Obama's redistribution of wealth

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by me again, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Today on my way to breakfast (Bob Evans restaurant) -- I drove past a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed ... at least he was creative.

    Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" necktie. I laughed again as she had given away her political preference - and she set herself up.

    When the bill came, I decided not to tip the server and explained to her that I was exploring the Obama "redistribution of wealth" concept. She stood there in quiet disbelief, while I told her that I was going to redistribute her well-earned tip to somebody who I deemed more in need - the homeless guy down the street. The server angrily stormed out from my view.

    I went outside, drove down the street and gave the homeless guy two bucks and told him to thank the server back at the Bob Evans, as I've decided he could use the money more more than the waitress. The homeless guy seemed puzzled but grateful.

    At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment, I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money that he did not earn, but the waitress was pretty angry that I gave away the money that she did earn, even though the actual recipient needed the money more than she did.

    I guess "redistribution of wealth" is an easier thing to swallow as an abstract concept than in its practical application. I don't think I managed to change the server's vote, but it was worth a try.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is a b.s. argument. Obama is suggesting an increase in the highest tax margins--a return to where they were during the Reagan years. This will have the effect of causing the richest among us to pay more taxes, with the vast majority of middle-class and lower-class workers paying less. Is this technically a "redistribution"? Sure. Anytime government takes in taxes and spends them it's a "redistribution." I pay property taxes, which go to support schools, yet I have no children attending them. That's a "redistribution."

    Obama isn't a "socialist" because he wants to adjust the top tax margin. He's asking the people who have the most to carry a larger share of the burden. That's been the way we've operated since the progressive tax code was first implemented.

    Here's another thing: why do people consistently vote against their own interests, then blame others for their condition? Why would the vast majority of Americans resist taxing the few of the richest of us? I believe it has something to do with the American idea that any one of us could also become wealthy, and we don't want the government raising taxes on our fantasy.
  3. I can assure you that when I look at my W-2 I see just how much of that burden I pay each year in Federal tax, and I guarantee it's more than most people in America, so I ALREADY carry a larger share of the burden. I'm also subject to the AMT so the only deductions I can take are for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. My wife and I both work, and work hard, pay for child care, and live in the NY metro area, which is very expensive to live in. Sure, I could earn half the amount if I live elsewhere, and my expenses would be less as well. But why should I choose my career path based upon earning LESS?

    I don't have any offshore accounts or tax dodges and I assure you I'm not "rich", even though Obama thinks I am. My property taxes alone are around $1K a month and my home is the size of an "average" house in the US - 2250 sq ft. In the end, I have no complaints, but this myth that people say that people earning over a certain threshold are "rich" is total BS, unless perhaps it's in rural Kansas.

    The reality is that the percentage of the tax rolls being paid by the highest income earners has INCREASED during the past 8 years. Look it up.

    The top 5% of earners pay over 50% of the taxes.

    The bottom 50% of earners pay less than 4%.

    Why should I pay even more?

    Assuming Obama wins office I will immediately accelerate a DECREASE in personal spending to prepare for his tax policies. At least he's been honest about them, which I give him credit for.

    As I earn more money, I also spend more money in goods and services that benefit the US economy. Unfortunately by cutting my potential spending I am also decreasing that benefit to the economy. It comes down to the fact that if I'm spending a $1 less but 10 other people get 10c more it's kind of a wash, except that I'm more likely to spend that $1 on US-made goods and services and not Chinese-made goods at Wal-Mart. Just an observation.

    Your point about paying school taxes is interesting, but not necessarily relevant. People pay taxes not to give them to another person (directly or indirectly), but for the government to provide services. As I have said in another post, if my taxes went up and it was to rebuild our national infrastructure I could at least understand what the benefit is to me by doing so. However, Obama has basically said "spread the wealth" a number of times in a number of ways, and has stated that the extra taxes taken from higher-income earners will go to lower-income people WHO CURRENTLY PAY NO TAXES in the form of tax credits. He also has said that anyone who doesn't want to pay more taxes is "selfish".

    From Wikipedia: "Capitalism redistributes wealth primarily through the voluntary purchase and sale of goods and services. Communism and Socialism typically use involuntary methods such as taxation and nationalization of property".

