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Puppycow
9th September 2009, 03:38 PM
People who worry about the national debt worry too much. It's really not that big a deal. Unless you expect progress in science and technology to come screeching to a halt sometime soon, standards of living and average purchasing power will continue to rise over time. The people of the future will be richer. The last time the government ran up a huge debt was WW2. Compared to the GDP at the time it was bigger than the current debt. Nonetheless, the postwar period saw rapid economic growth and rising standards of living and eventually the economy grew so big that those debts we easy to pay off.

This article explains more (http://www.slate.com/id/2227091/)

Ziggurat
9th September 2009, 03:44 PM
The last time the government ran up a huge debt was WW2. Compared to the GDP at the time it was bigger than the current debt. Nonetheless, the postwar period saw rapid economic growth and rising standards of living and eventually the economy grew so big that those debts we easy to pay off.

That was made possible because government expenditures were able to significantly shrink in the wake of WWII. But we face a situation completely different today. Spending on entitlement programs is projected to balloon in the future. Not only could this prevent us from shrinking the national debt, but it could very easily continue to expand. In fact, it's pretty much guaranteed to expand unless something is done to curb it.

Dr Adequate
9th September 2009, 03:54 PM
That was made possible because government expenditures were able to significantly shrink in the wake of WWII. But we face a situation completely different today. Spending on entitlement programs is projected to balloon in the future. Not only could this prevent us from shrinking the national debt, but it could very easily continue to expand. In fact, it's pretty much guaranteed to expand unless something is done to curb it. Good point. Let's raise taxes.

leftysergeant
9th September 2009, 05:37 PM
Good point. Let's raise taxes.

It worked from 1942-1960. You could even say that it worked up until 1980. The famous Kennedy tax cuts also closed a lot of loop holes. (That is also why Reagan's tax cuts screwed the up budget. He made more loop holes.)

dudalb
9th September 2009, 06:05 PM
I wonder why "progressives" HATE the idea of people being able to keep the money they earn.

WildCat
9th September 2009, 06:06 PM
I wonder why "progressives" HATE the idea of people being able to keep the money they earn.
Investor class blah blah blah.

Brainster
9th September 2009, 06:12 PM
The irony, of course, is that the people who will pay the lion's share of that debt (or at least the interest on it), are the same people who pay the lion's share of the taxes today, that evil top 5% of income earners who about 60% of the income taxes in this country. So to put it another way, it's okay to burden the children of the very rich (and the children who will become very rich in future generations) with that enormous debt. Who feels sorry for rich kids?

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 06:34 PM
Good point. Let's raise taxes.

:eye-poppi

Noes!!! Socialism!!! :scared:

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 06:39 PM
I wonder why "progressives" HATE the idea of people being able to keep the money they earn.

Yes. That's it. I wonder why "conservatives" HATE poor people and sick people. :rolleyes:

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 06:48 PM
The irony, of course, is that the people who will pay the lion's share of that debt (or at least the interest on it), are the same people who pay the lion's share of the taxes today, that evil top 5% of income earners who about 60% of the income taxes in this country. So to put it another way, it's okay to burden the children of the very rich (and the children who will become very rich in future generations) with that enormous debt. Who feels sorry for rich kids?

I'm not quite sure what is ironic in that. Are you agreeing with the OP or is that supposed to be sarcastic (or ironic)? BTW, it is not necessary to think of rich people as "evil" to think they should pay higher taxes. Warren Buffet thinks he should pay higher taxes.

True, the top x% pay more than everyone else, but their after-tax earnings are also much higher than everyone else.

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 07:11 PM
Here's (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125254156520197777.html#project%3DEQUALCHRTBK090 9%26articleTabs%3Darticle) an article in the WSJ just out today.

While the last year has been an exception to the long-term trend due to the financial crisis, overall the top 1% have been getting the lion's share of the increases in income since the 1970s. In particular, click the Interactive Graphics and take a look at the long-term trend in CEO vs. worker comparison.

WildCat
9th September 2009, 07:16 PM
Warren Buffet thinks he should pay higher taxes.
There's nothing stopping Warren Buffet from writing a big old check to the government, is there?

eta: and if this is the old "my secretary pays a higher % than Warren does" stuff bear in mind that the secretary puts none of her money at risk when she goes to work.

Towlie
9th September 2009, 07:18 PM
The most common figure I've seen for the thickness of a $1 bill, which is also the thickness of a $100 bill, is .0043 inches (http://www.trivia-library.com/a/money-in-the-us-history-of-the-dollar-bill.htm).

Therefore:

Ten thousand $100 bills would be worth a million dollars and would make a stack 43 inches high.

Ten million $100 bills would be worth a billion dollars and would make a stack 3,583 feet, 4 inches high.

Ten billion $100 bills would be worth a trillion dollars and would make a stack 678 2/3 miles high.

The current national debt is rising so fast that it's hard to post a figure that would remain accurate for long, but it has just recently surpassed a stack of $100 bills 8,000 miles high, which is greater than the diameter of the Earth (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS334US228&q=diameter+of+the+earth+in+miles&aq=f&oq=&aqi=).

National Debt Clock (http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/)
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/debtiv.gif

Somehow, I don't think "enormous" quite says it.

Dr Adequate
9th September 2009, 07:22 PM
I wonder why "progressives" HATE the idea of people being able to keep the money they earn. Because they live inside your head, where you are free to imagine their opinions to your own sweet content.

WildCat
9th September 2009, 07:27 PM
Yes. That's it. I wonder why "conservatives" HATE poor people and sick people. :rolleyes:

Because they live inside your head, where you are free to imagine their opinions to your own sweet content.
I'm pretty sure dudalb was responding to lefty, and lefty is an unapologetic Marxist.

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 08:12 PM
The most common figure I've seen for the thickness of a $1 bill, which is also the thickness of a $100 bill, is .0043 inches (http://www.trivia-library.com/a/money-in-the-us-history-of-the-dollar-bill.htm).

Therefore:

Ten thousand $100 bills would be worth a million dollars and would make a stack 43 inches high.

Ten million $100 bills would be worth a billion dollars and would make a stack 3,583 feet, 4 inches high.

Ten billion $100 bills would be worth a trillion dollars and would make a stack 678 2/3 miles high.

The current national debt is rising so fast that it's hard to post a figure that would remain accurate for long, but it has just recently surpassed a stack of $100 bills 8,000 miles high, which is greater than the diameter of the Earth (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS334US228&q=diameter+of+the+earth+in+miles&aq=f&oq=&aqi=).

National Debt Clock (http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/)
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/debtiv.gif

Somehow, I don't think "enormous" quite says it.

All of these absolute numbers are irrelevant. Ratios are what matter.

If I say I owe about 30 million yen to a bank (which I do) can you say whether that is a large debt or a small debt? Not until you know what my income is. BTW, this is roughly 5 times my annual income (although I'm afraid my income is going to be lower this year than last year). By comparison, the federal debt of the US is projected to rise to approximately 100% of GDP. Let's assume tax revenue of 25% of GDP. That would be a debt ratio of 4 times tax revenue. So compared to what I owe on my mortgage versus my income, the projected federal debt is reasonable in relative terms. Not to mention that the government has lower borrowing costs than an individual like me. Because I might lose my job, become disabled or die. Unless there's armageddon, the US government will be there to pay its debts, and if it isn't, the national debt will be the least of our worries.

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 08:15 PM
There's nothing stopping Warren Buffet from writing a big old check to the government, is there?

This old chestnut. How 'bout we let the people who want the Iraq war pay for it with voluntary contributions? How 'bout we let the people who want prisons pay for it with voluntary contributions? Do you also agree with those positions?

WildCat
9th September 2009, 09:04 PM
This old chestnut. How 'bout we let the people who want the Iraq war pay for it with voluntary contributions? How 'bout we let the people who want prisons pay for it with voluntary contributions? Do you also agree with those positions?
No, but I do expect Warren to lead by example. At the very least he could not claim any deductions, credits, etc. on his taxes.

lomiller
9th September 2009, 09:10 PM
No, but I do expect Warren to lead by example. At the very least he could not claim any deductions, credits, etc. on his taxes.

So, you don’t think Warren should have to pay, but can if he wants. I take that to mean you are volunteering to pay any tax he doesn’t.

WildCat
9th September 2009, 09:19 PM
So, you don’t think Warren should have to pay, but can if he wants. I take that to mean you are volunteering to pay any tax he doesn’t.
Huh? Warren's running around complaining that he isn't paying enough taxes. Now, if he really thinks that no law prevents him from paying more.

What kind of person complains that he's not required to do what he claims he wants to do but then doesn't do? A grandstanding jackass drama queen, that's who.

WildCat
9th September 2009, 09:24 PM
Alternatively, Warren could pay himself a token salary of $1 and divide the rest among his employees.

Nope, he's not doing that either. Invested billions in Goldman Sachs instead.

Poor guy, forced to make money hand over fist and unable to do anything about it.

Cobalt
9th September 2009, 09:27 PM
Alternatively, Warren could pay himself a token salary of $1 and divide the rest among his employees.

Nope, he's not doing that either. Invested billions in Goldman Sachs instead.

Poor guy, forced to make money hand over fist and unable to do anything about it.

I can take it off his hands...

WildCat
9th September 2009, 09:36 PM
I can take it off his hands...
He'd love to give it to you. Really, he would.

But he can't because there's no law requiring him to. And it's killing him inside, he can't even sleep at night.

Skeptic
9th September 2009, 09:45 PM
First of all, I thought the "we're putting future generations in debt" is just evil republican lies.

Second, you're right about WWII: yes, clearly, supporting whatever cool policies the Obama administration feels will promote social justice, brotherly love, and sunshine and happiness are just as good a reason to put the country into near-bankruptcy as a world war against the bloodiest tyrant in history and his helpers.

Third, I thought the point of the $1T "stimulus" debt was to, at least, actually do some good economically now -- not merely to put future generations in debt under the breezy assumption that hey, it's Okay, things will work out and turn around somehow, due to the forces of history. Well, how is the stimulus working out?

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 09:48 PM
No, but I do expect Warren to lead by example. At the very least he could not claim any deductions, credits, etc. on his taxes.

You are aware of his philanthropy, right?

And no, I don't agree that he should pay more taxes than the law says he has to pay.

Dr Adequate
9th September 2009, 10:12 PM
Third, I thought the point of the $1T "stimulus" debt was to, at least, actually do some good economically now -- not merely to put future generations in debt under the breezy assumption that hey, it's Okay, things will work out and turn around somehow, due to the forces of history. Well, how is the stimulus working out? Apparently, quite well. You should maybe read the financial pages more often.

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 10:12 PM
First of all, I thought the "we're putting future generations in debt" is just evil republican lies.I don't recall making that claim.

Second, you're right about WWII: yes, clearly, supporting whatever cool policies the Obama administration feels will promote social justice, brotherly love, and sunshine and happiness are just as good a reason to put the country into near-bankruptcy as a world war against the bloodiest tyrant in history and his helpers.The main reason the debt is rising so fast is because of the financial crisis, not Obama's policies.

Third, I thought the point of the $1T "stimulus" debt was to, at least, actually do some good economically now -- not merely to put future generations in debt under the breezy assumption that hey, it's Okay, things will work out and turn around somehow, due to the forces of history. Well, how is the stimulus working out?It is. The point of spending is not to incur debt. Do you have a mortgage on your house? Was the purpose of taking out a mortgage so that you could be in debt or so that you could buy a house?

Dr Adequate
9th September 2009, 10:16 PM
Huh? Warren's running around complaining that he isn't paying enough taxes. Now, if he really thinks that no law prevents him from paying more.

What kind of person complains that he's not required to do what he claims he wants to do but then doesn't do? A grandstanding jackass drama queen, that's who. No, he can't pay more taxes then he is required to pay.

He can give large amounts of his money away, which he does.

Also Bill Gates, as I recall, said that he didn't need or want the Bush tax break, and is the biggest philanthropist in the history of the world. "Grandstanding jackass drama queen" that he is.

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 11:00 PM
No, he can't pay more taxes then he is required to pay.

He can give large amounts of his money away, which he does.

Also Bill Gates, as I recall, said that he didn't need or want the Bush tax break, and is the biggest philanthropist in the history of the world. "Grandstanding jackass drama queen" that he is.

I'm not sure, but I think that theoretically he could pay more taxes than he is required to pay. But the main point is that he shouldn't if he is giving it to a good cause instead. Direct charitable giving can be more effective if spent wisely. There is nothing in the slightest hypocritical in his position.

Buffet might even rank higher on philanthropy than Gates, but I'm sure.
This (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15735533/) says that Buffet is #1 but I don't know if it is correct.

ETA: Buffet is also famous for living very modestly considering his means.

Dr Adequate
9th September 2009, 11:32 PM
I'm not sure, but I think that theoretically he could pay more taxes than he is required to pay. No, think about it.

If the government doesn't require you to pay it, then it isn't taxation.

Skeptic
9th September 2009, 11:32 PM
It is.

Well, how well is it working? What did it achieve? Is what it achieved, or is likely to achieve, worth a trillion bucks?

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 11:35 PM
No, think about it.

If the government doesn't require you to pay it, then it isn't taxation.

Ah. The extra would be a contribution, not a tax. :newlol

Puppycow
9th September 2009, 11:42 PM
Well, how well is it working? What did it achieve? Is what it achieved, or is likely to achieve, worth a trillion bucks?

The stimulus? Since we don't know what the counterfactual is (counterfactuals are), we can't be sure how well it is working or whether it was worth it. This if for economists to argue about and it's doubtful that they will ever arrive at a consensus. They're still arguing about the Great Depression and the New Deal. So you may as well ask whether the New Deal worked or was worth it. We'll never know for sure.

Dr Adequate
9th September 2009, 11:44 PM
Well, how well is it working? What did it achieve? Is what it achieved, or is likely to achieve, worth a trillion bucks? Apparently the Great Depression II has been averted. I guess that would be worth the money.

Of course, this depends which economists you listen to. However, I'm willing to bet that Obama didn't rack up the national debt just for the fun of it.

Ziggurat
10th September 2009, 12:33 AM
No, he can't pay more taxes then he is required to pay.

Yes, actually, that's rather easy for someone in his position to do. And I'm not even talking about donating to the government (which anyone can do): it's rather trivial to not claim deductions you are entitled to.

Puppycow
10th September 2009, 03:24 AM
Yes, actually, that's rather easy for someone in his position to do. And I'm not even talking about donating to the government (which anyone can do): it's rather trivial to not claim deductions you are entitled to.

Yeah, but this whole line of argument is a red herring. For one thing, he's giving his money to charity. For another, just because you favor a certain general policy doesn't mean you should volunteer to individually pay higher taxes that would result from said policy. Do people who support wars of choice like Iraq donate extra money to the DOD? Do you think they should "lead by example"?
Of course not, it's just a cheap way to say look at you, you won't put your money where your mouth is. I'm happy to pay taxes for things I support which have a public benefit, but I'm not going to do it all by myself.

Cain
10th September 2009, 04:05 AM
National Debt Clock (http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/)
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/debtiv.gif

Somehow, I don't think "enormous" quite says it.

Someone once observed s "billions," with a 'b' as Sagan reminded everyone, are astronomical figures. Trillions are economical.

What's fascinating is how conservatives never cared much to hold Bush's feet to the fire for the surest and dumbest way of expanding government: war. Pointless trillion dollar wars that did not help improve the quality of life for the typical American. "Defense" contractors are an exception, but I'm sure they sheltered at least some of their redistributed wealth in the Cayman Islands. When Reagan pushes to spend billions on weapons, ballooning the deficit (thanks, dude), it's considered his greatest accomplishment.

As for Buffett "risking his" money are you talking about preferred stock options in Goldman Sachs? Speaking of Buffett, he ideally favors a consumption tax. A progressive consumption tax on the notion that those who consume the planet's resources ought to pay for them. I agree, but everyone knows that ain't gonna happen, so we're stuck with an income tax that punishes work. Bill Gates' father has worked on getting back the estate tax, the least painful tax, one that breaks up large inheritances. Of course, like "Death Panels" the "Death Tax" has been an incredibly powerful, useful lie.

There are too many dumb Americans proud to live in a country that can "blow **** up at will" and has a bunch of 10,000+ sq foot homes while children lack health insurance.

leftysergeant
10th September 2009, 04:49 AM
I wonder why "progressives" HATE the idea of people being able to keep the money they earn.

Oh, but even in my opinion, you are entitled to keep the money you have earned. Where we come into conflict is in defining whether or not you have earned the money you have.

You have not actually earned it until you have paid all utility bills incurred while accruing it.

Government is a utility. Pay your bill and stop snivelling.

joobz
10th September 2009, 05:06 AM
The irony, of course, is that the people who will pay the lion's share of that debt (or at least the interest on it), are the same people who pay the lion's share of the taxes today, that evil top 5% of income earners who about 60% of the income taxes in this country. So to put it another way, it's okay to burden the children of the very rich (and the children who will become very rich in future generations) with that enormous debt. Who feels sorry for rich kids?
You're right. I don't.
given the fact that the income earnings of the top 5% have increased ~72% over the last 40 years vs. the median income, which increased only ~20%.
These numbers are estimates based upon this graph.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a7/United_States_Income_Distribution_1967-2003.svg

Dancing David
10th September 2009, 05:19 AM
I wonder why "progressives" HATE the idea of people being able to keep the money they earn.

I wonder why I have to pay for a military that spends more than the rest of the world combined, I wonder why I have to pay for roads that I don't drive on, why I have to subsidise investment in bussiness?

Dancing David
10th September 2009, 05:20 AM
Investor class blah blah blah.

Then why do they complain about paying taxes and then never pay them?

How much was GM paying in taxes?

Dancing David
10th September 2009, 05:22 AM
The irony, of course, is that the people who will pay the lion's share of that debt (or at least the interest on it), are the same people who pay the lion's share of the taxes today, that evil top 5% of income earners who about 60% of the income taxes in this country. So to put it another way, it's okay to burden the children of the very rich (and the children who will become very rich in future generations) with that enormous debt. Who feels sorry for rich kids?

So what is the proportion of INCOME to TAXES, oh YOU make 60% of the income so you PAY about 60% of the TAXES, except they don't, they pay less proportionaly than the rest of us.

So what was the complaint?

Dancing David
10th September 2009, 05:27 AM
First of all, I thought the "we're putting future generations in debt" is just evil republican lies.

Second, you're right about WWII: yes, clearly, supporting whatever cool policies the Obama administration feels will promote social justice, brotherly love, and sunshine and happiness are just as good a reason to put the country into near-bankruptcy as a world war against the bloodiest tyrant in history and his helpers.

Third, I thought the point of the $1T "stimulus" debt was to, at least, actually do some good economically now -- not merely to put future generations in debt under the breezy assumption that hey, it's Okay, things will work out and turn around somehow, due to the forces of history. Well, how is the stimulus working out?


Funny thing, why aren't you discussing who accumulated this debt, Regan, BushI and Bush II, but sure blame the guy who holds the bag now, that makes sense.

Justify a war that BushII lied about to start and then bungled from beginning to almost the end.

Ignore what started the great depression and why we aren't having one yet.

Sheesh.

For my sanity I shall leave the thread for the nonce.

WildCat
10th September 2009, 06:13 AM
You are aware of his philanthropy, right?
But he claims he would prefer to give that money to the government rather than his charity/cause of choice. So what's stopping him?

And no, I don't agree that he should pay more taxes than the law says he has to pay.
Of course he doesn't have to. But he certainly could, and if he actually did he would actually appear to be putting his money where his mouth is.

WildCat
10th September 2009, 06:16 AM
Then why do they complain about paying taxes and then never pay them?

How much was GM paying in taxes?
That was parody DD. Ever read one of lefty's rants?

WildCat
10th September 2009, 06:25 AM
No, he can't pay more taxes then he is required to pay.
Sure he can, everyone can. The IRS likely wouldn't return it unless you amend the return reflecting the overpayment asking them to. And there's no chance of them returning the extra taxes you pay by not claiming deductions, exemptions, credits, things you didn't itemize, etc etc.

He can give large amounts of his money away, which he does.
But he claims he'd rather give it to the government. What's stopping him?

Also Bill Gates, as I recall, said that he didn't need or want the Bush tax break, and is the biggest philanthropist in the history of the world. "Grandstanding jackass drama queen" that he is.
Billy boy is also free to give his money to the government. Funny, he prefers not to. In fact, he sets up non-profit charitable organizations specifically to avoid paying taxes to the government. It's well within his rights to simply give the money away and not deduct it from his taxes, for some reason he isn't doing that. Hmmmm....

WildCat
10th September 2009, 06:34 AM
Bill Gates' father has worked on getting back the estate tax, the least painful tax, one that breaks up large inheritances. Of course, like "Death Panels" the "Death Tax" has been an incredibly powerful, useful lie.

There are too many dumb Americans proud to live in a country that can "blow **** up at will" and has a bunch of 10,000+ sq foot homes while children lack health insurance.
Have you seen Gates' home? $147 million, and just a bit over 10,000 sq ft... http://news.cnet.com/Photo-gallery-Bill-Gates-home-on-Lake-Washington/2009-1041_3-5421164.html

leftysergeant
10th September 2009, 06:47 AM
So what is the proportion of INCOME to TAXES, oh YOU make 60% of the income so you PAY about 60% of the TAXES, except they don't, they pay less proportionaly than the rest of us.

Good point. The super-rich actually pay at a lower rate than the rest opf us do because capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages, which is just plain stupid.

Get a clue, righties. If you are earning at a higher rate than the rest of us, it is because you are recieving a greater benefit from the infrastructure that we have all built and thus OWE a higher rate of taxes.

The more you earn, the more government services you use. Pay your utility bills and stop snivelling.

Puppycow
10th September 2009, 06:51 AM
But he claims he would prefer to give that money to the government rather than his charity/cause of choice. So what's stopping him?


Of course he doesn't have to. But he certainly could, and if he actually did he would actually appear to be putting his money where his mouth is.What's your point? I've already rebutted this red herring.
Yeah, but this whole line of argument is a red herring. For one thing, he's giving his money to charity. For another, just because you favor a certain general policy doesn't mean you should volunteer to individually pay higher taxes that would result from said policy. Do people who support wars of choice like Iraq donate extra money to the DOD? Do you think they should "lead by example"?
Of course not, it's just a cheap way to say look at you, you won't put your money where your mouth is. I'm happy to pay taxes for things I support which have a public benefit, but I'm not going to do it all by myself.

WildCat
10th September 2009, 07:08 AM
What's your point? I've already rebutted this red herring.
It's not at all a red herring. Many Iraq war supporters did donate to the cause, buying and sending Oakley sunglasss (they offer protection from debris in explosions) to the troops for example.

Buffet and Gates say they want to give more money to the government, yet they give it to their own favorite charities (and take a tax deduction for it) instead. It's hypocritical in every way. Do they think they're the only rich guys donating to charities?

eta: Why is Buffet giving his money to the Gates Foundation if he thinks the government would do a better job with it? And if he doesn't think the government will manage his money better why claim he wants to pay more in taxes? Buffet could will it all to the government if he wanted.

leftysergeant
10th September 2009, 07:19 AM
It's not at all a red herring. Many Iraq war supporters did donate to the cause, buying and sending Oakley sunglasss (they offer protection from debris in explosions) to the troops for example.

And Al Franken helped pay for helmet liners to reduce brain trauma because the Shrub and Rummy were too stupid to insist that the troops get those liners.

Buffet was probably smarter giving money to causes that he thought would do some good rather than to turn it over to a bunch of lunatics who would waste it on things like protecting oil fields from their rightful owners until our companies could come in and pump them dry.

Buffet and Gates say they want to give more money to the government, yet they give it to their own favorite charities (and take a tax deduction for it) instead.

And they thus make up for some of the things that Republicans have refused to address. In the case of Gates and Buffet, yes, they do know better than the government (or at least government as the Reaganites would frame it) what to do with their money. They actually give back to the infrastructure and do something to preserve and protect the human and natural resources from which they derive their income. You give the more typical entrepreneuriial lout a tax cut, and he just goes and builds another factory in Lower Slobovia and screws over the American working class.

It's hypocritical in every way. Do they think they're the only rich guys donating to charities?

To that level, yes. And it is obviously at a rate higher, in proportion, to their own wealth. And I have to wonder whether some of those "charities" that other wealthy people support are really all that good for the world.

WildCat
10th September 2009, 07:32 AM
Buffet was probably smarter giving money to causes that he thought would do some good rather than to turn it over to a bunch of lunatics who would waste it on things like protecting oil fields from their rightful owners until our companies could come in and pump them dry.



And they thus make up for some of the things that Republicans have refused to address. In the case of Gates and Buffet, yes, they do know better than the government (or at least government as the Reaganites would frame it) what to do with their money.
Which is exactly my point. If the government took more of their money they'd have less of it to give to their favorite causes. Nobody, after all, can take it with them when they die.

leftysergeant
10th September 2009, 07:39 AM
If the government took more of their money they'd have less of it to give to their favorite causes.

If government woul;d collect adequate taxes to do what needed to be done, there would be less need for the services that Buffet and Gates, through their voluntarily donations, provide.

Nobody, after all, can take it with them when they die.

Actually, some slime ball plastic-cup mogul who has moved his legal presence to a mailbox in Bermuda or some such place, thinks he has figured out how to do that by being cryogenicly preserved until there is a cure for what killed him. He thinks that should spare his assets the tax axe.

Sorry, but when brain function stops, you're dead, sucker.

Puppycow
10th September 2009, 07:48 AM
It's not at all a red herring.
Do you think something needs to be done to reduce the deficit, yes or no?

WildCat
10th September 2009, 07:51 AM
Do you think something needs to be done to reduce the deficit, yes or no?
Absolutely. But I won't be looking to grandstanding hypocritical jackasses for advice on how to do that.

Puppycow
10th September 2009, 08:04 AM
Absolutely.

Are what are you personally doing to reduce the federal deficit?

leftysergeant
10th September 2009, 08:05 AM
Do you think something needs to be done to reduce the deficit, yes or no?

Actually, I think Obama hinted at one step in his speech. He blames a lot of it on the big tax cuts. They expire next year.

Do not look for him to sign any bill extending them.

DDWW
10th September 2009, 08:06 AM
I don’t care anymore what the national debt is or what the deficit is. Run them both up. I want free health care, a free house, free automobile…this will all be for my “general welfare of my nation.”

BTW: I have no children and about 20 more years to live. You yutts can figure it all out after that.


DD (Thanks!!!)WW

WildCat
10th September 2009, 08:24 AM
Are what are you personally doing to reduce the federal deficit?
I vote for candidates who lose mostly.

I'm not against raising taxes necessarily, but I'd like to see serious efforts made to reduce waste and inefficiency in government. Didn't Obama say just yesterday that (I'm paraphrasing) health care cost reduction is deficit reduction? Certainly there's some low-hanging fruit there. Why do we have multiple federal agencies (Medicare, Medicaid, VA, SCHIP, there's even one for Indian health care) doing basically the same thing but for different groups? Those could be consolidated and streamlined. You could intrroduce real competition to health care delivery by gettiong away from employer-based health insurance in favor of individuals buying it themselves, this would be as simple as taxing health insurance benefits and allowing deductions for private purchases (subsidizing those who can't afford it). And allowing insurance to be bought across state lines. Rank hospitals (and make this public)according to cost and results, and discourage/prohibit public moneys from being spent on low ranking ones. Reform the patent system so drug companies can't get patents for superficial changes to existing drugs.

If taxes must be increased do it in a way that doesn't discourage economic growth. You may hate your boss, but if he doesn't have a job neither do you.

Eliminate the cap on Social Security contributions, and penalize those able-bodied persons who retire early in an amount large enough to make up for their lost Social Security and Medicare contributions. And yes, means test retirees so the wealthy don't draw from those systems. We can't afford that any more.

Just a few ideas off the top of my head, is that a good enough start?

GreNME
10th September 2009, 08:40 AM
Just a few ideas off the top of my head, is that a good enough start?

That all sounds like Socialism to me. ;)

leftysergeant
10th September 2009, 09:15 AM
Why do we have multiple federal agencies (Medicare, Medicaid, VA, SCHIP, there's even one for Indian health care) doing basically the same thing but for different groups?

Because they were brought into exostance to address specific issues. Medicare was just a logical extension of Social Security. It is there for people who have paid into it and are no longer employed. I have to admit that I do not fully understand why Medicaid should exist under different rules. SCHIP is just a stop-gap to make sure that children do not suffer for their parent's inability to insure them. UHC would, of course, reduce or eliminate the need for Medicaid and SCHIP.

The VA was the firsat of all of these established and for good reason. You take several years out of a man's life, you owe him something for the harm he suffers. It should be funded fully, regardless of cost, because it is part of the bargain we make with soldiers in exchange for the risks they take on our behalf. Further, consolidating the veterans in one system, separate from the general population actually enhances the ability of the government and veteran's support groups to track health issues peculiar to veterans and identify clusters of a particular ailment and perhaps identify the source. There is also a social elemnt that is important to the recovery process for long-term treatment, in that a group of veterans will be more likely to understand each other and form a therapeutic community. (I am speaking here from personal experience, having had easily several hundred thousand dollars worth of benefit from the system over a period of about 30 years.

Those could be consolidated and streamlined.

Only partly. VA should NEVER be subject to an enrolment fee or premiums of any kind. Medicaid and SCHIP would simply be unneeded under the Obama plans.

You could intrroduce real competition to health care delivery by gettiong away from employer-based health insurance in favor of individuals buying it themselves, this would be as simple as taxing health insurance benefits and allowing deductions for private purchases (subsidizing those who can't afford it).

Sounded to me like that was already in the Obama plan.

And allowing insurance to be bought across state lines.

Why, if all insurers are held to the same standards? Some states can offer cheaper health insurance because they also allow worse pay for the lower-ranking bean counters. Don't feed the slave drivers, please.

Rank hospitals (and make this public)according to cost and results, and discourage/prohibit public moneys from being spent on low ranking ones.

Which just encourages the privatization of more public hospitals (if we have and left at all nowadays.) That is part of the source of the problem.

Reform the patent system so drug companies can't get patents for superficial changes to existing drugs.

That's actually the only thing you have said here that makes sense.

If taxes must be increased do it in a way that doesn't discourage economic growth. You may hate your boss, but if he doesn't have a job neither do you.

More snivelling. How typical.

Puppycow
10th September 2009, 09:19 AM
I vote for candidates who lose mostly.

I'm not against raising taxes necessarilyAnd yet you feel the need to call people who favor raising taxes hypocrites if they only pay the minimum. but I'd like to see serious efforts made to reduce waste and inefficiency in government. Didn't Obama say just yesterday that (I'm paraphrasing) health care cost reduction is deficit reduction? Certainly there's some low-hanging fruit there.They're at least trying (http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/06/news/economy/obama_budget_cuts/index.htm).
If taxes must be increased do it in a way that doesn't discourage economic growth. You may hate your boss, but if he doesn't have a job neither do you.

Eliminate the cap on Social Security contributions, and penalize those able-bodied persons who retire early in an amount large enough to make up for their lost Social Security and Medicare contributions. And yes, means test retirees so the wealthy don't draw from those systems. We can't afford that any more.

Just a few ideas off the top of my head, is that a good enough start?

This is all very reasonable, but I have to ask, would any of those changes affect you personally? Because by your criteria you are a "hypocritical grandstanding jackass" if you think taxes should be raised but only pay the minimum that you are legally required, would you really personally pay more into the social security system than you are legally required to or forgo payments you are legally entitled to collect if the changes you propose are not made?

The services provided by government are not the sort that are especially attractive for philanthropy (who wants to donate to a prison or a bridge or an aircraft carrier?). And yes, there is waste. But it's not hypocritical to have the position that taxes should be raised if you only pay the minimum.

Skeptic
10th September 2009, 10:00 AM
The stimulus? Since we don't know what the counterfactual is (counterfactuals are), we can't be sure how well it is working or whether it was worth it. This if for economists to argue about and it's doubtful that they will ever arrive at a consensus. They're still arguing about the Great Depression and the New Deal. So you may as well ask whether the New Deal worked or was worth it. We'll never know for sure.

So essentially, Obama has blown a trillion on something whose effect is not measurable and whether it did, or did not, do anything is impossible to know?

Somehow I don't think you really think this. I think you're in such a philosophical mood -- "how can we tell if something works or not"? -- because every reasonable indicator (from US unemployment rate to compating US growth rate to that of other, non-stimulated countries, or whatever) shows the stimulus had little or no effect, certainly not an effect worth a trillion.

Ziggurat
10th September 2009, 10:01 AM
Yeah, but this whole line of argument is a red herring. For one thing, he's giving his money to charity.

Exactly: he thinks he knows how that money should be spent better than a bureaucrat in Washington, so he spends it through channels he has some control over. But he doesn't believe other people know how to spend their money better than a bureaucrat in Washington. As Wildcat said, it's hypocrisy.

For another, just because you favor a certain general policy doesn't mean you should volunteer to individually pay higher taxes that would result from said policy.

