The semantic war over "entitlements."

The semantic war over "entitlements."

There are 60 comments on the www.newyorker.com story from Apr 1, 2013, titled The semantic war over "entitlements.". In it, www.newyorker.com reports that:

Names make news, an old newsroom motto has it. But names also make opinions. What something gets called can have more spin on it than a Mariano Rivera cutter, whether the person doing the calling intends it that way or not.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.newyorker.com.

XDR

Miami, FL

#23 Apr 3, 2013
Mykro wrote:
<quoted text>You mean like doing away with oil subsidies and sugar price supports?
Yep! Exactly. And also eliminate child tax credits, mortgage interest deductions, and more closely align Social Security payments to what the receivers actually paid into SS.

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#24 Apr 3, 2013
XDR wrote:
<quoted text>
Yep! Exactly. And also eliminate child tax credits, mortgage interest deductions, and more closely align Social Security payments to what the receivers actually paid into SS.
ALL YOUR SUGGESTIONS ARE ACTUALLY CLASS WARFARE AGAINST THE MIDDLE CLASS AND ELDERLY.

Do you have any major suggestions to raise the percentage the wealthy pay to the Treasury, as they benefitted mightily from the income redistribution from middle to upper income groups during the GW Bush years?

The middle class simply cannot do it. They have suffered wage stagnation for two or more decades, with normal to low inflation, they have lost much economic ground.

Pragmatism, not idiology must form our plans.
XDR

Miami, FL

#25 Apr 3, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
ALL YOUR SUGGESTIONS ARE ACTUALLY CLASS WARFARE AGAINST THE MIDDLE CLASS AND ELDERLY.
Do you have any major suggestions to raise the percentage the wealthy pay to the Treasury, as they benefitted mightily from the income redistribution from middle to upper income groups during the GW Bush years?
The middle class simply cannot do it. They have suffered wage stagnation for two or more decades, with normal to low inflation, they have lost much economic ground.
Pragmatism, not idiology must form our plans.
ALL YOUR SUGGESTIONS ARE CLASS WARFARE PERIOD, RICH VS POOR

You're hoping that the rich will somehow take care of all our Federal financial woes. That ain't gonna happen. The Fed mess is far too big for that. There will have to be pain on the poor and the middle class and the rich, not just the rich only.

Personally, I favor a flat income tax. Get everyones skin in the game rich and poor and middle class and quit using tax code to foster social engineering and special interests. Even better yet (and even less likey to occur) would be replacing income tax with VAT on all non-necessity goods and services.

Pragmatism is code for "let's Robin Hood from the rich". The real problem is spending, not revenue. Don't drink any political party's Kool Aid about that. It's the nonpartisan truth.
XDR

Miami, FL

#26 Apr 3, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you have any major suggestions to raise the percentage the wealthy pay to the Treasury, as they benefitted mightily from the income redistribution from middle to upper income groups during the GW Bush years?
I do not suggest using taxation to redistribute wealth as you seem to suggest. However, I do support a minimum net effective tax rate for the wealthy. They certainly should not be paying lower rates than those making less. Fair is fair.

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#27 Apr 3, 2013
XDR wrote:
<quoted text>
ALL YOUR SUGGESTIONS ARE CLASS WARFARE PERIOD, RICH VS POOR
You're hoping that the rich will somehow take care of all our Federal financial woes. That ain't gonna happen. The Fed mess is far too big for that. There will have to be pain on the poor and the middle class and the rich, not just the rich only.
Personally, I favor a flat income tax. Get everyones skin in the game rich and poor and middle class and quit using tax code to foster social engineering and special interests. Even better yet (and even less likey to occur) would be replacing income tax with VAT on all non-necessity goods and services.
Pragmatism is code for "let's Robin Hood from the rich". The real problem is spending, not revenue. Don't drink any political party's Kool Aid about that. It's the nonpartisan truth.
Wrong.
There has been a class war.

The American middle class are now so impovershed that they cannot afford a tax increase. It would crash the economy.
The wealthy have greatly benefitted from the transfer of wealth from the middle class; and they certainly can afford to pay their share.

I see that you are attacking the middle class.
You are just another shill.
I hope that you are paid well enough.

And who do you think engineered that federal "MESS" you refer to?
The working middle class?
Their donations to influential congressmen?
Who benefitted from the transfer of wealth, the Bush-neo-con wealth redistribution?
The wealthy got richer.
Come on, now.

And, the first thing to happen to a flat incometax will be exemptions for capital gains, estate taxes, and other exemptions the wealthy enjoy and the middle class are unaffected by.

Next, the more individual loopholes and exemptions, paid for by increases to the middle-income group.
XDR

Miami, FL

#28 Apr 3, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Wrong.
There has been a class war.
The American middle class are now so impovershed....
This here deserves special mention. Calling America's middle class impoverished is at best laughable, and at worst insulting to the majority of the world's inhabitants who are truly impoverished. The hyperbole badly weakens your arguments.
XDR

Miami, FL

#29 Apr 3, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
And, the first thing to happen to a flat incometax will be exemptions for capital gains, estate taxes, and other exemptions the wealthy enjoy and the middle class are unaffected by.
Next, the more individual loopholes and exemptions, paid for by increases to the middle-income group.
I'm not going to address your political rantings---I can get that virtually verbatim from MSNBC. However, I would in fact support a fair flat tax with no exemptions for capital gains, estate taxes, mortgage interest deduction, dependant child deductions, or anything else. I'm willing to give up my loopholes so long as others give up theirs. Don't gore my ox and I won't gore yours. Fair is fair, right?

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#30 Apr 3, 2013
XDR wrote:
<quoted text>
This here deserves special mention. Calling America's middle class impoverished is at best laughable, and at worst insulting to the majority of the world's inhabitants who are truly impoverished. The hyperbole badly weakens your arguments.
Thank you, Mitt. You are still wrong.

Look at US middle class savings statistics, total taxes paid, personal homes lost, and rate of growth of wages vs. inflation over the last 40 years.

You are WRONG Mitt. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#31 Apr 3, 2013
XDR wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not going to address your political rantings---I can get that virtually verbatim from MSNBC. However, I would in fact support a fair flat tax with no exemptions for capital gains, estate taxes, mortgage interest deduction, dependant child deductions, or anything else. I'm willing to give up my loopholes so long as others give up theirs. Don't gore my ox and I won't gore yours. Fair is fair, right?
Here we agree.
I would also support such a flat tax.

But I know, as you know, it would be loaded down with exemptions, loopholes, and special tax rates; before it got out of committee.
So, I would support it; and I also support voluntary contributions in lieu of taxes, which is about as likely to happen.

Since: Feb 08

Hypoluxo Fl

#32 Apr 3, 2013
XDR wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not going to address your political rantings---I can get that virtually verbatim from MSNBC. However, I would in fact support a fair flat tax with no exemptions for capital gains, estate taxes, mortgage interest deduction, dependant child deductions, or anything else. I'm willing to give up my loopholes so long as others give up theirs. Don't gore my ox and I won't gore yours. Fair is fair, right?
There is no such thing as a fair flat tax.
XDR

Miami, FL

#33 Apr 3, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank you, Mitt. You are still wrong.
Look at US middle class savings statistics, total taxes paid, personal homes lost, and rate of growth of wages vs. inflation over the last 40 years.
You are WRONG Mitt. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Look at the middle class savings statistics in Asian countries. Their wages are a lot lower, right? BUT YET they save a higher portion of their income. Why? The American Consumer Culture.

Most of the world's inhabitants would love American middle class living standards and incomes. Your aging Camry and formica-laden condo may not impress your neighbors in American suburbia, but it looks damn good to people with worn shoes and mud huts. I think you gotta admit calling the American middle class was hyperbole.

And just so ya know, I didn't vote for Mitt.
XDR

Miami, FL

#34 Apr 3, 2013
Mykro wrote:
<quoted text>There is no such thing as a fair flat tax.
Yes there is. See above.
XDR

Miami, FL

#35 Apr 3, 2013
Let's be real--the issue here isn't tax fairness--it's about using taxes as a means to redistribute wealth. I think some people are trying to make up for globalization's toll on wages by using taxes to redistribute wealth. Guess how well that will work in the long run?
XDR

Miami, FL

#36 Apr 3, 2013
Like I said previously, I'd much rather have a VAT over any type of income tax--be it progressive, regressive, flat, or whatever. Tax consumption on all nonessentials. Guess which income group would be hit the hardest? Who consumes the most luxury goods and services?

Working-class retirees and the truly poor would pay nothing as they only buy (or should only buy) necessities anyways. The people who can afford 3 new cars and 70 inch screen TVs and Macy's clothes would be paying, and without the income tax loopholes/deductions melodrama.

Problems with THIS? I'm all ears....

(and yeah I know it ain't never gonna happen)

“It's a Brand New Day”

Since: Feb 06

New Rochelle

#37 Apr 3, 2013
XDR wrote:
<quoted text>
Look at the middle class savings statistics in Asian countries. Their wages are a lot lower, right? BUT YET they save a higher portion of their income. Why? The American Consumer Culture.
Most of the world's inhabitants would love American middle class living standards and incomes. Your aging Camry and formica-laden condo may not impress your neighbors in American suburbia, but it looks damn good to people with worn shoes and mud huts. I think you gotta admit calling the American middle class was hyperbole.
And just so ya know, I didn't vote for Mitt.
OK, no Mitt; but the US middle class pays more taxes than anyone. We hear about the 'social welfare' state in places like Germany; but when yiou add up sales tax, income tax, city tax, state tax, real tax, school tax, misc taxes, Americans savings plus taxes equals oriental savings plus taxes.
And then there is insurance...

The American middle class pays taxes, your friends in mud hurts don't and save instead.

Really, they are analogous.
XDR

Miami, FL

#38 Apr 3, 2013
Like I said previously, I'd much rather have a VAT over any type of income tax--be it progressive, regressive, flat, or whatever. Tax consumption on all nonessentials. Guess which income group would be hit the hardest? Who consumes the most luxury goods and services?

Working-class retirees and the truly poor would pay nothing as they only buy (or should only buy) necessities anyways. The people who can afford 3 new cars and 70 inch screen TVs and Macy's clothes would be paying, and without the income tax loopholes/deductions melodrama.
XDR

Miami, FL

#39 Apr 3, 2013
Mr_Bill wrote:
<quoted text>
OK, no Mitt; but the US middle class pays more taxes than anyone. We hear about the 'social welfare' state in places like Germany; but when yiou add up sales tax, income tax, city tax, state tax, real tax, school tax, misc taxes, Americans savings plus taxes equals oriental savings plus taxes.
And then there is insurance...
The American middle class pays taxes, your friends in mud hurts don't and save instead.
Really, they are analogous.
No, China has similar income tax rates as America. The Chinese don't have the social safety net programs, so they MUST save to be ready for emergencies. Americans spend every buck they get and leave emergencies up to floudering government entities.

Plus, even without income taxes, the Asian workers still make far less then their American counterparts. Taxation doesn't explain the savings gap at all.

Since: Feb 08

Hypoluxo Fl

#40 Apr 3, 2013
XDR wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes there is. See above.
See below...

Most flat tax proposals are based on earned income, which means that unearned income like interest and dividends would escape taxation. Taxpayers who work for a living would end up paying a higher rate of tax, relatively speaking, than those who relied on investments for the majority of income. How is that remotely equitable?

A flat tax isn't fair: 10 percent of income at the bottom isn't equal to 10 percent of income at the top. The cost of most goods is fixed, meaning that you don't pay proportionally less for gas or milk if you make less money. The price of merely surviving is somewhat fixed, making a flat tax not quite as flat as proponents like to pretend.
XDR

Miami, FL

#41 Apr 3, 2013
Mykro wrote:
<quoted text>See below...
Most flat tax proposals are based on earned income, which means that unearned income like interest and dividends would escape taxation. Taxpayers who work for a living would end up paying a higher rate of tax, relatively speaking, than those who relied on investments for the majority of income. How is that remotely equitable?
A flat tax isn't fair: 10 percent of income at the bottom isn't equal to 10 percent of income at the top. The cost of most goods is fixed, meaning that you don't pay proportionally less for gas or milk if you make less money. The price of merely surviving is somewhat fixed, making a flat tax not quite as flat as proponents like to pretend.
You missed my "see above"....flat tax with ALL deductions eliminated/loopholes closed, meaning no capital gains rates, no writeoffs, etc.

"A flat tax isn't fair: 10 percent of income at the bottom isn't equal to 10 percent of income at the top."--true, 10% of $1Million is far more money than 10% of $50K, so the rich are still paying more. LOL, of course, that's not what you meant. But there could be an exemption for incomes under $20K/person and $30K/household from the income tax. I don't think you realize how much more the wealthy would really be paying without writeoffs. Some middle class would too, while other middle class would be paying less.
XDR

Miami, FL

#42 Apr 3, 2013
Anyhow, I strongly favor replacing the income tax (at whichever rates)with a VAT on nonessential goods and services.

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