OT: GE pays no income tax

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I think the govt is the most wasteful, inefficient operation on the face of the earth. That's why I want to feed it less, not more. IF we're going to have a train wreck, let's get it over with. Keep giving them MORE tax money and we'll just wind up with the same deficit and impending doom a little later on. The only difference will be that by then the govt will be 10% MORE of GDP.
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wrote:

There's a lot of people that don't think the government should be taking their money by force. (Actually, I hate it too... but) They seem to think that the government can run on pure magic.
-C- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--

Sure, they're all for the wars, the tight border control, the police,
firefighters, their Medicare and SS checks but no one wants to pay for it.
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"Democracy is a form of government that cannot long survive, for as soon as the people learn that they have a voice in the fiscal policies of the government, they will move to vote for themselves all the money in the treasury, and bankrupt the nation."
Karl Marx (Even a blind pig finds an acorn every now and again).
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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wrote:

could
the
for
the
are
Both
I was told by a Congressman I interviewed (I believe it was Markey, but it was in the '80's so it was a long time ago!). Anyway, I asked him, point blank, if taking campaign contributions or meetings with special interest groups were defensible tactics. He said that he had so many competing interests vying for his vote and giving him campaign money that the only road he could walk was the straight and narrow, keeping them all in relative balance. He said when the hate mail stack was as high as the love mail stack, he was safe.
I get more confused as I go along. The basic question to be answered his "who owns America?" It's complicated. Is it the guy who starts up a business, risks his own capital and builds jobs? Is it the people who do the labor that builds the products and projects? Is it the soldiers who died defending the country? Is it the cops and firefighters who keep the assets from burning up in fires and riots?
-- Bobby G.
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I still get a little upset about the thought that Congresscritters are bought and paid for. If it was a real concern to many people, they would just vote accordingly. Even if it was essentially the same thing in candidates, if we just threw out the incumbent no matter who it was, they would eventually get the idea. Sorta like I am supposed to feel real comfortable when the doodoo hits the fan that my Congresscritter wouldn't have really voted for the bill if he had just read it first.
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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wrote:

his
do
the
I am convinced all people nowadays know about their candidates is what they see in TV and Radio attack ads just before the election. It seems only when the charges and tactics become outlandishly extreme do the voters say "enough is enough." Happened in the last election right in our area and for the life of me I can't remember who. In Virginia, I believe.
That gets to another serious problem with modern society. We've now entered the Age of The Inscrutable Contract. Almost everything we buy comes with iron-clad but unreadable contracts, modifiable buy only one side at will. It conveys a take-it-or-leave-it attitude which good companies know is bad for business.
Citibank hosed me out of $10 once mostly because they could. They wanted me to fill out and notarize a four page form for an illegal charge they knew was phony - it was during the great Egghead meltdown. So instead of paying the losses of the cardholders who had been stung because Egghead's security was lax, they knew putting out a form like that would save them lots of money. I estimate at my hourly rate at the time it would have cost me $75 to deal with it. So now I have no dealing whatsoever with Citibank and tell others "wait until your time in the barrel with them." I guess I should add them to the boycott list. (-:
Which gets back to the AARP and the document of allegedly unknown origin purporting to tell the truth about AARP that they were fighting over. How many Fortune 500 companies could withstand a top to bottom assessment of everything they've done wrong, prepared by nameless Congressional staffers with the "all important" access to IRS files to help them?
I once switched brokers and tried to make sense of the case by case reports assembled by the - damn I forgot their names!!! They are to Wall St. what FDIC is to banks. They're . . . SIPC! Good luck. Makes for good reading. Makes you really, really, REALLY never want to give investment control to a broker unless you've got serial killer blackmail evidence on him. (-:
Okay brokers out there, pummel away. And yes, there are SOME good ones that make people money, but a jog through the SIPC settlement database is an eye-opening thing. I just tried looking for it again and it looks like they've taken it down. You could read some but not all the details of every case where SIPC paid out on a claim.
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

<It almost sounds like you're saying there should be no corporate tax, and only individuals should pay tax. Since the Supreme Court decided corporations are people, how can that be? Unless, that is, that you're of the opinion that there should be no taxes and therefore no government (volunteer government, anyone?). I'm of the opinion that I'd really like Santa Claus to be real, and all the Playboy centerfolds to be virgins. All of those scenarios are equally likely.>
It sounds awfully much like corporations want to be treated like people when it's a benefit and don't want to be considered people when it's not. Reminds me of when Exxon sold off its tanker fleet after the Exxon Valdez to better immunize themselves against future tanker disasters. If you or I did something like that - registering a car under a friend's name because of too many tickets - we would be prosecuted for insurance fraud. I strongly suspect that those calling for an end to corporate taxation are officers in their own corporations.
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

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assets.
day
Chinese
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paying
to
companies
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that
Are you saying that if the US Congress put their mind to it they *couldn't* close the loopholes that allow companies to move offshore so easily? Not that they ever would, but in light of their threats to claw back the obscene AIG bonuses, it seems that they might indeed have the power to pass laws saying "You can leave, but it's going to cost you dearly." I'd have no heartache with making American companies that built their fortune here leave a lot of it at the door when they leave. I would feel better about than then dissolving bargaining agreements and union busting. Teachers aren't playing off-shore keep-away with the IRS but they're the ones paying for companies that do.
As you are probably aware, the Swiss are under assault for their refusal to reveal account holders and amounts of money held there for US citizens (and probably corporation slush funds, too) to the IRS. There's is/was an amnesty for people to self-report those assets and interest payments under a new law and threatened prosecutions and steep penalties for those who did not self-report. If Congress wanted to, they could close the Cayman offshore tax havens. But that would step on some pretty important toes. That's the direction we should be moving in, not harassing teachers. The rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer and that's not been a very good formula for societal stability.
> > One thing's for sure. From the comments here it seems that Big Business's

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And that's going to bring down the national debt? The deficit has risen BECAUSE so many big companies play fast and loose with the tax laws - or have them changed to suit them.
If lowering the tax rate stimulates growth, why not give citizens the tax break? They could use the extra money to spend on buying GE products. GE would then have to invest to meet increased demand. Why do the rich folks and the corporations always get the breaks under the Republican schemas if tax breaks not only work at the middle class level, but perhaps even better? The answer is simple: No citizens groups aside from the NRA and AARP bring buckets of cash and pre-written tax laws favoring themselves to Congress the way corporations do. They don't have the US CoC grooming and proposing pro-business candidates like Roberts for the SCOTUS.
The system has become terribly lop-sided in favor of the corporate being rather than the human being, and that's going to cause trouble. People are jobless, homeless and hungry while Exxon and other report record profit taking. Maybe that's the Republican vision of paradise, but it's not mine. I don't want my neighbors so hungry they'll slit my throat for the rent money. That's what happens when class divergence reaches French Revolution levels.
We're well on our way to serious social problems (we're seeing them already in WI and the UK) as the normal curve of income distribution is pushed into a bimodal one looking like a two-humped camel. The middle class took a massacre in the 2008 slide, and they're still hurting but the banks are just fine now.
It's morally bankrupt to take the savings and tax money of people who did nothing risky or wrong and use it to lavishly reward those that did. I guess I abhor the freemarketeers who clamor "No interference" and then travel hat in hand (on private jets) to ask the very government they despise to pay for their mistakes. How is the freemarket operating when their true fate should have been the bankruptcy auction block?
What kept the nation's economy from collapsing in 2008? The much maligned Federal government with the taxes it had collected. Small government could never counterbalance the idiot things business seem to do decade after decade. Even Warren Buffet said that government needs to be larger than any one business sector for precisely that reason. Yet what choice did Bush and Obama have when, after years of the anti-trust dept. at DOJ licking their anuses like malfeasant bored dogs, banks grew to be "too large to fail?" And now, to complete the cycle, ATT is once again poised to be the largest phone company in the US, like droplets of the silver Terminator recoalescing.
I voted for Obama because I thought he had a plan but instead he's miring us in a third war without even knowing whether Al-Qaeda is behind the opposition to Quaddaffy Duck. I take particular offense at all this because one of my many brief jobs out of college was building A7 flight simulators for Libya and the Col. who was our great friend at the time.
On the other hand, the Republicans clamoring: "We must intervene as the leader of the Free World" makes me want to barf. How does the fierce need to slash the budget match up to the need to create yet another warzone?
If Obama came out for apple pie, mom and clear blue skies, I believe a large number of Republicans would find reasons to condemn all three. A lot of what we see here in the world and here in AHR, especially with the veiled death threats and such, indicates politics has become reflexively partisan with not a lot of intellectual horsepower being applied. I wish I knew how to stop that, but it may be a process that once started doesn't stop until very bad things happen.
-- Bobby G.
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I don't know. It would be a very interesting World Trade Court (or whatever they call it) case. Teachers aren't paying for anything more than other wise.

But that is hardly new. Actually a lot of the concentration of the wealth is directly related to Congress messing with something it doesn;t understand (economics) and taxes. For instance almost every major CEO gets $1 mill or so in salary. Why? Because that is what the tax laws say is the most that can be deducted. However, in their zeal to "reign in" executive compensation and make the executive's interests in line with stockholders, they tax advantaged stock options and bonuses. So, instead of being paid a certain amount to actually run the company, they are now being paid to run the books. The best example was a Merrill dude just before the crash who was getting $300,000 in salary and $300 mill in options and "Performance based bonuses". Saw a rather interesting study late last year. Noted that you can relate a increase in the intensity of the wealth divide to the time a Dem Congress passed this law. It was happening before, but it speeded up. Also a new CBO study in todays WSJ that showed the really (top 1%) rich's income went down more than 2x as much as the other 99%.

Not really. Look at the stat abstract of the US at the Tax expenditures, what the IRS calls these things, youy are out of the top 10 until you get one for the companies. The three biggest are the deduction for health insurance (which is a deduction for the individual even though the company takes it), the mortgage deduction, and exclusion a person's pension benefits. The first purely company deduction is 10 and it only about 1/6 of the mortgage deduction. The next is 17. Look at actual figures and they just don't match up. THe deferral of income from controlled corporations is an anemic 18t at 7440 millions (that is the way the chart says it and so did I to make sure I did not add extra zeroes. (The mortgage deduction alone costs 76030 millions.)

Again look at the actual figures. First of all, the Bush tax cut was a set %age across the board and actually took a bunch of people off the roles entirely. Aroun 43% of all households pay NO tax. Both the percentage of total (federal) taxes paid and the percentage of income taxes paid went up for the top 10%. Heck the bottom two quintiles actually pay a negative tax meaning they get more back in credits, etc,. than they paid in.

Me too. But we have a long and cherished and bipartisan history of privatising the profits and socializing the losses.

Not with the taxes they collected. That is a big part of the problem.

And if Bush so would the Dems. That is more an indicator of the fact that neither party is really under adult supervision at this time. Making matters worse.

--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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wrote:> > Are you saying that if the US Congress put their mind to it they *couldn't*

Not
obscene > AIG bonuses, it seems that they might indeed have the power to pass laws

leave
aren't
I know a few teachers and they feel very much under attack. If you recall, in Wisconsin they singled out teacher's unions but left police and firefighters out of the legislation to end collective bargaining for public employees. That seems, to teachers at least, to imply that the state's money woes came from overpaying teachers. Why would they select them and not firefighters or police?

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Congress does a lot of things to make people *think* something's being done about a problem when in fact they've just changed "happy" to "glad." No one ever follows up to see whether the changes to the law have really had any effect. For example the threat to claw back AIG bonuses went exactly nowhere, but it made at least some people feel something was being done. Your example proves the point. Corporate compensation is completely out of whack because the real owners of these companies, the stockholders, have virtually no input as to how execs are compensated. Performance based bonuses are a sham - CEO's get them whether they perform or not and the only time it doesn't happen is when they do something so extreme that they feel forced to decline their bonuses rather than being tarred and feathered by the press and the public - thereby causing the stock price to drop and reducing the non-salary compensation.

