20061120

Democratic Tsunami

During the runup to election day, often within the media we heard about how a Democratic Tsunami was approaching, that being Democrats taking control of Congress.

OK Dems, "We the People" have handed you control of Congress. Now what are you going to do with that control?

One of the reasons I voted for Democratic candidates was because I was tired of the "borrow and spend" hypocrisy of the Republican Party.

Democratic leaders have announced a new (actually this is an old idea) "pay as you go" strategy. OK Dems, your first real test is going to come this Spring. The current special appropriation for the Iraq war ends about then and you will be asked to "support the troops" with another special appropriation.

First a little history on this "special appropriation". This is one of the things that pissed me off about Republicans. Republicans would pass a budget, and then start to discuss the resulting deficit spending that resulted. They would trot out the figure resulting from general spending, and if it went down a little, point to it saying "See how small it is, only $250 billion." Only problem is that this figure is smoke and mirrors. It does not include the "special appropriations" made to support the War in Iraq.

I would encourage Dems to consider firing a shot across the Republican's bow. Tell them that from now on, the War in Iraq is going to be "Pay as you go". That we are no longer going to support the War in Iraq with a charge card.

How would I go about paying for it? I would roll back the George Dubyah Bush tax cuts, with certain exceptions. I would continue the $2k child tax credit, make permanent the marriage penalty tax relief, and come up with a permanent solution to the problems with the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Now before Lethal Poison starts calling me a hypocrite, I wish to point out that I currently do not receive benefit from any of the above measures and that rolling back the Dubyah tax cuts will probably raise my taxes by a couple thousand a year.

Now some Dems have tried to claim that nothing can be done about the Dubyah tax cuts until they are set to expire in 2010. Senator Schumer (Dem - New York) has been one such leader that I have heard this from. He seems to think that as long as Dubyah is in the Oval Office, and Republicans hold enough seats in the Senate to filibuster, Dems are powerless. So much for expecting wise leadership out of the Democrats, or at least out of Senator Schumer.

If Democrats wish to restore taxes to the levels set by Ronald Reagan, here is how they should go about it. They should hold a gun to Dubyah's head.

When the "special appropriation" comes up, you announce: "We will support the troops, only we are going to support them with hard earned American Tax Dollars instead of money we borrow from the Chinese." Then, in a trick I learned from the Republicans, tie in the repeal of the Dubyah tax cuts with the money to pay for the war. The President does not have a line item veto, so he will have to take all or nothing.

Now this would have to start in the House, where the simple majority held by the Dems will make this possible. The bill could then be sent over to the Senate, where Dems there will have to deal with a filibuster. Let the Republicans filibuster all they want. I would imagine they'll start getting cold feet when the date the money appropriated for the war runs out approaches. House Leadership will just need to stand firm and wait for the opposition to wilt.

As a signal that this measure is only being taken for the sake of fiscal sanity, and not as a measure to punish the troops, I would suggest that Dems also fold into the bill a healthy increase in pay for our underpaid heroes. This could come as an across the board increase, or as a more thoughtful targeted increase. What would I suggest? A robust increase in Imminent Danger Pay (formerly known as Combat Pay) and a significant increase in payments to those of our warriors that return home with disabilities.

When the bill reaches the President, he will be sitting there with a gun to his head. He either allows for his tax cuts to be repealed, or he is going to have to withdraw the troops. His choice.

Perhaps, to be fair to the President, if such a measure is going to be taken it should be announced now so that the President has time to reconsider his "stay the course" strategy in Iraq.

Whichever decision the President comes to, Dems will have won a major victory. They will have forced either a restoration of taxes to Ronald Reagan levels or a reduction in spending to help control the runaway red ink in the federal budget.

If we are going to decrease deficit spending, we either have to increase taxes or decrease spending. Force the President to climb on board. Whichever decision the President comes to, the Dems will have significantly decreased deficit spending.

That will be a real Democratic Tsunami. Nah, not the tsunami. All them tsunamis start with an earthquake. This will be the earthquake, with the tsunami set to wash ashore in 2008.

51 Comments:

Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. How would I go about paying for it? I would roll back the George Dubyah Bush tax cuts, with certain exceptions. I would continue the $2k child tax credit, make permanent the marriage penalty tax relief, and come up with a permanent solution to the problems with the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Now before Lethal Poison starts calling me a hypocrite, I wish to point out that I currently do not receive benefit from any of the above measures and that rolling back the Dubyah tax cuts will probably raise my taxes by a couple thousand a year.


Reply-

1. Did the Bush tax cuts REALLY benefit you that much? I dont really have the patience to check it out, but, a couple thousand a year? That sounds extremely high. I might go with your taxable income being increased a couple thousand, but your actual taxes?.....that seems like a whole lot to me.

2. The AMT problems are going to take tons of work. There is so much broken with this, its almost hard to figure out where to start.


3. I completely agree with rolling back the Bush tax cuts, especially the capital gains portion.

11/20/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

As I can recall, the Dubyah tax cuts reduced my top marginal rate from something like 25% to 15%.

