Taxes Are Too Damn High...

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Shore Properties 1005238

...or are they? No one LIKES paying taxes, but most of us understand their necessity. Anyway, I've seen a lot of moaning lately from some of my friends about high tax rates, so I thought I share some facts. I found this article in Business Insider

  • Today's income tax rates are strikingly low relative to the rates of the past century, especially for rich people.  For most of the century, including some boom times, top-bracket income tax rates were much higher than they are today.
  • Contrary to what some would have you believe, super-high tax rates on rich people do not appear to hurt the economy or make people lazy: During the 1950s and early 1960s, the top bracket income tax rate was over 90%--and the economy, middle-class, and stock market boomed.
  • Super-low tax rates on rich people also appear to be correlated with unsustainable sugar highs in the economy--brief, enjoyable booms followed by protracted busts. They also appear to be correlated with very high inequality. (For example, see the 1920s and now).
  • Periods of very low tax rates have been followed by periods with very high tax rates, and vice versa. So history suggests that tax rates will soon start going up

And before you protest that INCOME taxes may be low, but the government is now gouging us a thousand new ways, note that total government tax revenue (federal, state, and local) is actually now lower than pretty much any time in the last 40 years.

So, what does the future hold? Obviously, no one likes tax increases, but the similarities between the 1920s-1930s and the 2000s-2010s seem hard to ignore. Today, after an era of very low taxes, we have enormous inequality and a huge deficit. Last time that happened, the top tax rate soared (and, it should be noted, the economy boomed--even with the top rate high). And we certainly wouldn't be surprised to see history repeat itself again..."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-tax-rates?op=1#ixzz2cpamU6Pt

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Comments (20)

Helen and Larry Prier- Re-Max Gateway - Residential Real Estate
RE-MAX Gateway- Residential Real Estate Sales - Anacortes, WA
Anacortes & surrounding Skagit & Island Counties

Karl, I think what people object to with taxes is the waste and fraud that taxpayers have to pay for. It seems that our politicians live very well thank you and use our precious money to squander on whatever they think will get them votes. I could go on but until they spend the money more wisely. Then Keep the taxes low.

Aug 23, 2013 10:53 AM
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Yes, the rates are less than they were before but it's the give aways and the waste that get under the skin of many Americans.

Aug 23, 2013 12:41 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Karl - do your own analysis!  Don't simply copy what someone else does and post it.

For example, how many people did that 91% tax rate in the 50s affect and how did it compare to depreciation of capital development write offs?  And what was the income rate that people had to reach before taxes kicked in?  What percentage of the population did the income tax rates affect?

The 50s was really a period of very low taxes.  But your point, and this article make it seem not so.

DO SOME ANALYSIS!

That is an article with a political bent.  It's like watching 60 Minutes.  Which I never do.  They start with what they want to "prove," and then go about "proving" it.  It's infantile journalism.

Remember - lies, damn lies and then there's statistics.

Analyze this:  7 of 8 jobs the "economy" has "created" in the past four years have been part time.  Why?

Aug 23, 2013 09:15 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

P.s.  You have said yourself that taxes in New Jersey are too damn high.  But please don't move to Virginia.  You will only vote here the way you have voted there and spread the misery to us.

Aug 23, 2013 09:27 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Hint for your analysis:  the first thing Bush did regarding taxes was to dramatically reduce depreciation for capital development.  That was learned from Eisenhower's administration!  What did it do (for both administrations...)?

You can do this Karl.  But it will take thought, not simply reading some slanted article with a political bent.

Aug 23, 2013 09:45 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I do have a lot of fun with this...

Aug 23, 2013 09:45 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Karl, when you talk about "Rich People" - do you mean One Percenters like the Obamas, Larry David, Jacob Lew (Obama's Secretary of the Treasury), the Clintons, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Moore, Hollywood Producers and Actors, the Owners and Publishers of the New York Times, Washington Post, the Faces on NPR, Eric Schmidt (Google), and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), the CEO's of Institutional ""Charities" like Red Cross and United Way, the Presidents of most Universities who now make $1,000,000+ salaries, etc. etc. who are ALL REGISTERED DEMOCRATS  --- You mean THOSE Rich People?

Aug 24, 2013 04:45 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

I think two of the big differences are (1) that the effective tax rate back in those high-tax years was still much lower than 90%.  There were tons of loopholes like those eliminated by the 1986 tax reform bill that ended so many of the rich people's deductions. Nobody ever truly paid 90% of their actual income. (2) People on government dependant programs is at an all time high - in the 1940s and 1950s, the people on social security was a tiny minority of the population.  Programs like food stamps, Section 8, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI disability, free school lunches, free daycare, etc., etc. did not exist. 

Our nation is borrowing itself into oblivion and making promises of government assistance that common sense math tells us we can never keep.  At some point the system will crash and when it does, you better have your exit plan in order. 

Aug 24, 2013 11:47 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

One did not pay taxes until their income reached $32K during Eisenhower's administration.

Use this calculator to see what income that would be today...

Oh, $279K.

So, question.  Why did Kennedy change it?  Hint:  his policy only changed rates for the ultra-rich.  Why?

Aug 25, 2013 09:51 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Again, I do have a lot of fun with this...

