OT- CONTEST!!! Guess public sector household earnings

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Submitted by sdrealtor on January 13, 2012 - 1:12pm

We are going to have a contest and the winner gets a decent bottle of wine. I just got back from a potential clients and saw their year end paystubs for last year. I did not list the property because it didnt fit what I thought I could do. Its a dual income household. Both work in the public sector. One in health care and the other in public safety. Lets see who can guess the 2011 gross earnings for the household not including any benefits paid for by their employer.

Have at it and dont be afraid of going over.

Contest runs through Monday.

Submitted by CA renter on January 17, 2012 - 4:40pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
Sorry was away for the weekend up the coast. The numbers were $111 and $143 for a total of $254k. To me that is a lot of money for a household to make. These are not people living in a high end NCC community but rather a very modest working class one. Maybe I'm outta touch but a household with two "line workers" making that much seems like a lot. Frankly a lot of the guesses close to and above 300k shocked me.

I also think looking at current pension numbers is a fallacy. It's not what they are collecting now but what we are committed to and have guaranteed in the future. If I'm selling a luxury retirement lifestyle I'd target public sector workers as there is going to be a lot of them in another 20 to 30 years. I always heard the arguments around here that real estate was getting so expensive our children wouldn't be able to afford that. I never bought into that because I knew the market would eventually correct itself. This public sector compensation, benefit and pension mess truly worries me because there is no way for the market it to correct itself. We have committed to something I don't know how we will ever pay for and there is no way around it.

This is one definition for "line worker"

Every time you turn on your lights, call someone on the phone, watch cable television, or access the Internet, you are connecting to complex networks of lines and cables that provide you with electricity and connect you with the outside world. Line installers and repairers, also known as line workers or linemen, are the people who install and maintain these networks.

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos195.htm

This is another definition:

Noun 1. An employee who works on an assembly line.[Wordnet].

http://www.websters-online-dictionary.or...
-------------------

It doesn't sound like the couple in your example do either of these jobs. Would you care to elaborate, or is this where you look down your nose because you believe public employees are somehow beneath realtors?

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 17, 2012 - 10:03pm.

A line worker is one who works in production or at a staff level position. Not a management position responsible for a dept or with employees below them they are reponsible for. Its not a derogatory description and so nice of you to try to make it sound so. If anything its a very clinical term.

While you are here CAR instead of being noticably absent from this thread do you think a $250K household income is a normal reasonable income for a couple of young 30ish public sector employees? Additionally as you often claim public sector workers are underpaid relative to the private sector do you think they'd be making over 300K in the private sector as non-business owners or SR management? You do realize that income puts them in the top 1 or 2 % of wage earners in the country and thats without considering the generous retirement contributions made on their behalf.

Submitted by an on January 18, 2012 - 12:16am.

sdrealtor wrote:
A line worker is one who works in production or at a staff level position. Not a management position responsible for a dept or with employees below them they are reponsible for. Its not a derogatory description and so nice of you to try to make it sound so. If anything its a very clinical term.

While you are here CAR instead of being noticably absent from this thread do you think a $250K household income is a normal reasonable income for a couple of young 30ish public sector employees? Additionally as you often claim public sector workers are underpaid relative to the private sector do you think they'd be making over 300K in the private sector as non-business owners or SR management? You do realize that income puts them in the top 1 or 2 % of wage earners in the country and thats without considering the generous retirement contributions made on their behalf.


I'd love to see data to back up the claim that public employees make much less than private employees for the same position. Base on my anecdotal, I don't see it. When I graduated many years ago, classmates who got into SPAWAR were getting paid just as much as those who got jobs in the private sector. AFAIK, nurses at VA hospital is making about the same as nurses at Scripps. Nurses at UCSD is making more than nurses at Scripps. Nurses at Scripps are making more than nurses at Sharp.

