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markharju

Zoomer Urges POS Biden to Forgive Student Debt via Exec Order...

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(edited)
6 hours ago, RobertMBlevins said:

Ah...I think I understand you now. Let me guess. You also belong to a firearms forum somewhere. And a prepper forum. And are a supporter of Faux News. 

*** Wrong on all counts. Kindly don't pigeonhole me - thanks. "Faux News" (whatever that means) could easily apply to CNN, MSNBC, etc. etc. etc.

Any excessive spending is in reality a GOOD thing on a short term basis for now, except for one main area. We spend far more on defense than we actually need. 

*** No disagreement there. Except it isn't just defense (which is the biggest and the worst), it's everything. US $23 TRILLION spent since Johnson's "Great Society", and the only thing to show for it is more poverty, and more deficit.

The other problem is that the folks making the most money are paying far less than their fair share of the burden. Same with many corporations. This puts the main burden on the people the programs were designed for. We would not really have a deficit problem if we simply ditched the tax code and did a flat tax on income, whether it be billionaires, corporations and companies, or even the poor. A straight flat tax, scaled to the income. No more problems and you would be surprised how fast that deficit would vanish. No loopholes, no deductions, no complex tax codes and tax attorneys would soon be out of work. If companies or corporations want to expand production or their global reach...they simply do it the old fashioned way...by using the profits they earn from sales or services.

*** There's always a certain amount of "politics of envy", aka "eat the rich". I seem to recall that reducing and modifying taxes boosted the economy, resulting in a net gain of revenue. However, I agree that corporations should be treated in a more egalitarian fashion with respect to taxes.

It's never been where the money goes. It's always been how the deposits to the account arrive there for spending. This should especially apply to the Feds. And in order to fix this deficit problem, EVERYONE NEEDS TO PAY THEIR SHARE. In this way, services are met and everyone feels equally treated. I would set a Federal poverty guideline for both small business and individuals and then institute a sliding scale for a flat tax, based on gross income. This would also encourage more frugality and less irresponsibility with rich folks and corporations, who currently get richer on the backs of regular folks. 

*** The problem is what constitutes a "fair share". Anecdote: in Sweden the tax structure became geared towards heavily taxing the wealthy, such that by the 1970's, there were wealthy people who were being taxed IN EXCESS OF 100% of their income (go look it up - I'm not going to provide the source). Guess what they did? THEY TOOK THEIR MONEY AND THEY LEFT (see California). This resulted in Sweden modifying their tax system so that the welfare state, while still present, didn't overwhelm the revenue base. The only other solution for this is to build walls to keep people IN, not OUT.

Everybody wants to blame the government. But the real problem is that nothing is in balance, especially the way Americans are taxed. In fact, the whole thing is done back-asswards using a tax code that should have been ditched decades ago. The US government practices a lot of short-term borrowing, which isn't necessarily bad unless the money you depend on to repay that money is coming from a screwed-up system that puts the most burden on the people least able to assist those repayments. 

*** Agreed. However, the biggest problem is citizens (and corporations) who want something for nothing, and politicians who promise it. We ARE the government but allow ourselves to be dictated to by an entitled wealthy and powerful class who think their shit doesn't stink. We get what we deserve.

Calling for a flat tax is easy. I'm not the first to do it, and it's unlikely to happen. So what do you do to make it more fair, if you can't create a perfectly fair system. Easy answer. Slash the loopholes to nearly zero, raise the corporate tax rate and make sure they actually PAY it, then raise taxes on higher-income earners. CUT taxes to the middle class, and down to almost nothing for the poor. That would be better than what's going on now, but for this to happen, someone...someWHERE ...has to bring the hammer down and do it. 

*** I doubt this administration or the next or the next will do that (make radical improvements to the tax system). There's just too much vested in the status quo. It's going to take a major upheaval (read: economic collapse brought on by devaluation and hyperinflation). The big fear I have is that when it occurs, the snakes will come out and sing the siren song of socialism and people, being desperate, will swallow the hook. Game over.

I hope in reading this, you'll perhaps come to think that although I can be a troll, I'm not the knee-jerk reactionary you may have been led to believe that I am.

Edited by markharju

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(edited)
8 hours ago, GeorgiaDon said:

Here is an article from Forbe's that discusses the cost of training military pilots.  A basic qualified F-16 pilot costs $5.6 million, an F-35A pilot costs $10.15 million, and an F-22 pilot costs $10.6 million.  There are universities that specialize in aeronautical training.  Why not let would-be fighter pilots pay for their training themselves?  Why should the taxpayer have to pay for that?

For the cost of a single fighter pilot I could train 20-30 PhDs in biotechnology, immunology, or infectious disease research.  What would be the better deal for the economy?  I can assure you the Covid vaccine was not developed by Donald J Trump tinkering in the White House bunker, it was developed by highly trained scientists.

There's your reality.

You're comparing apples and giraffes (making a blank comparison for purposes of rhetoric). While we're at it, astronaut training not be cheap, plus the Russians charge $80 Mil per seat on a Soyuz booster. Plus see other thread: US $ 23T spent on welfare / entitlements at the federal level since LBJ's Great Society in the 1960s and we have zip to show for it.

Edited by markharju

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3 hours ago, markharju said:

I hope in reading this, you'll perhaps come to think that although I can be a troll, I'm not the knee-jerk reactionary you may have been led to believe that I am.

What you've written in that post is driven purely by ideology and emotion rather than any fact or reason. Amidst a flurry of other posts where you're knee-jerk reacting to Biden's win by being a hyper offensive uber troll I fail to see how you think it will convince anyone of anything.

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Mark, you're currently choosing to live in a country that's far more socialist than the US. Socialism is a matter of degrees, not absolutes -- just like any other ism, including capitalism. Reducing anything even marginally complex to absolutes makes it useless for any society of more than village size. We have socialist Social Security, Medicare, and VA benefits. We have capitalist businesses, including an increasing class of (effectively) robber barons, except they're in the financial sector now rather than the manufacturing sector, so they don't even contribute lots of blue-collar jobs to the general good.

And yes, we have more poor people than we did in 1965. But we have fewer who are living in the kind of abject going-to-bed-malnourished than we did then; we have fewer who are confined to vastly inferior schools because of the color of their skin (now it's the neighborhoods, and that's correlated with the color of their skin, but it's not legally tied to it). And we have an overall larger population, so it's not surprising there should be more poor people in it. While wealth is not a zero-sum game, there is at any moment a set amount of national wealth, and a larger percentage of it is concentrated in a smaller amount of the population -- which means that there are more people to spread the rest around to.

Lower middle class is much closer to what used to be poor, but we have the infrastructure to make life more comfortable.

Forced redistribution of wealth is not the way -- but neither is simply waiting for it to trickle down. Some rich people leave, regardless of conditions -- I'm happy with making it the assholes who are unwilling to contribute to the society as a whole, and making the country a good enough place in general for the majority to want to stay. It worked in the 1950's in the US.

Wendy P.

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7 hours ago, markharju said:

You're comparing apples and giraffes (making a blank comparison for purposes of rhetoric).

You are missing the point.  If it worth it to society to invest that kind of money in fighter pilots or astronauts, why is it not worth it to invest in a skilled workforce who can do things that are useful to industry and to society in general (such as engineers, doctors, research scientists, teachers, etc).  Especially considering the return the government would see on their investment, in terms of higher lifetime taxes paid and enhanced economic activity.  You can't have an advanced IT industry, or pharmaceuticals, or (insert industry of choice here) without a skilled work force.  In many industries employers have to rely on immigrants because the US is not producing enough trained US citizens, and yet we allow the price of entry to a career (i.e. the high cost of education) to exclude a large fraction of the potential work force.  Other countries remove the economic barrier, and in exchange expect rigorous programs so that the people who get through and ultimately graduate are the ones who are the most determined, and so (presumably) are the most likely to make a real contribution to the economy. 

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2 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

I guess it's kind of 'funny' that the only major industrialized country on the planet that doesn't offer some sort of subsidized health care to the population is also the only one that doesn't offer some sort of subsidized higher education.

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10 hours ago, markharju said:

You're comparing apples and giraffes (making a blank comparison for purposes of rhetoric). While we're at it, astronaut training not be cheap, plus the Russians charge $80 Mil per seat on a Soyuz booster. Plus see other thread: US $ 23T spent on welfare / entitlements at the federal level since LBJ's Great Society in the 1960s and we have zip to show for it.

I'd suggest that millions of US families and veterans not suffering from/dying from malnutrition, exposure and homelessness is not "zip."

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(edited)

LBJ's 'Great Society' was a product of the 1960's, and its effects are still felt today. The problem is that some of its programs were funded less and less after Carter. Everyone knows about Food Stamps, WIC, and Aid to Families With Dependent Children. Others fail to notice the many subsidized housing units that still exist today, the so-called Section 8 folks who avoided homelessness by being in that program. That is a lifetime thing, by the way...unless you move to non-Section 8 housing, and then your paper from the government is 'recaptured'. 

