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Republicans The Almighty Buck

Congressman Introduces Bill To Ban Minting of Trillion-Dollar Coin 1059

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the supervillians-gather-in-protest dept.
Dainsanefh writes with news that the new Congress isn't wasting any time getting back to work. From the article: "Lawmakers are still positioning themselves for a debt ceiling fight in a few months, but one Republican congressman wants to snuff out a particular idea immediately: the U.S. Treasury minting $1 trillion platinum coins to avert a debt ceiling showdown. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has introduced a bill to specifically ban President Barack Obama from minting the coins. The trillion-dollar coin has been previously discussed on Slashdot:"
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Congressman Introduces Bill To Ban Minting of Trillion-Dollar Coin

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  • by Calibax (151875) * on Monday January 07, 2013 @08:47PM (#42512795)

    It's a long way from introducing a bill to getting it through Congress and signed by the President.

  • by headhot (137860) on Monday January 07, 2013 @08:48PM (#42512805) Homepage

    Yea, I'm sure if Obama is planning to use the only constitutional out, he probably would not sign this bill.

  • What about this. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0p0 (1841106) on Monday January 07, 2013 @08:50PM (#42512827)
    You know that war you're fighting? The one with no point or purpose?
    Why don't you just stop?
    Like, just pack it up. Leave. Go home.

    Instead of cutting a bunch of little growths, why not just take out the tumour and save the effort? No one would blame you. No one would care. Oh sure we'll make fun of you for a bit, but it'll be forgotten, or rewritten. No one will really be that upset by it.

    Go on. We're here for you.
  • by readin (838620) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:00PM (#42512921)
    Passing a law is not the same as having it followed, as recent Presidential actions on immigration have demonstrated.
  • by istartedi (132515) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:00PM (#42512925) Journal

    You know that war you're fighting? The one with no point or purpose?

    You're going to have to be a little more specific. The war in Afghanistan? The continued occupation of former Axis powers that are now allies? The war on drugs? The war on dignity at airports? The wars on poverty where we spend $1 million /year to create one $10k /year job? All of them, or just some of them? Please specify.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:00PM (#42512927) Journal

    I mean, why should the United States of America resort to legal loopholes ?

    Why can't America just face the reality as it is - that it is spending way too much money than it is making??

    How long do you think America can keep spending the money it doesn't have?

    I mean, even if America get the minting of quadrillion-dollar plutonium ingot going, the world doesn't have to "buy" it.

    All of us balance our own checkbook at the end of every single month, and try our best to live within our means.

    Why can't America?

  • by headhot (137860) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:05PM (#42512977) Homepage

    We have separation of powers. Congress writes the budget, appropriates funds, and signs off on debt. Congress also knows that both houses and the President need to sign anything they pass. The President, constitutionally can do none of this. So, if Congress wants to defund things, it can, but they have to do it in a way the President agrees. Also, remember, the House needs to write a bill the Senate will pass. Forget getting it to the President.
    We just re-elected Obama, and the House and Senate, even after reapportionment, lost Rs. Its Congresses job to work with the President at this point, not the other way around.

  • by PvtVoid (1252388) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:08PM (#42513015)

    All of us balance our own checkbook at the end of every single month, and try our best to live within our means.

    Why can't America?

    Because countries aren't people, and different economic rules apply. "All of us" can't declare war, mint currency, prosecute crimes, or ratify international treaties, either.

    The sad fact of the budget debate is that retarded comparisons like this actually resonate with people. Inbred, mouthbreathing hicks, sure, but enough about Congress; their constituencies are even scarier.

  • by mikes.song (830361) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:09PM (#42513021)
    Nonsense! The platinum coin is the perfect solution to fractional reserve accounting.

    Why don't you face reality. They allocate x amount of money. They charge 3-5% interest on it. And, all the money they allocated has to be paid back. It's a ponzi scheme. It's a ponzi scheme by definition. The debt is not ment to be paid back; it's ment to keep you enslaved.

    This is the perfect way to pay them back. It's not a legal loophole.
  • by alen (225700) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:13PM (#42513065)

    We did that after the Cold War ended
    We got a huge economic and technological boost as those people were freed up for the civilian economy

  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:15PM (#42513087)
    This is 100% hot air. Instead of addressing real problems with real solutions, we are once again seeing the Congress bloviating instead of doing something.

    I want to plant this unsavory image in your mind: Rep. Wilson has taking the podium in the House chamber, unzipped his pants, and is waving his dysfunctional penis at everyone in the room, along with the television audience on CSPAN. As each House member (yes, it is a pun) responds to him, they also expose themselves and start failing around so that everyone starts looking at their genitals. Soon they are all yelling and competing so that everyone will look at them more then any other idiot in the room.

    This is pretty much what this proposal is all about: a mass outbreak of useless posturing that gets in the way of anything meaningful. I think we would, in fact, be better off if they were behaving like mentally disordered perverts. At least they would not be pretending to be "doing the peoples business", and would be acting out their true egomaniac personalities. The empty outcome would be identical with both activities, and exposing themselves in public would be much more honest.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:15PM (#42513097)

    Not really. The majority in the House is still held by Rs. Their job is to represent their consitituents. Perhaps this leads to roadblock. I hope so.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:18PM (#42513119)

    But, you know, I would like to know why Congressman Walden voted against limiting funding for the war in Afghanistan [votesmart.org]? Probably because he's actually for spending taxpayer money, increasing the debt and then trying to stick the president with the bill at the end of the night so he looks like a dumbass.

    This right here is the problem. The problem is that the debt ceiling has no impact on reducing spending. Why? Because only APPROVED budgets count against the debt ceiling. In other words, if a budget passes but the debt ceiling isn't raised, it's because some members of congress want to have their cake and eat it too by passing huge budgets and then complaining about them.

    The real solution to the debt ceiling problem is to either remove the debt ceiling discussion, or have it automatically follow the budget. Anyone who complains about the debt ceiling is either a moron or wants to score political points with morons.

  • by PerformanceDude (1798324) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:21PM (#42513145)
    Redirect the spending into the space program and reap the rewards. The US had a golden age on the back of the technological advances made possible through the Gemini and Apollo programs. It can be done again...
  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:23PM (#42513169)

    You know that war you're fighting? The one with no point or purpose?

