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US budget crisis fix per the Economist

Original post made by al norte sm on Apr 22, 2011

Some may say the CPC Budget Plan isn't serious, but it does balance the budget faster than the Republican Ryan plan does, without as much pain to the weakest among us, and without as many debt ceiling extensions.

From the Economist: Web Link

"Have you ever heard of the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget plan? Neither had I. The caucus's co-chairs, Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, released it on April 6th. The budget savings come from defence cuts, including immediately withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq, which saves $1.6 trillion over the CBO baseline from 2012-2021. The tax hikes include restoring the estate tax, ending the Bush tax cuts, and adding new tax brackets for the extremely rich, running from 45% on income over a million a year to 49% on income over a billion a year.

Mr Ryan's plan adds (by its own claims) $6 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, but promises to balance the budget by sometime in the 2030s by cutting programmes for the poor and the elderly. The Progressive Caucus's plan would (by its own claims) balance the budget by 2021 by cutting defence spending and raising taxes, mainly on rich people. Mr Ryan has been fulsomely praised for his courage. The Progressive Caucus has not.

I'm not really sure what "courage" is supposed to mean here, but this seems precisely backwards. For 30 years, certainly since Walter Mondale got creamed by Ronald Reagan, the most dangerous thing a politician can do has been to call for tax hikes. Politicians who call for higher taxes are punished, which is why they don't do it. I'm curious to see what adjectives people would apply to the Progressive Congressional Caucus's budget proposal. But it's hard for me to imagine the media calling a proposal to raise taxes "courageous" and "honest". And my sense is that the disparate treatment here is a structural bias rooted in class."

If any financial publication knows class warfare, it's the Economist.

Comments?

Comments (44)

Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Karen:

I thought you'd like the defense remarks.

War is costly.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

The Republicans have been pointedly working for 30 years to bring this kind of provocation around, and they think they have all their ducks inline to assail and kill social programs and any form of support for non capital rich citizens. If they are to succeed what does this country even mean anymore.

Look at the facts, look at the measurements, the US is operating insanely under the management of groups that are operating incompetently except in service to their own financial and political interests. There is no balance or compromise being sought, the order that is being pursued in America is the same order the American miliary seeks to pursue overseas in our "colony" countries - which is bad for human beings in nearly every case, except for a Ponzi scheme of paid off conspirators against their own people.

This international dysfunction has to be overturned or it will just keep growing, amassing money and power and keep coming back until it wins ... assuming that it does not in the very near future.


Posted by I'm Poor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2011 at 4:56 am

This is the only country in the world where you have to be rich not to pay taxes!!!! Why, because it's the rich that generate jobs!!!! What kind of garbled thinking is that, courtesy of the Republicans!!!!


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 25, 2011 at 6:05 am

The only country in the world where I can take money from others, just because I didn't earn more than a certain amount. It is called "Earned Income Credit". And I qualified for it on the basis of earnings..though my net worth is very high.

The only country in the world where on the basis of earnings, I can take money from others in the form of food stamps ( now EBT), and use it to pay for pizza at Round Table or cosmetics at Walgreens. You know, because I am so "poor" that I have to spend money on makeup, jewelry or perfume, and pay someone else to make my pizza.

The only country in the world where, on the basis of my earnings, I can take money from others to pay for some or all of my rent.

The only country in the world where, on the basis of earnings, I can take money from others to pay for all my medical care.

The only country in the world where the poor are fat, have more square footage in housing than the middle class in most of the world, cars, TVs, computers, clothes, education, and health care, all for simply breathing.

Give me a break, "I'm poor"...you have no clue what poverty is if you can access a computer to post such silliness. And you have no idea how absurd a system is that measures "need" based on "earnings", not value. 1/2 of all our folks who qualify as "poor' own their own homes, did your know that?

And you have no idea how horribly broken are the incentives in this country, where we punish those who create jobs, and reward those who simply suck off the system. Some of the folks really have no other options, but in my experience, at least 1/2 of all the folks I have seen on the system have simply been bred into dependence by our system. We have destroyed them.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 25, 2011 at 6:15 am

Anon: The Democrats have been working since FDR to destroy our country..and they are on the verge of success. Setting up unsustainable transfers of wealth, poorly thought out, poorly executed, rewarding bad behaviors and punishing good..well, gosh, what a system!!!

Set up "social security" in a way that makes folks think that they don't have to save for their own retirement...and in fact, forces them into paying for a system where they get MUCH less in old age than if they had invested in the private stock market.

Set up "welfare for moms with kids" in a way that entices young women to have babies to "make a living".....assuring multiple generations without fathers, without education, without jobs, repeating the cycle.

Set up..well, I am so tired of repeating this. Whatever. The point is, there isn't a single Democrat system which is working. Not one. They are all collapsing of their own poor planning and execution. And what is the Democrat solution? Borrow more money we can't pay back...oh..right...great solution.

We are like a family that makes $50,000, spends $87,0000/year and is already at a $350,000 credit card limit...and the kids are screaming "but Mom, but Dad, we CAN'T stop going to Disneyland, that would be too cruel!!!".

We have to stop the spending, and pay down our debt, keeping only a minimal "network" in place. Those with clear disabilities, unable to truly work enough to support themselves, that is different. But I am sick to death of seeing perfectly capable people who could move in with their families, plant a food garden, and work even some, do nothing. Disneyland is done.

We can meter out the next 20 years like adults, guarding the money for those who truly need it, or we can act like kids and keep spending money we dont' have on every one everywhere, and hit bankruptcy...assuring nothing for anyone.


Congratulations. We are about to follow the end that happens to all socialist/marxist countries, thanks to people like you, if we keep this up.

Good job.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton
on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

"give me a break""

"1/2 of all our folks who qualify as "poor' own their own homes, did your know that"

Wow. Who da thunk? That, along with much of your rant, doesn't even pass a simple smell test. I can't find that data, kindly share it?

"Setting up unsustainable transfers of wealth," Please define, especially in light of the wealthiests' share of income and wealth both soaring since the 80's, while median income is stagnant, even dropping recently.

There are so many other odd statements that must feel good to you to regurgitate and type out, but lack factual basis. So let's make it simple and use a question that Norte's been asking about the GOP/Ryan plan that passed the House two weeks ago.

The republican passed plan gives massive tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires in this time of deficit, adding SIX Trillion dollars to the deficit, requiring debt extensions, maybe balancing the budget in 2031, privatizing Medicare, slashing foodstamps, etc..

"give me a break": do you support the gop/Ryan plan that gives tax cuts to billionaires and privatizes Medicare?

The republicans passed that plan; do you support it?


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

>> Mr Ryan's plan adds (by its own claims) $6 trillion to the national debt over
>> the next decade, but promises to balance the budget by sometime in the
>> 2030s by cutting programmes for the poor and the elderly.

The Republicans, Neo-Cons, TEA party people, whatever you want to call them their agenda is more of the same to throw society into a point where it is broken and then try to pick up the pieces without spending money on social programs. In other words it is some kind of harsh social darwinism aimed at triage so as to attempt to maintain a train-wreck status quo which is OK for those at the very top but triage for everyone else.

The Republicans get knocked out of power every time this becomes apparent to the majority, but they keep coming back to push this agenda in a different way with more money and in a more cutthroat way.

>> Set up "social security" in a way that makes folks think that they don't
>> have to save for their own retirement...and in fact, forces them into
>> paying for a system where they get MUCH less in old age than if they
>> had invested in the private stock market.

Well, a moment's thought would dispel your comment as pure foolishness. First, looking at the stock market and saying it always goes up is an empty argument. Statistically it may rise but over the long term it is hard to make or even keep money in the stock market. For one reason over that time people are going to hit y more crime and scandals - looking at stock valuations and they are still in the speculation area. If you are rich person with the right connections you may be fine - the scale of what you are doing is likely to insure you from at least some of that and make sure you come out with something.

But people with less money are eaten up by fees and charlatans and do not know where they can invest.

Finally, with the low wages or working class people getting lower and prices and energy rising and the trend for Americans to be forced to complete in the global labor market it is like telling a peasant in India they should be saving money.

Social security is affordable, workable, useful and in place and getting rid of it is just an agenda to be cold and cruel backed by the kinds of disingenuous arguments like you are making that are difficult for people to look at objectively because they are based on subtle lies.

Also the talk about people in debt going to Disneyland and being stupid is one of the things your side does, like lying about the poor farmers and the estate tax, you simply do not care about the truth value of the facts, you whip up emotional arguments that have 0 basis in facts that attack some group of people and blame it all on them. I have not really met many people who go to Disneyland and figure their social security or someone else will pay for it. What's more, we are finding out how when people do not spend in the economy as you apparently do not want to them or to be able to - business dries up and a cascade of money is pulled from the economy making things worse.

Social security is not an investment program. I am all for investing, but it is funny how in order to motivate CEOs to do even and incompetent job we must provide them with huge multiples salaries to the point where they make in a day as much or more than the average worker makes in a year, and get huge severance plans for millions of dollars, while everyone else in society who is doing their job has to pick up the bills - but for the average worker no one cares or not if they are motivated to work hard or just drop dead.

Everything out of the mouths of the Republicans is in the service of a selfish greedy anti-American social darwinist prespective and it sure has not made this country the least bit better, and in fact the Republicans caused this whole mess for their own benefit.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

And as long as we allow extremist points of view (such as the current conversation in this thread) to paralyze this country, we *will* fail as an economy and a country. Have news for you - both parties stink and are failing our country.

Word of the day, let alone decade: Compromise.

Everyone has to give a little to end the Federal debt cycle. But no one wants to do that. Or they make it political instead of logical.

Like it or not, we're going to have to raise taxes and we're going to have to make cuts. The sooner the better.

It would be nice if our elected "leaders" would get off their collective rear-ends and start earning their pay for a change.


Posted by Midtowner, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm

@ Crescent Park Dad,

I would agree with you that some compromising would definitely help. However, nowadays, "compromising" as Obama and the Democrats understand it, is not meeting half way, it is caving in to the Republicans. And for the Republicans, compromising is not meeting half way, it is having people give in and do what the Republicans want (as in, for example, extending the Bush tax cuts).


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton
on Apr 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Some progressives finally fight back against the GOP-passed Ryan "plan for prosperity":

"If Republicans have their way, there would be no more guaranteed Medicare benefits for America's seniors, only a guarantee of paying more and more out of pocket for less care after being left to the mercy to the private insurance industry. There would only be a guarantee that millions of Americans would lose their jobs - only a guarantee that America's poor and disabled will live sicker and die younger while millionaires get another tax break they don't need and the nation cannot afford. This is not a path to prosperity, only a path to bankrupting seniors so Paris Hilton and BP can have another tax break. And there's nothing courageous about that."

Privatize Medicare while giving tax cuts to Paris Hilton and BP.

Geez, did the GOP overreach, or what?


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Alfred:

"Geez, did the GOP overreach, or what?"

Yes. Potentially, the GOP/Ryan budget is the game changer of 2012.

Overstatement? Dunno, but if this forum is any indication, there hasn't been a conservative come back and answer the GOP/Ryan question I've asked in other threads, and you asked above:

"do you support the gop/Ryan plan that gives tax cuts to billionaires and privatizes Medicare? The republicans passed that plan; do you support it?"

It was a preposterous plan that the GOP voted on. Harry Reid should force a vote in the Senate on it, asap, upon his return. The GOP will do anything to block the vote, scream that a vote on their budget is just Harry playing politics, etc...

Good fun, eh?

GOP/Ryan could be the goose that laid the golden egg for the left in 2012.

There's only one group dumb enough to ruin such a good thing for the left:

The Democratic Party.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 26, 2011 at 6:57 am

To Alfred E Neuman:

Read anything by Thomas Sowell for a layman's understanding of what poverty in our country. Start with Basic Economics or Economic Myths and Fallacies. Filled with data.

Or, just try travelling...go to France, for example, and see what "poverty" looks like there. You won't see cars, large apartments, $500 sneakers on feet or bling being bought in store on the taxapayer dime.

Then, come here, go buy something at Walgreens and discover that the EBT card can buy jewelry, cosmetics, perfume....

Or, go bring food to a "family in need" through the church. And discover that this family in need has a better car than you grew up with, a 3BR1Bath home with a yard, large screen TV, microwave and computer...AND is fat. We define "poverty" in a very different way from the rest of the world. We define it as "income per year" not net worth.

We are slowly becoming a country where there is no sense in going to college when the tree-cutters for the city make what a college degree does.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 26, 2011 at 7:01 am

To Crescent Park Dad: Compromise means giving in to socialism. We have "compromised" our way to the brink of bankruptcy over the last 40 years... I am done compromising. We can't compromise. We have to cut up our credit card and live within our means.

A family can't "compromise" with the credit card company, it can't "compromise" with their mortgage...there is no compromise left. We have to stop spending.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2011 at 8:08 am

> We have to cut up our credit card and live within our means.

Why do you put this in terms of spending and compromise and credit cards when it was clear that this debt was deliberately engineered to bring out provocations for your phony concerns? In 2001 big tax cuts when we were 6 trillion dollars in debt, and then failing to correct that, along with more financial scandals, Bush style, like BCCI.

Cutting taxes, having wars, subsidizing and rewarding poor performance and stupiid ideas like ethanol or expensive sugar production in Florida - the reason we are broke is that we are totally corrupt. Real and moral bankruptcy go hand in hand.

Then to go along with it we exported all our technology, hardware and jobs, and all you focus in is Republican talking points to go full steam ahead. This is all pure lies and the cover of going around the world supporting democracy while we turn it into more and more of a farce here simply takes it to an even lower level.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

"give me a break":

I noticed you addressed Mr Newman with the old Reagan canard from the 80's, "the welfare queen" straw man fallacy. A classic, to be sure, and well presented and embellished with your little fantasy, except you forgot to tell us what the po' folk be driving in this fantasy of yours. An escalade, perhaps? That would be a nice, folksy modern update to Reagan's Cadillac driving welfare queens. Cadillac = Escalade, get it?

While painting your images, you neglected to answer Alfred's very simple question directed at you above:

*** "give me a break": do you support the gop/Ryan plan that gives tax cuts to billionaires and privatizes Medicare?

*** The republicans passed that plan; do you support it?


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

GAB:

your: "We have to cut up our credit card and live within our means. A family can't "compromise" with the credit card company, it can't "compromise" with their mortgage...there is no compromise left. We have to stop spending."

Fit in Dubya's tax cuts for the wealthy in your "government run like family budget" fantasy, please.

So your fairy tale starts with the Dubya family having a SURPLUS from Grandfather Bill Clinton, but Daddy Dubya gives it away to the rich, gets in two expensive neighbor feuds (wars) and now his son Obama has to cut back on his spending.

What the ????

Your tale needs work. "Son" needs to raise revenue in this parable.

The CPC plan does that and balances the budget faster than the GOP budget. Still waiting for your answer on that Ryan/GOP budget.

You might want to just go back and blame it all on po' folk driving cadillacs.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton
on Apr 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Al:

Your wish comes true:

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced on Wednesday that he would host a vote on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget..."

Lucky Senate Republicans! They get to vote on the GOP/Ryan budget that gives tax breaks to millionaires/billionaires while dismantling Medicare! Everyone set up your youtube clips for the Grover Norquist sponsored hari-kari by the GOP!

"give-me-a-break"? Which way do you fell the Senate should vote? Pass the plan to dismantle Medicare and give tax breaks, or do what mainstream Americans want, and vote no?

The birth certificate thing is settled, so you can spend time on this question now....

Conservatives? Where are you on this?

I hear crickets!


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 29, 2011 at 11:12 am

AEM and al norte:

Try as you might, you just can't convince

1) Standard and Poor to keep our rating up, ( Web Link)

2) the IMF to stop announcing our collapse to second place behind China Web Link

But hey, keep hoping that the laws of economics will change to fit into your delusions!

In the meantime, the rest of us adults who see further than our " I want!!" of the moment HAVE to insist we stop borrowing so much money, and HAVE to insist we lower our taxes and regulations to attract businesses back to the USA.

This conservative is behind Ryan's plan...as is more of the population over 30 so far ( including Seniors, who don't buy the propoganda that the plan will hurt Seniors) compared to Obama's "vision" ( there is no plan, Obama is too busy interviewing on Oprah and attending fundraisers to bother coming up with an actual budget proposal).

Hmmm...the adults see what needs to be done.


3) Those pesky foreign currencies to stop weaking our dollar Web Link


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton
on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm

g-m-a-b

"This conservative is behind Ryan's plan..."

Then you are out of the mainstream. The GOP budget polls okay with top line numbers, but once the cuts are described, support slips away. From Paige's UAS article posted elsewhere:

top line poll number look even: - "Americans are evenly divided between the deficit plan proposed by President Obama and the one drafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan..."

Take away the "Obama vs GOP" story, and ask substantial questions about what's actually IN the budget plans:

In detaail, support dwindles for GOP/Ryan: - "The poll also shows the perils ahead for the GOP in moving from general principles to specific actions. Two-thirds of Americans worry the Republican plan for reducing the budget deficit would cut Medicare and Social Security too much."

Same poll. Same article. Vastly different take-aways."

Ryan/GOP budget:
- privatizes Medicare, hurting those both under and OVER 55 (a loser in the polls, when asked specifically about it.) For every dollar saved by the government, it costs seniors SEVEN dollars.
- gives tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires (78% of Americans oppose)
- keeps your tax dollars going to big oil as subsidies

How is that a "conservative" solution?

Thanks for sharing your opinion and answering.



Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

AEN: I am at 55 years old myself, and have no fears at all about Ryan's plan hurting me or my children in the least. I have actually read it. Polling fears do not equate to polling facts, and unfortunately our country is led by fear-mongers and we have many people who believe the propoganda, as apparently you do. I LOVE the idea of letting ME choose which insurance to spend the money on ie "privatizing Medicare"...delights me. Maybe, finally, the abuses of our Medicare dollar will be reigned in if private companies are watching the bottom line. I work with nothing but Medicare patients...I am appalled at some of the abuse.

Who doesn't abuse it? Those who chose an HMO for their Medicare provider, in other words, those who have already "privatized" their Medicare.

Time for the rest of us to stop being selfish, and suck it up in the name of our kids. My generation, the baby boomer generation, has destroyed this country with is greedy desire to take, take, take, and it is time to grow up.

Tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires? Exactly WHERE do you see that in Ryan's plan? There are no "tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires"...even if you can find something you claim is one, I have to ask you...why do you think it is anyone' right to take money from those who are successful to fund programs that are nowhere in the Constitution as the job of our Federal government? That is where the "conservative" part misses you. I want to push the reset button, and go back to funding with our tax dollars the JOB of the FED GOVT which is much, much less than what any socialist thinks it should be. I want to stop supporting bad choices by individuals and by companies. If someone or a company fails, let 'em fail, stop bailing out everyone.

"Subsidies" to "Big Oil" ( say it with fear at a whisper, of course). How can we be "subsidizing" oil as you claim when between 40-60cents of every gallon we pay for at the pump in this nation goes to governement, and 2 cents goes to "profit" for the oil companies? How can you say we "subsidize" oil when Exxon paid 30 billion in taxes in 2007...that is JUST Exxon..since then, with the destruction of our oil business by Obama, I am sure our oil tax revenue has plummeted..I would rather have great profits for our oil companies, in other words I would rather oil gets really rich, like I would rather have really rich everyone, because then we get jobs, which causes everyone to chip in a "little skin", especially those who make the most..thus more taxes to use.

But, keep on with your thinking. It is upside down, in my opinion, and absolutely counter productive to getting the results I assume you want, as do I, for a healthier economy, but maybe with time you will see it is better to stick with individuals making choices in their own self-interest, not being punished for successful behaviors, and creating a "higher level" of water for all the boat of America to float on, than to keep on destroying individuals and businesses.

And certainly I can't understand how anyone at all could be in favor of continuing to grow our national debt. It is going to collapse our kids.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Alfred:

Why do you discuss with "Give me a break" when he is so out of touch with reality? He claims that the Ryan/GOP house bill doesn't cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, and the tax cut is there IN PLAIN SIGHT. It's published fact. Web Link Ryan admitted it on Face the Nation and elsewhere. Web Link

Do not bother with gmab when he isn't aware of facts. Don't chase the rest of his incorrect assertions if he can't even admit the most basic reality.

gmab FALSE CLAIM: "Tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires? Exactly WHERE do you see that in Ryan's plan? There are no "tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires"..."

REALITY: the top tax bracket for millionaires and billionaires gets cut about a THIRD, from 35 to 25%

"The plan calls for cutting the top individual and corporate tax rates from 35 to 25 percent..." Web Link

Ryan, on face the nation:
"SCHIEFFER: I-- I guess the part that I don't quite understand and I take your proposal to be a serious one but the part I don't understand is.

RYAN: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: If the country is going bankrupt, if the country needs to borrow forty cents of every dollar that it spends, how do you help that by reducing the amount of taxes that the richest people in the country pay? It would be seem to be that's where you get revenue. How do-- how do you-- how do you justify?

RYAN: ...we don't have a tax problem. ..." Web Link

Ryan doesn't deny it, gmab, why do you deny reality?

He probably doesn't even know Ryan/GOP adds 6 trillion in debt and requires a debt ceiling extension. Don't argue with folks that live in an alternate universe.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on May 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm

> Why do you discuss with "Give me a break" when he is so out
> of touch with reality?

That was a good question. It seems that Republicans, or whatever you call these virtually fascist people who support, apologize, praise and worship this free market thing, want to create their own reality and then make sure it cannot be questioned or even perceived by altering the media and the statistics used. This is a very evil and pernicious and philosophy which hides the inherent violence in the slow inevitable march of people who do not show deference and tribute to it to the margins of society and ultimately out. If that is not totalitarian and fascist I really do not know what is - particularly when compared with the basic aims and tenets of other developed countries which out-perform our country on most scales of civility.

So much effort going into for decades making it appear that our society cannot afford to include everyone, and engineering the triage of those it does not like by inducing economic failures that are also thrown on the backs of those folks ... this may be more benevolent, but it is every bit as mechanical as the Nazi fascist machine. It needs to be stopped and rejected before it wastes millions of lives and years that this planet does not have to waste.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 2, 2011 at 9:16 am

I suggest, Al Norte, that you read the link you put up. You might learn something about tax codes and increasing tax revenue. Cherry picking one piece of information from the article in order to promote socialism/marxism simply shows you don't care about increasing tax revenues and jobs, raising us ALL up, you only care about punishing those who make more than you.

Think about it, do you REALLY think that the super rich, the "billionaires" as you call them, will pay LESS in taxes once the code is better? No, they are highly motivated to shelter their money now because of the huge tax burden. Lower the tax burden, and they come out of the closet. The risk of sheltering is no longer much less than simply following the code.
Anon: I suggest you do the same. It is, in fact, an excellent link.

Nice quote by Lincoln ( Abraham) we might all want to remember

"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperityby discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of manby inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them,
what they could and should do for themselves."
Abraham Lincoln



Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

give me a break:

Well done, great deflection! You claim That Ryan/GOP doesn't give tax breaks to millionaires/Billionaires; when shown proof, you bring out Abe Lincoln.

Well done. Glad you didn't bother to fight reality when shown that GOP/Ryan cuts the top rate for millionaire/billionaires by almost a third.

Your next falsehood: tax cuts for the rich raise revenue and create jobs.

Not true. False. A lie.

* Jobs: tax cuts do not create jobs - look at history: Clinton raised the top tier by a couple perrcent, he created 22 million jobs. Bush slashed taxes for the wealthy, Bush created 3 million jobs. Worst job growth since HOOVER! Web Link

* Tax cuts raise revenue over the long term: Nope. No evidence of that. The first year after a cut to the top tier, the wealthy may release some assets and bump up revenues for that year, but those increased revenues disappear after the first year or two and leave America with reduced revenues.

Again, look at the example of Clinton and Bush. Clinton raised revenues and cut spending and left a surplus for Bush, who promptly drove our economy into a ditch, doubling our debt, etc...

As has been pointed out, he had help: Cheney crowed "Reagan taught us that deficits don't matter".

Tax revenues peaked in 2000; with the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, cash flow from individual income taxes did not return to its 2000 level until 2006.

Any other myths you want to throw out? Or you'll stick with hiding your fibs behind Abe?


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

Al Norte, again, you and I have a fundamental difference in defining "tax breaks". Since I don't think the Feds should take any money from anyone for unconstitutionallly supported endeavors, there is no such thing as a "tax break for the rich"...however, you may note that my point is still valid, that if there are fewer loopholes AND a lower tax rate, the amount of money actually paid in taxes increases.

And thus, there is no "tax break for the rich".

The rest of your post is simply patently absurd and a rehash of the same old thing. You can state all you want that lowering taxes and regulations don't increase jobs, and that Clinton raised taxes (true) ( and regulation by the way) and left a "surplus" which has been shown to be an eggshell game, yet continue to ignore the Clinton recession handed to Bush AND the fact that the greatest amount of money ever having come into our Fed coffers was AFTER 9/11 and AFTER a tax cut....but saying your beliefs over and over don't make them true.

Far too much history against you on this tired and chewed up bone.

I like Ryan's plan. I hope the Repubs don't go all squiggly on us and cave, as usual...continuing to be part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

Time for me to get to work.....


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

"And thus, there is no "tax break for the rich"."

Too funny. The Ryan/GOP plan calls for a reduction of the top tier by almost a third, and you waffle around about it, mumbling about "unconstitutionallly supported endeavors" and "defining "tax breaks".

Quick question: the planet you reside on, does the sun rise in the east?

To your hopes: "I hope the Repubs don't go all squiggly on us" I think Alfred posted above that the senate will vote on this. Read the bill when it's posted. It, too, will call for cutting taxes for billionaires by a third.

I too hope the republicans vote for it, to a senator. But those running in 2012 are already waffling on this joke of a bill. Tax cuts for billionaires, privatizing Medicare, increasing debt by 7 trillion in this economy?!?

Call it whatever you want, waffle around it with your weird interpretation of definitions. Real Americans recognize it for what it is.


Posted by Cynic, a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 3, 2011 at 6:43 am

ANS: We heard the same fearful stuff with Welfare reform in the 90s, which worked out great. I have no fear over what you call "privatizing" Medicare, I welcome it. Choosing from a list of guaranteed coverage options, like members of Congress have, sounds good to me.

Anything to lower the behemoth hemorrhaging our childrens' future.

Including yours.

Think about it, I suspect I am at least 30 years older than you are, and I care more about your future than you do, willing to go for the change in Medicare, and you aren't.

As for the "tax breaks for the rich", you simply don't understand that "the rich" will pay more in taxes with fewer loopholes under Ryan's plan. The "tax rate" means nothing to those with enough money who can get around the rates.

Think about it,...are you really happy that our tax laws are such that GE can pay ZERO to our government while making literally billions? And in addition have the head of GE now be on our Government making policies ( which, I am sure, will benefit GE even more).

This cronyism has to stop.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton
on May 3, 2011 at 10:21 am

cynic:

You throw falsehoods back to Al Norte:

"Choosing from a list of guaranteed coverage options, like members of Congress have, sounds good to me." There's several key differences: a congressperson's plan has some similarities, but they also have a guarentee that they will be covered a minimum of 75%. The Ryan/GOP bill offers only a coupon.

"you simply don't understand that "the rich" will pay more in taxes with fewer loopholes"

Not true. I see no evidence of that. Please post a link to the CBO or other non-partisan study that says that.

"are you really happy that our tax laws are such that GE can pay ZERO to our government while making literally billions?"

Ryan/GOP does NOT address this. I, and others, have addressed it at Web Link GE's not alone. Exxon rarely pays much in taxes AND gets subsidies.

"EXXON MOBIL: The oil giant that was the world's most profitable corporation in 2008 has spent $5.7 million in campaign contributions over the last ten years and $138 million in lobbying expenditures. Its federal corporate income tax liabilities for 2009? Absolutely nothing. Not only did it pay nothing, but it also received a tax rebate the same year of $156 million. "

and

"www. catholic. org /business/story.php?id=41225

"Exxon's profit of $10.65 billion for the first quarter was its highest since it made $14.83 billion in the third quarter of 2008...

The industry is fighting a renewed push from President Barack Obama and Democrats to end its $4 billion a year in taxpayer subsidies."

How did you feel on April 15th about the $4billion given to poor little 98 lb weakling Exxon?"


Posted by Cynic, a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 3, 2011 at 10:45 am

I felt fine, given that I don't think it is my right to take anything from anyone...

I felt fine, given that each gallon of gas brings in 40-60 cents of taxes to the government, State and Fed.

I felt fine, given that because there is a "profit" doesn't mean I can steal it. Fine, given that "profit" gets poured back out into dividends for retired seniors, R and D for new energy options, drilling, improving safety..and of course MONEY to the government, the greediest business there is.

Guess what? I have owned a company that "made" a million one year, but paid it all back out in development, salaries to employees, taxes and i got nothing...no real profit. But on paper it "looked" like profit.

Non-profits "make" billions, to the tune of 68 Billion even in 2009, including Catholic Charities..this is not "profit". Web Link

We have a lot of educating of our public to do about how companies operate, what is "profit" or net, and what is "making" or gross income. Most people don't even begin to understand how a company begins, operates, grows, employs..what impedes its growth and what helps it, and in the end, how much we want really successful, really rich companies to be HERE in the USA so we get the employment and the tax base.

Focus on the "profit" of Exxon by Catholic dot org is highly hypocritcal to me. I am Catholic, and I am continually appalled by the ignorance of my particular brand of do-gooders in the name of "social justice". Catholic dot org forgot to mention how much "profit" Catholic Charities made in 2009, didn't they? And they forgot to mention that if we kill off the ability to get "rich", we kill off the ability to donate, didn't they?

They forgot to mention that the problem is not that Exxon paid no taxes that year ( assuming that is true, which I haven't tracked down), the problem is that we help smooth troubles in bad years by companies by letting them write off "bad things" and lower their tax liability. I am not sure this is an actual problem, but if we "fix" it for Exxon, the big bad wolf of the left, then the REAL problem for the left is that we have to fix it for GE, the latest darling of the left, which paid ZERO also. So, what do you want to do? As long as we all play by the same rules, I am fine.

By the way, Profit, be it the 68 Billion brought in by charities in 2009 as linked to above, none of it taxable, is profit, and should neither be demonized, nor punished. Without private profit, there would be no tax base, and there would be no donations.

Stop punishing the very people ( companies) who make it possible for the rest of us to earn enough to give that 68 billion to charities.

Or, in the end, we end up with nothing from anyone.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton
on May 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

While a fascinating rant about the Catholic Church and Exxon, it's noted you ignored the falsehoods you were spewing earlier: your lie about Medicare privatization and your lie about tax cuts for billionaires:

"you simply don't understand that "the rich" will pay more in taxes with fewer loopholes"

Not true. I see no evidence of that. Please post a link to the CBO analysis or other non-partisan study that says that.


Posted by Cynic, a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 4, 2011 at 6:32 am

Let me put it this way, if we continue on the "progressive" path, we will become more like other 'progressive" nations.

At this point, our poorest 5% our richer than 68% percent of the world...and as rich as the richest 5% in India

Web Link

I am a truly compassionate person, I want our poor to stay the richest poor in the world.

Keep repeating the belief that somehow the rich will pay less in taxes in Ryan's plan,( I never stepped around the "lower tax rate", my point is that the tax rates will be consistent, at last) and the belief that Medicare will be "privatized" ( which, even if it were true, would be a great, great thing, speaking as someone who will be affected by the changes)

Trust your elders on this, some of us are actually trying to look out for the next generation, not just suck them dry...If I didn't have kids, I guess I wouldn't care and would let the country go rot, but I have kids, and I would like them to have the same opportunities for wealth that my generation had ( and are in the process of destroying, with our our communist college indoctrinations. We were spoon fed one side of the story, much like France has been, and many of us now "believe" in redistribution of wealth, not understanding, or perhaps worse, understanding but not caring, that the more we take from producers, the more we destroy our economy, our jobs, our opportunities for the next generation. But, many of us don't care, we are too selfish to sacrifice now for the good of the future. My generation has always been about ME, and what I WANT...NOW...and I am appalled at what we are doing to this country)

But, perhaps you will get what you want. It will mean the collapse of our country's finances, and no money left at all for the elderly, but hey, enjoy taking care of your mom and dad in your home when that happens, working 2 jobs to support all of you.

Me, I am trying to not burden our kids with that life.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton
on May 4, 2011 at 10:03 am

cynic: why bring my kids and grandkids into this?

After all, your chart implies that, no matter what, they'll be better off than the Indian richest 5%.

Problems for the US poor are solved: no food, no medicine for your kid, no job to pay the rent? Hey it's all good because that chart says you're rich!

So what's to worry? (sorry, old sig lines die hard...)

Nice link. That's an inequality chart, with no links to the numbers Branko used. The thrust of the chart seems to be that any American making 6 grand a year is incredibly well off, because that makes him as "rich" as the top Indian quartile. Huh? If the raw numbers and the chart were true, it still falls into a couple categories:
- "Charts that prove Mark Twain correct" (see: lies, damn, lies, and statistics)
- has no bearing on your falsehoods about the Ryan/GOP House bill

Let's look at other inequality:
- here (not India) the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.
- The current inequality in the US is as wide now as it was in the days of the robber barons.

I'm not sure why you brought up inequality in a thread about the budget crisis, but you could go on all day showing the inequality between the US and the rest of the world, and I could show just as many charts about inequality here.

I'm more interested in why you feel billionaires deserve tax cuts in a time of national economic crisis:

- "The 400 highest-earning U.S. households reported an average of $345 million in income in 2007, up 31 percent from a year earlier, IRS statistics show. The average tax rate for the households fell to the lowest in almost 20 years." Web Link

Net: We both agree loopholes should be closed. That appears to be one of the few places we agree.

Turning our seniors (my family) out of Medicare and over to private, for profit insurance companies is a ghastly idea for most of us.

But hey, go ahead and opt out of Medicare and go purchase all your healthcare in the private, for profit marketplace, if you like.

There are other ways than tax cuts for the wealthiest, while cutting Medicare through privatization. See Al's original post as one of many suggestions.


Posted by Alfred E Newman, a resident of Atherton
on May 4, 2011 at 11:19 am

Yet another poll hows where America is:

"Voters back 69 - 28 percent raising taxes on households earning $250,000 or more. They say 60 - 34 percent that Medicare should remain as is, rather than giving seniors money to buy private health insurance beginning in 2022." Web Link

As for actually *lowering* the tax rate by a third for millionaires/billionaires as the Ryan/GOP budget bill does, the polls show only fringe support (~20%).


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on May 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm

>> Voters back 69 - 28 percent raising taxes on households earning $250,000 or more. They say 60 - 34 percent that Medicare should remain as is, rather than giving seniors money to buy private health insurance beginning in 2022

In the false name of anti-socialism or anti-communism or anti-populism we get fascism ... in the long run it's either one or the other until we decide, as most Americans thought we had, on a middle path. Roosevelt's New Deal and the history of the US has shown the way, a way all other civilized developed countries have understood and embraced, while in the US the "backlash of south" as I call it and it's elitism and privilege of wealth and power has pushed regression.

What really needs to be done is to have either more tax brackets after the 250K cutoff ... or create a graduated progressive "formula" that raises the percentage in some reasonable way the whole way up from some agreed upon starting level.

The idea of treated say ... a Palo Alto professional family making 250K in this area the same as Larry Ellison or Steve Jobs with their hundred of millions is something that everyone all along the spectrum should be complaining about.

It is the same strategy as Hezbollah in Lebanon living among the ordinary people in order that they not be able to be picked out. Though our super-rich are not the terrorists Hezbollah are, eventually the evolution of these creeping policies of disenfranchisement can do as much of more damage to our country and the world.

If our super capitalist are really super-efficient, instead of just greedy and incompetent seekers of institutional favoritism then they could just as well apply their brilliance towards making social programs more efficient, but instead they are undercut and corrupted at every opportunity, and the people and government are blamed for it, while disguised fascism is touted as the answer.


Posted by al nortte sm, a resident of another community
on May 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Are these guys serious?

(sorry, obviously not, it's the GOP, after all...)

"In a vote of 251 to 175, the House passed H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, to ensure that taxpayer dollars will not be used for abortions even though the Hyde Amendment already prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion"

Ugh. They spent WEEKS on THIS?!?!?

"... no, this bill will not create any jobs. Or reduce the deficit. Or save lives. Or reduce abortion. But it will make it that much harder for women to obtain safe and affordable health care and to exercise their legal rights."

And raise taxes on YOU if you have the "typical" insurance policy.

"the bill will increase costs and taxes for millions of women and small businesses... In fact, it will raise taxes on men too—because anyone who has a health insurance policy that covers abortion, whether they use it for abortion or not, will not be allowed to take a tax deduction for that insurance policy" Web Link

How do the tea baggers like this? More fees and taxes?!?

Way to go, GOP!!

Jobs? no

Balance the budget? no

National security? no

Re-build America's infrastructure? no

Work on Medicare of Social Security? nope

Help feed, cloth or assist the weakest among us hurt in this economic crisis? ha, ha, ha, ha... that's a good one. What do you think the GOP is, Christian or something?

Pay off the fringe? check. Pass a law that duplicates the Hyde Amendment? check. Use HR3 to redefine "rape"? check.

Waste a ton of time on a bill that will never get signed?

ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding !!!!

Priceless.


Posted by Cynic, a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 5, 2011 at 6:37 am

I am completely opposed to using any of my money to pay for the murder of unborn children.

The Hyde Amendment must be reviewed and renewed...this is that point.

I am happy to at least stop taking my money to give to people to kill innocents.

So, yes, you may think it is a waste, but I am happy to have SOMEBODY still defending the right to the "Life" part of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

Now on to defending "liberty" and the "pursuit of happiness"...

To those of you still pushing distribution of wealth onto America, I really do wish you would move somewhere that has been there, done that, and write to us about how easy it is to find work, how great it is that the poor are poorer than here, how numerous are the middle class and how they compare to our middle class, how the retired live compared to our retired, etc.

Otherwise, keep on believing your perception, since perception is reality, and let us know when you wake up. I understand, I was a socialist, too, until my blinders were ripped off. I am not sure if it is a cognitive development issue that can't happen until after age 25, or if it is an experiential issue, or perhaps a combination of both, but the older I get, the more I think that we should not be allowed to vote until we are 25, and certainly not allowed to vote if we take in more than we pay in taxes.

Whatever, I will read the "ding, ding, ding" mature responses later.


Posted by Cynic, a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 5, 2011 at 6:41 am

Anon: Since when is NOT stealing from your neighbor fascism? I think you need to look up what fascism is...still involved stealing.

Fascism and communism meet up on that tyrant circle and become close neighbors. Getting there may be a little different, but the end is the same...theft from and control of the individual.

A little review of the 10 Commandments would behoove everyone. It is all there..no murdering, no envy, no theft, ...would stop a lot of government growth, wouldn't it?


Posted by WR, a resident of Triple El
on May 5, 2011 at 7:15 am

"To those of you still pushing distribution of wealth onto America, "

Dude, wealth is already being redistributed in this country, all in the direction of the poor to the rich. Look around you. Check the statistics. We have not concentrated so much wealth in the hands of so few since the staggering, looting fortunes just before the great depression.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on May 5, 2011 at 7:23 am

> Anon: Since when is NOT stealing from your neighbor fascism?

Since when is making wacko statements discussion or debate? Stealing from your neighbor is not what is being suggested or discussed - but you can see there are those who think it could apply the other way as well. Your comment is a waste of time and energy.


Posted by Cynic, a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 5, 2011 at 9:29 am

Anon: just because some one thinks that the rich are stealing from the poor, with absolutely no evidence to support it, does not undo the fact that 2% of Americans pay the entire federal bill....25% pay 86% of the bill...there is no rational way at all that anyone can claim that any of the "rich" are taking from the "poor".

But, we do agree, it is a waste of time and energy to speak rationally with the irrational, logic to the illogical, facts to those who would rather be deaf and blind to anything regarding reality. And, calling me "dude" definitely shows the age, or mental, range, of those who believe that somehow wealth "concentrated" in the hands of few means that the rich are stealing from the poor. For great examples of concentrated wealth in the hands of the few, with staggering poor, and no middle class, I refer WR and anyone else to any communist nation, and to a lesser extent, but still present, any socialist nation. Take a gander at Greece.

So, we agree.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on May 5, 2011 at 9:44 am

Cynic, I never expect you to be able to take your blinders off. The way the big thievery of the whole world, and the little thieves are accomplished are based on the big stealing ... that is - taking the rights of human beings to the Earth they were born on ... and Earth that has been divided up based on violence and military power, and though is no relatively docile in terms of actual physical violence and people have been subdued does not mean that it does not exist, it makes it harder to see for people with small minds and reptilian sensibilities who think they actually benefit when the planet is destroyed to feed a rapacious system that does have some benefits to a minority but at a cost of setting an endpoint to the species.

Setting people apart from their rights as human beings and causing their deaths because they do not pay into the bank account you think is important, ie. yours, does not make it moral or right.

Human beings have a right to life on this planet, and when they are deliberately removed from that source of life and told they must labor for someone else in order to survive, and then that survival is broken up into options and accessories as a slick car salesmen would do ... get an education, get health care, live your life, eat good food, have communications, and all those prices are attacked in order to maximize profits for already existing power centers where most people and the planet have zero representation ... is nothing to do with the American way ... and according to every legal and moral value is worthy of criticism and resistance.

Take your boring one-line campaign slogans and put them where the sun doesn't see them.


Posted by Cynic, a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 5, 2011 at 10:02 am

Wow..Anon, I will let your post rest as it stands. I didn't realize what I was dealing with, and your post says all that is needed.

Thanks for the explication. I didn't realize that humans had the right to life without labor, the right to life without choices on what their labor ( if they choose to do so) can buy.

Ok, nice post.


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 5, 2011 at 10:47 am

cynic: "I am completely opposed to using any of my money to pay for the murder of unborn children." (I won't bother asking about what you think of IVF clinics...)

The Hyde Amendment is black letter law. HR3 did nothing to make it stronger.

HR3 raises taxes on you. It creates bureaucracy. After that, it was an utter waste of time. Even the tea bagggers are starting to take exception to all this.

Time that the GOP House could have been using on investigations of Pakistan, jobs, budget balancing, energy policy, China, a host of USEFUL activities.

Instead, they spent a couple months wasting time.

Didn't they say JOBS were why they were elected?


Posted by al norte sm, a resident of another community
on May 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

"It creates bureaucracy. "

Also requires more IRS involvement in your taxes.

A big win for the tea baggers on that one, eh?


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