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Thread: Billionaires Blast off

  1. Top | #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derec View Post
    Nobody particularly wants to pay taxes. But they do pay taxes.


    If you spend more than you take in, you either have to borrow or inflate the money supply, or both. Both are dangerous to rely too much on, so-called "Modern Monetary Theory" notwithstanding.

    Individuals who are so rich they can buy govt policies.
    Not really. Bezos could not even build HQ2 in Queens because a certain idiot congresswoman objected.

    They are a big part of why something like the Apollo programme is no longer politically possible.
    Something like the Apollo program is not politically possible because of what politicians (and their constituents) want, not because Bezos et al are not paying a wealth tax.
    If Warren's tax plan were to pass, the Biden administration would not spend the extra ca. $300G that it may bring in on increasing the NASA budget but on the Biden administration priorities that help those whom they see as their constituency - free child/elder care, increased child tax credits, perhaps cancelling $50k in student debts for poetry or art history graduates of some small private liberal arts college.

    If Bezos and Musk were not in this space, nobody would be.

    Or why we think we "can't afford" to tackle the existential threat of climate change.
    As I said before, Musk creating Tesla did far more to combat climate change than all the resolutions AOC and the rest of the Squad proposed in Congress.
    Her "Green New Deal" is not only ridiculously expensive (not even a small fraction of the $60T price tag could be funded even by stealing all the wealth of US billionaires ~($4.5T)!) but most of it (e.g. federal job guarantees) have nothing to do with climate. It is similar to Dems' $6T (later reduced to $3.5T) boondoggle that has the "infrastructure" moniker, but has nothing to do with infrastructure. The actual infrastructure spending i (almost) entirely contained in the much smaller bipartisan bill that may or may not go anywhere.
    https://www.propublica.org/article/t...oid-income-tax

    In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

  2. Top | #342
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derec View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    But the government can build a space shuttle.
    It can easily build a phone.
    Then why didn't the governments in actually existing socialist countries do that?
    Without all the capitalist parasites to crony up the whole thing, USSR in the 80s should have had the world-best mobile phone network and phones that put Nokia to shame. Why didn't they?
    I don't know about Untermesche, but the argument is not against creativity, innovation and reward.....just a question of pay scales in terms of those who have great wealth, power and position, therefore tremendous leverage, and those who have none. One end of the spectrum getting the lions share, the other left with bare bones.

    Trickle down economics is a joke.

  3. Top | #343
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  4. Top | #344
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Somebody constructs the wheels, the struts, the engine, wings, seats, propeller so the 'rich guy' can realize their dream. Where they all working for a fair wage, or the bare minimum?
    So you want to live in a world without powered flight, not merely a world without reusable spacecraft.

    You may have missed the point. In fact you have.
    No, you have missed the implications of your position. You take away the wealth, you take away what that wealth produces.

  5. Top | #345
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    I think the emphasis on increasing wages is misplaced. (I would like to see better collective bargaining and a higher minimum wage, but these are not panaceas.)

    Nowadays, the rich men who own lots of robots (or some other special capital) will get a large share of the pie. Ordinary human labor simply represents a smaller share of the production pie than it did in earlier times. Letting the market-place set wages and prices conforms with economic principles.

    Anyway, raising wages doesn't help people who, for whatever reason, cannot find work (and will have even more trouble finding work if wages are forced up.) The proper solution IMO is something like Andrew Yang's Universal Basic Income (though the details of my plan would differ greatly from Yang's).

  6. Top | #346
    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post


    You may have missed the point. In fact you have.
    No, you have missed the implications of your position. You take away the wealth, you take away what that wealth produces.
    Nobody is proposing taking away all their wealth. Why do you keep trotting out that stupid straw man?
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

    Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor but because we can't satisfy the rich.

  7. Top | #347
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post

    Where did you get that information re: Bezos' tax payments?

    Because that's not what the IRS says:

    https://www.seattletimes.com/busines...-income-taxes/

    Bezos, chief executive of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, paid $973 million in taxes on $4.22 billion in income, as his wealth soared by $99 billion, resulting in a 0.98% “true tax rate.”

    Bezos filed a tax return in 2011 reporting he lost money because of bad investments, allowing him to claim and receive a $4,000 tax credit for his children, according to ProPublica.
    According to ProPublica, Bezos managed to not pay any taxes some years:

    https://www.propublica.org/article/t...oid-income-tax

    That $900M that Bezos paid? That was a federal tax rate of 0.98%
    The IRS certainly didn't say that because the IRS doesn't even measure unrealized capital gains.

    And it's quite possible to have $0 tax on a high income if you had high losses in a previous year.

  8. Top | #348
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni View Post
    Where did you get that information re: Bezos' tax payments?
    Where did I get what information? Because your source confirmed what I said about "almost a billion".

    Because that's not what the IRS says:
    The IRS is only saying anything about the federal income taxes paid and the income, but the nonsense with "true tax rate" is ProPublica editorializing.
    We already discussed it at length, and I mentioned the ProPublica piece in the post you are replying to here. Basically they want to create a new tax - afaik unprecedented in the history of modern taxation - where unrealized capital gains are taxed. It is not at all accurate to call that a "true tax rate".

    According to ProPublica, Bezos managed to not pay any taxes some years:
    But on average, over time, he paid quite a bit. Unlike the 47% who pay no (or negative) tax year after year because of all the refundable tax credits like EITC or child tax credit (which Biden increased by a lot).

    That $900M that Bezos paid? That was a federal tax rate of 0.98%
    No, it is not. There is no federal tax on ΔWealth. That ProPublica thinks there should be, is beside the point. It would be as silly as computing Bezos' "true tax rate" based on other new taxes proposed by people, for example the wealth tax propose by Sanders and Warren.

  9. Top | #349
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post


    You may have missed the point. In fact you have.
    No, you have missed the implications of your position. You take away the wealth, you take away what that wealth produces.
    Nobody is proposing taking away all their wealth. Why do you keep trotting out that stupid straw man?
    It's scraping the bottom of the barrel, probably a false dilemma used to give an impression of making a point when no point can be made.

  10. Top | #350
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post


    You may have missed the point. In fact you have.
    No, you have missed the implications of your position. You take away the wealth, you take away what that wealth produces.
    Please consider what is actually being said.

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