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Budget Compromise - What Are You Willing To Do?  
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5608 posts, RR: 8
Posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6202 times:

The "fiscal cliff" negotiations are supposedly taking place now and both sides are busy blaming the other for not being responsible or responsive, etc. I am not interested in "What can the other guys do", I want to know what policies and programs and platform planks of YOURS are you willing to cut, change, adjust, reduce, limit and otherwise compromise on?

We all know everyone can tell others what they need to do and change to make things "better" but the question really is "Which of your own ox's are you willing to gore" that will make a meaningful impact to the process and get things moving and help to resolve the budget problem?

So don't tell me what others should do but what you could do, what you are willing to do to compromise.

I can start with myself but I am very much a "middle grounder" and can compromise on most everything, from tax increases (as I have stated many times before) to cuts in welfare programs and military budgets (including personnel pay and retirement etc). Personally I somewhat like the cuts and changes the "fiscal cliff" actually imposes but I think the way it is set to implement could badly impact the country as a whole and it needs to be a managed "fall off the cliff" to reduce any deleterious impacts. I was also a supporter of the Simpson-Bowles Plan:
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/Bowles_Simpson_Brief.cfm
http://www.businessinsider.com/what-...e-simpson-bowles-debt-plan-2012-10

So if you consider yourself a card carrying Democrat or "Liberal", a Republican or a "Conservative" what of your sacred policies and programs would you cut change and compromise on?

Tugg


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
300 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 697 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6176 times:

(my wife is American so we do pay US income taxes even though we live in Sweden)
.
Even though we supported Obama, we actually agree with the Republicans that "entitlements" are getting out of control. Especially for end-of-life care: sorry grandpa, but we can no longer afford to pay $100k for aggressive care in the last year of your long life with the deficit so big.

So, We are for

1. entitlement cuts.
2. And defense cuts.


.... In whatever amount is necessary to reduce the deficit substantially and put America on sound financial footing.



Pu

[Edited 2012-11-30 11:07:22]

User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3380 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6159 times:

Quoting Pu (Reply 1):
1. entitlement cuts.
2. And defense cuts.

These are the things that need to be addressed, the problem is one party wants to cut defense and the other wants to cut entitlements without touching the other.

Am I the only one here that thinks that the do nothing approach is the best one.

I know some Americans do not like to hear this but as an outsider I do think the US is under taxed for the services provided. So while spending needs to be cut revenues need to rise and these tax cuts which were supposed to be temporary need to go.

I will concede the timing sucks because of the sluggish economy but this should be the long term goal. If it can be done without tax hikes fine but it just doesn't seem feasible.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6157 times:

As a conservative, and one who is economically literate, I believe that with only control of the House, there is no way for the GOP to exert sufficient control over the government to prevent an eventual collapse (even assuming the entire GOP congressional delegation is disciplined enough to vote for the right things, which history shows is rarely the case.

If I were a true cynic, I would have the GOP give Obama everything he wants.

Right now, during the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, Obama has demanded tax increases, but has not proposed any cost cuts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmHby9qO508

Check out minute 37:00 of the linked video Lehman makes a statement about spending. “We’re talking about reductions in the growth of spending.” He confirms that there will be no reduction in spending. Krone, sitting next to him, is drooling out of camera shot.

Washington does not spend less year-to-year. Ever. Is that clear? Negotiators are only negotiating amounts of spending increases and areas of such increases in spending. That’s it.

Therefore, if Obama gets his way, the deficit is reduced by about 5%, we will continue to run absurd deficits, the economy will start to tank again, a Greek-style meltdown will be set up for the next few years, and the Democrats will be unable to point at the GOP, because the GOP could say "hey, we gave you everything you wanted.

The good news is that the Democrats and progressivism would be marginalized for the next couple of generations as a failure. The bad news is that the realization would come at the expense of a ruined economy and crippled government.

So which is it? Fight Obama and get blamed for all wrongs, or let him run wild and hope we can pick up the pieces later? That is the question.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinewingman From Seychelles, joined May 1999, 2266 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6151 times:

Social liberal/fiscal conservative here...said it a million times so that even a kindergartner would get it:

More Money In/Less Money Out. Raise taxes to Clinton/Gingrich levels and cut spending 10% across he board, and I mean every friggin government outlay...I don't care what the hell it's for...gets a 10% cut.

I'd concede a delay in Middle and Lower Income tax rates and let the wealthy shoulder the burden for 3-4 years but this would be an overall start. At the end of the day what really sticks in my craw about the resistance to the elimination of the temporary tax reduction Bush Jr. passed (remember that folks?), is that extreme Repubs call this a tax increase. But it's not, Bushie sold it to us a "temporary" reduction and then embarked on a global warfare campaign that drained the shit out of the balance books. Any idiot with basic math skills would understand the utter stupidity of such a move.

And don't forget, whether the top tax rates are 30%, 35%, or 39.5%, the top 1%-5% wealthiest people in this country have been accumulating wealth at ever increasing rates at the expense of everyone else for some 50 years now. The wealthy will survive. The bathroom remodels on the 4th vacation property or the second hand G550 may have to be delayed, but these folks will survive. Donna Summer has a national anthem ready to go for this jet set.

I can't understand how there's even a debate about this nonsense.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5608 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6145 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
Right now, during the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, Obama has demanded tax increases, but has not proposed any cost cuts.

Yeah, I don't like that at all and disagree with it. President Obama needs to step forward and lead and say what Democrat favorites should be cut and push and help the Democrats make the needed changes to get the budget better balanced (it won't be balanced in the next two years).

However have the Republican's come back with a response (public, private, or otherwise) that says "Here is what we propose raising and cutting....". I know they have said "get serious" but I want each side to propose something and then work to come together. I don't see that yet, I see people positioning themselves next to the lifeboats so they can survive and blame someone else.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
So which is it? Fight Obama and get blamed for all wrongs, or let him run wild and hope we can pick up the pieces later? That is the question.

Fight and work with and do your best to fix things. If you are on a sinking ship and some starts a fire do you help them start it or do you be responsible and stop that person and then work to stop the ship from sinking? In my opinion you do both, I can't stand fatalists that decide they should instead just stand around and teach the people on the boat a lesson and let it sink... that is stupid and does not help.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2528 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6142 times:

Quoting wingman (Reply 4):

Ditto just about everything you said. I for one would be willing to pay a tax increase (a reasonable one) in return for spending cuts - specifically on defense. I come from a family with a long history of military service but think the amount of money we spend on defense is way beyond absurd.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):

You didn't answer the OP's question - what would YOU be willing to do?


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6119 times:

Quoting ER757 (Reply 6):
You didn't answer the OP's question - what would YOU be willing to do?

I'm willing to see tax increase - accross the board - back to Clinton-era levels. But i vehemantly disagree with Obama's "only on the rich" approach, even though personally I would benefit from it. It is morally wrong to have the wealthy pay all the taxes and the rest enjoy all the benefits.

This must stop. We are destroying (or have already destroyed) incentives for people to work.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/admin/ed-assets/2012/11/welfare-cliff0446.jpg

http://2-ps.googleusercontent.com/h/www.powerlineblog.com/admin/ed-assets/2012/11/996x742xtax-burden.jpg.pagespeed.ic.GF4qk1vvZA.jpg



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7914 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6113 times:

Defense cuts would probably be really bad for me personally, but I've supported defense cuts for a while now. We can still be the world's best military at a fraction of the cost


Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4626 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6113 times:

I think the truth of the matter here , is that both sides want all or nothing.
The true solution should be a frog in boiling water solution.
the "Cliff solution" is just that, it is a cliff. A sharp raise in taxes and a sharp reduction in spending. We can't just suddently balance the budget and cut the defict at the same time. However we need to make the spending and revenue come into line.

