I need a liberal's perspective

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We can all agree that our debt is sucking the life out of the U.S. Huge cuts need to be made. I don't know what huge cuts are being proposed by the dems. By huge I mean large enough to reverse the national debt clock. To be fair, the republican's have not proposed enough cuts either.

Are there any cuts that both sides can agree on? What would be your first 5 or 6 areas to cut?

rigel1's picture
rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am

Comments

I think we could cut a huge portion of the defense budget by closing all those bases in Europe and Japan.

Paleo-con
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

If the revolts in the Mid-East are successful, we'll probably have to increase the military budget to re-instate the empire's puppet governments.

The Repugnants will undoubtably further reduce the money supply in the Main Street economy and assure that more of it reaches the financial markets through tax breaks for the top tiers. Those who caused the meltdown won't be called upon to pay for it.

Government will continue borrowing money into existence rather than spending it into existence.

.Outsourcing of the real economy remains on-going. There is absolutely no way the U.S. can recover as long as it continues dismantling and shipping abroad what it took 200 years to build.

Neo-liberalism under a democrcy or a dictatorship ultimately impoverishes the people who embrace it. Argentina was the democratic example and led to a revolt in 2001. , Egypt the dictatorship example.

Soltutions entail tossing neo-liberalism begun under Reagan, embraced by Clinton and adhered to by Obama into the trash can. Not likely.

Under the neo-liberalism embraced by both parties, solutions to the nation's woes are off the table

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

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

That's not what I asked. It's not even close. All republicans and most democrats will not agree to close all of our foreign bases. My question is: WHAT CUTS CAN BE MADE THAT BOTH SIDES CAN AGREE ON?

Don't you think it would be wise to cut the easy stuff first?

rigel1's picture
rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am

You are assuming that we know what conservatives are willing to cut. My inclination is to think that there are a very few things that we actually agree on in terms of cuts. Perhaps if you wanted to find interest convergence you should have posted your list first and we could use it to find the ones we agreed with.

Secondly, you have created your post under the premise that the only way to fix the budget is to cut things. This is fundamentally a conservative perspective so you have already stacked the deck. If you really wanted this to be a non-partisan, "meet us half way" type discussion, then more things than budget cuts should be on the table. Tax increases for the top 2% would be, for me, an non-negotiable term. Reimplementing the estate tax for over $1 million - also non-negotiable.

Other issues that are not cuts but effect the budget in huge ways:

Exit from all free trade agreements and renegotiate. I am not really sold on economic protectionism as a whole but it is clear that the current arrangements are detrimental to our long term financial stability. At the very least we should be creating disincentives to shipping jobs overseas. If done correctly, this could result in increased revenue.

Cut any and all tax breaks for the oil industry and other similar industries - maybe big tobacco, most likely corn (they tend to get inducements while the rest of agriculture rots). There are so many non-sensical tax breaks we give out to big industries that don't need them. They get them because they make large campaign contributions and nothing more.

Get rid of corporate personhood through a Constitutional Amendment. Kick all lobbists out of Washington. Eliminate anonymous campaign contributions of any kind. Require candidates and PACs to "wear Nascar logos" in advertisements and when speaking/debating in public forums. All of these campaign finance reforms we have been talking about for decades. One of the interesting parts about these "what do we cut?" discussions is that Republicans naturally assume that the bulk of governmental spending is in social services and the like. I would wager that if you did the things I just listed you would see MASSIVE amounts of wasteful spending in terms of handouts and taxbreaks to corporations virtually disappear. They are not needed and I believe this is where the bulk of our waste is.

The bottom line is this: We fundamentally disagree on some significant issues that create a completely different set of options which we consider to be solutions to the budget problems. While I do believe that there are some points to agree on, if you frame it in a way that only considers "cuts" in the conversation, then you have already closed down the conversation. That is not how one comes to a compromise.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote ah2:

You are assuming that we know what conservatives are willing to cut. Secondly, you have created your post under the premise that the only way to fix the budget is to cut things. i I would wager that if you did the things I just listed you would see MASSIVE amounts of wasteful spending in terms of handouts and taxbreaks to corporations virtually disappear. .

1) Corporations do not pay taxes. You pay their taxes for them. Any increase will be passed directly to you.

2) I am not suggesting that cuts are the only way, but cuts will have the biggest impact. We know that tax increases are not going to happen anytime soon. So it appears the only thing let to do is to cut spending.

3) If you are wondering what conservatives are willing to cut, here a a few examples:

1) PBS. I enjoy PBS. I love The American experience, NOVA and Secrets of the dead. They are quality programs. Unfortunately Americans do not want quality. They want Jersey Shore and the Bachelor. Providing TV is a nice thing but not a vital government service. I would miss it it, but difficult cuts need to be made.

2) NPR . There are plenty of places to get news. Right, left and center. If there is a demand for NPR, it will survive without my money. Again a nice program, but we have to borrow money from the Chinese to fund it.

3) The National endowment for the Arts. Good art will stand on its own. It won't need Chinese money to prop it up. I have no artistic talent. If I can do it, it ain't art. I can pee in a jar, put a picture of Che in the jar and call it art. I don't need the feds to pay for. Again, art is good. But you can hold down a full time job and do art in your spare time. You don't need help from anybody. Anyone would have a difficult time explaining how this is in the vital national interest.

You may not agree with these cuts and they will save only pennies. But pennies add up to dollars. but I think they are doable, and might actually happen.

I'm not asking you what you wish we would cut. What do you think we could actually get done?

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am

SPEND CRAZY REPUBLICANS are the problem.. First we need to restore the tax laws so the super wealthy pay their fair share, then we should drastically cut the military (send the boys home bacause they have been put in harms way because of lies and are being forced to kill and die for other peoples lies)..

