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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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The 81% tax increase

http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/14/tax...partner=loomia

The 81% Tax Increase
Bruce Bartlett, 05.15.09, 12:00 AM EDT
To pay for government's promises on Social Security and Medicare.

This week, the federal government published two important reports on long-term budgetary trends. They both show that we are on an unsustainable path that will almost certainly result in massively higher taxes.

The first report is from the trustees of the Social Security system. News reports emphasized that the date when its trust fund will be exhausted is now four years earlier than estimated last year. But in truth, this is an utterly meaningless fact because the trust fund itself is economically meaningless.

The 2010 budget, which was finally released this week, confirms this fact. As it explains in Chapter 21, government trust funds bear no meaningful comparison to those in the private sector. Whereas the beneficiary of a private trust fund legally owns the income from it, the same is not true of a government trust fund, which is really nothing but an accounting device.

Most Americans believe that the Social Security trust fund contains a pot of money that is sitting somewhere earning interest to pay their benefits when they retire. On paper this is true; somewhere in a Treasury Department ledger there are $2.4 trillion worth of assets labeled "Social Security trust fund."

The problem is that by law 100% of these "assets" are invested in Treasury securities. Therefore, the trust fund does not have any actual resources with which to pay Social Security benefits. It's as if you wrote an IOU to yourself; no matter how large the IOU is it doesn't increase your net worth.

This fact is documented in the budget, which says on page 345: "The existence of large trust fund balances … does not, by itself, increase the government's ability to pay benefits. Put differently, these trust fund balances are assets of the program agencies and corresponding liabilities of the Treasury, netting to zero for the government as a whole."

Consequently, whether there is $2.4 trillion in the Social Security trust fund or $240 trillion has no bearing on the federal government's ability to pay benefits that have been promised. In a very technical sense, it would lose the ability to pay benefits in excess of current tax revenues once the trust fund is exhausted. But long before that date Congress would simply change the law to explicitly allow general revenues to be used to pay Social Security benefits, something it could easily do in a day.

The trust fund is better thought of as budget authority giving the federal government legal permission to use general revenues to pay Social Security benefits when current Social Security taxes are insufficient to pay current benefits--something that will happen in 2016. Effectively, general revenues will finance Social Security when the trust fund redeems its Treasury bonds for cash to pay benefits.

What really matters is not how much money is in the Social Security trust fund or when it is exhausted, but how much Social Security benefits have been promised and how much total revenue the government will need to pay them.

The answer to this question can be found on page 63 of the trustees report. It says that the payroll tax rate would have to rise 1.9% immediately and permanently to pay all the benefits that have been promised over the next 75 years for Social Security and disability insurance.

But this really understates the problem because there are many people alive today who will be drawing Social Security benefits more than 75 years from now. Economists generally believe that the appropriate way of calculating the program's long-term cost is to do so in perpetuity, adjusted for the rate of interest, something called discounting or present value.

Social Security's actuaries make such a calculation on page 64. It says that Social Security's unfunded liability in perpetuity is $17.5 trillion (treating the trust fund as meaningless). The program would need that much money today in a real trust fund outside the government earning a true return to pay for all the benefits that have been promised over and above future Social Security taxes. In effect, the capital stock of the nation would have to be $17.5 trillion larger than it is right now. Alternatively, the payroll tax rate would have to rise by 4%.

To put it another way, Social Security's unfunded liability equals 1.3% of the gross domestic product. So if we were to fund its deficit with general revenues, income taxes would have to rise by 1.3% of GDP immediately and forever. With the personal income tax raising about 10% of GDP in coming years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, this means that every taxpayer would have to pay 13% more just to make sure that all Social Security benefits currently promised will be paid.

As bad as that is, however, Social Security's problems are trivial compared to Medicare's. Its trustees also issued a report this week. On page 69 we see that just part A of that program, which pays for hospital care, has an unfunded liability of $36.4 trillion in perpetuity. The payroll tax rate would have to rise by 6.5% immediately to cover that shortfall or 2.8% of GDP forever. Thus every taxpayer would face a 28% increase in their income taxes if general revenues were used to pay future Medicare part A benefits that have been promised over and above revenues from the Medicare tax.

But this is just the beginning of Medicare's problems, because it also has two other programs: part B, which covers doctor's visits, and part D, which pays for prescription drugs.

The unfunded portion of Medicare part B is already covered by general revenues under current law. The present value of that is $37 trillion or 2.8% of GDP in perpetuity according to the trustees report (p. 111). The unfunded portion of Medicare part D, which was rammed into law by George W. Bush and a Republican Congress in 2003, is also covered by general revenues under current law and has a present value of $15.5 trillion or 1.2% of GDP forever (p. 127).

