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View Full Version : McCain's CMU proposals


nbs2
Apr 15, 2008, 08:46 AM
Sen McCain has presented some interesting proposals on what he would like to see Congress do this election cycle. Some of them strike me as incredibly irresponsible, some as very beneficial. But, I wonder how he expects to pay for ALL of them.

Among the proposals (thank you AP/Yahoo (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080415/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_economy)):

a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day
stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Education Department should work with the country's governors to make sure that each state's guarantee agency has both the means and the manpower to be the lender-of-last-resort for student loans
Raise the tax exemption for each dependent child from $3,500 to $7,000
Require more affluent people couples making more than $160,000 enrolled in Medicare to pay a higher premium for their prescription drugs than less-wealthy people
Offer people the option of choosing a simpler tax system with two tax rates and a standard deduction instead of sticking with the current system
Suspend for one year all increases in discretionary spending for agencies other than those that cover the military and veterans while launching an expansive review of the effectiveness of federal program


I like the idea idea of raising the dependent exemption, but I don't know about doubling it in one fell swoop (perhaps raise by $1k/year for 3, $500 for one). I also think the Medicare premium would be beneficial and reduce the strain on the M/M. The tax system, spending increase suspension, and the hold on the Strategic Reserve seem good, but I'm not sure about them. The gax-tax-suspension seems like a very bad idea. The college loan plan just isn't given enough discussion for me to have a feeling about.

atszyman
Apr 15, 2008, 09:29 AM
I like the idea idea of raising the dependent exemption, but I don't know about doubling it in one fell swoop (perhaps raise by $1k/year for 3, $500 for one). I also think the Medicare premium would be beneficial and reduce the strain on the M/M. The tax system, spending increase suspension, and the hold on the Strategic Reserve seem good, but I'm not sure about them. The gax-tax-suspension seems like a very bad idea. The college loan plan just isn't given enough discussion for me to have a feeling about.

I like the Medicare option. I'm probably going to be considered affluent by the time I make it to retirement, and I have no problem paying more for the services provided. While it does bother me that if I plan well for my retirement it might cost me more, let's face it, if you're eligible for Medicare and still making over $160,000 a year, you can afford to pay a little more.

As for the dependent exemption...

I'm going to take a very controversial position here, bear in mind I have 2 kids and my wife and I are discussing another.

I don't think there should be a dependent exemption at all. On the contrary I think people with kids should maybe even pay more, since they are the ones who will be most concerned with keeping the environment and other infrastructure around and making improvements for after they are gone. It would also be a disincentive for having children people cannot afford. Maybe we don't have to pay more but I don't necessarily think that we should see a break for having kids. As one of my former co-workers would say, the tax system is not a good method for influencing social policies.

leekohler
Apr 15, 2008, 09:50 AM
I like the Medicare option. I'm probably going to be considered affluent by the time I make it to retirement, and I have no problem paying more for the services provided. While it does bother me that if I plan well for my retirement it might cost me more, let's face it, if you're eligible for Medicare and still making over $160,000 a year, you can afford to pay a little more.

As for the dependent exemption...

I'm going to take a very controversial position here, bear in mind I have 2 kids and my wife and I are discussing another.

I don't think there should be a dependent exemption at all. On the contrary I think people with kids should maybe even pay more, since they are the ones who will be most concerned with keeping the environment and other infrastructure around and making improvements for after they are gone. It would also be a disincentive for having children people cannot afford. Maybe we don't have to pay more but I don't necessarily think that we should see a break for having kids. As one of my former co-workers would say, the tax system is not a good method for influencing social policies.

Hmm...I've been paying for other people's kids to go to school for a long time. It's a good thing and I certainly would never be against it. I don't see how punishing people for having kids is a good thing either. It only hurts the kids in the end. Maybe no breaks though. I can agree with that.

nbs2
Apr 15, 2008, 09:54 AM
As for the dependent exemption...

I'm going to take a very controversial position here, bear in mind I have 2 kids and my wife and I are discussing another.

I don't think there should be a dependent exemption at all. On the contrary I think people with kids should maybe even pay more, since they are the ones who will be most concerned with keeping the environment and other infrastructure around and making improvements for after they are gone. It would also be a disincentive for having children people cannot afford. Maybe we don't have to pay more but I don't necessarily think that we should see a break for having kids. As one of my former co-workers would say, the tax system is not a good method for influencing social policies.

What are your feelings on the personal exemptions for adults? All the dependent exemption does is extend that same principle to all potential taxpayers in the home.

I think the government would be hard pressed to dictate to parents what rules they must follow in raising their children without providing some recompense. At its most basic level, it's eminent domain.

atszyman
Apr 15, 2008, 10:06 AM
What are your feelings on the personal exemptions for adults? All the dependent exemption does is extend that same principle to all potential taxpayers in the home.

As I learned early on with my wife, when one of us itemizes we all have to, why should the kids get a standard deduction? Of course deductions are made based on the idea that you are paying taxes in, which my kids are not generating any income (stupid government shut down all the sweatshops) so they aren't paying any taxes. Why should they get a deduction on their $0 yearly income?

