Ineffective Government, an outcome of our definition of "Freedom"?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Seattle, Jan 28, 2023.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Were the "normal" ones capable of driving to San Jacinto, pairing up and getting an apartment while working at Target?
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Apparently they were not, but I have no idea. As I mentioned before, everyone has a different story, a different history and a different problem to be solved.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    If it provides you with benefits (i.e. pays for your flights, buys you things, allows you to use their facilities) yes.
    Nope! That's a good case of them HAVING an income but not paying any taxes. A clever loophole - especially if those "losses" are false (i.e. a real estate appraisal from a friend who values the property lower for you) or are recoverable (i.e. the money goes into a fund you have access to.)
    Not at all, because there are so few people that wealthy.
    SOME rich do not pay their fair share, correct. That is legitimate.
    Given that so many do it that they pay a much smaller percentage of their income than other people do, yes.
    ?? That's not a problem.

    Surely you are not making the argument that since the rich pay most of the taxes in the US, they should be allowed to cheat on them?
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    No, but since neither you nor I are prosecutors how would we know who is cheating on their taxes and who is not. What about middle income people. Do they not cheat or do we know it when they do?

    Since the rich pay most taxes in the U.S. I think it's odd that we are talking about them not paying their fair share since you've just said that they pay most of the taxes.
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    So apparently they couldn't be maybe they could and maybe we should provide housing for them but maybe we shouldn't?
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Again, these aren't the Reagan years.

    A line-by-line analysis of your post requires a great deal of trying to figure out your presuppositions: "Does anyone here really think that the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes?" What, do you think people are joking when they say that?

    Or, perhaps, you might explain what this means:

    Moreover, consider your claim that, "Those who make more do pay a little more on equal income." It's probably possible to guess what you mean, but it would be easier for other people if they didn't have to guess. For instance, the seemingly obvious response would be to point toward the graduated tax rates: Both the 22% and 37% brackets will pay ten percent on the first ten thousand dollars, and you seem to be suggesting that the higher earner will pay a higher tax rate on that first ten thousand. Both taxpayers will pay twelve percent on the range from ten to nearly forty-two thousand dollars. And both will pay twenty-two percent on the next forty-eight thousand, and so on.

    Or, are you going to tell us H&R Block↱ are wrong?

    But that's also what happens when I have to guess what you mean; if it turns out that's not what you meant, maybe also tell us what you actually mean.

    Furthermore, taxes aren't the only reason the wealthy are so criticized in our society. Surely, someone so informed as you already knew that, just like you already know H&R Block isn't wrong about how tax rates are applied.

    Your lamentation for the wealthy is a series of barely-connected paragraphs arguing from vagary. Compare, for instance, the idea that there is no evidence that wealth was acquired inappropriately or unfairly, with the fact of, say, Amazon's labor violations. Yes, assets were gained through deceit and impropriety. Wage theft, in general, inflicts greater↱ economic impact↱ than other forms of theft, a point made salient all of a week ago when a CFO acknowledged, during an earnings call, that maybe the company "cried too much last year" about theft. It's also worth noting that Walgreens posted a $3.7 billion loss, last year, and only in part because of its decision to settle a lawsuit accusing its role in the opioid epidemic. And retailers paying out to settle with the states presents an interesting question: If Walgreen's and CVS behaved appropriately, how could going to court and fighting to protect their finances and reputations possibly cost them more than they're paying out in the settlement?

    But maybe that's not what you meant by "no evidence that those with more assets have gotten those assets in any inappropriate or 'unfair' way"; and your parenthetic note, "unless someone has broken the law and then they are prosecuted", is ahistorical compared to the number of violations that skate. Your list of sterile talking points is fascinating because it's hard to know where to begin. A paragraph-by-paragraph response goes, approximately:

    What, do you think they're joking when they say that; you need to explain what you mean about the people who are "doing OK"; explain the price that group is "actually potentially paying"; what tax system are you describing; no, "all that" is not "the current system", and, it's not a stretch to consider income unreported, hidden, or misrepresnted; insofar as there is no "logic", who is actually making that comparison; yes, there is plenty of evidence that many of the rich have accrued, maintained, and grown thos assets in inappropriate or unfair ways; you've seen people say something about something, but that's really vague and reads more like a straw setup for your argumentative response invested in even more straw; tax cuts for wealthy interests rarely fulfill their justification; and here we are, right back to judgment, infliction, and exclusion.

    It's actually kind of hard to believe that you really are so naïve as that post suggest. Consider Billvon↑ on ways people can "offset" income; it's one thing if we need a professional accountant to come in here and enumerate those for you, but it's also hard to believe that you don't know people hide money in order to report less taxable income. That discussion has been going on longer than I've been alive, and we can only wonder how you missed it.


    Archie, Ayana. "CVS and Walgreens agree to pay $10 billion to settle lawsuits linked to opioid sales". National Public Radio. 13 December 2022. 30 January 2023.

    Fonrouge, Gabrielle. "Walgreens executive says 'maybe we cried too much last year' about theft". CNBC. 5 January 2023. 30 January 2023.

    H&R Block. "What are the tax brackets?" (n.d.) 30 January 2023.

    Mangundayao, Inha, Celine McNicholas, Margaret Poydock, and Ali Sait. "More than $3 billion in stolen wages recovered for workers between 2017 and 2020". Economic Policy Institute. 22 December 2021. 30 January 2023.

    Meixell, Brady and Ross Eisenbrey. "Wage Theft is a Much Bigger Problem Than Other Forms of Theft—But Workers Remain Mostly Unprotected". Economic Policy Institute. 18 September 2014. 30 January 2023.
  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    So, I have a question for you, Seattle - you’ve brought this up in different threads, different ways. Do you believe that if the rich paid less in taxes and not the most, that the poor would get poorer and the middle class would get poorer?

    Rich people may want to keep more of their money, but poor people actually need it. That’s the difference to me, and why the rich should want to pay higher taxes because it benefits society, on average.

    Not to mention, the top wealthiest Americans rely on the working class to make them wealthy. They didn’t get there on their own.
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You are quite correct. These aren't the Reagan years. Is there any reason to mention that? We aren't talking about space lasers afterall.

    You're feigning confusion a lot lately for clearer writing. In the proximal and distal past you've induced a sosobra like reaction and left potshards in your wake but now writing must be clearer or you just don't understand it?

    That's what progressive taxation means and how it's always been applied. If you want to describe an entirely new system, that's on you.

    I haven't missed anything, you can turn the sarcasm faucett off, it's still dripping.

    You say that I'm being judgemental even as you judge a whole class of people as not being "fair" or "appropriate", cheating on taxes, etc. You don't like the laws and you do want to be the one who judges what is "fair and appropriate".

    I think it would be fair and appropriate if you paid more taxes.

    Your comments about "wage theft" and then Walmart "crying too much about theft" makes no sense nor does your comments about a company losing money and how it should relate to how much is pays out in a settlement. Maybe we should bring an accountant in here to educate you a bit?

    Regarding, do I think people are joking when they complain about the rich not paying their fair share of, I think they are just repeating what people like you say over and over.

    Speaking of strawman, you argue that a whole class is corrupt based on a few people who ended up in court. That's the way it's supposed to work. The same applies to all the other classes as well.

    They pay the majority of the taxes. You would have them pay more based on your personal judgement of what is "fair and appropriate". Adding a bunch of footnotes doesn't change the facts. To the one, it just doesn't and to the other, ya'know, yeah, really, it just doesn't.
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    If by your response you are saying "it's a really hard problem with no one ideal answer" then great - yes, that's the problem, and now you are seeing the scope of that problem. There IS no simple answer that any man in the street could figure out, and the reason that we haven't solved the problem yet is that not that everyone in government is incompetent. They're not. And if they have a solution you think is stupid, it may be stupid, or it may be that the problem is so complex (which you just alluded to) that you are not seeing the downsides to the simpler solutions.

