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Taxes Stay-the-Same Bill and Unemployment

Today the posturing continues. I'm talking about the end-of-year mess the 111th Congress finds itself. They're running out of time to keep taxes at their current level or allow them to go up.

The rhetoric is shrill right now. In the news you and I keep hearing this bill referred to as the Tax "Cut" bill. Make no mistake, no one's taxes are getting cut.

What would happen is that some or all would have their Federal Income taxes stay the same if they can agree on the contents of the bill.

But the word cut has such a nice ring to it, doesn't it.

There are countless stories all over the Internet about this, so you can take your pick to see who's got many of the facts.

The current problem, the way I see it, are the earmarks that are part of the proposed bill. Including earmarks onto this major piece of legislation muddies the waters when it comes to voting.

A vast majority of Americans spoke out about this perverted method of legislation on November 2, 2010.

Many are sick of earmarks and pork. I know I am. If you are, I want you to tell me exactly how you feel with a comment below.

The problem with earmarks is that you don't get a true barometric reading as to where your elected official stands on the primary piece of legislation.

This is why earmarks need to be outlawed. Each spending item should have it's own vote. An earmark that's part of a larger bill might only be a piece of legislation that's several pages that can be digested quickly. We get an up and down vote on each item so you and I can see exactly where our elected officials interests lie.

Take for example the current massive unemployment benefits that are part of the deal being brokered right now between the President and Congress.

That aspect of the bill should have it's own vote.

Here's an interesting take on the Unemployment Benefits I found on the FoxNews website.

Then there's another twist from Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. They had a fascinating article about prolonging unemployment benefits. The first paragraph has an interesting nugget.

Times are tough. If you or someone you know is out of work, there are jobs out there. Are they a perfect match for your skills? Possibly not. Beggars can't be choosers in this market.

There's nothing but opportunity online. There are countless websites where you can register your talents. You might become a virtual employee. I happen to have three of these that work in my businesses. One's 3,000 miles from me.

Think outside the box. Do whatever it takes to be productive. That's one of the things that's going to help our economy start to rumble along again.

But back to the earmarks. I can hear the lamentations of those who like them. They might say that they're such a convenient method to get around all those pesky committee meetings and hearings.

After all, Congressmen and Presidents have parties to attend and other things that are so much more important than our business. Remember, the elected officials are our servants. Somehow they think it's the other way around.

Let the Comments begin!

Comments

This bill is sickening. I am very angry that the Republicans are even considering this thing. They did not hear what was said Nov. 2nd did they. This is 1994 all over again which will allow the lefty socialists to keep marching when the R's are voted out. I am so angry that I give up and will vote straight Dem next time. I am sick of it.

COMMENT BY Tim Carter:

Chris,

Acccckkkkk! Hold on! Wait until the 112th Congress get sworn into office next month. The pinheads that are working on this bill are NOT the ones that have said they'll listen to us.

So reserve your judgement for another year. Let's see how thing go by September of 2011.

Chris Long on December 13, 2010 11:08 AM

We need the tax-stay-the-same bill to pass. Its a shame that pork and earmarks were piled on with it.

Brian K on December 13, 2010 11:22 AM

I am really upset with the alleged Republicans, just after supposedly "getting religion" and finally hearing the will of the American people. It should be the Republicans absolutely opposing this pork-laden bill that would be adding to the total destruction of the budget, except that one has not been passed. The only hope is that the House Dems will indeed hold up passage of this bill and allow the NEW House to pass a much better bill early in January, retroactive to Jan 1.

Eli Zonana on December 13, 2010 11:23 AM

There are so many negatives in the world today that solutions are hard to come by.My hope for the world is `prayer`.

Fred Patrick on December 13, 2010 11:41 AM

If it is true that 75% of all businesses are "small" businesses and that they employ 90% of all U.S. workers AND they are taxed at the personal tax rate, then extending the tax rate at present is a no-brainer.

