View Poll Results: Do you pay income tax?

Voters
21. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    18 85.71%
  • No

    3 14.29%
Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst ... 2345 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 68

Thread: Income Tax?

  1. #46
    High Roller High House Moon Dregs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The Heart of the Nation
    Posts
    2,294

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    This is what I really take issue with:

    Quote Originally Posted by sneaky_wiggin
    My fiance's income combined with my stipend comes out to ~$60k after taxes, so a family 'making' $250k (more than three times our pretax earnings) are actually only pulling in about twice what we bring in with 1.5 jobs right out of college (graduate school not really counting as a real job).
    Not anything about tax, but that I didn't know wiggin got engaged. Congratulations cobber!
    (I told you it was a mistake to let me have a signature.)

  2. #47

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    How many years has this prof been a prof? Starting salaries are around 60k or so, and get up to 100k+ after tenure. Better scaling depending on how good they are of course. Postdocs make about 35k or so(worst part of the tenure track, imo). Not knowing the details of your example, I'd estimate a household income of about 100k/year.
    He just started, but he's a pretty good one at Hopkins. I don't know the salary in his branch of the SOM, but I know that my department compensates decently (albeit fairly low percentile-wise) - WAY more than 60k. It's closer to 90-100k starting for tenure track. Humanities are pretty crappy compensation, but science and engineering isn't bad. Tack on a postdoc salary - NIH minimum is something like $37k, but I'm betting she makes a little more since she's from a hotshot lab and our lab is decently funded (I haven't looked up Hopkins' postdoc pay grades).

    It's a very sweet deal. I bet you both their school loans are minimal to nonexistent compared to say a doctor or lawyer. Anything they get after taxes is theirs to do as they wish.
    Doctors get a shitty deal, but lawyers are just fine. It's pretty easy to have someone pay your way through law school, and even doing it on your own isn't too bad - 3 years of ~$50k/year in loans followed by an immediately lucrative career. Sure, a PhD doesn't take extra cash (beyond the loans they've probably taken to help cover children), but they've deferred a lot of income and they're getting on in years (30-32 IIRC?) and have zero assets. I'm not worried about their long-term solvency - they have good-paying jobs with a lot of security and pretty decent benefits. But it's not like they're rolling in dough and can afford prohibitively high taxes. They're not in the 'rich' category, however much we might like to think they are.

    No, the cheapest houses go for quite a bit less than that right now. A nice house, in a nice part of Chicago is setting the bar very high and is very far from your average American household. The housing market in my hometown is just as bad, my parents bought their most recent house for over 600k a few years ago but I would never dare use them as an example for federal issues. It's disingenuous.

    Your friends have the option of investing in a house in a suburb. The inflated cost is the cost of living in a city.
    They ARE living in a suburb! It's a good 45 minute commute from Hopkins, it's just that the suburbs of Bmore are fairly pricey, and property values are high in the good school districts. Actually, living in a townhouse in the city would probably be cheaper from a strict housing perspective - I certainly have a dirt-cheap apartment in the city that's miles better than what you can get in an expensive city like Chicago, NYC, or Seattle.

    I'm really not trying to be disingenuous - as someone pointed out, the higher income brackets of the middle class aren't a huge proportion of the total population, right? Most of them aren't living in rural areas or in a Manhattan high rise. Most are living in suburbs of big cities like my colleague - I really dont' think her situation is that unique for the $150k-$250k income crowd.

    These two things alone are the main reason they can't get a house. They should wait a couple years, save as much as they could and buy then if they want a nice house so bad. In the meantime, put the blame on the housing market and the instability in banks. Don't ran on income taxes.

    Buying a house is no simple thing. It takes years of planning and execution for people in this income bracket. It's a given.
    But right now, the houses are way cheaper than they were previously - so they want to strike while the iron is hot. Either way, they'll be stressed - by blowing money on equity-less rent and having to buy a more expensive home in the future, or by scrounging for a mortgage to cover a cheaper home now. It's still a major financial burden for them.

    lol, I am pretty sure it's the joint cost for both their children. The cost of daycare ranges from 3 or 4k and scales up to about 15k. If they are blowing their load on the "bestest day care ever" for both their kids, they shouldn't complain about not being able to save for a house.
    They're not complaining, they just have their priorities. Clearly they are spending their money to ensure that their children are taken care of - not shitty day care (and for longer hours, too, since they both are research scientists), a home in a good school district, etc. Is this the hallmark of a wealthy family blowing money on unnecessary luxuries, or of clear-headed people with well-articulated and reasonable goals?

    continued....

  3. #48

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Universities tend to offer fantastic health plans. Food and transportation is minimal, even in Chicago. These issues tend to make the case for lower brackets having less tax due to it being a necessity and eating up a larger part of the gross income.
    I really think you'd be surprised how much money it costs to pay for a family rather than just one individual. Even living and eating frugally - but healthily - is expensive. Even with 'good' health insurance (which I'm not sure Hopkins really has - my fiance has way better coverage and she works for a small private company), there's significant overhead with healthcare for kids. Living in a suburb requires much high transportation costs with two cars, insurance, fuel, upkeep... Etc, etc. It adds up.

    They are in the middle tax bracket not a high one.
    They're probably in the 28% bracket, and will be moving into the 33% bracket - second highest - in a year. That higher bracket will be jumping to 36% with Obama's tax plan. Not wholly unreasonable IMO, but it will definitely hurt them.

    Sure they could. Kids are expensive, but if you have enough of them you can start a daisy chain of hand-me-downs and delegation of duties, including baby sitting which would lessen the blow to daycare and babysitting. Not to mention tapping family and friends. There is a saying in the south I hear quoted all the time from southerners "The town raises the child, not the parents".
    I can assure you that the marginal cost of a child is still high, even with economies of scale. For that matter, their family doesn't live even remotely close.

    Academics isn't easy, I'll agree. It requires a lot of late nights, but so do the equivalent business and industrial jobs. And those guys have much more in loans to pay back while academics get a "free ride".

    Any job that has room for promotion tends to have obscene work requirements. This grievance is artificial.
    I really don't think that's true. An engineer can get a good job straight out of college, and will at most need a MS somewhere down the line (or MBA), which will most likely be paid for by their company. They start with a fairly good salary ($50-80k), can get decent promotion opportunities - especially if they get into the management side of things, and have minimal loans. And while they rarely have a 40 hour work week like a wage laborer, they don't have 80 hour weeks either - like academics, doctors, investment bankers, lawyers, etc. Point being, some jobs are more difficult to juggle with family life than others, and the monetary compensation is not always well calibrated to match that.

    I'm going to have to disagree with you. I know plenty of families growing up who made a fraction of the income in your scenario and they have houses, retirement, and more than two kids. Hell, my father used to make 20k and he managed to buy a house, a luncheonette and eventually a Diner. My family cut a lot of corners to make it work.
    My dad used to make a lot less than $20k, and I suspect that my family has never made more than $100k in a year. I know that it's possible - they had four kids, managed to buy a house eventually (though it took them about 20-odd years of marriage before they could think about it), sent us to private school and college, and have semi-decent retirement plans. It's doable. But that's not my point! My point is that having a little cushion hardly means that you're suddenly 'rich' and can be taxed at unreasonably high rates. I do NOT think that the current rates are unreasonable, and Obama's changes are fairly small. But not indexing the brackets to inflation - and the inevitable creep of other taxes and costs - mean that eventually that little cushion is going to disappear. Living an existence where any family emergency is a panic for funds isn't my idea of a reasonable existence for America's middle class.

    You can make a very valid arguement for breaking up the tax brackets more than they currently are. I'd wholeheartedly agree with you there.
    That's all I'm arguing for - not for decreasing taxes or for getting rid of Obama's changes. Just some more careful analysis of realizing that $160k is NOT the same as $350k (even if they're in the same bracket, roughly), and that $350k isn't the same as $10 million... and indexing that realization to the CPI.

    It goes a bit further than you think in the bulk of the US. The cost of living in rural and suburban America is much lower than the big cities. Which is fine, b/c if you want to have a 2000 square foot apartment in the upper west side, it's a given you will pay a lot for it.
    Manhattan is an abnormality. Where I grew up, the suburbs were pricier than the city - they had bigger homes, bigger lots, bigger property taxes, etc. Sure, if you're living in podunk America, you can survive on a lot less. But the majority of Americans live in major metropolitan areas, and the costs there aren't as low as we would like to think. There are also always hidden tradeoffs - maybe the house costs less, but the municipal/property/sales tax is higher. Maybe your overall costs are less, but you have to own a car for each working adult. Etc, etc. There are studies on the 'best' places to live from a compensation to cost of living ratio, and obviously the extremes are largely useless in determining policy.

    But those things are extravagant when you consider where you are coming from a lower income family. You'll have minimal support in creating you're own family assets. Is the same true for your children? Nope. They will benefit from your help and will be much better off than you were b/c in an equivalent situation you'd help them over the speed bumps like the one you highlighted in the above example. In such a case, would you not loan your kids some cash for a house?

    In turn, your kids will be much better off and living a much more extravagant lifestyle than you would ever be able to. Such a thing takes generations. Accept it and don't be bitter
    I completely agree with you! I'm not bitter, I actually believe wholeheartedly the American Dream. My great-grandparents came to this country with literally nothing; my grandparents grew up in the Depression but managed to make a living for themselves post WWII (the GI bill helped a lot for that). My parents had modest means but provided for their children, and now their kids are all well-educated professionals who will be well-set up for their futures (albeit with fairly minimal savings). I hope that my kids will never have to worry about caring for me because it will all be covered by my savings, and that they'll have the freedom and financial security to make good lives for themselves.

    I think we actually agree on things, Buck. I just think that the natural tendency to group people with seemingly high incomes in a giant group of the 'wealthy' who can afford extra taxes is a bit unreasonable. That group includes quite a big chunk of those who are doing well for themselves but are hardly living luxurious lives... treating them as the truly rich does them a disservice.

    The brackets aren't fixed as far as I know. They are adjusted, how often I am not sure, but they are. Just be aware as you plan your future that the cost of living in a metropolitan city is >>> living anywhere else in the country.
    They're set by Congress, and don't change much. A few bits of tax code are indexed to inflation, but the brackets are fixed. They're quite a bit of discussion about 'bracket creep' and how it's trashing the middle class.

    As for city living, I doubt I'll be living in a city for very long - though my current monthly living expenses (rent + utilities) are less than $400, which is hardly unreasonable. My current hope is to set up in a small town that I've got my eye on - cheap homes ($250k for a very nice one), good schools, relatively close to some high-tech clusters, fresh air, etc.

    And, being in a lower bracket, the government is giving you the break.

    In other countries, taxes are quite a bit higher. All things considering, we're more fine than not. My biggest grievance with it all is predominately on how that money is used. Between corruption, greed, and incompetence, the system is a big mess, imo.
    Agreed. I'm not saying we should lower taxes.

    Why the hell should companies that took extremely high risks all be pocket padded to this extent. The bailouts have become obnoxiously offensive to anyone making less than as much as 500k/year.
    In principle I agree, but we also can't let some of these companies fall. If Citi or AIG or whatever folds, we are in serious trouble.

    Ender

  4. #49

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dregs View Post
    This is what I really take issue with:



    Not anything about tax, but that I didn't know wiggin got engaged. Congratulations cobber!
    Heh, thanks. If it makes you feel better, I had a meal with a bunch of my friends the night after we got engaged, and I didn't tell any of them, either. *shrugs*

    Ender

  5. #50
    ~sigh~ High House Dawn Buck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    4,310

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Yea, it looks like we agree quite a bit more than disagree. Fair enough. Though I think you're being a bit too doom and gloom with the creeping. Obama is pretty fair minded and sooner or later he'll address this,imo. My guess is he'll do it right before the next election win back the moderates he'll be trampling all over trying to get stuff done.

    And while I agree with bailing out AIG and the like out of necessity, it doesn't mean I have to like it. Between high risk ventures, deregulation, and utter incompetence, all of us will be footing the bill for the next God knows how many years.




    Oh and I'll second the congratulations toward your engagement. In my usual blood frenzy I completely missed that gem.

    When is the big day?
    I wanna be like a goose and fly to new orleans for the winter and to canada for the summer.

    Gaidin to Amelia. She is the bomb. And the keeper of satan's nose. Acually, all I have now is her right nostril...

  6. #51
    Quick! To the Volcano! High House Moon Eyreplenh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Here, there, there's pieces of me everywhere
    Posts
    3,277
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Congrats indeed.

    I'll provide some further amusement on my tax-habits; the sales tax of 25% is flat, all-around, except from milk and cheese, where it's halved.

    I pay 36% at my first job, 42 for job two and three, and in the months I'm able to squeeze in all four, theres an even 50% on that. Added to the sales tax, I'm able to hold down about 40% of my actual wage

    But it's not all bad. 7% flat goes to your pension; you don't really need to save up for retirement over here unless you want a flashy road to six feet under -I'm starting extra retirement saving this year -because it's deductable. Second and most importantly, education and healthcare is also provided by da tax.

    Still, I think there must exist some socialist countries where you get to keep a little bit more of your earnings...
    High Marshal of Decadence


    And all I loved, I loved alone

  7. #52

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    Yea, it looks like we agree quite a bit more than disagree. Fair enough. Though I think you're being a bit too doom and gloom with the creeping. Obama is pretty fair minded and sooner or later he'll address this,imo. My guess is he'll do it right before the next election win back the moderates he'll be trampling all over trying to get stuff done.
    Yeah, I have hopes for some worthwhile tax reform, too. Probably will take a few years minimum, though.

    And while I agree with bailing out AIG and the like out of necessity, it doesn't mean I have to like it. Between high risk ventures, deregulation, and utter incompetence, all of us will be footing the bill for the next God knows how many years.
    Quite.

    Oh and I'll second the congratulations toward your engagement. In my usual blood frenzy I completely missed that gem.

    When is the big day?
    Thanks! June 14... coming up soon, eh?

    Ender

  8. #53
    major major major major dark fuschia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,431
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Can I throw something out there that's mostly unrelated but completely freaks me out? I work forty hours a week (well, that's what I am paid for). Anyway, my wage is so small I am eligile for an extra $98 per fortnight from the government to supplement my salary. I was always a big supporter of social security, but I didn't realise social security could so insidiously combine with the minimum wage to form such an unholy union. A fulltime mature worker earning lower than the threshold for social security; basically earning not nearly enough to live on. I just DON'T GET IT. To put it bluntly the way it looks to me is that my company, which is a large and well respected national company, is getting the government (aka, middle income earners who pay taxes) to supplement the wages they pay their workers, so that their workers actually settle for the wages. It's ingenius. I actually stopped partaking of that $98 because I was starting to find the whole thing just humiliating. I kind of regret giving it up now because I can't afford to live, nor can I afford medicine, but I am too busy to go fill out the forms to get on it again.

    I am sort of ashamed that prior to this I didn't realise australians were living on such disgustingly low wage with such terrible working conditions. It really makes it very clear to me why some australians opt out of working all together and stick to the dole. Its slightly less cash but that way you don't have to destroy yourself with the unreasonable expectations of employers. It just doesn't make any sense. Each day I have a luxury of regarding my job as a temporary measure to get by while I find proffessional work, but there are people around me who can hope for nothing better, which is really awful. Anyway, I have always been a big supporter of large taxes and large social security, but now I am not so sure. I don't think people who work forty hours a week should be getting social security. I think they should be getting paid a proper wage. *throws hands up!*

    the end

    <insert additional rant> and I actually work 50 hours a week because it's "expected". There are some people there who do 60. Thats alot of unpaid work hours each week. Add to this that we rarely get our lunch breaks either. It makes me so mad. I would start a union but I just want to use my energy to get out of there.

  9. #54
    void Anita Blake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    dreamland
    Posts
    5,248
    Blog Entries
    28

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Yowza, DF. That's.... it makes me rethink my fabulous plan to pick up and move to Australia!

    Eyre, I think Canada might be a semi-socialist nation where you get to keep a bit more of your earnings. I think after everything, we pay around 50% of our earnings to taxes. Something like 36% on income, 5% GST (goods and services tax) on ... goods and services (except essential items, like non-processed foods and medicines, etc.), between 6-10% Provincial Sales Tax (varies per province), not to mention the insane liquor tax, which drives the price of alcohol through the roof (a bottle of wine that costs $4 in LA is $14 in Canada). Plus gasoline taxes, and probably a whole mess of other taxes that I don't even know about. It's silly.

