Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Poor Get Poorer

The President’s 2007 budget proposes $2.7 trillion in spending neccessary to increase defense and homeland security. There is $18 billion for rebuilding from the hurricanes that devestated the poor in the Gulf Coast region. Other programs such as energy programs will get $4.1 billion (huge surprise), while 141 programs that primarily help the poor, children, the elderly, veterans and the handicapped will see their money drastically cut or eliminated. The cuts are needed to reduce a deficit caused, in part, by the war and to support the continuation of the war. They are also to pay for damage from the devastating hurricanes.

The soldiers who risk their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq do so with heroism and grit. The soldiers and their families are making brave and sometimes horrific sacrifices. Why should the same socioeconomic group that makes up the bulk of the fighting force also sacrifice the most financially? Some of us do not believe that we should have invaded Iraq, some of us do. What we all can agree upon is that the cost of the war should not trickle down to those who are fighting and their families. The cost of hurricane rebuilding should not cut programs that will help those most effected by the hurricanes.
Why is this happening?
Why are programs for the poor cut to pay for a war and storm damage that has benefited the wealthy oil companies and defense contractors? The money that's cut will go to wealthy cotractors hired to rebuild or Haliburton KBR. Huge, sometimes record profits for them, while killing and maiming the poor and middle class soldiers and causing emotional and financial hardship for their families is terrible.

A report, entitled “Shifty Tax Cuts: How They Move the Tax Burden off the Rich and onto Everyone Else,” from United for a Fair Economy (UFE) indicates that between 2002 and 2004, the Bush tax cuts to the top 1% of US income earners redirected billions of dollars in revenue that could have eliminated virtually all of the budget shortfalls in every state.
These tax cuts and our government's incestuous relationship with large corporations are the reasons why.

The report identifies five main areas of shifting tax burden:

FEDERAL TO STATE — a 15% shift in tax burden between 2000 and 2003.

PROGRESSIVE TO REGRESSIVE — at the federal level, a 17% decline in the share of revenue from progressive taxes and a 135% increase in the share of revenue from regressive taxes.

WEALTH TO WORK — A tax cut on unearned income — such as inheritance or investment — of between 31% and 79%, but a tax hike on work income of 25% since 1980

CORPORATIONS TO INDIVIDUALS — a 67% drop in the share of federal revenues contributed by corporations and a 17% rise in individuals’ share.

CURRENT TAXPAYERS TO FUTURE GENERATIONS — record deficits that shift the tax burden to our children and grandchildren


Corporate welfare is not a valid reason for the poor and middle class to have to shoulder the financial burdon in same war that they are making all of the physical sacrifices.
The Military Industrial Complex must not be allowed to continue to overshadow the citizens of this country.
Wealthy corporations should not supplant the working class and poor in importance to our Federal government.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at February 6, 2006 11:55 AM
Comments
Comment #121539

Great article. I am 34 and have been paying income tax for over 15 years. I have never owed money at the end of the year. This year my wife and I owe a pretty large amount. We are not making great money, we are both teachers and we both took a beating on taxes. It is pretty clear to me that people lijke myself and my wife are bearing the burden of the lost revenues of both the wealthiest Americans and ther corporations they own.

Posted by: Danuiel Mahan at February 6, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #121544

This shifting of the tax burden comes at the same time that the annual household income calculated in current dollars is declining at an unprecedented rate. How long has this been going on? Since 2000.

It’s clear that this Republican party, that is, the one in power, is interested primarily in cheap labor and reducing taxes for the wealthy. That’s the sum total of their domestic policy. Foreign policy, well, just don’t mess with the Bush family.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at February 6, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #121545

The Poor and Middle-Class are losing ground as there are no checks and balances. The Rich get Richer and the rest of us get SCREWED! That’s the New Government by King George. We should have all the Rich send there children to War since they can afford to have the best that they Parent’s can offer. But no, we only have one Congressman that has a Child in the Military. I guess that says it all. God Help Us!!!

Posted by: Maryann Baer at February 6, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #121547

Doesn’t anyone believe in Darwin Economics anymore? Poor people (which I used to be) need to get off their collective butts and do it for themselves. How many of you have bought a car for a child who doesn’t change the oil because it was handed to them? Same principle. Life sucks, that is undoubtably true, but you don’t see me asking anyong to fix what is wrong with my life! I wasn’t born into a good situation, but it isn’t your fault, nor the governments! Screw the poor, (let’s remember, I was one) they can work and gain like everyone else!

Posted by: phlegm at February 6, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #121549

Do yall forget how much of the national taxes the rich pay? I believe last time I saw it was over 90%!! 10% pay 90% and poor pay nothing, but get all sorts of hand-outs. Why? What did they do to deserve them. Let me guess, you people must also be in favor of affirmative action too huh?

Posted by: phlegm at February 6, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #121552

I am a young man who is just getting started in Real Estate. As an independent contractor I have to pay estimated quarterly taxes, social security and medicare. I have not yet sold a house and am making about $17,000 a year doing odd jobs for my broker. I am by no means a wealthy person, at least not yet.

I find it rediculous that Bush talks about lowering the tax burden so people can start a business, when in reality the greatest tax cuts are going to the welathy. People like me who are struggling to start a business are oftentimes in the lowest tax brackets; starting a new business involves a lot of risk afterall.

I can tell you that the greatest financial burden I am facing right now are my quarterly taxes. Furthermore, living off credit cards means that once I sell my first home my commission will more than likely go straight to my credit cards and the tax man.

Now I certainly wouldn’t mind paying in a higher tax bracket if and when I start doing better in Real Estate. But I can’t get there and may even have to quit real estate entirely if I, as one of the professional working poor (college educated) who can’t afford his taxes.

If Bush really cared about reviving the economy, he should repeal the tax cut on the rich and give the working poor a tax cut, something I think only the Democrats are willing to do.

Posted by: Andrew at February 6, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #121553

It will nevr happen under a Republican administration, but This is how a liberal might look at taxation.

1. Set a no tax at the poverty level, i.e., if the government establishes that someone lives at or below poverty level at $25,000 per year, no one who earns less would pay any tax, period.

2. No matter how much income a person makes, they would not pay tax on the first $25,000. It makes no difference if earnings are $26,000 or $400,000 the first $25,000 would not be taxed.

3. Earnings from $25,001 to $35,000 would be taxed at 10% of the top $10,000.

4. $35,001 to $45,000 at 10% of the first $10,000 and 20% of the top $10,000.

5. $45.001 to $55,000 at 10% of the first $10.000, 20% of the next $10,000 and 30% of the top $10,000.

6. $55,001 to 65,000 at 10% of the first $10,000, 20% of the next, 30% of the next, and 35% of the top $10,000.

7. Continuing to increase at 5% increments for each income increase of $10,000 to a maximum of 50%, and continuing at 50% from that point up.

8. Allow no fudges or loopholes, no exemptions or deductions. Everyone pays the same at each level.

9. A person having an income of one million dollars ($1,000,000), would pay zero taxes on the first $25,000, 10% on the first $10,000 above that, 20% on the next $10,000, etc., until the 50% maximum was reached and would pay that 50% on the rest of his/her income.

10. No differences would be allowed for types of income, i.e., dividends, interest, realty investment income, inheritance, wages would all be taxed at the same rates.

Example: at $65,000 per year…

1. You would not pay any tax on the first $25,000

2. You would pay 10% on the first ten above 25,000, or $1,000. Remember that would be $1,000 on actually the first $35,000 because you did not pay any on the first $25,000.

3. Then you’d pay 20% on the next $10,000. That’s $2,000 added to the other $1,000 for a total of $3,000 on $45,000 of income.

4. Your 30% of the next $10,000 would be $3.000. Now you’ve paid in $6.000 on $55,000 income.

5. At this point it changes to increases of 5% per $10,000. 35% of $10,000 is $3,500. Add that to the $6,000 for a total of $9,500 on $55,000 income.

6. Add another 40% of the last $10,000. Your bill is $13,500 on an income of $65,000. Leaving you $51,500 spendable income.

7. For those making more than $65,000…they would pay 45% on the next $10,000 taking them to $18,000 out of 75,000 ( $57,000).

8. Max tax is 50% of all income above $85,000.

Remember, no matter how smart someone is, no matter how ambitious they are, no matter how hard they work, they are in the position they attain as a matter of luck. Luck at being born. Luck at being born in a given location. Luck at being born to certain parents. Luck at being instilled with certain talents. Luck to be born into a select group, etc. So, if they somehow end up earning more, they should pay more.

That’s one liberal view…

We all need the things taxation brings, i.e., highways, defense, and yes, even welfare, but to demand the tax burden be placed on the poor and near poor is not very practical. They just don’t meet the supply side of the requirement. Only the wealthy meets that, and only they can cough it up. That does not mean the rest of us can just sit back and reap the benefits, it just means that the lower middle class has been trying to carry it too long and now with a shrinking middle class, someone else has to pick it up or the nation goes into a tail spin.
Dropping the poverty poor from the tax paying poles harms no one. Progressively higher demands on the more well to do harms no one. But, if exemptions and deductions are allowed to stay in the mix, the beneficiaries of that are only those who seek loopholes. So, any plan, no matter who proposes it MUST restrict exemptions and deduction to nil.

A by-product of that might be…wealthier tax payers would keep a better eye on pork barreling and foolish spending, and they would have the clout to rein it in.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 6, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #121554

“10% pay 90% and poor pay nothing, but get all sorts of hand-outs. Why? What did they do to deserve them”

Uh, nothing. Thats why they live off hand outs, no need to work for something if its going to be given to you.

Andre see’s cuts to socialist programs and starts panicking. He thinks you should have to work twice as hard and be taxed a ton so that YOU can support what HE thinks is right.

Posted by: kctim at February 6, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #121558

Where is a good assasin when you need them?

Posted by: Beverly at February 6, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #121559

Yeah, that’s right, the wealthy don’t benefit disproportionately from a solid public education system, a social safety net, or government expenditures on infrastructure and defense. It’s not like they get back $4 for every 1$ they pay in taxes. Why, they (or their ancestors) could have been born in some backwards country without any taxes and still made their fortunes without the infrastructure and educated work force paid for by our tax structure. Yeah, right. I’d like to see them try.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at February 6, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #121560

phlegm wrote:

“Poor people (which I used to be) need to get off their collective butts and do it for themselves.”

kctim wrote:

“Andre see’s cuts to socialist programs and starts panicking. He thinks you should have to work twice as hard and be taxed a ton so that YOU can support what HE thinks is right.”

How ironic. Many of today’s working poor are already working twice as hard after Bush’s tax cuts. Many typicall work two jobs for minimum wage and still can’t afford a decent living. The working poor are not lazy people by any means. They are overworked and underpaid.

Any support of the working poor by the government would be an INVESTMENT in the economy.

Posted by: Andrew at February 6, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #121567

KCTim & Phlegm,

Imagine the US population represented by the length of the football field, in order of income:

Median US family income (the family at the 50 yard line) is ~$40,000 (a stack of $100 bills 1.6 inches high.)

—The family on the 95 yard line earns about $100,000 per year, a stack of $100 bills about 4 inches high.

—At the 99 yard line the income is about $300,000, a stack of $100 bills about a foot high.

—The curve reaches $1 million (a 40 inch high stack of $100 bills) one foot from the goal line.

—From there it keeps going up…it goes up 50 km (~30 miles) on this scale!

From www.lcurve.org

Remember, that example is for income. For wealth the curve is even more skewed. Currently, the best estimate is that 1% of the US population owns 50% of the wealth.

The problem is not with individuals. The problem is systemic.

EVERYONE DOES BETTER
WHEN EVERYHONE DOES BETTER

see www.lcurve.org

Posted by: phx8 at February 6, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #121571

I like this story. I do not know where it came from, but it really makes sense.

Let’s put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every
day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they
paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

* The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
* The fifth would pay $1.
* The sixth would pay $3.
* The seventh $7.
* The eighth $12.
* The ninth $18.
* The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the
restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one
day, the owner threw them a curve.

“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the
cost of your daily meal by $20.”

So, now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay
their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So, the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But
what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the
$20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share’?

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they
subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth
man would each end up being ‘PAID’ to eat their meal.

So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each
man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the
amounts each should pay.

And so:

* The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
* The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
* The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
* The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
* The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
* The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to
eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare
their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to
the tenth man “but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too.
It’s unfair that he got ten times more than me!”

“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I
got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”


“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get
anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat
down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they
discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all
of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our
tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit
from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and
they just may not show up at the table anymore. There are lots of good
restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean.

Posted by: Cliff at February 6, 2006 5:53 PM
Comment #121576

So let me get this straight Cliff, you say because the rich has so much money we’d better not make them pay because they might not play the game? Sounds like a good plan! Heck, if I have to pay more so the top 1% is happy I’m willing to take that sacrifice! How come no one’s ever put it to me this way before?

Posted by: chantico at February 6, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #121577

Uh, Cliff, perhaps you could tell us where the “tenth man” got his income from to begin with? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t haul his own trash, manufacture his own clothing, farm his own food, or build his own house. Oh, that’s right, laborers and other lower to middle income persons do the ACTUAL work of America while those who do the managing (an admittedly important job as well) sit around and pretend they are doing all the work. I don’t begrudge a CEO patting himself on the back for managing the company well, but that CEO has to remember that the system requires him to have employees who do the actual lifting.

Posted by: ant at February 6, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #121583

Cliff,

Perhaps one of the most tortured and inappropriate analogies I’ve ever read. And I’ve seen a lot of really bad ones. In the story, they all ate the same thing (roughly). I submit that the wealthy “eat” a little bit more heartily from society’s “plate”. Yes, they may be a little bit smarter and a little bit harder working than some at the bottom, but mostly they have taken advantage of the society we have all worked to create. And in so doing, they ower a little bit more on the tab. In fact, for every dollar they spend on taxes, they get back multiples, whereas the rest of us get back less than one. When one talks about the means of production, one cannot ignore the roads, the schools, the communications infrastructure that couldn’t happen without easements, the security of our country, the healthcare system, the air and rail transportation systems, the maintenance of cultural and other amenities that keep the natives from becoming restless. To pretend that the wealthy somehow obtained and keep their wealth separate from the existence of this vast network supported by tax revenues is ridiculous.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at February 6, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #121586

Andre M. Hernandez,
Good article.

Andre M. Hernandez wrote: The soldiers who risk their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq do so with heroism and grit. The soldiers and their families are making brave and sometimes horrific sacrifices. Why should the same socioeconomic group that makes up the bulk of the fighting force also sacrifice the most financially?

Very good question.
While our troops are risking life and limb, the actions of bought-and-paid-for incumbents is disgraceful!

And, we can’t easily get rid of them, because they have rigged the system.

Many newcomers to Congress would like to pass many badly-needed, common-sense reforms.
Incumbents won’t allow it.
Incumbents have the leverage.
Incumbents threaten newcomers that rock the boat.
Incumbents pressure and tempt newcomers to accept the status quo.
Incumbents already have pre-existing big-money-donors, and allowances paid for by tax-payers.
Incumbents believe voters get what they deserve for allowing it, and empowering it (which is sort of true, unfortunately, but that doesn’t justify it).

The President’s 2007 budget proposes $2.7 trillion in spending neccessary to increase defense and homeland security
And, that is probably a lowball estimate designed to avoid outrage. Watch it grow by another half a trillion to $3.3 trillion.

After all, the debt is costing over $1 billion per day. Think about the irresponsibility of spending $1 billion per day for interest alone (over $365 billion per year), $4 billion per month for Iraq, much less for Kartrina, a measely 4 billion for energy research, etc.

And anything spent for homeland security seems ridiculous with wide-open borders. Some states have declare emergencies, but the federal government ignores the problem, and refuses to enforce the law. And why, after 4 years, haven’t the 911 commission recommendations been implemented?

You would think we could get a lot better for $2.7 trillion per year. But, instead, we get incompetence. Agencies that can’t connect the dots, no matter how obvious they are.

Nothing can get better until our bought-and-paid-for elected officials are forced to address the growing list of pressing problems.

The tax system is a joke. But, you have to ask yourself, if it is so messed up, why hasn’t it been fixed. Well, the answer is not the difficult to understand. Who do you think the tax code benefits most? It ain’t the low-income to middle-income classes, because median incomes have been falling for the last four years. Some will say, “but home ownership is up”, but they fail to point out that those homes are not owned free and clear, and nation-wide personal debt is now $32 trillion.

CURRENT TAXPAYERS TO FUTURE GENERATIONS — record deficits that shift the tax burden to our children and grandchildren
It’s worse. It’s more like your children’s childrens’ childrens’ childrens’ childrens’ children. It would now take 139 years to pay down the $8.2 trillion of debt, which has doubled from 33% of GDP in 1980 to 66% of GDP in 2005 (and growing rapidly).