David Guinn on December 13, 2010 11:45 AM

Earlier this morning I sent my Congresswoman a reply to her "newsletter" where she stated "Unfortunately, if House leaders follow through on their threat to block any compromise that doesn’t raise taxes, the result could be NO extension for anyone and a $3.9 trillion tax hike for everyone on January 1st." My comment was "I agree but what happened to the original version of the Tax Bill that proposed the tax extension and unemployment benefits for another year? Giving money to Union influenced film and television productions, wooden arrows, race tracks and wool research is your interpretation of compromise? Really? I thought the Republicans made a commitment in Nov. to stop increasing our national deficit with worthless spending but it appears it's business as usual. Makes me sick" then I listed every proposed pork-filled earmark that was shoved in the new Tax Bill. Lastly I informed her that "I receive updates from Congress.org and will check the tally to see who voted for and against not only this Bill but every single one that goes through the Congressional process. Like so many other Americans, I'm not asleep at the wheel anymore." Boy, did that feel good!!! Keep up the good work, Tim and to my fellow Americans, remember THEY work for us. Thank you for your time. Angie

Angie DeYoung on December 13, 2010 11:46 AM

I wrote my Crongreewoman Jean Schmidt and pleaded with her to vote NO on the bill that will only bring the Chinese one step closer to calling in their markers and make us a (USA) new part of China, after all they bought the place. It is called Capitalism.

I can only hope that it will fail and the new government can do better that the old government. Who is our savior in 2010, come on Jan 20, 2013.

Sam Elbe on December 13, 2010 11:46 AM

I don't think you can blame the Republicans or the Democrats. Both parties have their fingers in the pot! They haven't gotten burned often enough or good enough to learn when to say no! They're worse than kids in a candy shop.

Thurl Carmany on December 13, 2010 11:58 AM

I say let the tax bill go down to defeat. It would save a lot of money that we (and maybe our grandchildren) don't have. Let the 112th Congress go for a true tax cut (if the Republicans have a spine). If Obama fails to sign a tax cut bill, we can blame him in the 2012 elections.

Charles K. on December 13, 2010 11:59 AM

Earmarks and pork are the bribes used by incumbents to get votes back home. Bringing home the bacon gets them reelected most of the time. It didn't work this past Nov 2 because they could only point to Obamacare, etc.

Bobby Brown on December 13, 2010 12:10 PM

There is logic supporting the use of "Bush Tax Cuts" in talking about the tax code. In 2001/2003 the laws passed to reduce our taxes had a kicker thrown in at the end of a ten year period. This was done to allow the laws to be passed using budget reconciliation. The kicker specified that in 2011 taxes will return to pre-2001 levels. So if Congress extends 2010 tax rates through 2011, we will be getting a tax cut relative to where taxes would be if the 2001/2003 laws were simply allowed to stay in place.

SteveA on December 13, 2010 12:28 PM

If the only way to keep the Bush taxes in place was to extend the unemployment benefits I would agree only if it could be paid by cutting in other places where that money should not have been spent in the first place. As far as earmarks go,this is one area that should be done away with without hesitation. I could never understand this stupid method of passing a biil in the first place. Regarding the unemployment question, there needs to have a final end to extending so that people who have been on it for years will know that it is time to take a job even though it was not paying what one is accustomed to. We are making it to easy to sit and do nothin.

Bob Neveux on December 13, 2010 12:51 PM

Washington doesn't change, just the people do. This is the same old path we have been on for years.

Robert Donegan on December 13, 2010 1:12 PM

This Congress has already proved they are not trust-worthy. I say let's see if the new Congress in January will indeed listen to their constiuents and pass permanent tax relief with no pork barrel earmarks, then grade them accordingly in the 2012 elections.

Bob Rose Jr. on December 13, 2010 3:42 PM

Ok, so peoples taxes are suppose to stay the same with no increase BUT only if unemployment benefits are extended. And who is going to pay for this FREE money? The reason the government takes more and more of peoples money is because they have to fun their ever expanding bureaucracy. I listened to an interesting interview with the king of Liechtenstein recently. He said governments must return to being the servant of the people and should only be involved in 2 things: Maintenance of law and order and diplomacy! If a bill should be advanced for a vote it should contain only the specifics of the case, say for setting tax rates or a defence bill etc. There should be absolutely nothing else in the bill not related to the bill itself. This is how corruption advances. This is how the socialists can continue to slip in more building blocks for the socialist society they are building. Obama admitted they are 'building a structure'. One brick at a time. One earmark at a time.

Craig Mouldey on December 13, 2010 4:54 PM

Tim, I am confused you seem to be giving the republicans a pass on this latest Tax agreement? (Your comment to Chris). I would like for you to consider this comment from another resource, and with which I agree whloeheardtedly:
"....... The first act of the newly empowered Republican Party has been to add a trillion dollars to the deficit. Republicans have now fully embraced the Keynesian arguments that they routinely denounced. John Maynard Keynes argued that when private demand weakens, the government should pick up the slack. He advocated either of two paths: government spending or tax cuts. Republicans have simply chosen the latter course........."

james M. Convey on December 13, 2010 5:23 PM

Sometimes I want to go off the edge and start shooting the idiots; but what good would that do?

PAY ATTENTION, my friends. It riles them when you perceive the web they weave to deceive. Raise all kinds of HELL when they try something.
Make you voice and opinion heard.
Demand audits and make them publically prove they did what they promised.

Patrick Coppage on December 13, 2010 5:30 PM

Somr additional economic facts that you should not overlook.

......... The only parts of the plan likely to have a significant effect in stimulating the economy are the extensions of unemployment insurance, cuts in payroll taxes and, perhaps, tax credits for businesses ("perhaps" because they are temporary and thus would only bring forward investments). To get these measures, (worth about $250 billion), Obama agreed to an extension of the Bush tax cuts that will cost around $750 billion, and eventually much more, since these tax cuts are now more than likely to become a permanent fixture...........

james M. Convey on December 13, 2010 5:37 PM

Let's get real folks. When you eliminate the "earmarks" and various other flavors of pork, the choices here are pretty simple: (a) keep tax rates where they are (what opponents of extending the Bush rates are calling "tax cuts") or (b) increase taxes. If you choose (a) then there will little to no affect on you and your family. If you choose (b) your going to see your takehome pay decrease. The problem is those idiots in Washington still don't get it. We don't want them to raise revenues - we want them to drastically cut expenditures! That's the sane way to get to a balanced budget. Heck we all know that, we have to do it ourselves all of the time.

Rob Robinson on December 13, 2010 6:43 PM

Well we wanted change, and I guess this is the change the Republicans had in mind. From the Party of NO, to the Party of SPEND SPEND SPEND. Same Ole BS as past.

Tim, As for out there, maybe where you live. Here in NY where we live there are 0 jobs, or there is 1 job that hundreds are applying for.
As for on-line jobs, 99% are scams and if there are legitimate ones out there, just what could they be. For the average middle aged person that lost their job after their company closed down due to the economy. These are the people that do not get hired. They are too old, or over qualified with the former being illegal, they use the latter to tell you, or you never hear from them. My wife has been to countless interviews, along with hundreds of others. When my shop closed, I went to work for an electrical contractor, that lasted just over a year before that too was done. I am now an electrician, panel builder, engineer, systems integrator for a salt water fish farm. My pay scale is back to where I was in 1978 at this point in time, no benefits at all. I had to cash in my 401K in 2006 so we could stay out of debt. Right now, there are no other jobs out there and I am looking. Most of the other contractors I work with are in the same position. They are holding on, taking jobs where they are barley covering payroll. In my case, there is a great chance in 3 years to ramp my salary to the level it should be, but only after this company gets off the ground. So right now, we need the unemployment extension to pass, we need the faux tax break up to 250K, not including small businesses, they need to have a 500K tax break to create jobs and retain them. The middle class has to be taken care of since it is up to us to carry the US economy on our shoulders.
I do not see this administration providing this, I also do not see the Republicans doing anything to make it better, and I certainly do not see the Dems doing anything about it. So I say we need a 3rd political party and not the Tea Party, you can see what that got us. We need representation and the only way I see this , is with an independant Peoples Party. Washington has been broken for so long, it just needs to be SHUT DOWN.