The AMT problems can be eliminated by restoring the taxes on the wealthy to Ronald Reagan levels.

I am not sure I am talking truth, I am only certain Republicans have been talking lies. If I wanted truth on my economic proposals, I would have to turn to Senator Kent Conrad (Dem North Dakota) because that man has proven he can work miracles with a calculator.

11/20/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/20/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

I dont think a miracle needs to be worked.

A little fiscal responsibility would probably fix 90% of the problems.

As for AMT, so you advocate basically getting rid of it altogether, since AMT is higher then all but the highest Reagan tax bracket?

11/20/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

No, I support the general concept behind the AMT. However, due to inflation, the AMT has caught too many within it's nets, too many people who were not intended to be caught.

11/20/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

I'll have to rethink that last post.

I am open to debate as to whether the AMT should be eliminated altogether.

11/20/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

I believe that there DOES have to be some sort of minimum tax, how it is adjusted, I havent looked into it, but without it, there is nothing that prevents the extraordinarily wealthy from hiding everything.

11/20/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

If the wealthy seek to do with their money what society thinks is good, and thus pay no tax because they did this good with their money, I am OK with this.

This would be better then the government taking their "fair share" under all circumstances and wasting the results of what they have obtained.

Motivating the individual to do great things through tax cuts is better then the government taxing and trying to do the same thing itself.

11/20/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. Motivating the individual to do great things through tax cuts is better then the government taxing and trying to do the same thing itself.


Reply- Unfortunatley, the way the tax cuts are currently set up, arent motivating anyone to do a whole lot of anything.

In "theory" tax cuts for capital gains were supposed to encourage further investment of those savings......did it? The tax cuts were not tied to having to invest the proceeds. Government just simply "logically" believes they will.

In reality, it has just motivated the wealthy to filter most of their compensation through capital gains, bilking society out of billions.

11/20/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

But by "filtering" their income through capital gains, did not the wealthy then do that which is good for society?

Of course there has to be limits. I think the Dubyah tax cuts took things too far.

11/20/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. But by "filtering" their income through capital gains, did not the wealthy then do that which is good for society?

Reply- Have you taken a look at measures of "society"? The GINI index is approaching highs that it hasnt seen since the early 1900's, the real median wage has been frozen, minimum wage has remained untouched for a decade, and the manufacturing jobs are leaving the shores faster then ever.

What exactly have they done?

Wait a second, Ill tell you what theyve done.....

http://www.sptimes.com/2004/02/27/Business/Rich_get_richer___aga.shtml

Theyve been able to successfully concentrate even MORE wealth at the top.

11/21/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

Well, I personally am in favor of rolling back the Dubyah taxcuts for the upper class.

I am particularly fond of the Death Tax myself for any amount that an estate attempts to pass onto heirs beyond a reasonable sum such as, say, 10 million or something (I am open to debate as to what a "reasonable sum" would be).

By the way, I could not follow the link you provided because on my display, part of it was cut off. You need to learn how to post a link in comments. It does take alot of keyboard clicking, but is worth it in the long run.

I do wish to point out that many members of the middle class now have tidy sums invested in the stock market through their 401k's. Perhaps 1 day you will yourself.

Personally I do not myself have anything thus invested. I have a little invested in real estate but a large portion of my extra income has gone to get my kids through college. I think investing in my children's future is the best investment of all.

11/21/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. I am particularly fond of the Death Tax myself for any amount that an estate attempts to pass onto heirs beyond a reasonable sum such as, say, 10 million or something (I am open to debate as to what a "reasonable sum" would be).


Reply- There is already a bottom figure for the "death tax" (estate tax). Estates under 2 million are excluded from Federal Estate Tax

IRS Link


In reality, something like less then 5% of all estates are subjected to the "death tax".

Again, I direct you to read the book "Pefectly Legal" by David Cay Johnston. There is a whole chapter in which he presents hard core evidence of this.


2. You need to learn how to post a link in comments. It does take alot of keyboard clicking, but is worth it in the long run.

Reply- I can assure you I know how to "post a link", Ive been writing HTML practically since its publically commercial inception. Ive had some form of web page since 1996.

I just dont CARE to type in the extra characters, as one can easily cut and paste the link and put it into a browser.


3. I do wish to point out that many members of the middle class now have tidy sums invested in the stock market through their 401k's. Perhaps 1 day you will yourself.


Reply- What do 401k's have to do with the price of tea in China? I can assure you that nobody who has money in a 401k is investing in it because of the "great capital gains tax breaks", that have absolutely no bearing on them until they are 65. They are trying to put away some money in a retirement fund because theyve been bambuzzled out of pensions altogether.

Personally, the only thing "good" about a 401k in my opinion is the fact that the employer might match you.

The return is a joke, and the fact that you cant touch it but for a select number of reasons until you are 65 is a joke.

