Author Topic: Middle class and broke article  (Read 57524 times)

NYD3030

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #100 on: June 17, 2013, 08:49:05 PM »
We are all aware that the majority of people on SNAP are children, right?

I also find it humorous that a forum dedicate to thrifty living has members who feel that poor people must show up in a filthy sack to be deserving of assistance when we ourselves probably pay 'poverty'  levels for our clothing and look good doing it.   You think somebody needs a degree to navigate a thrift store?

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #101 on: June 18, 2013, 08:52:36 AM »
I'd prefer to do it all on my own, and if the government got the hell out of social security and my healthcare, I could be saving a lot more.  So Helaine can take her ass-clownishness elsewhere for all I care.  If she loves Europe so much, why doesn't she move there?  There's nothing that will make the world better like eliminating personal responsibility!

Even if we did cap executive pay and redistribute all income evenly (and assumed income overall would not drop) it's not like the average resources would be way higher than the median household now.  We just wouldn't have households below 20K/year and we wouldn't have any above 100k/year!

Good to see we're on the same page in this case.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #102 on: June 18, 2013, 08:55:18 AM »
I always thought that was code for "I'd like all of the benefits of my tax dollars without paying any taxes.", but I could be wrong.

You would be wrong, based on everything I know about the typical libertarian or tea partier.

Most of us have no problem paying for a competent military, local police and such. Most of the rest can be ended or severely cut though.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #103 on: June 18, 2013, 09:06:08 AM »
We are all aware that the majority of people on SNAP are children, right?

I also find it humorous that a forum dedicate to thrifty living has members who feel that poor people must show up in a filthy sack to be deserving of assistance when we ourselves probably pay 'poverty'  levels for our clothing and look good doing it.   You think somebody needs a degree to navigate a thrift store?

+1

83% of SNAP benefits go to households with children, the disabled, or the elderly. To hell with them, I guess.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #104 on: June 18, 2013, 09:06:50 AM »
What this philosophy boils down to is "Only people who can meet the responsibilities I currently meet deserve respect/shelter/food."

That's a falsehood right there.

Being responsible also requires that one share VOLUNTARILY from his excess. It is far more noble to give from one's heart than to give other people's money by threat of imprisonment.

Sure, we'd still have poverty if people were allowed to keep far more of their money and distribute it voluntarily. But, we still have poverty NOW with the government taking its cut and redistributing it.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #105 on: June 18, 2013, 09:08:46 AM »
The government spends vastly more subsidizing our collective middle class lifestyle through the mortgage and healthcare deductions, higher education, and infrastructure than it does helping the needy with unemployment, food stamps, TANF.  Thus when people say they want "less government", they mean "less government for the poor.  I'll keep the government for me, thank you!"

Great. If we can take a chainsaw to taxes, I'm also in full support of eliminating all those deductions for the middle class.

So, no, you don't get to decide what those people really mean.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #106 on: June 18, 2013, 09:11:14 AM »
You know what pisses me off?  The mortgage interest tax deduction.  I see all these middle class folks buying Starbucks that I PAID FOR!  They're wasting MY MONEY!  Where do they get off buying coffee when I'm subsidizing their housing?!?

It's quite a bit different to allow people to keep a bit more of money they earned, compared to simply giving more money to the poor that they didn't earn.

I'm just fine doing the latter voluntarily through private charity. I'm not fine doing it with other people's money by threat of imprisonment.

(I'm also for eliminating the mortgage deduction, as soon as government waste is pared back by at least 90%.)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 09:14:25 AM by renbutler »

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #107 on: June 18, 2013, 09:12:54 AM »
Are we going to start with the "I know one person who scams welfare, therefore, everyone on welfare is a scam artist" arguments now?

It's basically the same pointless argument as "I know some rich people and corporations who are 'evil,' so all of them are."

dragoncar

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #108 on: June 18, 2013, 10:25:06 AM »
Are we going to start with the "I know one person who scams welfare, therefore, everyone on welfare is a scam artist" arguments now?

It's basically the same pointless argument as "I know some rich people and corporations who are 'evil,' so all of them are."

Only the sith speak in absolutes!!!

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #109 on: June 18, 2013, 11:00:57 AM »

"...fear is my ally"

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #110 on: June 18, 2013, 01:45:13 PM »
You know what pisses me off?  The mortgage interest tax deduction.  I see all these middle class folks buying Starbucks that I PAID FOR!  They're wasting MY MONEY!  Where do they get off buying coffee when I'm subsidizing their housing?!?

It's quite a bit different to allow people to keep a bit more of money they earned, compared to simply giving more money to the poor that they didn't earn.

I'm just fine doing the latter voluntarily through private charity. I'm not fine doing it with other people's money by threat of imprisonment.

(I'm also for eliminating the mortgage deduction, as soon as government waste is pared back by at least 90%.)

