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President Obama calls Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss 'fiscal cliff' - Page 5

post #161 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Okay so so what? How about we give up the whole "stimulus" idea all together. While we are at it we can give up the foolish notion that tax increases will solve the budget problem. Then also the foolish idea of taxes being "fair" or that there is a "fair share". Also that taxes should be used to make life for "fair". That's just political rhetoric. Let's cling to the idea that government needs just enough money to function. Any more is a waste and government function should be kept to a minimum in order to create more freedom.

 

The idea that keeping government to a minimum maximizes freedom, while plausible on a superficial examination, doesn't really hold up under even the slightest scrutiny.

 

The first problem is to determine what such a theoretical minimum would even be. We could probably agree generally that it would include national defense, but how much national defense do we actually need? We'd probably agree that it requires a certain level of policing to prevent, or at least discourage as much as possible, crimes against our persons and property. But exactly which harm to our persons and property do we wish to prevent. Simply violent crime? People poisoning our water supplies and air? Do we want to prevent or allow people to sell dangerous products to the public? It certainly makes them more free if we don't regulate such things, but it makes the rest of us less free from the dangers they pose. And, it certainly wasn't an excess of government regulation that brought about our current economic troubles. It was the bad behavior of financial institutions "freed" from the "shackles" of government regulation that caused the financial collapse.

 

And what about government programs like FEMA? Disasters like Sandy and Katrina are beyond the ability of local governments to deal with, logistically and financially. You might ask why people in Kansas should have to pay for a disaster in the South or the Northeast. Well, people in Kansas benefit from being part of these United States, and, sharing the benefits, ought they not share the burdens and risks? (Interestingly, the more "liberal" parts of the country subsidize the more "conservative" parts of the country, but you don't often hear them complaining about getting money from, say, New York.) Doesn't that seem to meet the definition of "fair", however nebulous it might be?

 

In the end, you get down to the very messy issue of exactly what freedom is, and how government, the government of a free society at least, can optimize it for all citizens. And I use the word 'optimize' for good reason. If you maximize freedom for some, you necessarily diminish it for others. Getting rid of government might make a few people freer, as we descend into an anarchic state were the strong trample on the weak, but, for most, they'll end up less free to live their lives as they want, less free of the dangers that the social contract protects them from.

 

Yes, clearly we don't want a government like North Korea, but most of us don't want to live in the Wild West either. How much government is the right amount isn't a simple question to which the answer is, as little as possible. How much government is the right amount isn't even the right question to ask. The key to optimizing freedom isn't simply a matter of the quantity of government but the quality of it. Minimizing government is an appealing idea because of its apparent simplicity, but freedom isn't that simple an issue. Get rid of the wrong parts and you end up with less freedom. Add the wrong parts and the result is the same.

 

These are difficult questions that the right doesn't want to deal with. Actually, it's not so much that they don't want to deal with them, in fact, they don't want people to really think about them. People like the Koch brothers, who fund and control the agenda, including the Tea Party, on the right, want people to rally around simple slogans and simple ideas that appeal to their fears and misconceptions. They want to diminish government to increase the freedom of the wealthy, at the expense of everyone else. But that's not the ideal this country is founded on. In fact, the Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to overthrow that very idea.

post #162 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Okay so so what? How about we give up the whole "stimulus" idea all together. While we are at it we can give up the foolish notion that tax increases will solve the budget problem. Then also the foolish idea of taxes being "fair" or that there is a "fair share". Also that taxes should be used to make life for "fair". That's just political rhetoric. Let's cling to the idea that government needs just enough money to function. Any more is a waste and government function should be kept to a minimum in order to create more freedom.

 

Agreed, in the last four years or so I've never heard a definition of what "fair" is or who it applies to.  I fear I know the answer to both...

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post #163 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

While we are at it we can give up the foolish notion that tax increases will solve the budget problem.

 

It's not foolish. Clinton increased taxes during his first term, and the revenue from those increases helped create tax surpluses that allowed several consecutive balanced budgets during his second term and real reduction of the national debt. Of course, that was in combination with a fairly low level of average annual growth in the federal budget, but it wasn't a slash-and-burn austerity approach either.

