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Should people living in poverty pay income taxes?

  1. promisem profile image95
    promisemposted 23 months ago

    Let's break it down even more. Should a disabled person in poverty pay taxes? Should a healthy person in poverty pay them?

    1. GA Anderson profile image83
      GA Andersonposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      Of course they should pay taxes. It is their country too. Everyone should have a stake in their nation.

      But... Given your focus on the poor, and poor & disabled... I would think that there are very few that actually pay income taxes. Different readings toss around different numbers; one says 8 out of ten filers (<50k), receive a refund. Others say around 84% get refunds.

      If so many qualify for refunds, I would think the 16% that didn't might have had very specific circumstances.

      The poor may get a tax bill, as well they should, but by the time they get to the bottom line, all the deductions and credits have turned a bill into a refund.

      So then, your OP seems to ask the moral question, not the legal or financial ones. I still say yes, for the reasons already mentioned.

      GA

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        I don't think "refund" is the term being discussed here.  In my experience, the majority of people use W-4's as a savings plan - overpay now for a refund later.  Even I try to arrange it for a small refund of a couple of hundred, just so that I don't have an unexpected tax bill, and many look for a refund of thousands.

        Now when the total tax "bill" for the year becomes negative - a "refund" that is more than was ever paid in - that's a different story.

        1. GA Anderson profile image83
          GA Andersonposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          No problem then, just substitute whatever term came to mind when you read it. And don't worry about the process semantics either. The end result is that the groups in point generally don't pay any income tax - as I was thinking about it in the reference of an annual ritual. But taking it down to the pay-day level as you discussed is even better.

          Every American wage earner pays income taxes every pay-day. These are not usually huge amounts relative to typical poverty-level job paychecks; not insubstantial, but probably not life-changing on a weekly basis. And I think that is only right. Cliche or not, it serves; Everyone has some skin in the game. They have a stake in their country.

          Part of that stake is what they get from their country in return, which comes in the form of programs that help them "live better lives" and also mitigate their final tax bill. So whatever name suits the process - the bottom line is still that the majority of these groups end up richer for that bit of skin. Describe the process differently and the road will almost certainly still end up at the same place we started.

          Which to me, leads me back to my statement that it seems to me that the OP could only be asking the moral question of should we? Can our conscience bear the burden of that hapless unfortunate also bearing a burden of taxes?

          There seems a daily liberal or progressive call for "equality," but then there is the problem that in advocating no taxes for them they are advocating treating someone differently. And by an economic yardstick no less.

          ... and the first part of that sounds right to me too. Treat all American citizens, (and taxpaying legal residents too), equally. Let every wage earner share the pride and burden of contributing to their country. How can they, (those advocating no taxes), also know that in taking away that perceived burden, they are not also taking away a point of pride? Something I bet is generally welcomed by most folks.

          For those on a red meat diet; I can also say that, although not necessarily relative to the details behind its first appearance in someone's speech, I can see the thought process behind the consideration that there just might be a bit of patriotism involved in paying fairly judged taxes.

          GA

      2. Au fait profile image94
        Au faitposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        GA Anderson, and czetc.:  It costs tax dollars to process all this backing and frothing.  First you take money away from people who have so little to begin with, then you pay government pencil pushers to process their tax return and send it all back to them plus a little more in some cases.  Why do you people always want to complain about poor people receiving assistance and then think up ways to make it cost more to run the program?  Why pay the person who takes the money from the poor, holds it in their hands for a few days, and then puts it in an envelope and mails it back to the person who sent it.  Is this your idea of creating jobs?  A way of keeping the post-office busy?  Money could be saved if the taxes were not collected from these people in the first place and extra people were't paid to fondle the money for a while before returning it to them.

        Like drug tests for people applying for food stamps -- it costs money for drug tests and practically everyone that takes one for food stamps passes it and there goes MORE money, not into food for hungry people, but into bureaucracy to please people who say they don't want to spend money, yet lie awake nights thinking up stupid ways to spend still more of it in ways that benefit no one.

        Why do people want to refuse little children and babies food because one or more of their parents may be using illegal drugs?  That's what ends up happening if someone fails their drug test.  Do you honestly sleep better at night knowing these children of people who failed their drug tests are going to bed hungry?  Does that really float your boat?  Do you, in your great wisdom, feel like those children should have chosen better parents and going to bed hungry will help them make better decisions in the future?

        1. GARH608 profile image79
          GARH608posted 23 months ago in reply to this

          WOW....you are very enlightening....Especially about, "Do you, in your great wisdom, feel like those children should have chosen better parents and going to bed hungry will help them make better decisions in the future?"

          I used to be a volunteer Guardian ad Litem, or CASA, depending on where you live. I've seen parents in prison. I have seen parents go through rehab. But the moment that I don't have an income to no longer put gas in my car to do this volunteer work, I no longer get to see my kids. It's disappointing, and I do EVERYTHING I can to get through that disappointment everyday.

          And back to the tax thing, I had to pay taxes because I wasn't working and getting alimony. Yup!! One year it was under $200....another year it was over $400....Believe me, they get their money. They worked with me and development a payment plan, but believe me, they got their money. To heck with the bankruptcy...to heck with the $12,000 hospital and other medical expenses for my seizure in August 2013, because I had no health insurance....but the government will get theirs....They always do.

          1. Au fait profile image94
            Au faitposted 23 months ago in reply to this

            I know how they are and they are heartless in their pursuit.  Bankruptcy used to be available to write off one's income taxes in some cases.but they changed the law in that regard about 10 years ago and I honestly don't know all the rules about it now.  My late husband was an attorney and I worked by his side for several years, but the law changes all the time, and I haven't really kept up.  I do know how the IRS was then and I have heard of no improvements.  Tax problems was one of the things my husband handled, plus I used to have one of those tax problems, so I know how it goes.

            1. colorfulone profile image88
              colorfuloneposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              The IRS is a problem ( illegal as it is).

              1. promisem profile image95
                promisemposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                Why?

        2. GA Anderson profile image83
          GA Andersonposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          Hello Au fait, The Curmudgeon in me wants to address so many points in your response, but I can see that it is coming from an emotional perception, so beyond a crack about the dangers attached to the use of"you people," (as in uncaring, or worse in this case), I will skip to what looked important to me; the topic being discussed, (as I perceived it);

          "Should poor, or poor & disabled" people pay taxes?"

          My response said nothing about the validity or justifications of any of the things you mentioned as "our" main criticism. I said "Hell yes they should pay taxes!," and then explained why.

          I was grinning and bearing all your generic "yous" and "you peoples" until your last paragraph, by then the generics and "yous" were coming across as a little more focused on me than the generic of me.

          So no, I don't want to refuse little children and babies food because one or more of their parents may be using illegal drugs - but I don't want to help buy their drugs either.  And yet, I can still say No, that thought doesn't "float my boat." 

          "Do you, in your great wisdom, (this was a hint your generics had become a little more personal), feel like those children should have chosen better parents and going to bed hungry will help them make better decisions in the future?

          Wait, I bet that "wisdom" part was sarcasm, which means my answer is going to be wrong no matter what, so I will leave you confident in your knowledge that you know what my answer is and I stand rightly condemned for it.

          Now, back to my explanation of the why, (not how), we all should pay taxes - principally speaking, do you disagree with the concept?

          GA

    2. profile image0
      calculus-geometryposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      Currently, If a person has a job that withholds taxes and their income is below a certain threshold,  they will get a refund when they file.  That does not bother me.  I assume the majority of people in poverty have mental, physical, and other barriers that keep them there, that it's not a deliberate choice made by people with easy access to better options.

    3. gmwilliams profile image81
      gmwilliamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      People who are classified as impoverished usually don't pay any taxes.  They have a form which they must fill out.  If a person's income falls below a certain point, h/she does not have to pay taxes.  If they do pay taxes, it is very little.

  2. Chantelle Porter profile image90
    Chantelle Porterposted 23 months ago

    My answer is short and sweet. No to both.

    1. promisem profile image95
      promisemposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      I don't think anyone who is disabled, living in poverty and making a small amount of money because they can't find a better job should pay taxes.

      But if someone is able bodied, working only part time and unwilling to do more, are they taking advantage of society?

  3. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 23 months ago

    I think it matters less whether they pay taxes as what the net results of their taxes paid and benefits received are.  Most tax collection systems result in everyone paying a little tax on things that are universally taxed because it would be too costly to process exemptions to this system with every purchase, transaction, bill and interest payment--but the payment of benefits should put them back in the black.

  4. GARH608 profile image79
    GARH608posted 23 months ago

    My answer is also no. I went through a divorce. I had to file bankruptcy and STILL pay over $400 in taxes because of being unemployed. Makes no sense whatsoever. At least with that money I can be taking care of myself. I don't get anything from the government, no Food Stamps, No Medicaid....I live in my parents basement.

    1. promisem profile image95
      promisemposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      If you don't mind me asking, did you pay those taxes on unemployment compensation?

  5. wilderness profile image94
    wildernessposted 23 months ago

    What you're really asking is should society pick up the cost for poor, disabled people.  Most will agree that the simple answer is "yes", but nothing in life is really that simple - just how "disabled" and just how "poor", for instance.  How much in assets (ability to contribute to societies needs)?

    1. promisem profile image95
      promisemposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      Would you then say yes in some cases and no in others depending on the circumstances?

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        Exactly.  You haven't defined "poverty" nor "disabled" (and I understand why), but both would need definitions before I could give a blanket OK, and those definitions vary widely between individuals.

        Plus, of course, as Psycheskinner pointed out some taxes aren't conducive to applying to only some people.

  6. profile image60
    Max Harmonposted 23 months ago

    I'm no expert but according to the IRS handbook income taxes were to be levied upon corporations.  Taxing the income of individual American citizens by the federales was never legalized.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      But others ARE experts.  And that question has been tried in the courts many times, always with the result that citizens CAN be taxed.

  7. Alternative Prime profile image89
    Alternative Primeposted 23 months ago

    Forget traditional "Income and or Asset" requirements ~

    In reality, if you are living here on Planet Earth ~ If an individual and or family is forced to work 30% or more of their "AWAKE TIME", they are irrefutably enduring a hardship state of Financial & Psychological Poverty ~

    NO TAXES owed by the Poverty Stricken and or Disabled ~ Tax INCREASES for Wall Street Traders, Swindlers, etc ~

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      First, no one in this country is forced to work at all - it is an individual choice.

      Second, 30% of waking hours is a 32 hour work week - you're saying that anything beyond the shortest normal work period the world has ever seen is poverty.  Few will agree - this is naught but the liberal dream of utopia.  A utopia that has never been seen on this planet.  (I've never, in a life of working, had such a short week and do not consider myself either financially or psychologically poverty ridden).

      Plus, of course, a further grab for the fruits of the labor of those more skilled at collecting money.

      1. Alternative Prime profile image89
        Alternative Primeposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        And what's the "CHOICE"? Work or live your life on a Park Bench? If you can find an empty one?~

        Nice "Choice" ~ Typical conservative rhetoric, "It's Your Choice", I've heard over and over again, more times than Jeb Bush utters the words "Anchcor Baby" ~

        If you accept the status quo of a Failed Captalistic Society in which we currently live, a place where a tiny handful of greedy individuals hold OUR Wealth in a secret vault while controlling elections, that's fine, but the majority of Americans are begining to realize there is much more to life than trying to SURVIVE ~

        Working or more accurately "Slaving" at a job for 30% or more of awake hours equates to an individual who is empoverished in POVERTY ~ That's the REAL Deal ~

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          Your REAL Deal is what the vast majority of people throughout history has done.  It isn't utopia, and likely never will be - that state exists only in the imaginations of the far left that think everything appears by magic without anyone having to produce it.

          1. Alternative Prime profile image89
            Alternative Primeposted 23 months ago in reply to this

            OUR WEALTH has already been PRODUCED and Continues to multiply ~

            The primary problem is the current "Custodians" of OUR wealth in the Private Sector who Control & Use it AGAINST US are too few and insanely Corrupt ~ Time to re-direct our assets away from the greedy few, and toward ALL Americans ~

            The NFL Commissioner, according to reports rakes in roughly 40+MILLION per year in salary & bonuses~ An absurd amount of money to give one individual and for what? ~ This obscenely immoral income distribution needs to stop ASAP ~

            If the NFL is doing so well financially, why not compensate the FANS who paid to see the games and made it possible for this greedy individual to live large, or deliver some of this cash to those trying desperately to survive in POVERTY?  ~

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 23 months ago in reply to this

              Sorry - it the wealth is YOURS, you own it.  You do not, and never did - therefore it is not YOURS (or OURS).  You do not have the right, legal or ethical, to decide that what other people have earned actually belongs to you.

              While I agree that the 29M Goodell earned (not the 40M you claim) is obscene, it is not my prerogative (nor yours) to set his salary.  While it is the dream of the socialist to set all wages it is neither ethical or legal.  You make your own decision by paying obscene amounts to watch a game, but that is the limit of your contribution to his salary - to then demand it back is not your right.

              1. Alternative Prime profile image89
                Alternative Primeposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                Sorry wildernes, but as usual you are inacurrate ~

                The NFL Commissioner's Obscene Salary / Bonus estimates range from roughly 29 to 44 MILLION annually ~ His 7 year deal estimates range from roughly 123 to 300 Million ~ In any event it's unearned, immoral, unethical, and perhaps even illegal to pay and or accept such egregious compensation ~

                AMERICANs OWN our wealth, not the handful of greed driven billionaire individuals who have and continue to pillage, rape, and plunder our resources ~

                You, along with the majority of conservatives think it's fine for a small handful of corrupt individuals lurking on Wall Street and elsewhere to dictate our future, control our lives, and suppress Americans into poverty stricken situations, I believe it's time for "We the People" to finally receive rightfully earned benefit from our assets  ~

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 23 months ago in reply to this

                  Links, please, proving your claims.  I might add that a claim of a 7 year extimate ranging from 3X your claim for 1 year to nearly 3 times that figure is worthless.

                  Absolutely Americans OWN our wealth.  And you can't have it because you think it is unfair.

                  And you, along with other socialists, think the only reasonable distribution is where everyone gets the same without regard to the value they add to society.  I disagree you should have more; you already receive "rightfully earned benefit from your assets" combined with the effort you put into managing them whether personal labor or other.  What you DON'T have a right to is the assets belonging to someone else.

  8. ahorseback profile image47
    ahorsebackposted 23 months ago

    If one understands anything about income taxes , one knows about earned income credits ,  I have seen  a couple with four or five kids  actually get back thousands  more than they pay in at tax time .   There's enough going on FOR the working poor in America , tax wise that is .

    Alternative power ,  Enough with the discussion about those "big bad rich men "  ,  most of them  earned it , one way or the other .   What do you believe ,  that you deserve some of the NFL comm. salary ?  Please , the whole  wealth re-distributing thing is outdated .

    1. gmwilliams profile image81
      gmwilliamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      Thank you, sir. +1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. I would like to interject that many poor people in America want to be poor.  They are poor because of their poverty consciousness, mindset, mentality, and psychology.  Even though there are myriad opportunities to become socioeconomically solvent and affluent, there are Americans who elect to be poor. Such poor discourage their children from education and succeeding in addition to imbuing a negative philosophy towards achievement to their children.  Impoverished people(with exceptions) elect to be in their dire socioeconomic predicament.  They choose habits and lifestyles which result in impoverishment.

      1. promisem profile image95
        promisemposted 23 months ago in reply to this

        I suspect that many poor people accept being poor and don't try to do better.

        Would you agree that many poor people also don't want to be poor?

        1. gmwilliams profile image81
          gmwilliamsposted 23 months ago in reply to this

          Those who don't want to be poor find ways to improve their dire socioeconomic situation.  They adopt the mindset that they can/will do better.  They also disassociate from those who imbue the poverty mindset whether it is family or friends.  They refuse to permit their temporary impoverishment deter from succeeding.  They become more pro-active regarding their lives.  They furthermore refuse to play victims and own their lives.
          http://usercontent2.hubimg.com/7500267.jpg

  9. Chantelle Porter profile image90
    Chantelle Porterposted 23 months ago

    Having seen one couple who receive welfare and in your estimation didn't deserve it is not exactly a scientific study. Glad you're so biased. Why bother getting any info? 90% of people on Medicaid are single mom with kids. 90% of the claims paid out through Medicaid are to the disabled. To qualify for Medicaid you can have 1 home (with or without a mortgage), 1 vehicle and $2000 of assets. If you have more you don't qualify. Each state has a determination of need formula to determine whether you qualify for assistance and how much assistance you can receive if you qualify. The Federal government looks at how well you can complete activities of daily living (cook, bathe, etc.)

    My son, for example is 23 and has autism. He receives $730 per month from the Federal government to pay for housing, food and everything else per month. We live outside of Chicago so naturally this amount of money is ridiculously small so we support him; he is our child. He receives nothing from the state, not because he doesn't qualify, but because our tax money has been pissed away by the powers that be. My son can do NOTHING on his own. I can't even leave him at home while I run to the store to get a gallon of milk. So if you want me to continue to edify you, I will.  But really, it is so irritating to have people who have no idea what it means to be disabled or poverty stricken talk out their ass.

    1. Au fait profile image94
      Au faitposted 23 months ago in reply to this

      Chantelle, thank you for standing up for the truth and what is right.

 
working