Have you ever actually looked at Federal spending?  Why would you focus on the smallest piece of the pie and ignore every other larger piece?  It makes no sense, unless you just have some deep seated hatred of poor people.  Those lucky lucky poor people who have it so easy that they get help to eat!  Almost 20% of households are food insecure.  They're living the good life baby!  Where do I sign up?  I want to "waste" some more of your money.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #111 on: June 18, 2013, 02:01:34 PM »
Have you ever actually looked at Federal spending?  Why would you focus on the smallest piece of the pie and ignore every other larger piece?  It makes no sense, unless you just have some deep seated hatred of poor people.  Those lucky lucky poor people who have it so easy that they get help to eat!  Almost 20% of households are food insecure.  They're living the good life baby!  Where do I sign up?  I want to "waste" some more of your money.

1.) Yes, I have looked at federal spending.

2.) I haven't focused only small pieces of the pie, nor have I ignored every other larger piece. I'm not the one who brought up poor relief. I was simply responding to the topic being discussed. In fact, if you read my other posts, I have no problem eliminating or severely cutting significant swaths of current federal spending. So, perhaps the question is "Why would you focus on only one tiny thing I said and ignore every other larger piece?"

3.) "...some deep-seated hatred of poor people." Very interesting thing to say to somebody who just said he supports voluntary charity for the poor. I could tell you exactly how much I donate to local and international charities for poor relief on a yearly basis, but then I'd just be walking right into your schtick.

4.) "Lucky poor people who have it so easy?" Where do you come up with this stuff? Your sarcasm is completely unwarranted. I think you're mixing me up with a caricature of some uncaring jerk that you've allowed to be created for you.

I'm going to lay it out for you so that there's no way you can continue to completely fumble the ball in your lame attempts to attack me:

I think it's one of our primary responsibilities as humans to take care of the most needy individuals, whether they be poor or sick or oppressed. If I ever become wealthy, and starting at a lower capacity after I finally become FI, I fully intend to give even more of my time and treasure for these purposes.

That said, I don't think that taking money from the wealthy by threat of imprisonment, funneling it through Washington (and losing large amounts of it in the process), and then distributing it through layers of bureaucracy is an efficient or intelligent way of taking care of people.

It's really time that you stop making lame jokes about how I think that the poor are lucky or living a good life, and start rising above the cable-news-style muck that is tearing the country apart. Even in obvious disagreement, there's really no reason why you should be so sarcastic or pigeon-hole into a caricature those who don't think like you do.

Agreed?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 02:05:38 PM by renbutler »

Eric

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #112 on: June 18, 2013, 02:26:24 PM »
How dare I combat your ridiculous views with humor?!  I must be a monster that wants the government to run my life and yours!

Here's the problem though.  Taxes are EXTREMELY low.  They're almost at the lowest levels EVER.  We pay by far the lowest rates in the first world.  It's my opinion that anyone that still thinks taxes are too high has no sense of perspective and is really just a huge complainypants.  Feel free to keep complaining though.  I'll feel free to keep mocking the lack of reality.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #113 on: June 18, 2013, 02:52:20 PM »

That said, I don't think that taking money from the wealthy by threat of imprisonment, funneling it through Washington (and losing large amounts of it in the process), and then distributing it through layers of bureaucracy is an efficient or intelligent way of taking care of people.


So, let me see if I understand. "Taking money (from the wealthy) by threat of imprisonment" = taxes.
Taxes (taking money by threat of imprisonment) are good if they are for military or law enforcement (how about the inefficiencies there? Still good?)
So it is okay to take money by threat of imprisonment to support those who enforce that very law? But god forbid it provides access to food so a disabled person doesn't starve to death?

Or is your argument against the imprisonment part? The funneling through Washington part? The bureaucracy? The inefficiency? Does this only apply to the taxes the wealthy pay? Last time I checked, I paid taxes...and I am far from wealthy.

I think most people can get behind greater efficiency as a general concept, especially the folks who engage on this forum. Outsourcing the care of people who are disabled or elderly to the general public is something that can have dire consequences, and I would rather not risk life and well being because of a dollar sign.

*edit because I don't proofread well*
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 02:56:57 PM by hoodedfalcon »

dragoncar

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #114 on: June 18, 2013, 03:43:02 PM »
I'm fine with national defense.  I just think it should be purely voluntary.  Go ahead and write a check to the pentagon if you are so eager to have an army.

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #115 on: June 18, 2013, 05:21:16 PM »
Almost 20% of households are food insecure.  They're living the good life baby!  Where do I sign up?  I want to "waste" some more of your money.

Why are they insecure?  Often because they don't know how to prepare inexpensive (and healthful) meals, so their idea of "food" is what you get from fast-food restaurants.  Honestly, I don't have much sympathy with people whose financial problems are mostly caused by their unwillingness to learn, or to change established habits.

Here's the problem though.  Taxes are EXTREMELY low.  They're almost at the lowest levels EVER.  We pay by far the lowest rates in the first world.  It's my opinion that anyone that still thinks taxes are too high has no sense of perspective and is really just a huge complainypants.  Feel free to keep complaining though.  I'll feel free to keep mocking the lack of reality.

Yet the other side of the argument is still true: much of what the government collects in taxes is wasted on things that provide zero benefit to, or have negative consequences for, the majority of the people who are paying those taxes.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #116 on: June 18, 2013, 06:24:48 PM »
How dare I combat your ridiculous views with humor?!  I must be a monster that wants the government to run my life and yours!

That was humor? LOL :D

(I'm not laughing at the humor. I'm laughing at the idea was humor. I guess it's in the eye of the beholder though.)

Anyway, I find it strange that you call my views ridiculous. I guess it's ridiculous to you that I want the poor to be taken care of out of the goodness of our hearts. Perhaps you have a deep-seated hatred for the poor? LOL

Here's the problem though.  Taxes are EXTREMELY low.  They're almost at the lowest levels EVER.  We pay by far the lowest rates in the first world.  It's my opinion that anyone that still thinks taxes are too high has no sense of perspective and is really just a huge complainypants.  Feel free to keep complaining though.  I'll feel free to keep mocking the lack of reality.

I couldn't care less what other countries tax. It's completely irrelevant to me. That's like saying other countries have more crime, so I guess we should just be happy with the amount of crime we have here.

(No, I'm not saying taxation is crime. It's just an analogy. Crime and taxation are not identical. I shouldn't have to say that, but I get the feeling that I had to anyway.)

I would have no problem with taxes being higher IF:

1.) Taxation were more evenly distributed, where just about everybody had some skin in the game. People wouldn't be able to easily avoid paying taxes illegally, and no more loopholes for the rich. A national sales tax would ensure that EVERYBODY is paying something, except for limited exemptions for staples like basic foods, utilities, and up to a certain amount for housing. That is, whatever it takes to simply survive wouldn't be taxed, and everything else would be. If you're poor, and you buy only what you need, you don't pay taxes. The minute you purchase anything you can reasonably do without, you're in the game.

2.) Waste must be essentially eliminated. Every expenditure must be justified. We should never have any government program designed to make people feel good that "something is being done," and no government job should exist for the primary purpose of employing somebody.

3.) Federal government expenditures must be constitutional and far more easy to handle on a federal level than a state/local level (example: military). All other taxes and programs that people want can be handled on a state/local level so that you have far more choice in how much taxes you pay and how the money is spent.

BTW, my income taxes are fairly low. I am only in the 15% bracket. But those who pay income taxes have every right to complain about whatever they want as long as a single penny is wasted.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 06:27:05 PM by renbutler »

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #117 on: June 18, 2013, 06:34:23 PM »
So, let me see if I understand. "Taking money (from the wealthy) by threat of imprisonment" = taxes.

Yes. If you don't pay taxes, you go to prison. Pretty simple. BTW, I don't advocate not paying taxes. I advocate legally reducing taxes, or better spending the taxes we pay.

Taxes (taking money by threat of imprisonment) are good if they are for military or law enforcement (how about the inefficiencies there? Still good?)

Taxes for military and law enforcement are just fine with me. Any waste or inefficiency in those areas should be eliminated, just like in any other area. Still simple.

So it is okay to take money by threat of imprisonment to support those who enforce that very law? But god forbid it provides access to food so a disabled person doesn't starve to death?

They should enforce whatever laws are on the book. Not sure what your point is there.

As for the disabled, no, I don't want any of them to starve to death. But nor do I think funneling their aid through Washington is a smart way to prevent their starvation. Again, pretty simple.

I think that there's a tendency to pigeon-hole me and other small-government supporters into an uncaring fat-cats, but I will NOT be a caricature.

Or is your argument against the imprisonment part? The funneling through Washington part? The bureaucracy? The inefficiency? Does this only apply to the taxes the wealthy pay? Last time I checked, I paid taxes...and I am far from wealthy.

I bolded the real problems. I have no problem with imprisonment for non-payment of taxes. I just don't think that it's noble to help the poor by taking other people's money. It's far more noble for it to be from our own pockets, voluntarily, on a person-by-person basis.

I think most people can get behind greater efficiency as a general concept, especially the folks who engage on this forum. Outsourcing the care of people who are disabled or elderly to the general public is something that can have dire consequences, and I would rather not risk life and well being because of a dollar sign.

Instead, we're entrusting -- and in some cases relying almost solely on -- an inefficient and sometimes dangerous government to help those people.

I agree that, as it is now, relying solely on volunteer giving probably won't meet all the needs of the poor. But neither is the current system. And raising taxes won't take care of that. As long as anybody takes in less income than somebody else, somebody will be considered "poor." And I seriously hope that nobody here will seriously try to suggest that all money should be distributed exactly evenly...
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 06:38:10 PM by renbutler »

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #118 on: June 18, 2013, 06:40:16 PM »
I'm fine with national defense.  I just think it should be purely voluntary.  Go ahead and write a check to the pentagon if you are so eager to have an army.

