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    The Rebirth

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  The Rebirth on Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:25 pm

    Why the surplus is debatable (under Clinton)...

    The myth of the Clinton surplus is widely used by the good libs to make his presidency look like the best thing since sliced bread. We must take into account the time period in which Clinton was president. Does anyone remember what was going on in terms of technological advancement around 93-01? I'll give you a hint, Al Gore invented it in the late 80's. The Dot-Com Bubble! (brought to you by the Internetz!) Money was being made and people were paying more into Social Security, a lot more than years prior. Now, as more money was being put into Social Security, the made extra monies available to the U.S. Government to borrow from. The total national debt is made up of intragovernmental holdings and the public debt. Now, Social Security isn't the only trust that the Clinton administration borrowed from, but it is one of the largest. So, the money that was left over (i.e. didn't have to be paid out in some form or another to trustee holders) was used to pay down the national debt, well some of it was, while the other part of it went towards normal government spending. So while the national debt was paid down by the Clinton Administration, intragovernmental holdings went up. This means, the national debt did not go down, but public debt did. In fact, during Clinton's run, the national debt went up steadily each and every year. The claimed surpluses came from the amount of money the government was able to borrow from itself to pay down the public debt. The national debt did only go up by 17 billion in 2000 but this was because a larger chunk of the public debt was paid off and the amount paid off was very close to the total amount of intragovernmental holdings (approx. -230 billion and +248 billion respectively).

    (These figures are all coming from the US Treasury's records btw, they tally the national debt at the end of each fiscal year - link http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np)

    This is all very complicated, perhaps more complicated that I can explain well, but I do know that Clinton left office with a deficit of about 133.29 billion dollars, but this is high considering once Bush came into office before the fiscal year and Clinton's budget ended, he implemented a 38 billion dollar tax refund, so the actual deficit left by the Clinton administration was actually about 95 billion dollars.

    Here is a list of the years in question and the government's finances;


    Fiscal
    Year Year
    Ending National Debt Deficit
    FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411488 trillion
    FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692749 trillion $281.26 billion
    FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973982 trillion $281.23 billion
    FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224810 trillion $250.83 billion
    FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413146 trillion $188.34 billion
    FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526193 trillion $113.05 billion
    FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656270 trillion $130.08 billion
    FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674178 trillion $17.91 billion
    FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807463 trillion $133.29 billion

    Now, I am in no way trying to attack Clinton, just reveal the actual facts pertaining to the so-called surpluses. Presidents have been borrowing from Social Security for the past 30 years or so and this is the real problem. The more they borrow from public trusts such as this will dramatically impede Social Security's ability to...well...exist. If Social Security ceased to exist there may no longer be a deficit (by means of paying out the funds from Social Security to the public debt) but there would also no longer be a Social Security. The sad thing is, eventually intragovernmental holdings will have to be paid off eventually as they are real debt (borrowed money) and to do so the US will either need to borrow a lot more money from Social Security and trusts like it or borrow even more money from foreign entities.

    *takes breath*

    whew.
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    The Rebirth

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  The Rebirth on Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:33 pm

    So, in summation (I forgot I was defending anything lol), people are quick to point out Bush as the culprit of our current dilemma, but the act of borrowing money without paying it back has been going on for about 30 years, since the Carter administration. Although it is true that Bush raised the deficit by about 3 billion dollars.

    The government needs to stop borrowing from itself with no way to pay itself back. It is a bloated and corrupted system.
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    Nick McNasty

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  Nick McNasty on Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:47 pm

    So, would you say that tax cuts are unsatisfactory? It seems like you would agree, and I would as well.
    Agreed.
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    The Rebirth

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  The Rebirth on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:38 pm

    Well, I was talking about the reasoning behind them earlier in the thread. I think they have been grossly misused as a gimmick of sorts within the past couple of decades but I do not believe tax cuts are "unsatisfactory." Tax cuts on the people earning less than 250,000 are actually good for the economy. However there has to be a better way of appeasing the other income bracket without actually going in and looting from them. I think cities should be run by private corporations, then they can hold fighting tournaments between cities. New York City will be owned of course by the most powerful company, Tekken.
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    Nick McNasty

