Tax Cuts

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Get over it everybody. The sell out is a done deal. Look ahead. The next sell out is what Obama's deficit commission has recommended. Cut Social Security and Medicare (but not intercontinental ballistic missles). The spin will be "we really don't want to do it."

That's right. The Obama compromise will be "It's OK to privatize Social Security but seniors will still get Medicare." Middle ground again. Let's gear up better this time than last.

R. Sampson
Joined:
Dec. 8, 2010 1:26 pm

Comments

QUOTE:

"I almost feel naïve for being so angry at President Obama’s betrayal of his campaign promises regarding taxes. I had never harbored much hope that he actually intended to enact the reforms that his supporters expected – not after he appointed the most right-wing of the Clintonomics gang, Larry Summers, then Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and other Bush neoliberals."

"Contra Obama’s pretense, cutting taxes for the rich will not spur recovery. The wealthiest 2 per cent do not spend their income on consuming more. They invest it financially – mainly in bonds, establishing more debt claims on the economy. Giving creditors more money will deepen the economy’s debt deflation, shrinking “the market’s” ability to spend on goods and services."

"The bottom line is that after the prolonged tax giveaway exacerbates the federal budget deficit – along with the balance-of-payments deficit – we can expect the next Republican or Democratic administration to step in and “save” the country from economic emergency by scaling back Social Security while turning its funding over, Pinochet-style, to Wall Street money managers to loot as they did in Chile. And one can forget rebuilding America’s infrastructure. It is being sold off by debt-strapped cities and states to cover their budget shortfalls ..."

"Welcome to debt peonage. This is worse than what was meant by a double-dip recession. It will be with us much longer." - Michael Hudson, economist.

Full article here: http://www.counterpunch.org/

The meltdown marches on.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I want a primary challenger and I want him/her YESTERDAY!

Truth Patriot's picture
Truth Patriot
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Merely raising the top marginal rates on people making over $250,000 - or even $1mm - won't help the economy either nor will it make for a balanced budget. We need better regulation in the financial markets, or perhaps tax hikes for certain financial transactions that will discourage some of the gambling. Obama did the right thing. The vast majority of the business population are not billionaires who gamble on Wall Street, and they need all the help they can get right now.

FreeMarketeer's picture
FreeMarketeer
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Oct. 11, 2010 11:00 am

Had they returned wealth to productive use in the economy, these non-billionaire business folk would have a partial case. In the present scenario, their personal wealth is not being invested or spent in productive manners. The credit their businesses want is being held up by Wall St. There is no demand for anything even though there are lots of wants and needs because there is not enough money in the pockets of workers and poor people.

When you do an objective analysis of tax investment returns, and when you do not go crazy with moral interpretations of economics, the concept of a system seeking to return to balance and sustainability is not that hard to grasp. The money that goes to the top does not return "naturally" through "free market" magic. Taxes and other incentives to invest in productive avenues are required to get the rich to do what it is absurd to expect them to on their own. It is too much to expect them to be that wise or moral, and I want them relieved of that terrible burden.

Obama did not do the right thing in giving away a deficit busting load of lost revenue to be kept by those who have too much, in the system sense, already. We certainly need a lot better regulation of financial markets, and I would go the Korten route and get rid of Wall St. altogether. At the very least, the Casino should be a separate area of rich folks play where they can be kept from harming others.

Unlike health care, where we could claim that a small first step had been taken toward an eventual Single Payer rationality, making tax giveaways to the rich part of any deal serves the GOP narrative and undercuts any coherent criticism of Supply Side from Progressives. It is like taking a big lead weight on a hot air balloon ride. Get rid of the ballast if you want to see things rise.

I have lots of sympathy for Main St., but it would help if they got over Biz School Catechism and tried real world economics. "Uncertainty" about tax rates is a silly idea. Just plan for the high rates and then we can move ahead and pay off the debt while investing in prosperity. Cutting revenue to the treasury from the top is just a stick up wrapped as a bargain.

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote DRC:

Had they returned wealth to productive use in the economy, these non-billionaire business folk would have a partial case. In the present scenario, their personal wealth is not being invested or spent in productive manners.

There are lilterally hundreds of thousands of these people that you wave away as "business folk". Who the hell are you to decide whether they will "invest or spend in productive manners". How the hell can you have the arrogance to pre-determine this? Do you own the world?

Quote DRC:

The credit their businesses want is being held up by Wall St.

That's got nothing to do with marginal tax rates.

Quote DRC:

There is no demand for anything even though there are lots of wants and needs because there is not enough money in the pockets of workers and poor people.

And how do you propose getting that money to these people? Cycle it from a small business owner, into Washington DC, then back out somehow? Stupid. And not effective. Also, socialist.

Quote DRC:

When you do an objective analysis of tax investment returns, and when you do not go crazy with moral interpretations of economics,

I know this is a snide sneering comment directed at people like me who think the Federal Government should play a very limited role in our lives, and should not be involved in partitioning money out from their central, power-hungry diseased DC-land fantasia. Meanwhile, your entire post is moral interpretation. Your morals say that money should flow from evil rich people to a central location in Washington, 1000s of miles away, to be doled out by people you obviously think are smarter than anyone else.

Quote DRC:

The money that goes to the top does not return "naturally" through "free market" magic.

Yes it does, and it isn't magic. The only "magic" is your scenerio, which is money starting from where it doesn't exist to where it does exist. In order to get more money into the hands of poor and workers is either give them jobs or dole it out from the government. In either case the money starts with rich people. Sorry, but that's not that hard to understand either.

Quote DRC:It is too much to expect them to be that wise or moral, and I want them relieved of that terrible burden.

I have lots of sympathy for Main St., but it would help if they got over Biz School Catechism and tried real world economics. "Uncertainty" about tax rates is a silly idea. Just plan for the high rates and then we can move ahead and pay off the debt while investing in prosperity. Cutting revenue to the treasury from the top is just a stick up wrapped as a bargain.

Yep, it's always most important in the minds of progressives that Washington DC gets their money. After that's taken care of, maybe the rest of the private citizens who built this country can have a share. If all the progressives agree, that is.

FreeMarketeer's picture
FreeMarketeer
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Oct. 11, 2010 11:00 am

If your ideological insistence that this system works had proved itself in the real world, I would not have to point out the issue of how systems work. It is not a moralism, it is about systems seeking stability and equilibrium, and how your economic theory always goes out of balance and stability because you insist that money be made the icon and idol of your theology.

All the "limited government" rhetoric is moralistic crap. All of it. It is about your objection to social realism and the need to invest collectively to have a society. I am describing phenomena that transcends American society where the imbalances of wealth and poverty and the failure to hold Commerce to social responsibility are documented in history. You can boil it down to the game of Monopoly. The point of the game is that to win one must destroy the economy.

I don't make a case for the evil of rich people. I think it is structural and to ask for philosopher kings from the CEO and trust fund baby class is stupid. It is pure economics to note that money invested at the top does not pay off for the investors. It is a subsidy to the rich at the expense of everyone else, and we have all the evidence we need of how this crap fails to do what it promises. Why would we bend over for more of this?

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Freemarketeer wrote: "And how do you propose getting that money to these people? Cycle it from a small business owner, into Washington DC, then back out somehow? Stupid. And not effective"

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I'd hardl consider a small business owner as rich...unless his personel income from the business exceeds about $3 million per year. The truely rich would like to shift their tax burden to small business...and have succeeded in doing that.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Now that I am retired, I notice that when there is discussion or policy proposals about boosting the economy, improving economic conditions for the middle class, or keeping the middle class abreast of inflation, there is almost never any mention or concern for the retired folks or anyone on fixed income. Working folks may get raises to keep up with inflation. In better times I always did. But the retired are ignored for the most part. In some years we get a small increase of 1 or 2% in social security, but $10 or $20 more per year isn't enough. I have enough to live on now with two small pensions, but one of them can be increased by up to 2% (zero lately) and the other gets no COLA at all, ever. So, gradually the retired lose more and more buying power and fall into poverty.

Depend on help from the kids? We have none.

The retired are "expendable", non-productive, and ignored it seems.

voila's picture
voila
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

"you insist that money be made the icon and idol of your theology. "

No, I insist that FREEDOM is the idol and icon of my "theology."

The more money we as a people send to central planners in Washington DC, the less free we become.

FreeMarketeer's picture
FreeMarketeer
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Oct. 11, 2010 11:00 am

And, of course, the more of the national pie that is sucked into finance, the poorer we become. An economy melting down in support of the super rich is merely the freedom to share poverty.

That isn't much different than the old Soviet State, is it? Dachas and caviar for the elite,....hovels and cabbage for the majority.

As George Soros noted, market fundamentalism is just another failed ideology like communism and fascism.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote FreeMarketeer:

"you insist that money be made the icon and idol of your theology. "

No, I insist that FREEDOM is the idol and icon of my "theology."

The more money we as a people send to central planners in Washington DC, the less free we become.

FREEDOM? In all caps? Is that freedom meaning anything like serfs, slaves and peasants getting freed from their masters? Or the American Patriots who fought for life, liberty and property rights? No wait, you equate freedom with freedom from taxes and central planners.

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm

The more money we as a people send to central planners in Washington DC, the less free we become. The bigger the federal budget gets, the more power will consolidate there and the more corruption we will see as more and more money-hungry elite want to get a piece of it. Someone once said that when Americans figure out they can vote themselves largess from the Treasury, tyranny is right around the corner. Well, that's happening now. Your desire to see the wealth spread around from rich to poor is having the opposite effect. Rather than money trickling down from Washington to the People, it's just ending up in the coffers of whomever has the best lobbying abilities. And you want to send more. Well I for one am done with that. We've tried the multi-trillion dollar Federal budgets and look where we are.

FreeMarketeer's picture
FreeMarketeer
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Oct. 11, 2010 11:00 am

Well, the corruption comes by having some so economically powerful, they can buy government. Corruption in Congress doesn't originate with the neighborhod plumber.

Bernanke throwing a $600 billion government bonds purchase through the middle man Goldman Sachs rather than buying them directly from the Treasury isn't corruption coming from the unemployed. It's corruption coming from the financial giants. Guess who pays for it.

When you get super wealthy, you also get super corruption. When in history has that not been so?

As long as this continues, the nation will continue falling into a pit. Viable solutions for anything, are "off the table". Soutions that would work step on very big toes. that grow, and grow, and grow. Probably the growth isn't from a genetic defect.

The meltdown marches on. The wealth of the nation is being sucked into finance. It's so concentrated, there is nothing productive to do with it. The real economy is so broke, there isn't a profitble demand for any productive use.

Oberman gives the progressive view in this video, He puts Obama over the coals and says he is #%&*# wrong, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/08/olbermann-tax-cut-obama-special-comment_n_793565.html

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"..

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Truth Patriot:

I want a primary challenger and I want him/her YESTERDAY!

I tried again and again and again in 2008 to convince people that Mr. Obama was a phoney-baloney. No one listened then; I doubt people are listening now.

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The Professor
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Dec. 9, 2010 4:41 pm

I don't think he is phoney baloney, just the reform we would be allowed to think we were getting. Is it his fault? Sure, he is part of it, but what I am learning is how much the Democrats and the rest of the Left have yet to process about what is going on. It is not as if the Right had any answers or was not doing dangerous and damaging crap. It is. But the Left, or more accurately, the Center has lost its hold and things are falling apart.

If we only cared that the empire get better management, like Clinton provided, Obama would be doing a good job. By the standards of DC, he has a record of proud achievement, and he proudly tries to sell it to us. I think it looks pretty good from his seat inside DC, but that is why the DC bubble does not help his vision or that of the pundits. And, if the wars do wind down, the rest of the foreign policy stuff is pretty good, a whole lot better than anything under any Bush.

The point is to appreciate the illusion of democracy and the reality of empire. When we understand that we get filtered choices in our elections and that real power does not subject itself to our ratification, we can begin to get real about what needs to be done. I still advise the both/and, but the inside game needs to serve the outside analysis instead of speaking power to truth. Unless the empire is exposed and the fraud against democracy revealed, keeping the empire running is the devil's business.

