Warren buffet on TAX (in Debates)


Duke August 16 2011 1:44 PM EDT

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html?_r=1

OUR leaders have asked for モshared sacrifice.ヤ But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as モcarried interest,ヤ thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if theyメd been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. Itメs nice to have friends in high places.

Last year my federal tax bill ラ the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf ラ was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income ラ and thatメs actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

If you make money with money, as some of my super-rich friends do, your percentage may be a bit lower than mine. But if you earn money from a job, your percentage will surely exceed mine ラ most likely by a lot.

To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these revenues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes. The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. Itメs a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

I didnメt refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone ラ not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 ラ shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know whatメs happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

Since 1992, the I.R.S. has compiled data from the returns of the 400 Americans reporting the largest income. In 1992, the top 400 had aggregate taxable income of $16.9 billion and paid federal taxes of 29.2 percent on that sum. In 2008, the aggregate income of the highest 400 had soared to $90.9 billion ラ a staggering $227.4 million on average ラ but the rate paid had fallen to 21.5 percent.

The taxes I refer to here include only federal income tax, but you can be sure that any payroll tax for the 400 was inconsequential compared to income. In fact, 88 of the 400 in 2008 reported no wages at all, though every one of them reported capital gains. Some of my brethren may shun work but they all like to invest. (I can relate to that.)

I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people. They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldnメt mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.

Twelve members of Congress will soon take on the crucial job of rearranging our countryメs finances. Theyメve been instructed to devise a plan that reduces the 10-year deficit by at least $1.5 trillion. Itメs vital, however, that they achieve far more than that. Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our countryメs fiscal problems. Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness. That feeling can create its own reality.

Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America canメt fulfill. Big money must be saved here. The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues. I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.

But for those making more than $1 million ラ there were 236,883 such households in 2009 ラ I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more ラ there were 8,274 in 2009 ラ I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. Itメs time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.


Warren E. Buffett is the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway.

QBRanger August 16 2011 1:47 PM EDT

Excellent!!

Let him and his buddies send more money to the government in the form of voluntary increased taxes. Nothing is stopping them and there is even a line on their tax forms for it.

However, Buffet has made tons of money with high taxes, including the death tax. A lot of his business involves buying up businesses that cannot afford to pay the death tax and then stripping them and selling the pieces for a profit.

Stop telling me that it is my responsibility to pay more in taxes. When close to 50% of American pays no federal income taxes and the top 10% pay over 60% of all federal taxes, I pay enough.

Kefeck August 16 2011 1:58 PM EDT

When close to 50% of American pays no federal income taxes and the top 10% pay over 60% of all federal taxes, I pay enough.


Ranger did you know that 20% of the population controls 93% of the money?

Quyen August 16 2011 2:09 PM EDT

if 20% of USA cointrols (see what i did thar?) 93%, then the resting 80% has just 7% of all the money to live with :|

AdminNightStrike August 16 2011 2:10 PM EDT

Ranger did you know that 20% of the population controls 93% of the money?

[citation needed]

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 2:10 PM EDT

Stop telling me that it is my responsibility to pay more in taxes.

you make more than $1m a year? if not, i am unsure who you are directing the quote at?

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] August 16 2011 2:11 PM EDT

With Ranger's reply right underneath this text, I can't help but feel like Ranger is being really unreasonable. Especially when Buffett is talking about taxing people who make in excess of $1 million. Ranger, if you really make that much money, and you're paying essentially 15% taxes on it then you're cheating.

QBRanger August 16 2011 2:14 PM EDT

Actually I read the top 10% control 93% of the wealth.

However, perhaps they earned it through hard work and sacrifice. Perhaps through education, taking risks, going bankrupt many times over and trying again?

But how much is enough tax? I pay 1/3 my earnings to the government. How much should I pay? 1/2? 2/3? How much is enough?

Want to get more people working and paying into the systems? Lower my taxes? I will eat out more, buy a new TV, buy some furniture for my house, buy movies for my kids. Tax me more and I stay home and save my money for when we have a president who is not anti-wealth and a class warfare warrior who demonizes those who are successful. Someone who does not want to "spread the wealth around". Someone who knows the value of hard work and sacrifice.

Soxjr August 16 2011 2:20 PM EDT

Ranger that is because a lot of those 50% of Americans can barely pay the utility bills and rent and food.

That 50% that doesn't pay anything works at minimum wage to 10$ an hour pay. What, barely surviving isn't enough lets take some more taxes out of them too??

I'm not talking about the people that aren't trying and are on welfare. I am talking about the people out there trying to work and since there aren't many jobs they are taking jobs working at Wal-mart, and McDonalds, and anywhere else they can at 8.25$ an hour for 32 hours a week because that is all that is offered. Those people Ranger?? You think they should pay more taxes??

People in power and prosperity keep saying work hard and you can get there. I know plenty of people with college degrees and can't find work right now. I know a few that had good factory jobs and lost them with no fault of their own taking pay cuts of 50% or more just to work and barely surviving. Not luxury surviving, I'm talking barely paying rent and utilities surviving. Cutting expenses on everything including food.

Lets go back in time a bit. How many people remember a time when they were young where you would go to your grandparents house and just everyone was there. Not just family but neighbors and friends just enjoying each others company and good food. Those things don't happen as much anymore because people can't afford it. Remember a time when mothers could be stay at home mom's and raise their kids and still have food and clothes and all the necessities? Those days seem to be gone also and not because mothers don't want to do it, but because they can't. My cousin right now is a stay at home mom and has 4 kids. They barely make it and as soon as the smallest gets in school she is going to find work, if she can, because they just can't make it as the kids get older.

All these stories are for a reason. People like yourself keep saying that all of this is stuff we can just fix. Explain to me how?? Yes you went to college and you did great and now you are just doing fine. That is great.. What about the guy that spent 4 years in college or longer but got a degree in something that just isn't in demand right now? Was that his fault for picking the wrong field? Is he not trying? Most republicans that keep showing that people should just try harder take examples of the people taking advantage of unemployment or welfare and say that's everyone. It's not. There are plenty of people out there trying their butts off and just aren't getting anywhere. The lower class is getting eaten up out there and I'm shocked that people aren't worried. Desperate people tend to do desperate things. I wouldn't be surprised if things get really crazy soon as more and more people lose everything.

Oh and I'm one of those people that had a decent factory job paying about 40k a year and lost it and now am working making about 24k a year. I make it, but I think I'm lucky. I am trying to get back in school and should this year, but not sure how that is going to help me since there are tons of educated people with degrees out there working at the same place I am. Definately not in their field and only making 24k also.

Oh and on a side note. Sorry for going off topic and rambling but after reading all these posts it just finally got to me and I decided to just type and type.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 2:27 PM EDT

ranger, this is all i see in the article referring to a tax increase:

Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America canメt fulfill. Big money must be saved here. The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues. I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.

But for those making more than $1 million ラ there were 236,883 such households in 2009 ラ I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more ラ there were 8,274 in 2009 ラ I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

unless you are in those two groups, no one is asking for you to pay more taxes.

Lord Bob August 16 2011 2:29 PM EDT

including the death tax
Estate tax.

Stop telling me that it is my responsibility to pay more in taxes.
You make over one million a year? It is your responsibility to pay more in taxes.

QBRanger August 16 2011 2:32 PM EDT

Want more jobs?

Here are a few ways:

1) Open up our energy stores. Let us drill in the gulf, where there was 1 accident. But this current administration is preventing any new drilling, cutting off hundred of thousands of new jobs, which are higher wage energy industry jobs. Let us build the pipeline to Canada now, putting thousands to work.

2) Lossen regulation. Steve Wynn stated he can hire 10k people immediately but will not with such regulations as Obamacare etc.. hanging over his head. Stop the EPA's backdoor attempt at Cap and Trade.

3) Lower taxes. Less taxes = more money for corporations to hire. More hiring = more people paying taxes and less on the government dole.

4) Repeal Obamacare. This monstrosity is not even completely written with the government making new rules as it goes. The latest is free birth control for everyone. Who pays for that? People who actually have insurance raising the costs.

I have not made that magical 1M income this year. But I refuse to get into the Us vs Them rhetoric of the Democratic party and play class warfare politics.

I believe that a rising tide raises all boats. If the superrich do well, all of us do.

Again, there is nothing stopping such fools as Buffet to give more in tax dollars to the government to help pay down the debt. Nothing at all, but I do not think they will put their money where their mouth is.

They just want others to toe the line.

QBRanger August 16 2011 2:36 PM EDT

unless you are in those two groups, no one is asking for you to pay more taxes.

Not this article but our great President thinks 250k a year is rich. And that is the number that is thrown around.

You make over one million a year? It is your responsibility to pay more in taxes.

Why? I pay enough. But why? Because you are jealous someone makes that much? In the interest of "social justice". Why not be happy someone makes that amount and know they will be buying and spending a lot of that money. Some will even be opening businesses creating jobs.

And I have had a couple years where I did make more than that. One when I sold my business and another when my investments did very well, mostly precious metals.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 2:39 PM EDT

did you read the article ranger?

Soxjr August 16 2011 2:39 PM EDT

Ok. Last I checked they lowered taxes with bush which was continued just recently and jobs went away. So something in your logic is backwards. From what I have read the lower taxes just made rich people and rich companies more rich. Maybe I am wrong.

Lord Bob August 16 2011 2:54 PM EDT

1) Open up our energy stores.
Get serious about getting off the oil boob, and invest in green energy.

2) Lossen regulation.
I think you mean "loosen."

Tighten regulations on environmental and worker's safety. These things should not be on the table. Anything else is negotiable. Also, tax incentives for businesses who hire American workers at competitive compensation, rather than across the board tax cuts.

3) Lower taxes.
More stimulus.

4) Repeal Obamacare.
Socialize health insurance.

I have not made that magical 1M income this year.
Then what are you complaining about?

If the super rich do well, all of us do.
They're doing well now. What about the rest of us?

They just want others to toe the line.
They want others to do their part.

But why? Because you are jealous someone makes that much?
Are you giving me my opinion?

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] August 16 2011 2:55 PM EDT

The latest is free birth control for everyone. Who pays for that?

So this is the way you feel on this issue rather than viewing it at a wider spectrum so that you can see that it will largely cover itself by reducing the number of abortions and abandoned babies which the government will be forced to take care of.

Lord Bob August 16 2011 2:59 PM EDT

The latest is free birth control for everyone. Who pays for that?
The same people who paid for the war in Iraq.

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] August 16 2011 3:00 PM EDT

3) Lower taxes. Less taxes = more money for corporations to hire. More hiring = more people paying taxes and less on the government dole.

From what I understand businesses are already sitting on a large stockpile of money. How will it help things to give them even more money? They don't want to hire because hiring isn't good business when you can get machines that make your work force more efficient for far less.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 16 2011 3:12 PM EDT

Wow, the billions in cleanup, lost revenue, sickness, and damage isn't even totaled and you'd go back? With LESS regulation?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 3:32 PM EDT

ranger, i have some questions for you as i am trying to understand your reluctance to have the extremely wealthy pay a comparable percentage of their taxable income as the middle class.

first, if it is better for the wealthy to keep their money, why not everyone? would it work if we just pay no taxes as then we all do better and the country would do better by your reasoning?

second, the politicians set the current tax rates. you have stated how bad they or the government are at everything they do, so why do you think then that the current tax rate for the wealthy is the one thing they got right?

if we can accept that the current tax rate may not be fair to everyone, what yardstick would you use to create an equitable system?

QBRanger August 16 2011 3:51 PM EDT

First, Green energy is wrong.

Look at Spain in this article to see how much is spend for the low benefit and cost to jobs:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/05/obamas_green_energy_program_an.html

Now on to Dude:

first, if it is better for the wealthy to keep their money, why not everyone? would it work if we just pay no taxes as then we all do better and the country would do better by your reasoning?

No, of course taxes are needed. However we have the most progressive system of taxation in the world. In the US, the "rich" pay the most of any country as a proportion of the total tax receipts to the government. It puts the heaviest burden on the "rich". It is quite easy to call for others to pay more, harder if you have to pay. Easiest if you pay nothing.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/23856.html

second, the politicians set the current tax rates. you have stated how bad they or the government are at everything they do, so why do you think then that the current tax rate for the wealthy is the one thing they got right?

The governement is bad at doing things the private sector could do. Things like the military the government does very well. I think my taxes now are even too high. I certainly do not want it to go higher.

if we can accept that the current tax rate may not be fair to everyone, what yardstick would you use to create an equitable system?

Flat tax, Flat tax, Flat tax. With a floor of below that amount you pay nothing. Get rid of most tax shelters and make capital gains tax equal to that of the flat tax.

QBRanger August 16 2011 3:54 PM EDT

Wow, the billions in cleanup, lost revenue, sickness, and damage isn't even totaled and you'd go back? With LESS regulation?

No, not less regulation, but regulation that the regulators actually enforce.

Just like the SEC and its "oversight" of the subprime mortgage industry.

Pitiful on multiple levels.

Have good regulations that are adequately enforced. Do not overregulate. Let the free market work.

And do not overreact to an accident or potential possible could maybe accident like ANWAR.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 3:57 PM EDT

flat income tax or consumption tax?

AdminTitan August 16 2011 4:03 PM EDT

I wonder how Democrats would feel about lowering the taxes on the super rich if many of the tax loop holes and exemptions were removed. I also wonder how the Democrats would feel about decreasing the budget by a great deal if the Republicans agreed to raise taxes a little on the super rich. Then I wake up and remember that this will never be talked about and instead our representatives will spend their days fighting for incandescent light bulbs.

QBRanger August 16 2011 4:04 PM EDT

Either.

But not both.

A consumption tax would need some exceptions I believe on basic needs such as most foods to stop it from being too regressive.

There are pros and cons of each and are quickly summed up in this non-partisan article:

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2009/05/the_flat_tax_vs_the_fair_tax.html

QBRanger August 16 2011 4:06 PM EDT

I wonder how Democrats would feel about lowering the taxes on the super rich if many of the tax loop holes and exemptions were removed. I also wonder how the Democrats would feel about decreasing the budget by a great deal if the Republicans agreed to raise taxes a little on the super rich.

Titan,

I think this is the hope a lot of people have about this new "Super-Committee" that is being formed.

However, most of the selections on both sides are quite set in their parties alignment.

CE for Democrats and LG for Republicans :) <---- Joke there if people take it to seriously.

AdminTitan August 16 2011 4:07 PM EDT

More stimulus.

Do you really think we need to spread another almost trillion dollars over the course of 10 years of spending. For freaks sake, if we're going to do a stimulus at least do it right. Don't spread the spending over the next decade. Imagine if you needed a blood transfusion and the doctor walked in and was like "I know you need blood, but we're just going to give you a little here and there, and you're going to have to keep coming back every week for the next 5 years, even though you'll get better in a month or so and you won't need it anymore."

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 4:17 PM EDT

in our current political climate, what do you think the odds are of our government replacing the entire tax code with a flat or fair tax?

QBRanger August 16 2011 4:19 PM EDT

Socialize health insurance.

In Britain, 239 patients died of malnutrition in the country's public hospitals in 2007, according to a charity called Age U.K. And at any given time, a quarter-million Britons have been made to wait 18 weeks or longer for medical treatment. This follows a decade in which funding for the National Health Service doubled.

Obamacare is not the answer. And things will continue to get worse when its individual mandate is overturned by the Supremes.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] August 16 2011 4:20 PM EDT

Let us drill in the gulf again. Lossen regulation. Lower taxes. Repeal Romneycare.
If we handed you another spiked kool-aid martini, complete with gulf sea salt rim, would you pay the bill or ask for another serving? Also don't think anyone here can stand such extreme bitterness to share one with you. :P

"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
-Albert Einstein
You must be trolling. Confess!

AdminTitan August 16 2011 4:23 PM EDT

I don't understand why we're striving to be environmentally green, instead of economically independent. The difference we're making by restricting drilling in many places is nominal at best, and in turn we're hindering ourselves from the chance to lessen our need for foreign oil.

AdminTitan August 16 2011 4:24 PM EDT

I'm trolling gun.

QBRanger August 16 2011 4:32 PM EDT

We are at least a decade away from "green" energy independance. And yet we throw money we do not have at these green companies that are going belly up:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/62363405/Obama-s-Pet-Green-Company-Goes-Belly-Up

We should drill the oil we have here. We should get out own natural gas. We should build the pipeline to Canada for their oil.

But no, we have the crazy environmentalists stopping our own production at every opportunity. Forcing higher prices and more gas usage in oil tankers. Which are multiple time more likely to have an oil spill than our own rigs. Deepwater included.

Lord Bob August 16 2011 4:32 PM EDT

Look at Spain in this article ..
First let's just look at the website, and the kind of articles and blog posts linked on the right:
- Obama Seems To Be Taking His Defeat In The 2012 Election Rather Well
- The Myth of White Privilege
- Progressives and Their Taxes Kill Cities
- Climate Witchcraft and Post-Normal Science
- Obama's Ineptitude
- The Protocols of the Elders of Liberalism
- NY Times empathizes with PA's financial woes, ends up blaming Israel
- What most Democrats secretly believe
- Hysteria at the DNC

Now we have a taste of what kind of website we're looking at.

Now, there's a big difference between saying "green energy can't create jobs" and "Obama's green energy initiative bloody sucked." The latter I agree with, especially being a resident of Michigan where we were supposed to re-tool the auto plants to do this.

No, not less regulation, but regulation that the regulators actually enforce. Have good regulations that are adequately enforced. Do not over regulate. Let the free market work.
On this we have some agreement. I think we differ in what we consider over regulation though, especially when it comes to environmental concerns.

Do you really think we need to spread another almost trillion dollars over the course of 10 years of spending.
Not over ten years.

For freaks sake, if we're going to do a stimulus at least do it right. Don't spread the spending over the next decade.
Correct.

You'll note I said "more stimulus." I didn't say "do it the exact same way."

AdminTitan August 16 2011 4:38 PM EDT

Now see I wouldn't have been so against a stimulus done right about 2 years ago. But, not the way Obama did his (I'm assuming Bush did it the same way). I'm not sure if right now is the right time to do another stimulus though. When I ask myself this question, I always ask three questions.

1) Would it be effective?
2) How much would it cost to be effective.
3) Does it out weight the negatives from spending all that extra money we don't have.

Looking at another stimulus right now, I feel that in order for it to be some what effective at all, it would require a lot lot lot lot of money. And that probably wouldn't make up for the spending that it costs to get that negligible boost in economy.

