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Thread: You’re Better Off in a State With a Higher Income Tax

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Okay, fair enough. My own position is that capital gains should be taxed like any other income. I see no reason that money you didn't work for should be taxed at a lower rate than your labor. Also, capital gains taxes are mostly paid by the very top-most earners, particularly now.
    I'll take a look.

    EDIT: Okay, but I think you're imputing to me arguments I never made. I'm just saying that our top marginal rates are half what they were pre-Reagan, and that they've moved in a range entirely different from before Reagan. I'm not BLAMING Reagan for anything. I'm just saying that not only did he accomplish his taxation goals in the short term--he created a change in our politics such that previous policies aren't even seriously considered anymore.

    I certainly think aspects of their societies are better than ours, and they DO appear to be among the happiest people on earth. I think you're making two mistakes with this comparison: 1) You're equating happiness with material wealth, which is not supported by any sort of research--the opposite, actually, and 2) you're posing a false dichotomy. Something in between is certainly feasible, and that's what I'm suggesting.
    Marginal tax rates really have no meaning. During the 1950s, the effective tax rate was on the 30s.

    If capital gains were tax as ordinary income, capital would dry up and the economy would collapse. The low tax rates on capital gains offsets the risks.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Okay, fair enough. My own position is that capital gains should be taxed like any other income. I see no reason that money you didn't work for should be taxed at a lower rate than your labor. Also, capital gains taxes are mostly paid by the very top-most earners, particularly now.
    Makes sense that a left-leaning person would argue this, maybe even right-leaning. I'm just saying this one can't be spun partisan. Too many examples of Democrats intent on keeping them low. Each of the last two times a Republican President cut capital gains taxes, a Democrat President had slashed capital gains taxes only a few years prior.

    EDIT: Okay, but I think you're imputing to me arguments I never made. I'm just saying that our top marginal rates are half what they were pre-Reagan, and that they've moved in a range entirely different from before Reagan. I'm not BLAMING Reagan for anything. I'm just saying that not only did he accomplish his taxation goals in the short term--he created a change in our politics such that previous policies aren't even seriously considered anymore.
    I think you're doing what most liberals do here, in that you're overattributing the changes that were going on at that time to Reagan. There is clear evidence the paradigm was shifting and these changes were coming regardless of what figurehead we had as President.

    "THE NEED FOR TAX REDUCTION

    I propose net tax reductions consisting of:
    —$17 billion in net income tax cuts for individuals, through across-the-board rate reductions and a new personal credit, focused primarily on low and middle-income taxpayers.
    —$6 billion in net income tax cuts for small and large corporations, through reductions in the corporate tax rates and extensions of the investment tax credit.
    —$2 billion for elimination of the excise tax on telephone calls and a reduction in the payroll tax for unemployment insurance.

    These tax reductions are a central part of the Administration's overall economic strategy, which will rely principally upon growth in the private sector to create the new jobs we need to achieve our high-employment objective."

    - Jimmy Carter, 1978

    Jeez, what a Reaganite!
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 28th October 2017 at 04:08 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by publius3 View Post
    Taxes must tax. Its a truism. If you believe that materially higher taxes doesn't impede economic growth -- in fact the taxed money can't be invested by the taxed, by definition. Then naturally you have to ask why varbon taxes would impact behavior or cigarette taxes, tariffs, etc. Taxes impact behavior, get used to it. Taxes reduce the marginal utility/benefit or increase the marginal cost of EVERY behavior taxed.

    The Economic Engine of America Is...The South | The National Interest Blog

    The South is booming, and the Rust Belt looks like a fucking bomb hit it.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/0...shuddered.html
    My southern redneck bigoted state is booming. Yankees moving down at record numbers.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennyson View Post
    Marginal tax rates really have no meaning. During the 1950s, the effective tax rate was on the 30s.

    If capital gains were tax as ordinary income, capital would dry up and the economy would collapse. The low tax rates on capital gains offsets the risks.
    I love how you come into threads and just start making pronouncement.

    Hi Tennyson.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Makes sense that a left-leaning person would argue this, maybe even right-leaning. I'm just saying this one can't be spun partisan. Too many examples of Democrats intent on keeping them low. Each of the last two times a Republican President cut capital gains taxes, a Democrat President had slashed capital gains taxes only a few years prior.
    Okay. I think you're probably more interested in capital gains taxes than I am.
    I think you're doing what most liberals do here, in that you're overattributing the changes that were going on at that time to Reagan. There is clear evidence the paradigm was shifting and these changes were coming regardless of what figurehead we had as President.

