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Clinton to go "scorched earth" - Page 7

post #241 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I think I am starting to see Max's point. All people tend to want the government to "tax those other people" - there are a lot of $80K/year Democrats going "tax those people that earn more than $80K/year more".

If you move the line down to $40K, so that the people suggesting the extra taxes then start to feel some of the pain, all of a sudden its "wait a minute, that is out of bounds!". Hardeehar - I think I am talking about you here (since no doubt you will be earning $80K or more once you graduate)

Yes, that was my point. And I think it got uncomfortable for some to be confronted with the the obvious "it depends on whose ox is gored".

Moreover, another point is that I find much of this debate disingenuous. The amount of hyper left rhetoric about the poor, equality, etc. would suggest they are prepared to seriously redistribute wealth via taxation; however (as any true socialist would note) it is a sham - liberals are merely venting their guilt hoping that attacking the lower tax right washes the soul (with a dash of tax increases).

And finally, that there is NO argument that is based on subjective terms and emotion (i.e. "fair" tax of the "rich") that is not relativistic. By taking a step to HarH. left, suddenly he becomes the rightest, seeking to deny social justice.

Quote:
I really like that negative tax idea - you could replace social security, welfare, etc - everything with a negative tax that ensures that people earn at least $18K/year or something. It would really cut down on government paperwork, no doubt - you would have to really be careful not to deincentivise work, though. You would still need socialized medicine, also.

In was a good idea for all those reasons. However, a pilot program in the 70's did not work out. I don't recall the reason, but I suspect it annoyed people that some on welfare took their money and spent it on things that voters did not like (e.g. booze). Frankly, people like to hand out food, housing, medical care but not cash - this kind of debate occurs in places like SF where they handed out cash...and cut back on it.
post #242 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

Not in mine. The rich people often tax themselves. I also originally put "affluent" in my post, but then I realized that there are more than enough non-affluent people involved. It's also doesn't just apply to taxes. Some element of self-sacrifice for the benefit of the community is actually a fundamental, defining feature of highly liberal american ideology, and it's very evident if you look at politics on the local level.

Incidentally, those areas also happen to be the nicest to live in for both poor and affluent people.

As a general matter, most people do not view government expenditures in the same way as they view their personal expenditures. The government is a remote entity that "ought to to good" and so every complaint in life is usually attended by a 'government ought to do something about X" with the cost being borne by it - hence to irrational notion that "free" services are free.

For example, 7 in 10 Americans might think we need to develop alternative energy BUT if one looked at the investments in those Americans I doubt even one of them are willing to risk THEIR money on windmills and solar algae farms. Government money is (to them) someone else's money.

Especially for liberals, the connection between new programs and increased taxes is not strong (psychologically). But then, I have also seen "liberal" areas (e.g. Marin) with contradictory claims and lifestyles; over coffee they will support government housing BUT not in Marin.

I think I live in one of Giant's areas (SF area). However I can't say that it is really the best; liberals live in affluent enclaves (Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Black hawke) and the poor life in south Oakland and Richmond. So even on a micro level we live in two different worlds.
post #243 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

Oh, but I heard that Buffett told BHO that we need HIGHER capital gains taxes. Talk about tanking the economy... Obama is clueless with regards to economic matters. He has no experience in that area whatsoever.

Capital gains taxes don't matter to someone who is not going to sell their stock, or donate it to a foundation (Buffett). Higher capital gains taxes are stupid - the reason that we have lower long term capital gains taxes is to index the gains better to inflation (i.e. if your company becomes worth "twice as much" because the value of the dollar falls, does that mean you need to pay tax on that? Stupid). Raising the long term capital gains rate will only encourage day trades and discourage long term stock ownership, and short term rates are already the same as regular income for tax purposes.

Obama is smarter than the other candidates, so I have no worries about his lack of experience - he is smart enough to figure this stuff out on the fly, its not like it is really that hard to understand, particularly when you have all kinds of advisers.
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post #244 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxParrish View Post

As a general matter, most people do not view government expenditures in the same way as they view their personal expenditures. The government is a remote entity that "ought to to good" and so every complaint in life is usually attended by a 'government ought to do something about X" with the cost being borne by it - hence to irrational notion that "free" services are free.

For example, 7 in 10 Americans might think we need to develop alternative energy BUT if one looked at the investments in those Americans I doubt even one of them are willing to risk THEIR money on windmills and solar algae farms. Government money is (to them) someone else's money.

Especially for liberals, the connection between new programs and increased taxes is not strong (psychologically). But then, I have also seen "liberal" areas (e.g. Marin) with contradictory claims and lifestyles; over coffee they will support government housing BUT not in Marin.

