Not even a start

Beyond Saving
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Not even a start

 I know I sound like a broken record but the US is facing a very important problem and our "leaders" are not even addressing it. Some time this year, our debt will be larger than our entire GDP. We will be adding somewhere between 1.5 and 2 TRILLION dollars to our debt this year. And what "cuts" are being proposed? The biggest cuts proposed so far cut 1 trillion OVER TEN FUCKING YEARS. It doesn't take an economist to realize that cutting one trillion over ten years doesn't matter a hill of beans when your annual deficit is well over a trillion dollars. If it wasn't so serious it would be comical. 

 

Obama's budget http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/budget2012.pdf seems pretty realistic for 2010 and 2011, but beyond that it is assuming uninterrupted economic growth.

 

Even IF that growth materializes - which I am extremely skeptical of

 

and the tax increases raise the amount of money advertised - they never do

 

and government programs don't cost more than they predict- they always do

 

and we can continue to borrow money at low interest rates- I wouldn't loan them money

 

and the government doesn't create any new programs between now and 2020 - anyone care to take a bet on that? 

 

If ALL of that happens we will be running an annual deficit of over 1 trillion dollars in 2020, $863 billion of which will be interest.  We will be $26 TRILLION dollars in debt. But don't worry, we "saved" 1.5 trillion. 

 

It is a fucking joke and an embarrassment. The snake oil salesmen that we have in office on both sides of the aisle need to be thrown out on their collective asses. Americans really ought to be outraged that our representatives are sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring the real problems approaching our country. We enjoy the highest standard of living in the world. That won't last if our government continues down its current track. They are destroying the value of our dollar and it will eventually destroy our economy if we do nothing.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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 I accept that there the

 I accept that the debt is a very serious problem, but  I don't really know what to do about it.  The two parties have all the power, and both of them suck.  To deal with the problems in the government would take a organized effort by a large number of people.  I suppose that was what the tea party is trying to do, but they seem to only appeal to a certain subset of the population.  Major changes will require support from more people.  I think that a major part of the problems is that the majority of people in America have developed a certain amount of apathy towards government in general.   They don't want to think about government.  They don't what to involve themselves.  I think that the first step towards any kind change would require getting more people involved. 

 

Edit: Grammar fix


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RatDog wrote: I accept that

RatDog wrote:

 I accept that the debt is a very serious problem, but  I don't really know what to do about it.  The two parties have all the power, and both of them suck.  To deal with the problems in the government would take a organized effort by a large number of people.  I suppose that was what the tea party is trying to do, but they seem to only appeal to a certain subset of the population.  Major changes will require support from more people.  I think that a major part of the problems is that the majority of people in America have developed a certain amount of apathy towards government in general.   They don't want to think about government.  They don't what to involve themselves.  I think that the first step towards any kind change would require getting more people involved. 

 

Edit: Grammar fix

I agree.  That, and our two party system means there is only room for monolithic power blocks that have an opinion on *everything*.  I'd be willing to get behind a movement that would balance our budget and actually start cleaning useless shit out and replacing it with programs that actually work, but not at the cost of endorsing all the horrific bullshit people like the Tea Party pile on.  Honestly I'd rather side with the rampant spenders and eventually bankrupt the country.

 

I don't envy politicians in America on this issue though.  The American people aren't willing to cut back defense spending, we're not willing to make changes to social security or the medical programs and...well, that's it.  All the other crap is small potatoes, and among those small potatoes are the only programs that actually accomplish anything beyond letting us kill people.

 

 

Oh well.  Hopefully when the country turns into a third world shit hole I'll have enough bullets and cans of SPAM to barter for plane tickets to get my family to China, Australia or Scandinavia.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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I am sick of the right wing

I am sick of the right wing attacking "entitlement" programs. If they really mean it, then those at the top who are already well beyond well off, then THEY should volunteer their own medicare and social security, which they don't need.

But when the middle class and poor bail out their bad behavior to fund the overblown salaries of CEOs I don't want to hear them bitch about some poor person needing heat for their house or food stamps to feed their families.

Put your money where your mouth is. If you want  to pay down the dept then fucking do it and stop bitching. Roll back the tax cuts and pay your share.

We could pay of this dept by the top percent QUIT BITCHING AND BLACKMAILING THE REST OF US.

You want smaller government and less regulation? QUIT BITCHING AND DO THE RIGHT THING AND STOP RAPING THE TAX PAYERS TO PAD YOUR PROFITS!

I wont shed a tear for jaded assholes who think they are the only class that exists in this country. Your wealth is not my problem. Your lack of introspection in your race to the top and fucking over the other two classes in your penis measuring contest and abuse of power in paying off both parties to rid our country of anti-trust laws, is what I object to.

STOP BITCHING AND DO THE RIGHT THING AND START CARING ABOUT HOW YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY.

Otherwise dont bitch when the other two classes ask for protection from corporate anarchy.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Beyond, I really am not mad

Beyond, I really am not mad at you personally. I am just frustrated with the climate of fear and the false accusations of wanting a "Stalin" like government.

Back in the "golden age" of the 50s and 60s, the taxes were much higher and the pay gap was less lopsided. We had more manufacturing and way less expensive education.

Government run economies don't work. But no rules, which is where we are headed, are going to take this country back to a period before the age of regulation which the standard of living was far worse.

The "fronteer" spirit, is a utopia. The reality before WW2 was brutal and it was "every man for themselves". That to me is just as bad as a dictator or one political party, having all the power.

It cannot be more of the same. I have seen over the past 30 years less and less regulation, and more and more bubbles, and more and more high risk gambling on the corporate side at the expense of the rest of us.

When I first moved here, just 5 years ago, gas was just a little over 2 bucks a gallon, and that was too high, even then. I understand that inflation happens. But I have never seen even in that 30 years such a rapid pace in such a short period of time.

We cannot afford the explosion in the pay gap and cost of living gap. We cannot afford higher education cost to keep exploding.

I would suggest to those at the top, if they want us to do more for ourselves, then like they like to say, "do it on your own" too. Stop paying your CEOs absurd salleries. Stop making it all about profits, put more back into the workers and health care, keep jobs here. Stop blaming the other two classes for your bad behavior.

The middle class and poor are getting tired of getting screwed. We ARE going to end up looking like China and India's labor force if this continues. That is not competition, that is indentured slavery.

We have a slash and burn economy, and that is just as bad as a government run economy like North Korea.

Instead of asking the middle class and poor to take less and pay more for their food and shelter, give them more on your own and charge them less for what you sell. AND PAY MORE of an equal ratio in taxes that the middle and poor pay.

THAT is how you will get government off your back.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote:Beyond, I

Brian37 wrote:

Beyond, I really am not mad at you personally. I am just frustrated with the climate of fear and the false accusations of wanting a "Stalin" like government.

Back in the "golden age" of the 50s and 60s, the taxes were much higher and the pay gap was less lopsided. We had more manufacturing and way less expensive education.

Government run economies don't work. But no rules, which is where we are headed, are going to take this country back to a period before the age of regulation which the standard of living was far worse.

The "fronteer" spirit, is a utopia. The reality before WW2 was brutal and it was "every man for themselves". That to me is just as bad as a dictator or one political party, having all the power.

It cannot be more of the same. I have seen over the past 30 years less and less regulation, and more and more bubbles, and more and more high risk gambling on the corporate side at the expense of the rest of us.

When I first moved here, just 5 years ago, gas was just a little over 2 bucks a gallon, and that was too high, even then. I understand that inflation happens. But I have never seen even in that 30 years such a rapid pace in such a short period of time.

We cannot afford the explosion in the pay gap and cost of living gap. We cannot afford higher education cost to keep exploding.

I would suggest to those at the top, if they want us to do more for ourselves, then like they like to say, "do it on your own" too. Stop paying your CEOs absurd salleries. Stop making it all about profits, put more back into the workers and health care, keep jobs here. Stop blaming the other two classes for your bad behavior.

The middle class and poor are getting tired of getting screwed. We ARE going to end up looking like China and India's labor force if this continues. That is not competition, that is indentured slavery.

We have a slash and burn economy, and that is just as bad as a government run economy like North Korea.

Instead of asking the middle class and poor to take less and pay more for their food and shelter, give them more on your own and charge them less for what you sell. AND PAY MORE of an equal ratio in taxes that the middle and poor pay.

THAT is how you will get government off your back.

 

 

How are the middle class and poor being screwed? They pay little in taxes and get virtually ALL of the government services. The bottom line is we don't have the money and running up the large debt we are is going to hurt everyone. $2 or $3 a gallon for gas is dirt cheap considering the complicated process it takes to get it to your tank. Compared to bottled water or pop that the poor buy without thinking about it, it is cheap and low profit.

 

The bottom line is that with a few exceptions the "rich" are rich because they are causing more production than the poor or middle class workers. If they weren't doing what they do, the poor and middle class wouldn't have jobs as demonstrated by the number of rich people who have stopped investing causing our current unemployment rate. 

 

If you think simply taxing the rich is going to solve our problem you are in a fantasy land. Our debt has reached a point where if you confiscated 100% of their income it still wouldn't be enough. For last year I will be paying approximately 40% of my income in taxes AFTER deductions (I get to pay an extra 5% simply because I got a divorce- anyone want to get married?) and that is counting only income taxes, SS and medicare and not sales taxes or fees. While the vast majority of the American population will be getting "refunds" because they have little to no tax burden other than SS and Medicare, I have to save a large amount of money because my estimated tax payments last year were too low.

 

Do you know what I would do with that money if I didn't have to save it for Uncle Sam? I would invest it in a heartbeat, providing some entrepreneur with extra startup capital so they could hire another employee who could then bitch about their low pay while doing nothing to further their finances. Instead, that employee will be sitting around unemployed bitching about how low their unemployment compensation is. I'm not taking money away from my lifestyle or skipping a hunting trip to pay taxes. I'm investing a little less back into the economy. I guarantee I am not the only one in that boat. 

 

So I am paying 40% of my income while most Americans are paying 10-25% of their incomes and many pay none at all. In what world is that "fair"? In what kind of fucked up mathematics does that mean I am not paying MY fair share? Especially when I receive very few benefits even when I was broke.