    "THE NEED FOR TAX REDUCTION

    I propose net tax reductions consisting of:
    —$17 billion in net income tax cuts for individuals, through across-the-board rate reductions and a new personal credit, focused primarily on low and middle-income taxpayers.
    —$6 billion in net income tax cuts for small and large corporations, through reductions in the corporate tax rates and extensions of the investment tax credit.
    —$2 billion for elimination of the excise tax on telephone calls and a reduction in the payroll tax for unemployment insurance.

    These tax reductions are a central part of the Administration's overall economic strategy, which will rely principally upon growth in the private sector to create the new jobs we need to achieve our high-employment objective."

    - Jimmy Carter, 1978

    Jeez, what a Reaganite!
    Okay. I'd point out that Reagan ran against Carter based on his own intentions to cut taxes--and he won. And Reagan's actual tax cuts were greater by far than anything we'd seen before. I'm not interested in demonizing Reagan. If anything, I was paying him a historical complement. But he's really more a signpost, like the "during the Reign of King Edward..." In any case, my point is that we've made what appears to be a multi-generational change in our views about taxes.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by publius3 View Post
    Taxes must tax. Its a truism. If you believe that materially higher taxes doesn't impede economic growth -- in fact the taxed money can't be invested by the taxed, by definition. Then naturally you have to ask why varbon taxes would impact behavior or cigarette taxes, tariffs, etc. Taxes impact behavior, get used to it. Taxes reduce the marginal utility/benefit or increase the marginal cost of EVERY behavior taxed.

    The Economic Engine of America Is...The South | The National Interest Blog

    The South is booming, and the Rust Belt looks like a fucking bomb hit it.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/0...shuddered.html
    And yet that's not how things break down if you do it by county. If we use the 2016 election as a proxy for attitudes about taxes, it looks like the most productive places prefer high taxes:
    The less-than-500 counties that Hillary Clinton carried nationwide encompassed a massive 64 percent of America’s economic activity as measured by total output in 2015. By contrast, the more-than-2,600 counties that Donald Trump won generated just 36 percent of the country’s output—just a little more than one-third of the nation’s economic activity.
    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-a...utput-america/

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    And yet that's not how things break down if you do it by county. If we use the 2016 election as a proxy for attitudes about taxes, it looks like the most productive places prefer high taxes: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-a...utput-america/
    That is by no means a productivity measure of any sort. It just means there is nominally more people in those counties. Would you say that Manhattan (New York County) is more productive than, say, Hunterdon County, NJ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Cool, but how about the fact that 20% of CHILDREN are in poverty? What about their opportunity?
    The poverty rate for the entire population necessarily includes any sub-populations where poverty might be disproportionately higher.
    Last edited by publius3; 28th October 2017 at 06:18 PM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by THOR View Post
    My southern redneck bigoted state is booming. Yankees moving down at record numbers.
    The South really is booming.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Fair enough. Look at the maps and you'll see the EU is consistently happier than we are.
    As a whole, the EU is really not doing well. It is currently mired in what we were calling the "Great Recession"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    I wish we had fewer enclaves and that it were harder for the well-off to live apart from their "inferiors."
    Enclaves in the sense of regions, which are not walled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    I myself don't live in above-the-median housing.
    Neither do I, I live in BELOW MEDIAN housing for the county in which I reside, but above median for NJ. Although I do own two homes now, but right now the primary one is still in NJ and its a very smart thing to do to choose NOT to be mortgage-poor. We based our lives to be able to live off, if necessary, my wife's income.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Studies of happiness in the US suggest that weather has rather little to do with feelings of wellbeing
    Seasonal affective disorder is a disorder, but generally nasty weather starts to grate on people. And yes, this is a real economic impediment for the Rust/Snow Belt right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    that incomes more than 20% above the median don't contribute significantly to being happy.
    So median in NJ is 60k now +/-, something like that. So beyond $72,000 for a family of four, people wouldn't be happier? I think the brightline you're noting here is probably too low, but I'm not really discussing that, and no I'm not 'arguing' here actually, whether its 72k or 80k or 200k or 350k....that's beside the point because....

    .....the basic point is true, at some point making more money doesn't make you happier in one sense, in the sense that the ability to consume more will make you any happier.

    But that's not why it makes you happy. It makes you happy because you can make your wildest dreams come true and those dreams aren't mindless self aggrandizement.
    Last edited by publius3; 28th October 2017 at 06:01 PM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by THOR View Post
    My southern redneck bigoted state is booming. Yankees moving down at record numbers.

    That is what happened to purple Virginia and North Carolina.

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