IRS Audited Over Inappropriate Spending, Claims It Can't Find Its Receipts

from the off-with-their-heads dept

Just a guess, but it probably sucks to be the IRS right now. Between reports about them snooping on people's emails and their targeting of conservative groups, it's quite easy to paint them as a big, evil bureaucracy. Actually, it was pretty easy to do so before all that. You can generally rely on the hatred of the people for a group that requires meticulous spending records and then collects taxes. Big, bad, evil. What could be worse?

Well, how about hypocritical? That sure seems like an apt word in light of reports on how flighty the IRS was with tax-payer money for their own comforts.

The conference spending included $4 million for an August 2010 gathering in Anaheim, Calif., for which the agency did not negotiate lower room rates, even though that is standard government practice, according to a statement by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Instead, some of the 2,600 attendees received benefits, including baseball tickets and stays in presidential suites that normally cost $1,500 to $3,500 per night. In addition, 15 outside speakers were paid a total of $135,000 in fees, with one paid $17,000 to talk about "leadership through art," the House committee said.
Infuriating, right? The bald-faced audacity of the organization that collects our taxes using some of that tax money to go to baseball games has the air of outright thievery. Fortunately, thanks to the investigation by the Treasury Department, we now have a full and accurate account of the awful IRS spending, right?

No, we damn well don't, because the IRS -- and I stress this, the IRS -- is claiming it can't find its own receipts, so the spending may well have been even worse.


Hypocrisy, thy name is now an acronym, and that acronym is IRS. This is the type of thing that keeps pitchfork and torch manufacturers in business. In fact, were it not for the undeniably smooth face and impossibly perfect coiffure of Anderson Cooper getting me through this, I might just be leading the mob.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Turnabout is fair play

    So I can't help but think that if a normal person or small business were to try the 'I'm pretty sure this is how much I spent/earned, but I don't have the receipts to prove it' with the IRS, they'd be looking at some fairly serious consequences, so it only seems fair to make those involved at the IRS suffer those same consequences.

     

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  2.  
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    ShellMG (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:10am

    We'd be in jail, our bank accounts frozen, our assets seized and more.

    IRS heads get paid vacations, aka "paid suspension" (Lois Lerner) or promoted. No one will be charged or held responsible.

    The Fair Tax would put the IRS out of business. It's fair and the antidote to the malignancy that is DC.

    It's also why congress will never vote for it.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:25am

    The cynic in me can't help but think this entire scandal with the IRS is designed by the current regime to move the country to a different tax model that will end up being even worse than the current one. I can't seem to see any situation in the last 5-6 years that the government has made any better, so why should this be any different?

     

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  4.  
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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    It is quite funny how this never happened during the Bush Jr administration......

     

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  5.  
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    ScytheNoire, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Land of Hypocrisy

    America has been the Land of Hypocrisy for a long while now.
    Corruption runs deep.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    IRS = Infernal Robbery Service.

     

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  7.  
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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    "The cynic in me can't help but think this entire scandal with the IRS is designed by the current regime to move the country to a different tax model that will end up being even worse than the current one."

    What could possibly be worse than trying to streamline all non-profit organizations into a "one size fits all" category? That drive was one of the main causes for the large amount political hubris displayed by the recent scandal. They tried to streamline categories be key word search and started using words like "patriot" to pin to conservative groups. Orders on policy and procedure changes like that can only come from the top...Obama and his administration needs to be fired immediately.

     

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  8.  
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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    It is not up to congress to vote on that. They only change policies..not procedures. Procedures come directly by order of the cabinet heads.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:41am

    So they have plenty of time to go after political groups and families that adopt, but they can't keep their fucking bills in order?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    This is all a fucking sideshow. Instead of being outraged at how much the IRS wastes, and how politically corrupt they are, we need to be outraged at the very existence of a tax on wages in the first place.

    This is a classic Hegelian-style distraction/diversion.

    THESIS: The IRS is wasteful and corrupt

    ANTITHESIS: The IRS must be reformed

    SYNTHESIS: A "flat tax" on wages will be proposed, and maybe even passed, in order to make the IRS "more fair". Those who question the legitimacy of the tax itself will be marginalized.

     

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  11.  
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    TheLastCzarnian (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    Targeting

    I find it suprising that the IRS wouldn't be expected to target groups for extra scrutiny when those groups advocate the elemination of taxes.

    Is it just me?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:47am

    Re:

    Perhaps because we didn't have Citizens United to cause such a glut of political organizations asking for tax-exempt status?

    But we'll just chalk this one up to evil liberals instead.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    A flat tax would at least close loop holes.

    Don't know why fabulously rich people need to pay less than moderately well off people.

     

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  14.  
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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Re: Targeting

    Not just you. The idea that groups who advocate the idea of taxes being evil may be more likely to not pay what they owe is completely defensible. The execution on how they went about testing that hypothesis was a disaster though.

    Anyway, why should non-profits get a tax break anyway? If your cause is only supportable as a tax break for the donator then it is not much of a cause in the first place.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    I don't know why people's wages should be taxed.

    If I came to your house and took your property, would that be theft?