Newcomers to congress badly need our help to pass badly-needed, common-sense reforms.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 6, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #121587

Conservative see wealth as the result of hard work, which in turn is due to one’s moral virtue. By extention, it is the fault of the working American who does not succeed financially, who they perceive as lazy.

Therefore, how can conservatives support shifting the tax burden on the lower class, many of whom wotk their collective butts off, many at least 2 jobs, to feed their families, pay their rising health insurance costs, pay their mortgages/rent, etc. when it is they who are fighting every day to protect their families?

Furthermore, how can conservatives support shifting the tax burden on our troops (many of whom joined because they were poor and with no career prospects, or money for college) when they are in fact doing work that conservatives consider so moral?

A contradiction?

Posted by: Andrew at February 6, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #121590

I’m ready to side with the Conservatives on this one. They PAY way too much money. Here’s what we’ll do:
a. cut all government expenditures.
b. cut all government income revenues.

There problem solved.

Why SHOULD the poor subsidize the mega-millionaires in the defense industry when they have no property to defend? Don’t tell me they benefit - because the biggest beneficiaries are the defense industrial-complex who make BILLIONS off our tax dollars.

Why SHOULD the poor subsidize the roads, highways, trains, bridges, and other infrastructure? They don’t really need them. Certainly not as much as the wealthy and middle class. Bread and water can generally be had locally. Let the sellers and buyers of goods pay for their own transporation systems. PRIVATE ENTERPRISE, and all that.

Why SHOULD the poor pay for education? They don’t need to know anything to beg, right? It is THEIR responsibility to learn what they need to survive. Frankly, I’m tired of subsidizing the cost of educating doctors, lawyers, and engineers who just go out with their government subsidized skills and moan and groan about how they got where they are on their own - let’s let them actually get there own their own.

Why SHOULD the poor pay for police, fire, and emergency services? Let us all own guns and handle our own security and property protection. Again, let’s rely on PRIVATE ENTERPRISE.

Why SHOULD the poor pay for farm subsidies? Why should any of us? PRIVATE ENTERPRISE.

You see, if you look at the annual expenditures and WHO the payments go to (especially, ultimately) you’ll find that the great bulk of the national budget goes to the wealthy and the well-off.

Cliff and his ilk are uninformed morons who should get just what they are asking for.

Every man for himself! Cut ALL government expenidtures and eliminate ALL taxes! Let the chips fall where they may.

BTW, the guy who paid for the bulk of the meal - guy number ten - was the restaurant owner and he was paying himself!

Posted by: LibRick at February 6, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #121592

“while 141 programs that primarily help the poor, children, the elderly, veterans and the handicapped will see their money drastically cut or eliminated.”

Can you show me one program that was cut and show their budget for this year and proposed budget for this next year?

A reduction in the amount of expected increase is not a cut.

Posted by: tomd at February 6, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #121601

A team, group, or society is only as strong as its weakest member. Successful members of our society will have less source of revenue if they don’t invest in our society.

I’ll use a classroom analogy. Each year I teach 100 students chemistry. At the end of year, they take a state exam. My goal is to have everyone reach some level of competency. What kind of teacher would I be if I bragged because 2 of my 100 got perfect scores on the exam, but the rest got below 65?

Posted by: Loren at February 6, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #121603

I’m not sure about this, but wasn’t part of President Clinton’s welfare reform package that you couldn’t collect welfare for longer than 5 years? Does anybody know?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 6, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #121607

I have always been poor, and I am by no means lazy. I go to work every day like millions of other people. Unlike the ultra wealthy of this country. They sit on their butts and collect money. I have never been on welfare, have never used drugs, I don’t smoke either. I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes, but I think the republicans are wrong in wanting to cut the programs for the poor. I am a veteran, but I am against this war. It has cost too much in lives and money. If Bush wants to continue this war he should suit up and take his wife, and daughters and mother and father with him, along with all of the other people who are all for the war. I hope the senators and congressmen vote against these cuts.

Posted by: jimmy at February 6, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #121617

Andre,

This liberal argument that cutting federal programs makes the poor poorer simply makes no sense. Blaming it on Iraq is even more illogical.

Is the cause of poverty a lack of government spending?

I know, I know… the cause of every societal ill is a lack of government spending in the liberal lexicon.

Posted by: esimonson at February 6, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #121628

Jay Jay
Yes Clinton did put a limit on government help for the poor. He also started the work first program , where you could get SOME money, food stamps and medicaid for your children if they were working and at least trying to help themselves and family instead of just letting the states take care of them.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at February 6, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #121632

Wow. Where have all the compassionate conservatives gone?!?

Posted by: tony at February 6, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #121636
I know, I know… the cause of every societal ill is a lack of government spending in the liberal lexicon.

Eric,

Actually the cause of every socital ill is that the government must spend money on social programs. Communities and individuals should take care of their neighbors, but because our society has become so selfish and greedy, the government must do it for us. By no means is it a perfect system.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 6, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #121641

Danuiel

You may try a new tax software or a new preparer. If you didn’t owe money last year, and you situation hasn’t changed, you don’t owe money this year.

Others

The tax burden isn’t shifting at all. In fact the trend has been for the richest quintile to pay a greater share of the taxes. Most people in the lowest income groups pay no Federal taxes at all. What you guys are talking about is a change in the spending, not the taxing.

The military is broadly representative of the U.S. population. It tends to have fewer of the very rich and fewer of the very poor. Blacks and whites are overrepresented; other minority groups are underrepresented. I wrote a whole post on that a while back. You can find the information and citations in the archives on the red side.

Andrew

If you are making $17,000 a year you paid no more than $2000 in Federal taxes and probably less. You probably got hit hard on Social Security if you are self employed. That is why we need to reform Social Security, but we lost that battle last year. Your Federal taxes have gone down since Bush was elected. If they have not, take the same advice I gave to Danuiel above.

Marysdude

Luck is a big part of life, but making sure you are in the right place, working to get the right skill and just working hard also make a difference. Incentives make a difference, especially to people with skills and ability to invest. I have the choice to invest or take a vacation to Florida. If the investment does not yield much I piss it away on vacation. There is always that temptation. People who are poor tend to be more easily tempted.

Mental

All people benefit from public goods. The poor tend to benefit more since they have fewer options outside the public goods.

Re the poor working hard

The number of hours worked by all income groups have declined in this generation. The hours worked the less educated and poorer have declined even more. It not to say we should do nothing to help the poor, but the idea that the poor are more oppressed and overworked is not supported by the data.

There is an interesting article that explains this.

Loren

If two of your students got 100% and the rest got below 65% maybe they are not qualified to take your course. School choice and vouchers might help.

JayJay

President Clinton and the Republican Congress passed a very good welfare reform bill. The liberal elite predicted people would starve in the streets. It didn’t happen.

Posted by: Jack at February 6, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #121646
President Clinton and the Republican Congress passed a very good welfare reform bill.

So, what’s the problem again?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 6, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #121648

Something I don’t understand; if the unemployment rate is so low, 4.something, then why are the welfare rolls so high? If there are so many jobs available that we must import people accross the border to do them, then why do we have anyone on welfare? If these are jobs that Americans don’t want to do, too bad, either you do them or you’re on your own. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not against temporary public assistance by any means, it is a neccessary part of a compassionate society. I just don’t understand why it is such a problem.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 6, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #121658

The problem is that government monies, instead of charities, are taken by force, with a gun.

We should be taking nothing by force from our citizens. We should be working to take care of our less fortunate through charity and helping people in our communities because it is the right thing to do and because it also helps the community.

But by taking the money and redistributing it by force you squeeze every last bit of good will out of it and make it an ‘entitlement’ and ‘forced charity’ that just makes everyone angry. Except the politicians who then use that power of proving votes for said charities and keep the classes at each other’s throats in order to keep their power up.

And you all fall for it, continuing to bicker of the scraps of how much you are paying when you should be able to not have your government steal money from you.

How sad is that.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #121661

Jack wrote:

“If you are making $17,000 a year you paid no more than $2000 in Federal taxes and probably less. You probably got hit hard on Social Security if you are self employed. That is why we need to reform Social Security, but we lost that battle last year. Your Federal taxes have gone down since Bush was elected.”

Self-employment taxes are indeed the largest part of my quarterly taxes. But Gutting Social Security it no solution (which was Bush’s solution). Shifting the tax burden is. A little investment in our country’s economic engine will help stimulate the economy but *how* that is done is what makes the difference between what you believe and what I believe. I find it highly immoral and economically unsound to give the well-off an enormous tax refund in the name of economic stimulus and to give the lower to middle class a token $300 per year tax cut from Bush. That does not help the economy. They called this the Trickle-down Theory and guess what? It doesn’t work. Didn’t work in the 80’s. Bush Sr. called it Voodoo Economics. If only Dubya would’ve remembered the recession and enormous national debt Reaganomics left us…

It is a matter of equity and fairness. The government made a choice to invest the surplus into the economy but it could have been done a variety of ways. Imagine if you will that the tax surplus was given to the poorest Americans, let’s say there are 40 million of them. Many of them could have paid off debt, fixed up their homes, bought something discretionary like a new TV, etc. That money feeds the economy and the benefits are distributed to the most in need, as well as the business owners, corporations, etc. who benefit from consumer spending.

Giving that surplus to the rich as Bush did benefited a few hundred-thousand or a few ten-thousand people.

If you had a billion dollars to spend who/what would you spend it on? Would you care to possitively effect the lives of millions in dire straights, or would you give it thousands who are already well off?

Posted by: Andrew at February 6, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #121663

Rhinehold wrote:

“The problem is that government monies, instead of charities, are taken by force, with a gun.”


Rhinehold, this old Libertarian “taxes are taken by force” diatribe ignores the most important political reality: we gave our consent to be taxed through our representatives. If you have a problem with it, you can call your Congressman or live in a fantasy land where even democracy can’t convey the will of the people.

Remember, our Founding Fathers protested “No taxation without representation,” not simply “No Taxation.”

Posted by: Andrew at February 6, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #121664

JayJay

There is no problem. Most people are working. Many people have too much money but nobody has enough.

We have some mismatch between skills and jobs. That is natural and inevitable. A unemployement rate of 4.7% is about as low as it can go. The U.S. does very well. German unemployement is more than 11% and it has been stuck around there for decades.

Most people feel they have to struggle in life and life is tough all over. But when you look at what people have, it is really not that hard. Most of the poor in the U.S. own cars and VCR or DVC players. I know this insouciance infuriates some people, but I have lived overseas and seen real poverty. We don’t have anything like that in the U.S.

The definition of poverty always changes. That is why we will never eliminate it. A middle class family from 1950 would be amazed at the buying power of a person in poverty today.

And some people are always in trouble. Sometimes it is not their fault.

Posted by: Jack at February 6, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #121665

Rhinehold,

You are right ofcourse.
It is sad.

At the very least, local administration of such things would be a big improvement.

Regarding welfare, I don’t mind paying taxes to help the truly needy. Most people don’t.

As for all the other stuff, the federal government shouldn’t even be meddling in the vast number of things it does (and usually does badly too).

The problem is that the government takes much, wastes much, steals much, and the people know it. They see the pork-barrel, corporate welfare, graft, and cu$hy benefits and retirement plans of congress persons. Congress votes themselves raises, write hot checks, break the laws, and then get a pardon.

If government were not so corrupt, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion.

It is folly to believe government can operate without any funding, but that is not even remotely the case. The federal government took in $2.2 trillion last year and has $2.7 budgeted for next year. The National Debt has jumped from 33% in 1980 to 66% in 2005. Taxes per capita has increase 177% since 1980. Median incomes have fallen for the last 4 years. Interest on the debt is over $1 billion per day. The national debt is growing by $2.14 billion per day. The federal government is fiscally and morally bankrupt.

It’s not hard to see where this is headed.

Voters can and must change it soon, or we will all regret learning the hard way (again).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 6, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #121673

Andrew

The Reagan cuts didn’t cause a recession. On th contrary, the economy has been very good since 1982. They stopped calling it Reaganomics after that. The brief recessions of 1991 and 2001 were nothing by historical standards. A child born in 1980 does not remember any bad times at all.

Presumably you will make more money soon. We don’t guarantee life will be easy, but you can pursue happiness.

I believe in targeted cuts. The first round of Bush cuts went to general cuts and didn’t do so much good. The better targeted cuts of 2003 have done a great job. Trickle down is not a valid strategy, but favoring investment is.

Our tax system already redistributes income. You get a lot more in government services than you pay in taxes. So do I and so do most Americans. But if you could redistribute too much and make everyone poor. I was poor for a long time too. If you had just given me an extra $5000, it would have done no particular good. As a society, we only become richer through greater productivity and that requires investment.

Posted by: Jack at February 6, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #121675

Rhinehold,

I don’t disagree with you, as I stated local communities and neighbors should take care of the needy. Unfortunatly, that doesn’t happen. Sure the community rallies behind the poor and needy at Christmas or in the midst of a disaster, but what happens the rest of the year? Some democrats have introduced a bill that would train the unemployed to work in healthcare, an industry that suffers a worker shortage. Sounds good to me- teach a man to fish. There are probably many other industries that have worker shortages as well. With 4.7% unemployment you sure would think so. Wouldn’t you? This wonderfully low unemployment rate sure isn’t like Clinton’s wonderfully low unemployment rate. In the ’90s companies couldn’t find workers and were forced to raise wages to retain workers and attract new ones. Where I work, they were paying their exsisting employees to go to school, so they could do jobs that were going unfilled. You could go practically anywhere and get a job. I don’t recall layoffs and corporate bankruptcies being so rampent then either. Why is it so different this time? For some reason the numbers don’t match up to reality.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 6, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #121682

Don’t you think that the wasteful nature of our government, with it’s rampent corruption and carelessness in accounting for taxpayer dollars should be a much bigger concern for us than entitlement programs?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 6, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #121689

It’s those 10, 50, and 100 million dollar salaries for the CEOs.
And, they need big-money for their bought-and-paid-for incumbents too.
Also, the National Debt is crushing us, growing by $2.14 billion per day, and $1 billion per day in interest alone. With the Chinese and Japanese not wanting to buy much more, they’ll have to start printing more money. Inflation is already on the rise. So are interest rates.

What is funny is watching some people try so hard to paint a rosy picture. And, short term, they can do it maybe. But, it’s just an illusion, as we borrow and spend our way deeper and deeper into debt.

So, something has to give.
It’s your income (decreasing).
Inflation (increasing).
Printing money (increasing).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 6, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #121693

Oh, Mr. Hernandez! And none of the 18 billion towards the Gulf Coast is going to help a single poor person with their home … or finding a job … or nothing, right? Yeah, nice research!!!

I DON’T KNOW WHAT WORLD YOU ALL ARE LIVING IN BUT THE GUY WHO JUST PAINTED MY HOUSE MAKES $80,000 A YEAR … PAINTING!!! THE HARDEST THING HE DOES IS TRIM CROWN MOLDING!! HE WORKS 5 DAYS A WEEK AND TAKES 3 WEEKS OFF A YEAR. HE COULDN’T STOP BRAGGING ABOUT IT. ADMITTEDLY, HIS 5 DAYS A WEEK ARE 10 TO 11 HOUR DAYS. SUCH IS LIFE.

YOU WANNA MAKE MONEY IN AMERICA:
STEP 1: STOP WHINING ABOUT AND BLAMING OTHER PEOPLE. YOU WASTE TIME AND ANNOY PEOPLE.
STEP 2: GET TO WORK!!!!!!

I came from a middle class background and am making very decent, not great, but pretty good money now. But libs think it happened all by luck …and because I’m making good money it’s my fault some 5 other people aren’t.

Taxes are enormously slated to the rich . . unquestionably. And, much to my dismay, George Bush is a bigger social spender than Bill Clinton, also an undeniable mathematical fact. So! I’ll expect some “Clinton is Hitler” posters out of you libs by the end of the week.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 6, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #121695

JayJaySnowman,

Yes, the irresponsible and unaccountable government should be the primary concern.

No reforms will be possible until the government is forced to be responsible and accountable.

Voters can do that. But, they won’t until the pain level gets high enough, or they become educated about the simple, responsible solution to peacefully force government to become responsible too.

Then there may be a chance for some common-sense
Social Security has been plundered for so long (i.e. annual surpluses), it is facing shortages in the near future. Medicare is a mess, and the new prescription plan already has shortages for quite some time.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 6, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #121722

Dan:

If social security has been plundered by the government, the government should put it back. Then see if there are shortages.

Only seems right.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 7, 2006 2:35 AM
Comment #121726

Uh, I kind of fast forwarded thru things, but I don’t think anyone mentioned H.R.25.

I’m pretty sure at least the “thought” is still alive, as Rep. Moran from Kansas was loud and proud about it here in Marion County Kansas not more than 4 weeks ago.

This is consumption tax: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:HR00025:@@@L&summ2=m&#summary

“Imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services. Sets the sales tax rate at 23 percent in 2007, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. Allows exemptions from the tax for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes and for State government functions.”