Everybody benefits equally from national defense. It doesn't choose winners and losers, at least domestically. Plus, it's specifically proscribed in the Constitution, which must be changed if anybody doesn't want national defense.

randymarsh

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #119 on: June 18, 2013, 06:41:31 PM »

BTW, my income taxes are fairly low. I am only in the 15% bracket. But those who pay income taxes have every right to complain about whatever they want as long as a single penny is wasted.

I actually kind of agree with some of what you said in the bullet points, but I find this part the most interesting.

Why is there this desire to hold the federal government to such an impossibly high standard? Waste should obviously be minimized, but a penny? Really?

We don't hold private industry (which benefits from our tax dollars in numerous ways)  to that standard. When I worked in retail, we had a specific loss prevention number. My store's "lucky number" was 10. It was assumed/expected/budgeted that 10 items a day would be shoplifted. A store in a bigger city had a lucky number of 50.

The Gap doesn't shut down because some people steal. They do what they can to manage risk and keep it to an "acceptable" level while still providing everyone else with a good deal & employees with jobs. Why should the government stop providing a service that helps those going through a rough time just because some people abuse it?

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #120 on: June 18, 2013, 06:45:32 PM »
I actually kind of agree with some of what you said in the bullet points, but I find this part the most interesting.

Why is there this desire to hold the federal government to such an impossibly high standard? Waste should obviously be minimized, but a penny? Really?

No, not really a penny. That was an exaggeration, admittedly. I'd be positively giddy if we could even eliminate 50% of waste to begin with, perhaps with a target of eliminating 90% over a longer period of time.

We don't hold private industry (which benefits from our tax dollars in numerous ways)  to that standard. When I worked in retail, we had a specific loss prevention number. My store's "lucky number" was 10. It was assumed/expected/budgeted that 10 items a day would be shoplifted. A store in a bigger city had a lucky number of 50.

The Gap doesn't shut down because some people steal. They do what they can to manage risk and keep it to an "acceptable" level while still providing everyone else with a good deal & employees with jobs. Why should the government stop providing a service that helps those going through a rough time just because some people abuse it?

IMO, waste isn't just abuse. It's paying too much for things that don't have a justification, reasonable value, or return on investment.

If I were a stakeholder in a private company, I would certainly be just as bold in my desire to eliminate as much waste and inefficiency as possible. Of course, I would know that 100% efficiency would likely never be attainable.

brewer12345

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #121 on: June 18, 2013, 07:10:14 PM »
I'm fine with national defense.  I just think it should be purely voluntary.  Go ahead and write a check to the pentagon if you are so eager to have an army.

Everybody benefits equally from national defense. It doesn't choose winners and losers, at least domestically. Plus, it's specifically proscribed in the Constitution, which must be changed if anybody doesn't want national defense.

What laughable nonsense.  You are OK with ridiculous military spending that is the porkbarrel envy of every military, scamster, defense contractor and sleazebag in the world, but we should slash social spending that is a tiny fraction of military pork to the bone?  Please, keep spouting your views.  The rest of us have no need to even bother debunking this hogwash.

swiper

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #122 on: June 18, 2013, 07:34:17 PM »
I'm fine with national defense.  I just think it should be purely voluntary.  Go ahead and write a check to the pentagon if you are so eager to have an army.

Everybody benefits equally from national defense. It doesn't choose winners and losers, at least domestically. Plus, it's specifically proscribed in the Constitution, which must be changed if anybody doesn't want national defense.

What laughable nonsense.  You are OK with ridiculous military spending that is the porkbarrel envy of every military, scamster, defense contractor and sleazebag in the world, but we should slash social spending that is a tiny fraction of military pork to the bone?  Please, keep spouting your views.  The rest of us have no need to even bother debunking this hogwash.


Oh my a clash of libertarians ;)

Seriously though, I read some work done at http://www.yourmorals.org/ which described how many of these types of debates boil down to a difference in certain moral concerns ie:
  • care/harm
  • fairness/cheating
  • liberty/oppression
  • loyalty/betrayal
  • authority/subversion
  • sanctity/degradation

As the weight of these moral concerns varies between people, it is difficult to agree or even understand where the other party is coming from. You can take the survey on their website and see how you compare to left/right/libertarians ... interesting stuff!

oh and the link that got me there (wondering why so many southern states liked Romney): http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jun/05/why-working-class-people-vote-conservative
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 07:36:37 PM by swiper »

wepner

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #123 on: June 18, 2013, 07:38:11 PM »
I'm fine with national defense.  I just think it should be purely voluntary.  Go ahead and write a check to the pentagon if you are so eager to have an army.

dragoncar is my hero.

dragoncar

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #124 on: June 18, 2013, 07:42:54 PM »
The Gap doesn't shut down because some people steal. They do what they can to manage risk and keep it to an "acceptable" level while still providing everyone else with a good deal & employees with jobs. Why should the government stop providing a service that helps those going through a rough time just because some people abuse it?