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Well, the corruption comes by having some so economically powerful, they can buy government.

That's true also, but it doesn't negate the fact that a $3 trillion budget controlled by a select few people invites corruption - a feeding frenzy of special interests. And you can't have a purchased Congress unless they are willing to be purchased, and the power that comes from that sort of centralized control and money is apparently irresistable to those of a certain stripe.

Siphon money from the very top. Go right ahead. Trying to do it by merely raising the marginal rate is laughable. Those with means will simply find a way around it. Better law is the way to go. Or, as you and I agree, some targeted taxes that make gambling on Wall Street less attractive.

FreeMarketeer's picture
FreeMarketeer
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Oct. 11, 2010 11:00 am

FM, if you will join in ending the empire, closing the overseas bases and restoring our domestic republic with habeus corpus and some other traditional family values, we might find more common ground about how to regulate a fair market. We might even agree on how to define the Commons by good capitalist analysis of investment and return. Everything we, the people can get a better bang for the buck through our taxes should be done in celebration of democracy. That is a lot more like the European model than ours.

Privatization is the enclosure of the Commons and more. The commercialization of the news is the enclosure of the Fourth Estate. We have seen the enclosure of democracy, and now we are seeing the enclosure of the soul as "economic realism" defined in highly distorted terms rules all moral and social policy.

Keep the Casino out of our economy and they can do whatever they want to do. I am tired of paying for their parties and then for the clean up. But that means we have to have a State that can enforce the law instead of being run by the crooks. Your thesis that having no money to steal would make government honest is really funny. Very droll.

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote DRC:

Keep the Casino out of our economy and they can do whatever they want to do. I am tired of paying for their parties and then for the clean up.

You and me both, buddy.

Quote DRC:

But that means we have to have a State that can enforce the law instead of being run by the crooks. Your thesis that having no money to steal would make government honest is really funny. Very droll.

I guess you think we need trillions of dollars - and more - heading to Washington, DC to "enforce the law" of this country, and keep the crooks out. I disagree.

FreeMarketeer's picture
FreeMarketeer
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Oct. 11, 2010 11:00 am

Freemarketeer wrote:

"That's true also, but it doesn't negate the fact that a $3 trillion budget controlled by a select few people invites corruption - a feeding frenzy of special interests. And you can't have a purchased Congress unless they are willing to be purchased, and the power that comes from that sort of centralized control and money is apparently irresistable to those of a certain stripe."

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poly replies:

And just exactly how do you think that came about? Corruption.of government by the wealthy.

Tax cuts for the wealthy are a double prize. First the tax cut, then they get to collect bond income on top of it. Bonds to make up for the tax cuts...paid for by the middle class..

Great welfare program for the top..Banksters use fractional reserve banking to create the money out of thin air to buy the bonds...and bleed the middle class for the privilege. Collateral of the bonds keeps their balance sheets solvent. Tax cuts for the wealthy come tied to a great welfare program for banksters/finance. Free money..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Freemarketeer wrote:

"That's true also, but it doesn't negate the fact that a $3 trillion budget controlled by a select few people invites corruption - a feeding frenzy of special interests. And you can't have a purchased Congress unless they are willing to be purchased, and the power that comes from that sort of centralized control and money is apparently irresistable to those of a certain stripe."

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poly replies:

And just exactly how do you think that came about? Corruption.of government by the wealthy.

Nope. It was the post-Depression attitude of Americans that failed to ask "what can I do for my country"? Starting with the boomers, and ending with the banksters, everyone is always looking for more ways they can get a piece of what the government "owes" them. And that's everybody from the retiree who failed to plan her own retirement and now wants the taxpayers to fit the bill, to the wealthy billlionaire who got his share of the bailout. We all make sure we vote in our largess from the Treasury.

I am all for a safety net. But we are a nation of "what's in it for me?" types who want a handout. Everyone is guilty. It's a disgusting mentality and its the reason we are in the trouble we are in. Sending more money to DC only perpetuates this. The only proof I need of this is the entire time we have had this tax cut debate for the past year, NOBODY has mentioned anything serious about reducing spending. Not even self-proclaimed conservatives. The only thing that has seriously been considered is cutting unemployment benefits, and WOW did people's nuts get kicked for that. The meltdown marches on.

