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-   -   Let's be forthright about the tax cuts (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=862314)

Try2B Comprehensive 09-15-2018 05:08 PM

Let's be forthright about the tax cuts
 
I was taking stock of finances the other day and calculated that I have paid about $1500 less in taxes compared to this point last year. By the end of the year it could amount to a $2000 difference. I expect to earn within a few % either side of $100k this year.

$2000. Thanks GOP. It is difficult to say that this aspect of things is bad. However, I feel like media outlets like FOX aggressively seek to limit the conversation to this one single point. "The average American taxpayer is paying $x less in taxes! That's good for you, end of story, end of discussion, nothing more to see here!" This thread is not intended to gripe about what I think of as "the GOP Propaganda Machine," but I can't ignore it in this conversation. Cherry picking is de riguer, from FOX, from GOP Congress critters, from seemingly everyone who promotes the GOP. Any attempt to examine the true bigger picture gets strenuously beaten back, deflected away from, labeled as "liberal" something-or-other- a whole toolbox of rhetorical techniques are deployed to distract attention away from deeper analysis of this one bullet point. This is my personal view, and if it is wrong I hope you will convince me otherwise.

Because, as much as I like to have an extra for-real $2000 to spend every year, I am terribly uneasy about the latest round of tax cuts. At a time of general national economic well-being, the country is amassing $1 trillion a year in debt. I don't think this is a result of fairly comfortable people like me having $2000 in tax relief, I think it is largely due to people who make 10x or 100x or even 1000x more than I do, receiving much larger tax cuts as a share of their income. Why? I think it has nothing whatsoever to do with establishing justice, attending to the general welfare, achieving domestic tranquility- I think it is entirely because this claque of wealthy people donated to GOP candidates with instructions to cut taxes for the wealthy, regardless of the consequences. I think the will of the people has been subverted. I believe US government is not functioning as designed where this point is concerned- I believe it has been corrupted and captured by the wealthy for their own interests, to all of the rest of our eventual harm.

Point 1- The GOP lies bald facedly to justify the tax cuts. Steve Mnuchin said, "Not only will these tax cuts pay for themselves, they will reduce the debt." This was obviously hogwash before the fact, and the results confirm this. What you never hear out of the GOP Propaganda Machine is that, for GOP officials to look the public in the eye and simply lie about such consequential matters is to say, "Fuck you, American public. We do Not represent you as is our sworn Constitutional duty, we are appendages of the wealthy and there is nothing you can do about it. Look elsewhere than your government if you want a voice."

Point 2- The corporate tax cuts are overwhelmingly being used to fund stock buybacks and not to hire new workers or to generally grow businesses in a way that builds wealth for the public at large. Yes, there were some celebrated employee bonuses announced after the tax cuts, mostly one-time $1000 payouts, but how much do these bonuses amount to? The public is funding these tax cuts to the tune of $1 trillion a year, and the return on that in the form of increased pay and bonuses is- what? I don't think it amounts to even 1% of the value of the tax cuts. My position is that the GOP Propaganda Machine would have us believe that the corporate tax cuts are being funnelled to workers to the benefit of all, when in reality it makes the ultra wealthy even wealthier while leaving the rest of us a few crumbs. I believe the true message out of the GOP is, " Fuck you, American public. We are openly robbing you to benefit our wealthy sponsors, and if you think you have a voice in your own government, you are a sucker and a rube."

Point 3- The consequences of the tax cuts will be far worse than the benefits for people like me. This final point is the real thrust of this debate. I cannot see how $1 trillion deficits are justified under the current circumstances. We are not in a crisis we need stimulating out of, but rather the general economic placidity is hiding, for now, the eventual consequences of this huge amassing of debt.

Me, I am 45 years old. If there is going to be a bear market or even a crash, my outlook is to just keep plugging away with my 401k anyway since by the time I retire, the current economic cycle will have come and gone and more or less won't matter. If I were retiring Right Now, the stock market boost from these tax cuts would be a big help- anyone with stock investments is better off, for now. But how long can that last?

Consider- Baby Boomers are retiring, thousands a day. Selling their retirement accounts for cash puts downward pressure on the stock market. At the same time, increasing debt levels drive up interest rates, which also puts downward pressure on the market. When Treasury yields compete first with dividends, and eventually with growth returns, how can they fail to divert money away from stocks? I can't see how Boomer retirement plus rising interest rates can eventually result in anything other than a bear market, at best.

I see it as a massive scheme. As the debt rises to $20 trillion, maybe $30 trillion and beyond, well, ask yourself, who has the money to buy $30 trillion in bonds? It isn't me with my extra $2000 in tax cuts, it is the already super wealthy. As interest rates rise, the public obligation to bondholders will surpass $1 trillion PER YEAR in interest payments alone, payments from the public to mosly super wealthy bondholders.

>>>This is a long post, so let me repeat that. As interest rates rise, the public obligation to bondholders will surpass $1 trillion PER YEAR in interest payments alone, payments from the public to mostly super wealthy bondholders.

How will we endure an additional $1+ trillion in public liabilities? It is straight out of the GOP playbook: eliminate Social Security and Medicare. To fund massive public payments to the already super wealthy. And we come full-circle to my current $2000 tax cut. For $2000 a year, I believe I am going to be forced to forfeit benefits that far, far exceed that. Social Security alone amounts to close to $2000- a MONTH. Medicare? Who knows, but I do know that I will no longer have employer provided health insurance after I retire, and private insurance after Medicare is gone will cost a helluva lot more than $2000 per year. I won't come out ahead- the consequences of these tax cuts will be a Huge liability.

Me, you, all of us are expected to be too stupid to notice. I believe the translation of the GOP tax cuts into English amounts to, "Fuck you, American public. We have captured your government, we have suppressed your voice, and soon we will be transferring your benefits to our wealthy benefactors. Because they paid us to. You are all too much of a crowd of rubes to do anything but swallow the lie and get robbed. Vote GOP, suckers."

Budget Player Cadet 09-15-2018 05:16 PM

What, you mean the republican party isn't pushing tax cuts (primarily for the super-rich) because it's sound macroeconomic policy?

Now would be an excellent time for various anglophone countries to open their borders to any and all skilled Americans interested in living there.

Ravenman 09-15-2018 05:16 PM

The economy is booming, and the deficit is going up very substantially. Of course the tax cuts cannot pay for themselves.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.blo...pping-forecast

As you say, just wait until the next downturn - it probably isn’t that far off - and we will see how much the debt is affected by the tax cuts.

But I don’t think there’s any deeper master plan here. Trump and congressional Republicans are incapable of planning a buffet, to say nothing of fiscal policy several years down the road. They are the party of instant gratification: you’ll find them all eating raw pancake batter because they have no value for the actual goodness of eating real pancakes. It just takes too long.

OldGuy 09-15-2018 05:29 PM

Are you aware that the withholding tables under the new tax law are reportedly under-withholding for many people. You may be in for a surprise next April.

I'd give you a link, but somehow editing here is not working right for me at all to allow me to cut and paste.

Try2B Comprehensive 09-15-2018 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldGuy (Post 21210093)
Are you aware that the withholding tables under the new tax law are reportedly under-withholding for many people. You may be in for a surprise next April.

I was not aware of that. Nice- smoke and mirrors on top if lies.

Translucent Daydream 09-15-2018 06:11 PM

What does that mean for people like me when the downturn starts? We were ten bucks short on rent, if it wasn't for the neighbor I don't know what we would do.

I guess my question is when is this downturn coming do you think? What is going to cause it? The bank my wife used to work for is predicting a downturn within 6 to 18 months from now, but it's kind of vague at least to me what causes it. They are in full prep mode for I though. They are a medium sized regional bank.

jasg 09-15-2018 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21210130)
I was not aware of that. Nice- smoke and mirrors on top if lies.

Try this calculator to get a pretty good estimate of your taxes. http://taxplancalculator.com

Ravenman 09-15-2018 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Translucent Daydream (Post 21210154)
What does that mean for people like me when the downturn starts?

I don’t know - you could be fine. Or you could have your hours cut, or lose your job entirely.


Quote:

I guess my question is when is this downturn coming do you think? What is going to cause it? The bank my wife used to work for is predicting a downturn within 6 to 18 months from now, but it's kind of vague at least to me what causes it. They are in full prep mode for I though. They are a medium sized regional bank.
If anyone knows when it is coming, they are probably lying - either to themselves or you. But economies just don’t expand forever, and ours has been expanding for about nine years now.

Try2B Comprehensive 09-15-2018 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21210072)
But I don’t think there’s any deeper master plan here. Trump and congressional Republicans are incapable of planning a buffet, to say nothing of fiscal policy several years down the road. They are the party of instant gratification: you’ll find them all eating raw pancake batter because they have no value for the actual goodness of eating real pancakes. It just takes too long.

I disagree with this kind of under-estimation of the GOP. For example, this whole jack-up-the-deficit plan goes back to Reagan. FOX had its genesis in the aftermath of Nixon's resignation- there was a theory that the media then was just "too liberal" and if there had been more pro-GOP media coverage, things may have turned out differently. What were they going to promote? It isn't illegal when the president does it? He's a crook but also a really nice guy? I don't know, it isn't my theory, but various interests ran with it and the result is FOX news itself. That's almost 50 years in the making. Limbaugh has also been spewing inaccurate, propagandistic hate for decades.

And the GOP revealed themselves during the Obama administration, if it wasn't already obvious before that. Remember, during the financial crisis, how they obstructed stimulus and other solutions because they were in such a tizzy over the deficit? Obama cared about the deficit, too, but the Only solution the GOP will allow is "entitlement reform", their word for cutting or eliminating Social Security and Medicare. To them, that's what the debt is for, any other solution gets tarred as "liberal" or "socialist" or what-have-you. These views come from my own observations, plus a little Krugman:
Quote:

efforts to fight unemployment had to deal with a bizarre Beltway consensus that despite high unemployment and record low interest rates, debt, not jobs, was the real problem.

But the most important reason the great slump went on so long was scorched-earth Republican opposition to anything and everything that might have helped offset the fallout from the housing bust.

When I say “scorched earth,” I’m not being hyperbolic. Let’s not forget that in the summer of 2011 Republicans in Congress threatened to provoke a new financial crisis by refusing to raise the debt limit. Their goal was to blackmail President Barack Obama into cutting spending at a time when unemployment was still 9 percent and U.S. real borrowing costs were close to zero.

Now, Republicans claimed that their opposition to anything that might limit mass unemployment was driven by a deep commitment to fiscal responsibility. But this was complete hypocrisy — something that was obvious to anyone who looked at the actual content of G.O.P. budget proposals, which gave smoke and mirrors a bad name. You had to be extremely credulous to take fake G.O.P. deficit hawkery seriously; unfortunately, there were a lot of credulous pundits out there.

Anyway, the events of the past two years have made the reality of what happened crystal clear. The very same politicians who piously declared that America couldn’t afford to spend money supporting jobs in the face of a deep, prolonged slump just rammed through a huge, deficit-exploding tax cut for corporations and the wealthy even though the economy is currently near full employment. No, they haven’t abandoned their commitment to fiscal responsibility; they never cared about deficits in the first place.

So if you want to understand why the great slump that began in 2008 went on so long, blighting so many American lives, the answer is politics. Specifically, policy failed because cynical, bad-faith Republicans were willing to sacrifice millions of jobs rather than let anything good happen to the economy while a Democrat sat in the White House.
I'll grant you that Trump is mostly incompetent, but by and large I think the GOP has a long-term plan.

Try2B Comprehensive 09-15-2018 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Translucent Daydream (Post 21210154)
I guess my question is when is this downturn coming do you think? What is going to cause it? The bank my wife used to work for is predicting a downturn within 6 to 18 months from now, but it's kind of vague at least to me what causes it. They are in full prep mode for I though. They are a medium sized regional bank.

When? I don't know. Me and your bank are not the only ones who think it is coming, though. See Goldman Bear-Market Risk Indicator at Highest Since 1969: Chart

What will cause it? Depends if we are talking about a recession or a bear market. I think a bear market will be driven by at least two things: a wave of retirees selling their holdings and rising Treasury yields. Think about it: a 3% sure-thing yield from a bond is nice, but while stocks continue to go up, a lot of people are willing to take their chances for a bigger return on stocks. But what about at 5%? 7%? The higher the sure-thing yield on bonds, the more people are attracted to them and away from the stock market. And yields are all but guaranteed to rise- with the current explosion in deficits the government has to issue many more bonds, which puts upward pressure on the yield to attract buyers.

Who knows if there will be a turn in the business cycle that leads to a recession. Maybe a crash in China, maybe all these fires and hurricanes will have an effect, maybe people will just lose confidence and stop spending money. There are a couple of factors already baked in though, so a big surprise might be enough to tip the balance.

Little Nemo 09-15-2018 07:46 PM

Another important question to ask when you hear talk about how the average taxpayer got a tax cut is who that average taxpayer is. It's really easy to rig the figures with an average. Give one guy a million dollar tax cut and raise taxes ten thousand dollars for ninety-nine other people. Then report that you gave everyone a hundred dollar tax cut - on average.

Ravenman 09-15-2018 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21210254)
I disagree with this kind of under-estimation of the GOP. For example, this whole jack-up-the-deficit plan goes back to Reagan...

And the GOP revealed themselves during the Obama administration, if it wasn't already obvious before that.

Sure, forty years ago Republicans could think their way out of a wet paper bag. Sixty years ago, too.

People like Trump, Jim Jordan, Steve King, etc. are barely above Ruprecht-levels of needing a cork on their fork to avoid severe injury to themselves. They aren’t Bobby Fischer, they are Forrest Gump, achieving office despite no qualifications.

That’s quite different than people like Gingrich, DeLay, Rove, and so on who are actually politically erudite and quite dangerous.

Magiver 09-15-2018 11:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21210072)
The economy is booming, and the deficit is going up very substantially. Of course the tax cuts cannot pay for themselves.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.blo...pping-forecast

If you read you're own cite it shows revenue is up, not down: Federal spending rose by 7%, outpacing revenue gains of 1%.

We're taking in record revenue: The U.S. took in $510 billion in receipts in April and spent $296 billion, leaving the Treasury with a record monthly surplus of $214 billion. The prior record, set in April 2001, was about $190 billion.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21210072)
But I don’t think there’s any deeper master plan here. Trump and congressional Republicans are incapable of planning a buffet, to say nothing of fiscal policy several years down the road.

The last president doubled the deficit of every President before him COMBINED.

Let me refresh your memory of what Obama said about his predecessors’ debt increase: It’s irresponsible, it’s unpatriotic

jasg 09-16-2018 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21210550)
If you read you're own cite it shows revenue is up, not down: Federal spending rose by 7%, outpacing revenue gains of 1%.

We're taking in record revenue: The U.S. took in $510 billion in receipts in April and spent $296 billion, leaving the Treasury with a record monthly surplus of $214 billion. The prior record, set in April 2001, was about $190 billion.
<snip>

I don't think that cite proves your point. The first line of that cherry says
Quote:

But budgetary shortfall is growing over the longer term
and it goes on to say
Quote:

Tax receipts poured in during April, when tax returns and certain taxpayers’ quarterly estimated payments are due.

Big picture: While the surplus helped the government’s coffers for the month, the longer-term trend is going the other way. The Treasury said the budget deficit for the fiscal year to date is running ahead of the year-ago period, at $385 billion compared to $344 billion. That rising tide of red ink jibes with higher deficits estimated by the CBO, which forecasts a shortfall of $804 billion for the current fiscal year, and even higher deficits later, spurred on by the tax-code overhaul passed late last year.

Magiver 09-16-2018 01:53 AM

Revenue is still on track to increase. Cite

We don't have a tax revenue problem, we have a tax spending problem. It's being driving by a series of stop-gap budget approvals instead of going through the full budget process.

Velocity 09-16-2018 01:54 AM

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks the GOP fully expects to lose in 2020 and hence is timing these tax cuts so as to trigger a recession quite soon after a Democrat assumes the presidency in Jan. 2021, which will crater that Democrat's approval and pave the way for a Republican return to the White House in 2024.

The GOP wouldn't mind a recession itself as long as the timing is right.

Jack Batty 09-16-2018 03:17 AM

Well, I'm not going to make $100k this year. I'm not in the money. I'm a warehouse worker who makes just about as much as it takes to pay my bills. I have no 401k, I own no stocks. My insurance (through work) is prohibitively expensive for the lowest possible coverage, which is no fun when you're 53 and you're starting to fall apart, and I'll probably have to pay more in taxes next year because I can no longer claim my federal taxes on my state return. So, fuck the GOP and their "tax reform," I hope they all choke on their fucking caviar.

Jack Batty 09-16-2018 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Batty (Post 21210711)
... I can no longer claim my federal taxes on my state return....

Er, the other way around ...

septimus 09-16-2018 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21210550)
The last president doubled the deficit of every President before him COMBINED.

Let me refresh your memory of what Obama said about his predecessors’ debt increase: It’s irresponsible, it’s unpatriotic

Oh my. I thought we've rebutted this error before. I see why the Board's motto is "It's taking longer than we thought." :)

Let me first ask Magiver if he remembers the great Y2K crisis; the way key software all over the planet suddenly stopped working on 1 January, 2000? (Bear with me; I know the thread isn't about Y2K — give me more credit than that.)

You don't remember that catastrophe? That's because it didn't happen.

Nathan Muir provides a hint about how that crisis was averted.

And do you remember the staggering Depression that lasted from 2008 to 2017, with bank closings and the stock market taking decades to recover? No? That didn't happen either. Instead a massive stimulus was passed led by GWB (though naturally the spending occurred during Obama's term). It took only six years for the stock market to set a new all-time record. Under Obama the stock market either Tripled or Quadrupled depending on which average you use. That's Tripled and Quadrupled with a T and a Q respectively.

Most laughable of all was how the R's characterized the "Obama Stimulus." At R insistence, almost $1 trillion of the package took the form of tax cuts but — although every tax cut is as sweet as honey to the R's — even the tax-cut had to be lumped with Obama's dastardly Islamo-socialist stimulus to make it appear onerous. :) :smack:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21210550)
The last president doubled the deficit of every President before him COMBINED.

Let me refresh your memory of what Obama said about his predecessors’ debt increase: It’s irresponsible, it’s unpatriotic

Do facts matter? Look at this chart to see that, despite the Bush financial panic of 2008, deficits decreased almost every year of Obama's terms; and have increased in every Trump year.

Fighting ignorance is hard work, and that's my contribution for now. If someone wants to contest the facts, please first tell us whether your elementary school math course was based on "Common Core" or something else.

Budget Player Cadet 09-16-2018 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21210550)
The last president doubled the deficit of every President before him COMBINED.

So... What, it's not okay when Obama does it, but somehow Trump does it even worse, it's fine? This thread, last I checked, is about the tax cuts implemented by the Trump administration. If you'd like to talk about the Obama administration's deficits, may I recommend your own thread? :)

Ravenman 09-16-2018 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21210550)
If you read you're own cite it shows revenue is up, not down: Federal spending rose by 7%, outpacing revenue gains of 1%.

We're taking in record revenue: The U.S. took in $510 billion in receipts in April and spent $296 billion, leaving the Treasury with a record monthly surplus of $214 billion. The prior record, set in April 2001, was about $190 billion.

Typical Republican cherry picking: “This one month was GREAT in this mostly meaningless way, so the future is SO ROSY! And disco record sales from 1976-1978 were up 125%, so if this trend continues..... ayyyyyy!”

Fact is that the cost of the tax cuts is estimated to increase the deficit by about $2.3 trillion, and the economic benefits are maybe $500 billion, meaning your tax cut is raising the debt by about $1.6 trillion. https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53743

Quote:

The last president doubled the deficit of every President before him COMBINED.
Yeah, the deficit is going to go up in a major recession. And Trump is benefiting by inheriting an economy that wasn’t hungstrung by stupid ideas, like balancing the budget is more important that getting people back to work.

Quote:

The last president doubled the deficit of every President before him COMBINED. Let me refresh your memory of what Obama said about his predecessors’ debt increase: It’s irresponsible, it’s unpatriotic"]Let me refresh your memory of what Obama said about his predecessors’ debt increase[/URL]: It’s irresponsible, it’s unpatriotic
Obama proposed to pay for his spending. Bush and Trump do not.

This is exactly why fiscal conservatism should not be thought to be policies that favor balancing the budget, because Obama did continuously propose measures to bring the deficit down, but conservatives rejected them.

Instead, fiscal conservatism is actually a policy that favors tax cuts no matter what the circumstances with no regard for deficits.

HurricaneDitka 09-16-2018 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Batty (Post 21210716)
Er, the other way around ...

How much did you pay in state taxes last year? You know you can still claim the first $10,000, right? I would be surprised if you pay more than that.

F. U. Shakespeare 09-16-2018 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21210550)
We're taking in record revenue: The U.S. took in $510 billion in receipts in April and spent $296 billion, leaving the Treasury with a record monthly surplus of $214 billion. The prior record, set in April 2001, was about $190 billion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21210847)
Typical Republican cherry picking: “This one month was GREAT in this mostly meaningless way, so the future is SO ROSY! And disco record sales from 1976-1978 were up 125%, so if this trend continues..... ayyyyyy!”

I love it! Income taxes are due in April --> we take in "record revenue".

Let's see, I get paid every two weeks. But if, on my next payday, you were to ask me what my salary is, I could report my two-week paycheck as my daily rate of pay, thereby giving myself a 1000% raise!

andros 09-16-2018 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21210900)
How much did you pay in state taxes last year? You know you can still claim the first $10,000, right? I would be surprised if you pay more than that.

This.

septimus 09-16-2018 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by F. U. Shakespeare (Post 21210911)
I love it! Income taxes are due in April --> we take in "record revenue".

Let's see, I get paid every two weeks. But if, on my next payday, you were to ask me what my salary is, I could report my two-week paycheck as my daily rate of pay, thereby giving myself a 1000% raise!

There there, he reported a factual fact, didn't he? Some people like steak, some like lobster; some like statistics that inform, some like statistics that spin; some like baseball, some like football. America prides itself on such diversity.

But since you had to go and brag about your income, let me mention that last night for a few minutes I was experiencing orgasms at the rate of 200 per day, 1400 per week. Tiring. :eek:

RTFirefly 09-16-2018 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21210900)
How much did you pay in state taxes last year? You know you can still claim the first $10,000, right? I would be surprised if you pay more than that.

Also, it depends on whether his state splits the tax burden between sales and income taxes, or does just one or the other. Because somewhere along the way, the GOP decided that you could deduct either sales or income taxes, but not both.

Ravenman 09-16-2018 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21210550)
If you read you're own cite it shows revenue is up, not down: Federal spending rose by 7%, outpacing revenue gains of 1%.

By the way, you know the top item contributing to the increase in spending?

Interest on the debt.

It grew by 50% more than collections grew on withholding on individual income taxes. And, corporate tax revenues declined by like 25% more than interest payments increased - that’s a double whammy.

Now that’s Republican fiscal values right there: cut taxes in order to pay Wall Street more to finance our debt.

TimeWinder 09-16-2018 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21210900)
How much did you pay in state taxes last year? You know you can still claim the first $10,000, right? I would be surprised if you pay more than that.

No, but I paid _much_ more than that in property and state taxes combined, which is what the cap is on. As do most people here.

eschereal 09-16-2018 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTFirefly (Post 21211243)
Also, it depends on whether his state splits the tax burden between sales and income taxes, or does just one or the other. Because somewhere along the way, the GOP decided that you could deduct either sales or income taxes, but not both.

I believe Jack Batty said that he was a warehouse laborer who just makes enough to pay his bills.

Quote:

Originally Posted by irs
If you file a Form 1040, and itemize deductions on Schedule A, you have the option of claiming either state and local income taxes or state and local sales taxes …

His description of his situation is not consistent with the sort of person who would itemize. It is just ever so delightful when a great tax deduction is made available to the people who can go to the extra effort to make use of it, which is usually not the majority of taxpayers.

Voyager 09-16-2018 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magiver (Post 21210669)
Revenue is still on track to increase. Cite

We don't have a tax revenue problem, we have a tax spending problem. It's being driving by a series of stop-gap budget approvals instead of going through the full budget process.

The 2018 estimate is only 20 billion dollars more than the 2017 number, which is a decrease when inflation is included. With lower unemployment (more income taxes) and a good economy, revenue should be going up a lot more than this.

And you should read your cite - which says that revenues should increase during times of prosperity. Tax cuts are better during recessions, not now.

Saying we have a spending problem is shorthand for saying, once the recession does happen, that we can't afford enhanced unemployment and food stamps because - *gasp* - we have a deficit. Wonder how that happened.

septimus 09-17-2018 04:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTFirefly (Post 21211243)
Also, it depends on whether his state splits the tax burden between sales and income taxes, or does just one or the other. Because somewhere along the way, the GOP decided that you could deduct either sales or income taxes, but not both.

That tax rule seems peculiar. Is there a logical reason for it? (Other than the obvious "Set the nerds to work figuring out what particular rules will screw 'blue' states and 'blue' voters.")

Jack Batty 09-17-2018 05:23 AM

My tax returns (and ignorance of the minutia) besides, it doesn't take away from the rest of my post. President Trump is doing nothing for us ham 'n' eggers and tax cuts for millionaires isn't helping. Our only hope is for wages to keep up with inflation which works directly against the Republican plan.

Shodan 09-17-2018 08:44 AM

I certainly agree that the deficit is unsustainably high, and should never have been allowed to get, or remain, this high. What is your prediction of what the deficit will be if Dems get control of the House? All spending bills originate there.

Regards,
Shodan

Budget Player Cadet 09-17-2018 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21212312)
I certainly agree that the deficit is unsustainably high, and should never have been allowed to get, or remain, this high. What is your prediction of what the deficit will be if Dems get control of the House? All spending bills originate there.

Regards,
Shodan

Judging by the pattern set by Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump? Barring a massive recession or a new ground war/occupation, lower than now. The idea that republicans care about the deficit and democrats don't may have made sense at one point, but by now anyone who still believes that just hasn't been paying attention.

Shodan 09-17-2018 08:50 AM

By how much will it be lower, and how will that be brought about?

Regards,
Shodan

F. U. Shakespeare 09-17-2018 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeWinder (Post 21211504)
No, but I paid _much_ more than that in property and state taxes combined, which is what the cap is on. As do most people here.

So do I. But assuming that calculator is right, I might actually pay less federal income tax this year. I had previously estimated it to go up.

The reason is that the rates have been slightly lowered. I admit that I lost track of the details of the rates and brackets as they were being negotiated.

The calculator recommends I take the increased standard deduction rather than itemize.

One caveat on the calculator: it calculates state income tax for you, and Maryland (along with, I assume, some other states) has a highly variable tax rate, depending on what county you live in.

F. U. Shakespeare 09-17-2018 08:57 AM

Another aside is that me getting a tax cut doesn't change the point made in the OP, that tax cuts for the well-off (which I'm apparently considered) aren't justified if they increase the deficit.

Ravenman 09-17-2018 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21212312)
I certainly agree that the deficit is unsustainably high, and should never have been allowed to get, or remain, this high. What is your prediction of what the deficit will be if Dems get control of the House? All spending bills originate there.

The deficit will go up, because the Republican White House will reject any attempt to raise revenue.

On the other hand, if the Republicans retained control of Congress, the deficit would probably go up even faster, as evidenced by the rumors that they are looking at another round of tax cuts.

HurricaneDitka 09-17-2018 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Batty (Post 21212195)
My tax returns (and ignorance of the minutia) besides, it doesn't take away from the rest of my post. ...

Here is your previous post in it's entirety:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Batty (Post 21210711)
Well, I'm not going to make $100k this year. I'm not in the money. I'm a warehouse worker who makes just about as much as it takes to pay my bills. I have no 401k, I own no stocks. My insurance (through work) is prohibitively expensive for the lowest possible coverage, which is no fun when you're 53 and you're starting to fall apart, and I'll probably have to pay more in taxes next year because I can no longer claim my federal taxes on my state return. So, fuck the GOP and their "tax reform," I hope they all choke on their fucking caviar.

If you're conceding that the "I'll probably have to pay more next year in taxes next year because I can no longer claim my federal taxes on my state return" portion was incorrect (and it sounds like you are), what's left? A bit of personal history, an admission that ObamaCare didn't fix the rising cost of health insurance, and "fuck the GOP"? Alrighty then.

ElvisL1ves 09-17-2018 10:45 AM

Standard deductions are up, but personal exemptions are zeroed. For me, that's a wash.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have added a trillion and a half to the debt. Ain't you proud?

Ravenman 09-17-2018 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21212519)
Meanwhile, the Republicans have added a trillion and a half to the debt. Ain't you proud?

I wonder how many conservatives on this board think that there's an actual possibility that the self-described "king of debt" will just renegotiate all the debt he's racking up during his presidency.

ElvisL1ves 09-17-2018 12:52 PM

Or declare bankruptcy and stiff all his creditors, like he does with his casinos.

But he thinks all he has to do is just print more money, like some shithole dictator.

Jack Batty 09-17-2018 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21212399)
If you're conceding that the "I'll probably have to pay more next year in taxes next year because I can no longer claim my federal taxes on my state return" portion was incorrect (and it sounds like you are), what's left? A bit of personal history, an admission that ObamaCare didn't fix the rising cost of health insurance, and "fuck the GOP"? Alrighty then.

I'm uncertain what my tax bill will be next year, but I know what my insurance premiums are (more than they were the year before) and I don't blame "Obamacare not fixing it," for that is a simplistic and well-poisoned argument in the first place. Yes I blame the Republicans, who Trump leads, for fucking up health care and Obama being stymied in his efforts by those very Republicans reinforces my points. But yeah, fuck the GOP works for me as a general motto, if you got nothing else going for you.

HurricaneDitka 09-17-2018 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Batty (Post 21212780)
I'm uncertain what my tax bill will be next year...

This seems to be the only portion of your post that relates to a forthright discussion about the tax cuts. I too am "uncertain", but I suspect that it'll be smaller, at least as a % of my income, than it was last year. This pleases me, so fuck the Dems.

Shodan 09-17-2018 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21212393)
The deficit will go up, because the Republican White House will reject any attempt to raise revenue.

If the Dems take over the House, and the deficit goes up, that would mean that they will be increasing spending. If the GOP blocks them from raising taxes, and they don't spend more, the deficit will remain the same, not go up.

Actually, a spending freeze would reduce the deficit because revenues tend to increase, all other things being equal (they never are).

If we wanted to reduce the deficit, Dems would agree to cut spending and GOP-ers to increase taxes. So we won't reduce the deficit.

Regards,
Shodan

Ravenman 09-17-2018 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21212819)
This seems to be the only portion of your post that relates to a forthright discussion about the tax cuts. I too am "uncertain", but I suspect that it'll be smaller, at least as a % of my income, than it was last year. This pleases me, so fuck the Dems.

Yeah, fuck our children too. Those suckers will have to pay for Americans wanting the government to spend more and not pay for it. Intergenerational theft is the best!

eschereal 09-17-2018 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21212323)
By how much will it be lower, and how will that be brought about?

By having a Democrat in the WH. Leslie Lynch King Jr. was the last “Republican” President who maintained a more-or-less level deficit. Since President 666, a R in the WH has boosted red ink, while having a D in the WH has tended to result in moves toward balance. A change in Congress may make a difference, but history does not support it. I blame Nobel Prize winner Milt Friedman, his Chicago School ideology and Art Laffer's cocktail-napkin scribbling. Amongst others.

HurricaneDitka 09-17-2018 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21212871)
Yeah, fuck our children too. Those suckers will have to pay for Americans wanting the government to spend more and not pay for it. Intergenerational theft is the best!

I'm technically a Millenial, and something of a law-and-order Republican, so I'm not a fan of intergenerational theft, but most of it (at least what has already been accomplished or planned) predates the Trump tax cuts.

Little Nemo 09-17-2018 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21212868)
If the GOP blocks them from raising taxes, and they don't spend more, the deficit will remain the same, not go up.

That's hypothetically true. But it's about as likely to happen as having the national debt paid off by the money fairy delivered gold bars.

Republicans often say they're going to cut government spending. But they never do it. Look at Reagan. He said cutting down the size of government was one of the main goals of his administration. But the amount of money spend by the government increased every year he was President.

Democrats spend government money and pay for it with taxes. Republicans spend government money and borrow money to pay for it.

Ravenman 09-17-2018 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21212906)
I'm technically a Millenial, and something of a law-and-order Republican, so I'm not a fan of intergenerational theft, but most of it (at least what has already been accomplished or planned) predates the Trump tax cuts.

And the Trump tax cuts help, how? Are they:

1. Making the situation better
2. Making the situation worse
3. There's no difference to the situation

ETA: Further, let's say Republicans propose another unpaid for tax cut that will result in you taking more money home. Is your response still, "I've got mine, jack, fuck the Democrats?"

steronz 09-17-2018 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21212906)
I'm technically a Millenial, and something of a law-and-order Republican, so I'm not a fan of intergenerational theft, but most of it (at least what has already been accomplished or planned) predates the Trump tax cuts.

Funny, younger Republicans (IME) seem to have no other principal other than "fuck the Dems," also know as "if it pisses off the libruls it's a good thing."

I honestly don't understand why there's not more outrage over this budget situation, the lies involved in Republican economic theory (supply side economics, repatriation, Laffer curve, ridiculous growth estimates a la Kansas), and the fact that you've been duped about this nonsense for decades.

Like, HD, can't you dig deep down into your soul and care as much about the fact that Republicans have, for the umpteenth time, borrowed money from my children's future earnings in order to pay for unnecessary tax cuts? If taxation without representation is something to get worked up over, then christ, is there a better cause then taxing kids?

Voyager 09-17-2018 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21212819)
This seems to be the only portion of your post that relates to a forthright discussion about the tax cuts. I too am "uncertain", but I suspect that it'll be smaller, at least as a % of my income, than it was last year. This pleases me, so fuck the Dems.

You get a small tax cut, the rich get a big tax cut, and corporations get a big tax cut that they've mostly plowed into stock purchases which help the relatively rich stock holders (and their execs) and the workers not at all.
Unless you own lots of stock, you're being taken.
And when the recession hits those stock buybacks are going to look stupid.

septimus 09-17-2018 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Voyager (Post 21212995)
... Unless you own lots of stock, you're being taken.
And when the recession hits those stock buybacks are going to look stupid.

Stupid for the corporations perhaps. Not stupid for the rich stockholders and executives who directed the buybacks and took advantage of them.

BTW, was the post you responded to of the form "Tax cuts is always good for me. Go team!"? Do we have Dopers whose thinking is this simplistic?

HurricaneDitka 09-17-2018 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21213094)
... BTW, was the post you responded to of the form "Tax cuts is always good for me. Go team!"? Do we have Dopers whose thinking is this simplistic?

Did the post he responded to include the word "always"?

Finding the answer to that question might also expose the answer to your questions.

Shodan 09-17-2018 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21212912)
That's hypothetically true. But it's about as likely to happen as having the national debt paid off by the money fairy delivered gold bars.

Agreed. The chances that Democrats will not increase spending no matter what the deficit are extremely low.
Quote:

Republicans often say they're going to cut government spending. But they never do it.
And Democrats often say they're going to increase government spending, and they always do.

Regards,
Shodan

Ravenman 09-17-2018 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21213222)
Agreed. The chances that Democrats will not increase spending no matter what the deficit are extremely low.And Democrats often say they're going to increase government spending, and they always do.

Regards,
Shodan

And do you believe, against ample evidence to the contrary, that a Republican Congress will cut spending?

septimus 09-17-2018 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21213207)
Did the post he responded to include the word "always"?

Finding the answer to that question might also expose the answer to your questions.

OK. So you especially approve of tax cuts which run counter to all economic wisdom and which even David Tepper says "were too steep and likely borrowed economic growth from the future." Got it.

David Tepper is a very successful and respected businessman sometimes called the "golden god" of hedge fund management.

HurricaneDitka 09-17-2018 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21213398)
OK. So you especially approve of tax cuts which run counter to all economic wisdom and which even David Tepper says "were too steep and likely borrowed economic growth from the future." Got it.

David Tepper is a very successful and respected businessman sometimes called the "golden god" of hedge fund management.

"counter to all economic wisdom" seems like an overly-broad claim. If I can find an economist that disagrees, would you be willing to retract this claim?

I'm generally supportive of tax cuts, but not "always", as I've previously noted. I don't particularly care that one billionaire opposed them, because I find it easy to imagine that at least one billionaire also supported them. Do you, also, find that easy to imagine?

Voyager 09-17-2018 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21213207)
Did the post he responded to include the word "always"?

Finding the answer to that question might also expose the answer to your questions.

I was clearly referring to this tax cut, not all tax cuts. Not all of them drove corporate behavior the way I mentioned.
Not to mention I think I said earlier that tax cuts during a recession make sense. So no, I never said always bad either.
(How to structure them to work the best is another issue.)

Try2B Comprehensive 09-17-2018 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21212819)
This seems to be the only portion of your post that relates to a forthright discussion about the tax cuts. I too am "uncertain", but I suspect that it'll be smaller, at least as a % of my income, than it was last year. This pleases me, so fuck the Dems.

You seem to be confused. Do you realize these tax cuts will cost you tour social security and Medicare? You will lose far more than you gain. Unless you are in a payday-loan level of desperation, or unless you are a multi-millionaire, it is a very bad deal for you.

Do you dispute this? And for everyone who is griping about spending, do you not recognize debt interest as spending? When the government takes in maybe $3.5 trillion a year in good times, do you really think it is a good idea to rocket the debt interest from ~$200 billion a year to over a trillion dollars? Are you so blinded by ideology and "fuck the Dems" that you think the entire nation should be effectively enslaved like this to a small claque of the super wealthy, people who have made puppets out of GOP Congress critters and entire news networks to lie to you constantly to convince you there is some other purpose behind it?

HurricaneDitka 09-17-2018 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21213608)
... Do you realize these tax cuts will cost you tour social security and Medicare? ...

What's your cite for this?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21213608)
.
Do you dispute this? ...

Let's see your cite before I jump into disputing it. I'm willing to hear your explanation for "cost you [your] SS & Medicare" first.

etasyde 09-17-2018 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21213702)
Let's see your cite before I jump into disputing it. I'm willing to hear your explanation for "cost you [your] SS & Medicare" first.

I don't mean to speak for someone else, but can't it easily be argued that funding SS & Medicare is an opportunity cost to these tax cuts?

HurricaneDitka 09-17-2018 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by etasyde (Post 21213727)
I don't mean to speak for someone else, but can't it easily be argued that funding SS & Medicare is an opportunity cost to these tax cuts?

Anything at all could be argued. If that's the argument you'd like to advance, have at it. First question: How much do the tax cuts cost and how does that compare with the amount of money we're planning to spend on SS & Medicare over the same time period?

etasyde 09-17-2018 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21213743)
Anything at all could be argued. If that's the argument you'd like to advance, have at it. First question: How much do the tax cuts cost and how does that compare with the amount of money we're planning to spend on SS & Medicare over the same time period?

(Source
Quote:

The White House released principles and a framework for tax reform today. We applaud the President's focus on tax reform, but the plan includes far more detail on how the Administration would cut taxes than on how they would pay for those cuts. Based on what we know so far, the plan could cost $3 to $7 trillion over a decade– our base-case estimate is $5.5 trillion in revenue loss over a decade. Without adequate offsets, tax reform could drive up the federal debt, harming economic growth instead of boosting it.
Source
Quote:

To construct its baseline budget projections, CBO incorporated the effects of the tax act, taking into account economic feedback—that is, the ways in which the act is likely to affect the economy and in turn affect the budget. Doing so raised the 11-year projection of the cumulative primary deficit (that is, the deficit excluding the costs of servicing the debt) by $1.3 trillion and raised projected debt-service costs by roughly $600 billion. The act therefore increases the total projected deficit over the 2018–2028 period by about $1.9 trillion.
So Let's call it even at 2 trillion, as I find the CBO to be a lot less contentious a source. That's 2 trillion over 10 years. Using some fiddly math, lets average that to $200B/yr.

This gives us This chart which puts each payment requirement over the next 10 years ranging from approximately 600 billion to 1,200 billion. So next year, diverting the lost revenue would account for 30% of the medicare costs, falling to 16.5% at the end of the 10th year. Now, the math doesn't work out quite so cleanly since the 2 trillion is averaged over all those years but we're getting into some complicated equations if we don't simplify.

It's a pretty big chunk of Medicare's costs, and with present projections, Medicare is insolvent by 2026. I can't find good data on the exact influence of 16.5% - 30% funding per year and how that would extend Medicare's time to insolvency, but that's a considerable amount.

Try2B Comprehensive 09-18-2018 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21213702)
What's your cite for this?



Let's see your cite before I jump into disputing it. I'm willing to hear your explanation for "cost you [your] SS & Medicare" first.

Simple answer first. By "cost you your SS & Medicare", the I mean the GOP's intention is that when you, HurricaneDitka, retire, your SS checks will be either cut (compared with today's program) or eliminated, and same with your Medicare coverage. Less to none. Same for me and everybody else in America.

Why do I think so? I guess I thought everyone took that for granted. Ha! Some pluralist I turned out to be.

Ok. Let's try to get on the same page. Here is a chart of the US federal budget. Daily Kos =? liberal? Well i don't read them I just think it is a pretty good stab at this project, and I don't identify myself as a liberal so please don't call me that. ;)

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid- these are the things the GOP yearns to cut, no? I'll post a cite soon, but first, does anyone on this board recall GOP politicians ever discussing "entitlement reform"? Like, ad nauseum? Entitlements = Social Security and Medicare (and Medicaid and CHIP and...). Reform = cut or eliminate. When the pie shrinks because of tax cuts for the wealthy, this is the part of the pie the GOP wants to shrink. Do you dispute that?

Not that they wouldn't take an axe to education, health, environment, and other smaller sectors. Anything but the military is on the GOP's block for cuts. Do you dispute that?

As an aside, if I were a GOP propagandist, I would massage the figures in the Daily Kos pie chart such that the Red (:eek:), Mandatory section of the chart is 66.6% of the Federal budget, and promote those wedges as the "Socialist" section of the budget. While we're in an aside, can anyone on this board recall a right wing media production (FOX, Limbaugh) equating The Left with Liberals with Socialism with The Pure Distillation of America-Hating Evil? Did someone slip me some peyote and I hallucinated GWB attempting to privatize Social Security? Are these all, somehow, fake memories!?

I don't think so. From this summer, see House GOP plan would cut Medicare, Medicaid to balance budget:
Quote:

the budget serves as an expression of Republicans’ priorities at a time of rapidly rising deficits and debt. Although the nation’s growing indebtedness has been exacerbated by the GOP’s own policy decisions — including the new tax law, which most analyses say will add at least $1 trillion to the debt — Republicans on the Budget Committee said they felt a responsibility to put the nation on a sounder fiscal trajectory.

“The time is now for our Congress to step up and confront the biggest challenge to our society,” said House Budget Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.). “There is not a bigger enemy on the domestic side than the debt and deficits.”

The Republican budget confronts this enemy by taking a whack at entitlement spending.
What do you think? "Entitlement Reform = cut or eliminate Medicare and Social Security" is my theory, and here is the GOP-controlled House (not some TV channel) talking about exactly that.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 01:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21213958)
Simple answer first. By "cost you your SS & Medicare", the I mean the GOP's intention is that when you, HurricaneDitka, retire, your SS checks will be either cut (compared with today's program) or eliminated, and same with your Medicare coverage. Less to none. Same for me and everybody else in America.

Why do I think so? I guess I thought everyone took that for granted. Ha! Some pluralist I turned out to be.

Ok. Let's try to get on the same page. Here is a chart of the US federal budget. Daily Kos =? liberal? Well i don't read them I just think it is a pretty good stab at this project, and I don't identify myself as a liberal so please don't call me that. ;)

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid- these are the things the GOP yearns to cut, no? I'll post a cite soon, but first, does anyone on this board recall GOP politicians ever discussing "entitlement reform"? Like, ad nauseum? Entitlements = Social Security and Medicare (and Medicaid and CHIP and...). Reform = cut or eliminate. When the pie shrinks because of tax cuts for the wealthy, this is the part of the pie the GOP wants to shrink. Do you dispute that?

Not that they wouldn't take an axe to education, health, environment, and other smaller sectors. Anything but the military is on the GOP's block for cuts. Do you dispute that?

As an aside, if I were a GOP propagandist, I would massage the figures in the Daily Kos pie chart such that the Red (:eek:), Mandatory section of the chart is 66.6% of the Federal budget, and promote those wedges as the "Socialist" section of the budget. While we're in an aside, can anyone on this board recall a right wing media production (FOX, Limbaugh) equating The Left with Liberals with Socialism with The Pure Distillation of America-Hating Evil? Did someone slip me some peyote and I hallucinated GWB attempting to privatize Social Security? Are these all, somehow, fake memories!?

I don't think so. From this summer, see House GOP plan would cut Medicare, Medicaid to balance budget:

What do you think? "Entitlement Reform = cut or eliminate Medicare and Social Security" is my theory, and here is the GOP-controlled House (not some TV channel) talking about exactly that.

You're wandering off into the weeds a bit here. Let's try to stay focused. You claimed "... these tax cuts will cost you tour social security and Medicare...". Now, it may well be that the GOP would like to cut SS & Medicare, but they did not, as a point of fact, do so in any substantial way in the TCJA of 2017, agreed? It is, therefore, inaccurate and incorrect to say that "these tax cuts" will cost me SS and Medicare, agreed?

ETA: And please, DailyKos? from 2013? Is it really that hard for you to find a more-current spending chart?

Try2B Comprehensive 09-18-2018 01:43 AM

Not agreed. The tax cuts are meant to constrain the budget as an excuse to pursue entitlement reform.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 01:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by etasyde (Post 21213792)
(Source


Source


So Let's call it even at 2 trillion, as I find the CBO to be a lot less contentious a source. That's 2 trillion over 10 years. Using some fiddly math, lets average that to $200B/yr.

This gives us This chart which puts each payment requirement over the next 10 years ranging from approximately 600 billion to 1,200 billion. So next year, diverting the lost revenue would account for 30% of the medicare costs, falling to 16.5% at the end of the 10th year. Now, the math doesn't work out quite so cleanly since the 2 trillion is averaged over all those years but we're getting into some complicated equations if we don't simplify.

It's a pretty big chunk of Medicare's costs, and with present projections, Medicare is insolvent by 2026. I can't find good data on the exact influence of 16.5% - 30% funding per year and how that would extend Medicare's time to insolvency, but that's a considerable amount.

I appreciate the attempt here. You did ignore SS entirely, which was a tad disappointing, and I'd prefer to see better primary sources, but overall a decent effort.

Here are the CBO's "10-Year Budget Projections". Of note for purposes of our discussion, the latest projections (Table 2-2: Mandatory Outlays Projected in CBO's Baseline), from April of this year, are:

Year = Combined Total (SS + Medicare)
2017 = $1,641B ($939B + $702B)
2018 = $1,691B ($984B + $707B)
2019 = $1,819B ($1,043B + $776B)
2020 = $1,939B ($1,110B + $830B)
2021 = $2,073B ($1,180B + $893B)
2022 = $2,249B ($1,253B + $996B)
2023 = $2,362B ($1,330B + $1,032B)
2024 = $2,472B ($1,410B + $1,062B)
2025 = $2,676B ($1,495B + $1,181B)
2026 = $2,850B ($1,583B + $1,267B)
2027 = $3,034B ($1,676B + $1,358B)
2028 = $3,294B ($1,774B + $1,521B)

stack that up against ~$190B/year for the tax cuts and yeah, I guess I'm feeling pretty comfortable disputing that 'these tax cuts will cost [me my] SS & Medicare'. "These tax cuts" amount to little more than a rounding error on SS & Medicare spending.

Little Nemo 09-18-2018 01:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21213222)
Agreed. The chances that Democrats will not increase spending no matter what the deficit are extremely low. And Democrats often say they're going to increase government spending, and they always do.

Both parties increase spending. The Democrats tell the truth about it and pay for the spending. The Republicans lie about it and spend money they don't have.

This makes the Democrats the better party.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21214026)
Not agreed. The tax cuts are meant to constrain the budget as an excuse to pursue entitlement reform.

Is "entitlement reform" a priority they thought up in just the last year, after cutting taxes via the TCJA of 2017, or is it a goal that predates the tax cuts?

ETA: maybe it would be helpful if you addressed both these points separately:

1) Now, it may well be that the GOP would like to cut SS & Medicare, but they did not, as a point of fact, do so in any substantial way in the TCJA of 2017, agreed? (I think you'll agree to this one. If not, I'd be most interested in hearing your rationale)

2) It is, therefore, inaccurate and incorrect to say that "these tax cuts" will cost me SS and Medicare, agreed? (This is the one I think your "not agreed" was directed towards, but please clarify if I'm misunderstanding you).

Try2B Comprehensive 09-18-2018 02:19 AM

Well played. Where do you think the cuts will come from?

Try2B Comprehensive 09-18-2018 02:33 AM

I've talked enough. What is your defense of the GOP tax plan?

asahi 09-18-2018 02:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21212393)
The deficit will go up, because the Republican White House will reject any attempt to raise revenue.

On the other hand, if the Republicans retained control of Congress, the deficit would probably go up even faster, as evidenced by the rumors that they are looking at another round of tax cuts.

American voters have been screwing themselves since 2010 by not sticking with a completely Democratically-controlled government. And 2020's the earliest we'll be able to change anything. Conservatives have successfully rigged American democracy so that any attempt at reform is undone by political gridlock.

As for the tax cuts, I think the OP isn't far from the truth. I'm not sure I would go quite so far in suggesting that bonds might be used as leverage by plutocrats because I think Medicare and SS would be severely cut first before we get to bonds, and rising debt levels would probably cause some concern about our creditworthiness, which might also, in turn, weaken the dollar. But I could see the GOP pitching a plan to Americans under 55 that they can take their SS money and put it in a 401K and that we can just turn Medicare into Obamacare for All. And eliminate Medicaid and all entitlements for the poor altogether.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 02:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21214053)
Well played. Where do you think the cuts will come from?

Your whole premise is based on the theory that Washington is going to have to cut spending, but they don't have to. They've spend the vast majority of the last few decades proving that. I think your time would be better-spend worrting about how we're going to fend off invasions of little green Martians. That seems like a more realistic scenario than budget "cuts" from the federal government. I don't have any realistic expectation there will be any significant cuts at all. Washington appears to be utterly incapable of actually cutting spending.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 02:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21214059)
I've talked enough. What is your defense of the GOP tax plan?

Ummm ... I think you already took care of that in your OP:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21210061)
... $2000. Thanks GOP. It is difficult to say that this aspect of things is bad. ...

To be a bit more specific, I'm somewhat sympathetic to the concerns over the budget deficit, but don't feel that an extra $190B on a $4.1T budget are worth more than a tidy sum of cold hard cash for me personally (and for most Americans).

ElvisL1ves 09-18-2018 08:40 AM

So it would be even better to repeal taxation altogether, right?

Ravenman 09-18-2018 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214062)
Your whole premise is based on the theory that Washington is going to have to cut spending, but they don't have to.

Addressing this question and your previous ones about Social Security, it depends what type of spending we are talking about.

The main spending going up over the last couple decades and into the future is Social Security and Medicare. That isn't because of some decision a Republican or Democratic Congress made recently, and nobody can say that it is Obama's fault if they aren't a dirty liar. It's simply a generational thing, given that the Baby Boomers are retiring.

We we do nothing, the Social Security Trust Fund will be emptied by the mid-2030s and spending on Social Security benefits will have to be cut to what is supported by FICA collections. That means that Social Security checks will be cut by about 20% in those years and later if nothing is done. Again, if Washington does nothing, spending goes down, and retirees get crushed. I think Republicans generally favor this happening, because "fuck the Dems" as you so eloquently put it... though a handful of non-crazy Republicans recognize that screwing over some of their voters isn't good for reelection prospects.

Then there's the issue of Washington acting to cut spending. This happened in 2013 and basically nobody liked it except for a small number of Tea Party Republicans. The military budget was cut by 8% or so, and so were domestic programs. Since then, Washington has voted not to sustain that level of spending, usually by increasing discretionary spending by the neighborhood of $40 billion/year... until Trump took office, and that amount of additional spending basically doubled.

To the extent that Social Security and Medicare are the "first ones that stand to be cut" because of the tax cuts and growing deficits, it is not as cut and dried as what I just laid out above in terms of the Trust Fund running out of money. However, seeing as how Republican voters and politicians only care about the deficit when a Democrat is in the White House, it is a stone-cold undeniable fact that Republican orthodoxy fully embraces the reduction of these programs in order to lower spending. This is Paul Ryan's entire reason for being in Congress. It has been a part of every Republican platform for decades. To deny that the overwhelming majority of Republican elected officials seek to reduce Medicare and Social Security is like denying that water is wet.

Some Republicans, especially in the GWB era, sought to exacerbate the deficit crisis in order to generate political momentum to achieve this. This, too, is a fact.

At the end of the day, HD, you appear to like tax cuts and also think that spending will never be cut. Therefore, deficits and debt are just going to go up. It's just as simple as that. And this, as you may agree, is what makes you a true fiscal conservative.

septimus 09-18-2018 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21213421)
"counter to all economic wisdom" seems like an overly-broad claim. If I can find an economist that disagrees, would you be willing to retract this claim?

IF you can find a single economist that approves of the tax cuts? :confused: Are you making an admission here?

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214068)
... but don't feel that an extra $190B on a $4.1T budget are worth more than a tidy sum of cold hard cash for me personally (and for most Americans).

:confused: Just as a quick test can you demonstrate your knowledge with a 15-word summary of the fundamental tenet of Keynesian fiscal policy?

And if 190/4100 is a "small" ratio, why not $290B ? Wouldn't two tidy sums be even better than one? Or did Trump and Ryan magically find the Goldilocks cut?

To get support for the temporary infusions of $1500 each into your pocket and those of some other middle-income Americans, the corporations and super-rich were bought off with permanent tax cuts totaling Trillions with a capital T. Good?

Oh. One last question. There are credible allegations that the new individual tax rules were very carefully structured to screw demographics that mostly vote blue. What do you think of this? I'm pretty sure I can guess your answer, but it might be fun to hear it from you.

Kobal2 09-18-2018 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21214344)
So it would be even better to repeal taxation altogether, right?


And let the workers seize the means of production directly, yes. Alas...


:D

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214439)
IF you can find a single economist that approves of the tax cuts? :confused: Are you making an admission here?

Not at all, I just wanted to know if it was a waste of time before digging up a quote. Given that you evaded the question, I suspect it would be.

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214439)
:confused: Just as a quick test can you demonstrate your knowledge with a 15-word summary of the fundamental tenet of Keynesian fiscal policy?

Do your own econ homework. I'm no more interested in your tests than you apparently are in answering my questions.

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214439)
And if 190/4100 is a "small" ratio, why not $290B ? Wouldn't two tidy sums be even better than one? Or did Trump and Ryan magically find the Goldilocks cut?

Nothing particularly magical about $190B/year, although, to repeat myself, not "always". Washington has yet to enact a tax cuts that made me go "oh shit guys, it's too much, don't do that", but I'm open to the possibility that such a tax cuts could exist, at least in theory.

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214439)
To get support for the temporary infusions of $1500 each into your pocket and those of some other middle-income Americans, the corporations and super-rich were bought off with permanent tax cuts totaling Trillions with a capital T. Good?

Sure. I doubt that the "temporary" tax cuts will be allowed to expire. It was savvy politics.

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214439)
Oh. One last question. There are credible allegations that the new individual tax rules were very carefully structured to screw demographics that mostly vote blue. What do you think of this? I'm pretty sure I can guess your answer, but it might be fun to hear it from you.

What makes these allegations "credible". You didn't provide a source for me to evaluate. Your word does not suffice on this matter.

Did you guess correctly?

RTFirefly 09-18-2018 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTFirefly (Post 21211243)
Also, it depends on whether his state splits the tax burden between sales and income taxes, or does just one or the other. Because somewhere along the way, the GOP decided that you could deduct either sales or income taxes, but not both.

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21212188)
That tax rule seems peculiar. Is there a logical reason for it? (Other than the obvious "Set the nerds to work figuring out what particular rules will screw 'blue' states and 'blue' voters.")

The only logic is political. Practically all states have sales taxes, but a lot of states - mostly red states - don't have income taxes. Sales taxes hit the poor hardest and the rich hardly at all. State income taxes are usually regressive too, but not nearly as much.

So Republicans don't like state income taxes, and this measure basically punishes the people who live in (mostly blue) states that have them.

Ravenman 09-18-2018 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214538)
What makes these allegations "credible". You didn't provide a source for me to evaluate. Your word does not suffice on this matter.

Here's a libertarian commentator in a conservative magazine noting that people in blue states who are basically just keeping up with their neighbors are going to have to start paying more taxes.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/o...17-story.html#

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTFirefly (Post 21214615)
... State income taxes are usually regressive too...

Which states have "regressive" income taxes?

RTFirefly 09-18-2018 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214659)
Which states have "regressive" income taxes?

Try Google. I'm sure you can find a page that summarizes the differences between the income taxes of those states that have them.

steronz 09-18-2018 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214030)
stack that up against ~$190B/year for the tax cuts and yeah, I guess I'm feeling pretty comfortable disputing that 'these tax cuts will cost [me my] SS & Medicare'. "These tax cuts" amount to little more than a rounding error on SS & Medicare spending.

I'd argue that 12% of the current Medicare & SS spending is not a "rounding error" using any generally accepted definition of the term. But it's not just 12%, because that's just how much Republicans increased the deficit. Last year, based on those numbers, we borrowed 41% of the combined Medicare & SS spending. This year, thanks to the tax cuts, we're going to be on pace to borrow 51%. If those projections you posted are accurate, the situation is only going to get much, much worse.

The problem isn't that $190B is a lot of money, it's that it's a step in the wrong direction. It's a step in the wrong direction at a time when the right direction is obvious to anyone who cares to look, and it ultimately means that my children are going to have to suffer more than they otherwise would if the "adults" in the room weren't being so goddamn irresponsible.

Do you even care?

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTFirefly (Post 21214685)
Try Google. I'm sure you can find a page that summarizes the differences between the income taxes of those states that have them.

I'm not interested in what Google has to say. I'm interested in what you have to say. But if your response is to NOT offer a cite, or even an example, I guess that tells me plenty.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21214696)
... Do you even care?

Yes. Previously I wrote:

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214068)
... I'm somewhat sympathetic to the concerns over the budget deficit, but don't feel that an extra $190B on a $4.1T budget are worth more than a tidy sum of cold hard cash for me personally (and for most Americans).

I'd prefer that the deficit were less (even better if we could make it zero). I think, on some level some Dems would too. The fundamental problem is that the federal government spends more than it collects and (speaking generally) the Dem's solution is to collect more while the Rep's solution is to spend less. Either could work, but what happens in reality is that we end up spending more and collecting less, because Republicans often don't want to be seen as the ones cutting spending and Democrats often don't want to be seen as the ones raising taxes.

steronz 09-18-2018 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214837)
Republicans often don't want to be seen as the ones cutting spending and Democrats often don't want to be seen as the ones raising taxes.

Oh come off it, Obama tried like hell to get tax increases through and Republicans raked him through the fucking coals for it. Did you forget all of that?

I mean, look at how Republicans smear Obama for being a tax and spend Democrat.

Quote:

Since taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama has formally proposed a total of 442 tax increases, according to an Americans for Tax Reform analysis of Obama administration budgets for fiscal years 2010 through 2015.

The 442 total proposed tax increases does not include the 20 tax increases Obama signed into law as part of Obamacare.

“History tells us what Obama was able to do. This list reminds us of what Obama wanted to do,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
The problem isn't that Democrats don't want to raise taxes -- they clearly do, because it needs to be done and they're the only ones willing to do it. The problem is that people keep voting Republicans into office despite Republicans presenting no feasible strategy for curbing the deficit. That should infuriate you if you have any concept that the future is going to exist.

Akaj 09-18-2018 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214837)
I'd prefer that the deficit were less (even better if we could make it zero). I think, on some level some Dems would too. The fundamental problem is that the federal government spends more than it collects and (speaking generally) the Dem's solution is to collect more while the Rep's solution is to spend less. Either could work, but what happens in reality is that we end up spending more and collecting less, because Republicans often don't want to be seen as the ones cutting spending and Democrats often don't want to be seen as the ones raising taxes.

Why, then, are you cheering this "tax reform" that collects less when Republican leadership shows no inclination toward cutting spending? Why aren't you howling at the GOP to demonstrate fiscal discipline instead of buying off voters with short-term tax savings that undermine their children's futures?

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21214863)
... The problem isn't that Democrats don't want to raise taxes -- they clearly do, because it needs to be done and they're the only ones willing to do it. The problem is that people keep voting Republicans into office despite Republicans presenting no feasible strategy for curbing the deficit. ...

I don't see that as being any more convincing than this:

"The problem isn't that Republicans don't want to cut spending -- they clearly do, because it needs to be done and they're the only ones willing to do it. The problem is that people keep voting Democrats into office despite Democrats presenting no feasible strategy for curbing the deficit."

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akaj (Post 21214870)
Why, then, are you cheering this "tax reform" that collects less when Republican leadership shows no inclination toward cutting spending? Why aren't you howling at the GOP to demonstrate fiscal discipline instead of buying off voters with short-term tax savings that undermine their children's futures?

For the same reason that Dems applaud when their elected officials increase spending but fail to "pay for it" with sufficient revenue-raising measure to cover the costs.

We both have policy priorities we want to see realized, and don't care sufficiently if the necessary downside (cutting spending in the case of R's and raising taxes in the case of D's) actually happens.

Neither side is willing to give up their preferred solution to see that government revenues and outlays meet.

steronz 09-18-2018 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214899)
I don't see that as being any more convincing than this:

"The problem isn't that Republicans don't want to cut spending -- they clearly do, because it needs to be done and they're the only ones willing to do it. The problem is that people keep voting Democrats into office despite Democrats presenting no feasible strategy for curbing the deficit."

Because you haven't been paying attention? I'm sure a lot of low information voters would agree with you.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21214863)
... I mean, look at how Republicans smear Obama for being a tax and spend Democrat. ...

"they want to raise your taxes" and "they want to cut your SS/Medicare" are both potent political attacks. That's a big part of what contributes to the dessert-but-no-vegetables behavior we get from Washington.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21214926)
Because you haven't been paying attention? I'm sure a lot of low information voters would agree with you.

Everyone who disagrees with you must just not be paying attention, or be a low-information voter?

:rolleyes:

Who needs to "come off it" now?

steronz 09-18-2018 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214938)
Everyone who disagrees with you must just not be paying attention, or be a low-information voter?

:rolleyes:

Who needs to "come off it" now?

Did I say anything of the sort? Everyone who disagrees with me on anything? Really?

Shodan 09-18-2018 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21214032)
Both parties increase spending. The Democrats tell the truth about it and pay for the spending.

How did the Democrats pay for their spending under Obama?

Regards,
Shodan

septimus 09-18-2018 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214538)
Not at all, I just wanted to know if it was a waste of time before digging up a quote. Given that you evaded the question, I suspect it would be.


Do your own econ homework. I'm no more interested in your tests than you apparently are in answering my questions.


Nothing particularly magical about $190B/year, although, to repeat myself, not "always". Washington has yet to enact a tax cuts that made me go "oh shit guys, it's too much, don't do that", but I'm open to the possibility that such a tax cuts could exist, at least in theory.


Sure. I doubt that the "temporary" tax cuts will be allowed to expire. It was savvy politics.



What makes these allegations "credible". You didn't provide a source for me to evaluate. Your word does not suffice on this matter.

Did you guess correctly?

* You can't name a single economist who supports the tax cuts.
* You don't know the most basic tenet of fiscal policy.
* You might see a tax cut you disapprove of; you might see a blue unicorn.
* You were happy to give the billionaires trillions so you could have your $1000.
* you haven't followed the discussion on deductions.

Yes. I guessed correctly.

steronz 09-18-2018 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21214953)
How did the Democrats pay for their spending under Obama?

Regards,
Shodan

By letting the Bush tax cuts expire. We were also still recovering from a recession -- not raising taxes, or cutting taxes, during an economic recession is perfectly fine and consistent with liberal economic theory.

We never got to see what Democrats would have done in the later Obama years when the economy was better because Republicans took over congress and stonewalled every proposed attempt to raise taxes.

BobLibDem 09-18-2018 12:58 PM

I'm rather surprised that nobody has brought up the "we need a balanced budget amendment!" farce.

The only spending that Republicans have any interest in cutting is Social Security and Medicare. They've been trying to kill SS for 80 years and trying to kill Medicare for 50 years. Ending these programs is Paul Ryan's ultimate masturbatory fantasy.

If Republicans think they can cut spending, why don't they? They control everything. Go ahead, point to specific spending that you'd eliminate. Before you shout "foreign aid!", remember that it is a tiny portion of the budget. You've got defense spending and interest on the debt. Everything else is almost trivial.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214974)
* You can't name a single economist who supports the tax cuts.

False, but since you appear to be unwilling to retract your assertion even in the face of evidence to the contrary, it seems like a waste of time to offer it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214974)
* You don't know the most basic tenet of fiscal policy.

False, but explaining it to you does not interest me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214974)
* You might see a tax cut you disapprove of; you might see a blue unicorn.

True. You got one right.

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214974)
* You were happy to give the billionaires trillions so you could have your $1000.

False. What makes you think I'm only getting $1000?

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214974)
* you haven't followed the discussion on deductions.

False. Where did you get the impression I wasn't following it? I asked you for a cite, and was told "Try Google." That declining to offer a cite for assertions pretty much ended the conversation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21214974)
Yes. I guessed correctly.

No, no you did not.

steronz 09-18-2018 01:07 PM

<checks forum, confirms that it is indeed Great Debates>

Wow HD, you make a very convincing rebuttal.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobLibDem (Post 21214991)
... You've got defense spending and interest on the debt. Everything else is almost trivial.

Really? Here is the CBO's chart for 2017. It shows:

Net interest = $263B
Defense spending = $590B
Nondefense (discretionary) = $610B
"Other" = $614B
Medicaid = $375B
Medicare = $591B
Social Security = $939B

You think "everything else is almost trivial"? Even the $610B in non-defense discretionary spending? And the $614B spent on "other"?

steronz 09-18-2018 01:12 PM

And remember that $190B is a rounding error, right?

BobLibDem 09-18-2018 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21215018)
Really? Here is the CBO's chart for 2017. It shows:

Net interest = $263B
Defense spending = $590B
Nondefense (discretionary) = $610B
"Other" = $614B
Medicaid = $375B
Medicare = $591B
Social Security = $939B

You think "everything else is almost trivial"? Even the $610B in non-defense discretionary spending? And the $614B spent on "other"?

I think the charts support my point of view, actually but I thank you for the link. I say SS, Medicare, and Medicaid shouldn't really count as federal revenues or spending, they have their own revenue source. Now from the chart, the non-defense discretionary spending is $610 billion. OK, so I was mistaken and it is more than defense. But- what do you cut? Transportation? Education? Veteran's benefits? If you were in charge, which of these would feel the blow of your mighty ax?

Akaj 09-18-2018 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214906)
For the same reason that Dems applaud when their elected officials increase spending but fail to "pay for it" with sufficient revenue-raising measure to cover the costs.

We both have policy priorities we want to see realized, and don't care sufficiently if the necessary downside (cutting spending in the case of R's and raising taxes in the case of D's) actually happens.

Neither side is willing to give up their preferred solution to see that government revenues and outlays meet.

So because you perceive Democrats to have behaved irresponsibly, you think it's just fine if Republicans behave irresponsibly? Your side controls the House, the Senate, the White House and (for all intents and purposes) the Supreme Court. Excusing your fiscal irresponsibility with whataboutism is utterly craven.

begbert2 09-18-2018 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214538)
Sure. I doubt that the "temporary" tax cuts will be allowed to expire. It was savvy politics.

If the republicans intended to extend the temporary tax cuts, they wouldn't have bothered making the tax cuts for the super-rich permanent. What they actually did is set up a situation where they can either lambast the democrats for not perpetuating your tiny tax cut - or just sit back and ignore the situation if the democrats are not in a position to take flak for allowing them to expire. After all, it's not like they give a fuck about your tax cut - if they did it would be as permanent as everyone else's.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akaj (Post 21215057)
So because you perceive Democrats to have behaved irresponsibly, you think it's just fine if Republicans behave irresponsibly? Your side controls the House, the Senate, the White House and (for all intents and purposes) the Supreme Court. Excusing your fiscal irresponsibility with whataboutism is utterly craven.

The trends I'm talking about there extend over the last couple of decades, at least.

ElvisL1ves 09-18-2018 01:45 PM

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. "

- Alexis de Tocqueville

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobLibDem (Post 21215046)
I think the charts support my point of view, actually but I thank you for the link. I say SS, Medicare, and Medicaid shouldn't really count as federal revenues or spending, they have their own revenue source. Now from the chart, the non-defense discretionary spending is $610 billion. OK, so I was mistaken and it is more than defense.

You're welcome and it's refreshing to see a simple acknowledgement of an error. I think it's worth noting that, at least in a number of categories, that chart shows net spending, that is, how much the federal government is spending on those programs after "their own revenue source" has been accounted for. For example, Medicare is "spending minus income from premiums and other offsetting receipts" and Other is "minus income from offsetting receipts".

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobLibDem (Post 21215046)
But- what do you cut? Transportation? Education? Veteran's benefits? If you were in charge, which of these would feel the blow of your mighty ax?

I'd be fine with something like "the Penny Plan".

Ravenman 09-18-2018 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21215088)
The trends I'm talking about there extend over the last couple of decades, at least.

Including the time when GHWB raised taxes, and Republicans revolted on him and he lost re-election?

Including the time where, based on those higher taxes and a booming economy under Clinton, the deficit was erased?

Or are you talking about the times when Republican Administrations got tax cuts with pretty good economies (Reagan, GWB) and managed to spike the deficits?

Or maybe you think that during a major recession, lowering the deficit is more important than people having food stamps and unemployment so that they do not starve?

Ravenman 09-18-2018 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21215111)
I'd be fine with something like "the Penny Plan".

Don't make me laugh.

That article is written by the one Senator most responsible for authoring tax cuts that are increasing the debt by nearly $2 trillion without cutting any spending whatsoever.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21215113)
Including the time when GHWB raised taxes, and Republicans revolted on him and he lost re-election?

Including the time where, based on those higher taxes and a booming economy under Clinton, the deficit was erased?

Or are you talking about the times when Republican Administrations got tax cuts with pretty good economies (Reagan, GWB) and managed to spike the deficits?

Or maybe you think that during a major recession, lowering the deficit is more important than people having food stamps and unemployment so that they do not starve?

Essentially nobody is in danger of starving to death in America today, certainly not because of a lack of funds. Food stamps don't prevent starvation, they allow people to spend their cash on cigarettes and beer because their food is taken care of.

BobLibDem 09-18-2018 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21215111)
You're welcome and it's refreshing to see a simple acknowledgement of an error. I think it's worth noting that, at least in a number of categories, that chart shows net spending, that is, how much the federal government is spending on those programs after "their own revenue source" has been accounted for. For example, Medicare is "spending minus income from premiums and other offsetting receipts" and Other is "minus income from offsetting receipts".


I'd be fine with something like "the Penny Plan".

You know, I'm relatively certain that you and I have never voted the same way but there is no need for us to be disagreeable just because we disagree.

SS will soon be cashing in its T-bills and relying on a bit more than revenues, that is true. This was of course the reason for racking up those massive SS surpluses in the first place.

But I'm not so sure that your "penny plan" is practicable. I shall return later when I'm more convinced of that.

Snowboarder Bo 09-18-2018 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21215004)
False. Where did you get the impression I wasn't following it? I asked you for a cite, and was told "Try Google." That declining to offer a cite for assertions pretty much ended the conversation.

You didn’t ask for a cite, you asked for information. The very fact that you asked tells me that you don’t know and your attempt to spin that as something else tells me even more.

Ravenman 09-18-2018 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21215124)
Essentially nobody is in danger of starving to death in America today, certainly not because of a lack of funds. Food stamps don't prevent starvation, they allow people to spend their cash on cigarettes and beer because their food is taken care of.

When we hit 10 percent unemployment in 2008, you would have been happy eliminating food stamps to save money and reduce the deficit?

But at at time of full employment, you support the debt-raising tax cuts because you, a person with a pretty good salary, would like a couple more thousand dollars in your pocket each year?

That's pretty cold.

RTFirefly 09-18-2018 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214815)
I'm not interested in what Google has to say. I'm interested in what you have to say. But if your response is to NOT offer a cite, or even an example, I guess that tells me plenty.

Here's what I have to say, then: the only way the question of how regressive state income taxes are bears on what I was saying in my response to septimus earlier is that they're less regressive than state sales taxes.

Are you questioning that? If not, then I'm really not interested in discussing it further; I've answered his question accurately.

If you are questioning that - if you think state income taxes might be even more regressive than sales taxes - all I can say is, are you fucking kidding me??

And finally, if you want to nitpick over some side issue that has nothing to do with the question septimus asked, and my answer, you'll have to do it by yourself.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21215208)
When we hit 10 percent unemployment in 2008, you would have been happy eliminating food stamps to save money and reduce the deficit?

Just as a point of information, the unemployment rate didn't hit 10% until October 2009.

Like I said, my preference would be something along the lines of the penny plan, with across-the-board cuts, perhaps with some carve-outs determined by Congress. I wasn't advocating for food stamps to be cut in 2009 (but I don't think I would have lifted a finger to oppose it if it were a realistic possibility).

I'm guessing that this is where you're headed with the food stamps argument, so I'll meet you there: Yes, I'm fully aware that the food stamps program is also "little more than a rounding error" in our overall federal budget, and that cutting it, even to zero, wouldn't solve our budget shortfall by itself.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21215208)
But at at time of full employment, you support the debt-raising tax cuts because you, a person with a pretty good salary, would like a couple more thousand dollars in your pocket each year?

That couple more thousand dollars was certainly one reason I supported it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21215208)
That's pretty cold.

Republicans can't win with your side. You guys either accuse them of "voting against their economic interests" or being "pretty cold" when they vote for their economic interests.

Try2B Comprehensive 09-18-2018 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21215111)


I'd be fine with something like "the Penny Plan".

That isn't a plan. That is simplemindedness presented as if it were a plan. Are we all supposed to slap out foreheads and go, "Gollleeee, when you put it like that it is as if you haven't just proposed cutting $1 trillion from the budget!"

The question was: cut What?

Little Nemo 09-18-2018 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214899)
I don't see that as being any more convincing than this:

"The problem isn't that Republicans don't want to cut spending -- they clearly do, because it needs to be done and they're the only ones willing to do it. The problem is that people keep voting Democrats into office despite Democrats presenting no feasible strategy for curbing the deficit."

You may not like taxes but they are a means of paying for government spending. So the Democrats have a realistic plan.

The Republican plan is to hope there are a lot of voters who won't be able to figure out that they don't have a plan.

Your admission that you find both plans equally convincing explains which party you support.

Little Nemo 09-18-2018 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21215382)
Republicans can't win with your side. You guys either accuse them of "voting against their economic interests" or being "pretty cold" when they vote for their economic interests.

No, we're saying you don't understand what your economic interests are. Sure, the government can cut your taxes this year. And you'll think "Wow, this is great" and vote them back into office.

But they're paying for your tax cut by borrowing more money. So they gave you a two thousand dollar tax cut and put you three thousand dollars in debt. That's not a good deal for you.

Ravenman 09-18-2018 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21215382)
Like I said, my preference would be something along the lines of the penny plan, with across-the-board cuts, perhaps with some carve-outs determined by Congress. I wasn't advocating for food stamps to be cut in 2009 (but I don't think I would have lifted a finger to oppose it if it were a realistic possibility).

I'm guessing that this is where you're headed with the food stamps argument, so I'll meet you there: Yes, I'm fully aware that the food stamps program is also "little more than a rounding error" in our overall federal budget, and that cutting it, even to zero, wouldn't solve our budget shortfall by itself.

Actually, you're completely wrong. That thought did not occur to me, and it is not an argument I like (except when we are literally talking about rounding errors, like a $10 million grant to study some scientific phenomenon that anti-government spending crusaders rail against while not understanding at all).

Quote:

That couple more thousand dollars was certainly one reason I supported it.

Republicans can't win with your side. You guys either accuse them of "voting against their economic interests" or being "pretty cold" when they vote for their economic interests.
I said it's pretty cold to generally like cuts to a program to make sure poor people can buy groceries while hailing that you just got a tax cut that amounts to maybe several weeks of take-home pay for those same poor people.

The reason you can't win with our side is that this kind of crap is disgusting. It's like Wall Street bankers spitting on homeless people for kicks.

Snowboarder Bo 09-18-2018 07:39 PM

More like helpless people being robbed and then forced to pay admission to a show where the robber berates them for being so stupid that they got robbed.

Ravenman 09-18-2018 07:53 PM

And that the money that was stolen probably would have been wasted on things like a birthday cake for their kid (what kid NEEDS a cake?) instead of the cool stuff rich people will buy, like a Performance Dual Motor Tesla Model 3. The seats are white vegan leather!

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21215629)
No, we're saying you don't understand what your economic interests are. Sure, the government can cut your taxes this year. And you'll think "Wow, this is great" and vote them back into office.

But they're paying for your tax cut by borrowing more money. So they gave you a two thousand dollar tax cut and put you three thousand dollars in debt. That's not a good deal for you.

It's a better deal for me than giving three thousand dollars away to whatever pet project / program they're running this year.

I appreciate the concern (sort of), but I'm not very interested in what you imagine my economic interests are.

Ravenman 09-18-2018 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216111)
It's a better deal for me than giving three thousand dollars away to whatever pet project / program they're running this year.

I appreciate the concern (sort of), but I'm not very interested in what you imagine my economic interests are.

This country doesn't revolve around you.

Kobal2 09-18-2018 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21216101)
And that the money that was stolen probably would have been wasted on things like a birthday cake for their kid (what kid NEEDS a cake?) instead of the cool stuff rich people will buy, like a Performance Dual Motor Tesla Model 3. The seats are white vegan leather!


[the capitalist] turns the worker into a being with neither needs nor senses and turn the worker's activity into a pure abstraction from all activity. Hence any luxury that the worker might enjoy is reprehensible, and anything that goes beyond the most abstract need – either in the form of passive enjoyment or active expression – appears to him as a luxury. -- Karl Marx

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21216147)
This country doesn't revolve around you.

I'm well-aware. Thank you. I was one of ~130 million voters last fall. I chose to vote for my economic interests. Is that wrong, in your eyes?

Little Nemo 09-18-2018 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216111)
It's a better deal for me than giving three thousand dollars away to whatever pet project / program they're running this year.

It's hard to discuss issues with you when you miss so much of what people are saying.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216111)
I appreciate the concern (sort of), but I'm not very interested in what you imagine my economic interests are.

You told me what your economic interests are. You want to have more money. And I was explaining how going into debt doesn't do that.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 09:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21216236)
... You told me what your economic interests are. You want to have more money. And I was explaining how going into debt doesn't do that.

Perhaps you've misunderstood. Whether I pay $9,000 or $11,500 in taxes this year, and next year, and for the next 8 or 9 years, has a real, direct impact on my bottom line. Whether we're in debt $32 trillion in 10 years or only $30.1 trillion has a drastically-less direct impact on my bottom line. Do you understand now?

* all numbers in this post are approximations, offered only as an example

Ravenman 09-18-2018 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216233)
I'm well-aware. Thank you. I was one of ~130 million voters last fall. I chose to vote for my economic interests. Is that wrong, in your eyes?

If offered a choice, children would generally attempt to subsist on cupcakes and soda. They are just eating in their own self-interest.

steronz 09-18-2018 09:22 PM

Let's cut your taxes down to zero and we can be 200 trillion in debt in 10 years! Fuck it! Free hot tubs for the masses!

I'm astounded that you spend so much time talking about policy when you clearly don't give a shit about it.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21216275)
If offered a choice, children would generally attempt to subsist on cupcakes and soda. They are just eating in their own self-interest.

So that's a "yes" then? People should vote in favor of what you (or Little Nemo) consider their economic interests to be, not what they do?

Little Nemo 09-18-2018 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216264)
Perhaps you've misunderstood. Whether I pay $9,000 or $11,500 in taxes this year, and next year, and for the next 8 or 9 years, has a real, direct impact on my bottom line. Whether we're in debt $32 trillion in 10 years or only $30.1 trillion has a drastically-less direct impact on my bottom line. Do you understand now?

It makes a big difference if we matching tax cuts with spending cuts. If we keep spending the same amount of money and just borrow to make up for the tax cuts, then the debt grows.

What do you think will happen to that debt? Will it just disappear? No, it will have to be paid off - with taxes.

So what's the point of getting ten thousand dollars this year if it just means you have to pay fifteen thousand dollars when the debt is due? You'll just come out five thousand dollars behind.

Let's say the government builds a bridge. Which would you prefer them to do to pay for it; pay a million dollars for it or borrow a million dollars and then pay the million with two hundred thousand dollars of interest? Same bridge but you can pay either $1,000,000 or $1,200,000 for it. Remember it's coming out of your taxes either way.

Can you explain why you think going into debt won't have an impact on your bottom line? Do you find that works when you buy a car or a house? That going into debt has no effect on your finances? Because that's not how it works for most people.

steronz 09-18-2018 09:38 PM

If we pay more for the bridge it really pisses off the libtards

manson1972 09-18-2018 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21216289)
It makes a big difference if we matching tax cuts with spending cuts. If we keep spending the same amount of money and just borrow to make up for the tax cuts, then the debt grows.

Not that I agree, but if someone's position was "So what about the debt? I get more money now and for the foreseeable future. Why should I care about the debt?" what's the answer to that?

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21216289)
... it will have to be paid off - with taxes. ... when the debt is due... Remember it's coming out of your taxes either way. ...

I think there's pretty substantial evidence that it does not, in fact "have to be paid off" or that "when the debt is due" exists in any meaningful timeframe. If we had a BBA or something like that, you could plausible make these claims, but we do not.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21216289)
... Can you explain why you think going into debt won't have an impact on your bottom line? ...

I didn't claim it "won't have an impact" on my bottom line. It may, but my claim is that that impact is likely smaller and more distant than the direct impact of saving $2,500/year for the next 10 years.

I understand the arguments of why debt is bad and we shouldn't go into debt. I've made those arguments before. Nobody gives a shit. We're over $20T in debt and on our way to $30T. Do you reasonably believe that there's some point in your or my lifetime where we will have paid that amount off with taxes?

ETA: kudos to manson1972, ninja'd me real good.

Little Nemo 09-18-2018 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216304)
I think there's pretty substantial evidence that it does not, in fact "have to be paid off" or that "when the debt is due" exists in any meaningful timeframe. If we had a BBA or something like that, you could plausible make these claims, but we do not.

What? Do you think the government isn't paying off its debts? How do you think it's able to keep borrowing more money?

Of course we pay off debts. We have been all along and we will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. I don't know who told you we don't.

And the timeframe we're talking about is thirty years. Which I think qualifies as "meaningful".

Little Nemo 09-18-2018 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21216303)
Not that I agree, but if someone's position was "So what about the debt? I get more money now and for the foreseeable future. Why should I care about the debt?" what's the answer to that?

I'd say that person is very short sighted.

manson1972 09-18-2018 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21216328)
I'd say that person is very short sighted.

In what way?

Try2B Comprehensive 09-18-2018 10:13 PM

The son of the Debt Clock billionaire says tax the rich:
Quote:

Durst has a message for Congress: Tax the rich more.

“I support higher taxes on people like me,” said Durst in an interview from his office in midtown Manhattan with sweeping views of the city. “I think America has more of a revenue problem than a spending problem.”

When his father put up the National Debt Clock, total gross U.S. debt was just shy of $3 trillion — or about $12,000 a person. Today it is over $21 trillion, or about $65,000 a person.

Economists typically focus on debt held by the public, which is currently about $16 trillion, because that is the amount the government truly owes creditors (the rest of the debt is money one government agency owes another). Debt held by the public will top $127,000 per household by the end of the year, according to JPMorgan. Personal debt per household will average about $126,000.
But to some people, it may seem an abstraction. It is the government that owes the whole $16 trillion; averaging it out 'per family' is just a statistical game.

Until it isn't. Even HD's own cite about that silly penny plan acknowledges that interest on the debt is on the road to $1 trillion per year. Now, maybe Juan doesn't like military spending but Jane doesn't like Medicare spending, Joe is against food stamps, and Jim wants to cut it all. Well, even with programs a person doesn't like, funding them at least produces some public good (or product anyway, we hope it is good). Interest on the debt is nothing but the public supporting the lavish fortunes of mostly super wealthy bondholders. The public gets basically jack in that case.

Some people take an attitude that "the government can't do anything right." They view any government action at all (until they're flooded or a crime victim or something) as harmful, and so they may think "the bond guys get richer and the government doesn't do any further harm" is the preferable outcome.

Me, I think The Government Can't Do Anything Right is one of those TV bromides that get push-marketed so hard, kind of like Washington Will Never Cut Spending. Speaking of that:
Quote:

The last big fiscal success, the “Clinton surpluses” of 1998-2001, can be traced in part to the efforts of President George H.W. Bush. He was faced with a dangerous combination of a weakening economy and high interest rates. To convince the Federal Reserve to lower rates, he needed smaller budget deficits. A Democratic Congress wouldn’t agree to spending cuts without higher tax revenue. But Bush had famously promised, “Read my lips, no new taxes” during the 1988 Republican Convention. In the end, he reached a bipartisan deal that included about $2 in spending cuts for each $1 in added revenues, including from a tax hike on high earners. That deal helped cost Bush re-election in 1992. President Clinton followed up with a deficit-cutting budget in 1993.

The deficit fell from 4.5% of gross domestic product in 1992 to near-breakeven five years later, before swinging to surpluses. The lesson of what might rightly be called the Bush-Clinton surpluses is that budget reform isn’t a job for narcissists or glory seekers, because the public outrage forms immediately, and the benefits don’t become clear until much later, by which time others will have arrived to help collect the high-fives.
We have a contemporary precedent for how to reduce the debt. Let's apply it as a template.

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21216303)
Not that I agree, but if someone's position was "So what about the debt? I get more money now and for the foreseeable future. Why should I care about the debt?" what's the answer to that?

The answer is... progressive taxation. Make sure that guys like HD get to keep their $3000 tax cut. Allow the first significant chunk of income be exempt from the necessary Liberal Socialist Democrat Tax Hikes :eek: Obama proposed people earning $250,000 or less per year say in the same tax bracket. Since about a decade will have passed, make the limit $300,000 to throw a bone to the the Rs. Starting at (NOTE: NOT a tax on all the money someone makes if they exceed $300,000 a year, but only dollars after $300,000 a year) $300,000, jack up the personal income tax rate. A rate of X at $300,000, Y for $750,000, Z for 1.25 million, Alpha for over $5 million. You get the idea: tax the rich. But don't eat 'em, I am actually not malicious towards the rich, I just want a more Constitutionally congruent taxation scheme.

That way, we stimulate the economy by putting more money into the hands of people most likely to spend it, and we extract a defensible extra amount of tax from the wealthiest, who profit from all of our collective labors to be so rich, trust me.

Robot Arm 09-18-2018 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216304)
I think there's pretty substantial evidence that it does not, in fact "have to be paid off"...

Spoken like a true Republican.

Well, during a Republican administration, anyway. As soon as a Democrat is president it'll become a crisis. Again.

Quote:

I understand the arguments of why debt is bad and we shouldn't go into debt. I've made those arguments before. Nobody gives a shit. We're over $20T in debt and on our way to $30T. Do you reasonably believe that there's some point in your or my lifetime where we will have paid that amount off with taxes?
I don't know if it'll ever be paid down to 0, but I'd like to see us start heading in that direction. The lower the debt, the less we pay out in interest on that debt. It gets us some breathing room if there's a downturn and revenue declines. And even if it's not paid off in my lifetime, that's okay; the sooner we start the easier it'll be, and I expect the nation to outlive me.

You say you want to cut taxes and spending? Fine, spending first. You eat your vegetables before you get dessert. You mow the lawn before you go golfing. You do your homework before you watch TV. Do the work first, you can reward yourself after.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21216322)
What? Do you think the government isn't paying off its debts? How do you think it's able to keep borrowing more money?

Of course we pay off debts. We have been all along and we will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. I don't know who told you we don't.

And the timeframe we're talking about is thirty years. Which I think qualifies as "meaningful".

The post I responded to was about "the debt", not "debts", and no, I don't think we pay off "the debt". Sure, we refinance individual "debts" from time to time, paying off the old creditors with money borrowed from new creditors, but the trend line is for more and more public debt. "The debt" keeps growing and growing, not getting smaller by paying it off with taxes.

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 11:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21216342)
... The answer is... progressive taxation. Make sure that guys like HD get to keep their $3000 tax cut. Allow the first significant chunk of income be exempt from the necessary Liberal Socialist Democrat Tax Hikes :eek: Obama proposed people earning $250,000 or less per year say in the same tax bracket. Since about a decade will have passed, make the limit $300,000 to throw a bone to the the Rs. Starting at (NOTE: NOT a tax on all the money someone makes if they exceed $300,000 a year, but only dollars after $300,000 a year) $300,000, jack up the personal income tax rate. A rate of X at $300,000, Y for $750,000, Z for 1.25 million, Alpha for over $5 million. You get the idea: tax the rich. But don't eat 'em, I am actually not malicious towards the rich, I just want a more Constitutionally congruent taxation scheme. ...

How much do you think we could raise from such a plan? How much is the "defensible extra amount" you think you can extract from the rich?

HurricaneDitka 09-18-2018 11:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robot Arm (Post 21216354)
... I don't know if it'll ever be paid down to 0, but I'd like to see us start heading in that direction. The lower the debt, the less we pay out in interest on that debt. It gets us some breathing room if there's a downturn and revenue declines. And even if it's not paid off in my lifetime, that's okay; the sooner we start the easier it'll be, and I expect the nation to outlive me.

You say you want to cut taxes and spending? Fine, spending first. You eat your vegetables before you get dessert. You mow the lawn before you go golfing. You do your homework before you watch TV. Do the work first, you can reward yourself after.

I'm fine with this. Let's start slashing spending. The primary opponents to this plan have "D" after their name.

Little Nemo 09-18-2018 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216448)
I'm fine with this. Let's start slashing spending. The primary opponents to this plan have "D" after their name.

No, they don't. We've cited the figures in this thread which show that what you believe isn't true. This is the reason why people think you're a low information voter. People tell you facts and you just ignore them.

I'm done.

HurricaneDitka 09-19-2018 12:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216448)
I'm fine with this. Let's start slashing spending. The primary opponents to this plan have "D" after their name.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21216458)
No, they don't. We've cited the figures in this thread which show that what you believe isn't true. This is the reason why people think you're a low information voter. People tell you facts and you just ignore them.

I'm done.

Earlier Ravenman said this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21214425)
... it is a stone-cold undeniable fact that Republican orthodoxy fully embraces the reduction of these programs in order to lower spending. This is Paul Ryan's entire reason for being in Congress. It has been a part of every Republican platform for decades. To deny that the overwhelming majority of Republican elected officials seek to reduce Medicare and Social Security is like denying that water is wet. ....

I think he's right. You appear to disagree. Just where do you imagine you "cited figures" that contradict this?

Try2B Comprehensive 09-19-2018 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216444)
How much do you think we could raise from such a plan? How much is the "defensible extra amount" you think you can extract from the rich?

$350 billion.

Following the Bush-Clinton template, this would be accompanied by $550 billion in spending cuts. Including... Social Security and Medicare.

This would balance the budget. Hold steady for 5 years and grow into surplus. It's a super incentive ☺️

HurricaneDitka 09-19-2018 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21216494)
$350 billion.

Following the Bush-Clinton template, this would be accompanied by $550 billion in spending cuts. Including... Social Security and Medicare.

This would balance the budget. Hold steady for 5 years and grow into surplus. It's a super incentive ☺️

I'm intrigued by your plan and would like to hear more details. Has this been fleshed out in more detail anywhere, or is it just an idea in your own head?

Do you think elected Dems could agree to $550B in spending cuts, including SS & Medicare?

Try2B Comprehensive 09-19-2018 01:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216528)
I'm intrigued by your plan and would like to hear more details. Has this been fleshed out in more detail anywhere, or is it just an idea in your own head?

Do you think elected Dems could agree to $550B in spending cuts, including SS & Medicare?

On the one hand, it is my idea. OTOH it has been fleshed out by GHWB and Bill Clinton.


I think Dems are willing to negotiate.

steronz 09-19-2018 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216448)
I'm fine with this. Let's start slashing spending. The primary opponents to this plan have "D" after their name.

Great, let's get the D's out of power then. We'll vote Republicans into majorities in the house, senate, give them the executive and the judiciary.

<waits 2 years>

Look what happened, spending went up, taxes.went down, deficit boomed. Fucking D's indeed.

Low. Information. Voter.

Ravenman 09-19-2018 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21216279)
So that's a "yes" then? People should vote in favor of what you (or Little Nemo) consider their economic interests to be, not what they do?

Let’s consider my economic interest in this question: I support spending to have a strong defense as well as: not hurting seniors by rationing their heath care or reducing the Social Security that keeps many off the streets; foreign aid programs that put the US in a leadership position in the world and address scourages like AIDS; I like roads and bridges that are smooth and also improving infrastructure with new technologies; and support a tax system that would generally pay for these things except during unusual times like war or recession.

As far as I can tell, you want to be able to afford a fancy new grill or home theater system every year.

The way I see it, you’re looking at what you can get out of the deal and I’m looking at what the country can get out of it.

BobLibDem 09-19-2018 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21210900)
How much did you pay in state taxes last year? You know you can still claim the first $10,000, right? I would be surprised if you pay more than that.

Now wait a cotton-picking minute! I thought with the standard deduction going way up to $20,000 for a married couple, that your itemized deductions would have to exceed $20,000 before they counted. Most folks aren't going to be itemizing anymore as far as I can tell.

septimus 09-19-2018 09:12 AM

The problem with "cuts to Medicare" is that that conflicts with an important progressive goal: The public should afford medicine and medical services to all. Instead of cuts to "Medicare" we need cuts to unnecessarily high medical costs. This is the subject of another thread.

If by "cuts to Medicare and SocSec" you mean means-testing, I say no. Means-testing just adds red-tape and increases opportunity for fraud. Give everyone, rich or poor, the benefits of SocSec and Medicare but make payroll taxes less regressive.

And adopt my idea, which increases, in effect, minimum wage but as a benefit rather than burden to employers of low-wage employers! Let the first $15,000 of income be exempt from payroll taxes (both employee and employer portions). The shortfall in revenue should be made up with a carbon tax.

HTH.

HurricaneDitka 09-19-2018 10:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21216873)
The problem with "cuts to Medicare" is that that conflicts with an important progressive goal: The public should afford medicine and medical services to all. Instead of cuts to "Medicare" we need cuts to unnecessarily high medical costs. This is the subject of another thread.

If by "cuts to Medicare and SocSec" you mean means-testing, I say no. Means-testing just adds red-tape and increases opportunity for fraud. Give everyone, rich or poor, the benefits of SocSec and Medicare but make payroll taxes less regressive.

And adopt my idea, which increases, in effect, minimum wage but as a benefit rather than burden to employers of low-wage employers! Let the first $15,000 of income be exempt from payroll taxes (both employee and employer portions). The shortfall in revenue should be made up with a carbon tax.

HTH.

I don't know, Try2B, does he sound "willing to negotiate" to you?

HurricaneDitka 09-19-2018 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21216751)
... As far as I can tell, you want to be able to afford a fancy new grill or home theater system every year.

The way I see it, you’re looking at what you can get out of the deal and I’m looking at what the country can get out of it.

I'd like everyone to be able to afford a fancy new grill or home entertainment system. Sure, there's an aspect of my support for tax cuts that's motivated by what it does for me personally, but there's also an aspect of it motivated by my thinking that it's better for the country if more Americans get to keep more of what they earn. As hard as it is for your side to understand sometimes, there are decent people on both sides doing what they sincerely believe is best for the country.

KidCharlemagne 09-19-2018 10:15 AM

The ignorance of economic principles by both politicians and the public is the single most frustrating aspect of observing politics for me. It utterly kills me that people think Trump is responsible for this economic boom. We'd have had one regardless of who was president. The stage has been setting since 2008.

Trump's policies are a disaster for the American economy. Tax cuts at full employment just cause inflation, a bubble in equities, and a bigger deficit. His trade policies are, honestly I can't even bring myself to talk about them. And he'll be out of office when the rent comes due and it will be blamed on the Democrat who's in office. I think the stage is being set for a one term Democratic president whose supposed stewardship of recessing economy will keep the Republicans in power for the proceeding decade. God it's so depressing. Fyi I'm a former Republican.

sps49sd 09-19-2018 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21214659)
Which states have "regressive" income taxes?

The ones with sales tax instead of income taxes are considered regressive.

HurricaneDitka 09-19-2018 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sps49sd (Post 21217264)
The ones with sales tax instead of income taxes are considered regressive.

That's not what RTFirefly said:

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTFirefly (Post 21214615)
... State income taxes are usually regressive too...


Ravenman 09-19-2018 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21217041)
I'd like everyone to be able to afford a fancy new grill or home entertainment system. Sure, there's an aspect of my support for tax cuts that's motivated by what it does for me personally, but there's also an aspect of it motivated by my thinking that it's better for the country if more Americans get to keep more of what they earn. As hard as it is for your side to understand sometimes, there are decent people on both sides doing what they sincerely believe is best for the country.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. My side has a hard time understanding that the other side has good people?

I posted a substantive response why I disagree with exactly what you’ve argued several times - $190 billion is debt is a good deal because you got $2,000 out of it - and you turn it into “why is your side so mean!” pout session.

Look, I’m not the guy who starts a thread every ten days to stick it to the other side as large, to say nothing of the other insulting things you’ve said about liberals.

I’ve said this before in many contexts, I bet you’d be a fun guy to watch a football game with or whatnot. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with your politics.

Bone 09-19-2018 12:41 PM

Moderating
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21215011)
<checks forum, confirms that it is indeed Great Debates>

Wow HD, you make a very convincing rebuttal.

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21216276)
I'm astounded that you spend so much time talking about policy when you clearly don't give a shit about it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21216295)
If we pay more for the bridge it really pisses off the libtards

Quote:

Originally Posted by steronz (Post 21216747)
Look what happened, spending went up, taxes.went down, deficit boomed. Fucking D's indeed.

Low. Information. Voter.

Knock it off. If you can't or won't respond without personalizing your arguments, then don't.

[/moderating]

Try2B Comprehensive 09-19-2018 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21217026)
I don't know, Try2B, does he sound "willing to negotiate" to you?

Well sure. He's still talking to us instead of saying "absolutely no way!" and walking away from the table.

Try this: first acknowledge his concerns by demonstrating that you understand them. He didn't say Medicare can't be touched, he wants to reduce costs while providing the same level of care. Really, I think everyone who is not a pharma lobbyist could support at least that much. Try to find out how much costs could be reduced- I bet there is a big spending cut right there.

He doesn't want to means test SS. I don't want to either: it isn't a charity program, everyone pays into it so that they can benefit later. See how he reacts to cutting 5% from the benefits of current recipients, 10% from the benefits of incoming recipients, and raising the cap on income taxes for SS. It isn't a perfect solution but I don't think there will be an easy way out of this.

Find common ground: I bet he would be cool with taxing the rich and giving relief to people of modest means. Find out what he would cut. Try to get him talking about what he Is willing to do instead of just where he drawsthe line and see where it goes. He's not a monster- the bad guys in almost any government story are actually the lobbyists and the liars with the big media megaphones, not "liberals" or "conservatives". Read the first 150 pages of A People's History of the United States to get an idea of how elites have always sown division among the common people to prevent them from acting in their own best interests. Don't let stuff you hear on TV about liberals poison your view of guys like him- we have more in common than differences.

Robot Arm 09-19-2018 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KidCharlemagne (Post 21217068)
Trump's policies are a disaster for the American economy. Tax cuts at full employment just cause inflation, a bubble in equities, and a bigger deficit. His trade policies are, honestly I can't even bring myself to talk about them. And he'll be out of office when the rent comes due and it will be blamed on the Democrat who's in office. I think the stage is being set for a one term Democratic president whose supposed stewardship of recessing economy will keep the Republicans in power for the proceeding decade. God it's so depressing. Fyi I'm a former Republican.

I don't know. George W. Bush took office with a balanced federal budget and by the end of his term there were big deficits and the economy was on the verge of collapse. If the electorate had any kind of memory that would have paved the way for a long succession of Democrats. But just eight years later Republicans were saying "George who? Never heard of him. Tax cuts!!"

septimus 09-20-2018 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21210061)
However, I feel like media outlets like FOX aggressively seek to limit the conversation to this one single point. "The average American taxpayer is paying $x less in taxes! That's good for you, end of story, end of discussion, nothing more to see here!" ...

The simplistic attitude of GOP preachers and the Americans they gull certainly is part of the problem. One message board participant, when asked to compare his $1500 windfall with trillions for the super-rich had no answer except to say he was getting $2000, not $1500! :smack: (And, as someone in this thread pointed out, that $2000 might turn into $1500 when the April reckoning comes.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21210061)
At a time of general national economic well-being, the country is amassing $1 trillion a year in debt....

I believe the true message out of the GOP is, " Fuck you, American public. We are openly robbing you to benefit our wealthy sponsors, and if you think you have a voice in your own government, you are a sucker and a rube."

Point 3- The consequences of the tax cuts will be far worse than the benefits for people like me. This final point is the real thrust of this debate. I cannot see how $1 trillion deficits are justified under the current circumstances. ... I see it as a massive scheme. As the debt rises to $20 trillion, maybe $30 trillion and beyond, well, ask yourself, who has the money to buy $30 trillion in bonds? It isn't me with my extra $2000 in tax cuts, it is the already super wealthy. As interest rates rise, the public obligation to bondholders will surpass $1 trillion PER YEAR in interest payments alone, payments from the public to mosly super wealthy bondholders.

>>>This is a long post, so let me repeat that. As interest rates rise, the public obligation to bondholders will surpass $1 trillion PER YEAR in interest payments alone, payments from the public to mostly super wealthy bondholders.

Yes, interest on the "public debt" is already almost as large as the total Medicaid budget. interest rates are continuing to rise; interest may soon exceed Medicare spending! :eek: And that's just "public" debt interest — The $310B figure for 2018 doesn't include interest on bonds held by the SocSec Trust Fund, the FRB, etc. Anyone who doesn't understand why proper accounting should consider that interest also, report to Econ 1 (down the hall, turn left at the Pit).

But I think you mischaracterize the holders of Treasury debt. Sure the rich own a lot more than the working class, but most of their assets are elsewhere. Foreign banks own a lot. Institutional investments (funds, insurance companies, pensions) that serve the public own a lot too.

If the U.S. were to pay back its debt 40˘ on the dollar (as Trump liked to do with his hotels' debt), the U.S. would have a windfall profit of $12T on a $20T debt. As debt mounts the temptation to do this might become irresistible to "thinkers" like Trump. This can be done either with a de facto devaluation of the dollar, or (as Trump seems to prefer) by explicitly renouncing debts. Either way, the big loser would NOT be the super-rich, it would be the long-term future prosperity of the U.S. The Dollar would no longer be respected. That would be the way to push the U.S. into the status of a Greece or Venezuela, not — as some right-wingers pretend — by instituting UHC.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you want to discuss improvements to the U.S. tax system we need to know whether we're "blue-skying" with everything on the table, or speaking of incremental improvements to the present system. Given present politics it's difficult to imagine major change for the better: If one party will vote unanimously No, the other party must find agreement among themselves with no bipartisan help.

I would propose some major changes that would provide better incentives. For example, reduce the employer burden of payroll taxes by $X and recover the revenue with $X of carbon tax. There! Create an incentive to employ human labor; and an incentive for better energy. But discussing this with a Republican might be difficult. Waste time helping them grasp that $X minus $X equals Zero, and they'll whine "Give you $X it'll become $2X in no time!")

As another example, the U.S. could raise money by taxing pollution. This is better than cap-and-trade for several reasons — and is one area where the Board's Intelligent Libertarian and I might agree — but only cap-and-trade was politically possible.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21217684)
Try this: first acknowledge his concerns by demonstrating that you understand them. He didn't say Medicare can't be touched, he wants to reduce costs while providing the same level of care. Really, I think everyone who is not a pharma lobbyist could support at least that much. Try to find out how much costs could be reduced- I bet there is a big spending cut right there.

He doesn't want to means test SS. I don't want to either: it isn't a charity program, everyone pays into it so that they can benefit later. See how he reacts to cutting 5% from the benefits of current recipients, 10% from the benefits of incoming recipients, and raising the cap on income taxes for SS. It isn't a perfect solution but I don't think there will be an easy way out of this.

High Medicare costs are due to high health costs in general. Progressives want to provide health care to Americans; Medicare changes intended to deny care are undesired. Ask your GOP friends what they think about Bush's Congress deliberately increasing Medicare costs to benefit Big Pharma.

I have no particular problem with reductions to Social Security but don't want to debate details. I get full SocSec even though I'm retired in a low-cost country. Perhaps people like me should have benefits reduced.

But people are just plain confused if they think SocSec is the big problem with government spending. SocSec is, more or less, a self-funding system. That these pensions are included in government budget, while most health insurance is not, can be considered happenstance. The reason the GOP is left with SocSec and Medica{re,id} to cut is that everything else (except military and interest) has already been cut to the bone. U.S. government spending is NOT anywhere near an historic high, when intelligently measured, but right-wingers refuse even to try to understand this.

As a demonstration of how insincere the GOP is about cutting spending, recall that they lay off IRS employees as part of "general cost-savings." :smack: The IRS is a "profit center." A good IRS examiner is literally worth his weight in gold! Yet a typical Gopster won't think beyond "Taxes is bad; the IRS is taxes; therefore IRS is bad." I honestly wonder whether they understand that IRS doesn't set tax rates; it just enforces the (already low) tax rates mandated by Congress.

etasyde 09-20-2018 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21218723)
But people are just plain confused if they think SocSec is the big problem with government spending. SocSec is, more or less, a self-funding system.

I agree with most of what you said, but I'm going to nitpick here. SS is only self funding when the initial premises behind it - namely that the US, or more accurately the Fed, wouldn't go into totally uncharted waters and nuke the interest rate from the almost perpetually over 5% average that existed before to nearly 0-2% for decades - remains true. Remember, most of SS is in things like bonds or other similar securities and the interest on "safe" assets has been dismal and the "unsafe" assets blew up in 2008. Mortgage Backed Securities loaded with junk bonds and similar financial crappery were AAA rated and made it into plenty of 401K's and pensions, but I don't honestly know if they were allowed in the SS accounts.

The growth in the account is exponential/compound based on those interest rates. Since rates have been so low for so long, the projected curve has diverged dramatically from the actual account's curve, which creates a shortfall that will exponentially grow. Right now, the difference is small, but it will get huge as time passes and more withdrawals begin to be made. You can't really "catch up" to exponential growth without some insane interest rates for a long time, rates that'd be impossible to maintain and wreak havoc on the economy.

Actually, I believe SS is solvent so long as average interest rates are 7.5% because they were particularly optimistic at the time. Medicare I believe is self funding at 5%. Anyone can correct me, though, as I'm not positive. Either way, it's not able to keep up with the interest rates this insanely low.

Ravenman 09-20-2018 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by etasyde (Post 21219263)
I agree with most of what you said, but I'm going to nitpick here. SS is only self funding when the initial premises behind it - namely that the US, or more accurately the Fed, wouldn't go into totally uncharted waters and nuke the interest rate from the almost perpetually over 5% average that existed before to nearly 0-2% for decades - remains true. Remember, most of SS is in things like bonds or other similar securities and the interest on "safe" assets has been dismal and the "unsafe" assets blew up in 2008. Mortgage Backed Securities loaded with junk bonds and similar financial crappery were AAA rated and made it into plenty of 401K's and pensions, but I don't honestly know if they were allowed in the SS accounts.

The Social Security Trust Fund is entirely invested in Government-issued bonds that are constitutionally guaranteed (under the 14th Amendment) to be repaid at the terms of issuance. These bonds have literally nothing to do with any securities issued in the private sector, whether AAA rated, junk bonds, or anything in-between.

