Free Money

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ThazzarBaal, May 23, 2023.

  1. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,089
    I would like to catch a glimpse of "the other" in action. What would that look like, I wonder? Gun control? Affordable health insurance for everyone? Access too safe housing?
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,807
    Why add the extra "o" to "too"?

    The other would be the Progressives. Everything is about spending more when that is already our biggest problem (debt). I'm for Universal Healthcare but other than that, everything else is just a wishlist that might be nice to have if money wasn't an issue. Money is an issue.

    The only solution that the Progressives can come up with is to tax the wealthy. This is usually under the guise of paying their "fair share". This is repeated over and over as if it is a fact. It is not.

    The wealth already pay most of the taxes. If you want a major new program for the masses then the masses have to pay higher taxes.
     
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    5,089
    Why not? They were on sale. And my keys need cleaning.
    I wonder how money became the only issue.
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,807
    It's not for the Republicans but it is for me.
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    5,089
    You have my sympathy. Money is - apparently - an insoluble problem.
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,807
    I don't know what the sympathy is for but being financially responsible isn't insoluble as a problem.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    21,609
    Well:
    1) I disagree with the "fair" argument. The simple reality is that the rich can both afford higher taxes without impacting their quality of life, and that tax breaks for the poor have a more immediate positive impact on the economy.
    2) Given that at one point the rich were paying 90% of their income in taxes - and we did just fine as a society - you certainly can't argue that increasing them to (say) half of that would be cruel and unfair.
    And get most of what our society has to offer.
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    I didn't say anything about "cruel". The economy did well in the 50's and 60's when rates were higher and it did well in the 80's and the 90's when rates were lower, so the issue is more complex than that.

    The 50's (post war) were certainly not typical either from a high tax rate perspective nor from a manufacturing perspective since our economy (as far a manufacturing is concerned) was the only game in town immediately after the war.

    Sure, if the people vote in higher taxes the world wouldn't collapse. We might like the results (or not). As far as poor people and taxation, they pay no income tax so in that particular case it wouldn't have any immediate effect. If you are talking about those who do make enough to pay taxes, the short-term effect on the economy is likely to be greater. The long-term effect isn't so clear cut.
     
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    21,609
    I agree. However, we can conclude that 90% marginal tax rates were not ruinous for the economy.
    I agree - however, most poor people do pay some income taxes. Of course that depends on how you define poverty, but the line is currently at $27,000 a year. With the standard deduction you pay zero taxes up to $13,000 a year. So the people from $13K a year to $27K a year pay taxes, even though they are under the poverty level.
    Fair enough.

    To my mind, the process should work like this:
    1) A new budget is proposed, with all the expenditures called out (i.e. discretionary spending, entitlement programs, military spending etc.)
    2) A bill is drafted with the provisions in the budget called out as well as the necessary tax increases/decreases to fund those budget items.
    3) It is voted on.
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    I agree, and if it is done responsibly, spreading the tax burden on everyone (that can afford to pay taxes) then there is your curb on spending. Otherwise, when it's someone else's dime, there is no curb.

    No matter how we taxed the "rich", we wouldn't have a balanced budget today.

    We can also conclude from research that very few paid that 90% rate because there were many ways around it and if there weren't many ways around it, it probably would have been ruinous over time (speculation on my part).
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,609
    Of course we could. It's just math. Set the tax percentage as (income-cutoff)*(max rate)*e^(income*p.) Set cutoff so that it's the same as it is now (around $13K a year.) Choose max rate and P to give you the money you need. Choose P to choose how progressive you want it to be.

    Then just make that equation, spread over the existing population (which we have good census data for) equal to expenditures.
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    8,807
    You'll note that even in the 50's and the 60's there was a deficit every year except for 2.
     
  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    5,089
    They wouldn't be the 2 when nobody upped the ante in some stupid war?
     
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    1951 and 1956. 1951 was during the Korean War.
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    21,609
    Of course. Just because we COULD have a balanced budget very easily doesn't mean anyone actually WANTS that. It is always easier to give people free money than to raise taxes, because most voters aren't very smart.
     
  19. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

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    640
    Yeah, that's sounds great only I have no idea what it means.

    I don't think balancing our budget is all that easy, not even with increased taxation, but we can take steps towards that end. We've gotten to the point where the private sector is needed for many of this nations social programs. I have no clue how to honor our debt as a nation, but consumer debt accounts for about 70 to 80% of this nations deficit. The problem, I think, is less consumer spending equates to a less stable economy, so it's a bit of a catch 22.

    Better trade deals would help and outsourcing is an essential aspect of this, plus with the outsourcing of jobs, we can add more jobs in this nation. Automotives for example: manufacturing of parts to assembly and quality control all jobs that can be both outsourced and added at an increased level here in the states. Outsource assembly add 4 parts manufacturing facilities in the states or vice versa. Beyond this, I don't know what might help.
     
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    10,311
    Balancing the budget really is easy to do, at least in principle. You need to achieve expenditure equal to the tax receipts. So either you set your expenditure and then determine what tax rates need to be to achieve that, or you set your tax rates and base your expenditure on what you think you'll receive. You can set taxes to be progressive or not, but ultimately the principle is the same. The problem is that doing either of those is going to annoy lots of people, as either tax rates will be too high, or expenditure will be too low.
    Also, at least while interest rates have been low, by balancing the books like that you're missing out on some cheap credit that can help fuel the economy in the longer term. This is what the UK's period of austerity missed out on: it's been estimated (albeit by a Left-ish think tank) that we missed out on circa half a trillion pounds of government spending, and as a result the economy is much weaker than it otherwise could have been. But then our debt as a percentage of GDP would be far worse than it is now, and that's what they were looking to control / reduce. But at what cost long-term?
    Austerity did help take some fat out of the various systems, though, and piling money into systems with plenty of existing fat is that they tend to just get fatter. So austerity has, I guess/hope, taken much of the fat out such that when spending increases it will be a more efficient injection than it might have been. But then CoVid came along and we pumped hundreds of billions in anyway. But at least they did so on a slimmed down system. I guess.
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    21,609
    It's an equation that lets you set a tax rate that gets as much money, and is progressive as you want, by just changing three variables. No fretting over where to set which tax bracket; that does it all for you.

    Of course the math itself is the easy part.
    It's very easy in theory. Just set expenditures equal to taxation.

    It is very hard in practice, since so many Americans are innumerate, and want more social services and less taxes, and believe politicians when they say their party will do that for them while reducing the deficit.
    Yep.
     
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    To be factual, consumer debt isn't even a part of national debt so it plays no part in a deficit. Consumer debt as a percentage of national debt is about 4%.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2023
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,807
    The average tax rate in 1955 was 11.9% for all returns. The 91% top marginal rate applied to very few returns.

    For the tax year 2022, the average tax rate for all taxpayers was 13.3%.

    It's hard to compare taxes over time due with different tax systems being in place. Another way to look at it is...

    The tax-to-GDP ratio (tax burden) for the United States was 24.5% in 2019, while it was 26.8% in 1955.

    In other words, the reality was not that different then and now.
     

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