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World Politics

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May 13, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
I'm all for a flat tax. Let's say the rate is 18%, zero deductions. In fact, I'm for canning the IRS and having the BOE collect a national sales tax, zero deductions. Clean, simple, efficient, no underground economy.

I'm curious. What is an appropriate tax rate for 'the rich' and how do you define them?
Fine. Let's start with a flat SS tax rate; get rid of the cap.

Then, why not make the sales tax 'fair' by taxing all sales. For instance the sale of stocks.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
Show me. And for the love of all that is holy don't cite the WHO unless you know a little about how their survey was conducted.
why don't you trust the WHO survey more the assertions of partisan TV pundits? the OECD statistics, American Medical Associations surveys and even the GAO data all show the same thing. who do you cite?

in my own limited anecdotal experience with the health care systems of the US, france, singapore, saudi arabia, israel, hong kong and japan, by far the US' is the least efficient.
 
My issue with health care is a cost one, not a Utopian one. I do believe if we had my health care plan, or something similar (rationed single payer you can opt out of, means tested and coupled with HSAs) it would slowly drive down the overall cost of health care in the country, while covering everyone to at least some degree. Will it work? Not ideally, no. But I think it will work better than the system we have now where 1 in 5 people aren't covered at all, and we spend much more per person than any other major country on the planet. The general conservative solution that I hear is to cut Medicare and Medicaid, all their other ideas are minuscule, which in my opinion will make the situation worse. It will be more costly in the long run, and put more people into misery.

As to taxes, I actually think a big part of the problem isn't so much the rate, though I do think the Bush tax cuts should end, and the top .1% could pay more at least for the short term, I think it's a problem of the tax code and structure itself. It's so warped, so twisted, insane. As I noted a couple weeks ago, last year some 1,500 millionaires paid $0 federal tax last year. GE paid not only zero, but got a huge check from the government. The oil industry gets huge tax breaks and credits. All this happens while some people - including several wealthy people or corporations, probably pay a great deal to taxes. I understand the reasoning behind some targeted tax relief, but our system is so corrupted, it's madness. I also think the corporate tax could be slashed, as long as it were coupled to US investment in workers and brick and mortar type business. I also think the smallest businesses (as in under $100k a year gross) should receive a tax holiday, as should home owners on their primary residence. I've written at extent about SBA loans. But again, the people who own the politicians disagree, so we get the system we have.

I don't know that I agree with getting rid of the SS cap entirely, raising it perhaps. Though I think like Medicare (or my single payer idea) it could be means tested. But we can't do both, and if we're going to do either we need to take it off line for spending (remember Al Gore's fictitious "lock box"?).

Of course, ending wars and this insane imperialistic global military mentality would save us hundreds of billions of dollars.
 
May 23, 2010
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Even if the tax code looks like the rich and corporations are paying their share or more they are NOT.. There are 1001 ways and growing designed to put the burden onto the less fortunate..When congress does nothing but ask for more and more and more for these "persons" who take and take and take more then ask for even more it gets old..It really comes down to them complaining for the sake of complaining.. Poor me..

""Take Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers and the second-richest Texan, who qualified for an agricultural property tax break on his sprawling 1,757-acre residential ranch in suburban Austin and saved over $1 million simply because his family and friends sometimes use the land as a private hunting preserve to shoot deer. ""

http://www.thenation.com/article/159943/tax-day-farms-owned-rich-provide-massive-tax-shelter


I know one of these fake ranch owners.. It is a McMansion at the end of a private drive on 1000 acres. They raise 2 cows a year and let their neighbors come shoot bambi with machine guns. A very very modest home in the city pays FIVE times the taxes. To top that off they pay cash for these ranches and then borrow against them for investment capital then write off EVERYTHING. boo hooooo
 
Scott SoCal said:
gregod said:
Show me. And for the love of all that is holy don't cite the WHO unless you know a little about how their survey was conducted.
The problem with Americans like yourself, Scott, and I say this not in the interest of making broad platitudes, but only because it's true: is that you can't fathom that there are certain aspects of existence, if not to utter the word life, which in most other places around the world aren't merely approached or conceptualized in purely economic terms as a way to resolve a problem, in accordance with the business logic and all the market forces which dictate it: which means profit.

It literally holds court over them, has gotten hold of their minds and taken possession of them, so that they're brains really can't see, or even imagine, the world in any other terms besides through business and profit. As if the sum total of all existence, reality and human history itself, were and have always been composed of none other than these things and exclusively made by them. It is their one and permanent life's cerebral world image, surveyed and imprinted upon them from years of constant and radical mind discipline to shut all else out; so that they have even convinced themselves that nothing else actually has, nor has it ever existed without them and hence never will . And what ghastly thought it is when it is the only thinking they know how to do! I have actually met many such people myself. But it isn't as if they had ever tried to see the world differently, but just failed miserably. It's that they actually despise and disdain all other possibilities, which they view as thoroughly dangerous and upsetting.

One of these facets, however, for which such thinking is not the most desirable, is human health: which should in a modern democracy be the birth-right of each citizen and not merely the privilege of only a wealthy class that can afford it. For this reason, and I know I have said this many times before, making a private option the first and only one seems not only an effrontery to the poor, but philosophically, and a above all democratically, barbarous - and even historically backwards. The only way to satisfactorily provide this to society, with all its faults and imperfections (no system is perfect), is through a public healthcare system paid for by tax payers. For those that want and can afford private insurance, then that becomes their prerogative after the general population is provided for. But in America, precisely the opposite holds true. I don't disagree that some things need to remain private, however others have to be public, otherwise our civilization becomes deficient in moral principle, a Far West of incivility and callousness, where the strong take as much as the system permits, while the weak just have to fend for themselves as they are increasingly marginalized. This is, though, exactly what is happening. And only one blinded by ideology either can't or chooses not to see it.

And this is what makes me irate about such fellow countryman: namely, that they really have no other way of looking at it, that their worldview essentially amounts to a market culture, nothing else. Everything is business, its all about profit and managing the funds and making capital gains to keep the share holders happy. This is the same America, the one that says that liberty means exclusively the right to pursue profit and wealth, but essentially nothing else, which also believes that it has the moral prerogative to shape the world after its own image and to its own liking, even by force when opportunity arises. While it matters little if all the designs, so they erroneously believe, can make it better, more efficient, eminently progressive, modern, when the basic driving force and principle behind them is purely egoism and greed. How callous, base, and unenlightened, as well as eminently hypocritical when preached by the unsupportably bigoted among the conservative Christian right-wing, who are in fact morally wretched.

This is also their approach to education, for which the schools have become places not to form the mind on learning and study for learning and study sake alone; but to become indoctrinated in all the business madness, which is basically to have allowed the market forces to completely take over how young people are brought up in them. But we really shouldn't call it bringing them up, for all that's really being done there is bringing them down. The public schools have been systematically ruined, their learning environments eviscerated and debased, all in the name of privatization and budget cuts. Places that used to be respectable didactic environments, have now been transformed into the most vulgar and dreadful educational institutions imaginable. And the good learning models that were once adhered to in our schools have been overturned, discarded and have given way to the most reckless and lamentable experimental forms of teaching, by educators who are as incompetent as they are unprepared. The preparation kids get in today's public schools, compared to the educational standards received by their fore-bearers before the market took them over; is like the difference between a child who has grown up happy in a nurturing and loving home compared to one who has been beaten and cowered by his elders into submission. And all in the name of an ideological war that has been waged against society by the ruling business class and their political cronies over the past several decades. While most of the private schools are no better and even though some are, I can not applaud the fact that they are accessible to only those who can afford it, apart from a few less-fortunates fortunate enough to receive a scholarship. It's the same in-egalitarian and economically elitist mentality behind private health care, which amounts to a form of market totalitarianism that determines who has access to good health care and a good education and who does not under the aegis of government.

The fear of a communist led world during the Cold War is what allowed the conservative faction in American led Western democracy to find little obstacle in the way of realizing its mission and its obsession of transforming first America and then the entire world into one colossal, private business enterprise, for which the only role of the state is to protect the economic predators and to wage war against anybody at home or abroad who dares to challenge their ideology of market fundamentalism, or to prevent it from achieving total global hegemony, which it already practically has.

However in the wake of the he Soviet demise, triumphant liberal market capitalism and the fanatical individualism which it breeds, one that sees no need of a system that intrinsically works toward any social well-being, because this was made anathema and because, quite frankly, it is blind to collective society, is now rearing its ugly head. The disastrous results for America's society are already becoming noticeable and is leading to a precipitous decline in the nation's global status, which even the wars that it has fought recently in the name of maintaining and increasing its power ironically have only secured its further descent. The financial strain to the state and the debt this places upon its citizens will ensure insignificant economic growth for some time to come. The ideological worldview that its liberal and deregulated market capitalism has promoted and foremost represented, that only sees individual profit but not society, is thus becoming increasingly noxious for America's own national health and global position, which is evident to all but its own home bread class of market fundamentalists. Society is getting poorer, while the banks and corporations are getting richer and hoarding all the profits.

The new American century may last only a decade.
 
frenchfry said:
I stumbled on to this discussion and find it very interesting.

Unfortunately I have been thinking similar thoughts lately. A grudge against mankind? Yeah, in a way it amounts to that - and admitedly it isn't always easy to deal with.

The concept of the necessity of growth is forced on us by right and left wing parties (of course in France right wing is already far left by US standards). However, as rhubroma reminds us, constant growth will eventually, and relatively quickly, lead the planet down the road to disaster. We have to come up with a plan, and the only solution I can see is for all of us to reduce our footprint significantly. Of course this will lead to major problems in our way of functioning but we will have to find a way to deal with that. The toughest hurdle will be the natural tendancy for the majority of mankind to be selfish and put his own interests ahead of the common good. It won't be easy convincing those SUV owners to recycle them into bicycles with cargo trailers.

Personally I am pretty pessimistic about the outcome of all this, but life goes on.
Happy downsizing. We have to embrace it. That's the key. And population decrease. But in this irrational, egotistical and ideologically driven market world, that's not at all going to be easy to come by.

Now I don't know how this is to come about, but only that it must if we are to live peacefully among ourselves and nature.

My only concern is that this will only result from either massive war and famine, or else through universal rational implementation of diminishing consumption and population control.

The problem is that in these regards, past examples at such attempts such as in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, were merely frightful, while the voracious appetite driving our present capitalistic economic model means that there aren't any other alternatives being presented over the horizon.

So its 50/50 as I see it: either a return to enlightenment or barbarism. There can be no other way.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Cobblestones said:
Fine. Let's start with a flat SS tax rate; get rid of the cap.

Then, why not make the sales tax 'fair' by taxing all sales. For instance the sale of stocks.
I'm good with this. Flat tax across the board, no deductions. Flat corporate tax too.

Now, this is a pipe dream. Given this will not happen, what should the rich pay and how do you define who is rich?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
gregod said:
why don't you trust the WHO survey more the assertions of partisan TV pundits? the OECD statistics, American Medical Associations surveys and even the GAO data all show the same thing. who do you cite?

in my own limited anecdotal experience with the health care systems of the US, france, singapore, saudi arabia, israel, hong kong and japan, by far the US' is the least efficient.
I'm really not sure why you would make this assumption. It's a little insulting to be honest.

We have had this exact discussion on this board six or seven hundred pages ago. If you want, go do a little research on how the WHO conducted their survey and then take a look at the political posture of the WHO and let me know what you find.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Alpe d'Huez said:
My issue with health care is a cost one, not a Utopian one. I do believe if we had my health care plan, or something similar (rationed single payer you can opt out of, means tested and coupled with HSAs) it would slowly drive down the overall cost of health care in the country, while covering everyone to at least some degree. Will it work? Not ideally, no. But I think it will work better than the system we have now where 1 in 5 people aren't covered at all, and we spend much more per person than any other major country on the planet. The general conservative solution that I hear is to cut Medicare and Medicaid, all their other ideas are minuscule, which in my opinion will make the situation worse. It will be more costly in the long run, and put more people into misery.

As to taxes, I actually think a big part of the problem isn't so much the rate, though I do think the Bush tax cuts should end, and the top .1% could pay more at least for the short term, I think it's a problem of the tax code and structure itself. It's so warped, so twisted, insane. As I noted a couple weeks ago, last year some 1,500 millionaires paid $0 federal tax last year. GE paid not only zero, but got a huge check from the government. The oil industry gets huge tax breaks and credits. All this happens while some people - including several wealthy people or corporations, probably pay a great deal to taxes. I understand the reasoning behind some targeted tax relief, but our system is so corrupted, it's madness. I also think the corporate tax could be slashed, as long as it were coupled to US investment in workers and brick and mortar type business. I also think the smallest businesses (as in under $100k a year gross) should receive a tax holiday, as should home owners on their primary residence. I've written at extent about SBA loans. But again, the people who own the politicians disagree, so we get the system we have.

I don't know that I agree with getting rid of the SS cap entirely, raising it perhaps. Though I think like Medicare (or my single payer idea) it could be means tested. But we can't do both, and if we're going to do either we need to take it off line for spending (remember Al Gore's fictitious "lock box"?).

Of course, ending wars and this insane imperialistic global military mentality would save us hundreds of billions of dollars.
Another very good post. I would support most of your points but you probably knew that already.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
Another very good post. I would support most of your points but you probably knew that already.
How can you possibly support most of Alpe's points (we don't know which ones you don't) and still be a right wing apologist? Makes no sense to me.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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rhubroma said:
.......................


So its 50/50 as I see it: either a return to enlightenment or barbarism. There can be no other way.
A wonderful post with plenty of pertinent 'platitudes' to annoy Scott. We are totally on the same wavelength.;)
 
May 23, 2010
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Joe and Scott..

It is funny..All the politicians willing to halt the functioning of the economy over tax policy..They sh their pants about tax relief for "business" which gets the attention of the scotts and the joe the plumber but who they are speaking for is the Koch brothers and the Wyly brothers, Haliburton, GE, Goldman Sachs, Friends of Phil Gramm Derivative Trading Corp LLC..UBS etc,..Scott and Joe call people leftists, wear firearms and argue on their behalf like they stand shoulder to shoulder with these people . All the little Tbaggers in their walmart clothes attending rallies paid for by these huge corporations screaming "I'M TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY" are truly the proverbial "useful idiots"
 
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Anonymous

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Amsterhammer said:
How can you possibly support most of Alpe's points (we don't know which ones you don't) and still be a right wing apologist? Makes no sense to me.
If your insult was accurate my basic agreement with many of Alpe's points would in fact make no sense.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Amsterhammer said:
A wonderful post with plenty of pertinent 'platitudes' to annoy Scott. We are totally on the same wavelength.;)
What wavelength would that be, perpetual unhappiness?

Maybe you and Rhub ought to concern yourselves with things you can change instead of becoming distraught over things you can't.
 
Scott SoCal said:
Another very good post. I would support most of your points but you probably knew that already.
Despite our blow up's from time to time I'm sure if we ran Congress we would get a great deal accomplished. Unfortunately the halls of Washington are filled with money influenced extremes.
 
May 23, 2010
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Despite our blow up's from time to time I'm sure if we ran Congress we would get a great deal accomplished. Unfortunately the halls of Washington are filled with money influenced extremes.
A natural selectionist and his apologizer... wheeeeeeee
 
Jun 9, 2011
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Come on, guys. This ScottSoCal bashing is getting a bit anemic and generic. Let me show you how it should be done. Hey Scott, that signature of yours about 'fast cars, women, and beer' has me wondering if you have gotten all your Dane Cook DVDs autographed by the man himself or is that still on your bucket list? ;)
 
Scott SoCal said:
What wavelength would that be, perpetual unhappiness?

Maybe you and Rhub ought to concern yourselves with things you can change instead of becoming distraught over things you can't.
Yes and time is running out. If we haven't already surpassed the point of no return. Don't be concerned with my mood. For my tribulation is only a philosophical misery, whereas you are unhappiness personified.
 
May 18, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
If your insult was accurate my basic agreement with many of Alpe's points would in fact make no sense.
Bingo. Most of the crap from the right nowadays is not "conservative" at all.

So, will you be voting for Bachman or Perry?
 
May 18, 2009
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Hugh Januss said:
As opposed to what voting for no one? Well I guess that will show them you mean business.:cool:
Interesting, and I will tell you why.

I have neither the time nor inclination to go out and work and promote a 3rd party candidate. I have learned to work within the current system.

By continuing to vote for either of these two inept corrupted choices, you are endorsing the status quo. If people start staying away in droves, it would provide incentive for the parties to either change or for a 3rd party to arise.

You are condoning that which you abhor, but at least you are not a dupe or a useful idiot. You just hold your nose when you vote, but that is the problem.

Somebody said at least some nut would not have their finger on the nuclear button if a Dem was in the whitehouse. I do agree with that, and that is the only thing that makes me re-evaluate my position. But, with the stupid electoral college never being abolished, and me living in Texas, then that doesn't mean my vote is worth a whole lot, does it? If I lived in Ohio or Florida that might bother me a little more, though my basic premise of condoning what the parties do by continually voting for them would still be true.
 
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Anonymous

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ChrisE said:
Bingo. Most of the crap from the right nowadays is not "conservative" at all.

So, will you be voting for Bachman or Perry?
Well, it won't come down to me making that choice. But if the choice ultimately comes down to Obama v. Bachmann or Obama v. Perry...

It will sort of create a new definition of the phrase "sad state of affairs."
 
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