@happ2bhere Your remarks about the wealthy being able to dodge taxes is quite
true, and that has accelerated the accumulation at the top. This accumulation
at the top is the source of most of our problems, not Obamacare. The
accumulation at the top 1% has left little buying power in what used to be the
middle class. This is will soon be the death of American capitalism. The
collapse of 2008 was just the beginning. We sill see a revolt in this country
within five years, maybe even in 2016. Socialists have to step up, because the
Democratic Party is brain dead.
KentEconomic philosophy and history does not deal with the problems
we face today. However, one thing that I agree with and disagree with is the
part about payroll taxes. I agree, we working stiffs should get tax cuts. When
the Reagan tax cut came, I was attending college and one of the "working
stiff" professors said he couldn't believe how much money he saved due
to those cuts. So I'm not sure your point about only the rich benefiting
is accurate. A lot of middle class folks benefited from Reagans tax cuts too.
Yes the rich got a lot, but that is good because in large part that translates
to more job creating and working people. Something I hope you believe we need
today, and have needed for the last 5 years. Unless you are now amoung the
folks who are believing that the "new normal" should be 6% unemployment
and 2% GDP. That is just people making an excuse for Obamanomics not working.
And never will. Time to get off that wagon and hope for a better President in
"Liberals won't come to terms with aging. Believing that spending on
the elderly and near-elderly constitutes the essence of progressivism —
and ignoring the affluence of many elderly — some liberals even support
raising these benefits. "The vast majority of elderly are in
very modest circumstances. That the United States lacks the resources to care
for the elderly is a cruel myth. The wealthy have decided they are entitled to
most of the wealth of the country. In pursuit of this they have given
themselves tax cut after tax cut to the point of threatening social security and
medicare. This has forced government borrowing, which the wealthy benefit from
by buying that debt, being repaid with interest. The starvation of the elderly
desired is also being furthered by the planned destruction of all pensions,
public and private.This is creating a build of tensions which will
explode at some point.
happy2,By the way, you're wrong about revenues during the
Reagan years. Yes, they increased in actual dollars, but that was largely due to
inflation. As a percentage of GDP, a better measure, total government receipts
were 19.6 percent in 1981, Reagan's first year in office. By 1983, revenues
had actually dropped to 17.5 percent. They bottomed out the next year, at 17.3
percent, then rose slightly during the rest of Reagan's tenure, reaching
18.4 percent in 1987 but dropping to 18.2 percent in 1988. These percentages are
about average for the past 60 years. By comparison, the 1970s were very similar.
The 1990s were a little higher. The reason, however, that revenues
weren't worse is that while income and capital gains taxes dropped
(primarily benefiting the wealthy), payroll taxes increased substantially (and
these are paid mostly by working stiffs like me). It is simple historical fact
that the Reagan revolution laid the foundation for the huge disparity in wealth
we are now experiencing.
happy2,No trouble at all. Close the loopholes, raise the top rates
to 70 percent again, and watch the revenues flow in. But you can't be
serious about a flat tax. That only makes sense if you also flatten out the
initial distribution of wealth by, say, increasing worker ownership of
businesses or at least capping the top salary (and bonuses) at corporations so
that the top earners can make only 8 to 10 times as much as the lowest-level
full-time workers.Somehow people seem to think that capitalism is
only capitalism if you allow people at the top to exploit those in the middle
and at the bottom and reap all the rewards for the hard work of others. But
capitalism, initially, was a revolutionary system devised to overthrow the
aristocratic system that had prevailed for centuries. The problem now is the
we've turned capitalism into just another aristocratic system. Adam Smith
wouldn't much like the economic philosophy we adhere to today.
KentThe trouble with raising taxes to pre Reagan era, (read Jimmy
Carter) is that the rich always find ways to avoid those taxes with the
loopholes one can use in the several thousand pages of our tax law. The only
people who really end up paying more in taxes is the middle class and below.
Interesting to note, when Reagan cut taxes, the revenue to the treasury went up
by a lot due to the increased business and production incentive. So, if the
right taxes are cut, the net result can be more revenue. Many people still
don't or won't believe that, but it has been proven true more than
once. Now, if we could come up with a flat tax..............
Unmarried women having babies are the problem? That's a lesson taken right
out of Adam's response to the almighty in the garden. Things haven't
changed much in 10 thousand years.
Roland: "President Obama offered cuts to social security in exchange for
higher taxes...the Republican congress said no."I wonder if the
reason why they did that is because like nearly every promise from the left on
trading new taxes for spending cuts, it was a bait-and-switch."Vote now to impose higher taxes immediately and we promise to cut
spending somewhere down the road" - is the siren song. Funny how it never
works out that way. The spending cuts just magically disappear and we are all
left with higher taxes and more debt.
Samuelson makes a great case for a third party, one willing to deal with
economic realities and forget petty partisan bickering. Such a party would need
to propose implementing serious means testing for both Social Security and
Medicare. It would also propose raising taxes at least to pre-Reagan levels.
Short of this, we will never get our financial affairs in order, particularly
with the demographic shift we are just beginning to see. Scrapping Obamacare for
a single-payer system based on the blueprint of a successful system already in
place somewhere in the world (Norway, France, Germany, Japan, take your pick)
would also be a nice plank in the new party's platform. If such a party
existed, I and many others like me would gladly give up our unaffiliated status.
I doubt either of the current parties could hold a candle to such a party. Polls
show that Americans are fed up with both, but particularly the GOP.
Aging is a problem? I kind of see it as blessing, considering the alternative.
Roland KayserHow can cutting social security in exchange for higher
taxes be an answer? SS has now been considered a successful program, that was
supposed to be held seperate from the regular budget to begin with. Remember
Gore, "lock box"? Both Republicans and Democrats violated the law by
taking from the SS acount to fund other programs. Should never have happened in
the first place. If any taxes should go up it should be specifically for the SS
acount only. If Democrats really cared about old people and poor people as they
"claim", then messing with a successful program that helps said people
would be the last move they should make. What on Earth are Democrats trying to
do? I can't figure them out, but if you are are a Democrat, maybe you do.
I think the unmarried women having babies is by far the most troubling trend
that has the most damaging overall impact to our society.
President Obama offered cuts to social security in exchange for higher taxes.
John Boehner agreed to the deal, but the Republican congress said no. It's
not quite accurate to blame both parties equally, which is not to say that
Democrats are blameless, they certainly are not.