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Bewbies
04-14-2011, 11:30 PM
Who owns the money and wealth in this country?

The government?

The individual?

Bewbies
04-14-2011, 11:31 PM
I see lots of arguments both ways on here, so which is it? The government that runs the country and operates our economic system, or the individual that earns it?

prhom
04-15-2011, 12:08 AM
Here's how I see it: "money" is the dollar notes that the government issues and we accept as having value. We don't own the money because it only really has value as long as the government and U.S. exists. Wealth is a little different in terms of who owns wealth. We have laws that protect private property, but again, your house only belongs to you as long as people honor the title you have in your fire safe.

So, my vote is that the government owns it. You're only allowed to keep and use money and wealth insofar as your interests don't conflict with those of the U.S. government. This, of course, is why the government hated Swiss bank accounts.

ClevelandBronco
04-15-2011, 01:01 AM
To put it in the simplest terms, the government owns THE money, but I own MY money.

ClevelandBronco
04-15-2011, 01:16 AM
The word money is difficult to deal with in the question. Another way of looking at it is that the government owns the currency and I own my wealth.

Bewbies
04-15-2011, 02:09 AM
The word money is difficult to deal with in the question. Another way of looking at it is that the government owns the currency and I own my wealth.

So you disagree with our President?

ClevelandBronco
04-15-2011, 03:04 AM
So you disagree with our President?

On virtually everything including the color of the sky.

BucEyedPea
04-15-2011, 07:12 AM
I see lots of arguments both ways on here, so which is it? The government that runs the country and operates our economic system, or the individual that earns it?

The govt "operates our economic system?" Just Wow! That's a statement endorsing and accepting central planning. I would say the Federal Reserve has more of a hand in that along with the players in the market.

Money is just an idea backed with confidence.

Bewbies
04-15-2011, 07:41 AM
The govt "operates our economic system?" Just Wow! That's a statement endorsing and accepting central planning. It would say the Federal Reserve has more of a hand in that along with the players in the market.

Money is just an idea backed with confidence.

I'm not saying I agree, I'm just saying I've seen that argument made here. I should have been more clear and asked who owns the wealth in this country--I'd really like to learn more about how people come to the conclusion that the gov't does.

Amnorix
04-15-2011, 07:43 AM
I'm not saying I agree, I'm just saying I've seen that argument made here. I should have been more clear and asked who owns the wealth in this country--I'd really like to learn more about how people come to the conclusion that the gov't does.


Does anyone here support the prosposition that all the wealth IN the United States is owned by the United States government? If so, I haven't heard it.

Nor would I agree with it.

Bewbies
04-15-2011, 07:48 AM
Does anyone here support the prosposition that all the wealth IN the United States is owned by the United States government? If so, I haven't heard it.

Nor would I agree with it.

In that thread about Obama's toxic speech.

Amnorix
04-15-2011, 07:48 AM
The govt "operates our economic system?" Just Wow! That's a statement endorsing and accepting central planning. It would say the Federal Reserve has more of a hand in that along with the players in the market.


Our economic system is too large and complex to be truly operated by any one entity. It is fair to say that the federal government has more influence than any other single person or entity in the smooth operation of the economic system, by FAR.

Amnorix
04-15-2011, 07:55 AM
In that thread about Obama's toxic speech.


Eh, I see some hyperventilating by people on the right saying that Alnorth and Orange said that, but my quick skim didn't show anyplace where they said that. They're just arguing over tax policies. Hardly the same thing.

Jaric
04-15-2011, 07:56 AM
Does anyone here support the prosposition that all the wealth IN the United States is owned by the United States government? If so, I haven't heard it.

Nor would I agree with it.

I believe he's refering to the habit some people have of calling reducing taxes "spending."

Which it isn't. It's a reduction in revenue

Saul Good
04-15-2011, 07:56 AM
Our economic system is too large and complex to be truly operated by any one entity. It is fair to say that the federal government has more influence than any other single person or entity in the smooth operation of the economic system, by FAR.

Do you feel that the government does more to facilitate or to hinder our economic system?

Amnorix
04-15-2011, 08:00 AM
I believe he's refering to the habit some people have of calling reducing taxes "spending."

Which it isn't. It's a reduction in revenue


Reducing taxes is spending? Yeah, I don't get that concept either. It's a reduction in revenue for the taxing entity. Well, unless you're on the wrong side of the Laffer curve etc.

Chiefshrink
04-15-2011, 08:05 AM
The Chinese:thumb:

You need to add this choice to your poll.

