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(Global Geopolitics)   Panic-fest 2014 hits the US Treasury as we now have to raise the debt ceiling again. Fark double-panic Bonus: Almost all the cash will be gone soon after due to your tax refunds   (glblgeopolitics.wordpress.com) divider line 206
    More: Scary, debt limit, Bipartisan Policy Center, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, tax refunds, treasuries  
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4673 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Feb 2014 at 11:55 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



206 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-02-04 08:08:29 AM  
Tax refund? What's that+
 
2014-02-04 08:58:31 AM  

BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+


That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.
 
2014-02-04 10:36:34 AM  
Ah, this old song and dance.  there will be another punt.  to June maybe.  just in time for all those midterm elections to be in full swing.
 
2014-02-04 10:45:45 AM  
I haven't gotten a tax refund since the stock market started to improve.
Thanks, Obama!
 
2014-02-04 11:22:54 AM  
American people problems.

and maybe Greece, too.
 
2014-02-04 11:57:09 AM  
Republicans need to make a stand and shut down the government to protect our liberty.  Voters will reward them for their steadfastness in the face of out of control liberal entitlement welfare queen subsidies.
 
2014-02-04 11:58:36 AM  

Rapmaster2000: Republicans need to make a stand and shut down the government to protect our liberty.  Voters will reward them for their steadfastness in the face of out of control liberal entitlement welfare queen subsidies.


Nice troll.  Won't happen.  This will be a painless change; the GOP is not interested in taking attention away from Obamacare.
 
2014-02-04 11:59:33 AM  

rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.


This. Rich people owe, then defer as long as possible.

/hey, if poor people are lending at 0%, why not take them up on their offer?
 
2014-02-04 12:01:16 PM  
I owe $5.  You're welcome.
 
2014-02-04 12:01:49 PM  
Sounds like a good reason to get your taxes done early if you expect a refund.

This reminds me of this one time I was working for the state.  I got laid off right before the 5-year point where I would have been vested in my pension (in simple terms, I would get some percentage of my salary from it for the rest of my life - bastards).  At the time, I had about $5k in my pension account, and Corzine was raiding the pension fund to pay for shiat the gov't couldn't afford.

So I had to take all the money out of the account before the gov't literally stole it from me.
 
2014-02-04 12:02:04 PM  
Because a free hosted blog on WordPress.com is supposed to be a legitimate source?
 
2014-02-04 12:02:44 PM  

tricycleracer: I owe $5.  You're welcome.


I owe $200 You're welcome
 
2014-02-04 12:03:56 PM  
How does a Wordpress blog have its own Fark icon?
 
2014-02-04 12:05:33 PM  

Somaticasual: Because a free hosted blog on WordPress.com is supposed to be a legitimate source?


You could always follow the link at the bottom of the blog entry to the Telegraph article, which says the exact same thing.
 
2014-02-04 12:05:34 PM  

BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+


Another welfare program
 
2014-02-04 12:07:01 PM  

generallyso: How does a Wordpress blog have its own Fark icon?


And another question, is why does it get greenlit almost every damn day?  I think it is owned by a fark moderator.
 
2014-02-04 12:08:02 PM  
I am getting a refund, but not all I paid. I expect a candigram.

/Candi being a 230lb transvestite
 
2014-02-04 12:09:13 PM  
This blog still sucks.
 
2014-02-04 12:10:27 PM  
I made a mistake on my withholding election last year, so I owe about $1K in taxes.

THANKS OBAMA!
 
2014-02-04 12:12:13 PM  
What is tax and why is it refunding you people?
 
2014-02-04 12:12:45 PM  
The fact that this happens every year now or every few months should tell you that there is a reallllly bad problem here...sooner or later folks this sh-t is going to collapse in upon itself.
 
2014-02-04 12:13:09 PM  
PANIC FEST!

widespreadpanic.s3.amazonaws.com

Oh, wait...nevermind.
 
2014-02-04 12:13:32 PM  
The tax refunds don't belong to the government to begin with.

Why were they ever counted as part of the money available to be spent on other things, if it has to be replaced now?
 
2014-02-04 12:14:40 PM  
But at least you've got something to show for it, not like all those other debt-ridden countries that spend their money on healthcare and education.

www.thenational.ae
 
2014-02-04 12:15:12 PM  

Stile4aly: I made a mistake on my withholding election last year, so I owe about $1K in taxes.

THANKS OBAMA!


Know how minnow who's fault it is?

Tax refunds are just another pissing contest
 
2014-02-04 12:16:54 PM  
Taxes already done.
Wish I could balance it out so I neither get a refund nor owe but putting more than 9 for withholding on my w-4 is a sure fire audit trigger so I'll wait for Uncle Sam to return the rest of my money again this year. Stupid system really.
 
2014-02-04 12:17:19 PM  

Franko: But at least you've got something to show for it, not like all those other debt-ridden countries that spend their money on healthcare and education.

[www.thenational.ae image 460x307]


and the reason said countries dont have to spend on millitary, your welcome.
 
2014-02-04 12:18:48 PM  
I wish we as a country would stop with this ridiculous crap.  The debt ceiling should not be and never should have been used as a negotiating tool.  If you can't pass your shiatty legislation the normal way it shouldn't pass.  If I was regulating the US credit rating I would lower it every time this even becomes an issue to teach our congress a lesson.
 
2014-02-04 12:18:56 PM  

Joe Blowme: Franko: But at least you've got something to show for it, not like all those other debt-ridden countries that spend their money on healthcare and education.

[www.thenational.ae image 460x307]

and the reason said countries dont have to spend on millitary, you'rE welcome.


my bad, maybe i should spend more on spell checkers
 
2014-02-04 12:18:58 PM  
Why not just raise taxes so high, that people are fighting over cans of dog food and pond water. Not that you would spend that extra money unwisely. Sure, raise our debt ceiling. We don't mind you raising taxes every year to make up for it and never making sure that people have a living wage to survive. But the good news now is, i have to have insurance that i cant afford the premium on, or, the deductible.


/thanks Obama.
 
2014-02-04 12:20:17 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.


Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.
 
2014-02-04 12:23:01 PM  

Bit'O'Gristle: Why not just raise taxes so high, that people are fighting over cans of dog food and pond water.


We already have that, it's called "United Airlines."
 
2014-02-04 12:23:36 PM  
This whole tax refund concept is strange to say the least. I can only imagine how immigrants feel when they get their first check. Picture cabbie uncle Odiwelke, who arrived from Nigeria and now in addition of a paycheck, gets a gift from kind uncle Sam. Halleluja!

After a few years Odi feels offended by tax refunds. Either tax what you must or leave my money alone. Why should we give you our money and then you hold it over our heads. One slip up and uncle Sam will keep it all.

What are we?  children?
 
2014-02-04 12:24:06 PM  
No refund for me. I farked up my withholding for 2013 and it looks like I'll owe Uncle Sam a substantial amount this year. Bah.

I don't need a refund but I'd rather not owe either. Hopefully now I've adjusted it so that next year's tax return comes out as close to zero either way as possible.
 
2014-02-04 12:24:42 PM  
Poor 'merikuh - always in a state of panic. Will she ever stop shrieking. lower her hoop-skirt & step off that parlour-room chair?
 
2014-02-04 12:25:18 PM  
Dump the debt ceiling before the rest of the world tells America and it's dollar "FARK YOU!"
 
2014-02-04 12:25:20 PM  

tarheel07: Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.


If you owe taxes at the end of the year you're going to pay penalties. You can put in an extension for filing but under normal circumstances there is no extension for payment.
 
2014-02-04 12:26:00 PM  

Joe Blowme: and the reason said countries dont have to spend on millitary, your welcome


We don't spend as much on military because we don't run around pissing everyone off and blowing up their babies. Nobody wants to kill us. You guys should try it.

You're welcome.
 
2014-02-04 12:26:01 PM  

tarheel07: rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.

Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.


That's not true.  If you don't estimate close enough to what you owe at the end of the year, you pay penalties.
 
2014-02-04 12:26:08 PM  
I had more deductions this year than last so I'll be getting a refund.
 
2014-02-04 12:26:24 PM  
I sent mine in today. Roomate still hasnt done hers for last year. She would get back a lot but she is lazy as shiat.
 
2014-02-04 12:26:40 PM  

JC22: The fact that this happens every year now or every few months should tell you that there is a reallllly bad problem here...sooner or later folks this sh-t is going to collapse in upon itself.


No it won't! That's the beauty of it. We can continue to borrow from the Fed for ever and just never pay it back without ever having to worry about our dollars becoming worthless and being booted as the reserve currency. This party of freemoney will never end! We're just borrowing money from ourselves, and i don't know about you, but i'm ready to let that loan slide.
 
2014-02-04 12:27:10 PM  

lennavan: tarheel07: rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.

Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.

That's not true.  If you don't estimate close enough to what you owe at the end of the year, you pay penalties.


Sorry, this was piss poor wording if you aren't familiar with it.  You have to estimate what you will owe at the beginning/during the year and pay taxes along the way.  If your estimate is off by too much and you owe too much by the end of the year, you will pay penalties.
 
2014-02-04 12:28:27 PM  

tarheel07: rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.

Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.


Not really, since it's not the government's money until the taxes are actually due on April 15th.

You could have zero withheld from your pay and pay your entire income tax out of pocket every April if you wanted. That wouldn't constitute the government loaning you the money - it's simply not giving the government money before it's actually due.
 
2014-02-04 12:29:32 PM  

generallyso: If you owe taxes at the end of the year you're going to pay penalties.


lennavan: That's not true.  If you don't estimate close enough to what you owe at the end of the year, you pay penalties.


First one is totally wrong. Second one is less wrong.

The only one you would get hit with is the "Failure to Pay Proper Estimated Tax" penalty. You can safe harbor that by paying 90% of what is owed for the current year through withholdings or estimated tax payments. You can also safe harbor that by paying at least 100% of your prior year tax through withholdings or estimated tax payments. You also aren't subject to the penalty if your total tax is less than $1000 after taking out credits and withholdings.
 
2014-02-04 12:29:55 PM  

JC22: The fact that this happens every year now or every few months should tell you that there is a reallllly bad problem here...sooner or later folks this sh-t is going to collapse in upon itself.


The fact this happens every year or every few months tells me congress needs to do one of two things:
1)  Raise the debt ceiling for enough of a shot so they DON'T have to do it for the forseeable future
2)  Eliminate the debt ceiling entirely (this is number 2 because the way the appropriations process works the debt ceiling does in fact make some things easier)

It doesn't actually tell me anything about the debt itself because its a meaningless number.  It isn't based off of GDP, GNP, some international standard, or anything that comes close to actual data.
 
2014-02-04 12:33:29 PM  

Slartibartfaster: because we don't run around pissing everyone off and blowing up their babies


Well, you're not a European, that's for sure.
 
2014-02-04 12:33:35 PM  

tarheel07: rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.

Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.


Not quite.  The taxes are usually only due yearly, so if you owe, you simply didn't pay them all in advance; though if you owe too much, they do ding you for not paying in advance. I worked as a self-employed consultant for a few years and found that out the hard way.  After that, they got quarterly checks (usually).

If you are owed, the government had your money all that time.
 
