Friday, May 13

To the extreme, baby.

Believe it or not, I have conservative friends, and most of them are pretty sane people. They may support stuff I absolutely disagree with, like a flat tax or war in Iraq or the abolition of the Department of Education, but at least they can give reasoning in support of these positions other than Because it says so in the Bible and if you don't think so you're a terrorist-loving commie traitor faggot!

Perhaps because of this overall cogency and ability to reason, however, most of them don't like to think about all the people on their side of the aisle, as opposed to mine, who are ? and I'm going to phrase this as politely as I possibly can ? grade-A USDA-approved right-wing nutbags. Or they can admit that someone like Pat Robertson or Pat Buchanan is on their side, but they won't concede that such folks actually wield any influence in conservative ideology or the Republican Party itself, mountains of evidence to the contrary.

So if any of those at-least-somewhat-rational conservative friends of mine ? or, hell, if any at-least-somewhat-rational conservatives who don't know me from Adam ? stumble upon this site, I'd like to ask them to take a gander at this Washington Monthly post (written two years ago but brought up again today) and read over the Texas Republican Party's official platform from 2000. Then I'd like to hear their answers to the following questions:

1. Do you agree with the positions and proposals outlined here?
2. If not, why not?
3. Do you think a substantial number of Republicans currently in positions of power in this country agree with them?
4. If not, why not?
5. Can you think of anything the Democrats have proposed in the last five years that would be as radical a change to this country as anything proposed in the Republican platform?

My point is simply this: As a Democrat and an unabashed liberal, I'm called on the carpet almost constantly to answer for people who supposedly represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party ? Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Rall, the crazies at Democratic Underground, et cetera et cetera. But these people are fringe players. The extent of their influence on me goes only so far as, in Moore's case, they can convince me to see one of their moves (I've seen one Michael Moore film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," in my entire life) or as, in Ted Rall's case, they can convince me to read one of their columns (I haven't gone near one of Rall's columns since he went off the deep end and started kicking around Pat Tillman's lifeless corpse for being an Afghan baby-killer).

The Republican counterparts to this craziness and extremism are people like Tom DeLay, who helped write the above Texas Republican platform; James "SpongeBob" Dobson, with whom Bill Frist has been hobnobbing throughout the ongoing filibuster controversy; and John Cornyn, the guy who recently posited that judges who make controversial decisions are putting bullseyes on their own backs. These people are not fringe columnists or Hollywood attention-seekers who make an inflammatory statement or a controversial movie and then retreat back into their limousine-liberal hidey-holes; they wield real power in Washington. Many of them are elected officials pushing legislation that will directly affect my life, and those that aren't frequently have direct lines to those that are. I don't get to choose whether they influence me. They're the ones in control.

So if I have to repudiate folks like Rall (I have) and Moore ("Fahrenheit" was engaging but a little half-baked), isn't it time you rational conservatives repudiated the nuts in your own party? And since they're wielding real governmental power, is it unreasonable for me to expect you to raise your voice just a little bit louder than I've raised mine?

70 comments:

Steve said...

Doug, This is why Republicans are winning more elections than you other people. I count myself as an at-least-somewhat-rational conservative and will tell you the secret. Of course The Pats are nutbags. Ann Coulter's great just because she pisses liberals off. The thing is though that Pat R and Pat B and Ann and their ilk bring along 5% to 10% of the electorate to the polls. That gets us elected. We put a bunch a crazy shit in the platform and get 10% of the voters for free. BUT THE REAL SECRET IS... we know it's crazy shit and count on you liberal America haters to keep any of it from actually happening. Actually we can generally count on you guys from keeping the crazy shit from even coming to a vote so we don't even have to make a hard choice and expose ourselves as not really buying into the crap.

Steve said...

AND THE REALLY REAL KARL ROVE SECRET is we pander to a group of extremists with promises we won't keep, BUT THEY VOTE. You guys pander to a group of extremist with promises you won't or can't keep BUT THEY DON'T VOTE.

If you really think about it, most of our opposite pole political friends aren't ____-wing nut jobs, but reasonable people. The thing is that those of us on the right have abandoned our need for purity and are willing to make deals with the devil to win the big prizes.

Steve said...

and to prove my point... Give me one example of really rightwing nutjob legislation (at the federal level) that has been signed into law in the last 5 years.

shelly said...

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times... Liberals do NOT--I repeat, DO NOT hate the United States of America. When are you going to get that through your heads?

Seriously, reading bullshit like that pisses me off to no end.

Josh said...

Steve hit the nail pretty close to the head - Both parties pander to their more extreme sides, but they are generally (and purposefully) empty panderings. And it works better for Republicans because, as Steve said, our "nut jobs" don't stay home on Election Day.

Perfect example: Roe v. Wade is still very safe despite Republicans occupying the White House 17 of the last 25 years.

Josh said...

Plus, our panderings generally sound better and are certainly easier to spin - God, Mother's Day, and apple pie. Even though I completely disagreed with the Republican handling of the Schiavo matter, that pander was still under the guise of "trying to save a life."

Democratic panderings are easier to demonize - partial-birth abortions, higher taxes, Howard Dean recently endorsing a socialist candidate, etc.

Doug said...

Ahh, yes, I've seen the "Dean endorsed a socialist!!!111!!!1!!!" hysteria already making its way around the conservative blogs. But what they fail to point out is that that socialist is Bernard Sanders, who was recently elected to his 7th term in Congress by the good people of Vermont (the third time in a row he won more than two thirds of the vote). So if you have a problem with it, go take it up with the Vermonters.

Josh said...

Well, it was the head of the Democratic party who endorsed him, so I could take it up with the Democratic party as well. Whether or not he was elected by anybody else is beside the point.

If George W. Bush endorsed a newly elected David Duke-type candidate, you can bet you'd be taking Republicans to task.

bill from jc said...

So Steve, Josh... What you are saying is that your party platform is made to appeal to the extremists in your party and you never intend it to pass (I assume that Bush has not really been on the road trying to generate support for your sham social security program as shown on the Texas platform). So what I get from this is that your party lies to extremeists.

The other alternative is that the extremists run your party and the moderates are in denial over it (that makes more sense considering the efforts the Republicans are going to pass the extremeist agenda)

This means that either your party is lying to its extremists, or it's lying to itself.

Either way, it's lying.

Anonymous said...

Both parties are alike in terms of their pandering to their extremes with hollow promises. The only difference now is that the Dems, like Bill from JC, spend all of their time criticizing Rep ideas while offering none in return. Hence, they always look like sore losers. They need to get in the game and present their "contract with America" for debate.

Anonymous said...

No we don't. Since most of the problems the Republicans are trying to fix don't exist, there is no reason to come up with solutions to them. Social Security? Solvent until 2052. Gay Marriage is not a major cause of divorce in america and not a threat to traditional marriage. Terrorism? An effort to change our way of life thru fear, and one that the republican party has allowed to succeed. Our Constitution does not need changing to allow the Bin Ladens and Ayatollahs to win this war. Do you want James Dobson telling you how to live? Vote Republican!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making the point. More attacks. And now it's no problems, therefore no ideas. SS is solvent until 2052. Who cares what happens after that, we'll all be dead. 16 million illegals in the US. Who cares, we don't lay brick or build houses, no problem. Terrorism? No problem, we didn't have any loved ones in the WTC on 9/11. Let's all just look the other way. No problems, no ideas? Riiiiiight!

bill from JC said...

As to the Social Security sovlency past 2052, the Democrat party has put forth a proposal to just eliminate the SS tax on income over $100,000. That is a proposal that works, unlike private accounts, which doesn't. So to say the Democrat party doesn't offer solutions is just another lie.

