Advertisement

LJWorld.com weblogs Loyal Opposition

“The Boomers Did It”

Advertisement

A few weeks back CAIT48 posted a blog (Old And In The Way: The Politics, Policies and Poverty Of Aging). It brought out a rather vitriolic discussion of the Baby Boomer Generation. I was puzzled at the time and remain puzzled as to what brought on that broad-brush treatment of a whole generation (large one). I researched the web and found few if any negative articles on the “Boomer Generation”. Therefore, I went back to the blog and copied the charges made. Those include:

  • The Baby Boomers sold the younger generations down the river so as to maintain their own lifestyles.
  • Baby Boomers are the ones who put into place the laws and policies that allowed those things (401k being wiped out ) to happen.
  • (Boomers) pursue profit above all else (rather) than to look down the road and try to consider the impacts of those decisions.
  • The Baby Boomer generation prefers not to do so (think about aging). They are too busy trying to pretend that they are twenty something to think ahead.
  • It isn't the Generation Xers or the Millennials that slashed education. It isn't the Generation Xers or Millennials who put the policies into place on Wall Street and Corporate America that allowed them to raid the government coffers.
  • The majority of them (Boomers in power) are socially conservative (social conservatives are not true conservatives).

I do not know how to summarize these points as they are IMHO all over the map. It seems to me that the protagonists feel that the society is not as they would have it and they blame those who came before them. I suspect that every generation has that beef. The points made, however, seem woefully inadequate for such a broad denunciation.

I might observe that on the one specific concerning education the point is factually in error. In my time, we have increased societal contributions to education by a factor of four in real terms – it has only been in the past few years that funding for education has declined as tax revenue has declined because income has stagnated.

I might also observe that the “Great Society” originated on the Boomers’ watch. Is there an argument that the efforts therein were not a serious attempt to take the edges off many of the generally recognized ills of our society? Could “Social Conservatives” be responsible for such a broad set of empowering social legislation?

My one beef with the “Boomers” is that they have allowed the government to grow tremendously since my childhood. It is the government that guaranteed risky mortgages with the taxpayers money, provided inadequate oversight of what it demanded and now hides from the results (the negative impact on “Boomer’s” 401Ks). It is the government that bargains away all kinds of benefits to those able to pay for them. You cannot bargain something if you are not granted the power to do so.

In the dialogue there seemed to be a thread that addressed the cost of providing for the Boomer Generation as it retires. Now I find that a bit deceptive. That generation improved/created Social Security and Medicare and paid for them with their own money. Politicians spent that money. To conceive they did so with the agreement of the “Boomers” defies reason. Perhaps the rising generations just don’t want to contribute as past generations have.

In the absence of anything but general grousing that the society is not what some of the rising generation desire, are there specifics as to the generation wide “faults” of the “Boomers”? Otherwise am I to conclude that the comments expressed are those of a small group of unhappy citizens who have been unable to convince the society as a whole to “see it their way” to the benefit of the complaining group?

Is there any difference between “the Boomers did it” and “Bush did it”, “the Military Did It” or “Wall Street Did It”? Seems like those attacking the “Boomers” are the ones that find a need to blame everybody else.

Comments

Roland Gunslinger 3 years, 3 months ago

"I might also observe that the “Great Society” originated on the Boomers’ watch."

The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States promoted by President Lyndon B. Johnson and the liberal Democrats in Congress in the 1960s.

The United States Census Bureau considers a baby boomer to be someone born during the demographic birth boom between 1946 and 1964.

