Taxpayer involvement of Nashville park unclear

Posted Monday, January 23, 2012 7:47 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Gov. Bill Haslam and Mayor Karl Dean were happy to join Dolly Parton on stage, sing her praises, give her birthday flowers and offer their governments’ support as she announced plans to build a water and snow park with Gaylord Entertainment Co. But the mayor and governor weren’t as expansive when reporters started asking exactly what that support would look like.

Read more from The Tennesseean.

Related parks

Monday, January 30, 2012 11:03 AM

My only problem with milking that 50% that doesn't pay taxes is, as someone mentioned earlier, it's likely to be more of a drain on the overall economy than a boost to the revenues.

I've seen this brought up a lot. And I don't necessarily disagree. If you (generic you) are being honest that the "economy boost" is the primary concern, this makes some sense. Though I do believe that Bucks brought up how insignificant this (money put into the economy from the bottom 50%) actually is as compared to the failed stimulus packages before.

But if you expect the top 50% to pay for all Federal programs, why do the bottom 50% have an equal vote? I would like to see ANYBODY reasonably and honestly make a theory of why and how that is fair...? And why and how such a system could be sustained?

Look if the bottom 50% were contributing a hypothetical 10% income tax...I could understand the theory that we need to lesson their burden as THEY are the spenders. We could cut it to 5-8% and give them a break. But how in the heck can we give them a break from 0?

They contribute NOTHING and get an equal say in how somebody Else's money is spent.

This is not a right or left issue per say. This is common sense. You can not sustain a financial system when 50% of the voters have no skin in the game.

Everybody needs to contribute something. There has to be incentive for EVERY voter to be financially conscious, or the system WILL fail and we will go broke. Loopholes for the 1%...some sort of Buffet rule...fine...put it on the table...but ONLY if we address the problem of the 50% who contribute NOTHING. Maybe a basic 5% tax rate for the bottom 50%. Something!

It is not fair and it is not sustainable to allow the bottom 50% an equal say in how we spend Warren Buffet's money. That is the reason we HAVE to address the bottom 50% first, or simultaneously.

Moment to note that neither political party is saying a word about raising taxes on the bottom 50% so that they too have skin in the game. Any talk of tax reform that does not include a large majority of the bottom 50% being asked to contribute is nothing more than political theater and class warfare.

+0
Monday, January 30, 2012 11:41 AM
rollergator's avatar

Since this keeps getting quoted as fact, and it isn't: The "50% who don't pay taxes" do in fact pay 4% of the total income taxes collected, on just under 14% of the total income, per census figures.

+0
Monday, January 30, 2012 11:59 AM

According to the Tax Foundation, the bottom 50% paid 2.3% of the federal income taxes for 2009 (latest year I have seen available).

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html#table1

And this article from last fall indicates that 46% of tax filers owe no income taxes. Article also indicates that its not the bottom 46% that don't pay federal income taxes though.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2011-10-06/income-tax-nonpayment/50676912/1

Last edited by GoBucks89, Monday, January 30, 2012 12:11 PM
+0
Monday, January 30, 2012 6:41 PM

Does 46% of ALL tax filers owing nothing seem fair? How about the bottom 50% paying 2.3% in 2009? Which way is the trend line?

It is a very simple concept that the right and left should agree on. EVERYBODY SHOULD HAVE SKIN IN THE GAME. Nobody should pay nothing and still be afforded the right to tell those that do pay how the money should be spent. Those that cannot afford financial contribution should have required community service credits in lieu of a traditional tax return.

+0
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:48 AM

Aamilj said:
Those that cannot afford financial contribution should have required community service credits in lieu of a traditional tax return.

Sounds a bit too much like slavery if you ask me, just using a different requirement for who should be enslaved. And as Go Bucks pointed out, the people not paying aren't necessarily the bottom whatever percent of Americans. There are plenty of middle and upper class people, as well as hugely profitable corporations who also do not pay a dime (or milk a profit out of the system.)


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

+0
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:01 PM

Sounds a bit too much like slavery if you ask me, just using a different requirement for who should be enslaved.

Asking EVERYBODY to contribute to a system/government from which they benifit is slavery? You either contribute a minimal tax contribution, or if you cannot afford it monetarily, you contribute sweat equity.

Nothing about tax policy is voluntary. The government tells you what to pay and how to comply. In that sense, we are all slaves to our government. Try not paying your taxes and see what happens.

