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Your Taxes At Work: All You Need To Know About Who Pays What Taxes In The US

Tyler Durden's picture


Presented with little comment - since the charts speak for themselves. From Buffett to a Burger-flipper, everyone has a view - driven in large part by their anchoring bias of who they choose to listen to. The graphics below will help, we hope, to clarify that thinking - whether you are the 1%, 47%, or 99%...






The Share Of Adjusted Gross Income Earned through time (by income bracket)


The Share Of Federal Income Taxes Paid through time (by income bracket)

















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Tue, 09/18/2012 - 18:59 | 2808828 Glasgow Gary
Glasgow Gary's picture

Now, if I wanted to read partisan skew on tax data I could simply go to the Heritage Foundation myself.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:27 | 2808890 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Why the Heritage Foundation left out investment income is, shall we say, misleading? The top 1% has 43.6% of their income in investment (not "earned income"). If you add that, it looks like they pay their "fair share".

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:35 | 2808927 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

Another gem:

Tax cuts can create incentives for individuals to work, save, and invest, which can generate more revenue

so, cutting taxes creates more revenue for the government, not less. that's genius.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:01 | 2809003 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Yes at a certain point tax increases reduce revenue and at a certain point tax cuts add to the deficit, the trick is to find the right balance. But before that, abolish the income tax and replace with spending tax.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:06 | 2809038 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So the trillions belonging to the .01% sitting in trusts and off-shore investments should be left alone even though that money will never be spent in the U.S.?  Poor people spend 100% of their income, wealth, investments, etc.  Your proposal would tax every penny they earn or otherwise take in, while even further increasing the wealth of the very top who literally have more money than they can spend.   You are either very wealthy or very brainwashed by the very wealthy to propose such a thing.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:23 | 2809086 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

When the rich spend they will pay the tax and when they do not spend they will invest it, growing the economy. Both from a moral and economic standpoint it is superior to the coercion based system you seem to prefer. I'm neither.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:28 | 2809106 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

You are brainwashed.  The wealthy have trillions sitting in non-productive assets and there is nothing moral about taxing 100% of the income of the poorest who spend every penny they bring in.    And explain how it is non-coercive to require a poor person to pay tax on food, gas, rent, and other necessities that he literally cannot do without?   It is no less coercive to them.  You are simply seeking to shift the burden more to the poor.  That's fine if you want to defend that, but don't hide behind some supposed moral superiority.  P.S.  what stops the wealthy in your "tax it when they spend it" model from simply spending it in some other country?  Again, the poor have no such option.  

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:43 | 2809144 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

The current system is set up to tax productivity and labor, and promote spending and borrowing. A structural shift will actually be more benefitial for the poor and middle class than for the rich. More freedom and less coercion is always the answer, in the end, everyone wins. In the current system, everyone loses. Your hate towards the rich is blinding you. Try to look beyond your emotions.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:43 | 2809160 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I don't hate the rich.  I hate lies  spread by some rich designed to fool the poor and middle class into considering ridiculous proposals like taxing 100% of their income with spending taxes so the rich can get richer.  You don't even understand the first thing about the tax you propose.  Aside from the coercive aspect explained above, if you don't like taxing productivity then why tax things that people buy?  Someone was productive and made that thing, so you are still taxing productivity and in fact discouraging buying of things, meaning you are discouraging productivity.  I say tax the wealth that is sitting around in vaults doing nothing, that was put there by an ancestor of the person who currently owns it.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:04 | 2809254 urrterrible
urrterrible's picture

When are you all going to understand that inflation at even 3% is a FREAKING tax.  Rich poor doesn't matter...Look where we are for Chr... sake....printing money at record levels b/c we spend more than we have.  Population is probably getting too large, but eventually something will weed out the unemployment, entitlements and spending...either we do or time will take care of it.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:15 | 2809517 A Dollar Short
A Dollar Short's picture

Inflation at any percent is redistribution of wealth, just what the annointed one has stated he wants.  

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:30 | 2809721 urrterrible
urrterrible's picture

Inflation hurts the poor most....forget the redistribution part, yes it is passed to the rich but also the HAVE to educate the poor that it is hurting them, forget that it passes at all to the rich

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 08:01 | 2810288 Sofa King Confused
Sofa King Confused's picture

50% wealth tax on anybody worth more than 10 million should make one hell of a dent in the US debt.  Also corporate taxes should be at least the same as individual taxes if not more.


Wed, 09/19/2012 - 12:40 | 2811584 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Don't be such a pussy, take it all.  And yes, there will still be trillions in national debt left to deal with.  Then you can go after the $5-10m crowd, then the $1-5m crowd...then anyone still left...and still have debt.  Awesome!

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:32 | 2809576 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

All that matters is that I am first in line for fresh fiat.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:52 | 2809630 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

i'm not saying the heritage foundation is a tool for the rich but i didn't see any graphs by income group of how much payroll tax or excise tax (or at the state level sales tax) is paid.  just sayin'.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:16 | 2809267 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Please don't twist my words. Their income is taxed 0% and the tax rate should stay the same if they're working. The difference is that they now have an incentive to climb the economic ladder while being more productive and helping to grow the economy. Taxing spending is not taxing productivity. It's a keynesian falacy to think that buying things is equal to creating productivity. Spending is the reward of productivity, so it's the reward that is taxed. Where you got the idea that the rich put all their wealth in vaults I don't know. Ask Buffett what he thinks of that idea. Most rich people invest most of their wealth in businesses. Yes, some choose to keep their wealth in hard assets if they expect bad things to happen to the economy.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:35 | 2809368 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I'm not twisting your words.  The poor spend 100% of their income on necessities.  If you tax the purchase of said necessities, you necessarily tax 100% of their income.  Explain why you think this is wrong, other than that you don't like the observation that it is an indirect way to tax literally 100% of what they earn, are given, etc.  As for the incentive to climb the ladder, what part of being poor is not incentive enough?  If living hand to mouth doesn't cut it, what makes you think that paying more in taxes will?    And it is just simple fact that if you discourage purchase of goods by taxing the purchase of goods including those who have discretion over which goods they buy (e.g., the rich), that you are affecting productivity associated with creating those goods.  Simple math.   I'm not saying it's always bad, but you did and I'm merely pointing out that your proposal taxes productivity in a different way than the current system that you hate because it taxes productivity.   As for where the very wealthy keep their money, ask the Queen of England.  Ask the Waltons.   Ask the Rockefellers.  Even in Buffet's case, most of his wealth is invested in hard assets and equities for companies whose shares already existed (the companies did not use his money to build a factory etc).  Every now and then he takes his company's assets and invests in companies that need the money so they can grow and prosper, which is indeed productive and what capitalists should be all about.   

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:49 | 2809623 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

"The poor spend 100% of their income on necessities."

Oh...since when are iGadgets, gambling, a bottle of Boones, air conditioning, and new Ford Extinctions with 26 inch rims, necessities? Proof please? At lease PoS tax is more voluntary. There are always ways to cut back on expenditures. They have the choice to not buy a damned thing from a store.

Broader capital formation is the rising tide that tends to raise all boats, as long as government stays out of the way. You cannot call it capitalism, when capital formation is discouraged as a matter of policy.

Perhaps, rather than whining, hand waving, and being generally argumentative, you might offer an alternative solution, or modify version from the OP?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:02 | 2809647 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The poor are also likely to be spending someone else's income.

Thanks to government redistribution.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 08:01 | 2810289 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture


This kind of practiced ignorance even God, Jesus, and the Holly Ghost will have a hard time forgiving.   Good Christians all here today of that there is no doubt.  Even the most ancient and primative societies took care of their poor.

No doubt also that you would be happy to rent busses to ship the poor to someplace out of your sense of smell so the rotting courpses of women, childern, veterans, and the like don't soil your gated community.

By the way, how is that defered income stream to avoid income tax working out fot you?

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 10:36 | 2810969 LarryDavis
LarryDavis's picture

Fuck you religious idiot. Go back to Palestine and look for manna.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 11:09 | 2811174 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

"Even the most ancient and primative societies took care of their poor."

Because they were all related to each other.

oh and since you decided to try to guilt Christians into "social justice":

2 Thessalonians 3:10

Proverbs 6:6

Proverbs 13:4

Proverbs 20:4

Proverbs 21:25

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 07:08 | 2810216 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

When you and your family are trying to sleep and it is 98 degrees inside and out A/C is healthy. Wash cloths on fans and swamp coolers don't help much when humidity is so high. Most people take for granted what a lot of underpaid people have to suffer. Don't use bad examples of humanity to illustrate your point.

Try working for Walmart for period of time and see how that impacts your lifestyle. You may have earned assets that are only one medical emergency away from vanishing. You may make a high salary until they lay you off. Most people are not scumbags but you are a disgrace to humanity.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 09:28 | 2810638 stuckpixel
stuckpixel's picture

"Oh...since when are iGadgets, gambling, a bottle of Boones, air conditioning, and new Ford Extinctions with 26 inch rims, necessities?"

generalize much? I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you don't know any actual poor people.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 10:45 | 2811029 LarryDavis
LarryDavis's picture

They have the choice to not buy a damned thing from a store.


That is a really fucking stupid remark. Capital formation? Is that something you learned in an econ class at Right Wing U. Heard the girls are slutty but if you nut inside them you might be paying an 18 tax. So you are a proponent of freedom but don't like poor people buying new phones? Should they be sharecropping until corporations repatriate those profits and hire? Here is my take on the whole thing economy and all: republicans are generally religious and anyone believing that Christ rose from the dead is a mongoloid. Maybe you can have a prayer rally to fix the the tax mess you piece of shit. Do you think its a fair generalization when you characterize poor people as having 26 inch rims? Go back to KANSAS AND DIE THERE.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:37 | 2809744 urrterrible
urrterrible's picture

You are such and idiot....why do you think they are spending 100% on necessities.....b/c of inflation.  Look at what our dollar has done in the last 40 years you fool.  Unless you SUPPORT a president that HATES seeing the dollar diminish things won't change.  How's this for a change.......someone makes 40K a year and CAN still SAVE money.  Keep drinking kool aid

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 06:05 | 2810167 Acet
Acet's picture

The current problem is not one of lack of Production, it's one of lack of Consumption.

Your proposal to eliminate tax on income and tax sales only would place a huge tax-load on consumption and would make things worse.

In fact, the case can be made that, because of the excessive concentration of wealth, an ever increasing proportion of money has moved from consumption into investment (the poor & middle class spend their entire incomes, the rich spend a tiny part of their income and save/invest the rest) which has created an excess of production (almost all of it abroad) and multiple asset bubbles - to the point that whole new asset classes were created to funnel this excess of investment money - which is why the economy is completelly out of balance (something which was disguised for a while with a huge growth in debt).

Another little point is that Production increases happen almost exclusivelly abroad while Comsumption increase always have a local impact - even on imported goods, some money stays local - so the state giving priviledged terms to "investors" while putting the tax burden on consumers will eventually strangle the local economy.

That said, I'm all for a flat tax rate on income, as long as the exact same tax rate is applied to all kinds of income (I noticed that investment income was noticeably absent from this article's numbers - one might even think the article is propaganda) and there are no deductions whatsoever and benefits in kind are taxed too (for example: no company jet travelling for free).

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:56 | 2809787 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture



Your argument is quite silly.  You are blinded by your emotions and you cannot see it.  Why in hell would you want the US Gubmit to get their hands on more private sector money?  Because they have been good stewards with what they have already been given?  You are brainwashed by class envy bias.  The answer, Sherlock, is make the government spend LESS.  Way less.  Why not eliminate about 100 congressional seats?  We don't really need the Depts of Energy, Education and Agriculture, do we?  The Bureau of Indian Affairs?  Give me a fucking break.  Do you really want to stick it to the wealthy elite?  Get your congressman to pull the federal reserve's charter.  

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 05:59 | 2810160 Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura's picture

TOUCHDOWN!  Thanks for injecting some real truth into the whole 'who should we tax more/less' Circus-of-Not-The-Real-Issue. As long as the truly elite can keep us squabbling over the rate at which each segment of society is coercively and unconstitutionally ROBBED, while not mentioning the metastasizing growth, spending, and influence of leviathan gubment (aka the enforcement tool of said elite)....then we've already lost the fight.



Wed, 09/19/2012 - 06:23 | 2810178 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Even John Corzine could do better job of managing the wealth of Native Americans "entrusted" to the BIA and BLM, but then agan Obama's redistribution is all about redistributing wealth from the many, to the few, which makes one question the wisdom of his many supporters.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 10:47 | 2810946 LarryDavis
LarryDavis's picture

TWSceptic.......not sure why you got even a single +1 because this sales tax bullshit is INSANE and something fit for a Creationist or perhaps Rick Perry. you dont answer homeboy's questions either......why shouldn't trusts and offshore accounts be taxed? Why orient taxation towards consumerism? Has aligning with consumption helped society in recent times? Moreover, if there is a sales tax why not just buy shit elsehwere? Effective tax rates are much lower here than Western Europe and they have a decent standard of living? Have you been to Denmark? More freedom..........are you a fucking moron? How about exponentially more opportunity to defraud the system by rich and poor alike. Let's get rid of the loopholes which allow Buffet to pay less than his secretary or Romney to not pay taxes at all (most likely) or cut down the fucking military budget. A better article would have shown where the tax dollars go but this article is written by monkeys with a penchant for graphs containing primary colors (so other Republicans albeit without much success can try to parse something numerical)

More freedom and less coercion is always the answer, in the end, everyone wins. 

Did you get that at an NRA rally? Eat a dick.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:43 | 2809161 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

And Jesus wept.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:44 | 2809404 Paul Bogdanich
Paul Bogdanich's picture

Notice how when the escribed the laxes by class they put "Individual taxes" wich is an artificial category under which they aggredated income taxes FUTA and FICA.  had FUTA and FICA been put on the Social Security column where they belonged it would have been clear that Working people pay about 70% of the taxes.  Further all their other analysis was on the marginal tax rate which only the unwashed masses pay as opposed to the effective rate after deductions and avoidnce.  Just a bullshit propaganda piece in support of ruinous policy alternatived being championed by idiots who don'e even know how to keep their stupid traps suht as the secretvideos of Romney clearly show.  For all planning purposes odds are now >80% tha Obama wins re-election because Romney doesn't even know how to be a good politician and say the same thing in non-offensive ways.     

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:47 | 2809620 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

The Heritage Foundation.  What else do you need to know?

Also, I get pretty sick of the "U. S. has the highest corporate tax rates" bullshit.  It would be if any of them actually paid it.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:53 | 2809781 the optimist
the optimist's picture

You are watching the show but do not understand the plot. The same politicians decrying unpaid taxes are pleased to hand tax credits to their favorite causes. For example, the renewable energy wind industry would not exist without Democrats' massive subsidies of the sector to companies (most predominantly GE) who "do not pay their taxes." Good luck finding any accounting for this intimate hug.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 01:07 | 2809917 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

I'll never understand why leftys bother reading a financial blog like this.  I hope you learn something.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 11:06 | 2811081 LarryDavis
LarryDavis's picture

I learn everyday how scary and out of touch Republicans are when they can't fucking add or arbitrate even basic matters using common sense (much less peform any sort of statistical analysis required to render the conclusions they wave around as fact). I hope Jesus isn't pissed that Romney worships a con man who was murdered in prison. Why would Jesus let a black man be President? Can Jesus help me pay less taxes? ALL OF US ARE GETTING FLEECED BY THESE FUCKING CORPORATIONS, RELIGIONS, AND POLITICIANS. GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLES AND DO NOT SUPPORT CORPORATIONS.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 14:34 | 2812103 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture


Wed, 09/19/2012 - 14:31 | 2812154 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Wow. Those are some interesting connections and solutions.

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 00:25 | 2813918 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You haven't read enough of my comments to refer to me as a "lefty", unless you've gone back well over 3 years to try.  Picking a political or ideological "side" is not what it's about.  The truth is.  If my view doesn't coincide with yours, that doesn't mean I'm wrong.  Attributing some arbitrary title to another does.   I don't do that.   Address the topic at hand and try to avoid the argumentum ad hominem.   You'll look smarter.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 07:58 | 2810279 Umh
Umh's picture

It's the politically unconnected smaller businesses that end up paying the most taxes. They don't have enough resources to dedicate staff to bribing politicians.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:35 | 2809373 nmewn
nmewn's picture


Brainwashed you say?

Since when, has allowing the government to tax more of anyones earnings been deemed morally superior? When did this concept creep into public discourse? Are you saying government is the sole arbiter of morality and one of its vehicles is, in fact, the tax code?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:42 | 2809397 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

If you bothered to read the thread rather than take parts out of context to suit your agenda, you would see that it was the person I was talking to who claimed that taxing 100% of the earnings of the poor via a tax on spending (the poor spend 100% of their income on non-discretionary purchases, thus they would be taxed on 100% of their income under his sytem) is "morally superior" to the current system.  I pointed out that such a claim is absurd.  

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:53 | 2809632 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Sorry, your thinking here is entirely too linear.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 08:01 | 2810291 Umh
Umh's picture

Linear like a fence post; so discussing things with it is a waste of time unless you just like to waste time.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:11 | 2809504 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

The wealthy have trillions sitting in non-productive assets and there is nothing moral about taxing 100% of the income of the poorest who spend every penny they bring in. 

Perhaps the poor are spending every penny they have because the taxes and fees were setup that way. Perhaps they are the ones who who pay their entire OASDI contribution. Perhaps they are are paying the $181 Billion in Corporate taxes (since corporations do not pay taxes) through purchases, lost jobs, and suppressed wages. Perhaps they paid too much for a substandard government indoctrination through government run schools.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 04:46 | 2810110 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

I wouldn't toss around accusations of brainwashing backed by your arguments.  It's not measured in "trillions" unless you include a decimal point.  There is also a significant issue of "ownership" of the assets, you have to tax the "owner" of the income or assets.  For example, should Warren Buttfuck pay taxes on the shares of Berkshire he "gave" to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or should the foundation?  And since we talking about corporate and trust tax vehicles crossing tax jurisdictions, how would feel about the Chinese, Indians, or EU taxing the worldwide income of US companies that seek access to their markets?      

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 07:25 | 2810242 northerngirl
northerngirl's picture

Do you realize the poor are already being taxed on the things they cannot do without?  Buy gas, guess what Federal and State taxes, there is no exemption for a poor person.  Pay rent or make a house payment, yes poor people own homes, guess what they pay State, County and local taxes.  Purchase food in the State I live in State Sales tax on products that are processed, no exemption for the poor.  Use electricity, phone service, city water and sewer, or waste removal, all taxed and no exemption for the poor.  What most Americans rich or poor do not realize is we are already paying a consumption tax already it is just worded differently.  Instead of pointing fingers at each other why not look at our elected leaders and question them on where all this tax revenue is going each year? 

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:33 | 2809127 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Personally, although the "consumption-tax" model we always see pitched is just as you describe, I do believe that a consumption-tax approach could work very effectively IF you adjust the tax-rates depending on the type of spending.

Buying beer or cigarettes, for example, could be taxed at the "recreation" rate of 4%, while buying bread could be taxed at the "survival" rate of 1%, and something like tuition to pay for an accredited degree could be tax-free.

Similarly, low or no taxes assessed on the first residence or rent, but luxury rates on the 10th vacation home.

BUT...such a suggestion starts from the assumption that government's ROLE is completely inverted.  Rather than protecting the wealth and interests of the small number of wealthy who run the planet, government would have to serve as a *counterbalance* to the tendency toward wealth and power concentration in progressively smaller groups.

We're a VERY long way from any reversal as dramatic as that.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:53 | 2809199 greyghost
greyghost's picture

omg...i read this all wrong! i thought this was a graph of how much more improved the 1% have gotten at extracting wealth over the past decades. i mean if you extract that much more in wealth wouldn't the total amount of taxes paid.....rise? what is the bitch?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:16 | 2809680 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Government extracts wealth.

The rich just take advantage of that fact.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:10 | 2809260 pamriallc
pamriallc's picture

Reality remains that a flat tax of 15% would solve effectively 100% of the tax system problems.  Problem is that the system is built on a platform that encourages consumption and heavily incentivizes investment.  Actually the current system is well more than abundantly fair by the published numbers.  PROBLEM is that the Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid taxes are an incremental 14% tax on top of the "federal" taxes, which, when combined with state taxes, create a different picture altogether.  SS/MED/AID tax is now on the first $120,000.00-USD incmoe up from the first $60,000.00 (at a 6% rate!) just 20 years ago.  So the government's increase for these nifty programs (saving for my own retirement?) has more than QUADRUPLED and for a system that will absolutely not survive until "retirement" for anyone 40 years old or younger.

Reality is that 10,000 "boomers" retire DAILY in America and as a result, the CBO's own numbers show this "expense" for benefits as an "incremental" $3.5 TRILLION in needed revenue into the system in the next 15 years.  That amount of revenue is simply not available, and currently exceeds the entire federal budget.  In other words, the government must DOBLE revenue immediately if it hopes to have the ASSETS to pay for all of these retiree benefits. 

Since taxing everyone more is simply not an option, there is no choice other than to either SPEND LESS or PRINT MORE.

The USA Government will be foreced to PRINT MORE since there exists not a politician alive who dares to "spend less" and risk his own employment in the process.  Interestingly enough, there is not an ELECTORATE THAT EXISTS who will forego their social security in order to save the Federal Government under the current programs.  The "me too" attitude is pervasive, government as "personal savior' alive and well, and when Mitt Romney said that the vast (percentage) majority of Obama supporters pay no taxes.....  the statistics don't lie.  Yes Buffett and Soros and many wealthy people pay taxes, and they're Democrats.  The contest is not who pays the most taxes, though.  Under a more reasonable plan, there would be a flat tax which was inescapable, came right off of the top, and like in China with its 25% corporate and personal tax pay no income taxes at the end of the year and file a ton of forms.  Why?  Because they already deducted the money.

