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Old 12-24-2017, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 601,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoonose View Post
Out of 200,000,000 voters how many do you think have grasped this?
Very few, I fear. People at large tend to lack any degree of relevant personal knowledge and have long been told by heartless demagogues that the federal government should operate just as households do. It's "flat Earth" level stuff, but so many fall for it.

Last edited by 17thAndK; 12-24-2017 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 12-24-2017, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 601,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
No, they're not. If the government spends money they have to get it from somewhere. There are only two possible places to get the money: current taxation and future taxation (borrowing). This is basic macroeconomics. Google "Ricardian equivalence."
Despite recent events, the tax code changes only infrequently. Spending changes all the time. There is no real-time connection between the two. If funds are available in the Treasury when checks drawn on the USG are presented, those funds are used in payment. Otherwise funds are borrowed. Public debt outstanding is currently around $20.5 trillion. That debt will of course be serviced, but it will never be repaid. Even Ricardo (had he survived an additional 195 years) would not today be saving up to fund his share of the repayment costs.

Google "We are all Keynesians now."

Last edited by 17thAndK; 12-24-2017 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 12-24-2017, 12:55 PM
 
437 posts, read 198,738 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
Reality is that the charge to modern medicine is to care for the local population. It doesn't matter whether they smoke too much, eat too many Twinkies, or do absurd amounts of bungee-jumping. What you see is what you get. Provide the best possible care to those who present for whatever reason, and do outreach in an attempt to influence any who may be engaged in reckless behaviors. Anything less would be at least malfeasance.


Obesity. Yet another push-button stereotype. To what extent are other nations chasing us out along the obesity curve? What sort of "got there first" gap exists between where we are now and where they will be more than soon enough?
There is no magic pill. When people eat, smoke, drink alcohol, etc., you are only treating symptoms. Perhaps you can enlighten us with your vast medical knowledge and tell us how you are going to magically improve the delivery of healthcare to the COPD patient that won’t put down the cigarettes or how you will help out 350 lb diabetic patient who decides he doesn’t need to reduce the caloric intake equal to that of 3 people.

You are busy comparing outcomes in one country versus another, when the medical demographics are much different.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 601,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1921 View Post
There is no magic pill. When people eat, smoke, drink alcohol, etc., you are only treating symptoms.
Then do your job. Deliberate failure to treat symptoms because you can't cure the underlying disease is a breach of standard practice. That's a medical tort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1921 View Post
Perhaps you can enlighten us with your vast medical knowledge and tell us how you are going to magically improve the delivery of healthcare to the COPD patient that won’t put down the cigarettes or how you will help out 350 lb diabetic patient who decides he doesn’t need to reduce the caloric intake equal to that of 3 people.
COPD often cannot be cured, but its progress can often be arrested given proper diagnostics, medication, and perhaps a CPAP machine. Scolding is not an actual treatment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1921 View Post
You are busy comparing outcomes in one country versus another, when the medical demographics are much different.
It was not I who brought up the reflexive red herring of obesity.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:23 PM
 
846 posts, read 360,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliott_CA View Post
Are the new Trump tax cuts really tax cuts, or are they tax subsidies?

The federal government is running a $700 billion deficit. The tax cut will result in an immediate loss of revenue on the order of $140 billion for 2018. That $140 billion must be financed by the selling of Treasury bonds. Interest on those bonds will be paid for by taxpayers for years to come.

In 2017 Bob paid $10,000 in federal taxes. In 2018, his taxes will fall to $8,000 due to the tax cut. Bob thinks, great, I get to keep more of my own money. But in reality he has received a $2,000 subsidy from the government in the form of publicly financed debt. This is exactly what the government is doing: they are using public debt financing to help subsidize people's tax bills.

The only time a tax cut allows you to "keep more of your own money" is when the government has a budget surplus. In that case the tax cut can be granted without the need for public debt financing and no subsidy is involved.
The view on whether it's a cut or a subsidy begins with your perception of whose $10k it is to start with. If you believe the $10k belongs to Bob, then it's a tax cut. If you believe the $10k belongs to the federal government, then it's a subsidy.

I personally view it as a tax cut.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:43 PM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
2,199 posts, read 2,272,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliott_CA View Post
I started strictly on the topic of tax cut vs. tax subsidy and wanted to explore the economic semantics of each. There's been topic drift, unfortunately.
As someone else said, tax cuts are tax cuts and subsidies are subsidies. But, the taxing system subsidizes certain behaviors that the Feds have deemed desirable (a totally separate issue) over others that are apparently not as desirable - buying a home over renting, having children over not having children, making charitable contribution over not, casualty losses over none, etc.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,757 posts, read 1,211,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliott_CA View Post
Are the new Trump tax cuts really tax cuts, or are they tax subsidies?
I get what you're saying on the subsidy, and it's not incorrect, but it's not really changed from other years either. The same could be said about the EIC, Child Tax Credit, raising standard deductions, exemptions etc.

I think it would be best to characterize this as what it really is. Capitulation. Surrender. The accountants have won, and it will be interesting to see where stasis ends up.

What was the battle? Taxing overseas income.

50 years ago, there was a general understanding that countries should be allowed to tax and benefit from the trade that occurs within their borders. To do that, countries would often require a company to be legally formed in their country as a prerequisite to do business in said country, or you were required to go through an official importer/exporter. So if the amount of business in your area was x, you knew where to set your taxation levels (via tariff/GST/VAT/Income tax) in order to achieve relative parity with your budget. If you look at the advanced economies around the world, you'll see a matrix of all of these items.

So if I'm an Italian shoemaker, any materials I buy in country will be at the cost + VAT tax, but I'll get the materials as an asset and a VAT asset (hold on). Any imported materials will be at cost + tariff tax expense. Depending on the rates, it might seem like I've just made my own country at a disadvantage except, I get 100% of that VAT asset returned to me. When I file though, I have to pay that same VAT rate for everything that I've sold in the country.

So think of it like this: If VAT is 20% and the Tarriff is 10% and the materials I want to buy are 100 and I am going to resell my finished goods in country, it actually makes sense for me to pay a little bit more for something in country because the tax is a credit, not an expense like if I import it. If I'm going to export it...it still works that way as countries allow for a refund of the money for goods manufactured in country and shipped overseas. Because those goods going overseas will have to overcome that tariff expense, even if it's the same price.

Except the United States. The United States had established an income tax, but being the post war capitalism winner for so long meant there was no reason to establish a new tax. So, it didn't. This gave American producers a small advantage. You needed less working capital to produce here. It also worked into a sort of segregation point of States taxing at the transaction and the Feds taxing at the income line.

However, as the advantage of being one of the few non-bombed out industrialized areas began to wear down, a decision always had to be made. Increase one's popularity of increasing taxes on Corporate income to fill budgets (despite the threat of it invisibly affecting prices as an added input cost) OR commit political suicide and advocate for a GST/VAT system inline with the rest of the world, which would instantly raise end prices quite visibly to end consumers by whatever % was called for.

Obviously, our leaders looked hard and deep and determined the best course of action was the CYA route. So the Corporate tax stayed on and grew...but there were plenty of loopholes in the net.

The first one to be attacked was the Tarriff...and while our domestic Corporate tax rate increased, freer and freer trade agreements sprang up around the globe. Now, this alone is a good thing. After all, we don't produce everything, but all of the other economies still had their GST/VAT safety nets to recover something. We didn't. Ours were longer landed times, market understanding and humorously, the fact that if you sold here you weren't just competing with the US....you were competing with the world. In return we got access to some markets. At first, not a bad deal...but the tax piece is the ruinous part.

Now, it stopped making sense to produce things in the US, ESPECIALLY if it is for an export market. If I sold an iPhone to China made in the US. I paid very high USA income taxes, I paid a Chinese tarriff, I paid Chinese GST and I still had to worry about whether the US would actually let me export my tech product or if China would let it in the door. (on top of any possible price differences between say....labor markets)

Now, the outsource trade and income taxes still could have been a moot point in theory...and this is where our fight comes into play. Because the US needed a robust income tax collection, it would tax all US company income around the world. Suddenly the stigma of being a US company was a liability around the world. And of course, Corporate America wasn't going to take this lying down. Too much was at stake. So be it, but they were able to argue that making money overseas and being taxed on it too early was terrible. Money may not even be able to be taken out of countries for example. The US agreed and the law was set that the tax is to be paid once the money returns to the United States.

In hindsight, this overreaching deal was the dumbest, most populist move in history, but it was to counter tax havens where companies would stash cash.....band-aids on band-aids trying to keep down the one real festering problem:

The United States doesn't have a VAT/GST tax system.

Countries across the globe began to realize what a significant weakness this was. Further they realized another truth:

The United States isn't United enough to ever rectify the situation by taxing their consumption with a VAT/GST system.

Japan was able to jump start their electronics industry with that open market. All they have to do is beat us on price and quality. That's it. There's no protections....and it's a one way game. But the mother of the game players was China, and I'll save the specifics for another thread, but while the rest of the world was quietly content with the shh...there's a good thing here. They went full throttle with the right incentives (Free Trade Zone, Reduced Taxes for Local Supplier Purchases, Subsidized material inputs sold at a loss, and that ahh-struck look at the big American) to get the supply chain. If you wanted to sell the US, you better be in China.

Now the US is fumbling around. Looking at a possible return of tariffs and the rest of the world grinning and saying...hey you know the rules, you made them. No tariffs without punitive measures.

They're right. Ending free trade is not the answer. Keeping Corporate Income Tax Sky high and on worldwide income is not the answer. Establishing a GST/VAT...that's the answer. That's the only shield we can legitimately still use to FINALLY even the playing field. Otherwise the rest of the world can keep selling us garbage as long as our Fed can keep producing money.

I'm not a Trump fan, and the individual stuff is whatever, but lowering the Corporate income tax rate is not actually a wrong move. Can we stomach the right one to get us on par with the world and stop the bleed? I doubt it.

But anyway, take it for what it is. We're the only moron at the jousting club that swears by their spear and doesn't bother to bring a shield.
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Old 12-24-2017, 04:39 PM
 
437 posts, read 198,738 times
Reputation: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
Then do your job. Deliberate failure to treat symptoms because you can't cure the underlying disease is a breach of standard practice. That's a medical tort.


COPD often cannot be cured, but its progress can often be arrested given proper diagnostics, medication, and perhaps a CPAP machine. Scolding is not an actual treatment.


It was not I who brought up the reflexive red herring of obesity.
I understand that you do not have a background in the medical field. However, if you are going to comment, then at least you can read up on a subject before making an uninformed comment. Secondly, there was nothing said about a deliberate failure to treat symptoms. Your just making that up.

As to your points:



Diabetes - Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases of diabetes. While genetics play a role, lifestyle issues are the primary cause of the dramatic increase in incidence and prevalence over the past several decades. High fat/ calorie diets and sedentary lifestyles lead to obesity and obesity leads to insulin resistance. In turn, this can lead to complications such as cardiovascular disease, eye problems, kidney disease, nerve damage (ianetic neuropathy). Working backwards, a physician can give medications/insulin to assist with controlling glucose levels, high blood pressure meds, etc., but he/she is not curing anything. The differentiated outcome is directly related to the patient managing what they eat and getting exercise.

Now, tie it all together. If you have a high incidence of obesity in your population and it continues to grow at significant rates, you can expect health complications to rise to even higher levels. More complications equals higher healthcare expenditures and poorer health outcomes.


COPD- from the CDC:


“How severe your COPD symptoms are depends on how damaged your lungs are. If you keep smoking, the damage will get worse faster than if you stop smoking.4 Among 15 million U.S. adults with COPD, 39% continue to smoke.


How Is Smoking Related to COPD?

COPD is usually caused by smoking. Smoking accounts for as many as 8 out of 10 COPD-related deaths. However, as many as 1 out of 4 Americans with COPD never smoked cigarettes.

Smoking during childhood and teenage years can slow how lungs grow and develop. This can increase the risk of developing COPD in adulthood.”

Thus my comment about smoking. Notice the comment about damage getting worse if you don’t stop smoking. Thus my point. Once again, the physician is merely treating symptoms (opening the airways, etc), but it is once again up to the patient to do something about it.


Lastly, obesity is not a “red herring”. There is 100% agreement about the health impact of obesity by ever major health organization. I challenge you to show otherwise.
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Old 12-24-2017, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Boston
3,712 posts, read 1,260,734 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
Now that we are going to see some tax cuts, it is indeed time to see some spending cuts. It seems that administration is getting a lot of flack for starting with the EPA. Let me see 15,000 plus employees and a budget that comes out well over a half million dollars per employee and costs of compliance (over what is and needs to be spent for safety) that is estimated at about $350 billion per year. Just cut back the EPA to a more manageable few thousand employees with less nonsense regs and the tax reductions can be more than handled.
You're a cruel man, but wise.
Trump has stepped on the EPA oxygen tube.
Let them experience what they did to business for 8 yrs.
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Old 12-24-2017, 08:49 PM
 
6,308 posts, read 4,769,309 times
Reputation: 8437
Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
Despite recent events, the tax code changes only infrequently. Spending changes all the time. There is no real-time connection between the two. If funds are available in the Treasury when checks drawn on the USG are presented, those funds are used in payment. Otherwise funds are borrowed. Public debt outstanding is currently around $20.5 trillion. That debt will of course be serviced, but it will never be repaid. Even Ricardo (had he survived an additional 195 years) would not today be saving up to fund his share of the repayment costs.

Google "We are all Keynesians now."
You might want to think twice before picking an Internet fight with a University of Chicago trained economist. Friedman's "We are all Keynesians now," quoted by Nixon with limited but not zero understanding of the issues, referred to a narrow technical point on which Keynes was right. We are not all Keynesians in the ordinary English language sense of believing that government has the ability and responsibility to manage the economy through fiscal policy.

I don't know what Ricardo would do, but based on his own theories and statements he should save up to pay taxes that will come due in future periods because of deficits incurred in the current one.
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