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Thread: HPD won't screen for immigration

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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    I totally disagree with this one. Consumption taxes are extremely regressive. The very wealthy only spend a tiny percentage of their income on taxable goods. So, we'd have to shift huge amounts of tax burden down to the middle classes. Assuming you're talking something like fair tax, the poor would get by with the rebate, but the taxes on the middle class would have to at least double to make it be revenue neutral. The percentages the fair tax advocates claim would be sufficient are absolutely false. They're based on all kinds of incorrect assumptions and data. Most the independant studies that I've seen of the idea have concluded that when you figure in things like tax evasion, black markets, reduced consumption, etc, we'd actually need something more like a 70% consumption tax for it to produce as much revenue as the income tax does today. That'd be crippling for the middle class.
    Hang on there. I'm not opposed to including a capital gains tax as well. I think a mixture of CGT & a consumption tax would be effective.

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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Quote Originally Posted by Caedon View Post
    Hang on there. I'm not opposed to including a capital gains tax as well. I think a mixture of CGT & a consumption tax would be effective.
    Maybe... I'm a big fan of cap gains taxes. That would definitely offset the regressive problem substantially.

    We're going way off topic... I'm new here, so I don't know how much people care if you go off topic... Somebody tell me to shut up and start my own thread when it gets annoying

    But, I'll try to be brief. If I were to redesign the whole tax system, what I'd do would be to tax all types of income the same- wages, cap gains, inheritance, etc. Everything that puts money in your pocket gets grouped in as 'income', and keep it as progressive as our current income tax brackets. If we left the rates the same, that would generate well over $1.1 trillion in new tax revenues because inheritance is currently not taxed at all as of next year and cap gains are taxed at less than half of the rate of wages for the top bracket. We could cover the deficit and still have a $600b surplus. Then I'd use that surplus to evenly reduce all brackets.
    Last edited by teamosil; 10-18-09 at 04:45 AM.

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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Are you concerned that increasing the capital gains tax will lead to stagnation in investing? Such an increase could lead to reticence in pulling the money in and out, leaving added capital in the hands of companies who may not be as successful simply because the person wants to avoid CG tax in the current year.

    My concern is that you could overly affect the manner in which the market allocates capital to the most effective and successful companies by increasing the penalty associated with shifting your money around.

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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Here is my take on it, but I'd definitely be interested to hear your thoughts as I'm not an economist or anything... But this is what I've read and it makes sense to me:

    Raising the cap gains tax would reduce the pool of investment dollars, and that is bad. But, high taxes on wages reduce the pool of consumption dollars, and that's bad too.

    In 1996 the cap gains tax rate was 28% and we slashed it down to 15% over the next few years. Ever since then our economy has been characterized by stock market bubbles. What used to be considered an insanely unacceptable price to earnings ratio doesn't even make people blink anymore. Tons of companies that have operated at losses for years and years saw their stock prices charging upwards on highly speculative investing. Those bubbles always burst because in the end. If a company just doesn't sell enough widgets sooner or later people are going to lose faith in the high stock prices. What we need is not more investment dollars to drive stock prices higher on still weaker fundamentals, we need more consumption to actually buy the stuff those companies make. It's a balancing act. When the economy is short of investment capital and overflowing with demand, you should theoretically lower cap gains and raise income taxes. When the economy is flooded with investment dollars but lacking in actual earnings, you should theoretically lower income taxes and raise cap gains taxes to keep things balanced. Right now we have high income taxes and low cap gains taxes, and we have loads of investment capital sitting around in gold and t-bills and whatnot because the consumption is so sucky.

    So, what makes the most sense to me as a long term policy is to keep cap gains and income taxes matched. I don't like the idea of the government constantly tweaking the balance, since that process is so obviously corrupted by varying levels of influence from different interested parties. I'd rather just keep the two matched, which historically seems to have led to a reasonable balance between having enough investment capital and having enough consumption.

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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Houston has been a sanctuary city for a long time. The voters in the city have been opposed to strict enforcement of immigration laws inside city limits for a long time. Most the big cities in the US are sanctuary cities. If somebody is a contributing member of the community and doesn't get in any trouble with the law, there is no reason to deport them. And, as the Arpaio debacle made plain, that enforcement program degenerates very quickly into racial profiling and harrasment of groups of people (citizens and not) based on their ethnicity. Houstonians rightly want no part of that.
    I wonder how many Irish illegals are in Houston ? Of course you have to profile criminals !

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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Quote Originally Posted by submarinepainter View Post
    I wonder how many Irish illegals are in Houston ? Of course you have to profile criminals !
    Doesn't matter. Keep in mind that 80% of hispanics in the US are citizens or legal residents. How is it possibly fair that they get hassled all the time because they happen to be of the same ethnicity as people who are breaking the law?

    Effectiveness is not the only principal we design our law enforcement practices around. If it were, we'd let cops randomly search any house or tap any phone without probable cause. Random searches of every house on any given block is sure to turn up at least a few crimes. But it isn't worth that kind of sacrifice of our liberty. Same deal with this.

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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Doesn't matter. Keep in mind that 80% of hispanics in the US are citizens or legal residents. How is it possibly fair that they get hassled all the time because they happen to be of the same ethnicity as people who are breaking the law?
    I'm fairly sure that they aren't, actually. Polling indicates that a substantial number (almost half) of U.S. Hispanics are white or predominantly white, while it's the predominantly Amerindian mestizos that typically emigrate illegally.

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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    I do see your argument, but you're missing a couple points. First, targetting a location where the crime you're trying to catch people committing is not considered racial profiling on face. It certainly could be argued that it is racial profiling when it is disproportionate. For example, if 60% of burglaries happen in a black neighborhood and 40% in a white neighborhood, and the police decide to put 95% of their officers in the black neighborhood, that's pretty fishy.
    I don't know, I would understand why they would devote that much resources to a high crime area vs a low crime area. Get the burglaries stopped then you can go onto the next highest crime area. The more police on it the faster it will get resolved.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    But, that's not what Arpaio is being charged with. What he's being sued for is essentialy stopping every hispanic that his teams come across and trumping up charges so he can check their citizenship status. That's racial profiling pure and simple. And, there is a very good reason that it is illegal- because most Mexicans living in his county are citizens and they're being harrassed constantly, they're getting ticketted for trumped up charges, etc. It isn't right that a citizen should be persecuted for crimes committed by other people just because they happen to be the same ethnicity.
    It's going to be very difficult to prove that he's trumping up charges. Which they are going to have to do if they are going to prove that he is racially profiling. Remember a cop can stop you for any reason...even crossing the center or white line even slightly, also known as swerving. How are they going to prove that they didn't? Or that they didn't use their turn signal? Or some other minor offense that most people don't even notice when they do it.

    A plaintiff must always provide the burden of proof. And without proof there is no case. IE it didn't or does not happen.
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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    I see immigration enforcement the same way. Nothing is gained by deporting an illegal immigrant who is here working hard in exchange for very small sums of money, staying strictly out of trouble with the law, and not bothering anybody. In fact, we lose out if we deport folks like that. They're a huge asset to our country. If we deported every illegal alien tonight, we would lose the $1.7 trillion they spend here every year, $650 billion in production, and 8.1 million legal jobs would disappear because of companies that need sub minimum wage labor to survive. Basically, we'd turn this recession into a great depression overnight. Not to mention millions of families would be broken up, lots of children who are citizens would need to move out of the country with their parents, lots of households would lose nannies or maids that have lived with them for decades, etc. The human toll would be even larger than the massive economic toll. The truth is that nobody wants that. So, we compromise on the sort of enforcement we have in place- if somebody complains, if the illegal alien gets arrested, or if there is any kind of problem, they can be deported. If not, we more or less turn a blind eye. I think that's about the ideal approach, and no matter what they claim when they're campaigning, that's exactly what politicians in both party actually push for when in office. Why should we change that?
    I have to disagree here. They are bothering people. By taking jobs away from those that need it yet are here legally. Especially in a recession.

    While it might cost us money initially to deport illegals in the long run it would gain us money.

    Fact: Illegals do take jobs away from legal folks. By deporting illegals it would free up jobs so that those that are here legally could get a job and have more money to spend. It also lowers the umemployment rate since illegals are not counted when officials figure out the unemployment rate.

    Fact: While there are illegals that do pay taxes the majority does not. By having legals have those jobs that illegals have there is more taxes being paid than there are illegals paying. Even if just a minority of illegals did not pay taxes it would still mean more income via taxes because all the jobs that illegals hold would instead be held by legals...if of course all illegals were deported.

    Fact: Less money is spent teaching an illegals kid/s. While this may seem cold hearted it is the truth. IMO an illegals government from their home country should be dealing with this, not the US.

    Fact: Health care costs would go down, even if only a little bit, because illegals rarely pay a hospital bill. No doubt kind of hard to get on any type of insurance since they do not have the documents most insurance companies require.

    Fact: Less money would be spent on incarceration and other legal means if there were no illegals. It takes a ton of money to house people in jails and to give them their court time.

    Fact: With no illegals there would be no murder, rape, theft etc etc commited by illegals. Which means those illegals that commit these types of crimes would not have been able to commit those crimes in the US. Which means more civilians would be safer with no illegals around. And really...how do you put a price on a persons life or raped body?
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    Re: HPD won't screen for immigration

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    I'm fairly sure that they aren't, actually. Polling indicates that a substantial number (almost half) of U.S. Hispanics are white or predominantly white, while it's the predominantly Amerindian mestizos that typically emigrate illegally.
    If that were true that he was profiling only amerindian hispanics, why would that mean it wasn't profiling? Or am I not understanding your argument?

    Here is some info on the case the ACLU picked up against him for racial profiling if you're interested- American Civil Liberties Union : Lawsuit Charging Sheriff Arpaio Illegally Targeted Latinos In Maricopa County Can Go Forward

    There are tons of cases against him, but that's the highest profile one because the ACLU picked it up.

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