THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:04 pm

stahrgazer wrote:The banking bubble was allowed to burst because BUSH removed some regulations, and removed some oversight that forced appropriate ethics and legalities. The repackaging of debt obligations was legal, but someone was still supposed to hold back sufficient funds to back those obligations, and regulations and overseers had been assigned to ensure that occured. When BUSH removed those watchdogs, companies that were doing the repackaging and selling Collateralized Debt Obligations, started to conveniently forget to hold back funds to cover the debts. Furthermore, they increased the risks by packaging many less secure loans with a few more secure loans, and calling them the lesser risk rather than admitting these packages had more risk than they were admitting.

As you said to someone else, these facts are all out on the web, look them up.

Then, when folks who owed the monies lost their jobs under Bush because plants closed in America to "expand" to various overseas locations (which Bush did nothing about and in fact, even backed legislation that made those moves more profitable for those once-American companies) the shady stack of cards BUSH allowed to build, collapsed.

Additionally, printing a bunch of money and making a stimulus was Bush's idea, only where he put the money didn't stimulate at all. So, Obama gets blamed for printing a little more money for a second stimulus that worked a little but not quite enough - or not quite enough yet.

Again, facts, look them up, Night Strike, rather than parrot Rush Limbaugh's distortions of the truth.

Finally, check your economics. It takes time for a financial cause to achieve effect; there's years of lag - it used to be 8-10 years, although that's lessened a little. Basically, Bush's policies in 2004 and 2005 caused what occurred in 2008 and 2009, and what Obama did in 2008 are finally starting to achieve some results in 2012.

Obama kept us from being totally snowed under the avalanche Bush's policies caused; it's not his fault that time takes time, and reverting back to the very policies that caused the avalanche would finalize our country's economic ruin.


I did some fact checking here, following stahr's advice to look things up.

There are approximately 140 financial institutions that failed in 2008/2009. The causes were attributed mainly to the poor economic climate and all bank failures involved a fall in capital which caused the banks to be unable to meet their financial obligations. So what caused the financial crisis? First was the collapse of the real estate market. When people defaulted on mortgage loans, banks begin to experience capital flow problems. As mortgage-backed securities fail, the economy goes down.

But let's look at the idea of bank deregulation and whether Bush is the only one at fault (Stahrgazer's opinion). Let's see who is to blame (all of this information is easily accessible on the internet):

(1) The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates after the dot-com bubble burst, which made credit cheap.
(2) Home buyers took advantage of easy credit to bid up the prices of homes excessively.
(3) Congress supported a mortgage tax deduction that gives consumers a tax incentive to buy more expensive homes.
(4) Real estate agents earned higher commissions from selling more expensive homes.
(5) The Clinton administration pushed for less stringent credit and down payment requirements for working and middle-class families.
(6) Mortgage brokers offered less-credit-worth buyers subprime, adjustable rate loans with low initial payments.
(7) Alan Greenspan near the peak of the housing bubble in 2004 encouraged Americans to take out adjustable rate mortgages.
(8) Wall Street firms paid little attention to the quality of the risky loans that they bundled into mortgage backed securities and isused those securities as collateral.
(9) The Bush administration failed to provide needed government oversight of the increasingly dicey mortgage-backed securities market (This is stahrgazer's only reason for the financial collapse).
(10) An obscure accounting rule called mark-to-market.
(11) Collective delusion that home prices would keep rising forever.

Let's talk about Bush's actions specifically since stahrgazer brought it up:

The deregulation law in question was sponsored by one Senator Phil Gramm. The law is called the Gramm-Leach-Blilely Act which was passed in 1999 and repealed portions of the Glass-Steagall Act (from the Depression which imposed a number of regulations on financial institutions). The bill passed the 362-57 with 155 Democrats voting for the bill. The Senate passed the bill 90-8, including a vote from Joe Biden (the current vice president serving under President Obama). The bill was signed into law by George Bush. Oh wait, no it wasn't. It was signed into law by President William Jeferson Clinton, a Democrat. Furthermore, economists on both sides of the spectrum indicated that the law probably made the crisis less severe than it might otherwise have been. For example, Robert Kuttner, a liberal economist, wrote that he blamed the financial deregulation of the 1970s and blamed the policies of the federal reserve under Alan Greenspan. For example, former Clinton Treasury official Brad DeLong praised Gramm-Leach-Bliley as having softened the crisis. And finally, for example, Bill Clinton who signed the law said that he has no regrets about signing it, going so far as to say "But I can't blame the Republicans."
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Symmetry on Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:35 pm

Well, I'm just glad we can all agree that the global financial crisis is America's fault.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby stahrgazer on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:42 pm

thegreekdog wrote:(9) The Bush administration failed to provide needed government oversight of the increasingly dicey mortgage-backed securities market (This is stahrgazer's only reason for the financial collapse).


ABSOLUTELY NOT!

What I DID say is, the reason for the collapse was UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES that violated Federal requirements, and Bush took away the watchdogs that were supposed to watch.

The deregulation quote you're talking about isn't the area I spoke of.

Even with all the easy loans, the financial institutions were supposed to hold back sufficient capital to prevent the collapse of the system if someone failed to repay the loan. Watchdogs were in place post-Clinton, and Bush's administration decided to remove those watchdogs, relying on businessmen to do things right anyway.

A) Businessmen decided that "right" was whatever unethical practices resulted in their near-term profits. Unethical and against-still-existing-regulation practices such as repackaging those high-risk loans along with a couple lower-risk loans and calling the entire package low-risk, and conveniently forgetting to hold back sufficient capital in case someone failed to repay their loans. And this spread from lender to lender to lender, each buying up high risk loans, repackaging them and calling them lower risk than the most risky loans within the packages, and FAILED TO BACK THOSE OBLIGATIONS WITH SUFFICIENT CAPITAL.

B) Meanwhile, OTHER businessmen decided that "right" was whatever unpatriotic practices resulted in their near-term profits. Unpatriotic practices such as closing or reducing plants in the United States and opening them overseas where people work for peanuts and don't know diddly about healthcare and retirement benefits.

The results of B) is that people who got laid off could not afford to repay their loans. The results of the against-still-existing regulations that were no longer being watched to ensure they were upheld, is that the system kind of collapsed, bringing down some of the largest banks or investment firms, and nearly bringing down a lot more, all over the world. (Because A) spread from lender to lender to lender, so very few didn't grab a piece of that UNETHICAL gravy train of selling CDO packages calling them lower risk than the most risky loans within them, while practicing the still-against-federal-regulations failure to withhold sufficient capital "just in case.")

I didn't blame Bush for deregulating, I blamed Bush for removing the watchdogs; for trusting businessmen to do the right thing without being watched.

Businesses are NOT Patriots. Trusting businesses and business leaders to do the right thing without sufficient watchdogs and regulations in place has proved disastrously wrong. Romney's plan/Republicans' wish to release even more regulatory floodgates will continue to be wrong for our nation while unethical and unpatriotic businessmen are at the helms.

Meanwhile, we're left with the aftermath of the floods, and the only ones who have enough cash to see us through are "the rich," so yeah, I do believe they should pay a little more for a while.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:00 pm

stahrgazer wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:(9) The Bush administration failed to provide needed government oversight of the increasingly dicey mortgage-backed securities market (This is stahrgazer's only reason for the financial collapse).


ABSOLUTELY NOT!

What I DID say is, the reason for the collapse was UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES that violated Federal requirements, and Bush took away the watchdogs that were supposed to watch.

The deregulation quote you're talking about isn't the area I spoke of.

Even with all the easy loans, the financial institutions were supposed to hold back sufficient capital to prevent the collapse of the system if someone failed to repay the loan. Watchdogs were in place post-Clinton, and Bush's administration decided to remove those watchdogs, relying on businessmen to do things right anyway.

A) Businessmen decided that "right" was whatever unethical practices resulted in their near-term profits. Unethical and against-still-existing-regulation practices such as repackaging those high-risk loans along with a couple lower-risk loans and calling the entire package low-risk, and conveniently forgetting to hold back sufficient capital in case someone failed to repay their loans. And this spread from lender to lender to lender, each buying up high risk loans, repackaging them and calling them lower risk than the most risky loans within the packages, and FAILED TO BACK THOSE OBLIGATIONS WITH SUFFICIENT CAPITAL.

B) Meanwhile, OTHER businessmen decided that "right" was whatever unpatriotic practices resulted in their near-term profits. Unpatriotic practices such as closing or reducing plants in the United States and opening them overseas where people work for peanuts and don't know diddly about healthcare and retirement benefits.

The results of B) is that people who got laid off could not afford to repay their loans. The results of the against-still-existing regulations that were no longer being watched to ensure they were upheld, is that the system kind of collapsed, bringing down some of the largest banks or investment firms, and nearly bringing down a lot more, all over the world. (Because A) spread from lender to lender to lender, so very few didn't grab a piece of that UNETHICAL gravy train of selling CDO packages calling them lower risk than the most risky loans within them, while practicing the still-against-federal-regulations failure to withhold sufficient capital "just in case.")

I didn't blame Bush for deregulating, I blamed Bush for removing the watchdogs; for trusting businessmen to do the right thing without being watched.

Businesses are NOT Patriots. Trusting businesses and business leaders to do the right thing without sufficient watchdogs and regulations in place has proved disastrously wrong. Romney's plan/Republicans' wish to release even more regulatory floodgates will continue to be wrong for our nation while unethical and unpatriotic businessmen are at the helms.

Meanwhile, we're left with the aftermath of the floods, and the only ones who have enough cash to see us through are "the rich," so yeah, I do believe they should pay a little more for a while.


I feel like you didn't read my post. The ability to package of high risk loans together was not a result of anything that President Bush did. The things the Wall Street firms did would not have been illegal if there were two million regulators. I'm not defending Bush, since he didn't make it better and helped get through the first bailout and supported the remaining bailouts, I'm simply questioning your insistence that President Bush is to blame (and the "unethical" Wall Streeters) to the point where you've made a number of vehement arguments in this thread.

I have some follow up questions:

- Do you give any regard to the other 10 reasons for the financial collapse? If so, why are you not more vehement about the politicians noted in those other reasons?
- How do you think the rich should pay more for a while? Should we raise tax rates? If so, which rates (individual, ordinary income, capital gain income, corporate)? Should we get rid of exemptions, deductions, or credits? If so, which? What plans proposed by Democrats, including President Obama, are most in line with your views?
- What new laws did the president sign that leads you to believe that he and Congress have solved any of the financial industry's problems?
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby stahrgazer on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:04 pm

Repackaging the loans was UNETHICAL.

Doing it without backing them was ILLEGAL.

BUSH removed the watchdogs that were there to ensure the lenders did not do anything ILLEGAL while they were doing their UNETHICAL practices.

I believe that those who have the money to afford it, should pay a higher rate.

I agree with Obama's proposal that Republicans shot down a few years back, to increase the rate but then give business a tax break for every new job they created.

I do believe that capital gains tax rates should be increased. I realize they were lowered so they'd let the money trickle down by hiring, but they haven't BEEN hiring, so raise it back up - giving the break for those who are creating jobs. I also realize one argument is that the money used to make the money was already taxed. But if that's a valid argument, then I should not pay local, sales, or any other tax with my income because my income was already taxed.

Execs of a company used to make about 10x what the lowest employee made. Now they make 1000x what their lowest employee makes, and they do it in the name of "business" and "capitalism." Legal, sure. Ethical? Fair? Maybe not. The "1%" thing isn't exact, meaning, it's not necessarily a top 1% vs. a bottom 99% like the Occupy Wall Street movement says, but it's a trendy saying that has some merit.

Our nation wasn't founded on capitalism like some like to spout. Our nation was founded on the idea that a minority shouldn't control everything. We've gone a little too far in making Capitalism our God so that we're becoming just what our founding fathers fought against. Capitalism in its extreme begins to look Fascist, and I'll take Socialism over Fascism any day of the week, including Election Day, which is why I'm still leaning Obama over Romney.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:08 pm

stahrgazer wrote:Repackaging the loans was UNETHICAL.

Doing it without backing them was ILLEGAL.

BUSH removed the watchdogs that were there to ensure the lenders did not do anything ILLEGAL while they were doing their UNETHICAL practices.


So you didn't read my post. It wasn't illegal.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby stahrgazer on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:15 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
stahrgazer wrote:Repackaging the loans was UNETHICAL.

Doing it without backing them was ILLEGAL.

BUSH removed the watchdogs that were there to ensure the lenders did not do anything ILLEGAL while they were doing their UNETHICAL practices.


