Our City Online

Messageboard - Politics

NOTE: You are viewing an archived version of the Columbus Underground forums/messageboard. As of 05/22/16 they have been closed to new comments and replies, but will remain accessible for archived searches and reference. For more information CLICK HERE

Concerned about national debt?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics Concerned about national debt?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #79422
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Here are two main points I am making you may want to read before or instead of reading the rest of this message: (1) raise taxes on the very wealthy, and (2) rebuild the US manufacturing sector via a ‘clean, renewable energy economy. Thanks, Tom Over [email protected]


    It seems that there are some people who are decrying the Obama administration’s spending on healthcare reform and on the economic stimulus package. I hear such things as “ we are sacrificing our children’s future because of all of this debt…”

    I saw the other day a clip of Katie Couric asking Obama “why should our country be spending all of this money…?”

    My guess is that people who describe themselves as conservatives, pulling out from the conservative tool bag concerns about government spending and the US national debt, are being selective in their focus.

    What about the 2000 and 2001 Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our society? Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t that result in about a trillion dollars not going into our national treasury? What about the cost in money, not to mention lives and US diplomatic capital, of the war in Iraq ?

    If we are concerned about the US national debt, why not raise taxes on the wealthiest people in our nation? If our government, following the ‘will of the people,’ were to do that, the very wealthy would still be very well off materially.

    No matter how high taxes on the very wealthy could conceivably get in this country, my guess is that their standard of living will still be pretty good. But consider by contrast, the less well enough among us. Some of us right now are choosing between paying the heating bill and buying medicine or food, for example.

    Well, to be open-minded, what about the idea that if we tax the very wealthy a lot, then that will hurt our nation’s economy because, after all, so the argument goes, it is the very wealthy people who keep our economy running by spurring innovation and creating jobs.

    To what extent does that philosophy jibe with the economic reality around us ? This is not a rhetorical question.

    But this is not just a matter of me point out the hypocrisy and selective memory of some of the people who describe themselves as conservatives. Some progressives may currently say that the Clinton presidency was, in it’s own way, conservative in its support of NAFTA and other policies.

    But that’s after the fact. My guess is that a significant portion of the people describing themselves as liberals or progressives in the 1990s seemed to have had little if any problem with Clinton’s economic policies.

    Tell me if you disagree but, globalization, which Clinton championed, has contributed to the problem of the US national debt. US companies have set up their factories in nations where they can pay people a lot less money and where environmental standards are relatively lax.

    That extra money goes to a select few within the structure of those US based corporations, many of which, in turn, find ways to avoid paying taxes. This happens at the expense of many of the non-wealthy people in the United States and at the expense of US national interest. Manufacturing jobs are lost, and with that, the manufacturing capacity of the United States has been significantly diminished. Further, the diminution of the ability of the US to actually make things somehow contributes to our nation’s national debt.

    So, what’s the solution?

    (1) Raise taxes on the very wealthy in the United States. Cutting investments into public services is not the answer. The approach of low taxes on the very

    wealthy combined w/ cuts in social programs and cuts in other public

    investments likely leads to more crime and more social strife, which

    in turn may lead to having less political freedom because of an emphasis

    on law and order. An ongoing idea is that greed is being ‘sold’ to US

    Americans as patriotism, even though greed is undermining our national

    interest in terms of loss of US manufacturing, and loss of tax revenue.

    (2) Rebuild US manufacturing sector. How can we do this? Would undoing parts of NAFTA be a part of the solution? To what extent would ‘investing in a clean, renewable energy economy’ be a part of the solution?

    Any other ideas?

    #328848

    Kirk
    Member

    I hear a lot about the evils of the Bush tax cuts. The bottom line is that people making $250,000 or more in this country also happen to create most of the jobs. This is a tired liberal argument, making money is evil, if you make too much the government should take what they consider excess. I know not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or innovator but, your punishing people who have worked incredibly hard to get where they are in many cases.

