Tax is the price the elite pay to maintain their privilege

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, January 23rd, 2010 - 51 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, public services, tax - Tags:

John Roughan asks:

“Nearly half of all personal tax revenue is contributed by just 10 per cent of us. Is this socially healthy?”

To which I reply:

“That 10% get 34% of the country’s income and own 52% of the country’s wealth, compared to the 50% who get 16% of the country’s income and own just 3% of the county’s wealth. Is this socially healthy?”


We live in a horrifically unequal society. Taxation to pay for distributive public services goes a small way to relieving that inequity. It’s the price the elite pay to maintain capitalism, a socio-economic system that lets them control the lion’s share of the wealth.

51 comments on “Tax is the price the elite pay to maintain their privilege”

  1. annoyed 1

    Johm Roughan’s article actually pointed out that most of the tax in this country is paid by those on above average salaries who are taxed under the PAYE system.

    These people are not the top 10 % earners in NZ and most couldn’t be called rich by any stretch of the imagination. Once you take the lack of benefits like WFF into consideration many of us are worse off than people earning much less.

    The top 10% of earners encompass the very rich and self employed business people who can organise their affairs so that they not only pay no tax but get WFF and other benefits.

    You need to be careful here. There are an awful lot of teachers and other state employees ie core Labour voters paying most of the tax and getting no benefits from it and some of us are getting pretty angry at the inequality of the tax system in this country.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Well yes.. this is true, but the reason why the very wealthy pay so little tax is that they can shelter much of their income in companies, trusts and other vehicles. This works not just because company and trust tax rates are lower than the highest personal PAYE tax rate… but because with clever (and often perfectly legal) arrangement, so many more expenses can be deducted from the income before tax is applied.

      In effect making the top PAYE rate the same as the Company tax rate will have no effect on this behaviour… it is will still be advantageous to divert income. (And there are many valid reasons why companies and trusts are used…other than just tax minimisation.)

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Exactly and the reason why I’ve suggested before that the unions should be getting their members GST registered and the hourly rate to be +GST. A lot of the unions members living expenses would then be tax deductible. The unions would have to supply accountants but I don’t see a problem with that.

        • J Mex 1.1.1.1

          A lot of the unions members living expenses would then be tax deductible

          The first problem with this is that you can only claim GST on “taxable activities”, and “Taxable activities” doesn’t include work for salary or wages.

          The second problem is almost none of their living expenses would qualify as taxable activities.They would collect GST, and pay back all that GST to the IRD

          Your union members would effectively have to set themselves up as contractors. They would get to feel the pain of provisional tax, invoicing, GST returns and dealing with the IRD and dealing with their own holidays, kiwisaver etc.

          I would love to see it. But from your union members perspective, it’s a truly horrible idea.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            /facepalm

            Obviously, if the registered for GST they’d wouldn’t be working for wages or salary any more.

            The second problem is almost none of their living expenses would qualify as taxable activities.

            Yeah, right. I know several people who drive round in brand new vehicles which they didn’t pay GST on, RUC are deductible and the fuel is also GST free because it’s a work vehicle. It also happens to be great to take the family to the beach, tow the boat on the businesses trailer. And all perfectly legal.

            They would get to feel the pain of provisional tax,

            Provisional tax should be shot but to get back to the point, individual contractors don’t have to use provisional tax.

            BTW, did you see the comment where I said the union would have to supply accountants? I suppose I should have included lawyers as well.

            • J Mex 1.1.1.1.1.1

              And all perfectly legal.

              That would be a no. It is not legal to claim fuel or GST back on fuel used to tow the boat or take the family to the beach. Your contractors can enjoy having their logbooks scruitinized and penalties applied for that kind of stuff.

              individual contractors don’t have to use provisional tax.

              Yes. They do.

