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Our Public Debate Over Government Responsibilities

Discussion in 'American Politics' started by mark46, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The debate has rarely been so clear. The Republicans want to spend less on public and safety net service and the Democrats want to spend more. Republicans want lower taxes and fewer services. Democrats want more. Republicans want a flat tax; Democrats want more progressive taxes.

    This debate used to only be about the safety net programs. Now Republicans won't even spend money on infrastructure and research and development.

    OBVIOUSLY, there is a need to reduce the waste. That has always been the case. Also, our regulatory structures are incredibly inefficient (consider the cost and time to build a bridge or power station). But that is NOT the heart of the matter. As has always been the case, Republicans want the government to do less; Democrats want the government to do more.

    BTW, the issue is NOT federal government control. As conservative economists have taught us, if we want to transfer money to the poor, we should use the IRS to send them money, as Biden is currently doing, especially with regard to supporting children. Reagan's approach was to for the feds to decide how much should be transferred to poor states, and then send the money, and allow state governments to decide priorities.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
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  2. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    I think your overall description is mostly correct (sans the one typo), and I personally think that the forms of refundable tax credit for working poor or for families with children for example are very good ideas that most independents could support in principle. Currently the U.S. probably isn't doing nearly enough with the old (and still going) Earned Income Tax Credit (which helps the poor who work): it ought to be much more potent by raising both the amount paid out and also raising the maximum allowed income where the credit phases out, which is currently very low, where it currently phases out at only about $21,000 income for a single person without a child.

    It should not be "too expensive to have a child" for a young married couple.
     
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  3. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Baloney. Prominent Democratic leaders are at the forefront in supporting "Defund the Police," freeing violent criminals on $1 bonds, "sanctuary cities," open borders through which sex traffickers and drug importers enter our society, decriminalizing shoplifting in the big cities, and much more that makes society less safe.

    Yes, but which services are to be reduced? Not national defense and everything else that keeps the people safe. And you say yourself, later in your post, that "OBVIOUSLY, there is a need to reduce the waste." That's what Republicans want.

    It's something of a myth that Republicans want a flat tax, but it's also a myth that Democrats--those in Congress anyway--want "progressive taxes."

    What they propose is always an increased tax on the Middle Class coupled with minor increases on the super-rich that are balanced by all sorts of subsidies given to them at the same time.

    Sure they will!. The Congressional Republicans have been trying and negotiating and proposing multi-billion grants for infrastructure and development for months only to have the Democrats stonewall all attempts unless their "wish list" of giveaways that are not part of infrastructure are included in the bill and the cost ballooned as a result

    I'll say. But it will remain just talk so long as this Congress remains in power.
     
  4. Oompa Loompa

    Oompa Loompa Against both police brutality and cop killing.

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    When Democrats want to stop cramming amnesty for illegal immigrants into an "infrastructure bill", perhaps Republicans will pass the bill.
     
  5. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Now, there's a thought. Why don't we pass a bill that takes care of infrastructure to the tune of almost a trillion dollars!...and then start negotiating on another bill that deals with what the Democrats in Congress want that isn't infrastructure??
    :idea:
     
  6. ArmenianJohn

    ArmenianJohn Politically Liberal Christian Fundamentalist

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    This is how the divide/debate is presented and there is some truth to it. But I disagree that this is the true divide.

    As I see it, the true divide is that the Democrats want to spend more to help more people, especially the needier ones, and the Republicans want to spend less on them and more on the wealthy and the corporations as well as their own politicians' interests.

    For example, we now have Republicans who want to pay to get Cubans out of Cuba and set them up in the US with services paid by tax money even though they have been against letting anyone in through/from Mexico much less giving them anything at all. Why? Because they believe that the whole reason for doing these things is to gain voters. They expect Republican votes in return. They perceive that the Democrats do the same with refugees from Mexico and other Central American nations. So they're not really against "illegals or spending tax dollars to help them, they are just against anything that doesn't benefit them.

    A broader example, that's gone on for years, is the fact that Republicans never, ever, ever complain about the inequality of the tax dollars the flood in from Blue States and then get funneled into Red States. They want this to happen. They want this kind of socialism which is one-way in their favor. What they don't want is for their gravy train to end.

    We see a perfect example of this when you have the Republicans complaining about giving NY, NJ, and other blue states money during a crisis as they did with Covid and Superstorm Sandy; they will hold it up and fight against it in Congress and they will accuse these states of mismanaging their finances. But you never see them do the same if the aid is going to the Red States like their own. And that happens far more often. NJ, NY every once a decade or so has an emergency that they need massive federal aid for. In the Red States they are always getting hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc. Every year money is poured into the red states, money that came from the pockets o the blue states.

