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Old 2012-04-11, 09:59 PM   [Ignore Me] #39
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Re: Santorum Drops Out

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
A "fair tax" to me is a tax that affects everyone equally, not certain people more than other people. Sales tax is a fair tax. You spend more, you pay more. Property tax is a fair tax. More property, you pay more. That's fair. Taxing someone a higher percentage of their income because they made more is not a fair tax. They are paying more than their "fair share"
I feel there's more to it than that. The effect (financial security, overall quality of life) on someone that made say $500K dollars in a year and is taxed 30% ($150K) is relatively less than a person that made $50K and is taxed the same rate at 30% ($15K). The person that "earned" through investment (or hard work) the larger sum still has $350K to use and invest with while the person that is catching up is at $35K. That person is probably not investing in their future and with their left over funds and isn't probably accruing wealth. If you use a progressive tax (which you view as not fair) then you might see for instance the person making $50K paying only 10% allowing them money to invest in a house or simply financial security with which to take larger risks like starting a small company. That is equal taxes do not effect every income level the same.

This is one of Obama's strong points that has been proven time and again that wealth in the US comes from smaller companies hiring a few people.

Personally I tend to separate in my mind hard work. For instance, I know software developers that make $150K a year using their skills as a programmer. I don't equally value their skills with someone that can take 10 dollars, invest it and get back 15 dollars and continue the cycle with larger amounts of money. Using wealth indirectly to make wealth is more of a skilled exploit in capitalism that really made me a socialist. The first time I saw this was when I was invited to a state stock exchange competition to compete using fake money in an accelerated stock exchange where days were 5 minutes. I don't think any team did worse than doubling than their money. (The guy that hosted the event made pretty much all his money doing exactly what we just did). I view it as a flawed system that destroys the incentive of "hard work" and without control is easily exploited by the few by piggybacking on the hard work of others through investment. (One of the reasons I hate banks that exploit this by hurting their customers for profits).

Also these have a lot of information. It's basically what Obama's speeches try to summarize sometimes. The summary of each section of his budget can be viewed here.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
And most wealthy individuals have no problem giving more money to help America - the problem is that they don't trust the government to use that money wisely, such as to get us out of debt and generate more wealth. Instead they use it for handouts and stupid programs or extravagant parties in Vegas.

When the government pisses away our money and laughs about it why should anyone feel obligated to give it more? In the business world if that happened that company would hemorrhage customers and go under. They have no accountability. We as taxpayers (I'm in the half of the country that actually pays federal taxes) demand more responsibility and accountability from the government before I will allow them to take more of my money.
I don't understand why you'd say there's no accountability. They have a lot of audits within their system to catch things, but what specifically are you talking about? This sounds more like a baseless claim seeing at how transparent the whole US budget is. To help people understand the basics they did release this a few weeks ago.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
Libertarians like myself also believe in voluntary funding. If the government wants to fund a project instead of taxing us let us donate money for projects we think are worthy of our money. I'd love to control where and how my money is spent.
Can't do that and you should know why. It exploits human greed and the "I got mine" mentality. You will see this often when a libertarian says they want to slash education like public schools to cut costs, with no solution to help people get a quality education. Not directly important for them at that point. That and programs to help minorities outside of the middle class would be threatened directly because poor people are already investing in themselves. You have a point. We've seen in history numerous times where the wealthy would partake in philanthropic efforts to construct univerisities and schools for the direct benefit of the middle class and sometimes the poor. However, it should be noted that such philanthropic efforts are not a supporting point, but merely a symptom of a flawed system. That is almost requiring such events in a laissez-faire type economy shows a serious desparity where the advancement of the middle and poor classes hinge on the generosity of the rich.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
You should educate yourself on Venture Capitalism and what Romney actually did with Bain Capital.
I've taken a basic economics course so I'm familiar with the term. You'll notice if you research more into venture capitalism that it's not a big part of any economy. If anything it's rich people/banks exploiting start-ups to gain from them. Part of me would prefer a more government funded system, but obviously the risks involved are why the system persists. Not saying it's completely bad, but it overrated.

I think it's unfair to judge Romney on all of Bain's history. There's been many concise reports on Romney's actual involvement. The WSJ did a piece on it here. He did his job fairly well in investing. Some of the problems though were questionable. It would be unfair to say he'd take the US in the same direction in regards to hurting a few companies though based on a few cases. The article mentions 77 investments during his time with 22% bankruptcy with 10 gaining a lot and of those 4 filing for bankruptcy later. I've seen videos for both sides arguing if Bain hurt more than helped with their investments. From an investor point of view their success rate wasn't that bad.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
I'm all for a system that promotes financial education and helping citizens improve their lot in life. I think a "safety net" is OK, but the idea of the safety net is that it catches you when you fall so you can get back up again. You aren't supposed to get carried through life on that net.
Yeah I think that viewpoint is starting to soften up some republican to the idea of a single-payer safety net for health. It's easy to say someone made a bad judgement investing and deserved to take a loss, but it's harder to blame someone for a pre-existing condition as their financial loss.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
Health care is one of those things that if government got the hell out of the way and let Capitalism work it wouldn't be nearly as bad as it is.
The current system already uses a health market. The failure is that 50 million people can't afford or are denied access to the market. Even those that have access are buying "coupons" for later use. This analogy has been used because inurance for most people never covers the cost. It's just a discount with limitations for use. Pretty much everything in the current health market is based on capitalism. You have hospitals buying insurance to cover costs from the uninsured which they are forced to provide emergency care for, and insured people who guess at how badly they'll get hurt and invest accordingly. Notice how there is no real government involvement. People have their choices they can make, but the government involvement you see is merely to protect the 50 million from the "death panel" of the hosptial insurance market.

I think we're at the point where we can make the switch with out country where gambling with healthcare in the private industry isn't a necessity. We have infrastructure to help those that through no real fault of their own suffer problems. Santorum I have to imagine realized this. One of the more laughable things is when people try to talk badly about a country's single-payer system when they go over there and it costs a thousand dollars for an operation. Then they leave out the stories of 200K+ dollars surgeries in the US when foreigners get stuck here during an emergency. The day when I just pay taxes (don't really care. Could be 30% or higher) and just walk into a hospital and show them my ID to see a doctor will be the day. The competition moves from insurance companies to a fight for higher quality healthcare as hospitals compete for patients. Like I said Canadians fully realize this benefit to financial security for their economy.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
Tort reform and opening up insurance companies to compete across state lines would go a long way. That doesn't require a 1,000 page bill and forcing Americans to buy insurance.
Tort reform for medical malpractice you mean? That's a gray area, and I think it always will be. In Canada for instance I believe all physicians pay into the same malpractice insurance which drastically reduces cost and hasn't had a problem compensating individuals for medical mistakes. They have something similar to a Tort reform for it to control maximum costs and keep things sane. That's a problem with the US. We sue for a lot of money usually for these kinds of things. I'd be all for applying a cap of 1-2 million dollars as arbitrary as it may seem.

Also regarding selling across state boundaries that sounds difficult. I thought the idea of having insurance locally in a state was so that each state could place its own mandates. If you could buy outside of a state I'd imagine those mandates would still need to be applied so the cost would not really change. Though I guess the pool of people would rise. I would need to do a lot more research on that before even attempting to comment, so I won't say anything more.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
I would like to know how you have a crystal ball capable of seeing how unemployment would be without the stimulus vs with the stimulus. The way we have definitive data about things is a control group vs the experimental group. There is no control group, therefore you have no means to measure stimulus effect on anything.
Well without it we had predictions that banks would fail and there would be a momentary job loss. From what I've read the stimulus negated most of that and kept the economy from experiencing it as badly. I think employment got up to 10% then it dropped down again. You're probably right though that a detailed look would probably take a lot of work without a control group. For all we know the people layed off could have gotten other jobs.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
Bailouts were the Government playing Venture capitalist, only without the control that venture capitalists usually enforce (if they give them huge amounts of money, they want assurances that it won't go belly-up like Solyndra so they usually hold the reins).

It is not government's role to play Venture capitalist, that's for companies like Bain Capital.
To be fair we have to. Some things like energy require it since the capital is so large. Building modern nuclear reactors to help society or investing in solar energy to stop the creep of cheaper foreign markets is a risk the government I believe should take. It's sad to see such investments fail horribly, but it's not a reason to quit. (On a side note I'm a socialist, so government investment to directly advance society as a whole is something I fully support. For instance, by accelerating developments of technology through research where private sectors might not invest. Or medicine for smaller groups as an edge example).

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
The link I gave showed they haven't yet. Note your article is very pessimitist from 2 years ago! They are on their way to having it paid off in full as are a lot of companies that were helped.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
Two things which need reform or they will bury our country. Here's a Congressional Budget Office projection for Medicare:
Yeah and part of me wants to blame the insurance system for infalting prices.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
That's not cost - that's impact in % of GDP. Insane. Why aren't we fixing that? Oh right, because everytime we talk about it democrats do the medi-scare thing and claim we want to throw grandma out on the street.

Big government is evil. Capitalism is good.
To be fair a lot of liberals want a single-payer system for all. That is grandma has the same security as a newborn. Simple. Though going back to your "1,000" page comment this would require thousands of pages to define probably. If capitalism and libertarians has taught us anything it's that more people paying into an insurance system lowers cost. So a single-payer national pool with state control should be the most efficient system for patients and doctors.
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