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  • On 24 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    Actually it is true, that the amount of money that we put in to "entitlement programs" (with all other spending held equal) is made possible by the level of deficit spending that we do.

    That is, given the fact that we are not going to raise that money from current taxation, or we are not going to sacrifice other spending "to pay for it."

    I never said these things were independent of eachother.

    iwog says

    I did read it. It says deficits make lower taxes possible.

    It says more than that. It proves this to be a false statement:

    "Deficits have nothing whatsoever to do with increasing wealth disparity."

    I get that you meant having deficits at all - where as I was referring to increases in the level of defiits.

    God this has been one of the stupidist wastes of time.

    humanity says

    This is so stupid.

    Deficits are revenues minus spending (if spending >revenues). It's like your hung up on the impact that spending has on deficits, and I'm simply saying hey, tax revenues sometimes impact deficits too.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in 99 ways to boost pensions in California -- at public cost, marcus said:

    I have problem with this and think Brown is right to fight it.

    I would like to point out though, that the bar graph might be somewhat misleading. State and local contributions were in many cases reduced for a while when the stock market was booming, form the late 90s to 2000.

    This explains at least part of the magnitude of the increases from 02 to 07.

    But yeah, they need to do what they can to cut abuses.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Obama jokes like an Asshole, marcus said:

    SoftShell says

    Apparently, neither are you.

    A L.I.E. is when you say something as if it were true, when you know it is not true.

    marcus says

    Apparently you're not real clear on what lying means. When you're talking, if you say something that's not true, thet's called a L I E.

    Wrong. I really do not believe he knows what lying is. I hear right wingers lying like crazy all the time. An example would be the birther nonsense. It's not about thinking it's true. It's about the fact that maybe some of the republicans core retards or racists might buy it. Maybe it will catch on and as a negative against Obama. That's what's important to you dimbulb liars. It's fun. HE wore a tan summer suit today, can you believe that ! Let's see if that sticks ! Weeeeee.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    Thanks a lot CIC. You're too kind. Just trying to refer back to what I said.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    Apparently you think that deficits are independent of tax levels. For example if we had a mini revolution, and income taxes were made substantially more progressive, and estate taxes were raised, maybe to kick in at 2 million, and capital gains tax rate were raised significantly, you think that these new revenues would almost immediately be spent, resulting soon thereafter in deficits just as high as they would have been had taxes not been raised ?

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    Why don't you have the common courtesy to read and comprehend this.

    humanity says

    Yes, but you're talking deficits versus not deficits (ie simplistic black and white). I'm talking about the magnitude of deficits. But I'm not even saying that larger deficits always cause larger wealth disparity. I'm saying that there are times when larger deficits (ie larger than they would have been with higher taxes) make lower taxes possible. And that during these times the level of the deficit is not independent of the the level of the taxes.

    Therefore if wealth disparity has anything to do with how progressive taxes are, it also (sometimes) has something to do with the level of the deficits.

    If A and B are not independent of each other and C is dependent on B, then A is not independent of C.

    I know that you're smart enough to comprehend what I'm saying.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    When you realized that we (I) never made a statement about an absolute direct causal relationship between deficits and wealth inequality, and that I repeatedly asserted that I was not trying to suggest that it was the root cause of wealth disparity, you lowered yourbar to this provably false statement.

    "Deficits have nothing whatsoever to do with increasing wealth disparity."

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Obama jokes like an Asshole, marcus said:

    In one sentence he says:

    CaptainShuddup says

    I've never told a lie here

    The very next sentence:

    CaptainShuddup says

    Obama hasn't told one single truth since he took office.

    I have to admit, this is a little easier than arguing with Iwog.

    Apparently you're not real clear on what lying means. When you're talking, if you say something that's not true, thet's called a L I E.

    When someone you hate, because they won an election, and because you predicted they would be terrible and you so desperately want to believe you were correct, that you're ability to be objective is even worse than how incredibly terrible it already was, is talking, you tend to lose all ability to discern right from wrong and truth from fiction.

    But on the bright side, you are sometimes creative about it.

    I've been witnessing this on a regular basis now for several years.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Obama jokes like an Asshole, marcus said:

    CaptainShuddup says

    My credibility is Like a ROCK!

    Sinking fast in the lake we call patrick.net.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    humanity says

    there are times when larger deficits (ie larger than they would have been with higher taxes) make lower taxes possible. And that during these times the level of the deficit is not independent of the the level of the taxes.

    Therefore if wealth disparity has anything to do with how progressive taxes are, it also (sometimes) has something to do with the level of the deficits.

    If A and B are not independent of each other and C is dependent on B, then A is not independent of C.

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    Does "starve the beast" work ?

    Did Bush's tax cuts which redirected SS surplus to the rich in the form of tax cuts, have an impact on how much room the government had to increase government spending 10 years later ?

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    Taxing a rich person and selling a bond to a rich person looks exactly the same to the federal budget.

    No it doesn't. The one is an asset, to the govt, the other is an asset and a liability. The one decreases the amount of spending that is deficit spending the other has the opposite effect.

    IF you want to say that deficits don't matter at all, then the Koch brothers are right,taxes are way too high on the rich and should only be lowered,...much lower.

    iwog says

    We can both agree that the federal loans have NOT been paid back

    Federal loans are always being paid back, and as far as we know will never be defaulted on.

    iwog says

    There is no functional difference between the two until the loan is paid back. We can both agree that the federal loans have NOT been paid back, therefore we are back to no functional difference. Wealth disparity is reduced either way.

    Wow. Again, it's strange that you would make a conscious choice to become more stupid just to win an argument.

    The wealth disparity is not the same AT ALL under these two conditions. On the investors side, his net worth has not changed at all with bonds. ON the govt side, yes, they have the same current cash to use on programs that financially benefit the the middle class (tho the extent they do).

    But assuming a consistent (or not totally different) tolerance for deficits, under the scenario where the money comes in as tax revenue, every million that comes in as tax revenue instead of borrowed money, is a million dollar difference in the our country's balance sheet. (the government's net worth on paper)

    The idea that this has no impact on spending programs for the middle class and poor is absurd, especially over time. How does it effect politics ? Ever heard of starve the beast ?

    Lower deficits (due to higher tax revenues not due to lower spending) mean more room for spending programs that benefit us all (not just the rich) therefore lowering the wealth disparity. Even investment in infrastructure decreases wealth disparity. Who could possibly argue against the fact that if deficits had been way lower in recent years, the government would have spent and invested more more on things like infrastructure ?

    If deficits had been way lower (due to higher tax revenues - not due to lower spending), we might not have ever even heard the term "entitlement reform."

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    I think what people are missing is the fact that both taxing and selling bonds takes money from rich people and gives it to poor people.

    What does "taxing bonds" mean ?

    Actually this entire paragraph is nonsensical to me.

    iwog says

    I think what people are missing is the fact that both taxing and selling bonds takes money from rich people and gives it to poor people. BOTH are wealth redistribution and BOTH function in the federal budget in exactly the same way.

    Total bullshit. Investors in bonds choose to invest in bond versus all other investments. It is NOTHING MORE THAN THE GOVERNMENT BORROWING MONEY FROM INVESTORS.

    What the fuck Iwog ?

    iwog says

    From 1983 until 2014 trillions were taken out of the hands of rich people and given to working class people. The growing national debt mitigated wealth disparity.

    Are you really choosing to become more stupid for the sake of winning an argument ?

    Money wan't taken out of the hands of rich people. Those rich people knowingly chose to invest money in bonds rather than keep it in other investment vehicles, presumably out of some desire to be diversified. Bonds perform very well in some situations that other investments don't.

    You are allowed to have a totally convoluted frame of reference on this. But that doesn't mean that anyone (besides tatapu) is going to buy it.

  • On 23 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    When you remove the taxation but continue the spending, you will have a slow growth in wealth disparity like we had from 1981 until today.

    If you remove taxation AND government spending, you will have a much faster growth in wealth disparity because all those entitlements and government jobs go away.

    When you remove the borrowing you force one of two things.

    Either:

    1) Progressive taxes have to increase, while spending stays close to the same, decreasing wealth disparity.

    or

    2) Politicians cut spending on entitlements, causing republicans to fall out of power, and democrats to come in to power, again eventually decreasing
    wealth disparity.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Wells Fargo's grim retirement planning reality: some want to 'die early', marcus said:

    What is this country going to be like 15years from now ?

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Wells Fargo's grim retirement planning reality: some want to 'die early', marcus said:

    APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch says

    SUCK ON A SEARS OVERUNDER

    What ?

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    I never realized Iwog was such a black and white thinker.

    But i was aware of the thing about him not being willing to lose an argument, even when he's wrong. Although I'll admit to not seeing him wrong all that often. With women's issues, he definitely enters territory that isn't his strong suit, but it's interesting, and provocative. Is there ever a time in Patrick.net history when Iwog said, yes, I do see that you have a pretty good point there ?

    (that is, when it was possible to perceive thatthe other person's pov in any way as in opposition to his point of view ?)

    Just an observation. Maybe he just is THAT brilliant.

    iwog says

    Saying it caused wealth disparity is ridiculous

    But saying it was a part of the cause, is one of those things that some of us like to refer to as "the truth."

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    adarmiento says

    iwog says

    The country accumulated a massive national debt. Unprecedented in fact. The money from this borrowing was paid in war wages which had a huge affect on wealth disparity after the war.

    How can anyone say debt causes wealth disparity when it did exactly the opposite in the 1940s?

    How come all that trillions dollar of Obama Administration debt for the stimulus, GM, and AIG did not have any positive impact on middle class wealth ?

    Sometimes positive is when things are getting less negative. But yeah, it doesn't show up on the graph does it. Certainly a lot of that did go to the stock market and to the 1%. MY opinion is that it could have been necessary without going all that much to the middle class. Although the middle class is invested in 401ks (just much less than the wealthy folks).

    I think a lot of the stimulus went to jobs, as did the GM bailout. Actually, a lot of the "stimulus" went to states, and local govts, who couldn't afford to pay their teachers, cops and firemen.

    http://www.edutopia.org/economic-stimulus-education-school-budget

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    That was a great run from the early 60s to 1981 or so. I like that if we are to believe that graph, the inflation stagflation of the 70s didn't stop the upward climb of middle class wealth.

    It might be that the graph is depicting total middle class wealth in such a way that the increasing number of people in the middle class is a big part of it (as opposed to wealth per middle class family increasing), although presumably it's both.

    In any case. It is interesting.

    My strong fear is that if and when we have our next significant inflationary surge, that both interest rates and wages will not keep up. Real interest rates will probably go negative if it were to happen in the next several years.

    I hope I'm wrong.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    igh debt worked out there because the debt represented a transfer of wealth via bonds from the rich to the poor. (mostly in the form of war wages, two income households, and contractor work)

    I believe you're right here, but that it's not significant. If you look at Vicente's grapgh at the top, the real increase in middle class wealth kicked in after the war. That would be a time when spending was dropping after the war, but was still high compared to before the war on highways, infrastructure, new govt jobs, ongoing military expenditures etc.

    And then again, with the Kennedy tax cuts. IT turns out that it s possible to have taxes so high, that reducing them is stimulative and beneficial to all levels of the economy. But we have never been in such a state since then.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    The debt itself REVERSED wealth disparity. It didn't increase it.

    Ongoing deficits that subsidize tax breaks for the rich were defintiely not a part of what was happening then. Which is why that genius humanity probably said:

    humanity says

    This is true NOW.

    iwog says

    It's not relevant to increasing wealth disparity. Using your example of someone blowing out all their credit cards, he is lowering wealth disparity.

    MY (his) example wasn't meant to have anything to do with wealth disparity. IT was just an example of how that one situation did not prove that excessive debt is a good thing, even if it was in that case.

    You said:

    iwog says

    How can anyone say debt causes wealth disparity when it did exactly the opposite in the 1940s?

    How can anyone say taking on way to much debt is bad, if I can give you an example of a time when it was good ? One example is meaningless.

    In any case back to the issue, we know it was completely different after WW2. There were no ongoing deficits. The war spending was over. Our economy was ready to boom, and on and on. (you have one single example that is radically different than our debt and deficits now)

    iwog says

    Debt in the United States MITIGATES the effects of regressive taxation.

    Here you are stepping out on a limb. I dissagree.

    More accurate to say, regressive taxation is impossible without excessive deficits.

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    One would think that deficits and total debt would be just as much an argument for raising taxes as it is an argument for lowering spending.

    But somewhere around the time of St. Reagan we (or rather the republicans) started believing in some magic fairy nonsense about reducing taxes being a way to increase tax revenues, even when taxes are at moderate to low levels.

    They say, raising taxes is an abomination, because the liberals will just spend it.

    (as if having deficits that are just large rather than massive is ticket for liberals to spend ).

    iwog says

    It's a ridiculous claim

    By your reasoning, the only reason to raise progressive taxes is to lower the wealth of the rich. I don't agree with that. I believe that higher progressive taxes will actually make more money available for the government to spend on programs and jobs that benefit the middle class. That is I believe there are limits to "deficit spending."

  • On 22 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    Someone making the claim that the national debt or deficit spending CAUSES wealth disparity needs to step up and make a case or shut the hell up. It's a ridiculous claim.

    Wtf ? You claim that lower progressive taxes cause wealth disparity, but lower progressive taxes has an an intermediate affect of raising deficits.

    Bellingham Bill says

    Pretty simple case to make here; deficit spending is essentially substituting borrowing for taxation.

    Yes.

    Deficit spending equals tax revenues minus spending.

    iwog says

    That deficit spending is still mostly paid out as entitlement programs

    More accurate to say that a lot of the spending goes towards entitlements. Spending and deficit spending are not the same thing. The latter is as much a function of tax revenues as it is a function of gross spending.

    Less progressive taxes are what make a larger chunk of that spending "deficit spending," rather than simply spending. But deficits put pressure on us to spend less on programs that primarily benefit the poor and middle class.

    The one and only argument that the right has to decrease entitlement spending, and also to decrease spending on government jobs (more state and local), is the level of deficits (and aggregate debt).

    iwog says

    Someone making the claim that the national debt or deficit spending CAUSES wealth disparity needs to step up and make a case or shut the hell up. It's a ridiculous claim.

    Just because something isn't the root cause, doesn't mean it's not a cause. When someone says that weather patterns are caused by global warming
    they aren't wrong because they attributed it to global warming rather than the causes of global warming.

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    HydroCABRON not hydrocarbon says

    ending deductions for all expenses,

    What ? You're kidding right ?

    The rest seems reasonable, although I would cap taxes on gains well below ordinary income (but not at 15%).

  • On 21 Oct 2014 in Middle Class Wealth Gone!, marcus said:

    iwog says

    That's true, however Mell was offering the point that the national debt was responsible for increased wealth disparity in the 1980s and onward.

    It's not that far off, it's an indirect connection to the one you're making. After all, when taxes on the rich are lower than they should be, those cuts are in a sense, financed with government debt. And then we all pay the piper for that debt, disproportionately it hits the middle class.

    So government debt is a mechanism through which wealth is distributed upwards.

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