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Old 05-25-2012, 09:03 AM   #351
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Tom, good ideas, but like most things in government and taxes, it's easy to give the people something, but God help you when you go to take it away!
Yep the litter of kittens is out of the bag. And we all know you can't get them back in...
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #352
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[QUOTE=wildtoad;1188408]
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What most folks don't seem to realize is that the deductions are the things that save those of us in the middle class from getting clobbered by taxes. For the upper end earners deductions start to be eliminated as you reach certain income brackets so that high earners don't have the same benefits as those in the middle. The lower end doesn't pay income taxes, so deductions don't matter at that end of the spectrum.
QUOTE]

True enough. It also leads to even more people not paying any taxes putting more burden on those of us that do. I am only talking of fed/state income taxes.

All things being equal (salary, place of residence), a family of four should payer high taxes than a single person as they will reap much more benefits from all levels of government than the single guy. (Keeping the Marines employed to protect you, your spouse,and your kids ought to cost you something).

Tom

My gosh, am I a second class citizen because I am retired and no longer contribute as much to income taxes as I did in my working days? Am I burden on society now, for having worked and played by the rules for over 40 years while I was employed? Don't think so!!
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:13 PM   #353
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What most folks don't seem to realize is that the deductions are the things that save those of us in the middle class from getting clobbered by taxes. For the upper end earners deductions start to be eliminated as you reach certain income brackets so that high earners don't have the same benefits as those in the middle. The lower end doesn't pay income taxes, so deductions don't matter at that end of the spectrum.

I would be willing to bet that the elimination of all deductions would have an effect on the economy that would be similar to the elimination of SS benefits.
That is a good argument for a flat tax rate.

As far as upper end earners not getting the the deductions, how do you explain corporations like GE not paying any taxes at all? They may be different, but the deductions and exemptions are still there.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:29 PM   #354
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[QUOTE=dieselclacker;1188602]
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My gosh, am I a second class citizen because I am retired and no longer contribute as much to income taxes as I did in my working days? Am I burden on society now, for having worked and played by the rules for over 40 years while I was employed? Don't think so!!

With almost half of the households in the US not paying any income taxes, my reference to the lower income earners not paying taxes was not meant to be an insult to anyone, just a fact.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:34 PM   #355
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That is a good argument for a flat tax rate.

As far as upper end earners not getting the the deductions, how do you explain corporations like GE not paying any taxes at all? They may be different, but the deductions and exemptions are still there.
My references are to individuals, not corporations. GE gets their breaks by using off shore businesses and other tricks that are legal. When you get into corporate taxation there are all types of issues that arrise because of different laws in different countries and so on. Much of our client work on the corporate side is with cross border companies between the US and Canada and there is a great deal of difference in the tax laws between those two countries as they apply to corporations.

Every upper income person I deal with would love to see a flat tax. The top 5% of all taxpayers pay 75% of all the taxes so that group would love to get the huge tax cut a flat tax would generate. Those of us in the middle would not fare very well.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:17 PM   #356
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WNYtaxman. I am posting an interesting link below where a guy calculated his time value of SS deductions over the 30 years ending in 2009 (as I remember). His half was $418,000 and the total value including the portion paid by his employer would be twice that or $836,000. This is also only 30 years where I think many of us are at 40 to 45 years which has substantially more compounding (probably increase by a factor of 4). It this was invested at 5% it would generate about $45,000 and still leave the principle inheritable for his kids. This is about double what Social Security would be paying. For the 45 year payer, this would be more like $170,000 per year. With Medicare deductions, the interest would buy a unbelievable insurance plan. I think the statement that most people use up all of their money in 5 years is really wrong. I think if you work hard and pay your SS, your chances of getting the time value of it back are very slim. The fact that you do not ever actually get the money for your kids makes it much, much worse. For most of us, it is a horrible deal.

How Much Could You Have if Social Security Was YOUR Money? | AllFinancialMatters
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:28 PM   #357
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Lindsay, thanks for the link. I would say the guy is pretty much on the numbers. I question the use of his 10% rate of return, but in the early parts of his calculation that rate would have been right.