I think this is sorta true. I've seen where people get awfully personal about it when "their" money is spent on something they don't like. On the other hand if I say I'd like to have my money back on something to use for something else, then suddenly it's not my money but the government's money. It is a tad schizophrenic.
post #245 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxParrish View Post

But then, I have also seen "liberal" areas (e.g. Marin) with contradictory claims and lifestyles; over coffee they will support government housing BUT not in Marin.

I don't know if that's representative of sprawled regions, but it's certainly not representative of more urban areas. The dominant pattern is gentrification and leads to far more complex issues surrounding affordable housing and shifting populations.
post #246 of 255
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

....

This is exactly why we need corrective systems (like a minimum wage and forced corporate pension systems) in place. Otherwise we'd end up with a bunch of Waltons lording over hordes of staff living below the poverty line, "because they can".

The problem here is that you think the goal of taxation is to ensure economic equality instead of enabling government services. The minimum wage exists not to punish corporations, but to set a basic standard that prevents slave-like arrangements. It's a measure of human dignity, not wealth redistribution. Oh, and if you support forced pensions, don't plan on having any American companies left is business. They'll tank. GM learned this the hard way. They promised the world. Now they are more of a retirement and health care provider than they are a car company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxParrish View Post

Absent a developed philsophy, it all seems rather subjective and arbitrary, does it not?

For example, I think the tax the rich side of this debate is correct - so here is a proposal that is truely in accord with those values:

Marginal tax Rate <40,000 a year 0%
Marginal tax Rate >40K > 60K 60%
Maginal tax Ragt >60K < 80K 80%
Maginal tax Rate > 80K 95%

Now this is fair - anyone making near the average or below has no taxes. Others who are privilaged and has so much more than the average American has to pay their fair share. If you don't agree you don't want the rich to pay their fair share.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxParrish View Post

Mocking?

You misunderstand, this proposal mocks laissez-faire - you've won the argument to tax the well off. Friedman's proposal was to replace all forms of welfare with a negative income tax, both saving money and empowering the power to spend the money in what they feel are their best interests.

That is not what I am proposing - I am proposing that the well off pay their fair share, irrespective of welfare. I am proposing true justice, which is to make the upper 40% pay for the lower 40%, while leaving the average alone.

This is true redistribution and near income equality - not the fake proposals of current politicians that talk big, but effectively penalize both middle incomes and upper incomes while failing to truly redistribute it (well, unless you think the poor need midnight basketball programs and NPR).

It's clear that you oppose it because you are a faking your liberalism - apparently you have other objectives. Or perhaps you make more than 40K and are trying to deny social justice?

Why are you evading the issue - either you are for equality and social justice or your faking it.

Well?

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post #247 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

The problem here is that you think the goal of taxation is to ensure economic equality instead of enabling government services.

Don't forget "controlling people's behaviour and social choices." That one is important.
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post #248 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

The problem here is that you think the goal of taxation is to ensure economic equality instead of enabling government services.

My God I've checked you on that lie before, and you're still spewing it out like venom.

I've NEVER supported anything that would even APPROACH equalization. I believe in capitalism. However, we do need adjustment.

And a forced pension system does not have to be huge.

In Hong Kong, we have a system which is very reasonable in this regard.
post #249 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

Don't forget "controlling people's behaviour and social choices." That one is important.

Excuse me, I support gay marriage for those who choose to do so (as you've explained you do as well), and abortion for those who choose do do so (which you oppose, preferring to "control [women's] behaviour and social choices").

You'd argue that abortion is not a question of social choice, and I'd claim the same about easy availability of firearms.
post #250 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Excuse me, I support gay marriage for those who choose to do so (as you've explained you do as well), and abortion for those who choose do do so (which you oppose, preferring to "control [women's] behaviour and social choices").

You'd argue that abortion is not a question of social choice, and I'd claim the same about easy availability of firearms.

I'm talking about things like taxing SUVs, Carbon taxes, taxes on junk food, or any of the other outrageous ways that taxation has been suggested and used to control even the most basic decisions we have in life. I do not think that taxes should be used as a method of creating an arbitrary system of disincentives for what the control freaks have deemed "bad behaviours."

Abortion: I oppose it, not out of a need to control, rather because I believe a life is in the balance. Because it is. It's tired dogma to claim that being pro-life can only be attributed to some 19th century need to control women. There's a little life that matters a lot more than the control... which cannot be exercised in practice anyway.

The RKBA... you like to goad me on this one, you little devil... : I support the RKBA because I DO have the to RIGHT defend myself and my family against criminal attack. I've exercised that RIGHT. Basic rights like self defense have little to do with social choice.
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post #251 of 255
Back on topic: Clinton tells everyone to "Chill Out", and then throws a fit about Richardson's Obama endorsement.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/poli...sked_abou.html

Bill Clinton is now an even bigger loser than Hillary - like a spoiled kid who never had to share or something.
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post #252 of 255
I'm just wondering if she really did say that Obama can't win. Hmmm...
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post #253 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

I'm talking about things like taxing SUVs, Carbon taxes, taxes on junk food, or any of the other outrageous ways that taxation has been suggested and used to control even the most basic decisions we have in life. I do not think that taxes should be used as a method of creating an arbitrary system of disincentives for what the control freaks have deemed "bad behaviours."

Let's look at traffic laws, shall we?

Crossing an intersection during a red light is a "choice", isn't it? Why would we limit this "freedom" from people who just want to get where they're going faster?

What's my point?

Running a red light not only puts the driver in danger, it puts others in danger.

Likewise smoking not only affects the health and finances of the smoker, it affects others.

You miss the point of those kinds of taxes still. They are not to control "bad behavior". They are to offset the costs on society caused by behavior that affects people other than the one choosing to behave as such. There's no tax on anal sex because it doesn't hurt anyone. There's tax on tobacco because second hand smoke kills and any kind of smoke raises health care costs and insurance premiums. People are discouraged from smoking to reduce those costs, and much of the taxes collected from tobacco tax goes directly to offsetting those costs. Likewise with other taxes on pollution and usage of gas-guzzlers instead of more efficient forms of transportation.

These are not simply "choices" that we're talking about. They are choices that affect other people.
post #254 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Let's look at traffic laws, shall we?

Crossing an intersection during a red light is a "choice", isn't it? Why would we limit this "freedom" from people who just want to get where they're going faster?

Strawman. No one is claiming a "freedom" to run a red light. You're equating the laws regarding running a red light with a sin tax on food choices. They are not the same. If they are, as you claim, then I have to ask: how far are you willing to go to regulate the behaviour of others? I mean, at what point do you say that something is out of bounds for government control? Does that point exist? It could be argued that putting soap down the drain is damaging downstream wildlife... do we need new taxes on soap to reduce the usage? It's not that I advocate anarchy, it's that I have a pretty narrow definition of what I think should be taxable as a method of affecting decisions.

How would you feel about a $100/20% tax on each abortion? That would not be about control, would it? It would be reducing a perceived social evil, right? By percentage, it's no more than is already being paid in gasoline tax in CA.

Quote:
People are discouraged from smoking to reduce those costs, and much of the taxes collected from tobacco tax goes directly to offsetting those costs. Likewise with other taxes on pollution and usage of gas-guzzlers instead of more efficient forms of transportation.

Yea, I've heard that before. The problem you have there is the word "directly." That tobacco money, to many states, is GENERAL FUND money, just like the gas tax is. It is not automatically 100% earmarked upon receipt to "cure the ill." And, as with most sin taxes, they end up raising taxes for everyone as people reduce the negative behaviour, but government does not reduce it's dependence on the non-earmarked money. It's great theory. Abysmal perversion in practice. We were told that the lottery here in Texas would go toward education, and guess what... yep, general fund... and now we have struggling schools, and now more and higher taxes. All that after those that opposed the lottery were told "you don't love the children."

These types of taxes make my cigar the best friend an SCHIP kid ever had. Weird huh?
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post #255 of 255
Thread Starter 
Back to Clinton:

The flame throwers have been running full on for a while now, but now it's time for someone new (with the departure of Penn).

The first bold new step? Criticize Bush and shift the focus to Hillary, Human Rights Crusader™

Quote:
"The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership. These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China. At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmi...g_boycott.html

Let me say I think not attending the opening ceremonies is worth consideration. Also, Clinton has every right to opine on the subject. That said, her statement struck me as a cheap shot. Do we really need to take a swipe at This Administration™ and This President™ for their human rights policies? Beyond that, Clinton is clearly trying to position herself as being equal to the sitting President, in order to gain an advantage on Obama. The polls are not looking good for her, and she knows it (23 down in NC, tied in PA after leading by as much as 16). The statement was also presumptuous. It's one thing for a senator to say "The US should not attend the Olympic ceremonies." It's another thing for a senator and Presidential candidate to preemptively criticize the President personally for a decision that has not even been made yet.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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