So you didn't read my post. It wasn't illegal.


Yes, I read, and you're wrong, it was illegal to do it without backing them without holding back enough capital "just in case." That regulation existed and still exists. Bush "trusted" them to do what was legal and removed the watchdogs, but what they did was illegal.

Not the packaging and selling; doing that and calling them lower risk than their least part was unethical. Doing that and not holding back enough capital, just in case, is what was illegal and Bush made sure was no longer being watched.

I failed to answer one of your followup questions: Which law did the President sign.... he proposed some, primarily the up the rate then lower it for those businesses who hire, to stimulate the economy, I agree with. But REPUBLICANS nay-said it.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:24 pm

stahrgazer wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
stahrgazer wrote:Repackaging the loans was UNETHICAL.

Doing it without backing them was ILLEGAL.

BUSH removed the watchdogs that were there to ensure the lenders did not do anything ILLEGAL while they were doing their UNETHICAL practices.


So you didn't read my post. It wasn't illegal.


Yes, I read, and you're wrong, it was illegal to do it without backing them without holding back enough capital "just in case." That regulation existed and still exists. Bush "trusted" them to do what was legal and removed the watchdogs, but what they did was illegal.

Not the packaging and selling; doing that and calling them lower risk than their least part was unethical. Doing that and not holding back enough capital, just in case, is what was illegal and Bush made sure was no longer being watched.

I failed to answer one of your followup questions: Which law did the President sign.... he proposed some, primarily the up the rate then lower it for those businesses who hire, to stimulate the economy, I agree with. But REPUBLICANS nay-said it.


I need more specifics on your proposed illegality. My research indicates it was not illegal. It's from factcheck.

I also need more specifics on the president's plan that you support.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby stahrgazer on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:34 pm

thegreekdog wrote:I need more specifics on your proposed illegality. My research indicates it was not illegal. It's from factcheck.

I also need more specifics on the president's plan that you support.


Sorry, I don't still have my sources. It's research I did for a university professor when I was writing one of his lectures in Management courses for Ethics and Critical Thinking when the economic **it hit the fan. At the time, Rush Limbaugh and Tom Sullivan were pondering why no one at the tops of those lending companies was being held accountable (arrested) but then Obama got elected and they went on to more divisive topics :)

The myriad reports I weeded through probably still exist on the internet. I can only tell you, I was not using any second-hand sources, only first-hand reports. No quotes of quotes of quotes without digging up the original documents being quoted. No "fact check website" and NO WIKI!!!! Except as an aid to find some first-hand sources.

So, the reports you need to find are originals dating between 2006, 2007, 2008 that discussed what happened regarding the Collateralized Debt Obligations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the resultant (Bush) Bailout. (Bush because this research was pre-Obama because what happened was pre-Obama and because we were pursuing the lecture topic pre-Obama.)

There were about 20 different sources I used but three in particular were helpful, detailed, thorough, statements of facts that explained what happened with very little opinionated bias. Wish I still had the original sources for you. One of them was a Wall Street Journal, but I don't recall which issue.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:43 pm

stahrgazer wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:I need more specifics on your proposed illegality. My research indicates it was not illegal. It's from factcheck.

I also need more specifics on the president's plan that you support.


Sorry, I don't still have my sources. It's research I did for a university professor when I was writing one of his lectures in Management courses for Ethics and Critical Thinking when the economic **it hit the fan. At the time, Rush Limbaugh and Tom Sullivan were pondering why no one at the tops of those lending companies was being held accountable (arrested) but then Obama got elected and they went on to more divisive topics :)

The myriad reports I weeded through probably still exist on the internet. I can only tell you, I was not using any second-hand sources, only first-hand reports. No quotes of quotes of quotes without digging up the original documents being quoted. No "fact check website" and NO WIKI!!!! Except as an aid to find some first-hand sources.

So, the reports you need to find are originals dating between 2006, 2007, 2008.


That's more involved research than I've done, most assuredly. Frankly, there are too many variables at work that have an effect on the economy to have someone point to President Bush and deregulation as the only or even the major reason for the financial crisis, which is why I responded to your post in the first place. I didn't like a lot of things that President Bush did, from his handling of the economic crisis to his foreign affairs views, but to put so much emphasis on him is ridiculous in my opinion, when every article, paper, and editorial I've read, from all political spectrums, indicate it was an amalgamation of factors. You can literally do what I did and google this stuff and find a lot of information, none of which blames President Bush.

As for the rest, I've put a lot of "pen to paper" on the tax system in the United States. President Obama's tax plans won't put much of a dent in the deficit and the burden will not fall on the "rich people" you seem to want to pay more. There is no plan that I've seen that raises capital gains rates that has been proposed by either major party, and that is the tax that would burden rich people the most. If we turn to the corporate tax system, the president presented many different plans and signed many bills into law that gave preferential tax benefits to certain companies at the expense of others. Two examples: 100% bonus depreciation deduction and "green energy" grants and credits. There are a number of other examples, but I don't want to bore you with tax jargon. Suffice it to say, the president, for all his rhetoric, is not interested in simplifying the tax code or removing preferential treatment for the rich and corporations; he's just signing laws that give preferential treatment to different companies and rich people than George Bush.

And you should read some analysis of the Dodd-Frank Act and its regulatory bodies. It's a fascinating look into crony capitalism and we will remember this supposedly tough law when we have our next financial crisis.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby stahrgazer on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:12 pm

greekdog, I work at a bank ;)

I realize fully that Dodd-Frank was a knee-jerk reaction that doesn't fix things.

I agree with you that Obama's plans won't fix the deficit, without some ultra-extreme taxation which I believe would occur all the way down the line if enough of us were working to pay the taxes.

I agree with you that Obama favors "green energy" - he always said he would, as a way to help the US a) become energy independent and b) gain a little better favor in the eyes of the world who see us as selfish industrial polluters.

It was an amalgamation of factors, but the reports I read ultimately did break down the factors. Simplified:
1) beginning with the deregulation that used to separate FDIC institutions from investment banking (removal of Stegall regulations);
2) pressure to make housing more available to lower economic classes which also stimulated a building boom economy
3) Unethical lenders who failed to emphasize what a "balloon mortage" meant to eager first-home-buyers;
4) Unethical repackaging and reselling of the riskier loans;
These were called Collateralized Debt Obligations. The practice took a bunch of high risk loans and bundled them up with very few wonderfully low-risk loans. No problem there.
The problem became that, the new packages was sold as a low risk package.
5) Bush remove of Federal overseers;
6) Illegal (as in, against the still-existing regulations) failure of most of those lending and reselling institutions, to hold back enough capital like they were supposed to do, just in case loans turned into bad debts.
7) Mass movement of American jobs to foreign nations, resulting in risky loans turning into bad debts.

Very simply, Bush's premise: if the businessmen had been ethical and legal, the overseers weren't needed, cut the budget by removing those folks whose job was to check out all the loan wheeling and dealing and make sure banks and lenders were holding back enough capital.

So the primary cause was lack of appropriate (patriotic) business ethics. The businesses' ethics were all around doing what padded their stockholders' profit regardless the risk and regardless the legalities. Since they weren't being watched, they weren't gonna get caught.

My problem with neo-Republican philosophies is that they are favoring big business getting more powers with less regulations and less oversight, and that's what CAUSED our problem - but only because you cannot trust those who are answerable to stockholders, to be patriotic and ethical because they've proven again and again they'll put the $$$ before values. They do it because, "It's Capitalism, man." It is. But Capitalism without a good healthy dose of appropriate patriotic values is not healthy for our country.

And, Stalin? (who asked what about other countries earlier in the thread)... they don't just screw Americans, they screw each country they move into by moving right back out as soon as they see better $$$ signs elsewhere. That's why Nike is now moving to Vietnam, they work for half-peanuts instead of whole ones.

So. Romney's plan is to remove more regulations and more oversight and 'trust' the companies to do what's right.

Guys, these companies have had their tax breaks for years, and those tax breaks didn't stop them from moving jobs overseas or padding the CEO and Board of Director wallets with higher and higher salaries in comparison to their lowest worker.

Insanity is repeating things over again and expecting a different result.

Lowering taxes worked for Reagan because at the time we were doing pretty well and 70% tax - which is what the rich were paying then - was too much of a burden. So, Reagan lowered tax rates - but he also took away some business deductions when he lowered the rates - realized he'd made them TOO LOW, and raised them back up a couple notches.

Obama's plan to raise taxes back to Reagan rates because they can afford it is FAIR for the country. They had years of lower rates because everyone else was able to take up the slack. Everyone else is not currently able to take up the slack.

Do we want no road repairs? Do we want no schools? Frankly, I'd love it if I didn't have to pay for someone else's kid to go to school. I could also probably be fine with dirt roads, as long as business's trucks didn't come tear up the dirt. This sort of infrastructure that EVERYONE paid for, is what Obama meant that no businessman did it by himself.

But without jobs, lower economic class Americans just cannot take up the slack and if we want our nation to be strong, someone has to.

And we need to keep some regs and watchdogs in place, because we really have already seen what businesses will do for the love of the dollar, when the regs weaken and the watchdogs are kenneled.

So, unfortunately, right now, I'm against the Republicans, my own party, because their answer is to do more of what caused our problems in the first place. You can't fix a crack in a pvc pipe by banging on it with a sledgehammer, you'll just break it more.

~p.s. greekdog, I found the lecture, it doesn't include all my resources but includes a few. see pm~
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Phatscotty on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:51 am

stahrgazer wrote:Repackaging the loans was UNETHICAL.

Doing it without backing them was ILLEGAL.


Does the same go for national debt and current government overspending in the name of future generations?

stahrgazer wrote:BUSH removed the watchdogs that were there to ensure the lenders did not do anything ILLEGAL while they were doing their UNETHICAL practices.


When was this? I thought that happened in 1999, Clinton lame duck presidency, with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, and a couple others as Congressional authors?
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Night Strike on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:59 am

stahrgazer wrote:Lowering taxes worked for Reagan because at the time we were doing pretty well and 70% tax - which is what the rich were paying then - was too much of a burden. So, Reagan lowered tax rates - but he also took away some business deductions when he lowered the rates - realized he'd made them TOO LOW, and raised them back up a couple notches.

Obama's plan to raise taxes back to Reagan rates because they can afford it is FAIR for the country. They had years of lower rates because everyone else was able to take up the slack. Everyone else is not currently able to take up the slack.


"The rich" (to 10%) currently pay 45% of the tax burden in the United States? How is that fair? (Source)

The top tax rate at the end of Reagan's term was 28%. Today's top tax rate is 35% and already set to increase to 39.6% on January 1st. Sounds like we would all love it if we go back to the Reagan tax rates, but Obama refuses to allow it.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:01 am

stahrgazer wrote:greekdog, I work at a bank ;)

I realize fully that Dodd-Frank was a knee-jerk reaction that doesn't fix things.

I agree with you that Obama's plans won't fix the deficit, without some ultra-extreme taxation which I believe would occur all the way down the line if enough of us were working to pay the taxes.

I agree with you that Obama favors "green energy" - he always said he would, as a way to help the US a) become energy independent and b) gain a little better favor in the eyes of the world who see us as selfish industrial polluters.

It was an amalgamation of factors, but the reports I read ultimately did break down the factors. Simplified:
1) beginning with the deregulation that used to separate FDIC institutions from investment banking (removal of Stegall regulations);
2) pressure to make housing more available to lower economic classes which also stimulated a building boom economy
3) Unethical lenders who failed to emphasize what a "balloon mortage" meant to eager first-home-buyers;
4) Unethical repackaging and reselling of the riskier loans;
These were called Collateralized Debt Obligations. The practice took a bunch of high risk loans and bundled them up with very few wonderfully low-risk loans. No problem there.
The problem became that, the new packages was sold as a low risk package.
5) Bush remove of Federal overseers;
6) Illegal (as in, against the still-existing regulations) failure of most of those lending and reselling institutions, to hold back enough capital like they were supposed to do, just in case loans turned into bad debts.
7) Mass movement of American jobs to foreign nations, resulting in risky loans turning into bad debts.

Very simply, Bush's premise: if the businessmen had been ethical and legal, the overseers weren't needed, cut the budget by removing those folks whose job was to check out all the loan wheeling and dealing and make sure banks and lenders were holding back enough capital.

So the primary cause was lack of appropriate (patriotic) business ethics. The businesses' ethics were all around doing what padded their stockholders' profit regardless the risk and regardless the legalities. Since they weren't being watched, they weren't gonna get caught.

