Not sure how I feel about this

UncleMark

Hall of Famer
Sep 1, 2001
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Finally sat down and did my taxes this afternoon and evening. With the past year being complicated with unemployment and new (to me) Social Security income and the stimulus money and everything, I didn't know what to expect. I usually get a a little back, but not enough to even talk about, but I've been burned a couple times too in some oddball, one off situations.

Looks like I'm one of the 47%. Getting all the Federal income tax I paid back (and even getting a little back from Indiana). I think this has happened once before in the last 20 or so years, but that was at a time when I was barely keeping my head above water what with paying for health insurance (pre ACA) and taking an income hit with reduced wages during the Great Recession. This time around, that's not the case. The enhanced unemployment I got and the stimulus checks and the Social Security I got at the end of the year more than made up for the income hits I took with the six weeks full furlough and later reduced hours.

I've always felt that damn near everyone, even low income people like me, should have some skin the game, even if it's just a token amount. My refund isn't life changing (for most of you it would be pocket change) but it will be a nice little boost to my checking account balance, equal to about six weeks of my lame delivery job wages.

While I'm not upset by any means, I'm not pleased, either. I don't need the money, and would have been fine with breaking even (which is what I always hope for). I'm not sure what it should be, but I think I should be paying my fair share, and I know that zero isn't it.
 

Spartans9312

Senior
Nov 11, 2004
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Finally sat down and did my taxes this afternoon and evening. With the past year being complicated with unemployment and new (to me) Social Security income and the stimulus money and everything, I didn't know what to expect. I usually get a a little back, but not enough to even talk about, but I've been burned a couple times too in some oddball, one off situations.

Looks like I'm one of the 47%. Getting all the Federal income tax I paid back (and even getting a little back from Indiana). I think this has happened once before in the last 20 or so years, but that was at a time when I was barely keeping my head above water what with paying for health insurance (pre ACA) and taking an income hit with reduced wages during the Great Recession. This time around, that's not the case. The enhanced unemployment I got and the stimulus checks and the Social Security I got at the end of the year more than made up for the income hits I took with the six weeks full furlough and later reduced hours.

I've always felt that damn near everyone, even low income people like me, should have some skin the game, even if it's just a token amount. My refund isn't life changing (for most of you it would be pocket change) but it will be a nice little boost to my checking account balance, equal to about six weeks of my lame delivery job wages.

While I'm not upset by any means, I'm not pleased, either. I don't need the money, and would have been fine with breaking even (which is what I always hope for). I'm not sure what it should be, but I think I should be paying my fair share, and I know that zero isn't it.
I'm gonna guess you've already paid and done your fair share.
 
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mcmurtry66

All-American
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Mar 14, 2019
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Finally sat down and did my taxes this afternoon and evening. With the past year being complicated with unemployment and new (to me) Social Security income and the stimulus money and everything, I didn't know what to expect. I usually get a a little back, but not enough to even talk about, but I've been burned a couple times too in some oddball, one off situations.

Looks like I'm one of the 47%. Getting all the Federal income tax I paid back (and even getting a little back from Indiana). I think this has happened once before in the last 20 or so years, but that was at a time when I was barely keeping my head above water what with paying for health insurance (pre ACA) and taking an income hit with reduced wages during the Great Recession. This time around, that's not the case. The enhanced unemployment I got and the stimulus checks and the Social Security I got at the end of the year more than made up for the income hits I took with the six weeks full furlough and later reduced hours.

I've always felt that damn near everyone, even low income people like me, should have some skin the game, even if it's just a token amount. My refund isn't life changing (for most of you it would be pocket change) but it will be a nice little boost to my checking account balance, equal to about six weeks of my lame delivery job wages.

While I'm not upset by any means, I'm not pleased, either. I don't need the money, and would have been fine with breaking even (which is what I always hope for). I'm not sure what it should be, but I think I should be paying my fair share, and I know that zero isn't it.
Treat yo self. Buy some expensive iu fball tix to a game
 
Mar 3, 2020
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Finally sat down and did my taxes this afternoon and evening. With the past year being complicated with unemployment and new (to me) Social Security income and the stimulus money and everything, I didn't know what to expect. I usually get a a little back, but not enough to even talk about, but I've been burned a couple times too in some oddball, one off situations.

