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Old 10-08-2019, 09:20 AM
ActuarialFun ActuarialFun is offline
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Default The Richest Americans Pay The Lowest Taxes?

The 400 wealthiest Americans paid a lower rate for federal, state, and local taxes than any other group for the first time ever last year, per the NYT.

How is this possible when the top marginal income tax rate is 37%, and that's only counting the federal income tax?
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:26 AM
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wealth <> income
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:21 AM
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I assume they're including payroll taxes.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:25 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Can you post the article? Or relevant excerpts?

Wealthy Americans don't have significant labor and payroll income, they have capital gains income. Not a lot of great ways to measure that compared to a worker, so hard to comment without seeing what the NYT did, but it's likely not a very meaningful measure IMO.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
Can you post the article? Or relevant excerpts?

Wealthy Americans don't have significant labor and payroll income, they have capital gains income. Not a lot of great ways to measure that compared to a worker, so hard to comment without seeing what the NYT did, but it's likely not a very meaningful measure IMO.
Alas, the article is devoid of supporting data. The key assertions come from a soon to be released book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYT article
The data here come from the most important book on government policy that I’ve read in a long time — called “The Triumph of Injustice,” to be released next week. The authors are Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, both professors at the University of California, Berkeley, who have done pathbreaking work on taxes. Saez has won the award that goes to the top academic economist under age 40, and Zucman was recently profiled on the cover of Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine as “the wealth detective.”

They have constructed a historical database that tracks the tax payments of households at different points along the income spectrum going back to 1913, when the federal income tax began. The story they tell is maddening — and yet ultimately energizing.

“Many people have the view that nothing can be done,” Zucman told me. “Our case is, ‘No, that’s wrong. Look at history.’” As they write in the book: “Societies can choose whatever level of tax progressivity they want.” When the United States has raised tax rates on the wealthy and made rigorous efforts to collect those taxes, it has succeeded in doing so.
Seems like a (wink-wink not) coordinated part of the Warren campaign. NTTAWWT.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:31 AM
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Just a guess: it has to do with the different tax rates applied to wages vs. dividends / capital gains and the different tax advantages available to the upper class that aren't available to [can't be realized by] everyone else.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:56 AM
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If this is supposed to be -all- taxes (they mentioned state & local), that would include:

property taxes
sales taxes

etc.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campbell View Post
If this is supposed to be -all- taxes (they mentioned state & local), that would include:

property taxes
sales taxes

etc.
Yes, it would, but then it becomes even harder to create a meaningful “rate”
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:16 AM
redprinceton redprinceton is offline
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Oh, it's an OpEd. You can make the numbers dance however you want.

But in general, the "richest" things I do, I pay the least taxes on.
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Now, when lazy and disingenuous people try to claim ignorance, I'm 100% entitled to dismissing them as lazy or disingenuous. Hope it helps!

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Old 10-08-2019, 11:17 AM
nonactuarialactuary nonactuarialactuary is offline
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Market downturn at the end of 2018 probably means a lot of folks taking capital losses rather than capital gains too.
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