 

And yes, before you say it, I agree 100% with you about any company that accepted any money from the bailouts. Every single one of those companies should be ran out of business and it is absolutely disgusting that Americans are still buying from GE, GM, Chrysler etc. Personally, I avoid doing business with any company or any bank that was involved, they are the lowest of scum. If all Americans boycotted those companies and forced them out of business it would be a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, most Americans don't even see that they have the power over those corps. Simply, don't buy from them. Vote with your money. Corporations in bed with government is THE biggest problem facing our country. Unfortunately, many people who voice those concerns turn around and continue to support the companies and the system that has allowed and promoted that incestuous relationship.

 

Now for a little branch off my tirade, Social Security and Medicare, yes they are part of the problem. But a part that is easily solved and certainly not the only part. We will be running nearly a 2 trillion deficit in 2011 and Social Security and Medicare are pretty much breaking even. That means we have 2 trillion of non- SS or medicare programs to cut. Since 2008 our annual spending has gone up nearly 1 trillion dollars. Is there any new government program or spending that has influenced your life since 2008 that you couldn't live without? That is a 30% increase in the last three years. How many people have seen their salaries go up 30%? There is plenty that is available to cut, and no reason we couldn't cut at LEAST $1 trillion in spending especially since we are supposed to be pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Cut a trillion to show your serious and I will be less hostile talking about tax increases (although I still maintain the poor need to pay their fair share. Everyone should pay some taxes if only so that they are concerned with how Washington wastes money). At least at that point we would be having a serious and honest discussion about solving our problems. 

 

Also the SS and medicare problems are ridiculously easy to fix. The only real problem is the demagoguery that the dems come out with telling old people the evil republicans want to take away their SS checks even though no one has ever suggested changing anything for current recipients or people close to receiving it. Well except ironically the way Pelosi's congress shamelessly rigged the numbers to hide inflation to avoid paying out a COLA last year. 

 

Fix #1 make both programs voluntary. If you want continue it as designed. If you opt out you get to pay 1/2 of the SS and medicare tax. With the savings on my taxes I could easily invest and make far more money than I would ever get from SS. Right now medicare is required even if you have millions and no insurance company will cover anything covered by medicare. Instead, make medicare a program solely for those who have no other option. Let those of us with the means and desire to do so provide for our own insurance. Anyone in their working years would be a fool to opt in to the programs and would be far better off taking 1/2 the money and saving it.  

 

Fix #2 (my preferred one but won't happen) eliminate the damn program as a retirement option. Expand welfare to cover the truly destitute, pay out to the current recipients and everyone over a certain age, reduce the tax rate on those who are younger, then only pay out to those who have no assets and low incomes through a branch of the Welfare program. There is no reason I should receive SS or medicare. I will be retired long before I am eligible for it and more than capable of providing for myself. Yet under current law I am forced into both with the only option to be to actually shred my SS check. On the off chance that SS still exists when I am old enough I will probably donate it to charity. I would like to see the age cutoff at something like 50 because 20 years is plenty of time to save for retirement if you are serious about it, but even if you set the age at 40 or even 35 much of the SS problem could be solved. 

 

Fix #3 Leave the programs as is but only pay out for people making low incomes and without assets. Basically like #2 but a more abrupt refusal to pay benefits to those with higher incomes rather than phasing it in. Many middle class Baby Boomers will bitch about "well I payed all my money in, I should get it out" Yeah, you are last stop on the Ponzi scheme, you should have done something about it when the solution was really easy in the 90's. You got us into this mess, live with the consequences you greedy bastards.

 

Of course, raising the retirement age would help as well but that really is a short term fix. Eventually people will live even longer and we will find ourselves in the same situation at some point in the future. I prefer a permanent fix.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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I don't really consider

I don't really consider myself a democrat or a republican.  I don't really like politics that much, and I don't really try that hard to understand it.  Personally I would rather not have to think about it at all, but the national debt is huge.  It isn't something I can just ignore.   I don't know exactly what the problem is, or what the best solution is.   I know something needs to be done before the problem gets even worse.  Right now I'm incline to vote for whoever I think will be able to deal with the problem.  This issue will probably be a deal breaker for me during the next election.  


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Quote:How are the middle

Quote:
How are the middle class and poor being screwed

COST OF LIVING AND PAY GAP EXPLOSION!

There is no way you could live off of my salary and the only reason I can is because I go to work and go home and am lucky enough to have had help from my mom. Most people at my level don't have that luxury. I would be homeless or living in a car.

Our government has been bought off by the corporate class which has avoided paying taxes, sat on their profits, charged more to pad their profits, driven down wages and shipped jobs overseas.

You kidding yourself if you think it wont get worse. The corporate class is frothing at the mouth at the prospect of slave wages which they have successfully bought off government to progress to.

I hope you never get affected by the climate of corporate anarchy you blindly defend. But when it does don't come bitching to me.

All I am hearing from you is "I'm doing fine, what's your problem?"

Your problem is that although you think things are fine now FOR YOU, that is no absolute and there are things economically beyond your control that can and will affect EVEN YOU, if things keep going the way they are going.

My problem is the jaded attitude that if one doesn't meet a certain status or have certain things in life by a certain age they are trash worthy of being treated like shit. If this is your OR ANYONE'S attitude, then go all the way with it, don't just stop at calling people "failures", treat them like criminals and make poverty a crime punishable by prison time.

Othwerwise, the right thing to do is to maintain a reasonable inequity, not a lopsided one. Put more back into society other than crappy sallaries. There is not one honest job, no matter the level, that is not deserving of a livable wage.

WHAT WILL WORK, is paying livable wages, paying for health care, affordable education, and bring jobs back here and keep them here. Once that happens the people you wrongfully blame will not turn to government, like most at the top cry about turning to.

Life is not a script and what you want is not what everybody wants and if we are to maintain the RIGHTFUL 3 class system, and open market, that cannot be done by continuing corporate anarchy.

 

 

 

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I do not buy that social

I do not buy that social security has to be touched. If anything about it could fund it better is those who don't need it could fund the ones who do need it. You can call that "robbery", I would say, "you should want to do it" You could also take all that money spent on two needless wars and plug up that gap.

Same with Medicade and medicare. If you don't want people turning to government for medical care, then if you don't need the "freebees" yourself, then don't take them in the form of socialized tax cuts. And, if you don't want them using emergency rooms then the monopoly of big insurance which has exploded it's profits BY NOT PAYING OUT AND CHARGING MORE, has to stop.

If you want others to be less dependent on government, which is a nice idea, then when you have the means to make things cheaper in the private sector, DONT BE SO GOD DAMNED GREEDY!

I find it sick that ONE Exxon executive can make 500 million a year, bitch about taxes, while the clerk at the gas station risks getting robbed on the night shift for a poultry $7.25 hour while the cost of gas, food and rent keep going up.

Competition is one thing, but what we have in America now is immoral and we will end up looking like third world country if this continues.

Supply and demand is the common cry, what you refuse to accept is that there is a difference between lagit market forces and CONFLATED market forces in a rigged game.

The fact that the inequity is growing demonstrates the lack of caring of the corporate class.

Corporate America wants privatized profits and socialized losses and LOWER WAGES.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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 Hey Brian.  I don't

 Hey Brian.  I don't really get were your going with your comments.  You list a number of problems that seem to greatly upset you, but I don't see how these problems connect to the topic of this thread.  If you have the time please answer a few of these questions for me.  

 

In regards to the nation debit:

Do you believe that the national debit is a problem?

If you don't believe it's a problem then why isn't it one?

If you do believe it's a problem what do you think is the best solution for it?

What do you think is an acceptable level of dept? 

How should the government decide what is an acceptable level of dept?  


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RatDog wrote: Hey Brian.

RatDog wrote:

 Hey Brian.  I don't really get were your going with your comments.  You list a number of problems that seem to greatly upset you, but I don't see how these problems connect to the topic of this thread.  If you have the time please answer a few of these questions for me.  

 

In regards to the nation debit:

Do you believe that the national debit is a problem?

If you don't believe it's a problem then why isn't it one?

If you do believe it's a problem what do you think is the best solution for it?

What do you think is an acceptable level of dept? 

How should the government decide what is an acceptable level of dept?  

Yes, but the dept is being caused by those at the top and deregulation and lack of taxes on the corporate side comming in. Throw bullshit words like "war on terror" and "abortion" and "redistribution of wealth" to put fear in people and you can ignore the fleecing of America by the corporate class.

This is not brain surgery. You have to take in more than you give out, dept is caused by spending more than you have and not taking in enough to compensate for what you spend.

MY ISSUE is that what the right wing wants to attack as "dept" IS something they could solve by rolling back the corporate tax cuts. What they want to cut will effect the middle class and poor the most not them.

I don't think any level of debt is good. I don't buy into "good dept" bad "dept". That is a corporate trap used to draw you into financial slavery. I do not ignore that borrowing even on an individual level will happen. But the way it is marketed "buy now pay later" in 30 second spots without regards to how that changes the social climate long term is causing the problem. It amounts to, "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should"

If the consumer really could affect the market prices would not be going up and living standards would not be going down. What this says to me is that the competition is for shareholders and CEOs, not the consumer. They want you on that revolving dept because they make more than if you had the cash to pay for it outright. The prey off the climate of quick fixes and don't care.

The consumer is paying less for the product and more to the shareholders CEOs and marketers. Everything I pay for has either shrunk in size and maintained the same price, or it has gone up drastically. It is because the competition is not on the bottom level on the user end and everything about maximizing profits. It is the enequity of conflating the real value of everything for the mere purpose of padding profits.

It is not the idea that government should always get involved as far as deciding what a "level of dept" should be.

It is the idea that if those at the top don't want that, then they should do more on their own to avoid that, otherwise they shouldn't bitch when government does step in.

What is causing this isn't that the rich shouldn't exist, which is what the right tries to sell you. What is causing this is that the corporate class successfully sells fear to maintain their monopoly on political power.

It is because of deregulation and the eroding of anti-trust laws that we are in this mess.

MY SOLUTION?

STOP BITCHING ABOUT BEING RICH AND ROLL BACK THE TAX CUTS AND STOP BLACKMAILING THE REST OF US.

When you have John Bonehead complaining about taxes on the rich but still wants the rest of us to pay for extra Jet Fighter engines the Military says it doesn't need, I only have one WORD for pricks like this

HYPOCRITE!

Again, if the corporate class wants government off it's back, they can get them off their back. "Cant" and "don't want to" are separate issues.

 

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote:There is no

Brian37 wrote:

There is no way you could live off of my salary and the only reason I can is because I go to work and go home and am lucky enough to have had help from my mom. Most people at my level don't have that luxury. I would be homeless or living in a car.

I could and probably have lived on less without help from anyone. I saved up a nice chunk of money when I was a teenager and I lost every penny on a bad business investment, so after college I started working and saving from scratch. Even when I got my first decent paying job (about 20k a year) I continued to only live on about 10k and banked the rest. That is how I built up enough capital to do serious investing. Being homeless and living in your car isn't the end of the world. Sometimes it is necessary and I did it for about 6 months.

 

Finances is all about discipline. I know people who make as much or more than me that live "paycheck to paycheck" because they buy big mansions, fancy cars, boats, run up credit card debt etc. I have always lived miserly compared to my salary which is what has allowed me to invest and enjoy the income I have today.

 

When my peers were watching cable, getting the newest cell phone, buying brand new cars, buying houses, nice furniture etc I didn't even own a tv, had no phone, drove a 1980 Chevy S10, lived in said S10 then moved to an efficiency apt and slept on the floor. And now when my peers find themselves losing their houses to foreclosure, unable to pay for their healthcare, their kids education or whatever the need of the day is they expect me to pay for it because I got "lucky".   

 

Brian37 wrote:

All I am hearing from you is "I'm doing fine, what's your problem?"

Your problem is that although you think things are fine now FOR YOU, that is no absolute and there are things economically beyond your control that can and will affect EVEN YOU, if things keep going the way they are going.

How did you get that from anything I said? This whole thread is screaming about a gigantic economic problem facing our country that can and will affect every single one of us unless we do something soon. I'm not doing fine. I'm paying out the nose to a government that treats the money like confetti and still has to borrow 1/3 of its finances each year. I don't want to pay more, I realize that in all likelihood in the next ten years I will and it is only going to get worse. I would feel much better about paying more in taxes if the government was at least TRYING to be sensible with the money. Right now they are not. They blow it faster than Charlie Sheen blows through cocaine and hookers. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

My problem is the jaded attitude that if one doesn't meet a certain status or have certain things in life by a certain age they are trash worthy of being treated like shit. If this is your OR ANYONE'S attitude, then go all the way with it, don't just stop at calling people "failures", treat them like criminals and make poverty a crime punishable by prison time. 

Poverty is only a failure if your goal is to get out of poverty. If it getting out of poverty is not a priority or a goal than it really doesn't have any relation to whether or not you are a failure. Personally, I don't care how much money people decide to make or not to make. That is a personal choice. What I do have a problem with is people thinking it is ok to take 40% of my income to spend however they desire while contributing little to nothing themselves. 40% hurts, no matter how much or how little you make. If someone who made $50k a year and had to pay $20000 in taxes don't you think they would be a little angry? Why do you think it would be different for the person who earns $250k and has to pay $100,000? 40% is a shit load of money whoever you are. Take whatever your income is and multiply it times 0.4, how would YOU feel if you had to pay that amount in taxes to a government that is going to hand that money out like cotton candy to big corporations, unions and special interests? Then to top it all off have people tell you "your not paying your fair share". Would YOU have any reaction other than  ?

 

I guarantee you if EVERYONE paid 40% of whatever they made whether it was $10k or $10 million there would be revolts on the street. My main desire with the tax burden is that it be shared. Everyone should pay the same percentage, after all, everyone has voted for politicians that have done all this spending. I didn't vote for the spending. I have fought it every step of the way, yet I am the one everyone comes to wanting to pay the bill. Honestly, sometimes it makes me think about just shutting everything down, selling everything off and retiring. Especially around this time of year when I do my taxes and see the damage. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Brian37 wrote: MY

Brian37 wrote:

 

MY SOLUTION?

STOP BITCHING ABOUT BEING RICH AND ROLL BACK THE TAX CUTS AND STOP BLACKMAILING THE REST OF US.

When you have John Bonehead complaining about taxes on the rich but still wants the rest of us to pay for extra Jet Fighter engines the Military says it doesn't need, I only have one WORD for pricks like this

HYPOCRITE!

Again, if the corporate class wants government off it's back, they can get them off their back. "Cant" and "don't want to" are separate issues.

 

 

Even if 100% of the Bush tax cuts were rolled back you are only dealing with an estimated $1.5 trillion in extra revenue over 10 years. How are you going to deal with the other $8.5 trillion in deficit spending? Even if you add on Obama's budget and tax increases you still have over $7 trillion to deal with. And that is before you even start to pay down the $14 trillion we already owe. There simply isn't enough money in the hands of those evil rich to pay for it even if you could get around the fact that substantially raising taxes would have a negative effect on an already struggling economy.

 

Tax increases may have to be considered part of the solution, but massive spending cuts will be a necessity if we are going to deal with the problem like adults, which none of our politicians have even pretended to do yet.   

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Brian37 wrote:I find it sick

Brian37 wrote:

I find it sick that ONE Exxon executive can make 500 million a year, bitch about taxes, while the clerk at the gas station risks getting robbed on the night shift for a poultry $7.25 hour while the cost of gas, food and rent keep going up.

It was only a mere $400 million and it was a retirement package for 43 years of work with the company 12 of which as CEO, not one year. The $400 million figure is the value of the package, not pure cash. (About $50 million was cash) The rest was in stock options, personal car and driver, corporate jet and other benefits. This was a man who built Exxon up to become the largest oil company in the world. They did $36 Billion in profit the year he retired making his entire retirement package approximately 1% of the profit it made in one year. A drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money he made for the shareholders. Which is why I believe it is far better to own 1% of the stock than it is to work your ass off for 43 years, but to each his own.

 

The work done by a great CEO is not comparable to a clerk in time, stress, scope, or benefit to the company. It is easy to find a new clerk to work for $7.25/hour. Finding someone to lead a company to be the best in its field like Lee Raymond is very hard. There probably isn't more than half a dozen people in the country who could do what he did. He sacrificed his life to build up the company and made a lot of people a ton of money including every person invested in Exxon and all of its employees. I think he deserved every penny he got. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:Brian37

Beyond Saving wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

I find it sick that ONE Exxon executive can make 500 million a year, bitch about taxes, while the clerk at the gas station risks getting robbed on the night shift for a poultry $7.25 hour while the cost of gas, food and rent keep going up.

It was only a mere $400 million and it was a retirement package for 43 years of work with the company 12 of which as CEO, not one year. The $400 million figure is the value of the package, not pure cash. (About $50 million was cash) The rest was in stock options, personal car and driver, corporate jet and other benefits. This was a man who built Exxon up to become the largest oil company in the world. They did $36 Billion in profit the year he retired making his entire retirement package approximately 1% of the profit it made in one year. A drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money he made for the shareholders. Which is why I believe it is far better to own 1% of the stock than it is to work your ass off for 43 years, but to each his own.

 

The work done by a great CEO is not comparable to a clerk in time, stress, scope, or benefit to the company. It is easy to find a new clerk to work for $7.25/hour. Finding someone to lead a company to be the best in its field like Lee Raymond is very hard. There probably isn't more than half a dozen people in the country who could do what he did. He sacrificed his life to build up the company and made a lot of people a ton of money including every person invested in Exxon and all of its employees. I think he deserved every penny he got. 

 

I'd agree with you here.  I obviously lean more towards socialism, but I think, economically, one person really can be worth thousands of other people and I don't have any problem with that.  Same with sports players.

 

On the other hand in a more ideal system everyone able to work an agreed amount should be able to afford a societally agreed upon standard of living.  Most people agree, which is why things like minimum wages exist.

 

Blah blah blah.  My eyes hurt, too much reading today.

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Beyond Saving, I take it

Beyond Saving, I take it from your posts you are not one of the 'fuck the poor' type of people, rather you say 'fuck the man' who spends all our money willy nilly. If I understand you correctly, you are one of the few people I've seen who thinks the rich deserve their money (and everyone else for that matter) yet still wishes to implement a welfare system to help those at the bottom get out. I like it. Smiling

 


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lalib wrote:Beyond Saving, I

lalib wrote:

Beyond Saving, I take it from your posts you are not one of the 'fuck the poor' type of people, rather you say 'fuck the man' who spends all our money willy nilly. If I understand you correctly, you are one of the few people I've seen who thinks the rich deserve their money (and everyone else for that matter) yet still wishes to implement a welfare system to help those at the bottom get out. I like it. Smiling

 

 

No, he says fuck the poor, lol.

 

From a public welfare perspective anyway.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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lalib wrote:Beyond Saving, I

lalib wrote:

Beyond Saving, I take it from your posts you are not one of the 'fuck the poor' type of people, rather you say 'fuck the man' who spends all our money willy nilly. If I understand you correctly, you are one of the few people I've seen who thinks the rich deserve their money (and everyone else for that matter) yet still wishes to implement a welfare system to help those at the bottom get out. I like it. Smiling

 

I'm not such a fan of a "welfare" system per se. I am willing to accept a certain minimal welfare system to help out the truly destitute because there is no way it could be eliminated entirely. I do think that those who have money should donate generously to those who need it, but I do not like charity being forced by the government.

 

To me there is a HUGE difference between the person who comes up to me and says "you have to give me X, because you have it and I deserve it" and voluntarily donating to someone who is in real need. If I see someone who is struggling and really needs help, I am happy to do what I can. If I see someone who is sitting on their ass a moaning about how horrible everything is and Uncle Sam should give them something, they can rot for all I care. Me writing out a check and handing it to someone in need does far more good than the same amount filtered through the government and I can do a much better job determining who truly needs help and who is just too lazy to get a job.

 

I dream of a world where when someone sees a fellow citizen in need they don't say "Someone should help them, we need a government program" rather I wish they would say "Let me see what I can do to help them". We are a long way from that, but I try to live my life that way and to influence others to do the same.

 

 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:I dream

Beyond Saving wrote:

I dream of a world where when someone sees a fellow citizen in need they don't say "Someone should help them, we need a government program" rather I wish they would say "Let me see what I can do to help them". We are a long way from that, but I try to live my life that way and to influence others to do the same.

 

I like that idea.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote:Beyond

harleysportster wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

I dream of a world where when someone sees a fellow citizen in need they don't say "Someone should help them, we need a government program" rather I wish they would say "Let me see what I can do to help them". We are a long way from that, but I try to live my life that way and to influence others to do the same.

 

I like that idea.

 

This would be ideal and amazing if we ever accomplished it. 

 

So from what I understand, it's not fuck the poor, but fuck the people who think they deserve things without working for it? I'm on board with that. My idea of a welfare system is not, "here's some money to eat", but rather "here's some food and here's some job skills". More akin to teach a man to fish than giving a man many fish forever.


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Beyond Saving wrote:How did

Beyond Saving wrote:

How did you get that from anything I said? This whole thread is screaming about a gigantic economic problem facing our country that can and will affect every single one of us unless we do something soon. I'm not doing fine. I'm paying out the nose to a government that treats the money like confetti and still has to borrow 1/3 of its finances each year. I don't want to pay more, I realize that in all likelihood in the next ten years I will and it is only going to get worse. I would feel much better about paying more in taxes if the government was at least TRYING to be sensible with the money. Right now they are not. They blow it faster than Charlie Sheen blows through cocaine and hookers. 

I can't speak for Beyond Saving, but the spending problems he mentioned are real, and they are exactly why Entitlement expenses are being looked at as 'junk food' budget items -because we can no longer pay for them. That is already in addition to government waste and spendthrift. Perhaps if REAL penny penchers were elected to office, this might not have been a problem, but several trillion have already been flushed down the shitter on items of questionable necessity. Believe me, I'd rather spend money to keep my fellow citizens fed and perhaps for a degree of life-saving meds, but that isn't an option when the dumbfucks in office would rather continuously pork barrel the taxes -spending on useless chit, that is.

 

The thing is, these entitlement programs are undoubtedly being gutted as we speak, esp. considering that social security entered red ink for the first time last year. Only a matter of time before medicare and medicaid follow... it's just not reaching the front page news.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Oh, maybe I should consider

Oh, maybe I should consider emmigrating to Australia or somewhere else.

 

I have a solution for a large part of the budget deficit, but I am afraid that many Americans will not like it (peaceful Christians indeed). 

Rank↑↓Country↓Military expenditure, 2009[2]↓ % of GDP, 2008↓
1United StatesUnited States663,255,000,0004.3%
2People's Republic of ChinaChina98,800,000,0002.0%
3United KingdomUnited Kingdom69,271,000,0002.5%
4FranceFrance67,316,000,0002.3%
5RussiaRussian Federation61,000,000,0003.5%

 


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Beyond Saving wrote:Finances

Beyond Saving wrote:

Finances is all about discipline. I know people who make as much or more than me that live "paycheck to paycheck" because they buy big mansions, fancy cars, boats, run up credit card debt etc. I have always lived miserly compared to my salary which is what has allowed me to invest and enjoy the income I have today.

 

When my peers were watching cable, getting the newest cell phone, buying brand new cars, buying houses, nice furniture etc I didn't even own a tv, had no phone, drove a 1980 Chevy S10, lived in said S10 then moved to an efficiency apt and slept on the floor. And now when my peers find themselves losing their houses to foreclosure, unable to pay for their healthcare, their kids education or whatever the need of the day is they expect me to pay for it because I got "lucky".   

 

I see part of the problem is that quite a few people "buy big mansions, fancy cars, boats" without "running up credit card debt ".  People who get $1M+ annual income.  You know, I am a socialist, but I am completely with you that if you achieved what you have by hard work and managing your money wisely, you must not be penalized for it but instead you need to be an example of success.  But many people are getting rich doing disproportionate amount of work by any measure.  

 

I would suggest an exponential tax scale on all types of income and property.  For example, you have a 200k house, you pay 2-3k tax, you own a 1M house, you pay 20-30k tax, you got a big 10M mansion, you pay 500-700k tax.  Very simple. The sample with your income/dividends .  You got 20k, you pay 1k, you got 100k, you pay 15k, you got 1M you pay 300k, you got 10M, you pay 6M.

 


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100percentAtheist wrote:Oh,

100percentAtheist wrote:

Oh, maybe I should consider emmigrating to Australia or somewhere else.

 

I have a solution for a large part of the budget deficit, but I am afraid that many Americans will not like it (peaceful Christians indeed). 

Rank↑↓Country↓Military expenditure, 2009[2]↓ % of GDP, 2008↓
1United StatesUnited States663,255,000,0004.3%
2People's Republic of ChinaChina98,800,000,0002.0%
3United KingdomUnited Kingdom69,271,000,0002.5%
4FranceFrance67,316,000,0002.3%
5RussiaRussian Federation61,000,000,0003.5%

 

That is an idea that causes much controversy in many circles over here when it is expressed.

Bill Maher had a commentary about the Tea Party promoting the cutting of spending but did not want any such thing done with the military.

It is a subject that has probably generated the selling of a few newspapers because the opinion columns that mention cutting into the military garner some controversy and attention.

Now, I am not as informed in some of these political matters as others on here, but it is a point worth mentioning.

Perhaps others have some feedback on what we might need to do with the military.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Oh, maybe I should consider emmigrating to Australia or somewhere else.

 

I have a solution for a large part of the budget deficit, but I am afraid that many Americans will not like it (peaceful Christians indeed). 

Rank↑↓Country↓Military expenditure, 2009[2]↓ % of GDP, 2008↓
1United StatesUnited States663,255,000,0004.3%
2People's Republic of ChinaChina98,800,000,0002.0%
3United KingdomUnited Kingdom69,271,000,0002.5%
4FranceFrance67,316,000,0002.3%
5RussiaRussian Federation61,000,000,0003.5%

 

That is an idea that causes much controversy in many circles over here when it is expressed.

Bill Maher had a commentary about the Tea Party promoting the cutting of spending but did not want any such thing done with the military.

It is a subject that has probably generated the selling of a few newspapers because the opinion columns that mention cutting into the military garner some controversy and attention.

Now, I am not as informed in some of these political matters as others on here, but it is a point worth mentioning.

Perhaps others have some feedback on what we might need to do with the military.

 

I dunno, I have sympathy for both sides.  I can understand the pressure of being the only super-power left and not being eager to abandon that position for parity with other nations.  Giving up that advantage voluntarily *is* an enormous gamble.

 

Humans just don't have much experience with peace.

 

On the other hand, the threat of terrorism is really miniscule in the grand scheme of things so there isn't a good rational reason for all the spending, and since China will probably be able to out spend us militarily before too long it might be a good idea to cut back now so they don't feel as much pressure to create a vast military machine that we can't match....we don't have much to lose if you look at it over a 50 year period.

But people aren't rational.  3,000 dead Americans means we'll spend ourselves to death and we'll increase the risk of WWIII because of our insecurity about growing world powers.

 

I think what I'd like to see is a treaty where everyone agrees to limit military capacity to bare bones, then expand UN peacekeeping funding massively so there is a viable peace keeping force in the world not beholden to a single nation.

Of course that has problems on its own.  I hate politics, we're all fucked.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Watched the movie

 

Inside Job recently and it was a real eye opener. The idea of financiers betting on the failure of mortgagees at the same time as providing them lateral funding with time bomb rates is just too weird for words. Bad things should happen to a lot of people in the U.S. finance industry. Wealthy, obnoxious dogs that they are. 

Meantime, everybody needs to live within their means. It's a cliche, obviously, but it's the only thing that works - for individuals, corporations and governments. It took me until my mid 30s to get a grasp on that concept - perhaps because having bought a huge mountain of shit over the previous 15 years I realised I didn't need any of it.

And to the OP, yeah. I watched the news and thought that those spending cuts were just a gesture. There can't be no thought behind it. Perhaps Keynesian economics are required for a while longer - at least until employment turns around.

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Quote:I can't speak for

Quote:
I can't speak for Beyond Saving, but the spending problems he mentioned are real

Right, they are, and most of the reason we cant afford the things our government spends money on is because we are not taxing the rich enough. Maybe we could work on wasteful spending if we didn't have this dept in the first place. MOST OF IT is fueled by Corporate welfare.

IF we rolled back the tax cuts for the top 2% our dept would be wiped out within a decade.

Instead, those at the top want to continue virtually paying nothing as far as a ratio and leave the other two classes to fill in the gap to what they are not paying themselves.

Oh, and if you want to talk about spending, did you see in this thread who ranks top in Military spending? You know who makes out like bandits? The private contractors whom Republicans suck lots of dick of.

I am sick of "Blame the middle class, blame the poor, blame unions".

Money equals power and republicans have no conscious as to whom they fuck over to please the rich. And all this selfish pricks have to do to get government off their back is to do the right thing.

There is a difference between "I cant", and "I don't want to".

The republican party would have you believe that if the rich had to pay their share the free market would die and we would become communist. No, all it would mean is that they might live in one mansion instead of 5.I don't think most would care IF the pay gap were not so lopsided and the cost of living for the middle and poor were not so high.

We have a political monopoly run by the top 2% which is nothing but a propaganda machine.

It takes TREE classes to have a sustainable economy, and to lie and say that there is only one important class in this country is fucking selfish.

NO ONE WANTS COMMUNISM OR SOCIALISM, SO PLEASE KNOCK THAT FUCKING SHIT OFF!

What is going on here is a rigged market where profits are exploding and NOTHING is being built in this country and wages are stagnant and or falling. And the tax cuts for the top percent are being funded by the rest of us.

I don't want to hear shit about welfare when Bonehead wants Jet engines(backed off when called on it) we don't need to pay off a private contractor. I don't want to hear shit about welfare when rich NFL owners bribe or blackmail tax payers into building stadiums they could pay for themselves.

