Government spending

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    Mar 18, 2009 3:20 PM GMT
    Well said Surrellife. But I'd add:

    6. Slash govt spending and put every department on a Zero Sum basis.
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    Mar 18, 2009 3:21 PM GMT
    Triggerman saidHey, I am a realist, not an idealist. Laugh you head off. I will too. Obama did not take that money from me, ....yet. He took it from someone else. I have no problem with that.....hey, it ain't me,,,,,,yet.


    For someone who hasn't YET gotten hit, you complain an aweful lot.

    Yeah I am starting to see new job created due to this stimulus package. Liek it or not the deal was done, and at least it is doing what it was intended to do. Put people back to work.

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    Mar 18, 2009 3:24 PM GMT
    Surreal-

    I am with you 90% and the good 90%. I am not with anyone %100.

    You are smart and you make great points and you are as close to right on as I have seen.

    Could you take Bernanke's job? He has no idea what he is doing.
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    Mar 18, 2009 3:29 PM GMT
    Sorry, Cowboy, I have not been hit because I made choices and decisions in 2007 and early 2008 so that I would not be hit. I saw it coming. So did alot of people. The upside down real estate market was not hard to see. Even for a slow guy like me. But plenty of people were screaming CRASH last april. Some listened. Some did not. I jumped out.
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    Mar 18, 2009 3:34 PM GMT
    Fine, cowboy, but who is paying for it? Someone is paying for it. Someone. Money does not come from nowhere..
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    Mar 18, 2009 3:37 PM GMT
    Everyone, including you. It's call being an american and standing united and helping your fellow americans..
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    Mar 18, 2009 3:58 PM GMT
    Cowboiway saidEveryone, including you. It's call being an american and standing united and helping your fellow americans..


    Agreed, AS LONG AS I HAVE A CHOICE and not dictated to by the government by driving the economy into the sewer.

    If you are satisfied with 1.3 TRILLION dollars creating a handful of jobs then God help us all.
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    Mar 18, 2009 4:11 PM GMT
    Well I am in my Libertarian mood these days, since I am about to do my income taxes.

    To me an income tax return should be 1 page double-sided.

    Total income (including dividends, interest, capital gains) = x

    Total deduction for basic living = y

    Total taxable income = x-y

    Tax Payable = (x-y) x z (flat tax rate).

    No credits, no other deductions, etc..

    Don't get me started about what a mess the tax code is, and I think the American one is even worse than the Canadian one.

    Now I feel better.
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    Mar 18, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
    houstonmuscle10 said
    Cowboiway saidEveryone, including you. It's call being an american and standing united and helping your fellow americans..


    Agreed, AS LONG AS I HAVE A CHOICE and not dictated to by the government by driving the economy into the sewer.

    If you are satisfied with 1.3 TRILLION dollars creating a handful of jobs then God help us all.


    this 1.3 trillion is to suppose to create millions of NEEDED jobs. Im sure all the unemployed would agree with me there. however it also build the infrasture of this country, but building roads and schools.

    However I want point out to the nay sayers in here. If this stimulus was not created what do you think would have happened? Im sure unemployment would rise well beyond double digits nationally. Probably causing even some of you to lose your jobs as well. Causing crime rate to sky rocket. Causing other domestic programs to help the unemployed and poor to be over taxed and have to be increased. Most likely well beyond this trillion dollars. the lose revenue in tax dollars would be unbelievable.

    So why don't you instead of whining, get behind a President that is trying to get American back to work. Help our infrastructure to rebuild and get our econemy back on track.
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    Mar 18, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
    NO, the private markets would have had access to those "stimulus" funds and all of the capital that it has tied up. Private companies, that are starving for capital, can't get it because it is all tied up in this BS stimulus package.

    So yes, the givernment will build a few bridges, and employ a a few people. For six months. With whose money? Taxpayers. Taxpayers that already can not pay their taxes.. Great. Big government eating up big taxes that tax payers cant afford.

    But now worry, the rich will pay more taxes. But the rich will cut more jobs to pay those taxes.

    But no fear, Obama will work it all out..
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    Mar 18, 2009 4:25 PM GMT
    Sorry, JPRichva-

    Why should I pay for GM's healthcare? Why should I pay because some stupid GM guy said that all the GM guys would have health care forever?
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    Mar 18, 2009 4:27 PM GMT
    Triggerman said

    But no fear, Obama will work it all out..