Jim Healey on December 13, 2010 8:09 PM

I oppose the bill - we need a straight vote on just continuing the tax rates as they are today. Dems wouldn't dare defeat it.

Tom E on December 13, 2010 9:44 PM

I don't like taxes staying the same for families making over $250,00, but what the President and the Republicans agreed to was the best solution.

Dan Dewar on December 14, 2010 1:49 PM

I would like to invite all of the posters and commentators @ Tim's Firepit, to view my recent essay published today and available on my website. It covers an issue that I believe crosses all borders and boundaries and in essence is at the heart of all of the globes economic difficulties. Please access the following link for the item and leave a comment as you wish here or there.
http://www.jamesconvey.com/1/post/2010/12/subject-irelands-economic-woes-december-7th-2010-an-essay.html

james M. Convey on December 14, 2010 5:31 PM

i'm so sick of the class warfare!! I'm also sick of being treated like I'm stupid by our elected representatives!! they work for me! and you!! I'm not stupid and i don't appreciate the condescending, elitist attitude out of Washington DC.
We've worked hard and saved our money so that we can have a decent standard of living in our old age. We don't want the gov't dole. we don't want socialized everything. We want to live on what we've earned and we don't want the gov't taking it away and giving it to someone who won't work or who has not taken advantage of the opportunities afforded them. I'm sick of hearing about "tax cuts for the wealthy" when in fact this is a "taxes stay the same" bill.
Who in the H*[[ pays the taxes anyway?? If everyone had to pay something, then everyone would be alot more interested in how the gov't spends "our" money!! Stop the fraud and the waste too!
I wish i could go to DC and slap the crap out of every last one of those SOB congress people!!!!!

julio on December 14, 2010 10:27 PM

I couldn't agree with Julio more.
Entering my 7 seventh decade of life I've never seen a time greater that the "ruling class" completely ignores the voting majority. Clearly, the lawmakers have become thieves with no other purpose than to enrich themselves by creating earmark attachments to bills. I'm surprised that our capitol hasn't become violent already. Hitler had the German Parliament burned down just so he could eliminate all opposition by decree. Like Glenn Beck, we must be careful and watchful for what the radical left does. Boy, are we in trouble!

Tom on December 15, 2010 1:38 PM

Tim, I am still in doubt as to your understanding of the economics of your own country's expenditure models? You posit a 35% across the board reduction in government payrolls? That is fine that would results in a savings of 514 billion (Total all government wage and pension costs from the CBO for 2009)x35% =savings of 1.799 bn.
Now explain to me how you are going to offset the increase in the deficit created by the latest tax bill which will see an addition of almost a trillion dollars to the deficit? Also every economist on the planet agrees that the wealthier % will receive the biggest marginal benefit from this tax legislation amounting to an actual burden of an additional 750 billion dollars, on the back of the treasury of the American people? Also agreed is that these wealthy benificiaries of this new act, will not have any appreciable positive effect upon the economy. In fact it is more likely to have an ongoing negative affect for several years longer as it will probably become a permanent benefit! Numbers are not an ideological factor Tim?
They are however the truth and no band aid approach, or attack upon any singular employee segment of the total economy, will offset this single deficit increasing item? I understand the emotion involved but the practicality of your argument is missing the point!

COMMENT BY Tim Carter:

James,

No worries my friend. I covered that ground the day before in this post:-

http://www.timcartersfirepit.com/balancing-the-budget---michigan-could-blaze-the-trail.html

See Step 2.

Bottom Line: We put a stop to vast amounts of unnecessary government spending. We establish zero-based budgeting for all departments.

I've said this in countless posts over the past 15 months. We - the American People - are the government. But sadly, most Americans are detached. They feel the government is this obtuse beast or thing.

But in the real world, when a business or person starts to spend too much they either go bankrupt, stop excessive spending, or increase revenues. You get the point.

The problem here is excessive taxation due to excessive spending by the government. Let's look at some real data.

We'll take a person living in the state of New York or even California. One of these *wealthy* people making $250K a year. The following are rounded numbers for brevity.

Our government now wants them to pay nearly 40 percent income tax, they pay close to 10 percent in state income tax. Some cities have an additional income tax to add on to that. Then you have nearly a 10 percent sales tax in both states if I'm not mistaken. So we're over 60% in taxes, and we've not added in real estate taxes and other taxes you see on all sorts of other purchases like plane tickets, phone bills, etc.

I ask you when's enough enough? It's possible that those wealthy people are not even keeping 30% of what they make each week. You're telling me you're okay with that?

And have you seen the breakdown here in the USA of who really pays the lion's share of income taxes? Yep, the wealthy. Nearly 49% of the people here in the USA don't pay any taxes. Do you think that's fair? A very small percentage, single digit, pays 20 or 30 percent of the taxes. Can you believe that? And you wonder why there is class warfare here.

If I was elected President, I can tell you if I had the power, I'd institute a flat tax or one where there were say three levels. This is just an example: 8, 12 and 18%. But every wage earner PAYS tax. Why? Because if you have a skin in the game, you tend to be more aware.

We all know why the wealthy are a target. They don't represent a large enough voting block. You can kick them to the curb repeatedly and win an election.

It's not rocket science.

James M. Convey on December 15, 2010 4:57 PM

Sorry Tim my math is missing a dot or two That should read 355 saves 17.99 billion. So you still need to find 732 billlion dollars somewhere? Who elses salaries do you suggest be cut? regards james

james M. Convey on December 15, 2010 5:04 PM

Tim once again I understand your desire and idealism. What I don't see is an understanding of the economic facts as they currently apply? I totally agree with the concept of a VAT or flat tax regimen, as I have posited in many of my own essays on the subject. No one is suggesting an inequitable tax regime as far as I can see, but one cannot escape the existing facts and which facts you do not address sufficiently? In essence you do not answer my specific questions? You do suggest that Government employees somehow are the culprit and simply cutting their wages will somehow solve the deficit? This is patently ludicrous as I point out? It is not about the "wealthy". It is about the disappearance of the middle class, who did up until lately carry the tax burden. They have been disenfranchised by the widening of the wealth gap and the transfer of capital to offshore. The only people with any money at present are the wealthy top 2% of the nation? If thye don't pick up th eslack who will? Obviously as I point out, even if you eliminate government completely you will still be left with a very wealthy 2% of the population with all the money and nobody else will be working under your ideological posits? Your stance simply doesn't make economic sense?

COMMENT BY Tim Carter:

James,

I thought we covered this ground.

Cutting government workers pay and benefits is just the start. We then cut back on unnecessary spending.

Now, that's where you'll get arguments - meaning define unnecessary.

As I saw on that new website I found today, www.TheScreechingEagle.com, that person talks about the earmarks in the Omnibus bill. Why do we need $2M for an Ice Age Trail right now? I could go on and on.

The government needs to pull back spending just as you and I do when times are tough. You're a Canadian, and I'm sure there's government waste up there, right? Aren't you upset about that? How do you suggest to stop waste in Canada? Maybe we'll follow your lead.

I served in public government for over ten years on the local level. Eight years as an appointed official and then was elected to office as a village councilman for two terms.