    Net-net - wealth redistribution through a taxation policy IS socialist, any way you look at it. When a candidate calls me selfish because I'm a productive asset to society and don't want to give more money to someone who's not that is socialism.

    All this discussion will be a moot point anyway. The tax increases for families earning over $250K ($200K in Obama's infomercial, $150K from Biden) will not pay for all of the social programs - not even come close - so he will either need to cut his programs and/or increase taxation on additional groups of people.
  4. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I agree Rich. I will not repeat what you said. People are going to believe what they are going to believe.

    Obama will raise taxes on those making over $250,000.00, period. Not $100,000.00, not $150,000.00. $250,000.00. He will merely raise the tax level on those making over $250,000.00 to the levels they were under Presidents like Reagen and Clinton. The difference will be very nominal.

    Whatever, in the end people will believe what they are going to believe. I don't wish to argue or change anyone's mind.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2008
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I'm not trying to be funny or start an argument, I'm really curious;

    Do you honestly, truly believe that?
  6. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member


  7. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    No I do not.
  8. I won't argue, and will treat this answer with respect, but to be honest I don't think you've actually fully read Obama's tax policy.

    While his plan for income taxes won't raise them for families over $200,000 (I have to believe what he said in his infomercial as it's the most recent "stump speech"), his plan for social security tax is less clear. He previously said he would favor the "donut hole" approach and not raise the cap for people under $250,000 but this is no longer on his website.

    If he raises the social security tax limit from around $96K to $250K anyone making more than the limit today will be paying extra tax.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    One can argue all one wishes whether or not changing the top tax rate is a good or bad thing. My point is that it is "socialism" to change the rate.

    Regarding the rate, I find it funny to hear people who can only benefit from the change argue on behalf of people (like me) who benefit from keeping it low, hoping the "trickle-down" approach will result in a bone thrown their way. Well, we've seen a total of 20 years of it under Reagan and Bushes. Howzit goin'? :eek:
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    What I believe is that at some point Obama will introduce legislation that could result in increased taxes. At that point the legislature will vote on the bill. If it passes then you should blame (collectively) everyone who voted for the bill. Not just Obama.

    This is why you can't just blame Bush alone for Iraq.
  11. Changing the rate doesn't mean socialism. It's how it is spent.

    Sweden has a top rate of 60% and a VERY deep social safety net that doesn't encourage workers to actually go out and find a job - they have a de-facto unemployment rate of around 17%.

    Perhaps the difference between many people in the US and I is that I don't wait to be thrown a bone - I prefer to go dig up one myself. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I'm earning more?

    In the end, I can survive just about anything Congress tries to throw my way in the next 2 years, and if it's truly horrible there will be a reckoning in 2010.
  12. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Excellent point!!!!
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It is "not socialism." Sorry.
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I think you're being a bit naive for one simple reason; the great majority of Americans make less than 250K, and someone is going to have to pay for the social programs that are coming our way if Obama wins. We're quickly approaching the point where those riding in the cart for free outweigh the ability of those of us pulling it.
  15. Paul S Rogers

    Paul S Rogers New Member

    ME Again,
    If your story is true, I wouldn’t go back to that restaurant or waitress an order any type of soup, she might add some extra flavoring if you get my drift.
  16. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    That's what I was thinking.

    Abner :)
  17. KYarb

    KYarb New Member

    Food for thought.
  18. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    LOL -- It's actually a cut-n-paste from another anonymous source. I would never do that, but I laughed pretty hard when I read it. ;)
  19. Ted N

    Ted N New Member

    If, in Washington speak, cutting spending on a program means not giving the full increase that was expected to that program, then wouldn't allowing the "Bush" tax-cuts to expire be the same as increasing taxes? Does anybody doubt that they will expire?

    Ted N.
  20. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Over the last several years I have noticed that both federal and state non-payroll taxes/fees have increased significantly. For example I recently visited Hartford CT.
    Air fare tax 19.3%
    Car rental taxes 22%
    Hotel 12%
    On international flights the tax and fees are sometimes close to 50%.
    These taxes have a significant a significant on business travel. Several of my clients (including a major federal agency) have cut way back on travel.

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