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  1. #1
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    Default On this 1%, the 47% and some actual statistics?

    It seems to me that we aren't looking at a bell-shaped curve when anyone is going on about the 1%. And the 47%-- those who pay no taxes at all-- was a number that truly surprised me.

    So could we get some clarity?

    Exactly what kind of wealth or annual income puts you in the statistical 1%?

    I ask because my mom has enough dough to support herself for the rest of her life-- perhaps 2 decades. Sounds rich to me. But I hardly think she has any lobbyist's ear. (And she doesn't think of herself as way up there in the 1%).

    So I'm just trying to get a reality check.
    The armchair saddler
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    And the 47%-- those who pay no taxes at all-- was a number that truly surprised me.

    For the sake of clarity, the 47% is the number that pays no federal income tax. That doesn't mean they pay no taxes at all. They are still subject to state/local taxes, payroll taxes, etc. Most of these people are working in lower income jobs but either qualify for the earned income tax credit (the people qualifying for this was expanded under Bush), or have enough other deductions/credits that mean they're not paying income tax (or they are retired, or active duty military in combat zones, etc).

    (just nit picking, because the vast majority of people in that group ARE paying taxes of some variety)
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

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  3. #3
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    Forbes did an article on it. I think the income was around 250k per year. There was a lot of interesting stuff on the percentages. I'm remembering off the top of my head, but the 1% pay something like 25% of the total taxes and around a third of charitable giving.

    On the other end, the bottom 40% makes only 15% of the income and pays about 5% of the taxes.
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  4. #4
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    Yes ma'am. You are quite right and that's a useful point of clarification. Those 47% do pay some kinds of taxes. I suspect that sales tax hits the poor the hardest.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midge View Post
    Forbes did an article on it. I think the income was around 250k per year. There was a lot of interesting stuff on the percentages. I'm remembering off the top of my head, but the 1% pay something like 25% of the total taxes and around a third of charitable giving.

    On the other end, the bottom 40% makes only 15% of the income and pays about 5% of the taxes.
    But isn't this income what Mitt describes as middle class?



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweiners View Post
    But isn't this income what Mitt describes as middle class?
    You mean $250K/year makes you middle class according to Romney?
    The armchair saddler
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    You mean $250K/year makes you middle class according to Romney?
    That's what I've heard.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midge View Post
    Forbes did an article on it. I think the income was around 250k per year.
    According the Economist, in 2008, the average household income of the 1% was $1.2 million and those at the entry level of that 1% had an average net worth of $6.2 million because they tend to get less than half their income from wages/salaries.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)



  9. #9
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    I believed he described earning up to 250K a year as being "middle income"

    But I think the top 1% is a bit higher, 350K a year and up, iirc. But I can't remember where I found that information.

    eta: a link with some info (AGI of 343K puts you into this category)

    http://www.kiplinger.com/features/ar...stacks-up.html
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  10. #10
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    $250K a year is probably middle class in some areas of the country...NYC, SFO, etc. I'd be interested to see it in writing what Romney considers middle class.

    You can go to IRS.gov and search for tables of who pays what. The top 50%
    pay something like 97% of income taxes.

    Many of that 250K folks are small business owners who also toss in another 15%
    for SS and Medicare taxes vs folks whose employers pay half of that 15%.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    You mean $250K/year makes you middle class according to Romney?
    Yes, he has stated that more than once I believe but stated it quite clearly in an interview with George Stephanopolous sometime this summer when explaining that his tax plan would not increase taxes on the middle class as he defined the middle class
    Google for the video if you want to hear it yourself- I only saw it in an online video replay so I know it is available that way
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)



  12. #12
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    Here's the income percentile and tax information:
    http://taxfoundation.org/article/sum...ome-tax-data-0

    Top 1% starts at about $343K in AGI. (Income split point in Table 1).

    On the 47%, this site has a breakout of who doesn't pay income tax, yet pays payroll tax and who pays neither.