Amnorix
04-15-2011, 08:07 AM
Do you feel that the government does more to facilitate or to hinder our economic system?


No easy answer to that. Here's just a FEW ways the federal government affects the economic system:

1. monetary supply, through the fed.

2. direct employer of many, many people.

3. massive spending on contracting, etc., on which many private industry jobs rely.

4. tax policy, which drives economic decision-making in many ways.

5. securities laws, which affect the ability of businesses to raise capital.

6. laws which require spending in certain areas to comply with applicable law as an ordinary cost. For example, complying with environmental laws, paying minimum wage, etc.

7. laws which limit the conduct of businesses in the operation of their business. Labor laws in particular here. Minimum age laws, discrimination laws, union laws, etc.

Some of these factors are designed to improve economic efficiency. Others retard as a result of sacrificing economic growth to what we have decided are more important societal needs -- environmental laws and labor laws in particular.

Simplex3
04-15-2011, 08:39 AM
Individuals own everything in this country. Everything. On the surface you might think "companies own a lot", but you'd be wrong. Because people own that company. So when people say soak the corporations, they're really talking about finding a new way to soak the people that own those companies, work for those companies, and buy from those companies.

To the original question, though, money (as in the currency) is owned by the Federal Reserve. It's loaned to the US govt. and we're paying interest on it.

Jaric
04-15-2011, 09:22 AM
Reducing taxes is spending? Yeah, I don't get that concept either. It's a reduction in revenue for the taxing entity. Well, unless you're on the wrong side of the Laffer curve etc.

I understand why it pops up. You usually see that when talking about the deficit. The most popular phrase I see is "how are you going to pay for those tax cuts?"

What they really mean, is "how are you going to make up for that reduction in revenue without increasing the deficit"

That might seem like semantics, and I suppose if viewed in a vacuum one could argue it is semantics since if you account for a tax cut as either an increase in spending or a decrease in revenue the end equation should still balence out.

However, I make a point to bring it up because I believe viewing "tax cuts" as spending is a fundamentally dangerous view of how our government operates. It's our money, not theirs and neither party should EVER forget that. That's a very quick way to make the transition from a free society to slavery. And I'm not using that term for hyperbole.

Amnorix
04-15-2011, 12:48 PM
Individuals own everything in this country. Everything. On the surface you might think "companies own a lot", but you'd be wrong. Because people own that company. So when people say soak the corporations, they're really talking about finding a new way to soak the people that own those companies, work for those companies, and buy from those companies.

I understand where you're coming from, but your approach is too simplistic.

Don't forget that not all US corporations are 100% US citizen owned. Dont' forget that foreign corporations own alot of stuff here too. Don't forget also that companies aren't in business to charge the lowest amoutn for the products they sell, they're in business to maximize profits.

To the original question, though, money (as in the currency) is owned by the Federal Reserve. It's loaned to the US govt. and we're paying interest on it.

Not entirely sure that that is true, but even if it is, the Federal Reserve is required by law to remit profits back to the Treasury, so I'm not too agitated by it.

orange
04-15-2011, 02:21 PM
I believe he's refering to the habit some people have of calling reducing taxes "spending."

Which it isn't. It's a reduction in revenue


Reducing taxes is spending? Yeah, I don't get that concept either. It's a reduction in revenue for the taxing entity. Well, unless you're on the wrong side of the Laffer curve etc.


The word used isn't typically "spending," it's "tax expenditures." It's a way politicians have of lying to you. When they hand out a huge subsidy to some favorite son, they mask it as a "tax cut." Who doesn't love a tax cut? Even Republicans and Tea Baggers can get on board.

And it's a huge problem.

When it comes to spending cuts, Congress is looking in the wrong place. Most federal nondefense spending, other than Social Security and Medicare, is now done through special tax rules rather than by direct cash outlays. The rules are used to subsidize a wide range of spending including education, child care, health insurance, and a myriad of other congressional favorites.

These tax rules—because they result in the loss of revenue that would otherwise be collected by the government—are equivalent to direct government expenditures. That's why tax and budget experts refer to them as "tax expenditures." This year [2010] tax expenditures will raise the federal deficit by about $1 trillion, according to estimates by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. If Congress is serious about cutting government spending, it has to go after many of them.

complete article below

orange
04-15-2011, 02:22 PM
Originally published in The Wall Street Journal

July 20, 2010

The 'Tax Expenditure' Solution for Our National Debt

By MARTIN FELDSTEIN


When it comes to spending cuts, Congress is looking in the wrong place. Most federal nondefense spending, other than Social Security and Medicare, is now done through special tax rules rather than by direct cash outlays. The rules are used to subsidize a wide range of spending including education, child care, health insurance, and a myriad of other congressional favorites.

