ydoaPs Posted February 8, 2011 Share Posted February 8, 2011 (edited) ! Moderator Note Consolidated these from the Spending cuts and flat tax threads The U.S. Census Bureau.http://www.scienceforums.net/index.php?showtopic=52710&view=findpost&p=581782Wups, guess I'll have to scratch the flat-screen TV. Gee. How about we cut the crap, Pangloss? Your source was not the Census Bureau. Your source was an ideologically biased site for an organization whose stated purpose isto formulate and promote conservative public policies This is a secondhand source which fails to make the distinction between poor and below the poverty line. Does the census bureau define poor as below average or does it define poor as below the poverty line? Your source does not say and it doesn't give a link to the actual report so you can quickly find out yourself. Now, let's take a look at your pretty little list there. According to the Census Bureau:- 43% of all "poor" households own an average 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath house- Almost 75% of "poor" households own a car; 31% own 2 or more- 97% of "poor" households have a color television; over half own 2 or more- 78% have a VCR or DVD player; 62% have cable or satellite TV- 89% have a microwave oven; over half have a stereo, more than a third have a dishwasher- Only 6% of all "poor" households are overcrowded. More than 67% have more than two rooms per person.- Average child dietary consumption of poor children is on par with children of middle and upper income parents- 89% of poor families have "enough to eat"; only 2% report "often" not having enough- 80% of all "poor" households have air conditioning- The average American "poor" person has greater living space than the average person in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and many other European cities. (The average citizen there, not the average "poor" citizen.) Does the average person below the poverty line own two cars? Let's look at the numbers you gave. Even if(and that's a big if) 'poor' here does mean a person below the poverty line, you're incorrect. Only 31% have two cars. Almost 3/4 of the 'poor' have any car at all. What is the average condition of the car; is it a brand new Lexus, or is it a '84 Ford POS whose doors must be tied shut with string and whose engine barely makes it through the ride between multiple minimum wage part time jobs? That means over a quarter of those below the poverty line(and presumably more if the 'poor' here is in fact not defined by the Census Bureau to be those below the poverty line) don't even have the '84 Ford POS that's about to die. How many regions of low income housing are both within walking distance of available employment and a store(think walking home from the store in the middle of summer hoping your milk doesn't go bad). How many of these people are driving without car insurance?The majority of the 'poor' have a colour television. Ok, is it a brand new flatscreen like you said, or is it an ancient hand-me-down? Maybe it was a christmas gift for the person when they were in high school and lived in an upper middle class family and they just happen to still have it now that they're on their own below the poverty line. Maybe it was bought before mommy and daddy got laid off. Maybe daddy used up his whole tax check to get an old TV so Suzie can watch cartoons and have a sense of normalcy. The statistics lack vital context. Perhaps that number about the VCR can give us a bit more info on the state of technology of these televisions. As for the DVD players, I bought a DVD player 5 years ago at Walmart for less than $15(and I still have it). We aren't still living in the days where DVD players cost hundreds of dollars. If they already have the television, is it too much for daddy to spend less than $15(probably less than $10 by now) on a DVD player for the family for Christmas?The average dietary consumption of 'poor' children is on par with that of the middle class ones? You know, that'd make sense if they eat half their meals at school and public schools all have essentially the same food.The last two(air conditioning and average footage) don't really say much at all about poverty; it's more about the state of the modern American housing market. The vast majority of houses in the US have air conditioning and happen to be larger than most European houses. That means if anyone(poor or not) lives somewhere in the US, they more than likely live in a place with air conditioning and square footage more representative of America than Europe. Or should the poor specifically seek out cramped housing with no air conditioning as punishment for not being rich? You know what, most 'poor' also eat on a significantly raised surface like normal Americans rather than at floor level like the traditional Japanese; HOW DARE THEY!The numbers you presented lack all vital context of origin and condition, many of them are completely irrelevant as they aren't really indicative of poverty, and some of them even go so far as to prove the point opposite of what you want to make. So, not only are you (and your admittedly biased source) lying with statistics, you're doing so poorly. I'll be sure to tell the TEA Party to shut up because Pangloss says the poor aren't really poor.Now, how does any of this impact what I said about flat taxes disproportionately burdening the poor? Oh, wait, it doesn't. Let's look at some numbers(we'll analyze for a couple at the poverty line):I(Income at Poverty Line for households of two people): 1,214.17/monthUS Federal Payroll Tax: 15.3%Rent for a dilapidated unsafe efficiency from a slumlord: $350/monthGrocery for a weeks worth of meals and leftovers: $35Water: $40/monthLights: $40/monthFederal taxes withheld(poverty line times tax rate): $185.77Income after taxes: $1028.40Income after taxes and vital expenses above: $458.40Note the absence of any state tax, health insurance, or That's a 37% cushion from a normal flat tax.Now, let's look at a couple with someone making $40,000/yr with the same basic needs.Income: $3333.33/monthWithheld: $510After taxes: $2823.33After expenses: $2253.33Cushion: 68%That's a 31% difference in cushion between the poverty line and the middle class(not to mention the difference between the poverty line and the rich). Keep in mind that many of the 'poor' are under rather that at the poverty line. How does a normal flat tax not disproportionately burden the poor?Now, let's look at a modified flat tax for the same two cases. This raises the cushion of the poverty line case to 45% and the middle class cushion to 70% which is only a difference of 25%. Everyone is taxed less, but the effect diminishes as income increases; that means everyone's surplus is taxed the same, but it results in help for those who need it. The obscenely rich aren't really affected by the change at all, but they don't need any extra help; the upper class are helped a little; the middle class more; and those below the poverty line most. If the poor are so well off as you imply, what's the big deal? It's effectively a tax cut for the vast majority of the population. Edited February 23, 2011 by swansont add modnote 2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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