I suppose that’s why they make it hard: they don’t want people to stay on it.

There’s several cutoff points. It’s a strange system.

For example, back in 1999-2002, I worked for “Big Pharma” as a Systems Analyst. No college, just good at what I did as a temp and they hired me ’cause I was getting bored, cut my hours to 4 and was taking college courses instead.

So, I asked for going rate at the time, not caring, and I got it. So, I started at $60,000.

After a year, I got a raise to $62,500.

But: my net income was much less afterwords.

How? I *just* entered the next tax bracket.

If you don’t like the lines, redraw them. There’s plenty of gaps and it’s usually the blue-collar / working class level / microbusiness owner level that gets the shaft. Been that way forever afaik.

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Thing is though, most people don’t even get CLOSE to the cliff points.

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That graph does not represent actual working population at these levels. If you incorporated the amount of people who received incomes at each of these levels, I’d bet (hypothetically) that you’ll find most people within each class are nowhere *NEAR* the cliff points for their brackets and instead, kept “comfortably” in the middle of them, unable to move up or down from them but rather stuck in some kind of bell curve average point.

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I know. It’s really a fucked up system. Disability fraud is encouraged by the system as it’s set up. People at the social security office advice people on how to stay within it ’cause it’s too easy to get thrown out of it.

Mothers for example are discouraged from marrying their boyfriends because once they are, *boom*, WIC goes away. But marriage is penalized in most parts of the system.

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Some states encourage education now, which is a plus.

Thing is though, welfare isn’t a cash cow. For most it’s miserable and difficult to navigate and too easy to lose. I’d even looked into it during times when business was slow. I did the calculations – holy shit, it’s not easy to stay on.

I suppose that’s why they make it hard: they don’t want people to stay on it.

but getting out of it, you start back at ground-zero again. Yeah, the lines need redrawing.

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Yeah – I forget what the difference was for me, but it was significant. I was able to mitigate it though by other ways, increasing my future income by shoving some of the pre-tax money into stock matching, donations, and that retirement stock thing that you don’t pay any taxes on ’til you pull it out.

I’ve since pulled it out and paid the taxes on it, but since I posted strong gains (even through all the bubbles and crashes during 2000-2014, and deducted some losses (such as the crash of the REIT when commercial real estate was tanking), whatever I lost by being in the higher tax bracket was gained back and then some.

In short, with each bracket comes the ability to play some more games with the pre-tax $$$.

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Prime example of the increase game playing you can do with each bracket is Trump.

It’s no surprise that he never paid any taxes. Just on real estate holdings alone, you can deduct significantly the depreciation of properties.

Govt allows this to encourage investing in poor areas of the country.

In short, “how to cure the homeless problem?” “Make it easy and profitable to become a slumlord!”

So, yeah, our govt has strange ideas.

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Yeah, I never got a college degree either. Not even an associates. It’s on my “one of these days” list. What sucks is credits expire. Ridiculous. As if knowledge spoils like milk.

Plus, once you leave college, the door shuts in your face. Fucked up how they do it.

Yeah, the tax rate shift was big: I think it went from 15% to 27% or something like that. I didn’t belong in that position anyway: I mean I was qualified: I created the position by giving them something nobody else there could do – but if I was coming in off the street and that position existed before me, I’d never have gotten it.

Thankfully, I didn’t need the extra money so I got to mess around with it. I ended up using it all but i stretched it out over a long period of time. It was fun.

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