So I was going through some of my nightly Facebook reading Tuesday night and I see that one of my friends has "liked" a group on Facebook called "Defend My Dividend". Okay, it's obviously a conservative group, and they're against taxes, which they have every right to do.
At least, they're against one particular kind of taxes. This group is taking a bold stand against any increase in the rate at which dividend income is taxed. You see, unlike taxable income that you work for, dividends are taxed at a much lower rate. If you receive taxable dividends and your general tax bracket is 15% or 25%, your tax rate on your dividend income is 0%. If you are taxed at any higher tax rate (and remember, your income has to be over $87,000 to hit that rate) your dividend income is taxed at 15%; it never goes higher than that.
As you can see, dividends are taxed much lower than income that you work for, apparently because your investments get tired so easily that it isn't fair to tax them the same as a working person. President Obama has proposed to tax dividends the same as ordinary income for individuals earning over $200,000 or couples earning over $250,000. As you know if you've been paying attention, 98% of your fellow Americans have incomes below these levels and about 2% have incomes above. In other words, this proposal would apply to hardly anybody.
But let's go back to Facebook. Somehow this group on Facebook already has 95,000 "likes". Here are some of the comments:
We just can not have that. Baby Boomers are the life of rbis country. We deserve our reward.
Many seniors depend on the dividends to help make ends meet. They worked hard to save money and invest. That includes me. Now our elected Savior that is trying to take that away from us. It will also hurt our economy since people will not invest in the companies to expand their business. And why should they invest when Obama's gov. is taking away income that helps them make ends meet.
Please stop we hurting alot now. Please stop
You have to feel for these people, right? After all, they are so concerned that their $250,000 income might be hit by a tax they don't want to pay that they've banded together, created a group on Facebook, and recruited many of their fellow dividend-getters to join them.
It really makes you wonder: Who are these selfless people who would go to all that effort to set up a group on Facebook, with no motive but to improve the tax system for all of us?
Well, looky here:
Defend My Dividend is a national grassroots advocacy campaign dedicated to stopping a dividend tax hike. The campaign is sponsored by various associations, organizations, and companies, with the support of members, employees, retirees, and shareholders. The Defend My Dividend Web site is maintained by the Edison Electric Institute, in partnership with the Alliance for Savings & Investment and the American Gas Association.
Surprise, surprise! It's not real people at all. In fact, Defend My Dividend is just an astroturf front for the electric and gas industries.
So that would make the people who sign their web page, and "like" it, and post ignorant comments as though they really stand to lose (because they have over $200,000 in income, remember?) what?
I believe the technical term would be "dupes".