View Poll Results: What is more important?

Voters
61. You may not vote on this poll
  • A balanced budget (no growth in debt)

    53 86.89%
  • Tax cuts

    8 13.11%
Page 15 of 22 FirstFirst ... 51314151617 ... LastLast
Results 141 to 150 of 211

Thread: Tax cuts or balance budget

  1. #141
    Enemy Combatant
    Kandahar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Last Seen
    10-15-13 @ 08:47 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    20,688

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    That's utterly absurd.

    You're not going to get to 19% by introducing a massive tax increase on the 90% or so who still have jobs in this economy. You're only going to make things worse.
    I'm not talking about raising taxes on 90% of people. I support raising taxes in the places where it's least likely to negatively affect the economy: The best place to start would be simplifying the tax code and eliminating nearly all deductions. Most of them are not things we need to be encouraging. First and foremost, we should phase out the mortgage interest deduction (cost: ~$120 billion per year) and tax health benefits as regular income (cost: ~$250 billion per year).

    We can also raise income tax rates slightly on the top bracket, and increase estate tax rates significantly on the wealthiest estates. I'm not talking about an across-the-board income tax hike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    If you want tax revenue, try policies that help to grow the economy, not policies that stifle it.
    We can encourage business-friendly policies like infrastructure investments, breaking the link between business and health insurance, easing labor regulations, and promoting access to capital through low interest rates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    Why not concentrate on putting the millions who lost jobs back to work and see how far that gets you before you go implementing polcies that are sure to put even more people out of work.
    History would disagree with this conclusion. Tax hikes are one economic lever to pull; there are many others. There is no reason to think that tax hikes would necessarily cause unemployment, especially if we're encouraging business-friendly policies in other ways. If we can recover that half-trillion dollars per year that we're missing out on because we're below the 19% revenue-to-GDP historical average, that will support long-term employment. High amounts of debt are bad for long-term economic growth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    Our present situation has precious little to do with marginal tax rates and everything to do with massive unemployment and a weak recovery.
    I agree, which is one reason I'm more worried about the long-term deficit than the current deficit. In the long term, the main fiscal problems we need to tackle are defense, social security, Medicare/Medicaid, and an unwieldy tax code. If we can solve those problems, I'm OK with a temporary deficit until the economy recovers.
    Are you coming to bed?
    I can't. This is important.
    What?
    Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD

  2. #142
    Disappointed Evolutionist
    Catawba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Last Seen
    05-28-13 @ 08:15 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    27,254

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    First and foremost, we should phase out the mortgage interest deduction (cost: ~$120 billion per year) and tax health benefits as regular income (cost: ~$250 billion per year).
    This type of regressive tax would make more of the middle class poor thereby increasing the welfare roles. One in seven Americans are poor now.

    We can also raise income tax rates slightly on the top bracket, and increase estate tax rates significantly on the wealthiest estates. I'm not talking about an across-the-board income tax hike.



    We can encourage business-friendly policies like infrastructure investments, breaking the link between business and health insurance, easing labor regulations, and promoting access to capital through low interest rates.



    History would disagree with this conclusion. Tax hikes are one economic lever to pull; there are many others. There is no reason to think that tax hikes would necessarily cause unemployment, especially if we're encouraging business-friendly policies in other ways. If we can recover that half-trillion dollars per year that we're missing out on because we're below the 19% revenue-to-GDP historical average, that will support long-term employment. High amounts of debt are bad for long-term economic growth.



    I agree, which is one reason I'm more worried about the long-term deficit than the current deficit. In the long term, the main fiscal problems we need to tackle are defense, social security, Medicare/Medicaid, and an unwieldy tax code. If we can solve those problems, I'm OK with a temporary deficit until the economy recovers.
    I am in agreement with the rest of your suggestions.
    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

  3. #143
    Enemy Combatant
    Kandahar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Last Seen
    10-15-13 @ 08:47 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    20,688

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    This type of regressive tax would make more of the middle class poor thereby increasing the welfare roles. One in seven Americans are poor now.
    Phasing out the mortgage interest deduction is not regressive. Most people below the median income don't even itemize their deductions, and those who do would only be losing out on mortgage interest above and beyond what they could get anyway by taking the standard deduction. Since wealthy people tend to have higher-value homes, and are more likely to own a second home, it would predominantly affect them. And from an economic standpoint, home ownership is not necessarily something the government needs to be encouraging at all, as it doesn't provide any obvious economic benefit. Certainly no benefit that's worth a $120 billion subsidy per year, when we have a huge deficit, failing schools, and a crumbling infrastructure.