Translation: he's willing to be taxed more in order to tax other people more. Sure, that's a logical position, but it makes him a hypocrite and a liar, because he claims that he's not being taxed enough. He can remedy that situation without involvement from anyone else, but he does not. He doesn't think he's not being taxed enough, he thinks other people aren't being taxed enough, but is unwilling to say it so plainly.

Do people who support wars of choice like Iraq donate extra money to the DOD? Do you think they should "lead by example"?

That's simply not an equivalent comparison. We're talking about the levying of taxes, not how those taxes are spent. If a war supporter claimed that we should all pay more in taxes to support the war, but wasn't contributing more himself, that might be equivalent, but I can't recall that ever happening.

Dancing David
10th September 2009, 10:13 AM
Do you think something needs to be done to reduce the deficit, yes or no?

Yes. Recession over first. Cuts across the board for all general revenue programs, flat income tax, no deductions/no EIC and social secuirity unraided.

lomiller
10th September 2009, 10:26 AM
Now, if he really thinks that no law prevents him from paying more.

Similarly there is no law preventing you from paying more, so my question still stands, why haven’t you volunteered to step in and fill the gap?

dudalb
10th September 2009, 11:07 AM
I am not against raising taxes for the higher income brackets, I am just afraid it won't stop there.
Americans will not tolerate a European level of taxation for the average income. They just won't.

oldhat
10th September 2009, 11:12 AM
So essentially, Obama has blown a trillion on something whose effect is not measurable and whether it did, or did not, do anything is impossible to know?

Somehow I don't think you really think this. I think you're in such a philosophical mood -- "how can we tell if something works or not"? -- because every reasonable indicator (from US unemployment rate to compating US growth rate to that of other, non-stimulated countries, or whatever) shows the stimulus had little or no effect, certainly not an effect worth a trillion.

Care to back up those eye-popping hitherto-unknown-to-reality claims with some evidence or are you in a Glenn Beck kinda mood?

WildCat
10th September 2009, 11:45 AM
Because they were brought into exostance to address specific issues. Medicare was just a logical extension of Social Security. It is there for people who have paid into it and are no longer employed. I have to admit that I do not fully understand why Medicaid should exist under different rules. SCHIP is just a stop-gap to make sure that children do not suffer for their parent's inability to insure them. UHC would, of course, reduce or eliminate the need for Medicaid and SCHIP.

The VA was the firsat of all of these established and for good reason. You take several years out of a man's life, you owe him something for the harm he suffers. It should be funded fully, regardless of cost, because it is part of the bargain we make with soldiers in exchange for the risks they take on our behalf. Further, consolidating the veterans in one system, separate from the general population actually enhances the ability of the government and veteran's support groups to track health issues peculiar to veterans and identify clusters of a particular ailment and perhaps identify the source. There is also a social elemnt that is important to the recovery process for long-term treatment, in that a group of veterans will be more likely to understand each other and form a therapeutic community. (I am speaking here from personal experience, having had easily several hundred thousand dollars worth of benefit from the system over a period of about 30 years.



Only partly. VA should NEVER be subject to an enrolment fee or premiums of any kind. Medicaid and SCHIP would simply be unneeded under the Obama plans.
No reason that veterans simply couldn't get 100% subsidized, is there? Why have an entirely different bureaucracy just for them?

Sounded to me like that was already in the Obama plan.
Yep.

Why, if all insurers are held to the same standards?
They're not. Every state has different regulations. Why not a single federal agency regulating them? It would free the states to put their money elsewhere.

Some states can offer cheaper health insurance because they also allow worse pay for the lower-ranking bean counters. Don't feed the slave drivers, please.
I have no idea what you're trying to say here.

Which just encourages the privatization of more public hospitals (if we have and left at all nowadays.) That is part of the source of the problem.
Why would we need public hospitals if everyone has quality health insurance? And wouldn't such a ranking system encourage non-profit and low-cost hospitals over shareholder-owned "health care as a business" for-profit hospitals?

And btw, we have one of the largest public hospitals in the country here in Cook County. It's named after a guy whose own family wouldn't send him there after he had a stroke a few years ago. It's run as a patronage jobs machine for connected political hacks and their relatives, a complete mess. It sucks up gobs of taxpayer dollars and is the main reason we in Chicago have the highest sales tax in the nation which is driving all our retail stores to nearby counties. I wouldn't shed a tear to see it go private.

More snivelling. How typical.
So you'd be happy if your boss went out of business? You must love this current recession!

lomiller
10th September 2009, 11:45 AM
Americans will not tolerate a European level of taxation for the average income. They just won't.

That’s because they’ve been fed a pipe dream that spending on programs they support have nothing to do with the taxes they need to pay. Realistically the US faces the choice between raising taxes or cutting spending on the big ticket budget items, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and Defense. The Party most adamant about not raising taxes is equally adamant about not cutting those programs.

WildCat
10th September 2009, 11:58 AM
And yet you feel the need to call people who favor raising taxes hypocrites if they only pay the minimum. They're at least trying (http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/06/news/economy/obama_budget_cuts/index.htm).
It's like a morbidly obese guy telling you you need to lose 15 lbs. while he's gorging himself on fried chicken and ice cream. It may well be a good idea, but how can you take him seriously?

This is all very reasonable, but I have to ask, would any of those changes affect you personally? Because by your criteria you are a "hypocritical grandstanding jackass" if you think taxes should be raised but only pay the minimum that you are legally required, would you really personally pay more into the social security system than you are legally required to or forgo payments you are legally entitled to collect if the changes you propose are not made?
It's not at all the same. Personally I'd be better off if I got to keep the money I pay for SS. But since I don't see any way to abolish that monster this would at least mitigate the effects and perhaps keep it solvent. In case you don't knoew, I'm not a billionaire or even a millionaire. I'm barely a thousandaire. ;)

The services provided by government are not the sort that are especially attractive for philanthropy (who wants to donate to a prison or a bridge or an aircraft carrier?). And yes, there is waste. But it's not hypocritical to have the position that taxes should be raised if you only pay the minimum.
Oh please. Buffet said what he said in order to grandstand and draw attention to himself. The problems with the deficit are far more complex than a simple "raise taxes on capital gains". If Buffet actually comes up with a well thought-out multi-tired approach to the deficit I'll have a lot more respect for him. But from where I sit he's more into self-promotion than anything else. I'm surprised he doesn't do a Donald Trump-style reality show.

WildCat
10th September 2009, 12:00 PM
Similarly there is no law preventing you from paying more, so my question still stands, why haven’t you volunteered to step in and fill the gap?
I'm not going to the media lamenting that I'm not paying enough taxes, am I?

lomiller
10th September 2009, 01:04 PM
Nope, you prefer to have the US government borrow from China then actually help pay for anything yourself.

Towlie
10th September 2009, 01:23 PM
Americans will not tolerate a European level of taxation for the average income. They just won't.Eventually, the folks abroad who lend us all that money are going to reach their tolerance limit as well. Then what are we going to do?

WildCat
10th September 2009, 01:40 PM
Nope, you prefer to have the US government borrow from China then actually help pay for anything yourself.
I really don't care who we borrow money from. I'd prefer we not borrow so much in the first place.

Perhaps you missed my other posts in this thread?

Darat
10th September 2009, 01:41 PM
Eventually, the folks abroad who lend us all that money are going to reach their tolerance limit as well. Then what are we going to do?

Sell them your children.

Darat
10th September 2009, 01:49 PM
I am not against raising taxes for the higher income brackets, I am just afraid it won't stop there.
Americans will not tolerate a European level of taxation for the average income. They just won't.

The tax rates in Europe vary from a hell of lot less than the USA to a hell of lot more.

mhaze
10th September 2009, 01:52 PM
Sell them your children.Ummm...

Not sure how to put this but they didn't want them...

they said they wanted...

Yours.

Darat
10th September 2009, 01:58 PM
Mine have been mortgaged for decades, and I am looking at getting a PS3 later this year so I'll also be mortgaging my great-great-grandchildren.

lomiller
10th September 2009, 02:45 PM
Perhaps you missed my other posts in this thread?
I have, they are seriously lacking.

Why don’t you take this opportunity to spell out:

a) What specific programs you think there would be popular support for cutting, and how much you think will be saved.

b) Who should have their taxes raised and by how much.

If you really don’t support borrowing a + b should be sufficient to balance the US budget, if not their your pretty much full of it.

WildCat
10th September 2009, 03:11 PM
I have, they are seriously lacking.

Why don’t you take this opportunity to spell out:

a) What specific programs you think there would be popular support for cutting, and how much you think will be saved.

b) Who should have their taxes raised and by how much.

If you really don’t support borrowing a + b should be sufficient to balance the US budget, if not their your pretty much full of it.
I've already thrown out some ideas. I'm not about to commission a million-dollar study to satisfy your pedantic asshattery. I certainly don't see any facts, figures, repurcussions, economic impact studies, etc. from you wrt your position. In fact, you haven't even bothered to offer any specific ideas at all.

Feel free to do so, I'm all ears lomiller. I won't hold my breath waiting.

leftysergeant
10th September 2009, 06:09 PM
Eventually, the folks abroad who lend us all that money are going to reach their tolerance limit as well. Then what are we going to do?

There is money to be made in the slave trade. Round up all the Black Water and KBR management people and sell them to China.

Brainster
10th September 2009, 06:16 PM
I'm not quite sure what is ironic in that. Are you agreeing with the OP or is that supposed to be sarcastic (or ironic)? BTW, it is not necessary to think of rich people as "evil" to think they should pay higher taxes. Warren Buffet thinks he should pay higher taxes.

True, the top x% pay more than everyone else, but their after-tax earnings are also much higher than everyone else.

The irony is that the class warriors (not including you in that group) are moaning about the enormous debt on our children, when in fact the children who will have to assume that debt are the kids of the very wealthy, and/or the kids who will grow up to be very wealthy. Of course, the class warriors despise the children of the wealthy, referring to them as having "won the birth lottery".

oldhat
10th September 2009, 06:26 PM
I'm fascinated by the sense of victimization for having to do stuff like pay taxes by the right wing in this country.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html

It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office. Further, in conversation it came up that Mr. Buffett doesn’t use any tax planning at all. He just pays as the Internal Revenue Code requires. “How can this be fair?” he asked of how little he pays relative to his employees. “How can this be right?”

Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare.

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

Puppycow
10th September 2009, 06:42 PM
The irony is that the class warriors (not including you in that group) are moaning about the enormous debt on our childrenPeople like John McCain and John Boehner are class warriors?
, when in fact the children who will have to assume that debt are the kids of the very wealthy, and/or the kids who will grow up to be very wealthy. Of course, the class warriors despise the children of the wealthy, referring to them as having "won the birth lottery".I think you are confused about who is complaining about the debt. Last time I check it was the republicans.

Puppycow
10th September 2009, 07:02 PM
Translation: he's willing to be taxed more in order to tax other people more. Sure, that's a logical positionI agree., but it makes him a hypocrite and a liar, because he claims that he's not being taxed enough. He can remedy that situation without involvement from anyone else, but he does not. He doesn't think he's not being taxed enough, he thinks other people aren't being taxed enough, but is unwilling to say it so plainly.It doesn't make him a hypocrite because that's not his position. His position isn't that he, Warren Buffett, personally should be taxed more but rather that everyone in his socioeconomic class should be. You are free to disagree, but it is not hypocritical.

It's a collective action issue. Certain collective actions may be worth it for individuals to participate in, provided that enough other people also pitch in, but are not worth it for one individual to try to do by himself. If Warren Buffett as an individual paid a slightly higher tax rate, it would still only amount to less than a rounding error for the kind of money the federal government deals with, but if everyone in his socioeconomic class paid a slightly higher tax rate, it would make amount to something significant.

Basically, what you're saying is that he is a hypocrite if he doesn't make a symbolic gesture that would be a real sacrifice as an individual but would have no significant effect for the national debt. I disagree.

leftysergeant
10th September 2009, 07:17 PM
The irony is that the class warriors (not including you in that group) are moaning about the enormous debt on our children, when in fact the children who will have to assume that debt are the kids of the very wealthy, and/or the kids who will grow up to be very wealthy. Of course, the class warriors despise the children of the wealthy, referring to them as having "won the birth lottery".

Warren Buffet has the right idea. He intends to leave his children enough money that they can do anything, but not enough that they can do nothing.

Screw the children of the Erik Prince types. Their daddy didn't really earn what he has anyway, so why should I care if there is nothing left for them if the inheritance tax comes back?

Puppycow
10th September 2009, 07:24 PM
I'm not going to the media lamenting that I'm not paying enough taxes, am I? When you're Warren Buffett, you don't "go to the media," the media comes to you. ;)

As an aside, here (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/01/business/01buffett.html?_r=1&oref=slogin/) you have a guy who could afford to live a lifesytle that would put Hugh Hefner to shame and he stayed married to his first wife "until death did them part."

lomiller
10th September 2009, 07:44 PM
I'm not about to commission a million-dollar study


I asked for specific, that doesn’t mean “down to the penny”. Since you seem to be having trouble answering I’ll even give you a starting point

Here is the discretionary budget for the United States by department. Which departments would you cut and by how much to save $600 billion. That wouldn’t balance the budget in 2010, but future deficits are expected to be smaller.

* $663.7 billion (+12.7%) - Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
* $78.7 billion (-1.7%) - Department of Health and Human Services
US receipt and expenditure estimates for fiscal year 2010.
* $72.5 billion (+2.8%) - Department of Transportation
* $52.5 billion (+10.3%) - Department of Veterans Affairs
* $51.7 billion (+40.9%) - Department of State and Other International Programs
* $47.5 billion (+18.5%) - Department of Housing and Urban Development
* $46.7 billion (+12.8%) - Department of Education
* $42.7 billion (+1.2%) - Department of Homeland Security
* $26.3 billion (-0.4%) - Department of Energy
* $26.0 billion (+8.8%) - Department of Agriculture
* $23.9 billion (-6.3%) - Department of Justice
* $18.7 billion (+5.1%) - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
* $13.8 billion (+48.4%) - Department of Commerce
* $13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of Labor
* $13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of the Treasury
* $12.0 billion (+6.2%) - Department of the Interior
* $10.5 billion (+34.6%) - Environmental Protection Agency
* $9.7 billion (+10.2%) - Social Security Administration
* $7.0 billion (+1.4%) - National Science Foundation
* $5.1 billion (-3.8%) - Corps of Engineers
* $5.0 billion (+100%) - National Infrastructure Bank
* $1.1 billion (+22.2%) - Corporation for National and Community Service
* $0.7 billion (0.0%) - Small Business Administration
* $0.6 billion (-14.3%) - General Services Administration
* $19.8 billion (+3.7%) - Other Agencies
* $105 billion - Other

WildCat
10th September 2009, 08:03 PM
I asked for specific, that doesn’t mean “down to the penny”. Since you seem to be having trouble answering I’ll even give you a starting point

Here is the discretionary budget for the United States by department. Which departments would you cut and by how much to save $600 billion. That wouldn’t balance the budget in 2010, but future deficits are expected to be smaller.

* $663.7 billion (+12.7%) - Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
* $78.7 billion (-1.7%) - Department of Health and Human Services
US receipt and expenditure estimates for fiscal year 2010.
* $72.5 billion (+2.8%) - Department of Transportation
* $52.5 billion (+10.3%) - Department of Veterans Affairs
* $51.7 billion (+40.9%) - Department of State and Other International Programs
* $47.5 billion (+18.5%) - Department of Housing and Urban Development
* $46.7 billion (+12.8%) - Department of Education
* $42.7 billion (+1.2%) - Department of Homeland Security
* $26.3 billion (-0.4%) - Department of Energy
* $26.0 billion (+8.8%) - Department of Agriculture
* $23.9 billion (-6.3%) - Department of Justice
* $18.7 billion (+5.1%) - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
* $13.8 billion (+48.4%) - Department of Commerce
* $13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of Labor
* $13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of the Treasury
* $12.0 billion (+6.2%) - Department of the Interior
* $10.5 billion (+34.6%) - Environmental Protection Agency
* $9.7 billion (+10.2%) - Social Security Administration
* $7.0 billion (+1.4%) - National Science Foundation
* $5.1 billion (-3.8%) - Corps of Engineers
* $5.0 billion (+100%) - National Infrastructure Bank
* $1.1 billion (+22.2%) - Corporation for National and Community Service
* $0.7 billion (0.0%) - Small Business Administration
* $0.6 billion (-14.3%) - General Services Administration
* $19.8 billion (+3.7%) - Other Agencies
* $105 billion - Other
I never said I would reduce costs by cutting budgets. That's an idiotic way to reduce costs. If you read my posts you'd see I would like to see structural changes, not mindless budget cuts with no plan. All that is likely to do is reduce services and increase inefficiency.

Now, would you like to comment on what I actually proposed, instead of this nonsense?

And still waiting for your plan lomiller. If you want to increase taxes be sure to list exactly how much you think these would bring in, as well as a detailed report on how this affects economic growth and employment. Be sure to show your work! Your standards, of course. :rolleyes:

lomiller
10th September 2009, 09:01 PM
I never said I would reduce costs by cutting budgets.

That has the be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. A budget is a plan for where you are going to spend money, so you just said you think you can spend less money without actually spending less money. Now are you going to say where money can be saved or not?


And still waiting for your plan lomiller.

I don’t recall ever saying I had a plan, I’m simply point out the fact that you are engaged in nothing more then handwaving. You complain about deficits but you oppose both cuts in spending or increases in taxes. How do you expect deficits to go away without one or both of these, magic pixy dust?

Puppycow
10th September 2009, 09:16 PM
Getting back to the points I made in the OP and #16, I still contend that people are overexercised about the size of the debt. There's no reason why we have to be taking a giant axe to the budget this year or next year, or any big hurry to raise taxes this year or next year. This can wait until the economy is growing strong and unemployment is falling.

Skeptic
10th September 2009, 10:20 PM
Sell them your children.

The way the USA is borrowing and the Chinese are buying T-bills right now, that's more or less what the USA is doing. The children are just going to work for the foreigners by the roundabout way of paying tons of taxes to pay back the debt, instead of the direct way of being sold.

corplinx
10th September 2009, 10:39 PM
I'm fascinated by the sense of victimization for having to do stuff like pay taxes by the right wing in this country.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html

Warren Buffet isn't the average person in the highest tax bracket. He makes his money from investment income which is taxed differently than normal income and for good reasons, we try to encourage investment in the US and investment income is a huge part of people's retirement plans. You've earned it. You keep it.

If he made his money from selling nachos, he would be taxed at rates much higher than his secretary. Is that supposed to be significant? Not really.

Even though he pays a much lower rate than his secretary, he still pays more than his fair share of taxes.

Skeptic
11th September 2009, 12:29 AM
Apparently, the solution is very simple: all we have to do is ask Leftysergeant who really deserves to keep their money, who should be taxes at a relatively low rate, and who is the enemy of the workers, whose money should be taxes at confiscatory rates. Hey, if you can't trust an embittered spewer of communist cliches ("Investor class", "late capitalism", blah blah blah) to reach the correct solution for fair taxation, who can you trust?

The Israeli satirist Efraim Kishon wrote the definitive answer to the "it's nasty of rich people to leave money to their worthless children, when the government needs it for povery relief" argument. It's a deathbed scene -- only instead of his family, the narrator is surrounded by crying clerks, representative of various government departments, his real heirs, the people he really wanted to benefit all his life and worked so hard to leave a legacy to, as any right-thinking social-justice-promoting person would realize. It includes lines to the effect of, "I never intended my art collection to egoistically benefit my family -- my devouted wish was always that it would line the halls of the DMV office on 123 Main street, with the Rembrandt next to the 2nd assistant chairman for taxi registration's office, where it truly belongs..."; "My wardrobe, including especially my collection of trouses, I naturally leave to the IRS, as they seemed so eager trying to leave me without them all my life...", etc.

leftysergeant
11th September 2009, 04:22 AM
Apparently, the solution is very simple: all we have to do is ask Leftysergeant who really deserves to keep their money, who should be taxes at a relatively low rate, and who is the enemy of the workers, whose money should be taxes at confiscatory rates.

I specificly cited Prince because he is a parasite and a war criminal and should be in jail for the way he ripped us of in Iraq.

leftysergeant
11th September 2009, 04:40 AM
Warren Buffet isn't the average person in the highest tax bracket. He makes his money from investment income which is taxed differently than normal income and for good reasons, we try to encourage investment in the US and investment income is a huge part of people's retirement plans.

We also need the working class to have money in their pockets so that they can support the small business people around them.We need working people to bew able to make enough money that they have some hope of becoming middle class, perhaps even to open their own small businesses.

We do not need the Walton larvae coercing suppliers to move their production facilities off shore and putting American workers out of work.

There is something really disgusting about a tax policy that encourages a move away from manufacturing in this country, and shifts our ecconomy to primarily financial services. We are close to 40% now. How can we maintain that when we are no longer manufacturing anything of significance?

An across the board tax cut for investment income does nothing for the country if the most remunerative investments involve manufacturing cheap crap off shore and importing it to sell here. It does us no good if the people who are paying the lowest rates of taxes are accumulating the bulk of the wealth of the country into their own hands and not re-investing it in infrastructure and physical manufacturing plants HERE.

You've earned it. You keep it.

You have earned it when you have paid your utility bills. Giving the rich a tax break lets them off the hook for their utility bill. Somebody has to take up their slack, and it is a perversion of justice to stick working people with the bill for the investor class. What have the Walton larvae ever done for me?

If he made his money from selling nachos, he would be taxed at rates much higher than his secretary. Is that supposed to be significant? Not really.

Hog snot. It is significant. If he were making nachos, maybe hiring people to help him, and buying his ingredients from local producers, he would be creating jobs in his community and that is exactly what a fair taxation system would encourage.

Even though he pays a much lower rate than his secretary, he still pays more than his fair share of taxes.

His secretary derives nowhere near the benefit he does from the infrastructure, whether in total dollar amounts or in proportion to what she contributes to the upkeep of the infrastructure.

No, Buffet is probably not paying his share, based on the rate at which he benfits from the infrastructure, in taxes, but he does re-distribute his wealth a lot better than some of his rich buddies, and does not snivel about the taxes he pays. Have to admire him for being more of a man than the Walton punks.

Dancing David
11th September 2009, 04:56 AM
I asked for specific, that doesn’t mean “down to the penny”. Since you seem to be having trouble answering I’ll even give you a starting point

Here is the discretionary budget for the United States by department. Which departments would you cut and by how much to save $600 billion. That wouldn’t balance the budget in 2010, but future deficits are expected to be smaller.

* $663.7 billion (+12.7%) - Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
* $78.7 billion (-1.7%) - Department of Health and Human Services
US receipt and expenditure estimates for fiscal year 2010.
* $72.5 billion (+2.8%) - Department of Transportation
* $52.5 billion (+10.3%) - Department of Veterans Affairs
* $51.7 billion (+40.9%) - Department of State and Other International Programs
* $47.5 billion (+18.5%) - Department of Housing and Urban Development
* $46.7 billion (+12.8%) - Department of Education
* $42.7 billion (+1.2%) - Department of Homeland Security
* $26.3 billion (-0.4%) - Department of Energy
* $26.0 billion (+8.8%) - Department of Agriculture
* $23.9 billion (-6.3%) - Department of Justice
* $18.7 billion (+5.1%) - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
* $13.8 billion (+48.4%) - Department of Commerce
* $13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of Labor
* $13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of the Treasury
* $12.0 billion (+6.2%) - Department of the Interior
* $10.5 billion (+34.6%) - Environmental Protection Agency
* $9.7 billion (+10.2%) - Social Security Administration
* $7.0 billion (+1.4%) - National Science Foundation
* $5.1 billion (-3.8%) - Corps of Engineers
* $5.0 billion (+100%) - National Infrastructure Bank
* $1.1 billion (+22.2%) - Corporation for National and Community Service
* $0.7 billion (0.0%) - Small Business Administration
* $0.6 billion (-14.3%) - General Services Administration
* $19.8 billion (+3.7%) - Other Agencies
* $105 billion - Other

Hmmmm, cut the one at the top by 50%, the next 10 by 25% and leave th rest alone.

As if!

Dancing David
11th September 2009, 04:57 AM
Getting back to the points I made in the OP and #16, I still contend that people are overexercised about the size of the debt. There's no reason why we have to be taking a giant axe to the budget this year or next year, or any big hurry to raise taxes this year or next year. This can wait until the economy is growing strong and unemployment is falling.


Yes.

Flat tax, no deductions.

Dancing David
11th September 2009, 04:59 AM
Warren Buffet isn't the average person in the highest tax bracket. He makes his money from investment income which is taxed differently than normal income and for good reasons, we try to encourage investment in the US and investment income is a huge part of people's retirement plans. You've earned it. You keep it.

If he made his money from selling nachos, he would be taxed at rates much higher than his secretary. Is that supposed to be significant? Not really.

Even though he pays a much lower rate than his secretary, he still pays more than his fair share of taxes.


All should pay the same rate. Flat tax no deductions, corporations and private equity included.

WildCat
11th September 2009, 05:51 AM
That has the be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. A budget is a plan for where you are going to spend money, so you just said you think you can spend less money without actually spending less money. Now are you going to say where money can be saved or not?
Is English your native tongue? I never mentioned budgets, you did. I recommended structural changes which would reduce costs and slow down health care inflation. Don't put words in my mouth.

I don’t recall ever saying I had a plan,
Of course you don't have a plan. That's what makes you so special.

I’m simply point out the fact that you are engaged in nothing more then handwaving.
I have handwaved nothing away.

You complain about deficits but you oppose both cuts in spending or increases in taxes.
Reading comprehension FAIL. Once again, is English your natiove tongue?

How do you expect deficits to go away without one or both of these, magic pixy dust?
Once again, I recommended structural changes which would reduce costs and slow down the rate of health care cost inflation. You are interested only in pedantic asshattery apparently, maybe next time you'll actually address what I said, rather than the strawman you've constructed?

Fishstick
11th September 2009, 07:06 AM
I asked for specific, that doesn’t mean “down to the penny”. Since you seem to be having trouble answering I’ll even give you a starting point

Here is the discretionary budget for the United States by department. Which departments would you cut and by how much to save $600 billion. That wouldn’t balance the budget in 2010, but future deficits are expected to be smaller.

* $663.7 billion (+12.7%) - Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
* $78.7 billion (-1.7%) - Department of Health and Human Services
US receipt and expenditure estimates for fiscal year 2010.
* $72.5 billion (+2.8%) - Department of Transportation
* $52.5 billion (+10.3%) - Department of Veterans Affairs
* $51.7 billion (+40.9%) - Department of State and Other International Programs
* $47.5 billion (+18.5%) - Department of Housing and Urban Development
* $46.7 billion (+12.8%) - Department of Education
* $42.7 billion (+1.2%) - Department of Homeland Security
* $26.3 billion (-0.4%) - Department of Energy
* $26.0 billion (+8.8%) - Department of Agriculture
* $23.9 billion (-6.3%) - Department of Justice
* $18.7 billion (+5.1%) - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
* $13.8 billion (+48.4%) - Department of Commerce
* $13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of Labor
* $13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of the Treasury
* $12.0 billion (+6.2%) - Department of the Interior
* $10.5 billion (+34.6%) - Environmental Protection Agency
* $9.7 billion (+10.2%) - Social Security Administration
* $7.0 billion (+1.4%) - National Science Foundation
* $5.1 billion (-3.8%) - Corps of Engineers
* $5.0 billion (+100%) - National Infrastructure Bank
* $1.1 billion (+22.2%) - Corporation for National and Community Service
* $0.7 billion (0.0%) - Small Business Administration
* $0.6 billion (-14.3%) - General Services Administration
* $19.8 billion (+3.7%) - Other Agencies
* $105 billion - Other

Let's start by halving defense (Expecting: OMG WORLD POLICE/TERRISTS reply). Healthcare reform in and of itself would curb inflating healthcare costs like they have now, also resulting in a net profit on a long enough term.

lomiller
11th September 2009, 07:10 AM
Getting back to the points I made in the OP and #16, I still contend that people are overexercised about the size of the debt. There's no reason why we have to be taking a giant axe to the budget this year or next year, or any big hurry to raise taxes this year or next year. This can wait until the economy is growing strong and unemployment is falling.

There is still issues beyond 2010 and 2011. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are not sustainable, and require a combination of increased fees/premiums and decreased benefits to stay viable.

The operational part of the US budget is also not sustainable. Even accounting for economic growth the US needs a combination of tax increases and spending cuts totaling $300 billion of more. The only budget item that comes close to having that type of room to cut is military spending, but it’s my sense that Americans would prefer to increase taxes then cut military spending.

The right wingers of course want to have their cake and eat it to, and think they can get tax cuts and increased military spending, which is absurd.

Puppycow
11th September 2009, 07:24 AM
There is still issues beyond 2010 and 2011. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are not sustainable, and require a combination of increased fees/premiums and decreased benefits to stay viable.

The operational part of the US budget is also not sustainable. Even accounting for economic growth the US needs a combination of tax increases and spending cuts totaling $300 billion of more. The only budget item that comes close to having that type of room to cut is military spending, but it’s my sense that Americans would prefer to increase taxes then cut military spending.

The right wingers of course want to have their cake and eat it to, and think they can get tax cuts and increased military spending, which is absurd.

Yes, but all of that can be dealt with in the years ahead. After we wind down the current wars, we need to seriously rethink our foreign policy. This is just the modern-day PC version of "white-man's burden." Bringing civilization to the savages, except we use more sensitive language. But the essential idea and arrogant attitude and need to be responsible for fixing everything that happens on the globe is the same. I think the Swiss have a better idea.

Ziggurat
11th September 2009, 10:15 AM
Basically, what you're saying is that he is a hypocrite if he doesn't make a symbolic gesture that would be a real sacrifice as an individual but would have no significant effect for the national debt. I disagree.

No, I'm saying he's a hypocrite because his actions are not consistent with his professed beliefs. If he wants OTHER people taxed more, he should say so. But he doesn't. He claims that he wants everyone like himself taxed more, but he can remedy his own status in that regard without any action from anyone else. So clearly he doesn't think he's not being taxed enough, he thinks other people aren't being taxed enough, and he's just willing to get taxed more in order to tax others more.

joobz
11th September 2009, 10:40 AM
No, I'm saying he's a hypocrite because his actions are not consistent with his professed beliefs. If he wants OTHER people taxed more, he should say so. But he doesn't. He claims that he wants everyone like himself taxed more, but he can remedy his own status in that regard without any action from anyone else. So clearly he doesn't think he's not being taxed enough, he thinks other people aren't being taxed enough, and he's just willing to get taxed more in order to tax others more.
I'm having a hard time understanding your point in the bolded section. Can you explain what status he could remedy and then further explain why other people wouldn't be able to remedy this status in the the same way afforded to him?

ZirconBlue
11th September 2009, 12:14 PM
No, I'm saying he's a hypocrite because his actions are not consistent with his professed beliefs. If he wants OTHER people taxed more, he should say so. But he doesn't. He claims that he wants everyone like himself taxed more, but he can remedy his own status in that regard without any action from anyone else. So clearly he doesn't think he's not being taxed enough, he thinks other people aren't being taxed enough, and he's just willing to get taxed more in order to tax others more.

He doesn't "want to be taxed more". He is willing to be taxed more as part of a larger change in tax policy. "Paying more taxes" isn't his personal goal. Increasing tax revenue is the goal. Him personally paying more doesn't make significant progress toward that goal. Raising taxes on a group of people, of which he is a part, does.

Ziggurat
11th September 2009, 12:52 PM
He doesn't "want to be taxed more". He is willing to be taxed more as part of a larger change in tax policy.

Exactly: what he wants is for other people to be taxed more. But he's not honest about what he wants.

"Paying more taxes" isn't his personal goal. Increasing tax revenue is the goal.

No. He doesn't simply want increased tax revenue. And his specific recommendations are far from the only way to increase tax revenues. In fact, I don't recall him even mentioning raising revenues as the goal.

quixotecoyote
11th September 2009, 01:45 PM
Exactly: what he wants is for other people to be taxed more. But he's not honest about what he wants.

Now you're just making things up.

joobz
11th September 2009, 03:43 PM
Exactly: what he wants is for other people to be taxed more. But he's not honest about what he wants.
I'm starting to think you aren't being honest here.
Can you explain what you meant by
"but he can remedy his own status in that regard without any action from anyone else. "

corplinx
11th September 2009, 03:54 PM
We also need the working class to have money in their pockets so that they can support the small business people around them.We need working people to bew able to make enough money that they have some hope of becoming middle class, perhaps even to open their own small businesses.

We do not need the Walton larvae coercing suppliers to move their production facilities off shore and putting American workers out of work.

There is something really disgusting about a tax policy that encourages a move away from manufacturing in this country, and shifts our ecconomy to primarily financial services. We are close to 40% now. How can we maintain that when we are no longer manufacturing anything of significance?

An across the board tax cut for investment income does nothing for the country if the most remunerative investments involve manufacturing cheap crap off shore and importing it to sell here. It does us no good if the people who are paying the lowest rates of taxes are accumulating the bulk of the wealth of the country into their own hands and not re-investing it in infrastructure and physical manufacturing plants HERE.



You have earned it when you have paid your utility bills. Giving the rich a tax break lets them off the hook for their utility bill. Somebody has to take up their slack, and it is a perversion of justice to stick working people with the bill for the investor class. What have the Walton larvae ever done for me?



Hog snot. It is significant. If he were making nachos, maybe hiring people to help him, and buying his ingredients from local producers, he would be creating jobs in his community and that is exactly what a fair taxation system would encourage.



His secretary derives nowhere near the benefit he does from the infrastructure, whether in total dollar amounts or in proportion to what she contributes to the upkeep of the infrastructure.

No, Buffet is probably not paying his share, based on the rate at which he benfits from the infrastructure, in taxes, but he does re-distribute his wealth a lot better than some of his rich buddies, and does not snivel about the taxes he pays. Have to admire him for being more of a man than the Walton punks.

He could pay more in taxes easily. He would just have to raise his own income. His actual salary from Berkshire Hathaway is not very high.

It's pretty clear you don't know much about the "Buff".

leftysergeant
11th September 2009, 04:06 PM
He could pay more in taxes easily. He would just have to raise his own income. His actual salary from Berkshire Hathaway is not very high.

You mean he is not a slash-and-burn quick buck operator?

It's pretty clear you don't know much about the "Buff".

What I do know about him tells me he is a pretty decent bloke for a capitalist.

The point of what he said about being willing to pay more in taxes is that he realizes that you have to put something back into the system you exploit for a living to keep it going.

What good would it do for him to habd over more money if the government was not going to do anything intelligent with it, or if it would just give more parasitic capitalists a free ride?

Had he turned over an extra billion or two during the Shrub's interregnum, would even an acre of wilderness been spared from ill-concieved development? Would any families have been spared foreclosure due to catastrophic illness?

Of course not. It would have just found its way up some war profiteer's nose.

Now I am perfectly cool with wringing out the war profiteers and chain saw maniacs who so benefitted from the Shrub years to pay for programs like UHC and alternative energy so that we can actually expand the job base and the tax base.

GreNME
11th September 2009, 05:09 PM
Honestly, it's as if most of you are bound and determined to not bother to comprehend what the other is saying.


WildCat: the stuff you described as being good moves to improving the deficit and balancing the budget-- the ones I jokingly called "socialist"-- are actually pretty decent ideas. In fact, they're such good ideas that they've actually come up several times over the past few decades in some form or another by one party or the other. All in all, I would say that the problem in D.C. isn't a lack of good ideas, but a distinct lack of people in the Legislative and Executive branches who are capable of carrying out those good ideas. Could you agree to that much?

Given that (as being my assessment), that's why I voted the way I did in the last election, and it's equally why I've been of the opinion for several years now that the 'reset button' in many or most (or maybe all) of the offices in Washington D.C. needs to be pushed, and not along partisan lines or with one party's dominance as a goal-- if anything, party dominance is one of the things we don't want as a whole nation. I know people who voted on the other side of he ticket because they wanted many of those same things, they just wanted those things to happen differently.

BeAChooser
11th September 2009, 05:21 PM
No, I'm saying he's a hypocrite because his actions are not consistent with his professed beliefs. If he wants OTHER people taxed more, he should say so. But he doesn't. He claims that he wants everyone like himself taxed more, but he can remedy his own status in that regard without any action from anyone else. So clearly he doesn't think he's not being taxed enough, he thinks other people aren't being taxed enough, and he's just willing to get taxed more in order to tax others more.

Exactly.

joobz
11th September 2009, 05:32 PM
Exactly.
So you understand what"
""but he can remedy his own status in that regard without any action from anyone else. " "
means?

Please tell me, because I'd love to know.

leftysergeant
11th September 2009, 06:39 PM
Buffet's position is not just that people should pay more taxes. He also would like to see government spend it wisely. All that the Shrub did with the revenues he collected was feed it to the bloated sector. It didn't get redistibuted through the community as it would have under FDR. It just rushed to the top of the food chain at an accelerated rate.

Skeptic
13th September 2009, 01:10 PM
It didn't get redistibuted through the community as it would have under FDR.

And we all know "redistributing" money is the REAL goal of government... as opposed to that old fashioned nonsense about, you know, protecting freedoms or the rule of law or public safety, etc.

The government isn't doing it's job if it isn't making damn sure the BAD people, those with money, constantly give money to the GOOD people, those without it.

joobz
14th September 2009, 10:38 AM
So you understand what"
""but he can remedy his own status in that regard without any action from anyone else. " "
means?

Please tell me, because I'd love to know.
Ziggaruat? BeAChooser? Any answer to this question?

Ziggurat
14th September 2009, 10:48 AM
So you understand what"
""but he can remedy his own status in that regard without any action from anyone else. " "
means?

Please tell me, because I'd love to know.

It means he is free to give as much additional money to the government as he wants to, so if he thinks he's not being taxed enough, he can simply pay more. Nothing is stopping him from doing so.

joobz
14th September 2009, 10:57 AM
It means he is free to give as much additional money to the government as he wants to, so if he thinks he's not being taxed enough, he can simply pay more. Nothing is stopping him from doing so.

But, then, why are you calling him a hippocrite if he thinks everyone who earns like he does should be taxed more?

Ziggurat
14th September 2009, 11:11 AM
But, then, why are you calling him a hippocrite if he thinks everyone who earns like he does should be taxed more?

Because he clearly doesn't believe that, as his actions (or lack thereof) demonstrate. If he did, he would pay more himself. What he believes is that other people should pay more in taxes. He may be willing to be taxed more so that others are taxed more, but he rather obviously doesn't think that he himself is not taxed enough. So he does not think that "everyone who earns like he does should be taxed more", he thinks that everyone else "who earns like he does should be taxed more".

GreNME
14th September 2009, 11:43 AM
Because he clearly doesn't believe that, as his actions (or lack thereof) demonstrate. If he did, he would pay more himself. What he believes is that other people should pay more in taxes. He may be willing to be taxed more so that others are taxed more, but he rather obviously doesn't think that he himself is not taxed enough. So he does not think that "everyone who earns like he does should be taxed more", he thinks that everyone else "who earns like he does should be taxed more".

Wrong, and obviously a use of creative definitions and assumptions of motive in order to justify your accusation.

Buffet feels that his wealth bracket is afforded more leeway than is required to maintain the lifestyle and earnings that his bracket enjoys. He bases this opinion on the fact that the types of income that typically make up a lion's share of inequity are not strictly taxable income in his bracket (particularly with regard to LT capital gains), which tends toward being less accessible to the lower half of the population-- which is true, since you need to have a decent amount of initial capital in order to reap appreciable benefits from the longer-term gains, and people who have only enough income to pay that month's bills usually won't be able to make use of such a system. In other words, what Buffet is against is a perceived inequity of taxation. He's critical of the execution of the tax system, he's not making the simplistic statement you're attempting to connect with him. As for why he's not a hypocrite for that opinion, I believe his history of philanthropy clearly shows that when he's not worried about hanging on to every penny he's got.

Ziggurat
14th September 2009, 11:55 AM
the types of income that typically make up a lion's share of inequity are not strictly taxable income in his bracket (particularly with regard to LT capital gains)

Long term capital gains are typically taxed at a lower rate, but they are absolutely taxable, so I have no idea what you mean by "strictly taxable".

In other words, what Buffet is against is a perceived inequity of taxation.

Oh, he may justify his position on that basis, but the fact remains: the inequality he objects to is other people not having to pay enough in taxes. He's got absolutely zero problem with himself being taxed less.

As for why he's not a hypocrite for that opinion, I believe his history of philanthropy clearly shows that when he's not worried about hanging on to every penny he's got.

That's not the point at all. It's got nothing to do with his generosity or miserliness. But why does he give that money to charity, and not to the government? Because he doesn't think the government will put it to as good a use as he can through charity. But he thinks other people will not spend the money that they would pay in taxes as wisely as government will. I've already made this point, but apparently you missed it.

joobz
14th September 2009, 11:58 AM
Because he clearly doesn't believe that, as his actions (or lack thereof) demonstrate. If he did, he would pay more himself.
But that really doesn't make sense. If he beleives that all in his tax bracket should take a higher tax burden, then him paying extra (without others paying extra) wouldn't reflect that belief. It would only reflect the belief that HE should have a disproportionately higher tax burden compared to his peers.

GreNME
14th September 2009, 01:02 PM
Long term capital gains are typically taxed at a lower rate, but they are absolutely taxable, so I have no idea what you mean by "strictly taxable".

Hyper-literalism is neither helpful to conversation nor useful in the context of what I said. You agree that long-term cap gains are taxed lower. Buffet is of the opinion that they're too low for specific systematic reasons.

Oh, he may justify his position on that basis, but the fact remains: the inequality he objects to is other people not having to pay enough in taxes. He's got absolutely zero problem with himself being taxed less.

This is amusing. You're admitting that the reasons he give might be his justification, but that what he really thinks is something different. You should go for the MDC in mind reading.

That's not the point at all. It's got nothing to do with his generosity or miserliness. But why does he give that money to charity, and not to the government? Because he doesn't think the government will put it to as good a use as he can through charity. But he thinks other people will not spend the money that they would pay in taxes as wisely as government will. I've already made this point, but apparently you missed it.

More mind-reading about his character on your part. He pays his taxes, and he's given ridiculous sums of his discretionary funds to philanthropic organizations. Whatever your assumptions of his motivations, he has put his money where his mouth is, which makes your assumptions about what he supposedly really means but isn't saying sound like ad hominem nonsense.

Ziggurat
14th September 2009, 01:32 PM
Hyper-literalism is neither helpful to conversation nor useful in the context of what I said. You agree that long-term cap gains are taxed lower. Buffet is of the opinion that they're too low for specific systematic reasons.

If you meant "taxed at a lower rate" you should have said "taxed at a lower rate". But you didn't. You said "the types of income that typically make up a lion's share of inequity are not strictly taxable income". That sounded like you were saying that it wasn't taxable, which is obviously wrong. The distinction between taxable at a lower rate and not taxable is not "hyper-literalism". Apparently you didn't mean the latter, but I still don't understand why you said "not strictly taxable" if you didn't mean that they're not taxable.

This is amusing. You're admitting that the reasons he give might be his justification, but that what he really thinks is something different.

His given justification might be reason for wanting other people to pay more in taxes. But since he doesn't pay more taxes, he has demonstrated that he doesn't think he is being under-taxed himself. No mind-reading is needed for such transparent behavior.

More mind-reading about his character on your part. He pays his taxes, and he's given ridiculous sums of his discretionary funds to philanthropic organizations.

Why has he given that money to charities and not to the government? You have yet to come to terms with that fact.

Ziggurat
14th September 2009, 01:34 PM
But that really doesn't make sense. If he beleives that all in his tax bracket should take a higher tax burden, then him paying extra (without others paying extra) wouldn't reflect that belief. It would only reflect the belief that HE should have a disproportionately higher tax burden compared to his peers.

It would reflect a belief that he should pay more in taxes. Quite simple, really. If he doesn't pay more in taxes when he can, then it is self-evident that he does not think he should pay more in taxes. His opinion about the tax rate of other people is a different matter.

joobz
14th September 2009, 01:40 PM
It would reflect a belief that he should pay more in taxes. Quite simple, really. If he doesn't pay more in taxes when he can, then it is self-evident that he does not think he should pay more in taxes. His opinion about the tax rate of other people is a different matter.
No. To pay more taxes than his peers isn't his belief. His belief is that his peer group should pay more taxes.

Quite simple, really.

lomiller
14th September 2009, 02:02 PM
No, I'm saying he's a hypocrite because his actions are not consistent with his professed beliefs. If he wants OTHER people taxed more, he should say so. But he doesn't. He claims that he wants everyone like himself taxed more, but he can remedy his own status in that regard without any action from anyone else. So clearly he doesn't think he's not being taxed enough, he thinks other people aren't being taxed enough, and he's just willing to get taxed more in order to tax others more.

Strawman much?


He’s saying he’s more then willing to pay more if others in his bracket do as well.

Hypocrisy would be saying you don’t want anyone to pay more, don’t want any spending cuts and then rail on about deficits because they don't like the party in power. That’s hypocrisy.

Ziggurat
14th September 2009, 03:35 PM
He’s saying he’s more then willing to pay more if others in his bracket do as well.

Yes: he's willing to pay more in taxes in order to get other people to pay more in taxes. That is not the same thing as thinking that he should pay more in taxes, something he clearly does not think. I've made that distinction explicit already, but apparently you either missed it or misunderstood it.

GreNME
14th September 2009, 04:27 PM
Why has he given that money to charities and not to the government? You have yet to come to terms with that fact.

To be fair, I'm not the mind-reader you seem to be.

GreNME
14th September 2009, 04:28 PM
Yes: he's willing to pay more in taxes in order to get other people to pay more in taxes. That is not the same thing as thinking that he should pay more in taxes, something he clearly does not think. I've made that distinction explicit already, but apparently you either missed it or misunderstood it.

Since he's never said what you're trying to imply, lomiller's point about your pedantry over this reeking of a strawman still seems on the money.

joobz
15th September 2009, 06:10 AM
Yes: he's willing to pay more in taxes in order to get other people to pay more in taxes. it seems in your world:

"Everyone should eat healthy." Really means: "I am willing to eat healthy in order to get other people to eat healthy."

or

"Everyone over 50 should get a colonoscopy." Really means: "I am willing to have a metal tube up my butt, in order to get other people to have metal tubes up their butts."


Man, I never knew what a hypocrite I was being. :rolleyes:

Ziggurat
15th September 2009, 06:47 AM
it seems in your world:

"Everyone should eat healthy." Really means: "I am willing to eat healthy in order to get other people to eat healthy."

If you say "everyone should eat healthy" and you eat healthy, then you could honestly want everyone to eat healthy. If you say "everyone should eat healthy" and you don't eat healthy, then you don't actually want to eat healthy yourself, though you might want other people to.

Man, I never knew what a hypocrite I was being. :rolleyes:

Are you telling people they should eat healthy but not eating healthy yourself? If so, yes, you're a hypocrite. If not, then no, you aren't. Quite simple, really.

leftysergeant
15th September 2009, 07:00 AM
His given justification might be reason for wanting other people to pay more in taxes. But since he doesn't pay more taxes, he has demonstrated that he doesn't think he is being under-taxed himself. No mind-reading is needed for such transparent behavior.
You're right. No mind-reading is needed. That still does not give you clearance to pull something out of your drawers and call it a truffle. He has flatly stated that his class is under-taxed, thus exposing himself to being taxed more heavily, anmd he is cool with that possibility.

Why has he given that money to charities and not to the government? You have yet to come to terms with that fact.

Well, DUH! When you have a government more intent on feeding the rich rather than on providing an opportunity for the poor to feed themselves, why the hell would anyone with a brain give more money to the government instead of to organizations doing the things that government should do and would do were some yuppie larva not mismanaging the whole thing.

If the government for the last eight years been making wise use of revenue, it might have made sense, would have benefitted all of mankind, for Buffet to have donated money to government.

But, when government is more interested in making dirt balls like Erik Prince rich...PFFFT!

joobz
15th September 2009, 09:32 AM
If you say "everyone should eat healthy" and you eat healthy, then you could honestly want everyone to eat healthy. If you say "everyone should eat healthy" and you don't eat healthy, then you don't actually want to eat healthy yourself, though you might want other people to.
not at all. If I don't eat healthy, it may be lack of willpower. I may want to eat healthy, but simply fail to.



Are you telling people they should eat healthy but not eating healthy yourself? If so, yes, you're a hypocrite.
Um, no.
If I tell people that "everyone should eat healthy", then regardless of what I'm currently doing, it means that I believe "everyone should eat healthy." there is no hypocricy at all.


If not, then no, you aren't. Quite simple, really.
it is simple. That's why I'm shocked you are having such a hard time with it.

Snide
15th September 2009, 10:11 AM
not at all. If I don't eat healthy, it may be lack of willpower. I may want to eat healthy, but simply fail to.I was thinking along these same lines, but willpower is not likely Buffet's issue, so it's probably not a good analogy.

There are plenty of others perhaps. An offensive lineman who thinks lineman shouldn't cheat by holding is no hypocrite for doing the same thing as long as the refs aren't doing anything about it. He didn't make the rules, he just doesn't agree with them. I'm sure there were baseball players who didn't think baseball players should be using steroids, but felt like they had to to compete as long as others were. Still not a perfect analogy, I admit...

It's the type of dilemma most of us face actually. I doubt, for example, every person who believes it should be illegal to use a cell phone while driving never uses a cell phone while driving as long as it's still legal. We face a dilemma: How strongly are we against the action v. how strongly do we want to accept the benefits of playing within the current rules that allow said action?

Sometimes we choose the latter. If that's hypocrisy by definition, then I guess there is a type of hypocrisy out there that I don't have any problem with.

Ziggurat
16th September 2009, 09:34 AM
not at all. If I don't eat healthy, it may be lack of willpower.

And are you suggesting that Bufett lacks the willpower to pay more in taxes? He wants to, but cannot? Yeah, sorry, not buying it.

joobz
16th September 2009, 09:45 AM
And are you suggesting that Bufett lacks the willpower to pay more in taxes? He wants to, but cannot? Yeah, sorry, not buying it.
No. but neither does he have the power to levy taxes. Sorry, I'm not buying your hipocricy claim.

Ziggurat
16th September 2009, 09:54 AM
No. but neither does he have the power to levy taxes.

He doesn't need that power in order to pay more himself, he would only need that to do what he ACTUALLY wants: to make other people to pay more.

joobz
16th September 2009, 10:11 AM
He doesn't need that power in order to pay more himself, he would only need that to do what he ACTUALLY wants: to make other people to pay more.
Yes, I know that you keep saying that, but it doesn't make your view any more logical or correct.
He wants EVERYONE in his category to pay more in taxes, not just him. Just him paying more doesn't acheive the desire he describes.

Ziggurat
16th September 2009, 10:19 AM
He wants EVERYONE in his category to pay more in taxes, not just him.

You keep saying that, but it's simply not true. He doesn't want to pay more taxes himself, as his own actions demonstrate.

Just him paying more doesn't acheive the desire he describes.

It would contribute to what he claims to want, so why doesn't he?

Beerina
16th September 2009, 10:22 AM
There could never be a balanced budget, aside from brief periods with windfall increases like the Internet bubble, which Congress & the Pres will happily and quickly catch up to.


The problem to be defended against is: (sob story) so we can spend a little more I'm so kindhearted re-elect me.


There's always some sob story that outweighs the usefulness (much less the propriety, which is completely ignored) of a balanced budget.

Always.



Also, the economy goes in cycles. It's not like cancer. It's like a cold. So the government comes along and pees on you when you have a cold, then claims victory in curing your cold, until the next one.

And this is one hell of a piss the current administration (and the previous one) are wizzing at the moment.

Beerina
16th September 2009, 10:26 AM
By the way, anybody who has left-leaning spend-spend-spend beliefs, keep in mind that if the budget were balanced, you'd have some $400 billion extra to spend each year on something other than interest payments.

Was all this necessary extra spending from the '70s through Reagan through the first term of Clinton (when he threw up his hands and said, "I give up -- big deficits for as far as the eye can see," just prior to the Internet boom's tax windfall which his advisors and he did not predict) to W. and O.) worth it?

Is the current $400 billion a year worth what you got over those decades? It must have been, because the arguments today are the same they used then.

tyr_13
16th September 2009, 10:36 AM
By the way, anybody who has left-leaning spend-spend-spend beliefs, keep in mind that if the budget were balanced, you'd have some $400 billion extra to spend each year on something other than interest payments.

Was all this necessary extra spending from the '70s through Reagan through the first term of Clinton (when he threw up his hands and said, "I give up -- big deficits for as far as the eye can see," just prior to the Internet boom's tax windfall which his advisors and he did not predict) to W. and O.) worth it?

Is the current $400 billion a year worth what you got over those decades? It must have been, because the arguments today are the same they used then.

Right, because we all know 'left-leaning' spend, spend, spend beliefs cost $400 billion, but 'right-leaning' spend, spend, spend, costs nothing. :rolleyes:

mhaze
16th September 2009, 11:27 AM
Right, because we all know 'left-leaning' spend, spend, spend beliefs cost $400 billion, but 'right-leaning' spend, spend, spend, costs nothing. :rolleyes:Ummm...no...

That is the interest on some $10T of spending? It is not the spending itself.

Plus - Beerina's arqument already incorporated left and right.

lomiller
17th September 2009, 09:50 AM
If the problem is left leaning spending beliefs why is it always right leaning presidents who throw the US into deficit spending? No real surprise that the right wing loons continue to ignore my challenge from the previous page. If you think the US is spending too much why can’t you point to the US budget and say “this is where we are spending to much”.

The real problem with deficits is right wingnuts who complain about spending but refuse to actually spend less and call for tax cuts anyway.

Beerina
17th September 2009, 09:59 AM
If the problem is left leaning spending beliefs why is it always right leaning presidents who throw the US into deficit spending? No real surprise that the right wing loons continue to ignore my challenge from the previous page. If you think the US is spending too much why can’t you point to the US budget and say “this is where we are spending to much”.

The real problem with deficits is right wingnuts who complain about spending but refuse to actually spend less and call for tax cuts anyway.


One need not narrow it down to any one thing. The only thing, unfortunately, beyond basic securing of liberty I think we are honor bound to spend on is the debt and vets. :(


Everything else there (and arguably everything there) is a meme designed to garner behavior in humans that spreads that meme. Which is the fancy way of saying "(sob story) and therefore we can spend a littttttttle bit more."

lomiller
17th September 2009, 10:31 AM
Certainly one will try to avoid “narrowing it down to one thing” if one is an ideologue for a party that wants to keep spending but cut taxes anyway.

The honest approach would be to say outright you think Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be eliminated and vote for a political party that actually campaigns on that basis. Such a political party would never get elected, of course, because the American people want these programs.

For all the wackadoodle stuff Ron Paul supports this is one thing he actually gets right. Unlike most Republicans he’s willing to stand up and say what he thinks should be cut when he’s running for office.