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  Nick McNasty on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:53 pm

    I don't think tax cuts should ever be issued. They only impose extensive inflation and debt. If a country is in a recession, it's in a recesssion. Any good country can go back to it's roots, untangle it's knots and reform. The magical appearance of wealth is just, and only a bandaid, not to mention a a mirage in a desert affect. In the long run, it only hurts the country further. If the debt is not paid back it's only a matter of time before harder and more frequent recessions occur. As we can see, tax cuts are not being paid back. So, is there any good outcome to tax cuts?

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    Nick McNasty

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  Nick McNasty on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:56 pm

    I believe tax cuts have as much of a practical importance on the economy as unicorns.
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    The Rebirth

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  The Rebirth on Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:40 pm

    Apparently you haven't seen the Unicorn Meat thread. Accounts for quite a large percent of the GDP.
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    David McSingleton

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  David McSingleton on Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:57 am

    The Rebirth wrote:Well, I was talking about the reasoning behind them earlier in the thread. I think they have been grossly misused as a gimmick of sorts within the past couple of decades but I do not believe tax cuts are "unsatisfactory." Tax cuts on the people earning less than 250,000 are actually good for the economy. However there has to be a better way of appeasing the other income bracket without actually going in and looting from them. I think cities should be run by private corporations, then they can hold fighting tournaments between cities. New York City will be owned of course by the most powerful company, Tekken.



    The KING kills new york
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    Nick McNasty

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  Nick McNasty on Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:07 am

    Old People: I say fuck 'em all. They steal our tax money, move to Citrus County and don't exceed 27mph on the roads.
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    Lars

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  Lars on Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:17 pm

    How do you all feel about flat tax rates? Or consumption based taxes? Lets all be serious, our progressive income tax system is not working any longer.
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    KCLU
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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  KCLU on Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:18 pm

    why not?

    (finally, an econ major!)
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    Lars

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  Lars on Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:35 pm

    The tax cut debate would be over and no one could use the pros and cons as part of their political stump.

    A consumption tax would be best suited because it is in fact the most "fair" and has proven itself in theory to raise more revenues than our prog. tax system now. There is also a moral aspect to our tax system, which i believe is wrong, as where the govt. takes from our paychecks before we ever see the money. It is not done at will and what I believe to be legalized theft; it is done at gun point (ie the IRS).

    The Law is a great read on the subject.

    http://www.constitution.org/law/bastiat.htm
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    KCLU
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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  KCLU on Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:12 pm

    Lars wrote:There is also a moral aspect to our tax system, which i believe is wrong, as where the govt. takes from our paychecks before we ever see the money. It is not done at will and what I believe to be legalized theft; it is done at gun point (ie the IRS).
    there's a moral aspect, but I take it to mean the exact opposite!

    yeah, there's a conception of government that sees it as, above all else, a protector of property rights, of wealth, of interests; but there's another, a view of an active government that seeks to maximize public well-being. and if you're trying to maximize well-being, a progressive income tax is extremely effective because there are people who could lose 91% of their income and see no loss in their standard of living, while that money could fulfill other people's basic needs like housing and food, enormously improving their standard of living. so the principle of redistribution seems to me to stand on very, very safe moral ground.
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    KCLU
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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  KCLU on Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:22 pm

    "rights" are really interesting too - for my part, I don't think there are any natural rights that we can definitively figure out by consulting scripture or observing history or even by utilizing the power of our minds. and I'm certain that no one has a "right" to every cent of the money they "earn" while easily alleviated suffering exists, for instance.

    the justification for that would probably be pretty unsavory, but maybe it could be cast in a way that I'd empathize with?
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    The Rebirth

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  The Rebirth on Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:55 pm

    I like the idea of a consumption tax. Kyle, it's insane to me that you think that way. When was the last time you had a job btw? I think you're an r-word. http://www.r-word.org/
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    The Rebirth

