Golfers: What are your favorite holes in the area? See if our Timesland Dream 18 is up to par and nominate your favorite.
“Can you tell me where my country lies?”
said the unifaun to his true love’s eyes.
“It lies with me!” cried the Queen of Maybe
- for her merchandise, he traded in his prize.
With whom will you dance this weekend?
View our commenting policy and standards | Commenting FAQ | Report a problem
I think it would behoove us all to take a deep breath and realize that, even if there is a “fiscal cliff”, it is not imminent, as some insist.
If no compromise or deal can be cobbled together (my prediction), we will have the time in 2013 to still keep working on it. Frankly, that would make more sense to me as I think this Congress incapable of any big legislative solutions. January 1 is NOT a deadline. It is not even a line in the sand. It is merely a convenient method of whipping up a frenzy.
The “financial markets” still have the low interest rates we have had, so they are not concerned about our ability to find solutions or pay our debt.
Many are screaming about the change in the “debt-ceiling” provision but it should never be the “burn this mother down” scenario we have started to experience. Since Congress, especially the Senate has conducted even routine business by demanding a two-thirds majority, it is beyond hypocrisy to claim the change to stopping the debt-ceiling only by a two-thirds vote is somehow beyond the damn pale! No surprise they are hypocrites thought, none at all.
Where in that change does it stop Congress from appropriating less spending or raising taxes instead? They have no right to both control spending and revenue then politicize it as they have recently done.
The evidence continues to mount that we have had the worst Congress in modern history and I see no reason to hope they will heal themselves.
Here are some really interesting info charts:
Information and the integrity to look at the truth when it is presented is the hallmark of Americans and I pray that we can put the vituperation of the poor, and the safety nets on hold long enough to see that they are not our real problem and that we cannot abandon that which has made us the envy of the world. When Americans no longer stick together, look out for each other and offer the safety nets (albeit with necessary reforms), what will we even be?
#1 If not addressed, after Jan., 1 taxes will increase across the board.
It never ceases to amaze me (speaking rhetorically) that the same people who advocate borrowing/printing money for stimuli/QE have some allergic reaction to letting people keep their own money, preferring to pull real money out of the economy with additional taxes. As long as it suits their social/political goals.
It never ceases to amaze me that the same people who advocate fixing the debt problem by lowering taxes fail to see the harm that will do when the severe cuts that will require cause the most vulnerable and least able to afford them to lose what little ground they have in our society. Pretending that would have little to no affect on the economy is truly astounding. And we ALL KNOW that suits only one social/political goal.
#4 Please explain just how increasing taxes (ostensibly) to pay for continued expansion of social entitlements has a net positive affect on the macro economy.
I can (and have) shown how increasing the tax base while reforming the tax code & entitlements does positively affect the macro economy.
(Opportunities missed several Tuesdays past).
To #4 (Sandi): No, we don’t ALL KNOW. At least I don’t. What is the “one social/political goal” of those who advocate tax cuts for deficit reduction purposes?
“What is the “one social/political goal” of those who advocate tax cuts for deficit reduction purposes?”
Gutting the New Deal. You’re welcome.
#5 “social entitlements” Ahhh yes, the old rightist tactic of insisting the problems of the lower classes are entirely their own fault with the pejorative use of such terms as “entitlement”, while blithely ignoring the one-percenters’ very real sense of entitlement which is one of the REAL reasons our economy is in such deep doo-doo these days.
I’ve said this before, and will say it again: America’s economy prospered the most back when the one-percenters were taxed at a much higher minimum rate than they are now.
#6 “No, we don’t ALL KNOW. ” So true, Brian, and you’re living proof.
“What is the “one social/political goal” of those who advocate tax cuts for deficit reduction purposes?” Why, it’s keeping the lower classes in what you believe is their place. Glad I could help.
#8 – Regarding the “one-percenters” versus the entitlement group…who made their money, Steven, and who has it given to them?
