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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Let's see if I can follow what he said...
    An example, the top 5 percent in income in this country -- that's people making above about $140,000 -- without the president's tax cuts that top 5 percent would be paying about less than 52 percent of our total income tax revenue.
    OK... let's have 51 people.

    50 of them make $10,000 and are taxed at 10 percent. This comes to $50,000.

    The other one makes $500,000 dollars and is taxed at 12 percent. This comes to $60,000.

    That is a total of $110,000 with the wealthy person paying about 55 percent.

    Now, let's cut taxes.

    50 people making $10,000 are now taxed at 9 percent. This comes to $45,000.

    The other one (making $500,000) is now taxed at 10 percent. This comes to $50,000. (They got a "bigger" reduction since they pay more.)

    That is a total of $95,000 with the wealthy person paying about 52 percent. Under this scenario the total amount contributed by the wealthy decreases.
    After the president's tax cut that group is paying more than 54 percent of our total tax revenue. So the notion that the president's tax cuts have somehow made the code less progressive is wrong. The president's tax cuts have made the tax code more progressive.
    Hm... but he is saying it went UP.

    What do we do to make that happen...

    Hm... I know... fire people!

    Let's just lay off 2 of those "poor people" and see what happens to our numbers.

    48 people making $10,000 are now taxed at 9 percent. This comes to $43,200.

    This is a total of $93,200 with the wealthy person paying about 53 percent.

    Damn. Not enough... fire some more!

    (3 more people get pink slips)

    45 people making $10,000 are now taxed at 9 percent. This comes to $40,500.

    This is a total of $90,500 with the wealthy person paying about 55 percent.

    So... that works in the right direction.

    Of course, that is most certainly (and purposefully) a contrived example designed specifically to show that there is more than one way to interpret what was said. And, to show how something negative could be "spun" to sound good without telling a lie. (As some do)

    What other scenarios work?

    Let's try 30 percent for the rich person.

    That is 150,000 in taxes (on $500,000).

    For that to get close to the 50 percent point, we'll need to throw more poor people into the problem.

    So, now we have 150 poor people paying 10 percent of $10,000 for a total of $150,000... plus the $150,000 paid by the wealthy person. That is 50 percent of the total paid by the wealthy.

    Now, let's enact our tax cut again... one percentage point for the poor, two for the wealthy.

    The new total taxes become $135,000 from the poor (at 9 percent) plus $140,000 from the wealthy (at 28 percent). That gives $275,000 of which the wealthy person pays 50.9 percent.

    So, that seems to be going in the right direction also. (where "right" is the direction being quoted)

    Why even mention it then?

    Well, first... the statements don't hold a lot of facts. Certainly not enough for us to tell if the "right" things happened. (In the extreme case you can lay off all the poor. Then the wealthy will pay 100%. But few would argue that having so many idle hands about would be good.)

    Second, this administration has made a habit of saying things and hoping that we fill in the content to mean something that they did not say. So, what they do not say interests me very much.

    In that vein, I'd like to see some numbers. So we can know without doubt which scenario occurred.
    • So your argument is that it could be that this only works because under Bush's projections, either fewer people have jobs, or more people have lower paying jobs.

      These are unreasonable suppositions. His budgets always assume income and employment will go up, as all budgets do.

      this administration has made a habit of saying things and hoping that we fill in the content to mean something that they did not say. So, what they do not say interests me very much.

      Pot, kettle, yadda yadda.
      • No.

        Open your mind, remove your bias... and read it again.

        Especially this part:

        What other scenarios work?
         
        Let's try 30 percent for the rich person.
         
        That is 150,000 in taxes (on $500,000).
         
        For that to get close to the 50 percent point, we'll need to throw more poor people into the problem.
         
        So, now we have 150 poor people paying 10 percent of $10,000 for a total of $150,000... plus the $150,000 paid by the wealthy person. That is 50 percent of the total paid by the wealthy.

        • I have no time or interest in pissing contests.

          A lie, on both counts.
          • for another thoughtful, well reasoned response.

            I could not help but noticed that out of the very long post I made your response was a personal attack on myself, never addressing the substance of the post.

            It isn't the first one either.

            I'm not sure what it is like to have God-Like powers where you know how much time or the intentions of people you've never met.

            But, you can use those powers to contemplate our meeting in person at a future Perl or Open Source conference.

            At which point I'll be sure to bring
            • There was no substance worth responding to.

              I'm not sure what it is like to have God-Like powers where you know how much time or the intentions of people you've never met.

              You just spent a long post doing what you then said you had no time or inclination to do. Call that what you will.