Simpson, Bowles Propose Cuts to Social Security and Medicare as Part of Deficit-Reduction Panel
Updates

Above-the-Main-Post Update: Drew reads further and writes:

They want to repeal state and local tax deductions.

Looks like the mortgage thing only applies to 2nd homes and mortgages over 500K, not entirely.

They also say roll non-defense, discretionary spending back (starting in '12) to 2010 levels. In other words, lock in all of the Obama spending forever and always.

They can go fuck themselves.

Uh, yeah on that last bit. Roll back spending to 1998 levels -- like as spurred the Miracle Economy of Bill Clinton (TM) -- and that's a good start.


And here we go!

Leaders of President Barack Obama's bipartisan deficit commission on Wednesday proposed reducing the annual cost-of-living increases in Social Security, part of a bold plan to control $1 trillion-plus budget deficits.

The proposal also would set a tough target for curbing the growth of Medicare and recommends looking at eliminating popular tax breaks, such as mortgage interest deduction.

As proposed, the plan by Chairman Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., doesn't look like it can win support from 14 of the commission's 18 members to force a debate in Congress. Bowles is a Democrat and was former President Bill Clinton's White House chief of staff.

Cuts to Social Security and Medicare are making some liberals on the panel recoil. And conservative Republicans are having difficulty with options on how to raise tax revenue. The plan also calls for cuts in farm subsidies, foreign aid and the Pentagon's budget.

"This is not a proposal I could support," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. "On Medicare and Social Security in particular, there are proposals that I could not support."

The Social Security proposal would change the inflation measurement used to calculate cost of living adjustments for program benefits, reducing annual cost-of-living increases. It will almost certainly draw opposition from advocates for seniors, who are already upset that there will be no increase for 2011, the second straight year without a raise.

Overall, that sounds pretty good to me. The cut to the mortgage-interest deduction is of course effectively a hike in taxes for homeowners, but I'm not sure if that alone is a reason to oppose it.

So, here's a serious proposal, quite heavy on the spending cuts and rather light on tax increases, which seems pretty necessary if we're to get spending under control.

A la Allah:

Exit question: Are the majority of Tea Partiers ready to actually make the cuts they talk about in vague, abstract ways, even when such cuts reduce social spending directed towards them?

Exit answer: No.

Here's the sad fact: People want free stuff, including (or especially) those who talk the loudest about ending the flow of free stuff to other people.

That said, this is important stuff, and should be pushed as hard as possible.

But, like a dozen other blue-ribbon deficit-reduction panels' proposals that came before it -- all making similar recommendations -- I expect this will go nowhere.

The Democrats will of course demagogue this, and the GOP will flinch.

Oh: Beating up on "the establishment" is a favorite past-time right now, but it should be remembered the establishment panders to us -- they reflect, then, what we're asking of them.

P.J. O'Rourke noted in his book Parliament of Whores that none of the sensible cuts he suggested would ever actually happen, because for each subsidy, there is a constituency demanding the subsidy -- including rock-ribbed individualist conservatives who don't truck with no government hand-outs (but farming subsidies aren't handouts, you know).

We wind up with a parliament of whores, he wrote, and in a democracy, the whores are us.

And making a similar point -- Milton Friedman.

Posted by: Ace at 01:57 PM



Comments

1 I was about to e-mail this to you ace.
I can't believe a gov't committee would ever even hint at SS or Medicarecuts
Things must be worse than we could imagine.

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 01:59 PM (wuv1c)

2 Wait till you see what happens to home sales when they eliminate the mortgage tax deduction.

Posted by: Nick at November 10, 2010 01:59 PM (S2Q0B)

3 What you would wind up with in the end is noting but tax increases. That was the expected outcome when that BS panel was created.

Posted by: Vic at November 10, 2010 02:00 PM (/jbAw)

4 "The bankruptcy of Social Security is just another mess I have to clean up after the failed privatization of the last administration."

Posted by: Emperor Barry the 0 at November 10, 2010 02:00 PM (nTjSs)

5 Ace are you having a bad day?

Posted by: John Edwards at November 10, 2010 02:01 PM (xi6zE)

6 We will not flinch. Chris Christie will take off his jacket and roll up his sleeves, and then we will cower.

Posted by: Z as in Jersey at November 10, 2010 02:02 PM (kZT4X)

7 No mortgage interest deduction? Hahaha....do these assclowns want to depress home sales even further?

Posted by: EC at November 10, 2010 02:03 PM (mAhn3)

8 I'm ok with losing the mortage interest deduction if the 40% or so of non-taxpaying filers start paying taxes. We need to spread the tax pain.

Posted by: boniface ballers at November 10, 2010 02:03 PM (bPbwB)

9 The new "Pub House should codify this and pass it verbatim; regardless of how the commission votes (even better if the comission never votes). Yes, it will die in the Senate - or with an Obama veto -- but call his "commission" bluff.

Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 02:03 PM (aemFw)

10 Start with the Department of Energy. It was founded for the purpose of decreasing our dependency on foreign oil. They did worse than fail.

Second up, is actually a question. How is literacy in this country? Has it been improving in recent decades?

Posted by: fluffy at November 10, 2010 02:03 PM (4Kl5M)

11 We should get rid of the mortgage interest deduction. It makes housing prices more artificial.
Also with the SS changes. they are superficial, but at this point i am willing to accept even token attempts at deficent reduction.
Actual reductions are inevitable, this is a start, and would be a big get if we could get it through a dem senate and dem president.
Isn't this Obama's own deificit reduction panel? How can ge reject it?

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:03 PM (wuv1c)

12 In the right column we have 'Monkey Takes a Smoking Break' right over a photo of Janet Reno-Napolitano.

I not only question the timing, I like it.

Posted by: cali grump at November 10, 2010 02:03 PM (hL0k8)

13 I can't speak for other home owners, but I'd be good with removing the Mortgage deduction. I like it, don't get me wrong, but I didn't buy my house either a) as an investment or b) for a tax deduction. I bought my house because I freaking hate apartment life.

The big deal, here, is that this will be quietly dumped into the circular drawer if we don't force our CongressCretins and Senators to move on it. I don't much care if the options are popular, if they're actually useful (and I guess we'll know if they should be in a few days when Cato and others get a hold of the full thing and can dissect it), then I say go for it- and we should support our Reps all the way if they fight for it in good faith.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 02:03 PM (8y9MW)

14 I'm quite willing to go for the spending cuts, across the board. The tax breaks, I'd like to keep because that money isn't the government's....yet.

Posted by: EC at November 10, 2010 02:04 PM (mAhn3)

15 Mortgage interest deduction? That is so 2010. Now my plan is inflate the dollar so all the middle class suckers get sucked into the paying the AMT. How does that flat tax taste now, bitches!

Posted by: Emperor Barry the 0 at November 10, 2010 02:04 PM (nTjSs)

16 Jean at November 10, 2010 02:03 PM (aemFw)


Interesting thought.

Posted by: mikeyboss at November 10, 2010 02:05 PM (MX5qJ)

17
The solution is to cut the benefits of the generation of people who a) contributed greatly to our country, and b) cost us the least?

No, the solution is to eliminate benefits for the Twenty Million Illegals and their anchor-baby children living off the taxpayers.

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:05 PM (uFokq)

18 A Blue Ribbon Panel making worthless proposals so that fat-cats can demonize each other with no real damage done.. Who would have thunk it? Tax hikes for anyone still bothering to try to work, par for the course.

Posted by: dfbaskwill at November 10, 2010 02:05 PM (71LDo)

19 There has to be an overall deal and it has to be sold competently.
Imight actually agree to temporary tax increases if they were coupled to massive spending cuts.
No spending cuts, no deal. Business as usual for the government consists of treating tax revenue as found money.
Republicans should be bold. There will be bargaining -- and you don't start with a negotiating position based on whether it will palatable to the other side.

Posted by: Wm T Sherman at November 10, 2010 02:06 PM (w41GQ)

20 Things must be worse than we could imagine.

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 01:59 PM (wuv1c)

Yeah, right. And when the city runs out of money it always wants to shut down fire stations and libraries first because, you know, things are that bad.

Posted by: The Dread Pirate Neck Beard at November 10, 2010 02:06 PM (xXc0x)

21 Start with cutting loose NPR and the CPB. Let them compete in the tv and radio market just like everyone else.

Posted by: EC at November 10, 2010 02:06 PM (mAhn3)

22 I'll have more to say about this in tomorrow's financial briefing, but I wouldn't put too much stock in this report. The working-group will deliver the report to Obama, everyone will smile for the cameras, and then Bammer will use the report to wipe his ass the next time he takes a dump.

Donks hate it because of the SS/Medicaid cuts; Republicans hate it because of the tax hikes. The only possible solution to the problem is the one that has no chance in hell of passing. Ergo: we are boned.

This was just an exercise in ass-covering and providing the illusion of "movement" on entitlement-reform.

Posted by: Monty at November 10, 2010 02:06 PM (4Pleu)

23 F*ck it. Do it. It's worth the pain.

Posted by: Skree at November 10, 2010 02:06 PM (r6JiF)

24 Cutting SoSec and Medicare/aid is inevitable. It either happens as part of a plan or happens when the government and monetary structures collapse. Things that are bound to fail will fail at some point.

If they cut the programs, though, they also need to cut payroll taxes, not steal the payroll taxes and divert them to general revenue.

^^$#@@$ thieves.

Posted by: Ella at November 10, 2010 02:07 PM (X5L9A)

25 Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:03 PM (wuv1c)

Actually, "superficial" cuts to SS might be a good thing, in the long run. Cut a little, here and there (SS for End Stage Renal Disease? Really? So when do we start giving out SS for Alzheimer's or Lung Cancer?) and show the public a) it can be done, b) it won't really hurt, and c) it will actually help improve the situation.

Then, in four or five years we can move in with the long knife and the bone-saw.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 02:07 PM (8y9MW)

26 I hope they eliminate the mortgage deduction. I am one who is offended that I am punished for paying my mortgage down faster than is required.

I am well on my way to having no mortgage where the penalty for my financial decision would be the greatest.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at November 10, 2010 02:07 PM (tf9Ne)

27 I could live with losing the mortgage deduction if it was paired with deep cuts in federal spending.

Posted by: Slublog at November 10, 2010 02:08 PM (Pw/0+)

28 As the problem is fiscal it makes sense to cut everything a little.Find some way to squeeze a percent out of everything. Then start trying to get rid of some bureaucrats.

Posted by: Beagle at November 10, 2010 02:08 PM (sOtz/)

29 I think if we reduce Medicare spending enough, Social Security will take care of itself.

Posted by: Dr. Spank at November 10, 2010 02:08 PM (Y81Xa)

30 I will be willing to sacrifice, as soon as our GOVERNMENT does the same.
They make more money, don't play by the same rules, and constantly grow... cut THAT first... then I'll anttee up...

Posted by: Romeo13 at November 10, 2010 02:09 PM (AdK6a)

31 Where is the big spending cut here? It sounds like we've already enacted the bit on cutting SS COLA increases (since it was 0 in each of the last two years), so that is at best, like extending the Bush tax cuts, maintaining the status quo. And good luck generating any more revenue hiking taxes on homeowners. It seems like that would just be more incentive not to pay your mortgage while you can get away with it (gumming up foreclosures further, which means everyone gets away with it longer).

Posted by: Methos at November 10, 2010 02:09 PM (Ew1k4)

32 ace you need to get out and get some strange. It always puts me in a good mood, even when I go home and have to help my wife brush what remains of her hair.

Posted by: John Edwards at November 10, 2010 02:09 PM (xi6zE)

33 Younger people know that Social Security is fuxated for them. They simply will not be paid as per the deal. 100% of them know this. There are more and more people who are on the lsoing side of the equation. The era of groveling and pandering to seniors over this issue is ending.

Posted by: Wm T Sherman at November 10, 2010 02:09 PM (w41GQ)

34 I would be willing to do without Social Security.
At 26 I know it isn't going to be there for me anyway.
If the government said you have to pay SS til your 30 and then you can stop and you get no SS, I would still take that deal.
I wouldn't mind keeping the extra 6.2% from each check and I'm sure my employer wouldn't mind keeping an extra 6.2% as well.

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:09 PM (wuv1c)

35 Leaders of President Barack Obama's bipartisan deficit commission on Wednesday proposed reducing the annual cost-of-living increases in Social Security, part of a bold plan to control $1 trillion-plus budget deficits.
Wait a minute...am I missing something here? There hasn't been a cost-of living increase in Social Security for two years and it's projected there won't be one for at least another two years. Isn't that already built into the system?

Posted by: Deanna at November 10, 2010 02:09 PM (OLXIi)

36 Another thing: I think the committee is being rather optimistic in thinking that we even have 20 years to come up with a solution to this problem. I think the real time-horizon is more like 5 to 10 years, which is why none of the more gradualist solutions are going to do dick.

Posted by: Monty at November 10, 2010 02:10 PM (4Pleu)

37

Exit question: Are the majority of Tea Partiers ready to actually
make the cuts they talk about in vague, abstract ways, even when such
cuts reduce social spending directed towards them?

Exit answer: No.
Ace -- the all-knowing!

Posted by: Zombie Taft at November 10, 2010 02:10 PM (IuKAf)

38 There's no good, fun, happy-sunshine solution. Good people (or at least sympathetic ones) need to get their government pay-outs cut. Even good people do not deserve someone else's money taken at gunpoint, and truly good people shouldn't want that money either.

Posted by: shillelagh at November 10, 2010 02:10 PM (Oz4Bj)

39 Oh, and for those who missed it.... Federal Pay went up 2% in 2010... Soc Sec got nothing... kinda makes ya go... hmmmmm....

Posted by: Romeo13 at November 10, 2010 02:10 PM (AdK6a)

40 When we talked about this either in a Monty economic doom post or something else, I proposed a cap on SS spending (its about $550 billion). To maintain the cap we need to lower the maximum SS payment ($2400/month to $2000/month or below) and start increasing the retirement age to 75. Also means test the benefit to phase out for those receiving income greater than $100,000 per year.
To permanently change the system we ought to let those under 30 opt out with an elimination of their 6.5% contribution.

Posted by: Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz at November 10, 2010 02:10 PM (4JpPD)

41 Posted by: Dr. Spank at November 10, 2010 02:08 PM (Y81Xa)

No, it won't. SS is a Ponzie scheme that would get any private broker thrown in a federal prison for a long time. All fixing Medicare would do is reduce the bleeding.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 02:10 PM (8y9MW)

42 And all the seniors start whining "But it's my money!" We've all paid into the Ponzi scheme; it's only those 70+ who've gotten out far more than they ever paid in. Face it, guys, it's a tax; yes, you got taken; no, there's no money left; boo hoo, too bad, so sad. All entitlements - AA, lower class, middle class, whatever, consist of monies confiscated from someone else's labor. Get over yourselves, folks. Our entire economy is a house of cards and everyone has their hands in everyone else's pockets. Decline and fall.

Posted by: Sheila at November 10, 2010 02:11 PM (8OQiE)

43 "Overall, that sounds pretty good to me. The cut to the
mortgage-interest deduction is of course effectively a hike in taxes for
homeowners, but I'm not sure if that alone is a reason to oppose it."

Was that an effin joke?

Seriously, I live in a pretty modest home - that would cost me 3k a year.
I don't have an extra 3k to throw down a rat hole.

Many people own homes that they rent out. They're screwed unless they significantly raise the monthly rent - hey, that might impact a minority or something.

Listen: you don't change the rules in the middle of the game - unless, of course, you are trying for maximum destruction.

Posted by: Oh, Hi Mark at November 10, 2010 02:11 PM (dp9VJ)

44 part of a bold plan to control $1 trillion-plus budget deficits.

How about replacing Obama?

Posted by: EC at November 10, 2010 02:11 PM (mAhn3)

45 The home mortgage deduction is just another example of social tinkering with the tax code. I am all for getting rid of it under certain conditions. That being that we get rid of ALL the social engineering with the tax code.

We should go to a pure flat tax of between 10 and 15 percent on ALL income regardless of source. The cut federal spending to match that.

As for SS I have posted enough on that on the Monty threads. Just leave it alone, there is no fix that will ever work because the congress will just spend the fix the same way they have the last three times. Leave it alone till it collapses of its own weight.

Posted by: Vic at November 10, 2010 02:12 PM (/jbAw)

46 Sen. Soothsayer: The solution is to cut the benefits of the generation of people who a) contributed greatly to our country, and b) cost us the least?
You need to check your math. These are hugely expensive welfare programs that go to the wealthiest age group. And, as was noted above, we can trim it now or watch it burn later.

Posted by: spongeworthy at November 10, 2010 02:13 PM (rplL3)

47 Deanna - there will be COLA's now that the Fed is monetizing the debt. Inflation increases are inevitable.

Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 02:13 PM (wgkZv)

48 However, I should also point out that any freeze in SS spending should be tied to at least a 10% or morecut in all other spending.
I'm not going to ask senior to take a hit when there is a $40 billion/year salary premium for government workers.

Posted by: Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz at November 10, 2010 02:13 PM (4JpPD)

49 dont fall for this "eliminate the deduction junk"...what it really is, is a tax increase for anyone that owns a home and has a mortgage...which is like MOST hardworking Americans! the rich dont pay mortgages...they pay cash..the poor cant afford homes. this is a tax increase on the middle class. I bought my home under the understanding that my interest was a tax deduction. Now it may not be? Akbar was right.....

Posted by: it's a trap! at November 10, 2010 02:14 PM (gjUaP)

50 I just read it in whole and it doesn't look that bad to me. Cuts in spending, cuts in many taxes (along with some increases granted), and a reform of the tax code (and the mortgage interest thing is only on second homes and those over $500,000 - something I never could afford to own anyway).
I know it might be "just an exercise in ass-covering" but it's better than I expected and I think it gives the Republican some ammo to work with.

Posted by: TRO at November 10, 2010 02:14 PM (jMfe0)

51 >>No, it won't. SS is a Ponzie scheme that would get
any private broker thrown in a federal prison for a long time. All
fixing Medicare would do is reduce the bleeding.

Posted by: AllenG


I think you missed my point. Think twisted.

Posted by: Dr. Spank at November 10, 2010 02:14 PM (Y81Xa)

52 Uh yeah, I exist...honest.

Posted by: Magic Money Tree at November 10, 2010 02:15 PM (B+sJU)

53 Cut SS 10%, but cut ever thing else the same%

Posted by: Velvet Ambition at November 10, 2010 02:15 PM (AbbQK)

54 I have paid into the system for decades. My confidence in it is so low that if I were offered the deal of never getting a dime in return for paying no more SS and Medicare taxes, I would take it in a second. Keep the money you took.
SSis not a real retirement system, andMedicare are not real insurance system. They are welfare. Period.
The political landscape is shifiting on this issue. Large numbers ofpeople know they are not going to get what was promised. They know. Nothing is sacrosanct anymore and I hope every politician is aware of this.

Posted by: Wm T Sherman at November 10, 2010 02:15 PM (w41GQ)

55 P.J. O'Rourke noted in his book Parliament of Whores that none of the sensible cuts he suggested would ever actually happen, because for each subsidy, there is a constituency demanding the subsidy -- including rock-ribbed individualist conservatives who don't truck with no government hand-outs (but farming subsidies aren't handouts, you know).
And in the book, P.J. managed to not only balance the budget, but actually reduce government spending to the point where every man, woman and child in the United States actually got a $400 tax rebate. And it took him all of.........one morning to do it. But, as P.J. noted, the only person who had to elect him was......him.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 02:17 PM (OWjjx)

56 #19 Imight actually agree to temporary tax increases if they were coupled to massive spending cuts.

Temporary tax increases are as mythical as the unicorn. Don't fall into that trap.

The only way we're getting out of this grave is with massive spending cuts. Which have about as much chance of passing as Hell freezing over, as explained by Monty and Ace time and time again.

/In the end, there will be only chaos.

Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 10, 2010 02:17 PM (9hSKh)

57 This is a tenth step that in the end will yield nothing. And I know that this will be ridiculed, but SS, Medicare and the tax system need to be rethought from the ground up if this isn't going to be dealt with within the next few years when the problems are only bigger. I believe that everyone probably remembers the last time they said they fixed these programs "for the next 20 years". Bullshit.They swept the real structural problems under the rug and now there is a mountain where the floor should be.80k pages of tax regulation and $110+ trillion in unfunded liabilities between SS and medicare aren't going to be fixed with putzing like this.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 10, 2010 02:17 PM (r1h5M)

58 Totally unrelated, today iscolon day :in binary code (00111010),so go getyours checked or something...

Posted by: SnowSun at November 10, 2010 02:18 PM (UAUr6)

59 If they're looking at eliminating the mort. deduction, they'd better grandfather it in so that only new ones apply.
Eff it, have a $1 million national daily lottery. Guaranteed inlay boom.

Posted by: Cam Winston at November 10, 2010 02:18 PM (5L9k4)

60 Can we just get rid of social security now?

Posted by: Iblis at November 10, 2010 02:18 PM (9221z)

61
You need to check your math.

Not really, bro. I'll tell you why.

All my old relatives who are/were collecting soc-sec were never a burden on the taxpayer. They didn't get 'free' shit when growing up and they worked and paid taxes.

The leeches are not the old people. The leeches are the young chronic welfare recipients, the baby-mamas, the illegals, and the SSI head-cases.

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:18 PM (uFokq)

62
Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Posted by: Dang at November 10, 2010 02:18 PM (TXKVh)

63 Posted by: it's a trap! at November 10, 2010 02:14 PM (gjUaP)

And why should you pay less in taxes simply because you're buying a home? I don't get to deduct the interest for my car loan- and I need a car more than I need to own a home.

I'm sorry that it would hurt, I really am, but, as others have stated, the Mortgage Interest Deduction is social tinkering to make home ownership more attractive than it should be- and I have to wonder how much (if any) of a roll that played in the Home Mortgage crash?

Tax deductions are, in essence, a way of encouraging tax payers to channel their money to specific purposes (which is one reason I'm good with the Charitable Contribution deduction- but I don't pretend that it's anything but social engineering). Therefore, being able to deduct the interest on your Mortgage (or Student Loan, for that matter) is simply encouraging you to take such a loan. If you couldn't afford the home without that deduction, perhaps you couldn't afford the home in the first place.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 02:19 PM (8y9MW)

64 Exit question: Are the majority of Tea Partiers ready to actually
make the cuts they talk about in vague, abstract ways, even when such
cuts reduce social spending directed towards them?

Exit answer: No.
Serious question, what's your basis for this assertion? I see no basis for your claim other than a simple belief that this is the case. Now, you may be correct but you're making a sweeping conclusion without any facts or statements to support this claim.

Posted by: alexthechick at November 10, 2010 02:19 PM (bQ5xy)

65 Go big or stay home.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 10, 2010 02:19 PM (r1h5M)

66 It is either cut entitlements or lose them completely. I am for cuts. Or, we could double tax rates which would kill the economy and nobody would pay them. Cuts are needed, I don't give a shit what Allahfuckit says. He speaks for no one.

Posted by: Ken Royall at November 10, 2010 02:20 PM (9zzk+)

67 Repubs and Tea partiers better get ahead of this fast or Obama will triangulate, get the dirty work done, and get the credit.

Repubs should pull out Ryan's roadmap and pit it against the Obama team's suggestions. Negotians begin there.

The deal is the world has woken up to the end of the credit line. Whoever wants to be on the right side of history better start making real suggestions on what to cut ... NOW!

Posted by: MaxMBJ at November 10, 2010 02:20 PM (90bLF)

68 Exit question: Are the majority of Tea Partiers ready to actually
make the cuts they talk about in vague, abstract ways, even when such
cuts reduce social spending directed towards them?

Exit answer: No.Here's the sad fact: People want free stuff, including (or especially)
those who talk the loudest about ending the flow of free stuff to other people.
If we are talking about Soc. Security and Medicare, these are NOT free stuff. People have paid taxes specifically earmarked for those programs.

Posted by: liontooth at November 10, 2010 02:20 PM (9wLy+)

69 $1 trillion-plus budget deficits

Wow, with all that talk of 100 billion a year budget cuts I was starting to think Ace didn't believe we were in trillion dollar deficit territory.

Posted by: John Galt at November 10, 2010 02:21 PM (F/4zf)

70 Deanna - there will be COLA's now that the Fed is monetizing the debt. Inflation increases are inevitable.
Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 02:13 PM
Maybe, but the point is this idea is already more or less built into the system. JMO that it's a small sop to the fiscal conservatives and SSA reformers...nothing more. And of course there are COLAs built into all government programs...waiting to hear on the reductions for those such as TANF. The problem with many of the so-called welfare/entitlement programs they are in the form of block grants which are much more difficult to control..

Posted by: Deanna at November 10, 2010 02:21 PM (OLXIi)

71 You can call eliminating the morgage deduction a tax hike. Or you can call it eliminating a subsidy.
Whatever you want to call it, they distort the housing market.
If you do eliminate it, you can do it all in one fell swoop, i.e., no more mortgage deductions at all in 2012.
Or you can phase it in slowly, i.e., the mortgage rate deduction is reduced by 10% per year, starting in 2012 and is completely eliminated in 10 years / 2022.

Posted by: ed at November 10, 2010 02:21 PM (QLhy5)

72 FICA deductions and self-employment taxes have been taken from me at gunpoint for my entire working life. I could have invested that money on my own and obtained a better return, as well as having something that I could pass on to my kid if I died early. The salve for this forced expropriationwas the government's promise that I would receive a certain benefit at a certain time.
Now, after taking my money, the feds are going to tell me that they need to change the rules. Hey, you fucked up! You trusted us! Fortunately I didn't trust them and have managed to amass a substantial retirement fund on my own.
Objectively, I know that SS is the lead weight around the neck ofthe federal budget and something has to be done to reign it in. But that doesn't make it burn any less when the feds tell me that their earlier promises have become "inoperative" and I'll just have to give up the idea of getting my "investment" back unless I manage to live to, oh about 125. I'm thinking about doing that just to spite the bitches.
If a private retirement plan was run like this, the managers would all be wearing orange jumpsuits.

Posted by: Cicero at November 10, 2010 02:21 PM (QKKT0)

73 If they eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, expect everyone in California (including me) to simultaneously default on their mortgages.

Posted by: mongo78 at November 10, 2010 02:22 PM (2b46R)

74 #63 Umm, except that people *could* afford the homes with that deduction in place, and therefore purchased said homes.

If you have a (fairly large) tax increase on a household that wasn't budgeted for said increase, you can cause large problems for people that didn't actually cause the crash (these are folks that are actually paying mortgages...not freeloaders, right?).

Posted by: GMan at November 10, 2010 02:23 PM (sxq57)

75 I am a homeowner who benefits substantially from the mortgage interest deduction, but I think I would trade it for an end to farm subsidies. Both programs rather seriously detract from the operation of the marketplace in two critical areas of the economy - housing and agriculture.

Fixing up the market so it more correctly allocates vital resources, while curing the deficit sounds OK.

Posted by: Roger at November 10, 2010 02:23 PM (tAwhy)

76 Here's the danger. The big push now among the lib commentators, etc., is that the new class of Repubs and tea folk are hypocrites. They point to the numbers and say, Where you gonna cut, big guy? Spitzer did this last night on Rand Paul who deflected quite well ... but this isn't going away.

The simple solution is to realize we are now at the point where cuts can actually happen. They will happen. Whoever is out in front today will be tomorrow's statesman. Obama is cowardly but smart. He'll jump on this meme that Repubs are all talk and no action then prove he's a man of action by calling the Repubs and tea folks bluff.

I'm warning you Mitch McConnell, Lindsay, Graham, even Inhofe ... get it right right now. Get ahead of this before you get rolled by it.

Outline your cuts -- hard ones, tough ones -- and do it NOW!

Posted by: MaxMBJ at November 10, 2010 02:24 PM (90bLF)

77 "The cut to the mortgage-interest deduction is of course effectively a hike in taxes for homeowners, but I'm not sure if that alone is a reason to oppose it."

Just a tax hike!!! It will devastate the housing market. When people buy houses they factor into the equation the tax break to determine if the house is affordable. Without the tax break all houses immediately become worth about 25% to 30% less. Plus, those who made 30 year commitments in reliance on that tax law see their effective mortgage go up 25% to 30%. Even prudent buyers will face foreclosure and financial ruin.

If you live in SoCal like me and your mortgage is $4,000/mo and 90% of that is interest and you are in a 33% tax bracket, your taxes will go up $1,200 per month -- that is $14,400 per year.

Is that a reason to oppose it!!!

Posted by: tommylotto at November 10, 2010 02:24 PM (oHIHU)

78 The leeches are not the old people. The leeches are the young chronic
welfare recipients, the baby-mamas, the illegals, and the SSI
head-cases.

Nonsense. Over 40% of the federal budget goes to entitlement programs. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are on track to consume all tax revenues by 2052, according to the Heritage Foundation. Entitlement programs are the main problem, because they create structural debt.

Cutting the funds you propose wouldn't even get us close to financial stability.

Posted by: Slublog at November 10, 2010 02:24 PM (Pw/0+)

79 I am in the housing business so take the following with that in mind.
Cancelling the mortgage interest deduction would totally end any hope of a housing recovery and therefor end any hope of acceptable employment levels in this country.
Right now you have people barely hanging on to their homes, this deduction allows them to do so. Without it you are raising taxes on the middle class an average of $4,000 per year. That is everyone in the middle class including renters. The interest deduction allows landlords to charge less rent.
Those able to keep a roof over their head will be unable to spend on other things.
It's a backdoor 4% to 10% tax increase on every middle class citizen save for the few that have their home paid for already.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 02:24 PM (hVDig)

80
Can we cut 5% from the Defense Dept's next budget?
The answer is of course we can.

We can 5% from the budgets of every department. I don't know how much that will add up to, but it's a start.

I'm sure the EPA can cut 5% from its budget, don't you?

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:25 PM (uFokq)

81 Posted by: Cicero at November 10, 2010 02:21 PM (QKKT0)

Indeed. To all your points.

However, I know when I have a really, really bad Migraine, that the only thing that really makes it go away is an Imatrex injection (and those things suck). I take it anyway.

So, given that it is going to suck, are you for, or against the shot?

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 02:25 PM (8y9MW)

82 All my old relatives who are/were collecting soc-sec were never a burden on the taxpayer. They didn't get 'free' shit when growing up and they worked and paid taxes.

The leeches are not the old people. The leeches are the young chronic welfare recipients, the baby-mamas, the illegals, and the SSI head-cases.

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:18 PM (uFokq)

You say it like you know it, but I'm not sure you actually know it. That's why you need to check your math: how much did grandma (who was never a burden) and her 3-year cancer intervention starting at age 86 actually cost? $300k? $500k?

Posted by: The Dread Pirate Neck Beard at November 10, 2010 02:26 PM (xXc0x)

83 Serious question, what's your basis for this assertion?

Simple: many tea party types either are or will be retiring soon. Mess with their Social Security or Medicare and watch the howling commence. I guarantee it. I'll put money in escrow to cover bets anyone wants to make with me on whether it will happen. I promise you it will.

It's like the public-sector unions and their pensions. It's a colossal trainwreck happening before our eyes, but do you seriously think that any pensioner is going to voluntarily accept a reduction in benefits if there's even a possibility of wringing full value out of the taxpayers?

Americans are probably the best citizens in the world about paying their taxes (unlike, say, the Greeks). But burden them too much, and that might change.

Other people get welfare. We get our hard-earned benefits. That's the mentality that is going to sink any useful reform.

Posted by: Monty at November 10, 2010 02:26 PM (4Pleu)

84
What did Christie say?
We don't have a revenue problem.

We have a bloody spending problem. So the solution is Not to raise taxes.

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:26 PM (uFokq)

85 I'll give all you wavering Repubs your out line: ACROSS THE BOARD ... 5% for starters.

Make it your mantra, guys and girls. It's the only way. It spreads the pain equally, it excuses you from singling out the entitlements, and it's implementable.

5% ACROSS THE BOARD!

Posted by: MaxMBJ at November 10, 2010 02:26 PM (90bLF)

86 All I want is the money that I and my employer put into Social Security on my behalf. Paul Ryan keeps talking about people over 55 would be able to keep their Social Security, well I'm 48 and have been putting money in for 30 years, does that mean I lose everything that I put in? I am not fortunate enough to be a union or government employee and have a pension or 401K. I plan on working until they pry the calculator from my cold dead hands.
If they want to cut benefits, cut benefits to people who have never put money into the fund, like immigrants who come to this country in their later years and want to collect on somebody else's dime. How about not giving Medicaid or Medicare to every Tom, Dick or Harry who asks for it.
I seriously think that maybe there should be no limit on the FICA max, that would bring in more cash. Means testing would be ok but I don't think the rich people would like it much, they are entitled to their share of what they put in especially if we take the restrictions off the FICA max.Make the retirement age 70, or not mandating that you have to go on Medicare if you don't want to. There are all kinds of things they can do. Hey how about going after some of the waste and fraud going on in Government.

Posted by: Jaimo at November 10, 2010 02:27 PM (9U1OG)

87 And why should you pay less in taxes simply because you're buying a home? I don't get to deduct the interest for my car loan- and I need a car more than I need to own a home.you do get to deduct the sales tax when you buy a new car, correct?
the more i think about this, the more screwed I realize we are. I feel like a child who can see the answers so clearly but not fully comprehend why we can't enact those obvious solutions.

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:27 PM (wuv1c)

88 They think they can tax their way out of this mess, or at least they want us to believe that they think that way. They are absolutely avoiding the problem. The only way that problems of this magnitude can even come close to being mitigated is to produce our way out of them. When taxes become onerous, people will stop producing. They are looking in the wrong damn place.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 10, 2010 02:28 PM (r1h5M)

89 Eliminating the tax deduction for home mortgages is part of Obama's plan to eliminate private home ownership. The goal of the Progressives ( ie Commmunists ) is to get us out of our homes ( and independence from many State controls ) and into public housing, where our electric use and other expenditures can be controlled by the State. We're also being kicked out of our cars ( keep us on the Estate's grounds ), effectively eliminating our freedom to move. They have health-care, which is their method of monitoring our food, number of kids, sex-lives, and, ultimately, determining when we're more useful to the ant hill dead.
Soylent Green...it's not just a title, anymore.

Posted by: Oh, Please at November 10, 2010 02:28 PM (1kwr2)

90 Eliminate:

1. Dept. of Education
2. EPA
3. Public Sector unions
4. Lifetime pensions for congress and presidents

Get back to me after that.

Posted by: Joe Mama at November 10, 2010 02:29 PM (pRKLf)

91 Oh, hell, just phase out the deduction, but while you are at it, start taxing those who skate by tax-free, and for heaven's sake, cut social security once and for all. It's not like there will be two cents of it to rub together once most of us start drawing it down anyway.

Now, how about we go back to a volunteer Congress and Senate? Part time, you know? How about that.

Posted by: tcn at November 10, 2010 02:29 PM (+dwY/)

92 Anyone else see the irony in calling for public employees to lose/have reducedtheir promised retirement benefitsdue to the tough economic times and then saying that SS benefits shouldn't be cut because you had paid into it all these years and it was a promise made? Same for how losing the mortgage interest deduction in California (and other high cost of home areas) is a bad thing because you chose to live in an area where 1000 sf homes go for a million?
I'm not criticizing mind you, just pointing out what someone up above said . . . cuts are always great when they only affect the other guy.

Posted by: TRO at November 10, 2010 02:29 PM (jMfe0)

93 4. Lifetime pensions for congress and presidentsthis should be a no brainer. Why in the world are they getting pensions after serving 2-6 years. that's insane.

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:30 PM (wuv1c)

94 Farm subsidies? You think I'm afraid to cut farm subsidies??

My simple policy is this: We stop anything that pays people not to work/produce.

We cut spending, and we disincentivize non-production.

Posted by: nickless at November 10, 2010 02:30 PM (MMC8r)

95 Obama will like the mortgage interest deduction cut - it is after all a white man's tax credit.

Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 02:31 PM (lnUW/)

96
I'm talking about the people who work all their lives, retire at 70 and then collect Soc Security for ten years. These people are not a burden and never were. It's an insult to cut their benefits.

You guys keep generalizing and bringing up the entire entitlement system. Target the chronic leeches, not the old folks.

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:31 PM (uFokq)

97 Start with the crap that can and should be cut. Bloated government agencies and programs with tons of useless employees, entitlements for illegals, nonsensical perks and bonuses for officials, etc. Trim the fat, then get to the hard stuff like SS and Medicare. It would be a good start at any rate. Hell, how much do those shithead czars make?

Posted by: Grayson at November 10, 2010 02:32 PM (B+sJU)

98 Simple: many tea party types either are or will be retiring soon. Mess with their Social Security or Medicare and watch the howling commence. I guarantee it. I'll put money in escrow to cover bets anyone wants to make with me on whether it will happen. I promise you it will. I agree. I was disappointed when the Tea Party groups kinda swept any mention of SS or Medicare under the table. Part of the rallying cry against Obamacare was the fact that Obamacare was taking 500 billion from medicare and moving it to this new program.

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:32 PM (wuv1c)

99 "I'm sure the EPA can cut 5% from its budget, don't you?"
Easily. And probably 10%. Along with the rest of the government.

Posted by: TRO at November 10, 2010 02:32 PM (jMfe0)

100
...how much did grandma (who was never a burden) and her 3-year cancer
intervention starting at age 86 actually cost? $300k? $500k?

Good. When we need people on the Death Panels, we know who to call.

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:33 PM (uFokq)

101 And why should you pay less in taxes simply because you're buying a home? I don't get to deduct the interest for my car loan- and I need a car more than I need to own a home.
You don't understand. If you are a renter you get the benefit of the interest deduction in smaller rents.
This tax will be a tax increase on the entire middle class.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 02:33 PM (hVDig)

102 To be honest, I really don't expect America to change or recover. I fully expect a collapse of sorts, and my hope of salvation is that some states leave the union and that one of them had a libertarian type economic system.

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:33 PM (wuv1c)

103 So...what is your solution Ace?
We can cut spending, because someone will whine.
We can raise taxes, because someone will whine.
so...???

Posted by: MrShad at November 10, 2010 02:33 PM (Xqfwb)

104 Posted by: GMan at November 10, 2010 02:23 PM (sxq57)

Suckage accepted. Does that change the need?

By the way, I, for one, did not factor in the the Mortgage deduction to my calculations regarding if I could purchase my home. I took my monthly net income, and decided if it could cover the mortgage payment.

Considering the malleable nature of the tax code, to do anything else is a little overly optimistic, in my view.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 02:24 PM (hVDig)


Manifestly untrue. At least to the permanent nature of what you describe (I'll certainly grant that you're correct for the short term). What would happen is that homes would (especially if we'd get out of the way of foreclosures) relatively quickly find their real value (which would be somewhat less than it is now) and people would find they could afford just as much home because that amount of home would be of a lower monetary value.

The fact is that so much of our economic woe is based on the fact that we're in a house build on sand, and the rains have started. Better to let the foundation wash out and the house collapse- then build on bedrock- than to continually patch up (and ultimately make worse) our current situation.

What no one seems to want to accept is that our entire economy is still over-inflated. It needs to come back down to earth, and there is no way to make that not suck.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 02:34 PM (8y9MW)

105 "All my old relatives who are/were collecting soc-sec were never a burden on the taxpayer."
But Senator Soothsayer, they are now. I know it's unintentional, but they are. They got sold a bill of goods, and they took it. My Dad worked his ass off for 45 years, if you calculate all his lifetime's SS 'contributions', he used them all up when he hit76 years old.
He's 84 now. Don';t get me started on Medicare.
It can't be sustained.

Posted by: Log Cabin at November 10, 2010 02:34 PM (Y8b3a)

106 All I want is the money that I and my employer put into Social Security on my behalf. Paul Ryan keeps talking about people over 55 would be able to keep their Social Security, well I'm 48 and have been putting money in for 30 years, does that mean I lose everything that I put in?

Posted by: Jaimo at November 10, 2010 02:27 PM (9U1OG)

So? I've had thousands of dollars worth of tools stolen. Do I have the right to bitch to the government for their return at your expense?

All that money you paid in is gone. All of it. It has all been spent, wasted, thrown away years ago. Everything you get back has to come out of what everyone else pays in now and in the future.

If you want to talk about dragging the bastards out and tossing them in prison, I'm with you, but when you talk about "just wanting what you paid in" you're talking about keeping a criminal ponzi scheme solvent just long enough for you to get yours, and that makes you part of the problem.

Posted by: The Dread Pirate Neck Beard at November 10, 2010 02:34 PM (xXc0x)

107 Bet Ace is one of those life-long, apartment dwellers. There's a shit load of em in NYC. They pay their landlords rent their whole life and have nothing to show for it and nothing to pass on to their children. I know a few of them whose parents have died and they inherited squat. I also know a guy whose dad was an uneducated fisherman in San Diego. He never completed grade school but knew enough to buy a house early and then bought a few more. His children received a very nice inheritance thanks to real estate. Most idiot elites growing up in NYC don't have a clue as to how something like that would work. Shit, they can't even repair a clogged sink---they call the immigrant super to do it. Those are the folk who see a proposal like this and think it's a good idea.

Posted by: PC14 at November 10, 2010 02:34 PM (XB+w8)

108 Exit Question : When did Ace start defending the establishment?

Posted by: Dr. Spank at November 10, 2010 02:35 PM (Y81Xa)

109 The damned problems can be fixed. We can even keep Soc. Sec. and Medicare. Just not in their current forms. But these programs can't be fixed and demogogued at the same time.And the problems aren't going to be fixed as long as we allow the politicians talk us into keeping their goodies, like earmarks. Like uncle Milt said, you have to get the wrong people to do the right things and you do that by making heroes out of the few people who do the right things - Like Christie and Pence and Ryan and the few others. You do it by making the jackasses like McConnell and Cornyn and Graham and others know that there is a penalty paid for not doing what has to be done. Even if it is only demonizing the dumb bastards here on this blog.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 10, 2010 02:35 PM (r1h5M)

110 If the starting point for discussion does not include the cutting of discretionary spending back to early 2007 levels, then yes, they can go fuck themselves. I'd rather drive right off the cliff now and force everything on the table than leave that TARP and Obamacare shit for my grandiose to deal with.

Posted by: Rajiv Vindaloo at November 10, 2010 02:35 PM (BZ2Bm)

111 Farm subsidies? Again? I get them but I'll give it up as long as the Admin goes to Trade War with Europe and Asia over their subsidies and fights for free trade. Who will care if food prices rise 25-50% as long as those freeloading farmers get soaked, right?

Posted by: Herbert Hill at November 10, 2010 02:35 PM (tcwqH)

112 I'm talking about the people who work all their lives, retire at 70 and then collect Soc Security for ten years. These people are not a burden and never were. It's an insult to cut their benefits.You guys keep generalizing and bringing up the entire entitlement system. Target the chronic leeches, not the old folks.
do you honestly believe we would ever create a tiered system of benefits when it came to SS? Would the democrats ever let their voters get less money because they don't work and never kicked into the system?
How would you word the bill that segregates the productive from the moochers?

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:36 PM (wuv1c)

113 Looks like the mortgage thing only applies to 2nd homes and mortgages over 500K, not entirely.

If you mean the portion of the mortgage over $500k, ok, I can live with that (barely)- if you mean no deduction at all on a mortgage which is $501k, then I look forward to the NY tri-state area becoming the next Nevada in terms of a real estate meltdown. I'll be living on a steady diet of grilled IRS agents.



Posted by: Holdfast at November 10, 2010 02:36 PM (Gzb30)

114 Let's see: What's missing in all this? Shared sacrifice, that's what. Seniors get ripped on Social Security and Medicare, everybody gets ripped on taxes, the economy takes a major hit. But Washington just keeps on truckin'

Screw that! When our a$$hole president stops taking $200 million a day grand tours and living the good life at our expense, hordes of bureaucrats stop making over $150,000 per year for just screwing things up more, the average government "worker" (read "lazy piece of crap") stops making upwards of 40 % more than private sector workers and members of Congress stop stealing, we'll talk.

Until then, the government can go to hell!

Posted by: GaryS at November 10, 2010 02:37 PM (WFVmk)

115 Exit Question : When did Ace start defending the establishment?
He is making a decent point about Republican and conservative hypocricy. We aren't all guilty of it, but there are a ton of Republicans who say they are against government spending, but never have the balls to cut anything. Farm subsidies being one.

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:38 PM (wuv1c)

116
Again, why no why outrage directed at all the Auntie Zetuni's getting a free ride, plus some pocket money, on the taxpayer's account?

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:38 PM (uFokq)

117 #112 do you honestly believe we would ever create a tiered system of benefits
when it came to SS? Would the democrats ever let their voters get less
money because they don't work and never kicked into the system?

Such a tiered system probably wouldn't be legal anyway under equal protection laws.

Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 10, 2010 02:38 PM (9hSKh)

118 Hey Monty, did you ever get the story about Indiana adding armed guards to their unemployment offices, right before the 99-week extensions start running out?

http://is.gd/gUxAc

Posted by: Lone Marauder at November 10, 2010 02:38 PM (/bVuS)

119 All my old relatives who are/were collecting soc-sec were never a burden on the taxpayer. They didn't get 'free' shit when growing up and they worked and paid taxes.
Correct..........and incorrect.
You are correct if you are counting all taxes paid by older relatives as somehow a contribution to social security. And also correct if we assume that your older relatives were at least earning the average wage for each year of their life. Of course, they did get some "free shit".......roads, a defense, mail service, etc. Yes, they paid taxes. But, not enough to build the roads in whatever town/city/village they lived in.........let alone an interstate highway system. And, certainly not enough taxes to build an army sufficiently large enough to hold off the Soviet Army.......or the Costa Rican army, for that matter.
Incorrect, however, if one is only counting direct contributions made to social security. First, their is a cap on social security taxes, after $76,200, you no longer pay on social security. Second, the average tax rate for social security tax rate is 12.4 percent, of which you, the employee, pay 6.2 and your employer the other. Thus, 1/2 of your social security obligation was financed by someone else, namely, your employer. Third, benefit received usually, depending of course on life span, age of retirement, etc. generally exceed payments. Using a complicated formula (involving your best 35 years of work, divided by 420, and factoring Primary Insurance Amount {have I bored you yet?}) lets work on an average monthly benefit of about 1800 per month. After 1 year, you have collected 21,600 in benefits. Now, assuming you maxed out on the tax rate (which very few earners do) for the last 20 years and 15 years of the max out rate established in the 1980s (25,900) math shows that the maximum you would have paid into the system (you....and not your employer) would have been 89,350.00. At a take out rate of 21,600 - if you live longer than5 years (allowing for a 2% rate of return)- your actually taking out more than you have contributed. Or, in otherwords, getting free shit.
And the lesson here: Social Security is a horrible system for retirment.
One other note - while the rates are accurate, the math may be off a little, I am doing this on scratch paper and a rounding error may have occurred in the process.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 02:39 PM (OWjjx)

120 Again, why no why outrage directed at all the Auntie Zetuni's getting a
free ride, plus some pocket money, on the taxpayer's account?

It is outrageous, but that stuff is pocket change compared to social security, medicare and medicaid.

Posted by: Slublog at November 10, 2010 02:39 PM (Pw/0+)

121 Well, inflation and rising food prices should eliminate the need for Ag Subsidies - of course, you'll still pay, but it will be in the grocery store, not on April 15th.

Posted by: Holdfast at November 10, 2010 02:39 PM (Gzb30)

122 Posted by: Jaimo at November 10, 2010 02:27 PM (9U1OG)

Ace and Monty- vindicated.

Jaimo, I know you don't want to hear this: that money was a tax, and its all gone now.

It's like that Cheers episode where Woody is trying to impress his fiance and has completely run out of money doing so. They get into a discussion about why he can't do something, finally in desperation he tries the following: "I have no money. None. Take all the money in the world. Get rid of it. That's how much money I have."

Well, that's how much money we have.

Now, I, personally, advocate something like: On or within 5 years of SS- you get 100%. 6 - 10 years- you get 75%. 11 - 20 years, you get 50%. 21+ years- you're screwed.

But that's not based on any hard numbers, so I have no idea how well it would hold up to financial reality.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 02:40 PM (8y9MW)

123 Do a reverse Obamacare. Have a bunch of congress members ram a giant reduction in government through kamikaze style.
Would never happen of course but hey it'd be interesting to see Dems get a taste of their own medicine.

Posted by: Grayson at November 10, 2010 02:40 PM (B+sJU)

124 Such a tiered system probably wouldn't be legal anyway under equal protection laws.

Progressive tax schemes are constitutional, apparently.

Posted by: MrShad at November 10, 2010 02:40 PM (Xqfwb)

125
We incentivize young girls to have babies, for pete's sake!

They never go to work. Ever. They are on welfare for life. We support their kids until, what, 26?

Let's start there.

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:41 PM (uFokq)

126 Having the FICA cap on SS contributions could be used to justify a means test for SS payouts.

Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 02:41 PM (c3oPV)

127 If the tax increases are limited to the elimination of market-distorting subsidies like the mortgage deduction, I'd be willing to consider giving back that ground in return for all of the listed cuts.
Also, I think the politics of SS reform will necessitate the the focus be on raising the retirement age to a point where the ratio of earners to takers is sustainable. Raise it by (for example) one month per quarter for the next 20 years so nobody pitches too big of a fit. At the same time gradully move to defined contribution rather than defined benefit. Add "poor old folks insurance" to the general tax account, where it belongs.

Posted by: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate at November 10, 2010 02:42 PM (Hj9yW)

128 Fck those who claim SS is "welfare" after having been forced to pay into it all my working life (I'm 44). Unlike the elderly in the system now, I will pay into the system more than Iwilltake out statistically speaking. How is that analogous to welfare? Having said that, there are those collecting SS now who paid little or nothing into the system and who do qualify as welfare recipients
Note that there were ZERO recommendations on the larger fiscal problem of govt. retirement entitlements. While SS recipients are supposed toSTFU and accept reduced retirement age benefitsstarting at68 yrs old, Fed and other govt workers can receive 90% of their highest yrs salary starting at age 50 or 51. Not a word about that. Not onefcking word.
No talk of SS cuts of those who paid in full until a) Govt worker retirement benefits synch with the same age as SS benefits and b) a cleanup of SS beneficiaries expellingand/or slashing SSbenefits ofthose who have paid little or nothing into the system - disability claims including substance abusers, slash spousal benefits where spouse contributed little or nothing, and slash benefits to those who paid into the system less than 25 yrs. Weneed to cut benefits for current SS recipients who paid little into the system. Same goes forFed/State/Local govt employee retirement benefits.Those are the net takers in the system and they need to sacrifice first and most.
I'm willing to take somecuts for what I've paid into the system, but the cuts have to start with those who are, or will be, taking far more benefits than they paid in.

Posted by: Mook at November 10, 2010 02:42 PM (pURWe)

129 35
Wait a minute...am I missing something here? There hasn't been a
cost-of living increase in Social Security for two years and it's
projected there won't be one for at least another two years. Isn't that
already built into the system? Posted by: Deanna at November 10, 2010 02:09 PM (OLXIi)

True, there have been no COLA increases in SS for the last two years, but in the first year, Obi-Won and Congress tossed SS recipients a $250 / head bribe to STFU and I think the same was proposed for this year. So it may not have been a COLA increase, but additional money did flow to seniors nonetheless.

Posted by: Barry McBoingBoing, Preznint at November 10, 2010 02:42 PM (UzjcV)

130 They want to repeal state and local tax deductions.



I could sort of get behind this. If they lowered the rates a bit. We shouldn't be encouraging the high tax states to stay that way.

Posted by: toby928 at November 10, 2010 02:42 PM (S5YRY)

131 Hey Monty, did you ever get the story about Indiana adding armed guards to their unemployment offices, right before the 99-week extensions start running out?

Yeah, I saw that. Not sure if I linked it because nothing really came of it, but still......

Posted by: Monty at November 10, 2010 02:43 PM (4Pleu)

132
It is outrageous, but that stuff is pocket change compared to social security, medicare and medicaid.

Didn't you see the statistic reported that 1 out of 5 kids in public schools are illegals? That's 20%!

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:43 PM (uFokq)

133 Posted by: Holdfast at November 10, 2010 02:36 PM (Gzb30)

Looks like they mean the whole mortgage but it's not quite clear.

What will lead to NY/CA/MA/CT and other high tax state meltdowns is disallowing deductions for state and local taxes. I actually would oppose that, why should you pay federal taxes on money you never see?

Yeah, it would be a boon for TX, NV and FL but I don't like the idea of double taxation.

Posted by: DrewM. at November 10, 2010 02:43 PM (HicGG)

134 Eliminating the mortgage deduction doesn't just increase taxes on homeowners. It also pole-axes house prices, which would seem to be the last thing we need now. And yes, renters benefit from landlord's ability to finance their buildings and deduct the interest. The equity issue argues for retaining the deduction for homeowners.

Posted by: Mahon at November 10, 2010 02:44 PM (pJDRn)

135 Simple: many tea party types either are or will be retiring soon. Mess
with their Social Security or Medicare and watch the howling commence. I
guarantee it. I'll put money in escrow to cover bets anyone wants to make with me on whether it will happen. I promise you it will.

Okay, Monty, so you admit that you are basing your claim on an assumption. Fair enough. I'm not kidding, you are making a statement based upon an acknowledged evaluation of the statistical likelihood of certain demographics behaving in a certain way. That is not a fact and I do not recall seeing any statements that would back that up, but you do have the weight of past experience on your side.

I'll argue the contra (though note I am not fully convinced of this position myself): The existence of the Tea Party is indicative of a sea change in the mindset of that portion of the citizenry that self-identifies with the Tea Party movement. Those in the Tea Party recognize the dire financial situation facing the country and are, in fact, willing to sacrifice their own current self-interest for longer term financial solvency. My proof? Look at the comments about needing to cut spending, etc., in order to stop placing the country's children and grandchildren in debt. To do so will require painful choices, including means testing, eliminating COLAs and the like. The willingness to even mention these issues shows an alteration in focus from the current generation's desires to the next generation's obligations.

My own non-factual assumption is that those in Gen X and below have been told all their lives that Social Security and Medicare will not be there for them. As a result, that demographic is more than happy to discuss such matters out of sheer shelf-interest.

Posted by: alexthechick at November 10, 2010 02:44 PM (bQ5xy)

136 You guys keep generalizing and bringing up the entire entitlement system. Target the chronic leeches, not the old folks.

You're missing the point Monty made upthread and proving the point of ace's post: When it's YOUR favorite group, it's not welfare, they EARNED it, and it doesn't cost much, anyway. All those OTHER assholes are welfare leeches.

The problem is that every group has the exact same argument. That's why nothing is going to get cut.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at November 10, 2010 02:44 PM (OW0nw)

137 Bet Ace is one of those life-long, apartment dwellers. There's a shit load of em in NYC. They pay their landlords rent their whole life and have nothing to show for it and nothing to pass on to their children.

That's because the NYC housing market is distorted by government fiat to an extent that would make Karl Marx blush. If you were lucky enough to get a good rental property during an economic downturn, the amount you end up saving through the city's price controls usually far outweighs the market prices you'd pay by buying it.

Those stories you occasionally hear about 90-year-old widows living in 3000 sq-ft five-bedroom apartments on Park Avenue and paying $125 per month are not myths. If you stay in the same place for decades, your rent can never be raised above the starting point by more than the couple of percent per year the city allows, and sometimes not even that. This also puts a major crimp in new apartment construction, of course. A very large percentage of the huge cost of buying a home in NYC is due to this. I've seen studies that claim prices would drop by 50% within a year and available units would skyrocket if the rent-control laws were repealed.

Posted by: Rajiv Vindaloo at November 10, 2010 02:44 PM (BZ2Bm)

138 Manifestly untrue. At least to the permanent nature of what you describe (I'll certainly grant that you're correct for the short term). What would happen is that homes would (especially if we'd get out of the way of foreclosures) relatively quickly find their real value (which would be somewhat less than it is now) and people would find they could afford just as much home because that amount of home would be of a lower monetary value.
What you are describing is several Trillion in lost wealth that will take more that the short term to recover from. You are describing in fact what Obama wants and that is a redistrubution of wealth.
Those who played by the rules, invested in our economy and spent years building equity in their homes will have that money taken from them to pay down the cost of housing.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 02:45 PM (hVDig)

139 As other's have noted though, we must grow the economy to get out of deficit. No amount of cutting will get the job done, short of abolishing SS/Medicare entirely.

Posted by: toby928 at November 10, 2010 02:45 PM (S5YRY)

140 "What will lead to NY/CA/MA/CT and other high tax state meltdowns is disallowing deductions for state and local taxes. I actually would oppose that, why should you pay federal taxes on money you never see?"
It's good to live in Tennessee. Course we'll lose our relatively new sales tax deduction.

Posted by: TRO at November 10, 2010 02:45 PM (jMfe0)

141 I feel as though they used money to fix everything for their union friends and for their government owned companies and for foreign banks and now they want to screw the regular hardworking American people.

They need to cut the federal government by 50% before they take away my mortgage interest deduction. I'm already underwater, my mortgage is more money than my house, so now they want to make me pay tax by not allowing a deduction of mortgage interest. When I took the largest mortgage I could to get the biggest deduction. Cause that is the way they designed the system.

these idiots do not realize that, with the amount of money they have spent, they literally could have paid off every mortgage in this country. No one would have had to lose their home. And people would have had more money in their pocket and would have paid down debt and eventually begun to spend.

With Christmas coming, they are effectively screwing retail. Hearing these proposals, people who thought electing the republicans would fix everything, will now not be so eager to spend, even the wealthy. So high end retail, who have been saying that they expect a great Christmas season may have to step back from these predictions.

Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 02:46 PM (p302b)

142

Exit question: Are the majority of Tea Partiers ready to actually make
the cuts they talk about in vague, abstract ways, even when such cuts
reduce social spending directed towards them?
Exit answer: No.


That's one hell of an assertion with zero facts or evidence to back it up. As the old ladies used to say, "Where's the beef?"

Posted by: Unclefacts, Summoner of Meteors, Bacon Raconteur at November 10, 2010 02:46 PM (eCAn3)

143 It will be interesting to see what happens as more Democrats wake up to the fact that SS is just a ponzi scheme based on IOUs. Many really did think that Bush wanted to loot SS and give the money to Wall Street. Of course, in reality he was just attempting to find some way to salvage an insolvent system that will eventually explode.

All of the talk of the Dem leaders that "there is no problem" and "we have to protect SS" is going to ring a bit hollow as Dem rank and file gradually figures out how flat out busted the system is.

Posted by: Stirner at November 10, 2010 02:46 PM (nTjSs)

144 Didn't you see the statistic reported that 1 out of 5 kids in public schools are illegals? That's 20%!

Again, 20% of discretionary spending. Compared to the entitlement monster, discretionary spending is peanuts.

Posted by: Slublog at November 10, 2010 02:46 PM (Pw/0+)

145 Why do we even have non defense discretionary spending?

Posted by: zmdavid at November 10, 2010 02:46 PM (gRKFk)

146 Counter on ace--will the Tea Partiers be ready to espouse these cuts? Yes, in larger numbers than you think. Will it matter a whit? No, of course not; the establishment still holds the balance, and it won't go for it, even with gun to head, knife to throat, toes over the cliff, and staring into the abyss. They think, this was always able to be postponed before, there's no reason it can't be now.

Except, of course, it can't. The last act of the tragedy is soon to start, the actors are in place, and the orchestra is warming up for the entry dirge.

I'd love to think someone in position of responsibility is there who would bite the bullet, do what must be done, and seal the door behind...but there's no Mt. Doom for this Ring to be chucked into. We let this go far too long. The cancer metastatized some time back, and no combination of herbal oils and feng shui is going to save us now, having continually put off the awful chemo and radiation we actually needed until it was far, far too late.

There is no way out. Only through.

Posted by: DarkLordOfTheIntarWebs at November 10, 2010 02:46 PM (GBXon)

147 It's like the public-sector unions and their pensions. It's a colossal
trainwreck happening before our eyes, but do you seriously think that
any pensioner is going to voluntarily accept a reduction in benefits if
there's even a possibility of wringing full value out of the taxpayers?

Other people get welfare. We get our hard-earned benefits. That's the mentality that is going to sink any useful reform.

------------------------------------------------------

No, what's going to sink doing anything is proposing cutting benefits for people that have paid in meanwhile people who have paid nothing but are receiving:
School breakfast/lunch programs, medical and educational care for illegals, etc.

Posted by: liontooth at November 10, 2010 02:47 PM (9wLy+)

148 I would propose rolling back SS to what FDR promised; adjusted for current adult death age and poverty level, a means test based the FICA contribution cap, and a change in the COLA formula. These are things that could be "sold" without causing massive political damage. I don't know what fiscal benefit they would have. Medicare can't be fixed -- blow it up.

Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 02:48 PM (judfL)

149 Farm subsidies being one.
See, I can't talk about farm subsidies because there is not enough profanity in the world for me to express my opinion on that issue.

Posted by: alexthechick at November 10, 2010 02:48 PM (bQ5xy)

150 Fck those who claim SS is "welfare" after having been forced to pay into it all my working life (I'm 44). Unlike the elderly in the system now, I will pay into the system more than Iwilltake out statistically speaking.
Under the current system.....and with current lifespan, the odds are actually pretty good your going to pull more out than you put in. Again, Social Security taxes cap at a certain level of income. Depending on what age you retire, level of benefits and how long you actually live.....you'll probably pull out more than you put in.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 02:48 PM (OWjjx)

151 if you want to fix SS and the economy..give all the money back. thats right. send everyone a check for the amount that they have paid in. it would cost less that the last stimulus, everyone would instantly have more money in their pocket, and we would never have to borrow again to pay off SS. Send the money back, tell everyone "sorry" this idea was an EPIC FAIL. Save your own money for retirement. it will never happen but it would fix both problems.

Posted by: listen to me at November 10, 2010 02:49 PM (gjUaP)

152 Again, why no why outrage directed at all the Auntie Zetuni's getting a free ride, plus some pocket money, on the taxpayer's account?

Because Auntie Zetuni was already raped by the system against her will for 50 years. Huge chunks of her earnings were taken from her against her will her entire working life, with the promise that if she sat there and took it like a good prole, she'd be taken care of when she got old.

That ship has sailed. It's obvious that any radical changes to Social Security (include a hopeful shutdown) would have to be on a graduated system. Old people get everything they were promised, 40-year-olds get some percentage of it, 22-year-olds just starting out get nothing (and of course have nothing taken out of their paychecks).

Posted by: Rajiv Vindaloo at November 10, 2010 02:49 PM (BZ2Bm)

153 OT: Boehner says he will continue to fly commercial as Speaker.

Suck it Nancy.

Posted by: Tami at November 10, 2010 02:50 PM (VuLos)

154 Geez, my poor mom already worries herself sick daily. All she has is her SS check ( and help from me). Food prices are going up, medicine etc. Meanwhile, I haven't had a raise in 3 years and my husband hasn't had one in two years.

Posted by: jewells at November 10, 2010 02:50 PM (l/N7H)

155 Posted by: listen to me at November 10, 2010 02:49 PM (gjUaP)

You can't send back what you don't have.

Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 02:51 PM (p302b)

156 and while u r listening to me. disband the IRS too..9% national sales tax....eliminate all other tax credits/deductions etc...it would result in a net gain for americans, and the economy would grow faster than ever before. thus, tax revenue would sky rocket..we would be outta debt in a few yrs...asssuming the spending gets capped...again-not gonna happen.

Posted by: listen to me at November 10, 2010 02:52 PM (gjUaP)

157 True, there have been no COLA increases in SS for the last two years, but in the first year, Obi-Won and Congress tossed SS recipients a $250 / head bribe to STFU and I think the same was proposed for this year. So it may not have been a COLA increase, but additional money did flow to seniors nonetheless.
Posted by: Barry McBoingBoing, Preznint at November 10, 2010 02:42 PM
Somehow I never thought of an extra $20 a month as a "flow." And no such money was ever forth-coming this year. But that aside, this same COLA restriction applied to military retirees as well.
And the point was that it is already there in the system so this whole proposal is another fake reform.

Posted by: Deanna at November 10, 2010 02:52 PM (OLXIi)

158 Completely OT.

Airhead women on cell phones that drive off with the gas pump in their car don't pay?

WTF

http://tinyurl.com/264eulw

Thank you NY Times!

Posted by: Kemp at November 10, 2010 02:53 PM (JpFM9)

159 I want something for nothing and I want it yesterday!

Posted by: Concerned American at November 10, 2010 02:53 PM (xxgag)

160 54I have paid into the system for decades. My confidence in it is so
low that if I were offered the deal of never getting a dime in return
for paying no more SS and Medicare taxes, I would take it in a second.
Keep the money you took.Posted by: Wm T Sherman at November 10, 2010 02:15 PM (w41GQ)

This.
I'm within a decade of retiring, but I'd willingly drop any expectation of receiving SS in return for ceasing to have the 6.5% FICA and whatever% FICM currently removed from my paycheck between now and when I retire. I'd assume the risk and responsibility for deciding where to invest it in an instant.


Posted by: ya2daup at November 10, 2010 02:53 PM (UzjcV)

161 151 - good idea. The smart people will invest that money, the rest will "stimulate" the economy by buying flat screen TVs.

Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 02:53 PM (c3oPV)

162 No, what's going to sink doing anything is proposing cutting benefits for people that have paid in meanwhile people who have paid nothing but are receiving:School breakfast/lunch programs, medical and educational care for illegals, etc.The drugs alone that are given away at taxpayer expense is staggering-- Zyprexa, Abilify, Invega are in the 15 to 1800 per month catagory. Free.

Posted by: EZB at November 10, 2010 02:53 PM (Ty06w)

163 142,
Exactly. Do those (Ace, I'm looking at you) who make this claim actually know what "Medicare/aid" actually spends our $ on? (short answer - no)
Sure, one can correctly claim that Medicare is the 800 lb gorilla - but one must also note the vast sums spent under the "Medicare" umbrella that have nothing whatsoever to do with either "health" or "care" - in simpler terms, much of Medicare spending is nothing more than transfer payments...

Posted by: Zombie Gunnery Sergeant Hartman at November 10, 2010 02:54 PM (/ueuy)

164 Here's the sad fact: People want free stuff, including (or especially) those who talk the loudest about ending the flow of free stuff to other people.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Social Security is "free stuff" from the gov't?
As far as I know, I have a good chunk of money deducted from my paycheck monthly for Social Security. If it's "free", it sure is costing me a lot.

Posted by: Shoppy at November 10, 2010 02:54 PM (u2rWt)

165 Just a friendly reminder to everyone that the three richest counties per capita in the US are all in the DC suburbs.

While we argue over how can keep some tiny percentage of our paycheck, the bureaucrats are living the high life on our time while contributing nothing to the economy.

Posted by: Rajiv Vindaloo at November 10, 2010 02:55 PM (BZ2Bm)

166 See, I can't talk about farm subsidies because there is not enough
profanity in the world for me to express my opinion on that issue.

Wise decision because if there is one thing that we don't need, it's a profanity shortage.

Posted by: WalrusRex at November 10, 2010 02:55 PM (xxgag)

167 Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 02:45 PM (hVDig)

Then it's Trillions of dollars of wealth that never existed.

I also don't buy that it would be a "redistribution of wealth." It would devalue certain assets (houses) but would not (at least, not intrinsically) increase the value of any others. It would no more be a redistribution of wealth than if the stock market collapsed again: yes, that "wealth" (largely imaginary) would be erased, but its not like it would go to other people.

And, though I haven't said it in this thread, I'm not solely for removing the Mortgage deduction (or reducing SS/Medicare) or any of those. I do, however, think they are sadly necessary parts of any plan to clean up the current mess and set us back on track for long-term real growth.

Among my other ideas: Flat Tax (15% with no deductions of any kind, 17% if I get to deduct my Charitable Contributions).
Phase out SS Medicare/Medicaid.
No "Tax Credits" for those who already pay no taxes.
No Farm Subsidies (again, yes, that will suck for some, but everyone is going to have suck up some things)
Remove all extra-constitutional agencies (EPA, Dept Ed, HHS)
Reduce budgets of all other (non defense) agencies by 5 - 10% (minimum)

I admit, those a "pie in the sky" never-gonna-happen kinds of things. But they're still what I think would work best.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 02:55 PM (8y9MW)

168 >>>FICA deductions and self-employment taxes have been taken from me at gunpoint for my entire working life. I could have invested that money on my own and obtained a better return, as well as having something that I could pass on to my kid if I died early. The salve for this forced expropriation was the government's promise that I would receive a certain benefit at a certain time.

As someone said above, this isn't true merely of seniors, but of *everyone working.*

I paid too. So did people younger than me. yes, their whole working lives.

There is no SS at all for us and you know it. So temper your upset over receiving less by considering that non-seniors will get either nothing or close to it.

Your taxes didn't pay for you, but for the previous generations. My taxes pay for you (and younger people pay for me).

You at least get something tangible in return. No one under 45 is so lucky.

Posted by: ace at November 10, 2010 02:55 PM (nj1bB)

169 The second-home mortgage-interest deduction mainly helps out the boat and motorhome industries. Right now, Good Sam Club members all over the country are tweeting their displeasure from their 40-foot diesel motorhomes.

I'm sure someone somewhere can tell us whether having a sink and a hotplate on a Gulfstream makes the plane deductible as a second home too.

Posted by: JEM at November 10, 2010 02:57 PM (o+SC1)

170 The mortgage interest deduction should be phased out. That way we aren't doing too much damage to those who planned their financial lives around it. Perhaps the following: Year 1, you get to deduct 98% of your interest. Year 2, 96%, year 3, 94% ...

Yes, it would take 50 years for it to go to zero, but even in 10 years, you would get rid of 20% of it.

As for SS and Medicare, we just need to keep upping the eligibility age in lock step with life expectancy, or the average number of years a recipient receives it. That isn't cutting benefits. If life expectancy goes up, that's an automatic INCREASE in the benefit. You collect the benefits longer. We need to stop that automatic increase. I much prefer to do this by raising the eligibility age when life expectancy goes up, rather than keeping life expectancy from going up.

Posted by: waiting at November 10, 2010 02:57 PM (rf5Sl)

171 Why do people always start by saying "first we will cut the fire departments and the police." Or First we will cut social security and medicare.
Screw that! I have an idea for you: cut 20% of all government offices by 20%. Fire 20% of the Governemnt employess. In every department.
This is what private companies do. They do not say "First we will stop the air conditioning" They cut everthing across the board. Employess and expenses.
Cutting my SS after I have paid into it for thirty years is unfair. Give me my $200,000 back and then you do what3ever the hell you want with SS. But not until you give me my money back.
I don't want to hear any crap about, "well we have to cut SS because we don't know where else to start" Clearly the morons in congress have no idea how to meet a budget. We need to teach them. My company has laid off more than twenty percent of the employees in the last three years. The damn government can do the same. And those damned governmetn employees can start earnign what I earn: they should not be making 30 percent more for the same job I do. Pay cuts across the board and fire 20% of them so the ones remaing will be happy to have a job with a pay cut. And if they dont' then let them quit and work in the private sector.
And NO PENSIONS for government workers. Stop those NOW. Make them participate in SS like everyone else. Or give ME a government pension and gold plated health care like senators get!

Posted by: recklessprocess at November 10, 2010 02:57 PM (oHufc)

172 and while u r listening to me. disband the IRS too..9% national sales tax....eliminate all other tax credits/deductions etc...it would result in a net gain for americans, and the economy would grow faster than ever before. thus, tax revenue would sky rocket..we would be outta debt in a few yrs...asssuming the spending gets capped...again-not gonna happen.
Hi Governor Huckabee. Yea, yea, yea, that is great campaign commercial (I'm gonna close the IRS)........except, well, who the hell do you think is going to actually collect the sales tax? Self-reporting. Yea, no one will cheat. And please, please, please, do not tell me that no one ever collects the tax and then doesn't pay it. Way too many clients in different states have been in that boat.
Now, it may be a good idea...it may be a bad idea. But a national sales tax...or a fair tax...or whatver name you want to put on it will not shut the IRS down.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 02:58 PM (OWjjx)

173 As far as I know, I have a good chunk of money deducted from my paycheck monthly for Social Security. If it's "free", it sure is costing me a lot.

*Sigh*

Once more into the breach....

You paid a tax that funds present beneficiaries. You did not contribute to a savings plan. The money taken from your check is not an asset; it is not sitting in a vault somewhere with your name on it. It has long since been spent. It's gone.

Once again: you didn't "pay into" anything. You paid a tax to support current beneficiaries of Social Security. Future taxpayers are on the hook for future benefits (unless they refuse to pay).

Posted by: Monty at November 10, 2010 02:58 PM (4Pleu)

174 Did somebody say whores?

Posted by: Charlie Sheen all naked and coked up & rarin' to go at November 10, 2010 02:59 PM (U2zrF)

175 Cutting my SS after I have paid into it for thirty years is unfair.

If it's any consolation, you're not the only one who got screwed.

Posted by: Monty at November 10, 2010 02:59 PM (4Pleu)

176 You at least get something tangible in return. No one under 55 45 is so lucky.



Posted by: ace at November 10, 2010 02:55 PM (nj1bB)FIFY

Posted by: Tami at November 10, 2010 02:59 PM (VuLos)

177 The cut to the mortgage-interest deduction is of course effectively a
hike in taxes for homeowners, but I'm not sure if that alone is a reason
to oppose it.

I'm sure people have already said it, but this tax hike would come right out of home prices, themselves, thereby putting another collection of MBSs at risk.

Besides, our culture does believe that an owned home is preferable, if one can afford it(!). That is where individual liberty really starts. And we support housing as the basis of the nuclear family.

This debt commission is a joke. Why won't Alan Simpson just go away? I thought he was dead already ... and then BOOM! He's on this pathetic commission, making snide remarks about things he's clueless on. Hopefully, this will be the last we hear from that prick.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at November 10, 2010 02:59 PM (G/MYk)

178 Eliminate:

1. Dept. of Education
2. EPA
3. Public Sector unions
4. Lifetime pensions for congress and presidents

Get back to me after that.


Posted by: Joe Mama at November 10, 2010 02:29 PM (pRKLf)
5. Corporation for Public Broadcasting6. Department of Energy7. National Endowment for the Arts.

Posted by: WalrusRex at November 10, 2010 03:00 PM (xxgag)

179 Why not reduce the mortgage deduction based purely on net worth or annual income or something along those lines? If you're not worth that much and are trying to buy your first home to start a family, you get the deduction. If you're making $18mil a year, you don't.

Posted by: Rajiv Vindaloo at November 10, 2010 03:00 PM (BZ2Bm)

180 You're right, but before we gore our own ox we'd like to see substantial cuts in the number of government employees, in pork projects, and in other handouts. Only then does giving up a personal benefit seem reasonable.

Posted by: Paul at November 10, 2010 03:01 PM (n/RRT)

181 Excuse me Dread Pirate Neck Beard, or whatever, I don't plan on retiring any time soon. I can understand if the younger generation wants to do something else like privatizing social security or whatever they want to call it, but when you've paid in for 30 years and worked your whole life with at least 25 more years to go before even thinking about collecting social security, that money needs to be there. They stole it from us with their crap about lock boxes and whatever. If I was told at the age of 20 or 25 that it wasn't going to be there that'd be another thing, but we weren't.
Sorry about your thousands of dollars worth of tools, but it's a stupid analogy since I haven't received or owned those tools yet. So basically my tools were stolen before I received them in the mail must be your point.
If I am going to collect on someone else's back then who was collecting on my back? Because I paid my tax dollars into a system that said I was be getting X dollars at age 67. I keep getting a nice nifty little paper from the Government telling me how much money i've put in and my employers have put in so what's the deal.
How about going after the people who haven't put shit in.

Posted by: Jaimo at November 10, 2010 03:01 PM (9U1OG)

182 In the discussion here regarding home mortgage interest deduction, this appears to have been overlooked:

Looks like the mortgage thing only applies to 2nd homes and mortgages over 500K ...

Posted by: ya2daup at November 10, 2010 03:01 PM (UzjcV)

183 Posted by: Rajiv Vindaloo at November 10, 2010 03:00 PM (BZ2Bm)

Because means testing is specifically redistribution of wealth. Its why I favor a Flat Tax, and removal of all (or all but one) deductions.

Either you can afford the house, or you can't. If you can't, then rent. And: work hard, save, and eventually buy the house when you can afford it.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:02 PM (8y9MW)

184 Exactly. Do those (Ace, I'm looking at you) who make this claim actually know what "Medicare/aid" actually spends our $ on? (short answer - no)
Sure, one can correctly claim that Medicare is the 800 lb gorilla - but one must also note the vast sums spent under the "Medicare" umbrella that have nothing whatsoever to do with either "health" or "care" - in simpler terms, much of Medicare spending is nothing more than transfer payments...
Posted by: Zombie Gunnery Sergeant Hartman at November 10, 2010 02:54 PM
And many retirees have a monthly deduction of $110 from their Social Security to pay for Medicare Part B. Then they have to get a MediGap policy that costs anywhere from $60-$200 a month more to cover the rest. Not at all easy to do on any retirement plan. And then there is Part D, the Prescription drug plan which also is deducted and usually requires another policy as a supplement. In order to qualify for Medicaid(no cost) a person cannot make more than 100% of the poverty level determined by the state they live in...usually around $900 a month, which includes Social Security.

Posted by: Deanna at November 10, 2010 03:03 PM (OLXIi)

185 173, Monty...
Yes, we know that the various taxes didn't go into a specific fund (lockbox, anyone?)...
The point is that more taxes were taken under the guise of future payouts, and no one seems interested in speaking the plain truth, that is, sorry about the payout promise there...

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:03 PM (/ueuy)

186 Been reading a few of the last comments after Ace's post. Folks. The damage that everyone feared from all these gov. goodies; SS, Medicare, etc., is happening in its worst scenario right now. If all we do is debate the what-ifs, thepros and cons, while doing basically nothing (which I'm afraid will happen) the USA will go into bankruptcy. And the only thing that we have right now to square it with our debtors (China)is land. Get ready for it. What we're seeing right now is thedismantling of the United States of America.

Posted by: Soona at November 10, 2010 03:03 PM (TTW5g)

187 I always liked the line: "You think that your healthcare is expensive now, just wait until it is free!" I think it fits with SS and medicare, too.
You know, we'd never have these problems with the old family unit: Old folks going to live with and be taken care of by their grown children and their families. It's just likesingle parented kids more likely end up in poverty and taking way more in government benefits over their lifetimes.
It's like the social cons were absolutely correct or something weird like that...

Posted by: Log Cabin at November 10, 2010 03:04 PM (Y8b3a)

188 Overall, that sounds pretty good to me. The cut to the
mortgage-interest deduction is of course effectively a hike in taxes for
homeowners, but I'm not sure if that alone is a reason to oppose it.

OK I am biased because this one does affect me. But I do feel just a tad betrayed by this stupid idea. It has all sorts of negative impacts. But the bottom line is that tax increases on the middle class, already paying medieval feudal tax rates to our lords and masters is not the way to fiscal viability. In the long run, the depression in taking all that money away from mostly middle class families will just cause less spending further economic depression and not likely much more money brought in by government. Not to mention that the adverse affects on the housing market that no sane person would apply in a severe recession. No no no. Perhaps Taxed Enough Already has not exactly sunk in?

Cut the budget until it is within the receipts of the government.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose at November 10, 2010 03:04 PM (0q2P7)

189 i'm sick and tired of assholes saying if someone makes over x they are not entitled to a tax break....who the hell do you think pays for everything? talk about subsidizing mediocrity! for God's sake the only people that deserve any break at all or the biggest break are the people at the top....who pays the most taxes dollar wise? and percentage wise? yeah let's keep sticking it to them....

Posted by: phoenixgirl at November 10, 2010 03:04 PM (eOXTH)

190 #181 but when you've paid in for 30 years and worked your whole life with at
least 25 more years to go before even thinking about collecting social
security, that money needs to be there.

Your frustration is understandable, but a) the money isn't going to be there, since SS was a Ponzi scheme to begin with and SS was ultimately untenable once people started to live much longer on average than age 65, b) the US Supreme Court has already ruled that there is no contractual right to receive Social Security payments.


Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 10, 2010 03:05 PM (9hSKh)

191 153 OT: Boehner says he will continue to fly commercial as Speaker.

Suck it Nancy.
Posted by: Tami at November 10, 2010 02:50 PM (VuLos)

He'll be third in order of succession. The Secret Service will pitch a fit, and he'll capitulate.

Posted by: joncelli, struggling to keep his Man Card at November 10, 2010 03:06 PM (RD7QR)

192 So, if there's this much unwillingness to face the reality of entitlements at a place like AoS, I'm going to say it's not going to go over well with the (less fiscally conservative) general population.

What could go wrong?

Posted by: DrewM. at November 10, 2010 03:06 PM (HicGG)

193 87
you do get to deduct the sales tax when you buy a new car, correct?Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 02:27 PM (wuv1c)

No, you don't at the federal level; you might be able do so in some states.

Posted by: ya2daup at November 10, 2010 03:06 PM (UzjcV)

194 2010 baseline? right, that commission is a joke.

This isn't super easy, but its not that hard either. Everyone of us could offer 3 things to cut the deficit substantially that the public would readily accept but they won't do it. Making 2010 the baseline shows me nothing serious will ever come out of this. Its a waste of time and guess what else? your tax dollars.


Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 10, 2010 03:06 PM (JcRgg)

195 Posted by: Jaimo at November 10, 2010 03:01 PM (9U1OG)

Okay, you're either not getting it, or refusing to get it, and I'm not sure which it is.

You got taken for a ride. It was involuntary; you had no choice, but a ride it was, nevertheless.

You paid for the people before you. We'll be paying for you. Our kids, too, for that matter. Our kids and their kids will pay for us, and on it goes.

That letter you got from the SS Admin about how much money is in your account? It was a lie. There was no account, there was no money.

So, be devastated. Be angry. Be indignant. But also be realistic: the money isn't there. It wasn't even there when the "lockbox" was created anyway.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:07 PM (8y9MW)

196 Under the current system.....and with current lifespan, the odds are actually pretty good your going to pull more out than you put in. Again, Social Security taxes cap at a certain level of income. Depending on what age you retire, level of benefits and how long you actually live.....you'll probably pull out more than you put in.
Can you please cite from a source other than "out of my ass"? SS cap is now $107,000, far higher than those who are collecting now had to pay in even after adjusting for inflation. And current payers into the system and their employers are paying DOUBLE the rate that the average SS recipient in their mid to late 70's paid into the system.

Posted by: Mook at November 10, 2010 03:08 PM (pURWe)

197 190 #181 but when you've paid in for 30 years and worked your whole life with at least 25 more years to go before even thinking about collecting social security, that money needs to be there.Your frustration is understandable, but a) the money isn't going to be there, since SS was a Ponzi scheme to begin with and SS was ultimately untenable once people started to live much longer on average than age 65, b) the US Supreme Court has already ruled that there is no contractual right to receive Social Security payments.Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 10, 2010 03:05 PM (9hSKh)

Exactly. You were lied to about how Social Security works. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Mtenloch at November 10, 2010 03:09 PM (pAlYe)

198 OT: Apparently there is a talking head over at CNN named John King. He went full Ed Schultz over some technical problems. "I wish I'd brought a gun to work!"

Posted by: WalrusRex at November 10, 2010 03:09 PM (xxgag)

199 Far too much hand-wringing here. I read this piece by Peter Ferrara last week that described Congressman Ryan's (new chair of Appropriations) approach, and I think it is correct.
Basically, he's going to take the spending cuts and tell Obama to go eff himself. Easy on the hand-wringing. Trust in Paul Ryan.

Posted by: Eeeeeeeyore at November 10, 2010 03:09 PM (Z10U7)

200

He'll be third in order of succession. The Secret Service will pitch a fit, and he'll capitulate.



Posted by: joncelli, struggling to keep his Man Card at November 10, 2010 03:06 PM (RD7QR


I have talked to our security folks about the security that is involved
in my new role, Boehner told reporters at a Capitol news conference
today. But over the last 20 years, I have flown back and forth to my
district on a commercial aircraft and Im going to continue to do that.

Posted by: Tami at November 10, 2010 03:09 PM (VuLos)

201 Well if that's the case, stop taking Social Security out of my paycheck each week and we'll call it even then.

Posted by: Jaimo at November 10, 2010 03:10 PM (9U1OG)

202
>>> Looks like the mortgage thing only applies to 2nd homes and mortgages over 500K, not entirely.
The mortgage interest deduction only applies to your primary residence. You can only have 1 primary residence.... so I don't know what this line even means. And it doesn't apply to rental income either... you have to live in your primary residence for it to be eligible for a interest payment deduction.

If you are deducting interest payments on a 2nd house, or a house that you don't live in, then you will get nailed if you get audited.

Posted by: dan-O at November 10, 2010 03:10 PM (bRLuD)

203 #188,
Deanna makes an excellent point - "Medicare" takes in additional monies (we used to call those taxes), but we don't see those dollars applied to the overall"cost" of Medicare.
The reality is that "Medicare" could be slashed - by a serious amount - and have little or even no reduction in actual payments to recipients. It would take serious politcal will, though, and is thus highly unlikely...

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:10 PM (/ueuy)

204 "I'm going to say it's not going to go over well with the (less fiscally conservative) general population."
I say, "True Dat!" Holy shit, the screaming will be huge. The first party to actually pass and sign this stuff will be absolutely destroyed at the ballot box. It will make this last election look like a minor disagreement.
We're screwed.

Posted by: Log Cabin at November 10, 2010 03:11 PM (Y8b3a)

205 A cynic could look at the election results and be very depressed. If you look by age breakdown, Republicans won because of the senior citizens vote, who may have been spooked by ObamaCare's affect on their entitlement goodies.

Is the Tea Party one big joke?

Posted by: Spike at November 10, 2010 03:12 PM (wtnmC)

206 Second, the average tax rate for social security tax rate is 12.4 percent, of which you, the employee, pay 6.2 and your employer the other. Thus, 1/2 of your social security obligation was financed by someone else, namely, your employer.
Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 02:39 PM (OWjjx)
I don't think this is accurate. The employee paid that 12.4 percent. He just has been bamboozled into thinking he is only paying 6.2%
(For ease of math, let ignore the limit of $76,200 on this following example)
I want to hire an employee. He is worth $100,000 in compensation. If my cash outflow for hiring this guy is more than $100,000 I won't hire him.
So I'm prepared to offer him $100,000.
And he is cool with it. He knows that he'll have to pay $6,200 to the feds, but that still leaves him with a healthycash in handof $93,800. (Ignore all other taxes)
But then the feds tell me that I'll have to kick in $6,200 as well. Meaning that my cash outlays for the year would be $106,200. That is too high. I can only pay $100,000.
So what do I do?
I don't offer him $100,000. I offer him $93,800 as salary. And then he pays his $6,200 to the feds. Leaving him with only $87,600, cash in hand.
But since his W2 and paystub never mentions MY contribution of $6,200, he thinks he only got taked 6.2%, not 12.4%.
He was hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amok.

Posted by: ed at November 10, 2010 03:13 PM (QLhy5)

207 Why not reduce the mortgage deduction based purely on net worth or
annual income or something along those lines? If you're not worth that
much and are trying to buy your first home to start a family, you get
the deduction. If you're making $18mil a year, you don't.

Not to take a shot at you as I have seen similar comments above, but this is exactly how a 70,000 page tax code came into being. Repeat after me, the federal govt should not be picking winners and losers with tax policy.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 10, 2010 03:13 PM (JcRgg)

208 Then it's Trillions of dollars of wealth that never existed.I also don't buy that it would be a "redistribution of wealth." It would devalue certain assets (houses) but would not (at least, not intrinsically) increase the value of any others. It would no more be a redistribution of wealth than if the stock market collapsed again: yes, that "wealth" (largely imaginary) would be erased, but its not like it would go to other people.
You are talking in circles. You and I both agree that if the mortgage deduction went away that there would be mass forclosures that would lead to the overall cost of housing being substantially reduced.
The housing price deduction would be on the backs of those who currently own the housing and the lower prices would benefit those who do not. Yet you say that is not a redistrubution of wealth. Want to square that circle for me?
It's totally disingenuous to make a claim that the wealth never existed. That is an insane comment. It certainly did exist before the rules were changed, then it was taken away.
It is the same as if you owned your home and there were no tax deductions and over the years you built up equity in it. Then one day the government came along and said we are going toreduce housing pricesto 1985 values. It's no different.
Your comparison to the stock market is insane. People don't need stocks to live in. If a stock goes bust it goes bust. If a home price get's cut in half someone buys it and lives in it. There is no comparison.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:13 PM (hVDig)

209 Cutting my SS after I have paid into it for thirty years is unfair.

You lose!

You get - NOTHING!

Good DAY, sir!









I SAID GOOD DAY!

Posted by: Willy Wonka, CPA at November 10, 2010 03:13 PM (Wluvb)

210 Start with the crap that can and should be cut. Bloated government agencies and programs with tons of useless employees, entitlements for illegals, nonsensical perks and bonuses for officials, etc. Trim the fat, then get to the hard stuff like SS and Medicare. It would be a good start at any rate
Exactly. Federal/Steve/Local govt.employees retiring at 90% of their highest yr salary at age 51 with full medical benefits? Not a priority.

Posted by: Mook at November 10, 2010 03:14 PM (pURWe)

211 not true dan

you are entitled to write off interest on mortgage interest up to 1million on your first and second home....your second home must qualify as a second home...

Posted by: phoenixgirl at November 10, 2010 03:14 PM (eOXTH)

212 119
First, their is a cap on social security taxes,
after $76,200, you no longer pay on social security.Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 02:39 PM (OWjjx)

Try $106,800, not $76,200.

Posted by: ya2daup at November 10, 2010 03:14 PM (UzjcV)

213 #192,
What unwillingness? Vast sums of the "entitlement" spending never make it to their intended recipients. He**, I'm old and am more than willing to see thousands of Medicare looking for work in the private sector...

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:15 PM (/ueuy)

214 i'm sick and tired of assholes saying if someone makes over x they are not entitled to a tax break....who the hell do you think pays for everything?

Well, the rich don't pay for most houses.

If you want to talk purely about income tax rates, that's one thing. But mortgage deductions are a whole different ball of wax. The reason they were created in the first place was purely to encourage home ownership, especially at the middle-to-low end - something that is (generally) a very good thing for both the purchaser and the economy in general. The rich need no such encouragement whatsoever to buy/build a new home; they're going to do it regardless, and to them the deduction is just free money for the sake of free money.

I've no quibble with them taking it - I will always max out whatever tax breaks are available to me whether I'm worth one dollar or one billion - but there's no question it's a deduction that was never intended for them. They're just along for the ride.

Posted by: Rajiv Vindaloo at November 10, 2010 03:15 PM (BZ2Bm)

215 Is the Tea Party one big joke?

No, not at all. I think Americans of all ages are properly alarmed at the growth of government and the runaway federal spending.

However, the issue of entitlements (as we have seen right in this comment thread) is a very contentious one, and has a clear line between young(er) and old(er). If you start messing with people's livelihoods (necessary though it may be), you're going to have a lot of unrest on your hands. Hell, look at what's happening in Britain and France right now -- they're rioting in the streets.

You think that won't happen here? Think again.

This story won't have a happy ending.

Posted by: Monty at November 10, 2010 03:16 PM (4Pleu)

216 Once again: you didn't "pay into" anything. You paid a tax to support current beneficiaries of Social Security. Future taxpayers are on the hook for future benefits (unless they refuse to pay). Which makes it even worse in reality. The comforting dream that somewhere is sitting your chunk of change is dashed in the harsh light of a ponzi scheme that you'll never get the benefit of....
Rotten sentence structure, but yaknowaddamean.

Posted by: EZB at November 10, 2010 03:16 PM (Ty06w)

217 dan-O - not true.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html

Posted by: JEM at November 10, 2010 03:17 PM (o+SC1)

218 OT: Some good snark from NRO on the issue of the new cigarette labeling.

Posted by: WalrusRex at November 10, 2010 03:17 PM (xxgag)

219 "In the discussion here regarding home mortgage interest deduction, this appears to have been overlooked:

Looks like the mortgage thing only applies to 2nd homes and mortgages over 500K ..."

That is fine if you live in flyover country, but here in SoCal that leaves 300k of my mortgage on my modest 2500 sq.ft. home taxable. That means $450 per month tax increase or $5400 per year.

Tack onto that losing the deduction for my outrageous State taxes, I'll be doomed.

Posted by: tommylotto at November 10, 2010 03:17 PM (oHIHU)

220 The Fair Tax plan solves all the problems, plus makes the U.S. the premier tax haven for anyone in the world with money.

If the Fair Taxwere instituted, businesses would be crazy to locate anywhere else.

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 03:17 PM (wBISB)

221 If we had REAL conservatives like Mike castle in the Senate, we wouldn't be having this discussion. IT'S WITCHCRAFT, I TELL YOU!!

Posted by: Ace's Poon at November 10, 2010 03:18 PM (G5qLy)

222 The reason they were created in the first place was purely to encourage home ownership, especially at the middle-to-low end Buy Votes.

FIFY.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 10, 2010 03:18 PM (JcRgg)

223 #206 - Thanks, ed. I wonder how much better off we'd be if more were self employed/payed their own taxes...

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:18 PM (/ueuy)

224 Regarding Social Security...

You'll get nothing, and like it!

Posted by: Judge Elihu Smails at November 10, 2010 03:19 PM (mAhn3)

225 It's totally disingenuous to make a claim that the wealth never existed. That is an insane comment. It certainly did exist before the rules were changed, then it was taken away.
Inflated assets, including housing prices donot equal "wealth". Just as inflated tech stocks in late 90's didn't = wealth. It was a bubble. We've had a tech bubble, a housing bubble and a tech bubble. Bubbles are not wealth, and it's irrelevant whether you "need" one asset more than the other

Posted by: Mook at November 10, 2010 03:19 PM (pURWe)

226 If Social Security is just a tax that we pay in with no expectation of getting some sort of return on our money, how come there are Government unions like the Post Office or even some teacher's unions don't have to contribute to social security because they have a pension?
If social security is only a tax with no reasonable expectation of a return, why are unions and quasi-government employees exempt from having to pay into social security because they have pensions?

Posted by: Jaimo at November 10, 2010 03:19 PM (9U1OG)

227 So, if there's this much unwillingness to face the reality of entitlements at a place like AoS, I'm going to say it's not going to go over well with the (less fiscally conservative) general population. What could go wrong?
Posted by: DrewM. at November 10, 2010 03:06 PM (HicGG)

Who is John Galt?

Posted by: Soona at November 10, 2010 03:19 PM (TTW5g)

228 212 119First, their is a cap on social security taxes, after $76,200, you no longer pay on social security.Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 02:39 PM (OWjjx)Try $106,800, not $76,200.
Posted by: ya2daup at November 10, 2010 03:14 PM (UzjcV)
There won't be a cap if I can help it. *smirk*

Posted by: B+rry Ob+owmao at November 10, 2010 03:20 PM (RxKvG)

229 PS, should've read:
see thousands of Medicareworkerslooking

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:20 PM (/ueuy)

230 Does anyone know if the Feds or the States can say to the public employees: "We're broke. Your pay and benefits are hearby reduced by half. Suck it."
Can they legally do it? Could they if they go bankrupt? Can they legally go bankrupt, like any entitiy? Should we declare bankruptcy as a nation?
I know, too many questions. This stuff is over my head.

Posted by: Log Cabin at November 10, 2010 03:21 PM (Y8b3a)

231 Pay More! Get Less!

Posted by: Social Security Lite at November 10, 2010 03:21 PM (RxKvG)

232 "In the discussion here regarding home mortgage interest deduction, this appears to have been overlooked: Looks like the mortgage thing only applies to 2nd homes and mortgages over 500K ..."
If that's the case you and every apartment dweller can look forward to paying more taxes.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:21 PM (hVDig)

233 Skip this panel. Pass a Balanced Budget Act. Then everything will sort itself out.

Posted by: ingenus at November 10, 2010 03:21 PM (+sBB4)

234 I'm for any and all solutions so long as once we decide -anyone still living, who had any hand whatsoever in the complete screwing of their countrymen, lose all of their personal or trust assets and are frog-marched into prison on PPV TV. But before ANY of that:
Cut government personel by 20%, and all remaining government salaries by 20%.
Return to 2007 budget levels and reduce THAT by 10%.

Posted by: Abiss at November 10, 2010 03:22 PM (1ilyW)

235 Posted by: waiting at November 10, 2010 02:57 PM (rf5Sl)

that would actually be fair. As you would begin paying extra payments, as many as you could to increase the deduction as the rate of taxation goes down. More people would then pay off their mortgages faster.

You could then put into place that, henceforth there will be no mortgage interest deduction and people would know this going.

But, the real estate brokers lobby would go nuts cause people might not do as much buying and selling then.

Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 03:22 PM (p302b)

236 I propose the only tax increase that will lead to 20% growth.

Tax lawyers.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 10, 2010 03:23 PM (5XEQ2)

237 How about cutting off all SS payments that go overseas.
I have family in Ireland.. worked here for a year... are now retiring (there of, course) and collecting US SS benefits.
If you dont live here.. you dont get SS.
If you are rich enough to retire to some foreign country.. you shouldnt get it either.

Posted by: Timbo at November 10, 2010 03:23 PM (ph9vn)

238 One thing they could cut is children from SS, children who have graduated from high school and means test the rest. Next up, remove all alcholics and drug addicts, if you want to continue you this behavior it won't be because I'm enabling you to do it with my tax dollars.

The problem with SS and SSI is the ever expanding purpose of it. If it was to supplement the incomes of those over 65, okay, yet it seems that anyone and everyone is trying to qualify irregardless of age.

Posted by: SJR2 at November 10, 2010 03:23 PM (oCbCP)

239 Where is Michelle Malkin's "head banging against the wall" graphic when you need it? Just what makes it so hard for people to understand that SS is a PONZI scheme?! Yes, you paid in (so did I - age 52 - , and so did my husband, and so did your neighbor. Get over it). You will never see a penny of that money again. It's gone, spent, vanished. Those receiving these ENTITLEMENTS which the Supreme Court has ruled are a TAX get far more than they ever paid in. On what basis do you all assume you would have saved and/or invested that money and that you are thus entitled to a refund plus interest? I'm all for cuts in welfare, subsidized housing, and any monies spent on illegal immigrants (including all the baby mamas and Aunt Zeituni), but as someone noted earlier, that's chump change. Social security, Medicare, and Medicaid account for 40% of the federal budget. We cannot continue tinkering around the edges. Everyone's ox must be gored. There's not enough cheese to go around with all this whining. What a bunch of self righteous crybabies.

Posted by: Sheila at November 10, 2010 03:24 PM (8OQiE)

240 Social Security is having difficulty paying the promised benefits because only Americans are contributing to the system.

Institute the Fair Tax plan so that illegal aliens, tourists, drug dealers, pimps and everyone else helps pay the costs.

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 03:24 PM (wBISB)

241 On instituting a sales tax and eradicating the IRS, the States would collect the sales tax since most or all already do so you wouldn't need the IRS in it's present form.

Posted by: Dr. Spank at November 10, 2010 03:24 PM (Y81Xa)

242 Who is DrewM??

Posted by: DrewM's Poon at November 10, 2010 03:25 PM (G5qLy)

243 Um ok.

The real estate market is in trouble so the answer is to take away one of the biggest motivators to buy real estate?

Would take only a Democrat to come up with that one. The increase of tax revenues from this idiotic idea would be far offset by the loss of tax revenues because people aren't buying homes.

That's the problem with Democrats, they always think the pie remains the same size no matter what they do. When you take a bigger piece of a smaller pie you get less pie numb nuts. ::facepalm::

Posted by: Bill Mitchell at November 10, 2010 03:26 PM (Baf0e)

244 Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:13 PM (hVDig)

Of course its the same.

I bought my house for (roughly) $130,000. According to the Tax Appraiser, my house is now worth $110,000 dollars. However, since I'm not selling the house now, that "value" is completely meaningless. It, for all intents and purposes, does not exist.

When I'm ready to sell my house, it will be worth whatever the market says it is worth- regardless of what any Tax Appraiser says. That is, if I can get $260,000 for it, I will. If I can only get $85,000 for it (and that will cover whatever is left of my mortgage- at minimum) I will. The value of my home only exists anywhere other than paper when my home is interacting with the market (read: being sold).

Stocks are exactly the same way. If I by $100.00 of Ronco stock today, the price fluctuation of Ronco's stock has nothing to due with the value of my x shares of stock- until the point at which I sell them.

And, no, no one "needs" to live in a purchased home. They do need a roof over their heads. Yes, home ownership is good for a variety of reasons. Yes, owning ones own home (especially if we could get rid of some of the stupid regulations there, too) provides a great deal more freedom than living in a rented apartment or house. But it is not a necessity.

You say:
"The housing price deduction would be on the backs of those who
currently own the housing and the lower prices would benefit those who
do not. Yet you say that is not a redistrubution of wealth. Want to
square that circle for me?"

If I'm selling my home, I will not (cannot, really) sell it for less than it would take to (at least) pay off my mortgage. If home prices are depressed enough that I would take a soaking selling my home, I would have to have a large inducement in some other aspect of my life to make me sell my house in that circumstance.

As already shown, even if home prices in general drop, my home value does not change at all until I'm ready to sell it, so I haven't actually lost any wealth. Similarly, when someone who couldn't afford a home when prices were at $130,000 can at $85,000 (to use my earlier numbers), they don't suddenly have $130,000 dollars additional wealth (well, $45,000 when you do the math), they have an asset worth $85,000 dollars- for which they paid that amount. That asset can appreciate or depreciate in value just like any other long-term asset. Just as my home will continue to appreciate or depreciate just like any other long-term asset.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:26 PM (8y9MW)

245 1. Dept. of Education2. EPA3. Public Sector unions4. Lifetime pensions for congress and presidentsGet back to me after that.
Posted by: Joe Mama at November 10, 2010 02:29 PM (pRKLf)
5. Corporation for Public Broadcasting
6. Department of Energy
7. National Endowment for the Arts.
And lets illustrate the point Ace and other were making. Lets just assume we can wipe these out. Where does that leave us.
Start with the base numbers. US government budget last year was 3.518 Trillion. Now, lets wipe these numbers out..............
Department of Education.........68.6 billion. This also includes Pell Grants and other college education aid. But, that is out of there
EPA............14.4 billion.
Public Sector Unions - hmmm.........not sure how to monetize this. You will not get rid of government employees. But, lets say you at least equalize the pay rate between public and private sector wages, benefits, etc. Now, there is a ton of different ways to do the math...but for our purposes, lets just take average wage in the private sector for middle management type (per Pay Scale) which is 39,322 and the average wage for a federal government employee of $46,789 (per public purpose website) then take that difference ($7,467) and multiply it by all non-military government employees ( 2.15 million per the Washington Times) and your saving are..............1.720 billion.
Lifetime Pensons: Again, hard to quantify that. Remember, if you kick them into social security, you have to pick up the 6.2 percent employer contribution to ssi. The average pension is around $162,00 per year. There are about 320 or so retired congresscritters eligilbe for this pension. Your savings.....................$51.85 Million.
Thus, thanks to Joe Mamma, we have saved a grand total of.........84.77 billion. Sadly, our total budget shortfall was 1.3 Trillion for 2009. So, your gonna have to cut some more somewhere.
So, lets take the next three items espoused for the dustbin, Public Broadcasting (422 Million), Department of Energy (26.4 billion) and National Edowment of the Arts (155 million). So, we can add another 27 billion saved to the already 84.77 billion saved and you 2 have saved us 111.77 billion. Or about 1/10th of the operating shortfall for 2010.
Point: There is no easy way to solve this mess without goring your own ox.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 03:26 PM (OWjjx)

246 It's obvious that voters aren't ready to face the enormity of the bind we are in, and it will take a Greek-style meltdown before we have serious *discussions* about entitlement reform.

Actually eliminating the unsustainable welfare state may require civil war.

Posted by: Spike at November 10, 2010 03:27 PM (wtnmC)

247 More playful otters and smoking monkeys, or I will go back to looking at porn, this fiscal shit is hard.

Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 03:27 PM (xkJak)

248 So we're already surethat the tea party is phony, and that they won't support cuts in SS, and that Republicans will cave. Yet we're 2 months from congress convening. Great. I'm so glad I checked in.

Posted by: exceller at November 10, 2010 03:28 PM (jx2Td)

249 Every single time tax rates have been cut, the economy roared back to life and deficits decreased.

EVERY F*CKING TIME.

Yet the Dimwitocrats just don't get it.

The point is, the broker we all are and the more dependent upon government we all are, the more powerful Democrats become.

Posted by: Bill Mitchell at November 10, 2010 03:28 PM (Baf0e)

250 Deanna makes an excellent point - "Medicare" takes in additional monies (we used to call those taxes), but we don't see those dollars applied to the overall"cost" of Medicare.
The reality is that "Medicare" could be slashed - by a serious amount - and have little or even no reduction in actual payments to recipients. It would take serious politcal will, though, and is thus highly unlikely...
Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:10 PM
Thanks. About Medicare, no it isn't free to many of the recipients. Iget the impressionsome here think it is. As I said in an earlier post many SS retirees have $94-$110 deducted from their SS each month to pay forPart B.I often wondered how this is figured into the budget. Only about 13% of Medicare beneficiaries recive Medicaid so that means 87% have a premium deducted from their Social Security of whin 25% of the toal beneficiaries pay even more.
Also.."About 75 percent of SMI Part B and Part D expenditures are paid from Federal general fund revenues, with most of the remaining costs covered by monthly premiums charged to enrollees. Part B and Part D premium amounts are based on methods defined in law and increase as the estimated costs of those programs rise."

Posted by: Deanna at November 10, 2010 03:29 PM (OLXIi)

251 Inflated assets, including housing prices do not equal "wealth". Just as inflated tech stocks in late 90's didn't = wealth. It was a bubble. We've had a tech bubble, a housing bubble and a tech bubble. Bubbles are not wealth, and it's irrelevant whether you "need" one asset more than the other

No, the value of assets are always determined by rules, if you can't kick out squatters, ownership value is less; if you have rent control, ownership value is less; if you can deduct mortgage interest, ownership value is greater. The rules governing all assets determine its value. You change the rules you change the value. Mortgage interest deduction has been the rule for a long time, the value of property has been based on it. To change the rule after all these years is the government deciding losers -- those foolish enough to buy before the rule change; and winners -- those in the market after the rule change.

Posted by: tommylotto at November 10, 2010 03:29 PM (oHIHU)

252 On instituting a sales tax and eradicating the IRS, the States would collect the sales tax since most or all already do so you wouldn't need the IRS in it's present form
The state's collect them because its a state tax. And since not all state's have sales tax - who is going to collect it then. And all state's have unemployment taxes as well...yet the IRS is also involved in collecting federal unemployment taxes, so why are they (the IRS) doing this if the state's can....
Sorry, a federal sales tax will result in the IRS just collecting the federal sales tax.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 03:29 PM (OWjjx)

253 Not to take a shot at you as I have seen similar comments above, but
this is exactly how a 70,000 page tax code came into being. Repeat
after me, the federal govt should not be picking winners and losers with
tax policy.

OK Deal just cut my taxes overall to make up the difference. And be prepared for when the US becomes a society of renters.

If you were really interested in a perfectly fair system. The government would ignore everything, how old you were, how much you made, each citizen would have an identical tax burden, probably around $30k or $40k a head; Assessed regardless of your actual ability to pay. How's that for not picking winners and losers?


Posted by: MikeTheMoose at November 10, 2010 03:30 PM (0q2P7)

254 240 Social Security is having difficulty paying the promised benefits because only Americans are contributing to the system.Institute the Fair Tax plan so that illegal aliens, tourists, drug dealers, pimps and everyone else helps pay the costs.Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 03:24 PM (wBISB)

Yes, but most illegals are working (and paying FICA) using fake or stolen Social Security numbers and very few collect any Social Security payments. So apart from their other costs illegals are actually a net gain for SS.

Posted by: Mtenloch at November 10, 2010 03:30 PM (pAlYe)

255 Yea, not caring too much about the mortgage interest deduction, I can eat that, but the Social Security thing really pisses me off. I don't begrudge the old people from getting what they've worked hard for, but a lot of them have been retired for 20 - 30 years, that wasn't the original plan. Hell my Grandmother collected off my Grandfather $800 a month give or take for 40 years and died at 99 a year ago. She collected way more than what Gramps put in.
Still they should be protected. FICA max needs to be addressed. Is there a maximum amount of dollars you can get a month regardless of how much money you put into the system upon retirement?
Raising the retirement age is a good idea (not for the more undereducated youngsters looking for work) to be sure, but as long as you have a few brain cells left and aren't sick or injured you should be able to work long after the age of 67 which I plan to do.
My husband's shot to hell, but I drive a desk everyday so it's no sweatfor me to keep working.

Posted by: Jaimo at November 10, 2010 03:31 PM (9U1OG)

256 Maybe we should put off freaking out over debt.. and get America back to work.
Do anything to get America to come back.
Then.. once there is more tax revenue.. start cutting the deficit.

Posted by: Timbo at November 10, 2010 03:31 PM (ph9vn)

257 I don't care how much SocSec tax anyone paid. SocSec is just a federal income tax with its own entry on the ledger. You paid the tax, were promised there would be handouts in the future and were lied to. You had money taken and given to someone that wasn't working, like the entire working population of this country. The length of time you are fucked by this system does not entitle you to turn around and fuck someone else.

Only one person is entitled to a worker's pay: that worker. If you believe differently, you are the problem.

Posted by: shillelagh at November 10, 2010 03:32 PM (Oz4Bj)

258 Kill the NEA, NEH and cap all NSF overhead at 20%.

Posted by: AmishDude at November 10, 2010 03:32 PM (5XEQ2)

259 If social security is only a tax with no reasonable expectation of a
return, why are unions and quasi-government employees exempt from having
to pay into social security because they have pensions?

Political connections. Favored constituencies. Federal Govt picking winners and losers.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 10, 2010 03:32 PM (JcRgg)

260 Try $106,800, not $76,200.
Your right. Grabbed the wrong binder. And, it was formally 92,400 (2005).

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 03:32 PM (OWjjx)

261 236I propose the only tax increase that will lead to 20% growth. Tax lawyers.
Hey Amishdude, you shouldn't make fun of lawyers. They are real smart. Law school is real hard.
They learn logic and rational analysis.
They aren't like some mouthbreathing chick lit type.
They are super scary smart.
Analytical. Like mathematics.

Posted by: ed at November 10, 2010 03:33 PM (QLhy5)

262 247
More playful otters and smoking monkeys, or I will go back to looking at porn, this fiscal shit is hard.

Looking at the breadth of our fiscal situation ought to make you feel much more screwed than fapping to decadence.

/Although the former is a "not in a good way" boning.

Posted by: Kratos (Ghost of Sparta) at November 10, 2010 03:33 PM (9hSKh)

263 Posted by: Jaimo at November 10, 2010 03:19 PM (9U1OG)

Because it's a scam.

Posted by: Bill Mitchell at November 10, 2010 03:26 PM (Baf0e)


You're probably right about (at least short term) the revenue neutrality of the proposal, but I'd say letting the bottom drop out of the housing market is the only sane way (and I'm willing to bet a whole lot faster than any form of government intervention) to get back to what the real price of real-estate should be.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:33 PM (8y9MW)

264 What a bunch of self righteous crybabies.
Posted by: Sheila at November 10, 2010 03:24 PM (8OQiE)

Oh, I so agree with you. Suck it up, you pussies. None of this is going to be easy. As a matter of fact, it's going to be damned hard and it will happen one way or another. I'd rather see controlled massive cuts in gov. than see my country torn apart by the chaos if it's not. This thread is an excellent example of what happens when intellectuals try to run anything.

Posted by: Soona at November 10, 2010 03:33 PM (TTW5g)

265 That asset can appreciate or depreciate in value just like any other long-term asset. Just as my home will continue to appreciate or depreciate just like any other long-term asset.
Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:26 PM (8y9MW)
You are looking no further than the end of your nose and leaving out factors a whole bunch of people have to deal with. Like the following.
1. What if you get transferred and have to sell your $130,00 home for your new utopian price of $65,000.
2. What if you were depending on the interest deduction to be able to make your payments on your $130,000 home and it gets forclosed on and is sold at the court house for $65,000.
3. What if you get fired and you have to relocate and have to sell your $130,000 home for $65,000.
You get the idea? You will lose your down payment and any equity your built up. But your dowpayment didn't exist anyways right?
jeebus

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:35 PM (hVDig)

266 OT: Naked burglar + mouse. Some assembly required.

Posted by: WalrusRex at November 10, 2010 03:35 PM (xxgag)

267
Kill the NEA, NEH and cap all NSF overhead at 20%.

Keep the NSFW!

Posted by: WalrusRex at November 10, 2010 03:36 PM (xxgag)

268 Gosh, why isn't 'eliminate federal overreach by shuttering or reducing the size of the 100s of different departments' on the list?

All we're going to end up with is a proposal to increase taxes. Nothing will be cut but we'll all pay more in taxes. The higher taxes will then be spent on new entitlements and other bullshit. Rinse and repeat.

Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 03:36 PM (x7g7t)

269 ..a federal sales tax will result in the IRS just collecting the federal sales tax.

True. But the IRS will be collecting the tax from businesses, not individuals.

If you stop to think about it, what right does the government have knowing what you do for a living and how much money you make? The IRS will be limited to making sure 1 million businesses are paying the correct amount, instead of 135 million individual and family returns.

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 03:37 PM (wBISB)

270 Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:26 PM (8y9MW)
Oh, I forgot to add, you will also have to pay the difference in what you owe and what it sold for or get sued for it. But that doesn't exist either does it?

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:37 PM (hVDig)

271 Posted by: ed at November 10, 2010 03:13 PM (QLhy5)
This is the argument many advance. And there is merit to it, particularly for higher wage earners. The problem is not the high wage earner it is the hourly guy. You are paying minimum or minimum plus twenty cents. Since you can not adjust your employees pay to reflect the cost of ssi, you (the employer) are then paying the social security.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 03:37 PM (OWjjx)

272 Deanna,
Thanks again for the #s. I guess the "powers that be" here just don't want to get it - Medicare can be cut (and heavily) without significantly reducing most benefits. Same w/SS. Same w/every other Federal agency.

PS - #254... W.T.*.?

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:37 PM (/ueuy)

273 From what I've heard so far this actually seems fairly reasonable, shockingly.
It will thus go nowhere.

Posted by: Chris in Va at November 10, 2010 03:37 PM (uCjoj)

274 Posted by: Soona at November 10, 2010 03:33 PM (TTW5g)

In all honesty, I've heard the word "reset" come out of libs/dems mouths way way too much lately.

By reset they mean, have the country go bankrupt and start over. they argue that other countries have done it and have emerged fine. I am beginning to think this is where they would like to see things go.


Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 03:38 PM (p302b)

275 Here I come to save the day.

Posted by: Algernon at November 10, 2010 03:39 PM (9cflz)

276 Yes, but most illegals are working (and paying FICA) using fake or stolen Social Security numbers and very few collect any Social Security payments. So apart from their other costs illegals are actually a net gain for SS.
That would be true if and only if FICA payments weren't mixed in and spent with the rest. That same illegal who pays $2,000/yr in FICA (the few who are not working on a cash basis) takes about $20,000+/yr from local taxpayers to pay for schooling of his kids and more for "free" healthcare that he and his family takes without paying. And many illegals get earned income tax credits which exceed whatever they pay in FICA.
The claim that illegals are a "net gain" istotal BS.

Posted by: Mook at November 10, 2010 03:39 PM (pURWe)

277 To change the rule after all these years is the government deciding
losers -- those foolish enough to buy before the rule change; and
winners -- those in the market after the rule change.

No, it's changing a rule. Which will affect some people negatively and others positively. If you're saying that any rule change is "the government deciding losers... and winners..." then you're saying any change of any rule is the same:

Flat Tax? Government Picking Winners and Losers!
Fair Tax? Government Picking Winners and Losers!
End SS? Government Picking Winners and Losers!

The fact is that any rule change will have an effect, but, in reality, removing a form of Government intervention (in this case, the Mortgage deduction) actually moves us back closer to the Free Market ideal and a commodity's "natural price."

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:40 PM (8y9MW)

278 Okay, I'll play devil's advocate: there will have to be some combination of budget cuts and tax increases. We can design a VAT to sunset after, say, 10 years, all proceeds from which will go to reducing the budget deficit. Isn't that better than massive cuts to entitlements? (Remember: DEVIL'S ADVOCATE).

Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 03:41 PM (RD7QR)

279 does the GOP really want to risk losing the geezer vote?

Posted by: Mittens at November 10, 2010 03:41 PM (0YS61)

280 Perhaps we can have legislation introduced that will exempt us from the coming Apocalypse.

No?

Well then, pain now or pain later. Nothing is off the table.

Posted by: nickless at November 10, 2010 03:41 PM (MMC8r)

281 Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 03:37 PM (OWjjx)
No, I think it still applies even to hourly wage workers. Substitute $10 per hour instead of $100,000 and all the math is the same.
If it turns out that the minimum wage is higher than what the employee is worth, then I just don't hire the worker.
This is why minimun wage laws increase unemployment rates for low income workers.

Posted by: ed at November 10, 2010 03:42 PM (QLhy5)

282 What's that smell? Is it me or the stench of real, pragmatic Republicans??

Posted by: DrewM'sMom's Poon at November 10, 2010 03:42 PM (G5qLy)

283 #271,
??? I'll go out on a (very) short limb here say that I've probably hired more folks than pretty much everyone here, and the only Q I have is this: what, exactly, are you smoking today? I can assure you that even for minimum wage hires, I still calculated the total costs - so if that fell below the mw, I didn't hire anyone...

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:43 PM (/ueuy)

284 So here we are again locked into yet another divisive argument, this time about SS.

On one side we have the relatively young blogger and co-bloggers all arguing for SS benefit deductions are termination all together so they will not have to pay.

On the other side we have the oldsters like me who paid into the system for 40+ years. We want "our" money back out of the system. We are told sorry guys, they lied and you're screwed.

Well I have some news for ya'll youngsters. You are equally screwed because as I keep repeating and you keep ignoring, there has been three previous "fixes" which the government turned around and spent 125% of. They keep coming back with their hand out "needing another fix" which they will then spend again.

And no it is NOT going into to pay for the oldsters of yesteryear. There is actually a surplus in the SS fund, but it all consists of worthless IOUs because the money was not spent on SS, it was spent on 80K a year to unwed mothers in Detroit, $250K a year congressional aids, $1.5M corn subsidy payments to ADM, and the list goes on and on.

So yes, suck it up, its not just us old farts who are screwed. All of you youngin's are just as screwed because they will coninue to extort this money out of you at gunpoint.

And the real crime? Even if they raise the taxes yet again, and reduce benefits yet another time, they will still spend 125% or more of the "fix" on non-SS items.

So yes, welcome to the club.

Posted by: Vic at November 10, 2010 03:43 PM (/jbAw)

285 joncelli - I enjoy watching the sunsets from the temporary buildings built during WW2 to house the wartime bureaucracies - which are still full of bureaucrats.

Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 03:43 PM (judfL)

286 If you stop to think about it, what right does the government have knowing what you do for a living and how much money you make? The IRS will be limited to making sure 1 million businesses are paying the correct amount, instead of 135 million individual and family returns
The point was you arent getting rid of the IRS by adopting a sales tax. As to the philosophical discussion of what the IRS does and does not know.I think its a red herring. You will also have to abolish state income taxes in order for your source of income to be discreet. You also have the issue of unemployment insurance.unless you want to abolish that program as well. Oh, and guess who handles the 940 returns on unemployment as well.where you list your employees?

And you have the issue of social security. Which is reported on Form 941 and, yes, please guess who processes those returns as well (and no, its not the social security administration).

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 03:44 PM (OWjjx)

287 Just follow my three-part plan:
CUT SPENDING, CUT SPENDING, CUT SPENDING.
We are already over-taxed. Eliminating tax deductions will only feed the beast. The only way to reduce the size of the beast is to starve it.

Posted by: Max Entropy at November 10, 2010 03:45 PM (lH6z9)

288 Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:35 PM (hVDig) (and @270)

And if I get cancer and die my wife will be left with my medical bills, a mortgage she can't afford, and two children to rear.

Yes, if sucky things will happen, they'll suck. Is this news?

In point of fact, this- not over borrowing or bad decision making- is why Bankruptcy laws came into existence in the first place: and don't even start on why that would suck- of course it would suck.

I have not once denied the suckiness of removing the Mortgage deduction. I've simply stated that a) that suckiness is really relatively short term and b) it's probably worth it in the long run.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:45 PM (8y9MW)

289 They really have to cut federal government employees as ruthlessly as the private sector cut. By about half...yes 50%. then they have to roll back their salaries and like the private sector did make them so happy they have a job they don't care that their pay was cut by 50%...yes 50%.

This happened all over the private sector. If you weren't fired, your pay was cut drastically, your health coverage went up and you are now paying more for it out of your paycheck. Most have stopped any 401K contributions from the company. And for all this you get to go in an hour early and leave at least two hours after you are supposed to...jsut to show them how much you appreciate the fact that you have the job.

It hasn't been pretty and it's obnoxious watching union employees and government employees have lavish salaries and benefits while you know the private sector has been hung out to dry.

Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 03:45 PM (p302b)

290 If you were really interested in a perfectly fair
system. The government would ignore everything, how old you were, how
much you made, each citizen would have an identical tax burden, probably
around $30k or $40k a head; Assessed regardless of your actual ability
to pay. How's that for not picking winners and losers?

Ok, deal, but here is one that is even better. A 15% flat tax for business and individuals over $15,000. No winners, no losers. No other deductions. Equal treatment under the law.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 10, 2010 03:46 PM (JcRgg)

291 SS and Medicare, all entitlements I have a 6 week old son, my first and I am in my late 30s, and I will work until I am 90 and pay SS and medicare for everybody that relies on it now, as long as these programs never exists for my son. The mantra of the MFM is that the Tea Party folks want to cut spending but will not give up their government benefits like SS and Medicate. Bullcrap. I am sure there are many more like me, who wholeheartedly disagree, and would be glad to give up these god awful programs.

Posted by: The Great and Secret Show at November 10, 2010 03:47 PM (5adP8)

292 285 joncelli - I enjoy watching the sunsets from the temporary buildings built during WW2 to house the wartime bureaucracies - which are still full of bureaucrats.
Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 03:43 PM (judfL)

Heh. I get your point. Still, think about it: why are we discussing whether or not to extend the Bush tax cuts? Because there was a sunset provision. The same can be done for a VAT. I'm playing Devil's Advocate.

Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 03:47 PM (RD7QR)

293 No, the value of assets are always determined by rules, if you can't kick out squatters, ownership value is less;
Actually, rules are only a part of it. The market determines value at any snapshot in time. I sort of agree with you in part regarding the mortgage deduction rule, but"rules" change all the time on business with regards to taxes and regulation, all ofwhich affect stock prices, right? It's not like rules are set in stone for any asset. That's part of the risk you take. Those who bought houses for cheap bordering a noisy freeway feeder road benefit the most when arules-changenoise wall is built at the expense of other taxpayers who won't benefit. Mortgage tax deduction shouldn't be written in stone, but eliminating it shouldn't be a top priority either given the other areas of massive entitlements which need to be cut.

Posted by: Mook at November 10, 2010 03:47 PM (pURWe)

294

Exit question: Are the majority of Tea Partiers ready to actually make
the cuts they talk about in vague, abstract ways, even when such cuts
reduce social spending directed towards them?
Exit answer: No.BULLSHIT.If you cut the tax burden on regular, financially responsible folks then they won't need gratuitous social spending including Medicare and Social Security. Especially if you phase it in so people can anticipate retirement expenses and future cost of elderly medical expense.Once again Ace, you an Allah hump the dog, together.

Posted by: Marcus at November 10, 2010 03:47 PM (CHrmZ)

295 And if I get cancer and die my wife will be left with my medical bills, a mortgage she can't afford, and two children to rear.Yes, if sucky things will happen, they'll suck. Is this news?
It's only news if you don't understand the difference between you dying of cancer and the government coming over to your house and putting a bullet in your head.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:49 PM (hVDig)

296 "And if I get cancer and die my wife will be left with my medical bills, a mortgage she can't afford, and two children to rear."

Well if you have "the government and everyone else has to take care of me mentality, then you will think you are a victim.

If you have the "I can take care of myself" mentality then you will take out a life insurance policy while your wife can't work cause she is taking care of the kids and pay that until you don't need to worry or your house is paid off and then you just need a small policy to cover your taxes and any bills you still have.

You need to take responsibility for yourself.

Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 03:49 PM (p302b)

297 Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 03:41 PM (RD7QR)

Because any increase in taxes has resulted in lower tax revenues.

And if you believe that the VAT would ever sunset, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

From a Conservative point- we should end SS and Medicare regardless of their costs: it is not the place of the Federal Government to provide even basic subsistence to the citizens- it is only supposed to provide the business/market climate in which such subsistence is available.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:49 PM (8y9MW)

298 50% ACROSS THE BOARD!

YES WE CAN!

Posted by: John Galt at November 10, 2010 03:49 PM (F/4zf)

299 Getting "recommendations" from a bunch of overfed, senile political hacks is just plain stupid. The answers are simpler, even if though still painful for some.

First, close all government agencies that were put in place after Jan 1, 1960. Done. Finished. Buildings put up for rent, employees on street.

Second, cut all Congressional and presidential staffs and perks to the level of Jan. 1, 1960. Replace all pensions with Social Security contributions, arrange all insurance plans through the private sector companies.

Third, close down all public-sector unions.

Fourth, mandate a budget limit equal to what Congress spent in 1998. The only allowable reasons for exceeding this limit would be war or national catastrophe. No earmarks allowed...all spending must have its own individual legislation.

Fifth, forbid any duplication between state/federal programs.

Sixth. Put members of Congress on a hourly-pay basis. Install time clocks, and dock their pay if they don't show up.

Seventh, begin winding down Social Security. Announce an end date and a progressive increase in retirement age in effect until the end date. Means-test payments; I know that's "soaking the rich," but something has to be done.

Eighth, hire private-sector management to monitor and cut down on waste in all remaining federal agencies. Make their pay dependent on cutting wastage.

Ninth, change the tax system, to a version of the Fair Tax or to a Flat Tax. Get private-industry experts to devise an effective bare-bones system for collecting the tax, and fire everyone at the IRS who isn't needed.

Tenth, remove Osama Obama from office, and make his successors, along with all members of Congress, personally liable for any overspending.

Posted by: MrScribbler at November 10, 2010 03:50 PM (Ulu3i)

300 264
This thread is an excellent
example of what happens when intellectuals try to run anything.Posted by: Soona at November 10, 2010 03:33 PM (TTW5g)

When were we elevated to that exalted (by some) status?

Posted by: ya2daup at November 10, 2010 03:50 PM (UzjcV)

301 Discouraging home ownership (removing the MID) is in no way a noble goal. It's a Collectivist 101 goal.

Posted by: Lincolntf at November 10, 2010 03:51 PM (V/C0X)

302 Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:43 PM (/ueuy)
And I will go out on a limb and say that not everyone does budget costs on a similar manner. In fact, I will go so far out on that limb because I spent most of the morning dealing with the IRS over 941 liabilities of such individuals. Granted, they should. But its not against the law to be either stupid or bad with math.

And the IRS does not look at the employee for the missing 6.2 percent. Again, I think eds point is good theorybut theory and practice are often 2 different things. And it strays from the main point. Your contribution to social security is 6.2 percent. Your employers contribution is 6.2 percent. How the employer meets that obligation varies from employer to employer. Some, like ed, factor it into the cost. Others dont,

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 03:51 PM (OWjjx)

303 Once again Ace, you an Allah hump the dog, together.

Posted by: Marcus at November 10, 2010 03:47 PM (CHrmZ)

That seems logistically unlikely. Well, unless it's a Newfie or a St. Bernard or something, but then it would just bite them. Let me think about this.

Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 03:51 PM (RD7QR)

304 You want something that will turn your turds to icecubes right in your ass?Google 'government employees get pay raises'. Municipalities, state and federal employees everywhere are getting massive pay raises...even though the entities are broke!

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 10, 2010 03:51 PM (r1h5M)

305 Is the proposal to eliminate or reduce the interest deduction on mortgage interest for all outstanding home loans? Or just for new loans. The latter I can see, the former would upset a lot of expectations and promote even more defaults.

Posted by: toby928 at November 10, 2010 03:51 PM (S5YRY)

306
You can call eliminating the morgage deduction a tax hike. Or you can call it eliminating a subsidy.

Whatever you want to call it, they distort the housing market.

If you do eliminate it, you can do it all in one fell swoop, i.e., no more mortgage deductions at all in 2012.

Or you can phase it in slowly, i.e., the mortgage rate deduction is
reduced by 10% per year, starting in 2012 and is completely eliminated
in 10 years / 2022.

Posted by: ed at November 10, 2010 02:21 PM (QLhy5)
Are we going to have some guarantee that the 'new' taxes won't just be spent on more useless shit?
There is no point in talking about tax increases of ANY kind until the government FIRST proves it is serious by CUTTING it's spending, freezing it for the forseeable future, and putting into law that any tax revenue above that goes to pay the debt, not buying new shit.
It's like granting amnesty to the 20+million illegals in the country on the promise that the government will secure the border, eventually.
Fool me once, shame on you.

Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 03:51 PM (x7g7t)

307 @19: "Republicans should be bold. There will be bargaining -- and you don't start with a negotiating position based on whether it will palatable to the other side."
There appears to be a flaw in your plan.....

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 10, 2010 03:52 PM (xy9wk)

308 #294,
Agreed.

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:52 PM (/ueuy)

309 Anecdotal evididnece isn't really evidence, but here is my two cents.
I've worked with and arround illegal aliens.
The ones I saw were usually paid in cash. Sometimes...reluctantly... with a check.

Posted by: ed at November 10, 2010 03:53 PM (QLhy5)

310 Reading how many of you want to have Grandmothers starve over the next few years makes me as excited as when I "entertained" the 1947 Green Bay Packers!

Excuse me while I find a towel to sop up this mess.

Posted by: DrewM'sMom's Poon at November 10, 2010 03:53 PM (G5qLy)

311 Posted by: Mtenloch at November 10, 2010 03:30 PM (pAlYe)
Anecdotal evididnece isn't really evidence, but here is my two cents.
I've worked with and arround illegal aliens.
The ones I saw were usually paid in cash. Sometimes...reluctantly... with a check.

Posted by: ed at November 10, 2010 03:53 PM (QLhy5)

312 Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 10, 2010 03:46 PM (JcRgg)

I just found out that people pay taxes on their social security payment. I'm not sure if this is what the person was trying to say, but , sheesh if you are on social security you should be able to keep it all.

Anyway, everyone should have to pay some kind of tax everyone. no free rides even if you make 5 grand you have to contribute something.

I think we'd have a better society if everyone had to contribute.

Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 03:54 PM (p302b)

313 This country is so fucked. I'm afraid it's too late to do anything. I say have the states that want to secede. Not from the nation, but from DC. Set up a "Constitutional Republic" with a capital in a conservative state like Dallas or Phoenix. Let's start over.

Posted by: Soona at November 10, 2010 03:54 PM (TTW5g)

314 @29: "I think if we reduce Medicare spending enough, Social Security will take care of itself."
Never gonna happen - even DeMint ruled out reductions in Medicare.

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 10, 2010 03:54 PM (xy9wk)

315 If you dont live here.. you dont get SS.
If you are rich enough to retire to some foreign country.. you shouldnt get it either.

Posted by: Timbo at November 10, 2010 03:23 PM

Nice bit of class warfare, that. The United States is the only country that taxes worldwide income for non-resident citizens.

So, expatriates should continue to pay taxes, but have their gummint check withheld?

Way to stick to our guns, conservatives.

The fact that SS is insolvent and you are not going to see a dime sid NOT come out just this morning. Everyone here has had years to prepare for this.

Even as a kid, I saw my dad's parents living solely on SS - enough to exist and wait to die. Then I see my mom's parents, who were entrepeneurs and financed a very rewarding and comfortable retirement.

With all the examples of the privations ahead when you depend on SS for your income, why the hell are you not taking radical measures to prevent that fate?

So, it's not fair. The world doesn't care about fair. Here's the world's position:

The World: Fuck You.

Coincidentally, that's also the position of every politician currently serving. Why leave your most vulnerable and defenseless years to their tender mercies?

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at November 10, 2010 03:54 PM (Wluvb)

316 Anyway, everyone should have to pay some kind of tax everyone. no free rides even if you make 5 grand you have to contribute something.

I think we'd have a better society if everyone had to contribute.
Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 03:54 PM (p302b)

A national sales tax is the only way to do that, and it captures money from the underground economy too.

Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 03:55 PM (RD7QR)

317 Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:49 PM (8y9MW)
Bottom line is that per the update they are talking about mortgages above $500,000 and second homes which will basically only affect homeowners on the coasts and apartment dwellers everywhere.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:56 PM (hVDig)

318 #302,
Ahem - I don't have an employer (unless you count She Who Must Be... well, you get the picture).
I am an employer. I decide how much I can afford to spend on hiring...

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:56 PM (/ueuy)

319 Posted by: ed at November 10, 2010 03:53 PM (QLhy5)

yep, that's the one thing that teachers doing tutoring on the side and illegal aliens have in common. they are paid in cash, cash is not traceable therefore that income doesn't exist and they get to keep every cent. So most of the time they make more money if you compare them to someone doing the same job and having to pay taxes.

No wonder they come here they game the system and no wonder every teacher I know is a millionaire and gets a pension.....

Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 03:56 PM (p302b)

320 Ohhhhhhhh, Empire of Jeff! Doing anything this weekend??

Posted by: DrewM's Mom's Poon at November 10, 2010 03:57 PM (G5qLy)

321 The problem with many of these solutions is that they're coming in after the deal. You do a budget, buy a reasonable house that has a reasonable payment with a 30-year fixed, you have just gone "all in" on a game that goes for 30 years. Changing the rules in mid-game just isn't right.

Similarly, with SS -- if you're retired now, it's not like you're about to "unretire" and pick up the slack -- you're old. My dad just turned 75, he's not going to get another job.

In both cases, the solution is probably right, but implementation is key. Extending the SS retirement age by one month for every two that pass would probably be better than cutting benefits for the already retired. Limiting the mortgage deduction for future purchases is better than cutting it for existing mortgages.

And, it should be noted, landlords probably still get to deduct their mortgage interest -- so you might want to look into buying your neighbor's house and renting it back to him, with him buying your house and renting it to you. You can do a tax-free exchange in 30 years when both mortgages are paid off.

Posted by: cthulhu at November 10, 2010 03:57 PM (/0IOT)

322 Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:49 PM (hVDig)

So now, the Government taking the potentially necessary step of removing the Mortgage deduction- and allowing the undeniable fiscal pain that will cause- is tantamount to them killing me? Hyperbole much?

Once again, Ace and Monty are vindicated.

Just like with SS or Medicare, changing this "rule" would suck with great suckitude. It would not be the end of the world, and, based on history, we'd be back to where we were- probably not even removing the "value" added because of the deduction- within two or three years.

Your argument, when you get down to it is: I've paid, so I'm owed. Well, I'm sorry, but the world doesn't give a crap what you're "owed." And I'd rather deal with a drop in home prices so my kids aren't trying to pay of their Grandparent's portion of the national debt.

Sometimes, bubbles burst. It always sucks when it does.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 03:58 PM (8y9MW)

323 BASIC RULE OF THUMB:

Any ideas on helping the economy thought up by liberals has a 100% chance of doing exactly the opposite.

2012 Voter's Guide:

Q: Which party benefits the more from you being broke and dependent upon government?

A: Vote for the other guy.

Posted by: Bill Mitchell at November 10, 2010 03:58 PM (Baf0e)

324 Never gonna happen - even DeMint ruled out reductions in Medicare..
And this is the problem - the monolith that is "Medicare" can be cut withoutsignificant reductions in "benefits". Equating the two will be a MSM canard...

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:58 PM (/ueuy)

325 290

It's not just you, it's a lot of people. We are so used to preferences and favoritism that even conceiving of a totally impartial tax scheme can barely be brought to mind. Let me point out that you exempted people making less than $15,000/yr. The same problem exists with any arbitrary minimum income: it's not fair. They're not paying in, but get to take out.

And it's easy to do. "Oh, they make so little. I can't condone taxing them to death." That's the intuitive response. Besides the fact that just that might very well happen to a lot of us making a lot more than $15K/yr, why do we feel like we have to save anyone? What did we do to incur that debt? What did they do to earn that entitlement? No one owes or is owed anything except what they earn, and there is no logical way that making less than $X/yr is earning anything other than that $X/yr.

Posted by: shillelagh at November 10, 2010 03:58 PM (Oz4Bj)

326 Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:56 PM (hVDig)

A lot of people on both coast have mortgages over 500 grand. They carry the largest mortgage they can to get that mortgage interest tax deduction. If you are really rich, you might take a million dollar mortgage to at least get that deduction but the rest you pay in cash. So they are, by putting this in effect, attacking the upper middle class and small business owners.

It is really unfair. If you live in a flyover state you wouldn't understand.

Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 03:58 PM (p302b)

327 Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 03:56 PM (/ueuy)
Ahmmm..didnt say you had an employer. And if you are self-employed, your paying the whole freight.

The point (was there one yea, there was, hold on) was that it 6.2 for the employee, 6.2 for the employer. Some employers figure that out when they hire people. Others dont.

Posted by: Mallamutt at November 10, 2010 03:59 PM (OWjjx)

328 Well, this was a good exercise. In the end, it won't matter, all benefits will eventually be cut. The private sector can't pay enough taxes to cover everything. Would I like to save SS for the elderly, even by saying kill it for younger people including me? Yes. But it won't happen, so everybody will go down.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 10, 2010 03:59 PM (JcRgg)

329 Uh yeah, I exist... honest.

Posted by: Magic Money Tree at November 10, 2010 02:15 PM

Don't forget about me.

Posted by: Obama's Stash at November 10, 2010 04:02 PM (NITzp)

330 The funny thing is, I've always considered mortgage tax deduction to be crazy. We accept a loan based on some sort of interest rate - and then we pass the cost of that loan on to our neighbors?!

That said, I think RIGHT NOW, taking away this tax break is crazy - it'll shore up bad fiscal policy (govt. spending) and reduce personal spending from people who have money (home owners).

Now, if we created a very low, across the board flat tax that affected everyone from George Soros to a little kid with a lemonade stand, I'm pretty sure we could get people to pay for their own interest payments, cut taxes, and meet our government spending requirements. And if we cut our spending requirements, we could cut our taxes even more.

Posted by: Jeff at November 10, 2010 04:03 PM (IRzx9)

331
And yes, the purer-than-thou Holy Warriors will be the very first to complain when the pain hits them personally.

Now you are just teasing me, big boy. Come on over here and give it to me. . . Give it to me good!

Posted by: DrewM's Mom's Poon at November 10, 2010 04:03 PM (G5qLy)

332 The mortgage deduction is one of the few things that equalize the disparate effects of high cost of living across the states. Higher mortgage payments are the sign of high cost of living areas. An income in California is simply not equal to the same income in Cincinnati. I know this. The mortgage interest deduction is one tax policy that acknowledges this.

People don't have the money in their pockets to pay the higher federal tax bill. People won't be able to sell their houses because new buyers won't be able to purchase them without having the tax deduction. It will be a mess.






Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 04:03 PM (XrHET)

333 Posted by: Lincolntf at November 10, 2010 03:51 PM (V/C0X)

No more so than artificially encouraging home ownership was.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 03:56 PM (hVDig)


True, but that doesn't make the argument any less fun.
Also, any apartment dweller who doesn't think they already pay the apartment owner's mortgage and property tax needs a wake-up call.

Posted by: cthulhu at November 10, 2010 03:57 PM (/0IOT)


And I can see the "grandfathered" argument. It reduces the overall effectiveness of the elimination of the deduction, but still...

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 04:04 PM (8y9MW)

334 I don't care how much SocSec tax anyone paid. SocSec is just a federal income tax with its own entry on the ledger. You paid the tax, were promised there would be handouts in the future and were lied to.
DING DING DING DING
We have a winner!

Posted by: Cicero at November 10, 2010 04:04 PM (QKKT0)

335 This thread is an excellent example of what happens when intellectuals try to run anything.Posted by: Soona at November 10, 2010 03:33 PM (TTW5g)When were we elevated to that exalted (by some) status?
Posted by: ya2daup at November 10, 2010 03:50 PM (UzjcV)

I wrote it because the discussion reminds me of what intellectuals do and that's think their way to a solution. And if they feel they've thought of a good answer to a problem, then the problem is solved. What this nation needs at this point is blunt force action, and quickly. Our nation is dissolving around us as we speak.

Posted by: Soona at November 10, 2010 04:04 PM (TTW5g)

336 It really is hopeless, isn't it?
We can make any change at all while we hold on to the delusion of saving the system. It has to crash. It has to crash badly. We will have to be broken and dispirited by it.
Then, and only then, can we possibly recreate something the resembles freedom.
Enjoy what you have, for as long as it lasts; because it likely isn't much, and it likely won't be long.

Posted by: MrShad at November 10, 2010 04:04 PM (Xqfwb)

337 Jeff: The funny thing is, I've always considered mortgage tax deduction to be
crazy. We accept a loan based on some sort of interest rate - and then
we pass the cost of that loan on to our neighbors?!

Pass it on to the neighbors? Isn't this the all money is the government's money argument?

Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 04:06 PM (XrHET)

338 My advice. Stock up on food, water, ammunition, and fuel. It might be a good idea to buy some land in some god-forsaken location far away from civilization, and an RV to drive there when SHTF. You'll have shelter, food, and the ability to make more food, giving you a medium to trade with.

The guns will keep your neighbors honest, and provide meat for your dogs when you meet dishonest neighbors.

Learn how to grow your own food, hunt for food, and husband animals.

Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 04:07 PM (x7g7t)

339 The mortgage deduction is one of the few things that equalize the
disparate effects of high cost of living across the states. Higher
mortgage payments are the sign of high cost of living areas. An income
in California is simply not equal to the same income in Cincinnati. I
know this. The mortgage interest deduction is one tax policy that
acknowledges this.

Why do we want the federal govt to acknowledge costs that people freely chose? Why should the govt equalize the disparate effects of high cost living?

btw, I don't agree with killing the deduction until they cut spending to the bone, precisely because its a tax increase when spending is the problem, but the govt has no business in trying to distort markets or equalize spending.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 10, 2010 04:08 PM (JcRgg)

340 "Some employers figure that out when they hire people. Others dont. "
I call those "soon to go t*ts up". Or local governments.

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 04:08 PM (/ueuy)

341 Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 04:06 PM (XrHET)

No, because in this case you're getting a deduction for economic activity you would have generated anyway- or you're generating the economic activity when it is not fully in you own interest to grab the deduction.

It's more akin to the New Homebuyer Credit- but amortized over the life of your mortgage.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 04:08 PM (8y9MW)

342 Our tax system is a vote buying scam:When half of the people working in this country don't pay any taxes, that is a very big block of people who can be made to feel beholden to the incumbents who argue that they are responsible for setting that situation up for them. Shiite o' mighty! The problems are huge, but they aren't unsolvable. Kind of like Golda Mier said about the Arabs, that there would be peace when the Arabs loved their children more than they hated the Jews.If people - including the politicians - would just love the country (and their children) more than they love the flipping status quo, we could fix this. But everyone has to have skin in the game, not only half of them. And that is why a consumption tax is the fairest tax.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 10, 2010 04:09 PM (r1h5M)

343 I don't care how much SocSec tax anyone paid. SocSec is just a
federal income tax with its own entry on the ledger. You paid the tax,
were promised there would be handouts in the future and were lied to.

YES! YES! HARDER! HARDER! OHMYGAWD! YES!!!!!!

Posted by: DrewM's Mom's Poon at November 10, 2010 04:10 PM (G5qLy)

344 how about this.....only people who are employed in the private sector are allowed to vote...if you work for the gov't voting is a conflict of interest since the gov't only spends money that the private sector makes....yes gov't worker's pay taxes but you get paid from money the gov't has collected from the private sector and is merely with holding some of that money from you....

Posted by: phoenixgirl at November 10, 2010 04:11 PM (eOXTH)

345 Well, they're still too cowardly to recommend The Road Map, but it's something. Either we make the cuts now or we will be forced to do it to survive like Greece, GB, and Germany. That day isn't that far-off, from what the business papers are saying.

Posted by: Miss'80sBaby at November 10, 2010 04:11 PM (yfJ6g)

346 Despite being a homeowner enjoying my special tax status, I'd go for thatONLY if it was accompanied by a revenue-neutral across the board tax decrease.
No more income for the government. Starve the beast.

Posted by: Max Entropy at November 10, 2010 04:12 PM (lH6z9)

347 #338,
No, it's not. Make serious cuts in spending. Reduce the tax burden by reducing taxes (not by shifting taxes to others). Stand back watch the nation's economy grow.
It's really that simple. That's why it won't be done...

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 04:12 PM (/ueuy)

348 Also, Boehner is demanding the Dems not only extend the tax cuts but make them permanent.

Posted by: Miss'80sBaby at November 10, 2010 04:13 PM (yfJ6g)

349 348
Despite being a homeowner enjoying my special tax status, I'd go for thatONLY if it was accompanied by a revenue-neutral across the board tax decrease.
No more income for the government. Starve the beast.
And by that I mean phasing-out the mortage deduction.

Posted by: Max Entropy at November 10, 2010 04:13 PM (lH6z9)

350
Inflated assets, including housing prices do not equal "wealth". Just
as inflated tech stocks in late 90's didn't = wealth. It was a bubble.
We've had a tech bubble, a housing bubble and a tech bubble. Bubbles are
not wealth, and it's irrelevant whether you "need" one asset more than
the other.

Of course inflated assets equals wealth. How the hell else would you describe wealth? Deflated assets? Bubbles can produce tremendous wealth, ask Meg Whitman. The trick is in protecting that rapidly inflated net worth from evaporating when the bubble deflates. Just because you gave it all back doesn't mean it wasn't real.

Posted by: Ted Kennedy's Gristle Encased Head at November 10, 2010 04:14 PM (+lsX1)

351
P.J. O'Rourke noted in his book Parliament of Whores that none
of the sensible cuts he suggested would ever actually happen, because
for each subsidy, there is a constituency demanding the subsidy --
including rock-ribbed individualist conservatives who don't truck with
no government hand-outs (but farming subsidies aren't handouts, you
know).


We wind up with a parliament of whores, he wrote, and in a democracy, the whores are us.


And making a similar point -- Milton Friedman.


This is true, however, ask people if they want to spend more for food and see what kind of reaction you get too. I used to farm some time ago, and they called the farm bills, the Food Security Act...not the farmer security act. The truth is people want a steady supply of relatively cheap food. Get rid of the subsidies and the same forces that work on oil prices work on other commodities. I am not saying it should not be done, but it is not just about farmers either.




Posted by: Terrye at November 10, 2010 04:14 PM (T0tnd)

352 Despite being a homeowner enjoying my special tax status, I'd go for thatONLY if it was accompanied by a revenue-neutral across the board tax decrease.
No more income for the government. Starve the beast.
Posted by: Max Entropy at November 10, 2010 04:12 PM (lH6z9)
You don't have a special tax status. Apartment dwellers benefit just as much as you do. Most of them just don't realize it.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 04:14 PM (hVDig)

353 In the not-too-distant future, SS+medicare+medicaid will be three times the entire federal tax revenues.

A few notes on that:

-there is some max. amount of revenue the government can raise. Beyond some point, higher taxes equal less revenue. For all practical purposes, assuming that the answer is on the revenue said gets you nowhere.

-Earmarks are pennies on the ground

Entitlement must be reformed. For instance, increase the retirement out to 70, mean test benefits is a start and probably solves a lot of the SS problem

The big problem is medicare/medicaid. Much harder to reform. But any reform must start with some type of vouchers that give people an incentive to economize on health expenses. i.e., not using them gives you some cash value.

The writing has been on the wall for years that these programs were insolvent, so how much sympathy should we really have for those entering retirement? They will not be starving in the streets, but they won't be taking cruises or leaving their kids as much as they'd hope for. And it will take chaos before they even think about making those sacrifices.

Posted by: Spike at November 10, 2010 04:14 PM (wtnmC)

354 @135: "Those in the Tea Party recognize the dire financial situation facing the country and are, in fact, willing to sacrifice their own current self-interest for longer term financial solvency."
What? A goodly chunk of Tea Partiers consisted of elderly folks who didn't want their benefits cut.

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 10, 2010 04:15 PM (xy9wk)

355
Here's a spending cut this conservative is willing to support: Pack up and leave Afghanistan.


Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 04:15 PM (uFokq)

356 Ok, deal, but here is one that is even better. A 15% flat tax for
business and individuals over $15,000. No winners, no losers. No other
deductions. Equal treatment under the law.

BS you are setting arbitrary limmits. 15K a year, no tax. You are determining how much a persons tax burden is by another metric which determines their ability to pay it. Winners losers determined by you, your metric, your measure. Low overhead, low cost business would be at a huge advantage over business with much higher capital requirements.

No country, nation, or society, has ever achieved a perfectly fair tax system, ever. From the dawn of known civilization, societies, even the most free ones, have used their tax policies to help steer the market, and the society. If you think you can have a civilization living in organized society without this, I would ask under what context you came to believe it was possible. Even Locke understood that certain overhead existed when you took man out of a perfect state of freedom and placed him into a society. Taxes and the inherently unequal distribution of them was one of those things.


Posted by: MikeTheMoose at November 10, 2010 04:15 PM (0q2P7)

357 It's really that simple. That's why it won't be done...
Which is why it is hopeless. Kind of the worst part about it, isn't it. We clearly see the problem. We clearly see the solution. We know how to enact the solution, but we won't do it.
So, we are doomed.

Posted by: MrShad at November 10, 2010 04:15 PM (Xqfwb)

358 The funny thing is, I've always considered mortgage tax deduction to be crazy. We accept a loan based on some sort of interest rate - and then we pass the cost of that loan on to our neighbors?!
Huh? My paying fewer taxes does not "take" money from anybody. My paying more taxes "takes" money from me. Besides, we don't deduct the interest we deduct the taxes on the interest.

Posted by: dagny at November 10, 2010 04:16 PM (twd4c)

359 Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 10, 2010 04:09 PM (r1h5M)

The problem with a consumption tax (Fair Tax or whatever you want to call it) is that it really is very regressive. 9% (a number used here) on my purchases (especially if I don't have to pay an income tax) won't hurt me very much, if at all. Someone who legitimately only makes 20 - 30,000/yr? that's a big chunk.

Take a car- here in Texas they're virtually required: we generally don't have mass transit, and it's too far (and too hot) to walk. So, when I need to buy a new car, I'm already going to pay Title and License of (roughly) 100.00. Now, I pay a sales tax of 8.125% (state + local). So a moderately priced 12,000 car costs me roughly 13,000. If that goes up to 17.125%, that same car is now over 14000. The taxes have (more than) doubled. On a 5 year note, that's something like an extra $100 a month (quick number figuring in my head, feel free to correct me if that's wrong). Assuming that's correct, the person who could afford a 13000 car (payment roughly 300.00/month) could very easily not afford the same car at roughly 400/month.

Now, this doesn't mean a Fair Tax won't work, but I've never heard any of its advocates take this specific fact head on- if someone can, I'm more than willing to be convinced.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 04:17 PM (8y9MW)

360 Sounds like a plan to me -- I don't see a problem with steamlining the tax code (I know too many people who take advantage of those itemized deductions),and cutting social spending. It would probably be a mistake to make big cuts all at once for political reasons, but they need to start happening, so let's get on with it.
If a plan is put in place so the economy can get on its feet and take up the slack, then we shouldn't go through too much pain in implementing it -- but the cuts have to take place and can't stop or be sidetracked, same as how all that spending came into being in the first place. There is what would likely be the problem: not enough time and taking the first step.
I tend to concur with Mr. O'Rourke.

Posted by: unknown jane at November 10, 2010 04:17 PM (5/yRG)

361 It doesn't really matter does it? SS will go by the wayside when people stop buying our debt.
It's already so bad we are buying our own debt. Everything will come crashing down and all entitlements will be caput. I have a feeling "elections" and "pleasing voters" won't matter when that happens.

Posted by: Ben at November 10, 2010 04:17 PM (wuv1c)

362 anyone who feels that the mortgage interest deduction should be eliminated...feel free in not deducting it from you federal tax return next april....

Posted by: phoenixgirl at November 10, 2010 04:18 PM (eOXTH)

363 Cut all foreign aid. Cut all of those stupid grants for nonsense. 10-15% cuts to every agency we have. Get out of Afganistan. Screw them.

Concentrate on getting Americans back to work. Hard to do anything when 10 million are unemployed relying on Govt assistance to put food on the table.

I dont care if the mortgage deduction., child deduction are taken away.

Posted by: Timbo at November 10, 2010 04:18 PM (ph9vn)

364
OTOH, home prices are inflated in California and other bubble states in large part due to the effects of zoning. I recognize there are a myriad of factors that influence housing prices, but the creation of artificial scarcity in housing is a controllable externality that punishes the federal government (yes, you read that right) by depriving them of tax revenues.

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at November 10, 2010 04:18 PM (8lCJT)

365 Why do we want the federal govt to acknowledge costs that people freely
chose? Why should the govt equalize the disparate effects of high cost
living?

Well, then, why should the government charge different tax rates for people with different incomes? If you chose to make a lower income, why should the government acknowledge that? The government should just set one amount that everyone is taxed, and anybody who can't pay it made their own choice in life.


Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 04:20 PM (XrHET)

366 @146: "I'd love to think someone in position of responsibility is there who would bite the bullet, do what must be done, and seal the door behind...but there's no Mt. Doom for this Ring to be chucked into. We let this go far too long. The cancer metastatized some time back, and no combination of herbal oils and feng shui is going to save us now, having continually put off the awful chemo and radiation we actually needed until it was far, far too late.There is no way out. Only through."
Not necessarily. Big wars do an excellent job of getting rid of surplus population, either as battlefield casualties or through privation. Dead enough of the non-working, asset-consuming portion of a population, and bingo! all of the entitlement programs work again.
Rest assured, at least a few countries will opt to take that route. Depending on who they are, they might make that choice for us, too.

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 10, 2010 04:21 PM (xy9wk)

367 352

Inflated assets, including housing prices do not equal "wealth". Just
as inflated tech stocks in late 90's didn't = wealth. It was a bubble.
We've had a tech bubble, a housing bubble and a tech bubble. Bubbles are
not wealth, and it's irrelevant whether you "need" one asset more than
the other.

Of
course inflated assets equals wealth. How the hell else would you
describe wealth? Deflated assets? Bubbles can produce tremendous
wealth, ask Meg Whitman. The trick is in protecting that rapidly
inflated net worth from evaporating when the bubble deflates. Just
because you gave it all back doesn't mean it wasn't real.



Posted by: Ted Kennedy's Gristle Encased Head at November 10, 2010 04:14 PM (+lsX1)

Ted - money does not equal 'wealth'. Money is a medium of exchange to acquire wealth ('things'). Stocks are no wealth. 100 dollar bills aren't wealth. A house that you own IS wealth, as are guns, food, TVs, etc.
Think about it - hyperinflation wiped out the savings of Germans in the 1930s. Those people that were money 'wealthy' suddenly weren't - they couldn't even buy a loaf of bread with their wealth.

Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 04:21 PM (x7g7t)

368 Fa Cube Itches - I'm thinking a nice land war in Asia is part of China's demographic plan.

Posted by: Jean at November 10, 2010 04:23 PM (c3oPV)

369 " Exit Question : When did Ace start defending the establishment?"

Exit Answer: About 2006:

Posted by: cackfinger at November 10, 2010 04:23 PM (Elbt6)

370 "In the not-too-distant future, SS+medicare+medicaid will be three times the entire federal tax revenues"

Few here seem to understand that the other side of the equation is just as powerful - allow people to flurish, and you'll find revenues exploding...

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 04:23 PM (/ueuy)

371 Now, this doesn't mean a Fair Tax won't work, but I've never heard any of its advocates take this specific fact head on- if someone can, I'm more than willing to be convinced.Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 04:17 PM (8y9MW) People don't buy used cars? People who make less buy less and pay less taxes and vice versa. If there is demand for things that cost less, the market will fill it. That's the beauty of capitalism.

Posted by: Hussein the Plumber at November 10, 2010 04:24 PM (r1h5M)

372 " Oh: Beating up on "the establishment" is a favorite past-time
right now, but it should be remembered the establishment panders to us
-- they reflect, then, what we're asking of them."

What kind of retarded dogmatic bullshit is this?

Posted by: cackfinger at November 10, 2010 04:24 PM (Elbt6)

373 The fact is that any rule change will have an effect, but, in reality,
removing a form of Government intervention (in this case, the Mortgage
deduction) actually moves us back closer to the Free Market ideal and a
commodity's "natural price."

Are you willing to punish what would be thought of as prudent financial planning for all those who bought houses before the rule change in order to get it, instead of using a "phase out" program?




Posted by: MikeTheMoose at November 10, 2010 04:26 PM (0q2P7)

374 Fa Cube Itches - I'm thinking a nice land war in Asia is part of China's demographic plan.

Classic blunder.

Posted by: Vezzini at November 10, 2010 04:27 PM (Wluvb)

375 No, because in this case you're getting a deduction for economic
activity you would have generated anyway- or you're generating the
economic activity when it is not fully in you own interest to grab the
deduction.

Conservatives should not argue that not paying taxes = taking money away from other people.
Would someone with a lower income and lower tax rate moving in next door to you = taking money from you?
And no, people would not necessarily have generated the same economic activity without the mortgage deduction. Most would likely not have paid the same amount for their home.

Why give a deduction for kids if you would have just had a kid anyway? You're taking money from your neighbors!

Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 04:27 PM (XrHET)

376 Allen G,

The Fair Tax plan uses a prebate, which direct deposits money each month into every citizens account equivalent to the tax paid on goods at what is now considered the poverty rate.
Go to FairTax.org for the chart.

Youve got the choice to buy a new car and pay the sales tax, or if you want to save money, buy a used car and pay no taxes. Same with houses, boats, planes, etc.

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 04:27 PM (wBISB)

377 What kind of retarded dogmatic bullshit is this?

Don't make me weep!!!

Big girls they don't cr-r-r-y. . .

Posted by: Ace's Poon at November 10, 2010 04:27 PM (G5qLy)

378 Ace...

mankiw has more:

http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2010/11/
good-signs-from-deficit-commission.html

There is also a pdf from the commission at the link

--------

That said, I would think it is dead in the water, as you vented in the post.

Politicians promise sweet, sweet lovin, but promise you get to keep your virtue intact too.

Posted by: A.G. at November 10, 2010 04:27 PM (oAVyq)

379 "What kind of retarded dogmatic bullshit is this?"

Is this your first visit here?

Posted by: Jess at November 10, 2010 04:28 PM (/ueuy)

380 @183: "Either you can afford the house, or you can't. If you can't, then rent. And: work hard, save, and eventually buy the house when you can afford it."
Save how? Inflation is way ahead of interest rates, so banks are out. Stock market is rigged, so that's out. Precious metals might work, but storage is a bitch. Just hold cash? Zimbabwe Ben is devaluing the dollar as fast as he can.

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 10, 2010 04:28 PM (xy9wk)

381 The War Between the Undead States

Tell it to Jeff. He's the one who thinks what you don't give the government is what you take out of the pocket of others.

Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 04:29 PM (XrHET)

382 If it werent for the Black Death, thered be no Renaissance. And endless quotation of Monty Python sketches.

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at November 10, 2010 04:29 PM (8lCJT)

383 Why do you automatically assume that Tea Partiers wouldn't support cuts in spending that would affect them? If we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, then everyone should accept spending cuts, including Social Security (which I will be receiving shortly), Medicare (which I go on in a few years) and Agricultural Subsidies.

What I am NOT prepared to do is stand by while those items are cut while certain other "protected groups" get to live like nothing has changed. Food stamps should also be cut, and get rid of the union-mandated federal employee salaries.

I am tired of this snarky attitude towards Tea Party people and those who are in the middle of the country, as well as people over the age of 50. It's not like you KNOW what we think, you just ASSUME that somehow you can divine what Miss Marple in central Indiana is thinking.

Well, crap on that. I do not try to assume what YOU think, although I am beginning to think you have a little bit of elitism in your character, which I think could be removed by relocating yourself away from New York.

Posted by: Miss Marple at November 10, 2010 04:29 PM (Fo83G)

384 Shame on all of you defending the tax hike on home ownership. What part of T.E.A. do you not understand? What part of "we have a spending problem not a revenue problem" do you not understand. It is a tax hike on those with $500k mortgages. It is a tax hike on the rich and upper middle class (or just normal middle class on the coasts). Shame on you.

Posted by: tommylotto at November 10, 2010 04:30 PM (oHIHU)

385 If you chose not to make yourself physically strong enough to stop me, then you made your own choice in life.

Ohhhh, a he-man! Yum-my! And the fact that you can handle more of Ace's poon down your throat than I can handle just makes me want you more!

Posted by: DrewM's Mom's Poon at November 10, 2010 04:30 PM (G5qLy)

386 "Few here seem to understand that the other side of the equation is just as powerful - allow people to flurish, and you'll find revenues exploding..."

An interesting question is high would GDP growth have to be to make this problem go away? Certainly a rate that has never been observed over an extended period of time. Hell, maybe AI and nanotech will save us. Really the only hope at this point.

Posted by: Spike at November 10, 2010 04:30 PM (wtnmC)

387 385
If it werent for the Black Death, thered be no Renaissance. And endless quotation of Monty Python sketches.
Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at November 10, 2010 04:29 PM (8lCJT)

So we'll solve our problems with a worldwide plague? Seems a bit extreme...

Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 04:33 PM (RD7QR)

388 It is as simple at this as far as shrinking the Government. It is going to hurt, but it MUST be done.

Fuck or walk, baby. Fuck or walk.

Posted by: maddogg at November 10, 2010 04:33 PM (OlN4e)

389 If, after the collapse, we happen to find ourselves sharing shelter under the same freeway overpass, I'm going to club you over the head, take whatever meager possessions you have left for myself, and be long gone by the time you come to.

If you chose not to make yourself physically strong enough to stop me, then you made your own choice in life.

Looks like someone's been reading my mission statement. Email me your resume. I'm always looking for good "earners" to add to the team in the coming Dark Times.

And for every referral that makes it past the 60-day trial employment period, you get your bourbon and whore ration increased.

Posted by: Vezzini at November 10, 2010 04:33 PM (Wluvb)

390 374 " Oh: Beating up on "the establishment" is a favorite past-time right now, but it should be remembered the establishment panders to us -- they reflect, then, what we're asking of them."

What kind of retarded dogmatic bullshit is this?
Posted by: cackfinger at November 10, 2010 04:24 PM (Elbt6)


His point being, dipshit, is that you don't see hundreds of thousands of middle class people begging for their own Social Security and Medicare to be cut.

Posted by: XBradTC at November 10, 2010 04:34 PM (FDK4b)

391 Some of the panels' other recommendations:

Increasing the gas tax by 15 cents a gallon to fund transportation
programs.


_A three-year freeze in the pay of most federal employees and a 10
percent cut in the federal work force.


_Eliminating all congressional pet projects, known as earmarks.


Their plan also calls for a major overhaul of both the individual income
tax and the corporate tax systems with the idea of lowering overall tax
rates, simplifying the Tax Code and broadening the taxpayer base.

Posted by: Miss'80sBaby at November 10, 2010 04:34 PM (yfJ6g)

392 389
"Few here seem to understand that the other side of the equation is
just as powerful - allow people to flurish, and you'll find revenues
exploding..."




An interesting question is high would GDP growth have to be to make
this problem go away? Certainly a rate that has never been observed
over an extended period of time. Hell, maybe AI and nanotech will save
us. Really the only hope at this point.

Posted by: Spike at November 10, 2010 04:30 PM (wtnmC)
If people flourish, they can save for their own retirements. That means there is no need for SS or Medicare, and therefore, no liability beyond what will be incurred in the next, say, 20 years.

Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 04:34 PM (x7g7t)

393 I have to get back to work.
If anyone thinks that taking several Trillion more out of the housing market will lead to prosperity they only need to remember what caused the current recession. The housing market collapse.
Those Trillions are real money, it's money from peoples savings accounts used for a down payment, it's money banks loaned people that they won't get back, it's that $300 or $400 a month more than rent would have cost you that you thought was building wealth.
You will start this whole mess all over again on steriods, people on the street, banks closing, FDIC covering peoples savings, continued unemployment in the construction industy, banking industry, in other words a total economic meltdown.
If that's what you are looking for knock yourselves out.

Posted by: robtr at November 10, 2010 04:35 PM (hVDig)

394 29 I think if we reduce Medicare spending enough, Social Security will take care of itself.______________
Not certain what you're trying to say there, Dr. Spank, but it sounds vaguely like Carousel.
RENEW! RENEW!

Posted by: Anachronda at November 10, 2010 04:35 PM (NmR1a)

395 Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 04:21 PM (x7g7t)

To add to this, there is a difference between an asset which has grown in value and something that is "inflated"- which I'm guessing is short-hand for "artificially inflated."

Let's say a run started on the X-Box 360 and suddenly they were going for 1000.00 each. Suddenly, every X-Box in the country is now worth 1000.00. However, the moment someone thinks- "Wait, the only good games exclusively for X-Box were the Halo games, and Bungie has said they're done making those" the X-Box drops dramatically in price back to its "natural price" of around 300.00.

Did the people who bought their X-Boxes at 300.00 originally ever lose any "value?" What did happen is that people buying above that 300.00 mark bought something at a price higher than its actual value- unfortunate and a loss of money, but it has little to do with the value of the item.

Now, with the Mortgage Deduction, what the government has done is artificially inflated the value of a home by making a larger mortgage better for you at tax time. Coupled with the natural growth which real-estate normally sees (though, like any commodity/investment, it's value fluctuates as well) this actually made more people purchase homes (artificially inflating the demand) than would have without it.

If the Mortgage Deduction is removed, a natural price adjustment will occur as real-estate prices try to find the correct level to compensate for the removal of that Deduction. What is most likely, especially in the short run, is that home prices will drop (plummet, may be a better description). But, over the long term, the market will recover.

The people who bought their homes prior to the removal of the deduction (especially if their mortgages were not grandfathered in) would take a soaking- if they sold while the market was depressed. If they waited (historical trends say the market would recover in two - three years), then they would have lost no value on their home.

Remember,Wealth of Nations Chapter 1 (I think): Price != Value

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 04:35 PM (8y9MW)

396 So we'll solve our problems with a worldwide plague? Seems a bit extreme...
I really don't find Monty Python all that funny.

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at November 10, 2010 04:35 PM (8lCJT)

397 This is gonna make Obama very popular in 2012.

Can we finally have a wave election?

Posted by: Ed Anger at November 10, 2010 04:36 PM (7+pP9)

398 Now, this doesn't mean a Fair Tax won't work, but
I've never heard any of its advocates take this specific fact head on-
if someone can, I'm more than willing to be convinced.


Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 04:17 PM (8y9MW)
So, in other words, some of us should subsidize other people? Why should we subsidize other people?

Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 04:36 PM (x7g7t)

399 An interesting question is high would GDP growth have to be to make this problem go away?
Not really an issue. If we magically produced enough that we could afford our government, government would just grow.
If we raised taxes and lowered the payout age for SS, the money would just be spent on some, non-related, program.
Let's face it. We won't fix the problems. It all has to crash. There is no way out, and no way through. It all has to crash.
And then we can rebuild.

Posted by: MrShad at November 10, 2010 04:37 PM (Xqfwb)

400 Just biding my time, people. Just biding my time.

Posted by: Zombie (but still active) Che at November 10, 2010 04:39 PM (TTW5g)

401 Huh? My paying fewer taxes does not "take" money from anybody.

No, of course not. But why should Joe Interest-Only-Loan-on-Amount-He-Can't-Afford pay less taxes on the same income as Joe-Just-Out-Of-School-And-Saving-For-A-Down Payment?

Posted by: HeatherRadish at November 10, 2010 04:39 PM (Vz9lf)

402 Let's face it. We won't fix the problems. It all has to crash. There is no way out, and no way through. It all has to crash.

And then we can rebuild.

Posted by: MrShad at November 10, 2010 04:37 PM (Xqfwb)

And who suffers in the meantime? With some prudence and some sacrifice we can head off a collapse, we just have to all accept this and it can get done.

Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 04:39 PM (RD7QR)

403 Ted - money does not equal 'wealth'. Money is a medium of exchange to
acquire wealth ('things'). Stocks are no wealth. 100 dollar bills aren't
wealth. A house that you own IS wealth, as are guns, food, TVs, etc. Think about it - hyperinflation wiped out the savings of Germans in the
1930s. Those people that were money 'wealthy' suddenly weren't - they
couldn't even buy a loaf of bread with their wealth.

Your pedantic definitions are tedious and moronic. Of course money equals wealth. Obviously wealth stored in a worthless currency is worthless just as wealth stored in a burned down house or a broken TV is worthless. Fortunately you are not restricted to a single medium of exchange. In a few mouse clicks you are able to convert US dollars to securities that represent gold, oil, cotton, yen, euros, whatever. With a pen and a functioning brain you can write a check to convert dollars to guns, food, goats, whatever. As you said, money is a medium of exchange. The more you have the more you can exchange it for.

Posted by: Ted Kennedy's Gristle Encased Head at November 10, 2010 04:40 PM (+lsX1)

404 395 389 "Few here seem to understand that the other side of the equation is just as powerful - allow people to flourish, and you'll find revenues exploding..."

The Fair Tax is designed to make the economy go into hyperdrive. If you were a business owner who could locate anywhere in the world, where else would you base your business if the U.S. didnt have any corporate tax?

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 04:41 PM (wBISB)

405 With a pen and a functioning brain you can write a check to convert dollars to guns, food, goats, whatever. As you said, money is a medium of exchange. The more you have the more you can exchange it for.

Goats...mmmm...

Posted by: Joe Jihadi, somewhere in northern Pakistan at November 10, 2010 04:42 PM (RD7QR)

406 Fuck or walk, baby. Fuck or walk.

I don't have any legs so. . .

Posted by: DrewM's Mom's Poon at November 10, 2010 04:42 PM (G5qLy)

407 364 We've never taken that deduction; never have done the itemized deduction list. It's too much of a pain in the ass, and we're not business owners who could warrant doing it, so why do it?

Posted by: unknown jane at November 10, 2010 04:42 PM (5/yRG)

408 I may be warming up to Simpson-Bowles. It's pissing the correct people off. Couple quotes from Hot Air:
This is not a package that I could support, Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, said during a break in a private meeting by the commission.
Sample reaction from Obama pal and AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka: The chairmen of the Deficit Commission just told working Americans to Drop Dead.
Simpson-Bowles is pissing off communists and union thugs? Everybody should like that, right? Or are communists and union thugs faking it and we should oppose Simpson-Bowles?
Me not know. Me confused.

Posted by: Eeeeeeeyore at November 10, 2010 04:42 PM (Z10U7)

409 It's got a surprising amount of stuff to recommend it. Which is why the Dems would filibuster the shit out of it if it should come up as legislation.

Posted by: Joe Jihadi, somewhere in northern Pakistan at November 10, 2010 04:44 PM (RD7QR)

410 58 Totally unrelated, today is colon day : in binary code (00111010), so go get yours checked or something..._________________
Using the sixbit code of the PDP-8, 111010 is Z day.

Posted by: Anachronda at November 10, 2010 04:45 PM (IrbU4)

411 Posted by: MikeTheMoose at November 10, 2010 04:26 PM (0q2P7)

I have no problem with the phase out. I do think the eventual elimination of the Mortgage Deduction has more good going for it than bad, but I have no particular beef with phasing out that elimination (or, even, grandfathering already existing mortgages).

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 04:27 PM (wBISB)

Since when do you not pay sales tax on a car just because it was used?
And the "prebate" thing sounds just like a lot of ideas about capping the bottom end of the flat tax at $15,000 or whatever.

I'll admit it might work, though. I'm moving back firmly to the fence on the whole "Flat Tax/Fair Tax" thing.

robtr- No one is arguing with you that it would cause problems. It would suck. I don't think it would suck quite to the level you do, but I do believe it would suck. And, as long as government stayed out of the way, we'd be back to doing business like gang-busters within a couple of years.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 04:45 PM (8y9MW)

412 Overall, that sounds pretty good to me. The cut to the mortgage-interest deduction is of course effectively a hike in taxes for homeowners, but I'm not sure if that alone is a reason to oppose it.
There's a chance--not a certainty, but a chance--that if that deduction was eliminated, the cost of housing could actually drop because people would factor in the tax to their monthly/annual budgets for a home purchase, and buy a less expensive home than they would otherwise. People typically buybased on the monthly payment, and a lower cost of housing could help people who have been saving for a home but decided they couldn't afford to buy one over the long run.
The bad part about it is that if something like that happened, we would likely have another wave of defaults as people went underwater on their mortgages, and with the Foreclosuregate mess looming like a Grim Reaper, it could make a bad problem worse.
To make it palatable, the deductible mortgages would likely have to be grandfathered out after a certain date.

Posted by: Red Rocks Rockin at November 10, 2010 04:45 PM (/Pw+r)

413
So, in other words, some of us should subsidize other people? Why should we subsidize other people?

The Fair Tax minimizes the subsidy to the truly needy. Our current system is a collection of special subsidies to thousands upon thousands of interest groups and companies. Using the Fair Tax system, 95% of all lobbying in Washington would be eliminated, because there wouldnt be any way to route the subsidies to the group seeking them.

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 04:45 PM (wBISB)

414 Y'know, it occurs to me...is it possible that the sheer knowledge that you're screwed no matter what might be, I don't know...liberating to some people? To the extent that, stripped of any possible way to benefit, enough people may actually do the right thing for once?

Yeah, longshot, I know, but...

Posted by: DarkLordOfTheIntarWebs at November 10, 2010 04:46 PM (GBXon)

415 It appears you still don't get it because you STILL think paper = wealth. Please tell that to all of the wealthy people in the Weimar Republic that were broke.

But carry on, your stupidity is entertaining.


Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 04:46 PM (x7g7t)

416 Don't forget that credit card and other loan interest used to be deductible. When that was removed, people turned to a different source of tax deductible loans- home equity loans. Suddenly, people were using their home equity to get cars, furniture, vacations. In many places, this was a big factor in the early stages of the foreclosure wave. When people had to sell their homes, they had more out in loans than they could get in a sale.

I wonder what would have happened if that credit card interest rate had remained tax deductible?

Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 04:46 PM (XrHET)

417 First step in cutting SS is to discontinue any payments to people that don't need them. I know at least a dozen people that tried to refuse the payment and were told they couldn't. Those payments are going straight to charity, because they're not needed. Why are we forcing people to take SS payments that don't freakin' want them?
Next step is to adjust the amount of the payment based on need. Some people may need help, but not necessarily a full payment.
I surely don't have any answers, but I know there are probably a hundred ways we can come up with that would reduce the burden on SS. For a bunch of supposedly smart people, our government reps are fuckin' idiots.

Posted by: Steph at November 10, 2010 04:47 PM (Wm647)

418 @288: "It hasn't been pretty and it's obnoxious watching union employees and government employees have lavish salaries and benefits while you know the private sector has been hung out to dry."
Yeah, but we private sector people brought it on ourselves by playing by the rules and shit.

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 10, 2010 04:48 PM (xy9wk)

419 And who suffers in the meantime? With some prudence and some sacrifice we can head off a collapse, we just have to all accept this and it can get done.

We've reached the point where everyone will suffer. Thatbeing-my-brother's-keeper bullshitthatwas forced upon us is what got us to this point to begin with. It's time for people to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions.

Posted by: Zombie (but still active) Che at November 10, 2010 04:49 PM (TTW5g)

420 Reducing cost of living increases for Soc Security at a time when the government is doing massive quantitative easing to pump up inflation is just plain wrong. It's fine to reduce benefits for thosewho haven't relied on the system, but tosystematically squeezeretirees after they are already retired on Soc. Sec by devaluing the currency is just wrong.

Posted by: Gina at November 10, 2010 04:50 PM (dz1c/)

421 With some prudence and some sacrifice we can head off a collapse, we just have to all accept this and it can get done.
It can, but it won't.
We have been talking about the SS problem since, at least, the early 90's.
There has never once been a major program cut, or major department destroyed.
While natural buissness cycles have provided both good times and bad, the deep structural problems we have in our government have only gotten worse.
No one who has the power to make the changes we need has the will to do it.
Ithought for a long long time that we could turn this around, and make it work.I thought all the prognosticators of our impending demise were just being sensationalists. But, nowI am thinking they are right.
We won't do what needs to be done to fix the problems. It simply won't happen. Sure, America might fail last, but we will fail. If the very tiny, very conservative group here can't agree on the most obvious cuts that need to be made, the larger, more comparitvly liberal group certianly won't.

Posted by: MrShad at November 10, 2010 04:51 PM (Xqfwb)

422 To make it palatable, the deductible mortgages would likely have to be grandfathered out after a certain date.

How does phasing help? As long as buyers know their deduction will be phased out, they'll offer less for the house. To the millions already underwater on their loans, but paying them diligently, it's just a signal they'll never recover.
Why? So other people can get in the market?

Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 04:52 PM (XrHET)

423 Concerning the homeowner deduction specifically, using the Fair Tax system would eliminate the deduction because income taxes would no longer exist.

Owners of existing homes would realize an increase in their home values, because new homes would be subject to the 23% sales tax. Older homes would be sold without any tax due, so the inventory of existing homes would show a rise in prices somewhere between existing value and the cost of a new home with the tax.

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 04:52 PM (wBISB)

424 Politically, to get entitlement cuts and hold back on the defense cuts we'll have to accept some kind of tax increase. I'm not saying that's good, I'm saying that's political reality. And since the GOP will never go for that, the Dems might try to get clever and bring this sort of legislation to the floor in order to score propaganda points.

Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 04:52 PM (RD7QR)

425 Mitch Daniels may run for President in 2012, and make the coming entitlement crisis his central issue. Let's hope he does. At least on our side we have Daniels and Paul Ryan, who at least understand what's going on.

The Dems answer to all this is to raise tax on millionaires and nationalize health care, which of course would make everything worse. Without the ability to peddle entitlements, the Dems can't exist...so at least after the crash, politics may become "real" again without a crime syndicate masquerading as a political party.

Posted by: Spike at November 10, 2010 04:52 PM (wtnmC)

426 The Fair Tax minimizes the subsidy to the truly needy. Our current system is a collection of special subsidies to thousands upon thousands of interest groups and companies. Using
the Fair Tax system, 95% of all lobbying in Washington would be
eliminated, because there wouldnt be any way to route the subsidies to
the group seeking them.

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 04:45 PM (wBISB)
I agree wholeheartedly, although I don't like the idea of the prebates and what not. It still gives the government the ability to monkey around by raising and lowering the amounts or the limits for the prebate.A flat tax, retire the debt, and then repeal that tax. The federal government should be forced to live off of what it can make from tariffs and other constitutionally allowed methods.

Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 04:54 PM (x7g7t)

427 Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 04:36 PM (x7g7t)

You are anyway. Even with the "Fair Tax." As was pointed out, the "Pre Bate" system pays for the approximated amount of subsistence level sales tax each month.

The question isn't about "subsidizing people." Fair Tax/Flat Tax says nothing about well fare in any way. It's only about how taxes are collected. If you set Pre-bates higher, all you'd be doing is providing for a higher rate of "subsistence." If you bottom-cap a Flat Tax at 15k, 20k, or even 30k, you're just setting an arbitrary line.

The fact is there are some people who are not going to make enough to subsist if we tax them. To some extent, Charities should make up that lack, but it's actually (at least in theory) more cost-effective to have people below a certain level not pay taxes (even though they get the benefits) since every dollar they can use for their subsistence is probably pretty close to $1.10 (assuming a good and efficient charitable organization) from you. Some of those people won't even need charity at all if they don't pay taxes- they'll be able to subsist on their own income.

I'm not about wealth redistribution, government well fare, or any of that (I'm not even a fan of Food Stamps or WIC, come down to it) but there is a difference between those things and simply saying to some people:" the very fact you're making your drain on the system as small as possible is contribution enough."

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 04:55 PM (8y9MW)

428 Jimmy P's thoughts on Simpson-Bowles

The point about taxes as a % of GDP is right on. This would be the highest long-term tax burden in history and I question whether it would be sustainable.

Posted by: Andy at November 10, 2010 04:55 PM (5Rurq)

429 And who suffers in the meantime? With some prudence and some sacrifice we can head off a collapse, we just have to all accept this and it can get done.
The key word is all. Discussions like this are like 1 person in 1000 facing the direction of the oncoming tsunami trying to get the attention of the other 1000 to start running up hill. Most dont' see what is coming and they won't until they're literally drowning.

Posted by: EZB at November 10, 2010 04:56 PM (Ty06w)

430 A flat tax, retire the debt, and then repeal that tax. The federal
government should be forced to live off of what it can make from tariffs
and other constitutionally allowed methods.
Hi.

Posted by: The 16th Amendment to the Constitution at November 10, 2010 04:57 PM (MMC8r)

431 You're right, Ace, but this is like arms reduction. We can't unilaterally give up everything that benefits only us.

Posted by: FireHorse at November 10, 2010 04:57 PM (sWynj)

432 I've assumed 25 years ago (the day I enrolled in my 401K) that SSI was boned.

On that assumption I invested prudently an amassed a decent sum. Then the powers that be boned me with the bubbles brought on by govt tweaking.

We can not continue to tweak the system we need to starve the beast so those that deferred their spending pleasure for retirement do not have to carry those that didn't

Posted by: Buzzsaw at November 10, 2010 04:58 PM (tf9Ne)

433 As for the afford the house or rent: with the housing glut, I could see where owning a small, fixer upper might wind up costing less in mortgage than some apartments -- at least in some areas.
I know my place, after crunching the numbers, wound up costing less/as much as a big apartment or condo, and it had the added attraction of some property (mind you, small, not fancy house, unmanicured ground, landscaping? haha). A friend came to the same conclusion -- it was costing less to live in the little shotgunright outside of townthan renting in town, and the kids got a bit of yard.

Posted by: unknown jane at November 10, 2010 04:58 PM (5/yRG)

434 It appears you still don't get it because you STILL think paper =
wealth. Please tell that to all of the wealthy people in the Weimar
Republic that were broke.

I know, it's frustrating. The people of this nation will never know true wealth until they immediately exchange all their "money" for cans of baked beans and TV's. I would suggest that you produce an infomercial to sell your wealth generation system, but demanding payment in silverware or carrots will be kind of a logistical hangup.

Posted by: Ted Kennedy's Gristle Encased Head at November 10, 2010 04:59 PM (+lsX1)

435 I think we've pretty much beaten this thread to death. NEXT!

Posted by: Zombie (but still active) Che at November 10, 2010 04:59 PM (TTW5g)

436 BS you are setting arbitrary limmits.

Whoa, slow down their chief, I never said a perfectly fair tax system. That is impossible and "fair" is arbitrary. I was challenged by somebody who said that and offered a reasonable alternative. Secondly any tax system will have an arbitrary element. You pick the rate, I don't care, the govt should give equal treatment under the law. Period.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at November 10, 2010 04:59 PM (JcRgg)

437 The question is moot, and not just because of the end of the long calendar. We are going to devalue the currency. The decision is already made and I don't see any way to stop them short of revolution.

The question is how best to survive.

Posted by: mayan calendar at November 10, 2010 04:59 PM (S5YRY)

438 Well, we are going to have to cut more spending than that, cut regulations, and reduce the bureaucracy more significantly.

The SS ideas may work, with a little tweaking. But in the end, there is going to have to be some high-income means-testing for SS, and means testing at a lower level for Medicare.

Some tax increases are inevitable, too, as the debt is far too high to "grow" out of with the limited room for tax rate reductions left (it was easy when the top rate was 90% to cut a bit and get lots of growth, but now we won't be able to cut much). The idea of eliminating deductions will put the tax prep industry on starvation rations, but they should have set something aside in all those fat years.

I agree that the House should try to pass it and put the ball in Obama's court. No way the Senate even votes on it.

Posted by: Adjoran at November 10, 2010 05:00 PM (VfmLu)

439 @370: "Fa Cube Itches - I'm thinking a nice land war in Asia is part of China's demographic plan."
Yeah, China v. India, The Holy-Shittening should be interesting. Two rising, competing nations with over 70 million surplus draft-age men between them.

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 10, 2010 05:01 PM (xy9wk)

440 I can't believe people are still pushing that BS unFAIR tax. It is a huge damn tax increase for everyone with a salary below 500K/yr.

All of you who keep pushing it need to go read the actual bill that was submitted and the "assumptions" that are made in determining the rates. Also the damn kick-back it makes to low income people like Peggy Joseph.

The only "fair" tax there is a flat tax on all income, no deductions and no "minimum". If you make a dollar you pay ten cents in tax. Everyone should have a stake in the system, no freeloaders.

I would also change the voting laws that if you didn't pay taxes you didn't vote.

Posted by: Vic at November 10, 2010 05:02 PM (/jbAw)

441 I no longer care whether the Amerindian people have the courage or the desire to live within their means, or whether Democrats or Republicans can ever do anything worthwhile. It no longer matters. Republicans are idiots about taxes; Democrats about spending.

America may not be interested in History but History is interested in it. The country has pigged out on DECADES of debt driven consumption and now it will pay. The only questions are how and when. The later the reckoning ---- the worse the bill.

Posted by: dougf at November 10, 2010 05:02 PM (Upwl0)

442 390 So we'll solve our problems with a worldwide plague? Seems a bit extreme...
Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 04:33 PM (RD7QR)

If we're bio-engineering the next plague, I'm voting for slow, stupid zombies preferably with a pronounced limp.

The fast ones seems to be a lot more challenging.

Posted by: MMW at November 10, 2010 05:03 PM (4BTKQ)

443 Time to get real, and carve the following in stone for The Time To Come:

Trying to save everyone will doom everyone.

Save yourselves, save your own. Once that's solid, work your way up. People will fall through the holes--shoot, I figure even us Morons will see high casualties--but at least you save something to work with later.

Mourn later. Prepare now.

Posted by: DarkLordOfTheIntarWebs at November 10, 2010 05:03 PM (GBXon)

444

A flat tax, retire the debt, and then repeal that tax. The federal government should be forced to live off of what it can make from tariffs and other constitutionally allowed methods.

The income tax was supposed to be repealed right after the debt of World War I was paid off. It didnt exactly work.

The Fair Tax takes the power to buy votes and punish selected groups out of the hands of politicians. The tax is too transparent and noticeable to screw with without the public going for the pitchforks and torches. This loss of power is exactly why so many politicians (on both sides) are against it.

Posted by: jwest at November 10, 2010 05:03 PM (wBISB)

445 I'll just leave this here.

I'm 27, work a relatively decent job that I've been at since I got out of college 3 years ago. I managed to get to the point where I have enough saved up to buy a first home or condo (I don't really want to go this route). My only major expenses are my car (cheap, got it for $15,000 with 0% interest until 2012. My old car basically died two months after graduation and was going to cost more to repair then the blue book value of it) and the remainder of my college loans (approx < $10,000 left). I've had enough for a 20% down payment on a house of at least $100,000 since Jan '09, and at the point where I could still put that 20% down and pay off the remainder of my car and college loan and still have a bit of scratch left in my savings now.

So why am I still renting a room from my parents? Because the shit is going to hit the fan, and even though I'm saving money and am responsible I'm going to get screwed just like everybody else and I can't begin to count every angle of attack the shit will come from. That's just the facts.

Either inflation will kill my savings, or the housing market will become out of reach due to changes there in the morgage tax structure, or just more taxes themselves, or I lose my job, or an asteroid is accidentally summoned by UncleFacts on my house.

What the hell can I or any of us do but live one day at a time? I don't know anymore.

Posted by: Gaff at November 10, 2010 05:04 PM (PRm1Y)

446 Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 04:52 PM (XrHET)

Its only a signal we'll (yes, I'm one of them) never recover if you assume static analysis. The nice thing about the Free Market (which the current Mortgage deduction is distorting) is that things will eventually find their level. And, so far in history, what has happened when a distortion has been removed is a period of decline followed by major increase.

And, for those few who really will never be able to pay back their mortgages (because they factored in what amounts to a tax subsidy, whatever you want to call it), well, that's what bankruptcy law is for. It sucks, but its doable.

The whole point of Aces post comes down to this- no one (or, virtually no one) is willing to look at their piece of the pie and realize it has to be reduced (whether through entitlement cuts or tax increases- as a removal of a deduction, in this case) and say "yeah, I'm willing to take that hit."

Well, since I operate on maximum cynicism in most things anyway (certainly in my financial planning): I'm willing to take that hit.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 05:04 PM (8y9MW)

447 443: Try China vs. Russia. Russia has petrochemicals for fuel. China wants that fuel for its industries; don't believe the 'green power' hype, or think even Three Rivers will do more than take the edge off.

Even this assumes China doesn't simply hit its next collapse-civil war-reconsolidate cycle. Do a little research--all the Communists did was add a new dynasty to the list. The pattern still holds.

Posted by: DarkLordOfTheIntarWebs at November 10, 2010 05:06 PM (GBXon)

448 I know, it's frustrating. The people of this
nation will never know true wealth until they immediately exchange all
their "money" for cans of baked beans and TV's. I would suggest that
you produce an infomercial to sell your wealth generation system, but
demanding payment in silverware or carrots will be kind of a logistical
hangup.


Posted by: Ted Kennedy's Gristle Encased Head at November 10, 2010 04:59 PM (+lsX1)
I genuinely thought you didn't understand the difference. More importantly, there ARE people who may be reading who actually DON'T understand the difference. They think paper money actually has 'value' by itself. The Weimar Republic is illustrative that this isn't true, as is Zimbabwe.
My apologies for somehow offending you with my original post, although I'm not sure how.
(When I called you 'stupid', THAT was intentional.)

Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 05:08 PM (x7g7t)

449 @432 - Did someone, somewhere, postulate that you'll never actually be able to collect more than about 20% of GDP in taxes?

Posted by: The 16th Amendment to the Constitution at November 10, 2010 04:57 PM (MMC8r)


lol.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 05:09 PM (8y9MW)

450 I have the feeling that this is just Crazy Eddie. The collapse will come when it comes.

Posted by: King Peter at November 10, 2010 05:10 PM (S5YRY)

451 The whole point of Aces post comes down to this- no one (or, virtually
no one) is willing to look at their piece of the pie and realize it has
to be reduced (whether through entitlement cuts or tax increases- as a
removal of a deduction, in this case) and say "yeah, I'm willing to take
that hit."

Yes, and what I am saying is that my "piece of the pie" has already taken hits three times in the past. Each time the government said "this will fix the problem". Each time they spent the fix plus more and the problem got worse.

I keep asking "WHAT IS DIFFERENT THIS TIME?". The answer remains nothing. We have the same tax and spend liberals in congress now that we had then.

So I say it is the same as the damn amnesty racket. Fix the damn spending problem before you expect another freaking nickle from me. I just do not believe the lying sucker of stuff anymore.

Posted by: Vic at November 10, 2010 05:10 PM (/jbAw)

452 451: Russia would be the appetizer in that one, I think, but certainly first. Smaller population, no Himalayas to cross, and more natural resources.

Posted by: MMW at November 10, 2010 05:10 PM (4BTKQ)

453 444
I can't believe people are still pushing that BS unFAIR tax. It is a
huge damn tax increase for everyone with a salary below 500K/yr.

All
of you who keep pushing it need to go read the actual bill that was
submitted and the "assumptions" that are made in determining the rates.
Also the damn kick-back it makes to low income people like Peggy Joseph.

The
only "fair" tax there is a flat tax on all income, no deductions and no
"minimum". If you make a dollar you pay ten cents in tax. Everyone
should have a stake in the system, no freeloaders.

I would also change the voting laws that if you didn't pay taxes you didn't vote.


Posted by: Vic at November 10, 2010 05:02 PM (/jbAw)

Make this man a member of the president's economic advisors.
I especially like the last line. If you pay not taxes, you should have no voice in raising or lowering them.

Posted by: blindside at November 10, 2010 05:11 PM (x7g7t)

454 454 I have the feeling that this is just Crazy Eddie. The collapse will come when it comes.
Posted by: King Peter at November 10, 2010 05:10 PM (S5YRY)

Fyunch (click)!

Posted by: joncelli at November 10, 2010 05:12 PM (RD7QR)

455 @429: "so at least after the crash, politics may become "real" again without a crime syndicate masquerading as a political party."
Nah, there will always be a crime syndicate in at least partial control. Hell, it goes all the way back to the first shamen.
"Uh, yeah, you guys go out and hunt and gather, and I'll sit on my ass in the tent, sponging off of your hard workmake sure the gods are happy. How do I do that? Glad you asked. See, you give me the choicest cuts of meat and best fruits and vegetables. I put them on the altar, then consume them. Then the gods will be happy. Oh, and if the gods are ever not happy and don't bless us, well, then I take one of you or one of our hottest women, and cut their heart out. This will placate the gods by scaring the shit out of you, thereby forcing you to hunt and gather more aggressively."

Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 10, 2010 05:12 PM (xy9wk)

456 Posted by: Vic at November 10, 2010 05:10 PM (/jbAw)

Okay, that's a fair stance, too.

The point of this report (and, no I haven't read it, so I'm taking what I've seen here at face value) is that both things have to happen- reduce spending and correct the tax system.

I completely, 100% agree with that. If you want to fix spending first, by all means do so.

Ultimately, I think the priorities come like this:
1) Fix Spending (but this is really, really hard. Someone is going to get hurt, and politicians don't want to be liable for any pain that comes)
2) Fix the Tax Code

If we can do them both at the same time, all the better, but if they have to be done separately, let's do #1 first.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 05:13 PM (8y9MW)

457 And, for those few who really will never be able to pay back their
mortgages (because they factored in what amounts to a tax subsidy,
whatever you want to call it), well, that's what bankruptcy law is for.
It sucks, but its doable

Whatever you don't pay the government is a tax subsidy! If the government suddenly increases your taxes and you can't afford them, well, that's what bankruptcy law is for. Who can argue with that?

These Bush tax cuts have been more like a tax subsidy, really. People haven't been paying their real tax rates for almost a decade. Freeloaders.

Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 05:14 PM (XrHET)

458 Posted by: Fa Cube Itches at November 10, 2010 05:12 PM (xy9wk)

Mmmm... tasty, tasty cynicism.

But, probably more accurate than not...

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 05:15 PM (8y9MW)

459 So I say it is the same as the damn amnesty racket.
Fix the damn spending problem before you expect another freaking nickle
from me. I just do not believe the lying sucker of stuff anymore.

Posted by: Vic at November 10, 2010 05:10 PM (/jbAw)
Love this whole comment.

Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 05:16 PM (XrHET)

460 I live on SSI and up until I was disabled 4 yrs ago had maxed out my yearly SS payments. No COLA sucks but I'm more that willing to takethe hit when homeowners but more importantly, the leeches who work for the Feds take theirs. The hole is deep and wide. We have two choices. Suffer now and pass on a solvent future for our chidren, or get our's now and saddle the next several generation with problems more harsh than what we have currently. It's up to us to be the next "greatest generation" if the US is to survive.

Posted by: Tighty righty at November 10, 2010 05:17 PM (pTOob)

461 So if all of this will go nowhere, then why did I bother to vote last week?

Posted by: James at November 10, 2010 05:20 PM (V/TSV)

462 Pelosi has come-out and said that the cuts are "unacceptable".

Posted by: Miss'80sBaby at November 10, 2010 05:20 PM (yfJ6g)

463 What the hell can I or any of us do but live one day at a time? I don't know anymore.

Posted by: Gaff

You don't sound like a one-day-at-a-time guy. You sound like a paranoid whiner that would rather eat Mom's grilled cheese than take control of his own life. You're 27 with some scratch in the bank and afraid to move out on your own because of inflation or taxes? Fucking grow a pair dude, have you ever heard of the 70's?

Posted by: Ted Kennedy's Gristle Encased Head at November 10, 2010 05:23 PM (+lsX1)

464 Pelosi has come-out and said that the cuts are "unacceptable".

Who is this Pelosi person you speak of?

Posted by: Soona at November 10, 2010 05:25 PM (TTW5g)

465 Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 05:14 PM (XrHET)

If the only reason I'm buying a house (as some people have stated here) is because I'm going to be able to deduct that interest from my taxes, I'm factoring in a tax subsidy. Deal with it.

If I get money from (or, yes, have less money taken by) the government for a specific behavior, the government is subsidizing me. As someone else mentioned: if I make 100.000/yr and I don't own a house, but you make 100,000/yr and do, why should your taxes be less than mine? Because you bought a house?

This is functionally the same as (using made up numbers) me paying my full 25,000 (at 25% on 100,000/yr) and the government cutting me a check for, say, 4,000 (assuming that's the net effect of the deduction on my taxes).

How is this significantly different than the people who bought houses they could suddenly afford because of an 8,000.00 Home Buyer's credit?

Across the board Tax Cuts are not the same thing- since they affect all people equally. To continue our example, if I'm making 100,000/yr and the Tax Rate drops from 25% to 22% then everyone paying 100,000/yr is paying 3,000/yr less in taxes- this is not a subsidy. It is not functionally the same as me paying 25,000.00 and the government cutting me a check for 3,000- because everyone making the same amount of money I make is benefiting roughly equally.

Now, if you bought a house anyway- regardless of the home mortgage interest deduction- then a) I don't guess its a subsidy for you and b) you shouldn't mind too much if it has to go away.

My point, regardless of whether you call it a tax deduction or a subsidy is that, if its the only thing that allowed you to purchase a home, you were basing your home buying decision on something too ephemeral for my tastes- I ALWAYS assume my taxes are going to go up. It leaves me pleasantly surprised when I'm wrong, and prevents me from being terribly depressed when I'm right.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 05:26 PM (8y9MW)

466 We did flatten taxes (not totally flat, but mostly flat) back in '86. How do you propose preventing CongressDouches from un-flattening them again at the behest of K Street? I am *totally* in favor of the Fair Tax, if only because it removes the power of Congress to use the tax code to manipulate the citizenry.


We incentivize young girls to have babies, for pete's sake!They never go to work. Ever. They are on welfare for life. We support their kids until, what, 26?Let's start there.

Posted by: Senator Soothsayer (R-AoS) at November 10, 2010 02:41 PM (uFokq)Well, we start paying the girls to have babies when they hit puberty, looooong before they turn 26. Of course, by then the boys are starting to turn up in jail.
Here's an idea, let's remove all responsibility for welfare programs from the Feds. Let the states, cities, counties all decide how generous they want to be, and pay for it themselves. Joke 'em if they can't take a f*ck.



Posted by: delayna at November 10, 2010 05:29 PM (k86JL)

467 --and another thing. Why are we letting lawyers write the laws? They shouldn't be allowed in public office at all. It's conflict of interest!

Posted by: delayna at November 10, 2010 05:32 PM (k86JL)

468 OT: I love the fact that the new majority leader in the House will be Majority Leader Don Draper.


Posted by: mpfs back at soul crushing job at November 10, 2010 05:32 PM (iYbLN)

469 Posted by: delayna at November 10, 2010 05:29 PM (k86JL)

Aye, there's the rub. There's no reasonable proposal which can't be undone by a liberal congress later.

And good luck getting a Flat Tax amendment passed if we can't even get a balanced budget amendment.

Posted by: AllenG (Dedicated Tenther) at November 10, 2010 05:33 PM (8y9MW)

470 Here's the problem. There is little incentive then for you to get a mortgage to buy a house. There is little incentive to buy a house unless the price is right. And with no mortgage interest deduction as there are no mortgages then houses will begin to trade for far less than people paid for them. But that won't happen because then those people will lose big....so no one will sell or buy and another industry will be destroyed.

Posted by: curious at November 10, 2010 05:36 PM (p302b)

471 So if all of this will go nowhere, then why did I bother to vote last week?
It is so fun to watch a soul die....

Posted by: MrShad at November 10, 2010 05:39 PM (Xqfwb)

472 Here should be the Republican response:
1)No new taxes or increased revenue streams
2)Roll back discretionary spending to 2008 levels
3)If that is not enough, then freeze entitlement spending until economic growth balances the budget.
To reform Social Security:
1) Allow 30 and under to opt out and keep their 6.5% contribution (or maybe make into an IRA).
2) Eliminate the early retirement at 62 and begin raising the benefit age to 70 or higher
3) Key SS payout to the amount of money taken in under FICA + $50 billion from the IOU stack.

Posted by: Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz at November 10, 2010 05:39 PM (Bs34i)

473 Across the board Tax Cuts are not the same thing- since they affect all
people equally. To continue our example, if I'm making 100,000/yr and
the Tax Rate drops from 25% to 22% then everyone paying 100,000/yr is
paying 3,000/yr less in taxes- this is not a subsidy. It is not
functionally the same as me paying 25,000.00 and the government cutting
me a check for 3,000- because everyone making the same amount of money I
make is benefiting roughly equally.

The government cutting you a check??? So now not paying a tax is the same as the government cutting you a check? That is the "all money belongs to the government" argument.

What about the person who puts money into a 401(k) vs the person who doesn't? Is getting favorable tax treatment by using a 401(k) a subsidy? A 529? Are you ready for the government to take that away in the name of "equality"?

What about deductions for kids or other dependents? Is that taking money from you and subsidizing me? Should we get rid of that?

How about deductions for college expenses? Those aren't available to all income levels. Should we be subsidizing Bill's college tuition and not Karen's?

What about deductions for small business expenses? Subsidy?


Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 05:40 PM (XrHET)

474 ps.
I ALWAYS assume my taxes are going to go up. It leaves me pleasantly
surprised when I'm wrong, and prevents me from being terribly depressed
when I'm right.

So there is no level of taxation that would hurt you, I suppose? And if there were, you would just shut up and declare bankruptcy?

Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 05:42 PM (XrHET)

475 Gaff @ 449: What the hell can I or any of us do but live one day at a time? I don't know anymore.
Sure you do. You're doing it.
First, you trust yourself. You're not believing dubious information from untrustworthy sources. When everyone tells you that your home is your biggest investment, you don't immediately accept it. You know there are things you don't don't know, that you don't know of all the things you don't know, and that it might be dangerous to trust someone who might not have your best interests in mind.
Second, you know who you can rely on. You're sticking with family, helping your parents out as they're helping you out instead of subscribing to some phoney ideal of adulthood. This is a very good thing.
Stick with those you trust. Everyone else is just out to separate you from the money you've saved.

Posted by: FireHorse at November 10, 2010 05:42 PM (sWynj)

476 I am fine w/ the mortgage tax increase....
But only if they put the budget back before '08 levels
They don't increase other spending areas.
They let me opt out of SS
They actually cut spending....everyone's ox gets gored.

Posted by: MightyMax at November 10, 2010 05:46 PM (NpvGL)

477 They readjusted the way COLA was figured back in the 90s. It cut the S/S COLA by 40%.

Posted by: Pops at November 10, 2010 06:00 PM (1kwr2)

478 "First, their is a cap on social security taxes, after $76,200, you no longer pay on social security."

Such a 1990s quote. I make considerably more than that, and I pay SS on ALL of it.

Posted by: MarkD at November 10, 2010 06:18 PM (dhmfH)

479 I'd buy into this--but only in exchange for a Massive dismantling of the federal government. Entire agencies gone.,etc

Posted by: les grossman at November 10, 2010 06:35 PM (BZEkR)

480 No mention of cutting government bureaucrats pay, benefits, pensions, health care cost.

Posted by: Buffalobob at November 10, 2010 06:43 PM (GwH6h)

481 Not only are they talking about a tax increase here but they are also attending the G-20 conference where the worldwide welfare leech group wants a worldwide tax on "rich" countries to pay for financial relief for poor countries. Read that to be a tax on us to support palatial palaces and vacations in luxurious resorts for the latest leader for life.\

Also keep in mind that Obama supports this BS.

Posted by: Vic at November 10, 2010 07:03 PM (/jbAw)

482 Jesus, you could lift this shit straight out of Atlas Shrugged.

Fucking looters.

Posted by: irongrampa at November 10, 2010 07:06 PM (ud5dN)

483 Guy Fawkes- but the govt has no business in trying to distort markets or equalize spending.

I'm not saying the government is trying to equalize spending.
I'm saying that our progressive tax code is based on the idea that people who have higher incomes can pay a higher rate of taxes. The reason, I suppose, is the government has decided they can afford it.
However, it isn't true across the board. The income a person makes in Cincinnati is going to go a lot further than what a person makes in California, due in large part to housing costs. The mortgage interest rate deduction is one way of acknowledging that. It isn't introducing the idea of tiered tax rates into the system- that already exists.

Posted by: MayBee at November 10, 2010 07:26 PM (XrHET)

484 I'm a CFO at a non-profit that gets about 60% of its funding directly from the feds in one grant (sizable grant). Over the last 2 budget years, we have received a 20% (that's right a 20%) increase in our funding. We didn't need the increase, we were doing just fine with what we had. This is one of the programs that should be cut. Just taking us down to 2008 levels would cut 20% right away.

I get tired of hearing the same line that none of us want to cut anything that helps us. Bullshit. Cut the funding of non-profits back to AT LEAST 2008 levels, cut the federal workforce, cut the staffing of our Congress, cut the First Lady's staff. There is so much SHIT in the federal budget that no one even wants to talk about. I realize you have to adjust Medicare and SS, but there is so much other pork in the budget to hit first. Welfare, grants for shit like studying otters fucking, overfunded non-profits, Medicaid, Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Education. Hit them right away with the cleaver and then take on SS and Medicare reform.

Posted by: pforeman at November 10, 2010 07:28 PM (S7Xpi)

485 Oh, and it's time for the flat tax. Bunch of shit that nearly 50% of us are not contributing to the bottom line. If you make some money, you put some in - and it shouldn't matter what you make. Why should someone who makes more pay a higher % of taxes? If everyone had skin in the game (and got their asses kicked off welfare), we might actually start turning this ship around.

Posted by: pforeman at November 10, 2010 07:30 PM (S7Xpi)

486 The problem is the Ace wing of the party. Know's what is right, yet fucking scared.
Know's Castle is a fucker, supports anyway. Pragmatic my ass, gutless.
Cut the whole budget. SS, military, the whole thing.
Police, Fire, Military: People join these for their own reasons. All are not saintly, nor should they be treated that way.

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Posted by: lisa at November 10, 2010 07:37 PM (Fy88P)

488 #299, I call for major exceptions to that. Now is a bad time to disestablish the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Missile Defense Agency, the Special Operations Command, etc., etc. I'd be OK with knocking the VA back to a sub-Cabinet agency. That was a Reagan Administration move.

The government workforce has other issues at work. I'll use my own Fort Polk, Louisiana as an administration. Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center are used by military units from all over the place. Before the 1970's, a small army of draftee labor maintained the firing ranges here. Once that ended, the government hired civilian labor. They were cut, then the whole thing put out on contract. With the contract having to be renegotiated every time the ranges or training areas were changed and improved, eventually it was deemed less aggravation and money to put everyone back on the Civil Service. That lasted fifteen years. Then in the late Clinton years, the positions were all cut and everything was privatized. Most of the former civil service guys hired on with the contractor who took over. Now ten years later, civil service has again been deemed less trouble, so all those positions are currently being selected for as civil service positions. Part of the problem with that is many of the guys who have been working those jobs for ten years aren't considered "qualified" under civil service rules.

So how do we adequately support the training of a wartime Army (and Air Force, Marines, SEALs, and even fucking Coast Guard guys) at the best use of the taxpayer's dollars? Raising and maintaining armies is one of the enumerated powers of the Federal government.

I admit, I have two dogs in this fight. I am trying to get on as a Department of the Army civilian after my medically motivated departure from active duty last year. A hiring freeze is not good for that. My contract position might well go away in March, since the unit I was tasked to support is just arriving in Afghanistan and won't be back for a year. I've been doing military shit since I was eighteen. It's all I know, and the only thing on my resume. I'm really trying not to become an "unemployed vet" and "foreclosure" statistic.

Second, when my wife became disabled at age 25, Tricare mandated the Medicare enrollment that Social Security offered. Tricare is secondary payer to Medicare. Now Medicare is secondary payer to my civilian insurance, which just paid a $72,000 bill for the removal of my wife's colon. She's a cancer survivor at age 28. Life's a motherfucker.

Anyway, the S.S. check for her disability is a third of our takehome pay. As much as I want to unfuck the whole system, I'm looking at simple economic survival in rough times. Me, I can live in all kinds of shitty conditions and don't much care, but I've got a sick wife to worry about.

Posted by: SGT Dan at November 10, 2010 08:02 PM (HBTr7)

489 In after the spam. Well, that was a wasted post.

Posted by: SGT Dan at November 10, 2010 08:04 PM (HBTr7)

490

"A la Allah:

Exit question: Are the majority of Tea Partiers ready to actually make
the cuts they talk about in vague, abstract ways, even when such cuts
reduce social spending directed towards them?

Exit answer: No."


That is a load of crap, Tea Partiers will sacrifice as long as it is shared.

Posted by: Africanus at November 10, 2010 08:07 PM (EXBj+)

491
"Exit question: Are the majority of Tea Partiers ready to actually
make the cuts they talk about in vague, abstract ways, even when such
cuts reduce social spending directed towards them?


Exit answer: No."

Well, that's really quite a remark.
I'm not that familiar with this blog, but is our author the same fellow who wanted his readers to "be the wave"?
Who do you think was the damn wave? It was the tea partiers. Including me who worked my damned ass off in this campaign. And my candidate lost, but very respectably, so there's that. And she's a fair taxer, so that's another plan.

This is quite a gratuitous swipe at people who I'd think you'd think were on your side.
I'm getting a wee bit tired of hearing about all these middle class entitlements I'm so greedily getting. Show me the freaking money, because I can't see it anywhere.

I'm 52, I've been working since I was 16, I've been self-supporting since I was 18 (I had some help from family when my kid was little), I've never taken ANY government assistance.
Not unemployment, not food stamps, my kid never even qualified for subsidized school lunch. Throughout my working career I've basically made the national median wage, so I am not really a high earner considering I live in the NY metro area. But I've always made way too much to qualify for any aid, and I've always paid the max for any sliding scale service I've obtained (like day care for my kid).
After a lifetime as a renter (literally, I grew up in NYC, before condos and coops even existed there) I bought a house 2 years ago. Pace other poster(s), but the mortgage interest deduction WAS a big part of the calculation I made. Social Security has also been a big part of that calculation.
I'm willing to sacrifice, but I'm not willing to be screwed over.
Why are some in the right wing seemingly so quick to concede/conclude that the government should come first?Why are the people who are going to the mat to preserve ALL the bush tax cuts and who, I presume, want to continue the zero estate tax, so quick to want to take away the mortgage interest deduction? Like this would be a great time to raise the cost of home ownership.
And, btw, $500K is not an obscene mortgage in the NYC area, or California, or other major metro places. (My mortgage is not nearly that high, fwiw).
I'm willing to sacrifice. I'm willing to sacrifice the Dept. of Ed, the Dept. of Energy, and quite frankly most other depts.; NPR, a million boondoggles and earmarks, foreign aid, UN dues, Public Schools and the Teachers Unions, Pensions and life time healthcare for elected officials, multiple pensions streams for the multi-jobbed public leaches in my state of NJ, the NEA, NEH, etc, etc, etc. Get rid of all that, THEN come talk to me about my mortgage interest deduction and social security.
















Posted by: Jocon307 at November 10, 2010 08:48 PM (aSjX3)

492 Killing the mortgage deduction isn't a negative to homeowners. It's a positive, if one defines home ownership as you own your home WITHOUT A MORTGAGE.

One only look to Canada to see that this works fine -- they have no interest deduction.

As for fussing with Social Security retirement dates -- at the same time they ought to require that all public retirement benefit programs have the same retirement age as Social Security. In other words, if working till Social Security kicks in is good enough for the average bubbas in the private sector, it should be good enough for government workers. Otherwise this is just a massive insult to private sector workers while government workers get to retire at 50, or 55, or some younger year, with 80 percent salary, with inflation riders AND health care coverage.... It's time for equality between government/union workers and private sector worker bees.

Posted by: drfredc at November 10, 2010 08:51 PM (puRnk)

493 You're 27 with some scratch in the bank and afraid to move out on your
own because of inflation or taxes? Fucking grow a pair dude, have you
ever heard of the 70's?

The 70's!?! If we could only be so lucky things were only that bad..

Posted by: liontooth at November 10, 2010 08:54 PM (9wLy+)

494 You won't cut me!

Posted by: Government Cheese at November 10, 2010 08:57 PM (VXBR1)

495 lose the mortgage interest deduction and watch home values drop 20 to 35%

that sounds like a plan.... last time the did something like that ...well...... can you say RTC

roflmao

Posted by: don abernathy at November 10, 2010 08:59 PM (J0JEf)

496 Mook; I'm not sure which government employees you think are getting 90% of their high 3 at 51. I'm retired Civil Service, under the old CSRS system. Under that you qualified of 60% of high 5 after 31 years and 70% after 40 years. Under the current FERS system, the CS employee pays into Social Security just like everyone else. They can also contribute into a 401K account that is matched dollar for dollar for the first 5%. I hope that clears things up a bit. (BTW, our contribhution into the CSRS retirement account was higher than SS by a couple of percentage points and we lose 60% of any social security we may have beeen otherwise elegible for.)

Posted by: rabidfox at November 10, 2010 09:11 PM (RvMvY)

497 Exit question: Are the majority of Tea Partiers ready to actually make
the cuts they talk about in vague, abstract ways, even when such cuts
reduce social spending directed towards them?
Exit answer: No.

Here's the sad fact: People want free stuff, including (or especially)
those who talk the loudest about ending the flow of free stuff to other people.
If the 'directed towards them' part was about SS, last I heard, these people have contributed to those things out of every paycheck they've ever received.

In other words, an elderly Tea Partier unwilling to cut SS is not being hypocritical and is not expecting anything for free, he's just getting his own money back.

Posted by: lumpy at November 10, 2010 09:12 PM (6IY+i)

498 "
His point being, dipshit, is that you don't see hundreds of thousands of middle class people begging for their own Social Security and Medicare to be cut."

I didn't ask what his point was you noisy, slack jawed, dim witted, donkey-fart birthed imbecile. I asked what kind of retarded dogmatic bullshit that was.

I'm really glad we got a chance to talk, work this out, and discuss exactly how fucking stupid and useless your sad, grumpy, moon-eyed, Frum blessed heckling has turned out to be.

Republican milksops...you do not have permission to give it a half assed symbolic try and then fail and get a party thrown for you because at least you sort of pretended to care for ten seconds.

No one gives a shit if this is hard.

No one is letting you off the damned hook or taking the blame for your cowardice in matters of spending reduction. Either get to it and find a way to do what needs to be done or get kicked the fuck out with extreme prejudice as soon as two years from now just like your left aisle pals. No one is in the mood to be patient and unconditionally loving and supportive of your usual two faced side-winding "I'm helpless" bull shit. No one has the time or resources to cross their fingers and watch you stumble around here.

We didn't elect you to stammer out trope gibberish about how deep down we voters know that we don't really want you to do what we elected you to do.

We are not going to subsidize you for long while you try to be cynically detached and above it all. Wringing your hands helplessly and feigning paralysis because the world world is against you is just useless self pitying bullshit.

MAN THE FUCK UP.

Posted by: cackfinger at November 10, 2010 09:39 PM (TUBcJ)

499 Social Security is NOT an Entitlement program. I f the Gov stopped raping it and paid back what it has stolen, there would be no problem. I trust Hillary Clinton judgement on SS.

Posted by: gonzotx at November 10, 2010 10:59 PM (0E6uF)

500 tyu

Posted by: uggs boots at November 11, 2010 03:43 AM (luR/p)

501 Ace,

So no one wants to support cuts. You keep saying even Tea Partiers are all talk.

If you really believe it then what was the point of winning this November/ What was all the posts of certain candidates and GOTV for?

Sounds to me that it's over for the Republic going by your constant pissing on the birthday cake on this issue.

Folks who are getting SS & Medicare now shouldn't get touched. Folks our age should be told you're on your own. I'd be willing to do it.

But if no one really doesn't to take a hit then it's over. We wasted our lives and time in politics. We should've lived like the 120 million who never show up to vote. Ignorant bliss until it all comes crashing down.

Posted by: Lou at November 11, 2010 05:26 AM (Cblyc)

502 BTW can #503 be Speaker of the House?

cackfinger gets it. I rather see cackfinger than Boehner.

That was a bad ass post buddy!

Posted by: Lou at November 11, 2010 05:30 AM (Cblyc)

503 So the United States government robs its people and there is nothing we can do about it. I guess old folks can do a federal crime, get sent to the federal pen and let the government take care of them anyway. Or they can just freeze to death, maybe have a heat stroke or starve to death. I'm sure the ones saying its your tough luck won't mind pulling the death carts through the streets yelling "give us your dead!!!!!!!!" When did America fall from being a great country to a shithole? A pox on all our houses. Sure some deserve the pox more, but hey, tough luck.

Posted by: Case at November 11, 2010 07:52 AM (0K+Kw)

504 Nobody will probably read this since the thread is so old, but I reconsidered my statement above - in retrospect, it isn't taking money from my neighbors, since nobody is actually paying any taxes under this scenario.

Posted by: Jeff at November 11, 2010 02:08 PM (IRzx9)

505 Just think of the mortgage interest deduction as another Stimulus allowing its recipients to go out and spend money spreading the benefit all around.

Posted by: Willie at November 12, 2010 12:33 PM (8hgh+)

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Posted by: كول at January 26, 2011 12:00 AM (FOooK)






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