Until the rich face the fact that they cannot keep exploding profits and stop asking for welfare in the form of tax cuts, they cannot bitch when the other two classes turn to government for protection from their slash and burn attitude.

Again, I don't want to hear some fuckwad making 500million a year bitch about taxes when his store clerk making $7.25 an hour cant afford health care, food or pay rent.

BOO AND FUCKING HOO!

The rich have the power to get government off their back, but they are too fucking selfish to do it.

 

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:NO ONE WANTS

Brian37 wrote:

NO ONE WANTS COMMUNISM OR SOCIALISM, SO PLEASE KNOCK THAT FUCKING SHIT OFF!

 

I want socialism.

 


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

NO ONE WANTS COMMUNISM OR SOCIALISM, SO PLEASE KNOCK THAT FUCKING SHIT OFF!

 

I want socialism.

 

Me too, lol.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad

mellestad wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

NO ONE WANTS COMMUNISM OR SOCIALISM, SO PLEASE KNOCK THAT FUCKING SHIT OFF!

 

I want socialism.

 

Me too, lol.

Being somewhat uninformed about what socialism really is, would anyone care to give me a type of clear cut definition ?

Back when Obama was running for President, so many people kept tossing the word socialist out there to be anything and everything involved with something left wing.

Google and Wikipedia did not give me too much of a better definition of socialism and the difference between communism and socialism.

So, if anyone doesn't mind, please enlighten me.

So many websites out there advertise " we are what TRUE socialism stands for" that it seems to almost mean whatever people want it to.

I even encountered a group that calls themselves socialist-libertarians and seems to have a distaste for ordinary libertarians.

What is socialism, how is it different from communism and why does it give so many Americans the Pavlov response of sheer terror ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

mellestad wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

NO ONE WANTS COMMUNISM OR SOCIALISM, SO PLEASE KNOCK THAT FUCKING SHIT OFF!

 

I want socialism.

 

Me too, lol.

Being somewhat uninformed about what socialism really is, would anyone care to give me a type of clear cut definition ?

Back when Obama was running for President, so many people kept tossing the word socialist out there to be anything and everything involved with something left wing.

Google and Wikipedia did not give me too much of a better definition of socialism and the difference between communism and socialism.

So, if anyone doesn't mind, please enlighten me.

So many websites out there advertise " we are what TRUE socialism stands for" that it seems to almost mean whatever people want it to.

I even encountered a group that calls themselves socialist-libertarians and seems to have a distaste for ordinary libertarians.

What is socialism, how is it different from communism and why does it give so many Americans the Pavlov response of sheer terror ?

 

Technically socialism is group ownership of production capacity...which means the government owning businesses and managing then for the sake of the whole rather than the individual.

The opposite is Libertarianism, where means of production are controlled purely privately with no government intervention.

 

Those are 'pure' systems.  Not many people advocate either one of those, myself included.  Beyond doesn't advocate pure Libertarianism either.  We both think some things are appropriate to assign to the government.

 

The degree to which one supports government intervention in economic matters is really how you can define a 'socialist'.  When someone uses the word socialist in a 'bad' way they usually mean 'that person wants more government intervention than I do'...so it is a very arbitrary and subjective accusation.

Someone who has a background in political science might use the words differently, becaus there are actually somewhat strict definitions regarding most of these words.  I'm assuming this isn't that type of discussion.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Sorry, I missed some of your

Sorry, I missed some of your questions.

 

Socialism differs from Communism in degree.  Socialism still works within capitalism, communism eliminates that so there isn't any private economy.

 

Americans are terrified of it because during the Cold War conflict with the communist Russians, anything relating to communism was demonized...and socialism is part of communism.

 

In modern America some people have genuine economic, ideological or political reasons for being anti-socialistic (Like beyond), but mostly it is tradition and ignorance.  America is already very, very socialistic, but most of the people having panic attacks don't understand that.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad

mellestad wrote:

 

Technically socialism is group ownership of production capacity...which means the government owning businesses and managing then for the sake of the whole rather than the individual.

 

 

I don't really see how the ownership of production capacity necessarily means the government owning businesses. 

I would give another example.  Think of a company in which the dividends are equally distributed among all company workers (more or less) and all workers have equal voice in making decisions up to the very top level of company management.  Imagine the CEO is getting payed no more than say three times the lowest salary in the company.  Taxes are high, very high on rich and people getting high income and supporting no family.  Schools, universities, childcare are paid by the government (the HC system can still be a private system) collecting big taxes.  What else, umm well, I probably like Sweden.

 

But in the nutshell the mellestad's idea seems to be right to me, the workers in the socialistic society collectively own the results of their work. 

Communism has never been even attempted to be introduced, ... North Korea maybe...   Communism is socialism without money.   Individuals, all of them, must achieve the state of responsibility when they will not consume more than they need, everything will be free, and no one will get paid.  This utopia will not likely to be achieved ever due to psychological nature of homo sapiences.  But all other animals live pretty much in communist societies. Smiling

 

Edit: this my personal understanding, it may or may not be close to official definitions of the terms, ... and all humans and animals are imaginary.


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mellestad wrote:Sorry, I

mellestad wrote:

Sorry, I missed some of your questions.

 

Socialism differs from Communism in degree.  Socialism still works within capitalism, communism eliminates that so there isn't any private economy.

 

Americans are terrified of it because during the Cold War conflict with the communist Russians, anything relating to communism was demonized...and socialism is part of communism.

 

In modern America some people have genuine economic, ideological or political reasons for being anti-socialistic (Like beyond), but mostly it is tradition and ignorance.  America is already very, very socialistic, but most of the people having panic attacks don't understand that.

 

 

I agree with everything, except that Russia was a communist country.  I think that this is a common misconception that Russia/USSR was/(is?) a communist country.  And by the way, USSR - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, not communist republics.   A long time ago, soviet dictators had realized that it will not likely to build a communist society maybe ever, so they declared that we will build a socialist country that will be a transitional state to communism.  The problem was that the socialist countries of the eastern block, were if fact just totalitarian countries that exploited the idea of socialism.  And they discredited this idea so much (in a large part by the total government ownership of businesses), that many western countries see socialism as an absolute evil, and I doubt that many Americans know the difference between communism and socialism.   I also think that many people in the US truly believe that they live in a PURE capitalist country (except for Obama, of course, who has absolutely nothing to do with socialism). 


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Like I said, that is the

Like I said, that is the technical wording, no-one actually does that...the nations that tried, failed.

 

In pure socialism the government owns the businesses and decides how the businesses run, and the workers get paid.  A person might still be able to own something like a hot dog stand though, since it is just retail.

In communism it is the same, except the workers don't get paid since property is owned collectively.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Sorry, I missed some of your questions.

 

Socialism differs from Communism in degree.  Socialism still works within capitalism, communism eliminates that so there isn't any private economy.

 

Americans are terrified of it because during the Cold War conflict with the communist Russians, anything relating to communism was demonized...and socialism is part of communism.

 

In modern America some people have genuine economic, ideological or political reasons for being anti-socialistic (Like beyond), but mostly it is tradition and ignorance.  America is already very, very socialistic, but most of the people having panic attacks don't understand that.

 

 

I agree with everything, except that Russia was a communist country.  I think that this is a common misconception that Russia/USSR was/(is?) a communist country.  And by the way, USSR - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, not communist republics.   A long time ago, soviet dictators had realized that it will not likely to build a communist society maybe ever, so they declared that we will build a socialist country that will be a transitional state to communism.  The problem was that the socialist countries of the eastern block, were if fact just totalitarian countries that exploited the idea of socialism.  And they discredited this idea so much (in a large part by the total government ownership of businesses), that many western countries see socialism as an absolute evil, and I doubt that many Americans know the difference between communism and socialism.   I also think that many people in the US truly believe that they live in a PURE capitalist country (except for Obama, of course, who has absolutely nothing to do with socialism). 

 

Yea, that's true.  That goes back to the fact that American's don't really know what socialism is, largely due to government propaganda about the soviets during the cold war.  The terms were conflated and anything about marxism was labled evil.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

NO ONE WANTS COMMUNISM OR SOCIALISM, SO PLEASE KNOCK THAT FUCKING SHIT OFF!

 

I want socialism.

 

Well, whatever pragmatism the word "socialism" might have in reality, it has been trampled to death like "atheism".

I would even say that most Americans don't understand that Thomas Jefferson hated big banks and big industry. He did not hate private property rights or business ownership rights.

He hated exploitation, which is what anti-trust laws were put into place to prevent. Money equals power and those who have it control EVERY GOVERNMENT in the world. If Kim Jong Ill had no money, he wouldn't be in power. If the Saudi Royal Family didn't have money, they wouldn't be in power.

I don't want "socialism" like the common Stalin view. That was the same utopia attitude he sold to make a power grab. But it is absurd to think that is not going on in America. All three classes still have a voting voice, but more and more because of deregulation, and the recent Supreme Court give away to the rich class as far as unlimited politic funding, it will lead to the same "might makes right" attitude Stalin had.

It would depend on what you mean by "socialism". I am for private property. I am for private business ownership. But I am against any class making it impossible for the individual to be an individual.

Marx had the best intent in "to the best of your ability according to your means". But also in our Declaration of Independence it says "Pursuit of happiness".

The right wing would have you believe that means wealth is the only happiness you can find in life. I think the best attitude is to live in a market where you go for what you want in life, but don't project your script on others. If we are a nation of individuals, then we should act as such and not project what works for one on another.

Criminalizing wealth is as absurd as criminalizing poverty. But in America it seems that poverty should be treated like a crime. What is causing this division, isn't that an inequity should not exist, IT SHOULD, because it takes variety to make it all work. The division is being caused by class warfare being successfully waged by those with the money to falsely claim "money automatically equals morality".

 

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Brian37 wrote:IF we rolled

Brian37 wrote:

IF we rolled back the tax cuts for the top 2% our dept would be wiped out within a decade.

Instead, those at the top want to continue virtually paying nothing as far as a ratio and leave the other two classes to fill in the gap to what they are not paying themselves.

That is complete bullshit. If you took 100% of all income from everyone who made over 380k the government beyond what they currently pay to federal, state and local, it would only receive less than $1 trillion more in revenue. Our annual deficit is $1.6 trillion. Last time I checked 1.6 is larger than 1. If you took 100% from EVERYONE who makes over $159,619 (the top 5%) you might get enough to cover the current deficit, it would be somewhere between $1.2 to $1.6 trillion but your not even making a start at paying down the debt already incurred. Of course, if you set the tax rate at 100% all of us would probably quit working and every business in the country would shut down or go black market overnight. So get you damn head out of dreamland. Simply "taxing the rich" isn't enough to solve the problem. 

 

About the military spending, I think we can make drastic cuts while maintaining the technological and training edge that we currently have. First, we have to recognize that currently we are paying not just for our own protection, but also several other countries. It is past time for Germany and Japan to create their own military, I am fairly confident that they will not be a threat to us anytime soon.

 

The military also has an inflated bureaucracy just like every other government agency. We should be able to cut at least 10-15% of the military budget just by giving someone the power and incentive to cut the bullshit. Then, get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan like we have been promised. Put some quality CEO, like Lee Raymond, in charge of finding places to make the military more efficient and offer him 1% of whatever annual savings he makes without compromising quality. 

 

Our budget problems are so dire that there can be no "sacred cow". We have to make changes now. And a serious budget solution will probably contain a combination of spending cuts on the military, entitlements and pork, as well as some tax increases. Unfortunately, no one really seems interested in creating a serious solution. Rather they simply follow the tired rhetoric of "tax the rich" or proposing ridiculously small spending cuts.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Quote:"taxing the rich"

Quote:
"taxing the rich" isn't enough to solve the problem.

Oh, so this might imply that more taxes on the rich would not be a bad thing in all cases?

"Isn't enough", so it can be part of the solution?

If our social climate were not the way it were, I would agree. But as it stands now BOTH our political parties have been bought off by those who have money and most of those who have money in that class would say "let them eat cake'

If you skip the damned labels and even class labels, life is about resources, not politics, or class. When we have resources ( a pattern that seems to work) we falsely project that on those around us.

It cannot be blind trust of the rich. The Saudi Royal Family is RICH and they use propaganda and force to keep their population in line.

The right wing and top 2% are dictating to the other two classes, not because they are right, but because they have resources and when there are no checks on that you end up with the very same fascism YOU say you don't want.

So taxing the rich isn't enough. If you want me to go with that then you have to admit we could tax them more. Besides more of the same, what would you recommend that would be a viable solution to end this REAL class warfare?

It cannot be more of the same. "Trust me, I have money, I won't screw you".

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Brian37 wrote:Criminalizing

Brian37 wrote:

Criminalizing wealth is as absurd as criminalizing poverty. 

Yet you have voiced multiple times that wealth should be taxed at a much higher percentage than they already are. Are you not essentially penalizing the rich by taking a higher percentage from them solely because they make more money? Where has anyone in contemporary American politics ever suggested penalizing the poor? (except me that one time I suggested we tax poverty to reduce it)

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:Brian37

Beyond Saving wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Criminalizing wealth is as absurd as criminalizing poverty. 

Yet you have voiced multiple times that wealth should be taxed at a much higher percentage than they already are. Are you not essentially penalizing the rich by taking a higher percentage from them solely because they make more money? Where has anyone in contemporary American politics ever suggested penalizing the poor? (except me that one time I suggested we tax poverty to reduce it)

There it is right there. If you think your script works then it must work for everyone else. Sure, tax the poor, maybe a good beating will motivate them. Starve them to death and convince them this is the way to the happiness you have.

Penalizing the poor? Your kidding? Warren Buffet said he finds it sad that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary?

When a CEO is making 500 million a year vs the clerk who works for them, THAT is penalizing the poor.

 

 

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Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote:Quote:"taxing

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
"taxing the rich" isn't enough to solve the problem.

Oh, so this might imply that more taxes on the rich would not be a bad thing in all cases?

"Isn't enough", so it can be part of the solution?

If our social climate were not the way it were, I would agree. But as it stands now BOTH our political parties have been bought off by those who have money and most of those who have money in that class would say "let them eat cake'

If you skip the damned labels and even class labels, life is about resources, not politics, or class. When we have resources ( a pattern that seems to work) we falsely project that on those around us.

It cannot be blind trust of the rich. The Saudi Royal Family is RICH and they use propaganda and force to keep their population in line.

The right wing and top 2% are dictating to the other two classes, not because they are right, but because they have resources and when there are no checks on that you end up with the very same fascism YOU say you don't want.

So taxing the rich isn't enough. If you want me to go with that then you have to admit we could tax them more. Besides more of the same, what would you recommend that would be a viable solution to end this REAL class warfare?

It cannot be more of the same. "Trust me, I have money, I won't screw you".

 

Well I argue that the tax burden needs to be substantially shifted. I believe the poor should pay some taxes. I think every person who votes should pay at least a little. If I had my way, everyone would pay the same PERCENTAGE. Right now, us evil top 5% make approximately 35% of the income and pay almost 60% of the tax burden. In a "fair" system, we would pay 35% of the tax burden and the rest would pay their fair share.

 

50% of Americans pay virtually no taxes. They made $1.074 trillion but only paid $28 billion in taxes about 2.59% of their income almost as much as the extra I had to pay simply because I got a divorce and am now single.  

 

There is no solution to class warfare. It has been going on since the beginning of time and will go on forever. Those who have resources will seek to exploit government and those who don't have resources will seek to use government to take them away from those who do. The nature of it will change as one side or the other gets more political power. I think you can minimize it by minimizing the power government has and keeping political power as local as possible. That way, whatever side has political power will not be able to do much and should one side become to tyrannical at the local level it is much easier to remove  them or simply move to a new town.

 

For the budget solution I have admitted that tax increases might be necessary. I don't think substantial income tax hikes would help because doing so would really hurt our economy right now and would reduce GDP. But I would be open to discussing things like the estate tax which has a minimal affect on the economy. I am very open to taxing churches and church income. Increased fees for things like government museums, parks etc. so that those things were paying for themselves (or outright sold). Increase the interest rate on federal student loans or better yet, get the government out of the student loan business. And I have been arguing for the Federal Discount Rate (the rate at which the government loans money to banks) to be increased forever, because I still maintain that is 90% of the reason we are in this problem.

 

But before we talk about any tax increases, I want to see a serious effort to curb spending and SS and medicare simply have to be dealt with in a manor that will make them fiscally sustainable. The difference between now and when Clinton balanced the budget is not a reduction in government receipts, it is a massive increase in spending. In 1999 government revenue was 1.7 trillion and we had a surplus. Right now we have $2.1 trillion in revenue and a $1.6 trillion deficit (meaning we are spending $3.7 trillion)  That is a huge spending increase and we haven't even started paying for everyones health insurance yet.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Brian37 wrote:Beyond Saving

Brian37 wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Criminalizing wealth is as absurd as criminalizing poverty. 

Yet you have voiced multiple times that wealth should be taxed at a much higher percentage than they already are. Are you not essentially penalizing the rich by taking a higher percentage from them solely because they make more money? Where has anyone in contemporary American politics ever suggested penalizing the poor? (except me that one time I suggested we tax poverty to reduce it)

There it is right there. If you think your script works then it must work for everyone else. Sure, tax the poor, maybe a good beating will motivate them. Starve them to death and convince them this is the way to the happiness you have.

Penalizing the poor? Your kidding? Warren Buffet said he finds it sad that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary?

When a CEO is making 500 million a year vs the clerk who works for them, THAT is penalizing the poor.

 

Only semi-kidding and I only brought it up before because you were upset with how many people are poor so I offered a solution. Personally, I don't care if people are poor. Good for them. I actually picked up a homeless hitchhiker today. He seemed fairly happy and content with his situation so I was inclined to be happy for him. Not my script for life but if it floats his boat why should I care? I don't see a reason to force him to get a job, or buy health insurance, or to get a place to live or even to sober up. I gave him a ride, a quick meal, some conversation and a few bucks for booze and I actually thought to my self "wow, he was a pretty happy guy for how shitty his living conditions are". Maybe the happiness was an act, but I don't think it was, and I am pretty good at reading people. 

 

I don't know why you keep insisting that I have some sort of belief that people ought to follow my script. Hell, my script is more improv then anything, I don't know what businesses I will be involved with next year and I think I might fire myself before the end of the year cause I am getting bored of what I am doing now. I don't know how people do the same job for 20, 30 or 40 years. My personal record is 4. 

 

It is a good way to live, and I would recommend it, but I wouldn't dream of trying to force anyone into it. I am content to let poor people be poor, middle class to be middle class and rich to be rich or for anyone of the three to change classes if they want. I really don't care. If you are happy with your life I am happy for you no matter how miserable your life might look to me from my perspective. If your miserable with your life I feel bad for you no matter how great your life might look from the outside. The great thing about America is the possibility of changing your financial position in life if that is important to you. 

 

Warren Buffets secretary is probably in the top 5% of income earners if not the top 2% and would certainly be affected by any income tax raise. Warren Buffet doesn't pay income taxes anymore because he makes all of his money on capital gains which get a lower tax rate. But if Buffet wants to pay more in taxes the IRS does accept donations all he has to do is cut a check for a billion dollars. Although, he could do far more good for the country by investing that billion in another company and hiring more people. But you are right, our tax code most penalizes those who make between 170k and 500k if you are single and 210k to 600k if you are married. If you want to cut taxes for them I am ALL for it. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:How are

Beyond Saving wrote:

How are the middle class and poor being screwed? They pay little in taxes and get virtually ALL of the government services. The bottom line is we don't have the money and running up the large debt we are is going to hurt everyone. $2 or $3 a gallon for gas is dirt cheap considering the complicated process it takes to get it to your tank. Compared to bottled water or pop that the poor buy without thinking about it, it is cheap and low profit.

What are you even talking about here?

Beyond Saving wrote:
 

The bottom line is that with a few exceptions the "rich" are rich because they are causing more production than the poor or middle class workers. If they weren't doing what they do, the poor and middle class wouldn't have jobs as demonstrated by the number of rich people who have stopped investing causing our current unemployment rate. 

Rich are far from the employers they are portrayed to be - 60%+ employed in the US work for small businesses who are owned by not very rich people.

And what production are yu talking about? Where? In China? The rich are investing, believe you me, but not in the US. You know why? Because they have no allegiance to the US or its workers. Why the fuck would you give those guys the time of day, let alone tax breaks?

Beyond Saving wrote:

If you think simply taxing the rich is going to solve our problem you are in a fantasy land. Our debt has reached a point where if you confiscated 100% of their income it still wouldn't be enough. For last year I will be paying approximately 40% of my income in taxes AFTER deductions (I get to pay an extra 5% simply because I got a divorce- anyone want to get married?) and that is counting only income taxes, SS and medicare and not sales taxes or fees. While the vast majority of the American population will be getting "refunds" because they have little to no tax burden other than SS and Medicare, I have to save a large amount of money because my estimated tax payments last year were too low.

Taxing the rich just on Clinton levels is not going to solve the problem of corporate Oval Office, but it is going to virtually remove the deficit. I pay 42% income tax - so what? I have free healthcare, free education, don't have to stress about the security of my family and can focus on what I'm good at: making $ in my line of business. For those benefits I'd pay more.

Beyond Saving wrote:

Do you know what I would do with that money if I didn't have to save it for Uncle Sam? I would invest it in a heartbeat, providing some entrepreneur with extra startup capital so they could hire another employee who could then bitch about their low pay while doing nothing to further their finances. Instead, that employee will be sitting around unemployed bitching about how low their unemployment compensation is. I'm not taking money away from my lifestyle or skipping a hunting trip to pay taxes. I'm investing a little less back into the economy. I guarantee I am not the only one in that boat. 

Yea, that's just dandy. Meanwhile the seriously rich have no thought of investing back in the US economy - it is DEA IN THE WATER. Why the hell would anyone invest in the US economy, if they can get way more for their investment in the east? And don't tell me that the money will come back by China shopping in the US - not even pre schoolers are dumb enough to believe US has an export worth buying, other than military force.

Beyond Saving wrote:

So I am paying 40% of my income while most Americans are paying 10-25% of their incomes and many pay none at all. In what world is that "fair"? In what kind of fucked up mathematics does that mean I am not paying MY fair share? Especially when I receive very few benefits even when I was broke.

GS gave out the 100k$ challenge to his rich friends - if they could prove they paid more in taxes than their secretary, they get the $. So far none have picked up the cash. What are you doing "wrong"? Or are you just not rich enough to buy politicians and exploit loopholes?

Beyond Saving wrote:

And yes, before you say it, I agree 100% with you about any company that accepted any money from the bailouts. Every single one of those companies should be ran out of business and it is absolutely disgusting that Americans are still buying from GE, GM, Chrysler etc.

Are you fucking kidding me? Those are the ACTUAL employers, unlike the bankers that MADE the fucking mess and robbed the US public blind - the car industry are not angels, but they actually employe people.

Beyond Saving wrote:

Personally, I avoid doing business with any company or any bank that was involved, they are the lowest of scum. If all Americans boycotted those companies and forced them out of business it would be a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, most Americans don't even see that they have the power over those corps. Simply, don't buy from them. Vote with your money.

Not buy from Goldman Sachs??? Errr, ok... Those guys don't even deal with buyers, if every American decided tomorrow to ignore Goldman Sachs completely, NOTHING would change for Goldman - they make their cash by US tax payer guarantied gambling and fraud, not by selling actual products.

Beyond Saving wrote:

Corporations in bed with government is THE biggest problem facing our country. Unfortunately, many people who voice those concerns turn around and continue to support the companies and the system that has allowed and promoted that incestuous relationship.

Finally we agree on something, but people do not have a possibility to "vote" Goldman Sachs out in any way shape or form. That fight will have to be brutal and bottom up - Egypt is a model. If you think I am being radical - man, these guys don't give a shit about how much they put the US in debt or how many generations of Americans they lock into poverty and despair - they will JUST MOVE OUT once the fire sale is over. You people are fighting for your lives againt a foreign hostile force called the Wall Street & co. Nothing is too radical.

Beyond Saving wrote:

Now for a little branch off my tirade, Social Security and Medicare, yes they are part of the problem.

Not at all. Social Security is in surplus, what the fuck are you talking about? SS & Medicare & Medicaid are the lynch pin of a healthy and somewhat sane working class - without those, US working population becomes Russian-like mass of poor and deprived with strongly diminished working capacity and motivation.

Beyond Saving wrote:

But a part that is easily solved and certainly not the only part. We will be running nearly a 2 trillion deficit in 2011 and Social Security and Medicare are pretty much breaking even.

Yea.

Beyond Saving wrote:

That means we have 2 trillion of non- SS or medicare programs to cut.

Or increase revenue and kick almost the entire revolving door senate and 30-40% of the congress on the street by peaceful protest (overrunning the hill can be done peacefully by 500k people - nothing can stop them), leaving only the ideologically consistent legislators & representatives; including most Tea Party people, they are consistent. People don't mind paying a bit more in taxes, if there are some actual representatives that administer the $ instead the corporate cronies giving public money to the bank robbers.

Beyond Saving wrote:

Since 2008 our annual spending has gone up nearly 1 trillion dollars. Is there any new government program or spending that has influenced your life since 2008 that you couldn't live without? That is a 30% increase in the last three years. How many people have seen their salaries go up 30%? There is plenty that is available to cut, and no reason we couldn't cut at LEAST $1 trillion in spending especially since we are supposed to be pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Cut a trillion to show your serious and I will be less hostile talking about tax increases (although I still maintain the poor need to pay their fair share. Everyone should pay some taxes if only so that they are concerned with how Washington wastes money). At least at that point we would be having a serious and honest discussion about solving our problems. 

Yes, please. Cut attack budget to 0$. Including subsidies to dictators world wide and pull the 200 US bases back home. Fucking Roman Empire.

Beyond Saving wrote:

Also the SS and medicare problems are ridiculously easy to fix. The only real problem is the demagoguery that the dems come out with telling old people the evil republicans want to take away their SS checks even though no one has ever suggested changing anything for current recipients or people close to receiving it. Well except ironically the way Pelosi's congress shamelessly rigged the numbers to hide inflation to avoid paying out a COLA last year. 

This SS & medicare thing is getting very old. SS is FINE - no need to do anything about it, unless the money people paid in is given to Hulliburton already and now we have to "fix" it. Medicare is THE health care system in the US, most efficient and most trusted. You want to fix that? Man, Justin Bieber has more clue than you do.

Beyond Saving wrote:
 

Fix #1 make both programs voluntary. If you want continue it as designed. If you opt out you get to pay 1/2 of the SS and medicare tax. With the savings on my taxes I could easily invest and make far more money than I would ever get from SS. Right now medicare is required even if you have millions and no insurance company will cover anything covered by medicare. Instead, make medicare a program solely for those who have no other option. Let those of us with the means and desire to do so provide for our own insurance. Anyone in their working years would be a fool to opt in to the programs and would be far better off taking 1/2 the money and saving it.

Fix #2 (my preferred one but won't happen) eliminate the damn program as a retirement option. Expand welfare to cover the truly destitute, pay out to the current recipients and everyone over a certain age, reduce the tax rate on those who are younger, then only pay out to those who have no assets and low incomes through a branch of the Welfare program. There is no reason I should receive SS or medicare. I will be retired long before I am eligible for it and more than capable of providing for myself. Yet under current law I am forced into both with the only option to be to actually shred my SS check. On the off chance that SS still exists when I am old enough I will probably donate it to charity. I would like to see the age cutoff at something like 50 because 20 years is plenty of time to save for retirement if you are serious about it, but even if you set the age at 40 or even 35 much of the SS problem could be solved. 

Fix #3 Leave the programs as is but only pay out for people making low incomes and without assets. Basically like #2 but a more abrupt refusal to pay benefits to those with higher incomes rather than phasing it in. Many middle class Baby Boomers will bitch about "well I payed all my money in, I should get it out" Yeah, you are last stop on the Ponzi scheme, you should have done something about it when the solution was really easy in the 90's. You got us into this mess, live with the consequences you greedy bastards.

Look, I think sme of your opinions here are fucking insane, but I prefere your opinion in a democratic process to bought politicians. Again, we will have a working system only if we hold a machete to our representatives throats - without that, nothing in the government will work because the corporate giants will run the government as their subsidiery.

Beyond Saving wrote:
 

Of course, raising the retirement age would help as well but that really is a short term fix. Eventually people will live even longer and we will find ourselves in the same situation at some point in the future. I prefer a permanent fix.

No, people in the lower earning bracket actually don't live that much longer relative to the people in the higher brackets - increasing the retirement age is a clear ass fuck of the average working man, just like the whole cutting affair is.

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ZuS wrote:Beyond Saving

ZuS wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:
 

The bottom line is that with a few exceptions the "rich" are rich because they are causing more production than the poor or middle class workers. If they weren't doing what they do, the poor and middle class wouldn't have jobs as demonstrated by the number of rich people who have stopped investing causing our current unemployment rate. 

Rich are far from the employers they are portrayed to be - 60%+ employed in the US work for small businesses who are owned by not very rich people.

And what production are yu talking about? Where? In China? The rich are investing, believe you me, but not in the US. You know why? Because they have no allegiance to the US or its workers. Why the fuck would you give those guys the time of day, let alone tax breaks?

Us small business owners/investors are generally considered "rich" in modern political parlance. We are talking about income taxes, which is generated by new revenue, not estate taxes or capital gains which is where most of the "old" money is. When you raise money on the top 5% of income earners, a very large portion of those people are small business owners.

We were still the largest manufacturer in the world last year. We will probably lose to China this year, but we still have a manufacturing base that is meaningful. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/af2219cc-7c86-11df-8b74-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1EUPELB3H

You know why many of the rich are not investing in the US? Because it is an economic train wreck. Our debt is at a point that some pretty drastic shit needs to be done. Investors like stability. Although, personally I don't see China as the great investment many people seem to believe it is, their economy is far too linked to ours.  

