Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Politics, Religion, Social Issues

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 27, 2012, 08:42 AM   #1
classicaliberal
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Government Assets (-) Liabilities (=) Bigger Problem than you realize.

Article:
Quote:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...039087636.html

A decade and a half ago, both of us served on President Clinton's Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, the forerunner to President Obama's recent National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In 1994 we predicted that, unless something was done to control runaway entitlement spending, Medicare and Social Security would eventually go bankrupt or confront severe benefit cuts.

Eighteen years later, nothing has been done. Why? The usual reason is that entitlement reform is the third rail of American politics. That explanation presupposes voter demand for entitlements at any cost, even if it means bankrupting the nation.

A better explanation is that the full extent of the problem has remained hidden from policy makers and the public because of less than transparent government financial statements. How else could responsible officials claim that Medicare and Social Security have the resources they need to fulfill their commitments for years to come?

As Washington wrestles with the roughly $600 billion "fiscal cliff" and the 2013 budget, the far greater fiscal challenge of the U.S. government's unfunded pension and health-care liabilities remains offstage. The truly important figures would appear on the federal balance sheet—if the government prepared an accurate one.

But it hasn't. For years, the government has gotten by without having to produce the kind of financial statements that are required of most significant for-profit and nonprofit enterprises. The U.S. Treasury "balance sheet" does list liabilities such as Treasury debt issued to the public, federal employee pensions, and post-retirement health benefits. But it does not include the unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Social Security and other outsized and very real obligations.

As a result, fiscal policy discussions generally focus on current-year budget deficits, the accumulated national debt, and the relationships between these two items and gross domestic product. We most often hear about the alarming $15.96 trillion national debt (more than 100% of GDP), and the 2012 budget deficit of $1.1 trillion (6.97% of GDP). As dangerous as those numbers are, they do not begin to tell the story of the federal government's true liabilities.

The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees' future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure.

Why haven't Americans heard about the titanic $86.8 trillion liability from these programs? One reason: The actual figures do not appear in black and white on any balance sheet. But it is possible to discover them. Included in the annual Medicare Trustees' report are separate actuarial estimates of the unfunded liability for Medicare Part A (the hospital portion), Part B (medical insurance) and Part D (prescription drug coverage).

As of the most recent Trustees' report in April, the net present value of the unfunded liability of Medicare was $42.8 trillion. The comparable balance sheet liability for Social Security is $20.5 trillion.

Were American policy makers to have the benefit of transparent financial statements prepared the way public companies must report their pension liabilities, they would see clearly the magnitude of the future borrowing that these liabilities imply. Borrowing on this scale could eclipse the capacity of global capital markets—and bankrupt not only the programs themselves but the entire federal government.

These real-world impacts will be felt when currently unfunded liabilities need to be paid. In theory, the Medicare and Social Security trust funds have at least some money to pay a portion of the bills that are coming due. In actuality, the cupboard is bare: 100% of the payroll taxes for these programs were spent in the same year they were collected.

In exchange for the payroll taxes that aren't paid out in benefits to current retirees in any given year, the trust funds got nonmarketable Treasury debt. Now, as the baby boomers' promised benefits swamp the payroll-tax collections from today's workers, the government has to swap the trust funds' nonmarketable securities for marketable Treasury debt. The Treasury will then have to sell not only this debt, but far more, in order to pay the benefits as they come due.

When combined with funding the general cash deficits, these multitrillion-dollar Treasury operations will dominate the capital markets in the years ahead, particularly given China's de-emphasis of new investment in U.S. Treasurys in favor of increasing foreign direct investment, and Japan's and Europe's own sovereign-debt challenges.

When the accrued expenses of the government's entitlement programs are counted, it becomes clear that to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually. That is the total of the average annual accrued liabilities of just the two largest entitlement programs, plus the annual cash deficit.

Nothing like that $8 trillion amount is available for the IRS to target. According to the most recent tax data, all individuals filing tax returns in America and earning more than $66,193 per year have a total adjusted gross income of $5.1 trillion. In 2006, when corporate taxable income peaked before the recession, all corporations in the U.S. had total income for tax purposes of $1.6 trillion. That comes to $6.7 trillion available to tax from these individuals and corporations under existing tax laws.

In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities. Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon. Only by addressing these unsustainable spending commitments can the nation's debt and deficit problems be solved.

Neither the public nor policy makers will be able to fully understand and deal with these issues unless the government publishes financial statements that present the government's largest financial liabilities in accordance with well-established norms in the private sector. When the new Congress convenes in January, making the numbers clear—and establishing policies that finally address them before it is too late—should be a top order of business.
Some of my Takeaways:
A) Your government, and your politicians are lying to you about how bad the problem really is.
B) Government isn't just a little too large, it's way too large. We have to SLASH spending immediately to have any chance of paying down our debt/liabilities. This includes all sacred cows including SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense, and more.
C) Any suggestion that this problem can be fixed by mere taxation means the person is either lying right to your face, or they don't remotely understand the scale of the problem.
D) Our society's desire to have it all and pay for none of it will be broken one way or another. Either way, it won't be easy and it won't be comfortable. Our decision is whether we take massive pain now, or we collapse later with far worse massive pain.
E)"In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities."
F) The problem can't simply be solved by a 'balanced approach.' If both sides make concessions, this still isn't remotely close enough to close the gap. Spending is the problem, it can't be tweaked, it can't be adjusted, even when paired to massive tax hikes this doesn't come close to solving the problem. Spending must be SLASHED. We've spent beyond our means and the chickens are coming home to roost. To say spending at current levels 'isnt' sustainable' might be the biggest understatement of the century.
classicaliberal is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:52 AM   #2
citizenzen
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Running one of the largest 1st-world nations and governing over 300 million people costs a lot of money. That should come as a surprise to no one.

A List of countries by tax revenue as percentage of GDP shows that when compared with other 1st-world nations, the USA generates between ~5-20% less revenue through taxes.

Quote:
United States 26.9
Japan 28.3
Switzerland 29.4
Greece 30.0
Latvia 30.4
Australia 30.8
Ireland 30.8
Canada 32.2
Estonia 32.3
Turkey 32.5
Poland 33.8
Bulgaria 34.4
New Zealand 34.5
Malta 35.2
Czech Republic 36.3
Luxembourg 36.5
Israel 36.8
Russia 36.9
Portugal 37.0
Spain 37.3
United Kingdom 39.0
Hungary 39.1
Netherlands 39.8
Iceland 40.4
Germany 40.6
Bosnia and Herzegovina 41.2
Italy 42.6
Austria 43.4
Finland 43.6
Norway 43.6
France 44.6
Belgium 46.8
Sweden 47.9
Denmark 49.0
The answer is pretty clear to me: we need to tax people more in order to maintain the society we enjoy. It would certainly help if we also stopped spending ~1 trillion dollars a year being the world's police force.

I believe bringing our defense spending and taxation more in line with European countries will go a long ways towards raising government assets and meeting our financial obligations.
citizenzen is offline   4 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:57 AM   #3
classicaliberal
Thread Starter
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
The answer is pretty clear to me: we need to tax people more in order to maintain the society we enjoy.
Right, but...

Quote:
Nothing like that $8 trillion amount is available for the IRS to target. According to the most recent tax data, all individuals filing tax returns in America and earning more than $66,193 per year have a total adjusted gross income of $5.1 trillion. In 2006, when corporate taxable income peaked before the recession, all corporations in the U.S. had total income for tax purposes of $1.6 trillion. That comes to $6.7 trillion available to tax from these individuals and corporations under existing tax laws.

In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities.
classicaliberal is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:00 AM   #4
Eraserhead
macrumors G4
 
Eraserhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: UK
I think you're talking total rubbish.

$8 trillion a year is over 50% of GDP - there is no way the US deficit is "really" that high.
__________________
Actually it does make sense. Man created god, so if we exist, He exists. - obeygiant
Eraserhead is online now   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:08 AM   #5
citizenzen
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by classicaliberal View Post
Right, but...
From your article ...

Quote:
A decade and a half ago, both of us served on President Clinton's Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, the forerunner to President Obama's recent National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In 1994 we predicted that, unless something was done to control runaway entitlement spending, Medicare and Social Security would eventually go bankrupt or confront severe benefit cuts.

Eighteen years later, nothing has been done. Why?
Love it.

Now you know how it feels to advocate for something to get done regarding Climate Change.

But back to your article ...

You do realize this is an opinion piece?

Can I rebut with Paul Krugman column?

That would be cool.
citizenzen is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:51 AM   #6
Rodimus Prime
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
You forgot BUSH. Bush and on his run screw over a large number of that stuff and passed severel very large and unfunded entitlement.

But never mind the fact that you had GW Bush and Bush and the GOP undid everything cBill had done in just a few short years.
Rodimus Prime is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 12:26 PM   #7
miloblithe
macrumors 68020
 
miloblithe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Washington, DC
This is nothing more than nonsense math. You'll note that the article doesn't mention time frames for the "net present value of the unfunded liability", because doing so would expose the real math behind these issues--not something the fear mongers want to do.
miloblithe is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 01:03 PM   #8
classicaliberal
Thread Starter
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
I think you're talking total rubbish.

$8 trillion a year is over 50% of GDP - there is no way the US deficit is "really" that high.
If you don't account for entitlement liabilities added to the balance sheet, you're right... it's not that high. And these are the numbers government reports. The point here is to account for ALL of our liabilities, not just those we have to pay today. Anything we don't pay today, has to be paid by our children... which I really don't think strengthens your argument.


Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
You do realize this is an opinion piece?

Can I rebut with Paul Krugman column?

That would be cool.
I sure do. And please, feel free to post a Paul Krugman column, I'd be glad to respond with specifics as to why I think he's wrong.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
You forgot BUSH. Bush and on his run screw over a large number of that stuff and passed severel very large and unfunded entitlement.

But never mind the fact that you had GW Bush and Bush and the GOP undid everything cBill had done in just a few short years.
Nobody forgot about Bush. I purposely didn't mention Bush, I also purposely didn't mention Obama, just like I didn't mention the Democratic or Republican parties. To me, it's not about party - that **** is meaningless. It's about policy, it's about philosophy, it's about being fiscally responsible. We can argue about who's more to blame... but where will that get us? This is about fully understanding how bad the problem is, and fessing up to what's going to be necessary to fix it!
classicaliberal is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 01:55 PM   #9
hulugu
macrumors 68000
 
hulugu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: the faraway towns
Quote:
Originally Posted by classicaliberal View Post
If you don't account for entitlement liabilities added to the balance sheet, you're right... it's not that high. And these are the numbers government reports. The point here is to account for ALL of our liabilities, not just those we have to pay today. Anything we don't pay today, has to be paid by our children... which I really don't think strengthens your argument....
This is a strange accounting. These aren't really liabilities because they aren't "owed" instead, there's a promise to pay these amounts, but they can change because of political or demographic changes. Moreover, if the economic output improves over this time, that number will also decrease. The SSI report is an assumption of liabilities, but like corporations, you don't calculate that number as something owed today. No one is going to require the US gov't to pay 550 percent of GDP, in fact, that money will be spent from now to 2085.

This doesn't dismiss our budgetary woes, but it's important to understand the context.

Moreover, immediately slashing benefits will slow the economy, worsening the problem in the short-term, as well as the long-term.
__________________
I look like a soldier; I feel like a thief
hulugu is online now   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:03 PM   #10
CalWizrd
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NYC/Raleigh, NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by hulugu View Post
...Moreover, immediately slashing benefits will slow the economy, worsening the problem in the short-term, as well as the long-term.
I agree with this, however, I believe that increasing taxes could have the same effect. Sadly, I think both are in order.
__________________
"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance." -- H.L.Mencken
CalWizrd is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:14 PM   #11
hulugu
macrumors 68000
 
hulugu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: the faraway towns
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalWizrd View Post
I agree with this, however, I believe that increasing taxes could have the same effect. Sadly, I think both are in order.
Yeah, I tend to think we can balance them. The studies I've seen indicate that the tax hikes for top one percent of earners have less economic impact than benefit cuts or middle-class tax hikes.

With that in mind, I think we should maintain services and benefits and raise some taxes now and then over time raise taxes for the middle. Benefit cuts have already been significant (state cuts have been drastic) and there's very little to be gained for the economic cost.

We need to revise Medicare Part D and cut military spending (but keep veterans benefits up). And, then we need to wait for the economy to improve fully and that will happen much faster if we don't have to keep kicking the can down the road.

We need a consistent five-year economic plan. We're actually creating a huge drag on the economy because Congress can't do it's job (and we lost inertia with the Debt Ceiling Debacle) and that needs to stop.
__________________
I look like a soldier; I feel like a thief
hulugu is online now   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:22 PM   #12
citizenzen
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by hulugu View Post
With that in mind, I think we should maintain services and benefits and raise some taxes now and then over time raise taxes for the middle. Benefit cuts have already been significant (state cuts have been drastic) and there's very little to be gained for the economic cost.

We need to revise Medicare Part D and cut military spending (but keep veterans benefits up). And, then we need to wait for the economy to improve fully and that will happen much faster if we don't have to keep kicking the can down the road.
Very rational. The answer is to combine revenue increases and refining (not ending) entitlements as well as constantly looking for ways to make government more efficient. A balanced approach is the only way we'll create a sustainable solution.
citizenzen is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:40 PM   #13
CalWizrd
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NYC/Raleigh, NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
Very rational. The answer is to combine revenue increases and refining (not ending) entitlements as well as constantly looking for ways to make government more efficient. A balanced approach is the only way we'll create a sustainable solution.
The problem, in my opinion, is that due to the nature of our system (I really have no better alternative to suggest) the "gifts" our representatives continue to bestow upon the groups they are beholden to will continue to guarantee excessive dollars being appropriated and spent on too many inefficient and dubious government programs.

I am singling out neither side of the aisle, as they are both quite guilty of this practice. I don't rule out the executive branch either, both this administration and previous.
__________________
"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance." -- H.L.Mencken
CalWizrd is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:47 PM   #14
hulugu
macrumors 68000
 
hulugu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: the faraway towns
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalWizrd View Post
The problem, in my opinion, is that due to the nature of our system (I really have no better alternative to suggest) the "gifts" our representatives continue to bestow upon the groups they are beholden to will continue to guarantee excessive dollars being appropriated and spent on too many inefficient and dubious government programs.

I am singling out neither side of the aisle, as they are both quite guilty of this practice. I don't rule out the executive branch either, both this administration and previous.
Yeah, we need a government that bases more decisions on data rather than influence. We should look at farm subsidies, tax credits for oil and gas companies (including not only tax credits and subsidies, but cheap land leases), the defense industry (a real tabulation of cost overruns on projects as well as their necessity), and analysis of various forms of unemployment and health insurance. Are the states better at this? Or is this an ideological idea that actually spends more money that necessary?
__________________
I look like a soldier; I feel like a thief
hulugu is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:52 PM   #15
Rodimus Prime
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalWizrd View Post
The problem, in my opinion, is that due to the nature of our system (I really have no better alternative to suggest) the "gifts" our representatives continue to bestow upon the groups they are beholden to will continue to guarantee excessive dollars being appropriated and spent on too many inefficient and dubious government programs.

I am singling out neither side of the aisle, as they are both quite guilty of this practice. I don't rule out the executive branch either, both this administration and previous.
seem to me this is part of the reason I think term limits is a damn good idea for them.