 

So...modest increases in taxes, reasonable restrictions in federal spending growth, and a growing economy CAN make headway on the national debt.

post #164 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

 

Agreed, in the last four years or so I've never heard a definition of what "fair" is or who it applies to.  I fear I know the answer to both...

 

Generally, the focus in terms of "fair" has been the reality that very low capital gains taxes can mean that some of the wealthiest people in the country pay a lower effective tax rate on the vast majority of their income than people in the middle class. That's why there was so much coverage regarding Mitt Romney's tax returns. Most of Romney's income is in the form of capital gains.

 

That's the reason why the top income tax bracket used to be 70% or higher pre-Reagan. It's not really that much of a penalty if the majority of your income is being taxed at the lower capital gains rate. Lowering the top income tax bracket was really just a smokescreen to divert attention from the significant lowering of capital gains taxes...that's where the real money was for the wealthiest in the U.S.

post #165 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by First viceroy View Post

You obviously have never run a small business and it does! Here is why, it directly affects small business which are a major part of our economic engine. You see small businesses typically run under a sub chapter S. (typically a single owner which passes income through at their personal income rate). While the larger businesses are Sub chapter C. When you raise the income tax on the high income earners you remove it directly from those small businesses which again, are sub chapter S. After which you have taxed Sub Chapter S (small business) at a much higher rate than Sub Chapter C (big companies)

 

Well, if they are being taxed on the money, they weren't using it to hire anyone anyway, otherwise it would have been expensed out of their income. They're being taxed on their profits -- i.e., the money they walk away with in their pockets -- not their revenue, so stop pretending it's going to decrease the amount of money they have available to hire people. It's not going to affect that at all.

 

You right wingers really need to get a grip on reality. I think some of you actually believe the nonsense you write.

post #166 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

Generally, the focus in terms of "fair" has been the reality that very low capital gains taxes can mean that some of the wealthiest people in the country pay a lower effective tax rate on the vast majority of their income than people in the middle class. That's why there was so much coverage regarding Mitt Romney's tax returns. Most of Romney's income is in the form of capital gains.

That's the reason why the top income tax bracket used to be 70% or higher pre-Reagan. It's not really that much of a penalty if the majority of your income is being taxed at the lower capital gains rate. Lowering the top income tax bracket was really just a smokescreen to divert attention from the significant lowering of capital gains taxes...that's where the real money was for the wealthiest in the U.S.

You just described a common misconception of what fairness means and how fairness works. First, who are you or I to say higher income people need to give a higher percentage of money to the government? Why can't they give the same percentage as every one else? I'd trust a "Steve Jobs" to spend his money as he sees fit developing a new product or business plan than the government handing it out as voter incentives. Second the whole premise that capital gains only effects the rich is malarkey.

The rich don't pay capital gains taxes because they don't need to sell capital assets to finance their next project. Who gets hit most by capital gains? The average American family. It happens when they sell their two bedroom house for a larger three bedroom one when their family grows. It hits them again when they sell some of their stock they've kept for the last 10-15 years to help pay for their kid's education or to open the pizza shop they've been dreaming of. The rich don't sell capital assets for things like that, they have trust funds, that's how millionaires such as the Kennedy's and Kerrey's (who are always looking out for the average man /sarcasm) do it. Entertainers (other millionaires who are only watching out for us) are generally independent contractors and have a completely different tax structure than most of us reading and posting to these forums.

While I don't envey their wealth, I do despise their telling us what's "fair" and what's not. You know what's my definition of fair? Everyone pays the same RATE. That way we are ALL stakeholders in what's best for this country. The day that happens is the day you see a massive shift in how our country spends the tax money it takes from the citizens.

On the Clinton comment, I don't know what 90's you lived in but the economy flatlined immediately after Clinton passed the then largest tax increase in the history of the U.S. The historic midterm elections were a direct result of this taxation.

As for the last "right-winger" comment, you "left-wingers" need to start a business and learn what it takes to keep your head above water in these modern times.
Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #167 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Welcome to Political Outsider.

I'm sure this was intended as one of those "stick to covering Apple" digs, although I don't get it. How is the President of the United State contacting the CEO of Apple for advice on the economy not Apple related news? Apple Insider didn't offer any political commentary they simply stated it as fact. 

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AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › AppleOutsider › PoliticalOutsider › President Obama calls Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss 'fiscal cliff'