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Clinton to go "scorched earth" - Page 2

post #41 of 255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

That just makes no sense. There's not an economist out there, conservative or liberal, who would suggest that we have collected more revenues as a result of Bush's tax cuts. Look at the blue trend line in your graph - it was cut off while it was heading up, and then has headed up on a much lower trajectory than it would have.

Here we go again. What "would have" happened, BRussell?
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post #42 of 255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Any honest and accurate discussion of the effect tax rates have on revenue must include the understanding that people's behavior related to tax payment is not inelastic. Meaning that people will adjust their behavior when tax rates change. When tax rates rise they will work harder to find ways to shelter income from taxes. As tax rates decline they will not work as hard. This is the premise that the "Laffer Curve" is based on.

Tax increasers love to think they can just raise rates X amount and they will just automatically get Y amount more revenue by a simple calculation. But this is simplistic and naive because it assumes that people will not (and cannot) change their behavior with regard to tax avoidance which is simply untrue.

This short video explains it pretty well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIqyCpCPrvU

Exactly. And let's add that lower taxes have positive overall economic effects, which itself adds to revenue. BRussell, like most liberals, looks at fiscal policy as a zero sum equation. It's not.
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post #43 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Exactly. And let's add that lower taxes have positive overall economic effects, which itself adds to revenue. BRussell, like most liberals, looks at fiscal policy as a zero sum equation. It's not.

Actually many people look at not only fiscal policy but economics in general as a zero-sum game (if someone becomes richer, someone else must have become poorer). This is high fallacy.
post #44 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Any honest and accurate discussion of the effect tax rates have on revenue must include the understanding that people's behavior related to tax payment is not inelastic. Meaning that people will adjust their behavior when tax rates change. When tax rates rise they will work harder to find ways to shelter income from taxes. As tax rates decline they will not work as hard. This is the premise that the "Laffer Curve" is based on.

Tax increasers love to think they can just raise rates X amount and they will just automatically get Y amount more revenue by a simple calculation. But this is simplistic and naive because it assumes that people will not (and cannot) change their behavior with regard to tax avoidance which is simply untrue.

This short video explains it pretty well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIqyCpCPrvU

We don't disagree that it's not a straight curve. We just disagree about the level of the curve.

And imagine if one of the simplest ways of reducing tax obligation were for the person in the high tax bracket to hire more people and provide better benefits, this effect would actually be used to the advantage of the country as a whole, rather than simply surrendering to the widening of the wealth gap that traditional "conservative" tax economics overwhelmingly results in. Raise taxes for the rich, but provide more incentives.
post #45 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Exactly. And let's add that lower taxes have positive overall economic effects, which itself adds to revenue. BRussell, like most liberals, looks at fiscal policy as a zero sum equation. It's not.

I honestly do not see how this is so difficult.

A) Government makes money when money moves.
B) Higher taxes make people reluctant to move money.
C) Lower taxes encourage people to invest, expand, and give them more money to move.

There are a good number of us that believe that the government would do a lot better if it stopped trying to soak individual taxpayers, and reduce their income-producing behaviours, and simply created conditions where people move taxable money freely, at which point there will be much more taxable money out there.
Anyone here want to try and justify to me why a January dollar is worth more to a worker than a December dollar?

And again, the government is not entitled to ever-higher taxes. It is entitled to live within an affordable budget like the rest of us do.

Indeed, it is NOT a zero-sum equation. Like the "tax cuts cost us X" spin that tax-and-spenders constantly drone on and on about... as if the government is entitled to whatever amount it pleases with the money that the people earn.

The mindset to me is... incredible.
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post #46 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

We don't disagree that it's not a straight curve. We just disagree about the level of the curve.

And imagine if one of the simplest ways of reducing tax obligation were for the person in the high tax bracket to hire more people and provide better benefits, this effect would actually be used to the advantage of the country as a whole, rather than simply surrendering to the widening of the wealth gap that traditional "conservative" tax economics overwhelmingly results in. Raise taxes for the rich, but provide more incentives.

Hmmm... as opposed to now where there is a tax on the people in the high tax bracket just for employing people. Interesting.

Do you employ people in the United States? Can you tell me the true, government-imposed cost of choosing to employ someone? I can tell you from the tax forms in front of me that I pay around 140% of the actual salary number per employee. About 25% of that goes directly to the government because I chose to give someone a job.

BTW- I call a flaming yellow bullshit on the "conservative" tax economics overwhelmingly results in." line. "Conservative" tax economics cut marginal rates, generally across the board, allowing the middle class some breathing room. My customers, who are mostly wealthier than me, also had more money to spend, and those who never pay taxes went on paying no taxes. Ask me... I'm middle-middle class, and Bush's "tax cut for the rich" equalled about $2000 for me, allowing me to invest and expand my business.

Now, rewind to the Clinton Tax Increase that, along with the AWB, cost the DNC control of Congress in 1994. Liberal democratic tax policy under Clinton squeezed the middle class... to the point of his State of the Union "I think I raised your taxes too much too" line.
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post #47 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Well, what is causing that? The tax revenue went up way faster than inflation. How do you know how it would have gone with no tax cut? Remember we had a recession right about the same time as that dip. Also, it looks like it started to level off before Bush was able to have any effect - his tax cuts did not take effect that early.

Personally, I think that dip was caused by a drop in capital gains revenue after the dot com and telecom busts. No more capital gains, and a lot of built up capital losses canceled out further gains.

What is causing what - the increased revenues? Look at the trend over the past 5 decades - it's on exactly the same trajectory. You're saying that Bush's tax cuts caused the same trajectory to continue that had been happening for 5 decades???

The economy grows, that's what causes increased revenues. And the economy has grown with tax cuts and with tax increases - the only difference is that the former produces deficits. And is politically popular.
post #48 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Here we go again. What "would have" happened, BRussell?

Just look at the previous decades and decades to answer that question. Or ask Mankiw or any other Bushie economist, let alone non-Bushie economist. They all reject the idea that you get more tax revenues from lowering tax rates.
post #49 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

What is causing what - the increased revenues? Look at the trend over the past 5 decades - it's on exactly the same trajectory. You're saying that Bush's tax cuts caused the same trajectory to continue that had been happening for 5 decades???

The economy grows, that's what causes increased revenues. And the economy has grown with tax cuts and with tax increases - the only difference is that the former produces deficits. And is politically popular.

You just killed your own argument there - there have been tons of tax increases and decreases in the 20th century, how come only Bush's tax cuts (in your view) wacked the trend line?

It is the dot com/telecom boom and bust - bust and the recession, no doubt. It isn't the 2000-2008 part of the curve that is abnormal, it is the bump due to capital gains during the Clinton years that is abnormal.
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post #50 of 255
Deleted silliness.
post #51 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Conservatism = We didn't evolve from monkeys, the climate is not warming, tax cuts increase revenues, and there are WMDs in Iraq.

Change topics much? Look back at that graph, if you connect 1992 to 2000 in a smooth curve, that is what I think it would have looked like without the dot com boom.

And we didn't evolve from monkeys, we have a common ancestor with chimpanzees, and further back a different common ancestor (not a monkey, not human, not chip) with monkeys. Global warming is caused by humans, but unstoppable via conservation due to economic feedback loops in the price of oil, and WMDs were honestly thought to be there by Democrats and Republicans alike (and Saddam liked it that way, it made him feel powerful - to bad for the Iraqis).

I actually support Obama even though he will reverse the Bush tax cuts - it will be interesting to see what happens. I am willing to pay the extra tax to prove you wrong. heh heh heh - I predict that the tax collected from the top 1% will not go up at all (or at least, will stay true to the trend line). If you are right, Obama raising taxes should jump us back up to the "BRussel trend line" that "bush aborted" - good luck with that...
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post #52 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

You just killed your own argument there - there have been tons of tax increases and decreases in the 20th century, how come only Bush's tax cuts (in your view) wacked the trend line?

It is the dot com/telecom boom and bust - bust and the recession, no doubt. It isn't the 2000-2008 part of the curve that is abnormal, it is the bump due to capital gains during the Clinton years that is abnormal.

Which argument is that? I'm arguing that you're wrong for saying Bush's tax cuts caused the revenue increases that had been happening for decade after decade. To argue that a long-standing trend that simply continues is caused by something that happens in the middle of the trend is truly illogical. Please address whether you agree with that or not.

I don't have any doubt that economic conditions (i.e., recessions, stock crashes) change revenues. But no economist would disagree that we lost revenues due to Bush tax cuts, and that revenue loss shows up on that graph. So let me ask you - if recessions and stock market crashes alone always cause such huge dips, why don't other stock market crashes and recessions that have occurred show up so strongly?

And you're wrong that it's only Bush's tax cuts - you can also see where Reagan's occurred in the early 1980s - it shows up very clearly on the graph as a flat line for several years. But then he raised taxes, whereas Bush continued to cut taxes again. It was unique in American history, and it shows up as a unique blip on that revenue trend.
post #53 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

And you're wrong that it's only Bush's tax cuts - you can also see where Reagan's occurred in the early 1980s - it shows up very clearly on the graph as a flat line for several years. But then he raised taxes, whereas Bush continued to cut taxes again. It was unique in American history, and it shows up as a unique blip on that revenue trend.

We were in recession on and off from 1979 to 1983 - so it is not so clear cut there either. Again, if you are right we should see a huge jump in revenue when Obama raises taxes - and I don't think you are going to see it. For you to be right with your "continued pre-bush trend line" (which we should go back to due to pre-Bush taxes), revenue would have to jump up to 3.25 trillion or so.

Care to predict tax revenue under Obama's repeal of the Bush tax cut? If the blue line jumps up dramatically, then I will admit that I was wrong, will you admit you were wrong (and become a supply sider) if it does not?
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post #54 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

We were in recession on and off from 1979 to 1983 - so it is not so clear cut there either. Again, if you are right we should see a huge jump in revenue when Obama raises taxes - and I don't think you are going to see it. For you to be right with your "continued pre-bush trend line" (which we should go back to due to pre-Bush taxes), revenue would have to jump up to 3.25 trillion or so.

Care to predict tax revenue under Obama's repeal of the Bush tax cut?

No, before I address an argument that I never even made, I first want you to address the argument that you actually did make - that Bush's tax cuts increased revenues. I want you to explain to me how you believe that, when Bush's own economists have specifically and repeatedly rejected it, and when the trend line is exactly the same as it had been for decades, just starting at a lower point. Or tell me that you don't believe that Bush's tax cuts increased revenues. Either way.
post #55 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

That just makes no sense. There's not an economist out there, conservative or liberal, who would suggest that we have collected more revenues as a result of Bush's tax cuts. Look at the blue trend line in your graph - it was cut off while it was heading up, and then has headed up on a much lower trajectory than it would have.

This is where you made the argument - do you continue to support your assertion that the 1992-2000 trend line would have continued without the Bush tax cuts or not? If you still support that, I don't see why you would have a problem asserting that the trend line would bump back up again if the tax cuts were reversed. You don't seem very sure of your argument if you are not willing to predict large revenue increases as a result of the end of the bush tax cuts.

My assertion that the Bush tax cuts raised revenue is based on the fact that revenue did, in fact, increase during the period (faster than the GNP, faster than inflation), and that the 2000 recession was (IMHO) very short and mild due to the tax cuts. I don't have the luxury of two seperate universes to play around with to know for sure what would have occurred in two separate histories - all we can do is predict what will happen. IMHO it will be pretty obvious who is right and wrong in 2-4 years from now.

If tax cuts do not increase revenue, it looks like they don't decrease it either (at least, IMHO they don't based on the graph). Any tax bump that fails to raise new revenue is a bad idea - and again we will find out all about that in a couple years after Obama raises the rates - it will be plainly obvious (one way or the other) for all future generations to see, and we won't have to argue this particular point any more.
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post #56 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

oops - didn't catch that. But the government still collected more tax revenue from the upper 1% than it did under Clinton (and also more total tax revenue). It would not be good to go back to the old lower level of revenue. Dollar figures in millions:



The whole 42% increase thing kind of pokes a hole in the "supply side economics is for idiots" meme. How come there was a 42% increase in tax collected from the top 1% if "the bush tax cuts are causing the budget defecit"? How come total income jumped from $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion? It wasn't paid by the poor people because the bottom 50% pay only sales and payroll tax, no income tax is collected from them.

The rise in income for the top 1% is kind of besides the point.

What am I to make of this graph, which has a modification date of "28-Dec-2006? I mean seriously, some of that web site's data stops in FY 2004, my immediate thoughts are that the data on that site are from FY 2004, with five year projections from OMB.

Index of /culture_and_media/TheNationalDebtImages

Lower tax rates, means lower tax revenues, just as the graph shows (circa 2002-4).

Tax rates constant, tax revenues go up, population also goes up throughout all years shown on that graph, D'oh!

We have had this discussion before.

The top one precent is a relative number, since the workforce (total working population) usually goes up in kind with population growth (excluding recessions (down) and the transition from single household earners to multiple household earners (up).

Arguing that tax revenues will decrease following a small increase in tax rates (say from 36% to 39% for the top tax bracket) is patently absurd.

Say someone has taxable income of one million dollars (i. e. Austin Powers), their taxes go up $30K, from $360K to $390K. Their after tax income goes from $$640K to $610K.

So how does not working make up for that lost after tax income. Or are you suggesting that all those affected by the 3% increase in the tax bracket will see a sudden increase in income to offset the 3% tax bracket increase, just because all these Austin Powers will see; $640K/0.61 - $1000K = $49,180.33 pay increase (almost $50K ), because they are all self employed, or that the boss wants to be nice to you, just because of the "thieving" government?

How do all (100%) those affected by the increased tax bracket percentage, go about hiding or "burying" their incomes to maintain their previous net income?

And again I ask the rhetorical question; How come those in the 36 percent bracket aren't already minimizing their taxable income, by using methods you all claim they'd use after an increased tax bracket percentile?
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post #57 of 255
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post #58 of 255
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

We don't disagree that it's not a straight curve. We just disagree about the level of the curve.

And imagine if one of the simplest ways of reducing tax obligation were for the person in the high tax bracket to hire more people and provide better benefits, this effect would actually be used to the advantage of the country as a whole,

In other words, socialism. Equality of outcome.

Quote:


...rather than simply surrendering to the widening of the wealth gap that traditional "conservative" tax economics overwhelmingly results in.

Hold on there, cousin. What "conservative tax economics" would those be? [/quote]

Raise taxes for the rich, but provide more incentives.[/QUOTE]

Why? To what end? If we're talking about more revenue, it's not going to have all that much of an impact, even IF it were zero sum. And, history has already shown that you run the risk of damaging the overall economy. Thirdly, I'd like to know who "the rich" are exactly. Oh, and as sslarson also points out, don't you think The Rich(TM) will find a way of avoiding those higher marginal rates?

But I don't think we're talking about more revenue. I think we're talking about forced "income equality," which makes your position all that more objectionable.
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post #59 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

This is where you made the argument - do you continue to support your assertion that the 1992-2000 trend line would have continued without the Bush tax cuts or not? If you still support that, I don't see why you would have a problem asserting that the trend line would bump back up again if the tax cuts were reversed. You don't seem very sure of your argument if you are not willing to predict large revenue increases as a result of the end of the bush tax cuts.

My assertion that the Bush tax cuts raised revenue is based on the fact that revenue did, in fact, increase during the period (faster than the GNP, faster than inflation), and that the 2000 recession was (IMHO) very short and mild due to the tax cuts. I don't have the luxury of two seperate universes to play around with to know for sure what would have occurred in two separate histories - all we can do is predict what will happen. IMHO it will be pretty obvious who is right and wrong in 2-4 years from now.

If tax cuts do not increase revenue, it looks like they don't decrease it either (at least, IMHO they don't based on the graph). Any tax bump that fails to raise new revenue is a bad idea - and again we will find out all about that in a couple years after Obama raises the rates - it will be plainly obvious (one way or the other) for all future generations to see, and we won't have to argue this particular point any more.

How does your argument substitutively differ from BRussell, given that the next POTUS may start in the middle (or start) of another recession, or that a recession occurs outside of any changes in the federal tax codes. You still end up with your parallel universe scenario, one path taken, the other path not taken (and by default requiring certain assumptions).

EDIT: Please see History of progressivity in federal income tax

1987 Top Bracket = 38.5% (5 brackets)
1988-1990 Top Bracket = 33% (3 brackets)
1991 Top Bracket = 31% (3 brackets)
1993-2000 Top Bracket = 39.6% (5 brackets)
2001 Top Bracket = 39.1% (5 brackets)
2002 Top Bracket = 38.6% (6 brackets)
2003-2007 Top Bracket = 35% (6 brackets)
2007 (addendum) $300-$1200 refunds

So I can see that the top bracket has changed significantly over the past 20 years, yet the revenue stream has always increased, except for the Bush tax cuts (circa 2002-4). I don't need to invoke parallel universes to see that the federal revenue stream can increase while the top bracket percentile goes up or down. \
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post #60 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Clintron's robot tears cut like diamonds.

Is she crying again?
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post #61 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

How does your argument substitutively differ from BRussell, given that the next POTUS may start in the middle (or start of) another recession, or that a recession occurs outside of any changes in the federal tax codes. You still end up with your parallel universe scenario, one path taken, the other path not taken (and by default requiring certain assumptions).

Because he is claiming that stock market bubbles, stock market crashes and recessions don't affect the US government revenue, only Republican tax cuts do. The curve does look a lot smoother (except for the bubble in the Clinton years) than I would have expected, I admit.

It is an open question - (assuming that the graph is accurate - I will look up a 2nd source of data when I get a chance) - there are only two blips in the graph, both line up with recessions/stock craptaculars - and both recessions were "treated" via tax cuts (so the tax cuts line up as well with the blips. If BRussel is right, and it was tax cuts that caused them, then we will see an jump in revenue. If I am right, the recession will cause a downwards blip in revenue even though the tax rates are raised.
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post #62 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Because he is claiming that stock market bubbles, stock market crashes and recessions don't affect the US government revenue, only Republican tax cuts do. The curve does look a lot smoother (except for the bubble in the Clinton years) than I would have expected, I admit.

It is an open question - (assuming that the graph is accurate - I will look up a 2nd source of data when I get a chance) - there are only two blips in the graph, both line up with recessions/stock craptaculars - and both recessions were "treated" via tax cuts (so the tax cuts line up as well with the blips. If BRussel is right, and it was tax cuts that caused them, then we will see an jump in revenue. If I am right, the recession will cause a downwards blip in revenue even though the tax rates are raised.

Please see link, and recent history of top tax bracket.
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post #63 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

This is where you made the argument - do you continue to support your assertion that the 1992-2000 trend line would have continued without the Bush tax cuts or not? If you still support that, I don't see why you would have a problem asserting that the trend line would bump back up again if the tax cuts were reversed. You don't seem very sure of your argument if you are not willing to predict large revenue increases as a result of the end of the bush tax cuts.

Again, even though you think I "would not have a problem asserting" something, I did not assert it. It's ridiculous to think we would just jump back up into some previous trend, and I don't believe that would happen. But I certainly do believe we would take in more revenues, and I'd like to find an economist who disagrees.

But rather than arguing about arguments I never made, let's first get to an argument that you actually have made:
Quote:
My assertion that the Bush tax cuts raised revenue is based on the fact that revenue did, in fact, increase during the period (faster than the GNP, faster than inflation), and that the 2000 recession was (IMHO) very short and mild due to the tax cuts. I don't have the luxury of two seperate universes to play around with to know for sure what would have occurred in two separate histories - all we can do is predict what will happen. IMHO it will be pretty obvious who is right and wrong in 2-4 years from now.

1. I find it interesting that, as franksargent points out, that the graph is recording what happened after 2008. A large part of that trend that you're pointing to is actually in the future.

2. We don't need two separate futures - we have the predictions at the time of what would happen with Bush's tax cuts. We have Gore et al. on one side, saying we would go back into deficit, and we have Bush and the media and everyone else laughing it off and accusing Gore of "fuzzy math."

3. Yes, revenue eventually went back to increasing again after Bush's tax cuts (after a couple years of decreasing). Revenue always increases, because the economy grows, the population grows, productivity increases, etc. Look at that trend line dating back decade after decade. You haven't addressed this, so please do: How can you claim Bush's tax cuts caused a trend to occur, when that trend had been in place for decades prior to Bush's tax cuts? (Bolded so you wouldn't avoid it again.)

4. Please address the fact that the White House economic people, not to mention neutral and liberal economists, all reject the idea that tax cuts increase revenues. They all say that tax cuts reduce revenues, as I and others have linked to over and over again in the past. Why do they say that, and why do non-economists on the internet claim otherwise?

5. The recession was over, according to the quasi-official dating by the NBER, by third quarter 2001, before Bush's tax cuts took effect. How did Bush's tax cuts then stop the recession?

Quote:
If tax cuts do not increase revenue, it looks like they don't decrease it either (at least, IMHO they don't based on the graph). Any tax bump that fails to raise new revenue is a bad idea - and again we will find out all about that in a couple years after Obama raises the rates - it will be plainly obvious (one way or the other) for all future generations to see, and we won't have to argue this particular point any more.

We've already done this experiment, over and over again, and it already is plainly obvious, and we don't have to argue this point any more:

1. We did it when Reagan cut taxes in the 1980s, and claimed it would wipe out the deficit, but the deficit actually skyrocketed.
2. We did the experiment when Clinton increased taxes in the 1990s, and Republicans claimed we would go into the worst depression the world has ever seen, but we actually had the best economic period in US history and eventually completely wiped out the deficit.
3. We did the experiment in the 2000s when Bush cut taxes and said we wouldn't go into deficit, but we did.
How many more times do we need to do this?
post #64 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Because he is claiming that stock market bubbles, stock market crashes and recessions don't affect the US government revenue, only Republican tax cuts do.

Not only have I never said that, but I specifically said the opposite:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

I don't have any doubt that economic conditions (i.e., recessions, stock crashes) change revenues.
post #65 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Not only have I never said that, but I specifically said the opposite:

If you believe that recessions and stock market bubbles have an effect on government revenues, then how could you possibly believe that we would have continued that revenue trend line past 2000? You can't blame the Bush tax cuts for all of the revenue decline, or even figure out if any of the revenue decline was due to tax cuts. Also, the Regan tax rates actually caused an increase in tax revenue - income tax revenue doubled during the 80s (up 28% when ajusting for inflation) - the defecit was a spending problem, same as now.

There was obviously a stock market bubble during 1992-2000, obviously a recession starting in 2000, and cutting taxes pretty certainly sped the economy back up again resulting in at least some extra revenue (maybe as much as was lost by the cuts, maybe not, nobody knows).

Also, now that we are pretty certainly headed into a recession, how could you possibly support Obama's tax plan, when extra taxes are most likely going to slow the economy further? Clinton and Regan raised taxes coming out of a recession, Obama will raise them going in. I just don't understand your position.

I support Obama because I think he is smart enough to not raise taxes when push comes to shove, and I like him personally enough and dislike the others enough so I will vote for him - but I think he will be hurting the country if he raises taxes.
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post #66 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

If you believe that recessions and stock market bubbles have an effect on government revenues, then how could you possibly believe that we would have continued that revenue trend line past 2000? You can't blame the Bush tax cuts for all of the revenue decline, or even figure out if any of the revenue decline was due to tax cuts.

I never blamed all the revenue decline on the Bush tax cuts. I think there would have been a minor blip without the tax cuts - not the massive one with an unprecedented 3 years in a row of revenue losses.

Quote:
Also, the Regan tax rates actually caused an increase in tax revenue - income tax revenue doubled during the 80s (up 28% when ajusting for inflation) - the defecit was a spending problem, same as now.

Oh they actually did, did they? Despite the fact that revenues were growing at a faster rate before the Reagan tax cuts (see the flat line period)? And despite the fact that all of the Republican economists have specifically and repeatedly rejected the idea that tax cuts increase revenues? And despite my entire last post that addressed this, which you ignored?

Oh hell, that's what you economic creationists do. You ignore the facts, and just assert your own repeatedly. SDW has been doing this for the 8 years I've been debating this with him here on AI. It doesn't matter how many facts I bring up, they're just ignored, and then you guys go on to the next post where you re-assert the exact same thing without having addressed the facts in the previous discussion.

Quote:
There was obviously a stock market bubble during 1992-2000, obviously a recession starting in 2000, and cutting taxes pretty certainly sped the economy back up again resulting in at least some extra revenue (maybe as much as was lost by the cuts, maybe not, nobody knows).

Again, the recession was mild and ended before Bush's tax cuts took effect, and again, not a single Republican economist - not to mention neutral and liberal economists - would argue that "nobody knows" whether the tax cuts made up for as much as was lost. They'd all say that revenue was lost. Even those in the Bush administration who are on record repeatedly stating before congress and elsewhere that tax cuts do not increase revenues.

Quote:
Also, now that we are pretty certainly headed into a recession, how could you possibly support Obama's tax plan, when extra taxes are most likely going to slow the economy further? Clinton and Regan raised taxes coming out of a recession, Obama will raise them going in. I just don't understand your position.

I support Obama because I think he is smart enough to not raise taxes when push comes to shove, and I like him personally enough and dislike the others enough so I will vote for him - but I think he will be hurting the country if he raises taxes.

First of all, I haven't brought up Obama in this thread, you have. I haven't advocated raising any taxes. And it's not Obama that would be raising taxes, it's the Bush tax plan that raises the taxes. I disagreed with the whole damn thing, so it's not really fair to accuse someone who opposed the whole "let's write a law that will cut taxes now and then raise them later so the deficit doesn't look as bad" plan of wanting to raise taxes.
post #67 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

It doesn't matter how many facts I bring up, they're just ignored, and then you guys go on to the next post where you re-assert the exact same thing without having addressed the facts in the previous discussion.

Sorry - I'll go back and answer all your points, when I am in a hurry I skip stuff. In fact, I'll spend the next week or so coming up with the "eNumber Economic Manifesto", and make sure it covers everything you have mentioned. Stay tuned...
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post #68 of 255
post #69 of 255
...is coming from this...

The War in Iraq Costs: $496,117,055,714

* $275 million per day
* $4,100 per household
* Almost 4,000 U.S. soldiers killed and more than 60,000 wounded
* 700,000 Iraqis killed and 4 million refugees
post #70 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Sorry - I'll go back and answer all your points, when I am in a hurry I skip stuff. In fact, I'll spend the next week or so coming up with the "eNumber Economic Manifesto", and make sure it covers everything you have mentioned. Stay tuned...

Which set of federal books and projections are you going to use? The set that includes SSI or the set that excludes SSI? Also are you going to use OMB projections or CBO projections?

Quote:
With respect to the estimation of spending for Congress, the Congressional Budget Office serves a purpose parallel to that of the Joint Committee on Taxation for the estimation of revenue for Congress, the Department of the Treasury for the estimation of revenues for the executive branch, and the Office of Management and Budget for the estimation of spending for the executive branch.

The responsibilities of this office include projecting the budgetary effects of proposed legislation. The main goal is to provide Congress with objective, timely, nonpartisan analyses needed for economic and budget decisions and with the information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process. This includes projections on the effect on national debt.

Are you going to use BLS data and U. S. census data in your manifesto. Are you going to include all the military supplementals (including projections)? And finally, from whatever you provide in your manifesto are you going to provide links to the raw data (the underlying data), so that those of us who feel confident in doing our own analyses can scrutinize your manifesto presentation?
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post #71 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Which set of federal books and projections are you going to use? The set that includes SSI or the set that excludes SSI? Also are you going to use OMB projections or CBO projections?



Are you going to use BLS data and U. S. census data in your manifesto. Are you going to include all the military supplementals (including projections)? And finally, from whatever you provide in your manifesto are you going to provide links to the raw data (the underlying data), so that those of us who feel confident in doing our own analyses can scrutinize your manifesto presentation?

Any suggestions like that are welcome. I actually had a hard time finding actual revenue numbers in the half hour I spend looking around the US treasury webpage.
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post #72 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Any suggestions like that are welcome. I actually had a hard time finding actual revenue numbers in the half hour I spend looking around the US treasury webpage.

All I'm suggesting is that this is a serious undertaking. I mentioned this before, but several months ago, I looked into this using mostly historical BLS (and I believe U. S. Census) data. The data I first obtained was broken down by quintiles (one fifths), and that knowing a thing or two about PDF's (probability density functions) and CDF's (cumulative density functions), I fitted appropriate polynomials to the quintile data that satisfied the relationship between the PDF and the CDF (integral of the PDF).

At a later date (I believe) I finally found the BLS data broken down into 1 percentile bins, but as I had already reached a fairly reasonable conclusion based on the quintile data, I didn't pursue the higher resolution BLS data further.

Boring stuff, but whatever.

Anyway, BLS is historic data, I used household incomes, and the thread I posted my analysis to was a previous minimum wage thread. and what it showed over time (annually) was a redistribution of incomes, such that the middle quintiles had flatlined incomes (in constant dollars), while only the highest quintile showed a relative gain, all of the data was in constant dollars (2006 I believe),

Now the U. S. Census data/surveys (or BLS surveys) show an ever increasing number of households versus time, so that even if all households flatline, the net federal revenues should increase in kind, and since the highest quintile saw the only real net gains (in constant dollars), that quintile would logically seem to be the group of households to go after with a modest and gradual increase in the rate of taxation.

You can even see this happening in federal revenues in reverse in the first three years of the Bush administration; 39.6% > 39.1% > 38.6% > 35%, (2000-3) for the highest tax bracket (although all tax brackets decreased) and Bush wants the 10 year statute of limitations (2011-3) to go away. With a federal government that can't seem to cap spending, and federal revenues falling below the 40 year GDP curve (percent wise), it would seem to be reasonable to phase in the highest tax bracket slowly over time depending on the strength of the U.S. economy at future points in time.
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post #73 of 255
Here are the historical CBO budget figures that I always go to when I'm, um, in the mood.
post #74 of 255
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

What is causing what - the increased revenues? Look at the trend over the past 5 decades - it's on exactly the same trajectory. You're saying that Bush's tax cuts caused the same trajectory to continue that had been happening for 5 decades???

It enabled it to continue, yes.

Quote:

The economy grows, that's what causes increased revenues.

Good. Finally.

Quote:
And the economy has grown with tax cuts and with tax increases - the only difference is that the former produces deficits. And is politically popular.

Wow. So you're saying the rate of taxation doesn't matter? . The problem here is that you're confusing cause and effect. In other words, has the economy ever grown as a result of tax increases, or simply in spite of them? By the same token, has the economy ever recovered/grown as a result of tax cuts?

Everything we know about the last 50 years shows us that tax increases, while perhaps not devastating to the economy, certainly don't help. Yes, there have been times where we've had expansion despite higher rates of taxation...but you'd be hard pressed to say that the high tax rates caused that growth.

By contrast, we've had three major tax cuts since the 1960s (Kennedy, Reagan, Bush 43). In each case, the economy has recovered from recession or greatly accelerated it's growth within 1-2 years from the cuts going into effect. This is simply indisputable.

Now, do tax cuts create deficits? No. Spending more money than we have creates deficits. In looking at revenue, we must also look at what the proposed/enacted policy will do to the economy, not just the "bottom line." In other words, tax increases can often result in a short term windfall. However, if they depress economic activity, revenue will not be as high as it may have been with lower rates. Similarly, while tax cuts may result in less revenue in the short term, recent (and not so recent) history shows this revenue is often replaced.

Now I know what you're going to say: "But even the Bushies don't think that tax cuts pay for themselves!" That depends on what "paid for" means. In the short term (say, 1-3 years) I agree. But in the long term it's not that cut and dried. It's tempting to look at what revenue would have been without the tax cuts, but that would be proceeding from a false assumption, that being revenue would continue to grow at the rate it had been growing previously. But, as you said:

Quote:

The economy grows, that's what causes increased revenues.

So what if the economy isn't growing? What then? That is the point of tax cuts.
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post #75 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

First, let me answer your question: Yes. At least as far as I can tell.

Secondly though, let me address the little trick you used there. It's one that liberals are fond of. If you disagree with XYZ, you are either:

A) Stupid
B) Ill-informed
C) Hateful
D) Racist
E) Bigoted
F) Perhaps all of the above.

The fact is I do disagree with Obama on nearly every issue. For example:

Obama wants to pullout of Iraq ASAP. I disagree.

Obama wants national health care. I disagree.

Obama wants to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the "rich." I disagree.

Obama thinks we should engage Iran in direct talks despite their defiance of the UN and threats towards Israel. I disagree.

Obama is solidly pro-choice. I disagree (though I'm not exactly pro-life, either).

Obama wants to reinstate PAYGO rules. I disagree.

Obama wishes to double foreign poverty assistance, to $50 billion a year. I disagree.

Obama does not believe the President can attack a nation without Congressional approval unless the threat is "imminent." I disagree.

Obama wants to close Guantanamo. I disagree.

Obama wants to expand federal hate crimes statutes. I disagree.

Obama wants to expand "tax relief" for "low-income" families. I disagree, as the whole system needs to be reformed. Secondly, low-income families do not pay much in taxes now.

Obama supported and supports expanding SCHIP so that families earning up to $85K a year would qualify. I disagree.

Obama wants to greatly expand "affordable housing" initiatives (read: subsidized housing). I disagree.

Obama wants to add a $1.5 billion "paid leave fund" for States. I disagree.



I could go on, but why bother? Read through his Change Manifesto. It's all there. I actually find the document quite amusing. If you believed what was in there, you'd call it "Obama's Plan for Paradise on Earth." All paid for by your tax dollars of course.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinions. I am, however, curious as to why you hold many of the beliefs you stated. I guess my point would be that most of the issues you listed above are not black and white... or at least not to me. What kind of abortion is ok? What kind of abortion is NOT ok? What kind of "universal healthcare?" Who pays for the universal healthcare? How do you protect small businesses owners while not getting wealthy people a free ride? How do you address the fact that our presence in Iraq is just fueling terrorism that didn't exist when we went in there, or more importantly (to me at least), the fact that we're pumping billions of tax dollars into some country halfway across the globe when people here are suffering. I find it ironic that we're so willing to "help" and "protect" Iraq when we're so adamantly against helping immigrants from Mexico...
post #76 of 255
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

You are, of course, entitled to your opinions. I am, however, curious as to why you hold many of the beliefs you stated. I guess my point would be that most of the issues you listed above are not black and white... or at least not to me. What kind of abortion is ok? What kind of abortion is NOT ok? What kind of "universal healthcare?" Who pays for the universal healthcare? How do you protect small businesses owners while not getting wealthy people a free ride? How do you address the fact that our presence in Iraq is just fueling terrorism that didn't exist when we went in there, or more importantly (to me at least), the fact that we're pumping billions of tax dollars into some country halfway across the globe when people here are suffering. I find it ironic that we're so willing to "help" and "protect" Iraq when we're so adamantly against helping immigrants from Mexico...

Sure, I'll elaborate:

Quote:
What kind of abortion is ok?

If abortion was on the ballot in my state, I would vote to keep it legal. I simply don't think it should be a federal right. I therefore believe Roe should be overturned. It's a states' rights issue IMO. Partial birth abortion should be completely illegal, and abortion should not be funded by taxpayers.

Quote:
What kind of "universal healthcare?" Who pays for the universal healthcare?

I don't favor any kind of government run and/or mandated health care. I have no faith in our government to run any such program. That said, I do think that we need reforms for those not getting that basic care they need. In my opinion, the solution we should be pursuing is that of making health care more affordable. This can be done through tax policy, tort reform, etc, technological modernization, perhaps even limits of premiums and changes to insurance regulations. We need to take insurance out of the hands of employers and put it in the hands of employees. We also need to reevaluate why we have health insurance. Imagine how much your car insurance would cost if it covered gas, car washes and oil changes...and all repairs as well. That's the issue we have with health care.

Quote:
How do you protect small businesses owners while not getting wealthy people a free ride?

Let's go even more into detail. Who is "wealthy?" If you listen to many Democrats, "wealthy" is anyone with a household income of over about $90,000 a year. In other words, two teachers, firefighters, police officers, etc...and bingo...you're rich! Congrats! And the wealthy do not get a "free ride" as it stands. Perhaps the uber-wealthy do, but not merely "the rich." they pay a shitload of taxes now. So I'm not sure how to answer that question, I suppose. It's essentially based on a false premise.


Quote:
How do you address the fact that our presence in Iraq is just fueling terrorism that didn't exist when we went in there, or more importantly (to me at least), the fact that we're pumping billions of tax dollars into some country halfway across the globe when people here are suffering. I find it ironic that we're so willing to "help" and "protect" Iraq when we're so adamantly against helping immigrants from Mexico...

1. I reject your assertion that "all we are doing" is fueling terrorism in Iraq. At this point we are attempting to stabilize the country. I also reject the notion that there were no terrorists in Iraq prior to our invasion. That's simply not true. Saddam himself himself paid suicide bombers' families. Saddam at least tolerated terrorists, even if he didn't aid them. In fact, I actually take the opposite view here: We cannot allow Iraq to become a terrorist haven by leaving too early. That doesn't even take into account the fact that "we broke it" over there, and now have a duty to help put it back together.

2. Helping immigrants from Mexico? My God, man! You want to HELP them? How? You want to help them immigrate illegally? You want to help them overwhelm our schools, hospitals, criminal justice system, etc? What do you want to do...grant them all citizenship and just let anyone who wants to come here do so...at an even faster rate than they do now? Help them? Try immigrating to another country and see how much they "help" you.
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post #77 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

It enabled it to continue, yes.



Good. Finally.



Wow. So you're saying the rate of taxation doesn't matter? . The problem here is that you're confusing cause and effect. In other words, has the economy ever grown as a result of tax increases, or simply in spite of them? By the same token, has the economy ever recovered/grown as a result of tax cuts?

Everything we know about the last 50 years shows us that tax increases, while perhaps not devastating to the economy, certainly don't help. Yes, there have been times where we've had expansion despite higher rates of taxation...but you'd be hard pressed to say that the high tax rates caused that growth.

By contrast, we've had three major tax cuts since the 1960s (Kennedy, Reagan, Bush 43). In each case, the economy has recovered from recession or greatly accelerated it's growth within 1-2 years from the cuts going into effect. This is simply indisputable.

Now, do tax cuts create deficits? No. Spending more money than we have creates deficits. In looking at revenue, we must also look at what the proposed/enacted policy will do to the economy, not just the "bottom line." In other words, tax increases can often result in a short term windfall. However, if they depress economic activity, revenue will not be as high as it may have been with lower rates. Similarly, while tax cuts may result in less revenue in the short term, recent (and not so recent) history shows this revenue is often replaced.

Now I know what you're going to say: "But even the Bushies don't think that tax cuts pay for themselves!" That depends on what "paid for" means. In the short term (say, 1-3 years) I agree. But in the long term it's not that cut and dried. It's tempting to look at what revenue would have been without the tax cuts, but that would be proceeding from a false assumption, that being revenue would continue to grow at the rate it had been growing previously. But, as you said:



So what if the economy isn't growing? What then? That is the point of tax cuts.

... speak to the facts of the matter, you continuously say tax cuts grow the economy, so show us the money! Or STFU! \

You are infamous for not backing up what you say with factual data to support your specious claims, so stop talking, and show us the money! Or STFU! \

Bush is captain of the USS Economic Titanic.

At this point in time, there is no point to the Bush (t)ax cuts. \ Reduce federal revenues through lower taxation, and spend like a drunken captain of an oil tanker about to go aground. Now that's a brilliant fiscal strategy, a brilliant business plan!

How do rather small gradual tax cuts that are a tiny fraction of GDP stimulate the economy? Answer is, they don't! \

Quote:
In other words, has the economy ever grown as a result of tax increases, or simply in spite of them?

YES! See POTUS 42. \

Now reverse your question; Has the economy ever grown as a result of tax decreases, or simply in spite of them?

Please, show us the money, or stop talking out your azz! \
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post #78 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

It enabled it to continue, yes.

So then what enabled it to continue through all those other times without tax cuts and even with tax increases?
Quote:
Good. Finally.

Wow. So you're saying the rate of taxation doesn't matter? . The problem here is that you're confusing cause and effect. In other words, has the economy ever grown as a result of tax increases, or simply in spite of them? By the same token, has the economy ever recovered/grown as a result of tax cuts?

Everything we know about the last 50 years shows us that tax increases, while perhaps not devastating to the economy, certainly don't help. Yes, there have been times where we've had expansion despite higher rates of taxation...but you'd be hard pressed to say that the high tax rates caused that growth.

By contrast, we've had three major tax cuts since the 1960s (Kennedy, Reagan, Bush 43). In each case, the economy has recovered from recession or greatly accelerated it's growth within 1-2 years from the cuts going into effect. This is simply indisputable.

Not only is it disputable, it is not supported by the data. The economic growth rates were no higher during the Reagan or Bush post-tax-cut years than during the Clinton post-tax-increase years or any other years when there were neither tax cuts nor increases. In short: no, it doesn't matter. I don't believe that what government does has much impact at all on the economy. The kind of tinkering that occurs with tax cuts does very little. If it did something big, you'd see it in one of those graphs - big upward ticks of economic growth after tax cuts, big downward ticks after tax increases. But you don't see it. The economy keeps chugging along, with a downturn every 10 years or so, regardless of what the government does with things like individual income tax rates. I could believe it happening, in the long term, if a country changes from communism to capitalism, like Russia. Enacting Ron Paul's policies - no more federal taxes, etc. - would probably have an effect. But not the kind of tax changes that are plausible in normal US politics.

Quote:
Now, do tax cuts create deficits? No. Spending more money than we have creates deficits. In looking at revenue, we must also look at what the proposed/enacted policy will do to the economy, not just the "bottom line." In other words, tax increases can often result in a short term windfall. However, if they depress economic activity, revenue will not be as high as it may have been with lower rates. Similarly, while tax cuts may result in less revenue in the short term, recent (and not so recent) history shows this revenue is often replaced.

Now I know what you're going to say: "But even the Bushies don't think that tax cuts pay for themselves!" That depends on what "paid for" means. In the short term (say, 1-3 years) I agree. But in the long term it's not that cut and dried. It's tempting to look at what revenue would have been without the tax cuts, but that would be proceeding from a false assumption, that being revenue would continue to grow at the rate it had been growing previously. But, as you said:

So what if the economy isn't growing? What then? That is the point of tax cuts.

If the economy doesn't grow, you lose revenues. But economies like the US economy adjust. It starts growing again after a recession, but not because some politician comes in and saves the day. It's what Clinton claimed ("I created jobs," "I focused on the economy," etc.), and it's what Bush claims. It's politician BS, that's all. I'm surprised you believe it. The only thing politicians can affect is the fiscal situation - budget deficits and surpluses.
post #79 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Sure, I'll elaborate:
If abortion was on the ballot in my state, I would vote to keep it legal. I simply don't think it should be a federal right. I therefore believe Roe should be overturned. It's a states' rights issue IMO. Partial birth abortion should be completely illegal, and abortion should not be funded by taxpayers.

I'm against partial birth abortions excluding only one circumstance: the mothers health is seriously at risk if she were to not terminate the pregnancy. As far as early abortions, I'm not really opinionated as to weather it's a states right or a federal right, but I do believe women should have the choice to have a abortion, but only if it's done within a reasonable time after pregnancy. I don't think I'd be a supporter of abortion rights if I didn't feel that in most cases, a mother who decides to terminate a pregnancy is doing what is best for society. The crime rate precipitously dropped in the 1990's, right in sync with the timing of Roe, v. Wade, around 18 years later when those that had been aborted would have been at their peak potential for crime. People could say a life is killed when you abort a baby. I'm not going to debate what the definition of "a life" is, but simply offer the possibility that many lives are saved as a result of a women's right to an abortion.



And for further reading: http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levi...yCrime2004.pdf
(Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics)
[/QUOTE]

Quote:
I don't favor any kind of government run and/or mandated health care. I have no faith in our government to run any such program. That said, I do think that we need reforms for those not getting that basic care they need. In my opinion, the solution we should be pursuing is that of making health care more affordable. This can be done through tax policy, tort reform, etc, technological modernization, perhaps even limits of premiums and changes to insurance regulations. We need to take insurance out of the hands of employers and put it in the hands of employees. We also need to reevaluate why we have health insurance. Imagine how much your car insurance would cost if it covered gas, car washes and oil changes...and all repairs as well. That's the issue we have with health care.

I think we both agree that the health care system is royally screwed up. I don't have a strong preference that Universal Healthcare is the way to go, but I do believe that everybody should have access to healthcare. I know someone who has run their entire life and is very healthy except for one very minor condition (Sjogrens Syndrome) that causes dry eyes and dry mouth, and was denied health care coverage. That is simply wrong. Or the cost of prescription drugs, which are totally outrageous. Universal Healthcare has worked well in other countries like Britain, France, and Canada, and that's not to say that it would work well here, but by the same token, what's to say it wouldn't work well? I like Obama's universal health care because it doesn't mandate anything– it simply makes it more accessible and more affordable. Regarding what you said about the principals of health care, the way it works now, "If you get sick on Tuesday, you're only covered Wednesday through Monday. If you go to doctor A, they only cover doctor B. If your penis breaks... they only fix vaginas." It really shouldn't be called health insurance so much as it should be called accident insurance the way it works now. I suspect we're not too off on our fundamentals.

Quote:
Let's go even more into detail. Who is "wealthy?" If you listen to many Democrats, "wealthy" is anyone with a household income of over about $90,000 a year. In other words, two teachers, firefighters, police officers, etc...and bingo...you're rich! Congrats! And the wealthy do not get a "free ride" as it stands. Perhaps the uber-wealthy do, but not merely "the rich." they pay a shitload of taxes now. So I'm not sure how to answer that question, I suppose. It's essentially based on a false premise.

I don't think most democrats would consider $90,000 "wealthy" by any means. When Democrats say they want to get rid of tax cuts for the wealthy, we're primarily talking about getting rid of tax cuts for corporations and CEOS. But regardless, I do think however think that the middle class as a whole gets screwed over by both parties' politics.

Quote:
1. I reject your assertion that "all we are doing" is fueling terrorism in Iraq. At this point we are attempting to stabilize the country. I also reject the notion that there were no terrorists in Iraq prior to our invasion. That's simply not true. Saddam himself himself paid suicide bombers' families. Saddam at least tolerated terrorists, even if he didn't aid them. In fact, I actually take the opposite view here: We cannot allow Iraq to become a terrorist haven by leaving too early. That doesn't even take into account the fact that "we broke it" over there, and now have a duty to help put it back together.

What are we doing to their country? Terrorizing their people. Destroying families and lives of many of the good people of Iraq. Think about what creates and fuels terrorists. You would be rather irate and resent Iraqis if they came and destroyed our homeland, killed our friends, and ruined our lives. The connection between terrorism and Iraq was weak at best. Afghanistan was an entirely different issue as the connection between terrorism and Afghanistan was incontrovertible. As I see it, right now we're just breeding more ill feelings towards the Americans and the U.S. in the eyes of Iraqis, not solving problems. But more importantly, think about how many goddamn tax dollars we're pumping into Iraq. Personally, I'd rather see that money spent a little bit closer to home. Selfish, I know, but I don't like Haliburton wiping their asses with my money.

Quote:
2. Helping immigrants from Mexico? My God, man! You want to HELP them? How? You want to help them immigrate illegally? You want to help them overwhelm our schools, hospitals, criminal justice system, etc? What do you want to do...grant them all citizenship and just let anyone who wants to come here do so...at an even faster rate than they do now? Help them? Try immigrating to another country and see how much they "help" you.

Far from it! I was just illustrating the failed logic that we are "spreading freedom" and "helping the Iraqis" and all that nonsense the U.S. uses to justify the war in Iraq. What a load of bullshit.
post #80 of 255
Awesome, abortion and taxes, all in one thread!
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