    If you are just trying to be funny, then haha.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Good! I agree.
    Again, a great many of them do not, using the mechanisms I just outlined. And if they do not pay their taxes, since they are supposed to be paying a larger share of them, it's a bigger problem, by definition.
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The man of the street can't appreciate the problem (because it's too complex) but the person in the government can handle complex problems...because they are in government? Meh, I don't buy that. Complex does work so simple can't work? I don't buy that either.
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    If the mechanisms are legal, then it's not a problem and it's simply judgemental to say that they are "supposed" to be doing something. What is a problem is that we are spending too much and everyone is not paying more taxes.

    If everyone was paying more taxes there would be political pressure exerted when we begin to overspend unwisely. When the only response is to blame the rich, nothing gets done and no program ever seems unwise. The only response is "well, they cut the taxes of the rich, what can we do?" Maybe spend less and tax everyone a little more and quit using the same excuses over and over?

    Look at the Covid response, the government threw the kitchen sink at the problem and doubled the money supply and thought that inflation would be temporary. How could that even be possible?

    So now we have inflation, people complaining about groceries, car prices, gas, and wages not going up with inflation. They want prices to come back down. Prices can't come all the way back down because of all the money that was newly created.

    It could come back down some but now people want all wages to keep up with inflation. If/when that happens then prices will never come back down as wages never come down so it just insures that the inflation stays permanently.

    Basically, no one seems to know what they are talking about when it comes to economics and everyone pays the price. Yet all we are talking about are the "rich" who are already paying most of the taxes and "we" seem to think that's the problem?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
  16. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    My question above goes unanswered.

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    The reason why the rich should pay the highest taxes, or the highest percentage, is because their disposable income is higher than the working class. If you raise the percentage for the working class, they’ll have less money to circulate in the economy. Many poor people live in debt, so there is an illusion of money circulating in the economy but they may not be able to repay the debt. This is why the wealthiest Americans should pay the most taxes, because they can.
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The rich pay the highest absolute taxes because they make the most money. Whether the rate needs to be higher (a little or at lot) is debatable but they do pay most of the taxes.

    I haven't complained about that. I've complained about all those who are complaining that "the rich should pay their fair share". They pay most of the taxes so why keep complaining about them? Do you have an answer to that?

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    You can't have a system where a small group pays most of the taxes but the other larger group decides how much money to spend without any regard to cost. You have a computer at home for work. You could have one in every room and you might be able to afford that but you don't do it because it just doesn't make sense, all things considered.

    If your work would pay for a computer in every room, why not, you'd probably get a computer in every room. It might be marginally more convenient and hey, you don't have to pay for it!

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    Our debt is now about 135% of our GDP. Most consider 75% to be about where it's now a problem. You can raise everyone who currently pays taxes (not those who currently don't pay taxes) by a small amount and, IMO, that's about all that you can do with taxation and still have a strong economy.

    If you make everyone feel some "pain" then the spending will stop when it's not absolutely necessary, just as you do with the home computer example. If we are at 135% of GNP we don't need to be talking about free pre-kindergarten even though it might be "nice" for some.

    Having a healthy economy would be nicer. Some thought it was nice for the government to double the money supply during Covid. The "poor" needed that too but everyone got it and now inflation is hitting everyone, the poor more strongly. This was entirely predictable but the government was "surprised" that the inflation wasn't temporary. How could doubled the money supply end up with temporary inflation?

    If we are really worrying about the poor we want low inflation (not raising wages to make sure inflation is permanent) and you want to get our debt down. The poor have the most personal debt, do we also need to saddle them and their children with outrageous public debt as well?
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    But you are reciting talking points from back in the day.
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I just saw this but I've now answered it (I think) in a post below.

    I've noticed that you post a lot about UFO's. Do you think aliens freely roam our streets? Just curious? (joke)

    I think I addressed your questions below but I don't really agree with your statement above about the "working" class and the wealthy not getting there on their own.

    The whole "class" way of looking at things is wrong, IMO. I'm referring to the "rich" as a class just because everyone else is addressing them that way.

    Sure, the wealthy generally start a company and if it's in tech, it's employees are well paid. The employees need a job and the person who one day ends up wealthy, created a company that among other things created a bunch of jobs.

    I don't think we need to look at this as "workers" and the "wealthy".

    You mentioned, in the other post, that the "poor" don't have extra money to pay for more taxes. Most of the "poor" don't pay any Federal Income taxes. No one is talking about asking those who currently aren't taxed to be taxed.

    The reality here is that it really isn't about the 1%. When a new tax is passed even if it is sold as being about the "rich", you and I end up paying for it.

    The idea these days seems to be that Reagan cutting taxes was only a gift to the rich. The narrative is that things were so much better before he did that. The narrative now, when I say everyone who is currently paying taxes needs to pay a little more (not a lot more) and then all the focus needs to be on reducing spending (rather than just ramping up taxation), I can't pay more.

    Many will say that "I can't pay any more but the rich can" If "you" like the days just before Reagan "you" would be paying more than a little more. The brackets ramped up gradually to 70%. If you aren't "rich" you wouldn't be paying 70% perhaps but the top rate today is about 39% and it covers a lot of people. The brackets before Reagan ramped up every [$]3,000 to [$]4,000 dollars so you may well have been paying 50% or more.

    As they say, you can't have your cake and eat it too but that's what people are arguing for today. Tax everyone other than me. It's not sustainable.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'm not reciting talking points. That's the lazy reply "people like you" use when they don't want to address the subject at hand.

    You might to add "Workers of the world rise up and unite" to your talking points.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Yes, speaking of straw men.
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No, because it's their job, and they have been working at it for years.

    Let's say an A330 crashes, and the man on the street knows exactly what happened - it was that Muslim pilot who wanted to kill himself and all the people on board! Get rid of Muslim pilots and the problem is solved. And he has firsthand direct knowledge because his father was killed on 9/11.

    Then a government bureaucrat looks into it and decides that it was due to the aircraft's flight control system transitioning from normal law to alternate law 2 without providing the usual audible warning, due to iced-over pitot and static ports. The pilot did not realize that stall protection had been lost, and pitched up the aicraft into a stall, expecting the flight control system to prevent that.

    When the second guy turns out to be rught, it just because people on the street can't handle complex problems but government bureaucrats can? Or is it because the second guy has spent his professional life in the NTSB investigating air crashes?
    You can buy anything you like. Complex problems rarely have simple solutions.
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I do agree that, almost by definition, complex problems rarely have simple solutions but if you are currently doing nothing you can cherry pick and start with the simple ones first rather than just using complexity as an excuse for spending a lot of money and getting nothing done.

    I don't agree with your plane example as I explained when you brought it up last. The man on the street doesn't understand flight dynamics, scuba diving dynamics, rock climbing dynamics, etc.

    Nor do most government officials but there is that knowledge with the NTSB of course although not in the Senate or House.

    That's not comparable to the homeless situation. On the one hand no one has a true solution (since no one has done much about it) and my point also wasn't for the man in the street to troubleshoot airline crashes or design detailed plans for the homeless problems. In fact, your reply sounds a bit disingenuous but maybe that's not your intention.

    If the man on the street sees a fire he knows to call the fire department. If he sees a crime he knows to call the police. If he sees needles, poop, passed out people, people cooking around tents with open fire, he knows that the first step is to clean up and clear out that mess even it the overall problem is complex and not so simple. If there was a phone call that he could make, he would do it.

    I think you know that though.

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