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A Great Week In Politics


Dec 18 2010, 11:07 PM (Post #1)
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If you're a libertarian-leaning Republican with a brain.

Yes on the tax deal, which means taxes won't skyrocket in January, and the estate tax returns at 35% instead of 55%--and if your argument against not raising taxes is "the deficit!!", ask yourselves, why should taxpayers have to pay for government's profligacy (as Ron Paul put it)?

Yes on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. A policy whose time is up. It was inevitable, and I'm glad it happened this way, instead of by judicial fiat, which could have dragged it out for years.

No on the DREAM Act, which would have given yet more incentive for yet more illegal immigration, and essentially awarded free tuition to illegal immigrations to "enroll" in "college" allowing them to earn citizenship that way. A policy that would have been rife with loopholes and made a gaping problem that much worse—which was the intention, after all.

For the Left, it was a mixed bag (they wanted to raise taxes, but they also wanted to extend certain benefits and subsidies offered by the tax compromise—which passed with almost equal Democratic and Republican support in the House, by the way; DREAM failed but most people had no idea what it was all about anyway except that it was 'humane' or something; and DADT was repealed).

What do y'all think?
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Dec 19 2010, 01:10 AM (Post #2)
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1. Why keep the tax cut on the top 2%? Trickle down does not work. Never has.

2. Agreed.

3. When you live in California and understand how much of the state's economy is dependent on migrant and undocumented workers, the DREAM Act makes sense. It should however, be written better to take out those loopholes but I feel like it should have a few more rounds of voting. You cannot just assume that immigration is going to die for undocumented citizens. There needs to be reform in this area.
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Dec 19 2010, 03:32 AM (Post #3)
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QUOTE (Jodi Gajadar @ Dec 18 2010, 03:07 PM)
If you're a libertarian-leaning Republican with a brain.

Yes on the tax deal, which means taxes won't skyrocket in January, and the estate tax returns at 35% instead of 55%--and if your argument against not raising taxes is "the deficit!!", ask yourselves, why should taxpayers have to pay for government's profligacy (as Ron Paul put it)?

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I am only very opinionated on the tax issue.

I am very deficit minded (structural deficits only). I consider this a terrible move both cyclically and structurally. Cyclically, those tax cuts were the least effective in stimulating the economy. Structurally, they pave the way for sustained deficits that we can't afford. They also stack more tax laws on top of the existing mess.

Tax laws should be simple, devoid of unjustified exceptions and favoritism. Adjustments to tax rates and such should be explicitly justified.

Anyway, I think the right thing to do would've been to go for the tax code simplification bill, the one that would've eliminated the loopholes and special breaks I mentioned above (like corn and oil subsidies), simplified taxes, lowered marginal rates, and increased tax revenues.

Sure, you would piss off those who were unfairly exploiting everyone else right now, but they didn't deserve those breaks in the first place.

Simplicity would make the cost of business lower, reduce the legal and tax risks for companies and individuals, and thus increase reporting rate (some income isn't reported because it's hard to do so)

Back to your citation of Ron Paul: What's he suggesting? That the US defaults on its debt?
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Dec 19 2010, 05:42 PM (Post #4)
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Nobody seems to understand the concept of cutting spending...only raising taxes. So the tax cuts expire, and the hole closes by a few percent. The deficit still grows. What would tax rates need to be in order to shrink the deficit, 90%? And even then, who knows.

I agree on the subsidies, they're ridiculous and unconstitutional. But who's going to "create jobs" when the job creators see their taxes *increase* in January? What an incentive that would be—higher income taxes, higher payroll taxes, and mandatory health insurance...what a way to grow the economy!
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Dec 19 2010, 06:57 PM (Post #5)
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QUOTE (Jodi Gajadar @ Dec 19 2010, 09:42 AM)
Nobody seems to understand the concept of cutting spending...only raising taxes. So the tax cuts expire, and the hole closes by a few percent. The deficit still grows. What would tax rates need to be in order to shrink the deficit, 90%? And even then, who knows.

I agree on the subsidies, they're ridiculous and unconstitutional. But who's going to "create jobs" when the job creators see their taxes *increase* in January? What an incentive that would be—higher income taxes, higher payroll taxes, and mandatory health insurance...what a way to grow the economy!
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On the first point: Balancing the budget requires both tax rates to rise and spending to fall. In my opinion, a good ratio is around 60-70% spending cuts and the rest in tax raises. The easiest taxes to raise would be the income taxes, reverting them to the pre-Bush rates. A better idea would've been to keep the rates the way they are, and going through and getting rid of stupid exceptions (like I said). Even better would be to combine that with well-calibrated carbon/energy taxes that would also encourage thrifty use of energy.

On the second point: A temporary tax change will only induce a temporary effect. If the taxes are going to rise in 2012, why would anyone (on the cusp) start hiring in 2011? Everyone knows that taxes will have to rise in the future; it's just a question of when to bite the bullet.

On that note, I argue that fixing the problem now so we aren't left with an uncertain budgetary future is BETTER for businesses coping with uncertainty. Again, my recommendation is getting rid of exceptions, but that's not practical for American politics.
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