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Shek
19 Sep 10,, 16:55
I saw this piece posted to a friend's Facebook account, talking about how this doctor-lawyer couple had a unbelievable sense of entitlement.


In Which Mr. Deling Responds to Someone Who Might Be Professor Todd Henderson - Grasping Reality with Both Hands (http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/09/in-which-mr-deling-responds-to-someone-who-might-be-professor-todd-henderson.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)

Professor Henderson's problem is that he thinks that he ought to be able to pay off student loans, contribute to retirement savings vehicles, build equity, drive new cars, live in a big expensive house, send his children to private school, and still have plenty of cash at the end of the month for the $200 restaurant meals, the $1000 a night resort hotel rooms, and the $75,000 automobiles. And even half a million dollars a year cannot be you all of that.


The above citation includes words that DeLong is putting into Henderson's mouth, but the question it begs for me is, "Who has the sense of entitlement?"

1) The private citizens who took on financial risk by taking out huge student loans to finance nearly a decade of graduate school so they could become a doctor and a lawyer, both jobs that end also have a high financial upside, who are upset that politicians want to pick their pocketbooks?

2) The politicians to fund programs that give themselves the best opportunity at re-election at the expense of others?

I think it's completely fair for the Henderson's to worry about tax hikes on themselves that will take away what they have earned, and DeLong's quip about them shutting down their investments for the future to be able to consume more is telling about his argument - he wants to make them out to be totally unreasonable and greedy because that's what they truly are in his mind.

Roosveltrepub
19 Sep 10,, 17:06
That assumes defense spending is done to buy votes doesn't it? Medicare and Social security are paid for by taxes which when you look at the amount paid by the average worker and the man making 500k the entitlement to paying a lower rate seems to be the Dr's. FICA payments cover our defense spending and not much of anything more.

Roosveltrepub
19 Sep 10,, 17:12
I think it's completely fair for the Henderson's to worry about tax hikes on themselves that will take away what they have earned, and DeLong's quip about them shutting down their investments for the future to be able to consume more is telling about his argument - he wants to make them out to be totally unreasonable and greedy because that's what they truly are in his mind. So if they revert to the old rates their life style will be affected? Is it better to continue to borrow 20 percent of what we spend? Do those who are retiring in 2020 who will be dead before social securities surplus have a right to be angry the surplus was blown on taxcuts which went disproportinately to those paying a much smaller percentage of their income? I say keep the same rates and uncap ol' social security since it isn't really a dedicated tax anymore it's considered the same as fica payments.

Shek
20 Sep 10,, 02:24
That assumes defense spending is done to buy votes doesn't it? Medicare and Social security are paid for by taxes which when you look at the amount paid by the average worker and the man making 500k the entitlement to paying a lower rate seems to be the Dr's. FICA payments cover our defense spending and not much of anything more.

Defense is good for re-election - brings dollars back to the district (F-35 alternate engine anyone?) - it's patriotic. While it's hard to separate motivation on the issue, politics frequently trumps DoD.

Shek
20 Sep 10,, 02:27
So if they revert to the old rates their life style will be affected? Is it better to continue to borrow 20 percent of what we spend? Do those who are retiring in 2020 who will be dead before social securities surplus have a right to be angry the surplus was blown on taxcuts which went disproportinately to those paying a much smaller percentage of their income? I say keep the same rates and uncap ol' social security since it isn't really a dedicated tax anymore it's considered the same as fica payments.

Red herring to the question I posed. Is government entitled to your money - or put another way, why should anger be directed at those whose money will be taken when it was the politicians (both sides of the aisle) that failed to balance a checkbook like this family?

bigross86
20 Sep 10,, 03:11
To put an extremely simplified outlook on things: Taxes will always be there. The government will always take our money. One day they will raise taxes, one day the taxes will drop.

In the end, every household and individual needs to look at themselves to balance their checkbook to have enough money to live, and if that means sacrificing certain things, so be it. Are the Henderson's allowed to complain about the tax hikes? Of course. Is Mr. DeLong allowed to criticize them for complaining? Of course.

Personally, I think it would be much simpler if everyone were to mind their own damned business, keep their noses in their own wallets, and stop whining, bitching and complaining so much, but that's just me...

dalem
20 Sep 10,, 03:28
Rosie-

If you founded a country that derived its funding from citizen taxes, what would be your ideal tax rate?

-dale

Roosveltrepub
20 Sep 10,, 22:01
Red herring to the question I posed. Is government entitled to your money - or put another way, why should anger be directed at those whose money will be taken when it was the politicians (both sides of the aisle) that failed to balance a checkbook like this family?

I think the question is simplistic and doesn't factor in some truths. What type of Dr? Is He an orthopedic surgeon doing hip replacements paid for by Medicare? A cardiologist etc. Dr's recieve quite a large percentage of their income from federal coffers don't they? Does He have the right to complain about a 3 percent tax increase when you compare what He's charging the goverment for a 15 minute visit with a patient?

On the face of it the goVerment is not entitled to a nickel of my money or his but....

Roosveltrepub
20 Sep 10,, 23:32
Rosie-

If you founded a country that derived its funding from citizen taxes, what would be your ideal tax rate?

-dale

Ahh the conservative mind.....taxrates are disconnected to spending
Dale I would set rates so the revenue equaled the demanded services.

bonehead
21 Sep 10,, 07:40
American Indians used to hunt and fish all day and screwed all night. They never filed taxes. Why the hell did we stray from that?

dalem
21 Sep 10,, 07:52
Ahh the conservative mind.....taxrates are disconnected to spending
Dale I would set rates so the revenue equaled the demanded services.

About what I'd expect. Thanks for answering.

-dale

Julie
21 Sep 10,, 13:14
American Indians used to hunt and fish all day and screwed all night. They never filed taxes. Why the hell did we stray from that?Remember what we did to the American Indians? :confused:

Monash
21 Sep 10,, 16:29
Rosie-

If you founded a country that derived its funding from citizen taxes, what would be your ideal tax rate?

-dale

Dalem, just a couple of thoughts:

Firstly ALL countries derive their funding via taxes imposed on their own citizens (I include companies here because companies are owned by citizens so in the end all taxes are paid by them). Trying to tax the citizens of other countries would to be -

A) An exercise in futility: and
B) Would tend to get you laughed at by those other countries.

Secondly as has been referred to by "Rosie" taxes must (over the long term) cover expenditure. Since in a democracy tax rates are set by elected officials whose job is to interpret the will/expectations of the electorate the total tax should logically be set at rate that will cover the services demanded.

Thirdly, human nature being what it is each individual voter would prefer to receive the benefits derived from taxation (health care, education defence etc) without personally having to pay taxes required to fund them (tax the other guy ) and politicians wanting to be "popular" like to project the idea that we all can have our cake and eat it too. They also tend over time to feed our expectations by offering to provide "new" services in an attempt to be re-elected. Result - these new services become "must haves" - e.g. universal education for all children, free childhood immunisations, national parks, public libraries, the list goes on. The result is that over time the level of service we expect our governments to provide increases yet as citizens we constantly demand lower taxes.

(By the way I'm not implying that any of the examples given above are bad/wasteful or that they should not necessarily be provided by governments. Indeed over time economies of scale and technological improvements tend to make certain public goods/services cheaper to provide. What I am saying is that in the end there is no such thing as a free lunch.) Ultimately a constantly increasing public deficit is indicative of unrealistic expectations on the part of both politicians and citizens and is unsustainable. There is no such thing as an ideal tax rate - a nation needs to determine what services it wishes to provide its citizens over the long term and then set the tax rate accordingly.

Cheers

dalem
21 Sep 10,, 18:51
Dalem, just a couple of thoughts:


So what's YOUR ideal tax rate?

-dale

Monash
22 Sep 10,, 04:49
So what's YOUR ideal tax rate?

-dale

Depends on the level of services you expect the government to provide and the individual circumstances of the state/government involved. I'm not an expert on government finance or economics so I couldn't begin to comment of the exact rate (total level) of taxation that would be best for the U.S. I suspect some other members of this board could do a much better job of answering that question. I could extend an opinion on the type of taxes that could be raised but not the exact rate. (That’s a question best answered by the Congressional Budget Office.) Also I believe you have a high powered Deficit Commission which is supposed to report back to both houses in December this year.

The Commission’s report should be a real eye opener, of course all bets are off as to whether anyone in government actually has the "strength of character" to implement its recommendations. There are some tough choices which will have to be made, not immediately but soon i.e. the next 3-5 years.

Shek
22 Sep 10,, 16:47
uuRmIZtpYFU

Dreadnought
22 Sep 10,, 19:07
Seeing the need to throw some fuel on the fire. I offer this article on Obama's Aunt as another crazy person obsessed that the U.S. owes her something. Sense of Entitlement? You decide.

President Obama's Aunt Zeituni Onyango: The System Took Advantage Of Me - wbztv.com (http://wbztv.com/local/obama.aunt.zeituni.2.1921954.html)

As far as Im concerned the only thing the US "owes" her from a taxpayer standpoint is a foot in the backside in the direcion of the country she came from.:rolleyes:

highsea
23 Sep 10,, 21:42
If you founded a country that derived its funding from citizen taxes, what would be your ideal tax rate?

-dalehighsealand would have a very limited federal mandate. I would set a consumption tax that covered all the required business of the federal gov't like nat'l defense, some infrastructure, only the necessary things to maintain liberty. 5-7% ought to cover it. Everyone pays, no exceptions.

Different people expect different levels of "services" above the essentials, and these would be offered up on a menu. You could opt in to any of the services you thought were essential to you, and be taxed accordingly to cover those costs as a percentage of your income, broadly applied to the group. If you wanted a gov't pension, you could join that group and pay that percentage. Same for medical care, unemployment insurance, food stamps, education, etc.

