Bush Economics

JrSyko

Jerry Maguire
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I want to hear from some informed/educated people about how you agree/disagree with Bush's domestic economic policy. As I see it, he is giving a huge tax credit to the highest tax brackets that won't come into effect for I think 3 years(?). Secondly, he is increasing the military budget and the budgets of all aspects of homeland security (FBI, CIA, etc) In addition, he is increasing the budget for the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Secret Service all to investigate corporate corruption. Where is all this money going to come from? After the tax break, the biggest tax payers, are not going to be paying as much in taxes, yet the government will still need as much if not more money, especially if we go to war with Iraq. (Please do not turn this into a pro/con debate about war with Iraq) He took a surplus and turned into right into a deficit. He didn't even try to use any of it to save Social Security or at least prolong its demise.

This is not an environmental debate by any means, I just posted it here because usually the people who read this are a little more informed on political issues.

One more thing, do you think that perhaps, he should have realized that he needed to maybe forgo the tax credit and keep the money in the best interest of the country? Similar to what his dad did in raising taxes, even though he said he wouldn't, because his economic advisors told him that he must if he waned what was best for the country. I read an interesting article that said that Bush Sr. helped pave the way for Clinton to come in and really turn the economy around following the recession of the 80's.

See ya in the dirt!
 

FORDTECH

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i also think clinton was in the right place at the right time. i think the economy was so good for so long because of what bush sr did . when clinton got elected the economy was turning around just like it was on a down turn when bush got elected.i think they pushed so hard for the tax cut because when he came into office the economy was hurting and they hoped it would stimulate it wich would equal more tax revenue. as far as the rich getting most of the tax cut, it seems like the less they pay in taxes the more they can spend else where like hiring employes buying property ect. it all ends up back to the goverment one way or another. as for every one saying he screwed up by giving tax cuts dick gephart justed called for MORE THIS WEEK and hes a democrat

im not afraid of dying ,i just dont want to be there when it happens !
 

Kritter

Krittro Campbell
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Here's how I see it...Our economy is in turmoil right now and if anybody is going to take action it is the president..it's his job.

"As I see it, he is giving a huge tax credit to the highest tax brackets that won't come into effect for I think 3 years"

That is correct, but who has the ability to make jobs? It's rich people. Why is MR Bigwig (rich CEO of a major corporation) going to run a huge corporation and bust his ass to supply jobs to the people which in turn helps the economy, when Mr Bigwig knows that more then 40 cents on every dollar is going to be taken away from him? Tax breaks will keep Mr Bigwig working harder because he knows that less money is going to be taken from him.

How much motivation would you have to work if they said to you "hey man we are going to take 40% of your check for taxes"? I am sure you would not work at 100% if you were only getting paid 60%... would you?

"Secondly, he is increasing the military budget and the budgets of all aspects of homeland security (FBI, CIA, etc) In addition, he is increasing the budget for the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Secret Service all to investigate corporate corruption. "

With his increased budget comes an increase in jobs all types of jobs. With an increase in jobs comes an increase in spending which will get us out of the slump we are in now. Clinton runied the military budget...or made it rather inexistent so somebody has to revive it.

This shows that Bush is big on getting the economy back in order by giving back to the purveyors of jobs(MR Bigwig) and then creating more work for the US people by increasing the military budget as well as others.

OR he could do it like a democrat and rape the shiaat out of everybody who has money and then let everybody who doesnt have money get something for nothing....how's that

Thats my Take...in lamens terms...not too technical, but I call it like I see it.

Kris
"I was thinking the exact same thing about you..."
 

Dave_G

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Re: "Where is all this money going to come from? "

Ask yourself this question:
Where will all the money go?


Answer:
Same place it came from. You and me. The money that is spent on such programs always makes it's way back into the economy in many different ways. The government spends it's money (actually ours...) in the private sector for it's goods and services. If you want an example I'll be happy to show you one. ;-)

Dave

"I know it all, but I can't remember most of it..."
 

