We are all Americans with hyphens unless of course one is a Native American. To
think and write otherwise is naive.Platitudes like we don't have a
revenue problem we have a spending problem do nothing to further discourse as
they limit by its very phrasing the solution as if there is only one solution.
Such overly simplistic solutions to complex issues and a willingness
to continually differentiate oneself from all Americans by suggesting that those
without a hyphen are different from the overwhelming 300 plus million of us who
all have hyphens attached to our ancestry do nothing but divide the country and
stalemate any serious discussion and progress.
It would be nice to know who the author is. I thought this was a requirement in
submitting letters to the editor.
@4:03 Interesting that you use one website to site population statistics, but
another to cite job statistics, whats with that? If you stick with the BLS
website, it shows that job candidates increased under Bush by 7.3%, reflecting
similar trends with the population statistics. However, the BLS website also
shows that the employed increased by 6.2%, which is far above the theory of .83%
claimed by you. How many more jobs could have been created under Bush, when the
unemployment figure in 2008 was 5.5%, up from 2007 (going into a recession) by
almost 1%. That is affectively full employment. I am with those who
call for deep cuts in federal budget spending. Nobody says we have to start
tomorrow, but lets get going soon. We always get stuck with promised spending
cuts that never materialize. Show us the cuts, then we can talk about some
temporary limited tax increases when the economy starts to REALLY turn around.
As for you leftists that hate the rich. If you double the "claimed"
taxes on the top 400 so that they now pay 32% not 16%. You barely make up 1% of
the budget. Smarten up!
Wastintime, how on earth is the payroll tax "regressive"? You can
only make it so if you ignore the benefits they are coupled to. The whole point
of payroll taxes is to fund the taxpayer's retirement. For the people at the
bottom of the wage scale, when you take benefits paid into account, the payroll
tax is not only not regressive, it's actually negative. That is, lower-income
taxpayers get substantially more out of the programs the payroll tax funds, than
they ever paid in. Subsidized, as usual, by yours truly.As for
sales tax -- I'd like to check those numbers. A much greater percentage of
low-income earners' money is spent on less-taxed items. In California, where I
live, food is exempt from sales tax. Utility taxes are much lower than the
sales tax rate. Rent isn't sales taxed, and the landlords' property taxes are
offset by the mortgage interest deduction, so property taxes generally have no
net effect on the amount of rent charged. Not only that, but what taxes
low-income earners *do* pay is often offset by refundable credits like the child
tax credit and the EITC.
Re:lost in DCSales, excise, payroll and even some State's taxes are
regressive, hitting those at the bottom of the wage scale harder than more
affluent people. So it is disingenuous to merely focus on federal income tax.
Secondly, even if we adopted a flat tax, those at the top, who own most of
America's wealth, would pay a large percentage of the income tax. Between May 1999 and May 2009, employment in the private sector sector only
rose by 1.1%, by far the lowest 10-year increase the post-depression period.
Its impossible to overstate how bad this is. Basically speaking, the private
sector job machine has almost completely stalled over the past ten years. Business weekOther data ranking President's job creation record
can be seen at: "Congresswoman says Democratic presidents create more
private-sector jobs" at politifact.Estimates from the U.S.
Census and the BLS show that during the Bush years, the population increased by
7.8 percent while the number of jobs rose by .83 percent.(politifact)
Re: "A few polls that support my conclusion."Interesting
rating scheme.No time to check them all, but, i.e., the 7/13 Gallup
poll on preferences for spending cuts vs. tax increases -- the one you cite as
73 to 20 [not sure what Some/All Taxes No Taxes/All Spending means] -- was
actually reported out as 20% favoring all spending cuts, 30% favoring mostly
cuts, 32% favoring equal numbers of cuts and new taxes, and 7 percent favoring
cuts, but leaning mostly to new taxes. Only 4% favored no cuts at all.So, I guess if your conclusion was that all but 4% of Americans want spending
cuts, then yes, these polls support your conclusion.And mine.We need real spending cuts. We need them now. Americans agree in
overwhelming numbers. We know how to do it, it's just a matter of transplanting
a little backbone into Congress.Quoting a previous, obviously
intelligent poster -- "Here's an idea -- let's try some cuts first. Assess
the effect. Then we can intelligently discuss any need for more taxes."
