The Obama Tax System Explained In Beer

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100…

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7..

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do..

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men? The paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).

The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”

“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

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85 Responses

  1. Chris Taylor says:

    DenIron this is not correct

    the correct way to look at taxes is HOW MUCH do you pay as a “percentage” of your total income.

    When I made less than $30k a year I paid over 60% of my income to direct taxation. not even counting indirect taxation.

    SO those “poor” people may not be paying much in “total” tax dollars each but THEY ARE in fact paying (typically) over 50% of their total income in direct taxation.

    What percentage of income is the rich people paying?

    when you look at it as a percentage of ones income suddenly the tax environment looks VERY VERY different.

    unless your homeless living on the street OR Living under someone elses roof for free you pay an extraordinary amount of your income to taxes even if you don’t realize it.

  2. ANdrew says:

    This analogy ignores one crucial point: if the beer represents taxable income, the tenth drinker (representing the top 10% of earners) would be DRINKING roughly two thirds of everybody’s beer.

    Considering that makes it a slightly less effective parable about “attacking the wealthy”.

  3. Tom says:

    @ Andrew, No, actually if the beer represents income, congress is drinking it, along with the beer its taking free from the bar owner so he can keep his liquor licence.

  4. Jason says:

    @Andrew I believe the analogy of beer drinking really entails two (with a bonus third) major points.

    However, it should be noted that the beer being drank, if only by the very nature of it being consumed and not given… is not in any way an analogy of income.

    Given that…
    1) Nitpicking aside, this refers to consumption of resources which are not ever free to anyone.
    2) The bill must be paid!!! The joke/analogy spoke of an agreement… a contract if you will. The top ‘receivers’ are actually paying the tab for the others… note how those who pay nothing up to little are still consuming the same amount.

    Now for the bonus: (this really only applies to those that are nitpicking and introducing their own hateful agenda into the simple wisdom here)
    3) This is about beer… if all were smart then they would avoid the bar and beer. (‘smart’ is something I don’t claim to be that, I have a weakness for good beer… but I pay my own way and if I don’t have the money then I don’t go out)
    In other words… this is a luxury, not a necessity.

    People, you can all take your own sides and throw rocks all you want… but the fact remains that this system referred to here has been proven through history to not work. By ‘work’ I mean in lowering the burden in order to allow for opportunity to potentially produce prosperity.

    What is gained by hating others… so you make more/less than someone else, fine. Hating and demonizing them is not solving anything except clamping those slave shackles tighter.

    Please, spare us all your ‘one in a million’ and thus completely skewed from reality, stories… both ‘sides’ need to understand this.

    My dad… I remember him working 2 jobs (on average, although often it was 3) just to provide for his family. He was never doing what he wanted to… not ‘living his dreams’ and did not have the luxury of picking and choosing… he did his duty… that word has so been bastardized today it makes me want to vomit.

    My family of 5 is fighting hard to keep our home and I tire of the rhetoric of those who feel they are entitled and ‘deserve’ this or that… yet obviously see me as a threat. Someone who has always given above and beyond their ‘call of duty’… and yet by merit of effort and results, was still passed on by due to the fact that today we live in a polar opposite of anything resembling a meritocracy. While folks like me do their job and do it damn good even if we hate it… others spend their time (on the clock) to focus on climbing that ladder.
    Well, that works today!

    Ben Franklin… I wonder what he would say about today’s business employer and employee situations… especially considering how both of these run to Big Brother to ‘make it all right’.


    This system we have now has been proven to only hurt the poorest up to the richest… elitism like this leads to a system where the poor are poorer, waiting in lines for toilet paper… whilst the richest ‘well placed’ are crying over how they have to find another spot to expand their multi-car garage for those Lamborghinis they just purchased (with the tax of the poor btw).

    Please folks… spare everyone your borg drone BS… this used to be the land of opportunity but is becoming only a wasteland of decay and yet decadence… by ALL.

