Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today is Tax Deadline: Bring Us Back to 1913 (Or Better Yet, Take Us Back to Pre-Income Tax 1912)

This post has become an annual tradition at CD around April 15.  

Page 1 of the original IRS 1040 income tax form from 1913 appears above. There were only four pages in the original 1040 form, including two pages of worksheets, the actual 1040 form above, and only one page of instructions, view all four pages here. In contrast, just the current 1040 instructions, without any forms, runs 189 pages.

Individual income tax rates started at 1% in 1913, and the maximum marginal income tax rate was only 7% on incomes above $500,000 ($11.6 million in today's dollars). The personal exemption was $3,000 for individuals ($69,500 in today's dollars) and $4,000 for married couples ($92,700 in today's dollars), meaning that very few Americans had to pay federal income tax since the average income in 1913 was only about $750. The Tax Foundation has historical federal income tax rates for every year between 1913 and 2011 here.

86 Comments:

At 4/17/2012 2:19 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

This year was my first year filling out taxes as a non-student. It took me two hours with Turbo Tax (2 State forms and 1 Federal). If it could be done in 4 pages, I'd almost feel better about paying taxes. Boy, it got complicated, huh?

 
At 4/17/2012 2:26 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

You have a lot to look forward to, Jon Murphy.

Phone books don't contain as many pages as my tax returns and I'm audited almost every year. The audits never find me in violation, but they do suck my time and cause me to write big checks to my CPA. It's just win win win win win win win.

My advice: do not make a lot of money.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:31 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

You have a lot to look forward to, Jon Murphy.

Phone books don't contain as many pages as my tax returns and I'm audited almost every year. The audits never find me in violation, but they do suck my time and cause me to write big checks to my CPA. It's just win win win win win win win.

My advice: do not make a lot of money.


Thanks, Methinks. I have a twin brother, so if I ever get audited, I'll just throw him to the dogs.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:31 PM, Blogger Bob said...

Actually, take us back to 1912. I'd prefer no income taxes.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:33 PM, Blogger Virginia Hiker said...

If we increased the exemptions in the 1913 code to $9,000 and $12,000 and the percentages to 10, 13, 16, 19, 22 & 25 and repealed everthing else in the current tax code enacted since 1913; what would be the effect on the economy and federal revenues?

 
At 4/17/2012 2:38 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Bob: Thanks for your excellent comment, I changed the title of the post to reflect that.....

 
At 4/17/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Ah, yes, Jon Murphy, turning on each other

We are finally realizing the dreams of the founding fathers!

 
At 4/17/2012 2:47 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Thank god for Obama and his fair taxes. Of course, what he means is that it is fair if his voters dont pay any taxes. What about you now, methinks, changed your vote yet?

 
At 4/17/2012 2:48 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Thank god for Obama and his fair taxes. Of course, what he means is that it is fair if his voters dont pay any taxes. What about you now, methinks, changed your vote yet?

 
At 4/17/2012 2:48 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Ah, yes, Jon Murphy, turning on each other

We are finally realizing the dreams of the founding fathers!


Haha!

Dennis and I already discussed what we would do in the event we find ourselves in a "Prisoner's Dilemma".

 
At 4/17/2012 2:49 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Murray Rothbard knew what the results of extortionist tax rates were all about...

Apparently we as a country are still failing to learn the lesson...

 
At 4/17/2012 2:54 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Thank god for Obama and his fair taxes. Of course, what he means is that it is fair if his voters dont pay any taxes"...

Hey abir, I wonder if you would find this six month old Thomas Edsall posting in a New York Times blog interesting?

 
At 4/17/2012 3:06 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I'm still waiting for my huge subsidies, Abir. As soon as those come through, I'll be all "Obama 2012,2016,2020,2024..." etc.

 
At 4/17/2012 3:06 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Interesting to see in the 1950s and 1960s, the top federal income tax rate was 90 percent--ah, those halcyon years past, when America was great, and people remember crime-free cities and friendly neighbors.

The economy was booming, and most of America went from poor to middle class.

Hmmm. Not what I would expect to happen, but happen it did.

 
At 4/17/2012 3:09 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jon Murphy,

Doesn't it just make you feel all warm and fuzzy that you've had to develop a plan to escape the guilty-until-proven-innocent clutches of the IRS in our free country?

In regulation it's the same thing. You're guilty until proven innocent (we literally get demands to prove our innocence all the time). Given the growth of the powers of the IRS and the regulators, can we still say there's a presumption of innocence?

 
At 4/17/2012 3:17 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Given the growth of the powers of the IRS and the regulators, can we still say there's a presumption of innocence?

