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Old 12-10-2010, 09:20 PM   #221
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Full disclosure: My taxes would go up under this plan.
Lemme clarify that statement for my situation:
My taxes would go up under this plan a lot.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:29 PM   #222
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I know I benefited from what you call wealth redistribution. I got into college with grants and loans. I had a work study job. I got the advantage of a minimum wage increase in my summer job during college. ...
Let's compare this to some of the stories we here from people who got a cancer screening, caught it early and it saved their life, and now they preach to everyone to go for screenings. Seems reasonable.

But when you analyze it, you may find that to have the same success, everyone would need this screening every 6 months (just making up numbers here). And there is a risk to the screening. So overall, there may be more harm than good. And 99.6% would never get that cancer anyhow.

So we have to look at the big picture. And I think it is reasonable to question if many of these programs don't just create a dependency. I know there are conflicting studies, but it is possible that raising minimum wage has a negative effect, reducing the number of jobs, encouraging out sourcing, etc.

I think we need to be very careful that we provide safety nets for those who can't help themselves, and that other programs do the best they can to help people help themselves, and not create dependencies (as best we can, there will be people who manage to take advantage).


I'll try to find the link, but there was an interesting study on some country (Norway?) that over the years was decreasing the length of unemployment benefits. In every case, the rate of people finding jobs increased as the benefits were about to expire. So was that really the best use of public funds?

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Old 12-10-2010, 09:32 PM   #223
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Full disclosure: My taxes would go up under this plan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Lemme clarify that statement for my situation:
My taxes would go up under this plan a lot.
Me too, and I'd still be for it. I think it would be likely to be good for the long term. I'm seeing increasing violence in these other countries, and that might be a greater risk to my retirement than a rise in FIT.

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Old 12-10-2010, 10:14 PM   #224
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Actually, if we get beyond mere repetition of our respective ideological positions, we might find that unemployment benefits are actually a mixed bag when it comes to their effect on the economy. Certainly, some individuals may be tempted to slack off the job search given the availability of UI, but a contrary effect is that they will spend all the UI benefits they get and that will stimulate the economy, leading to more jobs for other people. Here is an interesting discussion on this very issue.

The effect of unemployment insurance on unemployment | Analysis & Opinion |

look especially at this Council of Economic Advisors study cited in Mr. Salmon's blog

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/defa...extensions.pdf
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:21 AM   #225
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One of the biggest awakenings to me was as I transition from working class to investor class was the tax disparities. Working at MegaCorp, I made a median salary. Top tax at 25% federal 6% state, 6% local/state sales, 4% property, and 8% FICA.
As an investor my rate has dropped off. 20% long term capital gain and sales tax.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:23 AM   #226
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Let's compare this to some of the stories we here from people who got a cancer screening, caught it early and it saved their life, and now they preach to everyone to go for screenings. Seems reasonable.

But when you analyze it, you may find that to have the same success, everyone would need this screening every 6 months (just making up numbers here). And there is a risk to the screening. So overall, there may be more harm than good. And 99.6% would never get that cancer anyhow.
I think that you may find this is not a very persuasive argument for Martha. Some things it is usually better to just abide with in private.

Anyway, the things she mentioned do not strike me as the things that most conservatives would rather not spend money on. What could be more important than making education available to motivated students, and making disabled people able to survive? SS disability is not easy to secure.

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Old 12-11-2010, 02:11 AM   #227
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I didn't misquote you, since I used capital letters and apostrophes.
LOL

then what you did was make a statement that you argued against, thus implying that is what i said. you are a politician, it is soo a waste of time trying to expain this to you.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:48 AM   #228
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I'm off on a road trip so I won't be posting in this thread for a few days. If this thread is still open then I will take it up again.

The selfishness expressed by some is surprising. I'm not referring to the desire to minimize taxes paid, but instead the lack of recognition and acknowledgment on how our society works and how it enables us. The ability to create value and generate prosperity is the result of giving, not taking.

Sunsetsail, you can find intelligence and reason in other people's views even where there is disagreement. You just have to first realize there are other intelligent people in the world besides yourself, and they might even know things you don't.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:04 AM   #229
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I'm off on a road trip so I won't be posting in this thread for a few days. If this thread is still open then I will take it up again.

The selfishness expressed by some is surprising. I'm not referring to the desire to minimize taxes paid, but instead the lack of recognition and acknowledgment on how our society works and how it enables us. The ability to create value and generate prosperity is the result of giving, not taking.

Sunsetsail, you can find intelligence and reason in other people's views even where there is disagreement. You just have to first realize there are other intelligent people in the world besides yourself, and they might even know things you don't.
Hurry back. I find your views refreshing but rare on this board.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:23 AM   #230
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But when you analyze it, you may find that to have the same success, everyone would need this screening every 6 months (just making up numbers here). And there is a risk to the screening. So overall, there may be more harm than good. And 99.6% would never get that cancer anyhow.
This analogy does not serve your point well. It's so wrong, it's a job to figure out what you're getting at.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:15 AM   #231
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This analogy does not serve your point well. It's so wrong, it's a job to figure out what you're getting at.
Actually even the OBM stated essentially the same thing during the debate on the health insurance bill last year. Congress members were selling the preventative aspects of the bill as a cost savings. The OMB looked at the details and determined that the preventative screenings would increase the costs of health care. This was figured by determining the approximate costs for the screenings for everyone and approximate savings from catching certain issues early rather than later. The number of people who actual are effected by the maladies screened for each year is low enough that it cost more to provide the screenings than it currently costs to treat the issues.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:49 AM   #232
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I hope that you take this with the intention of being informational as opposed to confrontational.

I believe that Westernskies is alluding to the fact that EVERYONE that went to the state schools received the same benefit of tuition. Much like if someone attends public school they also received a benefit of that education from the state.

But the reality is that if Westernskies went to the same public university, and paid the same amount of money as John Doe, but made better choices of not drinking so much, or wasting so much, and working to help keep his college tuition from building up to a large loan to be paid at a later date, that would be one of the differences. The other may happen to be in the same place at the same time, or being able to recognize opportunity more so than the miserable John Doe who chose to not take advantage of the what the state was offering, and using that to increase his income.

Both individuals received the exact same benefit. They both paid the same amount of taxes while they were using the services that the state rendered, therefore they are both even. Lest Westernskies happen to earn more and pay more taxes than the miserable John Doe who decided to drink a lot during college, stay up partying at night instead of getting enough sleep to make it to class on time, not fool around so much while attending college, etc.

FYI. I never graduated college. 99.9% of the people that I work with have either 4 year - 12 year degrees. I worked my tail off to get to my income level, although I paid only 2.4%-2.5% in FIT last year (with a 6 figure salary) because my wife and I planned on her being at home with our children, allowing me to focus on work and increasing my income (i.e. networking, etc.). The fact that we have 4 eligible children for the child tax credit helps a lot, as does the pre-tax healthcare that I have (along with my colleagues), FSA, and pre-tax 401k (just like my colleagues), mortgage interest deduction, and high property taxes, thanks to the state of NJ and our own decision to remain here. Choosing to work within the tax guidelines (and not even remotely trying to really stress our tax filings in the least).

The reason to mention the above about my life is merely to point out that there aren't that many people who can generate that kind of income without a degree, and sometimes even with a degree. Does that require my taxes to be increased automatically because I'm using the guidelines that were presented to me and allowed me to make my decision. I don't think so.

I fully understand (at least I understand what I believe I understand )...

But Westerskies was making an argument that he did not get any extra benefits of society that would have helped him achieve his level of success... one of those was a statement that he paid 100% of his tuition. I just pointed out that even if he did so, going to a state university and paying 100% means taxpayers in that state paid for him to go also....

As an example.... I just looked and say that in Virginia out of state tuition is over $30K and in state is about $16K... and I bet that even the out of state students are not paying the full cost to educate them...

I just looked up Texas and their funding for the next two year period is projected to be over $8 billion... If you go to any public university, community college etc. etc... you are getting a benefit from this money...


I do agree that these benefits were offered to others in the state where Westerskies received his degree.... but who cares... he did not do it all on his own... the 'system' helped him along the way... this system needs funding.... the question is how much and who pays....


I will be the first to say that the system is spending way to much and needs to cut back.. and I also think that everybody should pay in SOMETHING into this system... but the argument is that the people who are receiving the most benefits from this system (no matter if it is because of luck, skill, knowledge, hard work etc. etc....) should pay a higher percent of their gain back to the system.... I really do not see a problem with this... I do it in my life with others...

As an example... I have a good friend and we go out to eat or catch a movie or whatever.... and the bill comes in at $22.... I usually say 'give me a $10 and we are good'.... because I earn more than twice what he earns... and even though I have a family and he does not... I am better off than he is and don't mind doing it...

The problem is what should everybody pay and why are we spending so much... (and guess what.... SS and medicare are big drivers of what we are spending).... I am not for a very high upper tax bracket... I even think that 36% is to high... but I also think we give to many tax breaks... another example... there is a guy at work who complains about the spending and the dems... but this guy pays NOTHING in FIT... he has 5 kids.. his wife does not work etc.... he benefits greatly from our system... but he complains about it... and his changes would hurt others more than him... that is normal... he does not want to get rid of the child credit... and the college credit (since his kids are at that age now)... but I think that we should..


Note that I am not for a flat tax (flatter would be better... but not flat)... I am strongly against a VAT tax.... I lived in London for awhile and know that it hits the poor more than the rich...
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:58 AM   #233
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I think that you may find this is not a very persuasive argument for Martha. Some things it is usually better to just abide with in private.

Anyway, the things she mentioned do not strike me as the things that most conservatives would rather not spend money on. What could be more important than making education available to motivated students, and making disabled people able to survive? SS disability is not easy to secure.

Ha
On your first paragraph, I agree, I don't expect it to be persuasive to Martha (and I mean no disrespect or right/wrong in that, it is just the way it is). I threw it out there as a more general statement to the forum regarding the topic.

Please understand, I tried to be careful with my words - I didn't say we shouldn't provide these benefits, I said we need to be very careful in how we do it. It gets discussed from time-to-time how a student racks up a mountain of student loans for a degree that provides a very low chance of providing the kind of employment that will allow them to pay back those loans. Were they served by this benefit, or enslaved by it? Just one example.

RE: hypothetical example of proselytizing frequent health screenings:

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This analogy does not serve your point well. It's so wrong, it's a job to figure out what you're getting at.
What lets-retire said regarding costs. Plus more importantly IMO, is that in some of these cases the total sum of the health risks of the frequent screenings can create more problems, pain, suffering, deaths for the general public than the few cases that are caught in time. A colonoscopy, for example, is not without risks. You need to balance the total risk/reward, not base it on anecdotes of success.

I don't mean that as a literal example (though it might be true even in that case), but just that we really need to be careful in applying these 'cures'.

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Old 12-11-2010, 10:18 AM   #234
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Westernskies went to college in the state education system as an adult. I did not. I busted my butt an put myself through a private college. Does that mean he should have to pay more taxes because the state system supported him more than me? Or does that mean I should get a tax break because I didn't burden the state system with my needs?

As far as who receives more of a benefit, I think the poor receive the most benefit. Look at countries with little to no safety net. Their poor are very poor. Many live in tent cities on essentially abandoned property. Most do not have decent food and almost no clean drinkable water, while the rest of society has these things. As is often said we have the richest poor people in the world. This can't necessarily be said of the wealthy.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:32 AM   #235
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Wealth distribution certainly enabled me and my family to move from working class to investor class and it wasn't just tuition subsidized schools and universities, but at a much more basic level.

We grew up in a pit town in England and in the 1950's we lived in 2 rooms in a terraced house, another family of 4 living in the rooms below. The back yard was concrete and enclosed by 4 large brick walls and it contained a small building containing a flushable toilet and a standpipe used by both families in the house. No running water in the house. It was an improvement on what my parents had grown up in as the outside toilet had been solid waste.

In 1960 the local authorities upgraded the houses, we moved into a similar terraced house close by, and had all 4 rooms plus we now had an inside sink and fawcet so at least we had cold running water in the house even though we still only had an outside toilet.

In 1969 was another major upgrade to the houses, where one of the bedrooms was divided in two and a bathroom provided with bathtub and toilet, plus a hot water system was put in with a boiler behind one of the fires so we also now had hot running water, though no heating other than the downstairs room with the fire.

There was absolutely no way that our family and the hundreds like them could have made those housing improvements without taxes from those better off to make the upgrades.

I only had a small glimpse of what had been going on for the previous 100 years as the taxes from the wealthy made living conditions for the poor better, schools provide and the prosperity of the whole country raised. In the mid 19th century the industrialists had an excellent standard of living while the workers lived in terrible conditions. In big industrial towns like Manchester and Liverpool the male life expectancy was less than 20 years old.

While I complain about my taxes being wasted on pet projects and large, inefficient government bodies, I have no illusion that properly thought out and managed wealth distribution is anything but a good thing.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:32 AM   #236
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... I have no illusion that properly thought out and managed wealth distribution is anything but a good thing.
Absolutely. It's one of the reasons that my main (and almost singular) charity is Heifer (although there is a lot of assumption on my part that it is properly thought out and managed, but it appears to be and I haven't seen much in the way of significant negative critique).

But many of us feel that the present government system is anything but. I'm in favor of reform, not elimination.

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Old 12-11-2010, 11:49 AM   #237
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Westernskies went to college in the state education system as an adult. I did not. I busted my butt an put myself through a private college. Does that mean he should have to pay more taxes because the state system supported him more than me? Or does that mean I should get a tax break because I didn't burden the state system with my needs?

As far as who receives more of a benefit, I think the poor receive the most benefit. Look at countries with little to no safety net. Their poor are very poor. Many live in tent cities on essentially abandoned property. Most do not have decent food and almost no clean drinkable water, while the rest of society has these things. As is often said we have the richest poor people in the world. This can't necessarily be said of the wealthy.
I guess two points... which has nothing to do with the discussion... even going to a private school you do not pay 100% of the cost of education... but you are not being subsidized by the taxpayer (unless of course you count the federal funding of research that a lot of them get... plus I would be some others that I do not have a clue what they are)....


I am not trying to equate what someone should pay today based on what benefits they received earlier in life... or even the benefits they receive today... your post seems to suggest this... all I was pointing out is that NOBODY got to where they are today without help from the 'system'... no matter how much you claim to have busted your butt....

And I busted my butt by running my own company during college... I worked 4 days a week and took a full college load of 16 or 17 hours each semester on the other 3... every day was a 14 to 18 hour day of work... except Sunday night when I would visit my mother... but I took advantage of the system... got a couple of grants, got a loan from the accounting society... borrowed from my mom... I have more than paid back these costs with the taxes I have paid over the years.... but it would have been a lot harder to do without this help....
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:05 PM   #238
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I guess two points... which has nothing to do with the discussion... even going to a private school you do not pay 100% of the cost of education... but you are not being subsidized by the taxpayer
Which was kind of my point. If I don't receive the benefits offered by the taxpayer from going to a public school, then the argument that I have to pay higher taxes because I have benefited from the taxpayer subsidizing my education loses its effect. An argument can be made that instead of paying back the taxpayer, I should have to pay back whatever private industry subsidized my education, but that is a bit off topic.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:15 PM   #239
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At the age of 5 I realized I was sponging off society--using water from the municipal supplies, same for electricity, sewer, the roads used by my parents to bring food to our home, etc. So, I built a raft and established domicile in international waters (no longer dependent on a central government for protection), built a solar still from refuse I found, and survived on plankton strained through my tee shirt. I busted my butt, but I was happy. I don't owe anybody anything.

. . .
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:34 PM   #240
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The selfishness expressed by some is surprising. I'm not referring to the desire to minimize taxes paid, but instead the lack of recognition and acknowledgment on how our society works and how it enables us. The ability to create value and generate prosperity is the result of giving, not taking.
With all due respect, many of us on the board here understand exactly how our society is working. Although everyone in the US is provided an education and multiple opportunities to make what they want out of life, there is a growing segment of our population that smugly thinks it knows better than the rest how to build the Utopian society it envisions for it's like-minded citizenry; all they need are unlimited funds and a lack of accountability to accomplish their lofty goals. For some reason, they can't quite seem to raise the funds necessary to fund all of their ever-expanding programs on their own, so they feel compelled to force their neighbors to pay a much larger share of the bill by wringing their hands and waving a banner of self-serving morality.

I do understand this- the Government never gave anyone something that it didn't take away from someone else first. The government doesn't create wealth, commerce does. Maybe the class warfare so ominously predicted in this thread should come from the top down, not the bottom up? We are several generations down the road with failed feel-good entitlement programs, our educational systems are failing, and our infrastructure is falling apart. Our government has expanded while the economic engine that generates the funds to pay for it has faltered. What we need is to reduce the size of the public sector, wean able-bodied adults away from the public trough, and demand accountability for what we already pay in taxes, not impose punitive taxes on those who already pay the vast majority of taxes in this country. Imagine how healthy we would be if we were able to put everyone on welfare/food stamps/ 99+ week unemployment, etc. who is physically able to work into a tax-generating private sector job? Shake your fist and express moral outrage at the very concept, but I believe it's the first step in making people accountable for themselves and not expect Uncle Sugar to provide for their day-to-day existence.

I also understand that it takes money to run our government, and provide essential services, and have no problems paying my fair share of taxes for this. I do have a problem when people tell me I am receiving more benefits from our government than others and therefore I need to write a bigger check each year for reparations.
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