My problem with neo-Republican philosophies is that they are favoring big business getting more powers with less regulations and less oversight, and that's what CAUSED our problem - but only because you cannot trust those who are answerable to stockholders, to be patriotic and ethical because they've proven again and again they'll put the $$$ before values. They do it because, "It's Capitalism, man." It is. But Capitalism without a good healthy dose of appropriate patriotic values is not healthy for our country.

And, Stalin? (who asked what about other countries earlier in the thread)... they don't just screw Americans, they screw each country they move into by moving right back out as soon as they see better $$$ signs elsewhere. That's why Nike is now moving to Vietnam, they work for half-peanuts instead of whole ones.

So. Romney's plan is to remove more regulations and more oversight and 'trust' the companies to do what's right.

Guys, these companies have had their tax breaks for years, and those tax breaks didn't stop them from moving jobs overseas or padding the CEO and Board of Director wallets with higher and higher salaries in comparison to their lowest worker.

Insanity is repeating things over again and expecting a different result.

Lowering taxes worked for Reagan because at the time we were doing pretty well and 70% tax - which is what the rich were paying then - was too much of a burden. So, Reagan lowered tax rates - but he also took away some business deductions when he lowered the rates - realized he'd made them TOO LOW, and raised them back up a couple notches.

Obama's plan to raise taxes back to Reagan rates because they can afford it is FAIR for the country. They had years of lower rates because everyone else was able to take up the slack. Everyone else is not currently able to take up the slack.

Do we want no road repairs? Do we want no schools? Frankly, I'd love it if I didn't have to pay for someone else's kid to go to school. I could also probably be fine with dirt roads, as long as business's trucks didn't come tear up the dirt. This sort of infrastructure that EVERYONE paid for, is what Obama meant that no businessman did it by himself.

But without jobs, lower economic class Americans just cannot take up the slack and if we want our nation to be strong, someone has to.

And we need to keep some regs and watchdogs in place, because we really have already seen what businesses will do for the love of the dollar, when the regs weaken and the watchdogs are kenneled.

So, unfortunately, right now, I'm against the Republicans, my own party, because their answer is to do more of what caused our problems in the first place. You can't fix a crack in a pvc pipe by banging on it with a sledgehammer, you'll just break it more.

~p.s. greekdog, I found the lecture, it doesn't include all my resources but includes a few. see pm~


First, thanks for sending me that lecture question. It was interesting.

Second, your list above ignores a whole swath of other factors, focusing on the financial implications of bundled mortgages only. I've typed it three different times, but there were many other contributing factors. While you point to one (the impropriety of the financial institutions), I could point to another - the impropriety of the government incentivizing banks to give mortgages to people who could not afford them. If the government had not incentivized this sort of bad business loan system, there would have been no toxic assets in the first place. So perhaps that was the biggest contributing factor. But I didn't want to type that because I don't agree with you that this is a partisan issue. The president and other Democrats can throw out their rhetoric, which you seem to be grasping on to, that the Republicans will strip away all the great regulations the Democrats created in Dodd-Frank, but if you go back and read the analysis of Dodd-Frank, the law basically codifies that the government will (WILL) be bailing out financial institutions in the future for similar reasons as the initial bailouts.

Third, my ultimate point here is not to assign blame to one particular party or another. My ultimate point is to try to persuade you and everyone else that electing President Obama (or a Democrat) is largely no different than electing Mitt Romney (or a Republican) in terms of a few things, including regulation of the financial industry, regulation of industry generally, taxation, and spending. Almost all national politicians are beholden to groups of companies and rich people given the way our political system works. The bailouts, the Dodd-Frank Act, and money for "green energy" are great examples of how the Democrats are just as beholden to companies and the rich as the Republicans are. I've written these things in multiple other threads over the past few years and I'm not going to type them all out again here. I'm also not going to say you should or should not vote for President Obama, but you should at least be looking past rhetoric and looking to actions.

Fourth, there is no Democratic plan which would raise taxes on the rich or on big companies. There are Democratic plans which would raise taxes on the "working rich" (i.e. rich people who earn ordinary incomes), which include people who work at law firms for 80 to 100 hours a week after going through 7 years of post-high school education and people who own their own small business. There are Democratic plans that take away some credits and deductions that favor certain businesses or industries over others, but there are no Democratic plans that take away all credits and all deductions such that one business or industry is not favored over other businesses or industries. In that way, the Democratic plans are no different than the Republican plans. So again, I urge you to look at the plans, not at the rhetoric behind them.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Woodruff on Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:25 am

stahrgazer wrote:Capitalism in its extreme begins to look Fascist, and I'll take Socialism over Fascism any day of the week, including Election Day, which is why I'm still leaning Obama over Romney.


You misspelled "Jill Stein". Hope that helps.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby stahrgazer on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:23 pm

thegreekdog wrote:First, thanks for sending me that lecture question. It was interesting.


Glad you thought so. If nothing else, it shows you, I do know how to look at all sides.

thegreekdog wrote:Second, your list above ignores a whole swath of other factors, focusing on the financial implications of bundled mortgages only.


That was not my focus at all. My focus was on lack of patriotic ethics killing our country.

thegreekdog wrote:While you point to one (the impropriety of the financial institutions), I could point to another - the impropriety of the government incentivizing banks to give mortgages to people who could not afford them. If the government had not incentivized this sort of bad business loan system, there would have been no toxic assets in the first place.
So perhaps that was the biggest contributing factor.


Warped viewpoint. Sorry, but it is. Incentivizing didn't cause the problem. What caused the problem was unethical lenders who encouraged people to take out bigger loans than they had originally planned to take out when the incentives would help them buy a home - because they made more money on bigger loans.

I didn't fall prey to it, but they sure as heck tried to get me into a home that was 6x a larger mortgage than the shack I settled on. If it hadn't been for the incentives, I wouldn't have been able to get the home I have. If I'd fallen for the unethical strong-arming "Look look you can qualify for a mansion and your payment will only be $25 more for years, and before that rate goes up, you can refinance or sell the place for profit! Don't miss out!" I would've lost this home when I lost my job... which I lost because too many production/manufacturing jobs were being shipped overseas.

And jobs were being shipped overseas because business leaders made more money if they screwed Americans in favor of Mexico (then screwed Mexicans in favor of Pakistan and India, now planning to screw Pakistanis in favor of Vietnam).

And when jobs were shipped overseas, people couldn't afford the gigantic mortgages for as long as those unethical lenders had convinced them they could.

These bad things that occurred, occurred because many businessmen do not practice Patriotic ethics, but instead, only the ethics of, "more money in my pocket, please."

thegreekdog wrote:But I didn't want to type that because I don't agree with you that this is a partisan issue. The president and other Democrats can throw out their rhetoric, which you seem to be grasping on to, that the Republicans will strip away all the great regulations the Democrats created in Dodd-Frank, but if you go back and read the analysis of Dodd-Frank, the law basically codifies that the government will (WILL) be bailing out financial institutions in the future for similar reasons as the initial bailouts.


On the contrary, I'm not grasping onto any rhetoric. Nor do I support Dodd-Frank, I said it's a knee-jerk reaction that won't fix the real problem. I don't care for Barney Frank or most of his ideas.

I do agree that our financial institutions shouldn't fail, but, "Socialist" as this may appear, I do believe bailouts should come with strings attached like happened with the GM bailout. I may not like all the particular strings that came with the GM bailout, but at least the people who are putting up the bailout money in GM's case are "technically" represented (by the government) and "technically" have a sayso. The banking bailouts that occurred didn't come with the power-strings attached which just throws more money at those who've already shown they won't handle money issues with Patriotic responsibility. Their ONLY concerns are with their own and stockholders' pockets. And that's just not good for our country.

thegreekdog wrote:Third, my ultimate point here is not to assign blame to one particular party or another. My ultimate point is to try to persuade you and everyone else that electing President Obama (or a Democrat) is largely no different than electing Mitt Romney (or a Republican) in terms of a few things, including regulation of the financial industry, regulation of industry generally, taxation, and spending. Almost all national politicians are beholden to groups of companies and rich people given the way our political system works.


Romney doesn't want to regulate the financial industry, doesn't want to regulate industry generally, and I've already explained that that means we trust folks who do NOT have our nation's best interest, or the general people's best interest, at heart; and that's my problem with neo-Republican plans. Unlike Reagan's plans, which DID have our nations' best interests at heart, the neo-Republican plans twist what Reagan intended, to the detriment of our nation.

thegreekdog wrote:The bailouts, the Dodd-Frank Act, and money for "green energy" are great examples of how the Democrats are just as beholden to companies and the rich as the Republicans are. I've written these things in multiple other threads over the past few years and I'm not going to type them all out again here.


Newsflash: GE got big because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized its early industry.
Pratt got big because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized its early industry.
Colt and other firearms makers got big because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized its early industry.
Tang, Spam, and other food products got big because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized their early industry.
Velcro got invented because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized..

Getting the point? It's always happened. What's changed is that some businesses have gotten big and powerful enough to no longer need the government subsidies, and have moved their allegiance from their country to their stockholders.

thegreekdog wrote:I'm also not going to say you should or should not vote for President Obama, but you should at least be looking past rhetoric and looking to actions.


I never subscribe to "rhetoric," thank you very much. Critical thinking about the history of the United States may make certain ideas that are spouted be more palatable to me than other ideas, but I don't share the ideas just because some neo group or other shouts louder.

thegreekdog wrote:Fourth, there is no Democratic plan which would raise taxes on the rich or on big companies. There are Democratic plans which would raise taxes on the "working rich" (i.e. rich people who earn ordinary incomes), which include people who work at law firms for 80 to 100 hours a week after going through 7 years of post-high school education and people who own their own small business.


Oh, not really true - YOU are buying into rhetoric.

Repayment of school loans, educational expense, is a tax deduction. Small business owners reinvest most of their money back into the business, which means they're putting their profit into deductible expenses. They can also form different types of corporations to separate their home and personal food money from their business revenue to lessen the burden further.Obama's plans do not intend to kill any of that. Finally, their expenses for hiring folks such as payroll expenses are not part of their profits, and Obama's plan was to give them a higher deduction for hiring folks (but that was killed by Republicans.)

Meanwhile, Romney's latest idea is to not increase taxes on the wealthy, but instead, to minimize or eliminate these sorts of deductions for all - which potentially has a worse impact on the 100-hour-week lawyer and on mom and pop trying to make a success of a small business.

thegreekdog wrote:There are Democratic plans that take away some credits and deductions that favor certain businesses or industries over others, but there are no Democratic plans that take away all credits and all deductions such that one business or industry is not favored over other businesses or industries. In that way, the Democratic plans are no different than the Republican plans. So again, I urge you to look at the plans, not at the rhetoric behind them.


True. But look at why, rather than assuming I'm looking at rhetoric.

1) One of the most notorious "favoritisms" is the Democratic plan to hurt the petroleum industry. We are too dependent on foreign oil because we are overall too dependent on oil; our nation has realized it for years, and the oil we could produce within or just off our own shores will not last forever, Estimates differ, some say a decade, some say longer, but the point is, it's not inexhaustible. But changing to something else isn't going to happen without incentive. It would be nice if the change could be painless, but it isn't now, and will never be painless UNLESS we have something else just as lucrative to replace it. Hence, Obama's favoring "green energy" sources, in hopes we make another brilliant technical breakthrough not unlike the one that brought us the efficient petroleum combustion engines we are so comfortable with now (but have been around for only about one century).

2) Another "favoritism" hurts the coal industry. Both plans are schemes to address two ongoing American problems.
We signed treaties to reduce pollutions of various types, but have reneged on those treaties because it's too hard and too costly to put in the "scrubbers" needed to enable us to burn coal more cleanly. We should either officially "unsign" those treaties or bite the bullet to try to adhere to the treaties. Un-signing the treaties might collapse our standing i the world, and cause the entire world to renege on their sides of treaties with us. Further, emphasizing "clean" and "green" could help spur tangential technological breakthroughs that could help us with the first issue I mentioned here.

These treaties, and that we are far too reliant on petroleum, aren't rhetoric, they're facts. Obama just had balls enough to try to do SOMETHING rather than ignore the problems.

And not one Republican has offered a better idea. Drilling out our oil (the only thing Republicans propose) helps us in the short run, but then when our supplies are exhausted and we'd never taken steps to investigate new forms, then what? Our government SHOULD be looking to our nation's future, and SHOULD take action on the treaties we've signed, one way or another - not just ignore that they exist.