    As for taxing health insurance as income...it would only be regressive for the first year or two, until wages adjusted. The reason that health insurance is even provided by employers is due to this distortion in our income tax code. Employers are able to deduct it as a payroll expense, but employees don't pay taxes on it. As a result, both employees and employers have a perverse incentive to make health insurance as large a fraction of total compensation as possible. This distorts the health care market, keeps people trapped in jobs that they hate, and reduces their salaries. Furthermore, it's the primary reason that there has been no median wage growth for several decades. If employer-provided health insurance was taxed as income, employers would provide less of it, and wages would increase accordingly. So yes, it would be regressive, but only temporarily. Ideally, it would help break the link between health insurance and employment, so it wouldn't even be an issue after a few years.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-30-11 at 07:42 PM.
    Are you coming to bed?
    I can't. This is important.
    What?
    Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD

  4. #144
    Disappointed Evolutionist
    Catawba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Last Seen
    05-28-13 @ 08:15 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    27,254

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Phasing out the mortgage interest deduction is not regressive. Most people below the median income don't even itemize their deductions, and those who do would only be losing out on mortgage interest above and beyond what they could get anyway by taking the standard deduction.
    I wasn't talking about those below median income. I was talking about the middle class.

    Since wealthy people tend to have higher-value homes, and are more likely to own a second home, it would predominantly affect them.
    Then don't allow deductions for a second home.

    And from an economic standpoint, home ownership is not necessarily something the government needs to be encouraging at all, as it doesn't provide any obvious economic benefit. Certainly no benefit that's worth a $120 billion subsidy per year, when we have a huge deficit, failing schools, and a crumbling infrastructure.
    A home is the main asset that most of the middle class own, and home ownership by the middle class has not been the main source of our finacial problems

    As for taxing health insurance as income...it would only be regressive for the first year or two, until wages adjusted. The reason that health insurance is even provided by employers is due to this distortion in our income tax code. Employers are able to deduct it as a payroll expense, but employees don't pay taxes on it. As a result, both employees and employers have a perverse incentive to make health insurance as large a fraction of total compensation as possible. This distorts the health care market, keeps people trapped in jobs that they hate, and reduces their salaries. If employer-provided health insurance was taxed as income, employers would provide less of it, and wages would increase accordingly. So yes, it would be regressive, but only temporarily. Ideally, it would help break the link between health insurance and employment, so it wouldn't even be an issue after a few years.
    A single payer system would be preferable and would not cause further hardship to the most vulnerable.
    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

  5. #145
    Enemy Combatant
    Kandahar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Last Seen
    10-15-13 @ 08:47 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    20,688

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    I wasn't talking about those below median income. I was talking about the middle class.
    Well, those in the 25% tax bracket (which I would consider middle-class) typically only increase their after-tax income by 2.4% by itemizing, whereas those in the 35% tax bracket increase it by 4.4%. Simplifying the tax code by eliminating deductions favors the poor and middle-class, in most cases. That is certainly the case with mortgage deductions.

    http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/100...Deductions.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba
    Then don't allow deductions for a second home.
    Wealthy people tend to have larger mortgages on their first homes too. And it would be more productive to just get rid of these kind of deductions entirely to simplify the tax code. Our current income tax code is a very thick book, and how many of those deductions are actually things that the government needs to encourage by subsidizing them? Very few. We could easily have a tax code that was a couple pages long, just as progressive, and generated more revenue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba
    A home is the main asset that most of the middle class own, and home ownership by the middle class has not been the main source of our finacial problems
    But widespread homeownership doesn't provide any obvious economic benefit to the country as a whole. Certainly not any benefit worth $120 billion per year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba
    A single payer system would be preferable and would not cause further hardship to the most vulnerable.
    But that isn't on the table; it was enough of a hassle getting the health care reform law passed. The major long-term fiscal problems we need to tackle now are defense, social security, Medicare/Medicaid, and the tax code...and we can't do any of them without bipartisan cooperation.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-30-11 at 08:02 PM.
    Are you coming to bed?
    I can't. This is important.
    What?
    Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD

  6. #146
    Educator ender1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Last Seen
    08-01-11 @ 11:13 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian
    Posts
    646

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Whats interesting is that almost everyone wants a balanced budget over tax cuts but all we have are tax cuts and no real chance for a balanced budget without higher taxes.