2014-02-04 12:34:28 PM  

Slartibartfaster: Joe Blowme: and the reason said countries dont have to spend on millitary, your welcome

We don't spend as much on military because we don't run around pissing everyone off and blowing up their babies. Nobody wants to kill us. You guys should try it.

You're welcome.


huffing paint, this is how it works
 
2014-02-04 12:35:13 PM  

Doc Daneeka: tarheel07: rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.

Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.

Not really, since it's not the government's money until the taxes are actually due on April 15th.

You could have zero withheld from your pay and pay your entire income tax out of pocket every April if you wanted. That wouldn't constitute the government loaning you the money - it's simply not giving the government money before it's actually due.


Actually scratch all that. I think that's wrong and I may have written something stupid.

I am obviously not a tax accountant.
 
2014-02-04 12:37:17 PM  

Wicked Chinchilla: 1)  Raise the debt ceiling for enough of a shot so they DON'T have to do it for the forseeable future
2)  Eliminate the debt ceiling entirely (this is number 2 because the way the appropriations process works the debt ceiling does in fact make some things easier)


You forgot #3 - actually do something about reducing the deficit so the entire problem becomes moot.

Wicked Chinchilla: It doesn't actually tell me anything about the debt itself because its a meaningless number.  It isn't based off of GDP, GNP, some international standard, or anything that comes close to actual data.


lolwat?  The debt ceiling is denominated nominal dollars.  It can be based upon GDP easily at any time you want.  Just because it is based in units that make it easy for the bean-counters, does not make it meaningless in the least.
 
2014-02-04 12:37:47 PM  

Private_Citizen: if poor people are lending at 0%, why not take them up on their offer?


Because if I charged market-rate interest on the amount I'm refunded every year I'd make, what, 90 cents?

I think it's worth losing out on that to not worry about paying a penalty.  I understand some among the uber-rich do things differently, and they get all the TV time talking about how stupid it is that people withhold more than they owe, but they also live for money.  For me, money is just a means to an end.  I got shiat I want to do without having to chase an interest-free loan whose market value is worth less than a donut shop coffee.

And god dammit can we stop making this a story already?  Raising the debt ceiling was a routine procedure right up until the last few years.
 
2014-02-04 12:38:46 PM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: generallyso: If you owe taxes at the end of the year you're going to pay penalties.

lennavan: That's not true.  If you don't estimate close enough to what you owe at the end of the year, you pay penalties.

First one is totally wrong. Second one is less wrong.

The only one you would get hit with is the "Failure to Pay Proper Estimated Tax" penalty. You can safe harbor that by paying 90% of what is owed for the current year through withholdings or estimated tax payments. You can also safe harbor that by paying at least 100% of your prior year tax through withholdings or estimated tax payments. You also aren't subject to the penalty if your total tax is less than $1000 after taking out credits and withholdings.


Exactly, you get spanked if you underestimate two years in a row which is generally only a problem if you're a contractor doing your own estimated taxes and have a great year but don't account for it in your estimated payments or you have significant non-payroll income.
 
2014-02-04 12:44:46 PM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: generallyso: If you owe taxes at the end of the year you're going to pay penalties.

lennavan: That's not true.  If you don't estimate close enough to what you owe at the end of the year, you pay penalties.

First one is totally wrong. Second one is less wrong.

The only one you would get hit with is the "Failure to Pay Proper Estimated Tax" penalty. You can safe harbor that by paying 90% of what is owed for the current year through withholdings or estimated tax payments. You can also safe harbor that by paying at least 100% of your prior year tax through withholdings or estimated tax payments. You also aren't subject to the penalty if your total tax is less than $1000 after taking out credits and withholdings.


What do you mean mine is less wrong?  Mine is the same as yours, minus all of the facts and specificity and whatnot!
 
2014-02-04 12:44:58 PM  

Doc Daneeka: tarheel07: rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.

Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.

Not really, since it's not the government's money until the taxes are actually due on April 15th.

You could have zero withheld from your pay and pay your entire income tax out of pocket every April if you wanted. That wouldn't constitute the government loaning you the money - it's simply not giving the government money before it's actually due.


This is wrong.  I could go in to detail, but there is not one thing that is right here.

You've obviously never been in the position of having to make estimated tax payments quarterly in order to avoid huge penalties.
 
2014-02-04 12:45:03 PM  

Franko: But at least you've got something to show for it, not like all those other debt-ridden countries that spend their money on healthcare and education.

[www.thenational.ae image 460x307]


Reminds me of this from yesterday's Business tab Greece thread:
img.fark.net
/its even funnier if you use the voices of Toki as Greece and Skwisgar as Germany
//from metalocalypse
 
2014-02-04 12:45:12 PM  

SwiftFox: The tax refunds don't belong to the government to begin with.

Why were they ever counted as part of the money available to be spent on other things, if it has to be replaced now?


The government works on the assumption that people correctly fill out their W-4 forms, until some time around March-April when they remember that tens of millions of Americans are numerically illiterate.
 
2014-02-04 12:45:48 PM  

BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+


I know right? I paid more in taxes this year then I used to make in a year. It's ridiculous. Farking old people. I wish I could pay taxes a la carte, like "hmm, you didn't pay into social security so you can't collect it, but you did pay into education so you can send your kid to public school. You've paid road taxes, here's your drivers license. Why isn't anyone paying to drop bombs on Pakistani children? Come on guys, we really want to make a bunch of brown folk angry at us, why won't you opt in to that tax?"
 
2014-02-04 12:46:32 PM  
Set your withholding up so you don't get a refund. Why loan money at zero percent interest, when you can put it in the bank for half a percent interest?
 
2014-02-04 12:46:58 PM  

Target Builder: SwiftFox: The tax refunds don't belong to the government to begin with.

Why were they ever counted as part of the money available to be spent on other things, if it has to be replaced now?

The government works on the assumption that people correctly fill out their W-4 forms, until some time around March-April when they remember that tens of millions of Americans are numerically illiterate.


No worries if the budget doesn't quite work out -- just cut unnecessary spending.  Like education...

/ queue "Circle of Life" song
 
2014-02-04 12:47:56 PM  

Galloping Galoshes: Rapmaster2000: Republicans need to make a stand and shut down the government to protect our liberty.  Voters will reward them for their steadfastness in the face of out of control liberal entitlement welfare queen subsidies.

Nice troll.  Won't happen.  This will be a painless change; the GOP is not interested in taking attention away from Obamacare.


No, it's more like "the GOP is not interested in pissing off the ultra-minority in the country they have yet to piss off, by forcing a shutdown and keeping tax refunds from being disbursed". They're going to have their hands full keeping the tea partiers from breaking out the torches and pitchforks over the debt ceiling, though.

Congressional Democrats are already clearing their throats about it, considering that open letter the House Democratic Congress wrote to Boehner.
 
2014-02-04 12:49:43 PM  

Joe Blowme: Franko: But at least you've got something to show for it, not like all those other debt-ridden countries that spend their money on healthcare and education.

[www.thenational.ae image 460x307]

and the reason said countries dont have to spend on millitary, your welcome.


Fine.  Can we send those other countries a bill?
 
2014-02-04 12:50:30 PM  
I went to e-file this year and my return was rejected with this info

tarheel07: rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.

Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.


Yes, but if you under withhold (which you probably did if you owe a lot at the end of the year) there is a fine.

Paying too much? Govt has no problem holding onto your money until April.
 
2014-02-04 12:50:51 PM  
What kind of shiathole third world nation are we talking about here?
 
2014-02-04 12:50:54 PM  
Single, no kids.  My tax refund rarely covers the cost of having an accountant do my taxes.
 
2014-02-04 12:51:03 PM  
I am surprised that we have any money in the Treasury anyway.
 
2014-02-04 12:51:23 PM  
Raise taxes.  Problem solved.  The higher our taxes are, the more money the government can hand out, and the more they hand out, the more they make, because every dollar they give to poor people magically turns into $1.50 or something.  And the taxes on the money the poor people spend will balance the deficit, and eventually we will have a surplus.

Actually I'm really not worried, just create another $1 trillion out of thin air and use that to pay for some government programs.  Every year just create another $1 trillion to balance that year's budget, bam!  no more deficit.
 
2014-02-04 12:54:36 PM  
Time To.....


a.espncdn.com
 
2014-02-04 12:55:05 PM  
I don't always get my news from the internet, but when I do I make sure the source is a blog on wordpress because it is all verified and supported fact!
 
2014-02-04 12:59:22 PM  
No problem.  They will just print more.. The debt ceiling will be raised.. we'll borrow more money from China, then we'll waste it.  We'll kick the bucket down to our childrens children to pay.  Meanwhile, we'll continue to spend even more money on social feel good programs to lure in more voters.
 
2014-02-04 12:59:42 PM  
So start printing money and using it to pay off debt without telling anybody that that's where it's coming from. Boom, problem solved.

/That problem, at least.
 
2014-02-04 01:00:56 PM  

GDubDub: Doc Daneeka: tarheel07: rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.

Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.

Not really, since it's not the government's money until the taxes are actually due on April 15th.

You could have zero withheld from your pay and pay your entire income tax out of pocket every April if you wanted. That wouldn't constitute the government loaning you the money - it's simply not giving the government money before it's actually due.

This is wrong.  I could go in to detail, but there is not one thing that is right here.

You've obviously never been in the position of having to make estimated tax payments quarterly in order to avoid huge penalties.


Uhh, yeah.  I know.  That's why I retracted my post five posts above yours.

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-02-04 01:03:04 PM  
I have a dumb but serious question: Do other countries collect tax like this and expect people to file annual 'returns' after calculating their own taxes?

The reason I ask is that it seems not only unnecessary but dangerous, considering that most people aren't accountants. Is there an advantage to not having the government(s) taking out an agreed-upon rate of tax and just leaving it at that? Is it all the deductions and incentives that make this necessary?
 
2014-02-04 01:04:48 PM  

macross87: Know how minnow who's fault it is?


Know how minnow who is caught sayof?
 
2014-02-04 01:05:53 PM  

HeadLever: Wicked Chinchilla: 1)  Raise the debt ceiling for enough of a shot so they DON'T have to do it for the forseeable future
2)  Eliminate the debt ceiling entirely (this is number 2 because the way the appropriations process works the debt ceiling does in fact make some things easier)

You forgot #3 - actually do something about reducing the deficit so the entire problem becomes moot.

Wicked Chinchilla: It doesn't actually tell me anything about the debt itself because its a meaningless number.  It isn't based off of GDP, GNP, some international standard, or anything that comes close to actual data.

lolwat?  The debt ceiling is denominated nominal dollars.  It can be based upon GDP easily at any time you want.  Just because it is based in units that make it easy for the bean-counters, does not make it meaningless in the least.


Should have phrased that better: the determination of the debt-ceiling means nothing.  It isn't scientifically determined using data.  They just do some rough math to determine when it would be most advantageous to occur next politically and use that amount.  Its not based on GDP/GNP/etc.

And what pray tell, needs to be done about the debt?  Austerity?  That working out really well for everyone else....
The solution to the debt ceiling is to get the economy back humming again.  You get people working and getting paid, you get more taxes, you lower the deficit.

