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Thread: U.S. Debt Ceiling Negotiations

  1. #51
    Nerd King Usurper Array Edgar's Avatar
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    Oct 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    Squeeze the fat cats some.
    Meh. Never been a fan of cat juice.

    I suppose it's an acquired taste.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    Squeeze the fat cats some.
    They leave, then what...? Squeeze you?

  3. #53
    Dreaming the life Array onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tantive View Post
    They leave, then what...? Squeeze you?
    Where are they going to go?

  4. #54


    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Meh. Never been a fan of cat juice.

    I suppose it's an acquired taste.
    You really should try it. I hear that pussy juice is the best.

  5. #55
    Uniqueorn Array William K's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Pay off debt
    a) reducing the current deficit
    b) maintaining the current deficit
    c) increasing the current deficit
    or d) deficits don't matter?
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

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  6. #56
    He pronks, too! Array Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    If you think the Democrats of compromised too much, how do you propose they keep they keep the nation from defaulting?
    A little taxation goes a very long way. We may have to raise taxes at every level, but more progressive taxation obviously really helps. The lower the bracket, the less I'd like to raise the taxes, but right now our taxation bracket does way to little to distinguishing between the various levels of the rich and super-rich, sort of related to mmhmm's comment. We should also cut a lot of loopholes and end various breaks and exemptions of course, especially with corporate taxes, where are our taxation rate is actually quite high on paper, but basically doesn't have to be paid.

    Now, taxes alone won't fix things. They are simply a necessity to fixing basically any one of the USA's major economic problems, but it's not enough. Regarding spending cuts, I'd be perfectly fine with seeing Medicaid and Medicare completely abolished altogether if they were replaced with an authentic universal healthcare system. There are some pretty consistent rates in what countries pay for these, and going on that, we could probably cut the amount we are spending on health care in half (only for the cost of having better health care, oh wait, that's a benefit!). I am open to negotiation on making social security payments more affordable. In part, we could lower the the income levels that count as poor enough to qualify for SSI, and perhaps enter personal wealth as a serious consideration for unemployment benefits. We could also raise the social security tax cap, we could raise it a lot.

    Then there's defense. We could disembowel the defense budget and I'd honestly think it would have less of a noticeable effect on our society than what the Republicans want to do with our social spending programs. In spite of the defense budget being the second-biggest expense of the budget (next to the entitlement spending), the Republicans express next to no interest in cutting it. There might be some harm in cutting it related to reducing a number of jobs we have, but in the long term, we really need to depend less on defense as a source of employment. War is something of a economic dead end.

    The last thing that needs to be considered is that we might need the economy to grow faster again to deal with the debt. I only mention it last because it is a relatively small part of this as outgrowing the debt is not even remotely possible. I'd want to say more on this, but getting the economy more productive is such a huge aside that I'm going to avoid that at the moment.
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  7. #57


    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The last thing that needs to be considered is that we might need the economy to grow faster again to deal with the debt. I only mention it last because it is a relatively small part of this as outgrowing the debt is not even remotely possible. I'd want to say more on this, but getting the economy more productive is such a huge aside that I'm going to avoid that at the moment.
    I realize that you meant this in the context of this thread. But I find it ironic. I think this debt ceiling things is a HUGE distraction from the real problem of this country...the economy. Just raise the f'in ceiling please and deal with the deficit and debt once the economy really recovers, and people have jobs.

    What's really needed is a second stimulus of some sort. But that is politically unfeasible at this time, because people are obsessed with the debt.

    Also, to those who subscribe to any supply-side or trickle-down myths...companies, employers, etc. go to where the demand is long term. Taxes alone do not drive away companies, if there is demand. The internet allows for some separation between where the demand is and where supply is, but long term, I believe they will need to be co-located. Right now, the U.S. aggregate demand is not growing at a strong enough rate to create jobs. That is the fundamental problem.

    When I asked how the U.S. is not going to default on its debt, I meant how do we get to the debt ceiling being raised...that is the practical point. Rating agencies are already about to downgrade their rating of U.S. debt. All that will do is make it even more expensive to borrow...compounding the debt problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Current entitlement policies are based on a historical demographic reality that doesn't exist anymore-there are fewer tax-payers per highly expensive dependents (i.e. old people). This is an unsustainable arrangement.
    This is the main reason Democrats need to compromise too. Stop acting like this is a hostage situation. There are legitimate points on both sides.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  8. #58
    meinmeinmein! Array mmhmm's Avatar
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    Jul 2010


    i find the debate over what should be done (in the us, at least)
    to stimulate the economy almost as fun and engrossing.
    this could be an illusion, maybe i'm experiencing a very
    late post-poll postpartum depression, and my interest is
    my brain's subconscious effort to compensate, to fill the
    void in my enthusiasm uterus. or maybe i'm just starting
    to find economics stimulating.

    a lot has been written surrounding the stimulus efforts.
    and i'm no economist. but i get the impression that
    the fica tax started out as a republican idea, but it seems
    to be spreading. their goal might be to divert funding from
    ss and medicare--those fed benefits programs that
    conservatives hate, however it's also a slyly regressive idea.

    up till 2010, the fica rate which includes a chunk for ss (6.2%)
    and a smaller chunk (1.45%) for medicare which totals to 7.65% .
    [i keep on typing medicate] so basically if you're making $1,000
    a month (which is 1.5 pairs of shoes), you're paying $76.50 in
    fica taxes. if yu're making 10k a month you're paying $765.
    (the google machine tells me: note: In 2011, the FICA
    tax rate for employees was lowered to 5.65%. The employer
    tax rate remained unchanged, while the Social Security rate
    for employees was lowered to 4.20%.
    ) [i'm crazy for jock]

    i suspect that when it comes to budgeting, the lower wage
    earner will feel the tax more, even though the rate is the same.
    also, there is a cap at the top end of the wage scale for the
    social security portion called the maximum wage base (which
    goes up every year at a rate faster than the cpi), which
    means after a certain point (an annual salary of $106,800
    since 2009), you don't pay any additional for the ss share
    of fica on earnings.

    based on the maximum wage base for 2010, someone earning
    106,800 will pay $6,621.60. so will someone making $1 million.

    the other thing is that employees are only paying half of the
    total payroll taxes. employers also kick down 7.65%

    fica tax is regressive. people at the lower end of the wage
    scale feel it more. and it makes hiring people more expensive.
    scrapping the fica tax would put a useful sum of money into
    people's pockets and, it is hoped, ease hiring.

    the downside, of course, is that this tax funds popular programs.

    so: create a new tax bracket. as i google it, the top tax bracket in :
    --2009 will be an annual salary of $372,950 and above
    --2010 will be an annual salary of $373,650 and above
    --2011 will be an annual salary of $379,150 and above

    it is taxed at a rate of 35% at the moment, since the
    bush era tax cuts were extended, (it was suppose to go
    up to 39.6% in 2010) so, if you make $379,150 or if you
    make $10 million, this year, you'll pay the same percentage
    of tax.

    still thinking about two new tax brackets for the really rich.
    say 40% or more for people earning $1m or more; push
    towards 50% for people making $10m. picked the numbers
    our of air, but...

    the tax code gets more progressive, the people at the
    lower end of the wage scale get more cash in their pockets
    (people with less money are bound to spend if they get a
    bit more) and businesses might be able to hire more people.

    hiring a few more people for the treasury department
    would also help. i sound so 2009. now someone talk
    about bank nationalization <3
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  9. #59
    Mr. Blue Array entropie's Avatar
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    That would be funny, if money was worth nothing. Then I'd like to see all those neo-liberal high rollers in the financial sector cannibalising themselves, cause money doesnt taste good .

    That gonna be excellent times for autarkic people, who know how to lead a life completly independent from society. Only downside is your home then needs huge electrical fences and a lot of automated self-defense turrets
    Johari / Nohari

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    ~ Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Gray

  10. #60
    Senior Member Array reason's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    The extremely rich cannot be taxed. I don't mean they exploit accounting loopholes or flee to tax havens. Though that occurs, it is not why the extremely rich cannot be taxed. Here is a quick proof.

    (1) The purpose of production is consumption.
    (2) Production is equal to income.
    (3) Income is equal to consumption in the long run.

    From this result, we get

    (3) Income is equal to consumption in the long run
    (4) An income tax must reduce long run consumption.

    The problem is that the extremely rich consume such a tiny fraction of their total income that they will die well before a marginal increase in tax rates impacts their consumption. Even their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will be immune to the tax. Any reduction in consumption will come in the far flung future to distant relatives. However, the extremely rich aren't motivated to reduce their own consumption today so that descendants 100 years from now might have a slightly more consumption, and so they don't. The extremely rich are effectively untaxable unless the government just starts confiscating all their assets.

    Another way of saying this is that when the government tries to tax the extremely wealthy, the extremely wealthy continue to finance their desired levels of consumption by reducing their asset holdings. Since their asset holding are so tremendously large, they can be used to finance consumption for the rest of their lives, and the lives of their children, and their children's children.

    The immediate consequence is that total savings in society falls, since the extremely wealthy are also the biggest savers. This reduces the stock of available capital and pushes up interest rates, slowing economic growth and making it more costly to borrow. Since the poor benefit most from economic growth and low interest rates, it is the poor who actually bear the burden of the tax.

    While the government can't tax the extremely wealthy, the resources the government acquires by taxation must be drawn away from other uses, and those other uses tend to increase the well-being of all members of society, especially the poor.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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