    Yes I believe he will, he and other elected officals and some corporate leaders. Where are you doing to help matters besides whine? Did you run for an office to help us out of this mess/ Do you run a company that is thriving and hiring people?
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    Mar 18, 2009 4:31 PM GMT
    I am sorry? Is this the stimulus package that pays billions in bonuse's to people that work for a a company that should be in bankruptcy? Like any other company that defaults on it's payments? That should be in bankruptcy court if not for Obama and his need to never have a company go bankrupt?
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    Mar 18, 2009 4:37 PM GMT
    We live in a capitalist economy. Companies that fail, fail, That is capitalism. Why all this Obama bailout? Companies fail. They always have and they always will. Why is Obama fucking with a perfectly good system?
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    Mar 18, 2009 4:45 PM GMT
    Yes I believe he will, he and other elected officals and some corporate leaders. Where are you doing to help matters besides whine? Did you run for an office to help us out of this mess/ Do you run a company that is thriving and hiring people



    And yes, my company grew 17% last year. And we are on pace to grow at least 10% this year. And no, I am not the elected leader in charge of changing this economy around. Besides whine? I am actually employing people and my work is booming but Im not the elected leader of the US and I am soooo sick of you making excuses for why your Obama is doing nothing!!!!! Nothing, Making feel good speeches and talking about Mandatory health care when he can't even fix Wall Street and the housing crisis. Gotta love Obama. All talk no action.
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    Mar 18, 2009 4:50 PM GMT
    You voted for this guy. I did not. Don't blame me because he has done NOTHING. It is not my fault, as much as you wish you could blame me, blame Obama and his stupid choices so far. He has thown billions out for what? Nothing.
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    Mar 18, 2009 5:02 PM GMT
    1. This is backwards. One of the reasons GM has sunk so low is that its health-care costs for both current and retired workers are enormous. Clinton's health care plan was opposed (for some reason) by Big Business, but Obama's is supported by the corporations---precisely because without the health care reform, American corporations will never be competitive with companies based in countries that take care of that cost. So instead of being something we can "get to later", health care reform is essential to any long-term economic recovery. These costs need to be taken off companies' balance sheets. Corporate America finally agrees with this.

    I agree that one of the reasons GM is in trouble is health care costs. But a couple of points to remember. They are also in trouble in Canada which has government provided health care. The reasons being very generous benefits packages (probably the most generous in Canada) and building cars nobody wants. Not too mention legacy costs for retirees (e.g. pensions).

    The US should restructure health care, but it is a very time consuming and difficult process. It will take years and a lot of negotiations in Congress. To me focussing on the economy first makes more sense. When your house is on fire you don't worry too much about the septic tank.

    As for deducting mortgage interest from taxes it is hard to say what impact it would have on the housing market. Personally I feel that a significant portion of people that have bought houses in the past should not have. North America has this fixation about owning a house that is peculiar to our society.
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    Mar 18, 2009 5:09 PM GMT
    Great, when Bush was President, everyone was so quick to come out and call me out. Now, Obama is President, and all I get are hmmms and haaaa, the stimulus that Obama signed is down the drain, with nothing to show for it. And I get nothing. Run and hide and pretend we never voted for this empty suit.

    He kept saying in my first 100 days. Now it is day what, 56, and he has accompllished NOTHING. Bailouts are failing. We are in worse shape than under Bush. His appointees like Bernanke are seen as a joke by the financial world. Wall Street is laughing at him. The market has lost confidence in him. But his wife is pretty in a lemon yellow chiffon dress.

    Gotta love Obama.
  • t0theheights

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    Mar 18, 2009 5:23 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]Triggerman said[/cite]Great, when Bush was President, everyone was so quick to come out and call me out. Now, Obama is President, and all I get are hmmms and haaaa, the stimulus that Obama signed is down the drain, with nothing to show for it. And I get nothing. Run and hide and pretend we never voted for this empty suit.

    Nothing? Again, you're either blind or willfully blind to the facts. Did you even read this? "His accomplishments are overwhelming, however, both before and after assuming the presidency... Closing Guantanamo, ending Bush's tax cuts and other unfair breaks for the rich at the expense of the poor, opening up stem cell research, instituting greater safeguards for the environment, ending our disastrous abstinence-only approach to the AIDS problem in Africa, increasing funding for schools and health care programs, and most importantly, taking steps to fix the economy that go beyond the failed republican response of deregulating and further lining the pockets of millionaires. The reality is his achievements have been remarkable; but as I mentioned, unfortunately there will always be those who willfully ignore reality because it doesn't support their beliefs and prejudices." Only in the twisted conservative "reality" could that be construed as "nothing." Obama has done more good in 2 months than Bush did in 8 years--and a hell of a lot less damage.

