A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
'Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.' - Groucho Marx

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  1. #1

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    Default Fool.com: Profits Keep Booming

    Interesting...the Dow hit a 4-year high yesterday, and profits are up. Too bad Obama is killing the economy!
    ************************************************** ******

    Don't look now, but first-quarter profits among S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) companies look great so far.

    According to Standard & Poor's, 300 S&P companies have reported first-quarter earnings. Of those, 210 have beaten estimates; 56 have missed. That's one of the highest "beat" rates on record.

    So what, some say. Companies systematically guide expectations low in order to look smart when they beat their numbers. And now is a good time to point out that earnings don't miss expectations; expectations miss earnings. "High beat rate + low expectations = so what?" blogger Josh Brown said.

    More important is that the extraordinary boom in earnings continues marching without a flinch. Corporate profits are tracking at an 8% growth rate this quarter. Employment is still down several million since the recession began in 2007, but S&P 500 profits are at a new record of $98 per share over the last year. Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are near a 70-year high of 10%.

    For years, a loud and growing group of analysts have pointed to that figure as a sign of caution and worry. The profit boom is unsustainable, they say. Once margins return to a sustainable average, profits will fall, along with stocks.

    There are a few rebuttals. One is that low employment and wages are what are keeping margins high. An extension of that is that margins may only fall when companies are forced to hire more workers and give raises to existing staff. That could actually be great for profits. Nothing is better for most businesses than gainfully employed consumers with money to spend.

    Second, profit growth may not be as dependent on margins as it seems. All profit growth among S&P 500 companies over the past year came from revenue growth, not margin expansion. S&P operating margins have actually declined over the last 15 months, from 9% in 2010 to 8.7% last quarter. Sales are up 7% over the last year.

    How can sales be booming if the U.S. economy is so weak? One word: overseas. Take Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) as a proxy (and a fair one, as it makes up 4% of the S&P). More than two-thirds of its 58% surge in revenue over the past year came from regions outside the United States. Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT ) international sales -- now a third of its business -- have doubled since 2006, while domestic sales have increased less than 30%. Procter & Gamble's (NYSE: PG ) revenue would be flat over the four years if it weren't for rising international sales. Similar stories are replete throughout the index. There is no longer a United States economy -- just a world economy with the United States as a participant.

    Click link for the rest.
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  2. #2

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    Default

    In Other News: Seattle Sets A Record For Coldest April On Record
    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/komo/...rd-1360985.php

    Guess that proves global warming is a hoax then, huh Lanky.

    Obama.....Blows.....Chunks!

    He's making a thoroughbred run a harness race.
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    George Mason

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    The DOW isn't exactly a great indicator of how well our economy is doing.

    That said I'm not convinced it's nearly as bad as everyone seems to think it is, or that if McCain (or any other republican) were in office it'd be any better than it currently is.

    Our government flat out isn't doing anything to help it, so the economy is just kinda hanging around... not really improving not really declining. And blame goes to both parties for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    Interesting...the Dow hit a 4-year high yesterday, and profits are up. Too bad Obama is killing the economy!
    Interesting.....the lowest point the Dow has been at in 15-20 years was also under Obama's watch, and it hit a record high under Bush. So I guess that means George W. Bush was the greatest president ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    Don't look now, but first-quarter profits
    ........wait for it.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    look great so far.
    BAM! There it is

    Honestly, nothing else in the rest of the post needs to be read after this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    According to Standard & Poor's, 300 S&P companies have reported first-quarter earnings. Of those, 210 have beaten estimates; 56 have missed. That's one of the highest "beat" rates on record.
    So guessing really miserable, and it ending up only kinda miserable = win?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    Corporate profits are tracking at an 8% growth rate this quarter. Employment is still down several million since the recession began in 2007, but S&P 500 profits are at a new record of $98 per share over the last year. Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are near a 70-year high of 10%.
    So what you're saying, is that the rich are getting richer, not hiring, and not sharing the wealth......but now that's a good thing? I'm confused, I thought you Commie Liberals were against exactly this, why gloat now?

    Among all this, the article fails to mention one key thing. Tax returns fall within the span of the entire first quarter. When people get tax checks, they buy things. I'd be willing to bet sales are almost always up during the first quarter. It's pretty hard not to be, it's when more people have more money.

    I'm not impressed. And Barack Obama is still a terrible president.
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    yea...I'll pool the unemployment lines I pass each morning for their thoughts on the matter....at least until the monthly downward revision of the previous month's jury-rigged employment statistics arrives late friday evening.
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    George Mason

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    why are wall street and the DOW even considered a legit barometer EVER?
    mainly because they're numbers people think they understand.
    it's something thats on the ticker at the bottom of the screen on the news channels.
    peoples retirements are, in some way, participating in the investment markets.

    bottom line is it's used because people think they understand, or they want to understand it, so they try to apply more meaning to it than there actually is.

    it'd be like if people who didn't have a clue about sports assumed that the betting lines were a real indication of who is currently winning the game.

    it's a dead give away to anyone who understands anything about economics (and my understanding is very minimal) that when someone jumps on tv claiming to be an economic expert and starts talking about numbers from wall street that they are in fact anything but an economic expert.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    yea...I'll pool the unemployment lines I pass each morning for their thoughts on the matter....at least until the monthly downward revision of the previous month's jury-rigged employment statistics arrives late friday evening.
    My personal favorite is how Democrats like to say the "new" unemployment claims are down and it means things are getting better.

    Things aren't getting better, we're just running out of people to file for unemployment, because they're all collecting it already.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extreme View Post
    My personal favorite is how Democrats like to say the "new" unemployment claims are down and it means things are getting better.

    Things aren't getting better, we're just running out of people to file for unemployment, because they're all collecting it already.
    there's two million fewer jobs availlable than when the President assumed power. obviously...this changes the math when the comparison is against full employment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tshile View Post
    The DOW isn't exactly a great indicator of how well our economy is doing.

    That said I'm not convinced it's nearly as bad as everyone seems to think it is, or that if McCain (or any other republican) were in office it'd be any better than it currently is.

    Our government flat out isn't doing anything to help it, so the economy is just kinda hanging around... not really improving not really declining. And blame goes to both parties for that.

    there are those who will argue that it is precisely government help...to the tune of 5 trillion dollars of new debt in three years.....that is part of the problem. speaking of future generations and all that.
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    George Mason

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    edit: i removed the off topic tangent rant i went on.

    you're right, debt isn't helping. i refuse to blame obama for the debt any more than i blame bush. the two of them equally contributed to this mess, both in different ways.
    unfortunately neither party can compromise on how to fix the debt. neither party seems to recognize that when you have out of control debt like we currently have, you have to cut spending and increase taxes

    i'm not convinced our debt is the reason our economy is not improving, as our economy has had great days while having a pretty large debt. but it certainly isn't helping, and who knows what we'd be able to do if we had a surplus or a 'rainy day fund' - you know the things responsible people preach to others when they go into debt?
    Last edited by tshile; 05-03-12 at 03:58 PM.
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    t...I'll go along with you on the thought that both Preseidents had a role in the debt increases. won't agree on the notion that the accountability is equal. The current President has ramped up debt far beyond what his predecessor bequethed to the future. moreover, it fits his agenda for expanded government presence and oversight in regards to creating a fair and just society - as he and his ideological backers see it.

    no...you don't have to increase taxes. you have to cut spending and you have to ensure the spending that is funded meets priorities, is executed efficiently, and bears tangible results.

    we all know that this isn't a budget problem at heart. like just about everything these days...the core dynamics are conflicts in values.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    you have to cut spending and you have to ensure the spending that is funded meets priorities, is executed efficiently, and bears tangible results.
    So you're saying we should hire an outside source to handle these things since our government is incapable?

    Is outsourcing our government an option
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    40 cents+ on the dollar now goes to debt servicing. no rainy day fund is going to address the trajectory we are headed on.
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    James Madison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Extreme View Post
    So you're saying we should hire an outside source to handle these things since our government is incapable?