The real solution involves a "bunny slope". A quarter percent here, and a quarter percent there. In both cuts and spending.
implement a 8 new hires or 9 new hires for every 10 federal retires.
raise the social security qualification age gradually to 70 or 72.
hold or minimize federal spending to 1% increases.
Look at the Medical HealthCare plan and make sure it makes fiscal sense. Medicare and Obama care are going to be greatly muddled by the current implementation. Maybe single payer still makes sense.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
Washington does not spend less year-to-year. Ever. Is that clear? Negotiators are only negotiating amounts of spending increases and areas of such increases in spending. That’s it.

It doesn't and maybe it shouldn't. The US isn't losing population, so in theory there is always more money. However the growth in spending should be limited while Revenue is not keeping up with spending.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2528 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6102 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
I'm willing to see tax increase - accross the board - back to Clinton-era levels. But i vehemantly disagree with Obama's "only on the rich" approach, even though personally I would benefit from it. It is morally wrong to have the wealthy pay all the taxes and the rest enjoy all the benefits.

Makes a lot of sense to me as well. Why can't the clowns in Washington figure out that most people would be accepting of a tax increase if it was fair to all and that spending be brought down at the same time? Hell, if our group can agree on this stuff, anyone can!!


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6088 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 9):
It doesn't and maybe it shouldn't. The US isn't losing population, so in theory there is always more money. However the growth in spending should be limited while Revenue is not keeping up with spending.

Federal spending has increased by 40% in the past 5 years. Has the population grown 40%? No, and 2007 spending was too high as it was (Obama even called it "unpatriotic").

I've gone through this in another thread - you can't tax your way out of this. A tax increase might drop the deficit by less than 10% (closer to 5%) - the rest has to come from budget cuts.

What exactly would I cut?

1) All federal employees (right up to the President) gets a 10% salary cut. Military is exempt - they don't make a lot to begin with.
2) All federal pensions get converted to 401Ks.
3) Suspension of all international financial assistance
4) All federal departments to submit a solid plan to reduce bureaucratic headcount by 50% over 10 years.
5) All federal assistance programs (welfare, food stamps, CHIP etc) see 20% cut from every check they send out.
6) All "cost-plus" development contracts to be frozen, unless already in propduction or pre-production.
7) We start withdrawing all our troops from Japan, Korea, Germany, Middle East, and everywhere else. If they want us to stay, they should pay for the bases, housing etc.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4626 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6081 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
Federal spending has increased by 40% in the past 5 years. Has the population grown 40%? No, and 2007 spending was too high as it was (Obama even called it "unpatriotic").

But Federal Spending increased due to items already in the books. Social Security, Medicare, and Defense all went skyrocketing, as did Welfare, Especially when incomes plummeted.

The budget submitted by Bush already had a 1.3 trillion Deficit built in, and Obama hasn't changed that much. In 2012 the gulf narrowed ,and it will continue to do so, as more people go back to work.

That is the key. Revenue needs to be raised while spending goes down as the economy expands.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
I've gone through this in another thread - you can't tax your way out of this. A tax increase might drop the deficit by less than 10% (closer to 5%) - the rest has to come from budget cuts.

I don't disagree, and nothing in my post suggests I do. I just happen to believe, you don't build an efficient tunnel by drilling from only one side.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):

1) All federal employees (right up to the President) gets a 10% salary cut. Military is exempt - they don't make a lot to begin with.

I'd go with 7%, that is what I got just before Obama took office, and my company never gave it back. However I would do it gradually to avoid the shock effect.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
4) All federal departments to submit a solid plan to reduce bureaucratic headcount by 50% over 10 years.

Population continues to expand, and bureaucratic headcount is subjective, especially as the economy improves.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5452 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6076 times:

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
"Which of your own ox's are you willing to gore"

I wasn't going to post to this thread, because, all that came to mind initially were platitudes. But, then I got thinking: what would I cut? The answer: I don't know, because I really don't know what's the totality of services the federal government provides me.

Quite simply, I don't receive a check from the government at any level. I pay in. But, what underlying, non-essential services, do I benefit (or suffer) from, that I can do without?

Example: I just bought a house. It was not FHA. Did I benefit (or suffer), anywhere in the process from government largesse? I'm sure I did, I've no clue how. I know I signed a HUD form and I understand the function of the form, but, what was the cost and could the transaction been handled, just as efficiently (or more so) by using a form generated by the attorney?

So, I really can't answer the question, at least not in great detail, because I don't know how far into my life the government has encroached. That's a problem.

But,:
-I'm willing to see tax reform, to include cutting or eliminating several deductions...some of which I benefit from.
-I would like to see defense spending analyzed and waste cut out. Streamline procurement. No one in government should get rich from defense procurement.
-I really want a top to bottom analysis of every department in the government looking for duplication and waste. Example: it seems that just about every agency in the federal government has a law enforcement arm. I say consolidate law enforcement under one or two agencies and save those resources. That means the surviving agencies get bigger, but I'll guess, that if it's done right (in other words, the private sector way) we will save butt-loads of money...and I'm talking J-Lo butt. Just an example.

Can we talk SSA? Eliminate the payroll tax 'holiday' and eliminate the cap. Oh, and means test the damn thing. Let's toss out the fiction that this is not an entitlement. When you get out more than you pay in, it's a entitlement. So, you want to make an income in the US, you pay into SSA, whether you expect to get a benefit or not (due to means) in the end.

Here's a novel one...any legislation passed (to include regulations) need to provide an accurate cost for implementation and enforcement. They must also tell us what it's going to cost the taxpayer to comply.

I could go on, but...platitudes.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 2):
I do think the US is under taxed for the services provided.

You're right. But, the question really is: Why is the US government providing all these services. Under what Constitutional authority? Eliminate federal services that are more properly provided by local and state governments. Or, better yet, by the private sector. I've said it before...I don't think that I'm taxed to high. I do believe that my taxes are going to the wrong entities. I interact (on the surface) more with my local government than my state government. I interact more with my state government than the federal government (I think...see my first point). My tax distribution should reflect those interactions.
Quoting tugger (Reply 5):
President Obama needs to step forward and lead and say what Democrat favorites should be cut and push and help the Democrats make the needed changes to get the budget better balanced (it won't be balanced in the next two years).

President Obama needs to get off the campaign trail and lead. He is the president. He needs to stop spouting platitudes and appealing to his base. Again, he needs to lead.

And, no...it won't be balanced in 2 or 4 years, but when all we talk about is reductions in budgetary increases...we may as well get ready to have a Greece-like meltdown. And it will be sooner than later.

Oh, one more thing...zero-based budgeting...how about we pick a couple of agencies and try it out. Instead of annual budgets, let's shoot for bi-annual and take a bit of the pain away. Let's see how it works. Maybe we can...gasp...save some money, when the administrators need to approve every expenditure. Then freaking hold those administrators accountable to their budgets.

[Edited 2012-11-30 12:46:25]


When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2528 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6070 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
1) All federal employees (right up to the President) gets a 10% salary cut. Military is exempt - they don't make a lot to begin with.
2) All federal pensions get converted to 401Ks.
3) Suspension of all international financial assistance
4) All federal departments to submit a solid plan to reduce bureaucratic headcount by 50% over 10 years.
5) All federal assistance programs (welfare, food stamps, CHIP etc) see 20% cut from every check they send out.
6) All "cost-plus" development contracts to be frozen, unless already in propduction or pre-production.
7) We start withdrawing all our troops from Japan, Korea, Germany, Middle East, and everywhere else. If they want us to stay, they should pay for the bases, housing etc.

I like a lot of these, but have a concern re #4. You cut them by 50%, that's a lot more people on the un-employment line, so you save salaries but increase un-employemnt compensation spending. Without doubt, the boated government payroll is a HUGE issue and needs to be addressed, but 50%? You start to risk quality of services provided at that point and let's face it, the existing quality is less than desirable in many instances already.


