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6 months from the largest tax increases in history (pg. 5)
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Comrade Stalin
quote:
Originally posted by Shakka
The 90's were a pretty unique period characterized by the coming of the internet/digital age and associated massive productivity boom. Tax levels had little to do with it and are a red herring if you ask me. The wealth effect that resulted from so many dot.coms cum dot.bombs enabled some amazing things to happen to boot. If you think that scenario is repeatable today, I'd love to hear how you think it's likely to play out, particularly considering were were in a secular bull market then vs. a secular bear market now.


Even so, if the Bush tax cuts were so beneficial to the economy, shouldn't we blowing the 1990's out of the water? The point is, a tax increase does not automatically equal a bad economy. That would be a false dichotomy if you ask me.
occrider
quote:
Originally posted by Shakka
I primarily focus on the trend, not the level. Government is out of control. I was absolutely shocked to see them invest taxpayer money through GM to buy a subprime auto lending company today. Washington is both shameless and clueless right now.


Not to be a dick but the thread title is about the largest tax hike in history that we're going to have, but you don't know what that actual tax hike amount is going to be ... like I said, that sounds like a lot of scaremongering. And pardon my ignornance for not reading the entire thread, but I was under the impression that the bush tax cuts would only expire for the top 5% or 1% of earners.

Lastly, it seems like you're very shocked by increased spending but not at all shocked by prior tax cuts that occurred in the previous administration. Where did you think that free money was coming from when you got your tax cuts in early 2000 without any reduction in government services?

Out of curiosity, where would you intend to reduce spending? Click the "Hide Mandatory Spending" button and you can see how tiny discretionary spending is relative to the entire budget (minus defense spending):

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/.../us/budget.html

/Edit: Please ignore my first paragraph I thought you were the thread starter. My apologies.
Shakka
quote:
Originally posted by occrider
Not to be a dick but the thread title is about the largest tax hike in history that we're going to have, but you don't know what that actual tax hike amount is going to be ... like I said, that sounds like a lot of scaremongering. And pardon my ignornance for not reading the entire thread, but I was under the impression that the bush tax cuts would only expire for the top 5% or 1% of earners.


Right--I was just referring to the one article I cited as an additional "tax", not necessarily referring to the title article. I was just trying to post in a relevant thread instead of starting a new one. Not that anyone posts here much anymore...

quote:
Lastly, it seems like you're very shocked by increased spending but not at all shocked by prior tax cuts that occurred in the previous administration. Where did you think that free money was coming from when you got your tax cuts in early 2000 without any reduction in government services?


I think I've expressed enough frustration over the years at the fiscal irresponsibility and lack of "fiscal conservatism" that we were supposed to get under Dubya. I had only just begun working in 2000 so I was a little green back then on some issues, though I don't think, by and large, that I've been a heavy user of government services aside from defense and infrastructure. I'm not aware of any entitlements that I sponge off of at this point.

quote:
Out of curiosity, where would you intend to reduce spending? Click the "Hide Mandatory Spending" button and you can see how tiny discretionary spending is relative to the entire budget (minus defense spending):


I'd start whittling away at the biggest ones. Defense, social security and healthcare. People expect too much in America and our defense budget is bloated. I'm fine with focusing on trimming the fat there instead of continually adding more layers of additional spending. Nice chart, btw.


quote:
/Edit: Please ignore my first paragraph I thought you were the thread starter. My apologies.


Dick. ;)

Edit: Recent studies that I've seen have shown that public sector employees are overpaid relative to their private sector counterparts. In European austerity measures currently being enacted, one source of savings is cutting public sector wages. Ireland cut public sector wages by 15% in 2009--that's probably a good start here. Of course, it would hurt Obama's popularity, but that.
Lebezniatnikov
quote:
Originally posted by Shakka
Well I'm sure even you would agree that 99 weeks of unemployment insurance is already more than enough, and is a disincentive to find gainful employment.


Just to go back to the idea of unemployment benefits as a deterrent to finding gainful employment, I have a question. We're coming up quickly on the 99 weeks date from when we started getting the intial layoffs in this recession, which means that for better or worse we're about to have a whole lot of people that were getting benefits no longer receiving them. We're still in the middle of a jobs freeze, so what are we going to see? Are we going to see a marked uptick in rates of employment for those unemployed over 99 weeks? And if we don't, does that at all revise your assumption?
Shakka
quote:
Originally posted by Lebezniatnikov
Just to go back to the idea of unemployment benefits as a deterrent to finding gainful employment, I have a question. We're coming up quickly on the 99 weeks date from when we started getting the intial layoffs in this recession, which means that for better or worse we're about to have a whole lot of people that were getting benefits no longer receiving them. We're still in the middle of a jobs freeze, so what are we going to see? Are we going to see a marked uptick in rates of employment for those unemployed over 99 weeks? And if we don't, does that at all revise your assumption?


I don't think prolonging the inevitable is a solution if that's what you're getting at. I have a very negative view of our economy. Hopefully some pain will help spur some innovation, but I don't think I've made any bones about my opinion of how bad the economic outlook is given the unreasonably large and unsustainable debt loads that have been taken by everyone from households to the government. I know I may sound cold and callous but I just don't see massively growing already bloated entitlement and welfare spending as a solution either.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
MisterOpus1
quote:
Originally posted by Shakka
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.


Ex: thinking trickle-down economics and/or wanting to go back to Bush era economics will one day work.........

(hello again :D)
Capitalizt
do do do...la la la..everything is wonderful..

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/116xx/do...risis_Brief.pdf
Shakka
quote:
Originally posted by Capitalizt
do do do...la la la..everything is wonderful..

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/116xx/do...risis_Brief.pdf


Nothing you, I and a few others haven't been saying for quite some time now! ;)
MisterOpus1
Some good points made by E.J. Dionne:

quote:
In American politics, stupidity is the name of the game

By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Thursday, July 29, 2010; A23

Can a nation remain a superpower if its internal politics are incorrigibly stupid?

Start with taxes. In every other serious democracy, conservative political parties feel at least some obligation to match their tax policies with their spending plans. David Cameron, the new Conservative prime minister in Britain, is a leading example.

He recently offered a rather brutal budget that includes severe cutbacks. I have doubts about some of them, but at least Cameron cared enough about reducing his country's deficit that alongside the cuts he also proposed an increase in the value-added tax, from 17.5 percent to 20 percent. Imagine: a fiscal conservative who really is a fiscal conservative.

That could never happen here because the fairy tale of supply-side economics insists that taxes are always too high, especially on the rich.

This is why Democrats will be fools if they don't try to turn the Republicans' refusal to raise taxes on families earning more than $250,000 a year into an election issue. If Democrats go into a headlong retreat on this, they will have no standing to govern.

The simple truth is that the wealthy in the United States -- the people who have made almost all the income gains in recent years -- are undertaxed compared with everyone else.

Consider two reports from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. One, issued last month, highlighted findings from the Congressional Budget Office showing that "the gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007."

The other, from February, used Internal Revenue Service data to show that the effective federal income tax rate for the 400 taxpayers with the very highest incomes declined by nearly half in just over a decade, even as their pre-tax incomes have grown five times larger.

The study found that the top 400 households "paid 16.6 percent of their income in federal individual income taxes in 2007, down from 30 percent in 1995." We are talking here about truly rich people. Using 2007 dollars, it took an adjusted gross income of at least $35 million to make the top 400 in 1992, and $139 million in 2007.

The notion that when we are fighting two wars, we're not supposed to consider raising taxes on such Americans is one sign of a country that's no longer serious. Why do so few foreign policy hawks acknowledge that if they lack the gumption to ask taxpayers to finance the projection of American military power, we won't be able to project it in the long run?

And if we are unwilling to have a full-scale debate over whether nation-building abroad is getting in the way of nation-building at home, we will accomplish neither.

Our discussion of the economic stimulus is another symptom of political irrationality. It's entirely true that the $787 billion recovery package passed last year was not big enough to keep unemployment from rising above 9 percent.

But this is not actually an argument against the stimulus. On the contrary, studies showing that the stimulus created or saved as many as 3 million jobs are very hard to refute. It's much easier to pretend that all this money was wasted, although the evidence is overwhelming that we should have stimulated more.

Then there's the structure of our government. Does any other democracy have a powerful legislative branch as undemocratic as the U.S. Senate?

When our republic was created, the population ratio between the largest and smallest state was 13 to 1. Now, it's 68 to 1. Because of the abuse of the filibuster, 41 senators representing less than 11 percent of the nation's population can, in principle, block action supported by 59 senators representing more than 89 percent of our population. And you wonder why it's so hard to get anything done in Washington?

I'm a chronic optimist about America. But we are letting stupid politics, irrational ideas on fiscal policy and an antiquated political structure undermine our power.

We need a new conservatism in our country that is worthy of the name. We need liberals willing to speak out on the threat our daft politics poses to our influence in the world. We need moderates who do more than stick their fingers in the wind to calculate the halfway point between two political poles.

And, yes, we need to reform a Senate that has become an embarrassment to our democratic claims.

ejdionne@washpost.com

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...0072804529.html


Noted links in his op-ed:

quote:
The effective federal income tax rate for the 400 taxpayers with the very highest incomes has declined by nearly half over the past two decades, even as their pre-tax incomes have grown five times larger, new IRS data show.[1]

The top 400 households paid 16.6 percent of their income in federal individual income taxes in 2007, down from 30 percent in 1995. This decline works out to a tax cut of $46 million per filer in 2007, or a total of $18 billion in tax cuts for these households per year.

To make it into the top 400, a household needed an adjusted gross income of at least $35 million in 1992 (in 2007 dollars) and $139 million in 2007.

The decline in effective tax rates at the very top is due in large part to the capital gains tax cuts enacted in 1997 and 2003. The top marginal tax rate on capital gains is now 15 percent, less than half the top tax rate on wages and salaries. The top 400 taxpayers derived two-thirds of their income from capital gains and qualified dividends in 2007.

Over roughly the same period, the top 400 filers enjoyed huge gains in pre-tax incomes. The average pre-tax income of this group rose by over 400 percent between 1992 and 2007, equivalent to a $275 million increase per person, after adjusting for inflation. In 2007 alone, average pre-tax incomes rose by 31 percent among these individuals.

In short, the top 400 filers now pay much lower effective tax rates on vastly larger incomes.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3090


and

quote:
The gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007 (the period for which these data are available), according to data the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued last week. Taken together with prior research, the new data suggest greater income concentration at the top of the income scale than at any time since 1928. While the recession that began in December 2007 likely reduced the income of the wealthiest Americans substantially and may thereby shrink the income gap between rich and poor households, a similar development that occurred around the bursting of the dot.com bubble and the 2001 recession turned out to be just a speed bump. Incomes at the top more than made up the lost
ground from 2003 to 2005.

http://www.cbpp.org/files/6-25-10inc.pdf


I'm just not cryin' too much and losing sleep for the wealthiest Americans likely having to pay more in taxes now.
Shakka
quote:
Originally posted by occrider
Out of curiosity, where would you intend to reduce spending? Click the "Hide Mandatory Spending" button and you can see how tiny discretionary spending is relative to the entire budget (minus defense spending):


Just circling back to this. This stat has been out for a while and I'm sure a lot of people already saw it, but this is simply not right.

Federal Workers Earnings Twice Their Private Counterparts

quote:

Federal workers
earning double their
private counterparts

Updated 1d ago

By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

At a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.

The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year.

Public employee unions say the compensation gap reflects the increasingly high level of skill and education required for most federal jobs and the government contracting out lower-paid jobs to the
private sector in recent years.

"The data are not useful for a direct public-private pay comparison," says Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

Chris Edwards, a budget analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, thinks otherwise. "Can't we now all agree that federal workers are overpaid and do something about it?" he asks.

Last week, President Obama ordered a freeze on bonuses for 2,900 political appointees. For the rest of the 2-million-person federal workforce, Obama asked for a 1.4% across-the-board pay hike in
2011, the smallest in more than a decade. Federal workers also would qualify for seniority pay hikes.

Congressional Republicans want to cancel the across-the-board increase in 2011, which would save $2.2 billion.

"Americans are fed up with public employee pay scales far exceeding that in the private sector," says Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the second-ranking Republican in the House.

Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., says a pay freeze would unfairly scapegoat federal workers without addressing real budget problems.

What the data show:

•Benefits. Federal workers received average benefits worth $41,791 in 2009. Most of this was the government's contribution to pensions. Employees contributed an additional $10,569.

•Pay. The average federal salary has grown 33% faster than inflation since 2000. USA TODAY reported in March that the federal government pays an average of 20% more than private firms for comparable occupations. The analysis did not consider differences in experience and education.

•Total compensation. Federal compensation has grown 36.9% since 2000 after adjusting for inflation, compared with 8.8% for private workers.


As Ed Hyman of ISI Research points out, "To have gov't workers paid twice private sector workers is a significant negative on many fronts, e.g., companies have to pay up for labor or lose employees to the gov't at the same time they have to pay higher taxes to pay the higher paid gov't workers...We now have legislation in place to lift federal outlays by $1T from 2013-2017. Legislating today a 4-year freeze in those out years could come close to knocking out the deficit. One can argue that politices is trumping responsibility and common sense."

atbell
quote:
Originally posted by Shakka
Are you seriously and honestly going to try to pursue this? OK, what kind of sources do you have that actually substantiates anything remotely close to the absurd claim you are making?


Yes.

quote:

FACT: Most, if not all, serial killers are deranged sociopaths. The end. Political ideology does not a murderer make. Quit being foolish.


This is a common error of many, writing off the different or the extreme as something wholy outside of the 'normal' is a defense mechanisim. It is much easier to dismis abhorant behavior than to examine it because it ensures that no similarities between the self and the other can be found.

You've got the relationship between politics and mass murderers backward. Politics doesn't make a murderer, that is true. What I'm on about is that murderers are of a certain political pursuasion in many cases.

My understanding of this topic is based mostly on this book:
Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer

http://www.mcclelland.com/catalog/d...n=9780771050251

It has been a long time since I read it but I will relate what I still remember.

There are two types of multiple murderers which need to first be subdivided, the serial killer (Pickton in Vancouver, or Hanible Lecter from Scilence of the lambs) and the mass murderer (someone who goes postal, terrorists, that ass from Oklahoma). This destinction is important because mass murderes are the political ones, the conservatives who can't stand that thier views are out of date. The serial killers are the arrogant socio paths.

quote:

The only way I can see anything close to that argument being feasibly made is if you present radical Islam as a political ideology (and somehow get around the overreaching contorted religious drivers behind it). It's one of the only ones I know of that ardently advocates for the killing of people. But then we wouldn't be talking about serial killers anymore, rather a whole sect of religious nutbags that want to take over the world.


Yes, radical Islam is a political ideology and it is a conservative ideology.

No, talk of terrorisim and mass murderers is not a switch at all. For the most part those who carry out the terrorist attacks would likely be tagged as mass murderers. The next step is to determine if those who mastermine the attacks fit the same psychological profile as serrial killers.

The guise of religion shouldn't be applied here, nor should the assumption that Islam is the only religion to have people who kill in it's name. Discussing the claimed cause of a multiple murder dehumanizes the problem and distracts from the fact that it is people who carry out these violent attacks and that it is the mental state of these people that must be understood to minimize the occurances of violence purpetrated by them.

quote:

Last I checked it is conservative right-wingers who support the death penalty for convicted murderers (including those serial killers) while it is those crazy liberal lefties who support killing of innocent babies..err abortion.


wow, loaded.

Probably best to start off by pointing out that very few people 'support' abortions. Supporting keeping the option available is about as far as most people will get. I've not met anyone who's had an abortion and isn't severly affected by it. The choice is never taken lightly.

Seeing as one of the major traits of both kinds of multiple murderers is that they come from broken homes isn't killing innocent babies a pre-emptive caution ;)

The statement above does do a really good job of pointing out exactly why conservative mentalities and killers mentalities are similar. A conservative supporting the death penalty feels it is ok to kill some one who is evil - a mass murderer will frequently see thier victims as evil.

All of a sudden killing is fine so long as your definition of evil is up to date, or that you're not to conservative. If someone is to conservative they might think that stoning victims of rape is ok and if this person isn't mentally sound they might have to carry out the sentance themselves.
atbell
quote:
Originally posted by Moongoose
Ive been looking for an excuse to post this one for a while now.






And as always the hype over this got way out of hand. People make it seem like they are going to be taxed twice as much as they were before.


That needs to be seen again!!
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