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  1. #31
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    Both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress have proven themselves to be inept at managing the finances of our country. It's the sole reason why I have become more of a Libertarian than ever before.

    I agree with trout... our government should quit spending our money like drunken sailors.

    I also agree with myv65... there is no justification for taking from us what we don't "need".

    The subject of this thread didn't happen because the wealthy are under taxed, it happened for one reason and one reason only... fiscal irresponsibility.

    I watched a program on Discovery last week about the underground highway in Boston, Massasureshits. The Big Dig, I think it's called. B-b-b-b-b-billions of dollars. Federal dollars. My dollars. Your dollars. What a pile pork crap.

  2. #32
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    Given my preference, and this is just for federal income tax, I'd establish a standard deduction (fixed dollar amount for everyone) and then tax a fixed percentage above that threshold. Yeah, it's still a progressive tax because the poor would have a greater percentage of non-taxed income, but it softens the penalty for being successful not to mention simplifying the tax code a bit. It's as close to my ideal as is ever likely to happen.

    Government is indeed essential, but a large number of government programs are not.

    In these countries of which you speak, it is usually government that creates the problems. Our society works (for the most part ) in spite of our government. The greatest disparities in wealth occur where governments are the least representative. Contrast us with Saudi Arabia for one example. I've travelled a fair bit around Asia and Europe and have seen plenty of other countries. I'll take the US, warts and all over any of them (though the women in Slovakia were beautiful and the cost of living was very, very low).

    And it really isn't about "being happy with what's left" or "investing the remainder". To me it's about what is best for the country on the whole. Government is the most inefficient "business" conceived. Anything beyond true basics is better handled when there's competition, something of which our government knows nothing.

    The issue tends to get polarized, especially in an election year. From my perspective a very small percentage of the population needs any outside help to get along in life. Most liberals see things from the opposite end, namely that "someone" must look out for the average citizen. I find this view insulting as they essentially are saying "you're unable to think for yourself". The poster child for this debate would be Social Security.

    Do you have any idea how lousy the payout from Social Security is compared to simply throwing darts at a dartboard to pick stocks?

    Some people will become disabled and those people will need a program to care for them. Fine. Tax me and administer such a program. The vast majority of workers will be able to work until retirement, however, and could do so much better investing on their own in conjunction with some decent financial advice. Why not make the SS tax one or two percent to fund disabled folks and let us invest the remaining 10+% on our own?

    Mention this to a Democrat and they'll look at you as if you're speaking in tongues.

    So nothing changes, Social Security remains the only legalized Ponzi-scheme in the country. The trouble is that Ponzi-schemes invariably blow-up and that time is drawing near.

    Leper Messiah represents the opposing view to my own. "Being poor is such a penalty", etc. True, but how does one break the cycle? We spend more on public education than countries that are leaving us in the dust regarding student achievement. Money is not the sole answer. People need to stop seeing themselves as "helpless victims" and friggin' do something about it. My wife teaches in a district where 80+% of elementary students receive free or reduced price lunches. The inate abilities of these kids are the same as "rich kids", yet by the time they're in kindergarten they are liable to be a year behind in mental skills and even moreso socially. Rather than encouraging their children to learn and escape poverty, the parents dump them in the schools and "hand off" the problem. No amount of money will change that.

    A cliche is that success breeds success. Well, "failure breeds failure" is every bit as accurate. As I said before, show me a program that teaches people how to break the cycle of poverty and I'll support it. Simply asking me to fork over more money for programs that yield zero (or negative) results in ludicrous.
    Last edited by myv65; 04-13-2004 at 01:57 PM.

  3. #33
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    So what does one do? Vote for Bush and your incumbent representatives and expect the spending to stop? Vote for Kerry & Co and expect the spending to stop, or even worse pay more AND spend more?
    Tyan S5397 2x X5450 16GB - SuperMicro H8DCI 2x 275 8GB - Iwill DK8X 2x Opteron 250 2GB


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  4. #34
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    LOL, trout I wish I had an answer I could trust. I fear that no matter who wins the election come November, all of us will be the losers.

    Oh, and sorry for any confusion but I don't think we disagree on Dems and Republicans handling the finances. One is tax and spend and the other is spend and spend. If I implied any differently earlier it was not intentional. One would kill a fledgling recovery and the other would continue the Social-Security-inspired "let the next guy worry about it/pay for it" mantra.

    I voted for Bush and will do so again. As for my state Senators and Representatives, I voted against the current ones and will do so again.

  5. #35
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    Originally posted by deadrody on 04-13-2004 at 05:09 AM
    Tough $hit. That's what I say. I don't even have to read this nonsense. The rates are the same, or higher for higher incomes. Explain to me WHY people of higher incomes should pay more.
    The point is not that they should pay more, but that they should pay the same. Sales taxes, excise taxes, and property taxes are highly regressive meaning that a poor person pays a much higher percentage of their income than a rich person. For example, a $100 sales tax on some item, say a computer, is a much higher percentage of a poor person's income (say $10k/year) than it is on a rich person's income (say $100k/year). Income taxes need to be progressive enough to reflect this discrepancy. Taxes levied on a person should reflect that person's ability to pay them.

  6. #36
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    It's amazing how perspective may be manipulated. Property taxes are regressive? Only if a "poor" person buys more home than they can afford or a "rich" person buys beneath their ability. Sales taxes are regressive? Many staples are exempt from sales taxes. "Poor" people don't buy as much, so don't pay as much in sales tax. I paid sales tax on a new vehicle last year. Years from now (probably 8-10) when I sell it, someone else only able to afford an old vehicle will pay a fraction of that sales tax when they buy it.

    Being able to buy things, and "earn" the privilege of paying sales tax is dependent upon one making money. Once you have enough money to buy, all pay a fixed percentage for purchases. In this respect, sales tax is about the only tax that truly does reflect a person's ability to pay them.

  7. #37
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    Originally posted by myv65 on 04-13-2004 at 01:36 PM
    It's amazing how perspective may be manipulated. Property taxes are regressive? Only if a "poor" person buys more home than they can afford or a "rich" person buys beneath their ability. Sales taxes are regressive? Many staples are exempt from sales taxes. "Poor" people don't buy as much, so don't pay as much in sales tax. I paid sales tax on a new vehicle last year. Years from now (probably 8-10) when I sell it, someone else only able to afford an old vehicle will pay a fraction of that sales tax when they buy it.

    Being able to buy things, and "earn" the privilege of paying sales tax is dependent upon one making money. Once you have enough money to buy, all pay a fixed percentage for purchases. In this respect, sales tax is about the only tax that truly does reflect a person's ability to pay them.
    I disagree on this. I personally favor a flat tax and the current property tax system with no sales tax but here goes. Sales tax is regressive because a poor person spends virtually all their money and so pay tax on a higher percentage of their income. A rich person normally saves more. Poorer folk pay more of a percentage of their income in property taxes (if they own property) because they probably stretch just to buy a house in the first place, whereas a rich person probably is not stretching as far to buy a house in the first place. Note these are generalizations since a truly "poor" person can't buy a house.

  8. #38
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    Re: $7,169,220,871,288.39 & $1,800,000,000

    Originally posted by afalzone on 04-12-2004 at 05:15 PM


    Welcome to supply side economics folks. It failed with Reagan. George Bush, Sr. was completely against it. Having a politician able to spend money without any regard for the consequences is simply a bad idea.
    LoL. Ignorance.

    Revenues doubled during Reagan's term in office.

    and FYI, the first president to use these types of tax cuts was John F Kennedy.

    His tax cuts as a percentage of GDP were FAR larger than Reagan's or Bush's

  9. #39
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    Originally posted by bk94si on 04-13-2004 at 04:20 PM
    I disagree on this. I personally favor a flat tax and the current property tax system with no sales tax but here goes. Sales tax is regressive because a poor person spends virtually all their money and so pay tax on a higher percentage of their income. A rich person normally saves more. Poorer folk pay more of a percentage of their income in property taxes (if they own property) because they probably stretch just to buy a house in the first place, whereas a rich person probably is not stretching as far to buy a house in the first place. Note these are generalizations since a truly "poor" person can't buy a house.
    Well, I guess it wasn't clear. The point I was making is that an argument may be framed from either perspective. To be accurate, I would hazard that "poor" folks generally don't own property. Truly poor people qualify for Section 8 or other rent assistance programs.

    So what you really have is people making conscience decisions about how much "house" to buy, how much "stuff" to buy. Sure, it's easier to save a higher percentage when you make more money. It's still a matter of priority. There's a whole huge middle-class in America that doesn't manage money worth a crap. Consumer loans are out of hand (credit is easy), and savings are a pittance of take home pay. Most folks would rather spend every dime (and then some, ala Bush) rather than save for a rainy day (or retirement).

    I make about three times what I did fresh out of college (and it really wasn't THAT long ago). I save roughly three times what I did fresh out of college. I was a typical (stupid) college kid and racked up lots of school loans and credit card bills. In spite of them, I immediately got into a 401K and made saving a priority. Luxuries were few and far between in the early days as paying off loans and credit cards was the next priority after saving money. The only regret I've got is not learning to save earlier as I never would have racked up the bills in the first place. I chalk it up as a life lesson that I'll never forget.

    Most of what people in the US call "poor" is middle class to the rest of the free world. Most people that whine about the "rich" not paying taxes own TVs, DVD players, cars (beaters, but hey), etc. You want more? Then work on improving your lot in life.

    As things stand now, "someone" comes into my home, looks around, and haphazardly decides I have more than I need. They take stock of my stuff and take some. Sound like a thief stealing my goods? That's how I view taxes. I have no issue paying for the necessities of life and sharing in that burden with my fellow citizens. I have no issue helping those who cannot help themselves. I have serious reservations with people deciding how much is too much and helping themselves to what I have. That's what I see when I look at the majority of government spending.

    Give me some politicians who will get serious about fiscal management and I'll vote for them in a heartbeat regardless of their political party. Neither Bush nor Kerry meets this goal, so I am stuck with the lesser of evils.

  10. #40
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    deadrody,

    The rich pay more because they can afford to pay more. Progressive taxation is the foundation of every tax system in the first world. I don't see why it should be such a foreign concept to you.

  11. #41
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    "If america was a company, it would have already declared chapter 11..." DIdn't GWB do that a few times already?

    I really think its funny how much people on here think they are overtaxed and how they have the highest level of social programs in the world. The US has the lowest levels of both on both accounts. I'm really not sure what leads to the American ignorance to the political and social systems of the rest of the world.

    I always thought that conservative people had a common sense approach to things, but if I used this type of fiscal policy to run my personal finances I'd be walking to work and living in a tent.

    I'm curious as to how people expect to pay for things in the coming years by reducing the tax base. People seem to think that if we are adding close to 700 billion a year to the national debt, that we can somehow cut taxes and still find more room to at least this amount from spending. Stuff costs money. Financing roads, infrastructure, government agencies, institution and programs cost money. Running the massive law enforcement machine in this country (we have 10x more people incarcerated than any other first world country) costs money. Having a large military costs money. This country already has the lowest level of social programs of any country in the first world. How do we find the money to cut programs by $700 billion?

    Once you have thought of the answer to this question think about this. The baby boomers are going to put increasing pressures on the soclal programs in this country such as Social Security and Medicaid. These costs are going to skyrocket. We need to be preparing for this challenge now. Cutting tax rates so we can build more sun rooms isn't going to lead to long term prosperity. I want to be able to retire some many years down the road. I don't want to have to work forever because people don't know the benefits of a balanced budget.

  12. #42
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    Cutting taxes has been proven to increase revenues, promote investment, and for people to expand their business.

    It worked for John F Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and its working for Bush.


    Short term deficits for long term expansion.




    What is really hilarious is how the lefties are trying to say we were to have a 7 trillion surplus or some crap like that.

    TOTALLY FALSE!!!

    If the economy continued to expand at the same rate and levels as it was in 1997, yes... by now we would have.

    Unfortunately the economy tanked in 1999 and 2000, the stock market crashed, we went into a recession, and consumer confidence turned to sh*t.

    The main reason why we are in deficits is because of this huge crash. The tax cuts were only very very small percentage of our GDP. Far less than when Reagan and JFK cut taxes.

  13. #43
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    Andrew,

    Take some time and do some classes in Economics. You won't find any mainstream economists who think that supply side economics worked. It was simply a way to improve sort term revenues at the expense of the national debt. It was never a sustainable solution. George Bush, Sr. agrees with me. Why do you think he campaigned against Reagan's ideas? Please answer that. Do you think that Warren Buffet is a leftist? He agrees that the current tax cuts should be repealed. It would be really nice if people on here proposed some long term viable solutions based on economics models that actually work other than just bitching about having to pay taxes. How much less money will we have next year by having to service the nearly 700 billion extra in debt this country will have?

  14. #44
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    Sorry afalzone, but there is no way you can make me believe that if they repeal the tax cuts they won't just spend more.

    There are many posts in this thread that say reduce spending as a solution. You seem to believe repealing the tax cuts would make up the difference. It won't. The only way to reduce the current deficit is to spend less. Until they demonstrate the resolve to do just that I'll ask for more tax cuts. Otherwise they're just going to bleed us dry.

    And its going to have to include major campaign finance reform. Right now our legislators are so beholden to lobbyists and special interest groups that the average hard working citizen is an afterthought. They feel obligated to go after the cash for special projects because those guys helped them get elected. Personnally, I'd like to see all lobbyists kicked out of Washington D.C. That would be the biggest step towards reducing spending and the deficit we could possibly make. Also, a modest but comfortable bunkhouse that our legislators must live in while congress is in session. I take that back, no need for it to be comfortable. I want these guys to do their business and go home before a gang of lobbyists pressures them into spending another billion dollars on the cause of the day.
    Tyan S5397 2x X5450 16GB - SuperMicro H8DCI 2x 275 8GB - Iwill DK8X 2x Opteron 250 2GB


    Take a Kid FISHING!

  15. #45
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    After that post, i'm writing in smoked trout '04!

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