Tax Time in the US again…



  • Well, it is January, and that means it is time to receive all of my various tax forms (W-2, 1099, substitute 1099, etc.) in preparation for filling out the dreaded IRS Form 1040.

    And, while I am still waiting for the final W-2’s, I have been able to use final 2005 pay stubs to take a preliminary look at where we stand this year.

    Out of $20,407.13 paid, we will receive a refund of about $50.00

    Forget “soak the rich”, this is “immolate the Middle Class!”

    I am paying more in taxes than is required to get a family of 4 out of poverty.  Who will keep US out of poverty when we go broke paying taxes???



  • Since Congress seems unwilling to make meaningful cuts, everyone’s taxes must be raised in order to curb the surging deficit.



  • Soak the rich. But I get off easy at tax time with a family. On $44,000 I pay $1,800 a year. As much as I despise Bush, the child tax credit really helps out a lot of poor/middle class families. My friend, who makes what I make but has 3 kids, pays no federal taxes.



  • @Mary:

    Soak the rich.

    And tell me, when the rich are made poor from taxing them excessively, or when they move themselves and/or their wealth offshore where the US gets NO taxes from them…

    Who will invest in businesses to create jobs?
    Who will fund the social welfare system?

    It is a losing proposition to “soak the rich”

    Of course, I am no fan of the Marxist philosophy of progressive taxation.  Why penalize those who have made good choices and are successful and reward those who have made poor choices?

    Also, what is “soak” and what is “rich”?

    Is “soak” a 40% tax rate?  50%?  90%?

    And who is rich?
    Anyone with more than you?  Anyone over $50,000 a year?  $100,000?  $1,000,000?
    What about the rich who do not have earnings?  You know, the Heinz-Kerry’s and the Rockefellers?  Folks with hundreds of millions of dollars, and NO wages.  Should they be taxed on existing wealth?

    And just FYI:  That $20,000+ tax bill of mine is not from some “rich” guy.  My wife is an HR specialist, hired perm from a temp position less than a year ago, and I am an equipment repairman for a HAZMAT company.  Our income pays our modest mortgage, our payments on 2 compact cars, feeds us, and a little left over for a few small luxuries (no boats, no second homes, I mean a weekend day trip occasionally, or our first vacation in 3 years this fall).  And that tax bill also does not reflect 50 cents per gallon tax on gasoline, 7% sales tax on everything, property taxes on our home and cars, registration and license fees, excise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, junk taxes and fees on our phone and cable bills, user fees for government services like water and trash, entertainment taxes on movie tickets, embedded taxes in everything that are passed on by businesses, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    Figure all of that in using the currently accepted numbers, and my tax rate is about 67%.  I have an income below 6 figures.  Hardly “rich”


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Soak the rich

    WTF… Mary you sure are out of touch with mainstream America…That sounds like the mantra of of the far left wing speaking.Why must the “producers” that move the economy along allways be the fall guy for the mistakes of the misfortuned? Nobody is taking any money from me if i have something to do about it!



  • Mainstream America doesn’t like to be taxed. Raise taxes on the top 1% and the bottom 99% is happy.

    Still, a progressive tax system is unfair. But it is democratic. If we’re raising taxes on the rich, raise them only on the uber rich. 10 million or more a year. And still, that would be 40% of our wealth. The distribution of wealth in this country lends itself to an unfair tax system.



  • Right, like all rich people are self-made  :roll:

    And I should probably define my terms here: soak= an extra 2 or 4%. Middle class tax rates should increase about 1%. Leave lower-middle class/poor alone. They usually pay nothing in taxes anyway.

    And there’s no reason we have to spend so much of our budget on defense anymore. Let us be able to one respond to ONE serious conflict effectively. We would save a lot of money, and administrations would be a little more careful will-nilly sending in the military all over the world. Outside of a Tom Clancy novel, in this day and age, how many carrier battle groups do we really need?