FreeMarketeer's picture
FreeMarketeer
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Oct. 11, 2010 11:00 am

Say's Law.....................

production costs - wages - money supply = aggregate. The sum of the economy. Balance. Everything that is produced can bought. Distributed.

Excessive income pulled from the money supply and thrown into finance upsets the equation. Economies ultimately slow or cease production.

That a part of what's going on now.

Another part is the meltdown of expanding credit. Required under our monetary system.

Another is spending $20 trillion to bail derivative players...to make less than $80 billion in sub-prime mortgages whole. It's driving the western world into bankruptcy..

Ricardo noted over a century ago that a nation that ships its labor costs abroad willl impoverish itself.

4 legs of economic voodoo. Not one of them is being addressed

We're in a systemic meltdown. Tax structures and distribution of the national income have contributed to it. and aren't the sole cause. .

.Tax cuts to the top and austerity for Main Street will accelerate a systemic collapse. Take up gardening. Food stamps, if they remain, are insufficient.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I'm just referring to corruption in Washington DC, that's all. Didn't mean to get you all spun up into a frenzy. :)

FreeMarketeer's picture
FreeMarketeer
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Oct. 11, 2010 11:00 am

LOL. I'm always in a frenzy recently.

The twits in Washington catering to special interests and bringing down the country in the process keep me that way..

A nation approaching systemic economic collapse merging with environmental and resource collapse should probably be doing more than "business as usual".

The structures themselves contradict any viable solutions to anything!

"Facts to not cease to exist because they are ignored" - A. Huxley

While facts may not cease to exist with book burning, perhaps book burning along with the universities that publish them would restore my tranquility....until the proverbial stuff hits the fan.. Blasted facts and how things actually work just won't stay hidden. They manifest themselves in very real ways.

"Arithmetic, population and energy.". More uncomfortable facts: from a Univ. of Colo. lecture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY&feature=channel

If you're under 60, you'll experience the effects of that.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

.

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote DRC:I don't think he is phoney baloney, just the reform we would be allowed to think we were getting. Is it his fault? Sure, he is part of it, but what I am learning is how much the Democrats and the rest of the Left have yet to process about what is going on. It is not as if the Right had any answers or was not doing dangerous and damaging crap. It is. But the Left, or more accurately, the Center has lost its hold and things are falling apart.

When a candidate for public office makes pie in the sky promises (we will change the way Washington works. We will not impose mandatory inclusion in the health care reform. We will shut down Guantanamo and end the extra-Constitutional detentions and punishments that were practiced by the previous administration.), you know he's a phoney.

The difference between Obama and Hillary Clinton is that Clinton told the truth in her 2008 campaign for the Democratic nomination.

The Professor's picture
The Professor
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Dec. 9, 2010 4:41 pm

Back in the 1980's I told my husband that the Republicans were killing the goose that laid the golden egg, ie., the goose being the American middle class. I truly believe that until the American public demands we get out of all the destructive trade policies that continue to destroy American manufacturing, we will continue to see the middle class descend into poverty. We must start making things, all the things we need and use in this country. If you look back in history, it is only by making what we consumed that we became a wealthy nation. Not only that, but by removing our ability to make things, especially items vital to our national security, we leave ourselves open to economic and political blackmail by other countries who do make those items. Another problem is the fact that most Americans no longer know their history, for example what the labor movement meant to the average American worker and how it helped to build the middle class. It is no coincidence that with the continued evaporation of the labor unions and their continued constriction in the ability to organize, we also see the demise of the middle class. Duh! So people, support labor's ability to organize, support the elimination of these horrific tariffs, demand tax reform so that multi-nationals and corporations are paying their fair share of taxes, or kiss your middle class goodbye.

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gmetz
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Another is spending $20 trillion to bail derivative players...to make less than $80 billion in sub-prime mortgages whole. It's driving the western world into bankruptcy..

Wanderlust21
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Dec. 3, 2010 7:58 pm

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