9/11 Report

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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby dai bread » Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:58 pm

Our Govt's latest budget gave substantial hand-outs to the lower-paid, taking affect AFTER the next election!

The populace was unimpressed. We wanted tax cuts. It was pointed out several times that to achieve the same effect by tax cuts meant wiping out the whole budget for some big-ticket items, but the populace remains unimpressed.

As Haggis says, if you don't pay much tax you won't get much of a cut; nevertheless wethepeople want tax cuts rather than hand-outs, even if it means we get less.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby barfle » Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:53 am

Originally posted by Haggis:
In the end we, you and I, supported or opposed the war for reasons that transcend the WMD questions. I respect your opposition and I don’t expect you to demonize my support.
I wasn't demonizing your support, I was telling you that you've fallen for a bill of goods.

Originally posted by Haggis:
Serenity (and Nicole) was correct that the electorate in November would decide who they want to lead them. I was a serving NCO under President Clinton and I applauded every action he took in trying to grapple with the threats to the U.S. As a private citizen now I can say I wish he had done more.
I was a serving NCO under LBJ and Nixon, and thought we should have done something about the invasion of Czechoslovakia, too.

Originally posted by Haggis:
I can assure you that the safety and security of the United States and her citizens has been my job and goal all my adult life, regardless who was “in” or “out” of office.
Safety and security are fine, but when it costs us our liberty, then the terrorists have won. And I will undoubtedly believe that to my grave.

Originally posted by Haggis:
Screedy rant follows:

[rant] For many Americans, including some here, Bush is the enemy. They hate him so much, they want to see him humbled so badly they don't seem to care who does it, and very importantly, who gets hurt in the process.

The Democrats portray Ashcroft and Bush as Hitler wannabes, equating the Administration with the man responsible for tens of millions of deaths. I can’t imagine nor would I condone or support any politician who said things like that about their political opponents.

I cannot recall ever hearing such vicious and blatant name calling by prominent members of either party that I’m hearing now from prominent Democrats and that shocks and dismays me; all the more so since even more prominent Demcrats I respect will not condemn or try to reign in the hateful rhetoric[/rant]
To be quite honest, I have to go back quite a ways to find an Attorney General who I didn't feel was a megalomaniac, drunk with the power of being able to use guns in order to kill off a bunch of children in Texas or cover up the breast of the statue of Justice. The political party doesn't seem to make much difference.

Do I despise Bush? No, but I fear he's one of those who looks for support for his opinions, instead of looking for facts on which to base an opinion. And that includes his performance on "defending the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic." Terrorists have not attacked the Constitution, but the USA PATRIOT Act has.

Originally posted by Haggis:
Ahem, back to your questions.

”what can we do about our reputation in the world”
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I can’t even begin to understand why any American would care about our reputation in the world. The “world” (mainly Europe) has hated, envied and wished evil towards the U.S. since before the civil war and nothing, including a shiny new French-speaking president, is going to change that.
Because we share a world with them. While I don't feel others' opinions should guide our policies, when it's nine opposed, one in favor, and the motion carries, it might be worth considering why there is so much opposition.

Originally posted by Haggis:
And it won’t change because it not who’s president they hate, its you and me and Nicole and our life styles and our music and anything else we like, its our hamburgers and our wealth and our freedoms and our liberties.
You don't suppose it has jack to do with our several generations of foreign intervention, do you?

Originally posted by Haggis:
I know Nicole likes to go on about the restrictions she thinks the “Patriot Act” imposes on us, but there is no other country in the world with the freedoms we have even under the dreaded “Patriot Act”.
Did you bother reading the Cato Institute link I posted?

Originally posted by Haggis:
I’ve advocated for years that the U.S. should eliminate any immigration limits for technically trained Europeans, the more the merrier and do you doubt they would come if given the chance?
Have I ever said we were not the greatest country in the world? What I have been saying is that we are presently threatened with NOT being the greatest country in the world.

Originally posted by Haggis:
”what can we do to prevent terrorism by people who are not afraid to die for the cause of their revenge”
1. Kill the ones we can find anywhere we can find them, hopefully away from the U.S.
Fine and dandy, but how do you know you are killing the right people? And in doing so, would you have any concern about the possibility of fomenting even more hatred and desire for revenge?

Originally posted by Haggis:
2. Eliminate globally (and in the U.S.) the radical madrasas and the Saudi funding behind them
By not buying Saudi oil?

Originally posted by Haggis:
3. Give financial aid and other support to encourage Middle Eastern Islamic country to move toward more representational forms of government
Many of these countries are already so wealthy that "financial aid" seems, well, like donating $10 to Donald Trump.

Originally posted by Haggis:
I do have one question for you. If terrorist succeed in pulling off a terrorist attack in the U.S. before the November election, what message or what result, in your opinion, will they be trying to convey or accomplish?
That they want us to quit meddling with their way of life.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby barfle » Mon Aug 02, 2004 11:00 am

Originally posted by Haggis:
Unless you want to enact a plan to re-distribute the wealth from those who pay taxes to those that don’t pay taxes there is no other way for someone to benefit from a tax cut if they don’t pay taxes!
Now there's something we agree on. You can't cut something that doesn't exist in the first place.

Any tax cut, because of the way taxes in the United States are structured, has to benefit the "rich" (defined as "those who pay taxes") more than the "poor" (defined as "those who don't pay taxes").

Any further benefit to the non-taxpayer would have to be called "welfare reform." Actually "welfare expansion" would be a more accurate term.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby haggis » Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:30 pm

"I wasn't demonizing your support, I was telling you that you've fallen for a bill of goods."


I often hear that sort of patronizing rhetoric from people, presumably like you, who can’t understand why anyone would support this war and so assumes that it’s just because we’re too stupid, simple minded or gullible to understand what’s really important.

Comments like that reveal more about some people’s belief structure than they even know about them selves.

It also closes any avenue of discourse.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby barfle » Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:10 pm

Well, I suppose it's your right to read into my words anything you want to (I did not use any terms like "stupid," "simple-minded," or "gullible," and do not consider you any of these. Wrong, yes, but not stupid.), and in doing so equate me with whatever shallow "belief structure" you may have encountered in the past. My intent was not to insult. If you want to take it that way, then, well, I agree we don't have much to discuss.

I've been led down the rosy path more times than I care to count. I consider it a sign of humanity, not any particular weakness.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby RC » Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:18 pm

If you really want to help, ask your elected representatives to reduce the payroll tax. THAT'S where the poor would benefit.
Payroll taxes- As in FICA...As in Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare, and Unemployment?

Employers match FICA so they would get equal benefit and employers are rarely "poor".

Cut the tax, both employers and employees pay less into Social Security and unemployment. These programs are primarily FOR the "poor" i.e., people in need....??? So they should pay less and get less?? I don't follow.

Should you argue that the poor can't get a tax cut because they don't pay taxes, how about the middle class? How about the recent tax cuts were not for the middle class.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby RC » Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:46 pm

The Rich Get Richer

Its OK to say that the top 1% pay most of the federal taxes in this country and that the poor pay less and less.

You have to be careful about that statistic for this reason:

First you have to know if the class of "poor" is growing, if "poor" means the same thing it did, relatively, 10 or 20 years ago.

Now keep in mind that a percentage of income is still a ratio so the more money you make, the more taxes you pay.

Finally, is it possible then that for whatever reason, the wealthiest 1% are gaining in wealth while more "middle class" folks are falling into "poverty" status? If so, that 1% would most certainly be paying a greater share of federal taxes.

IF this theory were true, Bush's tax cuts would be for the wealthy and do nothing to correct whatever was causing the trend in the "working class". I personally think this is whats happening. Rescinding the tax cuts is about as helpful as establishing them in the first place as far as correcting the trend but may help balance the budget. ?
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby haggis » Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:19 pm

"Should you argue that the poor can't get a tax cut because they don't pay taxes, how about the middle class? How about the recent tax cuts were not for the middle class."


You’ll have to give me your definition of “middle class” before I can answer that question.

I recommended cutting the payroll tax since that’s the only way a poor wage earning “poor” person will ever get any money back.

Personally, I think that the payroll tax is horrible, especially to the poor who pay a disproportionate share of their income to the federal government long before income tax time rolls around. No president since Ronald Reagan has even suggested cutting the payroll tax and I think that’s shameful.

The third-largest tax increase included in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (Only Clinton could pass a tax increase and call it the “Taxpayer Relief Act,“ the man had style no matter what else you think about him!) Was the extension of the “temporary” FUTA surtax, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 1998.

Established in 1976 to help restore the depleted federal Unemployment Insurance (UI) trust funds, the surtax was first set to expire in 1987. Since 1987, however, it has been extended five times despite having accomplished its goal in 1988. It is now set to expire on December 31, 2007.

Little more than 48% of the FUTA money ever gets back to the states. In March 2002 Congress approved an $8 billion transfer of FUTA revenue to state
Unemployment trust fund accounts, and key industry leaders asked congress in June to reduce the tax and transfer more of the funds to the states.

Balances in the FUTA accounts in the Unemployment Trust Fund are now $14 billion, and are projected to swell to $38 billion by 2008, even factoring in the current job market.

There isn’t a tax anywhere that congress doesn’t like and once congress passes a “temporary” tax, they almost never go away. It was only in 2000 congress agreed that the Spanish American War was over and repealed the 102 year old “luxury” tax on telephone service taht was intended to help pay for that war.

That tax generated $5Bil a year of “free” money for the government and cost you and me about $50 bucks a year.

So, yeah, color me skeptical when the government want to try and convince me that they need to raise taxes to get the work of government done.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby RC » Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:55 pm

Haggis,

Personally, I think that the payroll tax is horrible, especially to the poor who pay a disproportionate share of their income to the federal government long before income tax time rolls around. No president since Ronald Reagan has even suggested cutting the payroll tax and I think that’s shameful.
Ahh. I see your point.

But then, if the "poor" paying a disproportionate share of their income to the federal government before income tax time, then whoever made the comment about Bush's income tax break being only for the rich, is right.
i.e., they DO pay taxes! Or were we only talking about those who don't even have jobs?

Is that a catch 22?

Maybe that distinction isn't worth making to this thread.

(Good book by the way- Catch 22)
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby RC » Mon Aug 02, 2004 6:57 pm

Haggis,

Personally, I think that the payroll tax is horrible, especially to the poor who pay a disproportionate share of their income to the federal government long before income tax time rolls around. No president since Ronald Reagan has even suggested cutting the payroll tax and I think that’s shameful.
Ahh. I see your point.

But then, if the "poor" paying a disproportionate share of their income to the federal government before income tax time, then whoever made the comment about Bush's income tax break being only for the rich, is right.
i.e., they DO pay taxes! Or were we only talking about those who don't even have jobs?

Is that a catch 22?

Maybe that distinction isn't worth making to this thread.

(Good book by the way- Catch 22)
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby RC » Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:02 pm

Haggis,

Personally, I think that the payroll tax is horrible, especially to the poor who pay a disproportionate share of their income to the federal government long before income tax time rolls around. No president since Ronald Reagan has even suggested cutting the payroll tax and I think that’s shameful.
Ahh. I see your point.

But then, if the "poor" paying a disproportionate share of their income to the federal government before income tax time, then whoever made the comment about Bush's income tax break being only for the rich, is right.
i.e., they DO pay taxes! Or were we only talking about those who don't even have jobs?

Is that a catch 22?

Maybe that distinction isn't worth making to this thread.

(Good book by the way- Catch 22)
A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, Nothing else.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby haggis » Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:57 pm

No the point is very well worth making, the payroll tax is a “flat tax”, whether you earn $10,000 or $100,000 a year. No deductions, etc.

Income tax is graduated with the wealthiest earners’ paying more than the poorest, that’s why 5% of the population pays 50% of all the taxes.

A reduction of the payroll tax would put cash money into people’s pockets every payday.

That’s why I said that the only meaningful tax relief the poor can get from the government is a reduction in the payroll tax.

Payroll tax is not considered to be "income tax" so unless congress moves to cancel or reduce them, nothing will happen.

<small>[ 08-02-2004, 09:08 PM: Message edited by: Haggis ]</small>
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby RC » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:54 am

Hey guess what happens when you hit the refresh key???lol

Haggis,
What did you think of my point about reducing payroll tax which pays for a program for primarily needy people? That doesn't sound like a benefit to the poor.

Also, I note that the payroll tax is NOT a straight out flat tax as it is a percentage of your pay. So, theoretically, the more you make, the more you pay.

However, the current Social Security wage cap is $87,900 at which point you no longer have to pay.

Payroll taxes, (FICA) provide nearly as much revenue to the gov. as income taxes!

This is the tax that actually pays for the programs the poor are likely to use.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby lliam » Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:19 am

In the UK, an influential think-tank claims the gap between rich and poor has widened since Labour came to power.

According to its Rethinking Social Justice report, the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) found fewer people are living in poverty than in 1997, but Britain has become a less equal society.

Britons on the whole are healthier, living longer and less likely to be victims of crime, the report says.

But the UK is still far from fair with people's lives largely determined by the social class of their parents and the colour of their skin.

And with fewer people voting the better off have more political influence.

The report also found that women are more likely to live in poverty and the percentage of wealth held by the top 10 per cent has increased from 47 per cent to 54 per cent.

Is inequality on the rise in Britain?

I think the figures speak for themselves, but I query the yardstick used.

You don't have to have a lot of money to have a happy and long life but we are now relentlessly reminded of others' wealth to the extent many people think of nothing else. And yet this same preoccupation for acquiring more and more money often creates miserable people who feel others still have more than they have. In the process we all lose.

I think there are other things that we should value apart from money, friends being one of them. Many of these older values that have stood the test of time have been discarded by the modern 'shop-till-U-drop' crowd resulting in more of us living alone with a pile of new unwanted clothes and possessions and little else.
I question modern values, many are but a tissue of lies of no significance.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby haggis » Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:18 am

"What did you think of my point about reducing payroll tax which pays for a program for primarily needy people? That doesn't sound like a benefit to the poor."
I don't understand your point here


"Also, I note that the payroll tax is NOT a straight out flat tax as it is a percentage of your pay. So, theoretically, the more you make, the more you pay"
It's a “regressive” flat tax in that the people making $87K pay the same percentage as the people making $10K.

Four of five taxpayers now pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes. They don't realize it because employers pay half the payroll tax. Even the burden for that share falls on workers, too, in the form of reduced compensation. Even when the employer contribution is excluded, 40% of taxpayers still pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes.

The Social Security tax is "regressive." Billionaire Bill Gates' payment for Social Security is the same as for someone earning $87K, this year's cutoff for contributions to the retirement system.

Income tax is “progressive” or graduated so that you pay a higher percentage if you make more. Under the current federal tax rate the person making $87K pays 25% and the person making $10K pays only 10%

That’s why I would rather see a reduction in the payroll tax than in income tax.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 03, 2004 8:36 am

RE:<<The Social Security tax is "regressive." Billionaire Bill Gates' payment for Social Security is the same as for someone earning $87K, this year's cutoff for contributions to the retirement system.>>

Social Security is billed as a "retirement plan", that is the tax is "invested" in an account in your name, to be applied toward your retirement income under the plan. Regardless of how much Bill Gates pays into the plan, he cannot draw out more than any other retiree drawing maximum benefits, and thus he will most likely lose money on his investment. He would have been smart to "opt out" of the retirement plan, but that is not allowed.

If he were taxed on his full income, then it would be guaranteed that he could never draw out anywhere near the "investment" he made, and the plan would simply be a welfare program, rather than its intended purpose.

That is the reason for the cap on "investment" in the program.

V/R
Shapley

P.S. I should point out that, since Bill Gates owns his business, he pays twice as much on his $87,xxx than an employee would, since he is responsible for both the employer and employee "contribution" to the program.

<small>[ 08-03-2004, 09:44 AM: Message edited by: Shapley ]</small>
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby RC » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:57 am

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you really want to help, ask your elected representatives to reduce the payroll tax. THAT'S where the poor would benefit.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Payroll taxes- As in FICA...As in Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare, and Unemployment?

Employers match FICA so they would get equal benefit and employers are rarely "poor".

Cut the tax, both employers and employees pay less into Social Security and unemployment. These programs are primarily FOR the "poor" i.e., people in need....??? So they should pay less and get less?? I don't follow.
As usual, you have all made my point for me better than I made it myself. Thank you.

Haggis,
If you cut the payroll taxes, i.e., Social Security, there will be less Social Security to pay out as well.

So the benefit up front would be a sacrifice in the end.

Bill Gates wouldn't mind so much but someone who never made enough to have made a 401K or IRA contribution will be counting on that money to make ends meet when/if they ever retire.

Cutting payroll tax then would be no benefit to the poor who would get a reduction of SS payout when they need it. But cutting payroll tax would benefit the employer who would have a smaller FICA match.
Bill Gates would probably REALLY appreciate a reduction in FICA tax considering the number of employees that work for his companies.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby RC » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:20 am

Social Security is no longer just a "retirement" supplement but is in fact, "welfare" because it also encompasses Medicare/Medicaid.
So you CAN draw more than you put in if/when you become "needy".

Particularly relevant considering the retirement of the "baby boomers" in conjunction with soaring healthcare costs.

50% of the entire state budget of Florida is consumed in Medicar/Medicaid and is increasing at a rate of 130%.
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:48 am

Actually, Medicare and Medicaid are still seperate from Social Security. The Social Security "surplus" is used to shore up the lack of funding of those programs, but they are still seperate animals. The line has become blurred, and I realize that social security has largely become a welfare program, that is the reason for the "quotation marks" around such terms as "investment".

Even so, I do receive a statement from the Social Security Adminstration annually telling me how much has been "invested" in my account, and how much this should mean to me at retirement.

All I can say is that I'm glad I've made alternative preparations.

V/R
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Re: 9/11 Report

Postby RC » Tue Aug 03, 2004 11:32 am

Shapley,
agreed.

Except that if the plans were truly separate and thus SS were still a retirement plan vs. welfare, we wouldn't have had to increase the retirement age to 67 in the 80s, INCREASE payroll tax, and start taxing SS benefits for upper income brackets.

I will work longer to claim benefits, and pay a higher rate than my parents, in order that we can shore up Medicare/Medicaid which I may or may not need. Sounds like welfare to me.

With rising healthcare costs and the increasing difficulty to qualify for Medicare/Medicaid with less benefits, I will need SS MORE and HAVE LESS.

At this point, it's almost symantecs.
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