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Author Topic: What is a Democrat/Republican  (Read 4847 times)

SmartyPants

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2011, 01:37:21 PM »

yes, as much as you probably didn't want to hear it, here it is--cut taxes on the wealthy.
Republicans want to cut taxes for everyone--not just the wealthy.  Democrats tend to want to spread the wealth by taxing high income earners and then giving it to people who make less money.  Democrats think people are "entitled" to benefits, while Republicans think people should earn things themselves.

sarlok

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2011, 03:07:15 PM »

Democrats want to spend money on social programs.
Republicans want to spend money on the military.
(Yes, I realize both parties are about more than just the military and/or social programs.)

Both social programs and the military have their benefits, however neither party has figured out that as long as we keep spending more money than we have, we dig ourselves deeper into a hole.  I think the main difference is that each party has its own different sacred cows that cannot be touched that they use to polarize and divide the country.

If you really think that either party wants to enact all the things they use as divisive issues, look at the past ten years.  During that time both parties have had a chance at control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency together.  Did the republicans drastically reduce spending?  No, it increased.  Did the democrats increase taxes like they talk about now?  No, they continued several tax breaks and started new ones.  Think about that for a minute; where are the big changes each party is constantly crowing about when they had the chance?

This country was built by men with differing political opinions, but I think that we have gotten so used to every issue "only" having two sides that we are more worried about defining what drives us apart (democrat/republican) than we are worried about coming together in compromise as our founding fathers did to actually solve this country's problems.
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Deagonx

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2011, 03:30:00 PM »

Is it worth noting that the wealthy get taxed MORE to begin with?


As I understand it, its a percentage of your paycheck. So if I make 100,000 every year and they take 10 percent they take 10,000. If I make 50000 a year they take 5000.
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sarlok

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2011, 03:53:06 PM »

Deagonx, there is a bracketed tax rate currently in the US.  Basically, the more you make, the more your tax percentage is; so it increases not only just the dollar amount but also the rate as you earn more money.  There are currently 6 different tax rate brackets.

At least, that is how it theoretically works.  However, there are also a bunch of deductions and exemptions that you can take, and wealthy people are in a better position to take advantage of some of those (for example, there is a mortgage interest and property tax deduction - you don't get either if you don't own your house).

Also, long term capital gains are taxed at only 15%, which is equivalent to the second-lowest income tax bracket (those making $8376-$34000 when single for 2010).  So, most wealthy people will earn money in the financial markets, which is largely through capital gains.  As long as they hold onto the stocks long enough to make it a long term capital gain, the tax rate is lower than most middle-class tax rates.

So, yes, the wealthy typically would pay more in flat dollar amounts.  Percentage-wise, they would appear to be taxed at a higher percent as well, but that can be dramatically lowered depending on the source of income.
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Deagonx

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2011, 04:16:05 PM »

Could the same not be said about EITC for the poor?
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CraigStern

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2011, 07:21:25 PM »

yes, as much as you probably didn't want to hear it, here it is--cut taxes on the wealthy.
Republicans want to cut taxes for everyone--not just the wealthy.

I thought that too, but I have a hard time reconciling that with this latest move.

Democrats think people are "entitled" to benefits, while Republicans think people should earn things themselves.

That's not entirely accurate. Both parties believe that people should work and earn a living and contribute to society. And there are plenty of benefits that both parties believe people are entitled to. (For instance: police and fire protection, public schools, roads and ambulance services, just to name a few examples.) The only real difference between the parties here is that Democrats include some things that Republicans do not, such as access to medical treatment and a safety net for bad economic times.

Deagonx, there is a bracketed tax rate currently in the US.  Basically, the more you make, the more your tax percentage is; so it increases not only just the dollar amount but also the rate as you earn more money.  There are currently 6 different tax rate brackets.

