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Bless The Super Rich

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October 13, 2008 – Comments (12)

The Wealth Report has a blog showing the voting difference between lower and upper Richistan.

"More than three quarters of those worth $1 million to $10 million plan to vote for Sen. McCain. Only 15% plan to vote for Sen. Obama (the rest are undecided). Of those worth more than $30 million, two-thirds support Sen. Obama, while one third support Sen. McCain.

The reason? Taxes.

Among Lower Richistani’s, 88% cited tax policies as being “important” in making their decision. Only 11% cited the environment, 22% cited health care and 45% cited social issues.

Among the Upper Richistani’s supporting Sen. Obama, tax policies ranked last, with only 16% citing them as important. “Social issues” ranked first, with “policies dealing with wars” ranking second (67%) and Supreme Court nominations and health-care issues ranking next."

Back in 1980 a wise older woman said to me that she didn't care if she had to pay $100k in taxes because if she had to, she would be one of the exceptionally fortunate people in the world and would be so lucky in life to have such a tax bill.

Canada has reduced taxes and I have been opposed to it.  I am probably a larger benefactor of it, but I don't need a break, those at the bottom need the break.

Today is Canada's Thanksgiving and I am thankful for the people that are thankful for people like that wise older woman who was part of my life in my late teens.  

 

12 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On October 13, 2008 at 9:49 PM, TheGarcipian (59.39) wrote:

You said it, D. If you're that rich, having a net worth over $1M, you really shouldn't be worrying about taxes. Putting food on your table or clothes on your back should no longer be a priority for you. Apparently, the super-rich see it this way (for those with over $30M net worth). It's a shame the rich-wannabes do not.

Besides cutting taxes at the federal level only shifts the tax burdens to the state level, not that that's a bad idea. For some services, I prefer it that way. But what gets my goat is that these people who vote the Republican ticket on the one-issue mantra of taxes; they don't see the big picture, not from the ones I've come to know and talk with. They think (defiantly!) that their overall tax rates will go down voting in the candidate who declares that he/she will cut taxes. Not true, as we've seen with Dubya's tax cuts. The $1M and up crowd got huge tax savings, while the rest of us got little if anything (two stimulus checks, whoopee! I feel so stimulated!). And in my case, my taxes actually went up because the state had to pick up where the feds left off, often at higher inefficiencies and with no economies of scale.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Hope it's a good one and that your tryptophan-induced coma is solid but short-lasting. :-)

--Gar

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#2) On October 13, 2008 at 9:59 PM, BCfunddude (95.00) wrote:

I'm in Canada as well, and I fully support further tax reductions. The federal government is running a budgetary surplus, and there are no indications it's about to stop. Canada's debt load has also shrunk considerably since the mid-90s, thereby lowering the interest charges on the debt. (If we were running a deficit, things might be different.) It's about time the United States came up with their own GST (thanks, Brian!).

Canada has one of the very best banking systems in the world, so no $700 billion bailouts from the taxpayers!

Quite honestly, it's not that the wealthy need more money. But if you feel like you've got too much floating around in your bank account, there are plenty of people on the downtown eastside of Vancouver who will be happy to take your generousity.

You can also write a personal cheque to the Receiver General of Canada if you feel that the government would make better use of your money than yourself. I'd like to think otherwise, however.

Happy Thanksgiving. I'm so thankful we have a prudent federal government to get us through these times.

 

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#3) On October 13, 2008 at 10:13 PM, EverydayInvestor (< 20) wrote:

A situation in which the majority of people (the least wealthy) pay little net tax and the most wealthy pay most of the tax is a situation that is inherently unstable and prone to demagoguery. The poor, controlling the republic, will invevitably wish to steal more and more from the rich. Of course, by "the rich", we mean the non-politically connected rich.

Asking me to pay my "fair share" makes me sneer ... pay my share so that we can go fight more unjust wars, pay people to not work, and bail out bankers?

Remember, in the US (where most CAPS players are), we have the ignominy of having done the following (all paid for with tax dollars):

1. Committing widescale genocide upon the Native Americans. Yeah, life sucked when the Europeans met any indigineous people, but we did a better job than most at killing them and stealing their land.

2. Birthing the concept of total war during the first American civil war. Remember, the 20th century was the bloodiest century ever, with more civilians killed in wars than soldiers killed in pre-1900 wars since the dawn of man.

3. Successfully enslaving more people than any other nation or empire in the history of the world, and then being the last major country to abandon chattel slavery.

4. Killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese with the use of two nuclear weapons.

5. Killing hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and Iraqis in misguided wars.

6. Colonizing and terrorising the Phillipines and Hawaii.

Always and everywhere the tendency of government is to grow and to opress. I for one would rather we live free and a few bankers starve than live under oppression.

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#4) On October 13, 2008 at 10:25 PM, gman444 (28.80) wrote:

An interesting question would be did the Upper Richistani's lean the same way when/if they were Lower Richistani's, or has their perspective changed?

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#5) On October 13, 2008 at 10:34 PM, alstry (35.34) wrote:

Everyday, I may have to reconsider my assessment of you since you actually seem to get it.

How do you reconcile the rich bankers and the non politically connected rich and how should we apportion tax between the two????

Could you imagine a small non banking business asking the government to buy out its aging or dead receivables......no company in America would go bankrupt.

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#6) On October 13, 2008 at 10:39 PM, dwot (73.46) wrote:

BCfunddude, you are way behind the curve. The surplus was reduced from $13 to $3 billion.  $13 billion is paying back only 3% of the debt, hardly aggressive and cutting that to less then 1% was irresponsible.  The first figures out after the cuts showed a half billion dollars short, for a month, which extrapolated is potentially $6 billion short for the year.

What do you think happened to the $25 billion to buy mortgages this week?  Have you looked at how Canada Mortgage and Housing destroyed good prudent standards that were put in place after the 80-81 bubble?  Vancouver's affordability index is/was 3 times what is considered affordable.  CMHC has been insuring 97% of the home value for a mere 2.9% premium.  Taxpayers aren't getting their $25 billion back. 

Take a closer look at responsible government fiscal responsiblity in Greater Vancouver.  Vancouver turns over something like a half billion of debt, never paying it back and the percents of the budget going towards debt servicing has been creeping up for years.  Burnaby, on the other hand, last time I looked had a $200 million surplus fund.

You pay about the same property taxes but Burnaby has way more services.  Washrooms in parks are clean and well maintained.  The buildings are maintained, not crumbling and needing referendums to borrow more to patch them up like Vancouver.

It should be law that a minimum 3% debt repayment be part of the budget, that would be prudent.

You live in the past BCfunddude, not in current affairs.

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#7) On October 13, 2008 at 10:59 PM, dwot (73.46) wrote:

alstry, I would do an income tax, not a wealth tax.  I think a company comes a builds a business, creates lots of jobs and then you increase their taxes 10-fold is dumb, but what many governments like to do once a business develops a property. 

And I like the idea that they are introducing a plan where you can invest $5k per year tax-free.  It is good to have policy that encourages people to have something put aside so they can ride through harder times.  They rest should be subject to the same rates as income.

What I know is that Canada got itself into huge debt problems under Trudeau.  When Mulroney was elected to office program spending exceeded reciept by $39 billion dollars and that is without an allowance for debt servicing costs.  So they could reduce spending by say $5-6 billion in a year, well, there would be an additional $2-3 billion in interest charges from the increase in debt, so you'd only close the gap by $2-3 billion and the debt was sky rocketing.  But you can't just cut $39 billion in a year.  They tried to increase revenues with the GST at 9%, I believe, but they couldn't get it through.  By the time Mulroney left office program spending matched reciepts, however the debt servicing costs weren't being covered yet. 

What most people see is that Canada's debt went up the most under Mulroney then any other Prime Minister, but they completely fail to see that he did more to get spending under control then any other Prime Minister in our history and no other Prime Minister inherited a bigger mess.  The path we were on before Mulroney would have seen irrecoverable deficit spending and currency devaluation like Mexico.

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#8) On October 14, 2008 at 2:01 AM, adventurerneil (20.99) wrote:

Great article, dwot.

This helps explain why Buffet and Soros are lefties, but in my upper-middle-class Colorado neighborhood, the majority of people have McCain stickers and signs.

I'm not against paying taxes, but like Everyday, I AM against my tax dollars being used for needless war. Perhaps some widespread civil disobedience is in order...   or perhaps just a wise leader.

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#9) On October 14, 2008 at 10:12 AM, dwot (73.46) wrote:

Yeah adventurer, I don't like my tax dollars misspent either, but I would prefer to pay my tax bill as it comes due rather then transfer it to younger generations and ensure that the tax bill paid is forever higher.  The degree of unpaid taxes that were already transferred to my generation is an enormous theft of lifestyle and single largest cause of the grossly increasing economic inequity.  I am doing well relative to my peers.  There are too many university educated that half way through their working life still have nothing.

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#10) On October 14, 2008 at 1:33 PM, DemonDoug (76.78) wrote:

Quite a bit of revisionist history here, Reaper:

Remember, in the US (where most CAPS players are), we have the ignominy of having done the following (all paid for with tax dollars):

1. Committing widescale genocide upon the Native Americans. Yeah, life sucked when the Europeans met any indigineous people, but we did a better job than most at killing them and stealing their land.

First off, the US wasn't the only government to do this, and the genocide started way before there even was a US.  Secondly, Native Americans, despite our modern-day romanticizing of them, were much more similar to tribes in the middle east constantly at war with each other.  Finally, we won, and have brought stabilization and huge advances in all manners of everything, from health, infant mortality, increased standards of living, etc., to the whole country, and yes, it sucks for them, but that's life.  Many other wars and conquests have been fought.  We won.  Get over it.  Besides, 90% of this "genocide" was done by microbes (mostly smallpox) as opposed to bullets and swords.

2. Birthing the concept of total war during the first American civil war. Remember, the 20th century was the bloodiest century ever, with more civilians killed in wars than soldiers killed in pre-1900 wars since the dawn of man

Extremely faulty logic.  There were more PEOPLE in the 20th century than in the history of mankind.  All wars, everywhere, were bloody and many civilians have been casualties dating back to pre-egyptian empires where tribes and nations would attack and kill.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jericho <--total war dates back to at least the 1500's BC.  The only difference NOW is that there are more people, and weapons are far more destructive on a volume scale.  The destructiveness of man has not changed in millenia.

3. Successfully enslaving more people than any other nation or empire in the history of the world, and then being the last major country to abandon chattel slavery.

Again, if you talk about the history of the world, you are using faulty logic, because there were plainly more people in the 1700's and 1800s than there were ever before.  Your point is true regarding the abandonment of slavery; I am of the opinion we are still in the top five in terms of most racist countries in the world.  I will also say, however, we now have strict laws against slavery and servitude, and they generally are enforced, whereas in other countries there are still people being held in indentured servitude in much greater percentages.  Unfortunately, to bring a knock on the US again, we usually support those regimes (philippines, indonesia, saudi arabia, etc).

4. Killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese with the use of two nuclear weapons.

Bringing this argument in a vacuum as you are doing here is poor, at best, and a complete revision of history at worst.  I have actually thought long and hard about this.  Like, wow... we actually dropped a bomb on a city.  A real city!  But when you realize what the cost of not doing this would have been, unfortunately you come out ahead having actually dropped the bombs.  (Can you imagine US soldiers raising a flag on the Japanese Emperor's palace after invading japan and having massive ground battles on the way there?  Imagine how destructive that would have been?)  Look, dropping the bomb on hiroshima and nagaski is not something that we can say was a great thing, but in the end, we can generally accept that it saved more lives than it killed.  Including civilians. :(

5. Killing hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and Iraqis in misguided wars.

Now this one I can't argue with.  Then again, in those wars, we had leadership that totally screwed up getting us into them in the first place, and then we had a congress that totally voided it's responsibility to it's constituents; I wasn't around in the 1960's, but in the 2006, we voted the demo's in to stop the war now, and they didn't do it.

6. Colonizing and terrorising the Phillipines and Hawaii.

Spain colonized the phillipenes first in the 16th century, and then was a territory of the US in the 20th century after the US helped them win freedom from Spain; and was given independence after WWII.  It is not a stretch to say we colonized it - it is an outright fabrication.

Regarding Hawaii, that is an island that has no native population.  People have been "colonizing" hawaii for 1700 years.  Wiki states that human sacrifice was taking place until the 1820s, and there were tribal wars taking place at regular intervals.  While there was some political wrangling that took place starting in the late 1800s that eventually led to Hawaii becoming a US state, it is a stretch at best to call it "colonization."  

Finally, if you ever bring up revisionist history again, or historical examples without their concept, I will continue to hunt them down and disprove them, you might be top fool, but re-writing history is not acceptable on any terms in my book.

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#11) On October 14, 2008 at 3:50 PM, alstry (35.34) wrote:

Demon,

Why 2 bombs in Japan and not one?  Why not a less populated  area  closer to the emporer? Do these seem like revisionist concepts....???

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#12) On October 20, 2008 at 8:11 PM, outoffocus (22.81) wrote:

You know what Dwot, this post just made me add you to my favorites.

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