The only question is what is fair? I have my own opinions, but that is not the point. I make a general common sense observation that for any system to succeed, everybody must contribute ("skin in the game"). Same rates, different rates, is not relevant per say. But EVERYBODY who votes should pay SOME rate. Otherwise those who pay nothing have no interest in putting the country/government's sustainability above their own self-interests.

Common sense dictates that you cannot let 46% of the population contribute nothing. Rich, poor, middle class is not relevant. What IS relevant is the fact 46% of tax payers really have no self-interest in caring what happens to the 54% footing the bill. This was as of 2009 with the trend worsening.

If we have not already, we will soon reach the point of no return. There is really no difference between the King of England demanding the colonies pay higher taxes without representation (a vote) than untaxed majority demanding the contributers pay MORE. Because in effect, once the number of non-contributers reaches 50%, the remaining contributing citizenry might as well have NO vote.

It breeds resentment, class warfare, etc. We saw how that worked out for England. And they were lucky. That is the scary part of this is that we are so polarized that it sometimes looks like that which divides us supercedes what we have in common.

Maybe, just maybe...if EVERYBODY had some skin in the game, we might be able to look at our government from the same perspectives. Right now this is not the case.

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 2:10 AM

In my mind, the part that's far worse than a large portion of a population not paying taxes, is that we've allowed such a large portion of the population to get so poor they simply don't have any money to pay taxes. The rapidly growing divide of wealth inequality (wiping out the middle class) is, or at least should be, alarming.

Oh, and here's an article explaining what kind of black magic went into creating the fictional 47% number. It's actually about 14% mostly comprised of the elderly and disabled.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 3:08 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Might need to read that article a little closer, CP Chris.

From the article:

Let me explain—repeat actually—what this means: About half of taxpayers paid no federal income tax last year. It does not mean they paid no tax at all. Many shelled out Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. In fact, only 14 percent of Americans didn’t pay either income or payroll taxes. Some paid property taxes and, it is fair to say, just about all of them paid sales taxes of one kind or another. So to say they pay no taxes is flat wrong.

About half of taxpayers paid no federal income tax last year.

Spin it however you'd like, but about half of taxpayers paid no federal income tax last year.

Face it, in the context of the discussion, no one means local property tax or Social Security (which the article uses to get the number down to 14%) - we're talking federal taxes. It's just assumed.

The article then goes on to reiterate and adds:

...and that much of the reason why there were fewer people paying federal income taxes in 2009 was that Barack Obama signed the largest tax cut in US history.

Exactly. Which is interesting because no matter where one seems to stand in this discussion, we all seem to agree that generating revenue is an important part of the fix.


+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 3:34 AM

Still, it's fairly disingenuous to claim people who pay 5 out of the 6 types of taxes (or however many there are) have no skin in the game.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 9:03 AM
birdhombre's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Face it, in the context of the discussion, no one means ... Social Security

Really? I do. Isn't FICA a federal tax based on one's income? I pay half and my employer pays half. And when I was an independent contractor, I had to pay both halves. That was a huge chunk of money, and I'm ever so glad to be on payroll now rather than a contractor. If it's not a federal income tax, what language should we be using for it instead?

Last edited by birdhombre, Wednesday, February 1, 2012 9:03 AM
+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 9:35 AM

State and local taxes fund state and local government programs. They do not fund the federal government. Property taxes do not fund the federal government. Sales taxes do not fund the federal government. Social security taxes fund the social security program. Medicare taxes fund the medicare program. Neither funds the general federal government (such as the FDA, EPA, military or the myriad of other non-social security/medicare federal programs/departments that exist).

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:08 AM
rollergator's avatar

CP Chris said:
Still, it's fairly disingenuous to claim people who pay 5 out of the 6 types of taxes (or however many there are) have no skin in the game.

Thank you! :)

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 11:00 AM
birdhombre's avatar

OK, so we seem to be in agreement that the statistic refers to Federal Income Tax(R) Brand Federal Taxin'(tm). Are we then allowed to call politicians on the carpet when they regurgitate this as "half of Americans don't pay taxes"? Or is it OK because "well we all knew what he meant"?

(And obviously, *I* didn't know what they meant. Today I learned that FICA is not a federal income tax, even though it's based on my income, collected by the federal government, for federal government programs, and disbursed nationwide. Not trying to sound snarky, but certainly you can understand my confusion. And I highly doubt I'm the only one.)

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 11:45 AM

If they are saying they don't pay "any taxes" then yes, they should be called out on it because the statement isn't accurate. If they are saying they don't pay "any federal income taxes" then the statement is accurate.

