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Is nobody going to call Peter Schiff on his "I pay 50% tax" crap?

  1. Pcunix profile image90
    Pcunixposted 5 years ago

    Is nobody going to call Peter Schiff on his "I pay 50% tax" crap?

    Recently, Peter Schiff marched into OWS and confronted demonstrators, claiming that he pays 50% of his income to taxes.  Unfortunately, the OWS folks did not respond intelligently (at least the ones I saw).  They talked about capital gains tax, which as little to do with Peter Schiff's income and his 50% claim had little to do with Federal income tax anyway.

    What he meant is that if you count ALL the taxes he pays - Federal, State, gasoline, excise and so on, he pays 50% - maybe even a bit more.

    Here's the problem, you 1% jackass:

    Let's take Federal gasoline taxes, for example. For a 15 gallon fill-up, that's about $3.00 (and that's just Federal).

    The working class stiff lucky enough to earn $15.00 an hour needs 12 minutes to earn just that - and of course he still has to pay every other tax, just like poor Peter.

    What's $3.00 to Peter Schiff? At his income of some $10 million dollars or so, he earns that rather quickly - 333 times more quickly than that $15 an hour guy.

    Where is the real burden, Peter? The working class guy pays 12 minutes of his labor to fill up his car. You can't even blink your eye fast enough to represent the time it takes you to pay that tax.

    All those taxes Peter pays are mostly meaningless to him; like you and I tossing a penny into a wishing well - actually less than that. But they suck the life out of the working class.

    1. kerryg profile image87
      kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Yeah, from what I hear he deserves kudos for calling the recession before it happened (not that he was alone in that, I know plenty on the far left who did the same), but if he's really paying 50% he needs to get a better accountant, stat. The average member of the top 1% only pays 30.9% of their income in taxes, which is a whole 1.1% higher than the average for everyone in the country (29.8%). tongue

      http://i39.tinypic.com/2090o6t.jpg

      Also note that the average member of the 4th quintile, who makes just $55,331-88,029 annually, pays just 0.9% less in taxes as a percentage of income than the average member of the top 1%, who makes a minimum of $516,633 annually.

      1. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        No, that's just Federal.   Many of the wealthy really do have to pay out 50%.

        But it's no hardship, is it?  Not the hardship it is for the rest of us.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
          Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          G'head and start a multibillion dollar corporation that helps millions of people on a daily basis.

          Until then, realize how prices are generated, and realize that you aren't entitled to things you can't afford.

          1. Pcunix profile image90
            Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Elizabeth Warren says it far better than I can.

            "But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did."

            1. kerryg profile image87
              kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Evan can correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Schiff make his money as a broker? A wealthy factory owner like Warren describes may or may not make a positive contribution to society, depending on what they're making and how they're making it, but I'd have to question whether brokers ever do. tongue

              1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
                Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                If you make profits (aside from returns from bribes from governments), then you're generating wealth for society.

                The definition of profits - in a free society - is almost synonymous with wealth generation.

                1. kerryg profile image87
                  kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  See, I would disagree. That depends entirely on what you do to make the profits. If you're generating profits by cutting corners and dumping carcinogenic chemicals into the local river system, for example, you may see a short-term net positive for the wealth of society, but 5, 10, 20 years from now any gains you made will be erased by the medical bills of the tens, hundreds, or thousands of people who got cancer as a result of your unethical waste disposal methods.

                  In Schiff's case, he's making "profits" moving imaginary money around. At least the cancer-causing factory wastes resulted in some tangible product! There are people, for example, who argue that the benefits of Apple's products outweigh the fact that in order to make them, the company purchased conflict minerals from Congo warlords of the sort whose idea of a fun Friday night is to go out and chop the hands off village men, rape the women with bayonets, and conscript the kids as soldiers for their personal armies. tongue (This is not to say that Microsoft is any better, but the near-sanctification of Steve Jobs since his death has been making me kind of sick.)

                  I don't know enough about Schiff's personal investment philosophy to make any specific judgements, but I'd argue that for the last 10 years in particular (the last 30, really), brokers such as himself have been moving imaginary money around in ways that are not only not beneficial, but actively detrimental to the well-being of society at large, all in the name of profits. "Profits" are not the be all and end all of a given company's benefit (or lack thereof) to society.

            2. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              That's about the silliest thing I've ever heard.  May I paraphrase?

              But I want to be clear: you moved the goods we want to us on the roads the rest of us, along with your large donation, paid for; you hired workers their parents paid (along with your large donation) to educate; your factory is safe enough to produce the products we want because of police and fire forces the rest of us (along with your large donation) paid for.  You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize all those things we want from your factory, and hire an army to protect the stuff we want against this, because of the funding we all provide (including your large donation).

              On the one hand you seem to state that the rich (Schiff) pays the taxes that 50 other people combined do, then say that only those 50 people pay anything; that Schiff's taxes don't buy roads, education, police or anything else.

              1. kerryg profile image87
                kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                "On the one hand you seem to state that the rich (Schiff) pays the taxes that 50 other people combined do, then say that only those 50 people pay anything;"

                I think you misread that - Schiff claims to pay 50% of his income in taxes, not to pay as much as 50 other people. He probably does, but the point is that taking 50% of $10 million (just to pick a random figure) is not going to affect his quality of life that much, whereas taking 22.3% from someone who makes only $20,000 a year ($20,000 a year puts you in the second quintile of household income in the US) can mean the difference between being able to afford health care or not, or being able to afford heat. Both the rich and the poor benefit from the roads, schools, police, and other amenities that their taxes pays for, but the poor make more of a personal sacrifice to do so.

                1. Pcunix profile image90
                  Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Thanks.  I found myself temporarily at a loss for any words except those that would get me banned immediately.  You responded as I was about to, but without the gratuitous assessments I would have added.

                  And yes, of course he misread. They always do.

                  1. kerryg profile image87
                    kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    Heh, no prob.

                2. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Oh I understand that.  I even agree with most of it.

                  What I don't agree with is the insinuation in the quote from Elizabeth Warren that Schiff and the other rich aren't paying anything for the services; someone else has to pay it all.

                  And it is my error; given that the average person will earn 50,000 per year next to Schiffs $10,000,000 that would mean he is paying the same taxes as 200 people, not 50. (Don't know how accurate that $50,000 is, but it makes the point).

                  Lets play with numbers a bit, assuming the 10 million income each for the 1% called "rich" and 50 thousand for the remaining 99%.  Lets say they all pay 50% (they obviously don't).

                  The top 1% each pay taxes equal to 200 of the poor.  As a group they are paying twice as much as the other 99%.  Do they get equal services that the 200 do?  You might keep in mind that while the factory belongs to Mr. Rich, others work there and still others benefit from the widgets produced there.  Everyone benefits from the extra police or fire required for a factory, not just Mr. Rich.  Everyone benefits from the roads that transport those widgets, not just Mr. Rich.  Everybody benefits from the schools that educate the workers to the point they can earn a living, not just Mr. Rich.

                  When someone (Warren) spins the facts like that it becomes ridiculous.  The rich are paying far more as a group to support the country than the poor.  Certainly not as a percentage of their income, but in actual money they do.  To then declare, as Warren does, that someone else is paying for everything is just wrong.

                  1. Pcunix profile image90
                    Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    No, they don't get equal services.

                    They get more.

                    Who benefits most from the Interstate Highway system?  Is it me or UPS?

                    Who benefits more from military spending?  Is it me or defense contractors?

                  2. kerryg profile image87
                    kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    Sure, but you can reverse it just as easily. The so-called "53%" tend to completely ignore the fact that federal income taxes aren't the only taxes people pay and claim that the 47% of families who pay no federal income taxes are "freeloaders" who take from society without contributing a red cent in exchange. This is clearly false when you consider that even the bottom quintile (which makes less than $18,500 per year) is paying an average of 18.7% of its income in taxes, and again, making a much greater personal sacrifice to do so.

            3. Evan G Rogers profile image83
              Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              OH god, this Elizabeth Warren crap.

              Here's my reply:
              http://mises.org/daily/5699

              And, in case Murphy didn't say it: "Taxes are theft. Don't blame me because you didn't fight your government's theft of your money".

              1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                "Taxes are the price we pay to live in a civil society." Oliver Wendell Holmes

              2. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                A lot of truth in that link, but I find the last half of last sentence the most telling:

                "...she is arguing for a blank check for politicians to squeeze ever more out of "the rich" — which in practice will include the middle class."

                Because that's exactly what will happen.  Anyone not on welfare will see their taxes go up.

        2. kerryg profile image87
          kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Nope, it's everything - federal, state, and local:

          http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/ … ax-system/

          1. Pcunix profile image90
            Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            But that's *average*.  Peter Schiff very likely does pay 50%.

            But whatever - 39% or 59%, it still is no burden.  For most of us, income taxes actually are a real burden and sacrifice.

            And I'm not saying they shouldn't be.  I have always been willing to pay my taxes because I value the tings they provide. 

            But Peter Schiff ges all that and more with no pain.

            1. kerryg profile image87
              kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              "But that's *average*.  Peter Schiff very likely does pay 50%."

              Sure, but that's why I said he needs a better accountant. lol

      2. Evan G Rogers profile image83
        Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I don't know any liberals who managed to pinpoint exactly where the crash was going to happen AND explain how the crash would take place WHILE ALSO using the same logic they used to predict Stagflation, The fall of Communism, AND the Great Depression.

        The economics Schiff used to predict the 2008-9 crash was the same as that used to predict every other great economic issue of the past century.

        The Liberals (Krugman, for example), change their stories monthly, and also have to change their economics every decade.

        The Austrian School has a stellar record of accuracy, but everyone brushes it aside because it doesn't ask the government to steal money through monetary inflation.

        1. kerryg profile image87
          kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Krugman is left, not far left. I'm talking more in the Korten and Heinberg end of the spectrum.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
            Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I'm watching a video by Heinberg (never heard of him before), and he seems to fail to understand what a price is.

            ... yeah, now that I've watched the whole thing, this guy is completely ignorable.

            He keeps claiming that resources are running out... but this can easily be disproved via looking at garbage dumps. Are there people scrounging dumps for resources?

            No?

            Ok then.

            1. kerryg profile image87
              kerrygposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              "Are there people scrounging dumps for resources? No? Ok then."

              Um, yes, actually. It's an extremely common source of income in the third world, to the point that millions of people live in garbage dumps to get first crack at new loads.

              I'm not finding the study right now, but I believe I've even read that there's now estimated to be more gold sitting around in garbage dumps than there is left in the ground.

              ETA: This is not the study I was thinking of, but offers a higher tech example of garbage mining by a first world country (Japan) that is now extracting more gold from sewage than is being produced by the world's top mines. It's not only the third world that's doing it.

              http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/01/ … 6120090130

              ETA2: Still not finding it, aargh, so I'm going to give up. Did, however, find the stat that 1 ton of electronic waste contains more gold than can be extracted from 17 tons of ore, plus an expert of some sort who says there's more aluminum in landfills than "we can produce by mining ores" (not totally clear if he's talking about the US or the world) and that the same is "probably" true of gold and copper.

              http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/107/landfill.html

              And don't forget programs like the Golden Goat here in the US. Quite a few homeless people make a living (of sorts) collecting aluminum and glass to recycle for money. Haven't you ever seen a homeless person digging through a garbage can? They don't do it for fun!

      3. thisisoli profile image64
        thisisoliposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Wait until you start figuring out what they pay after the various legit tax avoidance methods they employ.

        1. Pcunix profile image90
          Pcunixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Yeah, that's a whole other subject.  When someone in the over-class says "I paid X% of my income to taxes", they almost always mean their TAXABLE income - whatever their highly paid accountants could not make magically vanish first.

    2. Evan G Rogers profile image83
      Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      So, in other words...

      .. you're saying he was right?!

      Here's your quote (just to remind you):

      "What he meant is that if you count ALL the taxes he pays - Federal, State, gasoline, excise and so on, he pays 50% - maybe even a bit more."

      Let's put your quote in bold, now:

      "What he meant is that if you count ALL the taxes he pays - Federal, State, gasoline, excise and so on, he pays 50% - maybe even a bit more."

      And let's try it out with an underline:

      "What he meant is that if you count ALL the taxes he pays - Federal, State, gasoline, excise and so on, he pays 50% - maybe even a bit more."

      So, now that we got that cleared up...

      You're right: 3 dollars probably isn't that necessary to him...

      BUT THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T OWN OUR WEALTH. Just because you CAN afford to do something doesn't mean you HAVE TO and/or SHOULD do something.

      Case and point: I could afford to plant a garden. But I won't, because I can get the fruits/vegies at the store for a lot cheaper using less fossil fuels and labor hours.

      Anyway, I'm glad that you agree with Schiff! I'm a bit confused as to why you want the government to steal more money, though.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
        Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Once again: Just because you can AFFORD to do something doesn't mean that that money should be stolen from you at the point of a gun to be handed over to crooks in DC who claim the power to spend your money for you.

  2. Evan G Rogers profile image83
    Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago

    Here, Peter Schiff explains why government loans to students were a HORRIBLE idea:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llrmq8q3 … re=related

    Here is Peter Schiff being right, relentlessly, for a good 5-10 years:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZaHNeNgrcI

    Peter Schiff took on every single mainstream economist while they laughed in his face (literally), and he was right.

 
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