So option C: pass jobs legislation and not attempt number 40+ to end obamacare/abortion/ whatever is the favorite poison pill this month
 
2014-02-04 01:06:14 PM  

That Guy Jeff: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

I know right? I paid more in taxes this year then I used to make in a year. It's ridiculous. Farking old people. I wish I could pay taxes a la carte, like "hmm, you didn't pay into social security so you can't collect it, but you did pay into education so you can send your kid to public school. You've paid road taxes, here's your drivers license. Why isn't anyone paying to drop bombs on Pakistani children? Come on guys, we really want to make a bunch of brown folk angry at us, why won't you opt in to that tax?"



Because then you get this:
upload.wikimedia.org


Need an ambulance? Hope your ambulance subscription is paid up. Oh, you're out of your coverage area? Better have that credit card ready before they dispatch.
 
2014-02-04 01:07:27 PM  
deadhomersociety.files.wordpress.com
What? Again? This stupid country.
 
2014-02-04 01:09:52 PM  
What will the House Republicans do this time?
img.fark.net
Or will they have learned from the last time?
 
2014-02-04 01:12:48 PM  

Phineas: Raise taxes.  Problem solved.  The higher our taxes are, the more money the government can hand out, and the more they hand out, the more they make, because every dollar they give to poor people magically turns into $1.50 or something.  And the taxes on the money the poor people spend will balance the deficit, and eventually we will have a surplus.

Actually I'm really not worried, just create another $1 trillion out of thin air and use that to pay for some government programs.  Every year just create another $1 trillion to balance that year's budget, bam!  no more deficit.


Raise taxes on the wealthiest among us, and take out tax loopholes so they pay what they actually owe. Raise the minimum wage to a reasonable level, so workers have more money to spend.  Provide tax incentives for companies that hire American, and/or tax penalties for those that send jobs overseas.

If more people are working, and those that are working have more money, they'll spend it. That money will circulate through the economy, rather than stagnating in the bank accounts of a few dozen billionaires. More money circulating means a healthier economy.

Oh, that might raise deficits in the short term? Boo farking hoo, with our GDP, the current debt isn't anywhere near a serious problem. Gut the DoD budget if you're that concerned about the debt.
 
2014-02-04 01:12:53 PM  

menschenfresser: I have a dumb but serious question: Do other countries collect tax like this and expect people to file annual 'returns' after calculating their own taxes?

The reason I ask is that it seems not only unnecessary but dangerous, considering that most people aren't accountants. Is there an advantage to not having the government(s) taking out an agreed-upon rate of tax and just leaving it at that? Is it all the deductions and incentives that make this necessary?


Nope.  I believe in the UK, companies effectively pay the government for your services, from which the government takes its share and then passes the remainder onto the employee.
 
2014-02-04 01:20:47 PM  
Sure we have to raise the debt ceiling every two weeks, but when the republicans vote against that they are acting like domestic terrorists holding this country hostage.

its not the spending that is out of control.  it is the republicans.
 
2014-02-04 01:21:55 PM  

Phineas: Raise taxes. Problem solved. The higher our taxes are, the more money the government can hand out


I agree with your sarcasm.  I'm sick of my tax dollars being handed out to defense contractors to purchase airplanes that we don't need and simply sit in storage.
 
2014-02-04 01:23:17 PM  
Didn't they just try to pass a law that no tax refunds under 50k will be paid out? As a cost cutting measure? And you have to write off that debt?
 
2014-02-04 01:23:30 PM  

SlothB77: Sure we have to raise the debt ceiling every two weeks, but when the republicans vote against that they are acting like domestic terrorists holding this country hostage.

its not the spending that is out of control.  it is the republicans.


^^^ This.

/Except the two weeks bit.  I know it seems often but it's actually not that often.
 
2014-02-04 01:23:49 PM  

Wicked Chinchilla: Should have phrased that better: the determination of the debt-ceiling means nothing.  It isn't scientifically determined using data.  They just do some rough math to determine when it would be most advantageous to occur next politically and use that amount.  Its not based on GDP/GNP/etc.


Ok, that point is fine.  I can agree to that.

And what pray tell, needs to be done about the debt?  Austerity?  That working out really well for everyone else....
The solution to the debt ceiling is to get the economy back humming again.  You get people working and getting paid, you get more taxes, you lower the deficit.


That is going to be the tricky part.  With the baby boomers starting to retire in droves and globalization becoming more commonplace, you are not going to see much in the way of increased unemployment for the working class unless we change quite a few things.  Add that to the increase entitlement spending that is demanded by these folks retiring and we are not in a good position moving forward.  Because of this our options are very limited.  Eventually, we are going to have to cut spending and increase tax revenue via policy shifts in many fronts in order to contain these deficits going forward.  Right now deficits are shrinking, but that does not mean that we are out of the woods.

www.taxnetwealth.com
 
2014-02-04 01:25:09 PM  

menschenfresser: I have a dumb but serious question: Do other countries collect tax like this and expect people to file annual 'returns' after calculating their own taxes?


For employees the UK system is pretty simple - your employer works out what your taxes will be and deducts them from each paycheck. They automatically adjust the deductions when you get pay rises/cuts or change jobs.

There are far fewer tax incentives (no mortgage interest deduction for example) and the equivalents of some US programs are paid out in cash rather than adjusted at the tax collection point - for example: for kids you get a non-means tested allowance sent to you in cash rather than a tax deduction so very little you do with your finances will affect your taxes owed. Pre-tax deductions like pension contributions are all also handled by your employer.

The system also includes automatic student loan repayments.

The only normal reasons an employee would file a tax return would be if you only worked part of the year or had a major salary change late in the year.

For the tax return you simply send them photocopies of your P45 and P60 forms (given to you when you leave employment and at the end of the tax year if you're currently employed, respectively) and a cover letter saying you think they overtaxed you and they work out the rest.

If you're not in a rush you don't even need to file - they eventually automatically work out over payments and you get a check mailed to you a few years later.

If you somehow underpay you'll eventually get a letter, maybe a couple of years later, from the Inland Revenue asking you to cough up some cash.
 
2014-02-04 01:26:34 PM  

SlothB77: its not the spending that is out of control.  it is the republicans.


Why not both?
 
2014-02-04 01:26:44 PM  

GhostfacedFiddlah: macross87: Know how minnow who's fault it is?

Know how minnow who is caught sayof?


Autocorrect - Principal Caught sayof edition.
 
2014-02-04 01:27:12 PM  
For everyone wondering why we're "paying" taxes ahead of time. Let me remind you:

1- people are dicks. If you don't already have someone's money they will do anything to avoid giving it to you. Even when facing jail time, discomfort it homelessness. Ask a bill collector, there is a reason they're evil pricks.

2- People are stupid. If you don't take their money ahead of time there will be idiotic rumors running around to "lower your bill" or "commit fraud". At least this way Uncle Sam and Aunt IRiS can check your math before you prove:

3- People are irresponsible. If you waited for everyone to file in order to get paid, they would blow that cash before January. Plenty of people would keep cash in an interest bearing account, but you can bet your ass if income dropped a few thousand that cash comes out of the tax money. Plus, people living check to check would sacrifice that savings every time they hit a bump. It's the same reason it's hard as hell to get your retirement money out of an account. And why people take out loans against that account to buy a boat.
 
2014-02-04 01:27:16 PM  

Galloping Galoshes: Rapmaster2000: Republicans need to make a stand and shut down the government to protect our liberty.  Voters will reward them for their steadfastness in the face of out of control liberal entitlement welfare queen subsidies.

Nice troll.  Won't happen.  This will be a painless change; the GOP is not interested in taking attention away from Obamacare.


Which is hilarious considering all of the actual successes of Obamacare lately.
 
2014-02-04 01:28:25 PM  

HeadLever: You forgot #3 - actually do something about reducing the deficit so the entire problem becomes moot.


Well the GOP isn't actually interested in policies that will reduce the deficit (i.e. raising taxes on the wealthy)

But that's notwithstanding the fact that the deficit is and has been reduced.
 
2014-02-04 01:28:41 PM  

lennavan: Phineas: Raise taxes. Problem solved. The higher our taxes are, the more money the government can hand out


I agree with your sarcasm.  I'm sick of my tax dollars being handed out to defense contractors to purchase airplanes that we don't need and simply sit in storage.


Maybe we can take both of your smartass comments and consider them as a serious debt reduction strategy.  If we really want to make a dent in this deficit, it really does need to be hit from both the spending and tax revenue side.
 
2014-02-04 01:29:17 PM  

HeadLever: SlothB77: its not the spending that is out of control.  it is the republicans.

Why not both?


Because spending isn't  actually out of control. Deficit's shrinking, remember?
 
2014-02-04 01:30:07 PM  

HeadLever: If we really want to make a dent in this deficit, it really does need to be hit from both the spending and tax revenue side.


We already  have.
 
2014-02-04 01:32:37 PM  

Phineas: Raise taxes.  Problem solved.  The higher our taxes are, the more money the government can hand out, and the more they hand out, the more they make, because every dollar they give to poor people magically turns into $1.50 or something.  And the taxes on the money the poor people spend will balance the deficit, and eventually we will have a surplus.

Actually I'm really not worried, just create another $1 trillion out of thin air and use that to pay for some government programs.  Every year just create another $1 trillion to balance that year's budget, bam!  no more deficit.


Inflation.

There is so much demand for stuff, there is so much flow of money.  If supply of money goes up, flow of money goes up (in theory.  This almost never works out perfectly), prices go up.

In the worst-case scenario, you start an inflation spiral, where no one trusts the money and so it circulates.  And then they confiscate a bunch of the land (Oh hey, they own 90+% of the Mountain West at this point) and use it to back a new currency.  And a year later, the best-dressed dictatorship of the 21st century gets into power, and starts a really nasty war that ensures US economic and geopolitical dominance for the next century or so.

/That's not even inflation 101, but my neuroeconomics major friend says that it's good enough when we're drunk.
 
2014-02-04 01:33:27 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Well the GOP isn't actually interested in policies that will reduce the deficit (i.e. raising taxes on the wealthy)


That is not entirely correct as they have been advocates (at least on paper) of reducing government spending.  Both will have the impact of reducing the deficit.


cameroncrazy1984: But that's notwithstanding the fact that the deficit is and has been reduced.

True.  Tax revenue is up and government spending is down and the deficits (albeit still very high) are quickly trending downward.   However, you need to understand that we are still not out of the woods here.
 
2014-02-04 01:34:22 PM  

HeadLever: lennavan: Phineas: Raise taxes. Problem solved. The higher our taxes are, the more money the government can hand out


I agree with your sarcasm.  I'm sick of my tax dollars being handed out to defense contractors to purchase airplanes that we don't need and simply sit in storage.

Maybe we can take both of your smartass comments and consider them as a serious debt reduction strategy.  If we really want to make a dent in this deficit, it really does need to be hit from both the spending and tax revenue side.


I wasn't joking, I really am okay with cuts to defense.  I'm also okay with increasing tax revenue.
 
2014-02-04 01:35:51 PM  

Target Builder: menschenfresser: I have a dumb but serious question: Do other countries collect tax like this and expect people to file annual 'returns' after calculating their own taxes?

For employees the UK system is pretty simple - your employer works out what your taxes will be and deducts them from each paycheck. They automatically adjust the deductions when you get pay rises/cuts or change jobs.

There are far fewer tax incentives (no mortgage interest deduction for example) and the equivalents of some US programs are paid out in cash rather than adjusted at the tax collection point - for example: for kids you get a non-means tested allowance sent to you in cash rather than a tax deduction so very little you do with your finances will affect your taxes owed. Pre-tax deductions like pension contributions are all also handled by your employer.

The system also includes automatic student loan repayments.

The only normal reasons an employee would file a tax return would be if you only worked part of the year or had a major salary change late in the year.

For the tax return you simply send them photocopies of your P45 and P60 forms (given to you when you leave employment and at the end of the tax year if you're currently employed, respectively) and a cover letter saying you think they overtaxed you and they work out the rest.

If you're not in a rush you don't even need to file - they eventually automatically work out over payments and you get a check mailed to you a few years later.

If you somehow underpay you'll eventually get a letter, maybe a couple of years later, from the Inland Revenue asking you to cough up some cash.


That's virtually a photocopy of the US system with all of the complications removed. For example, if you buy a house on loan the interest from the mortgage is subtracted from your income. Also, the US uses this as a way to send cash to some impoverished who aren't quite on the welfare programs.

It's also considered a good time to collect data and check redundancies (they don't really do the second bit).
 
2014-02-04 01:37:23 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Because spending isn't  actually out of control.


Actually, spending is still much higher (as a percentage of GDP) than historical norms (about 22%, currently).

2.bp.blogspot.com

And don't forget the point that if we want to actually reduce the debt (not the deficit), we are going to  have to reduce it some more.
 
2014-02-04 01:38:11 PM  
Now this could get interesting. Watch, as more tax returns get filed this month, and the story comes out that they might not be able to pay all the refunds they owe, and then watch the poors get all riot-y. If I get arrested while trying to seize a piece of government property, to sell for what they owe me, I'll try to get a Fark shoutout in my police report.
 
2014-02-04 01:38:46 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: We already  have.


Absolutely true, but those were baby steps in the grand scheme of things.  We still have much more to do.
 
2014-02-04 01:38:53 PM  
imgs.xkcd.com
 
2014-02-04 01:40:52 PM  

JC22: The fact that this happens every year now or every few months should tell you that there is a reallllly bad problem here...sooner or later folks this sh-t is going to collapse in upon itself.


I used to think this, that eventually as we did this over and over the Republicans would fail to blink, and we'd get hit with a market plunge that makes 2008 look like a momentary blip.

But I think it's actually petering out... the Republicans haven't yet decided what they're going to ask for, and  the best they're even shooting for is elimination of an obscure part of Obamacare (risk corridors for insurers, because someone called it a bailout).

The Republican leadership knows they're not going to win a debt ceiling fight, so they appear to just be committed to doing the minimum to appease the nutjobs.
 
2014-02-04 01:41:24 PM  

lennavan: I wasn't joking, I really am okay with cuts to defense.  I'm also okay with increasing tax revenue.


You can be a smartass and still be joking at all :)

I ultimately agree with you that DoD is going to have to be one of the biggest parts of government that will need to tighten the belt.  While entitlement reforms are also necessary, you cannot ignore the elephant in the room.
 
2014-02-04 01:42:26 PM  

HeadLever: You can be a smartass and still

not be joking at all :)

FIFM
 
2014-02-04 01:45:27 PM  

HeadLever: With the baby boomers starting to retire in droves and globalization becoming more commonplace, you are not going to see much in the way of increased unemployment for the working class unless we change quite a few things.  Add that to the increase entitlement spending that is demanded by these folks retiring and we are not in a good position moving forward.  Because of this our options are very limited.  Eventually, we are going to have to cut spending and increase tax revenue via policy shifts in many fronts in order to contain these deficits going forward.  Right now deficits are shrinking, but that does not mean that we are out of the woods.


In the long run, our deficit problems are entirely driven by medical inflation.

If we don't fix medical inflation, we're all boned regardless of how we finance the government.
If we do fix it, there's no debt problem.
 
2014-02-04 01:45:37 PM  
This will completely destroy the world economy and we will all be living in huts, just like the last 4 times it has happened within the last year.
 
2014-02-04 01:47:59 PM  

HeadLever: I ultimately agree with you that DoD is going to have to be one of the biggest parts of government that will need to tighten the belt. While entitlement reforms are also necessary, you cannot ignore the elephant in the room.


Yeah... no, no they aren't necessary.

You see that big elephant in the room?  I'm not suggesting we ignore it, I'm suggesting we feed it because you see, that elephant is what keeps families afloat.  It keeps people fed, housed and with heat in the winter.  You and anyone else would be a giant dickhead to spend even $1 on a gun or a bullet before you make sure your own population is fed.

What is the farking point of "defending" our country by sending troops to far away countries if meanwhile people back at home are starving?  We'll defend their right to starve to death?
 
2014-02-04 01:48:37 PM  
Waiit a dat'gummed minute. You mean Obama isn't paying all the handouts from his own pocket and it's adding up to a disproportionate amount that's unsustainable?
 
2014-02-04 01:48:54 PM  
The national debt does not ever have to be paid off.

As long as it grows more slowly than the economy, there's no problem.

We haven't paid off WWII yet, but the debt remaining from it is worth the cost of two hammers and a toilet seat at today's prices.
 
2014-02-04 01:51:08 PM  

Target Builder: menschenfresser: I have a dumb but serious question: Do other countries collect tax like this and expect people to file annual 'returns' after calculating their own taxes?

For employees the UK system is pretty simple - your employer works out what your taxes will be and...


I guess Canada could be considered a hybrid of the two. Income tax is taken out by the employer based on your income as well. Mine takes out based on my union dues paid and pension. However, we still [have to] file a tax return where we can claim dependents and other tax credits to hopefully get a refund. We don't really have any really complex write-offs. We can't claim mortgage interest, but can claim stuff like bus passes, child sports expenses. A couple years back we could do household renovations. For a working family, taxes can be pretty simple and can be filled out and submitted online pretty quickly.
 
2014-02-04 01:51:20 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: In the long run, our deficit problems are entirely driven by medical inflation.

If we don't fix medical inflation, we're all boned regardless of how we finance the government.
If we do fix it, there's no debt problem.


I would mostly agree with that.  Medical inflation is the driver of the 'primary' deficit through anticipated increases of Medicare.  However, that is not all inflation in the common sense of the word, but a demographic shift that puts more folks into this program.  See Social Security as well.

However, if you look at that graph the spending item that really balloons in the upcoming decade is the Interest Payment on the National Debt.  That one is tough to peg since it is dependent upon the current debt, primary debt, inflation and interest rates.  However, we can pretty safely anticipate that it will greatly increase in the future.
 
2014-02-04 01:51:25 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: spending isn't  actually out of control. Deficit's shrinking, remember?


Even if it were (and I agree it's not), the debt ceiling isn't the way to bring it under control anyway.

If Congress doesn't like the amount of debt we're building up, they can take it up with the people who set tax rates and appropriate government expenses.
 
2014-02-04 01:52:21 PM  

russsssman: Waiit a dat'gummed minute. You mean Obama isn't paying all the handouts from his own pocket and it's adding up to a disproportionate amount that's unsustainable?


Racist.

lennavan:  We'll defend their right to starve to death?


How many people starved to death in America last year?  Do you think it's fewer than the number employed and/or fed by the US Military?
 
2014-02-04 01:55:35 PM  
I think we should raise that ceiling again.    And then raise taxes to pay for even more new spending.

Because we don't have enough stuff.
 
2014-02-04 01:57:03 PM  

master_dman: No problem.  They will just print more.. The debt ceiling will be raised.. we'll borrow more money from China, then we'll waste it.  We'll kick the bucket down to our childrens children to pay.  Meanwhile, we'll continue to spend even more money on social feel good programs to lure in more voters.


www.theblaze.com

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/30/odd-national-debt-stuck-a t- exactly-16699396000000-for-70-days/
 
2014-02-04 01:58:27 PM  

HeadLever: if you look at that graph the spending item that really balloons in the upcoming decade is the Interest Payment on the National Debt.  That one is tough to peg since it is dependent upon the current debt, primary debt, inflation and interest rates.  However, we can pretty safely anticipate that it will greatly increase in the future.


Dunno. Most projections I see along those lines just tend to assume that interest rates will pop to 5% or so, with no cause, other than that they used to be there. The causes for such a thing that I can think of:

- Demand for savings drops significantly (this seems unlikely given an ever-more-top-heavy wealth distribution)
- Supply of other things to invest in increases significantly, making saving by loaning to the government less attractive (that could only happen if the economy improves a lot, in which case debt-to-GDP drops)
- Our trade deficit shrinks a lot (maybe if China stops pegging their currency? Would lead to some economic growth, but most new jobs would be for robots, so not sure how that would shake out overall)
 
2014-02-04 02:02:10 PM  
Fine by me. I've a huge return coming, thanks to working my ass off, and we'll get to see the crazier segment of the Republicans once again try to hold the country hostage. We'll get lots of conjecture, posturing, and panic, only this time, Obama's going to laugh at these farkers and say, "Sorry, tried to work with you last time, made compromises, and you spat in my face for it. Good luck, kids! You know what you need to do - how about you go get to it?"

2014? Yeah, good luck with that, GOP. You've brought the country to the brink of disaster once over your posturing, and it wasn't well received. What do you think you're going to gain by doing it again?
 
2014-02-04 02:03:01 PM  

MythDragon: That Guy Jeff: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

I know right? I paid more in taxes this year then I used to make in a year. It's ridiculous. Farking old people. I wish I could pay taxes a la carte, like "hmm, you didn't pay into social security so you can't collect it, but you did pay into education so you can send your kid to public school. You've paid road taxes, here's your drivers license. Why isn't anyone paying to drop bombs on Pakistani children? Come on guys, we really want to make a bunch of brown folk angry at us, why won't you opt in to that tax?"


Because then you get this:
[upload.wikimedia.org image 328x475]


Need an ambulance? Hope your ambulance subscription is paid up. Oh, you're out of your coverage area? Better have that credit card ready before they dispatch.


Last I checked I still get billed for a trip in an ambulance and I pay a lot of taxes. But I know what you're trying to say, and it sounds AWESOME. I love reading news stories where someone's house burns down in a county that's "pay for fire service or you don't get it" and the firemen stand there watching it burn, making sure it doesn't spread to their paying customers. I'm perfectly OK with that system. Those people who paid for fire service paid less because there weren't 20 layers of overweight middle ages harpy bureaucrats all scrambling to take their "share" of the money before it even got to the fire company. And those people who don't saved might a little money by taking a gamble, a gamble that sometimes they win and sometimes they don't. It's win-win all around, and best yet, people get to decide for themselves what they want. What more could you want? Fire service for less money, and the choice to have it or not. Smells like... freedom. :D

I've worked with the government, specifically the department of education of my state. I speak from personal experience when I say that government is a cesspool of waste, a quivering cellulite riddled spend-orgy of worthless bureaucrats engaged in never ending petty interdepartmental feuds and constant attempts for more budget for no other reason than expanding "the kingdom." Having worked with these people, there's not a chance in hell I will ever vote to give them so much as another cent and I would welcome ANY measure that burned the leeches off. I would MUCH prefer to just give a few thousand dollars to a school that doesn't have all those parasites hanging over it. Any who, the point is this: there's a lot of crap the government spends money on (bureaucrats, killing brown people, molesting children in airports, destroying the internet, etc) that I would just as well not like to contribute to.
 
2014-02-04 02:03:11 PM  
Perhaps we shouldn't be cutting refunds for millions of dollars for convicted felons?

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2011-02-16-1Ainmate s1 6_CV_N.htm

/but if taxation is theft, then i guess these people are just patriotic robin hoods, right GOTP?
 
2014-02-04 02:03:27 PM  

FLMountainMan: lennavan: We'll defend their right to starve to death?

How many people starved to death in America last year?


He was suggesting we cut back.  Under the current situation, 1 in 7 households are "food insecure."  6.7 million are very food insecure.  That means over the course of the year, they experience periods with actual hunger pains.  That's where we are now, and if you keep cutting you'll start seeing third world shiat here.

FLMountainMan: Do you think it's fewer than the number employed and/or fed by the US Military?


So pay the US Military the exact same wage.  Instead of buying them tanks and guns, let's buy them vans and lots of groceries to deliver.  If there are people left we don't need to deliver food, we can get them to work insulating poverty stricken homes or upgrading infrastructure.  I guarantee you, there's no shortage of work to be done in our country and if you give me the Department of Defense budget, I can do a hell of a lot more good than shootin up brown dudes in Afghanistan.
 
2014-02-04 02:05:31 PM  
Why don't just stop giving aid to the rest of the World for one year.  I don't want to do the math but I'm sure it would cover some of our... indiscretions?  Yeah, people would starve and things would be generally bad in some places but when I have bills to pay the first thing I cut is charity.  Charity starts at home.
 
2014-02-04 02:08:27 PM  

lennavan: I guarantee you, there's no shortage of work to be done in our country and if you give me the Department of Defense budget, I can do a hell of a lot more good than shootin up brown dudes in Afghanistan.


This and soooo many other reasons is why you are farkied "very smart" in light green.
 
2014-02-04 02:11:41 PM  
ManateeGag: "Ah, this old song and dance.  there will be another punt.  to June maybe.  just in time for all those midterm elections to be in full swing"

Given how things went last time, and how the polling looks this time, I wouldn't be surprised if this was just quietly extended past the midterms.
Maybe they'll hang a nothing-burger on there as a condition, like mandating a "Revenge Of Simpson-Bowles" committee.
That would generate some good "deficit!" headlines to rile up the base, but without the negative polling that followed their last couple stunts.
 
2014-02-04 02:12:46 PM  
Wait, I thought we were in an recovery and employment was down so tax revenue was going up from all the employed people paying taxes. Why do we keep electing politicians and hoping they will finally get it and learn how to budget and not borrow more money. Am I missing something or is it that government is so large that it can no longer fund itself without borrowing more money. And don't tell me about the social programs, the streets and stuff that the government provides and fixes.
 
2014-02-04 02:12:54 PM  

lennavan: He was suggesting we cut back.  Under the current situation, 1 in 7 households are "food insecure."  6.7 million are very food insecure.  That means over the course of the year, they experience periods with actual hunger pains.  That's where we are now, and if you keep cutting you'll start seeing third world shiat here.


A recent study lent some confirmation and salience to this:

Among lower-income neighborhoods, ER visits for hypoglycemia go up at the end of the month. This doesn't happen for appendicitis, nor in less-poor neighborhoods.
 
2014-02-04 02:13:54 PM  
Would this be a problem if we got rid of refundable tax credits?
 
2014-02-04 02:15:26 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: HeadLever: if you look at that graph the spending item that really balloons in the upcoming decade is the Interest Payment on the National Debt.  That one is tough to peg since it is dependent upon the current debt, primary debt, inflation and interest rates.  However, we can pretty safely anticipate that it will greatly increase in the future.

Dunno. Most projections I see along those lines just tend to assume that interest rates will pop to 5% or so, with no cause, other than that they used to be there. The causes for such a thing that I can think of:

- Demand for savings drops significantly (this seems unlikely given an ever-more-top-heavy wealth distribution)
- Supply of other things to invest in increases significantly, making saving by loaning to the government less attractive (that could only happen if the economy improves a lot, in which case debt-to-GDP drops)
- Our trade deficit shrinks a lot (maybe if China stops pegging their currency? Would lead to some economic growth, but most new jobs would be for robots, so not sure how that would shake out overall)


Since the Fed is buying most of the debt right now via QE, they have the interest rate pegged much lower than would be in the standard secondary market.  Not many folks will be willingly buying government bonds with a rate of return lower than inflation.  However, this has began to taper off in the last few weeks.  We will see how this tapering will continue into the future.

Another thing to think about if the economy ever starts to really heat up, there could be huge inflationary pressures with all the free money at the top.  if this happens the fed has two choices as I see it:  1) Allow inflation to become pretty high by keeping rates low in order to devalue the National Debt principal or 2) try to fight this inflation by jacking rates up which will maintain the principal of the debt at a higher value and will also greatly increase the interest expense on this debt.
 
2014-02-04 02:16:00 PM  
don't correct me if I'm wrong but -
wouldn't I have had to have a job to get a refund?

No job, I've a joke, a bad joke, a joke with no punchline.
 
2014-02-04 02:16:58 PM  

pmdgrwr: Am I missing something or is it that government is so large that it can no longer fund itself without borrowing more money.


It's not a matter of "can't" but "won't"; we could raise taxes to a budget-balancing point if we wanted to.

Not that it's a good idea at the moment, right now there's a huge global pool of money that's willing to pay the US government to make use of that money.
 
2014-02-04 02:18:48 PM  
Will we have:
A. A government shutdown
B. Tea party blockades
C. Political pandering
D. Politics over country
E. More tax cuts to the detriment of our crumbling infrastructure
F. All of the above
 
2014-02-04 02:20:14 PM  
img.fark.net

/Really.
 
2014-02-04 02:20:59 PM  
Ugh, HeadLever finally made my Ignore list.  I've seen a lot stupider and a lot worse, but I can only take the same goddamn debunked debtbug arguments so many times.
It's like that crazy uncle at family reunions. . . no, not the creepy one that just got out of jail, but the one everyone tries to avoid because every time it's the same conversation.
 
2014-02-04 02:21:10 PM  

HeadLever: Another thing to think about if the economy ever starts to really heat up, there could be huge inflationary pressures with all the free money at the top.  if this happens the fed has two choices as I see it:  1) Allow inflation to become pretty high by keeping rates low in order to devalue the National Debt principal or 2) try to fight this inflation by jacking rates up which will maintain the principal of the debt at a higher value and will also greatly increase the interest expense on this debt.


A serious question: For that money to lead to inflation and higher rates, wouldn't they have to be investing it in something productive, or buying stuff with it? Either way, that leads to economic growth. (If the rich keep "parking" the money in government bonds then the interest rate on said bonds doesn't have to go up).
 
2014-02-04 02:22:41 PM  

Bit'O'Gristle: Why not just raise taxes so high, that people are fighting over cans of dog food and pond water. Not that you would spend that extra money unwisely. Sure, raise our debt ceiling. We don't mind you raising taxes every year to make up for it and never making sure that people have a living wage to survive. But the good news now is, i have to have insurance that i cant afford the premium on, or, the deductible.


/thanks Obama.


I choose to believe you're trolling rather than having no concept of what the debt ceiling represents.

Once congress spends the money, the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government is on the line.

It's like not paying your cell phone bill after you've already accepted the more expensive service bracket.
 
2014-02-04 02:23:30 PM  

The Irresponsible Captain: More tax cuts to the detriment of our crumbling infrastructure


Since spending on infrastructure is pretty much independent of tax cuts, this argument is pretty much just a simplified talking point.  There is nothing holding us back from spending more on infrastructure and cutting taxes.

/not saying that is a wise decision.....
 
2014-02-04 02:25:32 PM  

pmdgrwr: Am I missing something or is it that government is so large that it can no longer fund itself without borrowing more money.


There is nothing that can be cut. Nothing. There are nothing that can be saved in any social program. There is nothing in the defense budget that is not absolutely necessary. Never mind those reports of fraud or planes being flown from the factory to the bone yard. We are running lean and mean. This debt ceiling thing is just the result of a revenue stream problem.

The people that make the budgets must be brimming with pride at how they have such a well run efficient machine humming along that has zero fat to trim.
 
2014-02-04 02:26:05 PM  
Tax refund  LOL
They've suckered people into believing that they get a HUGE refund, they've pulled one
over on the IRS....I have my deductions set to give me back at most 200.00, which will
cushion if I get a reward/bonus, to help offset that.  Anything more than that, the government
got your money to waste INTEREST FREE for the whole year.  I'd rather have it to blow on
something, than have the government waste it on something stupid (which is about everything).
 
2014-02-04 02:28:53 PM  

stupiddream: Why don't just stop giving aid to the rest of the World for one year.  I don't want to do the math but I'm sure it would cover some of our... indiscretions?  Yeah, people would starve and things would be generally bad in some places but when I have bills to pay the first thing I cut is charity.  Charity starts at home.


A lot of that "aid" is basically to either bribe various people not to attack each other and draw the US in or to maintain US influence over a particular country, as opposed to then buddying up with China or Russia.

It's not exactly charity.
 
2014-02-04 02:31:10 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: lennavan: He was suggesting we cut back.  Under the current situation, 1 in 7 households are "food insecure."  6.7 million are very food insecure.  That means over the course of the year, they experience periods with actual hunger pains.  That's where we are now, and if you keep cutting you'll start seeing third world shiat here.

A recent study lent some confirmation and salience to this:

Among lower-income neighborhoods, ER visits for hypoglycemia go up at the end of the month. This doesn't happen for appendicitis, nor in less-poor neighborhoods.


Have we maybe considered that giving them checks once a month is a bad idea?  Maybe once a week?

I mean, given that there are upper-middle-class people making several hundred thousand a year living (very nicely) paycheck to paycheck, and given that we don't actually have that much money, maybe cutting them a check once a week (or once a day or once a year.  Play with the numbers a bit) would be a better response to this than spending even more money?

Especially given that for political reasons it's a non-starter to give them even more money?
 
2014-02-04 02:33:48 PM  

lennavan: FLMountainMan: lennavan: We'll defend their right to starve to death?

How many people starved to death in America last year?

He was suggesting we cut back.  Under the current situation, 1 in 7 households are "food insecure."  6.7 million are very food insecure.  That means over the course of the year, they experience periods with actual hunger pains.  That's where we are now, and if you keep cutting you'll start seeing third world shiat here.

FLMountainMan: Do you think it's fewer than the number employed and/or fed by the US Military?

So pay the US Military the exact same wage.  Instead of buying them tanks and guns, let's buy them vans and lots of groceries to deliver.  If there are people left we don't need to deliver food, we can get them to work insulating poverty stricken homes or upgrading infrastructure.  I guarantee you, there's no shortage of work to be done in our country and if you give me the Department of Defense budget, I can do a hell of a lot more good than shootin up brown dudes in Afghanistan.


