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Washington, Once More, Shows Its Support for Our Troops - Page 2

post #21 of 34
Elphaba,

Then I stand corrected. Dh is in the navy, and I had never heard of that program. It may just be an army thing? How can that possibly be a good deal? Wouldn't you be able to pay the loans off *and* earn more money if you just went to OCS? (Asked hypothetically.) Is army OCS harder to get than navy? Interesting....

In the area of the navy dh is in, generally the families with kids are all E-4+ because they joined up at 17-18. Yes, there are exceptions, mostly people who had kids before age 22 or so.

Wendy, who has no intentions of going anywhere
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Wendydagny
[B]Well I'd say they should fix it because I think it is wrong to take money from one person and give it to another as part of the tax code. I don't believe in credits because they are income redistribution.
This is absolutely true, and another reason why this whole child tax credit thing is so bad.

It's not a tax break, it's a tax credit. That means it's an advance against an expected future tax break, but there is no mechanism to check if the person getting the check will be able to take the tax break in the future or not. That's why it's limited to rich people who might get the tax break next year.

That's complicated because it's supposed to be. The whole thing is an excuse to give tax breaks to the rich but not the poor. I guess the theory is that if the American public is confused enough they will support it.

The really evil thing is that even if poor people pay no income tax they pay medicaid, social security, sales and property taxes that eat up a far larger percentage of their income than what rich people pay. The frequently heard GOP claim that they pay "no taxes" is total BS.

--AmyB
post #23 of 34
Out of curiosity what is rich? As I've said two other times in the thread, you can't claim the tax credit if your AGI is over 110k.

I think we're all pretty clear on who is poor, but I often see "rich" thrown around and am curious what other people's ideas of rich are.
post #24 of 34
I think this will be my first post in this forum, and I'm sure I'll get ripped for agreeing with the minority opinion, LOL. But, Wendy, I have to say that I think you stated it perfectly and agree with everything you said. While I'm not a military mama, so I can't say what it's like to be in that position, I can't understand why people get enraged because individuals can't get a tax credit (refund) for money they didn't pay in the first place.
post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Knittin' in the Shade
I can't understand why people get enraged because individuals can't get a tax credit (refund) for money they didn't pay in the first place.
So the tax system is this huge bloated mess, no one will argue with that point. However, why should a soldier and her family have to get LESS benefits for the SAME government that is putting them in harms way than a soldier who is still stateside with his family?

And this is a GOP tax credit, this was not some kind of Democratic "entitlement" we are talking. It is actually putting money in the hands of people most likely to spend it on consumable goods. Something the same GOP says is vital to revving up that ol' economy.

Again, I am completely at a loss how you can excuse this kind of discrimination of our so-called heroes. Why shouldn't they have an equal shot on the tax playing field? Because you don't like the current tax code? And this will fix the situation how?
post #26 of 34
re the Child Tax Credit being unavailable to ppl earning over 110K.

Not exactly.

It starts to phase out at $110K. Reduces by $50 for every $1000 over $110K. So last year it was gone with earnings over $133,000 but this year that is boosted up to $149,000 via the increase in the credit amt (from $600 per child to $1000).

Funny how the "upper" end of the net got wider there, eh?


Also, you are all aware that the check coming in the mail is an advance of this year's credit? Just like the last check we got. So when you file 2003 taxes you won't claim the whole $1000 - cause you're getting some now.

Now, everything I've read abt giving it to lower income ppl revovles around those that are eligible. They were'nt last year at $600 but are this year at $1000. There is a reverse phase in of the above.............so the net gets wider at the bottom. It is those ppl that would like their money early too.

But the gov't says no, you have to wait. No advances for you..............


El
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by MirandaW
However, why should a soldier and her family have to get LESS benefits for the SAME government that is putting them in harms way than a soldier who is still stateside with his family?
Okay, I am not taking a position on this - repeat: no position here - just want to ask what is probably a naive question ( as I don't claim to know thing one about taxes). What I'm wondering is if these soldiers who are deployed are not paying taxes on what they earn while they are deployed, then aren't they actually at least breaking even with the non-deployed soldiers who are paying taxes on all of their annual income (given that the former won't be paying as much in taxes as the latter)?

Did that make any sense whatsoever? :LOL
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
Dragonfly, you made perfect sense. However most soldiers gross less than $30K/year and depending on the number of dependants pay little in the way of Federal Tax (but still fully fund SS, Medicare, and a few other interesting military items). I remember the credits being better than the tax break.

On another topic, we (fellow soldiers) never understood why federal workers were paying federal taxes. It was like paying your own paycheck. Except you didn't work for yourself.

Did that make sense?
post #29 of 34
Miranda,

Out of curiosity, what other military item are you talking about? The only things that came out of our check when we were tax-free were FICA, Medicaid, and SGLI (life insurance).

Also, the idea that being tax free is worse than getting credits doesn't jive with me. For every single military member, it's *not*. And our family *did* save money on taxes being tax free last year, and yes, our normal taxable income would have been very close to what you posted. The answer to what's better is going to be different for each tax filer. Perhaps they should give us the option on whether we want to claim the tax free status or not. But I've never seen anyone arguing for that-- they want to be tax free *and* to be able to count that income when calculating the EIC and ACTC in order to receive a double benefit.

But using the tax code to target soldiers with children isn't fair either. There are many who don't have any, and the number of children each family has varies as well. So the benefits will *still* be different for each military member.

The only way to fairly raise incomes for military workers is to do just that-- raise incomes. Do you disagree?

I'm also curious why you'd argue for the govt making all military pay tax free (about 1/4-1/3 already is) if you currently see it as a detriment. Especially when you consider the fact that if they made us tax-free, then they'd more than likely lower salaries.

I personally believe the tax code is there to tax people, not to give money back to poor people or people who do things the government deems worthy. Of course we should help those people, but that should be done in other ways IMO. To do it by arguing that the poor deserve a "tax cut" when they didn't pay that tax in the first place is a tad shady IMO.
post #30 of 34
I find I'm agreeing quite a bit with the points you are trying to get across, Wendy. I don't know if they are coming through clearly to everyone.

Quote:
Originally posted by Wendydagny
I personally believe the tax code is there to tax people, not to give money back to poor people or people who do things the government deems worthy.
Just curious -- do you itemize? Do you agree with deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations, etc? Don't answer if the question is too personal.
post #31 of 34
Quote:
why should a soldier and her family have to get LESS benefits for the SAME government that is putting them in harms way than a soldier who is still stateside with his family?
I don't see how not being taxed is getting less benefits? If they are not paying into the system, why should they get a rebate? Heck, if the government told me that I could not be taxed at all, or I could take the Tax Credit at the end of the year, I would darned well choose not to be taxed!

And, to be clear, I'm not discriminating between deployed and stateside soliders. Across the board, I think if you didn't pay in the amount of money you'd get back in the Tax Credit, then you should NOT get the credit.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by CanOBeans
Just curious -- do you itemize? Do you agree with deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations, etc? Don't answer if the question is too personal.
This is a tough one actually. I fundamentally disagree with itemizing because it is allowing the government to reward certain behaviors and not others. I also disagree with the idea that the standard deduction for a married couple is less than that for two single people. So far in my tax filing, my itemized deductions never went over 2x the standard single deduction. So in the past I have itemized and have not really felt guilty about it. This year we will not because we are renting due to a temporary move.

For me though, it is totally different to accept a credit or deduction towards taxes you have already paid into the system. The line I am unwilling to cross is taking money back that I never paid in the first place.

I personally believe in a flat income tax, with a higher standard per person deduction that would leave low-income households untaxed, like they are now.
post #33 of 34
I think Dragonfly aked a question about the soldriers breaking even with the nondeployed since they are recieving extra pay.

The answer most are, some are not. Depending on where you are stationed while you are nontaxed you may not be recieving that much in extra pay to began with(for bosnia it was about an extra$320 a month. They were taxing us about $210 in federal befor ethat. Taht's $110 left even BUT your pay does go up so does the taxes. You still have to pay FIca, medicare and all that. I noticed that the amount they took all went up after he recieved his "extra pay". It varied from $10 to $50. So by my calculations(and I did calculate) we broke exactly even from before he went. Teh extra money cancelled it self out with the additional taxes tehy took.Hope that made sense

This time around everyone kept commenting on how we woudl be doing so good with ALL he extra money he will get from being over there. Well you be the judge before he left the pay was about $1450 every two weeks after taxes. Now it's about $1750(after taxes every two weeks)may seem petty but I think they could at least keep the credit. I know families who really need that money and their checks aren't that great even with the "extra" pay.

I think I'm ranting and getting off topic, sorry it's late and I'm worried as usual.
post #34 of 34
Thread Starter 
And don't forget that a large number of the troops stationed "over there" are reservists who are forsaking their often higher paying jobs to defend our county.

I hope your dh comes home safely and swiftly. You must be so worried right now. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I was going to look up the military pay and IRS tax tables to prove my point, but I think real life examples are better.

Wendydagny, I also advocated for the flat tax up thread. I am saying that in the current bizarro tax code, every effort should be made to treat our soldiers well. So if there are increases in Child Tax Credit's, our soldiers should receive it. If anything, its a morale issue.

And I don't think our troops should necessarily be tax exempt, it was just a curious phenomenon to ponder, that's all.

Peace
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