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You Fix the Budget Deficit
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Brendan L
(mechB) - F

Locale: Washington DC
You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 18:26:26 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by mechB on 07/14/2011 11:04:59 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 19:03:28 MDT Print View

> 1. Eliminate tax loopholes
Loses votes and industry support

> 2. National sales tax (5% VAT):
Loses votes and industry support

> 3. Carbon tax (thru 2050)
Loses votes and industry support

> 4. Cap Medicare growth
Loses votes and industry support

> 5. End farm subsidies
Loses votes and industry support

I think you may have a problem...

Cheers

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 19:06:14 MDT Print View

Roger is correct as always!

Edited by kennyhel77 on 04/28/2011 19:06:54 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 19:45:03 MDT Print View

"1. Eliminate tax loopholes (slightly higher taxes option): simplicity = good, borderline tax evasion = bad (see: General Electric)."

Our tax system is screwed up, no doubt. But can you tell us how GE did this? It was legal and their tax return was only 22,000 pages long or 3 times as long as their annual report. I'll give you a hint... GE Capital lost $30 billion during the financial melt-down. We also have to remember that many of these companies are now global companies and they pay taxes somewhere.

-----

"2. National sales tax (5% VAT): overconsumption paradigm needs to come to a halt, shift incentives towards savings, investments in education, and R&D. plus, people that pay no sales tax are annoying (I'm talking to you, Oregon)."

If people are stupid and over consume, that is their problem. Not the job of the government to incentivize anyone on how to spend their money; it is a free country, remember? You do not live in Oregon and neither do I. It is none of our business how the citizens of Oregon want to finance their state. Actually over the years Oregon has done a much better job than most other states, maybe we should figure out what they do right? Currently Oregon does currently have a deficit, but it is much smaller per capita than most states.

----

"3. Carbon tax (thru 2050): win-win for the economy/environment. excludes future costs of avoided damages from climate change and other benefits from shifting away from fossil fuels.

Can you detail how this is a win/win? How will the tax be applied (who pays for it?)."

----

"4. Cap Medicare growth starting in 2013: slowing monster growth in Medicare expenditures necessary for sustainability of the system."

What do you mean? Take people off Medicare? Reduce expenditures and keep collecting the FICA-HI? What are you going to do with the poor people who now rely on it, and paid for it?

----

"5. End farm subsidies: mostly based on principle. we can afford shift away from centralized, industrialized, corn-centric agriculture towards local, small-scale farming.

You kinda of got that one right. End ALL government subsidies, period."


----

"And while I'm on my soap box, I'll add that I'd spend the large surplus I generated on"

Sorry, the current US Public debt it over $14 Trillion dollars, you haven't scratched it because you did not give us a number for Medicare/Medicaid; you did not address Social Security, Defense, Welfare (now the politically correct name is income security), the Interest we are paying on our debt, or Federal Pensions. These are the big 6.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 19:45:47 MDT Print View

simple: since the religious right are in favor of militarization, tax religion. let them pay the military budget.

thanks, mike

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Re: Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 19:48:48 MDT Print View

Don't spend what you don't have. Differentiate needs versus wants. Certainly won't be fixing it discussing it on a forum.

Brendan L
(mechB) - F

Locale: Washington DC
nm on 04/28/2011 19:58:28 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by mechB on 07/14/2011 10:58:02 MDT.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Fix on 04/28/2011 20:53:19 MDT Print View

Most will cut "other programs" but their own is too critical ; ) Also current indications are Americans do not want Medicare cut as most don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hades affording private health insurance in their 50’s now, … let alone in their 70s, 80’s and beyond. Any massive govt subsidy will probably be more expensive than Medicare itself as insurance companies are there to make money and most know this. Where does this leave us?

THE fix coming down : IMHO the US will be forced to switch to a value added tax sooner or later if/when the bond market ever freaks out. IIRC that was the bipartisan debt commissions finding if both parties in Congress can't give a little now and for the foreseeable future. That's what's starting to happen right now, so if I had to bet on that vs. any alternatives discussed with internet users....

OK...My fix If I were King, I'd start trimming outlays in some unexpected places, invest at least part of Social Security contributions for every age cohort in stock/bond hybrid index funds similar to the “life-span” mutual funds (i.e. the bond exposure increases as a % as one gets older). Ditto Medicare. Get a better bang for the buck with security for the elderly.

Anyways my 2 cents (edit for brevity)

Edited by hknewman on 04/28/2011 23:36:24 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 20:57:04 MDT Print View

" GE Capital lost $30 billion during the financial melt-down."

Are gambling losses tax deductible? ;)

" people that pay no sales tax are annoying (I'm talking to you, Oregon)."

But they do have an income tax and, with unemployment at its current high level, they are having a lot difficulty making ends meet. They have taken a meat ax to a lot of vital areas like education and law enforcement, not to mention drug abuse treatment programs, etc.

"What do you mean? Take people off Medicare? Reduce expenditures and keep collecting the FICA-HI? What are you going to do with the poor people who now rely on it, and paid for it?"