Thinking that the problem is with the producers instead of the non-producers is simply wrong and does nothing but continue to prolong the problem we have today.
Mrs. Saunders…..any answer to my question in #5 reference your #4?
@10 Michael, if I’m understanding your question correctly, and I admit I may not be, it seems you’re saying the rich have made-their-money or earned it while those who work for them have the “maker”‘s money given to them?
If what I wrote made sense and accurately portrays what you’re saying – then you have it backwards.
Because the employing class doesn’t make the money. The working class pays the capitalist class for the privilege of working there. So in truth, the working class are making the money and the owners are really the ones having money given to them. Strange but true.
This comes about because the employee has to make at least as much money for the company as the employee consumes. That is, the employee has to bring in enough money to pay for their own wages, benefits, etc. and absolutely must have money left over to give the owner money for their profits. Any employee that can’t do this will no longer be allowed to work at a particular place.
It puts the working class in the same position as that of slave.
To #7 (Art Hill) and #9 (Steven K): Interesting. You’ve provided TWO different answers that both presume fairly ill intentions on the part of people calling for tax cuts. I suggest reading the following article that discusses research by Jonathan Haidt (a self-described liberal), where he discovered that liberals don’t understand conservatives as well as conservative understand liberals: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/the-righteous-mind-by-jonathan-haidt.html?_r=0
The vast majority of people who call for tax cuts have no ill intent. They have no interest in destroying SS/Medicare or “keeping the lower classes in their place”. There are generally two goals in calls for tax cuts:  Letting people keep more of what they earn, and  Encouraging economic growth. If taxes are extremely high (say over 50%), then tax cuts will typically generate more revenue, per the Laffer Curve: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve.
Today, however, tax rates are fairly low. They’re especially low for things like long-term capital gains and qualified dividends. Lowering tax rates would reduce revenue and would increase our deficit, which I’m personally convinced is the current greatest threat to our economy. If you look back through the blog, you’ll find that I’ve never called for tax cuts. Not even once. I’ve harped an awful lot about the deficit, though, and repeatedly called for entitlement reform. [And I emphasize: Not entitlement destruction, but reform.]
Please don’t rush to presume the worst of people’s intentions.
Yes, please double-down on the 47% meme. It worked so well last time…oops.
And what is this right-wing nonsense about “entitlements?” Social Security an Medicare are savings accounts paid into one’s entire working life. We have every right to expect a return on our investments, I believe it’s called “capitalism.”
9 – It’s Dem entitlement programs/welfare that are “keeping the lower classes in their place” – dependent on the government, and lifelong supporters of the Democratic party. FIFY.
15 – no, it’s not capitalism, not remotely.
But it is reasonable that you have an expectation that what you have paid into medicare and social security be available to you when you need it. That was the promise made, and the promise sold. You need not ever have to worry about your old age in terms of subsistence and medical care.
Problem is, it won’t be there for you, nor for your kids or their kids. The demand is growing at a greater rate than the supply (and the funds keep getting raided for other uses). So what’s to be done?
Any government solution essentially requires a reneging on the promise made: changing eligibility requirements, either age or income, is a renege on the promise made that the funds would be available at a specific age irrespective of income. And it opens the door to continually changing those parameters. It is, precisely, changing the entitlement systems as known and a breach of the promises made. And there is no guarantee it would work beyond the short term, meaning this debate will go on, and on…it just comes down to who receives Uncle’s lies.
Free market solutions – allowing participants and employees to opt out in some degree and see to their own futures, for example – is derided on the left as taking money out of the system. Undoubtedly true, but it has the potential to be effective because it would a) also move people out of the system (i.e., reduce demand), and b) allow people more control of their own property (a foundation principle of our country). It is also a fundamental change to the system.
So what’s to be done? A stubborn insistence that we not change the system as we know it (while implementing changes that do just that), or allow some free market reforms that may (no promises) help the government keep the promise they made.
When it boils down, THAT is the promise that we should insist on: not the government will run a program doomed to fail because it is spending money faster than is coming in (dare we say Ponzi scheme?). But that the government will allow us to keep enough of our own property so that we are not burdens in our golden years.
I agree that Haidt makes a good case for saying “We were never designed to listen to reason“. And some folks prove that every day. There is an intuitive element to everyone’s perspective. Assigning motives or perspectives to what we do not understand is perfectly normal. We have to make some sacrifices. It makes no sense to me to cut programs for people who cannot afford them and NOT raise taxes on people who can well afford it. Was the cost of the wars, the poor, bad legislation, lax financial oversight and the economic crisis only the responsibility of the poor, elderly, disabled and workers to pay off?
Even the well known (and respected in the right wing arena) economist N. Gregory Mankiw does not believe in that well trotted “Laffer Curve”. “Most economists … believe that taxes influence national income but doubt that the growth effects are large enough to make tax cuts self-financing.”
Brian, I think that you believe people are accusing you personally of running or leading the TP/R Party and that you are responsible for their positions and the perceptions those positions give. To my knowledge, none of us here hold such positions of leadership and influence. You cannot deny that the conservatives in the TP/R Party have long decried the “safety nets” and “entitlements”. You cannot deny that the conservatives in the TP/R Party are just as responsible for adding to our debt as the Democratic Party has been.
Mayhap you, as an individual, did not have the fiscal cliff scenario in mind as the perfect weapon to force the reforms and cuts that have long been salivated after, but it is ludicrous to pretend that the TP/R Party has no such faction working and being very vocal.
Jim Lucas, raising taxes, helps pay down the debt and that stabilizes and grows the economy. Lowered revenue at times when spending is crucial or inevitable is simply bad business. That is one reason business avoids it whenever possible by raising prices or cutting expenses. Precisely what we are trying to do. You do not have two wars or an economic crisis without paying for them. Leaving those expenses out of the conversation is specious.
You have an excellent point, The Other Rick, and if it is “Dem entitlement programs/welfare that are “keeping the lower classes in their place” – dependent on the government, and lifelong supporters of the Democratic party“, doesn’t that mean that the TP/R Party should do something to improve their lot in life and woo them away from us? If all they are after is a safe berth for the price of their vote, why don’t you all buy it? You certainly have the money. You most assuredly need the votes.
Please don’t pretend it is beneath the dignity of the TP/R Party to pay (and pay dearly) for votes, for support, or for campaign money. Go for it. Don’t just offer boons to the wealthy and well-heeled, spread the joy and buy the other votes you think are for sale.
89Hoo, can you explain to us what people already struggling to live on $10.00/hour (or less) jobs can do to “keep enough of our own property so that we are not burdens in our golden years“? That is truly the burning question in light of anyone’s idea of solutions or reform. Reneging on a promise that means millions of people will simply be SOL is hardly a solution at all IMO.
I think the Laffer Curve is accurate as far as it goes; it matches common sense and intuition. The problem is that those who use the curve to either support or refute their positions never answer the fundamental question (or, more accurately, they answer it in accord to their agendas). That question, simply put: Where are we on the curve? Are we past the point of equilibrium, where tax rates maximize tax revenues, or have we not yet reached it? No one knows and can answer that with any certainty, so it makes the curve almost useless.
But an even bigger, more fundamental concern is that any time we use the maximization of tax revenue as a fiscal and tax planning starting point, you have already painted yourself into a corner. We should start with minimizing how much we NEED to spend, and then develop revenue steams to meet those obligations.
To #21 (89Hoo): Thank you for your second paragraph. It’s a point I should have made. The purpose of a tax system isn’t to maximize government revenues. It should only raise what’s needed in a fair and equitable manner. We should definitely strive to be well on the left side of the Laffer curve, simply to let people keep most of what they earn.