    My friend is paying his way through dental school right now. The guy is studying 80+ hours a week and working on top of that. When he’s done if he’s successful at his practice he’ll lose 60%+ (probably more if BO gets his way) of his income to local, state, and federal taxes. Yeah I’m broke too, but I’m busting my ass to get through school so I won’t be. You want to subsidize the American dream for people who don’t want work as hard to get it.

    You may be more concerned about filling the federal coffers than our own Treasury secretary. You remember him right? Tim Geitner the guy who doesn’t pay all his taxes. What about Charlie Rangel and his Dominican beach house, chairman of the house ways and means committee. Then there’s Ron Kirk, Hilda Solis, and Kathleen Sebilius. I could go on but, you get the idea…

    #328849

    The argument against the Bush Tax Cuts isn’t all that complicated.

    They didn’t work…so they were a bad idea.

    #328850

    JonMyers
    Participant

    I don’t think rebuilding the US manufacturing sector is the answer to addressing our national debt and I don’t think it’s the work of government. We’ve had enough corporate manufacturing welfare for the likes of poorly run companies like GM.

    This hope for a manufacturing resurgence is a significant factor that kills more progressive economic development in our state. The political carrot and stick between Democrats, organized labor and voters on manufacturing is disingenuous, destructive and does not reflect the present or coming reality of where economic growth engines exist in this century.

    #328851

    misskitty
    Participant

    I hear a lot about the evils of the Bush tax cuts. The bottom line is that people making $250,000 or more in this country also happen to create most of the jobs. This is a tired liberal argument, making money is evil, if you make too much the government should take what they consider excess. I know not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or innovator but, your punishing people who have worked incredibly hard to get where they are in many cases.

    I agree with this
    I feel like there should be one ideal tax scale. Not one that taxes 10% for lower class and 50% for the upper.

    #328852
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Kirk,

    what I am referring to involves setting the bar higher than $250,000 per year. People making between $250,000 and $1 million are not among those I would consider to be super-rich.

    So, if we want to address the national debt, what you do suggest? If we don’t do it by raising taxes–not on the upper-middle class nor the middle class or working classes, but on the very wealthy–and we don’t do it by rebuilding the US manufacturing sector, well, then how do we do it ?

    It’s always interesting to hear people decry government investments into infrastructure, given that, historically, people have used those services as a platform upon which to get rich.

    Millionaires and billionaires don’t create their wealth in a vacuum. As billionaire investor William Buffet himself has said, they do it within the framework of a range of natural resources and human resources, and thereby should be accountable to the public interest.

    If making money is the only motive that carries the day, a system emerges in which gains are privatized and costs are socialized.

    #328853

    Kirk
    Member

    Core_Models wrote >>
    The argument against the Bush Tax Cuts isn’t all that complicated.
    They didn’t work…so they were a bad idea.

    Your right they only worked for five years and then the derivatives market imploded, because our government was pushing homes on people that couldn’t afford them. You can blame Bush and the Congress for that so we’re all happy…

    #328854

    Kirk wrote >>

    Core_Models wrote >>
    The argument against the Bush Tax Cuts isn’t all that complicated.
    They didn’t work…so they were a bad idea.

    Your right they only worked for five years and then the derivatives market imploded, because our government was pushing homes on people that couldn’t afford them. You can blame Bush and the Congress for that so we’re all happy…

    They didn’t work at all, ever. The concept of the Bush Tax Cuts (or any trickle down economic theory) is that the tax reduction will spur investment. It didn’t. At all. They failed.

    ETA: BTW, the further idea was that they would maintain the surplus left by Clinton because the increased revenue created by these investments would outweigh the decrease created by the tax cuts. Take a look at the surplus charts and see how well that panned out.

    #328855

    dubdave00
    Participant

    The problem with tax cuts or raising taxes is that they don’t work properly without a good spending strategy. If you’re going to increase spending, you need to raise taxes or decrease spending somewhere else. If you’re going to cut taxes, then you need to decrease spending (Bush clearly did not do this).