Quote rigel1:

We can all agree that our debt is sucking the life out of the U.S. Huge cuts need to be made. I don't know what huge cuts are being proposed by the dems. By huge I mean large enough to reverse the national debt clock. To be fair, the republican's have not proposed enough cuts either.

Are there any cuts that both sides can agree on? What would be your first 5 or 6 areas to cut?

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

If you are looking for areas to cut that both the Republican and the Democratic Parties would agree on it would be the areas that give:

All the Pain to the Little People - you know the bottom 99%

and all the Gain to the Corporations and Rich - the top 1% - if not the Top 1/2 of 1%

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mtdon
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

As long as our representatives are beholden to the corporates, "We the People" are the first to be stripped.

Fact is: Taxpayers fund cleaning up after corporations pollute, all the while raking in excessive profits. We, as taxpayers pay subsidies (corporate welfare), to the "for profit" corporations. Corporates have tax loopholes that an individual taxpayer dreams of. And last but far from least, re-instate the tax rates, for the wealthier income brackets, prior to Reagan.

Why should the cuts be directly on the backs of the American workers, those whom can afford it the least?

Why not plead the case, that we as taxpayers are showing our solidarity and allegiance to these United States, and it is long past time for the corporates, and those whom can afford to (wealthier), do the same. It is not like asking for anything more, than we as individuals are doing and it could be proclaimed, in the name of this Nation's economic health and Her sovereignty.

Penny Ryan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote rigel1:
Quote ah2:

You are assuming that we know what conservatives are willing to cut. Secondly, you have created your post under the premise that the only way to fix the budget is to cut things. i I would wager that if you did the things I just listed you would see MASSIVE amounts of wasteful spending in terms of handouts and taxbreaks to corporations virtually disappear. .

1) Corporations do not pay taxes. You pay their taxes for them. Any increase will be passed directly to you.

2) I am not suggesting that cuts are the only way, but cuts will have the biggest impact. We know that tax increases are not going to happen anytime soon. So it appears the only thing let to do is to cut spending.

3) If you are wondering what conservatives are willing to cut, here a a few examples:

1) PBS. I enjoy PBS. I love The American experience, NOVA and Secrets of the dead. They are quality programs. Unfortunately Americans do not want quality. They want Jersey Shore and the Bachelor. Providing TV is a nice thing but not a vital government service. I would miss it it, but difficult cuts need to be made.

2) NPR . There are plenty of places to get news. Right, left and center. If there is a demand for NPR, it will survive without my money. Again a nice program, but we have to borrow money from the Chinese to fund it.

3) The National endowment for the Arts. Good art will stand on its own. It won't need Chinese money to prop it up. I have no artistic talent. If I can do it, it ain't art. I can pee in a jar, put a picture of Che in the jar and call it art. I don't need the feds to pay for. Again, art is good. But you can hold down a full time job and do art in your spare time. You don't need help from anybody. Anyone would have a difficult time explaining how this is in the vital national interest.

You may not agree with these cuts and they will save only pennies. But pennies add up to dollars. but I think they are doable, and might actually happen.

I'm not asking you what you wish we would cut. What do you think we could actually get done?

1. Incorrect. Corporations do pay taxes. I am continually baffeled as to how much our "fiscal conservatives" don't really understand economic theory. The claim you are referring to is that corporate taxes cut into the cost of doing business and corporations simply add the cost of taxes on to the price of their goods. Last time I checked though, the cost of good had to do with supply and demand. Marginal costs of production is only one factor and it would have a very minimal effect on the actual cost of the goods you buy if any at all.

2. Also incorrect. Cuts to social services may, in fact, have a larger negative effect on our economy than taxing a multimillion dollar corporation. There has been so much research on this as of late I can't even believe that you have the audacity to continue to make this claim. Corporations have had the lowest tax rate they have had in decades AND virtually a 0% interest rate on loans for over two years now and all they do is pocket the money over and over. The impact on the economy has either been a wash or negative - it has not given us one damn thing. Give the money to 99ers and you get almost a 150% return or more dollar per dollar. Its time to face the fact that the dogma of the fiscal conservatives for the last 3 decades is A LIE. It has NO resemblance to what actually is EMPERICALLY OBSERVABLE in the economy. NONE.

On Cuts:

1. Despite being funded by the government, PBS is one of the most independent voices in media we have today. When corporations are running the show, it is the private media you have to be skeptical of.

2. Same.

3. The NEA is such a miniscule cut when looking at the governmental budget. It will have literally no impact on the budget what-so-ever. In fact, one could make the argument that the artistic ventures that the NEA funds actually produces economic activity and tax revenues that virtually funds itself. I also love that conservatives never fail to use synecdoche in their political arguments. References to "Pissed Christ" are the "Welfare Mom" of the NEA critique. The NEA funds symphonies, your local art museums, educational programs for schools and other public entities like libraries, protecting historical artistic communities (like rebuilding the historical jazz community in New Orleans after Katrina, etc. This isn't some special interest organization that only funds esoteric nonsense that you probbably don't even have a shot at compreheding. They are programs that matter that have real effects on our commmunities and youth.

What we could cut and what we should are two different things and you still have not been able to wrap your head around my primary comment which is that framing this as a conversation where only cuts are on the table has already precluded any feign gesture of compromise that you were trying to convey.

Good day.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm
Quote rigel1:

We can all agree that our debt is sucking the life out of the U.S. Huge cuts need to be made. I don't know what huge cuts are being proposed by the dems. By huge I mean large enough to reverse the national debt clock. To be fair, the republican's have not proposed enough cuts either.

To be fair, the republicans created most of the debt.

