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Thread: Presidential Rankings of the United States - accurate?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    zraver,



    i agree with everything you say (except for the bush tax rates permanent part). a national sales tax would make the system slightly more regressive, but could be balanced by having exceptions for say, food items. scaling up the tax rate for the $1mil+ up group would have the desirable effect of slightly arresting an expanding income gap and making a bigger connection between wealth and work.

    as for the bush tax cuts, they need to be rethought into the context of still greater tax cuts for science/technology firms and business tax cuts. i'd get rid of the tax cuts above $170K earners and instead redirect them all into slashing the dividend/corporate tax rate.
    The only things I like about a national sales tax is that 1- hopefully it premepts a VAT and 2- it makes all citizens who engage in commerce tax payers. Aside from that I do not like regressive tax schemes. Although I would prefer a minimum income tax for every adult citizen so that everyone at least pays something and gets to experiance the reality of taxation.

    As for income taxes, I don't think we should shrink the wealth gap by taking the richest peoples money via puntive taxes. The capitol of the wealthy is what we need to get into the economy. if anyhting we should be looking at a tax scheme that has incentives for them to use thier money domestically. America's wealth is shrinking, either fleeing over seas, beign exported for cheap goods or wasted by government.

    We need a higher earner and corporate tax scheme that gives benefits to companies willing to produce here. The more they are willing to produce here, the bigger the tax cut up to 50% of the total liability. We should also cut taxes for companies that export finished goods up to 50% of the tax liability. Thus for exmaple, if Honda Motors built a new series of plants in North carolina to build trucks made with 100% domestically produced parts for export to Africa they would see a 100% reduction on the tax liability. This is the only real way to compete with Chinese labor costs.

    yes the transition to the service economy is normal, but America is not only going broke, it is becoming over educated. The law of supply and demand applies to degrees as much as salt. We need a manufacturing and vocational base to provide decent jobs for the citizens who are not suited by termperment for higher education.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    As for income taxes, I don't think we should shrink the wealth gap by taking the richest peoples money via puntive taxes. The capitol of the wealthy is what we need to get into the economy. if anyhting we should be looking at a tax scheme that has incentives for them to use thier money domestically. America's wealth is shrinking, either fleeing over seas, beign exported for cheap goods or wasted by government.
    Exactly, what higher taxes for them will mean is they move more of it into a non-taxable form.

  3. #63
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    zraver,

    As for income taxes, I don't think we should shrink the wealth gap by taking the richest peoples money via puntive taxes.
    i wouldn't want it too high either-- i'd say 45%, which is far away from the 55-60% rate at which the laffer curve -finally- starts becoming applicable. i think having the rest at 30% and 25% respectively would work, if we add something like a 5% sales tax on top of that. we'd probably still need to make some pretty significant cuts to medicare and SS, though.

    it'd be balanced by slashing the corporate/business taxes, which will make the US a much more attractive place to invest.

    yes the transition to the service economy is normal, but America is not only going broke, it is becoming over educated.
    i don't see that; perhaps you might mean education in the wrong places-- for instance, not enough people headed into the "hard sciences". most of our PhDs in those areas are foreign born.

    basically, i see the US education system as wonderful in college and beyond and an absolute mess before. i do agree that i'd like to see some sort of vocational school system set up.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I sure hope not. We can't afford to have a self-righteous socialist with an ego the size of Napoleon running this country for more than a year, let alone 8. Look how much damage he has done in just 1 year.

    Actually, to be fair to Obama, he inherited the democrat congress from Bush. The decline started after the socialist take over of 2006.



    It might. At least that's one of the campaign promises he kept. He said we would disengage in Iraq and ramp up the Afghan war. Supposedly to crush the taliban. So far it looks like we're trying to build a western democracy in Afghanistan rather than crush the taliban or capture OBL.



    I think we were better 4 years ago.

    Bush's failed policy was way better than any successful Obama policy.
    I strongly disagree with you on many points. That remark about the ego is widely off the mark and I will ignore that. You could say the same thing about Ronald Reagan and yet people loved him for his "optimism." I think your bias is strongly skewing that characterist trait of Obama.

