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#303583 - 10/28/17 06:41 PM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1937
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I think we should also probably figure out why in the world we have military in nearly 150 countries. Please also note that when we goto war we don't come back home real good (bases, for instance, still in Germany and Japan (amongst others). Its odd, for a very long time I believed that we only went to war when we were directly threatened, that we didn't believe in conquest, that we cared about human life, etc. I don't believe that anymore...............

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#303584 - 10/28/17 08:27 PM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: jgw]
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15953
Originally Posted By: jgw
I think we should also probably figure out why in the world we have military in nearly 150 countries. Please also note that when we goto war we don't come back home real good (bases, for instance, still in Germany and Japan (amongst others).
There are good reasons for having robust, forward-deployed U.S. forces around the world, and I'm no hawk (although I spent 30 years in uniform). The world is a very big place and it takes a long time and considerable effort to get substantial assets anywhere. US forces tend to have a very stabilizing influence wherever they are located. US forces in Korea have kept North Korea from invading the south for 70+ years. Ditto China and Taiwan, Russia and Europe.

Germany hosts hospitals that have treated Soldiers (and civilians) with serious injuries in various conflicts, so they could be stabilized before returning home. Most Americans never leave the US so don't have a clue how other countries live. When you've been overseas in poor countries, you appreciate just how good we have it. US bases have been staging grounds for disaster relief the world over. When disaster strikes, US military assets often key to relief efforts.

While I am no fan of military adventurism, we should not have our head in the sand about what our military presence means to people around the world. It's typically the first contact they have with Americans and often why they aspire to come here.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#303594 - 10/29/17 01:32 PM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15953
A long but useful read in considering tax policy: The Tax Code We Need - US News & World Report.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#303599 - 10/29/17 09:14 PM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1937
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
If we really want to fix things here are two things we should bring back:
The Draft
If we actually had a draft we would never get into a 16/17 year war. The mothers of America would put a stop to it
People would learn that people from other parts of the country are actually the same
The toughest guys in town would learn that there is ALWAYS somebody tougher

Bring Back Earmarks
Earmarks were really very little of the budget, but, they kept all the congress folk talking to one another so that they could all "bring home the bacon" now, on the other hand, they have no personal reason to speak to the other side because the other side really can't help as earmarks are gone. It was stupid to get rid of them and they should be reinstated.
http://bangordailynews.com/2016/11/19/op...home-the-bacon/

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#303600 - 10/29/17 09:28 PM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7564
Loc: North San Diego County
Makes some assumptions that are not backed up by any evidence. Just for starters, it says our current tax system is broken. But it also says solutions should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. Every "solution" these "tax reformers" have come up with seems way too simple. That DOES lead to a system that is broken. Our tax code is complex because the real economic world is complex. Make the tax code too simple and it really does affect some current economic activities very badly.

I propose we stop calling it "tax reform". It has nothing to do with reform, in the sense that "reform" means "to make something better". Let's just call it "tax destruction" or "The Republican Plan to Give the Rich More Money".

And of course, using reconciliation to pass anything like this is just asking the next Democratic Congress to switch it all back. Coming up with a plan that gets bipartisan support is MUCH harder to change later. Do all these Republican strategists in Congress think Rapture is coming in two years, so they don't have to even think about 5 or 10 years down the line? 99.9% of the existing tax code is fine. We should concentrate on the 0.1% that needs some tweaking, not take a meat cleaver to a system that is almost perfect.

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#303601 - 10/30/17 03:59 AM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: jgw]
NW Ponderer Online   content
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 15953
I don't agree with many of the conclusions the author came up with, but I agree with the principle that: "But all tax policy should revolve around four essential values and needs: revenue, efficiency, equity and effectiveness." The framing of the discussion is good, as is the statement "Tax policy is complicated because it needs to achieve multiple goals, some of which conflict, requiring policymakers to make tradeoffs. No tax policy is ideal for all times and circumstances, but successful tax policy optimizes tradeoffs in a way that is acceptable to most taxpayers." The Republican tax "plan" follows none of those principles.

_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#303603 - 10/30/17 08:03 AM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7564
Loc: North San Diego County
Tax policy is also VERY complicated because there are a myriad of different economic situations, and the current aim is to achieve equity for all of them. This is most of the complexity in the tax code. Leave out all of those special rules (that try for equity) and the rest of the code is so simple you could teach an average 12 year old to write tax returns. Or just let the IRS calculate it for everyone and send them a report each year of the reasons for their tax bill.

Besides equity, the tax code favors people and companies that do things the government wants to encourage. For example, make home mortgage interest deductible to encourage home ownership. Or make companies invest in new equipment to improve our economy in general. We could review all of those things to see if they are all still things the government wants to encourage, I suppose. I bet nothing has changed though.

Republicans all want to make rich people richer, though very few economists think this will improve the economy. Almost all of them think that poor and working class people are much more likely to spend tax dollars you give them, and those dollars will circulate several times around the economy. This could also improve the wealth gap, which is getting very imbalanced. If nothing is done to improve that, you end up with a Third World pest hole where the rich need private armies to protect their families from kidnappers (or cannibals).

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#303625 - 10/31/17 07:14 PM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 1937
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Our tax system get complicated, that's true. I would not be, however, if we had a tax system that paid the bills, no more no less. Not only that but no changes allowed without 60+% votes in either house. No social engineering, no more 'helping', etc. Just taxes. I prefer a graduated system but would not be against, for instance, a national sales tax. I suspect most tax systems would work and the problem always seems to be our leaders who just can't leave stuff alone and tend to pander them that pays their campaign bills.

So, if we had a tax system that just paid the bills, did not pick winners and losers, didn't 'help' whoever, was VERY hard to 'adjust', etc. and was considered fair to all. No special deals for individuals or businesses. I think our current tax system started out to be something like 7 pages long and has grown to, I think, something over 20,000 pages long. How about just returning to the basic tax plan? As I say, there are a lot of different plans and most of them would probably work. The problem, obviously, is our elected class who just can't stand messing with stuff they should just leave alone!!!

The current budget, and proposals of the right, would, if passed, would probably cause something very close to revolution. the right, for instance, seems to forget that the top 10%, which controls something like 90% of the wealth, remains just 10% of the population! The current proposals will make them very happy and, probably, create a very dangerous world which would not be exactly good for them, ie. greed is not always a safe road to take. Cutting, for instance, 500 billion from medicare and and other 500 billion out of medicare effectively destroys both programs. Right now much of the right is made up of wishful thinkers wanting to return to the 1950's and on medicare. Can anybody imagine what they are going to do when they find their medicare has been cut in half? This is, obviously, one of long time wishes of the right. Cut all the taxes and programs, make gov smaller, and everybody will be happy? The right has big dreams but they are not exactly rooted in any reality I am familiar with.

This is, incidentally, another reason to have a military draft. Right now we have, for all practical purposes, a national army of mercenaries - NOT citizen soldiers. We need to reconstitute a citizen army, otherwise, our own army can be a organization against the citizens. In other words we are, right now, at the brink of possible disaster that we are supporting with our own taxes!


Edited by jgw (10/31/17 07:17 PM)

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#303626 - 10/31/17 08:09 PM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: jgw]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8785
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Would trying to get a handle on global warming qualify as just paying the bills?
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"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#303627 - 10/31/17 08:20 PM Re: The Common Sense Party [Re: jgw]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13939
Loc: Florida
Quote:
Right now we have, for all practical purposes, a national army of mercenaries - NOT citizen soldiers.

Uh...how do you figure that? We have a military made up of patriots who have all volunteered to serve their country. Far better, in my opinion, than one made up of conscripts who mostly don't want to be there.
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