Are there any cuts that both sides can agree on? What would be your first 5 or 6 areas to cut?

The first six areas for me are all "defense", which is conservative for "agression". The main thing, though, is that you don't get out of a depression by cutting spending on social services. That is how you deepen one.

D_NATURED's picture
D_NATURED
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Oct. 20, 2010 8:47 pm

I can agree with Paleo-Con(!!) on closing foreign bases although I would start with Asia and Latin America over Europe and Japan (where we have treaty obligations and get paid or could negotiate payment).

Polls where people have free choice or a long list to choose from say balance the budget by: 1. tax increases on the rich (>50%) and 2. cutting war spending (20%). Cutting health care (Medicaid) or Social Security for the elderly and disabled comes in much further down the list closer to 1% than 5%. It is more than passing strange that what most Americans agree on - both of our established corporate parties agree against. So getting 'both sides to agree' is problematic.

1. Increase capital gains taxes at least 5% with exemption for one primary residence per year (tax the idle rich), add a tiny transaction tax on all stock and commodity trades beyond the reach of most Americans (tax paper pushers and speculators), increase corporate income tax revenue with a lower rate and far fewer loopholes/deductions (US corporations face a high nominal rate but often pay a very low effective rate and these taxes are on profits after all expenses unlike the personal income tax). Finally remove the cap on FICA/Medicaid taxable income (more funding for Medicaid and solvency for Social Security farther out than can be reliably predicted).

2. Cut tax expenditures - end refundable tax credits to oil companes (tens of billions a year) and corporations that offshore jobs (I mean really now - who will stand up for exporting jobs?). Cut the spending of our natural resources by increasing the lease payments on resource extraction from the public lands (they get oil+coal+minerals on the cheap from us all and sell it back dear). Require all strip/leach mines, power plants and chemical plants to bank their current and final cleanup costs as they go (to avoid future destruction and government expense).

3. Cut War Department spending by 50% in 5% increments over ten years (then we will only spend half as much as the rest of the world on implementing death and destruction). Correct the name of the Defense Department back to the War Department (originalists should like that ;-). Slash foreign bases and foreign military aid, drop fancy weapons, de-militarize space and end the black budget

4. End the Drug War. Savings in law enforcement, the courts and especially prisons at all levels of government. Ending the Drug War also removes the violence and profits from the black marketeers in gangs and organized crime syndicates including the rogue CIA. Tax revenues from legal marijuana can go to cover treatment for prescription and other hard drug addictions. More people die from from prescription drug OD than from heroin,etc.

There will not be immediate or easy agreement on all aspects of the above, but there is widespread support for the core ideas: tax corporate profits more evenly and effectively, tax the rich and cut so-called defense spending. Marijuana decriminalization has won elections in a few states. Again, originalists should like this one too: the Constitution itself and the original USS Constitution were built on hemp paper, cloth and rope. I think the budget could be brought swiftly into balance with these popular actions alone.

(PS If you force me to choose liberal or conservative I might just choose conservative, but I am sure that I would be placed in the 'liberal' camp by most. However, I resist both neo-cons (~all Rs) and neo-liberals (Clinton, Obama + most Ds) - I am of the strain of radical conservatives who actually believes in preserving our rights, increasing freedom, equality and opportunity, restoring the environment, human rights for all humans, war spending is a Cross of Iron (it's like meth but far worse than meth) ... I am a registered Green - I respect people far more than profit or property)

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LeMoyne
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote rigel1:

We can all agree that our debt is sucking the life out of the U.S. Huge cuts need to be made. I don't know what huge cuts are being proposed by the dems. By huge I mean large enough to reverse the national debt clock. To be fair, the republican's have not proposed enough cuts either.

Are there any cuts that both sides can agree on? What would be your first 5 or 6 areas to cut?

I disagree with your premise that huge cuts need to be made. Trying to frame the issue by narrowing the solutions to cuts because you think it is the only viable solution is not helpful. Some cuts can always be made - especially defense and war spending and our fraudulent billing process with contractors. However cutting social spending is not necessary when simply implementing tax increases such as Robert Reich has proposed would solve our problems. Huge cuts in social programs that help people will not reduce the deficit - it will lead to an increasing spiral of layoffs, less government revenue and increased government expenses. If we end government social programs, it may reduce expenses but revenue will still also be reduced and the hardship and loss of life for Americans would be intolerable and immoral. Our current economic mess was caused in large part by the Bush tax cuts. Reversing the cuts will eventually solve most of our economic problems.

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leftofhell
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Feb. 12, 2011 6:03 pm

Reversing the tax cuts would be a big boost towards reducing deficits.

Unless the trade deficit is reduced as well, interest payments to foreign creditors will continue to rise if we don't address trade policy. Outsourcing is in itself a drain on the nation.

Money represents "stuff" in place of barter. Without "stuff", the money becomes useless. Our creditors are beginning to realize that and are excluding the dollar as a means of payment in their trade agreements with one another. They want goods in exchange for goods...not fancily engraved paper fresh off the printing press.

Outsourcing jobs to reduce labor costs and then imporing one's own products from another country increases the national cost through trade deficits and the interest payments on them. It's just another way of taxpayers subsidizing big business.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I don't want to cut Social Security or Medicare. Outside of Defense, there really isn't a whole lot TO cut.

We ALL need to pay a lot more in taxes. We're paying it anyway through inflation, let's at least make the process democratic.

Any politician that votes for an excise tax to capture all the external costs of bringing a gallon of gasoline to the market is guaranteed to lose the next election. So let's sit back and enjoy our bread and circuses. And learn Mandarin.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Before answering that question-

Now that the Republicans are in power, what are they going to do to recover the bailout money?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but a good part of Republican political capital among the base accrued when Republicans tried to block the Obama bailout. I don't know who voted for what when as far as which Repugs now in seats were there during Bush, and which that were voted for or against the Bush/Obama bailout(s). But it looks phony to me.

Your question as well as the absurd assumption that corporations will continue to raise the price of their product without limit or stop doing business reveals a certain lack of both critical and creative thinking on the non-liberal side of things. As usual, instead of acting as a foil to Dem. initiatives, Republicans (all libertarians are Republicans) reveal the true nature of your intentions- tyranny.

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

Perhaps the theory that going after only the big ticket items is flawed. A quick search on the phrase "examples of government waste" shows that there is no shortage of wasteful spending.

There are the obvious ones that both sides should agree too. For instance the link on $15 billion being spent to maintain vacant government buildings would seem to be a cost both sides can agree to cut. But why don't they?

Paleo-con
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Numbers and rankings for ag subsidies, a lot of money to cargill, archer daniels, tyson, well you probably know who pays the bribes and what they get back.

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

Revert to the Clinton tax levels. The budget will be balanced next year.

Stop the Chinese currency manipulation which will end the trade deficits.

Return to Hamilton's American Plan, and put in tariffs to encourage job growth domestically. Under the conservative's plan, we have no tariffs, and high corporate taxes to encourage domestic companies to move their production offshore to low wage countries. How does that help America?

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

Revert back to PRE Reagan tax, IMHO (I agree with thom).. There should not be such a dramatic disparity between the super rich and the rest of us (America is copying the format that created the rich and poor in Mexico).. The super rich are the ones sucking the money away from all the little people.. I dont have anything against rich people, but multi billionaires, please.. Its obvious.. Talanted people who work hard, and a few lucky people can be rich, but that wealth should be a few million.. No one person should have control of so much power (money).. Instead of funneling a stupid percentage to the super rich, the money should go back intop the system to make products cheaper, employees better pay, etc.. And taxes onm the stupid rich, so we can have money for schools, etc..

Quote Phaedrus76:

Revert to the Clinton tax levels. The budget will be balanced next year.

Stop the Chinese currency manipulation which will end the trade deficits.

Return to Hamilton's American Plan, and put in tariffs to encourage job growth domestically. Under the conservative's plan, we have no tariffs, and high corporate taxes to encourage domestic companies to move their production offshore to low wage countries. How does that help America?

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

No, we do not all agree with that.

Quote rigel1:We can all agree that our debt is sucking the life out of the U.S.

So as always, you're wrong from the get-go. What is sucking the life out of the U.S. is the re-distribution of wealth to <1% of the population, who by the way produce nothing but acquire more wealth only by moving their wealth around. What we can all agree on is that President Obama's proposal to close tax loopholes is the correct first step. Eventually, all deductions and all exemptions for all income over $1M should be eliminated and trying to hide financial assets abroad should be made a felony. But President Obama has taken the right first step.

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Reed.Young
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Apr. 5, 2010 10:24 am

The question was posed as what liberals and conservatives could agree on. Unless "both sides" was strictly party politics. And "both sides" implies a lot about the independents that does not make any sense at all. What I would like to address is the cuts that make sense to real fiscal conservatives.

Several posts have gotten a number of the big ticket waste numbers, which are by nature politically protected or they would have been cut long ago. Here is the dirty little secrets, it is not about what both sides (sic) have agreed to cut; it is about the waste both sides of the power duopoly endorse or accept as given that we need to attack.

Like the War on Drugs, which does create a number of jobs that ought not be and does not fund the medical interventions real drug abusers need. Prison is a lousy rehab setting. DARE and other pieces of absolute waste from the Just Say No folks are actively harmful.

The Empire must go. For us to have a democracy, we must close the bases that drive the MIC and its supply chain of war. We need to make things for peace instead.

I think our party labels are less than helpful. We ought to be advocates for economic sanity, for the indigenous and artisanal development model and for democracy. The GOP has no fiscal integrity left, not a scrap. Cutting jobs that serve real people is how to inflict the pain, not share it.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

So very well said.

Penny Ryan
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote bobbler:

Revert back to PRE Reagan tax, IMHO (I agree with thom)..

We were running deficits prior to Reagan. We've been running deficits for nearly 100 years. Even if you had a 100% tax rate, We would still have a spending problem and deficits.

Al&#039;Thor's picture
Al'Thor
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Jan. 31, 2011 11:56 am

Empire does not pay for itself to the taxpayers. It does make some very rich, and it establishes a certain "supply chain" of entitled industries established in the power of the empire. These do not serve "local" interests even if the pork distribution system does bribe localities into taking the lost opportunity cost upside for war. Let others suffer the schools not built, the high speed rail not constructed for a modern economy. Lockhead-Marrieta, Georgia!

It is so easy to finance economic democracy if we just get over the idea that taxing the rich is unfair or immoral. It certainly is the best way to help them do what they would need to do to be part of the Pledge of Allegiance. I realize that the Right has rejected all the important provisions of the Pledge, but I would like us to start our rehab in a positive frame instead of "shaming Americans first."

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

Wikipedia publishes a very nice little pie chart under "US Federal Budget" or something similar. Looking at it would be a big help.

Remember - Social Security is self-funding. It is a separate issue. In my opinion reports of its sustainability are pollyanish, but the deficits have not yet occured. (Last year was the first time SS ran a deficit, and projections say that won't happen again until at least 2014.)

Medicare is the second biggest budget deficit maker, but the shortfall is less than the savings would be if we went single payer. (Replacing insurance prremiums with taxes would save America about $700 bil. The problem is that since businesses pay most insurance premiums they would recieve most of the savings, and they are unlikely to pass those savings on to either their workers or costomers.

The only department large enough to generate any signifigant savings is Defence. Period. One bright spot - there are Republicans who have finally seen that and are willing to defy their leadership and demand cuts. There is some small bit of hope on this front.

Take PBS, NPR, NEA, all federal "welfare" and all foreign aid and you reduce the deficit by about 10%. Reduce the Pentagon budget to the European average and you still don't balance the budget.

Incidentally, the price of any product is determined by something called "the price point". This is the price that generates the highest bottom line, in other words, the highest price that can be charged before people stop buying. To put it simply, the price you are already paying is the highest price that can be charged. Raising taxes cannot raise prices. (Recent history suggests that the price point for gasoline is close to $4, but it also seems that at about $3 - 3.25 people will attempt to cut back on other goods first.)

Technically, doubling tax revenues would eliminate the budget deficit. In fact, if we went from a regressive tax code to a progresive code, we could triple revenues and improve the general economy as a side effect.

doh1304's picture
doh1304
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Dec. 6, 2010 10:49 am

TAX and wealth disparity: courtesy of another topic (but fits here):

http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-wealth-and-inequality-in-america-2010-4#the-gap-between-the-top-1-and-everyone-else-hasnt-been-this-bad-since-the-roaring-twenties-1

b

bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote doh1304:

Remember - Social Security is self-funding. It is a separate issue. In my opinion reports of its sustainability are pollyanish, but the deficits have not yet occurred. (Last year was the first time SS ran a deficit, and projections say that won't happen again until at least 2014.)

Can't be a separate issue anymore. Since Social Security is filled with Government Bonds that have to be paid back via the General fund. We have to borrow money from outside in order to pay off our internal debt.

Medicare is the second biggest budget deficit maker, but the shortfall is less than the savings would be if we went single payer. (Replacing insurance premiums with taxes would save America about $700 bil.

WOW.. talk about a tax increase. Just the top 10 private companies get 287 billion in premium revenue. Out of 13K health insurance companies in the US. What do you figure 1 trillion, 1.5 trillion in added taxes a year to cover that.

The only department large enough to generate any significant savings is Defense. Period. One bright spot - there are Republicans who have finally seen that and are willing to defy their leadership and demand cuts. There is some small bit of hope on this front.

Base closures are a must. Old weapons syste ms can go also.

Take PBS, NPR, NEA, all federal "welfare" and all foreign aid and you reduce the deficit by about 10%. Reduce the Pentagon budget to the European average and you still don't balance the budget.

Yea... Let bring our military down to the European standard. So just above Girl Scout Training. You know why European government are so easy to establish wonderful social programs.. Because they enjoy the protection of the United States. Who will protect us? The Canadians

Technically, doubling tax revenues would eliminate the budget deficit. In fact, if we went from a regressive tax code to a progresive code, we could triple revenues and improve the general economy as a side effect

We have been running deficicts for over 100 years regardless of the Tax rates. What that proves is that no matter how much money you draw into the Government. They will spend more then they have.

Al&#039;Thor's picture
Al'Thor
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Jan. 31, 2011 11:56 am

The idea that we provide "security" for the Europeans is American. It is the same crap we tell ourselves about our Navy being a force for good in the world. It is a force for the American Empire and all empires are evil.

I love the con 'facts on the ground' approach to Social Security. Because the cons borrowed from SS to cover their borrow and spend policies, they now claim that to fix SS we have to adjust it rather than get the creeps to do the suffering instead. There is a lot of "entitlement" money out their in Koch Bros and International Chamber of Commerce accounts. Get it back.

Then there is the absurdity that replacing the no value added entitlement health insurance fraudsters with single payer will up taxes. Yeah, but at the major savings in premiums to the pirates that we no longer pay. See, taxes can be a better deal than the tolls and premiums and copays and etc. The point is we save a big wad of cash.

Compared to the imperial defense of oil, I would take the Girl Scouts in a well trained national defense force. I see no reason why Americans have to be that much more afraid than everyone else that we would spend more than all of them combined on weapons of death. It is a terrible burden on our economy because the MIC is a lousy economic engine. We have lost so much ground in infrastructure and efficiency stuck here in polluting petroleum. Oil companies continue to get major tax giveaways despite being the problem instead of the solution. Insane.

Had the deficits been to finance assets that were paying off now, they would not matter. Being stuck for the booze and condoms for the banksters and war profiteers, as well as Enron et al does make the debt costly. We get nothing but pain, suffering and more bills from war. Were we holding the banksters to account, we would not be hostage to the debt leverage.

But the point here is that what matters is investing in a future instead of just spending. There may be good reasons to use a deficit for investment, so the issue is not the deficit in the abstract. The point is that the GOP refuses to see the value in any investment and has wasted trillions in its privatized delusions of our national interest. Or maybe they hate America along with hating democracy. It is hard to see what they love other than their own gold.

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

You still have not answered the question. What cuts do you think can be agreed on by both parties? We can continue the berserk spending, run up the debt and then beg for the rich to come and save us, but even the rich cannot save us from this spending spree.

WHAT SHALL WE CUT????

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am

STILL, I DON'T THINK THAT EVEN THE RICH HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO SAVE US. IF WE RELY ON THEM TO BE A SUGAR DADDY WE WILL SURLEY FAIL. The rich cannot save us from our gross excess. We need to make cuts. We don't need to make huge cuts to start. We just need to start. WHAT CUTS DO YOU THINK WE CAN AGREE ON?

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am

There are millions of people who agree that they are under taxed. If you believe this then why don't you pay more taxes? What is stopping you from paying your fair share? If we taxed everybody at 50%, we would still be broke.

AGAIN, MY QUESTION IS STILL BEING DODGED. WHAT CUTS DO YOU THINK CAN BE AGREED ON?