    Politics-wise: My beef with a lot of fiscal conservatives is that a HUGE chunk of them weren’t screaming about this when Bush was president. You can watch videos of Republican Ron Paul talking about Bush’s bad fiscal policies in debates just two years ago and Republicans were laughing at him. Now, all of a sudden a democrat is elected and they’re “mad as hell” about spending. Whatever… they had their chance but instead they just got in line.

    My beef with some of my liberal friends is the idea of income taxation itself. If life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, health care, privacy, etc is a right, then shouldn’t the fruits of one’s own labor also be a right as well? Why not tax people on spending or consumption? Why tax them on their income? I don’t care if it’s “progressive income taxation” or not, the rich spend more, therefore, a taxation on spending would likely hurt the rich more anyway.

    #328856

    Kirk
    Member

    @Tom, If I had my way I’d do this.

    1)I’d repeal the 16th amendment and replace the income tax with the fair tax. That’s how we pay for a good bit of our infrastructure anyway through the gasoline sales tax.
    2)I’d make our corporate tax structure more like Ireland’s so business’s want to stay here.
    3)I’d redeploy our entire military from foreign soil including the Korean Peninsula and Western Europe.
    4)I’d remove barriers to free trade, provided that it is free unlike the trade relationships with many countries that prevent our products from entering their markets.
    5)I’d recall the loans to the banks and automakers and never operate under the premise that a company is to big to fail.
    6)Reinstate all parts of the Glass-Steagall Act
    7)Remove ethanol subsidies and impose an additional $.05 a gallon gasoline tax to be used specifically for the purpose of developing technologies that would end our dependence on fossil fuels.

    One more thing. You may not consider those earning $250k to $1mil as wealthy but, our Prez does and that’s who he plans on taxing

    #328857
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Kirk,

    like I wrote in the initial post, I am not claiming that the national debt is all the fault of conservatives or Republicans. After all, Clinton, like I said in the initial post, helped to champion NAFTA.

    But was the financial meltdown due entirely to our government pushing homes on people who couldn’t afford them via Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac ?

    Or was the meltdown also due to private financial institutions making money off of ‘credit default swaps’? Weren’t loans to non-credit-worthy recipients issued, because people in these private firms knew that they could make money off of people defaulting on their loans and they knew that no third party was overseeing this process ?

    Some people think of a false dichotomy when it comes to regulation. Sure, you may be able to correctly point out that government programs aimed at getting certain people into home ownership may have had destructive consequences for our economy.

    But that doesn’t necessarily make the case that better government oversight of our financial institutions wouldn’t do some good. Again, this is not necessarily a Dem v Repub issue.

    Many people criticize Obama for appointing some of the people who were involved with creating these problems, not to mention, as you pointed out, that some of these officials have had issues with paying their own taxes.

    I tend to relate to the stances of the Democratic party better than I relate to those of the Republican party. But I don’t think that Republicans and conservatives cause all of our problems, nor do I think that Dems and progressives have all the answers.

    I try to take a systemic perspective on problems and solutions.

    #328858

    agtw31
    Member

    Another large US company is about to shut its doors in the US and move offshore to save the company.one of my nephews says his company, Accenture,(consulting branch of now defunct Arthur Anderson), says they have a huge backlog of clients.

    they’re all wanting help restructuring their companies to shut down in the US and move overseas. They’re in trouble and no hope in sight, but lots of change required to stay solvent

    lots of jobs lost forever

    http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/09/1117/EmersonElectric.html

    #328859

    Mercurius
    Participant
    #328860

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Bush didn’t cut taxes for just the “rich”. He cut them for just about literally everyone.

    Federal income tax rates for married people filing jointly:

    (tax bracket): (rate under Clinton’s last year) / (rate under Bush’s last year): (change)

    $0-$16,700: 15% / 10%: -5%
    $16,700-$43,850: 15% / 15%: 0%
    $43,850-$67,900: 28% / 15%: -13%
    $67,900-$105,950: 28% / 25%: -3%
    $105,950-$137,050: 31% / 25%: -6%
    $137,050-$161,450: 31% / 28%: -3%
    $161,450-$208,850: 36% / 28%: -8%
    $208,850-$288,350: 36% / 33%: -3%
    $288,350-$372,950: 39.6% / 33%: -6.6%
    $372,950+: 39.6% / 35%: -4.6%

    Wait, so the middle class got the biggest tax cut from Bush? You wouldn’t know that from the way you and all the other tax cut bashers talk. As for them not working:

    A reasonable estimate for the cost of the wars in the middle east is about $1 trillion for the whole 8/going on 7 years. Homeland Security’s average budget has been about $40 billion since inception.

    Those are two of Bush’s biggest mistakes that actually have numbers backing them up. So over the course of the time since 9/11, on two things (war and one new department), about $1.5 trillion was unnecessarily spent (in my opinion). Add to that $800 billion in the bank bailout, and that’s $2.3 trillion that Bush could have trimmed from his deficit. That probably would have put him in a surplus situation.

    So yes, cutting taxes works. However, Bush didn’t just cut taxes. He expanded federal spending and the bureaucracy at the same time, which just cancels out the good effects of tax cutting.

    ——————————-

    What’s wrong with NAFTA? We need more free trade with people. We don’t have manufacturing, because of agencies like the EPA. I’m not worried about that though (except their newly granted power from our president). China and India can have dirty manufacturing. I’ll take silicon valley and other high tech industry in which the United States leads. Foreign countries can’t be the best at everything. We need who can do what best, doing just that. Taxing and having absurd tariffs only hurts the American consumer. In turn, reversing the so called good effects (jobs) of having manufacturing here, because the jobs won’t be needed (less money in hands of consumer=less demand, etc). We need to focus on being leaders (notice how China and India followed us with their industrial revolution a century later), not reverting back. No, we need to move forward, do what we can do best, and do best to serve the world and keep evolving. You’re expressing a need to evolve socially, but devolve economically. Why can’t we evolve in both?

    Anyway, if I became president, to cut the deficit I’d:

    Consolidate or eliminate about 70% of federal programs. There’s so much waste in governmental red tape and what not, it really needs to be trimmed and consolidated. Fraudulent and wasteful social programs need updated or cancelled, too.

    More specifically:

    The federal income tax would be eliminated. A national sales tax would be implemented. New free trade and the fixing of tariffs would once again bring a lot if not most of the money coming to the federal government from said tariffs (the way it used to be). Property taxes would be eliminated also. This isn’t so much economical (though it very much is) as ethical and foundational of this great nation. Humans have a basic right to private property. We don’t have that under our system. We lease land from the government. Don’t believe me? Don’t pay your property taxes.

    Anyway, my rant is over and boy do I feel good. I haven’t talked politics in a really long time.

    #328861

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Kirk wrote >>
    @Tom, If I had my way I’d do this.
    1)I’d repeal the 16th amendment and replace the income tax with the fair tax. That’s how we pay for a good bit of our infrastructure anyway through the gasoline sales tax.
    2)I’d make our corporate tax structure more like Ireland’s so business’s want to stay here.
    3)I’d redeploy our entire military from foreign soil including the Korean Peninsula and Western Europe.
    4)I’d remove barriers to free trade, provided that it is free unlike the trade relationships with many countries that prevent our products from entering their markets.
    5)I’d recall the loans to the banks and automakers and never operate under the premise that a company is to big to fail.
    6)Reinstate all parts of the Glass-Steagall Act
    7)Remove ethanol subsidies and impose an additional $.05 a gallon gasoline tax to be used specifically for the purpose of developing technologies that would end our dependence on fossil fuels.
    One more thing. You may not consider those earning $250k to $1mil as wealthy but, our Prez does and that’s who he plans on taxing

    Pretty much agree… except I’d eliminate all subsidies. They discourage improvement/innovation and reward mediocrity.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

The forum ‘Politics’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Subscribe below: