The $570 Million Powerball Victory In Context

Tyler Durden's picture

... In which Zero Hedge looks at the implications of taxing nouveau riche Powerball winners at the "fair" marginal rate of 100%.

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SilverIsKing's picture

A dollar and a dream.  Oh, two dollars and a dream.  Oh, no more dollars, I forgot.

Almost Solvent's picture

Here in NY, they have "Little Bit of Luck" as the new lottery slogan. 


Same for the government, except they're gonna need alotta more luck . . .

francis_sawyer's picture

I'll take my winnings in nickles please... Thank you...

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is not like taxation of his power balls.

SeattleBruce's picture

I'm sure Obammy's IRS will work up some kind of exception for these poor schmucks, er rich  Will they pay out in physical PMs?...LOL

ACP's picture

Or maybe the government has had a HELL of a lot of luck, and is about to run out...

Pool Shark's picture



The first thing that guy needs to do is buy himself a new shirt and ballcap...

Maybe the lottery explains why 'merican's savings rate is nearly zero.

[The Lottery: A tax on the mathematically illiterate]

Lin S's picture

I think of the Lottery - well, all gambling, really - as a tax on stupid people.

HeatMiser's picture

Call Hyman Cap. and Kyle Bass quickly before Chairsatan and crew steal it all.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I can't wait until they start moving decimal points to the right.

<I bet there's an app for that.>

metastar's picture

It's the HFT/fatFinger lottery bot hooked directly into the lottery exchange.

The house always wins. The only winning move is not to play.

savagegoose's picture

they just added Ca. to the pool, thats another 30 mill punters,  jackpots will seen be a billion+ especially of they also increase the odds form cuurrent 1:175 mill

zapdude's picture

All your powerballs are belong to us.

metastar's picture

That's what Janet Napolitano said.

zapdude's picture

Yep.  Instead of "Big Sis", they should call her "Big Stick".

JanaUsoFine's picture

Most bull-dykes names their strap-ons "Janet Napolitano"

Vashta Nerada's picture

Also a good time to point out that if the US taxed all people making $250,000 or more at 100%, it would not cover the annual deficit.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Silly VN. One can only enjoy the movie if one suspends disbelief.

<What do you mean only $94.36 for popcorn and a drink? I don't believe you.>

cxl9's picture

For myself, I have decided what is the maximum Federal rate of taxation on my total income that I am willing to tolerate (15%). If the tax rate rises above that, I practice more aggressive avoidance strategies; if the rate falls below that, I am less aggressive. In any event, the Federal government will not be stealing more than 15% of my income. End of discussion. Play with the rates all you like.

Fortunately, in my situtation I am not liable for any state income or sales taxes.


amadeusb4's picture

The fact that top 10% of earners pays the majority of INCOME taxes says that you're an idiot.

Did you know that Romney paid NO taxes prior to deciding to run for president? I'm sure he at least squeezes into the top 10%. AMT? That's only for wage earning suckers.

Vashta Nerada's picture

"If you took all the income of people over $200,000, it would yield about $1.89 trillion, enough revenue to cover the 2012 bill for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security" - WSJ

If one moves the cutoff from $200K to $250K, that $1.89 trillion becomes less than the current $1.5 trillion deficit.

amadeusb4's picture

The social security trust fund is over $2.7 TRILLION well in excess of the current deficit. So what? That's irrelevant just as your WSJ quote.

You're confounding INCOME taxes with PAYROLL taxes. Rich people don't pay into social security insurance because FICA taxes top out on income just above $100K. So someone earning $100K pays as much into SSI as that billionaire hedge fund manager. SSI and other earning income benefits like medicare aren't responsible for the deficit.

The economic downturn, Bush era tax cuts and war spending are responsible for the deficit! Don't let any Republican idiot brainwash you into handing over more payroll taxes or cutting your earning income benefits because they ran up the debt.

Vashta Nerada's picture

Social Security Trust Fund?  Funded?  You must be joking.

The US is spending $1.5 trillion more than it takes in taxes, not including unfunded mandates.  This is more than the income of everyone making $250K or more.  It is simple math.

amadeusb4's picture

Yes, you go ahead and bet on the US defaulting on its debt. I'm sure that will work out for you and your family.

