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The Demise of the United States is Inevitable

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craigiri

Well-known member
BTW you always seem to be forgetting about Payroll and Corp taxes, which bring in more than the income tax does.
We're probably on the same page here - the number can easily be massaged....but,

1. Fred is 100% wrong. We could easily pay off everything if taxes were increased.
2. No reasonable discussion of flat tax or any changes can be had without addressing the 15 Trillion - you have to pay it and the interest on it off. If interest rates increase, we are doomed by the cost!
3. Payroll taxes are separate because we broke out the medicare and ss...it's easier to keep it simple that way.
4. Many flat tax supporters want to eliminate or lower corporate taxes - so there goes that revenue!

As you surely know, you cannot get blood from a stone. The money must add up. There is no magic bullet here in terms of cuts - as Fred seems to indicate. Even a frugal budget would need 2.5 trillion (net of ss and medicare) to pay off some debt and keep the basics going.

Our existing system is a progressive tax. Most Americans support that. At the same time, it should be simplified and deductions done away with. This effectively makes it flatter. But - no matter how you slice it - the very wealthy are going to have to pay a little bit more if we want to make a dent in the debt. No way around that, even with growth.

IMHO, anyway.
 

DBA

Well-known member
Why are you taking the lowest stats from right after the great crash? :)
My "pot/kettle" comment wasn't at your "10%/4 trillion" comment, it was in reference to you just pulling random numbers out of thin air and completely neglecting relevant info/facts.

Also I posted those 2009 stats to back up your 10%/4 trillion claim as it's a fairly accurate statement. (y)
We are discussing now and the future. It seems like your figures and mine agree - the number is about 4 trillion (it was actually higher in 2007, and will probably be higher in a few years).
What years do you want? I've been using 2009 as that's the latest year that I could find all the data for.
So, is Fred correct. If we took that 4 trillion would the budget be balanced?
Hmmm, do I need to make it easier for you? Is 4 greater than 3.7? :p

BTW you'd still have the income and payroll taxes of the 90% (can't really take more than 100% of somebody's income so we'll forget about the 10%'s payroll taxes :D ); along with the corp, excise, and other taxes.

True or False?
Circle one, please.
YES
NO
I answered it above, you'd actually bring in a considerable surplus due to the other 90%.
 

DBA

Well-known member
1. Fred is 100% wrong. We could easily pay off everything if taxes were increased.
Would you work if somebody took 100% of your money? What about 75%? 50%?

How about we apply this same principle to something else.....grades.



2. No reasonable discussion of flat tax or any changes can be had without addressing the 15 Trillion - you have to pay it and the interest on it off. If interest rates increase, we are doomed by the cost!
Don't think that it matters how the tax rates are structured, this should always be a top issue. Right behind actually getting the budget balanced.



3. Payroll taxes are separate because we broke out the medicare and ss...it's easier to keep it simple that way.
Uhhhh...ok, if you say so.

Medicare and SS are two of the main reasons we're currently over budget. However about we make some drastic changes to those? I'm never going to get SS so why should I have to pay for other peoples retirement?

4. Many flat tax supporters want to eliminate or lower corporate taxes - so there goes that revenue!
Corp taxes brought in:
2009 - $138 Billion
2010 - $191 Billion
2011 - $198 Billion (estimate)

As you surely know, you cannot get blood from a stone. The money must add up. There is no magic bullet here in terms of cuts - as Fred seems to indicate. Even a frugal budget would need 2.5 trillion (net of ss and medicare) to pay off some debt and keep the basics going.
I could balance the budget, nobody would like me though. (Have I mentioned that I hate entitlement programs?) :D

Our existing system is a progressive tax. Most Americans support that. At the same time, it should be simplified and deductions done away with. This effectively makes it flatter. But - no matter how you slice it - the very wealthy are going to have to pay a little bit more if we want to make a dent in the debt. No way around that, even with growth
Isn't it all our debt? Sorry but I don't believe in this "their fair share" / redistribute wealth BS. (BTW I did mention that I make well under the national average right?)

I grew up being taught that if you want something you work for it.
 

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
Well, Fred, if we make up our own facts it will be hard to have a honest conversation!

The top 10% of taxpayers who fit your criteria have an adjusted Gross Income of approx. 4 TRILLION dollars.
The projected budget deficit in 2015 to 2020 is approx. 500-700 billion per year.
This means we could balance the budget 7X over with your suggestion...each year!

C'mon, Fred, time to come back to earth. That is a oft repeated talking point with absolutely no basis in fact - as are a lot of the usual slogans. Do the math
C student in mathematics?

The combined US income is 12,357,113,000. (SOURCE: http://bber.unm.edu/econ/us-tpi.htm)
The top 1%, which included not just billionaires and millionaires, but any couple making a combined income of over $350K is 24% of that, or 2,965,707,120, so you're already down 1.1 trillion out of the gate. (SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/opinion/07kristof.html)
"During FY 2010, the federal government collected approximately $2.16 trillion in tax revenue." (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget)
The CBO projected total outlays of $3.708 trillion for a deficit of $1.48 trillion for 2011 and the actual deficit came at at $1.56 trillion (SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_United_States_federal_budget)
The top 1% pays:
39.5% of the income tax ( 1.0915 trillion x .395) = .4311425 trillion
57% of corporate income tax (.1811 trillion x .57) = .103227 trillion
4.1% of payroll taxes (.8111 trillion x .0041) = .0332551 trillion
4.7% of ad-valorem taxes (.1299 trillion x .041) = .00053259
For a final total of $568,157,190 billion, or the top 1% pay 26.3% of the total income tax.
(SOURCES: http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/year_revenue_2011USbn_13bs1n_10603040#usgs302 and http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-m...e-bachmann-says-top-1-percent-pay-40-percent/)

So, if the top 1% is going to pay their current tax burden plus the $1.56 trillion deficit, they'd have a total tax burden of $2.13 trillion, or 71.77% just to balance the budget.

Now of course you still have that final Sword of Damocles hanging over your head, the federal debt at $16 trillion dollars. So if you increase their tax burden to 100% (and I'm NOT using adjusted gross income either), it will take 20 years to pay off the national debt.

Keep a few things in mind.

1. We haven't limited this to millionaire and billionaires. A couple making more that $350K or an individual making $250K has been financially raped by this process, so your heart surgeon is now a pauper. Lets hope no one you know ever needs surgery.
2. There's no adjusted gross income. We've just put the 1% over a subway grate in a refrigerator box.
3. The debt will never get paid down because in Year Two, there is no economy to speak of anyway.

Just out of curiosity, if you don't worry about paying down the debt, but just tax the 1% at 71.77%, the net result is $837,219.120 shared by 1,379,822 people for an average income of $606K.

No more millionaires or billionaires. But also no more Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Ford.

And because I wasn't using adjusted gross income, guess who else is out of business? Nearly every farm in the US. Now we're all poor, homeless and starving.

If this doesn't point out that we dug ourselves into a hole that is impossible to get out of, nothing will.
 

craigiri

Well-known member
Ok, I get it!
Fred says that we could not pay off the yearly budget deficit with 100% tax.
Then dba jumps on ME and asks me if I would work for nothing....

Then Fred spews out bunches of numbers which we already know......

C'mon, guys! Let's get back to the topic. Let me summarize for you.....

The world is not coming to an end. The main thing holding us back from balancing our yearly budget is ideology, specifically those who somehow claim the tax rates under Reagan, Bush I and Clinton/GOP congress were way out of line (even though they got us close to balanced!)....

In a quest to do anything to not address the problem, those same ideologues claim that the country is going down the tubes and nothing we do can possibly save it.

I disagree. The only problem we have is a bunch of folks who are unpatriotic and want all the services and protections a Republic provides...and yet don't want to pay the bills. The same folks, of course, use an awful lot of their energy protecting millionaires from paying another couple percent.

If and when the discussed "demise" takes place, it will be because of inflexibility and the lack of citizens coming together and agreeing to fix things. We are the only thing that stands in our way.
 

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
I think the only person you proved that to is yourself. But, heck, don't let me stop you...
;)
A civilization, like Rome or Greece, doesn't just disappear in an instant like the Dwemer. They erode, they rot and they implode from their own bloat. In hindsight, there was always a tipping point from which they could never recover and that the doom as sealed, even if the inevitable decline happened over decades or even hundreds of years.

We have crossed the Rubicon. Xerxes' army is upon us. The die has been cast and we, most assuredly, do not have hundreds of years. I hope not to live long enough to see the end, but fear I just might.
 

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
The problem with that, and I hate rehashing those old argument, is that was not why Bill Clinton was under investigation.

1. Bill Clinton was being sued in a civil suit by Paula Jones for sexual harassment.
2. Her case was dismissed, partly because Clinton committed perjury regarding his Lewinsky affair. Remember that the standard of evidence in a civil trial is preponderance of the evidence. Establishing a pattern of sexual misconduct would have helped her case greatly.
3. Clinton was investigated and tried for impeachment not for sexual conduct, but for committing perjury, denying a citizen their constitutional rights to due process while acting as President and violating his oath of office. Its a pretty weak charge as an impeachable offense, thus the failure to impeach.
4. However, that does not mean he was not guilt. Clinton was cited by Federal District Judge Susan Webber Wright for civil contempt for failure to testify truthfully, he agreed to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license and suspended from the United States Supreme Court bar.

So while the left will try to draw comparisons (while themselves being hypocritical in saying Clinton's private actions should remain private and providing him support yet saying Gingrich's disqualify him and politically crucifying him), there is no comparison. The issue is no what they did in their private life, but whether or not either lied about it under oath.

If someone can produce any evidence that Newt lied under oath about his affairs, I'll happily join the choir calling for him to resign from the race.
 

kyrgyz

Well-known member
So while the left will try to draw comparisons (while themselves being hypocritical in saying Clinton's private actions should remain private and providing him support yet saying Gingrich's disqualify him and politically crucifying him), there is no comparison. The issue is no what they did in their private life, but whether or not either lied about it under oath.
Decency and common sense are still around. Gingrich should've reminded himself of the doctrine of clean hands before jumping on Clinton.

If someone can produce any evidence that Newt lied under oath about his affairs, I'll happily join the choir calling for him to resign from the race.
That's right. O. J. Simpson is innocent of his wife's murder in the court of law.
 

jasetaro

Well-known member
Decency and common sense are still around. Gingrich should've reminded himself of the doctrine of clean hands before jumping on Clinton.
Right, so Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton both crappy human beings... what does that have to do with their fitness for office? They're politicians, that means when they're not kissing babies they're stealing their lollipops.

Lets stop trying to delude ourselves, there are no perfect candidates.... politics is a business of *******s, no one in it is a squeaky clean paragon of virtue -- if they were they wouldn't be in politics, they all have faults. The sooner we realize that, the better off we'll be.
 

Biker

Well-known member
First and foremost, 52% of all Americans pay no tax whatsoever. The problem with that is that the burden will be shifted more and more to "the rich", and the population of "the rich" will grow smaller and smaller.
I question your percentage. Source?

That 52% would owe no taxes at the end of the tax year, yes, I can see that. Everyone pays taxes on their wage. Whether or not you owe on April 15th remains to be seen, and yes, with deductions and what have you, you may even get a refund.

But to say 52% of all Americans pay no tax? Rubbish.
 

Diana

Active member
Sad, but true. The decline of the US is now unstoppable.

First and foremost, 52% of all Americans pay no tax whatsoever. The problem with that is that the burden will be shifted more and more to "the rich", and the population of "the rich" will grow smaller and smaller.
Oh please, don't make me cry. :rolleyes:
 

craigiri

Well-known member
But to say 52% of all Americans pay no tax? Rubbish.
Hey, he's allowed to make up his own facts!

What he means to say is that income of many people, even more lately, has falled below the minimum to the point where they have no Federal Income Tax due at all.
The same people pay SS, Medicare, unemployment, sales tax, property tax, excise tax and also pay and caused to be pay dozens of other taxes.

This is the same reason many corporations don't pay tax. If your deductions exceed your income...or get close...you are not going to pay any tax.

For instance, if I decided to take out a jumbo mortgage on my first house, then buy a second house or RV/Boat, then I had a lot of losses carried forward from a bad business deal or stock market loss - I would pay few or no taxes even if I made 100K a year!

Similarly, if I own 10 million dollars in municipal bonds and take in $500,ooo a year in income from them I owe ZERO in Federal taxes.

Everyone pays taxes or causes taxes to be paid. Even if you rent a house, your rental payments are what the landlord uses to pay property tax.

The bigger question is the distribution of those taxes. Most sane people do think it is time that people are not rewarded so much for buying a yacht or a beach house.
 

Diana

Active member
I disagree with this. Much of the issues we have right now is because the decline is being shifted onto the poor, instead of the rich. Trickle-down economics doesn't work, greed supersedes it. America is a consumer based economy, and with the burden being put on the poor, less consumerism is going on; and thus the economy breaks down.

Once the poor can no longer support the government, the empire falls.
Exactly! You've nailed it. This is what brought down the Roman Empire.
 

jasetaro

Well-known member
I question your percentage. Source?

That 52% would owe no taxes at the end of the tax year, yes, I can see that. Everyone pays taxes on their wage. Whether or not you owe on April 15th remains to be seen, and yes, with deductions and what have you, you may even get a refund.

But to say 52% of all Americans pay no tax? Rubbish.
Grr... I'm not sure where that stat comes from, but as far as I can determine it's at best misleading.

As this chart illustrates you can rightly argue that roughly 50% of Americans pay little or no federal income tax. But, the idea that 52% percent of the population pays no taxes at all false.

Federal Income Taxes 2009.jpg

Source: http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html
 

Diana

Active member
Raise the minimum wage, the government will collect more taxes (in income and sales tax), the consumer will have more to spend, there will be more money in circulation, businesses will increase their revenues, hire more workers, who will spend more, thus increasing the multiplying effect.

Trickle down could only be sustained as long as there was easy credit, but since that bubble burst, as was inevitable with higher oil prices (thanks to the war in Iraq and saber rattling against Iran), the only way to reverse the downward trend is to trickle up, i.e., rebuild the economy from the bottom up.
 

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
The percentage dropped off slightly last year to 46%.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/28/46-percent-of-americans-e_n_886293.html

Some 76 million tax filers, or 46.4 percent of the total, will be exempt from federal income tax in 2011.
But with the help of the government, a similar percentage of filers -- many of them among the bottom 40 percent of earners -- have legally avoided paying federal income tax for the past several years.
Keep in mind the scoop of the conversation. I don't give a flying fig if they pay local taxes, state taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, or social security taxes. Thats immaterial.

The point is, as it has always been, that once the number is consistently at or above 50%, then its game over. Politicians will then compete on pandering to the have-nots, taking money from the haves in creating an even larger welfare state.

It will create a systemic economic erosion as part of the political process. Hell, the whole thing was foreseen.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

Attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville
"This is the Hard Core of Freedom" by Elmer T. Peterson
The Daily Oklahoman, 9 December 1951
 

craigiri

Well-known member
This figure means nothing.
I had 5 people in my family. Guess what. Only I paid income tax.
That's 80% of people in my family that didn't pay income tax.

These type of numbers provide no hints in how to get "there" from "here". We already know that people with money are the ones who largely pay taxes. That's certainly nothing new. People with money also buy million dollar beach houses. Nothing new there either.

So, what has changed in the last decades. Well, top tier income taxes used to be as high as 90%. This was during the best economy in the history of the world (50's, 60's). Eventually they were lowered to 70%.

Capital gains taxes used to be 28%. That was a good break. Now they are 15%. Dividends were taxed as either income or capital gains (28%). Now they are 15%.

So what has changed - and every single statistic shows this - is that wealth inequality has become more pronounced. Why? Easy. Money controls the government (lobbying, etc.) and they set all tax and other policies to benefit themselves more.
 

craigiri

Well-known member
3. Clinton was investigated and tried for impeachment not for sexual conduct, but for committing perjury, denying a citizen their constitutional rights to due process while acting as President and violating his oath of office. Its a pretty weak charge as an impeachable offense, thus the failure to impeach.
.
Ah, rewrites of history.
The real story is the Republicans spent almost unlimited amounts of time and money looking for anything anywhere to trip up Clinton.
They finally found something - which is akin to the government putting Capone in jail for tax evasion. That is, what they found was something outside of what they were looking for.
They tried to impeach and surely would have if they had the votes. It would not have mattered to Newt and his friends whether the charge was jaywalking.

And please, Fred, don't make me chuckle thinking that you hold Newt to a higher standard. Just his fibs about working "as a historian" for Freddie and Fannie and "telling them not to do things"...when the truth is the complete opposite, should ring your bell.

But I guess in your view, destroying the economy and getting paid millions for it is worse than, for instance, lying about having sex! Funny stuff!
 
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