I see a couple liberals invoking the talking point that Texas Governor Rick
Perry supposedly slashed firefighter funding, as a result of which Texas is
burning down.Operating under the time-honored assumption that every
Democratic talking point is a fib until proven innocent, I looked into it.Surprise, surprise: Par for the liberal course.What
happened is this: Texas firefighting funding has been slowly rising, from about
$70 million early in this decade to $75 million last year. This year -- fiscal
2010-2011 -- there was a one-time spike up to $100 million, for a big purchase
of new equipment. Next year, it goes back down to the standard $75 million
operating budget.Counting a one-time spike in an agency's budget,
after a capital purchase program expires, as a Drastic Cut Gutting Public
Services is a time-worn Democratic trope. Doesn't make it any less of a lie.
And in any case, I'm trying to understand how Democrats think that a
budget cut that doesn't go into effect this year, is supposed to be having an
effect on service levels *this* year. Time travel, I guess. Fire
up the flux capacitor.
@redshirt what is ironic is the fact you actually think liberals are
stupid enough that they don't already know that. Here is the dilemma faced by
liberals we can either vote for the rich guy that will not get rid of tax breaks
for him and his buddies or we can vote for the rich guy that wants to give
himself and his buddies even more tax breaks or the third option of throwing
your vote down the rat hole of a third party and watching the second guy win
anyway. I think the one thing we can agree on is our system is broken.
The problem is that every time conservatives agree to a "grand
bargain," accepting tax hikes in exchange for spending costs, guess what
happens?The tax hikes go into effect. The spending cuts don't.Sorry, Lucy, I'm not having any more shots at kicking your football.
Give me some genuine cuts first -- I mean real cuts, as in "we spend X this
year, and X minus Y next year" -- and we can talk. I thought
Simpson-Bowles was a decent approach; too bad the President deep-sixed his own
deficit commission's results. The problem here is that the average
liberal (heck, the average person) has little if any idea as to how the tax code
actually works, or how much taxes people pay now. We could tax The Rich(TM)
more than anyone else in the world -- but Mr. Average Liberal, whose thinking is
based more on anecdotes (plural /= "data") and myths than on reality,
will still think they're undertaxed. The only thing certain is that
nobody thinks he's undertaxed -- unless, possibly, a person has enough billions
that being liked by the right people is more important than his tax rate. Warren Buffett can afford higher taxes. I can't.
Correction to CNN poll above:I posted "Increases in taxes on middle
class and lower-income Americans 63% should be included" The
correct statement: " increases in taxes on businesses and higher income
Americans: 63%"Only 12% believe taxes should be raised on
Middle class and lower income Americans.
I wrote the letter, "Don't Just Cut". I'm delighted with the large
number of comments. I wish I had time right now to set straight those of
you whose comments I havent recommended. But Im busy developing a
couple of new start-up businesses: A piece of equipment to reduce symptoms of
insomnia, and a school to efficiently teach schoolchildren what to say and do to
cope with bullying on and off school property. Im more passionate about my ideas
in that realm than about trying to convince the tea party that their dreamed-of
miracle just aint gonna happen in the near term.
I see the author of this letter has bought into the misinformation spread by the
demagogue party. The tea party does NOT want to maintain all the loopholes, but
espouses eliminating them and reducing the corporate tax rate to keep more
revenue and jobs here.Truthseeker,Between January 2001 and
November 2007, we created 8.8 MILLION jobs and unemployment stood at 4.7%.
Thats a bad record? Compared to the 2.9 million jobs weve LOST since BO became
president and the 9.1% unemployment rate we suffer through now? It is true we
lost jobs from November 2007 forward because the dems in 1997 refused to
regulate mortgage derivatives and Fannie and Freddie in 2005 so we had a housing
bubble.Roland,You can rest easy, 47-50% of Americans pay NO
federal income tax, which is MUCH less than 16.6%. The top 5% pay, what is it?
something like 40% of all federal income tax? I guess that's not enough for
those who want to punish others' success.
Reported on KVUE, March 23, 2011:"State funding for volunteer fire
departments is taking a big hit. It is going from $30 million to $7 million.
Those departments are already facing financial strains.The State
Firemens and Fire Marshals Association of Texas represents 21,000 state
firefighters. The Association says more than 80 percent of volunteer
firefighters are reporting taking a personal hit in the budget crisis."
Can/Should the Budget Deficit Be Reduced with Spending Cuts Alone or Should
There Be Some Increase in Taxes? Poll Date Some/All Taxes No Taxes/All
Spending Gallup 8-10 66 33 CNN 8-10 63 36 McClatchy/Marist 8-9
68 29 New York Times/CBS News 8-4 63 34 CNN 8-2 60 40 Ipsos/Reuters 7-26 68 19 Rasmussen 7-25 56 34 CNN 7-21 64 34 Washington Post/ABC News 7-19 66 32 NBC News/Wall Street Journal 7-19 62
27 CBS News 7-18 69 28 Quinnipiac 7-14 67 25 Gallup 7-13 73 20
Washington Post/ABC News 6-9 61 37 Ipsos/Reuters 6-9 59 26 Bloomberg 5-13 64 33 Ipsos/Reuters 5-12 61 27 Gallup 4-29 76 20
USC/Los Angeles Times 4-25 62 33 New York Times/CBS News 4-22 66 19
Washington Post/ABC News 4-20 62 36 Washington Post/ABC News 3-15 67
31 Washington Post/ABC News 12-12 62 36 Average 8-10 65 35A few polls that support my conclusion.
Re:procuradorfiscalWhat is the date of the poll you cite? CBS poll
8/2/11: What should be the higher priority? 29% said govt. spending, 62% said
creating jobs.50% favor increase in tax revenues.CNN poll
8/5/11:#1 Sixty-two percent of Americans poll said taxes on wealthy people
should be kept high so the government can use their money for programs to help
lower-income people.Question #2: Please tell me whether you think
each of the following should or should not be included in that deficit reduction
proposal: Major changes to the Social Security and Medicare systems? 64% should
not be included.Increases in taxes on middle class and lower-income
Americans 63% should be includedCBS poll 8/4/11 Seventy-two percent
of Americans disapprove of Republican's performance during the debt ceiling
debate, while just 21 percent approve. Republicans get most of the
blame for the standoff. Forty-seven percent blame Republicans in Congress, while
29 percent blame President Obama and congressional Democrats; 20 percent say
both are to blame. A majority of Americans - 52 percent - says
Republicans in Congress compromised too little in the debate
This letter writer stereotypes tea party members and implies s/he accurately
describe their views.That's why it's not an effective letter.Tea party members are generally not well-off, nor are they generally
opposed to closing tax loopholes.
"Texas is paying a price for excessive cutting of the government as there
is now a shortage of firefighters and equipment to fight the wildfires that are
burning in that state."Evidence?I'd be happy to be
corrected, but my immediate reaction to this kind of claim is that, like most
liberal "facts," it is obtained by alimentary extraction. You've made a factual claim: Because of budget cuts, Texas now has fewer
firefighters and less equipment than it had previously. Is this true? Do you
have numbers to back it up?As for taxation: Raising taxes on
"the rich" won't put more than a scratch in the paint of the budget
deficit. Looks to me like that would net us about $80 billion, against a $1.5
trillion hole. (And that's assuming tax hikes wouldn't increase tax avoidance,
which they always do, leading the higher rates to return less than the expected
revenue). You'd have to pretty much double *everybody's* income
taxes, to get deficits back to Bush-era levels. Got an extra thousand bucks a
month lying around? Me neither.
Re: "Look at any poll and you will find that this statement [Americans
favor immediate spending cuts] is untrue."Not sure which polls
you're looking at, but a recent CBS News poll found "77 percent prefer to
cut spending, 9 percent want to raise taxes and another 9 percent want to do
both."So, 86% of Americans want spending cuts. There may be
less agreement as to particulars, but a clear and vast majority agree there must
be cuts.Yet, liberals block any serious proposals to cut spending.
Recent "compromises" don't cut a nickel -- they don't even seriously
address spending growth.Many dramatic cuts, starting with the number
of agencies and bureaucrats, would be relatively painless [see discussion above]
and could reduce the deficit a lot [executive branch payroll is $177B a year,
physical plant/vehicle/support expenses, another $161B], yet liberals/trade
unions oppose them, bleating about some crying need to raise taxes, instead.Here's an idea -- let's try some cuts first. Assess the effect. Then
we can intelligently discuss any need for more taxes.
