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Re: National Debt
Old 08-19-2005, 11:37 AM   #21
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Re: National Debt

Deficit is not the same as debt. We have never come close to becoming a debt free nation, and the little chart seems misleading. Look at the numbers on this website:

http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdhisto4.htm
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-19-2005, 12:02 PM   #22
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Re: National Debt

The chart is not misleading, it's very telling of the financial responsibility in place in each administration. Just looking at a chart of debt rather than deficits really gives people the idea that deficits don't matter, hey we already have Trillions of debt, what's a few more 100 billion gonna matter? But it does matter. The more new money that is borrowed by the government every year effects debt markets and interest rates for all of us. Plus it's the same as if you thought "well my mortgage is so big and the house value keeps going up, i can just keep adding to it". None of us would've gotten to ER like that.
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-19-2005, 12:07 PM   #23
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain_Mike
Deficit is not the same as debt.*
No, but if you keep running a deficit you'll never get rid of debt. While if you run a surplus you do reduce debt. It really is that simple.
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-19-2005, 09:33 PM   #24
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Re: National Debt

The external debt was reduced during the Clinton years, that is the money owed to private citizens and foreign governments. The money owed to government agencies, such as the Social Security trust fund, increased each year. Under President Bush, the external debt and internal debt are both increasing. This compromises the ability of the government to pay back the money borrowed from the Social Security trust fund.

President Clinton was paying down the external debt so that the Social Security trust fund could be repaid. Draw your own conclusions as to why the Republicans are destroying the ability of the government to reapay trust fund money.
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-20-2005, 08:06 AM   #25
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdo
Canada (where I live) has been running surpluses for many years now which makes me happier. Except that if the US economy chokes you'll drown us with you....

DougDo

We spend on average 6 months in Canada and 6 months in the US. Canada I agree does have a nice surplus, if I remember the accusations from the last election, it is planned that way. It also has a lot of frivolous (SP) government Spending, and it's share of corrupt politicians. As was experienced by the recent advertising scandals. The Politicians are just as shady as in the US. At least IMHO they are.

However, all in all Canada is OK., with one exception, the Taxes one Pays in Canada are a very OTT. Ontario with it's 15% overall sales tax equivelent rate is pretty high. Not as high as Europe, buy pretty high for North America. GST(8%) on New Homes, no tax deduction on mortgages, exorbitant fuel taxes, relatively sky high income taxes, and forever deminishing health care coverages, I should hope they have a surplus. And now they are starting to allow fee for health care that the government provides from independent providers. Ontario health care used to be free, it is not anymore, and a sum has been added to ones taxes for it starting last year, when they also removed the Eye examination benefit. Drugs and Dental are extra.

While IMHO the general concept of health care is still far better than the US', it is deteriorating rapidly, at least in Ontario it is. Waiting times are long, yada.. yada.. yada... My poor sister had heart failure, and was not diagnosed correctly for 4 years, with obvious symptoms that I found in "Blood Pressure for Dummies" at the local library! Not by just one doctor either.

Now if they fixed the health care system, I would say most of the taxes would be worth it though. Simply for the fact and individual does not have to worry about organizing it.

The comparision,is if you can pay for health care in the US, and are actually considered for coverage, basically you need to be healthy to start with. The care is stellar, no waits, no pushing around (in most cases), the system works well.... as long as you, or your insurance company is paying. Or, you are an illegal immigrant, but that is another story. You need an operation, generally it is available in no time. The cost, as many here know could be as high as $10,000 per year before deductables for a couple or family. A healthy couple with Blue Cross, with acceptable deductables is about $358 per month. The government needs to correct the legal system in order to limit liabilities so the doctors and hospitals, do not have to pay so much in insurances. This may help the costs. The lawyers however, will never let that happen.

To add insult to injury the cost of drugs is ludicrous in the US. But when Juries are allowed to award 1/4 Billion Dollars for a sinlge instance of a drug (VIOXX) mishap. They will stay that way. It may sound callous but "**** happens" when you have a population of 250 million people. How many people in comparision as a percentage did VIOXX help?

Now, I did a study last year about Taxes, not really in depth but a general analagy. This was for myself and my wife. It was basically how much tax would we have paid in each of the areas we lived, namely Florida and Ontario Canada. This was before we actually filed and were making the decision.

2004 Taxes.

If we filed taxes in Canada, we would have had to pay over $20k US in Federal and Provincial taxes + any $15% sales taxes we used during our stay, as well as fuel etc. (these we would pay no matter where we filed) It cost $700 for a rider emergency travel insurance for 6 months in the US with a $2m max no deductable all emergencies covered.

If we filed in the USA, we would pay about $1000 in Federal, no State Taxes and 6% Sales taxes. + $358 x 12=$4296 for Medical + $500 for extra personal insurance because of the Sue Happy US mantra, to protect our Nestegg, that would not really be required in Canada, but probably advisable. This totals about $6k.US, far less than the equivelent overall tax burden in Canada. And the quality of health care is generally better. But you have to be 100% healthy to get the health care. Conversly Emergency health coverage is about $100 pm but only covers a stay in the hospital and drugs while there. If you broke your arm and they fixed it in outpatients, you paid. (Some Emergency health coverage ay?)

Currently we rent, and do not own our own home, but I think in general it would be a wash in Canada or the USA, as we would not have a mortgage. Although in the US it is tempting to get one.

Cars other than taxes work out a similar overall cost.

Sorry, I hope I have not digressed too far from the original discussion, but we always do that anyway. Any other experiences or opinions on this matter would be interesting.

SWR
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-20-2005, 01:20 PM   #26
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Re: National Debt

Canadian tax rate calculator by province

http://www.ey.com/GLOBAL/content.nsf...5_Personal_Tax


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Re: National Debt
Old 08-20-2005, 01:43 PM   #27
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider




The cost, as many here know could be as high as $10,000 per year before deductables for a couple or family.* A healthy couple with Blue Cross, with acceptable deductables is about $358 per month. The government needs to correct the legal system in order to limit liabilities so the doctors and hospitals, do not have to pay so much in insurances. This may help the costs. The lawyers however, will never let that happen.


SWR
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I think the cost for a couple is closer to 8-900 a month for bc/bs coverage, unless you're in a group policy, then somewhat, but not much less. That's based on actual quotes.
Higher deductible HSA type insurance is in the 300 range per month, but deductible $5,000.
Agree the government could help with cost, but never very comfortable in seeing it get into anything (massive inefficiencies). Standarized insurance, price publication (a la Aetna's recent move), would help. I'd rather be healthy.
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-20-2005, 02:41 PM   #28
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
Canadian tax rate calculator by province

http://www.ey.com/GLOBAL/content.nsf...5_Personal_Tax


This is for single not joint income I assume. (Huband and wife would split all joint dividends and interest)

SWR
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-20-2005, 11:35 PM   #29
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Re: National Debt

What most Americans (or even Canadians) don't realize when comparing US and Canadian taxes is that US payroll taxes are MUCH higher. Social security and medicare are over 12%, right? Payroll taxes for the employee in Canada are a few percentage points. For low and moderate income earners that more than makes up for the higher income taxes. Much of the federal (and some provincial) sales taxes are given back to low and moderate earners in the form of rebates.

That said, I'm all for higher taxes when it leads to a more equitable fairer society (and when they're spent well which is always debateable but overall I feel I get good value for my taxes). We could use a few more taxes in Canada (and lower the regressive sales tax). For example, we should introduce an inheritance tax. Canada is the only major western nation without one.

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Re: National Debt
Old 08-21-2005, 04:33 AM   #30
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdo
What most Americans (or even Canadians) don't realize when comparing US and Canadian taxes is that US payroll taxes are MUCH higher. Social security and medicare are over 12%, right? Payroll taxes for the employee in Canada are a few percentage points. For low and moderate income earners that more than makes up for the higher income taxes. Much of the federal (and some provincial) sales taxes are given back to low and moderate earners in the form of rebates.

That said, I'm all for higher taxes when it leads to a more equitable fairer society (and when they're spent well which is always debateable but overall I feel I get good value for my taxes). We could use a few more taxes in Canada (and lower the regressive sales tax). For example, we should introduce an inheritance tax. Canada is the only major western nation without one.

More taxes? Great idea. Why didn't I think of that?

JG
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-21-2005, 08:00 AM   #31
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdo
What most Americans (or even Canadians) don't realize when comparing US and Canadian taxes is that US payroll taxes are MUCH higher. Social security and medicare are over 12%, right? Payroll taxes for the employee in Canada are a few percentage points. For low and moderate income earners that more than makes up for the higher income taxes. Much of the federal (and some provincial) sales taxes are given back to low and moderate earners in the form of rebates.

That said, I'm all for higher taxes when it leads to a more equitable fairer society (and when they're spent well which is always debateable but overall I feel I get good value for my taxes). We could use a few more taxes in Canada (and lower the regressive sales tax). For example, we should introduce an inheritance tax. Canada is the only major western nation without one.
DougGo:

What I have to figure out this/next year is exactly how the Canadian Taxes work. In the US we file as "Married Filing Joint" In Canada I think Everyone files a separate return, married folk simply file them together and list each other on the form. I will get the TaxCut software next year and go for broke.

I do not fully agree with you about income taxes though, as last year we paid minimal tax in the US, and then when I did a rudamentary calculations using the website you posted, it was 10 fold in Canada! Yes 10 fold. This was not a full and proper tax return comparison though. I just took our investment income and plugged it into the calculator and then did our taxes in Turbo Tax. There was no competition at all. As all our income is from interest at the moment, as opposed to dividends from stock. The Tax rate was about 30% in Canada for us. In the US it worked out 15% (ish), and we could deduct all sorts of things in the USA compared to Canada. (Evergreen tax credits, US Stock Losses from previous years, Charity in the USA, etc.)

This is a great topic, Canadian Versus US taxes and I think we should discuss it in depth, but this topic is really digressing now. Anyone got any more info on this (Apples for Apples)?

SWR
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-21-2005, 10:37 PM   #32
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider
This is for single not joint income I assume. (Huband and wife would split all joint dividends and interest)

SWR
yes, no joint returns in Canada.

In Canada, it really pays for each spouse to have approximately equal income. If one earns the lion's share, the taxes are much higher.

Also, cap gains are far better than ordinary income. This is way many consider RRSP's (Canadian version of IRAs) to be a ripoff.
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-22-2005, 07:48 AM   #33
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Re: National Debt

It would be no problem splitting ours as it is all in both names.

SWR
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-22-2005, 10:00 AM   #34
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider
It would be no problem splitting ours as it is all in both names.

SWR
Canadian taxes are much more graduated than US taxes. The net result of this is 2 people with 1/2 the income pay much less tax than one person with all the income.

I think investing for capital gains is much more important in Canada than the US. As is paying down mortgages since they all tend to be variable rate, require periodic refinancing (the bank won't take the risk, but will put it all on you). Mortgages are not tax-deductible.

All of this, in my mind, adds up to RRSPs not being as good of a deal as IRAs.

There are implications in the US/Canada tax treaty as well. I'm going to need to become more versed in it since I have a lot of IRA and 457 money in the US.
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-22-2005, 01:35 PM   #35
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdo
What most Americans (or even Canadians) don't realize when comparing US and Canadian taxes is that US payroll taxes are MUCH higher. Social security and medicare are over 12%, right? Payroll taxes for the employee in Canada are a few percentage points. For low and moderate income earners that more than makes up for the higher income taxes. Much of the federal (and some provincial) sales taxes are given back to low and moderate earners in the form of rebates.
I believe the employee payroll taxes are 7.65%. 6.2% for SS and 1.45% for Medicare. SS has a ceiling of around $90K, Medicare doesn't have a ceiling. The employer also pays 7.65%.
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-23-2005, 05:34 PM   #36
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Re: National Debt

I've never been married but my understanding in Canada is that married people can file either separately or together, whatever works best to their advantage. I could be wrong on this though. I'm surprised this has never been mentioned as a solution to the so-called "marriage penalty" in the US. Instead they just keep raising the amount married couples can deduct which does 2 things: reduces the "penalty" for married couples when both spouses have similar incomes AND increases the "bonus" for married couples where one partner makes most of the income.

I'm no absolute expert on the 2 countries taxes but all I wanted to say to compare was that you can't compare apples to oranges. Not only are the tax rates different but so are the way taxes are structured. Another example other than the payroll taxes is that only 50% of capital gains are taxed in Canada whereas in the US 100% of your capital gain is taxed albeit possibly at a lower rate with the changes a few years back.

Plus I believe we get good value for our taxes in Canada. If I lived in the USA, I couldn't have affored to do ER because of having to pay for medical insurance for example. without medical insurance through my job,
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-24-2005, 12:48 AM   #37
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdo
. . .Plus I believe we get good value for our taxes in Canada. . . .
This is a point that seems to be lost in most of the tax debates in the US. What do you get for the money? A 75% tax rate could be a good deal if the benefits were great enough.

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Re: National Debt
Old 08-24-2005, 01:15 AM   #38
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Re: National Debt

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Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
A 75% tax rate could be a good deal if the benefits were great enough.
75%?* Those would have to be damn good benefits.* I'm talking supermodels, fast cars, and unlimited use of Air Force 1.
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-24-2005, 01:25 AM   #39
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Re: National Debt

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75%?* Those would have to be damn good benefits.* I'm talking supermodels, fast cars, and unlimited use of Air Force 1.
Okay. That's what I meant.
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Re: National Debt
Old 08-24-2005, 02:03 AM   #40
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Re: National Debt

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdo
I've never been married but my understanding in Canada is that married people can file either separately or together, whatever works best to their advantage. I could be wrong on this though.
No offense, but I think you are wrong on this. I'm dealing with this problem right now. Actually, it is much more complex than that for me (I have dual taxation and residency issues as well). Way too much to go into tonight. Besides, we're way beyond beer, and the single malt is speaking to me....

You always file singly in Canada. There are tax implications that relate to your partner's earnings, but you still have to file singly. There is no such thing as filing jointly. That's why it is good to equalize income with your spouse...because your spouse is filing singly, and better to pay taxes on two $40,000 incomes than one $80,000 one, given how graduated the tax structure is.
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