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I love getting to know really successful people.


Wilbur
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I've had one or two great company leaders but the track record overall has been pretty grim.  This is probably because I was often involved in tech jobs for companies that worried more about next quarters profits than product or workforce.  The very best was a brilliant PHD Laser specialist who ran a small company of just over 30 people.  He acquired a very talented work force who would do anything for him.  His products were in demand.  He worked in jeans and a lab smock most of the time (he could and did dress up for meetings with important companies) and could often be found working on the next bench over.  He taught me most of what I know about the industry.  He was willing to let us run with ideas even if he thought they might be wrong because he believed that we learned more that way.  Unfortunately we were the property of a larger company that decided we would be best if moved out of CT and down to FL.  Everybody but the accounting dept quit.  The FL company was hurt by the loss of a talented prototype shop and in the end failed on the projects we had developed for them.   I consulted for the FL company for a year till my former president called and offered me a job at the new company.  He had become the head of the special projects department at another CT laser company and he wanted to put his old design crew back together.

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51 minutes ago, Airehead said:

I spend a great deal, of time thinking about the type of leader I want and need to be. Always interested In Listening to others. In my world there will never be financial riches but we can still do it right. 

Quite a few of these billionaires received seed money from family.  I imagine there is alot that people could do with lots of seed money. 

Also, I don't like the idea of glamorizing people that hoard.  People that share are people that I find admirable.  How can one person have billions and watch people starve.  I don't get it.  People like that are no heroes.  

If two people were starving and one person had a gallon of water.  If that person with the gallon would not share, they are morally bankrupt.  Aire, I bet that you give more annually than these fat cats do.  I am talking percentage wise.  We gave 1% of our annual gross to charitable organizations.  This dwarfs what the big billionaires give.  I saw estimations of like .32 in average from the top 20 greedy billionaires.  I use the term greedy here, because it is accurate.  

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33 minutes ago, Rattlecan said:

Over all. the world is richer for having rich people in it. Just my humble observation.

There are rich people who do and there are rich people who consume but produce little in the way of socially redeeming value.  They don't even spend their money where it will produce.  They simply save it for following generations of very rich people.

You can hate the doers for what they don't do, but without them whole segments of our population/economy wouldn't exist.

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23 minutes ago, Airehead said:

I spend a great deal, of time thinking about the type of leader I want and need to be. Always interested In Listening to others. In my world there will never be financial riches but we can still do it right. 

I chose my work environment for the work, not for the money.  Consequently I made a lot less than I could have.  When you work in research, competing with grad students living out of a backpack the pay is always depressed.........except for upper management.

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Depends what one defines as success ...and since we are talking about success in terms of people who lead because they are quite wealthy;  either they own or head a company vs. non-profit /service oriented  organization. 

Fairly wealthy people already can pay for the tax lawyer, etc.  for tax efficiencies. I'm not sympathetic we should be giving them more tax breaks. ...sorry after working in national tax law library for a major global firm..our national tax laws are so complex that even joe/jane average CPA is not good enough. The tax lawyer is 1 ratchet up with flowcharts and other maneouvres. There is also powerful lobbying  from the big 4 global  accounting firms to each national tax govn' authority. Make no mistake. All the time.

Meanwhile we just do our  best.

 

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45 minutes ago, Airehead said:

I spend a great deal, of time thinking about the type of leader I want and need to be. Always interested In Listening to others. In my world there will never be financial riches but we can still do it right. 

It must be some relief not to be at the helm of a for purely for- profit organization.  However there are other challenges serving the client group.

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23 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

Quite a few of these billionaires got seed money from family.  I imagine there is alot that people could do with lots of seed money. 

Also, I don't like the idea of glamorizing people that hoard.  People that share are people that I find admirable.  How can one person have billions and watch people starve.  I don't get it.  People like that are no heroes.  

If two people were starving and one person had a gallon of water.  If that person with the gallon would not share, they are morally bankrupt.  Aire, I bet that you give more annually than these fat cats do.  I am talking percentage wise.  We gave 1% of our annual gross to charitable organizations.  This dwarfs what the big billionaires give.  I saw estimations of like .32 in average from the top 20 greedy billionaires.  I use the term greedy here, because it is accurate.  

The owner of my company is a multibillionaire but is really low key.  He puts a lot of his money towards veterans assistance programs and supported local food banks during covid.  He also gives a lot to youth programs.  Many people don’t know this.

But he is often portrayed in the media as a greedy profit taking SOB.  Maybe he is but that’s not an accurate portrayal of him as a whole.

We really don’t know many of the uber rich and we only see what the media tells us which often is written to fit an agenda.  

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57 minutes ago, Airehead said:

I spend a great deal, of time thinking about the type of leader I want and need to be. Always interested In Listening to others. In my world there will never be financial riches but we can still do it right. 

I have learned quiet a bit from other leaders.  Sometimes what I learned is what not to do.  

I try to be the type of leader my team emulates.  I see it as an obligation to the next generation of leaders.

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I admired those who keep shooting for the stars even after many failures.

But my hero is "The Millionaire Next Door" as described in the book of that name by Stanley and Danko.

Following some of their traits allowed me get the biggest bang for the buck, maximize my savings, and show me not to turn my nose up by shopping at discount stores, the Salvation Army thrift shop, etc.  In fact, the best discount stores in my area were all originally pointed out to me by people earning well-into six figures.

There are a couple people from my parent's generation who had avg.-pay jobs but they saved enough to shoot for the moon.  One eventually, through hard work and after making a McD's in a bad location work, won the franchise and built the very-lucrative McDonald's in Ocean City, Maryland and another - the father of a girl I went to college with who worked blue-collar for the local gas and electric company - eventually built a chain of four supermarkets in my county.

But for me, the idea that I could enjoy working-years life and and still save enough and line-up retirement income to get to a very comfortable retirement was more than satisfying - AFTER my mother handed me a paperback copy of The Millionaire Next Door and I learned from it.

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46 minutes ago, Dirtyhip said:

Quite a few of these billionaires received seed money from family.  I imagine there is alot that people could do with lots of seed money. 

Also, I don't like the idea of glamorizing people that hoard.  People that share are people that I find admirable.  How can one person have billions and watch people starve.  I don't get it.  People like that are no heroes.  

If two people were starving and one person had a gallon of water.  If that person with the gallon would not share, they are morally bankrupt.  Aire, I bet that you give more annually than these fat cats do.  I am talking percentage wise.  We gave 1% of our annual gross to charitable organizations.  This dwarfs what the big billionaires give.  I saw estimations of like .32 in average from the top 20 greedy billionaires.  I use the term greedy here, because it is accurate.  

So, exactly how much of their wealth do they owe you? 

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wouldn't people here think that my father was a successful because:

*he taught himself English while also his  5  children were very young and he had a physical job, standing all day cooking in a hot kitchen as the sole breadwinner of his big family. By time child 6 was born, he was fluent in English and Chinese:  he read the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail daily

*parents bought their lst house and paid off mortgage. Then bought a 2nd house to rent out in Toronto and we/his kids lived in part of it until we each got our own home. Sold lst house in Kitchener, sold  rental in Toronto and moved to Toronto where they bought and lived in new infill semi-detached house near downtown

*had 6 children who all graduated from university and several with relevant jobs.  They did have some small grants and scholarships. Loans have been paid off ages ago. 

*father was well -liked by anyone who met  him. A soft -spoken guy who was humble in his demeanour.

*because of his personality and bilingualism, he was the family mediator between us and mother. However he was always calming sort of  person.

*he was "rich" enough to own a house (actually 2 houses for a few years) and a car, paid for his own funeral (well sort of. We had to chip in a % after we got the bill. :flirtyeyess:)

*always tracked general spending. He wasn't  wasteful nor buying stuff we didn't need.

I would say my father took significant risk because of low wages and many children.

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8 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

While we watch them move their wealth offshore and we gain nothing. 

They will continue to do that and offering huge tax exemptions locally puts us more into a deeper economic hole locally and nationally. Unless, we have tax program which offers economic stimulation in certain industry sectors. Am for that.

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1 minute ago, shootingstar said:

They will continue to do that and offering huge tax exemptions locally puts us more into a deeper economic hole locally and nationally. Unless, we have tax program which offers economic stimulation in certain industry sectors. Am for that.

It is all about creating jobs.  Where there are jobs, there is tax revenue.  Even the infrastructure required to attract companies adds a lot to the economy in employment.  Remember when you were cheerleading for Amazon HQ2? 

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In listing all the traits of my father here, now I realize his significant successes....and contributions to Canada economically:  none of his children  were on drugs, no criminal activity, all gainfully employed or raised children who are productive/caring individuals themselves.

In fact, I am the one who has had longest amount of unemployment (total of 3 years, from different job switches and moving to cities) over 39 working life yr. period after school.

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14 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

It is all about creating jobs.  Where there are jobs, there is tax revenue.  Even the infrastructure required to attract companies adds a lot to the economy in employment.  Remember when you were cheerleading for Amazon HQ2? 

I sure was for HQ2, it's always good to have jobs.

Here's a hard reality:  The property tax assessments in our city are annually challenged....seldom for residential properties, it  is the owners of commercial properties where the municipality gets  dinged / shortchanged.  Alot of  people don't know that unless working for the municipality for a large city. That's what I meant, locally our municipal budget to support building and maintaining local infrastructure and services is continuously challenged because the commercial/ industrial property owners want their property tax lowered.  

You can be certain Bezos is having his accountant/tax lawyer apply and getting those property tax lowered for his various property locations worldwide. It's a simple process, just takes time. And we know how rich he is. 

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31 minutes ago, shootingstar said:

wouldn't people here think that my father was a successful because:

*he taught himself English while also his  5  children were very young and he had a physical job, standing all day cooking in a hot kitchen as the sole breadwinner of his big family. By time child 6 was born, he was fluent in English and Chinese:  he read the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail daily

*parents bought their lst house and paid off mortgage. Then bought a 2nd house to rent out in Toronto and we/his kids lived in part of it until we each got our own home. Sold lst house in Kitchener, sold  rental in Toronto and moved to Toronto where they bought and lived in new infill semi-detached house near downtown

*had 6 children who all graduated from university and several with relevant jobs.  They did have some small grants and scholarships. Loans have been paid off ages ago. 

*father was well -liked by anyone who met  him. A soft -spoken guy who was humble in his demeanour.

*because of his personality and bilingualism, he was the family mediator between us and mother. However he was always calming sort of  person.

*he was "rich" enough to own a house (actually 2 houses for a few years) and a car, paid for his own funeral (well sort of. We had to chip in a % after we got the bill. :flirtyeyess:)

*always tracked general spending. He wasn't  wasteful nor buying stuff we didn't need.

I would say my father took significant risk because of low wages and many children.

Sounds like a success to me!

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47 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

So, exactly how much of their wealth do they owe you? 

I would be happy if the rules had them paying taxes at the same rates I can afford to pay taxes.  This is given that I cannot afford the sorts of tax lawyers and tax shelters that they achieve.  If we all had the same available rules to work with it would be different.

Here is a snip from an article on how the rich same money that you and I the commoners can't.  The law is the same for all of us but as it says it's only an advantage if you're dealing with about $5 million or more.  Remember that tax lawyers write the tax codes to benefit themselves and their rich customers.

Many of them are setting up long-term trusts, such as a Delaware Dynasty Trust, which allows wealth to be passed down from generation to generation, she said. While it is subject to income taxes along the way, it will not be taxed as a gift if it meets the limit and will not be subject to estate tax when money comes out.

However, given the costs involved in setting up and running a multi-generation trust, it only makes sense when you have $5 million or more to commit, said Featherngill.

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16 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

  Remember that tax lawyers write the tax codes to benefit themselves and their rich customers.

I saw this internally while with the global firm.

Let's get SUPER real : at the biz networking  events there is sharing of knowledge between tax authority folks and tax lawyers...they are all part of the same professional group. Some of the government tax authority folks leave and work for the  big firms and vice versa.

I  know for certain before every national tv  speech from the federal govn't Minister of Finance, there is behind closed doors the govn't tax authorities are releasing their tax law changes in advance to the big firms. Then the big firms tell all their accountants and tax lawyers where those tax law changes are feed through information systems.  It preps all the internal tax experts within those global firms, to strategize and work with their  wealthy clients.

I was one of those people received this advance info. to help deploy into our national knowledge systems.

I'm just explaining what it means for a major firm to support big private sector companies and for multi-millionaires/billionaires.

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12 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

I would be happy if the rules had them paying taxes at the same rates I can afford to pay taxes.  This is given that I cannot afford the sorts of tax lawyers and tax shelters that they achieve.  If we all had the same available rules to work with it would be different.

Here is a snip from an article on how the rich same money that you and I the commoners can't.  The law is the same for all of us but as it says it's only an advantage if you're dealing with about $5 million or more.  Remember that tax lawyers write the tax codes to benefit themselves and their rich customers.

Many of them are setting up long-term trusts, such as a Delaware Dynasty Trust, which allows wealth to be passed down from generation to generation, she said. While it is subject to income taxes along the way, it will not be taxed as a gift if it meets the limit and will not be subject to estate tax when money comes out.

However, given the costs involved in setting up and running a multi-generation trust, it only makes sense when you have $5 million or more to commit, said Featherngill.

I wonder how many of us, if we came upon an obscene amount of money, would feel the same way as we do about the rich?  What do you mean I have to give 6 million up in taxes, F that I’m gonna hire me a good tax person to find me a loophole.  

It’s easy to  point fingers at others for not giving their fair share but would we?

C’mon now be honest with yourselves… 

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After awhile I voluntarily left my job as a manager for national operations.

I've worked for other private firms which were fine. But the corporate objective for this one, disheartened me. It has equipped me with certain jaundiced eye. I am grateful for this insider knowledge.

For certain this job and others, has made me  far  more critical of operations and offering different ways  to cut steps in public sector.

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19 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

I wonder how many of us, if we came upon an obscene amount of money, would feel the same way as we do about the rich?  What do you mean I have to give 6 million up in taxes, F that I’m gonna hire me a good tax person to find me a loophole.  

It’s easy to  point fingers at others for not giving their fair share but would we?

C’mon now be honest with yourselves… 

I have come to realize I will have to pay tax when I retire. When I'm working, the tax just gets lopped off my pay cheque (which can be significant, depending on earned income)  so psychologically it doesn't sit in our heads all the time. In retirement, the tax  payout is in one's face (in Canada).

I think it's a matter of  % one is willing to  pay personal tax annually. Of course, some folks don't want to pay any tax, which is dumb 'cause they're using govn't services, health care and public infrastructure.  I've only challenged my property tax once in my 30 years of owning a home. Otherwise, property tax to me, is cheap payment for all the services I uses for any municipality I've lived in.  For construction/maintenance of our local transportation systems (which I use daily), our parks, police, fire, clean running water every single day,  every hr., ...even  flood mitigation, etc. 

Would I be willing to pay % for lottery win, when the lottery is organized by govn't?  Yes, again it's just for me, what that % would be. 10% would be fine.

A lottery win in Canada, assuming the lottery is registered with Canadian govn't, is tax-free or exempt. 

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28 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

I wonder how many of us, if we came upon an obscene amount of money, would feel the same way as we do about the rich?  What do you mean I have to give 6 million up in taxes, F that I’m gonna hire me a good tax person to find me a loophole.  

It’s easy to  point fingers at others for not giving their fair share but would we?

C’mon now be honest with yourselves… 

Exactly.  I look at Musk.  He has a very low cash wealth.  His wealth is in company shares.  As long as you are holding, there are no taxes due so when people cry that he did not pay in 2018, it is because he had no income.  He doesn't take an income nor profit sharing from any company.  He derives income by selling stock.  When he does that, he pays tax.  He has no offshore accounts so no tax deferral system.  This year, he sold a whack of Tesla shares and a second batch to pay the 5 Billion dollars in taxes due on the prior sale.  His marginal tax rate for 2021 is 53%.  He is wide open about his income and taxes and he now holds the record for the most personal taxes ever paid in one year in the US.

So, he does pay taxes at the same rates as the rest, when he has income.  

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6 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

Exactly.  I look at Musk.  He has a very low cash wealth.  His wealth is in company shares.  As long as you are holding, there are no taxes due so when people cry that he did not pay in 2018, it is because he had no income.  He doesn't take an income nor profit sharing from any company.  He derives income by selling stock.  When he does that, he pays tax.  He has no offshore accounts so no tax deferral system.  This year, he sold a whack of Tesla shares and a second batch to pay the 5 Billion dollars in taxes due on the prior sale.  His marginal tax rate for 2021 is 53%.  He is wide open about his income and taxes and he now holds the record for the most personal taxes ever paid in one year in the US.

So, he does pay taxes at the same rates as the rest, when he has income.  

I’m taking your comments at face value as I’m not going to fact check you but it does seem counter to the rich not paying their fair share.  Musk is just one person but we like to paint the rich with a broad brush so can we assume he’s the only Uber rich person who pays taxes as we seem to think none of them pay their fair share…

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1 hour ago, ChrisL said:

I wonder how many of us, if we came upon an obscene amount of money, would feel the same way as we do about the rich?  What do you mean I have to give 6 million up in taxes, F that I’m gonna hire me a good tax person to find me a loophole.  

It’s easy to  point fingers at others for not giving their fair share but would we?

C’mon now be honest with yourselves… 

I would, but I seem to have a "stange" sense of what is fair and right.

What you are describing is one of the things I consider wrong with modern civilization.  "I got mine" is wrong, especially if what is still left over is more than enough to live the good life.

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54 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

I’m taking your comments at face value as I’m not going to fact check you but it does seem counter to the rich not paying their fair share.  Musk is just one person but we like to paint the rich with a broad brush so can we assume he’s the only Uber rich person who pays taxes as we seem to think none of them pay their fair share…

He is actually a guy with a social conscience and a keen eye on environmental issues.  His goal is an all electric transportation system but he is a realist and understands our current limitations that require fossil fuels at present.  Different personality, but I like him.  He definitely doesn't deserve the broad brush smearing that some like to use. 

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I was thinking about this today on my ride.  

Why is it bad/wrong for the “rich” to shelter their wealth when we use every tax break available to us?  We don’t tell our tax preparer, it’s ok don’t use any tax incentives I want to pay the max in taxes. The problem is the system, not those who use it to their advantage (at least that’s how I see it).

Many here don’t have senior positions in a corporation.  As discussed here before many don’t bonus annually.  Now I don’t classify myself as rich but we do well and I have to pay taxes every year as I don’t have sufficient tax shelters.  

And I bonus, sometimes big. And Uncle Sam takes 1/2.  Ever lose $25K in taxes in one fell swoop?  Or a measly $10K?  
Maybe I should feel magnanimous for helping out the poor but dammit I could do a freaking lot for my family with that money too. How about tax it at the same rate as my salary… nope bonus gets taxes at 50%.  And I’ll likely end up paying taxes again this year.

I think many that gripe about fair share aren’t in a position where the Govt is taking substantial income from them. 

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19 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

I was thinking about this today on my ride.  

Why is it bad/wrong for the “rich” to shelter their wealth when we use every tax break available to us?  We don’t tell our tax preparer, it’s ok don’t use any tax incentives I want to pay the max in taxes. The problem is the system, not those who use it to their advantage (at least that’s how I see it).

Many here don’t have senior positions in a corporation.  As discussed here before many don’t bonus annually.  Now I don’t classify myself as rich but we do well and I have to pay taxes every year as I don’t have sufficient tax shelters.  

And I bonus, sometimes big. And Uncle Sam takes 1/2.  Ever lose $25K in taxes in one fell swoop?  Or a measly $10K?  
Maybe I should feel magnanimous for helping out the poor but dammit I could do a freaking lot for my family with that money too. How about tax it at the same rate as my salary… nope bonus gets taxes at 50%.  And I’ll likely end up paying taxes again this year.

I think many that gripe about fair share aren’t in a position where the Govt is taking substantial income from them. 

Because I worked for a major global firm..and learned how technical tax law can become for tax planning purposes (euphemism for paying least amount of taxes at any level..local, provincial/state, national and foreign if one has properties overseas), it really is no one is truly lobbying hard for improved tax laws for low to middle income folks. No tax lawyers in that bunch of lobbying  to the federal tax authorities. No tax lawyers nor accountants thinking of us in those scrums with the senior tax govern't authorities..before the next national tv /news media release on federal /provincial tax changes.

the harder part  is our tax laws are so technical and convoluted, the ordinary person doesn't know how to interpret  some of the nuances/loopholes to challenge publicly and persistently in a sophisticated way in their arguments...actually at federal national committees and working task forces...you need to be a CPA/CGA or tax lawyer to sit on those committees/be part of that inner circle.

So  Chris, start pummelling your CPA nephew (or whichever relative with that base knowledge) with questions. But he still may not know all the multiple options...then pay for that next level of expertise.

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53 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

I was thinking about this today on my ride.  

Why is it bad/wrong for the “rich” to shelter their wealth when we use every tax break available to us?  We don’t tell our tax preparer, it’s ok don’t use any tax incentives I want to pay the max in taxes. The problem is the system, not those who use it to their advantage (at least that’s how I see it).

Many here don’t have senior positions in a corporation.  As discussed here before many don’t bonus annually.  Now I don’t classify myself as rich but we do well and I have to pay taxes every year as I don’t have sufficient tax shelters.  

And I bonus, sometimes big. And Uncle Sam takes 1/2.  Ever lose $25K in taxes in one fell swoop?  Or a measly $10K?  
Maybe I should feel magnanimous for helping out the poor but dammit I could do a freaking lot for my family with that money too. How about tax it at the same rate as my salary… nope bonus gets taxes at 50%.  And I’ll likely end up paying taxes again this year.

I think many that gripe about fair share aren’t in a position where the Govt is taking substantial income from them. 

You are correct about the system being wrong.  It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall when a very rich man has a meeting with those who make the rules though wouldn't it?

I agree about the bonus.  It's income.  Someone is trying to make money on your back because others with much more wealth than you have less adjusted income.  Fair.......I think not.  You're not rich enough to make the rules.

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21 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

I don't care, not in a snippy way, I just don't care.

If a billionaire pays nothing in taxes, it does not affect me.

If they pay 1/2 of their wealth in taxes, again, it does nothing for me.

Let them keep it, they were clever enough to make it.

You should care.  Because the country takes a certain amount of money to run, you have to make up for what the rich don't pay.  That's why the middle class is always overtaxed as a percentage of what they make.

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2 hours ago, maddmaxx said:

You should care.  Because the country takes a certain amount of money to run, you have to make up for what the rich don't pay.  That's why the middle class is always overtaxed as a percentage of what they make.

Clearly this will go political soon, and get hidden.  I do not believe those in charge will spend it on social programs, schools, parks, or anything else.  I pay an obscene amount of taxes, that will never change.  It does not make me happy, that I can try and control.

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