Ultimately, greekdog, I'm extremely conservative, and I don't buy into rhetoric.

It's just that, emotions aside, Republicans want to repeat old mistakes rather than try new things that might make our country stronger in the long run while (some) Democrats are trying to spur changes that, if they work, would put us back on top.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Night Strike on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:49 pm

Stahr, how do you claim to be conservative on economic issues when every position you post is liberal?

And why is it the government's job to spend our money hoping some "green" technology will work? Was it the government that made coal and oil work? Or was it the free market system that developed those technologies? And we don't need the government to sign treaties or force us into using cleaner technologies: the private sector has already dropped power plant emissions to its lowest levels since 1992 through the use of shale oil and natural gas.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Phatscotty on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:51 pm

:-^ :-^
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:17 am

Suppose someone offers you $10 billion to shoot someone--not kill him, just shoot him a little. You know, to teach him a lesson. They'll take care of all your concerns, so the operation will go smoothly, and your chances of going to jail are extremely low.

Now, does this offer change your incentives? Would it somehow affect your decision-making?


Stahrgazer would argue that it does not at all cause you to change your behavior.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=179207&view=unread#p3920068

"Incentivizing didn't cause the problem..." ethics did.'


Most people are good enough, until they're brought into scenarios which offer different incentives and rules of the game. Ethics is not a fundamental cause here.
(See: Stanford prison experiment, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment)
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Nobunaga on Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:33 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:Suppose someone offers you $10 billion to shoot someone--not kill him, just shoot him a little. You know, to teach him a lesson. They'll take care of all your concerns, so the operation will go smoothly, and your chances of going to jail are extremely low.

Now, does this offer change your incentives? Would it somehow affect your decision-making?


Stahrgazer would argue that it does not at all cause you to change your behavior.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=179207&view=unread#p3920068

"Incentivizing didn't cause the problem..." ethics did.'


Most people are good enough, until they're brought into scenarios which offer different incentives and rules of the game. Ethics is not a fundamental cause here.
(See: Stanford prison experiment, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment)


... For $10 Billion, I'd happily shoot someone... and his dog, too.

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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Woodruff on Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:36 am

Night Strike wrote:
stahrgazer wrote:Lowering taxes worked for Reagan because at the time we were doing pretty well and 70% tax - which is what the rich were paying then - was too much of a burden. So, Reagan lowered tax rates - but he also took away some business deductions when he lowered the rates - realized he'd made them TOO LOW, and raised them back up a couple notches.

Obama's plan to raise taxes back to Reagan rates because they can afford it is FAIR for the country. They had years of lower rates because everyone else was able to take up the slack. Everyone else is not currently able to take up the slack.


"The rich" (to 10%) currently pay 45% of the tax burden in the United States? How is that fair?


Do the rich have 45% of the money in the United States? I honestly don't know the answer to that, but if so, that seems perfectly fair. It seems like math too.

Do you know the answer to that?
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Phatscotty on Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:00 pm

If someone believes in equality, that means they should believe that everyone should be treated equally. No discrimination, and that goes for tax rates too.

People who pretend to be for equality, but then change their principles when it affects them, are just phonies hiding behind their insatiable greed to get other peoples money that they did not earn themselves, which de facto means they think they are better than or have more power or more rights than other people.

"Well, yeah, but he doesn't need all that money, so that doesn't apply!"
"Well, yeah, but he was born rich, so that doesn't apply because he did not earn it"
"Well, yeah, but there are injustices in the past that need to be corrected, so we have to make special exceptions..."

And the kicker, my fav....

"We treat people unequally in order to make things more equal"
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby thegreekdog on Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:33 pm

stahrgazer wrote:Warped viewpoint. Sorry, but it is. Incentivizing didn't cause the problem. What caused the problem was unethical lenders who encouraged people to take out bigger loans than they had originally planned to take out when the incentives would help them buy a home - because they made more money on bigger loans.

I didn't fall prey to it, but they sure as heck tried to get me into a home that was 6x a larger mortgage than the shack I settled on. If it hadn't been for the incentives, I wouldn't have been able to get the home I have. If I'd fallen for the unethical strong-arming "Look look you can qualify for a mansion and your payment will only be $25 more for years, and before that rate goes up, you can refinance or sell the place for profit! Don't miss out!" I would've lost this home when I lost my job... which I lost because too many production/manufacturing jobs were being shipped overseas.


Right, here's the thing. What happened is that people did buy houses they couldn't afford because the government incentivized them and the lenders to do so. You can say "warped viewpoint" and yell it from the rooftops, but it's not a warped viewpoint. It's the correct viewpoint held by almost all, if not all, economists from both sides of the aisle. I know you are a banker, but I'll trust their opinions over your opinions.

stahrgazer wrote:I do agree that our financial institutions shouldn't fail, but, "Socialist" as this may appear, I do believe bailouts should come with strings attached like happened with the GM bailout. I may not like all the particular strings that came with the GM bailout, but at least the people who are putting up the bailout money in GM's case are "technically" represented (by the government) and "technically" have a sayso. The banking bailouts that occurred didn't come with the power-strings attached which just throws more money at those who've already shown they won't handle money issues with Patriotic responsibility. Their ONLY concerns are with their own and stockholders' pockets. And that's just not good for our country.


Would it surprise you to learn that I do think our financial institutions should have failed? This is the same thing as above, but in reverse. While we didn't incentivize financial institutions to fail, we certainly made sure their failures had no negative financial repurcussions for those companies. That doesn't disincentive them from making the same mistakes again. If I don't punish my child for doing something bad, why wouldn't he do it again? There are reasons why these companies were bailed out, but I think the biggest reason was the political pull the financial companies had over both Republicans and Democrats.

stahrgazer wrote:Romney doesn't want to regulate the financial industry, doesn't want to regulate industry generally, and I've already explained that that means we trust folks who do NOT have our nation's best interest, or the general people's best interest, at heart; and that's my problem with neo-Republican plans. Unlike Reagan's plans, which DID have our nations' best interests at heart, the neo-Republican plans twist what Reagan intended, to the detriment of our nation.


Okay, but rhetoric aside, no one has demonstrated to me that the Democrats are any different, especially in light of the shitshow that is Dodd-Frank.

stahrgazer wrote:Newsflash: GE got big because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized its early industry.
Pratt got big because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized its early industry.
Colt and other firearms makers got big because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized its early industry.
Tang, Spam, and other food products got big because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized their early industry.
Velcro got invented because someone on "one side" of the government subsidized..

Getting the point? It's always happened. What's changed is that some businesses have gotten big and powerful enough to no longer need the government subsidies, and have moved their allegiance from their country to their stockholders.


So your point is that because it's always happened it should always happen? That's the worst argument for anything.

stahrgazer wrote:I never subscribe to "rhetoric," thank you very much. Critical thinking about the history of the United States may make certain ideas that are spouted be more palatable to me than other ideas, but I don't share the ideas just because some neo group or other shouts louder.


I think you need to reread your first post. It was fully of rhetoric. I expected Joe Biden to quote directly from it during the debate.

stahrgazer wrote:Oh, not really true - YOU are buying into rhetoric.

Repayment of school loans, educational expense, is a tax deduction. Small business owners reinvest most of their money back into the business, which means they're putting their profit into deductible expenses. They can also form different types of corporations to separate their home and personal food money from their business revenue to lessen the burden further.Obama's plans do not intend to kill any of that. Finally, their expenses for hiring folks such as payroll expenses are not part of their profits, and Obama's plan was to give them a higher deduction for hiring folks (but that was killed by Republicans.)

Meanwhile, Romney's latest idea is to not increase taxes on the wealthy, but instead, to minimize or eliminate these sorts of deductions for all - which potentially has a worse impact on the 100-hour-week lawyer and on mom and pop trying to make a success of a small business.


You and I are reading completely different tax plans.

stahrgazer wrote:True. But look at why, rather than assuming I'm looking at rhetoric.

1) One of the most notorious "favoritisms" is the Democratic plan to hurt the petroleum industry. We are too dependent on foreign oil because we are overall too dependent on oil; our nation has realized it for years, and the oil we could produce within or just off our own shores will not last forever, Estimates differ, some say a decade, some say longer, but the point is, it's not inexhaustible. But changing to something else isn't going to happen without incentive. It would be nice if the change could be painless, but it isn't now, and will never be painless UNLESS we have something else just as lucrative to replace it. Hence, Obama's favoring "green energy" sources, in hopes we make another brilliant technical breakthrough not unlike the one that brought us the efficient petroleum combustion engines we are so comfortable with now (but have been around for only about one century).

2) Another "favoritism" hurts the coal industry. Both plans are schemes to address two ongoing American problems.
We signed treaties to reduce pollutions of various types, but have reneged on those treaties because it's too hard and too costly to put in the "scrubbers" needed to enable us to burn coal more cleanly. We should either officially "unsign" those treaties or bite the bullet to try to adhere to the treaties. Un-signing the treaties might collapse our standing i the world, and cause the entire world to renege on their sides of treaties with us. Further, emphasizing "clean" and "green" could help spur tangential technological breakthroughs that could help us with the first issue I mentioned here.


Your assumption here is that the only path away from oil or towards cleaner energy is through government subsidies. And you assume this because it's how it's always worked. Why don't investors risk their money in green energy instead of having the government take my money against my will to invest in green energy? (Ironically, I have invested in green energy privately). There are many other examples of special dispensations for certain industries and countries. The auto bailouts are one (why the two auto manufacturers and not other companies that were in trouble). The exemptions from the Affordable Care Act for certain companies and not others. We can always find "good" reasons for these things, but we need to make the playing field level and these sorts of things don't do that.

stahrgazer wrote:Ultimately, greekdog, I'm extremely conservative, and I don't buy into rhetoric.

It's just that, emotions aside, Republicans want to repeat old mistakes rather than try new things that might make our country stronger in the long run while (some) Democrats are trying to spur changes that, if they work, would put us back on top.


I agree that the Republicans are not the ones to fix the problems with this country. However, nothing in the past four years have indicated to me that the Demcorats are better. The Democrats did not make any tax reforms; they passed an extremely expensive health insurance law that was merely a boondoggle for health insurance companies; they passed multiple ineffective bailouts that cost multiple billions of dolllars; they almost bankrupted the country; and they passed a pretend financial fix that was really just a boondoggle to financial institutions and is completely misunderstood by the general public.

And, no offense, but you're not conservative. You want more government control over the economy without understanding that corporate cronyism is what drives the US political system. That's a Democrat, maybe not a liberal Democrat, but a Democrat.
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby Woodruff on Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:41 pm

Woodruff wrote:
Night Strike wrote:
stahrgazer wrote:Lowering taxes worked for Reagan because at the time we were doing pretty well and 70% tax - which is what the rich were paying then - was too much of a burden. So, Reagan lowered tax rates - but he also took away some business deductions when he lowered the rates - realized he'd made them TOO LOW, and raised them back up a couple notches.

Obama's plan to raise taxes back to Reagan rates because they can afford it is FAIR for the country. They had years of lower rates because everyone else was able to take up the slack. Everyone else is not currently able to take up the slack.


"The rich" (to 10%) currently pay 45% of the tax burden in the United States? How is that fair?


Do the rich have 45% of the money in the United States? I honestly don't know the answer to that, but if so, that seems perfectly fair. It seems like math too.

Do you know the answer to that?


Nobody has the answer to this? Night Strike?
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Re: THE GREAT DEBATE! WHY IT ONLY MATTERS TO REPUBLICANS!

Postby thegreekdog on Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:27 pm

Woodruff wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Night Strike wrote:
stahrgazer wrote:Lowering taxes worked for Reagan because at the time we were doing pretty well and 70% tax - which is what the rich were paying then - was too much of a burden. So, Reagan lowered tax rates - but he also took away some business deductions when he lowered the rates - realized he'd made them TOO LOW, and raised them back up a couple notches.

Obama's plan to raise taxes back to Reagan rates because they can afford it is FAIR for the country. They had years of lower rates because everyone else was able to take up the slack. Everyone else is not currently able to take up the slack.


"The rich" (to 10%) currently pay 45% of the tax burden in the United States? How is that fair?


Do the rich have 45% of the money in the United States? I honestly don't know the answer to that, but if so, that seems perfectly fair. It seems like math too.

Do you know the answer to that?


Nobody has the answer to this? Night Strike?


Top 20% of Americans own 85% of the wealth.

But do not confuse income (money earned per year) with wealth (assets). It's more difficult to tax assets when such assets are not disposed of.
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