The Republican Field

The Republican Field

Bob
Bob

July 4th, 2011, 1:03 pm #1

I read a good suggestion for helping to narrow the field of Republican Presidential hopefuls for 2012: Stage a mud-wrestling competition between Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman. The winner moves on, and the loser has to disappear. (I realize that Palin hasn't declared that she is running, and I don't think she will, but this would be a much fairer match for Bachman than vs. Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, et al). This would also be a lot more entertaining than any debate . . and the Dems should be pleased to silence either one of these ladies. Donate ticket sale proceeds to providing reconstructive surgery to children in war-torn countries. Win -- Win -- Win!!
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 6th, 2011, 1:08 am #2

You know I'm usually very politically minded- watch all the political shows and debates, but this year I have such a 'don't give a crap' attitude. Things are just so messed up now I don't even want to think about it.
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Thumper
Thumper

July 6th, 2011, 1:44 pm #3

I agree with you 100%, as it is so mixed up and NOBODY has turned my crank yet.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 6th, 2011, 3:11 pm #4

I just get so mad thinking about how we went from a booming economy, a balanced budget, and a declining debt to two wars, a long deep recession, huge deficits and soaring debt all in one decade. Things are so screw up now I don't even see a solution. The Dems say no cuts to social programs, the Reps say no new taxes. And while politicians are arguing about which fire extinguisher to use the house is burning down.
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Bob
Bob

July 7th, 2011, 4:47 pm #5

Nat, I know you like to ascribe problems to specific politicians and parties, but so much of the causes of the U.S. downturn were in place a long time ago, and the outcomes given all that were inevitable.

As I noted here before, for at least 20 years we have been sending our jobs overseas, by purchasing cheap goods made elsewhere instead of paying prices that support American workers. It has been at least that long that our govt has refused to enforce our immigration laws, deport those here illegally and secure our borders -- all that cheap labor comes here and displaces American workers as well (meanwhile, we are told, "Americans won't do this work" -- hey, pay us an American wage and see that a lot of folks would show up to work. We cannot afford to take slave wages and live 3 families to a house!).

Yes, the stock market did well during the 1990's, but that was paper money that can just as easily head south again (and did when stocks became over-valued). Then there was the unrealistic inflation in home prices (like the unrealistic inflation in stock prices), and Americans were borrowing that equity and living above their means like there was no tomorrow.

Yes, we could have avoided entering Iraq . . but what about Afghanistan? bin Laden had taken sanctuary there . . . and what U.S. President or political party is going to say, "Well, bin Laden can just stay there" (and keep planning his future attacks, knowing that no country is going in after him) after 9/11? And, who's to say that, if U.S. military weren't already stretched thin, that we wouldn't have a greater military involvement right now in places such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc.? I think it is because we are stretched so thin that U.S. hasn't undertaken more direct action in a number of troubled countries.

Then, you have (as we discussed) an aging, retiring U.S. population that will increasingly be dependent upon a smaller group of workers. Personally, I don't see how most of this was avoidable UNLESS the American people and our Federal govt had made dramatically different decisions during the past 20-some years . . and undertaken actions consistent with those decisions. Americans STILL insist on those "falling" discounted prices at the same time they are asking, "Where are the jobs?" Americans have been our own worst enemy . . and we didn't need a lot of help from pols to get in this predicament.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 7th, 2011, 6:05 pm #6

Bob, I agree that some of our economic problems are inevitable- for reasons you stated- but others were avoidable!

The big tax cuts Bush made when he came into office are a big part of the deficit problem- they were unnecessary and clearly unwise. And even the Afghanistan war has proven to be a mistake in retrospect- it's wasn't the war that got Bin Laden- it was CIA intelligence and a covert commando operation that got him. This could have done without a ten-year billion dollar war.
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Bob
Bob

July 9th, 2011, 4:58 pm #7

Again, I don't claim to be an expert, but the explanation that I heard for why Bush and the Republicans have supported tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations is that such cuts might help to preserve some American jobs. Not only was this allegedly due to "tax them less and they can afford to hire more people" -- the trickle-down idea -- but also that large companies that operate overseas can see how some other countries tax them less, so they ask "Why not move our operations there and pay less tax?" An example given: If an American company pays 35% in corporate tax in U.S., but only 20% (as was noted to be the case) in a certain country or countries in Europe, why would a company not want to take advantage of the tax savings? With this disparity in tax rates, U.S. can be (i hear we already are) in a competitive disadvantage relative to some parts of the globe that levy less taxes (and this is in addition to being at a competitive disadvantage to countries with a desperate, slave-wage work force).

This is similar to what I mentioned recently . . that American states and municipalities are competing for companies and jobs to relocate, with a major inducement being reduced taxes and tax credits. Ohio, for example, has lost many companies and jobs, not only to Asia but also to states in the south and western U.S. I don't hear people (except those in the losing states such as Ohio) decrying those tax breaks given to wealthy corporations. In that respect, it is just seen as business-smart to lure those companies and jobs into your own backyard (never mind that other Americans are being harmed). In that respect, Nat, no . . we are not "all Americans". We have become competitors and adversaries with our fellow Americans. Some of our citizens are winners and others are losers).

One might ask if Americans should surrender to the threats of "Tax us little or nothing, or we move and take our jobs with us." On principle, I could agree -- don't give in. But then I see right here in my town how those companies did leave and how people have suffered as a result. We could "call their bluff", but then we must accept the real chances that companies would move to other countries and leave an already-hurting American workforce in the lurch.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 10th, 2011, 12:57 am #8

Well if this theory is right Bob, how come we have an unemployment problem?

We've had a decade of some of the lowest taxes in history!

So where is all this money the rich have now because of the Bush tax cuts?

It's invested in stocks, bonds, gold, art, real-estate, etc (much of it overseas).
It's not going to hiring people.

The fact we had full employment and good prosperity during times of high taxes and have poor employment and a poor economy after a decade of historically low taxes totally destroys this theory- but that doesn't stop the anti-taxers from using it because it's the only argument they have, as invalid as it is.

Employers aren't hiring because of reasons we have discussed earlier.

It has nothing to do with taxes.
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Brandon
Brandon

July 12th, 2011, 3:31 am #9

The facts are that "tax cuts for the rich" have historically ended up bringing in more revenue to the federal government. This was true in the Coolidge, Kennedy and Reagan presidencies.

When the "rich" take their money out of tax sheltered investments like municipal bonds and move them to investments that were previously taxed at too high of a rate, the economy is stimulated and the government makes more money.

Higher tax rates do not mean more revenue for the government. Again, this has been proven over and over again. Why are so many people economic illeterates?
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 12th, 2011, 2:28 pm #10

I'm not such a "economic illeterate" Brandon. Years ago I was involved in running a business- and I did the bookkeeping and taxes for a time- and I know that the owner of a business only pays tax on NET INCOME AFTER all business expenses are deducted. And you know what? Employee salaries are a deductible business expense- which employers DO NOT PAY TAXES ON! which is why all this right-wing rhetoric about taxes hurting employment is bullshit.

And as for the rich keeping their money in "tax sheltered investments"- best reason I know to do away with such things and get that money back into the economy spreading the wealth around.
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