    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxto...households.cfm

    Oh, and Romney's official home base, where he votes, is in Belmont, MA. $250K is most certainly middle-class that close to Boston, so if that's where he gets his perspective from, it makes sense.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BasqueMom View Post
    I'd be interested to see it in writing what Romney considers middle class.
    On the same spectrum, I would be really curious to see how both candidates define a small business. They both talk about tax breaks for small businesses, which is great, but I'm wondering where the cut off for that would be.



  14. #14
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    Somehow Obama views that those who make more than $200K to be millionaires and billionaires. The stats I saw on Income taxes is that the top 10% pays approx 75% of the federal income taxes.

    So that means that subtracting out the 47% means that the other 43% pays 25% of the taxes.
    "I couldn't find my keys, so I put her in the trunk"


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  15. #15
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    MITT ROMNEY: . . . . . Let me tell you, George, the fundamentals of my tax policy are these. Number one, reduce tax burdens on middle-income people. So no one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers.
    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?
    MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less. So number one, don’t reduce– or excuse me, don’t raise taxes on middle-income people, lower them.

    Copied from the full transcript of the inerview at
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics...d-mitt-romney/
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BasqueMom View Post
    $250K a year is probably middle class in some areas of the country...NYC, SFO, etc. I'd be interested to see it in writing what Romney considers middle class.

    You can go to IRS.gov and search for tables of who pays what. The top 50%
    pay something like 97% of income taxes.

    Many of that 250K folks are small business owners who also toss in another 15%
    for SS and Medicare taxes vs folks whose employers pay half of that 15%.
    That's what kills me about the people complaining about the people at the top not paying what they owe. Meanwhile those with a low income pay no federal taxes.
    I wish our country would go to a Fair use tax and no deductions for anyone..


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  17. #17
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    From this Good Morning America Interview: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics...d-mitt-romney/ (Full transcript)

    In response to the question "Is $100,000 middle income?"

    Romney replies:

    "No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less. So number one, don’t reduce– or excuse me, don’t raise taxes on middle-income people, lower them. Number two, don’t reduce the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest. The top 5% will still pay the same share of taxes they pay today. That’s principle one, principle two. Principle three is create incentives for growth, make it easier for businesses to start and to add jobs. And finally, simplify the code, make it easier for people to pay their taxes than the way they have to now."

    While I don't believe Mr. Romney is the terrible person many left-leaners like myself make him out to be, I DO believe he is terribly out of touch with the American people.
    Here today, gone tomorrow...


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  18. #18
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    I tend to agree.

    On this quote in particular I think he was just a little graceless, though. I think he maybe expanded "middle income" out from where a lot of people expect it to be - but in some places, yeah, 250K a year is not millionaire/filthy rich territory.

    I think the combined income we have puts us in the pretty-well-off category by most peoples' definitions, but we don't have a lot of extra money floating around. So I don't really find this particular comment all that off putting - I don't think he meant 250K is middle class, just that it's the upper bounds of the middle class.

    I think more telling would be what he defines as the lower bounds of the middle class, and what he thinks the median is, etc.

    I don't like the guy for lots of reasons, but think this particular one got overblown.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.


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  19. #19
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    The 47% who don’t pay federal income tax are mostly elderly, children, and the working poor, AND US military personnel deployed in war zones who are exempt from paying federal taxes on combat pay. See, Romney mentioned the troops in a speech! But of course…the liberal hounds, of course, went after Mitt like a poor person going after a basic need.”
    — Stephen Colbert


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  20. #20
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    I'm not good with numbers. There is an often published figure for the median per capita income, but since it's per capita one assumes it includes workers and non-workers, the retired and children. In Mississippi I think the number is $36,000 or thereabouts.

    Is there a median working family income figure available? That would be a figure that interests me very much.

    The median income of all families who pay Social Security taxes ought to do it.
    Last edited by vineyridge; Oct. 31, 2012 at 07:08 PM.
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