The Obama File

Discussion in 'Politics' started by eyeswideshut, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    One of the advantages of that complexity is that it allows a lot of flexibility to account for all kinds of income and all kinds of deserved exemptions from taxes (such as the catastrophic losses of the victims of Hurricane Sandy). In relation to President Obama's agenda, I notice he is trying to incentivize small businesses through the tax code, and to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Complexity does offer that advantage, at least.

    One of the interesting aspects of all of that complexity is that the algorithm defaults to simplicity, merely by not claiming any of the deductions or exemptions that require the various schedules and attachments to the 1040. Simpler yet is 1040 EZ. The most common deductions and exemptions are mortgage and dependents, and those should be simple enough for most people to understand.

    I think your argument--that paying federal and state taxes is excessive--is valid. At least the IRS cuts us slack by allowing us a deduction for the state taxes--although that adds a line or two to the accounting problem, which gets back to complexity.

    I'm also imagining the Tea Party running with this ball, taking over a state assembly and simply choosing not to pay the bill at all--the way they were talking about secession. It turns out that certain federal laws come with incentives to get states to come into compliance. Dangling a carrot has its advantages. These kinds of laws would be put in jeopardy if there was a loss of incentive. Imagine trying to get the Supreme Court to rule on case against a state for polluting, which also happens to be holding up funding for the federal courts. All kinds of double binds can be set up.

    My own favorite scheme is one in which April 15 is the day you vote your tax dollars. Once it's clear how much your tax bill will be, you are allowed to fund the Govt program by program by selecting which item to fund, and how much you wish to apply to it from the small fortune you are expected to relinquish. Congress gets to read the numbers on April 16th, and that's all they get for each program. This sets the agenda for the next fiscal year. It eliminates a lot of the incessant yammering, whether it's from politicians browbeating the public over whose programs are better, or the bitter taxpayers' perennial complaining over some unjust or ill-considered waste of "their" tax dollars. (At least by voting your tax dollars, they are truly yours!) It sounds infeasible, but I think the right technology could make it practical. The rest--having to follow a budget ordained by the people--would also allow taxpayers to get a taste of the consequences of citizenship. (You get what you pay for.) For one thing it would completely overturn the political landscape and eliminate gridlock and all the styrofoam that diverts resources from the important matters of the day.
     
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Notes on Something

    I don't disagree.

    Indeed, I actually disagree with the most of the Mayor's criticism of President Obama. Yet Mayor Bloomberg has demonstrated the art in politics; he is able to move past that critique and endorse President Obama, and that, in my opinion, is very significant.

    Bloomberg, as near as I can tell, is behaving according to an older standard of politics, one in danger of becoming obsolete. We don't have the kind of parliamentary government that the UK does, so unadulterated, unflinching opposition has a different effect. That is to say, if the opposition succeeds in stonewalling the executive, we do not call new elections. We simply get nothing done.

    Some days, having Congress and the White House locked in a double-death pang can actually be a good thing. But as we saw in the debt ceiling debate, having the opposition refuse to pay the bills brings nothing good.

    It's true that I would like Mayor Bloomberg to explain just what he expects President Obama to do in order to break gridlock. Apparently, foregoing a liberal plan and adopting the Republican one isn't enough.

    But, nonetheless, despite his complaints, Bloomberg sees better potential in an Obama presidency. And that, indeed, I find significant.

    Whether Bloomberg's endorsement moves any votes remains to be seen; I expect New York to go Obama's way, anyway.
     
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    You are deluding yourself. Income is income. Just because the facts don't fit your narrative, it doesn't mean the facts are incorrect or somehow wrong. Income consists of more than just wages. What, pensioners are wealthy? Retired folks living off their investments are not necessarily wealthy. There is a world out there that does not comport with your notions. The discussion was about the fact that people have more dollars and the graphic shows they do. As previously mentioned not everyone will share equally in the income growth. But that does not change the fact that income has grown.

    Most workers today earn more today than they did a decade ago or two decades ago or three decades ago. That is a fact. Income is up – that is the issue. How the income is distributed is another issue that you don’t seem to be able to understand. You are conflating two separate issues.
     
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  7. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    um joe real income is down for most people. has been for a while.
     
  8. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I agree. Average incomes are up, median income is down, the rich have been getting richer and the poor poorer and hte middle class is shifting towards the poor, this trend has been going long before obama back to the time of reagan and his regressive tax policies and ideologies like "trickle down economics". At the very least we have proof that it does not work, at worse it is the primary cause of all our economic woos.

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    Look at how during hte 50's and 60's when taxes were their most progressive income had its greatest amount of accelerating growth for al income brackets, but since the 70's on dispite regressive taxation only the very rich and maintain high growth up until the bush jr. years of course.
     
  9. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Oh sure, everything has it pros and cons, but the disadvangagtes are greater with its present complexity and loop holes, such that a man rich enough to hire a good accountant can end up paying less in taxes then say his secretary who lacks the time and knowledge to file for all the examptions the secretary qualifies for.

    I don't have a problem with seccessnist, dear god how much better of the northern states would be today without the southern states, they represent only 30% of USA GDP but a majority of our debt. If a state wants to not pay its bills it can suffer not getting any federal support.

    Oh I like that idea! I'm sure with internet voting this could be made possible, so the people choose how the budget gets divided to diffrent programs, the congress makes the legistlations on programs and laws, the president signs off on it and the judges make sure its all legit... snow balls chances it will ever happen, but I willing to dream that with you.
     
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    So you continue to claim without poof. By "Most workers" you surely must exclude the top 15% income groups. Their incomes may be up in last decade, but purchasing for the 85% is down. According to Pew research (and many data already quoted to you) are finding it ever harder to maintain their standard of living.

    Again I ask you: What is the basis for your repeated claims? (Don´t try to support them with statements about GDP per capital or other data that included everyone, instead of only "most people.")
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    29,628
    My "narrative" is simply that GDP per capita is a very poor measure of income, especially for the lower income classes - it is a proxy, and a dubious one. It badly misleads.

    If you want to talk about people's net income, the dollars they have to spend, why not use a direct measure of them?
     
  12. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,908
    That is pure unadulterated nonsense Billy T. The supporting data has been provided. You just don't like it because it does not support your notions. The facts are, the a dollar today buys less goods and services today than it did in prior years. But individuals also have more dollars and more purchasing power. What you and Michael like to do is fixate of the fact that a dollar buys fewer goods and services and ignore the fact that individuals have more dollars (per previously provided per capital GDP data).

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  13. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    We all agree that the rich are rapidly getting richer – so much so that the GDP per capita has slightly increased even though the medium income is dropping; the middle class is shrinking; and the middle income are down and in purchasing power terms by 7.8% since 2007 (in last 5 years)

    But you said:
    No when speaking of the medium or Middle Class incomes, one MUST consider the income distributions.* Your GDP/ capital does not. The huge gains of the rich, which have greatly changed the Gini index, distort the facts about the incomes of “most workers.”

    You are ignoring the fact that GDP per capital is up only due to the gains in the very top income brackets and tried to justify it with:
    But Social security is at best only corrected for inflation and many pensions plus almost all annuities are not inflation adjusted, but have their purchasing power eroded by inflation. Also, it is the very top income people who get almost all the “investment gains” and those who have lost their jobs so get to collect unemployment or food stamps are no argument for income increasing! I have never collected any Medicare, but think it all goes to the doctors - I.e. is part of why those at the top are doing very well at the expense of the middle class´s taxes (or those of their children, if US is borrowing from China, etc. to fund it).

    You are not able to find any data showing the medium income or the income of the middle class is up Because it is down, unless comparing to WWII incomes, etc.

    * I recently posted with reference (if memory serves me correctly) that the top 200 Americans get 16% of all US incomes! That 16% greatly boost the GDP/ capita but leaves the medium income of the middle class income unchanged.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2012
  14. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    while your right that nominal income is increasing nominal income in determining whether income is rising is completely bullshit. if infaltion is 5% and you have an increase of nominal income of 2.5% your REAL income is a roughly decreased by 2.4% ie REAL income is going down.


    for fucks sake joe the real average hourly income has changed for the past 50 damn years get with the program if your not part of solution your part of the problem.
     
  15. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Another reason to vote Obama: Apparently you get an Obama Phone

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    WARNING: The following Youtube video has gone viral and has an extremely catchy tune.