There is close to a 50% chance Ill be dead by 65, why would I want to put a dime into a piece of garbage I may never see?

11/21/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

Well, if you had kids, you might then take succor from the fact the money could be passed on to them.

It is strange how having kids often changes a persons viewpoint on things. Perhaps it is a little human instinct or something.

I do not think 2 million is an adequate amount to shield some smaller famility businesses. It might have been enough when it was last set at that amount, but time has marched on. I use as my standard a decent sized farm that might be located near an urban area. How much of a shield would such a farmer need to pass his holdings onto his children once the grim reaper comes calling? Since the owner of a farm can not be singled out for special treatment over any other small business owner, I have come up with the amount of 10 million as being necessary for everyone.

11/21/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. I do not think 2 million is an adequate amount to shield some smaller famility businesses. It might have been enough when it was last set at that amount, but time has marched on. I use as my standard a decent sized farm that might be located near an urban area. How much of a shield would such a farmer need to pass his holdings onto his children once the grim reaper comes calling? Since the owner of a farm can not be singled out for special treatment over any other small business owner, I have come up with the amount of 10 million as being necessary for everyone.


Reply- 10 million will effectively shield 99.9% of all people from the "death tax". I thought you were an "advocate" of death tax.

Regardless, very few "family businesses" are getting taxed on death. Often LONG before an older family member dies, his shares of the biz have been gifted or "sold" to his posterity.

It is a right wing myth that "the family farm" is being harmed. In fact, David Cay Johnston addresses this precisely, and cites a study that the Bush government found exactly ONE instance of a family farm being hit by the "death tax".

You believe far too much right wing tripe at face value.

11/21/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. Well, if you had kids, you might then take succor from the fact the money could be passed on to them.


Reply- Im sure I will never see 2 million of assets by the time I die, niether will you, and neither will my children, or probably grand children, unless they win the lotto. So Im not really concerned.

11/21/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

Again, there is your self centered "If it ain't good for me, I could care less" attitude.

I want a tax code that is best for society. One that rewards investors for providing jobs to average Americans. One that rewards individuals for doing what is good for society.

In many instances, I do not trust my own generation, nor your generation, to come up with a wise tax code. Most would only go into the procedure with a "What's in it for me" attitude and screech if someone else got a little better benefit out of the deal.

As a result, I want to see America come as close as possible to going back to the tax code my Daddy's generation came up with. Some have described my Daddy's generation as being the "Greatest Generation". I see no evidence that any of the generations that followed are not anything more then a majority of greedy, selfish individuals.

11/21/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. I want a tax code that is best for society. One that rewards investors for providing jobs to average Americans. One that rewards individuals for doing what is good for society.

Reply- AGAIN, I challenge you to give me one economic factor relating to "society" that has shown that the Bush tax cuts have done ANYTHING but make the rich wealthier.


2. In many instances, I do not trust my own generation, nor your generation, to come up with a wise tax code. Most would only go into the procedure with a "What's in it for me" attitude and screech if someone else got a little better benefit out of the deal.


Reply- Much like yourself, who can only complain about how YOUR deductions would be taken away?

Yet, you amazingly dont have an answer for the millions who are POORER then you and paying MORE taxes.

I think, before accusing others of "me, me, meedom", you should take a good look in the mirror.

3. As a result, I want to see America come as close as possible to going back to the tax code my Daddy's generation came up with. Some have described my Daddy's generation as being the "Greatest Generation".


Reply- The tax code was not the only thing different in your "Daddys Generation". The whole society was completely different, the whole economy was different, the place of the US in the global economy was different.

11/21/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

I have repeatedly stated I am in favor of rolling back the George Dubyah Bush taxcuts with only a few certain exceptions.

I am in favor of the middle class paying for certain benefits for the lower class such as food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Workfare (as opposed to Welfare) etc etc.

I have on more then one occasion stated I could live with changes to the tax code that would result in my having to pay more in taxes if it was good for society.

You on the other hand have vociferously opposed anything that will not be a good deal for you. I have pointed to the "average American" while you have pointed only at yourself and what is in it for you.

11/21/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. I am in favor of the middle class paying for certain benefits for the lower class such as food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Workfare (as opposed to Welfare) etc etc.

Reply- Yet you are not in favor of giving them equivalent tax breaks as you get. Such as taking rent as a deduction.

2. You on the other hand have vociferously opposed anything that will not be a good deal for you. I have pointed to the "average American" while you have pointed only at yourself and what is in it for you.

Reply- You pointed to your fictitional picture of the "average American". I do not accept your description of the "average American" as fact, and said as much.

11/21/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

Look, the basis for the interest deduction for home ownership is based on fact. The mortgage payer only gets to deduct the interest and not the principal payment. The recipient of the interest then pays taxes on the interest received.

In fact, while the mortgage payer starts off owning little to nothing of the home he has bought, he ends up paying 100% of the property tax owed on the property to the local governments.

As for your objection to the picture of the "average American" you pointed to nothing that painted a better picture, you only pointed to yourself. I only used the figures I did because at the time I was putting forth my argument against the "Fair Tax". I was at the time engaged in a cross blog debate with Marty at Speckblog using the figures he had used.

However you only point to your own predicament as if somehow your own predicament makes you a representative example of an average American without providing any backing that you are a representative sample.

11/21/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. Look, the basis for the interest deduction for home ownership is based on fact. The mortgage payer only gets to deduct the interest and not the principal payment.

Reply- which, for the first 10 years, is pretty much the whole payment, is it not? Yeah it is.

2. As for your objection to the picture of the "average American" you pointed to nothing that painted a better picture, you only pointed to yourself.

Reply- I suggest you go back and read again.

11/21/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

I do not have to go back and read it again. Time and time again, every objection you have raised has always gone back to where you now sit. You do not own a home, so home ownership is bad for example.

I seem to recall that more then half of Americans now own their own homes, but you insist that the "average American" must be a renter because you are.

11/21/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

I went and did a little checking, home ownership rates for Americans in the 4th Quarter of 2005 (the latest figure I could find) was 69.0%.

So when we discuss the "average American", Joe Average probably owns a home.

11/22/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. I do not have to go back and read it again. Time and time again, every objection you have raised has always gone back to where you now sit. You do not own a home, so home ownership is bad for example.

Reply- This shows your laziness, not your correctness, since you dont have the "need", Ill do it for you.

"Im going to have to disagree with your picture of the average American family.

In reality, there are few families with 2 children making 43k a year. They tend to be VERY poor (which probably will amount to zero tax), or somewhat affluent.

The median US household income (that is all households by the way), makes over 44k. Funny thing is, over half of all households, are not conventional ones, as reported recently http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/15/us/15census.html?ei=5090&en=e788ed47b459cd7f&ex=1318564800&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=print.

As a matter of fact, Id think it was outright wrong to assume that people making 43k with 2 kids is anything other then the minority. Most of the "households" making under 43k are single, single head of households, or married without kids, and I will bet my life on that."


This was the first post on "The Unfair Tax"


Second, I dont give a flying hell if I had a home or not, it has no bearing whatsoever on the fact that tax deductions for interest are a living expense subsidy for landowners, one which the poor do not get, so, it is REGRESSIVE. It is YOU who do not give a damn about the regressive taxes on those beneath you, but only have a concern for your "deductions" which youve spent many posts arguing for.


2. I went and did a little checking, home ownership rates for Americans in the 4th Quarter of 2005 (the latest figure I could find) was 69.0%.

So when we discuss the "average American", Joe Average probably owns a home.


Reply- Is that counting how many of those Joes are "in foreclosure", or "spending 75% of their income on housing"? Of course it doesnt.

How was that survey conducted? Was it a phone survey? We all know how accurate those are.

11/22/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

Typical response to a poll. If it disagrees with me, then it is just inaccurate.

I would put forth that the "margin of error" is not so much as to overcome the results stated.

How is giving the middle class on tax break on the INTEREST ONLY portions of a mortgage payment regressive to the lower class? The lower class is not expected to pay more to compensate. It does not increase the payments in taxes by the lower class, it only means that some members of the middle class pay a little less.

The middle class also gets a tax reduction for paying for college tuition. This tax break is almost useless to the lower class if they are relying on pell grants and scholarships to get through college.

Are you in favor of eliminating every avenue that is open to help the middle class achieve the American Dream?

I know that I grew up in a lower-middle class family. My family could not afford to put me through college. Pulling my own family up by my bootstraps, taking advantage of the tax advantages offered to me, I have attempted to open up new possibilities to my own family by making sacrifices and putting my kids through college.

Society can look at my family as a success story! They motivated me to take responsibility for my own family and put my own kids through college with little government aid.

11/22/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. Typical response to a poll. If it disagrees with me, then it is just inaccurate.


Reply- All polls done by phone, especially economical ones, are complete fluff.

For instance, the unemployment survey is done by phone.....gee, considering it doesnt count homeless people....or people too poor to have a phone......How is it accurate at all?


2. I would put forth that the "margin of error" is not so much as to overcome the results stated.


Reply- I disagree that the "margin of error" compensates for under or overstating in all polls. Id question the statistical validity of 90% of polls done, unless they are on the whole population, not just a tiny phone surveyed sample.


3. How is giving the middle class on tax break on the INTEREST ONLY portions of a mortgage payment regressive to the lower class? The lower class is not expected to pay more to compensate. It does not increase the payments in taxes by the lower class, it only means that some members of the middle class pay a little less.


Reply- The lower class, as a result of the cost of living subsidies, end up paying a higher percent of their gross income in taxes. That is regressive legislation. A regressive tax is not defined as "an increased tax over what you are paying now", the definition of a regressive tax is one that amounts to a higher percent, or dollar tax, the lower the income bracket.

Since poor people, those in the lowest few income brackets, make up almost ALL of the renters, it is regressive.


4. The middle class also gets a tax reduction for paying for college tuition. This tax break is almost useless to the lower class if they are relying on pell grants and scholarships to get through college.


Reply- Im actually in favor of keeping the college tax breaks, that is often the only way lower middle class families can get to college, since they often dont qualify for the majority of grants.


5. Are you in favor of eliminating every avenue that is open to help the middle class achieve the American Dream?

Reply- Im in favor of a fair, non-regressive tax system. If the government is going to subsidize some peoples living expenses, they should subsidize everyone's, or noone's.

11/22/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

What nonsense!

You stated:

"The lower class, as a result of the cost of living subsidies, end up paying a higher percent of their gross income in taxes."

So since the middle and upper income classes are willing to provide cost of living subsidies, the result is unfair to the lower class? That because the upper income levels provide these "subsidies" this causes the lower class to pay a higher percent of their gross income in taxes?

Either you are a damn fool or you have an extremely poor command of the English language. Please clarify exactly which category you belong.

11/22/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. So since the middle and upper income classes are willing to provide cost of living subsidies, the result is unfair to the lower class? That because the upper income levels provide these "subsidies" this causes the lower class to pay a higher percent of their gross income in taxes?


Reply- This is where assuming gets one in to trouble.

You, ignorantly, and for no apparent reason, since the context of the statement doesnt support a conclusion such as you came to, felt it neccessary to "assume" that the "subsidies" I was referring to were provided by the "Rich" to the "Poor".

You then proceed to challenge my grasp of the English language, or my intellegence, when it is your own misassumptions that have confused you.

Now, since obviously you didnt comprehend the definition of "cost of living" subsidies from the context of the discussion, Ill spell it out for you in black and white.

A T-A-X D-E-D-U-C-T-I-O-N F-O-R I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T E-X-P-E-N-S-E I-S A S-U-B-S-I-D-Y F-O-R L-I-V-I-N-G E-X-P-E-N-S-E-S A-F-F-O-R-D-E-D O-N-L-Y T-O T-H-E L-A-N-D O-W-N-E-R C-L-A-S-S. S-I-N-C-E P-E-O-P-L-E I-N T-H-E L-O-W-E-R I-N-C-O-M-E B-R-A-C-K-E-T-S M-A-K-E U-P T-H-E O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M-I-N-G P-E-R-C-E-N-T O-F R-E-N-T-E-R-S, I-T, I-N E-F-F-E-C-T, C-O-N-S-T-I-T-U-T-E-S A R-E-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E T-A-X.


Was that clear enough? Or would you prefer to miscontrue, and misunderstand more of what I said, and degrade my intellegence based on that.




2. Either you are a damn fool or you have an extremely poor command of the English language. Please clarify exactly which category you belong.


Reply-I choose option C. Your reading and comprehension level leaves much to be desired, and projecting it on to others is not solving the problem.

11/22/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

No, I am going to continue to question your understanding of the word subsidy.

11/22/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. No, I am going to continue to question your understanding of the word subsidy.


Reply- Subsidy-

1. a direct pecuniary aid furnished by a government to a private industrial undertaking, a charity organization, or the like.


Now, lets see if this scenario fits the definition of "subsidy".

A government, allows a tax payer to effectively LOWER his taxes paid, and therefore lower the overall revenue it otherwise would have gathered, simply for "owning" land.

So in effect the government is HANDING money, albeit in the form of just allowing the tax payer to not pay an additional amount of his own wages, to the taxpayer simply for owning property.

This is money a RENTER, or most likely someone in the lower couple income brackets, does NOT receive.

Now, if thats not a subsidy, I dont know what is.


As for your repeated challenging and sarcastic referral to my "understanding" or "intellegence", those who live in glass houses should never throw rocks.

11/22/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

Well taken point about living in glass houses.

So you object to the American government providing a subsidy to home ownership to 69% of Americans who are home owners then?

You would object to the fact that landlords who provide housing to the remaining 31% might get a subsidy for providing this housing?

Go move to Cuba and live under Fidel if you think that you can find a better outcome then living under the American Way!

11/22/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. So you object to the American government providing a subsidy to home ownership to 69% of Americans who are home owners then?

Reply- I object to the government providing a subsidy to anyone. If they are providing one though, it should be to everyone. Its not fair that I (and most renters) have a higher taxable income, then someone with the same living expenses, and a much higher gross income, simply because he owns a house.


2. You would object to the fact that landlords who provide housing to the remaining 31% might get a subsidy for providing this housing?


Reply- There are only two landlords I know of that get "subsidies" for "providing housing" section 8 slum lords, and people lying about the use of their second alloted dwelling.


Those "providing housing" for section 8 are not getting "subsidies" really, the government is "paying" the rent of the low income people who couldnt afford it. Its actually a subsidy to the poor person who couldnt otherwise afford housing.


These people arent even in the conversation though.

The renters Im referring to are the ones that pay, out of pocket, the complete sum of their rent each month.


3. Go move to Cuba and live under Fidel if you think that you can find a better outcome then living under the American Way!

Reply- I would refer you to the Bill of Rights, which provide me the right to protest, and the freedom of speech and press.

I also refer you to the Constitution, which spells out how a law is created (Article 1, section 7).

This means, that, any, and all laws can be made and or altered.

I do not have to move to "Cuba" to pursue a change, that right and ability is provided in the Constitution.

11/22/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

OK, but I would put forth that any renter has the right to become a home owner and take advantage of the tax benefits offered.

I will acknowledge your right to change the laws. However you are screaming into the wind when it comes to changeing the laws so that it now becomes disadvantageous to 69% of Americans.

It is kind of like pissing into the wind. When are you going to get tired of smelling like piss?

11/22/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. OK, but I would put forth that any renter has the right to become a home owner and take advantage of the tax benefits offered.


Reply-

That is not true and you know it.

In some markets, housing has so much outstripped the median wage of the workers, that renting is often the only real option a majority of people have.

Some people have terrible credit histories that work against them.

Some people cant save up enough money to effectively escape costly PMI payments.

Some people cant afford the initial outlay of cash for housing payments, in order to see it come back to them as a tax benefit.

There are a plethora of reasons that close off "owning a home" to large swaths of people.


2. However you are screaming into the wind when it comes to changeing the laws so that it now becomes disadvantageous to 69% of Americans.


Reply- So what? Just because my opinions may not be "popular", does not mean I should change them. Last I checked, I wasnt a sheep. I have the ability to think, and decide, and arrive at my own thoughts and beliefs.

Are you under the belief that because something isnt "popular" that you should change your ideas to match what "is" popular? No wonder nothing ever gets done in this country. Too many people willing to continue with the status quo.

11/27/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

I have been willing to consider changes to the tax code that are good for the majority even if it might result in me personally paying more in taxes.

You on the other hand are only interested in changes that will result in "fairness" so that you pay less.

You are entitled to your own opinion. I am entitled to mine. I believe my opinion places me within at least the simple majority of Americans. You, being in the minority, have to live with what the majority decides.

11/27/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. You on the other hand are only interested in changes that will result in "fairness" so that you pay less.


Reply- I refuse to address this any more with you. Its only annoying me. If you cant see how taking all deductions away and taxing based solely on purchases isnt "fair", then there is absolutely no hope for you. There is even less hope for you if you cant understand that those "deductions" are only part of legislation, and not merits of a graduated income tax system.

Your "fair" world, is one in which

1. You receive deductions that amount to recessive taxation on lower income brackets.

2. Nobody in a tax bracket above you pays less tax then you, although, you could care less if brackets under you are paying higher taxes then yourself.

Yeah, thats fair.....and you defend it by saying......(number 2 below)

2. I believe my opinion places me within at least the simple majority of Americans. You, being in the minority, have to live with what the majority decides.

Reply- I think, if properly educated, a majority of Americans would gladly support a fairer system of taxation. A tiny minority of spend thrift and deduction taking upper middle classers would be disadvantaged....oh well.

11/27/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

OK, the issue is settled.

I think it is correct for society to motivate individuals to achieving the American Dream through the tax code. You do not.

You can have the last say on this one. I've had my say.

11/27/2006 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

I think it is correct for society to motivate individuals to achieving the American Dream through the tax code. You do not.


Reply- This "motivation" as youd like to call it, amounts to a regressive tax on those who cant achieve this "dream", for one reason or another. You think that is perfectly ok, I do not.

11/28/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

I think most citizens can achieve home ownership if they so desire.

Perhaps they can not achieve the biggest house in the nicest neighborhood, however home ownership under the current tax code almost always makes better sense then renting.

Perhaps purchasing a home is still not possible and does not make sense for someone receiving subsidized housing in one form or another. However if someone with a job is paying fair market rent it can be proven that in almost every instance they would be better off purchasing a home in the long run.

OK, you did introduce one other exception. Those with poor credit might find it more difficult to justify home ownership because of the difficulty in qualifying for a mortgage and from the higher interest rate they might have to pay if they do qualify. However, am I supposed to feel sorry for them if they destroyed their credit?

11/28/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. Perhaps they can not achieve the biggest house in the nicest neighborhood, however home ownership under the current tax code almost always makes better sense then renting.

Reply- In most cases yes.

I listed several cases above that owning a house is not advantageous or even possible.


2. However if someone with a job is paying fair market rent it can be proven that in almost every instance they would be better off purchasing a home in the long run.


Reply- In the long run yes, but it is the LONG RUN. Owning a house almost always requires higher initial outlays of cash in order to benefit from the tax deductions later. This is not always feasible for persons living close to pay check to pay check.


3. However, am I supposed to feel sorry for them if they destroyed their credit?

Reply- You automatically assume it is ones "own fault" if their credit is damaged. You neglect the fact that the majority of bankruptcies are filed because of medical expenses or divorce, and not because of frivolous spending.

