Curious Capitalist

Republicans Seem to Be Out of Economic Ideas — Here Are Two Suggestions

If you think about thrift as a moral quality, it's easy to understand why Republicans have gotten things so wrong in terms of macroeconomic policy over the past few years

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If you think about thrift as a moral quality, it’s easy to understand why Republicans have gotten things so wrong in terms of macroeconomic policy over the past few years. Austerity, after all, has a folksy and intuitive appeal, the idea being that you can’t cure debt with more debt. No household could — and why shouldn’t the government be run like a stable household, never borrowing what it can’t repay quickly and easily?

Of course, we know why not: Keynes explained the reason in his General Theory, and pretty much every modern leader who has tried to fight rising debt with austerity since then, from Herbert Hoover to the modern technocrats of Greece and Italy, has failed.

The Germans, like many American conservatives, are still enamored of austerity. It appeals to their sense of thrift and fairness; but having spent time recently in Germany, I can see that, as in the U.S., this approach has also become a moral issue. The fact that so many European nations are trying to cut public spending all at once is clearly the reason that Europe is now officially in the longest recession since the creation of the euro zone. But belief in austerity persists because there’s a certain grim moral justice in the idea that debtor nations should pay for their crimes with deep, painful forced cuts.

(MORE: The Mystery of the Incredible Shrinking Budget Deficit)

Justice aside, austerity is a failed economic concept, a realization that is having major short-term ramifications in Europe (as I’ll be exploring in more detail in an upcoming TIME magazine story). But it may also have a longer-term impact on the 2014 congressional and 2016 presidential elections in the U.S. For some time now, conservative economic policy has revolved around two ideas: the supposed need to slash government budgets in order to cut the deficit, and the notion that tax cuts will spur growth (a.k.a. trickle-down economics). But as we’ve seen in headlines over the past week, the deficit is coming down fast, not because of cuts, but because of a private-sector recovery that has put more tax dollars in federal coffers. If the current trends continue, the deficit will be about 2% of GDP by 2015, making it a nonissue for any presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, trickle-down economics isn’t working either. Globalization and technology have fundamentally shifted the dynamics of the labor market and increased the number of places that investors benefiting from any tax savings can put their money. Inequality is rising, the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. are low wage (meaning they don’t generate much new income or consumption), and median wages are flat across the board. This is true no matter who is charge: tax cuts didn’t spur economic growth under Obama, nor did they in 2000 and 2001 under George W. Bush.

One thing that is interesting to me is that I don’t hear more conservatives talking about new economic policy ideas. With both austerity and trickle-down failing, Republicans need some new ideas in their arsenal. And I can think of two areas that could benefit from some smarter thinking from both sides of the aisle.

Tax reform. Liberals have been vocal about wanting higher taxes on the rich, but conservatives should lead the charge for lower overall corporate taxes. It’s true that the U.S. has higher-than-average corporate tax rates compared with other countries. The trick is lowering them in such a way that you actually generate more revenue overall. That means closing loopholes of the sort that I described in this recent column.

(MORE: Austerity Strikes Back: Budget Hawks Regroup After the Reinhart-Rogoff Affair)

But it also might mean thinking about ways to lower the tax burden on equity, as opposed to debt. The recent Apple bond issuance was a great example of how the U.S. tax code perversely rewards debt. The company saved $100 million in taxes by doing the largest ever corporate bond issuance rather than bringing home some of its $137 billion in cash abroad. While Apple can afford to do either, lower taxes on debt actually encourage risk taking in many corporations — as evidence, just witness the recent run-up in corporate junk bonds. With some creative thinking on corporate tax reform, conservatives could make a case for both lowering tax rates and making the financial system safer.

Education. Cutting state- and federal-school funding isn’t popular. But bringing private money into the system could be. Given beleaguered public budget, as well as the need to create tighter ties between employers and educators so as to churn out workers with marketable skills, public-private educational partnerships have tremendous potential. Many liberals are nervous about more corporate involvement in education; yet there are many examples of how it can work well — check out this column I did last year on IBM’s P-tech schools in New York, for example.

It’s a model that has been lauded by the President and copied by a number of mayors. Republicans should work with the business community to come up with other smart ways to funnel corporate money, mentors and brainpower into schools. Figuring out a way to overhaul education and put some of the country’s $2 trillion corporate cash horde to smart use would surely be a better political sell than austerity — and it would certainly be smarter economics.

53 comments
sethwrkr
sethwrkr

Austerity?  Borrowing 40% of the money we spend is austerity?  


Education.. We already spend more than any other country per student.  Our results aren't very good.  Money is not the problem.


Europe... Austerity is the problem?  Then what is it in the US.  It isnt austerity... See first comment.  We are still borrowing at an unsustainable rate.  Wait till Obama care kicks in.  Oh yeah... that will save us money.  LOL.

arrestforcefeeders
arrestforcefeeders

education/job training programs, and bussiness need to work together to make sure the job-training is highly efficent, quick, and only teaches whats nessicary for the job nothing more. preferably job training should be done on site, or else the job-training program sohuld be near(at least in the same town as the bussiness) and the bussiness should over-site and direct the job training program.

if not to cut gov spending on education, at least cut out the waste and spend it in a better way. gov could give out loans where the student doesnt have to pay it back unless they have over $33,000 man made property value.

wjsobo1
wjsobo1

  Very good article. I really appreciate that someone has offered solutions instead of just pointing out failures. I would really like to see our country take the next step and find a way to combine great ideas for recommendation to our policy makers. It seems many organizations have good ideas that get lost because they are not associated in any way with each other. Our countries tax exempt fund raising organizations are an example of this. There is one fundamental subject that is more important than controlling our debt. A subject nobody seems to want to face. A subject that will have dramatic effect on both taxes and education.  It is "living wage". Approximately 60 million WORKING citizens make 10 dollars or less per hour when it takes 12.50 per hour for 40 hours for one person to support themselves. They pay no taxes, they do not spend any other money, they do not help with education and they have a "give up" attitude.  Buy putting a bottom of 15 dollars per hour on labor wages, you have a very significant cash infusion in our economy. We collect more taxes, we increase consumer spending, we increase attention to education and we completely change the attitude in our country. There is no legitimate reason this should not be done immediately.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

After writing a brilliant, easy to follow, classroom-style presentation (in readable English) for those who don't actually understand economics about why austerity doesn't work in response to this article, I found out that it's too long to post here.  So I posted it to my blog: Messages From A Militant Moderate.

I know clicking on links in comments isn't something people commonly do, but it's worth a read.  It breaks things down into the basics, and if you want to skip reading it there, here's a synopsis:

A capitalist economy requires SPENDING money to circulate.  Austerity takes spending money out of circulation.  Tax cuts for the wealthy do the same thing.  Both stagnate a capitalist economy because both take money out of circulation.  Money must be put in the pockets of the spenders - those who spend the overwhelming majority of their income - to get the economy going and keep it going.

Austerity takes it out of the pockets of the spenders since they're the recipients of public assistance (and other government projects that would otherwise be cut) and are the ones who spend most of the money.  It goes into businesses which generated demand.  And the spending of money on a businesses' goods and services is the ONLY thing that can possibly generate jobs.

No business in their right mind is going to take money to hire people when the demand for their products isn't there to justify the hiring no matter how much money they have stashed away.

It's only when demand increases that jobs are created.  And it's only when demand is sustained that jobs are sustained.  That demand is created and sustained solely by spending.

And there isn't enough money out there circulating to generate sufficient demand to create new, decent, liveable-wage jobs.

RussellHaney
RussellHaney

It is not that they are devoid of new thought it is that old thought actually works and those who want to reap without sowing are looking to confuse the situation with false data and claims.

There is only one way to make the tax system fair and that is a flat tax on everyone, no exceptions. Eliminate taxes on corporations since they don't pay them anyway, it is the consumer that pays it. Plus no deductions, no tax exempt status. Can't understand how the darling of the left in corporate America, Apple, can be one of the worst tax cheats and still escape criticism. So let's put the sham to rest and tax everyone at the amount they make, to include all money, benefits, perks, stocks, etc.

Now the idiot who says that the government can continually run on a deficit obviously is either too rich to care or too dumb to understand the long term results. You all chant the slogans of helping the middle class and poor, so how about we start by lowering the tax bill by not paying interest on a debt that is out of control. People need to get back the ethics of work and not free-bee's. When I stop getting hundreds of job announcements a day on my email then maybe I will have compassion for anyone who says they can't find a job.

arrestforcefeeders
arrestforcefeeders

disallow gov to go into debt, gov shuold only be allowed to spend what it takes in from taxes. the "debt" gov talks about is questionble if its a real debt at all.. what lender would continue to lend to someone that will never be able to pay it back?-seems more like a gift. the "debt" is inflation, similiar to fraudlently spending counterfiet $(exsept +corosion and armed force), it reduceing the spending power of adv americans, and its a less obvious tax.

debt is sapose to be an investment, that it enables you to: produce more than otherwise, and repay the debt. no one should go into debt to spend on personal luxury. no one should take out a debt that they know they probally wont be able to repay.

gov spending and taxes should be reduced. gov should be shrunken.

its illegal to repay debt w stollen $. its illegal for the debt collector to receive repayment they know was stollen. only the debtor is legally obliged to repay their own debt.

its illegal to steal non-debtor's property(includeing all natural resources, land, air, natural water, and public property) to repay a debt.

only a criminal tells a stranger, you owe me $trillions or else.

the public is owed a refund/compensation/resitution for gov's lavish tax spending.

spending cut= spending less than you did last year/previously.

spending increase= spending more than you did last year/previously

spending cut doesnt= not increaseing spending.

spending cut doesnt= cutting a plan to spend in an imadginary future budget

deficit- according to gov= anything gov doesnt have and wants.

spending should be cut efficently, transparently, and in a way that is in the public's best intrests, not to let some politicans just cut whatever they want w/o public input.

ouch, the cuts are so painful that i had to cut my spending from 10billion, to 9.999billion, it hurts so much that i can only eat meals that costs $999 instead of $1000, and i'll have to ride in a plane that doesnt have a full bedroom, 2-person bathtub, hottub, full kitchen.. ill actually have to sit in a chair instead of lay down in my airplane bed, and i might have to sell 1 out of 100cars...

deficit- according to gov= anything gov doesnt have and wants.

tax cuts on bussinesses that produce wealth, will spur job and wealth growth, because you will be alloweing them to keep more so they can spend that on bussiness expansion, instaed of it going to obama's golf trips.

the job and growth statistics are reported up by whoever is in office, and down by whoever isnt, the public cant trust the #s so why bother.

croperations that produce survival products(heating and cooling, shelter, water purification, reneable energy, health-care products and services for testing for and treating physical health problems, soap...) should get more tax-cuts, to incentiise good job and wealth growth.

there is a certian balence of taxe rates for revene generation- too high or too low and you dont get optimal revenue. gov sector only exsists because prvt sector exsists. when gov shrinks, prv sec automatically grows.

put in an import terrif on imported prodcuts, to help desentivise sending jobs overseas.

lower taxes on debt enough risk takeing. intrest rates shouldnt be deductable.

cut all funds to k-12, preschool/head start, remeidal classes, and all college courses that dont teach people how to make survival products(as listed above) or do servival services like sergery.

only have a highly effiecent job-training program, under 24-7live public video survailence, no age discrimination, no creaming the crop.

cutting gov-funding to schools IS POPULAR, no parent or child wants to be forced to fund a bussiness that is law-exempt and gives them no say in what their children will be taught. plus the parent should be forced to pay if they can afford it, instead of child-less tax-payers.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

Like George Wallace changing his racist ways, or the current politicians suddenly being ok with gays, the R's could take a preemptive attack and drop the drug war, legalize and tax marijuana.  They could own this policy, fix the economy with the taxes (and reduction in prison costs), bring in new young voters who approve.  They would become the majority party and strand the Democrats on a sandbar by taking away their younger and more liberal voters.  Oh, they'd have issues with the Christian right and the prison industries but they'd keep some of the Christians with their abortion views, which they could keep.  Family values could still be preached because the new laws would help keep families together (just a different spin).  The tide is turning in the US on the drug issue; someone should take the ball on the national stage and run with it.

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

Here's one. Present a new case, called "trickle-up economy" Since "poor" and "lazy" are synonymous in Teabaggistan, we can reasonably infer that the wealthiest people are the hardest working and most productive. If this is true, then we need to make sure that they get most of the money. We can start this system by eliminating the inheritance tax, making people making under 30k a year pay a minimum of 25% of their income in federal taxes (if you tax something, you'll get less of it, right?), and eliminating taxes for those in the hi9ghest 5%.

CharlesEdwardBrown
CharlesEdwardBrown

I am not sure either of these suggestions will help much in our current economy. Very real structural changes are in effect in the World economy right now. New definitions of wealth and prosperity and new values might be needed by people and this is not easy. Our current world economy is too small to provide the wealth that everyone who participates in it wants. We need to be able to create new wealth that currently does not exist.

mbhposter
mbhposter

You are making the false assumption that cuts to the budget need to be 'painful.' They only need to be painful if the organization you are cutting is running at 100% efficiency already. This is simply not the case for I daresay a majority, if not all, government agencies and programs. A budget cut only reaches austerity in my mind when you have exhausted your efficiency improvements and actually have to cut your service levels.

As for education, agree, bring on the private sector involvement as it benefits everyone. That said, there is already huge involvement by companies already, it is just not all that publicised. But there are two key problems you ignore: 1) federal dollars are redistrubuted with strings attached and 2) not removing teachers unions from schools.

I have no issues with redistributuion of monies for education at both federal and state levels. However, we need to get the federal government 'strings' out. No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top are prime examples of one-size-fits-all mentalities being placed upon the public education systems. Redistribute the money but allow the districts to use it as best for THEM and their SPECIFIC needs. Let the local boards control the money as best dictated by their customers!

And finally, remove teachers unions altogether. Public education is too important to allow union politics to force firing/layoff policies such based on items such as seniority. As in any other white collar industry, allow districts to hire the best and fire the worst. Do not allow unions to hold districts, parents and students hostage via strikes.

reallife
reallife

Save this for 2016. The low information voters that you're trying to reach with this crap is not paying attention and not voting on 2014, , they're busy playing games on their obamaphones.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Interest on Government bonds is at historically low levels. If we had any kind of common sense we would issue as many as the markets would bear and use the proceeds to rebuild our decaying infrastructure and provide grants to  college and post grad students majoring in the sciences. If we can't invest in the future of this country when investors are practically paying us to give us money, then when can we?

barneydidit
barneydidit

Conservatives seem to love to paint the federal debt picture in terms of a household checkbook- it has to balance or you run into problems. And while that's folksy and simple, it's not very accurate. A more accurate analogy might be the running of a business. There are many times during the life of a business that money has to be borrowed in order to make improvements in equipment, or take advantage of lower prices on certain inventory, or even simply to meet short term obligations when business is slow. 

Republicans seem to know that debt is not by definition harmful because they've engaged in as much deficit spending as Democrats have, if not more. It's only since Obama took office that they've decided that debt is the source of all the county's ills...and they should be put back in charge so they can cut taxes. 

Diecash1
Diecash1

The central problem with lowering corporate (or income) tax rates is that cuts are near-permanent while loopholes come and go with the wind. Exactly when was the last time the Republicans agreed to increase taxes? Tax cuts are sacrosanct in right-wing world and the all seem to love carving out new tax loopholes, dems included.

This is why any new tax policy that cuts rates must be very carefully considered, designed, and implemented

sethwrkr
sethwrkr

@DeweySayenoff Multiplier is bigger for private spending than public.  Austerity (we are borrowing 30% + of the money the govt spends ) - hardly  austerity?  Shrinking the govt will reduce the well documented crowding effect cased by the out of control growth of our ineffective and inefficient govt.

Rewarding sloth ain't gonna get us there either.  Neither is rewarding procreation without responsibility for actually raising a sane productive child.  

Do you want a capitalist economy?  It sounds like you would prefer a more socialist model.  How do economies like that fair historically?  


sethwrkr
sethwrkr

@RussellHaney Hardly a tax cheat.  They follow all of the laws.  I bet if you and your ilk really stick it to apple, you will find them entirely based somewhere else.  

Apple is the largest contributor to supporting our wasteful and bloated govt.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

Post 2.  How a flat tax is bad for the economy.

If you read my recent blog post, I think you can get the gist of the argument.  It's that spending is the only thing that increases demand, and that increased demand is the only thing that generates new jobs, and maintaining that demand is the only thing that keeps the jobs.  This is economics 101 for a capitalist economy.

But in referencing what I already wrote, I need to point out that those who earn less spend the overwhelming majority of their income while those who earn more spend a considerably smaller amount of their income.

Spending is what makes capitalism work.  Without spending, you have no economy.

By making the spenders pay a higher amount of their income in taxes, that money is not spent.  By giving tax breaks to the wealthy, though they do spend a great deal more per person, there aren't enough of them in enough places spending enough money in enough businesses to get the economy going.  And when they pay less in taxes, that means they're getting more for their investments - which are not actually spent in a way that generates demand.  Instead, it pools the money so that it does NOT circulate to be spent and CAN NOT generate demand like a regular job would.

Again, economics 101.

So you have the spenders being taxed so much, they spend less of their income, and the non-spenders taking in more of the available money that needs to circulate.

A capitalist economy then implodes.  Case in point: Europe.  They're taking spending money out of the economy by cutting social programs.  While not the BEST way to circulate money (especially in deficit), it's a hell of a lot better than stopping the spending money circulation flow altogether.

Thus, a flat tax is both patently UNfair, and it not only will NOT help an economy (unless you're a dictatorship of some kind, and even then, it's not a long-term solution), it will actually cause the collapse of a capitalist economy.

You might want to re-think your position on flat taxes.  They're not what you think they are.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@RussellHaney Please allow me to kindly and intelligently refute your assertion that flat taxes are "fair" and your implication that by creating such a flat tax, it will in any way help the economy.

My proposal is that it is neither fair, nor will it work in reality.  But first, we must define "fair".

Allow me to demonstrate how flat taxes are patently unfair. In our economy, the "sweet spot" for happiness seems to be in the neighborhood of $75,000/year in income.  Above that, people start having issues.  Below that, people definitely have issues.  Keep that number in mind.

So, for the sake of argument, let's impose a 10% flat rate federal tax.  Remember, please, that this excludes taxes paid by everyone who works to their state and county (if any) and the SSI tax of 6%.  It also excludes sales taxes of anywhere from 0% to 12% depending on where you live (the national average is about 6.75%).

You now make $25,000.00/year.  You spend almost, if not all, of your income.  You don't save.  You don't invest.  Your taxes are approximately 40% now.  This is broken down this way:

  • Flat Federal tax: 10%
  • State Tax: 10-30+% (for the sake of argument, it's 15%, which isn't completely unrealistic.)
  • SSI: 6%
  • Sales tax: 7%
  • Miscl. taxes: 2% (County, Municipal, etc.)

Total them up and that's 40%.  40% of $25,000 is a whopping $10,000.  This leaves you with the princely sum of $15,000 a year to actually live on.  How are you going to spend all that cash?

Now, let's up the income by three orders of magnitude.  You make 25 million dollars.  You spend ten million a year.  The rest is invested, generating more income. That income is not spent, and is only reinvested. It is not subject to sales tax.  Capital gains taxes are not separate because it's all a flat tax on total income.  You don't pay SSI above $118,500 of your income.  You have investment schemes that put income in an income-tax free state

Your taxes are NOT, repeat NOT 40%.  They're a hell of a lot lower. Here's why:

Flat tax rate is 10% - so you pay 2.5 million dollars in federal taxes regardless of source of income.

You only pay 6% SSI on $118,500, so that comes to $7110 in SSI taxes.  That's an effective tax RATE of 0.0028% on 25 million dollars.  You've paid all of 10.0028% in taxes already where if you had made $25,000, you'd have paid 16%.

Now we come to the harder parts.  You don't pay state income taxes, or have arranged companies, corporations or LLC's to stash money so your state income taxes are lower.  It cost you some up front to do this, but you have the means, and the ROI there is excellent.  Your effective state income tax rate PAID is probably around 8-12%.  That's 3-7% LOWER than if you had made $25,000.  Taking the higher average, you have paid so far 22.0028% in taxes.

Sales taxes only apply to the 10 million you spent - and not all of that is taxed because you buy from places that give you tax breaks.  But let's go with the 7% taxes on the 10 million you did spend anyhow, because the point can still be made.  For a 25 million dollar income, the sales tax RATE you paid was actually 2.8%.  Miscellaneous taxes may or may not have been paid, but for the sake of argument let's say you didn't have a good accountant and had to pay them. 

Your total taxes paid on $25,000,000 was 26.8028%.  This is because you have the fiscal means to find the loopholes to avoid paying full taxes and because you don't spend all of your income each year as do those who earn considerably less.

Exactly how is that fair?

I believe this adequately destroys your notion of "fairness".  But let's move on to the next one in the next one in the next post.

RussellHaney
RussellHaney

@notLostInSpace 

you are definitely lost in space, the space between your ears that is. I am guessing you have several relatives in prison due to your attempt to bring this into the issue. Try to be a part of the productive side of society and get off the grass.

RussellHaney
RussellHaney

@Ohiolib 

It used to be that the trickle up economy was where people worked hard for a living and progressed up the ladder of success. Your attempt to now subvert that process by having people sit at home and vote for the party that gives them free phones, TV, drugs, etc is not an economic policy but an example of 'new math' liberals tried to foist on us in the 70's. You know where they said 1+1 can equal 3 or 8 or whatever makes little johnny and suzey happy.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@Ohiolib Considering Herman Cain's 9/9/9 plan, that's pretty much exactly what they proposed.

jmac
jmac

@Ohiolib We wouldn't expect a Curious Capitalist to quote the actual rate.  

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@mbhposter  Your comment about teachers unions shows you have very little knowledge of what happens in a big school system.  Even with the union, teachers have a huge uphill battle if the principal wants to get rid of them.  In the newly reformed districts, principals now have budget authority and immediately target the most expensive teachers.  They assign the worst kids to the expensive teachers so that the teachers get horrible scores.  No teachers in merit systems want the tough kids or the crack babies because they will first not get any raises and then lose their jobs.   I could go on and on.  Wife is a teacher, not a big union person by any means but thankful it exists.

NCLB is a disaster through and through and should be dismantled.  The school systems now are simply testing the patient over and over, when they are not teaching the tests; this is like a doctor that takes your temp every day but never does anything to cure your illness.  Real learning is not happening in a lot of places. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@reallife How cute you mention low information and obamaphone in the same post, as if to validate your know nothing status.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@mantisdragon91   We would also refinance all the debt possible, something you don't hear much.  I'm also for the radical move of repudiating some debt if the debt holders do not refinance it reasonably.  We would also come up with a new version of WPA.  One project would be to put a solar hot heater in any house that wants it for a nominal fee (not thousands of dollars).   Further, we should sell some of the gold being held in reserve while the price is so high, and we'd lease out more lands for companies that will drill (use or lose it).  We would also sell off some of the excess real estate that government owns (thousands of properties).   Finally, legalize pot and tax it heavily.  Kill the prison industry tax load and stop sending kids to jail.

mbhposter
mbhposter

@barneydidit Agree, it is not black and white. But to continue your business example, good businesses are contstantly running programs like Six Sigma, LEAN and others to increase their efficiency. We simply don't see this in government programs at the level necessary.

sethwrkr
sethwrkr

@Diecash1 simplify simplify simplify.... at least we will know what we are doing.  Now we do not have a clue.

sethwrkr
sethwrkr

@DeweySayenoff 

Europe aint capitalist.... its deeply socialist with predictable resutls...

Spending does not increase demand.... Historically increases in productivity increase demand.... make consumption less expensive relatively and has lead to higher 'paying jobs and a middle class.  These things were not a product of govt anything.  Actually they were the produce of an absence of an intrusive constraining govt.  They were a product of free people and free markets.   Now you want to throw that all on its head and have the government decide how to take and spend other peoples money.'

RussellHaney
RussellHaney

@DeweySayenoff 

economics 101 is bases on progression and not stagnation. It is based on people WORKING for a living and using SUCCESS as a ladder to higher pay. It is based on the FACT that more people will be at the bottom and not the top. Your idea that spending increases demand is missing all the rest of the ingredients of supply and demand theory. It entails more discussion than this blog allows. 

The incentive to grow financially is not based on taxes but on personal choice. You want a Bentley then get a better paying job. You want a 1970 Pinto wagon then work at BK. 

Flat tax once again means EVERYONE pays the same rate. You are the one that keeps saying they won't, not me.

Don't know who you think wants to have a 'pool' of money that sits under the mattress, most people with money to invest do just that. Even if it is in a simple savings account which the bank then uses to 'invest' in the form of loans to make more money to hire more people to grow larger and finance the jobs in the community. 

Europe is in financial pains because they are cutting social spending???? Wow you need to tell that to Germany who used austerity years ago to become the dynamo the rest of Europe is leaching off of. What is killing Europe is it's unsustainable social programs and the resulting high unemployment rates it created. 

So under your stilted view of economics why don't we just force everyone to work at whatever job they want and have the government collect all the revenue and then redistribute it to everyone at your mythical $75K salary. Now isn't that fair? We can also limit all sports records to a lower level so that those who do not want to excel and work hard can achieve the same success.

RussellHaney
RussellHaney

@DeweySayenoff @RussellHaney 

Actually I like my definition of fairness over yours. EVERYONE pays taxes with NO deductions. What you do with your money after taxes is your business not mine. You want to reinvest it then go ahead, you want to bury it then go ahead, you want to magnanimous then go ahead. Flat taxes at the federal level covers all government outlays including social security, etc. State sales tax is an entirely different issue. Not all states have income taxes, mine doesn't. So lumping them into the equation is just muddying up the conversation. Plus if you don't like the taxes in your state then move or vote in a more responsible government. 

Why is it so wrong in a country that grew on people being successful to make money? Do you even understand how many company's and their employees are benefited by a million dollar house sale? Do you think that all your rich liberal friends in hollywood give their money away and live in a house in the suburbs? 

Taxes are the results of people allowing their government to spend money on things of a national interest. You don't like to pay more than your fairshare of federal taxes then vote in a new government. That is how it was supposed to be. 

So under my plan EVERYONE pays the same no matter how much they make. So don't spin my comments to distort the truth to make a very weak point on your side stronger.

I suppose next you will want to have everyone show their pay stubs at the box office to support richer people paying more money to see the same movie?

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@RussellHaney

@notLostInSpace 

you are definitely lost in space, the space between your ears that is. I am guessing you have several relatives in prison due to your attempt to bring this into the issue. Try to be a part of the productive side of society and get off the grass.

What a juvenile argument you make.  No, I have no relatives in prison, no I'm not on grass, and I'm probably as productive of a person as you can be.  I'll put my resume up against yours anytime.  People are using "grass", the law does not change it.  No amount of enforcement that we'd allow in the US is going to change it.  Did you study prohibition?  What did it do, it created the mob.  What is the war on drugs doing? Creating crime in many countries, devastating Mexico.   No one argues for legalizing other drugs, studies have not supported doing so and there is no significant movement interested in doing that.  A majority of Americans support decriminalization, if not legalization.  Both political parties are slow to move on this.  Whoever does will own the under 50 market and probably the minorities that are imprisoned the most.  I hope the R's don't go for it cause I despise that party and would not want to vote for them ever, but I have to say if they did they would cause real consternation in the voting booth for millions of people; maybe far more than needed to sway an election.  The R's are not going to do it for humane reasons as we all know what selfish and evil creeps they are, but they could do it for the money aspects.  After all, they even gave up on Vietnam.

drudown
drudown

@RussellHaney @notLostInSpace 

Surely you cannot credibly deny that the Drug War is not a colossal fiscal waste for the US taxpayers? As such, you shouldn't be so hasty to have an ear open for the other side. 

jmac
jmac

@Ohiolib And, annoyingly, reallife took the bait.   Thanks, Curious Cap!  Good job.  

sethwrkr
sethwrkr

@notLostInSpace @mbhposter 

Uh.. US schools suck.  Lets save some kids.  Give every parent a voucher for 9K per kid and let them go where they want.


Oh by the way.. us public schools are the most expensive per student in the world.  Did I mention they suck.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@mbhposter @barneydidit That's because government lacks the incentives to be efficient.  

How to you add incentive to be efficient while you can't fail if you aren't?  You can't even go bankrupt.  It's a tough nut to crack.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@RussellHaney

@notLostInSpace

notLostInSpace 5pts 24 minutes ago

@RussellHaney @notLostInSpace  President Ford was a democrat?  Who knew. Nixon too, another famous Democrat, he was the one that escalated it.....40% of the casualties were during his Presidency.  He had a "secret plan to end the war"  Not really.  Ford wanted to go back when SVietnam was being over run.  You could read about that. I guess none of your four degrees are in history.  I only have two degrees but I know mine are from real colleges, oh, and I teach at one.  I run a business too.

You are complimented on serving in VNam.  Seriously.   I am a little younger than that, which I cannot help, but had both brothers and relatives serve.   It was difficult and no one got any thanks out of it.  My cousin is a basket case to this day, had some bad experiences in the Marines. 

Stating the obvious fact that blacks are in jail is racist?  You compare speeding with alcohol or drug abuse?  Huh? 

