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Wild Horses & Welfare Billionaires

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Songbird, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Let's look at the effective tax rates of the people she has deemed welfare recipients and then decide if they are living off the rest of us.

    Using that kind of analysis (and you have to use that term loosely), anyone who takes any kind of legal deduction -- and the U.S. tax code is filled tens of thousands of pages of them -- is on welfare. Take a mortgage interest deduction -- you are a "welfare home owner." It doesn't matter that you effectively handed over 15 percent of your income in Federal income taxes. if you are the typical person earning $150K.

    I have no idea what the effective tax rates of Bruce McCaw or the Hilton family or any of the corporations on her list is. But the way I'd define a welfare recipient is pretty straightforward, given that our tax code is a jumbled mess. If you take more from the government than the government gets from you, you are being subsidized by tax payers.

    I can't say for sure that that is true of any of the people or entities on her list (I can't imagine how they would survive the scrutiny of the IRS, if it was), but I will bet with 99.99 percent certainty it isn't even close to the case, and that those billion-dollar entities pay a lot of money to the government and that they paid a higher percentage of their income than people earning less than them (i.e. -- that our tax system is progressive).

    If the point is that our tax code is a jumbled mess of deductions and exceptions given to special interests that politicians wanted to buy support from, we should all be scratching our heads at how we have ended up with the random mess it has become. It's a corrupt mess.

    But if the point is to try to claim that Stan Kroenke is a welfare recipient, despite being a billionaire, it's ridiculous. It makes anyone -- not just the billionaire everyone wants to demonize -- who worked within the tax code that we have been saddled with, into a "welfare recipient." If you take a mortgage interest deduction or a child care tax credit or a medical expense deduction or deduct the real estate taxes that you paid. ... using the logic in that article, you are a welfare recipient.

    I'd rather make claims like that in a more straightforward way. ... by looking at your effective tax rate. If you earned $X and you only kept 75 percent of what you earned, for example, I don't see how anyone can call you a "welfare recipient." Particularly if you paid a higher percentage of your income than people who earn less than you. In the aggregate, that is true of our tax system.
  3. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I'm sure none of the folks she mentioned has tax havens, either.

    They're all good folks.

    That said, it was interesting to see that many of them bought so much land to secure water rights.

    That all said, it was good reporting to see how wealth wealthes itself in arenas we hear about rarely.
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