    People just don’t seem to be getting the fact that we have tens of TRILLIONS in obligations coming due. And we’re talking about tax BREAKS? Where is the fiscally conservative Republican party of old?


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    OK since i have to pay more than someone else then that means i get to vote more times, since you assign the rich to pay more which means i contribute more so it further means i should have more rights than others. YOU cant have the cake and eat it too! The tax rate shoud be the same for all people who are included under the law. Otherwise ill just burn money in the oven to keep it out of useless mouths to feed…Good greif!



  • @Imperious:

    Otherwise ill just burn money in the oven to keep it out of useless mouths to feed…Good greif!

    Or, folks will do what I will do in early February… play every gambit I can to decrease that taxable wage amount to reduce that $20K tax load, and see if I can;t get that down a few thousand dollars.

    Afterall, some friends of mine qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.  They use their welfare-redistribution-refund-of-taxes-they-never-paid to go to Disney World each year (rather than feeding and clothing their kids, buying reliable transportation so they can work, etc.)  So, I HAVE to pay SOMETHING to fund their Disney trip.

    I am just going to try to reduce my tax load so that perhaps they only go for 4 days instead of 7.



  • Affluent beggars’
    Couple supports family through panhandling; Ashland merchants fear negative impact on customers
    By JENNIFER MARGULIS
    for the Mail Tribune
    The first time 30-year-old Elizabeth Johnson stopped a stranger on the street to ask for money, she was really nervous. She was six months pregnant and desperate, having just spent seven days in jail for shoplifting books.

    “How are people going to perceive me?” Johnson remembers wondering. “They’re going to think I’m crazy.”

    That was six years ago in Madison, Wis. The Ashland mother says in hindsight, she believes she was socially conditioned to think that if you ask people for money something is wrong with you.

    Since then she has changed her mind.

    “I don’t believe that at all anymore,” Johnson says.

    Now Johnson and her 34-year-old partner, Jason Pancoast, who have been together for 14 years, support themselves and their three children, 6-year-old Seth, 3-year-old Adrianne and 3-month-old Synclair, by panhandling.

    Pancoast refers to himself and his family as “affluent beggars.”

    “If you’re an affluent beggar you stay in a hotel and eat a continental breakfast,” he says. “It makes it a lot easier to be philosophical about it.”

    Carrying her smiling baby in a navy blue front pack and pushing Adrianne in a green jogging stroller, Johnson stops people on the street and asks them for money to find shelter for her children.

    “I ask the question and I move on,” says Johnson, who adds that she is careful to be non-aggressive when she begs.

    The family has stayed in Ashland since the summer in order for Seth to attend the Waldorf-inspired experimental classes at Willow Wind, part of the Ashland public school system.

    “They are a lovely family,” says Seth’s teacher, Trisha Mullinnix, who has been working with children for 25 years. “They fill all the needs of the classroom teacher — they are attentive, they come to school on time, they are available to me to talk to them. Seth is loving and happy and well fed and clean. He comes prepared to learn.”

    The family is staying at the Cedarwood Inn in a room with a kitchenette. It costs $243 a week. Johnson and Pancoast are hoping to find something more permanent.

    According to Pancoast, begging can be lucrative. He claims the family sometimes makes $300 a day asking for money and has made as much as $800. The family also receives $500 a month in food stamps.

    But the presence of a well-fed, well-dressed family begging from strangers on the streets does not sit well with some Ashland locals, though none who spoke with the Mail Tribune would allow themselves to be identified.

    “I always felt bad for her because she had a baby in the hot summer sun,” says Debbie, an Ashland resident who asked that her last name not be used. Debbie remembers Johnson, Pancoast and their children from their first visit to Ashland in 1999 and has given Johnson money on several occasions. “That kind of thing tugs on anyone’s heartstrings,” she says.

    But then Debbie saw Pancoast drop Johnson off at the Ashland Plaza in a nice car and kiss her and the baby goodbye. “Then I became a little bitter,” Debbie says. “I was working my tail off at three jobs — waitressing and babysitting — and I see her eating at restaurants that are so expensive I can’t afford to eat there.”

    Ashland police officer Teri DeSilva says that in the summer, she receives on average one call of complaint a week about Johnson’s begging.

    In response to community concern, DeSilva called the local child-welfare office for the state Department of Human Services to evaluate the family.

    “They came out and interviewed her, and said those babies are just fine,” DeSilva says. “They’re well-cared for, they’re well-dressed, there are no signs of abuse. If you look at those children they are plump and happy.”

    But according to DeSilva, the shopkeepers downtown continue to complain. “A lot of the store owners are upset about it,” she says. “I’ve talked to her on several occasions and asked her to move along.”

    Merchants are afraid that Johnson’s presence begging with her children has a negative impact on their customers. “The people visiting here are not happy seeing that type of behavior,” says a downtown clothing merchant who asked not to be identified. "We have so many complaints from our customers who shop here. They come in talking about her and being upset by her … they don’t want to be harassed like that.

    “If we end up with a lot of people like this it is going to deter people from coming to visit,” she says.

    Ashland police Chief Mike Bianca points out that begging is not illegal. “Can you be a beggar in America? Yes, you can,” says Bianca. “…The state is not going to step in and take those kids away unless there is some recognizable or identifiable abuse or neglect.”

    Johnson says she doesn’t want to get a job because it would keep her away from her children.

    Pancoast says he would like to get a job, but finding suitable employment has been difficult. His lack of experience and difficulty with jobs in the past make it even more challenging.

    “What do I say? ‘I’ve been traveling for seven years, I haven’t had a job?’” he says. “People don’t know what to say to me.”

    Both are originally from the East Coast. Johnson was born in New York and Pancoast in Philadelphia. They met when Johnson was 16 years old and in high school.

    At the time, her parents were divorced and Johnson was living with her mother and stepfather. Johnson says her mother abused drugs, was promiscuous and periodically took psychotropic medications; her stepfather, she says, has an extensive criminal record and abused her both psychologically and physically.

    Johnson says her stepfather’s idea of a good joke was to put a stocking over his head, climb into her window in the middle of the night and wake her up by shining a flashlight in her eyes.

    To escape her chaotic family life, Johnson spent her time at parties and in bars, she says. She met Pancoast at a party in Florida and asked him out.

    Pancoast’s mother dropped out of high school and gave birth to him when she was 17, he says. He describes her as a “kleptomaniac” who showed little interest in her family. His father is a Vietnam vet. His parents divorced when Pancoast was 16, and he began living on the streets, he says.

    “What was striking is that Elizabeth was the one asking me out and I was the older gentleman,” remembers Pancoast, who was 21 at the time. He adds that at that point Elizabeth was “malingering within milieus that were probably not appropriate for a young lady to be spending her time in.” Pancoast quickly fell in love.

    Their difficult childhoods and interest in drug culture quickly solidified their bond, the couple say. One of their first experiences together was canoeing on the Withlacoochee River and taking LSD. “Both of us coming from broken homes,” says Johnson, “and needing to develop ourselves.”

    “Well, I think we had no love,” Pancoast quickly adds, “we had no clarity … we were both so disassociated for different reasons.…”

    But the more serious they got, the more their families disapproved of their relationship and tried to separate them, the couple say. A fear of being separated continues to haunt their lives.

    In addition to the three children who live with them now, Pancoast and Johnson say they have two older sons who both have been adopted into an upper-middle-class family in Alameda, Calif.

    Johnson got pregnant when she was not yet 18 and they were living in Gainesville, Fla., shoplifting, doing drugs, and heavily into what Pancoast describes as “death culture.”

    At a friend’s house they read a classified advertisement in Spin Magazine of a couple looking to adopt a newborn. Johnson and Pancoast talked to that couple and three others, they say.

    “From my perspective I was pressured into giving Erik away,” Johnson says. “It seemed like a way out of the desperation I was in as a byproduct of not having a family … I actually went to go have an abortion and I found out I was too far along, which I was happy about. I didn’t want to do that.”

    The couple who adopted Erik flew Johnson and Pancoast out to the Bay Area and helped them find a place to live and jobs. Pancoast worked at a record store, Rasputin’s, until he was fired, and then at the Monterey Fish Market, until he lost that job as well. Johnson worked in retail. After the first son was born, the adoptive couple asked Johnson and Pancoast to have a second child for them. Ian was born in 1997.

    Neither can talk about their two older sons without crying. “I wish we were all together,” says Johnson.

    Johnson and Pancoast say they are very different from most of the people living on the street. Neither has attended college but when Johnson dares to dream of the future, she talks of becoming a midwife.

    “We’re good people and we love each other,” Johnson says. “To shellac us with anything other than that hurts us and hurts our children.”

    Jennifer Margulis is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail her at properzioprose@jeffnet.org.



  • Flat tax is the way to go.  That way EVERYONE has to pay the same percentage regardless of income level.

    Rune Blade



  • @Rune:

    Flat tax is the way to go.  That way EVERYONE has to pay the same percentage regardless of income level.

    If I could not get the Fair Tax consumption based tax, Flat Tax would be my next preference.

    But dang… no taxes unless you volunteer to pay them…  that is a hell of a concept, and a tough one for me to not support.

    BTW:  If anyone is curious about the Fair Tax you can go to Fairtax.org, pick up a copy of The Fair Tax Book by Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder, or read the legislation itself at thomas.gov (it is HR25)



  • Taxes can be lowered easily, as long as youy lower expenses as well. Do we really need a bridge to nowhere?



  • The problem is with Congress being unable to NOT spend the money.  It doesn’t matter if taxes are raised or lowered because the spending will greatly exceed the revenues regardless.  This is going to catch up with us someday…

    Just to bring up another point, because of inflation, the Alternative Minimum Tax is creeping up on the middle class…



  • @ncscswitch:

    Well, it is January, and that means it is time to receive all of my various tax forms (W-2, 1099, substitute 1099, etc.) in preparation for filling out the dreaded IRS Form 1040.

    And, while I am still waiting for the final W-2’s, I have been able to use final 2005 pay stubs to take a preliminary look at where we stand this year.

    Out of $20,407.13 paid, we will receive a refund of about $50.00

    Forget “soak the rich”, this is "immolate the Middle Class!"Â

    I am paying more in taxes than is required to get a family of 4 out of poverty.  Who will keep US out of poverty when we go broke paying taxes???

    I could not agree with you more, and you pay a lot more in taxes as I do.

    I am used to getting about 1/2 of my taxes back, and that is all fine and good.  NS, you make more, they take more, nothing wrong with that.  But it has gotten to the crazy point.  My GF who made 25k before I came to live with her (has 3 kids - 1 handicaped), got back 2.5k MORE in tax return last year than what she paid in!  WTF is that?  I don’t judge her, if they are giving it away… you should take it.  But isn’t that wealth redistribution?

    I have 2 uncles who came from crap.  They grew up in the inner city of chicago and did not have the happiest of upbringings.  That being said each makes over 100k a year now, and they are being punished with these taxes, why?  For doing well for themselves?  That’s a great message for people trying to do better!  Work hard, so that we can tax you more.  My one uncle worked 14 hour shifts for over 5 years to get where he is now.  Because he did now he has to get raped at tax time?

    The American dream is a great thing, work hard and you get rewarded.  It is turning into “work hard, and support others who don’t”.

    I bust my ass at work so that I can have a better life later on.  I am willing to put my time in as far as that is concerned.  I have a huge problem that when I make the amount of $ that I want to make, it will be taken by uncle Sam for those who don’t put forth the effort I do.

