In response to:

Taxing the Poor

TooTired Wrote: Dec 12, 2012 3:12 PM
I'm sorry, but this does not make sense to me. AFDC was the earlier version of the current TANF, in other words, cash assistance. This is what most people are referring to when they say "welfare," which also includes food stamps (now called SNAP) and medical assistance (Medicaid). It's not something that you can pay into. You can get it if you are eligible. Social Security is composed of income for disabled or retired people, and survivor's benefits for their spouses and/or eligible children when the recipient either dies or becomes disabled. These are entirely different things.
S.A.M. Wrote: Dec 12, 2012 10:39 PM
Food stamps are cut more like $2 for every dollar you get extra - it's like they expect your cash to go twice as far. And it is a loss of all benefits - in addition, if you're on medical assistance, they take it all - and housing assistance takes another chunk - no amount of increase in pay or COLAs help the poorest people because the state takes every last increase.

With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires.

While it is true that nearly half the households in the country pay no income tax at all, the apparently simple word "tax" has many complications that can be a challenge for even professional economists to untangle.

If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from...