Submitted by briansd1 on January 18, 2012 - 12:22am.

pri_dk wrote:
UCGal wrote:
This book is full of data... that may not fit your anti-pension mind sets.

The debate really is not about pensions (defined benefit retirement plans) vs. other "retirement" plans.

The debate is about public expenditures and public spending priorities, specifically compensation of public employees.

pri_dk is right. The debate is about how public money is being spent. A larger and larger portion of tax dollars is being spent on public employee compensation. That's simply unsustainable.

Tax money should to go to services.

Localities are seeing 30%, 40%, 60% and more of their general funds go to pensions.

Yes, UCGal is corret. Private companies have been cutting and eliminating pensions. But that's a separate issue.

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 1:51am.

sdrealtor wrote:
A line worker is one who works in production or at a staff level position. Not a management position responsible for a dept or with employees below them they are reponsible for. Its not a derogatory description and so nice of you to try to make it sound so. If anything its a very clinical term.

While you are here CAR instead of being noticably absent from this thread do you think a $250K household income is a normal reasonable income for a couple of young 30ish public sector employees? Additionally as you often claim public sector workers are underpaid relative to the private sector do you think they'd be making over 300K in the private sector as non-business owners or SR management? You do realize that income puts them in the top 1 or 2 % of wage earners in the country and thats without considering the generous retirement contributions made on their behalf.

Firstly, I've never heard the term "line worker" defined that way, nor have I found that definition for the term in the short amout of time I've just spent trying to find that definition or one similar to it. Based on your definition, almost everyone is a "line worker," including teachers and professors; engineers employed by a company; doctors and nurses employed by a hospital or HMO, etc; athletes who are employed by a team; actors who work for a studio/employer; fund managers who work for a financial firm; etc. That's a pretty broad description. I don't think that's what you meant when you said, "line worker." Based on many of your previous comments about public sector workers, I believe you meant to imply that public sector workers are somehow unskilled and/or uneducated. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Regarding your claim that I said public workers were underpaid, please link to the post where I claimed that public sector workers were underpaid relative to private sector workers.

What I did say was that the standards for public employment are usually higher than for similar jobs in the private sector.

Perhaps you were thinking of this study:

"In this report we use publicly available data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with an established methodology used by researchers since the 1970s, to compare worker earnings across and between private, state, and local sectors. We analyze differences in pay between each sector as reported for the last several
decades, up to and including the latest estimates. We also estimate the variation of these trends across some of the largest states."

"Public and private workforces differ in important • ways. For instance, jobs in the public sector require much more education on average than those in the private sector. Employees in state and local sectors are twice as likely as their private sector counterparts to have a college or advanced degree.
Wages and salaries of state and local employees are • lower than those for private sector workers with comparable earnings determinants (e.g., education). State employees typically earn 11 percent less; local workers earn 12 percent less."

http://www.slge.org/vertical/Sites/%7BA2...

.............

I've also said that private sector workers have lost ground because they've been apathetic about protecting their interests and they've bought into the lies that "unions are bad," and "globalization is good." The consequences are obvious. Never wavered on that one -- it's why private sector workers are now so easily manipulated against public sector workers.

It's not a coincidence, either. The people who "outsourced" all the private sector jobs are the very ones who are behind the attacks on public sector workers. Intelligent people will research this in an effort to understand WHY they are being manipulated (again), and who stands to benefit from it. These attacks on workers are NOT driven by taxpayer advocates, the entities behind the attacks are seeking to privatize public resources and revenue streams. Public unions are the last obstacle they need to overcome in order to attain their goals.

Submitted by jstoesz on January 18, 2012 - 1:33am.

I have asked this before and I will ask it again, because so far I have gotten no answer from you. What is your affiliation with public-sector workers? Your answers are shallow and tiresome and they reek of self interest!

