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  1. #81
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    S&P does think that revenues are important, but not as important and containing entitlement spending.
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    No rhetoric here. Just posting what they said.

    Nowhere did I say that raising revenues isn't important, it is, I just said that it's impact on the debt will be less than that of cutting entitlements.

    No amount of twisting and squirming is going to change what I said into something it's not.
    The above is quoted from your post. You claim something that doesn't exist. S&P did not say what you claim.

    The first quote also conflicts with the second quote. You did not say that.

  2. #82
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    The first quote also conflicts with the second quote. You did not say that.
    Given the context of the situation, the importance mentioned can only be referring to tackling the debt.

    What else could they be talking about? Sorry I made that mental leap and expected you to be able to make it with me.

    As far as semantics go, they're not 100% the same but the main thrust of the argument and gist of what was said is.

    Believe whatever you want I'm clearly not going to change you're mind.

    My argument has been consistent throughout.

    Make your own argument, show me how raising taxes (esp. just on the rich) can do more to tackle the debt than dealing with entitlement spending.

    Here is an article from WSJ that illustrates the importance of raising taxes across all incomes while cutting entitlements.

    Where the Tax Money Is
    Obama targets the middle class while pretending to tax only the rich.
    A dominant theme of President Obama's budget speech last Wednesday was that our fiscal problems would vanish if only the wealthiest Americans were asked "to pay a little more." Since he's asking, imagine that instead of proposing to raise the top income tax rate well north of 40%, the President decided to go all the way to 100%.

    Let's stipulate that this is a thought experiment, because Democrats don't need any more ideas. But it's still a useful experiment because it exposes the fiscal futility of raising rates on the top 2%, or even the top 5% or 10%, of taxpayers to close the deficit. The mathematical reality is that in the absence of entitlement reform on the Paul Ryan model, Washington will need to soak the middle class—because that's where the big money is.
    ***

    Consider the Internal Revenue Service's income tax statistics for 2008, the latest year for which data are available. The top 1% of taxpayers—those with salaries, dividends and capital gains roughly above about $380,000—paid 38% of taxes. But assume that tax policy confiscated all the taxable income of all the "millionaires and billionaires" Mr. Obama singled out. That yields merely about $938 billion, which is sand on the beach amid the $4 trillion White House budget, a $1.65 trillion deficit, and spending at 25% as a share of the economy, a post-World War II record.

    Say we take it up to the top 10%, or everyone with income over $114,000, including joint filers. That's five times Mr. Obama's 2% promise. The IRS data are broken down at $100,000, yet taxing all income above that level throws up only $3.4 trillion. And remember, the top 10% already pay 69% of all total income taxes, while the top 5% pay more than all of the other 95%.

    We recognize that 2008 was a bad year for the economy and thus for tax receipts, as payments by the rich fell along with their income. So let's perform the same exercise in 2005, a boom year and among the best ever for federal revenue. (Ahem, 2005 comes after the Bush tax cuts that Mr. Obama holds responsible for all the world's problems.)

    In 2005 the top 5% earned over $145,000. If you took all the income of people over $200,000, it would yield about $1.89 trillion, enough revenue to cover the 2012 bill for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security—but not the same bill in 2016, as the costs of those entitlements are expected to grow rapidly. The rich, in short, aren't nearly rich enough to finance Mr. Obama's entitlement state ambitions—even before his health-care plan kicks in.



    So who else is there to tax? Well, in 2008, there was about $5.65 trillion in total taxable income from all individual taxpayers, and most of that came from middle income earners. The nearby chart shows the distribution, and the big hump in the center is where Democrats are inevitably headed for the same reason that Willie Sutton robbed banks.

    This is politically risky, however, so Mr. Obama's game has always been to pretend not to increase taxes for middle class voters while looking for sneaky ways to do it. His first budget in 2009 included a "climate revenues" section from the indirect carbon tax of cap and trade, which of course would be passed down to all consumers. Such Democratic luminaries as Nancy Pelosi have often chattered about a European-style value-added tax, or VAT, which from a liberal perspective has the virtue of applying to every level of production or service and therefore is largely hidden from the people who pay it.

    Now that those two ideas have failed politically, Mr. Obama is turning as he did last week to limiting tax deductions and other "loopholes," such as for mortgage interest payments. We support doing away with these distortions too, and so does Mr. Ryan, but in return for lower tax rates. Mr. Obama just wants the extra money, which he says will reduce the deficit but in practice will merely enable more spending.

    Keep in mind that the most expensive tax deductions, in terms of lost tax revenue, go mainly to the middle class. These include the deductions for state and local tax payments (especially property taxes), mortgage interest, employer-sponsored health insurance, 401(k) contributions and charitable donations. The irony is that even as Mr. Obama says he merely wants the rich to pay a little bit more, his proposals would make the tax code less progressive than it is today.

    Mr. Ryan isn't proposing controversial entitlement reforms because he likes pointless political risk, or because he likes being berated to his face from a front row seat, as he was on Wednesday. Medicare and Medicaid spending are consistently growing two to three times faster than the rest of the economy, while Medicare's cash-in-cash-out financing model means that seniors collect far more in benefits than they paid in taxes over their working lifetime. The entitlement state was designed for another era.
    ***

    Mr. Obama's speech was disgraceful for its demagoguery but also because it contained nothing remotely commensurate to the scale of the problem. If the President had come out for a large tax on the middle class, like a VAT, then at least the country could have debated the choice of paying for the government we have or modernizing it a la Mr. Ryan so it is affordable.

    Instead the President will continue targeting the middle class for tax increases to pay for an entitlement state on autopilot, while claiming he only wants to tax the rich. Oh, and we almost forgot: Happy Tax Day.
    Bear in mind that this article is only discussing the 4 trillion in current debt liabilities, not the 14 trillion in institutional debt we have built up.

  3. #83
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Oh my!

    Why can't you be honest? What you tried to do was to back up your belief by twisting what S&P said, in order to do so. Or you misunderstood S&P.

    Either way, it would be less disingenuous to say "It is MY belief that containing entitlement spending will benefit the U.S. in the long-term. S&P agree that containing entitlement spending will benefit the U.S. in the long-term." and then leave it at that.

    I don't disagree that entitlement spending has to be contained. But I'm with S&P where they believe a two-punch methodology of increasing taxes AND containing entitlement spending are important for near and long-term goals.

  4. #84
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    Why can't you be honest? What you tried to do was to back up your belief by twisting what S&P said, in order to do so. Or you misunderstood S&P.
    I'm done with you.

    You are the one who misunderstands. Both the S&P statement and what I've said.

    I've used the words posted to back up what I'm saying.

    It's this exact kind of semantics garbage that makes me hate this site sometimes.

  5. #85
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    I love how they broke up the $200k+ tax earners into seven separate groups so their bars stay small. Since charts are fun, here's another way to chart the same data:


    The Middle Class Tax Target Remix by jlianoglou, on Flickr


    (Not that this way isn't also biased.)

  6. #86
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Jenaphor and Disco.

    A illustration of the failure of our politcal system, pig-headed argument, accomplishing nothing.

  7. #87
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I'm done with you.

    You are the one who misunderstands. Both the S&P statement and what I've said.

    I've used the words posted to back up what I'm saying.

    It's this exact kind of semantics garbage that makes me hate this site sometimes.
    Glad you're done with me!! It's not semantics. It's understanding what you're reading and also, being able to use it applicably. To twist what's stated to agree with your personal opinion so it puts illegitimate weight behind personal opinion, is disingenuous to say the least.

    *starts cutting out words from assorted newspaper articles and glues them to a piece of paper to back up personal opinion*

  8. #88
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    I love how they broke up the $200k+ tax earners into seven separate groups so their bars stay small. Since charts are fun, here's another way to chart the same data:
    And I wonder which bar would be higher if you did that for those making under that much.

  9. #89
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    Jenaphor and Disco.

    A illustration of the failure of our politcal system, pig-headed argument, accomplishing nothing.
    Distinction matters when it comes to quoting sources.

    Shall I say "well BAJ meant that DB and I did a great job in our debate" even though that's not what you said?

  10. #90
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Distinction matters when it comes to quoting sources.

    Shall I say "well BAJ meant that DB and I did a great job in our debate" even though that's not what you said?
    It doesn't matter. I'm a mystic.

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