The rich should pay their fare share. Romney talks about the 47% of moochers who don't pay taxes while it turns out that HE'S ONE OF THEM!!! He makes a ton of money and DOES NOT PAY TAXES! But the rich aren't the only ones we should tax. We should tax corporations. The Mitt Romney equivalent is GE. Billions in profit and NO TAXES paid. Where's the 35% tax bill that the Republicans are always lamenting. "US has highest corporate tax rate of industrialized nations" I always hear idiots saying when actual corporate tax rate is something like 12% or lowest by far in the industrialized world.

Want to close the deficit? Tax corporations. Tax the rich. Pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan and a thousand other bases abroad. Spend on national infrastructure and watch the economy expand gobbling up the rest of the deficit with it. This isn't rocket science. The reason we're not doing it is not because it's difficult, it's because the rich think we OWE THEM. This is medieval and you're singing your lord's praises to the rest of the peasants. Fortunately, most americans don't agree with you. You're in the minority as are the rich themserves.

Pairadimes's picture



MDB, is that you?

Dr. Engali's picture

Aaaannndd... It's gone.

Karlus's picture

Its a perception issue. The logic goes like this: People are getting screwed by the economy. We need someone to blame. Find the people "doing well" and punish them. Everyone feels bad now.


So taxing the rich was and is not about fixing a problem, but more along the lines of being "fair."


Unfortunately fairness does not solve anything, it just guarantees we all suffer.


I would guess that while our president and legistlators are aware there is a problem, they are so insulated from this problem that it becomes both an academic issue for them as well as a political issue to avoid. Their goal is to get elected, not solve problems...


This trend will continue until there is a major event such as a grocery supply chain issue or even a major outbreak of some virus. An external event will cause people to decide its time to halt this...


Remember, if the real unemployment is 22%, then 78% of people still have their jobs, lease BMWs, eat at restaurants...


Wait until the competition for food heats up. Lets see, EBT vs cash money...

tenpanhandle's picture

taking my luck and productivity and giving to strangers is not fair at all.  True fairness (and better results) would be achieved by punishing/jailing/defunding for corruption and true means testing for entitlements. When I say true means testing, I'm talking about actual ability to work.  If you can work then strict time limits on the dole then benifits rapidly decline.  Of course, dottering old fools like myself are exempt.


waterhorse's picture

"True fairness (and better results) would be achieved by punishing/jailing/defunding for corruption and true means testing for entitlements."

Sounds good to me.  Take the corporate welfare recipients and punish/jail/defund for corruption and means testing would render them unable to qualify for entitlements.

Pairadimes's picture

If a politician refers to anything as 'fair', you can be assured that it is not.

Dr. Engali's picture

Hello Apmex... I'd like $ 570 million worth of gold delivered tomorrow please.

fonzannoon's picture

Ha. I'd love to see them go to their bank and try to cash it first.

Mine Is Bigger's picture

Yes, sir.  Your address?  Please hold ....  Hello, FBI? I have information on a potential terrorist ...

SilverDOG's picture

Dr. Engali,


Apmex, "No problem, please give address."

"Hello Apmex... I'd like $ 570 million worth of  *SILVER*  delivered tomorrow please."

Apmex, "Oh shit."

dogbreath's picture



You open a commodities trading account.  Thats enough to trade 30000 contracts at a time.  You could have some fun.

MachoMan's picture

Also known as "how to get corzined 101"

dogbreath's picture

trading spot and taking delivery.  when TD and Scotia Bank go down there will be worse problems than being corzined

savagegoose's picture
Powerball Jackpot for Wed, Nov 28, 2012    $587,500,000 $384,700,000   Gross Prize 30 average annual payments of $19,583,333 Lump-sum cash: $384,700,000 - 25% Federal Tax - $4,895,833 - $96,175,000 Subtotal $14,687,500


savagegoose's picture

fuck it came with formatting, well bottom line cash without state taxes is 288 mill. check

for local residence state tax on lotto wins.


but i would like to ask whats the rule on charitable donations,  say you donate the amount theyre going to tax you to a chartiable org, then do you gat  it bac ak as a tax refund?

lolmao500's picture

Apmex solvency? And it's gone!

Let The Wurlitzer Play's picture

Did you meen $185M.  Lump sum settlement less Barrys cut.

Dont forget to pay your "fair share"


clawsthatscratch's picture

Better hold on to a little more to pay that upcoming retroactive "wealth tax"