    You're going to have to be a little more specific. The war in Afghanistan? The continued occupation of former Axis powers that are now allies? The war on drugs? The war on dignity at airports? The wars on poverty where we spend $1 million /year to create one $10k /year job? All of them, or just some of them? Please specify.

    I think the American plan can be concisely described as the war on liberty.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:25PM (#42513191) Homepage Journal

    Banks. People that charge interest on loans. It's just lazy rent seeking. But it adds no value to the economy and only serves as a means of concentrating capital into a few wealthy folks. Like, do you really believe that the the only people that work are the people that push buttons on Wall Street, right before they beg for a bailout. Yep, sounds about right to me. I think a 47% that makes sandwiches at Wawa does more useful work than a lot of people that work at brokerages.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:28PM (#42513219)

    Or better yet, something that actual citizens would use, high speed rail, better school funding, better healthcare spending, crumbling roads, taking care of the mentally ill, etc. Cruise effing missiles and a few people going to the moon don't actually effect very many people's actual quality of life.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:29PM (#42513241)

    For a very recent example, look at Hawker Beechcraft.

    They failed in the recent rounds of government contract negotiations for building fighter planes.

    Now they are basically bankrupt. Happened in under 2 years.

    The same thing could easily happen to BOEING, CESSNA, and other military parts and vehicle suppliers. This is because large corporations treat all funding as fungible resurces, and allocate money from profit leaders to loss leaders. (See for instance, the Cessna/textron mess of about 3 years ago.) Big players absolutely depend upon the military contracts they get, because without them, they logistically just can't keep operating on the scales that they currently operate under. (Note the hawker implosion.)

    The same is true for may other large scale industries.

    A reduction in military spending would have to be commensurate with an equal or larger increase in civilian contracts, and let's face it, the world only needs so many 787 and 777 luxury airliners. Military ones get blown up, and need replacement. Civilian employed ones don't get replaced excepting for when they blow up on runways, or fall out of the sky.

    Unless BOEING and pals start selling to international govts to offset local govt contract losses from military spending cuts, there will be a great shout of agony from the aerospace industry, and massive layoffs. Bet on it.

    That's just one industry too. The automotive industry has similar lifesupport ties to military contracts for things like humvees, ATVs, jeeps, and other military grade vehicles, and will take a significant dive as well.

    Foundries and chemical firms, faced with board-wide reductions in order volumes from the major customers, will likewise downsize.

    It would result in a catastrophic and phyrric reduction in economic power. That's why military spending is such a sacred cow.

  • It's all equal (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CHIT2ME (2667601) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:30PM (#42513245) Journal
    I agree, the minting of a trillion dollar platinum coin is rediculous. But so is holding the good faith and credit of the United States hostage to further far right wing ideas and policies. Obama won the election. The only reason the house is still in the hands of the Republicans is a decades long plan of re-districting or as I call it "rigging" of the electoral process in many states of the U.S. Face it Repubs, reform now or go down the sh*thole of history.
  • by chill (34294) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:32PM (#42513273) Journal

    This isn't about the world. This would be used to pay the Fed, who'd have little choice in the matter. The Fed owns about 47% of our debt. Foreigners hold about 25%.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:34PM (#42513291)

    I mean, why should the United States of America resort to legal loopholes ?

    Why can't America just face the reality as it is - that it is spending way too much money than it is making??

    How long do you think America can keep spending the money it doesn't have?

    Just as a bit of background: The President of the US is the Executive. Broadly speaking, Congress passes bills to authorize him to do Various Things, and Congress passes bills to allow him to borrow the money to pay for it.

    This "passes bills to allow him to borrow the money" is also known as the "debt ceiling". Historically this is uncontroversial and Congress does it as a matter of course. However in recent times, they've started pushing back.

    So we're in the faintly ridiculous situation of Congress telling the President to do Various Things, but not giving him the funds to do them with.

  • by camperdave (969942) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:35PM (#42513317) Journal
    While some different economic rules may apply, but that doesn't mean that some don't. It is fundamental that you can't spend more than you take in indefinitely. At some point the interest on your debt is going to exceed your gross domestic production, and then you're screwed.
  • by gtbritishskull (1435843) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:37PM (#42513335)

    Passing a law is not the same as having it followed

    Exactly. Like the spending bills that Congress has passed that cannot be implemented if the debt limit is not raised.

  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail . c om> on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:40PM (#42513381)

    Why can't America just face the reality as it is - that it is spending way too much money than it is making??

    We should.
    But this debate is not about that AT ALL. The debt ceiling (and all the platinum coin crap) is about borrowing money to cover the expenses already approved (by Congress, mind you)

    The Republicans keep shouting about "spending too much money", but oddly they are not willing to cut defense spending or eliminate the useless TSA (or to stop arguing for more wars). Either way, the debate about spending has to happen during budgeting, not during the debt ceiling extension.

    All of us balance our own checkbook at the end of every single month, and try our best to live within our means.

    While your basic point is valid, it has been repeatedly pointed out that government budget balancing is nothing like a family budget. A family cannot expect to improve finances by borrowing and investing into infrastructure. Moreover, family income will not shrink (recession) if said family buys fewer things. If government income was constant (i.e. salary-like) regardless of what happened to economy, you would have a better argument.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:41PM (#42513385)

    Oh yes it can.

    Bill collectors don't offer amnesty, and corporations, especially really big ones, that keep large active debts to shelter taxes with, suddenly having the table cloth pulled out from under their houses of cards, are going to fold faster than you could ever imagine possible if you just "disband the military, and let the market sort it out." The way the market would be forced to sort it out, would make our current recession look like a bull market.

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <`ten.suomafni' `ta' `smt'> on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:48PM (#42513475) Homepage

    I'll vote for anyone that'll lower taxes and spend less.

    This is the problem with the public. Taxes in the U.S., overall, are already quite low compared to other nations and to our history. They need to rise, most especially on the weathy, not be lowered.

    Unfortunately that amounts to pretty much no-one in either party and I'm only allowed to vote for those 2 parties so I'm screwed.

    "Allowed" by whom? There are numerous "third parties" on the ballot in most states; and while third parties rarely win directly due to out fsck-up electoral system, voting for them does influence the Big Two.

  • by the_Bionic_lemming (446569) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:49PM (#42513491)

    Well, Yes. More Democrats did vote.

    Democracies start to fail when people realize that they can vote for more money for themselves. As long as the entitlements keep rolling in, there will be more people ready to vote themselves some more free gubment cheese.