I just met up with an old friend who graduated with the civil engineering degree. He lost his job recently in the private sector, and just got a job in the public sector. Guess what he's making more then he did in the private sector, a lot more. He rides around a few days a week in a large 40k 4 x 4 Ford that's brand-new, thanks Katrina for your levee caused freak out And that's just salary I'm not talking pension here! Wake up CAR we're getting fleeced, at least my buddy knows that he is riding the gravy train. That's all I ask of public sector employees, a little gratitude!

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 1:53am.

briansd1 wrote:
pri_dk wrote:
UCGal wrote:
This book is full of data... that may not fit your anti-pension mind sets.

The debate really is not about pensions (defined benefit retirement plans) vs. other "retirement" plans.

The debate is about public expenditures and public spending priorities, specifically compensation of public employees.

pri_dk is right. The debate is about how public money is being spent. A larger and larger portion of tax dollars is being spent on public employee compensation. That's simply unsustainable.

Tax money should to go to services.

Localities are seeing 30%, 40%, 60% and more of their general funds go to pensions.

Yes, UCGal is corret. Private companies have been cutting and eliminating pensions. But that's a separate issue.

Um, Brian...what do you think "services" are? Do you not realize that in a service industry (as almost all govt entities are), the vast majority of your expenditures are spent on compensation?

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 2:14am.

sdrealtor wrote:
While you are here CAR instead of being noticably absent from this thread do you think a $250K household income is a normal reasonable income for a couple of young 30ish public sector employees? Additionally as you often claim public sector workers are underpaid relative to the private sector do you think they'd be making over 300K in the private sector as non-business owners or SR management? You do realize that income puts them in the top 1 or 2 % of wage earners in the country and thats without considering the generous retirement contributions made on their behalf.

I can't tell you if it's a "normal, reasonable income" or not. There is not enough information.

What I DO know is that many young couples (especially DINKS) can make that money -- both in the private and public sectors. It depends entirely on what they do for a living and how much time they dedicate to their jobs.

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 2:38am.

jstoesz wrote:
I have asked this before and I will ask it again, because so far I have gotten no answer from you. What is your affiliation with public-sector workers? Your answers are shallow and tiresome and they reek of self interest!

I just met up with an old friend who graduated with the civil engineering degree. He lost his job recently in the private sector, and just got a job in the public sector. Guess what he's making more then he did in the private sector, a lot more. He rides around a few days a week in a large 40k 4 x 4 Ford that's brand-new, thanks Katrina for your levee caused freak out And that's just salary I'm not talking pension here! Wake up CAR we're getting fleeced, at least my buddy knows that he is riding the gravy train. That's all I ask of public sector employees, a little gratitude!

Quite frankly, it's none of your business (and I don't mean that in an unkind way). I always make a point of addressing the topic rather than making personal attacks. You can review my posts over many years and see that I never make a personal attack unless someone else initiates it. Even then, I try to refrain from doing so until the other person has so hopelessly gone off-topic and begun to rant emotionally that I sometimes end up in the gutter with him (so far, it's never been a female poster).

Perhaps it would be more productive if you could explain why you think my points are "shallow" or "tiresome." At least then we could have a more productive discussion instead of engaging in childish emotional rants and personal attacks.

The reason I'm defending (public AND private) unions is because I believe that unions protect workers from corporate/financial interests who constantly strive to take an ever-growing share of the value created by workers. If you don't believe me, check out what happened in the private sector after the demise of the unions:

"A huge share of the nation's economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244."

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/...

I'll say it again (and again, and again...because once we cross the line, there is no going back), the people who are behind the attacks on public unions are the very same ones who are behind this growing wealth disparity. They are NOT looking out for Joe Sixpack's best interests, and they are NOT taxpayer advocates.

Do your research!

Submitted by harvey on January 18, 2012 - 8:23am.

The debate isn't about unions. Don't change the subject.

It's about public spending priorities. Tax dollars.

Brian is right. Money should go to infrastructure and services - current services.

We are quickly reaching the point where the majority of public funds will be going toward retirement payouts. Already, in places like San Jose and Vallejo, the majority of their city budgets go to public services provided in the past.