So unless children and teenagers were the ones voting in our politicians in the the 60's I'd say the "Great Society" originated from the generation before the boomers.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, yes you are right they were just coming of age. Heowever, the Boomers were a big part of the group that made all the noise in the 60's. Does that count. Would those of us from the previous generations enacted what we did without their "suggestions"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps you should change your blog name to overgeneralizedhistory.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Nice try. How about the specifics. I did not castigate the "Boomers" as some on here did. Where is the specifics. Accusing me of what I attacked is simply stupid.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

What else do you call someone who has benefited from social programs more than any other group. Have paid less taxes than their parents, are the the biggest drain on health care and social security due to its size, yet when polled the majority don't want to pay to pass on the privileges"

Moderate Responds

As I said, do you have some specifics?? I question your assertion they paid less taxes or are a greater drain than any other generation. I also question your assertion they do not want to pass it on.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Ever here of inflation? Coming from you this is a really ignorant post.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

LO

Yes and it has been but to argue that the "Boomers" benefited from that, as I think you were, must be weighed against the value of the propgram in real dollars at different points in time. The fact that iy costs more does not mean that any group benefited - it just reflects economic reality.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Come on people - what did the tens of millions of people in the "Boomer" generation do that warrants the castigation I presented.

Nit picking at me or picking on dear old dad hardly constitutes an informed response. Specifics!! Some of you in this blog space have not turned on your brain box in years.

Are you respondents representative of the rising generations or a sadly dysfunctional group that soils itself when matters of substance arise?

ljwhirled 3 years, 3 months ago

The biggest specific problem is the Bush tax cuts of 2001-2003.

Just when boomers were reaching their highest earning power, they chose to cut the highest marginal tax rate to an unsustainable level.

This single selfish action has put our nation on a road to financial ruin.

During WWII their richest grandparents paid a marginal rate of 80%. During Vietnam their richest parents paid a marginal rate of 90% During the Global War on Terror they paid? 33%

We don't have a spending problem, the problem is that taxes are too low.

They also refused to make the kinds of structural changes to Social Security and Medicare funding that are going to be needed to support themselves. Bottom line - they are going to live longer than their parents and should, therefore, pay in more. By keeping the contribution rates artificially low, they have put us in a situation that is unsustainable. They have pushed the costs off onto their children and grandchildren.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, so far your answer is the best one received. I know you are making sport. Some of the comments I referenced were not. Where is the substance to back up those comments.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Agnostick replies: To say that most members of the counterculture, peace movement of the '60s were Boomers is one thing…”

Moderate Responds: Well A, I said neither of the points you made.. I also observe that the protests of the 60’s were not confined to a “peace movement”.

I did not do a roll call. But I know for a fact that the rising generations were not there.

Just how do you parse responsibility when at any time our leadership is composed of an amalgam of people from different generations? Was any generation in charge and if so when?

Again you are avoiding specifics! What did the “boomers” do?

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

I am not trying to be argumentative nor to be orderly. Our history is anything but orderly.

I know of no way to isolate voting by generation. Exit polls help. Perhaps there is some pattern in the voting by the "Boomers" but does that make them responsible for the outcome. Us older folk voted in much larger percentages and may well have driven the system well into the 90's or maybe even still.

I acept the generally accepted timing of the generations but as to when any given generation became predominant if it ever did - well I pass.

You seem to be implying that there is some pattern in the voting by the "Boomers" that led to some outcome that warrented censure. Help me with the outcome that is that problem.

Bleubird 3 years, 3 months ago

As one of the late Boomers (< 52), I could write volumes on this topic. I look ahead at the future I've spent my life working for, and what I see is a huge burned-out wake left by those before me. The Social Security I've been paying my earnings into my entire working life has already been spent by someone else. Closer to home, my early-Boomer parents inherited their parents' hard-earned nest eggs and literally spent it. I see that repeatedly with that age group. Somehow, the value of holding onto wealth and preserving it for the stability of future generations is lost on them, both in a macro- and micro economic sense. It disgusts me how that generation consumes whatever they can get their hands on. My retirement savings consists of what I've worked for and saved myself. I feel like I have to vigilantly protect it from over-priced and over-hyped retirement savings services and schemes, scams, and the government--all driven by what Boomers who set these systems up think they are entitled to. I don't expect to ever fully retire. I hope I am not forced into retirement by health or job loss, but if I am I hope I have saved enough to support myself and manage on my own. This is not the reality I envisioned when I started college or when I graduated and enthusiastically began my career. I fear for the next generation after mine, and I do blame the Boomers. As a generation, they have consumed everything they could get their hands on--their parents' wealth and their childrens' future.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Hi,

Your parents are hardly representative of the entire generation. Seems like a lot of references in this thread are to parents. I wonder?

I am surronded on my block by "Boomers" They have all paid heavily for their kids educations, have nest eggs, maintain their property, pay their taxes and are mostly progressives.

So which set is the generalization of the millions in the "Boomer" generation.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Any data? I guess in your case history is overplayed of simply ignored.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Now you are going to tell me what generation I am part of??? 43 - the silent generation - called "war babies" - not many of us.

My parents are from the 20s - the greatest generation. My father fought WWII and Korea.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Liberty_One (anonymous) replies… No, it means the boomers benefitted highly.

Moderate Responds:

Your math confuses me. You seem to be holding income as constant. I assure you that the average income 20 years ago was a lot less than it is today. They paid the same percentage of that lower income as they would pay of an inflation adjusted income today. Numbers seem larger today but the time value of money says they paid proportionally

ljwhirled 3 years, 3 months ago

Real income has not increased since 1980 for a vast majority of Americans.

This is a direct result of lower taxes and under-investment by conservative boomers.

Income distribution has been radically skewed to the rich boomers - who are doing quite well.

The rest of our society, however, has continued to struggle as the burden of paying for our common welfare has shifted from those who have, to those who have-not.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Half pay no federal income tax. The burden has moved to the middle and upper middle.

ljwhirled 3 years, 3 months ago

George,

Half pay no income tax, but they do pay payroll taxes. The extremely rich pay almost nothing (in terms of percentage) in payroll taxes.

Saying 47% don't pay Federal income taxes is disengenous.

By this measure MOST of the highest earners in our society pay 0% federal income tax (they pay capital gains tax).

You can't make one statement without the other.

Which is more fair, a man who makes $15,000 per year and pays no federal income taxes, or a Walton who makes $1,000,000,000 per year and pays no federal income taxes.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

I also note that the prime protagonist on Cait's blog is missing. Perhaps he/she would like to provide the specifics I seek?

hgwellsiii 3 years, 3 months ago

Found the original post and comments all very interesting. The legacy of the boomers is a complex topic. I deal with boomer stereotypes (from the political left and the political right) in my new book ONE NATION UNDER AARP: THE FIGHT OVER MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY, AND AMERICA'S FUTURE (available on Amazon.com)

ljwhirled 3 years, 3 months ago

Here is an easy way to visualize the problem.

The great depression happened during the first period dip in the graph, just a couple years after Hoover reduced the highest marginal tax rate to 25%.

The great recession happened towards the end of the graph. Just a few years after Bush reduced the highest marginal tax rate to 33%.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e5/MarginalIncomeTax.svg/500px-MarginalIncomeTax.svg.png

I'd like to point out that the rate for the richest boomers is even lower. Warren Buffett, for example, the second richest man on earth (Third? Has Mark passed him?) pays only 17% on his income.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

What is that graph. There is no source or captions.

ljwhirled 3 years, 3 months ago

Wikipedia docs the sources.

The graph is an accurate representation of the top income tax bracket since the tax was established.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Your reference came up with just the graph. Ok. The top inocme tax bracket has varied greatly and is at historic lows. Good lord, in how many forums and how many times have I said that and condemned.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Your reference came up with just the graph. Ok. The top inocme tax bracket has varied greatly and is at historic lows. Good lord, in how many forums and how many times have I said that and condemned.

some_random_person 3 years, 3 months ago

Throwing money at education isn't the answer. We've tried that and it hasn't worked. The problem is much deeper than just money. Go watch the documentary "Waiting for Superman" and you'll see how the US has stagnated in education despite all the money we've invested in it.

There are two real problems with our education system:

1) The parents aren't making the required effort to ensure their kids are getting a quality education (it doesn't always have to come from a school you know...). Granted, some parents bend over backwards to teach their kids but it is sadly the minority situation. I wouldn't say most, but too many parents don't give a crap about their kids education, they assume enrollment in school is enough, but the parents need to really study the schools and how they operate to ensure a proper education is being passed to their kids.

2) There is no accountability for a teachers performance. Teachers aren't being put through the paces to find out if they are a good or bad teacher, again, no accountability. Also, there are too many barriers to firing an obviously bad teacher. The unions are a major hinderance in this scenario. Tenure is granted to teachers WAY too early and the emphasis on a good teaching performance is thrown right out the window....

Now, once these fundamental problems are solved (No. 2 can be solved through policy), then we can throw money at education and watch it really improve. I think teachers should be paid more money but their job security should mostly be related to their performance.

some_random_person 3 years, 3 months ago

I would get rid of the bureaucracy plaguing the school system. There are too many people that have a hand in regulation of our schools and problems get mixed up in departments on top of departments and never get solved. It's just too inefficient, it needs to be streamlined and thinned out. We have way too many school boards involved at too many levels, each state with their own way of testing, nothing standardized between schools of different states. I'm not saying I have all the answers, but I have recognized the problem. At least we should guage the teacher's performance, and if they can't do their job right, they get canned so we can make room for a good teacher to come in. Teachers should be able to get fired just like most other jobs out there and not be protected by some "tenure" or union contract. It completely undermines the teachers incentive to do a good job, the fundamental argument against ALL unions I suppose....

The first? Well, the first can't be solved by money nor policy. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't know who or how to solve that problem, other than God Himself. Perhaps teachers and students' test scores of their local schools compared to a national average should be mailed to parents? I don't know, even if you did that it wouldn't necessarily motivate that parent to educate their child better, but at least they would be informed as to how their local school ranks among others. It's a step, but honestly I wouldn't know where to go from there, it's a difficult problem to solve....

some_random_person 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, I've thought of that, hence the reason I've identified it as a problem. And yes, I realize the two problems are mutually perpetuates of one another. And yes, I realize the difficulty in designing a pval for teachers when the underlining structure of the school system is flawed. But that's the point - The underlining structure of the school system is flawed. Bad teachers are protected, good teachers are underpaid, and there is no set way to decipher and classify which is which.....The structure and operation must be fixed.

Your point (very good and valid) highlights this broken relationship between parents, teachers, and the school system. Let me ask you, how many times over the course of a school year did your parents (or you if you have kids in school) meet with the teachers? In my school, my parents met with them once/semester, for maybe 15 - 20 minutes per teacher. Do you think that is enough? Perhaps for a good student, but is it enough for a bad student? Not even close...Also, did the teachers or administrators give insightful information or perhaps lessons on how to help their child succeed? Not where I went to school.

You see, that is the problem. Should a teacher be punished financially for a students bad parenting? Absolutely not. My solution? Document the students' progress, identify as your spouse does the kids that struggle, and inform and equip the parents with the tools to help their child succeed. All the while, an administrator should be documenting that this particular teacher is truly trying to establish an avenue for success through the students' parents. If that teacher has informed the parents of their bad student and that student still doesn't do well, then the teacher shouldn't be held accountable for that student's lack of parenting, therefore that students' test scores shouldn't be counted against the teacher.

In a nutshell, I feel the schools need to get the parents more involved in the academics, good teachers should be paid more, and bad teachers should be open for criticism or termination.

Also, do you think US children are different from any other country in terms of aptitude? I don't think so, why would the US be the superpower it is if we were all stupid? In my opinion, the system is the problem, not the kids....

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Interesting. As I suspected the consensus on here is that the “crime” of the “Boomers” is that they are somehow responsible for the election of Republicans.

There is probably some truth in that. But not the way you seem to think.

Mr. Reagan really set the “Bush” tax cuts adjusted by Mr. Clinton and readjusted by Mr. Bush. The “Boomers” hardly elected Mr. Reagan – before their time. His selection falls predominantly on the silent and “greatest” generations – the ones who supported the “Great Society”. The post election results revealed there were many “blue” collar democrats in the Reagan camp – taxes.

Obviously the “Boomers” must have helped (at least in part) elect Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama as they are a very large group and without some of them the rest would be unable to achieve that reality - even assuming they voted as a block.

What I have noted and what can be supported with a fair amount of research is that people tend to look at taxes (the crux seemingly, of the argument) differently as they age and their incomes increase. From my various blogs, federal income taxes play little in the decisions of those in the lower half of income in this country. Federal income taxes play heavily on those whose income is above about $85K. These mostly being high paid professionals and two income wage earners who have advanced in their career. Funny thing about people is that they seem to be very supportive of high taxes when they do not pay high taxes and they are very unsupportive of high taxes when they get to pay them. When you pass fifty a new gene kicks in and makes you very stingy.

I humbly suggest that I have seldom seen anything as stupid as blaming a generation for the electoral choice of a specific party. As I wrote above, some of you have turned off your brain boxes.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Yor are right. However, when someone makes an accusation as broad as was made on cait's blog, I think I have a right to some meaningful answer.

Has anybody making these allegations looked up the post election exit polls to see if there is data by age group for each of the elctions where "Booimers" may have had a significant contribution???

And yes, I will continue to challenge such apparently unsupported generalizations. These kinds of beliefs are IMHO the driver in our current difficulty in going anywhere.

How much tax we pay and who pays it is not an issue between greed and charity.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Now, let me respond to your data. I don’t know what it means. One point, you can only have one peak income whenever it is. Intuitively I would have assumed that point would have been just prior to your first retirement. That would seem to be in your late fifties or sixties. So as to why peak retirement income grew later – I have not a clue

Now that the “Boomers” might be reaping in more in real terms than us silent generation folk, I have nary a clue. That they are living high on the hog on SS and Medicare – well the oldest are just reaching SS and Medicare age. Few are actually on the program. If we reform it – what will be their impact? Remember we have already moved full SS retirement age to 67 and that will impact all “Boomers”

As to “Boomers” having more we should remember that the older ones just saw the value of their homes decline by 10 to 40%. The values of their investments probably did also. Remember, SS is a supplement. We are supposed to save and invest. The younger Boomers have time to recover. The older “Boomers might have to work until their seventies to recover – if ever.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Now let me explore the tax issue. The new mantra of the left is that we are paying less than we used to pay. Absolutely. The same people lament the economic disaster and note that we need to expand the social safety net because incomes are non-existent or retarded. If the latter is true than the former is obvious. You pay lees tax when you make less money. Improve the economy and tax revenue will rise to near historic proportions.

Now tax rates. About 40 years ago (pre Reagan) the wife and I paid a marginal rate of 45%. She was a parochial school teacher and I was a very young Major. Now we were middle middle class. A few years later (post Reagan) we paid slightly higher taxes on a slightly higher income. Seems there is a second dimension to taxes – deductions. Pre-Reagan we could deduct all kinds of costs associated with earning our incomes. Post Reagan the deductions available were fewer and for some people (not us) were capped. So quoting tax rates as opposed to tax revenue is dissembling by overlooking the deduction side of the ledger. But you all know that and are deliberately misleading to get what you want.

Have there been times when the rates have been higher – absolutely. Have there been times when the rates were lower – absolutely. Perhaps the real argument focuses on what do we need. Mr. Obama wants a lot more than what Mr. Bush wanted. The argument should be on the content of the difference. If merited we should raise taxes. If not we should not.

Now I point out that the highest marginal rate is 35% but that is tempered by deduction limitations that cut in seriously at about $175K. It has traditionally been higher – in some case much higher. I argue that if people making a middle class income of about $100K pay a marginal rate of 28% than those making ten times that should pay a much higher marginal rate than 35%. To me it is a matter of equity and not some given tax take (25% of GDP) that only very liberal people seem to demand.

I might also point out that state and local taxes eat up additional revenue as do regulations. So we are talking government consumption of something between 35 and 45% of GDP. Perhaps those arguing for tax increases should be required to justify such a high and historically exorbitant amount. Just what will we get for taking that much money predominantly from the middle and upper middle class!!!

CountyResident 3 years, 3 months ago

Moderate will never accept the facts. He wants his story to have the ending he wants, no matter what the facts are or how many sources you present.

I have been down that road before.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Because I do not agree with you.

I have already done all that research - at least three times. One more time. Tax paid is the result of income, tax rate and deductions. My father made a lot less in income because a dollar bought a lot more. As a result he paid a lower rate on the tables which you correctly point out haD SOME MUCH HIGHER RATES THAN NOW on income none of us made. His deductions were about equal in real value to mine. I have calculated his income and tax rates and concluded he paid about what I paid Pre -Reagan. I can not do that post Reagan because the deductions are different.

I know for a fact, because I have my 1040s, that my taxes did not go down noticably post Reagan because my deductions were less. I might also observe that the taxes Pre Reagan were higher than historic leading to the many ReaGAN dEmocrats that supported the tax changes (favoring the rich). Remember, he had a Democratic Congress supporting that change.

You seem to want to avoid the effect of inflation on income (as did Liberty) in making your argument. Use the inflation calculator at commerce to take back in time an average salary and see what the tax rate and amounts are. Incomes are not constant.

My data is calculated using the time value of money and tables at ten years increments. At times those tables changed quickly and at other times they were stable for decades. Don't cherry pick years in the middle of WWII.

The real crime is on those making the equivelent of millions who at times paid as much as 90% when today they pay 35% and much of their incomes are capital gains taxed at 15%

CountyResident 3 years, 3 months ago

Don't forget that they probably also have lots of income from dividends which is also only taxed at 15%.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps, what we are seeing is a combination of Boomer characteristics and the characteristics of their off-spring. (It is difficult to identify a generation, given that generations overlap.) Every " generation" has had challenges left by the previous generation. The comments collected by Moderate express an unwillingness to face the challenges left to them.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

see below. I suspect that you are 1 addressing the rich where I have no issue with you 2.neglecting the effect of inflation on incomes. It is substantial. And yes for the really rich it does not matter. For most of use, it does!

CountyResident 3 years, 3 months ago

Overplayedhistory has it right. Nothing more for me to say.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Of course. When there is disagreement in this space the left is right!!

David Roberts 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm suspicious of sweeping criticism of any generation, as well as praise. The truth is that it is just too early to make a final judgment as to the contribution of the "boomers". Data is not readily available to prove either point since we don't know the boomers final impact on Social Security or Medicare.

In about 20-30 years, we could perhaps draw some conclusions about the boomers.

What I believe, however, is that the dominance of America in this world is peaking (and may have peaked). Long life spans, increased standards of living, energy use, wealth, unprecedented growth in technology, and relative peace; these things may well be on the decline as well. Only time will tell...

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

OPH and CtyRes

Gentlemen

Please provide your sources.

I checked the IRS tables. The highest tax rate in 1982 was 50% for those over $200K in income. That income would be equal to $470K in today’s dollars. In 1981 the highest tax rate was 70% for those over $530K in income. Where did you get 70% for those at $161K income?? Same place you got the 70% of Boomers???

An income of $100K today would have been a little less than $11K in 1950 (my fathers’ time). The marginal and total tax rate on $11K income in 1950 was 10% while the marginal tax rate on the equivalent $100K today is 28%. That comes from the IRS tables and the BLS inflation calculator.

The marginal tax rate (same sources) on an income equivalent to $100K in today’s dollars follows

65 - 15% 70 – 16% 75 – 32% 80 – 21% 85 – 33% Now – 28%

I think you all are the ones avoiding reality in trying to argue that the middle class does not pay enough in taxes. One more time. The rich need to be socked - they are getting away with the farm – be it investments or salaried income. I think we agree on that so what are we arguing about??

If you want to continue to argue for the expiration of the “Bush” tax cut in total why not come at it from what it is that the federal government needs the additional 5% of GDP to purchase?

