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Thinking Through the Deficit/Debt

To the Thinkers Cheating on Their Taxes:

There is this saying in popular culture that is something about as close to a universal as you can come up with. It goes something like ‘Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that man behind the tree.’ It was originally attributed to the venerable Sen. Russell Long of Louisiana but it is an inside joke that everyone knows about but has no way around.

But face it. No one out of bare self interest wants to pay anything in taxes and most of these same people want as much as they can get from the government and other institutions. I would like to see if we could talk smartly about this for one evening and come up with what we can come up with.

This all comes up in the middle of one of the most mind numbingly stupid political times
we could ever imagine. One side wants to steal from two percent and the other wants to starve the low end to death. In the middle is this chaotic core of nonsense syllables that speak to nothing reasonable.

But face it. We put ourselves into this mess, if it is even really a mess. We allowed a fairly substantial federal government surplus to be ripped to shreds by ridiculous tax cuts, two wars on a credit card, nearly free drugs for seniors on another credit card and a bunch of other inanity. And everyone, and I mean everyone, cannot be held harmless as we did this.

And proof that we were living in a total psychosis while this was going on, we had the august Dick Cheney say one of the most insane things ever stated by a government official. In 2003 before the second wave of Bush tax cuts he blathered something like tax cuts at times of war are even more essential. Remember War Bonds Dick!

But we are in a major pickle and need some way to get us part of the way out of the swamp. Here are some ideas to consider.

One of the best recent ideas that will likely go nowhere but should is the one to ascribe a fee for all speculative market transactions. We just went through the chaos of out of control speculation nearly tanking the world economy and to date only few involved in the fiasco have had to pony up anything. And most of the people who play these games are already taxed for income at far lower rates that you or I. Just ask Mitt. That idea would kill $40 Billion a year from the deficit and the current proposal is only three cents per $100.

And there is incessant talk about going through the tax code to get rid of absurdist exclusions put in for this group or that group until the code is thicker than almost any book on Earth. Most all of this stuff could go but can’t because everyone has an Ox to be gored in the hunt. There is a group called the Americans for Tax Fairness that calls for approval of Sen. Patty Murray’s budget that would knock $100 Billion a year of the fabled deficit by killing many of those loopholes.

But these ideas are all from the evil ‘liberals’ who just want to gouge the rich while they hide behind the trees. Shouldn’t we consider that everyone needs a haircut?

If we returned all tax rates to those of the Clinton era, this would reduce the deficit by at least another $280 billion a year, already having taken at least $30 billion a year by hitting the rich in the past three months.

All of these considerations would cut the deficit to less than $300 Billion down to the place where ending the stupid drug and other related foibles might get us real close real soon.

But we can’t do that because it would cause a depression since the Bush tax rates are so cooked into the books.

And just consider a little known probability that the deficit will fall to less than $850 Billion for 2013, down from $1.3 Trillion in the Obama’s first year and drop much more in the next two year and that is with basically doing nothing and having minimal growth. There is a big problem with SSN and Medicare and the Boomers, but nothing that raising the limit for paying FICA to $190,000 wouldn’t solve quite a bit. And truly nationalizing health care would fix the Medicare problem, but pigs would need to fly.

See there are answers if we consider them if we can.

Well that is food for intelligent talk if not a grand food fight.

And while I’m at it, isn’t that you behind that tree.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I came to the meeting because of the topic and because the group indicated there was some level of rational discourse involved. After the meeting a small group went to B&N to talk some more. At B&N Chad further indicated that he was good at repeating the 7 second sound bites from Fox News. Since then he has further shown that he is good at using words that he does not understand and pontificates about history which he does not understand. For anyone to continue a conversation with him about Hitler or euthanasia or economics thinking they can educate him should realize it is a waste of time. His statement about Hitler and that other than the holocaust Hitler would have been a great man is a revolting statement and a scary one. I hope this is not the level of understanding that most youth of today have about the problems and options for solutions.

    2 · May 25, 2013

  • A. Colin F.

    In “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” Marilyn Monroe is excited to go out with rich Mr. Piggy until she finds out he owes a million dollars. Rich people and rich countries have debt. They can afford it.
    So the question is what is the U.S. debt? Is it for sharp short-term cars or valuable long-term investment in infrastructure? Are we funding expensive wars to expand territory or creating new low-cost energy sources? Are we educating the poor or subsidizing corporations? Is the debt really a problem and should we really resolve it?

    May 21, 2013

  • A. Colin F.

    What is debt? The U.S. debt is long-term bonds. What are long-term bonds? They are a form of money. So debt is money. So the U.S. has too much money? Are we are too rich and too powerful? What is a typical car loan? $25-35K. What is average income? About $36K. Is a new car too much debt for the average worker? What is a typical mortgage these days? $235,000. Is home 6 ½ times income too much for the average worker (Probably yes.) yet the U.S. debt to income ratio is currently about 1 to 1. Our 16T debt is matched by a $15T GDP! Is that ratio too much?

    May 21, 2013

  • A. Colin F.

    did we agree what the problem was? Did we agree it needs to be resolved?

    May 21, 2013

  • marios

    Preparing for a preventive procedure tomorrow morning.

    May 20, 2013

  • Brent

    I vote for food fight!

    May 19, 2013

  • A. Colin F.

    working, will try to switch

    April 27, 2013

  • Bharat P. I have not read this yet but will hopefully read it before next meeting.
    The Author's prior work titled - Justice is worth reading!

    April 16, 2013

    • A. Colin F.

      what does it have to do with debt?

      April 27, 2013

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