Wake up people!
KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 7, 2006 2:42 AM
Comment #121747

When will Americans wake up and realize that “Taxes” is just money we refuse to invest in our collective best interest as Consumers. Want to make the poorest worker in America rich? There exist only one proven way. Invest in the one thing that creates that money that Individuals and Society needs and wants. Besides if the poorest American becomes economically viable and finiaclly independent the government and special interest groups wouldn’t have a need for Entitlements of our taxes. Work smart, not hard, spend taxes wisely not throwing it into the Outhouse than “We the People” might get somewhere other than our Parents World.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 7, 2006 3:46 AM
Comment #121748

womanmarine,

This is exactly what President Clinton proposed doing with the budget surplus that Bush turned into a nightmare of a deficit. Now all of a sudden 4 years later Bush starts crying about a SS problem? Duh!

KansasDem,

Another interesting tax reform bill was introduced by Pennsylvania Democrat Chaka Fattah, that would abolish the income tax for individuals and corporations. Revenue would instead be raised through a transaction fee. You would be charged a fee each time you used a check, debit card, credit card, or made transfers of stocks or bonds. Cash transactions under $500 and transactions on savings accounts would be exempt of the fee. All non-cash transactions under $500 would be charged a 1% fee, and a progressive schedule of rates for transactions over $500.

Comprehensive Transform America Transaction Fee Act of 2005

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 7, 2006 3:48 AM
Comment #121757

For many years the middle class (a wide definition)have had the burdenhad the burden of paying the lion share of taxes to keep our country running efficiently. For the most part I believe we should pay and do not mind paying taxes. The republicans are always screaming about lowering the taxes. When they finally get control they do just that and they are heroes in many of an ignorant eye. At the same time they are spending trillions of dollars adding to larger deficit. They screw everything so bad; it is just a matter of time before the Democrats are in control. They raise taxes and everyone bitches (especially the upper middle class).
The money must come from some where despite what the present president proclaims: It is just money, we can print it.” I don’t believe Americans (at least patriotic Americans) mind paying taxes. What we despise is how the money is being spent. Less government is the republican’s mantra, but in reality they mean big business using government money. This is a typical welfare program for the rich.
I hear people all the time bitching about the poor on welfare. “By God I’m not paying for them to set at home.” “Look at that family with six kids and a Cadillac, drawing a monthly check, food stamp, and free medical.” “I won’t stand for it, I work for a living so can those people who live in federal housing.” YES it amazes me these ignorant people will bitch all day about the poor family drawing welfare, but not say a word about the government paying corporations billions of dollars so the CEO can make is 20 million a year, and the board members have their annual yacht race. This is counting bailouts to companies so they can stay afloat. The workers of these bailout corporations still loose out but the CEOs clean house.
Billions of dollars go out on subsides to the same people who are complaining about welfare babies. Airlines, Transportation, Railroads, Corporate Farming all take up a big chunk of our tax dollars, but we don’t fight back. All the money given away in bailouts, corporate welfare, subsidies, and lets throw in the irresponsible war in Iraq. All this money could be given to every child born in the U.S. Keep in an account until 18 or after collage, or maybe use it for school and housing. The interest would set everyone up to be able to have a descent chance in this life without the worries of Social Security, Health Care, Drug and Prisons would be almost eliminated, and in general society would have a thriving economic system.

Posted by: Randall Kessinger at February 7, 2006 4:10 AM
Comment #121763

If you look at the various economic indicators since the dust settled after World War II, it’s pretty clear. The economy generally does better when a Democrat is in the White House.

So far I’ve looked at job creation, unemployment, GDP growth, expanding v contracting economy and recessions since Truman took office in 1949 and in all these areas the Democratic presidents as a group have had better results than the Republicans.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at February 7, 2006 4:40 AM
Comment #121818

Arm Hayseed -

I think facts have a liberal bias.

Posted by: tony at February 7, 2006 7:24 AM
Comment #121823

tony:

LOL!!!! How true!!!

Posted by: Aldous at February 7, 2006 7:38 AM
Comment #121826

Well, here is one program that is slated to be cut - the Commodity Food Supplement Program. It’s a compete waste - bulk food for people at poverty level who are over 60, pregnant and nursing women and children under the age of 6. Poverty level is 25k a year for a family of 4.

Yes, this is unnecesary.

If someone has proof this program is not working, please post it here. Otherwise, someone please explain to me why the program should be cut.

Everytime we get into a discussion about the poor on this site, angry posters from the right talk about someone they know who is blue collar making high five figures, low six figures (I am guessing in one of the big meto areas from the coasts).

Who are these slacker, lazy, cable TV watching, food stamp stealing poor that should get off their lazy butts and start working harder?

The majority of the poor are

elderly

disabled, mentally and physically

single mothers

children under the age of 18

of children under 18, the majority who live in poverty are

children under the age of 6.

Yes my friends from the right, these people need to get off their collective asses and start contributing something to this democracy. We should go back to the good old days -

-seven day work weeks for the poor except for an hour for church on Sunday - oops, forgot, we brought this one back already
-child labor
-orphanages
-tin cups and pencils for the blind - are not those old photos of street corners with blind people charming?
-the elderly eating dog food - this one was so good that the Bush administration is bringing it back by elminating the program I mentioned above!

Our judicial system is founded on the concept that one hundred guilty should go free if it insures that one innocent will not be incarcerated unjustly.

Conservatives are of the mindset that 100 truly needy should go hungry if it insures that one welfare cheat will be stopped.

Go get em guys.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 7, 2006 7:43 AM
Comment #121831

And everytime we’ve had a Republican president we’ve had recession followed by huge inflation scewed to big business. It’s greed bred by greed and all you get is more greed. It’s not about social programs it’s about I got mine try and get yours sucka! We’re all fools in the first place for allowing reprensentatives and senators to stay in office for an unlimited time until they get voted out or die. Can you say TERM LIMITS on all local, state and federal officials. They only get a set amount of time to do what the people demand so they expect better work hard andact fast because then they would actually have to go work for a living and contribute to the better good. Yeah I know not a novel idea but it sounds like the only viable option to me gets rid of the pork, makes politicians accountable and may also breed a higher moral standard of respect for mankind.

Posted by: Vic at February 7, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #121832
Rhinehold, this old Libertarian “taxes are taken by force” diatribe ignores the most important political reality: we gave our consent to be taxed through our representatives. If you have a problem with it, you can call your Congressman or live in a fantasy land where even democracy can’t convey the will of the people.

Funny, I don’t remember ok’ing it once. Oh, you mean the ‘majority’ do. Well, at one point the ‘majority’ felt that keeping black people as slaves was ok. The majority felt that outlawing alcohol was ok, that moving Native Americans off of their land was ‘ok’.

I just wonder when do you think you might want to stand up for what is right and not what is popular. You do remember the quote by Alexander Taylor in the 18th century …

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship

don’t you? You would think that when someone says something that has been proven to be true time and time again and is playing itself out again IN FRONT OF OUR EYES that eventually people would listen…

But, when the government does what it can to keep the citizens stupid while making them think they are being ‘given’ free education, how else do you expect people to behave?

*sigh*

And to the person who says that the local communities don’t take care of their poor, they no longer HAVE to, the government is there to do it for them!

And we *STILL* in this country, even with the overbearing taxes we pay, give a huge percentage to charities.

But it’s not the money that’s the important thing, it’s the warmth of the human interaction, the knowledge that ‘someone cares’. The government is not a ‘someone’ and the impersonal check that comes to your mailbox once a month does nothing to convince you that there might be a better way and educate you on how to achieve it.

No, we are helping no one. We create a new class of people who aren’t educated in how to take care of themselves who then don’t teach that to their children, who don’t teach that to their children, etc.

And while all of this is going on, eroding our way of life, YOU PEOPLE squabble about how someone else is paying less than you think they should before you have to pay any when you should be banding together and telling the government to sod off and leave your salaries alone until they can figure out how to balance a budget. Just ONCE PLEASE!

And the fun part is that ‘we’ want it this way. It’s been this way for decades, Democrat and Republican, they all do it because it’s about power, not about anything else. When someone says ‘those darn so and sos’ just remember that they would vote in their guy who said and did the same thing in a heartbeat, just because of the initials at the end of their name on the ballot box. It’s like a freaking religion now and you know how irrational religous people are…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #121834

Eric,

“This liberal argument that cutting federal programs makes the poor poorer simply makes no sense.”(Explain)
“Blaming it on Iraq is even more illogical.” Really,the deficit and debt incurred under this administration is conveniently blamed on the “global war on terrorism”,now they have hurricane relief and rebuilding as a scape-goat for program cuts?
I know, I know… the cause of every societal ill is a lack of government spending in the liberal lexicon.”
Call me liberal and you don’t have to hear to what I’m saying. Sad

Ken Cooper,

“YOU WANNA MAKE MONEY IN AMERICA:
STEP 1: STOP WHINING ABOUT AND BLAMING OTHER PEOPLE. YOU WASTE TIME AND ANNOY PEOPLE.
STEP 2: GET TO WORK!!!!!!”

1) I make a decent living but there are those who do not.
2) Learn to debate issues without sounding like a blow-hard.
3) Do you have any job openings for small children? What about a barely mobile elderly person? I know a guy in a wheelchair who’d love one of those painting jobs you mentioned.
4) I’m glad I annoy people like you!

kctim,

“Andre see’s cuts to socialist programs and starts panicking. He thinks you should have to work twice as hard and be taxed a ton so that YOU can support what HE thinks is right.

Do you even read the articles before you post comments? Do you know the programs being cut?

You type so much, yet say so little.


Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 7, 2006 8:25 AM
Comment #121836

“Do yall forget how much of the national taxes the rich pay? I believe last time I saw it was over 90%!!”

If the last time you looked at income tax brackets was the early days of WWII, perhaps you could become better informed before posting? The top income tax bracket is, I believe, 37%.

Posted by: Arr-squared at February 7, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #121838

someone explain to me why my federal tax bill for earned income is 23% but my parents bill with unearned (investment) income is only 15%. I do our taxes and They actually pay an effective rate of 8% after deductions and I pay 19% and they make more money than I do. And the poor pay an incredibly high rate compared to the rich whan you add in state and local taxes, fees, etc. I know someone on social security disability. we saved all of her receipts for a year. Her yearly income is just over 7000 and she paid almost 12% in taxes and fees.

Posted by: synecdoche at February 7, 2006 8:43 AM
Comment #121839

Arr:
I believe they were talking about the 90% of income tax received by the government was supplied by the rich. Not the tax bracket.

Rinehold:
Great post. Finally some sanity.

Posted by: JimmyRay at February 7, 2006 8:44 AM
Comment #121842

FYI— What Party voted to put Soc. Sec. in General fund—-(democrats) what party voted to tax soc. sec. at the rate of 50%. What party voted to increase tax on soc. sec. to 85%—democrats. Al gore cast the deciding vote. Please explain to me how this helps the elderly. I paid tax on that money when I earned it. Seems like double taxdation to me. Like they say there isnt a tax that the democratic party dislikes.

Posted by: Thomas at February 7, 2006 8:55 AM
Comment #121845

Mr Bush talks a good talk, lets work on getting health care for every American, then he turns around and wants to cut that and 140 other programs, for the poor, vetrans and middle class. The economy is growing and is better than ever. Yeah ok. Thats why GM, Ford and other companies have had to lay off thousands of workers most of which are in the assembly line. But lets keep the white collar workers whose salary and benifits cost more than the line workers. I’m not saying that unemployment isn’t low, but the jobs that are there wouldn’t support a single person that had to pay for a place to live let alone put food on the table and the utilities. Let alone someone who has children.

As for what Ken has to say about the person who painted his house. That person has to pay taxes, social security, workmans comp., state and local taxes and if he has people working for him he has to pay 1/2 that stuff for them, and if he so chooses health insurance(if he can afford it). Your response is for people to quit whinning and get off of their butts and get to work. In most cases we are. In my case just to make ends meet my husband and I are working 3 jobs to make that happen. My son does have a car that we bought for him but it doesn’t come free to him. If he needs gas, an oil change, registration fees, insurance etc. He works to pay for it. If he wants money to go to the movies or just to go get a soda with his friends he has to do something at home to get that money, whether its cut wood, bring it in mow grass whatever. We just don’t have it to throw around. Do you think the upper income levels children have to do that no. You are right there. My children are covered under the state where I live insurance yes, but my husband and I have none. If we get sick we are out of luck. Or if it’s bad enough we call the dr and ask him to prescribe the cheapest antibiotic that there is. Or if it’s really bad we take what the kids have left from a script of theirs. So don’t tell me to get off of my butt and get to work. How about telling some of these CEO’s to give up some of their millions in salaries. Or how about some fair distribution in the tax structure, and while their at it cutting some spending in other ways like instead of wanting to go to outer space to see if someone could live there make the US a better place to live, cause there are more poor and middle class people that could never get there than there is rich who could, and instead of spending over 100.00 for a hammer go to Lowes and get one for 10.00. Just a thought.

Posted by: Sherri at February 7, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #121849

Sherri please tell me were it says that the world owes you a living. Let me guess your a democratic with a highschool education. A litte forwad planning on you and hubbies part like an education perhaps would have carv ed out a better life for you. Its you democratic party that imposed an 85% tax on social security. When have you heard that a poor person created any kind of job. So I would be careful about what I wish for. by the way Al Gore was the one who cast the deciding vote to increase tax on social security to 85%—50 republicans voted no. 50 democrats voted yes. Thats a tie therefor vice president al gore broke the tie with a yes vote. Truth to you libs is like garlic to a vampire.

Posted by: Thomas at February 7, 2006 9:09 AM
Comment #121852
Conservatives are of the mindset that 100 truly needy should go hungry if it insures that one welfare cheat will be stopped.

Go get em guys.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 7, 2006 07:43 AM


Wrong, wrong, wrong…

“Bushevik Conservatives are of the mindset that 100 truly needy should go hungry if it insures that one fat ass can buy a Hummer with his tax cut, and maybe even a new car.”

Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #121858

Thomas,

“Truth to you libs is like garlic to a vampire.”

Coherent thought to those who support this president is like garlic to a vampire.

I thought the statement would sound less stupid with the minor modifications I made. It doesn’t.

All,

Top 1%’s Share of Bush Tax Cuts by Year — 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 Cuts Shows Growing Tilt to the Very Rich A new study released today by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Children’s Defense Fund reveals for the first time who stands to benefit from the 2001-enacted Bush tax cuts in each year from 2001 through 2010.
Among the key findings:
#Over the ten-year period, the richest Americans —the best-off one percent—are slated to receive tax cuts totaling almost half a trillion dollars. The $477 billion in tax breaks the Bush administration has targeted to this elite group will average $342,000 each over the decade. #By 2010, when (and if) the Bush tax reductions are fully in place, an astonishing 52 percent of the total tax cuts will go to the richest one percent—whose average 2010 income will be $1.5 million. Their tax-cut windfall in that year alone will average $85,000 each. Put another way, of the estimated $234 billion in tax cuts scheduled for the year 2010, $121 billion will go just 1.4 million taxpayers.
#Although the rich have already received a hefty down payment on their Bush tax cuts—averaging just under $12,000 each this year—80 percent of their windfall is scheduled to come from tax changes that won’t take effect until after this year, mostly from items that phase in after 2005. #In contrast, the vast majority of taxpayers have already received most of their tax cuts from the 2001 legislation.
” For the four out of five families and individuals making less than $73,000 this year, three-quarters of the tax cuts—averaging about $350 this year —are already in place. ” Tax cuts for the 19 percent of taxpayers making between $73,000 and $356,000 this year will grow a little over the next four years as the cuts in the upper tax rates continue to kick in, but then will dwindle thereafter. By 2010, the tax cuts for this group will be no bigger as a share of income than they are now.
#As a result, freezing the Bush tax cuts at their 2002 levels would have little or no effect on 99 percent of the taxpayers, whose tax cuts are already mostly or completely “frozen.” Only the best-off one percent of the taxpayers will receive significant additional tax cuts if the rest of the Bush tax program continues to be implemented.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 7, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #121876

Andre
Yes, I read your whole post, do you read all the responses in whole?
You are crying “the sky is falling” because you disagree with cuts to social programs and increases in the M-I-C budget. Whether you agree with the war or not, it is going on and must be funded.
Yes, I have seen some of the programs that are being given less money and it does not bother me one bit.
Social programs were designed to force people to support what others believe is the right thing to do.
These people SAY they believe in a certain cause, but yet they are unwilling to sacrifice themselves to support that cause. Instead, they believe everybody else should do it for them.
Basically, they are forcing their beliefs onto others and that is wrong.

And your right, I probably do type so much and say so “little.”
But at least the “little” that I do say are my own thoughts, based on the truth and not some hypocritical talking point that has been given to me by a party scrambling for votes.

Posted by: kctim at February 7, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #121882

I Know this …. the more of my money i have in my pocket the more i will spend back into the economy. Hey liberals,Bleading hearts one Question?????? Who spends you money more wisely, you and your family, or the federal Gov.

Posted by: philipz at February 7, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #121884

Andre,

Of course the “rich” will benefit from the tax cuts more than the “poor”. The rich pay more in dollar amounts than the poor will ever pay. A relative 1% cut on the marginal tax rate on amounts over $500,000 (purely hypothetical example) is going to be a hell of a lot more than a 5% cut on any lower tax bracket. It is a simple mathematical truth.

It is interesting that the article uses the word “windfall”. When is keeping money you made a “windfall”? Using such a term implies that the government has control over how much of our income we get to keep, thus we are only entitled to the money we are allowed to have. I don’t know about the rest of you, but i have the mindset that I make my money, and the government TAKES part of it, as opposed to the money belonging to the government to begin with, then the government can allow me to keep it as a “windfall”.

On the deficit: I tend to agree with D.A.N and his analysis of debt to GDP and all of the ramifications that come with that. IMO, the problem with government deficits is not on the income side, but on the spending side. There is too much waste hidden in this inefficient governemnt, and if operations were streamlined and financial controls were in place, we could save a lot on that end alone. I will concede, however, that the entitlement programs mentioned in the initial post may not be the right place to target for cuts right away. The problem is that NOBODY in gov. wants to put any effort into addressing this on either side.

Posted by: Greg the Underwriter at February 7, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #121887

Andre

If the tax cuts do not get extended then will you not agree that these poor tax payers will get a hike in thier tax. Did you read my post about who taxes social security. Please respond.

Posted by: Thomas at February 7, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #121890
womanmarine wrote: Dan: If social security has been plundered by the government, the government should put it back. Then see if there are shortages. Only seems right.

womanmarine,
I fear it might be too late now, because:
(01) congress has no discipline
(02) interest on the national debt is now over $1 billion per day !
(03) the national debt is now 66% of GDP, up from only 33% of GDP in 1980.
(04) median incomes have been falling for 4 years.
(05) government has promised more entitlements (i.e. the prescription drugs via Medicare) that will cost hundreds of billions more per year.
(06) printing more money will increase inflation.
(07) China and Japan are getting nervous about loaning the U.S. more money, because they think we’ll keep spending it instead of paying down the skyrocketing debt.
(08) 77 million baby boomers, retiring, earning less, paying less taxes, spending less, and drawing on already trouble Social Security and Medicare.
(09) the war is costing over $4 billion per month.
(10) Katrina and Rita will cost tax payers upto $100 billion (maybe more)
(11) energy costs are on the rise, and the growing economies of China, India, and Asia will increase demand.
(12) the debt is now growing by $2.14 billion per day !
(13) many yes-men and goofy economists wearing rose-colored glasses don’t see the debt as anything to be alarmed about.
(14) Tax on income has increased 177% since 1980.
(15) The ridiculous, abused, unfair tax system allows too many tax deductionsa and loop-holes.
(16) the debt is so large now, it would take 139 years to pay it off…and that is only if the federal government stopped borrowing $1 billion per day to pay the interest of $1 billion per day, and started also paying back $1.014 billion per day (otherwise, the debt continues to grow).
(17) 25 years of fiscal irresponsibility may be too much to recover from…especially when congress is irresponsible and continues crap like this while our troops risk life and limb.
(18) and bought-and-paid-for incumbents in congress ignore all of our pressing problems, for fear of defying their big-money-donors or risking re-election. That’s also why government won’t secure the borders. Corporations want the cheap, illegal labor.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 7, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #121891

kctim,

“Social programs were designed to force people to support what others believe is the right thing to do.”

Huh?

Financial Aid forces what? Healthcare for children does what? Forces what? We’re forcing the elderly to have prescription medicine? We’re forcing people to be able to afford college?

“These people SAY they believe in a certain cause, but yet they are unwilling to sacrifice themselves to support that cause. Instead, they believe everybody else should do it for them.
Basically, they are forcing their beliefs onto others and that is wrong.”

So if a child who lives in poverty wants to visit the doctor or have food, that is that childs belief, their cause? That child does not support that cause but believes others should? The child is then forcing that belief on others?
I get it!
If the elderly want affordable healthcare they need to get off their infirmed asses and work for it!
Those poor children should get jobs!(Don’t force me to hear your growling stomach)Let them have the jobs the illegals do that way we can convince Bush to stem the flow of illegal immigration at our southern border.
Handicap shmandicap, get to work you dead beats. Cripples, always looking for a handout. Lazy bastards.
How’s that? Do I get it?

kctim,
your logic and lack of compassion is disturbing, the fact that there are millions more out there like you, who lack empathy and compassion for their fellow man, is frightening and sad.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 7, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #121893

SHAME SHAME SHAME on anyone who complains about poverty in the richest country that ever stood in history. Our poorest are richer than most of the world. We spend more on the packaging of our food than the contents. I live in a household in calif with less than a 40,ooo a year income. We have 4 tvs 2 computers 3 cars. Yes wave some people who need to be helped. If we did not have so many people living off our system that could work we could better take care of those who really need it. We have become lazy. We have parents on a limited income who spend more money on cigaretts and alchohol than on food for their children. We have teens on the street because “they just cannot stand to be under the rule of parents.”.
You need to go to india where 40% of the population lives on $1000 us dolars a year. where there are three times the population of the US living in a third of the space. Go to France where the unemployment rate is almost triple that of the US. Go to Trinidad where there are daily kidnapings and the majority of the people live in severe poverty. $8.00US a day and a computer cost $1500 Go to Grenada where the large majority of the people walk because only the few can afford a car. (and its uphill both ways there)
Oh you liberals wont get it. You dont ever count your blessings. But I urger the poorest of you to write down all the things you take for granted. Carpet. Running clean water. TV. DVD. Ipod. Laptop. Desktop. Washing machine. Dishwasher. Car. Roof that maybe leaks in one place when it rains. Cell phone. Marijuana. (and yes dont tell me you arent willing to spend rent monies) Clean socks. Nic-Nacks.Air conditioning. and I could go on for hours.
Do some people make lots of money and some people make a little? Yes. Welcome to the world. Does that gap sometimres get larger? Yes does it some times get smaller? Yes. Try some foreign countryies where the gap is HUGE and where there are no raises. The poor serve the rich. and if the people want to complain they lose their life. Or maybe watch their child lose its life. Maybe try China where you only are allowed one child. Then if its a girl its considered worthless and killed. SHAME SHAME SHAME. Whe have no right to complain. Oh I know that this will fall on mostly deaf ears. You guys will amke every excuse. Change the subject. Get mad at the man who has alot because he was smart enought to create something the people wanted and made millions.
But I repeat SHAME SHAME SHAME.
Do we have some in this country who need help? Yes. Let’s help them. Do we have lazy poelpe who abuse the system? Yes! Lets be Politically Incorrect and tell them “NO, You are lazy. He who does not work. Does not eat.” And yes that is biblical.

Posted by: SCOTT at February 7, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #121897

Philipz,
“Who spends you money more wisely, you and your family, or the federal Gov.”

I do. Only thing is, I can’t afford my own fire department, or police department, or teachers for my kids. I can’t single-handedly build an interstate highway system, or provide for the country’s defense. Truth is, by working with my neighbors and citizens around the country, I can do much better by pooling resources. I can take advantage of economies of scale.


Posted by: phx8 at February 7, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #121898

live in a household in calif with less than a 40,ooo a year income. We have 4 tvs 2 computers 3 cars.
Posted by: SCOTT at February 7, 2006 11:02 AM

That’s how you measure your life? Sad.

But: What is your debt? What % of your income goes to debt? If you stop borrowing now, how long will it take to pay off that debt? What happens to you if a household wage earner becomes injured/ill/disabled and loses a job?

Q: How do the ruling plutocrats become worth multi-billions of dollars?
A: Your credit card debt.

Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #121899

Thomas,

“If the tax cuts do not get extended then will you not agree that these poor tax payers will get a hike in thier tax.”
No, it will only effect the very wealthy.

“Did you read my post about who taxes social security.”
Yes, I saw where you made this statement.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 7, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #121900

Well said SCOTT. Im sure you are right the libs will not respond because all they know is spin and lies. The truth effects them horribly.

Posted by: Thomas at February 7, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #121901

Regarding taxes…the worst type of taxes are the sales tax and property tax.

The sales tax hammers the poor.
Yet, all states have sales taxes.

The property tax is double, triple, quadruple, … , googleruple
because you have to keep paying every year
on what you already own.
It does not matter what your income is.
It punishes the family with a bigger, more expensive home, even if that family’s income is less than the couple in a house half the size, but with quadruple the income.

A fair tax system is to eliminate sales taxes, pay no tax on any income at or below the poverty level (e.g. $15,000), and only tax income at a flat rate of 17% only on income above N times the poverty level (where N is always >= 1.0).

EXAMPLE: Given:
(1) a flat income tax of 17% ,
(2) and a poverty level of $12K ,
(3) and an N factor of 1.5
(4) therefore, low-income-exemption-level is 1.5 x $12K = $18K
(5) and five persons with different gross incomes:
A earned $15,000 per year.
B earned $50,000 per year.
C earned $90,000 per year.
D earned $200,000 per year.
E earned $900,000 per year.
F earned $9,000,000 per year.

Therefore, the income tax for each person (after subtracting the $18K exemption) is:
A’s tax = $0 since $15K is less than $18K; that is 0% of $15K ;
B’s tax = $5,440=0.17 x ($50K-$18K); that’s 10.9% of $50K ; and 17% of $32K
C’s tax = $12,240=0.17 x ($90K-$18K); that’s 13.6% of $90K ; and 17% of $72K
D’s tax = $30,940=0.17 x ($200K-$18K); that’s 15.5% of $200K ; and 17% of $182K
E’s tax = $149,940=0.17 x ($900K-$18K); that’s 16.7% of $900K ; and 17% of $882K
F’s tax = $1,526,940=0.17 x ($9,000K-$18K); that’s 16.97% of $9,000K ; and 17% of $9,982K

The pay-out for Social Security and Medicare to recipients is the same for all persons: I times the poverty-level, where I is always >= 1.0 .

Also, corporations pay no tax, because they just pass that cost along, which overcomplicates everything. It also discourages corporations from investing in R&D since retained capital gets taxed at 30%. It also discourages corporations from retaining capital to weather hard times. Otherwise, taxpayers get stuck bailing out troubled corporations, which should not be the function of government.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 7, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #121902

Do we have lazy people that abuse the system? Damn right we do. They are called rich people. Do not give me that crap about hard work. Few of them even know the meaning of the word. You want to see the poor? Look on the early bus.

Posted by: Bill at February 7, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #121903

The Cons in this country truly amaze me, they cry about how they don’t want government intervention in the free market. Then they throw billions upon billions of dollars in corporate welfare at the “free” market. Sorry, cons but that “free” market isn’t free when it is government subsidized. Then they have the balls to complain about welfare to the poor and needy? So government welfare to the wealthy is ok, but government welfare to the poor is evil?

The Cons have had 5 years to push through any legislation they want, nothing gets out of Congress without their blessing on it. If the Cons were truly interested in the “free” market then they would have ended corporate welfare to the wealthy, instead they attack welfare to the poor. If they truly were concerned with lower taxes, they would reform government to be accountable for expenditures, instead taxpayer money just disappears, and nobody can account for who spent it or on what. Instead of eliminating government waste, corporate welfare, and actually being accountable, they instead pass the burden of paying for their tax “cuts” and incompetence onto future generations. Don’t thank President Bush for the tax cuts, thank your children, they are the ones who will pay for them. That’s the Cons idea of morality for you.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 7, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #121905

“Q: How do the ruling plutocrats become worth multi-billions of dollars?
A: Your credit card debt.”

Are you sure? Bill Gates is a software developer. Warren Buffett is an investor (not in credit card companies either). Trump owns real estate. George Soros is an investor/currency trader.

Here is a rule I live by: If I can’t pay off my credit card each month, then i don’t buy it. FYI- The savings rate in the U.S. of A is negative, and that is only consumers. Empire of Debt, anyone?

Posted by: Greg the Underwriter at February 7, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #121908

The gap between the definition of poor and medium income is growing not the number of poor.

Its complex as is the definition of suffering and inadequate health care.

Posted by: Reporting for Doody at February 7, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #121911

Thank you d.a.n

Barbara Ehrenreich wrote two New York Times Bestseller books on the subject.

“Nickeled and Dimed or On (Not) Getting By in America” that deftly portrays the plight of the working-class poor.

and

“Bait and Switch” The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. Today’s ultra-lean corporations take pride in shedding their “surplus” employees - plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight zone of white-collar unemployment.

Both books should be required reading for Republicans.

Posted by: Pat at February 7, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #121912

Thomas and Scott,

Are you listening?
We’re talking about low income(That means they work).
children(They’re not allowed to work(labor laws). The elderly(They’ve worked all their lives).
Young families(Who work).
Military personnel(They’re working their butts off).
Poor college students(Working toward a degree).
The handicapped(Physically unable to work).

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 7, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #121913

“There is $18 billion for rebuilding from the hurricanes that devestated the poor in the Gulf Coast region.”

The huricane picked on the poor?

FEMA rules should not be changed because of Katrina. Everyone declared national disaster area should use the same rules. States and locals can define their own involvement.

I.E. Amish in Pennsylvania and Coastal Resort treatment is up to locals and state.

Posted by: Reporter for Doody at February 7, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #121914

ok so raise taxs and watch the poor starve the camal-kisseres win the war how about this blame George Bush for the Muhammad cartoons you can also blame Mr.Bush on hump back mountain flopping because it is.its hell being out of power when thats all you crave with every little lib-dima-commie bastard you abort is one less vote at the ballot box .Dip your bullets in pigs blood alia be damned.

Posted by: watson at February 7, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #121915

It amazes me that conservatives, the standard bearers of the religious right, make the foul argument of social darwinism (survival of the fittest) over and over again.

A 300 year old argument against altruism and in favor of the concept that the poor are inferior human beings, social darwinism (as it came to be called) was used to justify the exploitations by the robber barons at the turn of the last century as well as for facism and racism.

We take care of our own because it is a moral responsibility (my view) or, even if we are self-serving, because we never know if we or someone we care about will be one of those in need.

As an American, it boggles my mind that conservatives, people claim to be nationalists and patriots, do not give a damn about the people who make up the nation. These same conservatives denounce democrats and liberals as unamerican.

Wealthy charitable giving is a LIE. As a percentage of income, the wealthiest in this country give 3% of their income to charity while the poorest give 26% of their incomes. Since 2000, the percentage that the wealthy give to charity is DOWN while what the poor contribute is UP.

Bush’s trickle down approach to the poor is actually a trick. Bill Gates and a couple of philanthropists aside, the wealthy consume without contributing.

And please stop complaining that the top 10% pays 90% of the taxes - we have 90% of the wealth. If our tax system were truly progressive, we would pay 92% of the taxes, maybe more.

HEY, kctim,

this war is elective. It does not NEED to be funded. It is funded because the president argues that it is necessary. What is incomprehensible is that, like the myopic LBJ before him, Bush wants to cut taxes and pay for a war simultaneously, at any cost (as long as the ultra wealthy are unaffected).

Posted by: CPAdams at February 7, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #121916
“Q: How do the ruling plutocrats become worth multi-billions of dollars? A: Your credit card debt.”

Are you sure? Bill Gates is a software developer. Warren Buffett is an investor (not in credit card companies either). Trump owns real estate. George Soros is an investor/currency trader.

Here is a rule I live by: If I can’t pay off my credit card each month, then i don’t buy it. FYI- The savings rate in the U.S. of A is negative, and that is only consumers. Empire of Debt, anyone?

Posted by: Greg the Underwriter at February 7, 2006 11:21 AM

You do know you proved my point, right?

Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #121917

The Republican Party is a scam, folks. They run on a platform of morality to get into power, then once there they work tirelessly for themselves and the rich. Corporate welfare, no bid contract scams (ever hear of Halliburton?), tax cuts to the rich, billions in missing taxpayer dollars, the wholesale of America to the highest bidder, huge federal deficits and federal debt in the name of tax “cuts”, Medicare scams (drug benefit = pharmaceutical co. benefit) SS reform that would infuse billions into the market (just where I want my social “security”- in the hands of companies like Enron), but do nothing to make the program solvent. The Iraq war cost will increase to $10 billion a month this year, up from $6.8 billion a month last year. But why? Shouldn’t that number be coming down? Shouldn’t we be wrapping things up in Iraq, so we can start the real war on terror? But hey, at least the gays can’t marry!

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 7, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #121918

Dave,

No, i didn’t know i proved your point. Your point was that “ruling plutocrats” become worth billions because of credit card debt. Please point out to me which billionaire became as such due to credit cards. The individuals i mentioned have no involvement in issuing or servicing credit card debt, and if they do, please educate me. Name your billionaires who got rich on credit card debt and i will concede that i did prove your point.


Posted by: Greg the Underwriter at February 7, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #121920

I have a great idea for a bailout - let the airline industry ask the oil industry for help. It is a great match - the corporations who benefitted the most from high energy prices helping one of the industries hurt the most.

It is a natural conservative idea. it is people helping people, without getting the government in the way. Since the oil industry is based in Houston, there is probably an element of compassionate conservatism as well.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 7, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #121924

Watson,

“ok so raise taxs and watch the poor starve the camal-kisseres win the war how about this blame George Bush for the Muhammad cartoons you can also blame Mr.Bush on hump back mountain flopping because it is.its hell being out of power when thats all you crave with every little lib-dima-commie bastard you abort is one less vote at the ballot box .Dip your bullets in pigs blood alia be damned”

A teacher gave me this advice when I was a child and I always try to remember it.
“If what you say lacks intellect and will only cause embarassment to your friends and family and causes people to question the limited education you received, I ask you, as one of your teachers,to please not say it.”

Words to live by, my friend, words to live by.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 7, 2006 11:51 AM
Comment #121925

Greg,

your false ignorance is transparent. The ENTIRE American economy is based on consumer spending. Consumer spending has remained stable because of increased consumer borrowing (credit card debt). We all know that most of the wealth in this country is concentrated in the hands of a small percentage of people.

None of these points above are disputed - but you want to dispute that wealth generated by consumer spending is NOT being concentrated in these people?

Are you saying that Microsoft does not sell consumer products or that Berkshire Hathaway does not sell: tshirts, fleecewear, furniture, carpets, electronics, jewelry, computers, household appliances, watches and flatware (among other things)?

Greg, who do you think buys all these things?

Posted by: CPAdams at February 7, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #121928

true free speach scares the living hell out of those who would suppres it. because it is that alone that will defeat and destory them.

Posted by: watson at February 7, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #121931

watson,

the rich have been getting richer under Bush. Can you let us know when we can expect the poor to stop getting poorer around here? Because, we are still waiting…

Posted by: CPAdams at February 7, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #121932

Greg the Underwriter,

Credit Card debt is at an all time high, who do you think benefits from all that credit card debt? If there were no credit cards then Microsoft will sell a hell of a lot less software. Without credit card debt companies accross the board would lose sales, lose profits which would send the market down, which would hurt the bottom line of investors, whether they had investments in credit card companies or not.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 7, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #121933
true free speach scares the living hell out of those who would suppres it. because it is that alone that will defeat and destory them.

Good point, and who is trying to suppress free speech? That’s right the Cons are trying to suppress the Libs by calling them un-American, un-patriotic, blah, blah, blah….

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 7, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #121934

CPA et. al.,
Thanks for taking the ball while I actually did some work :-). But, what makes you think the ignorance is false?

Anyone,

What’s Watson’s ‘dima’?

Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #121935

d.a.n.,
“Yet, all states have sales taxes.”

Correction. Oregon does not have a sales tax.

Posted by: phx8 at February 7, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #121937

Dave,

LOL!!

Posted by: CPAdams at February 7, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #121938

I recently was diagnosed with cancert in which i am taking treatments for, before this my family was living comfortable, since i am no longer working and have no savings left i turned to the welfare system for the first time in my life and if you think for one minunite that the people on welfare are living the high life off the backs of everyone else have I got news for you. you try living on $720. a month and make ends meet. I said forget it I manage somehow. The welfare in this country is a joke and to all of you that think the system is keeping everyone living high on the hog while you go to work, take a look around you,some can’t help the place or situation that they are in. What has happened to the compassion in this great country we all live in.

Posted by: lskinner at February 7, 2006 12:24 PM
Comment #121941

I can see both sides of the coin when it comes to the economics of this country. Supply-sided thinking of Conservatives makes sense on paper——but fails miserbly becasue of that one human condition——GREED.

Democrates also need to realize that hand-outs don’t motivate anyone.

It sure would be nice to have a THIRD PARTY worth anything.

Posted by: mjbiv at February 7, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #121942

lskinner,

I wish I knew, I wish I knew.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 7, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #121952
Democrates also need to realize that hand-outs don’t motivate anyone.

mjbiv,

There is no question that the welfare system needs to be fixed. First, the free market needs to be free- end corporate welfare. Second, we need to ensure that those who truly need to recieve assistance get it. Those who cannot work due to health or where there is no work available, or temporary assistance for those in transition due to job loss. Third, we need to find ways to move those on the welfare rolls who are healthy and can work, do work. I have a hard time reconciling that the President claims that we need to weaken our borders so that non residents can do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do. Tough, if you refuse to do a job that is available, then you shouldn’t recieve welfare. Maybe if those who can work, had to do a job they didn’t want to do, it would motivate them to better themselves and get a job they did want to do.

I don’t think most Americans have a problem with public welfare as long as it is applied correctly. Of course it won’t be 100% of the time, but surly we can do better than we are now.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 7, 2006 12:47 PM
Comment #121955

Good point, and who is trying to suppress free speech? That’s right the Cons are trying to suppress the Libs by calling them un-American, un-patriotic, blah, blah, blah….

that only leaves the defeated and destoryed and that is clearly the left and those who defend them.death to islam ,democrats & liberals by the bullet or the ballot its all the same to me.

Posted by: watson at February 7, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #121965

Andre
“So if a child who lives in poverty wants to visit the doctor or have food, that is that childs belief, their cause? That child does not support that cause but believes others should? The child is then forcing that belief on others?
I get it!”

No, you don’t “get it.”
YOU believe these people need money thrown at them. I believe this type of aid should not come from the govt.
YOU believe everybody should be forced to support what YOU believe is the right thing to do.
I believe that IF you truly believed in helping those less fortunate, then YOU and others who share your beliefs, should personally, do something about it.

“your logic and lack of compassion is disturbing, the fact that there are millions more out there like you, who lack empathy and compassion for their fellow man, is frightening and sad”

My logic is? Lets see then:
Give somebody what they want for doing nothing and they will always expect it to be given to them.
Make somebody work for what they want, and they will.
Yeah, I’m such a nut.

Lack of compassion?
I don’t believe making somebody dependent on the govt is very compassionate. Am I trying to force you to quit helping them?
No.

Again, “frightening and sad” is YOUR belief. Personal responsibility is not “frightening and sad” to me.

Posted by: kctim at February 7, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #121967
It sure would be nice to have a THIRD PARTY worth anything.

There are. In fact, there are two third parties that are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

If you don’t like those two or you don’t think they represent you, then start one yourself.

But don’t sit back and complain about the current 3rd parties not being good enough if you aren’t willing to get your hands dirty and make them be. A party is just a group of people, especially at the level that we have these days, and without others joining and giving support they are going to die. And then where will we be?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #121970
“your logic and lack of compassion is disturbing, the fact that there are millions more out there like you, who lack empathy and compassion for their fellow man, is frightening and sad”

The stupidest, hateful, most ignorant arguments ever. And one I see from anyone who is trying to force you to spend your money to help others when asking for a better way or some accounting of that theft.

I give a bunch to charity, but more than that I spend my TIME helping people, giving them ways to better themselves and am involved in my community in ways that the ‘federal government’ has no hope of or even business being involved in.

Go peddle your ‘greedy’ mantra somewhere else, it’s a waste of time with me. You’ll have to think for yourself and actually debate the issue now instead of falling back on tired Democrat talking points.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #121972

CPAdams:

You are right, the consumer has kept this economy strong. However, what drives this? You argue credit cards. You may be correct to a small degree, but the borrowing power in a credit card is relatively small and high risk if you want to look at the whole package of consumer debt out there. What is driving consumer spending? HOME EQUITY, not credit cards. Consumers have been able to spend like idiots due to the low cost of borrowing. But, to appease you, the credit cards ARE the vehicle to facilitate spending, but the source of funds driving consumer spending is home equity. Agree?

Wealth created by spending is being concentrated in a certain class of people (which includes the wealthy)- Investors. Anyone in this country who saves and thus invests his or her money benefits by this. How do you think the wealthy got that way? They didn’t leverage themselves to the hilt, THEY SAVED AND THEY INVESTED. That is not what the average american does anymore, and this will be the downfall of the economy going forward.

JayJay,
I am willing to argue that Microsoft generates most of its revenue off of enterprise B2B sales, but i do see your point, but i would not argue that credit cards are the only culprit. I would still argue home equity is the source of funds, and credit cards are only the vehicle that the transaction is done.

Posted by: Greg the Underwriter at February 7, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #121973
I can see both sides of the coin then it comes to the economics of this country. Supply-sided thinking of Conservatives makes sense on paper——but fails miserbly becasue of that one human condition——GREED.

mjbiv,
It’s like the paperless factory.
Looks good on paper ! : )

You hit the nail on the head.
Greed is at the root of it.
And greed is rooted in laziness, because human nature is to seek security and prosperity with the least effort and pain.

Work is effort. Sometimes painful.
Thus, some will resort to unethical
and/or illegal ways for self-gain.
Our congress is an excellent example
of perversion of a system for self-gain.

When does the corruption end?
Only when it becomes too painful.

However, even though laziness is a
human trait does not mean we should
surrender to it completely, because
that would be immoral.

The best way to fight laziness is
transparency, which yields outrage
and accountability and law enforcement,
which finally yields responsibility.

Transparency -> Accountability -> Responsibility

And, since none of know what the future holds, there is no reason to resign to futility. The logical thing to do is hope and take steps to fix things, because doing nothing will accomplish nothing. Thus, doing nothing is also laziness, which is immoral too.

However, we all need to recognize one very important thing about all of these reforms we debate day-in and day-out.

None of them will ever occur until voters do the one simple, peaceful, safe, non-partisan, inexpensive, and responsible thing to peacefully force government to be accountable and responsible too:

vote out (or recall) all irresponsible incumbents

… and keep doing it always, until there is finally a balance of power between government and the people (not merely shifted or stripped of all power to accomplish anything), and the people have the transparency to see who exactly to hold accountable.

For example, there are many, no-brainer, common-sense, responsible reforms that would greatly increase transparency. One good example is a One-Purpose-Per-BILL amendment.
Now, why didn’t congress think of this a long time ago ?
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha !
‘Cause you’re like sayin’ Duh !

And, a third party is not necessarily the answer, unless it also helps educate the voters to do one simple thing they were supposed to be doing all along.

See how easy that is?
Perhaps some of you here could think of some other simple, common-sense reforms?

But, remember, no reforms are possible until voters act responsibly now to peacefully force government to be responsible too.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 7, 2006 1:14 PM
Comment #121976

This is the one thing arrogant, irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbents are hoping the voters never figure out.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 7, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #121983

The guy who just painted my house (and only does house painting for a living) makes $80,000 a year … he couldn’t stop bragging about it.

YOU WANNA MAKE MORE MONEY IN THE USA:

STEP (1): STOP WHINING AND BLAMING OTHERS THAT YOU AREN’T RAKING IT IN. YOU ONLY WASTE TIME AND ANNOY PEOPLE.

STEP (2): REALIZE COMPLAINING ISN’T A SKILL SEEING HOW MOST 5 YEAR OLDS HAVE IT DOWN PAT!

STEP (3): GET TO WORK! MOST OF THE GULF COAST NEEDS EVERYTHING FROM HOMES TO BOATS TO POOLS TO PIERS TO CARS TO LANDSCAPING TO PLUMBING TO WIRING AND A MILLION OTHER THINGS FIXED. THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WAS ALREADY AT HISTORICAL LOWS … IF IT DOESN’T GO ANY LOWER AFTER KATRINA IT’S TIME TO STOP BLAMING BUSH!

Oh, that’s right, Bush created Katrina during one of his Hitler seances … I keep forgetting the “truth” you libs like to put out.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 7, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #121984

Scott,

Go to France where the unemployment rate is almost triple that of the US

Sorry, but it’s wrong (and possibly induced by FBS - French Bashing Syndrom):

3 * 4.5% = 13.5%

France current unemployed rate is 9.5%.

9.5% / 4.5% = circa 2.11%.

Maybe by “almost triple” you mean “almost twice plus a little bit of french bashing”? Anyway, thanks you for including France in your poorest countries list. You’re welcome. Still.

Others,

After reading all posts so far, in particular those about how “every man for himself” is better I guess I’ve finally get it: America Way of Life is not unique after all. In the ROTW, it’s called “The Jungle Law”. Nothing new. Really.

Oh, by the way, you pro-every-man-for-himself guys, please stop the “compassionnate” hypocrisy and start assuming fully your social darwinist position.

Your frenchly,

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 7, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #121992

Greg,

I’ll give you one point… I should have included other debt forms when responding to SCOTT. My bad for assuming on $40k he couldn’t afford to own his own home.
As for the rest of your points, the “Earn and invest” BS is old and tired. The vast majority of our nation’s wealth is held in multigenerational empires. And, yes, there are a few new billionaires out there. Yet, most of the trillions (is it a quadrillion yet?) in wealth remains tightly concentrated.
But, I’m sure you feel they need your help in affording their tax load.

Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #121993

Greg the Underwriter,

I am willing to argue that Microsoft generates most of its revenue off of enterprise B2B sales

Most of Microsoft revenue comes from his monopoly. Which was proved to be used (aka “abuse”) in several occasion illegally.

PS: Last time Bill Gates actually did develop a software, it was when he co-wrote the BASIC for Altaïr machine. Since, he own a software company, he’s a really good businessman and he’s one of the most charitable guy but noway he’s a “developer”. Please!

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 7, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #121996

Sorry, Philiippe, but this again is where you show YOUR ignorance.

the ‘every man for himself’ guys are suggesting nothing of the sort. they are suggesting that it’s not the government’s responsibility, at the expense of pointing a gun at its citizens and forcing them to help their neighbors when they NEED it, to meet everyone’s needs.

I understand that doesn’t fly well in France, but I can’t help that. I guess it all depends on your view of who earns the money, a citizen or an individual and who has say over what that individual does with that money once they get up and go out and earn it.

It also helps that France is a TAD bit smaller than the US.

Now, try looking at it through the EU / France viewpoint. How would you feel to find that you are now paying another 5% of your income to support the people in England who have ‘fallen on hard times’ and their economy is a wreck. Not a pulling together of French citizens to use charitable means to help them out but instead establishing an ‘entitlement’ for the English to live off the French for the next few generations…

I wonder how that would fly?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #121998
The vast majority of our nation’s wealth is held in multigenerational empires. And, yes, there are a few new billionaires out there. Yet, most of the trillions (is it a quadrillion yet?) in wealth remains tightly concentrated.

I’m assuming that you have the evidence to back up that wildly innacurate (or more to the point stupid) suggestion?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #122001

I going to try and paraphrase a nice quote that hit home I heard recently somewhere:

‘Our gov’t was originally founded to respond to the needs and concerns of the people it immediately represents.
Today our gov’t only responds to the flow of money, and is inherently out of touch with it’s people.’

With this being said, it shows that our gov’t is great as it still does function even with mass coruption IN ALL PARTIES. It just doesn’t function effeciently and not with our forefathers intentions.

How to fix it???? Who knows anymore. Money money money rules

Posted by: mjbiv at February 7, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #122005

Rhinehold, Ken, SCOTT, …

A reminder:

We the people of the United States, in order to

form a more perfect union,

establish justice,

insure domestic tranquility,

provide for the common defense,

promote the general welfare, and

secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I don’t see: “You’re on your own, loser!” anywhere. Do you?

Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #122009

mjbiv,

Here’s how to fix it.
The voters will do it by:
(1) voting to peacefully force government to be responsible,
(2) or wait, and learn the hard way (again).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 7, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #122010

When we stop corrporate welfare then I’ll complain about welfare for the citizens. Not until then.

Posted by: chantico at February 7, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #122012

As for “prove it” Rheinhold, do your own research. Nothing I point out to you will sink in.

Posted by: Dave at February 7, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #122017

Dave,

Do you save and/or invest your money? Just because the Kennedy/Bush/Gates/Trump/Walton families and the rest of the multigenerational empires hold a large amount of wealth, should that discourage me from trying to amass my own small fortune?

The “earn and invest” BS is not old and tired. It is a personal choice to grow one’s personal assets, no matter how little money they may have. You gotta start somewhere, but here in the Land of Opportunity, the average consumer spends MORE than he/she makes!!! Can we agree that this behavior is downright awful and will eventually blow up?

And no, i don’t think the wealthy need help affording their tax load. I just don’t think it is wrong to let ANYONE keep more of their money without the government taking it, no matter how much you pay in.

Posted by: Greg the Underwriter at February 7, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #122019

chantico,
The corporate welfare is rampant.
That is what a lot of pork-barrel is all about.
Graft, bribes, corporate welfare, and greasing the wheels of a vast system of corruption.