Given the fact that everything is tried in the court of public opinion, can we still say there is a presumption of innocence? I mean, just look at Zimmerman down in Florida. He's not even gone to trial but the sentence has been passed. But that's a discussion for another time.

Everyone is guilty until proven innocent: cops ask for alibis, the IRA asks for audits, etc.

 
At 4/17/2012 3:18 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

That should read "The IRS asks for audits." Sorry, I got my gangs mixed up.

 
At 4/17/2012 3:39 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I knew what you meant, Jon. It's tough keeping violent organizations run by people who write in crayon straight. They all resemble each other after a while.

Not only is Zimmerman convicted, but so is the "stand your ground" law. Conveniently (and typically), nobody feels compelled to understand the law before condemning it.

Ah....mob rule. Utopia is upon us.

 
At 4/17/2012 3:54 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Interesting to see in the 1950s and 1960s, the top federal income tax rate was 90 percent--ah, those halcyon years past, when America was great, and people remember crime-free cities and friendly neighbors"...

How many times are you going to repeat this bit of factless inanity pseudo benny?

 
At 4/17/2012 4:14 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

How many times are you going to repeat this bit of factless inanity pseudo benny?

Well, from '43-'63, the top income rate was around 90%. But that also applied to about 4 people, the bracket was so high. And no one paid it.

 
At 4/17/2012 4:25 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Well, from '43-'63, the top income rate was around 90%. But that also applied to about 4 people, the bracket was so high. And no one paid it"...

Read the Rothbard link jon murphy, people between '43 to '63 didn't have that gargantuan and ever more expensive monkey on their collective backs...

 
At 4/17/2012 4:46 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

What struck me was the incredible number of brackets in the old days. I don't know - maybe that's better than all of the loophole deductions.

I also thought it was interesting how the rates skyrocketed at the beginning of WWI, and never really came down to their pre-war rates. It's a great illustration of the misesian view of the state using war and debt to control the populace.

 
At 4/17/2012 5:41 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

OK, so you made $4000 took a $3000 exemption and paid $10 in tax.

If you made 501,000 you paid $70 at the max rate, or seven times as much tax AFTER you earned 125 times as much money.


How would the tax paid first thousand of taxable income compare with the first thousand paid at the max rate, today?

Looks like if you earn $10,500 take the standad deduction and personal exemption you would have taxable income of $1000, and pay $100 in tax.

If you earned $398,851 you would pay on $1000 at the max rate of 35% or $350.

You would pay 3.5 times as much tax AFTER you earned 38 times as much money.

125 times the amount earned by our hypothetical minimum taxpayer would be $1,312,500.

Therefore the taxpayer today who earns 125 times as much as the amount a minimum taxpayer earns would be paying at a rate that is 3.5 times as high rather than a rate 7 times as high, as on the first tax forms.

Relatively speaking, taxes on the rich have come DOWN since 1913.

 
At 4/17/2012 5:45 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

If we increased the exemptions in the 1913 code to $9,000 and $12,000 ........


=============================

Oooh, good one Virginia Hiker.

Anyone got an estimated answer?

 
At 4/17/2012 5:49 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Boy, it got complicated, huh?

===================================

Well yes, but once you get the categories straight in your quicken software, and your filing set up to match your categories, you export the category data to the proper lines in turbo tax, and it is mostly automatic.

 
At 4/17/2012 6:16 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Hydra: Taxes on the rich have come down from 1%? Wow. Can I have some of what you have been smoking?

 
At 4/17/2012 6:53 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Read the Rothbard link jon murphy, people between '43 to '63 didn't have that gargantuan and ever more expensive monkey on their collective backs...

I mean merely just pointing out that, at one 20-year point, such a thing did exist.

 
At 4/17/2012 7:56 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yes, it did get complicated. The encroaching IRS is one of the reasons I did a lot of research on citizenship renunciation. If I renounce again, it'll be the second time in my lifetime. I'm getting good at it.

I almost can't wait to be declared an Enemy of the People. AGAIN! :)

It seems that the IRS is literally driving people away - even those who owe no U.S. taxes. Of course, you know that imposing onerous filing requirements is in itself a tax.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/tax-time-pushes-americans-hike-204320491.html

 
At 4/17/2012 8:02 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Abir : where did I say taxes on the rich have come down from 1%?

What have you been smoking?

 
At 4/17/2012 8:06 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Hydra: "Relatively speaking, taxes on the rich have come DOWN since 1913."

Taxes on people who earned up to 434000 in 1913 were 1%.

The highest rate, which almost no one paid, was 7%. Fancy another doobie?

 
At 4/17/2012 8:13 PM, Blogger JohnV.Walsh said...

The personal income tax will bring in about $1.2 trillion in 2012.
The bill for the "national security state" in 2012 will be about $1.4 trillion.
That is the reason for the personal income tax.
(Medicar and Social Security are paid for by the payroll tax which Obomba is trying to cut!!! What a faker.)
So why don't "progressives" join with libertarians in calling for an abolition of the income tax? The could starve our bellicose empire and put more money in their own pockets, a great economic stimulus if they believe their own Keynesian ideology.
jw

 
At 4/17/2012 8:18 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

John Walsh: You are assuming liberals have any ideology save power, control and feeling good about themselves. A common fallacy, no worries.

 
At 4/17/2012 8:33 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

How is that different from conservatives?

 
At 4/17/2012 8:37 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Hydra: We want small government, individual liberty and being responsible for ourselves with the option (choice, mind blowing, I know) for charity. So pretty much the complete opposite of liberals. Keep up; it's not that hard, despite your apparent languaging handicap.

 
At 4/17/2012 8:48 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

"....and further decreed that all transactions be conducted in the presence of a tax collector."

"...Under such a debilitating regime, both rich and poor wished dearly that the barbarian hordes would deliver them from the burden of Roman taxation. "

"Many Roman peasants even fought alongside their invaders...."

"[B]y the fifth century, men were ready to abandon civilization itself in order to escape the fearful load of taxes."

Perhaps 1,000 years hence, future historians will be writing the same thing about us. It's not so far-fetched.

In the economic decline of any civilization, political elites routinely call on a very limited playbook: more debt, more regulation, more restriction on freedoms, more debasement of the currency, more taxation, and more insidious enforcement.

Further, the propaganda machine goes into high gear, ensuring the peasant class is too deluded by patriotic fervor to notice they're being plundered by the state.


The whole short thing is here:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-all-transactions-be-conducted-presence-tax-collector

 
At 4/17/2012 10:07 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Taxes on people who earned up to 434000 in 1913 were 1%.

=============================

Abir: you are wrong, look at the chart: 2% tax kcked in at $50k, etc.

The fact remains the highest taxed persons got taxed at a rate that was 7 times higher than the lowest tax rate, and then only on amounts above $500k. Today the highest taxed individuals get taxed at only 3.5 times as much as the lowest taxed individuals.

I made an error though, The highest taxed indivisuals then earned at least 25 times as much as the lowest taxed individuals, not 125 times as much. Today, the hihghest taxed individuals earn at least 35 times as much, and the upper bound is much, much higher.

And, as MJP pointed out, in 1913 most people paid no tax since the average income was only $750. Today, only 41% pay no tax, and for the same reason: they earn too little to get much out of them.

One way to look at this is that since 1913 we have done exactly as conservatives suggest: we have broadened the base and lowered the progeressivity, if not the actual rates paid.

 
At 4/17/2012 10:20 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Hydra: http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.htmlU.S

Adjusted for inflation, it was 1% till 435000 in today's dollars. Just because a tax bracket exists does not mean people were in that bracket.
Lastly, you have to weigh the number of people in each bracket to determine effective tax.
In any case, if you have 435000 dollars now, you will be paying a whole lot more than 1%. Check your facts.

 
At 4/17/2012 10:28 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

For clarification: http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/piketty-saezOUP04US.pdf

This paper contains the income distribution in 1913, in 2000 dollars. The top 1% had a 229000 dollar cutoff. So the 1% tax applied to most of that club.

 
At 4/17/2012 10:57 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

We want small government, individual liberty and being responsible for ourselves with the option (choice, mind blowing, I know) for charity.

==================================

Extremist.

I want small government too, up to the point where making it smaller costs more than it saves. I do not want to pay for a law enforcement officer standing in front of every house to prevent every burglary, nor a costoms officer every five feet on the border to prevent every illegal crossing.

I want liberty, too. But I understand that every liberty I want, I should be willing to defend on behalf of others. I am too busy to do that, so I expect overnment to do that for me, according to the Preamble, domestic tranquility and all that.

I also understand that every liberty I demand will in some way infringe on someone elses. Some people have taken this way too far, and claim infringements that are petty and none of their business. It is not in my interest to support a government that allows people to make impossible demands or demands that come without the recognition of equal responsibility for the costs of those demands.

I expect to pay for (government) protections of persons and property, and I equally expect them to pay for protection of my person and property: no more no less.

Personal responsibility is a nice idea, but sometimes bad shit happens to good people: that is one reason we invented insurance, in additon to government.

In addition to those that are struck by catastrophic events that no one person can adequately self insure against, there are those whose abilities ae so low they cannot be responsible for themselves. The worst of them, we support by putting them in prison.
In your extremist view, the better of them should rely on charity, which history has shown to be insufficient.

You hold that up as a virtue: the Freedom of Self Reliance. I regard that as a failure of liberty: it is free ridership; treating others in a way you would not wish to be treated, with the expectation that because of your (present) successfuland virtuous condition, no such fate will befall you.

It seems to me a total lack of both imagination and observation. In the natural world there are oganisms, bees, and ants, and flocks and herds and schools that have learned they do better throug cooperation than as individuals. Each penguin spends his share of time exposed to the elements and his share of time protected by the others.

Humans don't seem to have quite got there yet, except to the extent we hunt in packs, like wolves. THEN we assert our individualism, fighting over the spoils.

Sure, individuals in a herd will fight amongst themselves when faced with a lack of resources, but bovines lack our intelligence and foresight. That means that no rational human expects that faced with a lack of resouces there will be unlimited total body transplants, or unlimited border protection, or unlimited neighborhood protection.

 
At 4/17/2012 11:34 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Which gets us back to charity. A lack of resources, it seems to me, is different from a lack of resources in conjunction with hoarding (voluntary charity).

If I have 35 times as much as the minimum amount I expect someone else to have before before they start (compulsory charity) paying taxes, is it charitable to sit by while othes with even less than him to suffer? Should they be protected less than persons in prison?

Or is it reasonable to expect that the shared equality of libery DEMANDS that I spend a little more of my resources on the edge of the penquin flock, protecting the others?

I argue that this DEMAND comes from ourselves and it is a misapprpriation to claim that the DEMAND comes from some disembodied government monolith.

What have we instead? We have the claim that the strongest and most productive penquins need the most protection: to be always at the center of the flock. After all, ants and bees have drones that risk life and limb to feed and protect the queen, who is the most productive.

In one way. In other ways she produces nothing. She accepts the charity that is provided by the working drones. They are smart enough not to starve her, and she is smart enough not to demand so much of their ration that they can no longer work.

Historically, we see that humans are not that smart.

 
At 4/17/2012 11:46 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

What is mind blowing to me is that you cannot see optional charity is not he same as optimum charity.

It is equally mind blowing to me that bleeding heart liberals do not understand that optimum charity is not the same as ultimate charity.

Doing nothing is not the least cost option, and neither is throwing everything down a black hole.

The difference is measurable, when we decide to stop arguing and agree to build a yardstick.

Lets start with a yardstick. Someday, we may wind up with a huge international bureaucracy of international standards to define a yard as so many times the wavelength of a cesium atom having an orgasm. With enough effort we will be more precise, but it will still be more or less a yard, as we initially agreed.

Right now, we are still arguing about whether we should measure form the center to the left or from the center to the right.

 
At 4/18/2012 12:08 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Hydra: All your arguments are strawmen and/or non sequitor. The moment you expect charity, it becomes a tax. A tax is not charity and is forcing the majority's will on the smallest minority in the whole world, the individual. A choice in charity means to be able to choose whether or not to perform charity.

2nd, no one is arguing that individual liberty means paying for your own police force. That is stupid. There are public goods and private goods. I hope you know the difference. If not, Mankiw is a good source.

If I choose not to contribute to health care nor partake from someone else, then NO, the demand does not come from me. Democracy is not an excuse for tyranny. It can be, with people like you in charge. That is why the US is a republic.

Again, your last argument makes no sense. Specifying a mandatory level of charity is no longer considered charity. It's Obama's fairness.

 
At 4/18/2012 12:41 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Adjusted for inflation, it was 1% till 435000 in today's dollars. Just because a tax bracket exists does not mean people were in that bracket.

===============================

You are changing the argument, and the yardstick by which to measure.

Forget about the dollars and inflation. The poor and the rich were both poorer then. The guy in the big house sat by a fire to keep warm, same as the guy in the tenant house. The big house had six fireplaces and the tenant house had one.

But the poorest of the rich guys was subject to 7 times the tax rate (on some of his dollars) as the poorest guy who was expected to pay any tax.

Today, the poorest of the rich guys pays only 3.5 times what the poorest guy who is expected to pay tax pays. On his top dollars. On his "poor" dollars he pays the same rate as the poor guy. In total he pays actually even less than 3.5 times the rate of the poor guy, and he earns (a minimum of) 75% more than the rich guy in 1913, compared to the poor taxpayer.

Infalation, the fact that the poor are better off now than then (and so are the rich), that there is more stuff to buy, and it is better quality ---- all of that is already taken into account.

The rich earn more now than then, compared to the poorest taxpayers, and they pay relatively less in tax rate. The tax rate for BOTH has inflated, but unequally. Why? Because an aircraft carrier group costs more than a couple of dreadnaughts. It is inflation.

And As MJP pointed out, coupled with the fact that the poor are better off now than then, a lot more of them are paying at least some tax.

Give it up. In 1913, what, 80% of the population still lived substantially a subsistence living on the farm. They had nothing to pay taxes with.

The tenant farmer here got a three room cottage, $450 a year, and a pig. And that was a lot later than 1913.

Yes, the tax rates were lower, the incomes were lower. As MJP points out, the meaning of inflation is dubious: the dollar bought less then because there was less to buy and it was of lesser quality. On the other hand a dollar was harder to come by.

But for those things that are (somewhat) comparable it takse fewer hours of labor, and less intensive labor now than then. If you had to pay what my farm ledgers show a chicken sold for in 1930, and then clean it yourself, you would be apalled.


Yes, the taxes were lower the incomes were lower, fewer people paid any income taxes, but the ratio between the top of the lowest income bracket and the bottom of the highest bracket were lower then than now, and the ratio of the highest tax paid to the lowest tax paid were higher. And more people paid no tax at all, proportionate to the population.

YES everyone is better off, almost everyone pays more taxes, the government buys a lot more expensive stuff.

But don't even bother trying to sell the idea we should go back to the good old days of small government and low taxes low wages, company stores, and poor folks homes: they were not all that good.

We changed those systems to the ones we have now for a reason. Now we discover unintended consequences, things that still don't work, don't work well enough, or are not yet perfect.

We are not going back to the days when you hand cranked your car to prove your self reliance and disdain for anyone who needed a "self-starter".

 
At 4/18/2012 12:44 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/18/2012 12:58 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Adjusted for inflation, it was 1% till 435000 in today's dollars...

That has got to be the stupidest argument I ever heard in my life.

You ae saying that $50,000 dollars then is equivalent to $435,000 today, and $20,000 then was equivalent to 174,000 today.

The complaint is already that 41% of the population pays no tax, but by your analogy that tax code applied today would mean that no one earning less that $174,000 would be subject to any tax.

And the top rate of 7% would not kick in until $4,350,000.


Hey, it works for me, lets only tax the top 4%. That would leave me out.

 
At 4/18/2012 1:09 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"In addition to those that are struck by catastrophic events that no one person can adequately self insure against, there are those whose abilities ae so low they cannot be responsible for themselves. The worst of them, we support by putting them in prison.
In your extremist view, the better of them should rely on charity, which history has shown to be insufficient
"...

Wow! What a collection of incomprehensible verbiage...

What's even more bizzare its like someone hit a large pocket of the stuff and its just gushing out...

Time to put the meth pipe down hydra...

 
At 4/18/2012 1:34 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

What do you suppose the ratio of income was between the peasants and the elite?

What do you suppose the ratio was between payments made and benefits received?

I will say again, that the ratio of payments made to benefits received for me, is a lot higher for my government than my insurance companies.

I don't doubt the history that methinks describes, but I seriously doubt it is applicable today.

 
At 4/18/2012 1:39 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Juandos: I'm sorry your reading comprehension is so obstructed by your dogma.

If the concept of uneconomic self insurance escapes you, surely you are familiar with the difficulties associated with limited ability

 
At 4/18/2012 1:42 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Juandos: aside from the insult, have you anything to say?

 
At 4/18/2012 2:01 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Hydra: It was not my argument. That is the way it was. I just wanted to prove that your argument that taxes are lower now is wrong. And I did that. And Juandos is write.. your arguments are verbal garbage that makes no sense.

 
At 4/18/2012 2:04 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

*right

 
At 4/18/2012 11:24 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"If the concept of uneconomic self insurance escapes you, surely you are familiar with the difficulties associated with limited ability"...

hydra again you make another factless but blanket comment based on experiences you claim you had...

In fact you posted a gusher of nuttiness yesterday...

 
At 4/18/2012 1:32 PM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

Hydra "Personal responsibility is a nice idea, but sometimes bad shit happens to good people: that is one reason we invented insurance, in additon to government."

Yeah, and if you want that insurance you will damn well make sure you have it. The less aggressive (poor) in this country would rather pay a $70 cell phone bill than pay for insurance. They deserve no pity when shit happens to them.

as for your Hippie nonsense about flocks of birds, save it for the 4 year old in preschool.

The harsh reality of animals in the wild flocking together.... THE WEAK ARE LEFT BEHIND TO DIE. Ever see a flock of geese hang out for the winter because their buddy lost his wing? Grab your nuts and take care of yourself. Life is not fluffy, its harsh. The human beings natural state is poverty. The stronger and more wise invented clothes, the wheel, and weapons to make life easier to conquer. Its our own responsibility to cloth ourselves.

And don't ever make a penguin sound like they take care of themselves better than my family takes car of ourselves. Your weak sayings sound nice, but the hot air of my fart has more substance.

 
At 4/18/2012 1:46 PM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

you may call me a jerkoff and think im some crazy goon, but i feel the majority of people forget what animals we really are. When one talks about reality, they need to think of cavemen. Then you may proceed from there.

We did not create this company to be governed by a king. It was to escape from a Ruler and his taxes. We have agreed we need to have an army to defend from foreign kings, and a cheap way to insure this was to allow for our people to arm themselves. Lincoln had to impose a tax to pay for a war, but it was intended to be repealed once the war was over. Look into why it wasn't.

 
At 4/18/2012 1:48 PM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

haha *country*.

 
At 4/18/2012 9:27 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Charity is a necessity. If you don't expect charity to happen, you are a heartless fool. If you expect It will never happen to you, You are a foolish optimist.

About one third of all workers will be disabled at some point in their career.

 
At 4/18/2012 9:36 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Yeah, and if you want that insurance you will damn well make sure you have it.

============================<>

And how, exactly, do you make sure you have it, when your insurance company is free to cancel your insurance, when when they can refuse to sell you insurance, and refuse to pay benefits for insurance you have?

You don't think these are posibble? You are an idiot. All of these things can and do happen to people who thought they were personally responsible, and wound up bankrupt instead.

 
At 4/18/2012 9:45 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

.... another factless but blanket comment based on experiences you claim you had...

=============

Juandos; you have a habit of calling me a liar concerning factual events. The only way I can describe such behavior is willful ignorance.

 
At 4/18/2012 10:01 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

THE WEAK ARE LEFT BEHIND TO DIE. Ever see a flock of geese hang out for the winter because their buddy lost his wing?

==========================

Every living creature dies. What is your point? Do the geese have a death committee? Do they have any choice in the matter?

Wake up, moron. No one is suggesting that we have unlimited total body transplants.

I might have died 40 years ago, but I am kept alive with a simple synthetic drug, that today is inexpensive. Its invention was paid for with government grants. More than four million people are alive to pay their taxes as a result.

Should we have treated them as though we were geese or cavemen, and left them behind to die? Or did that government grant eventually have a decent ROI?

And speaking of it being a wild world out there, when was the last time YOU fought off an attack by a wild animal? Who do you think you are preaching to?

Juandos will no doubt claim I am a liar on this one, too.

 
At 4/18/2012 10:11 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Yep weak penguins get left to die. But of the strong ones, all of the ones that survive depend on the Simpson technique of huddling together with each bird paying his "tax" by spending a share of his time on the outside, exposed to the weather, and protecting the others, then taking his turn at shelter in the middle of the pack. No penguin could survive it alone, healthy or not.

Is that charity, or cooperation? What do you suppose happens to a penguin that objects to doing his share? Coercion, maybe? Force?

 
At 4/18/2012 10:16 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The human beings natural state is poverty.

==================

Even if that were true, are you suggesting that it is the best possible?

 
At 4/18/2012 10:23 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

better than my family takes car of ourselves. Your weak sayings sound nice, but..............

==================

There is nothing weak in me telling you that despite your best efforts, your family may well encounter a condition they cannot manage by themselves.

You probably have not the imagination to see how it could happen, but I suggest you find the courage to try and drum up some.

 
At 4/18/2012 10:43 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

That may be Hydra. But my family has no RIGHT to expect the general public to help us. It would be nice if our neighbors did, amd they do. Without government intervention. Your arguments are stupid.

 
At 4/18/2012 10:44 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

No poverty is not good. But stealing from those who worked to become rich is even worse. Yes, that is what income redistribution is-- institutionalized theft.

 
At 4/18/2012 10:45 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Penguins protect each other voluntarily. Not thru mandate. So not a tax.

 
At 4/18/2012 10:45 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

. I just wanted to prove that your argument that taxes are lower now is wrong. And I did that.

++++++++++++++/++

No you did not. You tried to disprove an argument I never made. Of course taxes are higher. The rates are higher and the dollars paid are higher. You cannot win that argument because I never made it.

The fact remains that in 1913 the tax paid by the lowest income taxpayers who were required to pay tax was one seventh the rate of the highest tax rate paid by those with more income. The ratio was 1/7 and now it is 1/3.5. You have not disproved that.

Today 41% pay no tax, but in 1913 far more people earned too little to be subject to taxation. You have not disproved that.

And the ratio between the income earned by the lowest group subject to taxation and the LOWEST amount of income subscribe to the highest tax rate is almost 50% higher today than in 1913. You have not disproved that, either.

On balance, despite higher taxes on all who pay, today's system is more inclusive and less progressive than in 1913.

If you think you have some rational way to describe some other reality, I'm still waiting to hear it.

I don't think you get there by selecting part of the system and inflating it by cpi.

 
At 4/18/2012 10:59 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Penguins protect each other voluntarily. Not thru mandate. So not a tax.

+++++++++++++++++

How do you know that?
Maybe they have a way to identify a d ostracized free riders.

Regardless of what drives the behavior, they survive as a group and die as individuals. The whole group depends on sharing and cooperation. Maybe the coercion is, if you don't cooperate, we force you out and you die.

No matter how it happens they are better off as a group. And no one penguin is hundreds of times better off than the next.

 
At 4/18/2012 11:01 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Hydra: This is tiring. You said relatively the rich pay less taxes now. That is absolutely BS.
And maybe the sky is black when you are not looking. Maybe Obama is an alien. We can speculate about a lot of things. Speculation is not a valid argument.

 
At 4/19/2012 8:28 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Relatively. Listen up.

Those at the bottom of the highest bracket paid a marginal rate 7 times higher than those who began paing taxes at the bottom of the scale. Now the highest marginal rat is only 3.5 times higher than what the lowest payers give.

The skyis blue. I am sorry you cannot see it.

And why argue with me? It was Mark Perry who pointed out that almost no one paid even the lowest rate in 1913, because they earned only $750. That ratio has increased from "almost no one" to the point whee all but 41% pay no taxes.

In 1913 the highest rate paying taxpayers earned at least 20 times as much as the lowes paying taxpayers and now they earn at least 34 times as much. And that is AFTER inflation is taken into account.

Go ahead and deny those facts all you like: they will not change. since you cannot change those facts, you resort to changing the color of the sky and calling Obama an alien.

I don;t see where the form printed above says anything about the sky or Obama, and I sure did not bring it up, so who is it that is doing the speculating?

Here is what speculating sounds like: "Gee, I wonder what the 1913 personal exemption would have been if only we had escalated it according to the CPI?"

Looks to me like that kind of speculation occurs under your name not mine.

All I did was compare the actual figures from the actual forms. Facts in other words.

It would be better to compare the amounts that were actually paid, for all taxes, after all the various tax exemptions and credits are counted, and see how they compare to the income that remains after taxes are paid, but I doubt you would like that answer either.

 
At 4/19/2012 8:45 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

But my family has no RIGHT to expect the general public to help us.

==================================

To the extent that public help is available, you have no less right to it than anyone else. I hope you never need it, and I hope it is there for you if you do. Same for me.

The government is authorized to improve the General Welfare. The only argument here is whether the government expenditures made in this regard actually improve the General Welfare.

I only suggest that the law of diminishing returns tells us that there is a best answer to this question. It probably does not imrove the General Welfare to give every indigent a Bentley and a Taj Mahal, nor does it improve the General Welfare to abandon them mall on the street as if we were geese or wildebeests.

Given that the government is authorized to improve the General Welfare, and given that you have paid to have government do this, I would argue that you have the same right as anyone else not to be excluded from (some level of) help when you cannot help yourself.

 
At 4/19/2012 8:51 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/19/2012 8:53 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

As long as we are going to speculate on things not related to taxes.....

Romney argued recently that our basic rights do not come from government, but from the creator.

That is fine, but having been given those rights they still must be defended, and that, the creator has not done.

The creator gave us brains enough to understand those rights, and to create a government to secure them equally for all. It is not the creators fault that we have not used our brains to do so.

 
At 4/19/2012 9:27 AM, Blogger juandos said...

hydra says: " I would argue that you have the same right as anyone else not to be excluded from (some level of) help when you cannot help yourself"...

Come on, is that you Peggy Joseph?

 
At 4/19/2012 1:53 PM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

And how, exactly, do you make sure you have it, when your insurance company is free to cancel your "insurance, when when they can refuse to sell you insurance, and refuse to pay benefits for insurance you have?

You don't think these are posibble? You are an idiot. All of these things can and do happen to people who thought they were personally responsible, and wound up bankrupt instead."

Just wait until people start flipping out when the government denies coverage. Just you wait. Government is not the answer. Mark my words, this will be just like social security, another source of revenue for the government. However it will not be able to support either healthcare or its other expenditures. And we will see this tax raised within 10 years of its existence. (assuming it doesn't get smacked down by the supreme court)
And you will NOT be able to cancel your Obamacare policy.


And yes, I have gone through some shit in my life, I didn't walk last summer. Broke both legs in a motorcycle accident. And no I don't have a healthcare policy. Charity helped me, and damn right I'll be giving back to that charity as soon as I'm able. I am so thankful. But i refused to apply for disability, I sacked up and stuck myself in front of my desk. It hurt like all hell but it was worth it.

Can government have success, of course. But when you give them power, you will never have that back. They abuse it and will imprison you up if you refuse to abide. It is selling your soul to the devil. All this because of a percentage of people have had horror stories that emotionally stirred a humanitarian. The majority of the population will have to sacrifice what they worked hard for. That's BULLSHIT

I would much rather struggle to support myself than to be handed a life in poverty by my government. Its sad more do not see it that way, but it is their own ignorance.

 
At 4/19/2012 2:00 PM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

Hydra: "And how, exactly, do you make sure you have it, when your insurance company is free to cancel your insurance, when when they can refuse to sell you insurance, and refuse to pay benefits for insurance you have?

You don't think these are posibble? You are an idiot. All of these things can and do happen to people who thought they were personally responsible, and wound up bankrupt instead."

^^^Making sure no one confuses this in my post as something i said.

Thanks to government going bankrupt doesn't mean shit. So you might be denied a mortgage or credit card. Rent.


Oh and yes i do like the wild, i backpack often. Winter camping is nice. And eating animals I kill is very satisfying.

 
At 4/19/2012 6:07 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Hydra: Are you a retard? How does it matter how much more the highest payer made vis a vis the lower ones? The one on the top level of income paid 7%. That's it. No, one does not have the RIGHT to any goods or service not created or paid for by him. No matter how much you bark your socialist nonsense.

 
At 4/19/2012 6:09 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

The creator has defended your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness simply by giving the same rights to others. There are NO other rights.

 
At 4/22/2012 8:27 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

We agree everyone has equal rights. Some people choose to take more than their share. They must be defended against by earthly forces.

 
At 4/22/2012 8:37 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

You are allowing your predefined a d rigid position to affect your reasoning.

I made no comment a out whether it is right for one person to pay 1% or 0% while another pays 7%. All I said was that since 1913 the tax base has broadened and the progressivity has declined.

 
At 4/22/2012 8:46 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

? How does it matter how much more the highest payer made vis a vis the lower ones?

+++++++++++++++++++++++

If it doesnt matter, then what is your problem?

 
At 4/22/2012 8:48 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Juandos: let me know when you have something to say.

 
At 4/22/2012 9:10 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Its gsatt:

Same comment as to juandos. You have something cogent to add?

Can you imagine if mortgages were regulated like insurance? If you had a leaky gutter, they cancel your mortgage? They recall money from the previous owners, without explanation?

If you are denied insurance, or it is canc elled, where is the rental market.

No one expects a bank to be required to lend money to an indigent for a mansion any more than they expect an insurors to pay for a full body transplant for a nonagenarian.

Most people do experience t fair and equal treatment for all customers, and transparent standards.

 
At 4/22/2012 9:13 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Should read expect fair an equal treatment, not experience equal treatment.

 
At 4/22/2012 9:36 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Broke both legs on a motorcycle with no insurance? Sounds lime bad personal responsibility choices to me.

So you think a valid insurance scheme is to depend on others to put what you need up front, and if you recover sufficiently you will make payments?

And you think I am a socialist?

Good thing you work at a desk. Try being totally bed ridden for three years, for no apparent reason, no stupid motorcycle involved. Can't get a drink by yourself.

Seems to me you have a decided lack of imagination. You still think you can always be responsible for yourself: even if it involved es charity retroactively.

What a joke.

 
At 4/22/2012 9:39 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I did not ask if you like the wild, iasked when was the last time you were attack led by a wild animal.

 
At 4/22/2012 9:46 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

What is the difference between flipping out when government denies coverage or when aetna denies coverage?

At some level, coverage will be denied, same as your goose example.

The question is whether pro.used coverage is denied.

How many workers have had their pension s cancelled or denied? How many social security pensions have not been paid?

 

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