On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%

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On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%

Paul A. Tanner III
"Who Rules America?
Wealth, Income, and Power"
http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

Quote:

"Most amazing of all, the top 0.1% -- that's one-tenth of one percent -- had more combined pre-tax income than the poorest 120 million people (Johnston, 2006)."

[This means that in the US population, the top 1/10 of 1 percent have more combined income than the bottom 40%.]

[See Table 6: Distribution of income in the United States, 1982-2006, in the article above: With respect to the entire US population, the top 1% have roughly the top 21% of all income in the US. That's a 21:1 ratio. But that's nothing: See the following quote for a vastly larger ratio:]

"As of 2007, income inequality in the United States was at an all-time high for the past 95 years, with the top 0.01% -- that's one-hundredth of one percent -- receiving 6% of all U.S. wages, which is double what it was for that tiny slice in 2000; the top 10% received 49.7%, the highest since 1917 (Saez, 2009)."

[This top 0.01% - the top 1/100 of 1% - taking in 6% of all income in the US yields a 600:1 ratio.]

The only way therefore for government to bring in much more revenue as a percentage of GDP is to tax the money where it mostly is, which includes the investment income of this top 1/10 of 1 percent and this top 1/100 of 1 percent, the SO-CALLED "job creators" who most certainly are NOT creating jobs even though they are obtaining ever increasing riches.

As to some "fact" put forth by some that personal earned income should necessarily be taxed at a higher rate than personal investment income: Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett - one whose knowledge and understanding of these types of things are very many orders of magnitude greater than almost everyone's - contradicts this "fact":

Note: This first article was written back in 2006 by Ben Stein, the one conservative trained in economics who is being honest and good, decent, and honorable about these things:

"In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning"
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html

Quoting Buffett:

""Put simply, the rich pay a lot of taxes as a total percentage of taxes collected, but they don't pay a lot of taxes as a percentage of what they can afford to pay, or as a percentage of what the government needs to close the deficit gap."

Mr. Buffett compiled a data sheet of the men and women who work in his office. He had each of them make a fraction; the numerator was how much they paid in federal income tax and in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, and the denominator was their taxable income. The people in his office were mostly secretaries and clerks, though not all.

It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office. Further, in conversation it came up that Mr. Buffett doesn't use any tax planning at all. He just pays as the Internal Revenue Code requires. "How can this be fair?" he asked of how little he pays relative to his employees. "How can this be right?"

Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare.
"There's class warfare, all right," Mr. Buffett said, "but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning.""

[And this next article by Buffet himself:]

"Stop Coddling the Super-Rich"
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html

Quote:

"Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as "carried interest," thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they'd been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It's nice to have friends in high places.

...

The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It's a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

I didn't refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone - not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 - shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what's happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

...

for those making more than $1 million - there were 236,883 such households in 2009 - I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more - there were 8,274 in 2009 - I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice."

[The following article is a reply to lies by conservatives that Buffett disavowed his Buffett Rule, which is that the rich should pay at least the same percentage of ALL income including investment income as is paid by the middle class on their earned income:]

"Note To GOP And The Media: Buffett Did Not Disagree With The Buffett Rule"
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/09/30/333034/note-buffett-rule/

Quoting Buffett:

"But if they make a lot of money and they pay a very low tax rate, like me, it would be changed by a minimum tax that would only bring them up to what other people pay.

Some seem to be tripped up by Buffett's saying that an athlete making $50 million wouldn't see his or her taxes go up. But that's entirely consistent with the Buffett rule, since wages that athletes earn are taxed as income (at 35 percent), not as an investment (and therefore at 15 percent) like much of Buffett's income. It's that break on investment income that, in large part, allows the wealthy to pay lower tax rates.

...When he was asked if he disagreed with the President's plan to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year (which has nothing to do with the Buffett rule), Buffett said "no, no, no, no.""

[Quotes by Buffett on class warfare:]

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett
* It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be.
(CNN Interview, May 25 2005, in arguing the need to raise taxes on the rich)
* There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning.

As for any claim that class warfare against the rich is necessarily immoral, including this rising up against the Wall Street rich who have stolen the People's money and made themselves ever richer at the expense of much of the rest of the world: It's the opposite. It is immoral and downright sinful not to engage in class warfare and not to feel anger and outrage against the rich who obtain profit and riches at the expense of the common people, and who obtain ever increasing profit and riches at the ever increasing expense of the common people. Don't think so? Then consider the following that was said by a very famous person about 2000 years ago, in what is now Israel [copy and paste into a search engine to see who said this]:

Quote:

"And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament. You'll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you. Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you were piling up wealth. What you've piled up is judgment.