The level of government safety net would be chosen by the individual, and if you didn't pay in you didn't receive the benefit. You could opt out anytime, and still be elegible for whatever the level of services you had already paid for. You could opt in even if you were unemployed and had no income, but you would be taxed on future income at a level that made up the balance, even if you opted out when you got your first job.

I would make an exception for the truly handicapped who were unable to work, or were made disabled by military service. They would still get basic services (food, shelter, medical care) paid for by the consumption tax. But it would be no where near the level of DI recipients we have today (which is something like 1 in 8 people in America- huge amount of fraud going on today wrt DI).

States would be left to do as their elected officlais choose, and people could decide where they wanted to live based on the state's individual policies.

Roosveltrepub
23 Sep 10,, 21:53
highsealand would have a very limited federal mandate. I would set a consumption tax that covered all the required business of the federal gov't like nat'l defense, some infrastructure, only the necessary things to maintain liberty. 5-7% ought to cover it. Everyone pays, no exceptions.

Different people expect different levels of "services" above the essentials, and these would be offered up on a menu. You could opt in to any of the services you thought were essential to you, and be taxed accordingly to cover those costs as a percentage of your income, broadly applied to the group. If you wanted a gov't pension, you could join that group and pay that percentage. Same for medical care, unemployment insurance, food stamps, education, etc.

The level of government safety net would be chosen by the individual, and if you didn't pay in you didn't receive the benefit. You could opt out anytime, and still be elegible for whatever the level of services you had already paid for. You could opt in even if you were unemployed and had no income, but you would be taxed on future income at a level that made up the balance, even if you opted out when you got your first job.

I would make an exception for the truly handicapped who were unable to work, or were made disabled by military service. They would still get basic services (food, shelter, medical care) paid for by the consumption tax. But it would be no where near the level of DI recipients we have today (which is something like 1 in 8 people in America- huge amount of fraud going on today wrt DI).

States would be left to do as their elected officlais choose, and people could decide where they wanted to live based on the state's individual policies.

In principle I agree but in the end we wouldn't let all those old people who did the American thing of the last 3 decades and took the cash over a social security pension die starving in the streets. Too many people are irresponsible and as a whole the political will to allow old people to starve would not be present in a democracy. For years I have paid into social security far more than it costs and will be dead before the IOUs are gone. I am grateful I have saved and have a pension because by the time the cuts hit in 15 years it wouldn't be enough to live poor on w/o charity. The cuts will come too. Why should our children be willing to pay back IOUs we amassed to finance taxcuts.

highsea
23 Sep 10,, 22:27
Can't you phase yourself more clearly Rosie?

What do you mean "Too many people are irresponsible and as a whole the political will to allow old people to starve would not be present in a democracy."?

You think that people who didn't opt in to the safety net would be given it anyway? Is that what you are trying to say?

If that happens, then you increase the cost to the ones who pay in. Eventually they will vote to stop the practice. You see, I don't care how much it costs- only that it remains actuarily sound. The people who participate get to decide what is covered and what isn't. If you aren't in the program, you don't have a vote.

Roosveltrepub
23 Sep 10,, 22:39
Can't you phase yourself more clearly Rosie?

What do you mean "Too many people are irresponsible and as a whole the political will to allow old people to starve would not be present in a democracy."?

You think that people who didn't opt in to the safety net would be given it anyway? Is that what you are trying to say?

If that happens, then you increase the cost to the ones who pay in. Eventually they will vote to stop the practice. You see, I don't care how much it costs- only that it remains actuarily sound. The people who participate get to decide what is covered and what isn't. If you aren't in the program, you don't have a vote.

I think it was pretty clear what I meant. Even you understood it.

highsea
23 Sep 10,, 22:52
I think it was pretty clear what I meant. Even you understood it.I had to read it 5 times to torture some meaning out of it.

In any case, I answered your question.

Incidentally, your comment on SSI is right on- the system has been mismanaged by the ones who were charged with maintaining it's solvency. Now people like you and me who have been paying in for 30+ years are screwed.

It followed the path of all the liberal governent policies- that is to say it started out as one thing and morphed into something else. SSI was supposed to be just an old-age income. Then later things like suplemental security, disability, survivor benefits got added in and now it's a monster. 1 in 8 Americans collecting disability. Do you think 1 in 8 Americans are truly unable to work at any job? I don't.

You're only screwed out of your 6.2%. I have to pay twice that for myself, plus the 6.2% for every employee.

If you were given the option to get back your half and opt out today, would you take it? I sure as hell would. I knew 30 years ago it was a scam.

Privatize SSI? Hell yes, I say.

USSWisconsin
24 Sep 10,, 00:56
7% sounds very optomistic, how about 10% ? I could live with that.

Blue
24 Sep 10,, 01:00
uuRmIZtpYFU

I saw this and still can't believe Mr. "tingle up his leg" is criticizing the messiah. I think Chris has been body-snatched!:rolleyes: