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Author Topic: The US Government Tit and Reform  (Read 1949 times)

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princess of ptTopic starter

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The US Government Tit and Reform
« on: October 20, 2008, 04:48:27 AM »

Welfare; Who should be eligible to suck off the tit, for how long, and what would you to do reform the system?
 
Welfare and the bastardization of the system over the last 60 some years, has always been a topic that has irked the shit out of me. There are many different forms of welfare provided to the "poor", the elderly, the handicapped, and those exiting the prison/judicial system (as well as their families) in an increased risk of recidivism if the needs are not met of all those involved. Benefits are provided on both a federal government level and a federally subsidized state level.

There are all sorts of goodies provided; cash assistance, food stamps, healthcare, transportation, childcare, job assistance/training, and living assistance which actually pays rent for low to no income people, as well as many, many more programs and governmental grants designed to assist the "poor", indigent, disabled, elderly, criminal, and the just plain fucking lazy.
 
Prior to the Great Depression, "welfare" was almost non existent. Reacting to the majority (two thirds) of the able bodied population not being able to secure employment that would sustain them above a poverty level, poverty was no longer considered a personal failing. In response, FDR led a social and economic reform called the "New Deal", enacted by congress in 1935 and thus the Social Security Act was born. After many amendments, in 1946 the government created the Social Security Administration to oversee the many provisions to the act.

As an attempt to reform the system, during the Clinton administration, the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program was instituted. It was a plan designed to aid low/no income families for 5 years, until they could get back on their feet financially, providing the recipients actively sought employment and made an "effort" to better their financial situation. Bush has not done much to change the course of this program in the past eight years beside up the budget for the programs and tweaking a few policies, citing it is a functional act, even thought the poverty level has changed very little in our country.
 
I have no qualms with my tax dollars being used toward the welfare of the elderly and the handicapped individuals, provided they are legitimately handicapped to the point they can not function financially in any capacity. Although, this still irks me a bit, because you have people who exist like Stephen Hawking who is 98% physically incapacitated and uncannily beating the odds with ALS and still has the mental acuity and ambition to challenge the quantum physics of a blackhole and his own theory surrounding such; but thats a whole other discussion for a different thread. What I take serious issue with, is how the system will be reformed and how it has spiraled out of control to this point.
 
When I say "spiraled out of control" I mean this; How can eligibility legitimately be determined and benefits provided for those who are seemingly able bodied? On a regular basis I am exposed to individuals who receive "benefits", yet are in possession of the latest technologies like I-pods and cellular phones that would make Bill Gates drool. They wear colored contact lenses, sport acrylic nails, and wear 300.00 basketball jerseys and sneakers. They have invitro fertilization and birth children into the system for us to support.
 
Who should be determined eligible for benefits such as health insurance? It would seem to me, that if a person can afford to provide a cellular phone for themselves as well as their offspring, receiving health insurance at little to no cost should be illegal no?
 
If a person is unable to pay their rent in full and is provided with housing at a greatly reduced rate or even for FREE, should they be allowed to have internet or cable television services?

How come nobody questions the exorbitant amount of dollars that go missing from their pay and how those dollars are spent, until it is time to elect a new president?
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2008, 01:30:11 PM »

A comparison of how each candidate stands on the issue;

Obama-From what I've found, Obama agrees that welfare needs reform and understands the system is enabling and Obama described his on-going concerns as including a lack of job training, insufficient oversight, and provisions blocking legal immigrants from receiving benefits.

Obama/Biden Plans to address poverty taken from the official Obama site;

Expand Access to Jobs
Help Americans Grab a Hold of and Climb the Job Ladder: Obama and Biden will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs that implement proven methods of helping low-income Americans succeed in the workforce.
 
Create a Green Jobs Corps: Obama and Biden will create a program to directly engage disadvantaged youth in energy efficiency opportunities to strengthen their communities, while also providing them with practical skills in this important high-growth career field.
 
Improve Transportation Access to Jobs
: As president, Obama will work to ensure that low-income Americans have transportation access to jobs. Obama will double funding for the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program to ensure that additional federal public transportation dollars flow to the highest-need communities and that urban planning initiatives take this aspect of transportation policy into account.
 
Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Supports: Obama and Biden will work to ensure that ex-offenders have access to job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and employment opportunities. Obama and Biden will also create a prison-to-work incentive program and reduce barriers to employment.





McCain-On top of all of his habitual flip-flopping, what I can gather is McCain does not think welfare reform is necessary. Instead, he would somehow like to make tax cuts, yet increase funding by throwing money in the form of rebates and increasing governmental grants at the majority of welfare issues??
Unless of course, I'm interpretting the below incorrectly .  :lol:
As a matter of fact, when the "issues" section is clicked on the official McCain site, poverty and welfare aren't even listed.

Lower and middle income Americans need more help
Q: Back when you voted against the tax cuts in Congress, you said you opposed them because they favored the wealthy too much. So which is it? If they were too skewed to the wealthy at first, are they still too skewed to the wealthy?

A: Lower and middle income Americans need more help. Obviously, that's the case today. That's one reason why we're giving them rebates. I support the Reagan tax cuts, and they had spending restraints associated with it. I made it very clear when I ran in 2000 that I had a package of tax cuts which were very important & very impactful, but I also had restraints in spending. And I disagreed when spending got out of control. I disagreed when we had tax cuts without spending restraint. Guess what? Spending got out of control. Republicans lost the 2006 election not over the war in Iraq, over spending. Our base became disenchanted. If we had done what I wanted to do, we would not only have had the spending restraint, but we'd be talking about additional tax cuts today.

Require 40 hours work per week from welfare recipients
McCain supports the following principles regarding healthcare:
Welfare recipients should be required to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
Supports increased funding for child care programs.
Supports housing assistance for low-income families.

Supports block grants, welfare-to-work, state control
McCain supports the following principles regarding welfare issues:
Support housing assistance for welfare recipients
Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to supplement the cost of an apartment
Continue to give states and local governments responsibility for welfare programs through block grants
Maintain current welfare-to-work requirements in order for states to qualify for block grants
Require that unwed teenage mothers live with a parent or guardian (if possible) and attend school to receive benefits
Restore food stamp programs to legal immigrants
Transfer homeless housing programs to states through block grants
Provide continued Medicaid benefits for those welfare recipients who have moved from welfare to work
Provide federal assistance to low-income job applicants for transportation to jobs at some distance.

Use tax code to address unemployment & working conditions
McCain supports the following principles concerning employment:
Provide tax credits for companies that move into areas with high unemployment
Reduce government regulations to encourage investment
Establish empowerment zones in areas with high unemployment
Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time and unpaid leave to attend to their family responsibilities
Provide tax credits for businesses that provide on-site child care.

More housing assistance; tax breaks against homelessness
McCain supports the following principles regarding poverty and homelessness:
Provide tax incentives for companies to hire and train homeless people who want to work.
Increase funds for housing assistance for welfare recipients who need housing to get or keep a job.
Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to supplement the cost of an apartment.
Convert government-funded low-income housing projects into private housing, managed and owned by the residents.

Pro-block grants; pro-welfare-to-work
McCain supports the following principles regarding poverty and welfare:
Continue to give states and local governments responsibility for welfare programs through block grants.
Maintain current welfare-to-work requirements in order for states to qualify for block grants.
Require that unwed teenage mothers live with a parent or guardian (if possible) and attend school to receive benefits.


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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 01:40:44 PM »

Welfare; Who should be eligible to suck off the tit, for how long, and what would you to do reform the system?

i think that if you cant afford to feed your child or children and must live off of my tax money then you should not be allowed to have any more of them. at least while youre living on my tax dollars. whether youre required to take birth control drugs as a prerequisite for picking up your check, mandatory abortions, getting your tubes tied/vasectomy, or just plain sowing it shut/cutting it off, doesnt really matter to me. if you have shown that you are incapable of raising a family on your own there should be no doubt that you wont be capable of raising a larger family. not to mention the fact that if you arent capable of raising a family then what makes me think that any of your offspring will be able to? i dont want to have to not only support you and your dependents but allow you to create even more future welfare recipients. what happens when your babies grow up and have to get pregnant at a young age so that their checks dont stop coming when they hit 18?

as for the elderly, i can understand some of it like medication and possibly housing and other basic necessities for someone that has worked all of their adult life. but at some point there has to be a line drawn. in my opinion that line should be drawn at the point where your body can no longer function without the help of machines. with the possible exception of things like pacemakers and dialysis once a week and such. everyone has to die at some point and the resources used to keep you clinging to a life that wants to end could be far better used in other areas of research like finding a way to cure whatever youve got so someone else never reaches the point where they are being kept alive with machines.

as for the handicapped, well, im sort of split on that. it all comes down to what kind of handicap we're talking about. for physical handicaps like your example of stephen hawking, i would say that a mind is something that can contribute to society in a very real way. i think that people like this who can think and communicate should simply be put to work doing what they can considering their disabilities whatever they may be. in the case of serious mental handicaps im a pretty cold bastard. i look at it from a very "survival of the fittest" standpoint. if they are too useless to do anything to contribute to society then, well, get em out of the gene pool. in the case of other mental handicaps like autism, i dont really know much about it but from what i understand they can be fascinating. if nothing else in order to receive any kind of welfare assistance maybe they should be required to participate in scientific research of some kind.

as far as prisons go, its my opinion that each prison should be self-sufficient. they should grow their own food for one, they should be used for any kind of labor that will contribute to our society or the prison ie; repairing machinery in the prison, maintaining the grounds, highway cleanup, building roads, or any state or federally funded construction projects, and for those who are too incorrigible to live with the other prisoners and do not contribute to society should be used for the entertainment of the masses. ie; bring back the coliseum.

two other things id like to touch on are

Quote
If a person is unable to pay their rent in full and is provided with housing at a greatly reduced rate or even for FREE, should they be allowed to have internet or cable television services?

cable tv? no. but internet? maybe. i think it should really depend on what its being used for. in the case of entertainment or other frivolous things, no. but for things like job searching and education, yes.

and healthcare. i believe everyone who is capable of contributing to society (and do so)  should be afforded healthcare. to a degree. it is a bit difficult to explain how i feel about this so ill use a car example. i think you should have your basic maintanance covered. things like oil changes and tune ups etc whereas if you broadside a tractor trailer or run into a telephone pole you pretty much on your own.
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2008, 02:27:11 PM »

Require 40 hours work per week from welfare recipients
McCain supports the following principles regarding healthcare:
Welfare recipients should be required to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.

There's a lot of meaty stuff in the past two posts which i dont have time to get into right now but off the top of my head this makes no sense. Require people to work 40 hours for welfare? Principles regarding HEALTH CARE?

If they work 40 hrs then they shouldnt be applying for welfare to begin with. Imagine if we open the door to gov benefits for people who are already working 40 hours and suddenly see that they now qualify for a gov handout! What a dolt. Just raise the min wage if 40 hrs worth of wages isnt enough to survive on.

Requiring people to work full time does nothing to address the root problem of why they are on welfare to begin with. You might as well just end the program. There's so many fundamental flaws in that kind of populist thinking that i dont know where to begin to ridicule it.