    Look at the rise in food stamps, healthy young people collecting social security, and the free cell phone program.

    I learned a lot by moving into a diverse area on the way down from twice being awarded All-America City .There are teens with Link cards purchasing chips and soda, there are folks you see with Cadillac escalades getting free groceries off of link, and while helping someone to try to get onto LIHEAP, they were turned away because they were not on social security, but the young couple fresh from vacation who were on social security got to stay.

    It's a crying shame how much the system is abused, and how it will continue to be abused until a good, hard long look is taken at the abuse, and the ones enabling it get punished for their crimes.

    So yeah. Unfortunately, there will always be people voting as often as they can to have a life that is work free, provided by a government that cares. It's sad, but it's happening, and I don't believe it's sustainable in any run.

  • by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:53PM (#42513523)

    Well, Congress right now is mostly controlled by two political parties, one of which wants to raise taxes and spend more money than we've got, and the other of which wants to lower taxes and spend more money than we've got.

    As long as people keep voting these lunatics into office, this is going to keep happening.

    And honestly, I don't see that stopping before the US economy completely collapses. I only hope it takes long enough to do so that I won't be around for it.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Monday January 07, 2013 @09:53PM (#42513539) Homepage Journal

    I mean, even if America get the minting of quadrillion-dollar plutonium ingot going, the world doesn't have to "buy" it.

    The world doesn't have to "buy" it.

    It's just to get us over this ridiculous notion that Republicans should play chicken with the government every few months by threatening to not pay the bills we've already incurred. You know, things like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and such.

    There is a constitutional way to limit spending, and it's got nothing to do with threatening to not pay the debts we've already rung up. If the GOP wants to limit spending, they do it through legislation, not by toying with the faith and credit of the nation.

    The coin is a splendid idea, as long as the Fed covers it with bonds in a timely manner.

    The trillion-dollar coin is no more a "gimmick" than is threatening to refuse to raise the debt limit. Congress needs to do its job. The House controls spending and the Republicans control the House. Money doesn't get spent without their say-so. If they want to limit spending, then they should just do it. Problem is, they don't want their fingerprints on anything besides cutting funding to public broadcasting, Smokey the Bear and Planned Parenthood, and that doesn't even pay for one C-17 cargo plane (you know, the one that the military doesn't want but is built in John Boehner's district).

    They should mint the trillion dollar coin and put Ronald fucking Reagan's picture on it.

    By the way, today on Fox, one of the pundits said "Where are they going to find $1trillion in platinum?" Honest to christ, we've got dumbfucks leading the blind.

  • by snspdaarf (1314399) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:01PM (#42513597)
    Careful. That title is not fixed.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:03PM (#42513625)

    The problem since 1980, is that those with the most money have voted that they pay a lower share of taxes than their share of wealth.

    They've been starving 98% of the country out- taking the wealth and income for themselves.

    Finally-- Finally (I've been waiting at least 8 years)-- the bottom 98% woke up and said, "wow! The top 1% is taking everything- why the hell do I keep voting to slit my own throat".

    If the top 1% earns 40% of the countries income, they are going to need to pay 40% of the taxes.

    And since you need at least the first 15,000 to 20,000 just to live, the top 1% are going to pay over 40% of the taxes because after sales tax, gas tax, cell phone tax, etc. tax the bottom 30% is already living in poverty and can't afford federal income tax.

  • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:05PM (#42513645)

    All of us balance our own checkbook at the end of every single month, and try our best to live within our means.

    I think you'd be surprised at how much debt the average household carries.

    Why can't America?

    I can pilot an aircraft, why can't I be an astronaut or land on the moon? This is an absurd argument. No one says that you shouldn't live within your means, but countries have a lot of different responsibilities and options than the average citizen. For one, the US can print its own currency - albeit causing inflation. A country owes a billion dollars to someone? Print a billion dollar note and pay them. They just reduced the value of the country's currency, but are debt free (unless they other party owns TIPS). And debt based financing is very common - Boeing might be delivering an aircraft at the end of 6 months to a client, but doesn't have the money for payroll stashed in a bank. They take a loan (debt) to finance growth (making a profit on the aircraft sales) while hiring employees. Countries do the same.

    You can buy bonds for many companies on the market - IBM, MSFT, etc.And if the country/organization is credit worthy, they can sell bonds at very low yields - effectively almost "free" money. If they use that for growth, they will profit. The same holds for countries.

    Basically, your analogy is flawed - debt isn't itself necessarily a problem. It is what you do with that debt that decides if you go broke or profit.

  • by gutnor (872759) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:06PM (#42513649)
    Most people in the street in Europe are in the street because want to work, if possible with more than a minimum wage salary (because it has been a long time since minimum wage is far lower than subsistance wage in a lot of countries. Unless you can teleport from city to country side for free twice a day) They are also in the street because they don't think that it is the best investment of their taxpayer money to spend trillions saving the bank while leaving people in the street having their house repossessed AND still be in debt.
  • by WarJolt (990309) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:11PM (#42513709)

    If you print money, wages never keep up with the resulting inflation. If you are rich you have assets which will appreciate in value. The rich will never be hurt by these policies. Printing money is a secret tax on the poor and middle class.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:11PM (#42513715)

    Isn't that wonderful 15% tax on capital gains great?

    Based on the lowness of taxes for the wealthy, and trickle down economics, we've has the best economy since WWII.

    Oh, wait.

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:14PM (#42513747)

    Because America doesn't operate like a person, America operates like, well, a business(except that it's primary goal isn't generating profit).

    Some guy on the internet has a good run down on this. [youtube.com]

    Besides, most of our debt is to well, us. And we're good for the money. The problem is the debt ceiling and the fact that taxes are too low and the rent is too damned high(or alternatively that wages are also too damned low).

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:17PM (#42513775)

    I hate replying to ACs but you put a lot of not thought into this.

    Do you have any idea what this would do to our economic problems? It's like watching someone burning themselves alive and saying, "Hold on, I've got water" when what you really have is gasoline.

    The fed could flood the market with money now, then cut things and keep us from going into inflationary periods later.

    The reality is, is that the problem is cost cutting and malignancy of the wealthy classes. Profits have been up to record levels for years now and we're in a financial crisis?

    Sounds like we have our priorities all wrong.

  • by LiENUS (207736) <slashdotNO@SPAMvetmanage.com> on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:26PM (#42513847) Homepage
    The idea is with that industry shrinking it will free up capital for other industries to grow. Aerospace may well shrink but that land will then be sold (real estate growth), banks will loan money to build new factories on that land (financial growth) and finally just maybe a new ford factory will be built there (Automotive growth.) It won't be instant, it will be painful, but in the long run it's a lot better than continuing to funnel money into an industry that... clearly is way too big and needs to be pruned. Boeing may day, cessna may die. The aerospace industry isn't big enough to support all of these players at their level so they may very well die, but the result will be those that survive are leaner meaner and able to be agile enough to show some real development rather than just filling out military contracts in a way that does not benefit society at all.
  • by caseih (160668) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:27PM (#42513851)

    Actually, from an economics pov, a trillion-dollar coin thing might actually work. Given that the last couple of rounds of quantitative easing had zero impact on inflation, and that we're in a liquidity trap, it's entirely possible that no inflation would result. The reasoning is that government spending is what causes inflation (in large part... fiscal policy), and since neither quantitative easing or seigniorage (the trillion dollar coin idea) changes that necessarily, inflation should hold steady. The money supply would only increase as congress spends it, which is about the same as now, in effect, since congress has been spending for years without paying the bill.

    I expect a lot of flames now... Yes there are flaws in the plan, but I am interested in seeing this idea explored in depth (pro and con) by economics experts. The fact that so many people, particularly Republicans, call it absurd while continuing to merely kick the can down the road makes me think (perhaps out of spite) that maybe there's something in that proposal that can finally break this vicious cycle.

    We can tell from other parts of the world that simply focusing on austerity makes things worse, not better. But continuing to simply raise the debt ceiling while risking people's retirement savings in government bonds, isn't good either. Except for the possibility of some inflation, and the question as to it's legality (since it would effectively break the Fed's power), PCS seems like quite a decent way out. Or else we should just admit that our grand experiment has failed and throw in the towel.

  • by ThermalRunaway (1766412) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:29PM (#42513871)
    > The problem since 1980, is that those with the most money have voted that they pay a lower share of taxes than their share of wealth.

    No. What is "their share" and why should it be more simply because they are more successful? In fact the top 10% of earners pay 70% of all taxes and the top 50% pay 98% (http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html).

    The problem is we continue to take from the top 50% and give it away to the bottom 50% who pay essentially nothing and in many cases get a refund check anyway for various credits. This does little to motivate anyone to try and make more money.

    >the bottom 98% woke up and said, "wow! The top 1% is taking everything

    I think you mean the top 50% are getting tired of funding the bottom 50%. Everyone should pay something if they have an income. If you have no skin in the game you have no reason to care if taxes go up on everyone else and you will continue to vote yourself more money.

    This sums up the real problem nicely:
    "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 candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship."
    -- Alexander Fraser Tyler
  • by Shavano (2541114) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:32PM (#42513901)
    Incorrect. If Congress wants to de-fund something, all they have to do is leave it out of their next appropriation bill. But they don't really want that. What they want is to grandstand, as evidence by this episode.
  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:38PM (#42513941) Homepage Journal

    No - the solution is to "punish" both ends of the spectrum. Make the top 1 or 5 or 15 percent pay their share. Stop giving all those entitlements away.

    The people in the middle (like me, and mine) get just about nothing from the government, but the government is in our pockets, taking about 1/3 of our wages every week. All the entitlements go over me, past me, or under me. We, the working people, don't benefit from food stamps, free housing, free utilities, and sure don't benefit from an inverted tax schedule scheme, and we DAMNED SURE don't benefit from wars being fought halfway around the world to enrich the oil industries.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:39PM (#42513961)

    "It would result in a catastrophic and phyrric reduction in economic power. That's why military spending is such a sacred cow."

    No, it's why it's the economic equivalent of crack cocaine paid for with a credit card. Break the fricking addition and invest in OTHER industries. Trillions of dollars tossed into guns, ammo, planes, tanks, ships, and on and on? More than the rest of the world spends IN TOTAL? It's nuts. Yet the country can't afford universal healthcare, inexpensive university education, or balance a budget without endless deficits whether the economy is bad OR good? You can't build generation after generation of prosperity on a false economy. And you don't have to change things via a drastic changeover. Change things slowly. At least get things headed in the right direction. Cut back a little at a time, redirect funds to where it will pay off over time. As someone else mentioned, the buggy whip manufacturers will transform or go out of business. As long as there are other businesses, it's fine.

    I mean, hell, I can think of one industry with a need for huge investment: energy. Stop building fricking tanks, and fund fusion research SERIOUSLY instead of making a token effort. Invest in EVERYTHING until there is a long-term solution.

    But the first step is to realize you have a serious and pathological problem in the first place. When even the military is saying "we don't need some of these weapons systems", but the legislators are still approving them for the sake of pork barrel politics in their local district, then what clearer sign of a problem can there possibly be?

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:40PM (#42513971)

    Is the government can't save money. Part of a sound personal budget is saving money in good times so it can be spent in bad times. Fair enough, but the government can't do that. It is meaningless for the entity that mints money to "save" it. If the government printed, or rather simply changed the entry in a database, so they had more money, but then didn't put that money in to circulation and "saved" it, it would have the effect as if they'd done nothing. If instead they actually took money out of circulation, kept it when they collected taxes or what have you, it would lead to deflation which is a very, very bad thing.

    So what does the government do? Well it borrows. When the government "saves" what it does instead is to pay down the amount of outstanding debt. Then when it "spends savings" it issues more debt.

    That is how it works. You can't compare public accounts to private ones because they function different. You can't demand that the government run itself the same way you run your personal finances, because they aren't the same.

    That isn't to say that the government doesn't need to keep borrowing reasonable, but it is very different than personal borrowing.

  • by ProfessionalCookie (673314) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:46PM (#42514017) Journal

    If the top 1% earns 40% of the countries income, they are going to need to pay 40% of the taxes.

    Ummm, you know that the top 1% contributes more than 35% of taxes already, right?

    If we want to keep spending like crazy monkeys then we need to tax everyone like crazy monkeys.

  • by meglon (1001833) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:47PM (#42514029)
    Because everyone does pay in some form. FICA takes in almost as much as income tax, yet people making less than 110k a year pay MORE as a percentage of their income than people who make more than 110k a year. You want to ignore all the other taxes, and focus only on one. But guess what, Mitt, that 47% is comprised largely of seniors living on social security, the disabled and military personnel.

    The OP was correct, the problem is the wealthy have bribed and bought their unquenchable greed into law, and it's siphoned off huge amounts of money from everyone else, so much so that the base of the economy is close to collapse. What sums up the problem nicely is this: Greedy, myopic assholes will do anything they can to justify making an extra penny, even if it means destroying the countries economy.

    You can use all the stupid fucking conservative bullshit talking points all you want, but that's all they are... stupid fucking bullshit.
  • by Gorobei (127755) on Monday January 07, 2013 @10:58PM (#42514105)

    So, since I've been rated as a troll already - go figure.

    The solution is to just punish the people making money by giving more benefits to those that won't work?

    If you think paying taxes is "punishment," you have already placed yourself outside of society as commonly defined.

    Do you hate your kids because they cost you money? Are you really being "punished" for being a parent? The USA wants you to succeed: it's not "punishing" you for making more money, it's taking some money to keep society running and ideally investing in the next generation.

    You can whine about if it's fair or not. You can even whine about if we should care about making the world a better place for our children, but claiming "punishment" requires a lot more justification on your part.

    The USA celebrates success: Bezos, Gates, Buffet, etc are lauded in the press; TV shows and movies makes riches the ultimate happy outcome; being rich gives you a huge benefit when dealing with the legal system. You can be rich here and there is zero demand that you use your money for social good - you can just buy 200 foot boats or hookers or drugs and no one yells at you (try that in Europe!)

    So quit whining that you live in a country where you don't need bodyguards when you go to a bar, get drunk on $20 vodkas, pick up a girl who earns $35K/year, get driven home, have sex, and complain to her that the 500,000th dollar per year you earn gets taxed at 50%.

  • by gtbritishskull (1435843) on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:02PM (#42514117)

    Before I get into it, I want to point out that I googled "healthy young people collecting social security" and got no results indicating healthy young people collecting social security. So, unless you want to provide a cite I call bullshit.

    Now, maybe you are confusing the increase in people claiming disability benefits from social security for these "healthy young people". I actually see that as proof that we are not in the entitlement society that you want to see. Disability requirements have not changed. What has changed is that unemployment is higher. So, what I see is that people prefer to contribute and NOT collect disability, but when they can't find a job they take advantage of the safety nets set up for them.

    You also complain about the "entitlement" of food stamps. Food stamps give you ~$200 per month (per person). Maybe you feel you can live the high life on $200 per month, but I feel that is a measly amount of money. And I don't know why you think it is a luxury to be able to buy chips and soda. Eating fresh, healthy, unprocessed food is expensive and a luxury. A most poor people eat crappy food (like chips and soda) because it is all they can afford.

    As to your "free cell phone program". I assume what you are talking about is the "Lifeline" program, which subsidizes a phone by up to $10 per month. I don't know what type of deal you get on cell phone plans, but $10 per month for a cell phone would not get me much.

    The problems that I see are that labor is not appreciated in the US any more. Productivity in the US has steadily increased over the past 40 years, but real wages have been stagnant. If the workers aren't getting the benefits of increased productivity, then who is? EARNED income (ie income that you work for) is taxed at a MINIMUM rate of 15% for everyone for social security and medicare (actually, by everyone I just mean middle class or lower, the upper middle class and upper class have to pay less taxes) plus whatever income taxes they pay. But, on UNEARNED income (ie income that you get from not working or doing anything productive) they have a MAXIMUM tax rate of 20% (15% below $400,000).

    So yes, I agree with you that the system is being abused. But, I think we disagree on who is abusing it.

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:02PM (#42514119)

    Wow. No one I've ever met has said, "I would make more but I'd just get taxed more." No one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:07PM (#42514149)

    And what's the amount of platinum in the world got to do with it? The value of the coin would be whatever the US Treasury declared it to be.
    Do you think ten dollar bills contain ten dollars worth of paper?

  • by ThermalRunaway (1766412) on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:11PM (#42514179)
    Lets say top end rates go back to some of the historically high ones that have existed.. say 70% to 90% on income above $X, what possible incentive would there be to earn that money in the US? Someone with the ability to earn that money will choose to do it in a region where its not taxed like that.

    Look at Google, Starbucks, etc, that are doing just that by taking that income in places like Ireland. So no they dont say "I just wont make more", they do it outside the US where they dont pay taxes on it and that money leaves our economy.
  • by Algae_94 (2017070) on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:15PM (#42514201) Journal
    Just assuming all your points are correct, and the bottom half of the country can't pay taxes. I assume that is because they just can't survive on their current incomes and pay taxes. Does that sound like a situation where the people that can pay should pay as little as possible and cut every social program we can find? That is surely a fantastic way to get the bottom 50% to make more money and be able to pay their share.

    ... they don't want to carry the bottom 50% (and they are right)

    When did it become right to not help other people? When exactly did we reach the utopia that you preach about where people collect their wealth and give nothing back to society?

  • by theIsovist (1348209) on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:27PM (#42514309)

    As part of the bottom fifty percent, I encourage you to come down and live on my level. I hold an undergraduate degree from a respected university (rated in the top 50 in the world), have worked for four years in the real world, and now am back in school to continue my education and further my degree (at another top 50 school). I'm living off of less than 20k a year. A wonderful flaw in the government loan system resulted in my summer income (a school research position) being counted one for one against the amount of loan money i could take out this year. In order to pay for tuition, I had to max out my loans, and was left with 200 dollars a month to pay for rent, food, and any school expenses. I'm now, at the advice of the school, on food stamps. Let me tell you, those food stamps - 200 bucks a month - offer me so much more than you can ever imagine. They only pay for food I cook myself. No alcohol, no toiletries, not even the 5 cent bag fee if i forget my bags. However, they allow me to feel like a human. In a few years, I'll be out of grad school, working and pumping far more money into the system than I ever took out. If we taxed the people making more than 200k 36% instead of 33%, they'd still have more than 5 times the amount of money that I live on each year. I work. I work for them. I work doing research to lower energy use, saving money, resources, and perhaps even saving the planet if you're so inclined. Your freeloaders are anything but. Many of us are busting our asses to afford a better life, and one day we will have it. The difference is, we'll damn well be happy to help those below us up. We know how it is down there.

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:29PM (#42514325) Homepage

    Do you want to know what the biggest entitlement program in America is? Try being born to rich parents... Nobody has less incentive to work than somebody who is just handed millions of dollars.

  • Moronic bill (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grayhand (2610049) on Monday January 07, 2013 @11:46PM (#42514451)
    This is the useless crap Congress actually makes time for. The President can't order a Trillion dollar coin be struck so it's a waste of time. This is another attempt to damage the President. Now the story will be that Obama planned to pay the billions by striking this mythic trillion dollar coin. The conservatives will believe it because they want to believe it. Paranoia and fear rules this country. Common sense left the building some time ago.
  • $UNSUBSTANTITED_ANECDOES. My unsubstantiated anecdotes cancel yours.

    The NY Post very recently had one of these types of pieces. We were supposed to be outraged - OUTRAGED - that out of the one hundred million welfare transactions they obtained under FOIA, they found dozens of cases of money being withdrawn in places that sell cigs, booze or lapdances (no proof it was spent there, mind, just withdrawn from ATMs that happened to be there).

    But keep blaming the poor. I'm sure that all the money the rich save from having the estate tax eliminated and their capital gains tax reduced even further below the lowest income tax rate will trickle down any day now. I mean, we've been waiting 30 years, there's got to be a ton of it up there, just waiting to rain down on us in a shower of gold. And then supply-side jesus will return, and the nasty poor people will have no more excuses.

    You see, that's the unavoidable problem. We've been doing what the right wingers want to do economically for 30 years... And it's failed, catastrophically. Time to go back while we can still recover.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:08AM (#42514601)

    No - the solution is to "punish" both ends of the spectrum. Make the top 1 or 5 or 15 percent pay their share. Stop giving all those entitlements away.

    The people in the middle (like me, and mine) get just about nothing from the government, but the government is in our pockets, taking about 1/3 of our wages every week. All the entitlements go over me, past me, or under me. We, the working people, don't benefit from food stamps, free housing, free utilities, and sure don't benefit from an inverted tax schedule scheme, and we DAMNED SURE don't benefit from wars being fought halfway around the world to enrich the oil industries.

    this is one of the biggest misconceptions about how the middle class benefits. of COURSE you benefit, and in one huge way: economic stability.

    the safety net for people earning less than you prevents an underclass from bottoming out the economy while providing the workforce for high-labor, low-skill work. it also prevents externalities that rise from poverty, like crime, urban decay, and other unsavory elements, from getting out of hand. these "entitlements" are meant in large part to keep the economy stable so that people don't suffer from extreme swings, and that people generally have chances to work hard and succeed.

    i'll agree with you on the wars, and the whole point of Obama's push to raise taxes on the wealthy was to try and even out the huge benefits reaped on lower taxes.

    then there are infrastructure things like highways and roads, telecom and electric, fire departments, police and other law enforcement, water, sewer, etc. which are funded by taxpayer dollars and directly benefit everyone who uses those systems.

  • by stretch0611 (603238) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:08AM (#42514603) Journal

    What is "their share" and why should it be more simply because they are more successful?

    One simple reason: It takes money to make money. If you are making minimum wage or any amount slightly above the poverty line, all your money is going to living expenses. You do not have money to invest.

    If you have a large nest egg investing is easier... If you have bills to pay, you may be forced to remove money from the market at an inopportune time. There used to be a saying on wall street... "To turn 10 thousand dollars into 20 thousand dollars requires skill; to turn 10 million dollars into 20 million dollars requires only patience."

    In addition one of the better investments is education. In general the more education you have the more you will make in the long term. However, when it is hard even for the middle class to send their kids to college, a good education is not always possible. And scholarships only take care of a small minority. Even with a full scholarship, a person may not afford college because they still need living expenses.

    If you already have money, you can make smart long term investments to make your future even brighter and generate even more wealth. If you have very little, it is a struggle to keep afloat from day to day, let alone invest for the future.

    I think you mean the top 50% are getting tired of funding the bottom 50%.

    We realize this and it happens every day. While the wealthiest people generally are the business owners and investors, they pay employees less every year compared to inflation. Wages have stagnated, yet inflation still increases. And the travesty is that most business owners credit themselves as the only reason why their business succeeds; yet in many cases, yet the customers are more likely to deal with the low-end wage slave.

    And yes, wage slave is appropriate... The wealthiest always say that if you don't like the pay to find another job; but it is hard to say no to even a bad offer when there is a lot of unemployment especially when you have children that have only had mac and cheese for the last 3 months. And when you have a job, there is not a lot of time available to actually find a new job if you are not happy.

    Everyone should pay something if they have an income.

    No, if someone can barely afford food and shelter, they should not pay.

    And let me add this... Why is it that investment income is capped at 15% for capital gains (now 20% as of 1/1 for people over $400,000) A rate that is much lower than taxes on the middle class who work. The people who are sitting on their asses pay less in taxes (as a percentage.) Hard work should be rewarded, not sitting on investments. The rich cry foul saying that low taxes motivate them... believe me, they would be a lot more motivated if there was a real threat to the value of their wealth diminishing if they did not invest it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:21AM (#42514677)

    We don't benefit from artificially cheap food, transportation, subsidized oil, electricity or nuclear power, we don't benefit from a stable government, a reasonable approximation of a fair justice system, a health care system that has our backs (at a price, graned, but it's there). Many of our nerd/geek jobs were created by money being spend on defense, if they aren't still. Our taxes aren't reduced by earned income tax credit, home mortgage interest deductions, charitable contributions, or childcare deductions. We don't benefit from the society stabilizing forces of having abject, grinding poverty eliminated or salved by a social safety net, nor do we benefit from having our elders have some pension provided by the government.

    It's like we're living in some third world country, with private militias driving around in Hi Lux pickups with AA guns mounted in back, waiting for the UN to deliver food. Yeah, we don't benefit much. /sarcasm

    Grow the fuck up. Look around the world, take your god-damned blinders off you self centered shit. Do you know what makes your attitude different than the top 1%? Neither do I. It's the same "I don't have mine, give me more" whinging. Go visit someplace that's not pandering to Western tourist dollars. Go to the slums of Mexico City, Calcutta, Bangkok or Lagos, then come back here and tell us about how little we get for our tax dollars.

  • I see the lie about how the poor "pay no taxes" is out in force.

    Guess what? Between Social Security, FICA, sales taxes, gas tax and other local taxes, the poor pay quite close to as large a fraction of their income in taxes as the rich do. Sure as hell more than the 15% rate on the capital gains that aren't hidden in Switzerland or Grand Cayman.

    And unlike someone born rich, who has never been deprived of anything in their entire life, who goes around thinking about what a self-made-man they are and how they personally earned everything they have (while quietly not recognizing the hundred dozen government services that keep them safe and make their wealth possible), seeing 20% or 30% of my $20K/yr grad student salary disappear off the check stub actually hurts. So please spare us the tears about how you hate "funding" the people who do all the society-enabling tasks that are beneath your notice - often enough two or three of them at once since the days of a blue collar job reasonably supporting a family are Grandpa's fading memories - because you might have to light your cigars with jacksons instead of benjamins.
  • by Pulzar (81031) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:22AM (#42514697)

    It is fundamental that you can't spend more than you take in indefinitely.

    It's not quite true... Due to inflation, increase in GDP, etc., the debt from N years ago becomes irrelevant, where N isn't all that large. If you look at the history of the revenue vs. spending, you'll see that US had a deficit pretty much every year since 1940s:

    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200 [taxpolicycenter.org]

    You'll also notice that in the 1980s, the deficit was about the half of the percentage points of GDP that it is now, and it's already peanuts compared to the current GDP and current revenue. The World War II deficit was 3x the current, per year, yet by the time 70s came around, it was equivalent of 2% of GDP.

    So, yeah, if your economy is growing, then you can keep spending more than you make. Many growing companies do that all the time, as it's cheaper to take out debt then to make money in other ways.

  • by StormyWeather (543593) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:33AM (#42514761) Homepage

    You have hit the nail on the head with our tax code. Taxes A_R_E punishment. Really, they are. The government in fact knows that taxes are punitive, and approaches them with a carrot and stick mentality. Not all taxes may be intended to be punitive, but they all have a depressing effect on what they are levied upon.

    Cigarette tax - punishment for smoking
    Sales tax - punishment for consuming
    alcohol tax - punishment for drinking
    exise tax - penalty for moving money in a way the government doesn't like, or creating a product the government wants to discourage.

    etc etc, and yes taxes do work as a punitive function. When the cost of anything is increased demand decreases, that's very elementary.

    Don't be surprised then when people actually start seeing taxes as a punishment. Especially when they know no matter how much they pay in taxes the government will pay more than is collected. At the same time they see people with things they can't afford that abuse the system they pay into honestly. It's very easy to get frustrated.

  • A line from My Fair Lady comes to mind:

    "Higgins:You mean to say you'd sell your daughter for fifty pounds?
    Pickering:Have you no morals man?
    Alfred P. Doolittle:No, no, I can't afford 'em, gov'ner. Neither could you if you was as poor as me. Not that I mean any 'arm, mind you, but if Eliza's getting a bit out of this, why not me too? Eh? Why not? Well, look at it my way - what am I? I ask you, what am I? I'm one of the undeserving poor, that's what I am. Now think what that means to a man. It means that he's up against middle-class morality for all of time. If there's anything going, and I puts in for a bit of it, it's always the same story: "you're undeserving, so you can't have it." But my needs is as great as the most deserving widows that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same 'usband. I don't need less than a deserving man, I need more! I don't eat less 'earty than 'e does, and I drink, oh, a lot more. I'm playin' straight with you. I ain't pretendin' to be deserving. No, I'm undeserving. And I mean to go on being undeserving. I like it and that's the truth. But, will you take advantage of a man's nature to do 'im out of the price of 'is own daughter what he's brought up, fed and clothed by the sweat of 'is brow till she's growed big enough to be interesting to you two gentlemen? Well, is five pounds unreasonable? I'll put it to you, and I'll leave it to you."

  • by Lehk228 (705449) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:36AM (#42514789) Journal
    there is a reason i did not name one party
  • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:43AM (#42514851)

    The people in the middle (like me, and mine) get just about nothing from the government.

    Let me guess: you live in isolation, using no roads, no government subsidized infrastructure, went to a private school (again, in the middle of nowhere), have enough ammo to keep yourself and your family safe, wouldn't ever call the fire department, don't rely on any offshoot of government research, etc.

    I don't deny that government, like any large organization, has lots of inefficiencies that need to be cut down. And there are people who abuse the system to freeload. But, it isn't easy to live off food stamps, as one politician found out. [ibtimes.com] And if people really start starving, there will be problems. The social safety nets exist not just for the poor, but they also benefit others higher up in the food chain (see how desperate a hungry man can be to survive).

    If you have any solutions to really cut down inefficiencies and freeloaders, while making sure people who need help can get it, then I'm all ears. But this mantra of cut them out of the government teat and we will all be better off might not work as well as you'd expect.

  • by StormyWeather (543593) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:47AM (#42514871) Homepage

    I lived there, then I decided to leave college and start earning money. Best decision I ever made.

    You CHOOSE to live the way you are living, there are plenty of alternatives, and if you don't think there are you didn't pay very good attention in your classes.

  • by eriks (31863) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:59AM (#42514959) Homepage

    I think you mean the top 50% are getting tired of funding the bottom 50%. Everyone should pay something if they have an income. If you have no skin in the game you have no reason to care if taxes go up on everyone else and you will continue to vote yourself more money.

    Poppycock and flapdoodle. There are (roughly) 10,000 individual human beings that control half of the worlds wealth and resources, 40 years ago, that same bracket had a strangle-hold on only one quarter of the wealth and resources. Anyone that can stand up and look the rest of us in the eye and say with a straight face that that is all just fine and dandy is either lying or deluded.

    So long as we have an income tax (that's another conversation...) I say with a resounding YES: the ultra-rich (>10 million "net worth") should pay much more (as a percentage) of their income in taxes than do the working poor ($0 "net worth"). It's called progressive taxation, and it's ABSOLUTELY necessary so long as there is such a HUGE chasm between the top 0.1% and the bottom 50%, financially speaking. Granted, the culture of greed that dug that chasm is a social issue, and cannot be solved politically. Progressive taxation is treating the symptom.

    The solution? Damned if I know. I do know it's going to get worse. Automation and other gains in productivity-efficiency are going to drive unemployment higher and higher. What are the working poor going to do when there is no longer any work for them? Ahh, Innovate! you say. Come up with new ideas? But guess what, there have been only a handful of "self-made men" in over half a century. All "innovation" is doled out in drips and drabs by the moneyed-interests. It would take a fucking miracle at this point for someone to come forward, out of nowhere (like happened repeatedly in the early 20th century) and make their mark on the world with a new invention or process. The system is stacked against it. Yeah, there's the dotcom thing that happened over a decade ago, but what have we (other than a few neat gadgets) to show for it? What upward mobility did it cause? Very little, and to a limited sector of the population. Who did it ultimately benefit? Mostly venture capitalists and giant financial firms.

    I have (some) sympathy for the "middle rich", that "only" earn a quarter million a year. In that many of them probably did work very hard to get where they are. But guess what. They can still feed their families, afford a nice house, a couple of nice cars, and send their kids to good schools, even if their tax rate goes from 35% to 39% or whatever. It's not going to send them spiraling into poverty, or make them quit their jobs and go on welfare, that's patently absurd. If you want to give them tax-relief, let's give them huge tax credits for super-insulating their homes, home-solar energy projects and making better automotive choices, so they're investing in the future of humanity, instead of borrowing against it.

    The ultra rich on the other hand are hoarding, plain and simple. In some cultures, in times of crisis, hoarding (food) is a shameful or even criminal act. We're all on this planet together. Some people seem to think that if they have enough money and power they can place themselves above everyone else, and don't have to actually share the planet with the rest of us. It's a *disease* and it's fucking celebrated, by people who should know better. Probably because they hope they can achieve the same station. Riiiiiight. Like that's gonna happen.

    Sorry for the diatribe, but this kind of willful-ignorance really burns me.

  • by StormyWeather (543593) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:59AM (#42514963) Homepage

    What exact tax rate would balance the budget smart guy?

    Why is it everyone who says taxes are too low can't give a percentage that would make everything rosy?

    Is it because they know if you crank up taxes to where it "needs" to be it would crash the economy plunging us into a depression, and the government would just spend more if they got that money anyways.

  • by Bodero (136806) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:01AM (#42514971)

    What was it that Mitt Romney said he paid? 15%? Their tax rate might be 35% but they're not paying 35%

    You are confusing income tax with capital gains taxes. Both parties have set up a tax code that does not tax the rich, but taxes those who are becoming rich. If Mitt Romney makes $0 in income and $0 in capital gains, but still has $500+ million in the bank, guess what his tax rate is? 0%.

    If an entrepreneur who is putting his blood, sweat and tears into a company trying to become rich, and earns $1m last year, he's paying the highest rate.

    The already-rich love this. That's why you hear Warren Buffet, et. al., saying tax rates should be higher - to make sure others don't get to the same level of wealth (and therefore, power) they are. They don't earn income.

  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy.gmail@com> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @03:41AM (#42515699)

    The problem is we continue to take from the top 50% and give it away to the bottom 50% who pay essentially nothing and in many cases get a refund check anyway for various credits. This does little to motivate anyone to try and make more money.

    Then why isn't everyone just sitting around claiming welfare ? Why do the vast majority of people work and try to earn more money ? Why is this true even in countries with dramatically more liveable welfare systems than the USA's ?

    I'll help you: It's true because reality is in direct conflict with right-wing rhetoric.

  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail . c om> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @03:53AM (#42515751)

    Defense spending is about 19% of the federal budget, compared to about 50% in the 1950s.

    Are you counting the wars in Afganistan and Iraq? Or is it ok to ignore these expenses because they were passed as "emergency appropriations" instead of military budget?

    Why don't we just stop defending ourselves entirely, then we'll all be dead in a year or so and with the money we saved we'll all be rich.

    We are not actually defending ourselves against anyone at the moment, so your statement makes no sense
    Why don't we keep the "defense" budget as is, but eliminate all offensive budget (specifically drone strikes and various external wars to name a few). This way we'll save a lot of money and will be as defended as we were before budget cuts.

    A family cannot expect to improve finances by borrowing and investing into infrastructure.

    The concept of a family business is entirely beyond your grasp.

    Not at all, but all of the "monthly checkbook balancing" specifically referred to a family budget. A business (family business or not) does not necessarily balance its income/expenses every month, but instead has a longer-term plan. A family tries to balance their checkbook because their income is (roughly) constant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @04:21AM (#42515875)

    Do you hate your kids because they cost you money?

    Don't have kids because I can't afford it; the Government takes 26% of my pay packet each month to give to other people. That's punishment.

    No, punishment is when there is no public sewer system and so your next door neighbor's toilet flushes into your yard, poisoning the well you rely on because there's no public water system, and when your unregulated whiskey still explodes and burns down your other neighbor's house because there's no fire department, he comes over and kills you because there's no law enforcement.

    The government isn't giving all your taxes "to other people", a good chunk of that money directly benefits YOU, whether you're too stupid to understand that fact or not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @05:54AM (#42516223)

    You are living in a fantasy world. The top 2% of USA income earners pay much more taxes [slashdot.org] than what can be reasonably construed as 'fair share', much more [wsj.com] than the similar top income earners even paid when top nominal tax rate was 91%.

    You are paying basically nothing compared to the top income earners and it's funny that you are saying that you are getting nothing from government for all the taxes that the top 2% pay. If you think you are getting nothing then the top 2% have a much worse deal than you, they are paying all those taxes (41.5% of all income taxes) and they are not getting more than you are.

    They are pulling the wagon, you are riding in it.

    sig [slashdot.org]

  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:31AM (#42517233) Journal

    It sounds like the government entitlement programs have destroyed your life. You took out a bunch of money at a very poor ROI. I never did that... went to college on my own dime, granted we cannot escape government money--almost all local colleges have some form of government money pumped into them, that's why in-state tuition costs like a quarter as much as out-of-state--but I didn't take any student loans. Didn't go past Associates degree.

    I bought a house I"ll pay off in 3 years. I'll be out of debt within 5 years and comfortably bringing in 7 times more than needed to cover my mandatory expenses. I make around $60k. I am not awesome--oh, I kick all kinds of ass, but I'm continuously faced with people who are vastly more skilled and have better problem solving abilities than I do. I would expect I'm easy enough to replace.

    How's it feel knowing you'll spend more money paying off your student loans than I've spent in my life, and yet I live in utter luxury and own a house and really will be out of debt--no mortgage, no rent, blank credit cards, no car loan--by the time I'm 30?

    Those food stamps? The government saved you? Sword cuts both ways--look how you got where you are.

Some people carve careers, others chisel them.

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