How tight is the United States budget, really?


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Message 1295350 - Posted: 14 Oct 2012, 21:38:38 UTC - in response to Message 1295330.

...

Es, I'm not exaggerating. I know what I pay every year. And I'm not going to start giving details of my financial situation in here. And our tax rate compared to other countries in the world is not an indication of anything other than our tax rate as compared to other countries in the world. To infer otherwise is non sequitur. Live in the U.S., buy a house, and pay income tax before you talk to me anymore about the taxes I pay.
...

Don't post on an international forum about how much tax you pay then demand that people don't talk to you about it.

It doesn't matter what country I am from, or where I pay taxes. THAT is a non- sequitur. People here can comment on any country they want here. I am sure you have quite strong opinions on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan (I won't list them all because the list is so darn long) and how they should govern themselves. So strong in fact that your taxes have been paying for decades to destabilise regimes all over the world (whether democratically elected or not) as it suits US interests. It was American tax dollars that originally went towards paying for the training of Al-Qa'ida soldiers. I think on that basis we should all certainly be keeping an eye on the US and what it does with your tax dollars.
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Message 1295351 - Posted: 14 Oct 2012, 21:40:58 UTC - in response to Message 1295330.

Have you "run the numbers" on this? How much revenue would it raise? And how much would it raise if applied only to incomes above $1M, while preserving current exemptions and deductions for everybody else?

Simplifying the tax code would go a long way towards increasing revenue to the treasury. I'm all for a graduated flax tax system. No more deductions (schedule A). No more credits. No more standard deduction. No more personal exemptions. No more married filing separate or joint. No more head of household. No more qualifying widow(er). Everybody files without claiming to be married or single. They claim the number of people they are supporting. If one of the people you support is an income earner, you add that to the income for that family unit. Everybody pays *something*. Even if it's only $12/year for the lowest of wage earners.

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Message 1295355 - Posted: 14 Oct 2012, 21:48:53 UTC - in response to Message 1295329.

Does those figures take in the Life Expectancy loading? As well as any other loadings, i.e., occupation?

You'd be surprised at what loadings there are - at least here in the UK & I wouldn't be surprised if the same applies in the States.


The details of my math were provided, you're welcome to highlight any errors. Enter the military with a starting basic pay of $21,800, with %5 an annual increase in earnings, after 27 years you'll leave with a basic pay of $77,500, guaranteeing a pension of about $50,000 per year. The pension is funded by 4% of basic pay earnings, and grows at 10% per year with $0 admin costs.

With those assumptions the fund after 27 years has about $180,000. Out of this about $50,000 is paid for the rest of the life of the person on the pension.

Loadings for life expectancy and the like would not appear to apply, the pay out of a military pension is based solely on years of service and the "Average of the Highest 36 Months Basic Pay".
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Message 1295364 - Posted: 14 Oct 2012, 22:11:18 UTC - in response to Message 1295355.

OK, understood that. Are those figures based soley on the individual's contributions to that pension?
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Message 1295366 - Posted: 14 Oct 2012, 22:11:40 UTC
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Message 1295369 - Posted: 14 Oct 2012, 22:16:56 UTC - in response to Message 1295364.

OK, understood that. Are those figures based soley on the individual's contributions to that pension?


What other sources are there?
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Message 1295370 - Posted: 14 Oct 2012, 22:19:31 UTC - in response to Message 1295369.

Employer's contribution, or has that stopped?
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Message 1295371 - Posted: 14 Oct 2012, 22:19:31 UTC - in response to Message 1295366.

Funny how the question has now been reversed back on me. (again)


Funny how the questions are raised after you mentioned "brand new cars"? You opened the door, we're just taking a look inside.

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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1295392 - Posted: 14 Oct 2012, 23:52:21 UTC - in response to Message 1295370.

Employer's contribution, or has that stopped?


And the employer in this case would be? Oh right, the US tax payer.

Let's assume the employer's contribution is double the employee's, that would result in a final pension fund of about $540,000, and we're back to having a fund that can support a $50K/year withdrawal.


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Message 1295396 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 0:12:53 UTC - in response to Message 1295366.

No. You will not bog me down in minutiae.

I think I've given you enough information to demonstrate where I've been before. From the above statement, it looks like you want to increase spending and increase revenue. So, show me a tax schedule that would do it based on the latest numbers generated from the statistics of the latest year of tax information available from the IRS.gov web site.

I already proposed a top marginal rate of 100% on income over $1B. I'd leave rates alone on income under $2M and on income between $2M and $1B, I'd make the rate whatever it needs to be. Oh, and I'd eliminate all exemptions on income over $2M, whether personal or corporate and no corporations could become eligible for any exemptions or deductions while they have one or more foreign employee(s). That framework is sufficient for the discussion I'm interested in having.

As I've said before, I've "run" the numbers to make enough cuts ...

Not that I have seen.

... (based on the last budget APPROVED by the house and senate or the budget DICTATED by our current president--I forgot which one I based my caclulations on.) to run a little bit of a surplus to start paying down the national debt. The static numbers I used would have zeroed out the debt in about 12 years if I remember correctly, taking into account the difference in lower interest paid each year was applied to the principle. This was 2 years ago using the latest number from the IRS (2 years old). (now it's 4 year old data) Scanning through all my posts, I didn't spot it. Besides, those numbers won't work anymore because of the damage Obama/Reid has allowed to happen. As for this particular suggestion on how to erase the current tax code and start all over again, I have not "run" the numbers to see how much revenue it would generate. At the particular time of this post, it was merly a suggestion that EVERYBODY who earns income should pay SOMETHING.

And as I said, everybody does pay something, and in particular the poor pay more than their share of state and local taxes and therefore hitting them up again for federal taxes does not undo an injustice done to the middle class by the poor, it only adds one more injustice being done to the poor by everybody else.

...would really cost more like 25% of GDP, based on per capita income = $48,100 according to CIA, and family size approximately equals 4 (slightly more than 4, iirc). So even if the real cost of the general welfare is twice my guess, there would still be at least half of GDP remaining for us to compete over, and that would be more than enough to motivate me.


is nothing more than a guess and an opinion.


Not quite. $48,100 comes straight from CIA's data, and "2.4 children per family" is common knowledge. Maybe it's only 2.1 these days, the exact figure doesn't matter anyway, "fractionally more than two" like I said is close enough. That is an estimate, not a guess. With "MATH" in your alias, I will not insult you by explaining the difference to you as if you do not already know it, I'll just remind you that there is a real difference, not just a semantic distinction.

The "guess" to which I referred is only that guaranteeing the bare necessities for everybody would cost somewhere between $48,000 per family and twice that, which as I think I already said, I intentionally left wide to emphasize that even if somebody makes what I would consider an unreasonably high estimate of the cost of reasonably providing for all Americans, what is leftover should still be more than enough to motivate competitiveness for "the finer things," social status and recognition of achievement, because humans are naturally ambitious.

So I repeat:

What I hope you will address is whether half of GDP would be sufficient to:

(1) meet the reasonable needs of every American
(2) leave enough to motivate competition for the surplus

Answer Key:
(1) ~ $96,000 per family of four is more than sufficient, obviously, as demonstrated by the millions of families of four and even more, doing quite well thank you with significantly less.
(2) This is the disputable part. Let's dispute it.

So yes, I used the word "guess" myself but that guess is based on common knowledge figures, such as: decent housing is $1,000 - $2000 / month depending where one lives, and the well-known 1/6 of GDP for health care, which I think we all know was marching steadily toward 1/5 until Obamacare began to "bend the cost curve down."

My "guess" is only that meeting everybody's basic needs costs less than or equal to $96,000 a year. I really don't consider this debatable. (In my opinion, it would be much less than $96,000, but I don't want to argue about whether it's closer to $48,000 or to $96,000. What I want to argue about is, even if it does cost as much as $96,000, how exactly would "only" $8 Trillion left to compete for spell an end of competition?) No, the cost of such a safety net would certainly not exceed $96,000 per household, and the needed revenue could certainly be raised by increasing taxes and eliminating exemptions only on individuals and corporations with income above $2M, and if you assert the contrary then the burden is on you.

So, do you really need IRS data before you will agree with this obvious fact (some amount, less than or equal to $96,000 a year would easily provide for everybody's basic needs) and address the real question? Which is, if as much as but not more than $96,000 was available for a safety net so strong that nobody could ever fall through it (I hope), do you believe that would have a negative effect on economic competitiveness? Why?
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Message 1295400 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 0:44:33 UTC
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Message 1295405 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 1:38:55 UTC - in response to Message 1295396.
Last modified: 15 Oct 2012, 1:42:04 UTC

"2.4 children per family" is common knowledge.

That's 1950/60's data.

I did look up the figures a few months ago, and don't want to do it again,
but my notebook says only 48% of American housholds have children.
In most of these the number is 2 with an average of ~1.85.
Not all households have 2 adults.

Which may indicate the average household is now about 2.4 persons.
Not 2 adults and 2.4 kids.

edit] Although if the USA follows the UK trend this may rise as a recent report here said 30% of adults aged 25 to 30 are still living with parents.

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Message 1295409 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 1:50:14 UTC - in response to Message 1295400.

Does it help anybody to pay people to collect taxes from everybody and then employ more people to calculate the amount to be returned to the poor to maintain a subsistance level.

Why not have the individual States collect all taxes, then they will be more likely to reflect the local "cost of living index" and then have the state pay the Federal government the due amount for all it's citizens, in one lump sum.

No. You will not bog me down in minutiae.


Then I guess you can't show me the math. Nobody in here want's to be burdened by the minutia. The *truth* is in the minutia. Everybody in here just wants to say what *feels* good.

At least do a little bit of googling and tell me how much revenue would be generated from a 100% tax bracket starting at $1B and pick a rate between income of $2M and $1B and tell me how much revenue would be generated there.

I think if there's a federal tax, *everybody* should pay something into it. It's not just the rich and the middle class who gain something from the federal government. And I'm not asking the poor to pay much. I think it's only fair if *everyone* pays a "fair share". If the states are taxing the poor too much, it's not the federal government's problem.

The truth of the matter is if you give every leech in the U.S. $96,000/year from the producers, there would be one big party in Vegas and the Boardwalk and the next year, this country would crash and turn into a country no better off than Somalia.

Do I really need IRS data? No. But I want you to look at the IRS data and see how much or how little you'd change it and, working with the latest numbers, see how much revenue it would ACTUALLY generate (for one year, without regard to the effect it would have on the GDP next year.)

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Message 1295413 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 2:26:38 UTC

Guy, something is wrong big time. "Walmart workers, as a group, are the largest food stamp recipients in the country totaling $2.66 billion annually. That’s right, Walmart, a company that makes more than $400,000,000,000 a year is taking more than $2,660,000,000 out of tax payers pockets annually because they have refused to pay their workers a living wage. Not only has Walmart callously expected the taxpayers to pick up the slack, but the government has allowed them to get away with it! In fact, reports say Walmart has direct knowledge of this and directly assist employees in applications for both food stamps and Medicaid." Hayleys Comments
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Message 1295418 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 2:32:48 UTC - in response to Message 1295400.

That's not the truth.

The truth of the matter is if you give every leech in the U.S. $96,000/year from the producers, there would be one big party in Vegas and the Boardwalk and the next year, this country would crash and turn into a country no better off than Somalia.

That's nothing but ideology, an aggressively misanthropic kind. None of the Founders of my country, nor the mythical Jesus ever referred to the unfortunate as "leeches" and nobody who does deserves anybody's respect.

But thanks for proving me right. Like I guessed, our disagreement clearly does not have to do with math anyway, but with psychology and character -- your lack of any.
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Message 1295421 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 2:39:04 UTC - in response to Message 1295400.
Last modified: 15 Oct 2012, 2:39:38 UTC

No. You will not bog me down in minutiae.


Then I guess you can't show me the math. Nobody in here want's to be burdened by the minutia. The *truth* is in the minutia. Everybody in here just wants to say what *feels* good.

Least of all those that are winning hand over fisy by that minutiae? You've been oddly quiet about the math of a military pension:

To infer otherwise is non sequitur. Live in the U.S., buy a house, and pay income tax before you talk to me anymore about the taxes I pay.

Is so much BS it's difficult to know where to start. I've lived in the US for a number of years, paid taxes for longer than I've had the right to vote (no taxation without representation? right!) though I don't own a house so that means I have no right to talk about taxes. BS. BS x 10. BS to the power of 10.

bobby, if you're living on social security alone, you are living in poverty by most definitions in Washington DC.

Social Security is thus a failure?

Social security was created to help all those who put in their best effort to defeat Japanese imperialism and the Nazis.

It was? The teacher here needs to study their history.

Serius B, you're getting warmer.

Quite, as everybody knows, the salary and pension of a member of the armed forces is funded 100% by the tax payer. The individual's contribution to their pension is not representative of the debt the nation to the individual.
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Message 1295425 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 3:10:24 UTC - in response to Message 1295253.
Last modified: 15 Oct 2012, 3:14:21 UTC

...My proposal would put a floor on "need" so competition would be only for luxuries, or better versions of the necessities, so housing with standard carpeting (or maybe linoleum, simple tile or Bella wood floors and the like) would be provided, Persian rugs would require competing successfully for economic reward; education up to and including state college, dormitory or modest apartment housing should be provided, but Harvard, upscale housing and fancier transportation than bus or bicycle would require competing successfully for economic reward, etc. And, as now, we'd all have to choose among such luxuries according to the degree of our success. The only difference is no mother would have to choose between food for her kids, or medicine for her kids, nor any other necessities...

I would like to point out that people on government assistance (the right's so called "entitlement" people), tend not to have anything nicer than the bare minimum you mentioned here.

This tells me you are a bit out of touch with reality. Typically, people poor enough to qualify for "entitlements", if they have carpeting it's old and stained and poorly maintained by a slumlord or public housing management, and if they have linoleum it's gouged, chipped up, missing tiles etc.

I don't know what kinda lifestyle people on foodstamps or section 8 live in your area, but here in NY these people typically do not lead the life you seem to think they do.




To touch on the topic of the thread.
The budget isn't tight, it's negative.

I can agree with Guy in one department. Spending needs to be cut.

Taxes need to be raised, on every family making, say, 90,000 or more per year. period.

On the 90k or less/family group, taxes need to remain the same, or perhaps a few hundred more paid in that is not refundable, just so I no longer have to hear the republicans *itching about people that "don't pay taxes" (even though they do, in surprisingly large amounts, even if it doesn't go directly to the fed).

Cut spending, raise revenue through raised taxes, and highly raised taxes on the "highly" rich (say, 500,000+ range, going progressively higher with income).





@Reed
I already proposed a top marginal rate of 100% on income over $1B. I'd leave rates alone on income under $2M and on income between $2M and $1B, I'd make the rate whatever it needs to be. Oh, and I'd eliminate all exemptions on income over $2M, whether personal or corporate and no corporations could become eligible for any exemptions or deductions while they have one or more foreign employee(s). That framework is sufficient for the discussion I'm interested in having.

I like it, I'm on board.
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Message 1295479 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 8:20:18 UTC - in response to Message 1295418.
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Message 1295480 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 8:35:25 UTC
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Message 1295486 - Posted: 15 Oct 2012, 9:10:24 UTC

What you asking from Bobby is way out of line. I have been employed at a public tax firm too. Asking Rommy to open up is one thing, asking a Setizen is criminal.
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