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Old 10-08-2013, 08:07 PM   #631
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AEON, I find this as repulsive as you do, but what do you suggest the President does?

He doesn't control private sector salaries.
No, but this isn't simply "salary" money - this sort of wealth comes from being a major shareholder in companies that receive favorable treatment by legislation. And of course, insider information on the "closed door" meetings in DC.

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So what do you suggest? Raising taxes on the 1% to increase revenue? Increase regulations on corporations, thereby reducing corporate profits?
We absolutely must increase taxes on the top 1 percent - by a ton. Most of this wealth was gained from taking advantage of the system, so it's time for the system take at least half of it back. The Democrats aimed way too low when raising taxes on those making 200k or more. That is why the Republicans were able to circle the wagons on new taxes. But a campaign against the greedy, fat 1 percent - people could certainly get around that.

Keep spending around current levels - increase the tax burden on the top 1 percent (and close their loopholes) - then we will get this country back on track.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:30 PM   #632
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Agreed on everything. Was bound to happen sometime.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:33 PM   #633
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But a campaign against the greedy, fat 1 percent - people could certainly get around that.
I agree with everything in the rest of this post, but I'm not so sure about this, given how vociferously the Tea Party has attacked tax hikes on anyone, and how they've used the myth of "job creators" to reframe the 1% as if they somehow represent the interests of Average Joe American.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:54 PM   #634
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Agreed on everything. Was bound to happen sometime.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #635
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they've used the myth of "job creators" to reframe the 1% as if they somehow represent the interests of Average Joe American.
You're right - and that is definitely the single greatest challenge - to destroy the myth that the top 1 percent of the wealthy are the "job creators." They are confusing wealth and income. It's the top 1 percent of the wealthy we need to go after for more revenue.

Corporate taxes are a little more tricky. For the most part I would bring them down or leave them alone. We don't want companies fleeing overseas more than we've already seen. However, we need to minimize the ability of individuals using "corporations" to mask their wealth.

But destroying the myth is essential. If we can destroy the myth - then we have a chance. We can make it a race between the parties to hold the 1 percent accountable for not paying their fair share back to the system that created their wealth in the first place. Both parties claim to be for the "middle class" - no party wants to be seen as the party only for the super rich.

We can do this by convincing Democrats to aim for a much higher income bracket than usual (sorry folks, $200k a year is not "rich"), and by convincing Republicans that the top 1 percent is responsible for making life in the middle-class so tough.

To get this going - the Republicans should blame the Democrats for creating the largest gap in income in modern history (TRUE); and the Democrats should blame the Republicans for enabling the wealthy to destroy the middle class by shipping away their jobs in order to make a few more bucks (ALSO TRUE). Either way - "we" win because the top 1 percent is finally in the cross-hairs of both parties for being to soul-sucking dogs that they are.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:32 PM   #636
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To get this going - the Republicans should blame the Democrats for creating the largest gap in income in modern history (TRUE);
AEON you're a smart guy - correlation is not causation.

The current situation was created by everyone, incrementally, over the last 30-35 years. You can't look at where we are today or where we were 3 years ago without looking at what was put into action to bring about the results.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:12 AM   #637
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AEON you're a smart guy - correlation is not causation.

The current situation was created by everyone, incrementally, over the last 30-35 years. You can't look at where we are today or where we were 3 years ago without looking at what was put into action to bring about the results.
I was actually trying to give each "side" a talking point. I understand that much of the divergence began under Reagan and continued until 2008 - when it accelerated.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #638
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The consensus Wall Street view remains that, much like in 2011, the debt ceiling will get raised at the last minute.


Surely politicians aren't dense enough to martyr the U.S. economy for political ends, the thought goes. And even though market analysts agree that a true default would be catastrophic, markets have been relatively complacent to the threat.

But what Wall Street fails to realize, according to Potomac Research Group's Greg Valliere, is the extent to which the Tea Party just doesn't care. Valliere wrote to clients this morning:

We talked to Tea Party stalwarts last night, and tried to make our best arguments. "Don't you realize the Republicans could lose the House in 2014?" We don't care, they said. "Don't you worry about a catastrophic reaction in the financial markets?" We don't care, they said. "Don't you worry that the Democrats will aggressively play the Social Security card with seniors?" We don't care, they said.

"This is the Alamo, it's Braveheart, battles to the death. These people are on a Mission from God," Valliere says. Still, he puts the odds of a default at 20% (up from his previous estimate of 10%).

Wall Street Doesn't Get The Tea Party - Business Insider



This can't be true. It can't be.

But if Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruz and the others were elected, then anything is possible
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:10 AM   #639
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This can't be true. It can't be.
What can't be? The default happening or the Tea Party actually behaving as is described in the article?
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:18 AM   #640
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remember, most of the federal government is just unnecessary overhead.


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Shutdown Denies Death and Burial Benefits to Families of 4 Dead Soldiers

WASHINGTON — The families of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan last weekend will not receive death benefits or the money to pay for their funerals because of the government shutdown.

The bodies of Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25; Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24; Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24; and First Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, will arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Wednesday. The four soldiers were killed Sunday in the Zhari district of Kandahar Province when enemy forces attacked their unit with explosives.

But if their families want to meet the plane, they will have to pay their own way to Delaware.

Under the shutdown, Carl Woog, a Defense Department spokesman, said on Tuesday, “the Department of Defense does not currently have the authority to pay death gratuities and other key benefits for the survivors of service members killed in action.”

The benefits include $100,000 to each family; a 12-month basic allowance for housing, usually given in a lump sum to survivors commensurate with the rank of the service member; and burial benefits. The benefits are also being withheld from the family of Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Collins Jr., 19, of the Marines, whose death on Saturday in Helmand Province is being investigated by the Pentagon

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/us...lies.html?_r=0


also,

There's a Major Salmonella Outbreak During a Government Shutdown - Connor Simpson - The Atlantic Wire
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:20 AM   #641
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Or, as INDY put it, there doesn't need to be a default, Obama can just cut all spending and continue to pay the bills!

(Because that would not have an impact on the global markets or the state of the US economy or the ratings, etc)
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:29 AM   #642
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But if Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruz and the others were elected, then anything is possible
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"[the U.S.'s funding of al Qaeda in Syria] happened and as of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists, now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history. Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand. When we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; these days would be as the days of Noah.” ~ Michelle Bachman

Of Course Michele Bachmann Believes the End Times Are Here - Abby Ohlheiser - The Atlantic Wire


so there's that.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:30 AM   #643
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She may actually be mentally ill.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:45 AM   #644
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so there's that.
I concede - that's pretty wacko.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:06 PM   #645
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the ACA probably deserves it's own thread, but i'll put this here:

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THE BUSINESS END OF OBAMACARE
BY JAMES SUROWIECKI
OCTOBER 14, 2013

Of the countless reasons that congressional Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act enough to shut down the government, the most politically potent is the claim that it will do untold damage to the economy and cripple small companies. Orrin Hatch has said that Obamacare will be “devastating to small business.” Ted Cruz argues that it is already “the No. 1 job killer.” And the vice-president of the National Federation of Independent Businesses called it simply “terrible.” So it comes as some surprise to learn that Obamacare may well be the best thing Washington has done for American small business in decades.

The G.O.P.’s case hinges on the employer mandate, which requires companies with fifty or more full-time employees to provide health insurance. It also regulates the kind of insurance that companies can offer: insurance has to cover at least sixty per cent of costs, and premiums can’t be more than 9.5 per cent of employees’ income. Companies that don’t offer insurance will pay a penalty. Republicans argue that this will hurt companies’ profits, forcing them to stop hiring and to cut workers’ hours, in order to stay below the fifty-employee threshold.

The story is guaranteed to feed the fears of small-business owners. But the overwhelming majority of American businesses—ninety-six per cent—have fewer than fifty employees. The employer mandate doesn’t touch them. And more than ninety per cent of the companies above that threshold already offer health insurance. Only three per cent are in the zone (between forty and seventy-five employees) where the threshold will be an issue. Even if these firms get more cautious about hiring—and there’s little evidence that they will—the impact on the economy would be small.

Meanwhile, the likely benefits of Obamacare for small businesses are enormous. To begin with, it’ll make it easier for people to start their own companies—which has always been a risky proposition in the U.S., because you couldn’t be sure of finding affordable health insurance. As John Arensmeyer, who heads the advocacy group Small Business Majority, and is himself a former small-business owner, told me, “In the U.S., we pride ourselves on our entrepreneurial spirit, but we’ve had this bizarre disincentive in the system that’s kept people from starting new businesses.” Purely for the sake of health insurance, people stay in jobs they aren’t suited to—a phenomenon that economists call “job lock.” “With the new law, job lock goes away,” Arensmeyer said. “Anyone who wants to start a business can do so independent of the health-care costs.” Studies show that people who are freed from job lock (for instance, when they start qualifying for Medicare) are more likely to undertake something entrepreneurial, and one recent study projects that Obamacare could enable 1.5 million people to become self-employed.

Even more important, Obamacare will help small businesses with health-care costs, which have long been a source of anxiety. The fact that most Americans get their insurance through work is a historical accident: during the Second World War, wages were frozen, so companies began offering health insurance instead. After the war, attempts to create universal heath care were stymied by conservatives and doctors, and Congress gave corporations tax incentives to keep providing insurance. The system has worked well enough for big employers, since large workforces make possible the pooling of risk that any healthy insurance market requires. But small businesses often face so-called “experience rating”: a business with a lot of women or older workers faces high premiums, and even a single employee who runs up medical costs can be a disaster. A business that Arensmeyer represents recently saw premiums skyrocket because one employee has a child with diabetes. Insurance costs small companies as much as eighteen per cent more than it does large companies; worse, it’s also a crapshoot. Arensmeyer said, “Companies live in fear that if one or two employees get sick their whole cost structure will radically change.” No wonder that fewer than half the companies with under fifty employees insure their employees, and that half of uninsured workers work for small businesses or are self-employed. In fact, a full quarter of small-business owners are uninsured, too.

Obamacare changes all this. It provides tax credits to smaller businesses that want to insure their employees. And it requires “community rating” for small businesses, just as it does for individuals, sharply restricting insurers’ ability to charge a company more because it has employees with higher health costs. And small-business exchanges will in effect allow companies to pool their risks to get better rates. “You’re really taking the benefits that big companies enjoy, and letting small businesses tap into that,” Arensmeyer said. This may lower costs, and it will insure that small businesses can hire the best person for a job rather than worry about health issues.


The U.S. likes to think of itself as friendly to small businesses. But, as a 2009 study by the economists John Schmitt and Nathan Lane documented, our small-business sector is among the smallest in the developed world, and has one of the lowest rates of self-employment. One reason is that we’ve never had anything like national health insurance. In a saner world, changing this would be a reform that the “party of small business” would celebrate.

James Surowiecki: Why Obamacare is Good for Small Businesses : The New Yorker


i couldn't agree more. it always did strike me as anti-entrepreneur for someone to have to risk going without health insurance in order to start a small business. i work in an industry of freelancers, and a lot of people leave for safer jobs so they can have guaranteed insurance, especially once they have kids. i lived on catastrophic health insurance for years, being young and healthy, and took my chances (never got a physical for most of my 20s). i finally decided to buy real insurance when i got a higher paying position (all out of pocket, my company does not yet offer health insurance), and within a year i was seriously injured in a freak accident. i would have faced tens of thousands of dollars if not for my insurance. what if that had happened 2 years earlier? catastrophic only covers so much. i've had years of follow ups, check ups, CAT scans, tests, etc.

i bet you're going to see much more of the risk taking that leads to fantastic new and innovative companies once the ACA gets underway, and we'll see many more start ups, from bakeries to production companies, once the hurdle of "how do i do this and go without insurance for 3 years" is cleared.
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