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US super-rich 'pay almost no income tax

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by ChrisBosh, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. Major

    Major Member

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    Right - and that's a problem. But it has nothing to do with whether Zoom somehow avoided taxes by paying compensation in stock options.

    On a side note, the 12% is not particularly accurate when you account for total compensation.
     
    AroundTheWorld likes this.
  2. deb4rockets

    deb4rockets Hope is on the horizon in the NBA draft.
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    Put another way, compensation for CEOs is now 278 times greater than for ordinary workers. That’s a stratospherically larger income gap than the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965.

    Average pay for CEOs of the 350 biggest U.S. companies hit $17.2 mil

    I don't believe for a minute that those high payed CEOs aren't using tax loopholes themselves designed for the rich when they themselves pay their taxes.

    https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-08-19/column-trickle-down-is-a-lie

    Then, you have billionaires like Bezos making $3,715 a second, and paying workers $15 an hour.

    Chapter 313 asks all Texas taxpayers — renters, homeowners and small business owners — to help some of the world’s largest companies get a discount on their taxes.

    Chapter 313 does create jobs — but at a steep price. By even a conservative measure, Texas is paying $211,600 in tax incentives for each job created under the program. Using a different metric cited in the past by state officials, the cost per job tops $1.1 million.

    Again.....they pay those warehouse workers $15 an hour.

    Even worse, at least 30 companies failed to fulfill their job-creation promises since 2019 but faced no repercussions. Their tax breaks stayed intact, and they paid no fines.

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/ne...t-1-texas-tax-corporations-covid-16164744.php

    There is something blatantly wrong with the system when it comes to taxes, and the living wage of the average blue collar worker.
    It needs changed. Do I see it happening? Not as long as the ones benefitting most have the power to keep things tilted in their favor.
     
    #42 deb4rockets, Jun 11, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  3. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro
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    Those historical disparitiein included people starving. We aren't starving. Income disparity is a made up issue because we are all fat asses living well
    I do think the capital gains tax is an issue
     
  4. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    Starving isn't the only reason humans get riled up. There are these things called evictions and medical bills. There are other life necessities other than food.
     
  5. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro
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    How many people do you know have been evicted in the last year
     
  6. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Houston Knicks fan
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    pretty sure Clutch banned @swedish-olajuwon recently ;)
     
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  7. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/...s-who-could-be-protected-under-federal-order/

    Houston-Area Judges Are Evicting Renters Who Could Be Protected Under Federal Order
    More than 13,000 evictions have been filed since a CDC moratorium was issued, and more than 24,000 evictions have been filed in the Houston area since the start of the pandemic.

    JEN RICE | POSTED ONFEBRUARY 24, 2021, 7:49 AM

    Last March, Madeline Lofland lost her job as a nanny. She wasn’t in a bad financial situation before the pandemic, and she was able to keep paying rent for months with her savings.

    But the 23-year-old, who lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Northwest Harris County, found that her unemployment check didn’t cover all of her rent, and when her savings ran out, she gave her landlord the form that’s supposed to stop her eviction under an order issued last September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — an order that’s meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 by making sure people don’t become homeless or move into crowded shared housing.

    "Everything on the CDC declaration applies to me. I’ve tried my best to make partial payments. I was paying my rent seven months after I lost my job,” Lofland said. "I'm constantly looking for a job. I miss having a job.”

    But her landlord pushed back, filing a lawsuit to evict her.

    Lofland’s case is one of the more than 13,000 evictions that have been filed since the CDC moratorium was put in place, and more than 24,000 evictions that have been filed in the Houston area since the start of the pandemic, according to research from Eviction Lab and data consulting firm January Advisors.

    Without a state or local moratorium in place, more renters have been evicted in Houston during COVID-19 than almost anywhere else in the country. By comparison, with a local moratorium protecting renters, the Austin area has had fewer than 900 cases filed in the same period of time.

    "When I got my first court order,” Lofland said, “I almost just left that week because I just genuinely didn't know what to do.”

    Many renters do leave at that point. But Lofland decided to try to keep her home after she got connected to Lone Star Legal Aid, one of five organizations in the Eviction Defense Coalition in Harris County. About 3% of renters are represented by an attorney in Harris County courts.

    "I don't know how other people are handling it on their own, because this situation is bigger than me. It's bigger than anything I've ever had to deal with before," Lofland said. "It's genuinely traumatizing."

    Lofland’s case went before Harris County Judge Jeff Williams. She said Williams asked her questions to determine whether her CDC form was accurate, and while he decided she met four out of five requirements, he wasn’t convinced about the last one.

    Lofland said the judge asked her questions like, “Do you really have nowhere else to go? Why can't you live with your parents? How many bedrooms do your parents have?”

    "I was in tears at this point and I was like, ‘Yeah I will be living in my car.' And after that, he made his decision," Lofland said. "He was like, ‘I just don't believe that you will be homeless. I believe that you can go live with your mom.'"

    Lofland explained that if she had a relationship with her parents, she would have moved in with them months ago when she lost her job.

    "He would ask me a question and I would start to answer it and then he would basically just tell me to shut up really quick," Lofland said. "It just really seemed like he didn't care what me or my attorney had to say about anything at all."

    When her attorney argued Lofland had nowhere else to go, Lofland said the judge threatened to hold the attorney in contempt.

    The judge didn’t decide to hold the attorney in contempt, but in hearings observed by Houston Public Media, Williams threatened others, as well.

    In a case earlier this month, Williams warned a tenant to answer his questions more quickly, or else he would hold her in contempt or arrest her.

    In a hearing where a renter had phoned into the hearing, Williams ruled to evict the woman, who then asked him, "Aren't evictions supposed to be on hold through March?"

    In response, the judge disconnected her call.

    In one case, Williams opined that the CDC order is unconstitutional.

    Williams' office did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Houston Public Media.

    In Lofland's case, Williams ruled to evict her. But she’s currently living in her apartment, waiting for another judge to hear her appeal. She said that without her attorney’s help, she would have been living in her car during last week’s freeze.

    But if Lofland’s eviction lawsuit had been heard by a different Harris County judge — even one in the same precinct — she may have gotten a different ruling.

    There’s a significant gap in how Harris County judges are applying the federal order, according to new research from January Advisors.

    "It really depends on the judge. Judges approach this very differently,” said Jeff Reichman, founder of January Advisors.

    One major difference is whether or not judges decide to tell renters about their rights, Reichman said. While some Harris County judges have had CDC forms filed in nearly 30% of the eviction cases in their court, other judges are at 10%.

    "They can have an impact," Reichman said. "And if they really prioritize ensuring that tenants are made aware of these protections, then they can help a lot of people."

    While the Texas Supreme Court has ordered local courts to include information about the CDC order in the citation issued to tenants, judges who preside over evictions — also called justices of the peace — have discretion when it comes to how they want to conduct hearings.

    "We need to have better standard practices for judges to follow,” Reichman said. “Because if the burden is on the tenant, and the tenants don't have legal representation, then the judges are the ones that can really make them aware of this declaration.”

    Lofland’s case was heard by Judge Jeff Williams, a Republican who's been on the bench for 11 years, but the lawsuit could have been filed with the other judge in the same precinct, Democrat Israel Garcia. Last fall, Garcia unseated incumbent Republican Russ Ridgway.

    Garcia said he takes an opposite approach of his predecessor, who had CDC forms filed in only 10% of the eviction cases in his court.

    "The normal run of the mill eviction, I don't believe it should be happening,” Garcia said. “We should not be putting people out of their homes, especially during a pandemic."

    In his own court, Garcia said he’s paused every eviction case on his docket since he took his seat on Jan. 1.

    As a new judge learning the ropes, Garcia has been watching other Harris County judges who are holding hearings on Zoom. Garcia was stunned when he observed how a judge handled a recent eviction case where a renter owed about $500 and had been locked out by the landlord.

    “She clearly was begging and pleading for mercy, and the judge did not even bother to ask about the CDC declaration," Garcia said. "My jaw dropped to the ground. The jaws of all my clerks – we were all witnessing this in my courtroom. As soon as that one eviction hearing ended, I turned it off."

    Judges can run their courts their own way and he respects that, Garcia said. But he believes judges have a responsibility to tell renters their rights, including those who don't speak English.

    "For the court to not even offer you the basic courtesy of a remedy that is there is very shocking,” Garcia said. “It's just very painful to see.”
     
    Newlin, mdrowe00, deb4rockets and 2 others like this.
  8. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast

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    glynch, mdrowe00, jiggyfly and 2 others like this.
  9. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro
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    A couple of things

    The pandemic is a unique situation that led to unprecedented unemployment.

    Secondly, my point in this thread isn't about evicttions, it's that the middle class even the poor live well in this country.

    Case in point, the government did try to prevent evictions as your article points out and this article in particular is about this judge in particular.

    What wealthy people pay in taxes is an issue but because this country is running massive debt and its gonna catch up to us.

    Other than that I don't care what the high end makes it has no bearing on the rest of our lives
     
  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I have no problem with people like Musk and Bezos being super rich and hate talk of "there shouldn't be billionaires." If they aren't paying taxes at the same percentages as most people that is a problem that has a bearing on the rest of our lives.
     
  11. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Right, my point was only in response to your question. Evictions still happened in Harris County, even with federal orders providing otherwise, in the midst of a pandemic when people were losing their jobs. I'm blown away by that, and I remembered this article when I read your post.
     
  12. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous
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    Worth starting its own thread over, but i don't think we've spent enough time publicly examining the abject failures of the Trump era 2017 Tax cut & jobs act.

    It literally did almost nothing other than decrease revenues - the economy pretty much grew at the exact same rate afterwards. (And to some degree, any gains were immediately cancelled out by Trump's good and easy to win trade war)

    Im increasingly coming around to the view that using tax rates to influence behavior is nonsense. We have decades now of evidence that changes - up or down - of marginal rates have almost no impact.

    Raise taxes to raise money - give that money to people to spend - seems like a winner
     
  13. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I know some poor people that would disagree.
     
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  14. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro
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    Its all relative. Ship them back to the 20s and then ask them. Send them to Honduras and then ask them
     
  15. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly Member
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    Yes something is blatantly wrong but it does not help to conflate 2 seperate things.
     
  16. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly Member
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    These seem like arbitrary years to spotlight.

    I am all for changing the tax code but highlighting these random years rings hollow.

    And then when you find out the did pay taxes in the other years it kind of defeats the argument for a lot of people.
     
  17. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Or send them to France and ask them. Or numerous other European nations. It is certainly all relative.
     
  18. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro
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    Why do poor French have it better than poor Americans? We don't need to ask why poor Americans have it better than poor Hondurans.
     
  19. txtony

    txtony Member

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    "His tax avoidance is even more striking if you examine 2006 to 2018, a period for which ProPublica has complete data. Bezos’ wealth increased by $127 billion, according to Forbes, but he reported a total of $6.5 billion in income. The $1.4 billion he paid in personal federal taxes is a massive number — yet it amounts to a 1.1% true tax rate on the rise in his fortune."

    Over a 12-year period, Bezos's reported 6.5B in income and paid 1.4B in taxes. That's 21.5%. Deduction, write-off, whatever strategy got it down from the 37% marginal rate to 21.5%. So, this isn't paying ZERO in taxes, but that he's paying a very small % based on his (unrealized I assume) wealth. But no one is taxed by wealth - although there is a proposal to do exactly that for the very-rich.
     
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  20. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro
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    Simplifying the tax code is an issue both parties can work together on.

    That being said the corporate tax rate is a bigger issue and cutting the corporate tax is gonna be Trump's most negative legacy. At least Bezos paid something
     

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