Re: OT (yeah, right!): Politics

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Fletis Humplebacker snorts:

Clinton has some warnings, but are you saying 9/11 happened on his watch? Best check your occupancy list for the White House.

Same old, same old. Except we don't know if any guards got lucky this time around. Maybe, maybe not. Seems to me that Homeland security is mostly security for the employees.

Can't prove a negative, can you. WTF is the relevance of combat in Germany or Japan?

That's pitiful.

Where have 10 of Kerry's contemporaries come out against Kerry's version of events versus one for Kerry? Seems to me that the records are starting to show that the whole melange was a set-up, something neocons thought would derail the Kerry campaign. It has created problems, I'm sure, but it may in the end do more damage to Bush's Babies.
Charlie Self "A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers." H. L. Mencken
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"Charlie Self" <

The object of the sentence was terrorism. And Clinton had much more than warnings.

That's the beauty of Federal employment.

I can't think for you. He was talking about casualties in war. It will be too tiring for me to explain every point to you.

I agree. There's many that have been so brainwashed that they are infected with the disease of liberalism.

Well, there's 250 on the anti-side compared to his handful of supporters.

Every now and again they drag out another supporter, if that's what you mean. But we would have to discount many accounts in favor of Kerry's supporters. Seems to me that would be a whole lot of men who are outright lying. Some have been saying so for 30 years or so. Those Republicans sure plan ahead.

It would seem that way to the mentally challenged. The polls prove otherwise.
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On Wed, 25 Aug 2004 16:37:43 -0700, Fletis Humplebacker wrote:

Actually, among the men who actually served on Kerry's boat, as opposed to in the same general area, or in the same war, the ratio is reversed. Only one of the men who actually served under Kerry's command does not support his candidacy.
But what I really think is hilarious about all this is that the Republicans can find a couple hundred men to criticize the way Kerry fought in the war, but they can't find a single person who can prove that Bush didn't desert from the ANG. Politics. Too weird. Oh well. As my father used to say, "In a hundred years, who'll care?"
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"Fletis Humplebacker" <!> wrote:

Do the tax cuts help the economy? They are all borrowed money against the deficit, which effectively increases long term interest rates. A short term tax cut done in a broad-based stimulative way does help the economy during recession. A long-range deficit tax cut that is unsustainable has as much chance of hurting the economy as it does to help it.

Sure they should. When we can afford it, everyone ought to get one. We can't afford it, though.

Not liberal hysteria. Reports of the President's own economists.
You are right that government is growing. Tax revenues are also decreasing. A sure recipe for deficit. The current deficit is upwards of 20% of all federal expenditures. Caused by growing government, growing entitlements, and cutting tax revenues.

9/11 isn't the excuse for everything. It didn't cause the tax cuts. It didn't cause the retroactive refunds to AMT. It didn't cause the expansion of Medicare prescription drug benefits. It didn't cause the expansion of farm subsidies, etc. It maybe did arguably cause Homeland Security, but even most conservatives would agree that Homeland Security is a bloated bureaucracy.

Yes, and as the leader of the world's economy we have a fair role in how that global recession goes.

You are suggesting that Clinton would have ignored terrorism after 9/11? That's preposterous. You are suggesting that Clinton ignored terrorism before 9/11? That's refuted by many sources, including the 9/11 commission.

To fail to reasonably assign blame and credit is really just transparent partisanship.

Where were they before 9/11? Do you really think the country is prepared and do you think we have done all we can/should do? I don't.

Wow, your impeccable reasoning has got me there.

Yeah, I do think some lefties go over the top. Some Bushies do, too. But there's a difference between propaganda and actually paying attention to current events.

I think if you read the above you will see several references you made to only being able to draw these conclusions if you are paying attention to "lefty" hate books, films, and propaganda.
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On 26 Aug 2004 10:22:39 -0700, n snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Nate Perkins) wrote:

You assume this is a zero-sum game. i.e. if less money is taken from the taxpayers, then less is available in the future for the government. The tax cuts enacted in the early '80s show the fallacy of this argument. The top tax rate was cut from 50% to 28% which should have resulted in a devastating loss of revenue for the tax coffers. What happened in reality was that the money not taken from taxpayers was either spent or re-invested in the economy in revenue producing ventures. Those revenue producing ventures produced increased tax revenue that far exceeded the amount "lost" by the tax cuts.

When WE can afford it? i.e. you believe that somehow you have a claim upon the fruits of the labors of someone else who happens to make more money than yourself?

As a percentage, the tax cuts benefited all taxpayers equally. The fact of the matter is that in 2001 (the latest data for which IRS figures are available):     The top 50% of wage earners pay 96% of all federal income taxes yet only earns 86% of all income     The top 10% of wage earners pay 65% of all federal income taxes yet only earns 43% of all income     the top 5% of wage earners pay 53% of all federal income taxes yet only earns 32% of all income
Now, regarding the argument that an increasing burden is being placed on middle class taxpayers from 2000:     The top 50% of wage earners paid 96% of all federal income taxes yet only earned 87% of all income     The top 10% of wage earners paid 67% of all federal income taxes yet earned 46% of all income     the top 5% of wage earners paid 56% of all federal income taxes yet earned 35% of all income
So, although the total burden to the top wage earners did go down, so did overall share of income. How can this be? I thought the rich kept getting richer under the Bush regime?

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(Nate Perkins)

I agree that to the extent a tax cut is stimulative and results in future economic growth then it is a good idea. You will have to show me evidence that Bush's tax cuts are stimulative enough to even come close to paying for themselves. The rising deficits are evidence to the contrary.
Even Reagan understood this concept, which is why (in addition to cutting taxes) he also had to raise taxes three times to slow the rate of deficit growth. Even then, deficits skyrocketed under him. Even GHWB understood that you had to slow the debt, which is why he broke his "read my lips" pledge and lost the reelection.
Only Dubya seems to fail to understand the need to bring down the debt.

You believe that somehow you have a claim upon only a *portion* of government services? Which aircraft carrier is the one you bought? Which section of road is the one that's yours? "We" is our nation. "We" are all using these things, and "we" are all obligated to pay for them.

Data is available from 2003 that shows a different result. Otherwise wouldn't you blame the 2000/2001 data on Clinton? I mean don't most of your numbers precede most of Bush's tax "cuts"? Several links have already been cited in other messages on this thread, but here it is again: http://money.cnn.com/2004/08/13/news/economy/election_taxes.reut /
... (remainder mercifully snipped) ...
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[ snip ]

No they don't.

And it did.

Myth, not fact. Look here for the facts: <http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index 21&sequence=0>.
[ snip ]

This statistic only looks convincing until you realize that they leave out almost half of the taxes on incomes. They are leaving out Social Security/FICA.
[ snip ]
Chris
--
To reply, change 'nospam' to 'woh.rr'.

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See below.

No it did not, you might not like that fact, but it is a fact.

No, fact, not myth. From your own reference. Table I, revenues, the Reagan tax cuts started in 1982. The following are the revenues for just prior to following:
Year    Revenue ($B)
1980    517.1 1981    599.3 1982    617.8 1983    600.6 1984    666.5 1985    734.1 1986    769.2 1987    854.4 1988    909.3 1989    991.2
Now, you will note that in 1983, the year after the tax cut, revenue did go down, however, in subsequent years, revenue continued to increase even in 1986, the year that there was a recession.

??? Half the tax on incomes? This is simple math, 7.5% is NOT 1/2 of 28%, thus SS/Fica cannot by any stretch of the imagination amount to 1/2 of the taxes on incomes paid by wage earners. The "rich" pay SS/FICA on the same amount of income as everybody else. Only after exceeding a certain threshold do they no longer pay the OASD portion, but continue to pay the Medicare portion. Then again, if you contend that government revenue went down after the Reagan tax cuts, I can see how you would also say that the 7.5% is half the tax on incomes. Now, before you jump in here and scream about the fact that SS tax is really 15%, 7.5% of that 15% is NOT being paid by the taxpayer, but by those eeevil corporations employing those low wage earners. The fact is, the "rich" are still paying the same amount of SS/FICA as all other wage earners, since no one's SS taxes are being cut, the "rich" are going to also pay a larger share of the SS/FICA taxes as well since they earn more.
Again, the statistics given are for INCOME taxes.

