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On US Tax Policy  
User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2888 times:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wqU44uQYrYo/T8_Fg41d2mI/AAAAAAAASbk/y4iqNidW_WU/s1600/irs.jpg

IRS data shows that the top 400 income earners in this country payed almost as much in income taxes as the entire bottom 50% of the US population.

Which is fine if the two groups had the same level of income, but the bottom 50% had income of $1.05 trillion and paid $19.5 billion in taxes, for an effective tax rate of 0.02%. Meanwhile, the top 400 paid $16.1 billion on $81 billion in income, or an effective rate of 20%.

Now, please explain to me how this shows that the rich aren't paying "their fair share"

And before you jump on the social security and FICA bandwagon, please note that Social Security is entirely paid for, yet the remainder of the budget is more than a trillion in the red (i.e we spend 3.9 trillion take in 2.7 or so, pull out social security and we spend some 2.6 odd trillion, and pull in 1.5 trillion or so). Furthermore, while it is true that the bottom 50% pay more into Social security, they also get more benefits out of it, so the net effect on govt finances is zero - the bottom 50% get at least what they pay into SS back in benefits.

And ultimately, the US cannot fiscally spend at the same level without taxing at all the bottom 50%. So literally the choices are, cut spending, or raise taxes on the bottom 50%

78 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7803 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2880 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Thread starter):
cut spending

  

Before this thread turns into a battleground, I'll just note that no matter how high you raise taxes for all Americans it would only put a dent in our deficit... spending MUST be cut



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2873 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Thread starter):
Which is fine if the two groups had the same level of income, but the bottom 50% had income of $1.05 trillion and paid $19.5 billion in taxes, for an effective tax rate of 0.02%. Meanwhile, the top 400 paid $16.1 billion on $81 billion in income, or an effective rate of 20%.

Meanwhile, I am in neither group and I paid 30%, so how is that fair?


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39693 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2864 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Thread starter):
cut spending

  

Quoting vin2basketball (Thread starter):
Now, please explain to me how this shows that the rich aren't paying "their fair share"

It sounds so cute & catchy when Barack gets in front of the camera and complains about the rich not paying "their fair share".



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePSA53 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 1):
spending MUST be cut

Boom! There it is.

Quoting vin2basketball (Thread starter):
Which is fine if the two groups had the same level of income, but the bottom 50% had income of $1.05 trillion and paid $19.5 billion in taxes, for an effective tax rate of 0.02%. Meanwhile, the top 400 paid $16.1 billion on $81 billion in income, or an effective rate of 20%.



This has always been the truth of the matter and why I have always oppose the democrats motto of taxing the rich.California rich pay 66% of the state's fiduciary liabilities.What the democrats and their media propaganda machine will manage to do is chase rich people away.And California is a prime example.



Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2858 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):

Meanwhile, I am in neither group and I paid 30%, so how is that fair?


It really isn't; and what this data truly illustrates is that it's not the 1%, or the bottom 50% that are really bearing the brunt of our taxes, but rather the middle 49%, and even there heavily skewed towards the top 30 percentage points (i.e ppl with incomes in the 2nd-31st percentiles.

Ideally income taxes for everybody above the 50% line would settle in the 15-25% (those at the top paying 25%, those in the middle paying 15%). Then the bottom 50% paying 5-15%, again on a progressive scale.

This would literally make us (if we can also simulataneously push a cut in the corporate tax rate to around say 20-25% with zero deductions), the most tax competitive developed nation.

The resulting flow of capital would (hopefully) increase tax revenues in the long run.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2843 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 5):
This would literally make us (if we can also simulataneously push a cut in the corporate tax rate to around say 20-25% with zero deductions), the most tax competitive developed nation.

The resulting flow of capital would (hopefully) increase tax revenues in the long run.

How does that compare to countries like France and Germany who have strong economies and higher taxes that we do?

And I mean REAL tax rates. Not effective tax rates?


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2806 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Meanwhile, I am in neither group and I paid 30%, so how is that fair?

There are a lot of people who would be paying taxes, but the $1,000 per child tax credit eliminates their tax liabilities.

That Child Care Tax Credit was Newt's Brain Child in the Contract With America. The GOP understood that it would be a huge factor in winning votes (it was), but the GOP failed to look at the long term costs - $18,000 in taxpayer cash paid out for each child. Three kids and you have a $48,000 handout.

The quer part about that handout is that it is basically like the socialist Child Endowment in Australia and other countries. The GOP had no problem setting up a socialist program to win an election, and now they want to cut Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid to pay for that socialist program.

While I don't anticipate you becoming a father by tradition means there is a potential that you will adopt at some point in the future.

When you look at our debt let's try to remember that we have basically been at war for the past 10 years and we're waging war on the credit card. Our Defense spending is at a level of a world leader, but too many people don't want to pay the taxes necessary to support that level of leadership.

It might well be time to look at some serious adjustments to our Defense spending and our position in the world that spending gets us.

Do we really need to be the most powerful nation in the world? Is it worth reducing the quality of life and the health of the elderly and poor in this country? Maybe we need to take another look at that situation.

And maybe we need to take another look at the Bush tax cuts. We were told at the time that the country had a surplus and it should be returned to the taxpayers. We are still refunding that money, but the surplus has been gone for a long time. it is time to go back to the tax rates we had before W started those refunds. No use crying for the "job creators" as they sure as hell aren't creating jobs at the levels their tax refunds would support.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 1):
spending MUST be cut

We do need to cut spending, but Defense needs to be at the top of the list. There are a lot of countries that manage to be protected without spending at the levels we spend. We need to take a very hard look at that spending before attacking the elderly and the sick.

We also need to take a very hard look at spending on health. This employer provided nanny care is one sorry ass key to our high costs and our outcomes are pathetic for the money spent. If we start looking at other countries with BETTER outcomes we might find ways to cut the deficit without lowering the standard of health care.

BTW, employer nanny care is a free tax ride for both employer and employee. Maybe if we looked at the tax revenue lost from that tax free ride we can see where a big chunk of national debt comes from.


User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2789 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
And maybe we need to take another look at the Bush tax cuts. We were told at the time that the country had a surplus and it should be returned to the taxpayers. We are still refunding that money, but the surplus has been gone for a long time. it is time to go back to the tax rates we had before W started those refunds. No use crying for the "job creators" as they sure as hell aren't creating jobs at the levels their tax refunds would support.

Following the Bush tax cuts, tax revenues raised from the top 20% and top 10% of taxpayers (by income) increased relative to what it was during the Clinton administration. And the funny part is that this held even through the late 2000s recession

Ken, have you ever heard of the Laffer Curve? When you lower tax rates, you increase total revenues because that stimulates GDP growth. There are two ways to increase tax revenues, take more of the pie, or grow the pie. The latter method tends to work better in the long run (as seen in the long run outcomes of the US and the USSR post WWII)

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
Do we really need to be the most powerful nation in the world? Is it worth reducing the quality of life and the health of the elderly and poor in this country? Maybe we need to take another look at that situation.

How has this worked out in Europe? For the most part in bankruptcy and default. Remember, our defense spending as a percentage of GDP is pretty much at its long run average, what has exploded is public sector wages and medicare; those two, along with government waste and duplicitous state/nat'l spending pretty much can account for all of our deficit.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2787 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Thread starter):
Now, please explain to me how this shows that the rich aren't paying "their fair share

It doesn't. But it's one of the liberal tenets: try to make everyone happy, just make sure you do it using someone else's money.

For that matter the whole Occupy Movement is based on the idea that they want what someone else has. But even actual theft is too much work for that bunch, so they've decided that the best option is to sit around and smell bad to try and get the government to do the stealing for them.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
Do we really need to be the most powerful nation in the world?

Yes.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
Is it worth reducing the quality of life and the health of the elderly and poor in this country?

That's for the poor and elderly to figure out. Not my problem.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
e do need to cut spending, but Defense needs to be at the top of the list.

Defense (including law enforcement) and education have to be the absolute last things on the list to be cut. Defense because there's no practical alternative and education since it wouldn't be nice to leave lower class people out in the cold. Not that we shouldn't squeeze the most out of every dollar in those parts of the budget, but those are the parts of the budget where the dollars really need to be. Cut the hell out of the rest of it.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7803 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2771 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 1):
spending MUST be cut

We do need to cut spending, but Defense needs to be at the top of the list.
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Defense (including law enforcement) and education have to be the absolute last things on the list to be cut.

It goes against my interests but I actually agree the defense budget needs a huge haircut but it's absolutely critical it's done in the right places. Keep retirement for people in 20 years, keep full VA coverage for the often forgotten veterans, keep the most technologically advanced and powerful military out there. That being said, all these troops all over the place, these wars, etc... bring them home. That would (IMO) stop a lot of motivation for terrorism but that's another thread. We can still have the best military in the world for a fraction of the cost.

That all being said, defense shouldn't be the only thing being gutted. Pretty much everything should be cut to some extent. "Well what about ________?" Yes, it's gonna hurt, all sides and programs will feel some pain. But out spending is absolutely out of control and the quicker we curb it, the less damage will be done. We're just screwing ourselves, the longer we wait, the more painful our interest payment will be and the less we can actually spend on our citizens.

^^This is why I roll my eyes at proposed tax increases... the point that we are at now, no tax rate will solve. Not even close. Tax every citizen 100% and we won't even cover our outrageous debt (well maybe it would, that's not my point.) It would need to be outrageously high



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2762 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 8):
Ken, have you ever heard of the Laffer Curve?

Yep.

I've also seen it put down. Here's a Google for you:

laffer curve debunked

pick any one you want.

There is an easy one at:

http://economistsview.typepad.com/ec...sview/2007/10/whos-laffering-.html

Under "Who’s Laffering now?"

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 8):
is pretty much at its long run average,

And that spending has been huge. We really need to give it some thought. We have enough nukes for MAD.

And we (hopefully) have learned our lesson on invading another country.

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 8):
what has exploded is public sector wages and medicare

Medicare explodes because the health care costs in the US have exploded -far faster than the rest of the world.

But that is the price of employer nanny care.

Public sector wages are just like private sector wages. Competitive, but there are ceilings that the private sector don't have.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Yes

You want that?

TIme to raise your taxes to pay for it.

And for any future unnecessary invasion for some conservative's ego.

Or maybe you'll just go for shafting Veterans like the GOP wants to do to the elderly and the sick.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Not my problem

Therein lies a major problem in this country - pretending it is only someone else's problem.

I guess you are assuming you'll not grow old. Look at your assets today. (Or your parents assets)

Now figure out that a new Toyota Corolla will probably cost around $250,000 when you retire. Petrol? Maybe $35 a gallon, if you are lucky.

Health insurance? If the GOP keeps coddling the health insurance industry you'll be lucky with $15,000 per month.

At least the debt from your college years will look pretty cheap.

But your parents assets will also look a lot smaller.

There are a lot of things that are your problem - you just don't want to acknowledge them today.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Defense (including law enforcement) and education have to be the absolute last things on the list to be cut.

We can protect this country without the level of over spending that we have had most of my life.

As far as police and education goes, look for that to have major cuts under the GOP.

We have a GOP Governor & Legislature. Education has been cut already and I can see more in the future.

Then take a look a Wisconsin. The cost to become a teacher keeps going up and they have a governor who will continue to shaft the teachers.

One queer bit is that when you talk about protecting education, look at companies like Exxon pushing for more education in the areas of math & science. But, hey, it is going to cost money to train math & science teachers. THe better the school the more it will cost. And the good math & science teachers will have multiple offers - and some from good companies that will pay more than Walker and deliver more benefits than Walker. And will be more trustworthy than Walker.

And you think education in this country will be protected?

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 8):
There are two ways to increase tax revenues, take more of the pie, or grow the pie.

You are still avoiding the reality that Bush pushed his Refund Of Our Surplus.

The Refund continues long after the Surplus disappeared.

And the Debt continues to grow.

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 8):
How has this worked out in Europe?

How did W's program of Guns & Butter & Cake work out for us?

We got The Great Recession. Remember?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
But it's one of the liberal tenets
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Yes.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21515 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2745 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 8):
Ken, have you ever heard of the Laffer Curve? When you lower tax rates, you increase total revenues because that stimulates GDP growth.

That's not true in all circumstances, otherwise it would be a line instead of a curve. Obviously, there is a point at which lower tax rates do not increase revenues. Which side of that point you're on determines which way tax rates should go if you want to increase revenues.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2736 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
We have enough nukes for MAD.

I guess there's no such thing as fungibility in your world.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
I guess you are assuming you'll not grow old.

Oh I fully plan on growing old and I know I'll have to save and invest wisely to do so. I'm not about to count on the government run Ponzi scheme of Social Security to fund my retirement. It may still nominally be around just because the government can make it mandatory to keep the money rolling in. Telling people to sit down, shut up, and send their checks is a luxury Bernie Madoff didn't have.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Now figure out that a new Toyota Corolla will probably cost around $250,000 when you retire. Petrol? Maybe $35 a gallon, if you are lucky.

With the government spending like it is, inflation could make that a possibility. Or if the US declares war on cars and starts levying taxes on them like some other countries.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Health insurance? If the GOP keeps coddling the health insurance industry you'll be lucky with $15,000 per month.

Throw the doors open and make it a market based deal just like food and shelter. State run healthcare looks good until people use it as an excuse to have government butt into our lives like the New York soda law.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
One queer bit is that when you talk about protecting education, look at companies like Exxon pushing for more education in the areas of math & science. But, hey, it is going to cost money to train math & science teachers. THe better the school the more it will cost.

