86% Green, 67% Democratic, 51% Libertarian, 12% Republican
A funny thing is that I was a registered Republican in 1992. A funnier thing is that since the 2000 election, I've been registered under the American Independent Party. I did the exact same thing our Lt. Governor's then-girlfriend did. LOL.
My country is doing well?
What have you been smoking?
We are on the verge of collapse!
We've basically signed our budget rights over to the EU, and next to my 200.000 mortage, my family has 150.000 governmental debt, and it's increasing!
How in the world is that doing fine?
Should the government require health insurance companies to provide free birth control?
That's a loaded question. Having birth control covered by insurance wouldn't make it anymore "free" than something like dialysis or insulin would be.Do you support the theory of Evolution?
It's sad that there's a correlation between supporting the theory of evolution and political bent in this country.
Uh, no. Nice strawman there, buddy.
I'll make you repeat this many times, so maybe eventually it will penetrate that thick skull of yours that government taxation and regulation is what brought us this crisis in the first place and that more tax and more government, like you are proposing, will only make the problem worse. We are headed for a triple dip, dispite of all the government spending.
Reality suggests that you're the one with the thick skull. I've stated many times that HERE IN THE US we've been doing exactly what you've been advocating since St. Ronald was the POTUS, and we now have the worst wealth imbalance since 1929.
I can only assume that when you * and moan about taxes being too high, you're NOT doing so about the US. It's safe to assume that you've been complaining about your home country of the Netherlands. Am I right? If that's the case, then don't assume what you think is the case in the Netherlands applies here. It doesn't. Besides, you're even wrong about the Netherlands:
> Life satisfaction score: 7.5
> Employment rate: 75% (3rd highest)
> Self-reported good health: 77% (11th highest)
> Employees working long hours: 0.68% (2nd lowest)
> Disposable income: $25,740 (13th highest)
> Educational attainment: 73% (15th lowest)
> Life expectancy: 80.8 (14th highest)
The Dutch government is heavily involved in internal economic affairs, playing a "significant role ... pertaining to almost every aspect of economic activity," according to the U.S. Department of State. Of those employed, only 0.68% work longer than 50 hours a week — the second-lowest percentage among those surveyed. By contrast, 10.86% of U.S. workers eclipse the 50 hour mark. The Dutch also rank among the top 15 in self-reported good health, life expectancy and disposable income.
It seems that you're the only one b1tching and moaning about the government over there.
I agree. We have many worker protection schemes here in Holland. It's very expensive to hire a person, minimum wage, and it takes years or a bucketload of money to fire somebody.
So you agree that corporate losses should be socialized? Is that what you're agreeing with? Because it sure doesn't sound like you're agreeing with any kind of regulation to prevent companies from becoming "too big to fail" in the first place.
What I'm saying is that if companies, like banks, become too big to fail, you force them to break up, just as you would force monopolies to break up. That's done with MORE regulation, not less of it.
Do you honestly think that Citibank, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase grew "too big to fail" because there were regulations preventing them from firing their employees?
What are you smoking? I'd like to have some of it.I also agree that large coorperations should not deserve special treatment. But you are twofaced in this issue. It's government regulations that enaable these coorperations to take the economy hostage. It's their companies the extra tax gets spent in.
So you can't be for the one and against the other.
Regulations can be written to provide no special treatment, just like laws can be written to only take away freedom or laws can be written to only give freedom. I'm FOR laws that protect personal freedom, and I'm AGAINST laws that take away personal freedom. I'm FOR just wars, and I'm AGAINST unjust wars. See how I can be FOR some things that government is capable of doing while AGAINST other things?
Regulations are a product of the people that write the laws. Purge the corporatists from Congress (and there are many from both sides of the aisle) and you won't have regulations that are seemingly written by Exxon themselves.
Why does it seem like you have this "throw the baby out with the bath water" attitude about anything related to the government and taxes unless you think it directly benefits you?
You're fine with your government taking responsibility for building roads in your country, but you seemingly want them to be built by magic with no tax contributions from you.
Wake up and smell reality. Seriously. That's not the way things work outside of the Fantasyland that you're living in.
Did I say only increase taxes by 3-5%? I mentioned several changes.
If we're talking about the economy, spending cuts will only hurt it. What we need is more spending and in the right areas. The economy needs to get going in the short-term, and we need to raise more tax revenue to pay down debt in the long-term. With a healthy economy, more people will be have an income at all, and the tax revenues will go up on that basis alone. We need to increase rates to further accelerate the rate at which we pay down the debt.
401(k) and Roth IRAs are already tax deferred. I don't think placing Traditional IRAs in there would do anything.
I didn't say raise the rates on these. I said keep them the same.
39%? I think we'd see fewer people investing at all, which isn't good for the economy.
Trading derivatives isn't investing. It's gambling. Having the idle rich putting their money into hedge funds that trade derivatives and engage in short sales is what isn't good for the economy.Plus, I don't see too much real estate flipping going on. If you hadn't noticed, housing prices have stagnated. My house has gained 2% value in the last five years; not exactly a big return for a flip.
