Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Rich Can Pay Higher Taxes Right Now. Today.

Click to enlarge.

From Dana Milbank in today's Washington Post:

"Tea partiers, eat your hearts out: A group of liberals got together Tuesday and proved that they, too, can have a tax rebellion. But theirs is a little bit different: They want to pay more taxes.

"I'm in favor of higher taxes on people like me," declared Eric Schoenberg, who is sitting on an investment banking fortune. He complained about "my absurdly low tax rates." "We're calling on other wealthy taxpayers to join us," said paper-mill heir Mike Lapham, "to send the message to Congress and President Obama that it's time to roll back the tax cuts on upper-income taxpayers."

MP: For any of the wealthy who are anxious to pay more taxes, they don't have to wait for the Bush tax cuts to expire, they can pay more right now. Here are some ways:

1. They can make a gift to the U.S. Treasury at any time (why not today?), here is the website with instructions. (Dana Milbank mentions this option, but doesn't provide the website.)

2. They can pay their 2009 taxes at the higher Clinton tax rates of 2000, instead of the current lower rates (see chart above).

3. They don't have to itemize deductions on their 2009 taxes; instead they can take the standard deduction of $5,700 for singles and married individuals filing separate, or $11,400 for married couples, which would typically result in a much higher tax liability for rich people.


At 4/07/2010 11:26 AM, Blogger Colin said...

Note that two of those quoted inherited their money while another was raised in a 10 bedroom Manhattan apartment.

I was also reminded of this article:

At 4/07/2010 11:27 AM, Blogger Highgamma said...

Whenever a rich person says that their tax rate is too low, they really mean that people who earns as much money as they do (and many who earn much less) have a tax rate that is too low. Warren Buffett regularly complains about his low tax rate but has structured his investments and estate planning so that he will pay few taxes even if rates are raised substantially.

These people want OTHER people to pay more in taxes, so they can achieve their social goals.

At 4/07/2010 1:03 PM, Blogger KO said...

Typical empty talk just like Buffett. All Buffett has to do is sell his stock, buy it right back, and create the largest personal tax bill in history. He just needs to specify that he's selling different, old lots each time. Interestingly, Buffett isn't giving his holdings to the government upon his death. Why donate it to non-profits if he thinks the government is so worthy?

Interesting that one of the guys "...donated over $200,000 that I had received in tax cuts."

Of course he could have donated the extra amount he claims he should be paying in taxes, but he didn't.

This line tells the real motivation "His donation will, however, ease the sense of guilt that comes with great wealth.."

These people can't even be responsible enough to do good things with their own money, so they want the government to take that decision out of their hands.

At 4/07/2010 1:18 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

Milton Firedman favored a progressive consumption tax to finance wartime outlays.

We are in what some call an "80-year war" to beat global terrorism.

Obviously, following Friedman's mandates, we should deploy a progessive consumption tax to finance the GWOT. Friedman considered such a tax the least destructive of all taxes.

I am sure the right-wing, once informed of Friedman's beliefs about wars and progressive consumpion taxes, will make this a part of the Republican Party platform in 2012.

At 4/07/2010 1:23 PM, Blogger F. said...

Most of the things liberals are in favor of are NOT precluded by the free market. If you want to start a non-profit insurance company, you can, if you want to pay higher taxes, you can. If you want to lower your carbon footprint, you can. Nothing in a free society prevents people from doing what is right. It takes a lot of chutzpah to demand of others, that what you don't do yourself.

At 4/07/2010 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the deadline for filing 2009 state income taxes nears, once again the Beautiful People of Massachusetts are proving that while they enjoy talking the talk, walking the walk is another thing altogether ... You have the option of paying either at the standard rate of 5.3 percent, or at the old, higher 5.85 percent rate.

As of Wednesday, here are this years numbers, according to the state DOR:

Of 1,840,000 state tax filers, exactly 931 have opted to pay taxes at the higher rate. That works out to one-twentieth of one percent. Think of it this way: In 2000, only 60 percent of the Massachusetts electorate voted to cut the income tax, but a decade later 99.95 percent of the population has decided to take advantage of the tax cut a lot of them claimed they didn’t want or need.

In Massachusetts, these 931 volunteers had to come up with an additional $54,500, enough to pay Billy Bulger’s pension for just over three months. So the average volunteer moonbat who decided to pay the extra .55 percent this year had a 2009 income of about $12,000.

The Boston Herald

At 4/07/2010 3:07 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Historically the top rates on Income tax are low. The last year before the current time when rates were lower was 1931, except for 5 years after the 1986 tax cut which had the impact of cutting a lot of deductions. What has really happend is that the top of the tax rate schedule has been lowered so the very top earners pay a lot less. In 1948 the top rate applied at 200,000, which today is somewhere between 1.9 and 3.6 million. What should be looked at is super tax rates above 1million. Using the super tax rates of the 1913 the supertax starts today between 336k and 2 million and peaked at 6% above between 8.4 million and 8.7 million. So Historically tax rates are low as are rate cut offs.

At 4/07/2010 3:36 PM, Blogger Colin said...

Let's also remember the lack of success Virginia's "tax me more" fund:

At 4/07/2010 3:40 PM, Blogger Colin said...

Historically the top rates on Income tax are low.

If you want to talk about history, let's recall that when the income tax was first introduced in 1913 it began at 1 percent, rising to 7 percent for taxpayers with income in excess of $500,000. Less than 1 percent of the population paid income tax at the time.

At 4/07/2010 4:54 PM, Blogger Paul said...


"I am sure the right-wing, once informed of Friedman's beliefs about wars and progressive consumpion taxes, will make this a part of the Republican Party platform in 2012."

Any guarantees that consumption tax will be used specifically to pay for the war? The answer you're looking for is "hell no."

But I am sure the knucklehead President you voted for will impose a VAT to pay for all the massive, runious spending people like you enabled him to do when you put him in office.

At 4/07/2010 5:00 PM, Blogger rjs said...

those earning over $200,000 paid 95% on the excess during WWII...
since its the rich who the govt protects. let them contribute to the bailouts & its support

At 4/07/2010 6:42 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Or how about we ask the 47% of the American public who pay nothing, or actually profit from the federal government, to pony up for some of the benefits they're getting.

At 4/07/2010 7:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"Milton Firedman favored a progressive consumption tax to finance wartime outlays.

You keep saying that. Reference please.

At 4/07/2010 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... since its the rich who the govt protects. let them contribute to the bailouts & its support

Well, apparently they're not doing a very good job of protecting them from bloodsuckers, like you.

At 4/07/2010 8:28 PM, Blogger PeterK said...

and Virginia has a similar fund

At 4/08/2010 7:55 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Bennie, You keep saying that. Reference please"...

What pseudo benny knows about Milton Friedman and his philosophy is questionable at best...

At 4/08/2010 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Obama bringing back the phaseout (another sneaky way of raising taxes) of itemized deductions and the personal exemption, I wouldn't be so sure that the standard deduction substantially increases taxes. A lot of "rich" people own their house free and clear, so their only substantial deduction is property taxes. The people who really get screwed by this is the upper middle-class, who have both high salary income and a large mortgage, which is about to get a lot more expensive once their personal exemptions have disappeared, they're only deducting 20% of their mortgage interest, and they're paying the new Medicare surtax. It gets even worse if the 28% limit on deductions gets enacted.

At 4/08/2010 8:13 AM, Blogger Marko said...

It's funny that most of these wealthy people give huge money to charity (and claim the tax deduction). If they believe in what the federal government is doing, why don't they give that money to the government instead? None of them do as far as I know.

Is this a tacit acknowledgement that the free market in charities does a better job than the government charities (like medicare)? I think it is.

At 4/08/2010 12:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"What pseudo benny knows about Milton Friedman and his philosophy is questionable at best..."

Thanks for the link to an excellent article about Friedman.

Too bad policy makers don't follow Friedman's suggestions today. It seems the Keynesians have won the day

I called benny out on his assertion about the progressive consumption tax because I know it isn't true.

I liked this from the article on Friedman:

"He would terminate all government efforts to stabilize the economy through fiscal and monetary policies, public works or other means. He would leave presidential candidates, and I suppose all other candidates for public office, with nothing to talk about.”

What a happy day THAT would be.

At 4/09/2010 2:49 PM, Blogger Bob Potter said...

If these Leftist morons think that a group of corrupt, inefficient, and wasteful government bureaucrats and politicians can better direct their money, then let them pay more.

However, it is a fact that even the least frugal and reckless individuals and families can better allocate money than the most wasteful enterprise in the history of mankind --- the Federal government of the USA.


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