JrSyko

Jerry Maguire
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See I don't buy into the whole argument that by giving "Mr. Bigwig" a tax break, you are going to increase jobs or tax revenues. First of all, I'm talking about personal income tax breaks. Not corporate tax breaks, if there are any. How does giving "Mr. Bigwig" a personal tax break allow him to hire more employees? He is a salaried employee of the company that he works for and by giving him a tax break all it does is allow him to keep more of his millions. The tax burden then falls on the middle class and poor.

Secondly, I don't see the logic to your argument that if the government is taking 40% of your income, than you are not going to work harder, but work less. If 40% of your salary is being taken in taxes, than you are going to have to work harder in order to maintain your standard of living. If operate your off-road racing team strictly from your salary of 100K a year, and the government starts taken 40K from you, than you will need to work harder if you still want to keep your off-road race team or you will be forced to sell it.



See ya in the dirt!
 

frankh

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When you pay over 50% of your income too State and Fed taxes it will take a lot of cuts to make it right. I'll show you my Tax return anytime and you can pay the same % I do, and then will see if a little tax cut is such a bad thing.

You need to research why Bush Sr passed the tax bill before you say "he raised Taxes"

Clinton walked into the office with the economy on the way up, Beside he was to busy screwing everything that walked to know how the economy was going or not.

But it does not matter. Everyone on this board has there own thoughts on this and probably will not change his/her mind by what somebody types.

But here is my thought.

1. lower taxes = 2. there is more money for people to buy stuff= 3. more stuff needed to be built to sell= 4. more jobs needed to make the stuff = 5. more tax money coming in from the new jobs to make the stuff= 6. less % needed from each person for the country to run= 7. so they can lower the taxes=see #2

I don't see how you can dispute this.
 

JrSyko

Jerry Maguire
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I wasn't saying that him raising taxes was a bad thing, I was almost applauding him for doing so because he saw it needed to be done.

You can argue that raising or lower taxes is good/bad for the economy until you are blue in the face, but it is almost impossible to prove. Reagan lowered taxes, the economy went into recession. Or was it because of the previous administration. Bush/Clinton raised taxes, the economy went up, or was it because of what Reagan did. Bush Jr. lowered taxes the economy has gone down. You can argue it both ways. So I think people need to agree to disagree.

So to answer your question, I can dispute that because you have no "proof."

See ya in the dirt!
 

frankh

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That is just what I said about the blue in the face part.

But ask your self one question if you got a couple of grand back from your taxes what would you do with it ?
 

jcarius

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What do our tax dollars really do?

Taxes are supposed to be the way that we as a country pay for the services that we as a government provide to each other. The only way to lower the cost is either to increase efficiency or reduce services.

Spending increases, assuming that efficiency is constant, does tend to create jobs in both the public and private sectors. The people in these jobs are paid, directly or indirectly through tax dollars. The problem is that the taxes paid by the people in these new jobs does not cover the tax dollars that were spent in creating and supporting these new jobs.

Who covers the difference? Again, our tax dollars. Of course in reality it's not immediatly taxes - instead, we (as a government) borrow money to make up the difference. Who do we borrow it from? Allegedly ourselves - but that's an extreme oversimplification. Actully the debt gets spread around quite a bit, and a lot of it is held by the wealthiest poeple in our society - and what it means is someday, sometime we have to pay that back. Also, the interest on that debt is effectively subtracted from the current tax revenues, leaving us even less money to fund these services.

Of course, we can just say to heck with it, continue to spend, create government sponsored jobs, and so on until two things happen: one, we are a socialist state or two: inflation (which is the way we can pay back the expensive money we borrowed with cheap money) runs rampant. Or both.