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  The Rebirth on Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:08 pm

    How does everybody not have a right to every cent they earn? You're borderline, if not wholly, a socialist. Socialism has always done so well right? It's an ideal form of government. I think the thing with currency is it's a universal way in which to trade and without it, we'd be dealing with other people by either services (which is still currency) or violence. The belief that every cent is earned for work done is really as simple as the statement. If I work and earn money, that money is mine because I worked for it, am I right? If we were as baseless as creatures in the wild, the people who needed assistance from the strong to survive would be cast out or killed. That's nature my friend. The fact that we help people at all is almost mind-boggling. I still look at the whole thing where it should be up to the strong to decide whether or not they should help the weak, it shouldn't be up to a third-party to hold the gun and say, "Look, you're gonna give us 91% of the salary you earned for the merits of your own mind." I mean, say you wrote some piece on philosophy or something and it became a national bestseller and you were suddenly making oodles of cash. It might be ideal for you to say, alright, now that I have all this money, I think I'm going to give 91% of it away rather than spend the money to reinvest in yourself and what you believe might help others with your own pontifications. I think you are stuck in this fantasy mindset and I'm sure others are as well, where you simply disregard the natural order of things. There is no system in both civilized society and the chaos of nature in which the strong simply support the weak.
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    David McSingleton

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  David McSingleton on Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:17 pm

    Flat tax seems to be the most simple and straight forward. not to mention the most fair (IMO). Ive read it increases participation and decreases administrative costs. sounds like a win to me
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    KCLU
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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  KCLU on Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:57 pm

    The Rebirth wrote:How does everybody not have a right to every cent they earn?
    well, some of our money should go to police, roads, etc, and I even think it was good that the Pentagon "stole" tons of money from people in the 50s to develop what would become the internet. that's why I think redistribution just can't be wrong in principle - because its led to dramatic increases in our society's flourishment.

    The Rebirth wrote:That's nature my friend. [...] I still look at the whole thing where it should be up to the strong to decide whether or not they should help the weak, it shouldn't be up to a third-party to hold the gun and say, "Look, you're gonna give us 91% of the salary you earned for the merits of your own mind." [...] I think you are stuck in this fantasy mindset and I'm sure others are as well, where you simply disregard the natural order of things.
    but the invention of those third parties is where things finally got on the right track for us humans! I went to college to study such third parties because they fascinate me and strike me as absolutely indispensable and as a great channel for making things better for most people most of the time. and even if you don't feel the exact same way, it seems crazy to deny a need for a network of institutions (government) standing in the way of unwanted "natural" results of human behavior.

    I also don't think appeals to "nature" are of much use in 2010. we just don't talk about or value things in remotely evolutionary terms anymore - we've flown the perch that evolution built for us.

    David McSingleton wrote:Flat tax seems to be the most simple and straight forward. not to mention the most fair (IMO). Ive read it increases participation and decreases administrative costs. sounds like a win to me
    decreasing costs is a real benefit and very appealing to me, though its a strange kind of fairness. my dad is a big flat tax guy too.
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    The Rebirth

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  The Rebirth on Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:03 pm

    I never denied the need for government. I deny the need for government to step outside certain boundaries. The government should observe the needs of everyone not just the disenfranchised. And yes, with government some things monies do need to go towards roads, police and the like, but there are extraneous things attached to our current government that most certainly do not need to exist.
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    KCLU
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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  KCLU on Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:08 pm

    I totally agree
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    KCLU
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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  KCLU on Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:08 pm

    in full
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    Lars

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  Lars on Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:07 pm

    KCLU wrote:in full

    From your previous post, how can you agree with that? It seems as if you would think the government isn't doing nearly enough.
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    Karl
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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  Karl on Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:31 pm

    The Rebirth wrote:If we were as baseless as creatures in the wild, the people who needed assistance from the strong to survive would be cast out or killed. That's nature my friend. The fact that we help people at all is almost mind-boggling.

    There are tons of instances in which it would be advantageous not to cast out or kill the weak, especially when there is a surplus. Creating a value system of empathy is desirable because it is hard to tell when you may end up being the weak one.

    The Rebirth wrote:I still look at the whole thing where it should be up to the strong to decide whether or not they should help the weak, it shouldn't be up to a third-party to hold the gun and say, "Look, you're gonna give us 91% of the salary you earned for the merits of your own mind."

    In this case wouldn't the strong one be the third-party with the gun who has the power to make you do what they want with your money? So according to your logic shouldn't you approve of them taking your money? They're the strong ones, after all.

    I think you're ignoring the fact that everyone who is born in a developed capitalist country and who comes out on top in this system, thus proving themselves the "strong" one is actually only strong in that specific cultural context with the aid of the system itself. The "weak" are weak in a global context that has nothing to do with actual inherent merit and everything to do with random circumstance.

    The Rebirth wrote:I think you are stuck in this fantasy mindset and I'm sure others are as well, where you simply disregard the natural order of things. There is no system in both civilized society and the chaos of nature in which the strong simply support the weak.

    There are innumerable examples of symbiotic relationships in nature in which one stronger creature benefits from its interaction with a weaker creature that it could easily kill. You're oversimplifying "nature" to prove your point.

    I want to clarify, though, that I'm only arguing against certain principles that you seem to be basing your argument on, not necessarily against your overall stance on taxes. I honestly don't know what the best taxation system would be, particularly because I don't trust politicians not to be fucking morons that would waste tax money on stupid bullshit.

    I'm not saying any of this to side with Kyle, btw, b/c I'm not sure exactly what I think about his arguments either, though I do think they're really idealistic, which I'd imagine he would admit. He's not making the same sorts of assertions, though, hence me not really having any particular argument against his POV.
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    DopeMasterJFlow
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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  DopeMasterJFlow on Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:20 pm

    Man there is so many good points here to digest.

    I think the root of the debate is who do you trust more with money? Do you trust the government more with money? If so then tax cuts should be abolished and the let the government do its job.

    Or do you think the money would better stiumlate the economy in the hands of the people. If so then more tax cuts! Let the free market work to fix the problem.


    Maybe both work just as well but we want immediate results and each solution requires time to work.


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    The Rebirth

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    Re: Tax Cuts

    Post  The Rebirth on Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:03 pm

    I'm doing these backwards...in regards to Matt Mc's post.

    Well, with the strong supporting the weak, you have just solidified my argument. In the scenario you give the symbiotic relationship is based upon the weak supporting the strong by means of them not being powerful enough to ward off the predation of the stronger animal. So, again, as it is in nature, what makes the strong have to support the weak? If we go the route of predator dominating the prey, then the strong in the capitalist society are merely becoming stronger from the weak goggling up whatever they put out. Yes, perhaps I was oversimplifying by dividing things among "strong" and "weak" because we know there are varying degrees of each category. I refer to the weakest of individuals who have to feed from the teet of government to survive in our culture of capitalism. They are weak because they do not take advantage of a system which other manipulate with such ease.

    The third party should not be considered the strong because they are merely empowered by both the strong and the weak to do things. The fact is, as Jeff said, how much do we trust our third party to do the right things after the gun has been placed firmly back at their hip. It should certainly be a priority of the strong to empathize with the weak, but with the powers given to the third party we force the strong into a corner. If the power was limited perhaps we'd see the true nature of those considered strong individuals in society. Look at someone like Bill Gates. He made billions of dollars and now spend huge amounts on giving to charity. Its not impossible to think that some would do the right thing, thereby balancing the lack of empathy from others out.

    I do think I was wrong in the first statement you quoted me on simply because we are different from creatures in the wild and we have to look at it differently. Maybe I was a little too quick to bring up nature and compare the actions of the wild with our own. However, the empathy which created certain systems within the government which falsely enfranchise people has, in my opinion, stunted the growth of the weak.

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