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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-21-2005, 09:31 AM   #41
 
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Charlie,

All of those middle-class and low class people that you used as examples of using public services, I agree they are!

They are workers at large companies making a few people very rich! - When they are sitting in a traffic jam, they are doing so to get to work. - We are subsidising those large companies.

The folks that make $100 million a year, don't do it by themselves. They hire workers that we subsidize. The companies don't pay for their education, transportation, medical care, housing.


Get it!
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-21-2005, 09:40 AM   #42
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

P.S. #2

I forgot about public transportation. Do the high
wage earners in your city use buses more
than low wage earners? They sure don't in
Dallas.

End of rant.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-21-2005, 09:56 AM   #43
 
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Quote:
Jeez Louise, CT -------- soak the rich, they can
afford it. Charlie
Of course. Adam Smith recommended this precisely as fair. If you belivbe in capitalism it is part of the machinery.

[quote]They are workers at large companies making a few people very rich! - When they are sitting in a traffic jam, they are doing so to get to work. - We are subsidising those large companies. The folks that make $100 million a year, don't do it by themselves. They hire workers that we subsidize. The companies don't pay for their education, transportation, medical care, housing [quote]

Exactly. It's called The Invisible Hand. And since every businessman knows there is no free lunch...every businesman must be willing to pay his fair share..and as every businessman knows you gotta go where the money is. And it ain't with the Un-Rich. The rich just resditribute other people's wealth into their own pockets, with Government mechanisms and then call it Private Property.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-21-2005, 09:57 AM   #44
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Quote:
P.S. #2

I forgot about public transportation. *Do the high
wage earners in your city use buses more
than low wage earners? *They sure don't in
Dallas. *
Let's see, my dermatologist cousin who lives and works in Manhattan uses public transportation exclusively. She definitely earns above minimum wage, even when you divide the salary among all the family!

Also, have you ever driven through the projects or "poor" areas of town? The vehicle of choice is definitely not your newest energy efficient hybrid. More likely the cheapest clunker that spews out fetid, ozone destroying fumes. I have no problem with paying taxes so that the enviroment is protected.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-21-2005, 10:00 AM   #45
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

CT,

It is the classic argument and basic disagreement between liberals and conservatives. You want to
soak the rich and we say don't shoot the goose.

Ol_Rancher commented that raising the SS cap to
$200,000 was unfair and you said that it was fair
because they used a higher portion of the
infrastructure. Clearly you were wrong, IMHO.

Now I don't object to raising the cap somewhat,
but I don't think it would be fair to remove it
altogether. That would be equivalent to raising
the upper tax bracket by 7.65%. Now I know you
probably would favor raising the tax bracket but
that is a different argument.

It seems reasonable to me to increase the cap by
an amount equal to the average increase in
salaries since the last time it was adjusted and
then index the cap to annual increases from here
on.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-21-2005, 10:11 AM   #46
 
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Quote:
Ol_Rancher commented that raising the SS cap to $200,000 was unfair and you said that it was fair
because they used a higher portion of the
infrastructure. Clearly you were wrong, IMHO.
It's not a matter of who PHYSICALLY USES the infrasytructure. Due to the maldistribution of wealth there will always be too few rich people so the math alone will keep them from physically using much of the actual infrastructure.

Who [b]benefits[b] most from the the infrastructure is salient. In any case, in any situation, those with the most, by definition, have benefited the most whether roads are good or bad, schools are good or bad, crime is high or low, taxes are high or low.

The talk of who rides the bus or pays for private schools is a bogus argument. Southland Corp., owners of 7-11's get richer off government welfare money than the actual recipients. And what a nice way to funnel public money into private profits.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-21-2005, 10:17 AM   #47
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Quote:


Ol Rancher,

Since someone that earns over $200K per year uses a lot more of the public infrastructure than someone that makes 10K per year, it's not unjust at all.

Owners of companies that get their employees trained by the Public Education System, should have to help pay for their retirements as well - Most of these owners no longer have pensions for their employees. They are also using Public infrastructure to pay for the teachers retirements that trained their employees.

The more you earn, the more you suck resources out of the public. - And since we have been running deficiets lately, the rich are not paying their fair share.

I could go on and on. Airports, Roads etc. are used disproportionately by those earning large incomes. The subsidies have only gotten fatter and fatter lately.
Cutthroat:
I usually enjoy your posts, and appreciate your love of fly fishing., but let me ask you a question.
You are in your early 50's, and retired.
You and wife both drive lexus cars, live in an expensive home, enjoy fine dining and wines, have expensive home entertainment systems, enjoy elaborate trips, etc., etc.
How has our system failed you?



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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-21-2005, 10:29 AM   #48
 
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Jarhead,

If I just look at my personal life, it probably has not. That's the difference between the NeoCons and the Liberals. We're not just out for ourselves.

However, when I look at the shrinking middle class, the debt we are passing on to next generation. It upsets me. I think we're heading in the wrong direction.

In other words, I was just as upset about denying folks Civil Rights, even though I was not Black.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-21-2005, 11:08 AM   #49
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

I don't see how it will ever be possible to calculate who benefits most from specific government benefits, or what the tax/benefit ratio is by person or class. I don't have children. Does that mean that I don't benefit from having a public education system? Although I travel a lot, I have only driven on a small fraction of the interstate highway pavement. Does that mean I don't get my money's worth from the highways? et canem meam makes several similar points.

But I can look at the ratio of rich to poor in this country and see whether the gap is widening or closing. . . It is widening. You can see the data that supports this conclusion by logging onto the US Census Bureau web site and looking at the data they collect.

Do we believe that increasing this rich-poor gap is what is best for this country? I believe that the current administration does believe that a widening gap between rich and poor is better. Whether that's because they honestly believe that the rich will handle power and money in a way that is best for the country or whether it is purely a matter of greed, I cannot say. But it seems pretty clear that widening this gap is exactly what they wish to accomplish.

I don't believe that a widening gap between rich and poor benefits this country. I think that the country is better served by a taxation/benefit system that reduces this gap and promotes a strong middle class. We can reduce the gap through a combination of taxation and benefits. Since our current system is already widening the gap, I am not in favor of any taxation/benefit changes that exacerbate the problem. Until we see a trend of reducing poverty or strengthening the poor and middle class relative to the ultra-wealthy, I don't see why that attitude might change.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 06:17 AM   #50
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Falling nearly into that high wage earner category, working my butt off to save everything I can while paying massive taxes, *I am looking forward to ER'ing so I can point at the other guy and say "he's making a lot of money, tax him more but not me". *I'll be safely ER'd, and in a low income tax bracket by then.

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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 08:47 AM   #51
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Seems to me that the President better get a specific proposal together sooner rather than later. Lots of wild speculation if this thread is any indication. Couple of thoughts:

1. the current system is not in immediate crisis but it is unsustainable in the long run. Lots of demographic reasons we are all familiar with. Too many people living longer. Fewer workers supporting more beneficiaries.

2. system is not an insurance program. It is and always has been a welfare program. Income redistribution is a part of our society since the New Deal and that isn't going to change. Our parents and we will depend upon it to support us, in whole or in part.

3. fundamentally inescapable outcome is smaller benefits combined with higher taxes, in some combination. Greenspan says that our nation has promised more than it can deliver.

4. no liberal Democrat has ever had the guts to face up to the problem. Bush ran on a promise to come to grips with this and got re-elected with a mandate for change. Get over it. Give the guy a little credit for having the courage to step up to the plate. At least wait to see what his plan is for crying out loud!

5. for a bunch of folks who are staking the next 30 or 40 years of their lives on the unstoppable upward march of he stock market, there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of confidence about the outcome here.

6. I am glad that the President has initiated this discussion. I have my first grandchild coming in July and I hope he inherits a viable system that will work for him and not collar him with the costs of a generation of whiney old farts trying to sustain the unsustainable.

7. You got a problem with SS reform? Don't blame a courageous conservative Republican president who is going to try to fix a system that (whether you want to believe it or not) needs fixing. Blame FDR and the New Deal Democrats who set up a welfare program that as it turned out cannot pay the bills. But we as a Nation are now committed. We all are now dependent upon it and we must all now pay for it one way or another.

Donner

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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 09:03 AM   #52
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Good post, Donner. Totally agree. Maybe my sarcasm wasn't apparent above.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 10:07 AM   #53
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Quote:
I think that the country is better served by a taxation/benefit system that reduces this gap and promotes a strong middle class. *We can reduce the gap through a combination of taxation and benefits. *Since our current system is already widening the gap, I am not in favor of any taxation/benefit changes that exacerbate the problem.
I don't know what you call a system that taxes the rich at 35% or higher and the poor at 0% or less, but I think the current system does promote a middle class. What would you suggest to fix the current system?
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 10:14 AM   #54
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

How should one boil it all down to the basic premise of taxation and public resource allocation? *The current social security policy of inter generational inequity, as a form of economic caste formation, can lead to unintended consequences. *As the country launches into economic policy formation in *the current debate as reflected in many of the comments on this board, consider the premise once used to address large scale economic inequity:

"To Each Citizen According to their need,
From Each Citizen according to their ability"

Karl Marx, Das Kapital.
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 10:37 AM   #55
 
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Quote:
Blame FDR and the New Deal Democrats who set up a welfare program that as it turned out cannot pay the bills. But we as a Nation are now committed. We all are now dependent upon it and we must all now pay for it one way or another.
Donner,

Sure the country was running along just fine with Herbert Hoover and then FDR came along and screwed everything up! And then the generation that fought in WWII elected him 4 times! - What were they thinking!

Did you ever take a U.S. History Class?

Do you really want to go back to the 'good old days of Hoover'?
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 10:55 AM   #56
 
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Why is it everybody thinks they are "The Rich" and anybody who pays less in taxes is a welfare scumbag? And they never address the subject of people who get rich far far far beyond their actual efforts, work, risk, or responsibility? How about those who work hard for the short money? Chinese yin/yang I guess? Life/balance?

As ar as economic castes..hey that's just what the Upper Caste wants. It's not SS's fault. Besides the Rich are not taxed at any great rate. Some cossetted upper middle class people DO get screwed with unecessarily high taxes but rather than curse those who dont have high paying jobs why not tax where the money is? Everybody who knows business or economics would know that. The reason why the tax code is so complicated isn't because there are 5 brackets its to protect the rich and business from paying taxes. They keep more money off the table than is on the table. Even W said we should not try to tax the rich because they just get all lawyered up and avoid the taxes. (Fine talk from The Chief Law enforcer. he knows his rich friends are cheating so instead of enforcing the law make cheating legal)

As far as SS specifically, hey... why not go to the source? Make sure the economy pays everybody enough? I'm not talking about POS poor people. I am talking about the vast vast body of the population. Where's teh much vaunted "tricvkle down"? Why are we so distracted by the reletive nickles and dimes of taxation when if the economy did what it is suyppsoed to do nearly everyboidy would ahve enough to stop worrying (This might mean less wealth for the weathy but so what? That's trickle down) And speaking of actual poor people, even W's favourite philospher said something like "They shall always be among you" so we';ll need to: 1) write some checks 2) Kill them 3) Step over them and ignore the social and economic failures

Some relevent quotes:

<i>
Quote:
"The subjects of every state ought to contribute toward the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state ....[As Henry Home (Lord Kames) has written, a goal of taxation should be to] 'remedy inequality of riches as much as possible, by relieving the poor and burdening the rich.'"

Adam Smith
-- AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF THE WEALTH OF NATIONS (1776)
</i>


"At length, after much debate of things, the governor gave way that <b>they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. . . . And so assigned to every family a parcel of land. . . .</b> This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise. . . . The women now went willingly into the field and took their little ones with them to set corn." </i> Governor Bardfors's diary, Plymouth Colony

Sounds like a government sponsored project to me. I wonder if people closer to the "Elders" got maybe a better deal on the land, the corn, some kidn of head-start, heads-up... a little something that people who had less personal contact with Gov Bradford et al miight have gotten.

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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 11:06 AM   #57
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

ex-Jarhead and Donner - I'm curious, how do you feel about the huge budget deficits that this administration has run up, with respect to the effect that may have on your children and grandchildren?

RAE
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 11:18 AM   #58
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Cut-Throat--

Nope, don't want to go through GDII (Great Depression II)! But, if FDR was around today he would be the first one to say fix the problem! I don't think there is going to be a long stalemate on this thing. I think Bush is going to propose a plan, hear out the arguments, and come to some workable compromise that will have to incorporate some combination of reduced benefits and higher costs. He will then present it to the Congress for a vote. I think a big element of the final compromise will be to give all of us ample opportunity and time to adjust to the world as it is. And we will all cinch in the belt and get on with it because we all know something has to be done.

Donner
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 11:29 AM   #59
 
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

Hi Donner. I agree that "something" has to be done,
I just disagree with when to do it, and given history,
I am pretty sure I won't like the debate or the outcome.
My view remains that it is an easy fix which doesn't even
need much attention right now. Certainly not a "crisis"
by any means.

JG
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........
Old 01-22-2005, 11:47 AM   #60
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Re: Social Security Reform - Today's News.........

RAE--

Bush picked the worst time in the world to get himself elected the first time around. He inherited a stock market bubble that burst, a slowing economy and then came 9/11. He implemented exactly the right plan to keep the economy from rolling over completely. He cut taxes and poured on the fiscal stimulus ie., ran deficits. At the same time Greenspan and the Fed cut interest rates to the bone and expanded the money supply. Textbook. Absolutely classic Keynesian response to the conditions at the time. What would you have done in the last four years?

My take now is that our economy is presently strong enough to get along without deficit stimulus and accomodative Fed policy. In fact, its time to firmly apply the breaks to prevent the economy from overheating down the line. I think everyone will be shocked by Bush's 2006 Budget to be released shortly. People will soon be calling him not a spendthrift but a Scrooge! (Probably the same people! ) But its the right thing to do and he has the guts to do it. Now if we could only get Sir Alan to do the right thing we might keep this economy on a sustainable path.

Donner
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