Bill from JC said...

Of course, that should say the cap on SS contributions on income above $100,000. Instant solvency. Now granted, that is a tough choice to make, raising revenue to balance budgets is something that republicans are afraid to do. Which is part of the reason we have gone from the largest surplus in history to the largest deficit in the few short years George the II has held office. Inability to make tough choices. It's really about Character when you get right down to it, something a party that lies to its own constituency, as noted by Steve above.

Bill from JC said...

Is that the best response the republican party has?

Steve said...

3 points.

First. The "America hater" comment was an attempt at using a bad cliche to point out how the extremes of either party (in this case Rebublicans) are over the top. I don't think liberals hate America but was writing in the wingnut voice.

Second. You may disagree with Bush's Social Security plan, but it is not wing nut.

3rd, Bill from JC, Of course we're lying.

bill from jc said...

Hmmm,, well let's see. Divert money from the trust fund requiring tax subsidies to it. Put that money into the market with nothing more than a promise of return, artificially inflating stock prices, then after creating this inflationairy bubble in the market cut benifits after the deficit has been jacked up a few more trillion. The end effect is Social Security is either broke or subsidised by income tax, and everyones retirement money is in a hyperinflated market waiting for the bubble to pop and crash. The only folks that win are the ones that are selling the stock, because after the price goes up during the initial demand, the market crashes in a way that would make Hoover proud.

Sounds pretty fucking nut job to me. Are you sure you thought this thing thru Steve?

And that you are lying was never in actual doubt, given the overall lack of character of your leadership.

Anonymous said...

So, the dems answer is to raise SS taxes by raising the current cap from $88K to $100K?

That's the ticket! Raise the taxes! Now that's an idea...one that only a socialist could love.

It's interesting that we can't face what others, like Chile, faced when they realized that their US-like SS system was a failure. They chose to bite the bullet and retooled the plan to include personal investment options...amongst other changes.

Staying the course and fixing it by raising taxes is a bad idea. Just one liar's opinion.

Steve said...

Doug, See what you started! A debate on Social Security. You need a new topic since this one got dull quick.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Chile!!! That's a good example to follow! Maybe we can get Pinochet to lead us too!

Doug said...

Pro-Privatization Anonymous:

Does it not bother you that Bush's own people have admitted that privatization will not solve Social Security's solvency problems at all?

And are you honestly so deluded that you don't think taxes are going to have to be raised sooner or later thanks to the way the national debt is spiraling out of control? The only reason we haven't seen them raised already is because Bush is hoping he can wait it out until the task of raising taxes gets dumped on his White House successor, whoever that happens to be.

I don't see what your problem is with raising the salary cap. A person making $90,000 a year and a person making $1,000,000 a year pay the same amount into the system and get the same amount out, only the $90K guy has paid 6.2 percent of his income in taxes to get that benefit, while the millionaire's percentage is minuscule.

Tony said...

That "Dems need to put forth new ideas" argument is kind of odd, coming from conservatives. Isn't the whole idea of conservatism that some things work pretty well and don't need to be replaced?

Steve said...

I was going to stay out of it, but can't. I'd like to see private accounts, a raise in the income ceiling and a cut in benefits. I'm not sure what the impact of raising the ceiling by itself has on the overall solvency, but at some point some folks (granted wealthy ones) would be paying more in per year than they would get out. At that point Social Security ceases being a benefit program involving "contributions" and becomes like any other government entitlement program that is funded by taxes. This to me is too close to a welfare state.

Anonymous said...

Giving trillions in retirement accts at the expense of social security isn't too close to a corperate welfare program, it is a corperate welfare program. It seems the only ones the republicans want to help are their enron/worldcom buddies, not the hard working americans that earned their retirement.

bill from jc said...

So Steve, what you are saying seems to be that if George II succeeds at draining future SS contirbutions we should not continue to pay benifits to those already retired because that would require tax dollars. Why do you republicans hate the elderly? Were you mistreated when you were children?