              Yes. I did see your comments regarding accountants (and now lawyers) . I can almost guarantee that the cost of the accountants and lawyers would outweigh any benefits that would accrue to to your contractors. You are better off handing them 5% of the cost of those accountants and lawyers, and everyone will be better off (except the accountants and lawyers)

              Other things you might want to point out to your union members that are part and parcel of your awesome new plan:

              – They (or your new team of accountants) will be responsible for all tax payments, and must pay on time or face interest and penalties.
              – They will have to keep records of all transactions so they can (or your team of accountants can) prepare Income Tax and GST returns.
              – They won’t receive sick pay, redundancy, renumeration for holiday periods or be protected by legislation regarding employee rights.

              If national proposed this, all of the posters on here would be up in arms. Your mates should really should have called you on this momentously stupid idea – it’s ridiculous that they haven’t.

              ‘Let’s take all our hard won employee protection away from our own union members!’

              /facepalm

              • RedLogix

                All true in principle JMex but of course in practise, and if you were right, no-one at all would be a contractor/soletrader. But in reality plenty of people are, and once they have established a solid customer base… do very nicely out of it.

                Of course Draco’s suggestion was more or less hypothetical, because IRD tends to deem any contractor who derives more than 80% of the income from any one client as being in a dependent employee relationship anyhow.

                The real point is of course that the distinction between a soletrader/contractor and an employee… and the way they are both treated from a tax point of view is quite anomalous.

              • Draco T Bastard

                individual contractors don’t have to use provisional tax.

                Yes. They do.

                No, they don’t. Hell, I even supplied a link to the IRDs website proving they don’t.

                Other things you might want to point out to your union members that are part and parcel of your awesome new plan:

                – They (or your new team of accountants) will be responsible for all tax payments, and must pay on time or face interest and penalties.
                – They will have to keep records of all transactions so they can (or your team of accountants can) prepare Income Tax and GST returns.
                – They won’t receive sick pay, redundancy, renumeration for holiday periods or be protected by legislation regarding employee rights.

                All builders in Auckland are independent contractors and they seem to manage quite well (when there’s building going on). Most people aren’t stupid no matter what you think.

              • J Mex

                individual contractors don’t have to use provisional tax.

                Yes. They do.

                No, they don’t. Hell, I even supplied a link to the IRDs website proving they don’t

                I read it. But did you read the link?

                You are taxed at individual rates, but you pay those rates provisionally.

                Drawings are profit and taxed accordingly. Profit is calculated at the end of the year and paid provisionally.

                If you want a link that spells this out see here

                There are plenty of advantages to being a contractor. Primarily independence, flexibility and general autonomy. Unfortunately, when you are a contractor you lose just about every safety net. Something that the Unions don’t seem to be in favour of (as a general rule). Or am I wrong here?

              • Draco T Bastard

                If you want a link that spells this out see here.

                Ah, my mistake then.

                Unfortunately, when you are a contractor you lose just about every safety net.

                Unfortunately true. You even lose access to ACC even though you’ve been paying for it. No, I’m not after getting rid of ACC as it’s still the best system in the world but it does need a few tweaks – just not the ones that NACT are putting through.

                Something that the Unions don’t seem to be in favour of (as a general rule). Or am I wrong here?

                No, you’re not wrong. I’ve been chewed out by unionists on this site for suggesting it before. The unions seem to be holding on to the past which is a pity as they could do their members so much good if they shifted their thinking.

                Of course Draco’s suggestion was more or less hypothetical, because IRD tends to deem any contractor who derives more than 80% of the income from any one client as being in a dependent employee relationship anyhow.

                And then they do nothing anyway. As I said, all builders in Auckland are sole traders but they tend to be hired by labour hire firms.

                The real point is of course that the distinction between a soletrader/contractor and an employee and the way they are both treated from a tax point of view is quite anomalous.

                Exactly.

        • Lew 1.1.1.2

          DTB, you’re a genius. I think the Business Roundtable and EMA and so on would start to support the unions if this sort of scheme were undertaken. They would be facilitative a huge liability transfer (compliance, risk, insurance, etc) from employers to (former employee) contractors, alongside a dramatic loss of work rights for those same contractors.

          With the EMA and BRT onside, National and ACT would be the new union parties, and there’d be no need for Labour any more. Bipartisanship at last.

          L

          • gitmo 1.1.1.2.1

            Clearly Lew, you are a right wing stooge.. as is everyone to the right of Karl Marx.

          • Lew 1.1.1.2.2

            gitmo, also, only a right-wing stooge would use a term like “would be facilitative a” instead of the more usual and actually meaningful “would facilitate”.

            L

    • Marty G 1.2

      “Johm Roughan’s article actually pointed out that most of the tax in this country is paid by those on above average salaries who are taxed under the PAYE system”

      Of course most of the tax is paid by those on above average salaries. That’s tautological, even if you had a flat tax it would be true. Man, pretty dumb comment there, annoyed.

      And I see no point in his article where Roughan says anything like that. He only talks about the richest 10%.

      I struggle to see why so many wealthy people can’t admit that they are wealthy. I personally earn more that quarters of NZ taxpayers. I know I’m well off, but if I say people in the top 10% are rich, you all get your knickers in a twist.

    • burt 1.3

      annoyed

      “Johm Roughan’s article actually pointed out that most of the tax in this country is paid by those on above average salaries who are taxed under the PAYE system.

      These people are not the top 10 % earners in NZ and most couldn’t be called rich by any stretch of the imagination.

      Absolutely, and this is the tax system as it has been for some time, the system that Cullen called fair. Cullen had worked the levers nicely because these gooses (above average salary earners) don’t hiss too much when you pluck them. Bloody National want to broaden the base, they will ruin the illusion Labour worked so hard to maintain for 9 years.

      Cullen had core Labour supporters well fooled that he was taxing the rich, he was taxing the middle to upper middle class. He knew it, the middle classes knew it and the rich knew it. The only people who refused to believe it were his partisan supporters and people who simply didn’t question Cullen’s definition of rich.

      • Marty G 1.3.1

        “he was taxing the middle to upper middle class.”

        explain with facts.

        remember that by any sensible measure the middle class earns between $28,000 and $65,000 (50th to 90th percentiles)

      • burt 1.3.2

        There they go, pick which group of ‘well fooled’ Marty G comes from.

        $65,001 is rich….

        Hands up all the senior teachers who feel rich, and hey lets see ya list of holiday homes, how’s the launch? Did you get the new Riviera 65 or was that just a bit big to leave parked in the sounds 11 months of the year?

        Junior Dr’s – you rich pricks are earning about $20,000 more than that, How is the villa in Tuscany? Did you get there this winter for a break?

        • RedLogix 1.3.2.1

          Really burt… are you so numerately illiterate that you are unable to read the fantastic graphs Marty has been producing for us?

          Marty just gave you a rigorous definition of ‘middle class’…the 50th to 90th percentile. Do you have any rational quibble with this definition?

          And if you accept this definition, do you have any argument with the corresponding income band? ($28-65k)

          The numbers appear appallingly low… but the fact is that the median personal income in this country, including all superannuatants and beneficiaries, is only about $24k. (The median wage/salary is only $28k).

          Are you so isolated from the real world that you do not know this?

          • burt 1.3.2.1.1

            If the tax definition of wealth was the same as the benefit definition of wealth then I would agree we can simply look at the percentile spread.

            • RedLogix 1.3.2.1.1.1

              I’ve read that comment several times now and it still eludes me what your trying to say.

              If you don’t agree with Marty’s definition, exactly how would you define ‘middle class’?

            • burt 1.3.2.1.1.2

              If we still give people state assistance up to about $120,000 (roughly twice the 90th percentile amount) to help them raise their children then putting aside the distribution according to a statistical standard, how do we call them rich?

              • RedLogix

                WFF is a tax rebate. As you know perfectly well, if you rebate it too quickly it creates excessively high marginal rates. (Which even with the current arrangement are high enough as is.)

                By the time you get to $120k the amount you get is bugger all, so it’s pretty thin ice to be mounting a major ideological construct on.

              • burt

                So you want to say $65,001 is rich talking about income, but $120,000 is middle class when talking about rebates? (because socialist don’t give family rebates to the rich do they)

                Cullen’s chicanery at it’s finest.

              • RedLogix

                As with all targeted tax mechanisms, WFF creates high marginal tax rates. If WFF cut out at $65k the effect would be horrendous, but that would make you happy, because then you could carp on endlessly about that too.

                I know what would make me happy and that is the kind of Universal Basic Income system that Gareth Morgan was supporting some months ago. Combines sensible progressive total tax rates with nice flat marginal rates. I’ve frequently pushed the idea here on The Standard.

                What would make you happy burt? If anything?

              • burt

                RedLogix

                I’ll take the same option as you, but I won’t defend the people who said the current system is fair knowing full well it’s fairness is smoke and mirrors.

      • burt 1.3.3

        remember that by any sensible measure the middle class earns between $28,000 and $65,000 (50th to 90th percentiles)

        But that would make the WFF threshold of circa $120 welfare for (or tax breaks for) the rich.

        Std deviation curves applied to an income distribution (which is widely criticised as being too low) for sake of justifying wealth taxation thresholds is indeed ideological chicanery.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Roughan is hopeless. By complete contrast Brian Fallow manages a reasonably balanced article in the same paper.

    The issue of depreciation on buildings seem completely underinformed by everyone.

    Over time most buildings demand maintenance, in order to remain commercially useful. Depreciation is intended to recognise the fact that this represents a real cash expenditure.

    What baffles me is that almost no-one mentions the fact that if depreciation is claimed on a building… and that building is later sold for a profit, the depreciation that was claimed then has to be repaid. In effect depreciation on assets that incease in market value is really in the nature of a loan.

    This article from Stuff is the only thing I’ve read lately that gets it right. Residential rental businesses are treated exactly the same from a tax perspective as any other. If you are going to change the rules, change it for everyone or not at all.

  3. I can’t understand how high earners can complain about tax – on a progressive earnings tax, it is only those who get most that pay most. Unfairness can arise where the top rate takes half or more in tax. That would cause anybody to pause and think what’s the use.

    Part of the earnings equation is that some earn high and many earn enough to live comfortably, and some earn or receive enough to live uncomfortably. If the taxes paid were those that the middle earners can only just afford without joining the uncomfortable living group, we wouldn’t be able to have the sort of public amenities that a modern and a principled society provides.

    So much of discussion about political and financial systems gets bogged down in repeating academic statements, or arguing philosophical and ideological approaches, which sideline the practical, pragmatic concern with people’s needs. The reality of the problem being churned over by intelligent, focussed minds coldly uninterested in stepping out from the comfort of the supposed verities that their cohort swim in, remains unconsidered along with the opportunity to enhance people’s lives. They appear uninterested in policies that would assist at the grassroots level, and encourage more growth and economic activity there amongst the mini entrepreneurs and life ‘strugglers’. After all small improvements with high volume coming from the low earning strata will have greater results than a small percentage of already high earners selling businesses or their skills getting a few more bucks for themselves.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Unfairness can arise where the top rate takes half or more in tax. That would cause anybody to pause and think what’s the use.

      Nope, even with tax rates going above 50% the people earning that much are still better off. As a multi-millionaire acquaintance of mine once put it: If you’re concerned about the amount of tax that you’re paying then earn more money.

