T Nation

Time to REALLY Cut Spending


So you want secior citizens who have paid in all their lifes and now depend on it to cut the branch they are sitting on?

No way, because unlike the youngsters they vote.


It's a fair point, old folks have been paying in with certain expectations for a very long time - but yes, they have to make sacrifices (and they know it) and the modifications would be phased in over time.

And besides, there is room for offsets if we means-test in the meantime - any transition to later retirement age for eligibility can be offset by additional monies not paid out to thse who financially have no need for it.


Not to mention the ad campaign against the politician who "Voted to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits to the elderly".

What should happen and what will happen will always have the chasm of self interest between them.


this is correct. SS was ment for the people who lived longer then they thought they would and could have reasonably assumed / put enough money away for. it was not a retirement plan....

also, orion... if they dont like it, to bad....

Also, this is why i firmly believe that we should change voting to be..."no representation without taxation".... this eliminates old people who are not paying from voting, this eliminates retarded college students who dont have a job from voting and it stops people who game the system and dont work from having a voice on how my money is spent. I would base this off your tax returns from last year, if you didnt put any money in, you cant vote for that year....


Too bad?

And again, they vote.

People who get fucked by this dont.

Too bad indeed, because not voting is not consenting to anal rape and they ill act accordingly.

I am starting to believe that I will have to write a small essay on tax evasion, you guys are going to need it badly.


I like the principle - if you have no skin in the game (you pay no taxes or similar), why should you get a say in how the money is spent? What incentive do you ever have to limit payouts if you pay nothing in?

I don't think there is a practical solution of taking suffrage away, though, not in this day and age - but I think the alternative solution is to broaden the tax base so fewer people pay nothing (or negligible amounts) in.

I read that we are closing in on 50% of the public not paying any kind of income tax. That is a preposterous figure. Our tax code is creating an entire class of proletrians who simply act as a constituency to get more "bread and circuses". This needs to be fixed - we can longer legislate the concept of a "free lunch".

And once we let people who enjoy the "endless" stream of benefits feel the pain of a tax bite (make them pay into the kitty), it will act like a smelling salt to the stupor of entitlements.


Oh so cutting edge :slight_smile:


The Ryan budget sucks. The obama budget sucks more. The Rand Paul budget is about the only credible thing I have seen.

I am AMAZED, that no politician, nor main stream media has the fucking balls to announce what ending our 2.5 foreign wars would save, along with the security subsidization we put on the rest of the world via our imperial hegemony.

Taxation is structured the way it is to create a divisive class warfare in which incentives directly correlate to a politicians success. You have net payers and net gainers. The net payers generally tend to be the middle class....or charade of a middle class as we know it.


The way taxation is viewed is fundamentally viewed by the mainstream right and left is fundamentally flawed.

It's not about a "fair" tax-rate, or income equality/redistribution, or some bunk theory about what type of government spending will magically create wealth (and yes, both mainstream parties/ideologies advocate this myth in one form or another).

It's about establishing the proper scope of government, and then taxing at an adequate level to pay for it. It's really that simple.

Is if the (federal) government's job to do "x"?

If yes, then taxes must be at a rate to support the 100% of the spending on "x".

It's deceptively simple, yet almost impossible to get people to really think those terms: should the government be doing this? If yes, how much revenue needs to be raised to support it? Tax at that level.



"In theory, those who own a great deal of wealth may or may not have high incomes, depending on the returns they receive from their wealth, but in reality those at the very top of the wealth distribution usually have the most income. (But it's important to note that for the rich, most of that income does not come from "working": in 2008, only 19% of the income reported by the 13,480 individuals or families making over $10 million came from wages and salaries. See Norris, 2010, for more details.)"

"And the top 1% of income earners, who average over $1 million a year, actually pay a smaller percentage of their incomes to taxes than the 9% just below them."

"As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers)."

Maybe nearly 50% of the population isnt paying much in taxes because they just dont have it to pay?


89% of the money made by the rich doesnt come from wages or salaries. I dont think it's the people at the bottom who are getting a "free lunch".


Interest rates reflect risk. Higher risk = higher interest rate...so it's just as it should have been.


No, that is incorrect - they have it to pay. at least in part. The "other" 50% are not destitute, and once they have some skin in the game (elimination of the deductions that act as transfer payments), they begin to see there is no free lunch.

And your theory is flawed - it presents wealth a zero-sum game. Technical tip - I wouldn't quote economics from a sociologist.


The top 10% are paying over 70% of all taxes. Those rich are really milking the system huh? And some of that money filters directly to the "poor" some of who could work but just have not gotten around to it yet.

On a side note, can anyone imagine how much Nancy Pelosi and the democrats would attack a republican for actually voting to cut social security? They're already scaring the pants off of senior citizens and other strategic groups regarding republican plans to trim the budget. In fact, it's the democrats montra.

There will never be serious budget cutting as long as there is a democratic majority in either house and a democratic President. Democrats NEVER cut anything they grow government at the expense of hard working people. True the republicans have not been the best on this issue but they are light years ahead of the class warfaring democrats.


Well, I'd propose dropping the corporate tax rate and raising the capital gains rate, but in any event, income from outside of wages and salaries isn't the same as a "free lunch" - they are dividends from successful investments that are taxed to pay for a free lunch. There's nothing free about buying stock that pays you dividends.


When a stock pays you a dividend, where does that money come from?


The cash flow generated from the underlying business's profit. What else?


And how is that money generated?


Through the ordinary operations of business, selling whatever goods and/or services it provides through the market. After taking revenues and paying off costs, the amount left over can be distributed, usually as dividends.

I'll play along, but not for long. If you have a point, make it.


The money paid as dividends comes from the work other people do. That's the only thing that generates money - people doing work.

Getting money from a dividend doesn't mean you did any work for the company. The actual generation (work) was probably done by someone else. Granted, the money you paid to buy the stock may have helped the business, but the point, near as I can tell, is to eventually get more in total dividends than you paid for the stock, right?

I dont see how thats not a "free lunch".

I see a big difference between taxing the worker on his earnings and taxing the profits a person makes off of the work of others.