Why the 'tax the rich' debate doesn't matter

  • Article by: PAUL G. GUTTERMAN
  • Updated: December 5, 2012 - 9:19 PM

The alternative minimum tax means higher rates would change very little.

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JRBDec. 5, 12 9:51 PM

A very informative and objective article - well done!

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joshthomson4Dec. 5, 1210:40 PM

Amen!

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viqueenfailDec. 5, 1210:45 PM

Yeah, what the heck, let's give it a try anyway. Because, after all, if it doesn't matter then there's no reason NOT to do it, riiigght?

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davehougDec. 5, 1210:57 PM

Individuals and businesses not only have no idea what the tax laws will be in 2013, but also no idea what the law is in 2012. That's because it's assumed that some expired provisions will be extended retroactively. - - - doesn't the Constitution speak out saying there shall be NO retroactive laws (ex post facto)????

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chuckdancerDec. 5, 1211:05 PM

I guess the whole ball game is what is income and what category that income falls in. Unfortunately, I believe this guy is being to simple in approach. What is income and what category it falls into is a science and cann't be handled in simple strokes without tearing out all the fine print placed into our tax code to accomodate chicanery by the big money.

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crystalbayDec. 6, 12 1:21 AM

The author seems to be saying that unless the AMT is repealed, most of the gains expected from the top 2% losing Bush's tax cut will be moot. I can just see it now: the GOP will go to war to keep the AMT, thus still protecting the top earners.

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erikj3Dec. 6, 12 1:48 AM

"The AMT was originally enacted in 1969 because some wealthy taxpayers were paying little or no tax, due to large deductions and other tax benefits."...Which is still a problem, especially with corporations (which are people, right?!). How about we just say that the 2% (including the richest corporations in the world!) have to pay more, without any shenanigans or loopholes or whatever? Is that so hard?

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rockpile12Dec. 6, 12 6:42 AM

While everyone including my cat knows that taxing the wealthy won’t put a dent into our fiscal problems, how is it that Barack Obama and Mark Dayton never speak of spending cuts? How is it that our Big Media refuse to ask these officials what they would cut? Isn’t this what journalism is supposed to do?

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walterwhiteDec. 6, 12 6:47 AM

We will go over the cliff because that's what Mr. Obama wants to happen. Everybody's taxes go up and the President gets to blame republicans. Mr. Obama and the Democrats have a whole bunch of spending they want to do and there aren't enough "rich" people to pay for it all so, the middle class has to take a hit too. There will be a lot of talk about how the President wishes it was different but, those darned republicans won't comprimise with him! It's a win-win for the President. It's not about policy it's about optics and shaping public opinion. How was that meeting with the MSNBC crew?

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twspt7Dec. 6, 12 7:14 AM

"Ironically, the super rich are less likely to be in the AMT, for a couple of reasons. First, capital gains are currently taxed at 15 percent (set to increase to 20 percent in 2013) and are not subject to the AMT. Most of the super rich (think Warren Buffett, Mitt Romney) get most of their income from capital gains" There sure do seem to be alot of tax advantages to getting the majority of ones income from capital gains, eh? Adjust the AMT for inflation, make capital gains subject to it, and tax capital gains at the same rate as wages. It would be nice if the top percentile shouldered at least as much tax burden as the middle class, as a percentage of their income.

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