If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Slate)   How to reduce the deficit by $2 trillion, without touching entitlements   (slate.com) divider line 318
    More: Interesting, deficits, entitlements, green taxes  
•       •       •

6693 clicks; posted to Politics » on 13 Nov 2013 at 4:27 PM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



318 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-11-13 01:52:49 PM
You're missing the point where the "deficit is killing America" argument is explicitly(well, underhanded and dishonestly) about cutting social welfare programs and redistributing wealth upward.

/also if you cut Grants to regional airports many will close.
 
2013-11-13 01:54:05 PM
make Obama stay in the White House.  Then he won't be spending $200 billion dollars a day on his entourage.
 
2013-11-13 02:09:39 PM
Treat capital gains as income.

Problem mostly solved.
 
2013-11-13 02:15:29 PM
Why do you libs always discount the obvious answer?

We must provide tax relief for the wealthiest .1%.

That's the only proven way to eliminate unemployment and improve the economy.
 
2013-11-13 02:22:40 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Treat capital gains as income.

Problem mostly solved.


But what about the job creators???
 
2013-11-13 03:08:36 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Treat capital gains as income.

Problem mostly solved.


motherfarking this.
 
2013-11-13 03:39:27 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Treat capital gains as income.

Problem mostly solved.


Short term is. Long term isn't.

/I think.
 
2013-11-13 03:41:41 PM
Let's look at his ideas, shall we?

Change the terms and conditions for federal oil and gas leasing: $6 billion in deficit reduction. (This is literally the elimination of inefficient rents.)

I have no idea about the details of this, but I don't mind sticking oil companies with a bit more of the bill, with their record profits every year and all.

Reduce subsidies in the Crop Insurance Program: $27 billion (Ag subsidies are distorting and unjust.)
Eliminate direct payments to agricultural producers: $25 billion (Ag subsidies are distorting and unjust.)


Here I'd have concerns about how this affects small farmers, particularly as environmental disasters are possibly getting more common.  Still, big ag can suck it, so as long as it's done intelligently (hah!), let's consider it.
One question: does this increase food prices significantly?

Eliminate grants to large and medium-sized airports: $8 billion (No national interest here; state and local government should fund.)
Eliminate subsidies for Amtrak: $15 billion (Same as with the airports but impacts different jurisdictions.)


What are these grants for?  The federal government potentially has an interest in making sure the main ports of entry are up to a good standard.  Also, this doesn't particularly save money, it means the states have to spend it instead, which raises local taxes.  Same with Amtrak - particularly if some of their operations are federally-mandated (I don't know if they are), the feds shifting the bill to the states seems unfair.

 Convert the mortgage interest deduction to a 15 percent tax credit: $52 billion (The deduction is regressive, distorting, and environmentally deadly.)


Genuine question: how's it environmentally deadly?
Otherwise though I'm all about fixing regressive taxes.

Increase excise taxes on motor fuels by 35 cents and index for inflation: $452 billion (cleaner air)

While I personally think people in the US shockingly underpay for fuel, that's a 35 cents a gallon hike?  Holy crap the public meltdown over that would be enormous.

Increase all taxes on alcoholic beverages to $16 per proof gallon: $64 billion (less crime, better public health)

Aaaaand you just lost the support of Fark.

Impose a tax on emissions of greenhouse gases: $1.06 tillion (environment)

Holy crap that's a big tax - half of the deficit reduction in one go.  I'm generally in favour of greenhouse gas taxes, but there's no way Republicans let this one go ANYWHERE.

Increase the excise tax on cigarettes by 50 cents per pack: $37 billion (public health)

Sure, I hate cigarettes anyway.  Will it really bring in that money, or will it just encourage more people to quit?  I mean, either way it's a win, but don't count the cash before it's deposited.

Add a "public plan" to the health insurance exchanges: $37 billion (rent reduction)

Rent reduction?  Huh?
Public option would be fantastic.  But yeah, Republicans again.  Ain't happenin' for a good ten years plus.

Impose a tax on financial transactions: $180 billion (less wasteful churn)
Impose a fee on large financial institutions: $64 billion (basic fairness, safer financial system)


Hahahaha tax wall street.  They can't even get as far as "hey Wall Street, don't do things that crash the economy".  You're cute, Yglesias.
 
2013-11-13 03:52:04 PM
All of these things hurt the most powerful and well-funded lobbies in Washington.  No member of either house of Congress will ever do anything to jeopardize that check from the tobacco lobby, the banking lobby, the agribusiness lobby...

The first thing that would have to happen is to ban all lobbyist and soft money contributions. (I'm sure that would happen, yeah.)  Then - only then - you might have a fighting chance at getting some Congresspersons and Senators to vote for it.  And it still wouldn't pass.

Lawmakers are employees of business interests.  Nothing more.  Until that changes, good luck.
 
2013-11-13 04:02:04 PM

enry: Marcus Aurelius: Treat capital gains as income.

Problem mostly solved.

Short term is. Long term isn't.

/I think.


Technically it's all income (not payroll, you don't pay FICA on capital gains).

It's just long term is taxed at a different rate as regular income (much lower), and short term is taxed at the same rate as regular income.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-11-13 04:26:41 PM
A little red meat for both conservative and liberal activists, but three quarters of the revenue is a carbon tax, half a trillion on motor vehicle fuel and a full trillion on fuel in general.
 
2013-11-13 04:31:28 PM

DemonEater: Convert the mortgage interest deduction to a 15 percent tax credit: $52 billion (The deduction is regressive, distorting, and environmentally deadly.)


Genuine question: how's it environmentally deadly?


Since the deduction is not capped right now and is only collectable by people who itemize their taxes, it creates a huge incentive to build bigger homes. Those inevitably use more water and energy than smaller homes.
 
2013-11-13 04:31:39 PM
It looks like it touches entitlements for large corporation. That's a much harder sell than taking away some single mom's WIC.
 
2013-11-13 04:32:14 PM
I haven't looked at the article or read the comments. I'm 99% certain though that since it's from Slate I'll disagree with it...
 
2013-11-13 04:32:30 PM
A mass extinction of the needier half of our population would do the same. Perhaps invest in engineering a super flu epidemic?
 
2013-11-13 04:33:00 PM
"You would want to partially offset all this with some basic tax cuts"

No to everything except this. And only for the job creators, not those filthy poors.
 
2013-11-13 04:33:33 PM
Well, that was stupid.
 
2013-11-13 04:36:33 PM
Why not help the economy by increasing the minimum wage so that a person working full time is above the poverty line.

This would reduce the usage of "entitlements" and increase tax revenue.

Additionally this puts more money into the economy and deficit vs GDP becomes better as well.
 
2013-11-13 04:36:59 PM

Lost Thought 00: A mass extinction of the needier half of our population would do the same. Perhaps invest in engineering a super flu epidemic?


You know who else . . .  oh, forget it.
 
2013-11-13 04:37:08 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: I haven't looked at the article or read the comments. I'm 99% certain though that since it's from Slate I'll disagree with it...


As soon as the Limbaugh show ends, check back in with us and tell us how you feel.
 
2013-11-13 04:37:20 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Treat capital gains as income.

Problem mostly solved.


Yeah, but there is something to be said for encouraging investment, and taxing investment income at a lower rate makes it preferable to safe but low-risk investments like putting it all into a savings account or CDs, but it shouldn't just be a work-around for rich people to get stock options instead of income, so maybe cap it at first $500k are at lower rates, everything else is normal income, or something.

Also, uncap payroll taxes.
 
2013-11-13 04:37:39 PM
Nowhere in this plan does it include punishing the poor or giving additional handouts to the rich.

So basically, since all of our politicians spend a good chunk of their time sucking up to rich campaign donors, it's a nonstarter.  Our system is broken.
 
2013-11-13 04:39:04 PM

ZAZ: A little red meat for both conservative and liberal activists, but three quarters of the revenue is a carbon tax, half a trillion on motor vehicle fuel and a full trillion on fuel in general.


Ideologically, I support a carbon tax.

Practically? This isn't Europe. We're spread out. Everything is designed around using cars.

People that live in urban areas and can bike to work might not care, I guess.
 