To Hellooo: You can rest easy. The 400 wealthiest American families, with
average incomes over 100 million dollars a year, only pay 16.6% of their income
in federal taxes.
Why would anyone believe someone should have to pay more than 35% of any
percentage of their income to the Federal Government. It is wasted on foreign
wars with no result, extravangant spending programs at home with no real
purpose, and keeps the country from addressing its need for structural reform in
the tax system and social programs. Fix the programs, lower taxes, and then
watch the country prosper again.
"With nearly 50% of Congress being Millionares you expect any legislation
to pass that would punish the millionaires, or even create more oversight and
control over their activities?"Didn't we have over 50 Democrats
in the senate who wanted to get rid of the bush tax cuts on those making over
250k? Then the GOP filibustered it of course... and held unemployment benefit
extensions hostage to use as a bargaining chip for it...
To procuradorfiscal: It is certainly true that most people in America believe
that there must be "massive reductions in federal spending [that] must be
done immediately"--Look at any poll and you will find that this statement
is untrue.Americans support spending cuts in general, but when it
comes to cutting any specific programs, they are opposed to all cuts except
foreign aid (under 1% of the budget). Support for cutting Medicare or Social
Security is in the single digits. Virtually all polls show that Americans would
rather pay higher taxes than see cuts to those two programs.
I agree 100% with the letter writer.What I bothers me the most about
the whole thing, and politics in general, is the way everyone seems to need to
kowtow to the Tea Party. This party is, in reality, a small minority of all
voters in the US, and yet all candidates are changing their ideas, etc. to get
Tea Party support. That's a very scary scenerio in my opinion.
Here is the ironic thing about the liberals. They complain about the
"fatcat" millionaries that have destroyed the country, but then elect
them into political office with the idea that they will punish the
millionaires.Obama is worth $5.5 MillionThe Clintons are worth
$34.9 MillionHarry Reid has $3.4 MillionNancy Pelosi has $35.2
MillionJane Harman has $293.4 MillionJohn Kerry has $238.8
MillionMaxine Waters has $2.2 MillionThe fact that in 2010
there were 261 millionaires in Congress.With nearly 50% of Congress
being Millionares you expect any legislation to pass that would punish the
millionaires, or even create more oversight and control over their
activities?To "KJB1 | 6:58 a.m." one thing that is often
not included in the household budget analogy is the fact that the government is
on a fixed income and is incapable of getting a second job. The US averages
just under 20% GDP in taxes, regardless of the tax rates. So, raising tax rates
won't fix anything, it only shifts where the money comes from.The
best thing to do is to get more people working.
Ok, I accept that too much cutting too soon could give us more of a recession.
But as it is now, I don't see any cutting. Let's get some of that. That would
help restore confidence that the government is able to do something. As it is
now, I've heard a lot but so far I haven't seen anything.
Re: "Think this through!Good advice -- let's do a little
thinking, here.Every nickel paid to government workers comes out of
our pockets. Every nickel not paid represents a cut from our monstrous,
unsustainable deficit.Additionally, some 40% of government workers
are at, or within 5 years of retirement eligibility. For most of them,
retirement means a small, tax-supported pension, supplemented by contributions
to and earnings of a 401K-like Thrift Savings Plan. Since matching
contributions to the Plan are sunk costs -- already paid -- the continuing cost
to taxpayers of a retired government employee is a tiny fraction of the cost of
paying him full-time wages.Any small effect [outside the Beltway] on
the productive economy of cutting jobs from the parasitic sector, will be more
than offset by the stimulus provided by a lower deficit.So, let's
put on our thinking caps -- large cuts in the cost of government can be
painlessly attained by encouraging retirement-age bureaucrats to retire, maybe
even offer incentives for early retirement.So, why not do so?Government employee unions, maybe?
The GOP and their Wall Street millionaires who helped cause this global
financial-crisis. Nouriel Roubini, co-founder/chairman of Roubini Global
Economics LLC, said the current slowdown in the world economy has brought
forward the timing of a new financial crisis. Three years after the collapse
of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., financial shares in Europe are under assault
and the cost of insuring bank debt is at records as the global recovery falters
and the euro-region crisis weighs on the economy. There's a 60 percent
probability that most advanced economies will fall into a recession, while
authorities are running out of options to provide emergency support, said
Roubini, also a professor at New York Universitys Stern School of Business. You
need to restore economic growth, not five years from now, you need to restore it
today, Roubini said. In the short term, we need to do massive stimulus,
otherwise there's going to be another Great Depression. Things are getting worse
and the big difference between now and a few years ago is that this time around
were running out of policy bullets. The economist said another financial crisis
"is already manifesting itself" in developed economies.