    As for Afghanistan, Bush did not tell the public the real truth about the sad affairs of Afghanistan until Obama took over and there were many media releases about the current state of affairs in Afghanistan. As for the economy, don't forget that once Obama took office, one of his first acts (and something that he may come to regret politically) was to end the accounting gimmicks and tricks that Bush and his administration employed over his two terms to portray the Budget, the deficit, the return of taxes, and the state of the economy in better light. With one stroke of his pen, Obama completely revealed the true state of the affairs, and as the details started coming out, the majority of the conservatives with an axe to grind (like you) started blaming Obama, decrying that it was much better a couple years ago.

    I am a conservative but this Obama-bashing is kinda becoming ridiculous because it is just dog-piling with no factual basis. Obama is not actually bad like LBJ or Carter was. You have to remember as there is population momentum (as you are founded using in rebuttal to several posters about China's population growth and decline), there is economy momentum. Currently, bank lending is at all time low and it is not Obama's fault because he can't do anything about it short of unilaterally forcing the banks to lend which will make you and other conservatives more madder. So all he can do is lay the seeds and the foundation for growth and that takes time. And I see signs of him doing that.

    I look at my fellow conservatives and I see them being really short-sighted and looking at the trees instead of the forest. So forgive me if this conservative refuses to join the Obama bashing. Besides I really don't like the Tea Party because I see them as the equivalent white version of the Black Panther Party. Tea party is a party of angry white people and I strongly view them with great suspicion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    I oppose regressive tax schemes, they hurt the poor. A progressive tax scheme works better because at the end of the day the people using the most welfare are the rich. What we need to do is make the Bush tax rates permanent, pass a balanced budget amendment and accept that social welfare is not only a handout but a tool to keep the producing class safe. We should also move more fully from hand outs to hand ups.
    Then you are a socialist! You should be voting for the Democrats or Obama!!

    Anyway, about the regressive versus progressive, the people using the most welfare is not the rich!! It is the poor because they consume the most resources and demands the most resources. The rich pay out of their own pockets. If you are thinking about subsidies, remember that most of the subsidies come in the form of low interest loans and tax breaks and the businesses taking the low interests rate loans pay more than the value of the low interest rate loans in the form of increasing economic activity that can be further taxed, increasing the coffers.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    zraver,



    i wouldn't want it too high either-- i'd say 45%, which is far away from the 55-60% rate at which the laffer curve -finally- starts becoming applicable. i think having the rest at 30% and 25% respectively would work, if we add something like a 5% sales tax on top of that. we'd probably still need to make some pretty significant cuts to medicare and SS, though.

    it'd be balanced by slashing the corporate/business taxes, which will make the US a much more attractive place to invest.



    i don't see that; perhaps you might mean education in the wrong places-- for instance, not enough people headed into the "hard sciences". most of our PhDs in those areas are foreign born.

    basically, i see the US education system as wonderful in college and beyond and an absolute mess before. i do agree that i'd like to see some sort of vocational school system set up.
    I do not agree with the rate of 45% because that is equivalent to half of the pay and the pay is based on your performance and how long you have worked. Why should you be punished for success which you have put in sweat and hard toil to achieve that status? Like doctors who had to endure 5 to 6 years working as residents and earning crappy pay and when they finish residency, they start getting salaries above $250K and they have to give up half of their pay???

    And let us not forget that people cannot work forever but live longer so they need to rely on the savings but they (retired) have to deal with the double whammy of inflation and taxes, which actually causes a decline in their savings to the point where they can become desistute.

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    About Lincoln and his supposed "extra constitutional" use of powers, let me give you an analogy, when your house is on fire, you don't stand around and quibble whether you have the right to use your neighbor's fire extinguisher or hose or whether you can trespass your neighbor's property or break a window or door to use the very equipment that will save your home. And likewise if your neighborhood is on the verge of being on fire, and you need to save your neighborhood, you don't stand around and quibble whether you have the authority to create a firebreak line that would essentially require a first row of houses being controlled burned (i.e., those houses are toasted but will serve as a fire barrier) to save the neighborhood.

    That is what Lincoln did. If he had sat around and quibble about the constitutionality of the proposed actions which his predecessor, James Buchanan, did and as a consequence, James Buchanan is consistently voted as one of the worst Presidents by historians and common folks around, the whole nation would have ceased to exist and may have created the present day scenario where USA would be divided into, not two countries, but 4 or 5 countries and the continental USA would be forever embroiled in wars and conflicts like Europe prior to post WWII Europe.

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    Wow Blade, tell us how you really feel. I mean, where to reciprocate?

    Couple of things about banks lending. Obama GAVE the banks OUR hard-earned money to bail them out of THEIR bad decision making. The least the banks could do is lend the money back to the people they acquired it from. But no, the banks are too big to fail. In the meantime, the "too big to fail" is, in fact, the American people who are losing their homes and have you seen the poverty level recently? The highest since 1930.

    I wasn't a big Bush fan either, but I feel our country is rapidly going into reverse here. I'm sure Obama has good intentions, but his agenda just isn't fitting the dire circumstances that need attending to at the present time.

    The banks and auto industry could have sought shelter protection in Bankruptcy Court like the rest of Amerca. First priority should have been jobs and the mortgage crisis. Those two are severely lacking, and the tea party is the result of that.

    I'll add more later.

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    julie,

    Couple of things about banks lending. Obama GAVE the banks OUR hard-earned money to bail them out of THEIR bad decision making. The least the banks could do is lend the money back to the people they acquired it from. But no, the banks are too big to fail. In the meantime, the "too big to fail" is, in fact, the American people who are losing their homes and have you seen the poverty level recently? The highest since 1930.
    check your timeline-- the bank bailout was the bush administration's (rightful) doing.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    BM,

    I do not agree with the rate of 45% because that is equivalent to half of the pay and the pay is based on your performance and how long you have worked. Why should you be punished for success which you have put in sweat and hard toil to achieve that status? Like doctors who had to endure 5 to 6 years working as residents and earning crappy pay and when they finish residency, they start getting salaries above $250K and they have to give up half of their pay???

    And let us not forget that people cannot work forever but live longer so they need to rely on the savings but they (retired) have to deal with the double whammy of inflation and taxes, which actually causes a decline in their savings to the point where they can become desistute.
    so tell me, what's a "fair" rate to you? what makes 35% more fair than 45%?

    btw, note that i'm placing MY cap at $1 mil+, precisely to avoid punishing those successful professionals whom do make roughly 100-250K. how many beginning doctors do you know whom make that much?

    moreover, once you get above 1+mil in net worth, the ability to leverage that and make considerably more money becomes far easier. that's part of the reason why we have an expanding wealth gap-- because of the expanded ease in money making money. there's less connection between labor and wealth at that stage.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    julie,



    check your timeline-- the bank bailout was the bush administration's (rightful) doing.
    Congress voted on it. Banks still are not lending to small businesses which was a condition, and nobody is holding them to it. We've created a system that encourages bankers to trade, not to lend, and this Administration is not enforcing the goals of TARP. It also isn't doing anything about housing. THAT has been a total failure as well, BECAUSE nobody is enforcing the conditions of the TARP program, which is the responsibility of the CURRENT administration.

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    julie,

    Congress voted on it. Banks still are not lending to small businesses which was a condition, and nobody is holding them to it. We've created a system that encourages bankers to trade, not to lend, and this Administration is not enforcing the goals of TARP. It also isn't doing anything about housing. THAT has been a total failure as well, BECAUSE nobody is enforcing the conditions of the TARP program, which is the responsibility of the CURRENT administration.
    not quite. TARP loses its teeth the second the banks pay back the loans, and the majority of the banks have already done so-- including the big ones such as Citigroup, BoA, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, etc). so, unless you're actually for socialism/communism-- what do you expect the government to do once the banks have already paid up? (although nice attempt in shifting bush's TARP to obama.)

    and besides, aren't you supposed to be conservative now? what's with the expectation for government to "do something" about banks not lending and housing?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #73
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    This is what I'm referring to Astralis:

    We haven't heard the progress or results of the TARP in a long time. This report states that:

    The Treasury has not adopted a "rigorous" approach or developed the professional team necessary for an adequate compliance system to ensure that companies receiving exceptional assistance under tarp adhere to special restrictions that were imposed to protect taxpayer interests.
    http://www.sigtarp.gov/reports/audit...%206_29_10.pdf

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    that's fine, and it's fair criticism. however, note that the main criticisms in that report is that the Treasury auditing process is too slow and it relies too heavily upon company reporting. (by the way, note that this was the exact criticism that was used back in jan 2009, before obama even got into office.)

    that's a different level of criticism than "Banks still are not lending to small businesses which was a condition, and nobody is holding them to it. We've created a system that encourages bankers to trade, not to lend, and this Administration is not enforcing the goals of TARP" or "Obama GAVE the banks OUR hard-earned money to bail them out of THEIR bad decision making".

    with the former unavoidable the second banks pay off their TARP, and the latter not true, by your admittance.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Zakaria: Don't Forget That The Bailouts Worked - Newsweek

    A Lonely Success
    Don’t forget: the bailouts worked.

    September is the month for anniversaries from hell. Last week we remembered 9/11, and this week it’s time to recall the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Most of the discussion about the financial crisis has focused on a question that won’t go away: could the fall of Lehman have been prevented? For many this was the cardinal error that sparked the crisis. Others believe that Lehman was the precipitating factor, but that the financial system was so highly leveraged that something or other would eventually have broken its back.

    We will never know what would have happened if Lehman had not failed. But we can be fairly sure that without its collapse, it would have been impossible to shock the political system into action. In the month after the fall, the U.S. government made a series of massive moves to restore stability to the financial system. And it’s clear that those actions saved the American—and thus the global—economy from total collapse.

    Consider the facts. After the fall of Lehman, credit froze in the U.S. economy. Banks stopped lending to anyone, even Fortune 500 companies with gold-plated credit. People couldn’t get consumer and car loans at any price, businesses couldn’t get short-term loans to meet payroll. Private-sector borrowing—the lifeblood of modern economies—fell from 15 percent of GDP in late 2007 to minus 1 percent of GDP in late 2008.

    The effects on the broader economy were immediate. GDP shrank by 6 percent in one quarter. Some 1.7 million people lost their jobs, the biggest drop in employment in 65 years, which was then exceeded in the next quarter when 2.1 million jobs evaporated. The net worth of American households decreased by $5 trillion, falling at the unprecedented rate of 30 percent a year. The worldwide numbers did not look much better. The contraction in global trade in late 2008 and early 2009 was worse than in 1929 and 1930. In other words, we were surely headed for something that looked like a Great Depression.

    The U.S. government’s actions stopped the fall. Between the passage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the massive quantitative easing of the Federal Reserve, markets realized that the government was backstopping the financial system, that credit was beginning to flow again, and that if no one else was going to inject capital into the system, the U.S. government would do so. Part substance, part symbolism, the effect was to restore confidence and stability to the system. In fact, the financial system bounced back so fast that the government will likely recover almost 90 percent of the funds it committed during those months, making this one of the cheapest financial bailouts in history.

    The best evidence that TARP worked is that now, most people think it was unnecessary. In fact, about 60 percent of the country thinks it was a bad idea. Congressmen and senators who supported it now distance themselves; the most powerful line of attack against any of them tends to be that they voted for the bailouts. JFK said that victory has 100 fathers, and defeat is an orphan. But this is the strange case of a success that no one wants to claim.

    Bank bailouts have always been unpopular. People hate to pay the bills for other people’s improvidence, and they detest having to do so for rich people. Viewed in moral terms, TARP is unconscionable. Financial institutions created the mess, and yet they were the ones being bailed out. But governance is sometimes about practical realities. Had the financial system gone under, the American economy would have come to a standstill. It very nearly did. We had to save the banks to save the economy.

    The remarkable aspect of TARP, in retrospect, was the bipartisanship that made it possible. Hank Paulson and Barney Frank became comrades in arms. George W. Bush cooperated with Nancy Pelosi. Conservative Republicans endorsed a vast government appropriation. Liberal Democrats supported a bank bailout. The fact that people of wildly differing political persuasions all came to the conclusion that this was the right policy should be some proof that it was not ideologically motivated. For a moment in September 2008, Washington worked.

    Alas, it won’t happen again. It took a crisis to concentrate the minds of politicians. The American system had a heart attack and we responded fast and well. Unfortunately, the problems we face in the future are less like heart attacks and more like cancer—problems that if unattended will grow and metastasize. In the long run, though, they’ll have the same effect on the patient.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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