2013-11-13 04:40:03 PM
Increase all taxes on alcoholic beverages to $16 per proof gallon: $64 billion (less crime, better public health)

rageface.jpeg
 
2013-11-13 04:40:09 PM

Fantasta Potamus: Why not help the economy by increasing the minimum wage so that a person working full time is above the poverty line.

This would reduce the usage of "entitlements" and increase tax revenue.

Additionally this puts more money into the economy and deficit vs GDP becomes better as well.


Because free market and so forth.
 
2013-11-13 04:40:26 PM

nmrsnr: Marcus Aurelius: Treat capital gains as income.

Problem mostly solved.

Yeah, but there is something to be said for encouraging investment, and taxing investment income at a lower rate makes it preferable to safe but low-risk investments like putting it all into a savings account or CDs, but it shouldn't just be a work-around for rich people to get stock options instead of income, so maybe cap it at first $500k are at lower rates, everything else is normal income, or something.

Also, uncap payroll taxes.


Sure, there's something to be said for it. There's also something to be said for a progressive tax system. The preferential tax rate for LTCG is, in practice, a sop to the stinking rich and a way to pass the cost of government to the modestly affluent and the indigent:

www.motherjones.com
 
2013-11-13 04:40:47 PM

Chummer45: Nowhere in this plan does it include punishing the poor or giving additional handouts to the rich.

So basically, since all of our politicians spend a good chunk of their time sucking up to rich campaign donors, it's a nonstarter.  Our system is broken.


Remember to vote Republican!
 
2013-11-13 04:40:54 PM
Voiceofreason01:

/also if you cut Grants to regional airports many will close.

So?
 
2013-11-13 04:43:41 PM
A number of these are bad ideas.

Ag subsidies are a part of our "seige" plan.  The U.S. targets its subsidies to produce as much food as we eat(but we import good stuff, and export cheap stuff).
Airports are a crucial piece of infrastructure, and dumping their funding makes no more sense than dumping the interstates(though ditching the TSA would save a lot).
 
2013-11-13 04:44:58 PM
Eliminate subsidies for Amtrak: $15 billion (Same as with the airports but impacts different jurisdictions.)

I don't agree with this.

We need more mass transportation, not less.
 
2013-11-13 04:45:15 PM
The idea compiler sounds like a hippie. (His asides are generally not quantifiable.)

I like this idea:  Impose a tax on financial transactions: $180 billion (would fund the AHCA).

And this idea:Increase excise taxes on motor fuels by 35 cents and index for inflation: $452 billion (would be used to build a chain of nuclear power plants from Brownsville to San Diego).
 
Hey, how do you hide money from a hippie? Put it under the soap.
 
2013-11-13 04:45:24 PM

Voiceofreason01: You're missing the point where the "deficit is killing America" argument is explicitly(well, underhanded and dishonestly) about cutting social welfare programs and redistributing wealth upward.

/also if you cut Grants to regional airports many will close.


Basically this.

If we were really concerned about the deficit, we would be talking about raising taxes.

We need to ditch this fantasy that we can balance the budget without raising taxes, it's never worked in real life before so why would it work now?
 
2013-11-13 04:45:46 PM
A one percent tax on all derivitive trades. Problem solved.
 
2013-11-13 04:45:54 PM
Tax all income over $100 mil at 75% and close all corporate loopholes.
 
2013-11-13 04:46:38 PM
Clearly we're not spending enough.  We need to spend more so we can tax what we spend and max lots of more monies!
 
2013-11-13 04:48:08 PM

sendtodave: It looks like it touches entitlements for large corporation. That's a much harder sell than taking away some single mom's WIC.


Why do you suppose all the cuts invariably come from the bottom?

And someone instantly said we can't cut ag subsidies--what about small farmers? Pro tip for you: you could keep all their subsidies in a box under my bed. It's the big agribusinesses that benefit from subsidies, not small farmers.
 
2013-11-13 04:49:35 PM

sendtodave: ZAZ: A little red meat for both conservative and liberal activists, but three quarters of the revenue is a carbon tax, half a trillion on motor vehicle fuel and a full trillion on fuel in general.

Ideologically, I support a carbon tax.

Practically? This isn't Europe. We're spread out. Everything is designed around using cars.

People that live in urban areas and can bike to work might not care, I guess.



So you're saying "I get that allowing people to consume carbon without forcing them to internalize the cost of doing so through acarbon tax is bad policy, but I generally oppose a carbon tax because itmight be expensive."

That mindset is a big problem in this country, and is why the U.S. is failing to lead in the areas of important public policy.
 
2013-11-13 04:49:58 PM
Many of those are aimed at billionaires. The same guys who got money redefined as speech so that they can stir up the low-income rubes to hate and fear the lower-incomed.

Good luck with that. Taxing billionaires doesn't give rubes a reason to feel self-righteously superior.
 
2013-11-13 04:50:25 PM

cabbyman: Clearly we're not spending enough.  We need to spend more so we can tax what we spend and max lots of more monies!


Is it depressing being a blithering idiot?
 
2013-11-13 04:50:26 PM

MJMaloney187: Hey, how do you hide money from a hippie? Put it under the soap.


Yeah that joke was hilarious. Back in the 70s.

/not really
 
2013-11-13 04:50:45 PM

Serious Black: Sure, there's something to be said for it. There's also something to be said for a progressive tax system. The preferential tax rate for LTCG is, in practice, a sop to the stinking rich and a way to pass the cost of government to the modestly affluent and the indigent:


I agree, which is why I suggested having something like a deduction on the first $500k of capital gain income, and tax the rest at normal income levels, or some other system which incentivizes investment, while not allowing the very wealthy to use it to amass wealth and avoid regular income taxes.
 
2013-11-13 04:51:32 PM

Mrtraveler01: We need to ditch this fantasy that we can balance the budget without raising taxes, it's never worked in real life before so why would it work now?


1. Who said anything about balancing the budget?  That's not in itself even prudential.

2. More than half of Yglesias's deficit reduction comes from tax increases.
 
2013-11-13 04:52:49 PM

nmrsnr: Yeah, but there is something to be said for encouraging investment


I always thought the only encouragement anyone would need is not having to actually labor for your money.
 
2013-11-13 04:53:24 PM
My rough plan:

Eliminate cap on social security contributions, or at least raise it to ~$1,000,000 or so.
Phase out mortgage interest deduction. Reduce the amount of loan you can claim interest deductions on by about $25k per year
Cut 3 to 4% from the military budget each year for ~10 years. Redirect about half the savings to infrastructure projects within the US.
 
2013-11-13 04:53:44 PM

sendtodave: ZAZ: A little red meat for both conservative and liberal activists, but three quarters of the revenue is a carbon tax, half a trillion on motor vehicle fuel and a full trillion on fuel in general.

Ideologically, I support a carbon tax.

Practically? This isn't Europe. We're spread out. Everything is designed around using cars.

.

Which frankly, is the problem.

People that live in urban areas and can bike to work might not care, I guess.

Oh the old busted "public transportation doesn't work in rural areas" bullshiat. Thanks.
 
2013-11-13 04:53:47 PM

cabbyman: Clearly we're not spending enough.  We need to spend more so we can tax what we spend and max lots of more monies!



you obviously don't understand that by spending money within the country, it's no different than taking it out of the bank and putting it into your wallet (way oversimplified)

the more domestic spending we do, the better. it's only an issue when the money leaves the country.
 
2013-11-13 04:54:13 PM
Matthew Yglesias is Slate's business and economics correspondent.

How very sad for them.
 
2013-11-13 04:54:19 PM

Captain Dan: Who said anything about balancing the budget?  That's not in itself even prudential.


http://www.gop.gov/budget/
 
2013-11-13 04:54:26 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Treat capital gains as income.

Problem mostly solved.


If you get income, it should be taxed with the, get this, INCOME TAX. And FICA/Medicare. No caps.

If your goddam money is working for you, your goddam money should be paying income tax.
 
2013-11-13 04:54:29 PM

Captain Dan: More than half of Yglesias's deficit reduction comes from tax increases.


Good. Where did you think that money was going to come from?
 
Displayed 50 of 318 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report