  4. dtb
    Yeah, pity that the Nats and their tame accountants and economists and their masters the hyper-rich businesspeople don’t think like that smart multi-millionaire.
    However just because they are hyper rich it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to keep half of their earnings at the highest marginal level.
    I agree that being greedy is stupid, ie why worry about avoiding tax if you’re wealthy, and I’m not envious – waste of time. But fairness, means that reasonable taxes are set for the rich, not to gouge them, and that these are paid not evaded. In turn the rich don’t scrape the poor and middle classes of every advantage they have gathered, and they are enabled and given opportunities to work their way to the standard of living they aspire to.

  5. Jenny 5

    Why the rich should pay more tax.

    In the beginning taxes were levied on the rich,and only the rich, because the first state service, provided by the state was to protect the rich.

    Long before there was social welfare,
    old age pensions,
    free state schooling,
    unemployment benefit,
    a public police force,
    public hospitals,
    national roading,
    public water supply and sewerage treatment.

    The first state funded organisation was the army.

    The very first taxes levied on the rich barons, by the state, were to pay for a national army.

    The principle job of the first standing armies were to protect the rich, from insurrection from below and from other rich rivals in neighbouring states from invading and usurping them as rulers.

    This position was accepted by the original robber barons as necessary and right.

    Over the centuries, however, state provision has grown, to provide for other classes in society.

    I would argue that these latter institutions principle task, also, is to protect the existence of this privileged class.

    It was realised long ago that force alone was not enough to protect inequality and privilege, and in fact it is cheaper (and probably more reliable), rather than investing all taxes into the machinery of violence and oppression, to actually provide for some social equity as well.

    Though a lot more state services are present today, there was a period of hang over, and for a long time the principle burden of taxes still fell on the rich.

    A fact that privileged people have resented since state provision was widened, leading to continual pressure and lobbying from this section of society to either cut these services or unload the tax for these services onto the productive section of society.

    Because of this overhang, it took a long time to unload these costs onto the rest of the population In fact, it wasn’t until 1958 that income tax was first imposed on working people in New Zealand.

    This is the reason why the rich favour flat taxes, and the cutting of state services like health, education, pensions etc, But you will notice that they never ever call for reduction of state spending on the armed forces.

    For this first and oldest state institution money is still no object.

    Some things never change.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      An interesting thought. I recall it was Disraeli who introduced public housing in the UK with the express intention of calming the revolutionary fervor the working classes and thus protecting the interests of capital.

    • Marty G 5.2

      I did consider calling the post ‘tax is the price the elite pay to buy off the revolution’ 🙂

  6. Why bother to define rich? Why not a set of theoretical, inflation adjusted income requirements that people of different population sub-groups need to live and participate in society. Anything over that is fortunate for the possessors.
    Defining rich is fraught. People tend to over-spend on consumer goods. We know there is a trend for ever larger houses, and probably they will mop up all the present available income and some from a hoped-for rise as well. This will result in this person feeling stretched for money which seems like being poor – having to count ones dollars and cut spending back – definitely not feeling rich.
    People like this never know when they are rich. They just keep acquiring to just above their level of affordability, and desiring more.

  7. Zaphod Beeblebrox 7

    Amazes me that we spend all day arguing about defining who is rich and who is not and who should pay what but ignore the central problem- that income bears no relationship to tax assessed in this country.

    That’s because A. We don’t tax all income equally (especially capital gains) B. the IRD is way too wimpy on business expenses and GST re-imbursements, so that having a business is pseudo-tax reduction exercise and C. We have a stupid tax rebate system super-imposed upon the general taxation system which is based around you ability to produce off-spring (WWF). This confusing system is virtually indistinguishable from the welfare system.

    Now the government wants to introduce a whole heap of arbitary rules which create differing categories of business (ie residential property investment vs non-residential property- where does a company that does both fit in??) and taxes based upon assumed value (who defines how much a property is worth or should be worth??) which will keep the iRD tied up for years in disputes.

    There is no reason why A, B and C can’t be solved by simplifying the system. If we adopt the KISS principle this would give IRD to spend more time making sure all income is paid equally.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      We don’t tax all income equally (especially capital gains)

      If you own a house for 10 years, and in that time the difference in value (in real after CPI inflation dollars) is $100k. Should you be taxed on that ‘income’? After all you may be selling simply to move to another town, but if you were taxed on the sale of your old house, you can no longer buy a replacement home of equivalent value. Most people would vehemently reject taxation in this case.

      On the other hand if you buy and sell property every few weeks, then most people would accept that the capital gain is taxable income.

      The tricky part is defining where the boundary is between these two extremes, and in real life there are an almost infinite range of permutations and complexities that can arise.

      Currently IRD depends on defining your ‘intent’ when purchasing the property to determine whether a capital gain on re-sale is taxable or not. But this is not a robust, reliable test… and no-one has really come up with a sane simple solution.

      the IRD is way too wimpy on business expenses and GST re-imbursements, so that having a business is pseudo-tax reduction exercise

      Not been audited recently then?

      We have a stupid tax rebate system super-imposed upon the general taxation system which is based around you ability to produce off-spring (WWF)

      Imagine for instance a hypothetical scenario, that due to a dreadful genetic accident, every child born needed an expensive treatment before the age of five… or it would certainly die. For almost all families with 2-3 children it was simply far too expensive to pay for outright. Even if extended family chipped in to help. Almost certainly the state, would step in to subsidise the treatment in some way… to ensure the ongoing viablibity of society as a whole.

      Now this is of course a form of ad absurdum argument, but it still it informs us that having children is not entirely a personal matter.

      Having children imposes a substantial fixed cost on a family. It takes something like $2-300k to raise a child to the age of 20. While it is true that having children is something that for the most part we happily choose to do… and we would do regardless of the costs…. it is also true that having them, and raising them healthy and capable is of very great ongoing benefit to society as a whole. (Including those who choose not to reproduce.)

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.1.1

        There are all sorts of ways to support the raising of children, I can’t see why it has to be through the taxation system. Free comprehensive kindergartens, which set learning patterns for life for example would be far more beneficial than throwing out a few tax dollars, which may or may not go back to helping the children.

        I’m waiting be audited and sure I will be at some stage. My accountant puts me through the wringer over these things, but true I’m not looking forward to it. If I were running the IRD, I would be wanting to do 2-3 yearly audits of all businesses.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          There are all sorts of ways to support the raising of children, I can’t see why it has to be through the taxation system. Free comprehensive kindergartens,

          And how else would those free kindergartens be paid for? Charity? Charity invariably doesn’t return enough nor does it go to the places where it’s needed most.

          • Jenny 7.1.1.1.1

            Charity serves so many useful purposes for the rich.

            After ordering their employees around in the workplace, Charity gives the rich another opportunity to control others.

            Charity, lets the rich divide their victims into deserving and undeserving poor.

            Charity, allows the rich to pose as saints no matter how they accumulate their riches in their day job.

            Charity, is a fast track to knight hoods and other sorts of honours for all sorts of reprobates, rack renters, and slave drivers.

            Charity, allows the rich to preen and indulge their feelings of self importance and moral superiority.

            Charity, demeans and embarrasses, those who have to take it from these “benefactors”.

            Even with all the benefits the rich get from charity, I sometimes wonder if these wealthy humanitarians would be give so generously to their pet charities, if they couldn’t claim tax breaks from charity as well.

            • prism 7.1.1.1.1.1

              About charity. The name implies doing something helpful and good for people, though of course there is the term cold charity, but ‘charity ‘ includes giving money to art galleries, supporting the racing industry, etc.
              All worthy objects but the law has watered down and confused us about what is being done with charity monies – its not necessarily helping people upwards and onwards to a better life.

              • Jenny

                This sort of charity has also come in for criticism.

                The lotteries commission is a charity which gets most of its money from the poorer section of the community and has been likened to tax on the poor.

