Would Dem's upend the tax preferences of retirement accounts like 401(k) ?

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Lerner, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sine he's no longer on the job , that at least weakens his membership. A PIPSCweak, maybe? :) (Kidding.)
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  2. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Oh lighten up. I was joking, based on the fact that my previous job was with Revenue Canada. "Best in the world" Canadian Public Service is a bit of actual propaganda they peddle in the Service; needless to say that it is to be taken with a GIGANTIC grain of salt. Just like your typical company "rated best in class by JD Power and Associates" [email protected] businesses push on their employees.

    I suspect I'm more for the role of government than you are, but it's not like we are from different planets. I enjoyed my work, paycheque and bennies quite a bit, but no one likes taxes.
  3. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Yeah, something along these lines. I have TWO membership cards (for whatever reason), but probably can't use these for anything at least until retirement.
  4. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    But I love to do my patriotic duty and pay my fair share of taxes. This is true. Dishonest filthy rich folk like Trump that have probably committed tax fraud to avoid paying taxes should be put in jail.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Probably? That's ultra-kind and charitable to say the least. What's got into you, Bill? :)
    Bill Huffman likes this.
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Maybe not. There's nothing immoral in arranging one's affairs to minimize taxes so long as the law isn't broken.
    SpoonyNix and Lerner like this.
  7. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    So Bill you are now a judge and the executioner?
    I would say with all the attacks by the left media operatives, shouldn't
    the taxes be examined first.
    If Mr. Trump didn't get prosecuted so far, than maybe he didn't violate any laws?
    I mean IRS is not an agency you want to mess with, if you know what I'm saying.
    Lets see what the audit will find out.
    And leave the bulshiTVsion and other fake news aside. Time will show if there is merit to the suspicions and accusations.
    I have a feeling Mr. Trump payed in one year more taxes that you and I pay our whole life.
  8. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Of course, that's why I said probably. His lawyer said he probably committed both tax fraud and insurance fraud. We also know that he's under investigation by New York for such crimes. I really doubt he'll be arrested immediately anyway. I mean we know he's Individual-1 in Cohen indictment so that charge would theoretically be ready to go but I suspect that he will pardon himself which will put any federal charges in a state of limbo unless he resigns and Pence pardons him then it would be a more solid pardon. So that means the New York investigation would have to complete before any indictment.
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    When I'm at work I can count on at least one employee coming to me once a year telling me that they need to be paid more because they just don't make enough.

    They'll tell me how much childcare is, they'll tell me how much their car costs or how much groceries have gone up or their property taxes went up etc.

    We're a significant employer in this state (and others). Our wages are above average for the type of jobs we're talking about. So usually the conversation goes like this:

    Employee: "I don't have money for food!"
    Neuhaus: "I see. Do you smoke?"
    Employee: "Yeah, I smoke."
    Neuhaus: "How much do you spend on cigarettes per month?"
    Employee: "I don't know, I usually go through two packs a week."
    Neuhaus: "OK, well, that's around $30 per week you're spending on cigarettes. So you'd have an extra $120 a month if you stop smoking."

    I have a similar conversation about eating in the employee cafeteria instead of bringing lunch and buying energy drinks (which many of our employees chug through multiple ones during the day much to the delight of our vending machine people).

    The point is, it's very easy to say "I don't have money for X." I do not have money for a new car. However, that is based on my current budget. If I reopen the spreadsheet and stop putting as much into personal investments and savings as I do, suddenly, I can afford a new car payment. You move the expenses, you re-prioritize and you reach the goal.

    The United States manages to find trillions of dollars when it wants to engage in endless and pointless wars. The United States spends billions of dollars per year on maintaining military bases around the world including massive military operations in allied nations such as Germany and Italy. We have billions to send to Israel for military aid. But when we say "Hey, can we have a social security system that isn't terrible?" suddenly we are broke. We, as a nation, are always able to find cigarette and Monster (energy drink) money and then we stomp our feet because we don't have money for food and new work boots (i.e. stuff we need). The money is there just fine. The prioritization is out of whack. Having military bases in Germany made perfect sense during the Cold War. Yet, we're still there. It was only toward the tail end of my own enlistment that we finally withdrew from Iceland which we, along with the British, had occupied against their will during WW2. So we forced our way into a friendly and, I believe, neutral nation during WW2. We set up a base ostensibly so the Nazis wouldn't take over the island and give them a foothold North of the UK. Then we stayed there for nearly 70 years after the fact. We spend money on personnel. We spend money on transportation and equipment all for a base that had lost its strategic significance in 1945.

    There's two ways to pay for things. Reduce your expenses or increase your income (ideally both). We can reduce expenses pretty dramatically if we give up the notion that the US is the world police. We can increase revenue if we start taxing the uber wealthy. I'm not talking the upper middle class, as is often discussed, with annual revenues of $250k or whatever. I'm talking about the actual wealthy. The people who make millions of dollars a year without producing anything. If you make a million dollars selling books or chairs or lamps or whatever, then great, have at it. But behind you are a group of people making tens of millions of dollars essentially betting on (or against) your business.

    Giving a hedge fund manager a massive tax break isn't going to trickle down to anyone but a small segment of purveyors of luxury goods.

    In the Navy (don't sing it) I had full healthcare and dental. I had a retirement plan. The key objections are very seldom that we just couldn't possibly pay for it (though that objection does come up). The larger and more pressing issue is that people view anything the government provides as "socialism" which we are taught from an early age is very bad.

    We can have these things. And, frankly, having these things would be good for a free market. If I open a recruiting firm the fact is I will lose employees very quickly if I cannot offer them the sort of health insurance that a company the size of the one I work for can afford to offer. My health insurance is heavily subsidized and I pay a very reasonable rate for coverage for four people (around $300/month). As a small business operator, I could never offer a plan this good for that little. So I will lose employees either because they proactively go out for better benefits or one of them gets sick and they realize that health benefits are life or death. I, as a small business owner, could not compete. The best I can hope for is to hire disposable employees who can be replaced easily as they drop off. This can work for a pizza parlor but not a recruiting firm.

    For employers to have to take on the burden of health coverage harms the employers and the employees. The only reason my wife has been able to be self employed and now working for a small non-profit is that she is married to someone with access to good health insurance. If we weren't married she would need to work somewhere else, potentially out of her field, just to make sure she can pay for maintenance medications. That also means that she is taking up a job that someone who doesn't have self employment as an option could have otherwise had.

    Some people want small government. I'm cool with small government. That means that I want the government to only be providing a baseline of essential services. I, honestly, don't care if the state of New York feels compelled to license massage therapists. The benefit to me as a consumer is negligible as evidenced by the fact that the profession has existed well before licensing and continues to exist without licenses in some jurisdictions and the world has not fallen apart. I would, however, like a police department that is responsive to local needs and engaged and collaborative with the local community. I would like a fire department that does the same. I would like well maintained roads. I would like public spaces available to all persons regardless of wealth so everyone can enjoy nature. I would also like to know that the person who serves me coffee didn't come to work with the flu because they don't have access to PTO or the ability to see a doctor.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I had a homeless man in jail the other day. There was no reason to hold him pending trial but he said he had no mailing address for court notices. I asked him if he had a cell phone number where we could reach him. He said yes, that would work fine but he would give us two numbers, one for the phone he keeps his music on and the other his "normal" phone. I managed to keep a straight face through the hearing but afterward I admit I laughed pretty hard.:D
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I'm all for slashing military spending and foreign aid. But even if they were cut to zero, that would be dwarfed by the amounts needed for the social programs Democrats are calling for. It's not simply a matter of differences in priorities.
    SpoonyNix likes this.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No, there isn't. However, in the case under discussion, some of us wouldn't doubt that it could probably be beyond that point. But who the hell are we? We may never know the full extent.
  13. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Are you with Johann alleging US is too poor to make sure its citizens are fed, clothed, and are not dying prematurely from preventable diseases? Because otherwise, it is very much a matter of differences in priorities.
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    What I alleged was not true was this statement:

    "--basic income, universal healthcare, housing, utilities, education. We are an incredibly wealthy society. We have the problems you cite because we choose to have them."

    I still say - the US cannot afford to provide a basic guaranteed income for all, universal healthcare, free housing, free utilities and free education. I don't see not providing these as a matter of choice. Among other things, I mentioned that the interest on the National Debt is increasing at the rate of a billion dollars a DAY.

    If you're going to quote me, please do so correctly - at least within a reasonable tolerance. Or maybe you could just pay off the National Debt and prove me wrong. Everyone would like that.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    From Wiki. "On January 8, 1835, president Andrew Jackson paid off the entire national debt, the only time in U.S. history that has been accomplished."
    Can someone please do it again? Maybe a GoFundMe page?

    I could be converted from this viewpoint. Neuhaus makes some very good arguments about priorities in his post above. So yeah, maybe I should reconsider... I'll work on that.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
  16. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    Hell no, it NEEDS to die. There's too much enabling as it is.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The per capita GDP in the US is $65K. The questions are around how this is distributed and what it is spent on; what are our priorities. "Afford," in this case, is a term best understood in context.
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    More context, then, is that that's $217,934 per taxpayer, and that doesn't include unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs. I can't see a way out other than further devaluation.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't want to get over my skis here--I'm not an economist--but do free-floating currencies actually get "devalued" by their governments? Monetary policy, I thought, influenced this along with currency exchanges. For example, the US could issue more currency--monetary easing--which could have a devaluing effect on the dollar's exchange rates with other currencies.

    But, again, perhaps I am mistaken.
  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Yes, they do. There are all sorts of fancy terms from euphemisms like "quantitative easing" and "MMT" to more direct terms ranging in seriousness from "currency inflation" to "devaluation" to "hyperinflation". But the concept is easily understood with simple arithmetic: when you increase the value of the denominator, the value of the fraction goes down.

Share This Page