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Old 30th March 2019, 11:32 AM   #41
d4m10n
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Guess we should take marginal tax rates back to 1950s levels so we have a chance of paying some of that back, eh? Maybe tackle corporate welfare?
Worth a shot! Love that 50s nostalgia.
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Old 30th March 2019, 11:42 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Let's suppose you're right and the deficit will continue whether revenues increase or not. If we take that as given, then we're left with a question: Is the spending at current tax levels the right amount or not? That is, are we taking in enough money so that the income + "inevitable" borrowing meets our needs?

Even if one thinks that the debt will continue to spiral no matter the taxes taken in, he might conclude that taxes should be raised.

Actually, I don't have the cynical position that the borrowing ratio is constant. In past booms, the deficit decreased. There was no deficit from 1998 to 2001. That's not because taxes went up, far as I know, but tax revenue increased. There may have been many other factors, but I'm pretty darned sure that increased revenue is one of the reasons the deficit went dramatically down then.

None of that entails, of course, that every tax increase would reduce the deficit. I only mean that increasing tax revenue isn't irrelevant to the deficit as you suggest.
Taxes were increased significantly in 1993, and remained at that level until 2001.
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Old 30th March 2019, 11:45 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
This is the one thing that makes me just refuse to vote for Republicans. The whole party is in the grip of the absurd notion that lower tax rates means more revenue.
Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Are they? Or is that a convenient fig-leaf to justify tax breaks for the rich?
David Stockman, the creator of this idiocy, admitted the latter as long ago as 1981!
Quote:
Stockman was quoted as referring to Reagan's tax act in these terms: "I mean, Kemp-Roth [Reagan's 1981 tax cut] was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate.... It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down.'
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Old 30th March 2019, 12:16 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Taxes were increased significantly in 1993, and remained at that level until 2001.
Thanks.
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Old 30th March 2019, 12:38 PM   #45
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The point here is that the spending is so out of control that you can crank taxes up and we will still have a gap.
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Old 30th March 2019, 12:56 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by NewtonTrino View Post
The point here is that the spending is so out of control that you can crank taxes up and we will still have a gap.
Perhaps so, but that by itself isn't an argument against raising taxes.

Surely, a wider gap is worse than a narrower. Or, if you believe Beerina that the gap will remain the same percentage, then we should ask whether current spending is where it should be, too high or too low. We should also ask the same question about taxes.
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Old 30th March 2019, 01:02 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by NewtonTrino View Post
The point here is that the spending is so out of control that you can crank taxes up and we will still have a gap.
You're using the false dichotomy excuse to keep taxes on the rich low.

In addition, yes, let's decrease spending on corporate welfare (such as corn subsidies) and stop pouring so much money into the military industrial complex.

But to the GOP, decreased spending always means decreasing anything that benefits the common good like Medicare and Social Security.
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Old 30th March 2019, 04:21 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by NewtonTrino View Post
The point here is that the spending is so out of control that you can crank taxes up and we will still have a gap.
Can you explain your reasoning here?
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Old 30th March 2019, 10:54 PM   #49
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http://www.crfb.org/debtfixer/

I tried this interactive defecit reduction calculator. Of course the first step is a search for where the big money is (which i didn't do due to being busy). Some obvious targets to achieve the goal are:

Reduce military spending
Increase the retirement age to 70 (the "debtfixer" only has an option for 68)
Increase taxes (federal VAT anyone?)
Rich pay more
Natural disaster cost reduction/carbon tax/various green initiatives.
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Old 31st March 2019, 08:21 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You're using the false dichotomy excuse to keep taxes on the rich low.

In addition, yes, let's decrease spending on corporate welfare (such as corn subsidies) and stop pouring so much money into the military industrial complex.

But to the GOP, decreased spending always means decreasing anything that benefits the common good like Medicare and Social Security.
Cutting government spending would help its own budget picture, but it hurts the economy in general, because government spending doesn't actually disappear into a black hole; almost all of it goes directly into the economy. What would really stimulate the economy and produce greater tax revenue would be if workers could simply keep more of the wealth that they create, because almost all of their wages also go directly back into the economy. That's why raising minimum wages have never produced the dire economic consequences that our Greedy Oligarchs and Plutocrats predicted.
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Old 31st March 2019, 10:57 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
Cutting government spending would help its own budget picture, but it hurts the economy in general, because government spending doesn't actually disappear into a black hole; almost all of it goes directly into the economy. What would really stimulate the economy and produce greater tax revenue would be if workers could simply keep more of the wealth that they create, because almost all of their wages also go directly back into the economy. That's why raising minimum wages have never produced the dire economic consequences that our Greedy Oligarchs and Plutocrats predicted.
Totally agree but just a note if it wasn't clear, that money going into the social safety net and increased minimum wages stimulates the economy. But money into the military-industrial complex is much less efficient in stimulating the economy.
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Old 31st March 2019, 11:16 AM   #52
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I don't get most of the talk in this thread.

I looked up some numbers and find that US government spending is lowish, if anything. Health care spending by the government is roughly in line with other industrialized countries (though the US gets lousy value for its money).

There hasn't been a massive increase in spending lately, either. The last big bump seems to have been defense after 9/11.
Defense spending is really unusually high but given how low US government spending is in total, that hardly justifies the hyperbole here.

The current massive increase in federal deficits is a consequence of the Trump tax cuts, in particular the corporate tax cut.

What am I missing?
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Last edited by GnaGnaMan; 31st March 2019 at 11:26 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 31st March 2019, 11:25 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post

What am I missing?
What you're missing is that the Republicans have convinced their base that the USA has the highest taxes in the world and that 90% of that is going to welfare queens and illegal immigrants.
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Old 31st March 2019, 12:32 PM   #54
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It's easy.

1: Cut taxes, especially on the wealthy.
2: Cut spending on a myriad of government programs - but only those that are already really small to begin with.
3: Raise spending on military and homeland security such that these increases dwarf the cuts made to the smaller programs.

4: Blame the resulting massively increased deficits on the Democrats and the tiny little programs that don't cost much to begin with.
5: Insist that the only solution is more tax cuts and greater military/security funding.

This has been the model for nearly 40 years, and has brought great success to the Republican Party. I don't think they can change their tune anytime soon.

Last edited by crescent; 31st March 2019 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 31st March 2019, 12:36 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
...

The current massive increase in federal deficits is a consequence of the Trump tax cuts, in particular the corporate tax cut.

What am I missing?
And you are missing that the last huge boost in the deficit before Trump was the Bush tax cuts at the same time he started a war.
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Old 3rd April 2019, 09:26 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
I don't get most of the talk in this thread.

I looked up some numbers and find that US government spending is lowish, if anything. Health care spending by the government is roughly in line with other industrialized countries (though the US gets lousy value for its money).

There hasn't been a massive increase in spending lately, either. The last big bump seems to have been defense after 9/11.
Defense spending is really unusually high but given how low US government spending is in total, that hardly justifies the hyperbole here.

The current massive increase in federal deficits is a consequence of the Trump tax cuts, in particular the corporate tax cut.

What am I missing?

What you are missing is that this is a deliberate strategy to increase the deficit so that budget cuts to the big parts will become necessary - and since Defense is the holy cow, social security, healthcare and education get cut.
They could easily be funded, but Republicans want to stealth-abolish them, just like they defunded Obamacare.
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Old 3rd April 2019, 09:27 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I think Beerina's point (and he can correct me if I'm wrong) is that regardless of how much is taxed, the Congress will spend that much money, plus a little bit more. If you raise taxes, you will get short term deficit reduction, but then Congress will raise spending until the deficit is back in place, and the borrowing continues.
Didn't Clinton leave a surplus?
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Old 3rd April 2019, 10:18 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I think Beerina's point (and he can correct me if I'm wrong) is that regardless of how much is taxed, the Congress will spend that much money, plus a little bit more. If you raise taxes, you will get short term deficit reduction, but then Congress will raise spending until the deficit is back in place, and the borrowing continues.
If that was his point the he has his head up his a**. US tax revenue is essentially already below legally mandated spending. Programs like social security/Medicare/Medicaid have their expenses dictated by decades old laws while defence related pending employs multi-year appropriations. At present US tax revenue is insufficient to pay for even these items even it you slashed the yearly operating budget to zero.


The part of the budget congress actually debates and votes on is limited to ~500bn is mostly important or highly desirable spending like running the justice system or building/maintaining transportation infrastructure. If cutting the entire thing barely makes a dent in US borrowing, cutting whatever small amount of waste is actually there would do nothing at all.
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Old 3rd April 2019, 10:37 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Taxes were increased significantly in 1993, and remained at that level until 2001.
And the US Deficit did this

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Old 3rd April 2019, 11:19 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
It's almost like increasing taxes can bring in more money.
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Old 5th April 2019, 04:02 AM   #61
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Sad that no one wants to defend the out-of-control spending idea.
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Old 11th April 2019, 07:45 AM   #62
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I come back from the hospital and discover this!

Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
We borrowed $239 billion last year. I guess that's not too bad.

Oh, I'm sorry. Last month, not last year. Last month.
February, the shortest month, and this isn't even a leap year.
8.5 billion a day? Wow!


I expected a 3102.5 billion a year capital burn rate at year six or seven,
but not just after year two. Alternative mortgages from mortgage back
securities with nothing down and no interest for two years will show up
when things tighten up. After the economy collapses, the Republicans will
get religion on spending, cut back, and ride a recession into a depression.

Guess who will get the blame?

Trump, obviously. He knows this. Which explains his attacks on the Federal
Reserve and the greedy grabby pizza manager, Herman Cain. Trump needs
at least a chained delta of 12 percent on the debt every year. I doubt the
people loaning the money will detect the loss quickly, so maybe 24 percent
annual inflation. This will wreck the banks and burn Wall Street to the ground.
But on the plus side, bracket creep will push low wage earners into hight tax
rates and bring things back into balance.

The Big Problem: I have never seen this much money on the Republican side
before. I suspect re-election of Trump and the House flipping back, meaning
another huge increase in spending and tax cuts. Possibly in year six, a deficit
of nine or ten trillion with Venezuela style hyperinflation.

The Big Question: Will Beerina help get Democratic candidates elected?
Or will he see his retirement savings turn into ashes?


P. S. I've got my answer.
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