Home flipping hurt individual home buyers during the housing bubble by artificially inflating home values.
The idea is to prevent this from happening again. I'll take my meager 2% gain on my home now over the risk of buying my next home artificially inflated by 30%.There is nothing wrong with derivatives and short sales. What we need is better transparency on what is actually being traded. Mortgages being granted to people who couldn't afford them is what caused the housing collapse, not the derivatives they were packaged in.
The housing collapse alone did not cause the banking crisis. It's all the derivatives trading (i.e. side bets) on mortgage backed securities that caused the crisis. The total value of the credit default swaps for which the banks were obligated to pay was greater than the combined value of all the mortgages being insured by the credit default swaps. That's insanity.
Besides there being everything wrong with the very idea of credit default swaps, derivatives trading and short sales are simply gambling and pure speculation. They are not forms of investing, and they contribute little to the economy. The government offers lower tax rates on long term capital gains to encourage long term investing. Likewise, the government should impose higher taxes to discourage risky trading.I do agree with treating capital gains as income. What difference does it make where the money came from? Income is income. If everyone paid 10% on the total income they made, I bet we'd see an increase in tax revenue.
On what evidence are you placing this bet? Besides, a flat tax is regressive and penalizes the poor.Last year there were more people who paid no taxes than there were people who did pay.
Uh, no. If you're talking strictly "federal income taxes", that's true. However, they do pay sales, property, payroll taxes, and (maybe) state income tax. That over half of all tax payers don't pay any federal income tax isn't reflective of a problem with the tax structure. This is reflective of a problem with income imbalance. If these people actually made more money, they would be paying income tax.
The bottom 50% of taxpayers take in 13% of the adjusted gross income of all taxpayers, while the top 50% earners take in 87%. What good is taxing the bottom 50% (even at 100% tax rate) really going to do?
Don't confuse a symptom of the problem as the cause of the problem.The system will never work if that's happening and the class divide will only widen.
Taxes don't cause a class divide. Wealth imbalance causes a class divide.Bring the troops home (except where needed to finish cleaning up, i.e. Afghanistan) and cut the military budget in half. Use the money to pay down the national debt. Once we're debt free and have a surplus every year, then we can start talking about increasing social programs.
What would do you with all the unemployed troops? I say put them to work doing public works projects. We have thousands of bridges, levees, and dams that need fixing.
And how many workers in the US belong to a union?
This is a red herring anyway. What are the real costs to businesses because of these so-called "worker protections"? It's a rounding error compared to what companies spend on actual labor costs, marketing, and executive compensation.The banks, GM, and Chrysler should have been allowed to go bankrupt. The economy would have been hit a lot harder than it was, but the market would have adjusted and we'd be better off today.
In a true free market, capitalist economy, businesses that make bad decisions fail and make room for new businesses, no matter how big.
Too bad there's no such thing as a true free market. What needed to happen was to bail out the banks to avert a global economic meltdown, then then they needed to be broken up and never be allowed to grow that big again.
The government (both Bush and Obama) didn't let that happen and poured money into failing companies because they were "too big to fail". GM and Chrysler DID go bankrupt, even after the bailout and the auto industry is doing fine.
The bailout allowed GM and Chrysler to meet some debt obligations prior to seeking Chapter 11 protection. IOW, at least some other companies benefited from it.Furthermore, were it not for the bailout, those two companies might have had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.Even if GM had disappeared, those auto workers would have gone to work for Ford, Toyota, Honda, or any of the other successful car manufacturers in the U.S..
And why would they hire these workers? Is business really that booming for the other manufacturers? Would their business be booming if GM stopped building automobiles altogether? If that's the case, this only shows that the free market cannot sustain itself without causing and realizing economic catastrophes. The free market is simply too stupid to control its own supply and demand without wreaking havoc whenever it needs to correct itself.
That's the very reason why government controls need to be put into place. Why allow people to suffer needlessly in the name of letting economic catastrophes to occur as if it's some sort of "natural course" of the free market.
The economy is in shambles because the people with money aren't spending. The government needs to spend it for them. How many times does this need to be explained to you? Even my 5 year old doesn't need to be told something more a couple of times before he finally "gets it".
What about shrinking coorporate en worker protections through government regulations? You in favor of more or less regulations?
And what exactly will reducing "worker protections" do other than put workers in greater harm and cost society even more?
I'm in favor of more regulations to prevent large corporations from ever holding the entire economy hostage unless we bail them out ever time they f*ck something up. You're not in favor socializing corporate losses are you? Because it sure sounds like you are.
If Microsoft didn't feel compelled to take a 30% cut of everything downloaded from a centralized store like Apple does, you would have had far more to worry about than Silverlight becoming a defacto browser plug-in.
Imagine if Windows could download and run XAPs or APPXs or whatever they're called without needing any plug-in at all because the run-time was built right into the OS. Instead of having Bing serve up web pages, it would just serve up URLs for application package files that would download and run in some sandboxed application stack (i.e. no need for hosting the application in a HTML page).