    By the way, taxing the excessively wealthy to keep government programs for the needy afloat isn't "punishing" the rich: It's common sense and decency. Someone who earns $500k+ can part with a lot more of his income, and has a duty to contribute more to government, as compared to someone earning $30k or less. It's common sense: $500k is MUCH more than ANY human needs to live, and frankly no one is worth that much, no matter how hard they supposedly work. In the meantime, while such an individual is deciding whether to buy the yacht or the BMW this month, someone else is deciding whether to put food on the table or pay for their prescriptions--because they can't afford both. So, when any one has that much of a grossly excessive income as Mr. 500k+, it's his responsibility to contribute more to help those who have not been as lucky as him. Any one who believes otherwise is heartless and ignorant in my book. This is also better for society as a whole, since history has shown propping up the middle and lower classes is good for the economy overall--rich, poor and everything in between--so the conservative ideology is not only selfish and greedy, it's also self-destructive. This is why the economy has done so much better under democratic administrations, on average, as every legitimate study has shown.
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    Mar 18, 2009 6:01 PM GMT
    cjcscuba1984 said...One thing I do not like about our capitalistic society is greed. Many people are very greedy... it is disgusting. In fact, I hate capitalism. Too bad it is the only economic systems that works properly in the hands of "free" humans...


    And this attitude continues on even into the present economic climate. From today's Slate: "...Wall Street executives still act as if it's their duty to maximize personal profits, even if it's the taxpayers who will be footing the bill."

    Another sign of greed and a lack of social accountability is the skyrocketing increase in the compensations received by CEO's, relative to the income of the production workers:

    1964 - 24
    1967 - 29
    1973 - 27
    1979 - 35
    1989 - 71
    1992 - 116
    1995 - 100
    1998 - 248
    2000 - 300
    2001 - 235
    2002 - 143
    2003 - 181
    2004 - 431
    2005 - 262

    Sources:
    -------------
    (1) The State of Working America, 2006-2007.Economic Policy Institute. (forthcoming)

    (2) http://thinkprogress.org/2005/08/30/average-ceo-makes-430-times/

    (3) http://www.americanprogress.org/kf/ceo_pay_web_final.pdf



    This increasing difference between the incomes of CEO's and their workers would seem to indicate that "trickle-down" economics might be better described as "slow-drip" economics.

    The average worker's year comprises about 260 working days. Hence in 2005 the average CEO made in one day about the same as a production worker made during the year.

    In general, the ratios for other industrialized countries tend to be substantially smaller than that of the US:

    Examples (2004):
    ------------------------
    US ~ 410
    China - 36
    Britain - 32
    Canada - 23
    France - 23
    South Korea - 23
    Germany - 20
    Japan - 11

    Source: Klessig, Lowell "An American Gold Medal in the Greed Olympics." An American Gold Medal in the Greed Olympics. 10 Aug. 2008. EzineArticles.com. 18 Mar 2009
    /ezinearticles.com/?An-American-Gold-Medal-in-the-Greed-Olympics&id=1398591>


    Given this disparity in social responsibility, and the accompanying emphasis on achieving short-term personal profits in lieu of long-term national objectives, I don't think it is unreasonable to increase the slope of a progressive tax rate.
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    Mar 18, 2009 6:41 PM GMT
    Triggerman saidHe kept saying in my first 100 days. Now it is day what, 56, and he has accompllished NOTHING. Bailouts are failing. We are in worse shape than under Bush. His appointees like Bernanke are seen as a joke by the financial world. Wall Street is laughing at him. The market has lost confidence in him. But his wife is pretty in a lemon yellow chiffon dress.

    Gotta love Obama.


    Nothing huh? He is on his way to create millions of jobs. He has stopped foreclosures on millions fo homes. Let us not forget that he is taking responsiblity for his actions. Something Bush did not.

    President Obama"President Barack Obama said today that no one in his administration created the AIG situation but that the "buck stops with me" to fix it."


    He si alos on his way to fixing one of BUSH's largest mistakes . teh war in Iraq. he has a plan in action to bring our troops home.

    He has done more in his first 56 days than Bush ever did.
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    Mar 18, 2009 7:32 PM GMT
    Cowboiway said
    Triggerman saidHe kept saying in my first 100 days. Now it is day what, 56, and he has accompllished NOTHING. Bailouts are failing. We are in worse shape than under Bush. His appointees like Bernanke are seen as a joke by the financial world. Wall Street is laughing at him. The market has lost confidence in him. But his wife is pretty in a lemon yellow chiffon dress.

    Gotta love Obama.


    Nothing huh? He is on his way to create millions of jobs. He has stopped foreclosures on millions fo homes. Let us not forget that he is taking responsiblity for his actions. Something Bush did not.

    President Obama"President Barack Obama said today that no one in his administration created the AIG situation but that the "buck stops with me" to fix it."


    He si alos on his way to fixing one of BUSH's largest mistakes . teh war in Iraq. he has a plan in action to bring our troops home.

    He has done more in his first 56 days than Bush ever did.


    I enjoy reading all these posts and all the debate. Most of the posts have some truth or value. I try to stay open minded. There are a lot of closed minds here on both sides of the many issues that have been brought up.

    Here is my 2 cents. (I am sure I will get a few "Ignore His Posts")

    There is a catch to many of these "new jobs" that are being created. They are either partially funded or have expiration dates on the funding. Look at the Cops on the Streets program...The feds will pay for the salary for a limited amount of time. They do not cover the cost to equip that new officer (uniforms, guns, cars, computers, etc...) then after a couple years the funding goes away and the agency has to absorb all costs to keep that position or in some cases has to lay off because it cannot afford it. Same story with helping save foreclosed homes. The "assistance" is temporary. It still requires the homeowner to get their shit together.

    Obama is no miracle worker. I wish him the best and would never want him or any president to fail. This stimulus package is (my opinion) not going to solve long term problems in our economy. Look at all the fighting now that is going on at the state and local levels on who gets what cut of the money. Stupid! Obama's biggest challenge is living up to the extremely unrealistic expectations that many of us have placed on him.

    Bush, not the greatest president we ever had, but to say he did nothing of value while he was in office is closed minded. You have to take politics out of it to see some of the good that was accomplished.




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    Mar 18, 2009 7:44 PM GMT
    t0theheights said[quote][cite]Triggerman said[/cite]Great, when Bush was President, everyone was so quick to come out and call me out. Now, Obama is President, and all I get are hmmms and haaaa, the stimulus that Obama signed is down the drain, with nothing to show for it. And I get nothing. Run and hide and pretend we never voted for this empty suit.

    Nothing? Again, you're either blind or willfully blind to the facts. Did you even read this? "His accomplishments are overwhelming, however, both before and after assuming the presidency... Closing Guantanamo, ending Bush's tax cuts and other unfair breaks for the rich at the expense of the poor, opening up stem cell research, instituting greater safeguards for the environment, ending our disastrous abstinence-only approach to the AIDS problem in Africa, increasing funding for schools and health care programs, and most importantly, taking steps to fix the economy that go beyond the failed republican response of deregulating and further lining the pockets of millionaires. The reality is his achievements have been remarkable; but as I mentioned, unfortunately there will always be those who willfully ignore reality because it doesn't support their beliefs and prejudices." Only in the twisted conservative "reality" could that be construed as "nothing." Obama has done more good in 2 months than Bush did in 8 years--and a hell of a lot less damage.

    By the way, taxing the excessively wealthy to keep government programs for the needy afloat isn't "punishing" the rich: It's common sense and decency. Someone who earns $500k+ can part with a lot more of his income, and has a duty to contribute more to government, as compared to someone earning $30k or less. It's common sense: $500k is MUCH more than ANY human needs to live, and frankly no one is worth that much, no matter how hard they supposedly work. In the meantime, while such an individual is deciding whether to buy the yacht or the BMW this month, someone else is deciding whether to put food on the table or pay for their prescriptions--because they can't afford both. So, when any one has that much of a grossly excessive income as Mr. 500k+, it's his responsibility to contribute more to help those who have not been as lucky as him. Any one who believes otherwise is heartless and ignorant in my book. This is also better for society as a whole, since history has shown propping up the middle and lower classes is good for the economy overall--rich, poor and everything in between--so the conservative ideology is not only selfish and greedy, it's also self-destructive. This is why the economy has done so much better under democratic administrations, on average, as every legitimate study has shown.


    Where did you get that $500K+ figure? If that is too much then why isn't $400K to much? Why isn't $300K too much? Why shouldn't $100K be too much?
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    Mar 18, 2009 8:05 PM GMT
    One thing that we should all remember is that the disagreement over govt spending is not about Right vs Left, Conservative vs. Liberal, Republicans vs Democrats or Patriotism or backing the President in hard times. It IS about our elected politicians doing what is the RIGHT THING for the country. The entire Stimulus, including the Banking Bailout under Pres. Bush was rushed into without the thought and debate that such a hugely important issue deserved. Because of the poor thought and limited input we are reaping what we have sown. There are very good alternatives to what is being implemented. Just think of the economic stimulation that would be ignited, almost overnight, if for the next 12 months not a single penny of income tax or SS Tax was collected for every taxpayer in this country.
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    Mar 18, 2009 8:32 PM GMT
    According to the Dept. of The Treasury, the Federal Deficit is $764B or so for the period Oct. 1, 2008 - Feb. 28, 2009 (see link).

    http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/index.html

    One thing that always puzzles me about governments is that they talk about spending money on infrastructure for years, but never do anything, but when a crisis hits all of sudden the roadblocks disappear and the money flows.

    Toronto has been trying to get a rail link between the train station and the airport for 10 years at least. Now it is finally going to get done because the economy has tanked.

    Very puzzling.