Author Topic: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill  (Read 4724 times)

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #50 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.

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #51 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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

NobleHunter

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #52 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?

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2019, 12:53:49 PM »
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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.

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2019, 01:32:48 PM »
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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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?

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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.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 01:35:06 PM by Seriati »

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2019, 03:00:53 PM »
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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.

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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.

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #56 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.

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #57 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,...

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #58 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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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"?

DonaldD

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #59 on: January 08, 2019, 07:44:03 PM »
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build a wall across Canada 
Technically, I think you would need a complete dome...
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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...

TheDeamon

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #60 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.

DJQuag

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #61 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.

DonaldD

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2019, 06:31:16 AM »
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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.

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #63 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?

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #64 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.

rightleft22

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2019, 01:58:22 PM »
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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

TheDeamon

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #66 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.

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2019, 06:13:37 PM »
A chain migrator, eh?

TheDeamon

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #68 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. ;)

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #69 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.

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #70 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.

Fenring

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #71 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.

TheDeamon

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #72 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.

TheDeamon

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #73 on: January 11, 2019, 03:05:03 AM »

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #74 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.

DonaldD

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #75 on: January 11, 2019, 11:09:59 AM »
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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.
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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?

Fenring

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #76 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?

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #77 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

DonaldD

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #78 on: January 11, 2019, 01:12:18 PM »
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Because that ship sailed 50 years ago?
Sure, but TheDaemon thought that the presentation was coherent and presumably sincere...

TheDeamon

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #79 on: January 11, 2019, 02:13:33 PM »
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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.

DonaldD

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #80 on: January 11, 2019, 03:17:18 PM »
"and presumably sincere"

Grant

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #81 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. 

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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?

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. 

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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%? 

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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:: 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 06:59:47 PM by Grant »

Grant

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #82 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. 




Pete at Home

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #83 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?

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #84 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?

D.W.

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #85 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.

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #86 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.

D.W.

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #87 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".

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #88 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.

D.W.

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #89 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.

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #90 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.

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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.”

Fenring

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #91 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.

D.W.

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #92 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. 

D.W.

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #93 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.

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #94 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).

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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.

Fenring

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #95 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).

TheDrake

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #96 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.

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #97 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.

Fenring

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #98 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.

Seriati

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Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« Reply #99 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?