Hackers to get eavesdropping lessons on cell calls http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE66Q6NS20100727
from the Droid
1. Perhaps it's only fair for the very richest among us to pay more taxes. I know that sounds crazy to some folks, but take into account these figures:
"the richest 1% of earners collected 8% of national income in 1973. "By 2006, the top 1% got nearly 23% of the pie, the highest proportion since 1929, " he writes. Moreover, the richest 1% now earns more than the bottom 50% of Americans. During almost exactly the same period, the pay gap between the top 100 CEOs and workers rose from 45 to 1 in 1970 to Himalayan proportions in 2006, reaching 1,723 to 1"
It's obvious that the very rich pay most of the taxes....they have most of the money!
To claim that the rich are being fleeced by the government is a bit of a stretch though, given the massive movement of money from the middle class to the upper class over the past 30-40 years.
Also, when I first heard this "news" elsewhere, it came in an e-mail prefaced with this distinguishing message:
It is a hoax! Here is the NAR information.
No 4.0% "Sales Tax" on Home Sales In Recently Enacted Health Reform Bill
Contrary to reports and newspaper articles circulating widely on the Internet, there is not a 4.0% "sales tax" or "transfer tax" on the sale of a home included in the recently signed health care reform bill. The analysis underlying these reports is incorrect and fails to take into account the interplay of the bill's provisions with already existing real estate tax laws that remain unchanged.
What was included in the health bill is a provision that imposes a new 3.8% Medicare tax for some high income households that have "net investment income." Any revenue collected by the tax is dedicated to the Medicare hospital insurance program. This new tax will only apply to households with Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of more than $200,000 for individuals or more than $250,000 for married couples. Since capital gains are included in the definition of net investment income, an additional tax obligation might result from the sale of real property.
In the case of the sale of a principal residence, the existing $250,000/$500,000 exclusion from capital gains on the sale of a principal residence remains unchanged. Consequently, even when the AGI limits are met, the new tax would not be applied to all capital gains that result from the sale of a home. Rather, it would only apply to any home sale gain realized in excess of the $250K/$500K existing primary home exclusion that pushes the filer's AGI over the $200K/$250K adjusted gross income limit.
The new Medicare tax will not take effect until January 1, 2013.
For more information on the new Medicare tax, please consult NAR's Health Reform Q&A on this and other provisions of the new health reform law located at:
2. I came across an article that more clearly shows the disparity between the top 1% and the rest of us.
"Two-thirds of the nation’s total income gains from 2002 to 2007 flowed to the top 1 percent of U.S. households, and that top 1 percent held a larger share of income in 2007 than at any time since 1928, according to an analysis of newly released IRS data by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.
During those years, the Piketty-Saez data also show, the inflation-adjusted income of the top 1 percent of households grew more than ten times faster than the income of the bottom 90 percent of households."
And as long as we're looking back at the good ol' 1950's: