*Thread credit should go to Credence2 for his Bernie Sanders enthusiasm - which prompted a look at his platform
Looking at presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' website was a real eye-opener.
Great sounding programs - paid for by the greedy rich, and the evil corporations of America.
Many of Sanders' funding proposals seemed to have merit -- at first glance. Such as stopping the big C's from hiding profits offshore to avoid U.S. taxes, and other loopholes that only a large corporation could tax advantage of.
... and increasing taxes on the multi-millionaires and billionaires.
But damn! After reading his platform, (you can see it here), which sounds great for the average American; free collage, free daycare, free paid medical/family leave, etc. etc.
... and then clicking each issue to get the details, (yep, each issue is a hot link you should checkout), it is easy to see why he adds "Socialist" to his Democrat label. You can see his funding proposals here.
Almost everything is going to be funded by the greedy rich folks and their evil corporations. Either by closing loopholes or raising taxes, (but only on the rich and the Big C's, not us regular folks), and insisting that both pay their "fair share" of taxes.
Obviously, I disagree with Sanders' ideas. Not because I don't think there are a lot of areas of needed reform relative to "the greedy rich and their evil corporations," but because only a Socialist could offer so much for so many - FREE!
Just as Trump supporters are vilified for ignoring the details of his proposals, don't Sanders' supporters realize he doesn't have a magic money tree? This sure sounds like those folks who were so glad they were "gonna get some of that Obama cash from his Obama stash"?
What happens when the people getting hammered decide to just take their ball and go home? (or raise the ticket price to cover the increased costs)
ps. No more worries about illegal immigrants or sanctuary cities either - everybody gets to stay/come, (he even wants an expedited process to return deportees to U.S. if they can prove they have family here), and everybody gets instant American right to due process and welfare benefits, and non-Fed cops shouldn't get involved at all
Well, I looked at the SS plan, the most interesting to me personally. Sanders says:
* We have a 2.8 T surplus. Wrong - we have a tremendous debt that government promises to pay back with money it doesn't have.
* Social Security’s assets aren’t “just paper,”. Social Security invests in U.S Treasury bonds, the safest interest-bearing securities in the world." What he neglected to add is that paper promise is not only "invested" in the lowest possible interest (in order to buy more giveaways) it is, again, to be repaid with money that isn't there. No self respecting investment counselor would ever recommend a long term retirement investment in something that pays less than inflation, but our esteemed politicians did. And Bernie will continue to use them in the greatest ponzi scheme in the world.
* "Right now a billionaire pays the same amount of money into Social Security as someone who makes $118,500 a year. That’s because there is a cap on taxable income that goes into the Social Security system." Reasonable, as it IS a retirement program and there is a cap on what can be taken out. Reasonable, that is, to any but a socialist believing that all money belongs to all people equally regardless of contribution.
And for this I would see an increase in my SS check of (maybe) $65 - 1/3 of what medicare (that I've already paid for) charges me. Way to go Bernie!
If this pile of cr...uh..."creativity" is represented throughout his other "plans" he's lost my vote before he ever gets a chance to get it. He is the epitome of why I usually vote Republican and that doesn't even address bringing unlimited numbers of unskilled people into the country for the rest of us to support while ignoring the constitutional duty to protect our borders from just such an invasion.
Ha! Good thing you didn't delve into his immigration proposals.
But... as much as I objected to the majority of his issue solutions, I did agree with some of his "tax haven" and "corporate subsidy and loophole" remedies.
The bottom line in my mind was that I see why he labels himself a Democrat[ic] Socialist.
I recently watched a 60 minutes episode where they covered a billionaire's club who have pledged to give 95% of their fortunes to charity and research. This group includes the hated Bill Gates, the Koch brothers, and Warren Buffet to name a few. Some are doing this now, others have pledged their money for after they die.
Now these are some of the same people who many want to punish with unbelievably high taxes to pay for their free stuff.
Corporations do contribute to the tax revenue because they employ millions of people who pay taxes on their wages. It is those who refuse to work who get tax refunds called "Earned Income Credits" for money they never paid into the system. This is just welfare under another name.
I can see where if we were to follow Sanders plan this country would be completely broke in 5 years or less. Can we learn nothing from what happened in Greece, or what is currently taking place in Venezuela?
I have asked many who love the idea of Socialism to tell me one place where Socialism has been successful, and they can't do it.
I could almost guarantee you that if Sanders were to win the election this country would no longer exist in just a few years. Regardless of what they think, just printing more money will not solve the problem.
Oh, I don't know - we might make it through 8 years of Sanders' plans. Might, if China continues to loan money, anyway.
Or they could call all their loans due and payable now. But I am sure they are loving all the interest we pay them.
Even worded as positively as it all was on his official website - I was still struck by the repeated insinuations and attacks on rich folks and successful corporations. This was classic us v. them propaganda that seems much more divisive then uniting.
As you mentioned, the Bill Gates of our world aren't the greedy villains painted by Sanders' solutions. And the contributions large corporations make to our economy would be sorely missed if they just folded their tent and went elsewhere.
To be real do you think this Congress will go for any of the these tax proposals and the lobbyists will stop funding the opposition merely because the people have chosen a savior? The main thrust of Bernie's campaign is getting the whole constituency to become a viable link in making the changes necessary for change to come about. Look at how Obama has been stymied by the GOP led blockers in opposition to his policies and legislation. The electorate has stood by and watched and even somewhat participated in allowing the status quo in DC to continue their unbridled ways to run up the debt and pay off their contributors. This is both parties. Sanders is trying to start a political revolution to allow the people to have a say in their on government now run by a self serving elite.
To say you are not a socialist is really quite profound. ALL of the government supplied services and agencies IS socialism. Taking money from some and giving it to others in the form of these services and agencies is socialism.
For eight years nothing much has been accomplished in Congress because of people like Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. Bills put before Congress that could have solved problems in America were either thrown in the trash or buried in a desk drawer.
Yes, we now have many Socialist ways because of our ever growing government agencies. The fact that the government gets their money from our wages before we even see our paychecks is very Socialistic.
Once they have our money in their hands we have no control over how they spend it. I doubt this is how most Americans want the system to work. The only change we would see with Bernie is they would take even more of our money before we got our paychecks. That is if we still had a job and got a paycheck.
You really don't know do you? Bernie can't do anything without us. Congress will block it all the way for the very reasons you outlined. We will have control if we get a chance to vote on it and make our REPRESENTATIVES answer to us and not the huge billions of dollars the lobby industry is there to rob us and reward themselves. Stick with it and the GOP myths of prosperity and the downward spiral is inevitable.
What is it that I don't know? I see lots of things going on in Washington that nobody called and asked me what I wanted.
I guess I'm missing your point with this. We have lost control of our government and that is why Trump is popular.
The point is Bernie wants to begin a movement back to self rule. Trump wants to fix the unfixable on his own. Hillary wants to just be President. Rubio wants to make some more slick robotic speeches and Cruz thinks the answer is to abolish the government. Bernie is the only real answer to look out for your choices and welfare.
My concern with Bernie is the huge cost of making his plan come true. It would drive many more Corporations to leave the country and increase the already high unemployment rate in this country.
I'm not sure what you mean by "back to self rule." Under Socialism the government rules most everything.
"Under Socialism the government rules most everything."
Socialism has many different facets and we have a unique one that mixes capitalism with it. We still vote for our government officials and have a say in it's structure and operation. What has gone awry is that the power of this blend is usurped by special interest that buys its way into power. We no longer have a say as the elite who are privileged to be in this class are insulated from the lower cast by greed. We have set up so many public programs to make up for this but the writing is on the wall for the middle class as their opportunities with regards to jobs are disappearing. As American consumerism has been the basis for growth in our country our lust for it is slowly becoming less attainable as we slide in our ability to maintain our standard of living.
Glad to see you jump in rhamson,
A Savior? Is that how you see him? Looking at his issues and solutions I can see why his views touch such a populist nerve with his supporters, but I am still inclined to offer the same critique of him as I did of Trump. The declarations sound great, (to different audiences of course), but the details of implementation are less glorious.
I am not sure I understand how you think Sanders is trying to bring the electorate into the governing process - other than getting him elected of course. I did leave his site with the impression that he intends to get the `greedy rich and evil corporations' to pay for his ideas, is that what you mean?
*I disagree with your thought that any government supplied service is a result of socialism. My world has degrees, and I think that applies to taxes as well. Some are legit government function revenue and some may also fit your "redistribution" concept. Are you sure "profound" was the descriptor you were looking for?
His message is to have a political revolution. He also states that he cannot do it alone. Now you may think that means he needs our money which of course he does, but he also needs our votes. When it comes time for those votes to count after the election and for change, he will only be left with what we want and that will be by a changing of the old guard who have other vested interests than we do. They will have to go. We must stay engaged if it is to work. Hillary and Trump want you to vote them in and go about their own agendas as our system has always been.
We have a unique blend of socialism and capitalism in this country. It allows for private sector growth and ownership while still having control of it through our laws. Everything that is provided for the common good is through OUR taxes. If it were a true capitalistic system you would be left on your own to provide for yourself.
A big problem is that the current system makes the capitalistic system very difficult. If you don't believe that try starting and running a small business. Our current system actually discourages entrepreneurship with red tape, taxes, and regulations. And then those who do succeed in business are hated because they are successful even if they offer good paying jobs with chances for advancement.
In many cases there are those who can make more money by not working than by working the minimum wage jobs that are offered today. Thanks to Obamacare, many previous full time employees are now limited to less than 30 hours per week.
We do little or nothing to offer job training programs that could improve the lives of many, and fill some of those jobs that are available that offer more than minimum wage. It would not be that difficult to work out a program where government contributed a portion of the wages while the employee was being trained rather than just handing out food stamps.
The truth is our government has made a huge effort to get as many as possible dependent on them for their very survival. Perhaps this is getting them ready to live under Socialism?
I have had a business for the last twenty five years and the government did not make a thing difficult for me. Of course the economy is another story. If the government has had an affect on some business' it would be based on risky or unhealthy practices.
Offering job training programs might be one of those socialistic programs you are against.
Really, Rhamson? Did you give weekly safety meetings? Check all extension cords daily for missing grounds or scrapes on the insulation? Did you religiously train employees in the proper use of ladders and did you always have a CPR trained employee on the job?
Did you accommodate wheelchairs in entrance doors and remodel bathrooms for them (whether a paraplegic could do the work or not)? The little manufacturing plant I worked at (9 people) found it took nearly half my 40 hour week to keep up with OSHA regs - was all your paperwork up to date and filed? Safety manuals all written? All MSDS sheets on the job at all times (Windex, paint/stain, any glue used, gas/oil for motorized equipment including company truck, the little can of compressed air for computer keyboards, etc.)? Did you have a formal, written safety plan filed with general contractors at all times?
I'm not up on current laws, and maybe you were too small to run afoul of the masses of regs, but you know as well as I do that such regs are the bane of small business.
Thanks. You saved me the time to explain this. You pretty well summed it up.
I have a small business that is not required to do most of what you cited. But the larger companies that have large payrolls are under much of what you state. In my early years these things were not much of an inconvenience and did help safety issues in the shop. Saws without guards have taken many fingers and electrical sockets that were not up to code did cause a fire of two. I have also worked in shops where safety was the least of concerns and spraying finishes was like a ticking time bomb. I also have seen a guy fall out of the loft because there was no railing to secure him. Speaking of time bombs one sweat shop I worked for brought in a compressor that's' tank was nearly fifty years old. Guess what? The tank exploded and we found one guy across the room in a lumber rack with multiple broken bones and a concussion. You won't get a shoulder to cry on with me about safety concerns.
I don't know a single person who is against safety in the workplace as long as it is reasonable. Should we really need big signs on the wall telling people not to try to sharpen their finger in an electric pencil sharpener?
Believe it or not even most employers care about workplace safety. Not only for the welfare of their workers but because each accident raises the premiums on the Workers Compensation Insurance.
Not sure why you would think anyone wanted too cry on your shoulder.
OP, the problem is the dispute over what is 'reasonable'. If it is not codified, how do we identify overkill relative to those employers that are unduly lax in safety related issues. It is not always common sense, there are probably many employers who mean well that are not keen to things. If I was running a small business, I would see Government regulation as a protection for me against law suits and other unpleasant things.
Credence2 - You are correct that Government regulation has been a huge help in making the workplace safer. But like with anything that is regulated, once it starts it progresses to the point of being ridiculous.
Unfortunately even though an employer is following Government Safety Regulation to the letter of the law, this doesn't eliminate law suits in the event of an injury. Even if the employee was violating regulations and doing something stupid to cause the injury the employer can be sued. If it goes to jury trial the jury usually rules with the injured party. Remember the idiot who burned herself with hot coffee from McDonald's and won?
My point was that most every place I have worked and with the business I owned we did follow safety regulations, hold regular safety meeting, and tried to keep everyone safe. But in some cases you just can't protect from people doing stupid things and injuring themselves. In other cases things just happen such as an employee getting bitten by a rattlesnake. We can only make the work so safe and things will always just happen because that is the world we live in.
Reread Wilderness' reply to me and it will tell you why.
rhamson - I don't see where Wilderness is saying he doesn't agree with requiring safety in the workplace. I see him disagreeing with the over- regulation that goes with most government run programs.
There is a vast difference between say a sawmill operation and a telephone answering service, yet OSHA treats them exactly the same. I did a lot of different jobs while raising my family, many of them in dangerous occupations. It never happened but if any of my employers had a low regard for worker safety I would have quit.
Keep in mind that even OSHA can't fix stupid and no matter how many safeguards are put in place people will still get hurt.
My company was fined several hundred dollars when a supervisor parked his pickup on pancake flat land in Texas without setting the handbrake. In an automatic left in "park" with the engine off! I was once caught on the top step of a stepladder, squeezed into a tight space that made it completely impossible to fall should the ladder tip over - written up and required to use a larger ladder that forced me to reach out past any reasonable limits to work, and in continual danger of either falling or tipping the ladder over.
Yeah, it's called "over regulation" and lack of common sense. In the plant where I wrote the safety manuals, I had to be sure and include an MSDS for the tap water, for God's sake!
Safety concerns are one thing, and OSHA (and other associated laws like MSHAW) and done wonders for job place safety. I, too, have seen plants and locations where just being on site was hazardous to your health.
But they crossed the line when they decided would fund itself from fines levied, and taking any real authority to decide safety away from the inspector is a mistake. A paper manual simply cannot cover ALL possibilities no matter how huge it is or how many "experts" (that have never been in the filed) were used to write it.
While still extremely useful, OSHA and other programs badly need to scale back the gestapo activities. As you say, the reason that it hasn't bothered your business is that you are too small to have to obey the law; were it different I dare say you would have a different reply.
I am touched, providing me an epitaph as introduction to the thread.
But in all fairness, guys, I was asked to overlook Trump's boorish behavior on the campaign trail and see the good he could do as an 'independent' in Washington as President. Well, I have a lot of concern about his idea of 'good', just as you all have regarding Sanders. For me, the status quo is not ideal, so in which direction do we move? That depends on your ideological moorings, political preferences and such.
I am hoping Bernie can get the nomination, then we will have two clear choices to select from and we can all resign ourselves to respect the verdict of the voters next fall.
I will put it this way, if I am taking air transport to Hawaii, I am not going to get on a plane piloted by a fellow with Europe as the destination. While, I may not get to Hawaii and have to settle for LA or Denver, at least I am not going clearly in the wrong direction, having the plane fall short somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.
Some of Bernie's proposals are out there, even for me. But Trump and his proposals are from my prospective more problematic. Rarely do I get what I want, but I will have to settle for the best that is available, we all do.
Blue and red can never completely amalgamate. There are fundamental differences between conservatives and liberals that cannot be easily transcended.
Credence2 - That was very well stated.
By now most of us realize that Washington is out of control and it is only about their own personal wealth and power. They could really care less about we-the-people who put them there.
We have to make a big change in the way we all think to break up this good ole boy attitude in Washington. At this time I see no candidate running for President that I completely agree with. We are kind of once again being forced to vote for the lesser of all the evils.
In my mind, one of our biggest problems today is the economy and runaway spending. I feel Trump is best suited to deal with those issues while Sanders could make this problem even worse than it is now.
To me it is just plain refreshing to see people standing up and supporting these candidates who could begin to eliminate the stagnation we see in Congress. It would appear that many have decided to try to do something about it by supporting either of the outsiders who are running.
This has gotten the attention of many who walk the halls of Congress while sucking their thumbs and meeting with lobbyists who can make them even richer. Who knows, they may even start trying to do the jobs we hired them to do when we voted.
I hear you, OP. Washington does need shaking up, no one can deny that.
We always have to select the least offensive candidate from our respective points of view.
No one man can shakeup Washington to the extent needed. Trump needs to realize that being president is not the same as being CEO. We all remember that with Ross Perot back in 1992. Sanders is the only one serious about campaign finance reform and getting a bridle on the money changers and their influence in Washingon.
We need a movement, one of profound proportions something like FDR and his coatails back in '32. Sanders has stated that he could not make changes alone but needs a congress that will consider his ideas. His desire to crack down on the money changers and their illicit influence on how Government is conducted and who is actually served is a priority. I like the infrastructure repair and the jobs that naturally come from it. Hardly make work, as bridges, roads all over the country need repair. Why not put people to work doing this with good jobs? How much of the money that these workers earn would find itself in the general economy to a benefit?
I think the run away spending is waste and misplaced spending objectives. Do we think we can find a happy medium between having a weak/inadequate military and spending more than all the next 7 highest spending nations combined? How much sheer waste is involved in everyday Government operations?
Let me tell you something, as a former federal contracting officer, the rule for the agencies was to spend all your appropriated funds before September 30 of the fiscal year or risk not being given as much to spend the following year. There is a culture of waste, that we have not even begun to address. I think that conservatives and liberals can agree on this line of attack.
Credence2 - Again well stated. I seriously doubt that you or I could burn in one day the money that is wasted in Washington in just one day.
I had a friend who sold computers to the government. He made 90% of his sales in the days just before the end of the fiscal year. They often had computers still in the boxes from last years sales. This rule of spend it or lose it has got to go.
I once worked for a Corporation that pretty much operated the same way until we got a new CEO. His rules were called zero based budgeting. That means that every department head had to come up with a budget for the next year starting with zero dollars. They could no longer just take last years number and add 10% to it and call it done. They saved millions of dollars just by converting to the zero based budget method. It was amazing to see just the services we were paying for that we no longer even needed or used.
Can you even imagine the waste that would be found if the government had to start with zero based budgets? That of course would be if they ever come up with a budget.
This same method can be applied to any household to uncover money that is just being wasted.
I'm not sure if Trump or Sanders would look closely into the horrible waste of taxpayer money, but I would hope they would. The only way we will ever break the business as usual trend in Washington is to elect an outsider.
You are welcome, and it certainly wasn't me asking that you accept Trump. I haven't. But I do think I understand why he is where he is. I think Sanders is doing well for the same reason.
I see both Trump and Sanders as answers to wishful thinking. We wish we had choices that weren't just more of the same - and along come these two. Both fit the wish... if you don't look to closely.
I think Trump is more show than go, and Sanders is just too far left for me.
But Sanders does have some ideas that appeal to me. Like the corporate overseas tax haven shenanigans. 18,000 corporate addresses, (offices?), in one 5-story building in the Caymans. Ha!
He loses me though when he gets into 55% estate taxes and all his "fair share" rhetoric, which to me just means wealth redistribution.
"The estate tax now applies only to the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans, but Republicans have proposed to repeal it altogether. The Republican proposal would cost $269 billion over the coming decade and would help just 5,400 families next year. Nearly three-fourths of the benefits would go to those families inheriting estates worth more than $20 million.
Instead of repealing the estate tax, we must strengthen it by making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share."
So, GA, what is a fair share, according to the GOP, they should not have to pay anything?
I subscribed to the wise assessment of Theodore Roosevelt made in 1910. It was bad then, how much more of that problem exists today?
I have no idea what a "fair share" is. Nor do I have a problem with an estate tax in general. But Sanders plan lowers the threshold from $10 million, ($20 for a couple couple), to $3.5 million, and pumps the tax up to over half of the estate's value. I see that as too much. And I question then ".2%" determination. At $3.5 million I think that percentage will be higher. And since Sanders' program includes special wording and different numbers for farm family estates I think they think so too.
ps. I think it was worse in TR's 1910 than it is now. Look where the huge dynastic estates were then; controlling interests vital to our nations ability to function, like railroads oil, banking, and look where they are now. Which I think are areas much less controlling and vital to our nation.
I guess that we can always debate how much is too much, but look at the GOP proposal, they don't believe that these people should pay anything at all. I don't know which is worse.
Imagine, an entire political identity dedicated to protecting the plutocrat from the slightest inconvenience imposed from the rest of us. If I am going to err in this matter, I will err pro-Sanders.
Wouldn't it be poetic justice if the greed lost the whole shooting match because of it?
I have not heard that the GOP wants them to pay more than their fair share. Plain old math tells us the tax is more on 100 bucks than it is on 10 bucks.
Making them pay a higher percentage is unfair because they already pay far more in taxes than most of us.
Paying a higher rate because of success and hard work just holds people back. I don't see how anyone can think this is fair.
OP, I am talking about the 'corporate class' billionaires, etc.
But if the GOP had its druthers it would just assume see the gilded ones not pay any estate tax. What other largesse are they offering the well heeled at our expense?
Why should the big shots pay a lower tax rate for capital gains than that paid by ordinary citizens as a result of their labor. Why are they able to hide so much income illegally and with impunity? These people that I am talking about promote the system protecting themselves from any imposition, have our elected representatives in their back pockets. I am not interested in protecting them.
Are they really paying more when all these other things are taken into account? We have a progressive income tax system. I am not out to punish success. The people I am talking about are living on inherited money and skew the advantages to themselves, how much are they cheating the taxman, really?
We spoke of Reaganomics at one time, tax cuts to the wealthy with the rising tide lifting all boats. I would rather see 13 million jobs with middle class people put to work than provide relief for a few thousand of the upper 10th of 1 percent of households with tax cuts and loopholes, hoping that they would invest in the economy and not put the money in their pockets or use it to buttress their already advantageous circumstances.
Will your estate pay anything at all? No? Why should any other, then?
"Fair" is not supposed to mean "Anyone with more money than I have has to give me some of it".
Fair also means that you do not get the option of not paying at all, is that also true? Whether you like it not this is a progressive income tax system. Why should you have tax loopholes and breaks I don't get just because you are a fat cat? What is fair about that?
I believe the answer is that if you don't pay at all, then neither should anyone else. How do you get around that while declaring that some should pay and some should not? Why should I pay and you not? I repeat myself: "Fair" is not supposed to mean "Anyone with more money than I have has to give me some of it".
And whether you like it or not, a progressive tax system is not a fair one. Neither, for that matter is a percentage based system. "Fair" means everyone pays the same, never that some pay more than others. Not even liberal concepts that all money belongs to the government gets around that. Neither does the accepted fact that a tax system of everyone paying the same will not operate the country: it is still not "fair" to do anything else.
It is absolutely amazing that the liberal mind has decided that it's "fair" that everyone pay the same for the same loaf of bread, but not for the same government.
What your complaint is appears reasonable on its face. I cannot defend it no more than I can the necessity for 'minimum wage'. It is just that like the minimum wage, progressive taxation is the standard for virtually every society in the industrialized world. If it is exclusively belonging to a liberal mindset and unless you crave for life in America prior to about 1910, there seems to be a lot of people and institutions with that mindset.
Credence2 - I just don't see how any form of progressive taxation is fair to anyone. There would be a point where workers would have to turn down raises or bonus's because it would put them in the next tax tier and they would be losing money. If the tax rate is say 25% that means they are working for 75 cents on the dollar. If they move up to a 35% tax bracket they would be working for 65 cents on the dollar. How in the world can this be considered fair to those with enough drive and ambition to keep rising to higher levels?
Under the current system those who are content to work for minimum wage, or not work at all, get tax refunds under the name of "Earned Income Credit" for taxes they never paid. Obamacare forced many previous full-time employees into part time work because of the 30 hour rule. Many of them are now on food stamps and possibly qualify for Earned Income Credits. To me all of this looks like a plan to make as many citizens as possible to become dependent on the government for assistance.
They continue to invent new so-called entitlement programs but do little or nothing to fund or encourage job training that would get many back on their feet and no longer in need of government assistance. This would be very easy to set up by working with employers who are hurting for skilled employees.
I have no problem at all helping someone who is unable to work due to illness or physical handicaps. But I have a huge problem with helping someone who just refuses to work. Perhaps I am being selfish but I worked hard for what I have.
If you can find the flaws in my thinking this way please point them out. I know we are on opposite sides of the fence but I always respect what you have to say.
Philosophically, OP, I cannot defend it. It is just that the world is more complicated than boys dividing marbles on a playground.
I am open to other ways of doing it. Would it be enough if everybody paid 10 grand a year for example? But if wages for people at the minimum wage is $20,000 a year who can afford it.
There has been talk of flat tax and consumption taxes. I would not really resist any of those ideas, and if they brought back that sense of fairness, is there enough money coming into the Federal coffers to effectively run things?
Who hasn't been down on their luck at sometime in their lives? Transfering tax money to the lazy is part of the waste and abuse problem we talked about earlier.
There are people that get on SSDI, Social Security disability collecting millions a year and they are not really disabled.
We are on the same page, I could support job traing programs for all stages of life for people who have displaced and need to do something else. Or as they have a Germany, trade schools for those not on the college track, for trades and skills at the cutting edge of technology in fervent demand by employers.
We are a society with children and dependents, how do they live without accomodations in the tax code? Regardless, the one with a 100K income is still better off than the one making 10K, tax burdens and all considered.
There are no flaws, OP, as usual, you've got it. The question is are the alternatives to the current system practical? There are plenty examples of VAT (value added taxes) used in Europe. Flat taxes and other ideas that I have been hearing about since the eighties sound good, why have they not been taken seriously?
Credence2 - In regards to the flawed tax system and reluctance to change to another method there is really no good reason not to do so.
Companies such as H&R Block pay lobbyists millions of bucks per year to make sure this doesn't happen or they would be out of business.
Our steadily growing tax code is full of deduction that serve only those who bought and paid for these deductions.
One of the primary excuses for not changing is would a method such as a National Sales Tax bring in enough to keep the government operating. It would not be impossible to determine if it would or not since all companies have to report their sales when they file their taxes. The advantage of this would be that everyone would pay, even those such as drug dealers and prostitutes who earn large sums of money but don't declare the income. It would be fair because the wealthy spend more money than the middle class and the working poor.
You are right about the way they offer trade schools in lieu of college in Germany. I was there for a few years and saw the benefits of this program. We could do the same thing her and many employers would be willing to foot part of the bill if they knew they could have access to skilled employees when they graduate.
As far as I know none of our high schools even offer shop classes anymore. These classes were never designed to make a student an expert, but to expose them to hands on experience in something that might make them a good way to earn a very good living for the rest of their lives. I recently read where there is a very short supply of welders in this country. Not everyone is cut out to be a welder but many could prosper if they had the necessary training.
I guess I am just disappointed that our government continues to make more and more people dependent on assistance when it would not be that expensive or difficult to teach them skills that would serve them for the rest of their lives.
Thanks for your great response.
You are a good sport, OP, thanks
It is that 'evil rich and corporations' that have the influence to get the tax code changed to benefit them, I think that that is unfair.
People complain about mill levies increases-tax increases to pay for public schools. They say that they don't have any children in school, so why pay?Well, someone paid so that I could go to school at one time and I think as a responsible citizen, it is in my interests to see children go to school rather than help their parents working in piece work factories or farms or whatever. Knowing in the long run, an educated citizenry is to my advantage.
I am with you in the fact that resources need to be focused on education and training rather than facilitating people that want to stay on the dole.
When I lived in Hawaii, I was appalled at simply how many people lived on public assistance, young, able bodied people. Much of the local population on the 'Big Island' were getting some sort of assistance. But, there were no jobs, unemployment was high. Tourism was and is the biggest business, and having a large desperate and indigent population would scare away the tourists. There is not enough police to deal with the resulting crimes, narcotics problems and the effects that would have on tourists, looking for a good luau and a few hula dancers. While, I think, that in Hawaii, these public assistance programs are on steroids, some of it is necessary to take some of the pressure off. There is no way anyone can starve there, with the soup kitchen charities, or have a problem with shelter because of the climate.
Maybe, with some of Sanders ideas of getting the lobbyists and bigmoney influence out of Washington, truly good ideas might get to see the light of day and be evaluated for their efficacy instead.
I lived in Hawaii for a number of years and many are indeed on public assistance. The medical is almost free and homelessness has become a movement back to the beach living. But if you take a look at the taxes levied on the rich you can see where much of the money comes from other than tourism which is in a repressed state now. I would still move back there in a heartbeat if I wasn't so ensconced in my commitments here on the east coast. Waimanalo blues my man.
Well, RH, what do you know? Small world There were a lot people that lived 'off the grid', on the Big Island, veritable jungles and backwater that you almost need a machete to get through. There is a spirtual aura associated with life in the Islands that is missing in Florida.
What forced us to leave, was the lack of broad representation of the medical professions, my spouse has lived there for many years and have too many medical problems, with few if any qualified to make repairs. This is not problem in Florida in the same way.
Then, there is the 'vog', the missus has athsma, the noxious fumes from MaunaKea was problematic.
With greater medical expense, the high cost of living was beginning to be annoying. Do you remember HELCO, between the 8 dollar box of Cheerios and the $500.00 electric bill we were going down for the count.
If there was ever a garden of Eden, it was the Big Island, low humidity, no days below 60F and nothing above 85F. I liked the isolation from the mainland as it problems were an ocean away.
They always said that 'your worse day in Hawaii is better than your best day on the Mainland"
We like the 'Hawaii 5-0' program as a picture postcard of what we left behind.
I, too, would support trade schools paid for from taxes. But there is a problem in that the tradesman has come to be looked down upon by our society. They are second class, bottom rung laborers that only do it because they can't do anything else. Until we can change that, AND bring back actual production to the country, it will be very difficult to convince people that they really can earn a good living by the sweat of their brow. Trade schools won't do much good if there are no jobs for graduates or no one wants to graduate only to become a disgusting, useless piece of trash that we only allow on the premises when we absolutely have to because we're too ignorant to do the work ourselves.
Sure. It is used everywhere because there isn't enough money otherwise. I said that.
But that has nothing to do with being "fair" and has everything to do with reality. You're the one claiming it is "fair", but it is not. Life isn't "fair", and neither is progressive taxation whether required or not, and making it ever more unfair in an effort to spread the wealth to those that don't produce any themselves only compounds the "unfairness".
I once wrote that the fairest way to pay employees was on a piece-work basis. The more they produce the more they earn.
That raised a red flag to many who thought this was horribly unfair. The reason being that not everyone has the same abilities or drive and initiative.
That reasoning explained a lot to me as to why this country is in the economic trouble we face today.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Piece work has a potential of becoming sweat-shop work, and many (most?) tasks aren't suitable for it, but it is the most equitable manner of payment.
Except to the socialist that doesn't care what the labor is worth; everyone deserves the same. Even without working at all.
You said it, yourself, reality. I can think of plenty of things in life that are 'not fair' from my perspective. You have an obligation to weigh in on those aspects that most trouble you, as I do for the things that trouble me in our assessment of unfairness.
Reality demands one thing, fairness another. But when I see calls for the rich to pay their "fair" share, meaning far more than their neighbor for the same product, it raises a red flag that greed is what is being promoted, not fairness at all. It is nothing more than reality intruding itself and being cloaked under the label of "fair" in order to get even more than what is needed. It is "sticking it to the hated rich" to pay for we want but do not want to pay for.
Wilderness, this is in reply to your trade school comment.
We need to change that cultural attitude, the Germans have done it. The best jobs are to be had by technicians and skilled not menial labor. This is a great opportunity to reorient the attitude of the average person in regards to paper pushing vs producing things.
I know an X-Ray technician who makes great wages without the hassle associated with being in nursing or being subject to the hospital bureaucracy. She attended a trade school to learn her trade and she and skills are in demand whereever there is a hospital.
Look at the potential, robotics for example. Good welders is an art form and always in demand. Robots are assembling at GM displacing the old Henry Ford assembly line. Who is serving and programing the robots? If we are innovative, these could be exciting times. Part of the job of 'Government' and those thoughtful ones of the private sector is to help identify the skills needed for the now and the immediate future. Germany has done it. If they can do it, we can do it as well, we have to invest in our people as they do to get these outcomes. Besides traditional trades, electricians, plumbers etc, to keep our society from getting behind, we have to look ahead and present an array of opportunity to students at the high school level. WE have to use our technological knowhow to our advantage to produce products not easily duplicated elsewhere at lower labor rates.
It may be considered socialist, but you can bet that our rival Government competion internationally have economic policy, where Government is working with business to give them, their workers and their the products the advantage. We need to be looking at doing much of the same.
Very interesting comment Credence2. I read where fast food joints who thought they could not afford robotics for jobs like flipping burgers are reconsidering this with minimum wage headed toward $15 per hour.
Those who see this as an opportunity will move up to good paying jobs installing and repairing this equipment. The needs of any employer is always a moving target. There were people working in buggy whip factories who thought their jobs would last forever.
As you mentioned in your comment there is currently a huge need for welders in this country. But, I don't see any effort being put forth to help qualified people get the needed training. If the skilled labor was available here would companies be as anxious to leave for foreign soil.
It would not be that difficult to set up a training system where the government would kick in some bucks for the trainees pay rather than giving him food stamps. When he or she graduated and went to work the governments obligation would be over. I know companies would be willing to participate in a program such as this.
There is much that could and should be done to help our people. Entitlements are not the answer in all cases. Our citizens deserve better than that.
There's more, OP. I read an article a few years ago about McDonalds in the future basically dispensing with the 'order counter', instead having people interact with digital display screens. Seemed far fetched, as the 1990's voice recognition software that I was working with on my PC in those days was hopeless clunky and awkward in application. I said to myself, this line of tech was going nowhere. Fast forward to Panama, 2014, even the most humble taxi driver had an indispensible tool to communicate with the numerous 'Gringos' passing through. A telephone, that this guy spoke into in Spanish, that translated his sentences into a spoken reply in the Kings English that was flawless, taking into account all of the countless intricacies associated with spoken language.
We have a IPad that takes flawless dictation. What is the implication of all of this? That means that receptionists, and greet people that were a part of the public face of a company disappears. No more wages, downtime, coffee breaks, watercoolers, etc. I call for a stock quote and a robot answers in response to any inquiry. To have a reliable speech synthesis which can interface with the machines we work with changes everything, and I thought that it was all science fiction.
In the face of such a world, did people expect Fred Flintstone to have the same job at that rock quarry forever?
The scope of training programs are such that Government needs to take the lead on it, much like it did in creating NASA as profitability may not in itself be an immediate benifit.
Death and taxes are the only absolute in this equation. We all pay taxes one way or another. Whether it is a usage tax, consumption tax, luxury tax or income tax. We all pay some way or another. What you fail to address is that taxes do not keep people from earning and the more you earn the less of a problem it becomes because you have more than where you started. The main problem occurs when people won't or cannot earn a wage. Then we all resort to comparing what hard work we do and others don't to earn a living or a helping hand. If we had more jobs this would be less of a problem but we continually promote shrinking the economy and the job market and expect this to improve.
GA - After giving this some deep thought, I am wavering.
I am nearing the end of the road and my income is reduced to SS and a small pension from my previous employer. Based on that my tax burden would not be that great.
With that in mind the idea of absolutely everything being free is becoming more appealing. Heck I could even go back to college and get another degree since it will be free. Perhaps I could get a degree in basket weaving or something equally interesting. Some are even demanding free food and free housing. That would give me a lot more money to use for fun stuff.
I could use the free medical care to get a couple new knees and any other spare parts they are giving away. Why not when it won't cost me a dime?
Now we all know that nothing is really free. The beauty of this plan is that by the time the bill comes due I will probably be dead and gone and the youngsters who are demanding all this free stuff will have to pay it.
The evil rich is a small percentage of the people that "Bernie the Bun" plans to steal from. But, its not just the rich...what about the Welfare Bums? ... Bernie relates to them well.
Bernie is backing Obama's dangerous immigration plan. The USA leads the way with HIV infections since Obama dropped the ban of infected aliens coming here. NOW, Obama is lifting the ban on 3 MORE STD's that will allow those infected aliens here to spread more diseases.
Immigrants with chancroid, granuloma inguinale, and lymphogranuloma venereum will be allowed into the US now too.
Bernie is all for not protecting honest hard working citizens, just like Obama and his other meatheads. Oh, they are for their special interest groups and like playing Santa to them.
Bernie, how about protecting American citizens from disease infected non-citizens who come and live off the taxpayers? Some people do not know what they do! (I need to go wash my mind out with soap).
https://www.federalregister.gov/article … ng-process
BernieCare is a failure beforehand... (ObamaCare is imploding!)
Big Pharmaceutical companies charge whatever they want, there are no bids. But, Bernie will direct taxpayers money to pay for the STDs right into Phara's pockets ... (evil rich plan / favors / payoffs).
B.S., show me a plan that works for the people, not the rich evil companies!
I have not read through this thread, but I just want to say that Bernie Sanders' point is not that corporations or the rich are evil and greedy, but that the economic, judicial, and legislative systems are all rigged in favor of the wealthy. Taxpayers bail out Wall Street and the big banks and no one goes to prison, while people languish in prisons for marijuana offenses. It's all bass ackwards and it won't change until the people rise up (by working within the system) and demand that moneyed interests be held accountable.
Good points, I think you nailed it.
except... I am not willing to give Mr. Sanders any slack because he is right about many of the monied inequities. It only takes a few minutes reading to see his inclination to wealth redistribution ideologies.
Still, you are right about your points - as I see it.
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