So? If there's a lack of teachers, teacher pay has to rise and all of the sudden some smarter young people are going to decide that maybe they don't want a quarter million of debt from law school and do that instead. Market based solutions even these things out.

And there will be some more money if we stop throwing money at Jessie Mae Belle and her dozen kids in the trailer.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2727 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
We do need to cut spending, but Defense needs to be at the top of the list. There are a lot of countries that manage to be protected without spending at the levels we spend. We need to take a very hard look at that spending before attacking the elderly and the sick.

Do you know why those countries are protected? Because our tax dollars pay for it.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
So? If there's a lack of teachers, teacher pay has to rise and all of the sudden some smarter young people are going to decide that maybe they don't want a quarter million of debt from law school and do that instead. Market based solutions even these things out.

Public teacher pay is not market-based.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39693 posts, RR: 75
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2695 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
Do we really need to be the most powerful nation in the world?

Yeah let's turn that power over to more compassionate countries such as China or Russia.........  



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2670 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 12):

That's not true in all circumstances, otherwise it would be a line instead of a curve. Obviously, there is a point at which lower tax rates do not increase revenues. Which side of that point you're on determines which way tax rates should go if you want to increase revenues.

-Mir


Yes, I'm familiar with the premise of the Laffer Curve and why it's a curve.

That being said, 6 years worth of rising tax revenues from the Bush tax cuts followed by 2 years of falling tax revenue during a recession does not in any way debunk the Laffer curve. So lets summarize this here.

When LBJ cut taxes on the wealthy in the 1960s, economy expanded and tax collections from the wealthy expanded. This trend came to an end when a supply side recession (i.e. the spike in oil) hit in the early 70s. Tell me how this debunks the Laffer Curve.

When Reagan cut taxes on the wealthy in the early 1980s, the economy expanded and tax collections from the wealthy increased this ended in 1990 when guess what, an oil spike helped drive another recession. Tell me how this debunks the Laffer Curve.

When Bush cut taxes on the wealthy in the early 2000s, the economy expanded for 6 years and there were 6 years worth of rising tax collections from the rich, followed by 1.5 yrs of falling tax revenue thanks to a recession caused by Democrat led housing policy (everybody should own a house regardless of ability to pay) and whoaa another oil spike, and again a rise in tax collections from the rich after the late 2000s recession

So Ken777 and Mir, the long run data shows that Bush had it right.

And, you wouldn't accept one year of data showing that temperatures fell following 6 years of rising temperatures as conclusive proof that global warming doesn't exist, yet you're willing to do that for the Laffer Curve. hmm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):

So? If there's a lack of teachers, teacher pay has to rise and all of the sudden some smarter young people are going to decide that maybe they don't want a quarter million of debt from law school and do that instead. Market based solutions even these things out.

And there will be some more money if we stop throwing money at Jessie Mae Belle and her dozen kids in the trailer.

Welfare really isn't the issue here; it's salaries for public employees. We need to do a little redistribution; let's spend less on DMV clerks and more on teachers.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):

How did W's program of Guns & Butter & Cake work out for us?

We got The Great Recession. Remember?


And 6 odd years of robust economic growth. A recession, from which the economy has rebounded (held back by federal policy but still a recovery), does not invalidate the economic gains of Bush's first 6 years in office. People seem to forget that he too inherited a recession from Bill Clinton, but instead of complaining about his predecessor's faults, he took action and secured years of economic growth.

And at the very bottom of the recession, GDP per capita in PPP terms was still higher than what it was at the start of his term. The life of the average American got better economically under GWB, though that of the poorest 20% did not.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
You are still avoiding the reality that Bush pushed his Refund Of Our Surplus.

The Refund continues long after the Surplus disappeared.

And the Debt continues to grow.

Ehh, here's why the debt grows. In 2008, GWB pushed through what was supposed to be a temporary recovery package of emergency spending (TARP and similar), pushing up federal spending from ~$2.9 billion to $3.5 billion. Now, once the immediate threat had passed, President Obama, instead of cutting spending back to normal terms, increased spending from this EMERGENCY LEVEL. That alone has added some 3-4 trillion to our debt, or 25% of its current level

Meanwhile, Europe is a dying continent economically. I'd rather have the US situation than the EU's many times over..


User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2658 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 10):
That would (IMO) stop a lot of motivation for terrorism but that's another thread. We can still have the best military in the world for a fraction of the cost.

You don't need to take troops out of the terrorism areas to bring heaps of the home. IIRC the US has 50,000 troops in Germany and around another 50,000 troops in Japan. I'm sure there is a logic to keeping them there but it costs a lot of money to do so in countries that are actually more peaceful than the US.

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 8):
Ken, have you ever heard of the Laffer Curve? When you lower tax rates, you increase total revenues because that stimulates GDP growth. There are two ways to increase tax revenues, take more of the pie, or grow the pie.

That works when there is demand and the problem with this economy is that pretty much across the world demand has dropped off significantly, even in China. You can cut taxes all you want but if people aren't buying it's not going to make anything better.

Explain to me how Supply side economics is going to work when I'm not going to make any big purchases because I may not have a job tomorrow. You need to get someone to spend where I agree with the conservatives is I rather it not be debt riddled governments.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
Is it worth reducing the quality of life and the health of the elderly and poor in this country?

That's for the poor and elderly to figure out. Not my problem.

You want to be a rich person as you say in many of your posts. The best way for you to achieve that is you creating something that people want that isn't around yet. I honestly don't know if you have those aspirations but if you do then a large number of people in your country without money to buy whatever you want is going to be your problem.

People not wanting to spend money is your problem actually because in an economy someone's spending is another's income.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
Yeah let's turn that power over to more compassionate countries such as China or Russia.........  

They own the US so the power is theirs if the ever want to exercise it. Those countries know however that a crippled US cripples them, lack of demand in the US is one of the reasons China is slowing down.

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 16):
That being said, 6 years worth of rising tax revenues from the Bush tax cuts followed by 2 years of falling tax revenue during a recession does not in any way debunk the Laffer curve. So lets summarize this here.

Well where were the surpluses then in 6 of those 8 years Bush had a rubber stamp from congress to balance the budget and reduce the deficit. Austerity would have worked then because no one really would have noticed because the economy was growing.

The reason that revenues went up then is that there was growth to make it so. Why as a rich person would I spend more if I had no buyers regardless of how much taxes I pay.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39693 posts, RR: 75
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2656 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 17):
They own the US so the power is theirs if the ever want to exercise it.



Which is why the US needs to pay down the debt and cut spending. 50% doesn't pay taxes at all and that needs to change.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2643 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
Which is why the US needs to pay down the debt and cut spending. 50% doesn't pay taxes at all and that needs to change.

That needs to change I agree but that 50% are not holding enough money to do much of anything to fixing the problem so yes spending needs to be cut it needs to be cut in areas that do not affect the poor and middle class because throwing them on the street when they aren't enough jobs to begin with is just going to make things worse. Cut defense, the war on drugs, farm subsidies and take a cost effective approach to welfare abuse and then I would be on board 100%.

If the US was at full employment and they had this many people out of work then I would side with the tea party 100% but it is not the case and that needs to be fixed also..



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 17):
Well where were the surpluses then in 6 of those 8 years Bush had a rubber stamp from congress to balance the budget and reduce the deficit. Austerity would have worked then because no one really would have noticed because the economy was growing.

The reason that revenues went up then is that there was growth to make it so. Why as a rich person would I spend more if I had no buyers regardless of how much taxes I pay.

GWB spent way too much, nobody's denying that. But it doesn't change the fact that his tax cuts helped the economy. Every major tax cut on the wealthy since the late 1940s (Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Reagan, GWB) has been correlated with an ensuing minimum of 3 yrs of positive and accelerating economic growth. This is not correlation, but rather causation.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 17):
That works when there is demand and the problem with this economy is that pretty much across the world demand has dropped off significantly, even in China. You can cut taxes all you want but if people aren't buying it's not going to make anything better.

Explain to me how Supply side economics is going to work when I'm not going to make any big purchases because I may not have a job tomorrow. You need to get someone to spend where I agree with the conservatives is I rather it not be debt riddled governments.

Investment spending. See the interesting thing about this recovery has been its nature. Consumption spending has pretty much returned to and surpassed 2007 levels. You know what hasn't though; business investment spending; it hasn't grown at the rate it normally does after a recession, despite the fact that interest rates are at near zero levels. And that in turn is tied to the crowding out effect of govt spending. And, higher growth rates of investment spending correspond to faster recoveries after a recession.

Furthermore, supply side tax cuts can help offset rising energy + food + commodity costs, which even for the wealthy, directly and indirectly composes about 20-25% of spending.

And they stimulate demand, more than govt spending (it's counter intuitive but); govt spending tends to flow to certain groups; this is inherently less economically efficient than allowing the market to distribute that capital; and the velocity of government spent money is less than that of private consumption spending.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39693 posts, RR: 75
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2628 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 19):
throwing them on the street

Who said anything about throwing people in the streets?

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 19):
Cut, the war on drugs,

Agreed.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21515 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2595 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 16):
That being said, 6 years worth of rising tax revenues from the Bush tax cuts followed by 2 years of falling tax revenue during a recession does not in any way debunk the Laffer curve.

Except if you take into account the precipitous drop in revenues immediately following the tax cut. Relative to GDP, tax revenues never got back to where they were before the tax cut. Not under Reagan, and not under Bush.

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 16):
a recession caused by Democrat led housing policy (everybody should own a house regardless of ability to pay)
"We can put light where there's darkness, and hope where there's despondency in this country. And part of it is working together as a nation to encourage folks to own their own home."

Sounds like a Democrat would have said that, but it was actually GWB, back in 2002. Don't try and pin the push for home ownership on the Democrats - the White House had plenty to do with that.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2569 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 10):
That being said, all these troops all over the place, these wars, etc... bring them home.

I believe we need to keep troops in South Korea because the North is not stable enough to be trusted. I also believe that South Korea is sufficiently developed to actually pay for the protection those troops provide.

There is also no doubt in my mind that we need a naval base in the Western Pacific. Pity we lost Subic Bay as that was effective for both the US and the Philippines. To be blunt, IMO the loss of that base hurt the Philippines more than it did us. Same with Clark.

I have a hard time, however, supporting a lot of troops in WestPac outside of South Korea. Not worth the money IMO.

Then there are NATO forces that need to be drawn down. Why should we pay out for that deployment when we can move those troops to Europe rapidly?

The Middle East is a really expensive problem because of the unnecessary military activity dumped on us from the last Administration. That is going to cost big time for a long time, but maybe we can replace the work done by Halliburton and others with actual troops. I never did figure out why we pay Halliburton and others out the a$$ to cook meals when the military can have their own cooks. Stupid and far over priced.

We also need to dump the mountain of "defense consultants". What the hell do we have Generals and Admirals for if not for their judgement and experience? Switch out the consultants, increase the number of upper level ranks and give the career officers more advancement opportunities.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 10):
"Well what about ________?" Yes, it's gonna hurt,

Especially when "____________" is "taxes".

If you are looking to cut areas like eduction, police & fire, Social Security, and health care then you need to be prepared for a real deterioration in this country - and there will be a political cost down the road.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 10):
But out spending is absolutely out of contro

It's called Guns & Butter & Cake. Leading to the Great Recession.

Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
Obviously, there is a point at which lower tax rates do not increase revenues

And we reached that point after a decade of unnecessary has reductions. Sure didn't stop that Great Recession.,

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
I'll have to save and invest wisely to do so.

And pray that you don't have those investments hit with a Bush/Cheney market crash. Or a crash in property investments.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
I'm not about to count on the government run Ponzi scheme of Social Security to fund my retirement.

That Ponzi tag is a cute little name used by people who don't want to pay the taxes. Previous generations have manned up and paid the increase in taxes, which has placed the fund TODAY fully funded. Now we need to make changes necessary to ensure it is solid a third of a century from now.

The issue you really need to be afraid of is the impact on the economy when you slip the shaft to the elderly. That presents an environment you really don't want to face down the road. Man up and pay up.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
With the government spending like it is, inflation could make that a possibility.

It is going to happen regardless of the level of government spending, unless there is a long term period of deflation on an international scale. Don't try to dump every problem in this country on "government". That simply doesn't fly.

You can expect that type of inflation with a combination of Republican & Democrat governments - and you will probably face both.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2503 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 23):
And pray that you don't have those investments hit with a Bush/Cheney market crash. Or a crash in property investments.

In the long run almost all investments have paid off at a pretty nice rate. Even simple compound interest in a bank can build a pretty nice nest egg over the course of decades. And if you find yourself in such a position then frankly, you're kind of an idiot. Everybody knows that you can put more money in stocks and such when you are young and can take a hit like that and be okay. When you get into your fifties and sixties you should be moving money into safer investments so that a market crash likely won't jeopardize your retirement.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 23):
That Ponzi tag is a cute little name used by people who don't want to pay the taxes.

One little detail: a Ponzi scheme is exactly what it is. The government pays off earlier "investors" with money being collected from new "investors." Of course if it's really taxes, where I pay my taxes now and then the government gives me someone else's tax money later, then the whole thing is just stupid. I'll keep my money and be better off later on.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 23):
Previous generations have manned up and paid the increase in taxes, which has placed the fund TODAY fully funded.

Do you know why previous generations have had to pay the increase in taxes? It's because like all Ponzi schemes, Social Security relies on bringing in more new money to keep the scheme going, especially when a lot of people are asking for their money back all at once (the Baby Boomers). When the inflow of money levels off or drops the entire thing collapses.

The insanity has to stop. Social Security must be phased out in an orderly fashion before it collapses or sucks up every bit of wealth in the nation.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 25, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2405 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Thread starter):

Which is fine if the two groups had the same level of income, but the bottom 50% had income of $1.05 trillion and paid $19.5 billion in taxes, for an effective tax rate of 0.02%. Meanwhile, the top 400 paid $16.1 billion on $81 billion in income, or an effective rate of 20%.

How do you get an effective tax rate of .02% for the bottom 50%?

19.5bllion over 1.05 is ~19.5% effective tax rate for all 69 million folks.


The point should be made that the ~70 million had an average of 15,000 in effective income to be taxed vs the 40 million in effective taxes of income that the Top 400 got taxed on.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 26, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2393 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
In the long run almost all investments have paid off at a pretty nice rate.

Especially ones that were made with Madoff.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
The government pays off earlier "investors" with money being collected from new "investors."

It has never been a secret that PART of the revenues go towards payment of current retirees. And it has never been a secret that part is loaned to the US Treasury, and put to use on infrastructure and other long term projects. Long term investments in long term projects is far more intelligent than, say, letting some nationally recognized expert (like Madoff) handle that investment in the market.

Maybe you prefer to put your retirement in the hands of an expert at AIG.   

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
I'll keep my money and be better off later on.

In order for you to be better off the country needs to be better off. If the wealthy manage to destroy Social Security and Medicare then we have some major problems. Look for a full time depression, instead of the Simple Great Recession Bush?Cheney delivered. Spreading poverty throughout the country ensures that you will get hit also. We simply don't need to promote misery at a national level, not matter how much the hard right turns you on.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 27, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2391 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
Especially ones that were made with Madoff.

Early investors didn't do so bad, just like early recipients of Social Security. My generation, however, is going to walk straight into a buzz saw. There are only three endgames for Social Security: it runs out of new money and collapses like most Ponzi schemes, the government passes FICA increases until it sucks up every bit of wealth in the nation or the population just increases to unsustainable levels, or we do the smart thing and dismantle the whole system in an orderly way before anything really bad happens.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
It has never been a secret that PART of the revenues go towards payment of current retirees.

...because it's a Ponzi scheme.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
And it has never been a secret that part is loaned to the US Treasury, and put to use on infrastructure and other long term projects.

Then sell bonds rather than making it a mandatory investment. Or just make it a tax and give the rest of the money back to people to invest. Either way, there's no reason for Social Security.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
Long term investments in long term projects is far more intelligent than,

So, exactly what is the huge, insurmountable barrier that is stopping me from buying government bonds? Is some rogue stockbroker going to tackle me, put a gun to my head, and force me to put my money in riskier investments? Because that would be a problem for the government to solve, but not with Social Security.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
Maybe you prefer to put your retirement in the hands of an expert at AIG.

If you're going to be an idiot with your money, then there is nothing the government can do to save you. You're really full of it. As soon as the government hands everybody their money back you act as if they're all going to run to the nearest scam artist and hand them their entire life savings. Anyone who does that deserves to work until they are 90.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
In order for you to be better off the country needs to be better off.

...then get government hands off of everyone's money. Drop spending, drop taxes, and watch the market fix itself.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):
Spreading poverty throughout the country ensures that you will get hit also.

Poverty is not a national problem. If you don't want to be impoverished, that is a problem for you to solve, not the government.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 961 posts, RR: 51
Reply 28, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2391 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
So, exactly what is the huge, insurmountable barrier that is stopping me from buying government bonds? Is some rogue stockbroker going to tackle me, put a gun to my head, and force me to put my money in riskier investments? Because that would be a problem for the government to solve, but not with Social Security.

BMI727, you should know by know that liberals are all about forcible control of individuals. They don't want what is best for you, they want what is best for them. We are watching this play out in Wisconsin. Give people the choice not to be in a union and half of the members drop out. Give people the choice to leave East Germany and communism falls. Give people the choice to opt out of Social Security and it would collapse overnight. Liberals need walls to keep people in their clutches or their sacred institutions would vaporize.


User currently offlinethreeifbyair From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 672 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2376 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
There are only three endgames for Social Security: it runs out of new money and collapses like most Ponzi schemes, the government passes FICA increases until it sucks up every bit of wealth in the nation or the population just increases to unsustainable levels, or we do the smart thing and dismantle the whole system in an orderly way before anything really bad happens

There is another option - reduce benefits. This will actually happen automatically when the trust fund is depleted, at which point taxes will only be sufficient to pay about 75% of promised benefits.

Medicare, OTOH, is a whole different animal.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21515 posts, RR: 55
Reply 30, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2351 times:

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 29):
There is another option - reduce benefits. This will actually happen automatically when the trust fund is depleted, at which point taxes will only be sufficient to pay about 75% of promised benefits.

It should start happening now, in order to avoid reaching that point.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 31, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2343 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
My generation, however, is going to walk straight into a buzz saw.

Only if you let the politicians and the Koch Brothers convince you that you are.

Might be interesting to see just how politicians will respond when they face angry voters over ending Social Security and Medicare. Their right wing BS can only go so far before it fails. Just like the end of the Bush/Cheney Years.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
the government passes FICA increases until it sucks up every bit of wealth in the nation or the population just increases to unsustainable levels,

LOL!

It's amazing that previous generations (including mine) could handle increases to FICA without crying all over the place.

It's also amazing to listen to the wimps who actually believe that right wing BS.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
...because it's a Ponzi scheme.

Say it often enough and you might believe it. Not matter how often you say it I'll pass - far too convenient for the wealthy to kill Social Security and Medicare.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
If you're going to be an idiot with your money, then there is nothing the government can do to save you.

Take a hard look at investors in AIG and Madoff. Mot your basic idiot. (Didn't Madoff get voted to the top position in the NYSE by fellow members?)

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):

...then get government hands off of everyone's money.
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
Drop spending, drop taxes, and watch the market fix itself.

Just like during the Bush/Cheney Years?

Remember the Great Recession? We got that the last time the Conservatives showed us how to run the economy.

And you are probably voting for Bush III this November.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
Poverty is not a national problem

Of course it is. The more you increase poverty the greater impact you have on pulling the economy for everyone down.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
If you don't want to be impoverished, that is a problem for you to solve, not the government.

You sound like you are straight out of the 1800's. The get a job or get a gun mentality.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
Drop spending, drop taxes, and watch the market fix itself.

So we can cut big chunks out of infrastructure davelopment & maintenance and those PRIVATE companies who do the work will reach new heights of profitability? And hire more & more people? Sure.

Same for defense. You cut the budget and Defense will get their cuts. Look for falling profits and employment in private companies who work in the Defense Sector.

Every where you cut spending you will reduce corporate profits and employment.

So start with how many "government employees" you are ready to fire. To be effective you need to talk in millions of jobs lost - sort of like the end of the Bush/Cheney areas.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 28):
BMI727, you should know by know that liberals are all about forcible control of individuals.

LOL!

I remember that old Liberal named Huey Long. He had that horrible socialist program that had conservatives totally spastic.

Remember what that horrible socialist program was?

Free text books in high school.

Guess that was forcible control of individuals.  
Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 28):
We are watching this play out in Wisconsin.

To judge the success of the Wisconsin program we will need to look at just how far they push the teachers down. Then look at the continuing increases in costs to become a teacher. Do you really believe that Walker can maintain a balance that will motivate good students in Wisconsin to become teachers there. Do you really believe that he gives a $hit?

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 28):
Give people the choice to leave East Germany and communism falls

It is really pathetic to even attempt to compare non-conservatives in the US to communists in East Germany. Your judgement slipped big time there, totally missing any level of judgement.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 28):
Give people the choice to opt out of Social Security and it would collapse overnight.

And poverty would explode to the point that even the conservatives would be backpedalling before the next election.

But we shall see just how the Ryan Rape will play in November.


User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 961 posts, RR: 51
Reply 32, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2326 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
Guess that was forcible control of individuals.  

Let's see what else has been on the liberal agenda lately:

- Card check to do away with secret ballots in union elections   
- Health insurance mandate of questionable constitutionality   
- Curtailment of political free speech for groups of Americans in the form of corporations or unions   

Quite the model of a free society.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
To judge the success of the Wisconsin program we will need to look at just how far they push the teachers down. Then look at the continuing increases in costs to become a teacher. Do you really believe that Walker can maintain a balance that will motivate good students in Wisconsin to become teachers there. Do you really believe that he gives a $hit?

You are missing the point. The teachers are the ones leaving the union. No one is forcing them to leave. Walker's policy gave them the freedom to choose and they are choosing to leave. The rate at which they are leaving would suggest that they didn't want to be there in the first place.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
It is really pathetic to even attempt to compare non-conservatives in the US to communists in East Germany. Your judgement slipped big time there, totally missing any level of judgement.

You believe in a powerful coercive government that denies the individual the freedom to make critical personal decisions in matters of personal finance. If it stings that deeply, maybe you should rethink your position.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
And poverty would explode to the point that even the conservatives would be backpedalling before the next election.But we shall see just how the Ryan Rape will play in November.

The people who would opt out of receiving benefits are those like BMI727 and myself who are decades away from retirement. Paying down the existing pool of benefit recipients has been the subject of countless economic studies. It's feasible, and it needs to be done. The sooner, the better.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 33, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2319 times:

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 32):
The teachers are the ones leaving the union.

The simple fact is that the unions have been show down and don't have the ability to negotiate. No negotiation power and there is no need to pay the dues.

There is also no need for Wisconsin to take care of teachers. Look for teachers compensation to fail to keep up with COLA.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 32):
You believe in a powerful coercive government that denies the individual the freedom to make critical personal decisions in matters of personal finance.

You telling me what yo believe? LMAO! You don't have a clue - just a right wing indoctrination that makes every one not in lock step a liberal.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 32):
If it stings that deeply, maybe you should rethink your position.

It doesn't "sting me" - it is simply pathetic IMO to make that comparison. Sort of like saying that the hard right are a bunch of jack boot brown shirts. Sounds to me that you are one of Cheney Cadets. LMAO!

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 32):
The people who would opt out of receiving benefits are those like BMI727 and myself who are decades away from retirement

You tend to forget that there are also insurance benefits tied to the Social Security part of FICA. Back in the 80s we had a salesman who worked with us. Top notch guy, knew his product well and worked effectively to ensure we knew the product. The guy was working in his territories and was in an auto accident while working in Kansas City.

Overnight he was a quad. There was a bit of money from insurance - after fighting more legal battles than he should have. His only support after his personal savings ran out. was Social Security. He had paid out for that insurance and it was the most responsible insurance policy he had.

So when you look at getting out of SS be sure to understand that we will need a mandatory private insurance program to ensure you don't become a burden on the public. You don't pay FICA taxes then you should be left on your own if you happen to get hit with a problem like that guy. Becoming a para or quad is a flip of the coin when it comes to luck. Be very sure that long term insurance programs are mandatory and buy the best you can afford.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 32):
The people who would opt out of receiving benefits are those like BMI727 and myself who are decades away from retirement

And I doubt if either of you have sufficient disability insurance to protect you if you're the next one to become a quad.


User currently offlineQXatFAT From Israel, joined Feb 2006, 2404 posts, RR: 5
Reply 34, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2315 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Meanwhile, I am in neither group and I paid 30%, so how is that fair?

   here here!

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
There are a lot of people who would be paying taxes, but the $1,000 per child tax credit eliminates their tax liabilities.

I know that is pretty douchy of me but when my friends that have kids start talking about how much money they get back from the government for having their kids, my response every time is "You're welcome". Douche, I know.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):

Of course we need to be the strongest nation! There is no doubt about that. Also, defense spending still has to be high. Why? Because how many of those other countries that you are thinking about have people always trying to kill them? How many of them are in a constant conflict? Who calls on America to come save them when oppressed? Them all!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
Yeah let's turn that power over to more compassionate countries such as China or Russia

  
And of course who are the people pumping money at a faster rate than the United States? The ones you just mentioned. They see what the Dems are trying to do in cut the spending so they see the opportunity to spend the money to try to play catch up.

On a little bit of a side note but still has to deal with taxes and spending of government money...it is sad when my friends start picking and changing their majors to things in which the GOVERNMENT is hiring so they can get a job that has the benefits they receive. In my industry, there are now more newer and newer faces that are starting to tell me how I should do MY job or run our industry when they haven't spent even 1 hour in the private side of this industry.



Don't Tread On Me!
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 35, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2304 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
In the long run almost all investments have paid off at a pretty nice rate. Even simple compound interest in a bank can build a pretty nice nest egg over the course of decades. And if you find yourself in such a position then frankly, you're kind of an idiot.

There are things that people can't control and yes there is people that you refer to in this post who don't think ahead. But suppose you or one of you children has a medical condition that costs an absolute fortune to treat, you might not have the money to save because you have a massive debt for treatment and health insurance in the US only goes so far.

The best thing to do in that situation at the moment is to declare bankruptcy because IIRC your retirement funds are protected.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
Do you know why previous generations have had to pay the increase in taxes? It's because like all Ponzi schemes, Social Security relies on bringing in more new money to keep the scheme going, especially when a lot of people are asking for their money back all at once (the Baby Boomers). When the inflow of money levels off or drops the entire thing collapses.

If SS is a ponzi scheme which there is logic to then banking and insurance are also, actually SS is a type of insurance. None of them can pay if everyone wants their money at once with banking, that is a run. Also insurance companies can't cope if everyone claims at once.

That is what brought down AIG they were insuring all these supposed AAA rated mortgage backed securities and when they turned out to be crap they had to pay out all those claims.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
Only if you let the politicians and the Koch Brothers convince you that you are.

   We know that this is an issue so we can if we choose can be proactive to deal with it if there is a will.

I am actually for people refusing to pay taxes but then they have to deal with paying as you go for all public services.

Quoting QXatFAT (Reply 34):
Why? Because how many of those other countries that you are thinking about have people always trying to kill them? How many of them are in a constant conflict? Who calls on America to come save them when oppressed? Them all!

Follow Ron Paul and say no. Most of the problems that the US faces in the Middle East is because they have meddled where they shouldn't have. They did nothing in Egypt, Libya was NATO led and the US has a supporting role, who knows what is going to happen in Syria but I doubt that the US is going to to anything substantial.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
Poverty is not a national problem. If you don't want to be impoverished, that is a problem for you to solve, not the government.

An increase of poverty leads to a less stable country and increased crime, this is not good as it will eventually lead to a revolution by the impoverished. That was the reason for the French revolution and one of the main causes of the Arab spring was the government not taking an effort to improve general living standards. This is something that the US government did very well from WWII until 1980.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineAustinAllison From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2305 times:

A flat tax is the only solution here.

User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2304 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 25):

Uhh, 19.5 billion divided by 100 billion would be an effective rate of 19.5%.

When the income is 1 trillion, then that's an effective rate of 1/20 or 0.05 percent.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):

Only if you let the politicians and the Koch Brothers convince you that you are.

Might be interesting to see just how politicians will respond when they face angry voters over ending Social Security and Medicare. Their right wing BS can only go so far before it fails. Just like the end of the Bush/Cheney Years.


SS isn't a Ponzi scheme; heck with smart immigration laws to improve demographics, increase in age to reflect new realities (I'd say 70), switch over to chained COLA increases, we can extend its lifespan by a good 30-40 years.

Medicare is unsustainable; again, remind me why we should be paying every dollar and every cent worth of health care for non-veteran elderly (i.e. those that didn't serve in the military).

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):

LOL!

I remember that old Liberal named Huey Long. He had that horrible socialist program that had conservatives totally spastic.

Remember what that horrible socialist program was?

Free text books in high school.

Guess that was forcible control of individuals.  

Huey Long? The corrupt Louisiana politician with the "Share Our Wealth Plan," yeah he was a real genius that one.

If I make money, I think that I have a reasonable right to that money after paying my dues (to answer your question, yes I do pull an income).

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 35):

We know that this is an issue so we can if we choose can be proactive to deal with it if there is a will.

I am actually for people refusing to pay taxes but then they have to deal with paying as you go for all public services.


I think most people accept the need for taxes, just not at this level with this much waste.


User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 38, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2299 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 37):
I think most people accept the need for taxes, just not at this level with this much waste.

Most people envy US tax rates in the developed world   .



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 39, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2298 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
It's amazing that previous generations (including mine) could handle increases to FICA without crying all over the place.

It's amazing that nobody saw Social Security for what it is. And nobody looked far enough ahead to see all of the Baby Boomers coming which could, in essence, create a run on the system the way the recession created a run on Madoff's system and bring the whole thing to a screeching halt.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
Take a hard look at investors in AIG and Madoff. Mot your basic idiot. (Didn't Madoff get voted to the top position in the NYSE by fellow members?)

Except they are idiots if they didn't diversify. They got sucked in and fell for the BS hook, line, and sinker. Not unlike people who expect Social Security to fund their whole retirement. They've got another thing coming.

I don't care if it's your own brother, you shouldn't invest all of your money with one person no matter how great the returns are or how much you like them. This isn't rocket science.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 31):
So we can cut big chunks out of infrastructure davelopment & maintenance and those PRIVATE companies who do the work will reach new heights of profitability? And hire more & more people? Sure.

It's going to have to get some cuts. And a lot of infrastructure can be privatized. What money does get spent has to have the value squeezed from every last penny and the best way to do that is competitive bidding among private contractors.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 33):
So when you look at getting out of SS be sure to understand that we will need a mandatory private insurance program to ensure you don't become a burden on the public.

A better solution would be voluntary insurance and people, not the public, assumes the risk if one chooses not to purchase it.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 35):
If SS is a ponzi scheme which there is logic to then banking and insurance are also,

They aren't actually. Social Security takes money paid in now and sends it right back out to retirees. Real investments (banks, hedge funds, mutual funds, insurance, etc.) actually invest the money or loan it out and pay off early investors using the profits from those investments.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 35):
That is what brought down AIG they were insuring all these supposed AAA rated mortgage backed securities and when they turned out to be crap they had to pay out all those claims.

They made a bad bet and lost a lot of money, which isn't the same as running a scam.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21515 posts, RR: 55
Reply 40, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2298 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 37):
I think most people accept the need for taxes, just not at this level with this much waste.

Do they? Do they really?

North Dakota is having a referendum on constitutionally abolishing the property tax. Never mind the fact that the state's extra revenue that they think will pay for it is already legally devoted to other matters, never mind the fact that amending a constitution to outright ban a tax is setting yourself up for trouble down the road when those extra revenues aren't there. They just want to not have to pay money for things now, and worry about tomorrow tomorrow (because surely things will be better then, right?). It's so short sighted it's ridiculous - hell, that sort of thinking is what got us into this problem in the first place.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 41, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2296 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
Real investments (banks, hedge funds, mutual funds, insurance, etc.) actually invest the money or loan it out and pay off early investors using the profits from those investments.

Banks do the exact same thing, up to 90-95% (depending on capitalization requirements) of your deposits are going to someone who is borrowing that money.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
They made a bad bet and lost a lot of money, which isn't the same as running a scam.

Scam means that it was intended to be theft, the principle is the same.

If you live in LA and an earthquake wipes out your house and 100,000 more and all those people claim do you think that insurer is going to be able to pay every claim. Note they have a contract signed with all of those home-owners.


Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
It's going to have to get some cuts. And a lot of infrastructure can be privatized.

What do you suggest get privatized in terms of infrastructure?? A lot is but their money comes from your taxes anyways.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 42, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2286 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 41):
Banks do the exact same thing, up to 90-95% (depending on capitalization requirements) of your deposits are going to someone who is borrowing that money.

The key word there is "borrow." Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, which means no borrowing and no investment. The money paid in by workers today goes right back out as the payoff to retirees collecting benefits. The money retirees get is not coming from interest or dividends like money paid by a bank or other investments, it comes straight from new investors.

Now there is no reason for the government to borrow anything from Social Security. Either the government should get that money from taxes or by selling bonds voluntarily. Social Security fails as a Ponzi scheme and as a mandatory bond selling scheme.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 41):
Scam means that it was intended to be theft, the principle is the same.

No it isn't. When you make an investment there is a legitimate risk, which you are responsible for weighing yourself when making the decision to invest. Investments fail from time to time. Some more than others but it happens, and how much risk you can take is a personal decision that should be based on your personal situation.

Few at AIG really thought these were bad investments. They made a mistake and paid the price, or at least they would have if it weren't for the bailout. If they know that it is a poor investment but present it to investors as being better than they know it is, then that is a scam, just like if someone collects investments for a gold mine in Africa they know doesn't exist.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 41):
If you live in LA and an earthquake wipes out your house and 100,000 more and all those people claim do you think that insurer is going to be able to pay every claim.

I've never heard of an issue with that. And there is a lot of regulation in place to ensure that does not happen.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 41):
Note they have a contract signed with all of those home-owners.

There is always the risk of default when you sign a contract with anyone for anything.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 41):
What do you suggest get privatized in terms of infrastructure??

A lot of roads and airports for one. My philosophy is that infrastructure should be funded on as local a level as possible, which gives the most flexibility for each locality to get the infrastructure that best serves them and fund it in the most prudent way possible. Of course there is no way that infrastructure can ever be removed from the federal budget, but states and cities should be competing for federal dollars.

I would make one major law regarding this: any road project receiving federal money can charge tolls that only go to pay for the construction and maintenance of that road. When the construction is paid off the tolls have to drop so they only cover maintenance and expansion. There would probably have to be some protection against perpetual construction too.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 41):
A lot is but their money comes from your taxes anyways.

It's a matter of squeezing every last bit of value out of those dollars.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 43, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks ago) and read 2272 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
I've never heard of an issue with that. And there is a lot of regulation in place to ensure that does not happen.

There hasn't been an 8.5 earthquake in LA since it became a large city. I'm making the point that if an insurance company has to pay a lot of claims at once it can't either and for it to remain solvent it has to collect premiums to modify the amount.

The exact same as SS as people are insuring old age payment, insurance uses the pool of money to pay out claims and people old enough are just making claims, same as your auto insurance payments go to someone who had a car accident to get their car fixed.
I will give you if you want to opt out feel free and perhaps that will be an option if the mandate for Obamacare is deemed unconstitutional.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
My philosophy is that infrastructure should be funded on as local a level as possible, which gives the most flexibility for each locality to get the infrastructure that best serves them and fund it in the most prudent way possible

A lot of it is, most roads are built locally, utilities are, sanitation is, in the US telecommunications is generally regional.

I have done a lot of infrastructure inspection work and the highest I have worked with is the province of Ontario but most of my work was done by developers and local municipalities. All of the contractors are private companies also that submit bids to get the contracts.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
A lot of roads and airports for one.

I'll give you airports and a lot of them do have to pay for themselves in terms of upgrades and the passengers pay for them though taxes on airline tickets and not a lot would change if they were private.

People would go nuts if roads were private. The conditions may be better but private roads are toll roads and the private company can bill you for their road use however they please similar to how turnpikes are done. Most drivers would need a transponder in their car so the private company knows when you use their roads and failing that they will get your license place number and send you a bill. It's likely a zero sum game and that private company doesn't have to answer to voters like a local municipality would.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 44, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2231 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 37):
When the income is 1 trillion, then that's an effective rate of 1/20 or 0.05 percent.

Actually it is 2% but the difference in disposable income is key.

If you raised the income tax on the bottom 50% by 5% you would raise pnlyy another 50 billion and piss of 69 million voters/taxpayers.
As their 15000, in taxable income would lose on average aother 750 bucks.

If you Raised the income tax on the top 400 by 5% you would raise 3.2 billion dollars. Only 400 people get higher taxes. and you piss off 68,999,6000 less people.

Somewhere in between is the sweet spot of raising revenue and ensuring re-election.

Currently the politicians on both sides are not doing what is needed to
1. balance the budget
2. Pay off the debt


Both avenues must be used in order to evenly distribute the pain.
1. Raise Revenue
2. Cut spending.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2216 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 44):

True, but it needs to be weighted more towards spending cuts
,

Because there are diminishing returns to tax increases Whereas a dollar in cuts is a dollar saved


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7803 posts, RR: 52
Reply 46, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2163 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 44):
Both avenues must be used in order to evenly distribute the pain.
1. Raise Revenue
2. Cut spending.

I wouldn't say evenly distribute... you're gonna need to cut a LOT more than you could ever raise



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 47, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2141 times:

Look, I don't know what people expect in these discussions. If they expect "fair" then it all depends on what fair means to that person and how they define it/what the expectations are. Regarding the discrepancy paid between the wealthy (or more accurately high income earners) and the poor, how can anyone not expect the delta presented?

I mean, those top income earners (the "400") bring in something like 18,000 times more than the poorer people (the "bottom 50%") and on top of that pay a higher rate (though perhaps only marginally so when all adjustments are factored in) so of course the amount paid is going to be hugely different.

I personally am fine with the higher taxes things may revert too (and I will get to pay those taxes) because we need to get things back on track in the USA. I think that the tax structure and rates that were in place from the Reagan through Clinton administrations are about right but I know there is no exact science when saying that and that many things changed over that time. However those taxes and policies worked better than what we have now. And if we change things cut spending, return taxes to previous levels and cut and pay down the debt then the USA may be OK, if not then it will be in more trouble than it already is.

Regarding the question first posed: Is US tax policy "fair"? Sure.Why not, what else is going to get put in place the way things are right now? I have generally advocated for a "flat tax" based on wealth not income. It would be something like a 6%-7% flat tax calculated on all monies and wealth that everyone owns/controls and earns each year, it would apply to corporations and people. Everyone. But I am sure those impacted (read "the wealthy") would advocate the horrors of such an idea, double taxation, job destruction, unfair... etc.

Basically that fact that the bottom 50% pay a very small percentage makes sense when they only own/control 2.5% of the wealth of the nation. That the "wealthy" pay more than that makes sense as they own and control more of the wealth in the nation. Basically it breaks out like this: The bottom 50% have about 2.5% of the wealth, those in the 50%-80% range control 12-13%, the "19%" from 80% to 99% control 50% (this is the middle class of today, though many would call it the upper middle class), and finally the top 1%, everybody's favorite target, controls some 35%.

Now these numbers are rough because there is mixing of wealth vs income etc. but it essentially shows what I consider to be "fair" (not claiming you will) for the level of tax paid by groups/individuals.

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
http://patrick.net/forum/?p=1208137 (I have to source more on the bottom 50% but there isn't as much on them)

And finally I always have to point out that the "bottom 50%" of earners were removed from the tax rolls (effectively) by Republican's back during the Reagan years (yes the Dems were all for it but it was the Republican's that launched it). And it was done for a very good reason: the cost of collection and enforcement was basically equal to what was paid. Though with that said, I still think it was a mistake. EVERYONE should pay some level of tax so that when they go to vote and decide how their community or the nation should go they have "skin in the game".

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6578 posts, RR: 24
Reply 48, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2112 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
Even simple compound interest in a bank can build a pretty nice nest egg over the course of decades.

If you believe this, you are extremely naive.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
In the long run almost all investments have paid off at a pretty nice rate.

Stocks are a ponzi scheme too you realize. Those who got in early got all the gains and drove prices up. The past performance of the stock market is totally meaningless. Most investors going forward will be lucky to get a 3% rate or return on stocks...barely enough to keep up with inflation.

Quoting tugger (Reply 47):
And finally I always have to point out that the "bottom 50%" of earners were removed from the tax rolls (effectively) by Republican's back during the Reagan years (yes the Dems were all for it but it was the Republican's that launched it).

Conservatives always like to forget about this part. Their demi-god of Reagan actually wanted to remove the poor from the tax roles to help buy some of their votes.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
The money paid in by workers today goes right back out as the payoff to retirees collecting benefits. The money retirees get is not coming from interest or dividends like money paid by a bank or other investments, it comes straight from new investors.

Patently false since historically far more has been paid in than paid out. Where did the rest go?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
They made a bad bet and lost a lot of money, which isn't the same as running a scam.

Except that they new the securities were junk, but made it seem like they were a good investment...hence a scam.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
I would make one major law regarding this: any road project receiving federal money can charge tolls that only go to pay for the construction and maintenance of that road. When the construction is paid off the tolls have to drop so they only cover maintenance and expansion. There would probably have to be some protection against perpetual construction too.

Again, very naive. No private company would sign up to this as you kill their ability to make a long-term profit.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
Few at AIG really thought these were bad investments.

They all knew they were bad investments.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 49, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2107 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 48):
If you believe this, you are extremely naive.

...except for the slight detail that it is true.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 48):
Stocks are a ponzi scheme too you realize.

No it isn't, since there is actual underlying value. Ponzi schemes are simply money in - money out.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 48):
Patently false since historically far more has been paid in than paid out. Where did the rest go?

Wasted on entitlements in the federal budget as a backdoor tax or mandatory bond purchase, however you want to look at it. Either way the system has to be phased out before it collapses.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 48):
Again, very naive. No private company would sign up to this as you kill their ability to make a long-term profit.

No they wouldn't, which is why they would be doing their work without federal money. Or localities taking federal money and then not keeping tolls at high levels, however they prefer. I'm not necessarily against private operators taking some profit like utility companies, though certainly far less on federally funded projects than private ones to keep the feds from being used as a bank. The intent of the law is to keep localities or companies from building Freeway A, collecting tolls to pay it off, and then keeping tolls at those levels indefinitely to bankroll Freeway B, the fire department, an airport or whatever else.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 50, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2094 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 45):
True, but it needs to be weighted more towards spending cuts
,
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 46):
I wouldn't say evenly distribute... you're gonna need to cut a LOT more than you could ever raise

I strongly disagree, We are headed for Rampant inflation. Cutting spending is not as critical as making sure that the income that comes from inflation is distribuited into balancing the budget.

The problem with the "Let's cut it all" approach., is that you will wipe out many jobs in the process and cripple the economy.

things need to be done gradually so as not to inflict too much pain.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6578 posts, RR: 24
Reply 51, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2087 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 49):
...except for the slight detail that it is true.

Inflation rates will outstrip the earnings you get from traditional savings. So putting your money in savings account is no path to wealth.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 49):
No it isn't, since there is actual underlying value. Ponzi schemes are simply money in - money out.

What underlying value? As a shareholder, you own a piece a paper and nothing more. The only "value" comes from other people bidding up the price of the stock which requires lots of people to be willing to dump more money in, so that you can take your money out at a higher price.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 49):
Either way the system has to be phased out before it collapses.

How about we just make some minor tweaks that would allow the program to go on forever? A few relatively minor changes would allow SS to be in the black forever.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 49):

No they wouldn't, which is why they would be doing their work without federal money.

Then you won't see many roads built because private companies rarely build roads without federal/state assistance. The upfront costs are too high and the payout potential is too low.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 52, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2086 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 51):
Inflation rates will outstrip the earnings you get from traditional savings. So putting your money in savings account is no path to wealth.

Interest rates aren't always as crappy as they are now. And if the only thing your bank offers is a savings account I suggest you find a new bank. God forbid anyone put any effort into managing their money.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 51):
What underlying value?

The assets and profits of the company the share is of. It isn't a hard concept to understand. It's no secret that some stocks are overvalued and some are undervalued. Figuring out which are which is the art of playing the market.

What Social Security, and other Ponzi schemes do, is take your dollar, promise you two dollars later on, then take your dollar and give it to someone who was promised a dollar long ago, and then you sit and hope they can find someone to give them two dollars later on so that you can get the two dollars you were promised.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 51):
How about we just make some minor tweaks that would allow the program to go on forever?

You mean force people to dump more money into it. If Bernie Madoff were allowed to force his investors to put more money into his "investments" and delay or limit the withdrawal of investments he'd still be at it today and not be sitting in prison. If you get to pass laws that force people to give you new deck chairs, you can rearrange deck chairs indefinitely. Until they run out anyway.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 51):
Then you won't see many roads built because private companies rarely build roads without federal/state assistance. The upfront costs are too high and the payout potential is too low.

Federal money, federal rules. I don't care how states fund their infrastructure projects. Bond issues, property taxes, sales taxes, lemonade stand, it just doesn't matter. The intent is purely to keep the federal government from building a toll road which then becomes a whole city's cash cow.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7803 posts, RR: 52
Reply 53, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2059 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 50):

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 45):
True, but it needs to be weighted more towards spending cuts
,
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 46):
I wouldn't say evenly distribute... you're gonna need to cut a LOT more than you could ever raise

I strongly disagree, We are headed for Rampant inflation. Cutting spending is not as critical as making sure that the income that comes from inflation is distribuited into balancing the budget.

The problem with the "Let's cut it all" approach., is that you will wipe out many jobs in the process and cripple the economy.

things need to be done gradually so as not to inflict too much pain.

Yes but the problem is the spending deficit is way higher than taxes could ever be. I think I saw a thread a while back showing you could tax people at some ridiculously high, unrealistic late and we'd still fall way short of the deficit. My point is way more cuts are needed than tax increases. I'm not saying all at once because I agree, that would be too much of a change too quickly. We need to get spending down to a reasonable range... once in that range, you can increase or decrease taxes accordingly to get more benefits or less. Our spending is no where near that range



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 54, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2034 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 37):
again, remind me why we should be paying every dollar and every cent worth of health care for non-veteran elderly

Pretty simple really.

First, Medicare does not pay every dollar and every cent. Basically they pay 80% of their approved rates.

Second, retires pay monthly premiums for Medicare. I pay around $100 a month for Medicare and then I pay for private gap insurance with State Farm - the company that best fit my needs.

THird, I paid into the Medicare program my working years to ensure it was available for me. If you want to hold down future costs you need to start with ensuring providers are paid for all care provided. Sounds odd, but there are a mountain of patients who pay nothing. They use the ER as a doctor's office and we pay. In some places the cost of care of this group is over half of the charges you pay.

And that FUBAR will continue as long as we continue with the employer nanny care. It is just too easy to pass on big cost increases in that system.

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 37):
yeah he was a real genius that one.

And the country still has free text books in the high schools so I guess he was brighter than some thought.

Actually that little bit of socialism has probably made a major impact on educating America.

Beats the hell out of Bush II's No Child Left Behind.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
It's amazing that nobody saw Social Security for what it is.

We have had Social Security for around 75 years so I guess we have had time to understand it.

What we have today is a group of younger people who believe politicians who want to shut down the system and use the money elsewhere - like where they are told to spend it by the wealthy.

I guess it is easier to fop around than it is to push for strengthening the system. Change FICA and don't go around winging about it.

Open up immigration for more people with skills & education we need - focusing on young people.

Add a guest worker program (that does not lead to citizenship) and let them stay as long as they demonstrate they can pay for their family by the taxes they pay. Including FICA.

In other words, build the pool of younger workers instead of winging about how it is shrinking.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
They got sucked in and fell for the BS hook

Even today we have an abnormal level of uncertainty. Look at JPMorgan and tell me there are not a lot os other companies in the same boat.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
It's going to have to get some cuts.

Before we get an erection over cuts let's try to figure out what spending actually costs us.

Obviously people are hired, so we can calculate the increased revenues from the taxes they pay, and then we can add in the benefits of reducing their no-longer-needed government benefits, like food stamps. If these workers get health insurance we can also add in the benefit of eliminating their Meidcaid costs.

So that is an easy first step in finding the "cash back" part of infrastructure spending.

But there is more in the way of taxes.

Engineers and architects designing the project.

Finance guys & gals working out the details

Lawyers working on the contracts

All that before the infrastructure program turns one shovel of dirt.

And the taxes paid by all the employees of the above.

Then there are the companies that do the work. They pay taxes and the owners pay taxes. As do the office employees who don't handle a shovel.

Now start assembling the equipment. Companies providing that equipment make money and pay taxes.

And the equipment will need fuel, with a fuel tax as well as the various taxes from the oil companies.

And start lining up materials. Steel, concrete, signage, etc.

Obviously these suppliers will be paying direct and indirect taxes. (Ever looked at all the taxes on you phone bill - a great example of indirect taxes.)

Now you add in the workers and the supervisors and managers who are on sight. Lots of taxes (and FICA) paid.

And all of the above spend money in the community, bringing in even more taxes, and reducing even more government payments.

I don't know the tipping point where government spending on infrastructure generates more tax revenues received (and benefits reduced) than is paid out. That is because you would need to add in the long tern financial benefits of the spending as well. But it is, IMO, as close to free as you can get.

Build, Baby, Build

Because if you cut infrastructure investments you simply shrink growth and increase the debt.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
And a lot of infrastructure can be privatized.

Infrstructure IS built by private companies. That is what counts. No different than defense contractors building a new carrier, tin can or fighter. If you build you generate jobs, tax revenues, growth.

Cut government spending and you bring down communities. Just look at Cape Kennedy with the NASA cuts.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
What money does get spent has to have the value squeezed from every last penny and the best way to do that is competitive bidding among private contractors.

There is a Transportation Bill in Congress. If it goes through and is signed then there will be projects started in every area of the country, because those project are actually needed.

And every project will be completed by the lowest bidder in a competitive bidding process.

It won't be like the massive NO BID contract Cheney gave his friends at Halliburton for the Iraq Invasion.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
A better solution would be voluntary insurance

Bull. That just leaves the taxpayers having to pick up the tab because you didn't want to spend the money on insurance. That is why we have the insurance part of FICA.

Sort of like auto insurance. Since there are only annual checks on insurance. If you want voluntary insurance then you need to set minimal standards for both the individual and the insurance company. And you need some severe penalties for those who decide to spend the money in bars rather than paying insurance.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
any road project receiving federal money can charge tolls that only go to pay for the construction and maintenance of that road.

Toll roads work for me, but don't look for the tolls to be reduced when the turnpike is paid off. Start with Maintenance costs. Then add in expansions.

We have an Oklahoma Turnpike Authority that invests tolls in both maintenance and in expansion of the program. It's actually effective, especially since a nice chunk of the revenues come from out of state travelers.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
There would probably have to be some protection against perpetual construction too.
Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 43):
I will give you if you want to opt out feel free and perhaps that will be an option if the mandate for Obamacare is deemed unconstitutional.

Sure. Opt out. You get sick you go to the ER, ensuring that the average wait time is 4+ hours for everyone. And then we pay twice the price for health insurance.

Or do you have employer nanny care, which is a tax rip off and adversely impacts competitiveness on an international level.

So, ya, feel free to drop out. Just don't complain if you end up getting a junior resident when you head to the hospital for your problems.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 43):
People would go nuts if roads were private.

There have been some private toll roads and they seem to be doing OK. I even have the sticker for the ones in Houston and, like other toll roads, it is worth the price. But every time I drive on it I think about all the private property that was taken to build it.

I'll go with public toll roads any day of the week, but Texas seems to be letting some company from Spain get the assets, with the state doing the financing. Some deal Perry worked up for his good buddies?

The concern I have is the fact that the companies building these roads get to take over people's property and might not be paying a fair price. But, hey, money talks in the US.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 44):
Currently the politicians on both sides are not doing what is needed to
1. balance the budget
2. Pay off the debt

When a country is digging out of an economic crisis (and the Great Recession certainly qualifies) then the last thing when need to do is to worry about balancing the budget or paying of the debt.

We need in rapidly invest in infrastructure programs that will put people to work and generate corporate profits. We need to Build.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 44):
Both avenues must be used in order to evenly distribute the pain.
1. Raise Revenue
2. Cut spending.

Raising revenue in today's economic environment is a good way to bring it down. If you are to raise taxes then you need to raise them at the income levels where the impact of the new tax will not impact consumer spending. That is at the top of the income scales.

Cutting spending is another odd one in times like this.

Put more people out of work? Cut funds to Education? And Defense? Cut government serves to business, like ATC? (Or should we just significantly increase their fees?)

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 45):
Whereas a dollar in cuts is a dollar saved

Is it? As soon as you cut spending on infrastructure you put people out of work. They stop paying taxes and start getting benefits - BOTH will cut into that "dollar saved" BS. Then delayed infrastructure will cost MORE when done in the future, making that dollar saved even less.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 48):
Their demi-god of Reagan actually wanted to remove the poor from the tax roles to help buy some of their votes.

Same with Newt in his Contract with America: A socialist GOP $1,000.00 per year per child handout and it did get some votes.

