Friday, April 22, 2011

The backs of poor people

Obama on the budget negotiations:
“Nothing is easier,” Mr. Obama said, “than solving a problem on the backs of people who are poor, or people who are powerless and don’t have lobbyists or don’t have clout.”



18 comments:

Robert Sievers said...

Yes, there is something easier. Keeping the problem going by blaming rich people and fomenting class envy.

We have gone past the point of no return. There are three ways out now: 1) Tell china and the pension funds holding U.S. bonds they are out of luck. 2) Print $14,000.000,000,000, and let the economy deal with the severe and destructive consequences, or 3) reduce or eliminate government social programs. I think America will eventually choose number #2.

Dan S said...

Yes, because poverty goes away if we eliminate the social programs that keep them from being destitute. And class envy goes away if we lower taxes on the wealthy.

And I'm surprised (especially given you are a math teacher), that you think there are 14 trillion dollars worth of cuts that could be made to social programs. If you really, really care about the deficit, everything has to be part of the solution, including defense spending and tax increases. Otherwise, it's just trying to ram your social agenda through using fear of deficits.

Robert Sievers said...

Yes, I agree, EVERYTHING must be on the table. However, I don't necessarily think raising rates will increase revenue. I have several friends who are waiting to retire, and have decided to keep working until the tax rates jump substantially to do so.

And no, as a math teacher, I don't think we can cut $14,000,000,000,000. That's why I believe we are over the edge. I don't have kids, so I don't care anymore. Your kids will have to sort this one out on their own. It's too bad, too, because they weren't responsible for making the mess.

PG said...

I wonder, Robert, if we would be in this mess if we hadn't invaded Iraq and let unregulated banks run amok. (Tell me why I am even bothering to ask?) I do have children and I was concerned about their futures when the war began, but perhaps you didn't care then either.

Sam said...

Obviously, the richest people in the world (bankers and politicians) were responsible for the global economic crisis which has made our debt so bad so quickly. I have no qualms putting blame where its due and asking them to pay more in taxes.
In terms of solutions, I'm all for option number 2. Inflation is annoying, but we survived 10% inflation in the 70's and 80's, we can do it again if necessary, and 5 years of 10% inflation would do wonders for the national debt and the continuing housing mess. It's the best way to deal with bad debt, because it makes the debt smaller in relationship to GDP.

brownie said...

Raising taxes won't raise revenue huh? Are you out of your effing mind? I paid more in taxes than GE for 2010. My income was under 30k. Their income was in the 10 or 11 digit range (over ten billion anyway). Maybe we shouldn't worry about RAISING taxes on the rich so much as just getting them to pay their fair F***ing share!!!!!!!! Like me and the other 100 million+ poor people in the US.

Sorry Dan for the language, edited though it is. But the kind of framed outlook, I've got blinders on, I wanna be a ditto-head crap that Robert is spouting conjures up a poop-flavored evelasting gobstopper in the back of my throat.

Excuse me.........(REEEEEEEEECCCCCHHHHH!!!!!)

Robert Sievers said...

Raise taxes on GE all you want. They, in turn, will just raise prices. Poor people will pay more for light bulbs and toaster ovens, and the tax will wind up will be more regressive in nature. Also, due to higher prices, GE may sell less which will necessitate job layoffs. No problem. I am sure it will be the rich people will be let go, right? So all will you do is just end up slowing down the economy and hurting poor people even more, but at least you can feel good about it.

It's your kids future, not mine.

PG said...

Yes, you are right, Robert. This is the capitalist system. The poor always pay, one way or another. You have described a system that is thoroughly corrupt and morally bankrupt. Or, as Jon Sobrino describes in "No Salvation Outside the Poor," only the culture of poverty can have hope. The culture of wealth can have only fear.

Dan S said...

Supply and demand sets the price of a product, not taxes on the profits. A company that makes 10 billion dollars is not going to raise the price of light bulbs above what the market says the price of light bulbs is. Only monopolies can set the price of a product, which you seem to have no problem with, since you think taxes and regulation, which prevent monopolies, somehow hurt poor people.

Robert Sievers said...

Price is also determined by cost of production. If every company has taxes go up, cost of production goes up and so does price. Of course, this isn't really true, since oversees companies won't, and so they can more effectively undercut American companies. Again, I'm not blue collar, so who cares since I don't get hosed.

Dan S said...

Taxes are not a cost of production. They are a cost of profit.

Your argument is that GE needs its 10 billion in profit or the price of light bulbs will go up. That is a lot of ideological BS, designed to make yourself feel OK about the unethical distribution of wealth in the world.

Robert Sievers said...

So Dan, do you really believe that companies don't figure in tax consequences when making decisions such as hiring, pricing, and growth?

PG said...

And let's not forget that profits were made from the wars, too. And that profit was the incentive for the wars as well, to maintain a lifestyle of gross consumption, bred and nurtured through fear.

Poor George Bush and his class have no understanding of the poor. Bush had to ask his minister to explain the poor to him. After 9/11, Bush advised us to "go shopping" to maintain normalcy. When he retired, Bush said he'd go home "to fill up the old coffers." Money is the whole ethos of our general culture.

Dan S said...

Taxes certainly affect growth. But companies can't take taxes into account when setting the price of a commodity, which is determined by supply and demand.

And growth is exactly the issue here. Capitalism is designed to produce monopolies without government interference.

It amazes me that you are OK with a company paying no taxes on 10 billion in profits. That somehow contributing to the tax base will hurt everyone else. It's just mental gymnastics to flow money and power upward.

Robert Sievers said...

I am for an even playing field. Whatever you tax U.S. corporations, set an import tax for the same percentage.

Short of that, all you are wanting to do is hose American companies and their workers in order to make yourself feel compassionate.

Dan S said...

Without government laws, protection and taxes, companies wouldn't have to move factories to the developing world, because those conditions would exist right here.

Spin it anyway you like, but you have always consistently advocated for the the richest and the most powerful in the world.

Sam said...

I think Robert has a point-a better corporate tax structure that didn't reward outsourcing would be great, and I'm more worried about increasing capital gains taxes for the people taking home those profits rather than corporate income taxes-sure, taking more money from 'evil rich corporations' would be great, but its not as important as a lot of other political goals.

Rev. TaiPing Monkey said...

The "Blaming rich people" and "fomenting class envy" lines are rich.

RICH bankers issued loans that would not be repaid, knowingly sold those bad loans ("shitty deals" is the actual language used) as investments, bet against the bad loans that they sold to their own customers, and turned to taxpayers for a Trillion dollar handout when the securitized loans inevitably went south. So yes, I think "blaming" rich people (particularly the ones whose actions directly led to the situation in which we find ourselves) is entirely appropriate. Just like I think "blaming" the guy who holds me up for the crime of holding me up is appropriate.

As for "fomenting class envy," Madison Avenue (more wealthy people--surprise!) foments class envy every day by marketing products to people who cannot afford them, thanks to the wealth transfers that occur all the time and that are called business as usual. Do the rich really have nothing for the poor to envy? Is it Dan who is fomenting class envy, or is it the widening gap between the haves and the have-nothings?

Robert is right about at least one thing, though. We have definitely gone past the point of no return. Driving at high speed in the wrong direction for forty years will do that.