Actually that's not a bad idea.  It would be steallar PR for the military, create duties for active military who aren't deployed, create a social program that is "zomg the military is awesome!" which sort of trumps saving money in conservativeland and promote trust of the government in poorer communities where they instinctively won't call police when things get bad.  They could even use this as a "desk job" for injured vets.  It would also put faces into the public for disaster response.

It's win-win.  We get big military AND social programs.  Plus, being in the military isn't all murdering muslims.
 
2014-02-04 02:35:28 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: pmdgrwr: Am I missing something or is it that government is so large that it can no longer fund itself without borrowing more money.

It's not a matter of "can't" but "won't"; we could raise taxes to a budget-balancing point if we wanted to.

Not that it's a good idea at the moment, right now there's a huge global pool of money that's willing to pay the US government to make use of that money.

Global pool, you mean US dollars that was given out as bailouts to other countries. So we are paying interest on our own money to countries that borrowed it from us and then turned around and bought treasuries with it. Can our government find any more ways to squander money.

 
2014-02-04 02:36:55 PM  

generallyso: tarheel07: Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.

If you owe taxes at the end of the year you're going to pay penalties. You can put in an extension for filing but under normal circumstances there is no extension for payment.


Not if you pay them when you file.
 
2014-02-04 02:37:09 PM  
Hey I got a silly idea,  stop wasting all the goddam money already.
 
2014-02-04 02:44:57 PM  

Pangea: generallyso: tarheel07: Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.

If you owe taxes at the end of the year you're going to pay penalties. You can put in an extension for filing but under normal circumstances there is no extension for payment.

Not if you pay them when you file.


This position has been thoroughly rebutted I see. I clearly am not a rich person.
 
2014-02-04 02:51:28 PM  

Pangea: Pangea: generallyso: tarheel07: Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.

If you owe taxes at the end of the year you're going to pay penalties. You can put in an extension for filing but under normal circumstances there is no extension for payment.

Not if you pay them when you file.

This position has been thoroughly rebutted I see. I clearly am not a rich person.


I first ran into it in an interesting non-rich situation: a university fellowship.

I got a tuition waiver (that's not taxable) and the same stipend that TAs and such get. The stipend was taxable income, but because it wasn't a job per se they couldn't withhold taxes from it. Therefore I had to pay quarterly estimated taxes (essentially, doing my own withholding). The university warned us of this ahead of time so it wouldn't be a surprise.
 
2014-02-04 03:00:35 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: For that money to lead to inflation and higher rates, wouldn't they have to be investing it in something productive, or buying stuff with it? Either way, that leads to economic growth.


True, rapid economic growth combined with 'easy money' is typically one driver of inflation.  Currently, we are awash in money, but economic growth has been pretty slow.

(If the rich keep "parking" the money in government bonds then the interest rate on said bonds doesn't have to go up).

That is true, but the rich are generally looking for the best ROI.  If you have an economy that is hot or heating up, you are not going to be parking much money in bonds.
 
2014-02-04 03:03:15 PM  

dragonchild: Ugh, HeadLever finally made my Ignore list.


wellbye.jpg

I noticed that you just threw a fit and left without actually trying to refute anything I said.  I wonder why that is........
 
2014-02-04 03:14:51 PM  

SwiftFox: The tax refunds don't belong to the government to begin with.

Why were they ever counted as part of the money available to be spent on other things, if it has to be replaced now?


Because whoever designed our tax system was an inefficient moran?
 
2014-02-04 03:32:42 PM  

HeadLever: cameroncrazy1984: Because spending isn't  actually out of control.

Actually, spending is still much higher (as a percentage of GDP) than historical norms (about 22%, currently).

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 657x464]

And don't forget the point that if we want to actually reduce the debt (not the deficit), we are going to  have to reduce it some more.


Spending on programs approved during Bush years as a percentage of teh GDP of an economy that Bush crashed?  Yep, that's what I would expect the chart to look like.

Tell you what, you guys go ahead and scream and shout and fret and shiat your pants, I'm going to ignore all these political assholes the same way they ignore me and just wait for the announcement that we printed ourselves a few trillion dollars to push the decision off to some golden day in the future.
 
2014-02-04 03:47:49 PM  

MaliFinn: I'm going to ignore all these political assholes the same way they ignore me and just wait for the announcement that we printed ourselves a few trillion dollars to push the decision off to some golden day in the future.


So you are going to act exactly like the folks that you loath?  Brilliant plan. That will show them.
 
2014-02-04 03:48:37 PM  
I don't ever get a refund anymore and I'm ok with that. I'd rather hold onto the money than let the gubmint hold onto it, thanks very much.
 
2014-02-04 03:57:02 PM  
Tax refund:

media.tumblr.com
 
2014-02-04 03:59:20 PM  

ManRay: Would this be a problem if we got rid of refundable tax credits?


My non troll answer is,  being that the tax code is so convoluted these days. Yeah, probably.  It's needs to be gutted and re-written in a very simplistic way. Which, unfortunately, will never happen in Washington.
 
2014-02-04 04:04:32 PM  

menschenfresser: I have a dumb but serious question: Do other countries collect tax like this and expect people to file annual 'returns' after calculating their own taxes?

The reason I ask is that it seems not only unnecessary but dangerous, considering that most people aren't accountants. Is there an advantage to not having the government(s) taking out an agreed-upon rate of tax and just leaving it at that? Is it all the deductions and incentives that make this necessary?


France has a system that's pretty different from any of the ones described above.  Essentially, you earn the income one year, and then pay the income tax accrued on it in the following year.  So, for money earned in year N, you actually pay the tax bill in year N+1.  In August of year N+1 you file a "Declaration of Income" for year N's income, in September or October you get the bill, and you pay it by the end of November of year N+1.

For your first year working, you basically have to hold back 15% of every paycheck, because you're going to have to pay the tax on that all at once when it comes due.  For subsequent years, however, you have to pay a quarterly deposit equal to 1/3rd of the amount of income tax you paid the previous year.  So, for instance, if my 2012 income was such that I owed 600€ tax on it payable in 2013, in 2014 I'd have to make three deposits against what I'll owe for the income I made in 2013: I'd pay 200€ in January, 200€ in April, 200€ in July, file my tax return on my 2013 income in August, and settle up the balance in November if it happens to be that I owe more or less this time around.  Alternately, I could set up a direct deposit and pay 60€ each month from January to October, and then the balance in November.

I think a large reason that it works the way it does is because a lot of the things that might be tax credits or deductions in the States are handled by other parts of the government, and because the tax code here is just simpler, period.  So my tax returns here are much, much simpler - I'm single with no children, so my tax return last year probably had maybe ten lines filled in.  You declare your dependents, apply your dependent exemptions, list your income, a few random adjustments here and there for (very) specific things, and that's more or less it.

It also helps that income taxes are levied on the portion of your income which remains after the (not insubstantial) deductions for medical, retirement, social security, unemployment, etc. are taken out of your check.  Calculating your taxable income is as simple as copying a number from a box off at the bottom of the year's last pay stub.

On the other hand, since there is no such thing as a "withholding," it's up to you to be proactive and responsible and set the money aside each month.  No doubt there are a lot of people who need to have the money taken out of their pay envelope before they get it because of this, and I'm sure many of them have their paychecks garnished accordingly.  But for me, rather than floating the government an interest-free loan, I'm disciplined enough where I can take the cash right off of the top of each month's paycheck, stick it into an account that's paying me 2.5% interest, and consider it to be out of reach until it's time to pay up.  No, it's not a ton of money, but it's absolutely better than nothing, and I can exercise just that bit more control over my finances while still fulfilling my civic responsibilities.
 
2014-02-04 04:16:52 PM  
Oh woe is me. Whatever shall I do without that extra 30¢ a year?
 
2014-02-04 04:20:57 PM  

FLMountainMan: russsssman: Waiit a dat'gummed minute. You mean Obama isn't paying all the handouts from his own pocket and it's adding up to a disproportionate amount that's unsustainable?

Racist.

lennavan:  We'll defend their right to starve to death?

How many people starved to death in America last year?  Do you think it's fewer than the number employed and/or fed by the US Military?


So you're saying that the military is equivalent to welfare? I agree. And I'd rather not be building planes to mothball and tanks to park with that money. I'd rather put that money into building infrastructure that actually improves the country, like roads and bridges and so on. Hell, maybe even get really socialist and throw in some public transit. Crazy, I know.
 
2014-02-04 04:25:18 PM  

HeadLever: MaliFinn: I'm going to ignore all these political assholes the same way they ignore me and just wait for the announcement that we printed ourselves a few trillion dollars to push the decision off to some golden day in the future.

So you are going to act exactly like the folks that you loath?  Brilliant plan. That will show them.


After 25 years of paying taxes and becoming aware that my opinion is irrelevant aside from 15 minutes every four years, you learn to make better use of your time than yelling at people whose only talent is not listening.
 
2014-02-04 04:38:35 PM  

durbnpoisn: Sounds like a good reason to get your taxes done early if you expect a refund.


If you expect a sizable refund, sounds like a good reason to adjust your w-4
 
2014-02-04 04:40:00 PM  
Dear government:

Being poor doesn't make me so stupid I'm incapable of planning my finances or so un-wise that I actually rely on a calculated refund to stay above water in those plans.

Also, not being a member of the government, I'm not actually always ethically obligated to be an obstructionist asshole at every opportunity.

In conclusion, just delay the tax refunds while you get your house in order for a month or two.  Problem solved.

~Jim
 
2014-02-04 04:44:34 PM  
Meh. I don't know why the GOP makes this threat every tiem when everyone knows they are just going to cave at the last minute. Definition of insanity and all that, I suppose.  Just once I would enjoy watching the GOPees cut off their own dicks.
 
2014-02-04 05:14:07 PM  

trappedspirit: durbnpoisn: Sounds like a good reason to get your taxes done early if you expect a refund.

If you expect a sizable refund, sounds like a good reason to adjust your w-4


Wanna know how I can tell your not poor?

Earned Income Credit is about 90% of the hype on refunds.  It runs up in to the thousands for people living off of $300 a week.  Because these people are generally uneducated they usually don't even attempt to do their own taxes and just go to a tax preparer which was only regulated in the past few years (the first year testing was required was this year).  And thanks to all of those anti-predatory lending laws Obama passed, they aren't taking 10% interest loans out on the refund just to get cash a week earlier.

This refundable tax credit is the end-all-be-all for these people.  It's a mini-lottery winning.  This is how a lot of poor people manage to buy things like cars, refrigerators, computers, etc.  It's often the only windfall people get in a year.  It's probably one of the more successful welfare programs as it tends to wipe out large amounts of debt and allow for durable goods to be purchased without creating a psychology of dependency.

I knew one woman who paid tuition at community college this way.  Took her 4 years to get an associates, but it was all on uncle sam.
 
2014-02-04 05:22:46 PM  

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: Meh. I don't know why the GOP makes this threat every tiem when everyone knows they are just going to cave at the last minute. Definition of insanity and all that, I suppose.  Just once I would enjoy watching the GOPees cut off their own dicks.


Yeah, they must be crazy or something.

www.obamadoublespeak.com
 
2014-02-04 05:54:14 PM  
They're going to raise the debt ceiling.  And on the off chance they don't, Lew will mint the coin or Yellen figure something else out.

They ought to just get rid of the debt ceiling altogether and stop this charade.
 