It also increased the national debt to the tune of $18,000 per child, but the Socialist GOP Voters don't seem to mind.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 53):
Yes but the problem is the spending deficit is way higher than taxes could ever be.
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 53):
Yes but the problem is the spending deficit is way higher than taxes could ever be.

When interest rates are as low as they are these days the deficit isn't as bad as it could be.

If you make investment in infrastructure (or capital equipment for Defense) and the inflation is higher than the current prime rate then it is a pretty good deal. And we can live with the deficit.

So let's look at spending on what can be intelligently cut now, what needs to be brought down long term and what is going to continue to be cut.

But take a real hard look at what can be cut today

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 53):
My point is way more cuts are needed than tax increases.

So where do we start? With troops in combat zones? Should have told Bush & Cheney that a decade ago.

So we cut education? Health Care? Maybe we cut investments in medical research.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 53):
I'm not saying all at once because I agree, that would be too much of a change too quickly

Considering that Defense will take a big hit you had better stretch it out.


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7803 posts, RR: 52
Reply 55, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2016 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
When interest rates are as low as they are these days the deficit isn't as bad as it could be.

It's still bad regardless. I don't see how anyone can argue that spending is way out of control or just raising taxes can solve this

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
So where do we start? With troops in combat zones? Should have told Bush & Cheney that a decade ago.

So we cut education? Health Care? Maybe we cut investments in medical research.

Everything is gonna need to be cut. Sucks but we can't afford it and are being completely irresponsible, leaving my generation to clean up this mess

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 53):
I'm not saying all at once because I agree, that would be too much of a change too quickly

Considering that Defense will take a big hit you had better stretch it out.

There are large parts of the defense budget that could be cut without screwing veterans or the military. But I'm only rehashing what I said earlier. And yes, it should be stretched out, but the end goal can't be wayyy to far in the future, and that end goal has to be something sustainable, not petty cuts dragged out



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 56, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2000 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
Interest rates aren't always as crappy as they are now. And if the only thing your bank offers is a savings account I suggest you find a new bank. God forbid anyone put any effort into managing their money.

When Interest rates that are high are that way because inflation is high. A savings account that earns prime+1 is a place for an emergency fund not retirement savings, that belongs in long term GIC's that do pay out higher interest that will leave you with a decent nest egg.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
You mean force people to dump more money into it. If Bernie Madoff were allowed to force his investors to put more money into his "investments" and delay or limit the withdrawal of investments he'd still be at it today and not be sitting in prison.

His scheme failed IIRC because people wanted out and there wasn't any money to pay. You always say the Greed is good and his investors were greedy they saw those returns and put more of their money in and when people wanted out of the market in 2008 then it collapsed.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
And all of the above spend money in the community, bringing in even more taxes, and reducing even more government payments.

Froget the taxes part of this, this is where Paul Krugman is right someone's spending is my income.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
Sure. Opt out. You get sick you go to the ER, ensuring that the average wait time is 4+ hours for everyone. And then we pay twice the price for health insurance.

With health care make it a single payer system then.

I bet most people don't do that intentionally to screw the system, they do it because they are really sick because they couldn't see a GP to identify a health problem until it got really bad.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
So, ya, feel free to drop out. Just don't complain if you end up getting a junior resident when you head to the hospital for your problems.

The libertarian in me says fine, you can't regulate stupid.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 50):
I strongly disagree, We are headed for Rampant inflation. Cutting spending is not as critical as making sure that the income that comes from inflation is distribuited into balancing the budget.

I saw a discussion that says that may be the likely case after a period of deflation. With Europe in a mess, the US being sluggish, and China slowing down there is not enough demand and spending to really cause inflation in the short term.


Quoting casinterest (Reply 50):
The problem with the "Let's cut it all" approach., is that you will wipe out many jobs in the process and cripple the economy.

things need to be done gradually so as not to inflict too much pain.

The issue I have with the congress is what they want to cut, cutting employment insurance, medicare/medicade, the EPA etc. will hurt the direct US economy far more than cutting say the War on Drugs, corporate welfare (why are rich farmers being subsidizes and subsides alter the free market a lot), and bringing troops home. Everything has to be on the table.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 57, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1994 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 56):
Froget the taxes part of this

We can't forget the taxes - they are simply a reality of life.

Because the Clinton Years demonstrated successful economies we need to move back to that level, starting with the top rates.

We also need to look at the tax loss from the way we treat employer nanny care. If the employer can deduct the expense then the employee needs to take the policy as part of income and pay taxes on that income.


If the employee is to have tax free employer nanny care then the employer should be denied the deduction.

This is like dividends, where we don't want double taxation, Health insurance benefits are simply the reverse of dividends - it is massive amounts that escapes being given a tax free ride.

And we simply cannot afford that any more.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 56):
With health care make it a single payer system then.

As someone who lived in Australia for some years I found that an intelligent approach.

Point One: It takes the nanny care expense out of the budgeting businesses large and small have to do. It does more to protect jobs and presents more funding for R&D and other investments in growth.

Point Two: It allow US businesses to be more competitive on an inter national scale.

Point Three: It generates tax revenue when there is income to pay for it. When, say, a company has a young year that ends in a loss they do not have money going to health insurance costs. That is a huge plus.

Point Four: ANyone can get into see a doctor without costing $1,000 for a visit to the ER.

Point Five: Outcomes in Australia are actually better than in the US on a national level. There may be a lot of reasons for that, but differences in health financing systems is a key.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 56):
I bet most people don't do that intentionally to screw the system, they do it because they are really sick because they couldn't see a GP to identify a health problem until it got really bad.

Good reason to make changes. Obamacare does more to protect the insurance companies than it is to shift costs to a more intelligent level.


User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 58, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1989 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 57):
We can't forget the taxes - they are simply a reality of life.

Because the Clinton Years demonstrated successful economies we need to move back to that level, starting with the top rates.

All I was saying there is the point of spending on infrastructure will create jobs and then other jobs from increased demand thus increasing your tax revenue as an effect or more people working.

My post before was a marketing way of looking at it. "Forget the increased revenue to Uncle Sam when selling this"



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 59, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1971 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
What we have today is a group of younger people who believe politicians who want to shut down the system and use the money elsewhere

Yeah. Keeping one's own money to save and invest is such a radical idea.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
ike where they are told to spend it by the wealthy.

Beats just handing cash to the government and then having them send me a check later on. Or not send me a check later on.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
I guess it is easier to fop around than it is to push for strengthening the system. Change FICA and don't go around winging about it.

You aren't changing the system, you're just throwing more money into the sucking vortex to delay the inevitable a bit longer.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
like food stamps. If these workers get health insurance we can also add in the benefit of eliminating their Meidcaid costs.

Those programs need to go regardless.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
Now you add in the workers and the supervisors and managers who are on sight. Lots of taxes (and FICA) paid.

All you're doing is adding a new investor to the Ponzi scheme: the government. If all those people (and their taxes) are getting paid from government construction contracts you aren't actually saving anything. How many deck chairs does the government have to throw onto the pile?

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
Infrstructure IS built by private companies. That is what counts.

Not only should infrastructure continue to be built and maintained by private companies (why the hell can't the DOT hire private companies to fill potholes and pick up roadkill anyway?) as much of it as possible should also be paid for by private companies, or at least governments on lower levels.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
That just leaves the taxpayers having to pick up the tab because you didn't want to spend the money on insurance. That is why we have the insurance part of FICA.

Not at all. The government has to stop picking up those tabs. If you don't have insurance and you have an accident then you're up a creek.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
Toll roads work for me, but don't look for the tolls to be reduced when the turnpike is paid off. Start with Maintenance costs. Then add in expansions.

Some toll has to remain. I'm pretty sure I mentioned that about three times. The reason I'd add that caveat (only to federal funds, if you build it with your money you can manage it however you want) is to keep states or cities from paying off their billion dollar freeway then continuing to charge the same tolls and diverting the revenue to other things.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 56):
A savings account that earns prime+1 is a place for an emergency fund not retirement savings, that belongs in long term GIC's that do pay out higher interest that will leave you with a decent nest egg.

You know that and I know that. But in Ken's world investments are either savings accounts with ridiculously low interest rates or a scam artist. It's a shame nobody will sell the poor guy a government bond.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 56):
You always say the Greed is good and his investors were greedy they saw those returns and put more of their money in and when people wanted out of the market in 2008 then it collapsed.

Greed is good, but that doesn't mean people (or businesses) can't get burned. If the risk is too much put your money elsewhere.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 56):
(why are rich farmers being subsidizes and subsides alter the free market a lot)

Farmers shouldn't be subsidized, but to be fair, most of them are only rich on paper. Farming is very capital intensive but cash poor. Maybe a million to two million in equipment plus a ton of land, which puts a lot of tax burden on them for things funded by property taxes. I'm in favor of ending farm subsidies, but I'm also in favor of abolishing the inheritance tax which effectively forces some people to sell part of the farm to keep the farm.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 56):
With health care make it a single payer system then.

Two big and related problems: 1) I want to choose the risk pool I'm in. I don't save any money to be healthy and it doesn't cost me to be a fat ass and 2) It opens the door to ridiculous laws like the one in New York about soda. If you're healthcare is on the government dime then do we need to regulate everyone's diet? Government run fat camps for obese people? They already feel the need to charge me if my car burns more fuel than they deem appropriate, which is an absolute joke, on the grounds that they "subsidize my fuel." I don't want to give the mouse that cookie.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 60, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1967 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
It opens the door to ridiculous laws like the one in New York about soda. If you're healthcare is on the government dime then do we need to regulate everyone's diet?

Have you been to another developed country. I am from Canada and live in Australia and both have single payer systems and there are no laws like what Bloomberg proposed. There are taxes on cigarettes and alcohol but those have been around for decades, this is similar to those because soft drinks have absolutely no nutritional benefit. In fact in Australia most of their medicare system is funded by sin taxes.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
I want to choose the risk pool I'm in. I don't save any money to be healthy and it doesn't cost me to be a fat ass and

Everyone is in the same pool and the amount you pay comes out of your taxes. Yes taxes are higher in other developed countries, but if you consider health insurance as a tax our taxes are lower because costs are much lower than the US. Also you are dreaming if you think you control you risk pool, when you pass a certain age your insurance company moves you into another pool regardless because you will likely cost them more, and your premiums go up.

To the second point basically all developed countries have people who live longer and are generally healthier than Americans. One reason is not having to worry about people paying for a doctor and it gets people of all social classes in for regular check ups and their GP can identify if someone is not healthy in a specific area and address it before its a serious issue and deal with it.

Also yes lifestlyle plays a huge role in how healthy you are but not always. I have a family friend who is a chain smoker and he is as healthy as anyone of his age. Some people get the short stick and get conditions like cancer as kids or are born with a genetic disease like cystic fibrosis and need treatment your whole life. Some people have the heart disease gene and a lot of women have the breast cancer gene so no matter how healthy they live their lives the risk is escalated for them.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 61, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1960 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
You mean force people to dump more money into it. If Bernie Madoff were allowed to force his investors to put more money into his "investments" and delay or limit the withdrawal of investments he'd still be at it today and not be sitting in prison. If you get to pass laws that force people to give you new deck chairs, you can rearrange deck chairs indefinitely. Until they run out anyway.

Not really. You are very wrong with your example, Bernie Madoff had nothing backing his scheme except the new money that people invested. While on the surface it may sound the same, it is absolutely not as the recipients ("investors") are indeed getting money and benefit equal too and in fact greater than what was put into it. Bernie never could do that.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
You aren't changing the system, you're just throwing more money into the sucking vortex to delay the inevitable a bit longer.

Regarding the fixes, you are wrong there too. It is not "forcing people to dump in more money", it really is some fairly simple changes. The hard part is the political courage and getting politicians to work together when it is to the advantage of some to attack and be divisive and attempt to disrupt the process. Here are two example of some simple changes that are doable:
http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/.../18/12-ways-to-fix-social-security
http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/ret...es/how-to-fix-social-security.html

Excerpted and condensed from the USNews:
Reduce benefits. Reduce by 3% for new beneficiaries and about 18% of the shortfall would be eliminated. A 5% cut would reduce the deficit by 30%. Alternatively, reductions could be more gradually phased in and exempt those with low lifetime earnings.

Raise the retirement age. Push back retirement age, increase currently underway to age 67, further increasing the full retirement age to 68 or even 70, indexing full retirement age with longevity. Each of these however, eliminates less than a third of the deficit.

Increase worker and employer contributions. Increase by 1.1% to 7.3% of earnings and the projected deficit would be eliminated. This means a $43,451 income has a tax increase of $478 a year, or $9.19 a week, the employer has an identical increase.

Boost future contributions. Tax could be increased from 6.2% to 7.2% for workers and employers in 2022, and to 8.2% in 2052 to eliminate the shortfall. Alternatively, taxes could ramped up 1/20% annually for 20 years, decreasing the deficit by about 69%.

Tax as needed. SS contribution rates could be designed to increase as funds are needed and reduced when there is a surplus. Additionally, efforts to collect unpaid SS payroll taxes could be enhanced.

Modify the SS tax cap. If all earned income above $106,800 were subject to SS contributions and the higher income still counted toward benefits, about 95% of the shortfall would be absolved.

Average in more working years. SS checks are currently based on an average of a worker’s 35 highest paid years in the workforce. Increasing the averaging period to 38 or 40 years could reduce the deficit by 14 and 23% respectively.

Decrease the cost-of-living adjustment. Benefits are adjusted each year to keep up with inflation, as measured by CPI. Knocking half a percent off the annual adjustment reduces the deficit by 40%. An alternative way of measuring cost-of-living could also be used.

Lower spousal benefits. SS pays benefits to nonworking and low earning spouses of up to 50% of the higher earner’s check. However a change like this may have less of an impact over time as more women become entitled to benefits for their own work records.

Include more workers. However, this fix would need to be applied in conjunction with others. Extending coverage to workers who previously didn’t participate would only reduce the SS shortfall by about 9%.

A legacy tax. The first retirees who received payments from the system didn’t pay SS taxes throughout their entire working life, which contributes to Social Security’s fiscal problems. Several ideas have been raised to counteract this legacy cost including a 3% legacy tax on earnings above the current tax cap of $106,800. This legacy tax would eliminate close to a third of Social Security’s shortfall.

Diversify investments. Investing 15% of trust fund assets in equities would reduce the deficit by 14% if a 9.4% rate of return was achieved. Of course, this also exposes the trust fund to increased liabilities in times of economic downturn.

Excerpts from the Kiplinger article:
The proposal—which reflects many of the concepts outlined by the bi­partisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in its December 2010 report—would gradually increase the retirement age to 68 for today’s 38-year-olds and eventually set it at 70 for today’s 4-year-olds, with hardship exemptions for those who need to retire sooner. Pegging the retirement age to reflect increased longevity will close slightly more than one-third of Social Security’s projected 75-year shortfall.
…..
The Third Way proposal also tinkers with the consumer price index formula that is used to set annual cost-of-living adjustments for retirement benefits. Using this alternative COLA formula to slow annual increases could close another one-third of the program’s projected funding gap.

On the revenue side, the group proposes that by 2020 the government extend the payroll tax to those earning up to $190,000 a year—up from today’s $106,800 cap. It would also tax 100% of SS benefits received by high-income retirees, up from 85% today. Together, the revenue changes would close the remaining third of the program’s projected shortfall.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1960 times:

Ken,

Let me preface this by saying that I do have the utmost respect for your age and wealth of experience, and so at no point do I want it to seem as though I disrespect you, because I do not.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):

THird, I paid into the Medicare program my working years to ensure it was available for me. If you want to hold down future costs you need to start with ensuring providers are paid for all care provided. Sounds odd, but there are a mountain of patients who pay nothing. They use the ER as a doctor's office and we pay. In some places the cost of care of this group is over half of the charges you pay.


How much did you pay into Medicare adjusted for inflation, relative to how much you're paid.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):
Second, retires pay monthly premiums for Medicare. I pay around $100 a month for Medicare and then I pay for private gap insurance with State Farm - the company that best fit my needs.
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 54):

Cut government spending and you bring down communities. Just look at Cape Kennedy with the NASA cuts.


We should not be concerned with individual communities, but rather with our nation's economy as a whole.

"And for those who fear what cutting spending and lowering taxes would do to the US economy,

I present examples A, B, and C

Latvia- http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/economics/cold-comfort

Sweden - "When Europe’s finance ministers meet for a group photo, it’s easy to spot the rebel — Anders Borg has a ponytail and earring. What actually marks him out, though, is how he responded to the crash. While most countries in Europe borrowed massively, Borg did not. Since becoming Sweden’s finance minister, his mission has been to pare back government. His ‘stimulus’ was a permanent tax cut. To critics, this was fiscal lunacy — the so-called ‘punk tax cutting’ agenda. Borg, on the other hand, thought lunacy meant repeating the economics of the 1970s and expecting a different result.
Three years on, it’s pretty clear who was right. ‘Look at Spain, Portugal or the UK, whose governments were arguing for large temporary stimulus,’ he says. ‘Well, we can see that very little of the stimulus went to the economy. But they are stuck with the debt.’ Tax-cutting Sweden, by contrast, had the fastest growth in Europe last year, when it also celebrated the abolition of its deficit. The recovery started just in time for the 2010 Swedish election, in which the Conservatives were re-elected for the first time in history."

aaaand

Estonia - Sixteen months after it joined the struggling currency bloc, Estonia is booming. The economy grew 7.6 percent last year, five times the euro-zone average. Estonia is the only euro-zone country with a budget surplus. National debt is just 6 percent of GDP, compared to 81 percent in virtuous Germany, or 165 percent in Greece. Shoppers throng Nordic design shops and cool new restaurants in Tallinn, the medieval capital, and cutting-edge tech firms complain they can’t find people to fill their job vacancies. It all seems a long way from the gloom elsewhere in Europe. Estonia’s achievement is all the more remarkable when you consider that it was one of the countries hardest hit by the global financial crisis. …How did they bounce back? “I can answer in one word: austerity. Austerity, austerity, austerity,” says Peeter Koppel, investment strategist at the SEB Bank. …that’s not exactly the message that Europeans further south want to hear. …Estonia has also paid close attention to the fundamentals of establishing a favorable business environment: reducing and simplifying taxes, and making it easy and cheap to build companies.

All of these countries have surpassed the US in economic growth; pretty conclusive proof I'd say that Austerity (CUTTING SPENDING AND TAXES not raising taxes, does work)."

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 57):
Because the Clinton Years demonstrated successful economies we need to move back to that level, starting with the top rates.

you're confusing correlation with causation; what made the Clinton years great was that productivity increased so rapidly (Thanks to the computer) that output exploded (aggregate supply curve shifted outward). Higher tax rates had very little to do with it, given that Clinton actually cut a ton of spending, and built in a lot of deductions for the wealthy.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 63, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1915 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 58):
All I was saying there is the point of spending on infrastructure will create jobs and then other jobs from increased demand thus increasing your tax revenue as an effect or more people working.

Actually we are in agreement. What I would really like to know is the amount of money a $1 investment in infrastructure brings into the Treasury through various types of revenue.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
Yeah. Keeping one's own money to save and invest is such a radical idea.

The best lesson I've learned on taxes was when I was in the Navy. Warships are not cheap and need to be paid for - just like the weapon systems. You're talking taxes. Just like you talk taxes when you talk about roads, bridges, land grant colleges, etc.

The more you cut government revenues (at all levels) the more you diminish the nation. Don't know how long the would last, but I can see the top earners grabbing their wealth and not giving a damn about the rest of us.

It is sort of like the lifetime disability insurance that Social Security delivers. All you really need is to actually know someone who is hit with a disability. I told you about the regional rep I knew. First rate guy, very hard worker and turned into a quad in an accident while on a business trip.

That Social Security Disability is the only thing keeping him alive.

And you really believe that EVERYONE would buy a private lifetime disability policy if SS was shut down. Get real.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
Beats just handing cash to the government and then having them send me a check later on. Or not send me a check later on.

Not really. I've paid into the system and my return is now deposited monthly. Same with the wife. Same with others in my age bracket.

One factor that makes that investment worth it for us is that inflation has impacted our lifetime savings. I remember petrol at 33¢ a gallon and natural gas was selling to the pipelines at about 19¢ mcf. A Corolla was a tenth the cost it is today.

Look at those items and their costs today. For a very large percentage of the retirees in 30 or 40 years the SS Payments each month will protect them against 30 or 40 years of inflation. It is a huge factor in the need to fight to keep it going, regardless of what the politicians say.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
You aren't changing the system, you're just throwing more money into the sucking vortex to delay the inevitable a bit longer.

Wrong.

There is a need to adjust the contributions upward, but there is also a need to grow the workforce. Guest workers and legitimate immigration are just as important to the future as they have been in the past.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 59):
Those programs need to go regardless.

What needs to go is the employer nanny care programs and cafeteria programs that rob the Treasury of revenues.

If it is income you need to include it in your tax return. I really don't care if it shakes up the system. Some of that Nanny Care handout is worth $10K a year.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 64, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1914 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 62):
And for those who fear what cutting spending and lowering taxes would do to the US economy,

The taxes have been and had been previously lowered. The problem has always been that we didn't make or keep making, the cuts that were needed. We spent, and then spent more. And both parties did this.
Regarding your examples to show that "low" taxes are great and work, first thing is that Latvia and Estonia are very much smaller, with a much smaller population and infrastructure to support (and just what is their defense spending?). If you read up on it the biggest success of these nations has come from attracting foreign investment.
And Sweden? Basically similar comments but their taxes had a higher starting point and are significantly higher still.

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 62):
All of these countries have surpassed the US in economic growth; pretty conclusive proof I'd say that Austerity (CUTTING SPENDING AND TAXES not raising taxes, does work).

To believe that something like this is conclusive proof does not show you argument to be very strong. There are simply too many factors that are grossly different between what you are comparing. With that said It doesn't mean that cutting won't work, just that your examples have nothing to show that it will.

Let me ask you Vin, if what you desire was done (cutting everything), at what point would you be willing to change things if things did not improve? Would you be willing to wait five years or ten or allow the deficit and debt to grow but then at least review things and change? Or would it just be "we didn't do enough, we need to cut even more"? I am not saying things would absolutely get worse, just curious what you are OK with if it did.

I myself am fine with cutting back on spending, but I do believe that taxes are already low and instead need to return to where they were 15 or so years ago. As I noted above, I think that the US tax policy was better distributed back then that it is now.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 65, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1902 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 60):
In fact in Australia most of their medicare system is funded by sin taxes.

That's basically the same thing, just to a different mode or extent. The bottom line is I don't want the government judging my decisions. I draw the line at safety. Check the candy bar factory to make sure they aren't sneaking in bits of rat, but don't punish me for eating candy bars. It's none of the government's business what I eat, what I drive, or what I drink.

Quoting tugger (Reply 61):
While on the surface it may sound the same, it is absolutely not as the recipients ("investors") are indeed getting money and benefit equal too and in fact greater than what was put into it.

All Ponzi schemes do that for a while, otherwise they'd never get off the ground.

Quoting tugger (Reply 61):
Reduce benefits. Reduce by 3% for new beneficiaries and about 18% of the shortfall would be eliminated. A 5% cut would reduce the deficit by 30%. Alternatively, reductions could be more gradually phased in and exempt those with low lifetime earnings.

Raise the retirement age. Push back retirement age, increase currently underway to age 67, further increasing the full retirement age to 68 or even 70, indexing full retirement age with longevity. Each of these however, eliminates less than a third of the deficit.

Keeping people from removing money is a great way to keep such schemes solvent. Less money out means less need to find new money.

Quoting tugger (Reply 61):
Increase worker and employer contributions. Increase by 1.1% to 7.3% of earnings and the projected deficit would be eliminated. This means a $43,451 income has a tax increase of $478 a year, or $9.19 a week, the employer has an identical increase.

Boost future contributions. Tax could be increased from 6.2% to 7.2% for workers and employers in 2022, and to 8.2% in 2052 to eliminate the shortfall. Alternatively, taxes could ramped up 1/20% annually for 20 years, decreasing the deficit by about 69%.

In other words dumping more money in. This is all the same stuff you would do to perpetuate a Ponzi scheme, just the government can pass laws so they don't need to resort to deception. They don't need to send falsified statements every month showing wonderful returns to trick people into keeping their money with them and adding more, they just take it out of paychecks.

Quoting tugger (Reply 61):
Diversify investments.

...which anyone can already do on their own by going to a reputable financial adviser. No need for a huge government bureaucracy to do what I can already do for myself.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 63):
Warships are not cheap and need to be paid for - just like the weapon systems. You're talking taxes. Just like you talk taxes when you talk about roads, bridges, land grant colleges, etc.

...I thought Social Security wasn't a tax? Or maybe it's only a tax when it's convenient to call it a tax? I'm not denying the need for some taxes, but spending needs to drop and eventually taxes will need to drop.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 63):
I've paid into the system and my return is now deposited monthly

Lucky for you as an early investor in an unsustainable scheme. I'll never see a return.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 63):
And you really believe that EVERYONE would buy a private lifetime disability policy if SS was shut down. Get real.

Either they would or they would be taking a big risk. I don't really care which option they'd choose, it's their business.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 63):
There is a need to adjust the contributions upward, but there is also a need to grow the workforce. Guest workers and legitimate immigration are just as important to the future as they have been in the past.

Do you read what you're writing? "It isn't throwing more money into the system. We just need to collect more money and collect from more people!"   

And since you feel so strongly in favor of letting the government have your money, what is the huge obstacle that keeps you from buying bonds? Seems like you care less about the government having your money and more about letting them have my money.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinevin2basketball From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1895 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 64):
Quoting tugger (Reply 64):
To believe that something like this is conclusive proof does not show you argument to be very strong. There are simply too many factors that are grossly different between what you are comparing. With that said It doesn't mean that cutting won't work, just that your examples have nothing to show that it will.

Let me ask you Vin, if what you desire was done (cutting everything), at what point would you be willing to change things if things did not improve? Would you be willing to wait five years or ten or allow the deficit and debt to grow but then at least review things and change? Or would it just be "we didn't do enough, we need to cut even more"? I am not saying things would absolutely get worse, just curious what you are OK with if it did.

I myself am fine with cutting back on spending, but I do believe that taxes are already low and instead need to return to where they were 15 or so years ago. As I noted above, I think that the US tax policy was better distributed back then that it is now.

Tugg



These 3 examples, the US in the 1980s, the US in the early 1960s late 50s, India in the early 1990s, China 1989 onwards, Europe post Marshall plan pre current socialism (basically late 50s through early 70s), West Germany, Japan till 1990,

Botswana: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botswana#Economy, South Korea post 1975

These are all success stories where cutting taxes boosted the economy

Need I go on.

Meanwhile the list of success stories for Keynesianism and higher taxes is as follows: Switzerland, Germany today, and maybe the New Deal but really WWII; in the entire modern history of the world I count 2 nations that have sustained long run economic growth under European style socialism


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 67, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1893 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):
Keeping people from removing money is a great way to keep such schemes solvent. Less money out means less need to find new money.

Yes, and people die too without ever getting "their money" out too. Oh wait, so life insurance is a ponzi scheme too....

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 65):
In other words dumping more money in. This is all the same stuff you would do to perpetuate a Ponzi scheme, just the government can pass laws so they don't need to resort to deception. They don't need to send falsified statements every month showing wonderful returns to trick people into keeping their money with them and adding more, they just take it out of paychecks.

Put simply, it is a societal plan that has been put into place and is publicly managed and viewable, people know how much is coming out and how much is going in and how much it is short. And it provides an enormous benefit to society overall. There are many reasons why it is not "a ponzi scheme" but you obviously are intent to continue in that vein.

Did you read the articles? You seem focused on "dump more money in" but the suggested solutions are not all requiring more money. For me, I am OK with some of the changes that increase funding somewhat (how else do fewer workers support more retirees).

I am OK with this because I believe that if you want to stay and live comfortably in your house you have to put money into it. But of course you can also just continually reduce your expectations of what is acceptable for your home and what you consider "comfortable" and let windows break, and the roof wear out, and not fix the electrical and "enjoy" all the money you didn't put into it. But if you value your house as an investment and a place to live then you invest time and money in it. The same goes for the community, city, state, nation and society you live in too.

Or are you one of those that inherits a house and can't afford it and are OK to just live in it until it falls down? I am not willing to live in my nation and society like that. I work hard for my money and am a patriot and believe in supporting the nation as well as myself because I believe the nation helps to build the society I benefit from (and I benefit greatly with a good job, very healthy income, a great community and a safe place for my kids, etc.). And so far the USA has done it better than most though recently some hove decided that inheriting and letting it fall apart is a better idea. I disagree with that.

Social Security is not a waste or too expensive or past being able to be adjusted to make it solvent. People are just sticking their heads in the ground and not wanting to do anything.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 68, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1892 times:

Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 66):

These 3 examples, the US in the 1980s, the US in the early 1960s late 50s, India in the early 1990s, China 1989 onwards, Europe post Marshall plan pre current socialism (basically late 50s through early 70s), West Germany, Japan till 1990,
Quoting vin2basketball (Reply 66):
These are all success stories where cutting taxes boosted the economy

Need I go on.

Yes, you must. Because to what level should taxes be cut? To zero? The examples of the USA, taxes were significantly higher in each of those time and yet the nation prospered. The big things were we spent less and there was compromise and cooperation in the legislature.

I myself have stated that I think a tax stricture and policy similar to those in place during the 80's (that you note) would be a good place to be/start.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 69, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1872 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 67):
Oh wait, so life insurance is a ponzi scheme too....

In some respects yes. But it's also voluntary.

Quoting tugger (Reply 67):
Put simply, it is a societal plan that has been put into place and is publicly managed and viewable, people know how much is coming out and how much is going in and how much it is short.

It's an exceptionally poor plan.

Quoting tugger (Reply 67):
For me, I am OK with some of the changes that increase funding somewhat

In what world is "increasing funding" not just throwing more money into the hole?

Quoting tugger (Reply 67):
(how else do fewer workers support more retirees).

You adjust the system so that at its most basic level one worker supports one retiree. Of course it muddles it up a bit when one is supporting a spouse or a retiree is partially or fully supported by their children, but that is all voluntary.

Quoting tugger (Reply 67):
I am OK with this because I believe that if you want to stay and live comfortably in your house you have to put money into it.

Fine. But I want to go to Home Depot and do the work myself rather than throwing money to the government and expecting them to drop off lumber sometime in the future.

Quoting tugger (Reply 67):
Or are you one of those that inherits a house and can't afford it and are OK to just live in it until it falls down?

The house is a money pit and needs to be torn down in an orderly way before it falls down.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 70, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1867 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 69):
It's an exceptionally poor plan.

Why? It is easily savable and works well enough that many, many people can use it and can survive (even if it is a subsistence survival).

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 69):
In what world is "increasing funding" not just throwing more money into the hole?

When that money does valuable work that helps people and the society. Throwing money into a "hole" only happens when nothing returns. And as I have noted there are relatively simple fixes that will ensure a "return". Have you ever "bought into a down market" because you understand that it also buys you extra value when the market returns? I have, I am doing it now.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 69):
You adjust the system so that at its most basic level one worker supports one retiree. Of course it muddles it up a bit when one is supporting a spouse or a retiree is partially or fully supported by their children, but that is all voluntary.

Actually the system has to support two (at least) retirees with just one "worker". That is the problem. But it is not an insurmountable problem as the suggested solutions demonstrate. Ultimately this imbalance ends as everyone dies and the "excess" and the "baby boom bubble" ends. And we have been staring at the problem for years but apparently people like you keep blocking any changes that will address the issue and carry the system through. You want it's failure, you want your house to fall down so you can tell everyone "see, I told you it was a crappy house." But the truth is you just didn't tend to the needs and keep your house up.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 69):
Fine. But I want to go to Home Depot and do the work myself rather than throwing money to the government and expecting them to drop off lumber sometime in the future.

And the only "Home Depot" here is the US government. If you do pay them and correct things (versus sticking your head in the sand as you are suggesting) you will get your lumber. Or haven't you noticed that. By the way, it is your government, or do you think this is China?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 69):
The house is a money pit and needs to be torn down in an orderly way before it falls down.

And what do you propose as your/our "new house"? Really, what is the "floor" that older people that are done with work can rely on to make sure they don't fall through the floor if things go wrong? Please state your plan, how you will fund it, and how it will be implemented. Because they way things are now, as far as I can tell, the nation is massively unwilling to work together to implement anything new and so we had better damn well keep "this old house" in good working order for as long as we are stuck with it.

Please enlighten me. I want to know your solution, one that will work and be implemented.

Tugg

[Edited 2012-06-14 13:57:05]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 71, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1851 times:

Ooops, my error:

Quoting tugger (Reply 70):
Actually the system has to support two (at least) retirees with just one "worker".

It is actually the inverse, two workers to one retiree:

Quote:
In 1940, there were 42 workers per retiree. In 1950, the ratio was 16-to-1. In 2010, there were 2.8 workers per retiree, and within 40 years, it’s projected that there will be just two workers per retiree.

www3.prudential.com/signature/Social-Security.html

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 72, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1836 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 70):
It is easily savable and works well enough that many, many people can use it and can survive (even if it is a subsistence survival).

People need to be responsible for their own survival rather than depending on the system.

Quoting tugger (Reply 70):
Throwing money into a "hole" only happens when nothing returns.

The only return is benefits paid out later on, which anyone with a decent financial adviser could match.

Quoting tugger (Reply 70):
Ultimately this imbalance ends as everyone dies and the "excess" and the "baby boom bubble" ends.

In the short term perhaps, but is population ever going to really level off? The whole thing needs to keep sucking in more money to survive.

Quoting tugger (Reply 70):
And the only "Home Depot" here is the US government.

Not at all. Anyone can save their own money for their own retirement.

Quoting tugger (Reply 70):
And what do you propose as your/our "new house"?

Phase out Social Security, give people back their FICA money, and let them do what they please with it. Either save it, invest it, and build yourself a nice nest egg to retire on or be irresponsible and you work until you're dying day. Doesn't make a difference to me which people choose. You build, or don't build, whatever house you want.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 73, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1827 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 72):
People need to be responsible for their own survival rather than depending on the system.

Like depending on the financial system? Or the air traffic control system? What you are saying is ludicrous. The SS system is essentially like the basic compound interest savings account that you alluded to in your earlier posting. It's effective rate is 4.4%, nothing great but it is a maintainable return for the nation to guarantee that its people are not out on the street if things go poorly.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 72):
The only return is benefits paid out later on, which anyone with a decent financial adviser could match.

Yes and no. The first person in the system was paid for by those paying into the system and not by any "return". Could a financial adviser have done that? No. ("See there's proof it is a ponzi scheme!" say BMI727). You are correct that the returns are paid out "later" overall for those that go through and pay into it for the entire period but SS is only intended to keep people off the floor so they don't impact society in a harmful way, not to be an "investment" with the inherent risks etc.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 72):
In the short term perhaps, but is population ever going to really level off? The whole thing needs to keep sucking in more money to survive.

OK. And you do understand that when a population levels off there are other problems that a nation has to deal with as well don't you? Big problems. And if you are actually concerned about this then a very simple small adjust NOW would address this problem (that will occur in a few hundred years). But I continue to think that you idea of successful living is to let the house fall.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 72):
Not at all. Anyone can save their own money for their own retirement.

Of course they can. I do myself and count on them as my primary retirement element. My SS will just be a small part of my retirement. Or so I intend.... And anyone can buy their lumber from Joe Schmoe. But if you want something that has a very high likelihood of being there when you MUST have it, you should order from a durable company, especially if it isn't due to be delivered for years and years. And if you haven't noticed lately, the entire world considers the USA (along with several other nations) to be the most durable place for safe investments. Can you guarantee that your investments will be there when you retire even when we have massive downturns like we just experienced? That is when something like SS is most needed and proves itself the most.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 72):
Phase out Social Security, give people back their FICA money, and let them do what they please with it. Either save it, invest it, and build yourself a nice nest egg to retire on or be irresponsible and you work until you're dying day. Doesn't make a difference to me which people choose. You build, or don't build, whatever house you want.

OK. Implement it.

And what about those people that do fritter away all their money and are left with nothing and are unable to work to support themselves in their old age? I take you it you feel a simple investment in Caterpillar would take care of that? Just dig a hole and shovel them in? Or....? Just exactly will you do with "those people"?

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined exactly 4 years ago today! , 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 74, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1810 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 72):
Phase out Social Security, give people back their FICA money, and let them do what they please with it. Either save it, invest it, and build yourself a nice nest egg to retire on or be irresponsible and you work until you're dying day. Doesn't make a difference to me which people choose. You build, or don't build, whatever house you want.

Quite honestly, the average person either does not have the know how and/or discipline to invest themselves, hence the reason for government involvement. While I tend to lean on the side of less government, Social Security is one area where there needs to be government involvement or most people would not have $ to fall back on in retirement. People in general are too greedy and would be suckered into bad investments or would spend it all prior to retirement.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 75, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1788 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 73):
Could a financial adviser have done that? No.

Well they could, just not legally.

Quoting tugger (Reply 73):
But if you want something that has a very high likelihood of being there when you MUST have it, you should order from a durable company, especially if it isn't due to be delivered for years and years. And if you haven't noticed lately, the entire world considers the USA (along with several other nations) to be the most durable place for safe investments.

Then go buy bonds.

Quoting tugger (Reply 73):
And what about those people that do fritter away all their money and are left with nothing and are unable to work to support themselves in their old age?

Then they screwed themselves.

Quoting EricR (Reply 74):
Quite honestly, the average person either does not have the know how and/or discipline to invest themselves, hence the reason for government involvement.

Then make sure that their idiocy is their problem and not my problem.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2707 posts, RR: 8
Reply 76, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1756 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 74):
While I tend to lean on the side of less government, Social Security is one area where there needs to be government involvement or most people would not have $ to fall back on in retirement.

So I have to be penalised because of the ignorance of other's?

Quoting tugger (Reply 73):
And what about those people that do fritter away all their money and are left with nothing and are unable to work to support themselves in their old age?

Hopefully they have family. But let me opt out of a system I do not want to use and do not make me responsible for people who piss their life away.



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined exactly 4 years ago today! , 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 77, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1747 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 75):
Then make sure that their idiocy is their problem and not my problem.
Quoting windy95 (Reply 76):
So I have to be penalised because of the ignorance of other's?


Unfortunately yes. We see this in all parts of society. Everything from having to go through security check points at airports to McDonald's having to label their coffee cups with a notice stating "The contents inside this cup may be hot". The ignorance of a few often mold the lifestyle of the majority.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5419 posts, RR: 8
Reply 78, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1734 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 75):
Then make sure that their idiocy is their problem and not my problem.

Not an answer. What are you going to do so that it isn't a problem for you and society and the community you live in? Functionally, how are you going to address the issue? Set up set up housing for them to live in? Camps? Leave it to police? Let them end up in hospitals? Force it upon their families (docking paychecks or placing the failed relative with them)? What are you going to do? We don't let people die in the street.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 76):
Hopefully they have family. But let me opt out of a system I do not want to use and do not make me responsible for people who piss their life away.

No matter what you will end up dealing with it. If people have no means to take care of themselves then so how society has to deal with it. Take my examples above, do you think they will cost less? With the current system (SS), at least the people themselves pay for it during their work life (not perfectly but there is mechanism) by a taxation method. The whole premise is that you ultimately don't know where anyone is going to end up in society, or how wealthy they will be, so you must have some bare minimum system in place to fund these people. And I am OK with a system that I pay into and that then pays me back. And to those who say "But it won't be there for you when you need it, it's broke!" I say: Then fix it.... suddenly I hear the song "There's a whole in the bucket" in my head with people figuring out ways they can't do something to address the problem instead of just fixing it as I and many others have noted.

Is US Tax policy fair? It is as fair as it is. It is not perfect, people differ in opinions on what is "fair", but it has a job to do and we need to fix it (whether that be via cutting spending or raising taxes or something else) so that it can do the job. Not just say "No, it's not my problem" (or "It shouldn't be my problem!") to every change and solution.

Tugg

[Edited 2012-06-15 08:32:36]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
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