Saturday, October 29, 2011

Peter Schiff at OWS

Peter Schiff who I like and often listen to his radio show, went down to the occupy Wall Street and had a few conversations with people there. Reason TV documented the event. This is only 20 minutes of the 4-5 hours that he was there, but it is very interesting.

One lady he spoke to claimed she was in the 1% which should mean that she makes over 350k a year, she then claimed she only pays 10% in taxes. I don't know how she pulls this off, if she earns a regular income she would be in a marginal rate of 35% even with deductions, it is hard to believe these would cut 25% off of her rate, she would also have to pay medicare tax which is 3% on all her earnings (between her and her employers contributions) and about 13% for social security on the first 107k (which may be a large percentage of her income or may not be, we don't have enough info for that). Then she most likely pays state taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and various other taxes. Perhaps she is a not working for a paycheck and gets her money through capital gains, then she would pay a rate of 17% (plus the other less commonly sited taxes I mentioned). So the only thing that seems clear to me is that she is either lying or has paid a professional tax accountant or lawyer a lot of money to find loopholes, not commonly used tax deductions, and tax shelters, so that she can avoid higher taxes. Normally I would not care, but it seems hypocritical when she is then out there saying others should pay more.

I also do not like this Warren Buffett meme at all. First off it is not true that he pays less in taxes than his secretary, but even if it were true, this is solely because he has actively created a pay structure designed to avoid paying taxes, again I would not care, but he advocates for others who cannot get the same pay structures and tax shelters, pay a higher rate.

Last thought, at the end a lot of people claimed they were capitalists and supporters, but if that is actually true then they have terrible PR, because what I see is a lot of jealousy of success, a blood lust for higher taxes on anyone more successful than them (even though I am not sure what these people believe will be done with any additional revenue, because I expect it to go to more wars, more prisons, and more injustice once handed over to the government), and a plea for more handouts from the government.

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