Cutting taxes creating jobs? Just doesn't work. Trickle down economics is great for the rich folks, horrible for the working man. The worst are corporate tax cuts - remember,corporate income tax is paid on profits - this is after all the employees are paid, including the CEO. Increasing corporate profits by cutting their taxes does nothing but help the equity markets, which are by and large do not affect the actual production of goods & services in the US - despite what your stockbroker might want you to think.

Also, tax cuts for the rich do almost nothing to increase their spending. Basically it gives them more to invest - they spend about as much as they did before. If you really want to increase spending you give the tax cuts to the poor and lower middle classes, who spend everything they make. Of course, they spend it on consumer goods, very little of which are produced domestically, and therefore once again this produces little tangiible domestic wealth - but that's a different rant!

The last economic bubble burst because it was all smoke and mirrors - money was changing hands everywhere but very little tangible output was occuring.

If we really, truly wanted a strong, lasting economy we'd:
1) Raise Taxes. Llike it or not, we (the people) have asked our government to provide services that we couldn't afford - and much like a racer that's overused his credit card we have to pay waht we are spending now plus more if we want to get out of debt. Of course, Republicans hate this.

2) Choose to take more responsability for ourselves and tell (vote) our representatives that we want them to provide fewer services. Democrats think this is evil.

3) Stop allowing corporations to have such termendous influence on our government's decisions. It's supposed to be by the people, for the people - businesses are not people. Needless to say, rich folks who have significant equity interests aren' to happy about this one.

Oh and the last one:

4) Stop looking for an easy fix. If we want something as a country, be it a steady economy or world peace realize it's not gonna happen by chance. We are going to have to make a long term comittment that involves real 'sacrafice' - which is another word for investment. We all want our shiny toys, but the reason that the port shutdown was so devistating was because we have, as a country, decided that having companies reap higher profits by moving the actual production of tangible goods offshore was more important than having those jobs here. Having food be cheap was more important than growing it here. And so on.

Ahem. Sorry for the rant - I'm just a little grumpy today!


Jim
 

JrSyko

Jerry Maguire
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I think that was extremely well put Jim. An example of the point that you are trying to make, I think, would be the New Deal legislation of FDR. He lowered taxes and increased government spending through such acts as the Public Works Program, CCC, National Municiple League, etc, in an attempt to stimulate the economy by giving people money to spend. However, this put the government in a tremendous amount of debt, so much so that part of our current debt can be attributed to this. Granted that the economy did come out of depression, however that can be attributed more to World War II and not so much the New Deal Programs of FDR. The war stimulated the economy by creating new industries and jobs that were much more long term than just digging ditches for some New Deal Program. The end consumer of these "new" goods was the government and so the cycle went full circle. The government tried to create jobs, then went to war and created more jobs and then ended up buying the goods produced. Nevertheless, none of these programs raised enough money to pay off the debts that the government accumilated in order to fund them and I think that was the point Jim was trying to make. Sure you can lower taxes to try and stimulate the economy, however you never end up being able to afford all the services (like security in a post 9-11 world) that society demands.

If I got a few thousand dollars back from the government, I would invest it. Not spend it. Besides, the more accurate figures for the middle class tax return was between $300-$600. Not a few thousand. A couple hundred bucks back from the government is not going to make a big dent in the economy, no matter how many people get it back.

See ya in the dirt!
 

BradM

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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>

Cutting taxes creating jobs? Just doesn't work. Trickle down economics is great for the rich folks, horrible for the working man. The worst are corporate tax cuts - remember,corporate income tax is paid on profits - this is after all the employees are paid, including the CEO. Increasing corporate profits by cutting their taxes does nothing but help the equity markets, which are by and large do not affect the actual production of goods & services in the US - despite what your stockbroker might want you to think.

<hr></blockquote>

That is not always true. There are many companies that reinvest corporate profits into expansion of the company and/or it's list of products and services. This could be in the form of product development (R&D), expansion of stores or sales and services to new markets, new jobs and more equipment to expand production, etc. This is quite common even in the largest and most profitable companies. However, only a portion of profits can be reinvested because the owners of the company (stockholders) want to realize a personal gain from the corporate profits as well. The reinvestment can and will reap increases in tax revenues, albeit not directly.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for that reinvestment to be in foreign markets. That is a growing concern as operating costs in the US continue to rise. I am referring to more than just inflation. There are high cost increases due to labor, increases in regulations and the associated costs of compliance, insurance costs, real estate and other capital investments, etc. The dollars of a large US corporation can be made to go farther outside of the US. It doesn't do much to help the American workforce but it is not going to change. The only benefit there is in that may come from increases in overall corporate profits and thus in tax revenues. Now that brings up the possible tax advantages of using overseas companies as a subsidiary to US corporation.

The bottom line is that there is a very real argument for all tax cuts to have a trickle down effect. I personally believe it is more effective than the tax and spend approach but then neither one is very effective when carried out by a group as inefficient as the US government. Either way, the solution is not cut and dry and the best opportunity for improving the current system is through the political process. In other words, GET OUT AND VOTE
 

jcarius

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Brad,

Actually, I agree with you that there is the _potential_ for stimulation - but I would also agrue that that potential is rarely fulfilled. If I reinvest my profits (and yep - I'm a the sole shareholder of a smallish corporation) by employing somebody, that's and expense I can write off immediatly - I pay no taxes on this money. If I buy a piece of equipment (say, a race car :) ) The depreciation in value of that asset is an expense to my business - so though I may pay taxes on the income I retained to buy the asset today, It acts get to reduce my effective taxable income in the future - reducing my future tax liability.

Actually, in my case (where I pay an effective tax rate of 43% or so on my coporate profits) I'm much better of hiring someone or buying something than I would be at say a 15% rate - where I'd be more inclined to take the tax bite and put the profits where they actually go in big companies (who pay big bucks (tax deductable) to the likes of Aurther Anderson to figure out how to avoid taxation anyway) - the shareholders pockets.

Oh, and yeah - I'm arguing against a tax break that would put money in my pocket. I know, dumb.

In short, in the case of the average corporation, it is better to find a way to spend the money to reduce their net income if the tax rate is high, and more attractive to retain the earnings if it is low....

Jim
 

Kritter

Krittro Campbell
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"How does giving "Mr. Bigwig" a personal tax break allow him to hire more employees? He is a salaried employee of the company that he works for and by giving him a tax break all it does is allow him to keep more of his millions."

When you keep more of your millions you strive to work harder and when somebody of that power works harder they usually have the ability of generating jobs.

The only reason I say that is because my best friends dad makes large sums of money as a CEO of his own Defense company (Read...ability to generate lots of jobs) and he said something along these lines

Why am I gonna bust my ass to make more jobs for people when I am only gonna see a small fraction of the extra income...it makes no sense. Give me a tax break so I can keep MY MONEY that I EARN and I will be more willing to make more jobs available to help the economy otherwise I will leave it as is.

Kris
"I was thinking the exact same thing about you..."
 

martininsocal

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My turn- I think everyone is hitting on some minor points for the current problem, but are overlooking and overstating simplisticly what is wrong. It is not a tax and save or tax and spend thing, it is both and niether.

Noone has connected the events of 9-11 to what is occurring today. And noone has brought in the spending on foreign aid that amounts to Payola for yes votes that do nothing for our economy.

Why should a person making 250k be taxed at 42% and someone being making 30k only gets whacked at 24%? Why should we create loopholes for the guy making 250k to write it off, hide income, and pay next to nothing while the guy making 30k ends up paying more because he can't afford the accountant to hide stuff for him? Why not a flat tax with no write offs for personal income?