  7. #147
    Disappointed Evolutionist
    Catawba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Last Seen
    05-28-13 @ 08:15 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    27,254

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Well, those in the 25% tax bracket (which I would consider middle-class) typically only increase their after-tax income by 2.4% by itemizing, whereas those in the 35% tax bracket increase it by 4.4%. Simplifying the tax code by eliminating deductions favors the poor and middle-class, in most cases. That is certainly the case with mortgage deductions.

    http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/100...Deductions.pdf



    Wealthy people tend to have larger mortgages on their first homes too. And it would be more productive to just get rid of these kind of deductions entirely to simplify the tax code. Our current income tax code is a very thick book, and how many of those deductions are actually things that the government needs to encourage by subsidizing them? Very few. We could easily have a tax code that was a couple pages long, just as progressive, and generated more revenue.



    But widespread homeownership doesn't provide any obvious economic benefit to the country as a whole. Certainly not any benefit worth $120 billion per year.
    Those at the top, not the middle class, is who have benefitted most by the tax cuts over the last 30 years. I will not go along with anything that further penalizes the middle classes. Those that have enjoyed the 30 years of big tax cuts are those that need to start paying their fair share again.



    But that isn't on the table; it was enough of a hassle getting the health care reform law passed. The major long-term fiscal problems we need to tackle now are defense, social security, Medicare/Medicaid, and the tax code...and we can't do any of them without bipartisan cooperation.
    It will be. Health care reform was a first step towards a single payer system which we will have to go to eventually as the rest of the civilized world has. Our current system is simply unaffordable and hurting our economy.
    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

  8. #148
    Enemy Combatant
    Kandahar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Last Seen
    10-15-13 @ 08:47 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    20,688

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Those at the top, not the middle class, is who have benefitted most by the tax cuts over the last 30 years. I will not go along with anything that further penalizes the middle classes. Those that have enjoyed the 30 years of big tax cuts are those that need to start paying their fair share again.
    But...ending the mortgage interest deduction DOESN'T penalize the middle class, as explained...

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba
    It will be. Health care reform was a first step towards a single payer system which we will have to go to eventually as the rest of the civilized world has. Our current system is simply unaffordable and hurting our economy.
    In the long term perhaps we will get a single-payer system. But I'd rather not rely on the possibility that maybe we'll have a Congress favorable to the idea in 10-20 years. We can make some important changes to the tax code now, with bipartisan support, which will help get health care costs under control, generate tax revenue, and get the median wage growing again.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-30-11 at 08:31 PM.
    Are you coming to bed?
    I can't. This is important.
    What?
    Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD

  9. #149
    Disappointed Evolutionist
    Catawba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Last Seen
    05-28-13 @ 08:15 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    27,254

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    But...ending the mortgage interest deduction DOESN'T penalize the middle class, as explained...
    I've never made more than $50,000 annually and not having a mortgage interest deduction would have been a hardship on me.



    In the long term perhaps we will get a single-payer system. But I'd rather not rely on the possibility that maybe we'll have a Congress favorable to the idea in 10-20 years. We can make some important changes to the tax code now, with bipartisan support, which will help get health care costs under control, generate tax revenue, and get the median wage growing again.
    Yes, that is what health care reform was about.
    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

  10. #150
    Tavern Bartender
    Constitutionalist
    American's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:03 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Conservative
    Posts
    76,301

    Re: Tax cuts or balance budget

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    and helped leave us with an unfunded liability larger than world GDP. SS is a notoriously bad return.
    You're wrong, you're.....you're just wrong, you know that?
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

Page 15 of 22 FirstFirst ... 51314151617 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •