Washington will spend $31,406 per household this year


Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,062
Toronto, Ontario
Massive and painful cuts in spending while raising taxes across the board. Either that or destroy the value of the dollar so that the debts become small in comparison.
I imagine this would have a nice foreign policy effect when we want our creditors to go to the plate with us with issues like Iran etc.
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
Halve the defense budget, raise taxes on the rich.
"Halve the entire budget, raise taxes on everyone" is the more fair and equitable approach, if we assume budgets need be cut and taxes do have to be raised, bearing in mind the evidence that 47% of those using government entitlements and services pay no tax at all. Why should "the rich" pay the burden of the lazy?
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
"Halve the entire budget, raise taxes on everyone" is the more fair and equitable approach, if we assume budgets need be cut and taxes do have to be raised, bearing in mind the evidence that 47% of those using government entitlements and services pay no tax at all. Why should "the rich" pay the burden of the lazy?
THAT IS INCORRECT! 47% may pay no federal income tax, but that is NOT the only tax. Why should the poor pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the rich?
 

OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
0
NYC
"Halve the entire budget, raise taxes on everyone" is the more fair and equitable approach, if we assume budgets need be cut and taxes do have to be raised, bearing in mind the evidence that 47% of those using government entitlements and services pay no tax at all. Why should "the rich" pay the burden of the lazy?
The rich = hardworking, poor = lazy fallacy needs to die.

There are millions of jobs that have to be done that do not pay well. No matter how hard people work there are never enough jobs higher up the food chain for everyone who wants one. Welcome to the fantasy of the American dream.
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
Newsflash: You can be lazy and become rich. You can work your ass off and still be poor.

In fact, I'd bet that the percentage of lazyass rich people is greater than or equal to the percentage of lazyass poor people.
The best and most sure way to become rich in this country is to do a good job selecting your parents.
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
Newsflash: You can be lazy and become rich. You can work your ass off and still be poor.
I wouldn't specifically argue with that; it shows the enormous potential within a Capitalistic system! Just the same, however, whether you're lazy or a workaholic, if you become rich, you shouldn't be penalized for doing do by paying a disproportionate level of taxation. So too, if you're lazy and choose to be shiftless, you shouldn't be rewarded for it.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,832
7
This year is a one off, caused by Wall St. (and City) idiots being able to pursue short-term profits and bonuses whilst risking long-term stability. It should never be allowed to happen again, but in the meantime the meltdown has been avoided.

Here in the UK the economic growth projections are now being revised upwards. Retail sales are higher than expected, unemployment is falling, and the housing market is moving again. Therefore our government deficits next year onwards will be lower than initially projected. I suspect this is being mirrored across most of the developed world, simply because the meltdown has been avoided. Yes it's crap right now, but the signs are that it will improve quite quickly.
 

TheAnswer

macrumors 68030
Jan 25, 2002
2,531
1
Orange County, CA
1. Increase the retirement age by 1 year each year starting in 2014 until retirement benefits are only available to those who are within 5 years of the national average life expectancy. Peg the age to that figure from that point out with an annual modification.

2. Require that all funds collected by the federal government that are not spent on national defense or the retirement fund to be spend directly in the state from which they were received.

3. Require all elected officials, regardless of age or gender, register with the selective service and be subject to conscription at such time that national guard troops are called to active duty for overseas conflicts.

4. Employ federal regulation of magnetic "Support Our Troops" stickers. A tax going directly to a soldier pay fund should be levied that is proportional to the size of the stickers.

5. With the exception of veterans, create a direct correlation between flag-waving and lessening of one's burden on the government. Those receiving public funds for abortions, for example, would be required to do an amount of flag-waving, while those prone to flag-waving would be required to abort a child or lose an amount of retirement benefits once they have passed a flag-waving threshold.

6. Reduce the urban welfare ranks by requiring those elected officials in rural areas that consistently vote against entitlement programs to house underprivileged urban families. As a concession, the elected officials may employ the families to work the land in order to offset the cost of providing room and board.
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
1. Increase the retirement age by 1 year each year starting in 2014 until retirement benefits are only available to those who are within 5 years of the national average life expectancy. Peg the age to that figure from that point out with an annual modification.
You cannot change a contract once in force (even though - sadly - this has been done before); many began payments into the system with clear guidelines on when the retirement age would be upon initiation. Changing and continually increasing retirement age has the effect of violating a contract.

2. Require that all funds collected by the federal government that are not spent on national defense or the retirement fund to be spend directly in the state from which they were received.
Patently unfair for small states and overtly beneficial for large states. How about treat the funds equally?

3. Require all elected officials, regardless of age or gender, register with the selective service and be subject to conscription at such time that national guard troops are called to active duty for overseas conflicts.
You have my six here but what's that got to do with taxation?

4. Employ federal regulation of magnetic "Support Our Troops" stickers. A tax going directly to a soldier pay fund should be levied that is proportional to the size of the stickers.
How about taxation upon prophylactics to pay federal deficit? It's appropriate since they both, more or less, serve the same purpose! ;)

5. With the exception of veterans, create a direct correlation between flag-waving and lessening of one's burden on the government. Those receiving public funds for abortions, for example, would be required to do an amount of flag-waving, while those prone to flag-waving would be required to abort a child or lose an amount of retirement benefits once they have passed a flag-waving threshold.
Only if we can check the IRS forms of every registered DNC member to determine how many years hence they filed their last complete IRS form?

6. Reduce the urban welfare ranks by requiring those elected officials in rural areas that consistently vote against entitlement programs to house underprivileged urban families. As a concession, the elected officials may employ the families to work the land in order to offset the cost of providing room and board.
We can reduce the urban welfare ranks quite well by making those who collect unemployment, food stamps, WIC payments, etc. - all under the collective of title of welfare entitlement - earn it. Picking up cans, erasing graffiti, doing public service(s), etc. would all add to the urban environment and make the point bolded that welfare is a handout and not a right.
 

CorvusCamenarum

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,231
1
Birmingham, AL
"Halve the entire budget, raise taxes on everyone" is the more fair and equitable approach, if we assume budgets need be cut and taxes do have to be raised, bearing in mind the evidence that 47% of those using government entitlements and services pay no tax at all. Why should "the rich" pay the burden of the lazy?
It's quite simple, really, when you think about it. Those layabout richies are the ones with the money.
 

TheAnswer

macrumors 68030
Jan 25, 2002
2,531
1
Orange County, CA
You cannot change a contract once in force (even though - sadly - this has been done before); many began payments into the system with clear guidelines on when the retirement age would be upon initiation. Changing and continually increasing retirement age has the effect of violating a contract.
Not sure if payment of a tax intended for a certain purpose is the same as signing a contract. When the fund goes bankrupt, do those of us who have paid in get to sue the federal government for breach of contract?

Patently unfair for small states and overtly beneficial for large states. How about treat the funds equally?
How is there a difference in how this treats small and large states? Each state's needs are roughly based on their population, each state would receive federal expenditures (minus defense and retirement) proportionate with their population's income.

Seems more fair than the current "From each state according to their ability, to each state according to their need" policies.

You have my six here but what's that got to do with taxation?
It's working on the premise that those voting to send our troops overseas would more critically examine the need to do so if their own lives were on the line.
 

Raid

macrumors 68020
Feb 18, 2003
2,143
3,909
Toronto
Massive and painful cuts in spending while raising taxes across the board. Either that or destroy the value of the dollar so that the debts become small in comparison.
I imagine this would have a nice foreign policy effect when we want our creditors to go to the plate with us with issues like Iran etc.
Actually there are some big concerns that the US is going to start letting the US dollar slide so that the debt is more manageable. Bloomberg reported on a story in February of how China was selling a record amount of US debt in late 2009. The $34B they sold, while a record though is only a tiny chunk of the $750B China has owing from the US. The trick is that US asset values will still maintain their nominal values in the US so many will think everything is ok. :eek:
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,364
UK
You cannot change a contract once in force (even though - sadly - this has been done before); many began payments into the system with clear guidelines on when the retirement age would be upon initiation. Changing and continually increasing retirement age has the effect of violating a contract.
Lots of countries have changed their retirement age before, so this is definitely an option open to the US.
 

miloblithe

macrumors 68020
Nov 14, 2003
2,076
28
Washington, DC
http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/retirechart.htm

Year of Birth* Full Retirement Age
1937 or earlier 65
1938 65 and 2 months
1939 65 and 4 months
1940 65 and 6 months
1941 65 and 8 months
1942 65 and 10 months
1943--1954 66
1955 66 and 2 months
1956 66 and 4 months
1957 66 and 6 months
1958 66 and 8 months
1959 66 and 10 months
1960 and later 67
I'd be OK with continuing to add 2 months to the 67 retirement age beyond 1960 for starters, so people born in 1966 it would be 68, 1972 it would be 69, and so on. I agree that in principle people who expect to retire in only a couple years shouldn't have the rug pulled out from under them. The should have sufficient time to plan for any adjustment, say at least 5 years warning. That means that anyone born after 1949 on the chart above is fair game too. maybe move the 2 month adjustment to start in 1950 instead of 1954. Not a huge adjustment for retirees, but it would have significant impact on social security.
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
When SS was created, the life expectency was very different than it is today. SS was created as a safety net for our most senior elders. A safety net for people who outlived their expectations. People who outlived their pensions, their savings, etc...

In order to make SS what it used to be, you would have to have a SS retirement age somewhere around 80-85.

The bigger problem is that people don't work for employers their entire lives anymore, and many employers don't offer retirement benefits.
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
The bigger problem is that people don't work for employers their entire lives anymore, and many employers don't offer retirement benefits.
Tons of employers offer 401(k)s with employer matches. I guess what you're getting at is that most employers are no longer stupid enough to entirely fund your retirement via defined benefit pension, you're expected to contribute yourself and, if you're lucky, you might get a defined contribution pension that your employer contributes to.

Personally, I think the root of the problem is more in the way many middle class and upper middle class American's spend money, are over-reliant on credit, and consume more than they can afford, meaning they have little leftover to save. The savings rate in the U.S. rarely crested 5% in the last 10 years; that's really bad when you realize that one should save more than 5% of their income for retirement alone. We've had savings rates in some months that were less than 1%; that is outrageous.

I think its also a poor choice to put the blame solely on companies for eliminating defined benefit pensions. Though it is undeniable that defined benefit pensions have decreased significantly in number, the savings rate in the U.S. has also been on the decrease fairly consistently for the last 20 years. Not only are people receiving fewer guaranteed benefits from employers, but employees' savings rate has gone down as well. Its a double edged sword here, the employees and employers have played a role in the reliance many have on social security.
 

GfPQqmcRKUvP

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2005
3,211
373
Terminus
The best and most sure way to become rich in this country is to do a good job selecting your parents.
Facetiousness aside, your main point is not true. The idea that inheritance is the most common source of wealth is a myth that is just as bad as the one that decries every poor person as lazy.
 

CorvusCamenarum

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,231
1
Birmingham, AL
When SS was created, the life expectency was very different than it is today. SS was created as a safety net for our most senior elders. A safety net for people who outlived their expectations. People who outlived their pensions, their savings, etc...

In order to make SS what it used to be, you would have to have a SS retirement age somewhere around 80-85.

The bigger problem is that people don't work for employers their entire lives anymore, and many employers don't offer retirement benefits.
Add to that the shrinking as well as aging workforce is going to make it increasingly difficult to keep paying out benefits. I'm 34, my soon-to-be-wife is 25, and we're planning for the future as though SS will not be there.

After we get around to getting this country back to work, what I'd like to see is a reduction in the rate of withholding coupled with removing the maximum salary cap on withholding.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
Add to that the shrinking as well as aging workforce is going to make it increasingly difficult to keep paying out benefits. I'm 34, my soon-to-be-wife is 25, and we're planning for the future as though SS will not be there.

After we get around to getting this country back to work, what I'd like to see is a reduction in the rate of withholding coupled with removing the maximum salary cap on withholding.

Smart move. I'm 47 and have planned as if it won't be there. Anything I receive back will be a bonus.