All the workers you've exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger. You've looted the earth and lived it up. But all you'll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse."
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Re: On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%

Bishop, Wayne-2
I don't usually participate in such off-topic, irrelevant posts but I
will make one exception here.
"the SO-CALLED "job creators" who most certainly are NOT creating
jobs even though they are obtaining ever increasing riches."

You mean such phony job creators as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs I assume?

Wayne

At 11:01 PM 11/2/2011, Paul A. Tanner III wrote:

>"Who Rules America?
>Wealth, Income, and Power"
>http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
>
>Quote:
>
>"Most amazing of all, the top 0.1% -- that's one-tenth of one
>percent -- had more combined pre-tax income than the poorest 120
>million people (Johnston, 2006)."
>
>[This means that in the US population, the top 1/10 of 1 percent
>have more combined income than the bottom 40%.]
>
>[See Table 6: Distribution of income in the United States,
>1982-2006, in the article above: With respect to the entire US
>population, the top 1% have roughly the top 21% of all income in the
>US. That's a 21:1 ratio. But that's nothing: See the following quote
>for a vastly larger ratio:]
>
>"As of 2007, income inequality in the United States was at an
>all-time high for the past 95 years, with the top 0.01% -- that's
>one-hundredth of one percent -- receiving 6% of all U.S. wages,
>which is double what it was for that tiny slice in 2000; the top 10%
>received 49.7%, the highest since 1917 (Saez, 2009)."
>
>[This top 0.01% - the top 1/100 of 1% - taking in 6% of all income
>in the US yields a 600:1 ratio.]
>
>The only way therefore for government to bring in much more revenue
>as a percentage of GDP is to tax the money where it mostly is, which
>includes the investment income of this top 1/10 of 1 percent and
>this top 1/100 of 1 percent, the SO-CALLED "job creators" who most
>certainly are NOT creating jobs even though they are obtaining ever
>increasing riches.
>
>As to some "fact" put forth by some that personal earned income
>should necessarily be taxed at a higher rate than personal
>investment income: Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett - one whose
>knowledge and understanding of these types of things are very many
>orders of magnitude greater than almost everyone's - contradicts this "fact":
>
>Note: This first article was written back in 2006 by Ben Stein, the
>one conservative trained in economics who is being honest and good,
>decent, and honorable about these things:
>
>"In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning"
>http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html
>
>Quoting Buffett:
>
>""Put simply, the rich pay a lot of taxes as a total percentage of
>taxes collected, but they don't pay a lot of taxes as a percentage
>of what they can afford to pay, or as a percentage of what the
>government needs to close the deficit gap."
>
>Mr. Buffett compiled a data sheet of the men and women who work in
>his office. He had each of them make a fraction; the numerator was
>how much they paid in federal income tax and in payroll taxes for
>Social Security and Medicare, and the denominator was their taxable
>income. The people in his office were mostly secretaries and clerks,
>though not all.
>
>It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends
>and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income
>than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office.
>Further, in conversation it came up that Mr. Buffett doesn't use any
>tax planning at all. He just pays as the Internal Revenue Code
>requires. "How can this be fair?" he asked of how little he pays
>relative to his employees. "How can this be right?"
>
>Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried
>to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare.
>"There's class warfare, all right," Mr. Buffett said, "but it's my
>class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning.""
>
>[And this next article by Buffet himself:]
>
>"Stop Coddling the Super-Rich"
>http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html
>
>Quote:
>
>"Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily
>labors but are allowed to classify our income as "carried interest,"
>thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock
>index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed
>at 15 percent, as if they'd been long-term investors.
>
>These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in
>Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were
