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General Category => General Comments => Topic started by: Greg Davidson on January 03, 2019, 10:18:32 PM

Title: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Greg Davidson on January 03, 2019, 10:18:32 PM
Are you angry yet?

I just plugged my data from 2017 into the 2018 version of TurboTax to see what the Republican Tax Law does to the income of those in the 1%. There's still two provisions that TurboTax says that the IRS has not finalized their determination, so this is approximate. The difference is a savings of $13,600. Note that  includes a provision aimed primarily against wealthy Blue states that limits deductions for state taxes to $10K - if I came from a lower-tax state than California, the net benefit of the tax law to someone with my income would be $22,400.

So all of you who voted for President Trump and the Republicans in 2016 - how much are you saving on your tax bill this year? Do you think that this tax cut primarily aimed at the wealthy was a good idea? Do you still?

And this is income tax savings - don't forget that by cutting Corporate tax rates by 1/3rd, everyone who owns stock got about a  9% increase in the value of their portfolio. For my retirement account, that's about another 100K.

Of course, this tax cut has ballooned the deficit by $300B+ in just the first year (and that's when the economy is doing well - it will be disastrous when the economy slows).

Okay, any of you Republican voters angry yet? Because this was by far the single greatest impact that the Republicans elected in 2016 had on the country - this is what you got for your vote. And don't blame me - I voted (and donated) to stop injustice such as this.

Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on January 03, 2019, 11:19:28 PM
Okay, any of you Republican voters angry yet? Because this was by far the single greatest impact that the Republicans elected in 2016 had on the country - this is what you got for your vote. And don't blame me - I voted (and donated) to stop injustice such as this.

Assuming the figures are accurate and this is an outrage just as you paint it (and I have no beef with your claim), would you in turn agree that on the other side of the fence it would have been an equal outrage for a Democrat President like Hillary to have committed America to unnecessary wars as a form of military corporate welfare? And I say this by hypothesis, of course, as this never happened, if *if* it had happened, would you be equally as outraged as you are about this?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Greg Davidson on January 03, 2019, 11:59:43 PM
If a Democrat President like Hillary committed America to unnecessary wars as a form of military corporate welfare, I would absolutely be strongly critical.

I also believe that is an unlikely scenario (as is the similar suggestion that a Republican would commit to unnecessary wars as a form of military corporate welfare - in either case, (1) you don't need actual wars to drive military spending, and (2) paying companies to do work is much less like "corporate welfare" than changing the tax laws to cut taxes by 33%).


Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: rightleft22 on January 04, 2019, 10:33:56 AM
Interesting data. I didn't realize Obama, who started his term in a financial melt down was able cut back the Deficit to where it was before the melt down.

When it comes to spending and saving I'm personally very conservative (preferring a balanced middle ground approach) and don't feel that the GOP economic philosophy is very conservative. I find it reckless.

I can see why lower cooperate taxes could encourage growth however it seems to me to be a short term verses long term planing. Based only on my opservations lower taxes very seldom benifits the lower and middle class, again long term.   

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Year               Deficit(in billions)   Debt Increase (by FY)    Deficit /GDP   Events Affecting Deficit
2008               459                   1017                            3.1%   Bank bailout. QE.
2009               1413                   1632                            9.8%   Stimulus Act.
2010               1294                   1905                            8.6%   Obama tax cuts. ACA. Simpson-Bowles.
2011               1300                   1229                            8.3%   Debt crisis.
2012               1087                   1276                            6.7%   Fiscal cliff. 
2013               679                   672                           4.0%   Sequester. Government shutdown. 
2014               485                   1086                           2.7%   Debt ceiling.
2015               438                   327                           2.4%   Defense = $736.4 b.
2016             585                   1423                           3.1%   Defense = $767.3 b.
2017               665                   672                           3.4%   Defense = $812.3 b.
2018 (est)       833                   1271                           4.0%   Defense = $824.7 b.
2019(est)       984                   1187                           NA   
2020 (est)       987                   1198                           NA   
2021 (est)       916                   1119                           NA   
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 04, 2019, 10:35:08 AM
Are you angry yet?

About the mischaracterization of tax cuts that were long over due and good for the economy?  Yes, would you please stop.

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I just plugged my data from 2017 into the 2018 version of TurboTax to see what the Republican Tax Law does to the income of those in the 1%.

Have they updated since last week?  TurboTax wasn't able to do it last week because of missing schedules.  I'm literally one of the few people that the tax change doesn't directly benefit, while my rates are "worse" and my SALT deduction is "worse" the removal of the AMT pretty much means the marginal difference should, hopefully, not be too painful.

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So all of you who voted for President Trump and the Republicans in 2016 - how much are you saving on your tax bill this year? Do you think that this tax cut primarily aimed at the wealthy was a good idea? Do you still?

Considering that real wages are up, jobs are up and growth is up, yes, it was a phenomenal idea.  You supported Obama dumping massive amounts of government spending into the system that didn't have anywhere near these results, why are you upset?  Is it just because an economic theory you dislike is producing results?

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And this is income tax savings - don't forget that by cutting Corporate tax rates by 1/3rd, everyone who owns stock got about a  9% increase in the value of their portfolio. For my retirement account, that's about another 100K.

That's great news!  Considering virtually every retirement system, including the pensions paid to union workers and government workers, is heavily dependent on market performance.  Are you really only happy if the rich are punished?

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Of course, this tax cut has ballooned the deficit by $300B+ in just the first year (and that's when the economy is doing well - it will be disastrous when the economy slows).

Sure.  Revenues are up for the year.  So much for honesty on analysis.

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Okay, any of you Republican voters angry yet? Because this was by far the single greatest impact that the Republicans elected in 2016 had on the country - this is what you got for your vote. And don't blame me - I voted (and donated) to stop injustice such as this.

Yes.  You voted to stop pay raises for the working class.  You voted to stop growth in good jobs.  You voted to shut down entire industries with good jobs.  You voted to continue to prefer non-US corporations and offshore tax schemes.  You voted to stop growth.

I am angry.  I'm angry at you for continuing to sell a bad story notwithstanding the evidence in front of your face.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on January 04, 2019, 10:43:06 AM
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Based only on my opservations lower taxes very seldom benifits the lower and middle class, again long term.   

Have you ever asked why that would be? It’s quite simple. We have a progressive tax system. Prior to the tax cut, the top 1% paid  a greater share of individual income taxes (37.3%) than the bottom 90 percent combined (30.5%).  Since the tax cut, it’s expected that the top 20% will pay 87% of income tax.

It’s very hard to cut the taxes for people that pay little or no taxes. Demagogues work the angle of “benefiting only the rich” to take advantage of those that don’t understand our tax system.

Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on January 04, 2019, 11:03:25 AM
It’s very hard to cut the taxes for people that pay little or no taxes. Demagogues work the angle of “benefiting only the rich” to take advantage of those that don’t understand our tax system.

If there really was all that extra money lying around to pass back around to the rich (since you agree that the poor weren't pay much tax anyhow) then why does it benefit the country again to give more to those who already have? Why not spend it on infrastructure, or border security, or anything else that can benefit everyone in the country simuntanesouly, including the rich? How abput spending it on a public campaign finance program so that corporate lobbying can be banned outright? This idea alone should be worth more to the rich than a tax cut; surely they would enjoy uncorrupted governance, right? ;)  Or could it be that the most powerful moguls stand to gain from things exactly as they are...
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Lloyd Perna on January 04, 2019, 12:38:27 PM
It’s very hard to cut the taxes for people that pay little or no taxes. Demagogues work the angle of “benefiting only the rich” to take advantage of those that don’t understand our tax system.

If there really was all that extra money lying around to pass back around to the rich (since you agree that the poor weren't pay much tax anyhow) then why does it benefit the country again to give more to those who already have? Why not spend it on infrastructure, or border security, or anything else that can benefit everyone in the country simuntanesouly, including the rich? How abput spending it on a public campaign finance program so that corporate lobbying can be banned outright? This idea alone should be worth more to the rich than a tax cut; surely they would enjoy uncorrupted governance, right? ;)  Or could it be that the most powerful moguls stand to gain from things exactly as they are...

Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: NobleHunter on January 04, 2019, 12:47:32 PM
  • I think we should spend taxes on programs that benefit everyone.  I think the problem is how do we determine if a program benefits everyone or just some special interest?  Instead, maybe we should spend more efficiently, eliminate all the pork projects, government bloat and excessive regulations so we don't have to take so much money from our taxpayers?

So what your opinion on this whole wall business?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Lloyd Perna on January 04, 2019, 12:52:27 PM
I support a secure border.  I don't know, but I suspect that when you take into account the costs of illegal immigration that would be prevented over the long term that it would be at least revenue neutral.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 04, 2019, 12:53:03 PM
It’s very hard to cut the taxes for people that pay little or no taxes. Demagogues work the angle of “benefiting only the rich” to take advantage of those that don’t understand our tax system.

If there really was all that extra money lying around to pass back around to the rich (since you agree that the poor weren't pay much tax anyhow) then why does it benefit the country again to give more to those who already have? Why not spend it on infrastructure, or border security, or anything else that can benefit everyone in the country simuntanesouly, including the rich? How abput spending it on a public campaign finance program so that corporate lobbying can be banned outright? This idea alone should be worth more to the rich than a tax cut; surely they would enjoy uncorrupted governance, right? ;)  Or could it be that the most powerful moguls stand to gain from things exactly as they are...

Nobody is "giving" more to those who already have.  They are taking less.

This cannot be emphasized enough. "Giving more money via tax cuts" only works if you have a construct where all income belongs to the government, not you, and it is up to the government to decide who gets what.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: rightleft22 on January 04, 2019, 12:54:02 PM
Just based on my memory. In recent memory doesn't the economy tend to tank after a GOP administration - regressions, crashes, bubble bursting.
And oddly enough government becoming 'bigger' (smaller as it concerns economic but bigger everywhere else?

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I support a secure border.  I don't know, but I suspect that when you take into account the costs of illegal immigration that would be prevented over the long term that it would be revenue neutral.
That the question will a wall "save" money on the immigration problem? I'm not so sure
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 04, 2019, 01:01:53 PM
  • I think we should spend taxes on programs that benefit everyone.  I think the problem is how do we determine if a program benefits everyone or just some special interest?  Instead, maybe we should spend more efficiently, eliminate all the pork projects, government bloat and excessive regulations so we don't have to take so much money from our taxpayers?

So what your opinion on this whole wall business?

What were some of the numbers I recall hearing recently? Something on the order of 53,000 Illegal immigrants are currently incarcerated in the Federal Prison system, and an unknown/unknowable(thanks to several states) number being held at the state, county, and possibly municipal level as well.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/04/30/2018-09062/annual-determination-of-average-cost-of-incarceration

Says that in 2017 the cost was $36,299.25 per year per inmate, so that works out to a bit over $1.9 Billion per year just to incarcerate the ones in federal prison. Keep in mind, some states and counties report housing costs in excess of $60,000 per inmate per year.

Then of course there are the social services costs those "Undocumented immigrants" are taking advantage of, which some estimates place in the up to $136 Billion/year.

Or the matter that an illegal immigrant allegedly is twice as likely to take up other criminal activities than their legal/Citizen counterparts.

I think I can see a few ways it potentially could pay for itself in the long term.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 04, 2019, 01:05:55 PM
If there really was all that extra money lying around to pass back around to the rich (since you agree that the poor weren't pay much tax anyhow) then why does it benefit the country again to give more to those who already have? Why not spend it on infrastructure, or border security, or anything else that can benefit everyone in the country simuntanesouly, including the rich?

I think Lloyd made a good point on this.  There isn't money "laying" around that you are repurposing from the rich to infrastructure.  I don't know if you recall the discussions with Pyrtolin, but s/he was correct about how money works.  Government spending creates new money, taxes destroy it.  The system kind of relies, though, on the naive belief that the two are connected to not undermine the value of money itself and ultimately the system.

However, even if you accept the idea you're pushing, that there are better uses for the money than letting the rich keep it, when has the government ever been better at spending money in ways that produce a better economy than private actors?  Keep in mind too, that even with something like 80% of the individuals in the country getting a tax cut, individual tax collections are way up.  Almost all that is coming from people making a lot of money.  Corporate rates are down, but collections are not down proportionately to the rate decrease. 

If you can make a good argument for how to develop infrastructure without massive cronyism and misappropriation I'm all ears.  Where's the results for Obama's green energy blitz?

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How abput spending it on a public campaign finance program so that corporate lobbying can be banned outright?

Every program I've ever seen for "campaign finance reform" has been specifically targeted to hurt the other political party disproportionately.  And none of it involves direct consequences on the politicians that are the ultimate beneficiaries.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 04, 2019, 01:06:01 PM
Also, I guess I should give props to a talking head on CNN from a few days ago, sadly I can't cite/link to the quote as I doubt CNN was going to run a headline on her comment:

(She was arguing against building the wall by the way)
"If Trump's wall gets built, I can guarantee you that prices of goods in the United States would have to go up because the cost of Labor in the United States would have to increase."
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 04, 2019, 01:08:23 PM
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How abput spending it on a public campaign finance program so that corporate lobbying can be banned outright?

Every program I've ever seen for "campaign finance reform" has been specifically targeted to hurt the other political party disproportionately.  And none of it involves direct consequences on the politicians that are the ultimate beneficiaries.

The more I think about it as well, the more inclined I am to the view such "reforms" as little more than a taxpayer subsidy to Local Broadcasters and Newspaper publishers. Who would be seeing most of that money thrown their way in due time. In that respect, I'm more inclined to let "the market" decide what to spend rather than a politically motivated government bureaucrat.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 04, 2019, 01:10:48 PM
If you can make a good argument for how to develop infrastructure without massive cronyism and misappropriation I'm all ears.  Where's the results for Obama's green energy blitz?

I think a lot of it found its way over to China ultimately. Although a number of major DNC Donors pocketed a lot of money as well. :)
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 04, 2019, 01:24:14 PM
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Or the matter that an illegal immigrant allegedly is twice as likely to take up other criminal activities than their legal/Citizen counterparts.

Cute. So you slap "allegedly" on there and you can make up whatever crap you want? Is there any source at all that supports that?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on January 04, 2019, 01:33:00 PM
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Nobody is "giving" more to those who already have.  They are taking less.

This cannot be emphasized enough. "Giving more money via tax cuts" only works if you have a construct where all income belongs to the government, not you, and it is up to the government to decide who gets what.

Yes, this is true if you consider a pure capitalist scenario where no one is entitled to anything other than what they grab for themselves. In this context "entitled to" simply means "I got it, hands off". If you're into natural law I think you'll find little justification that "any amount of stuff I have is mine by right, so hands off" could be construed as a natural human right. So in context of a pure laissez-faire system it's a right by virtue of it being decided as being the cornerstone of the system. But I doubt even among natural law supporters you'll find good backup for interpreting personal property as having no upper limit. However I actually agree entirely with your framing of things as not belonging to the government by definition; it's not theirs to dispense with, but ours. This is an important point. But it's a less important point than definition in the first place what "ours" is supposed to mean. If by "ours" you mean that a few very people will sequester vast amounts of property and wealth inside a fence and keep everyone else out, then I would advise that this is a recipe for catastrophe. If by "ours" one would mean that the people need to collectively decide how to apportion the materials of the world for the betterment of all, then that's different obviously.

