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Old 11-19-2012, 07:50 PM  
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:32 PM   #91
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So...you don't believe that there are homeless or hungry children in this country?
I don't believe that there are enough of them to demand even a slim percentage of the taxes we currently pay, much less more. But if we keep down this path, maybe there will be!
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:47 PM   #92
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I don't believe that there are enough of them to demand even a slim percentage of the taxes we currently pay, much less more. But if we keep down this path, maybe there will be!
So you're for a social welfare system, with some changes. Socialist!
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:06 PM   #93
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I don't believe that there are enough of them to demand even a slim percentage of the taxes we currently pay, much less more. But if we keep down this path, maybe there will be!
Our taxes don't only go to feeding and clothing children. If you mean that the portion of our taxes that is supposed to go towards needy children isn't always spent in an efficient manner I agree with you. It is always going to be like that. We will err on the side of overspending because the alternative is horrible. We also try to keep families together so that money (typically) gets paid to the parents/guardians of those children. Yes it's a ****ed up system. Because it's a ****ed up world. I'm not willing to eliminate social programs just because they aren't operating at maximum efficiency.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:13 PM   #94
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Seems like suffering would guide people towards trying to be productive the difference between here and pick a shitty country is people here have opportunity.
How is that a response to post #4?
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:16 PM   #95
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And statistics on TOTAL tax burden (not the disingenuous GOP demagoguery of focusing on only federal income taxes--the "47%") indicate that, they indeed do...inf fact, they pay a higher per cent of their total income in a variety of taxes than the upper 5% do. But, of course, that doesn't serve the class warfare rhetoric of the plutocrats and dittoheads.
Lumping payroll taxes in with income taxes ignores the fact that SS and Medicare are intended to be standalone, self-financing systems through which the ratio of input (taxes) and outflow (benefits) are separately maintained. High income folks only contribute a pittance to those programs because their benefits are only a pittance (in percentage terms of course).

There's no reason to combine the two for this type of analysis. If we're going to do that, let's just get rid of payroll taxes and accept the implied reality that SS and Medicare are evolving into welfare programs instead of the insurance/forced pensions they were originally intended to be.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:18 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Lumping payroll taxes in with income taxes ignores the fact that SS and Medicare are intended to be standalone, self-financing systems through which the ratio of input (taxes) and outflow (benefits) are separately maintained. High income folks only contribute a pittance to those programs because their benefits are only a pittance (in percentage terms of course).

There's no reason to combine the two for this type of analysis. If we're going to do that, let's just get rid of payroll taxes and accept the implied reality that SS and Medicare are evolving into welfare programs instead of the insurance/forced pensions they were originally intended to be.
What about sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, and countless other state and local taxes that are incredibly regressive....that poor, working, and middle class folks foks pay, that represent a much larger share of their income than the top 5% pay as a percent of their income? SS and Medicare are only a part of the picture...again, we should be focused on total tax burden, as a percent of income.

instead of getting rid of payroll taxes and, instead, addressing the reality of SS and Medicare as popularly backed programs that serve as a insurance/forced pension program, yes....but which should be funded by taxes collected on all income, instead of just income below certain caps. Remove the caps, and....magically, solvency of those programs improves substantially. Over-night.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:53 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter View Post
What about sales taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, and countless other state and local taxes that are incredibly regressive....that poor, working, and middle class folks foks pay, that represent a much larger share of their income than the top 5% pay as a percent of their income? SS and Medicare are only a part of the picture...again, we should be focused on total tax burden, as a percent of income.

instead of getting rid of payroll taxes and, instead, addressing the reality of SS and Medicare as popularly backed programs that serve as a insurance/forced pension program, yes....but which should be funded by taxes collected on all income, instead of just income below certain caps. Remove the caps, and....magically, solvency of those programs improves substantially. Over-night.
Payroll taxes are a big part of the picture for people trying to make the case that the overall system is flat or regressive.

I think the other taxes you mention should be included in your analysis, but I think it makes more sense in many cases to discuss overall federal tax load/distribution and overall state tax load/distribution seperately.

Your second paragraph is, again, a call to transform SS and Medicare into welfare programs. The further down that path you push things, the more they will become resented and ultimately subject to the same political forces that "ended welfare as we know it" during the Clinton administration, IMO.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:00 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Payroll taxes are a big part of the picture for people trying to make the case that the overall system is flat or regressive.

I think the other taxes you mention should be included in your analysis, but I think it makes more sense in many cases to discuss overall federal tax load/distribution and overall state tax load/distribution seperately.

Your second paragraph is, again, a call to transform SS and Medicare into welfare programs. The further down that path you push things, the more they will become resented and ultimately subject to the same political forces that "ended welfare as we know it" during the Clinton administration, IMO.
Payroll taxes are, indeed, regressive; that's why the caps on them should be removed. I don't even necessarily disagree that federal taxes should be discussed separately, because personally I do think everyone--even the poor and lower middle class folks who pay nothing now, SHOULD pay at least some symbolic amount (if for no other reason than to take away this silly 47% pay nothing demagoguerous bullcrap.)

Truthfully, everyone should pay something. However, given the bipartisan support in the past for the current structure and the "earned income" tax credit travesty...if push comes to shove, I expect a whole lot of supply siders realize that is money that is spent, quickly, in our economy--and thus, doubt it would be repealed. I'd like to be wrong about that though. Seriously.

Whether or not you or I like it (perhaps surprisingly, I don't either) SS and Medicare have become a sort social welfare program--though it is one that is funded by the primary participants themselves. That's why the idea that it will become 'resented' like true welfare is wrong, IMO; if anything, among all but the top 5-10% or so...it's become an intregal part of retirement planning. Again, I don't like that--but I live in the real world. It is what it is.

Thus a more constructive approach to fixing that reality would be securing the financial solvency of the programs; removing the current caps is a good starting point. However, means-testing (especially after payback for contributions + reasonable 'interest',) raising retirement ages, and allowing for more generous "working income" while retired or semi-retired should also be on the table IMHO.

FTR, this could (in a best case scenario) be an incremental step toward true tax reform, because I think once SS and Medicare and other popular and reasonable entitlements are secured....then, and only then, could we have a fair and even-handed debate over more radical tax reform--such as a flat tax or similar proposals, that could look more reasonable once the class warfare rhetoric and security for the working class are put to rest. FWIW, some libertarian-fiscal conservative Republican who would offer such a vision....could win the support of most Americans--including me.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter View Post
Payroll taxes are, indeed, regressive; that's why the caps on them should be removed. I don't even necessarily disagree that federal taxes should be discussed separately, because personally I do think everyone--even the poor and lower middle class folks who pay nothing now, SHOULD pay at least some symbolic amount (if for no other reason than to take away this silly 47% pay nothing demagoguerous bullcrap.)
No, the SS system is progressive as it is. People with lower incomes get way more than their share as an input percentage back out again. People with higher incomes get way less than their share as an input percentage back out again.

There's no reason to transform Medicare into a welfare program other than the fact that our politicians have so far refused to address the real problem with health care, rapidly rising costs.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:55 PM   #100
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I agree with her quote.
As do I whole heartedly
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:25 PM   #101
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No, the SS system is progressive as it is. People with lower incomes get way more than their share as an input percentage back out again. People with higher incomes get way less than their share as an input percentage back out again.

There's no reason to transform Medicare into a welfare program other than the fact that our politicians have so far refused to address the real problem with health care, rapidly rising costs.
Are you serious....SS "progressive?" Lower income people get more as a percentage of contributions, of course; the REAL issue is ability to pay, and percentage of income contributed, which is why the current set-up is big time regressive (benefitting those with higher incomes more.)

The reason for making Medicare/SS into a social welfare program is expectations of current Americans--it already is, and politically it simply is NOT possible at this point to pull that rug out from under the majority of Americans.

I tried to toss you some bones....means testing, raising retirement ages, allowing for more working income, but....surprise, surprise....you opted the reverse class-warfare model expoused by plutocrats. I'm shocked.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:46 PM   #102
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I agree with her quote.
The other part of that social contract is that everybody owes it to themselves and to the society that supports them to d their level best. If they don't then **** them because they are stealing from those that produce as well as those who truly need help.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:54 PM   #103
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:36 PM   #104
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The other part of that social contract is that everybody owes it to themselves and to the society that supports them to d their level best. If they don't then **** them because they are stealing from those that produce as well as those who truly need help.
Nope. Somewhere along the way....you confused American founding fathers with Marx, Lennin, and Stalin. "From each according to his ability, to each according to need," may be a RWNJ lunatic fringe curse--but it sure ain't real America.

The real irony is that RWNJ lunatic fringe types don't understand that....the social contract in our Democratic Republic requires just that--the difference being, that our system encourages our own volition (freedom, liberty, etc), whereas the bad guys coerce it through the threat and power of coercion by big, bad government. Except too many today mistake our freedom for a boogeyman of big, bad government that cannot even be imagined by the realities of American life...if one is remotely lucid. Of course, that is part of the issue though. Heh.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:01 AM   #105
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The other part of that social contract is that everybody owes it to themselves and to the society that supports them to d their level best. If they don't then **** them because they are stealing from those that produce as well as those who truly need help.
I think the other part of it is to make sure that we have an economic system that rewards production. Rather than how you phrased it, I would say that our society owes it to its producers to do its level best to only take what is absolutely necessary and to do so in a fair manner.
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