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Recent Bill Maher quote on taxes


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#76    Yamato

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:05 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 26 March 2013 - 09:20 AM, said:

Dream on.
The dream is thinking that an independent board (sounds like rhetoric for a committee) is going to know when to increase taxes and when to decrease taxes based on the economy, as if the economy comes from tax revenues vis-a-vis the government.   Reality is the economy exists despite the government.   Economists can't even agree on whether tax increases or decreases are best, and that's because as independent as they might claim to be, they still wind up falling into one political ideology or the other by sheer incidence.  

I don't know what you think is dumb or dreaming but you have a lot to learn about the market economy if you think it needs Washington DC to thrive.   Rothbard and von Mises are hardly dumb, they know that complex systems like a national economy cannot be effectively planned or fixed by a few hundred smiley hand-shakers in the back pockets of our "too big to fail" establishment.  Going back to the beginning of this thread where I showed up, you might have gotten caught up in wanting to tax people who can least afford it, while the inflation tax is eating them alive already.   All the while I'm representative of your idea and you don't even know it.   If you paid any attention to microeconomics, my "independent board" suggested that due to the economic climate we're living in, living income tax free is not only the best solution, it's necessary for anyone a paycheck away from financial ruin.   To anyone who bears the full brunt of the inflation tax but has no assets to invest to keep up with it.   The independent board can be made up of citizens.   Instead of lobbying bureaucrats with someone else's money, how about lobbying free individuals with their own?   I'm the best steward of my own money, thanks for your lack of support though.  I appreciate it.

I think the ones dreaming are the ones still believing in the American dream, that it's okay if government can't afford to pay its bills, but the bottom half of the country can somehow afford to enable even more of its incessant fiscal irresponsibility.  The ruse is coming to an end Frank.   It's time to wake up.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela

#77    Babe Ruth

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:43 PM

Last year just before the OWS movement got going, the American Nurses Association (not sure that is exactly the proper name) proposed a very simple and easily enforceable 1% tax on certain Wall Street, stock market, transactions.  A very small tax, but in today's computer driven stock sales scenario, the potential revenue was in the billions per year.

A few others of the talking heads talked about it, but it never gained any traction.  It sounds like a good option for increasing revenue.  For the most part, the stock market is just a big gambling casino, and I think it should be taxed more.


#78    Frank Merton

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:51 PM

Put on a transaction tax and the transactions will move overseas -- at least the big ones and that is where the revenue would come from.


#79    Frank Merton

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:56 PM

Talking about getting any elected legislative body to have sensible tax laws is just nonsense.  We see it everywhere.

I am not a great believer in democracy.  I think the public more than 90% of the time votes selfishly and in accordance with their special interests, and these only sometimes coincide with the public good.  When it comes to taxes the situation is even worse.  

If you have to have your multi-party governments, each party lining up with a group of special interests, then at least get the major economic decisions (just as all countries now have their major constitutional decisions) out of the hands of the elected politicians and into independent institutions.


#80    Yamato

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:55 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 26 March 2013 - 01:56 PM, said:

Talking about getting any elected legislative body to have sensible tax laws is just nonsense.  We see it everywhere.

I am not a great believer in democracy. I think the public more than 90% of the time votes selfishly and in accordance with their special interests, and these only sometimes coincide with the public good.  When it comes to taxes the situation is even worse.  

If you have to have your multi-party governments, each party lining up with a group of special interests, then at least get the major economic decisions (just as all countries now have their major constitutional decisions) out of the hands of the elected politicians and into independent institutions.
Why single out democracy?   Are you a great believer in some other form of government?   All government is self-interested, Frank.  There aren't other forms of government you can rely on to escape that essence.  They're a group of people with common purpose and a vast reservoir of other peoples' resources they're in control of.   Singling out democracy for criticism is strange when we study history and look at what dictators are capable of.  Powerful people who aren't chosen by the people are no refuge from corruption, greed, or evil.   What authority do "independent institutions" have over people to tell them what to do with their money?   The independent institution in a free society is the individual.   People should volunteer to pay for what's important for them, not forced into paying for what's important to someone else.

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#81    DieChecker

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:43 PM

View PostYamato, on 26 March 2013 - 08:10 AM, said:

You're talking about "the Liberals" as "they".  Are you not liberal compared to your fellow Oregonians?
I'm about as conservative as they come in the urban areas of Oregon. Most of our large towns/cities are run by uber-liberals who get into power by saying what the Democrat voters want to hear. Lots of hippies and tree huggers.

Quote

How about turning that mindset upside down on its head and opine for decreased government revenue for a change?  
I could get behind a Balanced Budget Ammendment, but I know for a fact that it would never pass here in Oregon. We're just a touch less Progressive then Washington, with their Legal Pot and Gay Marriage. I think we also had those on our Initiaitive system last vote, and both failed by only a few percentage points.

Paying down the Debt is not going to require a balanced budget, it is going to require a starved undercut budget. If we intend to pay down, say 500 billion a year for 40 years, that would nearly handycap the nation entirely. The US only brought in 2.45 trillion last year, and spent 3.54 and so if we included paydown on the Debt of 500M, then we'd only have 1.95 Trillion to budget. So that would be a cut of 45% to spending across the board.

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#82    Babe Ruth

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:23 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 26 March 2013 - 01:51 PM, said:

Put on a transaction tax and the transactions will move overseas -- at least the big ones and that is where the revenue would come from.

Again Frank, perhaps you've been 'out of country' for too long?

Online trading is today's standard.  Many, many, many americans make trades on their computers all day long.  The numbers of trades are very high.  The potential for a small tax bringing large revenue is huge.  Several European countries already do it.

A small tax on transactions is not going to shut down Wall Street and move it overseas, no.

Such a tax may discourage such gambling.


#83    Yamato

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:59 PM

View PostDieChecker, on 26 March 2013 - 07:43 PM, said:

I'm about as conservative as they come in the urban areas of Oregon. Most of our large towns/cities are run by uber-liberals who get into power by saying what the Democrat voters want to hear. Lots of hippies and tree huggers.


I could get behind a Balanced Budget Ammendment, but I know for a fact that it would never pass here in Oregon. We're just a touch less Progressive then Washington, with their Legal Pot and Gay Marriage. I think we also had those on our Initiaitive system last vote, and both failed by only a few percentage points.

Paying down the Debt is not going to require a balanced budget, it is going to require a starved undercut budget. If we intend to pay down, say 500 billion a year for 40 years, that would nearly handycap the nation entirely. The US only brought in 2.45 trillion last year, and spent 3.54 and so if we included paydown on the Debt of 500M, then we'd only have 1.95 Trillion to budget. So that would be a cut of 45% to spending across the board.
And the longer we wait the bigger the handicap becomes.   I'd like to see government spending decrease by half, which we need to remember, isn't an absolute reduction in spending, it's just a government reduction in spending.  I know, Keynesians believe that somehow only government will spend the money, or only government knows best what to spend the money on, but nobody knows how to best spend our own money than each of us.

Btw, legal pot and gay marriage are libertarian values, not progressive.  It's none of government's business to decide for us what kind of plant we grow or impose control over the sexual preference of the person we marry, that's our business.

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#84    Yamato

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:08 PM

View PostBabe Ruth, on 26 March 2013 - 08:23 PM, said:

Again Frank, perhaps you've been 'out of country' for too long?

Online trading is today's standard.  Many, many, many americans make trades on their computers all day long.  The numbers of trades are very high.  The potential for a small tax bringing large revenue is huge.  Several European countries already do it.

A small tax on transactions is not going to shut down Wall Street and move it overseas, no.