If you live in Vallejo and your house is on fire, you'd better have a time machine, because the firefighter you are paying retired 5 years ago.

Throughout California, more and more money is going to retired teachers, and current classrooms are overcrowding.

And in the future, it will get worse. The trend, and projections, are extremely ominous.

Submitted by harvey on January 18, 2012 - 8:48am.

Of course we cannot come to any final conclusions using sdr's data point, not without knowing more specifics about the individuals and their jobs (and I don't want to know more.)

(BTW, "line worker" is a very common term - what a ridiculous nitpick...)

But there is an interesting fact relevant to the number. These folks are making above $250K, the income used in the recent tax and healthcare debates as the threshold for "rich people."

Accounting for the cost of benefits, their total compensation is probably around $300K - well above the "rich" threshold.

According to many of Obama's policy positions, these people should pay more taxes, because right now they aren't paying their "fair share." (And, BTW, I have supported these positions all along.)

So, for those us that are left-leaning on tax policy, we have to acknowledge that our position is that these people are in fact doing quite well, and should pay more in taxes. The rules should apply to everyone.

So I agree that sdr's little anecdote makes a point:

People can become "rich" working "line" jobs in the public sector.

That is a red flag, to be sure.

Submitted by blahblahblah on January 18, 2012 - 9:20am.

Being rich and having a large income are two different things.

Submitted by harvey on January 18, 2012 - 9:36am.

Try explaining that to the IRS.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 18, 2012 - 9:42am.

Totally ran with something completely out of context on the "line worker" issue. Iw as refer to two specific people and know the jobs they hold and their education. They are anything but unskilled or uneducated. Quite to the contrary. Somehow you ran with that as an indictment that i said public workers in egeneral were unskilled or uneducated. I said nothing of the sort.

A couple years ago you would claim prices were so high no one could afford them. Here we have two very typical public sector workers in this area with a household income over 250K. Not executives, not business owners, not hi lievel managers but college educated rather youngish pretty ordinary folks making that money. So maybe I just dont get it. Maybe all your public sector friends who you said were just scraping buy are actually the fabulous wealthy ones around here?

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 18, 2012 - 9:44am.

Ummmm.....you comment about my use of line worker reeks of a personal attack.

Submitted by briansd1 on January 18, 2012 - 10:03am.

CA renter wrote:
Um, Brian...what do you think "services" are? Do you not realize that in a service industry (as almost all govt entities are), the vast majority of your expenditures are spent on compensation?

In my mind public services are schools, libraries, parks, assistance to the poor, etc.. All of those services are being cut.

In Jerry Brown's own words:

"These are painful reductions - mothers and kids will be getting the same welfare check in real dollars that they got in the '80s, and the same for the elderly, blind and disabled,"

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...

So we are cutting services in order to pay generous compensations to public employees.

I don't see the public good being here, nor do I see shared sacrifice. The most senior public employees, who have the most control over our state and local governments, are fighting to keep all of their benefits while services to citizens are being cut and junior employees are being laid-off.

Submitted by SD Realtor on January 18, 2012 - 10:18am.

"We are quickly reaching the point where the majority of public funds will be going toward retirement payouts. Already, in places like San Jose and Vallejo, the majority of their city budgets go to public services provided in the past."

Stop making so much sense pr_dk.

I can already predict the response from CAR. This would all be sustainable if not for those Wall Street thieves!.

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 11:04am.

pri_dk wrote:
Of course we cannot come to any final conclusions using sdr's data point, not without knowing more specifics about the individuals and their jobs (and I don't want to know more.)

(BTW, "line worker" is a very common term - what a ridiculous nitpick...)

But there is an interesting fact relevant to the number. These folks are making above $250K, the income used in the recent tax and healthcare debates as the threshold for "rich people."

Accounting for the cost of benefits, their total compensation is probably around $300K - well above the "rich" threshold.