 

Zus wrote:

Taxing the rich just on Clinton levels is not going to solve the problem of corporate Oval Office, but it is going to virtually remove the deficit. 

No it won't. Taxing at Clinton levels for everyone will not even get close to eliminating the deficit. It would give you an estimated 550 billion a year. The deficit is 1.6 trillion. If you talk about only raising the taxes on the rich you are talking about 80 billion. If you want to propose tax increases as the sole solution at least propose ones that are big enough.

 

Zus wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

So I am paying 40% of my income while most Americans are paying 10-25% of their incomes and many pay none at all. In what world is that "fair"? In what kind of fucked up mathematics does that mean I am not paying MY fair share? Especially when I receive very few benefits even when I was broke.

GS gave out the 100k$ challenge to his rich friends - if they could prove they paid more in taxes than their secretary, they get the $. So far none have picked up the cash. What are you doing "wrong"? Or are you just not rich enough to buy politicians and exploit loopholes?

I make most of my money through income. GS and company make their money solely through capital gains. And when you hear the dems talking about taxing the evil rich it is almost always the income tax they are talking about raising.  

 

Zus wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

And yes, before you say it, I agree 100% with you about any company that accepted any money from the bailouts. Every single one of those companies should be ran out of business and it is absolutely disgusting that Americans are still buying from GE, GM, Chrysler etc.

Are you fucking kidding me? Those are the ACTUAL employers, unlike the bankers that MADE the fucking mess and robbed the US public blind - the car industry are not angels, but they actually employe people.

And banks don't? But yeah, we shouldn't have bailed out the banks either. 

 

Zus wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

Personally, I avoid doing business with any company or any bank that was involved, they are the lowest of scum. If all Americans boycotted those companies and forced them out of business it would be a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, most Americans don't even see that they have the power over those corps. Simply, don't buy from them. Vote with your money.

Not buy from Goldman Sachs??? Errr, ok... Those guys don't even deal with buyers, if every American decided tomorrow to ignore Goldman Sachs completely, NOTHING would change for Goldman - they make their cash by US tax payer guarantied gambling and fraud, not by selling actual products.

And didn't I already make it clear I am against using tax payer money in such ways? I agree, our government shouldn't be giving a penny to those scum. 

 

Zus wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

Now for a little branch off my tirade, Social Security and Medicare, yes they are part of the problem.

Not at all. Social Security is in surplus, what the fuck are you talking about? SS & Medicare & Medicaid are the lynch pin of a healthy and somewhat sane working class - without those, US working population becomes Russian-like mass of poor and deprived with strongly diminished working capacity and motivation.

Read the budget. SS is barely paying for itself and will get worse. As I pointed out, it is not responsible for our current deficit but in ten years it will be a huge problem, and we best deal with it sooner rather than later. The other huge problem with SS is our government has been borrowing money from the trust fund. So when that fund starts being used to pay benefits, we will have to pay back all the IOU's in there. That money has to come from somewhere.

Medicare and medicaid funding is mostly a state problem. Many states are facing severe financial pressure because of the mandates in those programs.

If you want those programs, fine. I didn't start this thread to argue about whether or not we should have certain programs. Everyone knows I am against pretty much everything the federal government does. I started it to discuss our budget problems. So for the purposes of this thread, just tell me how we should pay for it.  

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:Brian37

Beyond Saving wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Criminalizing wealth is as absurd as criminalizing poverty. 

Yet you have voiced multiple times that wealth should be taxed at a much higher percentage than they already are. Are you not essentially penalizing the rich by taking a higher percentage from them solely because they make more money? Where has anyone in contemporary American politics ever suggested penalizing the poor? (except me that one time I suggested we tax poverty to reduce it)

YES, as long as they insist on a lopsided pay gap between the highest and lowest paid, something has to compensate for that. A little inequity is fine AND needed, but just like a fish tank, too high or to low and the fish die. So unless the pay keeps up with the cost of living, something needs to kick in to make up for that gap. If you don't want government filling in that gap, then it would be up to the business owner to do it on their own.

AGAIN, that higher tax rate would not be needed if the gap were not so huge. SO again, the solution would be that if you want government off your back, which most people do, the best thing is to do it on your own.

If you arn't willing to listen to me then Warren Buffet who IS a billionaire said that it is sad that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

And do not accuse me of hating all rich people. I hate our current climate that has built up an attitude of propaganda that anytime someone in the middle or poor class says, "You're squeezing me a bit hard, knock it off", far too many at the top want to accuse those people of merely "complaining".

I have two co-workers who have husbands who are self employed. They are middle class and one disaster away from losing everything BECAUSE of cost of living. They are not "whiners" or "complainers". It is not about being lazy. It is about a rigged and conflated market and a government that has been bought off by one class of people who are going to take away the bargaining power of the middle and poor. It is a monopoly of power based on "money equals power".

MONOPOLIES OF POWER are what I object to and there is only one class that has the money to create a monopoly  of power and they increasingly successful of stripping the other two classes of any economic say.

 

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When speaking of "The

When speaking of "The Rich"... The first thing we have to do, is distinguish between entepreneurs ...who are the backbone of our society and who contribute on many levels.... and the trust fund scum in Banking who have never done a thing other than circumvent our financial system for profit, and then, after raping whatever institutions they were a part of.... stole our tax money in the form of bailouts....

I have not had enough coffee to continue this post...


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Brian37 wrote:I have two

Brian37 wrote:

I have two co-workers who have husbands who are self employed. They are middle class and one disaster away from losing everything BECAUSE of cost of living. 

If you are one disaster away from losing everything then you are either not middle class, or you spend your money irresponsibly. Living is not that expensive. Living in a suburb and driving a new car and plasma tv's get a little pricey. If you think your employer is not paying you fairly, you are always welcome to quit your job and either find a new employer, or if you believe you can make more without an employer you can try to strike out on your own. Usually, when you strike out on your own you realize how much work your old employer did that you never noticed. The great thing about America is there is nothing stopping you from going off on your own if you think you can run a business better than your employer. No one is behind you with a gun forcing you to work.

 

An employer's job is to get the best results from his/her workers at the lowest wage. Higher wages tends to attract higher quality workers, so depending on the market an employer has to gauge between shelling out high payroll for highest quality or lower payroll and suffer the consequences of low quality workers. It really is no different than when you go shopping for anything. You compare prices and relative quality and attempt to get the most bang for your buck. Why would you imagine that an employer would be any different? Why SHOULD an employer be any different? 

 

While we are on the topic, what do you define as a "livable wage"? Give me a number for an average sized city because obviously in really large cities you need a higher wage, and in really rural areas you can get by on less. 20k? 30K? 40K? Just want to know if I am responsible for the apparently terrible pay gap problem.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:While we

Beyond Saving wrote:

While we are on the topic, what do you define as a "livable wage"? Give me a number for an average sized city because obviously in really large cities you need a higher wage, and in really rural areas you can get by on less. 20k? 30K? 40K? Just want to know if I am responsible for the apparently terrible pay gap problem.

 

http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/pages/about

 

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cj wrote:Beyond Saving

cj wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

While we are on the topic, what do you define as a "livable wage"? Give me a number for an average sized city because obviously in really large cities you need a higher wage, and in really rural areas you can get by on less. 20k? 30K? 40K? Just want to know if I am responsible for the apparently terrible pay gap problem.

 

http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/pages/about

 

 

Thanks CJ, but I think Brian is talking about a rather higher number, because I ran the numbers for my area and it is $7.39/hr  which is rather less than most jobs here pay. I'm pretty sure even McDonalds pays around $8.50, but maybe they have cut their pay since the recession? I don't know. I do know that I really need to cut some peoples wages. I will have to let all the employers around here know because we are missing out on thousands of dollars of profits.

 

$7.39/hr works out to a little over 15k a year which I think is a little higher than I could skate by with if I absolutely had to, but it seems fairly reasonable to me. I also noticed that the living wage calculator seems to assume a budget WITHOUT any kind of welfare or government programs. So even if you manage to find the one job in the state that doesn't pay enough, food stamps alone ought to be enough to make your wage "livable". Somehow I think Brian is about to disagree.......

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:cj

Beyond Saving wrote:

cj wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

While we are on the topic, what do you define as a "livable wage"? Give me a number for an average sized city because obviously in really large cities you need a higher wage, and in really rural areas you can get by on less. 20k? 30K? 40K? Just want to know if I am responsible for the apparently terrible pay gap problem.

 

http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/pages/about

 

 

Thanks CJ, but I think Brian is talking about a rather higher number, because I ran the numbers for my area and it is $7.39/hr  which is rather less than most jobs here pay. I'm pretty sure even McDonalds pays around $8.50, but maybe they have cut their pay since the recession? I don't know. I do know that I really need to cut some peoples wages. I will have to let all the employers around here know because we are missing out on thousands of dollars of profits.

 

$7.39/hr works out to a little over 15k a year which I think is a little higher than I could skate by with if I absolutely had to, but it seems fairly reasonable to me. I also noticed that the living wage calculator seems to assume a budget WITHOUT any kind of welfare or government programs. So even if you manage to find the one job in the state that doesn't pay enough, food stamps alone ought to be enough to make your wage "livable". Somehow I think Brian is about to disagree.......

 

Depends where you live.  In Portland, it is over $25,000 per year for two people.  I didn't look at the single numbers because I'm not.  Really high apartment prices here.

If you try other places, you will see that it adjusts for the geographic area.

The idea behind living wage is that is enough to survive in your area WITHOUT any assistance - federal, state, charity.  That is why those benefits are not added into the calculations.  And why things like medical care are comparatively high.  It assumes you are paying for medical insurance.  The travel amount appears to assume you own a vehicle - as I know the amount they have for Portland is way more than a monthly bus pass would cost even if we bought two - his and hers as it were.

The people who make less than a living wage are the ones on governmental assistance.  If they made a living wage in most areas, they would no longer be eligible for that assistance.  That is the entire idea - pay people enough to live comfortably in their area and you can end ALL of the welfare programs except for those physically unable to work at any job.  Duh.  Saving money every day, right?

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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