Geothermal heating -- worth considering?

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Douglas Johnson wrote:

Hmm. We could go back to the various Bush policies, unfettered by a Democratic-majority Congress, and get unemployment below 5%. Is that what you had in mind?
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Or we could go back to the various Clinton policies that lead to the roaring 90's. There is a problem with each, as well as your oft-made observation that things went to hell when the Democrats took control of Congress in '07.
The problem is that just because two things happen at the same time does not mean one caused the other, The rooster's crowing does not cause the sunrise. Even if he thinks it does.

No. I asked a serious question and got two sound bite answers. I am very cynical about the ability of any government action to help much with this type of recession. See Reinhart and Rogoff's "This Time is Different". (Amazon.com product link shortened)
If trader4 has some serious ideas about stimulus that could have returned the unemployment rate to 7%, I'd like to hear them. Seriously.
-- Doug
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The most important thing is free. That's to have a president who is not anti-business. Obama has bitched about drug companies, insurance companies, wall street, banks, oil companies, coal companies.... He has waged class warfare against the class that creates jobs. He has blocked the Keystone pipeline and through the labor dept tried to prevent Boeing from opening it's new plant in SC. A plant that employs thousands to build the new 787 and impacts tens of thousands of jobs across the USA and world. He halted drilling in the Gulf, throwing thousand out of work and costing businesses millions. He's in favor of raising taxes on those making over $200,000 which directly hits many small businesses. And he hit businesses with Obamacare, which raises costs and increases uncertainty. Now, why would folks want to expand, grow or start a new business with that kind of leadership?
First day of a Romney administration, you find the idiots in the labor dept that screwed with Boeing and you fire them with a statement that having govt bureaucrats standing in the way of American business and American jobs isn't going to be tolerated. It will have an effect heard around the world, just like Reagan firing the air traffic controllers. Former high level Soviet officials said that they took note of that one and it was a defining moment even for them in understanding that Reagan meant what he said.
You immediately get the Keystone pipeline going. Again, with the message that you're not going to allow a govt to block a perfectly reasonable energy project that gets us more energy, more national security, and more jobs. There are plenty of other things along that line that can be done to send the correct pro-business message.
You work on a new flatter tax system. You get the top banking executives and business leaders together to meet with the president and figure out what can be done to get the banks lending the money they are sitting on and to get the businesses spending more of the money they are sitting on. Having a meeting with your jobs council, which I understand Obama hasn't done this year would be a good idea too. You freeze govt hiring, because govt is already too big. You celebrate American business and wealth creation, instead of pissing on it.
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Han wrote:

The rational reason FOR charitable deductions is that private charities do a better job and do it more efficiently than the government. If you eliminate any degree of deductions for charitable giving, some level of government will (usually) have to take up the slack at a greater cost.
You also lose the ability of the individual to direct funds to causes he, but possibly few others, thinks is a worthwhile cause.
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You also stop the tyranny of government sponsored theft.
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You mean, if there were no deduction, you wouldn't give to really deserving causes? How uncharitable.
--
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Han
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Let's see. You want the rich to be taxed so that the federal govt gets 70% of their income. Most states have an income tax, as do some cities. Combined that could easily result in over 80% of ones income going to govt. So, with the money gone, how could the rich guy give it to charity? Simple math, really.
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Yep. You mean with $20 million in income, and a net rate of say 40% of total income, none of the after tax income ($12 million) would be available for charity?
--
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Han
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Who said none of the after tax income would be available for charity? But it's clear that if you don't exempt charity from taxation, then a rich person will have LESS money available to give to charity and LESS incentive to give it. And under what moral authority do you think govt has the right to take 80% of what someone makes? A family sells a farm that's been in the family for generations. I'm comfortable with the govt taking 205, maybe 25% of that. Why do you need to take almost all of it?
Why do you insist on money be cycled through a govt full of waste and fraud? Who do you think has a better idea of who is truly needy in your town? The local church or a trillion dollar dept in DC? What exactly do we have to show for the trillions in welfare that has been spent since 1965 on the war on poverty? The poverty rate is about the same, kids are dumber than ever. We do have generations of the same family that have relied on welfare and lots of families without fathers as a direct result.
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Weren't we talking marginal rates? And now you seem to posit that government has a monopoly on waste and fraud. I'm sure you can come up with examples of waste and fraud in businesses. Madoff, banks high honchos, just 2 examples.
--
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Han
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No we were not talking about marginal rates. I specifically asked you how much of a rich person's total income the federal govt should take. You replied with as much as 70%.
That is the whole point to the discussion about a flat tax. Few people ever paid the 70% marginal rate when it existed. It's just a fiction that libs like and can't get over. And today, with a top rate of 35%, neither OBama, nor Romney, nor Warren Buffet are paying 35% of their income to the govt. Most taxpayers, including the rich are falling somewhere in the 15 to 25% range of their total income. With a flat tax rate of say 20%, get rid of most of the deductions, exemptions, etc, you'd be there without all the economic distortions and unfairness that the various existing deductions and exemptions create. And Warren Buffet would be paying the same rate as his secretary, but a whole boatload more money. Instead of paying 15% of booko millions, he'd be paying 20% of booko millions and 100 times what his secretary pays. What's wrong with that?
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Oops. My bad.

The case for progressive taxes is that bare necessities take an awfully large portion of incomes for people in the less than 150K AGI brackets. Just a baseline exemption doesn't take care of that. You need a sliding scale. Where the different "slices" of that graduated scale should fall, and what exact rates, that is open for discussion, but a flat tax (which you have admitted is an oxymoron) is not my favorite (as you know).
Which deductions, credits, exemptions should be eliminated is also an important question. Some of these are long-standing social engineering (if that's what you want to call it), e.g. deductions for state, property etc taxes and for home mortgage interest. I think the exuberant consumption (especially in housing) that was fueled by many factors, but also the deductions above, should indeed be limited and pushed back, but that has to be done over time so as not to disrupt the economy.
--
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Han
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Han wrote:

There will always be waste. But fraud?
Fraud occasionally happens in charitable organizations. When it does, though, it is seldom with the frequency and never with the magnitude of that found with government programs. For example, just yesterday (Oct 4th):
"[WASHINGTON] Ninety-one people including doctors, nurses and other medical professionals were charged criminally after an investigation of Medicare fraud that involved $430 million in false billing in seven cities, officials said on Thursday. " http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/business/medicare-fraud-charged-against-91.html?_r=0
Someone with The Church of the Holy Onion would be hard-pressed to skim $43 dollars from the church's outreach program, let alone $431 million.
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Fraud happens, yes. In medical professions especially since it is so easy to finesse the system. Happens likely with charitable institutions as well, or at least used to. Nowadays you have to give name and address of the institution you give to.
The "good" thing is that those cheateres are caught more and more often. And, you're right, there probably is a point of diminishing returns.
--
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Han
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Han wrote:

No, I don't mean that. I neither said nor implied it,either.
I've thought, for some time, that your capacity for logical thought sometimes vanishes. This is an example.
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I have to put a smiley after every time I'm being slightly sarcastic?
OK, here goes: In a sense one could say that making a charitable gift tax deductible is blackmail and diminishes the charitable idea behind that gift.
--
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Han
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Just like every dyed in the wool lib that I have seen, you refuse to answer the question I asked. The same very simple question I've seen libs asked over and over and they refuse to answer:
What percent of their total income should those in say the top 5% pay?
And now, you're apparently claiming that those you seek to soak for more don't include people below $394K. Funny thing that, because your lib friends lead by Obama say they want to raise the taxes on those making $200K and above. But, I'll play your game, let's look at the those, the top 1%. They currently pay a whopping 37% of the total tax burden.
So, Mr. Lib, what percent of their total income should they be paying? How much is enough for you? A number please.
And here is a new question. If you raise the taxes on those making 200,000 and above, per Obama, how much money does it raise? He's running around with that as the first thing on his list to fix the deficit. So, how much a year would that increase bring in and what percent of the deficit does it represent?
>First step would be to limit the favorable treatment

Great idea. Start taxing capital gains at 35% in the middle of an economic crisis where we need investment to create jobs.

Yeah, sock it to em. Did you ever see a tax you didn't want to increase?

I'll take the word of his public accountant over your rank speculation or that of Joe Biden any day.

Yeah, and you could turn into a conservative tomorrow morning. The chance of that happening is about the same. Romney has paid 20% average in taxes over the last decade. About what Obama paid last year. Why not start your class warfare with Obama? His income is way above your threshold for socking it to the rich.
>For now, his

Now you really are a village idiot, just like Biden. He's paid 20% average over a decade while giving VERY generously to charity. Now, just because YOU say he might choose to, we're supposed to believe he's going to ammend his return to take more deductions. You can't argue the facts, so now you're just making shit up.

You should apologize too because you're right there with Reid, trying to smear Romney instead of celebrating that he gave back 40% of what he made to the govt or charity. Isn't that exactly what you libs want? For the rich to give back more? When is enough, enough?

