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2015 / 2016 Democrat Debate Thread - Page 5

post #61 of 88
I love when you can have a community (like Reddit's /r/SandersforPresident) actively encouraging people to vote in those polls as often as possible (even writing scripts in some cases) and then complaining about the media not taking online polls seriously.


The Ron Paul people were notorious for that, and then always talked about how the real polls (which they couldn't rig) were somehow corrupt because they didn't reflect Paul having 70% of the vote. While actively working to rig the online polls. The dissonance was amazing.
post #62 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joffrey View Post

I'd love to see her against Fiorina or Cruz.

I don't like Cruz's debate style, and I'm someone who agrees with most of his positions. I can't imagine Cruz winning a debate in the eyes of independents or moderates. He'd certainly do better than Bush, but that's not saying much.

Self reliance versus victimhood will be an enormous theme. Ted Cruz is not the right person to deliver this message. Ben Carson, comatose and all, would have a far better chance of delivering that message in a believable way. Fiorina would also do well.
post #63 of 88
So nobody watched this shit?
post #64 of 88
I watched it in the background. Mostly garbage. Sanders was proud of getting a D- in defending the Bill of Rights, though.
post #65 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold falcon View Post

I watched it in the background. Mostly garbage. Sanders was proud of getting a D- in defending the Bill of Rights, though.

 

I hope he wins the nomination.  I hope Trump wins the nomination.  If we're going to have a shitty President, I at least want an entertaining campaign.  We're owed that much.

post #66 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Nickels View Post

So nobody watched this shit?

I watched. If you are gainfully employed, your taxes are going up. A lot. The problems in the black community can be boiled down to racist cops. There's absolutely nothing else wrong - and addressing these racist cops will solve the problem entirely. Oh, and Bernie was quick to point out that the vast majority of cops are good people, so apparently a small minority of police officers are responsible for epidemic violence in the black community, alarming unemployment, broken homes, etc. They are eager to carry on the policy of pretending nothing is wrong in order to capture the black vote. Despite what Obama promised during a town hall a couple weeks ago, all three candidates want to take away your guns, starting with semi-automatic rifles.
post #67 of 88
Having our taxes go up, a lot, is okay as we will all get back many times the increase through superior government programs.
post #68 of 88
Just read a couple summaries of the debate. I have to admit Hills claiming Bernie's "Medicare for all" plan would "derail" Obamacare is fucking genius for low information voters.

Bernie continues to show he knows fuck all about economics. Yes, a 6.2% payroll tax will in no way impact the pay of wage earners as employers will simply forget about that when calculating the total cost of employee compensation.
post #69 of 88
The continued Democratic fixation on income tax as a tool for fixing income inequality is strange (or maybe not, from Hillary). People will talk about "millionaire and billionaires" and then throw around income numbers that apply more to software engineers and doctors than CEOs. Nobody is becoming a billionaire on $250k/year.

For that matter, the phrase "millionaires and billionaires" is extremely disingenuous. Do people realize that there's three orders of magnitude of wealth in there? Lots of upper middle class working stiffs nearing retirement have well over a million, and they're not living like kings.


I keep seeing progressives on Facebook bitching about Congressional salaries. Like, they really think that people go into Congress to get rich on that $174k/year. That's sort of the problem in a nutshell, you have a bunch of lower middle class people who really think that anything >$100k is millionaire money, and so those are the people who need to be taxed to oblivion. They don't have any investments to speak of either, so they have no conception of anything like capital gains either, so they just fixate on income taxes.
post #70 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

The continued Democratic fixation on income tax as a tool for fixing income inequality is strange (or maybe not, from Hillary). People will talk about "millionaire and billionaires" and then throw around income numbers that apply more to software engineers and doctors than CEOs. Nobody is becoming a billionaire on $250k/year.

For that matter, the phrase "millionaires and billionaires" is extremely disingenuous. Do people realize that there's three orders of magnitude of wealth in there? Lots of upper middle class working stiffs nearing retirement have well over a million, and they're not living like kings.


I keep seeing progressives on Facebook bitching about Congressional salaries. Like, they really think that people go into Congress to get rich on that $174k/year. That's sort of the problem in a nutshell, you have a bunch of lower middle class people who really think that anything >$100k is millionaire money, and so those are the people who need to be taxed to oblivion. They don't have any investments to speak of either, so they have no conception of anything like capital gains either, so they just fixate on income taxes.

 

Let's increase the minimum wage to $15/hr which is $31k/yr because it is impossible to live on less and cap everyone else at $100k because who needs more than that?

post #71 of 88
Gib, this is all very well said and rather echoes things some of us have been saying here for years. When you're checking the couch for change to buy your next pack of smokes people earning 100k or more probably do seem "rich" to you but this lack of perspective should not be allowed to drive policy.

I think we need to also acknowledge, that just as there's magnitudes of difference between millionaires and billionaires, there's also magnitudes of difference between your "average" CEO and the titans of industry that are taken as representative of the class. The average CEO in the country makes somewhere in the area of 350k a year. This person actually probably has more daily stress and energy sapped from their soul as they don't have the infra-structure around them and the golden parachute that a CEO from a Fortune 500 has around them.

Lastly, as I've said before, the American left wants a Euro social democracy safety net without the mechanisms in place used to pay for them. Big VATs are standard in Euro land.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

The continued Democratic fixation on income tax as a tool for fixing income inequality is strange (or maybe not, from Hillary). People will talk about "millionaire and billionaires" and then throw around income numbers that apply more to software engineers and doctors than CEOs. Nobody is becoming a billionaire on $250k/year.

For that matter, the phrase "millionaires and billionaires" is extremely disingenuous. Do people realize that there's three orders of magnitude of wealth in there? Lots of upper middle class working stiffs nearing retirement have well over a million, and they're not living like kings.


I keep seeing progressives on Facebook bitching about Congressional salaries. Like, they really think that people go into Congress to get rich on that $174k/year. That's sort of the problem in a nutshell, you have a bunch of lower middle class people who really think that anything >$100k is millionaire money, and so those are the people who need to be taxed to oblivion. They don't have any investments to speak of either, so they have no conception of anything like capital gains either, so they just fixate on income taxes.
post #72 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

Gib, this is all very well said and rather echoes things some of us have been saying here for years. When you're checking the couch for change to buy your next pack of smokes people earning 100k or more probably do seem "rich" to you but this lack of perspective should not be allowed to drive policy.

I think we need to also acknowledge, that just as there's magnitudes of difference between millionaires and billionaires, there's also magnitudes of difference between your "average" CEO and the titans of industry that are taken as representative of the class. The average CEO in the country makes somewhere in the area of 350k a year. This person actually probably has more daily stress and energy sapped from their soul as they don't have the infra-structure around them and the golden parachute that a CEO from a Fortune 500 has around them.

Lastly, as I've said before, the American left wants a Euro social democracy safety net without the mechanisms in place used to pay for them. Big VATs are standard in Euro land.

 

To me, the questions of changing taxes are always, will this increase government revenue, and will it impact economic prosperity more generally.  Once we have a good guess on what the change will do, we can debate how those effects should be weighted and if we should proceed.

 

So,

1. Does the change increase the % of GDP raised in taxes?

2. Does GDP (short-term) increase or decrease?

3. How is long term GDP growth changed?

 

If you look at the US over the last 30-40 years, changes in income tax rates haven't made much of a difference.

 

I looked at the World Bank data on taxes as a % of GDP of a variety of European countries, and what I found was interesting.  Germany is almost the same as the US (around 11%), then countries like France and Sweden sit around 20%.  The UK is up near 25% and all alone at 35% is Denmark.  Additionally, Spain is actually less than the US.

Based on those things I would say it is inconclusive that adding a VAT will necessarily increase tax revenue as a percentage of GDP.

 

Next if you look at the GDP growth questions, I find it hard to believe implementing a VAT would increase GDP, and it most likely would decrease it.  The growth rates of the above countries are actually almost in reverse order (except Spain which is the worst) - the US is #1 in growth with Denmark being second worst. 


So ultimately, I don't think you can conclusively conclude that a VAT will able to fund a European-style entitlement system.  In fact, it may cause GDP growth to slow or even go negative which would make us less able to afford such a system.


It would probably be easier to just stop spending more money on the military than all of Europe and fund an entitlement system.  Not only would it free up funds for us, it would likely bankrupt those countries as they struggle to pay for their own defense and their entitlements.

 

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/GC.TAX.TOTL.GD.ZS/countries/1W-US-GB-DE-SE-FR-DK?display=map

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG/countries/1W-DE-US-GB-SE-DK-ES?display=default

post #73 of 88
You raise some very interesting points. So let's discuss Denmark as you mention it specifically. Highest taxation in the developed world. Their VAT is 25%. Huge public workforce. Large amount of public ownership of resources. As you noted GDP growth is slow but public debt is also very low. Balance of trade is very favorable. If not #1 usually in the top 3 happiest countries in the world.

So while you want to tie GDP growth into this equation I'm not sure it fits. Low public debt, high rate of public assets, favorable balance of trade and it's a happy place to live. Seems to me things are getting funded.

GDP growth is just one metric and I don't think one to use without weighing everything else. I mean, what's more sustainable? One percent growth with stable/lowering debt and a favorable balance of trade or 4% growth with ever increasing debt from a never balanced budget and an ever widening trade gap? I can tell you which one leads to the "millionaire next door" vs. the "35k millionaire."
post #74 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

You raise some very interesting points. So let's discuss Denmark as you mention it specifically. Highest taxation in the developed world. Their VAT is 25%. Huge public workforce. Large amount of public ownership of resources. As you noted GDP growth is slow but public debt is also very low. Balance of trade is very favorable. If not #1 usually in the top 3 happiest countries in the world.

So while you want to tie GDP growth into this equation I'm not sure it fits. Low public debt, high rate of public assets, favorable balance of trade and it's a happy place to live. Seems to me things are getting funded.

GDP growth is just one metric and I don't think one to use without weighing everything else. I mean, what's more sustainable? One percent growth with stable/lowering debt and a favorable balance of trade or 4% growth with ever increasing debt from a never balanced budget and an ever widening trade gap? I can tell you which one leads to the "millionaire next door" vs. the "35k millionaire."

 

There are a lot of differences between the two countries, as you point out.  If we implemented a VAT, would it lead to any of those other outcomes?  Will be see less public debt?  A more "favorable trade balance" (I put it in quotes because is a trade surplus necessarily a positive?)

 

I think things like the growing debt are caused by two things:

1. Cultural

2. Size of the country

 

Both lead to politicians promising more and more to various groups with no way to pay for it.

post #75 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencycle View Post

There are a lot of differences between the two countries, as you point out.  If we implemented a VAT, would it lead to any of those other outcomes?  Will be see less public debt?  A more "favorable trade balance" (I put it in quotes because is a trade surplus necessarily a positive?)

I think things like the growing debt are caused by two things:
1. Cultural
2. Size of the country

Both lead to politicians promising more and more to various groups with no way to pay for it.

I was not saying a VAT necessarily led to those outcomes but rather pointing out % of GDP growth tells far from the whole story. In the US a VAT would tax those that generally avoid income taxes or pay income tax on a smaller percent of their income. As to less public debt? Well, we all know how revenues get sliced up. There's a pretty big and growing built in nut now for entitlements in the US too. Broaden the base to pay for it, no?

Not saying I have any answers but I think looking at a host of metrics would be wiser than just looking at one or two.
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