The average marginal tax rate for an equivalent $100K income today has been about 28% over the period since the 1940s. At least that portion of the current income distribution has not and is not paying lower than historic amounts. I might also observe that those with incomes above the federal poverty level and below the median income are paying less than the historic average.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Ljwhirled said…

George,

Half pay no income tax, but they do pay payroll taxes. The extremely rich pay almost nothing (in terms of percentage) in payroll taxes.

Saying 47% don't pay Federal income taxes is disingenuous.”

No it isn't but of course I say that households with a population between 60 and 80 million pay no federal income tax and are not poor. That is a fact!!!

Payroll tax is in fact a payment for your social security. At the income levels discussed SS will return more than the combined contributions of the individual, their employer and the time value of money. It pays not one cent to the operation of the federal government – our largest by far government spending entity.

If the majority have no skin in the federal tax game but benefit significantly from federal programs, the majority will vote to increase federal income taxes forever. That is grossly unfair to the 40% or so of middle class Americans who will have to pay the bill. Yes, by all means tax the rich but because there are so few of them they will contribute little revenue toward the operation of the federal government. Of course, they have already worked that problem for them selves.’

Eat the rich!!!

ljwhirled 3 years, 3 months ago

If you want to have a serious discussion about what we should buy with all that money (or more importantly, what we should NOT buy), you have to put defense on the table.

As a member of the armed forces, I see exactly how much money the DoD pours into boondoggles, super sweet infrastructure, employee benefits and useless hardware.

Nothing speaks more to the uselessness of DoD spending than the fact that the F-22 has been grounded since April (in the middle of two wars) without any consequences to our national security.

We need to cut DoD spending by at least 50%, maybe by as much as 60%.

Most defense spending is a complete waste of money. The weapons we build are expensive and consume resources while providing society with exactly nothing.

Spend $100K on a bulldozer and get a tool for creating buildings and roads.

Spend $100K on a bomb and get a useless hole in the ground, which you are then going to have to pay to fill in with a bulldozer.

If we are going to talk about cutting spending, we need to talk about DoD. As has been pointed out above, Medicare and Social Security are earned benefits, i.e. I have paid for them.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

What money??? If I tax the hewq out of the rich I will not raise enough revenue to balance the annual budget.

By all means cut Defense. Of course I would suggest that you decide what you want it to do for you before you just cut it.

A constabulary force could be had for your suggested amount after all Mexico is not going to invade us.

ljwhirled 3 years, 3 months ago

At 50% of its current expenses, the US would still be responsible for over 30% of world wide defense expenditures.

Right now we are responsible fore 1/2 (50%) of global defense expenditures. This is complete overkill, but DoD leadership keeps advocating for more, more, more.

Our leadership is betraying the national security of the United States by insisting on spending levels that will eventually humble us before the rising tiger in the east.

Kontum1972 3 years, 3 months ago

Sooooooo..are boxcars and Death Camps next?

ljwhirled 3 years, 3 months ago

Nazi reference. -10,000 pts. Automatic loss of argument and 1 round of impeached credibility.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Hey OPH, where is your response after calling me stupid and ill-informed??

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

ljwhirled (anonymous) replies… At 50% of its current expenses, the US would still be responsible for over 30% of world wide defense expenditures.

Right now we are responsible fore 1/2 (50%) of global defense expenditures. This is complete overkill, but DoD leadership keeps advocating for more, more, more.

Our leadership is betraying the national security of the United States by insisting on spending levels that will eventually humble us before the rising tiger in the east.

Moderate Responds: Write the President.

I know the process by which these numbers are created. The entry point is National Goals. How would you chage ithem to change the military component.

George Lippencott 3 years, 3 months ago

Well OPH

Your "facts" and my facts seem to be in contradiction. I asked for your reference so I could try to figure out the difference. You responded with another personal attack. I think IRS tables available to all on irs.gov are a good bet particularly when discussing us federal income tax.

Always willing to learn but never willing to be buffaloed or cowed - Moderate

Commenting has been disabled for this item.