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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 69
    More: Scary, debt limit, Bipartisan Policy Center, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, tax refunds, treasuries  
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4668 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Feb 2014 at 11:55 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-02-04 08:58:31 AM
11 votes:

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 12:18:48 PM
4 votes:
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 02:03:27 PM
3 votes:

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 12:28:27 PM
3 votes:

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 12:26:00 PM
3 votes:

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 12:20:17 PM
3 votes:

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 12:13:09 PM
3 votes:
PANIC FEST!

widespreadpanic.s3.amazonaws.com

Oh, wait...nevermind.
2014-02-04 12:12:45 PM
3 votes:
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.
2014-02-05 08:39:25 AM
2 votes:

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.
2014-02-04 09:55:26 PM
2 votes:

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 05:14:07 PM
2 votes:

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 04:44:34 PM
2 votes:
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 02:20:59 PM
2 votes:
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 02:16:00 PM
2 votes:
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 12:59:22 PM
2 votes:
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 12:45:48 PM
2 votes:

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 12:24:42 PM
2 votes:
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 12:23:36 PM
2 votes:
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 12:17:19 PM
2 votes:

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 12:14:40 PM
2 votes:
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 12:07:01 PM
2 votes:

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 12:03:56 PM
2 votes:
How does a Wordpress blog have its own Fark icon?
2014-02-04 11:59:33 AM
2 votes:

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 11:57:09 AM
2 votes:
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 11:54:40 PM
1 votes:

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.
2014-02-04 11:41:27 PM
1 votes:

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 09:58:45 PM
1 votes:

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 09:29:20 PM
1 votes:

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 07:21:50 PM
1 votes:

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 06:13:32 PM
1 votes:

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 05:22:46 PM
1 votes:

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 04:38:35 PM
1 votes:

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 04:20:57 PM
1 votes:

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 04:04:32 PM
1 votes:

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 03:59:20 PM
1 votes:

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 03:48:37 PM
1 votes:
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 03:00:35 PM
1 votes:

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 02:33:48 PM
1 votes:

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 02:31:10 PM
1 votes:

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 02:28:53 PM
1 votes:

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 02:18:48 PM
1 votes:
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 02:12:54 PM
1 votes:

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 01:51:08 PM
1 votes:

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 01:48:37 PM
1 votes:
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 01:47:59 PM
1 votes:

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 01:37:23 PM
1 votes:

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 01:34:22 PM
1 votes:

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 01:30:07 PM
1 votes:

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 01:29:17 PM
1 votes:

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 01:28:25 PM
1 votes:

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 01:27:12 PM
1 votes:
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 01:25:09 PM
1 votes:

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 01:21:55 PM
1 votes:

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 01:20:47 PM
1 votes:
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 01:12:48 PM
1 votes:

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 01:06:14 PM
1 votes:

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 12:59:42 PM
1 votes:
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 12:49:43 PM
1 votes:

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 12:37:17 PM
1 votes:

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 12:35:13 PM
1 votes:

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 12:33:29 PM
1 votes:

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 12:29:32 PM
1 votes:

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 12:25:18 PM
1 votes:
Dump the debt ceiling before the rest of the world tells America and it's dollar "FARK YOU!"
2014-02-04 12:24:06 PM
1 votes:
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 12:18:58 PM
1 votes:
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 12:16:54 PM
1 votes:
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 12:09:13 PM
1 votes:
This blog still sucks.
2014-02-04 12:02:04 PM
1 votes:
Because a free hosted blog on WordPress.com is supposed to be a legitimate source?
2014-02-04 10:36:34 AM
1 votes:
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.
 
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