East Valley resident Linda Turley-Hansen (email@example.com) is a syndicated columnist and former Phoenix veteran TV anchor.
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Since you're so "devastated", perhaps it would be a good time to leave this "new" America. I will not be sorry to see you go...a lot less useless drivel on this website...
Obama won because "you people" could not field anybody that a normal. working person could relate to, IN ANY WAY. We don't want royalty, we want leaders.Nobody's going to elect someone who thinks they will have their own stable of virgins and a golden planet when they die.Also, you poor thing, we live in a Republic, not a democracy. You want neither. You want a world where women and minorities are minimized, if not reviled. The nanny state you speak of is not unlike the cult you practice. It's just in a different form. Brings to mind Jim Jones and his followers. So, whine about unfair treatment all you want. Whine about the bad ole press and how YOU never get a fair deal from them. It doesn't matter. Karl Rove and all the other pacmen fanatics spent 6 billion dollars to buy the election for Mitt and he still lost!Not every body marches in lock-step in response to what the bishop says. Only you chosen few practice that.Get a grip, Linda.
Linda, as usual, your cited "sources" are as constipated in their thinking as you. Try two Cerebral Ex-Lax and call me in the morning.
Thanks for the laugh.
You aren't " stuck " lady ... from what I hear you have plenty of money and a passport.USE THEMYou anti-government -- no taxes ever -- people should emigrate to Somalia.You would love it there.A right wingers heaven on earth.No governmentNo taxesPlenty of unemployed starving people you could hire for next to nothing to be your own private army to protect you from the hoards of " you people " roaming the streets.You obviously are not happy here and you don't like it and we don't like people like you.SO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.
Oh, Linda,I forgot to add that you are a flaming racist bigot, too. Your condescending remarks about, "Hispanic community" and "his suspicious Muslim affinity" just prove that you are insensitive to all real religions and all non-whites.I've also come to the conclusion that you are incapable of independent thought.I'll quit now. It's just too easy to find your weaknesses.
So Linda Turkey, you're trying to denigrate Obama by sighting negative ads, yet are willing to start off by saying: “It’s unthinkable that Obama was re-elected despite his weak foreign policy, sullied even more by something awful in Benghazi, despite “Fast and Furious,” despite the whispered message directed to Russian President Putin, despite his unending spending and abuse of the law-making system, despite his shady associates, and his suspicious Muslim affinity.”
Then you add to the “them and us” equation by false patronization of Hispanics? I've seen lots of able bodied people standing at highway off-ramps with signs asking for hand-outs but the only times I've encountered Hispanic able bodied people asking for anything it was a job. Too bad you can't think of people unlike yourself as American. You are some piece of work!
Finally, you throw in justification by quoting religious snake oil by John Lankett. Well religion is big business too, and unfortunately it's tax free. You and he both have a right to spout your toxic bile, but I have the right to call it garbage!
Linda's still in denial, which is understandable. But on immigration, she notes that Democrats used that issue.
Linda, newsflash: It works both ways.
Brewer owes her election to immigration, as does Arpaio.
And nationally, she and other Hard Right Commentators exploited the issue as well.
I'm waiting for Linda to emulate that human weather vane, Sean Hannity, and abruptly change her view on immigration reform.
It won't take long.
"Religious freedom is our most important freedom": As long as we belong to the RIGHT religion, that is."...those who worship deity....Do they become more like progressives....": Because those that are progressive cannot be Christians."the first and second commandments require they love God and their neighbors": And as long as those neighbors are just like us, they can have the same freedoms as us. As for that time that Jesus spent hanging out with beggars, hookers, and other sorts of sinners, well that was just a slip on His part. And the time he kicked the moneymongers out of the temple and put the Pharisees in their place, well, those were just other slips on His part. Linda, you do realize how amazingly fatuous you sound, right? And you do realize that the Constitution guarantees all Americans (not just the ones that belong to your religion) that Churches and the State are separate entities, right? No matter how much you may wish it were different. Please keep your interpretation of whatever holy text it is you believe in out of politics.
I love how mnjcpa admits he has nothing to contribute "no comment necessary" but posts anyway, complete with insulting slander against others.
Mnjcpa, you have a "disgusting bigoted, hateful film."? Were you sleeping with Linda? LOL
Unintentional irony is hilarious...and so is watching these ignorant bigots expose themselves.