    Another perfect example is this Texas power grid failure debacle. Due to their mismanagement of their own power regulations and system they ended up having their biggest city suffer a massive disaster which could have been prevented. But are they worried? Nah. They expect - and will get - a bailout from the blue states. They love to boast about their conservative values and economically cheap way of doing things but when that cheap turns out to be super expensive because it was unwise they just fall back on disaster relief from my pocket.

    So that's the real debate here. The other stuff is all window dressing and distraction. This is why I always have and will continue to side with the Democrats, as they more (but not completely) have the interests of my state and therefore me at heart.
     
  7. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Because the facts are not as you have described them. Over one million people have come across the southern border THIS YEAR ALONE, and it's only half over.

    By comparison, the number of potential Cuban refugees--and they would be real refugees, unlike the great majority of the Central Americans, Haitians, etc. etc.--coming daily would be far, far fewer in number.

    You're referring to the current administration, aren't you? And there's no guesswork involved when it comes to that hope of gaining votes because it's voiced aloud all the time by prominent Biden supporters who have gone so far as to advocate--and in some cases already allow--voting by non-citizens as well as provide non-citizens with IDs that can be used to register to vote fraudulently.
     
  8. ArmenianJohn

    ArmenianJohn Politically Liberal Christian Fundamentalist

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    Thanks for your unsubstantiated opinion, but I don't believe a word of it.

    Go back and re-read my post, as I addressed this there.
     
  9. cow451

    cow451 The Most Interesting Poster in the Forum Supporter

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    Nah. They're too busy working on the replacement plan for ObamaCare.
     
  10. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    or any Congress
     
  11. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I strongly disagree. Republicans are NOT about reducing waste. They simply want less spending on social services.
     
  12. wing2000

    wing2000 E pluribus unum Supporter

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    Is this the point you wanted to discuss?

     
  13. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK, almost all of the wish list has been removed and put in another bill (something that you seem to think is terrible). Now, we will see if the so-called deal will be passed.
     
  14. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Democrats are in power. They have a huge, huge agenda. They included two unrelated sets of programs in one bill and called it "infrastructure". That was a truly bad idea. Now the bill is split. I understand that you don't like the huge social services spending under the Democratic bill.
     
  15. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is one of the reasons for the thread. I think it is reprehensible that our R&D spending and our infrastructure spending is the among the very lowest in the developed world.
     
  16. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are two very separate bills.

    The bi-partisan physical infrastructure bill is opposed by most Republicans because of the total cost. The primary issue for the Republicans who have AGREED to this deal is the pay-fors. They now disagree with the idea of the IRS have a much stronger program to collect taxes.

    The other omnibus reconciliation bill has NOTHING to do with Republicans. Democrats will put everything from their wish list they can into this bill. This includes voting reform, immigration especially DACA, and lots of other things. The key here is a negotiation among Democrats. The bill that is ultimately passed will need to be approved by Manchin and by almost all of the House leftists.
     
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  17. Oompa Loompa

    Oompa Loompa Against both police brutality and cop killing.

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    Yeah...that isn't going to happen.
     
  18. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I don't think that's correct, even though they talk bigger than they actually perform. Persistently, when legislation is considered, the unnecessary spending on useless academic studies, saving the snail darter, giving money to countries that hate us, subsidizing out of all proportions a grocery list of international organizations, reparations by some other name, etc. etc. it's the Republicans who are concerned.

    However, I don't want to exaggerate that, because these folks have a way of talking tough while the cameras are on...until they decide to cave.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  19. 98cwitr

    98cwitr Lord forgive me Staff Member Red Team - Moderator Supporter

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    You will want to differentiate between the role of federal government versus the role of state governments on these topics. I for one think infrastructure apart from aviation, the interstate highway system, and interstate water ways fall to the states to not only direct, but to fund, but every state has their hands out trying to get federal dollars for a bunch of things, and yes, it's predominately the red states begging for them.
     
  20. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Perhaps we disagree about tax policy; perhaps we don't. First we need to defined the Middle Class. I believe that most Democrats would support a higher rate for those who make over say $250K and then an ever higher rate for those over say $500K. They say $400K, but most would support increased taxes for those between $250K and $400K.

    Which are the tax increases on the Middle Class. There may be trickle down price icreases.

    I think that almost all Democrats favor some increase in corporate tax rate, certainly including a 15% minimum tax. Almost all would favor removing tax breaks to fossil fuel producers. Yes, Democrats favor subsidies; they are the essence of using the tax system to promote certain behavior. However, the issue is how much, and for whom.
    =====================
    DEMOCRATIC PROGRAM THAT ALMOST ALL WOULD AGREE WITH
    1) A major rate increase for the top bracket for individuals, including the creation of an addition bracket
    2) A 15% minimum tax for corporations
    3) An increase in the corporate tax rate
    4) A major reduction in subsidies for fossil fuel companies and producers
    5) A carbon tax

    And, yes, I well understand that this will not pass, since at least ONE Democrat would vote "no".
     
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