Senate Fiscal Cliff Doomsday Countdown Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    1) Who the hell drinks tea at a golf course?
    2) What, the argument that I was conceding was undone by the US being the only nation on earth to tax citizens who move to other countries?
  2. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    The difference between slavery and excessive taxation depends on how those tax dollars are used. It's not like you pay tax and never derive any benefit from those tax dollars in other ways. For example, in some countries people pay a very high rate of tax but those tax dollars are returned to the public by way of free education, free health care, pensions, and other benefits. If you suffer a crisis and find yourself out of a job and in need of help, it's nice to know that there might be government funded programs available to assist you which are ultimately funded by tax dollars. I know this concept goes against the grain of Republican thought, but I'd rather pay more tax if it means that I have decent infrastructure, decent public schools, good hospitals, etcetc. An ordered society provides the means for people to pursue their financial endeavours but you have to pay for that. Slaves on the other don't have to worry about those things.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Nov 15, 2012
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Yes, but...

    Are we actually seeing a correlation between high taxes and improved services in Australia or the US?

    My belief is, actually, no.

    I think if nothing else we're paying for the cost of having massive amounts of Federal infrastructure to maintain, such as road.

    You can point to the higher income tax rates in the social democratic states in Europe as proof positive that taxes can pay for services and infrastructure and have broad public support for them however I could note their population density is greater so they can achieve economies of scale with their infrastructure planning that both our nations can't.

    So whilst there's a theoretical support for higher taxes, we're not actually deriving benefit from it (esp in Australia, as we're subsidising things like, oh, trade union friendly Federal bodies and the NBN).

    I've been a fan of a combination consumption tax with flat tax rate for a while, because I think it still taxes more on the higher earners than the lower earners (esp if you give tax relief to essential household items, for example). It's not as practical in Australia due to upkeep of roads etc; but with a comparable landmass and 15x the population it would probably be a lot fairer and better implemented in the US.
  4. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I agree with you in relation to the US and Australian examples, which is why I said "in some countries" - I was thinking specifically of Europe. . My point was simply that tax dollars are not necessarily completely wasted, like the slavery comparison where you do work for nothing in return.
  5. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Our VAT just went up 2%, It´s 21% now. And we're not getting any improved services - in fact, we're getting less. But hey - there´s a crisis...
    I don't think upping the VAT goes a very long way towards ending the crisis.
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    It only works if you have people spending money, true.
  7. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I think no matter what you do there will always be the wealthy who find ways to avoid paying much in taxes.
  8. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    if i hear one more thing about the VAT im going to throw myself into a VAT of boiling oil

    here's a SMALL BUSINESS OWNER buddy and i pondering our own (economic) mortality on the edge of the Fiscal Cliff, btw:

    [IMG]
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Nov 15, 2012
    SuperWatto likes this.
  9. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    how's your buddy's small business doing?
  10. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    well. he provides a highly-skilled, technical service to large corporations that are also doing quite well. he's pretty recession proof
  11. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    How are you posting? FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE FISCAL CLIFF?

    Is the issue about people avoiding paying tax? Or just the wealthy avoiding paying their total tax allocation?
  12. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    im posting as a ghost. im a post ghost. a ghost in the post-machine, if u will
  13. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I think I will.

    (Except of course the mods will be getting angry that the Senate Style Guide of 2005 is not being adhered to, so:)

    What is the climate like for small businesses in the US now? In Australia they have a 50% failure rate in the first year and I imagine it's similar in the US. In a climate of reduced spending and higher cost of funding for lending, it has to be a hard time to be a small business owner.

    (phew).
  14. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    i don't know what the failure rate is these days, but the climate is pretty hostile and is going to get much, much worse. there are tons of regulations that have been passed in the last three or four years that have made it difficult for small businesses to grow/survive, and there are literally thousands more that will be passed into existence over the next few months. dodd-frank has made it damned near impossible to get a loan. if this fiscal cliff trigger is pulled, it's going to decimate small businesses. big businesses will survive depending on how financially in order they are, but they will have to hollow themselves out to do so. if a deal is struck it won't be quite as bad, but an increase in the top rates will still be pretty harmful for small businesses, since many of them file as individuals. so yeah, it's bad and it's going to get worse.
  15. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Except you are missing the context of what I wrote. I was specifically talking about a cumulative tax rate at or above 100%, such that you owe everything you earn (or even more than you earn) in taxes. I don't care how those tax dollars are used. They could build mansions for everyone and feed you a steady diet of caviar for all I care. At that taxation level, it is indistinguishable from slavery. You might be a well-kept slave at that point, but you would still be a slave.

    And yes, I know that a tax rate that high is highly unlikely (although there are some people who have advocate for taxes on the rich as high as the 90% they used to be). However, when you are examining anything like this, it always helps to look at the boundary conditions first. Just like I have a problem with a tax rate that high, I also believe that a tax rate of 0% is immoral, especially if you receive substantial services from the government. If you aren't paying in, then why should you be getting pay outs? Once you examine the minimums and maximums, setting the boundaries, it becomes easier to discuss everything in between.
  16. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Nov 16, 2012
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  17. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
  18. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
  20. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
  21. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Well all, after a few days of sunny optimism, Speaker Boehner today declared the talks "at an impasse"

    Better get your parachutes, looks like we're getting ready for a cliff-dive.

    Since Congress recesses on December 14 for the holidays (which is two weeks from today), we would need next week to hammer out a deal, and the following week for conference committee/voting/signing by the President. Not really time, since both sides are right back to name-calling.

    Not sure who will get more of the blame; Dems spin it as the GOP's fault (of course), GOP says Dems are overplaying their hand (and they may actually be right here).

    Either way, it's the American people who will get hurt as the markets convulse. I'm betting a 3000-point drop in the Dow, myself, at least, before anything gets done.

    No, I'm not trying to be doom-and-gloom, but it takes a market crash to get Congress to act these days, and with the President insisting on adding the debt ceiling to the deal, he may be pushing a little too far.

    Either way, he risks re-uniting Republicans who are beginning to fragment. My personal recommendation? Go to the Hill, President Obama, and meet with Mr. Boehner in person, and other Congresspeople/Senators as well.

    Time is running out.

    Peace,

    V-03
    Last edited by Vaderize03, Nov 30, 2012
  22. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 5
    How? The entire reason we have the "fiscal cliff" is because the GOP was insane enough to hold the raising of the debt ceiling, which has never ever ever ever been an issue in government previously, as ransom for what they wanted. Get it out of the way now, in my opinion. We'll have to revisit one of these crises every year or so otherwise, at least while the Tea Partiers control the GOP.

    Eh, I wouldn't got that far. Obama won the Presidency on raising taxes, Democrats made gains in the Senate, and they also got almost 1 million more House votes. And John Boehner is acting as if the Republicans should have an equal footing at the table.

    Obama offered his initial proposal, which is basically what he wanted. The Republicans reply was to, literally, laugh out loud and refuse to accept it...or offer an alternative. It seems they're mad he refuses to negotiate with himself, like past standoffs, instead of bringing anything to the table. Obama's initial proposal should be a goal post to lay out what he wants: not his initial comprise only to be dragged further to Boehner's demands.

    Boehner has literally offered nothing, other than to scoff at Obama's first proposal. He refuses to raise rates, instead would possibly "budge" on revenues but won't give any proposals of his own.
    Last edited by shinjo_jedi, Nov 30, 2012
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  23. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Usually, when things are at an impasse, it means the Democrats are losing.

    But this time, it means the Democrats are winning! (And Obama has finally learned to not start negotiations with a compromise.)

    We have a whole month before the deadline, Boehner doesn't want to reveal that he's beaten too early. The GOP has absolutely NO leverage. (Also, I've heard there's already enough Republicans in the House who said they would only extend the Middle Class tax cuts, Boehner just hasn't allowed the bill to be voted on in the House... yet.)

    And it's really not a "cliff," more like a staircase, it doesn't all go into effect at once. I think there will be a deal by Christmas Eve, but if it happens a few days after New Year's it will be fine too (and the Democrats would have even more leverage then).

    Also, this entire debate is actually a victory for Democrats, because it's forced the GOP to accept that too much spending cuts would hurt the economy.

    Oh, and Congress will just cut their recess, @Vaderize03, just like they do almost every year. They'll keep on working until Christmas, even past it, if they have to. You really need to look at this from the real perspective, not from Boehner's bluffs, or from GOP propaganda of "oh not, the deficit is going to be cut, what are we going to do, doomsday!"

    This is great!! :D
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Nov 30, 2012
  24. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    the admins proposal puts off spending cuts until next year (here we go...), leaving only taxes and stim for now. i don't blame repubs for not taking it seriously. i think obams is positioning himself for post-trigger, which is inevitable at this point. when he was campaigning at the toy store today, he said he hoped repubs "would not let tax cuts expire for the middle class." he's in the process of turning the whole thing on its head so he can better wrap it around the repubs' throats once it happens. then, in the aftermath, he can push for "middle class tax cuts" and out-repub those repubs! love this dude!
  25. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Part of the reason I'm so doom-and-gloom is because my Senate chums always come in and cheer me up :)!

    Seriously, it's all about psychology, and Obama is the master. Agree that Boehner is trying to drag it out to the last minute to make it look like he's on equal footing, when in fact the Republican conference is cracking.

    I just worry about the effect on the markets, as well as the Medicare SGR cuts, which directly affect me and my livelihood as a physician (as well as my colleagues), that's all.

    Peace,

    V-03
    Last edited by Vaderize03, Nov 30, 2012