    I work with a guy who is 22 years old who has his shiit together.  He enlisted when he was 18, spent last year in Iraq (he made 42k doing that, very not bad for a guy his age).  He got back from Iraq and now is going to college, getting As.  The way the military works is that they want to see proof that you are enrolled, and passing, and they give you $ to cover that in the form of a check given to them.  The kicker is, is that the guy was a straight A student in highshool and has an academic scholarship!  So the $ from the government he gets to keep.

    He gets $2400 a month from the government, works a full time job, and goes to school.  I am sure he will do well in whatever it is he decides to do, but the kicker is after all this hard work what does that get him?  Insane taxes because he is “privlaged”?  BS!  He came from a family on food stamps, and he busted his @$$ to improve himself.

    I learned this lesson the hard way.  I did not go to college right after HS.  I worked, saved $, and had my first year paid for when I went.  Once getting there I roomed with a 25 year old guy who never had a job in his life and got a free ticket with grants (he flunked out after the 2nd semester because of grades).  The difference between me and him?  I did not claim myself on my taxes.  I talked to my parents and told them to get the easy $ I need to be able to claim myself.

    What a fool I was to bust my ass for a year to save when the government does not reward people who actualy try.

    Last thing NSC, you like Lieberman, but he is gung ho on the crazy tax on the rich.  He thinks that 70% is a good number as far as taxes go for anyone making over 1 mil a year.  You may not make that much, but I bet he wants to rape you at tax time as well.



  • Liberman may WANT that, but it won;t pass.

    Besides, counting all of my taxes, I am at 67% NOW.  Not all of it shows as line items on my pay stub, but till you get done, I am only 3% under that rate.

    As for Lieberman…

    I would rather have taken my chances with him TRYING to increase taxes than to have Bush who has increased government spending more than any President ever (including FDR and LBJ) AND who has saddled us with the largest single future liability of any President since FDR (that god forsaken prescription drug plan that even the Seniors did NOT want, but the drug comapnies did, with no volume discounts for government purchases, no negotiating lower prices…

    As if the $34 trillion liability for Social Security was not enough, Bush had to hand the drug companies the biggest chunck of pork ever bestowed… about $10 trillion by the time the Boomers die…



  • @ncscswitch:

    @Mary:

    Soak the rich.

    And tell me, when the rich are made poor from taxing them excessively, or when they move themselves and/or their wealth offshore where the US gets NO taxes from them…

    Who will invest in businesses to create jobs?
    Who will fund the social welfare system?

    It is a losing proposition to “soak the rich”

    Of course, I am no fan of the Marxist philosophy of progressive taxation.  Why penalize those who have made good choices and are successful and reward those who have made poor choices?

    Also, what is “soak” and what is “rich”?

    Is “soak” a 40% tax rate?  50%?  90%?

    And who is rich?
    Anyone with more than you?  Anyone over $50,000 a year?  $100,000?  $1,000,000?
    What about the rich who do not have earnings?  You know, the Heinz-Kerry’s and the Rockefellers?  Folks with hundreds of millions of dollars, and NO wages.  Should they be taxed on existing wealth?

    And just FYI:  That $20,000+ tax bill of mine is not from some “rich” guy.  My wife is an HR specialist, hired perm from a temp position less than a year ago, and I am an equipment repairman for a HAZMAT company.  Our income pays our modest mortgage, our payments on 2 compact cars, feeds us, and a little left over for a few small luxuries (no boats, no second homes, I mean a weekend day trip occasionally, or our first vacation in 3 years this fall).  And that tax bill also does not reflect 50 cents per gallon tax on gasoline, 7% sales tax on everything, property taxes on our home and cars, registration and license fees, excise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, junk taxes and fees on our phone and cable bills, user fees for government services like water and trash, entertainment taxes on movie tickets, embedded taxes in everything that are passed on by businesses, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    Figure all of that in using the currently accepted numbers, and my tax rate is about 67%.  I have an income below 6 figures.  Hardly “rich”

    Well it is really hard to pay such huge amount of taxes…I think there must be better policy for taxes so that we can come out of economic crises…


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    LOL Thread Necro!  This topic died 8 years ago!


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