Reminder that during the time generally pointed to as 'the good old days' (the 1950s) the top tax bracket was 85% (!): https://web.stanford.edu/class/polisci120a/immigration/Feder...
Now, this doesn't directly translate to higher taxes on the wealthy (there are a lot of factors that go into effective tax rate) but it puts the handwringing around AOC's 70% top tax bracket in perspective.
...but pretty much nobody in those brackets actually paid those rates:
To the people who don't get the point:
Taxes never were that high in reality, so we can't draw any conclusions on what such a high tax would actually do.
People may have this fantasy about rich people that they're just hoarding money like a dragon hoards gold. In reality, rich people invest their money, which the government wants them to do, so they don't tax investments (capital gains) that highly.
Services from beauty shops, car repair, home maintenance and repair? Taxed. Services from lawyers and accountants? Not taxed.
Buying a TV, food, gasoline? Taxed. Buying a piece of land or stocks? Not taxed.
I can see merit in taxing both transactions for land in stocks, but it's inaccurate to say that they aren't taxed.
You can also argue that buying land is way more necessary than a TV. Everyone needs to live on a piece of land, not everyone needs (or wants) a TV.
> Two decades ago I turned full-time to philanthropy and threw myself into supporting public education, scientific and medical research, and visual and performing arts, believing it was my responsibility to give back some of what had so generously been given to me. But I’ve come to realize that no amount of philanthropic commitment will compensate for the deep inequities preventing most Americans — the factory workers and farmers, entrepreneurs and electricians, teachers, nurses and small-business owners — from the basic prosperity we call the American dream.
He devotes himself full-time to philanthropy.
Eli can take his money and send it as a gift directly to the US government.
> He devotes himself full-time to philanthropy.
Giving money to private charity is very different from giving money to the government.
Because I give literally no money to the US government voluntarily, and I think the hyper-rich should be taxed more.
Why are we attacking the individual with ad hominem? His argument is sound. Philanthropy alone is not enough.
This whole time I've basically been arguing around the fact that lots of people are participating in the rhetorical fallacy known as Ad Hominem.
There was a fashion to bequeath part of your estate to the government "to pay down the national debt". It was thought the patriotic thing to do. Obviously little impact was made on national debts. :)
If all the people who didn't want to give any of it up hoarded it and spent it lobbying to keep inequality at a maximum and the people who wanted equality gave the majority of their wealth away then we would very quickly find ourselves in a dystopian nightmare.
It has to be everyone, equally. It has to by a systemic change.
The plain truth is, if you want a welfare state, the middle class has to pay for it:
I was really glad to find the Washington Post publish this. Perhaps it will wake up some people to the questionable promises that certain Democrats are espousing currently.
(The wording of this comment was edited to cause less offense)
My understanding of "virtue signal" means promoting "virtue" over "action." And yet:
> Two decades ago I turned full-time to philanthropy and threw myself into supporting public education, scientific and medical research, and visual and performing arts, believing it was my responsibility to give back some of what had so generously been given to me.
In the article he's saying this isn't enough. So, why use the term "virtue signal?" Are you arguing that he's doing nothing about the issue but writing a blog post?
That's a misunderstanding.
"Virtue signalling is the conspicuous expression of moral values"
That's the definition on Wikipedia, which I agree with.
I don't think of it in terms of "right" and "wrong".
I'm working off the definition I found on wikipedia:
> In recent years, the term has been more commonly used within groups to criticize those who are seen to value the expression of virtue over action.
> "Virtue signalling is the conspicuous expression of moral values"
What's wrong with this?
I have adjusted the wording.
The point is to enact tax policy that applies to everyone, so that the sum total of the changes can actually make an impact. Saying "well people can always donate to the treasury" is a ridiculous way of dismissing it.
The point is that nobody will take you seriously until you show some concrete action. It's easy to claim that you'll give your money willingly, if you know that it's extremely unlikely to happen.
In any case, to answer your question: No, the IRS doesn't prohibit it, and as far as I can tell it's not illegal.
> Taxpayers who overpaid their taxes can file for a refund. Taxpayers must file a claim for a credit or refund by the later of these two dates: Three years from the date they filed their original return. Two years from the date they paid the tax.
I guess if you overpaid, didn't file for a refund, and waited 3 years, the money would just vanish.
The problem is it'd vanish into a black hole - no congressional committee has budgeted for that "extra" money to suddenly appear, there's not really any accountability for it like you'd have for charity.
A higher tax rate means that economists can much more confidently say "this is how much money the US government will have for spending in 2020" than guessing how much ultra-wealthy will pay, and then not request refund on.
Yeah that's my thought. 'Why don't you personally go do that and get back to us' in response to argument for collective action is a bad faith response.
So, he did that. He works full time as a philanthropist, then came back to us with this blog post and said "I alone can't fix this, we need collective action, in the form of higher taxes on the rich."
The typical argument made by fiscal conservatives is "the philanthropists will remove the need of the welfare state." This rich philanthropist is writing this article to say "that is incorrect, it isn't enough."
It doesn't just vanish, it reduces inflation which allows more money to be spent by congress. It would only be able to "vanish" if you were paying your taxes with a non-fiat currency.
While one billionaire paying extra for the Greater Good would be fine in isolation, how effective would that be in the big picture?
Concerns of virtue signaling? The ramifications of what he is proposing is that if he gets his wish, he (and others like him) have their taxes go up. He's coming out in support of policies already being discussed (and attempting to persuade other politicians to also champion those policies). This isn't changing one's profile picture in support of the cause of the moment.
This is why it is important that increased taxes for the highest brackets are instituted generally and not on the charity of a few.
>In recent years, the term has been more commonly used within groups to criticize those who are seen to value the expression of virtue over action.
This man appears to be taking action, and advocating action.
Lately, I find myself in discussions with people using the term to mock anybody that demonstrates care for liberal cause. I'm happy to acknowledge the transformation of the term "virtue signalling" to mean "supporting liberal causes," if that's what you want the term to mean in your post. Of course, I'd abandon any presumptive negative associations with the action of "virtue signalling," then.
The author, Eli Broad. He's not just using words, he devotes himself "full-time" to philanthropy.
This is my confusion - everyone's saying "why doesn't HE do anything about it?" He is, is he not? And he wrote this article because he's " come to realize that no amount of philanthropic commitment will compensate for the deep inequities preventing most Americans — the factory workers and farmers, entrepreneurs and electricians, teachers, nurses and small-business owners — from the basic prosperity we call the American dream." So what gives?
Taxing the rich sounds nice as virtuous political rhetoric but it won't effectively address poverty, just further erodes the liberty of private citizens. If you want to fund more social programs then tax corporations, like the oil companies and the large investment firms, like ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs. Don't punish success.
How does taxation do this? Taxation is a mechanism for funding the maintenance of an ordered society which enables extreme wealth creation. It's the wealthiest citizens who benefit the most from law enforcement, infrastructure, and national defence.
This is a new type of tax that has never been implemented in the US. If the goal is to reduce poverty, it won't do that. So what is the goal?
It's been shown that a comfortable reliance on welfare disincentivizes becoming independent again. Especially when welfare recipients have a higher income than minimum wage. Any rational actor will have a hard time transitioning to minimum wage work at the risk of losing welfare when income from welfare is higher. This is plainly obvious https://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/states-welfare-recipients...
Would you be in favor of adding a time-limit to welfare eligibility to disincentivize long-term reliance on welfare?
I never claimed the top 1% is just the top 100 wealthiest Americans.
I'm not saying you're point isn't valid, but your reference to the wealthiest 100 Americans is relatively meaningless to any discussion being had here.
Also, the federal budget is composed of so many things, saying that taxing high wealth individuals couldn't affect it is a bit disingenuous. The bottom line is that if you have more money in the pool (either by raising revenue or cutting expenses), you can pay for more new projects. Taxing these people could add millions of dollars to that pool. I'm not trying to say that's good or bad. It's a zero sum game here, either the individuals spend it on the projects of their choice, or the government gets it and spends it the way they want.
The greatest effect of this policy is that it will harm individual liberty. It will have nearly no effect on improving poverty or increasing social programs.
In 2016, the US took in about 1,442,385,000,000 total of which 839,898,000,000 was from the top 5% of individual earners. That's OVER HALF of the total amount.
You're wrong. You're point is not valid or based in the actual data. To say that hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in extra revenue couldn't help fund social programs or improve the conditions of the impoverished is factually inaccurate.
You're wrong if you think that taxing individuals is going to decrease poverty or wealth inequality. Wealth inequality is not due to wealth individuals holding assets, but due to pay inequality. Corporations hold their profits instead of paying their workers fairly. It would be much more effective to impose a wealth tax on corporations to incentivize them to pay their workers.
Large multi-national monopolies are the problem, not rich people. If you can't see that, the corporations have effectively used your own morals against you. The uber rich won't be affected, only the new rich, people rising from the middle class.
But in a response to an article about the top 1%, you used the top 100 wealthiest Americans as a counterpoint. If you're not trying to make a connection, why bother with the analogy?
This is why I think we should lower (or remove) income taxes -- because we could raise the same amount in more useful ways. I think there are also economic reasons to believe income taxes make the labor market less efficient. If your goal is to tackle inequality, why insist on doing it in a sub-optimal way? It absolutely matters not just how much you tax and who you tax, but also what you're taxing (and therefore discouraging). Let's start with some revenue-neutral changes to the tax structure. We might see both a stronger economy and less pollution because of it, for free.
I mean it's political suicide, but I don't see anything morally wrong with it.
After all, we already subsidize babies with our taxing scheme. So you wouldn't even need to tax babies. You would just cut off the subsidy after 2 kids.
If we incentivize those who are childless and have shrunk their carbon foot print, that would also encourage people to make thoughtful decisions about baby making. Example: If someone didn’t have any children at all, then they should get tax free status or reduced premiums etc.
A woman increases her carbon foot print 10-20 times with every child. Medical costs and food and transport and pretty much everything is borne by the rest of us. Suspend benefits. Tax excess children and give tax breaks or retirement benefits to those who didn’t have children.
I suspect that retirement benefits would be a better incentive than tax free status. Most people hope that children would take care of them when they get older. It’s not worth the true cost of over population.
Exactly, and that is why it's such an abysmal idea. Wealth is capital and how capital is allocated to a large extent how fast an economy will grow. To take private capital, which presumably was invested where it could find the greatest risk adjusted return, and move it to another enterprise (presumably a darling of some vested interest) or worse to consumption leaves the overall economy worse off.
Taxing income, which is a flow rather than a stock, has distorts incentives on the economy as well but much more gently.