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Thread: Schwarzenegger budget eliminates welfare

  1. #46
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    This blaming the welfare system in California for its budgetary woes seems to strike me as a vast display of ignorance.

    California has increasingly had budgetary issues since 1978 due to the proposition system. People can pass a proposition on a ballot in California and insist that no new tax dollars be raised to pay for whatever they're asking for in the proposition. Doesn't make sense.

    A lot of people point fingers at Proposition 13 passed back in 1978. It severely limited property taxes in the state and also put a lot of requirements on raising future taxes. The state of California simply doesn't have the latitude that a lot of other states have in filling budget holes.

    If you demand more services from the state of California yet insist on not paying any more taxes for the new services, you really only have yourself to blame for the state's budge crises.
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  2. #47
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^
    agree.
    too much democracy isn't always a good thing, especially when people are constantly voting to pass stupid measures that have disastrous consequences in the long term. it's just way too big and heterogeneous for a proposition/referendum system. this sort of thing only works in small, pragmatic countries like switzerland (population 7 million), and even then there are inevitably cases where people vote yes on stupid shit.
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  3. #48
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Purple Rain presents her ideas in ways that come across as racist but I do have to agree that the current welfare system as well as SS Disability, do not work. Some serious changes need to be made because the current system is actually harming those who should benefit.

    Ex 1: Single parents are caught in a trap. They can get subsidized housing, food assistance, job training and education, and medical care as long as they make little to no money. So we as tax payers are supporting them and their kids. I have seen many who took advantage of the educational opportuntied given to them. Then they go to get a job and find that the job will put them over the limit so they will lose the benefits but the job doesn't pay enough for them to pay rent, buy food, and provide medical insurance for their family. So they quit the job because they can't afford to take it.

    Ex 2: SS Disability was started for people who really could no longer work. Instead we suddenly had an over abundance of lawyers in the US. Some started to specialize in getting people approved for disability benefits in exchange for a fee. They began to inundate us with TV commercials of how they would get us payment if we had any of the conditions on the list they would scroll on the screen. We now have more people on disability than ever before. We also have programs offering to train disable people for new jobs but few take advantage because they would rather stay at home and not work. The abuse in this program is insane.

    Stopping the programs cold turkey is not the answer but some serious changed need to be made. I do resent paying my taxes to support people who have no desire to help themselves. I am not saying everyone receiving these benefits are scammers but far too many are.
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  4. #49
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluce View Post
    Purple Rain presents her ideas in ways that come across as racist.
    that's because she is racist.
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  5. #50
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purple rain View Post
    Where is socialism working? Have you been paying attention to the news? Socialism has destroyed Greece, and is on the verge of destroying countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and Britain. The new government in Britain is identifying ways to reduce public benefits in order to reduce their unsustainable budget deficit. Like Margaret Thatcher said, "Socialism only works until you run out of other people's money to spend." We're pretty close to that point right now in this country, with only 50% the country paying income taxes. It will only get worse and worse for this country as the baby boomers hit retirement and are due their Medicare/Social Security.
    Okay, I have to address this paragraph. I could sit here and name places where socialism works - almost every modernized/industrialized country has some form of socialism, but that would be pointless. The problem with this paragraph is that it says Socialism is the problem when in fact, it's not the issue. With the Greeks, they were basically pulling a Bear Stearns - lying about their financial system to get into and stay in the Euro Zone. How does that have anything to do directly with socialism? It doesn't. Socialism isn't destroying European countries any more than it destroyed Bear Stearns. Ugh.

    And quoting a Margaret Thatcher political speech doesn't prove the empirical validity of the argument. Thatcher railed against the "socialism" of the Labour party in 1975, blaming them for rising prices and unemployment. But anyone who knows just a tiny bit about the 70s knows that the cause of that stagflation was the oil crises of that time period. Ugh, again.

    I don't know where the only 50% of the country paying taxes is from, so I'm not even going to touch it. Does that statistic include kids? Does it include local and state taxes? What kind of population is this statistic based on and what kinds of taxes is it talking about? Seems like a made-up arbitrary number to me.
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  6. #51
    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wombat View Post
    Okay, I have to address this paragraph. I could sit here and name places where socialism works - almost every modernized/industrialized country has some form of socialism, but that would be pointless. The problem with this paragraph is that it says Socialism is the problem when in fact, it's not the issue. With the Greeks, they were basically pulling a Bear Stearns - lying about their financial system to get into and stay in the Euro Zone. How does that have anything to do directly with socialism? It doesn't. Socialism isn't destroying European countries any more than it destroyed Bear Stearns. Ugh.

    And quoting a Margaret Thatcher political speech doesn't prove the empirical validity of the argument. Thatcher railed against the "socialism" of the Labour party in 1975, blaming them for rising prices and unemployment. But anyone who knows just a tiny bit about the 70s knows that the cause of that stagflation was the oil crises of that time period. Ugh, again.