These tax rules—because they result in the loss of revenue that would otherwise be collected by the government—are equivalent to direct government expenditures. That's why tax and budget experts refer to them as "tax expenditures." This year tax expenditures will raise the federal deficit by about $1 trillion, according to estimates by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. If Congress is serious about cutting government spending, it has to go after many of them.

For example, the Joint Tax Committee identified more than a dozen tax-based programs that subsidize education and training. These include small ones like the Coverdell education saving accounts (with a 2010 tax expenditure cost of $100 million) and much larger ones like the various tax credits for tuition (costing $11.7 billion). The hundreds of other tax expenditures include a $500 million annual subsidy for the rehabilitation of historic structures and a $4 billion annual subsidy of employer-paid transportation benefits.

President Obama's recent plan to expand the existing dependent care tax credit is a good example of how the welfare state grows through the tax code. At the same time he proposed a three-year freeze on all nondefense discretionary programs, Mr. Obama disingenuously called for an increase in the $3 billion tax credit for taxpayers who pay someone to look after their children or their aged parents while they go to work.

Neither party has focused on controlling this kind of spending. Democrats are reluctant to cut such programs, because once built into the tax law they don't have to be reauthorized each year, but remain on the books unless they are repealed. Income limits on the taxpayers who can take these deductions or tax credits allow Congress to target the benefits to lower-income groups. Moreover, many tax expenditures are refundable, so the government sends the individual a check for the benefit even if he owes no tax. Democrats can thus cleverly avoid the traditional accusation of being the party of "tax and spend."

Republicans also are reluctant to cut these tax perks, because they regard the additional revenue collected by the federal government as a "tax increase"—even though the increased revenue is really the effect of a de facto spending cut. A Republican who would vote to cut or eliminate an ordinary spending program therefore won't do so if it is packaged as a tax benefit.

But eliminating tax expenditures does not increase marginal tax rates or reduce the reward for saving, investment or risk-taking. It would also increase overall economic efficiency by removing incentives that distort private spending decisions. And eliminating or consolidating the large number of overlapping tax-based subsidies would also greatly simplify tax filing. In short, cutting tax expenditures is not at all like other ways of raising revenue.

If tax expenditures are not cut, taxes on households and businesses will have to rise to prevent an explosion of the national debt, which is now projected to increase to 90% of GDP by 2020 from today's 63%. When benefits for Social Security and Medicare are set aside, the rest of the outlay side of the budget is too small—7.5% of GDP—to provide much scope for reducing annual budget deficits that are now projected to average 5% of GDP for the rest of this decade. In contrast, total tax expenditures are now 6.4% of GDP.

Not every type of tax expenditure should be cut. Some provide good incentives while others increase the fairness of the tax system. But they can be reduced by one-third or more.

Tax expenditures have been cut before on a large scale. President Ronald Reagan's 1986 tax reform reduced tax expenditures to 6% of GDP (from 9%), the level at which they remain today. Cutting them another 2% of GDP would reduce the national debt in 2020 by some $4 trillion, bringing the projected debt down to 72% of GDP from 90%.

In 1986, the cuts in tax expenditures were made politically attractive by combining them with tax rate reductions. Although such rate cuts cannot be afforded now, there is currently widespread public agreement that the deficit must be reduced, and a growing acceptance that cuts in government spending are the way to do it.

Cutting tax expenditures is really the best way to reduce government spending. And to be politically acceptable, the cuts in tax expenditures must be widespread, requiring most taxpayers to give up something so that the fiscal deficits can decline.

While some of the dozens of small tax perks should be eliminated all at once, others should be reduced gradually in order to avoid economic disruptions. Some of the biggest ones, like the deduction on federal tax returns for local property taxes (projected to cost the federal government $25 billion in the coming fiscal year) might be reduced but not completely eliminated.

One simple approach would be to reduce such tax deductions by 10% in the first year, 20% in the second, and so on until the deduction is cut to 50% of its current size. That same kind of gradual and partial phase-down could also be applied to some of the employer-provided benefits such as life insurance premiums and travel costs that are now excluded from taxable income.

The enormous projected fiscal deficits are a threat to our economic future and our national security. The American public wants to reduce those deficits by cutting government spending. A major reduction of the spending that is built into our tax code is the best way to achieve that.

Mr. Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan, is a professor at Harvard and a member of The Wall Street Journal's board of contributors.

http://www.nber.org/feldstein/wsj07202010.html

orange
04-15-2011, 02:26 PM
A little commentary on Feldstein's essay from Chiefs Country:



The ‘tax expenditure’ solution for our national debt
by Bob Weeks on July 20, 2010

in Taxation

While most critics of government spending focus on entitlements, regular appropriations, and earmarks, there is a category of spending that not many pay much attention to. The spending is called “tax expenditures.”

It’s a big issue. As economist Martin Feldstein writes in the Wall Street Journal, tax expenditures will increase the federal budget deficit by $1 trillion this year.

Tax expenditures are implemented through the tax system. It’s usually the income tax system, especially at the federal level. Taxpayers may receive tax credits, which reduce the tax that must be paid dollar for dollar. Many credits are refundable, meaning that if the taxpayer has no tax liability, the government will send the recipient a check. Examples cited by Feldstein include “$500 million annual subsidy for the rehabilitation of historic structures and a $4 billion annual subsidy of employer-paid transportation benefits.”

While supporters of many of these programs portray them as not costing the government anything, Feldstein writes that they do: “These tax rules — because they result in the loss of revenue that would otherwise be collected by the government — are equivalent to direct government expenditures.”

I argued this in testimony I presented to a committee in the Kansas Legislature this year, when it was considering restoring and expanding the Kansas historic preservation tax credit program. I told committee members: “We must recognize that a tax credit is an appropriation of Kansans’ money made through the tax system. If the legislature is not comfortable with writing a developer a check for over $1,000,000 — as in the case with one Wichita developer — it should not make a roundabout contribution through the tax system that has the same economic impact on the state’s finances.”

In that committee, not one member voted against this program, even though the committee has some members who consider themselves very fiscally conservative and hawks on spending.

Here in Wichita, the city council regularly steers spending to certain companies through the tax system by granting property tax exemptions and tax increment financing.

http://wichitaliberty.org/taxation/the-tax-expenditure-solution-for-our-national-debt/

Jaric
04-15-2011, 02:33 PM
The word used isn't typically "spending," it's "tax expenditures."

I know what you're talking about, but we were talking about posters on message boards, not the dirty whores we call politicians. And they don't use the term tax expenditures.

At least, that's what I assume we were talking about.

orange
04-15-2011, 02:40 PM
I know what you're talking about, but we were talking about posters on message boards, not the dirty whores we call politicians. And they don't use the term tax expenditures.

At least, that's what I assume we were talking about.

Didn't bewbies say this thread was about Obama's speech? I'm pretty sure Obama was talking about cutting "tax expenditures," whatever word he might have used.

And I assume the CP discussions he refers to must be about the same thing.

Jaric
04-15-2011, 02:43 PM
Didn't bewbies say this thread was about Obama's speech? I'm pretty sure Obama was talking about cutting "tax expenditures," whatever word he might have used.

Actually I believe this thread was about a part of the discussion that took place in that thread.

But now you've got me confused. Damnit Orange. This is one of your Huffington Post tricks to distract right wingers isn't it?

:evil:

Stewie
04-15-2011, 04:05 PM
It's not money (the dollar), it's a currency. In fact, it's a fiat currency. No one "owns" it, but the Fed tries to manipulate the hell out of it because it's becoming worthless. They talk this hawkish bullshit, but you know in June the Fed is still going to be the primary buyer of treasuries because no one else is so stupid. The dollar is in a slow death spiral and it's very obvious to anyone that pays attention.

vailpass
04-15-2011, 04:32 PM
whoever controls it.

ClevelandBronco
04-15-2011, 05:09 PM
Well, we now know who owns online poker money.

Pants
04-15-2011, 05:11 PM
I own my wealth.

Because the government says so.

alnorth
04-15-2011, 05:15 PM
No "This is a dumb question" option, so couldn't vote.

If the people want the services they have, and it is crystal-clear that they want Medicare and Social Security to stay intact with perhaps a few tweaks to the retirement age, end of life care, etc and nothing else, then taxes will eventually have to go up. Don't like it? Tough, taxes will eventually go up.

Its not the government "owning the money", it is simple math.

teedubya
04-17-2011, 05:07 PM
To put it in the simplest terms, the government owns THE money, but I own MY money.

The central bankers own the money. The only thing the us treasury owns is the us bonds... That they give to the fed in exchange for dollars

ClevelandBronco
04-17-2011, 07:44 PM
The central bankers own the money. The only thing the us treasury owns is the us bonds... That they give to the fed in exchange for dollars

Depending on how you define money, that's another very good way of looking at it.