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Comments for: Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012: Tax the rich, candidate endorsements and education

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  • Guest

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  • Anonymous

    Ms. Cusick, I could not agree more.  We enjoyed record growth under the Clinton tax rates on the wealthy, and anemic growth and a catastrophic recession under the Bush tax rates on the wealthy.  When we increase tax rates on income over $250,000 we encourage investment of that money rather than hoarding of the money.  We also have more money available for public investment.

    • Anonymous

      Not at all what happens. Economic fantasy. When taxes become too onerous you send money where you can get a better return. Overseas maybe. Have you been paying attention. I started an overseas account 3 years ago and I’m just a little guy. All legal and above board.

      If you don’t consider taxes as part of an ROI you are foolish.

      • Anonymous

        Try to clean up your grammar (“you taxes become too onerous”).  
          I have a choice of paying money as salary to myself or investing it in my business to trigger future growth.  Money invested in the business is fully deductible (or depreciable over  a relatively short time frame) and so is not taxed at all or entitled to non-taxation over time.  The higher my tax rate, the more likely that I will invest that money and avoid taxation.  This happened under Clinton.
          Idle capital will be invested where the rate of return is highest.  Right now it has been invested in the two economies, China and the USA, that have rejected Europe’s call for austerity.  Public investment draws private investment.  Public investment needs public taxation to be sustained over time.  
          If you want a low tax residence, move to Somalia.  Income earned overseas by American residents is still taxed at normal rates in this country, with only a credit for taxes paid on that same income to the foreign country.  
          I diverted much of my 401(k) investments to Europe during Bush II’s misrule and have brought that money home under President Obama.  Both decisions have paid off.  When I finally take that income I will be taxed at the same rate, regardless of where the money was invested.
          Learn about the tax code before you invest overseas in the mistaken opinion that overseas income is not taxed in this country.

        • Anonymous

          I said thoroughly legal and above board.
           It is silly to invest with the notion that it is some sort of long term savings plan which is what your statement implies. You need a return.

          • Anonymous

              An American resident cannot directly invest overseas and avoid income taxes, so your initial post about the advantages of an overseas account is simply an example of your misinformation.  Apparently, that overseas account has not yet generated earnings.
              I invest to grow my customer base and expand my product line.  Neither are a “long term savings plan.”  I control what I imply, but cannot control what you infer.  Given your unfamiliarity with our tax laws, I shudder at what you do infer.

        • Anonymous

          If investing in a high tax environment is the way to go then the you are making a terrible financial mistake.
          Obviously you should run right out and cash in your TAX deferred and TAX Advantaged 401ks and IRA’s. Pay the TAX you owe now. Then, invest the remainder it in your business after all you will get it all back in depreciation sometime, Right?

            In the meantime you are helping the economy both public and private…. Or are you avoiding paying the taxes you owe and forgoing obvious benefits to yourself?

          • Anonymous

              Taxes now are lower than they have been since the 1930s, so this “high tax environment”  of which you speak is simply Republican paranoia writ large.  A return to the Clinton tax rates still leaves us with a lower top marginal rate than under most of Reagan’s eight years. We will still not have a “high tax environment.”
              I will rely upon you for financial advice about the same time as I rely upon Bernie Madoff for the same.  
              Please try to maintain at least a semblance of connection with reality.   I know the advantage of taking retirement income only when I retire and my annual income is lower.  Investing my business earnings back into the business has paid off handsomely in the past and will in the future

          • Anonymous

             If what you say made any sense at all business would be out clamoring for higher taxes. But they aren’t that should tell you something.

            In the meantime, I see you nicely skirted the issue of your tax avoidance. Obviously not paying taxes is better for you than paying them. …..Why would that not be true for anyone else?

            Taxes as a percentage of GDP are indeed lower than at any other time in recent decades but that is not because of lower tax rates but because of low income.

          • Anonymous

              Tax rates on the wealthy are identical to what they were under Bush.  Tax rates for those earning less than$100.000 are lower than they have been for over 60 years due to the 2 % reduction in the employee’s share of payroll taxes we have had for going on two years, as well as some tax cuts from the stimulus that have not been repealed.  Get your facts straight, lest your readers think you a fool.
              Why do businesses invest more per capita in Connecticut than Mississippi?  The higher tax rates have generated a more educated work force as well as a better infrastructure.
              If businesses prefer rock bottom taxes (or no taxes), why are they not moving to Somalia? 

          • Anonymous

            You’re entertaining. Tell me why business isn’t clamoring for higher rates if it is such an advantage financially?

            Tell me why you yourself are not taking advantage of higher tax rates by investing in your business instead of a tax reducing IRA?

            The obvious answer that high tax rates encourage investment is a  fantasy. The whole notion is foolish and you can’t even admit it.

            You confuse the issue of income tax rates with payroll taxes….. You should know better… as that money is earmarked by statute and has nothing to do with revenue from income taxes and rates… silliness.

          • Anonymous

              I invest both in my business and in my 401(k).  As you know, investments in a 401(k) are capped, unless one is Mitt Romney and intentionally undervalues shares of stock placed in a 401(k).  I also have chosen to run a business in Maine, although New Hampshire allegedly would tax me less.  Tax rates are rarely the critical factor in any business’s decision about where to do business.
              I know a great many businesspeople who are outraged that Romney got carried interest treatment for his millions of income.  They are being taxed at a much higher rate as doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.
              My decision as to whether to take income or invest it in the corporation is affected by the FICA rates.  Personal income is subject to the Medicare tax (both employee and employer shares) at any level, so I factor that in to an investment decision.

          • Anonymous

            ”  Tax rates are rarely the critical factor in any business’s decision about where to do business.”   ~~~~ Chenard

            A few sentences later.

            “My decision as to whether to take income or invest it in the corporation is affected by the FICA (tax) rates.”   ~~~~~~Chenard

            uh huh

          • Anonymous

            English is not your native language, apparently.  The word “where” refers to location: which state or nation in which one does business.  You are confusing it with the word “when” which reflects a decision as to whether to invest in one’s business now or later.  Google tax rates and location and you will find study after study indicating that a tax rate in a state has a minimal impact on a business’s decision to invest in that state.

          • Anonymous

             Uh huh.

            So in one instance taxes don’t matter……..

            but  it does matter if we are talking about taxes you pay.

            Did you Google that logic?

      • Anonymous

        It should be considered that if people actually kept their money over here the rates wouldn’t need to be as high as they are — not to mention it’d be good for the country. But whatever, me, me, me is the mantra it seems. Funny how quick we are to push that kind of label onto kids today, but it’s really the adults engaging in that exact behavior!

        • Anonymous

           Why keep the money here if the government is simply going to take it?  Corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars in cash. The thing is, it was earned overseas and stays overseas because it will be taxed twice if it comes back. Government tax policy favors keeping money overseas.

  • Guest

    ……

  • Anonymous

    Margret Baldwin, good letter. Just because parents both work doesn’t mean that they will forget their children. It is still the responsibility of the parents to make sure their children are putting forth their best effort.

  • Anonymous

    Jean Cusick – If you took 100% of the money the wealthy make, it still wouldn’t pay for the massive spending that Obama and his left-wing cohorts have signed into law. And if you raise taxes on the rich, it will do more harm to the middle class then it will to the wealthy. You simply have to educate yourself on how things work in our government and our economy.

    • Anonymous

      How is raising taxes on the rich going to hurt the middle class? Please don’t give me the old “job creators” routine. If you believe that ,it’s you that needs to be educated.

      • Anonymous

        you must work for a poor person. Not very common most of us work for a wealthy person   educate yourself and you wont sounf so foolish

        • Anonymous

          How about those that work for a middle class person, especially in Maine?

        • pbmann

          I have worked for a lot of people and I wouldn’t call any of them wealthy.  You could consider some of them Upper Middle Cllass but most were Middle Class and very hard working.

          As for some of the corporations I have worked for I could not tell you how wealthy the individuals were but that is really irrelevant because the corporation is hiring me based on need not tax rate.

        • Anonymous

          Okay Mr. Educated, please explain to everyone why we were losing 700,000 to 800,000 jobs per month after 8 years of Bush giving them everything they wanted. They’ve actually had 20 to 30 years of getting tax breaks so “WHERE ARE THE JOBS”? If you give a millionaire $250,000 in tax breaks he’s going to bank that money to make more money with it but if you give the average working person a tax break he’s going to spend it on goods and services, thus driving up demand,which in turn creates jobs. You need to take off your partisan blinders so you can see the truth. I think your the one that sounds foolish.

        •  And here lies the problem, the wealthy person does not want to pay a sustainable wage. Probably because he/she became wealthy cheating his/her way to the top with Kaymen island accounts etc.

      • Anonymous

        The wealthiest already pay 90% of all income taxes collected. What percentage do you think would be fair? 99%?
        47% of all Americans pay no income taxes at all. Maybe if the people whining about how much more of what someone else earns that they want, paid at least something, we wouldn’t have any problems.

        • Anonymous

          And how much of the country’s wealth they do they hold? You’re purposefully leaving out important details in order to skew people’s opinion on this. Further, many of those in that 47% of no federal income tax payers ARE wealthy individuals. 

          • Anonymous

             Sources?  Proof?  Blatant lie?

          • Anonymous

            A recent IRS study found that one in every 189 taxpayers earning $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income paid no income tax in 2009, the most recent year for which complete data is available. 

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-29/irs-finds-one-in-189-high-earners-paid-no-2009-u-s-tax.html

          • Anonymous

             So 0.53% of the 2.8% of high earners pay no income tax.  That would be about .014% of taxpayers out of that 47% paying no income tax. 

            This is hardly “many of those in that 47% of no federal income tax payers ARE wealthy individuals”.  An exaggeration so extreme that it qualifies as a blatant lie.

            And did you read the reasons for paying no income tax? 

            ” tax-exempt interest along with
            deductible charitable contributions, medical expenses and other
            items to legally reduce their taxable income”

            Tax exempt interest comes from such sources as municipal bonds.  I guess you would like to eliminate this source of funding for municipalities?  You do realize that if you eliminate the tax exempt status that the bonds will have to offer significantly higher interest rates to attract people into buying them?  And that cost falls directly onto average taxpayers?

            Charitable contributions go to help many.  And of course those people with high medical expenses should just shut up and go without care.  Right?

          • Anonymous

            What’s your point? I don’t see you going through the rest of that 47% with a fine toothed comb apologizing and making excuses for the others. Why are the rest of them these nefarious evil leeches and the others fine and dandy?

            Seems like you’re willing to let it slide for one but not that other. That’s hypocrisy. The statement about was how some pay no federal income taxes at all and that they should at least pay something. Now you’re saying it’s fine that some don’t pay anything. Again, that’s hypocrisy. Have some principles.

          • Anonymous

            How about this for a point.

            Most of those making over $200,000 and paying no tax have legal, legitimate reasons for paying so tax.  Buying tax exempt bonds has a positive effect on communities and society as a whole.  Giving large amounts to charity is another public  good helping people.  As a society we have decide that people with truly huge medical bills should not be punished and in fact should be encouraged to pay those bills.

            Now, a large percentage of that 47% who pay no income tax really are leeches.  I won’t stoop to calling them evil because I don’t know that for sure.

            Actually, I would prefer to eliminate ALL deductions and everyone pay a flat tax.  They we would not have any reason to play your class warfare game.

          • Anonymous

            That’s ridiculous. “legal, legitimate reasons for paying no tax”? That means those making under 200,000 and not paying federal income taxes are doing so illegally? Being too poor to make the threshold is illegitimate?

            No one is trying to knock charity donations, but they can be done in a strategic way — donate some in order to pay much less in taxes. Quit acting like it’s always purely these good hearted gestures. And quit acting like only wealth make donations to charities. Not to mention that many non-profits and charities don’t work to benefit communities or people, but are political action groups.

            I think it’s pathetic that you resort to the talking point of class warfare when you’re fine with referring to the poor as leeches. Again, more hypocrisy from you. Try having some principles.

          • Anonymous

             You really do like to ASSUME things and put words in other peoples mouths.

            Everyone presently paying no income tax is doing so legally and legitimately under the present laws.  The point is that those laws should be changed and everyone should have skin in the game.  The poor should pay very little but even they should pay some income tax. 

            Many of the poor are leaches.  They have been made leaches by government programs that were supposed  to help them.

            You do understand how charitable contributions work?  Or maybe you do not.   The donation comes off your taxable income.  So if you give $1000 then you do not pay income tax on that $1000.  Depending on your income level that could amount to $0 dollars not paid as income tax.  Or $100 dollars saved, or at the highest income level about $350 dollars not paid as income tax.

            Lets see, spend $1000 to save $350….   It should be obvious that no one gives to charities just to save money. 

            Then there is your last argument.  That some charities are not as worthy as others.  Something tells me that you have no problem with charitable donations to political action groups you agree with.

          • Anonymous

            You accuse me of liking to assume things and then you go on to say the poor are leeches. You say I must like some political donations and not others. You pretend they don’t do charity or honorable things. It’s hypocrisy. You’re the one engaging in class warfare. You’re the one making assumptions. I’ve come to see that you like to accuse others of the exact behaviors you’re guilty of.

        • Anonymous

          That is because they have all the money and their share just keeps growing and growing.
          It is difficult to pay income taxes if you do not have a job.   

          • Anonymous

            All it takes is a little ambition to make your “share” grow. If the liberals get their way, we will all be moving our money to foreign banks (or MORE of our money) and then see who pays the taxes.

          • Anonymous

            Idiotic and meaningless response.

        • Anonymous

          You gotta find a new argument. Yours was disproved long ago and means nothing.

          • Anonymous

            Disproved long ago? It can’t be to long ago because the figures that I used were on the NBC news last weekend. Try again.

          • Anonymous

            That’s certainly keeping the faith. Unfortunately…

          • Anonymous

            LOL, I noticed how you conveniently ignored my comment. Guess you must hate facts or presenting the whole picture. Try again yourself ;)

        • Anonymous

          Get the wealthy to pay people a livable wage as, Clammin  Steen DigginBay suggested, so they can contribute to the tax system and problem solved.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, like the Bush tax cuts really helped the middle class and created jobs. Not.

      • Anonymous

        The Bush tax cuts reduced my taxes by about 2 grand a year…. and I’m middle class. Plus, during the Bush administration, my pay nearly doubled. Since Obama came into office, most haven’t even gotten cost of living raises, and the cost of living has gone up every year. 

        • Anonymous

           And that would be because of Obama? Hardly. Look to Wall Street for the reasons the economy tanked. And, the company I worked for made sure those on the bottom rungs still got salary increases, even better than cost of living. That is a business decision. Not the result of any government action.

          • Anonymous

            What about the housing market crash? What about the banking fiasco? Both, by the way, brought on in large part by Democratic legislation and oversight. Dodd, Frank, Waters, Clinton, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and a couple of RINOs from Maine helped a whole lot more than one might think if one listens to the mainstream media or reads Politifact.

          • Anonymous

            So everyone you disagree with is always wrong and always to blame and you and those you agree with are always right and never deserve any of the blame? Is that how it works?

          • Anonymous

            You are kidding right? You missed the sub-prime mortgage fiasco entirely? That would explain both. Watch the Bill Moyers interview with one of the guys that engineered it. And I doubt he was/is a Democrat. But he sure did sweet talk some Democrats.

          • Anonymous

            Bill Moyers…not terribly balanced.  While W’s administration definitely turned a blind eye to excesses that put us here, the Ds deliberately put us on that course.  No one’s hands are clean on this.

          • Anonymous

             It was an interview not an opinion piece. And, yes it laid the beginnings of what became folly with the Clinton Administration and a Republican dominated Congress. Some nice clips of that in the show. I do agree that Wall Street has way too much influence on our policy makers.

          • Anonymous

            The housing crash was a direct result of bankers’ falsifying/altering loan applications from people who should not have qualified under the rules. Look up Countrywide Financial and the name Eileen Foster, their one time chief of fraud investigations.

          • Anonymous

             True but it began with the changes asked for by the Citigroup/Travelers merger.

          • Anonymous

            True, and they did this because of the huge fees that these transactions brought them.

          • Anonymous

            Your analysis is not factual and completely wrong.

        • pbmann

          If your pay nearly doubled you were on of the very few people who saw any increase in wages.  The average income for a family of four was less in 2008 then in 2000.

          “…The Census figures show that the economic cycle that began in 2000 and ended late last year was one of the weakest on record for working families..”

          Average income for a family of four was $324 less in 2008 then it was in 2000.

          http://www.epi.org/publication/webfeatures_econindicators_income_20080826/

        • Anonymous

          You should really like Obama. He has lowered tax rates lower than they’ve been since the 1950’s.You and overtaxedagain should take an economics class together. The truth will set you free.

    • Anonymous

       I think that is one of the Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire statements you can find here: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/rulings/pants-fire/ .

      • Anonymous

        Politifact? Now that’s a fair and balanced website. NOT!!!

        • Anonymous

          Lot more credible than anything I’ve ever seen you link to.

        • Anonymous

           Won the Pulitzer. Takes some fair and balanced to do that. Do not think you can find any real info that contradicts their findings. Pretty much backed up by FactCheck, too. But you get to believe whatever you want to believe even when the facts are laid out for you.

          • Anonymous

            Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize. So did Carter. Enough said.

          • Anonymous

            Not even relevant to anything. Enough said? Yeah, you’ve certainly said enough to prove Kayak’s statement about you.

          • Anonymous

            ‘Nuff said!

        • Anonymous

          I find them pretty useful.

        • Anonymous

           For those interested, maybe not you, here is what they say about who they are: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/blog/2011/oct/06/who-pays-for-politifact/ , and I like what I read. They even respond to criticisms about their ratings. Seems pretty open and honest to me. Nice transparency. We need more of that.

    • Anonymous

      No one is advocating that though. You’re forcing a position onto the left that they don’t hold — it’s ridiculous. The left is currently enacting spending cuts and ending tax cuts that don’t benefit the economy. Not waging war on the rich. Not trying to rob anyone or whatever other weird and paranoid things the fringe right comes up with.

      I don’t know when you’ll get tired of spreading misinformation, but I hope it is soon.

    • Anonymous

      That’s been tried. It didn’t work. You really need to educate yourself.

  • Guest

    I Love LePage and do NOT want Angus back in Maine politics. So- at the very least- my vote voids yours. 

    • Anonymous

      Bring a friend…I’m doing what he’s doing.

      • Guest

        I’ll bring a few, hows that! ;)

    • Anonymous

      Didn’t realize LePage was running against King. Thank’s for the heads-up.

      • Guest

        Did you even read the letter? Troll much?

  • Anonymous

    Jean Cusick, Paul Holman, Keith Allan, Margaret Baldwin:  good letters.

  • Anonymous

    Jean Cusick – Raising tax rates does not neccessarily equal more revenue.  Increased income from capital gains far exceeded CBO estimates after the 2003 cuts.  Someone reponded asking how raising taxes on the rich could hurt the middle class.  George Mitchell & friends tried raising taxes in the early 90s by placing a luxury tax on yachts.  Resulted in less revenue and the loss of 26,000 jobs in the boat building industry.

  • You should know that Crafty men condemn studies; simple men admire them and wise men use them. Be a wise man and use the education to get a job, search online for High Speed Universities you will be surprised to learn how fast it is to get degree and pump up your resume

    • pbmann

      I was looking  at on-line education until I realized it was just as expensive, it was going to cost me over $55,000 to go to the University of Pheonix to get an accounting degree, as a traditional bricks and mortar school with extremely lousy retention rates and graduation rates. 

      We are discovering that most on line schools are primarily revenue sources and not education sources.

    • Anonymous

      These online universities that you tout have been roundly discredited.

  • Anonymous

    All Maine voters should be ashamed by the behavior of LePage.

    One and DONE!

  • Anonymous

    Margaret:  You are absolutely right.  Thanks !  Parents MUST be engaged.  Enough of just constantly blaming teachers and principals.  Also, the KIDS must be engaged and do their part too.

    Paul:  THANKS for being so honest.  LePage is indeed an embarrassment, and too many Republicans have become the TeaRadicals who have taken over the party.  It is too bad.  I have great respect for Bill Cohen and the memory of Margaret Chase Smith.  LePage and the TeaRadicals shame those legacies.

    Ken:  Thanks.  You are exactly right.

    Jean: You are exactly right. Everyone would continue to get a tax cut up to the first $250,000. After that, let the rich go back to the Clinton era rates. TRICKLE DOWN IS A FAILURE AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN. The rich have had 11 years of these tax cuts. What did we get? We got flat wages and the Great Recession. They have been extended for the last two years. Where are the jobs jobs??? Enough is enough. Grow the middle class with sound investment strategies and pay down the debt by ENDING the job-killing Bush tax cuts for the rich.

  • Anonymous

     I was beginning to think he was a perfect id1ot, but then I remembered that no one’s perfect.

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