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Government shutdown inbound next week?

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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Brekkie » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:52 pm

The thing I don't understand is why the concept of raising taxes is such anathema to 99% of the public. With the amount of stupid stuff I waste my money on, I honestly wouldn't miss another hundred dollars or so per year. I mean, really, "Oh crap that's one less pair of shoes I can buy, or 3 less times I can go to the movies."

Don't people understand how massive it would be for the country if we just collected a negligible amount more from all those people out there who CERTAINLY can afford it? Even 10 bucks each from 200 million tax payers is still 2 billion dollars.

While there are certainly people out there who are living tightly and work hard to make ends meet, that's why you have scaling based on income brackets. And anyway, even though I've been in that position myself before, I find it hard to take it seriously having lived in the 3rd world. I gave the equivalent of 20 dollars to a Yemeni farmer yesterday who said he had never seen so much money together in one place before in his life.
I'm pretty sure the richest population in the world, served by the biggest economy, can afford to give a little bit extra so that the military can replace vehicles we've been using since Vietnam and the people can get universal health care and government services.

Yet no one ever dares to even propose small increases in taxes. Its political suicide. I don't understand why. Instead we gut the military, cut social projects, and put our work in foreign missions in jeopardy.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Chicken » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:46 pm

Fivelives wrote:It's Exactly What It Says On The Tin. The government grinds to a screeching halt under its own massive weight.
I got that much yes, the idea itself was just one of those thing that made me go "Wait. What?" since regardless of anything else, government services continue working; even during strikes in most cases. A recent public transportation strike involved them running the system exactly as a proposal to cut expenses wanted it to be run, which showed pretty clearly how terrible a plan that was: Pretty much all commuters were late, and not even due to schedule changes, but simply because there weren't enough buses/trams/metros driving that day to fit all the commuters.

So basically, the idea of some part of the government services not running just seemed weird to me.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Fivelives » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:58 pm

Brekkie wrote:The thing I don't understand is why the concept of raising taxes is such anathema to 99% of the public. With the amount of stupid stuff I waste my money on, I honestly wouldn't miss another hundred dollars or so per year. I mean, really, "Oh crap that's one less pair of shoes I can buy, or 3 less times I can go to the movies."


The way I see it is that the government is a kid that the public gives an allowance to. If my kid were as irresponsible with their allowance money as the government is with ours, then I'd cut that allowance in half, or even take it away entirely (depending on whether or not they work for it or it's just given to them) until they learned some responsibility.

Basically, the government is spending its allowance on candy bars and toys, then asking us to increase it so they can buy candy bars and toys for their friends, too.

As long as I'm not going to see any benefit whatsoever from a tax increase, then I'm going to be against the idea. Call me selfish, but frankly - what benefits do we get from our taxes? Roads are the province of the state they run through, we don't have free health care, our public school system is a joke and we're taxed to the gills already.

An example I like to use is buying a car. Cars aren't luxuries anymore - they might have been back in the early 20th century, but now they're sort of necessary.

I go to buy a car with money that I've earned and paid income tax on (tax #1).
I get a drivers license (tax #2)
I buy the car and pay sales tax (tax #3).
I register the car (tax #4 - car registration is 100% tax)
I put gas in the car (tax #5- gasoline is roughly about 70-80% taxes)
I get pulled over for doing 43mph in a 40mph zone and get a ticket (tax #6)

So there's 6 taxes that I'm paying on a single item. And where does that money go? It goes to support our bloated, top-heavy congress that looks on the money we pay them as a cookie jar they can dip their fingers into whenever they feel like it. Because hey, we're all just a bunch of apathetic sheep anyway, what are we going to do about it?
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:11 pm

Brekkie wrote:The thing I don't understand is why the concept of raising taxes is such anathema to 99% of the public. With the amount of stupid stuff I waste my money on, I honestly wouldn't miss another hundred dollars or so per year. I mean, really, "Oh crap that's one less pair of shoes I can buy, or 3 less times I can go to the movies."

Don't people understand how massive it would be for the country if we just collected a negligible amount more from all those people out there who CERTAINLY can afford it? Even 10 bucks each from 200 million tax payers is still 2 billion dollars.

While there are certainly people out there who are living tightly and work hard to make ends meet, that's why you have scaling based on income brackets. And anyway, even though I've been in that position myself before, I find it hard to take it seriously having lived in the 3rd world. I gave the equivalent of 20 dollars to a Yemeni farmer yesterday who said he had never seen so much money together in one place before in his life.
I'm pretty sure the richest population in the world, served by the biggest economy, can afford to give a little bit extra so that the military can replace vehicles we've been using since Vietnam and the people can get universal health care and government services.

Yet no one ever dares to even propose small increases in taxes. Its political suicide. I don't understand why. Instead we gut the military, cut social projects, and put our work in foreign missions in jeopardy.

Raising taxes isn't political suicide, it happens all the time. However, everything has a price point, raising taxes doesn't mean the government gets more money. In fact it's often the opposite. For example if Blizz raised the monthly subscription fee for WoW by 10 bucks, would they get more money or lose money in the long run? The government only gets money when people earn money, and by taking away the money that people earn, it limits their ability to earn money in the first place.

The better solution is to stop so much wasteful spending with the money that is taken from people, and there is a TON of wasteful spending in government. 2 billion is a drop in the bucket though (and we arguably don't have 200 million taxpayers when the botton 47% of US housholds pay no income tax, but note that that is just income tax), when just the military budget for FY 2010 (according to wikipedia) was 533 billion. We spend billions upon billions on things that aren't nearly as important as healthcare and military and even in those two genres money is constantly wasted. Before you dip into my paycheck to take even more of the money that I have earned, why don't we stop all that garbage and shift priorities.

It's by design that when the government makes reductions, that they make it as painful as possible on the general public.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Arnock » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:21 pm

Brekkie wrote:The thing I don't understand is why the concept of raising taxes is such anathema to 99% of the public. With the amount of stupid stuff I waste my money on, I honestly wouldn't miss another hundred dollars or so per year. I mean, really, "Oh crap that's one less pair of shoes I can buy, or 3 less times I can go to the movies."


But you can choose to buy that extra pair of shoes or go to the movies, whereas with taxes, the public really doesn't have much say in the matter, which is what causes all of the outrage.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Fivelives » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:09 pm

I look at paying taxes like I'm giving an allowance to a kid. The kid spends their entire allowance on candy bars and toys. Instead of being responsible with it and saving it up for that new bike they want, they then beg me to buy it for them - oh, and could I please consider raising their allowance so they can buy toys and candy bars for their friends, too?

Until the government learns some fiscal responsibility, raising taxes will just be throwing more money into the fireplace. Unfortunately, we as a people are too apathetic to do anything to actually FIX the problem, instead of just complaining about it (like I am now).
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Skye1013 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:19 pm

While it would probably eventually trickle down to us via inflation... a lot of big businesses have so many tax deductions, that they either don't pay taxes, or get refunds of billions of dollars... at this point in time, trying to alter that might just mean consumers paying more for products, but if it hadn't gone on this long, we might not be in the predicament we're currently in.

Also... how many vocations actually pay their own salary? If I'm not mistaken military/emergency services are on a very short list of jobs that do...

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I'm deployed, so I tend to be forgotten when it comes to stuff like this. I didn't even know any of this was going on until this thread (I don't make a habit of watching the news.)
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Fivelives » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:41 am

Police and fire departments are paid by the city, which takes the pay out of city taxes that are matched by the state government. The military paychecks are cut by the federal Department of Defense and the Department of the Treasury.

Luckily I'll still get my paycheck, since the company that I work for is private, but it's likely that we won't get paid either. We contract to the fire departments in our operating areas, and they pay the company, who then pays us. If they aren't getting paid, their budget goes to hell, so the company doesn't get paid, and it's likely that we won't.

I take it back about me still getting my paycheck. I likely won't, even though I work for a civilian company.

Shit.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby laterna » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:52 am

Chicken wrote:
Aubade wrote:I found this fact absurdly amusing when looking up what exactly a Government Shutdown was.

"In the developed world government shutdowns occur only in the United States."

we're doinitwrong
That certainly explains why I was wondering what in the world a government shutdown was.


And I thought my goverment was bad :o
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Brekkie » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:56 am

I think it's silly to blame the government for waste when we directly reward it as voters by picking and reelecting candidates whose mission is to provide as much pork as possible.

If I was president I would use Line Veto so often I'd red pen the shit out of every bill.

I think one of the problems is that the elected officials who really care about the country don't give a damn about getting reelected, they just try to cram as much good as they can manage into one term before they piss absolutely everyone off and are thrown out.
And on the other side of the coin you have the people who just want power and grow up wanting to be career congressmen. To the point where they don't even have any opinion on issues, they literally treat their ideology as a strategy decision.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:13 am

Brekkie wrote:I think it's silly to blame the government for waste when we directly reward it as voters by picking and reelecting candidates whose mission is to provide as much pork as possible.

If I was president I would use Line Veto so often I'd red pen the shit out of every bill.

I think one of the problems is that the elected officials who really care about the country don't give a damn about getting reelected, they just try to cram as much good as they can manage into one term before they piss absolutely everyone off and are thrown out.
And on the other side of the coin you have the people who just want power and grow up wanting to be career congressmen. To the point where they don't even have any opinion on issues, they literally treat their ideology as a strategy decision.

I vote for people who claim they want to reduce the waste, but one congressman's waste is another's constituency bribe for re-election so very little gets done even if they win. However, they are the people doing the actual deed so they do deserve a ton of the blame, they are after all supposed to be looking out for our best interests. I don't think attempts to hold them accountable, no matter fruitless, are silly.

Yes, we likely need a cultural change before anything is going to change. I mean look how badly the tea partiers are demonized as radical nuts for wanting, of all things, a balanced budget. And they are treated that way not just by the politicians, but by the public at large and even you once (as you echoed your friend's comments about a rally he attended) on these forums.

If you were president, I guarantee you that you wouldn't red line one thing. Line item veto is not a power that the president has and at the federal level it's been deemed unconstitutional.

EDIT: I also think (maybe wishful thinking) that fiscal responsibility is starting to take hold a little bit better now, but that may go away as the economy strengthens. We went through something very similar in the 90s when for the first time since the 1950's republicans won control of both houses. There was a sizable group of freshman republicans who were big on limited government and fiscal responsibility. As a result, much haggling over the budget occurred and a shutdown was imminent like today.

Unfortunately, the republican leadership sniped their own members, because now that they finally had a majority after 40 years, they wanted their turn at the barrel. So, when Newt Gingrich decides to put his name down as a 2012 hopeful, undoubtedly claiming to be some sort of fiscal conservative, I really hope he gets crushed in every primary. He had a very good chance, and chose himself and continued waste.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Brekkie » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:29 am

What if the got rid of subsequent terms for politicians all together? One term is all you get and that's it. I think that would have a really positive impact on government because:
-There can hardly be a shortage of talented, dedicated, intelligent people in the country to the point where we couldn't constantly find new ones.
-There would be much more attention on the actual positions a candidate stands for because they would be a new figure, there wouldn't be any big careerist politicians or party bosses in smokey rooms who can just get carried forward by their own momentum and name brand power.
-Lobbists and parasitic special interest groups would be weakened, because what could they threaten you with?
-It would be more likely for Average Joe Has-A-Good-Idea to become a congressman because it would just be something you do for a few years and that's it.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Talaii » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:37 am

Brekkie wrote:What if the got rid of subsequent terms for politicians all together? One term is all you get and that's it. I think that would have a really positive impact on government because:
-There can hardly be a shortage of talented, dedicated, intelligent people in the country to the point where we couldn't constantly find new ones.
-There would be much more attention on the actual positions a candidate stands for because they would be a new figure, there wouldn't be any big careerist politicians or party bosses in smokey rooms who can just get carried forward by their own momentum and name brand power.
-Lobbists and parasitic special interest groups would be weakened, because what could they threaten you with?
-It would be more likely for Average Joe Has-A-Good-Idea to become a congressman because it would just be something you do for a few years and that's it.


And it gives all your politicians lots of incentive to start thinking "screw the voters, I don't need them anymore" as soon as they get into office. As soon as you know that you'll never need to stand for election again, people will be a lot more tempted to start thinking for themselves once they get into office. You'll get a LOT of politicians who'll say almost anything to get elected, get into office, then do something completely different; simply because they avoid any possible repercussions of their actions in office - after all, they don't have to stand for election again.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby tinalt » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:53 am

Brekkie wrote:What if the got rid of subsequent terms for politicians all together? One term is all you get and that's it. I think that would have a really positive impact on government because:
-There can hardly be a shortage of talented, dedicated, intelligent people in the country to the point where we couldn't constantly find new ones.
-There would be much more attention on the actual positions a candidate stands for because they would be a new figure, there wouldn't be any big careerist politicians or party bosses in smokey rooms who can just get carried forward by their own momentum and name brand power.
-Lobbists and parasitic special interest groups would be weakened, because what could they threaten you with?
-It would be more likely for Average Joe Has-A-Good-Idea to become a congressman because it would just be something you do for a few years and that's it.


I wouldn't be opposed to term limits, but before we do that, we'd have to take a look at the congressional retirement package. Right now a Senator serves a 6 year term, and is elligble for a pension after 5.

If we're going to increase the turnover rates by introducing a term limit, we may want to change that.
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Re: Government shutdown inbound next week?

Postby Brekkie » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:46 am

Talaii wrote:
Brekkie wrote:What if the got rid of subsequent terms for politicians all together? One term is all you get and that's it. I think that would have a really positive impact on government because:
-There can hardly be a shortage of talented, dedicated, intelligent people in the country to the point where we couldn't constantly find new ones.
-There would be much more attention on the actual positions a candidate stands for because they would be a new figure, there wouldn't be any big careerist politicians or party bosses in smokey rooms who can just get carried forward by their own momentum and name brand power.
-Lobbists and parasitic special interest groups would be weakened, because what could they threaten you with?
-It would be more likely for Average Joe Has-A-Good-Idea to become a congressman because it would just be something you do for a few years and that's it.


And it gives all your politicians lots of incentive to start thinking "screw the voters, I don't need them anymore" as soon as they get into office. As soon as you know that you'll never need to stand for election again, people will be a lot more tempted to start thinking for themselves once they get into office. You'll get a LOT of politicians who'll say almost anything to get elected, get into office, then do something completely different; simply because they avoid any possible repercussions of their actions in office - after all, they don't have to stand for election again.


Yeah, politicians who promise one thing on the campaign trail, and then do something completely different once elected.
We wouldn't want that to start happening.

...oh wait.
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