Present and Future?

I am not an economist, nor do I play one on TV.

Many times on this board stated Obama may, just may, have taken the only real route he inherited and built on it as necessary. Just a possibility as the house of cards collapsed a bot earlier. This is not to say anything against Mr. Bush, this problem developed over decades, he was just there as the problem crested. Most all of the remedies could bring about a worldwide financial collapse that could create a more level playing field, however, the world will not have a ball or players and will require we begin at a very low level rebuilding our nation and financial markets. We have a good stock market, less unemployment along with other good indicators. Our ratio of debt to GDP is in the 80 area (last I looked) while Japan (pre nuclear meltdown) was in the low 200s. I want the debt and deficit reduced as much as a tea party member. Are some of the ideas feasible? Sure. At what expense? Don’t know. Washington has huge computers working scenarios for many solutions so I defer to them.

A economic collapse is not desirable.

Most of us do not grow our own food! I have asked before, please store a year’s supply of food in your house asap. Water will be the problem. Without clean drinking water, meals cannot be reconstituted. We will need heat, of course.

Our financial situation is very, very precarious because of our government’s choices over the past 60 years and some generation will have to pay up. Look at our cities: Detroit: 50% functional illiterates (determined by city of Detroit itself), Phoenix: huge #s of unoccupied homes, same in Las Vegas. Home prices in Florida are pennies on the dollar. Look around your own area with realistic eyes and see the occupancy and people in need. We aim our arrows at Obama out of frustration when he is merely there at the most critical time. I have my doubts McCain could even have done as well. I live in a high middle to low high area and the “For Lease” signs are all around me. We’ve had zero turnover on our street for years and we have had five this year. It’s not as simple as we think to solve folks, oh we all have 20 word solutions (even I) but, to get it done will take a huge amount of sacrifice.

Sorry if I ruined your day and the length of my rant.

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Raise America’s Taxes

Adding this ripped off column just for fun.

President Obama in his speech on Wednesday confronted a topic that is harder to address seriously in public than sex or flatulence: America needs higher taxes.

That ugly truth looms over today’s budget battles, but politicians have mostly preferred to run from reality. Mr. Obama’s speech was excellent not only for its content but also because he didn’t insult our intelligence.

There is no single reason for today’s budget mess, but it’s worth remembering that the last time our budget was in the black was in the Clinton administration. That’s a broad hint that one sensible way to overcome our difficulties would be to revert to tax rates more or less as they were under President Clinton. That single step would solve three-quarters of the deficit for the next five years or so.

Paradoxically, nothing makes the need for a tax increase more clear than the Republican budget proposal crafted by Representative Paul Ryan. The Republicans propose slashing spending far more than the public would probably accept — even dismantling Medicare — and rely on economic assumptions that are not merely rosy, but preposterous.

Yet even so, the Republican plan shows continuing budget deficits until the 2030s. In short, we can’t plausibly slash our way back to solid fiscal ground. We need more revenue.

Kudos to Mr. Obama for boldly stating that truth in his speech — even if he did focus only on taxes for the very wealthiest. I also thought he was right to say that we need spending cuts — including in our defense budget. Mr. Obama didn’t say so, but the United States accounts for almost as much military spending as the entire rest of the world put together.

As I see it, there are three fallacies common in today’s budget discussions:

Republicans are the party of responsible financial stewardship, struggling to put America on a sound footing.

In truth, both parties have been wildly irresponsible, but in cycles. Democrats were more irresponsible in the 1960s, the two parties both seemed care-free in the ’70s and ’80s, and since then the Republicans have been staggeringly reckless.

After the Clinton administration began paying down America’s debt, Republicans passed the Bush tax cuts, waded into a trillion-dollar war in Iraq, and approved an unfunded prescription medicine benefit — all by borrowing from China. Then-Vice President Dick Cheney scoffed that “deficits don’t matter.”

This borrow-and-spend Republican history makes it galling when Republicans now assert that deficits are the only thing that matter — and call for drastic spending cuts, two-thirds of which would harm low-income and moderate-income Americans, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. To pay for tax cuts heaped largely on the wealthiest Americans, Republicans in effect would gut Medicare and slash jobs programs, family planning and college scholarships. Instead of spreading opportunity, federal policy would cap it.

Low tax rates are essential to create incentives for economic growth: a tax increase would stifle the economy.

It’s true that, in general, higher taxes tend to reduce incentives. But this seems a weak effect, often overwhelmed by other factors.

Were Americans really lazier in the 1950s, when marginal tax rates peaked at more than 90 percent? Are people in high-tax states like Massachusetts more lackadaisical than folks in a state like Florida that has no personal income tax at all?

Tax increases can also send a message of prudence that stimulates economic growth. The Clinton tax increase of 1993 was followed by a golden period of high growth, while the Bush tax cuts were followed by an anemic economy.

We can’t afford Medicare.

It’s true that America faces a basic problem with rapidly rising health care costs. But the Republican plan does nothing serious to address health care spending, other than stop paying bills. Indeed, Medicare is cheaper to administer than private health insurance (2 percent to 6 percent administrative costs, depending on who does the math, compared with about 12 percent for private plans). So the Republican plan might add to health care spending rather than curb it.

The real challenge is to control health care inflation. Nobody is certain how to do that, but the Obama health care law is testing some plausible ideas. These include rigorous research on which procedures work and which don’t. Why pay for surgery on enlarged prostates if certain kinds of patients turn out to be better with no treatment at all?

Ever since Walter Mondale publicly committed hara-kiri in 1984 by telling voters that he would raise their taxes, politicians have run from fiscal reality. As baby boomers age and require Social Security and Medicare, escapism will no longer suffice. We need to have a frank national discussion of painful steps ahead, and since I’m not a politician, let me be perfectly clear: raise my taxes!

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Another random response the site censored

Let’s talk a bit about how religion was handled at the time of our founding as it has been referenced many times on another site. Soemwhere I read the remark ‘they weren’t Deists they were Unitarians.”

Umm…guys…let’s get this straight. “The Founders” (TM) weren’t anything. John Adams was a Unitarian. Thomas Jefferson was more or less a Deist (although he’s really a bit tricky to pin down), as were Ben Franklin and several others. Madison and Washington were Episcopalian (that is to say Anglican), Hamilton was Presbyterian, there were lots of Congregationalists, and a few Catholics, Lutherans and others thrown in for good measure.

That statement is incredibly Anti-Semitic as well. It’s basically stating that no other religions have any protection under the First Amendment.

Islam, Judaism, and many other religions were in existence when the Constitution was written. If the Founding Fathers had intended that it only protect Christianity, they would have written it to reflect that. Furthermore, what modern conservatives say the Founding Fathers believed about religion could not be farther from the truth.

I mean “Under God” wasn’t added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954. It was to counter Communism, a notoriously anti-religion political theory. But prior to 1954, we WEREN’T one nation under God. That sentence is in actually, quite recent.

By Eisenhower. The same President that got us the Prayer Breakfast and “In God We Trust” vice “E Pluribus, Unum” as the national motto. As a result, I might add, of a campaign by the Knights of Columbus and the anti-communist sermons of Reverend George M. Docherty, the pastor of the Presbyterian church in Washington that Eisenhower attended.

Interestingly enough, the original pledge not only doesn’t mention God but it doesn’t mention the United States either!

The pledge was written in 1892 by the socialist Francis Bellamy, a cousin of the famous radical writer Edward Bellamy. He devised it for the popular magazine Youth’s Companion on the occasion of the nation’s first celebration of Columbus Day.

“I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The key words for Bellamy were “indivisible,” which recalled the Civil War and the triumph of federal union over states’ rights, and “liberty and justice for all,” which was supposed to strike a balance between equality and individual freedom.

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Try something new……

None of us should be afraid to try something new – Remember amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
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Wesley Snipes for President

Wesley Snipes should be the Republican nominee for President. My man is like f&#^ taxes

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Four (4) Days of Spinning ended in nada

I worte this earlier and have no time to update – flame away.

Last week our elected politicians argued ad nauseam over conserving roughly four (4) days of federal government spending. The length of the argument took longer than the money saved, is that practical? Let’s see if there is common ground. Can the challenges we face be solved by continuing to move from issue to issue applying band aids with varying effectiveness?

Now, POTUS will make a policy speech to offer his solutions, is this another band aid? I think so. I believe we need to scrape the paint down to bare wood or metal and start over from there. To me, it is the only viable answer. If one party held the two branches of government AND was willing to risk its continued existence on such an overhaul it would be tempting to see it work. I see one party controlling the Congress and the presidency branches someday , however, I do not see them willing to risk extinction to square our economic system away. Does it make sense to continue to “kick the can down the road?” George W. Bush (#43 for those playing along at home) controlled the two houses for four years and chose to undertake no such overhaul though, I suspect, there were some who wisely recognized the need and spoke up. President Obama also had a similar opportunity in his first two years and chose to spend his political capital on other issues. Can we count on any political party to have the courage to do what needs to be done?

Our entire political system is at risk unless we address what needs to be done and do it.

I feel our tax structure is flawed and a flat tax makes powerful sense. Can it be enacted? I doubt it. I have seen no compelling evidence that keeping taxes for those making over $250k a year contributes to jobs, the economy or a slimmer waistline. They should pay more. Period. I also think we should remove corporate tax variances such as those GE and others enjoy. Why should they not pay their fair share? Just because they can afford lobbyists and willing Congress-people to introduce and offer such legislation that releases them from their obligation? I say no.

I pay my taxes as we all should. I ask my accountant to prepare my taxes taking every legal deduction. Period. I am proud to live in a country like the United States. I chose to fight for what we stand for even though I could have chosen a much different life, one of leisure, social engagements and such. Instead I chose to subject my body and mind to one of the most rigorous training programs in the world. I could tell you that the British SAS is more difficult, more lengthy etc. but, I won’t.

Thanks for letting me vent. Thanks for letting me share my view that a major overhaul is what’s needed and I do not see any party willing to step forward and do it. We need it and NOW!

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Lookitup3 asked about Japan’s GDP

Call on me! I know! I know! As to the debt to GDP percentile, it was in the 70 percentile last I knew. Contrast that with Japan which does very well with about 220% last time I looked (before the earthquake and tsunami) making ours almost comfortable by comparison. I expect their debt to go higher and GDP to decline.

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