11/28/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

Yes, the majority of bankruptcies are probably due to divorce or medical problems. First off, I find little sorrow for those who's financial difficulties are caused by divorce. I do not think those who make sacrifices in order to make marriages work should have to pay for those unwilling to make the sacrifices.

As for medical problems, that is why I support some type of socialized medicine for America. While this will not eliminate all the problems of illness or disease, it should solve the most extreme instances of the problem.

Statistics quoted in the media seem to indicate that frivolous spending does play some part of the problem. Average household debt seems to grow every year while average savings decline in our "buy now, pay later" society.

As for purchasing a home? My wife and I made great sacrifices in order to be able to come up with the cash necessary to buy a home. We accomplished our first home purchase while I was a lower enlisted man serving in the military. While I did enjoy the benefit of VA home financing (much of the benefit of which has since been destroyed) I also suffered from the low wages paid to lower ranking enlisted personnel.

While the benefits of home ownership are only realized in the "long run" for most people, what is the problem with that? The playing field is level for every person who seeks to purchase a home in a given market whether they intend to be owner occupants or are just an investor.

11/28/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. First off, I find little sorrow for those who's financial difficulties are caused by divorce.

Reply- So you have no compassion for those whos divorces were perpetuated by abuse, STDs or infidelity?


2. Statistics quoted in the media seem to indicate that frivolous spending does play some part of the problem. Average household debt seems to grow every year while average savings decline in our "buy now, pay later" society.

Reply- Do you think this has ANYTHING to do with the fact that wages arent even keeping pace with inflation?

What happens when a persons expenses go up, yet his wage doesnt......thats right debt spending.


3. As for purchasing a home? My wife and I made great sacrifices in order to be able to come up with the cash necessary to buy a home. We accomplished our first home purchase while I was a lower enlisted man serving in the military. While I did enjoy the benefit of VA home financing (much of the benefit of which has since been destroyed) I also suffered from the low wages paid to lower ranking enlisted personnel.



Reply- What was your debt to income ratio on that house? I can assure you it probably doesnt even approach the AVERAGE debt to income ratio of the US home owner today.



4. While the benefits of home ownership are only realized in the "long run" for most people, what is the problem with that?


Reply- Black and White example

Joe Blow makes 2000 dollars a month net income. Joe Blow has expenses that come to 500, and Joe also wants to put away atleast 200 a month for a rainy day. So, Joe has 1300 to spend on housing.

So, Joe searches around. He finds a one bedroom apartment for 1000 a month, and he finds a comparitable house, that will come out to 1350 a month in payments.

Gee, what is Joe to do....wait a second, Joe cant even consider the house, because he doesnt have enough money to cover the mortgage, forget about making it to the tax deductions hell get. Hed be foreclosed on long before that.

So, Joe moves in to the apartment.

Joe is now putting away 500 bucks a month.

In order to avoid PMI, Joe needs 30% down.

The average house around Joe costs 200k.

Lets see....500 bucks a month, 6000 dollars a year......30% of 200k...60k.......hey, its going to take Joe ten years before he can even sniff a house......oh wait a second......Joes house doubled in price over those ten years.....looks like Joe is out of luck, because now he needs another 60k.

11/28/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

To avoid PMI Joe only needs 20%, not 30%.

In your example, Joe would be better off carving into the $200 he wishes to save every month and put it into that mortgage payment. Even if he has to pay PMI, (which will eventually go away when his equity, over time, reaches 20%) his mortgage payment is not going to go up other then allowing for increases in insurance and property taxes.

Oh, and all this is before we take into consideration how the income deductions for mortgage interest will lessen his income taxes.

12/21/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. To avoid PMI Joe only needs 20%, not 30%.


Reply- You are correct, but the fact is fairly irrevalent, it just changes the number of years hed have to save for a down payment.


2. In your example, Joe would be better off carving into the $200 he wishes to save every month and put it into that mortgage payment.

Reply- No Joe wouldnt. Joe needs that money just in case Joe gets laid off in this "great" capitalist society which is quick to hand American jobs to foreigners, or Joes car breaks down, or Joe gets sick, because lord knows Joe cant afford insurance. If Joe became majorly ill, or broke a bone, that is easily thousands or 10's of thousands of dollars if he has no insurance. Even if he had insurance, it would still be 100's if not thousands out of his pocket.

Oh yeah, by the way, Joes job isnt paying him for the time he misses from work, so hes going to have to subsidize his living expenses out of his savings as well if he becomes ill.


3. Oh, and all this is before we take into consideration how the income deductions for mortgage interest will lessen his income taxes.


Reply- Again, income tax benefits are irrelevant if you cant afford the initial payments, which is Joes case, and many peoples cases. The bank is not going to wait 8 months until Joe gets his refund check, and assumes the benefits of the income tax reduction, they are going to repo his house and kick him on the street.

1/02/2007 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

In some ways you are correct. The "experts" claim that everyone need an emergency fund equal to three months expenses "just in case". Sounds like a good idea as long as the money truly is going into savings and meanwhile the saver is not running up additional credit card debt.

However, I would also put forth that this "emergency fund" could be dipped into if this amount of money is also necessary to come up with a down payment. Our society rewards home ownership in the long run. "Joe Blow" would be better off "investing" his emergency fund in the short term (while assuming some risk by doing so) for the hopes of long term gain in his future. Of course he should immediately set about replenishing his emergency fund once he has depleted it.

1/02/2007 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. The "experts" claim that everyone need an emergency fund equal to three months expenses "just in case". Sounds like a good idea as long as the money truly is going into savings and meanwhile the saver is not running up additional credit card debt.


Reply- I clearly pointed out that Joe was putting this money away for a rainy day.


2. "Joe Blow" would be better off "investing" his emergency fund in the short term (while assuming some risk by doing so) for the hopes of long term gain in his future. Of course he should immediately set about replenishing his emergency fund once he has depleted it.


Reply- So what if "Joe Blow", came down with say, a strange gastroenterological disorder, and it costs him 1,000's of dollars in hospital bills right after he drained his savings to pay for a house?

It would be a tremendous risk that Joe assumes by trashing his savings to dump it into a house. Joe would be so unbelievably tight, that any blip on the screen is going to throw him in to financial chaos.

It is irresponsible to sacrifice ones self or ones families current financial well being, or possibly future credit rating, for a long term asset.

1/02/2007 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

Our system is not perfect. The problem is that if we allow for "Joe" with his truthful problems, we are opening the door to all the "John Does" who do not have the problem but will claim they do. Your problem is not with "the system" or "the society" but with the members of the society who will try to take advantage of "the society" once they understand the rules and the steps necessary to take advantage of the rules.

Your problem is not with those who make the rules. America has tried to be benevolent to those who truly deserve compassion. Our problem is that the lazy and the evil have found a way to take advantage of our compassion. "Joe Blow" average citizen watches as his neighbor sits at home every day, refuses to go to work, and lives as well as "Joe Blow" while he feigns a back injury. Meanwhile "Joe Blow" can watch as his neighbor engages in activity that proves he can not possibly have the claimed injury. So "Joe Blow" average citizen votes in the next election to deprive EVERYONE, including the deserving, of the benefits of the program his neighbor sucked from.

1/02/2007 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. America has tried to be benevolent to those who truly deserve compassion.

Reply- The only people deserving of compassion by society are the sickly (physical or severe mental), and elderly. It is not societies responsibility to pull along those that capitalism screws up the ass. A society constructed as such is weak.

2. "Joe Blow" average citizen watches as his neighbor sits at home every day, refuses to go to work, and lives as well as "Joe Blow" while he feigns a back injury.

Reply- Maybe if it wasnt more profitable to "feign" a back injury or receive public assistance then working a low wage job, this wouldnt happen. There is a serious problem with the economic system when the rates determined by public assistance and transfer programs are higher then the lowest wage brackets.


3. So "Joe Blow" average citizen votes in the next election to deprive EVERYONE, including the deserving, of the benefits of the program his neighbor sucked from


Reply- Maybe Joe Blow should pop a few people in to office that support the various living wage campaigns or unions. Instead of helping to drag down the standard of living to his level by trying to axe the neccessary social safety nets of capitalism, maybe he should help drag up everyones level including his own, so that the social safety nets are not economically more feasible then working.

1/03/2007 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

Heh heh, well, America put into power the Democrats over the Republicans. Of course, this was accomplished by the Democrats nominating some moderates and even right of center candidates.

A significant portion of the Democrat majority is comprised of "Blue Dog Democrats". I am going to be posting a new piece offering constructive criticism of "them damn Blue Dogs". (I put that one in quotes because I think I like them damn Blue Dogs, however I am going to try and light a fire under their butts.)

Oh, by the way, you confuse me. You seem to be in favor of communism, but in your last comment, you seem to be willing to throw out those aspects of communism that make it most attractive to "the masses".

1/05/2007 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Lethal_Poison said...

1. Oh, by the way, you confuse me. You seem to be in favor of communism, but in your last comment, you seem to be willing to throw out those aspects of communism that make it most attractive to "the masses".


Reply- Believe it or not, social safety nets are NOT appealing to the masses. What is appealing to the masses is being able to go to work, and come home and support themselves. Communism hopes to achieve this, rather then the capitalistic solution of giving those run over by capitalism hand outs.

Social safety nets in Communism would be restricted to those who absolutely needed them for serious physical or mental handicaps. The rest would be provided at very least a minimum amount to adequately provide for themselves and their family, through gainful employment.

I dont believe in social safety nets, nor do followers of communism, because in communism, they are not neccessary. Communism aims to eradicate the need for social safety nets through control of capital and wealth redistribution.

You, unfortunatley,continue to lump any populous type platforms ranging from the center right all the way to the far left as "Communist Principles", when they clearly are not.

1/10/2007 02:08:00 PM  

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