Nick,

I'm stunned at this uncharacteristic display of compassion. This ranks up there with Saul on the road to Damascus. Bravo! Ayn must be rolling over in her grave about now. ;-)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Fix on 04/28/2011 21:00:58 MDT Print View

"Any massive govt subsidy will probably be more expensive than Medicare itself as insurance companies are there to make money and most know this. Where does this leave us?"

With a golden opportunity to emulate our enlightened neighbors to the north: Adopt a single payer system.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 21:11:47 MDT Print View

Hey Brendan,

Please don't think I was picking on you. I am not a GE fan, and I abhor their lobbying for special favors and special interests. GE did not receive a $3.2 billion tax credit. This is poor journalism on the part of the NY Times, and they should be ashamed of themselves for irresponsible reporting. That money was a carried forward from business losses.

And guess what? You and I get the same benefit. Let's say that you have a job working for someone. You pay income taxes on the wages you earn. And let's say that being an industrious young man you spend your nights working at your own business making UL equipment. When you prepare your income tax return you will fill out a Schedule C for your business profit (or loss) and enter this on your Form 1040. As long as your business is not a hobby, you can deduct your losses and carry excess losses forward to subsequent years by applying the IRS formulas. So you could very easily have no tax liability. It is no special favor. Every American is entitled to the same deduction.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 21:16:58 MDT Print View

"Every American is entitled to the same deduction."

Some are more entitled to it than others, specifically those who can afford legions of "creative" accountants and legions of tax lawyers.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 21:34:36 MDT Print View

Hi Tom,

How you been?

BTW, gambling losses are deductible, but only as much as you won... no more :)

Unfortunately we, the government, built the roulette and crap tables the lenders used to gamble on in the form of central banking, FANNIE and FREDDIE, etc. They played the game we created, and we couldn't cover the bets. Fortunately I bailed out of bank stocks a long, long time ago.

And yes we own the Medicare/Medicaid problem. People have paid into it with the expectation/guarantee that it would provide for them. Same goes with public pensions. He have to honor our commitments, you can't just say we changed our minds. Hmmm... that would be a matter of principle. We have been playing these Ponzi schemes for nearly 80 years now, and it has caught up with us... time to pay the piper. Hopefully we will learn from our mistakes and start to fix things. But you cannot fix 80 years of bad policy overnight. But hey, it isn't that bad! We could pay off our national debt by collecting $46,000 from every single citizen or $128,000 from every single taxpayer, but that would really upset people and they might think poorly of our politicians. Luckily we can just treat businesses like ATM machines that we don't have to pay back. Cha-ching. Easy.

And no, God did not speak to me as I hiked down the road. But you can call me St. Nick if you like :)

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 21:34:55 MDT Print View

Flat tax, everyone pays - individuals and corporations.
Cut governmenet budget 30% across the board.
Make community service are requirement for entitlement programs.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 21:39:21 MDT Print View

Joe,

You are on the right track. Of course with a flat tax we don't have to tax business. All the people who work for them already pay taxes. Let the businesses use the money to great more jobs. With no taxes, the would be ZERO tax advantage to go off shore, actually the opposite.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 21:46:16 MDT Print View

Works for me. I'd like to see a tax incentive for companies that move manufacturing from offshore back to the US.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 21:50:44 MDT Print View

Brendan:

I agree with your tax cuts. I would also cut defense. You can't really make meaningful budget cuts without cutting both budget gorillas: welfare and defense!

I also agree with increasing investment spending - education, infrastructure, and R&D -- although I would prefer to see more private investment spending in R&D.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/28/2011 22:13:02 MDT Print View

"With no taxes, the would be ZERO tax advantage to go off shore, actually the opposite."

Then the only incentives for companies to go off shore will be increased profits through lower wages and benefits, increased profits through fewer environmental regulations, increased profits due to fewer workplace regulations such as OSHA and the likes.

In addition to zero taxes, maybe we can also get our job-killing wages, benefits, and workplace regulations on par with Southeast Asia, India, or Central America as well as completely gut our job-killing environmental and workplace safety regulations...maybe then the multinationals will come back and bestow our children with the privilege of working for them once again.

And then All will be Well.
:)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Gorillas @ Ben on 04/28/2011 23:34:21 MDT Print View

Ben,

I think you are scaring George with the gorilla talk the past couple of months. I noticed he toned down his avatar.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: You Fix the Budget Deficit on 04/29/2011 00:01:10 MDT Print View

Craig,

There are so many variables here. And yes there are some really bad companies out there. But many companies have gone off-shore because it has been the only way they can compete in a world market, and many companies are starting to bring things back here due the difficulties they have encountered overseas.

I have even seen this with companies that are wholly based in the US. They are leaving California for places like Arizona, Nevada, and Texas because it is just too expensive here. The price of products built in California cannot compete with those built in other states.

Not sure if it is still #1, but the auto industry used to be the largest import AND export commodity in the US. In recent years companies like Nissan, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota have built huge manufacturing plants here in the US. It often makes sense to manufacture in the market you are serving. Many US companies really would prefer to stay here.

And believe it or not, but during the past several years the majority of my work has been with major corporations helping them train, motivate and retain employees. Employee retention is a high priority for many companies, and they truly value their employees.