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View Poll Results: Yes or no on the DGB?
Yes 1 4.35%
No 22 95.65%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-08-2012, 03:28 PM   Topic Starter
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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The Direckshun Grand Bargain

YAY: 2
NAY: 25

(Last time totaled up: 12:43am on December 10)

After perusing several different budget control plans, from Boehner's proposal to Obama's proposal, Simpson-Bowles and plans from various liberal, conservative, and independent think tanks, this is the plan I've cobbled together that I think would responsibly cut the deficit over the next decade and perhaps beyond.

What I want you to do: vote. But your vote must be on the totality of DGB -- any statement where you say you'll vote on this "except for" this part or that part will be considered a "no" vote.

You are welcome, as always, to pick it apart and do your thing, but your post will be construed as a yes or a no vote based on my interpreation, and added to the vote totals accumulated in the vote totals at the top of the OP.

"DGB" will be the abbreviation for the Direckshun Grand Bargain from here on out.

THE DIRECKSHUN GRAND BARGAIN (6 trillion)
  • Should reduce our debt by 60% by 2040.
  • Will raise the debt limit an appropriate amount, but will otherwise not change how the debt limit is handled.
  • All estimates are for 2013-2022, but DGB auto-renews every decade unless Congress acts.
  • All these savings will result in $850 billion saved in interest that won't have to be paid.
  • Would make the "fiscal year" two calendar years.
  • Does assume some costs of already existing cuts and new taxes.
Mandatory Spending Cuts (over 300 billion):
  • Reduce farm subsidies. (20 billion)
  • Savings on government (& military) pensions, largely by saying you can vest sooner but must collect later, reforming COLA payments and making federal workers pay more into the pension. (70 billion)
  • Increase spending on integrity programs for programs with improper payment problems (Medicare & disability). (should save 30 billion eventually)
  • Miscellaneous cuts (150 billion)
  • Measure inflation better. (50 billion)
Discretionary Spending Cuts (2.2 trillion):
  • Reduce defense spending by 1.3 trillion (closing 1/3 military bases, cut down on contractors as well as their compensation).
  • All of the cuts from the Budget Conrol Act of 2011 will be enforced. (900 billion)
Revenue Increases (2.5 trillion):
  • Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire. (1.1 trillion)
  • Tax reform: repeal AMT, capital gains and dividends are taxed as normal income, repeal state and local taxes, cafeteria plans, and many kinds of itemized deductions, and drastically reduce deductions on charity.
  • No more mortgage deduction for 2nd homes, homes worth more than 500k, or HELOCs.
  • Reduce income tax exclusion for employer healthcare.
  • Three tax rates: 15%, 25%, and 39%, raising taxes on the rich while broadening the base, and simplifies the code.
  • These pieces of tax reform, put together, will add up to 1.25 trillion.
  • Raise the gas tax $0.15 in 2013. (150 billion)
  • Adjust how the government measures inflation to a more accurate measure. (90 billion)
Healthcare & Social Security (850 billion):
  • Obamacare's shifting payment schemes that compensate doctors less, improve efficiency, and shift the healthcare system to a system that compensates on quality, not quantity.
  • Tort reform, including paying lawyers less.
  • Close the Medicare donut hole.
  • Improve Medicare's cost sharing.
  • Identify additional $200 billion in federal healthcare spending by 2020.
  • Improve some social security benefits, in particular minimum payments for people with lifetime minimum wage jobs and helping out the oldest retirees. (This will actually cost around 50 billion.)
  • Raise social security age to 67.
  • Increase the maximum at which you can tax somebody for social security (200+ billion).
  • Measure inflation better for social security (150 billion).
Do your worst. Poll forthcoming.

Last edited by Direckshun; 12-10-2012 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
A Salt Weapon A Salt Weapon is offline
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Nope, eliminate every federal agency except for military, eliminate every dollar of federal spending outside of military. Reduce tax rates to .001% of income.
Everything else is reserved to the states.
Problem solved.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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I voted no because your plan is pure fantasy.

By putting numbers on each individual line item, you are implying a level of precision that simply isn't there.

I'm still trying to figure out how repealing state and local taxes increases revenue. And 200 of your 300 billion in mandatory spending cuts consists of "miscellaneous cuts" and "measure inflation better".

Um, OK.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
I voted no because your plan is pure fantasy.
Probably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
By putting numbers on each individual line item, you are implying a level of precision that simply isn't there.
I largely copied the dollar amounts from experts from CAP to Heritage, who've provided the items I cherry picked.

This is how absolutely any deal that gets made is going to look. This is what Obama did when he turned in his proposal, it's what Boehner did when he turned in his. This is how the process works.