Such a tax may discourage such gambling.
That sounds like a good idea at a glance BR, with a few small caveats.  Taxes are purposed to be revenue for government, not controls on our behavior.   I know there are extraneous examples like cigarette taxes which accomplish both revenue generation and discouragement of undesirable behavior, but these two concepts are diametrically opposed and wouldn't make sense in the general, when government wants to encourage activity that provides its revenue.  If we're talking about replacing the income tax with a small transaction tax on online trading, I don't think any of us are sure how small or big those transaction fees would need to be.   Would it be a flat fee, a flat percentage, a staggered percentage, etc?   And also, these transactions are already taxed by the federal government.  Every online stock purchase one makes must be recorded and presented in a table to the IRS.  Keep the short term capital gains tax and add another fee too?   It would put the federal government in bed with the financial sector more than ever, getting in the business of encouraging stock market trading which is one of the last places it should be in if we're going to have any semblance of a moral society.

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#85    DieChecker

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:26 PM

View PostYamato, on 26 March 2013 - 08:59 PM, said:

  I know, Keynesians believe that somehow only government will spend the money, or only government knows best what to spend the money on,
The problem I have with Keynesians is that in Recessions or Depressions, they are Keynesians and demand higher spending. But in the boom times (Which they will refuse to define), when government is supposed to cut back and pay back debt, they all of a sudden drop Keynesian economics and still demand more spending.

Those that demand saving and paying back debt in good economic conditions, and balancing budgets are every bit a "Keynesian" as those demanding big spending in a Recession. Neither is really... Because your averge Democrat Keynesian is not a Keynesian at all. He's simply a tax and spend Democrat hiding behind a momentarily convienent economic theory.

Edited by DieChecker, 26 March 2013 - 11:27 PM.

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#86    Yamato

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:10 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 26 March 2013 - 11:26 PM, said:

The problem I have with Keynesians is that in Recessions or Depressions, they are Keynesians and demand higher spending. But in the boom times (Which they will refuse to define), when government is supposed to cut back and pay back debt, they all of a sudden drop Keynesian economics and still demand more spending.

Those that demand saving and paying back debt in good economic conditions, and balancing budgets are every bit a "Keynesian" as those demanding big spending in a Recession. Neither is really... Because your averge Democrat Keynesian is not a Keynesian at all. He's simply a tax and spend Democrat hiding behind a momentarily convienent economic theory.
Excellent points.

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#87    evancj

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:02 AM

View Postninjadude, on 23 March 2013 - 08:31 PM, said:

this is precisely why a flat tax is unfair. And why our tax system does not do this.

How so? A flat tax sounds fair to me.

The rich are a drain on society, (with all their money hording, and loopholes) and it is about time they step up and pay their fair share.

Edited by evancj, 27 March 2013 - 02:05 AM.


#88    ninjadude

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:10 AM

View Postevancj, on 27 March 2013 - 02:02 AM, said:

How so? A flat tax sounds fair to me.

The rich are a drain on society, (with all their money hording, and loopholes) and it is about time they step up and pay their fair share.

Let's say that the current US progressive tax rates are 35% for the rich, 15% for the middle class and 8% for the poor class. A flat tax would be 10% across the board. The rich get a huge tax break. the middle class a smaller one. The poor class gets screwed.

The thing that you cry about where the rich are a drain on society, you would be giving them a huge deal with a flat tax. Which is why they are all for a flat tax.

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#89    Babe Ruth

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:03 PM

View PostYamato, on 26 March 2013 - 09:08 PM, said:

That sounds like a good idea at a glance BR, with a few small caveats.  Taxes are purposed to be revenue for government, not controls on our behavior.   I know there are extraneous examples like cigarette taxes which accomplish both revenue generation and discouragement of undesirable behavior, but these two concepts are diametrically opposed and wouldn't make sense in the general, when government wants to encourage activity that provides its revenue.  If we're talking about replacing the income tax with a small transaction tax on online trading, I don't think any of us are sure how small or big those transaction fees would need to be.   Would it be a flat fee, a flat percentage, a staggered percentage, etc?   And also, these transactions are already taxed by the federal government.  Every online stock purchase one makes must be recorded and presented in a table to the IRS.  Keep the short term capital gains tax and add another fee too?   It would put the federal government in bed with the financial sector more than ever, getting in the business of encouraging stock market trading which is one of the last places it should be in if we're going to have any semblance of a moral society.

I understand what you're saying, and totally agree.  Further, I really agree with your point that spending cuts are at least as important as revenue enhancement, if not moreso.

I'm no economist, but as I understand it stock purchases that lead to profits are taxed (the profits are), but if they lead to losses, the losses are deducted.

This is proposed as a straight tax, rather like an excise tax, paid on the transaction whether the purchase eventually becomes a gain or a loss.  I don't care if people gamble their inheritance away in a casino or on Wall Street.  So while it MAY discourage such behavior, it MAY NOT.  That is just a possible benefit for those so inclined, and certainly not the primary goal of the tax.

The primary goal is revenue, and that must be coupled with hard spending cuts.  The so-called Bush Tax Cuts during the wars have really messed things up, if one values balanced budgets.


#90    Yamato

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:22 PM

View PostBabe Ruth, on 27 March 2013 - 10:03 PM, said:

I understand what you're saying, and totally agree.  Further, I really agree with your point that spending cuts are at least as important as revenue enhancement, if not moreso.

I'm no economist, but as I understand it stock purchases that lead to profits are taxed (the profits are), but if they lead to losses, the losses are deducted.

This is proposed as a straight tax, rather like an excise tax, paid on the transaction whether the purchase eventually becomes a gain or a loss.  I don't care if people gamble their inheritance away in a casino or on Wall Street.  So while it MAY discourage such behavior, it MAY NOT.  That is just a possible benefit for those so inclined, and certainly not the primary goal of the tax.

The primary goal is revenue, and that must be coupled with hard spending cuts.  The so-called Bush Tax Cuts during the wars have really messed things up, if one values balanced budgets.
I won't browbeat anyone for focusing on revenue.  I just have it in me to see time and time again when government increases its own revenues it never uses them responsibly but always finds more programs to spend it on, so I ignore the revenue side of the equation.  I'm trying not to sound harsh to those who don't, it's frustrating when I see how government behaves and know that expecting a different result from increased revenues this time is insane.   Maybe if everyone on Capitol Hill was rummaging around about paying down the debt and I heard a hundred speeches about how motivated they are to do it, I would get caught up in the rhetoric and believe it.  But we don't even have that.

It's a lot more simple than it appears to be.  We have a spending problem not a revenue problem.  I've started some discussions with a professor uncovering the statistics on this, you can probably find it in the archives with the tag "Learnliberty" and/or "spending".  

The government makes more revenue per capita today than it did in the times our middle class was thriving; it's hard to take people seriously who imply or suggest that their generation deserves even more when they're already getting far more government spending than their ancestors.  The more government makes the more government spends.  It's a pattern too played out to believe any differently this time.  I think this time we're up against the most untrustworthy and voracious spenders in our history.  Like Diechecker alluded to, calling many of these people Keynesians is a compliment they don't deserve.

I'm tired of accepting the chronically inflating attitudes of a special group of privileged men who don't mind keeping us in their debt and in many cases reap massive rewards for doing so.   Prices should be allowed to rise freely in which case there will be rewards, and fall freely in which case there may be consequences.   I say may because falling prices benefit people who haven't purchased yet, the system is so rigged against the have-nots this fact is never acknowledged in roundtable discussions.   Everyone who already has something can love the chronic inflation we live with.   Why wouldn't I want the price of a home or equity I own to go up?   That encourages early capital investment but it's artificially encouraged in today's government-fueled market.  It rewards the people closest to the government money and the earliest ones who take it.   Since 2008, people are so intolerant to risk on the down elevator they will cry like banshees when this market corrects itself like it did in 2008 ("the worst recession since the Great Depression", what a line), but just look at the drunks howling like wolves at the spiked punch bowl on the way up.  In a climate of refusing to accept discouragement to invest from the marketplace in the form of falling prices, I find it very hard to accept discouragement to invest from the government in the form of higher fees and taxes.   If we let the market (the people) decide, we won't need more revenue.  Revenue is just the mechanism for control.  We're controlling ourselves into a fiscal/monetary disaster enough as it is.

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