One reason we have so much homelessness today is due to Clinton's restructuring of welfare in the 90's. He did that because people (including Republican leaders) were under the false impression that 'welfare was breaking the country,' which is total baloney. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Defense are the biggest expenditures by far. In the chart below, TANF means welfare payments, and SNAP is Food Stamps. I believe EITC means Earned Income Tax Credit, which puts a few dollars back into the pockets of poor families trying to raise their kids. 

kearneyfedWEB.png.3d37557b21d91f32724cd2fe32fc8f2e.png

Defense spending would fall somewhere between Medicare and Medicaid on this chart. And Social Security is paid for using payroll taxes.

Here is the link to the article where this picture came from

You can see the obvious problem. We spend far too much on defense, and far too little on the basics that would keep people from living in garbage dumpsters or public parks. 

Or, as Chris Farley once said, 'in a van down by the river.' B)

 

Edited by RobertMBlevins

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To be honest, a lot of those mental hospitals weren't much of an improvement over homelessness. We don't really know how to do this area well yet, but our do-for-yourself capitalist system is very ill-suited to both issues of public mental illness and homelessness. Closing the hospitals shouldn't have been seen as a savings, just a redeployment of funds. But they're tax-paid, and we all know that the only taxes some people are willing to pay are those that directly benefit them. So even roads in Idaho don't matter to the dude in Texas.

Wendy P.

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The whole reason to give more money to rich people through tax-cuts is so they supposedly spend more money and it all trickles down. Yet for some reason giving money to students would not lead to them spending more money.

As usual, Republicans stand for nothing.

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18 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

Nope. The reason we have so much homelessness today is because Reagan and the 80s Republicans relaxed the mental health laws and closed down a lot of hospitals.

 

It was a left-right conspiracy. Together they (CA Repubs like Reagan and lefties like the ACLU) cooperated to close the hospitals and put people in the streets. Personally I think that they should just be rounded up and put in camps, given all the drugs they want and when they die, are turned into mulch.

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13 hours ago, SkyDekker said:

The whole reason to give more money to rich people through tax-cuts is so they supposedly spend more money and it all trickles down. Yet for some reason giving money to students would not lead to them spending more money.

As usual, Republicans stand for nothing.

Because it wouldn't be based on academic merit - it would be based instead upon the intersectional heirarchy. There are already race quotas in some Ivy League universities. It's easy for you to be holier-than-thou because your country isn't strapped with a massive, intractable underclass the way mine is.

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6 hours ago, markharju said:

Because it wouldn't be based on academic merit - it would be based instead upon the intersectional heirarchy. There are already race quotas in some Ivy League universities. It's easy for you to be holier-than-thou because your country isn't strapped with a massive, intractable underclass the way mine is.

And as long as you see them that way, and as deserving of where they are, absolutely nothing will change. A "let them die" approach is not what the US is about. We did away with poorhouses over a hundred years ago (well, other than jails and bails used as revenue generators). We did away with child labor as well, and we're working on the segregation of "those people." Because segregating people to be with "their own kind" doesn't fix anything.

Wendy P.

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8 hours ago, markharju said:

Because it wouldn't be based on academic merit

And tax cuts for the rich that trickle down were base don Academic merit?

Would seem you are just trying to weave things you dislike together: students, liberals and people of colour.

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10 hours ago, markharju said:

Because it wouldn't be based on academic merit - it would be based instead upon the intersectional heirarchy. There are already race quotas in some Ivy League universities. It's easy for you to be holier-than-thou because your country isn't strapped with a massive, intractable underclass the way mine is.

Did you just describe certain races as a "massive, intractable underclass?"  There are plenty of organizations throughout history who have claimed to have effective methods to deal with that underclass and restore merit to the populace.  We generally consider those organizations to be evil.

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9 hours ago, markharju said:

Because it wouldn't be based on academic merit - it would be based instead upon the intersectional heirarchy. There are already race quotas in some Ivy League universities. It's easy for you to be holier-than-thou because your country isn't strapped with a massive, intractable underclass the way mine is.

Hmm. So your country has long pursued a more purely capitalist system with a smaller and less effective safety net of social programs than most western nations you describe as socialist, and the result is that you have generated a massive intractable underclass?

Do you not think that, maybe, you want to change your ideas about how to deal with that?

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6 hours ago, jakee said:

Hmm. So your country has long pursued a more purely capitalist system with a smaller and less effective safety net of social programs than most western nations you describe as socialist, and the result is that you have generated a massive intractable underclass?

Do you not think that, maybe, you want to change your ideas about how to deal with that?

No see, the problem is that there was any safety net. Things would be better if there was absolutely no safety net.

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