As for the stock market, 7500 is about where actual value should be, and expect 10% changes rapidly as long as day traders and quick gain folks are in the play. s long as someone is trying to make a living on day trades, there will always be wild(comparative) fluctuations. If the stock market were treated as it had been prior to 1990, and investors simply looked for long term investment and safety, you may not have had the huge bubble that we saw, but you wouldn't have had the large investor losses that occurred because not as much money would have ended up in high risk accounts while everyone jumped on the band wagon.

One thing that has to be pointed out is the rich definitely acted like drunken fools and tried their damndest to keep the middle class down. The insider trading that occurred, the huge salaries, the flat out theft of funds, the lying and cheating should lead to jail terms for many. I don't care if they sell curtains in Kmart, they should lose their ability to be rich because they don't have the responsibility that comes with it.

As for government programs and taxes, YOu can't have one without the other, so taxes are a neccessity. I will point out that in history, we learn that every culture that saw a tax or penance reach 50% of earnings, also saw their demise quickly afterwards.

I will continue...have a call!

martin

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

Rodney

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HMMMM...I'm really surprised no one has stated the obvious. Personal taxes and individual tax breaks are only a drop in the bucket in the big picture. First, look at the "economy" as a whole. Everyone needs to realize (and admit) the 90's were not what what you would call normal, steady and healthy economic growth. These were boom times...why??? THE INFORMATION AGE. Corporate investment in information technology was the driving force. Personal investment in this arena was a factor..but not nearly the cash generator of the corporate environment. Sit back and think about this for a moment. Every business everywhere is operated by a computer network of some kind. This has only been so for the past decade or so. In 1990, remember they had to manually imprint your credit card and hand write the receipt..thats just one small example. So, imagine how much hardware, software, and R&D that represents. Fast forward to today...look around and you will see complete market saturation in this area. The unemployment rate is not that high, people are still spending money...all the indicators are good. I think people need to admit that it can't be a bull market all the time. The economy would have slowed no matter who was pres. Look around, and at history, and you will see that this economy is not going anywhere untill a new market is created. I personally thought that the jobs involving new security technology (i.e. electronic baggage screeners, etc. etc.) was going to be the fuel for that new market...that hasn,t happened yet. As far as the personal tax situation goes, I have never seen a good example of a tax increase or decrease really helping or hurting the big picture to any significant degree. I would't mind paying so much tax if the damn government didn't waste so much of it. How the gov. spends our money is a joke...I was a state employee for about a year and the amount of money I saw being wasted would make you cry. I so detested the the system that I quit and went to work for myself. I will take every tax break I can get because I know how to spend my money better than the gov. does. Oh yeah...someone mentioned social security?? what a joke!!! Every president(and congress) prior to GWB has spent EVERY DIME of that money EVERY YEAR..and now all of the sudden it should be off limits??? Social security will never go away because when it goes into a deficit, the fiscal role of the fund will simply reverse. Currently..your SS contributions are being put into the general fund...eventually, the general fund will have to contribute to SS. The bottom line for me is trying to cut gov. waste and put the money where it will actually do some good.

Winning IS everything
 

EQuin

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I personally believe the public gives too much credit (good or bad) to the Presidency when it comes to the economy. I believe Alan Greenspan, of the Federal Reserve, should take more credit for economic policy than the Presidency. Also, Congress plays a major role since it is Congress that passes tax laws. The President can either sign the tax bill, not sign it and let it passively come into law, or veto it. But if the Prez vetoes it, Congress can still override it (Congress rules). And if the executive branch piddles around in implementing one of their laws, Congress threatens to cut its funds since it controls government appropriations (again, Congress rules).

Our current economy is very dependent on foreign oil. In the past 30 years, the economy usually went down when oil prices went up. If you look at the Energy Crisis of the '70's, the result was stagflation, where the country's economy suffered a recession along with high inflation. In the mid-80's and throughout the '90's, oil prices were lower and more stable when adjusted for inflation, so oil prices had less of an effect on the economy. There was a time during the economic boom of the '90's when oil prices inched up, but when adjusted for inflation, the price of oil was still low, and the price increases were incrementally tolerable when compared to the big increases in the 70's.

Most recessions usually experience a period of very low inflation. On the other hand, most boom-times usually experience a period of high inflation. What surprised most economists was the unique phenomena in the late 70's and early 80's where the country suffered both a recession and high inflation (stagflation) which many partly attribute to the Energy Crisis of the '70's. The Federal Reserve Chairman at the time (Alan Greenspan's predecessor - can't remember his name right now) instituted a strict monetary policy to bring inflation back in line. One of the consequences of reigning in inflation is higher unemployment. The newly unemployed decried the policy as cruel "Reagonomics", but Reagan was only partly responsible, and besides, it was badly needed medicine for the economy that would have positive effects in the long run. The Fed Reserve Chairman and Congress (which, incidentally, was Democratically controlled at the time) also shared responsibility for implementing the stricter monetary policy for reigning in inflation.

Granted, taxes play a big role in the equation as well. Less taxation means more spendable income for a consumer-driven economy. But some economists argue that Federal Reserve policy plays a bigger role than taxation, although other economists disagree with that statement.

As for military spending, Wall Street and corporate America were influential in having it curtailed during the '90's. Military spending constitutes by far the biggest government expenditure. Although good for McDonnell-Douglas, Lockheed-Martin and a few other military suppliers, too much military spending can actually have a detrimental effect on the economy. Less capital becomes available to the States for spending on crucial infrastructure, such as transportation (highways), subsidies for agriculture (one of our biggest export products), subsidies (in the form of tax breaks) on easements for laying communication lines (the new fiber optics, etc.), subsidies for R&D, etc. When the Cold War ended, Wall Street and corporate America lobbied for more spending on those needs. However, now that terrorism has risen as a threat to national security, the government is looking again towards spending more on the military.

One of the recent issues currently affecting today's economic recovery is lack of public investor confidence. The scandals associated with Enron, WorldCom and Arthur Anderson rocked investor confidence in the world's biggest and best stock exchanges. Many fear that the questionable accounting tactics that caused Enron and others to implode are much more widespread throughout the big, publicly-traded corporations. I don't know if more and tougher corporate accounting laws are needed to boost corporate investment and prevent future scandals, though. Some economists claim that stock prices were inflated and that the market was due for a big correction anyway, regardless of any corporate accounting scandal. But I'm sure the scandals dealt a blow to corporate investment that some claim is causing a double-dip recession.

I think both parties, Republican and Democrat, share in the blame and successes of the economy. I also think the Federal Reserve Chairman plays a much bigger role in economic policy regardless of the policital parties. Sure, when it comes to taxation, we know what position each party holds. There are also other issues, such as corporate pension raiding and protection, and Medicare and Social Security for the elderly, that have an effect on the economy but which each political party holds different views on. But when Greenspan testifies on Capitol Hill, both parties dutifully examine him and take careful note of his testimony when considering tax bills and other economic measures and policy that the Presidency will eventually have to implement.

Well, this is just my humble, uneducated opinion on economic issues. Take care all,


Ed Q.
 

Rodney

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Martin...a flat tax would be awesome. Also.. the "druken fools" you referred to deserve no sympathy. Remember prior to the .com meltdown when all the analysts were predicting a train wreck? No one listened. Hell, I'm an amatuer investor and I saw it coming. I heard a very wealthy guy say once "if they don,t have a widget..don't buy it." You are dead on with your analogy of the people who were trying to make a quick buck versus those looking for the long term. I think it is funny how the market is at a whopping 8000 and some think it's bad?!?! Look at where it was 10 years ago. I don't know what some people are paniking about...look at the rest of the world around us...we STILL have it made.