User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5452 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6053 times:

Quoting ER757 (Reply 14):
You cut them by 50%, that's a lot more people on the un-employment line, so you save salaries but increase un-employemnt compensation spending.

If you do it over 10 or 15 years, most of that headcount goes away due to attrition.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 14):
You start to risk quality of services provided at that point and let's face it, the existing quality is less than desirable in many instances already.

Could that be because of the bureaucracy? Because the agency is so heavy, it can't move efficiently?

Quoting casinterest (Reply 12):
Revenue needs to be raised while spending goes down as the economy expands.

I think we raise revenue through tax code reform, e.g. closing loop holes and limiting deductions for 'the rich'. Remember, if you're not paying any tax due to deductions and credits, you're not going to get hurt by an increase in the marginal rate.

Quoting wingman (Reply 4):
More Money In/Less Money Out. Raise taxes to Clinton/Gingrich levels and cut spending 10% across he board, and I mean every friggin government outlay...I don't care what the hell it's for...gets a 10% cut.

Not at all a fan of this. Some agencies can stand to cut a lot more than 10% and some can't. We need to review, audit, analyze...whatever...and come up with the right number for any given agency.

[Edited 2012-11-30 13:01:56]


When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6047 times:

Quoting ER757 (Reply 14):
I like a lot of these, but have a concern re #4. You cut them by 50%, that's a lot more people on the un-employment line, so you save salaries but increase un-employemnt compensation spending.

In terms of adding value to the economy, there is no economic difference between paying a federal employee $50K in salary and benefits, and paying an unemployed person $50K unemployment benefits. Government employees (with very few exceptions) are overhead - and while you need some overhead (like companies do), it does not add value.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 14):
Without doubt, the boated government payroll is a HUGE issue and needs to be addressed, but 50%? You start to risk quality of services provided at that point

1) That's what computers are for.
2) It should be an incentive for federal bureaucracies to simplify what they do. For example, you you drastically simplify tax returns, so that everyone (millionaires and Burger King employees alike) files a simple 1-page return, and you impose tax territoriality and stop taxing people overseas, you could probably cut the IRS headcount by 80-90%.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinePu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 697 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6004 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
a Greek-style meltdown

Since the Fed can and does monetise debt all the time, with no inflation or other terrifying consequences, I think this is impossible. America can always just role back its debt by buying it back, Greece can not.

Can you explain how the US could get into a situation where its debt is ever increasing but it lacks BOTH the ability to raise revenue or buy back debt (like Greece) ?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3):
Obama has demanded tax increases, but has not proposed any cost cuts.

As mentioned above I am for cuts in "entitlements" and defense. But since the the rest of the industrialised world has a government spending share of gdp at 40% or so, some as high as 50%....the only CERTAIN "problem" with Obama's plan is ideological, it seems to me: he is wrestling control of the economy into the public sector from the private sector. There is no experience in other first world nations that this has been a disaster, can you please outline why you are predicting this would be such a catastrophe if the Dems do this, eg, tax and spend more?




Pu

[Edited 2012-11-30 14:32:49]

User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2528 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5978 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
In terms of adding value to the economy, there is no economic difference between paying a federal employee $50K in salary and benefits, and paying an unemployed person $50K unemployment benefits.

I get that, but (please forgive this one - I am not as well-versed in economics as you) how does that in any way help balance the budget or reduce the deficit? That is, after all, the goal of this exercise. I'm sure I'm missing part of your point, please enlighten me.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
For example, you you drastically simplify tax returns, so that everyone (millionaires and Burger King employees alike) files a simple 1-page return, and you impose tax territoriality and stop taxing people overseas, you could probably cut the IRS headcount by 80-90%.

Now that's a plan I can get behind!!   


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5979 times:

Quoting Pu (Reply 17):
Since the Fed can and does monetise debt all the time, with no inflation or other terrifying consequences, I think this is impossible. America can always just role back its debt by buying it back, Greece can not.

First of all the Fed did not start monetizing the debt until 2010.

Inflation is not a problem as long as we struggle along with high unemployment and lackluster growth, which keeps inflation down. The irony of this situation, is that if somehow we recover (let's say a new industry pops up like the 90's internet boom) and unemployment drops back down to 5% or so, I think you will see a sharp catch-up of inflation that will wipe out all the financial gains from such a recovery (debtors will gain but creditors will lose), especially after inflation throws the usual damp towel on business growth - because in high inflation situations businesses will not invest and expand unless assured of much greater profit margins than normal. You can't augment the money supply like this without it eventually biting you in the ass.

Quoting Pu (Reply 17):
There is no experience in other first world nations that this has been a disaster, can you please outline why you are predicting this would be such a catastrophe if the Dems do this, eg, tax and spend more?

One of the big differences between the US and other countries (Europe in particular) is that the US has the most progressive tax system anywhere, and that limits how much money the government can receive. Not only is the US Income tax system more weighted against the wealthy and does not tax half the population at all, but the US has no national sales tax (or VAT). Most of Europe has a VAT of around 20% - which is very un-progressive and is a huge source of revenue.

Unless the US increases taxes on the middle and lower classes, through VAT and/or making the tax system less progressive, there is no way in hell the US can grow the federal government to the size of those in Europe.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5976 times:

Quoting ER757 (Reply 18):
I get that, but (please forgive this one - I am not as well-versed in economics as you) how does that in any way help balance the budget or reduce the deficit? That is, after all, the goal of this exercise. I'm sure I'm missing part of your point, please enlighten me.

Because a federal employee will stay in government service until retirement if he can. Throw him out on the street and eventually he'll have to go out and do something useful. So short term savings are limited, long term are huge.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2528 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5970 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 20):
Because a federal employee will stay in government service until retirement if he can. Throw him out on the street and eventually he'll have to go out and do something useful. So short term savings are limited, long term are huge.

Got it - thanks for explaining, much appreciated!


User currently offlinePu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 697 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5963 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 19):

is that the US has the most progressive tax system anywhere

I think you are drifting towards the ideological again, nothing offered is factually convincing in your revenue arguments.

The US tax system is more progressive than Europe, in an accurate reflection of the fact that US income is so heavily weighted towards top earners. If the gini coefficient in the US was like the western European norm, your argument that taxes must fall onto the middle classes to raise revenue would be more convincing. But since so much of wealth is sent to top earners in America, taxing the wealthy higher is just a reflection of where a lopsided portion of the money is at.

It seems to me you just want it to be more "fair" to your value system ideals that everyone should pay for government and that no one should get a free ride. The wealthy aren't investing in America anyway, they aren't creating any jobs - except overseas.


Pu


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8841 posts, RR: 24
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5939 times:

Quoting Pu (Reply 22):
The wealthy aren't investing in America anyway, they aren't creating any jobs - except overseas.

Now who's being ideological?

Quoting Pu (Reply 22):
I think you are drifting towards the ideological again, nothing offered is factually convincing in your revenue arguments.

I'm sorry, but your credibility on this issue is hardly one to crow about.

Quoting Pu (Reply 22):
The US tax system is more progressive than Europe, in an accurate reflection of the fact that US income is so heavily weighted towards top earners. If the gini coefficient in the US was like the western European norm, your argument that taxes must fall onto the middle classes to raise revenue would be more convincing. But since so much of wealth is sent to top earners in America, taxing the wealthy higher is just a reflection of where a lopsided portion of the money is at.

You are partially correct, but only partially. While income in the US is more stratified, tax revenue is even more stratified according to OECD. Share of taxes of the richest 10% divided by share of market income of the richest 10% is 1.35, the highest ratio among the OECD-24. Your country of Norway has a very unprogressive ratio of 0.95. Most highly developed countries have a rate around 1.1 to 1.2.

Considering that the accelerating stratification of income in the US coincides very interestingly with the efforts in Washington to make the tax code more and more progressive (including GWB's tax policy) over the past couple of generations, I put to you the following hypothesis - that the more progressive you make your tax system, the greater the income stratification you get. I think a detailed study of this would prove this theory holds water. And it is for this reason that European countries (which hardly lack for rich people) have never gone too far with their tax "progressivity"



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6294 posts, RR: 33
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5929 times:

I am willing to let the military and border patrol quit wasting so much money. Time for cutbacks though I do realize that in the current state of insanity there is little chance of that happening.


Damn, this website is getting worse daily.
25 Post contains links Pu : You are. In pre-globalisation America the wealthy created jobs in America with their extra cash. Not anymore. This isn't 1955 or 1985 but you are sti
26 DeltaMD90 : Have the Dems actually agreed on any cuts yet? I'm starting to get suspicious... I am glad to see the Republicans budging but I'm very concerned the D
27 StarAC17 : What he is doing is getting his supporters to push their congressman to agree with his plan. At the end of the day the president can only suggest wha
28 Post contains links Dreadnought : You completely made that up. The article you quote says nothing like it. I am quite familiar with that report, which the CRS eventually withdrew due
29 n318ea : You hit that out of the park. Obama is incapable of actually acting as a leader. Instead of inflammatory sound bites on TV, a real leader would be in
30 Dreadnought : No. The latest plan from Obama delivered this morning to Congress apparently was "All tax increases, no spending cuts at all, and a new $50 billion s
31 fr8mech : Yes, but is it my money that gets funneled to Kentucky or my locality? No, my money is being spent on bridges in Alaska or California. Yes, we get mo
32 DeltaMD90 : I know I can say a million things without being president myself, but I would definitely meet with the high leaders in congress if I was president. I
33 Dreadnought : Look, I have some respect for you and you obviously argue in a pretty civilized manner from the center - sometimes a bit to the right or a bit to the
34 DeltaMD90 : I apologize, BOTH sides have been irresponsible the past, well, decade. It's been getting worse and I honestly think the GOP has been especially bad
35 Ken777 : My preference today is to wait until January before getting serious. First, that eliminates the GOP concerns about raising taxes - the sunset provisio
36 cws818 : First of all, whether you like it or not, Obama is the leader of the United States. Second of all, it takes two to tango.
37 seb146 : One problem I see is the cheerleaders on both sides believe the other side wants to take an axe to the "sacred cow." Meaning: the right-wing talkers
38 DeltaMD90 : You state that both sides have problems gutting their cows, then you turn around and say how the Dems shouldn't cut what the Republicans want cut? We
39 wingman : It's easy to see how the two parties get so embroiled in this pedantic nonsense. How is the Kindergarten solution not viable I wonder? 10% reduction i
40 Dreadnought : That's Obama's plan apparently. He has not had the time to meet with Congressional leaders in 14 days and is planning to leave DC on December 17th fo
41 par13del : Does the above post sound like a Tea Party member or some activist pushing for State empowerment, no, to me a very reasoned post on the realities of
42 Post contains images Ken777 : That's today's political game. What is important are the private discussions between Obama and the leaders on the House & Senate. We don't get to
43 Post contains links tugger : I tend to agree with you, though as I have said I would reintroduce the old tax rates in a staggered schedule, say every other year, to reintroduce e
44 Ken777 : Actually I consider myself an independent. Grew up in a GOP household and voted GOP for years. Then the conservatives during the Bush I years pissed
45 Post contains images StarAC17 : Most of the cost is protecting the POTUS and wherever he goes $4 million to support a presidents Christmas holiday doesn't matter and you know that.
46 Superfly : Sadly it will just have to come to that. Obama has the Senate and most of the media on his side. Fighting him will just mean gridlock and give him an
47 flipdewaf : Why are the military exempt? It surely can't just be because they don't get paid much as a lot of people employed by the gov't don't get paid much. T
48 Post contains images par13del : Correct, it is the job of the House to create a budget, the Senate to approve and POTUS to sign off, that process has been off the rails for the last
49 Superfly : As Ross Perot once said; "Worshington is a pully-pull pit!"
50 DeltaMD90 : I do agree, we can't have sacred cows. I would, however, do a progressive cutting, cut the top ranks/officers more and cut the junior enlisted very l
51 Ken777 : Sadly the Tea Party won't let the Tan Man do that. I actually believe that if Boehner and Obama were allow to sit down and work out a deal without an
52 Post contains images Superfly : In Thailand, it's for those that don't know jack about the country they reside in. I wrote up a whole trip report about what I did during last year's
53 tugger : Then I mis-phrased, I shouldn't have used a party affiliation as an example. My question is which of the policies and program that YOU as in independ
54 Post contains links and images Superfly : You're the one who asked questions on what should be cut. I gave you my opinion and now you're asking me to leave the country? Anyhow, have a read at
55 DeltaMD90 : Again, I mean we should cut defense by X% and let the military leaders decide what to cut. I'd rather not have Congress micro managing anyway. If def
56 tugger : Sorry Supe', you know I like and respect you on this site but the comment you made was just a throwaway and didn't go to the heart of the question wh
57 n318ea : Being President requires MORE than making appearances on TV shows and Demo talking points at staged Press Conferences. A LEADER would be taking part
58 Ken777 : When I look at cutting spending I find it is not a simple issue. Take the Socialist GOP Hand out for having kids. It's not necessary for 70% or 80% of
59 tugger : Of course it's not, but that does not mean it doesn't need to be cut. The budget has expanded too much recently, for good reason, to cover those expo
60 Dreadnought : Exactly. It should be no different than when you go to the store. You have $100 in your pocket. You can't fill your basket with $150 worth of goods.
61 Ken777 : As the costs of the ME Wars winds down so will the direct spending. That helps when you look at the 10 year picture. Doesn't work for those responsib
62 par13del : My question, if most states can have their legislators meet for a limited time for the entire year, why exactly does the House and Senate have to mee
63 Pu : The "excuse" seems to be the will of the AmerIcan people to have the government take a greater role in the economy. They saw (paid for) Bush bailout
64 Dreadnought : I only found a single scientific poll which asked the question: "Overall, do you feel like the federal government is trying to do too much these days
65 DeltaMD90 : I feel the opposite... Congress can't even do half of what they're needing to do in the time they have. I say keep them there through Christmas until
66 Pu : I'm sure those general percentages are true in most every 1st world country. The feeling that govt is too big/too powerful is probably at this point
67 par13del : Actually, the people were not in favour of TARP either under Bush or Obama, recall that Bush had his bill passed almost in the dead of night without
68 Ken777 : They have more to do than the state politicians do. Ask it regularly - but two questions The first based on it not impacting them and the second on i
69 Post contains images par13del : Well when one looks at the state of the economy, dismantling of the finance rules which created the fundamentals of the GFC, massive deficits, failur
70 tugger : It is most definitely not "the Bush economy" anymore. He may have started with it and made some very bad decisions that exacerbated it, but it is not
71 Post contains images Superfly : Ok, I say gut the entire E.P.A. Get rid of Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Get rid of Under Secretary for Political Affairs Get rid
73 casinterest : Cute picture, but the drivers in that car are Boehner and Ryan. The ball is in the GOP court. They can either negotiate with the white house, and for
74 Post contains images tugger : Yeah, well "a greater government role" is very different form overspend and creating ridiculous debt each and every year. Do what you can afford and
75 DeltaMD90 : Actually, I disagree. You've probably seen how strongly I've been criticizing the GOP lately, but I've actually seen quite a few Republicans (importa
76 casinterest : Show me vague? Obama and Geitner have layed out where they want to be. The GOP would rather fall on a sword and cause pain and suffering for all, tha
77 Post contains images tugger : I am surprised that the Republican's have not presented something yet, but I am certain it is because they are terrified of the "taxes" issue and do
78 Post contains links casinterest : http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/02/politi.../fiscal-cliff/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 Norquist has a dictator lile presense over the GOP, and it is a bad thing. A
79 DeltaMD90 : Could be wrong, but I was under the strong impression that entitlement cuts are not being laid out by the President. I've heard something about raise
80 tugger : You are not incorrect per se, the Dem's plan has no real cuts and really only increases taxes (to "the wealthy). I do not agree with the plan at all,
81 Post contains links and images Superfly : Here is a more appropriate photo. Since they have so much skill and expertise working in government, they should easily be able to find work in the p
82 casinterest : Those are items to be negotiated. However the GOP has laid out a line in the sand about the tax cuts for the wealthy. They aren't willing to move the
83 casinterest : And as everyone can see, the most brilliant minds in the GOP are busy drawing pictures of what they think is happening instead of writing bills and d
84 DeltaMD90 : Well, this is what I mean. The GOP's plan, until recently, was NO tax increases, only spending cuts (to "left" programs.) Now the Democrats' plan is
85 Post contains images DeltaMD90 : Although I'm not up to speed 100% on these negotiations, I know for a fact I've seen a bunch of Republicans talk about budging on the tax issue. I al
86 Post contains images tugger : Actually this is a more appropriate picture: Agreed! Now if the politician's could just get their act together (yeah right). I would like to see the
87 casinterest : A few is not a majority when the speaker of the house is still sitting on a Sunday morning talk show complaining about it.
88 DeltaMD90 : I just now watched a video where Boehner said they'd be willing to provide more revenue in exchange for budget cuts. The GOP hasn't been the party of
89 tugger : Well you are making WAY too much sense! I agree with you (again) and I see that I failed to actually complete what I was intending to write further u
90 DeltaMD90 : I'm no expert on SS, but I'm sure there are some "cuts" (or at least modifications to it) that may hurt just a little bit but won't put grandma and g
91 Post contains images Superfly : Yep. Not a single cartoonist that supports Obama and the Democrats. That is certainly what's needed but I haven't seen that motivation or desire from
92 Flighty : I'm willing to pay high taxes and get no government benefits ever, including Social Security (which I certainly don't expect to collect). But I don't
93 casinterest : The issue here is that taxes do need to go up, and spending needs to go down. Everyone is pretending the GOP has a leveraged hand that nothing change
94 DeltaMD90 : But I do see them acting, have you not? Going against this tax pledge thing is like blasphemy to the GOP yet we are seeing the once stubborn GOP brea
95 Post contains links casinterest : It's all heresay until the GOP comes in an works on the Tax Revenue. Because at this point, with no action, We get tax increases and spending cuts up
96 Post contains links and images MadameConcorde : As Americans face a fiscal cliff, the Obamas make do with 54 Christmas trees Amazing how a reelection can reshape an incumbent's thinking about many t
97 DeltaMD90 : Then it is also hearsay that the GOP is NOT negotiating, no? The fact that GOP congressmen/women are willing to raise taxes is a good sign, the best
98 casinterest : Correct, but if the GOP is staunchly against raising revenue while the economy is improving, what tool will they ever have in the future when the eco
99 Dreadnought : Here are a few facts: - GOP has expressed willingness to discuss increased taxation - Democrats have refused to express any willingness whatsoever to
100 casinterest : The GOP has not. Individual congressman have. Sources. I think with the GOP incompetance though, we do need an unlimited debt ceilin, they think we c
101 par13del : Well, as we know the budget has to come from the House, in the last 3 years, everything that they have presented has been dead before a debate has co
102 casinterest : Not much if they are only in it for themselves and the wealthy.
103 Flighty : Basically, the 875 lb man needs to stop eating 6 chickens and 20 lbs of ground beef every day. He needs to see a doctor and change the way he does bus
104 DeltaMD90 : They are not. I think Boehner is a pretty significant congressman, don't you think? I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. The GOP, in my eyes, is
105 Post contains images Ken777 : It's a combination economy. We still have a lot of long term problems from the Bush/Cheney Administration. That Great Recession is a generational pro
106 par13del : Which you are already telling them is what they are doing, so why exactly is anyone supposed to be optimistic that the GOP will do anything and that
107 brilondon : As a Canadian living in the US, I really believe that the there is no quick fix to the fiscal crunch. What needs to happen is there needs to be a way
108 StarAC17 : Some points on this. - The US has a military that is bigger than the next 7 nations combined. - It is a huge portion of federal spending and there is
109 Post contains links casinterest : He is still towing the tax cuts line of not ending it for the wealthy. He is significant, but apparently not making his voice heard over that Norquis
110 Flighty : Although we surely won't agree about how my generation is suffering under at the grasping hands of baby boomers, let me clarify one thing. I am willi
111 mt99 : [q You mean the one that people voted against?
112 DeltaMD90 : That's a lot to ask of some people lol Just playing devil's advocate, I hear these two statements a lot, but wouldn't cutting defense also hurt the e
113 casinterest : Their savings come from Projected growth based on revenue increasses that the is not allowed according to the budget rules. Their points on Obama's d
114 Dreadnought : When talking about voodoo math, you are talking about Obama's projections right? The ones that assume 5-6% real GDP growth, unemployment diving down
115 StarAC17 : Of course it will and I won't deny that, which is why I think steep government cuts or tax hikes are bad news right now. What I don't like hearing is
116 Post contains images DeltaMD90 : And BTW, how is your economy up there? I know about the Euro mess and the US', but not Canada's, and with an attitude like yours, it seems Canada sho
117 par13del : Well not to take the thread off course, but one of the reasons why Iraq went to hell in a hand basket was because of manpower requirements for Shock
118 StarAC17 : Hindsight is 20/20, the planners of that war didn't expect an insurgency also if we are going to stay on topic why weren't taxes raised to pay for th
119 Flighty : Sure the Pentagon knew it. They are professionals. But the Bush Admin wanted to get its rocks off, doing something that hurt us far more than 9/11 di
120 par13del : Well the US debt ceiling has been on a steady climb for decades, at most they have been reducing the rate of increase. The mantra has always been whe
121 StarAC17 : That is a nonsense mantra and everyone thinking that got us into this mess in the first place. If things are good then by all means expand government
122 Post contains links casinterest : At this point, who is to say it won't happen. But the following is a pretty good writeup on the GOP projections. http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion
123 Superfly : They've been there, done that with box cutters. I fly more often than you and I do not support this department. Property stolen from private citizens
124 par13del : Well, is there anyone other than the Tea Party and GOP calling for government to live within its means, see your other comment below. Everyone else t
125 Post contains links casinterest : http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/...an-simpson-fiscal-cliff/?hpt=hp_t1 Alan Simpson is a bit worried about the situation, and he levels some pretty
126 tugger : The interesting thing that I heard from one of the Republican response was the desire to take the discussions out of "the media" and discuss things b
127 Dreadnought : Anyway, if we do "go over the cliff" with sequestration, the deficit next year will only decline by maybe 15-20%, yet everyone is running around like
128 casinterest : the Defecit will not decline if we go over the cliff. The Econonomy will collapse. Many middle and low income folks will get tax increases in the tho
129 Dreadnought : You are largely correct in that an economic downturn will likely wipe out any gains from the higher tax rates. Imagine that - a liberal trying to con
130 casinterest : Imagine that, a Conservative that doesn't understand the difference between a little increase vs a big increase in spending. And again, not fully und
131 Dreadnought : So, are you saying that we should pull back spending? Obama seems to disagree with that. Oh, I understand entirely, believe me. But that is no excuse
