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  #226  
Old 09-18-2017, 04:37 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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Precisely, and have you considered the possibility that government services are the less-efficient but the more economical choice? Have you not considered that Universal Health Care is the economical choice that benefits the most people possible?
Not at the federal level. It would stunt innovation and require taxes and regulatory burden that would hurt the economy. Someone like me would end up paying more because I am healthy. In the US almost 50% of all health care expenses are from 5% of the population while the bottom 50% of the population only spends 3% of it. The per capita comparisons don't factor that in or the relative wealth of the US and the demand in elasticity of healthcare. Philosophically I find something wrong with cradle to the grave welfare benefits. I want to be able to customize my plan to my specific needs instead of having the government infantilize me and make those choice for me. Any sort of government solution should target people who want it but can't afford it specifically and leave me out of it.

We should take Medicaid and distribute the way Canada does to states to target the most vulnerable while reining in malpractice reform and encouraging other cost cutting measures at the federal level. The states can administer these problems. The only change I want in my healthcare is it break it away from employers so it is more personal and portable.
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You are speaking ignorance out of your element, PJ. As an analogy, you are essentially blaming "servicemen" for screw ups and policies of politicians in charge of the military. But imagine that would have to buy your own equipment out of your personal money if you wanted to serve in the military or do your job properly. Congrats on the life of your average teacher in America. I am not suggesting that teachers are perfect or blameless, but your soapbox moralizing is inappropriately misplaced.
I have been to public school so I am not out of my element. My mother is a teacher as well. There are some really lousy teachers that are unfireable. Unions cater to the bottom denominator and make it more difficult to excel at your job and be recognized for it. Good teachers and students are the ones that suffer from this policy. Cut out the bloat and there would be more money for instruction.

We had to borrow equipment from the State Department to do our jobs. Our equipment had calibration cycles and it was actually illegal to use it if it wasn't calibrated. If the State Department didn't share a base with us we would have had lulls where our equipment would be out of the shop and we couldn't perform maintenance on anything to prevent it from breaking or to repair it.
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PJ, North Carolina weathered the hit to manufacturing as it diversified its economic sector (e.g. pharmaceutical, bio-engineering, banking, etc.), but my home county and the real, non-statistical lives of the people who live there did not. Growth is not always equal in the state or between states, and this is something that your theory-crafting of economic policy does not seem to get: real people have lives. This is not just a gig for your vain self-aggrandizing economic preaching. It astounds me that for all your shit about how "academics" play games with theoretical economic policies that affect real lives, how callously you seem to disregard real lives of real working people so that you yourself can sermonize your own ideologically-driven theoretical economic policies from an equally aloof and detached-from-reality perspective. You are just as bad sometimes as what you preach against.
What is the point of comments like this? I don't have some fringe economic position. There is enough distrust and lack of faith in the government that we have congressional majorities, state governing majorities, and a president that feels the same way. We know it benefits some people over others. I don't think it benefits workers that don't receive paychecks from the government in any way. My opinion would mean nothing if it didn't move elections.
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Of course you are certain of that outcome when you point all blame and lay all fault at the feet of government spending. Nearly everything. I'm genuinely surprised that you have not blamed the terrible quality of Warlords of Draenor on big government spending. You're that much of a one note song. Given the higher costs of living in other heavily privatized urban areas (e.g. San Francisco, New York), do you honestly believe that costs of living in DC would go down if you slashed government spending? Sure, it would be cheaper for those agencies if you relocated said agencies, but the US government already does have localized agency branches across the US. There is also an economic benefit of having a centralized location for federal government agencies. And I strongly suspect that the opposite of what you predict would occur for DC's cost of living having witnessed it in action elsewhere.
Well yeah. The federal government is way more powerful than it should be. It requires decentralization and scaling back and the lives of Americans would improve.
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Because, again, the federal government is always to blame.
In the case of housing I think it is. They can stick to other things like protecting the environment or defense.
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There's also less demand to live in Indiana than elsewhere, PJ, so it's not as if Indiana is anywhere near the Candy Mountain you make it out to be. And where else have you lived apart from Utopindiana and Europeland? And where are you living in Indiana? It's not as if the costs of living in Indiana is comparative across the board to your military base in Germany. There are cheap places for housing development in both Germany and Indiana. (And US states are also different from nation-states, especially when comparing the 17th largest state in GDP with the 4th largest nation state in GDP.) My two-bedroom apartment in Vienna is larger, less expensive, and with more amnesties than an equivalent apartment in many other major US cities. I was essentially paying more per month for living in a much smaller graduate school-subsidized Berkeley dormatory room than in living in my current flat.
I have lived in Michigan and in the Mid Atlantic region. I have also done my research. If people like the European model for the economy they should move there.

I think that is a problem with Berkeley itself. It is also a lot of government spending concentrated in an area.
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Your religious fervor for capitalism and the free market dwarfs your Christian piety. You have the most blind faith in your ideological brand of capitalism, and I am stunned by the sheer conviction you have in how the policies you advocate for would produce incredibly particular outcomes with positive results without any negative repercussions.
/yawn

I think the private sector does some things better and the government does some things better. The balance is shifted too far in the direction of the government. Some of the responsibilities of the government need to be reorganized to better the lives of Americans. Not exactly this straw man you constructed.
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  #227  
Old 09-20-2017, 09:54 AM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Why are any right-wingers upset about the Equifax hack? Don't they believe the free market will take care of the problem?
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  #228  
Old 09-21-2017, 04:01 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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The PPACA is a really odd beast. It doesn't do anything to lower the cost of healthcare. It simply forces people to buy it with the individual mandate, buy more of it with the essential health benefits, and provides subsidies to people who can't afford it. The last one is probably the only thing that should actually happen. Still combined all of it is a subsidy to the medical industry. Any sort of negotiation to reduce costs would have been rejected by them. The rigor of schooling for medicine and biotechnology is a prerequisite to provide people with healthcare.

The targeted tax on medical devices was probably because that industry didn't support Obama enough. Biomedical technology can be an effective way to allow for the same number of doctors to care for more people and is something the US is a world leader in. The act also does little to curb the excess in malpractice litigation and defensive medicine that detracts from scarce medical resources that could go to patient care. The medical field is a really lucrative field but not many people have the inclination or aptitude for it. I have heard horror stories of nurses and doctors being mistreated by their patients when all they want to do is help or the assumption if you don't do your job for free that you are responsible for people's deaths. Outside of the medical industry the employer mandate and other regulations inhibit entrepreneurship which makes the free market less competitive and reduces the expansion of businesses which will reverberate to the rest of the economy.

Currently a lot of people are forced to pay for insurance they can't use because the deductibles are so high. Many people still opt to pay the fine for nothing instead of paying more for health insurance. Even the CBO credits most of the loss of insurance from the repeal on the individual mandate. People aren't losing coverage because of the laws repeal but instead people are opting out of coverage because they no longer have to fear a fine. You could repeal the entire law except the individual mandate and retain most of the increase in the insured rate. How useful are those insured when their deductibles are so high they can't even use it? A lot of people saw a rise in premiums prices because of the PPACA. These are the kind of things that will bring people to the polls, not Jimmy Kimmel's manipulation.

I think the Bill Cassidy bill is in the right direction. The federalization of healthcare will offer a lot more opportunities for continuous improvement and innovation. States like California or Vermont who have attempted to implement single payer will have more resources to put their money where their mouth is. I hope more is generally to come. Before the PPACA 5% of the population was responsible for 50% of all health care costs and 3% of all healthcare costs were used up by 50% of the population. It is entirely disproportionate and I wish we could see that acknowledged more.
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  #229  
Old 10-06-2017, 05:31 PM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Today's job report is not a good sign & we could be facing another recession. No real job growth. We need over 300K new jobs a month.
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  #230  
Old 10-06-2017, 09:21 PM
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Today's job report is not a good sign & we could be facing another recession. No real job growth. We need over 300K new jobs a month.
I was under the impression the actual market numbers and wages were doing reasonably healthily. If that is the case (that is to say, if I'm not mistaken), then what could explain that discrepancy. You'd typically expect these things to move more or less in the same direction, no?
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  #231  
Old 10-07-2017, 11:27 AM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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I was under the impression the actual market numbers and wages were doing reasonably healthily. If that is the case (that is to say, if I'm not mistaken), then what could explain that discrepancy. You'd typically expect these things to move more or less in the same direction, no?
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  #232  
Old 10-07-2017, 04:03 PM
Kellick Kellick is offline

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Ah, I didn't realize you were directly referring to an older Trump tweet. But while I understand that for every Trump position, there is an equal and opposite pre-presidential position, my question remains.

Why is the economy ostensibly optimistic despite less than optimal employment numbers? Is it just an error of perception on my part?
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  #233  
Old 10-07-2017, 04:44 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Ah, I didn't realize you were directly referring to an older Trump tweet. But while I understand that for every Trump position, there is an equal and opposite pre-presidential position, my question remains.

Why is the economy ostensibly optimistic despite less than optimal employment numbers? Is it just an error of perception on my part?
Probably because Trump's removing taxes on big companies
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  #234  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:25 AM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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If the massive Bombardier tariff goes through, Trudeau has promised to ban Boeing military contracts in Canada.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/...ing-contracts/
Is this the part where someone says "nobody knew basic trade policy could be this hard?"
http://www.businessinsider.com/boein...ade-war-2017-9
https://www.wsj.com/articles/wto-fau...ing-1497021279
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  #235  
Old 11-08-2017, 02:28 PM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Looks like the current version of the GOP tax bill would add $1.7 trillion to the national debt.
http://thehill.com/policy/finance/35...on-to-debt-cbo
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  #236  
Old 11-11-2017, 04:45 PM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Mitch "The Bitch" McConnell is now saying he "misspoke" when he said he wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class with his disastrous tax bill.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/20...ax-hike-middle
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  #237  
Old 11-29-2017, 02:34 PM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Surprising no one with a brain, Carrier is still laying people off.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.8ae9c5408f73
"'I don’t think he’s really going to come through, even though I hoped he would,' one laid-off worker told me.
'He pulled a bait-and-switch on us,' another said."
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  #238  
Old 12-01-2017, 06:41 PM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Really makes you think, huh?


How braindead do you have to be to support this kind of GOP garbage? Stop fucking up my country.
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  #239  
Old 12-02-2017, 12:48 AM
Vineyard Vineyard is offline

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This makes you think even more.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.d3e528e59a65
I’m a Depression historian. The GOP tax bill is straight out of 1929.
Republicans are again sprinting toward an economic cliff.

And WHY it got passed can be explained simple:

"It was pass something or Donorgeddon".

Last edited by Vineyard; 12-02-2017 at 12:50 AM..
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  #240  
Old 12-02-2017, 01:14 AM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Holy shit.

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  #241  
Old 12-02-2017, 09:41 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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This makes you think even more.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.d3e528e59a65
I’m a Depression historian. The GOP tax bill is straight out of 1929.
Republicans are again sprinting toward an economic cliff.

And WHY it got passed can be explained simple:

"It was pass something or Donorgeddon".
Make no mistake, the tax bill is hot garbage. But this article was reaching.

You would think that this depression historian would recall that in 1929, speculation on credit was widespread and that companies could conjure up bullshit and call it "financial statements" without ever having to worry about being audited. The securities acts of 33 and 34 addressed the causes of the great depression. Since then, the biggest scandal of the kind was Enron, and Arthur Andersen, a firm the size of the current big four went down over it without material harm to the system. (Leaving aside the regulatory response, which had the effect of locking in then-current auditing standards forever, aside from the requirement for integrated audits and the future disclose of critical audit matters).

The Democrats should have targeted odious provisions rather than jumping the shark like this. That graduate tuition waiver for example? Where we are FLAGRANTLY taxing dry income? Disastrous.
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  #242  
Old 12-02-2017, 10:30 PM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Make no mistake, the tax bill is hot garbage. But this article was reaching.

You would think that this depression historian would recall that in 1929, speculation on credit was widespread and that companies could conjure up bullshit and call it "financial statements" without ever having to worry about being audited. The securities acts of 33 and 34 addressed the causes of the great depression. Since then, the biggest scandal of the kind was Enron, and Arthur Andersen, a firm the size of the current big four went down over it without material harm to the system. (Leaving aside the regulatory response, which had the effect of locking in then-current auditing standards forever, aside from the requirement for integrated audits and the future disclose of critical audit matters).

The Democrats should have targeted odious provisions rather than jumping the shark like this. That graduate tuition waiver for example? Where we are FLAGRANTLY taxing dry income? Disastrous.
That's what's mostly being covered, and that article was also written before the final version of the bill made it through the Senate during the fly-by-night operation Friday night.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:57 AM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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That's what's mostly being covered, and that article was also written before the final version of the bill made it through the Senate during the fly-by-night operation Friday night.
The final version I can't even cover. Handwritten edits? Are you kidding me?
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  #244  
Old 12-03-2017, 03:39 AM
Vineyard Vineyard is offline

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As said it was this or Donorgeddon.

(Aka, do these Tax Cuts or never call me again.)
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  #245  
Old 12-03-2017, 03:43 PM
Kyalin V. Raintree Kyalin V. Raintree is offline

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As said it was this or Donorgeddon.

(Aka, do these Tax Cuts or never call me again.)
There were a lot of ways they could have done tax cuts though. Some of these provisions are just whacky. There are things I like in the Senate bill, which is a lot more sane than the house one, but it still seems to be following this nutty idea that deductions are gifts rather than provisions for expenses.

... and because I'm trying to put something off... I will now rant about the general principles of tax reform.

So, that probably ought to start with Adam Smith's four maxims. According to Smith's writings on taxes in The Wealth of Nations, a good tax code should:

1. Be applied equally.

This sounds simple, but this is responsible for most of the complexity in the tax code. If you start with taxpaper A, who makes 30k a year, and compare them against B, who is in the same situation, they should be taxed the same amount. If B has a kid though, you must make a provision for that because the situations are no longer equal.

This concept also takes on theoretical depth when B makes say, 300K or 3MM. When you consider the diminishing marginal utility of income, it becomes clear that 10% of income is worth a lot more to a poor person than it is to a rich person. This is where the progressive income tax system turns up, to ensure that the value of the bite is equal (i.e. not just to punish the rich, and not to redistribute income).

2. Be convenient to pay.

This one is self evident. We have withholdings for this reason. But cutting complexity in the tax code becomes relevant here.

3. Be regular and predictable.

Taxes shouldn't take you by surprise. You should be able to see them coming. Smith was certainly more concerned with ad hoc levies and unpredictable payment periods, but complexity has a role here too.

4. Be construed to render as little impact on the economy as possible.

A tax code should not change your economic behavior. It necessarily will, but it should try its hardest not to. This means that you shouldn't use the tax code to favor certain industries or ways of doing business. It also means that if you have to take out a loan and pay interest on it just to pay your taxes, it's either because the taxpayer did something wrong, or the tax code did.


With those out of the way, we have made a decision in this country to tax income, which is properly defined as the net of revenues and expenses, which we for some reason call "Gross Income" and "Deductions" in the tax code. The role of deductions is necessary in consideration of maxims 1 and 4 (in the latter case, expenses can potentially rise to the level where taxes could flip net income into net loss).

So my first problem becomes clear. I don't like the idea of wiping out deductions just for the sake of making the tax code simpler. There are better ways to do that. You could get rid of some of the competing credits and deductions that have to be optimized for example, or strike the AMT. However, if you are going to tax income, then you must consider expenses - there is a certain amount of complexity that you have to have.

So, that's my biggest issue with the tax reform - its approach wipes away many middle class deductions that seem kind of silly to get rid of... and the house version was worse. Why are we going after SALT? Was that just to stick it to the Democrats? Why is student loan interest on the chopping block? Was it really important to get rid of the moving deduction? Or the deduction for tax preparation expenses?


The other big gripe I have with the reform is with pass-through entities. There was nothing wrong with how they were being taxed before, except that if you had current year income but no current year distributions, you could end up with dry income. The reform doesn't really fix that, it just creates a preferential rate on current year income just because.

They could have instead included an accounting method election to tax cash receipts from a partnership or an S-Corporation, with a switcher provision to catch up on accumulated untaxed income when someone files an election to change methods, but.... they didn't do that
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  #246  
Old 12-13-2017, 09:00 AM
Kakwakas Kakwakas is offline

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Canada went through with their aviation industry threat.
http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/12/news...17PMVODtopLink
What a deal!
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  #247  
Old 12-14-2017, 10:10 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Dare I ask after the status of the infamous 'tax' bill?
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You are pretty cool for being one of the bad guys.
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I was probably just upset about the Horde fleet in the Second War.
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  #248  
Old 12-14-2017, 11:25 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Dare I ask after the status of the infamous 'tax' bill?
Bad.

The Net Neutrality vote today also doesn't look good.
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  #249  
Old 12-14-2017, 11:43 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Bad.

The Net Neutrality vote today also doesn't look good.
Is it possible that these things are only possible because of last year's election results?
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  #250  
Old 12-14-2017, 12:09 PM
Leviathon Leviathon is offline

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Bad.

The Net Neutrality vote today also doesn't look good.
Yea it got repealed as expected. It's going to be tied up in courts for a while though and will bring even more attention to the corruption. Hopefully all these things occurring push people to actually vote next year so Trump can no longer do damage and maybe some of the damage being undone.

We also now have Disney buying the entertainment assets of Fox
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