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04/10/2011

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Jim

I am little surprised at some of the comments given that we are haggling over pennies while we spend thousands.

I also challenge Mr. Posner that Mr. Ryan's plan would have a more significant effect on the economy than analysis shows for the simple reason that it would signal seriousness and determination from Washington not seen in a generation. That would bring stability to markets and investors, who are presently idling trillions of dollars.

Re-opening the closed energy industry would be a great place to begin.

Jim

I am little surprised at some of the comments given that we are haggling over pennies while we spend thousands.

I also challenge Mr. Posner that Mr. Ryan's plan would have a more significant effect on the economy than analysis shows for the simple reason that it would signal seriousness and determination from Washington not seen in a generation. That would bring stability to markets and investors, who are presently idling trillions of dollars.

Re-opening the closed energy industry would be a great place to begin.

edhardyclothes

good post!

edhardyclothes

Thanks, and interesting observe!

Jay Kaplan

I cannot stand rhetoric that is nonsense. You argue for a means test for social security by asserting that there is no reason for people who can afford their retirement to be subsidized by the gvernment. Let's see if I can come up with a reason in say two seconds. Got it. People with means paid into the system for 40 years believing they would receive the benefit that was promised to them. How'd I do? I think pretty well if I do say so mysef. But the real point is why should two prominent bloggers make a rhetorical assertion that is so innane. There is only one answer: Ideology.

NEH

Now let's see how this works out based on my last W-2 form:

1. Federal Income tax withheld.
2. Social security tax withheld.
3. Medicare tax withheld.

Hmm... looks like I've been paying for both Medicare and Social Security upfront. So what's the problem? Inflation, misadventures in investments and robbing Peter to pay Paul. And now, everyone in Washington wants to change the terms of the Contract Americans thought they signed onto. Is this what is meant by the "Death of Contract"?

Now "Means Testing" my be a dodge on rewriting the terms of the Contract without hurting those who are truly dependent on Medicare and Social Security in their old age. But, it still just doesn't sound equitable or right. The real solution lies in increasing the revenue streams so that Congress doesn't have to continually rob Peter to pay Paul...

Max Furniture

I agree but believe that they all miss a very important variable alluded to by ElGreco.

TANSTAAFL

Obama's speech vindicated Paul Ryan's proposal. Obama actually made the amazing claim that the "middle class" does not itemize deductions and thus gets no tax benefit from paying home mortgage interest. What a severely degraded view of the "middle class" in America, heretofore identified with home ownership and paying a mortgage. Now Obama would have us believe anyone who buys a home is among the "wealthy." There is no middle class in Obama's grim "vision for the future," as he put it.

Robert Finney, Ph.D.

Original investigations on Kaiser Permanente, ObamaCare's model, expose fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement are posted on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0h7tUymj2Y and www.hmohardball.com.
Robert Finney, Ph.D.

Jack

"Obama actually made the amazing claim that the "middle class" does not itemize deductions and thus gets no tax benefit from paying home mortgage interest."

Did he? Well you bring up an interesting subject in terms of lowering the deficit. The "middle class" is deducting the interest on what's left of the mortgage they've been paying on, for the average (under $200k home) at their marginal tax rate of 25% or less.

The wealthy are deducting the (bit higher interest rate on a "jumbo") on their million buck place at their marginal rate of 37%.

Naturally we all know that but for such an incentive they likely not buy the million buck place, or perhaps even go to work.

Jack

NEH Agreed. Though the costs of Medicare, like those of ALL American style H/C has to be compressed.

"Funny thing" that many in the US pride our nation for having lower taxation than those nations in which H/C is included...... but then go home to pay a regressive 17% of GDP to our "ever so efficient" "private" H/C system.

Regressive? Yep? An 8,000 policy that almost always leaves another $2,000 (or more) for the lucky policyholder to pay is a heftier burden as incomes decrease, and the lower income folk are a lot more likely to pay the premiums and copays with after tax income.

Higher up? Much better levels of coverage that are a tax deductible part of the benefit package with fewer copays.

And...... of course hardly worthy of mention to those benefiting from the, unaffordable, Bush tax cuts, and "performance bonuses".

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It would be especially likely to do so over the next decade

Mark W. Budwig

We are told, "reducing the tax rate can, in some circumstances, actually increase total tax revenues." The key here is the phrase "in some circumstances," to which should be added, "and only when taxes are high by historical standards," which is not remotely true now. Republicans seem to believe that there need be no end to tax cuts that pay for themselves by encouraging growth, but even the famous Laffer curve, a favorite of anti-tax dogmatists, embodies the obvious fact that as tax rates approach zero, so do tax revenues. David Stockman, Reagan's budget director has conceded that the Reagan tax cuts, sold as paying for themselves, were actually intended to increase deficits and thereby force spending cuts as part of a "starve the beast" strategy. Predictably, they left the country awash in red ink, starting the debt problem that -- after a brief pause under Clinton, whose partial rollback of the Reagan cuts produced a temporary budget surplus -- became acute under Bush. "Starve the Beast" lives again!

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I consider it is a sober & persuasive analysis. The major point comes out is that the Ryan proposal, widely believed to be too extreme to be feasible, does not itself go far enough to actually solve the problem.

sylvia cleary

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edhardyclothes

your view is very right

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The best he can do, however, is to point to a paradox of development and what he calls the five horsemen of the apocalypse.To deepen his analysis further Morris also resorts to biology.I would imagine that those of us who are required by law to pay into Medicare or Social Security despite having a preference for providing for their own retirement would not take kindly to in addition get nothing in return.

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Jack

"but even the famous Laffer curve, a favorite of anti-tax dogmatists, embodies the obvious fact that as tax rates approach zero, so do tax revenues."

........... Ha! Indeed! But they keep trying to sell it for their sponsors!

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truther

"There is no reason why people who can afford to provide for their retirement should be subsidized by the government, which is to say by the taxpayer. But such a reform does not appear to be politically feasible."

While I agree that MORE than Ryan's plan needs to be done...your solution suggests theft from the "rich" is the appropriate solution.
There is a reason why people who can afford to provide their own retirement should still get their SS & Medicare...THEY ARE NOT SUBSIDIES! They are benefits that we bought and paid for with 30-40 years of WORK out of about 20% of our salaries. "Oh", you say..."well there really is no lock box full of benefits." So the government gave it all away to the leeches already? And now they claim I must pay my own way in retirement because they only have enough left for the leeches? Not my fault buddy...give me the bucks I contributed over 40 years + accumulated interest and I'll walk away...otherwise, I am owed that retirement money. YES...I will take cuts because that is what it will take to put the country right. But don't ask me to take cuts that are not shared by everyone equally. I've had enough "government fairness" for a lifetime.

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