    If I came with 10 people to your house and took your property, would that be theft?

    If I came to your house with 51% of the population and took your propery, would that be theft?

    Do you own your work / labor? If so, would not 100% of the wages from your labor also be owned by you?

    If you are taxed at 100%, is that not slavery? Therefore a 40% tax on your labor is a form of slavery, is it not?

    Tax income if you must, but be sure to understand the difference between income and wages, lest the people are enslaved.

     

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  16.  
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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re:

    Ummm...in doing what it did...the IRS violated multiple organizations constitutional rights. Most of the conservative groups audited for non-profit status were churches, half way houses, and other things run by conservative groups. So while "Citizen's United" had to wait 495 days to get approved, their liberal counterpart "Progress Texas" only took 12 days. Get the picture?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:08am

    This is what happens when you cut oversight spending at the IRS

    The IRS has had it's budget cut almost every year for the last decade, despite having an even larger workload from a constantly growing US population, and new and more complicated tax law.

    In order to save some money to deal with that new reality the IRS was forced to cut out a lot of the safeguards to prevent this kind of political targeting and enforce money savings.

    So it shouldn't really be much of a surprise when *gasp* we removed the safe guards, and now things we were safe guarding against before are happening and happening more frequently!

    That's like car manufacturers saying "deaths in car accidents have gone down so much that we can remove all the seat belts and air bags from our new models to save a few bucks. The death rate from accidents will remain the same. *time passes* OMG the death rate has quadrupled in our newer models! Who could have EVER foreseen this!"

     

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  18.  
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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Thesis: The Obama administration needs to be impeached for this and for the Associated Press phone scandals.

    Problem SOLVED!

     

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  19.  
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    ipgrunt, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Receipts

    For the IRS, not keeping receipts was "inappropriate" but for the taxpayer, it's called a disqualified expense. Throw these arrogant bastards into prison.

     

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  20.  
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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Targeting

    "Anyway, why should non-profits get a tax break anyway? If your cause is only supportable as a tax break for the donator then it is not much of a cause in the first place."

    You can't possibly pay taxes on money you don't make for a profit of your own. Non-profit usually means that 100% of the cost is spent on running costs in an organization that relies on donations of monetary or intrinsic value.

     

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  21.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    @ "A "flat tax" on wages will be proposed" -- EXACTLY THE DANGER. To begin with, The Rich don't necessarily "wages": a CEO can get "wages" of a dollar per year while getting millions in stock options and other "compensation". -- BUT EVEN WORSE, what the "libertarians" just never get is that the real plan is a FLAT TAX, not a rate, but an amount, so you and Bill Gates will both pay the same amount. It's outrageously unfair. And as the upper limit of Social Security taxes paid will remain in place, it's a multiplied advantage for incomes over that.

    Oh, and don't trust politician with simplified forms: those are just to remove the last vestiges of compliance by automating deductions.

    AND YET, I'm NOT for abolishing the IRS -- certainly not while leaving Gitmo in place as Jay Leno quipped: BOTH ARE EVIL -- BUT we can turn the IRS back to its former role of harassing The Rich and their corporations to keep them from going crazy, and just cause for that is all around today.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Targeting

    Do a little research in history.

    Tax exemption was originally given to organizations(Churches, hospitals, etc) who showed they "supported" people (prior to Govt welfare/FDR). Once the Govt starts a program, it is very, very, very, very, VERY hard to eliminate it.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    all just mumbo jumbo

    http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-FY-2013-Budget-Proposal-Summary

    The IRS has been raising their budget every year. Any talk about budget cuts is that liberal double-speak meaning "we are taking a cut in the increase" [but it's still an increase.

    Private companies have learned to do more with less...it's about time the government learns the same!

     

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  24.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:26am

    Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Flat taxes don't work.

    If everyone pays, let's say 10% of their money to the government that they earn in a year, that seems fair, but...

    If I make 10,000 dollars a year, I have to pay 1,000 dollars.

    If you make 50,000 dollars a year, you have to pay 5,000.

    Seems fair...

    Except that I have 9,000 dollars for the year and you have 45,000 dollars for the year.

    the problem with flat taxes is that they don't work simply for the fact that the government has to have money to run. If you like your clean water, air standards, minimum wage, and other programs to help out when times are tough, then you need a more progressive tax structure in place to pay for that stuff.

    Granted, i do agree that the IRS needs to be reformed, but I would start with a simpler tax code to remove loop holes for businesses and find ways to make the businesses pay their share of the taxes.

    I would leave in exceptions for college loan payments, child support payments and other things that everyone can use equally, but get rid of the stuff that only the rich could use.

    Yeah, I know "this is all an attack on the rich, are you jealous?!" the arguments.

    This isn't about me being jealous, it's about getting the rich and powerful to do their part to help this country out.

    Imagine everyone in the united states, rich, poor, middle class, powerful, all walking down an aisle in a store. There's something that the poor and middle class could really use (more roads or better schools for example), but they don't have the money to reach that goal, so they ask the rich and powerful, who are able to help reach that goal, to give them a hand. As of right now, the rich can go "no thanks" to some stuff and screw over the poor and middle class.