132 par13del : Well if we look at Europe where government spending and direct involvement in the economy is much more extensive than the US, it is not so dire, is i
133 casinterest : How so? Obama's plan calls for spending cuts. However you can't put that forward to the GOP which has never started in the middle in the last 4 years
134 Dreadnought : What spending cuts does Obama call for? And don't give me "over 10 years" crap - I want to know how many billions he will cut out of 2013 and 2014. 1
135 par13del : Why not, how is it going to pass if the Democrats who control the senate don't bring it to the floor, there is absolutely nothing, nothing that the r
136 seb146 : If there is to be a serious debate on earned benefits (we all pay into them so we can all use them; entitlements fits the right-wing narrative better
137 cws818 : How can you possibly know that you fly more than he does?
138 Superfly : I'm flying on a weekly basis and I seriously doubt Ken777 is putting his family through that misery on a weekly basis.
139 casinterest : Where is the growth Bush promised in 2001 and 2003 when he cut taxes? The cuts will come when the GOP gets out of Diapers and learns that it is easie
140 Post contains images Ken777 : Conservatives (especially the wealthy ones) have an aversion to paying taxes - even when there is a war on. So Bush & Cheney ran their wars on th
141 Superfly : I don't support that. We need to end the war on drugs.
142 Post contains images Dreadnought : We had between 3.0%-4.0% growth every quarter between 2003 and 2008. Are you saying that didn't happen? Not stellar growth, but I hate that anyway -
143 seb146 : I would argue the electorate is wising up. They finally are understanding, after 12 long years, the lie of "just don't tax the rich so they will crea
144 casinterest : Streller Growth that lead to a steller crash as all that growth was a mrage of derivatives and overleveraged mortgages, but let's just ignore what ha
145 Post contains images Dreadnought : Check your truth-meter - I think you've pegged it. by 2007 the deficit was in fact under control, and coming down. Had the mortgage breakdown not hap
146 Post contains links Ken777 : Seizures originated to go after racketeering. Drugs simply fell into place after that. In terms of the war on drugs, I'm pretty much against going af
147 Dreadnought : Case in point. Your animosity against Romney is purely based on, "he's rich, so he must necessarily be for making himself more rich, to the detriment
148 casinterest : The defecit was ONLY under control because of the cash rich houseflipping and economic boom of miracle HELOC's. The Debt was no where near under cont
149 Dreadnought : Which was also going on in the late 90s, added to which was the dot-com bubble that burst in 2000-2001, which together led to the famous Clinton boom
150 Ken777 : You've missed the boat by a wide margin. I have zero problems with people being wealthy. Wouldn't mind being there myself. Reality is that during the
151 StarAC17 : It's because Romney didn't come off as a decent human being and I'll reserve what I actually think of him but making a claim like the 47% one doesn't
152 Dreadnought : I appreciate the very civil response. I guess we'll just agree to disagree on that one. And that is exactly why I am pissed off. I knew that voting f
153 StarAC17 : A huge majority of the American people agree that the top 2% of the American people should pay Clinton era tax rates to help pay for the expenses of
154 seb146 : Oh, no. You can't say that! That does not fit the right-wing/FOX narrative of "they just want free stuff"! And bet against them and made money off th
155 FlyDeltaJets : If we did all of that we still need to increase revenue. Taxes must go up on everyone. Rich and middle class. A VAT would lead to disportionatly high
156 par13del : That is the fiscal cliff, the discussion had drifted to the fear that the democrats had of republicans passing bills to harm the poor, my popint was
157 Pu : George W Bush. He has delievered you Obama and the things Republicans hate so much like Obamacare, the big spending and tax changes. Whether you call
158 Superfly : Again, you're calling for new laws and granting more powers to the government that cost extra money. The Corvette you're boasting about cost about wh
159 StarAC17 : If nothing is done, the rates go back to what they were under Clinton which means the top income rate increase 3% on income earned over 250K. Also re
160 Dreadnought : The "free lunch" rhetoric is an oversimplification. The more accurate statement is that they want a variety of services and benefits which they do no
161 seb146 : There you go, perpetuating the same old lie. I am glad your Christian stand lets you be so smug as to let people starve to death and die from all man
162 Dreadnought : I see, so for you the choice is between spending $3.5 trillion or Zero. The possibility of spending, say, $2.5 trillion, is simply not an option for
163 Ken777 : Because Clinton understood even then that we had a screwed up system and was willing to take the hits for trying. Their problem was getting too compl
164 FlyDeltaJets : 18% tax on goods for us New Yorkers would be hard to swallow. In Europe are there local sales taxes on goods too? Everyone that is currently included
165 Dreadnought : Usually they will use the same VAT structure, so that While federal might be 10%, state might add 5% and city adds 3%, so you have a total of 18%, fo
166 Ken777 : For most people sales tax is a pretty simple issue. It's all done on the cash register (sales terminal). Even the cheap ones for a small store can ha
167 seb146 : Another thing the right does not understand is taxes were lowered in the time of two wars PLUS massive tax breaks were given to corporations PLUS Medi
168 Dreadnought : I'm thinking more for business - streamlining the taxation process so that it is simple, straightforward, and unambiguous. An example. In my company
169 Ken777 : You've described one side of the can of worms out there, the other side will be the bond holders that have to be protected. This also brings up a sit
170 Dreadnought : Not at all. You just increase your VAT level. It would be great for visibility. Politicians won't be able to quietly hide tax increase. When every ti
171 Post contains images par13del : I think I understand your option, if this were to get by it would be huge, but it will run into those who oppose a flat tax rate which would bring al
172 Post contains links and images Dreadnought : Which drives me up the wall, no end. To illustrate how stupid the concept is, consider this. The government provides you services that you need and/o
173 Ken777 : What drives me up the wall is the conveniently forgetting that the poor pay a lot of other taxes, with sales tax and taxes on petrol being the first
174 Pu : About as much sense that one guy pays $500 for a seat on the same plane that the guy next to him pays $1500 for, which is to say it makes plenty of s
175 par13del : The taxes you mention are paid by all, rich and poor, and since the rich will buy more high end items, 6% for a Huyndai or a Kia pales in comparison
176 GSPflyer : That's a really good point. Paying more taxes does suck, but it's even worse when the government wants to put the burden completely on the shoulders
177 Dreadnought : Why are you comparing the income of retired people vs working people? How much federal tax does Romney pay vs your average retiree? That's what you s
178 tugger : Sorry Dread, but why don't you also show the graph of the percentage of wealth owned and/or controlled by "the wealthy"? We pay the most, the greates
179 Pu : Is this from the same person who repeatedly reminds us he is an economist and an expert on business and spreadsheets? I guess the constant reminders
180 Dreadnought : That was shown in the chart too. The top 10% earn about 45% of the money, and pay 70% of the taxes. Wealth is irrelevant, as it is after-tax. Really?
181 Ken777 : And we need to remember location. A $50,000 house might be $1.5 million in, say, downtown San Francisco and somewhere in-between in Palo Alto. It als
182 Post contains links and images tugger : The "Wealth" is not at all irrelevant. And "after tax" has nothing to do with anything. "After tax" is an entirely changeable criteria. What one has
183 seb146 : And how much did they get back in welfare from the feds and each state? Not to mention all the other countries where they do business? Can a family o
184 BMI727 : The wealthy pay those taxes as well. Even more so in most cases. It has to do with willingness to pay. The two are often connected, but are not the s
185 Flighty : A VAT is by definition highest incidence on those who spend the largest percentage of their income. The poor spend roughly double to triple their own
186 seb146 : The issue is, however, the family with an income of $250,000 has the financial resources to hire accountants to make money back and pay an effective
187 Post contains images par13del : Another Tea Party convert talking about cutting spending We are talking about the USA, the national situation is vastly different from other countrie
188 StarAC17 : Many are in just letting the money sit in these times. Corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash (approx. $2 trillion) it is not a stretch t
189 tugger : A VAT isn't really something that works well in a society structured like the USA, which is built on consumer spending and the velocity of money. If
190 Ken777 : Or, if you are wealthy before tax & after tax are pretty much the same. Don't feel too sorry for Wal-Mart. They have benefitted greatly from the
191 BMI727 : Not if you give an exemption on spending up to the poverty level. If you live at the poverty level, you pay no tax, whether you make that much or far
192 par13del : Yes, but this is not a chicken and egg situation, the loopholes were put in there for a reason, yes a few are there because well minded people did no
193 Pu : God, the density here... They don't ask you but they ask your travel demographic through intense market research and their mass of historical data to
194 tugger : Do you actually understand that would devastate the US economy? It is a sad and strange truth, but when savings increase, without strong growth overa
195 par13del : You mean where they are spent after being distributed by the government, is that because Walmart offers lower priced goods, that's is the market segm
196 BMI727 : FairTax is not actually a VAT. It's only levied for retail sales to consumers. And under the plan there would be no exempt goods: everyone gets a che
197 Pu : The current sub-topic between Pu and Dreadnought is my claim that the wealthy disproportionately benefit from government spending and Dreadnought's c
198 Dreadnought : But that is by choice of the government. Let's assume that you cannot get welfare/food stamps if you are employed. Walmart will quickly find that the
199 Pu : I hear you and mostly agree with you. My point remains that US government spending benefits disproprtionately the wealthy. Just as most all types of
200 Ken777 : It doesn't matter which came first. Today the wealthy have the money and the lobbyists to get the loopholes they want, regardless of the tax rate. I'
201 Flighty : Ken777, agree with your sentiment except may I suggest using VA care (or improved) rather than Medicare.... Medicare legally can't negotiate drug pri
202 seb146 : What gets me is: The right had SIX YEARS under Bush to avoid all this. SIX FREAKIN' YEARS!!! and did NOTHING. Not a darned thing. For six years to pay
203 par13del : How does this then contribute to wealth distribution since in general what we are saying is that we want the rich to have less and the poor to have m
204 Post contains links vin2basketball : And that's utter crap; a family making $250,000 in most cases doesn't have enough resources to devote to hire accountants to find tax loopholes - tha
205 Post contains images Superfly : According to the current President, that is what he is making us believe is "rich". The reality is "rich" are people that are able to host $40,000 a
206 Post contains links and images Dreadnought : Throughout this thread, I have personally said I am willing to pay higher taxes (though I am nowhere near the top 1%), and many others have voiced som
207 Post contains images Superfly : That isn't taught in the Chicago political machine. It's 'my way or the highway' with this President and yet he wants us all to "work together".
208 Pu : Here's my take. No one cares if Bill Gates has 100 billion in assets or the Walton family earns 10 billion a year or if doctors make .5 million a yea
209 Post contains images DeltaMD90 : My family growing up wasn't that high, but I knew quite a few families that high. They are well off, but they are no one near Mitt Romney status, and
210 tugger : Excuse me? So you can't say that I and others have not been talking about cuts in welfare and "entitlements". Dread, I know you understand how econom
211 Superfly : The people that can afford those have won Oscars and Grammys. Forget about Mitt Romney, just look at all the wealth John Kerry has who is 3 times wea
212 tugger : My parents have tax attorneys that help plan a tax minimization strategy and they certainly are not "Oscar and Grammy" level people or wealth. They a
213 StarAC17 : I actually agree with your premise that 250K a year isn't rich especially if you live in a city like SF or NY. However this is simple stats at the en
214 Ken777 : That's because the pharma industry lobbyists wrote the Bush Rx Plan for Medicare. They probably paid out some big time contributions to have that ban
215 Post contains images par13del : As per the democratic party who just received a mandate from the people, after the txa increases are agreed to and put in place discussions on spendi
216 tugger : Another thing that gets lost in this is the fact that "$250k earners" means "$250k in adjusted gross income earners" which essentially equates to peo
217 Post contains links Dreadnought : I stand corrected. But history has shown that every single time that tax increases have been agreed to in return for spending cuts later, the tax inc
218 Ken777 : Small business owners go with an S Corp in many cases and that moves the "company's" profits to share holders. There is a lot of room for these folks
219 par13del : For clarity, are we ok with taxing 401k contributions, I know that you are already limited in the amount of money that can be put into a plan.
220 seb146 : Your theory would have held merit. If you hadn't sourced ONLY right-wing blogs....
221 Dreadnought : I have several pet peeves, and one of them is the idea that when citizens get to keep their own money, it somehow “costs” the government. Perhaps
222 Ken777 : That isn't a deduction - it's a tax credit. $1,000 Cash. And it is on top of the standard deduction the taxpayer gets to take for their children. I c
223 seb146 : Why is it socialist (read: evil) for ALL of us to help each other out, but patriotic to help out a few banks and some oil companies? Also, why was spe
224 tugger : Agreed, make the taxes changes and cuts at the same time. They may not become active at the same time ate the same levels but the decisions, the agre
225 seb146 : Right. Like: Well... the plant shut down and my life savings is gone because the CEOs used it to give themselves bonuses and the only job I can get i
226 tugger : But that is not what I am talking about, in my post I specifically exclude this type of event or did you not actually read my post: I was sure that s
227 Post contains images Superfly : They may have recorded a Gold record in the 1960s and didn't tell you. I hear what you're saying but some people do their own taxes and may not need
228 windy95 : They will not be able to that because your friends in congress raided social security a long time ago and it will go bankrupt due tot the politicians
229 seb146 : I know what you are talking about. The exact same thing I am talking about. I was just pointing out the biggest problem with this country. But, the r
230 Superfly : Not all "right-wingers" supported those wars and that new department of government and none of that would have happened without the support of Democr
231 casinterest : Problem for the GOP is that the blame Obama card isn't going to work well when the economy is showing signs of recovery and the GOP wants to take us
232 Post contains images Superfly : ...but they're not. At least they're willing to compromise and even talking about gong along with a tax increase if there are cuts in spending. Haha,
233 casinterest : We aren't standing here in December of 2012 on a fiscal cliff because the GOP has been willing to do tax increases for the last 2 years. Yeah, cause
234 Post contains images Superfly : You always like to throw that in my face as if it has any sort of bearing to the discussion.
235 casinterest : In this case I do, because the economy is improving. Unemployment is down, thier is GDP growth , and oil pices have stabilized a bit. The only thing
236 Superfly : My place of residence is totally besides the point. The press has been saying recovery for over 4 years now. Yet we're still seeing layoffs, people o
237 par13del : I suspect the same people made both those statements, and we know neither of them are the American people, after all, Bush pased his portion of TARP
238 casinterest : some people are earning less, and some people are earning more. Real Income may be down, but so too are real costs, especially some of the mortgage c
239 Post contains links and images Dreadnought : The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is a right wing source? Fair enough - you are right. I still don't see why you call it socialist though
240 casinterest : Like I said, we are still recovering from the cliff. Not recovered Mortgages and the writeoffs from them have greatly changed certain costs. Tax cuts
241 StarAC17 : No I don't but the same applies to the GOP, their base isn't running to the democrats either. I think we can agree that this debate should be settled
242 Ken777 : It's simply the GOP talking their talk. Because the conservatives have to be nasty when they don't fun the WHite House. They do seem to go off a bit
243 Flighty : LOL, excellent chart there. 3 points: * People can work for cash and not affect receipt of benefits. * People can work on/off schedules (i.e., 6 mont
244 Post contains links Ken777 : I believe that there is profound poverty in many parts of this country. An example of a Nurse only working 6 months doesn't even begin to address the
245 seb146 : If/when the top tax rates go up, even if it is just by 3%, we all know the corporations will raise prices on their products by at least 10% and pocket