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wrote:

Those figures aren't adjusted for inflation, the last pre-tax cut year was 1981, and payroll taxes are included (whose rates went up). Real (inflation-adjusted) income tax revenues were lower in each of the first five years after the tax cut (1982-86) than they were the year prior to the tax cut (1981).
Josh Rosenbluth
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On 30 Aug 2004 07:21:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@att.com (Josh Rosenbluth) wrote:

You are correct, the numbers aren't adjusted for inflation, these are raw revenue numbers. The Inflation rate decreased after the 1982 tax cuts. The poster I was responding to contended that there was a devastating loss of revenue after the 1982 tax cuts. As shown above, with the exception of 1983, which makes sense because that was the first full year for tax-cut induced growth to ramp up, revenue continued to increase. Payroll taxes (SS and Medicare) may have gone up, they only went up marginally (6.8 to 7.5% I think, I'm too tired to look up the exact number) while income taxes were drastically reduced, thus an 0.7% increase in payroll taxes cannot begin to have accounted for the entire amount of revenue increase. Remember also, that beginning with the 1982 tax cuts, the tax rate tables were indexed for inflation, eliminating the "bracket creep" that had been prevalent during the high-inflation rate 70's when peoples' tax rates increased while their spending power decreased.

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wrote:

Which means they aren't valid for assessing the impact of the tax cut on revenues (Econ 101).

Repeating, inflation-adjusted income tax revenues were lower in each of 1982-86 than they were in 1981.
Josh Rosenbluth
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On 31 Aug 2004 05:57:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@att.com (Josh Rosenbluth) wrote:

OK, one more time, Inflation adjusted revenue, inflation numbers from <http://minneapolisfed.org/Research/data/us/calc/hist1913.cfm :
Year    Rev,    Delta        % change    Inflation %    Real                                  Increase 1975    279.1    -        -        -        - 1976    298.1    19.0        6.37%        5.80%         0.57% 1977    355.6    57.5        16.17%        6.50%         9.67% 1978    399.6    44.0        11.01%        7.60%         3.41% 1979    463.3    63.7        13.75%        11.30%         2.45% 1980    517.1    53.8        10.40%        13.50%        -3.10% 1981    599.3    82.2        13.72%        10.30%         3.42% 1982    617.8    18.5        2.99%        6.20%        -3.21% 1983    600.6    -17.2        -2.86%        3.20%        -6.06% 1984    666.5    65.90        9.89%        4.30%         5.59% 1985    734.1    67.60        9.21%        3.60%         5.61% 1986    769.2    35.10        4.56%        1.90%         2.66% 1987    854.4    85.20        9.97%        3.60%         6.37% 1988    909.3    54.90        6.04%        4.10%         1.94% 1989    991.2    81.90        8.26%        4.80%         3.46%
Not knowing how the above table will translate to other newsreaders, looking at only the % real increase: Year Inflation adjusted increase 1975    - 1976    0.57% 1977    9.67% 1978    3.41% 1979    2.45% 1980    -3.10% 1981    3.42% 1982    -3.21% 1983    -6.06% 1984    5.59% 1985    5.61% 1986    2.66% 1987    6.37% 1988    1.94% 1989    3.46%
So, in the years prior to the tax cut, inflation-adjusted revenue both increased and decreased from a hight of 9.67% to a loss of 3.1%
Following the tax cuts, in year by year inflation adjusted rates, income increased by as much as 6.37% (in 1987) to a decline of 6.06% (in 1983, the first full year of the tax cuts, but came back to a 5.59% real increase over inflation in the following year.
So, although revenues in 1981 were up 13.7% over revenue in 1980, inflation in 1981 was 10.3%, thus real revenue only increased by 3.42% compared to the prior year (which actually lost ground relative to inflation). Even more telling are the inflation numbers which dropped from double digit 10%+ down to around 4% in subsequent years.
Now, given these facts, how can one still spin them to show that revenue was catastrophically reduced by the Reagan tax cuts?
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(Josh Rosenbluth) wrote:

You have again lumped together income and payroll taxes. Let's re-do that table with only income taxes (starting with 1982, the first year of the tax cut), and let's also add cumulative percentage compared to 1981.
Year % from prior year Cum % from 1981 ------------------------------------------- 1982: -6.6% -6.6% 1983: -10.4% -16.3% 1984: 3.7% -13.2% 1985: 7.8% -6.4% 1986: 1.6% -4.9%

The catastrophe was the debt grew by leaps and bounds immediately after the tax cut, in large part because of the tax cut as evidenced by the lower revenue in each of (post tax cut) 1982-86 compared to (pre tax cut) 1981 (the cumulative effect is what impacts the debt).
Your analysis amounted to nothing more than noting single-year revenue growth for a few selected years before the tax cut (9.67% in 1977, -3.1% in 1980, 3.42% in 1981) and a few selected years after the tax cut (6.37% in 1987, -6.06% in 1983, 5.59% in 1984). What meaning does that have with regards to the debt?
Josh Rosenbluth
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On 1 Sep 2004 06:11:20 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@att.com (Josh Rosenbluth) wrote:
... snip e debt).

A) A few selected years? I showed all years starting from 1975, could have gone back farther, could have gone forward more, but the story would have been the same. I also showed *real* per year revenue growth based upon inflation adjusted value of that year's revenue. Even in your case, you show that revenue started growing. B) Why is it only income that should be considered for debt computations? If *I* don't make as much money *I* don't SPEND as much money. Now, the next argument you will raise is that Reagan broke the bank by spending money we didn't have on defense in a huge indefensible defense build-up. The fact is that if Reagan could have just increased spending on defense, we would not have added to debt, or added minimally. The problem was that in order to get his defense spending approved (something that he viewed as paramount to the survival of this republic), he had to compromise and allow entitlements to also be raised.
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(Josh Rosenbluth) wrote:

I am not arguing with the years you showed in the chart. I am taking issue with your subsequent analysis of those numbers because 1) you only used pre-tax cut 1977, 1980, 1981 and post-tax cut 1983, 1984, 1987 and 2) you did nothing more than repeat the figures from the selected years without explaining what/how conclusions can be drawn from them.

That's good. But, you still included payroll taxes whose rates went up under Reagan. You need to limit your analysis to income tax revenues.

If you wait long enough (6 years in Reagan's case), revenue will eventually get back to pre-tax cut levels. However, debt has exploded in the meantime. Moreover, if revenue in years 6+ would have been bigger without the tax cut than with it, even the additional debt in years 6+ would also be bigger without the tax cut than with it.

Firstly, spending and revenue must both be considered. The debt explosion under Reagan was caused by both the military expansion and tax cut.
Secondly, non-military spending, exlcusive of Social Security and Medicare, decreased under Reagan. And, the Social Security and Medicare surpluses (they are funded through payroll taxes) grew under Reagan. Therefore, the debt explosion had nothing to do with non-military spending.
Josh Rosenbluth
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Tax cuts are only a loan if you assume the government had a right to my money in the first place. That makes you a socialist, or, at the least, a liberal Democrat.
I would think that a $600 tax rebate is much more influential to the spending of a "middle-class" earner than to someone like Dick Cheney. I'd be surprised if he even noticed that his butler deposited the check in (one of) his (many) account(s).
If you've noticed, interest rates are as low as they've ever been, so your assessment crumbles. The "economy" that existed in the '90s was based on the dot-com revolution, which proved to be about as real as paper money and as substantial as the Social Security Trust Fund. Would you like to go back to that situation? Unemployment is lower, by all accounts. I thought you said you pay attention?

I don't see Iraq as a bungling mess, at all. We've deposed a tyrant, and we are cautiously installing a democratically-elected government in a region in which it is historically unwanted. It's happening much faster than it did in the US, over 200 years ago, and I don't hear you complaining about that bungling mess. How would you go about democratizing the Middle East? Or, would you just let it continue to fester, the way Clinton did?

How about we look at the statistic that records the frequency and severity of terrorist attacks in the US since September 11, 2001? Batting a thousand, ain't we? Maybe we should look at the statistic that indicates the number of Middle Eastern countries still governed by tyrants? It's declining, isn't it? Which statistics _are_ you looking at?

Left hate books and films would be anything from Al Franken or Michael Moore. I thought you said you pay attention?
--
Kevin
-=#=-



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Understanding that you have to pay for government makes you a socialist? Wow. Which part of government should come for free -- national defense, service on the national debt, fire and police protection, trial by jury, federal currency?

Yes, tax cuts to the middle and lower class tend to be immediately spent, and therefore they are more immediately stimulative to the economy. Tax cuts for the wealthy are not spent as quickly, and may be stimulative in the long run depending on which economic theory you believe in. Recently it does not seem to be working very well.

Look, there are two primary economic levers: fiscal policy and monetary policy. The government controls the first with spending and taxation. The Fed controls the second by trying to manipulate the short term interest rate. Both are influencing the same variable, the monetary supply. Deficit spending increases the debt, which increases long term interest rates. Most economists (from both sides) estimate the current level of debt as adding a couple of points to the effective long term rate of interest. The Fed rate is now at, what, 1.5%? Surely you have noticed that you can't take out a long term loan at 1.5%?
The economy in the 90's was (for the most part) a fairly solid economy. It was achieved by moderate economic growth coupled with overall growth in worker productivity and modest gains in wages. Yes, the dot-com bubble which came later was in large part artificial, but it would be misleading to attribute all of the prosperity of the 90's to the dot com bubble. A lot of it was real gains in worker productivity, consumption, and corporate profits.
Do you really think unemployment is lower now than it was during most of the 90's?

Opinions will differ as to whether Iraq has become a bungling mess. All polls show that the majority of Americans now think it was a mistake. No WMDs. No 9/11 links. Personally, I think it was a huge mistake. Even Pat Buchanan, who is quite conservative, calls it a worse mistake than Vietnam.

Demonstrably poor by almost any statistic for economic growth, crime rate, size of government, deficit spending, education, etc.
Your slogan for reelection seems to be "Vote for Bush, at least he didn't let 9/11 happen twice." I don't think it would do very well in the general election, though.

Uh, ok ... whatever.
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wrote:

... snip

How do you think that somehow reading the Denver Post and the Washington post make you well-read? You are really reading the Associated Press and Reuters and the Associated Press and Reuters. ... and those two outlets are hardly unbiased.
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On 24 Aug 2004 10:46:56 -0700, n snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Nate Perkins) wrote:

What? I agree that this has come to a pretty comical point, but your post falls into the comedy of the absurd. Kerry is the guy who brought up his war record as a primary qualification for his ascension to the presidency. Kerry, since the beginning of the year was touting the fact that "he volunteerd for Vietnam", was "highly decorated", then returned home to "fight against the war he thought was unjust. Earlier this year, you couldn't hear a speech from Kerry without him saying "when I was in Vietnam ...." John Kerry made his service a political issue, not Bush. John Kerry is the one going back 35 years to find something that should qualify him to be president. Why isn't Kerry touting his record in Congress? Why isn't he trumpeting what he has done in the past 10 years? *Those* should be the issues; instead, Kerry and his camp intone in every commercial that he was a great war hero, he really cares about us, and therefore we should vote for him. Then, when somebody who served with him pipes up and says, "hey, wait a minute, his service in Vietnam wasn't all he is touting it to be", the Kerry camp goes ballistic, "How DARE you impugn my record!? (never mind that they've been doing that to Bush since election 2000), It happened the way *I* said it did, and nobody knows better than *I* do! I'm going to send my lawyers out to stop these pesky people from exercising their freedom of speech. Those ads have got to stop! Hey, watch me wind-surf! See, I'm a regular guy! By the way, did you know I served in Vietnam?"
Yeah, I agree, when you have no record to run on, you find other things to gain attention. Kerry has attempted to do it with his Vietnam service record. Others have taken exception to that.
So, what *exactly* is Kerry proposing he will do at President? ... and I mean specifically. The only things he has said (and the sycophants in the press label as major policy statements) is say, "I will fight the war on terrorism better, I will fight a more sensitive war", or "I will restore our reputation in the rest of the world". "We've got better ideas" He never says *How* he is going to do those things. He never says what those better ideas are. We get this vague, "I'll do better, trust me"
So far from supporters of Kerry, all I hear is "he's not Bush". Nobody has clearly articulated a good reasong to vote *for* Kerry. What is going to make him better? What does he stand for? He voted for the Iraq war. He voted against sending more funds to Iraq, but "he voted for it before he voted against it". Those SUV's in the Kerry compound aren't his, the family bought them. What, specifically is Kerry going to do as president (other than not being Bush)? What, specifically is he going to do to make things better?
All of his statements vs. actions seem to show that he is an elitist who views the electorate as a bunch of dumb sheep who will vote for him if he just shows enough compassion for them to make them think he cares about them. It's OK for his family to have a fleet of Suburban SUV's since they are, after all part of the chosen to watch out for the rest of us. For the rest of us, we need to get rid of those evil gas-guzzling SUV's and conserve those precious natural resources [for him]. It's OK that Theresa jets around in a G5, the rest of the little people need to conserve natural resources [for her]. What John Kerry says happened 35 years ago (like being in Cambodia for Christmas 1968) happened. If it was physically impossible, that doesn't matter, what matters is that *he* cares.
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(Nate Perkins)

(snipped all the rest)
I don't have the time to answer all of the same essays from half a dozen Bush supporters who still want to cling to the idea that the stories of the Swift Boat guys hold water. I don't have time to answer all of the same essays from guys who still believe in trickle down economics and who think the size of government or the deficit has shrunk under the Republicans. II don't have time to answer all the same essays from guys who think we are better off having alienated all of our allies with unilateral actions and who still believe WMDs might really be out there.
You guys are part of the 30% core that will vote for Bush no matter what he does, and no matter how things go. It might be a consolation to know that even Herbert Hoover received 38.6% of the vote in 1932.
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