    It's not about jealousy, it's about human decency to help out if you can.

    That's all.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:26am

    Re: This is what happens when you cut oversight spending at the IRS

    Right. So since they had their budget cut, they now can't afford to save money.

    Makes perfect sense.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    Text book definition

    Audited but can't find receipts?

    Now THAT is irony right there.

     

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  27.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:31am

    Re: all just mumbo jumbo

    It's not that simple.

    Yes, the government could do with less, but then things get really bad.

    Imagine, if you will, you're living on Food Stamps, it helps you live.

    It also, shockingly enough, helps to keep the economy from becoming a death spiral where everyone loses their jobs.

    See, if people who have food stamps goes out to buy food, then people who work at the store still get paid and have money, and those people can spend money into the economy, thus keeping the economy, which may be struggling, from going completely under long enough that when things turn around, people can be hired again.

    Which means, of course, that the government can, once that happens, lower spending because they don't have to support as many people, and collect more taxes, thus paying off their deficits.

    What works for people and businesses doesn't work for the government. The government can get away with things that you or I couldn't, simply because of the way the government works.

    In FACT!

    Your argument was actually debunked, about the government making do with less, just this morning on cracked.

    http://www.cracked.com/article_20454_5-scary-myths-you-probably-believe-about-economy.ht ml

     

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  28.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    I suggest...

    we simply put all the IRS execs into a Start Trek episode, in "Red Shirts". By the end of the episode the execs won't be an issue any more.

     

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  29.  
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    Joe Dirt, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    "what the "libertarians" just never get is that the real plan is a FLAT TAX, not a rate, but an amount, so you and Bill Gates will both pay the same amount."(/I>

    I call bullshit. Educate yourself a little before spouting obvious flatulence.

    A flat Tax is a flat % rate, not an "amount". It seems very fair to me to have a set % of our income taxed and have EVERYONE pay the same %... if your talking fair.

    I hate that word anyway. Name one thing in Life that's "fair".

    Why should I pay for 43% of the population who pay no federal taxes? Do these people not use the same services as I? Do they have no income? If they do have no income, then how are they eating McDonald's and buying Branded clothing?

    How is the 10% of their income more important to them than the 10% I pay of my earnings to me?

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    And here I am an ignorant troller thinking about the IRS never needing receipts.... I mean, they are the IRS, right?

     

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  31.  
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    TaCktiX, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    I never thought I would be liking a post by ootb, but he's speaking sense today.

     

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  32.  
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    boomslang, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    Dey dook arr jobs!

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    is there any government body that is so meticulous when trying to accuse or get money from the public? i doubt if there is any difference between any of them, until it comes to being accounted themselves. strange how it's always different then, eh??

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Turnabout is fair play

    Actually as the agency in charge of such operations it should be held to a higher standard, so the punishment should probably be more severe.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    If you think the corruption lies in the Obama administration alone you need a reality check.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Turnabout is fair play

    I completely agree with you, however the more likely outcome is "paid leave" while an "investigation" happens (like an impartial one, where the IRS investigates themselves).

    The ultimate slap in the face will be when no charges are filed, no one gets fired, and we as taxpayers continue to foot the bill.

     

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  37.  
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    Joe Dirt, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Let's play a game.

    I make $5,00/year. You make $200k/year.

    I can't afford the same things as you.

    It's not fair you have more money than me. PAY ME!

    Please explain to me why this is different than what you said above?

    In fact there is no difference. How about you try to live within your means and if it's not enough, work harder.

    Everyone wants what they don't have. The plain fact is that most of those who make over $100k also work 60-80+ hours a week, over holidays, weekends, nights. Those who say we need a progressive tax code really just want the fruits of MY labor instead of their own.

    Ever hear the cliché "nothing worth having comes easy"??

     

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  38.  
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    Violated (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    They can't find all the receipts because hookers and drug dealers don't give out receipts. The rest we can safely put down to poker and blackjack.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Receipts

    No non-violent criminal should be paid for by my tax dollars. I think just firing them should be fine.

     

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  40.  
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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Targeting

    Non-profit usually means that 100% of the cost is spent on running costs in an organization that relies on donations of monetary or intrinsic value.

    Yes, they have to spend 100% on operations. Salary is part of operations. I have done business with many big name national non-profits. They are generally not lean operations. They are top heavy with VPs and Directors making nice salaries for doing little to actually help the less fortunate, sick, whatever.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: all just mumbo jumbo

    You don't cut the social safety net, you cut the pork and wasteful spending. That would save loads moar!

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:20pm

    and ya'll keep on votin for the same politicians!

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    I am fairly certain that the 0 income tax countries in the world (rich middle eastern oil-dictatorships and tax havens) aren't the most ideal places to compare yourself up against. The "taxes are slavery" is a pretty bad parabol and a misunderstanding of what they are primarily intended for.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:29pm

    Re:

    "It is quite funny how this never happened during the Bush Jr administration......"

    Probably did, boy, we just don't know about it, yet.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Who gives a fuck about what they do in the middle east and why does that factor in at all?

    Tell me, what are taxes on wages primarily intended for? How does it differ from what they are actually used for?

    You belive it is our duty as people to work 2/5 of our life for the state? You are 2/5 property of the state then.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Most of the conservative groups audited for non-profit status were churches, half way houses, and other things run by conservative groups."

    Funny how none of them were on the stand to testify.
    Maybe you could provide us with a list, boy, presuning they exist anywere besides your imagination.

     

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  47.  
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    Joe Dirt, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Before I get slammed about those that make minimum wage (or below)and work several jobs to get by...

    If the wages you are being paid aren't enough, Educate yourself and get a better job. It worked for me.

    Hell, as a high school kid, I worked 30 hours a week and signed my check over to my mother to put food on the table. While in the military, I sent half my pay home to my family to help them survive. When I got out of the military, I was working as a cook in a fast food restaurant. I knew that wasn't going to cut it so I went to school, and paid my loans off (at a much higher % than the kids today are paying, btw), and found work in IT. All of the latter while working 60 hours a week at 2 jobs to get by.

    Seems pretty simple to me. Work hard and enjoy the rewards.

    Except I am somehow responsible for someone who happens to be less fortunate than me. Somehow it's MY responsibility that we all don't have the same abilities or intellect. Somehow it's MY fault they failed algebra and now can only work at Long John Silver's. Somehow it's MY responsibility that the drug-addicted asshole on the street that just broke into my house to steal for his next fix can't keep a job.

    Like it or not it comes back to survival of the fittest. We live in a world that thrives on competition. There MUST be winners and losers. There MUST be failure. Failure is how we learn and grow. Nothing good comes from a lack of competition. Nothing is more effective than negative reinforcement.

    For all of our achievements, the fact remains, we are a product of this natural word. We became the dominant species on the planet due to the very things our society is now trying to eliminate. It won't work.

    LIFE SUCKS. It sure as hell isn't fair.

     

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  48.  
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    AbbaDabba, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    Uh..... watch your back...

    An article like this? Guess who's coming to knock on your door....

     

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  49.  
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    Mr. Applegate, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    "This isn't about me being jealous, it's about getting the rich and powerful to do their part to help this country out.
    If this isn't you being jealous it sure reads that way!
    "If everyone pays, let's say 10% of their money to the government that they earn in a year, that seems fair, but...

    If I make 10,000 dollars a year, I have to pay 1,000 dollars.

    If you make 50,000 dollars a year, you have to pay 5,000.

    Seems fair...

    Except that I have 9,000 dollars for the year and you have 45,000 dollars for the year."
    What is wrong with one person making more than another person. Some people do work harder and put a lot more effort into work than others. For instance I average more than 70 hours a week working and lately it has been approaching, and even exceeding 90 hours a week. Why should someone who works as a greeter in Walmart 20 hours a week (not that there is anything wrong with working at Walmart or being a greeter, because there isn't) make the same amount as me? Because if we are all going to make the same amount I will go sit at home and wait on the check to arrive.

    "Flat taxes don't work."
    I must beg to differ. It is the current system that is totally broken and warped into a disaster. It gives breaks to the rich, free rides to the poor and screws the shrinking middle class.

    Flat Taxes on income CAN work and here is how.

    You have a Federal Flat Tax at say 10%, just as you used. This makes everyone a contributor to society. After all we are all participants in society.

    You then add a VAT (Value Added Tax) on everything except food , medication and subsidized housing. In this way the guy making $10,000/Yr still contributes (no free rides), but those who make more money, obviously spend more money too. They buy things and those things are taxed, possibly progressively. You set the VAT at an appropriate rate to keep the government running.

    In this way the rich MUST pay taxes, no loopholes. corporate America MUST pay taxes, no loopholes. Even drug dealers, gangs, illegal aliens, everyone, all spend money and when they do, they pay taxes too. So everyone contributes (no free rides), but those with the means help more (want to or not).

    All of that said in all honesty the Federal Government is in need of MAJOR reform. There are too many people on the governments payroll. There are far to many people, and corporations dependent on the government for subsidies. The Federal Government should be about 1/3, maybe less it's present size and the State and local governments should be more responsible for taking care of the people. The Federal Governments Constitutional mandates were far exceeded long ago.

    The systems put in place by our government have largely guaranteed that we will become a two class society, the haves and the have nots if you will. The current system also guarantees that there will be far more have nots than haves and the federal government is doing its level best to make sure you 'need' them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Lol. A lot of fallacies here.

    Your numbers are worthless since they do not account for "cost of living".

    There may need to be reforms of the programs for the poor, but it is probably not a question of letting people die from hunger in the streets most people want even though it may sound appealing to a few libertarians.

    "Get a job", works in good times, but not so much when there are no jobs to be had. The classic conservative meme is but a religion rather than an eternal solution.

    As for the 100k plus, we are talking about wages here, right? When wages get to those numbers it is not as hard to invest money and in other ways, make a good amount of money on having money. These opportunities are hardly there for people who barely make the cost of living.

    The wage follows work is a very narrow way of looking at the world. If everyone had the same base (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly) salary it would be exactly correct. However, since that is not even remotely the case you have to make it a bit more complex than that as in having network, having education, being smart, being clever, working more effectively etc. etc. Half of those demand a lot'a'money or being lucky. So hard work is one way to make a lot of money, but it is hardly the only way.

    The reasoning behind progressive taxation is the wealth curve and how steep it is. Progressive taxation reduces the climb, while static taxation is insufficient to counteract a further wealth-pooling in the top of the curve. The measure of interest in this case is called the gini-coefficient. I am not saying it is the way things should be, but the gini-curve is the progressive religion just like you have your "get a job", "work has to be felt" and other religions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Sorry i can agree and disagree, if it was a repub doing it, it would be NO DIFFERENT... Take off the glasses they are the same thing (same coin just which flavor of corruption do you like)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    I think you are on the right track but with the wrong idea. Lets use your 10% as a starter point. If you make 50-100k then it is 10%. If you make 100k+ then it is 15%. If you make 25-50k then it is 5% and if you make less then 25k then you aren't taxed on your income. It isn't a perfect solution but I don't think it is fair for the rich to be at a much high percentage then the less fortunate. Many times those less fortunate are in that position because they spend all their money on junk, don't save or put any in retirement, and didn't work hard for an education. Then they expect the government to pay for everything. This is not true for for everyone but it isn't uncommon either as I know a few people that do this.

    There is also a whole list of other problems that would make this discussion go far further but if you are looking at it just from taxes that is my opinion.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    The problem is that many people don't want to work that hard. It is only people like you that make it out of that cycle then are expected to foot the bill for people who don't work that hard.

     

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    trollificus, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Targeting

    Wait...political advocacy against taxes is still allowed in this country isn't it?? Or do you think the IRS should be tasked with enforcing some kind of gag order on such things?

    Also, opposition to taxes, or increased taxes, or wasted taxes, was not even the primary driver for most of these groups.

    So yeah, it's just you. And probably a lot of other simple-minded people who like to think things through halfway.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:04pm

    Re: This is what happens when you cut oversight spending at the IRS

    Congratulations on the most ridiculous post I have ever seen on any forum. Is there some kind of award for this? Can I nominate this chick?

     

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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How about the fact that liberal media like CNN and MSNBC are even complaining about what happened to these conservative groups, boy.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: all just mumbo jumbo

    If your citing Cracked.com (a COMEDY SITE) as your source, you really need to re-think your purposal.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    You sound far too up in arms about this to be able to listen to reason.

    Taxes on wages is a way to try to avoid the basic money makes money conandrum. By taxing by wage, you should make it easier for the people making more money to contribute more to the common household budget.

    The basic costs are on primary infrastructure like roads, schools, sewers and other necessities. There are secondary costs that you might consider to be necessary to some degree like police, courts, military expenditure, healthcare, federal reserve, social safety net and stipends for education, but they are not 100% necessary for society to work even though they are often what separates an attractive society from complete anarchy.

    The rhetorics you use tells me you are unlikely to understand my points, but at least try instead of keeping the nerd-rage going.

     

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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re:

    The more you obscurely use "boy" as you do, the more intelligent I look. Thank you.

     

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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Oh yes...because the acting commissioner of the IRS isn't a part of the Presidential Cabinet..../s

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Taxing corporations is just a hidden tax on consumers. Why? Because the corporation just passes on the cost of those taxes to the consumer. Get rid of it while you are implementing your flat tax - a flat tax that should by necessity do away with loop holes that people use to escape taxes.

     

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    Brad, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    That's probably because those who have questioned the legitimacy of the tax itself have been shot down time and time again by executive agencies and judicial courts. The government's ability to tax its citizens is clearly within the U.S. Constitution.

    Don't want it there? Pressure the government to amend the Constitution. Otherwise, taxation by the federal government is legitimate.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    so... you think his idea of a flat tax is good but you think the rates should be elevated for those who make more money... so you like the idea of a progressive tax.... and not a flat tax at all.

    You need to go back and re-read what he said and what he wrote.

    The idea here is that no one is better or shown favoritism based on any factor. We all pay the same percentage of our income with no loopholes to escape our tax burden. If i mak 50 million per year i pay 10% if i make 5k per year i pay 10%.

    Ultimately, our tax burdens should be the same percent, equally applied to all because we are all the same an no one, regardless of any factor, is better than any other.

    In fact, I would think that the federal government could be sued for progressive tax rates because of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    The number of non-VAT products is your enemy in this scenario. It is pretty hard to assert VAT on all work you have done in this day and age (I am talking "art", secondary and tertiary private production). If you increase VAT, you are increasing the incentive to work around VAT.

     

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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Only problem is...the previous repub administration DIDN'T do this. Obama appointed a guy as the head of the IRS in his cabinet only to have his appointee jailed 10 months after being in office for tax evasion. Then, he appoints a new guy himself using executive order as Acting IRS Director...and if you still don't believe me...it would have been pointed out quicker if a republican were in office.

    On that note....During the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush was reading to a bunch of kindergarteners and asked to be able to wait several minutes to finish the story he was reading them. HE was criticized heavily for that wait which prevented panic coming from the children. He still catches gaff for that from all sorts of Liberal types..just for waiting 7 minutes to address the nation on what is going on.

    Fast forward to Benghazi....That was an equally brazen terrorist attack. Just like 9/11, months of warning from the US Embassy of an impending terrorist attack goes ignored by the administration...and we only hear about it 10 months after the attack...not one peep..until a rumor leaked on the internet that turned out to be true after further investigation.

    Yup....being a political mouthpiece for this current administration has got to suck because even the non-democrat liberals are screaming "We told you so" about Obama..

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Well certainly all costs a company incur are passed on to consumers. If companies aren't successful at transferring those costs to consumers they go bankrupt.

    So while your at it, why don't we remove all costs to corporations? You know, maybe we could get rid of minimum wage, or a requirement to purchase the various insurances like Workmans Comp, health insurance...

    Sorry I see a trap in your statement. ;^)

    By its name a Flat Tax means just that. No loopholes, not for the number of kids you have, not for your health, not because you lost your job, or because I think you are a great guy.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Oh yes...because Obama does anything different than any other politician, republican or democrat...they are all corrupted rich scum.

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Call it a sales tax then. I don't care what you call it. The key point here is that at every point where there is a 'sale' there is a tax on that sale.

    The issue would be things like trading goods or bartering, but lets face it that won't be a problem, especially for the rich who won't be happy unless they have the latest model car, and they won't really care about the tax (they will cry about it, but they will pay it and go on down the road.

     

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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Targeting

    The Salvation Army is a great example of non-profit. So is the American Red Cross. The Salvation Army has conservative Christian views and was among those audited. Why??? The key word is "Army".

    The IRS was basing these audits on key word searches of specific words in titles of organizations typically associated with non-profit establishments. The Salvation Army is one of the non-political groups who had to wait just over a year to get tax exempt status. All who filed politically under Tea Party as their political affiliation were targeted.

    And then the IRS was making demands of people that would deny them their first amendment rights by promising not to do certain things that would normally be completely legal.

    Susan Martinek, president of the Coalition for Life of Iowa, testified that an IRS agent told her in June 2009 that she needed to send a letter with her entire board’s signatures “stating under penalty of perjury we would not picket, protest or organize groups to picket, protest outside of Planned Parenthood.”

    I mean seriously...since when does the IRS have the power to base an audit, especially a political organization is not allowed to protest and picket voting stations (and none of them ever do) and demand it from them anyway because of their own beliefsa ....it's not as if the IRS were the electoral committee here, and they do not have the jurisdiction to make such demands in contract to law abiding citizens. That is an example of who they are targeting.

    The other reason why non-profit status is tax exempt is because they rely on optional donations. Christians typically tithe money to the church they go to so they can keep going to that church and because the like the friendships they develop with other fellow Christians as a result....in my Nazarene territory we call that fellowship. The donation is totally optional and not one bit mandatory.

     

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    Wally (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:50pm

    Re:

    No silly that's the CIA!! The IRS can't keep track of where their money went due to graft and mafia targeting tactics.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: all just mumbo jumbo

    The fact that you won't even bother to read the article makes me think you need to re-think your position.

     

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  72.  
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    Togashi (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    How is the 10% of their income more important to them than the 10% I pay of my earnings to me?

    Well, if somebody's literally living paycheck to paycheck, barely making rent/utility payments and having to carefully budget what they can afford to eat, I'd say that 10% of that money is pretty damn important to them. A lot more than to somebody with a $50k/year job who has $40k/year of expenses, for example. Sure it's always nice to have as much extra to save as you can get, but to some people it's a matter of survival, not convenience.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Not up in arms, you are just introducing things that have no bearing on the conversation.

    "I am fairly certain that the 0 income tax countries in the world (rich middle eastern oil-dictatorships and tax havens) aren't the most ideal places to compare yourself up against."

    I never compared the two. Now on to your next post.

    "Taxes on wages is a way to try to avoid the basic money makes money conundrum."

    I don't know what you mean by this, please explain.

    "By taxing by wage, you should make it easier for the people making more money to contribute more to the common household budget."

    I don't know what you mean by this, please explain. Is it really about making it easy to contribute?

    “The basic costs are on primary infrastructure like roads, schools, sewers and other necessities.”

    Taxing income, not wages, should be sufficient to cover these costs.

    “There are secondary costs…”

    These could also be covered by taxing income, not wages.

    “The rhetorics you use tells me you are unlikely to understand my points”

    I have more trouble understanding your points because they are scattered and the way you write them is very confusing and hard to follow. Also, it seems that you have accepted the fallacy that you are a citizen slave and that it is your duty to serve the government as a tax slave. By the way, your share of the federal debt is around $180,000 and growing. We should have a lot more roads and bridges, excellent schools and no failing infrastructure. We don’t because wage taxation is a form of control rather than a way to make people’s lives better by providing basic necessities.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    * The $180,000 figure includes household debt and is a bit misleading. However, the figure is still staggering at over $52,000 per person and seems to rapidly increasing.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    My god and I thought it was ironic that a game called moonlight online gave me a bound scroll of unbinding.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 3:46pm

    Re:

    Daderk aderb!

     

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  77.  
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    pb, Jun 5th, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    In the private workplace, most often if you as an employee can't present a receipt for an expense, you are made to pay for it yourself.

    Just an idea...

     

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    Jesse (profile), Jun 5th, 2013 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Turnabout is fair play

    Fine the IRS! Taxpayers will pay either way. :)

     

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    Mr. Applegate, Jun 6th, 2013 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    "Get a job", works in good times, but not so much when there are no jobs to be had. The classic conservative meme is but a religion rather than an eternal solution.
    It works today. There are plenty of jobs out there, the newspaper is full of them. The problem is many feel they are too good to take those jobs, because they are not well paying or not 'what I do'...

    As an example I have a couple of friends who lost their jobs about 6 years ago. One of those friends sat back, collected un-employment and refused to take a lower paying job, or a job out of his profession. The other immediately went out and got one minimum wage job, and then another, and then went back to school.

    Care to take a guess which of those 2 friends is back on top?

    Hint: it isn't the one that refused to take charge of his own destiny. He is still un-employed and blaming everyone but himself. First he blamed Bush II, now he blames Obama. Any bets who he will blame after the next election?

    By the way, having been in the workforce well over 30 years now, I have had a few falls along the way. I have NEVER applied for un-employment nor went more than 4 days without a job, even if it was doing odd jobs, mowing yards, and trimming trees... I have run my own business 3 times (each in very different areas).

    A quick look through any paper will show you the jobs are out there. They may not be good jobs or jobs you want but they are there. You must be able to market yourself, and you must be willing to do things you might not want to do. You absolutely MUST keep working, once you fall out of the role of active workers it becomes 50 times harder to find work.
    "The wage follows work is a very narrow way of looking at the world."
    Actually it is the way the world works. Do you pay the same for a meal at McDonalds as you do for a meal at Red Robin? Maybe you pay your car mechanic the same as you pay the guy that mows your yard, but I doubt it. Wage has always been based on the value society gives to a given service. The more specialized the knowledge or technical the ability, the more value it has to others (who likely do not possess that ability). If you mow yards, then the rate you earn is limited by the value people give to the service. If you charge say $70 to mow one acre and I can mow it myself in an hour and value my time at $20/Hr you are going to have a hard time selling that service to me, unless I am too busy and have disposable income.

    If everyone makes the exact same salary why would anyone 'work harder'? How would society advance? People are generally paid for two things. What they know, and what they do. If you know things others don't, people will pay you to apply that knowledge on their behalf. If you can do things other can't / don't want to do, they will pay you to do it on their behalf. The amount of money they are willing to pay is, for the most part, directly proportional to the rarity of the skill. For instance a CEO, must be able to put a positive spin on everything to make a company look good and be able to sell it to everyone, it is a fairly rare trait and highly valued (rightly or wrongly). The ability to push a broom across a floor is an extremely common trait and thus not highly valued. (That is not to belittle anyone, not everyone has the same abilities, or drive for that matter.)

    As for progressive taxes, they are an illusion. The rich get far too many tax breaks and the effective rate is almost always lower than someone making far less. Flat taxes actually would raise the effective tax rate on the rich and in many cases lower it on the middle class. If you are really concerned for the poor, you could exempt the first $20K from tax. The key is NO EXEMPTIONS/CREDITS (not for kids, or investing, or installing new windows, or buying a home or car. All of those are used as tools to induce spending that would happen anyway), and the tax should be on your GROSS INCOME not AGI, after you get all the 'breaks' from Uncle Sam. In other words for most Americans the tax would come right our of your paycheck, with no need to file taxes forms each year, your W2 would provide all the information needed to show you had paid your share.

    As I stated elsewhere a National sales tax, or VAT tax would ensure the rich pay more, because they spend more. You could even put a "Luxury Tax" on many of the 'excesses' that rich spend on (Million Dollar Homes for example).

     

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    Pragmatic, Jun 6th, 2013 @ 5:55am

    Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the minarchist, people. "Taxation is theft and slavery to the state!" they howl indignantly.

    Okay, so "Privatize all the things!" and "Get rid of all government!"

    Good luck with living in a tax-free world where the "trusted individual" can decide how to spend all of his or her money. Generous and community minded or not, the result will be a free-for-all where the weakest go to the wall. That's not the worst part. Getting rid of government means getting rid of governance and relying on the courts to protect you from corporate and other predators.

    You do know that courts are appointed and maintained by the government, right? And justice and law enforcement in general?

    Okay, who is going to run these things in the absence of government? Even if you "only" limit government to these things and defence, trying to get these people (minarchists) to agree on anything beyond the Articles of Confederation (which only applied to thirteen states and was ditched by the Founding Fathers because it didn't work) in order to replace the functions previously carried out by government is a lot of fun to watch. In practice, we'd end up with a mess because you can't run a country on selfish paranoia.

    One of the funniest things I've heard them say is that the essential functions they ARE willing to pay for can be funded via charitable donations.

    And that's what this guy sounds like.

     

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  81.  
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    Joe Dirt, Jun 6th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Most people making $40k-$50k live paycheck to paycheck.
    Just like those making $15k, They have house payments/rent, food, and other living expenses. Every dime they make is as important to them as it is to those making half of what they do.

    What you are saying is that at some point, there a thing called too much money. I think that's bull. That's like saying there is too much air or water or love or whatever.

    Humans, by their very nature, want more. Just ask that kid in the AT&T commercial about more. If you were making $500K/year and were offered a job making $1 million, would you turn it down because you already make enough?

    If you aren't making enough, find a better paying job. Educate yourself and raise yourself up. Stop relying on other to do for you what you should be doing for yourself.

     

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    Pragmatic, Jun 6th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: all just mumbo jumbo

    Cracked is an astonishingly good source of information. They just like to present it in a humorous way.

     

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    Niall (profile), Jun 6th, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I would castigate the IRS for not going after all the supposedly politics-exempt churches that were actively campaigning against Obama during the last election cycle. Too much religion gets handed a free lunch - make the churches earn and pay their taxes!

     

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    Niall (profile), Jun 6th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Right after the whole Shrub administration is impeached and imprisoned for lying to the American people and the world, initiating illegal wars, and getting thousands of Americans killed for the benefit of Exxon and Blackwater.

    Or would you rather whine about 4 people in Libya?

    Both governments this millenium are corrupt. Be consistent at least.

     

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    Niall (profile), Jun 6th, 2013 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    There is such a thing as enough money to not care. The more money you have, the more options you have, and the easier it is to deal with the unexpected and very expensive, especially in a country where you can be bankrupted for an illness.

    Seriously, someone on minimum wage losing 10% of their wage is way more hurt than someone on $100k a year, who also can afford good healthcare, a nice house somewhere safe, their own transport and a government bending over backwards to make sure that a 10% tax is more like 5% or less.

    Again, this is why every other 'civilised' country has progressive tax rates. And that is why you get compared to Middle-East oil dictatorships.

     

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    Niall (profile), Jun 6th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    Well then, stop whining when your roads are rotten, bridges fall down, and you can't field a military able to stop Burkina Faso - or whine because the current obscenely oversized military spends everything that should go elsewhere in society.

     

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    Niall (profile), Jun 6th, 2013 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    And should you find yourself in a pool of blood from a gunshot wound, or down a well with a broken leg, I hope people remember that you don't 'deserve' help because you are such a selfish narcissictic excuse for a failure of an enlightened human being.

    Except I can't, because I'm humane.

     

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    Niall (profile), Jun 6th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    ^^^ 1000x this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Mr. Applegate, Jun 6th, 2013 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NULLIFY + REPUDIATE

    "There is such a thing as enough money to not care."
    Could you quote a reliable source on that?
    Perhaps Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet?
    I think they all care very much that they are making money, no matter how much they already have.

    "The more money you have, the more options you have, and the easier it is to deal with the unexpected and very expensive"

    Well Duh! Seems to me to be a very good reason to strive to make more money, rather than a reason to give someone a free ride. I am certainly no bible thumper but "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime." comes to mind.

    "especially in a country where you can be bankrupted for an illness."

    You have health insurance and patents to thank for this and it isn't going to get better. Health Insurance insures the 'ability to pay' and Patents limit the competition for medical equipment and drug manufactures. Corporate America Wins, Private America loses, the deck has been stacked for 50 years. And most Americans still want to play (and further stack the deck).

    "Seriously, someone on minimum wage losing 10% of their wage is way more hurt than someone on $100k a year."

    Of course it hurts more. That is not a reason for them to not contribute to the society in which they live. That someone making minimum wage probably also uses more government resources. They certainly use the roads and sidewalks... and probably use Food Stamps, Medicaid...
    What it should do is encourage them to better themselves and pull themselves up a level or two in society. If you are earning money you should contribute to society.

    "every other 'civilised'[sic] country has progressive tax rates"

    Ok, even if true, progressive taxes aren't working because there are too many loopholes. Right now our tax system favors the rich, gives to the poor (to create dependency) and screws the middle class. In my opinion, everyone can do something and no one should get a free ride. (There are some very limited exceptions to that).

    A Flat Tax in conjunction with a national VAT or Sales tax IS a progressive tax, as those who make more spend more. The flat tax takes care of the no free ride, and the VAT tax ensures those spending more contribute more. (and yes buying stocks should be taxed as a "Sale", and selling stocks should result in "Flat Income Tax".)

    Care to guess who the biggest opponents to a Flat tax are? The rich! Why? because they know it hurts them. Right behind the rich are the poor because rather than paying $0 in taxes and getting $8,000 back (Due to EIC and many other Credits) they might have to pay $1,000. (Yes I did taxes for someone with this scenario this year, and she flat out told me it would cost her too much to go to work, so she won't even try to get a job. In fact she turned down one I offered her making $15/Hr).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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