2014-02-04 06:13:32 PM  

Target Builder: stupiddream: Why don't just stop giving aid to the rest of the World for one year.  I don't want to do the math but I'm sure it would cover some of our... indiscretions?  Yeah, people would starve and things would be generally bad in some places but when I have bills to pay the first thing I cut is charity.  Charity starts at home.

A lot of that "aid" is basically to either bribe various people not to attack each other and draw the US in or to maintain US influence over a particular country, as opposed to then buddying up with China or Russia.

It's not exactly charity.


Furthermore, that aid accounts for less than 1% of the federal budget.  Cutting it isn't going to make any significant difference in the deficit, and might actually end up costing us more in the long run by destabilizing the parts of the world that benefit from it.
 
2014-02-04 06:52:54 PM  

anfrind: Furthermore, that aid accounts for less than 1% of the federal budget.


I think with foreign aid it's a bit of an RoI issue.  The actual expenditure is low, but I can't think of a dumber way to spend money than throw billions at a country that harbored a terrorist that killed thousands of Americans.  Further west, every billion we spend in the Middle East winds up costing us tens of billions more.  Our foreign policy has an RoI that would make Nute Gunray blush.  We can absolutely save money if we actually tried to extricate ourselves from that clusterfark.
 
2014-02-04 07:21:50 PM  

dragonchild: Ugh, HeadLever finally made my Ignore list.  I've seen a lot stupider and a lot worse, but I can only take the same goddamn debunked debtbug arguments so many times.
It's like that crazy uncle at family reunions. . . no, not the creepy one that just got out of jail, but the one everyone tries to avoid because every time it's the same conversation.


HL posts the same damn charts in every thread he can possibly shoehorn them into.  They're all, at best, hypothetical models but he waves them around as irrefutable forecasts of the debt demons to come.

His best effort so far was to post a hypothetical made in 2009 IIRC, projecting how things would be through to 2013 (under some dire assumptions), in a recent thread as a historical chart of what had actually happened from 2009-2013.
 
2014-02-04 07:45:42 PM  
Gaseous Anomaly:

It's not a matter of "can't" but "won't"; we could raise taxes to a budget-balancing point if we wanted to.

How exactly would we raise taxes by a trillion dollars a year?
 
2014-02-04 08:49:40 PM  
Oh heck, the US dollar is no different just counterfeit anyway.  It's only value is the threat of US attack if you don't accept it, as Iraq learned the hard way.

We went from the gold standard to the oil standard and now we're on the bomb standard.
 
2014-02-04 08:56:11 PM  

Dwindle: Gaseous Anomaly:

It's not a matter of "can't" but "won't"; we could raise taxes to a budget-balancing point if we wanted to.

How exactly would we raise taxes by a trillion dollars a year?


Deficit's only half a trillion dollars a year these days. That's 1/32 (3%) of a 16 trillion dollar a year economy. So tax everything 3% more, balanced budget ensues.
 
2014-02-04 08:56:50 PM  

El Pachuco: They're all, at best, hypothetical models but he waves them around as irrefutable forecasts of the debt demons to come.


Ahhh, ye old strawman argument from el pachuco.  Sorry to say it, but you are so limited in your understanding that that is about all you have in these discussions.
 
2014-02-04 09:02:07 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: Deficit's only half a trillion dollars a year these days. That's 1/32 (3%) of a 16 trillion dollar a year economy. So tax everything 3% more, balanced budget ensues.


Easier said that done.  Just raising rates is not a guarantee of increased tax revenue.  In the entire history of this country, we have ever surpassed 20% GDP just a handful of times.

watchdog.org

Our spending is currently at 22% of GDP.
 
2014-02-04 09:29:20 PM  

HeadLever: Gaseous Anomaly: Deficit's only half a trillion dollars a year these days. That's 1/32 (3%) of a 16 trillion dollar a year economy. So tax everything 3% more, balanced budget ensues.

Easier said that done.  Just raising rates is not a guarantee of increased tax revenue.  In the entire history of this country, we have ever surpassed 20% GDP just a handful of times.

[watchdog.org image 300x197]

Our spending is currently at 22% of GDP.


The rate where we go Laffer-negative is about 70%. There's a lot of headroom there.

And historical averages mean jack shiat. The economy's a lot different today than 1950, or even 1990, let alone 1900. The size of government is a social choice, not some law of nature.
 
2014-02-04 09:45:24 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: HeadLever: Gaseous Anomaly: Deficit's only half a trillion dollars a year these days. That's 1/32 (3%) of a 16 trillion dollar a year economy. So tax everything 3% more, balanced budget ensues.

Easier said that done.  Just raising rates is not a guarantee of increased tax revenue.  In the entire history of this country, we have ever surpassed 20% GDP just a handful of times.

[watchdog.org image 300x197]

Our spending is currently at 22% of GDP.

The rate where we go Laffer-negative is about 70%. There's a lot of headroom there.

And historical averages mean jack shiat. The economy's a lot different today than 1950, or even 1990, let alone 1900. The size of government is a social choice, not some law of nature.


Where's the rate where we start lowering growth?

Let's say that 60% tax rates get you 95% of the income of 70%.  That means that going up to 70% just ate away 10% of your economy and half of your private sector.   In large part because you just went from a required 2.5:1 return to a 3.33:1 return just to break even.

And anyone who wants to get rich and do something interesting either goes into government or leaves because no one's stupid enough to invest in anything other than a sure thing.  Which means that you don't get Microsoft, Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc, and all the rest of the really cool companies that the US has spawned that are leading the technical fields, and the hundreds of floating startups that exist around them providing them with cool tech.

And then if you start at the same total GDP, sitting at 35% lets you grow at 4%, and 70% keeps you stable, than in 17 years, you've broken even.  And your private sector is 4x as large as the other guy.  Which is why Europe's running on about 60% of our GDP/capita (Just saying.  $20K/year lets you buy a lot of
inequality.)

/And it depends on your state, but we're anywhere from 1.7:1 to 2.3:1.
//And France is at 4:1.
 
2014-02-04 09:55:26 PM  

HeadLever: Actually, spending is still much higher (as a percentage of GDP) than historical norms (about 22%, currently).


My favorite thing about this comment is that the average is 22%, currently we are at 24% of GDP according to YOUR OWN GRAPH, and you characterize that as "much higher" than historical norms.

Jesus.
 
2014-02-04 09:58:45 PM  

meyerkev: Where's the rate where we start lowering growth?


Probably well above 22%, the highest level proposed in this thread AFAIK. But that depends on what we do with it.

For example, raising the Medicare eligibility age is a net cost to the country as a whole (not counting the health effect, just the raw dollars), despite being a reduction in the size-of-government. (Yes, this implies the optimal Medicare eligibility age is 0, but that's another thread).

Another, a perennial proposal of mine: If we publicly funded pharma R&D at or somewhat above the levels the private sector is currently funding it, we'd have no loss of innovation but would save the country a farkton of money (despite the increase in the size-of-government), even if we literally gave the drugs away to the world. Again in raw dollars, not counting the health effects.

/Not coincidentally, markets don't work in health care
 
2014-02-04 10:08:38 PM  
I remember one year my husband and I were supposed to get a whopping $7 back.  Then we remembered my husband had had jury duty or something...and we broke even.  I think it was jury duty...been a long time.
 
2014-02-04 10:23:32 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: The rate where we go Laffer-negative is about 70%. There's a lot of headroom there.


The Laffer curve is a theoretical construct that is pretty much independent of empherical context.  Hauser's law, on the other hand does have empirical data on its side.  You are correct that things are different today (they always are), but that 20% level has always been a real barrier that is only passed in times of economic bubbles.
 
2014-02-04 10:30:38 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: My favorite thing about this comment is that the average is 22%,


No, the average is 19.8% IIRC (post WWII).

currently we are at 24% of GDP according to YOUR OWN GRAPH,

Again, we are currently about 22%.  Notice how the graph stops at 2012?  Hopefully time has not stopped for you the past 2 years and hopefully you did not forget that we already have discussed this.
 
2014-02-04 10:38:29 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: and you characterize that as "much higher" than historical norms.


2% of GDP today is about $350 Billion or about 10% of total Federal outlays.
 
2014-02-04 11:03:03 PM  

LessO2: Bit'O'Gristle: Why not just raise taxes so high, that people are fighting over cans of dog food and pond water.

We already have that, it's called "United Airlines."


You must be sitting at the wrong end of the plane. My last dinner on United was an appetizer of coconut-crusted shrimp and roasted pepper soup, a braised short rib the size of a softball, and a tasty freshly made ice cream sundae.
 
2014-02-04 11:41:27 PM  

HeadLever: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: Meh. I don't know why the GOP makes this threat every tiem when everyone knows they are just going to cave at the last minute. Definition of insanity and all that, I suppose.  Just once I would enjoy watching the GOPees cut off their own dicks.

Yeah, they must be crazy or something.

[www.obamadoublespeak.com image 850x320]


I like how those quotes show that being President alters your perception that you had before you were Presidents.  IT's like Presidents have more to think about then their State/District.
 
2014-02-04 11:54:40 PM  

HeadLever: cameroncrazy1984: My favorite thing about this comment is that the average is 22%,

No, the average is 19.8% IIRC (post WWII).

currently we are at 24% of GDP according to YOUR OWN GRAPH,

Again, we are currently about 22%.  Notice how the graph stops at 2012?  Hopefully time has not stopped for you the past 2 years and hopefully you did not forget that we already have discussed this.


And we can survive much, MUCH higher than 22%. Our government is spending less...and, after a recession, that is NOT GOOD. When the private sector fails, the government has to spend money to get it running again. Our infrastructure is in pathetic shape, the jobs that aren't outsourced are being done by fewer people working harder for less pay than a few decades ago due to corporate greed, the middle class is all but gone. None of these will be fixed by the private sector; they'll only be solved by government legislation and/or spending.

And again, if you care that much about the deficit? Jack taxes up on corporations and the wealthy citizens (and make sure they pay by removing tax-dodging loopholes), and gut Defense spending. Don't give me the "Won't you PLEASE think of the soldiers/contractors?!" bullshiat, either, because that just implies you're OK with paying people just for the sake of it, and might as well pay Farkers for sitting at the computer all day.
 
2014-02-05 12:34:07 AM  

LordJiro: And we can survive much, MUCH higher than 22%.


We have never been there, but I suspect that you are right.  However, don't forget that this is only the federal portion.  Total taxation is more along the lines of 34% of GDP.

LordJiro:And again, if you care that much about the deficit? Jack taxes up on corporations and the wealthy citizens (and make sure they pay by removing tax-dodging loopholes), and gut Defense spending.
 Generally, I agree, but you really need to be careful on how you do this.  Gutting defense spending is also going to have a huge impact on employment and certain types of R&D that really can produce positive ROIs in different areas.  Also, don't forget that tax policy is social engineering via the wallet.  If you reduce the deductions you also reduce the control that these policies give you.
 
2014-02-05 02:54:15 AM  
taxes are ridiculously high in the united states.
 
2014-02-05 03:34:52 AM  

HeadLever: El Pachuco: They're all, at best, hypothetical models but he waves them around as irrefutable forecasts of the debt demons to come.

Ahhh, ye old strawman argument from el pachuco.  Sorry to say it, but you are so limited in your understanding that that is about all you have in these discussions.


Nope.

They *are* hypotheticals, you retard.  That's why they come from the intros of their source reports.  That's because they're projections.

Projections can never be used as historical proofs.  Why is this so hard for you to understand?  Do you just look at them and go, "ooh, pretty! I'm sure they are true?"  Do you never read the labels or something?
 
2014-02-05 05:37:05 AM  

rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.


I find the chasing wenches part to be the best part...
 
2014-02-05 05:39:22 AM  

cameroncrazy1984: HeadLever: SlothB77: its not the spending that is out of control.  it is the republicans.

Why not both?

Because spending isn't  actually out of control. Deficit's shrinking, remember?


That we even have a deficit is proof that spending is out of control.
 
2014-02-05 05:42:02 AM  

tarheel07: rumpelstiltskin: BizarreMan: Tax refund? What's that+

That's the thing where we borrow money from the poor people at zero percent interest all year long, and then have to pay it back at the beginning of the next year. It's a huge thing in the peasant calendar, sort of like a harvest festival used to be. Lots of drinking and shooting guns and chasing wenches.

Devil's advocate, but if you owe taxes at the end of the year, the government's essentially loaned you money which you pay back interest-free too.


Oh, but unlike the refunds, you get heavily penalized if you pay the owed taxes late. The government doesn't get penalized for refunding you.
 
2014-02-05 05:50:01 AM  

MaliFinn: Spending on programs approved during Bush years as a percentage of teh GDP of an economy that Bush crashed?  Yep, that's what I would expect the chart to look like.

Tell you what, you guys go ahead and scream and shout and fret and shiat your pants, I'm going to ignore all these political assholes the same way they ignore me and just wait for the announcement that we printed ourselves a few trillion dollars to push the decision off to some golden day in the future.


media2.s-nbcnews.com
"See, old man... I told you they wouldn't blame us."
 
2014-02-05 08:39:25 AM  

DrPainMD: cameroncrazy1984: HeadLever: SlothB77: its not the spending that is out of control.  it is the republicans.

Why not both?

Because spending isn't  actually out of control. Deficit's shrinking, remember?

That we even have a deficit is proof that spending is out of control.


A national economy, let alone that of a superpower, is not a business or household budget. A deficit and a national debt are not, inherently, bad things. No, not even if the numbers are big and scary.
 
2014-02-05 09:31:13 AM  

El Pachuco: That's because they're projections.


And when did I ever say otherwise?  As such, pointing out your argument is a strawman stands.


Projections can never be used as historical proofs.

When did I ever future projections as historical proofs?  Now you are just making stuff up.  But I am not surprised as you have to in order to even attempt to make an augment.
 
2014-02-05 09:37:41 AM  

LordJiro: A deficit and a national debt are not, inherently, bad things.


Correct up to a point.  However, debt can still become a huge problem for the government just the same.  the issue is not so much the debt principal, but the interest that this debt requires.  When that cost to the government starts to squeeze out other spending and it becomes difficult for the government to maintain a stable debt to gdp ratio, that becomes a big issue.

You are basically forced into austerity in order to control these deficits, or you need to devalue your currency.  Neither option is very good for a country.
 
2014-02-05 01:39:31 PM  
Are there any charts that show government spending, government revenue, and GDP in absolute dollars, not one or two of those items as a percentage of another?

I keep seeing government spending as a percentage of GDP or revenue, so it looks like it skyrocketed, but I know that GDP and revenue tanked relatively recently... So I'm wondering how much of it is an actual increase, versus just the same spending or a nominal decrease.

The President did say he cut the absolute dollar value of the deficit since he hit office (If we're including the two wars as an Obama expense, which is wrong, his statement is still correct since he did that when he hit office), so I'm just askin' questions here.
 
2014-02-05 02:06:48 PM  

Summercat: Are there any charts that show government spending, government revenue, and GDP in absolute dollars, not one or two of those items as a percentage of another?


Here are the receipts and outlays.  You can back calculate calculate the GDP value by dividing the percentage GDP by the corresponding outlay/revenue number.

Summercat: The President did say he cut the absolute dollar value of the deficit since he hit office (If we're including the two wars as an Obama expense, which is wrong, his statement is still correct since he did that when he hit office), so I'm just askin' questions here


Correct, the President came into office with a huge deficit which stayed really high for the first couple of years, but has been quickly trending down recently.  The CBO estimates that this trend will continue for another year or so and then turn back around and start increasing again due to demographics.
 
2014-02-05 02:13:32 PM  

Summercat: Are there any charts that show government spending, government revenue, and GDP in absolute dollars, not one or two of those items as a percentage of another?

I keep seeing government spending as a percentage of GDP or revenue, so it looks like it skyrocketed, but I know that GDP and revenue tanked relatively recently... So I'm wondering how much of it is an actual increase, versus just the same spending or a nominal decrease.

The President did say he cut the absolute dollar value of the deficit since he hit office (If we're including the two wars as an Obama expense, which is wrong, his statement is still correct since he did that when he hit office), so I'm just askin' questions here.


So the basic problem is that:

a) The debt problem is a function of GDP/revenue* (The guy making $20K/year buying a Porsche is in a much worse place than the guy making $200K.).  The US debt has only gone up (with a few exceedingly notable exceptions) since FDR and the New Deal -> War on Poverty -> Reagan Buildup -> War on Terror -> Compassionate Conservatism.  It's just that we went from a nation with $250 Billion in debt against a $2 Trillion GDP in 1950 to a nation with $17 Trillion in debt against a $15.5 Trillion GDP in 2013.
b) The Great Recession only knocked about 5% off of GDP.
c) The end of Bush's term and beginning of Obama's term was odd.  Because you had $1.5 Trillion in stimulus combined with the structural deficits that we normally run during a recession.  So we were running $1+ Trillion deficits for 2008-2012 (of necessity), at which point we dropped down to a mere 3/4 trillion in 2013/2014 (Keep in mind that we were getting really annoyed with Bush over 2-300 Billion, and now we're happy to be at 2-3x that).  So it's not hard to cut that deficit.

* And honestly, it's a function of interest payments.  If you have $20 Trillion in debt at 1% interest payments, you have the same problem as $5 Trillion in debt at 4% interest payments.  It's just that $20 Trillion guy lives in utter fear of the day that interest rates climb back up to 4% (or god forbid, the 10+% that characterized the stagflation of the 1970's).

/Honestly, if you don't need to go back past 1960 or so, WolframAlpha is your buddy.  Just type in US debt, US deficit, US GDP/etc.  And then toss it into a logarithmic chart so you can see rate of change.
//http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html
 
2014-02-05 02:23:51 PM  
So the answer to my question is: "No, do the research yourself"

Which satisfies my curiosity into how intellectually bankrupt the arguments are.
 
2014-02-05 02:56:09 PM  

HeadLever: El Pachuco: That's because they're projections.

And when did I ever say otherwise?  As such, pointing out your argument is a strawman stands.


Projections can never be used as historical proofs.

When did I ever future projections as historical proofs?  Now you are just making stuff up.  But I am not surprised as you have to in order to even attempt to make an augment.


You posted future projections as historical proofs  here and here and doubtless in many other Fark threads plus god knows where else.

As I've told you before, I will be here indefinitely to point out to other Farkers that you post charts and verbiage sourced from a Fox News-frequenting, gold-hoarding, right-wing libertarian investment shill, and he sources them from a crazy, anti-Fed, conspiracy theory-ladened, liberty-quacking Austrian/Objectivist economic survival guide.  The debt-bug, Chicken-Little warnings you proffer in every thread you post in have not happened and are not going to happen.
 
2014-02-05 03:51:44 PM  

El Pachuco: You posted future projections as historical proofs  here and here and doubtless in many other Fark threads plus god knows where else.


I control F+ 'proof' for each of those links and I said proof exactly zero times. Yep, making stuff up again I see.
 
2014-02-05 03:59:51 PM  

El Pachuco: As I've told you before, I will be here indefinitely to point out to other Farkers that you post charts and verbiage sourced


lolwat?  That chart above is sourced directly from the US Treasury Department.   Go see Chart 5 here.
Pathetic dude.  Even for a certified liar like yourself.

From the first page of that report:

The Citizen's Guide (Guide) to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Financial Report of the U.S. 
Government summarizes the current financial position and condition of the U.S. Government 
(See "Where We Are Now", p. ii) and discusses key financial topics, including fiscal 
sustainability (See "Where We Are Headed", p. v). This Guide and the Financial Report of the 
U.S. Government are produced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in cooperation with the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Secretary of the Treasury, Deputy Director for 
Management of OMB, and Comptroller General of the United States at the Government 
Accountability Office (GAO) believe that the information discussed in this Guide is important to 
all Americans.


But hey what do I know.  Maybe those folks in the Obama Administration are 'crazy, conspiracy-theory laden shills'.  I'll take your word for that.
 
2014-02-05 04:00:54 PM  

Summercat: So the answer to my question is: "No, do the research yourself"


Not sure what you are getting at.  We both provided links that give this information.
 
2014-02-05 04:24:39 PM  

El Pachuco: You posted future projections as historical proofs  here and here and doubtless in many other Fark threads plus god knows where else.


What is so funny is when you search those threads for the words 'proof' and 'projection'.  It becomes pretty clear that your entire argument in this thread is a naked strawman.

The only thing that I am not certain on is if you are intentionally lying, or just don't know any better.
 
2014-02-05 04:31:48 PM  
El Nacho?  Hello?  Are you going to come back and support your assertions or did you slink off back to under your rock after getting your arse handed to you yet again?
 
2014-02-05 06:51:48 PM  

HeadLever: El Pachuco: You posted future projections as historical proofs  here and here and doubtless in many other Fark threads plus god knows where else.

What is so funny is when you search those threads for the words 'proof' and 'projection'.  It becomes pretty clear that your entire argument in this thread is a naked strawman.

The only thing that I am not certain on is if you are intentionally lying, or just don't know any better.


You posted those images in the context of proof of your assertions.  To try to claim you didn't, because you didn't specifically say "here is proof" makes you look like a 12 year old.  Contrariwise, if you didn't intend them to support, or "prove" your points, please tell us why you posted an irrelevant chart with your comments.  No doubt you have a great explanation.  We're all waiting.
 
2014-02-05 07:03:09 PM  

El Pachuco: You posted those images in the context of proof of your assertions.


Assertion of what specifically?  Historical proof, lol?  Come on sparky, show me where.

Don't worry waiting on me until you can first prove your strawman assertions. We are still waiting on that knee-slapper.  If you can prove that one, then I'll respond to your request in kind.  Nothing pertinent from you, no response from me.

Your move, Nacho.
 
2014-02-05 07:22:28 PM  

El Pachuco: Contrariwise, if you didn't intend them to support, or "prove" your points, please tell us why you posted an irrelevant chart with your comments.


Speaking of irreverent charts, I see you failed at responding to the 'Fox News-frequenting, gold-hoarding, right-wing libertarian investment shill, crazy anti-Fed conspiracy theory-laden. liberty-quacking Austrian/Objectivist' over at the Obama Administration.  Have you sent them some hate mail yet, or are you just going to complain about their projections here on Fark?

This is priceless.  I'll have to save this dandy for later.
 
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