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Thread: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by washunut View Post
    Sure it is a good thing. A fair question though was that the best way to accomplish it.
    Most economists agreed that it was.


    Also was the money spent in such a way as to provide a long term as well as short term benefit.
    $243.4B was spent in tax benefits, which went immediately to taxpayers to help pay bills and buy things, a direct stimulation to the economy; $275B went for contracts, grants and loans, another direct stimulation of the economy; $224B went to entitlements to help the most vulnerable in our society cope with the hard realities of a recession not of their making.

    http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/default.aspx
    Last edited by Catawba; 02-05-11 at 01:48 AM.
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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyNinja View Post
    Hmmm. Many would argue conversely, that our "social interactions" are a byproduct of government. There are those who would point out that US public policy over the past half-century has helped to create a "welfare state" if you will.
    Do you mean the shift in the tax burden from the the wealthy to the middle class that forces more and more under the poverty line each year, or the policy of not providing a living wage so people are forced onto welfare, or the policy of not assuring affordable health care to its citizens, forcing more and more onto welfare?

    Yes, I can definitely see where those factors have come into play.
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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Do you mean the shift in the tax burden from the the wealthy to the middle class that forces more and more under the poverty line each year, or the policy of not providing a living wage so people are forced onto welfare, or the policy of not assuring affordable health care to its citizens, forcing more and more onto welfare?

    Yes, I can definitely see where those factors have come into play.
    Your sarcasm has not gone unnoticed, sigh......................but sadly, none of the above. I am referring to ENTITLEMENTS and to a large and ever growing sector of the population who have become dependent upon them..........but do we truly want to go down this path, in this thread?

    BTW, this "shift" in tax burden of which you speak......is this simply an MSNBC talking point, or do you have quantifiable evidence to support your assertion that Middle-class America now pays the largest portion of the Income tax?
    Last edited by FluffyNinja; 02-05-11 at 02:17 AM.
    "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." - Dr. Carl Sagan

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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by washnut
    What you are talking about does not increase capital. The banks had to show an increase in their capital base to be allowed to pay back TARP. Most banks sold shares of additional common stock and have had increasing profits.
    Repo agreements and other derivative agreements are taken to increase capital. There are, for all practical purposes, no reserve requirements for repo agreements, and a bank gets to list such an agreement as an asset. The way some agreements are written, both sides get to add it to their general ledger as an asset.

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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyNinja
    Hmmm. Many would argue conversely, that our "social interactions" are a byproduct of government. There are those who would point out that US public policy over the past half-century has helped to create a "welfare state" if you will.
    I don't exactly disagree with the general picture...but I don't think it's complete.

    In this specific, It's absurd to think that we really live in a "nanny state." The vast majority of adults who are capable of working want to work. Few are content to just sit back and take a handout.

    But I digress here. Let me point out that the very things that we complain about today, though different in their specific manifestation, are general problems about which people have complained throughout history. The Romans, the British, The Mauryans, the Moguls, the Byzantines, etc. all complained about government handouts. All complained about taxes. All complained about an inept government. All complained about military adventurism. All complained about government regulations. Etc. Etc.

    So answer this question: why should we find this to be the case, if government is the starkly separate, monolithic entity that some claim? Think of it this way: those same people, who throughout history did all that complaining, eventually overthrew their governments. They established new governments. And those governments inevitably suffer the same criticisms.

    And then, while you're thinking about that, think also about this: are people who work in government human beings? Is it the case that Barack Obama (for instance) wasn't merely not born in Hawaii, but actually on another planet? Or when someone is elected to congress or appointed to a Federal Court or whatever, are they captured by the CIA and brainwashed? Or, perhaps even worse, is this something that only happens to liberals or only to conservatives? Of course these are absurd questions (I hope you agree they are). Those who work in government are people, just like us. We, on these boards, disagree with each other. But try thinking about what it would be like if we were forced to work together to staff a government, and all of us had roughly equal amounts of power. What sorts of decisions would we make? If government is really starkly separate, what makes it so?

    From these considerations, I think we begin to see that the place and context of government within a society is quite different than the separate entity it is commonly thought to be.

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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyNinja View Post
    Your sarcasm has not gone unnoticed, sigh......................but sadly, none of the above. I am referring to ENTITLEMENTS and to a large and ever growing sector of the population who have become dependent upon them..........but do we truly want to go down this path, in this thread?

    BTW, this "shift" in tax burden of which you speak......is this simply an MSNBC talking point, or do you have quantifiable evidence to support your assertion that Middle-class America now pays the largest portion of the Income tax?
    I am not talking about who pays the largest portion of the income tax, I am talking about who pays the largest share of their relative wealth.

    "From 1980 to 2006 the richest 1% of America TRIPLED their after-tax percentage of our nation's total income, while the bottom 90% have seen their share drop over 20%.

    That's a TRILLION dollars a year, one-seventh of America's total income, that went to the richest 1% while 90% of us went backwards."
    A Progressive Tax: It's Not Socialism, It's Correctionism | CommonDreams.org
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    I am not talking about who pays the largest portion of the income tax, I am talking about who pays the largest share of their relative wealth.

    "From 1980 to 2006 the richest 1% of America TRIPLED their after-tax percentage of our nation's total income, while the bottom 90% have seen their share drop over 20%.

    That's a TRILLION dollars a year, one-seventh of America's total income, that went to the richest 1% while 90% of us went backwards."
    A Progressive Tax: It's Not Socialism, It's Correctionism | CommonDreams.org
    You said "shift in the tax burden" - To the lay person, this implies that the particular group to which you refer is responsible for paying the "bulk" of the tax. So now, we get to the "meat" of it............what we're really talking about is how much of their wealth the rich get to keep. let's call it what it is, stop "mincing" words, and get past the political rhetoric shall we? At the end of the day, the fact remains, we have a highly progressive income tax structure, and the "rich" still pay the overwhelming "bulk" of the taxes, and many, like you, believe that the middle-class, working-class, and impoverished aren't getting their "fair share" of the pie..........quite a Marxist view, wouldn't you agree?
    Last edited by FluffyNinja; 02-05-11 at 04:42 PM.
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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    I don't exactly disagree with the general picture...but I don't think it's complete.

    In this specific, It's absurd to think that we really live in a "nanny state." The vast majority of adults who are capable of working want to work. Few are content to just sit back and take a handout.

    But I digress here. Let me point out that the very things that we complain about today, though different in their specific manifestation, are general problems about which people have complained throughout history. The Romans, the British, The Mauryans, the Moguls, the Byzantines, etc. all complained about government handouts. All complained about taxes. All complained about an inept government. All complained about military adventurism. All complained about government regulations. Etc. Etc.

    So answer this question: why should we find this to be the case, if government is the starkly separate, monolithic entity that some claim? Think of it this way: those same people, who throughout history did all that complaining, eventually overthrew their governments. They established new governments. And those governments inevitably suffer the same criticisms.

    And then, while you're thinking about that, think also about this: are people who work in government human beings? Is it the case that Barack Obama (for instance) wasn't merely not born in Hawaii, but actually on another planet? Or when someone is elected to congress or appointed to a Federal Court or whatever, are they captured by the CIA and brainwashed? Or, perhaps even worse, is this something that only happens to liberals or only to conservatives? Of course these are absurd questions (I hope you agree they are). Those who work in government are people, just like us. We, on these boards, disagree with each other. But try thinking about what it would be like if we were forced to work together to staff a government, and all of us had roughly equal amounts of power. What sorts of decisions would we make? If government is really starkly separate, what makes it so?

    From these considerations, I think we begin to see that the place and context of government within a society is quite different than the separate entity it is commonly thought to be.
    Your original assertion was that govt. is merely a byproduct of the people; that it's not monolitihic in the sense that it cannot exist as a "separate entity." You went on to explain that, based on this premise, we "deserve" the governmental system that we get, because, essentially it is derived from the direct will of the populace. If I'm misinterpreting here, please correct me.

    I don't entirely disagree, but I would contend that the converse is also true, and that government CAN and often DOES act on it's own - apart from the will of the people in a monolithic sense and as a separate entity. Would you argue that the German population was to blame for the direction that Hitler's fascist regime took in Germany? Was the Nazi Party ( National Socialist German Workers' Party) that the German masses supported at the time of its rise to power, the same Party that waged genocide against the Jews? Yes, but was it the will of the people that guided the change in direction? Are the German people to blame here, or is Germany's monolithic state government? This is not rhetorical - Please answer. Was the formation of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot's murderous regime simply reflective of what the Cambodian masses truly desired - or was it perhaps a case of who had the most guns at the time?

    For every case in history where you can show me that government was a byproduct of people's social desires/interactions - I can show you a case of government acting independently (arbitrarily) of the will of its masses and actually "shaping" the social interactions/desires of the people. I think we're both seeing the same implications here, but from totally different perspectives.
    Last edited by FluffyNinja; 02-05-11 at 05:00 PM.
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  9. #69
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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by FluffyNinja View Post
    You said "shift in the tax burden" - To the lay person, this implies that the particular group to which you refer is responsible for paying the "bulk" of the tax. So now, we get to the "meat" of it............what we're really talking about is how much of their wealth the rich get to keep. let's call it what it is, stop "mincing" words, and get past the political rhetoric shall we? At the end of the day, the fact remains, we have a highly progressive income tax structure, and the "rich" still pay the overwhelming "bulk" of the taxes, and many, like you, believe that the middle-class, working-class, and impoverished aren't getting their "fair share" of the pie..........quite a Marxist view, wouldn't you agree?
    Not at all, I am talking about the progressive tax system we used to have that was equitable to all. This is not complicated at all. 80% of the people own just 15% of the wealth. Therefore an equitable tax system would be one where that 80% of the people pay 15% of the taxes.

    ""In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one's home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2010).
    Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power

    80% taxes on the upper income brackets is about where our wise forefathers kept our tax system during some of its most productive periods in American history and also enabled the strongest middle class in our history.



    United States income tax - The Full Wiki
    Last edited by Catawba; 02-05-11 at 05:11 PM.
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    Re: Where Did the Stimulus Go?

    all of these are great arguments... great arguments for getting rid of the government. when you come up with solutions that don't make things worse get back to me, until then i'm not convinced that any of these 'solutions' solve the problems their advertised to solve. rather in every case they keep the powerful powerful, and keep the masses subdued. but wait, you get to vote! you get to decide through the free will of the collective if you wanna be enslaved by a fully authoritarian government, or by a fascist corporate state. take your choice, maybe one will whip you less.
    Democracy is two wolves and sheep voting on what's for dinner. Liberty is a well armed sheep willing to contest the vote.

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