As for where we are on the curve… For capital gains and qualified dividends being taxed at 15%, we’re probably on the left. For earned income already being taxed at 35%, I’m not so sure. As a point of reference, the British recently jacked up their top marginal tax rate from 40% to 50%, only to observe the percentage of total revenues coming from the wealthy going down. Oops. It’ll be interesting to see how France fares with their recent hikes from 50% to 75%.
To #18 (Sandi): You said, “Brian, I think that you believe people are accusing you personally of running or leading the TP/R Party and that you are responsible for their positions and the perceptions those positions give.” Nope. That wasn’t my impression. However, if you read Steven K’s comment #9, I was accused of “wanting to keep the lower classes in their place.” Which I don’t.
And as for “Mayhap you, as an individual, did not have the fiscal cliff scenario in mind as the perfect weapon to force the reforms and cuts that have long been salivated after.“… Well, actually I do think it’s a good opportunity to force action on entitlement reform, just like Democrats think the cliff is a good opportunity to force action on taxes.
Reform is necessary. Last year, Social Security ran a deficit of nearly $160 billion, and Medicare ran a deficit of over $280 billion, despite the fact that both programs are supposed to be “self-funded and independent”. That’s $440 billion in total (i.e, 40% of the current deficit), and it’s only going to get worse as the the number of beneficiaries continues to rise: http://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/icpGraph.html. [For some perspective on the size of the problem, note that Obama's proposed tax hikes on the wealthy will only generate $100 billion per year.]
89Hoo is correct in #17. The government has made promises it cannot keep. We cannot pay currently promised benefits at currently promised retirement ages with current payroll taxation rates. The math simply doesn’t work out. Art Hill’s “savings accounts” of #15 are a myth, and the SS/Medicare “trust funds” contains no actual money (just claims to the future income taxes of today’s younger people, leaving less for actual government services). The promises must be changed.
The government has not “made promises it cannot keep”. The Government has been mismanaged to the point of malfeasance and WE are expected to take the brunt of the “solutions” because of it. The money owed to Social Security has the “full faith and credit” of the United States of America just the same as the money owed to China, Japan or any other entity. As it should.
We can, and have already started to, make reforms, with more on the way, but we also have to increase revenue to keep it “fair and equitable”. Anything less serves only that one social/political goal we all know exists.
#9 – “What is the “one social/political goal” of those who advocate tax cuts for deficit reduction purposes?” Why, it’s keeping the lower classes in what you believe is their place.”
If that is truly what you believe, then we might as well stop any kind of talks right now since you have no realistic idea what those who favor tax cuts want.
Given your rhetoric here Brian, can you explain to us what people already struggling to live on $10.00/hour (or less) jobs can do to “keep enough of our own property so that we are not burdens in our golden years“? Since you claim no part of the solutions you offer are “wanting to keep the lower classes in their place”, how then do you expect them to survive into old age on reduced benefits and payments that you prescribe so insistently?
Also, given the insistence that you all only want what is “fair and equitable”, please explain what is fair and equitable about taxing the hard work of a small business leader, a doctor or skilled craftsman at 35% and the gains on investment (gambling) of a Hedge Fund Manager or LBO King at 15% (even less after deductions allowed)?
Is there a credible economist in this nation still saying we only have to cut spending on “entitlements” to fix the debt? Is there a credible economist in this nation still saying we can only cut taxes and fix the debt?
Michael, feel more than free to explain to us what the “realistic idea what those who favor tax cuts want”?
#28- To cut wasteful spending, Sandi. Simple as that.
Many social welfare programs are huge wastes of money, yet we’re not allowed to even mention cutting them without being called a racist or how we hate the poor.
Unless the left is willing to honestly look at wasteful spending, then negotiations are themselves a waste of time.
To #26 and #27 (Sandi): I’ve never called for reduced monthly benefits. I’ve called for delayed benefits (i.e., higher retirement ages). There’s a difference. I consider a briefer retirement with full-sized monthly checks a better solution than a lengthier retirement with checks reduced to poverty levels. [And as a matter of mathematics, the nation can't afford to provide lengthy retirements with full-sized monthly checks.]
And as for the 15% vs. 35% difference between capital gains and earned wages, I’ll remind you again of what I said in a commentary 1.5 years ago, http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/commentary/wb/294530: “Perhaps most egregious is the capital gains tax, where wealthy investors pay a maximum of 15 percent on their earnings, which is much less than the 35 percent maximum that people who earn wages or a salary must pay. Is the fine art of buying low and selling high so sacred an activity that it should be taxed less than working for a living?”
I don’t think it’s fair that wealthy investors pay a lower rate than I do. I also don’t think it’s fair that 47% of workers escape paying income taxes entirely. Both groups ought to be paying more taxes.
I do not believe that “47% of workers escape paying income taxes entirely” is an accurate statement. If you mean the infamous 47%, then you are still wrong.
Thanks for the clarification of your personal position on the issue, do you know where the party you voted for stands on either question?
Michael, I do not understand how the “realistic idea what those who favor tax cuts want” is “To cut wasteful spending”. Are they not two separate things?
FWIW, even though I do not understand the connection there, I agree completely that we need to “cut wasteful spending”. It does not appear however that we can all even agree on what “wasteful spending” is. I think many subsidies and incentives to business are “huge wastes of money”, more huge than helping the poor people who get some social welfare programs help. Since most of the people I have ever known who got something from “social welfare programs” were/are white, I fail to see the racism in claiming they should not have.
How is delaying the age that workers can retire, not reducing benefits? Is it not the low wage labor workers whose bodies give out sooner and who die sooner anyway? These are not people likely to have ever had good health care insurance therefore good health care maintenance. The obituary page of every town is full of workers who died before they ever saw a penny returned on their payments too. If the illegal immigrants work here all their lives and pay into SS/Medicare, they will not be eligible for either.
I do not dispute that someone who works 45 years, retires and lives another 30+ years has way over extended what they paid into the systems (especially Medicare). But punishing all workers for the longevity of some is not right either. It is literally a problem with no fair or easy answer.
At current levels Social Security is solvent until 2038, by then the boomers will be gone. Medicare will only be in trouble if the high cost (read greed) of health care providers is not addressed. The president must be willing to go over this Republican-created “cliff” to thwart further erosion of the safety net.
#30 – ” I also don’t think it’s fair that 47% of workers escape paying income taxes entirely.”
To some, that makes you a racist that hates poor people, Brian.
Again, I do not believe either of you are correct in saying that “47% of workers escape paying income taxes entirely”. Please cite your evidence or stop it! The highest number I have seen is 29% of workers make so little that that they do not pay federal income taxes.
To #31 and #33 (Sandi): Concerning the 47%, I’m correct. I said “income taxes”, not “payroll taxes”, and I was quite careful on that distinction. I’m well aware that most of the 47% still cough up payroll taxes, but as recently as the year 2000 only 33% of workers paid no income taxes, which means that over a three-tenths of those currently escaping federal income taxes under current rules would have paid under Clinton-era rules: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/09/daily-chart-9
And yes, delaying retirement is an overall benefit cut. That’s the point. You seem to want people to be able to retire at 65 (no matter how much longer they’ll live afterward) and receive a full set of generous benefits, without payroll taxes going up on the working class. Such a scenario sounds lovely, but it’s mathematically impossible: Too much money going out and not enough coming in. Something’s gotta give. Realistically that means some combination of later retirement ages, reduced monthly benefits, and/or higher payroll taxes on workers. Pick your poison.
To #34 (Art Hill): 2038?!? Stay with the times, Art. The Social Security Trust Fund is currently projected to expire in 2033, not 2038: http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/pr/trustee12-pr.html
And no, the passing of the baby boomer generation won’t make things okay again. If you look at the CBO’s long-term projections at http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43648 or the SSA’s long-term projections at http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/index.html, you’ll see that they predict a persistent Social Security 25% funding shortfall through 2085, long after all of us are dead. There’s no post-boomer bounce.
#32 – “Michael, I do not understand how the “realistic idea what those who favor tax cuts want” is “To cut wasteful spending”. Are they not two separate things?”
Not really, Sandi.
Stevens belief that we only want to keep the poor in their place is beyond ridiculous and a clear indicator that those who think that way have no realistic view of the current situation.
Dueling links, Brian?
Stop trying to muddy the waters.
To #40 (Art Hill): I’m not muddying the water. You are, by linking to out-of-date information. Your link is from 2011. Mine are both from 2012 and take into account more recent economic data. Back in 2011 the CBO was predicting 4.5% economic growth for 2012. This obviously didn’t happen, and forecasts for 2013 and 2014 have been reduced as well. This had a negative impact on the expected depletion date for the trust fund.
#18 (Mrs. Saunders) “Jim Lucas, raising taxes, helps pay down the debt and that stabilizes and grows the economy. Lowered revenue at times when spending is crucial or inevitable is simply bad business. That is one reason business avoids it whenever possible by raising prices or cutting expenses. Precisely what we are trying to do.”
1. Raising taxes does not pay down the debt unless; it sustains or increases revenues while simultaneously reducing spending. It is a fallacy to assume higher taxes increase revenue, it does not assure reduced spending (usually the opposite)….and certainly does not increase economic growth. You can fall back on the increased tax mantra (once again without substantiating it) all you wish, but tax revenue will allways be tax rate X tax base, and the key to growth & revenue increase is to expand the latter.
2. How do increased taxes “stabalize and grow(s) the economy”? (A contradictory statement….but).
3. Why is spending (now, and especially more now) “crucial or inevitable”?
4. What is the “it” you speak to in relation to business?
Sorry Brian, but you are not correct. You may have been “quite careful” on the “income tax” distinction, but you were quite wrong to call them all “workers”. Even your own link says “Americans” and “households”. There is no way 47% or even 33% of WORKERS do not pay income taxes.
Yes, “delaying retirement is an overall benefit”, so please do not say you have not called for benefit cuts. I do not “seem to want” anything, other than for you to admit that not all workers CAN work longer.
Since the benefits are based on earnings, it is not correct to broad brush call benefits “generous”. A solution might mean that payroll taxes go up (like they did in 1983 under Reagan) to pay for the promise made. We have always paid our debts.
There may be some changes on the horizon, there is already an incentive for those who can to work past 62, and 65 to gain more in benefits each month. And if you retire at 62 you still have to wait till 65 for Medicare. More may need to be done, but across the board raising the ages when many jobs literally take a toll as we age is just wrong IMO. And I do not believe that is necessary.
Followup to #40 (Art Hill): If you’re unhappy about the new 2033 estimated trust fund depletion date that was released in April, you can always go to Senator Tim Johnson’s website: http://www.johnson.senate.gov/issues/security.cfm
“The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that Social Security outlays will first exceed revenues in 2019 and that the Social Security Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2049.”
Unfortunately, Senator Johnson is using data that’s even older than yours. As best I can tell, it’s from 2008: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/09/cbos-social-security-projections-differ-from-trustees-but-were-still-in-trouble
It’s amazing what a difference a big recession and 3.5 years of lackluster recovery can make. The CBO in particular has a bad habit of looking at the future through rose-colored glasses. In this case, they assumed a quick recovery to the “full potential of the economy” followed by 3% or greater GDP growth without interruption until 2085. No recessions or economic dips of any kind. Alas, life doesn’t work that way, and they’re always having to update their projections for the worse.
Senator Johnson needs to give his website admin a swift kick in the ass.
DO either of you think that at least part of the problem is that 29% of workers do not make enough to owe income taxes? Might that not be at least PART of the problem? While I am sure some will say tax them too, I do not think that fixes the real problem. A quarter of our work force does not make enough money to owe income tax. Do you comprehend that reality yet?
Jim Lucas, for the purposes of this deficit reduction “fiscal cliff” discussion, raising taxes, helps pay down the debt and that stabilizes and grows the economy. Why else are we even discussing it?
It is not an idea that I coined just to annoy you.
#45 – “Do you comprehend that reality yet?”
And here we go…insulting peoples intelligence.
I’m surprised it took this long.
I was wrong, and unlike some, I’m willing to admit it. That being said, I’m also a proponent of raising taxes when necessary. Upping the retirement age or lowering benefits is unfair to workers whose professions take a higher toll on their health. Social Security can be kept perfectly solvent by increasing contributions, especially from those who have the ability to pay.
#47 “And here we go…insulting peoples intelligence.”
Tad touchy there, Michael?
To #45 (Sandi): Ah, I see what you’re getting at. I was looking at “fraction of tax filers” paying, as opposed to “fraction of workers” paying. I concede the point.
However, the question remains: Why are so many fewer filers/workers paying income taxes today than paid in years past? There are two potential reasons that come to mind:
 The Bush/Obama tax cuts, combined with increased exemptions, credits, and deductions. I submit that this is the key driver, as there have been numerous warnings that a great many of the working poor will once again pay income taxes if we go “over the cliff” and restore all Clinton-era tax rates.
 People earning less. I’m more skeptical of this one, as real wages have risen 3.5% over the past 12 years: http://middleclasspoliticaleconomist.blogspot.com/2012/03/basics-real-wages-remain-below-their.html. Sadly, that’s 3.5% total, and not 3.5% per year, but nevertheless, real wages have risen slightly since 2000.
[On the other hand, interest income earned by seniors on their savings has been absolutely devastated by the Federal Reserve's efforts to keep mortgage rates artificially suppressed. But is this enough to explain an additional 16% of tax filers not having to pay income taxes? I doubt it.]
To #48 (Art Hill): And increasing contributions is unfair to the young, who will have to part with a greater portion of their paycheck (for purposes of funding Social Security) than anybody ever before them. And will they receive more generous benefits as compensation for their increased sacrifice? Nope. Benefits would have to stay the same for the math to work.
Don’t you think we’ve dumped enough debt on the heads of today’s younger citizens without hammering them further by demanding more payroll taxes?
#49 – “Tad touchy there, Michael?”
Not at all, gdad. Just pointing out how the discussion always winds up with a certain someone questioning the intelligence of others.
It never fails.
Why would you be “skeptical” when your own link concludes: “The fact that, adjusted for inflation, wages still remain almost 14% below what they were 40 years ago, despite a doubling in productivity, is a national disgrace. It is one of the roots of the increase in multi-income households, in higher levels of indebtedness needed to maintain consumption levels, and of the sharp increase in inequality we have seen over recent decades.“
Not only have wages not kept up, but the jobs we are “creating” are too often in the service and minimal income area.
You cannot bemoan the taxes not paid by these workers without recognizing why and it is not just because they were given tax breaks, it is because they are not making enough money to sustain themselves and taking more of what they do not have enough of is not the answer.
Guilty as charged.
Maybe if I did not have an “allergic reaction to letting people keep their own money“, or if I could only “understand conservatives as well as conservative understand liberals“, if it wasn’t all “hogwash” to me since I have “no realistic idea what those who favor tax cuts want“, I would be nicer to everyone here. Doubtless because I spend all of my time saying you are “a racist that hates poor people“, I have trouble trying to “Stay with the times” and I should just admit that someone’s “belief…is beyond ridiculous” instead of asking if they comprehended what is the root of the problem. Or maybe if I quoted the CBO when it suited me, then said they had a “bad habit of looking at the future through rose-colored glasses” when it did not, if I substituted workers for households, and tax cuts for spending, I would not seem so cynical and wonder if people comprehended what I was saying.
No need to wonder, Sandi…we understand you just fine.
Let’s keep it down to a dull roar. Thanks.
Name is required
A valid email is required (email@example.com)
Comment is required
Your email address will not be published.All fields are required to comment.
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 01:03:10 +0000