To emphasize once more: what may happen on the market for stocks and bonds has nothing to do with the Government bonds held in the Social Security Trust Fund.

Shodan 09-20-2018 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21218723)
High Medicare costs are due to high health costs in general. Progressives want to provide health care to Americans; Medicare changes intended to deny care are undesired.

On average, doctors and health care providers lose money treating Medicare patients. About 35% IIRC.
Quote:

The reason the GOP is left with SocSec and Medica{re,id} to cut is that everything else (except military and interest) has already been cut to the bone.
Can you please mention the spending cuts that have been made to programs other than the military and interest and Social Security and Medicare? TIA.

Regards,
Shodan

Shodan 09-20-2018 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21219491)
The Social Security Trust Fund is entirely invested in Government-issued bonds that are constitutionally guaranteed (under the 14th Amendment) to be repaid at the terms of issuance. These bonds have literally nothing to do with any securities issued in the private sector, whether AAA rated, junk bonds, or anything in-between.

To emphasize once more: what may happen on the market for stocks and bonds has nothing to do with the Government bonds held in the Social Security Trust Fund.

This post is quite correct. The federal taxpayer is on the hook for the SSTF no matter what the market does.

Regards,
Shodan

Snowboarder Bo 09-20-2018 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21219493)
On average, doctors and health care providers lose money treating Medicare patients. About 35% IIRC.

Cite, please?

Measure for Measure 09-20-2018 01:56 PM

Sum up Trump's actual and proposed tariffs, and he is the middle class tax hike champion:
President Trump recently announced plans to impose a 10 percent tax on $200 billion of imports from China effective September 24, escalating to 25 percent effective January 1, 2019. When added to tariffs that have already been implemented, total trade taxes imposed on American consumers and businesses via unilateral executive action exceed all the taxes included in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Caveats at link: not all the tariff hikes have gone through. But there's a nice chart comparing Obamacare taxes (levied mostly on the rich) and Trump tax hikes (levied mostly on the middle class). $34 billion for Obama and a whopping $132 billion for Trump.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-dr...r-of-all-time/

As long as favored plutocrats are protected, Republicans think tax hikes are just great. In deeds of course, not words.

manson1972 09-20-2018 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21219493)
On average, doctors and health care providers lose money treating Medicare patients. About 35% IIRC.

I don't understand this. If I was a new doctor, and I only saw Medicare patients, I wouldn't make any money?

etasyde 09-20-2018 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21219491)
The Social Security Trust Fund is entirely invested in Government-issued bonds that are constitutionally guaranteed (under the 14th Amendment) to be repaid at the terms of issuance. These bonds have literally nothing to do with any securities issued in the private sector, whether AAA rated, junk bonds, or anything in-between.

Alright, I was unaware the SS fund was unable to purchase anything but treasuries (I had thought it was a large portion by requirement, not 100%), but that just makes my ultimate point stronger. Interest rates on government issued bonds are the lowest of what was mentioned, meaning the SS fund is literally scraping the mathematical barrel and not presently wholly self funding.

It would be, if not for the Fed, but the conditions for which the SS model was designed are not being met (average interest rates) and said model cannot be upheld, at current rates, past 2034. Medicare suffers from the same issue, but clocking in at about 2026 by latest estimates.

BobLibDem 09-20-2018 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21219491)
The Social Security Trust Fund is entirely invested in Government-issued bonds that are constitutionally guaranteed (under the 14th Amendment) to be repaid at the terms of issuance. These bonds have literally nothing to do with any securities issued in the private sector, whether AAA rated, junk bonds, or anything in-between.

To emphasize once more: what may happen on the market for stocks and bonds has nothing to do with the Government bonds held in the Social Security Trust Fund.

Damn straight. Amazing the number of ignorant Facebook memes I've seen along the lines of "Congress Stole $2.1 Trillion From Social Security! Make Them Pay It Back! Make It Illegal For Them To Borrow From Social Security Again!" etc. The surplus went into safe government investments. Congress did not steal it.

Now mind you, imagine the fix SS would have been if the Republicans had their way in the late 1990s and had SS invest the surplus in the stock market.

Ravenman 09-20-2018 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by etasyde (Post 21219608)
Interest rates on government issued bonds are the lowest of what was mentioned, meaning the SS fund is literally scraping the mathematical barrel and not presently wholly self funding.

To the extent that any government debt is an investment by the purchaser, yes. But to my recollection, currently 95%+ of Social Security obligations are paid for with FICA revenues, so any general revenue that is spent on the remainder of obligations is approaching decimal dust.

But that will change over time, by 2033-ish nearly 20% of payments will come from redemption of the bonds. After which point, if nothing happens, the system will be entirely financed by FICA revenue (and payments will be only ~80% of what was promised).

Akaj 09-20-2018 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robot Arm (Post 21218348)
I don't know. George W. Bush took office with a balanced federal budget and by the end of his term there were big deficits and the economy was on the verge of collapse. If the electorate had any kind of memory that would have paved the way for a long succession of Democrats. But just eight years later Republicans were saying "George who? Never heard of him. Tax cuts!!"

This.

I'm still disgusted with how quickly the GOP in 2009-10 was able to shuck off responsibility for the collapse (not to mention the disastrous war in Iraq) and rally behind the nonsense of the Tea Party.

The pushback and obstruction of the GOP, when the nation was reeling from the worst economic crisis in generations -- and the fact that so many Americans fell for it -- should have been a red flag as to what was coming in 2016.

Ravenman 09-20-2018 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21219510)
This post is quite correct. The federal taxpayer is on the hook for the SSTF no matter what the market does.

Until the point it is exhausted and no more bonds remain, of course, at which point obviously no more bonds can be redeemed. And as I just said, payments to retirees will have to be cut.

Unless the law changes, of course -- but there is no mechanism to continue the full payment of benefits through general Government revenues. One could read your post as implying there is.

Ravenman 09-20-2018 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21219493)
Can you please mention the spending cuts that have been made to programs other than the military and interest and Social Security and Medicare? TIA.

Here's one!

Try2B Comprehensive 09-21-2018 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21218723)
Yes, interest on the "public debt" is already almost as large as the total Medicaid budget. interest rates are continuing to rise; interest may soon exceed Medicare spending! :eek: And that's just "public" debt interest — The $310B figure for 2018 doesn't include interest on bonds held by the SocSec Trust Fund, the FRB, etc. Anyone who doesn't understand why proper accounting should consider that interest also, report to Econ 1 (down the hall, turn left at the Pit).

I think it is just a convention that the public debt be separated from the money the government "owes itself." Am I missing something?

Quote:

But I think you mischaracterize the holders of Treasury debt. Sure the rich own a lot more than the working class, but most of their assets are elsewhere. Foreign banks own a lot. Institutional investments (funds, insurance companies, pensions) that serve the public own a lot too.

If the U.S. were to pay back its debt 40˘ on the dollar (as Trump liked to do with his hotels' debt), the U.S. would have a windfall profit of $12T on a $20T debt. As debt mounts the temptation to do this might become irresistible to "thinkers" like Trump. This can be done either with a de facto devaluation of the dollar, or (as Trump seems to prefer) by explicitly renouncing debts. Either way, the big loser would NOT be the super-rich, it would be the long-term future prosperity of the U.S. The Dollar would no longer be respected. That would be the way to push the U.S. into the status of a Greece or Venezuela, not — as some right-wingers pretend — by instituting UHC.
My thinking on the future of bonds is about as close to a conspiracy theory as I get. I've claimed that besides the long-term plan to destroy SS and Medicare with debt, forces like the Kochs and the Mercers are pulling the strings on their puppets in Congress to issue vast quantities of bonds, exploding the debt and driving up interest rates in order to turn US Treasury receipts into a trillion-dollar-a-year income stream.

I am not 100% sure of this, but my thinking on this comes from articles like The Dark Decade Ahead. It seems like every financial news outlet is making an argument like this these days, and it does not seem to be a case of both-siderism where here's an article promoting a bull run forever, and the perfectly balanced counter-argument that things will turn south. No, the more I look into it, the more it seems like the evidence is on the side of the bear callers:
Quote:

The U.S. stock market is overvalued. Sure, I know the S&P 500 Index is trading at a perfectly reasonable 16.3 times earnings based on 2019 Q4 non-GAAP estimates that may never come to pass, but I prefer to work with numbers that I can point to as more officially in the books. And even if I concede that 2018 Q3 GAAP earnings come in as currently forecasted (they will almost certainly end up somewhere below), we find that the cyclically adjusted price to earnings ratio (CAPE)) on the S&P 500 Index over the past 10 years is currently a frothy 32.6 times. This ranks in the third percentile of highest readings on this measure over nearly 140 years of stock market history. Now for those CAPE haters out there, it should be noted that today's P/E ratio based on 12-month GAAP earnings is nearly just as high in the fifth percentile, so today's song is essentially the same whether you adjust for the business cycle or not - stocks are expensive.
Quote:

A few key takeaways are quickly apparent. First, the more expensive the stock market becomes at any point in time, the worse stocks have performed over the subsequent 10 years. And given where we are with valuations today, the best real returns investors should expect from the U.S. stock market over the decade ahead are relatively modest at around +2% annualized at most. Instead, a more realistic annualized real return expectation for U.S. stocks as implied by the red trendline on the chart is more in the neighborhood of -2% to -3% annualized. For all of those recently minted passive index investors out there, I hardly think their expectation to lose money after adjusting for inflation on an annualized basis over the next decade is their primary objective. Yet this is what they have set themselves up for today.
If you're a billionaire at the end of an historic bull run and you want your fortune to continue to grow rather than get eaten by the business cycle, where do you invest your money? Gotta get out of stocks, but you can't exactly invest that kind of money in CDs. How about inducing the US government to issue another $10 trillion in bonds, driving the interest rate up to 5%-7% or more? Then, while the stock market languishes, you continue to make a killing and all those rubes who thought their government worked for them can foot the bill.

Paranoid perhaps, I admit it. But we are on such a dumb path, on such a colossal scale, that I can't help being suspicious. Do you think I am just seeing the machinations of global banks and giant public pension funds and viewing it through too sinister a lens?

Quote:

If you want to discuss improvements to the U.S. tax system we need to know whether we're "blue-skying" with everything on the table, or speaking of incremental improvements to the present system. Given present politics it's difficult to imagine major change for the better: If one party will vote unanimously No, the other party must find agreement among themselves with no bipartisan help.
Blue sky. I want to Solve The Problem. If we cut the debt in half or more by the end of 30 years, without destroying the safety net, I'd consider that success.
Quote:

I would propose some major changes that would provide better incentives. For example, reduce the employer burden of payroll taxes by $X and recover the revenue with $X of carbon tax. There! Create an incentive to employ human labor; and an incentive for better energy. But discussing this with a Republican might be difficult. Waste time helping them grasp that $X minus $X equals Zero, and they'll whine "Give you $X it'll become $2X in no time!")
I love stuff like this. If you are a person like me who is in contact with lots of working people, well, maybe they are Democrats, maybe they are conservatives, maybe they are religious or not, maybe they are educated or not, but what they have in common is that they are working hard and not exactly getting ahead. Working people of modest means could use support- that's who Trump promised to help during his campaign, and that is the evil irony of the GOP today, to convince people they are the ones to help them and then completely screw them over in favor of the billionaire class. So yes,

Climate change is bad for the future of working people of modest means. We simply must address it, no matter how much screaming there is from the liars and the people who just don't get it.
Quote:

As another example, the U.S. could raise money by taxing pollution. This is better than cap-and-trade for several reasons — and is one area where the Board's Intelligent Libertarian and I might agree — but only cap-and-trade was politically possible.
Maybe. I'd need to see more details to understand what you mean here.

Quote:

High Medicare costs are due to high health costs in general. Progressives want to provide health care to Americans; Medicare changes intended to deny care are undesired. Ask your GOP friends what they think about Bush's Congress deliberately increasing Medicare costs to benefit Big Pharma.
Right. It is the kind of thing that might lead one to believe that the billionaire class is orchestrating scams on a massive scale through their network of bought-and-paid-for Congress critters.

Quote:

I have no particular problem with reductions to Social Security but don't want to debate details. I get full SocSec even though I'm retired in a low-cost country. Perhaps people like me should have benefits reduced.

But people are just plain confused if they think SocSec is the big problem with government spending. SocSec is, more or less, a self-funding system. That these pensions are included in government budget, while most health insurance is not, can be considered happenstance. The reason the GOP is left with SocSec and Medica{re,id} to cut is that everything else (except military and interest) has already been cut to the bone. U.S. government spending is NOT anywhere near an historic high, when intelligently measured, but right-wingers refuse even to try to understand this.
Well, balancing the budget and preserving SS are both getting lumped into this discussion. If nothing is done, benefits take a big stair-step down and probably continue to dwindle from there. I expect the GOP to seize on this event to declare SS "bankrupt" and push for the end of the program. We don't want that, and we don't want the big stair-step either.

I don't want to cut it at all, but something has to give. Also, I think a plan that relies entirely on raising taxes without cutting any spending would be seen as in bad faith by "the other side" and would make it harder to achieve. We're talking about raising an addition $1 trillion a year in taxes in this case. All government revenues currently amount to about 30.7% of GDP right now, so it is do-able but would come as a big shock. And contemporary history shows that American politics is not very good at agreeing to such "take your medicine" solutions- it would take an awful lot of stoicism to stick with that plan long enough for the benefits to appear. Any real solution will be like that though. Just my opinion, what do you think?

Quote:

As a demonstration of how insincere the GOP is about cutting spending, recall that they lay off IRS employees as part of "general cost-savings." :smack: The IRS is a "profit center." A good IRS examiner is literally worth his weight in gold! Yet a typical Gopster won't think beyond "Taxes is bad; the IRS is taxes; therefore IRS is bad." I honestly wonder whether they understand that IRS doesn't set tax rates; it just enforces the (already low) tax rates mandated by Congress.
The GOP acts like it is running a melodrama much of the time. The IRS- they are in the black hats! <boo hiss> They are in cahoots with those America Hating Liberals (also in black hats) <boo hiss> Here comes our hero in the White Hat, cutting that dastardly IRS <cheers hooray> (but all they've accomplished is making it easier for the wealthy to cheat on their taxes, something the rubes never seem to notice.) Keep your eye on the birdie, folks!

septimus 09-21-2018 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21221768)
[1] My thinking on the future of bonds is about as close to a conspiracy theory as I get. I've claimed that besides the long-term plan to destroy SS and Medicare with debt, forces like the Kochs and the Mercers are pulling the strings on their puppets in Congress to issue vast quantities of bonds, exploding the debt and driving up interest rates in order to turn US Treasury receipts into a trillion-dollar-a-year income stream.

I am not 100% sure of this, but my thinking on this comes from articles like The Dark Decade Ahead. It seems like every financial news outlet is making an argument like this these days, and it does not seem to be a case of both-siderism where here's an article promoting a bull run forever, and the perfectly balanced counter-argument that things will turn south. No, the more I look into it, the more it seems like the evidence is on the side of the bear callers:

...
[2]Blue sky. I want to Solve The Problem. If we cut the debt in half or more by the end of 30 years, without destroying the safety net, I'd consider that success.
... Working people of modest means could use support- that's who Trump promised to help during his campaign, and that is the evil irony of the GOP today, to convince people they are the ones to help them and then completely screw them over in favor of the billionaire class. So yes,
...
[3] I don't want to cut it at all, but something has to give. Also, I think a plan that relies entirely on raising taxes without cutting any spending would be seen as in bad faith by "the other side" and would make it harder to achieve. We're talking about raising an addition $1 trillion a year in taxes in this case. All government revenues currently amount to about 30.7% of GDP right now, so it is do-able but would come as a big shock. And contemporary history shows that American politics is not very good at agreeing to such "take your medicine" solutions- it would take an awful lot of stoicism to stick with that plan long enough for the benefits to appear. Any real solution will be like that though. Just my opinion, what do you think?

I won't respond to all of your interesting and intelligent post but will address the three points I've taken the liberty of numbering.

[1] I certainly do agree that the "game is being rigged" to favor the super-rich, but I don't see the rich getting richer off of high treasury yields. Trump wants low interest rates. The Fed will raise short-term rates only as needed to fight inflation. The possibility of high long-term UST or AAA interest rates may lead to an interesting discussion, but in all cases supply-demand rules the day: Bond prices fall (yields rise) because people do NOT see them as a good investment.

The article you link to may agree that bonds will perform as well as stocks in the middle term, but that's not the same as saying USTs will be highly profitable. Your link mentions "Van Hoisington [was rewarded in 2007-2008 when] long-term U.S. Treasury market [rose] by nearly +60%" but UST prices rise because yields fall.

[2] So you agree that employer-paid payroll taxes should be reduced and the revenue recovered by carbon tax? :) I think it's a good idea too!

[3] One correct point you argue is that it is very difficult, both economically and politically, to raise taxes after they've been lowered. (Similarly the best remedy for opioid addiction is to not get addicted in the first place.) It is because of that difficulty that the stupid tax cuts will have long-term insidious destructive effects. The giant $20 Trillion debt is not going away overnight; all we can hope for is to gradually slow the fall into the abyss. The debt will get to $30 T and perhaps worse. (At this point the future is racing toward financial collapse or social dystopia or both. Smart money may be betting on both.)

And what are you going to cut? Sure, give SocSec a 10% haircut if that's so dear to your heart. I don't like means-testing it, but that may be the least of evils if the opposition insists on some big cuts.

But what about the military: should it get a haircut also? The USA spends almost as much on its military as the entire rest of the world added together. And, not only is USA #1 in military spending but the #3, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #12, #13, #14, #15 and #16 countries are all staunch U.S. allies. Each F-22 cost $340 million. How many hip replacement surgeries can be performed for $340 million?

Finally, and especially important, you've drunk the GOP Kool-Aid if you think 30% of the economy spent by government is outrageously high. Please remember, again, that most of the bureaucrats and regulatories are "rounding errors." Other than military (and support for veterans) and debt interest the "huge" government spending is spent on educating, and providing medical care and pensions for many millions of Americans.

Here are some comparative figures from two countries which do not have the huge military budget of the U.S.: 44% of the German economy is government, down from a high of 54% in 1995. 41% of U.K. economy is government down from 51% in 1981. The idea that U.S. government "social spending" is too high deserves its own Pit thread.

septimus 09-21-2018 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21221946)
... The article you link to may agree that bonds will perform as well as stocks in the middle term ...

Rereading this, I see that it might be construed as a recommendation to buy bonds. No; in fact I sold some bonds the other day and put the proceeds into gold. :smack:

(If you enjoyed this investment advice please Paypal me 30˘. That will include 30˘ for the Paypal service charge; the rest is a fair value for any advice.)

Kobal2 09-21-2018 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21221946)
But what about the military: should it get a haircut also? The USA spends almost as much on its military as the entire rest of the world added together. And, not only is USA #1 in military spending but the #3, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #12, #13, #14, #15 and #16 countries are all staunch U.S. allies. Each F-22 cost $340 million. How many hip replacement surgeries can be performed for $340 million?


Well yeah, but do free hip replacements show exactly how big your national dick is ? I think not.

k9bfriender 09-22-2018 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21221946)

Finally, and especially important, you've drunk the GOP Kool-Aid if you think 30% of the economy spent by government is outrageously high. Please remember, again, that most of the bureaucrats and regulatories are "rounding errors." Other than military (and support for veterans) and debt interest the "huge" government spending is spent on educating, and providing medical care and pensions for many millions of Americans.

Were I to implement a poll test before allowing people to vote, one of the questions would be:

Government Spending is:

A. A waste.

B. A significant contributor to the economy.

Shodan 09-22-2018 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobLibDem (Post 21219609)
Now mind you, imagine the fix SS would have been if the Republicans had their way in the late 1990s and had SS invest the surplus in the stock market.

Depending on the time period - in general the market way out-performs the ROI on SS.

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972
I don't understand this. If I was a new doctor, and I only saw Medicare patients, I wouldn't make any money?

Quote:

About three-fourths of short-term acute-care hospitals lost money treating Medicare patients in 2016, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent agency established to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program.
Cite. Something to keep in mind in light of the recent idea of "Medicare for all".

Regards,
Shodan

Try2B Comprehensive 09-23-2018 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21221946)
[1] I certainly do agree that the "game is being rigged" to favor the super-rich, but I don't see the rich getting richer off of high treasury yields. Trump wants low interest rates. The Fed will raise short-term rates only as needed to fight inflation. The possibility of high long-term UST or AAA interest rates may lead to an interesting discussion, but in all cases supply-demand rules the day: Bond prices fall (yields rise) because people do NOT see them as a good investment.

The article you link to may agree that bonds will perform as well as stocks in the middle term, but that's not the same as saying USTs will be highly profitable. Your link mentions "Van Hoisington [was rewarded in 2007-2008 when] long-term U.S. Treasury market [rose] by nearly +60%" but UST prices rise because yields fall.

I think that in the supply-demand equation, the US govt issuing another $10 trillion in bonds in less than a decade will drive up yields. What would it take for the Fed to stop raising rates under these circumstances? Look back to the Bush-Clinton surplus years. Getting the Fed to lower rates was the motivation for Bush's electorally disastrous decision to raise taxes. Trump isn't repeating that "mistake".

And the way I am envisioning the uber-wealthy taking advantage of this is not in the mold of Van Hoisington, but by straight-up buying the bonds. "A 5% yield or just stay invested in a 10-year bear stock market?" they'll ask themselves. "I'll take the 5%." That may be naiive, and maybe if I could think like a billionaire I would be one, but it still makes a big pile of obvious sense to me.
Quote:

[2] So you agree that employer-paid payroll taxes should be reduced and the revenue recovered by carbon tax? :) I think it's a good idea too!
I'd have to see the details, but yeah, I think Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! is a good goal when it is sincere and not just a rhetorical device.
Quote:

[3] One correct point you argue is that it is very difficult, both economically and politically, to raise taxes after they've been lowered. (Similarly the best remedy for opioid addiction is to not get addicted in the first place.) It is because of that difficulty that the stupid tax cuts will have long-term insidious destructive effects. The giant $20 Trillion debt is not going away overnight; all we can hope for is to gradually slow the fall into the abyss. The debt will get to $30 T and perhaps worse. (At this point the future is racing toward financial collapse or social dystopia or both. Smart money may be betting on both.)

And what are you going to cut? Sure, give SocSec a 10% haircut if that's so dear to your heart. I don't like means-testing it, but that may be the least of evils if the opposition insists on some big cuts.

But what about the military: should it get a haircut also? The USA spends almost as much on its military as the entire rest of the world added together. And, not only is USA #1 in military spending but the #3, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #12, #13, #14, #15 and #16 countries are all staunch U.S. allies. Each F-22 cost $340 million. How many hip replacement surgeries can be performed for $340 million?

Finally, and especially important, you've drunk the GOP Kool-Aid if you think 30% of the economy spent by government is outrageously high. Please remember, again, that most of the bureaucrats and regulatories are "rounding errors." Other than military (and support for veterans) and debt interest the "huge" government spending is spent on educating, and providing medical care and pensions for many millions of Americans.

Here are some comparative figures from two countries which do not have the huge military budget of the U.S.: 44% of the German economy is government, down from a high of 54% in 1995. 41% of U.K. economy is government down from 51% in 1981. The idea that U.S. government "social spending" is too high deserves its own Pit thread.
I want to treat SS in a sympathetic way that preserves the program. Some cuts may be required, especially in the context of a... grand bargain? big deal? that the Dems won't just have to make with the Pubs, but also with themselves and the public.

I'd like to cut the military by 25%. It really seems like we can defend our borders, pick off terrorists and be prepared for a hypothetical war at that (still huge) level. Not sure what the full consequences of this are, though. Close a fighter factory and you have cut jobs. Less bombs = less demand for materials and labor. Where are these people going to go? Does this 25% cut help them somehow?

And, it's not that I think 30% of GNP is an outrageously high level, but that a true revenue-sider will face an uphill battle selling $1 trillion/year in tax increases. Be my guest in patiently explaining to the FOX crowd how 35% is still way lower than in Germany or France. If we try to make a deal that the most people can believe is fair while still actually solving the problem, we oughta cut SS, Medicare on the cost/negotiation side, and the military. Do the rest with revenue, and then shamelessly trumpet the fact that you 'cut government spending' like you are some kind of orange carnival barker.

Snowboarder Bo 09-24-2018 12:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21219493)
On average, doctors and health care providers lose money treating Medicare patients. About 35% IIRC.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21219546)
Cite, please?

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21219602)
I don't understand this. If I was a new doctor, and I only saw Medicare patients, I wouldn't make any money?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21223559)
Quote:

About three-fourths of short-term acute-care hospitals lost money treating Medicare patients in 2016, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent agency established to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program.
Cite. Something to keep in mind in light of the recent idea of "Medicare for all".

Regards,
Shodan

Did you have a cite that backed up your assertion, or are you moving your own goalposts?

septimus 09-24-2018 04:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive (Post 21225727)
And the way I am envisioning the uber-wealthy taking advantage of this is not in the mold of Van Hoisington, but by straight-up buying the bonds. "A 5% yield or just stay invested in a 10-year bear stock market?" they'll ask themselves. "I'll take the 5%." That may be naiive, and maybe if I could think like a billionaire I would be one, but it still makes a big pile of obvious sense to me.

Predicting interest rates, inflation rates and dollar strength ten years from now would be an interesting topic and I tried to start such a thread. I wouldn't be expecting a crystal-ball seer, just for a knowledgeable economist to lay out the plausible scenarios. But all that would be off-topic in this thread.

FWIW, your argument makes little sense to me. If bonds are a good investment for billionaires then they are ALSO a good investment for
(a) little guys like you and me. (Obviously our 5% will end up much smaller in absolute terms than the billionaires' 5% but that's true for any investment.)
(b) big guys like foreign banks, who will then bid down the interest rate. (Your scenario seems to involve billionaires knowing bonds are better than stocks, but others not making the same deduction.)

Ignoring 1981-1990, when high interest rates were due to on-going inflation fears, there have been only seven Septembers since 1954 when the real rate (interest minus inflation) on ten-year Treasuries exceeded 3.5%. Four of these 7 came during the booming 1990's: low demand for bonds was due to booming stocks. The other three Septembers with 10-year UST yielding more than 3.5% real:
  • 2009 — DE-flation was 1.3% and QE wasn't yet in full swing.
  • 1955, 1959 — isolated episodes. I'll let experts comment.

TL;DR - Our corrupt government has far simpler ways to enrich billionaires than to badmouth its own debt!

septimus 09-24-2018 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21213421)
"counter to all economic wisdom" seems like an overly-broad claim. If I can find an economist that disagrees, would you be willing to retract this claim?

If you ever came up with that economist I missed it. It's been a week; do you need more time?

I have been trying to help. Here are some of the top Google hits; 3 or 4 of the economists have Nobel Prizes; one comes from FoxNews:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0yS57R6c8s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3sAfBNiGYo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENR9_562qIM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huilZjeSI9c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzigzEAu3z8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aHWz5DFpfM
Can you find one you like here, or should I keep looking for you?

Try2B Comprehensive 09-24-2018 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21226086)

FWIW, your argument makes little sense to me. If bonds are a good investment for billionaires then they are ALSO a good investment for
(a) little guys like you and me. (Obviously our 5% will end up much smaller in absolute terms than the billionaires' 5% but that's true for any investment.)
(b) big guys like foreign banks, who will then bid down the interest rate. (Your scenario seems to involve billionaires knowing bonds are better than stocks, but others not making the same deduction.)

Ignoring 1981-1990, when high interest rates were due to on-going inflation fears, there have been only seven Septembers since 1954 when the real rate (interest minus inflation) on ten-year Treasuries exceeded 3.5%. Four of these 7 came during the booming 1990's: low demand for bonds was due to booming stocks. The other three Septembers with 10-year UST yielding more than 3.5% real:
  • 2009 — DE-flation was 1.3% and QE wasn't yet in full swing.
  • 1955, 1959 — isolated episodes. I'll let experts comment.

TL;DR - Our corrupt government has far simpler ways to enrich billionaires than to badmouth its own debt!

Well, my reasoning is pretty simple. It isn't inflation fears particularly that I expect to drive up yields. I don't think it will be people turning away from bonds either- I expect them to get more popular. It is the simple fact that the plan is to issue so damn many of them.

We've just cut taxes for the wealthy by about $200 billion a year. They did not live up to the moronic prediction that they would pay for themselves, they are being paid for with borrowing. And, spending has increased as well, also paid for with borrowing.

We're on a track to issue about $10 trillion worth of bonds over the next decade, probably more. It is quite an acceleration. Even if people think they are a good investment, it seems like this massive supply will outstrip demand and drive up yields anyway.

My opposition to the tax cuts won't change if I turn out to be wrong about future bond yields, but that aspect of things just bugs me every time I think about it, this massive publicly funded income stream for the super wealthy. I don't think you've addressed this theory of bond yields directly- I'd be interested in why you (probably) think things won't play out this way. Do you think the market can readily soak up another $10 trillion in bonds?

eschereal 09-25-2018 12:41 AM

There is a threshold where money stops being for survival/comfort and starts being about power. Hence, shifting more of it to the already wealthy becomes not a question of making their lives better but of allowing them to accrue more power over others. This is problematic because it seems fairly common that a person who manipulates large amounts of money tends toward sociopathy. Hence, many of the very wealthy who have control of society are visiting their disease upon all of us. This is not a net positive, and reducing their social obligation just makes everything worse.

Velocity 09-25-2018 01:13 AM

A cap on annual income might be helpful. Something like, "Nobody is allowed to earn more than $100 million a year, and if you do, the extra money must simply go to Uncle Sam."


The only issue with that is that private entrepreneurs might not be able to start up ventures entirely out of their own pocket, if, say, they wanted to start up a billion-dollar venture.

septimus 09-25-2018 04:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eschereal (Post 21228271)
There is a threshold where money stops being for survival/comfort and starts being about power. Hence, shifting more of it to the already wealthy becomes not a question of making their lives better but of allowing them to accrue more power over others. This is problematic because it seems fairly common that a person who manipulates large amounts of money tends toward sociopathy. Hence, many of the very wealthy who have control of society are visiting their disease upon all of us. This is not a net positive, and reducing their social obligation just makes everything worse.

This is an over-generalization. Many good performers enjoy performing well, and enjoy being compensated for it. This is true of performing artists like Beyoncé or Springsteen, and also of high-performing investment managers like Buffett or Soros. Although I picked these four examples for their fame, all four are noted for philanthropic giving.

But I do not want to over-generalize in the opposite direction! The super-rich also include Martin Shkreli, Charles Koch and David Koch. Many acquire their wealth through unproductive means or even fraud; some even sent to prison, e.g. Charles Kushner or Bernie Madoff. Simply put there are both good and bad people throughout the income spectrum. And obviously there's some tendency for a businessman motivated by carnal greed to outperform a businessman with humane instincts.

Inequality of income and wealth is a major problem for several reasons — this has been discussed before. Rational thinkers do not seek sudden confiscation of wealth, but they want to see policies that point in the correct direction. An extra $100,000 is a big deal for a working man. An extra $1,000,000 is chump change for the super-rich. In 2017, the heirs of a married couple with a $22 million estate would have to pay a $4 million estate tax — is that so onerous? Remember that the estate may contain unrealized capital gains that were never taxed to begin with. In 2019 the estate tax on that same $22 million estate is .... Zero.

The way Republican voters have been gulled to vote for increases in wealth and income inequality in the U.S. is without precedent. When I first visited Thailand in the 1980's I was stunned by the income inequality. But I watched Thailand's GINI coefficient decline over the next decades due to active government programs like rural electrification, road building, rising minimum wages, and public-financed hospitals. Over the same period, the U.S. GINI rose sharply and is now significantly higher than Thailand's GINI! Among developed countries, only Israel and Saudi Arabia have GINIs as high as the U.S. Even Russia's GINI is lower.

Ruken 09-25-2018 09:11 AM

I'm not so concerned about other people having more money than me. I'm more concerned about other people not having enough. And various transfer programs do pull people out of poverty.* Those programs cost money, and we all know where the money is. If we borrow it now, that's means more of it has to go to debt service tomorrow.


*https://doi.org/10.7916/D8RN3853

Shodan 09-25-2018 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruken (Post 21228670)
Those programs cost money, and we all know where the money is.

Yes, it's in the middle class.

Regards,
Shodan

Ruken 09-25-2018 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21228694)
Yes, it's in the middle class.

And I can certainly afford higher taxes. Although it depends how you cut "middle". Median household income last year was about $59k. Twice that is $118k, just shy of the 80th percentile. And the top quintile pulls in 51% of household income. Doubtless you could fiddle with the numbers to push the line around. But if we use my arbitrary range, most of the money is not in the middle. And if we looked at money in excess of the poverty threshold, that just pushes more of it to the top.

Shodan 09-25-2018 12:55 PM

Sure, you can swap the numbers around. My point was that the rich do not consist of this large, untapped source of money for new programs or expansion of old ones. There aren't enough rich, they already pay the lion's share of taxes.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruken
And I can certainly afford higher taxes.

I suppose, so could I, for various definitions of "higher". But there is no realistic possibility that we could reduce the deficit without raising taxes on the non-rich, reducing spending on the non-rich, simply by raising taxes on the rich.

Regards,
Shodan

Akaj 09-25-2018 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21228408)
In 2017, the heirs of a married couple with a $22 million estate would have to pay a $4 million estate tax — is that so onerous? Remember that the estate may contain unrealized capital gains that were never taxed to begin with. In 2019 the estate tax on that same $22 million estate is .... Zero.

The way Republican voters have been gulled to vote for increases in wealth and income inequality in the U.S. is without precedent.

Two words: Death Tax.

Whatever GOP strategist came up with this phrase is a genius. GOP voters complain about "elites," they complain about their wages stagnating while the rich get richer, and then they vote for people who abolish the estate tax so the elite rich can keep even more of their money.

Why? Because the phrase "death tax" makes it sound like Hillary and Obama are going to crash their funerals and extract money from their grieving families.

Fucking genius.

leahcim 09-25-2018 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akaj (Post 21229866)
Whatever GOP strategist came up with this phrase is a genius. GOP voters complain about "elites," they complain about their wages stagnating while the rich get richer, and then they vote for people who abolish the estate tax so the elite rich can keep even more of their money.

But I was told that these people were all poor family farmers who would have to sell their homestead to pay the tax (because the land they had farmed for generations just happened to be formally high in value)!

I'm sure that 99% of estate tax payers were like that, and wealthy scions of investment bankers are the exception. ;)

ElvisL1ves 09-25-2018 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Akaj (Post 21229866)
Two words: Death Tax.

Whatever GOP strategist came up with this phrase is a genius.

That was Frank Luntz, a pollster and focus grouper whose name comes up all the time in these things.

Akaj 09-26-2018 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21230234)
That was Frank Luntz, a pollster and focus grouper whose name comes up all the time in these things.

Did he come up with "pro-life" and "right to work" too? It's depressing how the right seems to regularly come up with these 2-3-word terms that the left seems incapable of countering in less than a paragraph.

RTFirefly 09-26-2018 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21217281)
That's not what RTFirefly said:

Just to make sure nobody gets the wrong impression, what I said was:
Quote:

state income taxes are ... less regressive than state sales taxes.

Ruken 09-26-2018 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 21229203)
I suppose, so could I, for various definitions of "higher". But there is no realistic possibility that we could reduce the deficit without raising taxes on the non-rich, reducing spending on the non-rich, simply by raising taxes on the rich.

In case people want numbers, there's a crude analysis here: http://www.crfb.org/blogs/can-we-fix...-top-1-percent
It's with old deficits and old brackets, it assumes no changes to corporate, inheritance, or capital gains taxes, and it assumes no behavioral changes. But it gets the point across.

I've learned over the past couple years that what I consider "realistic" doesn't always match reality, but the third scenario in the table is closest to what I have in mind and I agree and wouldn't call it realistic.

That's if we keep the same bracket structure. The top quintile does pull in about $8 trillion per year and pays an effective tax rate (including payroll taxes) of about 25%. Increasing the effective rate to ~32% would balance the budget. But the devil is in how you do it. And the top 1% already pays that rate if internet randos are to be believed: https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxv...ry-progressive


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