    As far as minimum wage goes, here, it's different in each province, but no matter how high they jack up the minimum wage, the cost of living just outpaces it quickly anyway, so regardless, if you're working full-time on minimum wage, you're pretty much screwed, but I don't think you qualify for government assistance. I could be wrong. Fortunately, it's been a while since I earned minimum wage. Though even at my current wage, which is probably somewhere in the low-middle-middle of the scale, I find it difficult to save up and pay down my debts at once. For another couple of months at least. Then I'll either have to suck it up and take government money while I look for more work, or get a job that pays me double (in which case, I'll probably earn about 1/3 more than I currently do).

    Still, I do appreciate the ability to walk into a doctor office and only have to pay for any medicines prescribed to me. Not that I do that frequently. But it's nice to know that if I fall and need an MRI or something, I won't be spiraled into bankruptcy for being a clutz.
    Your sense of self is defined by what you think other people think of you.

    I'm a militant Agnostic: I don't know and neither do you!

  10. #55
    High Roller High House Moon Dregs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The Heart of the Nation
    Posts
    2,294

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Quote Originally Posted by dark fuschia View Post
    I just want to use my energy to get out of there.
    Do it. Do it now.
    (I told you it was a mistake to let me have a signature.)

  11. #56
    ~sigh~ High House Dawn Buck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    4,310

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    At the risk of sounding like some ignorant american, what the hell is a dole?
    I wanna be like a goose and fly to new orleans for the winter and to canada for the summer.

    Gaidin to Amelia. She is the bomb. And the keeper of satan's nose. Acually, all I have now is her right nostril...

  12. #57
    "You should see what I see" Malcor Sylverwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    On the front line
    Posts
    4,520

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Welfare basically
    Knight-errant of Carealot
    Soulstealer's old (and reigning) archnemesis
    ~has a Star at the center of his universe~
    The Hermit in the Tower
    The Fool's mostly stable sidekick

  13. #58
    Quick! To the Volcano! High House Moon Eyreplenh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Here, there, there's pieces of me everywhere
    Posts
    3,277
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    I agree with Anita DF; the whole thing sounds screwed up. Like very screwed. Over here minimum wage is not very much either, but it's still a fair bit more than dole money (it has to be for not sticking to it, no? I mean, if I were offered almost as much money from the state for doing nothing except bow my head and be a bit humiliated -I'd consider it) -this difference still makes it possible from welfare recipients to live, because they are eligible for other things such as subsidized (crappy) housing and such...

    If the welfare money almost equals wage, you're not exactly driving people back into the work market no?

    Funfact: Norway recently had to revise it's welfare and pension payouts, because a growing number of enterprising individuals saved up for a ticket to, say, south america, where they'd live like kings for the monthly payouts. Hehe, I was quite amused by this loophole, but all in all, I'm all for ablebodied people to work for their money...
    High Marshal of Decadence


    And all I loved, I loved alone

  14. #59
    major major major major dark fuschia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,431
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    lol that's so funny eyre, how did they solve that problem? In australia they solve it by making people hand in their form in person each fortnight.

    I think it's funny because almost every person I know who is on the dole has payTV. There's quite a few people in my home town who are third generation dole bludgers. I get jealous, I have never been able to afford pay tv in my life! If I was only the dole I'd be earning approximately 45% less than what I earn now, so it's still better to have a job, but maybe not when the job sort of infringes on your human rights.

    Thanks for the advice Dregs, I will hear your voice in my head all next week no doubt, and it will give me courage to do the Q word when the moment is right. Here's a funny fact; I have only ever quit one job in my life, and that was when I worked at a fish and chip shop. At that fish and chip shop my supervisor was this bully girl who I didn't like very much. By some bizarre co-incidence she is the human resources person at this job. She'll think I am a quitter! WAAAA!! And some 15 year old part of me is still hugely intimidated by her. Crazy stuff! LOL

  15. #60
    Quick! To the Volcano! High House Moon Eyreplenh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Here, there, there's pieces of me everywhere
    Posts
    3,277
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Income Tax?

    Handing in forms in person, huh? How... 1800s Nay, you loose a big part of the money if you live outside the country. I'm not sure if it is by heavier taxation or a direct cut in your payouts, but yeah, now you have to endure the shitty weather at least in periods
    High Marshal of Decadence


    And all I loved, I loved alone

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •