T Nation

Discussion On This

President Bush is in Colorado. One listener “I’m a Democrat and just wanted to come hear what the president had to say.” “The reason the Democrats want to raise taxes is because it would help alleviate the rich-poor gap, which I believe will only get larger if Republicans stay in office.”

I personally don’t get the logic. If you share your opinion, state your affiliation, please. That might not be necessary, though.

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
President Bush is in Colorado. One listener “I’m a Democrat and just wanted to come hear what the president had to say.” “The reason the Democrats want to raise taxes is because it would help alleviate the rich-poor gap, which I believe will only get larger if Republicans stay in office.”

I personally don’t get the logic. If you share your opinion, state your affiliation, please. That might not be necessary, though.[/quote]

Way too many people believe that a nation can be taxed into prosperity. Sad really.

The government needs tax money to perform basic functions, including ones that many people take for granted. I laugh when people act like they personally got no benefits, from paying taxes.

The GOP has cut the taxes of the wealthiest Americans. That money will have to be made up for, somewhere, since the GOP also spent money hand-over-fist, at the same time. What this means is that the tax burden has been shifted off of the wealthiest Americans, and onto the middle class. The middle class may not realize that yet, since Bush has postponed payments by running up a massive deficit. But eventually, the middle class will be responsible for paying off the debts caused by Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

A good example would be the estate tax, that Bush wants to get rid of. The estate tax affects less than one-half of 1% of Americans, and if I recall correctly it only applies to estates over 6 million dollars. By getting rid of that currently existing tax, Bush would shift that tax burden onto the middle class, because that tax revenue will have to be made up somewhere else.

Now theoretically speaking, conservatives believe that a good way to allow reduced taxes, is to reduce spending. I say “theoretically” because that’s never happened… once conservatives took control over all branches of the federal government, conservatives increased spending, instead of cutting spending. So it remains an untested theory for now, because conservatives haven’t practiced what they preach, fiscally speaking.

The government should not run tax and redistribution schemes. No welfare, no Social Security, nothing.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
The government should not run tax and redistribution schemes. No welfare, no Social Security, nothing.[/quote]

Cool, if that’s what you actually think.

Which politicians have this fringe viewpoint? Any that actually hold office, and for how much longer?

I know there are a few kooks who want to get rid of the Dept of Education, and so on. Remind me who the kooks are. Are any of them holding an elected federal office?

[quote]Sloth wrote:
The government should not run tax and redistribution schemes. No welfare, no Social Security, nothing.[/quote]

Yeah, soldiers returning from Iraq that are wounded should just starve on the streets if they can’t afford to pay rent and buy food… who needs to look after anyone else anyway.

All those folks in New Orleans should just have been left to die after the hurricane, who gives a fuck about other citizens during a time of need.

The government has no responsibility to provide any services, regulate anything, or pay any of it’s own employees either… anarchy or revolution dammit!

[quote]vroom wrote:
Sloth wrote:
The government should not run tax and redistribution schemes. No welfare, no Social Security, nothing.

Yeah, soldiers returning from Iraq that are wounded should just starve on the streets if they can’t afford to pay rent and buy food… who needs to look after anyone else anyway.

All those folks in New Orleans should just have been left to die after the hurricane, who gives a fuck about other citizens during a time of need.

The government has no responsibility to provide any services, regulate anything, or pay any of it’s own employees either… anarchy or revolution dammit![/quote]

Except I never mentioned anarchy. Is this a common theme of yours? To argue points not made. Every post of mine you respond to goes this way. I’m not trying to hate…but damn.

Soldiers would be one of the very few “taken care of” by the government. A national military is one of the few institutions the government was given authority over. The care of soldiers would fall under that task. So yeah…

God I love the Katrina remark. Thank you sir, for pointing out how inadequate a big centralized federal government is. You know, like how succesful Welfare, Medicaid, and Social Security have been also!

Kill FEMA, let the local/state authorities keep their own money to set up self tailored relief programs.

Now for the anarcy bit. No, the federal government has a few roles. Very few. State and local much more. Individuals, the most. That’s not anarchy, in any definition.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
Sloth wrote:
The government should not run tax and redistribution schemes. No welfare, no Social Security, nothing.

Cool, if that’s what you actually think.

Which politicians have this fringe viewpoint? Any that actually hold office, and for how much longer?

I know there are a few kooks who want to get rid of the Dept of Education, and so on. Remind me who the kooks are. Are any of them holding an elected federal office?
[/quote]

You first question, first. Thank you for illustrating that such programs are used to make people dependent. This dependency leads to a solid voter base, afraid of having the government tit removed. Thanks.

Darn those kooks for realizing just how horrible a centralized and federal beauracy directs education. Darn those kooks for wanting local control back.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Except I never mentioned anarchy. Is this a common theme of yours? To argue points not made. Every post of mine you respond to goes this way. I’m not trying to hate…but damn.[/quote]

Oh, develop a sense of humor or something okay?

Well, perhaps they could be taken better care of nowadays then?

The real point of Katrina is not the emergency response, which was sad, but that an emergency response is certainly needed. It’s also a fact that without some help the economy of the area will not be restored to the point that it can meaningfully CONTRIBUTE to the wealth and vitality of the nation.

You guys who are against “helping” anyone, somehow never seem to realize the cost of having large amounts of poor and non-contributing segments of the population to the overall wealth and power of the nation.

What you need is intelligent and efficient programs… and all you are arguing for is that they be moved closer to the people instead of through the federal government.

As for the success of various programs, I think you are mistaking the fact that they are going into debt with an inability for them to alleviate some serious social problems that have a dramatic cost on society.

For example, we won’t be able to stuff all the old folks into homes if can’t get government help to cover the cost… and if that doesn’t happen, god forbid, we’ll actually have to deal with these people in our lives as if they were still human beings.

Umm, what??? I didn’t understand that jibberish you just typed, except that you think state’s rights trump federal control. Okay, I can go along with that, but only up to a point.

You never answered my question… are there any politicians holding federal office who agree with you, that the federal government should be dismantled except for the military, and whatever pet programs you might have? (OH, I’m sure you have some).

Why would any sane person vote someone into a federal position, if that candidate believes in dismantling the federal government?

I have to say that this is a totally unrealistic and almost childish political philosophy, in it’s naievet?.

Sure lets just privitize everything. Why should the government run anything, when there is some private company with all the right connections, who can make megabucks doing it. After all, big multi-national corporations have your best interests at heart.

For example, look at what a wonderful job (and efficient!) private contractors are doing, in reconstructing Iraq. Look how well private contractors performed after Hurricane Katrina. Yeah, lets turn everything over to the Halliburtons of the world.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
Umm, what??? I didn’t understand that jibberish you just typed, except that you think state’s rights trump federal control. Okay, I can go along with that, but only up to a point.

You never answered my question… are there any politicians holding federal office who agree with you, that the federal government should be dismantled except for the military, and whatever pet programs you might have? (OH, I’m sure you have some).

Why would any sane person vote someone into a federal position, if that candidate believes in dismantling the federal government?

I have to say that this is a totally unrealistic and almost childish political philosophy, in it’s naievet?.

Sure lets just privitize everything. Why should the government run anything, when there is some private company with all the right connections, who can make megabucks doing it. After all, big multi-national corporations have your best interests at heart.

For example, look at what a wonderful job (and efficient!) private contractors are doing, in reconstructing Iraq. Look how well private contractors performed after Hurricane Katrina. Yeah, lets turn everything over to the Halliburtons of the world.[/quote]

The whole question is flawed. I’m not advocating dismantling the federal government. I advocating restraining government to it’s role, defense of our rights from others.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Oh, develop a sense of humor or something okay?

You guys who are against “helping” anyone, somehow never seem to realize the cost of having large amounts of poor and non-contributing segments of the population to the overall wealth and power of the nation.

[/quote]

I’m not against helping people. I’m against the federal government being used a tool of force, to coerce help. I don’t advocate using the federal government to legislate morality (your sense of charity). Only when someone is infringing upon the rights of another, should we see the force of government.

If you’re honestly interested in my opinion on FEMA, follow the link and read it all.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
A good example would be the estate tax, that Bush wants to get rid of. The estate tax affects less than one-half of 1% of Americans, and if I recall correctly it only applies to estates over 6 million dollars. By getting rid of that currently existing tax, Bush would shift that tax burden onto the middle class, because that tax revenue will have to be made up somewhere else.[/quote]

Doesn’t the estate tax waste nearly as much money as it contributes to our government because people go out of their way by spending money to find ways to not be hit so hard by it?

http://www.house.gov/jec/fiscal/tx-grwth/estattax/estattax.htm

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
Sloth wrote:
The government should not run tax and redistribution schemes. No welfare, no Social Security, nothing.

Cool, if that’s what you actually think.

Which politicians have this fringe viewpoint? Any that actually hold office, and for how much longer?

I know there are a few kooks who want to get rid of the Dept of Education, and so on. Remind me who the kooks are. Are any of them holding an elected federal office?
[/quote]

Brad,

You make some good points in your various posts, but I would caution you not to call “kooks” those of us who:

(1) Believe that it is we (‘average Joe Citizen’) who are the best decision makers as to how to spend our own money.

(2) Believe that it is our own responsibility to prepare for our own old age, and not the government’s.

(3) Believe that it is the parents’ primary responsibility to educate their own children, and not the government’s.

(4) Believe that it is not the job of the government to redistribute wealth from one sector to another and from one group of people to the other.

(5) Believe that it is the responsibily of each individual in a free society to earn their own prosperity.

These ideas that you call “kooky,” are actually the ideas that ruled our nation for most of its history. It is only very recently, that the majority view has changed to what we have now.

I agree that people who advance these ideas would never get elected and if they did would never retain office. I think that this is a sad commentary on where we have fallen as a nation, rather than a scathing rebuke to those of us who hold these positions.

[quote]grew7 wrote:
Doesn’t the estate tax waste nearly as much money as it contributes to our government because people go out of their way by spending money to find ways to not be hit so hard by it?[/quote]

Uh, if what you say is true, and people spend money to avoid the estate tax, how is that a waste? When people spend money it’s good for the economy.

Okay, so everyone should home school their kid, is that really your point? Is that even remotely realistic? (hint: no, not even remotely realistic). If you mean people should pay for their own kids’ educations, well they already do, with their taxes. Wait, what about me, I pay taxes to keep schools open, and I don’t have any kids. Isn’t that unfair? No, because I greatly benefit by having an educated populace, rather than living in a country full of uneducated imbeciles.

By the same token, some of my taxes go to pay for roads and bridges, and I don’t have a car. Isn’t that unfair to me? No, because I greatly benefit in many ways, by living in a country with a modern transportation system.

I could go on and on with examples, but maybe you catch my drift.

See, on the one hand, there’s the idea that everyone should pitche in together, to cooperate for achieving the greatest good. (You might try relating that concept to your Christian beliefs, which you write about so often.)

On the other end of the spectrum, there is “Why should I pay taxes for something I don’t directly benefit from?” That seems to be the “compassionate conservative” stance. Well, I’ll tell you why. It’s because when we do things collectively, we can get a lot more done, more efficiently and with less expense.

A good example is the Prescription Drug bill that the GOP just enacted. This bill prevents the federal government from using it’s collective purchasing power (on our behalf, after all that is our tax money) in order to get cheaper prices on drugs.

Now using the right winger’s anti-federal government logic, that makes sense I guess… they would say that the government shouldn’t be in the business of buying pharmaceuticals, or negotiating with drug companies, or setting the price of drugs in the marketplace.

And in practical terms, it means that lots of people are paying way too much money for prescription drugs, that they could have gotten cheaper, if there had only been better legislation. In other words, the bill actually makes things worse for more people than it helps, but I guess you would call that success because the bill intentionally neuters the one of the federal government’s powers.

Some people think that neutering the federal government is a more important goal than helping the maximum amount of Americans afford their prescription drugs.

This is where we differ, I guess. Liberals think the American government is ideally supposed to be “By The People, For The People”. The reality often falls short of the ideal, and that sucks, but that was the promise that was made.

And we on the Left aspire to have a government that harnesses our collective power, for the greater good. That’s the ideal we fight for. We’re not going to stop trying for a government By The People, For The People.

On the other hand, right wingers apparently can’t think of anything good the federal government does, other than the military. Frankly, I think that viewpoint is childish, selfish, brutal and idiotic. Sorry but that’s what I think.

Think about all the nationwide roads and bridges, dams, the electrical grid, nationwide communications systems, the railways, the public school system, all the federally funded scientific and medical breakthroughs…

This country would still be SO ass-backward right now, if we hadn’t had the benefit of a vigorous federal government in place.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
This country would still be SO ass-backward right now, if we hadn’t had the benefit of a vigorous federal government in place. [/quote]

That’s exactly how the right wing wants it, because rednecks vote republican in droves and they are easy to stir up with ridiculous morality issues to “mobilize the base”.

[quote]vroom wrote:
That’s exactly how the right wing wants it, because rednecks vote republican in droves and they are easy to stir up with ridiculous morality issues to “mobilize the base”.[/quote]

You have these Conservative think tanks like The Club For Growth that are wholly funded by multi-millionaires, that put out this self-serving information Oh tax breaks for the wealthy, that’s good for the economy (the so-called Trickle Down theory, which has absolutely zero facts supporting it, and never did).

And then you get all these people repeating the spin, and really unless you are a self-serving millionaire you are a chump for buying into Trickle Down economics.

Yeah, permanetly repealing the Estate Tax is going to have a big effect on you suckers. Maybe after you win the lottery…

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
Okay, so everyone should home school their kid, is that really your point? Is that even remotely realistic? (hint: no, not even remotely realistic). If you mean people should pay for their own kids’ educations, well they already do, with their taxes. Wait, what about me, I pay taxes to keep schools open, and I don’t have any kids. Isn’t that unfair? No, because I greatly benefit by having an educated populace, rather than living in a country full of uneducated imbeciles.

By the same token, some of my taxes go to pay for roads and bridges, and I don’t have a car. Isn’t that unfair to me? No, because I greatly benefit in many ways, by living in a country with a modern transportation system.[/quote]

Gasp

(Speechless)

I don’t believe it. Someone who gets it. I’m sorry to inform you that you’re probably on the wrong website. We don’t have people like you here.

Hell you might be in the wrong country.

George Bush has said that he’s been specifically chosen by Jesus to lead the Nation of God. Can’t argue with that, can you?

The less expense part is debateable; but you’re right about the rest. What’s expensive is providing whatever service to regions and people where it’s not profitable to do so. Long roads to service a few farms. Phone lines to cabins in the woods. Etc. The private sector only does it if you regulate them into doing it.

Why do you place the well being of thousands of elderly people above the profits of a few large corporations? Are you a communist?

[quote]Now using the right winger’s anti-federal government logic, that makes sense I guess… they would say that the government shouldn’t be in the business of buying pharmaceuticals, or negotiating with drug companies, or setting the price of drugs in the marketplace.

And in practical terms, it means that lots of people are paying way too much money for prescription drugs, that they could have gotten cheaper, if there had only been better legislation. In other words, the bill actually makes things worse for more people than it helps, but I guess you would call that success because the bill intentionally neuters the one of the federal government’s powers. [/quote]

If they’d bought Pfizer and Merck-Frost stocks like I did, they could afford those meds.

The government is not there to help you; it’s there to tell you who you can marry and what drugs you’re allowed to use.

Did you miss those ads by “The Partnership for a Drug Free America” followed by ads for Viagra and Lipitor? I, for one, love irony in my commercial breaks.

Didn’t you get the memo? The words “rich, white” got inserted between “By the” and “people”. Didn’t make sense before.

[quote]The reality often falls short of the ideal, and that sucks, but that was the promise that was made.

And we on the Left aspire to have a government that harnesses our collective power, for the greater good. That’s the ideal we fight for. We’re not going to stop trying for a government By The People, For The People.

On the other hand, right wingers apparently can’t think of anything good the federal government does, other than the military. Frankly, I think that viewpoint is childish, selfish, brutal and idiotic. Sorry but that’s what I think. [/quote]

That’s why you see the world in shades of gray and compromises and unoptimal solutions. Serves you right for thinking about the issues.

(fingers in ears)
la la la laaaa… la la

That one’s too easy. I’ll skip it.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
vroom wrote:
That’s exactly how the right wing wants it, because rednecks vote republican in droves and they are easy to stir up with ridiculous morality issues to “mobilize the base”.

You have these Conservative think tanks like The Club For Growth that are wholly funded by multi-millionaires, that put out this self-serving information Oh tax breaks for the wealthy, that’s good for the economy (the so-called Trickle Down theory, which has absolutely zero facts supporting it, and never did).

And then you get all these people repeating the spin, and really unless you are a self-serving millionaire you are a chump for buying into Trickle Down economics.

Yeah, permanetly repealing the Estate Tax is going to have a big effect on you suckers. Maybe after you win the lottery…
[/quote]

I never got that one.

Why do people who aren’t rich support the Republicans? Are they so brainwashed that they still think “The American Dream” of making it big is coming for them tomorrow?

Basically, if you have to work for a living; if you’re not living off the dividends and returns from your well-invested fortune, how the Hell are the Republicans helping you? There aren’t enough rich (ie, really rich. Wealthy. Not you.) people to keep the Reps in power. So, who are those dumb wage earners and poor people who vote themselves into working longer, harder hours to make ends meet and more poverty?

And why? Do they like the challenge of stacking the deck against themselves?