QBRanger August 16 2011 4:39 PM EDT

First let's just look at the website, and the kind of articles and blog posts linked on the right:

Let us forget about those other posts.

Are there any facts in that article that you dispute as being untrue?

Any of these facts:

* Green energy is 120 percent more expensive, simply due to the extra costs of solar and wind, and the evolution of the market is not going to bring down those costs any time soon.

* The clean energy sector is slated to receive 126 billion euros in the next 25 years, but no one knows where the money is going to come from . In 2009, the subsidies were worth 5 billion euros.

* Photovoltaic solar power accounts for 53 percent of the extra cost of renewables, whereas it produces only 11 percent of Spain's renewable energy.

* Each "green job" comes at the expense of 2.2 traditional jobs.

About Obama losing in 2012, the future looks very bright.

QBRanger August 16 2011 4:43 PM EDT

This quote pretty much sums up my view and dislike of the "stimulus"

'Shovel-Ready Was Not as Shovel-Ready as We Expected'

It was more a payout to the unions, teachers included. A patch for state governments to help recover during the recession. Of which very few used that money and made meaningful changes.

And we want to charge up another 1+T dollars in non-shovel ready projects to give to the unions?

No wonder the Republicans and Tea-Party won such a convincing victory in 2010.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 4:56 PM EDT

let us please get back to the topic of this thread though, which is buffet's article.

he feels that that the ultra-wealthy has been coddled and that they pay a smaller share of taxes based on percentage of taxable income. you state that the economy will do better if the ultra-rich can keep their money.

why do you feel you have a better grasp on what can help the economy than him?

Lord Bob August 16 2011 5:02 PM EDT

Are there any facts in that article that you dispute as being untrue?
Misleading, yes.

Green energy is 120 percent more expensive,
Currently, yes. New, sparse technology tends to be more expensive than old technology. The idea is to spur the market, invest in new technology, create competition and bring costs down, making it viable for everyone.

The clean energy sector is slated to receive 126 billion euros in the next 25 years,
What does this have to do with a green energy plan here in the US? We know where the money would come for these grants here: from the same people who pay for Iraq.

Photovoltaic solar power accounts for 53 percent of the extra cost of renewables, whereas it produces only 11 percent of Spain's renewable energy.
And your point here is?

Each "green job" comes at the expense of 2.2 traditional jobs.
If we had put people back to work by re-tooling the auto plants as Obama said he would (and yes, failed), we would have more jobs in this state right now.

We are at least a decade away from "green" energy independence.
So we shouldn't bother at all then, right?

And yes, the stimulus was too little, too late. Certainly not too much.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 5:11 PM EDT

a related article:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE77E13V20110815

QBRanger August 16 2011 5:37 PM EDT

Like I said, Mr Buffet is free to pay more tax but he does not. He just wants others to pay.

Until then his words are just that - words.

QBJohnnywas August 16 2011 5:48 PM EDT

"And at any given time, a quarter-million Britons have been made to wait 18 weeks or longer for medical treatment."

This is from this years figures, which is the longest wait in four years. This is after the Tory government got rid of waiting time targets (The previous government set targets to keep waiting times low). This is in part to push more people towards the private sector where they will be seen more quickly.

This is the result of us having a right leaning government who want to privatise healthcare.

Lord Bob August 16 2011 5:52 PM EDT

This is in part to push more people towards the private sector where they will be seen more quickly. This is the result of us having a right leaning government who want to privatize healthcare.
Ha!

Sickone August 16 2011 6:09 PM EDT

USA is deathly afraid of Value Added Tax.
Which *is* basically a tax on consumption.
And Europe has it since... well, quite a long time.

QBRanger August 16 2011 6:17 PM EDT

No. The US is afraid of adding a VAT in addition to income tax.

A VAT by itself will be different.

QBRanger August 16 2011 6:20 PM EDT

This is in part to push more people towards the private sector where they will be seen more quickly. This is the result of us having a right leaning government who want to privatize healthcare.

So having private healthcare so they will be seen quicker is bad how?

QBJohnnywas August 16 2011 6:29 PM EDT

Well for one, we currently pay National Insurance, which is effectively our tax to pay for our healthcare. There are no plans to stop that, so we will be paying twice effectively for our treatment, and on top of that their budgets have been cut, so that tax towards healthcare isn't even being used fully for healthcare anyway.

QBRanger August 16 2011 6:40 PM EDT

Understood.

But in the context of the USA. We have mostly private insurance for those under 65. Would it be best to go to nationalized healthcare and longer waiting times?

Or try to use free market solutions to the problem?

Obama are moves us towards socialized one size fits all cookbook medicine.

Unfortunately not everyone responds the same way to the same treatment or medication.

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] August 16 2011 7:30 PM EDT

Obama are moves us towards socialized one size fits all cookbook medicine.

Unfortunately not everyone responds the same way to the same treatment or medication

Just how does statement A lead to statement B being relevant?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 9:23 PM EDT

Like I said, Mr Buffet is free to pay more tax but he does not. He just wants others to pay.

how much extra have you ever donated through your annual income tax form?

why is it that his asking for more taxes for the ultra-wealthy elicited such a defensive response from you ranger? he is pretty savvy when it comes to economics, wouldn't you agree?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 9:44 PM EDT

also, if we weren't going through the deficit mess that we are now, it would be fine to wait for the more philanthropic ultra-wealthy to donate on their tax forms.

with the current budget issues though, does it not seem silly to disregard one of the people from this tax bracket's advice regarding our budget woes?

QBRanger August 16 2011 10:02 PM EDT

how much extra have you ever donated through your annual income tax form?

None. But I am not the one advocating higher taxes, he is.

why is it that his asking for more taxes for the ultra-wealthy elicited such a defensive response from you ranger? he is pretty savvy when it comes to economics, wouldn't you agree?

Because I do not play the class warfare game. And one day I hope to be that ultra-wealthy person.

I would hope all people are treated equally. Not discriminated against due to their wealth.

also, if we weren't going through the deficit mess that we are now, it would be fine to wait for the more philanthropic ultra-wealthy to donate on their tax forms.

You and I both know that the ultra-wealthy do not give more taxes on their tax form. They, as you say, are philanthropic. They use THEIR money for what THEY want. For the foundation that is in their name and they get to determine exactly where their money goes.

I know that is not everyone, but quite a lot of buildings on college campuses are named after their financier.

with the current budget issues though, does it not seem silly to disregard one of the people from this tax bracket's advice regarding our budget woes?

As you should plainly see, this is a very small minority of ultra-wealthy people. Compare that to those like Donald Trump, Steve Wynn, and most of the other 236,883 people in the 1M plus bracket. If we took a poll and most want a tax cut, should we then, by your logic, give them the tax cut? I am sure most would use the Reagan/Kennedy/Bush model of lower taxes means good economic times.

But still yet again, what is to stop him, Warren E. Buffett, from paying more taxes?

It would gain mine and a lot of other peoples respect if he personally paid 33% of his income towards his tax bill. And told the government to keep the excess. Then he can lecture me on raising my taxes.

I aspire to be one of those 236k people making 1M a year. I would hope everyone would also try.

And stop playing class warfare games.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 10:30 PM EDT

And told the government to keep the excess. Then he can lecture me on raising my taxes.

where does he lecture you? where does he say to raise your taxes? what freaking article did you read?

he states that he pays around 15 percent of his taxable income and that most americans are paying much more. why is it that you see class warfare whereas i see reality?

how can two people read the same article and take such different things from it? if all of the ultra-wealthy were asking for higher taxes, would you still justify it as some trick to get your money?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 10:42 PM EDT

also, what do you see as mr. buffet's motivation for engaging in this so-called class warfare conspiracy of yours? he has a pretty solid record as a capitalist, does he not?

QBRanger August 16 2011 10:49 PM EDT

More stimulus.

And how do you think we will pay for another 1+T stimulus. I say more than 1 T since most democrats believe the past one was too small. As that was the reason it did not work.

Really, where will we get that money? Raise taxes on the "rich". How about skipping the middle man and just give the money directly from the rich to the unemployed.

Want to grow the economy? Take it from someone who went from a lower middle class family to being successful. Lower my taxes. Do not raise them.

I spend more. I give more to charity. I take vacations. Hire people to fix my pinball machine. Expand my house and build a theater. Add to my garden. Putting many people to work.

Raise my taxes and the opposite occurs. Multiple that by millions of successful people.

Or we can plan on the government doing its best to help you out. Waiting in the unemployment line.

Obama took the exact wrong approach to this crisis. He did almost the opposite of Reagan, who inherited a recession. And by the 3rd year, we were growing 7+% per year, compared to 2% now.

So if this limousine liberal Buffett wants to write about raising my taxes, let him. Just like Al Gore and his private plane, or John Kerry and his yacht. I've seen this movie before.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 16 2011 11:01 PM EDT

So if this limousine liberal Buffett wants to write about raising my taxes, let him.

do you think that if you repeat a falsehood enough that it becomes a truth? where does he write about raising your taxes? you did state that you make less than 1m a year, correct?

QBRanger August 16 2011 11:12 PM EDT

do you think that if you repeat a falsehood enough that it becomes a truth? where does he write about raising your taxes? you did state that you make less than 1m a year, correct?

Perhaps you misunderstand me.

I have hit that barrier in the past. I would hope to hit it again. While Mr. Buffett is not talking about me right now, I sure hope it is me in the future.

Also, I am very much against class warfare. Ok, let us say I agree on the 1M cutoff. Then, why not 500k? or 250k? That sure does effect me. Once we say, let us raise taxes on certain people, some day you could become that certain person.

Which is why I am a big fan of the flat or fair tax system. Everyone has some skin the game.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 16 2011 11:18 PM EDT

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_tax - Which version of the flat tax?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairTax - The very first paragraph of this doesn't sound like anything you'd be in favor of

QBRanger August 16 2011 11:27 PM EDT

I would think the Flat Tax with deductions would be most in line with how I see things.

Why would the Fair tax be unwanted by me? I buy more, I pay more. But I get to choose what I buy, when and how. Perhaps the effect is psychological if things end up being a wash. However, I will save money on accountants, tax shelters, and saving all my receipts.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 17 2011 12:21 AM EDT

"The proposal also calls for a monthly payment to all family households of lawful U.S. residents as an advance rebate, or "prebate", of tax on purchases up to the poverty level."

Lord Bob August 17 2011 12:49 AM EDT

Would it be best to go to nationalized healthcare and longer waiting times?
You assume one automatically leads to the other, as if by design.

I have not yet seen a free market solution to the health care problem in this country. Hence why I see the need for a more socialized approach.

how much extra have you ever donated through your annual income tax form?
In defense of Ranger (and I fully understand he will NEVER reciprocate this on any grounds, ever), he may not have given more in taxes, but he has donated much of his time to Doctors Without Borders. This is the kind of thing I think warrants a tax cut. Now watch him attack me and call me a socialist, since he has no intention of finding any common ground with me or any Liberal, whatsoever.

Because I do not play the class warfare game.
If you want lower taxes for the upper class, and a reduction in services for low-wage single-parents, the elderly, struggling students, and the rest of the under class, yes you do. If you call poor people "lazy" - and I can retrieve your posts if I need to to prove you've done this - you're commiting class warfare.

Fox News and the rest of the Rightist propaganda machine has given the extremest Neo-cons the "class warfare" talking point to draw out against the Left when they stand up for the people. Of course, they are the ones guilty of the charge.

I would hope all people are treated equally.
Far right capitalism in this day and age does not treat everyone equally. Some have more opportunities than others. I cannot believe that you can't see this.

This is not to say far-left socialism is any better, so don't even bother with that nonsensical label.

You and I both know that the ultra-wealthy do not give more taxes on their tax form.
Our point. Thank you.

And how do you think we will pay for another 1+T stimulus.
I already told you.

In addition, this does include increasing the debt more. FINE. I don't like the debt any more than you do (and it's a stupid Republican myth that Liberals WANT more debt), but building our own economy and creating jobs comes first. Sometimes, you need debt to do that.

I spend more. ... Putting many people to work.
I DO NOT THINK YOU QUALIFY AS "THE ULTRA-WEALTHY."
I DO NOT THINK YOU QUALIFY AS "THE ULTRA-WEALTHY."
I DO NOT THINK YOU QUALIFY AS "THE ULTRA-WEALTHY."
I DO NOT THINK YOU QUALIFY AS "THE ULTRA-WEALTHY."
I DO NOT THINK YOU QUALIFY AS "THE ULTRA-WEALTHY."
I DO NOT THINK YOU QUALIFY AS "THE ULTRA-WEALTHY."

In case you haven't noticed,
I DO NOT THINK YOU QUALIFY AS "THE ULTRA-WEALTHY."

You may not be the kind of person I want taxed more. Judging from your responses, you may not make enough money to fall into that bracket in my book. Before this thread, I assumed you did. So stop whining. It's entirely probable that you are not being attacked by anybody at all here.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 17 2011 8:51 AM EDT

ranger, by your logic then anything that affects one segment of taxpayers and not others is class warfare. from the article above:

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

i guess the class warfare started in the '90s? if you are really so against this class warfare, you should be all for bringing the percentage of taxable income back into line with where it used to be?


you got this riled up not because he wants you to pay more in taxes or is lecturing you on tax burden, but because you perceive his actions as threatening something you hope to be?





QBRanger August 17 2011 9:42 AM EDT

i guess the class warfare started in the '90s? if you are really so against this class warfare, you should be all for bringing the percentage of taxable income back into line with where it used to be?

As I have stated, I would much much rather see a flat or fair tax. Where it used to be was far more unfair than now, of which I think is still unfair. The highest tax rates used to be 90%.

you got this riled up not because he wants you to pay more in taxes or is lecturing you on tax burden, but because you perceive his actions as threatening something you hope to be?

Both. This limousine liberal trying to tell me what to do AND the hope I will again be in this tax bracket.

I DO NOT THINK YOU QUALIFY AS "THE ULTRA-WEALTHY."

Have you not read my posts? I have been "ULTRA-WEALTHY" a couple years in the past and hope to be there again.

But we have Buffett saying 1M while our president rails on those making 250k. Class-warfare rhetoric never wins my vote.


Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 17 2011 9:58 AM EDT

so do you define the george w. bush tax cuts as class warfare?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 17 2011 10:05 AM EDT

This limousine liberal trying to tell me what to do

what is it that you perceive him as telling you to do?

QBRanger August 17 2011 10:15 AM EDT

so do you define the george w. bush tax cuts as class warfare?

Did he not cut the income tax of everyone who pays? It was as good a deal as he could muster, short of a flat/fair tax.

Why would you assume I would think it would be class warfare. He was treating everyone to a tax cut.

what is it that you perceive him as telling you to do?

Telling others that they should pay more tax. Yes, the "uber" rich, however, I would think quite a few people in America aspire to be that "uber" rich.

Trying to get the pitchfork crowd to raise taxes on a certain subsection of the population. However, once that barn door opens, what is to stop Obama from saying "let's raise taxes on who I think need to pay more".

QBRanger August 17 2011 10:16 AM EDT

"The proposal also calls for a monthly payment to all family households of lawful U.S. residents as an advance rebate, or "prebate", of tax on purchases up to the poverty level."

Not in the flat tax with deductions proposal that I like the best.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 17 2011 10:35 AM EDT

well if you look at it that way, then it wouldn't be class warfare if we passed a new law stating that everyone should pay 30% of their taxable income as that would affect everyone the same?



QBRanger August 17 2011 10:46 AM EDT

well if you look at it that way, then it wouldn't be class warfare if we passed a new law stating that everyone should pay 30% of their taxable income as that would affect everyone the same?

How is effecting everyone the same class warfare?

The way I view it, class warfare is when you try to pit one class vs another. By saying things such as "the rich need to pay more".

More as in a higher percentage of their income, not total dollar amount. I am fine with paying the same overall percentage of my income in tax. Not a higher percentage.

As I stated, the US has the most progressive tax system in the world. We have 47-50% who pay zero federal income tax.

Duke August 17 2011 12:11 PM EDT

As I stated, the US has the most progressive tax system in the world. We have 47-50% who pay zero federal income tax.

NA... false answer

Duke August 17 2011 12:35 PM EDT

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html

Thatメs the portion of American households that owe no income tax for 2009. The number is up from 38 percent in 2007, and it has become a popular talking point on cable television and talk radio. With Tax Day coming on Thursday, 47 percent has become shorthand for the notion that the wealthy face a much higher tax burden than they once did while growing numbers of Americans are effectively on the dole.

Neither one of those ideas is true. They rely on a cleverly selective reading of the facts. So does the 47 percent number.

Given that taxes are likely to be one of the big political issues of the next few years ラ and maybe the biggest one ラ itメs worth understanding who really pays what in taxes. Once you do, you can get a sense for our countryメs fiscal options. How, in other words, will we be able to close the huge looming gap between the taxes we are scheduled to pay and the services we are scheduled to receive?

The answer is that tax rates almost certainly have to rise more on the affluent than on other groups. Over the last 30 years, rates have fallen more for the wealthy, and especially the very wealthy, than for any other group. At the same time, their incomes have soared, and the incomes of most workers have grown only moderately faster than inflation.

So a much greater share of income is now concentrated at the top of distribution, while each dollar there is taxed less than it once was. Itメs true that raising taxes on the rich alone canメt come close to solving the long-term budget problem. The deficit is simply too big. But if taxes are not increased for the wealthy, the country will be left with two options.

It will have to raise taxes even more than it otherwise would on everybody else. Or it will have to find deep cuts in Medicare, Social Security, military spending and the other large (generally popular) federal programs.

All the attention being showered on モ47 percentヤ is ultimately a distraction from that reality.

The 47 percent number is not wrong. The stimulus programs of the last two years ラ the first one signed by President George W. Bush, the second and larger one by President Obama ラ have increased the number of households that receive enough of a tax credit to wipe out their federal income tax liability.

But the modifiers here ラ federal and income ラ are important. Income taxes arenメt the only kind of federal taxes that people pay. There are also payroll taxes and investment taxes, among others. And, of course, people pay state and local taxes, too.

Even if the discussion is restricted to federal taxes (for which the statistics are better), a vast majority of households end up paying federal taxes. Congressional Budget Office data suggests that, at most, about 10 percent of all households pay no net federal taxes. The number 10 is obviously a lot smaller than 47.

The reason is that poor families generally pay more in payroll taxes than they receive through benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit. Itメs not just poor families for whom the payroll tax is a big deal, either. About three-quarters of all American households pay more in payroll taxes, which go toward Medicare and Social Security, than in income taxes.

