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James P. de Bree Jr.: Setting the tax record straight

Posted: June 19, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 19, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

I am responding to the op-ed article that Gary Horton wrote (“Oh, the places our tax money goes”) that was published in the June 11 edition of The Signal.

In his article, Mr. Horton stated, “Decades ago, top personal and corporate income tax rates exceeded 80 percent. ... Then came Reagan, then Bush ...”

I am a CPA who has practiced for nearly 40 years, and I am very familiar with the history of the Internal Revenue Code. I believe that there are issues with Mr. Horton’s premise.

First, Mr. Horton refers to top personal tax rates. While it is true that the highest marginal tax rates have been as high as 90 percent, virtually nobody paid taxes at those rates.

When I started my career, I was earning less than $20,000 a year, but I paid more in taxes than most of my clients who earned mid- to high-six-figures.

In those days, it was easy to shelter and defer income.

While today’s top marginal rates are considerably lower than they were 60 years ago, the effective rate (i.e., the percentage of total income that is paid in tax) is considerably higher because tax shelters have been shut down and a myriad Byzantine rules have increased the amount of income that is subject to tax.

Second, Mr. Horton refers to rates exceeding 80 percent and then infers Reagan and Bush undid all of that.

Drafting the tax law has historically been a bipartisan endeavor. In fact, the highest marginal tax rates ever imposed on individuals was 90 percent.

As part of financing the war effort, in 1943 Congress increased the income tax rate to 90 percent on income in excess of $100,000.

That rate remained in effect until 1962, when a Democratic Congress at the urging of John Kennedy reduced the top rate to 70 percent.

A Democratic Congress encouraged by Richard Nixon dropped the rate to 50 percent on earned income in 1969 but retained the 70 percent rate on investment income.

So the rate-cutting did not start with Reagan or Bush.

Now let’s get to Reagan and Congress in 1981. The Senate was controlled by Republicans, but the House was controlled by Democrats.

At the time, the United States was in a terrible recession and the maximum tax rates were lowered to 50 percent on all income.

Because the government was spending at absurd levels resulting in record deficits, tax increases were passed in 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1988 (all Reagan years).

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 lowered tax rates significantly and reduced the highest rate of tax to 28 percent. But more importantly, it established a draconian system that increased the portion of a taxpayer’s income that is subject to tax.

Except for the 2003 “Bush” tax cuts, the subsequent tax rate changes have all been increases in the tax rate, yet the accounting methods for computing the income on which the tax is based remain unchanged.

So the bottom line is that today’s high-income individuals are paying tax at a much higher effective rate than they did when the “top individual rate exceeded 80 percent.”

But that point probably would not fit in nicely with the theme of Mr. Horton’s article.

James P. de Bree Jr. is a Valencia resident.

 

Comments

CaptGene: Posted: June 19, 2014 5:43 a.m.

Horton is rarely seen in the company of facts.


ricketzz: Posted: June 19, 2014 7:14 a.m.

The percentage of the cost of government paid for by wage earners has gone up. The percentage paid by corporations and high net worth individuals living on investment income, inheritance, etc., has gone down. Externalities have been shifted so the liabilities are born by the taxpayers and the profits are increased for the elite. The system is inherently unfair. It is rigged.


philellis: Posted: June 19, 2014 8:10 a.m.

Facts have a habit of sucking the wind out of liberal rants.


17trillion: Posted: June 19, 2014 8:24 a.m.

I'm sure Gary will respond any second.....


AlwaysRight: Posted: June 19, 2014 9:38 a.m.

Introductions are in order: expert (who knows what he is talking about) meet ricketzz. Ricketzz meet expert.


tech: Posted: June 19, 2014 9:41 a.m.

Another tenet in progressive mythology vaporized by facts. High marginal tax rates didn't translate into effective tax rates nor did they create prosperity in prior decades.

Can you feel the burn, ricketzz? --edited.


Indy: Posted: June 19, 2014 3:00 p.m.

James,

I appreciate the history lesson since it was very informative.

