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Poverty Rate Rises to 12.7 Percent

Poverty Health Care 2005

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#1 Lin731

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 12:22 PM

http://news.yahoo.co.../census_poverty

Quote

WASHINGTON - The nation's poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year, the fourth consecutive annual increase, the     Census Bureau said Tuesday.

The percentage of people without health insurance did not change.

Overall, there were 37 million people living in poverty, up 1.1 million people from 2003.

Asians were the only ethnic group to show a decline in poverty from 11.8 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent last year. The poverty rate among the elderly declined as well, from 10.2 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent last year.

The last decline in overall poverty was in 2000, when 31.1 million people lived under the threshold 11.3 percent of the population.

The number of people without health insurance grew from 45 million to 45.8 million. At the same time, the number of people with health insurance coverage grew by 2 million last year.

Charles Nelson, an assistant division chief at the Census Bureau, said the percentage of uninsured remained steady because of an "increase in government coverage, notably Medicaid and the state children's health insurance program, that offset a decline in employment-based coverage."

The median household income, meanwhile, stood at $44,389, unchanged from 2003. Among racial and ethnic groups blacks had the lowest median income and Asians the highest. Median income refers to the point at which half of households earn more and half earn less.

Regionally, income declined only in the Midwest, down 2.8 percent to $44,657. The South was the poorest region and the Northeast and the West had the highest median incomes.

The increase in poverty came despite strong economic growth, which helped create 2.2 million jobs last year.

"I guess what happened last year was kind of similar to what happened in the early 1990s where you had a recession that was officially over and then you had several years after that of rising poverty," Nelson said. "... These numbers do reflect changes between 2003 and 2004. They don't reflect any improvements in the economy in 2005."

Tim Smeeding, an economics professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, says the nation has experienced a shift from earnings income to capital income and capital gains, which aren't reflected in the Census Bureau's latest numbers.

"Most of that growth in the economy over the last couple of years has gone to higher income people and has taken the form of capital income interest, rents, dividends," Smeeding said.

The poverty threshold differs by the size and makeup of a household. For instance, a family of four with two children was considered living in poverty if income was $19,157 or less. For a family of two with no children, it was $12,649. For a person 65 and over living alone, it was 9,060.

The estimates on poverty, uninsured and income are based on supplements to the bureau's Current Population Survey, and are conducted over three months, beginning in February, at about 100,000 households nationwide.

The only city with a million or more residents that exhibited a significant change in poverty level last year was New York City, which saw the rate increase from 19 percent to 20.3 percent.

Not exactly the best news is it? Living in the Midwest, I already knew we weren't doing well.
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#2 Nonny

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 05:28 PM

Lin731, on Aug 30 2005, 09:22 AM, said:

Quote

WASHINGTON - The nation's poverty rate rose to 12.7 percent of the population last year, the fourth consecutive annual increase, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmmmmm....

Edited by Nonny, 30 August 2005 - 05:28 PM.

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#3 emsparks

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 05:53 PM

It's going to get a lot worse, before it gets better. Too many lawmakers are getting their money from business interests, who are off-shoring production.

Edited by emsparks, 30 August 2005 - 05:54 PM.

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#4 Gefiltefishmon

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:01 AM

Quote

Living in the Midwest, I already knew we weren't doing well.


AMEN to that! Cleveland's been in the toilet for so long, were circling the bowl at this point - Without Federal Aid, the city is expected to go insolvent within a year.

I'm just wondering  :sarcasm: how the White House Spin Machine will turn THIS into either "Bill Clinton's Fault" or blame it on "terrorism" and we need to "stay the course" - either way four years of disasterous fiscal policies, a multi-hundred billion dollar illegal war and "No Contributor or Contractor Left Out"  :lol: are producing the expected effect - increased poverty and lower incomes - which cannot, absolutely cannot, come as a surprise to the Administration. They knew this would happen, and thus I can only conclude that they knew and do not care. If they honestly didn't know then their Financial Advisors are, in fact, stupid beyond the minds ability to readily grasp. I refuse to believe that you can actually FIND that many Ideologically sound, yet retarded, Fiancial Advisors, and thus they MUST have known...