At present the government serves a double purpose, and those two purposes are actually at cross-purposes. One purpose is to organize and dispense with the collective needs from a central position, so that everyone grabbing for their own gain isn't the result of 'democracy' (as the Ancients foresaw it would be). Another purpose is to perpetuate *itself* and increase *its own power*, which is apparently the fate of any large organization, regardless of what its purported goal is supposed to be. To whatever extent this second purpose is corrupt and inefficient, I would agree even with a John Bircher in suggesting that this needs to be stopped. And part of what makes this aspect so bad is corporate involvement in government, where resources theoretically the property of all citizens who contribute (tax money) is dispensed instead to interested parties who help those in government (corporate welfare, and in the case of a tax break, the 1%). At least the tax break is an equal-opportunity game, and in a sense merely returns the money to where it came from, neither better or worse for it. However that doesn't take into account the "ours" factor if we're considering the materials in the world in some sense to be a collective property. And I make this proviso specifically because in the event that one *does not* consider it to be such, then you devolve naturally into the scenario where there is no real right other than snatching things and holding on to them, which is a calculation purely of force: can you force others away from what's "yours" or not. When too much is in the hands of too few the calculations go off the charts and the guillotine comes out.

Therefore as a matter of pure strategy it would behoove the "unlimited power!" crowd to pass along some to the masses just to prevent revolt, and this has always been known to an extent. To the "collectively ours" crowd the calculus simply becomes to use that wealth as a matter of course rather than to let things become explosive before having to throw coins to the plebs.

But I would be careful with the nonchalant premise of "what's mine is mine", but it is so only at the sufference of those who live next to you. "Natural rights", such as they're understood, do not involve things like cornering the market, hoarding goods and property, or controlling the means of income of those with less power than you. It's certainly not what Aquinas would ever have understood it to mean, and certain not what natural law philosophers would likely mean by it. To whatever extent owning person property and goods is a natural right (and I would be inclined to agree that it is) this cannot stand as an unqualified definition without becoming nonsensical. As it's currently trumpeted it striles me as being little more than a carte blache to claim some moral high ground in amassing vast amounts of wealth and having the few dictate policy to the many. At that point you might as well call emergent aristocracy a "natural right" too.

Assuming one were to define "ours" as being more collective (and it doesn't have to be all or nothing on this point), the money being available is simply a factor of whether it literally exists and can be used, which is clearly does, because the government must have collected it in order to give it back. But if they don't even have it, and need to borrow against the Fed or foreign governments to pay it, then it's not a tax refund but a quantitative easing program of another stripe, which is a whole other kettle of fish. I'm operating under the assumption for now that a tax refund is "giving back" money that actually exists; this may be a fiction but for the purposes of moral analysis I think it should be seen in this way. And if the money exists to give back, then it exists to be used for other, much more important purposes as well, such as those I suggested above.

And Lloyd, no, campaigns are not all publicly funded, or do you think that lobbying is no longer a thing?   
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on January 04, 2019, 01:41:45 PM
(She was arguing against building the wall by the way)
"If Trump's wall gets built, I can guarantee you that prices of goods in the United States would have to go up because the cost of Labor in the United States would have to increase."

Do you agree that this is a downside? It would seem farcical to me to base any political position on the premise that illegal cheap labor is a good thing that must be perpetuated. May as well say that slavery would reduce costs even more :o
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 04, 2019, 01:48:09 PM
Quote
(She was arguing against building the wall by the way)
"If Trump's wall gets built, I can guarantee you that prices of goods in the United States would have to go up because the cost of Labor in the United States would have to increase."

Do you agree that this is a downside? It would seem farcical to me to base any political position on the premise that illegal cheap labor is a good thing that must be perpetuated. May as well say that slavery would reduce costs even more :o

I think the discussion was in the context of the "net cost of immigration". Savings would have to be part of that calculation, no? A person paying an extra dollar to provide services to an illegal, and a person paying an extra dollar in increased costs are equivalent, mathematically.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 04, 2019, 02:17:07 PM
(She was arguing against building the wall by the way)
"If Trump's wall gets built, I can guarantee you that prices of goods in the United States would have to go up because the cost of Labor in the United States would have to increase."

Do you agree that this is a downside? It would seem farcical to me to base any political position on the premise that illegal cheap labor is a good thing that must be perpetuated. May as well say that slavery would reduce costs even more :o

I recall posting previously that I think the biggest reason why Illegal Immigration hasn't been "solved" is there are a lot of organizations out there that fully realized this point(as she amply demonstrated), and prefer to keep it ambiguous for the purpose of keeping wages, and costs, low. They just generally are more careful about the arguments they present. It was refreshing to see one be (almost) honest about it.

I think she inadvertently made one of the best cases FOR building the wall. Then when/IF her prediction comes to pass, we have reason to see about making true, meaningful reforms to the immigration system in order to bring in the legal labor that is needed to fill those employment gaps which are causing prices to inflate.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 04, 2019, 02:21:59 PM
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Or the matter that an illegal immigrant allegedly is twice as likely to take up other criminal activities than their legal/Citizen counterparts.

Cute. So you slap "allegedly" on there and you can make up whatever crap you want? Is there any source at all that supports that?

A video with talking points on Facebook? Awesome source that is, isn't it. The numbers do seem to line up with others I've encountered at other points in time over the past decade + so I'm sure a little bit of Google research would bear it out one way another. I phrased it as I did to reflect my own uncertainty as to the reliability of the numbers given.

Of course they also brought up another point that also is valid:

Fairness.

It is unfair that a person in India, Zambia, Botswana, and a number of other nations has to often wait 10+ years in order to legally enter the United States for the purpose of immigration, while somebody from Costa Rica can simply walk across the border, illegally, and be protected by legions of advocates who will work tirelessly to ensure they can stay... Probably at the expense of the person in Zambia then needing to wait even longer for their own legal entry.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Lloyd Perna on January 04, 2019, 02:24:00 PM
And Lloyd, no, campaigns are not all publicly funded, or do you think that lobbying is no longer a thing?

Why did you add the word all in there, that's not what I said?

We do have public funding for elections available.

https://www.fec.gov/introduction-campaign-finance/understanding-ways-support-federal-candidates/presidential-elections/public-funding-presidential-elections/
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 04, 2019, 02:29:22 PM
(She was arguing against building the wall by the way)
"If Trump's wall gets built, I can guarantee you that prices of goods in the United States would have to go up because the cost of Labor in the United States would have to increase."

Do you agree that this is a downside? It would seem farcical to me to base any political position on the premise that illegal cheap labor is a good thing that must be perpetuated. May as well say that slavery would reduce costs even more :o

I recall posting previously that I think the biggest reason why Illegal Immigration hasn't been "solved" is there are a lot of organizations out there that fully realized this point(as she amply demonstrated), and prefer to keep it ambiguous for the purpose of keeping wages, and costs, low. They just generally are more careful about the arguments they present. It was refreshing to see one be (almost) honest about it.

I think she inadvertently made one of the best cases FOR building the wall. Then when/IF her prediction comes to pass, we have reason to see about making true, meaningful reforms to the immigration system in order to bring in the legal labor that is needed to fill those employment gaps which are causing prices to inflate.

Addendum to this:

Also this line of argument is also "important" in another way. If someone is really concerned about the ability of people to "earn a livable wage" then this should be something of a no-brainer position to see about supporting. Putting an end to illegal immigration and the ability of companies, organizations, and private individuals to benefit considerably from use of an abundant labor black-market which undercuts the ability for legal employees to compete price-wise.

You want to solve the income gap? Stop illegal immigration, and adjust immigration policies from there as labor needs fail to get met vs "acceptable pricing" of said labor market.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 04, 2019, 03:52:31 PM
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Or the matter that an illegal immigrant allegedly is twice as likely to take up other criminal activities than their legal/Citizen counterparts.

Cute. So you slap "allegedly" on there and you can make up whatever crap you want? Is there any source at all that supports that?

A video with talking points on Facebook? Awesome source that is, isn't it. The numbers do seem to line up with others I've encountered at other points in time over the past decade + so I'm sure a little bit of Google research would bear it out one way another. I phrased it as I did to reflect my own uncertainty as to the reliability of the numbers given.

Of course they also brought up another point that also is valid:

Fairness.

It is unfair that a person in India, Zambia, Botswana, and a number of other nations has to often wait 10+ years in order to legally enter the United States for the purpose of immigration, while somebody from Costa Rica can simply walk across the border, illegally, and be protected by legions of advocates who will work tirelessly to ensure they can stay... Probably at the expense of the person in Zambia then needing to wait even longer for their own legal entry.

I did google it. Several sources hover at about 150%, but those are mostly violent crime, not any crime. Others say immigrants are less likely to commit a crime, but data is largely muddy in separating illegal from legal. Most state-level offenses can't be correlated. There hasn't really been academic work done. Any data measures convictions rather than offenses, so any elevation could easily be attributed to jury bias in convictions, public defenders, etc. So the fact of the matter is, no one really knows.

On the other point, I've always said that the solution to illegal immigration is to allow more legal immigration, work visas, guest workers, etc. Nobody should have to wait 10 years to come here.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 04, 2019, 07:34:14 PM
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(She was arguing against building the wall by the way)
"If Trump's wall gets built, I can guarantee you that prices of goods in the United States would have to go up because the cost of Labor in the United States would have to increase."

Do you agree that this is a downside? It would seem farcical to me to base any political position on the premise that illegal cheap labor is a good thing that must be perpetuated. May as well say that slavery would reduce costs even more :o

I think the discussion was in the context of the "net cost of immigration". Savings would have to be part of that calculation, no? A person paying an extra dollar to provide services to an illegal, and a person paying an extra dollar in increased costs are equivalent, mathematically.

But in the bigger picture it reveals bigger problems for Democrat talking points:

1. The Minimum wage needs to be increased because people can't live on it.
2. The border wall shouldn't be built because it will greatly curtail illegal immigration and cause wages to go up.
2.a. Wages going up will cause the cost of living to increase for all Americans.

Uh what? Doesn't that also make #1 a problematic item as well?

We want wages to increase, except for when we don't want wages to be increased.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 04, 2019, 08:35:05 PM
2. The border wall shouldn't be built because it will greatly curtail illegal immigration and cause wages to go up.

That's not a democratic talking point, and it makes a yuge assumption, that a wall will greatly curtail illegal immigration. Signs point to no on that one, a common Democrat talking point says it is a waste of resources.

There isn't really much indication that wages and illegal immigration are highly correlated, except in specific vocations.

The median wage earner in the US probably benefits from illegal migration.

We can all agree that food cost rise will cost billions for the SNAP program...
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 05, 2019, 01:44:37 PM
She went off script on that one. I left off the hypothetical "if it is built, and it works as advertised...."

Of course, the wall does nothing about those who enter legally and overstay for a few dozen years.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on January 06, 2019, 09:28:34 AM

That's not a democratic talking point, and it makes a yuge assumption, that a wall will greatly curtail illegal immigration. Signs point to no on that one, a common Democrat talking point says it is a waste of resources.
A common democrat lie is that it’s a waste. Hungary tried a wall, it works:
Quote
Attempted border entries have fallen since the barrier was constructed. During the month of September 2015 there was a total number of 138,396 migrant entries, and within the first two weeks of November the average daily number of intercepted migrants decreased to only 15, which is a daily reduction of more than 4,500.

Anyone saying it won’t work is lying, the facts are that it works.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Pete at Home on January 06, 2019, 08:16:36 PM
 Sting wept

 The Cold War ended because the Russians really did love their children too,  but in this generation of Americans,  both sides seem to hate the other side more than they love their own children.

 This does not bode well for America, for the human race, or for the survival of the biosphere .
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 07, 2019, 06:43:01 AM
Sting wept

 The Cold War ended because the Russians really did love their children too,  but in this generation of Americans,  both sides seem to hate the other side more than they love their own children.

 This does not bode well for America, for the human race, or for the survival of the biosphere .

Eh, it's more that most people want their children to have better lives than they did. We're fighting over what exactly constitutes "better" until some indisputable evidence comes to light.

The Russians had very clearly indisputable evidence that their way wasn't working.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on January 07, 2019, 08:30:58 AM
Sting wept

 The Cold War ended because the Russians really did love their children too,  but in this generation of Americans,  both sides seem to hate the other side more than they love their own children.

 This does not bode well for America, for the human race, or for the survival of the biosphere .

WTF?

I was there when the cold war ended. It had nothing to do with Russian loving children.

Try it this way, WW2 ended because the Nazis really did love their children too. Makes just as much sense.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 07, 2019, 08:45:10 AM

That's not a democratic talking point, and it makes a yuge assumption, that a wall will greatly curtail illegal immigration. Signs point to no on that one, a common Democrat talking point says it is a waste of resources.
A common democrat lie is that it’s a waste. Hungary tried a wall, it works:
Quote
Attempted border entries have fallen since the barrier was constructed. During the month of September 2015 there was a total number of 138,396 migrant entries, and within the first two weeks of November the average daily number of intercepted migrants decreased to only 15, which is a daily reduction of more than 4,500.

Anyone saying it won’t work is lying, the facts are that it works.

Hungary doesn't have a wall. They also constructed their 13-foot high fence for $106 million.

But it is more their other policies than "having a wall".

Quote
Nearly every day, an immigration lawyer makes his or her way to a barbed-wire enclosure along Hungary’s border with Serbia, ready to walk an asylum seeker through the daunting process of pleading for safe haven in one of the most refugee-resistant countries in Europe.

Now these lawyers risk jail time if they so much as help a client fill out a complicated Hungarian-language form. Hungary’s parliament last week approved a legislative package aimed not only at barring the gates to almost any outsider — but also decreeing punishment for those who try to aid would-be migrants.

So, I'm going to say that it would be a massive miscarriage of American justice to put a lawyer in jail for helping an asylum seeker fill out a form. NGOs operating in the country risk having their employees thrown in jail. Their border patrol has inflicted hundreds of cases of intentional injuries, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (https://www.msf.org/serbia-msf-denounces-widespread-violence-migrants-and-refugees-serbianhungarian-border). They also take over any media that is critical of their PM, including his immigration policies.

By the way, they call their package of immigration law the "Stop Soros" legislation.

That may all sound pretty great to Trump and many of his supporters, but it's not really a model I want us to emulate.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 07, 2019, 12:02:59 PM
wrong thread
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 07, 2019, 12:11:15 PM
I was responding to crunch above, who suggested that Hungary built a big beautiful wall. We've drifted quite a bit from the original topic.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 07, 2019, 12:25:39 PM
wrong thread

Sorry for the confusion.  I meant I had posted in the wrong thread.  I should have deleted the response instead.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on January 07, 2019, 08:10:00 PM
Hungary doesn't have a wall. They also constructed their 13-foot high fence for $106 million.

What’s the functional difference between a fence and a wall?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: yossarian22c on January 07, 2019, 10:01:26 PM
Hungary doesn't have a wall. They also constructed their 13-foot high fence for $106 million.

What’s the functional difference between a fence and a wall?

I guess about 5.5 billion dollars.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: DonaldD on January 08, 2019, 06:31:01 AM
Well, a 13-foot fence is scalable by moderately agile teenagers and adults, and can be torn down using motorized vehicles, whereas a wall is made of concrete, always, unless it's not; is beautiful, and is completely impregnable (unless you have a ladder and a rope).  It can also have see-through - in fact, that's an absolute requirement, I believe.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on January 08, 2019, 08:43:15 AM
Hungary doesn't have a wall. They also constructed their 13-foot high fence for $106 million.

What’s the functional difference between a fence and a wall?

I guess about 5.5 billion dollars.
That’s mney, talking about function. Is a 20 foot fence funcionally different from a 20 foot wall? Why would one be more effective than another? What I’m getting at is, why are people trying to make out that there’s a difference?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on January 08, 2019, 08:45:53 AM
Well, a 13-foot fence is scalable by moderately agile teenagers and adults, and can be torn down using motorized vehicles, whereas a wall is made of concrete, always, unless it's not; is beautiful, and is completely impregnable (unless you have a ladder and a rope).  It can also have see-through - in fact, that's an absolute requirement, I believe.

I’m sure this is true in your imagination but that’s about the only place it would be. You channeling Ocasio-Cortez - not letting verifiable facts get get in the way of your moral truth.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: yossarian22c on January 08, 2019, 09:45:17 AM
Well, a 13-foot fence is scalable by moderately agile teenagers and adults, and can be torn down using motorized vehicles, whereas a wall is made of concrete, always, unless it's not; is beautiful, and is completely impregnable (unless you have a ladder and a rope).  It can also have see-through - in fact, that's an absolute requirement, I believe.

I’m sure this is true in your imagination but that’s about the only place it would be. You channeling Ocasio-Cortez - not letting verifiable facts get get in the way of your moral truth.

I can guarantee you 100% that I could safely get myself and my two kids (ages 5 and 8 ) over an 8 foot wall or 13 foot fence with just a little rope. I would be much more worried about lack of water and food in the mountains and desert than I would be about a wall.

Trump's wall is slated to cost $24 million per mile, there are some areas were a wall/fencing/barrier is useful - most of those places already have some kind of barrier. Building a wall through the wilderness is not an effective deterrent. Unless your going to have a boarder patrol agent stationed within viewing distance of the wall its useless as a deterrent.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: DonaldD on January 08, 2019, 10:19:41 AM
It's a chain link fence topped with barbed wire.  Unless policed actively, anybody with a big blanket, a ladder and rope can get over it.  And any pickup truck with a winch or person with bolt cutters can get through it.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 08, 2019, 11:13:13 AM
I see you've ignored everything else about what Hungary is doing, Crunch? Still think we should follow their lead? Think we should have border patrol beat the crap out of anyone who tries to get near the border? Think we should imprison lawyers trying to represent asylum seekers? Think we should threaten advocates who try to help illegal immigrants? Think we should shut down news organizations that report on any of the above?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 08, 2019, 11:27:34 AM
This seems like a remarkably stupid argument.  If Trump gets a wall or a fence that stops or significantly curtails illegal immigration, he wins, we win and the country as a whole wins.  The fact that either a wall or a fence is breachable, doesn't change the fact that it is far harder to do that than it is to walk across a line on a map.

This is one of the cases where people are starting to ridiculously believe their own propaganda.  Walls work, fences work, but they are part of a solution and not an entire solution.

The idea that it's "too expensive," when we are facing a government shutdown that is probably costing more every day than the wall is nonsense.  Against a backdrop where we literally can not process the illegal aliens we do catch fast enough to actually be effective, where we are maintaining a massive border patrol, a massive court system, tying up huge amounts of government lawyers, housing and caring for both with respect to medical care and housing more people than we have facilities for, is costing us a fortune. 

There is no excuse, none, for supporting illegal immigration.  It has no rational place in an immigration policy.  Whining that our actual immigration policy is "broken" doesn't change that.  Get off your rears and demand your reps and senators cut a real deal with the other side and not just obstruct. 
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: NobleHunter on January 08, 2019, 11:34:36 AM
And the shut down is over partial funding for a wall that won't replace or significantly diminish any of that. There's already hard barriers where they make sense. Extending barriers out into the deep wilderness will probably increase costs rather than lower them.

If you believe that Trump's insistence on the wall is because it would materially improve border security, then you've started to believe your own propaganda.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 08, 2019, 11:48:54 AM
If there are already walls where they make sense then you agree that noone is able to cross the border illegally?

Then it's kind of hard to explain the hundreds of thousands we catch every year crossing the wallless areas, and the even more we miss if your argument really holds water. 

I don't know what Trump wants.  I'm not him.  I find it just as plausible that this is a vanity project, or an election tactic, as that it's a legitimate goal.  However, I think he's hit on too many targets - at this point - that are good for the country and not good for him for there to be any credibility to the assertion that he's not trying to do what's right for the country.

None of that matters though.  Securing the border is the right idea, and what we have done to date has obviously failed, what the left seems to be suggesting is that we continue to stick our head in the sand and ignore that obvious failure - and there is absolutely no question that little but politics is behind that position.  The left demands that we continue to let people die in the desert, that we continue to encourage them to try and make it, that we continue to fail to vet them or require that they comply with the law.

This one - to me - is one of the grossest moral failings of the left, the insistence on doing the wrong thing no matter what the actual human cost of that policy because they expect it to help them politically.  There is no truth, whatsoever, that an illegal immigration system is more moral than a legal one, which is where they tell themselves the lie that they are good people - they equate having a legal system with racism or hate - which is completely nonsensical - and then rather than fix the legal system they encourage flat out lawlessness with an illegal one.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: NobleHunter on January 08, 2019, 11:56:22 AM
Only 303,916 apprehensions were made at the border in 2017, it seems like "hundreds of thousands" crossing in the wilderness is a bit of an exaggeration. Not to mention, the number of apprehensions has been dropping steadily for years. It seems like whatever's being done is actually working.

https://www.factcheck.org/2018/06/illegal-immigration-statistics/ (https://www.factcheck.org/2018/06/illegal-immigration-statistics/)
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: DonaldD on January 08, 2019, 12:00:14 PM
Define failure.  People already cross the border where there are physical barriers in place.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 08, 2019, 12:08:42 PM
65% of net arrivals are visa overstays, the wall stops exactly zero of those. Any coherent policy would be focused on that, and be much cheaper.

Drugs are mostly smuggled through checkpoints, not dragged through the high desert. And as we all know, we can't even keep drugs out of prisons that have very fine walls indeed.

Immigrants regularly attempt and sometimes succeed at crossing where there is wall. And that's near populated areas that are better patrolled.

Everything that it is claimed that more wall would do, it doesn't do very well. Would more wall stop some people? Sure. Can we calculate dollars per person stopped? Not exactly, but let's say $5b stops 100,000 annually - a pretty big stretch. Over ten years, that might mean 1 million stopped. $5,000 per stop.

That assumes no recurring cost, which is likely false even just for maintenance.

Securing the border has become a moral imperative for some, without a critical eye as to the effectiveness of the effort.

The illegal migrants just aren't that scary. They aren't a major issue for me. I can think of 20 other things I would spend the $5b on, because it is a terrible ROI.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 08, 2019, 12:26:17 PM
65% of net arrivals are visa overstays, the wall stops exactly zero of those. Any coherent policy would be focused on that, and be much cheaper.

Thanks for reminding me of the latest completely ridiculous talking point.  Let's see, should we think VISA overstays are the bigger risk?

Visa's are issued legally, after vetting including for extremist views and for medical issues.   Their holders come in through legal ports of entry and are searched in accordance with those protocols.  Almost uniformly they are issued to people who are of benefit to the US either because they are here to perform specific jobs or to become educated, and to "overstay" they almost have been established in the country in a productive manner for years.

What exactly is high risk about that?  Nothing.  They are about as risky as DACA recipients.  They are virtually nothing in common with illegal border crossers and the direct risks they create of disease, smuggling and being direct security risks either as criminals or terrorists.

So why do you bring them up?  Better yet, why did the talking points people add them to the talking points even though they have next to nothing in common with the actual risks?  1.  There are a lot of them.  2. they are not exclusively South American.  Accordingly, they can make the "lack" of action into an implied proof of racism, and once again dodge having to explain and defend policies that refuse to correct the illegal system.

Want proof?  I hereby propose we add money to seek them out and deport them all.  Are you with me on that?

Quote
Drugs are mostly smuggled through checkpoints, not dragged through the high desert. And as we all know, we can't even keep drugs out of prisons that have very fine walls indeed.

I see.  Notwithstanding we don't routinely catch professionals or gangs crossing the borders, and we have accounts of people living on the borders where there are criminal controlled no mans' zones, you have certainty about this?  I do agree, inspections fail to catch all smuggling.

I propose we spend more money on border security to improve those results.  Do you agree?

Quote
Immigrants regularly attempt and sometimes succeed at crossing where there is wall. And that's near populated areas that are better patrolled.

True, but the evidence seems to be that where walls go up the rate massively declines.  Walls are part of a solution.  But even if they just cut illegal immigration by 90% that would be the biggest win we've ever had in solving the problem.

Quote
Everything that it is claimed that more wall would do, it doesn't do very well. Would more wall stop some people? Sure. Can we calculate dollars per person stopped? Not exactly, but let's say $5b stops 100,000 annually - a pretty big stretch. Over ten years, that might mean 1 million stopped. $5,000 per stop.

and the comparison is to a line on the map without enough agents to provide coverage?  That stops no one.  Next you'll be telling me we could use drones or some other incredibly expensive high tech solution that still does nothing to keep people outside the border and therefor does absolutely nothing about the expense incurred inside the US.

I'm calling BS on it being a terrible return on investment.  Walls have been used - and are still being used today - in countless security situations because they provide a great return on investment and can achieve things, like keeping people out, that other solutions do not and can not.

If you have a less expensive proposal that can stop a significant portion of what a wall can, then put it on the table.  We already know it doesn't exist, which makes you're arguments false.

Only 303,916 apprehensions were made at the border in 2017, it seems like "hundreds of thousands" crossing in the wilderness is a bit of an exaggeration. Not to mention, the number of apprehensions has been dropping steadily for years. It seems like whatever's being done is actually working.

Lol, that's 3 "hundreds" of thousands that got caught.  Not sure how that shows this would be an exaggeration.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: NobleHunter on January 08, 2019, 12:42:54 PM
That would be all apprehensions. Including those stopped at the current hard barriers.

Do you have any data on many would be stopped by Trump's wall?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 08, 2019, 12:53:49 PM
Quote
Thanks for reminding me of the latest completely ridiculous talking point.

More ridiculous than claiming thousands of middle eastern terrorists are trying to gain entry across the southern border?

I wouldn't mind spending more money on security in depth, whether that is counter-terrorism, law enforcement against violent gangs, etc. The value of those dollars would also stop threats from citizens, legal aliens, people smuggled across the border, etc.

I wouldn't mind spending more money on disease prevention and management, including making free clinics available to diagnose and treat contagion in a timely manner.

I wouldn't mind holding employers more accountable for hiring illegals, and that would include domestic help. I'd even think that broadcasting PSAs about domestic help and creating a hotline to help people learn how to properly validate credentials would be helpful.

I would definitely support more funds to process arrivals in a timely fashion, so we don't have to choose between lengthy incarceration (tent city, etc) and personal recognizance. By accepting people in legally, we gain the opportunity to vet them, hold them in quarantine, and other protections.

You are correct that if you are only talking about physical threats, the visa overstays don't matter. If you are making the economic argument, the anchor baby argument, the government services argument, the cultural argument - it quickly dominates.

How many of the 300,000 fall into the category of a physical threat? Maybe 1%? With everyone else just trying to pick up illegal work, flee a dangerous home country with no opportunity.

If you're a real terrorist, you're going to be fine entering via the Canadian border. Canada hasn't restricted your travel, and you can wander across a true unguarded border. Not to mention travel by boat, smuggling, etc. Same thing with organized crime. The wall stops the masses, not people committed to doing harm.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 08, 2019, 01:32:48 PM
Quote
Thanks for reminding me of the latest completely ridiculous talking point.

More ridiculous than claiming thousands of middle eastern terrorists are trying to gain entry across the southern border?

Yes.  It's more ridiculous than that.  Though that point is one of a vast list of reasons securing a border, or least being able to do so is a good idea, it's still only part of the reasons.   Whereas the "talking point" about Visa overstays is nothing but an intentional distraction and dog whistle.

i mean seriously, make the argument for leaving the border unsecured and letting anyone, regardless of who they are are, what they are doing and what diseases they may carry in solely because they want to be in bad enough they are willing to cross a desert (a difficult but not impossible task).

Quote
I wouldn't mind spending more money on security in depth, whether that is counter-terrorism, law enforcement against violent gangs, etc. The value of those dollars would also stop threats from citizens, legal aliens, people smuggled across the border, etc.

Without a wall, we have repeated stories of previously deported people back in the country caught for additional crimes.  Security in depth has to start with being able to secure the border.  A wall will allow that, not perfectly, but it will allow it.  If you're not putting up a cheaper or better solution that controls the border you're not making a serious argument.

Quote
I wouldn't mind spending more money on disease prevention and management, including making free clinics available to diagnose and treat contagion in a timely manner.

So spend hundreds of billions to "save" five billion?  We spent a fortune eradicating diseases that are now being reimported into the country.

Particularly in a land where we have an anti-vaxer movement we can't afford to re-import these diseases.

Quote
I wouldn't mind holding employers more accountable for hiring illegals, and that would include domestic help. I'd even think that broadcasting PSAs about domestic help and creating a hotline to help people learn how to properly validate credentials would be helpful.

To do that we'd have to have a mandatory national id system, I'm for that.  If you want to make it impossible for an illegal to work or access services without being deported, let's do that, then we don't need a wall as much.

Quote
I would definitely support more funds to process arrivals in a timely fashion, so we don't have to choose between lengthy incarceration (tent city, etc) and personal recognizance. By accepting people in legally, we gain the opportunity to vet them, hold them in quarantine, and other protections.

How about we build giant intake centers in Mexico, where they can wait till we process their claims?  Will cost way more, and won't be effective - as most of those claims are going to be denied at law - which means the incentive to sneak in will still be there.

Quote
You are correct that if you are only talking about physical threats, the visa overstays don't matter. If you are making the economic argument, the anchor baby argument, the government services argument, the cultural argument - it quickly dominates.

It actually never really dominates.  It's a false argument.

Economics?  It's a fail, Visa overstays are mostly connected with established economic actors.   

Cultural?  Most were screened, at least to the standards we are willing to accept (and I still expressly reject the stupidity in bringing in people who are anti-gay, anti- women's rights). 

Anchor babies?  We deliberately let in birth tourists.  There's no basis to make any claim we, as a country, have decided to care about anchor babies.  Many DACA recipients have younger siblings that are full citizens.

Government services - I haven't researched that one, do you have some evidence that shows the relative use of government services in connection with illegals that are visa overstays?  I suspect, that unlike other illegals, that's the kind of thing that gets a visa overstayer deported.

Quote
How many of the 300,000 fall into the category of a physical threat? Maybe 1%?

All of them in a world of communicable diseases are a physical threat.  How many are criminals, gang members, terrorists, wife beaters, hot heads, drunk drivers, drug users, or will become such?  I'd bet far more than 1%.

Quote
With everyone else just trying to pick up illegal work, flee a dangerous home country with no opportunity.

Which is not a basis for asylum (unless their government is targeting them) or immigration.  So you're asserting some form of "right" to violate our laws because they really want to?

Quote
If you're a real terrorist, you're going to be fine entering via the Canadian border. Canada hasn't restricted your travel, and you can wander across a true unguarded border. Not to mention travel by boat, smuggling, etc. Same thing with organized crime. The wall stops the masses, not people committed to doing harm.

I agree, the point of the wall is to stop masses.

See you how your position evolved to recognizing that a wall works.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 08, 2019, 03:00:53 PM
Quote
All of them in a world of communicable diseases are a physical threat.  How many are criminals, gang members, terrorists, wife beaters, hot heads, drunk drivers, drug users, or will become such?  I'd bet far more than 1%.

How much does it move the needle? How many of all those things do we already have? A 2% rise in the crime rate is not a crisis. This is the nonsense "any bad skittle" argument. I won't go point by point.

We can address various problems through a wall, lowering the total number of gang members (for example) inside the country by a relatively insignificant amount. Ultimately solving very few of these problems.

Or we can address the problems themselves. Unless you think we are importing many more criminals than we are growing locally.

Quote
make the argument for leaving the border unsecured

No one has argued that. The fact that we are apprehending large numbers makes it clear that the border is not unsecured. I am making the argument for allowing the border to be somewhat less secured in order to save billions of dollars.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 08, 2019, 03:48:40 PM
TheDrake, the principal thesis of your argument seems to be to look at the incremental consequences?  Illegal immigration itself is a wrong worth correcting.  We literally can not have a secure country or the kind of rational choice over immigration policy that is the right of democracy without securing the border.  I don't accept that we should measure the harm by the incremental change to MS13's effectiveness.

There is no justification to prefer an illegal immigration policy over a legal one.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 08, 2019, 04:00:22 PM
 ::) Why do you think that's a policy? Few, if any people, have ever said "let's just have lots of illegal immigration".

In order to ensure Zero illegal immigration, you'd have to do insane things. You'd either have to interdict all international trade, search every container, build a wall across Canada as well as Mexico, random stop and frisks, etc.

So, then we are left to decide how much are we willing to pay in order to reduce it to which levels. How difficult do we need to make it, and what is the cheapest method to achieve that level? More than just which levels, we will need to break down what kind of illegal immigration we are willing to live with (visa overstays) vs what other kind?

It seems that wall arguments are tautological. We need a wall because we need a wall. Numbers don't matter, actual threats don't matter, effectiveness doesn't matter, cost doesn't matter,...
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 08, 2019, 05:23:40 PM
::) Why do you think that's a policy?

Because, in my view, people are refusing to consider any effective solutions.  When you couple that with literal "sanctuary" cities, issuance of drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, and grants of access to public resources to illegals, it's hard to come to any other conclusion than illegal immigration is the official policy.

Quote
Few, if any people, have ever said "let's just have lots of illegal immigration".

That's absolutely true.  The voters are opposed to illegal immigration, and accordingly, the politicians never say, "lets have lost of illegal immigration."

However, we used to understand that actions speak louder than words.

Quote
In order to ensure Zero illegal immigration, you'd have to do insane things. You'd either have to interdict all international trade, search every container, build a wall across Canada as well as Mexico, random stop and frisks, etc.

Zero immigration is a strawman.  We can probably get 90%+ reduction from building a wall.  That's not an "insane" thing, it's literally a common solution used time and again around the world.

We could do other "sane" things and have big impacts as well.  Automatic deportation of any illegal that is arrested.  Heck, we could deport people anytime they accessed public resources.  Granted there are strong public policy reasons why we don't, and there's no reason we have to.

Honestly, the idea that we don't search every container in a world with Nuclear, Chemical and Biological weapons is not clearly a "good" policy, before you even get into the idea of looking for illegals.

Heck if we had mandatory national ids and required they be scanned in connection with employment you could end most of the incentive to come here.  That alone would probably be enough to have a much softer border policy. 

Heck, we could have a better asylum process, that resolved things more quickly and it would make a big impact.  Other countries do it, there's no moral reason we can't.

Quote
So, then we are left to decide how much are we willing to pay in order to reduce it to which levels. How difficult do we need to make it, and what is the cheapest method to achieve that level?

We could stop deliberately encouraging it for one.

I don't think we need to empower a gestapo.  A walls a comparatively cheap start - and it doesn't require any questionable uses of discretion by government agents to vet people for being illegal.  Remember how, the stings in ARizona with 90%+ success rates were considered unethical?

Quote
More than just which levels, we will need to break down what kind of illegal immigration we are willing to live with (visa overstays) vs what other kind?

Some of those solutions would solve VISA overstays as well, like national ids and mandatory reporting of attempted access of public resources.

Quote
It seems that wall arguments are tautological. We need a wall because we need a wall. Numbers don't matter, actual threats don't matter, effectiveness doesn't matter, cost doesn't matter,...

What numbers do you think are relevant?  Millions already here, hundreds of thousands (I think it's around 400 according to the border patrol) caught at the border this year - no real estimates on how many others slipped by.

Honest to goodness what numbers do you think don't matter?  Half a million people a year illegally crossing a border, and the solution is "so what"?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: DonaldD on January 08, 2019, 07:44:03 PM
Quote
build a wall across Canada 
Technically, I think you would need a complete dome...
Quote

Because, in my view, people are refusing to consider any effective solutions.
That may be because you don't listen to what Democrats are actually proposing...
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 09, 2019, 12:43:51 AM
TheDrake, the principal thesis of your argument seems to be to look at the incremental consequences?  Illegal immigration itself is a wrong worth correcting.  We literally can not have a secure country or the kind of rational choice over immigration policy that is the right of democracy without securing the border.  I don't accept that we should measure the harm by the incremental change to MS13's effectiveness.

There is no justification to prefer an illegal immigration policy over a legal one.

The single biggest point, and I wish Trump used it to bolster his "humanitarian crisis" claim would have been the very inconvenient (to Democrats) statistic of the thousands of rapes we're effectively complicit in as a nation by essentially encouraging illegal entry into the United States.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: DJQuag on January 09, 2019, 03:58:18 AM
I would be behind a national ID system only if the ID cards were provided free of cost and without a lot of hassle.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: DonaldD on January 09, 2019, 06:31:16 AM
Quote
by essentially encouraging illegal entry into the United States.
This talking point has little basis in reality - the United States, as of today, is seen throughout the world as being the most discouraging first world country for refugees. That they still make the attempt is a testament more to the desperation of the refugees rather than some misguided idea that the USA has open borders.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 09, 2019, 10:07:12 AM
DonaldD, thanks for your great big non-responsive nuh-uh.  If you think I'm not listening to what Democrats are "saying" and more importantly what they are doing, then response specifically to this:

"When you couple that with literal "sanctuary" cities, issuance of drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, and grants of access to public resources to illegals, it's hard to come to any other conclusion than illegal immigration is the official policy."

When illegal Canadian border crossings hit 50,000 call me and we'll deal with that too.  Meanwhile the need for a "dome" is another attempt to avoid dealing with the actual issue and explaining a rational policy.

I would be behind a national ID system only if the ID cards were provided free of cost and without a lot of hassle.

So pretty much the way it currently operates where you can get ids for free and upon proof of identity?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 09, 2019, 12:38:11 PM
Seriati, let me try and cut through the noise a little bit.

Assuming as a thought experiment that every illegal never committed a crime, and that they never received public money or services, and that they never smuggled drugs, and that they never participated politically in any form - would you still want to limit those entries?

If so, it would render discussion on the scope of impact entirely moot.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: rightleft22 on January 09, 2019, 01:58:22 PM
Quote
BBC
Do most illegal entries take place at the southern border?
Illegal border crossings are not limited to the southern border - in 2017, for example, there were also 3,027 illegal apprehensions along the Canadian border and 3,588 from the coastal border.

While cross-border migrants often make headlines, the largest number of illegal migrants settling in the US each year is those who stay in the country after their visas expire.

According to the most recent reports by the Department of Homeland Security and the Center for Migration Studies, a non-partisan think-tank, the number who overstayed their visas has outnumbered those who crossed the border illegally every year since 2007.

Canadians make up the largest group of these illegal migrants, followed by Mexicans.

In 2016, there were a total of 739,478 overstays, compared to 563,204 illegal border crossings.

Interesting data
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 09, 2019, 05:51:48 PM
I know a Canadian who was one of those "Visa overstays" and it falls into the realm of "lies, damned lies, and statistics" in many such cases.

She married an American, immigrated to the U.S. legally, IIRC, a couple/few years later her status came up for renewal and she did everything as specified, even doing so a couple weeks ahead of the recommended time frame... And the State Department "lost" her paperwork for a few weeks, they then experienced further processing delays until ultimately her Visa had expired, and three months later they were still "processing" it.

That's often a immigration reform issue, not an immigration enforcement problem. But as she didn't leave when the Visa expired, she still was "an illegal immigrant" for the better part of a year.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 09, 2019, 06:13:37 PM
A chain migrator, eh?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 09, 2019, 09:55:40 PM
A chain migrator, eh?

Complete with anchor babies now. Well, more like anchor teens at this point, but anyhow. ;)
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on January 10, 2019, 09:57:17 AM
Seriati, let me try and cut through the noise a little bit.

Assuming as a thought experiment that every illegal never committed a crime, and that they never received public money or services, and that they never smuggled drugs, and that they never participated politically in any form - would you still want to limit those entries?

If so, it would render discussion on the scope of impact entirely moot.

I was actually thinking about this question earlier this morning, before I read this.  It seems to me a huge bit of goal post moving that we've left the debate about whether illegal immigration is itself a harm and jumped into a demand that the "right" prove there are even more harms on top of that or in addition to the first harm.

So let me be clear, I view illegal immigration as it's own problem that needs to be corrected.  Securing the boarder addresses more than just illegal immigration (drugs and additional crimes).  I don't have a problem with a much better system for legal immigrants that properly vets people and brings from the very same countries from which they come today.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 10, 2019, 10:37:27 AM
So let me be clear, I view illegal immigration as it's own problem that needs to be corrected.  Securing the boarder addresses more than just illegal immigration (drugs and additional crimes).  I don't have a problem with a much better system for legal immigrants that properly vets people and brings from the very same countries from which they come today.

Thanks, that's helpful, and it partly explains why you and I are so far off in our views. I'm more pragmatic about the fact that we can't really "secure the border" for the same reason we can't even stop people from smuggling things into a prison. All we can do is make it more difficult. In order to determine how hard to make it, I look to understand how much impact the current level of illegal crossing has upon our society. Generally, but not exclusively limited to measures of crime and economic impact.

I'm generally fine with the existing level of illegal crossings, whether at legal checkpoints, through the desert, and on overstays of various types. I have no sympathy for a native citizen who can get beat out for a job by an uneducated person from another country who doesn't speak English. I like the lower prices. I'm concerned about potential violence, but don't see levels that I consider significant.

I would greatly prefer to deflect this into increased amounts of legal immigration, including guest worker, skilled worker, and citizenship paths. I like chain migration, where people bring their families with them. This increases their civic commitment. This would reduce the burdens on border agents and facilities so there would be room to contain people who may be truly dangerous.

I don't like the idea of carving up private property to lay a wall down, just one of the problems that halted previous expansions along the Texas border. I obviously don't like the expense. If we are going to pay that much, I think you'd be better off hiring more agents or increasing screening at legal checkpoints through technology or personnel. I think drones are entirely viable, and could autonomously lock on to border crossers and follow them until an agent can arrive if they are in sufficient numbers. There just isn't much cover out there.

I know this is partly a rehash of things I've said before, but I wanted to put it all down in one place to make my thinking more coherent.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on January 10, 2019, 10:42:47 AM
It seems to me a huge bit of goal post moving that we've left the debate about whether illegal immigration is itself a harm and jumped into a demand that the "right" prove there are even more harms on top of that or in addition to the first harm.

Is it? It seems to me that in every discussion of illegal immigration I've heard the issues boil down to something like:

-Criminals get into the country, or;
-They take jobs from Americans that drain the system, or;
-They use public resources and drain the system, or;
-Their cultural input clashes with ours and they present public problems, or;
-They encourage others to come join them; etc.

It seems to me that TheDrake's question is whether the major concern is with these matters primarily, or whether it's the illegality of the entry on principle that's the major matter, regardless of any of this. In other words, to what extent is the placing of illegal immigration as a high concern contingent on these being signficiant issues. And if they weren't, even though (admittedly) illegal immigration would still be bad, vis a vis it being illegal, would it really still be such a serious concern?

That's not goalpost shifting, to whit he has not asking you to "prove" anything with that question.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 11, 2019, 01:24:28 AM
I think I'm going to go with the Caesar Chavez take on this. Illegal immigration is bad, not just on principle, but also because it helps keep labor prices lower than they would otherwise be.

If you want to improve the situation with labor, you make sure the immigration system as it stands is not being used in such a way as to abuse the people trying make a living by participating in the labor/work force.

The other criminal aspects involved, as well as the strains placed on social services, are just further reason to pursue securing the border.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 11, 2019, 03:05:03 AM
Huh, the Republican Senate actually put something together that is pretty coherent.

https://twitter.com/SenateGOP/status/1083417521192165378?fbclid=IwAR2z8l-5XIhvNBBgt9ptuLMXMcx4CrNGVLUSq3apUeuVAtsqcQDdkvtkaEc (https://twitter.com/SenateGOP/status/1083417521192165378?fbclid=IwAR2z8l-5XIhvNBBgt9ptuLMXMcx4CrNGVLUSq3apUeuVAtsqcQDdkvtkaEc)
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 11, 2019, 10:01:36 AM
I stopped watching when *illegal drugs * was the Top of the list of reasons. That doesn't cross in the no barrier area.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: DonaldD on January 11, 2019, 11:09:59 AM
Quote
In 2006 [the democrats] all voted to construct a physical barrier...
Yes - 700 miles, in addition to funding for other immigration issues, as a compromise with Republicans.  They did NOT agree to build a several thousand mile long concrete barrier along the length of the border.
Quote
Now its more important than ever to secure our border... here's why:
  • Illegal drugs
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Dangerous criminals
  • Martians
Why do we need a wall?  Scary, frightening words!!! Boogadaboogadaboogada!

Are there more illegal drugs crossing through the desert today than in previous years?  Is the increase significant?  What is the ratio of quantities crossing at formal ports of entry vs those through an unprotected border area? We know that the vast majority of drugs cross at ports of entry, so building walls in the middle of nowhere is simply not going to affect the majority of smuggled drugs anyway, even assuming the wall would be successful at reducing the minority of drugs being transported elsewhere.

Are there more or fewer vulnerable populations today as opposed to previous years?  What is the trend?  Again, we know that there are far fewer people crossing the border informally today than in years past, and the trend has been one of consistently falling numbers for years.

Similarly with dangerous criminals.  I would argue the same even holds for Martians.

Question: why is it seemingly necessary to be dishonest when presenting one's position to the public?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on January 11, 2019, 11:31:15 AM
Question: why is it seemingly necessary to be dishonest when presenting one's position to the public?

Because that ship sailed 50 years ago?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on January 11, 2019, 01:06:55 PM
Death panels!
WMD!
Coming to take your guns!
MS-13!
China!

BE AFRAID AND ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: DonaldD on January 11, 2019, 01:12:18 PM
Quote
Because that ship sailed 50 years ago?
Sure, but TheDaemon thought that the presentation was coherent and presumably sincere...
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on January 11, 2019, 02:13:33 PM
Quote
Because that ship sailed 50 years ago?
Sure, but TheDaemon thought that the presentation was coherent and presumably sincere...

Being coherent doesn't mean a whole lot all things considered. :)

Internal coherency says little about how well it fits with external factors.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: DonaldD on January 11, 2019, 03:17:18 PM
"and presumably sincere"
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Grant on January 12, 2019, 06:52:42 PM
Are you angry yet?

::Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnn::
Huh?  Oh yeah.  Yes.  I'm absolutely livvvid, dahling.  Or is it languid?  I can't tell the difference sometimes. 

Quote
So all of you who voted for President Trump and the Republicans in 2016 - how much are you saving on your tax bill this year?

Weyl, I didn't vote for the Lord High Cheetoh Dictator.  But I'll answer the second part. 

If, for instance, I made the same amount of money in 2017 that I did in 2018... 
My deductions are lower, because I've lost the personal deductions and the new standard doesn't quite make up for it, because I have such a large brood of tiny slaves.  But I feel I make up for this by having them work for me, for PB&J sandwiches and velvetta shells and cheese.  I take all the money they make raking leaves and selling candy bars for children with cancer, and I was able to buy myself a PS4 Pro for Christmas.  The one that comes with Red Dead Redemption 2.  So I'm making out. 

But with the lower marginal tax rates, I'm actually paying $126 less this year in income tax.  That's before the new child credits kick in.  And I get another 3 grand back.  ::evil laugh::  This is great of course, because I'm not declaring all of my children's income.  Kids are great.  I'm thinking about adopting. 

So my total saving this year, thanks to my little soldiers, is $3126.  Thank you Republican Congress.  I think I'll give half to Lindsay Graham's re-election campaign. I'll put it in my kid's name, though.  Mmmmmmmmmm. 

Quote
everyone who owns stock got about a  9% increase in the value of their portfolio.

Good for them.  Should I feel jealous?  Wouldn't the value of my portfolio go up as well 9%? 

Quote
For my retirement account, that's about another 100K.

Well *censored* you, Greg.  Better hope I don't see you.  I'm going to mug you for 100K and give it to Greenpeace.  Or maybe I'll donate it to "Der Wand"!  "Der Süd-Wand"! 
Anyways, good for you, Greg.  Feel free to donate all that to poor folk like my slave children.  Or give it all to Kamala Harris's Presidential Campaign.  Yesssssssss!  Do it, Greg!  Do It.  DO IT!  ::evil maniacal laughter:: 

Quote
Okay, any of you Republican voters angry yet?

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Huh?  Oh yes.  Vely vely Ang Ree.  Personally, I would have preferred a bill that cut entitlements and balanced the budget.  Certainly before a tax cut bill. 

Quote
Because this was by far the single greatest impact that the Republicans elected in 2016 had on the country - this is what you got for your vote.

Totally not fair, since you got more than me and didn't vote Republican.  That's what makes me angriest.  Only REPUBLICAN voters should get tax breaks. 

Sad, I suppose, when their greatest impact was simply to give people's money back to them.  And of course run up the debt some more.  Where's Pyr, anyways?  I thought you guys didn't really care about the debt or deficit anyways. 

All those conservative judges.  Legions of them.  A stolen SCOTUS seat.  Two new conservative Justices.  Maybe a third.  And their biggest impact was the tax cut.   

Say it louder, Greg.  I don't think all the voters in the Rust Belt responsible for Clinton's loss can hear you. 

Quote
And don't blame me - I voted (and donated) to stop injustice such as this.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Huh?  So is Mitch McConnel Lex Luthor, or Sinestro?  Ted Cruz is Bizzaro?  OK, I buy that.  Ben Sasse is definitely Catwoman. 

Edit:  Sorry.  I mean, what exactly was I supposed to be angry about?   That you saved $13,000 this year and I only saved $3000?  My taxes were basically cut in half.  Did you get something more, percentage wise?  I'm not upset, because I know you only make more money than me because of your privilege, and the crimes your ancestors perpetrated on mine. 

I can't really be upset, Greg, because I know you're going to hell.  Rich men and eyes of needles and all that.  And I'll be going to heaven.  Hopefully with my slave money bought PS4. 

Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Grant on January 12, 2019, 08:27:47 PM
Hmmmmm.  This wall nonsense.  Several takes. 

1.  I'm all in favor of better border control.   Personally I think a wall, or gawd-forbid, a fence, is a 50% stupid way of doing it. 

2.  It's not going to help against most of the illegal alien problem in the US, because, as has been pointed out, most of them are people who overstay visas. 

3.  It's not going to stop, or even slow down, the illegal drug trade.  This is a multi-billion dollar industry. 

4.  Stop comparing whatever Lord Cheetoh wants to build to whatever the Hungarians, or Israelis, or Russians/East Germans built in Berlin and the inter-German border, unless your wall comes with guard towers, lines of concertino wire, mines, and machine guns.  That should really be cheap to put up.  We have a different problem then they do, and different terrain.  2000 miles of it. 

5. In some places, a wall or fencing can help.  High traffic areas with good patrol times would be ideal.  Most of your apprehensions occur around El Paso and south along the Rio Grande.  El Paso already has a fence running through most of it.  The Rio Grande valley does not, but twice as many are apprehended in El Paso sector, which includes New Mexico, than the entire rest of Texas.   The only place more fencing or a wall would help would be from Progresso, all the way through Reynosa, to Meir.   That's exactly where the construction is taking place.  The border patrol ain't stupid.  They know the best place to put extra fencing.  Some gigantic monstrosity running from San Diego to Brownsville is a redneck retard fantasy.

6. We already have fencing that basically runs from San Diego, all the way through California, through Arizona, and New Mexico.  It only stops when you hit the Rio Grande valleys in Texas.  That's right.  Most illegal border apprehensions occur at places that already have a fence. Good luck putting that wall up in Big Bend, by the way.  Redneck Republicans from Wisconsin and Arkansas turning Texas blue because THEY GOTTA HAVE A WALL!  BECAUSE THE CHILDREN AND INVASION!!!!!!!! is going to be hilarious. 

7. Why the hell Democrats are fighting this so hard is beyond me.  They already have fencing that runs down half the border.  Yes, wackos like Beto O'Rourke want to tear it down.  Other than being a waste of money because it's not going to solve any real problems, there are no real objections to it that I can see. 

8.  Why the hell Republicans in Congress are going along with this is beyond me.  They lost the majority.  In a democracy, the majority calls the shots.  That's the general rule.  They couldn't get this *censored* done when they had the majority.  Why go along with a shutdown now?  Wakeup Republicans.  You lost Congress.  You had complete control from 2015 to 2019.  That's 4 years.  Half of them with a Republican President who will sign just about anything.  I'm sorry President Obama was such a prick and didn't want to allow you to do your jobs and legislate, but them's the breaks. 

9.  Only one person in America needs the damn wall.  That's Trump.  'Cause it's always been about him anyways. 



Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Pete at Home on January 29, 2019, 10:28:11 AM
Are you angry yet?

I just plugged my data from 2017 into the 2018 version of TurboTax to see what the Republican Tax Law does to the income of those in the 1%. There's still two provisions that TurboTax says that the IRS has not finalized their determination, so this is approximate. The difference is a savings of $13,600. Note that  includes a provision aimed primarily against wealthy Blue states that limits deductions for state taxes to $10K - if I came from a lower-tax state than California, the net benefit of the tax law to someone with my income would be $22,400.

So all of you who voted for President Trump and the Republicans in 2016 - how much are you saving on your tax bill this year? Do you think that this tax cut primarily aimed at the wealthy was a good idea? Do you still?

And this is income tax savings - don't forget that by cutting Corporate tax rates by 1/3rd, everyone who owns stock got about a  9% increase in the value of their portfolio. For my retirement account, that's about another 100K.

Of course, this tax cut has ballooned the deficit by $300B+ in just the first year (and that's when the economy is doing well - it will be disastrous when the economy slows).

Okay, any of you Republican voters angry yet? Because this was by far the single greatest impact that the Republicans elected in 2016 had on the country - this is what you got for your vote. And don't blame me - I voted (and donated) to stop injustice such as this.

I think that they need about 30 years to get angry. That's how long it took African Americans to get angry enough to not show up to vote for the Clintons who had given them Gingrich "Welfare Reform" and "Three Strikes You're out."

I had a similar conversation in or about April 2018 with the Aryan Nation.  At least that's what Mike called himself when Mike got into my car without my permission or consent, right in the doggone seat behind me, which rattled me exceedingly, for I had seen Donnie Brasco.  Mike asked me if I had ever had sex with a black woman and when I said that I had, Mike said that he had not, and then shouted in my ear, "I am Aryan Nation," for he was many.  I said "I hear you" hoping that he would not shout again, and he took that to be agreement.  Then he said unto me that he would give unto me much money and get me laid with a cute white girl if I would help him to transport a pound of methamphetamine. I said that I would not. He called me a race mixer and I said that he could rest assured that I had not mixed the races, first because I am myself mixed, and second because the black woman was pregnant when she took me in.  Mike threatened my family and I told him that I would prefer to watch him kill my family one by one than see the shame in their faces when I told them that I had moved Methamphetamine, Hitler's wonderdrug.  Mike heiled hitler and his homies heiled but I did not heil because, as I told him, my grandfather had spent over a year in one of Mike's Furher's holiday camps, and that I did not forgive or forget. Mike the Aryan Nation then made threats against my person and I told him calmly that I could not think of a better cause to die for than refusing to move Meth.

Mike and his homies went silent at that, then one actually asked me why I hated meth so much.  So I tried to explain as best I could, in their language and speaking to what they purported to hold dear.  Meth, I explained, was the greatest crime that had ever been perpetrated against the Caucasian race...

Swipe Right. 

People often give their lives and sell their souls for the very causes that keep them in chains.  Would you like more examples of this?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on March 11, 2019, 10:35:30 AM
So all of you who voted for President Trump and the Republicans in 2016 - how much are you saving on your tax bill this year? Do you think that this tax cut primarily aimed at the wealthy was a good idea?

Finally finished the taxes, live and work in very high tax blue states.  Saving is a relative concept, but even with the cap on the SALT, I'm happy with the results.

My gross income was up 29% (switched jobs), but because of the loss of deductions my taxable income was up a whopping 52% (taxable income in 2017 was 75% of my gross, this year with the changes in was 89%).  My taxes however, were only up 45%, which means my effective rate went from 19.2% to 18.6%. 

As I suspected the changes to the brackets coupled with the changes to the AMT (to move it up to only hit those who are truly wealthy rather than every blue state professional) made a huge impact on where my taxes ended up.  Lest you're not aware, just about every professional with more than a year or two experience in a high tax state previously had to pay the AMT (because AMT was not inflation adjusted and the SALT deductions alone pushed you over the barrier for tax "abuse").

Taxes got simpler to fill out, revenues from me are very comparable.  I'm pretty much in the economic category of those who were supposed to feel the most pain and didn't see it. 

Oddly, much of the criticism on the change has been in complaints about "lower refunds," which is really an argument from ignorance.  The simpler rules allowed for better estimates of tax withholdings, which meant people kept more in their pockets all year.

Anyone actually able to demonstrate they were hurt?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: D.W. on March 11, 2019, 11:14:42 AM
Hurt?  IDK.  My federal return was lower by 35-40%.  /shrug
Others in my office claimed theirs went from a few hundred return to a few hundred owed.   

Nothing catastrophic, but I've yet to talk to someone who (barring any changes in situation) had their return increase.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on March 11, 2019, 11:24:47 AM
So you fell for the MSM trick?

What was the change in you taxes - not your refund.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: D.W. on March 11, 2019, 12:05:39 PM
I'd have to go look, but as my pay did not change, I doubt there's much room for a "trick".
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on March 11, 2019, 12:41:48 PM
I'd be willing to bet your withholdings were less and your taxes were less, seeing a lower refund says little  about whether or not you got a tax benefit.  That's the MSM "trick" preying on people not understanding the difference.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: D.W. on March 11, 2019, 01:23:36 PM
I feel much better now that I know I should be upset at the MSM regarding my flat income during 'the best economy ever!'

You aren't wrong about the slightly lower tax and the withholding having been higher in '17.  I shall rejoice in that the government did not hold as much of my money hostage for a year.  Huzzah! 

SO I guess Trump did save me $290 bucks.  I should have to rethink my....  NAH.
Orange Man Bad.  :D

But ya had me pegged.  I may not live paycheck to paycheck and view the tax return as a much needed respite from want anymore, but that line of thinking does stick around past when your means render it less of a reality.  The measuring bars, flawed as they may be, do drive perceptions, and those, like it or not, drive politics.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on March 11, 2019, 01:44:03 PM
WW2 introduced the withholding system, one of the worst things to happen to the American taxpayer. It has made it so that come tax time, people are indeed more fixated on getting a fraction of their own money back than on what their actual tax bill is.

Quote
Friedman, who admitted being “one of the architects” of the Treasury’s proposal for a withholding system, correctly noted in his memoirs that the system “would have been introduced had I been involved or not.” Withholding was an essential element of the government’s wartime revenue grab. “At the time,” concluded Friedman, “we concentrated single-mindedly on promoting the war effort. We gave next to no consideration to any longer-run consequences. It never occurred to me at the time that I was helping to develop machinery that would make possible a government that I would come to criticize severely as too large, too intrusive, too destructive of freedom. Yet, that was precisely what I was doing.”
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on March 11, 2019, 01:47:54 PM
WW2 introduced the withholding system, one of the worst things to happen to the American taxpayer. It has made it so that come tax time, people are indeed more fixated on getting a fraction of their own money back than on what their actual tax bill is.

Putting aside the moral considerations, since you're an Objectivist, I'm curious what the practical reasons are that you think withholding is bad? I haven't given the matter much thought, but offhand it would seem to me that many or even most people would fail to save their tax monies in a reserve account to plan for tax season if it wasn't withheld, and the result would be that the government would need to spend much more than they do now chasing everyone down, threatening them for the money, and setting up payment plans for the probably great amount of people who simply can't cough it up.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: D.W. on March 11, 2019, 01:48:08 PM
My dad always grumbled about this while I was growing up.  That he'd rather pay at the end of the year than let the government hold onto it, earning interest off HIS money the whole time.  All well and good if you manage money well and have it on hand to pay. 
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: D.W. on March 11, 2019, 01:49:36 PM
Those I know who run their own small business manage this, but the planning and discipline required to not dig yourself into a nasty debt hole is impressive to me.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on March 11, 2019, 01:59:22 PM
Putting aside the moral considerations, since you're an Objectivist, I'm curious what the practical reasons are that you think withholding is bad?

It tricks people.  They fixate on their "return" not their tax payment, which lets them be easily manipulated into thinking they're doing better by just forcing more withholdings (they barely note losing $50 a week, when they "get back" $2000 in a refund, never mind that they paid in, $2600).

Quote
I haven't given the matter much thought, but offhand it would seem to me that many or even most people would fail to save their tax monies in a reserve account to plan for tax season if it wasn't withheld, and the result would be that the government would need to spend much more than they do now chasing everyone down, threatening them for the money, and setting up payment plans for the probably great amount of people who simply can't cough it up.

That is a benefit.  But the bigger "benefit" is that if you forced people to write the government a check for $15k on April 15th rather than getting a refund of $2k, people would revolt over tax policy.  Even though they'd pay the exact same amount their brain tricks them because they never see the real number.

Honestly, most people only "see" their tax burden as something they are deducting from their withholdings to get the "exciting tax return."  They never connect up how much worse they are week to week because of the psychological trick.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on March 11, 2019, 02:06:29 PM
Honestly, most people only "see" their tax burden as something they are deducting from their withholdings to get the "exciting tax return."  They never connect up how much worse they are week to week because of the psychological trick.

I think your mistake here is in supposing that this psychological trick is *merely* a trick. Policies and economic planning have to take into account real human behavior, and if that behavior is often irrational then the policies that will be most effective will have to locate exactly in what way they're irrational and take that into account. A purely rational policy that fails is worthless. Since economics is the process of studying managing human behavior collectively, it's no 'trick' to observe that if behavior will be ineffecient that the system needs to correct for that.

You could argue until you're blue in the face that it's numerically more efficient to not withhold, and that it's more visually upfront about what you're really playing, but if people would be more upset that way, and if they would screw it up that way, your theory isn't worth the paper it's written on as a practical policy. Note that I'm not actually taking a side on this since as I mentioned I haven't given it much thought, but I would be interested to hear a strong practical reason why withholding is bad idea as a policy (notwithstanding whatever malarky may have been argued to justify it initially as a cash grab).
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on March 11, 2019, 02:23:12 PM
WW2 introduced the withholding system, one of the worst things to happen to the American taxpayer. It has made it so that come tax time, people are indeed more fixated on getting a fraction of their own money back than on what their actual tax bill is.

Putting aside the moral considerations, since you're an Objectivist, I'm curious what the practical reasons are that you think withholding is bad? I haven't given the matter much thought, but offhand it would seem to me that many or even most people would fail to save their tax monies in a reserve account to plan for tax season if it wasn't withheld, and the result would be that the government would need to spend much more than they do now chasing everyone down, threatening them for the money, and setting up payment plans for the probably great amount of people who simply can't cough it up.

Withholding is bad because it tries to obscure the reality of what someone is paying. There are ways to deal with Quarterly payments, like the self-employed, or to hold the money in escrow like what typically happens with property tax when you have a mortgage.

It would also have made the government think twice before extending income tax down to everybody. The government initially only taxed the income of the wealthiest individuals, who had accountants and other people to ensure that the cash would be there. People who would have too much to lose by skipping their tax bill.

I did an exercise one year. When people were asking how much I had to "pay" in taxes (by which, thanks to withholding, usually refers to how big a check someone writes to cover a shortfall), I answered with my total tax bill. State, federal, local, sales, property. I do feel bad for terrifying a few friends before I let them in on the point. This sparked quite a few good conversations about taxes and policy.

Remember when the government forced credit card companies to disclose ALL the money someone would wind up paying to clear a balance using the minimum payment? Same idea. It is true that your pay stub has the withholding amount, but I'm not sure how many people see it frequently with direct deposit.

It also makes for an incredibly complicated system of deductions and such that can only be done annually. It is expensive to administrate, invites behavioral tinkering with tax credits, tax rebates, etc. If there were a simple tax, you could just collect it monthly like the city water bill.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on March 11, 2019, 04:10:05 PM
I think your mistake here is in supposing that this psychological trick is *merely* a trick.

I'm confused at why you think this.  Did you interpret what I said as advocating eliminating the withholding system?  Most people are terrible savers, that would be an utter disaster.

No, what I'm advocating is not falling for a lie.  I have actually seen news reports claiming that Trump's tax law hurt people because their refunds are lower.  It's the kind of deception and utter nonsense that the should never be tolerated in actual debate.  It's literally fake news.

And it definitely works, it even works here.  It even works in my house where I've had to explain a dozen times because my wife was more worried about  the refund than the bill.

I have no interest in arguing for a non-withholding system.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on March 11, 2019, 04:19:44 PM
No, I get what you mean, Seriati. But if the refund trick is a lie, how would you propose the government rectify it to clarify (if they were so inclined)?

But if I was mistaking your comment to be about government when it was actually about the media, then my bad. I know you've been making a case for a while about media deception, and if that's your point here then I understand and probably agree.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on March 11, 2019, 04:41:06 PM
No, I get what you mean, Seriati. But if the refund trick is a lie, how would you propose the government rectify it to clarify (if they were so inclined)?

The trick is in the governments benefit and intentional, why would they rectify it?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on March 11, 2019, 06:25:18 PM
The trick is in the governments benefit and intentional, why would they rectify it?

Because it would be harder for the media to use the same trick against them?

But seriously, it would be simple to rectify with a PSA campaign and a couple of talking points sent around to the cabinet and key congressional figures. If they wanted to. They could stop calling it a "refund", to begin with. Refunds sound exciting like you got something nice. They should call it an overpayment check.

A true refund is usually returned payment for poor service or quality. Hmmm. That's more valid than I thought.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on March 11, 2019, 09:36:10 PM
I'm not going to defend a strawman.  There's no benefit to the government to upset this apple cart.  It's doing exactly what they hoped it would, it's making everyone thing the nice government is sending them fat refunds, rather than taking huge piles of their hard earned money.

Just don't fall for the trick.  If you don't know your actual tax burden, then it's hard to have a real opinion on tax policy.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on April 16, 2019, 09:23:54 AM
Well, this thread aged well.  ;D . The New York Times: Face It: You (Probably) Got a Tax Cut (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/14/business/economy/income-tax-cut.html)

Quote
If you’re an American taxpayer, you probably got a tax cut last year. And there’s a good chance you don’t believe it.

Ever since President Trump signed the Republican-sponsored tax bill in December 2017, independent analyses have consistently found that a large majority of Americans would owe less because of the law. Preliminary data based on tax filings has shown the same.

Why the disconnect that started this thread?

Quote
To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.

If you think you didn't get a tax cut and should be angry, it's because you've been lied to.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on April 16, 2019, 10:30:07 AM
Maybe you should re-read the thread's OP, Crunch. It's literally about the fact that the tax break *did* work, and that it disproportionately rewards wealthy people who don't need it. In other words, it's the same objection made about Bush Jr's tax break - that it was throwing money at the elite in a 'trickle down' fashion. Whether this charge is accurate or not I don't know, but the thread at least began about *how* it works, not whether it works.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on April 16, 2019, 12:03:56 PM
Maybe you should re-read the thread's OP, Crunch. It's literally about the fact that the tax break *did* work, and that it disproportionately rewards wealthy people who don't need it.

Fenring, that's complete garbage.  It was a tax cut for 2/3's of all tax payers, including the vast majority of the middle class in amounts they thought were meaningful.  The portion that went to the rich is less than the proportion of the tax they paid.  In other words it "disproportionately" did not go to wealth people who don't need it.

What this actually is a masterpiece in manipulation.  The body politic has been completely convinced that a tax break that was shared by virtually all tax payers, including all tax payers in the lower and middle classes was somehow a gift to the rich. 

Not to mention after all the whining about corporate tax rate cuts (which put our rates closer to average for the first world from being the highest in the world), we have in fact generated a four fold increase in investment, massive surge in jobs (we now have more job openings than unemployed), low  unemployment numbers, including the lowest for some demographics ever and real wage growth.

So I go back to my first post.  I'm still pissed that the liars have convinced otherwise smart people that something that has been largely a universal good was somehow "unfair" and bad.  This is why we can't have nice things.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: NobleHunter on April 16, 2019, 01:13:15 PM
Speaking of universal good, how's the deficit doing?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on April 16, 2019, 01:15:17 PM
Highest revenues in history - after the tax cuts - it's not a revenue problem that we're having it's a spending one.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on April 16, 2019, 01:50:24 PM
Maybe you should re-read the thread's OP, Crunch. It's literally about the fact that the tax break *did* work, and that it disproportionately rewards wealthy people who don't need it.

Fenring, that's complete garbage.  It was a tax cut for 2/3's of all tax payers, including the vast majority of the middle class in amounts they thought were meaningful.  The portion that went to the rich is less than the proportion of the tax they paid.  In other words it "disproportionately" did not go to wealth people who don't need it.

You failed to include the second part of my statement in your quote, where I specifically said I was not assessing the accuracy of Greg's assertion. My point was that Crunch was framing the thread as being about how people wouldn't see tax breaks, and although there were some comments in the thread about being unsure whether they came out ahead or not, that was not the original OP purpose for the thread.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Wayward Son on April 16, 2019, 05:45:36 PM
Highest revenues in history - after the tax cuts - it's not a revenue problem that we're having it's a spending one.

Yes, the highest ever.  A whopping 0.4 to 0.5 percent higher than FY 2017! (Depending on who you talk to.  And it was that high only because the first three months of FY 2018 were pre-tax cut.)

For comparison, FY 2017 was a mere 7.5 percent higher than 2016.

And inflation for 2018 was 2.44 percent.

So tell me about this "spending problem" we're having.  :)
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on April 17, 2019, 10:37:41 AM
Maybe you should re-read the thread's OP, Crunch. It's literally about the fact that the tax break *did* work, and that it disproportionately rewards wealthy people who don't need it.

Fenring, that's complete garbage.  It was a tax cut for 2/3's of all tax payers, including the vast majority of the middle class in amounts they thought were meaningful.  The portion that went to the rich is less than the proportion of the tax they paid.  In other words it "disproportionately" did not go to wealth people who don't need it.

You failed to include the second part of my statement in your quote, where I specifically said I was not assessing the accuracy of Greg's assertion. My point was that Crunch was framing the thread as being about how people wouldn't see tax breaks, and although there were some comments in the thread about being unsure whether they came out ahead or not, that was not the original OP purpose for the thread.

You could also go back and look at my first post, where I directly confronted Greg on the OP of the thread.  The purpose seemed to be to encourage the class envy meme by phrasing what's just a logical fact - people who pay lots of taxes will always get bigger (by absolute value) tax cuts as if it were the same thing as a "disproportionate" benefit from the tax cut.  That's just not true, which is exactly what my post above addressed.  The benefits to the "rich" here were less than their proportion of the tax payment, ergo it was "disproportionately" biased against them.

This idea that something is "fair" only if it punishes the rich is nonsensical.  We can certainly agree that "no one" pays more than 10% and it be fair, or that everyone pay 90% and it be fair.  But what makes something fair? 

If we're all citizens shouldn't we all have a tax burden?  No matter what you answer the way our tax laws work is unfair.  Federal income tax law pretty much exempts the poor, even gives them "negative tax liabilities" through refundable credits.  And yet that's what this whine is about?

Meanwhile, we're complaining about preserving state and local taxes, which are where the true master minds in the soak the poor strategy operate.  Before you go to bat here, remember that virtually every regressive tax is state law, sales tax, "sin" tax, "soda" taxes, gas tax, property taxes, a huge host of fees.  Sure the feds get in on the game on occasion (social security - though they do provide a direct benefit connected to this, phone taxes), but the vast majority of the taxes on the poor are from state legislators (and blue state legislatures really push the envelope here) putting a lie to the idea of progressive tax dream.

Highest revenues in history - after the tax cuts - it's not a revenue problem that we're having it's a spending one.

Yes, the highest ever.  A whopping 0.4 to 0.5 percent higher than FY 2017! (Depending on who you talk to.  And it was that high only because the first three months of FY 2018 were pre-tax cut.)

For comparison, FY 2017 was a mere 7.5 percent higher than 2016.

And inflation for 2018 was 2.44 percent.

So tell me about this "spending problem" we're having.  :)

Lol, in no world do I agree that an increase year on year in federal tax revenue from an already excessive level should ever be 7.5%.   The idea that you seem to be proud of that result is troubling to me.

But yes, the fact that they are more, even a by a trivial amount, pretty much makes a lie of the idea that the tax cuts were a disaster for federal revenues.  Were you really happier with "increasing revenues" and a dragging economy, less jobs and no real wage growth? 

It's a spending problem.  The government budget should be capped and only allowed to increase at inflation.  Make the government make cuts and prioritize.

For too long we've let Congress get away with an abdication of responsible government.  They don't make 95% of our laws, which they delegated to the executive branch through administrative regulation.  They don't make any choices on the budget, unable to cut anything because of the cost with their voters.  All we elect is spoiled children and we have given them unlimited credit lines to spend on buying their future voters.

Yes, we have a spending problem.

Let's run a simple thought experiment.  if we doubled our revenue, how long till our expenses exceeded our new revenue level?  Bet you not even 5 years.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Wayward Son on April 17, 2019, 11:21:18 AM
Quote
Lol, in no world do I agree that an increase year on year in federal tax revenue from an already excessive level should ever be 7.5%.   The idea that you seem to be proud of that result is troubling to me.

You seem to be conflating revenue with a tax increase.  Revenue is based on how much people make in a given year.  If the economy is good (at Trump supporters constantly tout), then revenues should be up, with no change in the tax rate.  Or are you saying that if you make $10,000 more in year, paying taxes on that is more of a burden to you than if you hadn't made that money?  ???

Quote
But yes, the fact that they are more, even a by a trivial amount, pretty much makes a lie of the idea that the tax cuts were a disaster for federal revenues.  Were you really happier with "increasing revenues" and a dragging economy, less jobs and no real wage growth?
 

You make irrelevant objections.  The economy was growing quite well in 2017 with the old tax rates.  That is why the revenue increased by 7.5%.  There would have been decreasing revenue if the economy was dragging and there were fewer jobs.  So we can have, and should expect, increasing revenues with a robust economy, more jobs, and real wage growth.

And from what I've read, the only reason there was a trivial increase was because of the first three months in FY2018, which were under the old tax rates.  So while you're touting how there was still an increase in tax revenues in spite of the tax cuts, in actual fact there was a decrease in revenues once those tax cuts began.  You should be (and probably soon will be) defending how less revenue is a wonderful thing for our country, rather than saying that the tax cuts had no significant effect.

Quote
It's a spending problem.  The government budget should be capped and only allowed to increase at inflation.  Make the government make cuts and prioritize.

And yet the increase in revenue didn't keep up with inflation.  So it didn't even satisfy that minimum increase you allowed.

And are you saying that Trump's proposal to increase spending on the military is irresponsible?  Or how about his increase in building a border wall?  There's an area where the Democrats tried to cap spending to previous levels, and the Republicans were screaming at them for it.  Why is that?  Aren't budget considerations paramount?

If there are areas where there should be cuts, then get your representatives that you voted for to make those cuts.  But if you think they should make mandatory cuts, then programs you think are important--even ones you might believe are because of a "national emergency"--are going to have to get cut, too. 

As any surgeon will tell you, if you aren't careful about where you cut, you're going to cut muscles and bone along with the fat.  Mandatory cuts are like telling a surgeon how much to cut, regardless of how much he can cut.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on April 17, 2019, 11:59:12 AM
Quote
You could also go back and look at my first post, where I directly confronted Greg on the OP of the thread.  The purpose seemed to be to encourage the class envy meme by phrasing what's just a logical fact - people who pay lots of taxes will always get bigger (by absolute value) tax cuts as if it were the same thing as a "disproportionate" benefit from the tax cut.  That's just not true, which is exactly what my post above addressed.  The benefits to the "rich" here were less than their proportion of the tax payment, ergo it was "disproportionately" biased against them.

There's no way this is a blanket true statement. You can raise the standard deduction - net change for lower income in a positive direction. No impact on high income people with itemized deductions. You can change the marginal tax rate in a middle bracket, that leaves it

I understand that philosophically, if one thinks that a flat tax is the most fair system, anything that moves the code in that direction is "more fair". If one believes there should be a progressive system, then there's a lot more open to debate.

I won't try to have that debate again, I don't think anyone is about to move from their positions on fairness from the original discussion.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on April 17, 2019, 12:48:41 PM
There's no way this is a blanket true statement. You can raise the standard deduction - net change for lower income in a positive direction.

They doubled the standard deduction.  Hmmm..

Quote
No impact on high income people with itemized deductions.

And yet, they also capped several of those deductions that "high income people" with itemized deductions used.  So, by this standard they actually disproportionately targeted high income people, didn't they?

Quote
You can change the marginal tax rate in a middle bracket, that leaves it

They did this too, they lowered the rates on the lowest brackets, they made those brackets far larger than they were, which means literally and directly, they lowered taxes on everyone in the lowest and middle brackets.

Heck they even gave a gift to the upper middle class/lower upper class (far far from the 1%'ers, but literally the urban professionals hardest hit by the SALT limitation) by moving the bottom of the AMT to something like $650k from where it's been, around $150k.  I mean honestly, working in NYC, I've had to pay the AMT since I was 3 years out of school because of "abusive exemptions" (the only material exemption I had for almost a decade was NY state tax).  The AMT eliminated the SALT tax exemption, 100% of it, not just limiting it to $10k.

And one of the bigger changes (that the media has repeatedly failed to note) is that amended the long term capital gain rules to prevent investment managers from getting that tax treatment (the one that let Warren Buffet pay a lower rate than his secretary, supposedly) on carried interest for positions held less than 3 years (up from 1 year).  That may not sound like a bunch, but it actually was a big difference.

Quote
I understand that philosophically, if one thinks that a flat tax is the most fair system, anything that moves the code in that direction is "more fair". If one believes there should be a progressive system, then there's a lot more open to debate.

You don't understand the philosophy.  I don't believe in a flat tax, I believe in a progressive system, I just don't believe that abusing anyone -including the rich - is fair.  I 100% believe that government is too large and is taking too much money to spend on things that the body politic really doesn't want or need, but that benefit certain interests that help to get politicians elected.  Corruption in spending is the MODEL not the exception and there's absolutely no reason we should be supporting paying more taxes to prop it up.

I also happen to believe that Democrats (politicians) are lying hypocrites on this issue.  Every state they control has MASSIVE regress taxes (lest there's confusion, those are taxes that burden the poor more than the rich), that they justify by reference to high minded goals.  Gas tax?  Overwhelming harms the poor, makes every economic activity in which they participate take more of their disposable income.  Justified to help the environment (notice the state actually spending that money on the environment or the poor?).

Sales tax?  In some states that an 8.5% additional income tax on most every thing purchased.  Hits the poor way harder than the rich, heck for some people its one of the primary taxes they pay.  Why is it there -at all- because of a dirty secret, there are a lot of poor people and a lot of middle class people, they far outnumber the wealthy, they buy most of the merchandise.

Sin tax?  Why is it legal to sell addictive products and then force the addicts to bear a punitive tax?  Better yet, why is the government declaring these sins?

You know what's coming - it's literally only a matter of time - some kind of transactional taxes on Apps, they are going to want to get their hooks into every click.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on April 17, 2019, 12:52:58 PM
You could also go back and look at my first post, where I directly confronted Greg on the OP of the thread.  The purpose seemed to be to encourage the class envy meme by phrasing what's just a logical fact - people who pay lots of taxes will always get bigger (by absolute value) tax cuts as if it were the same thing as a "disproportionate" benefit from the tax cut.  That's just not true, which is exactly what my post above addressed.  The benefits to the "rich" here were less than their proportion of the tax payment, ergo it was "disproportionately" biased against them.

This idea that something is "fair" only if it punishes the rich is nonsensical.  We can certainly agree that "no one" pays more than 10% and it be fair, or that everyone pay 90% and it be fair.  But what makes something fair? 

Dude, your reply here is really reactionary. You're punching against the wind. I was making no argument of any kind about what's fair or whether Greg is right or wrong. I was correcting Crunch as to what the thread was about, and that's it.

As any surgeon will tell you, if you aren't careful about where you cut, you're going to cut muscles and bone along with the fat.  Mandatory cuts are like telling a surgeon how much to cut, regardless of how much he can cut.

Entitlements and bureaucratic fat are really the death of a system. These things build up only, and are never cut, often for the reasons you cite. Under this kind of thinking there would be no cutting ever, for fear of 'hitting meat', and every problem would instead of gently massaged and then forgotten. I'm sure surgeons would enjoy being able to rub their patient a little instead of having to do all that hard and bloody work, but then again, it stops being enjoyable when the patient starts bleeding interally and then dies.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on April 17, 2019, 01:39:52 PM
Quote
Lol, in no world do I agree that an increase year on year in federal tax revenue from an already excessive level should ever be 7.5%.   The idea that you seem to be proud of that result is troubling to me.

You seem to be conflating revenue with a tax increase.  Revenue is based on how much people make in a given year.  If the economy is good (at Trump supporters constantly tout), then revenues should be up, with no change in the tax rate.  Or are you saying that if you make $10,000 more in year, paying taxes on that is more of a burden to you than if you hadn't made that money?  ???

You seem to be confused by logic.  Trump told you that his tax cuts would be good for the economy and promote growth, which you all poo poo'ed, and then it turned out true.  He told you it was a tax cut for the masses, which your politicians lied about, and then it turned out true.  He told you it wouldn't lead to a massive decline in revenue, which pretty much you guys said was untrue, and again it turned out he was right

And now your complaint is that, even though tax revenues increased, even though the economy massively improved, even though the Fed tried to slow it down (without good cause and excessively) that taxes (in total) didn't go up enough?

Lol, we got a tax break, ergo revenues will not be at the level they would have been if we hadn't, if you assume that the economy would magically have grown by the same extent.  However, you seem to grossly misunderstand the point and impact of a tax break and the argument that tax breaks lead to a growing economy.  This is one of those things the left frequently does, assume that the results are independent from the decisions that lead to them, this is why they keep advocating for socialism, notwithstanding the absolutely disaster its been in practice.

Oh well, I guess when you're in deep enough denial and nonsense is the only course left.

Quote
You make irrelevant objections.  The economy was growing quite well in 2017 with the old tax rates.  That is why the revenue increased by 7.5%.  There would have been decreasing revenue if the economy was dragging and there were fewer jobs.  So we can have, and should expect, increasing revenues with a robust economy, more jobs, and real wage growth.

Lol.  The economy started growing faster the second Trump replaced Obama.  Everyone in business knew exactly the direction of what would happen with a pro growth President instead of anti-growth one.

You seem to think it was "magic" and not increased optimism that the regulatory burden would be lifted.  Not to mention that the tax law itself was in negotiation in 2017, and well known, or that a lot of wealthy people deliberately moved income into 2017 to take as big an advantage of expiring and easy to manipulate deductions as they could.

Quote
And yet the increase in revenue didn't keep up with inflation.  So it didn't even satisfy that minimum increase you allowed.

That's from an accurate budget, which we don't have.  Frankly the government should be on a harsh diet until we get to a reasonable budget, then it should it be pegged to inflation.

Quote
And are you saying that Trump's proposal to increase spending on the military is irresponsible?  Or how about his increase in building a border wall?  There's an area where the Democrats tried to cap spending to previous levels, and the Republicans were screaming at them for it.  Why is that?  Aren't budget considerations paramount?

Total budget sure.  Looks like spending is $4.7 trillion proposed for 2019.  Is $5b for a wall material in that?  Not at all, and it's an important one.  How about we trim from the "automatic" increase policy?  Not to mention, the Fed's decision to raise the Fed funds rate excessively (delaying any part of that, or simply doing only reasonable increases, could have easily paid for a wall).  In fact, I seemed to have pointed out at the time that the extra revenue from a delay could have been used to reduce the debt.  I don't seem to recall you backing me on that.  Do you care about the deficit?

How about, as a fun thing, we think about zero base budgeting.  The federal government is in fact required to provide for the common defense, it's one of the things that it is legitimately required to do.

Quote
If there are areas where there should be cuts, then get your representatives that you voted for to make those cuts.  But if you think they should make mandatory cuts, then programs you think are important--even ones you might believe are because of a "national emergency"--are going to have to get cut, too.

Why is that?  Do you really think $4.7 TRILLION is not enough to fund important programs?  That we have no waste?  How much do we really need to spend on a federal government (keep in mind we're also funding 50 state governments, and countless city and county governments some with very large budgets of their own).  The federal government is gonna eat 21% of the GDP, that's really something else. 

How about, and here's one, we double or even triple the staff budgets of Congress so they can actually the make the laws for the country and cut the legislative function from the administrative agencies?  That'd probably save a 1000 to 1 on costs.

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As any surgeon will tell you, if you aren't careful about where you cut, you're going to cut muscles and bone along with the fat.  Mandatory cuts are like telling a surgeon how much to cut, regardless of how much he can cut.

That's totally true, but what would a surgeon even do with a human patient that weighed 200,000 pounds?

So instead let's talk realistically.  If you are on a 10,000 calorie a day diet and you're not Michael Phelps, your problem isn't really lack of "exercise," it's overeating.  When the government is spending so much money on so many things it doesn't need to be doing, and simultaneously managing to ignore real things that do need doing - like upgrading bridges, roads, mass transit, securing the borders - the idea that we have a revenue problem is special kind of nonsense.

We have a corruption problem.  Specifically, we keep electing politicians whose primary interest is using our common resources to ensure their own re-election.  No easy fix for it with a poorly educated public who's been taught to "think" with their emotions rather than logic.  Not even term limits, as the incentive would change to create soft landings.  But for sure, just increasing revenues so they can spend more corruptly in their own interest without making any hard choices is not the answer.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on April 17, 2019, 01:43:12 PM
Dude, your reply here is really reactionary. You're punching against the wind. I was making no argument of any kind about what's fair or whether Greg is right or wrong. I was correcting Crunch as to what the thread was about, and that's it.

My bad, I did misread you!  I've always viewed this thread  as little more than a propaganda thread spreading a bit of malicious falsehood.  Not lies mind you, just a twist on interpretation that's fundamentally misleading.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on April 17, 2019, 06:35:33 PM
Speaking of universal good, how's the deficit doing?

Wait, are we worried about the deficit again? We haven't worried about that since ... well, since 2008.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on April 17, 2019, 06:38:17 PM
Maybe you should re-read the thread's OP, Crunch. It's literally about the fact that the tax break *did* work, and that it disproportionately rewards wealthy people who don't need it. In other words, it's the same objection made about Bush Jr's tax break - that it was throwing money at the elite in a 'trickle down' fashion. Whether this charge is accurate or not I don't know, but the thread at least began about *how* it works, not whether it works.

And the point is, it did work for the vast majority of taxpayers. The idea of "people who don't need it" is immoral. The fact is, most of those that pay taxes got a cut. It's a pretty basic truth that the more you pay, the more you got a cut. It's really hard to cut the taxes of someone paying only a few percent.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on April 17, 2019, 08:28:48 PM
The idea of "people who don't need it" is immoral.

Heh. This is one of those few topics that may actually trigger me. I'll refrain from debating this point with you, but yeah, I think most reasonable people recognize that no one "needs" millions or billions of dollars. The question of course is whether they're entitled to it. That gets us into "entitled", which many equate with "earned." What is 'earned', then? Benefited from a system that facilitated and enabled the earning. What "system"? Ah. That's the question. Once we open up how the system works and who fuels it we could get closer to defining "entitled". Until then - agree to disagree!
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on April 18, 2019, 10:52:07 AM
The idea of "people who don't need it" is immoral.

Heh. This is one of those few topics that may actually trigger me. I'll refrain from debating this point with you, but yeah, I think most reasonable people recognize that no one "needs" millions or billions of dollars. The question of course is whether they're entitled to it. That gets us into "entitled", which many equate with "earned." What is 'earned', then? Benefited from a system that facilitated and enabled the earning. What "system"? Ah. That's the question. Once we open up how the system works and who fuels it we could get closer to defining "entitled". Until then - agree to disagree!

There are definitely people who don't deserve it, especially those who inherited it.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on April 18, 2019, 11:38:16 AM
There are definitely people who don't deserve it, especially those who inherited it.

I'm guessing you don't have children.  Hard to imagine you would and that you'd believe your own kids don't deserve what you worked your whole life to give them.  Or is it only "rich kids" whose parents are morally wrong to give them things?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on April 18, 2019, 11:54:57 AM
People can give gifts whenever they want. The parents deserve and have the right to do what they wish. To embrace the idea of meritocracy, however, one should earn one's own wealth and not have it handed to them.

To expand on that:

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Perhaps in a culture of rational individualism, this might change in one respect: if people begin leaving bequests to heirs chosen for their merit, and not their genetic relation to the giver, perhaps then wealth would accumulate across chains of heirs over time. But the result in that case would not be plutocracy, but a society characterized by the pyramid of ability.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Fenring on April 18, 2019, 02:17:27 PM
To embrace the idea of meritocracy, however, one should earn one's own wealth and not have it handed to them.

Ay, there's the rub: what is "earn"? I refrained above from getting into it, but I could at least give a bit of an illustration of how loaded a term "earn" is. For instance if all it means is "acquired without breaking the law" then we have a boundary so wide that it doesn't even including terms like "deserve" and "entitled to" in it, and merely means that for whatever reason the law didn't disqualify that method. If we're going to get any more specific than "legal" we need to define what the terms of merit are in the first place.

So let's take apart what money is: for the most part it means nothing more than the agreement for laborors to employ themselves on a task. Owning money essentially means that you are entitled to labor; or the fruits of that labor, which amounts to roughly the same thing. There are exceptions, for instance land, which cannot be created. But for any good or service that can be created 'from nothing' and requires only the will to do it, money means labor. This premise is becoming less true over time the more automation replaces labor, but let's leave that off for a moment, as throughout history labor power was the chief definition of what wealth was. Now a robot can be a means of production that excludes humans, and indeed that change is going to dramatically alter the definition of money (whether that definition was understood or not). We will no doubt have to shift to a rationing system rather than an earning system the more production resides entirely in robots; but let's get back to the topic.

As we know, wealth is what generates further wealth. And investment can pay dividends; the lack of an investment cannot. Labor (which is the physical manifestation of wealth in most cases) can also pay dividends, but requires practical application to generate that wealth; i.e. you have to actually do it each time. Wealth itself, i.e. the promise to repay labor, can generate its own dividends without the owner actually having to do the labor. That this is how commerce has worked for ages should mean that it comes as no surprise to know that owning the means of labor means owning the labor, and therefore the ability to generate more wealth (i.e. agreement by people that they will work). Slavery in the past was a common type of wealth where the possession was actually the labor itself; but now that this type of ownership is illegal we have only a placeholder for labor that we can own - money. But imagine for the moment that this is only a question of framing, because in practice money is almost exactly the same as slavery functionally (not morally): you own the money, you send it out, and it earns wealth for you, with of course the possibility that it will 'mess up' and cost you money, just as laborers sent out to repair a house might damage it instead and cost you more labor in the future (i.e. more money). These 'slaves', monies, sit in accounts, funds, invested or used, and work for you as slaves would, doing labor in proxy of you so that you don't have to. Of course, if you additionally do labor of your own the fruits of that are added to those of your monies to more benefit.

But now to put into perspective why I should speak of money as a slave, imagine a slave-owner having at his disposal 10 slaves, whom he sends out to do various labors, while the owner sits at home relaxing, and after some time period they have constructed a building, which the owner now owns. Would it be proper - even grammatically! - to say that the owner "earned" that new building? Well, we might well argue that the slaves had to be invested in and therefore this was a risk whose final benefit was the building; a payoff for risk and investment. But suppose now that the owner had previously had nothing, and did nothing, and now was awarded 10 slaves for no reason - a gift, inheritance, whatever. And these slaves built that same building: would you say the owner "earned" that new possession? Or would you rather suppose that since the slaves were unearned, that therefore all subsequent fruits of their labor are likewise unearned, especially as the owner wasn't required to participate in its construction? Ah but now we get into a touchy subject of what "earned" is supposed to mean. But it's worse than that when the slaves come from a combination of gifts, inheritance, lawful purchase, and indeed if the owner contributes his own work into the process, then how should we ever be able to determine what was earned and what was something more like a gift of fate, dropping into the lap of someone gratis? We could here distinguish between people who would sqander that gift, versus those that would use it wisely, and there is something to discuss there as well; but is the merit to employ something you didn't earn a manner of "transforming" the unearned into that which is earned? But then we'd be talking of something extra-capitalistic, because that system of economics cannot speak to the moral characteristics of a mere 'thing' or capital good; it can only assess who owns it and what the law is.

Translate all of this back into money and it gets worse, because tracking the original of particular monies is far muddier than tracking the origin of particular human slaves. Where did it 'originate from'? Was it 'earned' in the first place, in any intelligible sense? Or if 'earned' just means 'got ahold of it somehow within the law', does "earned" really have any moral siginificance as TheDrake would have it, such that really 'earning something' has an aspect of The Good about it, and therefore a natural right associated with it? Whence is the origin or that earning? Where do the mechanisms come from that facilitiate that earning, that are not only out of the control of the one doing the earning, but in fact wherein he finds himself utterly dependent on that system in order to be able to do anything? Where is the value established towards that system itself, enabling him to utilize 'monies' as personal servants, doing labor for him for profit? To what does the earner owe the system for the benefits it generates? To what does he owe the origin of his monies - his laborers if you will? 

These, and many others, are sticky issues, and the definitional questions they generate are legion. It is a good topic to discuss, but not a good one to quickly gloss over or to presume can be summed up quickly in simple moral terms. Rather, it's a massive quagmire that has to my satisfaction never been defined properly, and what's more, this muddiness in definition assists those who have to obscure from those who have not what it is that's actually going on. And no, I'm not calling foul on the 1% when I say this; I'm talking about basic systemtic structure here, not revolution.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Pete at Home on April 23, 2019, 09:17:43 PM
If a Democrat President like Hillary committed America to unnecessary wars as a form of military corporate welfare, I would absolutely be strongly critical.


She did just that as foreign secretary, no? Killing the Haitian minimum wage hike, supporting the plutocratic genocidal coup in Honduras, etc?

I agree on the horrific tax bill.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Pete at Home on April 23, 2019, 09:32:24 PM
Dude, your reply here is really reactionary. You're punching against the wind. I was making no argument of any kind about what's fair or whether Greg is right or wrong. I was correcting Crunch as to what the thread was about, and that's it.

My bad, I did misread you!  I've always viewed this thread  as little more than a propaganda thread spreading a bit of malicious falsehood.  Not lies mind you, just a twist on interpretation that's fundamentally misleading.

How do you accuse someone of being "maliciously" fundamentally misleading without popping your dishonesty cork?  And all without any actual factual references that Greg allegedly misleads us from?

Whether a system designed to make the rich richer is unjust is a matter of philosophy and semantics and cannot justify terms like "misleading."


What I do find misleading is the right wing argument that making income taxation flat while ignoring all the other highly regressive forms of government revenue, somehow constitutes fair taxation. ALL taxation and revenue must account before anyone should blather about fairness.  Look at what percentage of income at different socioeconomic levels is being spent at the government's discretion rather than the individual.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Pete at Home on April 24, 2019, 12:06:31 AM
There are definitely people who don't deserve it, especially those who inherited it.

I'm guessing you don't have children.  Hard to imagine you would and that you'd believe your own kids don't deserve what you worked your whole life to give them.  Or is it only "rich kids" whose parents are morally wrong to give them things?


Can you point to a rich billionaire paren't who made all his money by "working hard his entire life" -- say harder than the 90th percentile of say vegetarians, who make on average 25000 per year?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDeamon on April 24, 2019, 02:07:22 AM
There are definitely people who don't deserve it, especially those who inherited it.

I'm guessing you don't have children.  Hard to imagine you would and that you'd believe your own kids don't deserve what you worked your whole life to give them.  Or is it only "rich kids" whose parents are morally wrong to give them things?


Can you point to a rich billionaire paren't who made all his money by "working hard his entire life" -- say harder than the 90th percentile of say vegetarians, who make on average 25000 per year?

Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg(can be debated on "worked hard" but it wasn't dropped in his lap by mom and dad either).

I think Elton Musk likely qualifies, and those are just off-hand.

Oh, for an older deceased example: J. R. Simplot and Sam Walton.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Pete at Home on April 24, 2019, 05:33:11 AM
The question was not merely who worked hard at some point but who slaved away for decades. The phrase was worked hard all his life.

Sam Walton might be said to have worked hard all his life for his fortune. Clearly none of the young billionaires did. Money making is more a matter of fluff and bluff than hard work at that level.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on April 24, 2019, 09:15:00 AM
The question was not merely who worked hard at some point but who slaved away for decades. The phrase was worked hard all his life.

Sam Walton might be said to have worked hard all his life for his fortune. Clearly none of the young billionaires did. Money making is more a matter of fluff and bluff than hard work at that level.

Yeah,but, getting to that level is phenomenally difficult. If it wasn’t, we’d all be billionaires.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Crunch on April 24, 2019, 09:23:05 AM
There are definitely people who don't deserve it, especially those who inherited it.

I'm guessing you don't have children.  Hard to imagine you would and that you'd believe your own kids don't deserve what you worked your whole life to give them.  Or is it only "rich kids" whose parents are morally wrong to give them things?


Can you point to a rich billionaire paren't who made all his money by "working hard his entire life" -- say harder than the 90th percentile of say vegetarians, who make on average 25000 per year?

Michael Dell. Built from nothing in his dorm room. There’s tons of what wewould call wealthy people that built their wealth from nothing, read “The Millionaire Next Door”.


And this idea of deciding who “deserves” their wealth, who gets to decide who deserves their money and who doesn’t? This is a petty framework based on envy and bitterness which sets up the launching pad to steal their wealth. Instead of demanding better from our elected officials, we should demand better of each other.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: ScottF on April 24, 2019, 10:21:59 AM
I'd put Cuban in that same category (not sure if he was mentioned earlier). Does success breed success, and capital allow you to generate more capital? Of course.

The comment that making money is "...a matter of fluff and bluff " probably feels right for those who never have.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Seriati on April 24, 2019, 10:36:24 AM
My bad, I did misread you!  I've always viewed this thread  as little more than a propaganda thread spreading a bit of malicious falsehood.  Not lies mind you, just a twist on interpretation that's fundamentally misleading.

How do you accuse someone of being "maliciously" fundamentally misleading without popping your dishonesty cork?

I thought it was already clear, I think the architects of the tax story (i.e., the DNC and Dem politicians) that the cuts did not provide a middle class tax cut and "disproportionately" favored the rich were acting maliciously.  I still do.  Those politicians sold an actual lie for no reason other than politics.

I view this thread as spreading that tale.  I think we are all guilty of repeating talking points without holding the premises up to the light.  On this one, ANYONE could have looked at the rates and the change to the standard deduction and using basic math understood that the claims were a lie.

Anyone who did read a story about how the tax cuts were a lie because refunds were down saw a blatant lie being propagated.

Quote
And all without any actual factual references that Greg allegedly misleads us from?

This is not the first thread on this topic.  I actually walked through concrete examples under the rates on one.  I walked through a lot of the reasons why the "story" was untrue above.  I gave my own "concrete example" as someone that this reform was targetted to not help (ie, someone with a SALT deduction) and showed that it came out largely neutral.

Which proposition exactly do you need support on?  Depending on which source you look at, it was reported that over 80% saw a meaningful tax reduction (and the proportion that saw some reduction was even higher).

Quote
Whether a system designed to make the rich richer is unjust is a matter of philosophy and semantics and cannot justify terms like "misleading."

Telling a false story, that a tax cut hurt the middle class, when it directly lowered the taxes of every lower and middle class tax payer to build your case is in fact misleading and untrue.

Reasonable people could disagree about whether the benefits on the top of the income scale should have been less, but that is really about a policy position.  The right believes (and the growing economy and business investment levels seem to prove) that reducing the yoke of taxes on corporations and high earners (not eliminate, reduce) has positive impact on the economy.  And really there's no basis for a counter argument that higher taxes spur growth - I'm not aware of any facts that show that.

Quote
What I do find misleading is the right wing argument that making income taxation flat while ignoring all the other highly regressive forms of government revenue, somehow constitutes fair taxation.

Then maybe actually read my arguments above where I spent entire paragraphs criticizing the regressive taxes that the states impose.  The federal tax system is progressive, the states are regressive (and particularly the blue states). 

Show me anywhere that I've made a serious case for a flat tax.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: TheDrake on April 24, 2019, 11:08:08 AM
Some billionaires have had massive positive impacts. Ted Turner comes to mind, Bill gates, etc. I doubt they could have had the same impact if they were subject to the old 90% bracket.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: yossarian22c on April 24, 2019, 11:41:39 AM
Some billionaires have had massive positive impacts. Ted Turner comes to mind, Bill gates, etc. I doubt they could have had the same impact if they were subject to the old 90% bracket.

Actually since most of their wealth came from stock value growth, they don't pay any taxes on it until they actually sell the stock. I think Gates seeded his foundation with some cash but also with just lots of shares of Microsoft. Giving the shares directly allows him to avoid ever paying taxes on the wealth he acquired. He also is likely able to deduct the value of the stock he gave from his regular income taxes. I'm no tax lawyer but I'm guessing if he really wanted to he could set it up in such a way so his income tax bill ends up amounting to zero every year.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Pete at Home on April 24, 2019, 12:02:42 PM
Are you angry yet?

I just plugged my data from 2017 into the 2018 version of TurboTax to see what the Republican Tax Law does to the income of those in the 1%. There's still two provisions that TurboTax says that the IRS has not finalized their determination, so this is approximate. The difference is a savings of $13,600. Note that  includes a provision aimed primarily against wealthy Blue states that limits deductions for state taxes to $10K - if I came from a lower-tax state than California, the net benefit of the tax law to someone with my income would be $22,400.

So all of you who voted for President Trump and the Republicans in 2016 - how much are you saving on your tax bill this year? Do you think that this tax cut primarily aimed at the wealthy was a good idea? Do you still?

And this is income tax savings - don't forget that by cutting Corporate tax rates by 1/3rd, everyone who owns stock got about a  9% increase in the value of their portfolio. For my retirement account, that's about another 100K.

Of course, this tax cut has ballooned the deficit by $300B+ in just the first year (and that's when the economy is doing well - it will be disastrous when the economy slows).

Okay, any of you Republican voters angry yet? Because this was by far the single greatest impact that the Republicans elected in 2016 had on the country - this is what you got for your vote. And don't blame me - I voted (and donated) to stop injustice such as this.

Seriati, here's the op to this thread. I see no denial here that the middle class got a tax break.

I don't deny your proposition that other threads and DNC ads may contain malicious falsehoods aka lies. (Can we agree that malicious falsehood and lie mean the same ?) but here Greg starts out with his own tax analysis, so your segway seems misleading (though not maliciously so.)

When I gave an example of a dishonest argument from the right re taxation I did not impute it to you.  I haven't seen you ever use that moronic argument that the poor aren't paying their share. 

I see taxation as an undesirable necessity.  We should tax the rich and not the poor because it's simply less harmful to tax a small group of their luxuries than a large group of their necessities.  Back when America could have been considered great, the rich accepted this burden and didn't botch incessantly about unfairness. 

Seriati: And really there's no basis for a counter argument that higher taxes spur growth -

Agreed. The power to tax is the power to destroy.


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Then maybe actually read my arguments above where I spent entire paragraphs criticizing the regressive taxes that the states impose

Will do. I started reading this thread at the beginning and haven't worked through it yet.  I concur that regression occurs at the state (and I would add local) level and look forward to your sources showing that blue states are the worst Regressors. From your wording I suspect you haven't accounted for fines and fees and forced "education" mandates and other bubba Gimmies in the criminal code; Georgia and Nevada do a lot of those. I would even weigh unsubsidized school book costs.
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Pete at Home on April 24, 2019, 12:27:43 PM
Quote
I view this thread as spreading that tale

Is your view backed up by any actual quote from the OP where that tale appears in any part?

Where Greg seems to be coming from is an outrage that the richest are getting tax breaks at a time that (1) the poor are getting poorer and (2)  the middle class are shrinking.  Do you disagree with those assessments and how could Greg or anyone make those points without getting obfuscated with DNC arguments on other topics?
Title: Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
Post by: Pete at Home on April 24, 2019, 12:33:02 PM
Trying to think of what a GOP dominated 3rd might do to exploit and expose the blue state taxation scheme that you describe and the best I have so far is sic the CDC on the matter.  If guns are a "disease" then why can't regressive taxation also be so classified. :)