Looks like I'm one of the 47%. Getting all the Federal income tax I paid back (and even getting a little back from Indiana). I think this has happened once before in the last 20 or so years, but that was at a time when I was barely keeping my head above water what with paying for health insurance (pre ACA) and taking an income hit with reduced wages during the Great Recession. This time around, that's not the case. The enhanced unemployment I got and the stimulus checks and the Social Security I got at the end of the year more than made up for the income hits I took with the six weeks full furlough and later reduced hours.

I've always felt that damn near everyone, even low income people like me, should have some skin the game, even if it's just a token amount. My refund isn't life changing (for most of you it would be pocket change) but it will be a nice little boost to my checking account balance, equal to about six weeks of my lame delivery job wages.

While I'm not upset by any means, I'm not pleased, either. I don't need the money, and would have been fine with breaking even (which is what I always hope for). I'm not sure what it should be, but I think I should be paying my fair share, and I know that zero isn't it.
I knew a lot of people paid zero federal income tax didn't realize it was 47 percent. that is a staggering number really. I commend you for feeling a little guilty about it. I would guess a family of 4 could earn up to 80k and pay zero tax. not you but I would say that's the group (non tax payers) that probably bitches the most
 
Mar 3, 2020
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should a person who pays zero taxes be allowed to vote? Would be like me having a say on whos on the board at a company I own no stock in.
 

outside shooter

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Oct 23, 2001
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I had a lot of freelance income last year (consulting, expert witness testimony, etc.) and I regularly paid estimated taxes of 35-40%, so I overpaid by a lot in 2020. So I got one of those rare big refunds. I guess I let the government sit on my money, which is unwise, but it is always hard to estimate payments on taxable income that wasn't taxed. Especially since the amounts vary so much from year to year.
 

Marvin the Martian

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Sep 4, 2001
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Don't worry, if you drove, owned a cell phone or a landline, or drank alcohol, flew, purchased firearms or ammo, you paid federal taxes. I am sure you are covered.
 
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UncleMark

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Sep 1, 2001
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Everything you mentioned was covered. I'm simply a low wage earner and don't owe. Next year might be interesting-- my lame part time low pay job isn't even withholding federal income tax.
 

IU_Hickory

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Aug 29, 2017
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yes, why should one who doesn't contribute have a say on how we are governed

Because our government is supposed to be representing all of its citizens, not just the ones with jobs.

Government without representation was why we had the Revolutionary War.
 

IU_Hickory

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Aug 29, 2017
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I get that , but really is that fair

If they start saying govt is only for those paying taxes, then does it become only for those paying a certain amount or more in taxes? What if they draw the line right above what you pay in taxes. Would you be upset if rich people said you shouldn't be able to vote since you don't pay enough in taxes? Or maybe their vote should count for more than those who pay less in taxes?

I think it is fair for every citizen to be able to vote. We all know the rich game the system anyway.

Now the electoral college system that gives more power to a single vote in a less populated state than a vote in a more populated state, that is unfair. Popular vote should be the decider IMO.
 

UncleMark

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Because our government is supposed to be representing all of its citizens, not just the ones with jobs.

Government without representation was why we had the Revolutionary War.

And yet immediately after the founding during the Federalist period at the end of the century, the consensus was closer to what Kurt is saying. Landowners and merchants had the franchise; the poor working stiffs did not in most jurisdictions. That changed with the rise of the Jeffersonians, and white male suffrage was near universal by the 1820s. That's how Jackson got elected.
 
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TheOriginalHappyGoat

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Margaritaville
And yet immediately after the founding during the Federalist period at the end of the century, the consensus was closer to what Kurt is saying. Landowners and merchants had the franchise; the poor working stiffs did not in most jurisdictions. That changed with the rise of the Jeffersonians, and white male suffrage was near universal by the 1820s. That's how Jackson got elected.
Yeah, that really worked out.
 

UncleMark

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Sep 1, 2001
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I had a lot of freelance income last year (consulting, expert witness testimony, etc.) and I regularly paid estimated taxes of 35-40%, so I overpaid by a lot in 2020. So I got one of those rare big refunds. I guess I let the government sit on my money, which is unwise, but it is always hard to estimate payments on taxable income that wasn't taxed. Especially since the amounts vary so much from year to year.
I got bit several years ago after my mom died. When we cashed in and divvied up what remained of her estate (nursing home had gotten a bunch) some of the gains were taxable, which I dutifully had the investment firm withhold and report properly. Where I got hurt was the fact that I was using the ACA at the time, and the estimate of our income I had used when I signed up ended up being low once the income from Mom was added. I had to pay back a bunch of the premium assistance I'd received. Of course I had the money, but it was something I hadn't accounted for or even thought of before firing up the tax software and plugging in all the numbers. That was a tough check to write.
 
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Noodle

Hall of Famer
Jun 19, 2001
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Finally sat down and did my taxes this afternoon and evening. With the past year being complicated with unemployment and new (to me) Social Security income and the stimulus money and everything, I didn't know what to expect. I usually get a a little back, but not enough to even talk about, but I've been burned a couple times too in some oddball, one off situations.

Looks like I'm one of the 47%. Getting all the Federal income tax I paid back (and even getting a little back from Indiana). I think this has happened once before in the last 20 or so years, but that was at a time when I was barely keeping my head above water what with paying for health insurance (pre ACA) and taking an income hit with reduced wages during the Great Recession. This time around, that's not the case. The enhanced unemployment I got and the stimulus checks and the Social Security I got at the end of the year more than made up for the income hits I took with the six weeks full furlough and later reduced hours.

I've always felt that damn near everyone, even low income people like me, should have some skin the game, even if it's just a token amount. My refund isn't life changing (for most of you it would be pocket change) but it will be a nice little boost to my checking account balance, equal to about six weeks of my lame delivery job wages.

While I'm not upset by any means, I'm not pleased, either. I don't need the money, and would have been fine with breaking even (which is what I always hope for). I'm not sure what it should be, but I think I should be paying my fair share, and I know that zero isn't it.
You’ve got skin in the game. Federal income tax is not the only way to have skin the game.
 

UncleMark

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I suppose. Still, I'm not sure my fair share of income tax is zero.

Take the time to add up all the other taxes you pay throughout the year, and I bet you'll change your mind.

No, that would be a rationalization. I want everyone to pay their fair share of income tax. I don't know what that might be exactly, for me or anyone else. But I'm still not convinced that my fair share is zero. That mind frame is one reason we're always at each others throats when it comes to the tax system.

It's really interesting to me that here, as the token Cooler poor bastard, people are being really kind and reassuring and seem fine with me not paying anything in federal income taxes. But those other bastards are lazy good for nothing takers. That's how people like me were characterized when I first got here before I outed myself and was accepted as part of the community.
 

Marvin the Martian

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Sep 4, 2001
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No, that would be a rationalization. I want everyone to pay their fair share of income tax. I don't know what that might be exactly, for me or anyone else. But I'm still not convinced that my fair share is zero. That mind frame is one reason we're always at each others throats when it comes to the tax system.

It's really interesting to me that here, as the token Cooler poor bastard, people are being really kind and reassuring and seem fine with me not paying anything in federal income taxes. But those other bastards are lazy good for nothing takers. That's how people like me were characterized when I first got here before I outed myself and was accepted as part of the community.
Does it make sense to give people an extra $500 in government benefits just so they can pay $500 in taxes? For a lot of poor that is what would have to happen.
 

mcmurtry66

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Mar 14, 2019
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No, that would be a rationalization. I want everyone to pay their fair share of income tax. I don't know what that might be exactly, for me or anyone else. But I'm still not convinced that my fair share is zero. That mind frame is one reason we're always at each others throats when it comes to the tax system.

It's really interesting to me that here, as the token Cooler poor bastard, people are being really kind and reassuring and seem fine with me not paying anything in federal income taxes. But those other bastards are lazy good for nothing takers. That's how people like me were characterized when I first got here before I outed myself and was accepted as part of the community.
Because you worked your whole life and paid your whole life.
 
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