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am

Al Thor wrote:Yea... " Let bring our military down to the European standard. So just above Girl Scout Training. You know why European government are so easy to establish wonderful social programs.. Because they enjoy the protection of the United States. Who will protect us? The Canadians."

poly replies"

And just who are the Europeans being protected from?. Somalia or Haiti?

The U.S. had more than an adequate army to invade Grenada under Reagan and prevent their 1,200 troops from capturing Washington, D.C. The Washington D.C. police force could have turned back a Grenada invasion on its own.

An enemy requiring the U.S. to spend more than the entire globe spends on armaments is who?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote ah2:

Give the money to 99ers and you get almost a 150% return or more dollar per dollar.

Brilliant!

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Actually, it is sort of that way. A tax cut gives less than 100% return in the economy.

The multiplier effect of stimulous spending gives a positive return rather than the negative return of a tax cut.

Spent money vs. tax cut money. Much of tax cut money is used to pay down debt or is placed into savings/financial paper.It gets sucked into the banking/financial industry where it disappears from the Main Street economy that most people live in..,.

Tax cuts are the preferred course of financial oligarchs.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

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

Personally, I do not believe that the GOP will agree to any of the same cuts that the dems want, and vice versa. We have two opposing viewpoints, one that works and one that doesn't, as we know from watching what happens when the republicans are actually in charge (i.e. The Great Depression and the Bush Recession).

Since there can be no agreement, there has to be a public debate on the issues in a way that will force people to choose sides, because that is the only way one side or another will have enough votes and enough legislators to make a difference.

That is why I am tired of democrats not debating the issues. Look at how they postponed both the debate and the vote to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich before the election. Had they actually made that a point of the election, announcing they needed help to stop the Bush tax cuts, I guarantee we would have inspired enough votes to win the last election, but the way they handled it discouraged voters nationwide, and they felt that there was no sense in voting since Obama was against ending the Bush Tax Cuts too. (when actually, he was making the mistake of making his arguments to end the Bush tax cuts in back room deals with the GOP instead of bringing it public).

But you say that you need a liberal perspective? So do all those who have a conservative perspective. :D They need it badly!

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jim of Binghamton
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Jul. 23, 2010 12:38 pm
Quote rigel1:

We can all agree that our debt is sucking the life out of the U.S. Huge cuts need to be made. I don't know what huge cuts are being proposed by the dems. By huge I mean large enough to reverse the national debt clock. To be fair, the republican's have not proposed enough cuts either.

Are there any cuts that both sides can agree on? What would be your first 5 or 6 areas to cut?

1 First, I must disagree that it is the "National Debt" that is sucking the life out of America! <false premise> if this is your belief than you must realize that National Debt = trade imbalance

2 "Sucking the life out" means what exactly? Does this mean "causing unemployment" or dividing the people, causing hate and fear, closing schools, creating tax loopholes, offshoring jobs, crushing unions, undermining democracy, equality, Justice, cooperation, etc...

Regardless of what you call yourself, arn't you opposed to failed policies, bad i deas, and politicians who undermine the health and welfare of America?

Lets start with the Trade Imbalance and move on to outsourcing jobs, tax loopholes, tax evasion, corporate welfare, foreign aid, Military spending including waste fraud and abuse, privatization and starving government so it can be drowned it in a bath tub!,

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ShroomDuke
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Did you know that 85% of the National Deficit was created by just THREE presidents? And all of them Republicans... Reagan, Bush and Junior!

The only "CUT" we need is the cut in tax cuts themselves!

The top 10%'s income has increased by huge amounts, yet their taxes go down!

The corporations now are making twice as much profits as 30 years ago, yet they are paying half as much in taxes?

If you have a penny in your pocket... then you have more money than Exxon paid in taxes last year! In fact, it is quite common for these huge corporation, not only to pay zero taxes, BUT TO GET A REFUND!

Cut the tax-cuts! Don't betray the people!

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jim of Binghamton
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Jul. 23, 2010 12:38 pm

ShroomDuke wrote: "Regardless of what you call yourself, arn't you opposed to failed policies, bad i deas, and politicians who undermine the health and welfare of America?"

poly replies: It isn't that simple.

QUOTE:

Well, to begin with, a completely new concept of economics. This economy is crazy and poisonous. I am an economist, and I have been fighting against the economy that is taught the way it is being taught and being practiced. I have been fighting it for almost 40 years of my life, because it’s an absurd economy that has nothing to do with real life. It’s all fabrications, no? If the model doesn’t work, it’s not because the model is wrong, but because reality plays foul tricks. And reality is there to be domesticated, you know, and become the model. That is the attitude. And that’s systematic, in addition.

What is the economy that is being taught in the universities today everywhere? Neoclassical economics. Neoliberalism is an offspring of neoclassical economics. And neoclassical economics is 19th century. So we are supposed to solve problems of the 21st century that have no precedent with theories of the 19th century. We no longer have a physics of the 19th century, nor a biology, nor an engineering—nor nothing. The only thing in which we stopped in the 19th century is in the concept of economics. I mean, and that is elementarily absurd. And the main journals and everything,

After what happened since October 2008, I mean, elementally, you would think what? That now they’re going to change. I mean, they see that the model is not working. The model is even poisonous, you know? Dramatically poisonous. And what is the result, and what happened in the last meeting of the European Union? They are more fundamentalist now than before. So, the only thing you know that you can be sure of, that the next crisis is coming, and it will be twice as much as this one. And for that one, there won’t be enough money anymore. So that will be it. And that is the consequence of systematical human stupidity.

Now, why the hell are they so afraid to change, when they know that this is an absolute collision? And instead of braking, I mean, they’re accelerating. I don’t have a recipe against that, but I’m very—I’m very afraid to know what is still coming.- MANFRED MAX-NEEF

,http://www.sigstein.org/2010/11/26/chilean_economist_manfred_max_neef_on

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

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

BINGO!

You nailed it. I believe that you go after the easy stuff first. Why fight when we don't have to? Cut the things that we can agree on. When all of the obvious waste is cut, then we can move on to the more difficult items. By going after the hard stuff first, it gives the politicians another excuse to do nothing.

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rigel1
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Jan. 31, 2011 7:49 am
Quote polycarp2:

Actually, it is sort of that way. A tax cut gives less than 100% return in the economy.

The multiplier effect of stimulous spending gives a positive return rather than the negative return of a tax cut.

Spent money vs. tax cut money. Much of tax cut money is used to pay down debt or is placed into savings/financial paper.It gets sucked into the banking/financial industry where it disappears from the Main Street economy that most people live in..,.

Tax cuts are the preferred course of financial oligarchs.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

"The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups." Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson.

Polycarp,

I don't address this post with the hope of changing your mind. You are wedded to interventionism and a Keynesian-like view of economics. Hopefully, I can convince others .

You look at the immediate effects of the so-called multiplier but you do not look at where the money came from in the first place. There is no pile of money on candy mountain from which the government spends. Every dollar taken out of the private economy to be spend by the goverment has a reverse multiplier effect. Yes. The gov't stimulus will stimulate certain sectors of the economy. But at the expense at some other sector or geographical region. At best, it's a net zero. In reality, since the money is being stolen and spent politically, it is not being put to its most efficient use. Every dollar spent by the gov't that ends up stimulating business by some multiple will be offset by a contraction somewhere else.

In summary, your economics is just a justification for theft and tyranny. You believe that you know where and how money should be saved and invested better that the people who earned the money. You want to substitute your judgement for somebody else's. So what if people want to put their money in financial paper or under their mattress. I don't care if they take it "out" of the economy. My only gripe would be if they risk their money and expect to be bailed out. On that point, I think we agree.

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FrankChodorov
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Dec. 23, 2010 7:00 am

Frank wrote::

"Polycarp,

I don't address this post with the hope of changing your mind. You are wedded to interventionism and a Keynesian-like view of economics. Hopefully, I can convince others"

poly replies:

Actually, I'm not wedded to any current view of economics. I'm wedded to a complete overhaul of economic structures. While addressing current structures, that doesn't mean I'm in favor of keeping any of them.

Utilizing 19th century theory to address 21st century problems is a bit stupid.

As noted from the economist above: "Well, to begin with, a completely new concept of economics. This economy is crazy and poisonous. I am an economist, and I have been fighting against the economy that is taught ,the way it is being taught and being practiced."

Antiquated economic theory and current structures are leading to a merging of economic, resource and evironmental collapse. I'm not wedded to those systems, and do address them.

A successful economy is nothing more than the production and distribution of what is required. Ours fails miserably and is destroying our own life-support systems of the planet in the process.. No economic/social system lasts forever. Our has reached a literal dead end.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

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

Frank, I have no idea why you think that there is any difference economically between our collective "state" investment of our pooled taxes in value added investments and what the "market" at its idealistic best does. I think there are a number of critical areas of democratic interest where not allowing the privateers to distort public priorities with their profiteer business plans. I think we should own our own medical and pharm research and production. Making private makes it expensive and diverts development towards profit sources and away from public health priorities.

The dollars skimmed off the top by privatization are waste. We get no added value from this spending. There are logical measures for the line of the private market and where trying to own a public corporation at the margins of the Commons loses value. We will stay out of the hardware business; but wouldn't it be lovely to have hardware compete on quality and price instead of big box junk. How are those Chinese nails working out?

I would also point out that the Economy of Greed was a disaster. The housing bubble was about chasing finance fast money instead of building what America needed. Fleecing those aspiring to be Middle Class in the hustle of "movin' on up" is not about increasing wealth either. For your model to work, developers would have needed to build low income, affordable housing with human design.

You pack a lot of ideology into "earned" as you justify wage theft and the coercion of manipulated labor markets. Did the banksters earn their bucks? Do teachers only deserve to be respected up to their salaries and benefits as "earners?" I think they give us a lot more value than they are paid. Where does the moral balance of "earned" fall?

If taxes are theft and tyranny, enjoy your private castle and mercenaries. Otherwise you will find yourself being ruled by warlords and landlords. Unless you band together with neighbors and form a government for governing yourselves, you will be ruled over by others.

I agree that the Imperial State is about ruling. I think this is what Walker et al are about, the Unilateral Executive Boss ruling obedient factors on the Plantation. I don't think anarchy is going to stop these goons.

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

Every dollar taken out of the private economy to be spend by the goverment has a reverse multiplier effect.

Does that mean the private economy suffers when "the government" spends money to hire a sheriff to keep the bandits out of the marketplace?

chilidog
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

FrankChodorov wrote:

Every dollar taken out of the private economy to be spend by the goverment has a reverse multiplier effect.

=====

poly replies: Actually, when government taxes money that would be used to build financial bubbles...and instead builds a bridge with it....it puts money back into the private economy that would otherwise disappear into financial paper.

Probably the $1,000 trillion in global derivative bets is a bit much..The entire global economic output is only $47 trillion.

Applying theory that applies to industrial capitalism to financial capitalism doesn't work, Frank.

Investment into productivity , research and the like should be tax exempt. Investment in financial paper should have the hell taxed out of it..

That is, if you'd like to retain the current dysfunctional system for a bit longer before it implodes with the convergence of economic/resource/environmental collapse..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote chilidog:
Quote FrankChodorov:

Every dollar taken out of the private economy to be spend by the goverment has a reverse multiplier effect.

