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Author Topic: Tax day and Tea Parties
G2
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Today, as patriots all over America mail in their money to bail out the automotive industry and a few select banks, what will you be doing?

I'm going to go down to my local Tea Party just to check it out. I've never actually been to a political rally so I hope it's pretty cool. The San Antonio Tea Party has Ted Nugent speaking so I know I won't see one with the degree of shock value only the Motor City Madman can provide. Anybody else going to a Tea Party? Some first hand accounts from around the country would be interesting.

Also, April 13th was Tax Freedom day! Basically, every single one of us turned over every dime we made from Jan 1 to April 13 to the government in one tax or another. Fortunately, the government is generous and lets us pay in monthly installments. That translates to a tax burden of 28.20%, on average.

Gallup has a poll out this week that shows 48% of Americans think they’re paying just about the right amount in taxes. Not coincidentally, with Obama’s emphasis on refundables, 48.7% of Americans will wind up paying no income tax at all. If you pay no federal income taxes, then it really would seem about right wouldn't it?

They should enjoy the free ride while it lasts - the bill is coming due someday soon:
quote:
The Obama administration will be hard-pressed to avoid raising taxes on the middle class, according to economists crunching federal budget numbers in the lead-up to tax return day — today, April 15.

President Obama’s proposed changes to the tax code, combined with exploding entitlement costs, will lead to ever-growing debt, according to independent estimates. The big question for Obama and his economic team will be whether he can meet the rising costs with increased tax revenue only from small slices of the electorate. …

“You just simply can’t tax the rich enough to make this all up,” said Martin A. Sullivan, a former economic aide in the Reagan administration who said he backed Obama last fall.

“Especially just for getting the budget to a sustainable level, there needs to be a broad-based tax increase,” said Sullivan, now a contributing editor at Tax Analysts publications. “If you want to do healthcare on top of that, almost certainly, it just makes [a middle-class tax increase] all the more certain.”


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Wayward Son
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The Gallup Poll (for those interested [Smile] ).
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Not coincidentally, with Obama’s emphasis on refundables, 48.7% of Americans will wind up paying no income tax at all.
Wow. Was Obama really that influential in Congress that he was responsible for last year's tax rates, G2? [Wink]
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NSCutler
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I'm tempted to go just to laugh at all the conservatives referring to themselves as teabaggers.
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KnightEnder
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Who is going to say their taxes are too low?

These taxes (46%) are Too High!
But these taxes (48%) are Just Right!
So now I guess we should look out for the Bears coming home? Hey, they can raise our taxes but they can't eat us! That's illegal. [Smile]

And I'm afraid G2 is right, I don't see how they can do all they are doing without raising the taxes on the middle class.

KE

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kmbboots
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I am almost amused by Fox News' assertion that they are not promoting this silly tea bag thing.

Before Iraq, a quarter million people marching in DC or even more in NY didn't get a tenth the publicity.

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JoshCrow
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It's led me to wonder many times - at what point would services have to become so bad that a majority of people would actually lobby for a tax increase?

The bottom line: people can't be expected to rationally determine how much they should personally sacrifice to get the services they want.

... but if you tell people that, they will get upset at you, and they will also get upset when an authority decides it for them.

I wonder if the GOP's favorite trick is to morph into libertarians when they aren't in power, selling the idea of each person sitting on their porch with a shotgun, guarding their property and shunning society, taxes and services in favor of rugged individualism and self-sufficiency. Of course, the difference between this charade and *actual* libertarians is that the GOP borrows the sentiment with none of the obligation to follow through with it.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
I am almost amused by Fox News' assertion that they are not promoting this silly tea bag thing.
If you really want to be amused, check out Keith Olbermann's almost-three-minutes worth of clips of Fox "not" promoting the Tea Bag rallies. [Big Grin]
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KnightEnder
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I was feeling masochistic yesterday so I listened to Sean Hannity on the way home and not only was he promoting it but he is going to be at one of the rallies in Atlanta. Unless Fox News has renounced affiliation with that scumbag?