I guess you could say that all of thier clothes and care expenses are income, but at that rate they are well below the poverty level and shouldn't be paying taxes at all, if they're not paying, why give them deductions? Sure you can say that our income was taxed already but I buy lots of services that get taxed, shouldn't those get the same consideration since my money goes directly towards someone else's salary that gets taxed yet again?

Of course we knew of the expense when we had kids. I'm not sure why the government should subsidize our choice to have children.

I think the government would be hard pressed to dictate to parents what rules they must follow in raising their children without providing some recompense. At its most basic level, it's eminent domain.

So I should get tax breaks to be forced to follow the rules? can I speed because I don't get a safe driving tax break? Should I go ahead and steal that loaf of bread since I don't get a non-thieving tax break? There's no reason the government has to incentivize you with money to follow the rules.

Eraserhead
Apr 15, 2008, 10:14 AM
a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day
stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve



Sounds like a bad move. Making you more dependent on oil is definitely a bad thing.

blackfox
Apr 15, 2008, 04:21 PM
Interesting.

My 2 cents:

(responding to the bullet-points by numbering 1 thru 7)

1. Bad idea. Might be popular in the short-term, but seems pretty irresponsible. After all, gas prices are going to stay high, if not continue to escalate - this is just postponing the inevitable. That is also a lot of Federal Revenue to forsake. I am curious, however, as to the projected benefit to the summer economy this might have (if any).

2. I don't see the benefit of doing this. Seems pretty irresponsible, but as I said, I don't see the (potential) benefits.

3. Seems OK, although I have a lot of questions about how it would be done, and with what stipulations. In general, putting more financial burdens on the States (who are required to balance their budgets) - seems problematic in these times when states are already having financial problems. I am not necessarily advocating more deficit-spending, but if fixes are really needed in Education (as elsewhere), the Federal Government at least has more flexibility to fund said fixes.

4. As it doesn't apply to me, I defer opinion to those it does.

5. I think that sounds reasonable - though I'd like to see exactly how much.

6. Would this increase or decrease bureaucratic overhead?

7. I get a bad feeling from this one. I am not a fan of privatisation of government functions - which is where this seems to head. To those that are, well, I'm sure it is pleasing.

Overall, I see at least four of these proposals costing the government more money - and if there are tax cuts projected - I don't see how this is fiscally responsible. What happened to Conservatism?

fivepoint
Apr 15, 2008, 04:41 PM
a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day


As much as I think any tax cut is a positive thing along with twice fold a reduction in spending... this screams one thing to me. "BAND-AID!" We don't need band-aids folks, we need immediate emergency surgery. We've got three blocked arteries, and we might as well do a quadruple bypass while we're in there.




stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve


What good could 'poor planning' possibly do?




Raise the tax exemption for each dependent child from $3,500 to $7,000


With this government, and with this economy... the less taxes the better. The missing link here is a COMMITMENT to lowered spending to boot! Neo-Cons want to just cut taxes, and keep all the spending... we need a real conservative who will cut both taxes and spending if we are to keep our wealth and power. He should just come out and say it... "Okay folks, we are going to proceed to punch you in the gut, steal your money, and give it to these folks here across the aisle. Okay?"




Require more affluent people — couples making more than $160,000 — enrolled in Medicare to pay a higher premium for their prescription drugs than less-wealthy people


Ah... and the Redistribution of Wealth reveals is ugly head! And you wondered WHY so many conservatives were angry with McCain's forthcoming nomination. It's not necessarily for social reasons only, folks! This guys has some strong liberal leaning philosophies!



Suspend for one year all increases in discretionary spending for agencies other than those that cover the military and veterans while launching an expansive review of the effectiveness of federal program


Now you're speaking my language, John! This is a good one... especially everything after the word "expansive".

Desertrat
Apr 16, 2008, 08:07 AM
Well, the man said he didn't really understand economics, which makes him equal to Those Two; Hillary & Obama don't know much, either.

The federal gas tax is already inadequate for its intended purpose, and is what, about 5% of the cost of a gallong of gas? Big deal.

All these "plans" to Do Good fail to pass the smell test. For instance, from this morning's "Daily Pfennig":

"I read a report by David Walker, the former Comptroller of the U.S., where he was explaining the depth of the fiscal budget alone... He estimated that balancing the Federal Budget by 2040 would require actions as large as: 1. Cutting Total Federal Spending by 60%, or 2. Raising taxes to 2X today's level...

He also states that "Closing the current long-term fiscal gap based on reasonable assumptions would require real average annual economic growth in the double digit range every year for the next 75 years.

Keep in mind that: During the 1990's, the economy grew at an average 3.2% per year...

So... "As a result, we cannot simply grow our way out of this problem."

End of snippet.

Beltway politics won't allow either of the proposed requirements, nor an efficacious compromise.

Good odds we're in for an even worse situation than Japan's long period of economic doldrums. Worse, since Japan began with beaucoup savings. We're broke and in debt.

All three of the front-runners are proposing band-aids as a cure for cancer...

'Rat

fivepoint
Apr 16, 2008, 08:31 AM
All three of the front-runners are proposing band-aids as a cure for cancer...

'Rat

Exactly. Spot on.