246 par13del : So raising taxes does not fully solve the problem, question is what a workable solution. Everyone accepts that there is a problem, some say cut spend
247 Dreadnought : The cuts in the "fiscal cliff" are only a fraction of what's really necessary. No matter what tax rates get imposed, I doubt our credit rating will b
248 Ken777 : Reality is that competition will keep that from happening. Company A jacks their prices up by 10% will result in Company B & C adding personnel t
249 seb146 : Iceland is a good example. Their largest banks went through the same thing and the government said "that's your problem!" and let them fail. They are
250 Dreadnought : Seb, you are sounding like a conservative! I guess I have hope... Oops, my re-found hope did not last long. The two are not equal sides to the same c
251 StarAC17 : What this shows is that there are not a lot of differences between you and him and this I know stretches across America. The difference is that Ameri
252 Post contains links and images Flighty : Sure. It's not just W-2 income. It's benefits in terms of housing, food, childcare, medical, education and negative tax rates (pure $$). Why not just
253 Post contains images casinterest : Shoot , if we could just raise tax revenue back to Bill Clinton's level, we wouldn't have the sub 18% GDP revenue line caused by the Bush Tax cuts. H
254 Dreadnought : Pity that NOBODY seems to be interested in doing so. Obama only wants to let them revert for the wealthy, whereas nearly 3/4ths of the tax revenue th
255 Post contains images tugger : Yes. I can see that it is and "feel" that it is. There is a lot of uncertainty around right now due to yet ANOTHER Congressional "fight" about whatev
256 par13del : Anithing reason for uncertainty is also the raft of regulations being pushed out and proposed ala additional red tape. A lot of new hires today are s
257 Post contains links vin2basketball : But even that doesn't tell the full story - the best question would be to look at the delta between mean and median household incomes when you includ
258 Post contains links Dreadnought : i'm fine with a staggered approach. And I have said many times - Income tax should be painful to everyone. The idea that you can have a refund check
259 Post contains images slider : 1) No tax increases. Our crisis is not a revenue problem, period. It’s a spending one, so let’s stop the demagoguery about that. If anything, thos
260 Post contains images Superfly : Thanks! You da man as well.
261 Post contains images Ken777 : I've long used local banks/credit unions. And entitlements? If entitlements are on the table the big two I want to look at are (1) the tax free ride
262 seb146 : The entitlemens I want to get rid of are Congress entitlements and make them retroactive. Why should those we elected to help us get better benefits
263 FlyDeltaJets : If that were actually the case he would not have been looked at as such a weak president by many progressives and liberals. Its not cash its a reduct
264 Ken777 : There are some goodies that need to be addressed, but there are some that allow people who are not millionaires to serve - and we need a broad range
265 seb146 : Try this: Quit your current job and get a Wal-Mart job for six months. After that six months is up, cut your hours at Wal-Mart and cut out all extra
266 Dreadnought : Been there, done that. I have worked a minimum wage (or thereabouts) job in the US, past age 40, with no healthcare benefits, for almost a year (abou
267 Post contains images Superfly : Why are Wal-Mart employees propped up as some sort of Angelic Saints that getting so much attention from politicians and their friends in the media?
268 slider : This is both an illogical non sequitur yet indirectly a brilliant point at the same time. First, it’s not as if anyone realistically believes the F
269 Ken777 : You paid all the medical bills for your sick wife while making minimum wage? And all the other bills, like rent, medicine, utilities, food and gas fo
270 Superfly : No kidding. Really? Tell me something new. That was my point. The pipe-welder has a skill that takes time, some money, effort to achieve and most imp
271 seb146 : What they *SAY* they want. In reality, they are perfectly happy spending and spending with zero thought as to how to pay for it all. When Democrats s
272 Dreadnought : What, you think we were out in the streets for shits and giggles? TP'ers aren't like the OWS and various hippy crowds - they have jobs and families,
273 Pu : Obviously many Americans have moved to the point where not being able to afford it should not mean that certain essential services are denied. The re
274 Ken777 : In a lot of areas the government regulations (or laws) are a result of behavior: Anti-trust is one example. In these situations they are much like Au
275 Dreadnought : History is replete with the wreckage of nations who let their governments get too big for their britches. Nobody is talking about eliminating all reg
276 Post contains images Superfly : Not the Bush card again. He is hardly a good example to get your point across. Bush was a total failure and his tax breaks were only for the wealthy,
277 Dreadnought : Gotta call you on that, 'Fly. According to the CBO, if we let all the Bush tax cuts expire in January, the government will collect (assuming no negat
278 Superfly : Just enough to keep the government running for 8 days & 5 hours. 2 weeks after that, then Obama would be back to blaming Bush. Good point.
279 Post contains images tugger : Hello from a fellow past Target (or as I called "Tragic") cashier! It was my second job ever, my first being a dishwasher. If it covers all "owned" e
280 Ken777 : 1,000 Pages isn't that much when you talk about legal document, double spaced with a mountain of references. We had more pages in Navy Regs half a ce
281 Dreadnought : Switzerland. Arguably the oldest continuous democracy in the world, which has maintained the bulk of political and economic power at the local level,
282 Pu : We have the technology to make this reality everywhere, I say get rid of the clown politicians and all they do just to get votes.....make the main po
283 seb146 : Also, what the right wing keeps forgetting is: THE BUSH TAX CUTS WERE MENT TO BE TEMPORARY!!! Why do they get their bloomers in a bunch about going b
284 Post contains images Superfly : It was my 3rd job. I was in college at this point. My first job was at Taco Bell. My job was to cut the cheese. Ok I can go along with that. His tax
285 FlyDeltaJets : I think you are confusing a credit with a rebate. You don't just qualify for a credit. There is generally a min-max income as well as other character
286 par13del : Well the Soviet Union was massivie centralization, as with all current and or former communist states, the USA Federal government in the last few dec
287 slider : Non sequitur. We had this debate 230 years ago with Madison, Hamilton and the Federalism discussion. It was very valid then because our country was o
288 Ken777 : Since, IIRC, the IRS Tax Code is about 75,000 pages your 3,000 pages is not reachable. The lobbyists would be out in full force when thousands of pag
289 Post contains links casinterest : 110K-130K is the phaseout. http://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Facts-about-the-Child-Tax-Credit But yes, it is a credit. Plus, you can get more back than you
290 Ken777 : It has taken a lot of people out of the group that "pays income taxes", but it looks like that number will be cut in half if we go over the cliff.
291 Dreadnought : And why should the income tax code be more than a few pages? Any more than 10 is useless. I could do it maybe in 2 pages. Shoot 'em. And don't forget
292 Flighty : What the USSR possibly had in common with the USA is they ran out of hard currency. They could not sell enough oil to earn enough dollars to import n
293 casinterest : Sure, and then we would have even more reason for Lawyers and Court Precedents to poor through to interpret the ability to claim a deduction or tax.
294 Dreadnought : Don't let them - by making the law unambiguous. Other countries have managed this - why can't the US? Funny enough I work in telecommunications too,
295 Ken777 : My accounting texts needed more than a few pages to intelligently present various depreciation approaches. I can remember talking to an attorney in B
296 slider : Doesn't matter. Another non sequitur. They understood human nature and that there would ALWAYS be a craving for power, irrespective of the size of th
297 Dreadnought : Straight-Line Depreciation only. period. End of text. Look, you seem to have a belief that rich people pull all the strings, just like some people be
298 Post contains images Ken777 : I always find it interesting when people put their state above their country with these calls for stressing state rights. We live in a country with v
299 Ken777 : I always find it interesting when people put their state above their country with these calls for stressing state rights. We live in a country with v
300 casinterest : The US is a much larger and complicated country. The rules could be rewritten, but then we would depend on lawyers and judges for interpretation. But
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