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OfflineEllis Dee
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W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs
    #554909 - 02/18/02 01:35 AM (15 years, 9 days ago)

http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=businessnews&StoryID=598761
W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs

February 14, 2002 09:59 PM ET

By Randall Mikkelsen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Girding for an election-year battle with congressional Democrats over taxes, the White House on Thursday said last year's $1.35 trillion tax cut would spur 800,000 new jobs by the end of the year and pull the country out of recession.

Countering calls by some Democrats to suspend the 10-year tax cut to prevent budget deficits, a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers said the tax cut has "raised the prospects of a solid recovery in 2002."

It said the tax cut will have pumped $126 billion into the economy in 2001 and 2002, boosting economic growth by 0.5 percentage point to 2.7 percent for 2002.

"Moreover, by the end of 2002, the president's tax relief will have helped the private sector to create 800,000 more jobs than there otherwise would have been," it said.

Vice President Dick Cheney is expected to highlight the report in a speech on the economy to the Council on Foreign Relations on Friday, White House officials said.

The tax cut, passed by Congress last year as the economy was heading into a recession, and Bush's call to make it permanent as part of a new economic stimulus plan, have emerged as central issues in this year's election contest for control of Congress.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday voted for a stimulus plan similar to a Bush-backed one that passed last year, which failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The House voted to attach the measure to an unemployment benefits bill, but the Senate has already sent a clear signal that the broad stimulus package would fail in that body. U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, a Texas Democrat, called the House move "nothing more than partisan gamesmanship."

The report said canceling the tax cut would jeopardize an economic recovery -- costing 500,000 jobs in 2003 and slowing growth by 0.7 percentage point -- while making it permanent would provide an additional boost to the economy.

"Pro-growth policies, such as the president's plan for permanent tax relief, are important because they give short-run and long-run incentives to the private sector to create jobs, raise income and restore prosperity," it said.

Democrats say the tax cuts threaten to extend a renewed period of budget deficits, and deprive the government of money for what they say are essential reforms of the Social Security retirement system and Medicare old age health plan.


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"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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InvisiblePGF
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #555188 - 02/18/02 10:50 AM (15 years, 9 days ago)

G, a tax cut for the rich...........what a country.


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***The Real Shroomery nigger


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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: PGF]
    #555574 - 02/18/02 07:20 PM (15 years, 9 days ago)

works for me...i wanna be rich


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Offlinemr_minds_eye
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: Innvertigo]
    #555621 - 02/18/02 08:31 PM (15 years, 9 days ago)

If they really are concerned with pumping money into the economy why don't they end this war on drugs bullshit and save some big bucks not to mention the taxes they would get from regulated drug sales. Just a thought.


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Our quest for discovery fuels our creativity in all fields, not just science. If we reached the end of the line, the human spirit would shrivel and die. But I don't think we will ever stand still: we shall increase in complexity, if not in depth, and shall always be the center on an expanding horizon of possibilities.
-Stephen Hawking


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Anonymous

Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: PGF]
    #555635 - 02/18/02 08:54 PM (15 years, 9 days ago)

"G, a tax cut for the rich...........what a country."

How do you define "rich?" All people I know who you would
probably label "rich" have worked hard their whole lives to
improve their economic situation, 12-16 hour days 6 days a
week. They end up employing numerous people and providing
services or products to others who voluntarily pay for them.

If you think you deserve what the "rich" people have, why don't
you do what they have done to earn it?


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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: ]
    #557324 - 02/20/02 11:34 AM (15 years, 7 days ago)

I was wondering the same thing because according to Gore and the other Libbies i'm rich. However, i don't feel rich, i feel more in debt if you ask me. I pay more taxes and i want more back.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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InvisiblePGF
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: ]
    #557600 - 02/20/02 05:51 PM (15 years, 7 days ago)

nothing wrong with making money and working hard, but the tax scale should be sliding and it is currently heavy at the low end. If you can point out where I've ever said being rich is bad, feel free. Until you do so, please refrain from putting words in my mouth. Thank you.


--------------------
***The Real Shroomery nigger


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Anonymous

Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: PGF]
    #559178 - 02/22/02 02:00 AM (15 years, 5 days ago)

I didn't mean to put words in your mouth, I was making an
inference from the following statement, "G, a tax cut for the
rich...........what a country."

You state that the tax scale should be "sliding." Am I correct
in assuming that what you mean is, as people become more
productive a greater percentage of the wealth that they have
created should be given up to the government under threat of
force, and if they do not give it up it should be forcibly taken
from them?


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: ]
    #559211 - 02/22/02 02:47 AM (15 years, 5 days ago)

Evolving: It's true that many wealthy individuals have achieved their status through hard work and by providing useful goods and services. It's also true that once one has accumulated a healthy chunk of capital, one need no longer work for one's money. A finely calibrated combination of hedge funds, offshore tax shelters, dividend reinvestment, etc. etc. can ensure, for those "in the know" a stable return of at least 10-15% a year, even in economically unstable times (this is the beauty of diversification). That is to say, an individual with 5 million dollars to invest can expect returns of over half a million dollars a year for doing absolutely nothing, except placing a few phone calls to his portfolio managers and accountants.

Now, many people earn their capital through honest and respectable means (hard work, etc.) but many holders of vast sums of capital gained it through some less-than-respectable (though not necessarily criminal) means--inheritance, speculation, windfall, etc. Then of course there are the bona fide criminals, like the entire executive echelon of Enron. None of these people with vast sums of capital need ever really work for a living, all the while raking in huge investment income every year--while the janitors and garbage collectors and truck drivers who wake up at 4 am every morning and who are the people who actually hold everything together--they'll be living from paycheck to paycheck. And they bear a disproportionately heavy tax burden. Regressive taxes such as sales tax hurt them a good deal more, because they have a good deal less disposable (this is the key word--disposable) income--that is to say, a greater percentage of their income is spent on essential sustenance. Three hundred dollars in sales taxes each year hurts a person with an income of 20K much much more than 2100 dollars in sales taxes hurts a person who makes 140K.

The middle class has steadily been shrinking in this country. This is due largely to regressive tax schemes and iniquities in access to economic opportunity. Shrinking middle classes are associated with a host of sociological problems (crime, drug abuse, educational malaise) which tear at the fabric of a society from within. The US likes to think of itself as a society free from class antagonism, but this can quickly change if economic desperation seizes a large enough portion of the lower classes. It is in fact better for their own interests, in the long run, for the wealthy to ensure that the middle class remains strong--this is their buffer from the angry and dispossessed. If the middle class shrinks, that buffer disappears. Of course, most people are only interested in the short term. We ALL pay the price in the form of urban blight, rising crime, and lost economic productivity (capital in the final analysis is not productive--only physical and intellectual labor is. It provides the backing for the value of that capital). The wealthy may then retreat to their gated communities, but to feel safe in such circumstances is to wildly underestimate the power and rage of the desperate when it is unleashed


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OfflinePhred
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Sliding Tax Scale [Re: PGF]
    #559365 - 02/22/02 07:56 AM (15 years, 5 days ago)

PGF writes:

"... the tax scale should be sliding..."

Why?

pinky



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OfflineEllis Dee
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: Innvertigo]
    #559373 - 02/22/02 08:26 AM (15 years, 5 days ago)

>>>works for me...i wanna be rich

Innvertigo,

It sounds like you are envious of the rich and greedy.

Tsk tsk tsk, those are two of the seven deadly sins.


--------------------
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #559376 - 02/22/02 08:37 AM (15 years, 5 days ago)

****It sounds like you are envious of the rich and greedy. Tsk tsk tsk, those are two of the seven deadly sins. ***

Rich does not equal greed and according to some i'm already rich so i'm neither envious nor greedy......but i am selfish...maybe the 8th deadly sin...tsk tsk..


you have a good memory...i couldn't remember who i had that discussion with.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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OfflinePhred
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: EchoVortex]
    #559379 - 02/22/02 08:41 AM (15 years, 5 days ago)

EchoVortex writes:

"...many holders of vast sums of capital gained it through some less-than-respectable (though not necessarily criminal) means--inheritance, speculation, windfall, etc."

Please explain how inheriting money is "less-than-respectable". Does a parent not have the right to leave the fruits of his labors to his offspring? If not, why not? How does being named in a will suddenly make one "less-than respectable", especially when one may not even be aware of the existence of the will in the first place?

As for "speculation", ALL investments, including savings accounts, are speculative, it is just a matter of degree. And, there is no guarantee that you will make money on your speculation. Quite the reverse. The more speculative the investment, the greater the chance that you will end up on the short end of the stick. Note that the government will happily seize a substantial portion of the money you GAIN from your speculations, but will cover exactly ZERO of your losses.

Please explain how being the recipient of a "windfall" is less-than-respectable? What IS a windfall, anyway? Winning a lottery? Finding a suitcase full of mob money in the back seat of a taxi? Were the $600 tax checks given out recently a windfall?

"None of these people with vast sums of capital need ever really work for a living, all the while raking in huge investment income every year--while the janitors and garbage collectors and truck drivers who wake up at 4 am every morning and who are the people who actually hold everything together--they'll be living from paycheck to paycheck."

Would it be preferable for people with huge sums of money to blow every dime on Ferraris and mansions and continue to cover their day-to-day living expenses by filling a janitor's position that is desperately needed by someone else? Isn't it better for them to take their money and invest it in an auto manufacturer's new share issue, so that manufacturer can build a new plant in an area that badly needs jobs? Isn't it better that they buy municipal bonds to finance infrastructure projects which provide jobs for hundreds or thousands of unskilled and semi-skilled laborers?

"It is in fact better for their own interests, in the long run, for the wealthy to ensure that the middle class remains strong..."

Agreed. The very best way to do this is to make sure that there is a robust economy. The best way the wealthy can ensure this is to INVEST in the economy, rather than converting their holdings into gold, burying it in the back yard, and hogging a job that could be occupied by someone who needs it more.

As a side note, Evolving's question remains unanswered:

"Am I correct in assuming that what you mean is, as people become more productive a greater percentage of the wealth that they have created should be given up to the government under threat of force, and if they do not give it up it should be forcibly taken from them? "

I realize that it was PGF that was defending the sliding scale tax concept, not you, but since you were responding to Evolving's post I was expecting to see you address the sole point that was raised in it. My bad.

pinky


--------------------


Edited by pinksharkmark (02/22/02 08:52 AM)


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: Phred]
    #559645 - 02/22/02 01:53 PM (15 years, 5 days ago)

Pinksharkmark:

By "less-than-respectable" I mean not worthy of respect in and of itself. I can respect somebody who created a viable and useful business out of nothing; but am I supposed to RESPECT a person who inherited all of his money? Or made all of his money by creating something (like a trashy bestseller) that is intrinsically worthless but just happened to catch the public's fancy because of clever marketing? Why should I respect that? And also, I NEVER said that parents don't have the right to bequeath their fortunes to their children--you have a bad habit of misconstruing and perverting my statements into unreasonable exaggerations. All I said is that there is no reason I should respect such people, and that the existence of such people puts a dent in the wealth=hard work equation that evolving seems to accept uncritically.

And no, there IS a difference between investment and speculation. I have a number of friends in investment banking. I've had many interesting conversations with them concerning the ways in which high-end investors and speculators have access to all sorts of information (as well the power to move markets by their very financial might) that makes it VERY difficult for them to get burned in the same way that John Q. Investor does. The people who run hedge funds are not like the dipshits at Merrill Lynch--they manage multi-billion dollar portfolios that are so diversified and so carefully tended by very rational, unemotional (unlike most investors) hardcore experts that risks are kept to a minimum. The catch? You have to have at least a cool mil to invest in most hedge funds.

I also never said that wealthy investors should blow their money on luxury items and work as janitors. Where you got THAT idea is beyond me. The problem is that investment, in the end, is NOT as good as consumer spending on a wide scale. What a GENUINELY healthy economy (as opposed to a bubble economy) needs is companies that make SALES and make PROFITS--not companies that make big IPOs, wallow like sows in their unearned cash for a few years, and then go under. Middle class people buy things--this supports strong fundamentals. Wealthy people invest--this supports speculation. The more middle class people there are, the stronger the fundamentals will be.

And finally, I DID address evolvings point, but perhaps too obliquely for you to have noticed. He said "as people become more productive . . ." which assumes that the wealthy are more "productive" than the not wealthy. By showing all the ways in wealth can be accrued to individuals in non-productive ways I challenged that notion. By mentioning offshore tax shelters (among other tax shelters, most of which are available only to the wealthy) I also challenged the notion that the government will come after them "with threat of force." I'm sorry, but that's utter bullshit my friend. That's not the direction in which the guns are pointed.


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Offlinenugsarenice
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: EchoVortex]
    #559682 - 02/22/02 02:39 PM (15 years, 5 days ago)

There is shady stock broking going on, companies can pay people, who most of the time are retired fbi and cia, to give them information, from intercepted phone calls, sattelite and such. That shit is unfair to the regular investor, and illegal.


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Anonymous

Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: EchoVortex]
    #559827 - 02/22/02 04:50 PM (15 years, 5 days ago)

EchoVortex stated, 'I also challenged the notion that the government will come after them "with threat of force." I'm sorry, but that's utter bullshit my friend.'

What is taxation without threat of force and the willingness to back it up?
It's not taxation. Whenever you ask the government to undertake anything
that does not rely on voluntary compliance, you're asking ultimately for men
with guns to use force to get it done. This applies to laws against prostitution,
drugs, guns and taxation as well as enforcing laws where an actual victim can
be found.

I ask you, what is the justification for confiscating a person's property if he or she
has used no theft fraud or violence to obtain it? Is it merely because this person
had parents who were adept at making sure their offspring were well taken
care of financially? Is it because their means of obtaining wealth is abhorrent
to your sense of taste? Is it because there are certain things or people which in
you opinion are more deserving of the capital and you are a better judge of how
to allocate it than the owner? Or is it simply that you are envious of their wealth?

By your previous post it appears that you would answer some of these in the affirmative.
It is wrong to steal? If so, how would one reconcile that moral principle with the
previously stated justifications for the confiscation of wealth (taxation)?


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: ]
    #559929 - 02/22/02 06:20 PM (15 years, 5 days ago)

I'm sure most legal experts would disagree with your definition of taxation as "confiscation of wealth" or, as you seem to suggest, theft. Taxation provides revenue for government; government is obligated to provide services in return. These services may include national defense, law enforcement, infrastructure (highways, airports, phone lines, etc.), education, courts, subsidized health care, etc. In a democratic polity, in theory, citizens should have a say in how those funds are allocated, that is, what the national priorities are. It's a kind of social contract: individuals make individual concessions for the common good. Very often, the benefits of that social contract are taken for granted, people think that things will take care of themselves "somehow" but that's not necessarily the case.

The United States already has one of the lowest taxation rates in the industrialized world. In addition, people of means have access to various tax shelters and legal loopholes which make their EFFECTIVE taxation rate (not their official rate) lower in fact than those of lower-income citizens. Now, notions such as "fairness" or "shared burdens" may seem like nothing more than matters of "taste" to you, but in a civilized and moral society they should carry some weight. This is just my personal opinion, my sense of values, so I don't expect you to be convinced by it; nor do I have any intention of forcing it on others. But I do have a right to make a case for it, and the right to point out that societies which lose this sense of fairness and common good (think of Brazil, India, etc. today, or turn of the century Britain and the US) tend to be beset by social problems which can reach dangerous proportions.

As for the argument made earlier by the other guy, "robust" economies don't necessarily protect the middle class. Throughout the 90s, when the US economy was incredibly robust, the middle class continued to shrink (slower than before, but still). Now that the bubble has burst, the process will continue unabated. If this doesn't bother you (you never addressed that point), if you think self-interest will save the day in each and every case, what can I say except that I think you're wrong? But if some day in the future you get mugged or burgled by some heroin addict, or even by some desperate dad who's trying to pay for his son's medical treatment (I stole that from "John Q.", sorry), please don't come on these boards to whine about it. That'll simply be what's called "blowback," except this time not in the foreign policy sphere but in the domestic one.

As far as being "envious of their wealth," I can assure you that I'm far from suffering in that department. I simply have other priorities.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: EchoVortex]
    #560034 - 02/22/02 07:26 PM (15 years, 5 days ago)

EchoVortex writes:

"By "less-than-respectable" I mean not worthy of respect in and of itself. I can respect somebody who created a viable and useful business out of nothing..."

But if he then takes the money he has earned from his viable and useful business and uses it to "speculate", he has crossed the line and is no longer worthy of your respect?

"...but am I supposed to RESPECT a person who inherited all of his money?"

Not necessarily. But they do not automatically deserve your disrepect either. They are no more responsible for the financial status of their parents than are children born to welfare mothers.

"Or made all of his money by creating something (like a trashy bestseller) that is intrinsically worthless but just happened to catch the public's fancy because of clever marketing?"

Who has the author of a trashy best-seller harmed? Whose rights has he violated? Whose hard-earned cash has been seized by the author by force? If a welfare mother chooses to buy a Stephen King novel to escape the dreariness of her life for a few hours rather than spend her time watching Jerry Springer, good for her!

"And also, I NEVER said that parents don't have the right to bequeath their fortunes to their children--you have a bad habit of misconstruing and perverting my statements into unreasonable exaggerations."

Since that was the first post of yours I have ever responded to, I am baffled that you would use the word "habit". As for misconstruing and perverting your statements, your original statement was: "Now, many people earn their capital through HONEST and RESPECTABLE [emphasis added by me] means (hard work, etc.) but many holders of vast sums of capital gained it through some less-than-respectable (though not necessarily criminal) means--inheritance, speculation, windfall, etc." The deliberate contrast employed in your phrasing makes it clear that in your opinion these other "not necessarily criminal means", including inheritance, are somehow not legitimate.

"All I said is that there is no reason I should respect such people..."

Actually, you didn't say that, but I will accept that this is what you meant to say. This is the reason I asked for clarification of your statement: to determine if you had unintentionally conveyed the wrong impression.

"And no, there IS a difference between investment and speculation."

NO investment is ever ironclad. It is true that the more capital one has, the better the possibilities are of hiring a first-rate money manager. But none of these people are infallible, and some of them are dishonest. There has been more than one money-manager who absconded with the funds of his clients.

"I also never said that wealthy investors should blow their money on luxury items and work as janitors. Where you got THAT idea is beyond me."

Where? I quote: "None of these people with vast sums of capital need ever really work for a living, all the while raking in huge investment income every year--while the janitors and garbage collectors and truck drivers who wake up at 4 am every morning and who are the people who actually hold everything together..."

From this and your previous statements regarding your lack of respect for those who support themselves through investing rather than working, I just assumed that you believed it would be better for them to actually WORK at a job that helped to hold everything together. Besides, if making money through investments is such an abhorrent practice, then exactly what else CAN they do with their money? I thought you believed that consuming was a GOOD thing. If this is so, then the more money they spend, the better off the economy is, no? Why is it good for the middle class to buy things, but not the wealthy?

As a side point, most of these people DID work, and worked hard, in order to obtain the "vast sums of capital" which enabled them to remove themselves from the workforce. And it is likely (especially if they have a good money manager) that part of their investments went towards the construction of an office building that employs a dozen janitors, or (through municipal bonds, a mainstay of any properly-diversified portfolio) the construction of a school or a freeway or a water treatment plant.

"The problem is that investment, in the end, is NOT as good as consumer spending on a wide scale."

Before consumers can spend their money on goods, the goods must be produced. Before goods can be produced, factories must be constructed. This requires investment.

"What a GENUINELY healthy economy (as opposed to a bubble economy) needs is companies that make SALES and make PROFITS--not companies that make big IPOs, wallow like sows in their unearned cash for a few years, and then go under."

Agreed. This is why the investment examples I used involved manufacturers and municipal bonds, rather than dotcoms.

"Middle class people buy things--this supports strong fundamentals."

EVERYBODY buys things. A wealthy person buys more things than a middle-class person.

"Wealthy people invest--this supports speculation."

Middle class people invest, too. A savings account is an investment. Very few banks speculate... not after the Savings and Loans disaster.

"And finally, I DID address evolvings point, but perhaps too obliquely for you to have noticed. He said "as people become more productive . . ." which assumes that the wealthy are more "productive" than the not wealthy. By showing all the ways in wealth can be accrued to individuals in non-productive ways I challenged that notion."

You may have challenged it, but not successfully. Your contention is that investment qua investment is non-productive. But the vast majority of investments DO produce both jobs AND goods and/or services. Some do not... currency speculation and commodities futures, for example, but both of those are "zero-sum" games. In other words, for every investor who gains two million dollars, there is one who loses two million dollars. These two forms of "investment" ARE examples of pure speculation. Legalized gambling, in fact.

pinky


--------------------


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OfflinePhred
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Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: EchoVortex]
    #560072 - 02/22/02 08:06 PM (15 years, 5 days ago)

EchoVortex writes:

"I'm sure most legal experts would disagree with your definition of taxation as "confiscation of wealth" or, as you seem to suggest, theft."

Taxation IS confiscation of wealth. Taking something from someone against his will is by definition confiscating it. The fact that taxation is legal doesn't change the nature of the act. Is it "theft" as defined by our current legal code? No.

An interesting note... there was no income tax in America before World War One. Further, the income tax instituted at that time was promised to be a temporary measure... that is the only way it garnered enough votes to become the law of the land. So, a century ago, legal experts WOULD have defined income tax as theft.

"Taxation provides revenue for government; government is obligated to provide services in return."

True. Not all of these services are required or even wanted, and providing some of these services necessarily involves the violation of individual rights. Further, some of these "services" are clearly unconstitutional.

"Throughout the 90s, when the US economy was incredibly robust, the middle class continued to shrink (slower than before, but still)."

Shrink how? If there is a smaller percentage of middle-class citizens because more of them are moving into the upper-class bracket, that is a good thing. If it is because more are sliding into the "lower-class" bracket it is a bad thing. Since a greater percentage of Americans became millionaires in the 90s than in any previous decade, I am guessing that upward mobility is a larger component of the reduction in numbers of the middle class than downward mobility, but I admit I haven't researched this point. Have you? I'd really like to find out how the quintiles changed over the 90s. Where's a good place to find out?

pinky


--------------------


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Anonymous

Re: W.House: Tax Cuts to Create 800,000 Jobs [Re: EchoVortex]
    #560181 - 02/22/02 10:40 PM (15 years, 5 days ago)

EchoVortex:

>"I'm sure most legal experts would disagree with your definition
> of taxation as "confiscation of wealth" or, as you seem to suggest,
> theft."

Black' Law Dictionary, under "Tax:"

>"Essential characteristics of a tax are that is is NOT a voluntary
> payment or donation, but an ENFORCED contribution."
(emphasis added)

Black' Law Dictionary, under "Theft:"

> "Theft is any of the following acts done with intent to deprive the
> owner permanently of the possession, use or benefit of his property:
> (a) Obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over property; or (b)
> Obtaining by deception control over property; or (c) Obtaining by
> threat control over property..."

Perhaps you don't know this, but the government will put you in jail
if you don't pay taxes. If you resist, they will escalate the physical
force used against you. If you resist too much, THEY WILL KILL
YOU. I can perceive the link between taxation and theft, why
can't you?

----------

EchoVortex:

>"government is obligated to provide services in return. These services
> may include national defense, law enforcement, infrastructure (highways,
> airports, phone lines, etc.), education, courts, subsidized health care,
> etc."

The constitution does obligate the federal government to provide for
the common defense and for courts, however the other items are not
listed in the charter of the U.S. government. If you find them in the
Constitution, please quote the appropriate article(s) and explain how
the bill of rights are not violated by their enactment.

It's interesting to note that a recent court case has absolved the
government of responsibility for protecting it's citizens, when an
individual attempted to sue because the police didn't protect her(?).

----------

EchoVortex:

>"In a democratic polity..."

Benjamin Franklin:

>"A republic, if you can keep it."

----------

EchoVortex:

>"It's a kind of social contract... the benefits of that social
> contract..."

Black' Law Dictionary, under "Contract:"

>"An agreement between two or more persons which creates an obligation
> to do or not to do a particular thing. Its essentials are competent
> parties, subject matter. a legal consideration, mutuality of
> agreement, and mutuality of obligation."

I never signed this "social contract" and I am willing to bet that
no one reading this did either. The concept of "social contract"
is the bastard child of the "The divine right of Kings." Additionally
the U.S. government has repeatedly violated it's own Constitution,
a real contract between it and the individual state governments.
Even if there was any contract between the Federal government and
myself it has already been violated by the Federal government's
nearly complete disregard for and violations of the bill of rights.

----------

EchoVortex:

>"The United States already has one of the lowest taxation rates in
> the industrialized world."

And the highest in peacetime history, until President Bush prodded
Congress to pass the recent tiny cut." This is equivalent to a
gang telling you you're lucky to be living on the east side paying
them $100 per month protection money instead of living on the west
side where the gangs squeeze $200 per month out of the greedy
capitalists.

----------

EchoVortex:

>"But I do have a right to make a case for it, and the right to point
> out that societies which lose this sense of fairness and common good
> (think of Brazil, India, etc. today, or turn of the century Britain
> and the US) tend to be beset by social problems which can reach
> dangerous proportions."

Please define "common good." Isn't this what the communists are
always crowing about?

----------

EchoVortex:

>"But if some day in the future you get mugged or burgled by some
> heroin addict, or even by some desperate dad who's trying to pay
> for his son's medical treatment (I stole that from "John Q.", sorry),
> please don't come on these boards to whine about it. That'll simply
> be what's called "blowback," except this time not in the foreign
> policy sphere but in the domestic one."

Well, you've come to the crux of the matter. Basically, you've
said it already, IT'S EXTORTION, or to quote Black's Law
Dictionary...

>"Extortion. The obtaining of property from another induced by
> wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or
> under color of official right."

Oh, by the way. There's something I do, it's called "shoot back."
I will exercise my right to self defense, whether the government
or you like it or not.


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