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For 2012's U.S. tax season ...

Displaying poll results.
I've filed the paperwork and sent money
  615 votes / 3%
I've yet to file the paperwork, will be sending money
  1853 votes / 10%
Still working on it; not sure which way it will tip
  2416 votes / 13%
I've filed the paperwork, expect a refund
  1768 votes / 10%
I've filed the paperwork, and gotten a refund already
  3663 votes / 20%
Why should I pay taxes to the U.S.?
  7313 votes / 41%
17628 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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For 2012's U.S. tax season ...

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  • Re:tax dodgers (Score:1, Informative)

    by tburkhol (121842) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @06:07PM (#43154195)

    I only pay US taxes because they are literally forcing me to by the barrel of a gun and threat of imprisonment, only in the same way that I'd give my wallet to a mugger at gunpoint. Indeed I'm actively looking to move abroad and obtain citizenship elsewhere in a more free jurisdiction.

    Try Somalia: you'll get all the government you're willing to pay for and a virtually unfettered free market.

  • by cyclopropene (777291) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @07:52PM (#43155031)

    If you're talking about Romney's "47%" comment, he didn't say that 47% didn't pay income tax. He said the "47%" got back more from the goverment than they paid. Significant difference.

    An excerpt from an actual transcript [motherjones.com] (emphasis mine):

    Romney: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like.

    We can leave it as an exercise for readers to determine how "significant" the difference is. Actual video clip [motherjones.com] can be seen here in case someone doesn't believe the transcript.

  • by nbauman (624611) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @08:47PM (#43155391) Homepage Journal

    Another Republican lie.

    "Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax," when you define income tax to exclude payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security. http://www.factcheck.org/2012/09/dependency-and-romneys-47-percenters/ [factcheck.org]

    If you don't define payroll taxes as "taxes" then you won't mind increasing the payroll taxes by eliminating the cap, which would solve our (supposed) problems with Medicare and Social Security shortfalls.

    As Abraham Lincoln said, if you define a tail as a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

    Answer: Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one.

  • Re:Spitting nails (Score:4, Informative)

    by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:06PM (#43155509) Homepage Journal

    Everybody gets a bill for just shy of $13,000.

    Sure. I'm sure somebody that makes federal minimum wage, and pulls in $13,624 a year, if they manage to get enough hours to work 40 hours a week for every single week of the year, will find that completely and totally fair.

  • Re:Not a good time (Score:4, Informative)

    by AdamHaun (43173) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @09:21PM (#43155575) Journal

    Are you saying that a 17 trillion dollar debt is perfectly fine?

    It's not great, but it's not The End Of The World As We Know It. There are always spikes in the debt during major wars and economic crises. We had a higher debt-GDP ratio in World War 2 than we do now.

    Are you saying that it's great that the the rate of increase is increasing?

    First off, it's not. [washingtonpost.com] See Fig. 1-1: The deficit has been declining for the last few years. And while it is currently worse than anything since WW2, if you look at the 1980s you'll see that it's not *that* much worse.

    Secondly, the reason for the current high deficits is high unemployment (fewer people paying taxes). In the short term (~5 years), we need more spending to make up the demand shortfall. Ideally that would have happened in 2009 with a ~$2T stimulus, but unfortunately we didn't get that. In the medium to long term, the deficit is dominated by Medicare and Medicaid costs. The Affordable Care Act will do a lot to lower those. Single-payer could probably do more, but unfortunately we didn't get that either.

    Are you saying that the debt we are passing onto our children is of absolutely no concern?

    It doesn't have to be, if we actually pay it off. Remember, we were running surpluses 15 years ago, and that didn't require massive budget cuts and the end of every safety net. The economy grows exponentially (for now, at least). Inflation is also exponential. The debt is an absolute dollar number, and does not grow on its own. (Bond rates have been dipping into the negative -- people are paying us to loan us money.) A moderate tax increase adds up (just as the Bush tax cuts have). And since taxes are super-duper-low right now, raising them (after the recession is over) is the easiest and least painful fix.

    Why do you bring up what was happening in 1953 when the national debt was 275 billion dollars?

    Which was 60% of GDP at the time. Absolute numbers are misleading. The U.S. has a staggeringly huge economy, so any number that's proportional to it will also be staggeringly huge. Sixty years of exponential growth adds up, so now we talk in trillions instead of billions. For comparison, the median household income at the time was under $5000 [census.gov].

    You brought up a whole lot of extraneous and immaterial "facts" to argue with me. Nothing you said contradicted what I said. The government is out of control and all that's going to happen is more and more and more taxes.

    The point of my response was that this is not, in fact, what is happening. It would take quite a lot of tax increases to get back to what has been normal for the last 60 years, and such tax increases would eliminate the deficit outright. Your statements about the government being "out of control" are vague by necessity, because you don't have trillions of dollars of actual "waste, pork, duplication, mismanagement, corruption, and stupidity" to point to. The spending that gets attention (like the stimulus and healthcare reform) are deficit-*reducing* measures.

    (I'm still curious how you managed to get a huge tax increase, by the way.)

    Our children are doomed -- but that's perfectly OK with you, just look at 1953 and ignore what's going on right now.

    The only thing currently dooming "our children" is global warming. The debt probably isn't even in the top 10. This is good news. You should be happy about it.

    To make my point perfectly clear: The problem isn't "taxes", the problem is DEBT. It's currently $53,112.68 for every man woman and child in the U.S. and it's going to get a lot worse.

    If you want to see a spending cut-based approach to deficit reduction in a

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @10:15PM (#43155915)
    Roads and firemen, etc is welfare now?
    It should be your completely ridiculous military budget you're bitchin' about.
  • Re:Ah tax season (Score:4, Informative)

    by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Tuesday March 12, 2013 @11:01PM (#43156153)

    Yup.

    At the company level the last dollar I earned was taxed. It was taxed twice more when I spent on a candy bar. Once I paid (sales tax), the second the store paid (business tax). Then when they used it to buy more candy bars it was taxed again...

    That's the reason I refuse to take arguments about double-taxation seriously. In the US you pay taxes every time money leaves one legal entity's control and enters the control of another legal entity. If shareholders are immune to lawsuits directed at their corporations they are (by definition) separate legal entities from said corporation, and therefore they pay income tax on dividends. Period. End of story. Stop whining or include the Nick-pays-no-taxes-on-candy bars clause in your goddamn proposal.

    Hell in Ohio every time a dollar leaves on entity's control and enters another it's taxed at least three times. There's State Tax, the IRS, and municipal tax. Most of the times there's also a fourth Residence tax because nobody in the Cleveland area lives and works in the same city.

  • by bogjobber (880402) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @01:35AM (#43156839)
    The refund is dependent on how accurate your witholdings were with regard to your final tax filings. It is not a measure of how much you paid in taxes. If you want to pay less on tax day, withhold more. If you're salaried you should be able to figure out how much taxes you will owe beforehand.

    You do not give specific figures about your taxes and the breakdown of where they come from, so I'll run some estimates based on the info you did give. If you make around 70k household gross that would mean you're taxed at 15% federally for the majority of that income. Simplified and adding 5% for state taxes comes out to 14k. $1500 owed on tax day means you paid in about $12.5K in the year or just over $1000 a month.

    I imagine you probably pay a bit more for property tax as well, although it's impossible to estimate that without knowing where you live. It could be a hundred bucks or it could be several thousand.

    So really you're probably paying around 20% plus whatever for property taxes. That is not a ridiculous amount by any measure. You have a cognitive dissonance that 70K a year is an unremarkable middle class income (which it is, although closer to upper middle class than working class for sure) but somehow the taxes paid on that income are exorbitant. They are certainly not. That is a perfectly reasonable amount to pay.

    You are also seriously deluded if you think someone with a 40K household income is a welfare queen. That's somewhere around the 40th percentile of incomes in the US, ie more or less perfectly average.

    The elitism apparent in your post is disgusting, honestly. You badly need to get some perspective. 70k a year is not "barely" middle class anywhere outside of Malibu or Westchester County. If you're having trouble making ends meet at that income level it comes from your spending habits and sense of entitlement, not from Uncle Sam.
  • Re:Missing option (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cimexus (1355033) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @02:34AM (#43157025)

    Problem is that earning $98k in some countries isn't like earning $98k in the US...

    My wife and I live in Australia - she is an American citizen and thus has to file her US tax return every year, despite not having stepped foot in the country in years and having no income there. $98k is a comfortable but by no means excessive income here (the average income in Australia is somewhere in the 60-70k range). Most people in IT and other white collar industries will be making that much by the time they are aged 35-40, if not earlier.

    Compounding this is the huge fall in the value of the US Dollar in the last few years (thanks to the Fed printing like crazy), to the extent that the Australian Dollar is now worth more than the US Dollar and has remained there for several years. This makes very easy for an American in Australia to overshoot the foreign income exemption in the US Tax Code, after conversion to US Dollars - just normal middle class expat families.

    Australia is by no means alone here either - wages have stagnated in the US to the extent that wages in quite a few countries are significantly higher. Now I agree that anyone earning a higher amount (by whatever means) should be paying more tax; no issues there. The problem is that it doesn't account for the higher cost of living in those countries. Earning $98k in Australia might look good on paper, but the cost of living is twice what it is in the US too, so you end up double-taxing people that really aren't making a ridiculous amount of money (in terms of purchasing power). The fact that they don't even live in America (and thus aren't getting anything FOR those taxes) is just rubbing salt into the wound.

  • by operagost (62405) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:03AM (#43158963) Homepage Journal
    Who keeps letting the children in here? Apparently we have a federal fire department now. And apparently, all roads are federally funded.
  • Re:tax dodgers (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cimexus (1355033) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @07:43PM (#43166163)

    According to Lord Wiki, languages that OPTIONALLY use a word that distinguishes those from the US from 'Americans' generally include:

    - Spanish (estadounidense, literally 'United Statesian')
    - Portugese
    - French
    - Italian
    - Mandarin
    - Korean
    - Japanese
    - Swahili
    - Vietnamese

    In many cases they might also have a word carrying the same ambiguity as the English 'American': e.g. "The Real Academia Española discourages the use of americano or americana for U.S. citizen, and recommends the use of estadounidense". So I suppose it depends which word is in general use as to which you'd normally hear.

    My point was that I don't believe 'USian' or similar is genuinely meant to cause offence most of the time. Occasionally, certainly - but I don't think that should be the default assumption. I've used it from time to time myself and have no intent to cause offence (hell, half my family are from the US, including my wife, I have no reason to denigrate them).

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

 



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