    I don't know where the only 50% of the country paying taxes is from, so I'm not even going to touch it. Does that statistic include kids? Does it include local and state taxes? What kind of population is this statistic based on and what kinds of taxes is it talking about? Seems like a made-up arbitrary number to me.
    pulled it right out of her ass, if I had to guess.
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  7. #52
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Actually - I remember news stories back around April 15th saying that almost 50% had no tax liability after taking all allowed deductions. I assumed they meant that 50% paid taxes but got it all back in a refund? I'll google a little and see what I find.

    Here's the first thing I found. I assume no responsibility for the content!

    Our view on financing government: When 47% don't pay income tax, it's not healthy for USA - USATODAY.com
    USA TODAY OPINION

    About Editorials/Debate

    Opinions expressed in USA TODAY's editorials are decided by its Editorial Board, a demographically and ideologically diverse group that is separate from USA TODAY's news staff.

    Most editorials are accompanied by an opposing view — a unique USA TODAY feature that allows readers to reach conclusions based on both sides of an argument rather than just the Editorial Board's point of view.

    The news came just in time to surprise and anger taxpayers sweating to get their 1040s done by Thursday's deadline: Almost half of individuals and households owe no taxes for 2009. Could that be true?

    Contrary to what you might have heard on talk radio or TV, it's not quite that simple. What's true is that the Tax Policy Center, a well-regarded think tank, calculated that 47% of Americans would owe no federal income taxes for 2009, up from the usual 38% who typically owe no income tax on April 15. Most still pay Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, sales taxes and property taxes (if they own any property).

    So they're paying taxes, but the fact that 47% pay no federal income tax is nonetheless disturbing — not for what it says about the non-payers but for what it says about the nation's broken tax system and how hard it will be to fix it.

    The people who pay no income tax aren't freeloaders or evaders; virtually all are simply doing what the law allows. That there are so many of them is the result of decades of deliberate, bipartisan tax policy.

    That includes an appropriately progressive income tax that levies a heavier burden on better-off taxpayers, and little or none on those with the smallest incomes. It includes tax credits such as the ones that reward people for having children and help lift some people above the poverty line by rewarding them for working. And it includes President George W. Bush's tax cuts, which removed 5 million people from the tax rolls while giving big cuts to upper-income people as well.

    More people owe no income tax this year because the recession has cost many people their jobs, and the tax cuts in the stimulus act — an idea conservatives preferred to spending programs — were potent enough to help push some people's tax liability to zero. Once the stimulus expires and the economy recovers, the number of non-payers should fall back toward the typical 38%.

    Even that number, however, strikes us as too high. It's not healthy for society if somewhere between a third and half of all potential tax filers don't help share the cost of most of government, from defense to highways to national parks. Everyone above the poverty level should have at least a minimal stake in financing the nation.

    The fact that so many people have no income tax liability is a reflection of a leaky, dysfunctional tax system. The code is absurdly complex. (Some Americans have to pay hundreds of dollars to preparers just to find out that they don't owe any taxes.) It's riddled with loopholes and excessive social engineering. It's undermined by spending programs that masquerade as tax credits. It even fails at its basic function of raising revenue, taking in barely $1 for every $2 the government spends.

    That's an unsustainable gap. Virtually every budget expert agrees that closing it will require trims in popular programs, particularly the underfunded Medicare and Social Security systems. That's a matter of math, not ideology, because that's where the rising costs are. It will require higher taxes on middle- and upper-income people. It will require narrowing loopholes and perhaps even some sort of national sales, or value-added, tax.

    In short, it will require a shared national sacrifice. When nearly half of households don't pay federal income taxes, it makes consensus harder to achieve by undermining the sense that we're all in this together.
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  8. #53
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Only 43% of Americans pay federal income tax, according to Brookings Institute.

    Tax Units with Zero or Negative Tax Liability, 2009-2019


    The numbers vary by a few points depending on the stats you read.


    Washington (CNN) -- If "taxes are the price we pay for civilized society," to quote Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., then April 15 is the day that bill comes due for every working American.

    But that is no longer the case for a growing class of Americans for whom the price of civilized society has been reduced to zero because the tax code's generous credits and deductions completely erase their income tax liability.

    And for many of these nonpayers, civilized society actually pays them a hefty refund, which is not much different from a welfare check except that it's run through the tax code instead of through the Department of Health and Human Services.
    If tax year 2009, for which we are paying today, is anything like tax year 2008, then a record number of the nearly 142 million Americans who will file a tax return will get back every dollar that was withheld from their paychecks during the year. During 2008, more than a third of all tax returns resulted in complete nonpayment. Many got quite a bit more, turning Tax Day into a payday.

    Over the past 15 years, politicians have been working overtime to create a blizzard of tax credits targeted to "help" the so-called "middle class."

    They've created the child credit, which is different from the child care tax credit, unless you have a grown child and then you can use the education credit. And if you don't have a child, then you can get one using the adoption credit. If you don't care for a child, there's the credit for caring for granny instead.

    But if you'd rather care for air than people, there's a credit for buying a hybrid vehicle, unless you'd rather put a solar panel on your roof, or simply replace all the windows in your house. Oh, don't have a house? Then there is the first-time homebuyer's credit.

    The consequence of turning the tax code into a tool for social policy is that we now have a record 52 million filers off the income tax rolls. This means 36 percent of all so-called taxpayers actually pay zero in income taxes after taking their credits and deductions. But these figures don't include some 15 million people who work but don't earn enough to file a tax return. When these people are added to the non-payers, estimates the Tax Policy Center, the percentage of households who don't pay income taxes rises to 47 percent.

    Nonpaying status used to be a sure sign of poverty or near-poverty, but Congress and the president have changed the tax laws to pull much of the middle class into the growing pool of nonpayers. The income level at which a typical family of four will owe no income taxes has risen rapidly, now topping $51,000.

    Two arguments are often heard in support of growing the nonpaying population.
    First, nonpayers are still liable for other federal taxes such as payroll taxes and therefore help with the cost of government. Secondly, all redistribution from higher-income to lower-income people is good by definition. Not so fast.

    Many nonpayers receive generous cash payments through "refundable" tax programs such as EITC or the child tax credit so that all the other taxes they pay are offset as well. In fact, the IRS paid out more than $72 billion in these refundable tax credits in 2008, a higher amount than the employee share of payroll tax obligations of everyone who earns under $30,000.

    As for all redistribution being good, the U.S. already has the most progressive individual income tax in the developed world, according to the OECD. Progressive tax policies take a large toll in added complexity and economic inefficiency, so at some point, we have to decide that enough is enough.

    Tax years 2009 and 2010 are likely to produce a higher number of nonpayers than in 2008 because of Obama's new tax credits targeted at lower- and middle-income taxpayers.

    As the number of refundable tax credits continues to grow, more and more tax filers are seeing the IRS as a source of income, not as a feared tax collector. That may be OK for the public relations department at the IRS, which now pays for ads nationwide touting its giveaways, but the nation needs the IRS to be a tax collector, not a welfare dispenser.

    The real issue is that millions of Americans no longer have any skin in the game and are becoming inoculated from the basic cost of government. To them, government seems free and politicians can easily convince them to support more and more spending because someone else is going to pay the tab. This trend deserves a broader national discussion than either party in Washington seems willing to engage in.

    Why more Americans pay no income tax - CNN.com
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; May 17th, 2010 at 12:24 PM.



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  9. #54
    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluce View Post
    Actually - I remember news stories back around April 15th saying that almost 50% had no tax liability after taking all allowed deductions. I assumed they meant that 50% paid taxes but got it all back in a refund? I'll google a little and see what I find.
    Shit, then I guess I'm one of the wealthy who pays taxes then. Becaue I damned sure didn't get back all that I paid in. Frankly, if my poor ass is paying taxes and not getting it all back at the end of the year, I assume most others are as well. Must go home to my double wide today and dust off the fancy china.
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  10. #55
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    yeah but instead of taking that statistic for what it really means - the u.s. has a shitty tax system and doesn't tax people enough - she interprets it as all of these people being freeloaders on welfare. because higher taxes = socialism so that won't do. but calling people freeloaders (and probably foreign too) sucking off the socialist system's teat, well that has a much nicer ring to it for the racist tea-bagging crowd.
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  11. #56
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Haha Witch - we both cited the same article.
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  12. #57
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Hah, Google.

    I'll delete mine so we're not doubled up.



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  13. #58
    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    Frankly, if my poor ass is paying taxes and not getting it all back at the end of the year, I assume most others are as well.
    My poor ass paid more taxes this year and got nothing back.

    They need to look into those pensions I tell ya. I was talking to someone yesterday who told me a husband or wife inherits their spouses' California government pension. It's crazy.

  14. #59
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^
    that's the case in many places. and i don't think there's anything wrong in a spouse inheriting their partner's pension unless they remarry.
    my father died before he retired but he worked the necessary number of years to get a pension, which my mother receives.
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  15. #60
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    ^ I can't say for sure, but a lot of pension of those types cover people who don't pay into Social Security. Most people pay into Social Security, but there are some government pensions where the employees don't and this is all they get. That may be the case with the pension mentioned earlier.

    Also, remember that California as a whole tends to have a higher cost of living than most other states. A $100,000 a year in CA is not the same as $100,000 in Nevada or Minnesota.
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