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Old 03-18-2011, 07:23 AM  
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Greenville, SC
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How much do you think is a "decent" income?

I am aware that this is a fairly subjective question. A few things got me thinking.....There was an article on MSN ('Rich' and struggling: Meet the Joneses - wealth & taxes - MSN Money) and I also listen to Dave Ramsey. I hear people calling in wanting to know what to do, and saying they are about to file bankruptsy(?). He then asks how much they make. They will say something like "$215,000 a year". My jaw drops. I cannot imagine how much of an idiot you must be to make that much and end up in financial ruin. I just wanted to find out what the consensus is as to how much it takes to get by "okay". Personally, I don't see a problem with getting by (family of 4) on around $35k to $40k.
(I am quite aware that it depends on where you live also, but most people could move if they wanted to).
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:35 AM  
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Bristol, Tennessee
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Don't mean to turn this into a political debate but this does sound influenced by the right's desire to paint those making 250,000 as just hard working families (oddly while painting teachers making 50-90k in those same cities as having extremely lavish pay).

The math just doesn't add up.

I wonder where all that money goes they didn't list. for an income of 250k even using high numbers for tax estimates and their numbers where given, that leaves 125k-150k after all fed,state and property taxes, the yearly cost (including property taxes (yes figured in twice)) for a 750k home is 64,000, so that leaves them with a minimum of 61k dollars after the mortgage and AFTER taxes have been paid. which is still well above the average income BEFORE taxes, if these people can't manage to live on $5083 a month for living expenses (excluding the mortgage) there are some BIG issues there. And keep in mind this is a worst case scenario of a no down payment mortgage, property taxes counted twice(calculator included their estimate), state income of 6%, and I went by the the 30% tax tier instead of their actual effective rate which is going to be a bit lower. according to an online effective tax rates calculation there effective rate would be about 22% and not 30% which would free up an extra 20k.

The math to support their claim just is not there.

An unknown could be student loans, if they did rack up a lot there they can't pay down maybe they should have bought a more conservative house until they got those paid off.


When they chose to have that super nice house in a super nice area they had to know how much their mortgage payment would be. $5000 for a maid? they have kids, make them work for that college money.
There was another article where multi-millionaire's were asked if they were rich, often it would be they were rich if they made twice as much, and I would bet that is the typical thinking..
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:50 AM  
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RedJeepXJ I understand what you are saying, and I agree that that is probably the motive behind the article...But, my point isn't so much anything with the taxes that they do or do not pay. I am not of the belief that just because someone makes plenty of money that it is fair for them to be taxed a much higher percentage than others. I just think that it is ridiculous that people making plenty of money can put themselves into financial trouble. I wish that everyone making whatever amount could see that their priorities are (usually) the problem when financial problems arise.
Example: I make around 1/6 of the amount mentioned in the article. If I chose to live like the "Joneses" or like everyone thinks they are entitled to (regardless of income) then I would be hurting bigtime financially. I choose not to have cable, satellite, a fancy phone with internet, internet at home, a new car (with a car payment), credit cards or any of that stuff. Those things are nice EXTRAS. Not necessities, or entitlements. So I have ABSOLUTELY NO SYMPATHY FOR ANYONE HAVING FINANCIAL TROUBLE THAT CHOSES TO HAVE ALL THE "EXTRAS".I don't understand how someone making even $60000 could get into financial trouble.
***This is all with the exception of life changing illnesses and such.***
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:56 AM  
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Bristol, Tennessee
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to your original question, of how much is a decent income, for a family of four in a typical area probably around 60k-70k, 35-40k would just be too little considering there are no pensions and likely a lot less social security so families must put away more for their own savings.

As for taxing people more who make more, that's not really the rationale, it's how much taxes do we need to run the country verse easing up taxes on the poorer people so they can live. we can't run this country on 15% taxes even if we were to cut a tremendous amount of programs that are considered untouchable today, the math just doesn't work, someone has to pay, the question is who? are you willing to pay a lot more in taxes so a millionaire can pay a tiny bit (for him/her) less?, as that is what it really boils down to.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:21 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
to your original question, of how much is a decent income, for a family of four in a typical area probably around 60k-70k, 35-40k would just be too little considering there are no pensions and likely a lot less social security so families must put away more for their own savings.

As for taxing people more who make more, that's not really the rationale, it's how much taxes do we need to run the country verse easing up taxes on the poorer people so they can live. we can't run this country on 15% taxes even if we were to cut a tremendous amount of programs that are considered untouchable today, the math just doesn't work, someone has to pay, the question is who? are you willing to pay a lot more in taxes so a millionaire can pay a tiny bit (for him/her) less?, as that is what it really boils down to.
The fact of the matter is that the people that pay (by FAR) the most, use (by FAR) the least when referring to taxpayer dollars.

If we want to deal with helping poor people live, we need to deal with why they are "poor", not helping the poor to survive. I'm sure my suggestions would be QUITE unpopular.

As far as the taxing, I believe in a consumption tax system. I do not think that income or property should be taxed. If you don't have much money, you don't buy as much stuff (right?), and if you have a bunch of money, you buy more stuff (right?).
That, to me would be the best system.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:38 AM  
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
The fact of the matter is that the people that pay (by FAR) the most, use (by FAR) the least when referring to taxpayer dollars.

If we want to deal with helping poor people live, we need to deal with why they are "poor", not helping the poor to survive. I'm sure my suggestions would be QUITE unpopular.

As far as the taxing, I believe in a consumption tax system. I do not think that income or property should be taxed. If you don't have much money, you don't buy as much stuff (right?), and if you have a bunch of money, you buy more stuff (right?).
That, to me would be the best system.
IS that so? really? you don't think these rich executives take advantage of our countries infrastructure? they don't use our roads? they don't take advantage of our educated workforce? they don't enjoy the protections from our military, police and fire? really? Their effects don't need to be monitored to make sure our water is clean, our air is clean, and that the food and apartments/housing are safe to live in?

so yes, let's shift our tax burdern further from the rich and place it firmly on the poor, to sustain your tax idea we would need about a 20% consumption tax... at the income you mentioned earlier you probably pay about 10% effective tax rate roughly at the current time ,again, are you willing to pay twice as much so the rich don't have to? because that IS what YOU are suggesting.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:56 AM  
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Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
IS that so? really? you don't think these rich executives take advantage of our countries infrastructure? they don't use our roads? they don't take advantage of our educated workforce? they don't enjoy the protections from our military, police and fire? really? Their effects don't need to be monitored to make sure our water is clean, our air is clean, and that the food and apartments/housing are safe to live in?

so yes, let's shift our tax burdern further from the rich and place it firmly on the poor, to sustain your tax idea we would need about a 20% consumption tax... at the income you mentioned earlier you probably pay about 10% effective tax rate roughly at the current time ,again, are you willing to pay twice as much so the rich don't have to? because that IS what YOU are suggesting.
Yes, I do believe that the ones who pay the least (if any) use the most of our resources in the subsidizing of their existance, healthcare, foodstamps, welfare, etc... We all use the roads, enjoy the protection of our military, police, fire, etc. including the poor and rich alike.

And no I wouldn't mind paying a higher consumption tax if it meant I had a choice as to whether I wanted to buy more "stuff", hence paying the tax. As it is, I have no choice in the property taxes, or income taxes.

I do however, believe some necessity items such as unprepared foods should be excluded from a large consumption tax.

A consumption tax would discourage those who cannot afford "stuff" from buying "stuff", therefore leaving them with more money to buy the things that they NEED. It burns me up to think that we (taxpayers) have to help someone buy food etc. while they buy expensive phones, cable, and all the "extra" things that we are NOT entitled to (some would argue that everyone is entitled to these things). I strongly DISAGREE.


Quote:
...willing to pay twice as much so the rich don't have to.

Oh, and did you imply in your post that rich people don't buy things??
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:22 AM  
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Bristol, Tennessee
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Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
Yes, I do believe that the ones who pay the least (if any) use the most of our resources in the subsidizing of their existance, healthcare, foodstamps, welfare, etc... We all use the roads, enjoy the protection of our military, police, fire, etc. including the poor and rich alike.
so the people who don't pay taxes use more services, so we should tax the working poor who don't receive those benefits so the wealthy don't have to chip in as much, got it.
Quote:
And no I wouldn't mind paying a higher consumption tax if it meant I had a choice as to whether I wanted to buy more "stuff", hence paying the tax. As it is, I have no choice in the property taxes, or income taxes.

I do however, believe some necessity items such as unprepared foods should be excluded from a large consumption tax.

A consumption tax would discourage those who cannot afford "stuff" from buying "stuff", therefore leaving them with more money to buy the things that they NEED. It burns me up to think that we (taxpayers) have to help someone buy food etc. while they buy expensive phones, cable, and all the "extra" things that we are NOT entitled to (some would argue that everyone is entitled to these things). I strongly DISAGREE.
while that is aggravating it is a fairly small problem compared to toher expenses and doesn't change the fact that a consumption tax would still be incredibly regressive tax that would fall most heavily on the middle class and working poor who would now pay significantly more taxes (even with unprepared foods excluded the tax rate would be close to doubling for them), while the biggest winners would be the wealthy who would now be taxed at 20% where they were taxed at 30%
Quote:




Oh, and did you imply in your post that rich people don't buy things??
no I did not, but the rich have to buy fewer things (as a percentage of their income) to survive then the masses do.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:44 AM  
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Greenville, SC
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Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
........while that is aggravating it is a fairly small problem compared to toher expenses
It is aggravating, and you may be correct that the problem is small by itself, if simply comparing the initial cost to other costs.

I feel that the "aggravating" problem however, leads to a culture that sees that they can live "comfortable enough" with some luxuries, and still collect.
I think that if a stipulation to recieving life subsidizing aid was that you could not have these "extras", then the number of those applying and recieving would drop dramatically. Do you disagree?
So this "annoying" problem is really much bigger if you look at the generational repercussions of it. I think that if you can afford cable, or a car payment, then you do not need your existence subsidized. If you can afford a $300 cell phone and $120 a month cell bill, (or a cell phone at all for that matter) then you do not need your existance subsidized. (you probably can't afford kids either!). These are just a few examples. Do you believe that a person that can afford these extras really need help buying food?

Basically, you want to make the problem of being poor less painful, and I want to find a solution to the generational repeating of the problem.
The hard truth of it is, that the less painful it is, the more of it you will see.
The more painful it is, the less of it you will see.
Do you understand what I mean?
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:14 PM  
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Bristol, Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
It is aggravating, and you may be correct that the problem is small by itself, if simply comparing the initial cost to other costs.

I feel that the "aggravating" problem however, leads to a culture that sees that they can live "comfortable enough" with some luxuries, and still collect.
I think that if a stipulation to recieving life subsidizing aid was that you could not have these "extras", then the number of those applying and recieving would drop dramatically. Do you disagree?
*If* there was a way to fairly manage that then yes it could work, but at what point do you consider it welfare, what's excess? Some definitions of welfare can include a very broad swath of people, especially definitions that include medicare and ss, and what is excess? It changes all the time, 10 years a ago a phone and internet would have been considered luxuries, now a cell phone can be cheaper then home phone service and try job searching without a computer (ok, yeah, libraries)
Quote:
So this "annoying" problem is really much bigger if you look at the generational repercussions of it. I think that if you can afford cable, or a car payment, then you do not need your existence subsidized. If you can afford a $300 cell phone and $120 a month cell bill, (or a cell phone at all for that matter) then you do not need your existance subsidized. (you probably can't afford kids either!). These are just a few examples. Do you believe that a person that can afford these extras really need help buying food?
cable, yes is a waste, a basic cell phone in place of a home phone, no
Quote:

Basically, you want to make the problem of being poor less painful, and I want to find a solution to the generational repeating of the problem.
The hard truth of it is, that the less painful it is, the more of it you will see.
The more painful it is, the less of it you will see.
Do you understand what I mean?
There will always be poor people, some will need as they have legitimate disabilities and situations, many will not be legitimate, I certainly agree we need *some* method to better sort these things out but I think this is a discussion that should probably be started in a new topic to get other opinions as this has gone very far from the original topic I think.
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