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Politics

sadface
I haven't made a political post in a long, long time.

I'd make one now, except just thinking about it depresses me. I was not happy about the results of the midterm, needless to say... and I am even less happy, if possible, about this "compromise" that Obama has made with the GOP on taxes. From where I sit, it smells more like capitulation than compromise. Give a lot, get almost nothing.

Obama is the most intelligent president we've had since Jimmy Carter... and, sad to say, he is looking more and more like Jimmy every day. A good man, but not a good leader. At least not so far. He doesn't seem to have the stomach for a fight. We need another FDR, another JFK, another LBJ. NOT Jimmy II. (And, yes, I know, Obama has accomplished some important stuff. But so did Jimmy. Camp David accords, remember?)

Yeats was writing about his own time in "The Second Coming," I know, but sometimes I think he was prescient:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And could that rough beast whose hour has come round at least be... Sarah Palin?

No, please. Tell me that's just a bad dream. Somebody wake me up.

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Comments

rharris528
Dec. 16th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Actually
Couple of points to mention here, yes the top 5% of earners pay the vast majority of the federal tax burden, but what you are failing to note is that the top 5% are controlling the vast majority of the income.
You also claim tat tax revenues have gone up since the Bush tax cuts, which is true, but misleading. The tax cuts occurred after the recession had already began, so when you compare those numbers to later years, you do see an increase in revenue. However, to really look at a revenue comparison, you should look at the per capita federal revenue from the clinton era (this is the tax system that would be re-instated by ending the Bush tax cuts). We made much more then, and the top earners were just fine with the way things were.
Next, you make a point for me with your own demographics. Cutting the taxes for the rich is supposed to create a trickle down effect that allows for for spending in the economy. Credit/loans makes the economy work by multiplying the dollar spent. You are obviously in the upper tax brackets, but you say that you drive an old car and don't spend a lot on things you don't need. That's probably one reason you are well-off, kudos. But that is the problem, if the extra money given to you is not put to use, YOU are the only one benefiting, and teh benefit is negligible. We need to think in terms of the whole if we are to get out of this recession.
The rich have benefited the most from the system, I feel that they should pay back in to help the country.
Finally, here's the idea behind economic growth: the GDP should gradually and steadily climb. GDP= C (consumer spending) + I (investment) + G (government spending) + NI (imports/exports). Republicans don't want the government spending, but if consumer spending is in decline, the growth has to come from somewhere. As for you point on investment, countries around the world would still prefer to invest in our economy than in others, even considering the recent economic slump. Domestic investors aren't stupid, they'll do the same. So we are back to an attempt in raising consumer spending, but as I previously pointed out, if you want someone to buy something, give the money to someone who needs to buy something,not the people who can choose to save the money or maybe spend it. That's the idea behind a progressive tax, take the money from those who have benefited the most and who won't be spending, and re-distribute the wealth to those who need to SPEND NOW.
dalimar2
Dec. 16th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Actually
You also claim tat tax revenues have gone up since the Bush tax cuts, which is true, but misleading. The tax cuts occurred after the recession had already began, so when you compare those numbers to later years, you do see an increase in revenue. However, to really look at a revenue comparison, you should look at the per capita federal revenue from the clinton era (this is the tax system that would be re-instated by ending the Bush tax cuts). We made much more then, and the top earners were just fine with the way things were.

I'm not sure I follow your line of thought here. Yes, Bush did not cut taxes prior to the recession starting, he could not see the future so did not try to preemptively stimulate the economy. This is relevant how?

And why is it you attribute economic growth during the mid-late 90s to slightly higher tax rates? Surely our growth was from the explosion of the computer industry and technology attributed gains in productivity? Saying "Taxes were higher then, the economy was good then, therefor higher taxes cause a good economy" is a cum hoc fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

Maybe our economy grew in spite of, not because of, higher taxes?

Next, you make a point for me with your own demographics. Cutting the taxes for the rich is supposed to create a trickle down effect that allows for for spending in the economy. Credit/loans makes the economy work by multiplying the dollar spent. You are obviously in the upper tax brackets, but you say that you drive an old car and don't spend a lot on things you don't need. That's probably one reason you are well-off, kudos. But that is the problem, if the extra money given to you is not put to use, YOU are the only one benefiting, and teh benefit is negligible. We need to think in terms of the whole if we are to get out of this recession.

I never said I don't spend money, I said I wasn't a millionaire and I have a 5 year old car. I invest and save a lot, not saving by stuffing it into the mattress, but saving by investing in businesses. Which allows businesses to grow, to hire people, and to create jobs. That is a positive in the economy.

When was the last time a poor person hired you? You can't put the entire federal tax burden on small business owners, successful entrepreneurs, and high end professionals. (80% of the burner is currently on the top 5%, again).

If you give money to poorer people they will go and spend it on groceries or something made in China from Walmart. If you give money to small business owners they will spend money by reinvesting in their business, growing the economy, and creating jobs.

Furthermore, you're punishing success. Successful people did not get that way by luck. In a way you're making a bet, do you want to bet on the horse who has already won races, or the one who has been coming in last? That may sound cold but the fact is someone who has experience starting and running successful businesses is probably more likely to be able to grow or start a new business with additional funds. Then you get more jobs.

I guess the argument hinges upon what you see the goal of tax policy to be.

Should the goal of tax policy be to encourage equality? Or should it be to encourage economic growth? I think economic growth is the goal that will help people the most, many other nations have tried to redistribute wealth to create equality, and they fell apart.

Do you realize our tax code is now such a mess than the marginal rate on incremental income in some cases exceeds 100%? So if you made a certain amount, say 75,000, and got a raise making 85,000, the tax increase from that raise would exceed $10,000, meaning you're better off rejecting the raise.

You say the rich have benefited the most, I say the rich have provided the most benefit. People who have started businesses, created job, developed inventions, people who live responsibly, within their means, and save, people who invest in other businesses to help them grow (aka venture capitalists). Where would our country be without these people?

As opposed to people who are on the government dole most of their lives?

Who is John Galt?
sevgiinsani
Dec. 17th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Actually
"You say the rich have benefited the most, I say the rich have provided the most benefit. People who have started businesses, created job, developed inventions, people who live responsibly, within their means, and save, people who invest in other businesses to help them grow (aka venture capitalists). Where would our country be without these people? "

Being intelligent and hardworking does not mean that one will earn more usually. I come from a rather poor family and studied mostly thanks to the schlarships and state schools. And I worked the hell out of me to be an electronics engineer. Still, even a supermarket owner who inherited the business from his father gains much more than I earn. Thank god, I am not poor like my family used to be but I know how it is to be poor. I am not in the US but I am living in a capitalist system, too. I can say that the richs should be smart enough to care for the poor. The taxes that favor the poor are only a fan for the capitalist machine. Without the fan, the machine burns.

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