Welfare state indeed! Those folks worked hard all thier lives for those benifits, and now guys like you are too cheap to take the certain tax hit it would require to fund George II's plan. Or did you not even consider that tax contributions would have to be made to fund SS after George diverts the funding from current and future contributions? Are you Republicans that dense?

Anonymous said...

Steve would like to see private accounts. Well Steve, have you ever heard of a 401k? Steve would like to see a raise in the income ceiling (so Ken Lay and other republican cronies can still draw even though they don't need it.) Steve would like to see a cut in benifits (Steve doesn't like retireees, except for his fatcat republican cronies ala ken lay) He is not sure of what impact raising the contribution ceiling would have. Well Steve, it would mean your rich enron/worldcom friends would be paying the same percentage of thier income as the guy that works at the muffler shop, but they are too good to do that aren't they?

Thats is exactly what you would expect from a party that lies.

Steve said...

I just love this. Don't listen to what I said just read in what you want to hear. I said I think the combined answer is private accounts, a rise in the ceiling and a cut in benefits. I'm talking about furture retirees not those already invested in the system (to be fair, I didn't say that earlier). Someone 20 to 30 years from retirement, shouldn't expect the same system as today. The economics just aren't there.

Private accounts - An option that people can exercise if they wish. The stock marcket over time outperforms SS on a rate of return basis. Limit the percentage of total SS contributions they can be entered into private accounts.

Steve said...

Raise the income ceiling. SS benefits are capped at X dollars. For arguments sake let's say $20,000 per year (I think it's much lower than that). It doesn't matter whether I work at the muffler shop or am a crook at Enron, my max benefit is $20k. The principle behind SS is that you contribute to a fund that pays a benefit later in life. I don't get a % of my millions I made, but $20k max. Making someone pay $30 or $40k a year for 40 year to receive $20k in benefits is pure taxation and not the intention of SS. Which brings me to cutting benefits.

steve said...

Maybe it's a means test. Maybe it's raising the retirement age. Maybe it's a plain percentage across the board cut. Maybe it's all 3 and more. Young people (50 and under) need to recognize they need to start planning for their own futures and look at SS as a safety net and not as their primary source of retirement income. Anonymous, of course I've heard of 401ks. I've contributed 100% of the allowable amounts for 15+ years. Hope you are as well.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that every naturally born American child be given $1,000 when they are born. This is to be placed in a stock market index fund with dividends reinvested in the fund. The fund would be guaranteed up to 4% annually by Uncle Sam with a 5% stop loss. Based on the history of the stock market, you will enjoy a 6% return compounded annually. Once you start working, you would contribute $500 min annually. This investment would yield about $425,000 by age 65 and throw off about $30,000 annually tax free thereafter - without touching the principle. If you die early it can be passed on to your heirs. Or, if you have early disability, it will give you benefits from that point on. No tax increase, rich and poor are treated alike and no politician can ever demagogue SS again. That is unless the dems decide to tax the benefits as they did in the past.

Steve said...

So Doug, This entire conversation makes my original points (and one's you've made in earlier posts about right wing whining). I made a few comments on social security and I "hate the elderly" I don't "like retirees, except for my fatcat cronies", I'm "dense". I've been "mistreated when" I was a child (I was an alter boy, but I don't think that's what he/she meant). Meaningful debate is a rare commodity.

Anonymous said...

When you fear the unknown you burn people with new ideas at the stake.

Steve said...

BTW, the last Anonymous (who doesn't sound the the earlier one(s)) makes a good point on private accounts. Passing the wealth on. A ton of middle class "wealth" is inherited. Maybe it's just $20 or $30k, but it is a leg up. There are a huge number of working poor who contribute to SS as it is today who die before collecting any benefits and pass nothing to their heirs. If part of their investment in the system could be passed on, that could make a significant impact on many people's lives.

Anonymous said...

Capitalism is the greatest system in the world and the dems keep running from it. The only time it gets screwed-up is when a few crooked CEO's make headlines and liberals adulterate it with socialist programmes like SS and other entitlement programmes.

Michael said...

I always thought democracy was the greatest system in the world. Everyone having a voice far surpasses the economic aspects of going from a feudal bartering system to one that is capitalist, i.e. driven by capital.

I'll take democracy and bartering with beads over a monarchy and paying by cash any day.

I guess that's just the liberal in me talking. Not big into fascist governments and all.

Bill from jc said...

Let's give everyone $1000 to invest at birth? WTF? Now you want to raise the retirement age so more people die before getting thier Social Securtiy benifits, but want to give everyone a grand to put into the market when they are born. Where would that come from Steve? The SS trust? And why are you so eager to get everyone's money into the market? Since you guys took control the market hasn't even gotten back up to where it was when Clinton was in office.

As to the Democrats screwing up capitolism, do we really need to point out that the current economic system in America is largely a Democrat's invention?
If it were not for FDR most Americans would not have a mortgage, if not for unions you would not have a weekend. What have the Republicans contributed? Tax breaks for their rich cronies, and guys like Ken Lay walking the street 5 years after the collapse of Enron. Now they want us to pay the pension benifits that United promised their workers but are too cheap to pay. Every time a republican takes office it only gets worse for the working man.

bill from jc said...

Steve is of the opinion that if you just give your money to big business via the stock market then everything will be ok.

That worked out real well for the Enron pensioners didn't it? George II saw more return on that cash via campaign contributions that the Enron retirees will ever see.

But of course, pensions are themselves a liberal invention, so it does not matter if big business's pay them or not does it Steve?

Doug said...

If "meaningful debate is a rare commodity," Steve, you might want to mention that to your own side as well. All I did was oppose SS privatization and all of a sudden your pal anonymous is accusing me (and the rest of the Democratic Party) of "running from capitalism." What-the-fuck-ever.

I'm not afraid of the unknown. What I am afraid of is flushing more than $4 trillion down the toilet to pursue a plan that will increase SS benefits by only a negligible amount (if they increase at all), enrich Wall Street, and oh yeah, will do absolutely nothing to solve the problem of long-term SS solvency.

Tell me why I should support this plan again? So a few people can invest in the stock market? If investing in the stock market is what you want to do, then go ahead and freakin' do it. Nobody's stopping you. But the rest of us aren't going to dismantle what has become one of the most successful safety nets in history just because you want to spend more time watching the ticker on CNBC.

Steve said...

OK, So what's your plan?

Anonymous said...

Eliminate the cap on contributions. Already said that. Make the rich pay the same percentage of thier income as everyone else does.

mortimer duke said...

Steve, didn't you read? Their plan is to raise taxes to prop-up a failed system that has been bastardized over the years by the dems. They forget that their beloved FDR (who blundered us into WWII with his misinformation) said that individuals should have private retirement accounts; that SS payroll contributions should not exceed 1% of income; that benefits should be tax free...all original SS provisions revoked under democratic leadership. They think the "rich" are all the Ken Lays of the world. They don't recognize that their "rich" are predominantly small business entrepreneurs that create the vast majority of the jobs. Raising the cap would hit them in two ways: they would have to increase their match for their employees contributions and they would have to increase their personal contribution. Keep going back to this well and eventually it will run dry. They bitch about TYCO and Stanley moving their headquarters to Bermuda to avoid onerous taxes that even their international competitors don't have to bear in the US. This is the same crowd that has a 401K or IRA with their money sitting in a money market fund drawing 2% when they could be drawing 3x over time because they don't understand nor will take the time to understand the markets. It's always "what if the market crashes, I'll lose all my savings!" BS. With a little research they would know that stop loss and trading curbs have all but removed that likelihood. Stay the course and raise taxes, they say...no new ideas, just the same old same old. Talk to a Galveston County retiree and ask if they would trade their private fund retirement system for SS. Hey, why can congressmen vote to opt out of SS if it's so good? They want us all to have their healthcare plan, why can't we have their private retirement plan, too?

Anonymous said...

doug, to your original point. I repudiate our conservative nuts, I even take exception to some of W's moves, like not tightening the southern borders and his medicare prescription card progam, etc. Now, will you please put someone up for prez next time that we can just begin to consider seriously?
Speaking of nuts, how do you explain YEEEEEEHAAAAA Dean as DNC chairman?

Anonymous said...

We should have started by eliminating the federal income tax and replacing it with the FAIR TAX bill. The economic stimulus it would create and the reduction in cost of supporting the IRS as we know it today would throw off enough new revenue to sustain even this dysfunctional SS system forever.

ACG said...

Mortimer Duke - how many small business owners do you know who would qualify as "rich"? I certainly don't know all of the small business owners in the country, but the ones I do know are bringing money in, paying it out in salaries and overhead and insurance and, yes, Social Security, and then living comfortably on what remains. The guys driving around in Hummers aren't the ones proudly opening the first Kinko's in their neighborhood, they're the ones running Kinko's from their big office in Dallas.

You feel bad for American companies that are forced to move to Bermuda to avoid heavy taxes? Wah wah wah. Tax evasion is a crime, whether you're an individual or a corporation; having lawyers who can make it look legal doesn't make it okay. I'm so sick of people making excuses and leaving loopholes for corporations while individuals are getting screwed over at home. And by the way, you don't see your Kinko's franchiser setting up offshore; what are you going to do for him?

mortimer duke said...

Most of the wealthy people I know are small business people. Take the guy across the street from me who has 2 Hummers. He owns 5 gas stations. Started with one 10 years ago. Then there is my best friend's dad who became a millionaire when he was 28 with a mail order PC company with 100+ employees, went bankrupt, did it again and sold out for $10+ million and retired at 42...now he plays golf and travels all the time. Then there is our other neighbor who is a VP at UPS, they have a Taurus and a Suburban. Which one of these is "rich?"
Your right about TYCO. They moved to Bermuda and avoided $400 million in federal taxes. I think they should return and pay their taxes. Of course, they will have to lay-off 1,000 US workers to cover the tax bill and remain profitable. Or maybe you would like for them to be unprofitable, go out of business all together and eliminate their 15,000 US jobs.
You obviously don't know what you're talking about. More baseless emotion.

Anonymous said...

All realtors are small businesses. The successful one's I know would be considered wealthy making over $100K a year.

mortimer duke said...

acg, the Fair Tax bill would solve your issues with "unpatriotic" corporations leaving the country to, I believe the term is avoid no evade, onerous taxes. Now, that's a goooooood idea!

bill from jc said...

No anon, our plan is to save a system that has never failed by having a fair tax on those making more money. They should pay the same percentage of thier income towards SS that everyone else does. Why do you want them to get off with paying less.

But of course what you mean by a "Fair" tax is one when the middle and lower classes have to take on a greater burden of the debt load your dumbass leaders have foisted off on us the last 5 years... far be it for the party of values to actually have any.

Steve said...

OK. The Alternate Plan so far is to eliminate the income cap on contributions. Anything other than the Old People Welfare Plan? And don't give us more Ken Lay/Enron clap-trap. They committed the vast majority of their crimes on Clinton's watch and I'm not blaming him for it and it has nothing to do with SS. Speaking of relevant. What does United Airlines bankruptcy and pension plan woes have to do with solving the SS solvency issue. And finally Doug, I've made a lot of points surrounding the issue and no one has addressed any of them except to just shit on personal accounts. There has been no debate at all. Accusing the "other side" (regardless of source) of XYZ is not meaningful debate, just noise.

Former Republican said...

A little background on my current outlook. I would like the choice between putting a percentage of my income in a private account instead of in the regular system. The performance of the stock market would probably (but not guarenteed definately) outperform the payback of SS.

I would like to know how removing funding from the system and putting it into privatized accounts, will keep it solvent?

Wouldn't pulling money that is going in which goes out to those who are collecting SS, diminish the funds involved quicker, causing the need for even more taxes to keep the system running, or a massive cut in benefits?

To my understanding, demand then exceeds supply with the money which funds SS being diverted away.

The more I look at the situation, the more i realize its not a "me" situation. Its about supporting everyone. I know that supporting the entire american community is "communist." Religion is also communal. Only religion is loved and respected by our friendly "moral elite." Yet giving part of ones income, but getting a percentage less back, is somehow evil.

bill from jc said...

Excellent points Former Repub,,, but note that since it's inception, if measured with inflation adjustments, SS has out preformed the stock market. The notion that the Stock market is a better investment since the 30's is a myth.

And no Steve, the alternative plan is not to eliminate the tax on contributions. The alternative plan is to remove the cap on contributions by folks earning more than $100,000 a year. Let the rich pay the same as the poor,,,, isn't that what you "FAIR" tax advocates are always screaming about?

Steve said...

I said "eliminate the income cap on contributions" which is the same thing you said. Anyway. The rich today do pay the same as the poor for the same benefit. The principle behind SS is that you are buying something. Like insurance. For a defined purchase price, you get a defined benefit. You can't buy any more than the program allows. The payments we make today to SS are technically taxes, but they are really insurance payments (FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contribution Act). And the problems with SS are exactly the same as what would happen to an life insurance company if few people bought new policies and everyone died at the same time.

Steve said...

Would love to see some sources for the claim that SS has historically outperformed the stock market.

I think the solution is to raise the income ceiling to some reasonable level. Maybe $150k. Cut benefits to future retirees. Those beginning to collect benefits in 20 or 30 years. And the option of personal accounts. The personal accounts have the potential to increase overall income which would offset the fixed benefit cuts.

Steve said...

Personal accounts by themselves can't solve the problem, for many of the reasons folks here have mentioned. But converting SS from the insurance concept to a welfare concept is not the answer either. It may make some people feel good, but comes with it's own hazards. Europe is full of welfare states with staggering tax burdens (for everyone) and outrageously high unemployment rates.

mortimer duke said...

Bill said that the return on SS funds have exceeded the average returns from the market? What a bunch of hooey!

If the SS system is soooooo great, why has congress voted to opt out of it?

Ask the retirees from Galveston County who opted out of SS for private investments years ago if they want to go back to SS!!!!!

At this rate SS is becoming another welfare program. Besides, it's a racist welfare program benifiting white women the most and black men the least.

mortimer duke said...

Start by reforming the IRS tax code by implementing the FAIR TAX act. The surge in government revenues would make the SS solvency issue dissolve.
Before you big government types piss on the FAIR TAX act, I suggest you LEARN about it first. It is a well thought out alternative to the current IRS code. And for you libs, the "rich" pay more than the "poor."

steve said...

So I guess this well is dry. Same as the current Democratic Party on this issue. Not a single solution, other than taxing rich people, and a lot of shitting on other people's ideas with half-truths, dubious "facts" and class warfare rhetoric.

bill from jc said...

Yep this well is dry, as long as the whiners complain that it is unfair to tax the folks making over $100, 000 a year at the same rate as us folks that don't. You wanted solutions and I gave you one. Deal with it.

And btw, Bush has now taken longer to defeat Bin Laden than FDR took to defeat Hitler, Tojo and Mussilini combined (while dealing with the remnants of a republican stock scheme caused depression.)

atlanta lindsay said...

