Comments on: Obama should raise taxes on the middle class http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: jambrytay http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66537 Tue, 13 Nov 2012 04:22:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66537 Okay, I’ll bite. Who do you see as successful in Europe?

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By: Gordon2352 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66510 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 19:32:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66510 @ jambrytay —

You state, “i dont recommend cutting social programs overnight, and I don’t believe social spending should be zero. Longer term, total govt spending should be smaller than it is now. We’ve got to ween ourselves in that direction. I think too many people believe that we can just raise taxes to fix the problem. Lets demonize the rich so we feel justified in taking even more of their money. It feels like we’re drifting in a socialist direction and I don’t believe socialism allows an economy to realize its full potential.”

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I don’t disagree with what you are saying, only where the cuts need to be made and the fact that taxes will need to be raised substantially to even reach breakeven because we have been on the wrong track economically for 30 years.

Compared to other OECD countries, this country is far from becoming socialist, and we could go a long ways in that direction before it would begin to affect the economy. The European nations were doing just fine until they became infected with neocon capitalism. Now they are in trouble.

Actually, I propose this to you: if we modeled this country on one or more successful European models, why would you object?

If by doing so we would eliminate the employer business taxes in terms of health care, retirement, etc., that are crippling them now wouldn’t that make more sense than this cobbled together system created in the Great Depression that really doesn’t work for anyone?

Wouldn’t that be worth moving towards a more government sponsored social safety net?

The problem is the neocon movement, beginning around the time Reagan was elected, which has morphed into an anti-government movement that refuses to accept responsibility for what they have done in terms of taxes, trade and banking legislation.

Given that the neocon movement is the problem, how would you solve it?

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By: PseudoTurtle http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66504 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:47:57 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66504 @ matthewslyman —

Mr. Sly Man,

You and I both know you are a total fraud, with absolutely no legitimate credentials in terms of education or experience to support ANY of your opinions.

I understand you are angry because I exposed you on your previous comments, but you are not an attorney either, while in addition to my MBA I also attended law school specializing in contract law, which I used in my profession as a Plant Controller and Finance manage for several international high-tech companies.

Clearly, you nothing about copyright law either, and the length of some of your ridiculous articles are no different than my including the text of the article as long as I include the source, which I have been very careful to do.

I don’t answer to you in any way and I suggest you mind your own business, or I will begin to answer some of your ludicrous comments again.

Right now, they are not worth my trouble because I know you are a fraud. The fact that you choose to play the role of charlatan is your business, but I warn you to stay out of mine or I will reciprocate.

Gordon2352

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By: matthewslyman http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66477 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 14:51:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66477 > “Obama promised on the campaign trail that he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class and implied that repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would yield enough revenue.”
— It was inadvisable for Obama to make this promise, although to be fair, Romney would have been forced to abandon some of his own economic promises.

> “Robert Greenstein of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that revenue as a share of GDP needs to be 23 percent to 25 percent in future years to maintain current domestic programs”
— This just isn’t going to happen during Obama’s term, unless there’s a short spurt of MASSIVE economic growth, combined with the political will to effectively raise taxes. With federal revenues at 15%GDP, spending at 25%GDP, and debt at around 105–110%GDP (am I even keeping up with this debt figure?); the only way to arrest the current economic free-fall is to RAISE REVENUE and CUT SPENDING at the same time (somewhat more the former than the latter). Maintaining current domestic programs shouldn’t even be a goal at the moment, because US spending over the last four years has included some wasteful projects that DAMAGED economic growth by diluting & diverting human effort from worthwhile economic activity.

I’ve previously shown by the official economic numbers on record, how increasing revenue by GDP may INCREASE economic growth rather than causing a lasting recession (as you suggest, the result of increased taxation may be a short, somewhat mild recession followed by strong & sustainable growth — the mildness of the recession would depend on the sequence of economic reforms, and where the spending programs were focussed).

Based on my interpretation of the numbers, to attain general financial stability, the US federal budget needs to rebalance within four years at:
21–22% revenue by GDP, (could fall to 20–21% when debt is paid down to 85%GDP)
22–24% spending by GDP,
2–3% annual GDP growth (with long-term planning to build the infrastructure to support that).

Lesson learned: Bush didn’t pay for the wars he started, and his economic reforms didn’t magically get rid of the need to do so (in fact, they made matters worse). The USA needs to dump Norquist’s economic nihilism and enact a smart balanced-budget amendment; which takes account of GDP growth.

The question is, is there the political will to do this? Will Obama do his job this time around, and put the current crisis at the top of his priority list?

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By: matthewslyman http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66475 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 14:23:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66475 @Gordon2352: You copied several entire articles that were subject to copyright (there are even ©copyright notices included in some of the texts you snipped!) This would not count as “fair use” — in fact you may give Reuters headaches over legal liability for the copyright infringement, that could ultimately get both your accounts banned under their T’s and C’s.

You may have an MBA and may have some good points, but I think your points may be made more briefly and effectively (and people would pay more attention to you) if you would paste HYPERLINKS instead of entire articles!

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By: jambrytay http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66390 Sun, 11 Nov 2012 18:45:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66390 i dont recommend cutting social programs overnight, and I don’t believe social spending should be zero. Longer term, total govt spending should be smaller than it is now. We’ve got to ween ourselves in that direction. I think too many people believe that we can just raise taxes to fix the problem. Lets demonize the rich so we feel justified in taking even more of their money. It feels like we’re drifting in a socialist direction and I don’t believe socialism allows an economy to realize its full potential.

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By: jambrytay http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66389 Sun, 11 Nov 2012 18:45:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66389 i dont recommend cutting social programs overnight, and I don’t believe social spending should be zero. Longer term, total govt spending should be smaller than it is now. We’ve got to ween ourselves in that direction. I think too many people believe that we can just raise taxes to fix the problem. Lets demonize the rich so we feel justified in taking even more of their money. It feels like we’re drifting in a socialist direction and I don’t believe socialism allows an economy to realize its full potential.

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By: Gordon2352 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66379 Sun, 11 Nov 2012 14:51:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66379 @ jambrytay —

Thank you. I read the blog link you included and I now understand your views are basically libertarian.

Although you didn’t specifically answer my question about where you would cut, I assume it would be the existing social programs as quickly as possible, though not as drastically as the eurozone.

I believe a balance of budget cuts and tax hikes are necessary for this country to survive — which is not what you intimated earlier, but a more realistic approach that is much closer to mine — however I think the percentage mix would still be far more than the economy could handle at any reasonable point in the future, because this country is in serious decline, not expanding as is generally believed.

I have some problems with what the article you indicated recommends. For example:

(1) This is not like the 1930s where infrastructure improvement would eventually yield benefits to society because we are no longer expanding. Fixing the current infrastructure that is need of repair is pointless while the economy is in decline, since it will simply add to our cash outflows at a time when we must conserve them.

(2) Granted our government social programs need an overhaul, but from a Republican or Libertarian viewpoint that means reversing the minimal social safety net that is in place now with nothing except a market version of them, which will automatically price most people out of the resources they need to survive. This will create — because of the massive changes in demographics that has occurred since WWII — a highly unstable society that will probably cause the government to collapse. I understand this may be desirable from a libertarian viewpoint, but it is unrealistic because it would mean some type of violent revolution as people begin to lose their life savings and are forced into the streets.

I have indicated what I believe to be an acceptable solution to that problem elsewhere. Basically, (1) remove Social Security from government control because the apparent problems with Social Security are directly related to government mismanagement of the Social Security Trust Fund, (2) remove the cap from Social Security, which would apply the tax (but with no company contribution) equally to all people regardless of income level. This would allow the social programs to function as they were designed (i.e. social insurance). This must be done because insurance of any kind only functions properly if the risk is spread to a broad base. Right now it is not functioning properly because the base only covers those who are virtually 100% guaranteed to need it. That is not insurance by any definition of the word, and is one of the major problems with Social Security right now. The wealthy need to contribute because they do not live in a vacuum. Their money is made from the broader consumer economy, so they should contribute to those who support them. And (3) flexibly adjust the contribution each year to meet the requirements of the social programs so that the revenue supports the outflows in a balanced manner. One of the problems in previous years is that the trust fund was allowed to build a surplus, which was then misused by the government. By automatically adjusting the tax on a regular basis it would prevent any excess buildup.

I understand that libertarians do not want any social programs, but that is extremely unrealistic in modern society which is highly integrated and failure of one part means failure of the whole machine.

(3) The article states “We’re also in desperate need of tax overhaul/simplification”, which is nothing more than a code phrase for reducing taxes for the wealthy class. For example, they advocate a “flat tax” for income, but that works essentially the same as a sales tax which places the major burden of taxation on the poor. A flat tax is a misnomer because it is anything but flat if you do the math on how it affects different income groups. And no amount of adjustment can overcome the basic problem of it being a regressive tax.

(4) Use of the word “capitalist” in the title is disingenuous, since this is not capitalism at all — a point which I have made repeatedly — but a twisted neocon version of it which Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations (1776) warned against. The fact that this is not capitalism, but a distorted version of it lies at the root of all of our problems. The whole system is skewed towards the wealthy. That is what we must fix.

Roughly since we began trade with China, the wealthy class has managed to dismantle all the safeguards previously in place to protect the economy. These safeguards were placed into law in the aftermath of the 1929 crash, which was caused by the same type of wealthy excess during the 1920s that caused the markets to crash from easy money and speculation.

Adam Smith also said that capitalism without proper safeguards would lead to collusion of the wealthy and undue influence on politics to their advantage.

THIS is really the underlying problem.

To fix this economy we MUST reverse ALL the tax, trade, and banking legislation that has been passed for the past 30 years.

Without correcting the underlying problem, the US economy will crash hard quite soon, probably by next year as things stand right now.

I don’t expect you to reply, since there is a significant gulf between what we both believe. However, you might like to check the following website on progressivism. I dislike any label being applied to me, but my core beliefs are probably closer to this philosophy than anything else.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivi sm

Have a better one!

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By: jambrytay http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66370 Sun, 11 Nov 2012 01:56:24 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66370 I believe we’ve gotten into our current position largely due to govt overspending. Unfortunately, the hole we’ve dug ourselves is now so deep that spending cuts alone probably won’t fix things. The fix is going to have to include spending cuts and, unfortunately, tax increases. Having said that, the ratio will need to be heavier on the cuts on spending v. tax increases.

i’m amused by those who believe tax hikes on the rich is THE answer. As Ekaneti points out, we can raise taxes on the rich, but it won’t help nearly enough. The real solution must include big cuts in govt spending. Problem is, we’ve become Keynesian junkies in recent years, so we can’t cut of the spigot off all at once. Longer term, I hope we get to an economy that’s less Keynesian and more weighted towards the private sector.

I have a plan that I think would help at:

http://unrepentantcapitalist.blogspot.co m/2012/06/problems-problems-problems.htm l

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By: Gordon2352 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/11/08/obama-should-raise-taxes-on-the-middle-class/#comment-66369 Sun, 11 Nov 2012 00:37:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=15413#comment-66369 @ jambrytay —

I really want you to understand, which is why I restated my position, but I can’t seem to get through to you. Thus, my exasperation.

Let’s try another approach.

You state that government overspending is the main reason why we have the deficit problem.

Notice I don’t disagree with you on that point.

But you have to give me more to work with than simply stating the same belief over and over.

Give me details to support your position.

We are currently running over $1 trillion in deficit spending each year.

How would you solve that issue by spending cuts alone — and, most importantly, specifically what “overspending” would you cut — without causing the US economy to collapse?

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