Aug 25, 2013 09:52 AM
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Karl -- like Helen and Larry (#1) -- I think the thing that gets most people really upset is that government seems to waste money faster than we can earn it.   Example locally - the states of Washington and Oregon have spent (through April) over $220 Million dollars on studies and designs for a replacement I-5 bridge over the Columbia River -- and the design was too low to allow current companies east of the bridge to be able to move product down river, if bridge were built as designed.   Or the 520 floating bridge rebuild where design errors have lead to over $300 million in cost overruns - so far, and they still need to start the real work!

Aug 26, 2013 04:10 AM
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Stats show what the statistician wants it to show. Cherry picking the 'fact' certainly doesn't help your argument Karl.

One of our agents (many years ago) talked about the 80% bracket during or after WWII (I really don't remember the time frame), but he stated there were so many deductions and it applied to so few people he felt he was paying more in taxes in the late 80s then he every did at 80%.

How many state's/county's/city's had income taxes at that time? What were the sales tax rates (City/State and County)? Fuel tax? Property taxes?

As Jay mentioned: Loopholes? Deductions?

Heck at $279,000 I wouldn't even have to pay income taxes. Sounds like a good plan to me Karl!

Looking at only income tax does NOT show the true tax rate, especially when so many 'facts' are left out.

Aug 26, 2013 05:45 AM
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

LOL, "And Bill Clinton came in and jacked the top bracket back up to 39.6%. And, lo and behold, the economy boomed! And the deficit shrank! And eventually, we even had a surplus."

This has been debunked so many times it isn't even funny. We had a 'surplus' based on insane projections some 5-10 years down the road! There was never a 'balanced budget' in actuality. It was 'balanced' based on projected growth and income in the future.

 

This is certainly an unbiased article:

"As you can see, relative to history, it's currently VERY low."

"This suggests that the Republican mantra about high marginal tax rates killing the economy is, well, a bunch of crap."

"And then, in 1988, Reagan finished the job, whacking the top rate to 28%."

 

Aug 26, 2013 06:07 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

C'mon Karl.  I am hearing crickets.  I want to see some of your THINKING and ANALYSIS.  No links.  No silly googling.  Personal THOUGHT! ANALYSIS!

Put yourself out there!  I do every week with my free enterprise blog.  It is MY thinking and MY analysis.  The quote is merely a springboard.

Aug 26, 2013 09:11 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I'm trying to help you out here buddy!

Notice how you posted something that was intentionally provocative, but symbolic, without substance?  And how the comments that followed were substantive, and without symbolism?

Hence the difference between the emotions of liberalism (statism) and the thinking of conservatism.  And the encouraged suckling of the low-information voter at the big pig's teat by one party, and it's vote buying.  Why think when you can suck?

Good lesson here.  Some people suck.

Head's up - tomorrow I am going to post about the concept of money.  I will define money in ways you will not find in dictionaries or economic textbooks.  I will show how money is created and how it is not created.

AND I WILL DO SOME ORIGINAL THINKING AND ANALYSIS AND RELATE IT TO THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL CONTINUING RESOLUTION "DEBATE" THE LITTLE IMAM WILL TRY TO CREATE IN THE COMING WEEKS.  YOU WON'T READ MY ANALYSIS FROM ANYONE, EXCEPT, PERHAPS, AFTER I HAVE POSTED THE POINT!  (AR isn't the only place I post my free enterprise blog)

No google.  No links.  No symbolism.  Just original thinking.  And THAT is provocative, but in a different way.

And I would LOOOOVE for you to debate my post!  Gird your loins.  And please, no tangential comments about someone else's comment. 

Aug 26, 2013 10:09 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It must be a bummer when I represent more than 50% of the comments on your post. 

Aug 26, 2013 10:10 PM
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

LOL, Jay. He prefers the comments he gets from his like minded brethren. You know the "Atta boys", and "you are right".

The main arguments from the left are RACISSM, GREEDY RICH and "NANANANAN, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Just look at the kerfluffle over the rodeo clown. That has been done for decades. Heck I remember seeing both Carter and Reagan run over during my childhood. But the RACIST left sees nothing but the color of Obama's skin, so they assume that is all we see. No substance, no facts just RACISSSSMMMM!

Aug 26, 2013 11:46 PM
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Thank you for the comments everyone. I appreciate it, and no Jay, it's not a bummer that you have over half of them.

While I understand that the top EFFECTIVE tax rates were probably never higher than 50 or 60 percent, that's still a helluvalot more that today's effective rate of about 19% for the wealthiest of Americans. Hey, I'm with ya, let's not raise taxes, let's get rid of all the loopholes. The problem of course is that folks have paid a lot of money for those loopholes and/or exemptions and they will not give them up so easily and congress certainly doesn't have the backbone to reform the tax code...where would their money come from?

Sep 02, 2013 01:16 AM
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Jay, you might also want to check this out: BTW, in the 1950's, 50K is worth about 300K in todays money.

 

Sep 04, 2013 07:50 AM
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

Why can we not have a flat tax that taes everyone the same as well as corperate taxes as well. I don't want your money but I do want mine.

Sep 08, 2013 12:55 PM