Please, the gap is a sanfrancisco corporation, which basically makes it communist.  This loss policy is clearly some kind of radical progressive resource redistribution effort.

dragoncar

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #125 on: June 18, 2013, 07:51:01 PM »
I'm fine with national defense.  I just think it should be purely voluntary.  Go ahead and write a check to the pentagon if you are so eager to have an army.

Everybody benefits equally from national defense. It doesn't choose winners and losers, at least domestically. Plus, it's specifically proscribed in the Constitution, which must be changed if anybody doesn't want national defense.

So you are ok taking money from me by threat of imprisonment as long as "everybody benefits equally" from my money? 

If the constitution proscribes national defense, we certainly shouldn't spend on it.

Note that the constitution charges congress with "taxing and spending for the general welfare.". So I guess we are ok with food stamps after all.

NYD3030

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #126 on: June 18, 2013, 08:34:13 PM »
I'd also like to address this 'skin in the game'  argument.   It's true that many poor people pay no federal taxes, but they still pay state, county, city and most importantly sales taxes.   A rich man pays a fraction of a percent of his yearly income on sales tax, while a poor person pretty much pays the sales on their yearly income.   This is not optional when you have to spend 100% of your income to live.   Add the capital gains tax preference,  the SS/medicare cutoff in the low 100, and the many middle and upper class only deductions and you get a tax system where the rich do not pay astronomically more than the poor when all taxes and deductions are taken into account.

Finally, as I said earlier, put down Atlas Shrugged and pick up Oliver Twist, and see how awesomely private charity was able to provide for the poor, elderly and disabled...  You may be shocked to find your newfangled libertarianism is just a rebranded version of Victorian era liberalism, and did a horrible job of providing for the less fortunate.   The idea that private charity can make up for the abolition of the safety net is a cruel joke.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #127 on: June 18, 2013, 08:36:56 PM »
I'm fine with national defense.  I just think it should be purely voluntary.  Go ahead and write a check to the pentagon if you are so eager to have an army.

Everybody benefits equally from national defense. It doesn't choose winners and losers, at least domestically. Plus, it's specifically proscribed in the Constitution, which must be changed if anybody doesn't want national defense.

What laughable nonsense.  You are OK with ridiculous military spending that is the porkbarrel envy of every military, scamster, defense contractor and sleazebag in the world, but we should slash social spending that is a tiny fraction of military pork to the bone?  Please, keep spouting your views.  The rest of us have no need to even bother debunking this hogwash.

Such an angry personal, and ultimately incorrect, response.

I never said I was "OK with ridiculous military spending." In fact, I said the complete opposite. Military waste and inefficiency is ABSOLUTELY on my table to be cut.

You guys need to read the full posts. I take the time to write them, so please take the time to read them before making such blatant errors.

Chill, read, discuss maturely. I think this is a reasonable request.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #128 on: June 18, 2013, 08:40:52 PM »
So you are ok taking money from me by threat of imprisonment as long as "everybody benefits equally" from my money? 

Yes, I'm okay with taxes protecting our borders. Is that REALLY such a scandalous view these days? Good grief.

If the constitution proscribes national defense, we certainly shouldn't spend on it.

Sorry, stupid autocorrect. But ultimately, I am responsible for what is posted under my name.

Note that the constitution charges congress with "taxing and spending for the general welfare.". So I guess we are ok with food stamps after all.

That's the great debate, isn't it? We're free to disagree about what that means, as it's obviously not nearly as specific as the provisions for military protection.

And, no, saying that "general welfare" is good for food stamps is not the slam dunk that some want to think it is.


renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #129 on: June 18, 2013, 08:44:44 PM »
I'd also like to address this 'skin in the game'  argument.   It's true that many poor people pay no federal taxes, but they still pay state, county, city and most importantly sales taxes.   A rich man pays a fraction of a percent of his yearly income on sales tax, while a poor person pretty much pays the sales on their yearly income.   This is not optional when you have to spend 100% of your income to live.   Add the capital gains tax preference,  the SS/medicare cutoff in the low 100, and the many middle and upper class only deductions and you get a tax system where the rich do not pay astronomically more than the poor when all taxes and deductions are taken into account.

Again (and I don't know why half of what I'm saying is simply ignored as if I didn't say it) I'm all for a national sales tax on everything except the basics needed to survive. Paying 100% of your income to TRULY just "live" would mean no federal taxes. Spending money on a yacht means lots of federal taxes. You don't pay taxes until you buy something you don't need. Nobody gets away with scamming the system.

With a national sales tax, hookers and drug dealers and illegal immigrants would pay into the national system that they're benefiting from. No more loopholes for the rich either.

The whole class warfare argument is SOOOO last decade. It was tried then, and it didn't fly with people who want to discuss with reality instead of emotion.

Finally, as I said earlier, put down Atlas Shrugged and pick up Oliver Twist, and see how awesomely private charity was able to provide for the poor, elderly and disabled...  You may be shocked to find your newfangled libertarianism is just a rebranded version of Victorian era liberalism, and did a horrible job of providing for the less fortunate.   The idea that private charity can make up for the abolition of the safety net is a cruel joke.