To summarize, we see that taxpayers are on the hook for Social Security and Medicare by these amounts: Social Security, 1.3% of GDP; Medicare part A, 2.8% of GDP; Medicare part B, 2.8% of GDP; and Medicare part D, 1.2% of GDP. This adds up to 8.1% of GDP. Thus federal income taxes for every taxpayer would have to rise by roughly 81% to pay all of the benefits promised by these programs under current law over and above the payroll tax.

Since many taxpayers have just paid their income taxes for 2008 they may have their federal returns close at hand. They all should look up the total amount they paid and multiply that figure by 1.81 to find out what they should be paying right now to finance Social Security and Medicare.

To put it another way, the total unfunded indebtedness of Social Security and Medicare comes to $106.4 trillion. That is how much larger the nation's capital stock would have to be today, all of it owned by the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, to generate enough income to pay all the benefits that have been promised over and above future payroll taxes. But the nation's total private net worth is only $51.5 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. In effect, we have promised the elderly benefits equal to more than twice the nation's total wealth on top of the payroll tax.

Of course, theoretically, benefits could be cut to prevent the necessity of a massive tax increase. But how likely is that? The percentage of the population that benefits from Social Security and Medicare is growing daily as the baby boom generation ages and longevity increases. And the elderly vote in the highest percentage of any age group, so their political influence is even greater than their numbers.

The reality, which absolutely no one in either party wishes to face, is that benefits are never going to be cut enough to prevent the necessity of a massive tax increase in the not-too-distant future. Those who think otherwise are either grossly ignorant of the fiscal facts, in denial, or living in a fantasy world.

Bruce Bartlett is a former Treasury Department economist and the author of Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action and Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. He writes a weekly column for Forbes.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:23 AM
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Fuckers. My ADD kicked in, but did I see $106 trillion? We are so done...

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:42 AM
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Fuckers. My ADD kicked in, but did I see $106 trillion? We are so done...
Yes, and with a total private worth of 51.5 Trillion.


But what about the Clinton surplus?!


Obviously, the program is busted. So instead of doing away with it or completely overhauling it (privatizing, raising age requirements, cutting benefits, etc etc), they just try to throw more cash at it?

Well, this should make health care go really well. I figure in 25 years a 250k/yr job will allow you to take home $12,500 after taxes.

FUCK.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:43 AM
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WOW... Need to get the worthless fucks off Medicare and Social Security that dont need to be on it.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:49 AM
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Yes, and with a total private worth of 51.5 Trillion.


But what about the Clinton surplus?!
[Liberal] Bush ruined it! Bush ruins everything. I don't care what the truth is, Bush ruins everything. He is still ruining our country! Go Obama! [/Liberal]
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 10:08 AM
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Just keep that money printing......
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 10:41 AM
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Just keep that money printing......
Idiocracy.

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 11:58 AM
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The article fails to take one thing into consideration.

The federal government can cancel social security or change the qualifications at any time.

They can push the retirement age to 75 if they like. Heck they can push it to 100. They can (and will) remove the income cap on contributions. But ultimately Congress and the President have the power to simply revoke the SS system and shut it down if they like. They won't do it now. Nope, it would be political suicide. They will leave it to a future administration and Congress.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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They will leave it to a future administration and Congress.
Therein lies the problem in doing any of those things you just listed. The AARP is the most powerful lobby in the country. Reducing benefits or increasing the age to qualify is political suicide. Ultimately there will be a showdown between the old people crying "gimme gimme gimme" and the youngsters not wanting to pay increased taxes.

This scam of a system should have never been put in place.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 12:50 PM
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Therein lies the problem in doing any of those things you just listed. The AARP is the most powerful lobby in the country. Reducing benefits or increasing the age to qualify is political suicide. Ultimately there will be a showdown between the old people crying "gimme gimme gimme" and the youngsters not wanting to pay increased taxes.

This scam of a system should have never been put in place.
Yessir. The BIG problem is the number of "boomers" there are. A huge segment of the population will be going on SS at (or about) the same time. With the life-span of Americans going up literally every year, I'm thinking 75 or so is a good "retirement" age.

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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 01:19 PM
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Speaking for myself, I would prefer a cut in benefits to an increase in the retirement age or payroll tax.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 01:29 PM
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Speaking for myself, I would prefer a cut in benefits to an increase in the retirement age or payroll tax.
I doubt I'll ever see a dime of that shit. If I (or any of us!) had put that money in a nice mutual fund over the years, none of us would have to work. Another shining example of the Uncle Barry doesn't need to be running car dealerships and banks...

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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 03:46 PM
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 03:48 PM
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 04:02 PM
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This has been a long time coming folks.
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 07:51 PM
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[Liberal] Bush ruined it! Bush ruins everything. I don't care what the truth is, Bush ruins everything. He is still ruining our country! Go Obama! [/Liberal]

Actually you can thank Reagan in 1983 for pushing laws through to be able to borrow from social security to make his massive deficit look smaller while cutting taxes so your grandchildren can pay for money spent in the 80's.

Republicans drove the car off the cliff and democrats had to do all of the work getting it back out of the ditch

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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 08:03 PM
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Truth be known, Social Security was doomed to fail when it came about (1935?), like any other entitlement program...thanks, FDR!

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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:04 PM
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Actually you can thank Reagan in 1983 for pushing laws through to be able to borrow from social security to make his massive deficit look smaller while cutting taxes so your grandchildren can pay for money spent in the 80's.
You seriously are a supreme dumbass.

Those tax cuts are what grew the economy to heights unimagined. And guess what will bring us out of this economic downturn? More private cash. So cut taxes, eliminate wasteful social programs and run this thing like a business.

I'd gladly pass on social security to have the money back and invest it myself.

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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:25 PM
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Truth be known, Social Security was doomed to fail when it came about (1935?), like any other entitlement program...thanks, FDR!
I doubt he envisioned social security being the current ponzio scheme when it was first enacted.


What other choice did he have in order to clean up the shit that Hoover left behind ?


Look back through history, only 2 things have gotten us out of recessions/depressions. Social programs or going to war.

Republicans drove the car off the cliff and democrats had to do all of the work getting it back out of the ditch

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Last edited by bullet; 05-20-2009 at 09:33 PM.
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You seriously are a supreme dumbass.

Those tax cuts are what grew the economy to heights unimagined. And guess what will bring us out of this economic downturn? More private cash. So cut taxes, eliminate wasteful social programs and run this thing like a business.

I'd gladly pass on social security to have the money back and invest it myself.


Grew the economy ?



An economy financed from the debt going from 1 trillion in 1980 to 4.5 trillion when Clinton was elected.



This is like saying I open a new business. Then I go out, borrow 5 million from the bank, give it to my neighbor and have him buy 5 million of my product. Sure my business grew but it was nothing but smoke and mirrors as the growth was not basedon real economic expansion.


If trickle down economics worked the debt would not be 11 trillion now.


I agree, it should be an option for each individual to invest as they choose but the fact remains that most people practice poor financial planning so SS forces them to save for later by paying into the ponzio scheme.

Republicans drove the car off the cliff and democrats had to do all of the work getting it back out of the ditch

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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:32 PM
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I doubt he envisioned social security being current ponzio scheme when it was first enacted.


What other choice did he have in order to clean up the shit that Hoover left behind ?


Look back through history, only 2 things have gotten us out of recessions/depressions. Social programs or going to war.
Do you research history or just attend the same school of thought that Obama does?
Other countries going to war drug us out of the depression. The government prolonged it.

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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:35 PM
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Do you research history or just attend the same school of thought that Obama does?
Other countries going to war drug us out of the depression. The government prolonged it.


WWII got us out.

Are you saying we did not fight in it ?

Republicans drove the car off the cliff and democrats had to do all of the work getting it back out of the ditch

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When you pull in 20 million percent a year like BULLET, you have your share of 5 and 6 figure days!

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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 10:02 PM
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WWII got us out.

Are you saying we did not fight in it ?
Of course we fought in WWII. But our recovery was well in progress by supplying other armies to fight the Nazis.

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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 11:12 PM
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WWII got us out.

Are you saying we did not fight in it ?
The real question is why did it take the Dems so long to pull us out of economic catastrophe?????!!!!!!


FDR had 4 terms as President. With his failed first and second New Deal, it became apparent that a military buildup was necessary not only for WW2, but for economic prosperity. Why did it take FDR so long to Re-Arm and revive the US economy. It was because he continued to ignore the countless lives that were being lost in Europe. After FDR failed to warn his military commanders of intercepted intelligence and the USA got their asses handed to them at Pearl Harbor.... that's when FDR decided to act. He is the epitome of failure!

Fuck you FDR! Your suffering of Guillain-Barré syndrome does not excuse you from the lives you cost at Pearl Harbor you bastard. I piss on your grave.
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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 07:15 AM
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The real question is why did it take the Dems so long to pull us out of economic catastrophe?????!!!!!!


FDR had 4 terms as President. With his failed first and second New Deal, it became apparent that a military buildup was necessary not only for WW2, but for economic prosperity. Why did it take FDR so long to Re-Arm and revive the US economy. It was because he continued to ignore the countless lives that were being lost in Europe. After FDR failed to warn his military commanders of intercepted intelligence and the USA got their asses handed to them at Pearl Harbor.... that's when FDR decided to act. He is the epitome of failure!

Fuck you FDR! Your suffering of Guillain-Barré syndrome does not excuse you from the lives you cost at Pearl Harbor you bastard. I piss on your grave.
Exactly. If one could hop in a DeLorean, and make a trip back and dispose of the Gimpper properly, things would have run much better and leaner.

I think widespread social programs make elitist aristocrats like FDR and Obama feel better about themselves. It's a way to extend the kingdom hand so the peasants can kiss the kingdom ring.

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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 07:48 AM
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The real question is why did it take the Dems so long to pull us out of economic catastrophe?????!!!!!!


FDR had 4 terms as President. With his failed first and second New Deal, it became apparent that a military buildup was necessary not only for WW2, but for economic prosperity. Why did it take FDR so long to Re-Arm and revive the US economy. It was because he continued to ignore the countless lives that were being lost in Europe. After FDR failed to warn his military commanders of intercepted intelligence and the USA got their asses handed to them at Pearl Harbor.... that's when FDR decided to act. He is the epitome of failure!

Fuck you FDR! Your suffering of Guillain-Barré syndrome does not excuse you from the lives you cost at Pearl Harbor you bastard. I piss on your grave.


You think it is easy to pull an economy suffering from 25% unemployment out of depression ?


He had 4 terms because people were desperate and still had a bitter taste from Hoover's term.

Republicans drove the car off the cliff and democrats had to do all of the work getting it back out of the ditch

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MONEY NEVER SLEEPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by slow99 View Post
When you pull in 20 million percent a year like BULLET, you have your share of 5 and 6 figure days!

GENUFLECT TO THE BULLET




FACTS ARE LIKE ACID TO THE SKIN OF REPUBLICONS
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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 07:56 AM
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Actually you can thank Reagan in 1983 for pushing laws through to be able to borrow from social security to make his massive deficit look smaller while cutting taxes so your grandchildren can pay for money spent in the 80's.
At least Reagan gave us true national security so our grandchildren would be around to pay for money well spent in the '80's. You're constantly showing true ignorance of that fact and are obviously incapable of comprehending history that's not spoon-fed to you through a liberal media source.

This is in contrast to Obama deficit spending, which is being used to prop up dinosaur companies and create more nationalized institutions and "programs" (just what we need), all of which our grandchildren will get to pay back to foreign governments.
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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If trickle down economics worked the debt would not be 11 trillion now.
Because welfare recipients start businesses all the time.
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 08:36 PM
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Obama has a plan

He's going to kill off all the old people with gubment health care or the lack of same
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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 09:15 PM
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At least Reagan gave us true national security so our grandchildren would be around to pay for money well spent in the '80's. You're constantly showing true ignorance of that fact and are obviously incapable of comprehending history that's not spoon-fed to you through a liberal media source.

This is in contrast to Obama deficit spending, which is being used to prop up dinosaur companies and create more nationalized institutions and "programs" (just what we need), all of which our grandchildren will get to pay back to foreign governments.


Who's getting facts from the media?

Just because you drink rush's koolaid does not mean that others believe everything they hear from the puppets.


I am talking about reality and facts.


Are you trying to argue that the national debt did not go from 1 to 11 trillion in 28 years with only 1.5 trillion of that coming under a democraptic president ?

Republicans drove the car off the cliff and democrats had to do all of the work getting it back out of the ditch

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slow99 View Post
When you pull in 20 million percent a year like BULLET, you have your share of 5 and 6 figure days!

GENUFLECT TO THE BULLET




FACTS ARE LIKE ACID TO THE SKIN OF REPUBLICONS
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post #31 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 06:08 AM
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I lived the era, and my statements are first-person facts. Repeat: these statements of mine being fact, unlike propoganda spoon-fed to your infantile mind which you along with other Obama sheeple suck up and repeat as though it were something worthy of acceptance, all to our amusement. Make no mistake though little man, although your statements are amusing, the bases behind them are anything but.

Last edited by Mr Majestyk; 05-22-2009 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Thwart the grammar police
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post #32 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 06:33 AM
Lifer
 
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Originally Posted by bullet View Post
Who's getting facts from the media?

Just because you drink rush's koolaid does not mean that others believe everything they hear from the puppets.


I am talking about reality and facts.