    BTW, for those like @pungomom you should remember that if you achieve worldly success for your (noble I should add) sacrifices and efforts… try and not snub those who didn’t make it because your divination tells you those folks didn’t try as hard or more hard than you… that is just how ‘life rolls’. Stop patting yourself on the back with one hand while beating others with another, please.

    I have found that this is the one of the most destructive concepts… ‘deserve’. In this age though, folks will try to redefine that word as if somehow the universe will ratify their hate into a new reality. Nope… change the word’s definition but the concept remains.

    Think people… THINK!!!

  5. Brian says:

    If there wasnt the rich buisness men. You wouldnt have a job. The rich get punished because they are smart. Most buisness men started out making a hourly wage just like the rest of us. But they were smart enough to make something better of themselves instead of trashing on the other people that made something of there life. We all have the same opportunities to do the same. Quit complaining about them and become one. O wait you just want to complain.

  6. Jay Kumar says:

    A fantastic story or byline for a comedy movie. What a stupid argument!

  7. Bob says:

    Typical liberal rant. You call the original story illogical, then chock you own response full of beliefs, assumptions, and non sequiturs.

    1. Fallacy: ecoconomics and wealth are a zero sum game. You incorrectly assume others wealth comes at the expense of someone else when in fact everyone can be the arbitrar of their own wages. Don’t like the deal? Create a business or work for someone else.
    2. “Rich men by definition use more public resources”. Flagrant series of assumptions supported only by your own world view.
    3. The market basket of poor is often very different than your assumption with no essentials.
    (4). “tax system widely used” – sure, let’s be lemmings.

    Finally, you haven’t refuted the natural inclination of the wealthiest to avoid taxes… Which is demonstrated well by liberal politicians and appointees… And has the ultimate impact.

  8. gold says:

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  9. Mac says:

    I don’t drink beer. Why the HECK am I being taxed on it?!?

  10. Brendon says:

    So Matt I guess its safe to say your one of the first four guys hahaha

  11. Ruckus45 says:

    Just for clarification, I am guy number 8 or 9. I will be guy number 10 within the next decade, and if this country continues to try to squeeze more out of us then I will leave. This story is not too far off from reality.

    For those of you who still insist on wealthy paying more, please try to broaden your thinking. They are not the villians, they are the job creators. Read works by Peter Drucker if you disagree.

  12. Kurt says:

    Wow, what a wonderful echo chamber. No wonder useful idiots populate the internet. You all agree with each other. You have no discourse. Just repetition of stale ideas. I weep for America. We are the new failed France.

  13. MimiR says:

    >1. The rich men have become rich in part because they have talent, but also because they had access to the poor men’s labor and the middle class’ purchasing power. Likewise the poor men and middle class are poorer than the rich men because the latter tightly control their market value with economic and political means, as a mean to increase profits on their activities.

    There are a lot of formerly rich men who would like to know the secret of controlling “their market value.” Idiot.

    I’m not rich. I’m not in the top 5%. But I am an entrepreneur, and as such, I can say that you’re full of it.

    The poor men are compensated for what their labor is worth. There is actually a pretty major segment of the population that NEVER makes a business person money. They are, frankly, bad bets. It costs money to make new hires. It costs more money to train the. It costs overhead to put them in the system. If they do a bad job, they can cost the company many times their value. And if they quit after a short while, they never make up the cost of hiring and training. I’d say at least 10% of the population are such bad employees that they are worth negative money. (It takes 2-3 years for MOST new hires in ANY job to break even in terms of the value they bring to the company versus what they cost.) When I have to hire low-skill employees, which as a small manufacturer I will, I will give preference to people who have low skills because they aren’t able to do better–immigrants whose lack of English language skills keep them from moving up and the intellectually disabled. I’d rather have 1 high-functioning MR employee to do my shipping than 3 people too lazy to bother getting any job skills. If I can manage to not hire layabouts, I’ll be able to pay my employees 120%-150% the prevailing wages for their jobs because I won’t be paying deadweight that is living of the labor of the few.

