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Can’t nickel-and-dime the deficit

February 21, 2013

Contrary to popular belief, there are at least two people from the two major parties in Washington who do get along and do agree on what government should do. Unfortunately, no one listens to them....

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Feb-23-13 5:14 PM

Income is income. It should be taxed in proportion to the ability to pay and should be the same whether you labored for that income or gained it through investing. You should not be penalized for breaking a sweat.

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Feb-22-13 10:56 PM

Ya' got that right, deerhunt. The corporate tax rate, depending on what business your in, is 15 to 35%. The latter is the highest rate in the civilized world. But the effective rate, what's really paid, averages 12.1% for all businesses.

But, my guess is that amongst the 50 largest corporations it's more like 6% when all the accounting shenanigans are factored in.

It's a joke.

If we changed the corporate tax code and had one fixed rate no-matter-what, ten thousand lawyers in Armani suits would jump out their windows in DC and New York.

And the world would be a better place because of it.

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Feb-22-13 6:14 PM

I agree on the loopholes,I also don't believe investment income should be taxed at a lower rate than any other income (Romney),simplify the code and you make it harder to cheat , it has become so complex that even the IRS can keep up with all the changes.

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Feb-22-13 6:01 PM

This is a good idea, deerhunt. Let's call it Trickle Down Economics. Or, The Ghost of Ronnie's Voodoo.

Regardless, I'm with you on not raising corporate taxes. The problem is that there are so many special tax breaks, and so much accounting slight-of-hand allowed, that almost no major corporation pays "the real tax rate".

As I was trying to stay on the road yesterday, I was thinking: What if, over the past 50 years, we hadn't spent 50% of every years' defense budget, but instead had paid down the national debt. I don't know the numbers...yet...but I'd be willing to bet we'd be at an overall surplus right now.

On the flip side of underfunding: Would we have been able to pull off Bush-Iraq War I? Would we have gone in and fought Bush-Iraq War II?

I can't help but feel we've squandered a gigantic piece of our economic patrimony on military gee-gaws and dumb wars.

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Feb-22-13 5:27 PM

There are good points on both sides of the argument, cutting waste - not slashing seniors ,etc. The economy must get back to a strong growth rate to dig us out of this. I know I am going to hear about this, but you have to cut taxes on business, not raise them to achieve this. To help understand this take taxes to both extremes , say you take a $100,000 investment and make $100,000 back over 1 year - now imagine your tax rate at only 5%- you would owe $5,000, you would expand and try to double this. Now imagine your tax rate was 95%, you would owe $95,000, you would probably sell out or quit because the return is too low and you could invest in gold or something outside the country. When the growth rate turned strong again you could consider raising taxes with out hurting the growth rate at a fragile time like this. The rich have sidelined their money trying to figure out what is happening with tax rates and regulation. Give them a chance to make money and you can collect more.

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Feb-22-13 1:59 PM

Thank you for making my point, JR. It IS about timing.

Ol' Newt and the Boys gave America a surplus when the economy was booming and cuts could be made reasonably.

If you slash and burn now and go back into another recession, then where are you? Back to 2008 again.

I think government is bloated. For example, there are major cuts that can be made in the defense budget. But whacking old people and gutting the safeguards for reasonable living standards, in order to fund tax cuts for the rich, makes no sense.

It's all a matter of timing and doing what's reasonable.

Long term, I want the budget balanced and I want the national debt reduced. But blowing up our fragile economy, now, is the wrong way to go.

We are slowly coming out of the Great Recession. Housing is up. Auto sales are up. Consumer confidence is up. The Dow is back.

You always seem so displeased and impatient. Can you imagine where we'd be if The Maverick and Sarah the Babe had won in 2008?


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Feb-22-13 10:09 AM

We'll just have to wait another four plus years to get out of this nasty recession. And, in that time we'll put another 5 trillion into the red. A real viable plan you've got there, Sven.

I'm sure our grand kids will love us one day for this grand plan of yours.

I'd rather get behind a plan that involves our government living within their means. Just like the rest of us have to do. What happened to the "balanced" approach ?

Didn't you just love "Contract with America", Sven ? 'Ol Newt and the boys gave Bill a surplus. It's really nice when our government works for the benefit of all of us. Such a rare thing these days.

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Feb-21-13 6:59 PM

It's all a matter of timing.

First, you have to get out of this nasty recession. Then, you balance budgets and slowly cut spending. pay down the national debt with Clintonesque surpluses.

If you want to know what massive government cuts have done in the middle of a recession, take a gander at the UK.

And, just pray we don't run into another chucklehead like George W. Bush anytime soon.

Hillary in '16.

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Feb-21-13 10:15 AM

We just passed a 5% increase on the "the rich" , is the Journal suggesting we tack on another 5% this year ? 10% in a year is quite substantial considering that Dayton is also trying to push through an increase. Seems like you ae asking alot from a very few people. Taxing corporations higher also affects everyone , if you don't think so look in your retirement plan , you probaly own stock in these corporations , are you willing to settle for smaller returns? In effect you are taxing the small guy.Growth is the key for getting us out of this mess,giving government more hasn't fared well in the past. Also cuts to programs such as Randy talked about yesterday. You can reinstate them in times of need , but handing out money when it isn't even asked for?

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