According to many of Obama's policy positions, these people should pay more taxes, because right now they aren't paying their "fair share." (And, BTW, I have supported these positions all along.)

So, for those us that are left-leaning on tax policy, we have to acknowledge that our position is that these people are in fact doing quite well, and should pay more in taxes. The rules should apply to everyone.

So I agree that sdr's little anecdote makes a point:

People can become "rich" working "line" jobs in the public sector.

That is a red flag, to be sure.

Of course they should be paying more in taxes! I'm a firm believer in progressive tax rates. History shows that higher marginal tax rates did NOT "stiffle" economic growth, innovation, business investment, etc. As a matter of fact, our economy has performed best when money (without a debt offset) is flowing freely through the economy. You can't have that when "the rich" own all the wealth.

IMHO, the most egregious part of our tax policy is the lower tax rate for those who don't even work for their money. There is something horribly wrong with our country when financial speculators pay a lower tax rate than "line workers."

Submitted by an on January 18, 2012 - 11:19am.

CA renter wrote:
IMHO, the most egregious part of our tax policy is the lower tax rate for those who don't even work for their money. There is something horribly wrong with our country when financial speculators pay a lower tax rate than "line workers."

Don't forget all the retirees and the many people who actually get money from the government instead of paying any taxes.

BTW, 75% of tax payer pays less than 15% effective tax rate. Only 25% pays more. Most of those in the 25% who pays more than 15% effective tax rate are what some would call "the rich", those in the 33 & 35%.

Here are some historical effective federal tax rates for all households:
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/...
According to this data, everyone's effective tax rate have been going down since 1979 except for the top quintile.

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 11:13am.

briansd1 wrote:
CA renter wrote:
Um, Brian...what do you think "services" are? Do you not realize that in a service industry (as almost all govt entities are), the vast majority of your expenditures are spent on compensation?

In my mind public services are schools, libraries, parks, assistance to the poor, etc.. All of those services are being cut.

In Jerry Brown's own words:

"These are painful reductions - mothers and kids will be getting the same welfare check in real dollars that they got in the '80s, and the same for the elderly, blind and disabled,"

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...

So we are cutting services in order to pay generous compensations to public employees.

I don't see the public good being here, nor do I see shared sacrifice. The most senior public employees, who have the most control over our state and local governments, are fighting to keep all of their benefits while services to citizens are being cut and junior employees are being laid-off.

FWIW, "schools," "libraries," etc. are run by *people* (unless you're referring to the physical structure/new construction -- and even then, the money is being used to pay people for their labor...compensation).

As far as welfare payments being similar to what they were in the 1980s...we can weep for them as we weep for all the workers who are still making 1980 wages (or less!), especially in blue-collar jobs. Let's reverse the wealth disparity and see what happens.

Time to fix our trade and tax, and immigration policies so that companies are not encouraged to import cheap labor and/or export our jobs. The decimation of our job base both increases the burden on governments at the same time as it reduces tax revenue (especially when the richest people are paying so litte in taxes -- as a percentage of income) It would broaden the tax base (so "the rich" could stop complaining about "paying all the taxes"), and increase tax revenues, as well as improve the quality of life for America's most productive people -- the workers.

Time to stop letting the richest Americans and corporate interests dictate tax and trade policies. They are sucking us dry.

Submitted by UCGal on January 18, 2012 - 11:17am.

CONCHO wrote:
Being rich and having a large income are two different things.

pri_dk wrote:
Try explaining that to the IRS.

I'm with Concho on this. If you have wealth - you can spend that... and typically your "income" is taxed as capital gains.

Vs someone who has a high income - but spends it all - it's taxed as income (higher rates).

A person can inherit wealth (not earned by them) and earn modest income. They are wealthy, but they are not a top earner. And if they are a poor investor, they may not generate any income off of the wealth.

Look at Mitt Romney - he's rich by all standards (270M?) But apparently pays taxes at about a 15% rate. And he claims to be unemployed... although his 370k/year in speaking fees is not insignificant.

Someone making $500k/year in salary pays a higher tax rate than someone earning $500k off of investments. There is a difference.

High income and wealth may overlap, but they are not the same thing.

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 11:25am.

AN wrote:
CA renter wrote:
IMHO, the most egregious part of our tax policy is the lower tax rate for those who don't even work for their money. There is something horribly wrong with our country when financial speculators pay a lower tax rate than "line workers."

Don't forget all the retirees and the many people who actually get money from the government instead of paying any taxes.

They've paid taxes all their lives if they're getting SS.

Not only that, but SS recipients do have to pay taxes if their total income goes over a certain threshold.

If you're referring to public employees who are now retired; as explained before, the money used to pay their benefits is not "govt" money. It is a separate fund that is paid for by the employees and employers as compensation for their services. They also pay taxes on their retirement income, just as they have paid taxes on their earned income -- the very same taxes as those private sector workers who whine about public servants, and they pay a HIGHER tax rate than the wealthiest "investors," who have sucked this country dry, yet still whine about the retirement benefits of public wokers.

Submitted by bearishgurl on January 18, 2012 - 11:28am.

jstoesz wrote:
. . . . I just met up with an old friend who graduated with the civil engineering degree. He lost his job recently in the private sector, and just got a job in the public sector. Guess what he's making more then he did in the private sector, a lot more. He rides around a few days a week in a large 40k 4 x 4 Ford that's brand-new, thanks Katrina for your levee caused freak out And that's just salary I'm not talking pension here! Wake up CAR we're getting fleeced, at least my buddy knows that he is riding the gravy train. That's all I ask of public sector employees, a little gratitude!

jstoesz, if your "buddy" just obtained a public position (in the state of LA?) he has yet to be "vested" and there is a chasm between his potential for a "fat pension" and his actually being in a position to begin collecting it.

jstoesz, aren't YOU a "civil engineer?" The State of LA beckons and undoubtedly needs your help. Why haven't YOU applied to any of those jobs? Perhaps the living conditions there may not be to you or your spouse's liking or taste??

I'll leave it at that .... ;=]

LA is the most political state in the country, IMO, especially NOW.

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 11:34am.

AN wrote:
CA renter wrote:
IMHO, the most egregious part of our tax policy is the lower tax rate for those who don't even work for their money. There is something horribly wrong with our country when financial speculators pay a lower tax rate than "line workers."

Don't forget all the retirees and the many people who actually get money from the government instead of paying any taxes.

BTW, 75% of tax payer pays less than 15% effective tax rate. Only 25% pays more. Most of those in the 25% who pays more than 15% effective tax rate are what some would call "the rich", those in the 33 & 35%.

Here are some historical effective federal tax rates for all households:
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/...
According to this data, everyone's effective tax rate have been going down since 1979 except for the top quintile.

Don't forget "the richest," who pay 15% or less.

Yes, tax rates are near historic lows. That's why some of us get so angry when hearing the weathiest Americans complain about paying taxes. They are wealthier today, and pay lower tax rates today, than they have in many, many, many decades.

As a matter of fact, the last time we saw such low tax rates and such a high wealth/income disparity (interesting to note that these tend to go together) was right before the Great Depression. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Submitted by harvey on January 18, 2012 - 11:31am.

CA renter wrote:
IMHO, the most egregious part of our tax policy is the lower tax rate for those who don't even work for their money. There is something horribly wrong with our country when financial speculators pay a lower tax rate than "line workers."

And I agree.

But it also doesn't much matter.

Most "line" workers pay an effective tax rate of far less than 15% (the capital gains rate.)

Your effective rate is always far less than your marginal rate. Someone making even $100K/year will almost always pay less than 15% of their income in federal taxes.

(Look at the "summary page" on your Turbo Tax PDF printout to see your effective tax rate.)

In order to have an effective tax rate above 15%, a couple would likely be earning more than $200K. Not exactly people who are struggling.

And what about dividends, taxed at 15%? There are lots of old people/retirees collecting them. Why don't they just "work" for their money?

So the 15% capital gains rate is not as egregiously unfair as it may appear. Nevertheless, I am in favor of a tax policy where all forms of income are treated equally. After all, both labor and cash are forms of capital - they should be treated the same.

But no matter what the tax rates, I an NOT in favor of future tax receipts being used to cover the current shortfalls in public-sector pensions.

Submitted by an on January 18, 2012 - 11:32am.

CA renter wrote:
They've paid taxes all their lives if they're getting SS.

Not only that, but SS recipients do have to pay taxes if their total income goes over a certain threshold.

If you're referring to public employees who are now retired; as explained before, the money used to pay their benefits is not "govt" money. It is a separate fund that is paid for by the employees and employers as compensation for their services. They also pay taxes on their retirement income, just as they have paid taxes on their earned income -- the very same taxes as those private sector workers who whine about public servants, and they pay a HIGHER tax rate than the wealthiest "investors," who have sucked this country dry, yet still whine about the retirement benefits of public wokers.


I'm referring to the retirees who actually were able to save money and live off their investment in retirement.

Submitted by harvey on January 18, 2012 - 11:40am.

CA renter wrote:
FWIW, "schools," "libraries," etc. are run by *people* [...]

Reminds me of something Mitt Romney once said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlPQkd_AA6c

Many of the "people" that Mitt is referring to are CalPERS/CalSTRS members.

Submitted by an on January 18, 2012 - 11:36am.

CA renter wrote:
Don't forget "the richest," who pay 15% or less.

Yes, tax rates are near historic lows. That's why some of us get so angry when hearing the weathiest Americans complain about paying taxes. They are wealthier today, and pay lower tax rates today, than they have in many, many, many decades.

As a matter of fact, the last time we saw such low tax rates and such a high wealth/income disparity was right before the Great Depression. Coincidence? I don't think so.


Did you even look at the link I posted? EVERYONE have been paying less effective tax rate except for the to 10%. The data doesn't support your assertion that the top 10% pay lower tax rates today than they have in many decades. I provided my data, where's your data to support your assertions?

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 11:38am.

pri_dk wrote:
CA renter wrote:
IMHO, the most egregious part of our tax policy is the lower tax rate for those who don't even work for their money. There is something horribly wrong with our country when financial speculators pay a lower tax rate than "line workers."

And I agree.

But it also doesn't much matter.

Most "line" workers pay an effective tax rate of far less than 15% (the capital gains rate.)

Your effective rate is always far less than your marginal rate. Someone making even $100K/year will almost always pay less than 15% of their income in federal taxes.

(Look at the "summary page" on your Turbo Tax PDF printout to see your effective tax rate.)

In order to have an effective tax rate above 15%, a couple would likely be earning more than $200K. Not exactly people who are struggling.

And what about dividends, taxed at 15%? There are lots of old people/retirees collecting them. Why don't they just "work" for their money?

So the 15% capital gains rate is not as egregiously unfair as it may appear. Nevertheless, I am in favor of a tax policy where all forms of income are treated equally. After all, both labor and cash are forms of capital - they should be treated the same.

But no matter what the tax rates, I an NOT in favor of future tax receipts being used to cover the current shortfalls in public-sector pensions.

Maybe we have a horrible accountant, but we pay more than 15% even though a large portion of our income (mine) is investment income, much of which is taxed at 15%. Yes, I'm the first one to comment to our accountant about how unfair that is, too.

Submitted by harvey on January 18, 2012 - 11:48am.

Check your numbers. If they are correct, then fire your accountant and redo your past years' taxes.

It's damn-near impossible for a married couple to pay more than 15% (in federal taxes) without earning over $100K from W2 wages.

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