And what's this about working 40 hrs for government health care? Is he talking about medicaid or what? Does he want to also extend health benefits to people who work 40 hours? What if they are physically fucked up and cant find a job in rural Buttfuck, Alaska? What then, no health benefits? Did McCain use a high school intern to write his policy material for his website? 

:wtf:

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princess of ptTopic starter

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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2008, 03:07:12 PM »

All good stuff here! I lurves it!

i think that if you cant afford to feed your child or children and must live off of my tax money then you should not be allowed to have any more of them. at least while youre living on my tax dollars. whether youre required to take birth control drugs as a prerequisite for picking up your check, mandatory abortions, getting your tubes tied/vasectomy, or just plain sowing it shut/cutting it off, doesnt really matter to me. if you have shown that you are incapable of raising a family on your own there should be no doubt that you wont be capable of raising a larger family. not to mention the fact that if you arent capable of raising a family then what makes me think that any of your offspring will be able to? i dont want to have to not only support you and your dependents but allow you to create even more future welfare recipients. what happens when your babies grow up and have to get pregnant at a young age so that their checks dont stop coming when they hit 18?

I agree with a lot of these sentiments. People who receive welfare, should not be allowed to procreate period. However, what would you do to get the people off of welfare and to contribute to society more efficiently?
The current system in a nutshell is handled on a state by state level and backed federally. It is designed to assist the poor for 5 years, while training them to be productive. This costs a lot of tax dollars obviously and has been shown to not effect the current poverty levels much.
I feel there needs to be more stringent strategies implemented in assessing needs and adequate follow up with people who are allotted benefits and it should be handled strictly on a federal level. This may cost more initially because the government would have to employ more people to investigate and assess each case, but in the long run it would level out to where only the people who absolutely require assistance would be in the system and there would be less tolerance for abuse.
 
as for the elderly, i can understand some of it like medication and possibly housing and other basic necessities for someone that has worked all of their adult life. but at some point there has to be a line drawn. in my opinion that line should be drawn at the point where your body can no longer function without the help of machines. with the possible exception of things like pacemakers and dialysis once a week and such. everyone has to die at some point and the resources used to keep you clinging to a life that wants to end could be far better used in other areas of research like finding a way to cure whatever youve got so someone else never reaches the point where they are being kept alive with machines.

Hmmmm. The elderly who have worked and contributed to medicare and social security tax wise, should get back what they put in plus interest. Current abuses to the system occur when immigrants and other scum who have not worked in the United States are afforded these benefits having never worked or contributed to the system. This needs to be cut off IMHO.

as for the handicapped, well, im sort of split on that. it all comes down to what kind of handicap we're talking about. for physical handicaps like your example of stephen hawking, i would say that a mind is something that can contribute to society in a very real way. i think that people like this who can think and communicate should simply be put to work doing what they can considering their disabilities whatever they may be. in the case of serious mental handicaps im a pretty cold bastard. i look at it from a very "survival of the fittest" standpoint. if they are too useless to do anything to contribute to society then, well, get em out of the gene pool. in the case of other mental handicaps like autism, i dont really know much about it but from what i understand they can be fascinating. if nothing else in order to receive any kind of welfare assistance maybe they should be required to participate in scientific research of some kind.

How do you propose we get rid of the seriously mental handicapped? hehehehe! Should we send them to the showers? Think of it this way; You just finished writing this post and you decide to run out to McDonalds for a 10 piece nugget meal. While you're stopped at a traffic light, an errant 18 wheeled turnip truck t-bones you from out of nowhere. The only injury you suffer from is a traumatic blow to the head. You're left somewhat functional after rehabilitation, except every three minutes you have to be reminded of your name and that we use a toilet for number two. You'll never be able to functionally support yourself and your medical bills and care would be extremely taxing on your family. Should you be extricated from the gene pool?

Autism is whole other discussion, but there are many different levels of functioning and researching the problem further would definitely be prudent in determining the best ways in educating people with intellectual disabilities so they are more functional in society.

as far as prisons go, its my opinion that each prison should be self-sufficient. they should grow their own food for one, they should be used for any kind of labor that will contribute to our society or the prison ie; repairing machinery in the prison, maintaining the grounds, highway cleanup, building roads, or any state or federally funded construction projects, and for those who are too incorrigible to live with the other prisoners and do not contribute to society should be used for the entertainment of the masses. ie; bring back the coliseum.

There are quite a few "privatized" prison systems. However, for the past couple hundred years there has been the 13th amendment and it deals with issues surrounding slave labor and if it should be legal or not  :vc:
I agree that repeat offenders who can not contribute to society need to meet with an untimely demise at our amusement. The welfare issue with people exiting the prison system is based on providing them and their families with benefits to deter them from committing the crimes that landed them in jail to begin with. Kind of like an incentive to behave. It does not seem like a effective plan and I don't even know where to begin with how it should be reformed.

two other things id like to touch on are

cable tv? no. but internet? maybe. i think it should really depend on what its being used for. in the case of entertainment or other frivolous things, no. but for things like job searching and education, yes.

I disagree, if someone can afford to pay a monthly bill for internet and has the money to purchase a computer, yet can't buy groceries or health insurance, that's a problem. They can go to the library.

and healthcare. i believe everyone who is capable of contributing to society (and do so)  should be afforded healthcare. to a degree. it is a bit difficult to explain how i feel about this so ill use a car example. i think you should have your basic maintanance covered. things like oil changes and tune ups etc whereas if you broadside a tractor trailer or run into a telephone pole you pretty much on your own.

Healthcare is another issue that needs reform as well. With the current system my feelings are, if you've worked and contributed to the system and led a somewhat productive existence where you had access to health insurance at some point and somehow became indigent due to illness, there should be a system in place to assist you and your family so medical bills do not adversely effect your livelihood to the point you lose your home and can't feed your children.
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2008, 03:09:54 PM »

There's a lot of meaty stuff in the past two posts which i dont have time to get into right now but off the top of my head this makes no sense. Require people to work 40 hours for welfare? Principles regarding HEALTH CARE?

If they work 40 hrs then they shouldnt be applying for welfare to begin with. Imagine if we open the door to gov benefits for people who are already working 40 hours and suddenly see that they now qualify for a gov handout! What a dolt. Just raise the min wage if 40 hrs worth of wages isnt enough to survive on.

Requiring people to work full time does nothing to address the root problem of why they are on welfare to begin with. You might as well just end the program. There's so many fundamental flaws in that kind of populist thinking that i dont know where to begin to ridicule it.

And what's this about working 40 hrs for government health care? Is he talking about medicaid or what? Does he want to also extend health benefits to people who work 40 hours? What if they are physically fucked up and cant find a job in rural Buttfuck, Alaska? What then, no health benefits? Did McCain use a high school intern to write his policy material for his website? 

:wtf:



AHAHAHAHA! I have no fucking idea what his strategy is, it looks like a new and improved maverick way of dealing with things by going with the flow of what is already in place and then throwing in some other bullshit to perplex the logical thinkers. I'm still trying to figure out where the reform is  :rotf:
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2008, 03:35:26 PM »

Just to further expand on that point about not solving anything and in fact, making the problem worse by saying that they have to work 40 hours which by definition is going to make a whole lot of people working 40 hours now, eligible, compare the two candidates' positions...

Obama's approach is to DEAL WITH THE ROOT CAUSE of why people are on welfare and try to make it easier for them to become productive by recognizing and addressing some of their problems like the lack of transportation to get to a job..

- invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs that implement proven methods of helping low-income Americans succeed in the workforce.

- create a program to directly engage disadvantaged youth in energy efficiency opportunities to strengthen their communities, while also providing them with practical skills in this important high-growth career field.
 
- double funding for the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program to ensure that additional federal public transportation dollars flow to the highest-need communities and that urban planning initiatives take this aspect of transportation policy into account.
 
- ensure that ex-offenders have access to job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and employment opportunities.

These are all well thought-out, measured strategies to dealing with the root causes of a national problem with the goal of ameliorating the problem by getting at the reasons why people go on the dole/welfare to begin with.

What is McCain's earth-shattering, intellectual solution to the problem? Make them work 40 hours! Real brilliant and well thought out!  ::)

He better hope that his wife Cindy doesnt run into someone who just got kicked to the street because he didnt have reliable transportation to hold down a job and no longer qualifies for assistance under the McCain plan while she's wearing one of those ostentatious cluster diamond necklaces in a dimly lit mall parking lot. But it WOULD be poetic justice if it did happen.




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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2008, 04:12:27 PM »



What is McCain's earth-shattering, intellectual solution to the problem? Make them work 40 hours! Real brilliant and well thought out!  ::)


So well thought out that poverty isn't even an important enough issue to list on McCains website!!

I'm surmising that McCain's set up is in some sort of order of priority?? Obama's is neatly alphabetized  :vc:




He better hope that his wife Cindy doesnt run into someone who just got kicked to the street because he didnt have reliable transportation to hold down a job and no longer qualifies for assistance under the McCain plan while she's wearing one of those ostentatious cluster diamond necklaces in a dimly lit mall parking lot. But it WOULD be poetic justice if it did happen.



Not after she shakes em down to see if their holding  :lmao: I came across this in a September article in People Magazine the other day..
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2008, 04:24:03 PM »

An interesting bit from factcheck.org, relative to the topic;


Obama's "Welfare"
October 17, 2008
Updated: October 20, 2008

McCain calls Obama's refundable tax credits "welfare," but calls his own "reform."

Summary
The McCain campaign has taken to denigrating some of Obama's tax proposals as "welfare" rather than tax cuts. And it continues to mislead about who would see a tax increase.

A new McCain-Palin Web ad characterizes Obama's proposed refundable tax credits as "welfare." But McCain himself proposes refundable tax credits, too, as part of his health care plan, and calls them "reform."

The ad also says "hard-working families" and "seniors" would pay higher taxes. But ? need we say this again? ? that would be true only for the affluent few, not for the many.

Analysis

The "welfare" argument appears, among other places, in the McCain-Palin campaign Web ad released Oct. 16.

"Not Truthful?"

The ad says, "Leading papers call Obama's taxes 'welfare' ... 'government handouts'." It says he would "raise taxes on seniors" and  "hard-working families" and "give 'welfare' to those who pay none." It concludes, "Obama's not truthful on taxes."

This ad, however, is short of truthful itself.

As we've said any number of times, what Obama proposes would not raise taxes on any "hard-working families" unless they make more than $250,000 a year, a very small fraction of families. Independent analysis has shown than 95 percent of families with children would see federal income taxes go down.

As for "seniors," most of them would not see any increase in their federal income taxes either. In fact, Obama proposes to reduce federal income taxes to zero for persons 65 and over who make less than $50,000 a year. No other seniors would see an increase in what they pay to the IRS unless their income is $250,000 for a couple, or $200,000 for a single filer. It's true, as the McCain campaign likes to point out, that seniors who make less would be adversely affected by Obama's proposal to close down billions of dollars in tax preferences for corporations, which independent analysts calculate would flow through to owners of stocks and bonds in the form of lower dividend payments and reduced profits from capital gains. But while experts at the Congressional Budget Office and the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center tally this reduced income as "tax increases" for purposes of analyzing how proposed tax policies would affect different groups, it would not show up as an increased tax bill for any individual taxpayer, whatever their age.

"Welfare" or "Reform"?

The "welfare" claim rests on the argument, made in an Oct. 13 editorial in the Wall Street Journal, about refundable tax credits. Obama proposes to grant a number of refundable tax credits to low- and middle-income workers. For example, he would give a $500 tax credit ($1,000 for a couple) for workers, which would phase out for single workers making $75,000 or for couples making $150,000 per year. As the Journal editorial says: "You can receive these checks even if you have no income-tax liability." That's true enough. Whether or not that makes them "welfare" is a matter of interpretation, however. As the Journal editorial also says in its headline, "It depends on what the meaning of 'tax cut' is."

Fair enough. But McCain himself is proposing refundable tax credits of up to $2,500 a year for individuals, or $5,000 for families, as part of his health care plan. McCain doesn't call his credits a "tax cut" but he doesn't call them "welfare" either. He does call it tax "reform," right there on his own Web site:

McCain Web site: John McCain Will Reform The Tax Code . . . [E]very family will receive a direct refundable tax credit - effectively cash - of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance.

McCain makes his tax credit refundable to make it worth just as much to low-income workers as to high-income workers. If it were not refundable, it would be worth $0 to anyone who makes too little to pay any federal income taxes. A non-refundable credit would be worth the full amount only to individuals who owe at least $2,500 in federal income taxes, or couples who owe at least $5,000. Obama makes his tax credits refundable for the same reason ? so they will benefit workers who earn too little to pay federal income tax.

Who's a "Taxpayer"?

Furthermore, the Journal's editorial misstated a key fact in its "welfare" argument. It said that anyone who doesn't pay federal income taxes is not a "taxpayer," which is simply incorrect. Here's what the editorial said:

Wall Street Journal editorial, Oct. 13: [Refundable credits] are an income transfer ? a federal check ? from taxpayers to nontaxpayers. Once upon a time we called this "welfare." ... Mr. Obama's genius is to call it a tax cut.

The fact is, a worker can be a "taxpayer" whether or not they owe any income tax. Just about every worker is subject to federal Social Security and Medicare taxes totaling 7.65 percent on every dollar of earnings, up to $102,000 per year. (For earnings over $102,000, only the 1.45 percent Medicare tax applies.) Low-income workers, and retired and jobless persons as well, also pay federal excise taxes whenever they buy gasoline or pay a telephone bill, for example. Obama and other Democrats argue that for low-income workers, refundable tax credits are not ?welfare? but, in effect, a reduction in their overall federal tax burden, counting payroll taxes.

Congressional Budget Office figures show that even those in the lowest-earning fifth of households pay an effective federal tax rate, on average, of 4.3 percent of their income, despite benefiting from existing federal refundable tax credits to a major degree. This group had average income of $15,900 in 2005, the most recent year for which CBO has done the calculations. But despite receiving "a federal check" through the income tax system that boosted income by an average of 6.5 percent (this shows up as a negative tax rate in the CBO tables), they still paid an average of $600 in federal taxes. That's true even after subtracting the effects of refundable tax credit "welfare."

"Leading Newspapers"

Finally, the McCain ad's reference to "leading newspapers" is worth examining. All three are known for their conservative editorial opinions, and two are under the same ownership. The ad cites two others besides the Wall Street Journal. One is an editorial in the New York Post, which does not make the "welfare" argument directly but refers briefly to the Journal editorial of the previous day. The other is the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which made similar arguments and used similar figures in an editorial that appeared the day after the Journal's ran.

The Journal and the Post both are owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which last year purchased Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Journal. And the Tribune-Review is owned by Richard Mellon Scaife, who has funded many conservative crusades over the years.

As for the star of this ad, Joe Wurzelbacher (a.k.a. Joe the Plumber): He told ABC News, among other news organizations, that he makes much less than $250,000, in which case he'd get a tax cut under Obama's plan. But, he said, he hopes to make that kind of money one day.

For now, Joe would certainly qualify for a tax cut under Obama's plan. According to his hometown newspaper, the Toledo Blade, publicly available divorce court proceedings show that he made $40,000 in 2006. And according to the Tax Policy Center's analysis, 93.5 percent of those making between $40,000 and $50,000 a year would see a tax cut under Obama's plan, averaging $1,124 for the year in 2012.

Correction, Oct. 20: As originally posted, we said that Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes totaling 7.65 percent are paid on earnings up to $102,000 a year. That's true of the 6.2 percent Social Security tax, but the 1.45 percent  Medicare tax also is paid on earnings over that amount. We have added a line noting that.

?by Brooks Jackson


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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2008, 04:50:59 PM »

I dont recall ever seeing a campaign on the national level which is so rife with dishonesty, deception, half-truths, false innuendos, and outright lies.

Even Colin Powell made a point about it Sunday with respect to the Ayers thing and the robocalls but they just keep right on lying about Obama and justifying it by saying things such as Obama is going to raise your taxes and you cant believe when he says he's not because he's a liberal (and an Arab. No?... No?).
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2008, 06:17:21 PM »

On the deception and half-truth front...

Quote
If Barack Obama's a socialist, what's George W. Bush?

Today Republican John McCain dropped the word "socialism" from his attacks on Democrat Barack Obama, telling a crowd in St. Charles, Mo., only that his opponent wants to "spread the wealth around" but resisting the "S" word.

    He believes in redistributing wealth -- not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans. Sen. Obama is more interested in controlling who gets your piece of the pie than in growing the pie.

Ditto the GOP's vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, who told a crowd in Colorado Springs, Colo., that Obama favors tax hikes to redistribute wealth. Sort of a reprise of the argument Obama heard from Joe the Plumber.

    Our opponent's plan is just more big government, and John and I think that that is the problem, not the solution. Instead of taking your hard-earned money and spreading your wealth, we want to spread opportunity so people like you and Joe the Plumber can create new wealth.

Why the change in tone?

First, Obama has been shredding the charge by reminding voters, in an incredulous tone of voice, that he has been endorsed by such Titans of the Establishment as Warren Buffett and Colin Powell.

But the larger problem for the McCain-Palin ticket's attempt to tie Obama to socialism is ... George W. Bush.

In the last four weeks, President Bush has proposed a $700-billion bailout of the financial sector, pressed his Treasury secretary to push equity into the system and met with key world leaders on how to regulate the global markets.

"The fly in the ointment for this socialism argument is the recent bank bailout," Larry Sabato, who heads the University of Virginia's nonpartisan Center for Politics, told CNN. "That's probably the most egregious example of socialism in American history."

As Countdown to Crawford noted in an earlier post, London's Telegraph captured this shift with its headline: "We're All Socialists Now, Comrade."

On Sunday, Fox News' Chris Wallace asked McCain about whether he's as much a socialist as the rest of us. Here's their exchange.

    WALLACE: But, Senator, you voted for the $700-billion bailout that's being used partially to nationalize American banks. Isn't that socialism?

    MCCAIN: That is reacting to a crisis that's due to greed and excess in Washington. And what this administration is doing wrong, and what Paulson is doing wrong, is not going out and buying up home loan mortgages, home mortgages, and giving people new mortgages at the new value of their home so they can stay in their home. They're bailing out the banks. They're bailing out these institutions.

    WALLACE: But you voted for that.

    MCCAIN: Of course. It was a package that had to be enacted because the economy was about to go into the tank.... That's the reason why we have governments, to help those who need help, who can't help themselves, and when time of crisis to step in and do what's necessary to preserve the lives and futures of innocent people. It wasn't Main Street America that caused this. It was Washington and Wall Street.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/presidentbush/2008/10/obama-socialist.html


 :slap:


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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2008, 11:49:33 AM »

All good stuff here! I lurves it!

I agree with a lot of these sentiments. People who receive welfare, should not be allowed to procreate period. However, what would you do to get the people off of welfare and to contribute to society more efficiently?

almost anyone can contribute to society in some way shape or form. what it really boils down to for me is, WHY are they recieving welfare? i have some firsthand experience with this as ive been both homeless and a welfare recipient myself at one point in time. first of all there are many reasons. from being too damn lazy to find a job(me at age 19) to being physically/mentally unable to do a job to being the victim of some "act of god" (i hate that term but you get the idea) like their house was flooded or burned down or whatever.

in the first case, anyone who is physically and mentally capable of doing a job should NOT receive benefits without some kind of effort. if its because they arent trained to do anything then put them to work doing something that doesnt require much training such as assembly line work or picking up trash in the city or sorting mail for the post office or something along those lines. i think there should be a comprehensive testing procedure sort of along the lines of the ASVAB test to determine where a prospective welfare recipient stands as far as skills and intelligence go. then they should be placed working in some field that they can handle. not welfare.

in the case of handicaps, same thing. and if they are completely incompetent, well, like i said im a cold bastard and ill answer your other question here as well. how to get them out of the gene pool. sterilization. under NO circumstances should an incompetent be allowed to breed. im not saying we should just slaughter them but allowing them to breed and produce more incompetents can only hinder society.

as for things like natural disasters, i think this is one of the few things that should qualify someone for welfare. in this case i think everything possible should be done to help someone get back on their feet. of course other things should be taken into account as well. for example, if you build your house on the side of a volcano and then scream "natural disaster" when everything you own get vaporized, FUCKING MOVE and dont be stupid enough to do the same thing again. a good example of this is new orleans. if you built your house in a bowl next to the ocean dont be fucking surprised if your house floods. but thats another discussion.

as for old people, i honestly feel that someone who has contributed to society for as long as a lot of these older folks have they should most assuredly be treated with respect and given all the help they need. but once again, that line needs to be drawn. if its time for you to go, its time to go. night night sleep tight hope you enjoyed the ride.
 
Quote
Think of it this way; You just finished writing this post and you decide to run out to McDonalds for a 10 piece nugget meal. While you're stopped at a traffic light, an errant 18 wheeled turnip truck t-bones you from out of nowhere. The only injury you suffer from is a traumatic blow to the head. You're left somewhat functional after rehabilitation, except every three minutes you have to be reminded of your name and that we use a toilet for number two. You'll never be able to functionally support yourself and your medical bills and care would be extremely taxing on your family. Should you be extricated from the gene pool?

if i am too incompetent to know my own name and cant learn anything? most assuredly. im not aware of anything anyway so what difference does it make? bowl of grits or arsenic laden cheerios? whoopdedoo who gives a shit? im a drain on my people and probably should have died in the wreck anyway.

Quote
There are quite a few "privatized" prison systems. However, for the past couple hundred years there has been the 13th amendment and it deals with issues surrounding slave labor and if it should be legal or not  :vc:

first of all i think the the judicial system needs a complete revamp anyway, i dont think drug usage should be an offense worthy of prison time in and of itself. anything you do under the influence of drugs however should be considered your crime. for example, someone caught drunk driving should get the fucking hammer. as far as im concerned drunk driving should be an immediate attempted murder charge. also another discussion but you get the idea. removing the prisoners that are in jail for drug usage would free up SOOOOO many prison beds its unbelievable. secondly, if youve done something tht is a crime against society, like a serious one like rape or murder or whatever, well, as far as im concerned you should be treated as a slave regardless and your family should IN NO WAY BENEFIT  from your imprisonment.

Quote
I disagree, if someone can afford to pay a monthly bill for internet and has the money to purchase a computer, yet can't buy groceries or health insurance, that's a problem. They can go to the library.

thats a pretty damn good point.

Quote
Healthcare is another issue that needs reform as well. With the current system my feelings are, if you've worked and contributed to the system and led a somewhat productive existence where you had access to health insurance at some point and somehow became indigent due to illness, there should be a system in place to assist you and your family so medical bills do not adversely effect your livelihood to the point you lose your home and can't feed your children.

to a point i agree. but its not the countries fault you got nailed with some horrible disease. example. should someone who was fucking around on their wife with some nutjuggler in the porn theatre and contracts aids or something be eligible for this type of welfare?
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2008, 01:03:36 PM »

There's a lot of meaty stuff in the past two posts which i dont have time to get into right now but off the top of my head this makes no sense. Require people to work 40 hours for welfare? Principles regarding HEALTH CARE?

If they work 40 hrs then they shouldnt be applying for welfare to begin with. Imagine if we open the door to gov benefits for people who are already working 40 hours and suddenly see that they now qualify for a gov handout! What a dolt. Just raise the min wage if 40 hrs worth of wages isnt enough to survive on.

I truly believe people should be able to earn a living wage, but raising the minimum wage isn't the answer.  How about fair and equal pay?  Should a snotty-nose 16 year-old who has never had a job be hired in at the same hourly rate as a single mother?  When minimum wage goes to $7.50/hr you'll see just that and an increase in high school drop outs. 

How about the gov't not helping people that don't make prudent personal life choices like having children out of wedlock, dropping out of school, and having more children when they are already struggling.  Since both the POTUS candidates are so big on faith-based initiatives, send the people who can't and won't help themselves to the nearest church to learn how to act in a school setting, keep their legs closed and keep their jimmy wrapped.
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 03:48:58 PM »

I truly believe people should be able to earn a living wage, but raising the minimum wage isn't the answer.  How about fair and equal pay?  Should a snotty-nose 16 year-old who has never had a job be hired in at the same hourly rate as a single mother?  When minimum wage goes to $7.50/hr you'll see just that and an increase in high school drop outs. 

How about the gov't not helping people that don't make prudent personal life choices like having children out of wedlock, dropping out of school, and having more children when they are already struggling.  Since both the POTUS candidates are so big on faith-based initiatives, send the people who can't and won't help themselves to the nearest church to learn how to act in a school setting, keep their legs closed and keep their jimmy wrapped.

in essence i like the idea. however i dont feel that ANY religious organization should have even the remotest ties to government. separation of church and state imho should be absolute. i dont believe any religious organization should EVER receive govt funding in any way and that they should be taxed just like any and every other business.

on a related (sorta) note i also believe that there should only be a few ways people should receive money from the govt.

understandable welfare
education
healthcare

and MAYBE reasonably paid infrastructure construction ie; roads, govt buildings, defense(though that is a touchy one) etc.
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2008, 06:50:26 PM »

almost anyone can contribute to society in some way shape or form. what it really boils down to for me is, WHY are they recieving welfare? i have some firsthand experience with this as ive been both homeless and a welfare recipient myself at one point in time. first of all there are many reasons. from being too damn lazy to find a job(me at age 19) to being physically/mentally unable to do a job to being the victim of some "act of god" (i hate that term but you get the idea) like their house was flooded or burned down or whatever.

Yeah, "act of god" is sort of rudimentary. I like "act of nature" better.

in the first case, anyone who is physically and mentally capable of doing a job should NOT receive benefits without some kind of effort. if its because they arent trained to do anything then put them to work doing something that doesnt require much training such as assembly line work or picking up trash in the city or sorting mail for the post office or something along those lines. i think there should be a comprehensive testing procedure sort of along the lines of the ASVAB test to determine where a prospective welfare recipient stands as far as skills and intelligence go. then they should be placed working in some field that they can handle. not welfare.

Hmm. I think this problem has a deeper root. I've found in my own experiences working with people closely, intellect has varying degrees and levels of inherency. Meaning some people are born with a greater ability to reason and regardless of what level of education they've received they're naturally "smart". Others have to work harder to attain the same result. Education is key.

With that in mind, if we allowed or even demanded the government to level the "playing field" of education with our tax dollars, essentially opening up or mandating that opportunities for adequate education are made attainable to all children and young adults, regardless of what their family income is, the only thing that would hinder them is ambition and inherent intellect.

Point being, there is always going to be the need for people to do the menial work like McDonalds and collecting grocery carts etc. Those positions should be filled with those of lesser intellect and cognitive ability. But, if the necessities of education are met all on the same level, you would probably see the more ambitious easily excel instead of becoming lazy and complacent with their living situations and using their wit only to manipulate the welfare system into taking care of them. 

in the case of handicaps, same thing. and if they are completely incompetent, well, like i said im a cold bastard and ill answer your other question here as well. how to get them out of the gene pool. sterilization. under NO circumstances should an incompetent be allowed to breed. im not saying we should just slaughter them but allowing them to breed and produce more incompetents can only hinder society

Well, if they're completely incompetent, you would think they wouldn't be able to figure out how to procreate. This is were certain elements of Darwinism comes into play. Like I said above, we still need a certain element to exist that will do our "dirty work" for us. No?

as for things like natural disasters, i think this is one of the few things that should qualify someone for welfare. in this case i think everything possible should be done to help someone get back on their feet. of course other things should be taken into account as well. for example, if you build your house on the side of a volcano and then scream "natural disaster" when everything you own get vaporized, FUCKING MOVE and dont be stupid enough to do the same thing again. a good example of this is new orleans. if you built your house in a bowl next to the ocean dont be fucking surprised if your house floods. but thats another discussion.

I don't know if I totally agree with this. People pay their taxes to a system that is supposed to maintain their infrastructure. In the case of New Orleans, the levies were not adequately maintained, had they been, who knows how the circumstances would have been different. Nobody should be allowed to go hungry in our land of overly abundant resources and excessive waste. So I agree that there should be a system in place to aid someone who has been impacted by disaster. 

as for old people, i honestly feel that someone who has contributed to society for as long as a lot of these older folks have they should most assuredly be treated with respect and given all the help they need. but once again, that line needs to be drawn. if its time for you to go, its time to go. night night sleep tight hope you enjoyed the ride.

The eskimo's used to take their old and decrepit and place them on a piece of iceberg and shove them off into the yonder. Hehehehe! It would be unethical for me to agree with that as much as I see your point.


if i am too incompetent to know my own name and cant learn anything? most assuredly. im not aware of anything anyway so what difference does it make? bowl of grits or arsenic laden cheerios? whoopdedoo who gives a shit? im a drain on my people and probably should have died in the wreck anyway.

There are so many variations of incompetence, it's hard to determine who should get that tainted bowl of grits.

first of all i think the the judicial system needs a complete revamp anyway, i dont think drug usage should be an offense worthy of prison time in and of itself. anything you do under the influence of drugs however should be considered your crime. for example, someone caught drunk driving should get the fucking hammer. as far as im concerned drunk driving should be an immediate attempted murder charge. also another discussion but you get the idea. removing the prisoners that are in jail for drug usage would free up SOOOOO many prison beds its unbelievable. secondly, if youve done something tht is a crime against society, like a serious one like rape or murder or whatever, well, as far as im concerned you should be treated as a slave regardless and your family should IN NO WAY BENEFIT  from your imprisonment.

Again I have conflicting views. Because alcohol and tobacco are legal, other drugs should be as well, if only for their tax benefits. However, I think you'll find the reasoning some of those other drugs are illegal are because of their detrimental impact on the body, their addictive qualities, and their impact on society as a whole. My personal beliefs are that all drugs and alcohol should be abolished. There really is not any source of health benefit from them and they are basically a means to generate taxes and distract people who use them from dealing with their actual problems.

I agree that the judicial punishment is excessive in some parts of the country and that dealing with drug offenders needs to be rethought. I actually have an affinity for the brutal corporal punishments incurred by the middle east to an extent. If there is concrete evidence that a person deviantly plotted to harm another or to take another persons life or many peoples life, they should not be afforded the privilege to exist in society and should be killed in a public arena as an example of how not to behave.


to a point i agree. but its not the countries fault you got nailed with some horrible disease. example. should someone who was fucking around on their wife with some nutjuggler in the porn theatre and contracts aids or something be eligible for this type of welfare?

If they payed their dues into the system? Yes.
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2008, 07:15:42 PM »

I truly believe people should be able to earn a living wage, but raising the minimum wage isn't the answer.  How about fair and equal pay?  Should a snotty-nose 16 year-old who has never had a job be hired in at the same hourly rate as a single mother?  When minimum wage goes to $7.50/hr you'll see just that and an increase in high school drop outs. 

How about the gov't not helping people that don't make prudent personal life choices like having children out of wedlock, dropping out of school, and having more children when they are already struggling.  Since both the POTUS candidates are so big on faith-based initiatives, send the people who can't and won't help themselves to the nearest church to learn how to act in a school setting, keep their legs closed and keep their jimmy wrapped.

I think again, it boils down to our system of education and societal expectations. If we focused more on educating children on how to succeed verses making them sit subject to 6 hours daily of some bureaucratic ideation of what should be taught publicly; we would undoubtedly see a difference in morals and judgment. 

I don't agree what so ever with religious institutions to begin with and I definitely don't agree with churches intervening on a welfare level. They already have a stronghold on the unintelligent and all they do is encourage and enable idiocy. People are taught NOT to keep their legs closed in some religions. It's FUBAR how religion is meant to guide people morally, yet it hypocritically manipulates and skews common sense almost to an incomprehensible level, by basing it's teachings on fear of the unknown instead of encouraging people to think outside of the box, to always ask why, and to challenge authority and the illogical.
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Re: The US Government Tit and Reform
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2008, 07:46:28 PM »

Mmmm, grits!

I truly believe people should be able to earn a living wage, but raising the minimum wage isn't the answer.  How about fair and equal pay?  Should a snotty-nose 16 year-old who has never had a job be hired in at the same hourly rate as a single mother?  When minimum wage goes to $7.50/hr you'll see just that and an increase in high school drop outs. 

Yeah, I dont support a rise in the min wage either but for different reasons. Namely because it has to come from somewhere and it necessarily leads to loss of jobs, inflation and more impulse to move factories to Mexico for business that cant afford to give a raise to 5,000 workers at the same time.

So many times laws passed by Congress and presidential policies to address a problem wind up creating 2 or 3 new ones because they are so myopic and narrow minded in their objective that they fully fail to look at the big picture and consider the ramifications. Case in point, Iraq. Every time some narrow minded micro mental mite starts to talk about Iraq in 2008 and how we need to win the war, I want to take a shovel to their head and see if it will beat some sense into them.



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