    I grew up partly on the East Side of Flint Michigan (we MI consider Cleveland MI's armpit

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    ) and she sounds exactly like my little brother... Hahahahaha.....


    [video=youtube;Ax-2i71bqGw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax-2i71bqGw[/video]
     
  16. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    Biden puts the moves on a Police Officer?

    A strange photo I came across:

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  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The obvious question

    Help me out here for a moment, please. Are you really hoping to rehash this one?

    Or are you just looking to bash Cleveland and your little brother?
     
  18. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Cleveland is a hole. My little brother lives in Flint which is an even bigger hole. Hopefully he doesn't get shot, as I'm a bit worried someone's going to put a bullet in him. He has a predilection for being stupid. Pretty sad America has rotted to this state. But, at least we get to vote for Dear Leader. Lucky us. I can promise you one thing, elect Obama, elect Mittens....in 4 years Flint will be just that much more of a hell hole.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    23,198
    > 50% more electorial votes!
     
  20. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Apparently you were not paying attention. The data I provided was adjusted for inflation.

    Here is OECD data on household disposabe income.

    http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/real-household-disposable-income_2074384x-table19

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organisation_for_Economic_Co-operation_and_Development

    Facts are fact pj, you don't like it when conservatives make up facts or ignore facts. You shouldn't be hypocritical.
     
  21. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Yes the inflation adjusted income averaged over EVERYONE has increase BUT not if you remove ONLY the top 400 earners who got 16% of ALL the income.

    Ignoring facts like this is more hypocritical than pj ´s error as your´s is intentional and frequently defended by mention of other POSSIBLE incomes like stocks, bonds, pension plans, and the big one, Social Security. You know and have frequently been told with a multitude of references, that since 2007 the US middle class has lost more purchasing power in salaries than 1% drop per year (7.8% total) and their social security is at best only staying even with inflation, they have lost money if they bought their house in the last five years on that etc. The Pew research organization asked (large numbers with low MoE) and was told by 85% that they were having an increasingly harder time maintaining their living standards. The US´s Gini index also is now experiencing the fastest ever change as wealth concentrates into every fewer hands and the middle class shrinks, etc.

    Joe, you say:
    "The facts are, the a dollar today buys less goods and services today than it did in prior years. But individuals also have more dollars and more purchasing power."
    But that is NOT true for ~99% of the individuals so you are only technically correct, but very dishonest to say with zero recognition that for at least 98% of the population it is NOT true that "individuals have ... more purchasing power." Say those with less than $250,000 incomes.
     
  22. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I am glad to see you acknowledge the fact that inflation adjusted income has increased. Where is your proof that removing the top 400 earners will negate the fact that workers have earned more over the timeframes in question?

    You are using a different time frame. The genesis of this discussion was Michael’s continued complaint that over the course of the last century the value of the dollar has declined. Now you are picking a subsection of that time period that coincides with The Great Recession. Of course incomes are adversely affected during a recession. So you are cherry picking by trying to change the time period, shortening the time period, and using a timeframe that incudes negative aggregate income growth - the Great Recession.

    Per my previous post, the original discussion was over the period of a century, not just a few years during the greatest recession since The Great Depression. You are cherry picking.
     
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    23,198
    I don´t have any by rigorious math, but simply assume that if total US income were lowered by 16% then the remaining Americans (400 less than the total) would have a reduction in their purchasing power. If you want proof on the fact top 400 get 16% of all income, I posted that some weeks ago, in what thread I don´t remember, with link to the source as I almost always do when giving such surprising facts.

    You´r correct. I found in post 620 Michael graph going back to 1800s, but had not seen it before today. I saw only your graph posted in 626 & 651 and falsely concluded you were going way back to make your point true. I owe and give you an apology. There is nothing dishonest in hitting Michael with facts in period he spoke of.

    I am also a victim of my own intense focus on what current trends (say since end of GWB 1st term) imply. In my trend time frame, things have gotten much worse for most Americans (but IMHO a much greater worse is soon to come to typical Joe American. I.e. I don´t think the current down turn will end in a recovey for those who have lost jobs or even that the rich buying US Treasury paper for "safety" can avoid huge capital losses, etc. In five years or or less most will be hoping we could just get back to the current bad times.).
     

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