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martininsocal

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Rodney- The market is about where true value is. The multiples have been way to high for long enough and the correction has occurerd. For the day traders who can now borrow money for even cheaper interest rates, there is very little risk. What kills me is the fact that no one seems willing to bite the biggest hand that has been screwing them for so long. I am not talking Politicians, I am talking HUGE business, not big, BUT HUGE! Since when is it ok for the taxpayers of the USA to bail out corporate america when they fail? Regardless of what they do? We are at a point in time when people are saying "yeah, they cheated on the profit projections and have ripped off the small investors and have moved all their money to offshore accounts so they don't pay taxes on it, but I have 67 bucks in a 401k with that company, so the gov't should give them whatever cash is neccessary to keep the company running..." Bull$h!t! Why are giving the airlines BILLIONS of dollars? Not because of 9-11, they were all losing money before that. Why do we continue to see GIANT salaries and Bonuses for CEOs of companies that are failing? We have decided that it is ok to pay huge sums of money simply because these people are CEO's, not because they are doing a good job. Kinda like the whole "who cares if he got a blow job in the oval office, he is the PRESIDENT..." These issues don't help make companies turn profits and become efficient, they allow them to run like the Gov't. Bloated and unproducing. No incentives to produce.

Another thing that has to be brought up which was touched on with widgets...Almost 50% of the dollars spent in this country are now spent on Services, not products. Sell a widget, make a little money, sell a lot of widgets, make more money. make a bad hair cut, make a little money, if it is not enough, just charge more! Pay someone 18 bucks an hour to sweep floors? 12 bucks an hour to pick Strawberries? What effect does that have on the economy? every says we need illegal immigrants to do this work because they will do it for low pay...what low pay? What is the minimum wage in Santa Monica now? The living wage, isn't it 20 bucks an hour? So I can drop out of high school, go pump gas, and be assured of earning 40+k a year doing it? As long as we continue into the socialist scene, we will continue to see less for the have nots because there will be more of them.,..

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

JrSyko

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In response to Social Security going into the general fund, you are absolutelty correct. That is why when the general fund money or the "real social security" money is forced to start being put back into social security the deficit will become even worse! That is why people were calling for the surplus to be put into SS in order to buy it some time until we figure out a better policy or somehow to fix SS. By the way, it is my generation who will get screwed on this deal as we will be the ones to pay into it for half our lives and then watch it go broke as all you baby boomers use it all up!

See ya in the dirt!
 

martininsocal

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The real answer is to make government live within its means just like we do. And that is the real trick, because we seem to think that if someone is failing in society, that gov't is suppose to take care of them. It comes down to the question of whether we all want to be on welfare and eliminate classes or we all want to believe that a system can work where those who work the hardest to be successful can be without fear of losing it.
We need leadership from not just politicians, but from corporate and middle America as well. We don't need more laws, just enforcement(justice) of the current laws. I may sound harsh, but do you think any of the corporate scandals would have occurred if the penalty for illegal accounting was not just a fine that amounts to 5% of the money you stole and now get to keep, but a loss of evrything, including the ability to be a business or corporate leader again? How about the loss of your job and company for those caught violating environmental laws? How many here believe that Waksal will be destitute and broke when he emerges from Club Fed? Or will he be rich just like he always was? Yet, those who got screwed in the insider trading deal will still be working stiffs looking at additional years of work before thay can retire because they had to eat his greed for the rest of the country?
As for social security, it is only suppose to support you when you retire, not let you live like a king. Retirement in America used to mean downsizing the home, A nice trip every few years, christmas with your grand kids, and possibly an RV. Today, when folks retire, they move into the nicest, biggest home of their lives. Buy an RV that costs more than most middle class homes, Have vacation condos in Cabo and Florida, etc... You really shouldn't be thinking that that is alright. whether you can afford it or not, those paying into social security today can't afford it. There are many baby boomers getting ready to retire who want it all before the go, and have no intentions of leaving any behind. What is that bumper sticker? "I am spending my kids inheritance"...

If your gonna go, go BIG
 
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