So, Bill, my husband and I make over $100,000 annually. Our taxes for last year exceeded $40,000 or over 38% of our income. I am a tech writer and the husband is a systems analyst. We're comfortable, but not "rich." The only real break we've received lately came from lower interest rates. The thought of more taxes is sickening.
You must be from one of those states like Florida that doesn't have a state income tax - we pay 6% on top of a 7.5% sales tax. Plus our county commission is dominated by representatives that raise our property taxes and redistribute them to the "poor" sections of the county. Hence, we pay the most taxes and have the worst roads and pay the highest water rates in the county.
It's time to think of other ways to fix these entitlement programs than raising taxes.

Anonymous said...

Lindsey, your best bet would be to fire your accountant. The married filing jointly rate, according to the irs web site, is 28% for your income bracket.

So really, fire your accountant. Or find a different line of crap to spew.

greenshade said...

Wow, I AM a CPA and, yes, if your income exceeds $100K, there are many circumstances where you can pay 38% in federal income tax.

Anonymous said...

And don't hire Greenshade, as apparently he can't even look up the tax tables on the web. Btw, you might note that your state income and sales are deductable from your federal income tax, so if you are paying 6% state your fed tax is even lower.

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact, using the married filing jointly tax table from 2004 you should have on 100k income paid "$8,000.00 plus 25% of the amount over 58,100" or $18,475, or about 18.5%.

Times is haaarrrddd on you ain't they?

Seriously, if you are paying that much get a different accountant.
And if you really want taxes to go down elect a president and congress with some sense of fiscal control.

Steve said...

Well if it makes you all feel any better, Lindsay says their combined income is $100k, so if we assume they each make $50k, there is still $80k in potential earnings out there that are available for FICA taxes since those taxes currently max out at $90k in individual income. I agree it is not possible to pay 38% in federal income taxes alone at $100k in earnings. It is possible to have a total tax burden of 38% if you consider, federal, SS, Medicare, state, local, school and property taxes.

Steve said...

Speaking of firing your accountant, sales taxes are not deductable at the federal level.

bill from jc said...

Actually Steve, they were not deductable at the federal level for 2004, but now are. This was passed in the last few months of 2004 and is to be codified in the federal tax code begining 2005 is my understanding. My state subsists on sales tax and this passage was followed intently here. But you are correct that in the past they have not been.

Anonymous said...

I believe Lindsey said their joint income was "OVER $100,000" and their taxes "EXCEEDED $40,000." Do the math. 38% is possible depending on their AGI. Otherwise, their total tax burden could exceed $40,000 when taking into account state, local and sales tax in Georgia. Also, isn't state income tax a deduction, not a credit?

bill from jc said...

Check the IRS tax tables and do the math. Please do the math. Then figure out for yourself that this is just more republican bullshit. This lady, if she really exists, which I doubt, claims to have paid $20,000 more in taxes than the IRS actually charges. Her actual tax rate should be the envy of every american. This notion that she paid $40,000 in taxes is asinine and a damn lie. One more lie from a part that no longer knows what the truth is.

Check the tax tables before you lie again.

steve said...

bill, do you actually read every word of people's comments or just ignore the ones that don't match your bias? Lindsay didn't say she paid 38% in FEDERAL INCOME TAXES, she said she paid 38% in taxes. She even commented on state, sales and property taxes. You're just spewing at this point.

bill from jc said...

Yes Steve I do read them. Do you accept every bit of right wing hyperbole without checking the facts for yoursefl? Are you a sheep so easily led that anything with GOP stamped on it is accepted as Gospel falling from the lips of Sr. Rove without question?

In order for "Lindsey" to pay over 40k in taxes last year, she would have to live in a state where the tax rate was so high that even after deducting it from he federal taxes she would pay an additional $22,000. Now does that sound like any state in the country to you? A state with a nondeductable tax rate of 22% on top of your federal taxes?

Come on Stevie, you can figure this one out. This is just another blind stooge following the Oxy-head spouting mindless hysteria with no basis in fact.