We're back at the "food prices quintupling while wages only doubled" example cited earlier. The ultra rich losing half their wealth has relatively no effect on their lifestyle while someone in the lowest bracket losing half their wealth means serious deprivation. In other words, the very rich can very much afford big losses while wage earners usually can not.

breaks
But the mortgage deduction had the effect of encouraging home ownership and that built wealth - the wealth that investment banks were falling all over themselves to securitize and sell, driving the real estate bubble to burst wide open. Giving tax breaks to corporations usually means that a very few people at the top of the corporate pyramid get the money. Yes, some companies do invest and pay dividends to their stockholders, but the trend has been more and more obscene compensation for the guys at the top and very little trickle down for anyone else.

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That knife cuts both ways. Do you think anyone at the lower end of the income scale benefited at all from the reduction of the estate tax? That break was only for the rich and as I recall, it meant a significant loss of revenue for the Treasury. I don't need to tell you the difference between progressive and regressive taxation. As for the bottom two quintiles, you really wouldn't want to be there, even if you got tax credits. My point was that in order to stimulate the economy, lowering taxes for the people that buy consumables gives them more money to spend which goes to corporations selling goods which increases their profits. Lowering taxes for the highest earners is far more likely to result in them investing or sheltering that money abroad, which doesn't help restart the stalled economy very much at all.

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Privatising? Are you turning Brit on us? (-: Seriously, though, unless that cherished tradition is hacked to death, we'll go on letting mergers thin out the competitors until we end up bailing out the remaining businesses that we've allowed to become too big to fail.

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Well, ostensibly with taxes collected. Obviously we've borrowed to make those payments, but the principle remains the same. Who would be in a position to a) borrow that much money and b) lend it to a company nearly in extremis other than the Federal government?

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That's the bottom line - that there's no adult leadership. As an independent I have to say that I believe there's a lot more overt hatred of Obama than there was of Bush. Whether that's attributable to occult racism, I can't say. But the clamor of claims of a stolen 2000 election seem to have died out long before the cult of the Birthers which by all accounts is still going strong.
What saddens me the most about modern American is how woefully uninformed people are about current events. Newspapers are dying not only because of "bust out" schemes perpetrated upon them by takeover firms, but because people just don't seem motivated to learn enough to be educated voters. I am reluctant to look up how few people read a paper or watch TV news anymore.
It's clear from the adverts in both that only the Geritol set watches the news anymore. That's why so many people believe the crazy things that "interpreters" tell them, hence the birthers, the blame placed on the CRA for the entire real estate bubble and other odd, nearly cultish beliefs that propagate through our society.
Our growing national ignorance is why people can claim a bomb and not a plane caused the damage at the Pentagon on 9/11 even though you can easily find footage from the parking lot's CCTV cameras showing the impact of the plane. It doesn't matter if their theory gapingly fails to answer what on earth happened to the missing jet. I'll bet some believe it went through an "Event" type portal to another universe. I blame part of the American appetite for conspiracies on the JFK assassination and all the questions it left unanswered. People who grew up in that era are likely to see "shooters" behind every bush.
In this day and age facts seems to be on an equal footing as pie-in-the-sky conjecture of the wildest sort. Just reading through AHR it's quite obvious that people just talk past each other, demeaning others that hold opposing views and keeping their minds tightly closed to new ideas. Debate has given way to derision and discussion to dogma.
Maybe countries suffer from a "hardening of the arteries" with age just the way people do. )-:
-- Bobby G.
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In real life, their union is the single biggest campaign contributor to Dem candidates. The unions for the cops/firefighters (and the Chamber) spread their money around a lot more. Live by the Dems, die by the Dems. Politics ain;t patty cake.

Congress is a lot of fire and (try to) forget. Of course a lot of this is how to put genies back in bottles.

Which of course is beside the point I was (attempting to make). You can take away the things you want taken away and it will make not a lot of real impact. They just don't take that much money out of pockets when compared to what we take out for ourselves.

The estate tax is yet another smokescreen. Not all that much was collected even at the zenith. ALso, that was a tax that was entirely punitive. You had too much money, you offended the Gods of Washington, and you had to pay much higher rates than any other tax. It was confiscatory. (FWIW, I have long said that you should tax estates at whatever it would have been taxed on at the time of death. Got cap gains in the family company, tax it at cap gains rate, etc. Essentially tax it exactly as you would if Dad sold it to the kid. I fyou wanted to get really radical, pass it along tax free with no bump in basis. Then it would taxed based on what Great Grandad paid for it in the late 1800s when the business was sold outside the family)

But it was the Federal government that got us into this mess. ALL of the laws that people point to as being THE REASON (whether or not it was, of course) were passed by large bipartisan majorities. (Heck the bill to kill off Glass-Stegal was passed by voice vote in the Senate for the love of Pete). We were limping along with the Fed, FDIC,, etc., doing forced marriages between good place and bad places until they finally decided to throw someone to the wolves. THAT is what caused the dry up, the idea that nobody knew any more the parameters of what would or would not be propped up. EVERYBODY became suspect and the system immediately shut down. I have often wondered what might have happened if the forced marriages had continued.. but again I digress.

My family still owns a newspaper. They were dying out LONG before the internet.

That and there is a need for people to find ONE THING (preferably one they have no skin in-grin) to blame it on. The CRA definitely had a place in the real estate meltdown, but there were many others. But again, this is more human nature than political venality.

If you look history, American and otherwise, this is nothing new. Some segment of the population has always "seen" the reality as different. THe biggest difference since JFK is that they now have much more efficient ways to find others to reinforce their beliefs.

If not, we'd probably still all be Roman or Mongol, or pick whatever previous top dog you want. (g).
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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wrote:

recall,
public
and
So it's clear you have to pay to play. Singling out the teachers, for whatever reason, still has the appearance of blaming them specifically for the recent economic unpleasantness when it's clear there were many other contributing factors to our money woes, mainly, in my eyes, runaway arbitrage that adds very little to the nation's productivity but clearly takes away much of it as anyone with a 401K or a savings account paying below 1% interest can verify.

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Promises buy votes. Obama got my vote by promising to extricate us from wars we can ill afford. He seems quite willing to think that people will forget about his failure to do what he promised at election time. Maybe he's right. How we're getting knee-deep in Libya when we have no business interests in the country since the 80's amazes me. Let Europe and Asia deal with their own problems spending their own damn money.

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Sorry, but I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Could you rephrase?

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I don't disagree. I was merely pointing out that the estate tax, whatever its evils, has virtually no impact on most Americans, especially the people at the poverty line.

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And I often wonder what would happen if the Feds had not intervened. I suspect they did so because a failure of a bank like the Bank of America would shatter the economy and not even the FDIC could pick up the pieces.

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My condolences, but I don't think I blamed the internet. Papers have been accosted by the same sort of "load it with debt and cash out" takeover deals that decimated Simmons. Couple that with a dumbing down of the population that considers American Idol statistics a "newsworthy" event and what chance does serious print journalism have anymore?
The NYT just instituted their third attempt at a "pay wall" to try to develop new income streams. The smart money says that the income gained will be completely neutralized by the loss in "eyes" viewing their advertising. But that's the newspaper business. They just can't adapt to the new model and keep trying the same old tricks that fail time after time. Just like the music industry. The WSJ was successful with their pay wall because it's a deductible expense as well as news that allows people to make money. The NYT doesn't have those two critical draws. I expect to hit the pay wall (20 free articles allowed per month) any day now but I am not sure it will even effect me since I surf with Javacrap turned off on all but critical commerce sites. Even before the pay wall went up, hackers had developed workarounds. When you build a tall wall, remember, someone's building a taller ladder to climb over it. (-"

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CRA
that
We were in the middle of a plain ol' garden variety spec bubble, the same kind of thing that's been happening since the great tulip spec bubble of centuries ago. People all "want in" on a good thing and that force alone eventually makes it a very bad thing by over-valuing whatever it is (tulips, tech, real estate) that's the current "hot" item. So you're right, it's clear these spec bubbles are part of human nature. The question is: "What can we do to mitigate their potential damage?"

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I don't know if I agree. In looking at Japan I believe a country can experience a major shift in national consciousness when enough people feel their government is lying to them. Oswald's strange journey to the USSR, Jack Ruby's shadowy mob connections and much more overwhelmed people to the point that they did not know who to trust or what to believe. Fast forward to Dan Rather's denouement over the alleged evaluations of Bush's fitness. By that time, even Dan was ready to believe anything without checking the facts critically. Higgs Boson, are you reading this? Shame on you for that Pi BS. Bad, bad, BAD dog!!!! People might start to think you're a fifth columnist, and I don't mean newspaper columnist, either.

the
That's an interesting reminder that history has made it very clear that even though we're the top dog now, we won't be forever and by the time we realize we're slipping, it may be too late. The fall of Rome always fascinated me - a number of very powerful forces acting in concert from very different directions all conspiring to end the greatest empire the world has ever known. I hope we'll be remembered as force for overall good in the future, but I have my doubts. Reminds me of "Life of Brian" when a Jew asks "What have the Romans ever done for us?"
XERXES The aqueduct?
REG What?
XERXES The aqueduct.
REG Oh yeah, yeah. They did give us that. That's true, yeah.
UNNECESSARY And sanitation.
LORETTA Oh yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like.
REG Yeah, all right, I'll grant you the aqueduct, the sanitation are two things the Romans have done...
MATTHIAS And the roads.
REG Well, yeah. Obviously the roads, I mean the roads go without saying, don't they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads...
VESTIGIAL Irrigation.
XERXES Medicine.
EXPENDABLE Education.
REG Yeah, yeah, all right. Fair enough...
SUPERFLUOUS And the wine.
PFJ Ohhhh yeah...
FRANCIS Yeah. Yeah, That's something that we'd really miss, Reg, if the Romans left, huh?
UNNEEDED Public baths.
LORETTA And it's safe to walk the in streets at night now, Reg.
FRANCIS Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it, the only ones who could in a place like this! (indicating them)
PFJ (general agreement)
REG (irritated) All right. But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system, and public health... What have the Romans ever done for us?
XERXES Brought peace?
REG Oh, peace... SHADDAP!
-- Bobby G.
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But the teachers are an easy target and brought a lot of this down on themselves. Fighting against most reforms despite the fact schools are routinely graduated undereducated people. Yelling that it is everyone's fault BUT theirs (which of course is the other side of the coin that is now showing up), fighting any attempt to bring in performance measures (espcially galling to many who go through such things in THEIR jobs). Politicians look around for the easy prey just like lions, tigers, and hedge fund operators.

I don't know if he is counting on forgetting, or having just enough people think the other option is worse (which at times the GOP seems to working REALLY hard to do), holding their noses and voting for him. Maybe we need none of the above and if that gets more than 30% of the vote, we start over again with the P and VP candidates from both sides barred from running again (grin).

Yeah, although the corps get the hate, the money going to individuals is much greater. We can no more balance the budget by cutting breaks for the corps as we can taxing the rich, there just isn't enough money there. Now, I am not at all saying that we shouldn't look at the corp tax structure to see if there are things to cut. But to make them the boogie man in this is simplistic and I don't like simplistic answers. Especially since in tax law, healthcare and many other government functions, the Pogo Principle is invoked: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Coming in late.. but I don't think anyone at the high end benefited from the Earned Income and other credits.

And I was merely trying to state the fact that is a big whoop. There are things at all levels of the tax code that don't impact on the other levels. For example, there was a time a few years ago when I was personally paying an addition $5000 in taxes (writing the check to the Feds) solely and utterly because I made too much money and hit the phase out of certain deductions.

Yep what ifs are fun. But almost as useful as reading all those books about what would have happened had the South won the Unpleasantness Between the States. (grin).

The WSJ was successful (1) because they started it early enough that people weren't viewing free as some sort of birthright and (2). they put stuff behind the wall that people were actually interested in paying for. Most newspapers really can't do that because local news is available in too many places (TV, radio, etc.) that there is little to differentiate them. I think the NYT is grappling with this now.

Apparntly nothing. As someone noted (might even have been Warren the B) speculative bubbles all have a couple of characteristics in common. The human feeling that good times inevitable continue (despite the old adage that trees never grow to the sun) and the human conceit that THIS time is different because We Know Things. Anytime the dudes in the WSJ or CNBC start talking about how this new thing is a different paradigm that won't react the same way things in the past have always acted, THAT is the time to head for door.

--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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The problem here is the premise is just wrong. Teachers were NOT singled out. It's true that police were exempted and that part sounds unfair. But the law clearly covers most state workers, not only teachers. I found online where it says 56% of state employees are teachers and 8% are police and fire. That still leaves another 36% apparently covered under the law that are neither police, fire, or teachers.
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for
The problem here is the premise is just wrong. Teachers were NOT singled out. It's true that police were exempted and that part sounds unfair. But the law clearly covers most state workers, not only teachers. I found online where it says 56% of state employees are teachers and 8% are police and fire. That still leaves another 36% apparently covered under the law that are neither police, fire, or teachers.
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You're right, I should have worded it differently. Still, it's clear that
the job occupation most effected by the Wisconsin law (on judicial hold
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On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 07:51:55 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

The issue is "work rules". Police and Firefighter unions are allowed to bargain work rules because of the nature of the work. Teachers and most other unions don't have the same issues.
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With police and (especially) fire, a lot of the work rules are put in place by others. Staffing on a truck, for example, is largely driven by OSHA and The Insurance Service Organization (one city wanted to cut back on staffing on the apparatus, ISO, said go ahead but if you do we cut your rating and your citizen's insurance rates go up by 25% or more. That tends to put a damper on somethings.).
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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Work rules have safety implications for public safety employees and the (fire/police) unions will continue to have input into those. Teachers, not so much. That's the point.
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wrote:

for
Having close friends who are teachers, they would counter and say that "performance based" ratings often end up really being "you've been here a while and are too expensive to keep" sorts of games. It's not very easy to fairly rate a teacher because each year they get a new crop of kids with varying degrees of intellectual competence.

That's true. I believe that Gov. Walker was truly surprised by the ferocity of the opposition to the new law stripping state works of collective bargaining rates and reducing their pay.

will
business
deal
rephrase?
I agree. Everyone wants to see someone else's ox get gored. Means testing for SS and Medicare would reclaim a lot of money. Just try passing such laws in the face of special interest groups like the AARP. They've learned from the NRA that being able to focus their member's ire on a particular law or candidate is a very effective way of being an elephant in a jungle full of lions. Yes, occasionally a lion will attack an elephant calf, but the outcomes are always always bad for the lions.

the
gains
it
whatever
people
But you and I are hopelessly out-gunned by the IRS. Not so for corporations that routinely challenge IRS findings, going to their representatives and Tax Court to have decisions reversed. The IRS doesn't have the staff to take up all the challenges and often backs down when arrayed against an armada of tax lawyers and accountants from businesses big enough to keep them on staff.

pieces.
Maybe not because one day we may come to that crossroads again at a time when the Feds are so deep in the hole that they *can't* bail them out without disastrous consequences, far worse that what we've already seen.

the
wall
make
the
sure
I read through all 2000+ comments on the NYT site because I wanted to evaluate the claim Sulzberger made that "quite a few people were willing to pay for the NYT online." My count was 10 to 1 against the pay wall. As you note, instituting one early on, as the WSJ, doesn't leave people with the feeling that something's being taken away from them. I know that journalism needs help, but I wonder if the NYT is doing things the right way. At $195, people have pointed out that if all the other sites did the same, you could end up paying $2,000 a year to surf multiple news sites, something that most of us already do.

same
alone
(tulips,
"What
Yes, I wanted to burn my J degree when I saw the extent to which news outlets were fueling the spec bubble in housing. I came across a stash of newspapers from 2007 when cleaning up and the number of stories about "you can't lose in real estate" just floored me.
-- Bobby G.
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Good teachers are always good, the bad ones are always bad, no matter who the class consists of. Most of us have memorable teachers from our school days and can attest to that. I've seen teachers fired (during my kid's school years) and they deserved to be.
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