Lindsay, I am not defending the system at all and saying it's a good deal because it isn't. My comment about the time frame is just based on here are the dollars you put in and here's what you are taking out. If his calculations are correct, and I have no reason to doubt them, then at the current maximum benefit of $2513 would still only take someone out about 15 years on the employee's only contributions which would still mean that many would outlive their benefits. I know, I'm still not counting the employer's portion of payments which would take a recipient out to almost age 100.

The politicians like to portray SS as a retirement program. It isn't. It is just another form of taxation.

One thought did occur to me that may have some merit in our revitalization of SS. The system was meant to stand on its own, a fact which I think most of us agree. Perhaps the payments for those who never contributed to the system should not come out of SS, but rather out of the general fund. In other words, try to make SS more of a pure retirement vehicle for those who have contributed to it.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:30 PM   #358
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I admit that I haven't read the entire thread but it's time we stop blaming others (ie: our elected officials) and make the necessary changes to vote for those of us that are willing to abide by our forefathers guidance and respect the blood they shed for us. It means heavy sacrifices for us ALL.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:43 PM   #359
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My point is that many people think it is a good deal and they will get more than they should. I think this is wrong and do what I can to stop that concept. I heard in a House hearing on SS that since the recession started, the rate of people getting SS disability has doubled. He said they did not change the standards, but that is hard to believe. I am of the opinion that there are a whole lot of people taking out money that should not. I used 5% on my calculations of what the interest would be. An annuity recouping the principle would be much higher. I have no problem with the deserving getting the money, but I think the system is gamed like welfare and Medicare. I have heard that the average return on the stock market over the last 50 years was 9%.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:56 PM   #360
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My point is that many people think it is a good deal and they will get more than they should. I think this is wrong and do what I can to stop that concept. I heard in a House hearing on SS that since the recession started, the rate of people getting SS disability has doubled. He said they did not change the standards, but that is hard to believe. I am of the opinion that there are a whole lot of people taking out money that should not. I used 5% on my calculations of what the interest would be. An annuity recouping the principle would be much higher. I have no problem with the deserving getting the money, but I think the system is gamed like welfare and Medicare. I have heard that the average return on the stock market over the last 50 years was 9%.

The last estimate that I saw said that 30% of all the people drawing SS are drawing disability payments. I don't know about your area, but here we have lawyers advertising for SSI claims all the time. It's easy money for the lawyers most of the time.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:26 PM   #361
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I have no problem with disabled folks drawing SSDI, but I do have a problem for many that get by with cheating to get it. We have those sleaseball TV commercials. The lawyers actually get paid by the taxpayers, not the client. I want to throw something at the TV when I see them.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #362
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I have no problem with disabled folks drawing SSDI, but I do have a problem for many that get by with cheating to get it. We have those sleaseball TV commercials. The lawyers actually get paid by the taxpayers, not the client. I want to throw something at the TV when I see them.

I guess it's good for TV sales that they run those ads.

The trial lawyers have the second largest lobby in the US. They have been very effective in getting what they want. Here in NY we even have a law that allows someone who gets hurt on a construction site to sue not only their employer but the owner of the building who had absolutely nothing to do with the injury. The reason for that loophole is that the workmen's comp insurance didn't pay enough to make it really lucrative for the lawyers so they added the property owner into the mix.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:06 PM   #363
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Actually the recipient pays the lawyer a percentage of the lump sum collected. They figure from the date you first become disabled until award date.. This is taken out by SS before the check is sent.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #364
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I have to take strong exception to such "studies" comparing SS return on investment. Talk about apples to oranges comparisons.

What insured investment returns 10%? SS should NEVER be compared to anything that isn't insured, since it is "insured" by our government.

The vast majority would certainly consider SS to be an investment they cannot "afford to lose". Investments that return anything like 10% are only for those with money they can afford to lose. Last I checked CD and savings accounts backed by FDIC are well less than 1%.
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