FICA/payroll taxes fund medicare and social security. They do not fund general federal programs (or interest in the debt). They are not reflected on your federal income tax return (unless you are self employed as you can deduct 1/2 of your FICA taxes as a business expense (because you are paying both the employer and employee share of those taxes)). When we had social security surpluses, politicians took those funds and spent them on general federal expenditures (as a way of making deficits look smaller or give appearance of surpluses). But thats a whole 'nother issue.

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 11:52 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'll give you guys that perhaps it's not understood on the national platform (although I *do* think it's implied), but in the context of this thread and the discussion here - it was absolutely a given.

GoBucks89 said:
State and local taxes fund state and local government programs. They do not fund the federal government. Property taxes do not fund the federal government. Sales taxes do not fund the federal government. Social security taxes fund the social security program. Medicare taxes fund the medicare program. Neither funds the general federal government (such as the FDA, EPA, military or the myriad of other non-social security/medicare federal programs/departments that exist).

FICA/payroll taxes fund medicare and social security. They do not fund general federal programs (or interest in the debt).

This.

CP Chris said:
Still, it's fairly disingenuous to claim people who pay 5 out of the 6 types of taxes (or however many there are) have no skin in the game.

Maybe. But how many people are getting back more than they put in on the federal side? I have low-income family that actually make money each year thanks to earned income credit, child credits and such. (not sure what the stat is, but I know from first-hand experience that it's not uncommon for the lower brackets)

So they pay 5 out of 6. But then they make money on number 6. Which sorta kinda cancels at least some degree of the 5 they did pay.

So claiming that everyone pays 5 of the 6 seems a tad disingenuous too.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, February 1, 2012 12:17 PM
+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 12:18 PM
birdhombre's avatar

GoBucks89 said:
They are not reflected on your federal income tax return

This. :)

FICA may not be "reflected" on the tax return, but it is most certainly reported there. Though I suppose one could say "well they're reported on your state return too, but ya don't consider them part of state taxes, do ya smart guy??" ;)

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 4:31 PM

Classic straw man deflection going on here.

This entire discussion has been about FEDERAL taxes. But the concept is the same at EVERY level. If you don't have skin in the game, you should not have a say in how the money is spent.

State sales taxes are inherently fair. Everybody pays them at the same rate. FICA is comparably fair as everybody pays the same rate up to a certain contribution level (remember the "lock box").

I really get a kick out of the 5 out of 6 deflection. "Hey, I paid five of the 6 people I owed money to...aint I great!" ;) That is the rugged individualism and "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" can do attitude that made this country great. :) Never mind that I owed person #6 10 times what I contributed to #1-#5...and received the difference as a check...;)

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 4:45 PM

I find it interesting in this discussion that those of us who hold right leaning views are more than willing to discuss ways to include the top 1% and EVERYBODY to find a solution. We are even willing to accept a gross graduated tax system and pretend that is fair. All we ask in return is that everybody pay a little something so that their vote is reflective toward the good of the whole.

Those on the left will NOT give an inch on the bottom 50%. Excuses..."5 of 6, slavery", etc...but nary a concrete acceptance that EVERYBODY should suffer a little burden to support the government that supports you/them.

Would a universal 5% for EVERYBODY (no exemptions) be a starting point? Or is that too much to ask? What good faith effort have we heard in this discussion or anywhere that would demonstrate a seriousness about addressing the concerns of those on the right who have a real problem with approximately half of the population freeloading on our Federal taxes?

We always talk about compromise. Where is the willingness from my friends on the left?

+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 5:01 PM
rollergator's avatar

rollergator said:
Oh, definitely agree, *everyone* needs to pay their fair share.

Dragged this all the way from the prior page. Seriously, the contentiousness from "the fringe" certainly does make it hard to find a compromise point on any fiscal topic.

I just don't see much "left fringe" here....as opposed to say, my FB pages. I see "fringe right" here, and not so much on my FB. Balance.... ;)

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, February 1, 2012 5:04 PM
+0
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 5:19 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Maybe. But how many people are getting back more than they put in on the federal side? I have low-income family that actually make money each year thanks to earned income credit, child credits and such. (not sure what the stat is, but I know from first-hand experience that it's not uncommon for the lower brackets)

According to this article, of the 69 million households who paid no federal income taxes (about 45%) in 2010, 49 million paid payroll taxes. 15 million of those households got refundable credits which offset what they paid in payroll taxes. The other 34 million paid more in payroll taxes than they got back in a refund so they only got back a portion of the payroll taxes that they paid.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/14/pf/taxes/who_pays_income_taxes/index.htm

rollergator -- How do you define "fair share?" And what makes it fair?

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2020, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...