Before you criticize someone you should walk a mile in their shoes, that way when you do criticize them you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
First I would like to take the time to applaud every one here .. for having a good discussion, with out the political hackery that goes on in most threads.
My ideas on SS … are really quite simple, first stop early retirement for anyone capable of working. I'm not sure how much money that would save, but it seems like it would be substantial. People that were well enough off that could retire early and life off their retirements, could still do so, but SS payments wouldn't start until age 66.
I like the idea of the wealthy being able to get a lump sum of what they paid in, that would be another savings as most get more out of SS then was paid in. I'm not sure that I could go along with everyone getting a lump some, because those that couldn't or wouldn't put away money for their retirement on their own, I believe would just blow through that lump sum payment, then end up on welfare, or other government programs.
On jobs … which to me is the real problem we are facing, one of the problems is the banks still aren't lending money.... I know of one multi millionaire in his 70”s that wanted to expand his business, and the banks refused, it was the first time in his life he was ever turned down.
Can't really blame the banks tho, well you can but you can also understand why, they can still borrow money from the fed at 0% interest, invest it in anything safe .. take their profits and repay the 0% loan.
I'd be willing to bet that if the banks had to pay 2 or 3 % interest to the fed for borrowing money, they would start lending again. Simply because they would need to charge 5 to 6 % interest to make a profit. As it stands now .. if they can invest in anything that pays 2 or 3 percent .. it's clear profit for them.
The other thing we need to do … is find out what is keeping industry and business from setting up in the US .. and make it more attractive for them to come to the US .. if that mean lowering the corporate tax rate then do it. Right now our base rate is the highest in the world, (even tho no one pays that rate,) maybe it would look more attractive to cut it in half … then take away all or most of the tax codes that allow corporations to pay little or nothing in taxes. Another thing I think would be good .. is to set up a high import fee on companies moving their factories to another country, then import that same product they use to make here. Make it far less profitable for them to leave.
Whatever ideas anyone has, is fine, all I'm saying is we need to get those decent paying factory jobs back in the US. We can't build our middle class until we do. So whatever it takes to bring them back … then I think we should be doing it.
I believe your average 401(k) has a maximum contribution for tax purposes -- you can put in as much as you want, but there's a limit to how much of your contribution will be tax-deductible.
Talk about green energy...
The Baby-Boomer generation, like the generation that came before them, has been paying into Social Security all their working life. It's fine that the GOP's plan will protect their benefits, but the next generation coming in after them who are around my ago (40-60) who have also worked 20+ years and don't have long before we retire see this and go, "WTF?! This guy just threw us under the bus!" With 401K plans for many near-term retirees losing money from the economic crisis due to poor investment strategies on Wall Street, state municiple bond markets also going stagnate, pay raises for many hard workig American have being frozen yet many are being asked to pay more toward their retirement, and now all this talk of Medicare benefits and SS being "means tested", there's just no way such a proposal by the GOP could be taken seriously by the voter on my generation. It's BS! Plain and simple.
As X-Factor and StillBallin75 have both stated, "we're entitled to what we paid into SS all of our working lives." It doesn't matter how well anyone whose near retirement has planned for their retirement and if it does look like Senior Citizen A has planned better for same than Senior Citizen B. The fact is I've paid into the system now for well over 25 years. It's my money! MINE! And neither side of the political spectrum gets to change the system in the middle of the game where heads THEY win, tails the near-term retirees lose.
Last edited by Objective Voice; 04-16-11 at 07:39 PM.
I disagree with your comments on the banks. Without knowing the details of what the circumstances of your millionaire. I will say that many small businesses used their homes or other real estate as corralteral. As you know the values are down so that may be a reason why he did not get the loan. Or it could be he is otherwise very leveraged and regulators and well as banks are being very careful about the quality of loans they make. Also it is a widely discussed misperception that banks let much of their funds from the Fed. Actually bank deposits are where they get most if not all of their capital. Also you mention they only make "safe" loans, what are those? Yes the fed keeping interest rates low allows banks to pay low interest on deposits, but their money is made between the spread they pay and the inetrest they receive. I am sure banks are more cautious about making quality loans than 2007/2008, but isn't that what we wanted as a country. We also raised the amount of money banks have to hold in case of losses. Again something we wanted and still want but all that leads to tougher lending standards, which will impact smaller businesses more as bigger companies can usually issue corporate debt.
You did hit on something that I agree with when you mention finding ways to make it harder ( less profitable) to move production overseas. Your thoughts here seem to be right on. Import fee is another term for tariffs but we should not be afraid to use them to protect workers. Smoot/Hawley is a scare tactic people use to object to tariffs.
But you have to recognize there are all sorts of additional costs dong business in America versus other parts of the world. People have to be able to make tradeoffs and I do not see this group of politicians having the courage it would take to work together on a solution.
Also remember that a large number of the unemployed used to be employed in the housing market. Again we need politicians to be honest with the public. The time to recover from a fiscal recession like the one we are coming out of is several years unlike recessions due to supply/demand disclocations. So as an example we are building approximately 1 million less homes than we normally would to keep up with population growth. We are about 1.5 million below what we were building in at the peak. A statistic I read recently is that every home built average 2.5 workers. So that 3-4 million people will not be employed until the overhang is burned off.
-chuckles- I know the housing industry quite well, as I was (am) in it. I was one of the lucky ones working for a well established company, that had just started a project when all this hit, and didn't get laid off until 6 months ago. Why ? Simply put the banks no longer are lending money for construction projects. Another company I'm talking with, has two projects ready to go, and are waiting for the banks to loosen up.
Well I agree we all want and need stricter lending practices, we need to get past the knee jerk reactionary period, and back to common sense lending practices. Many businesses that were solid, and with good records should not now be considered a bad risk.
I understand that there is much more to be considered in moving or starting a business here in the states then just taxes. That is why I think you need to get a bunch of savoy business people together, and find out what it would take to induce them to come, and stay here. Then implement whatever it is that they say would make them do so.
Lets face facts, we are losing our true middle class, you are either upper middle class, or lower middle class anymore. The jobs that were the backbone of this country are going … going .. and soon to be gone, unless we make needed changes.
If we can turn this mess around, it going to be by creation of those middle class jobs (40 to 60 thousand with benefits) Raising taxes on 2% of our working population isn't going to do it, nor is cutting spending. Both would help, and are needed at this time, but neither one will cure our debt problem. Just think of it this way, right now …. today … we would need to come up with a 500 billion dollar surplus by our government to get out from under our debt in 30 years.