Incumbents also have numerous unfair advantages

In years and years, I have not heard of any plan or strategy that has any hope except for the only simple thing we should have been doing all along. Simply vote out (or recall) all irresponsible incumbents. Always. That’s simply what the voters are supposed to do. The voters have forgotten how this is supposed to work. They have an easy solution. Now, go eductate your friends, neighbors, associates, family, and everywhere you can think of, that the one simple solution is right under your nose.

I know it sounds more simple than it is.
That’s because too many like to wallow in the petty partisan bickering. Others like to fuel it (especially, clever, do-nothing, bought-and-paid-for incumbents).

Newcomers to congress need the voters’ help now.

Newcomers to congress are always outnumbered by irresponsible incumbents.

Hence, if voters don’t do their part, is is no wonder why newcomers and incumbents rationalize their pursuit for self-gain as the voters getting what they deserve for allowing it, when the have a simple, ethical, peaceful way to resolve it. Thus, the status quo wins, and offers many rewards to those that perpetuate it.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 7, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #122020

15% of $100.00 is always going to be $15.00. With that common knowledge doesn’t it make sense to have a flat tax? I think that the main issue in todays U.S. life is the cost of fuel and gas prices. With gas companies showing record quarterly profits in the billions wouldn’t that be a good place to start. Has anyone ever played the game Monopoly? That is how our oil companys are playing right now. They were fortunate to fall on Boardwalk. The rich get richer and the poorer get poorer. The middle class pays for every thing in the end. That is the goal of the game. Someone needs to break up these companies just like they did Microsoft, Bells and the electrical companies. The Electrical companies are mostly coops in which the members pay for the service that is provided to them in a way that it is not makeing any “Rich and Wealthy” person more rich and more wealthy. Everybody gets the same service, same price no matter how much they use or do not use. The USA should be turned back into a Coop the way it is supposed to be.

Posted by: Joe at February 7, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #122036

Creating poverty works for the Rplcn party. Thus it has always been. If they beat the people in most of the red states with a stick every other day, it would only increase their majority. They also need poverty to recruit the army

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 7, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #122037

>>15% of $100.00 is always going to be $15.00. With that common knowledge doesn’t it make sense to have a flat tax?

Joe,

If I earn $15,000 at my minimum wage job, and you take fifteen percent of it I’ll be surviving on $12,750. The millionaire will have to get by on only $850,000. You are right, that is FAIR in dollars, but it is not very practical. If the guy making $15,000 starves to death, who’s gonna mow the rich guy’s yard?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 7, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #122042

Excellent article, Andre.
Here’s another good one about Bush’s cruel and unusual budget.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 7, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #122048

The guy mowing the yard will have to DEMAND more money to do the job. The wage is only 5.75. That has not changed since 1997. Is That FAIR?

Posted by: Joe at February 7, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #122052

Marysdude,

Maybe the government shouldn’t be in the BUSINESS of taking money from any of it’s citizens. Perhaps that person making 15,000 would be able to survive on all of the 15,000 he makes, not just the 12,750 he would get?

Just an odd thought…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #122053

Dude
YOU dictating how the millionaire should live HIS life and spend HIS money, also isn’t very practical.
Besides, if anybody REALLY gave a damn about the guy making $15,000, they would personally help him out and make themselves feel less guilty.
Instead, the rest of us are forced to let you all spend OUR money how you want so that you can make yourselves feel better.

Posted by: kctim at February 7, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #122056

Rhinehold,

Sorry, Philiippe, but this again is where you show YOUR ignorance.

Won’t but the first nor the last time. I’m glad to learn, everytime…

the ‘every man for himself’ guys are suggesting nothing of the sort. they are suggesting that it’s not the government’s responsibility, at the expense of pointing a gun at its citizens and forcing them to help their neighbors when they NEED it, to meet everyone’s needs.

AFAIK, the government is never a stand-alone body separated from the citizens it’s supposed to serve. From my point of view, I see citizens as responsible for, well, the common usually shared project of a Society *all* together. They should commit themselves to help their fellow citizens.
Due to human nature, if it’s not made as *the* rule, most will do their best to NOT have to take care of their neighboors… thanks to the rampant individualism these days.

I understand that doesn’t fly well in France, but I can’t help that. I guess it all depends on your view of who earns the money, a citizen or an individual and who has say over what that individual does with that money once they get up and go out and earn it.

Like you could be *only* an individual, earning money or not, and not being *at the same time* a citizen. Since when you can quicky disable your citizenship when you earn money but turn it on when you ask help from, let’s say, the government to protect you from natural crisis, terrorism, globalization, birds flu or whatever else?

Citizenship is a full time status. If you don’t agree anymore with your citizen duties, you could:
a) change them by ballots/politics
b) move to another place.

One of the french citizenship duty is solidarity. I don’t try to escape it and, in fact, I’m happy to contribute as I’ve already benefit from it when I was unemployed/going back to university.

It also helps that France is a TAD bit smaller than the US.

France is a “TAD” bit less rich than the US too. What the point? Doesn’t US GDP per capita higher than the french one? I guess it’s more revelant to the topic than the population size, isn’t it?

Now, try looking at it through the EU / France viewpoint. How would you feel to find that you are now paying another 5% of your income to support the people in England who have ‘fallen on hard times’ and their economy is a wreck. Not a pulling together of French citizens to use charitable means to help them out but instead establishing an ‘entitlement’ for the English to live off the French for the next few generations…

I wonder how that would fly?

Actually it has been and is quite already the case ;-)
Never heard of the famous Thatcher’s UK rebate? In 1984, UK was the third poorest member of the Union and would had not benefit that much from an EU budget mostly focused on common agricultural policy. Hence, at this time, the rebate they got. Spain was not in good economic shape 20 years ago. Some of the newest EU members aren’t too. Today, a good part of EU budget is used in the EU regional policy which aim to improve the economic (and one hopes social too) well being of certains regions of EU. Being french *and* EU citizen, I contribute my part to this budget. I would love it’ll less used to subtain mainly PAC and more for EU-wide deeper structural changes like funding european research and education programs, thought. But yet I’m happy to stand by the Union members’s duty of mutual solidarity.

After all, it’s great to think that “United we’re stronger” actually works, even within the teenager EU is today.
Maybe I’m just an utopian but I’m still happier *trying* to put mutual wellbeing at works than living a little bit richer but lesser… a citizen. Money is not everything. Not yet. Probably never will, BTW.

Your frenchly utopian.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 7, 2006 6:01 PM
Comment #122061
Joe wrote: 15% of $100.00 is always going to be $15.00. With that common knowledge doesn’t it make sense to have a flat tax?

Joe,
I think so. Like this 17% flat rate income tax with a poverty level exemption (see details).

Nobody would pay tax on N times the poverty level (where N >= 1.0).
Only income above N times the poverty level is taxed at a flat rate of 17%.
No corporations would be taxed, because they just pass that cost along anyway, and makes it harder to compete internationally.

Anything above N times the poverty level would be taxed at the same flat 17% rate. Also, no tax is withheld as of 01-January until their income exceeds N times the poverty level. Thus, the poor will not be hammered. Also, this change should be accompanied with elimination of all sales taxes, which punish the poor the most.

It would be nice if it could be lower than 17%, and perhaps it could after the nation gets control of it’s out-of-control congress.

But, no tax reform, no reforms of any kind will be possible until the voters decide to start doing what they were supposed to be doing all along, which is always vote out irresponsible incumbents. It’s not a once-in-a-while duty. It’s a duty every election. To ignore government invites abuse, and we have rampant levels of abuse, corruption, graft, government FOR SALE, and a general lack of fiscal and moral responsibility.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 7, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #122069

Jack

You’re focusing on the personal immediate benefits, like a street in front of your house, or the value of the fire department when you have a fire. You’re ignoring the systemic advantages the wealthy garner from tax expenditures that wage earners never see. Like I said elsewhere, the wealthy would be unable to grow wealthy without the infrastructure that’s been created by taxation. Microsoft didn’t get started in Cote D’Ivoire, because it couldn’t have. Look, from the infrastructure here, I get to make a living, but the rich, they got rich from it. Do you suppose they could have done it without an educated populace, good roads, transportation, delivery, and communications systems? Do you think that happens in “low tax” countries? If you do, then you need to do some reflection.

Posted by: mental wimp at February 7, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #122078

Dave,

“You are on your own loser” is neither in the constitution no is it in MY post. But the word I did use is lazy. The constitution also says nowhere that those who work have to pick up the slack for those who are lazy. We will always help those in need and privately and publicly give more than anyone ever.
I am not in debt and I also said nothing about the things I have being any kind of meaning in my life. If you read my post in fact, I stated just the opposite.

But like I said at the end of my post, and it came true:
Oh I know that this will fall on mostly deaf ears. You guys will make every excuse. Change the subject. Get mad at the man who has alot because he was smart enought to create something the people wanted and made millions.
But I repeat SHAME SHAME SHAME.

Posted by: scott at February 7, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #122099

Yeah, the poor get poorer, and the rich get richer. That’s the way it is and it won’t change by just throwing the Republicans out and putting the Democrats in. The fact is, and I know yaall aint going to like it, the Democrats are just as courrpt as the Republicans and don’t have the intrest of the poor or the working class in mind.
When I was a kid I always heard that the Democrat Party was the party of the working man. Maybe they were once. But not in my life time. And I’m 59 years old.
The only way to even hope to change things is to through ALL incumbents out of office and replace them with folks that have the intrest of WE THE PEOPLE in mind. And keep doing it until our elected employees get the message as to who they realy represent.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 7, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #122102

The politicians have us right where they want us, arguing about welfare and taxation, all the while selling off America to the highest bidder. Who cares about welfare to the needy? What about welfare to corporations? What about the billions of dollars nobody in Washington can account for, what about the people they pay to sit around all day watching how long it takes ketchup to come out of the bottle? Worrying about the government handing taxpayer money out to the needy is least of our worries. The Cons get into an uproar about having to pay higher taxes to pay for welfare, but you can hardly get a rise out of them about paying higher taxes to pay for government incompetence and waste. How stupid.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 7, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #122113

JayJay
I’m as conseritive as they come, and believe me I’m pissed at all the waste in Washington. Wether it’s welfare checks to the lazy or welfare checks to corporations. I’m pissed about it. That’s why I’m voting against ALL the incumbents I can. Republican and Democrat. It don’t matter, they ALL need to be fired and folks put into office that will put he intrest of their employers befroe ALL special intrest.
The only reason the left is screaming about corporate welfare is because they aint in power. Why weren’t they worried about it when they were in power. It was going on then too.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 7, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #122121

I don’t care if people get rich. Theoretically it is possible for the economy to grow without people getting rich, but it is not possible in practice. Economic growth leads to greater income inequality. It also leads to greater general prosperity. The poor have not become poorer in real terms in any of our lifetimes. They have become poorer in relative terms. The poor are paying less of their share of the taxes. They are working fewer hours relative to their richer neighbors. We might want to help the poor become more productive citizens so that they can pull more of their own weight, but there is no call for indignation.

Posted by: Jack at February 7, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #122127
The politicians have us right where they want us, arguing about welfare and taxation, all the while selling off America to the highest bidder.

Ain’t it the truth !
There is a simple solution.
Really.
It’s what we were supposed to be doing all along.
But, we’ll never see it until we take off our partisan blinders, think out of the box, and vote responsibly to make government responsible too!

How did we get so, so far off course ?
I think it is because things were good for awhile, and we grew fat and happy.
Then we become complacent, and dependent.
Now, we are apathetic, or resigned to futility and despair to make a difference.

It is a cycle.
We’re in the end of the cycle, and about to restart at step (1).

How can we avoid having to learn the hard way again?
What will it be next?
Something like the Great Depression?
It is not that far fetched, as many pressing problems (i.e. debt, entitlements, energy vulnerability, aging population, war, etc.) grow in number and severity.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 7, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #122140

I really hate it when someone writes or says that 10% of the people pay 90% of the taxes. That is only true if you only count income taxes paid. The rich make the majority of their money off of capital gains which is taxed at a lower rate than income. Also lets not forget that Bush wants to make it so that some little shit who just happened to be born into a wealthy family doesn’t have to pay any taxes on his/her inheritance, that lowers the tax burden even lower for the wealthy. Inheritance should be taxed more than income because the person receiving it really didn’t have to do anything to earn it. In fact it should be taxed just like Lottery winnings because that is all it really is, if you are lucky enough to be born to wealthy parents it isn’t because you are smarter or better than anyone else it is because of one simple fact you just happened to win the Lucky Sperm Club Contest.
I almost forgot about Social Security which only taxes up to $85,000 per year, so for every dollar made after $85,000 the tax burden gets lower & lower & lower. So that in the end if you count all taxes & not just income tax the wealthiest pay the less percentage wise. Also lets not forget two very important facts about the 10% pays 90%:
1) that 10% of the people also control 90% of all the money.
2) That the labor force & the main consumers are the poor to the middle class.

Posted by: Steve at February 7, 2006 11:52 PM
Comment #122146

Jack wrote:

“As a society, we only become richer through greater productivity and that requires investment.”

I disagree with some of what you wrote, agree with other points. Investments in our economy can come in many different forms. I believe this is where we differ. I believe that the government should step in to invest in those who are in most need. I don’t think Bush agrees with this. His idea is that investing in the rich will somehow boost the economy. In my mind that is not productive as there is no guarantee that the those who got the largest tax cut will invest the money in the economy, start a new business, etc. The poor on the other hand spend almost everything they make and so you can almost guarantee that the money will food into the economy.

I certainly don’t hold the goverment responsible for my own short-comings in business, of course. And I certainly am fighting everyday to conduct business in a slowing real estate market. What I do see is that the United States has nearly 17% of its population living below the poverty line (about one out of every six people). Comparing that to countries that invest a great deal more of their public funds into their people and their economy it telling. 5.1% in Finland, 6.6% in Sweeden, 7.5% in Germany, 8 percent in France, 8.1% in the Netherlands, etc. are in poverty (I’m currently reading a book about European governments and so I only have European numbers).

I hope that a change can be made in the U.S. to invest more in our people than let the market determine what is of value as we do currently.

Posted by: Andrew at February 8, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #122158

I am a retired Vietnam veteren and registered Republican. I have been reading these comments about taxes, etc.. The way I see it. I not only paid income tax state, local and federal but state sales taxes, federal excise taxes{ex. tires}. I can’t forget my land taxes etc. etc. Everybody pays taxes poor people the rich, none are left out. I enjoy the freedoms I fought for that we can debate who pays for what. Ed

Posted by: Bkworm at February 8, 2006 1:09 AM
Comment #122173

And regarding the standard Lib diatribe that “Bush lied about WMD in Iraq” … the following video shuts up even unreasonable liberals very neatly …

http://media1.streamtoyou.com/rnc/111505.wmv

High speed internet req’d.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 8, 2006 2:01 AM
Comment #122175

And regarding the standard Lib diatribe that Bush lied about WMD in Iraq the following video shuts up even unreasonable liberals very neatly:

http://media1.streamtoyou.com/rnc/111505.wmv

High speed internet req’d.

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 8, 2006 2:02 AM
Comment #122177

NO THOMAS, the world doesn’t owe me or anyone a living, but it’s just right that the people paying for the administration to have health care for the rest of their lives and for the people in congress to have health care that they don’t have to pay for should have the right to the same kind of care. And as to the education yes we do just have high school educations but there are people who have college degrees that are in the same boat as us. Except they get to hear when they get turned down for a job, you are over qualified. Or in some cases you don’t have enough education. Bush’s plan for those who have lost their jobs that they have had in some cases for 20 or more years is to let them go to school at the governments expense so that they can start over at a lower paying job than they had before and in most cases don’t have the benifits that they had before. Wages need to keep up with the cost of the items we have to buy to survive. For example the same kind of coffee that cost around 4.00 to buy 6 years ago, now cost almost 8.00 and the wages Americans are making are not keeping up. Jobs are almost non-existant where I live. The job center in the county I live in total 50. For a population of over 94,000 people. We have an unemployment rate of 6%. Yes it bothers me to have some take advantage of the system, but faced with numbers like that and the fact that most of the jobs here do not and will not support a family, there really is not that many options. Yes there is the option of moving somewhere else, but when there are elderly parents and in most cases people own their homes and to sell them to who? It’s ok for those that are younger and have the time to devote to a new company but in most cases here where I live the workforce are in their mid to late forties or older and most companies will not hire someone that old. They want the younger employees that it will be worth their while to train and invest the money in training. As someone said if it weren’t for the little people working their tails off the CEO’s wouldn’t be able to rake in the big bucks, companies need to stop offering the big saleries to the executives and remember the little guy. GM today posted they were cutting the salaries to the top exec’s, it’s about time.

Posted by: Sherri at February 8, 2006 2:06 AM
Comment #122179

Oh and by the way the average wage here is 26,395. Not that far above poverty level. Try to pay a house payment, pay for health care and raise a family of 4 on. Kind of hard to do.

Posted by: Sherri at February 8, 2006 2:12 AM
Comment #122207

Scary thought d.a.n. but I don’t think you are far off with they cycle and where we are in it.

About the tax situation, I agree with the taxing for consumption. Do away with income tax all together. Add a certain percent to sales tax. The poor will pay their share, they still have necessities (and not necessities) that they are willing to pay for. The rich…ell… if they want the Rolls they will have to pay the taxes on it. It’s a choice. The corporations… same thing. Sales tax is the answer. Imagine also the huge savings… persons in this country illegally would be paying taxes, taxes we are so far unable to collect. No more books and papers and mailings the government would have to send out once a year. No more paying for all the IRS employees who have to chase after those that do not pay their taxes. I think this way would reap a huge profit to our government, and no one could cry foul that they are paying more than anyone else… its all a choice. You want the big screen TV or not? Maybe it’s too simple?

Also, in regard to corporations, I think, in order to keep jobs in America, instead of India, Indonesia and the like, they should get taxed as an import, a “non-American” company if you will if more than 10% (or even less) of their business, in any aspects, is not located in the United States. Make it so it isn’t cheaper for them to dump American workers in exchange for those who will work for pennies a day.

We are all double, triple, quadruple.. and more taxed by our government every day of our lives. Doube taxation? Ha! That’s a thing of the past. We pay taxes to our governments, state, local, federal… then we buy gas, and pay tax to our governments, on money already taxed. Same goes for consumer goods, our homes, our cars. You name it. We are and have been multiple taxed on our money over and over and over.

Now, none of this is even possible because our politicians write legislation to suit these corporations and those who have the money to buy their way in. Promises are made behind closed doors, closed to us regular people, to hand over the cash in exchange for their jobs in our government. I think it’s time that we listen to the newly elected first term senators and representatives… you know, the ones yet to be corrupted. Give them a swing at things, and get rid of the career corrupt politicians. The electoral college is outdated and should be rid of as well.

BTW hi there all… enjoy reading the debates and ideas!

Posted by: Kc at February 8, 2006 5:37 AM
Comment #122248

My small business is haveing the worst year it has ever had. this started going down hill the second year the monkey was in office. god help us find a way to get him out of office.
as i read in a letter above, it said send the rich brats to war, i agree. if we sent the rich kids to war the soliders would have everything that they need. not just what ever junk bush wants to send them.

Posted by: roger look at February 8, 2006 9:02 AM
Comment #122270

Andrew

Europeans are sometimes talking relative poverty. Don’t get me wrong, Europe is a very pleasant place, but it is most pleasant for those established. In most of Europe it is harder to start a new business or do what you are doing. Growth rates are low and actual buying power is not as high as you think. Many Europeans live under the U.S. poverty line in what they can actually purchase, size of their homes etc. The comparisons don’t always work. The other difference is homogenous populations. As the French are learning, diversity has its advantages and disadvantages.

Poverty rates can be a measure of inequality. If you have two unemployed guys and one gets a job, there is a jump in inequality and relative poverty.

Steve

Don’t confuse tax rates with taxes paid. We can argue about what the effective tax rates would or should be. The fact is that the top earners pay most of the taxes, period. The lower half pays almost nothing and the lowest 20% actually pays a negative tax. (They get more in credits than they pay in taxes.)

Roger
If you look long term you see long term trends. “The monkey” is not responsible for your business problems. Do you want him to be? Do you really want the Federal government so much in your business that the president can determine your particular prosperity in such detail?

Posted by: Jack at February 8, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #122277

kctim and Scott,

Let’s try it again:

We’re talking about low income(That means they work but receive minimum wage).
children(They’re not allowed to work(labor laws).
The elderly(They’ve worked all their lives).
Young families(Who work but do not make enough to pay their bills).
Military personnel(They’re working their butts off).
Poor college students(Working toward a degree).
The handicapped(Physically unable to work).
These are not lazy people.
They are people who get screwed by this administration.

I don’t understand how you can sit back and say nothing about programs in place to help our most vulnerable citizens being cut.
The new budget ends Social Security death benefits to aid the poor who cannot afford to bury their loved ones(Are their dead loved ones irresponsible?), raises the criteria for those who need social security benefits and new regulations to children who’s parents have died.
Those lazy surviving children of parents who’ve died, how dare they ask for the money their parent put into Social Security.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 8, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #122281

Andre,

So, they can have the money that their parents put in social security, but if they leave anything else to them (a house, a financial portfolio, a 401k or other retirement plan, a trust fund, etc) then those should be taxed because those kids who didn’t work for that money and deserve it shouldn’t be getting free money?

I’m not putting words in your mouth here as much as point out the obvious to the idiot earlier who was trying to say we should increase the inheritance tax because they are jealous that someone might get a bit of a ‘head start’ from their parent who died while working hard to amass a little bit of wealth to pass on to their children.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 8, 2006 10:28 AM
Comment #122284

Oh, but it would be nice if there were something ‘in’ social security. But that would mean some kind of fiscal responsibility and retirement planning to get a better return rate on the money ‘invested’ that social security can offer, which is nearly 0.

Until we do have some sort of actual retirement planning with those funds, some kind of ‘reform’ on the program, cutting the increases (that’s what you call cuts, right? Not increasing it as much as originally planned) to help resolve the issue of more people starting to retire than we have working seems the only real reasonable thing to do, unfortunately.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 8, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #122297

Rhinehold,

The wealthy deserve the perks that comes with their amassed wealth. They do not deserve to receive perks on the backs of the poor and middle class.
The middle class and poor should not have to lose vital programs and services to help pay for the war. The poor and middle class are doing the fighting, that should be enough.
Taxation should be balanced and exist without loop-holes that onlythe wealthy can exploit. Corporations should not be allowed to not pay taxes as incentives of doing business.
Why do all the biggest ass-holes find the best loop-holes?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 8, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #122305

‘on the backs of the poor and middle class’?

I think that line defines the difference in how people see how the real world works.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 8, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #122308

Andre
“I don’t understand how you can sit back and say nothing about programs in place to help our most vulnerable citizens being cut”

Simple, I dont believe in them. I believe those programs have created a nation with people who have become dependent on the nation.

“The new budget ends Social Security death benefits to aid the poor who cannot afford to bury their loved ones”

Then, IF you really care that much about helping them, YOU should give them the $255 they MAY lose with these cuts.
Dont make me support what YOU feel is the right thing to do.

“Why do all the biggest ass-holes find the best loop-holes?”

If everybody was taxed fairly and Constitutionally, there would be no need for loop-holes.

Posted by: kctim at February 8, 2006 11:27 AM
Comment #122311

kctim,

We’ll have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 8, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #122315
Kc wrote: About the tax situation, I agree with the taxing for consumption.

Kc, I’ve studied the 23% FairTax.org plan.
It is a sales tax with a poverty level allowance.
It is almost (not quite) the reverse of what I propose.

A national sales tax will require a bigger change in current methods and procedures.
A 23% sales tax is pretty high. It may create black markets.
It may create problems with Social Security and Medicare accounting.
It may be more difficult to collect the tax from all vendors, versus all employers.
What about exports? Do we tax sales to international customers, but not American citizens?

I’m not totally against the FairTax, but I do see vast changes and questions, as opposed to fewer changes and less disruption for systems we must drag along (i.e. Social Security and Medicare). Also, I believe income is much easier to track because their is the company that pays and employee, and both report the income. In a sales transaction, the customer doesn’t necessarily report the sale, so who is to say that the seller will report and send in the sales tax. That has always been a problem with sales tax. Neither way is are perfect, but they are not equal either. Each have advantages and disadvantages. After studying both, I think the national sales tax of 23% is too high, more complicated, and more ripe for abuse.

Any tax system we decide upon is hampered by the necessity to drag portions of the old tax system along too (i.e. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.).

Also, here’s a very interesting point.
One question about any tax system that is continually asked is:

____ Will everyone (excluding the poor) pay heir fair (or equal) percentage of tax related to income ?

Interesting isn’t it?
What does that tell you?
It seems many people still want the end result of any tax system to be that everyone pays their fair (or equal) percentage of income (excluding those below the poverty level, which would pay zero tax).

There are some people that think the rich should pay higher percentages, but I believe that is unfair, and actually jealousy and resentment disquised as a demand for equality.

So, if we are continually tasked with proving that any tax system, in the end, must fairly tax income the same percentage (excluding the poor who pay zero tax), then why not simply retain the income tax, except make it a flat tax rate of 17%, eliminate all loop-holes, deductions, subsidies, which will also mean little or no changes for accounting for Income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax.

Also, taxing corporations has many negatives.
They simply pass the cost along, or pay no tax by paying out all left over profits to bonuses and salaries, instead of R&D to increase their competitiveness and ability to weather bad times (without being bailed out by tax payers; which government should not be doing, but are also responsible for creating the problem).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 8, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #122347

Bkworm
From one retired Vietnam Vet to another, Thankyou for your service to our Great Country.
Your right We all pay taxes in on form or another. And it seems like the more you get the more taxes you pay.
I don’t have anything against taxes as such. The Government needs money to run. Where I have the problem is with this silly notion that because I bust my ass and invest my money to get somewhere and be financialy sucessful that I should be punished for that through higher taxes. The old worn arugment is those that have more should pay more. HOGWASH! Insted of punishing the sucessful let’s try punishing the lazy that want to live off the sucessful. Maybe they’ll get off there lazy asses and get a job.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 8, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #122349

kctim,

Simple, I dont believe in them. I believe those programs have created a nation with people who have become dependent on the nation.

AFAIK, everyone is dependent on the nation for many things, whatever you wish.

Or do you have your own army to protect you?
Your own firefigthers?
Your own birds flu biologists?
Your own currency?
Your own power grid system?
Your own roads?
Your own police?
Your own teachers?
Your own nukes stockpile for deterence (sp?)?
Your own political system?
Your own flag?

Welcome (back) to the Jungle. A nation is not just a sum of indiduals. After all, it’s not “For Me, by the People”, nor is it “For People, by Me”.
No, it’s “For us, by us”. “Us” as in “all of us”. All. Not them. Not you. Not me. But we. That’s a nation. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of guys fighting on their own only that happened to be in the same geographical location.

Sadly, the rampant individualism show his dark face more and more in such attitude…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 8, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #122350

Question: What Party voted to put Soc. Sec. in General fund

Answer: None The Social Security Trust Fund has always been just that, a separate fund invested in U. S. treasuries.
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/intRates.html
http://web.archive.org/web/19970617031124/http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ASKACT/part6.html
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4a3.html

Question: What party voted to tax soc. sec. at the rate of 50% (Actually the question is phrased wrong. The bill taxed up to 50% of your SS or RR T-1 benefits that exceeded a certain amount and at your normal tax rate.)

Answer: Reagan signed it into law on April 20, 1983 and it became Public Law 98-21.
(Google Social Security Act Amendments of 1983)

(If you are self-employed this should interest you.)
The revised tax-rate schedule for the self-employed increases OASDI revenues by $18.5 billion and HI revenues by $8.3 billion over the period 1983-1989.
http://www.ssa.gov/history/1983amend2.html

Question: What party voted to increase tax on soc. sec. to 85% (This is phrased wrong in the same way as the previous question.)

Answer: Clinton signed it into law on April 7, 2000 and it became Public Law 106-182.
Another significant change in Social Security during the Clinton Administration was the repeal of the Retirement Earnings Test.
Prior to the repeal of the RET, benefits were reduced $1 for every $3 of earnings above the annual exempt amount for beneficiaries age 65-69. Benefits were reduced $1 for every $2 of earnings above the annual exempt amount for beneficiaries below age 65.
http://www.ssa.gov/history/ssa/ssa2000chapter3.html

Statement: Al gore cast the deciding vote.

Answer: The legislation quickly went to the full House where it was passed 422-0 on March 1, 2000 and 100-0 on March 22, 2000 in the Senate. On April 7, 2000, President Clinton signed Public Law 106-182, The Senior Citizens’ Freedom to Work Act of 2000.
http://www.ssa.gov/history/ssa/ssa2000chapter3.html


The bill passed unanimously in both houses, Gore was not needed. Both houses had a Republican majority by the way.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at February 8, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #122359

Yes, Philippe, and the ONLY WAY to pay for those things is through a forced (by gun) theft of money from citizens’ incomes.

I mean, user fees and other duties are impossible to pay for any of these things, aren’t they? How silly of us…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 8, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #122367

The shifting of the tax burden shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The American citizentry is sleeping through this historical period.
Our president speaks of creating an ‘Ownership Society’. Our lawmakers are not our neighbors, they live in a different America. They are well groomed and well scripted; experts in soundbites and self promotion. They are shuttled around Washington in limousines meeting with millionairs and powerbrokers.
Capitalism is a brutal economic system characterized by a tendancy toward concentration of wealth and increased governement control by the holders of that wealth.
That is why it is so important our government protect the citizentry from the excesses of these holders of wealth. Remember a democracy is a government in which the people hold the ruling power; rule by the ruled.
Unfortunately, the ruled are not holding their rule-makers to task. Many good citizens do not vote or vote against their own self interest because they are ill-informed or duped by a well orchestrated advertising campaign.
The shift in tax burden is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. The broader pro-business/ pro-wealth agenda includes easing of government regulations on corporations, increasing subsidies for targeted business activities, eliminating government agencies and the under-funding regulatory agencies / social programs.
It is important to recall that many of these regulations/controls and social programs were put in place after the fall of our last “ownership society”, also known as the great depression.
The conservative movement including the tax shift and regulatory changes have still not addressed our most looming social crisis…’The baby boomer retirement’.
How many baby boomers are really prepared for 20 or 30 years in retirement, disability, major illness or the need for nursing home care.
I’m not a supporter of entitlements, but I do believe there is a need for a social safety-net.


Posted by: Viv at February 8, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #122369

>>The old worn arugment is those that have more should pay more. HOGWASH! Insted of punishing the sucessful let’s try punishing the lazy that want to live off the sucessful. Maybe they’ll get off there lazy asses and get a job.

ron,

First, can you provide a percentage of those who are less fortunate who are lazy?

Second, if the tax burdon stays with the middle and lower middle classes, how long can we maintain infrastructure and military as the middle class slowly disappears, as it is doing now?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 8, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #122373

Rhinehold,

I once considered a pay-if-you-use-it approach to collecting taxes. For example, I drive, so I pay for road taxes. Pay for the tollway I’m on. That’s fine.

But, then, there is the fire department, and police, transportation, medical services, emergency agencies, national defense, etc.

What I finally realized was that no one is an island. None of us can live in society without affecting it (and vice versa).

A good society and government can not operate with some funding. The difficult question how to fund it fairly.

No tax system is going to be loved by all.
But, the best tax system is one that takes the least required, and provides for the truly needy, and provides for the security and safety of its citizens and nation.

Thus, the best solution to this problem is a fair tax system. What we have now is not a fair tax system. It is a mish-mash of goals:
(a) tax the poor the least,
(b) tax the rich the same,
(c) tax the rich more,
(d) provide loop holes for the wealthy,
(e) tax earned labor income more than capital gains,

But, the system fails miserably, because it has been perverted over decades by special interests. As you’d expect, the wealthiest are not paying their fair share, because deductions and loop holes benefit them the most, and they control the bought-and-paid-for congress.

Thus, we don’t need a new tax system as much as we need a badly-needed simplification of the existing system, that doesn’t hammer the poor and needy, and makes everyone else pay the same 17& flat rate percentage on all income above the N times the poverty level (where N is always >= 1.0).

All of the thousands of loop-holes and deductions need to be eliminated completely, because they over-complicate and pervert the tax system. Also, we have to remember, that is what congress does best. Given time, they can take any functional system, and make it dysfunctional. That’s what has happened to the tax system, election system, budget system, law enforcement, treasury, etc. It has been perverted to increase the opportunites for abuse and self-gain for those in government.

At any rate, no tax reform or any reforms will be possible until voters get fed-up enough to start doing what they were supposed to be doing all along: vote out all irresponsible incumbents, always, not once, but every election, until no more irresponsible incumbents exist. This will create the peer-pressure in government to police their own ranks, and start to pass some badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 8, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #122376

I’m neither conservative or liberal and neither Democrat or Republican. I’m moderate and independent with Libertarian and Green and Constitutional party leanings. But for anyone here, and I’ve read through these postings, for you to say that the poor don’t pay taxes, you’re out of your minds. We ALL pay taxes. The poorest of us as well and we don’t have the money to spend for them. As you make more, you should be paying more; and once before I had some wealth and was doing better and paying more in taxes than I now pay; so I’m speaking from life’s experiences.

