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Trump's Trade War

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20 hours ago, laripu said:

Here's a tax proposal. I doubt it will work, because I haven't run the math details; but anyway let's have some discussion.

 

Here are the assumptions.

1. Social security and Medicare for all should be sacred trusts and maintained.

2. All post-deduction income is equal. So all income should be taxed at the same level, whether it's labor income or investment income.

3. There should be deductions allowed if you had to spend money to make money.  That could be rent for your store, but also clothing because you have to get dressed to go to work. Tools and safety gear should be deductible if you have to pay for it yourself (e.g. if you are a small renovations contractor). Transportation should be deductible. All of the above need to be within reason. Ivanka and her cohort can't deduct high-end jewelry or Sevruga caviar.

4. Families and dependents should be deductible within reason. Private schools shouldn't be deductible if there are public schools available; unless it's special education or advanced learning for geniuses. All college tuition should be deductible.

5. State and local taxes should be deductible at the federal level, except sales taxes.

6. Post-deduction income should be taxed according to the percentile of that income. Post-deduction income in the bottom 5 percentile should be taxed at no more than 5%. The top marginal rate, whatever it is, depends not on fixed amount but on percentile. At 99.99 percentile, it should be 90%. At the 90th percentile, it should be 50%. So Gates and Bezos will pay top dollar on their top dollar; so to speak.

7. To save money, there should be a moratorium on any foreign conflicts not explicitly declared as war by Congress and not stemming from a direct attack.; the president may not deploy military into foreign countries unless we are attacked or Congress declares war.. This moratorium should expire only when there has been no more debt for 16 years running; intervening debt restarts the clock. Any war explicitly declared by Congress should be matched with tax increases to pay for it over time, but no longer than 16 years starting from the end of the current Congress.

 

What do you think?

 

1.  yes, but at what level?  Should it never be tweaked no matter what happens to life expectancy, medical costs, or the dependency ratio?  I think the rules, taxes and benefits for these programs will need adjusting from time to time.

 

2.  yes.  Unqualified yes.

 

3.  I don't see how this would be a change.  As expenses, these expenses reduce your profit and therefore your taxes.

 

4.  A lot of education and tuition (up to $4k per year, I believe) is already deductible.  I'm not sure what you mean by family and dependent deductions.  I'm sure it must be something beyond what already exists?

 

5.  Already exists.  But, I don't know why?  What's the purpose of this deduction?  I think I'd eliminate it.  My concern is that  wealthy individuals will cluster together and pool their money to create superior government services just for themselves.  Then, they skip out on paying their fair share to the nation by deducting what they've selfishly spent on themselves.  Why should a  billionaire get a tax break to fund outrageous infrastructure and services in a city where middle class folks can't afford to live?

 

6.  I might want to tweak the numbers, but not much.  The 90th percentile is around $170k, so that seems a little early to go after 50%.  But, generally 'yes', I agree with this.

 

7.  Several thoughts on this one...   I wouldn't tie war to debt (war involves loss of life, compared to which, affordability is a trivial concern).  Congress should be able to authorize military action at levels other than 'declaration of war'.  I agree that the President has too much power to get us into military situations without support from Congress or the public.  

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21 hours ago, bludog said:

It's a great compendium of proposals, Laripu, but it would take a government comprised of people of good will to implement them.

 

An overarching and largely unaddressed problem, worldwide, is sociopaths in the halls of power.  The damage sociopaths do is way out of proportion to their numbers.  If good people of conscience do not find a way to identify the sociopaths among us and prevent them from seizing power, I believe we, as a species, are headed for extinction. 

 

Technological progress has outstripped our ability to control both previously unforeseen consequences like pollution. climate change or stratospheric ozone depletion;  And then there is technology specifically aimed at harm and destruction in the form of WMDs. 

 

Sociopaths should have no part in policy-making whether it's tax code, social legislation or  renewable energy.  And letting them control WMDs is folly almost beyond comprehension.

 

Quote

 

http://www.pathocracy.net/

 

PATHOCRACY: THE GLOBAL ORDER

 

DO PSYCHOPATHS RULE THE WORLD?
redpinkline.gif

 

MEET THE PSYCHOPATHS
(a partial list)

 

caligula3.jpg

 

Roman Emperor Caligula

 

Thatcher.jpegkissinger.jpgdcheney2.jpeghillary%20clinton.jpeg

 

Margaret Thatcher / Henry Kissinger / Dick Cheney / Hillary Clinton

 

Soros3.jpegalbright.jpegblair.jpegb%20clinton.jpg

 

George Soros / Madeleine Albright / Tony Blair / Bill Clinton

 

 

 

Throughout history, psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists, and assorted antisocial-personality-disordered individuals have ruled societies.

 

Psychopaths and sociopaths often exhibit glibness and superficial charm, have a grandiose sense of self-worth, are pathological liars, display extreme narcissism, are deceitful, cunning and manipulative, exhibit a lack of remorse or guilt, show a callous disregard for the feelings of others, have no conscience, lack empathy, and fail to accept responsibility for their actions.

 

In a competitive world, the people who act immorally, who have no regard for truth, are going to have an advantage over those who play by the rules. The result is that those who achieve positions of power will be the most ruthless, the most sociopathic, the ones without conscience.

 

In societies run by psychopaths, ambitious individuals and sycophants, who are not clinically psychopathic, are induced to model themselves after powerful psychopaths in order to achieve power. The result: psychopaths breed more psychopaths.

 

When corporate leaders, bankers, media executives, academics, military officers, government officials, Congressmen and Senators, and even Presidents and Prime Ministers, are liars and deceivers, and are ruthless, callous manipulators who have no regard for truth or other people, the entire fabric of society is twisted in their image, and psychopathic behavior becomes the norm.

 

Our world is characterized by: permanent war, full-spectrum dominance, targeted assassinations, rendition, torture, water-boarding, NSA, FBI, CIA, Mossad, MI6, NATO, Gladio, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, mercenaries, Blackwater, paramilitaries, Contras, counter-insurgency, nuclear weapons, cruise missiles, drones, landmines, cluster bombs, napalm, Agent Orange, depleted uranium, biological and chemical weapons, enemy combatants, shock and awe, mujahideen, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic State (ISIS), Zionism, state terrorism, false flags, 9/11, color revolutions, regime change, coup d'etats, sanctions, drug trafficking, human trafficking, plausible deniability, impunity, fascism and neo-fascism, Auschwitz, Nanking, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, genocide, apartheid, dictatorship, plutocracy, oligarchy, kleptocracy, political sociopaths and narcissists, structural adjustment, austerity, extreme inequality, exploitation, poverty, elite pedophilia, endemic corruption, predatory capitalism, profiteering, tax havens, money laundering, bank bail-outs and bail-ins, too-big-to-fail, monopoly capitalism, globalization, market manipulation, financialization, corporatism, corporate personhood, golden parachutes, fracking, mountain-top removal, tar sands, Fukashima, laboratory-created diseases, genetically-engineered food, glyphosate, medical-pharma mafia, vaccine catastrophe, autism, three-strikes, maximum-security, militarization of police, corporate media, public relations, propaganda, fake news, surveillance, RFID chips, optical scans, facial recognition, global government, the New World Order.

 

It is clear that this world has not been built by caring human beings, but has been constructed and is run by powerful hallow soulless individuals.

 

And, despite the violence, suffering and chaos they have caused, we allow them to remain at the top, and in control.

 

redpinkline.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 4/16/2018 at 11:52 AM, laripu said:

 

5. State and local taxes should be deductible at the federal level, except sales taxes.

 

 

Maybe it's a subject for another thread, but I'm curious why this is a good idea.  What's the rationale behind deducting state and local taxes?  Aren't you concerned that the primary beneficiaries from this are the billionaire moguls who wall themselves off in gated communities with astronomical property values?  Why do those people need additional tax deductions?

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On 4/15/2018 at 3:17 PM, Renegade said:

 

Interest on the debt consumes about 6.8% of our federal budget.  That's while paying an average interest rate of 2.3% (Pew Research).   I'm having a hard time believing these low rates can last.  Historically, rates were often much higher.

 

200-YEARS-US-GOVT-BONDS.png  

 

With $19.8 trillion in debt, every percentage point that interest rates go up means we have to pay an additional $198 billion in interest payments every year forever.  That's money down the drain with nothing gained in return.  For now, as long as it lasts, we just borrow more money to make the interest payments.  In 2018 we will borrow over $800 billion out of $4.1 trillion spent.    

 

Do you think we're investing those borrowed dollars wisely?  I don't.  I'm afraid that when you borrow money and blow it, you end up broke.  Of course our politicians only care about the next election.  Raising taxes or cutting spending would be a political disaster for whichever party did it.  So, they play chicken with the economy.  Republicans say "I dare you to raise taxes.  If you do, we'll kill you at the polls."   Democrats say "I dare you to cut spending.  If you do, we'll take all three branches."   Nope, it's not gonna happen.  We're going to borrow some more money.

 

It's our fault.  As voters, we only care about 'me' and 'right now'.  We elect politicians who give us instant gratification, future be damned.   

you rightly point out that the interest rate is properly always in flux to some degree. We might want to look around at the other developed nations a bit more where they spend more per their own GNP/GDP as a percentage than we do. We also heavily subsidize military manufacturers and pharmaceutical corps to the tune of hundreds of billions each year in patent rights or monopolies. 

We neglect to fix our infrastructure at our own peril. The right kind of spending should be focused more on total revenues that are not taxed, but instead subsidized by taxpayers who get 

far less than they deserve. It's a broken system that hurts the economy now and in the long run. Inequality is a systemic symptom that we have lost our economic equalibrium. 

It's the total picture of trade the world around, the cheaper goods made someplace else that produce more profits for some, and the big banks are in that game to legally pilfer all 

that they can get. Sort of like the opposite of what they were meant to do. 

Will what last? Will the infrastructure someday collapse because no one thought enough to invest enough when they could, all things being equal?

 

A new power grid would be a huge step in making a net zero carbon dioxide energy that would create jobs and slow down climate change. It comes down to priorities and a more even play field for a new generation that could benefit all. This would make the US more competitive, but would also help a better trade to ensue around the world - that is, if banks 

would work more like they should. 

 

Anyway, that's the way I look at things.

 

Peace!

 

 

 

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On 4/21/2018 at 8:10 AM, Renegade said:

 

Maybe it's a subject for another thread, but I'm curious why this is a good idea.  What's the rationale behind deducting state and local taxes?  Aren't you concerned that the primary beneficiaries from this are the billionaire moguls who wall themselves off in gated communities with astronomical property values?  Why do those people need additional tax deductions?

 

You pay taxes on money you've made, not on money that the government requires you to spend.

 

Anyway, it's not billionaires I'm thinking about. The median house price in the United States is $200K. That means that most people will get a substantial deduction. It helps a lot for people at the low end buying entry level houses.

 

If you're worried about billionaires getting away with something, go back and look at the marginal rates I prepared at the top end. From the 50th percentile to the very top, income above the 50th percentile would be taxed at over 50%. At those rates, let them deduct taxes on their mansion.

 

There are under 600 billionaires in the US today. (Something like 540, avoiding to web sites.) The most expensive house in the US is around $350 million. Taxes on it will be around $20 million, give or take a bit. If someone can afford a house in that ballpark, their income is such that their marginal rate would be high.

 

Anyway, you don't make tax policy based on 600 people, you make it for the majority. 

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19 minutes ago, laripu said:

There are under 600 billionaires in the US today. (Something like 540, avoiding to web sites.) The most expensive house in the US is around $350 million. Taxes on it will be around $20 million, give or take a bit. If someone can afford a house in that ballpark, their income is such that their marginal rate would be high.

 

This contains a better extreme example.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates's_house

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45 minutes ago, laripu said:

 

You pay taxes on money you've made, not on money that the government requires you to spend.

 

Anyway, it's not billionaires I'm thinking about. The median house price in the United States is $200K. That means that most people will get a substantial deduction. It helps a lot for people at the low end buying entry level houses.

 

If you're worried about billionaires getting away with something, go back and look at the marginal rates I prepared at the top end. From the 50th percentile to the very top, income above the 50th percentile would be taxed at over 50%. At those rates, let them deduct taxes on their mansion.

 

There are under 600 billionaires in the US today. (Something like 540, avoiding to web sites.) The most expensive house in the US is around $350 million. Taxes on it will be around $20 million, give or take a bit. If someone can afford a house in that ballpark, their income is such that their marginal rate would be high.

 

Anyway, you don't make tax policy based on 600 people, you make it for the majority. 

 

I guess I was thinking about the debate over the recent tax bill.  Republicans wanted to eliminate the deduction for state and local income taxes.  Democrats didn't.  Speculation was that most of the people who would be impacted by the change were Democrats in high-tax states like New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey,  and California.  All the cynics believe the Republicans were trying to punish states that voted Democrat and the Democrats were trying to protect their big-money donors.

 

I think the final bill capped deductions at $10,000, so low income people aren't going to be affected.   Personally, I'd still scrap the whole thing along with the home interest deduction.  I guess in general I don't like deductions at all.  There are too many deductions, loopholes, and subsidies.  I think we should set progressive rates and make people pay...everyone, all the time.  If we did that, everyone's rate could be lower (or we could afford more government spending, or we could reduce the deficit) and we'd have a much easier task to figure out our tax bill.

 

47 minutes ago, laripu said:

 

This contains a better extreme example.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates's_house

 

Wow!  $1.063 million in taxes, just on one house.  Yep, I definitely don't want him to be able to deduct his taxes.  

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7 hours ago, Renegade said:

Wow!  $1.063 million in taxes, just on one house.  Yep, I definitely don't want him to be able to deduct his taxes.  

 

My point was that if you're getting taxed with a marginal rate of 90% (say for the top  $20 million you make that year) then letting you deduct $1 million from your income means that you're still taxed at 90% on the top $19 million ... and at a slightly lower rate for the next $20 million etc all the way down.

 

The mortgage tax deduction went reduce the tax collected - much - from people earning $100 million a year, but will really help smart and provident people making $60K a year.

 

The key is: tax the f☆•k out of high income salaries with high marginal rates. 

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