                The commission has been severely criticised because most of the charities it donates to were of most benefit to the well off.

                Favouring things like the Aotea Centre the art gallerly and the ballet. Instead of things like swimming pools, childcare provision or emergency housing.

                The problem of course is the tremendous amount of power the rich have over the rest of society.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.1.1.1.2

            Money invested in kindergartens will return a huge investment in terms of educational success. Giving it to people earning $120K with ten kids might be good for their mortgages but whats the payoff for NZ.

  8. ben 8

    Marty, apart from struggling to see what your first chart has to do with the text, could you at least explain which axes related to which data, and put labels on them?

    Given your track record, you might also do us the favour of explaining in advance all the things you left out, manipulated, or made up before before Paul Walker turns up the heat. 🙂

    [lprent: I haven’t been noticing Paul’s comments that much. But you’re starting to annoy me with your supercilious attitudes about ‘pwning’, ‘owning’, and ‘winning’. It is pathetically juvenile.

    Do you mean before people start carping about the spacing on the x-axis? As kiwiteen attempted to do – he couldn’t read 3 quarter x-axis.

    Or before they start saying that the source is wrong because there are other stats elsewhere? There are a lot of stats – anyone can cherry pick. Discussion is meant to elucidate the differences between them. Your attitude about ‘winning’ isn’t helping the debate.

    Or arguments about timescales which half of the time relate to changes in measurement techniques. To which you seem to always misunderstand the points being raised.

    Anyway, I’m tired of you attacking the authors without anything substantive to say. You appear to be completely unaware of how hard it is to create posts, and that they always come with various deficiencies. That is what the comments section is for. It allows debate – not jerk-offs acting like bad critics.

    Go away for a month and contemplate that you’re unwelcome while you’re acting like a juvenile critic with nothing substantive to offer. ]

    • quenchino 8.1

      It’s obvious which axis is which. If you can’t work it out for yourself, you ain’t quailified for the discussion.

      As for the allegation of “things you left out, manipulated, or made up”… substantiate it …or fuck off.

      Walker is welcome to turn up… he’s had his ignorant arse handed back to him on a plate often enough.. I enjoy the sport.

  9. zbeeblebrox makes a good point. Kindergarten education would have helped some of the bewildered posters who have difficulty reading the graphs on this post.

    • burt 9.1

      It would also help socialists see the flaws in their arguments;

      At least one of these statements must be wrong;

      WFF is not middle class welfare.
      $65,001 is rich.
      $120,000 is not rich.
      Socialists don’t give welfare or tax breaks to the rich.

      • quenchino 9.1.1

        All you are doing is creating a bunch of false choices. $64,999 is not poor and $65,001 is not rich. Neither is $120,000 necessarily rich either. There are no simple, black and white definitions of working, middle, upper middle or upper class…. they all blend into each other on the margins. As does WFF, at $65k you are getting the full rebate, by $120k its tapered off to nothing.

        Probably the top 1% could be called wealthy… after all they own more assets than the bottom 90%.

        But you go right ahead and repeat your silly braindead mantra for the next year or two. We all know you cannot help repeating disproven drivelling dreck ad nauseam.

        • burt 9.1.1.1

          Agree

          But try and convince Marty G of that;

          “he was taxing the middle to upper middle class.’

          explain with facts.

          remember that by any sensible measure the middle class earns between $28,000 and $65,000 (50th to 90th percentiles)

          • quenchino 9.1.1.1.1

            Well if you want to play that game… the upper middle class is the 90th to 99th percentile. Rich is the top 100th percentile.

          • burt 9.1.1.1.2

            Sweet; so you and I agree then;

            Cullen had core Labour supporters well fooled that he was taxing the rich, he was taxing the middle to upper middle class. He knew it, the middle classes knew it and the rich knew it. The only people who refused to believe it were his partisan supporters and people who simply didn’t question Cullen’s definition of rich.

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