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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:23 am 
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Ironman wrote:
hoosegow wrote:
I'd hate to see what happens between froggy and I-man if I asked:

Edward or Jacob?


I don't actually know who you are talking about. Last names would help.


Sure you don't Ironman. No one is going to believe you.. :lol:

http://twilightnovelnovice.com/specials/contests-projects/novelnoviceprojects/team-edward-v-team-jacob/


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:23 am 
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Yeah, I've seen the Edward/Jacob Burger King commercials. I choose neither because the BK fries are full of hydrogenated soybean oil.

Also, "arguing" implies you're trying to convince another party to change their mind. Generally I wouldn't attempt that on the internet, and would not characterize my discussions with Ironman that way. The conversation is only interesting in so far as provides a window in alternative thinking. (Don't tell him, but I secretly suspect he's actually a libertarian free-market constitutionalist that enjoys forcing philosophical brethren into defending their position.)

Ironman wrote:
Well sure, if you want deflation and another great depression. I was making the assumption that that was undesirable. I agree on the prosecutions though. However some of the misdeeds were not against the law anymore due to less regulation.

A market crash, sure, but we'll recover. The great depression was caused by anti-capitalist policies in response to a market crash.

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Corporate welfare is something entirely different that was not even brought up, but yea that's a problem. Still kind of small potatoes though. SS is not a ponzi scheme. It's just poorly run. Here is what they need to do. You know how once you get to $106K, they stop taking SS tax on everything made over that? Well it should kick back in again maybe at $500K. Maybe raise the business part of the tax 2 points, raise individual 1 point.

I don't make a big distinction between corporate cronyism welfare and public housing welfare. In both cases the government is playing politics with our money to gain power and control.

Or just get rid of the FICA/Medicare tax entirely and use the standard income tax where there is no upper bound. The only reason they don't do that, is they don't want to admit it's a Ponzi scheme.

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Well it all depends on your understanding of the subtleties of the words. "Morality tends to be even more subjective and can be used to included various cultural and religious taboos that are seemingly arbitrary and completely rejected as meaningless by many people. However, as long as it's not about praying or banning porn and heavy metal, or other such silliness, I think we agree.

Yeah, I agree that "unethical" implies "immoral", but "immoral" can sometimes cast a larger umbrella to mean unusual things that are not really "unethical."

Quote:
Or so fox news would have you believe anyway. Actually he seemed to pussy-foot around much more than any president I've seen first hand, Republican OR Democrat. Well at least until the last few months anyway. He's starting to figure out that sort of thing isn't very effective.

Agreed that he is wishy-washy and equivocal, which just makes things worse. He ends up taking both sides of a controversial issue and pleasing no one. All the more reason he should take up a non-partisan cause like improving the family cohesiveness and moral standing of our most disadvantaged demographics.

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You're pretty much doing the same thing again. Like I said, they do it on everything, even if it was something they had supported to some extent in the past. Even when compromises were made. The Democrats do that to a point, but they usually cave in the end. However bitching about opposition when in power and bitching about having the right to gum up the works out of power seems to be quite strong regardless of who is in power. Want to hear republicans and Democrats switch arguments? Listen to news stories from when the republicans were in power. Interesting how they all say they opposite of what they say now. It's all spin. 100% pure BS.

With some Republicans and some Democrats I agree. I think many Republicans took principled stances against the various Obama takeovers, and many Democrats took principled stances for them.

The problem is that when Republicans are in power you get big government fascist takeovers like the Patriot act, and when Democrats are in power you get big government fascist takeovers like Obamacare and Fannie and Freddie. Then when they switch places they never repeal the takeovers that the other party enacted, they just enact more of their own.

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I just think someone who makes a little more than me should have to pay just a little bit higher tax rate. Just like I think someone who makes just a little less than me, should pay a little lower rate than I do. Going back to the way the top tax margin was in the 40's and 50's would be nice as well. As it is now greed is rampant and it also puts a huge tax burden on people who are just upper middle class, or at the bottom of the upper class.

Holy crap the top rate was over 90% in the 1950s - that's crazy. Investment capital for entrepreneurship would be dead, as if it's not mostly going to China already...


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:11 pm 
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hoosegow wrote:
Ironman wrote:
hoosegow wrote:
I'd hate to see what happens between froggy and I-man if I asked:

Edward or Jacob?


I don't actually know who you are talking about. Last names would help.


Sure you don't Ironman. No one is going to believe you.. :lol:

http://twilightnovelnovice.com/specials/contests-projects/novelnoviceprojects/team-edward-v-team-jacob/


lol

That's why I didn't know about it. I have heard of the Twilight series, but all I know is it's something about emo vampires. Anything I watch on TV is prerecorded on the DVR, so I see virtually no commercials.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:10 pm 
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I secretly suspect he's actually a libertarian free-market constitutionalist


I am a libertarian constitutionalist. I have just a touch of free market in me. I used to be exactly what you mean by that though. I was a far right libertarian, so libertarian in fact that I was bordering on anarchy. So I was not quite on the radical fringe of the Libertarian party, but I was close. Now I'm still libertarian, I'm not quite on the border of anarchy anymore, but I'm not far from there. However now, instead of being way to the right, I'm pretty far over to the left. I do have just a touch of free market in me, because I am not so far to the left that I would be considered socialist. I'm just very liberal/progressive.

On both political axis, I am on the moderate corner of left libertarianism. Left libertarianism is, in turn, a less extreme version of anarcho-socialism.

I did not just randomly decide to switch to the left. It was a slow progression, that required a lot of learning and admitting that I had been wrong about certain things. It is just where you end up when you change your position to fit the facts, rather than spin the facts to fit your beliefs.

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A market crash, sure, but we'll recover. The great depression was caused by anti-capitalist policies in response to a market crash.


It was made worse by doing as little spending as possible. That was Hoovers plan. It caused deflation, which is very bad. The new deal stuff didn't happen until FDR. The vast majority of economists and myself agree the new deal was the primary force leading us out of the depression. However WW2, was also a very big factor. In addition WW2 had a lot to do with the economic prosperity to follow, or at least getting it started. The military economy was quickly and easily turned to civilian purposes and continued to grow.

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I don't make a big distinction between corporate cronyism welfare and public housing welfare. In both cases the government is playing politics with our money to gain power and control.

Or just get rid of the FICA/Medicare tax entirely and use the standard income tax where there is no upper bound. The only reason they don't do that, is they don't want to admit it's a Ponzi scheme.


The difference is corporate greed vs people who can't even feed themselves. It's also temporary. We need SS/MC because otherwise we will end up with a lot of older people living in terrible conditions. You just can't do that when you are part of a social species.

Democrats believe in the program, but are bunch of pussies who can't bring themselves to fix it. Republicans would love to get rid of it. Unfortunately for them, most of their voters are older and are receiving benefits. So you can't touch it.

Quote:
Agreed that he is wishy-washy and equivocal, which just makes things worse. He ends up taking both sides of a controversial issue and pleasing no one. All the more reason he should take up a non-partisan cause like improving the family cohesiveness and moral standing of our most disadvantaged demographics.


I agree with your assessment. However he is just going to be criticized no matter what he does. So even the most non-partisan things will be spun as partisan and socialist.

Quote:
With some Republicans and some Democrats I agree. I think many Republicans took principled stances against the various Obama takeovers, and many Democrats took principled stances for them.

The problem is that when Republicans are in power you get big government fascist takeovers like the Patriot act, and when Democrats are in power you get big government fascist takeovers like Obamacare and Fannie and Freddie. Then when they switch places they never repeal the takeovers that the other party enacted, they just enact more of their own.


"Obama takeovers" are an invention of right wing pundits. He's done health insurance reform and credit reform. That's it. All they really do is stop corporations from screwing people. The health insurance one will also help the poor afford insurance, and stop deadbeats from abusing the emergency room which is what jacks up medical costs so badly. It forces them instead to take personal responsibility for their own health, rather than taking freebies from the hospitals.

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Holy crap the top rate was over 90% in the 1950s - that's crazy. Investment capital for entrepreneurship would be dead, as if it's not mostly going to China already...


No, that's not quite right. It's not the top bracket, as in what all your money is taxed at. It's a margin. It's like the alternative minimum tax today. The only money that was taxed at 90% was just everything made over a certain limit. Which if I remember right was 400K in the late 40's. That is equal to about $5 million today.

What they do now is make it lower, I'm wanting to say like 40% or so. Then they lower the cutoff down to 160K or there about (it varies a little by year). This leaves greed unchecked, encourages screwing people and taking risks. It also puts a ridiculous burden on people who are not at all wealthy. People who make 200K or 300K are doing pretty good, but it's hardly wealthy.

It also does not apply to corporate taxes. Corporate taxes are done completely different. As for China..... well we borrowed the money from them to feed our military machine, fight wars, and give tax breaks to the wealthy. We have to pay them back, with interest. Fair is fair.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:42 pm 
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Ironman wrote:
It is just where you end up when you change your position to fit the facts, rather than spin the facts to fit your beliefs.

Socialist vs non-socialist isn't about factual differences, it's about what you care about. Socialists care about equality of outcome, whereas non-socialists care about equality of freedom and opportunity and charity.

Ironman wrote:
It was made worse by doing as little spending as possible. That was Hoovers plan.

Hoover's plan was to raise taxes and tariffs. FDR's plan was to raise taxes, and destroy crops/livestock to inflate prices. Neither idea was good.

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The difference is corporate greed vs people who can't even feed themselves. It's also temporary. We need SS/MC because otherwise we will end up with a lot of older people living in terrible conditions. You just can't do that when you are part of a social species.

Democrats believe in the program, but are bunch of pussies who can't bring themselves to fix it. Republicans would love to get rid of it. Unfortunately for them, most of their voters are older and are receiving benefits. So you can't touch it.

Sort of - the problem there is that the government promised all these freebies and certain people now rely on them. So you can't just eliminate it immediately. The move back to a charity-driven free market will have to be as smooth as the move away from it.

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I agree with your assessment. However he is just going to be criticized no matter what he does. So even the most non-partisan things will be spun as partisan and socialist.

By the fringe, sure. But most hawkish Republicans were praising his continuation of the Bush war plans in Iraq/Afghanistan. (Although they did criticize his equivocating about closing Guantanamo and giving Afghanistan the troops that were requested.)

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"Obama takeovers" are an invention of right wing pundits. He's done health insurance reform and credit reform. That's it. All they really do is stop corporations from screwing people. The health insurance one will also help the poor afford insurance, and stop deadbeats from abusing the emergency room which is what jacks up medical costs so badly. It forces them instead to take personal responsibility for their own health, rather than taking freebies from the hospitals.

Nationalizing an industry sounds friendlier when it's called "reform" - but history tells us government-run anything will just be worse.

We're already seeing the butchered credit card industry driving people to more pay-day loans. Joy.

Quote:
No, that's not quite right. It's not the top bracket, as in what all your money is taxed at. It's a margin. It's like the alternative minimum tax today. The only money that was taxed at 90% was just everything made over a certain limit. Which if I remember right was 400K in the late 40's. That is equal to about $5 million today.

No matter what the bracket is, a 90% tax rate is insane.

Quote:
It also does not apply to corporate taxes. Corporate taxes are done completely different. As for China..... well we borrowed the money from them to feed our military machine, fight wars, and give tax breaks to the wealthy. We have to pay them back, with interest. Fair is fair.

We borrowed most of the money for social programs, but I'm with you and Eisenhower on the military one certainly.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:33 pm 
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I need to make this quick so I will go line by line in number order.

1) Irrelevant, I am not a socialist and I do not agree with socialism. I think the problem is your mind has 2 places, "right wing" and "not right wing". Then you label everything not right wing socialism, which makes no sense.

2) You're factually incorrect here. You are completely wrong about what Hoover and FDR did.

3) That's a very narrow view of things. You seem to be regurgitating what you have been told, but lack actual knowledge of the subject.

4) Well the pundits do tend to be fringe, so it's hard to say. I didn't hear enough non-pundit commentary to know either way on that one specific thing. But keep in mind while it was approved by Obama, that plan did come from a Republican. Gates. So they can't be too harsh.

5) Except for the fact that it is not being nationalized. It's still run by private companies. Government run anything will not be worse. It may be, or it may not be. The military and the library work great. Our military is the best in the world. So that invalidates your blanket statement.

6) Separate companies usually do payday loans and that is being addressed as well. So I don't see the connection. It sounds like an attempt at changing the subject here.

7) Emotional pleading. It worked by measure of the data.

8) As I have already pointed out there is not that much money spent on social programs. There is SS and medicare, but those are paid by current workers and can be fixed as I demonstrated. They are separate because they have their own special tax.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:44 am 
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1 - You're just nit-picking semantics. "Slightly socialist", whatever. The point is that the more socialist you are, the less you care about overall prosperity, and the more you care about overall equality of outcome.

2 - They did other things in addition to that, sure, but those things were bad.

3 - Narrow? You really disagree with "The move back to a charity-driven free market will have to be as smooth as the move away from it."? It would have to gradual to avoid upheaval.

4 - My point is that your statement "However he is just going to be criticized no matter what he does." is blatantly incorrect. And you see to agree with that, now, so glad we're clear there.

5 - It's been partially, not 100%, nationalized, yes. But Obama has stated repeatedly this is just the first step. The statement "Our military is the best in the world. So that invalidates your blanket statement." is ridiculous. You're comparing our government against other governments, not our government against our private industry.

6 - Clamping down on credit card lending causes people to get loans elsewhere, so there's a direct connection.

7 - If by "worked" you mean we weren't in 14 billion debt, sure. The problem is that's a totally bogus comparison, since we haven't raised the entitlement age of SS/Medicare etc. Welfare programs have ballooned enormously since then.

8 - Almost the entire budget is social programs. Saying social security is not a social program is too laughable to seriously argue.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:15 pm 
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1 No that is not the point. Your statement just proves you don't understand. You don't know there is a difference. Which is what my point was about.

2 No, they did things entirely different to what you said. Hoover's policies were definitely bad and the data as well as consensus of economists shows that is the case. FDR's new deal had much to do with getting out of the depression as data and a consensus of most economists indicate. If you have some evidence supporting your earlier claims, by all means post it. Otherwise I see no reason to continue trying to discuss something you appear to be entirely ignorant of.

3 No, it's not as simple as agree/disagree. Again we come up against your black and white thinking. You also can't agree or disagree with something that is a complete non-sequitur from reality.

4 No not really. Just because some people are not going to criticize one thing that he does, doesn't invalidate that. The right wing pundits in the media go after him for anything he does, even stuff they praised a Republican president for doing in the past.

5 It's not been nationalized at all. Regulations do not make nationalization. Otherwise only an anarchy would not be socialism. If it is entirely run by private companies and the government has not entered the business in any way shape or form it's not nationalized by definition. Repeating nonsense over and over again does not make it true.

6 Where is your evidence for that?

7 No that's not what I meant by that. I meant exactly what I said. What you are going on about has nothing to do with it. You still seem to be confusing two or more separate things here.

8 A baseless assertion and a straw man. I said no such thing. You keep redefining what I am talking about. Even if we go with total budget regardless of whether it's paid for by federal tax, tariffs and T bond sales or not. Military alone is over 50%. So you still don't know what you are talking about.

You seem to make an awful lot of claims and all with no evidence.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Most of these responses have devolved into "I'm rubber and you're glue" so responding is losing interest, but just to set the record straight: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone are 50.02% of the non-interest budget for 2011, according to the government itself at gpoaccess.gov. They don't break down most other social payouts in ways that are easy to add up, but there you go.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:25 pm 
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You are counting SS and medicare which are taxed separately, but not the interest on the debt which is not? Spin and bull$h!7! Not to mention after you establish the welfare spin you pretend it's all crack whores living like queens off of it. The rest of it seems to be arguing about the definition of words. Yea, if handouts means any and all money spent, then it would all be handouts. I gave my waiter a handout and he served me my free welfare meal today.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:43 pm 
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"Non-interest budget" is a commonly used measure in any accounting situation. If you include interest then everything else goes down by the same factor. That's not "spin." The idea that SS and Medicare are taxed "separately" definitely is spin. There is no "lock box" - it's all one pile of fungible Federal income.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:09 pm 
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You still have to pay into it. So don't act like it's a free ride. It's not spin, I have separate withholdings on my pay stub to prove it. It's still separate from federal income tax. Even if all taxes get included in the federal income category, it does not mean they are not separate.

By the way you are showing you are bad at math again. Subtracting something does change the percentage. Say you have $100. $35 is spent on A, $45 is spent on B and $20 is interest. So A is 35% of the budget and B is 45%. However when you take out the 20, your budget goes to $80. now A is 43.75% and B is 56.25%. So while the ratio between the two numbers remains the same, you can make the one you want appear to be bigger than it is.

What makes these different is your monthly payout for SS is based on how much you payed in and at what age you retired. So sure it's a social program, but it is nothing like the program commonly referred to as "welfare", which also should not be confused with the budget category "welfare", which is based on an older usage of the word and has nothing to do with what we call welfare.


All 100% of the budget of every government, with the exception of a few dictatorships, is used in service of the people in some way. Even military spending can be considered as such. So just because something is some sort of social program, does not mean it is equivalent to free money for mostly unemployed poor people.

So get your definition straight. Don't keep switching back and forth between welfare and all social programs and government services. You want to include the latter in your stats, and frame it as the former. Pick one. Or we can even address them both, but separately.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:29 pm 
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I clearly stated " If you include interest then everything else goes down by the same factor." Social programs are the largest budgetary item. Not including interest it's over 50%, including interest it's possibly less than 50% - maybe. They don't break down other social programs to know exactly what the full number is.

I don't think anyone would consider the military to be a social program, you're just being silly. On the other hand, Social Security is the quintessential social program. The fact that they tell you what you "payed in" is certainly a clever trick to increase people's acceptance of it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:28 pm 
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Quote:
If you include interest then everything else goes down by the same factor


I clearly stated that is mathematically wrong. Look at my example above. Only the ratio of the two numbers remains the same. Their percentages of the total change.

They don't just tell me I payed into SS, it's right there on my pay stub. The money is definitely gone, and it factors into how much I get. But lets focus on the part about it not being a free ride. If you have been paying, it's not free.

So quit skirting the issue. Which thing are we talking about?

If you want to talk welfare, well it's a very small part of the budget so big deal.

If you want to talk all social programs and government services excluding military and maybe some infrastructure spending, that's a different story. There is more of that but it isn't welfare as you seem to equate it.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:12 pm 
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It's not mathematically wrong. It's the number I cited, and non-interest budget is a perfectly useful thing to look at. You can't cut interest payments, it's a consequence of the method of funding being used. So, as economists frequently do, you set that part aside to focus on the actual spending that's going out.


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