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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-04-2006, 04:35 PM   #41
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Re: Even more political rants

In order to keep up with the arms race, the Soviet Union resorted to short changing their society economically in every way. You may understand how we are on the same track if you take a close look at our debt, current and future (unfunded entitlements). The implications of continuing on this same path are fairly obvious, IMHO.

I wish I had a brilliant suggestion about what our foreign policy should be regarding terrorism. Containment worked during the cold war. We negotiated with the Soviets. But the world is a different place and there are fundamental problems in practicing "containment" with suicide bombing terrorists. But I think there needs to be a more rational viewpoint on what makes our country more secure and resistant to terrorist attacks. Spending billions in Iraq will not do it nor will all the millions spent on anti-terrorism boondoggles all over the country. There really is no way to make our country completely secure against a determined terrorist.

I think we as a nation have a steep learning curve ahead of us and it's really important that we elect leaders who are willing to look at the world situation through a different lens in this new nuclear age. That may require that we elect more independent thinkers , if any present themselves.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-04-2006, 05:38 PM   #42
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
I don't. Decisions like this ultimately depend on one's view of what the world should look like and what is important. If you don't think that a social safety net is impotant, then the solution becomes obvious: whackety-whack. If you believe that the social safety net is important, then you head out in an opposite direction: shore up the system as best you can. This isn't a simple matter of Yen and Euros.
I agree that the decision to have it or not is a political one - with pros and cons - and that choice was made long ago. However the matter of delivery is economic - there are better ways than others - and the current ratio of the # of workers per SS recipient, combined with longer life spans, makes it obvious that a fix is an order. The inability for Republicans and Democrats to even agree on this simple point is the reason the cost of this entitlement program will continue to be pushed off on our children and grandchildren.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-04-2006, 05:52 PM   #43
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by disEntropy Greg
Some think that lower taxes are a sort of birthright due them . . .

I find this comment amusing - I think a little different. I think that Politicians see taxes as a their birthright due them so they can win votes - waste money - and redistribute wealth!

I am happy to pay taxes when I believe that government uses those dollars in a responsible way - and in ways that are provided for in the Constitution. If we took a hard look on how our money is being spent, I suggest we would get a few laughs, then we would get angry and then we would get very drunk. As long as things continue the way they have during my first 42 years, I will speak out loudly for lower taxes.

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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-06-2006, 08:56 AM   #44
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by Arc

I find this comment amusing - I think a little different. I think that Politicians see taxes as a their birthright due them so they can win votes - waste money - and redistribute wealth!

I am happy to pay taxes when I believe that government uses those dollars in a responsible way - and in ways that are provided for in the Constitution. If we took a hard look on how our money is being spent, I suggest we would get a few laughs, then we would get angry and then we would get very drunk. As long as things continue the way they have during my first 42 years, I will speak out loudly for lower taxes.
I agree with you about much of the waste in gov't and that it needs to be fixed. My problem with the birthright issue is a macro one. I find lowering taxes just to lower taxes leaves one huge deficit and problems for our children and retirement. Better to spend a little less now THEN lower taxes after the spending is reduced. I see an improper sequencing problem currently: lower taxes first then hope/dream gov't figues out spending issue afterwards. We can do much better; lower taxes are not a birthright. PAYGO is better
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-06-2006, 05:58 PM   #45
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by disEntropy Greg
I agree with you about much of the waste in gov't and that it needs to be fixed. My problem with the birthright issue is a macro one. I find lowering taxes just to lower taxes leaves one huge deficit and problems for our children and retirement. Better to spend a little less now THEN lower taxes after the spending is reduced. I see an improper sequencing problem currently: lower taxes first then hope/dream gov't figues out spending issue afterwards. We can do much better; lower taxes are not a birthright. PAYGO is better
Lowering tax rates for individuals has actually resulted in record high tax revenues to the politicians. So I agree with you that it is a spending issue and would like to see some adult politicians actually address it. But in the meantime, I believe the answer is lower taxes and cut spending. But that it is way to logical!
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-06-2006, 06:47 PM   #46
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Re: Even more political rants

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Originally Posted by Arc
Lowering tax rates for individuals has actually resulted in record high tax revenues to the politicians. So I agree with you that it is a spending issue and would like to see some adult politicians actually address it. But in the meantime, I believe the answer is lower taxes and cut spending. But that it is way to logical!
CBO, GAO, et al have concluded that the economic stimulus of tax cuts generates less than 10% of their costs. When you cut taxes you need to cut spending by 90% of the gross amount of the cut just to break even. Under PAYGO you would need to make the spending cuts to fit the revised budget.
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Re: Even more political rants
Old 11-06-2006, 07:47 PM   #47
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Re: Even more political rants

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arc
Lowering tax rates for individuals has actually resulted in record high tax revenues to the politicians. So I agree with you that it is a spending issue and would like to see some adult politicians actually address it. But in the meantime, I believe the answer is lower taxes and cut spending. But that is way too logical!
As I understand the Laffer Curve and some supply side stuff, it appears interesting on the surface but doesn't make any logical sense. I understand the one end of the Laffer curve where a 100% tax rate would cause zero revenue for the govt. That makes sense to me. Why would anyone work for free (unless it was a lot of fun and one didn't need any money)? But on the other end of the curve, zero taxes would create an infinite amount of revenue for the gov't. I have some trouble believing that. It suggests logical inconsistency to me. Is there some part I don't understand? Could you direct me to a website, perhaps, that explains its internal consistency--or lack thereof? Discovery of a tax system that works exactly like that sounds charming.
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