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The_Rorschach The_Rorschach is offline
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Old May 12th, 2003, 06:44 AM        Dinner Party: A Parable concerning Tax Cuts
http://tampatrib.com/News/MGAENHPLYED.html


Tax Cuts Don't Resonate With Nontaxpayers
EDWIN A. ROBERTS, JR.
Published: Apr 27, 2003

My thanks to Scott A. Hodge, executive director of the Tax Foundation, for passing along this little story.

Suppose that every day, 10 men went out for dinner. The bill for all 10 came to $100. They decided to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so they divided the bill like this:

The first four men - the poorest - would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1, the sixth $3, the seventh $7, the eighth $12, the ninth $18, and the 10th man - the wealthiest - would pay $59.

One day the restaurant owner threw them a curve (in tax language, a tax cut).

``Since you are all such good customers,'' he said, ``I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20.''

Continuing To Eat For Free

The group still wanted to pay the bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six - the paying customers? How would they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ``fair share''?

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would end up being PAID to eat their meal.

So at the restaurant owner's suggestion, they arrived at this new distribution: The fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the 10th man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59. Each of the six was better off, and the first four continued to eat for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. ``I only got a dollar out of the $20,'' declared the sixth man, then, pointing to the 10th. ``But he got $7!'' ``Yeah, that's right,'' exclaimed the fifth man. ``I only saved a dollar too. It's unfair that the wealthy get all the breaks!''

``Wait a minute,'' yelled the first four men in unison. ``We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!''

The nine men surrounded the 10th and beat him up. The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him.

But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered, a little late, what was very important. They were $52 short of paying the bill.

The lesson here is one that congressional opponents of President Bush's efforts to reduce income taxes well understand. But for political reasons they have chosen to engage in class warfare, deliberately misleading their constituents with speeches decrying administration tax policies that ``favor the rich.''

A Generally Unspoken Aspect

But if we are to cut taxes and thereby stimulate the economy (as Kennedy and Reagan so successfully did), we must cut the taxes of the people who pay taxes in the first place. And this year 35.8 million tax filers (representing 69.6 million people) will pay no federal income taxes at all. That's 26.7 percent of the 133 million tax returns the government expects will be filed in 2003.

Ironically had Congress adopted the president's original tax-reduction plan, millions of additional Americans would have been freed of any and all income tax liability.

Surely lower federal taxes are welcomed by the majority of people who pay taxes, but most of the solons on Capitol Hill opposing the Bush plan are catering to folks who, perhaps because of adversity, don't pay their way. They rate kindly concern, even as those who pay the freight deserve a break.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old May 12th, 2003, 11:18 AM       
This analogy has several holes:

the 10'th man, the 'most wealthy' man:

A.) is already eating several of his meals at ofeshore resteraunts or in secluded dining shelters only his expensive meal planner has access to.

B.) Often gets other people to pay his share of the meal by lying to them about what the returns on such an investment might be

C.) Can pay his share of the meal with the loose change found between the cushions in the back seat of the limo which takes him to the restaurant while the four non paying people have to walk from work to there and back again since they can't afford the bus.

D.) Has never, ever in the course of American history been beaten up by anyone, let allone his dinner companions, but spends each and every meal complaining about the possability so loudly no one else can hear themselves think.

E.) When was the last time a rich man who was not related to you by blood bought you a dinner mint, let alone a dinner? If this meal plan was not required by the government the rich man would eat alone every night, or in the company of his peers.


BEWARE ANALOGIES! They are a SHITTY tool for understanding things and no one ever comes up with an analogy prior to coming conclusion. Analogies which by design can't ever be truly analagous (The only absolute paralell with our tax system would be another tax system that was identical, not some sort of restaurant tab) are designed to suppport pre existing arguments. They also insult the intellligence, as if to say I know you can't und3erstand our tax code like I do, so let me dumb it down to something your tiny little mind can accomodate, like dinner.

D.) Comparing the Reagan and Kennedy tax cuts is deeply disingenous, as one was supply side and the other was not. This reveals just what I said about Analogy. The author already knows what he intends his analogy to support and crafted it speciffically for that purpose.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 03:04 PM       
sounds like the administration trying to explain economics to W'ya to me.

too bad most americans have already been dumbed down to the point where they can't see through this.
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The_Rorschach The_Rorschach is offline
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Old May 13th, 2003, 05:54 PM       
Actuallyt Ranxer, I know its hard to believe people might agree with Bush because they agree with him, but they do. It was an editorial, and I'm fairly sure he wasn't bribed the Bush administration for his support. As for being dumb. . .Maybe I am just an idiot, but I found myself in agreement for the most part.

Now, Burbie:

"is already eating several of his meals at ofeshore resteraunts or in secluded dining shelters only his expensive meal planner has access to"

Neither here not there. Regardless of how many tax initiatives they took advantage of, or assets they hide from the Fed Gov, the Rich are still paying more than anyone else when it comes to taxes. Not necessarily in percentile, though often that is the case as well, but certainly in dollar amount. Why quibble over how 'unfair' it is that they should enjoy or retain their wealth?

"Often gets other people to pay his share of the meal by lying to them about what the returns on such an investment might be"

Yes, I've noticed an increase of the Noveau Rich applying for medicade and foodstamps lately. Worse yet, is when they insist on court appointed defense attorneys. What assholes. Next thing you know, they will start requesting something in return for their charity donatives. BASTARDS!

"Can pay his share of the meal with the loose change found between the cushions in the back seat of the limo which takes him to the restaurant while the four non paying people have to walk from work to there and back again since they can't afford the bus."

Yes, its a wonder we're not all homeless, I mean look at this nation! Due to the agressive American taxation tactics, most people are limited to only owning multiple televisions and cars! I believe every backyard should have a handstrip, and every porch should sport a yacht. Only then will we all truly be equal!

"Has never, ever in the course of American history been beaten up by anyone, let allone his dinner companions, but spends each and every meal complaining about the possability so loudly no one else can hear themselves think."

Circa 1930s -40's America. Rich bashing was a rather common occourance, and looks as though it may become one again. Personally, I dislike the rich speaking in general terms, because I think they use their affluence irresponsible, but that is a purely personal matter. I don't think their status or assets should be revoked.

But thats not the point. His point was illustrating what would happen if taxes were raised against the rich, and many of them abandoned America for much more fiscally appealing places in Europe of the Caribean

"When was the last time a rich man who was not related to you by blood bought you a dinner mint, let alone a dinner? If this meal plan was not required by the government the rich man would eat alone every night, or in the company of his peers."

And? Should we therefore tax them into poverty so they can 'learn their lesson?' Who is the real Ebenezer here?

"BEWARE ANALOGIES! They are a SHITTY tool for understanding things and no one ever comes up with an analogy prior to coming conclusion."

While I would normally agree, this one isn't all that bad.

"D.) Comparing the Reagan and Kennedy tax cuts is deeply disingenous, as one was supply side and the other was not."

That's like saying comparing Republican and Democrats is stupid because they have different idealogies, on an issue where they have the same aim. The results were similar in that, at least short term, they were affective. If you look at them more than superificially, you might actually note there are some similiarities between them.
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Carnivore Carnivore is offline
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Old May 13th, 2003, 10:43 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Rorschach
Regardless of how many tax initiatives they took advantage of, or assets they hide from the Fed Gov, the Rich are still paying more than anyone else when it comes to taxes. Not necessarily in percentile, though often that is the case as well, but certainly in dollar amount. Why quibble over how 'unfair' it is that they should enjoy or retain their wealth?
The rich continue to get richer, so don't make it sound like they're being raped. They possess a disproportionate amount of wealth so they pay more. And there would be far less "quibbling" if their wealth was always legitimately earned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Rorschach
Yes, I've noticed an increase of the Noveau Rich applying for medicade and foodstamps lately. Worse yet, is when they insist on court appointed defense attorneys.
They get people to pay in other ways like subsidies and corporate tax breaks.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 01:45 AM       
Quote:
I found myself in agreement for the most part.
this is nicely done propaganda, it sounded agreeable to me but it was only because i was allowing the writer to slip by with generalizations, surely someone can philisophically break it down. crafty peice of work even. it throws out reality though. our taxes are paying trillions in debt that have more to do with the corporations that made those folks rich, wealth that is institutionally protected in a disproportionate manner. like nader says 'crime in the suites far outweighs the crime in the streets'

Quote:
His point was illustrating what would happen if taxes were raised against the rich, and many of them abandoned America for much more fiscally appealing places in Europe of the Caribean
! oh hold on there, most of the major corporations ARE moving profits overseas, And gated communities with private security are extreemly profitible, i daresay there's a secure future in private caribean recreations with armed guards.

and the whole concept of hoping the rich folk don't leave us! 8|
that reminds me of serfs thanking thier kings for not beating them oh please stay, i won't know what to do with the taxes that arent subsidising the oil companies the chemical companies, defense industries, etc.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 01:55 AM       
Wah wah wah, the rich possess too much wealth.

Tell me, Carnivore, since you are so fucking smart, how much is "too much wealth." I'm quite courious.

And enough with the whole "tax cuts for the rich" crap. Rich people get more money back because they pay more taxes. Where is this not fair? I can't see it.

A unfortuante growing majority of this board think that the rich have to lie, cheat and steal to get their gains. Distribute out all the money evenly to everyone in the U.S. and guess what will happen? The rich will be rich again and the poor will be poor. They will continue to do what they do to put them in the same positions they are in, for the most part.

Carnivore, I hope you limit your debating about these kinds of topics to this board and to your close real life friends. Anyone else would beat you with a rolled up magazine just like you do to a dog that can't comprehend that you do not shit on the rug.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 05:02 AM       
Oh, joy! It's my turn to play with Vince the falsifying, fucktarded moron! Let's see how fast I can drive the process of Vincevolution!

How much wealth is too much? I don't know. It's not how much that matters. It's how it is obtained. The rich may not have to lie, cheat, and steal to get richer, but they do. They do frequently. Corporations suck up subsidies and tax breaks. In exchange, they keep jobs in the United States, right? Errrr... not quite. Check the label on most of the things you buy.

The rich aren't the ones that need tax cuts. A wealthy person having to settle for a 50' yacht instead of a 60' yacht isn't as great a sacrifice as a middle-class family having to settle for only putting one of two kids through college.

If you redistribute the wealth of the country as you suggested, the same people won't end up on top. Wealth is usually hereditary. The rich can afford to give their children the best. Do you think George W. Bush attended Yale because he was an exceptional student? Well... you probably do, but you're an ignoramus.

As for anything to do with shitting on rugs, you are clearly the authority on the subject and I bow to your expertise.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 08:07 AM       
Quote:
The rich aren't the ones that need tax cuts. A wealthy person having to settle for a 50' yacht instead of a 60' yacht isn't as great a sacrifice as a middle-class family having to settle for only putting one of two kids through college.
So, you are for giving privleges to people based on their needs, eh? So, do you think religion is the opiate of the masses, or is that were you and Uncle Karl (Marx) split up? Why is it right to heavily tax "the rich" but not tax "the poor" who are more likely to use the social services that are provided by our country? Why should people use the EITC to get back money that they never paid in, but is paid by someone who is rich? That isn't a "tax refund", it is outright communism via wealth redistribution.

I don't know if you really are lacking in comprehension, but you act like that the money that is being taken from the "rich" isn't their money, when it is! Do you think big corporations pay taxes? No, we pay them when there is a tax hike because they hike the prices to offset the tax hike.

People that make over 54,000 dollars a year, by our system, are considered "rich". They get royally screwed. And most people that run a business in this country run a small one, and they can't expand or do anything because the tax noose around their throats. Explain to me how the guy who runs two "Bob's general stores" is a rich fat cat, Carnivore? He would like to hire a few more people, but the taxes he has to pay hurts the hell out of him, and the recent tax hike is cutting into his business. Please go to any one of the millions of these businesses in our country and explain your yacht story. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when they respond.


And who cares if the rich can afford to give people the best. That is called life. Life is "unfair" sometimes. But don't punish others because they are well off. What happens if you become well off; do you want some other little insignifigant jerk telling you why you shouldn't whine about not being able to keep more of your money?

You should take out one of those gay little logos you like to pull out every time I get "owned" and give one to me. I'll go get the magic market and write "Moron" on your forehead just as a warning for anyone who want's to have an intelligent conversation with you.
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Carnivore Carnivore is offline
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Old May 14th, 2003, 10:39 AM       
I'm for giving assistance to people based on their needs and I do believe that the wealthier you are, the greater your responsibility to society. I am very much aware of the abuses of welfare that take place, getting the opportunity to meet the wonderful Medicaid abusers at work all the time. You'll be shocked to know that I approve of drug testing for benefits and other initiatives aimed at curtailing such abuse. If it comes down to having some people abuse their benefits or having people who really need the benefits not getting them, however, I'd chose the former.

As for religion, I believe religion has no place in government, but everybody should be free to practice the religion of their choice on their own time.

Don't make it sound like the rich paying more taxes because they have a lot more money is redistribution of wealth. The rich are still getting richer!

I believe I need to define what I consider rich. I do not consider your $54,000 a year small business owner rich. I'm talking about the top 20% that controls almost 95% of the wealth. I'm talking about the corporations paying only 11.4% of the taxes in this country when they paid 27% in the 50s. I'm all for helping Bob's General Store instead of AOL Time Warner.

Your eventual position in life should not be determined by the situation into which you were born. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity. In my opinion, the way to do this is to ensure everyone has access to a good education. Rich kids like King George go to Phillips Academy. Poor kids go to the non-accredited Lawrence High School one town away. Given the same opportunities, 98% of those poor kids could do better than King George, I'd wager. They didn't choose to be born into that situation. Is it fair that their options are limited from the moment they're born?

As for the Malevolent Seal of Approvalâ„¢, I stated I would no longer issue them to people for "owning" you. You're public property by virtue of your utter stupidity. So keep drawing with your magic markers, try not to stick them places they don't belong, and try to refrain from making stupid assumptions.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 10:55 AM       
Life. IS. Not. Fair.

To understand anything in life, you have to understand that people will be born into prosperity while some into poverty. And the govt considers 54,000+ a year rich, so they are taxed like crazy. Doesn't matter what you consider rich.

And just becuase you say what I post is stupid doesn't make it stupid. It only makes you an uninformed idiot that is severely lacking in any kind of intelligence when it comes to money matters and your loathing of people who make more than you because you are too much of a lazy-ass whiner to go out and do something for yourself seeps through my screen.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 11:13 AM       
Life does not have to be as unfair as it is. I'm not suggesting wealth redistribution, but I am saying that a decent standard of living and educational opportunities should be guaranteed.

It does matter what I consider rich for the sake of this argument. It prevents you from making huge generalizations and throwing Bob's General Store and Microsoft in the same boat. Well... nothing stops you from making huge generalizations, but at least you look like an even bigger idiot when you do.

Dude, the preponderance of Mockers considers what you post extremely stupid. It's not just me saying it, submariner. And finally, let's just destroy your assertions about me. I could've gone to the same private school that your precious King George went to. I was not born into poverty by any stretch of the imagination. I work my ass off, never working less than 48 hours a week, while going to school. Now, does anyone else want to play with the Vince today?
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Old May 14th, 2003, 11:22 AM       
Poverty in the U.S. is living like a king anywhere else. People live better here than anywhere else in the world. You want life to guarentee everything, when life only guarentees that you will die.

Microsoft should have to pay taxes as well. Microsoft makes metric ass-loads of money. But that does not mean that Microsoft should pay over 60% of its profits to the govt. That's immoral and it is STEALING.

And I-Mockery is what percentage of the internet? Of real life? If getting the respect of people here meant trading in the respect I have everywhere else, I would laugh my ass off.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 11:44 AM       
Now, now! I thought we agreed there would be no more lying, submariner! The idea that anybody with even an inkling of intelligence could respect you is just laughable.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:00 PM       
Many more respect me than they do you, my friend.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:30 PM        Um
Okay, again I'm gonna ask then why isn't flat tax the way to go? For the sake of argument 10 cents on every dollar earned.
Among other things it wold get rid of the need for tax accountants as even a poorly educated person could figure out the math on this one.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:33 PM       
For your mastery of the English language? For your well-founded, brilliantly articulated arguments? Perhaps for your sexual prowess? Maybe for your honesty and integrity? Or possibly it's for your ability to make a complete ass of yourself with minimal effort?

Whatever you say, bub.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:43 PM       
So where are you respected? I want to check it out.


Carni doesn't want to brag, so I'll do it for him. He's a full time Emergency Medical Technician and a student. Is saving lives real world enough for you, Vinth? Is it working hard enough? I mean, I know it's nowhere near as virile as pushing papers at a private school.

I know, I know, what do you care?

And Vinth. Life is not fair. You're quite correct. But governments by and for the people are supposed to be.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:17 PM       
". . .educational opportunities should be guaranteed."
-Carni


The children within the United Stated are being instructed to participate in superfluous actistivies in school as a substitute for academic enterprise. By which I mean arts and crafts, music, sports, drama and vocational preperation. Furthermore, parents are being encouraged to foster an interest in such activities, for the sake of structured supervision, in order to see their children recieve a well rounded education. As a result, we now have entire generations of children with impaired reading skills can neither think critically nor express themselves verbally or in writing. They lack sufficient knowledge of their own nation's history, do not have understanding enough to descriminate between one form of government and the next and largely know nothing of the geography of our nation or the world, leaving them devoid of much needed factual information. With severely limited exposure to math and science, they are further robbed of a factual knowledge base needed to simply survive in modern world.

Now really Carni, education like that is no education at all, and I believe that crippling ignorance is an equal oppourtunity lender, but if you want to make it more accessible to others, by all means, advocate away.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:31 PM       
Excellent research support Gardners theory of Multiple Intelligences.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:47 PM       
"But governments by and for the people are supposed to be."

supposed to be. Thats sad.

Ror is absolutely right about the public education system in our country as well. I'm not embarassed to admit that I have been severely damaged by a lack of proper education in the field of geography. Recently I discovered I could not appropriately locate and name more than 20 U.S states on a map, nor name more than 3 of their capitals. It goes without saying that I fell extremely short on other areas of the world.

My knowledge on other subjects I gained largely from my own research, reading, and with assistance from my father in my recent homeschooling.

Thats why I believe schools should be privately run. Let competition enter the education world and they'll have a reason to properly educate.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:49 PM       
Double post.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 04:06 PM       
Well... I went to public school and I can name all 50 states and most, if not all, of their capitals. Maybe if all public schools were funded as well as the ones I attended.... Free, quality, public education should be a guaranteed right. I'm all for improving schools. I do think it's a travesty that there are high school graduates who can barely read or write. Rich kids have the option of private schools. Poor kids don't, so we need to fix public schools. Inequality will always exist. That's fine. Not all things are equal. Not all people are equal. Some people work harder and they deserve more. But some are not given the chance to reach their full potential. People shouldn't be limited by their circumstances. The degree to which inequality exists must be managed.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 04:07 PM       
Clinical research means nothing when the reality conflicts postulation.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 04:47 PM       
Quote:
schools should be privately run. Let competition enter the education world and they'll have a reason to properly educate.
i think its happening on the east coast first.. i'm not sure where but we need to keep an eye on what the results are from the privitazition experiments.

i'm very sure that long term results will show that privitization is the last thing we should do with education.
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