I think the biggest issues, however, is why income is concentrating to the top 1%.

We saw at the start of Reagan's term, that the top 1% took only about 8% of all income but today it’s over 20%. Why do you suppose that is occurring?

Likewise, all productivity gains just before Reagan are now going to the ‘owners of capital’ . . . noting that wage stagnation for middle income earners has been going on for 3+ decades.

It’s also of note that 10-20% of Americans own 80-90% of all stock such that any person who must rely solely on ‘wages’ to get any income, is just falling further behind.

So why I greatly appreciate your perspective and history from the CPA point of view, it really doesn’t get into the bigger economic questions including globalization that allows multinationals to leverage the ‘wage differential’ between the US and the developing world such that higher profits can be garnered by simply off shoring US manufacturing leaving more Americans unemployed and putting downward pressure on wages.

I would also note that most Americans can’t afford to have a CPA consulting them. That allows the upper incomes to gain yet another income advantage including the ability to ‘lobby’ congress for even better tax treatment.

Should a person earning $20 million dollars pay less than 15% federal income tax on that money?

Should there be a better relationship to the usage of American infrastructure based on such earnings such that those making more pay their share for said infrastructure?

Taxes should be there to provide for the ‘goods and services’ demanded from government through our congressional votes. They are not meant to be used as a ‘economic growth’ tool.

Perhaps in your next Op-ed you can address these types of issues.


17trillion: Posted: June 19, 2014 3:05 p.m.

"I would also note that most Americans can’t afford to have a CPA consulting them."

Most Americans don't have 4 arms either. Yes, I know, that's irrelevant, much like the above statement. Most Americans don't require a CPA so being able to afford one or not isn't relevant.


Indy: Posted: June 19, 2014 3:08 p.m.

And here James is an example of how someone, in this case, a libertarian market fundamentalist, uses your ‘facts’ to simply dismiss the concentration of wealth’ occurring as I write this:

Tech wrote: Another tenet in progressive mythology vaporized by facts. High marginal tax rates didn't translate into effective tax rates nor did they create prosperity in prior decades.

Indy: Notice the poster ignored:

- Lobbyist influence
- Why progressive tax rates address the use of infrastructure
- Why a low capital gains tax passes the cost of infrastructure onto those that can’t afford to subsidize same

If you expand this to globalization, the poster ignores:

- The oversupply in global labor markets relative to resources is putting downward pressure on wages in the US
- That we live on a finite planet of resources

All of these lead to the concentration of wealth but as we see, many conservatives simply feel that if aggregate economic growth is occurring, that’s to be encouraged regardless of the consequences to the majority of people, all of who want to work hard but are subject to the factors I’ve noted.


Indy: Posted: June 19, 2014 3:14 p.m.

17trillion wrote: "I would also note that most Americans can’t afford to have a CPA consulting them."

Most Americans don't have 4 arms either. Yes, I know, that's irrelevant, much like the above statement. Most Americans don't require a CPA so being able to afford one or not isn't relevant.

Indy: James, I not surprised from this comment from this poster who did run a successful business but even today ignores the benefits of ‘advice’ from an expert like a CPA.

The poster assumes that the toxic political environment we have in DC is somehow helping all of us when in fact, this just helps those that can ‘afford’ to be in contact with our actual politicians. When I call in, I get to talk to a college intern or low level staffer that simply checks off a box as to whether I support one thing or another but the assumption is that these folks need no advice.

Finally, I generally discount this poster’s remarks mainly since he has no formal education in business, economics, or management and has repeated demonstrated this in much the same fashion that he did here today.

Being able to ‘sell high, buy low’ is absolutely necessary to stay in business but it doesn’t address any of the other economic factors in play.

So I’m sure that most Americans, if given the chance, would love to access your expertise that does include ‘formal training’ not to mention CPA certification based on same.


Indy: Posted: June 19, 2014 3:18 p.m.

Ricketzz wrote: The percentage of the cost of government paid for by wage earners has gone up. The percentage paid by corporations and high net worth individuals living on investment income, inheritance, etc., has gone down. Externalities have been shifted so the liabilities are born by the taxpayers and the profits are increased for the elite. The system is inherently unfair. It is rigged.

Indy: James, the poster makes some excellent points especially in the issue of ‘privatizing the profits while socializing the economic external costs’.

And to show you where these one issue is headed, now I see conservatives arguing that ‘pollution controls’ should be ‘optional’! I wish I was making this up . . . but like it or not, those with the greatest lobbyist influence get to write the ‘focus group tested’ slogans meant to deceive the public.

I don’t expect any immediate changes since most Americans are struggling to understand these types of economic issues and rather than be ‘educated’ by our leaders on them, they are being ‘pandered to’ by just further exploiting their ignorance.

Is this the America we were all ‘sold on’ decades ago? You decide.


philellis: Posted: June 19, 2014 3:22 p.m.

Unfortunately, formal education does not always mean an understanding of the subject. Often times, formal education is silent on the practicalities of the discipline and only permits one to pontificate ad nauseum without adding any substance to the discussion.


17trillion: Posted: June 19, 2014 3:26 p.m.

Indy: James, I not surprised from this comment from this poster who did run a successful business but even today ignores the benefits of ‘advice’ from an expert like a CPA.

Another stunningly ignorant statement. Please share with all the guest readers how a CPA can advise someone making 25k a year of all the benefits they might get from an expert.

"Finally, I generally discount this poster’s remarks mainly since he has no formal education in business, economics, or management and has repeated demonstrated this in much the same fashion that he did here today."

But you just said I ran a successful business so perhaps the "formal" education that you received wasn't all that necessary since it didn't help you at all. I guess all that education in economics could be put to good use advising someone making 25k a year on successful tax avoidance techniques.

"The poster assumes that the toxic political environment we have in DC is somehow helping all of us"

I did? It's just a flesh wound so says the Black Knight! The only thing I assume is that you think the toxicity is caused by one party. I know this because Fox News told me so.


17trillion: Posted: June 19, 2014 3:28 p.m.

Well said Phil.


tech: Posted: June 19, 2014 4:55 p.m.

"I would also note that most Americans can’t afford to have a CPA consulting them. That allows the upper incomes to gain yet another income advantage including the ability to ‘lobby’ congress for even better tax treatment." - Indy

Reviewing your convoluted syntax, I presume you meant to write: I would also note that most Americans can't afford to consult with a CPA.

Nonsense. My taxes are filed every year by a CPA firm. For 2013 taxes, the cost was $450 and an equivalent amount was deducted from taxes due. Net cost = $0.

Those that aren't earning sufficient household income to warrant legal tax minimization strategies won't require the services of a CPA. --edited.


Indy: Posted: June 19, 2014 5:51 p.m.

17trillion wrote: Indy: James, I not surprised from this comment from this poster who did run a successful business but even today ignores the benefits of ‘advice’ from an expert like a CPA.

Another stunningly ignorant statement. Please share with all the guest readers how a CPA can advise someone making 25k a year of all the benefits they might get from an expert.

Indy: Amazing how a successful businessman discounts ‘advice’ . . . or looking at this from a purely economic point of view, ‘smart’ competitors and customers are more challenging thus the motivation to keep them ignorant . . . sadly, this is the political model used today by both parties.

17trillion wrote: "Finally, I generally discount this poster’s remarks mainly since he has no formal education in business, economics, or management and has repeated demonstrated this in much the same fashion that he did here today."

But you just said I ran a successful business so perhaps the "formal" education that you received wasn't all that necessary since it didn't help you at all. I guess all that education in economics could be put to good use advising someone making 25k a year on successful tax avoidance techniques.

Indy: The reality is that running a business doesn’t give one the background knowledge that can extend into the bigger economic picture beyond one’s own business.

But it’s of interest to note that the conservative view of taxes is ‘avoidance’ versus the reality that when the US has the largest military in the world, spending some $700 billion dollars per year, the funding for same doesn’t just drop out of the sky . . . somebody has to pay for it.

So is ‘tax avoidance’ is this context ‘un-American’?

Sadly, from what I see here from conservatives, their ideology binds them to the ‘narrow’ view that people who need assistance from the shortcomings of capitalism are quickly termed ‘slackers’ as to avoid any semblance of helping them.

This ‘throw away worker’ mentality sadly dominates the republicans party of late . . .


Indy: Posted: June 19, 2014 5:52 p.m.

17trillion wrote: "The poster assumes that the toxic political environment we have in DC is somehow helping all of us"

I did? It's just a flesh wound so says the Black Knight! The only thing I assume is that you think the toxicity is caused by one party. I know this because Fox News told me so.

Indy: Having toxic ‘news’ sources like Guy Benson shows the bias that Fox presents the ‘news’ as I heard today . . . where the ‘news’ is ‘framed’ in conservative ideology thought that ‘taints’ the ‘news’ and makes it little more than an ideology based recital.

And this just leads to more toxicity in the political discourse that only really benefits the wealthy payers that fund Fox . . . but hey, give them credit for convincing the uninformed that conservative ideology benefits ‘all’ when we can clearly see the wealth concentration occurring in the US leaving the majority of the middle class, those who ‘wages’ are their incomes, holding a emptier and emptier ‘bag’ . . .


Indy: Posted: June 19, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Tech wrote: "I would also note that most Americans can’t afford to have a CPA consulting them. That allows the upper incomes to gain yet another income advantage including the ability to ‘lobby’ congress for even better tax treatment." - Indy

Reviewing your convoluted syntax, I presume you meant to write: I would also note that most Americans can't afford to consult with a CPA.

Indy: What the poster tries to do is support his ‘rewording’ with the idea that he knows better . . . when in fact, he’s just trying to tell you what I really wanted to say . . . but doing so in his libertarian frame of reference.

Tech wrote: Nonsense. My taxes are filed every year by a CPA firm. For 2013 taxes, the cost was $450 and an equivalent amount was deducted from taxes due. Net cost = $0.

Indy: Here again, the poster misses the point entirely . . .

Tech wrote: Those that aren't earning sufficient household income to warrant legal tax minimization strategies won't require the services of a CPA. --edited.

Indy: I couldn’t have stated the case for the perverse nature of ‘lobbyist’ than this poster has presented.

Only those Americans with ‘higher incomes’ should have ‘tax minimization strategies’?

And why is that? Well, the lobbyist influence the ‘tax code’ so those with higher incomes benefit at the expense of everyone else!

Go back to the conservative earning $20 million a year paying less than 15% in federal taxes . . . even though his use of the nation’s infrastructure from courts to the highway system to the use of the military to protect ‘trading routes’ globally . . . and you see why the RNC spends a lot of money in marketing to convince republican voters that it’s really the ‘poor’ who are at fault!!!

In any event, the posters remarks are consistent with libertarian market fundamentalism based on social Darwinism . . . in other words, ‘every person for themselves’ . . . which is more or less a rejection of the Constitution that begins with the preamble that includes ‘promote the general welfare’.


tech: Posted: June 19, 2014 6:46 p.m.

Indy: What the poster tries to do is support his ‘rewording’ with the idea that he knows better . . . when in fact, he’s just trying to tell you what I really wanted to say . . . but doing so in his libertarian frame of reference.

LOL! English doesn't have a political bias, Black Knight. Your original construct was nonsensical, i.e. it had the CPA consulting the taxpayer. You should thank me for fixing your tortured syntax. Comparatively, I demonstrably do have superior writing skills. Your non sequitur reveals your comprehension deficit as well.

Indy: Only those Americans with ‘higher incomes’ should have ‘tax minimization strategies’?

And why is that? Well, the lobbyist influence the ‘tax code’ so those with higher incomes benefit at the expense of everyone else!

More silliness. Lower income households pay little to no Federal Income Tax and may be eligible for an EITC. And I noted you left out "legal" as my qualifier for tax minimization.

Your class warfare ideology blinds you to simple facts, Indy.

I'm no fan of the distorted tax code. Reform is long past due but manipulating it is a source of power for politicians.


ricketzz: Posted: June 20, 2014 6:50 a.m.

Chart 2 pretty much sums it up. Corruption is in charge. We exist for The Corporation and the globalist elite.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/numbers/revenue.cfm

I use computer software to do my taxes.


philellis: Posted: June 20, 2014 7:10 a.m.

Which corporation created that software or even the computer you use it on?


AlwaysRight: Posted: June 20, 2014 8:01 a.m.

Indy- you should go back and re-read your posts. I think I see the issue, sir. With all due respect, you often miss the initial point and go into a diatribe that is unrelated to the original topic.

See your 6/19 3pm thread. You completely miss the point of the op-ed and go into a discussion of wealth concentration. Sir, the op-ed is about tax rates and correcting mis-statements by our good friend, Gary Horton.

Pure and simple. I would suggest that you address that topic and not one of your own choosing. Thanks!


AlwaysRight: Posted: June 20, 2014 8:03 a.m.

Phil- once again, you say in one sentence what others take a thousand words. when r u running for Congress? You've got my vote.


philellis: Posted: June 20, 2014 9:30 a.m.

Thanks, AR. Sometimes it is much more difficult to say something in a few words, but it is much easier to get the guest readers attention. :)


tech: Posted: June 20, 2014 1:06 p.m.

Concise, accurate writing is a useful skill.

Nicely done, philellis!


tech: Posted: June 20, 2014 1:08 p.m.

Regarding Indy, you outlined the issue *precisely*, AR.


chico: Posted: June 20, 2014 5:18 p.m.

I dig this - "Unfortunately, formal education does not always mean an understanding of the subject. Oftentimes, formal education is silent on the practicalities of the discipline and only permits one to pontificate ad nauseum without adding any substance to the discussion"


ricketzz: Posted: June 21, 2014 6:51 a.m.

When I do taxes it is on a hand me down gamer's machine, running Open Source software, Linux Mint 16 Mate`. I use the open sourced browser Chromium (Google's Chrome) and all the tax calculating and stuff is done on remote servers.

I am not saying all corporations are bad. Just the dangerous ones. I am reminded of the Japanese maggot delicacy, where one maggot has eaten all the others and is considered a culinary achievement. It is still a maggot.

This free movie is funny and scary all at once, just like Marlon Wayans.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-corporation/


tech: Posted: June 21, 2014 12:41 p.m.

Who writes Linux? Corporations, more than ever

Linux Foundation report shows for-profit companies provide 80-plus percent of kernel patches, with big role for mobile hardware developers

http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source-software/who-writes-linux-corporations-more-ever-235552


Indy: Posted: June 21, 2014 7:44 p.m.

Tech wrote: Indy: What the poster tries to do is support his ‘rewording’ with the idea that he knows better . . . when in fact, he’s just trying to tell you what I really wanted to say . . . but doing so in his libertarian frame of reference.

LOL! English doesn't have a political bias, Black Knight. Your original construct was nonsensical, i.e. it had the CPA consulting the taxpayer. You should thank me for fixing your tortured syntax. Comparatively, I demonstrably do have superior writing skills. Your non sequitur reveals your comprehension deficit as well.

Indy: Why you reject the idea that only the ‘higher income’ people ‘deserve’ help from CPAs is why your libertarian market fundamentalist approach is failing the majority of Americans.

We know the top 1% is concentrating wealth . . . to the point that they now take up 20% of all yearly income, ‘up’ for ‘just’ 8% when Reagan took office . . .

In any event, when you fail to win an issue, you’re back to grammar and spelling as if I'm writing ‘doctoral’ work here at this ‘public forum’ . . . what a lame and pathetic approach.

We can see you’ve got an expansive vocabulary but that doesn’t mean you understand the ‘concepts’ presented when the ‘words’ are presented together . . .

It’s valuable to have the public see the type of debating approach you present here . . that’s perhaps the only valuable thing you bring to this forum.


Tech wrote: "Indy: Only those Americans with ‘higher incomes’ should have ‘tax minimization strategies’?

And why is that? Well, the lobbyist influence the ‘tax code’ so those with higher incomes benefit at the expense of everyone else!"

More silliness. Lower income households pay little to no Federal Income Tax and may be eligible for an EITC. And I noted you left out "legal" as my qualifier for tax minimization.

Indy: Spoken as a true libertarian market fundamentalist bathed in social Darwinism . . . that translates to ‘every person for themselves’. Your rejection of ‘society’ as envisioned by the Founding Fathers is truly amazing but again, needs public exposure . . . which you’re doing here.

Tech wrote: Your class warfare ideology blinds you to simple facts, Indy.

Indy: I guess you figure that reciting a ‘focus group tested’ slogan to ‘me’ is helpful? Please . . .

Tech wrote: I'm no fan of the distorted tax code. Reform is long past due but manipulating it is a source of power for politicians.

Indy: Surprisingly, we agree here . . .


Indy: Posted: June 21, 2014 7:48 p.m.

AlwaysRight wrote: Indy- you should go back and re-read your posts.

Indy: I think that’s good advice for you . . .

AlwaysRight wrote: I think I see the issue, sir. With all due respect, you often miss the initial point and go into a diatribe that is unrelated to the original topic.

Indy: What the reality is is that you miss the larger overarching issues that are embodied in the specific points made . . . . this is why you can’t rely upon ‘slogans’ from politicians to get your basic knowledge.

AlwaysRight wrote: See your 6/19 3pm thread. You completely miss the point of the op-ed and go into a discussion of wealth concentration. Sir, the op-ed is about tax rates and correcting mis-statements by our good friend, Gary Horton.

Indy: Yes, the tax rates . . . set up to concentrate wealth due to lobbyist . . . . was that the point?

AlwaysRight wrote: Pure and simple. I would suggest that you address that topic and not one of your own choosing. Thanks!

Indy: You need to see the greater context . . . and until you do, you’ll stay lost in the minutia . . .


tech: Posted: June 22, 2014 10:40 p.m.

Non sequitur, Indy.

I attacked your argument AND your ability to communicate it. Philellis identified how your amusingly touted academic credentials fail to inform your analysis and behavior in a useful way. Rather, you digress into an ideological tangent that's off topic.

That you fail to acknowledge facts and adapt accordingly indicates a rigid ideology rather than an intellect that learns and adapts.

Indy: Yes, the tax rates . . . set up to concentrate wealth due to lobbyist . . . . was that the point?

Wrong, wrong, wrong. That's what you're flacking, as AR pointed out.

“It takes a great man to be a good listener.” ― Calvin Coolidge


ricketzz: Posted: June 22, 2014 6:55 a.m.

I said "open source" and I also said "not all corporations are bad". Open source just means it can be freely used and modified, as long as it's done in public.

We have been experimenting with capitalism and regulations since the 17th century. The most recent experiment ("Trickle Down", "Free Market", Reaganomics, whatever) has created the greatest wealth disparity in history, and societies everywhere coming apart. I'd say it was a massive failure. Are they perpetrators of this disaster willing to admit failure? Some are. Like David Stockman, one of the original actors.

http://billmoyers.com/segment/david-stockman-on-crony-capitalism/


tech: Posted: June 22, 2014 9:54 a.m.

An unsupported assertion, ricketzz. Wealth has always been concentrated in our society and Reagan had nothing to do with it. It's also not unique to the USA.

I draw your attention to the graph reflecting income distribution since 1917.

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/03/for-all-ranting-about-top-1-by-economic.html


Indy: Posted: June 22, 2014 3:06 p.m.

Tech wrote: Non sequitur, Indy.

Indy: LOL

Tech wrote: I attacked your argument AND your ability to communicate it. Philellis identified how your amusingly touted academic credentials fail to inform your analysis and behavior in a useful way. Rather, you digress into an ideological tangent that's off topic.

Indy: What’s interesting about your style of debate is that once you’ve said something and it’s shown to be misleading or even false, you just turn to ‘degrading’ others for calling that out and never really get back to the point!!!

Tech wrote: That you fail to acknowledge facts and adapt accordingly indicates a rigid ideology rather than an intellect that learns and adapts.

Indy: Again, just wasted ‘debating’ ammo . . . that says nothing.

Tech wrote: Indy: Yes, the tax rates . . . set up to concentrate wealth due to lobbyist . . . . was that the point?

Wrong, wrong, wrong. That's what you're flacking, as AR pointed out.

“It takes a great man to be a good listener.” ― Calvin Coolidge

Indy: Again, “is that once you’ve said something and it’s shown to be misleading or even false, you just turn to ‘degrading’ others for calling that out and never really get back to the point!!!”


Indy: Posted: June 22, 2014 3:14 p.m.

Tech wrote: An unsupported assertion, ricketzz. Wealth has always been concentrated in our society and Reagan had nothing to do with it. It's also not unique to the USA.

Indy: The poster proves proof of the old saying that if you give somebody enough rope, they eventually hang themselves with it!

But it’s good that you finally addressed the wealth concentration issue with libertarian market fundamentalism . . . that’s at least a good first step . . . except that most Americans don’t want to live in a ‘third world nation’ ‘owned’ by the wealthy elite.

The kids that sat out in the weather on Wall Street knew perfectly well that the top 1% is now taking more than 20% of all income, up from just 8% in 1980 or so . . .

Supporting that saying this is not unique to other nations rebuffs your early position that you noted about you don’t really care about other nations . . . but now you’ve flip flopped and use them as ‘support’ for wealth concentration?

More people need to learn about the ‘social darwinian’ based ‘libertarian market fundamentalism’ and understand that it advocates wealth concentration . . . . even to the point that you et al here argue that the ‘poor’ don’t really need CPA advice . . . or that the ‘tax codes’ that are distorted by lobbyist employed by the wealthy need to find ‘tax avoidance’ strategies for not paying their fair share of the use of the nation’s resources.

Keep talking . . . please . . .


tech: Posted: June 22, 2014 5:54 p.m.

Your off topic contortions and distortions aren't worth responding to, Indy. That you think you're scoring debate points is pathetic.


ricketzz: Posted: June 23, 2014 7:36 a.m.

We may have had wealth bubbles before, but this time it's very different because the amoral rich control the country entirely. They own your elected representatives and the nation's highest courts. They are marginalizing the majority of Americans and enticing the stupid with lures of "you too can live the American Dream." It's all bunk. Career mobility is at the lowest it's been in my lifetime. If you are born poor, chances are very "good" that you will always be poor. (Cue the apologists who point out that our poor people have it really good, with their refrigerators and color TVs and free clamshell phones.)

When "market fundamentalism" is mis-applied we get Citizens United and 501[c][4] abuse; we get propaganda via the commons; we get laws against progress.

"Money doesn't talk; it swears." -Bob Dylan 1965


AlwaysRight: Posted: June 23, 2014 12:30 p.m.

Indy- the fact that you regard this as a debate about wealth concentration shows...

Oh, look! A squirrel!


Indy: Posted: June 23, 2014 5:13 p.m.

Tech wrote: Your off topic contortions and distortions aren't worth responding to, Indy. That you think you're scoring debate points is pathetic.

Indy: Sadly, this is the type of remark when somebody is ‘throwing in the towel’ if you will . . . or just trying to be 'funny' as the AR poster quick quips.

Sadly, this approach helps no one . . . doesn't provide any real opportunity to really digest and understand the issues while sadly creating less job security.

Thankfully we have the 'freedom' to debate . . . or at least the opportunity is there for those that want it.


Indy: Posted: June 23, 2014 5:13 p.m.

ricketzz,

Exactly.


tech: Posted: June 23, 2014 7:48 p.m.

I always have a productive goal in mind when I engage, Black Knight. Running endlessly on your equivalent of a hamster wheel is never my objective.

Review the Monty Python video again. I'm walking across the bridge.



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