    I don’t OWE the middle class anything for their “purchasing power,” either. I give a few of them jobs with wages based on their value-creation ability. The rest pay me money for a good, which I provide to them. I owe them the good, not a freaking refund.

    >2. The rich men, by definition, make more use of public resources. Their activities require more land,

    Which I pay property taxes on, separate from income tax. My land is PRIVATE, not a public resource.

    >more energy,

    Which I also pay taxes on, separate from income tax. Also not a public resource.

    >more natural resources,

    Not from the government, unless you count the fact that I use the USPS in my business some of the time, and it’s losing money hand-over-fist. I pay for the resources I use. And they aren’t public, or did you not get the memo about deregulation?

    >more public infrastructure.

    Paid for by my the gas taxes. Also, all the costs incurred in shipping end up coming back to me. (That which the USPS doesn’t eat, at least, but I don’t set those rates, I just pay them. And I mostly use UPS and freight shipping, anyhow.)

    > They monopolize more government workers,


    > require more military resources,

    What? No.

    >and generate more environmental damages and so forth.

    Which I pay for–and taxes don’t cover that, unless you mean my home trash pick up, in which case I generate less waste than most families.

    Your entire argument is beyond idiotic. You’re trying to argue “share of resources,” but you are ridiculously math impaired. I would have to use infinitely more resources than the guy paying nothing for the distribution to be fair at all. In fact, the answer is undefined because I would be DIVIDING BY 0.

    First, my business profits are taxed. Many of the things I buy for it are taxes when I purchase them and again every year, if they are assets. My business property is taxed. The profits that I end up taking home are also taxed–at a rate of 55.3% on the last dollar earned.

    >3. The poor men don’t pay taxes because they are dirt poor.

    No, you moron, the “dirt” poor get a subsidy from the government to the tune of $10,000 and more each. That is including ALL taxes.

    The regular less-than-average people end up paying a little bit into social programs that will end up cheating them of their money in the end.

    >All of their disposable income go towards getting a roof and feeding their family an dealing with the stress of being poor. Were they to pay more paxes they would become a burden for society which would be good for no one.

    Again, no. Other people’s money pays toward the roof over the heads of the bottom 20%, except for those who are temporarily unemployed who use their own savings (which is about a fourth).

  14. MimiR says:

    >Also consider RICH people by and large are business people. meaning they pay ZERO taxes. Sure they file an income tax return and the IRS gets taxes but they just increase the price of their products OR cut the costs to pass those taxes onto guess who?

    Wow. It really doesn’t work like that. I can’t raise prices because I want to make more money. What I charge is set by the market. You failed remedial economics.

    >The average under $50,000 a year income person pays SIGNIFICANT LARGER a percentage of their total income to ALL TAXATION than the rich guy paying $59 for beer does.

    Nope, again.

    The rich guy pays FICA only for the first $100-something thousand that he and his wife make–close to $225k combined. So he has $155k he isn’t paying FICA on. (1% is $380k.) EXCEPT that he’s a businessman. That means that he pays DOUBLE FICA on his share. Depending on how he’s set up his business, he’s either paying that out-of-pocket, or it’s coming out of the company’s profits. Either way, he’s paying way more than you.

    It gets worse, though. He has employees, and he pays employment tax on each of them. (He also pays for their healthcare and their retirement account benefits, btw.) So not only does your employer have to pay his own FICA, but he has to pay half of yours, too.

    If you make $50k a year as a household, you’re getting most of your taxes back in a big fat check if you are married and have kids. You may end up paying 5% at the end of the day. Add in state, and you may hit 2%. All your consumer spending, adding in the sales tax–I’ll grant you 10%. FICA’s 7.65%, bringing you to 17.65%. If you own a home, you’ll be paying maaaaaybe $2k in taxes, in a state with income taxes. That brings you to 21.65%, if you didn’t donate to charity, or maybe 22% with gas taxes.


