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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Apr '11 12:17 / 2 edits
    In 1999, the federal government was running a hundreds of billions of dollars budget surplus. This was of course mainly based on a temporarily surging economy and the tech boom. But decedent taxation and spending policy also contributed.

    When Bush took over, the first thing he did was slash taxes dramatically. Between that and the naturally cooling economy, the surplus turned into a 400 billion dollar deficit in a few years. So, he promised to "cut by half" the deficit. He was on pace to do this, mostly based on spending cuts in the area of Medicaid and similar programs.

    Then the crash of 2008 came and TARP. Somehow, since Obama has taken over, the "temporary" enormous spending associated with keeping us out of a depression has become a staple in the budget, causing a seemingly permanent 1.4 or 1.5 trillion dollar deficit in the budget.

    Now, Obama is promising, one again, to "cut by half" the deficit. Hmmm. Where have I heard that before? Of course, even if it is cut by half, it will still be almost double Bush's worst deficits pre-2008.

    So, is this the new norm? Rather than promising to spend responsibly, Presidents will now simply promise to be "half" as irresponsible as we are right now? If Obama fails and the next President takes over a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit and the next guy (or gal) piles on another trillion based on some new program or tax cut or emergency or war or whatever, will the next promise be to cut the budget deficit to "only" 1.2 trillion?

    Seriously, what is WRONG with these people? Can't we elect some people who are going to have some sense of responsibility for the long term well being of this country rather than ONLY trying to garner votes at the next election??

    Please? Someone? Anyone?
  2. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Apr '11 12:29
    Originally posted by sh76
    Seriously, what is WRONG with these people? Can't we elect some people who are going to have some sense of responsibility for the long term well being of this country rather than ONLY trying to garner votes at the next election??
    The whole Strategy Thing and the election cycle of '4 year' frenzies of lurching from headlines to headline and poll to poll are apparently incompatible. How about elected representatives meeting only once, after their election, to choose and install an anonymous technocracy with an ironclad 20 year mandate and Executive Order templates in their mobile phones?
  3. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    12 Apr '11 12:48
    Originally posted by FMF
    The whole Strategy Thing and the election cycle of '4 year' frenzies of lurching from headlines to headline and poll to poll are apparently incompatible. How about elected representatives meeting only once, after their election, to choose and install an anonymous technocracy with an ironclad 20 year mandate and Executive Order templates in their mobile phones?
    I like your faith in our ability to project into the future.
  4. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    12 Apr '11 13:07
    Originally posted by sh76
    In 1999, the federal government was running a hundreds of billions of dollars budget surplus. This was of course mainly based on a temporarily surging economy and the tech boom. But decedent taxation and spending policy also contributed.

    When Bush took over, the first thing he did was slash taxes dramatically. Between that and the naturally cooling economy, ...[text shortened]... than ONLY trying to garner votes at the next election??

    Please? Someone? Anyone?
    Simple answer. Tax the rich.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Apr '11 13:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kmax87
    Simple answer. Tax the rich.
    That simple, huh?

    Well, it's actually not that simple.

    First, if that's the answer - tax the rich - then when you do tax the rich, the people and politicians simply demand more and more handouts with all this newfound plunder from the rich. Unless you also freeze or cut spending, taxing more does nothing.

    Second, you really don't want to get on the other side of the Laffer curve, where you're disincentivizing (okay, not a word, but you get the point) work.

    Third, by taxing higher income TOO much, you drive companies to other countries and you eliminate the ability of companies to attract top talent by offering higher salaries.

    The rich can be taxed more than they are now, certainly. But that's only part of the solution, at best.
  6. 12 Apr '11 13:58
    Originally posted by sh76
    That simple, huh?

    Well, it's actually not that simple.

    First, if that's the answer - tax the rich - then when you do tax the rich, the people and politicians simply demand more and more handouts with all this newfound plunder from the rich. Unless you also freeze or cut spending, taxing more does nothing.

    Second, you really don't want to get on the ot ...[text shortened]... be taxed more than they are now, certainly. But that's only part of the solution, at best.
    Where's the other side of the Laffer curve?
  7. 12 Apr '11 14:16
    Originally posted by sh76
    That simple, huh?

    Well, it's actually not that simple.

    First, if that's the answer - tax the rich - then when you do tax the rich, the people and politicians simply demand more and more handouts with all this newfound plunder from the rich. Unless you also freeze or cut spending, taxing more does nothing.

    Second, you really don't want to get on the ot ...[text shortened]... be taxed more than they are now, certainly. But that's only part of the solution, at best.
    The solution is simple, but politicians have other agendas than simply balancing the budget.

    You've got to do two things: cut spending and increase taxes.

    I say increase taxes on everyone. Sure, increase taxes on the super rich at a higher rate than the poor, but everyone needs to contribute.

    Cut spending everywhere. Cut spending on federal payroll. Cut spending on expense accounts. Do away with those completely. Cut back spending on social programs. Cut back spending on the military. Cut coporate welfare altogether.

    There are way too many people with their thumbs in the pie.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Apr '11 14:44
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Where's the other side of the Laffer curve?
    If I knew (and could prove it), I'd have a Nobel prize.
  9. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    12 Apr '11 14:47
    Originally posted by sh76
    If I knew (and could prove it), I'd have a Nobel prize.
    It's somewhere over the rainbow.
  10. 12 Apr '11 16:10
    Originally posted by sh76
    In 1999, the federal government was running a hundreds of billions of dollars budget surplus. This was of course mainly based on a temporarily surging economy and the tech boom. But decedent taxation and spending policy also contributed.

    When Bush took over, the first thing he did was slash taxes dramatically. Between that and the naturally cooling economy, ...[text shortened]... than ONLY trying to garner votes at the next election??

    Please? Someone? Anyone?
    I don't understand. I thought Dick Cheney put this question to rest when he said deficits no longer matter.
  11. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    12 Apr '11 16:16
    Originally posted by sh76
    In 1999, the federal government was running a hundreds of billions of dollars budget surplus. This was of course mainly based on a temporarily surging economy and the tech boom. But decedent taxation and spending policy also contributed.

    When Bush took over, the first thing he did was slash taxes dramatically. Between that and the naturally cooling economy, ...[text shortened]... than ONLY trying to garner votes at the next election??

    Please? Someone? Anyone?
    ALL first term Presidents are trying to garner votes in the next election, and they are ALL lying vermon. But somehow the world keeps spinning, so don't worry about it.
  12. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    12 Apr '11 16:16
    Originally posted by sh76
    That simple, huh?

    Well, it's actually not that simple.

    First, if that's the answer - tax the rich - then when you do tax the rich, the people and politicians simply demand more and more handouts with all this newfound plunder from the rich. Unless you also freeze or cut spending, taxing more does nothing.

    Second, you really don't want to get on the ot ...[text shortened]... be taxed more than they are now, certainly. But that's only part of the solution, at best.
    First - True.

    Second - We have to keep in mind the opportunity cost. The poor are much greater in number and they tend to be "disincentivized" due to having little to work with but many expenses to pay due to our capitalist system with it's absentee landlords and the like.

    Third - Where will these companies go? Specifically. China? Europe? Who are we competing with? Are we competing with some imaginary super-competitor?
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    12 Apr '11 16:18
    Estate and property taxes ftw

    Don't tax money, tax capital. Physical stuff that is providing income without work. Land and buildings, for instance.
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Apr '11 16:25 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Third - Where will these companies go? Specifically. China? Europe?
    Yes. Yes. Canada. Asia. Latin America. Anywhere where the taxes are lower.

    Question, ATY: Why is it that companies can build factories and take advantage of cheap labor in Asia, thus stimulating their economies, but not in Africa?

    http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_1163.shtml
  15. 12 Apr '11 16:37
    It's not really the problem of businesses if their employees have to pay more taxes, is it?

    In any case, the poor in the US barely pay any taxes so I don't see how tax policy has anything to do with "cheap labour".