Focusing on the statistical middle class ラ the middle 20 percent of households, as ranked by income ラ underlines this point. Households in this group made $35,400 to $52,100 in 2006, the last year for which the Congressional Budget Office has released data. That would describe a household with one full-time worker earning about $17 to $25 an hour. Such hourly pay is typical for firefighters, preschool teachers, computer support specialists, farmers, members of the clergy, mail carriers, secretaries and truck drivers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Taking into account both taxes and tax credits, the average household in this group paid a total income tax rate of just 3 percent. A good number of people, in fact, paid no net income taxes. They are among the alleged free riders.

But the picture starts to change when you look not just at income taxes but at all taxes. This average household would have paid 0.8 percent of its income in corporate taxes (through the stocks it owned), 0.9 percent in gas and other federal excise taxes, and 9.5 percent in payroll taxes. Add these up, and the familyメs total federal tax rate was 14.2 percent.

I realize that itメs possible to argue that payroll taxes should be excluded from the discussion because they pay for benefits ラ Social Security and Medicare ラ that people receive on the back end. But that argument doesnメt seem very persuasive.

Why? People do not receive benefits equal to the payroll taxes they paid. Those who die at age 70 will receive much less in Social Security and Medicare than they paid in taxes. Those who die at 95 will probably get much more.

The different kinds of federal taxes are really just accounting categories. At the end of the day, the government has to cover the cost of all its operations with revenue from all its taxes. We canメt wish our deficit away by saying that itメs mostly a Medicare and Social Security deficit.

If anything, the government numbers Iメm using here exaggerate how much of the tax burden falls on the wealthy. These numbers fail to account for the income that is hidden from tax collectors ラ a practice, research shows, that is more common among affluent families. モBecause higher-income people are understating their income,ヤ Joel Slemrod, a tax scholar at the University of Michigan, says, モWeメve been overstating their average tax rates.ヤ

State and local taxes, meanwhile, may actually be regressive. That is, middle-class and poor families may face higher tax rates than the wealthy. As Kim Rueben of the Tax Policy Center notes, state and local income taxes and property taxes are less progressive than federal taxes, while sales taxes end up being regressive. The typical family pays a lot of state and local taxes, too ラ almost half as much as in federal taxes.

There is no question that the wealthy pay a higher overall tax rate than any other group. That is an American tradition. But there is also no question that their tax rates have fallen more than any other groupメs over the last three decades. The only reason they are paying more taxes than in the past is that their pretax incomes have risen so rapidly ラ which hardly seems a great rationale for a further tax cut.

So why are those radio and television talk show hosts spending so much time arguing that todayメs wealthy are unfairly burdened? Well, itメs hard not to notice that the talk show hosts themselves tend to be among the very wealthy.

No doubt, like the rest of us, they donメt particularly enjoy paying taxes. They are happy with the tax cuts they have received lately. They would prefer if other people had to pick up the bill for Medicare, Social Security and the military ラ people like, say, firefighters, preschool teachers, computer support specialists, farmers, members of the clergy, mail carriers, secretaries and truck drivers.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 17 2011 1:48 PM EDT

yet you accuse buffet of class warfare when he is just saying that, as a percentage of taxable income he is paying only 15% while others pay more and that needs to become more equitable.

so i ask you the same question, how can you say it is class warfare when he is just asking for things to be made more equitable?

QBRanger August 17 2011 2:13 PM EDT

Not every million and billionaire uses the accounting tricks Mr. Buffett uses.

If he wants to get rid of the corporate loopholes that he uses, that is fine. But he calls for raising rates.

But yet again, nothing at all is stopping Mr. Buffett from paying more taxes that he thinks would be acceptible for a "shared sacrifice".

I know many millionaires that want lower taxes to help stimulate their business growth. Maybe we should listen to them?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 17 2011 2:38 PM EDT

he calls for raising the percentage of taxable income that the ultra-wealthy pay up to what most americans pay.

in your 10:46 post you said that this was not class warfare and that you do think it is a good idea.

once again i am convinced you didn't even read the article he wrote. he states in there that most of his wealthy friends actually pay less, as a percentage of taxable income, than he does due to the fact that he pays some payroll tax while many others in his income group do not.

he also addresses in the article your other point regarding people not investing due to higher taxes. the other viewpoint about millionaires wanting to keep their money is fine by me. we have actually been hearing that for a couple of decades now especially if you were listening during the reagan years.

again though, with our current debt issues, it is refreshing to hear that some of the extremely wealthy have a different view of things.

i totally see how our political climate is so polarized in america after this discussion though and that makes me wonder how long we will put up with the current situation.

QBRanger August 17 2011 8:34 PM EDT

Nice counter article from the WSJ:

Barney Kilgore, the man who made the Wall Street Journal into a national publication, was once asked why so many rich people favored higher taxes. That's easy, he replied. They already have their money.

That insight is worth recalling amid the latest political duet from President Obama and Warren Buffett demanding higher taxes on "millionaires and billionaires." Mr. Buffett is repeating his now familiar argument this week, coinciding with Mr. Obama's Midwestern road trip on the economy. Since the media are treating Mr. Buffett as a tax oracle, let's take a closer look at some of the billionaire's intellectual tax dodges.

ユ The double tax oversight. The Berkshire Hathaway magnate makes much of the fact that he paid only 17.4% of his income in taxes, which he considers unfair when salaried workers often pay more. But Mr. Buffett makes most of his income from his investments, in particular from dividends and capital gains that are taxed at a rate of 15%.

What he doesn't say is that much of his income was already taxed once as corporate income, which is assessed at a 35% rate (less deductions). The 15% levy on capital gains and dividends to individuals is thus a double tax that takes the overall tax rate on that corporate income closer to 45%.

This onerous tax on capital is a U.S. competitive disadvantage in the global economy, which is why Congress agreed in 2003 to cut the rates on dividends and capital gains. Even as the rest of the world is cutting tax rates on corporate income, Mr. Buffett wants to raise U.S. rates in a way that would make America less attractive for investment. Under a sensible tax reform, the feds would impose either a corporate tax or a dividend and capital gains tax, but not both.

ユ The middle-class bait-and-switch. Like Mr. Obama, Mr. Buffett speaks about raising taxes only on the rich. But somehow he ignores that the President's tax increase starts at $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. Mr. Obama ought to call them "thousandaires," but that probably doesn't poll as well.

The President needs to levy his tax increase at such a lower income level because that's where the money is. In 2009, 237,000 taxpayers reported income above $1 million and they paid $178 billion in taxes. A mere 8,274 filers reported income above $10 million, and they paid only $54 billion in taxes.

But 3.92 million reported income above $200,000 in 2009, and they paid $434 billion in taxes. To put it another way, roughly 90% of the tax filers who would pay more under Mr. Obama's plan aren't millionaires, and 99.99% aren't billionaires.

Mr. Buffett says it's only "fair" to raise his taxes, but he's lending his credibility to raising taxes on millions of middle-class earners for whom a few extra thousand dollars in after-tax income is a big deal. Unlike Mr. Buffett, those middle-class earners aren't rich and may earn $250,000 for only a few years of their working lives. How is that fair?

ユ The charity loophole. For billionaires like Mr. Buffett, the single most important deduction in the tax code is for charitable giving. Middle-class earners can't give nearly as much money away to reduce their overall tax burden. Yet we don't hear Mr. Buffett calling for the elimination of that deduction in the name of fairness.
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Editorial writer Mary Kissel on how Obama's taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" would hurt the middle class. Also, Bartley Fellow Charlie Dameron on Texas Governor Rick Perry's liabilities as a GOP presidential candidate.

Mr. Buffett has also already sheltered the bulk of his fortune from federal taxes by putting them into a foundation that will give the money away. That's an act of generosity, but if the government's purposes are so vital, why doesn't he simply give the money to the IRS?

Rebecca Quick of CNBC put that question to Mr. Buffett in 2007. His answer: "Well, that's a choice and it's an option . . . If I had to give it to a single individual, or make some young Buffett a multibillionaire, or give it to the government, I'd absolutely give it to the government. I think that on balance the Gates Foundation, my daughter's foundation, my two sons' foundations will do a better job with lower administrative costs and better selection of beneficiaries than the government."

Mr. Buffett is no doubt right about the relative efficiency of private donors, but should billionaire philanthropists get such a large tax preference? Another case of fairness?

Mr. Buffett is one of the great stock-pickers of his time, and we don't begrudge him a single dollar of his wealth. We only wish that, having already made himself rich, he weren't so intent on making it harder for others to become rich too. If he's worried about being undertaxed, we'd suggest he simply write a big check to Uncle Sam and go back to his day job of picking investments.

Phoenix [The Forgehood] August 17 2011 9:23 PM EDT

You know, ranger, if there was a flat tax, then 1 of 4 things would happen:
1) both the rich and poor/middle pay more, with the rich paying far more than they currently do
2) the rich pays more (comparable to the poor/middle class), which is still the rich paying a lot more
3) the poor pay less, which gives the government less money
4) a combination of 2 and 3, where the rich pay more, but not as much as in 2, and the poor pay less, but not as little as in 3.

Therefore, the rich would still, in possibilities 1, 2, and 4, get taxed more with your flat tax plan. I don't see why you're fighting against a tax raise.

Duke August 17 2011 11:32 PM EDT

Nice counter article from the WSJ:

Barney Kilgore, the man who made the Wall Street Journal into a national publication, was once asked why so many rich people favored higher taxes. That's easy, he replied. They already have their money.

Reply: that suppost to give him some credibility ?


That insight is worth recalling amid the latest political duet from President Obama and Warren Buffett demanding higher taxes on "millionaires and billionaires." Mr. Buffett is repeating his now familiar argument this week, coinciding with Mr. Obama's Midwestern road trip on the economy. Since the media are treating Mr. Buffett as a tax oracle, let's take a closer look at some of the billionaire's intellectual tax dodges.

Reply: tax dodge ?? article does not relate to anything others that dividend tax rate and capital rate is lower that income tax and that what buffet claim is wrong.

ユ The double tax oversight. The Berkshire Hathaway magnate makes much of the fact that he paid only 17.4% of his income in taxes, which he considers unfair when salaried workers often pay more. But Mr. Buffett makes most of his income from his investments, in particular from dividends and capital gains that are taxed at a rate of 15%.


What he doesn't say is that much of his income was already taxed once as corporate income, which is assessed at a 35% rate (less deductions). The 15% levy on capital gains and dividends to individuals is thus a double tax that takes the overall tax rate on that corporate income closer to 45%.

Reply: Should read writen and aprove by Goldman sach, reality is MSFT as pay 7% tax last Q, GE had pay a big 0, INTC is between 17% to 20%.


This onerous tax on capital is a U.S. competitive disadvantage in the global economy, which is why Congress agreed in 2003 to cut the rates on dividends and capital gains. Even as the rest of the world is cutting tax rates on corporate income, Mr. Buffett wants to raise U.S. rates in a way that would make America less attractive for investment. Under a sensible tax reform, the feds would impose either a corporate tax or a dividend and capital gains tax, but not both.

Reply: That just a big lie, that they like to spread around reducing CAp gain and Div to individual does not change anything as you pay its in your country of origin while the corp can be base anywhere. If you invest into Danone you are not gonna pay the div tax rate in France. They are mixing individual tax rate and corp tax rate to mislead the ppl. He should apply for a position at Fox news.

ユ The middle-class bait-and-switch. Like Mr. Obama, Mr. Buffett speaks about raising taxes only on the rich. But somehow he ignores that the President's tax increase starts at $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. Mr. Obama ought to call them "thousandaires," but that probably doesn't poll as well.

Reply : The first concern were to deduction give to corp all for X reason. Like aerospace semi con all have massive deduction while making B$ not in revenue profit and growing at a rate several fold of the GDP.

The President needs to levy his tax increase at such a lower income level because that's where the money is. In 2009, 237,000 taxpayers reported income above $1 million and they paid $178 billion in taxes. A mere 8,274 filers reported income above $10 million, and they paid only $54 billion in taxes.

Reply: A careful use of the word ''levy'' term use in the middle age for lord and kingdom tax. What you guy are still scare of UK coming to spank your ass.

The republican try to redirect the debate from div tax rate and cap gain tax rate to the higher bracket of the income tax.That only help 0.0001% of the population at the expense of everyone else.

Duke August 17 2011 11:47 PM EDT

Ill tell you why this article is propaganda.

He claim that Cap gain tax for INDIVIDUAL is too high and its hider investement. A better aproach that is fair is to raise the exemption point for individual. So retire and family can be exempt when selling there house or anything. What that guy want is a lower tax rate that is over exemtion point that mostly for the uber mega rich that make Billion on stock option.

Again that only help a few big political contributor for the republican party and have no significant impact for anyone including you ranger.

Phoenix [The Forgehood] August 18 2011 2:19 AM EDT

>To put it another way, roughly 90% of the tax filers who would pay more under Mr. Obama's plan aren't millionaires, and 99.99% aren't billionaires.

What does the amount of filers that aren't millionaires or billionaires have to do with taxing more on those who ARE millionaires or billionaires?

>ユ The double tax oversight. The Berkshire Hathaway magnate makes much of the fact that he paid only 17.4% of his income in taxes, which he considers unfair when salaried workers often pay more. But Mr. Buffett makes most of his income from his investments, in particular from dividends and capital gains that are taxed at a rate of 15%.
>What he doesn't say is that much of his income was already taxed once as corporate income, which is assessed at a 35% rate (less deductions). The 15% levy on capital gains and dividends to individuals is thus a double tax that takes the overall tax rate on that corporate income closer to 45%.

Corporations pay tax, yes, but it doesn't count as part of Buffett's total income. Corporations are separate entities that pay for themselves, and it's not as if Buffett had to pay the tax out of his own pocket. Therefore this argument about corporate tax does not apply when the original argument concerned Buffett's finances, and not that of his corporation.

Straw men don't work in an argument.

AdminTitan August 18 2011 10:54 AM EDT

I don't really want to get involved on this, b/c I gave up on the government about 8 years ago. But,

Corporations are separate entities that pay for themselves, and it's not as if Buffett had to pay the tax out of his own pocket

This is kind of run. By taxing corporations you are decreasing their profit, by decreasing their profit you are decreasing the amount of money they pay their employees via bonuses and salary. Thereby, the more you tax a corp, the more you take money away from an individual.

QBRanger August 18 2011 11:12 AM EDT

It is very simple.

Tax a corporation more and prices increase.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 11:45 AM EDT

i think it is much more complex in a free market type economy as prices cannot just be set, someone has to be willing to pay the price.

who was it on here that used to list cb for sale for ten bucks regardless of the market price?

i guess you are right, he did set his price at whatever he wanted. i don't think he got much income from it though.

QBRanger August 18 2011 12:10 PM EDT

Yes and no.

Imagine if CB took a "tax" on every million of CB sold. 25%. Then the price would be 2.5 per million instead of 2 per million. And I doubt the sale of CB would go down significantly.

There is an old saying:

If a baker makes 10 cents profit on a 50 cent loaf of bread, what happens if the government raises his taxes 5 cents. How much profit would he then make?

Answer : 10 cents. He raises the price of his bread 5 cents to pay off the government.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 12:35 PM EDT

it is far from simple was my only point when you look at it in a market economy though. what if there are two town bakers and one raises his price to make up the tax and the other does not but decides to make a little less profit per loaf. if he then gets all of the sales hopefully the economies of scale will allow him to still make his same profit with the added sales.

he then has a monopoly, which at that point can charge whatever the hell he wants. until another baker comes in and chooses to undercut him to get some of the market share.

QBRanger August 18 2011 3:21 PM EDT

Last year my federal tax bill ラ the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf ラ was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income ラ and thatメs actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

This paragraph was quite confusing to me and it took me a couple days to figure it out.

This is one of the most deceptive paragraphs written ever.

I just did a test with a tax calculator I found on the internet. A single person making 75,000 a year, with zero deductions would owe 12,700 in federal income tax. Which is about 16%.

I, making over 250k a year last year, paid about 25%-26% in federal income tax. I had a few deductions from work and my mortgage.

So how in the heck does his employess pay 33-41%?

Here is the deception. He states he paid 16% in FEDERAL income tax, while he quotes theirs in TAX BURDEN. Which I would have to assume includes all taxes. City, state, property. I wonder what his employee FEDERAl tax load is.

And if his "other people" in the office make 10M a year and pay 41%, they are not taking advantage of numerous methods and investments to lower their tax burden.

This, my friends, is one of the most deceptive lines written in any article. Worse than comparing apples to oranges.

Quyen August 18 2011 4:02 PM EDT

lets compare strawberries with pumpkins 8D

Lochnivar August 18 2011 4:08 PM EDT

lets compare strawberries with pumpkins 8D

Why not, I've worked on a farm where I picked both....

I will say pumpkins are more fun to shoot at... especially if you draw faces on them... and you are using a rifle with a scope...

QBRanger August 18 2011 4:10 PM EDT

But strawberries are much more challenging to hit.

Hell, even I could hit a pumpkin with my Glock, now a strawberry....

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] August 18 2011 4:23 PM EDT

I gave up on the government about 8 years ago.
How old are you again?
Tax a corporation more and prices increase.
By a magnitude of 3 pennies. Your fears give zombie Orwell a tummy ache.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 4:24 PM EDT

when he says tax burden, i read that as combining the federal income tax along with payroll taxes and rolling that up into the tax burden which is the same number he used. i see no deception with his article.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 4:27 PM EDT

i think for your income your payroll taxes would be about 8% ranger, which added to your 25 to 26% would equal 33 to 34% tax burden for you.

QBRanger August 18 2011 4:36 PM EDT

O tay,

So adding 8 and 25 would be 33% total tax burden.

He states his office people pay 33 to 41%. They are doing very well.

But there is another reason he likely pays less.

His "income" is from capital gains, while I suspect his employees are in the form of salary.

As we know, there is inherent risks in capital gains, which is why it is taxes at a much lesser rate, 15% right now.

The fact it is taxed at a lesser rate encourages businesses and people to invest and take risks. Opposed to just taking a salary which has little risk as long as you have your job. Salary is steady income. Stocks, business investments, etc.. are not steady income. But risky income.

I have no problem with Buffett paying 16 or 17% if he is getting capital gains vs his employees having a salary.

But I am a proponent for closing loopholes that allow people to take capital gains when they really should not. Like a lot of stockbrokers and other money pushers in the US.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 4:38 PM EDT

he pretty much says that as well in the article.

QBRanger August 18 2011 4:44 PM EDT

I have absolutely no problem closing loopholes like " Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if theyメd been long-term investors. "

I think we can both agree on that point.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 4:47 PM EDT

certainly! ; )

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 4:56 PM EDT

he also responds this in the article:

The fact it is taxed at a lesser rate encourages businesses and people to invest and take risks. Opposed to just taking a salary which has little risk as long as you have your job. Salary is steady income. Stocks, business investments, etc.. are not steady income. But risky income.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

I didnメt refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone ラ not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 ラ shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know whatメs happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 4:58 PM EDT

i agree with him on that as well. the alternative is annuities, savings accounts or cd's. it would be silly to put all of your investment in something making less than 5% profit each year to avoid capital gains taxes.

QBRanger August 18 2011 4:59 PM EDT

You know whatメs happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

That is incorrect. After the Bush tax cuts of 01 and 03, the economy sustained 52 straight months of growth, stopping only with the current economic crisis.

One also have to know that Mr. Buffett is an exceptional individual. He can pick winners and losers in the stock market better than 99.9% of all people. Just becuase he is great at it, why are we going to penalize all the others who are not, but still want to attempt to risk their money in the market, in business, investing?

It is very easy to call for higher taxes when you are a billionaire.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 5:03 PM EDT

he specifically stated job creation not the economy. check those numbers and you will see he is correct.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 5:05 PM EDT

if they lose in the stock market, then they wouldn't pay capital gains. if they break even, they wouldn't pay capital gains.

AdminTitan August 18 2011 5:08 PM EDT

How old are you again?

20, now that I think about it, it might have been 7 years ago. 2003-2004, even though I was only like 13. Studied lots of economics on my own, and followed politics very closely, especially during the 2004 election. I'm sure I was more qualified to vote than 50% of the people that did even though I was only 13.

AdminTitan August 18 2011 5:15 PM EDT

Wait, dude, there is something clearly flawed in that logic. I'll show you. He says that since then "lower taxes and far lower job creation"

He says it in a way that makes it sound like he wants you to think it has a causative relationship, and that's how you took it. However, if that were true, we should be able to take the opposites and make it true as well. Meaning that increased taxes should create jobs. Now ignoring the argument that Ranger uses (pretty commonly used one); let's look at another angle: How could higher taxes increase jobs. I can think of two ways. 1) Higher more government employees. 2) More stimulus plans. Funny, b/c we've done both of those a lot in the past 10 years as well. Increasing taxes is not going to increase job availability, as seeing that that's true, we can assume that the opposite is true. Lower taxes cannot destroy jobs (Of course it can a little, less government employees and government contracts, but usually this is outweighed by the increased private contracts). Mr. Buffet knows the economy is a lot more complicated than that, he knows that there is not a causative relationship between lower taxes and lower job rates, yet he said it anyway. And I for one am a little disappointed in him.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 5:27 PM EDT

i took that as a response to the "trickle down" theory of economics. it came about in the 80's and is still used today.

in my opinion he is just giving one example that refutes the idea of trickle down economics. yes, the economy of the u.s. is much more complicated than that. far too complex for us to base our tax principles on a simple theory that compares spending and investment to water and gravity!

i think the main point he was making in that paragraph though was that people will not shy away from a good investment due to the tax bill, especially when the alternative is burying your money in a jar or getting cd rates for it!

AdminTitan August 18 2011 5:38 PM EDT

in my opinion he is just giving one example that refutes the idea of trickle down economics

Let x = taxes, w = number of jobs, y = value of US currency, and z = consumer confidence.

Assume:

1/x * y * z = w

let x = .2

5yz = w

let x = .5
2yz = w

Now in the first circumstance let y&z be 5. 5^3 = 125.
In the second circumstance let y&z be 10. 2*100 = 200

As you can see, even if a variable has a significant role in the outcome of something else, unless it is the end all factor, you can't draw conclusions like you just did. You can't say, well, jobs decreased, taxes went down, trickle down must be false. It's certainly not 100% false, it's also certainly not 100% true. Yet their are hundreds of factors in the amount of jobs available. Taxes are only but one.

QBsutekh137 August 18 2011 5:47 PM EDT

Tax a corporation more and prices increase.

Incorrect.

Assuming there is still competition (this is capitalism we are discussing -- it ain't working if there isn't competition), raising taxes does not have to result in a price increase.

Assuming there is advancement in product development, vendor relations, and overall R&D (GE, for example, expects the cost of making an item to decrease by 15% year-over-year in a standard product cycle, last I heard), prices for goods and services can go DOWN even if taxes increase.

Assuming the tax increase results in better public services that privatization cannot accomplish (that is what gov't is for, the Big Stuff) -- national defense, infrastructure, education -- the corporations will see gains from the increased tax revenue (you seem to think more taxing is like burning money -- that is not so). These gains can, again, LOWER prices. Compare a working interstate system to one where a bridge collapses every six months. Which is better for business?

The fact that corporations raise prices when taxes are increased isn't based on straight cause-effect lines. It is based on some corporations using it as a scapegoat for greed (initially) and then later pointing back at history as a stick against policy makers to say, "See what happens when you raise taxes?!" They are begging their own question, fulfilling their own money-grubbing prophecy.

The reason I don't believe corporations can be trusted in this fashion is very simple and very evident. Consider Big Oil. Last quarter ended with record profits for that industry once again, but instead of investing in jobs, R&D, or infrastructure, do you know what most Big Oil companies did? They bought back stock, thereby pseudo-artificially raising their stock prices and indicating larger corporate bonuses come year-end. Chevron, for example, spent something like NINETY PERCENT of their profits on this.

And if your argument there is that they don't want to hire simply because of health care changes, I can't stifle my laughter enough. See above. Any executive who says that is using it as completely false reason. It is a lie and a threat. How do I know? Because if they were really worried about health care changes breaking the bank, don't you think 30+ billion in profits each year would be enough to assuage those frets? Hell, for that cash they could hire their own doctors and build their own hospitals for their employees outright! Instead they blow the cash like kids in a candy store (except everyone else is left with the sugar-crash headache).

The corporate mindset has become so corrupted and so...accepted that people don't even seem to stop and really think through the logic any more.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 5:48 PM EDT

it is unfortunate that he even added that last sentence as the rest was enough to support his point, as is a simple math exercise.

let's suppose you have 10m to invest. putting it into a cd will net you around five percent profit in a year. that would be a 500k gain. if you put it in the stock market and can get 30 percent growth, then you will end up with a 3m gain.

even if the capital gains tax was an extreme 50% rate, would you rather end up with 10,250,000 at the end of the year or 11,150,000?

QBsutekh137 August 18 2011 5:49 PM EDT

Yet their are hundreds of factors in the amount of jobs available. Taxes are only but one.

Titan, can you tell that to everyone who worships Ronald Reagan as if he was the second coming of Jesus H. Christ?

Reagan's "voodoo economics" (read: trickle-down) is often revered by the GOP and many tea-partyers, so they apparently lack the same grasp of logic you possess.

QBRanger August 18 2011 6:08 PM EDT

Reagan's "voodoo economics" (read: trickle-down) is often revered by the GOP and many tea-partyers, so they apparently lack the same grasp of logic you possess.

Reagan's policies, his "voodoo economics" helped us get out a serious recession. With almost double digit unemployment AND double digit inflation. But this time in his first term, the GDP was growing over 7% a quarter, compared to <2% for Obama.

Under Obama's policies, which are better classified as voodoo, unemployment has gone up, with trillions added to the deficit.

Titan, can you tell that to everyone who worships Ronald Reagan as if he was the second coming of Jesus H. Christ?

Like liberals who worship Obama as The Chosen One?

even if the capital gains tax was an extreme 50% rate, would you rather end up with 10,250,000 at the end of the year or 11,150,000?

We both know the answer to that. However one has to include the risk involved. Even CD's or bonds have a chance, however small of defaulting and you losing all your money. Same with stocks. While income is guaranteed one it is in your pocket.

Also investing is using money you already have. Income from a job is not.

Of course people would rather have more money, but there is more risk.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 6:12 PM EDT

Also investing is using money you already have. Income from a job is not.

yes, but the investment hopefully will generate income that you wouldn't have gotten without it. in that sense how does it differ then form income gotten from a job?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 6:17 PM EDT

the point you tried to make was that if the capital gains tax goes up people will not invest or will invest less. buffet's point, which i happen to agree with, is that it will have no effect on investment.

risk in investing has its own rewards without giving tax discounts for it. most higher risk investments have the higher potential yields. i put my sep money in precious metals ten years ago and that was a risky move. it has worked out very well for me. i never looked at the capital gains tax as part of my investing decision.

QBRanger August 18 2011 6:20 PM EDT

yes, but the investment hopefully will generate income that you wouldn't have gotten without it. in that sense how does it differ then form income gotten from a job?

You just stated it yourself.

Key word --- Hopefully.

There is no guarantee an investment will make money. Tons of people lost money the last 3 years in the stock market.

When a company invests in itself, it is hoping that that investment will pay off in more revenue and profit. It does not always do so.

The risk they take is reflected in the lower tax they pay, capital gains, instead of regular income.

With a higher capital gains tax, like our current president wants, companies will choose to keep their money in bonds and safe investments, with their lower risk and lower rewards, than try to gamble on perhaps making a profit by investing in themselves.

For companies it is all a risk/reward analysis. If the rewards seem to low, by higher taxes, they will not invest. And they will not create jobs.

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] August 18 2011 6:29 PM EDT

Is trickle down economics a euphemism for fighting over the crumbs from the table of those who are screwing you?

QBRanger August 18 2011 6:33 PM EDT

Why does it always have to be that the rich are screwing the poor?

Cannot a rising tide raise all ships? When the rich do well everyone does well?

Or is there a law saying the rich can only do well at the expense of the non-rich?

QBRanger August 18 2011 6:41 PM EDT

Seriously,

Why all the hatred of rich people?

I hope you all understand that 99% of all "rich" people (defined by Obama as those making over 250k a year), do it legally and with tons of hard work and sacrifice. Plenty of the "rich" came from normal middle to lower class backgrounds and climbed the ladder to get where they currently are.

Whether starting a business, or going to school, or just being in the right place at the right time, the "rich" are honest, hard working people. People who do not deserve the scorn I see from threads like this.

Even most of the "uber" rich are honest, hard working people. People like Bill Gates who hit the mother lode, and does quite a lot of good with his money.

So, again, why all the hate?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 6:47 PM EDT

ranger, define a company investing in itself for me please? i fail to see how a company can invest in itself and get capital gains tax from it?

QBRanger August 18 2011 6:51 PM EDT

IE, IBM buying new equipment or a new warehouse. Caterpillar buying a new workshop.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 6:53 PM EDT

and how would that incur capital gains taxes?

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] August 18 2011 6:56 PM EDT

IBM also supplied equipment for organizing reform camps in nazi Germany.
Nah,ah,ah don't bother posting I know the response.

QBRanger August 18 2011 7:01 PM EDT

With stupid, idiotic posts like that, a good discussion turns into garbage.

Perhaps you and I can continue this via PM and leave the trolls alone.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] August 18 2011 7:26 PM EDT

the only way i can see that capital gains, regardless of its rate, would have any affect on a building or equipment would be when it is sold rather than bought. even then it would only become taxable if the item in question sold for more than it cost in the first place. while that could happen with structures and real estate, i don't think it could ever happen with equipment.

capital gains mainly come from investments like stocks, bonds, precious metals and property where they are bought at one price and then sold at a higher price. this is why i say that the rate of capital gains will have little effect on investment as the alternative is to not invest at all.

QBsutekh137 August 18 2011 9:39 PM EDT

Ranger, it would appear your grasp of logic isn't as sound as Titan's.

As he pointed out, tax policy alone cannot, and has never, saved the economy. It is but one of many facets. Therefore, Reagan's policies, while they coincided with an upward trend (while raising the deficit, substantially -- can you say "arms race"?) in no way necessitated the recovery. If it did, then I suppose you'd have to agree that the Great Liberal, FDR,was also amazingly correct? His policies in the thirties got the country out of the Great Depression.

So, who's right? That's right, neither of them. No one policy or set of policies can turn around something as large as a World Economy.

You know that, right? There's no need for me to attempt an intellectual discussion otherwise. You know Reagan didn't save anyone from anything. Right?

Just like Obama didn't save anyone from anything. I don't hear anyone saying that he did, though, so we're OK on that. I haven't heard anyone calling Obama the Messiah in a while (well, except for you, to support your well-worn rhetoric -- seriously, dude, you've been ranting on that for more than a year, you can go ahead and stop because no one else is talking about that any more), yet I HAVE heard Reagan called the Great God of the Eighties about every five minutes as we have the honor of living through this recent GOP Renaissance -- with quality candidates like Michelle Bachmann. Yeah. Evolution? Oh, yeah -- she doesn't believe in that. Quality product.

I notice you didn't comment on anything else in my post about corporations. Too busy cherry-picking for Obama-focused rants? No one here has said Obama is our savior, and it certainly has nothing to do with Buffet's original comments, does it? You made a very specific comment on corporate taxation -- shall we just take my "refudiation" as read, then? Crap, that's not going to pass the spell checker! More GOP meaty goodness!

QBsutekh137 August 18 2011 9:41 PM EDT

IE, IBM buying new equipment or a new warehouse. Caterpillar buying a new workshop.

...or Big Oil investing in R&D, alternate energy sources, or people.

Oh, crap, wait.

They didn't do that. They bought back stock.

Can you try again? Maybe after reading up on what big corporations have been doing with their cash lately?

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] August 18 2011 10:40 PM EDT

I don't hate the rich.

"Or is there a law saying the rich can only do well at the expense of the non-rich?"

I don't know but I think in terms of purchasing power yes I think if I increase mine someone else has to lose out. On a national level everyone can increase their purchasing power if the nation is a net exporter.

On a general level I think the stronger and more ruthless have always tried to maximise their share of resources simple as that.

Sut, it does make sense for corps to reduce their debt burden given the economic outlook (not that I would discount more cynical motivations)

QBsutekh137 August 18 2011 11:05 PM EDT

RD, a stock buy back doesn't reduce debt, not per se, anyway.

I'm not an economy expert. But buying down debt is different from buying back stock. It's all related, sure, but not the same. Buying down debt would be the same as buying more machinery or investing in more R&D -- something they did not do.

QBRanger August 18 2011 11:53 PM EDT

No one policy or set of policies can turn around something as large as a World Economy.

I completely disagree. While this is a world economy, policies of individual countries can determine how well they specifically do.

Until you accept this, I agree. There is no way to have an intellectual conversation with you.

If it did, then I suppose you'd have to agree that the Great Liberal, FDR,was also amazingly correct? His policies in the thirties got the country out of the Great Depression.

Actually his policies likely prolonged the Great Depression. He did nearly the opposite of Reagan. Expanded government. Only when WWII came, we experienced a real recovery.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123353276749137485.html

Which is why liberal economists like Paul Krugman halfheartedly joke about how an alien invasion threat would stimulate the economy to get us out of this recession.

Certainly Regean built up the military, however between that and cutting taxes, we got out of the Carter Depression rather quickly.

As you can see, there are conflicting views of many things. Try to understand that rather than insult people.

with quality candidates like Michelle Bachmann.

For every Bachmann, I could raise you a Howard Dean, or John Edwards, or Dennis Kucinich. Or even Barack Obama. To me, most of his policies are as out of line as you think of Bachmann's.

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] August 18 2011 11:53 PM EDT

I regard share issue as a form of debt, dividends are like interest payments.

AdminTitan August 19 2011 12:36 AM EDT

For every Bachmann, I could raise you a Howard Dean, or John Edwards, or Dennis Kucinich. Or even Barack Obama. To me, most of his policies are as out of line as you think of Bachmann's.

For every retarded politician, you could throw a dart and hit another retarded politician.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] August 19 2011 2:03 AM EDT

15 points for a Huckabee!

Lochnivar August 19 2011 5:47 AM EDT

Certainly Regean built up the military, however between that and cutting taxes, we got out of the Carter Depression rather quickly.

I take it that you accept that the cost of doing so was taking the US Gross Federal Debt from just over 35% of GDP in 1981 to just under 65% of GDP in 1993 (Reagan + Bush 1).
Deficit spending to boost the economy is a good thing right?



I completely disagree. While this is a world economy, policies of individual countries can determine how well they specifically do.

Gotta say, Ranger is right here. Thanks to the lack of meaningful regulations in the US banking industry the whole world's financial system hit the crapper about 3 years ago. Comparatively, the regulations in the Canadian banking industry prevented the need for any bank bailouts. (a somewhat gross simplification... but accurate enough to prove his point)

QBRanger August 19 2011 7:18 AM EDT

I take it that you accept that the cost of doing so was taking the US Gross Federal Debt from just over 35% of GDP in 1981 to just under 65% of GDP in 1993 (Reagan + Bush 1). Deficit spending to boost the economy is a good thing right?

Let us not forget the massive tax cuts, from a top rate of 90% to mid 30s.

And it was a "stimulus" done right. Not the stimulus Obama did which was, IMO, a huge payout to the unions. Teachers and AFSCME mostly.

Gotta say, Ranger is right here.

Miniwave, Ranger only!!!!

QBRanger August 19 2011 7:25 AM EDT

Thanks to the lack of meaningful regulations in the US banking industry the whole world's financial system hit the crapper about 3 years ago.

I do not know if that is entirely correct. There were plenty of regulations, however, they were not properly enforced. The SEC certainly did not do their appropriate job. Combine that with the false AAA rating of the bundled subprime mortgages and it was a setup for abuse and eventual collapse of the industry.

Soxjr August 19 2011 7:30 AM EDT

All of this can be tied down nice and easy.

For every bit of evidence one person on one side can show that their side is right the other side can do the same. So these discussions are pointless. No matter what one side says the other is totally going to disagree. Ranger thinks the Republicans and only the Republicans can save America and other people think exactly the opposite.

No matter how many times I say that there have been tax cuts over the last 8 years or more and yet the economy has gotten worse and worse he will just say something that tries to prove his side correct and that more tax cuts will make everything better..

So for the betterment of all it just seems that we are beating our heads against rocks. All sides. So what really is the point?

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] August 19 2011 7:48 AM EDT

It's a bold experiment to see how much reason bashing a thick skull can take.

QBRanger August 19 2011 7:51 AM EDT

Gun,

Seriously, do you have anything intelligent to say in this thread. Or are you going to continue to be a troll?

I can understand if you want to type your point of view, but to just post to try to be in some warped way funny is just trolling this thread.

How about that for reason bashing through a thick skull?


Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] August 19 2011 8:12 AM EDT

I can't quite get my head around it but I'm becoming more and more convinced that the way money is created, ie as a debt, is fundamentally flawed and at the root of many modern problems.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] August 19 2011 8:33 AM EDT

You trolled me first remember. ;) PMing with you would only try my patience further seeing this is where you behave best, but I'll give it a shot this one time.

QBRanger August 19 2011 9:26 AM EDT

Where in this thread did I "troll you first"?

Or are we still holding a grudge about some past years ago thread? Or perhaps some truths I told to someone else in CM?

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 10:04 AM EDT

I completely disagree. While this is a world economy, policies of individual countries can determine how well they specifically do.

It would seem the problem isn't your intellect -- it runs much more foundational than that. You lack simple reading comprehension skills, and then subtly change words around to look like you are making a point. If that's intentional, then shame on you.

I said that tax policy, alone, cannot change a _world economy_. You counter with "policies of individual countries can determine how well THEY SPECIFICALLY do." (caps for emphasis).

To reiterate, I said "policy", you said "policies"
To reiterate, I said World Economy, you said "they specifically" (meaning single nation)
To reiterate, you are talking about something completely dissimilar in the guise that it refutes my point.

How are those the same? Yes, policies (plural, as Titan pointed out) can change a single, national economy, over time. Then, that national economy can ripple through the world, as someone else pointed out in regards to the mortgage crisis.

That's all well and good, and if you compare it to what _I_ said, you'll see it isn't what I said at all. I was talking about a SINGLE policy, tax policy. No one, single policy (single single single -- not policieS, not entire systems, not complete lack-of-regulation meltdowns) can change a World Economy. Yet, Reagan is often credited with changing the face of the world economy with one single thing -- trickle-down methodology, giving tax breaks higher up the chain.

The next thing we all know very well is that correlation does NOT equal causation. So the economy went up after Reagan did his thing. So? Gov. Walker gave huge tax breaks to corporations here in Wisconsin (that's how he got that convenient deficit that he then used as a political hammer to bust unions, if you care about facts), and yet we don't appear to be thriving. Not even much of an upward initial tick, as far as I can tell. Business owners interviewed on a couple local news stories I heard via radio make the point clear -- owners aren't hiring just because of a few tax breaks. They'll hire when they get more orders. Tax policy has little to do with their decision-making process.

Do you believe the small business owners themselves? Who WOULD you believe? You found plenty of articles on FDR, and seem to believe them -- did you do similar research on Reagan?

http://www.politicalarticles.net/blog/2010/07/20/reaganomics-reagan-voodoo-economics-back-from-the-dead/

(sorry, too lazy to turn it into a link.)

Yeah, we could exchange links all day long. Or exchange barbs about whose links are more accurate than the others. I've got better things to do. And, I have a different idea. I'm not going to worship FDR, Reagan, OR Obama. Because SINGLE policies from these folks cannot be proven to have any appreciable effect. And on a more local level, the Governor of the state in which I live is failing with more Reagonomic policies. How much lack-of-results do you need to see before you realize, "Hey, wait, maybe the policy makers don't have as much power over this as we think, or, at the very least, it is going to take a LONG time to see results from ANY policy."

I'm also still waiting for your response to my refudiation of your statement about tax increases necessitating price raising from corporations. I'd really like to tackle that, since you, at times, are stating staid myths as facts. And that's not good for any discussion.

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 10:09 AM EDT

I regard share issue as a form of debt, dividends are like interest payments.

RD, I'm not sure I understand.

Share issue is a form of RAISING money, raising HUGE amounts of capital in order to make a quantum leap to the next level of productivity and profit. How is that debt in any conventional sense?

I get a piece of paper from a company, and they get my actual cash. The next day, that piece of paper could be worthless, and I can in no way demand that money be returned to me. That, also, is very unlike "debt".

Calling a dividend an interest payment -- that makes more sense to me. The upside of stocks IS very much like interest on debt -- it's how your money grows. It's just one way, though. In a standard loan, interest is the only way the money grows. In a stock investment, the money can grow as the company grows and stock price increases. In that way it departs from a standard "savings & loan" motif.

I am intrigued by your other post on money creation. Can you elaborate?

QBRanger August 19 2011 10:34 AM EDT

It would seem the problem isn't your intellect -- it runs much more foundational than that. You lack simple reading comprehension skills, and then subtly change words around to look like you are making a point. If that's intentional, then shame on you.

When you have no more facts to present, attack the other sides intellect.

Having a conversation with you Sut, is indeed banging my head against the wall. Not only are your views wrong, your demeanor is just insulting to conservatives like myself.

I said that tax policy, alone, cannot change a _world economy_. You counter with "policies of individual countries can determine how well THEY SPECIFICALLY do." (caps for emphasis).

Tax policy CAN change a countries direction. I agree that 1 countries tax policy cannot change the world economy. But individual counties policies can indeed steer individual countries direction.

You say the Regean tax cuts did nothing and I strongly disagree. Let us leave it at that as I have read enough of your personal attacks for the next year.

I'm also still waiting for your response to my refudiation of your statement about tax increases necessitating price raising from corporations. I'd really like to tackle that, since you, at times, are stating staid myths as facts. And that's not good for any discussion.

Simple supply and demand curve:

http://www.investopedia.com/study-guide/cfa-exam/level-1/microeconomics/cfa1.asp#axzz1W92P0h8S

Government tax policy - Increases in business taxes will cause the supply curve to shift up and to the left. A government subsidy to producers will cause more supply to be available ヨ the supply curve will shift down and to the right.

You really seem to have it hard for corporations that make a profit. Thinking that they have to reinvest into more jobs or they are bad evil companies.

Let me tell ya, they are in business to make a profit. When new financial regualtions, more than 1/2 unwritten, are passed by congress, businesses adapt by hording money. When a new healthcare entitlement is passed, over the objection of most of the country, businesses adapt and stop hiring since there are key points to avoid. Like hiring that 50th person.

As long as corporations abide by the law, I have little problem with them making a profit. The oil companies, great. If Obama would open up more drilling areas, their profits would soar, and thousands of people would be put to work. In the gulf, in ANWAR, in mid American. Building pipelines to Canada.

If we can get rid of some regulations, the Central California valley could finally have water and some of the most fertile farmland in the world could be used. Instead of up to 50% unemployment in that region.

Instead of being jealous of those successful, try to become one yourself.

AdminTitan August 19 2011 11:09 AM EDT

Sut, you're being a little aggressive.

As for this argument, the difference in supply side versus demand side is very simple. The economics behind it is almost identical, it really comes down to this:

Will business, given more capital, use that capital in a way that increases the product output. And will consumers, given more money, spend that money instead of saving it. Basically, will more money change hands if there are more goods, or if there is more money? I for one think they'll both kind of work. I think that if you give stimulus to the American people, that mostly they will go out and spend it. I also think most companies, if given tax reductions and such, will increase R&D, hire new employees etc.

The only reason I like supply side more, is because it only benefits American companies( mostly, don't know how tax breaks for the foreign companies work, but my ideal supply side economics works this way ). Think about this, if you give everyone in America 20k dollars, what are they going to do? They're probably going to spend most of it. But, what are they going to spend that on? Odds are that probably less than half of that money is going to be going to foreign companies. It's not that I don't like foreign companies, it's just that generally, the better domestic companies do, the more domestic jobs there are.

Now think of if you give every company in America 10% more income for 1 year. Likely they will up their number of employees, their capital purchases and increase their amount of products. By doing so, they are decreasing the costs of these goods, and are increasing the GDP of the United States. I don't think I need to tell you why both of those are good.

Trust me, there's just as much voodoo in Keynesian economics as there is in supply side economics. They both are based in a lot of facts, and both of them are great great great in theory. The only reason one would be better in the world usually comes from open market economies, and consumers and producers acting outside of norms. I for one think that supply-side economics is more favorable for handling these unforeseen situations. Although I respect your views if you disagree with me.

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 11:12 AM EDT

Let me try to get something straight right out of the gate:

Instead of being jealous of those successful

I'm jealous? Citation needed (otherwise you are lying about me).

try to become one yourself.

I'm not successful? Citation needed (otherwise you are lying).
(not to mention, Buffet isn't successful?)

(Can we get an admin to enforce this, please, or else shut the thread down? The above represent two falsehoods. Ranger is flat-out lying. Is that OK?)

And before anyone mentions it, Ranger pretty much agrees above that a single tax policy cannot change the _world_ economy. That was my original point, and that is what I called out his reading comprehension on. Since it turns out I was right (and we ended up being in agreement) that's hardly the same as calling me things like "jealous" and "unsuccessful" without grounds. I had grounds, and was telling the truth since Ranger clarified that what I said was true.

Ranger's untruths, however, don't stop there:

You really seem to have it hard for corporations that make a profit.

Citation needed, again. Where am I giving a corporation grief simply for making a profit? Where am I giving an ANYONE grief for making a profit? More to the point and on topic, where is BUFFET making a point against profit. NO ONE HERE is against profit. Stop straw-manning your viewpoint. This whole discussion is about DEGREE. The whole basis for an escalated tax rate framework is about DEGREE. If Big Oil had eked out only 1 million in profit, do you think I would be saying anything about lack of job creation? Is Buffet talking about people who only make 100K a year? No. We are talking about HUGE sums of money with apparently no benefit to the economy and job market.

Is there a limit to how much Big Oil makes (with no subsequent job growth) where you would step back and say, "wait a minute..."? Fifty billion? 100 billion? 1 trillion? How large do the profits have to get before you would at least be inclined to remove subsidies for them, which is the same as a tax increase (and therefore flatly refused by people like John Boehner? Is there ANY limit for you in that regard?

Thanks for the link on supply and demand. I already addressed that, though. Yes, I know corporations will point to that and use it as an excuse to raise prices. Problem is, supply and demand doesn't fully account for innovation and competition. If it did, why wouldn't the prices of all GE goods decrease by 15% every year, the same way their cost curves do? It's not as simple as an article based on Econ 101 would bear out, I'm afraid.

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 11:18 AM EDT

Sut, you're being a little aggressive.

Ranger flat-out calls me names, saying I am jealous and unsuccessful (without any facts behind it), and I'M being aggressive? What, because he thinly veils the name-calling in nonchalant closing comments, that's OK?

Come on, Titan, at least be fair then and call Ranger out, too. Ranger has been extremely aggressive (usually of the passive kind) and offensive on several posts here. I make a few posts based on the same edgy, polarized tone (as was already established on the thread before I got here), and you single me out? Would you care to elaborate on your reasoning for that?

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 19 2011 11:21 AM EDT

I for one am thrilled to see someone actually offering some level of debate, it'd be nice if the folks involved would use legitimate methods to do so. If it turns out that accusatory inflammatory rhetoric is all that's going to result I'll be forced to close the thread.

Please don't be a jerk

QBRanger August 19 2011 11:28 AM EDT

So, who's right? That's right, neither of them. No one policy or set of policies can turn around something as large as a World Economy.

You never stated ONE tax policy.

A set of policies can certainly effect the world economy. Especially if it comes from an economy as big as ours. If our current economic SET of policies like QE2 and possibly a QE3 will devalue the dollar so much, it can certainly effect the world economy.

My reading comprehension is just fine, thank you very much. And that is where you first started on the personal attacks in this thread.

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 11:34 AM EDT

Ranger, you agreed with me once I clarified that I was talking a single tax policy. I thought it was implied when I was referring specifically to tax breaks for rich/corporate interests that I meant that one, single policy (the heart of trickle-down), but I apologize if I didn't make that clear and apologize for casting aspersions on your reading skills.

Since you pretty much agreed with me later, I figured things had ironed themselves out, in any case, as far what I initially meant. Yes, overall domestic policy (which includes taxes) can affect a national economy, and that, in turn (especially if large) can affect the world. I've no disagreement there.

To reiterate my point, I read a fair amount about how one man and one tax policy (Reagan and tax breaks) single-handedly changed the world economy in the 1980s. In the same way, one man and one international policy (Reagan and the arms race, at the expense of our deficit) is often credited with single-handedly "stepping up" to the Soviets and ending the Cold War, bringing down the Wall. I don't believe that, either. That's why I don't think Reagan is "all that", as so many GOPers appear to (maybe including you, I don't know or care -- I was just talking).

AdminTitan August 19 2011 11:37 AM EDT

I for one am thrilled to see someone actually offering some level of debate, it'd be nice if the folks involved would use legitimate methods to do so.

Yeah, I actually that my little blurb their about supply side econ was one of my better written spiels about it, in a very simple form. It's hard to debate this stuff, because like I said, they both are very sound in theory. The slight difference they have is how they are received by the real world, and I don't think we have enough evidence on either side to draw conclusions for that. Little things here and there, but nothing solid. So, without that, we're left speculating on speculations.

Lochnivar August 19 2011 11:39 AM EDT

Let us not forget the massive tax cuts, from a top rate of 90% to mid 30s.

The top rate in '80 when Reagan got in was only 70%, not 90%+

From 1966 to 2007 US GDP grew an average 3.07% per year (real GDP, in 2005 dollars)

Let's see what impact changes in the top marginal rate had over this period:

1) From '66 to '82 it averaged 3.13% with a top marginal tax rate of 70%

2) Starting in 1982 the top marginal tax rate declined, first down to 50%, and then on down to 31% by 1992
From '83 to '93 GDP averaged 3.46% growth per year.

3) In 1993 Clinton raised the top marginal rate up to 39.6%
From '94 to '01 GDP growth averaged 3.65%

4) In 2001, Bush Jr drops the highest marginal rate down to 38.6%, and then on to 35% in 2003
From '02 to '07 GDP growth averages 2.56%

note: there is a 1 year lag on all averages, in that a tax change in 1982 was considered to have an impact the following year.
(for example: Reagan was not held responsible for the GDP decline in 1982)

In broader strokes, the 22 years with highest marginal tax rate of 50% or more enjoyed 3.29% growth in GDP compared to 3.01% growth for the 19 years in which that top marginal rate was under 40%.

So yeah, I'll go ahead and say that taxing the rich less will not grow the US economy faster as there isn't really any historical evidence I can see that supports that.

Obviously there are multiple confounding factors that make it hard to tell exactly what impact tax policy has, but in general I would expect that the 19 yrs with the marginal rate under 40% should show at least slightly better growth than the 22 years of over 50% based on the 'cut taxes to stimulate growth' reasoning.

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 12:01 PM EDT

Interesting data, Loch...

Going all "meta" on it, I wonder if it isn't simply the rapid vacillation that doesn't affect things, too. The rate is going up and down with more of a variable frequency than, say between 1950 and 1980, yes? How do any trends even get a chance to gain footing?

Maybe that's why I find the economy far to large such that tax policy (and yeah, at this point in time I would even say tax policieS) can have an appreciable effect. For one thing, it gets changed in one administration then changed right back, so it is impossible for anything to gain traction. Not to mention, I think the ripples our economy sends out are much smaller than they were in 1980, especially with the EU and China in play.

This leads me to some (potentially off-topic-veering) thoughts. I can see why corporations would be hesitant to hire in times like these. I don't dispute that fact nor that they have the RIGHT to be hesitant. But in that realization, I also don't see why they should expect nor be given tax breaks, while I DO see how an increase in revenue could actually help the Big Picture by doing Big Stuff like paying down debt and building better infrastructure. This is why I couldn't understand the GOPs absolute recalcitrance in regards to raising taxes along with the large cuts the Democrats were willing to compromise on (an actual deal, as opposed to this Super-Congress stuff). I know the Dems were playing plenty of political games of their own, but when it came to flat-out shooting down of potential plans, the GOP appears to have had the larger, more stubborn gun.

QBRanger August 19 2011 12:15 PM EDT

To reiterate my point, I read a fair amount about how one man and one tax policy (Reagan and tax breaks) single-handedly changed the world economy in the 1980s. In the same way, one man and one international policy (Reagan and the arms race, at the expense of our deficit) is often credited with single-handedly "stepping up" to the Soviets and ending the Cold War, bringing down the Wall. I don't believe that, either. That's why I don't think Reagan is "all that", as so many GOPers appear to (maybe including you, I don't know or care -- I was just talking).

I never stated Reagan changed the world economy in the 80s. He did, however, take the US out of the Carter Depression and grow the economy greatly.

As to the Cold War, I believe Reagan was responsible for ending the cold war with the Soviets. But we can certainly disagree about these points without personal insults about each others intelligence or reasoning ability :)

This is why I couldn't understand the GOPs absolute recalcitrance in regards to raising taxes along with the large cuts the Democrats were willing to compromise on (an actual deal, as opposed to this Super-Congress stuff). I know the Dems were playing plenty of political games of their own, but when it came to flat-out shooting down of potential plans, the GOP appears to have had the larger, more stubborn gun.

Perhaps I can answer that.

There was a "grand bargain" that Reagan did in the 80s, where there were to be tax increases for future spending cuts. Guess what, the tax increases happened, while the spending cuts never did. The governement grew.

Same with the Bush the Elder tax hikes. It was promised by the Democrats to lower spending. Again, never happened.

What the Republicans and most specifically the Tea Party wanted was cuts this year. Boehner agreed to 800B in tax hikes, but Obama pushed for another 400B and a grand bargain was then dead.

But let us not forget the tax hikes that will occur at the end of 2012 already on the books.

The Bush tax cuts are set to expire. All the new taxes in Obamacare. These will increase the top rates by 4% at least. So we already have more "revenue" going to come in, on the book already if Congress just does nothing. And to get even 1T in cuts was so demonized by the other side.

Lord Bob August 19 2011 12:43 PM EDT

Last night Jon Stewart brilliantly summed up just about the entire debate we've had here over the past week. In his opening monologue he addresses all of these things that have been brought up in the last two threads of this nature:
Warren Buffet
Class warfare, and who is really waging it
Corporate tax loopholes
Taxing the rich
Hating the rich
Income inequality
"50% don't pay taxes"
Poor people who have the audacity to own refrigerators!
Minor cuts in programs like National Endowment for the Arts
And Republicans' desires to raise taxes on the poor.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-august-18-2011-anne-hathaway

Come for the scathing critic of conservative hypocrisy on class warfare. Stay for sexy Anne Hathaway.

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 12:47 PM EDT

I never insulted your intellect or reasoning abilities. I put out the limits for how an intellectual discussion could take place from my side (call it a pre-emptive agreeing to disagree rather than just walking down a dead-end road), and cast aspersions on your reading comprehension (for which I subsequently apologized for, something I have not seen for the aspersions upon me cast by others).

Your thoughts on bargains and spending are interesting. Spending is a tough nut. For example, defense spending.

According to this chart:

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/downchart_gs.php?year=1980_2021&view=1&expand=&units=b&log=linear&fy=fy12&chart=30-total&bar=1&stack=1&size=m&title=&state=US&color=c&local=s

at least on defense spending, the Democrats (Clinton administration, anyway) DID decrease spending or at least keep it in check. Between 1980 and 1990 (the Reagan/Bush years), spending almost doubled. So, who was increasing spending? Then, between 2000 and 2008 (George W. Bush years), defense spending doubled again.

I assume you are OK with curbing that sort of increase, right? If you want lower spending? It seems odd to say the Dems reigned on a bargain when defense spending skyrocketed during Republican administrations, no?

Who was breaking the bargain? There's no bargain if someone says, "decrease spending, except for defense." I'm aware that defense spending is probably only around 20% of the budget, but it has traditionally been a Republican supported "war-hawk" endeavor, and it looks as if great savings could be had there (especially in light of being stuck in two war quagmires at the moment that are taking way more than a monetary toll). As a surprisingly enlightened bumper-sticker put it: "Why do we always have money for wars, yet never money for education?"

Last I read about the recent budget/debt-cap talks, the Democrats had discussions ranging up to over 2 trillion in cuts at one point (not sure about the time-frame, I'll admit), but wanted some revenue changes in return. Obama even verbally dressed-down Paul Ryan in one meeting because he was tired of games. At the very least, the Dems wanted subsidies (like those for Big Oil) to go away in light of the fact Big Oil is clearly doing fine, even in these struggling economic times. Boehner said "no" to even putting that fairly logical idea on the table.

That's not fear of making a bargain, in my opinion. It's pig-headed, political-game-based obstinance. That's something you've mentioned very much disliking in regards to how Obama/Dems pushed through health care, so aren't the Republicans stymie-ing techniques just as deplorable? Or do you believe that in these terrifically awful economic times we can afford to play "Let's See if Two Wrongs Make a Right!"?

Lochnivar August 19 2011 1:14 PM EDT

Yes Sut, there is a lot of variation in the yearly growth numbers.

With an average growth of 3% the standard deviation is 2%...
This is one area where there seems to be a difference between the 50%+ and the 40%- tax rates.
When the highest marginal taxes were 50+% SD was 2.49%, it dropped to 1.28% once the marginal tax was below 40%.

Interestingly, the only statistically significant data in either of these two periods (p < 0.05) were declines in GDP, 1982 and 1991 respectively.

QBRanger August 19 2011 1:15 PM EDT

"Why do we always have money for wars, yet never money for education?"

We spend the most money on education per pupil in the world, as I have read. Yet do not have such great results.

I am not one who says defense cuts are off the table. Certain areas can certainly be cut if it can be shown it will not effect our ability to do the job. Duplicative programs, extra pencil pushers etc.. are certainly fair game for cuts.

I never insulted your intellect or reasoning abilities.

Yea, you did. That is certainly how I read it.

Then, between 2000 and 2008 (George W. Bush years), defense spending doubled again.

That was in response to the new war on terror we had as well as the 2 wars we are in. Now 3 wars given Libya.

Last I read about the recent budget/debt-cap talks, the Democrats had discussions ranging up to over 2 trillion in cuts at one point (not sure about the time-frame, I'll admit), but wanted some revenue changes in return. Obama even verbally dressed-down Paul Ryan in one meeting because he was tired of games.

While the Republicans took things off the table, C'mon man, so did the Democrats. Obamacare was untouchable, as was Medicare and Medicaid reform/changes. The head of the DNC was out there stating Republicans were out to kill old people. Commercials were shown with a man simulating Paul Ryan throwing a senior citizen off a cliff. Works both ways.

And Obama dressing-down Ryan was not as simple as you state. Ryan came out with a budget. After Obama came out with his. An Obama budget that was voted 0-97 in the Senate. Even the socialist Bernie Sanders voted against Obama's budget. Obama was making a speech and asked Ryan to sit in front. Ryan accepted thinking it would be a bipartisan speach and how wrong he was. It was your typical Obama critizing everyone but himself for all the ills of the world. Especially blasting Ryan's plan for being too extreme.

Lord Bob August 19 2011 1:20 PM EDT

The head of the DNC was out there stating Republicans were out to kill old people.
The Republicans were out there stating Democrats were out to kill old people. Remember death panels?

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 1:57 PM EDT

I was referring to Obama speaking to Ryan about trying to reach a more even ground when all Ryan was saying in regards to what the Dems had already compromised on was "more more more". Ryan made clear he had no interesting in compromising. He wanted capitulation.

I already said I know the Democrats are playing plenty of games. I hate election years and the one prior. But I can see why health care was off the table -- they just passed it and more of it's rules are just now coming into play. Why would you change the face of something that hasn't even had a chance to get off the ground yet? Contrast that with something we KNOW is not needed any more -- Big Oil subsidies. Which makes more sense to at least put on the table in a budget discussion?

I know what defense increases are in response to. In the 80s it was the Cold War and in this century it was the "war on terror". Stating the rationale behind why something happened doesn't mean it was or is the right thing to do, no questions asked. For example, we're spending money on high-tech body scanners (those can't be cheap) at airports as part of the "war on terror". Are we automatically safer because of that? We're fighting what is essentially a guerrilla war in Afghanistan, something that the Soviets even had the sense to get out from under so many decades ago. Are we automatically safer because of that?

You mention that we spend a lot on education and the results aren't that great. I guess education and defense have a lot in common then. What great results have we seen from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Heck, even nabbing bin Laden was done with intelligence and special ops that had little to do with the direct combat going on. Who's to say we wouldn't have captured him just as soon (or sooner!) without overt military offensives? (I would agree that I doubt Hussein could have been captured in such a way, though -- that was one benefit of that offensive, questionable WMD justification aside).

And as far as how much we spend compared to the rest of the world, we spend more on defense than almost the rest of the world combined. I'm not sure how that breaks down per capita, but it's a lot. As far as the per-pupil number for education, that's just one metric. Another one, as a percentage of GDP ranks the United States 57th:

http://www.mongabay.com/reference/stats/rankings/2206.html

...though I am not sure if that is only counting Federal funds (when a lot of money for education comes from other sources). It looks like way more than just Federal funds, as the list says 5.3% of GDP, but if we look at budget figures for 2010, they say the Federal budget used 145.8 billion on education while the GDP was 14.772 trillion 146/14772 = right at nearly 1% -- way lower than 5.3%. So, if the list is including ALL education funding, it would appear we don't spend all that much of available resources in education (comparatively, anyway).

(By the way, this says we come in SEVENTH on per-pupil spending for education):

http://www.realonlinedegrees.com/education-spending-gdp-around-the-world/

Lord Bob August 19 2011 2:04 PM EDT

By the way, this says we come in SEVENTH on per-pupil spending for education
And not even on the list for percentage of GDP.

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 2:30 PM EDT

And not even on the list for percentage of GDP.

I saw the US ranging from 37th down to 57th by that metric, so no, it's nowhere NEAR on the list on that graphic -- only 5.3% where it takes 8+ to get in the top ten.

Contrast that with comparative defense spending:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

And for the record, that 4.7% of GDP for defense, while less than the 5.3% on education, is all from the Federal budget, whereas education is less than 1% of the GDP in regards to how much of it is in the FEDERAL budget. But yes, when you account for state funding, property tax, and other education financing, it would appear we DO spend more on education as a percent of GDP than defense, overall -- unless money for defense is coming from somewhere other than the federal budget...I can't think of any area that is true, as the federal funding already covers things like veterans, civil defense, and R&D.

AdminTitan August 19 2011 2:37 PM EDT

I don't have time to read thoroughly Sut, but I hope you're not trying to suggest that Obama's spending policy is okay, because Republicans spend/t a lot on defense. They're both just terrible ideas. Why don't we decrease spending in idk... both(many) areas. Republicans and Democrats are all idiots...

Lochnivar August 19 2011 2:41 PM EDT

Republicans and Democrats are all idiots...

Thankfully you aren't stuck with a two party system!

... oh, right.

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 2:56 PM EDT

I wasn't suggesting anything, Titan. I'm not sure when debates here turned into these sort of implications struggles. It has been "suggested" that I am jealous, unsuccessful, and now an Obama sycophant, while at the same time _I'm_ singled out for being "a little aggressive"? *scratches head*

You don't need to read my posts (though it would probably help clarify the actual, you know, sentiment therein), but it would definitely be of use to understand who I was writing to and in what context. I was addressing Ranger's thoughts about the "Great Bargain" and why compromise is so hard to come by these days. I was speaking to the fact that yes, Democrats didn't particularly control spending (though, by the way, Republicans aren't all that immune to pork either), but was pointing out one aspect of that -- a Democrat administration was the ONLY period of time in the last thirty years where defense spending wasn't rising at a high rate.

Nothing in my discussion has said anything about what I think of specific people or plans (other than that I don't idolize anyone). I have been commenting on what I perceive as complete recalcitrance in the GOP, a hard-to-trust, somewhat weak-willed Democrat party (and executive), and an overt, aggressive distaste for Big Oil subsidies when they are swimming in record profits (Big Oil, not the subsidies. *smile*).

And, more recently, an aside about education vs. defense. If you are seeing something else in the content of my posts, I have no idea where you got it.

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] August 19 2011 6:07 PM EDT

Sut

"Share issue is a form of RAISING money, raising HUGE amounts of capital in order to make a quantum leap to the next level of productivity and profit. How is that debt in any conventional sense?"

It is a debt which the corp must pay interest on (dividends) until they decide to pay it back (buy the stock back) whilst maintaining the value of the primary.

"I get a piece of paper from a company, and they get my actual cash. The next day, that piece of paper could be worthless, and I can in no way demand that money be returned to me. That, also, is very unlike "debt"."

True, though the value is irrelevant, you cannot demand they pay you back whatever it may be worth, if you wish to get the primary back you must find a 3rd party to buy the debt. They do have an obligation to maintain its value. It is like a loan which runs in perpetuity unless the corp pays it back.

I agree it differs from a normal debt structure but from the corp point of view it functions very much like a debt, they must maintain the value of the primary whilst paying "interest".

money creation :) hmm maybe try to write something coherent tomorrow, I think I repeated myself 3 times in the above so don't hold out much hope.



AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] August 19 2011 6:38 PM EDT

Hey look, it's like Jon Stewart is talking to Ranger about income-inequality: http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-august-18-2011-anne-hathaway

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 19 2011 8:25 PM EDT

Wait so you think Obama is on par with http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/republicans/a/michele-bachmann-quotes.htm the person responsible for those quotes... sweet

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] August 19 2011 9:52 PM EDT

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/08/memento-starring-michele-bachmann/41443/

They're like the same person, him a fake american, her a fake doctor!

Lord Bob August 19 2011 9:58 PM EDT

Hey look, it's like Jon Stewart is talking to Ranger about income-inequality:
You're a bit late Fex.

Lord Bob August 19 2011 10:06 PM EDT

Ooh, Michele Bachmann quotes!

5. "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America?" -Rep. Michelle Bachmann, calling for a new McCarthyism, Oct. 2008
This is the one that scares me.

7. "If we took away the minimum wage -- if conceivably it was gone -- we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level." Michele Bachmann, Jan. 2005
This is the one that angers me.

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] August 19 2011 10:39 PM EDT

Hey, the workers in china who make $200 a month are getting to be too expensive for companies. Just firing them all and using machines is cheaper.

QBsutekh137 August 19 2011 11:13 PM EDT

It is a debt which the corp must pay interest on (dividends) until they decide to pay it back (buy the stock back) whilst maintaining the value of the primary.

RD, not all public companies (stock-based) pay dividends. Dividends are a sign of a...mature company, like Coke or McDonalds -- they can't provide the growth of, say, an Apple, so they share the profits (and they have less need to immediately inject profits back into the cycle).

That's why stock investing runs the gamut. For the long term, you have growth stocks. In the mid-term, more stable gains plus dividends, and late in the game, all dividends plus bonds, etc. The problem with dividends is that they are income -- no capital gains end runs, it has to be treated as income.

I like your idea, though. I wish corporations treated their stock spread as debt, as moral debt. But they don't need to. The stockholders can vote on things. Sadly, I know relatively little of the regulations on that, and I fear that "power" is relatively weak. The board gets to vote on things, and board are cross-pollinated with the same folks, leading to nasty, inbred GreedDecisions(tm).

Not sure what to do about all that.

QBRanger September 2 2011 6:05 PM EDT

O the irony:

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/buffett-irs-back-taxes/2011/09/01/id/409520?s=al&promo_code=CF64-1

Lord Bob September 2 2011 6:17 PM EDT

So take the $1 billion. This doesn't subtract from his point.

QBRanger September 2 2011 6:19 PM EDT

Of course it does. It shows how he can talk about others giving money, but when it comes to him, he does everything possible to keep it.

It is quite easy to spend other peoples money.

Quite easy to say others have to pay more tax.

Hard to actually put your money where your mouth is and pay what you owe, and more if you think it is the right thing to do.

Lord Bob September 2 2011 6:49 PM EDT

Of course it does.
No it doesn't, nor does it subtract from any of the other points made here. By the way, did you watch the Jon Stewart video yet?

Buffet's company may be guilty of something. Fine, send in the IRS and take what is owed. Or more. But the fact that -his company- owes this money does not make what he said incorrect or invalid.

QBsutekh137 September 4 2011 11:22 PM EDT

So, Ranger, you wait something like 12 says, not posting to a thread that had fallen way by the wayside (though many points had been left unaddressed by you, and a couple insults still not apologized for), but then find it suitable to post a non-relevant link (company vs individual)?

Do you understand what a "debate" really is, or do you think think the word debate is merely shorthand for "waiting for my turn to speak"?

If you don't understand, could you do the rest of the folks on the thread a favor and not post?

QBRanger September 4 2011 11:26 PM EDT

I am amazed you cannot see the relevance. However, it does not surprise me.

QBRanger September 4 2011 11:29 PM EDT

So, Ranger, you wait something like 12 says

I waited 12 days because this information just came up then. Once I read it, I saw the hypocrisy of someone advocating higher taxes and not even paying what he owes.

QBsutekh137 September 4 2011 11:45 PM EDT

I am amazed you can't see the difference between a company and a person.

And yeah, I understand why YOU would wait 12 days and then bring up a dormant thread (that you yourself had left for dead even when there was still plenty to discuss -- like the lies you told about me). That doesn't mean I can fully comprehend the sort of person who does that.

So when Gov. Walker is recalled, I should resurrect that other debate thread about Republican candidates and offer up a big fat "nyah-nyah-nyah!"? Are you in third grade?

QBRanger September 4 2011 11:53 PM EDT

I am amazed you can't see the difference between a company and a person.

First, he owns that company. Like tons of small and large business that incorporate for tax and legal reasons.

Also, even hear of citizens united supreme court case. Companies and citizens are the same in some areas.

like the lies you told about me

I told nothing untrue about you that I did not see from your actions in CB. Like the same things you state about me.

So when Gov. Walker is recalled, I should resurrect that other debate thread about Republican candidates and offer up a big fat "nyah-nyah-nyah!"? Are you in third grade?

He will not be. His new laws are saving school districts a lot of money. I am not in 3rd grade, but you seem to act like you are. You did not need to reply to this thread if you had nothing more to add than another attack on me. That seems to be your sole motive for being in CB now.

You just do not get the failure of the liberal state. The spend other peoples money mentality. Well those of us who are successful are tired of paying the most progressive tax in the world. And people like Buffett make me just sick with his holier than thou statements.

He needs to put his money where he mouth is and actually pay what he owes and then pay what he thinks he should before spewing garbage.

QBsutekh137 September 5 2011 12:16 AM EDT

Ranger, I never thought corporations should be considered people in the first place. That's awful (and also a fairly recent development, relatively speaking). So no, I don't expect someone to know everything about every bit of finance going on in their company. You think a Ballmer, Jobs, or Ellison knows every detail of every financial transactions in their massive corporations? Of course not. They would never have time to run the show if they were bogged down with that minutiae. Use your head. He's responsible for cleaning up the issue, to be sure. Does it make him hypocritical as far as his individual viewpoints go? Of course not.

The lie you told about me:

Instead of being jealous of those successful, try to become one yourself.

Actually, two lies. The above asserts I am not successful currently, and also asserts that I am jealous of those who are. Unless you have a citation to prove either one of those atrocious falsehoods, you're lying about me. I don't see at all what it has to do with "my actions on CB"... What? What actions? I stated my opinion in a political debate, and you made it personal. That's an ad hominem attack, something I thought was most certainly disallowed on Debate threads (but apparently isn't).

And when I stated similar things about you and got out of line, I apologized -- on this very thread. Not sure why you seem to keep forgetting about that (I think this is the third or fourth time I've reiterated, so I can't imagine you simply missed it?)

I assure you there will be a recall election. Walker might not lose, but a recall election will take place, with the number if signatures easily reaching the necessary goal. The same way that Ohio bill got pulled back. When they needed 400K signatures they got something well north of 1 million. And considering the large number of other recall elections (including two ousted Republicans), I'm not sure why you, from another time zone, think you know WI politics so well. Who cares if schools are in the black? Let me say it one more time: they never would have been in the red in the first place if Walker (and the other Reps) hadn't ram-rodded corporate tax breaks through. Why would Wisconsin thank Walker for giving back water he stole from the well?

And how this represents the "failure of the liberal state" is beyond me, especially since socialism works quite well in so many other nations. Heck, it works well here, to. I am betting you enjoy driving on good roads? Enjoy clean water from gov't-run utilities? It's always fun to watch someone bash socialism when so many aspects of the United States have been socialist for decades.

QBRanger September 5 2011 12:28 AM EDT

I would expect Jobs etc.. to know if their company owed 1B in back taxes and were fighting the IRS. Any CEO that did not know that should be kicked to the curb.

No Sut, I am not lying. I am taking an assumption that you seem to project thoughout CB. At least according to me, the author. Everything you type posts of class-warfare type rhetoric.

The US is not socialistic. It is a free market society. The problem with liberals is that they take what Republicans say to the extreme. I never said we should pay no taxes. I never said all regulation should be abolished. I did state excessive taxes and regulation are very bad for America.

I am a firm believer in trickle down economies.

As to Walker, I have little doubt there will be a recall election. I know WI politics so well as many of my St. Louis friends live in that area now or are quite familiar about that region of the country. Wisconsin is now growing in jobs. And that is due to Walkers tax cut incentives for people to create jobs.

Unlike the current tax the rich garbage we hear from Washington D.C..
Until Bafoons like Buffett walk the talk, they can kiss my grits. People like our President who states he has money he does not need, can easily donate that money to the government for deficit reduction. But do they, hell no. Most billionaires make foundations to do charity, since they know the government will just spend their donation in the most illogical ways.

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] September 5 2011 12:52 AM EDT

Also, even hear of citizens united supreme court case. Companies and citizens are the same in some areas.

A very sad day for America.

I am a firm believer in trickle down economies.

Trickle down economies in a nutshell. Let me have the world so I can give you my trash.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] September 5 2011 2:00 AM EDT

Ranger, do you believe that everyone should pay their fair share of tax? If so, what do you think that is? To help me understand your point of view, tell me what you think for these things:

What percent of income tax should someone making $10k a year have to pay?

What percent of income tax should someone making $60k a year have to pay?

What percent of income tax should someone making $100k a year have to pay?

What percent of income tax should someone making $500k a year have to pay?

What percent of income tax should someone making $1 million a year have to pay?

What percent of income tax should someone making $100 million a year have to pay?

QBRanger September 5 2011 7:24 AM EDT

I would like to see a fair or flat tax.

I believe to keep the same revenue, it would be 17%. This was however, discussed at length earlier in the thread.

QBRanger September 5 2011 7:29 AM EDT

A very sad day for America.

So it is OK for the unions to spend millions of dollars but not ok for companies to do the same? I never got that double standard. Unions that force people to pay dues under threat of losing their job. Unions that give money almost exclusively to Democrats even though some of their members do not follow that path? What a double standard.

Trickle down economies in a nutshell. Let me have the world so I can give you my trash.

So wrong. The correct answer Alex, is: What is a rising tide lifts all ships.

Take more of my money, I eat out less. I let my housekeeper go. I travel less. I do not buy those new clothes this year. etc.. Which effect quite a lot of people via the trickle down effect. The economy was growing during the Reagan years, due to his massive tax cut.

QBsutekh137 September 5 2011 10:07 AM EDT

No Sut, I am not lying. I am taking an assumption that you seem to project thoughout CB. At least according to me, the author. Everything you type posts of class-warfare type rhetoric.

"Assumption", "seem to project", "at least according to me"... So, a mealy-mouth redux stating basically that you think you can say what you want and think you know things about me, so it's OK to lie. Then, you finish with something about class-warfare, something I never mentioned, condoned, or supported in my own posts or in others'.

You know what, I'm done with this particular point. I've apologized to you when I stepped over the line (and I didn't even lie, just got a bit snarky), and you know as well as I do that you called me unsuccessful and jealous without any provocation or support. That's an ad hominem attack. And that's fine. You can go along your way, and I will go along mine, making sure everyone else on every Debate thread knows who they are debating with -- an unapologetic (if not proud!) caster of falsehoods. It's only fair that on these threads (that are supposed to be fair and without attack) that people trying to discuss things with you know who you are.

All you had to do was apologize. I even would have accepted one of your vague, half-sorries that I have grown used to over the years. But I'm done with that, too.

So, I'll see you around the Debate forum!

QBsutekh137 September 5 2011 10:24 AM EDT

So wrong. The correct answer Alex, is: What is a rising tide lifts all ships.

Take more of my money, I eat out less. I let my housekeeper go. I travel less. I do not buy those new clothes this year. etc.. Which effect quite a lot of people via the trickle down effect. The economy was growing during the Reagan years, due to his massive tax cut.

Where did anyone say a rising tide DOESN'T raise all ships? What is "so wrong"?

Of course a rising tide raises all ships. I get that. But what does it have to do with the economy? Namely, why is it that you think only expenditures from the rich can rise the tide?

You have no proof the economy rose in Reagan's years due to the tax cuts. That is like saying I caused a rainstorm further east by throwing a cup of water in the air. The weather (and the economy) do what they do. You can stop praying at the altar of St. Ron any time.

Back to the rising tide. Let's use a very simple example about spending money. Let's say all the spendable wealth in a nation comes out to 1 million dollars. And let's say there are ten people in the nation. One person has 500K, and the others have whatever 500K/9 is.

The richest person spends all 500K on a huge, massive yacht that everyone built. Hooray! Everyone is employed in the yacht yard! So, we have 500K that has been spent -- this is good flow for the economy.

In another scenario, all people have the same amount -- 100K. And let's say each person spends 50K on a much smaller motorboat. What is the total expenditure there? 500K. Hooray! The economy has the same flow, and everyone has a motorboat!

What is the difference between the two scenarios? Nothing. 500K has been injected into the economy, everyone is employed, and boats get purchased.

To put it another way, from the corporate perspective, what does Toyota care if they sell one Lexus for 60K or three Corollas for 20K? (small tweaks for profits margins, etc. notwithstanding -- the numbers could easily be adjusted to count for that and still make their point). They don't. They don't care if they make one massive sale or a lot of small ones.

So yeah, a rising tide is great (it's also an extremely trite argument, by the way). But the viewpoint that only the rich can "rise the tide" is patently absurd.

Would you like to try again on explaining trickle-down in a way that...makes sense? Your definition makes it sound like we should go back to the good old days of feudalism. Substitute Corporations for Kingdoms, the rich for the nobility, and the rest of us can be serfs. Go ahead and give the serfs the right to vote (not that it matters -- the kingdoms and nobility, er, Corporations and rich, are all the same anyway and will do what they want -- with your blessing, no less, because they can do no wrong in a free-market economy, right?)

Does that sound like a decent civilization to you? Bearing in mind that you, of course, would be one of the nobles? If not, why not? It has all the facets of a working economy as you have defined it -- the very epitome of trickle-down.

Again, if not, why not?

QBRanger September 5 2011 10:44 AM EDT

In another scenario, all people have the same amount -- 100K. And let's say each person spends 50K on a much smaller motorboat. What is the total expenditure there? 500K. Hooray! The economy has the same flow, and everyone has a motorboat!

This is where your assumptions are wrong. People take chances. They sacrifice their time and money for the chance to hit it big. To do well. To succeed. If we lived in a society where everyone would make the same amount of money your scenario would work. But we do not. We live in one where people take chances, grow businesses, employ others to make money, make a profit.

In a society such as ours, there will be those successful and those not so much. Not everyone will have that 100k to spend on a boat. But there will be those who are successful enough to spend 500k or 5M on a boat, employing others.

The socialistic societies we have seen in our generation have all failed. Failed in keeping their people fed adequately. Failed in innovation. Failed in freedom.

As far as the economy under Reagan, here is a quote from Joint Economic Committee from the House of Reps:

An examination of economic growth, job creation, federal revenue collection, and two measures of personal income reveals an unmistakable trend: The current economic recovery pales in comparison to the Reagan recovery along all measures. When Clinton praises the state of the economy, saying, "We are getting our economic house in order...we are moving in the right direction," it is important to keep everything in perspective. The economy is growing, but far below the potential demonstrated under Reagan.

Here is the article:

http://www.house.gov/jec/growth/taxpol/taxpol.htm

Compared to the anemic growth we have under Obama, I think even Clinton did a fantastic job. 0 jobs this last month. 1T stimulus that helped do nothing. Even if it "saved" 3m jobs, that was over 200k per job saved. Would have been easier just to give that money directly to thost needing their job "saved".

One can easily compare the growth to GDP under Reagan and Obama and laugh as the current ineptness of Obama.

Again, nothing in your statemtns shows me you are anything but a class warrior. Trying to pit the poor and middle class against the evil "rich". Prove me wrong.

QBRanger September 5 2011 10:55 AM EDT

Would you like to try again on explaining trickle-down in a way that...makes sense? Your definition makes it sound like we should go back to the good old days of feudalism. Substitute Corporations for Kingdoms, the rich for the nobility, and the rest of us can be serfs. Go ahead and give the serfs the right to vote (not that it matters -- the kingdoms and nobility, er, Corporations and rich, are all the same anyway and will do what they want -- with your blessing, no less, because they can do no wrong in a free-market economy, right?)

Does that sound like a decent civilization to you? Bearing in mind that you, of course, would be one of the nobles? If not, why not? It has all the facets of a working economy as you have defined it -- the very epitome of trickle-down.

Wow, what a comparison.

Do not know where to begin to unravel that false logic.

How about this:

In America, the "serfs" have the right to vote, the right to move, the same rights of the "nobility". In fact, a serf can hit it big. In feudal times that could not happen. I am one of those serfs who did well and became a noble. To use your false analogy.

You take my stating less regulation as stating no regulation. Until you understand the difference, your class warfare verbiage will continue to be false. I never stated the big evil bad corporations can do what they want. I stated what they can do, they can give to political parties. Such as Bill Gates and Microsoft give to one party, others give to another.

What you describe is certainly not a working economy. But what you describe is nothing like America. Where everyone has the same rights under the constitution. Everyone has the chance to succeed and move up or down in society.

You really play the class warfare game well. You really hate the big bad profit driven corporations that in your mind do no good but keep people getting more of the governments money. It seems to me that success to you is something that should not be enjoyed but should be shared with everyone else as if they sacrificed their time, effort and hard work as well. I am sorry you feel that way. I am sorry you see success as a bad thing.

QBsutekh137 September 5 2011 10:58 AM EDT

Ranger, you've missed my point -- intentionally, it would seem. You're response is not even close to addressing my points.

You previously talked about hiring a housekeeper. As far as MONEY MOVEMENT goes, what is the difference between you hiring a housekeeper (because you are wealthy), or several less-wealthy people going to rent a Rug-Doctor steamer and cleaning themselves? Or buying vacuum cleaners? The money spent is the same. That is my point. Not that people don't make equal money or about jobs. My point is that money movement is what matters, and it doesn't matter if that money is moved by the wealthy or by the less wealthy. That's why your "rising tide" truism doesn't have anything to do with what we are talking about. What rises the tide is DYNAMISM, and that can come from any number of sources.

I'm not sure why you feel the need to write so much simply to say, "The economy did better during the Reagan administration." Because no one is disputing that. It did better during that time. I agree. So what? You went a step further, earlier, and said, "It went up DUE TO Reagan's tax cuts."

There is no proof of that. There is only evidence in the timing. A monkey could have been President and seen things grow. How do I know? Because we have had the same tax cuts for years now (and Obama went along with giving them another year) and it isn't helping.

Why not?

AdminTitan September 5 2011 11:28 AM EDT

You previously talked about hiring a housekeeper. As far as MONEY MOVEMENT goes, what is the difference between you hiring a housekeeper (because you are wealthy), or several less-wealthy people going to rent a Rug-Doctor steamer and cleaning themselves? Or buying vacuum cleaners?

They could be made outside of America; most people living in the US; however, are American.

QBsutekh137 September 5 2011 12:23 PM EDT

I was referring to the economy in general, in theory.

Yes, nation lines muddle all of that. My scenarios involve a closed economic loop. Also, could have just as easily involved labor instead of goods. There is no difference between a rich person hiring three housekeepers vs three people each hiring one.

So, on the money movement front, on spending, there is no advantage to letting the rich do more spending.

I know that only covers wealth distribution, not all the facets/details leading up to that or flowing after. But I wasn't talking about those things. I was only taking about spending, since that is what Ranger brought up -- going to a restaurant, having his house cleaned, etc.

QBsutekh137 September 5 2011 12:34 PM EDT

You really play the class warfare game well. You really hate the big bad profit driven corporations that in your mind do no good but keep people getting more of the governments money. It seems to me that success to you is something that should not be enjoyed but should be shared with everyone else as if they sacrificed their time, effort and hard work as well. I am sorry you feel that way. I am sorry you see success as a bad thing.

Citations needed.

Every single statement above is false and has absolutely no backing in anything I have said.

-- I am not playing the class warfare game well or poorly, because I am not playing the class warfare game at all. You are the only person who has used the phrase. I do not advocate class warfare. I did not support class warfare in my words. Pointing out differences in classes and social systems is not warfare. It's called a debate. The fact you take it as "class warfare" says a LOT more about you than me, actually. I'm trying to have a discussion. You're getting defensive. Hm, on the defense against a non-offense -- I guess that would make you the sole player in this warfare game.
-- I don't hate profit-driven corporations. I work for one, Ranger. Where did I say I hate profit-driven corporations?
-- Where did I say corporations do NO good? Your pants are on fire!
-- "It seems to me that success to you is something that should not be enjoyed but should be shared with everyone else as if they sacrificed their time, effort and hard work as well." False dichotomy, first of all, those aren't the only two choices. Why can't success be shared AND enjoyed? And grown? And taught? And so on! You're finding new and innovative ways to spread falsehoods.
-- Still waiting for the citation on where I see success as a bad thing, wolf-cryer.

All lies. All stated by you. What does that make you?

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] September 5 2011 12:52 PM EDT

So it is OK for the unions to spend millions of dollars but not ok for companies to do the same? I never got that double standard. Unions that force people to pay dues under threat of losing their job. Unions that give money almost exclusively to Democrats even though some of their members do not follow that path? What a double standard.

I don't agree with the whole money game in politics anyways. That's all corruption. People =/ money. Democracy is supposed to be about the people's voice, not the rich and corporations or even the union's money. I think that for each elected official position they should get a certain amount of money to use for their campaign to tell the people what they have to offer. The higher the position the more money for the campaign of course as they have more people who need to know their message.

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] September 5 2011 12:53 PM EDT

Take more of my money, I eat out less. I let my housekeeper go. I travel less. I do not buy those new clothes this year. etc.. Which effect quite a lot of people via the trickle down effect. The economy was growing during the Reagan years, due to his massive tax cut.

Tell me how this does not mean let me have my cake so you can have my leftovers.

QBRanger September 5 2011 12:56 PM EDT

The fact that corporations raise prices when taxes are increased isn't based on straight cause-effect lines. It is based on some corporations using it as a scapegoat for greed (initially) and then later pointing back at history as a stick against policy makers to say, "See what happens when you raise taxes?!" They are begging their own question, fulfilling their own money-grubbing prophecy.

The reason I don't believe corporations can be trusted in this fashion is very simple and very evident. Consider Big Oil. Last quarter ended with record profits for that industry once again, but instead of investing in jobs, R&D, or infrastructure, do you know what most Big Oil companies did? They bought back stock, thereby pseudo-artificially raising their stock prices and indicating larger corporate bonuses come year-end. Chevron, for example, spent something like NINETY PERCENT of their profits on this.

-- I don't hate profit-driven corporations. I work for one, Ranger. Where did I say I hate profit-driven corporations?

Statements like these make it very easy to see and state you are anti-profit driven corporations.

I know that only covers wealth distribution, not all the facets/details leading up to that or flowing after. But I wasn't talking about those things. I was only taking about spending, since that is what Ranger brought up -- going to a restaurant, having his house cleaned, etc.

You cannot seperate the two. Not in an open society. There is no such thing as a closed society unless you look at N. Korea, which even then gets enourmous aid from China.

There is no proof of that. There is only evidence in the timing.

It did the same for the JKF tax cuts, the Reagan tax cuts and the Bush tax cuts. All 3 took us from a recession to a boom in growth. You can try to deny it, but the correlation is there.

AdminTitan September 5 2011 12:57 PM EDT

Tell me how this does not mean let me have my cake so you can have my leftovers.

Nat this is a very ignorant statement. Please do more research on economics.

QBRanger September 5 2011 1:03 PM EDT

Tell me how this does not mean let me have my cake so you can have my leftovers.

As opposed to "spreading the wealth around" to those that did not earn it?

And BTW, I earned my cake. I worked hard, studied hard, sacrificed much time and effort for it. It was not given to me by anyone. So, why cannot I eat my cake? I made it myself. So I should make my cake and give 1/2 of it away?

But a leftover of a cake is still a cake, or at least a piece of one.

I just hate it when people say they are entitled to what I have earned, through years of dedication, hard work and sacrifice. If they want it, let them go to school for 8 years. Go through a residency for 5 more. Let them spend 36 hours on call without sleep every 4th day. Let them burn through relationships due to never being home. Never see you kids due to working all the time. I am just sick of this entitlement syndrome we have.

QBRanger September 5 2011 1:07 PM EDT

BTW, I do spread my wealth around.

I give a lot to charity. I donate my time to 2 local societies. 25% of all the readings I do at work for for free. Not all the "rich" are the heartless cake eating slobs you liberals portray us to be. In fact, it is known that Republicans give more to charity then Democrats. The is easily found via a google search.

QBsutekh137 September 5 2011 1:36 PM EDT

Statements like these make it very easy to see and state you are anti-profit driven corporations.

Pointing out a couple types of bad behavior (as I see it) means I hate all profit-driven corporations? How so? Are you saying that anyone who says one bad thing about ANY aspect of corporate finance or the economy is immediately a corporation hater?

In any case, I still need citations. What you posted were not at all examples of "sutekh137 hates all profit-driven corporations" any more than if I were to take some of your statements about Obama and say, "Ranger must not like black people."

About wealth distribution. Yep, I can separate the two. I'm sorry you can't.

It did the same for the JKF tax cuts, the Reagan tax cuts and the Bush tax cuts. All 3 took us from a recession to a boom in growth. You can try to deny it, but the correlation is there.

Correlation is not causation. Because if it were, the tax cuts of the last few years would be turning things around by now, especially considering the fact Obama went along with extending them. I guess if things DO turn around, you'll have to extol the virtues of "Obamanomics", and if things DON'T turn around, it looks like the previous times when tax cuts helped were just that -- correlative.

As for your last rant. Wow. Wear the cross much? Not seeing your kids? That's your choice. Don't lay that out there to make it sound like because you now have stuff you deserve it more. You're all about choice, fine. But keep it to yourself. I don't need to hear you whining about your personal life for choices YOU have made, certainly not on a Debate thread. Do you see me talking about all the hardships I've endured in my life to support my points? Completely lame.

QBRanger September 5 2011 1:55 PM EDT

See that is the problem.

You see corporations raising their prices as taxes rise as greed. I see it as the cost of doing business. Making a profit.

You see corporations that buy back their stock as a bad thing. If it is financially sound, I see it is good.

You see corporations not investing in jobs or R&D or infrastructure as bad. I see it as good as long it is financially sound for their long term goals.

Question for you: Do you think corporations have a responsibility to hire people or be known as un-American? I certainly do not. But there is a group of people that do.

You type about money grubbing prophecy. How much more anti-corporation do you need to go before I can call you on it?

Of course, we both agree that cooking the book like Enron did was very very bad and evil.

There were no tax cuts the last few years. They kept the current rates. Including the highest corporate tax rate in the world (or 2nd compared to Japan). There is a whole host of new taxes in Obamacare. A whole host of new taxes and reguations in the Frank-Dodd fiasco. Most not even written yet. And a President who rails against success and profit, while demanding hire tax rates on those who are successful. Any wonder companies are not hiring? O yea, they are big, bad and evil. They are money grubbing. They are not allowed to make a profit.

How do you expect business to hire when the uncertainty is out there.

And yes it is my choice to work hard to become successful. But I do not need to be vilified by those who do not. I do not need others saying I have to pay my "fair share" when they pay almost no federal taxes. I do not need others saying I am greedy for wanting to hold onto the money I earn.

Do you see me talking about all the hardships I've endured in my life to support my points? Completely lame.

Of course not. You do not have others wanting to take your earning to "spread the wealth around". I do. And you and the other liberals in this game keep stating that.

QBRanger September 5 2011 2:10 PM EDT

more than if I were to take some of your statements about Obama and say, "Ranger must not like black people."

Ah yes. The liberals last resort when they know they lost a discussion.

Brand the conservative as a racist. Do not say it directly, but hint at it. Then bring it up more and more.

I dislike Obama due to his policies. As much as I dislike Kerry, or Biden, or Pelosi or Reid.

I am out of this thread. This is a new low for you Sut. A new low.

QBsutekh137 September 5 2011 2:35 PM EDT

See that is the problem.

What problem?

You see corporations raising their prices as taxes rise as greed. I see it as the cost of doing business. Making a profit.

Good, I have no problem to agree to disagree on that front. However, it in no way equates to "hating all profit-driven corporations", which is the falsehood you have been propagating about me.

You see corporations that buy back their stock as a bad thing. If it is financially sound, I see it is good.

I never said it was a bad thing. I said that if Big Oil is going to use their profits to simply buy back stock, then it seems like we should remove their subsidies. That's a VERY big difference. I never even said stock buy backs are bad. I know quite well what purpose they serve and when they are appropriate. Doesn't matter anyway, as none of this has to do with the fact that I don't hate corporations.

You see corporations not investing in jobs or R&D or infrastructure as bad. I see it as good as long it is financially sound for their long term goals.

Another thing we can agree to disagree on (though I mostly AGREE that there will be times when toning back on those things is GOOD, but I was once again referring to Big Oil subsidies). I repeat: I have no problem that we do or don't share the same views. I take issue with when your response about disagreements is to tell lies about me (a fact your examples have yet to address).

Question for you: Do you think corporations have a responsibility to hire people or be known as un-American? I certainly do not. But there is a group of people that do.

No. I mean, there's more to it than that, it's a big question, but I would say that I would not automatically think such a corporation was un-American. And I certainly don't care what another "group of people" thinks. What does this have to do with anything? Have you given some more thought as to why you're telling lies about me? Because you seem to have ample time to come up with other entirely unrelated points. Weird.

You type about money grubbing prophecy. How much more anti-corporation do you need to go before I can call you on it?

I don't know what you are referring to, but if I said I didn't like money-grubbers, that means I don't like money-grubbers. What does that have to do with corporations?

Some men wear hats.
I hate all people who wear hats.
I hate all men.

THAT'S the bad logic you appear to be ascribing to.

Of course, we both agree that cooking the book like Enron did was very very bad and evil.

Good deal. See, you don't need to tell lies about me to find common ground.

There were no tax cuts the last few years. They kept the current rates.

Wait, so that means they kept the same tax rates as put in place by Bush (W), rates meant to afford some stimulation, some trickle-down. Am I misreading? I never said they gave MORE cuts, they just kept rates on the books that would have expired (including subsidies, like those for Big Oil).

Including the highest corporate tax rate in the world (or 2nd compared to Japan).

So which is it, the highest in the world or second highest?

There is a whole host of new taxes in Obamacare. A whole host of new taxes and reguations in the Frank-Dodd fiasco. Most not even written yet. And a President who rails against success and profit, while demanding hire tax rates on those who are successful. Any wonder companies are not hiring? O yea, they are big, bad and evil. They are money grubbing. They are not allowed to make a profit.

If the taxes aren't even written yet, then why would they be slowing corporations down? Shouldn't they be out taking risks (the reason you said they deserve all they get)? On one side you say risk is one reason the rich deserve what they have, but then defend corporations for not hiring because they "don't want to take the risk." Which is it? Should they risk and be rewarded, or not risk and not be rewarded? It sounds sort of like you want them to NOT have to take risk AND still be rewarded. Can you clarify?

How do you expect business to hire when the uncertainty is out there.

I don't know. But there's always uncertainty out there. See my risk comment above, and address it if you feel like it. If I didn't expect anyone to ever hire (or do anything) because of uncertainty, I couldn't expect anyone to get out of bed in the morning, much less hire an employee! So no, I don't consider current uncertainty as an excuse for no jobs.

And yes it is my choice to work hard to become successful. But I do not need to be vilified by those who do not. I do not need others saying I have to pay my "fair share" when they pay almost no federal taxes. I do not need others saying I am greedy for wanting to hold onto the money I earn.

I have never vilified you. And the one time I even approached that level, I pulled back and apologized. We can see how that turned out from your end and the way you speak to me (and others).

Of course not. You do not have others wanting to take your earning to "spread the wealth around". I do. And you and the other liberals in this game keep stating that.

How do you know how much others are "taking" from me? You don't even know what tax bracket I am in, and even if I did ever mention my take-home pay or position, it has been a while (read more than a year) since I have done so (and my household is currently VERY different than that of a single guy living in St. Louis). For all you know I make more than you now and will being taxed even higher. And you call me unsuccessful and jealous. You don't even know where the shot is much less how to make it.

QBsutekh137 September 5 2011 2:40 PM EDT

Wow, Ranger...quite a cherry pick. Here is what I said about racism (IN FULL):

In any case, I still need citations. What you posted were not at all examples of "sutekh137 hates all profit-driven corporations" any more than if I were to take some of your statements about Obama and say, "Ranger must not like black people."

You took the last bit of that, even dropping off the "any" before the "more" to make it look like I was calling you a racist. I was doing EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. I said what you have been doing to me (which I have found vehemently deplorable and have been very vocal about) would be like me saying you hated black people for not liking Obama. Which I haven't done because I DON'T think that.

I never called you a racist. Talk about low. At least I guess you must know how your lies have been making me feel if you go so far as to try to make it look like I called you a racist via butchering my words out of context. Despicable.

Lord Bob September 5 2011 3:00 PM EDT

Ah yes. The liberals last resort when they know they lost a discussion.
...
... ...

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

Unbelievable. Un-friggin-believable.

Thank you for that Ranger. You have already made my day a happy one. We now have very clear and undeniable proof that not only do you not read our posts, but also of your hypocrisy (it's only ok when you do it) and your tendency to use right wing talking points to shut down debate (the poor are lazy, liberals hate success, but oh! Please don't ever call a conservative a racist, that's bad!).

You owe Sut a MASSIVE apology.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] September 6 2011 3:32 AM EDT

OMG, Ranger didn't even read what Sut said, either that or he failed reading comprehension. Ranger said Sut hates all corporations because sut doesn't like some aspect of corporate culture. Sut doesn't like being painted with generalizations, especially when they are false, and showed that by example of the racism card that is falsely tossed around when someone doesn't agree with someone else. It's a great analogy, and I think Ranger should apologize, Sut never called Ranger anything.

Moreover, it seems like Sut keeps apologizing for using some incorrect generalization but Ranger never apologizes for using generalizations. Why not man? I think Ranger has even incorrectly painted me with the 'evil liberal' brush a number of times, even though I self identify with moderates.

I suppose I can use a generalization of my own here. I sometimes have political debates with a highly conservative guy at my work, and he always likes to make rash generalizations about my beliefs when I don't agree with him about something. It's really annoying, and when I tell him he is wrong about his assumptions, he quickly changes the subject to avoid confronting his mistake. It sounds very similar to what happens here, is this how all conservatives debate?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 6 2011 9:33 AM EDT

wow, threads like these make me long for the days when political and religious discussions were frowned upon in cb land.

what exactly does this add to our community again?

QBsutekh137 September 6 2011 9:34 AM EDT

is this how all conservatives debate?

Well, I would say that unless you want to fall in with folks like your co-worker who would make generalized statements and blanket assumptions, the answer to this one should be "no". *smile*

Argumentation style, in my experience, is completely unrelated to politics. I have known liberals who are harsh and extreme and never listen (I've been known to be one of them at points in my life). Same for conservatives.

And let's not forget attribution theory. Since I tend to be more liberal, my natural tendency is to think "those darn conservatives are all bull-headed" even when I run into one who isn't. In the same way, I am more liable to forget when I run across a bull-headed liberal. These things most times come down to the extremely simple "us vs them".

Never underestimate the power of perception/attribution. It's massive. And if you don't devote true focus and active brain cycles toward recognizing it, it WILL have some control over your processing schemas. It's like noticing a certain sequence of letters or numbers in license plates as you drive to work, making you think, "Weird, I saw a ton of cars with "666" today, that must mean something!" Well, it does, sure. It means you started noticing 666 and your perception/attribution turned it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Another example, a personal issue I have (pet-peeve) is that when I see someone driving and talking on a cell phone I think, "That really is getting out of hand! More and more people are doing that!" Then, I force myself to glance at the next 4-5 cars and notice that none of them are talking on a cell phone. So is the "cell phone problem" getting worse, or am I? *smile*

That's why science and the scientific method are so important. Otherwise humans tend to think they just "know stuff", and it becomes easily ingrained (our brains are wired to work that way, very-generally speaking).

But you can't really apply scientific method to politics or religion. That's why it can be so hard to discuss dispassionately. We all think we just "know stuff" and that it should be obvious to everyone else.

QBRanger September 6 2011 9:36 AM EDT

Sut,
I do apologize about crying Racism. That was wrong.

About corporations, I stand by my statement that you seem very anti-corporation. I have read little if anything that you post that shows corporations in a positive light. I quoted 2 things you stated that were very anti-corporation and you quickly dismissed them as nothing big. Find me a couple quotes where you state positive things about profit driven corporations. Prove me wrong.

QBsutekh137 September 6 2011 10:37 AM EDT

Racism apology accepted. Any thought on trying to come together on the other lies you told about me?

I'm not sure why I have to prove YOU wrong when you were the one who said I hate all profit-driven corporations. That's not how it works, and you know it. In a debate, one doesn't simply cast aspersions on an opponent and then ask THEM to disprove what was said. That's Guilty until proven Innocent. No dice, Hoss.

There are times when I feel that you simply cannot move beyond segmented thinking and false dichotomies. For you, it is us or them, in or out, have or have-not. I suppose we can just agree to disagree on that, but I have to tell you that it is a very limiting (and inaccurate) way of seeing the world.

Do you know when I am anti-corporation? When things happen that I think are wrong. Simple as that, and the same reasoning behind why any rational, reasonable, logical person decides "good" or "bad" for any particular facet of existence. You know when I am pro-corporation? When I see the good in them. Simple as that. Why is that difficult to understand? Why is it easier for you to make a blanket statement that I hate corporations rather than truly listening and discovering the parts I like and don't like? I have opinions, and they are just as valid as yours. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad, and I have no obligation to show you all, some, or none of either.

When Disney lobbied to get copyright extended to 120 years, just so they could hold onto Mickey-fricking-Mouse, I think that is bad. They want to keep making money from an old idea: no risk, no innovation, no competition allowed. That's anti-capitalism because they want all the upside without the downside. That's greed, in my opinion, and it is wrong. If you think otherwise, fine. But that opinion in no way states I hate all corporations. What the opinion leads to is me being a paid member of the EFF to try to work on copyright laws and intellectual property issues, because I think it is important. The EFF does not hate corporations. On the contrary! Their effort is meant to PROMOTE capitalism, TRUE capitalism, prevent stagnation, lock-in, and barriers to entry. Their efforts are meant to increase innovation as opposed to allowing, for example, executives making money off of works that should have gone into the public domain years ago. Hey Disney, go and think up something NEW! Actually go to work and DO SOMETHING like the rest of us do every day when we sit down at our desks.

When Big Oil receives my tax dollars for subsidies and then makes billions of dollars in a single quarter, I consider it a bad thing to continue those subsidies. That doesn't make Big Oil evil, and I never said they were. I said I didn't like the subsidies. That opinion in no way states I hate all corporations.

Just for the record, I don't recall you ever weighing in on Disney or the Big Oil subsidies. You rarely directly address any specific issues in my posts, and then you have the gall to ask me to prove _my_ side? That's laughable.

Disney and Big Oil cover much of what I have said (I'd say 75% or more) on this thread and threads over the last couple of years. I don't need to tell you anything about why I LIKE corporations. I don't owe you anything. None of your business. You finally apologize, once, after heaping more and more lies about me onto the thread (finishing with a completely horrendous misinterpretation of me), and after others posted about your entirely out-of-line comment, and that makes you think you have the right to ask me to prove something to you?

Your behavior is an order of magnitude more reprehensible than anything I have seen from you before. Dudemus asked a good question -- how does this help the community? Can you answer, Ranger? Can you enlighten us as to how your disrespect and lies (meant only to inflict hurt, as far as I can tell) have bolstered Carnage Blender as you continue to make ludicrous demands of those who simply disagree with you?

AdminTitan September 6 2011 10:57 AM EDT

what exactly does this add to our community again?

1 active thread that isn't the tourney thread?

QBsutekh137 September 6 2011 10:59 AM EDT

Actually, the concept of proving one likes corporations is intriguing enough that I'll try to address it further. It might even help give Ranger the "proof" he needs, and I am not saying that flippantly.

Here's why I don't have to explicitly say "I like corporations." Why NO ONE should ever have to state such a inane sentiment. I'll start with an analogy.

Consider an average office building. Nothing special, no great architecture, it just does it's job. Has anyone here ever walked into such a building from the rain, gasped, and extolled the virtues of said building? "Oh my, I love this building! I'm no longer getting rained on!" or "Look at this! Walls, carpet...oh GOSH! How fantastic! I LOVE buildings!!!!!!!!111111"

I'm assuming not.

However, if you walked into a building and saw the carpet peeling up, water damage in the walls, or a sagging roof, what would you say? You'd probably say, "Hm, that's not good, we should do something about that."

Does that mean you HATE the building? That in pointing out bad aspects of one building, you may in fact hate ALL buildings?

Of course not. On the contrary, in trying to fix what is broken, you are likely making the building better, perhaps even the whole neighborhood or office park! (that while "rising tide" thing!) By pointing out the problems in such a thing, one is actually HELPING.

Let's bring this back to a corporation. If I buy stock in a company, I have an expectation of making money (I'm not talking about shorting or pure speculation -- I'm talking true investment). So I get my stock and wait. I don't need to go to the corporate HP and slap everyone on the back and say: "You guys are so AWESOME! I LOVE corporations!" No, the money does all the talking. All of it. In fact, anyone who thinks corporations should be taxed less or be allowed to hold onto more of their wealth and have less regulation already fully believes this, as do I. Money is the default. Just like solid walls in a building are the default. No one needs to sing the praises of a corporation explicitly because the upside is already built into the system -- the corporation proves it is "good" every day, otherwise it isn't.

And again, in pointing out places where corporatism might be going a bit awry: corporations as people, overzealous lobbying, copyright fiascoes, back-door deals, kick-backs, no-bid contracting -- talking about these things is not meant to destroy corporations. Such discussion is meant to make the system BETTER.

Does that clarify my stance, Ranger? Can you see how so-not-against-Capitalism I am? But that I can come down on what I don't like about it at the same time? I sincerely hope so. I'm really trying here.

QBsutekh137 September 6 2011 11:02 AM EDT

1 active thread that isn't the tourney thread?

OK, that is exactly what I needed on this short-week "Monday".

Excellent use of levity, I applaud you, sir! *smile*

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 6 2011 12:25 PM EDT

i guess quantity trumps quality then! ; )

AdminTitan September 6 2011 12:42 PM EDT

I mean, it's really not a bad read. While there is a bunch of bickering on both sides. They both bring up really good points. And, while mostly they refuse to concede points, that doesn't mean that the points are any less valid on each side. Gives me something to do at work when I can't figure out how in the hell this awk command isn't working.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 6 2011 12:56 PM EDT

i guess that is why i have a problem with it, it does split the community into those sides. we forget that we are all here for similar reasons and are a cohesive community.

i actually chat over on s&f mainly because we do not have these discussions going on over there and are just a community devoted to moving up in the guild ranks.

i am probably just a crotchety old fart though and should be ignored.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 6 2011 2:04 PM EDT

When Disney lobbied to get copyright extended to 120 years, just so they could hold onto Mickey-fricking-Mouse, I think that is bad.

When I heard the news that the copyright law is being changed (over here at least) to allow you to 'legally' back up your CDs, I instantly thought of Sute. ;)

Under the proposals, based on recommendations made in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, the sharing of legitimately purchased media across platforms, and with immediate family members, will be allowed by law

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/copyright-law-change-means-ipod-users-are-no-longer-criminals-2330869.html

QBsutekh137 September 6 2011 2:12 PM EDT

Nice, GL! Actually, ripping CDs, while not having a complete law on the books to be deemed OK, would probably still be considered fine via "fair use" here in the States. It has just never been widely tested in court. Still, it is nice to see the UK having some common sense about the whole thing as opposed to thinking every customer is a criminal. I especially like the "common sense" feel of the family sentiment, making things more by household than by person. That syncs better with the reality of listening to music, IMO.

Let's hope it does become law -- are the odds good for that considering who is initially backing the legislation? I have been staying woefully under-informed on current UK politics.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 6 2011 3:30 PM EDT

Well, if the coalition doesn't disintegrate any time soon, they've got about 4 years to push it through!

Might be a nice thing to distract from the stupid planning law changes, that has got just about every nation heritage group up in arms. When you have the national badger society knocking on your doors, you've got to think to yourself you've got *something* wrong! ;)

It was nice that 'spoofs' will also be protected by this change.

I can't help feeling that the Kindle had a hand in this change though. ;)

This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=003D7q">Warren buffet on TAX </a>