallen backward in income for the first time since the end of World War II.

    Three years after the recession technically ended, middle class Americans are still feeling the economic pinch, with most saying they have been forced to reduce spending in the past year. And fewer now believe that hard work will allow them to get ahead in life. Families are now more likely to say their children's economic future will be the same or worse than their own.

    In all, 85 percent of middle class Americans say it is more difficult now than a decade ago to maintain their standard of living. Some 62 percent say a lot of the blame lies with Congress. A slight majority say a lot lies with banks and other financial institutions. Just 8 percent blame the middle class itself.

    To give a short answer :

    I don't believe that taxing the rich more is the only answer to fixing our debt crisis, but I think it is part of the answer. Another part of the answer is increasing wages for the middle class - the schmucks like us who are actually doing the work.  The wage disparity in America is hurting us more than the tax disparity.  When even a webcomic like XKCD can prove simply (and graphically - pun intended) that there is a disparity in what CEOs are getting paid and what their employees are getting paid, there is a problem. It also proves that 'trickle down economics' do not work.
    « Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 12:00:24 pm by booksmart »

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #5 on: August 25, 2012, 02:06:54 pm »
    The definition of fair seems to include less out of my pocket, more into my pocket.

    When it comes to vices like alcohol, tobacco, and tanning, people recognize that raising tax rates and increasing marginal cost of consumption is a negative incentive to use.  Or, booze costs more, people drink less.

    When it comes to personal income and developing capital wealth, the same people deny that raising marginal cost of production would be a negative incentive.

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #6 on: August 25, 2012, 02:36:53 pm »
    I don't believe that taxing the rich more is the only answer to fixing our debt crisis, but I think it is part of the answer.
    It is part of the solution.  We need to balance the budget with cuts, and then pay down the debt with tax increases... on everyone, including the rich. 

    Another part of the answer is increasing wages for the middle class - the schmucks like us who are actually doing the work.  The wage disparity in America is hurting us more than the tax disparity. 
    It's certainly not helping, but that is not the government's call.  Not their job to fix.

    It also proves that 'trickle down economics' do not work.
    I never understood why not.  I, using money that I could spare, just bought a used Sig.  I only used money that I could spare. (I.E., not defecit spending)  If I had more money, I would buy another Sig.  And a Crusader M4.  And an ACOG.  And, and, and... See where this is going?  I would put that money back into the economy.

    If I had less money to spare, I would have maybe bought a cheaper gun, or maybe even put off or canceled the sale.  The less money I have, the less I can 're-invest' into the economy.  The more I get taxed, the less money I have to spare.

    Some are of the opinion that the government should be the one to make sure money keeps getting re-distributed.  The problem with that, (and this is a fact) is they take it from those who are productive, (giving them less incentive to work hard to get ahead) and give it to those who did not earn it. (giving them less incentive to work hard to get ahead.)  See the problem?



    Kaso

    Kaso

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #7 on: August 25, 2012, 02:38:10 pm »
    The definition of fair seems to include less out of my pocket, more into my pocket.
    That's about what my neighbor feels.  She thinks that she is over-taxed...  On money that is literally coming out of the ground...



    Kaso

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #8 on: August 25, 2012, 02:48:23 pm »
    Most of the folks I knew in college who were part of the OWS and/or 99%'er movements defined "The 1%" as everyone who a) was wealthier/more successful than they were, and b) didn't agree with their politics or they just didn't like. So Warren Buffet = 1%, Steve Jobs = 99%.

    The definition of fair seems to include less out of my pocket, more into my pocket.

    This as well. The 99%'ers have this mentality that "society" and/or "the rich" owe them something simply because they exist. Nevermind the fact that all they do alternate between protesting the 1% and watching Jersey Shore, they deserve their "Fair Share." Because they've chosen to grace the world with their obnoxious presence.
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    Kaso

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #9 on: August 25, 2012, 03:07:11 pm »
    So Warren Buffet = 1%
    I don't know... Warren Buffett kind of espouses the idea of higher taxes on the rich...



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    So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 03:34:12 pm »
    Gee....makes you kind of wonder how we ran the country without a income tax before it was put into law....
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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012, 03:41:43 pm »
    Gee....makes you kind of wonder how we ran the country without a income tax before it was put into law....
    The same way you would survive if your main source of income disappeared, and you had to polish shoes for a living:

    SPEND FREAKING LESS!!!



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    booksmart

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #12 on: August 25, 2012, 03:43:31 pm »
    I never understood why not.  I, using money that I could spare, just bought a used Sig.  I only used money that I could spare. (I.E., not defecit spending)  If I had more money, I would buy another Sig.  And a Crusader M4.  And an ACOG.  And, and, and... See where this is going?  I would put that money back into the economy.

    Because, simply put, you spend your money differently depending on how much you make.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/08/01/157664524/how-the-poor-the-middle-class-and-the-rich-spend-their-money

    There's also this: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/10/143508437/just-what-do-the-rich-have-thats-taxable

    Incidentally, that first link also proves the fallacy of the fair tax concept: if you add up the taxable spending of each example (food, clothes, etc.), the poor and middle class portions add up to a greater percentage of their incomes than it does for the upper class.  The upper class do end up spending more overall, but the taxable percentage is not in ratio to the middle or poor classes.

    I don't know... Warren Buffett kind of espouses the idea of higher taxes on the rich...

    Him, Bill Gates, and a slew of others...

    And yes, spending less would help. For instance, we spend more on defence than the next 7 runners-up. Combined.

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #13 on: August 25, 2012, 03:45:42 pm »
    Quote
    It also proves that trickle down economics doesn't work
    I don't think you understand supply-side economics, because why it does or doesn't work has zero to do with that comic.

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #14 on: August 25, 2012, 04:06:20 pm »
    It's certainly not helping, but that is not the government's call.  Not their job to fix.

    Well, then whose job is it? The CEOs certainly aren't doing it - raises haven't matched productivity increases over the past forty years.

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #15 on: August 25, 2012, 04:12:03 pm »
    Because, simply put, you spend your money differently depending on how much you make.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/08/01/157664524/how-the-poor-the-middle-class-and-the-rich-spend-their-money
    If you look at the dots, the less wealthy spend a greater percentage on food, utilities, and health care...  Big surprise, the rich can only spend so much, because it is only possible to spend so much.  :coffee

    The more wealthy spend a greater percentage on retirement.  Another big surprise.  Wouldn't you put as much away as you could?

    By and large, those percentages were very similiar, across the board.

    Also, investments.  If I were to acquire a large sum of money, aside from buying tons of firearms I would invest a portion.  By investing, individuals with money supply capital to companies that might not otherwise have it, and allow them to innovate, modernize, and create value and employment - without government intervention.  That is an important and neccessary part of the economy: using money to make more money.  If all we did was spend money on consumables, the wealth of our nation would disappear.

    PS. Maybe NPR isn't the best place to be getting your information...  ::)

    ETA: An example that I thought of, concerning the importance of investing, and it's just an example: Crusader Weaponry expressed that they need to buy CNC equipment in order to offer AK builds.  Obviously, they lack the funds to purchase it.  If I, for example had $50k, (or whatever) I might invest in CW for the purpose of them buying that machinery.  The benefit to me would be repayment with interest, the benefit to CW, is they could start reaping the benefits of the machinery immediately, and would own it forever, and the benefit to the economy would be that they might have to hire an operator for the CNC equipment, therefore creating a job that did not previously exist. 



    Kaso
    « Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 04:37:31 pm by Kaso »

    Kaso

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #16 on: August 25, 2012, 04:18:11 pm »
    Well, then whose job is it? The CEOs certainly aren't doing it - raises haven't matched productivity increases over the past forty years.
    I have two guys who really ought to be canned, as they are not productive enough.  Rather than fire them, we have invested in machinery to streamline the production process, and increase productivity - but the increase in productivity is not a result of those guys doing more, so they do not merit a pay raise.

    On the other hand, we have another guy who thinks ahead, works hard, and does his best - and he gets a bonus every payday. 

    Basically, real accomplishment is rewarded, while mediocrity is NOT.



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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #17 on: August 25, 2012, 06:26:05 pm »
    It is part of the solution.  We need to balance the budget with cuts, and then pay down the debt with tax increases... on everyone, including the rich. 

    A big fat damn THIS!

    On the nose.

    Quote
    I never understood why not.  I, using money that I could spare, just bought a used Sig.  I only used money that I could spare. (I.E., not defecit spending)  If I had more money, I would buy another Sig.  And a Crusader M4.  And an ACOG.  And, and, and... See where this is going?  I would put that money back into the economy.

    If I had less money to spare, I would have maybe bought a cheaper gun, or maybe even put off or canceled the sale.  The less money I have, the less I can 're-invest' into the economy.  The more I get taxed, the less money I have to spare.

    Some are of the opinion that the government should be the one to make sure money keeps getting re-distributed.  The problem with that, (and this is a fact) is they take it from those who are productive, (giving them less incentive to work hard to get ahead) and give it to those who did not earn it. (giving them less incentive to work hard to get ahead.)  See the problem?

    Kaso

    But you are Kaso, and not fiddling around with two spare homes, paying useless dues to golf clubs, or buying color splattered pieces of cloth for galleries where few people will see them.  There's more than enough regular people actually buying product just based on need than those who don't need one lick.  Paying 13% taxes on only a portion of my money, when Joe Sixpack is paying 33% on every dollar he gets isn't going to do diddly to me.  Being asked to pay 5% more isn't going to hurt me either, and if it does, I buy a cutout, or put that money offshore.  Rich folks have more means of hiding taxable income - and they create more than enough jobs by hiring accountants to do that for them. 

    Super-low taxes have been in place for at least the last half of the Bush Administration, so I have a legitimate question.  HAS there been documented job growth for that period?  If so, what caused the sudden turn, because the tax cuts extended well into the Bambi-years.
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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #18 on: August 25, 2012, 07:11:58 pm »
    Super-low taxes have been in place for at least the last half of the Bush Administration, so I have a legitimate question.  HAS there been documented job growth for that period?  If so, what caused the sudden turn, because the tax cuts extended well into the Bambi-years.

    A lot of them are still in place.

    On the other hand, we have another guy who thinks ahead, works hard, and does his best - and he gets a bonus every payday. 

    So, why not just give him a raise?  Wouldn't that give him an incentive to continue working harder?

    Also, with regards to stock purchasing driving the economy: bullsnit.  Wall St.'s doing just fine right now, and the rest of the economy is lagging like a lame mule. Still not trickling down...

    Kaso

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #19 on: August 25, 2012, 07:19:05 pm »
    So, why not just give him a raise?  Wouldn't that give him an incentive to continue working harder?
    Bonus is cash, and he knows why he gets it.  If it were part of his pay, he would have to pay taxes on it, and probably would not appreciate it as much.



    Kaso

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #20 on: August 25, 2012, 07:33:57 pm »
    But you are Kaso, and not fiddling around with two spare homes, paying useless dues to golf clubs, or buying color splattered pieces of cloth for galleries where few people will see them. 
    Red herring.  :bash

    There's more than enough regular people actually buying product just based on need than those who don't need one lick.  Paying 13% taxes on only a portion of my money, when Joe Sixpack is paying 33% on every dollar he gets isn't going to do diddly to me. 
    I still say that these guys actually invest their extra money into the economy.  Yes, they make a profit - that's their incentive to risk their money - but the benefit to the economy is profound.  (See my example about Crusader, above^)

    Being asked to pay 5% more isn't going to hurt me either...
    And you know what?  It doesn't matter whether it hurts them or not.  Here's why:

    I found an answer to the OP question of how much the 'top 1%' makes: http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/20/news/economy/occupy_wall_street_income/index.htm
    Quote
    Collectively, their adjusted gross income was $1.3 trillion. And while $343,927 was the minimum AGI to be included, on average, Top 1-percenters made $960,000.
    You could ask them for 105% of their income, and it would not cover our federal government's DEFECIT for a year.  We would still be borrowing money to pay for useless entitlements and an overstuffed military, and the guys with the money would have none. No investments mean no new jobs.  Period.



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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #21 on: August 25, 2012, 08:14:16 pm »
    I found an answer to the OP question of how much the 'top 1%' makes: http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/20/news/economy/occupy_wall_street_income/index.htmYou could ask them for 105% of their income, and it would not cover our federal government's DEFECIT for a year.  We would still be borrowing money to pay for useless entitlements and an overstuffed military, and the guys with the money would have none.

    1.4million households averaging $960k at 13% tax rate nets $174,720,000,000.

    1.4million households averaging $960k at 18% tax rate nets $241,920,000,000.

    So that 5% change in taxes to them pays off $67,200,000,000 worth of deficit.

    $67.2 billion.  It's not the whole shebang, but it ain't anything to sneeze at, either.

    Obviously, that's not taking into account tax shelters, and other sneakiness.

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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #22 on: August 25, 2012, 08:24:42 pm »
    Actually someone did a study and it was based on fact.

    The rich are now penniless.
    The companies that supply jobs, products and services are all penniless.
    Now what?

    Let's get serious.
    How much is enough for someone who is rich?
    A million?
    Half a million?
    Maybe the median wage of 36,000 a year?
    The point is that all of the 'I wants' will NEVER have enough to satisfy them.
    They look at the 'I Earned' and say to limp wristed sympethic vote getters that they aren't being treated fairly.
    And yet another expense is placed upon the backs of the REAL taxpayers.
    Socialism and Communism don't always rear their heads openly.
    They are sneaky.
    Sometimes  they hide in the back ground and attempt to entice class warfare to tear down Liberty.
    You want to be a millionaire?
    How about a billionaire?
    Then learn, educate yourself, work smarter and not harder, and succeed at your own risk!
    That is what freedom is all about.
    Your lot in life is what you make of it.
    And there is NO such thing as a FREE lunch!
    You have to earn it!


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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #23 on: August 25, 2012, 08:25:04 pm »
    I seem to recall that Larry had a rather extensive post / rant, about this on his blog last year.   you might want to go take a look.   

    You have fallen for the OWS terminology trap.

    someone with money is evil.  someone without money is good.

    but you take away the money, you take away the incentive to make money, you take away the incentive to invest in this county, create jobs, build businesses, pump the economy, and you wind up with what you seem to want.

    It requires someone strong enough to take the money away.   

    why don't you simply require everyone work for the same employer, for the same salary, live in the same apartment, walk or ride the same public transportation, drink the same drink, eat the same meal, wear the same clothes and worship the same dear leader.  .  .  .  .  OH, wait,  I've just described North Korea.     




     
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    Re: So, who IS the 1%?
    « Reply #24 on: August 25, 2012, 08:35:11 pm »
    Oh, and I have a novel idea.
    Don't raise or cut any taxes for now.
    Just cut the spending by 50% across the board.
    Gut the Department of Education and leave the education up to the States.
    Gut medicare and medicaid and leave it up to the States.
    You get $1 in benefits deducted for every $100 in assets/income/retirement/investments you own.
    Except your primary residence. A man's home is his castle and should just be sacred that way. It's just me.
    The SAME Social Security Taxes apply to ALL income levels. No caps.
    Everyone pays the same rate in income taxes. 10%.
    There is your fair tax rate.


    Everyone pays the same because they are the same according to law.
    Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

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