At the very least you will have a group every time that does not have to deal with the people who bribed them with "campaign" financing. Also after you leave office make it against the law to be able to work as a lobbist for X number of years plus banned from working anywhere that you have worked with over certain number of with for a while. (aka remove those factors that make them want to pay back any types of bribs)
Rodimus Prime is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:54 PM   #16
CalWizrd
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NYC/Raleigh, NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
seem to me this is part of the reason I think term limits is a damn good idea for them.

At the very least you will have a group every time that does not have to deal with the people who bribed them with "campaign" financing. Also after you leave office make it against the law to be able to work as a lobbist for X number of years plus banned from working anywhere that you have worked with over certain number of with for a while. (aka remove those factors that make them want to pay back any types of bribs)
Yes, term limits is a long overdue idea that should be implemented. Of course, the folks in power don't want to see it happen, especially if there were strict restrictions on official or "unofficial" lobbying after leaving government service.
__________________
"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance." -- H.L.Mencken
CalWizrd is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:02 PM   #17
Rodimus Prime
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalWizrd View Post
Yes, term limits is a long overdue idea that should be implemented. Of course, the folks in power don't want to see it happen, especially if there were strict restrictions on official or "unofficial" lobbying after leaving government service.
I think they need those strict terms because that is about the only way you can make sure you have a rather good size group in office for their entire term they are more interested in the long term of the country instead of only the next election.

Right now you can sure bet most of the people in congress are only thinking to the next eleciton. Made worse that they never get to leave campaign mode any more.

The senate was set up so in theory the 2/3s of them could be dealing with long term stuff. Sadly they are turning the same way.
Having 1/4 of congress at any point in time in lame duck would be helpful because you know that 1/4 would be allowed to think longer term as they are not going to be running for office again.
Rodimus Prime is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:19 PM   #18
citizenzen
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalWizrd View Post
Yes, term limits is a long overdue idea that should be implemented.
Totally disagree.

We have term limits in the form of elections. When the people no longer want them, they won't be returned to office.

And I want Nancy Pelosi fighting for me for many more years to come.

(Admittedly, she's not in my district)
citizenzen is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:23 PM   #19
rdowns
macrumors Penryn
 
rdowns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
Totally disagree.

We have term limits in the form of elections. When the people no longer want them, they won't be returned to office.

And I want Nancy Pelosi fighting for me for many more years to come.

(Admittedly, she's not in my district)

In a more perfect world, I might agree. Between gerrymandered districts, power of incumbency and special interest groups, it's pretty hard for incumbents to lose, no matter how bad or corrupt they are. See Rangel, Charles, D-NY as an example.
__________________
Gay marriage isn't special rights, it's equal rights. "Special rights" are for political churches who don't pay any taxes.- J. Fugelsang
rdowns is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:23 PM   #20
LethalWolfe
macrumors Demi-God
 
LethalWolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
In a more perfect world, I might agree. Between gerrymandered districts, power of incumbency and special interest groups, it's pretty hard for incumbents to lose, no matter how bad or corrupt they are. See Rangel, Charles, D-NY as an example.
I think gerrymandering is a significantly bigger problem than term limits as a political party can keep putting in a new a warm body to toe the line even if term limits are in place. I'm not really keen on term limits (even for presidential elections) because it will get rid of the good as well as the be bad. If someone is good at their job they should keep to keep it and if they are bad they should be let go. Right now though because of gerrymandering and aspects of campaign finance it's too hard to get a bad elected official out of office.
__________________
Looking For Lenny - documentary about comedian Lenny Bruce's timeless impact on stand-up comedy & Free Speech.
Netflix, iTunes, Amazon
LethalWolfe is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 28, 2012, 07:18 AM   #21
thewitt
macrumors 68000
 
thewitt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
It never ceases to amaze me how little the left on this forum understand about economics and the current state of our deficit spending.

You cannot tax your way out if this.

Government spending must be cut drastically - by as much as 40% - and tax savings for supposed cuts like are being promised today MUST be realized in the FIRST year, not in year TEN as is being proposed.

Wake up sheeple.
thewitt is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 28, 2012, 07:25 AM   #22
rdowns
macrumors Penryn
 
rdowns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
It never ceases to amaze me how little the left on this forum understand about economics and the current state of our deficit spending.

You cannot tax your way out if this.

Government spending must be cut drastically - by as much as 40% - and tax savings for supposed cuts like are being promised today MUST be realized in the FIRST year, not in year TEN as is being proposed.

Wake up sheeple.

It never ceases to amaze me how little the right on this forum understand about economics and the current state of our deficit spending.

You cannot fix a problem decades in the making in a year or 2. I can't fathom how anyone could call for a 40% cut in spending in the FIRST year unless one wanted economic collapse and civil unrest and a reason to use all those guns they are hoarding.
__________________
Gay marriage isn't special rights, it's equal rights. "Special rights" are for political churches who don't pay any taxes.- J. Fugelsang
rdowns is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 28, 2012, 07:44 AM   #23
NickZac
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
The answer is pretty clear to me: we need to tax people more in order to maintain the society we enjoy. It would certainly help if we also stopped spending ~1 trillion dollars a year being the world's police force.

I believe bringing our defense spending and taxation more in line with European countries will go a long ways towards raising government assets and meeting our financial obligations.
Historically, it seems the more we tax the more we waste. Have you checked the corporate tax? IIRC we are the second highest in the industrialized world...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...s_by_tax_rates

I'd like to see more fiscal responsibility and accountability across the board before I hand over any more of my money. And by all means, cutting defense spending can be part of that plan. And I think it is time we lower the corporate tax rate, especially if you want to raise the individual one.
NickZac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 28, 2012, 08:05 AM   #24
rdowns
macrumors Penryn
 
rdowns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickZac View Post
Historically, it seems the more we tax the more we waste. Have you checked the corporate tax? IIRC we are the second highest in the industrialized world...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...s_by_tax_rates

I'd like to see more fiscal responsibility and accountability across the board before I hand over any more of my money. And by all means, cutting defense spending can be part of that plan. And I think it is time we lower the corporate tax rate, especially if you want to raise the individual one.

Our tax rates are a a joke. Hardly any individual or business pays anywhere near their marginal rate in taxes. It's even worse after all the loopholes and deductions. We could easily get by with much lower tax rates and the elimination of the vast majority of the deductions and loopholes. The business of tax avoidance should be put out of business.
__________________
Gay marriage isn't special rights, it's equal rights. "Special rights" are for political churches who don't pay any taxes.- J. Fugelsang
rdowns is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 28, 2012, 08:15 AM   #25
NickZac
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
Our tax rates are a a joke. Hardly any individual or business pays anywhere near their marginal rate in taxes. It's even worse after all the loopholes and deductions. We could easily get by with much lower tax rates and the elimination of the vast majority of the deductions and loopholes. The business of tax avoidance should be put out of business.
I'm not sure what businesses you are referring to, but the ones I have worked for have paid tons in taxes. I agree loopholes are a bad thing and should be closed, but compare the US corporate tax rate to that of most European nations...it's almost twice as much. That isn't business friendly...corporations have a hard enough time making profit in this economy as it is, then they have to also pay a hoard of employee expenses that European companies don't due to different structural laws. I agree clear tax codes (ideally across the board) are a good thing and ending 'wealthfare' is important, but the amount of taxes that most US companies pay is staggering...
NickZac is offline   0 Reply With Quote


Reply
MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Politics, Religion, Social Issues

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Since can't one-hand bigger iPhone, get bigger or biggest? Luba iPhone 31 Apr 2, 2014 11:09 AM
If the iPhone gets a bigger screen would you want the icons to get bigger? The Doctor11 iPhone 4 Feb 4, 2014 12:54 AM
Usb problem files bigger than 4gb compute Mac Basics and Help 3 Jan 14, 2014 12:32 PM
iPad: BIGGER problem? Screen Tint or iOS7 crashing JoeRito iPad 17 Jan 8, 2014 08:22 AM
3D Game Engine with only 2D Assets? ArtOfWarfare iPhone/iPad Programming 17 Oct 8, 2013 05:11 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:58 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC