2020 Election Thread

Crowbar
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby Crowbar » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:07 am

Here's my thing. All these ideas of universal health care (which I support), universal tuition, universal income, with a middle class tax cut included are great and noble ideas - and appear to be the general platform for POTUS candidates such as Kamala Harris. I keep hearing how all these potential programs will be funded by "soaking the rich" - generally folks making $10M or more per year. Just say all this plays out (which it won't) as such. Do we really have enough people in this country who make $10M or more to fund all this? Really, I don't know the answer to this.

And once implemented, we all know these programs will be like crack in that once people get hooked on them, they can never be taken away. Then if we find we can't completely fund all this by soaking the rich, it doesn't take a genius to figure out who they will go after to make up the difference.
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PSUgrower
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby PSUgrower » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:15 am

Don't these people making 10M a year buy A LOT of products, shop at expensive stores owned by the middle class, eat at expensive restaurants staffed by the middle class, or put an expensive pool in their yard- BTW, was built by the middle class! Yes, maybe the upper class should be taxed a little more but I like the codes how they are. Rich people are already taxed a bunch although they know how to move around money. There will be haves and have nots in every society. This will never ever change unless we move to a socialist society which would be absolutely silly. The debate will rage long after I am 6 feet under!

Blue&White
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby Blue&White » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:33 am

Crowbar wrote:Here's my thing. All these ideas of universal health care (which I support), universal tuition, universal income, with a middle class tax cut included are great and noble ideas - and appear to be the general platform for POTUS candidates such as Kamala Harris. I keep hearing how all these potential programs will be funded by "soaking the rich" - generally folks making $10M or more per year. Just say all this plays out (which it won't) as such. Do we really have enough people in this country who make $10M or more to fund all this? Really, I don't know the answer to this.

And once implemented, we all know these programs will be like crack in that once people get hooked on them, they can never be taken away. Then if we find we can't completely fund all this by soaking the rich, it doesn't take a genius to figure out who they will go after to make up the difference.


I think the idea of Medicare for all and "free" tuition coupled with middle class tax cuts is a pipe dream. You can't just put the burden on the richest people in the country because there are not enough of them - and they do too good a job hiding money. My expectation is that if we instituted Medicare-for-all my taxes would go up to pay for that. And, speaking only for myself, I'm ok with that. I pay for healthcare now. I'm ok to pay for healthcare tomorrow. I don't fundamentally object to that. What I do object to is a system where my costs go up every year, I get less bang for my buck, I have limited, if any, power to shop around and take advantage of market inefficiencies, and there is a for-profit entity in the middle of all this that is making a mint off my back in a system that I can't opt out of. So, if I ended up with the same current monthly bill but had better health care, I call that a "win". There is no such thing as a free lunch and I don't expect one. I get that some people do, but those people are not reasonable.

As for college, I think the costs are out of control. I'm not sure that "free" tuition is the answer, but our current system sucks balls. And, saddling kids with ridiculous amounts of debt is not a good long term solution for our economy.

Grower - you may want to do some research on who pays taxes and how money is spent and how taxes are avoided. Wealthy people are not taxed "a bunch". There are all kinds of tax shelters in place and people with money are able to avoi paying a lot of taxes. I recall during the 2012 election it was revealed that Mitt Romney was paying a lower effective tax rate than I am. And when Clinton made the point that Trump wasn't paying any taxes, his response was not a denial but instead the comment "that makes me smart". They have unfair access to elected officials and are not paying the same way you or I are. You may be ok with the current system, but I'm honestly not sure you really understand the current system.
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Blue&White
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby Blue&White » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:25 pm

PSUgrower wrote:There will be haves and have nots in every society. This will never ever change unless we move to a socialist society which would be absolutely silly. The debate will rage long after I am 6 feet under!


Meant to address this earlier and didn't want to let it go.