I am neither a user or advocate of drug or alcohol use or abuse, but am tired of seeing the way this country is run by nitwits who believe in the drug war.  The country is owned, lock/stock/barrel by the pharma industry, MIC, insurance companies, prison industry, and some lesser lobbying groups.  Pharma has a huge role, they don't want any one crowding their turf.  Prison industry wants more prisons, more guards, more UNION guards, more dues, more political contribution and patronage (I'm always surprised when I come across a Republican zany who wants more prisons but does not understand how prisons are run, why are they so expensive huh?).

Mexico has to take care of itself but there is hardly any drug expert who does not agree that it is the demand from America that gives fuel to that fire.   Guess that was not part of your four degrees either.  Divert the demand, you take away the fuel.  Divert the demand to America, collect taxes, create jobs, enforce laws still (no smoking and driving anymore than drinking and driving).  Plus the human act of letting people with cancer and other illnesses get relief instead of wondering if they will get arrested.

You are just not worth the time to further discuss, so with your next comment you get the last word if you want.



 

sethwrkr
sethwrkr

@notLostInSpace @RussellHaney Drug war is over.... lets declare victory and stop fighting it....

LEgalize it all.   Hand out free meth.  Lowers long term welfare costs.


RussellHaney
RussellHaney

@notLostInSpace @RussellHaney 

only a juvenile would require using drugs of any type to change their mental state for no other reason than "dude, it's so cool". Your silly arguments are wrought with falsehoods. You seem to bypass any logical discussion of the ramifications of a legal drug like alcohol and it's affects on society. You say make it legal because so many people are breaking the law. So where is your defense of decriminalizing speeding? Mexico created their problems not the US. You seem to think that if you let cows wander through your living room because you refuse to close the backdoor it is now everyone else s fault. Your comment about minorities being imprisoned the most is pretty racist and once again not an issue for legalization. If they broke the crime for drugs why do you think they won't break other laws? Because they say they won't???? Talk about being juvenile. 

Even your last comment is a testament to your attempt to misguide people too lazy to check your 'facts'. The congress was controlled by the D's throughout the Vietnam war. Don't know about you but I enlisted during Vietnam and I will compare my resume to yours any day. Decorated war vet, four college degrees and successfully running my own business.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@RussellHaney @drudown @notLostInSpace There are very few, if any, legitimate arguments or movements to legalize other drugs, and there has been a number of good studies that pot is not a gateway drug.  But you love to put things into people's mouths that they did not say, such as the peodphilia, murder, rape, etc. 

drudown
drudown

@RussellHaney @drudown @notLostInSpace 

Actually, no. Not only is it a fool's errand for you to suggest my lucid argument "must be applied" to the laundry list of lawless behaviors. Nor is using marijuana remotely comparable to "rape, incest, theft or pedophilia." 

Hmm.

Do you have a financial bias in the Tobacco or Big Alcohol lobby? Because that is the only group that might vehemently oppose a change in course out of self-interest.

I find it humorous that you implicitly "reject" the notion marijuana doesn't have medicinal properties. I suppose you think climate change in a hoax?

RussellHaney
RussellHaney

@drudown @RussellHaney @notLostInSpace 

So by your twisted self-serving logic you want ALL drugs legalized, pedophilia, drunk driving, murder, rape, incest, theft, jay walking, and spitting on the streets to be legalized since they will always be with us and the government can't do anything to stop them. 

So where do you want to put limits on individual actions? Only the naive lap up the slogan that laws are made to protect the individual. Laws are made to protect the majority who pass them. Society is not an individual but a group. 

Cocaine and LSD were pushed as medicinal too.

drudown
drudown

@RussellHaney @drudown @notLostInSpace 

Legalizing marijuana does not lead to societal decay- "no new taxes, ever" does, however. 

There is NO WAY the US (or any government) can stop the flow of drugs into its market. There is too much money to be made. The State's ability to prevent it from entering our jurisdiction, however, is finite. 

What, we should categorically rule out the State legalizing, regulating and taxing a cash crop with medicinal purposes that is here to stay anyway? Brilliant logic.

RussellHaney
RussellHaney

@drudown @RussellHaney @notLostInSpace 

can you credibly deny that there are more deaths caused by the most prevalent legal drug in the US, alcohol, than even by guns? So now you want to introduce more mind altering drugs on a legal basis? The war on poverty is also a giant fiscal failure so lets stop welfare by your estimate.

curt3rd
curt3rd

He needs to revise them 12 times and then say the CIA did it.