One thing worth mentioning: people do not belong to tax brackets, income does.
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SmartyPants

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2011, 07:26:36 PM »

Democrats want to spend money on social programs.
Republicans want to spend money on the military.
You are over generalizing.  There are numerous Democrats who want more military spending and many Republicans (including most of the Republican presidential candidates) who have been describe as "isolationist" because they want to shrink the size of the military and want to stop America from acting as the world's police.

If you really think that either party wants to enact all the things they use as divisive issues, look at the past ten years.  During that time both parties have had a chance at control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency together.  Did the republicans drastically reduce spending?  No, it increased.  Did the democrats increase taxes like they talk about now?  No, they continued several tax breaks and started new ones.  Think about that for a minute; where are the big changes each party is constantly crowing about when they had the chance?
You are over simplifying things.  First, Bush only had 51 Republicans in the Senate, so he couldn't do anything drastically partisan like Obama did with his 60 Democrat supermajority in the healthcare debate.  Also, the increased spending has less to do with costly entitlement programs, and more to do with the extra cost of the War on Terror.  The continuation of the Tax Breaks was not Obama's choice, but it was a compromise forced on him by the Republican controlled house.

This country was built by men with differing political opinions, but I think that we have gotten so used to every issue "only" having two sides that we are more worried about defining what drives us apart (democrat/republican) than we are worried about coming together in compromise as our founding fathers did to actually solve this country's problems.
I don't understand how people got the idea that recently Democrats and Republicans aren't compromising.  Yes, there was major partisanship when Obama had control of the House and had a supermajority in the Senate, because he didn't want or have to listen to Republicans, but things are different after Republicans won control of the House and many votes in the Senate.  Lets look at the debt cycling debate for example:  Obama wanted the debt cycling raised without anything in return like all of his predecessors, but Tea Party Republicans said they will only raise the debt cycling if the deficit is decreased.  The Republicans plan was to reduce spending by $4 trillion, while the Democrats plan was to reduce spending by $2 trillion and increase taxes by $2 trillion .  The compromise was to cut the $2 trillion that both sides agreed on. 

However, there are also a bunch of deductions and exemptions that you can take, and wealthy people are in a better position to take advantage of some of those (for example, there is a mortgage interest and property tax deduction - you don't get either if you don't own your house).
I don't know what you are talking about when you imply that only the rich are able to take advantage of the deductions and exemptions.  Because all the numerous deductions and exemptions, nearly half of american households don't pay any income taxes.  Also, the top 10% of earners pay 70% of federal income taxes.  I don't understand how people who don't contribute any tax dollars to the ferderal budget could say that the rich, who lose a huge percetage of thier income to taxes, don't pay thier "fair share".

Also, long term capital gains are taxed at only 15%, which is equivalent to the second-lowest income tax bracket (those making $8376-$34000 when single for 2010).  So, most wealthy people will earn money in the financial markets, which is largely through capital gains.  As long as they hold onto the stocks long enough to make it a long term capital gain, the tax rate is lower than most middle-class tax rates.
You completely disregarded that many middle class households use capital gains to fund their retirement (401k).  There is also major risk to investing in stock market, so increasing taxes on capital gains would decrease investment and therefore hurt the economy.

Deagonx

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2011, 07:27:14 PM »

yes, as much as you probably didn't want to hear it, here it is--cut taxes on the wealthy.
Republicans want to cut taxes for everyone--not just the wealthy.

I thought that too, but I have a hard time reconciling that with this latest move.


I don't think thats very fair to say Republicans want to raise taxes because they are doing it while we are in debt.
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SmartyPants

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2011, 08:03:36 PM »

yes, as much as you probably didn't want to hear it, here it is--cut taxes on the wealthy.
Republicans want to cut taxes for everyone--not just the wealthy.
I thought that too, but I have a hard time reconciling that with this latest move.
Obama claims the payroll tax will help the economy.  Obama only wants to cut the payroll tax for individuals which the money usually goes towards paying off thier debt which doesn't help the economy.  If the payroll tax went towards businesses, then the businesees could use the extra money to expand.  The reason that the payroll taxes need to stay is becuase payroll taxes go towards already underfunded Social Security and Medicare.  You can't remove revenue going towards the most costly parts of the US budget.

Democrats think people are "entitled" to benefits, while Republicans think people should earn things themselves.
That's not entirely accurate. Both parties believe that people should work and earn a living and contribute to society. And there are plenty of benefits that both parties believe people are entitled to. (For instance: police and fire protection, public schools, roads and ambulance services, just to name a few examples.) The only real difference between the parties here is that Democrats include some things that Republicans do not, such as access to medical treatment and a safety net for bad economic times.
I wasn't talking about things individuals can't do themselves such as creating a national defence and building infrastructure.  When I said "entitled", I was referring towards entitlement programs such as unemployment, social security, and obamacare.  For example, Democrats believe the government should pay people who lose thier jobs until they get their job back, while Republicans beleive people should be responisble enough to have a savings to fall back on untill they find a new (possibly lower paying) job.

CraigStern

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2011, 09:42:23 PM »

Obama claims the payroll tax will help the economy.  Obama only wants to cut the payroll tax for individuals which the money usually goes towards paying off thier debt which doesn't help the economy.  If the payroll tax went towards businesses, then the businesees could use the extra money to expand.  The reason that the payroll taxes need to stay is becuase payroll taxes go towards already underfunded Social Security and Medicare.  You can't remove revenue going towards the most costly parts of the US budget.

The Bush-era tax cuts don't target businesses either; but unlike the payroll tax cuts, they also don't target people who need more discretionary income! Aside from which, I simply cannot accept the argument that the country can afford a massive drop in tax revenue in order to keep tax cuts targeted toward the wealthy, but that simultaneously, it somehow cannot survive short-term tax cuts benefiting the working class. To ensure the solvency of Social Security, we should lift the payroll tax cap, not further burden working class families. That's just my opinion, of course.

For example, Democrats believe the government should pay people who lose thier jobs until they get their job back, while Republicans beleive people should be responisble enough to have a savings to fall back on untill they find a new (possibly lower paying) job.

It isn't about being responsible versus being irresponsible. Living is expensive--unless you make a significant wage, building up savings to last you through months (or, potentially, years) of unemployment is virtually impossible. I hope you never have to find this out through personal experience.
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SmartyPants

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2011, 12:35:22 AM »

The Bush-era tax cuts don't target businesses either; but unlike the payroll tax cuts, they also don't target people who need more discretionary income! Aside from which, I simply cannot accept the argument that the country can afford a massive drop in tax revenue in order to keep tax cuts targeted toward the wealthy, but that simultaneously, it somehow cannot survive short-term tax cuts benefiting the working class. To ensure the solvency of Social Security, we should lift the payroll tax cap, not further burden working class families. That's just my opinion, of course.
I may be wrong, but I always thought Social Security was the government's way to force people to save for retirement.  All of the complex realities aside, I thought Social Security makes people put money into the system now through payroll taxes, and then they get the same amount when they retire from the current payers of the payroll taxes.  I thought the payroll cap limits the amount of money one puts in and takes out of the system. If people aren't paying the payroll taxes, then where are our grandparents going to get their money?

It isn't about being responsible versus being irresponsible. Living is expensive--unless you make a significant wage, building up savings to last you through months (or, potentially, years) of unemployment is virtually impossible. I hope you never have to find this out through personal experience.
I never said there shouldn't be unemployment, but I am against Obama continuously extending it.  Maybe I just assume that Americans are irresponisible because 24% of Americans don't have any savings and the recession was caused by people buying houses that they couldn't afford.  My gradfather told me that when he lost his job and couldn't afford his house, he had to move in with his parents and he had to find a job with alot less pay.  Unlike the greatest generation, modern workers are entitled to keep the house they can't afford and they are unwilling to take a lower-paying, less-prestigious job.  But you are right that I don't any experience with unemployment, since I am dependent on my parents and I never had an issue finding a minimum wage job.

CraigStern

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2011, 06:48:54 AM »

That article kind of reiterates what I was saying:

Quote
Respondents under age 30 and those with annual incomes under $30,000 were the most likely to report having no emergency savings whatsoever. Those likeliest to have six months' expenses in an emergency fund were higher-income households and people in their 50s and 60s.

It's hard to save money if you're not making much of it to begin with.

The payroll tax cap puts an upper limit on the amount of income that can be taxed to pay for Social Security. Right now it's capped at approximately $106,000. What this means is that if you make $50,000 a year (which is roughly the median yearly household income in the United States), every penny you earn is subject to payroll tax. However, if you earn $250,000 a year (putting you in roughly the top 2% for median yearly household income), only the first $106,000 you earn is subject to the tax, meaning that you will take home $144,000 free and clear. The more money you make above $106,000, the less you pay as a percentage of your income.

This makes the payroll tax highly regressive: it hits the poor and working classes much harder than it does the wealthy. Simultaneously, it puts an artificial limit on how much revenue the government takes in to fund Social Security. If we're going to do something to shore up funding for Social security, removing the cap makes much more sense than raising taxes on the working class.
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SmartyPants

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Deficit Differences
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2011, 08:23:16 PM »

I thought the deficit debate was a good example of how the parties differ.  Almost everyone in Washington agrees that the deficit should be lowered (the exception would be a few Democrats like Nancy Pelosi who think the deficit is a future generation's problem and a few Democrats like Obama who correctly believe that reducing the deficit won't create jobs, so it would be better to try to reduce it when the economy is better).   The Republicans believe that the issue with the deficit is the government is too big and costly, so the solution to reducing the deficit is cutting government spending.  The Democrats believe that big government is necessary and the deficit is caused by underfunding, so their solution to reducing the deficit is raising taxes.

ArtDrake

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2011, 03:29:06 PM »

If you look at the broad terms "government spending" and "raising taxes," we all know which one people will chose. But rarely do they have perspective enough to understand what, exactly, their tax money and their government's spending is doing for them. To list a few comparisons (which may or may not be valid):

I'd rather pay higher taxes than have my kids go to an underfunded school.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than drive on cruddy roads.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than have minimum wage not be a living wage.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than have an unsafe country.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than have a public defender that didn't care about my case because he wasn't paid well.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than let rapists and murderers not be brought to justice.

Then again, I'm always willing to pay taxes, because I've never been taxed. So take that with a grain of salt. But I'm trying to say that while taxes aren't pleasant, they are the means by which we have the things our government provides for us that we hold so dear.
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SmartyPants

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Re: What is a Democrat/Republican
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2011, 05:33:29 PM »

I'd rather pay higher taxes than have my kids go to an underfunded school.
According to the constitution, the federal government shouldn't even be involved in education.  Funding and running schools should be left to the states.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than drive on cruddy roads.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than have minimum wage not be a living wage.
The Federal government doesn't spend much on infrastructure and welfare, because the bulk of the US budget goes towards inefficient entitlement programs.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than have an unsafe country.
We spend way too much money on Defence.  The US doesn't need to have a navy that is bigger then the rest of the world's navies combined.   We also don't need to have a large military force in every corner of the world.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than have a public defender that didn't care about my case because he wasn't paid well.
I'd rather pay higher taxes than let rapists and murderers not be brought to justice.
Local and State governments are the ones who pay for public defenders and police, so federal tax dollars don't pay for that.

Then again, I'm always willing to pay taxes, because I've never been taxed. So take that with a grain of salt. But I'm trying to say that while taxes aren't pleasant, they are the means by which we have the things our government provides for us that we hold so dear.
That is an example of why young people tend to be liberal.  When people get older, they tend to get more independent and make more money.  When people are young, they don't have any money for the govenment to take and they are dependent on thier parents, so young people are strongly for government programs.  Winston Churchill once said, "If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain."
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