Does that mean the private economy suffers when "the government" spends money to hire a sheriff to keep the bandits out of the marketplace?

you're on to something. Maybe they want to fire everyone from cops, to firefighters, to teachers, so they can control everyone.

They want to fire thousands of people in the IRS, making unemployment worse, not better. Republicans don't care about jobs, no matter how many times they lied to us about being all about "jobs" before the election. But if they fire thousands of IRS agents, guess what, IT WILL COST US MONEY!

For EVERY DOLLAR spent on hiring IRS agents, the government SAVES $10!!!

If you are having a budget crisis, that means you hire MORE IRS AGENTS!

But they cut everything, making MORE unemployment, and wonder why the economy gets worse. They are as stupid as Herbert Hoover who did the same thing! Republicans are cutting money to the schools, taking our children's school money away and then giving it to the corporations in tax cuts, even though most corporations don't pay any taxes anyway!

They are stealing money from our children to give it to the rich!

STOP CUTTING PROGRAMS, AND REPEAL THE TAX CUTS TO THE RICH! TAX THE RICH MORE! THEY HAVE ENOUGH MONEY, AND THEY DO NOT PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE FOR WHAT THEY COST THE INFRASTRUCTURE! THEY COST THE INFRASTRUCTURE THE MOST, WITH CONVOYS TEARING UP ROADS TO MOVE PRODUCTS, WITH THEIR LAWYERS CONSTANTLY SUING FOR MORE TAX EXEMPTIONS AND TO STEAL OTHER PEOPLE's MONEY! THEY USE THE FIREMEN AND POLICEMEN THE MOST. ETC, ETC, ETC!

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jim of Binghamton
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Jul. 23, 2010 12:38 pm

If cutting goverment mean larger unemployment, then by your logic shouldn't the goverment run everything. And you're right, as an anarchist, I would all government to be abolished. But for now, I'll take what I can get.

The only philosophically consistent people are totalitarians and anarchist. People who want the government to do some things but not others are being inconsistent.

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FrankChodorov
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Dec. 23, 2010 7:00 am

Perhaps some people just recognize that they can do some things better jointly through government than they can individually...like building Hoover Dam, an Interstate Highway System. or financing/operating the Center for Disease Control.

Perhaps if the private sector hadn't insisted we suck the life blood out of the nation to bail their fannies and cover their losses or face imminent collapse, then perhaps we wouldn't be mired down in this rich man's folly..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

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

rigel, you started speaking in all-caps out frustration back there! You asked for a liberal's perspective and you got it, so why get huffy?

If we follow your logic to the end it would mean the abolishment of gov., but when this is pointed out to most libertarians or conservatives the reply is that gov. is a necessary evil. So why don't we try a different tack?

Let's say that in exchange for allowing certain types of programs to continue that you do not agree with (Social Security I'm guessing, whatever else we know-it-all liberals want to do with your money that you don't like) we on the left will agree that the deficit will be closed by increased efficiency? That is, keep or even increase the level of services by changing the way in which they are delivered. Liberals etc. actually have lots of ideas about this; do whatever you ares and Republicans?

By the way, maybe I missed it, but after we're all left with nothing but the "History" channel (such as it has become, I don't know how many times I can watch the battle of Thermopylae - argh), are you willing to cut defense spending or not?

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

FrankChodorov wrote:

Every dollar taken out of the private economy to be spend by the goverment has a reverse multiplier effect.

=====

poly replies: Actually, when government taxes money that would be used to build financial bubbles...and instead builds a bridge with it....it puts money back into the private economy that would otherwise disappear into financial paper.

Probably the $1,000 trillion in global derivative bets is a bit much..The entire global economic output is only $47 trillion.

Applying theory that applies to industrial capitalism to financial capitalism doesn't work, Frank.

Investment into productivity , research and the like should be tax exempt. Investment in financial paper should have the hell taxed out of it..

That is, if you'd like to retain the current dysfunctional system for a bit longer before it implodes with the convergence of economic/resource/environmental collapse..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You never address why there are bubbles in the first place. They are a symptom of a government managed economy, not a free market. You seem to think that bubbles are a natural outgrowth of a free market. And no, we don't have a free market. But when the market was freer, especially when there was no central bank, there weren't any economy wide boom bust cyles.

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FrankChodorov
Joined:
Dec. 23, 2010 7:00 am

Our system has been plagued by boom/bust cycles since its inception. I'd suggest reading history.

The development of economics as a "science" was an endeavor to explain and prevent them.

Economics has become the "science" of how to funnel money into the upper tiers..The top tiers have so much of it, there is no productive use for it other than creating esoteric paper to gamble on. Bubbles.

A succesful economy is nothing more than the production and distribution of required goods. Simpler societies handle that pretty well.

Monasteries do it pretty well. What's needed gets produced and gets distributed. Unemployment is a cause for celebration...a job well done..

The produced goods continue being distributed to those requiring them. When more goods are needed, we go back to work.

You've solved the production problems, and have never dealt with an inability to distribute what's capable of being produced. Your system can't do that. It insists on pushing the means you use to distribute goods....money...into fewer and fewer pockets. Periodically, the whole thing goes bust.

Poverty amidst potential plenty seems rather stupid to me..When it goes too far, it leads to open rebellions like we see going on in the Middle East or in Argentina 10 years ago....

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

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

Currently Chatting

The GOP war on workers has killed again...

It’s time to stop the conservative's war on working people in America.

Since the birth of our nation, conservatives have always been wary of average working-class Americans having too much political or economic power. John Adams, the second President of the United States and a Federalist (precursor to today’s Republicans), was very wary of the working class, which he referred to as “the rabble.”

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