Author Topic: Debt Ceiling Filibuster  (Read 3676 times)

edgmatt

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Re: Debt Ceiling Filibuster
« Reply #50 on: October 16, 2021, 11:57:17 PM »
Why don't they just raise the debt ceiling to infinite?  Or, if that's too abstract, 900 trillion and set to double every 10 years?

If they are going to raise it, then max out spending, then raise it, then max out spending......year after year, no matter what, no matter who's in charge....why have a debt ceiling at all?

It comes off as a dog and pony show every time this happens.  I don't believe they don't see it coming.  I don't believe the Dems when they are all in a panic wringing their hands claiming catastrophe if we don't pay our debts (why did you vote to spend so much to get us in this much debt in the first place? And not just once, but over and over and over and over again?)  And I don't believe the Republicans when they say "vote for us, cause we won't spend as much".

It's all BS, every last drop of it.

TheDeamon

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Re: Debt Ceiling Filibuster
« Reply #51 on: October 17, 2021, 04:11:45 PM »
To me the argument that "the money should be doing something useful rather than sitting around in a fat bank account" is specious. It is always doing something for the economy. To the extent that some monies are not benefitting the [local] economy, it would be because of offshoring, which although pernicious, would not be directly related to the local inheritance tax issue since the whole point of offshoring is to evade local government taxes. I would be the first to agree with putting the kibosh on circumventing tax law, though.

Next you're going to tell me Bezos, Zuckerberg, and Musk don't have Scrooge McDuck money vaults that they go swimming in like portrayed in Duck Tales.  ;D

TheDeamon

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Re: Debt Ceiling Filibuster
« Reply #52 on: October 17, 2021, 04:19:43 PM »
I don't think that the giant piles of wealth sloshing around the stock market and other repositories of capital are really doing much good compared to what it could do in the hands of individual consumers.

That kind of depends what the stock market "is". I suspect there might be some controversy even among experts about what this market supposedly does in the first place. Even putting aside the existence of financial instruments like derivatives and shorts, even the mere fact of people trading stocks amongst themselves to see if they can profit off it...does that actually benefit the company materially? It's not like a round of investment by a private company where the sale of stocks is used to generate tangible monies for expansion. The company itself sees none of this action, aside of course from the stockholders within the company who personally benefit from the stock price going up.

The stock market has been fundamentally broken since the Baby Boomers hit their 40's. As they've been dumping money into the financial services sector in the hopes of their savings growing into a large enough nest egg that they can retire comfortably. Sadly for most of the developed world, their baby boomers didn't even bother with having 2.2 children. So it's up to a much smaller group of GenX, Y and Z to hold the system up as the boomers begin to divest those assets. The only exceptions being the US, France and New Zealand. Now the financial services sector begins to slowly deflate.. Which I guess makes all those inflationary policy moves from so many global governments a nice little godsend, if the value of the currency drops as quickly or even faster than the Boomers sell off their stock, the people watching the stock market averages won't even notice what's happening.

yossarian22c

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Re: Debt Ceiling Filibuster
« Reply #53 on: October 18, 2021, 02:19:37 PM »
Why don't they just raise the debt ceiling to infinite?  Or, if that's too abstract, 900 trillion and set to double every 10 years?

If they are going to raise it, then max out spending, then raise it, then max out spending......year after year, no matter what, no matter who's in charge....why have a debt ceiling at all?

It comes off as a dog and pony show every time this happens.  I don't believe they don't see it coming.  I don't believe the Dems when they are all in a panic wringing their hands claiming catastrophe if we don't pay our debts (why did you vote to spend so much to get us in this much debt in the first place? And not just once, but over and over and over and over again?)  And I don't believe the Republicans when they say "vote for us, cause we won't spend as much".

It's all BS, every last drop of it.

Both sides always see it coming.

It is a catastrophe if we quit paying our debts, federal employees, the armed forces, SS recipients, health care providers, or companies that have provided goods and services to the government. Republicans just like trying to use threatening catastrophic consequences to try to get something when democrats are in power. There should be no debt ceiling. Its a stupid policy created at the start of WW1 to dupe voters into thinking the war wouldn't be too expensive. No other country has such an idiotic policy.

If you want a smaller deficit, then Republicans could cut spending without cutting taxes by more when they are in charge. But when they held the levers of government they just cut taxes, no spending cuts.


Seriati

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Re: Debt Ceiling Filibuster
« Reply #54 on: October 18, 2021, 04:41:30 PM »
Hell according to those rules, what is wrong with an aristocracy? Which is what inheritance creates.

And we don't have that now?  We have mulitgenerational political families - you could name dozens if you tried.  We also have self made billionaires, many of whose children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will barely do anything but spend money.  So what.  Spending the money is more useful than piling it up, investing it even more so.  Encourage people to invest rather than punish them for having money and you get the best results.

Nothing stops you from setting a tax code to encourage favorable wages to workers.  For example, you could give an additional percentage of tax deduction for employee wages that are in the industries top 20%.  Or if you could make it  that exceeding say 110% of the average wage for that position 2 years prior, results in a tax benefit.  You'd see companies lining up to get those benefits. 

You could do what Trump did and set up opportunity zones that give tax preferences to building businesses in economically disadvantaged areas.  Literally incentivizing bringing permanent jobs to historically disadvantaged communities.

Those are targetted directly at improving the position of the people you're trying to help.  Taxes are targetted at punishment, which is all they are under modern monetary theory, and at creating a justification for politically favored spending.  People used to understand that actions speak louder than words, but today they are piss poor at actually understanding the impact of actions and rely on dog whistles and other words to form an opinion.

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Rand wouldn't agree with you, and her moral heroes deliberately do not lift a finger to help their kids in any way. In the ultimate view of man qua man, everyone is an individual and there are no clans.

And?  I'd say Rand's position is a failure as a matter of life.  Genetic continuation is a (some might say the) purpose of life, only if you have so many descendants that you want to temper them to be the best would that even come close to making sense, but even then you should prefer the weakest of them over other people's descendents.  I do note, you could also choose to continue your existence by being influential but that's a tougher way to go.

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Not to mention that massive concentrations of wealth often involve immoral actions done to other individuals because of a position of power rather than value for value.

Do they then?  Can you prove it?  Really massive concentrations of wealth almost always involve producing something for other people that they value, not anything immoral.

I think this is one of those soft axiomatic lies that people tell them self without any real examination or proof.  You just assume that having money is proof of guilt therefore you're only punishing the guilty.  It's the same premise as racism or sexism or any other -ism, you attribute guilt based on a characteristic without any basis for it.

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Now, in pure objectivism it would also be abhorrent to have the government take your wealth upon death. In that moral utopia, the last will and testament would give that money to someone according to their value. Which might be a perfect stranger or an entity or otherwise. Normally that would be a value for value proposition. Say, a child who cares for their elderly parent. But that transaction would be happening in real time, it wouldn't be contingent on death.

How about just having a basic view that people are entitled to make their own decisions about what they do with the money they earned.  Jumping the shark to the view that all money belongs to the government (which is really where you're going with your tax philosophy) is fundamentally inconsistent with the best way to live our lives and completely incompatible with freedom.

But these are all things they should have done when they were creating the bills in the first place.  So all the debt ceiling does is make Congress renegotiate the bills they have already passed.

Like I said, de novo the debt ceiling is a stupid idea.  Nothing prevented then (or now), Congress including a debt ceiling increase specifically in the laws they pass that spend the cash.  Ask yourself why they don't?

For this stuff it has to do with the way they "score" laws to pretend the costs and the benefits are balanced.  You know Biden's claim that the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill "costs nothing," when in fact if you properly scored it and eliminated the accounting tricks up front it's closer to $6 trillion.  When Congress passes a bill like that, and eliminates the gimmicks on the down low, they have to raise the debt ceiling to borrow money to pay for their previous lies on cost.

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But with the filibuster, Republicans don't have to renegotiate anything.  They just prevent any bill that they don't like from being passed, and the country defaults on its financial obligations.  And they only need 41% of the Senate to to that. :(

I see.  You have no problem with the Dems passing huge partisan changes to the economy in a 50/50 senate using "reconciliation" rather than compromising, but it's unfair to demand they use the tricks to increase the debt ceiling.  If the Senate worked on compromise half as hard as they worked on dividing us we'd never have to worry about the filibuster.

But we both know there is no world where the Dems will trade the Republicans a policy win for a policy win.  We literally have a 50/50 Senate that most analysts expect the Dems to lose in 2 years and for it to get even worse for Dems in 4 years, and rather than see that as a reason to compromise and work for the good of the whole country they see that as a panic inducing need to force through radical changes while they can. 

If the country wanted those changes there would be no need to panic.  Just keep telling the people what you're going to do and let them re-elect you. But that isn't the Democrat's strategy.  Nope their strategy is to lie about what they're going to do, to deliberately mislead by only discussion the things that "poll well" and to deliberately down play and mislead on that which "doesn't poll well" (i.e, things that don't have majority support).

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It gives too much power to a minority of politicians to veto bills that were already passed.   

We'd be better off killing the reconciliation process, then bills that pass will have the support to get a debt ceiling increase.  If politicians can't compromise and the public won't give a sixty vote threshhold it says clearly that the PEOPLE don't want those actions to occur.

Seriati

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Re: Debt Ceiling Filibuster
« Reply #55 on: October 18, 2021, 04:50:04 PM »
That must be why everyone has fled Europe for these glorious tales havens. Except, no they haven't. The UK inheritance tax is 40%, and London has not experienced a collapse in its billionaire population.

Not an expert on UK taxation, but there appear to be an endless stream of exceptions and work arounds to the 40% death tax that allow for it not to apply, especially to aristicratic estates and wealth. 

And there's a reason you picked the UK, it's one of the few jurisdictions that even has a death tax (most countries that did have them have eliminated them) and its also just about the highest in the developed world.

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The taxpocalypse that you conjure up is a mirage. Especially when you consider how many very wealthy people support these taxes.

The most undeniable rule of wealthy people, if they support a tax they don't expect to have to pay it and have ample ways to avoid it.  It's trivially easy for them to pass even hundreds of millions of dollars to their descendents tax free if they do it in advance, and also trivially easy for them to donate huge amounts to charities in connection with their deaths.  Many of the charities and foundations keep the power to spend the money with the family of the founder and do little to help the people of the country.

It's middle class families and in particular small business owners that get hammered by the death tax.  That's just a fact of life, yet in your head you're "reclaiming" Bill Gates fortune , not forcing your neighbor's kid to sell the family store.

Seriati

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Re: Debt Ceiling Filibuster
« Reply #56 on: October 18, 2021, 05:10:32 PM »
I am certainly no expert but based on a Forbes article it sounded like the current laws do not take into account Capital Gains, or at least that is how I read it.  If an individual sells the day before they die they pay Capital Gains.  Once they die Capital Gains no longer applies.  Seems like a fairly massive tax loophole.

Not exactly.  Currently the estate has to value the assets at market value (rather than the original cost), which is the basis at which the heirs take over the assets.  They "step up" the value of the securities.  While it's true the individual would have had to pay capital gains taxes on the amount between the purchase price and the sales price - if they sold - it's actually in the government's interest to force that step up to maximize the estate value.

Effectively, the government requires that the estate's value be current - which helps to hit the tax thresholds and ultimately increases the tax the estate would owe. 

But there are also lots of tricks you're ignoring.  For example, that individual, before they died, could have donated the stock and received a charitable deduction for the full market value of the stock and not only never paid the capital gains tax but also pay less other taxes on their income.   True there's a limit on the deductibility but it is something like 30% of your adjusted gross income (it's slightly lower if you donate to a private foundation - like say donating to the family foundation you set up) - and the excess carries forward year to year.

Mynnion

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Re: Debt Ceiling Filibuster
« Reply #57 on: October 19, 2021, 07:46:16 AM »
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Not exactly.  Currently the estate has to value the assets at market value (rather than the original cost), which is the basis at which the heirs take over the assets.  They "step up" the value of the securities.  While it's true the individual would have had to pay capital gains taxes on the amount between the purchase price and the sales price - if they sold - it's actually in the government's interest to force that step up to maximize the estate value.

Effectively, the government requires that the estate's value be current - which helps to hit the tax thresholds and ultimately increases the tax the estate would owe.

In most cases the thresholds are still too high (at least at a Federal level) to impact the majority of tax payers or am I misunderstanding?

A charitable donation is not passing the wealth to the generation.

There are of course plenty of loop holes as you mention.  Most of the individuals making laws make sure they have ways to protect their wealth or the wealth of their donors.