The fastest way to "save America" if for the Federal Government to spend dramatically less.  Unfortunately, that same government has too many entitlements to pay.  A compromise will not happen with respect to entitlements, and yet the way to truly solve this problem, for those 40 years old and less, should be that we (as the younger generation) will continue to pay our SS/MED/AID tax on a DECLINING basis since we will get ZERO Social Security anyway, and phase out the SS/MED/AID programs altogether in the next 25 years.  This plus a flat tax system would leave everyone with a simple program which could finally work, leaving those 40 years and under with a future that includes generally lower taxes, freedom to save for one's own retirement, and give the current "boomers" some hope that their own system won't be completely gutted before they pass on.

The remainder of what we have paid (that we will never get back from the system) will come on average from the small inheritance that we see as that same generation passes on.  This is a fair tax for those who would embrace it, but eliminating those government "hallmarks of Rooseveltian greatness" may be too much to consider "phasing out" over the next 25 years, and yet without those sacrifices made, America the beautiful will begin looking like a worse place to call home, and at the height of itsattractiveness to foreigners who still believe in the Freedom we all believe is American, despite the near term challenges.


Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:41 | 2809390 FMR Bankster
FMR Bankster's picture

Unfortunately for the younger generation this system won't collapse for you. And you won't be allowed to pay a declining percentage of wages to just walk away. That would imply that the older generation has to accept that they screwed you and that will never happen. You will be forced to pay into this system and will recieve something when you retire but far less than what an actuary would say you should recieve. Just consider it a thank you to your grand parents and your great grandparents. One more failed example of social planning of the 20th century. Once it all falls away in europe and the US, slowly and painfully over the next 50 years the history books will remark on the stupidity of man in the 20th century. Thinking that human nature could be changed to fit the social planning desires of statists.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:14 | 2809419 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



Buffet hides his billions in bill gates tax exempt foundation the really wealthy use loopholes.

How Buffett Saves Billions On His Tax Return


4,000 millionaires in Romney's '47%'


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Nobody's really talking about this slice of the pie, but Mitt Romney's "47%" who pay no federal income tax include several thousand of the highest-income households in the country.

The Tax Policy Center estimates that 4,000 households with incomes over $1 million ended up with zero federal income tax liability in 2011. Another 14,000 made between $500,000 and $1 million.

Another thing to take into account is the lower income people get more back then they pay in because of the Earned Income Tax Credit as well as other services they use. It's the middle class that really gets hosed. I personally think taxes above all but the basic amount's necessary to operate a small limited govt. are nothing more then theft.


Middle Class--Not the Rich or the Poor--Pay Majority of Federal Taxes, Says CBO Data



Middle-class Americans--not the poor or the rich--pay the majority of annual tax revenues taken in by the federal government, according to data in a new Congressional Budget Office study. Households earning less than $34,300 per year, meanwhile, actually pay a negative average federal income tax rate.



Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:19 | 2809692 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The world would be a better place if no one paid taxes.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 02:22 | 2809978 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture


..make that MASSIVELY better place without taxes

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 07:10 | 2810218 WilliamD
WilliamD's picture

Don't be an idiot. How will police and firemen salaries get paid? How will roads and other infrastructure like water, sewer, etc. get fixed and maintained? What about the water treatment plant, or do you live next to a lake or creek where you can get water to boil? You pay 100% of your and your kids education? I dont suppose you ever use any parks or other rec. areas.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:41 | 2809395 gwiss
gwiss's picture

You cannot have two top priorities, because reality will always fork you, just like in chess.  Thus you must choose. 

You can either choose to uphold the social contract which is the basis for all of human society, or you can choose to adjudicate outcomes to achieve what seems to you to be a more equitable distribution of resources. 

If you choose to uphold the social contract, which means relinquishing any claims that society members place on each other, then you must accept that the distribution of income and wealth will be unequal. 

If you choose to redistribute this wealth, then you institute a process which violates the social contract, and thus in the process of attempting to make a better society you destroy the mutual respect and non-agression that the social contract requires, and thus begin a process which unravels the fabric of healthy social interactions and thus society itself.

Pick  your poison.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:28 | 2809561 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Do you think that people own themselves and the products of their labor?

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 09:32 | 2810660 TruthDetector
TruthDetector's picture

"You are either very wealthy or very brainwashed by the very wealthy to propose such a thing."


1.  I'd LIKE to be better off than I am today,

2.  The ONLY way I CAN BE better off than I am today is to KEEP more of what I make,

3.  I'm the BEST one to decide WHERE, WHEN, & HOW I'm going to SPEND what I make,

4.  It's NONE of your GD-business how much I make (as long as it's legal),

5.  The monkey-fucks led by Barrrrrrrrrac H. Obummer have NOT ONE CLUE how a FREE system works, and

6.  It's INSANITY to think the monkey-fucks led by Barrrrrrrrrac H. Obummer have MY best interests at heart.

"You are either very immature, very lazy, very stupid, very unaccomplished or very brainwashed by Ayers-Obummer-communist-propaganda-crowd to propose such a thing."

You're an imposter: your "LetThemEatRand" COVER is completely at odds with your stated philosphy and Rand's writings.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:33 | 2809126 bilejones
bilejones's picture

Hey Broiler, If you had a 100% tax rate, how much would it raise?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:40 | 2809386 nmewn
nmewn's picture

100% of the poverty rate.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 08:04 | 2810304 dolly madison
dolly madison's picture

Tax cuts can create incentives for individuals to work, save, and invest, which can generate more revenue. The most dramatic decline in the top individual income tax rate, from 70 percent to 28 percent, occurred during the Reagan Administration, during which tax receipts remained relatively constant as a share of the economy.

Or... people avoid paying taxes less often when the taxes are lower.  Tax avoidance actually can stimulate an economy.  A business owner may choose to spend money on his business in order to have a deduction than pay a very high tax on the money.  Money spent on his business can increase his net worth, while keeping his income low to avoid taxes.

However, just because I can see how raising taxes on the rich can stimulate the economy doesn't mean I am for raising the taxes.   I think artificially stimulating the economy wastes resources, and we should find other ways to keep people getting all the things they need without as much wheel spinning as we do now.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 13:06 | 2811717 Syrin
Syrin's picture

Even more basic.   Are we as citizens merely money resevoirs for our ever expanding hugely inefficient gov't?    Isn't the gov't merely supposed to maintain an even playing field allowing us all to compete rather than being the single biggest player in a rigged game?    Why are people losing sight of this very basic premise?   We should CHEER people when they get rich and work to achieve the same success.    Not denigrate them and use the gov't to take it away.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 18:14 | 2813104 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

We used to do that before we became a socialist-collectivist society. My grandparents generation would respect those who became wealthy and suggest you emulate them. Terms like "smart businessman" or "He got into ... just before it got big.", etc. They were considered savvy and hard working. I still think this is the case in general.

The problem I see with the statists of various flavors here in ZH and other places is they really do not question the government's ownership of all your property, productivity and really, even your person. They SAY, they do but they act on government ownership of all things. So, there is no particularly immoral tax rate, tax code, amount of regulation. It is all unlimited and the proper purvue of government.

I reject the notion that I am here specifically to be milked like a good cow for the higher purposes of government. I assert that me and my fellow man band together to create government to serve our purposes which is primarily to protect me, my rights and my property.

Democracy can be used simply to pull down the more successful and it is done by first making them guilty of something.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 13:01 | 2811690 Syrin
Syrin's picture

Yes, historical data showed us that to be true under Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush, in Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway etc etc etc.


Yes tax cuts lead to MORTE reveneue.   The genius is the smart ass punk, let's call this dumb ass BKbroiler, who makes some snide smart ass comment without knowing a g** damned thing about history, how an economy works or what life outside his parent's basement is like.



Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:49 | 2808972 Catullus
Catullus's picture

That means the bottom 50% pays even less of the total government burden. So let's not mislead anyone

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:49 | 2808976 nodhannum
nodhannum's picture

You must like the French Model.  Anyone with a Euro more than me is not paying their fair share.  And how many people do you employ?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:50 | 2808977 nodhannum
nodhannum's picture

You must like the French Model.  Anyone with a Euro more than me is not paying their fair share.  And how many people do you employ?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:11 | 2809063 Death and Gravity
Death and Gravity's picture

You, in your protest against unearned income, are conflating investment based income with privilege based income.

Investment requires actual knowledge and timing. Taking privileges from the government, which Big Banking, Big Pharma, Big Law etc. (the head honchos and their immediate henchmen, who are in that single square marked "top 1%") are taking en masse, is however guaranteed income, and not due to any honest talent or hard work.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:46 | 2809171 Slightly Insane
Slightly Insane's picture

"Fair Share" ...... if 10% is good for "God" ..... how can "man" lay claim to a greater share then due God?

You evidently subscribe to brainwashed mentality .... as "fair" requires an agreement by both sides .... and you do not have that.  I wish I were in the 1%, I am not close .... but I know Marxist doctrine when I see it.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:38 | 2809595 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Fair = more. And once they get more, fair=more. Repeat until the rich move.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 07:29 | 2810245 Watauga
Watauga's picture

The charts are correct, period.  You can quibble with whether they should have added more charts, but they are correct as far as they go.  And they go pretty far in revealing how ridiculously invasive taxes are and who pays the bulk of the taxes.

The larger point, and the that needs to be repeated over and over and over, is this--ANY TAX is a burden on the taxpayer. 

Now, the taxpayer can agree to accept his burden and keep reelecting the same old jackasses to Congress and the White House, or the taxpayer can get off his duff and go out and start fighting (figuratively) for his money.  

There needs to be a reset--one that begins with the premise that the government has nothing if not for the taxpayer.  The taxpayer gives the government money because the taxpayer CHOOSES to do so.  The taxpayer LIMITS the amount he gives the government to that which is NECESSARY AND PROPER in carrying out the very LIMITED ENUMERATED POWERS set forth in the Constitution.  The more the taxpayer limits his payments to the government, the less action the government can take. 

Of course, this depends on getting at least 47% (to use Romney's infamous number) off the dole and into paying jobs so they can support themselves and their families.  Good luck with that.


Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:28 | 2808892 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

As another glaring example:  "High federal and state corporate tax rates make it difficult for U.S. headquartered businesses to compete internationally."
So is that why GE paid no taxes last year?   The nominal tax rate is high.  The real tax rate is non-existent for large companies that have the ability to maneuver around it.  But the Heritage Foundation omits that extremely important detail, along with many others.  

Not that any of this matters.  Our problem as a country has gone far beyond who pays what in taxes.  

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:46 | 2808964 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

What has the tax rate been for home builders in the past few years.... like -50%?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:36 | 2809135 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

When people have no money, beat them up for paying no taxes.

When people have tons of money, cry about the unfair rates they're subject to.

It's not hard to understand.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:46 | 2809176 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

"So is that why GE paid no taxes last year? "

I take it you don't know why GE paid no taxes last year.  Read, learn, research, think. (It is so easy to just blather on the internet)

Hint: Think net operating loss carryforwards from the 2008-2009 flame-out.  Do the math on your own.  

-- Not a GE fan, shareholder or employee.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 11:00 | 2811119 LarryDavis
LarryDavis's picture

Hey ass clown can individuals carry forward losses like that? Lost money on my house guess I'm not gonna pay taxes this year or next. 

Hint: modern accounting and buying politicians 

Fri, 09/21/2012 - 14:06 | 2818692 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

Actually, yes there are capital loss carryforwards for individuals.  Your congressman decided to limit that carry forward to the greater of your capital gains or $3,000 per year. 

Knowing some basic level of subject matter being discussed is usually best.  But no worries, you are in good company with many.  

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 04:53 | 2810113 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

... "for large companies" ...

Ecluding the US Government, where are most of the jobs in the US?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:04 | 2808991 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Who cares what the source is, this is not relevant.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:40 | 2809148 barroter
barroter's picture

I agree. Notice there was nothing about capital gains and who benefits from that.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 05:03 | 2810126 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Capital Gains is a componet of AGI (adjusted gross income).  It is already incuded in the above.  Line 13 on the 1040 for the play at home crowd.  Lines 8-21 basically cover all income other than Wages, Salaries, and Tips.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:24 | 2809703 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Would you like a prize for your contribution to supporting the false construct? How about a Hegelian of the day award?

Is the Heritage foundation blatantly Conservative?


Some things are true and others are not.

I have no more love for Neo-Con bullshit than you.

Ron Paul was your chance to be real.

Stop pretending.

The math doesn't lie.

Politicians do.


Wed, 09/19/2012 - 08:33 | 2810421 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

Hummm I agree with Gary.

This kind of proproganda from The Hertiage Foundation, a highly slanted partisian political group ( hiding behind a tax shelter, while we are on the subject of TAXES) makes me cautious about the OBJECTIVITY that I HAD come to trust with Zerohedge.  Me thinks there is some seaPEEge into the potable water here, or Tyler is changing the character of the site.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:00 | 2808832 PrintingPress
PrintingPress's picture

I'll just print up a check and pay these taxes in full. 

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:59 | 2809012 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

A check?! Well hell, I thought you needed money! (Jeff Foxworthy)

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:01 | 2808834 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

wow look at the Obama Tsunami heading our way !!!!!

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:17 | 2808869 Ima anal sphincter
Ima anal sphincter's picture

Is that Obama, or is it Baby Bush, or is it Clinton, or is it Daddy, or is it........

None of it matters anymore. Fake dollars - fake debt. I don't give a damn if it goes to a's all a frickin joke now.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:26 | 2809708 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Idiocracy has come to America.

Luckily, they're too stupid to know.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:02 | 2808837 Hohum
Hohum's picture

FYI, bitchez.  It doesn't include payroll tax and it might want to see how pre-tax incomes have changed over time.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:04 | 2808838 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

although the wealthy should pay more than the poor - the flat tax being an utter crock and intellectual fraud - but not for simpletons - the real takeaway with all of these pretty charts is that you can either pay as you go in taxes, or you can make your progeny pay as they go with taxes plus penalty.....there is no free lunch for spending more than you earn....both paths lead unto perdition.....

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:21 | 2808878 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

The wealthy ARE paying more than the huge margins.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:42 | 2808942 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

lets do a drowning bathtub graph and instead of just "income" tax will pour in real estate taxes, sales tax, ssi deductions, auto ins,  gas tax, health ins. premiums and even the impact of food inflation along with every other thing they hit us with... visualize each socioeconomic level depicted as a man in a dunking tub (yearly avg income).  Now how high is the water level for joe six pack ?  and how high is the water level for the .1% ? 

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:47 | 2809178 bilejones
bilejones's picture

I've said for years that that would be interesting to see.

I believe it would massively increase the proportion of their income that the peasants are paying.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:59 | 2809227 neidermeyer
neidermeyer's picture

Scatterbrains ,

I did exactly that for myself in the late 1980's with an income of about 40k , single with a small home (with mortgage) and came up with a total tax payment of about 52%... It's total rubbish to say the poor don't pay their fair share , more of it is in taxes other than income tax, taxes and fees that impact every person at more or less the same raw dollar amount.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:23 | 2809324 ATM
ATM's picture

I would bet that most of those taxes were paid to the state and locality where you lived. That is a very different thing than paying federal income taxes because you actually receive things for those payments. The things that the liberals love to scream about and say inane things like, "you don't like socialism?? Then you don't like th epolice and fire department or the roads you drive on or public schools."

Of course 95% of those are paid for by the local taxes and not the Federal taxes but whose noticing?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:45 | 2809615 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Maybe we could come up with some system where each state pays into the federal government based on their population, and it is up to the state to decide how to collect it...

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 04:11 | 2810078 object_orient
object_orient's picture

And then when the states think about it for a while, they decide to stop paying the federal protection racket altogether. The whole idea of federal taxes is bizarre. A state pools money together, gives to fed gov, gets a portion back in grants etc with strings attached. Why not just keep it? Same goes for counties => states and cities => counties. I'm beginning to think government is just a big, multitiered pyramid scheme! Time for my blue pill...

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:30 | 2809719 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

"That is a very different thing than paying federal income taxes because you actually receive things for those payments."

So true.

The Federal government is a big net loss.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:28 | 2808895 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

taxes themselves are a fraud. so long at the debt can be monetized...and is i might add..then there should be a discussion as to what value taxing authority has at all. flat taxes get rid of the IRS...otherwise known as the "fraud creation unit." this collapse in tax revenues...which is ongoing i might easily the most spectacular in human history. there is no pretense of paying for anything anymore...just borrow and spend, borrow and spend. some will become so rich by not behaving in such a manner it will give new meaning to the term "embarrassment of riches."

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:14 | 2809675 malek
malek's picture

For the mathematically challenged: a flat tax is usally understood as a flat tax rate, for example everyone pays 15% tax on all his income. As it is a percentage, the wealthy still do pay more than the poor.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 04:22 | 2810087 object_orient
object_orient's picture

What counts as income? Investments, short term and long? Appreciated assets? Tax free bonds? Inheritance? Barter? Just the W2 number? I'll bet some smart people have/will invent wealth-generating activities that aren't strictly defined as "income." IRS employees and tax preparers retrained as lawyers and semanticists.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 05:28 | 2810140 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

The more complicated you make the tax code the more ways there are avoid taxes, and the more you fuck the poor with the cumulative burdern of death by a thousand cuts.  The current tax debate is filled with red herrings and emotional appeals that don't hold water against room temperature IQ intellectual inquiry.



1. Balance the budget (without the even cutting the current monstrosity)

2. Pay off the national debt within 3 years

3. Attract significant new and repatriated Capital, Savings and Investment

4. Not create significant inflation

The 1% and 10% Plan

Step 1- Pass a simple law to expire the U.S.C. and C.F.R. in 24 months. Congress and the Executive will have 12 months to redraft them at no more than 10% of their current word length, and the new laws and regulations will take effect 12 months later.

Step 2- Abolish ALL existing federal taxes: the Income Tax, the Capital Gains Tax, the Tax on Dividends and Interest, the Corporate Income Tax, the Death Tax, the Gasoline Tax, all the pending Obamacare taxes, and any other Federal taxes buried in the USC.

Step 3- Impose a 1% Federal tax on the MOVEMENT of money.

Without even worrying about anything as insignificant as the US cash economy and the movements of the USD 1T cotton-linen money supply, a 1% tax just on Fed cleared transactions (Fedwire, CHIPS, ACH, Checks, EBT, POS, and Credit Card) would have yielded SEVEN TRILLION DOLLARS in revenue in 2009 the last year for which data is available (and wouldn’t require the IRS for enforcement). Data from the Federal Reserve studies is available at:

And for an added kicker the HFT bots which cannot clear a 2% breakeven on a round trip will put their owners out of business and might restore at least a little integrity to the equity markets.

If you can’t audit the Fed you might as well tax it, and make everyone a 1%er in the process...

From a Geoplitical stanpoint it also makes strategic sense, since some Eurocrats and other nutballs want a supranational banking tax, if you don't eliminate the current system in the US and implement something which would serve as an impediment to supranational taxation, then you will end up eventually paying that tax in addition to the current menu of taxes. 

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:05 | 2808840 Crimedog
Crimedog's picture

When did ZH become a shill for the GOP?  I realize they hate Obama, but I figured they held the GOP in some contempt as well.  Guess I was wrong...

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:21 | 2808877 Arthur Two Shed...
Arthur Two Sheds Jackson's picture

What makes you think truth is only relevant to the GOP?

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:29 | 2808905 knukles
knukles's picture

Or to Obama...
And how come even the most casual reader would conclude that ZH doesn't have much favor amongst the One Major Party, regardless of Blue or Red Jersey worn for Public Scrum?  Favor the GOP?  Jesus!  Like after the last 4 years one might conclude that a lot of just warm bodies would be thinkin' a "time for a change" is due.
(Where've I heard that before?)

Then again., maybe a great alternative to the Heritage Foundation would be MSNBC or Huffington Post?  Or the International SEIU/Acorn offices? 

(mumbling, muttering, ready to break shit ...  h/t newmn)

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:04 | 2809031 Row Well Number 41
Row Well Number 41's picture

Bullshit fermentation tanks (think tanks) produce truth?



Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:06 | 2808846 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

I wish Americans felt like their ancesters in Boston when they told the British to stick it as taxation without representation was considered repugnant to those who wished some control of their destiny.


Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:35 | 2808929 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Corporations are preferentially represented citizens in the US system and they pay the highest tax rate on paper.

They are ideal Americans though, and they innovate their way out of 10-30% of it.


Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:45 | 2808962 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Maybe we need a new slogan: "No representation without taxation." Or maybe we need to try Robert Heinlein's idea from 'Starship Troopers': citizenship (and the right to vote) has to be earned by service. Clearly what we have now isn't working, so maybe we should try something different.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:55 | 2809214 bilejones
bilejones's picture

" citizenship (and the right to vote) has to be earned by service."


Fucking great idea, government slavery.


Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:27 | 2809715 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

How 'bout no vote for a war, or funding for same, unless a family member is on the front lines?  I could dig it.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 06:29 | 2810179 Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura's picture

I'd take this splendid idea 1 step further. Rather than a family member (because many of the vile sociopaths in Congress would have little trouble sacrificing a family member), my idea was always thus: If congress declares war (assuming they were forced to actually follow the Constitution)....then 30% of the voting body WILL deploy to the ACTUAL hot zone with the troops. That 30% will rotate at the same tour of duty as the average grunt (i.e. 1 year), and be replaced by the next 30% batch from that august legislative body. Repeat until the conflict is ended.

We would finally see an end to recreational wars to protect interests of the power-elite, and return to a truly DEFENSIVE posture. Naturally, I put the odds of this occuring similar to the odds of being struck by lightning 22 times on the way to 7-11 for a cup of joe during a furious July blizzard in Pensacola, Florida....while there is a simultaneous baby elephant stampede down the main street in Barrow, Alaska. So yeah, there is a chance.


Thu, 09/20/2012 - 00:17 | 2813904 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

It would only be fair if the Congress critters had the same basic training as the troops they joined.  That means that most of them would only qualify as cook's helpers.  I'd settle for that!

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:34 | 2809734 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

How about making government voluntary.

It's the only civilized way.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:10 | 2808856 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

And when the economy illusion FINALLY crashes, the top 5% will get out of the US (they are idiots for not have left already) and it'll be even funnier to see the Free Shit Army go nuts.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:42 | 2808948 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture


Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:37 | 2809742 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

I would think 'lucky bastards' for escaping from people like you.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:45 | 2808958 brewing
brewing's picture

"obama's gunna make my car payment"!!!!!!!!!

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:40 | 2809115 ChanceIs
ChanceIs's picture
Obama Is Going To Pay For My Gas And Mortgage!!!

"If I help him, he is going to help me."

Gag.  I didn't bother to look for that man with the plumbing business in Ohio who asked Obama back in '08 if he would take away his business.  It has got to be out there on YouTube somewhere.  We found out the real answer with:

"You didn't build that.  Somebody else did."

The Romney camp responded to Romney's 47% gaff with this tidbit:

Obama In 1998: "I Actually Believe In Redistribution"

Of course we know that if elected, Romney will replace Bernanke with Jamie the warp printer and a new set of dilithium crystals.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:26 | 2809340 ATM
ATM's picture

Payments?? You're actually making the payments??!!! Only suckers actually make the payments. The rest of us just ride along scott free.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:54 | 2808988 nodhannum
nodhannum's picture

People are wising up!  I have already lost one friend to Chile and two to Singapore.  Wish I could afford to do what our ancestors did when the state tried to force them into perpetual servitude.  I am stuck here for the duration no matter what "Dear Leader" does.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:32 | 2809124 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

I can assure you that they will have moved their money offshore by November.

I personally know three billionaires in the process of doing exactly that and

taking 5000+ jobs with them,

Even my local auto shop(cannuck owner)is going to close up shop and return to

Canada.Another 10 jobs.

Like Obummer,maybe he can find you a job killing brown people.

They will be the only ones left.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:11 | 2808858 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

those pitiable 1%ers, oh boo hoo hoo!

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:27 | 2809065 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

You shouldn't let emotions drive your commentary instead of principles and rationality.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:14 | 2808859 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Take that top chart and overlay the long term chart of the S&P 500 I'll bet there are a lot of similarities between the two.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:17 | 2808865 e-man
e-man's picture

I've said it before but it bears repeating.  Taxing the rich has nothing to do with fairness.  It is simply a method by which the government can attempt to sterilize the negative effects inflation, by confiscation. 

When the government needs more money, it simply prints it.  Confiscating money from the wealthy, where newly printed money usually ends up first, slows down the unwanted effects of printing, thereby allowing the government to continue printing.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:49 | 2808935 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Income tax was introduced in 1913 as a temporary deficit reduction measure at a rate of 1% for the most rich, and people jumped on board. Everbody hated'em rich folks!

100 years later everyone pays taxes through their nose and nobody remembers how it all got started.

When the government wants more money, it uses the consent of the majority to hike taxes on the rich and later shuffles the hikes down into the rest of the system. That's the beauty of any democracy. If you split the masses just right, you can get the 51% to steal from the remaining 49% on your behalf.

I recall a children's fairy tale about a fox that volunteered to help 2 bears divide a piece of cheese. It split it unevenly, then took a bite out of the bigger piece to make it fair. Now the other chunk looked bigger, so it took another bite. It went on back and forth between 2 pieces until there was no cheese left.

"Your shares are now equal," said the fox and ran away.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 19:55 | 2808994 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



That's the beauty of any democracy. If you split the masses just right, you can get the 51% to steal from the remaining 49% on your behalf.

flag as truth (1)

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:29 | 2809346 ATM
ATM's picture

And that's exactly why the US was set up as a Republic designed to protect the individual from the excesses of the masses. 

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 23:17 | 2809683 malek
malek's picture

Glad to see someone else who gets it!

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 05:33 | 2810144 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Federalism killed the Republic.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:30 | 2809114 Bullionaire
Bullionaire's picture


Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:36 | 2809134 fishmonger
fishmonger's picture

This is the truest comment I have ever read here. Good on ya, JuliaS.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:42 | 2809156 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

   it uses the consent of the majority

Bullshit.  When was the last time you were asked for your CONSENT on tax policy?

What we really need is a tax-strike.  And ideally we'd include everyone in that effort.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:58 | 2809218 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

You've just described the worse of the 2 evils which is the "representative democracy". Unlike direct democracy that actually requires the 51% to do its bidding, a representative version is satisfied by a voice of a single individual (a lobbyist or other public speaker) proclaiming: "I speak on behalf of the majority and I deem it so!"

This system is twice as dangerous, as no individual is capable of discovering first hand what the actual majority is, or challenging the false majority. The voice of the people is not heard, but channeled through a series of twisted and broken pipes. The systemic desire to abuse and extort remains, and it gets satisfied with much greater efficiency than under direct democracy.

The founders may have been a bunch of slave owning hypocrites, but they did have some excellent ideas when they drafted the constitution. If only those were ever actually implemented.

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 22:30 | 2809566 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

In your opinion, which Constitutional clause would have prevented corrupt representatives if it were adhered to?

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 02:00 | 2809961 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

The 2nd Amendment.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 04:32 | 2810096 object_orient
object_orient's picture

best comeback ever

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 09:32 | 2810657 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Obviously that doesn't work.  I detect a flaw of reasoning.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 05:47 | 2810153 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

I prefer the Virginia Bill of Rights, since it clarifes the Framer's intent, and refutes the non-sensical uneducated muppet arguments that are so popular today.

SECTION I. That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

SEC. 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants and at all times amenable to them.

SEC. 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

SEC. 4. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which, not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary.

SEC. 5. That the legislative and executive powers of the state should be separate and distinct from the judiciary; and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burdens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in wh ich all, or any part, of the former members, to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.

SEC. 6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly, ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented for the public good.


SEC. 13. That a well-regulated militia, or composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

SEC. 14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from or independent of the government of Virginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

SEC. 15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

SEC. 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 05:38 | 2810148 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Direct Democracy isn't all skittles and unicorns, but moves the fights from out of the darkness and back rooms and into the streets, where it belongs.

The run on direct democracy 

Switzerland has been experiencing a wave of political tourism of late, with foreign politicians, particularly from Germany and Austria, showing an interest in its direct democracy. So, is the Swiss model becoming another Swiss export?

German-speaking neighbours have been to Switzerland twice this year. Back in March a delegation from the German state of Baden-Württemberg came to follow the federal elections first-hand.

Then in May the Austrian vice chancellor, Michael Spindelegger, travelled with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter to the Landsgemeinde, or citizens’ assembly, which meets once a year in the square of the town of Glarus to vote on issues with a show of hands. In June, canton Aargau joined Baden-Württemberg in organising a democracy conference in Aarau.

During Sunday’s national vote the minister president of Rheinland-Pfalz, Kurt Beck, plans to be on hand, and will follow it with a working visit to the Aarau Centre for Democracy Studies.