To shoot down a $6 trillion dollar deal because it might be off a few billion is silly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
I'm still trying to figure out how repealing state and local taxes increases revenue. And 200 of your 300 billion in mandatory spending cuts consists of "miscellaneous cuts" and "measure inflation better".
Oh come now. I only used the phrase "miscellaneous" once, and it was $150 billion. Surely you're not going to say $150 billion is going to stand in the way of a $6 trillion plan.

As for the measure inflation better, it comes down to CPI. The federal government measures CPI too aggressively, assuming for too much inflation and spending on that miscalculation. There's support from both the right and the left to adjust CPI to a more manageable, accurate number. That alone will save billions.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by A Salt Weapon View Post
Nope, eliminate every federal agency except for military, eliminate every dollar of federal spending outside of military. Reduce tax rates to .001% of income.
Everything else is reserved to the states.
Problem solved.
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Nice fantasy you painted for yourself there.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:50 PM   #6
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:55 PM   #7
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Sorry, had to vote no. Way too many tax increases, plus you are counting on Obamacare to be contributing to reducing the debt, when everyone knows it is a black hole of spending.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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Appreciate your effort and thought; but everyone needs to feel the pain of reform. Why just the 2% when 51% don't pay income tax?

No real entitlement cuts.

Fair flat tax.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trivers View Post
Appreciate your effort and thought; but everyone needs to feel the pain of reform. Why just the 2% when 51% don't pay income tax?

No real entitlement cuts.

Fair flat tax.
I don't know what counts as entitlement cuts, but there are some in there.

I advocated broadening the base, by the way.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Trivers View Post
Appreciate your effort and thought; but everyone needs to feel the pain of reform. Why just the 2% when 51% don't pay income tax?

No real entitlement cuts.

Fair flat tax.
The 2% don't pay the same percentage of payroll taxes that support social security and medicare either, should we even up the playing field there too?
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by VAChief View Post
The 2% don't pay the same percentage of payroll taxes that support social security and medicare either, should we even up the playing field there too?
No. Those aren't supposed to be welfare programs.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trivers View Post
Appreciate your effort and thought; but everyone needs to feel the pain of reform. Why just the 2% when 51% don't pay income tax?

No real entitlement cuts.

Fair flat tax.
There is no such thing as a fair flat tax. Any flat tax will greatly reduce rates being charged to the highest earners while charging the poor money they cannot give up. Its a fairy tale that people don't pay taxes, even the poor. There is sales tax, social security and medicare taxes for the poor, property tax on the middle class. Most states will have people paying income taxes even when they are paying zero federal.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by whoman69 View Post
There is no such thing as a fair flat tax. Any flat tax will greatly reduce rates being charged to the highest earners while charging the poor money they cannot give up. Its a fairy tale that people don't pay taxes, even the poor. There is sales tax, social security and medicare taxes for the poor, property tax on the middle class. Most states will have people paying income taxes even when they are paying zero federal.
Greatly reducing rates on people who pay way more than their fair share and charging people more who pay far less than their fair share is fair. It's a fairy tale that low income people in the US can't afford to pay more in taxes. Arguing about what is fair is pretty silly since opinions about what it means vary so dramatically.

Whether you agree or not, a broad-based, flat tax would be (a) more transparent, (b) more efficient at generating revenue, (c) less economically distorting and (d) better at focusing political will on the real budget problems facing our country.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:28 PM   #14
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There is no such thing as a fair flat tax.
Sure there is.

How about 0% and go to a completely consumption based system that has exemptions ONLY for:

1)Basic Staple Foods, produced in the USA - bread / rice / milk / whole chickens / veggies etc...

2)Used / Thrift Store items (used clothing, used books, etc...from 2nd hand stores or charity stores)

3)****Manufacturing/Distribution process steps (ACME buys a widget from X-CORP and Sells it to JOHNSON & JOHNSON).....only tax is paid on the consumption profit...like this:

xcorp bought raw materials for $5.00, pays a %consumption tax on 5.00, makes widget

Acme bought the widget from xcorp for $20.00, so pays a %tax on $15.00 consumption

Acme then packages them , labels them and sells them to customers for $27.50 each, and pays a %consumption tax on $7.50


If the consumption tax was 20%, it would be $1.00, $3.00, and $1.50 at the corresponding steps.

No income taxes to figure out....

**** Just an example of a VAT type of system, there are other systems also.



Want to spend mad loot on your business/office furniture and gear? Pay consumption tax on all of it...

Want to run a home office with second hand gear or a small business with a few employees and some second hand/ used gear? Pay no consumption tax. (or perhaps a vastly lowered amount on used items...)

If you are poor /working class and buy staple foods and conserve your money and buy second hand items you will pay virtually no taxes. If you want to waste money on the latest IPAD or other new trendy device, youll have to pay taxes.

Rich peoiple with mansions, yachts, nice clothes, top end furniture will be paying most of the bills and getting hit with more consumption tax...unless of course they choose to live more frugally and consume less.


These are just examples of how simple and powerful a consumption based system could be.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #15
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