>spotted owls or some other endangered species. It's nice to have
>friends in high places.
>
>...
>
>The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of
>their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It's a
>different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the
>15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with
>heavy payroll taxes to boot.
>
>Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher,
>and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a
>theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to
>invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.
>
>I didn't refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60
>years and I have yet to see anyone - not even when capital gains
>rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 - shy away from a sensible
>investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People
>invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them
>off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I
>would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between
>1980 and 2000. You know what's happened since then: lower tax rates
>and far lower job creation.
>
>...
>
>for those making more than $1 million - there were 236,883 such
>households in 2009 - I would raise rates immediately on taxable
>income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and
>capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more - there
>were 8,274 in 2009 - I would suggest an additional increase in rate.
>
>My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a
>billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get
>serious about shared sacrifice."
>
>[The following article is a reply to lies by conservatives that
>Buffett disavowed his Buffett Rule, which is that the rich should
>pay at least the same percentage of ALL income including investment
>income as is paid by the middle class on their earned income:]
>
>"Note To GOP And The Media: Buffett Did Not Disagree With The Buffett Rule"
>http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/09/30/333034/note-buffett-rule/
>
>Quoting Buffett:
>
>"But if they make a lot of money and they pay a very low tax rate,
>like me, it would be changed by a minimum tax that would only bring
>them up to what other people pay.
>
>Some seem to be tripped up by Buffett's saying that an athlete
>making $50 million wouldn't see his or her taxes go up. But that's
>entirely consistent with the Buffett rule, since wages that athletes
>earn are taxed as income (at 35 percent), not as an investment (and
>therefore at 15 percent) like much of Buffett's income. It's that
>break on investment income that, in large part, allows the wealthy
>to pay lower tax rates.
>
>...When he was asked if he disagreed with the President's plan to
>raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year (which has
>nothing to do with the Buffett rule), Buffett said "no, no, no, no.""
>
>[Quotes by Buffett on class warfare:]
>
>http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett
>* It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be.
>(CNN Interview, May 25 2005, in arguing the need to raise taxes on the rich)
>* There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich
>class, that's making war, and we're winning.
>
>As for any claim that class warfare against the rich is necessarily
>immoral, including this rising up against the Wall Street rich who
>have stolen the People's money and made themselves ever richer at
>the expense of much of the rest of the world: It's the opposite. It
>is immoral and downright sinful not to engage in class warfare and
>not to feel anger and outrage against the rich who obtain profit and
>riches at the expense of the common people, and who obtain ever
>increasing profit and riches at the ever increasing expense of the
>common people. Don't think so? Then consider the following that was
>said by a very famous person about 2000 years ago, in what is now
>Israel [copy and paste into a search engine to see who said this]:
>
>Quote:
>
>"And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some lessons in lament.
>You'll need buckets for the tears when the crash comes upon you.
>Your money is corrupt and your fine clothes stink. Your greedy
>luxuries are a cancer in your gut, destroying your life from within.
>You thought you were piling up wealth. What you've piled up is judgment.
>
>All the workers you've exploited and cheated cry out for judgment.
>The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears
>of the Master Avenger. You've looted the earth and lived it up. But
>all you'll have to show for it is a fatter than usual corpse."
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Re: On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%

GS Chandy
In reply to this post by Paul A. Tanner III
Well, from all available indicators, Warren Buffett is evidently:

i) a traitor to his class;

and worse, he is also:

ii) mathematically, financially, legally and economically illiterate (in Haim's words).

GSC
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Re: On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%

Paul A. Tanner III
In reply to this post by Bishop, Wayne-2
- --- On Thu, 11/3/11, Wayne Bishop <[hidden email]> wrote:
> From: Wayne Bishop <[hidden email]>> Subject: Re: On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%> To: [hidden email], [hidden email]> Date: Thursday, November 3, 2011, 12:43 PM> I don't usually participate in such> off-topic, irrelevant posts but I will make one exception> here.> "the SO-CALLED "job creators" who most certainly are NOT> creating jobs even though they are obtaining ever increasing> riches."> > You mean such phony job creators as Bill Gates and Steve> Jobs I assume?> > Wayne
- -------------- I mean the phony job creators who are sitting on roughly 2 TRILLION dollars in cash. See what even the conservaative Wall Street Journal said:
"Companies Cling to Cash"http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766704576009501161973480-search.html
Quote: 
"Corporate America's cash pile has hit its highest level in half a century.
Rather than pouring their money into building plants or hiring workers, nonfinancial companies in the U.S. were sitting on $1.93 trillion in cash and other liquid assets at the end of September, up from $1.8 trillion at the end of June, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. Cash accounted for 7.4% of the companies' total assets-the largest share since 1959."
- --------------------- I mean the phony job creators who increase profits by lowering labor costs by killing higher paying US jjobs and sending those jobs overseas, and if their like-minded business buddies ever do create jobs to offer to those formerly higher paid US workers, they are jobs that are much closer to minimum wage and poverty.
- --------------------- I mean the phony job creators in Wall Street who steal The People's money: To an ever increasing degree,, they get all this free, electronically printed fiat money from the central bank called the Federal Reserve, and instead of creating jobs by lending The People's money into Main Street, they use it to make themselves ever richer at the expense of The People, at the expense of Main Street,
 markets all over the world. Note: They get all this free money from the Fed that expands the money supply in the form of loans at the Fed Funds interest rate. That's one of the ways the US money supply gets expanded. And more and more, due to less and less regulations on these folks in Wall Street getting all this free fiat money, the US money supply is being expanded less and less into Main Street, which where the jobs are created, but is being expanded more and more into the pockets of these people in Wall
 Street. 
- -------------------- I mean the bought-and-paid-for US non-liberal non-progressive US politicians who make all of the above leegal.
See what the countries that are richer than the US do: They use it to expand their Main Street economies by the fact that their governments own many if not most of the big banks in their countries. They do not legally allow their rich in the financial sectors of their economies to steal money from their people and Main Street economies in the way I outlined above. 
That is, in general, consider countries maintaining national sovereign power over their money supplies (like Norway, Denmark, and Sweden) - by not joining the Eurozone, and, with their MASSIVE democratic socialism, their per-capita nominal GDPs and growth rates almost all the past many years LARGER than the US. 
See page history to verify:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita
See especially: 
Per-capita GDP of Norway: $84,000-$88,000 
Per-capita GDP of US: $47,000
Even PPP per-capita GDP shows Norway pulling away from the US, having grown faster than the US since 1960 even by this measure:
http://www.futureofuschinatrade.com/sites/default/files/world_ppp_gdp_8-8.jpg
In Norway, the two biggest banks in the country are government owned. Why is this important? 
One reason: Because having The People own the banks rather than the reverse is why the US state of North Dakota was the only state in the US that kept growing during the Great Recession: 
The state of North Dakota in the US has practiced the socialism of government ownership of banking since 1915 - the state owned Bank of North Dakota:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_North_Dakota 
Most socialist state in the countryhttp://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=171x536
Socialism Thrives in North Dakotahttp://www.newsweek.com/2010/04/22/socialism-thrives-in-north-dakota.html
Economy prompts fresh look at North Dakota's socialist bankhttp://www.bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/ar
g/socialism-in-north-dakota/ 
Quote:
"The State of North Dakota does not have any funding issues at all. In fact they are dealing with the largest surplus ever."
Another reason: Because having The People own the banks rather than the reverse is why the country of China was one of the only countries in the world that kept growing during the Great Recession: 
THE SECRET OF CHINA'S MIRACLE ECONOMY: THE GOVERNMENT OWNS THE BANKS RATHER THAN THE REVERSEhttp://www.webofdebt.com/articles/secret_of_china.php
Back to these banks in Norway: 
These banks are constantly looking for Norwegian citizens who are innovators and entrepreneurs, to lend money to them to start and/or expand business, and so create jobs. It's no accident then that Norway, a country that is MASSIVELY democratically socialist, has more entrepreneurial capitalism per=capita than any other country in the world. They even call it Innovation Norway:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innovation_Norway
And the government of Norway has MASSIVE amounts of non-tax revenues from partial ownership of publicly traded companies, which means that they can keep taxes as a percentage of GDP lower than would otherwise be the case:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Norway
Quote: 
"The state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors...Government controls 31.6% of publicly-listed companies. [Non-listed companies included, government has even higher share in ownership.]"
By the way: This fact that the government of Norway majority owns stock in roughly 1/3 of all publicly traded companies in Norway is mirrored by the fact that about the same percentage - about 1/3 - of all publicly traded companies in China are majority owned by Chinese government.
And if one thinks that it's not Norway's great mixture of capitalism and socialism that makes them so rich, but their oil reserves, think again: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1023276.stm"Norway's annual oil revenue amounts to around $40bn"And this country of roughly 5 million, with a nominal pe
P of $84,000-$88,000, has a nominal GDP of about 420-440 billion. And so oil revenue (not profits) is roughly 9% of GDP for them. But in the US, even just the three biggest oil companies, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and, ConocoPhillips have combined revenue of roughly 3/4 trillion dollars, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_by_revenuewhich mean with a US GDP of roughly 14.5 trillion, the big three make up roughly 5% of the US GDP. Again, that is just the big three. When you look at all the oil companies of the US, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Oil_companies_of_the_United_Statesand add up all their revenues (could not
 find that statistic), then you could easily see the US percentage reach to being roughly the Norwegian percentage of GDP of 9%.
Here is more on Norway's great mixture of capitalism and socialism that makes them so rich:
"Is Socialist Norway A Shining Example Marx Was Right?"http://theimpudentobserver.com/world-news/is-socialist-norway-a-shining-example-marx-was-right/
"In Norway, Start-ups Say Ja to Socialism"http://www.inc.com/magazine/20110201/in-norway-start-ups-say-ja-to-socialism.html
"Norway's Capitalist-Socialists"http://www.inc.com/max-chafkin/meet-norways-capitalist-socialists.html 
"What Norwegian Socialism Looks Like"http://www.inc.com/max-chafkin/what-norwegian-socialism-looks-like.html
"Norway's success in socialism has me turning red with envy"http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/05/14/norways-success-in-socialism-has-me-turning-red-with-envy/"
> > At 11:01 PM 11/2/2011, Paul A. Tanner III wrote:> > "Who Rules America?> > Wealth, Income, and Power"> > http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html> > > > Quote:> > > > "Most amazing of all, the top 0.1% -- that's one-tenth> of one percent -- had more combined pre-tax income than the> poorest 120 million people (Johnston, 2006).."> > > > [This means that in the US population, the top 1/10 of> 1 percent have more combined income than the bottom 40%.]> > > > [See Table 6: Distribution of income in the United> States, 1982-2006, in the article above: With respect to the> entire US population, the top 1% have roughly the top 21% of> all income in the US. That's a 21:1 ratio. But that's> nothing: See the following quote for a vastly larger> ratio:]> > > > "As of 2007, income inequality in the United States> was at an all-time high for the past 95 years, with the top> 0.01% -- that's one-hundredth of one percent -- receiving 6%> of
 all U.S. wages, which is double what it was for that tiny> slice in 2000; the top 10% received 49.7%, the highest since> 1917 (Saez, 2009)."> > > > [This top 0.01% - the top 1/100 of 1% - taking in 6%> of all income in the US yields a 600:1 ratio.]> > > > The only way therefore for government to bring in much> more revenue as a percentage of GDP is to tax the money> where it mostly is, which includes the investment income of> this top 1/10 of 1 percent and this top 1/100 of 1 percent,> the SO-CALLED "job creators" who most certainly are NOT> creating jobs even though they are obtaining ever increasing> riches.> > > > As to some "fact" put forth by some that personal> earned income should necessarily be taxed at a higher rate> than personal investment income: Multi-billionaire Warren> Buffett - one whose knowledge and understanding of these> types of things are very many orders of magnitude greater> than almost everyone's - contradicts this "fact":>
 > > > Note: This first article was written back in 2006 by> Ben Stein, the one conservative trained in economics who is> being honest and good, decent, and honorable about these> things:> > > > "In Class Warfare, Guess Which Class Is Winning"> > http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html> > > > Quoting Buffett:> > > > ""Put simply, the rich pay a lot of taxes as a total> percentage of taxes collected, but they don't pay a lot of> taxes as a percentage of what they can afford to pay, or as> a percentage of what the government needs to close the> deficit gap."> > > > Mr. Buffett compiled a data sheet of the men and women> who work in his office. He had each of them make a fraction;> the numerator was how much they paid in federal income tax> and in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, and> the denominator was their taxable income. The people in his> office were mostly secretaries and clerks, though not all.> > > >
 It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income> from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a> fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or> anyone else in his office. Further, in conversation it came> up that Mr. Buffett doesn't use any tax planning at all. He> just pays as the Internal Revenue Code requires. "How can> this be fair?" he asked of how little he pays relative to> his employees. "How can this be right?"> > > > Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever> someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of> fomenting class warfare.> > "There's class warfare, all right," Mr. Buffett said,> "but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and> we're winning.""> > > > [And this next article by Buffet himself:]> > > > "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich"> > http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html> > > > Quote:> > > > "Some of us are investment managers
 who earn billions> from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income> as "carried interest," thereby getting a bargain 15 percent> tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and> have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if> they'd been long-term investors.> > > > These and other blessings are showered upon us by> legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us,> much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered> species. It's nice to have friends in high places.> > > > ...> > > > The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent> on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in> payroll taxes. It's a different story for the middle class:> typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent> income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll> taxes to boot.> > > > Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich> were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle
 of> the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should> have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the> elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.> > > > I didn't refuse, nor did others. I have worked with> investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone - not> even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 -> shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate> on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and> potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who> argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that> a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and> 2000. You know what's happened since then: lower tax rates> and far lower job creation.> > > > ...> > > > for those making more than $1 million - there were> 236,883 such households in 2009 - I would raise rates> immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million,> including, of course, dividends and
 capital gains. And for> those who make $10 million or more - there were 8,274 in> 2009 - I would suggest an additional increase in rate.> > > > My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a> billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government> to get serious about shared sacrifice."> > > > [The following article is a reply to lies by> conservatives that Buffett disavowed his Buffett Rule, which> is that the rich should pay at least the same percentage of> ALL income including investment income as is paid by the> middle class on their earned income:]> > > > "Note To GOP And The Media: Buffett Did Not Disagree> With The Buffett Rule"> > http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/09/30/333034/note-buffett-rule/> > > > Quoting Buffett:> > > > "But if they make a lot of money and they pay a very> low tax rate, like me, it would be changed by a minimum tax> that would only bring them up to what other people pay.> > > > Some seem to be tripped
 up by Buffett's saying that an> athlete making $50 million wouldn't see his or her taxes go> up. But that's entirely consistent with the Buffett rule,> since wages that athletes earn are taxed as income (at 35> percent), not as an investment (and therefore at 15 percent)> like much of Buffett's income. It's that break on investment> income that, in large part, allows the wealthy to pay lower> tax rates.> > > > ...When he was asked if he disagreed with the> President's plan to raise taxes on those making more than> $250,000 a year (which has nothing to do with the Buffett> rule), Buffett said "no, no, no, no.""> > > > [Quotes by Buffett on class warfare:]> > > > http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett> > * It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they> shouldn't be.> > (CNN Interview, May 25 2005, in arguing the need to> raise taxes on the rich)> > * There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class,> the rich class, that's making war, and
 we're winning.> > > > As for any claim that class warfare against the rich> is necessarily immoral, including this rising up against the> Wall Street rich who have stolen the People's money and made> themselves ever richer at the expense of much of the rest of> the world: It's the opposite. It is immoral and downright> sinful not to engage in class warfare and not to feel anger> and outrage against the rich who obtain profit and riches at> the expense of the common people, and who obtain ever> increasing profit and riches at the ever increasing expense> of the common people. Don't think so? Then consider the> following that was said by a very famous person about 2000> years ago, in what is now Israel [copy and paste into a> search engine to see who said this]:> > > > Quote:> > > > "And a final word to you arrogant rich: Take some> lessons in lament. You'll need buckets for the tears when> the crash comes upon you. Your money is corrupt and your> fine
 clothes stink. Your greedy luxuries are a cancer in> your gut, destroying your life from within. You thought you> were piling up wealth. What you've piled up is judgment.> > > > All the workers you've exploited and cheated cry out> for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused> are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger. You've looted> the earth and lived it up. But all you'll have to show for> it is a fatter than usual corpse.">
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Re: On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%

Robert Hansen
In reply to this post by Paul A. Tanner III
I missed the part where warren buffet gave all his money to the govt. I thought he put it all in a philanthropic trust or something like that. I do like the fact however that Paul has finally come to the realization that even if they raise taxes on the rich (which I am neither adamantly for or against), this would only result in a fraction of that two trillion dollar figure which would be only a fraction of what needs to be done to balance our budget. We are simply over extended in so many ways.

Bob Hansen

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Re: On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%

Paul A. Tanner III
- --- On Thu, 11/3/11, Robert Hansen <[hidden email]> wrote:
> From: Robert Hansen <[hidden email]>> Subject: Re: On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%> To: [hidden email]> Date: Thursday, November 3, 2011, 9:07 PM> I missed the part where warren buffet> gave all his money to the govt. I thought he put it all in a> philanthropic trust or something like that. I do like the> fact however that Paul has finally come to the realization> that even if they raise taxes on the rich (which I am> neither adamantly for or against), this would only result in> a fraction of that two trillion dollar figure which would be> only a fraction of what needs to be done to balance our> budget. > 
Where did I say that? The truth is that the US government could easily eliminate most or even all of the yearly deficit even without touching the middle and lower classes:
Consider first how low a percentage of GDP all government revenues at all levels of government are from taxes in the US: 
http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2011/06/us_one_of_the_least_taxed_developed_countries.php
Very important note: These data above are revenue from taxes only. All the countries richer than the US on a per-capita basis like Denmark take in much revenue from business ownership. Denmark for instance takes in slightly less than 50% of GDP from taxes but also takes in about 10% of GDP from business ownership - this includes companies fully owned by Danish government as well as government simply owning stock in dividend-paying publicly traded companies. I keep pointing out in posts like "Re: On the 99%, the 99.9%, and the 99.99%"http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7600795&tstart=0that government in Norway has majority stock ownership in 1/3 of all publicly traded companies in Norway, as well as owning fully many companies not publicly traded. This brings in maybe 15% of GDP as revenues for Norwegian government.
The US could do this as well to a large degree if it wanted to, and could bring in a large percent of GDP in this way, making it so that ta
 as high as otherwise would be the case. This would mean many hundreds of billions per year in non-tax revenue - a somewhat smallish but very meaningful percentage of GDP revenue increase thrown into the revenue mix.
Quote: 
"In 2009, total federal, state and local taxes in the United States were 22.6 percent of our gross domestic product, ranking 26th among the 28 OECD countries for which data are available."
"30 Major Corporations Paid No Income Taxes In The Last Three Years, While Making $160 Billion"http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/11/03/360185/30-corporations-no-taxes/
If the US closed all loopholes that only bigger corporations and wealthy individuals used, hundreds of billions per year of new tax revenue would be brought in just from that with no tax rate increase - another smallish percentage of GDP revenue increase thrown into the revenue mix. Add that to a tax rate increase and we have:
The richest 1% of individuals take in 20% of all personal income in the US and therefore, since personal income is about half of GDP, take in 10% of GDP. Tax them at 50% (hey, it used to be 90% in the US from 1944-1966) and that is another small percentage of GDP revenue increase thrown into the revenue mix, and tax the richest corporations in the same way, then we have another smallish percentage of GDP revenue increase thrown into the revenue mix. 
And now, see that Bill Gates, the leaders of France and Germany, and even the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church have just come out for a financial transaction tax, which would be a 50 cent tax on every 1 dollar of financial trading - that's only 1/2 of 1 percent. That would bring in hundreds of billions per year, another smallish percentage of GDP revenue increase thrown into the revenue mix. 
http://www.thenation.com/blog/164378/union-protest-pressure-tear-down-barrier-taxing-speculators Quote:"The FTT could raise up to $350 billion per year to provide living wage jobs, guaranteed healthcare, a secure retirement for all and fund and protect public education."
http://ww
occupy-wall-street-and-pope-agree-its-time-tax-speculators"On the eve of the G-20 leaders, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has endorsed a series of reforms to the global economic financial and monetary systems that features as its centerpiece the development of a financial transactions tax."
Take all the above together and with the will to actually do it we easily could have a rough increase conservatively in government revenues amounting to 10-15% of GDP. Add that to the rough 15% of GDP that the US government brings in now, and we have a rough doubling of US government revenues from all sources, tax and non-tax. Note that the tax revenue for the US as a percentage of GDP was steadily rising all the way to 20% of GDP as year 2000 hit, and this was only with the measly tax rates of the Bill Clinton years - see this chart of the history of tax revenues of the US government:http://www.deptofnumbers.com/blog/2010/08/tax-revenue-as-a-fraction-of-gdp/Note that the downturn was when the Bush tax cuts kicked in. If there were no Bush tax cut, we could have seen a continuing steady rise of revenue for the US government as a percentage of GDP beyond that 20% mark. 
And here is a chart of the history of US government spending as a fraction of GDP, now at 25% of GDP - in part because of all those wars:http://www.deptofnumbers.com/blog/2011/02/gov-expenditures-gdp-fraction/
And this revenue increase would not hurt the economy because, as I keep pointing out, mathematical economics says there is no data that shows that higher revenues for government as a percentage of GDP means lower growth - and I keep citing that one honest conservative Ben Stein who keeps saying this truth.