Are you trying to argue that the national debt did not go from 1 to 11 trillion in 28 years with only 1.5 trillion of that coming under a democraptic president ?
You have no facts. I find it funny how Limbaugh has become the whipping boy of the left. What about us, the guys that were actually around to see how Carter and Reagan affected the country? How 9/11 affected this country? Peoples' memory is about as long as their pecker...

CHL holder and Conservative...AKA "Domestic Terrorist"
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post #33 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 07:47 AM
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between the old people crying "gimme gimme gimme"
Those old people paid into the system first, so they have reason to want some of their money back. I'm probably going to be in the first wave of people that get screwed with whatever congress decides to do (raise the retirement age, cut benefits, implement a means test, etc) even though i've pretty much paid the maximum into the system since I was 20. I'm not counting on SS for shit.

It is despicable that the politicians refuse to do anything about the imminent failure of SS, passing the buck onto the next administration. It's like a cakewalk and the music is going to stop at some point.
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post #34 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Vertnut View Post
You have no facts. I find it funny how Limbaugh has become the whipping boy of the left. What about us, the guys that were actually around to see how Carter and Reagan affected the country? How 9/11 affected this country? Peoples' memory is about as long as their pecker...
Yeah, the carter era was sheer misery. 22% interest rates (guess what - we're going there again with obama's spending), gas shortages (could happen again since obama repealed offshore drilling), and obama's pacificism letting foreign powers whip up on us (already in progress).
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post #35 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeb View Post
Yeah, the carter era was sheer misery. 22% interest rates (guess what - we're going there again with obama's spending), gas shortages (could happen again since obama repealed offshore drilling), and obama's pacificism letting foreign powers whip up on us (already in progress).
On the positive side, those enlightened Europeans will talk really good about us again!
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post #36 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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On the positive side, those enlightened Europeans will talk really good about us again!

And that is the most important thing, we got to make sure that everyone thinks we are the best!
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post #37 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Vertnut View Post
You have no facts. I find it funny how Limbaugh has become the whipping boy of the left. What about us, the guys that were actually around to see how Carter and Reagan affected the country? How 9/11 affected this country? Peoples' memory is about as long as their pecker...


What you don't like about the truth Vertnut ?


When Reagan came in the national debt was under 1 trillion, when Clinton was elected, it stood around 4.5


In 12 years your great conservatives increased America's debt 300+% and made it the world's largest debtor nation.

To match that rate of spending Obama would have to have to double the debt from 11 trillion to 22 under his 4 year term.

Gotta give Bush jr a little credit, he only doubled the debt after 8 years instead of every 4 like Reagan and his dad.




Fiscal conservative my ass
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Republicans drove the car off the cliff and democrats had to do all of the work getting it back out of the ditch

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When you pull in 20 million percent a year like BULLET, you have your share of 5 and 6 figure days!

GENUFLECT TO THE BULLET




FACTS ARE LIKE ACID TO THE SKIN OF REPUBLICONS

Last edited by bullet; 05-23-2009 at 11:12 AM.
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post #38 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 09:42 PM
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Just keep that money printing......
I am glad that I own land and gold.
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post #39 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 11:51 PM
Lifer
 
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One thing you folks might want to consider about the U.S. coming out of the depression. After WWII, we had all of our factory's up and running, while the rest of the world had to rebuild theirs. They bought most of the products from us. And in the mean time congress was spending money left and right. As the rest of the worlds factory's started producing, we started importing, more than exporting, yet congress was still spending money right and left. This trend of the U.S. importing more than exporting has gotten way off balance, and yet congress is still spending money we don't have.

Pointing fingers not is not helping, or changing any one's mind about any thing.
We need to get our government back under control. And this can be accomplished with a few simple, but hard to get passed laws.

To get the banks under control.
Execute Kennedy's Executive Order 11110

To get government spending under control
1. Get rid of withholding tax, and move to a flat sales tax that has a max that can be charged.
2. Make it illegal for congress to spend, or even propose a budget that exceeds government income.

The governments gob is to secure the borders, and take care of infrastructure.
Just exactly how much of our hard earned money does this take? Not as much as you might think. As far as I'm concerned, the rest of the money they spend is just wasting our money.

And by the way..... Why, has no one questioned the Obama about using Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 ? This would have saved us a hole lot of tax money.

Google Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 . Trust me it will piss you off that they have not used it.



All men should know Honor first, above all else!

Honor is not holding your hand out for something you did not earn.
Honor is not forcing your ideas, or belief on others.
Honor is not something given to you by way of job, or title.

Honor is learned, earned, practiced and respected by all decent men and women.

Last edited by tazz007; 05-24-2009 at 11:56 PM.
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