Good grief, another person guilty of skimming posts and missing key parts.

I already said that voluntary charity won't eradicate poverty on its own. In fact, I was quite clear about that. But neither does the current method, nor would increasing taxes.

This is a philosophical, not practical discussion. IMO, giving from your OWN HEART is much more NOBLE than giving from somebody else's pocket. There's really no way around that. If it bothers you, perhaps you have to search into your OWN HEART to determine why.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 08:48:27 PM by renbutler »

brewer12345

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #130 on: June 18, 2013, 08:52:24 PM »
I'm fine with national defense.  I just think it should be purely voluntary.  Go ahead and write a check to the pentagon if you are so eager to have an army.

Everybody benefits equally from national defense. It doesn't choose winners and losers, at least domestically. Plus, it's specifically proscribed in the Constitution, which must be changed if anybody doesn't want national defense.

What laughable nonsense.  You are OK with ridiculous military spending that is the porkbarrel envy of every military, scamster, defense contractor and sleazebag in the world, but we should slash social spending that is a tiny fraction of military pork to the bone?  Please, keep spouting your views.  The rest of us have no need to even bother debunking this hogwash.

Such an angry personal, and ultimately incorrect, response.

I never said I was "OK with ridiculous military spending." In fact, I said the complete opposite. Military waste and inefficiency is ABSOLUTELY on my table to be cut.

You guys need to read the full posts. I take the time to write them, so please take the time to read them before making such blatant errors.

Chill, read, discuss maturely. I think this is a reasonable request.

Waste and inefficiency are bad by anyone's standards.  How about aircraft carriers halfway across the world?  Nucular submarines?  ICBMs?  I don't get why military spending is always hunky dory with your ilk, but not keeping people from starving and mugging the rest of us on the streets.

Mostly, I don't give a Senator's left testicle for any of this nonsense debate, though.  The world is the way it is and what you or I think about it is a fart in a hurricane.  Get on with your life in the most efficient way possible, do what good you can for yourself and others, and let the rest go hang.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #131 on: June 18, 2013, 08:58:30 PM »
Waste and inefficiency are bad by anyone's standards.  How about aircraft carriers halfway across the world?  Nucular submarines?  ICBMs?  I don't get why military spending is always hunky dory with your ilk, but not keeping people from starving and mugging the rest of us on the streets.

Those thoughts aren't even remotely in line with my beliefs, and in fact I've said the opposite repeatedly.

What is behind your unwillingness to have a reasonable discussion without trying to turn people into a caricature? Why do you feel that you must invent absurd thoughts for me? Why do you find me such a threat that you have to willfully misrepresent my actual thoughts just to try to marginalize me?

Seriously, let me into your mind. Where did you develop this playbook? When's the last time you had a respectful conversation with somebody who approaches these things from a different philosophical standpoint? And why do you choose the opposite right now? Are you intentionally being absurd just to drive away a person with different views?

Serious questions. Not rhetorical.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 09:00:07 PM by renbutler »

brewer12345

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #132 on: June 18, 2013, 09:04:12 PM »
Waste and inefficiency are bad by anyone's standards.  How about aircraft carriers halfway across the world?  Nucular submarines?  ICBMs?  I don't get why military spending is always hunky dory with your ilk, but not keeping people from starving and mugging the rest of us on the streets.

Those thoughts aren't even remotely in line with my beliefs, and in fact I've said the opposite repeatedly.

What is behind your unwillingness to have a reasonable discussion without trying to turn people into a caricature? Why do you feel that you must invent absurd thoughts for me? Why do you find me such a threat that you have to willfully misrepresent my actual thoughts just to try to marginalize me?

Seriously, let me into your mind. Where did you develop this playbook? When's the last time you had a respectful conversation with somebody who approaches these things from a different philosophical standpoint? And why do you choose the opposite right now? Are you intentionally being absurd just to drive away a person with different views?

Serious questions. Not rhetorical.

Don't flatter yourself.  I don't care enough about one of these debates to bother having one with you with any degree of seriousness.  Like most people, I long ago decided what I think.  Like most rational people, I long ago realized that what I as an individual think does not matter to anyone but me.  So you can light the Ayn Rand flaming torch all you like: nobody cares.  Sad, but true for every single one of us. Get over yourself and you will be a lot happier and effective in pursuing what makes you happy.  Arguing over this stuff is like arguing over the tax code or getting upset about gravity.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #133 on: June 18, 2013, 09:10:18 PM »
No, really, I'm interested in your tactics, not in debating taxes with you (as I could tell you weren't really serious before you even admitted that you weren't taking it seriously). Note that my last post directed at you barely even touched on taxes. I'm far more interested in why you tried what you tried.

Did you learn those tactics in college? Watching cable news? A political career?

Seriously, what was your motivation behind inventing absurd thoughts for me and insulting me instead of focusing on what I actually said? If you didn't care what I thought, why was it so important to you to take the time to come up with philosophies for me that I don't actually have?

I'm fascinated by the way people operate. Please, don't leave me hanging.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 09:12:55 PM by renbutler »

dragoncar

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #134 on: June 18, 2013, 09:11:07 PM »
Fucking gravity. 

Hamster

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #135 on: June 18, 2013, 09:29:18 PM »
I'm fine with national defense.  I just think it should be purely voluntary.  Go ahead and write a check to the pentagon if you are so eager to have an army.

Everybody benefits equally from national defense. It doesn't choose winners and losers, at least domestically. Plus, it's specifically proscribed in the Constitution, which must be changed if anybody doesn't want national defense.
The benefit is NOT equally shared. Investors in Halliburton, Blackwater, Raytheon, etc did well off of Afghanistan and Iraq. The general population... not so much.

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #136 on: June 18, 2013, 09:59:35 PM »

brewer12345

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #137 on: June 18, 2013, 10:04:52 PM »
Fucking gravity.

Always dragging us down...

brewer12345

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #138 on: June 18, 2013, 10:15:19 PM »
No, really, I'm interested in your tactics, not in debating taxes with you (as I could tell you weren't really serious before you even admitted that you weren't taking it seriously). Note that my last post directed at you barely even touched on taxes. I'm far more interested in why you tried what you tried.

Did you learn those tactics in college? Watching cable news? A political career?

Seriously, what was your motivation behind inventing absurd thoughts for me and insulting me instead of focusing on what I actually said? If you didn't care what I thought, why was it so important to you to take the time to come up with philosophies for me that I don't actually have?

I'm fascinated by the way people operate. Please, don't leave me hanging.

Meh.  You flatter yourself that I really care about a single letter you have bothered to type.  I've seen literally thousands like you: blowhards full of hot air and with an ego that provides protection from anything better than whatever the Star Trek nerds could dream up.  The most rational responses from observers or those who don't care for the stik of intellectual rot is to either ignore the proceedings or go "chimp" and start flinging poop.  I think you can guess where I fall on that spectrum.

Blowhards are great in that they always self identify.  You have a nice life.  I hope that over-inflated sense of self-worth works out for you.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 10:18:46 PM by brewer12345 »

Jamesqf

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #139 on: June 18, 2013, 11:33:58 PM »
I don't get why military spending is always hunky dory with your ilk, but not keeping people from starving and mugging the rest of us on the streets.

An important point here is, or should be, what is effective - that is, does the spending achieve its stated purpose?  Now the military spending on nuclear submarines, ICBMs, and so on does seem to have achieved its stated purpose.  The US faced serious external threats from the Communist empires, and - arguably as a consequence of that spending - those empires no longer exist. 

With welfare spending, the situation appears to be reversed: the more we spend on various social programs, the more poor people we seem to have.


Jamesqf

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #140 on: June 18, 2013, 11:39:56 PM »
Finally, as I said earlier, put down Atlas Shrugged and pick up Oliver Twist, and see how awesomely private charity was able to provide for the poor, elderly and disabled... 

Suggest you re-read Oliver Twist, with a little more attention to detail rather than your preconceptions.  You will discover that the charity you're talking about - Oliver's poorhouse and forced apprenticeship - was in fact a government-run program, and the administrators were in fact skimming off a good bit of the funding for themselves.

infogoon

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #141 on: June 19, 2013, 06:52:21 AM »
Everybody benefits equally from national defense.

I think an argument could be made that shareholders of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin benefit a lot more than the rest of us.

That's one of the problems with "small government" -- you end up with a whole lot of stuff being outsourced to contractors, which ends up being a license to waste money.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #142 on: June 19, 2013, 08:01:28 AM »
Meh.  You flatter yourself that I really care about a single letter you have bothered to type.  I've seen literally thousands like you: blowhards full of hot air and with an ego that provides protection from anything better than whatever the Star Trek nerds could dream up.  The most rational responses from observers or those who don't care for the stik of intellectual rot is to either ignore the proceedings or go "chimp" and start flinging poop.  I think you can guess where I fall on that spectrum.

Blowhards are great in that they always self identify.  You have a nice life.  I hope that over-inflated sense of self-worth works out for you.

I'm guessing failed career in politics. LOL

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #143 on: June 19, 2013, 08:03:17 AM »
An important point here is, or should be, what is effective - that is, does the spending achieve its stated purpose?  Now the military spending on nuclear submarines, ICBMs, and so on does seem to have achieved its stated purpose.  The US faced serious external threats from the Communist empires, and - arguably as a consequence of that spending - those empires no longer exist. 

With welfare spending, the situation appears to be reversed: the more we spend on various social programs, the more poor people we seem to have.

He already said he doesn't really care. There is zero chance he will hear or consider any of these thoughts.