It's still widely been called a flat tax by those that propose it, those against it, and the media for decades
>And it makes taxation

Which you like as I recall...

How many times do I have to say it. Rich people were for the most part NOT paying 70% of their incomes in taxes when the top rate was 70% prior to Reagan. And as evidenced by Warren Buffet and Romney, they aren't paying 35%, the top rate today. They are paying more like 20%. So, why have a BS tax code, full of loopholes, full of deductions that results in these people paying about 20% anyway?
As for the basic premise, there is indeed a very good reason to tax someone with say $1mil in income at the same rate as someone making $100k. They still pay 10X the total tax. Capiche?

Yes, you're probably right about that. What you really want is to have a high tax rate and no deductions. How much you really want to grab we don't know, because you won't say.

And like every other dishonest lib, you won't man up and answer the simple question as to what percent of their total income the top 5% should pay. Or the top 1%.

I didn't say that minimum should be such that half the people avoid paying ANY income tax at all.

None of which pay for the operation of the federal govt, through which they benefit directly and should have at least some taxes on the line.

Lowering tax rates worked in 1981. It set off an unprecedented economic boom that lasted decades. It worked again in 2001, when the economy was in recession and was hit by 911.

I guess you must have missed those decades of explosive growth, when the US economy was the miracle of the world. More likely, being a lib, you just pissed and moaned and ignored it, preferring to bitch about all that's wrong with the USA and how it's all the fault of the rich. For the record, Reagan inherited one hell of an economic mess too. He had Tbonds and mortgage rates at 18%, inflation in the double digits, high unemployment and a stagnant economy. By this point in his presidency, we were creating 400,000 jobs a month. One month we hit 1.2 mil. And he did it with a Democrat Congress. What's Obama's excuse? And after the election you never heard Reagan blaming everything on Carter.

The whole idea is to eliminate most of the deductions, most of the loopholes, and get closer to a flat tax. He's clearly stated that he is NOT going to raise taxes on the poor or middle class. But we know who did do that and it's Obama.

So, being confused and too lazy to educate yourself,, you just condemn that which you can't understand. I guess we should add nuclear physics to the list of lies too.

I'm not confused, but you just admitted that you are. How having a tax threshold equates to a "floating tax" is one for the books.
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Han wrote:

Stop right there! Why should the rich pay more than the currently pay? Alternatively, why should the rich pay as much as they currently pay?
In other words, why is a progressive tax scheme a good idea?

You've got it backwards. There is no logical reason why an income of $1 million should be taxed at a different rate than an income of $25,000. In point of fact, there is an unassailable reason to tax an income of $1 million at a LESSER rate than incomes below it (the rich use fewer of costly government services).

Regrettably, removing loopholes is a fool's errand. Taxes are levied, in addition to the goal of raising money, to foster certain social outcomes promoted by our betters (home ownership, non-polluting cars, etc.). As long as our betters think they are our betters, we'll be burdened by someone else's view of what's good for us.

Don't you have it backwards? 10% for the rich down to 50% for the less-rich? Wouldn't that act as an incentive to work harder, earn more, move up?
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I really don't get that philosophy of taxing the poor more than the rich. Let us assume a worker earning now $50K/year and paying hardly (if any) Federal income taxes. He is paying all kinds of other taxes, though, and pays/buys rent, food, gas, and other necessities of life. Now you want him to pay 50% of his income in federal taxes? Where is that 25K going to come from? Or is in your scheme everyone's income suddenly 25K greater? Who pays that?
Even if you make 50K tax free, and then start taxing at 50%, why would anyone work harder to get just above the 50K? (that is your argument that the rich won't strive for more if they are taxed more, which is a fallacy). It makes much more sense to tax lower incomes less than higher incomes (as a net % of total AGI, or MAGI, whatever the exact definitions are).
--
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Han
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Han wrote:

Well, a) We're not talking about "other" taxes. b) He has many avenues for extra money: He can get a better job. He can sell a kidney. Lots of possibilities.

A. Many people avoid the marginal income higher tax rate. There was a recent report of a chap saving $13,000 in state income tax simply by moving from New York to Florida. Oh, that $13,000? It was $13,000 per DAY.
B. My scheme is based on incentive; the more you earn, the more of it you keep. A person earning $50,000 might pay $25,000 in taxes. A person earning $100,000 may pay only $10,000. That's a pretty big incentive.
This plan also has the numbers behind it: there are WAY more middle-income earners than wealthy income earners.
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