I agree with a good many of the President’s tax cut’s, but not everything. And as far as the tax burden going to the states, it’s called redistribution everyone. If your state isn’t doing a good enough job with the new funds they have, maybe it’s time to get new people into your state’s congress. I wouldn’t have minded the President leaving taxes as they were, but who knows if the states would have been asking us all for more than they do now? Democrats and Republicans alike don’t mind adding on taxes to us, it just seems that the Republicans do it a bit less. We need some good moderate people in office of either one of the two major parties or of the lesser parties; and Libertarians, Greens, etc., ten to like to work for their constituents more than the others.

Posted by: Martin at February 8, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #122387

Philippe
Some of your list are listed in our Constitution as being provided for by the govt, some are state responsibilities, some are private and some are individual responsibilities.
Its not hard.

If you want the govt dictating how and where you spend your money, then you have no business arguing when the govt tells you or others who they can marry.
Afterall, BOTH sides believe their beliefs are for the greater good of the country dont they.

Posted by: kctim at February 8, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #122388
Martin wrote: We need some good moderate people in office of either one of the two major parties or of the lesser parties; and Libertarians, Greens, etc., ten to like to work for their constituents more than the others.
That’s up to the voters. That’s us. We will resolve it one day. The question is which path will we take? (a) Will it be the peaceful, responsible way? (b) Or, will it be the hard, painful way (again)?

The longer we wait, the closer we come to path (b). Most people won’t like path (b). But if they wait that long, they will only have themselves to thank for it, and politicians will continue to say we get what we deserve for allowing it.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 8, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #122394

kctim,

Some of your list are listed in our Constitution as being provided for by the govt, some are state responsibilities, some are private and some are individual responsibilities. Its not hard.

Huh? Please could you tell me which items from my list are or should be individual responsability?
BTW, the last item was a joke.

If you want the govt dictating how and where you spend your money, …

Dictating? Man, I though you and me were living in a democratic nation. And I guess by “spend your money” you mean “money you’ve agreed/you’re entitled as a citizen to contribute back to fund your nation budget”, right?

… then you have no business arguing when the govt tells you or others who they can marry.

Since when govt budget usage has something to do with straigh or gay marriage issue? I fail to see the link here, sorry.

Afterall, BOTH sides believe their beliefs are for the greater good of the country dont they.

Not only both, but all sides. Guess what? Nobody have it all right. And most probably none have it all wrong. That’s why it’s important that each side’s idea(s) could be debated.
Whatever side you’re standing, all sides have to live with the same citizenship rules. You can accept them or change them but you can’t fully escape them, as an individual, without losing your citizen status.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 8, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #122398

ron,

First, can you provide a percentage of those who are less fortunate who are lazy?

Second, if the tax burdon stays with the middle and lower middle classes, how long can we maintain infrastructure and military as the middle class slowly disappears, as it is doing now?


Posted by: Marysdude at February 8, 2006 02:18 PM


Try 99% of those on welfare.
I’m not saying to put the tax burden on the middle class. But spread it evenly. Don’t punish someone for being sucessfull.
This can be done by having a flat rate income tax. No loopholes, No decuctions, Everybody pays even the Welfare Class.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 8, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #122409

Ron Brown,

The middle class and low income are paying more than they should.
I’m not talking about those on welfare.
The people who make up the bulk of the military fighting force are in this soceoeconomic group and should not face the tax burden and do the fighting.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 8, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #122411

“BTW, the last item was a joke”
Ok.

“Man, I though you and me were living in a democratic nation”

Constitutional Republic

“And I guess by “spend your money” you mean “money you’ve agreed/you’re entitled as a citizen to contribute back to fund your nation budget”, right?”

As a citizen of the United States, my govt is entitled to follow the Constitution, especially in monetary matters.

“Since when govt budget usage has something to do with straigh or gay marriage issue? I fail to see the link here, sorry”

Its a personal freedom thing. If one side doesnt want the govt saying who they can marry, they sure as hell have no right to expect the govt to tell someone how to use their personal money.

“Guess what? Nobody have it all right. And most probably none have it all wrong. That’s why it’s important that each side’s idea(s) could be debated”

I do see each side of the debate and that is where the problem is. Each side thinks its ok for govt to intervene as long as it supports their position.
Keep govt out of it all and there is no reason to argue.

“Whatever side you’re standing, all sides have to live with the same citizenship rules. You can accept them or change them but you can’t fully escape them, as an individual, without losing your citizen status”

Those “rules” are covered in our Constitution. Deviating from them as we have is what has led to all this dependency and corruption.

Posted by: kctim at February 8, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #122426

“Wow. Where have all the compassionate conservatives gone?!?

Posted by: tony at February 6, 2006 08:57 PM “

Be patient, I’ve been reading for 2 days and don’t have an answer yet, but I know they’re out there some where.

They’re probably busy volunteering at homeless shelters and senior centers and donating supplies to food banks. You know, stuff to help eliminate the need for social welfare and safety nets and all of that other foolishness.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 8, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #122430

Better than expecting everybody else to do it for them through so-called “social programs.”
Oh well, at least they practice what they preach.

Posted by: kctim at February 8, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #122443

“ron,
First, can you provide a percentage of those who are less fortunate who are lazy?
Posted by: Marysdude at February 8, 2006 02:18 PM”

“Try 99% of those on welfare.
Posted by: Ron Brown at February 8, 2006 04:42 PM”

Ron,
Some states pay a reward for reporting welfare fraud: http://www.ucowf.org/fraud_contacts.htm

OK, I’m being a smart a**, but I seriously doubt the number is anywhere near 99%. Undoubtedly there is fraud and abuse of welfare, medicare, social security, worker’s comp, private insurance, etc.

The same is true when it comes to paying taxes. Some people cheat. Have you ever noticed that people think it’s OK to do a little bartering on the side?

Before FDR created the first of these “social safety nets” what was life like in the US? Could you really drive by the homeless and hungry with no empathy or compassion?

Compassion aside, what would the effects be on the crime rate? Would you rather have your tax dollars go toward building more prisons?

What about the elderly and infirm? If the dead bodies start piling up will you mind your taxes going toward the clean-up or should the rendering service simply be called as we would in the event of losing one of the livestock?

Maybe we could move into a “Soylent Green” era, only instead of processing dead bodies into food we could use them for fuel. There, I solved the welfare problem and the energy problem in less than 30 minutes.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 8, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #122458

“Better than expecting everybody else to do it for them through so-called “social programs.”
Oh well, at least they practice what they preach.

Posted by: kctim at February 8, 2006 06:03 PM”

Unfortunately charitable giving falls far short of being able to provide for the needs of all the needy.

BTW, I was being cynical anyway.

I have a welfare story: about 2 1/2 years ago I had no choice but to apply for Medicaid when my Cobra coverage ended. I’d never applied for help before in my life but it was still an ego-crushing SOB. I was approved within only a few days and just automatically I was also given a “food stamp card”. I didn’t need it and quite frankly I was ashamed to use it. After accumulating 3 months worth of food stamps ($300.00 +) I asked at the welfare office what to do. I was told “they’re yours, use them”. I did, I went to the store and filled 3 shopping carts full of canned and dry goods, then I donated the whole kit-n-kaboodle to Main Street Ministries.

Was I “Robin Hood” or just a robbing hood? How many people would have just stocked their freezer with beef? What would you have done?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 8, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #122465

KansasDem,
That admirable!
Very few would have done that.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 8, 2006 7:35 PM
Comment #122479

“KansasDem,
That admirable!
Very few would have done that.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 8, 2006 07:35 PM “

But, it was your money! If I had just not used them the money would have reverted back to the food stamp budget. So I decided how to spend your tax dollars. I also got several “hands on” pats on the back for using your money to provide charity that you paid for, so in reality I was honored for your sacrifice.

You also paid my medical expenses under Medicaid for 3 months (not cheap mind you) and you now pay my bills under Social Security Disability and Medicare. My disability is obvious enough that I get hardly any criticism in person but locally I especially hear folks talking about the “damn whores” and having to support all of these “damn whore’s kids”.

Most recently there has been a huge local outrage over “foster kids” causing trouble and costing the county a “butt-load” in legal costs. Well, it’s true, regardless of the reason’s, these kids end up in foster care so messed up that it becomes “society’s problem”. Who pays? What are the alternatives?

Problems, problems everywhere.
KansasDem


Posted by: KansasDem at February 8, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #122486
Its a personal freedom thing. If one side doesnt want the govt saying who they can marry, they sure as hell have no right to expect the govt to tell someone how to use their personal money.

You’ve personal freedom to move to a fiscal paradise to keep *all* your precious money. Just do it.
Or you could be a citizen and contribute to fund your nation budget.

But don’t worry, if you don’t contribute yourself, your children, their children, etc will do for you one day. After all, who care about future generation?

Compassionate my ass.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 8, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #122487

Should have been:

… to keep your precious err, money.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 8, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #122512

The people who make up the bulk of the military fighting force are in this soceoeconomic group and should not face the tax burden and do the fighting.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at February 8, 2006 05:10 PM

I don’t believe that military personnel should pay income tax. They’re serving our country and putting their lives on the line for it. They make sacrafices every day that civilians don’t have too.

KansasDem
Reporting it and getting something done about it a about ten different things. I called a couple of tomes to report welfare fraud. The third degree I was put through you would have thought I was the one guilty of it. I was also told that unless I could prove it they couldn’t do anything about it. And here I thought they were the ones that were supposed to investigate and prove it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 8, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #122539

“KansasDem
Reporting it and getting something done about it a about ten different things. I called a couple of tomes to report welfare fraud. The third degree I was put through you would have thought I was the one guilty of it. I was also told that unless I could prove it they couldn’t do anything about it. And here I thought they were the ones that were supposed to investigate and prove it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 8, 2006 10:11 PM”

Ron,
Of course if you make an accusation you must be prepared to back it up, otherwise anyone of us could make an accusation against the other and pretty soon we’d all be fired from our jobs, cut off of our benefits, jailed unjustly, etc.

But, the greater part of my opinion was meant to address the point that too much is blamed on “supporting the poor”. Every action has a reaction. Every reaction results in another action.

After paying into the system from the age of 14 ‘till the age of 51 I found it necessary to become a payee rather than a payor. I simply think when people condemn a program they should be ready to support their view.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 9, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #122614

Ron, you speak of lazy asses on welfare going out and getting a job. Did you ever stop to think that some of the people on welfare have no other choice. They could have lost a spouse, lost a job that had benifits or something like that. It’s not always as easy as that to find a job. Especially one that pays well and has benifits. If there is a child that has special needs there are some insurance companies that WILL NOT insure them. If they have an existing condition they WILL NOT insure them. So in these cases rather than have the additional medical burden they stay with state and federal run programs. It all goes to the fact that jobs just don’t pay what they paid a few years ago. Most jobs that are out there are minimum wage jobs that just don’t pay the bills. If for some reason you need to pay for your medical benifits because the company doesn’t pay them thats even less money that you have in your paycheck each week. That is something that I’m very familiar with. The last job I had I had no actual check, I lived off of the tips that I made each week, and still had to pay out of my pocket to finish paying the premimum. As well as the deductible and co-pays. So I can relate to both ends of the arguement. I now have no coverage and there are times when I have had to go to the hospital to recieve care. The hospital now recieves 25.00 a month towards my almost 4000.00 bill. Part of the problem is the cost of the actual health care a good example is when I requested the break down of my bill. The plastic thing that they put in to insert an IV cost me 27.50. How much did it actually cost to make and how much did the hospital actually pay for it? I could not get an answer. There was a charge of 75.00 for the nurse to give me a shot of a pain killer. Funny I thought they already recieved an hourly wage. My parents insurance was actually billed for a light bulb for one of my fathers out patient surgeries. So until the insurance companies stop getting billed for such things or actually question how much something costs the cost of insurance will not go down. Until the doctors and hospitals have some regulations put on them we will continue to have high medical bills that someone on a fixed income or someone who has no coverage cannot afford to pay.

Posted by: Sherri at February 9, 2006 7:59 AM
Comment #122624

That leads back to the wage. The starting price for jobs in this country is supposed to be $5.25. A familly can not be supported with a wage like this. More so a single parent familly. It makes sense that they will stay home to take care of their familly and still get a check from our gov. We have to raise the wage in this country or their will always be people on welfair just to survive. A job for some people is a liability. They make more money being on welfair. In the end the people with the money support the people without money. The people with money pay the most taxes. Maybe if people without money had the opertunity to make more money, they would. Then we could turn this country around.

Posted by: Joe at February 9, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #122627

Philipe
“After all, who care about future generation?”

I do. That is why I think I could provide for MY future generations welfare alot better than the govt.

“Compassionate my ass”

I’m no Conservative Phil. Hell, most conservatives dont agree with me on this one.

KansasDem
“supporting the poor”

It’s not really about that with me. Its about being forced to support them, even at the expense of my own family’s well-being.
Not having a choice in the matter is what I am so pissed at.

Posted by: kctim at February 9, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #122638

Median incomes have been falling for the last four years.
Actually, it is much worse than that, since many more households have two workers.
There should have been a spike in household income. Right? But, that isn’t the case.
Thus, individual income has fallen and still is.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 9, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #122675

Sherri
I’m very well aware that there are those that genuinely need help. And I have no problem with them getting it. But 99% are lazy. And from what I’ve seen I feel that’s a fair number.
When I see folks that are healthier than me coming into my store with their food stamp cards and braging about not ever having worked, I call that lazy. Sure they have kids at home, so do all the working moms. What’s the difference? If one mother can go out and work why cann’t the others?
Of all those that use food stamps in my store only three need them. One is totally disabled. Infact his mother has to run his card for him. The other two are elderly folks on SS and are barely getting by. I had a fourth that made minium wage with 8 youngins but he now has a decent paying job and doesn’t need them anymore. The rest are just a bunch of lazy good for nothings.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 9, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #122685

People on welfare work at very low paying jobs when they are not receiving benefits. Do the people harping on laziness understand that this system allows people to continue to live where they are living?

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 9, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #122722

kctim,

“After all, who care about future generation?”

I do. That is why I think I could provide for MY future generations welfare alot better than the govt.

“I”. “ME”. “MY”.
Oh my! Could you spell “us” and/or “them”?
Could you provide for YOUR future generations, beside welfware, education, security, healthcare, army, law enforcement, scientific programs, new energy source, etc. all by yourself?

Are you Bill Gates!?!

“Compassionate my ass”

I’m no Conservative Phil. Hell, most conservatives dont agree with me on this one.

Where did you read “conservative”? I said “compassionate”. Look longer, it’s just before “my ass.”.
Hum, I’m not english fluent enough so, please, does compassionate and conservative synonym or what?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 9, 2006 1:38 PM
Comment #123020

All you have to do to live fine without working is pop out a few kids or get fat. I once knew a woman who made sure she stayed above 300 lb. so she could get disability checks. People like this should be given NOTHING from the taxpayers. They should be allowed to either get a job or die on the vine.

Posted by: Duano at February 10, 2006 12:28 AM
Comment #123023

People on welfare work at very low paying jobs when they are not receiving benefits. Do the people harping on laziness understand that this system allows people to continue to live where they are living?

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 9, 2006 12:27 PM

The system incourages them to be lazy. Something they are very willing to do.
People on welfare aren’t working. That’s why they’re on welfare.
I know that some folks need welfare. I also know that some have recieved welfare and food stamps to help them through a hard time. That’s fine with me. If they really need the help then give it to them.
The ones I have the problem with are the 5th and 6th generation welfare bums. These assholes don’t intend to even try to get a job and become self supporting.
I have no problem with helping folks that are going through a tough time. But they need to be trying to help themselves too.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 10, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #123117

Phil
“Hum, I’m not english fluent enough so, please, does compassionate and conservative synonym or what?”

No. They used them together to describe their movement, compassionate conservatism, and now its a lefty quote towards conservatives. What happened to compassion. Thats where I got that from.

Oh, and yes, my family and I would be able to survive in a free world just fine.

Posted by: kctim at February 10, 2006 9:03 AM
Comment #123281

kctim
Conservitives are compassionate. The Republicans aren’t. Neither are the Democrats. Both parties are only out for themselves.
Conservirives don’t mind helping those that need it. They just expect them to try to help themselves in the process.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 10, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #123284

Conservitives….Not conservirives….. dummy.
My brain slows down and my fingure move faster.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 10, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #123396

We know what ya’ mean Ron.

I think most people are willing to help the truly needy, and don’t mind paying taxes for that. No one is an island. No one lives in a society without affecting it. Government is necessary, or anarchy and chaos prevails. So, most people are gladly willing to help.

What destroys that good will is excessive and oppressive government. Our government keeps growing itself and the National Debt to nightmare proportions. People are not as willing to give when they know their government is using and abusing them. And that is exactly what our government is doing. Here is what our congress does while our troops risk life and limb.

We can be a better nation, but voters must do it, because greedy, bought-and-paid-for, irresponsible incumbents won’t do it, and newcomers to congress need our help, because they are always outnumbered by corrupt incumbents.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 10, 2006 6:52 PM
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