Teabaggers. [Smile]

KE

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
I am almost amused by Fox News' assertion that they are not promoting this silly tea bag thing.
If you really want to be amused, check out Keith Olbermann's almost-three-minutes worth of clips of Fox "not" promoting the Tea Bag rallies. [Big Grin]
Awesome montage.

Anyhow, I wonder where these protesters were last year, or if they even realize that the taxes they are paying right now are Bush-era taxes, and that Obama's tax plan still represents a cut (though not for long, obviously, just long enough to avoid the political poison of raising taxes as a campaign promise).

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Lobo
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It would be amusing if I didn't have to listen to Olbermann open his pie hole...
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Dave at Work
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quote:
Anyhow, I wonder where these protesters were last year, or if they even realize that the taxes they are paying right now are Bush-era taxes, and that Obama's tax plan still represents a cut (though not for long, obviously, just long enough to avoid the political poison of raising taxes as a campaign promise).
As I understand it, they are not protesting current taxes. They are protesting the rise in taxes and debt that will come about because of our recent rise in spending.
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Lobo
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Plus, this time last year things didn't look so bad...
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Wayward Son
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quote:
It would be amusing if I didn't have to listen to Olbermann open his pie hole...
Fortunately, you don't have to.

After all, I don't listen to Rush open his. [Wink]

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kenmeer livermaile
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The Galtists are almost as funny to watch as the Palinists. THoroughly convoluted logic.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave at Work:
quote:
Anyhow, I wonder where these protesters were last year, or if they even realize that the taxes they are paying right now are Bush-era taxes, and that Obama's tax plan still represents a cut (though not for long, obviously, just long enough to avoid the political poison of raising taxes as a campaign promise).
As I understand it, they are not protesting current taxes. They are protesting the rise in taxes and debt that will come about because of our recent rise in spending.
Fair enough.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Not coincidentally, with Obama’s emphasis on refundables, 48.7% of Americans will wind up paying no income tax at all.
Wow. Was Obama really that influential in Congress that he was responsible for last year's tax rates, G2? [Wink]
Well, you should check the verb tense of my post - the part that you quoted being most important. I understand the knee jerk "gotcha" mentality you so love but, once again, you missed badly on this one.

As Dave pointed out, the protest is predominantly about the taxes and spending that is coming from the current administration and congress. Contrary to popular belief, we cannot increase spending by trillions of dollars while simultaneously cutting the deficit. All predictions show this is not so - Obama's team differs from the CBO by on a few hundred billion (chump change in the era of multi-trillion dollar budgets and massive bailouts).

I attended the Tea Party in Austin, TX. The official estimate from the police department was 1,500 people in attendance. This is a huge number for Austin - it's an extremely liberal area. Everything went very smoothly, if there were any counter-protesters I didn't see them. The only friction I saw was when somebody took some lady's seat while she was off doing something else - she gave the person in 'her' seat a little heat. Other than that, it was a textbook example of Americans exercising their 1st amendment rights.

There was a speech by the Texas Railroad Commissioner, Michael Williams. He got the crowd pretty fired up, great speaker and obviously believed what he was saying - no teleprompter for this guy. I could see him popping up on the national stage at some point. There were 10 other speakers ( chairman of the UT college Republicans, a local talk radio host, etc) that did very brief spots relating to why Texas is #1. Some examples:
  • Of all the jobs in created in the US last year, half were created in Texas.
  • For the last 3 years, Texas is the top exporting state in the US.
  • On average, 1,000 people a day move into Texas.
  • Texas is the leading producer of wind power in the US (and I think the world, not sure).
  • More fortune 500 companies are located in Texas than any other state.
  • By any measure you choose from standard economic indicators, the Texas economy ranks in the top 5 in the US and has for years.

Pretty impressive list, Texas clearly has things working well.

Finally, Texas Governor Rick Perry addressed the crowd. After going nationwide last night about state's rights, he pounded that message again. He had a bit of a rough start I thought but got it together and delivered a pretty good speech. Helps to have a supportive crowd.

Anybody else attend a Tea Party?

[ April 15, 2009, 03:53 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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Lina Inverse
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Sounds like it was fun [Smile] What kind of tea did they serve?
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KnightEnder
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Well, I guess that explains why everything is going so well here despite the horror on the news.

Teleprompter! Cause nobody could believe anything they wrote down earlier and then read! You guys are hilarious. Bush wasn't even allowed to speak without a teleprompter and scripted questions. The hypocrisy of the Republicans that harp on that is mind-boggling. Not you G2, though that snide little comment did bring it to mind. Rush the Hutt and Sean "the whatever you call that thing that sits on the Hutt's ass and laughs at Luke and Han Solo" Hannity mention it every chance they get. Sean actually has the nerve to call his show "The Conservative Underground"! It's like listening to American Christians bitching about being persecuted. [LOL] [Crying]

KE

[ April 15, 2009, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Wayward Son:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not coincidentally, with Obama’s emphasis on refundables, 48.7% of Americans will wind up paying no income tax at all.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wow. Was Obama really that influential in Congress that he was responsible for last year's tax rates, G2?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, you should check the verb tense of my post - the part that you quoted being most important. I understand the knee jerk "gotcha" mentality you so love but, once again, you missed badly on this one.

Of course, the poll had to do with what taxpayers feel about what they are paying now, not in a couple of years, so I don't really see how what you wrote relates to the poll (except coincidentally [Smile] ).

[ April 15, 2009, 04:46 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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kmbboots
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Let me know how this works. Is now the time we are supposed to call the protesters Un-American Traitors or is this when we refer to them as focus groups?
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TCB
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I'm skeptical that these protests are about Obama's tax increase on the rich since he doesn't plan to raise them by that much. Furthermore, the super wealthy in this country benefitted more than anyone from the bank bailouts. Since they benefit the most from socialization of risk, it makes sense that they should chip in more in taxes.

Which would the super rich prefer? Bankrolling the government that provides them with financial stability, or losing their wealth in an unstabilized financial crisis? I'm sure they would most prefer both paying low taxes and having a strong stabilizing government protecting their wealth, but I don't see that happening. There must be a tipping point at which taxes are so high that government wealth protection isn't worth it, but I don't think we're remotely close to there yet.

I'm also skeptical that these protests are about fiscal irresponsibility since the most we ever heard was muted grumbles from these protesters when Bush racked up record deficits.

These are primarily anti-Obama protests, and scondarily tests of Republican organizational capacities.

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KnightEnder
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I cannot believe these unAmerican traitors, or useful idiots, are doing this while young American men and women are involved in combat overseas dieing to protect their freedom! Have they no shame? No love of country? [Frown]

Fox News just said that the Obamas made 2.something million dollars and paid 1.something in taxes. That sucks. I'd be pissed if I only had a Million something left of my money. [Frown] [Wink]

KE

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flydye45
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Whatever you want to believe. If you cannot see the difference in war spending vs "let's pay off our interest groups and buy some more"; social programs which last forever, then good for you.

But if you thought there were only muted protests on some of Bush's egregious spending, you weren't paying much attention.

That said, I'll admit I wasn't the most strident voice here because I saw Bush's waste as a way of buying off Democrats for his Iraq endeavor, which I felt was critical for the safety of this nation. The Dems didn't stay bought. It seems some appetites can never be satiated.

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Kuato
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fly,

I don't see any problem with social programs that last forever as a point of injection of liquidity. This is one reason I support the military- at least money gets circulated because it is a continual injection point.

The point that gets stupid is taking it out of taxes, which is totally unnecessary. We've got the production to inject without taxes.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Whatever you want to believe. If you cannot see the difference in war spending vs "let's pay off our interest groups and buy some more"; social programs which last forever, then good for you.
Considering government spending rose at unpresidented rates under Bush excluding war spending, there doesn't seem to be that big a difference.

quote:
But if you thought there were only muted protests on some of Bush's egregious spending, you weren't paying much attention.
Yeah, I guess I missed that. Can you link to any footage from Fox News about the nationwide tax protests from Bush's time? [Wink]
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edgmatt
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I can't remember the last time that there was a protest of the same thing in all 50 states. Surely this merits more air time than Cindy Sheehan or code pink protests. I understood it to be a protest of the ( certain ) future taxes across the board. Wasn't there a bunch of economists that said if the govt taxed every person in the U.S. ALL of their money for the next 3 years, ( that is take every penny ) it still wouldn't pay for all the debt that Pres. Obama is racking up?
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edgmatt
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quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
I'm skeptical that these protests are about Obama's tax increase on the rich since he doesn't plan to raise them by that much. Furthermore, the super wealthy in this country benefitted more than anyone from the bank bailouts. Since they benefit the most from socialization of risk, it makes sense that they should chip in more in taxes.

Which would the super rich prefer? Bankrolling the government that provides them with financial stability, or losing their wealth in an unstabilized financial crisis? I'm sure they would most prefer both paying low taxes and having a strong stabilizing government protecting their wealth, but I don't see that happening. There must be a tipping point at which taxes are so high that government wealth protection isn't worth it, but I don't think we're remotely close to there yet.

I'm also skeptical that these protests are about fiscal irresponsibility since the most we ever heard was muted grumbles from these protesters when Bush racked up record deficits.

These are primarily anti-Obama protests, and scondarily tests of Republican organizational capacities.


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edgmatt
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im new at this so bear with me...i was trying to pull out the third paragraph there, "I'm also skeptical that these protests are about fiscal irresponsibility since the most we ever heard was muted grumbles from these protesters when Bush racked up record deficits." and address that, but i failed miserably. I was going to say that President Obama holds the record so far for money spent. I believe that President Bush, a huge spender as well, did get protests from his spending. Obama is spending a lot more, and hes been clean that he plans to tax more to pay for it. President Bush signed tax cuts. Seems that Pres. Obama would merit the higher amount of protests, no?
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Kuato
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edg-

What is your alternate plan to put money into the economy to balance the production of the people?

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edgmatt
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Well I dont see how that question addresses anything I was talking about. I am not a politician, and I don't run anything. I was commenting on what some of the other people had written.

However, since you asked, I simply don't accept the idea of "putting" money into the system. Where does the money come from to get "put in"? I also dont know that money getting into the system "balances the production of the people". I think, though, that an alternative would be to stop taking money OUT of the economy via taxes of various kinds would certainly help the economy, as has been proven throughout history.

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Kuato
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edg-

Our dollars (the debt instruments that are currently being released) are asserted by this government as backed by our production.

Inasmuch as the govt fails to release currency to match any production (goods or services, legal or illegal as the currency specifically is valuable for any transaction public or private), it fails in its commitment as a provider of currency.

I will meet you halfway.

I don't believe in putting anymore currency into the system, as long as the people will agree to stop putting products, goods and more people who make more products and services into the economy. Then, we will have balance= existing production matching existing dollars.

However, if you wish to put any new product or good or person putting more products or goods into the economy, kindly remember to release a dollar per dollar-value, otherwise, the producers and providers cannot be equitably remunerated.

Where does the money come from?

Duh, a printing press.

Where does the production come from?

Ten thousand plants producing hundreds of millions of products per day, and people producing many billions in services.

so..... are the printing presses running fast enough, in your opinion, or do you ascribe to the philosophy that some people should produce without hope of remuneration/ slavery?

[ April 15, 2009, 10:36 PM: Message edited by: Kuato ]

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edgmatt
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I think your assuming things about what im saying, or else we are on totally different pages. The govt cannot create money unless they print it. Lets ignore the printing aspect for the moment.

Line 1: The money the govt is releasing used to be your money and my money. We gave it to them in the form of taxes, they are releasing it where they see fit to help the economy. My point is that that at least some of that money was better off staying with the people who earned it. Its more effecient that way.

Line 2: If i interpret what you typed correctly, you said that the govt has to pay people and companies for services it ( the govt ) receives. If it doesnt, it fails as a provider of currency. I dont follow that, can you be more specific?

4th line: I guess your being sarcastic, and I can't seem to follow the logic. Its only ok for the govt to stop printing money if producers stop producing?

Last line: If i bake a cake and want to sell it, the govt has to release a dollar value of that cake into the economy somewhere?

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edgmatt
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when i ask where the money comes from, im asking where does the moeny the govt has to spend come from. Yes they can print more, in which case the value of each other exisiting dollar goes down. Or they can take it from you and I. Most of it is taken from you and I and the rest of us. Printing money is just a bad idea, except when they are printing new dollars to make up for the physical destruction of old dollars.
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edgmatt
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so..... are the printing presses running fast enough, in your opinion, or do you ascribe to the philosophy that some people should produce without hope of remuneration/ slavery? [/QB][/QUOTE]


What is this about the govt printing money when someone produces something? Money already exists. I just bought a burger today, I paid with a 10 dollar bill, the guy who made the burger paid less than 10 dollars to make it, he made a little profit, I got fed, hes happy, i was certainly happy.

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flydye45
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So, a hot dog plant is in operation. It takes a loan from a bank. Because the company requests the loan, the bank assumes it can pay it back (more or less) and requests (buys) the cash from the Fed in the course of normal bank business. Since a great deal of our economy is cashless, only some electrons need to move. The money is spent on materials (giving cash into the material producers), given to the workers as wages (injecting more cash into the economy) and paid to shareholders as dividends (more squirts).

Now, the one place where the cash is tied up is in inventory (which hopefully is self correcting) and capital improvements.

What am I missing?

[ April 15, 2009, 11:03 PM: Message edited by: flydye45 ]

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edgmatt
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Is that what he was talking about? Essentially credit, yes? The money doesn't actually exist, but its loaned, and then eventually paid back on paper. And hes saying that the money that doesnt exist should be created by the govt and given to the bank by the fed, because the bank asked the fed for the money in the first place. Ok thats a bit easier to follow. I am by no means an expert on that subject, and I got suckerd into it a bit. My orignal point was on the new coverage of the TEA parties. I guess I shouldnt have mentioned that I think that taxes are too high....and that a lot of tax money taken and redistributed is better off in the hands of the people who earned it.
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edgmatt
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Fly, so you agree with Kuato? I followed what you said, until the banks ask the fed for money...Some banks have money of their own...they make money by lending it out, charging interest on the payback, then loan out the extra they have, etc etc etc..upward spiral of money...yes?
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Kuato
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
I think your assuming things about what im saying, or else we are on totally different pages. The govt cannot create money unless they print it. Lets ignore the printing aspect for the moment.

Line 1: The money the govt is releasing used to be your money and my money. We gave it to them in the form of taxes, they are releasing it where they see fit to help the economy. My point is that that at least some of that money was better off staying with the people who earned it. Its more effecient that way.

That is incorrect.

The stimulus is being released from the federal reserve, not from taxes. Only Rush Limbaugh is that stupid to have misunderstood the entire nature of the Stimulus and called it a tax-funded procedure. We don't have that much in any tax-kitty.

The release from the Fed is appropriate as we have more than the production to balance it, and the Fed has the obligation to release upon that indicator.

quote:
Line 2: If i interpret what you typed correctly, you said that the govt has to pay people and companies for services it ( the govt ) receives. If it doesnt, it fails as a provider of currency. I dont follow that, can you be more specific?
Our govt asserts a currency, called a dollar. We gave that authority upon the understanding that the fed would print the money to match production. Otherwise, we are slaves or serfs, take your pick.

quote:
4th line: I guess your being sarcastic, and I can't seem to follow the logic. Its only ok for the govt to stop printing money if producers stop producing?
No, not sarcastic. I am providing reasonable circumstances upon which the govt to discontinue issuing currency.

quote:
Last line: If i bake a cake and want to sell it, the govt has to release a dollar value of that cake into the economy somewhere?
yes. don't you want to get paid?

[ April 15, 2009, 11:24 PM: Message edited by: Kuato ]

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flydye45
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No, until this seeming inconsistancy is explained, I cannot understand her attitude except as a sort of socialistic populism. "It's bad that people can't afford lots of stuff. Solution: give them money" Well.
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