Nice post, though.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #144 on: June 19, 2013, 08:05:24 AM »
I think an argument could be made that shareholders of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin benefit [from national defense] a lot more than the rest of us.

That's one of the problems with "small government" -- you end up with a whole lot of stuff being outsourced to contractors, which ends up being a license to waste money.

Good points, but I was actually talking about the protection provided by the national defense. The borders are secured for all, not just for a few corporations.

I would DEFINITELY consider extra money wasted on military contractors as being a poor use of tax money.

ace1224

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #145 on: June 19, 2013, 08:35:33 AM »
i live in a military town so i'm all about some national defense......that being said the waste that goes on is ridiculous.  crazypants actually.  my dad is a government general contractor, one of the jobs he has now is to renovate the generals' beach house.  the budget included imported travertine tile, and authorized double shifts because one of the generals wants it ready by the 4th.

brewer12345

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #146 on: June 19, 2013, 09:19:37 AM »
Meh.  You flatter yourself that I really care about a single letter you have bothered to type.  I've seen literally thousands like you: blowhards full of hot air and with an ego that provides protection from anything better than whatever the Star Trek nerds could dream up.  The most rational responses from observers or those who don't care for the stik of intellectual rot is to either ignore the proceedings or go "chimp" and start flinging poop.  I think you can guess where I fall on that spectrum.

Blowhards are great in that they always self identify.  You have a nice life.  I hope that over-inflated sense of self-worth works out for you.

I'm guessing failed career in politics. LOL

Let us know when you get out of the comfort of your Mom's basement.

ncornilsen

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #147 on: June 19, 2013, 09:21:50 AM »
No, really, I'm interested in your tactics, not in debating taxes with you (as I could tell you weren't really serious before you even admitted that you weren't taking it seriously). Note that my last post directed at you barely even touched on taxes. I'm far more interested in why you tried what you tried.

Did you learn those tactics in college? Watching cable news? A political career?

Seriously, what was your motivation behind inventing absurd thoughts for me and insulting me instead of focusing on what I actually said? If you didn't care what I thought, why was it so important to you to take the time to come up with philosophies for me that I don't actually have?

I'm fascinated by the way people operate. Please, don't leave me hanging.

Ren, I see this everywhere with left wing authoritarian types... as soon as you suggest that people should take a small amount of responsibility for thier situation, or even question the vote-buying wealth distribution system Washington has setup, they invent an army of strawmen, assign those strawmen to whomever they don't agree with... then they mow the strawmen down, claim victory, and refuse to discuss anymore.  It's a clever tactic, but intellectually bankrupt.

renbutler

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #148 on: June 19, 2013, 09:28:13 AM »
Ren, I see this everywhere with left wing authoritarian types... as soon as you suggest that people should take a small amount of responsibility for thier situation, or even question the vote-buying wealth distribution system Washington has setup, they invent an army of strawmen, assign those strawmen to whomever they don't agree with... then they mow the strawmen down, claim victory, and refuse to discuss anymore.  It's a clever tactic, but intellectually bankrupt.

Let's be honest: no side has a monopoly on yellers and obfuscators. The muck of modern political discourse infects just about every ideology, even including many of those with whom I generally agree. So few people of any stripes are interested in an intelligent and respectful exchange of ideas. Basically, modern discourse equals YOU'RE WRONG, I'M RIGHT, AND YOU SUCK. AND YOU'RE ALSO A STUPID BLOWHARD, BUT I'M SMART SO I CAN INSULT YOU ALL I WANT.

If anybody is familiar with a political discussion board that welcomes all political persuasions but manages to remain civil and intelligent, please let me know. I've been asking around for a long time, and nobody has really been able to help me in this regard.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 09:31:49 AM by renbutler »

tooqk4u22

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Re: Middle class and broke article
« Reply #149 on: June 19, 2013, 09:33:37 AM »
Good thing there's no sample bias there.  When I said it was hard to "scam" I meant that it's not worth the trouble of faking the paperwork and jumping through the hoops for such a trivial (compared to Marginal hourly wage) amount of money.

Edit: how do real people fake the paperwork anyways?  Income is easily verifiable against tax returns.  If you are lying on those then things will not end well.

Who said these people are faking the paperwork?  They have all their necessities paid by the government, so what little they do make, they can blow on useless crap.  It's not that these people are actually really wealthy, it's that they don't know how to manage their own money and purchase necessities.  It's all done legally and within the system - that's the worst part.

SNAP is a well intended but completely fucked up government program (although jsut about everything the govt is involved in is fucked so why would this be any different).  I don't think fraud/scamming are as big of an issue as some think (maybe with the asset test part there is)  but that is only because the qualifications are so simple and broad and it pays a lot - a family of five gets $800 a month, I have a family of five and eat crazy rich and spend a lot on friend and family gatherings and don't ever approach that number.

But the MAIN issue I have with SNAP is that it allows for non-essentials (soda, redbull, birhtday cakes, gift baskets (as long as it has at least 50% food products), processed foods, etc.  It really should be limited to basic necessities.