Anyway, I agree. There are always going to be "haves" and "have nots". That's life. We are not all going to come out the same. Some of us will make more money. Some of us will have better health. Some of us will make good choices and some of us will make bad ones. I'm not a fan of policies that focus soley on equalizing outcomes. I am, however, all for policies that seek to equalize opportunities and level the playing field. Our playing field is not level. It's not. I, persoanlly, would like to see that change.
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PSUgrower
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby PSUgrower » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:20 pm

Blue&White wrote:Grower - you may want to do some research on who pays taxes and how money is spent and how taxes are avoided. Wealthy people are not taxed "a bunch". There are all kinds of tax shelters in place and people with money are able to avoi paying a lot of taxes. I recall during the 2012 election it was revealed that Mitt Romney was paying a lower effective tax rate than I am. And when Clinton made the point that Trump wasn't paying any taxes, his response was not a denial but instead the comment "that makes me smart". They have unfair access to elected officials and are not paying the same way you or I are. You may be ok with the current system, but I'm honestly not sure you really understand the current system.

I hear ya and agree. Who the hello knows how to figure all this out! Isn't that why we vote smart people into office :D

sameoldlama
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby sameoldlama » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:44 pm

B&W - I think since you went on a diet and stopped the Swiss Rolls (I'm assuming that was in the weight loss plan) I think you feeling that "Snickers" affect where your not quite yourself

The wealthy undoubtedly carry the tote on taxes - the link shows where income tax revenue comes from - you can cherry pick cases where someone really finds a way to reduce tax liability when they have the resources to hire people to do that but very simply the top earners - in simple magnitude of dollars - are carrying the load.
So what's "fair". Well in my world if we all have equal right to receive the services taxes support and thus take equal benefit than a per capita tax would be the fairest approach. Pragmatically given the extent of services we now expect - even at a conservative level - renders that option null and void. The next fairest option would be a flat tax with no deductions allowed - this is still progressive on higher earners (essentially it acts like growers comment on sales tax - we all pay the same rate but higher income who spend more pay a greater magnitude of tax). You can argue Medicare is a flat tax in which lower income earners derive much greater benefit than high income earners. What we have now is a tax which is designed to be punitive to high earners and thus encourages people to game the system. What sensible person whoever earned a high income wants it taxed at 40 - 50 - 70 -90%?
https://www.ntu.org/foundation/tax-page ... come-taxes

Bernie Sanders doesn't eschew capitalism? He's a self proclaimed socialist who touts heavy government oversight of private business including dictating wage levels and has floated the idea of nationalizing some industries (clearly healthcare). He constantly advocates for income redistribution. Earlier in his political career he was affiliated with Marxist groups. The only manner in which he doesn't eschew capitalism would be he knows someone has to create the wealth he plans to steal and destroy. So if you think he is in any way a proponent of capitalism then based on his publicly proposed policy statements he's a con man who wants capitalism to stay in place so he can leech off it to bribe people keep himself in office.

I let it go before but in regards to the hotel bills - there is right around zero chance hotels are hiding fees in a line item delineated as a government tax - because that would be fraud. And if they were ever audited and the amount they were charging as tax didn't jive with local or state law and didn't match what they collected vs what they forwarded onto those government entities - well someone would be on their way to PMITA prison.

You can also do all the surveys you want about single payer healthcare, "free" college and it all sounds awesome - until everyone sees exactly what free will cost - it's been well established anytime the government starts guaranteeing payment the cost of said goods and services rise in excess of inflation - consumption increases as does cost - cause when your spending someone else's money who cares what it costs. Social security sounded great - and for people who entered the system early it was - bet it polled great - but late entries into the Ponzi scheme aren't feeling as good about it. My guess is the majority of this board wishes that about 12% (6% you, 6% employer) wasn't an IOU be held by Uncle Sam to be doled out at time and in an amount he deems prudent for you. I'd bet most would say - forget the interest I lost with you holding that money - just give me the principle and we'll go our separate ways. If I got that check today I'd probably being retiring tomorrow instead of 3-4 years from now.
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Blue&White
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby Blue&White » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:18 pm

I'm reading that link, but wanted to address this first:

I let it go before but in regards to the hotel bills - there is right around zero chance hotels are hiding fees in a line item delineated as a government tax - because that would be fraud. And if they were ever audited and the amount they were charging as tax didn't jive with local or state law and didn't match what they collected vs what they forwarded onto those government entities - well someone would be on their way to PMITA prison.

i never said that they weren't remitting proper taxes to government entities. I'm sure they are. And, taxes are generally not audited or validated via invoices like that. I've got some experience with how this is done at a corporate level (admittedly not with hotels, but the concepts are the same) and it's not done the way you are describing. It's just not practical. I suppose a government could audit down to that level, but they are not going to care what else you charged to a guest or how it showed up on the invoice. All they are going to care about is the right amount was remitted to them. This varies by state some, but, in general, a business entity does not have to collect these types of use or sales taxes from a customer. They only need to ensure that they remit the proper amount to the collecting government or regulatory agency (there are some specific exceptions to this, btw and some states will surely have their own exemptions). But, generally, if your local store doesn't collect the 6% PA sales tax on each qualified sale, as long as PA gets their money they don't care if it comes out of the profit margin.

Regarding your comment about doing what I'm suggesting is fraud that gets you sent to jail - it's not. It depends on how it's done, but this type of bullshit happens all the time in a lot of industries. Telecommunications is rife with this kind of stuff. It happens at both the retail, enterprise and even wholesale level. You can believe it doesn't, but I assure you that it does. And, I'm back to this point - go find something to complain about the next time you are at a hotel and see what happens. There is a very good chance they are going to waive some of the "fees" or taxes on your bill. They do that without blinking an eye. They don't waive all of them, because they can't waive all of them. Some of them they are required to collect (or pay out of their margins). But, some they are not. These things get padded. It may not be true of every single hotel chain and there may be states that specifically prevent it from happening, but I can tell you that at least New York, NJ and MD and FL are not on that list of states.
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Blue&White
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby Blue&White » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:45 pm

Ok, I read through that link you posted. And, I think I need to look at it with fresh eyes because, honestly, I'm a little confused. For example, this says the top 1% have an adjust gross income share of 19.72%. But, I'm not clear on what that 19.72% is a percentage of. I get that they are saying the top 1% only earn 19.72% of the total income but I just don't see how that number is getting calculated. They throw tables out there but I just found them confusing. Maybe their numbers are right, but I don't see how they are being generated. I'll look tomorrow with fresh eyes.

A few other things in that I noted:

- they make the point about what is "fair share" in terms of tax liability. I agree it is subjective and different people will have varying opinions. I can't imagine that's even controversial.
- they make the following statement: "And the biggest unreported fact about TCJA is that it will increase the progressivity of the tax system.". How does fewer tax brackets increase progressivity? That just doesn't make any sense.
- your point about a pure sales tax will be progressive on higher earners is technically correct, but sales taxes are extremely regressive on everyone else. The more items you put sales tax on, the more regressive it is. If you put a sales tax on everything that can be bought, than people with no disposable income would be paying an income tax on 100% of their income at whatever that rate was. So, for example, if you put a 10% sales tax on everything and had no income tax, a guy making $40,000 a year would probably end up with a tax bill of 10% of his income. A guy making $400,000 would presumably be saving a some of that and would end up with a number less than 10%. The maximum anyone could pay in tax liability percentage would be the amount of that sales tax percentage. The less you made, the closer to that number you would be. That's the definition of a regressive tax.

Anyway, if the point of posting that article is to say that the wealthy pay the most in taxes in terms of real dollars - yes, that's true. By virtue of the amount of money they earn they pay the most in real dollars. But, as a percentage of their income? Obviously individual experiences will vary but when you have Trump bragging he's smart because he can skirt income taxes thanks to loop holes, that's a problem. A big one. And, he's not unique. And, I'm sure he is just following the tax laws.

Finally, regarding the idea that government always runs up the cost, I leave you with the below illustration showing the cost of the US non-socialized healthcare costs vs. a few other countries single-payer costs. And, btw, the UK is actual government run health care and not just a single payer system - and look how cheap that is in comparison:

Image
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Blue&White
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby Blue&White » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:39 am

Lama

So, I read this thing with fresh eyes this morning. A few more thoughts here.

1. Early in that article, they make the following statement: "With a reduced corporate tax rate that has made the U.S. more competitive, the TCJA also helped spur a booming economy that is generating record levels of tax receipts." (emphasis mine). They site a link to a story that they claim backs that assertion up. But, it actually contradicts them. The link they provide links to an article that states feds did collect a record high of "individual income taxes" in the first 8 months of 2018. But, further on down the article it says the following:

"Yet even while the federal government was hauling in a record amount in income taxes from individuals, corporation income tax collections and total federal tax collections were declining.

Real total federal tax collections dropped for the third straight year in the October-August period. In the first eleven months of fiscal 2015, the Treasury hauled in $3,050,571,320,000 in total federal taxes (in constant August 2018 dollars). In the same period in fiscal 2016, it hauled in $3,046,651,360,000 in total federal taxes (in constant August 2018 dollars); in fiscal 2017, it hauled in $3,046,234,320,000 (in constant August 2018 dollars); and in the first eleven months of this fiscal year it hauled in $2,985,186,000,000 in total federal taxes.
"

(bold emphasis mine again). They are trying to make one point and cherry pick information when the truth is actually the opposite of what they are claiming. I understand that this is not part of the point you are trying to make, but my point is that I am dubious of a source that is so blatantly biases they will misrepresent their own link to try to prove their point. And, that is not the only example. Which bring me to

2. I said yesterday I didn't understand their comment on the tax rate being more progressive. I read it again this morning. The basis of that statement is 2016 tax data, which is based on the old rates. They call it a "trend" that the tax rates are getting more progressive, but the new tax code is actually less progressive. I guess one can debate if that really matters or not, but it's just another example of not being honest with the data at your disposal and trying to skew your point. And, again, I understand this is not the point you were going for but it goes to why I sort of roll my eyes at this source.

3. I still can't figure out where these numbers and percentages come from and I can't calculate them out on my own. I presume these are the numbers that come from the IRS report that they site, but, given their tendency to skew and misrepresent information, I am very dubious of giving them the benefit of the doubt.

In short, I find the source highly suspect. But, that said, I concede that the richest people in this country pay more in real dollars in taxes. I think it's impossible to argue that isn't true. So, here is my question to you - so what? Consider this: US wealth distribution chart.

This shows two things:
1. The rich keep getting richer; and
2. minimal tax cuts on the working and middle class is doing fuq all to increase their overall wealth.

Everyone but the top 1% is worse off over the past 20 years. That is not an accident. That didn't just happen. It's not due to market forces outside our control. It is the result of clear policy choices that have tilted the balance in favor of the few against the interests of the many.

Your link made the following statement: The trends are clear: the code has become increasingly progressive, and when people are allowed to keep more of their own money, they prosper, move up the economic ladder, and pay a bigger part of the income tax bill for those who aren’t.

That is demonstrably not true, though. The overwhelming trend in this country since the mid 1980s has shown that giving people at the bottom a lower tax rate and allowing them to keep more of their income hasn't done shit for them. It has certainly helped the upper levels of the economy, but, based on the other evidence, I don't think that is really a factor of tax policy. I think that is a factor of several policies designed to help the people who can afford lobbyists.

So, yes, in terms of real raw dollars the rich pay the highest amount. I'm back to - so what? They also control the overwhelming majority of wealth in this country.
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sameoldlama
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Re: 2020 Election Thread

Postby sameoldlama » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:42 am

So I get it now - you're not the libertarian you've purported to be in the past - your in favor of heavy taxation - on the other guy. Let's see - where have I heard that those with the ability to pay should pay and pay and pay more? I think we all know.

Only the 1% have it better - complete and utter bullshit.
The rich keep getting richer - no kidding. The more wealth you acquire the greater your ability to make passive income through investment. Twenty years ago the majority of my income came from wages. Now, depending on market conditions it's about 50/50 whether I make it through wages (despite fact I more than doubled my wages) or through investment income. Since most people on this board are in the professional class and are middle age an older I imagine between investment income and equity in assets such as homes most of us are more financially secure. Property rights are a foundational principle of libertarianism - you're advocating seizure of property "if someone gets too much".

I've agreed on many instances our legislators have failed to provide a "fair ref" and this allows some wealthy entities to game the system - so as I have said multiple times - get a fair ref. You want to end crony capitalism - great.
You are espousing for a crooked commissioner who fixes the result of the game after the fact whether it was fair or not - in any arbitrary fashion as the crooked commissioner flavor of the day would see necessary to keep the mob satiated and them in power. You want to establish state authored egalitarianism - no thanks.
Wendall : That's very linear Sheriff
Ed Tom : Age will flatten a man Wendall