“It’s not just our EU neighbours who are interested in the Swiss model of democracy, but also countries like Uruguay,” Uwe Serdült, a political scientist with the Aarau Centre, told “A delegation of Latin American countries will visit us soon in connection with a trip organised by Presence Switzerland.”

According to a new study by the Centre, up until 1920 Switzerland was the only country in Europe to practise direct democracy. Within western Europe today, national popular votes arising from a collection of signatures are still only possible in Liechtenstein, Italy and San Marino.

Elsewhere they take place in the United States, Canada and Australia, and from the 1990s onwards, in 14 post-Communist European countries, for example, Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary, as well as Uruguay, Columbia and Venezuela.

"It’s no coincidence that Uruguay is described as ‘the Switzerland of Latin America’,” said study co-author Serdült.


Serdült sees one of the reasons for foreign interest in Switzerland’s direct democracy as “a certain frustration with representative democracy”. Many citizens don’t feel they are being represented by the elected politicians in parliament; they want a say, and to be able to participate directly.

“Democracies everywhere are in crisis. Democracy is a continual learning process - at the moment, however, it’s regressive instead of progressive,” the Social Democratic parliament member Andreas Gross told

For years a “true disempowerment of democracy” has been taking place, he argued. Existing democracies have all been becoming more authoritarian and power has been transferred to the executive branch. Meanwhile the national state has been losing more and more autonomy, without democracy being established transnationally.

People are more and more convinced that just being able to elect isn’t enough, said Gross.

Serdült believes that the EU crisis also plays a role. Members of other European countries regard non-EU-member Switzerland with a furtive sort of awe. “There’s hardly a TV talk show in Germany that doesn’t mention Switzerland and how it ‘does well’ with its direct democracy. We ask ourselves if it couldn’t be copied.”

Gross takes a different view. “Switzerland isn’t admired - above all it’s
misunderstood. Switzerland is regarded as exotic, and it’s not at all well-known.”

Lack of a constitutional court

Critics of direct democracy highlight the danger that some referendums, such as Switzerland’s recent deportation initiative, can scarcely be implemented because they would violate constitutionally guaranteed basic or human rights.

“That’s not a danger of direct democracy in and of itself, but rather a weakness in the way it has been set up in Switzerland,” said Gross.

The recent trend in Switzerland toward “focusing on the player rather than on the ball” demonstrates the weakness that direct democracy is not constitutionally protected from “the tyranny of the many”. That is not the fault of direct democracy either, however, according to Gross.

Does Switzerland need a supreme legal body that evaluates the constitutional conformity of initiatives – a constitutional court?

“I’m convinced that such a court is needed by a democracy,” the Slovenian Constitutional Court judge Ciril Ribicic told recently. In Slovenia as well, the people turn to referendums and initiatives.

Gross concurs: “I’ve been saying for years that a constitutional court is needed, that democracy needs to be improved. For 100 years – with the exception of, for example, women’s voting rights – it hasn’t developed or become more refined. In Switzerland there’s a very big need for reform.

Civic groups most successful

The Aarau Centre study also analysed the effective use of democratic instruments. The result: civil groups – particularly environmental organisations and unions, but also organisations representing business interests – are most successful.

“And they’re the ones that make the greatest use of direct democracy, in Switzerland as well,” said Serdült.

In the beginning, direct democracy was used by opposition parties as an agent in their struggle for power. “That has long been true in Switzerland,” he says. “The longer a direct democracy has existed, the more it has been adopted by society.” This trend can be seen internationally.

“Democracy tourists” can learn from us, but they don’t want to adopt the Swiss model on a one-to-one basis, added Serdült.

“The visitors are all professional politicians. They also see direct democracy as a risk. They say ‘yes’ to more political participation by the people, but not to the binding extent it’s used in Switzerland. For us, the vote at the polls is decisive. In Germany the ‘popular polls’ are not binding.”

Switzerland is a supporter of the talks between members of the Syrian opposition meeting in Berlin to discuss how Syria would be ruled after the fall of the Assad regime. Serdült however was not prepared to answer the question of whether the ‘new Syria’ could profit from the Swiss direct democracy model.

“We’re always very cautious when it comes to handing over direct democracy ‘part and parcel’. Democratic processes like the one in Syria last for generations,” he said.

Jean-Michel Berthoud in Aarau,
(Translated from German by Jeannie Wurz)

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 13:16 | 2811707 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Thanks for a good read. Even though direct democracy is only marginally better, it may still be useful as a transitional step on the path to restoration of liberty. At this point, anything that gets people out of their houses and marching though the streets is good.

Direct democracy has a scale limitation. It works best in small communities where votes can be conducted by a show of hand (with everyone gaining instant confirmation of the outcome). I personally think that the sanctity of vote clause is bullshit designed to eliminate transparency. I have no problem with others knowing how I vote and would love to know where my neighbours stand on issues.

Getting all of the US into one place is out of the question... and even if we could, the diversity of interests would still wreak havoc. That's why the land is segmented into managible States and minicipalities. The laws don't have to match all across the land. The Constitution outlines the basic framework and each location adds its flavor. People vote with their voices, wallets and with their feet. That is why freedom of transportaiton is important.

 Don't like the state laws? Move to a different state! Thank god, we can still do that. Unfortunately we're still stuck picking seats on the Titanic.

 Direct democracy is better, but it is still not enough. A Constitutional Republic, on the other hand, is very similar. It basically says: "You can vote on anything except individual rights. Rights are to be valued and protected regardless of circumstances, moods and intentions."

 Now that is a system I'd love to be a part of!

Thu, 09/20/2012 - 13:27 | 2815512 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Switzerland is different than the rest of Europe because it is a Confederation.  The power predominately rests with the 26 Cantons (and since the population is only 8 million a Canton is generally the on the scale of a large US county).  The Cantons even own (and control) the 51% of the Central Bank that wasn't IPO'd, the income tax rates for each Canton differ, but are more or less equal to Federal rate.  Personal interaction is almost entirely with the Canton and neighborhood governments, and rarely with the Federal government.  The rest of Europe is on a Federalist model, so they can show up in Switzerland all they want, but they remain unlikely to adopt much of what they see.  The issue of a Constitutional Court is also debated internally, and the article was rather partisan in its approach, since the alternative position is that the people have the right to ammend the constitution as they see fit, and the origin of the right of initiative itself was to ammend the 1874 constitution.

The challenge with the US is one of scale, the farther that money, power and decisions are removed from individuals and their local communities and circumstances, the less accountable the leaders are to the people, as people and community become more of an abstraction.  

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 20:46 | 2809174 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"Income tax was introduced in 1913 as a temporary deficit reduction measure"

No, it was created for prohibition. Prior to the income tax all of the gov't income came from excise taxes, mostly on alcohol sales. The Dry lobbists pushed through the income tax so that the fed gov'ts revenue wasn't dependant on alcohol sales.

"100 years later everyone pays taxes through their nose and nobody remembers how it all got started."

Agreed! Looks like you didn't know either!



Tue, 09/18/2012 - 21:15 | 2809298 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

I use history that I leraned from Michael Badnarik, but even if I'm to look at Wiki, I still find:

"The [Revenue] Act [of 1913]... provided for the reinstitution of a federal income tax as a means to compensate for anticipated lost revenue because of the reduction of tariff duties." That confirms what I've said.

 Why "reinstitution"? Because the last attempt that took place in 1894 had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

 Which version of history do you go by?

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