OT - Politics

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Greg G. wrote:

No, that's creating money. Money is not wealth, money is just a counter.

Yes, food, water, and ammunition would be "wealth". And it could be bought in exchange for some other good or service. But since the person with the food, water, or ammunition might not need that good or service right now, he takes an IOU instead (from someone he trusts). Then one day he needs something from someone else who needs whatever good or service that IOU is for, so he gives them the IOU. And after a while people are trading IOUs back and forth and by golly there's "money".
Even if it's backed by gold it doesn't have any intrinsic value beyond the industrial value of the gold. The Spanish learned that they hard way--they kept bringing mountains of gold from the New World but they were never any wealthier for it--they just glutted the market. The sad thing is that they melted down works of art that might have had very significant value so as to make the gold they contained more transportable.

No, a business can't "create" money. But business in the collective can devalue it by reducing the quantity of goods and services available so that a given unit of money can buy less, which is the other end of the government devaluing it by increasing the amount in circulation to a degree disproportionate to the increase in goods and services.
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Tim Daneliuk said:

So, what is your problem with the Eeevil middle class? And where do you hear this stuff. I know no one who expects a disproportionate amount of money from the "very rich" to pay for anything, and they've certainly never offered or been forced to pay anything to anyone I know. Maybe it's a northern, failing industrial city thing. What I do hear is the parroting of Rush Limbough and Neil Bortz.
Don't you think that those who are enabled by this society to reap such benefits should fairly contribute towards the well being of that society, or is it purely dog eat dog?

Out of $2.568 trillion spent in 2006:
460 billion went to the Treasury and 406 billion of this was for payment of Interest to bankers on loans.
520 billion went to the DOD/Military Industrial.
610 billion went towards Heath and Human services.
Education ate a whopping 61 billion. The DOT received 56 billion. NASA blew up 15 billion. The EPA wasted 12 billion. National Science Foundation collected 6 billion.
Currently, there is more being paid into the Social Security Trust Fund than is being paid out to beneficiaries. What's left is routinely "borrowed" and used as if it were general budget revenue. Government agencies using that money promise to pay it back, yet all of the money in the Social Security Trust Fund has been spent. That is now part of the $9.1 trillion National Debt. Social Security is currently operating as a very large tax collection tool.
As you can see, the bulk of expenditures are wasted on bankers, military industrialists, and medical/subsidies. As far as I'm concerned, the bulk of it could be eliminated. These are some of the most concentrated groups of corrupt players on the dole.

Not around here they're not. Unless your definition of middle class includes those who make $46 million a year - plus bonuses.

I've worked in electronics since childhood. And haven't worked for anyone but myself in over 25 years. I've also never seen one thin dime from the government in handouts, loans, or entitlements; and neither have my family or friends. So wherever the money is going, it sure isn't benefiting THIS "middle class moocher" one iota. I can't even get these 'tards to do their freaking jobs equitably.
I have seen plenty of crooked mortgage companies, war profiteers, developers, sports franchise owners, lawyers, hospital owners, ambulance services, and politicians who game the system to their advantage and against the public interest.
Still, it's a fraction of the money the Feds waste. But as bad as the government is, privatization has typically faired far worse; with the one glaring exception being the postal service.
Is there some law that says the government can't run a given program as efficiently or more so than private industry? No? Then try electing people who will demand performance and clean house of the slackers who drag it down. The problem isn't the system per se, it's the imbedded idiots who mismanage it for personal or political gain, or through sheer incompetence.
I don't disagree with all of your contentions, but when the media talking points appear I tune out.
G'Night.
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Neither of whom I listen to on any serious level. The simple fact is that middle class wants schools, healthcare, libraries, and so on that it cannot itself afford. It wants laws passed that make the wealthy pick up the tab for middle-class demands. This is ordinarily called "theft", but you and yours have turned this into a form of moral "obligation".

And who gets to decide what is "fair"? The mere fact that you want something does not morally entitle you to theft. "Fair" means being able to keep what you earn, not pick up the tab for everyone around you who cannot earn what they want in their own right.

Now add social security and medicare and you will see that well over half of that 2.5 trillion is social entitlement. NONE of which have Constitutional authority for the Feds to play in.

Not quite true. Or at least that's not the whole story. Given the expanding lifespans of the beneficiaries, a disproportionate number of social sec recipients will live long enough to well extract more than thye ever paid.

That is true. But this is the fault of social activists who see government as the instrument for remediating any social ill and thus wish to spend money like drunk sailors on leave on any and all of their pet do-gooder programs.

So ... you fix this by getting the Feds out of the equation entirely. Watch healthcare costs plummet the moment the industry cannot count on government payouts, for example.

So when you retire, do the rest of us owe you healthcare and retirement income beyond what you ever paid in? Are you entitled to lifetime drug benefits? Just how far do you get to reach into my wallet to pickup the costs of your life?

This is really simple. When government runs something, it has no feedback from a market. When the private sector runs something it either: a) Get's feedback from the marketplace or b) Acts dishonestly. If a) then business either responds or goes away. If b) the perps should go to jail. But government will always spend all it can tax and borrow with *no* economic feedback whatsoever. What I find astonishing in all these conversations is that government is somehow better/more noble/more honest than those of us who actually work for a living. Are you kidding? Poltiticians and their hack appointees? Please. I'll take a dozen Enron execs over the putrid pieces of garabage that inhabit D.C. any day. Enron went under because it could neith succeed in the marketplace as a matter of reality AND because the principals were caught with their hands in the cookie jar. When was the last time a government appointee got booted out for incompetence, fraud, or waste?

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Greg G. wrote:

The "routine borrowing" is the law since the inception of SS. the trust funds (and there are approx 150 of them) portion of the national debt is about 4 trillion of the 9 trillion.
Folks that want the national debt eliminated should realize that it would require 100% privatization of the SS and other trust funds as if that debt were paid off, the trust funds would have to invest in non government notes and equities, stuff it in matresses or bury it in coffee cans somewhere.

Over 60% of the federal budget is for social programs. How SS and medicare were justified under the commerce clause must have been an interesting exercise in logic and law.
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Charlie Self wrote:

Monthly, in the form of a stipend check to each and every taxpayer.

Of course they would work better. Do you spend *any* significant amount of time/money/effort to pay your state or local sales taxes? This is no different. It abolishes the IRS and places the burden of collection on the *seller* of goods/services who already has the capacity to do this because of said local/state taxation systems. Moreover, it taxes the underground economy - even drug dealers buy Ferraris, for example. It is indeed fairer, simpler, cheaper to administer, and has all kinds of other indicidental benefits (like making markets more efficient by eliminating capital gains taxation).
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As of 2006, some 1,000,000+ accountants earned a mean $61,000 a year; the 100,000 or so employed by IRS didn't do as well, I guess, but that makes another pretty solid block who won't want the current tax system too seriously messed with. That does not include local tax collectors, of course, who outnumber federal collectors pretty heavily.
That is just one group. You should be able to think of others, including the host of politicians who can no longer take credit, and collect bribes, for pushing through legislation to favor one small, wealthy group or another.
It won't change much in my lifetime, and quite possibly not in yours.
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Charlie Self wrote:

Likely true. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. You may recall that our forefathers, um ... broke the status quo.
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Merchants do. And the costs of that time and effort are passed onto the consumer (in essence, a hidden operating tax) by way of higher prices for the merchandise.
I'm not clear on how forcing (at the point of a gun, no doubt) every merchant to be a pro bono tax collector for the Federal government is any more moral or even efficient than requiring the taxpayer pay the government directly.
If more efficient, it is only because some state and local governments already force (again, at the point of a gun no doubt) to collect THEIR taxes for them gratis.

How naive. The underground economy relies heavily on unreported cash transactions. No sales tax is collected. One time a person selling me a used car offered to falsify the sale price on the paperwork to save me taxes. There was nothing in it for him--he thought he was doing me a favor.

It comes with it's own host of problems and the only reason why sales tax is not currently as big a mess as income taxes is because the rates are still small enough to not inspire the same degree of evasion as does the income tax.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

The effect is indirect.

Comes under "promote the general welfare".

So it's OK for the Chinese to charge a 30 percent tariff on American goods imported into China but we have to let them bring theirs into the US without the same disadvantage? Sorry, but there's a difference between "managing economics" and "levelling the playing field".

I see. Sounds simple, but now it's yet another "soak the rich" scheme.
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J. Clarke wrote:

some people including apparently you believe, does NOT grant the federal government any power.
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Just Wondering wrote:

No, it gives them a duty. The power to perform that duty is implied. Are you saying that the Federal government is _forbidden_ to enact legislation that is beneficial to the economy?
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J. Clarke wrote:

Yes.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

So you are saying then that any piece of legislation must be carefully evaluated for its effect on the economy and any that is found to be beneficial must not be enacted? Would that not mean then that they would be obligated to err on the side of caution and only pass legislation that they were sure was _damaging_ to the economy?
Or are you so naive as to believe that passing a budget for the Federal government will have _no_ effect on the economy?
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J. Clarke wrote:

I am saying that it is illegal for the Federal government to act without having *specific* permission to do so in the matter at hand in the Constitution. Examples of things where no such permission is granted: Economic regulation, Education, Research, Healthcare, Welfare, etc. Example of things specifically permitted: Defense of the borders, running the courts, interstate commerce, running the post office, etc.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

And you of course have Supreme Court rulings to support this argument. I didn't think so. Hint--the fact that you _think_ something is unlawful doesn't make it so.
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J. Clarke wrote:

SCOTUS is not the law of the land. The Constitution is. The fact that activist judges (on both sides of the political divide) have granted themselves power to make law in their own image does not make it right.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

So let's see, we've on the one hand got the opinions of a group of experienced jurists, whose Constitutionally mandated job it is to intrpret the Constitution and apply it as required to existing statutes and case law, and on the other hand we've got the opinion of some guy nobody ever heard of posting on USENET.
So who ya gonna believe?
Now you're talking "does not make it right". If you had taken that tack you might have gotten more support, but you didn't, instead you claimed "Illegal".
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J. Clarke wrote:

OK, you win.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

A bit Odd....isn't the Supreme Court charged or empowered to determine legal or illegal, the limits of federal power or what is or is not constitutional? Did I miss a ruling that demonstrates your position? Are you not confusing your own personal preference for the actual law of the land? Rod
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Rod & Betty Jo wrote:

If the Supremes limited themselves to doing that, life would be grand. When you have a Supreme court justice who has publicly declared that he also consults the laws and judicial decisions of other countries in helping arrive at his decisions, we have a real problem.

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