I can tell you that we had the ability to control our costs and balance our budget without too much difficulty. Many, if not all, states here in the USA have to operate on balanced budgets. So should the Federal Government. Game, set, match.

james M. Convey on December 16, 2010 4:52 PM

Tim here is a communication I had with Forbes magazine on the subject of taxation etc. with one of Reagans top advisers Bruce Bartlett, going a far back as 2009. There are other discussions and essays on my site (economics). regards

http://www.jamesconvey.com/uploads/3/3/8/3/3383644/valueaddedtaxes_forbesarticle.pdf

james M. Convey on December 16, 2010 5:00 PM

Breaking News

This is how Governement should govern especially on Wall street!
Todays financial times header: "Clegg warns banks on bonuses"
Nick Clegg has warned Britain’s banks that the government would not stand on the sidelines if they paid out lavish bonuses and failed to increase lending, increasing pressure on David Cameron to toughen his stance on the City

james M. Convey on December 16, 2010 5:45 PM

Tim, Once again you give me some explanation that may well solve some of the minor issues within the American economic dynamic? Again it does not equate with the logic required to produce a proper deficit reducing, linear economic model, that does not entail the destruction of your entire economy and government, as your suggestions would certainly do?
(Remembering our country relative to the US is small). In Canada we do have government that, while we accept that there are certain wastages, our economy has functioned and continues to function in an increasingly healthy manner. Our mortgage market has long been a significant model of efficiency, from a risk management viewpoint, and our banks are of course not permitted to escalate their risk levels against their asset strengths. These are only 2 major factors that are missing from the American economic model... Why? Both of these in Canada are government monitored programs. We have resisted dismantling these protective regulations to feed our corporations greed. We expect our leaders to continue to hold a tighter leash on our capital markets, and this is why Canada has not suffered from the same corporate abuses permitted in an unregulated US system, since the 80's. Government is an essential piece of a good democracy. At present the US extreme Right appears to want to dismantle the entirety of the system? They have no replacement for it it seems, but this is becoming increasingly a 'non issue'...It is all about "throw the bums out" without any logical explanation as to what will fill the vacuum? That my friend is "anarchy" and will nurture nothing but rebellion and domestic terrorism! Ask yourself, whom does it serve?

It appears that every time America begins to move toward a fairer society, the screams of "socialism" and "communism" and all manner of dire predictions follow. Which only serves to strangle the debate, and any sensible occurrence of accommodation and compromise and ultimately growth and sustainable wealth for the populace are the victims of this folly? I don't understand the reasons for this left right hatred. I do know that unless compromise is the aim of your government and is supported by the people, then the American economic tragedy will continue to deepen! The rest of the world as you can see is progressing, dealing with their difficulties to each in its own fashion, and the Global shift of economic power is occurring. America must begin to do the right thing, and heal the schisms before they become unmendable chasms of extremism.

james M. Convey on December 16, 2010 6:22 PM

Just this month my wife and I've learn our 7 year grandson has a serious kidney disease. We are raising him and we just do not know how expensive this is going to get. And yes we have private insurance thankfully but we still have doctor visits with co-pays and other expenses that chops away at our income.

I have cut my expenses by not wasting energy. I have done away with my cable and home phone bills. I still owe Uncle Sam money from last year. But here goes the politicians throwing away money that I can not afford to pay. The well is dry. There is no money to pay for these useless programs.

James on December 16, 2010 11:04 PM

Nice. useful and helpful. continue ......;)

Nathan on December 17, 2010 6:39 AM

To James Convey. I see you have gotten sucked into this vortex of ilogical here. :) I'm glad at least someone is attempting to express coherent ideas besides myself. And honestly, you do it more effectively than I anyway, so I hope you keep contributing. I enjoy reading what you write.

But I've gotten tired of trying to convince the majority of people here that they are focusing on the wrong thing. It may be just a temporary lull on my part, because I am passionate about these issues. But right now, I'm tired of beating a dead horse.

They have no idea how much negative impact reducing government spending will have on the economy. The politicians do, which is why they are not doing it. Because if they did, the economy would tank (much worse than it already has) and they would be out of a job.

To Jim Healey - I understand about there being no jobs. I've been sending resumes out for 7 solid months, and I've only had two interviews in that time - which have not resulted in offers.

How much of a pay cut do folks like Joe and I need to take before we are resigned to take jobs that do not pay a living wage. And what happens to the people that have less marketable skills and the only jobs they might possibly have gotten were the jobs that Joe and I are now forced to take?

Tim has given me a tongue lashing about starting my own business. Well, it's certainly a good idea. But, is that what the millions of people out of work have to do? That is not a viable approach.

The loss of manufacturing jobs is a large culprit here. It reminds me of an interview on TV I saw many years ago with Victpr Kiam, who was the CEO of the Remington Electric Shaver company. He said "if we lose manufacturing in this country, you and I will end up trying to sell each other insurance". And as I've pointed out here previously, our economy right now is the manifestation of "the giant sucking sound" that Ross Perot talked about.

The reason why so many jobs have disappeared is a very complicated issue. No one here seems to understand that "big government" has very little to do with those jobs disappearing. Notice I didn't say "nothing to do with it"; it's just not as much as the right wing extremists like to claim. You can't solve a problem if you are not properly identifying the underlying cause.

Back @ James Convey again. Please continue to express the details about the "Global shift" and what "the right thing" is that you mentioned in your previous post. I for one, appreciate your ideas.

Lou on December 17, 2010 3:41 PM

@Lou... Thank you for the compliment. I hesitate to delineate any "right thing" solution to Americas problems, being that I am after all not an American. I can say from a professional point of view however, that my analysis of any problem, necessarily does not involve emotion, or any ideological preferences. Otherwise it would be flawed, as it would only then be simply a non scientific opinion!
That economists may differ as to specific solutions is true, but all are aware of the basic rules of macro and micro economic theory, including basic mathematics! One thing I know for sure is that when ideology becomes intermingled in any way with science, the results are nearly always flawed, and in extreme cases, lead to disaster. History is resplendent with such evidences.
I have pointed out on this site, that while I certainly understand the emotions and desires of all, for solutions for the economic difficulties that beset your nation, one cannot simply "throw the baby out with the bath water" to use an aged idiom.
That Tim and many posters agree with this fervor for change, while understandable, it would appear that the basic "ignorance" of economics and structure, common to any populace of any nation in general, allows for an undisciplined approach to solutions, that may well sound good and even have some basis in fact, but they are in almost every case, unscientific and thus impractical approaches to very complex problems!

The extremist politician does of course love to take advantage of this "ignorance of the masses" dynamic. Again history tells us this over and over again, but we seemingly never learn the lesson?

In this impractical "noise" it is very difficult for practical men to reach practical solutions? Simple logical questions and answers become ignored, as the desires and ideological penchants of the extremists views, and the blame seekers, drown out sensibility?

For instance I posited the following question to Tim about the numbers as to the new Tax bill? I resubmit it for you and all to ponder upon? (Consider that it comes from an outsider with as Tim says "no skin" in either side of the left or right game!

If, as we know, the middle class is basically disappearing into the haze of increasing unemployment, and with them go the taxes they once paid. And if 90% of the remaining wealth of the nation is controlled by the top 2% of the populace, as is already agreed as fact, by all economists globally, right or left.
And that 2% are also now 'not' going to be paying any taxes. Who is going to pay for even basic Government services, if you don't borrow from the Chinese or the Europeans and of course pass this indebtedness to your children and their children's children? This is deficit madness at it's worst!

Forget all the left - right furor, would someone turn off the blame guns for a while and ponder this question. Which is about the survival of America, regardless of your ideologies?

In my opinion, the right wing have done an excellent job over the last 20 years, of protecting their corporate masters on Wall street. That is their raison detre' after all, but certainly not for the American people as a whole community. They have never felt any need to answer these questions as their real constituency are that top 2% of the nation!................

The great nation that is the United States, has in my opinion, permitted the pendulum of equal distribution of it's wealth and economic sustainability, to swing too far in one direction. In my studies I was always taught that capitalism is a tool for the betterment of the society as a whole! Western Societies in our world, led by America as we have progressed to this point, are known as "mixed economies". In other words a combination of socialist and free market philosophies. The Global market cannot function at the extreme edges of this dynamic, be it either left or right that is the extreme! We know this! Central controlled economics means central. It is not an ideological position. It is the result of "sensible compromise" reaching a central point for implementation of actions for the good of the "society as a whole". That is the duty of your government agents!

The American dynamic, from an outsiders viewpoint, seems to have drifted away from that once logical community that honored all of it's parts? I believe the speed of life and the greed is good genre, that beset America after the fall of the Berlin wall and the defeat of communism, led to the place you find yourselves in as a nation. In an "unfettered by any regulation" world, America proceeded to play a game that was after all, theirs to control, as none could now stand in the way. Other like minded strategists in other western economies followed suit and played right along.

No credence was given to any who voiced caution, as it, along with every other sensible rule, was thrown to the wind. Today you find a Nation in turmoil and yet still unable to seemingly grasp the reality of the times you are living in. That is the reality of a populace anesthetized by the rewards and unreasonable benefits of this new rampant consumer society!

Attacking with vehemence and even hatred, those that differ in opinion, has become the norm it seems? Spurred on by media punditry, the American people are tearing at each other, as if their neighbor is not only suddenly a stranger, but is also culpable for the place you all find yourselves in? In this atmosphere nothing will ever be resolved and social strife could well escalate!

Until your leaders are able to swing the pendulum back to the centre, and the entrepreneurial spirit is reengaged and people reset their priority clocks to a "practical reality" setting, then this strife will continue. I believe that America can recover and become again a credible leader in a new Global community of nations. But not if they choose isolationism, and jingoistic fervor to return to some superpower status that will continue to bleed your nation of it's sovereign wealth. Those days hopefully are behind us all.
I apologize to any who may be offended by this posting but I trust that you will allow that it is offered in a spirit of concern and respect from your neighbor to the north.

james M. Convey on December 17, 2010 8:46 PM

@Lou...Please read this piece from my site wherein I addressed the topic some time..enjoy James ago.http://www.jamesconvey.com/uploads/3/3/8/3/3383644/rescuingcapitalismfromwallstreet.pdf

james M. Convey on December 17, 2010 9:37 PM

To James, your recent post is excellent. If you don't mind, I may borrow some of your commentary. I will of course give you credit. I always list references when using other's materials.

Thank you for taking the time to write such a well reasoned and non-inflammatory piece. We will get out of this mess only if all groups stop pointing fingers and blaming people, and start discussing issues honestly and in a logical fashion.

Lou on December 18, 2010 9:42 AM

I can't keep up reading all the comments here. I still believe that more government is the problem, not the solution. I feel bad for people who are out of work but extending entitlements and unemployment compensation is not the answer. How long is enough? Three years, ten years or maybe for life? "Rich" people already pay most of the taxes but they also spend lots of their money on cars, boats, homes, TV s etc. that helps make jobs. Also, the very rich donate billions to their charity foundations that help many causes. Do you suppose the fed would do better with that money? I doubt it.
We will all never agree on the same solutions to these problems but we must find some common ground here to solve them. However, I agree with Tim on an across the board cut to all government wages as a start.

Russ, Hebron on December 24, 2010 8:42 AM

You are absolutely right; calling the bill a "tax cut" bill, and even more so, a "tax cut for the rich" bill, is simply a way for the leftists to disguise what is really happening. The so-called "tax cuts" are no longer cuts; they have been the tax code for 10 years. They are in fact the tax rates. Any change would be an increase in taxes. As for stimulus, retaining the existing code can hardly be expected to stimulate anything. That would be like telling employees that they don't get a Christmas bonus this year, but they should work harder because they didn't get a pay cut. That is not going to stimulate anything. A 1-year slight decrease in payroll SS taxes is not going to stimulate anything either, because it will be over before people and businesses can react to it. So, what the Left wants to happen is to retain the existing tax bill while calling it a tax cut, and then when it fails to stimulate anything, say that they tried tax cuts and they didn't work, so now they need to raise taxes. Obviously the REAL solution is to simply reduce spending, but this appears not to ever occur to the Left, which is why we are where we are.

Fred on January 1, 2011 3:55 PM
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