"We have a serious spending problem which is fast becoming a serious debt
problem for our children and grandchildren. Stop the spending - now."But cuts won't necessarily improve the deficit!Think this
through!You lay off a bunch of federal/state workers. Firefighters,
police officers, teachers, and other workers.... The private sector is unable to
absorb these people are provide them with salaries.These people
then, don't buy products, stop paying taxes (because they don't have a salary),
and then lose their homes. That debt and lack of income generation
(from buying products), slows down the economy even more and brings up more
government shortfalls.Folks, it's not that difficult to
understand!We need more wealth overturning more quickly. Instead,
it's being all hoarded by those on the very top.
Good letter.The debt has increased under Obama due to the stimulus, a
significant decrease in revenues, extending the Bush tax cuts and the war in
Afghanistan.Republicans for years have promoted the idea that tax
cuts create jobs. Bush had the worst job creation record of any modern Pres.
The extension of the Bush tax cuts has not produced more jobs either. Now the
Republicans are talking about deregulation (repeal Dodd-Frank) and more tax
cuts, such as lower capital gains tax rates. Basically, they've decided to
double-down on the Bush economic principles. We do need to put into place
longterm spending cuts. Drastically cutting spending now will increase, not
decrease, unemployment and further weaken the economy. Interest rates for
govt. borrowing are basically zero. So, we should be taking advantage of the
borrowing rate for a short-term jobs program, focused on upgrading our
infrastructure. Tax cuts to spur hiring have little to no effect when the
demand is low. Basically, however, Republicans are invested in
Obama failing, thereby the economy failing. Obama's ratings are low because he
as ceded the asylum to the inmates.
Re: "The tea party believes . . . ."Parties don't believe,
people believe.Liberal demagogues ascribe any evil they care to rail
against to the Tea Party. The Tea Party is an easy target, of course, since it
has no official platform or even existence, except in the minds of people using
it as a prop for whatever they're selling.But, ultimately, it's a
scam.It is certainly true that most people in America believe that
there must be "massive reductions in federal spending [that] must be done
immediately . . . ." But it is not true that the same majority would hold
for not "eliminating tax loopholes or raising rates." [Note the
liberal code for raising taxes.]What most of us object to is the
mentality of raising taxes first, with no accompanying real reduction in the
cost of government.That's the rope-a-dope liberal vote-buying,
tax-and-spend politicians have played for years, and are still playing today.Here's an idea -- Cut first, then we can talk intelligently about any
needed tax increases.
"I marvel that this truth is invisible to the tea party."You and me both!
Nice letter. The Tea Partiers keep saying that the government
should budget like a household. Fine. Say your hours were cut. You'd find a
way to cut expenses (drop Netflix, maybe even sell a car), but you wouldn't tell
your family to stop eating or using electricity. You'd be trying to find a
part-time job or some way to make more money. You'd be trying to find more
revenue. Why shouldn't the government do the same?The Tea Party may
whine about being called "terrorists", but what they want is economic
terrorism, point blank. If the shoe fits...
In today's political climate, it seems like the "common sense"
approach is out of the question for the GOP base.EVERY GOP
presidential candidate professed to be against a plan that included $10 of
spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases.Seriously, if that plan
was put on the table, would you want your representative to vote "NO"?
Texas is paying a price for excessive cutting of the government as there is now
a shortage of firefighters and equipment to fight the wildfires that are burning
in that state. People who dismiss the need for government are ignorant
We as a society have spent the last seventy five years building up this deficit.
Both parties have contributed to our financial fiasco. To cut drastically
overnite would plunge us into a Depression that would rival the 1930's. Great
letter and correct. It will take a combination of cuts, tax raises and an
overall reprioritizing of our wants versus needs to fix the mess.
We have a serious spending problem which is fast becoming a serious debt problem
for our children and grandchildren. Stop the spending - now.