Bill Kristol tells GOP to come back to the table.

KingGorilla wrote:

A trickle down Reagan-ominist or "crazy twat" as many might call them would state this gives GE and the CEO the capitol and incentives to spend that wealth by hiring more people and putting that money into the economy. That unravels when you see that over a 10 year period CEO pay went up about 30 percent, corporate taxes went down, and unemployment ballooned.

This coulnd't have come at a more poignant moment:

Corporate profits hit record as wages get squeezed

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Just four years after the worst shock to the economy since the Great Depression, U.S. corporate profits are stronger than ever.

In the third quarter, corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago, according to last week'si gross domestic product report. That took after-tax profits to their greatest percentage of GDP in history.

But the record profits come at the same time that workers' wages have fallen to their lowest-ever share of GDP.

OG_slinger wrote:
Keithustus wrote:

The biggest trouble, of course, is how then to meet the same societal need, preventing elderly starvation and unacceptable medical conditions, without a society-wide "giveaway"? I get quite interested in the original conditions and aims under which these programs were established when asking these questions.

You don't. Which is exactly why people started clamoring for a system that ensured old people, those that were too sick/injured to work, and the children of such didn't just starve or die. A first world country--or, if you prefer, a Christian nation--doesn't just cast aside its elderly and feeble population once they are no longer productive. Hell, there's plenty of archaeological evidence that even early man cared for the old and sick and simply didn't toss them in the midden.

There's also plenty of information out there about Social Security and how it got started. You might want to begin by Googling Dr. Francis E. Townsend. He's the chap who kicked everything off way back in 1933 with a simple newspaper editorial.

I know I'm guilty of hyperbole and maybe should apologize to CP for my little "bloodsucking rich" comment as it spawned a lot more controversy than I meant it to. But I call sheninigans on equating entitlement reform with letting grandma or little orphan Annie starve to death. That kind of talk is about as helpful as the conservatives saying that any defense cut will lead to America being immediately overrun. Unless of course you're just talking about how things were historically versus today (and even historically Americans during the Great Depression had it way better than much of the rest of the world at the time.)

Since we're also talking about marginal tax rates, my plan of having all the Bush tax cuts go away over say the next four years also would not hurt the poor, unemployed or elderly as they would see little to no tax increase. But along with tax increases I also want to see major tax reform. First up, I'd agree that CEO pay and compensation needs to seriously be overhauled. I'd also look at ending some of the "sacred cow" tax breaks like the mortgage interest deduction that supposedly help the entire middle class but help the upper middle class/wealthy far more and are discriminatory to the very poorest Americans who can't afford their own home:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...

I'm not an economist, but lately I've been wondering what would happen if you had to hold on to investments for at least a year.

I'm sure HFT would dry up. Would it reduce the drive for quarterly profits over everything else? Would companies think and act more long-term?

jdzappa wrote:

I'd also look at ending some of the "sacred cow" tax breaks like the mortgage interest deduction that supposedly help the entire middle class but help the upper middle class/wealthy far more and are discriminatory to the very poorest Americans who can't afford their own home

It's a fine line here, because it's definitely helpful. That said, it's ludicrous that you can roll any non-exempt debt like car loans and credit cards into a refinance just because you own a home and have equity and end up with a tax break (I did this though and it's great).

Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

I'm not an economist, but lately I've been wondering what would happen if you had to hold on to investments for at least a year.

I'm sure HFT would dry up. Would it reduce the drive for quarterly profits over everything else? Would companies think and act more long-term?

That's a pretty brilliant question! I'm interested in the answer.

Uh you'd have to do it for all investments classes, or people are going to game derviatives, debt, etc. I suppose no companies would want to list here, and those that were already listed would see 98% of their activity in foreign GDRs or their equivalent. Basically there are huge operational drawbacks that would probably kill domestic investment activity in general.

jdzappa wrote:

But I call sheninigans on equating entitlement reform with letting grandma or little orphan Annie starve to death. That kind of talk is about as helpful as the conservatives saying that any defense cut will lead to America being immediately overrun. Unless of course you're just talking about how things were historically versus today (and even historically Americans during the Great Depression had it way better than much of the rest of the world at the time.)

Keithustus wasn't talking about reforming Social Security and Medicare. He was talking about ending those programs entirely.

OG_slinger wrote:

Keithustus wasn't talking about reforming Social Security and Medicare. He was talking about ending those programs entirely.

Carefully. They obviously have necessary functions. At times like this it's good to ask, what are they doing in Sweden? Since its not 1930 anymore we can probably design a better system.

Keithustus wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Keithustus wasn't talking about reforming Social Security and Medicare. He was talking about ending those programs entirely.

Carefully. They obviously have necessary functions. At times like this it's good to ask, what are they doing in Sweden? Since its not 1930 anymore we can probably design a better system.

So... the solution to conservatives having an issue with "entitlement programs" (I hate that term so much :() is to look at what another country that has higher taxes and more government services is doing?

I think I missed a 2.? somewhere.

Keithustus wrote:

Carefully. They obviously have necessary functions. At times like this it's good to ask, what are they doing in Sweden? Since its not 1930 anymore we can probably design a better system.

If those programs serve a necessary function then why did you even propose phasing them out?

I fail to see what it not being 1930 has to do with the discussion. We had old and infirm people back in 1930 and we have old and infirm people today, except we have more of them and they live longer. One could argue that there's likely a greater need for the programs today because so many more elderly live by themselves than did in the 30s.

Nor do I understand why you think we could design a better system today. What's simpler than giving people who qualify cash every month? If you want to talk about who gets what benefits, when they're eligible for those benefits, and how everything gets funded, that's fine. But that's a discussion on how to reform the existing programs, not phase them out.

And you also need to define what you mean by "better." Better for the people the program's designed to help? Or better as in it costs taxpayers less? Those are very different goals.

So Republicans have their "idea" out there now. I'd like to see what the specifics are because if this is just more of their imaginary math it's not gonna work.

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2...

The Republican plan, which is also backed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., achieves its $2.2 trillion in several steps. As Republicans put it, they would raise $800 billion in new revenue through tax reform, $600 billion in health savings, $200 billion from changes to the Consumer Price Index, $300 billion in discretionary spending cuts, and another $300 billion in savings in mandatory spending. Many of the health savings track closely with the changes to Medicare first proposed in Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budgets.

There is no mentioning of what the "tax reform" actually is, in that article. I bet it's something along the lines "let's lower the corporate and the individual marginal rates, the economic activity will shoot up, the jobs will get created, and the revenues are going to go through the roof, man!"

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

There is no mentioning of what the "tax reform" actually is, in that article. I bet it's something along the lines "let's lower the corporate and the individual marginal rates, the economic activity will shoot up, the jobs will get created, and the revenues are going to go through the roof, man!"

I'd explain it, but all the math would take too long.

yeah that's my point. I want to see the specifics because I think it's the same tired game from them.

What I would LOVE to see happen on both sides mind you... is someone tear apart the ideas/proposals using math and logic. Identify which are good, which are bad, which have a chance of actually working, and which are just insane.

I have a hunch the republican's side of things is going to be much more unrealistic.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

There is no mentioning of what the "tax reform" actually is, in that article. I bet it's something along the lines "let's lower the corporate and the individual marginal rates, the economic activity will shoot up, the jobs will get created, and the revenues are going to go through the roof, man!"

That and "broadening the base" by further rectal raping of the middle class.

The plan, which is based on fiscal commission Democratic co-chairman Erskine Bowles’s proposal to the super committee...

So last year that plan was so horrible the GOP rejected it, but now it's suddenly AOK?

Many of the health savings track closely with the changes to Medicare first proposed in Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budgets.

Sounds like the same old sh*t to me!

The Republican plan, which is also backed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., achieves its $2.2 trillion in several steps. As Republicans put it, they would raise $800 billion in new revenue through tax reform,

I just feel stupid when I read this because I don't understand it. How can this not be considered raising taxes? (Something I thought Republican's were opposed to) If the amount collected is going up then someone is paying more right? So who are they raising taxes on?

Farley don't confuse people with the facts!

And why the hell haven't the democrats been doing the following ALL the time?

"If Speaker Boehner refuses to schedule this widely-supported bill for a vote, Democrats will introduce a discharge petition to automatically bring to the floor the Senate-passed middle class tax cuts," Pelosi said in a statement. "We must find a bold, balanced and fair agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. The clock is ticking and stalemates are a luxury we cannot afford."

Under a "discharge petition," a bill can be brought to the floor without going through a committee or without approval of House leadership. The bill would need majority support -- or 218 votes -- to pass.

You know, it might get more traction if instead of calling it "letting the bush tax cuts expire" for those over $250k to "closing the loophole" (that let those earning $250k or more to pay less taxes.)

Just sayin...

When they mentioned the discharge petition on NPR this morning they basically said it had a snowball's chance of actually going forward and that it was more of a show than anything.

farley3k wrote:

I just feel stupid when I read this because I don't understand it. How can this not be considered raising taxes? (Something I thought Republican's were opposed to) If the amount collected is going up then someone is paying more right? So who are they raising taxes on?

The Norquist pledge allows the closing of tax loopholes, deductions, and credits, but only if they are matched dollar for dollar by reducing tax rates.

The $800 billion would come from broadening the tax base, which is the GOP-approved doublespeak for taxing the people who currently make too little to be taxed under the current law. In other words, that $800 billion will come from the poor and middle-class.

Paleocon wrote:
Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

There is no mentioning of what the "tax reform" actually is, in that article. I bet it's something along the lines "let's lower the corporate and the individual marginal rates, the economic activity will shoot up, the jobs will get created, and the revenues are going to go through the roof, man!"

That and "broadening the base" by further rectal raping of the middle class.

The middle class must pay more in taxes to bend the curve on the deficit. The Democrats engage in demagoguery when they imply that only taxing the wealthy is sufficient. It is necessary but not sufficient.

I guess my main gripe is still that the democratic party appears to have lost its balls. I want to see them fighting and calling out the insanity of the situation. At this stage of the game logic and simple math are amazing weapons. Why aren't they being used to combat the idiocy?

Greg wrote:
Paleocon wrote:
Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

There is no mentioning of what the "tax reform" actually is, in that article. I bet it's something along the lines "let's lower the corporate and the individual marginal rates, the economic activity will shoot up, the jobs will get created, and the revenues are going to go through the roof, man!"

That and "broadening the base" by further rectal raping of the middle class.

The middle class must pay more in taxes to bend the curve on the deficit. The Democrats engage in demagoguery when they imply that only taxing the wealthy is sufficient. It is necessary but not sufficient.

And as a member of the middle class, I am willing to chip in something. But not if it means that my effective tax rate is higher than someone soaking the country for moving assets around.

OG_slinger wrote:
The plan, which is based on fiscal commission Democratic co-chairman Erskine Bowles’s proposal to the super committee...

So last year that plan was so horrible the GOP rejected it, but now it's suddenly AOK?

Let's be fair, both sides backed away from Simpson-Bowles, and I'm willing to bet what actually passes is going to be a very familiar framework.

NormanTheIntern wrote:

Let's be fair, both sides backed away from Simpson-Bowles, and I'm willing to bet what actually passes is going to be a very familiar framework.

You're confusing Simpson-Boyle with the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka the Super Committee. The "new" GOP plan is a slightly modified version of what the Democrats proposed last fall and what the GOP rejected out of hand.

So the question remains why the plan that was so terrible just less than a year ago is suddenly the way to go? And if it's acceptable, why in Sam Hell didn't the Republicans accept it last year instead of bringing our economy to the brink of disaster yet again?

OG_slinger wrote:
NormanTheIntern wrote:

Let's be fair, both sides backed away from Simpson-Bowles, and I'm willing to bet what actually passes is going to be a very familiar framework.

You're confusing Simpson-Boyle with the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka the Super Committee. The "new" GOP plan is a slightly modified version of what the Democrats proposed last fall and what the GOP rejected out of hand.

So the question remains why the plan that was so terrible just less than a year ago is suddenly the way to go? And if it's acceptable, why in Sam Hell didn't the Republicans accept it last year instead of bringing our economy to the brink of disaster yet again?

If their only goal was to make Obama a 1-term president, doing everything possible to screw the economy and the middle class would be a good way of going about it.

OG_slinger wrote:
NormanTheIntern wrote:

Let's be fair, both sides backed away from Simpson-Bowles, and I'm willing to bet what actually passes is going to be a very familiar framework.

You're confusing Simpson-Boyle with the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka the Super Committee. The "new" GOP plan is a slightly modified version of what the Democrats proposed last fall and what the GOP rejected out of hand.

So the question remains why the plan that was so terrible just less than a year ago is suddenly the way to go? And if it's acceptable, why in Sam Hell didn't the Republicans accept it last year instead of bringing our economy to the brink of disaster yet again?

We all know the answer, but that's honestly not the important thing to look at. If the Republican Party is coming around to what the Democratic Party is trying to do, isn't that something of the compromise everyone is wanting to see? On the political observer side, I'm interested to see if the GOP tries to pass this compromise off as "their" idea and try to score some points for it, but that's honestly less concerning to me at the moment.