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2015 / 2016 Democrat Debate Thread - Page 6

post #76 of 88
I'd agree that GDP growth is too limiting a metric. Among other issues, the US GDP has grown substantially over the last three decades, but it's not penetrating across all of society in the way that it did in previous eras.

I think most people would say that slightly lower GDP growth would be acceptable in exchange for sustained growth across a broader swath of the population. You obviously still need to grow the economy, but pulling the bulk of the population along for the ride is worth some cost to growth.
post #77 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post


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.

 

All valid points, I guess I was referring to your comment about the left desire for safety nets/entitlements like Europe, but not wanting to pay for it (and Europe uses a VAT).  I was trying to point out that a VAT in and of itself may not do it for a couple of reasons: mainly either the economy will shrink as a result or the source of government revenue may change without actually increasing revenue. 

 

Of course there are other factors to consider, but I was simply focusing on can a VAT pay for an increase in the entitlement system, and I think the answer is "I don't know."  Perhaps some people smarter than me can model the economies and with some scenario analysis come up with a really good estimate.

post #78 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post


I think most people would say that slightly lower GDP growth would be acceptable in exchange for sustained growth across a broader swath of the population. You obviously still need to grow the economy, but pulling the bulk of the population along for the ride is worth some cost to growth.


That's fine, but the government can't do that.
post #79 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencycle View Post

...and I think the answer is "I don't know."  Perhaps some people smarter than me can model the economies and with some scenario analysis come up with a really good estimate.

That's pretty much the answer for me too.
post #80 of 88
That's the thing, right? These subjects are the topic of heavy debate even among economists. A couple of my friends are academic economists, of varying camps, and they certainly don't agree on policy prescriptions. How could any of us normies possibly have an informed opinion? We're just left with our own biases and short term self-interest. Or dogmatic viewpoints, as harvey is kind enough to demonstrate.
post #81 of 88
Once you get to my age it also starts being about long term self-interests. There comes a point where you have to understand you're counting on your own stored up assets AND the availability of the social safety net you've helped pay for all your working life. I'm going to be sort of pissed if they pull the rug out from under Medicare or SS just as I get ready to enroll/collect. I'm counting on my SS cheque to pay my property taxes!
post #82 of 88
Some remarks triggered a binge read into income inequality and the relation between vat and gdp in economic studies. From what I read there is certainly a one time negative effect (duh) when it's applied, but it's not conclusive that growth is effected. This article also turned up, which was among the stranger but also more entertaining ones: http://www.uni-muenster.de/PeaCon/dgs-mills/mills-texte/RobberBarons.htm

And fwiw, in the Netherlands income tax raises approx 55 billion, and The vat 45 billion. Part of the social security is paid for by separate charges on income named for it too, which raises another 50 a year. i dont know what the vat specifically funds, but only a part of it is used for ss..it's 21% on non food stuff.
post #83 of 88
Nootje, thanks for the post. So imagine another tax that would give the federal government about 80% of what it collects in income tax...

That would not scale 1:1 as the US is set up way differently but still. Nootje, we have an SS tax in the US too and they keep talking about increasing it. It's about 15%, split between employer and employee, on about the first 114k of income a year. They cap it at that because the benefits calculator caps at that. Of course the only way to get the absolute max is to earn the cap every year for I think 40 years so no one actually receives that. They keep talking about removing the cap on taxation but not raising it on benefits. In fact they keep talking about means testing the benefits, so as usual, those that pay the most will receive the least.
post #84 of 88
What does hunting have to do with the 2nd Amendment?


post #85 of 88
Doesn't the 2nd Amendment talk about well regulated hunters?
post #86 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

Doesn't the 2nd Amendment talk about well regulated hunters?

 

The 2nd amendment was written in that old timey English no one really understands what the Constitution says.

post #87 of 88
Thread Starter 
Leftist Democrats have never understood this issue. When I hear them talk about guns, I get the feeling I'm reading a Bazooka gum wrapper.
post #88 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

That's the thing, right? These subjects are the topic of heavy debate even among economists. A couple of my friends are academic economists, of varying camps, and they certainly don't agree on policy prescriptions. How could any of us normies possibly have an informed opinion? We're just left with our own biases and short term self-interest. Or dogmatic viewpoints, as harvey is kind enough to demonstrate.

 

There are a few facets to this too which can really be put into a tree like structure:

 

What's the goal of public policy? (Eg. maximizing economic growth vs maximizing equality vs maximizing government revenue vs whatever)
What's the best way to achieve that goal (Eg. increase tax rates vs introduce different types of taxes vs whatever)

Does the government have the ability to do that?


I'm pretty squarely in the libertarian and federalist buckets, and I believe that I don't think the federal government should have the ability to do a lot of the things they do without Constitutional amendments.  States are another story.

So I love reading economics books and articles, but I often then go "that's great, so the states should do it or the federal government needs to amend the Constitution."

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