    Is outsourcing our government an option
    You would be floored at how much outsourcing and which departments is already going on.
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    George Mason

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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    no...you don't have to increase taxes. you have to cut spending and you have to ensure the spending that is funded meets priorities, is executed efficiently, and bears tangible results.
    yes, you do have to raise taxes.
    we not only have to fund whatever budget is left over after we make cuts, but we have to repay trillions in debts. cutting the budget does nothing to repay debt, it only lower future debt.

    i'm no saying we have to raise them permanently. but we have to raise them to help pay down the debt in a realistic, short timeline.

    this idea that taxes should never be raised is another republican myth. the label 'job creators' is a joke.

    as we speak congress is trying to find a way to pass another 'tax holiday' for overseas profits by companies. in short - very large corporations (think GE) generate millions in profit in overseas operations. they leave the money overseas to avoid taxes, knowing that ever 6-10 years they'll get a tax holiday. at which point they'll bring the billions they've saved over the last 6 years back to the states at a tax rate of 5%.

    5%.

    and we let them do it. constantly. to the point where they know that there's no point in bringing the money back now when they can wait until they lobby for their tax holiday.

    in short, what i'm saying, is that this idea that raising taxes would somehow hurt our economy is a joke. these 'job creators' have plenty of money to hire, they just don't want to and/or just don't need to. as soon as they have a need/desire to hire, they will.

    in the mean time we're being 'tricked' (if you can call it that, i think it's more our general public being stupid about whats going on and genuinely not even caring) into believing that if we raise taxes even just a tad, we're going to tank our economy even more.

    so yeah, taxes can and should be raised. spending also needs to be cut. right now we're like the 350 lbs person who finally realized that eating junk food and sitting on our butt means you die much earlier; the problem is one side is suggesting we exercise but continue to eat junk food, while the other side is suggesting we eat healthy food but continue to sit on our butt.
    anyone with any sense understands that both tactics are needed to get back on track. once we're back on track we can discuss what needs to be done to prevent in the future while keeping taxes as low as possible.
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    no we don't. you cannot prove what the requisite level of taxes OUGHT to be. we aren't tricked one iota. the data and analysis is out there. what isn't there - very obviously - are magic balls that can predict how REAL people making decisions are going to respond to tax hikes. if anything....the last three years should have convinced you that macroeconomic and monetary models are very crude - on their best days - at predicting even near term economic trends and behaviors.

    what we need is for the economy to grow at a faster rate. but that doesn't seem to be part of the plan...now does it?

    I get and really don't care about your politics and what you think is "fair". I have heard enough of the rhetoric for several lifetimes. labor is more expensive here..tax rates are higher. what these businesses are doing - and note the growing trend of Americans who live overseas revoking their US citizenship to avoid taxes - is quite rational.

    "is a joke" doesn't quite qualify as sound economic argument...whatever. I also grow weary of these binary arguments - don't look now....please don't....but we are collecting taxes....lots of taxes....at the Federal, state and local levels. take a look at the pass through taxes in many of your monthly service statements. look at all the morality taxes. we are taxed and regulated to death. The core problem lies in all the spending.

    The propensity on the part of many to define what is good for the rest of us and to use the full force of government power to enforce their wills/values on the rest of us never ceases to amaze. that is the REALITY behind so much of the "goodness" we are forced to live through these days of dwindling freedoms.
    Last edited by fansince62; 05-05-12 at 07:00 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    no we don't. you cannot prove what the requisite level of taxes OUGHT to be. we aren't tricked one iota. the data and analysis is out there. what isn't there - very obviously - are magic balls that can predict how REAL people making decisions are going to respond to tax hikes. if anything....the last three years should have convinced you that macroeconomic and monetary models are very crude - on their best days - at predicting even near term economic trends and behaviors.

    what we need is for the economy to grow at a faster rate. but that doesn't seem to be part of the plan...now does it?

    I get and really don't care about your politics and what you think is "fair". I have heard enough of the rhetoric for several lifetimes. labor is more expensive here..tax rates are higher. what these businesses are doing - and note the growing trend of Americans who live overseas revoking their US citizenship to avoid taxes - is quite rational.

    "is a joke" doesn't quite qualify as sound economic argument...whatever. I also grow weary of these binary arguments - don't look now....please don't....but we are collecting taxes....lots of taxes....at the Federal, state and local levels. take a look at the pass through taxes in many of your monthly service statements. look at all the morality taxes. we are taxed and regulated to death. The core problem lies in all the spending.

    The propensity on the part of many to define what is good for the rest of us and to use the full force of government power to enforce their wills/values on the rest of us never ceases to amaze. that is the REALITY behind so much of the "goodness" we are forced to live through these days of dwindling freedoms.
    I tend to lean toward agreeing with the very basic core of the principles you're outlining. However, you have gone so far to the extreme right with your views, that you make Sean Hannity look like a Moderate. There is a happy medium. I don't know what it is, but neither does anyone else.

    There is no magic number, as you've stated, but having the low labor/low tax stand doesn't work either. If taxes are lower, there will be more businesses setting up shop, and more jobs being created - that's a given that only a complete imbecile would argue, so I think we can say it's a fair assumption that we all agree on that. But when you start trying to talk about cheaper labor, what does that do? It gives Americans less money in their pockets, and less to spend.

    Having no money to spend when taxes are low is just as big a failure as plenty of money but getting tax raped. Neither way works, so the solution is in the middle. People like to attack taxes, because it's an easy target that everyone understands. What a lot of people don't seem to understand, is they are a necessary evil. I agree that we don't always spend them the way we should, but as long as idiots keep electing idiots, they have no right to complain about how it's being handled.

    Our infrastructure is one of the most important things we have to take care of. Taxes pay for that. We can't let education fail our country. Taxes take care of that. We need to be protected by law enforcement, and we need EMTs and firefighters. Taxes pay for that. It's easy to take the taxes are evil approach, it just isn't realistic. Now what I do think we should do, is drop the corporate tax to single digits. That's long overdue. We need jobs first, and that would be a simple and almost instant fix. Then if companies don't drop their prices to line up for their tax savings, fine the **** out of them. Corporations have been ****ing the American public for too long, and just like with gas, they look for any excuse they can. These companies say their products are expensive because taxes are too high, so why are they still making billions in profits every year?

    We need the tax code to be broken down to the minimum understandable level. Make sales tax and corporate tax the same for the whole country. Then when it comes to income tax levels, something as simple as assembling a panel of people from all income levels to agree with what the cutoff should be for each level, and what the percentage should be for each level, would be an easy solution. But Obama saying this **** about how the rich don't pay their fair share is BS. They pay 40% of the taxes in this country, and make up 1% of the population. If that isn't retarded, I don't know what is.

    I agree that we spend excessively too much, but what has already been pointed out, is that cutting spending doesn't get rid of debt. It's only a piece of the puzzle, but I agree a major one that needs to be reigned in. But cutting spending isn't going to fix anything.

    But while I see the point you're trying to make, saying you've gotten carried away lately is an understatement. Obama's policies are horrible. The Senate's ideas are horrible. But the things you're saying on the topic are horrible in the exact opposite direction. This all or nothing attitude is exactly why America is in the ****ter right now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extreme View Post
    I tend to lean toward agreeing with the very basic core of the principles you're outlining. However, you have gone so far to the extreme right with your views, that you make Sean Hannity look like a Moderate. There is a happy medium. I don't know what it is, but neither does anyone else.

    There is no magic number, as you've stated, but having the low labor/low tax stand doesn't work either. If taxes are lower, there will be more businesses setting up shop, and more jobs being created - that's a given that only a complete imbecile would argue, so I think we can say it's a fair assumption that we all agree on that. But when you start trying to talk about cheaper labor, what does that do? It gives Americans less money in their pockets, and less to spend.

    Having no money to spend when taxes are low is just as big a failure as plenty of money but getting tax raped. Neither way works, so the solution is in the middle. People like to attack taxes, because it's an easy target that everyone understands. What a lot of people don't seem to understand, is they are a necessary evil. I agree that we don't always spend them the way we should, but as long as idiots keep electing idiots, they have no right to complain about how it's being handled.

    Our infrastructure is one of the most important things we have to take care of. Taxes pay for that. We can't let education fail our country. Taxes take care of that. We need to be protected by law enforcement, and we need EMTs and firefighters. Taxes pay for that. It's easy to take the taxes are evil approach, it just isn't realistic. Now what I do think we should do, is drop the corporate tax to single digits. That's long overdue. We need jobs first, and that would be a simple and almost instant fix. Then if companies don't drop their prices to line up for their tax savings, fine the **** out of them. Corporations have been ****ing the American public for too long, and just like with gas, they look for any excuse they can. These companies say their products are expensive because taxes are too high, so why are they still making billions in profits every year?

    We need the tax code to be broken down to the minimum understandable level. Make sales tax and corporate tax the same for the whole country. Then when it comes to income tax levels, something as simple as assembling a panel of people from all income levels to agree with what the cutoff should be for each level, and what the percentage should be for each level, would be an easy solution. But Obama saying this **** about how the rich don't pay their fair share is BS. They pay 40% of the taxes in this country, and make up 1% of the population. If that isn't retarded, I don't know what is.

    I agree that we spend excessively too much, but what has already been pointed out, is that cutting spending doesn't get rid of debt. It's only a piece of the puzzle, but I agree a major one that needs to be reigned in. But cutting spending isn't going to fix anything.

    But while I see the point you're trying to make, saying you've gotten carried away lately is an understatement. Obama's policies are horrible. The Senate's ideas are horrible. But the things you're saying on the topic are horrible in the exact opposite direction. This all or nothing attitude is exactly why America is in the ****ter right now.
    Ex...I haven't made any assertions about the "right" level. If theory is correct, wages increase as productivity increases. In that department, I agree with those who assert that we have to watch those companies that do not reward productivity. though, even here, there is the common sense observation that the skills one brings to the table determines the relative bargaining position. there is a labor market. if one possesses commodity skills it is less likely that such individuals have the ability to command high or increasing wages/salaries. I see it in the IT field all the time. Server administrators and generalized security engineers are paid X. Malware/forensics/reverse engineering specialists are paid 1.3 * X. Similarly, if one works in an industry experiencing declining revenues/profits, then wage & salary increases aren't in the off'ing. it's up to boards of directors - for publicly held enterprises - to ensure that holds top to bottom.

    no one is saying eliminate taxes. like many others...you draw inferences that aren't there. it is one thing to assert education needs to be supported by taxes. folks like me respond: ok......but before we move in that direction...show me the fine print.

    - what level of taxes?

    - to support what activities?

    - with what degree/mechanism for accountability?

    - with what mechanism for measuring benefits/results?

    - at the expense of what other categories of investment?

    - and are there better ways of doing this than through government? (COA analysis)

    Folks like me see the obvious - huge waste with little accountability. As with our personal budgets, we are now looking more closely at the goes-intas and goes-outtas and demanding value for dollar invested. we are also demanding prioritization. the inexorable path in government the last half century has been to label everything a good that needs to be funded. correction...not necessarily funded.......but required/mandated. "how much" is a vey real question that has to be answered. we as a society are not doing that right now - we're just building an endless list of rights and needs. the "gotta have it" part of the equation - which drives obligations - has to be addressed before taxes even enter the equation. it drives so many of the other issues - like the size of government, for example.

    taxes have very real costs...see all the literature on government multipliers, capital market impacts, work incentives, etc. what taxes should be spent on is clearly open to debate (investment vice transfers, for example; or, do we want tax monies spent on gun running schemes to Mexican gansters) - again, one of the core, if unexamined by the media, subtexts to the current campaign. I happen to be onboard with a growing number of folks who want the nature and scope of government question resolved first before the ALREADY large public investments increase any further fueled by higher taxes. I also believe there are issues of freedom that lurk behind all of this as well - there is a difference between voluntarily supporting causes and being coerced by the implied force of government. the thrust of the last half century is to progressively reduce the former at the behest of the latter. this is also a core issue in the coming election. In the widest vista, it is certainly open to question whether the tax and spend society we live with today fits the concepts that originally established this country as embodied in the Constitution and other seminal documents - all of which projected two (sometimes conflicting) themes: the primacy of the individual; bounding the power of the majority. and, if we want to get into details, the distribution of power at the Federal level (checks and balances) and the distribution of power between Federal and State government. where do you think this has headed the last 50 years and what have been the implications for taxes?

    we can get to the normative argument later on vis what entitlement government has to anyone's profits - an implied assumption in your pov. Congress and the executive create the tax code. Corporations use the openings in the code to keep more of their profits to support reinvestment, distribution to shareholders, higher salaries (it doesn't all go to the CEO, CFO, etc.) and rainy day savings for the next unanticipated set of burdensome regulatory requirements. I see absolutely nothing wrong or "evil" with that. if this is going to be a morality argument, then let's examine all aspects of the moral problem space - including the roles and scope of government.
    Last edited by fansince62; 05-06-12 at 08:42 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    If theory is correct....
    This is my problem with it all, business theories are rarely ever close to being correct, so the argument can't stand up. When a certain view is argued for 40+ years and never proven to be true, it isn't suddenly going to become true.

    Companies never will lower prices after jacking them up, and they will never just suddenly decide to kill their bottom line by raising wages, regardless of how good business is, and that's why I have a problem with big business. They provide jobs, but at the expense of ****ing the American public.

    These assholes cut wages and the job force and blame the recession and taxes, but they're still posting hundreds of billions of dollars in profits? It's all for their bottom line, they simply do not care about anybody, and taxes are not the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    no one is saying eliminate taxes. like many others...you draw inferences that aren't there.
    No I don't, I never implied that you implied that. This is an example of you trying to rile people up over something that was never said. Usually you do it to Liberals that you like arguing with, but I've generally stood by you a lot on here. But lately, you seem to be going off the reservation a little. Not sure what's going on, but you've let your argumentative nature spill over to make you hate on the people who have supported you, and that's never a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    it is one thing to assert education needs to be supported by taxes. folks like me respond: ok......but before we move in that direction...show me the fine print.
    How would you suggest we pay for education? Private donations? That would leave us with no education, and we'd become stupider as a country than we're already becoming.

    Education needs more money, not less.

    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    - what level of taxes?

    - to support what activities?

    - with what degree/mechanism for accountability?

    - with what mechanism for measuring benefits/results?

    - at the expense of what other categories of investment?

    - and are there better ways of doing this than through government? (COA analysis)
    You ask stuff like this all the time, like there's a magic answer. there isn't an answer that exists that we'll all agree on. And I have a feeling there are some people that won't be happy no matter what is done.

    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    Folks like me see the obvious - huge waste with little accountability. As with our personal budgets, we are now looking more closely at the goes-intas and goes-outtas and demanding value for dollar invested. we are also demanding prioritization. the inexorable path in government the last half century has been to label everything a good that needs to be funded. correction...not necessarily funded.......but required/mandated. "how much" is a vey real question that has to be answered. we as a society are not doing that right now - we're just building an endless list of rights and needs. the "gotta have it" part of the equation - which drives obligations - has to be addressed before taxes even enter the equation. it drives so many of the other issues - like the size of government, for example.
    You're right. But that's government. It's been that way all over the world ever since government has existed. You will never be able to stop greed and corruption in Washington, so there's no point wasting your life trying. The best you can hope for is that the bad gets weeded out. If we take your approach we'd have to cannibalize wonderful programs, because we don't all agree on what is or isn't needed.

    Perfect example - I think we should get rid of the CIA and let the FBI take their workload since they have had their balls clipped off anyway, and get rid of the EPA, DEA and DOE. Doing that would save hundreds of billions a year. But some people think we need every single one of them. There is no right or wrong, it's all perception. The problem is, you don't seem willing to concede that it's about perception.

    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    taxes have very real costs...see all the literature on government multipliers, capital market impacts, work incentives, etc. what taxes should be spent on is clearly open to debate (investment vice transfers, for example; or, do we want tax monies spent on gun running schemes to Mexican gansters) - again, one of the core, if unexamined by the media, subtexts to the current campaign. I happen to be onboard with a growing number of folks who want the nature and scope of government question resolved first before the ALREADY large public investments increase any further fueled by higher taxes. I also believe there are issues of freedom that lurk behind all of this as well - there is a difference between voluntarily supporting causes and being coerced by the implied force of government.
    I can counter every reason you have why taxes are the devil, with a better example of why they're needed. Every administration has issues, every politician sucks in some way, and mistakes are made every day. It's unavoidable. You complain about the current douchebag administration for their Fast and Furious program that resulted in dozens of people illegally getting guns and killing people. So where's our outrage for the previous douchebag administration going into Iraq on a whim and spending trillions of dollars on a war that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and American soldiers, all while losing equipment/guns/etc. to the enemy? I agreed with the war, and I supported it, but in hindsight it was probably a terrible decision. If you want to hate one example of douchebaggery, at least don't be biased and hate the examples on both sides.

    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    Corporations use the openings in the code to keep more of their profits to support reinvestment, distribution to shareholders, higher salaries (it doesn't all go to the CEO, CFO, etc.) and rainy day savings for the next unanticipated set of burdensome regulatory requirements. I see absolutely nothing wrong or "evil" with that. if this is going to be a morality argument, then let's examine all aspects of the moral problem space - including the roles and scope of government.
    That would make a heartwarming story if any of it was true. Very very few companies do any of what you said. On top of executive salaries, they also pay them retardedly high bonuses EVEN WHEN THE COMPANY LOSES MONEY. It happens so often, that I can't believe you can sit there with a straight face and pretend that these major corporations use their money for good. Did reinvesting and using tax loopholes bankrupt GM? Lehman Brothers? Bank Of America? AIG? Borders? Chrysler? Solyndra? Washington Mutual? They failed because of one thing GREED. Taxes have never brought down a corporation, they do it to themselves. Usually with the help of unions
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  20. #20

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    Ex.....gimme a break. you haven't answered the core question: how much and why.

    I'm not interested in your polemic about greed. save it for MSNBC. you obviously missed the fact that I anticipated this response by framing it as a responsibility for boards of directors - not government. you are free to argue otherwise. I will state this - it's none of your dang business what executives are paid. that is a matter for the boards of directors and shareholders WHO OWN THE BUSINESS. don't like it? buy some stock and take your personal definition of "greed" to the well and gore as many folks as it takes to placate your inner moral compass (or whatever else the motivation happens to be). better yet....come up with a creative idea, build a mega business and give all the profits away.

    and while you're at it...open the aperture a bit and start connecting the dots: for example, how many fewer tax returns have been filed in the last three years? look it up sometime and draw out the implications. you will find the number to be astounding - it gives one pause to think when others argue that the economy is improving. it certainly adds new dimensions to the argument over who is paying the taxes and who will be asked to pay even more taxes. what do you think has been happening to the value of the dollar? do you not understand this as yet another form of taxation?

    I'm not in the business of equal opportunity hating. I'll leave that to you if that is where your comfort zone falls. You demand, it appears, that taxes be increased without a scintilla of constructive argument that this will actually solve anything.

    yes, informed decision-making is a horrible thing. who wants that?!!! so much easier to wave the magic money wand and pretend it'll all get better if we just raise taxes. afterall, it's righteous because we've unmasked the miscreants and they're all greedy! who wants to do this in an intelligent way? not I whispered the church mouse. whose house has the cheese and how can I loot it? who cares if there are traps along the way! the rush is on brotha! focus on the problem - the issue isn't why taxes are needed...it's what level.

    education doesn't need more money. it needs better teachers, more accountability and less ideology. the government/university lapdance that constantly drives up tuitions is laughable. we need to allow parents to chose what schools their children can attend - even if that means closing down the failures. we need discipline in schools and parents who are engaged. we need to at least consider why someone like me who sends his child to a catholic school for which I pay tuition must nevertheless pay taxes to "educate" (overseen by a curriculum and school board I have no control over) the morons and geniuses who attend public schools.

    this does get tiresome. I have not argued taxes are the devil - once again...this is you lapsing into fantasy. I have argued that unrestrained spending is the core problem - the habit if you will. The habit needs to be fixed first before more cocaina (taxes, printed funny money and debt) is stuffed up government's nose. we know what will happen if taxes are raised without placing government into rehab first. I have further argued - through the questions you steadfastly avoid via the artifice that there is no one agreed answer (which, by the way, opens the door to questioning your contention that raising taxes will achieve anything useful) that there are measures of accountability any reasonable citizen who cares about how the money they worked for is being put to use should expect from government.

    sorry Ex..throwing my arms in the air and crying "eh...that's government" is not how problems are fixed.

    you believe taxes should be raised? have at it. just like warren buffet...you are free to hand over to the government even more of your discretionary income if that is what you truly believe is righteous. or is that not the case? it's others' monies....those who have too much, are too greedy, earned it in impolite ways...that are the target?

    we have a huge problem and odds are it's almost too late to do anything about it. I and others will fight any tax increase until a plan is in place to contain and reduce spending - which means reducing the size, scope and concerns of government. but that's not in the cards...now is it?
    Last edited by fansince62; 05-06-12 at 10:30 PM.
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