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Debt and causes
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13294

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:
The right can't get very serious about solutions since the Senate would block anything and everything that would have a significant impact.

Boehner has offered many partial solutions, all rejected with a resounding, "NO. I WILL raise spending by $1.6T -- twice my $800B campaign figure -- and WILL increase tax rates on everyone. You lost, I won, we're done (just as he snarled at McCain a couple of years ago). Get over it."
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5460

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900, you don't seem to be listening to many of us here. I think that I have been quite clear about everyone ponying up more in taxes by going back to the tax rates of the Clinton administration. I don't recollect that any of us on the left here believe we don't need to contribute more taxes to help pay down our debt. You must remember that it's politicians on the right that seem to be of the mind that taxes shouldn't be going up, and instead think they should be going down. Ironically, it's those on the left who think that folks making in excess of $200-250K should be paying more. While just taxing the wealthy is short of the mark, at least there's some recognition that more revenue is needed.

As far as blame goes, I think most of your posts are loaded with lots of blame targeted at President Obama, his administration, the Democrats in Congress and any of us that hold more progressive views. You need to be more introspective about what you say. I find it extremely hypocritical that those on the right are beside themselves about the deficit and the debt, but when they are in power they don't seem to care at all, and you can't argue that it's not true. To be honest, most of the problem you have with folks on the left blaming Bush or Reagan for much of our problems today is actually about the fact that we're reminding you folks how we got to where we are today. It's just a statement of fact. So when you become so disturbed and pointed about where we're at today, don't conveniently forget how we got here.

Social Security and Medicare aren't pyramid schemes. Are they in perfect shape for the future? No. Does that need to be addressed? Yes. In the case of Social Security, if the cap on wages was removed it would go a long way towards maintaining the solvency of the program. If all income, particularly capital gains, was subject to a Social Security tax of some kind, it would make a huge difference. I don't know about you, but I'm aware that President Obama and many Democrats in Congress are discussing raising the eligibility age for Social Security, to include re-thinking the how cost of living changes impact SS income. And, let's not forget that a decision right now to negotiate SS changes after the new year isn't simply kicking the can down the road. There is absolutely no reason at all to address SS changes as part of the fiscal cliff, and you know it. Just because Rep. Boehner and Republican House leadership want it as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations means absolutely nothing. It's a poor time to make such important changes. If I was President Obama, or the Democrats in the Senate, I'd tell them that it won't be considered until after the new year.

Medicare's viability in the future could also be changed greatly by simply increasing the rate of contribution. As the affects of the ACA come into play, I really feel that the costs of health care will begin to stabilize and they will ultimately drop. Add to that focusing close attention on eliminating fraud and waste over time will have its benefits. You might think that seniors don't deserve our attention, but I do.

Regarding your question directly to me, I think that the Democratic majority in the Senate would take those in the House more seriously if they started getting more sensible about their legislation. One only has to see how little was done in the Republican House over the last two years to see there's lots of room for improvement. On top of that, Republicans in the Senate have to stop waging war by filibuster. Senator McConnell's wall of obstruction over the last 4 years has been unconscionable. In my view, Senator Reid was only giving the Republicans in the House a similar version of obstruction. Lastly, the quicker that Republicans exhaust Grover Norquist and his ridiculous pledge the better.


Last edited by swchandler on Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4655

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Techno--if you were paying attention, I have described a number of things that I would propose to do about the debt. Of course it begins with recognizing how we got there. Eight years of Bush left us with a massive structural debt, and a recession that added about another 4-6 trillion. So what would I do?

First, I would be careful not to contract the economy too suddenly in the middle of an anemic recovery. The austerity approach, applied too harshly, has shrunken the GDP in Greece, Spain and Italy, and made the deficits work. I would probably do a small stimulus--and I bet Obama does one--that targets areas of the economy (specifically housing and construction) that have usually led the way out of recessions but are not this time.
Remember that the collapsing economy accounts for roughly one third of the debt.

Second, I would reinstate the top tiers of the Clinton era tax rates. (I would actually reinstitute the top three tiers, but that isn't in the cards.) It will help on the debt (about 1/3 of the debt is due to the Bush-initiated tax cuts, now owned by Obama because he went along with their extension.)
Symbolically, this adjustment is necessary to get the Democrats to the table on cuts because the highest 2 brackets got most of the benefits of the tax cuts, and the result (due in substantial part to overleveraging as well) was the collapse and shrinkage of the middle class.

Third, I would have an adult conversation with the American middle class on the costs of Medicaire and Social Security. They are not pyramid schemes--I thought that when I was young and saved because I thought social security would be gone. The adjustments are relatively modest--increasing the salary range at which social security taxes are collected is 70% of what is needed.

Fourth, I would adopt something like the Simpson Bowles proposal as an overall structure. Not because they got it exactly right, but because without a sword dangling everyone will stall over cuts. The biggest cuts have to come out of the military because they are nearly 1/3 of the budget, and because we are in an era of asymetrical warfare so we don't need large standing armies and aircraft carriers that were developed when we were struggling with the USSR for hegemony. Military technology is a two-edged sword--it does advance technology that shows up in other arenas of the economy where it is more useful. But it is a pretty inefficient stimulus--much worse than higher education or infrastructure construction, both of which generate many more jobs. Much of that is because there is too close a relationship between retired military management and Congress and the industry, so sweetheart deals rather than competitive contracts drive profits and prices up.

Fifth, I think we need to establish a culture of oversight in Congress, where all funding programs are sunsetted unless they can be re-authorized. I can name dozens of programs that don't make fiscal sense any more--a lot of agricultural price supports, flood insurance and mapping, and others. I also disagree with Obama's approach to education with incentive grants. Neither choice nor charter schools are showing any real promise in education reform, and the amount of money at the Federal level has just warped the process to give lots of money to testing firms and makers of books without clear evidence that such an approach is effective. Let Texas be Texas and teach that evolution is just a theory and a woman's place is in the kitchen pregnant--just don't give them Federal money to dumb down their educational system. Most of us in the Blue states, who are subsidizing the Red states, know that their poor educational systems don't work in the 21st century and that they can't attract technology because of those systems.

All of those program cuts are minor; social security, medicare, and the military account for the lion's share of costs and we don't move--and it is ok to move a little bit slowly--towards a balanced budget without cutting all three.

Of course, if you want to have an adult discussion you can make your own suggestions for cuts, and it is pretty easy to find the entire Federal budget on the web and see how much you think you can cut. But remember, the math has to work--and you have to be able to get the votes. Like it or not, politics is the art of the possible.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2206

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="isobars"
(just as he snarled at McCain a couple of years ago). Get over it."[/quote]
I never thought of Obama as a snarler. Dick Cheney, now there was a snarler.

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13294

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the Pennsylvania Dept of Public Welfare:
A single mother with two children is financially better off -- has more disposable income -- taking a job that pays $29k/yr than one paying $69k/yr, simply because entitlements more than make up the $40,000 ($28k) difference in gross (net) pay.

Quote:
“the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.“

Another fact, if I heard it right (I'll check): we have 109M taxpayers supporting 86M recipients.

Thank you.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2206

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if she windsurfs on the government dime like someone else we know?
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2357

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikey wrote:
From the Pennsylvania Dept of Public Welfare:
A single mother with two children is financially better off -- has more disposable income -- taking a job that pays $29k/yr than one paying $69k/yr, simply because entitlements more than make up the $40,000 ($28k) difference in gross (net) pay.

Do you think that she pays for her motocross motorcycle with her disability checks?
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rigitrite



Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Kansas City

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
From the Pennsylvania Dept of Public Welfare:
A single mother with two children is financially better off -- has more disposable income -- taking a job that pays $29k/yr than one paying $69k/yr, simply because entitlements more than make up the $40,000 ($28k) difference in gross (net) pay.

Quote:
“the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.“

Another fact, if I heard it right (I'll check): we have 109M taxpayers supporting 86M recipients.

Thank you.


Wrong. Entitlements have nothing to do with it. She's better off at the lower income, because at the higher income, she'll be paying the AMT:

"For tax year 2012, the alternative minimum tax exemption amounts are scheduled to revert to $45,000 for married couples filing jointly, $33,750 for single and head of household filers and $22,500 for married couples filing separately."

Please note that Republicans have NO plans to offer any relief from the AMT, except for the corporate AMT. Individual tax payers can suck it.

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13294

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rigitrite wrote:
Wrong. Entitlements have nothing to do with it. .

Who ya gonna believe ... a State Welfare Agency publicly fessing up to its own government mess, or an anonymous internet wanker?
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jpbassking



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 2299
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isowanker wrote:
rigitrite wrote:
Wrong. Entitlements have nothing to do with it. .

Who ya gonna believe ... a State Welfare Agency publicly fessing up to its own government mess, or an anonymous internet wanker?


Why the anonymous internet wanker of course. We believe everything you say Mr. Fiction. Rolling Eyes

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