And yes, I'm saying that the only two options are they knew and don't care, or they didn't know and are stupid - it's fairly plain to me, and it doesn't take a ten year post-doc in economics to understand that what they were doing was DESIGNED to increase poverty - and lo and behold, it did, WHAT a surprise! :sarcasm:

But, why should the Bush Administration care? After all, the poor (mostly) vote Democrat. :glare:
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#5 Lin731

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 09:18 AM

Quote

AMEN to that! Cleveland's been in the toilet for so long, were circling the bowl at this point - Without Federal Aid, the city is expected to go insolvent within a year.


Beleive me I know how you feel. You see that other boat circling the bowl with you, the one marked USS Michigan? I'm waving at you. We've lost so many jobs and the Governor here is taxing the crap out of anything that moves to try and maintain a balanced budget (per the Balanced Budget Amendment), yet we're a "donor state" who sends money to the feds so they can then build roads, bridges etc... in OTHER states with OUR money while OUR roads crumble and our manufacturing base disappears (and the decent paying jobs with them).

Quote

But, why should the Bush Administration care? After all, the poor (mostly) vote Democrat.


They should care then since they're creating ALOT more Democrats, given that we've seen poverty increase for the 4th straight year and that the gains from the economy have been primarally to the upper class.
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#6 Nonny

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:40 PM

Gefiltefishmon, on Aug 30 2005, 09:01 PM, said:

And yes, I'm saying that the only two options are they knew and don't care, or they didn't know and are stupid -

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm guessing the former.  :(  Only because I have a hard time believing they really can be that stupid, though.  :angry:

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#7 Anakam

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:54 PM

Lin731, on Aug 31 2005, 03:18 PM, said:

Quote

AMEN to that! Cleveland's been in the toilet for so long, were circling the bowl at this point - Without Federal Aid, the city is expected to go insolvent within a year.

Beleive me I know how you feel. You see that other boat circling the bowl with you, the one marked USS Michigan? I'm waving at you. We've lost so many jobs and the Governor here is taxing the crap out of anything that moves to try and maintain a balanced budget (per the Balanced Budget Amendment), yet we're a "donor state" who sends money to the feds so they can then build roads, bridges etc... in OTHER states with OUR money while OUR roads crumble and our manufacturing base disappears (and the decent paying jobs with them).

Quote

But, why should the Bush Administration care? After all, the poor (mostly) vote Democrat.

They should care then since they're creating ALOT more Democrats, given that we've seen poverty increase for the 4th straight year and that the gains from the economy have been primarally to the upper class.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I thought I was imagining the taxes, sort of.  Although some of the recent education policies were a hint that we were out of money.  Also, we need good roads so that the tourists want to come back instead of saying 'oh, yeah, I went to MI and I had to repair my suspension.'  We have roads that really need help.  Not patching, paving.

*stops ranting*

The poverty level has been based on the same standards all four of these years, right?
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#8 Rhea

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 01:32 PM

Anakam, on Aug 31 2005, 09:54 AM, said:

  Although some of the recent education policies were a hint that we were out of money. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


With typical foresight, they mandated expensive changes through No Child Left Behind, which were then inadequately funded.  :eek4:  :glare:
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#9 Lin731

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 01:47 PM

Quote

I thought I was imagining the taxes, sort of. Although some of the recent education policies were a hint that we were out of money. Also, we need good roads so that the tourists want to come back instead of saying 'oh, yeah, I went to MI and I had to repair my suspension.' We have roads that really need help. Not patching, paving.


Nope, it wasn't your imagination. I feel like we're being taxed to death here. I applied for a daycare position today out in styxville where I live...She'd gotten 65 applications. Say's alot about the conditions here doesn't it? As for the roads...Oh yeah, you're not kidding. All this patching that they do is a monumental waste of time and money (congratulations, you turned a pothole into a huge bump, at least until the tar breaks up again).

Quote

The poverty level has been based on the same standards all four of these years, right?


It's my understanding that it's based on the same equation.

Quote

With typical foresight, they mandated expensive changes through No Child Left Behind, which were then inadequately funded.


Of course, why fully fund what you can foist off on the states?
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#10 Spectacles

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 02:33 PM

Related story:

http://www.post-gaze...5243/562808.stm

Quote

As for Pennsylvania, its poverty rate of 10.9 percent rose 0.9 percentage point over a two-year period between the years 2002-03 and 2003-04. The increase matched Ohio but was less than Wisconsin (1.9 percentage points), Kentucky (1.8), Indiana (1.3), Missouri (1.2) and Maryland (1.2).

Nationally, the two-tenths of a percentage point increase in the poverty rate meant that 37 million people -- up about 1.1 million from 2003 -- were in poverty in 2004. The federal government defined the average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2004 as an income of $19,307.

The census data comes from the American Community Survey, an annual household survey. The information provides a measure of the country's economic well-being.

National poverty rates were unchanged for blacks (24.7 percent) and Hispanics (21.9 percent), while they rose for non-Hispanic whites (8.2 percent in 2003 to 8.6 percent in 2004) and decreased for Asians (11.8 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent in 2004).

In Pennsylvania, more than 20 percent of the state's children younger than 5 lived below the poverty level last year.

Berry Friesen, executive director of the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center, cited the 2.3 percent decrease, nationally, in median earnings for men working full time as one reason for the spike in poverty rates.

"Families are under pressure when their lead wage earning is making less money each year," he said. "Work isn't taking care of basic needs like it used to."


Nationally, the median household income remained flat from 2003 at $44,389. Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks had the lowest median income ($30,134) and Asians the highest ($57,518). Median income refers to the point at which half of households earn more and half earn less.

Regionally, income declined only in the Midwest, down 2.8 percent to $44,657. The South was the poorest region ($40,773) and the Northeast and the West had the highest median incomes ($47,994 and $47,680, respectively).

The nation's uninsured rate held steady at 15.7 percent, with gains in public health insurance programs offsetting the continued erosion of employer-sponsored coverage.

Employment-based health insurance stood at 59.8 percent during 2004 -- the first year since the early 1990s that work-based health plans covered less than 60 percent of the population. In 2000, 63.6 percent of the population had employment-based coverage.

The decline is, to some extent, a function of fewer employers offering coverage, said Alwyn Cassil of the Center for Studying Health System Change, a health policy group in Washington, D.C. But the larger factor has been employees electing not to participate in employer health plans because the costs are too high.

"It's the affordability issue," Cassil said. "The thing that's most significant and disturbing is the continued decline in job-based coverage, especially in the face of a growing economy."

While the uninsured rate held constant between 2003 and 2004, the number of people lacking health insurance rose by 800,000, to 45.8 million.

But, on the bright side, the wealthy are doing really well.
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#11 Godeskian

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 02:59 PM

Spectacles, on Aug 31 2005, 08:33 PM, said:

But, on the bright side, the wealthy are doing really well

They do better when everyone else is.

And I have to say that i'm getting a little tired of the 'evil rich' stereotype here on Exisle.

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#12 Spectacles

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 03:35 PM

Quote

Gode: And I have to say that i'm getting a little tired of the 'evil rich' stereotype here on Exisle.

Didn't mean to fault the rich, just the policies that seem to be tilting things in their favor these days.

http://www.nytimes.c...9fb1d66&ei=5070

Quote

The Nontaxpaying Affluent Grew by 15% in One Year

 
By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON
Published: July 1, 2005
The number of affluent individuals and married couples who paid no federal income taxes jumped more than 15 percent in 2002, to 5,650, new government data showed yesterday.

The chances of having a large income but not paying taxes on any of it are growing, according to the data, issued in the Internal Revenue Service's annual report to Congress on well-to-do Americans who live tax free. About one in every 436 high-income Americans paid no taxes in 2002, up from one in 531 in 2001 and one in 1,010 in 2000.

Over all, the top 2 percent of earners, the 2.5 million filers with income of $200,000 or more, paid almost 27 cents in taxes for each dollar of income they reported in 2002, other I.R.S. data showed. This group accounted for 53.5 percent of the income tax paid by all Americans.

Among that high-income group, however, almost 83,000, or one in 33, paid less than a dime in taxes for every dollar of income. An additional 79,000 paid less than 15 cents. The average for all Americans was 13 cents.

Congress taxes Americans on their worldwide income. Of the 5,650 individuals and couples who paid no income taxes to the United States, only 728 paid any to a foreign government, while 4,922 lived completely free of income tax.

The I.R.S. measured income in two ways.

One was by adjusted gross income, the last line on the front page of the Form 1040 tax return. By this measure, 2,959 affluent individuals and married couples paid no federal income tax, down from 3,385 in 2001, but up from 2,328 in 2000. There were 60 such examples in 1977, when a dollar was worth three times as much as in 2002.

On a worldwide basis, 2,551 such individuals and couples paid no tax in 2002, down from 2,875 in 2001, but up from 2,022 in 2000. There were 37 such examples in 1977, the first year the agency disclosed such data.

The second measure, giving a fuller picture, was expanded income, which also includes money from sources like tax-exempt interest and untaxed Social Security benefits. By this measure, 5,650 well-to-do individuals and married couples paid no federal income tax in 2002 , up from 4,910 in 2001 and 2,766 in 2000. There were 85 such examples in 1977.

Worldwide on this basis, there were 4,922 individuals and couples who lived tax free in 2002, up from 4,119 in 2001 and 2,320 in 2000. There were 64 such examples in 1977.

The I.R.S. report said that "the most important item in eliminating tax" was taking income in the form of tax-exempt interest on state and municipal bonds. Nearly two-thirds of those who lived tax free reported income from such bonds.

The four largest items that reduced income subject to taxation, the I.R.S. said, were miscellaneous deductions; interest paid on borrowing to finance investments; various tax credits; and large medical bills, which can be deducted once they exceed either 7.5 percent or 10 percent of adjusted gross income, depending on the taxpayer's circumstances.

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#13 Spectacles

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 03:38 PM

Oops. I meant to respond to this, too:

Quote

Gode: They [the wealthy] do better when everyone else is.

What bothers me is that "trickle-down" economics doesn't really work. If you look back at the 80's, the last time it was tried in this country, the wealthy grew wealthier but the poor grew poorer.

Same thing appears to be happening again.

A rising tide doesn't always lift all boats--unfortunately.
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#14 Eskaminzim

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 03:52 PM

Specs:

Not meaning to barge in here, but the article you quoted, if taken in its entirety, seems to show the very rich with a huge and unfair tax burden placed upon them.  I mean, the top two percent of wage earners in this country account for over fifty percent of all income taxes collected.

The five thousand or so who don't pay any are kind of eclipsed by the vast majority of top wage earners who pay double what the average American pays in income tax.  When two percent of the population are forcibly relieved of more than a quarter of their income and forced to provide over fifty percent of the entire country's tax burden, it comes out as pretty danged unfair.  At least IMHO.

When my dad was still working (he's retired now), he was one of those top wage earners, and it killed me to see the huge amount of taxes taken from his paycheck.  He wasn't born with a golden spoon in his mouth (though his father was a top inventor and engineer for Johnson and Johnson and made a mint, but was rather...impecunious with his family, aside from sending all of them to college and then telling them to sink or swim on their own).  He got to where he was the way we all do, through a great deal of hard work.

I would rather see the tax burden more fairly distributed over the entire population.  If not, than I'd rather not see the very wealthy, who are supporting more than half the country's entire tax burden, case in the roll of the bad guy.

Though I do have an admitted bias on the subject.

Edited by Eskaminzim, 31 August 2005 - 03:53 PM.


#15 Spectacles

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 04:20 PM

I understand what you're saying, Eska. The reason, though, that the wealthy pay most of the revenue is that they have more dough.

Let's say we decide to take a trip around the world. Instead of dividing the costs down the middle, we decide that we'll contribute according to a percentage of our income. You make 50,000 a year and I make 500,000. We decide to contribute 10% of our annual income. You pay 5,000 and I pay 50,000. If the trip costs 55,000, then clearly the burden falls on me. But lest you feel too bad for me, I'll still have 450,000 left to your 45,000.

Now, the tax rates are set so that the wealthy pay even a higher percentage, mainly because the less money people earn, the more they need it to make ends meet. But even with higher tax rates, the wealthier tax payers still have more net earnings than those they may envy in the middle and working classes.  

All in all, I'd prefer that tax monies collected be spent wisely. There's too much waste and corruption in DC to suit me.

I'd like us to take away the waste and corruption and find a way to collect revenues equitably for defense, education, infrastructure, etc.
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#16 Godeskian

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 04:27 PM

Spectacles, on Aug 31 2005, 10:20 PM, said:

I understand what you're saying, Eska. The reason, though, that the wealthy pay most of the revenue is that they have more dough.

Yes, they have dared and they have won, and as a 'reward' they get to bleed for it. I understand that in your example the rich guy has a lot more money left, but the vast majoritty of wealthy people have earned their money, nor inherited it. They have learnt, and invested, and risked and won, and they deserve the spoils of their victories.

And even while they are paying a vastly larger sum of money, they are still demonised as greedy. I find that very depressing.

Having said that, I agree that if more bureacratic waste was eliminated taxes would go much further.

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#17 Eskaminzim

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 04:32 PM

Specs:

I do understand what you're saying, and in my case (and my dad's) there isn't a hint of envy involved.  Course, I'm in the middle class tax bracket, and I'm not envying either the rich or the poor.  I have to pay may taxes, and so I do.

However, I'm not talking about envy, or even so much about the vast differences in tax burdens over the economy-lifespan of the country, but rather the rich being cast in the role of the bad guy.

To add to your analogy just a little, we'll take a trip around the world.  Only instead of just the two of us, there will be one hundred of us.  And it will cost a million dollars for all of us to go.  

Now, we'll do the same splitting that you did...each according to his means.

So, say, you and I together put in five hundred sixty thousand dollars toward that trip.

The remaining ninety eight of our around the world travel companions each put in progressively less money until we get to the last ten, who go for free.

So, not only are the two of us putting in a huge chunk of money toward the trip (some might say...a mandate  :whistle: ), but we're also entirely supporting the ten people who are going for free.

Ok, that's fine.  We decided this was the way it was going to be, so it is.  No envy. It just is.

And then those ten people (or, to be fair, let's say four of the ten), who are seeing the world for FREE, complain and moan and call us the bad guys because we make more money than they do, even though we're supporting 100% of their trip.

Would that be cool for you?

It's not for me.  And that was my point.  :xena:

#18 Godeskian

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 04:36 PM

Eskaminzim, on Aug 31 2005, 10:32 PM, said:

It's not for me.  And that was my point.  :xena:

I want a 'what Eskaminzim said' badge. Your point is exactly the problem I was trying to point to.

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#19 Spectacles

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 04:47 PM

Quote

Eska: And then those ten people (or, to be fair, let's say four of the ten), who are seeing the world for FREE, complain and moan and call us the bad guys because we make more money than they do, even though we're supporting 100% of their trip.

Would that be cool for you?

Hell no!   I'd be trying to leave their complaining butts in the thirdest-world country I could find.  :D

But I'm not talking about envy, either, to be clear. Let's take envy and blame out of it, because neither addresses these issues:

Quote

The number of affluent individuals and married couples who paid no federal income taxes jumped more than 15 percent in 2002, to 5,650,

Quote

Among that high-income group, however, almost 83,000, or one in 33, paid less than a dime in taxes for every dollar of income. An additional 79,000 paid less than 15 cents. The average for all Americans was 13 cents.

Quote

Berry Friesen, executive director of the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center, cited the 2.3 percent decrease, nationally, in median earnings for men working full time as one reason for the spike in poverty rates.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#20 Eskaminzim

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 05:11 PM

Specs:

We're each emphasizing different parts of the article.  For me (and only for me, I know) that five thousand, of the three hundred million people living here, isn't something that's going to keep me up nights.  It's just too tiny and insignificant a number (to me) to become overly worried about, because even if they contributed their full share of income taxes, it wouldn't put a equal a drop of rain in the Atlantic ocean.

Additionally, of those five thousand, I'm not sure cause I can't see anywhere where they say what percentage of them are retired.  Cause frankly, if they worked all their lives, and put in that 27% of their income for fifty years, and invested wisely in non taxable bonds or offshore non taxable interests, you know what?  I say good for them that they're not having to pay income taxes in their golden years when the government already took hundreds of thousands of dollars out of their pockets for the fifty plus years they WERE working.

I'll put up those five thousand free riders against the hundreds of thousands of welfare cheats who also pay no income taxes any day of the week.  Note please that I'm not talking about people on welfare as a whole.  I happen to believe in the welfare system.  I'm talking about the cheats and frauds who abuse the system and teach their kids and grandkids how to abuse it too when they're perfectly able and unwilling to work.

If anything, though, I think the wealthy would be more angered at the wealthy who don't help shoulder the tax burden, because it forces them to involuntarily give MORE of their paychecks to the government than it would if those others were paying into it.

But like I said, there's not really a whole bunch of them when you put them up against the hundreds of millions of wage earners and, if they're retired, I say good for them.  (My dad still pays taxes on his investments, etc., so you'll note.)  <G>

In any event, it's all cool.  I was really responding to Gode's comment about the wealthy getting cast in the role of the bad guy, because at least within my hearing, they often are.  And when the overwhelming majority of them are hard working, tax paying citizens whose income contributes to this country at a far greater percentage than any one of us poorer schlubs, to hear them being knocked down for that gets my goat.  

And I'm not saying you did that, cause I know you didn't.



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Poverty, Health Care, 2005

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