    Now Mr. Moneybags paid 9% of his income to FICA, and a mere 30% to income tax because he gave a greater percentage of his income to charity. (Rich people do, you know.) But then he also had to pay 4% of his income to property taxes, and 4% to, after deductions, state taxes. And he spent more than you on taxable purchases, but they were a smaller chunk of his income, so only 2% went to sales taxes. Now, he drove more than you did, but not enough to be worth half a percent of his income. So that’s 49% of his income right there–and that’s not counting that he paid half your FICA, too, and a bunch of other business related taxes.

    Want to know who this rich businessman is? He owns the franchises of 2-3 McDonalds. Or a couple of local laundromats. He’s worked and slaved his whole life for the life he’s made, and now you spit at him and say he hasn’t paid his share. He’s paid it–in blood.

    What have you done?

  15. MimiR says:

    >a legal system to back up contracts;

    Which everyone has. The poor are much more expensive to our legal system because they are much more criminal. $50 BILLION goes to incarceration of criminals alone. Sorry, corporations, much less wealthy individuals, don’t cost the court system anything like that.

    >police and fire and military protection for your building;

    The police protection is necessary because of the poor criminals. That cost, too, is correctly applied to the poor as it is a cost they incur on society.

    We project our military power abroad. We do not defend at home. This assertion makes no sense.

    The rich pay for fire protection–and that of other people’s–through the substantial local property taxes they pay. What fire protection does the poor renter pay for? None at all. Who’s building is more likely to burn down? In fact, in losses per person, who has the highest dollar-value fire loss per year–a rich corporation or the poor? It’s actually the poor. The buildings of the rich are larger, but they’re less likely to burn as they don’t fall asleep drunk with a lit cigarette and burn down the entire apartment block.

    >a reliable system of unemployment insurance for your employees so you can lay them off more flippantly;

    “Flippantly” doesn’t mean what you think it does. But you fail to understand. Layoff are a loss of a human asset. It devalues a company. Firing people at all is expensive–new employees are horrifically expensive, and employee retention is one of the best profit-boosting moves a company can make. If a company is firing just to increase profits, they’ve got a losing strategy and won’t be doing it all that much longer. Half of all companies who have layoffs for any reason are still losing value 5 years later.

    >public roads to ship your goods;

    Supported in a good part by taxes on vehicles and by taxes on gasoline.

    >all manner of industry specific tax breaks,

    I’m eligible for…. Oh, yeah, like 99% of business people, NONE.

    > tarif protection,



    NONE. Don’t exist for my industry. At all. Don’t exist for most industries.

    >If you are the guy sweeping that business’s floor for minimum wage (even with your kid on free school lunch and your wife on government cheese), you are not even coming close in terms of bang for your government buck.

    If you’re not married and supporting 2 kids on minimum wage, the government’s giving you more than $20,000, free and clear. State, federal, and local tax burden already taken into account. In addition, he’s getting about $24,000 in free education for his kids, unless they’re in HeadStart, in which case it’s closer to $60,000 EVER YEAR. And that’s also without going into your idiot line of reasoning–the overhead for the social programs, the overhead for the schools trying to educate his ill-prepared children and all the special ed resources they take up…. Medicare for the kids alone comes to $2,000 more a year. (His company provides insurance, but he’s opted out because why pay for what you can get for free?) Then there’s the cost of the police, as you say, and the cost of social workers, and the cost of the foster system, and on, and on.

    You’re delusional if you think the rich guy is taking more government resources than the poor one, on average. Not even close. In fact, the poor guy’s beer should be at least twice the size of the guy paying $1. I’d believe that the rich guy’s is about 25% bigger than the guy paying a dollar, but that’s it.

  16. MimiR says:

    >This is the most rediculously non-congruent argument I’ve ever seen. Not a single bit is relevant to our tax system. Why dont you explore a relevant situation such as, if the bill costs $100 and the 10 buddies are only paying $60 (because that is what is going on at the current moment). Lets not forget that buddy number ten makes $20 million per year and through generous tax shelters and tax cuts, pays the same in federal taxes as the man making $250,000 per year. This “story” belongs on Glenn Becks chalkboard along with all the other BS.

    Matt, he pays the same amount as a PERCENT OF HIS INCOME. But if he’s a business owner, not a CEO or a high-value employee married to another high-value employee, he’s not only paying WAY more in actual dollars but there are also a lot of hidden costs (like self-employment tax and the employer’s tax of ALL his employees) that make his percentage as well as his bill in dollars higher.

    And we’re talking the top 10% here, not the top 1%. The top 10% pays ore in percent than any other group.

  17. MimiR says:

    >You’re also failing to recognize that when taxes are higher on the rich there is a large incentive to not withdraw money from the companies and businesses they own. Instead the incentive is to reinvest and grow the company into a larger asset (as in what happened for the 50 years prior to Reagan making a mess).

    No. You still have to pay the taxes at your rate if you are an LLC or an S Corp. You have to pay corporate taxes if you’re a C Corp–and unless you’re GE, you can’t make this bill go away. But most in C Corps, you wouldn’t have the option of taking it out anyway because you’re a CEO, not a sole proprietor. If you do happen to be the rare bird of a C Corp president who owns all the shares, you’ll first pay the 15% when you keep the profits in the company, and then you’ll pay another 15% if you take them in dividends until the end of this year. After that, you’ll be taxes again at your full rate, so the money will be double taxed.

    Also, issuing stocks is an important way for companies to raise money to expand. That very much creates jobs.

    In addition, what do you think the companies DO with their corporate profits? Corporations invest in stocks, too!

  18. MimiR says:

    Blargh: That’s not how the math works, and if you do that, the IRS domes knocking.

    >So as long as we’re reducing to absurdity, and 100 dollars is the total amount of income taxes collected (actually about 1 trillion). The total networth of the united states households is 4900 dollars. Guys 1-3 have either owe mony or have less than a dollar, guys 4-7 have 650 bucks to spare between them and guys 8 and 9 have about 900 dollars between them and guy 10 is sitting pretty at about 3400.

    Annnnnnd….yet they all three get the same beer, and the first four feel like they deserve free beer and, in fact, they should get more beer that the rich guy because he’s rich.

    And the poorest three made money, but they already spent it before they got to the bar.

    Also, the poorest three are the youngest three, the poorest one the youngest of all, and they get older as they get wealthier.

  19. MimiR says:

    >if that was an accurate analogy, it would be quite obvious that rich guys
    where picking up the tab for everyone else. this is far from the truth,
    the whole design of the tax system is created by the rich, they did not
    design a system that drains their funds, and funnels that money into
    the pockets of the poor (then it would be impossible to stay poor).

    Don’t be an idiot. Our poor are only poor on paper. The benefits they get from the government are not counted as part of their income. In reality, a single mother of 3 would have to make $20/hr AND pay no taxes before she’d be able to equal her total compensation on minimum wage.

    That’s why you notice that people with the very lower-wage jobs are often dressed better, have nicer phone, have nicer purses, etc., than people one step up. Sure, they have more credit card debit–but they also really and truly have more MONEY.

  20. MimiR says:

    There are American-made products. If you want them, buy them. But you don’t because foreign-made products are cheaper. And with cheaper good, you can buy more–more food, for instance.

    People have been moaning recently about how the middle class is being destroyed. That’s not true. Not at all. The average person has benefited enormously over the past 50 years.

    1950 2002-03
    Food* 29.7% 13.1%
    Alcohol 1.7% .9%
    Housing* 27.2% 32.8%
    Apparel&scvs 11.5% 4.2
    Transporation* 13.4% 19.1%
    Healthcare* 5.2% 5.9%
    Entertainment 4.4% 5.1%
    Education* 1.4% 2.2%
    Personal care 2.2% 1.3%
    Tobacco 1.5% .7%
    Misc 1.4% 1.7%
    Cash Contributions 3.2%
    Insurance & retirement 9.8%

    (There wasn’t percent data for the last 2 for 1950).

    The 1950 data encompasses 90% of average income, while only 80% was spent on these categories in 2003.

    Restaurant usage has increase more than 3-fold.

    Median home is 170% larger for only 5.6% more income.

    But we now have twice as many cars per household.

    2000s healthcare is not 1950s, either.

    Tuition isn’t included in education. It’s part of the untracked money.

    So, you may note that the person in 2003 spends a greater percent of their money on several “necessities,” but that’s because the “necessities” are far, far nicer than what a family of the same class would have in 1950.

    Not all segments of the population are growing at the same rate because improvement in productivity is lopsided. In fact, the top 20% of the population is underpaid, as they account for 80% of US productivity. There have been very few innovations since 1950 to make the average janitor more productive, for example, but even the average secretary is many times more effective than she was–never mind the average accountant. As the productivity gaps widens–and it will, even as more an more low-skill jobs are taken over by automation–the pay difference will widen, but at a slower rate. That doesn’t mean the people at the bottom are losing. On the contrary, their lives are improving steadily–but they’re winning more slowly!

    Janitors ARE getting paid more because accountants are more efficient because the janitor’s company is spending less on the accountant and so has a higher profit and so wages rise. They just rise faster for the accountant than the janitor. And that’s as it should be–the janitor is adding no value and is getting a free ride up the income ladder anyway.

  21. LS says:

    This thread is getting silly. Everyone is just trotting out facts that ‘prove’ their case.

    Well, this is a very complex issue and for complex issues you can always find facts on one side and facts on another. Otherwise they would not be complex issues would they?

    To the people who argue the rich pay too many taxes I ask: Is the purpose of government to improve society? Or is to provide a playing field with rules so that it’s not the person with the biggest sword that rules, but the person with the best business sense?

    To the people that argue the rich don’t pay enough I ask: How do you know that a person (rich or poor) is really slaving away or are they just getting a free ride? And are they really just out for themselves or is there something else going on?
    You have tools and resources to understand motivation and conditioning. Are you going to use them or paint everyone with the same brush based on income?

    Measured against a number of other countries people in the US are not doing as well as they used to. Can we look for solutions with an open mind rather then just defending our dogma?

  22. reallyseriously says:

    To the many different posts calling the rich job creators. Please explain this in more detail. Since when have the rich actually created a job. I have several businesses myself and yet have never created one single job.

    I have spent time looking at certain areas as to where I should invest my money or create new businesses but not once did I ever create a job. (Most others havent either) The demand in an area (middle class or poor with extra money from tax breaks)is what created the job. It created it by providing an opportunity for someone with capital to invest (to make more money). The investment only happened because the investor or just business owner thought they could make money in that area (or thought the labor was so cheap (horrible) that they could make a product and sell it (to the country that made them wealthy in the first place) Hows that for helping the ones that helped you(the rich seem to conveniently forget who made them rich in the first place).

    So the bottom line is that what created the job is the fact that the business saw extra money within the middle class.
    In cases where it is just a business that is created solely to beat out other businesses. (not judging) there is no job creation. One would be killed where another job is gained.

    Only extra income creates jobs. Not the rich. The government can force extra income through capital improvement or drops in taxes in the middle class but this should be made up for by raising the taxes on the rich. Their businesses will make more more money in these times because of the lower taxes on the poor or the extra money of the middle classes from the capital improvement projects, hence they should pay for the extra taxes out of the extra profits that were created by the government.

  23. LS says:

    Some interesting points reallyseriously. I also own a business and I have ‘supplied’ jobs by hiring people that are already working and ‘made money’ by selling the service to companies that would have bought it elsewhere anyway. I just do it better then my competitors in the space I work in. Speaking simply, to maximize my income I just need to (a) pay people as little as possible (b) pay as little tax as possible, and (c) charge as much as possible.

    But for me that’s not the entire picture. I don’t want to live with that as my sole goal in life. In the end you die and your bank balance doesn’t matter. So there are other priorities that should be balanced. One of them is the well-being of the people around me including my employees, and including employees of others that are my friends. It goes further out to the parents of my children’s friends who influence the children my children hang out with. Etc. etc.

    As you can see, my priorities are (1) putting food on the table (which does not include high priced gadgets that other companies tell me I need), and (2) living a good life with good people. Somehow, the second priority has gotten lost. You can argue all you want about what ‘system’ is fair and what is not, but when I look around and 6 out of 10 people I see on the street are not getting their basic needs met in a country that produces more per capita then any country in history, there is something wrong.

  24. jscottv says:

    My take is that the bar owner, being an intelligent small business person, determined that by reducing his beer prices by 20%, his lower income put him into a lower tax bracket (22% savings). This increased his realized profit by 2% thanks to a graduated tax code.

  25. Jen says:

    There will always be leaders and there will always be followers. Most extraordinary leaders sacrifice a great deal to get where they are and we have choices of the paths we take. It amazes me how many will take advantage of a free deal and yet complain. It really isn’t about poor or rich, it is more about the educated and the uneducated. Those that don’t get the math won’t get the logic of how it really works. I know educated folks that don’t really care about making a lot of money, they get the math and so they do not hate the wealthy because they “get it” and know it is a choice they made.

  26. JJ says:

    Envy destroys man and civility.

    Incessant appealing to envy and special interest will divide our society.

    Who should own the fruits of their labor?

    Those who say all the top one or two only got where they are by fraudulent or crooked means says more about you than reality. Just about all of the “wealthy” people I know are law abiding, highly productive, service oriented, and hard working people. Why do you feel you are a victim or loser in this free market system? If you think it is right to control or take something that belongs to someone else, you must then believe it is right for someone else to take from you and control what should be rightfully yours or is the results of your productive efforts.

    What is fair?

    People need to be responsible and accountable. Charity and love of neighbor is a foundational tenant of an effective and productive free market capitalistic system. A system that has produced the most wealth and freedom in the history of man.

    Government as a charity is a very inefficient distribution system of your resources($) and generates significant distortions that are ripe for fraud and abuse. Mission oriented charities turn a donated dime far more effectively and efficiently than government layers of bureaucracy do.

    How much should the government take of your production? How much should you contribute to run government?

    When politicians are able to “bribe” the public with the public’s own money (or by force take someone else’s money), then we as a society are moving towards the destruction of free market democracy. (Tocqueville)

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”― Alexis de Tocqueville

    Freedom of the individual means that individuals are left to make the decisions that they deem best for them and their family. No doubt individuals will make poor decisions and suffer consequences for these. Financial and otherwise. Is your ego or need for power such that you need to control others and/or to keep them from making their own decisions and furthermore experiencing the results of their decisions? Is that fair and charitable? Does that contribute to the progression of man and the maturity of man and society?

    The alternative to you not owning the fruits of your labor and not being free to use the resources you produce is not free market capitalism, but is something else and that has proven throughout history to fail in generating wealth and freedom for the individual.

  27. Andrei says:

    @reallyseriously: You have “several businesses but have not created a single job”. Soo… what you’re saying is, you’re a rich person, with multiple successful businesses in which you are everything from CEO to janitor? I could see having “several” businesses if they’re all on paper and don’t actually produce much of anything, but do tell me, do you honestly think for example, Zuckerberg is running Facebook by himself – do you think he codes all of the webpages? Are all of the oil companies you libs hate so much ran by JR Ewing – and he’s the fat cat CEO half the day, and greasing pump jacks the other half? Did Henry Ford just clone himself to run the factories?

    Please, stop comparing your paper businesses to actual wealth producing businesses.

  28. Andy says:

    Where if Romney took ten guys out for a beer he would charge them all ten bucks a piece and sneak out of the bar leaving the bill unpaid. Everyone goes broke and he runs off like the sleazy bastard thief that he is.

  29. Russel Y says:

    Its all a good reason a flat tax is needed.

  30. Laughing at you says:

    Wow. This is what happens when you get a retard a degree.

  31. Lewis Samhammer says:

    It’s a joke people! GET A GRIP!!

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