Obama was right. Voting is the best revenge.
And as long as you and your party think half the country are brain-dead moochers it will remain so.
And that's too bad because we need a strong Republican Party to help run this country and as long as it remains the home of cranks, racists, misogynists, religious zealots and Ayn Rand acolytes you might as well use your passport to get "unstuck" from America,
If you don't understand why Obama won just take a look at where the income and benefits of the economy have gone for the last 30 years. You don't even need to read an analysis - just look at the numbers and do the arithmetic.
mnjcpa -- a shower won't help, it goes all the way to the bone.
Precisely why the left turns my stomach sock.
You're spot on Cinn.
I'm glad you think so but it leaves me mystified that you seem to want to vote as if it wasn't true.
I'm registered independent, but much more libertarian in my views cinn. Ron Paul was my first choice.
That explains it. Don't quite understand the attraction of a political philosophy that has no historical precedent. I tend to agree with WF Buckley that libertarians are "conservatives that haven't been mugged by reality". [wink]
As a political ideology it has the virtue of sounding attractive without the bad track record - unlike communism.
You might find this interesting - from a prominent conservative thinker of the 20th century.
Thanks for the article cinn - check out this historian & Mises Academy professor that would disagree. http://www.tomwoods.com/
I'm an independent voter for a reason cinn - I make up my own mind about who's best for the job. With 23 million people out of work and a dependency class growing by the day, it's not hard to see why.
We're on the wrong path cinn, printing larger quantities of pretty paper called dollars. Raising taxes isn't the issue but the depreciated dollar that results from economic policy from both Democrats and Republicans. The present value of unfunded entitlements (primarily social security and medicare) is over $220 TRILLION. At $16 trillion in debt, and climbing like a flood - you can't possibly soak the rich enough to prevent economic collapse.
After this election I'm convinced that people don't really care how bad things are as long as the freebies keep coming.
I'm an independent as well. A former Republican that saw the handwriting on the wall and where the party was heading back in the 80's and I didn't like it.
I think you're analysis is wrong although the seriousness of the debt is real. I don't think the Republicans are fielding serious people to deal with it. Romney was a case in point. And that's a tragedy because we need serious people in the Republican Party to hold the Democratic Party's feet to the fire. People who can provide leadership and clarity and the current iteration of the party has been purging those people from it's ranks and replacing them with radical ideologues.
People don't want freebies. They want a fair shake. They want what our parents had and our grandparents had. An economy that works for them. A return of that "virtuous circle" of free enterprise where companies took care of their people rather than treating them like capital inputs to be sacrificed to shareholder value. They want the massive transfer of wealth from the middle-class to to the top 1% to stop. The whole moocher/job-creator meme is an inside-the-bubble talking point and as long as the Party thinks that way it will continue to lose elections. As much a disappointment as the Democratic Party is - and they are as responsible for this mess as much as Republicans - at least they recognize it's a problem and you can't solve a problem unless you admit you have one.
Dear Sister Turley-Hansen,
The book of scripture from which our common name was derived teaches us that generally the majority of the people will choose correctly. This past 11/6/12 it was a narrow majority, but a majority none the less.
I am astounded to think that many fundamentalists would legislate against abortion. Sure, you and I oppose abortion, working hard to pursuade those who would consider it to choose adoption. But since when do we "take away free agency and choise?" Where God would compell no one and force no one to Heaven, why do we desire that government do so?
Let's see some thinking Mormons run for office. Mitt Romney [version 1.0] had it right. Mitt Romney [version 2.0 and 3.0, versions created to appeal to the extreme right] had it wrong. He lost. Was God on Obama's side? Who of us can really say?
Cinn - we really do agree. Neither party have been good stewards of our money. And i do believe people want a fair shake, but as an independent I can't cast a vote for a big spending liberal. I connect with Ron Paul and Mises Academy's ideas of 'sound money', auditing the fed and putting an end to the manipulation of the dollar to spend money we don't have.
For example, Napolitano left Arizona nearly bankrupt. Look at Brown's California top tax rate now at 13.3%. California taxpayers making $300,000 are now paying 54% of their income in taxes. And that doesn't include sales tax, property tax.....the list is endless. All the while Brown hands out drivers licenses to illegals likely leading them to a voting booth. Is it any wonder that 250,000 businesses left California last year alone? The trouble with the 1% mantra is it casts too wide a net.
I'm with you cinn - both parties need to be rid of the radicals and then maybe we can solve our problems.
Bye Linda, Canada will love you
I agree CA is a basket-case but it's because of poor governance and a prop system that is out of control. The worst outcome of direct democracy. I'd read the Austrian economists with a little more of a critical eye and perhaps entertain the notion that their's was a response weighted by historical events rather than objective economic theory. If you want to follow Ron Paul down the rabbit-hole then you'd better be willing to give up effective monetary policy as a tool for managing the economy. Unfortunately, Ron Paul is one of those radicals.
One percent is one percent. If you're lucky enough to be in that category then you've seen you're marginal rates drop from 92% when I was born to 70% during Kennedy Admin to 39.6% during Clinton and 35% during Bush. The justification for those rates was that they would encourage economic growth but in the last 30 years employment income for the middle and lower classes has fallen or remained stagnant, the debt has risen and the economy's ability to recover from recession has grown weaker - the average time for a return to employment during the 1981 recession had risen to 46 months. There is in fact no empirical data that supports the notion that small changes in the marginal rates on the top 1% effect economic growth. Between that and capital gains rates that have fallen from a high of 39% to the current 15% the top 1% have reaped outsized rewards from this economy. The freebies are going to the top not the bottom.
Just look at the numbers.
Can't let the "big-spending liberal" get by with a free pass. Obama's spending has been a function of the deep hole of the 2008 collapse and the requirement to pay for two wars we fought on a credit card. It wasn't the Democrats and Obama that put us back into a deficit after we were in surplus it was the Bush Admin. Let's begin with facts.
Dale......just a comment about "majority rule".....we don't really have true majority rule at all; what we have is majority rule by those who vote. If we had true majority rule, half of the population eligible to vote plus one would be the true definition. A non-vote should be considered the same as a no vote, IMHO. Proposals in law should require a true majority to be enacted rather than simply a majority of those who bother to vote. Rationale: If I disapprove of a particular proposal, why should I be forced to declare my contempt for it by going out and casting a "NO" vote? Why shouldn't those who propose it be required to convince 50.01% of eligible voters to agree and prove it at the ballot box?
Suppose only 1 person voted "aye" on a ballot proposal, even though many thousands of people voted and even more thousands didn't vote at all. Would that single "aye" vote suffice as a lawful approval? And THAT would be true majority rule?
Maybe the rule should be: Nothing is approved unless a true majority says "aye".
Hi cinn - Ron Paul's embrace of Austrian economics is what I"m interested in, but honestly, it's because neither party is appealing.
On taxes, why don't we just pull a France and institute 75% tax rates on the wealthy? Economics professor Antony Davies uses data to assess whether taxing the US rich could possibly make up the difference to our $1Trillion annual deficits. He shows that the richest 5 percent of Americans already pay a tax rate almost THREE TIMES higher than the average tax rate of the remaining 95 percent.
It's hard to argue that the richest aren't paying a fair share of taxes. Aside from that, for the richest Americans to shoulder the deficit, we would have to raise their effective tax rate to 88 percent. At 88 percent, a family earning $300,000 each year has only $36,000 after taxes - less than the average American earns.
We'll just have to agree to disagree about the big spending liberal comments. Time constraints require that I'll have to take that up with you on another post. Let's just say Obama has been very, very good for my business.
Linda,Your use of tired buzz words continues unabated...words like, "nanny state", and your characterizations of Obama, loaded with the poison darts of much-repeated innuendo and oversimplified argumentative analysis, only serve to reveal the lack of depth of your critical thinking abilities. You cling to the rhetoric of liars, who believe in the theory that lying, if repeated often enough, will become true, in effect. It was a strategy borrowed from evangelists, and other snake oil salesmen.
It is not necessary to mock you, or your resolve to live in the past, and call it ageless truth. You are a caricature of your own device. Just as it was not necessary for the Obama campaign to sling mud at Romney...all they had to do was let Romney talk, and let his own party sling their pig slop at him, and at the electorate.
The Democrats, as eclectic and irrational as they are, needed only to point to their diversity, as the prime election issue...they emerge as the Party who most closely resembles America...not because they are more right, or more focused, or even more powerful. They won because America wants to be represented by the People, not the Priviledged People. Or the Chosen people, for that matter.
Hey Leon, your wife got loose again.
Well, I certainly agree that both parties are pretty unappealing.
We don't have to pull a France. We had those tax rates and higher post-WWII up until the 70's - and we were the economic engine for the world economy. I don't remember the 50's and 60's being gray years of poverty and socialist woe. We also had higher capital gains rates. What's more everyone shared in the benefits of economic growth. All Obama was asking for was a lousy 3.5% increase in the marginal rate on a temporary Bush-era tax cut and you're whole crowd started screaming "class-warfare" and "socialist".
The richest ought to be paying more since they are also getting the lion's share of the wealth generated by all those folks earning $36,000 a year. The continuously massive transfer of wealth from everyone else to the top 1% is the problem. A problem you seem to recognize but seem to want to do nothing about. There were plenty of folks making over $200k a year who voted for Obama in this election so I have a hard time believing those tax rates are so onerous it would impoverish them. It didn't appear to be a problem for our parents and grandparents.
Holy Cow!!! Linda, you sure have the knack to rattle the libs nerves. Thank you so very much for bringing the truth to the forefront on current issues. "Pay your fair share" and "redistribution of wealth" is straight out of the book of Marx handbook. The liberal (progressive) establishment will never recognize this or connect the dots. Socialism, communism, fascism, has never worked for those who believe in capitalism, property rights, and individual sovereignty. It is an aberration of Constitutional principles and dereliction of duty to the constituency to have such a federal, bloated bureaucracy.
You really don't what you're talking about.
Pay your fair share and redistribution of wealth also comes out of the New Testamant, i.e see Jesus on wealth, rich men, camels and needles, Sermon on Mount, etc.
FYI - Capitalism does not equal democracy. And since capitalism wasn't even a coherent economic system in 1776 there isn't a Constitutional principle that supports it.
Ignorance "rattles the libs nerves" not truth. Which is why we weren't surprised on election night.
Cinn - you indicated earlier there wasn't empirical evidence to support that higher taxes don't do damage to the economy and I'm saying that's not true as evidenced by economist (Antony Davies). I have many others - remember I'm in the tax business. Further, Obama offers me zero in the way of plans to create jobs other than those supported by big labor ignoring the fact that we're in a global not just a US economy. Private sector business owners will take a beating yet again with these policies.
Why do I feel so strongly about this? There is NEVER reexamination of government spending initiatives,effectiveness, reduce it if it's not. The cheerleaders for higher taxes ignore this important feature that people like myself protest because tax dollars go down the waste hole of government spending.
My tax rate sits at the bottom of the 1% bracket and my customers too. We're just ordinary Americans that don't have lifelong labor union pensions amounting to millions allowing people to retire in their early 50's. Two IRS auditors I work with are both retiring this year at 54. With a life expectancy of 85, I'm financing that lifelong annuity for 30 years. Talk about transfer of wealth - this is why the 1% mantra casts too wide a net.
In regards to California, I brought it up because it's a microcosm of what happens with liberal policies. From 1952 until 1988 Republicans won every presidential race except 1964. So what changed? That's when the floodgates of illegal immigration started and not another Republican has won since. Freebies do buy votes and you won't convince me otherwise.
I'll devote the rest of my career keeping as much away from the federal government as I legally can for myself and my clients. I'm honored to help entrepreneurs do so. k33j88 is right. `paying your fair share and redistribution of wealth is straight out of Marx' handbook. When the federal government starts running our affairs well then my attitude will be different, but not until then.
cinn - just saw your post to k33j88. That's a broad interpretation of what Jesus said - I'm very familiar with those scriptures matching your belief system and it doesn't mean that it justified taking money like Robin Hood.
I emphatically did not say that higher taxes don't inhibit economic growth. I said that there is no empirical evidence that higher marginal rates on upper incomes inhibit economic growth. And keep in mind that like all economic questions we have to preface our remarks with "it depends". As for job creation, I don't know of any successful business that makes hiring decisions based on marginal tax rates and I've spoken to plenty of business people - that's a market-based decision. Again, to put it in context, we are simply allowing the rates to rise to the same level they were during the Clinton Administration - which was a period of extraordinary economic growth.
I agree that government spending has to be curtailed and government has to be made as efficient as possible. That does not mean slash and burn. It does mean that we, as a society, have to decide what we want to pay for based on a 21st Century assessment of a modern global state and not some bucolic Jeffersonian notion of an agrarian utopia. And given the last 30 years we can't cannibalize the middle-class anymore for the sake of share-holder value without destroying the foundations of our democracy.
Not many folks get cushy pensions anymore and very few sit anywhere near the bottom of the 1% bracket(about 2%). My sister-in-law's 57-year old husband is a stone-mason. He looks like he's 75 and he's not retiring because he can't. Like so many of us who saw our homes and 401ks decimated in the last party the wizards of Wall Street threw. The hedge fund managers and CEO's are back in the black but most everyone else is still dealing with the rubble left over.
Yeah, I would think those scriptures would match ANY Christian's belief system. And I don't think Jesus indicated that we should interpret what he was saying broadly or that he winked when he said it. He wasn't much for giving the rich and powerful easy outs. However he did say, "Render unto Caesar...".
I find it ironic that us "godless" libs seem to be more concerned with issues of social justice than many modern American Christians. Even more ironic that they want the government to enforce intrusive sexual moral codes but economic moral codes are anathema and restrict economic choice and freedom. How do you square that? But then modern Protestants have always equated wealth with virtue, i.e., see Weber's "Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism".
BTW - reviewed the Davies article. Unimpressed. Especially since he begins with a straw-man argument. No one is arguing that taxing upper incomes will "fix" the deficit - a ridiculous thesis. But it will do the least harm to the economy and help pay down the debt.
You and your cohort have to decide what's more important - low tax rates or fixing the debt. Because you can't do it only with entitlement cuts. And we're not going to grow our way out of this. If all you want to do is to painlessly extract more profit from the economy that's a short-sighted path that leads to a national catastrophe down the road.
Cinn - It's nice that you give a nod to curtailing government spending - that's a standard talking point of liberals with one small problem. It never happens. Fixing the debt requires producing a budget that at least your own party will pass and you put a guy back in office that hasn't done it. How can you possibly argue fiscal sanity when you're not even operating from a budget?
The debt was partially caused by Bush. But the entire housing crisis, which caused the crash to being with was generated from the Clinton administration forcing banks to loan money to people that would not otherwise afford a home.
When you work within the tax field for 20 years it tends to trump any article or economist. You see the truth about who pays what and how much. And I can assure you, it's the private sector that takes the hit.
Jesus' teachings instruct me to be charitable and I do so liberally. Heck, if Obama would turn the charitable contribution in to a credit I and my clients would double our contributions. But Obama doesn't want that. He's introduced tax bills four times during his term to REDUCE the charitable contribution. So he wants people to be charitable as long as it meets his idea of charitable.
I do agree what's more important is a fair shake for all. In my world that doesn't mean making a labor union or government worker a multi-millionaire in their 50's and that's exactly what happens with their pensions. I totally agree that the top end needs to pay more. That's why I had a belly laugh over Warren Buffett's moniker of the 1% all the while he's suing the government for $1 billion dollars in back taxes.
What's most important is a balanced approach. But I haven't seen one statement on Obama's part that significant cuts in government spending will occur - except the military. You won't sway me until I see that happen.
cinn - I've already had four business owners call me to tell me they're laying off 15-20% of their workforce due to Obamacare and tax hikes. Between them it's over 700 employees.
ALL due to tax hikes.
I'd amend your comment to include the fact that Republicans have given lip service to curtailing government spending at the same time their snouts are buried in the public trough so both parties are to blame for that. The President has a budget and you can look it up at whitehouse.gov so let's put that away.
There is no polite away to respond to the notion that the entire housing crisis was Clinton's fault. Bush was in office for eight years prior to the crisis. The entire notion that the housing crisis and financial collapse occurred because banks were forced to give loans to po black folks is a lie and it's a particularly offensive lie. Did a lot of Americans get in over their heads? Sure. They were encouraged to by mortgage brokers and real estate brokers and banks and dishonest financial representations. The same people we stripped of pensions and gave 401k accounts to manage. That's really gone well.They certainly weren't responsible for bundling those loans into trashy derivative instruments and bribing bond rating agencies to give them AAA ratings and selling them to anyone with two nickels to rub together. Clinton was responsible for repealing Glass-Steagall at the encouragement of Republicans and for that act he is responsible for much of what occurred.
We shall soon see what kind of cuts are on the table in the next few weeks. But I seem to remember the President offering $10 in cuts for every $1 in revenue and the Republicans walking away - and even if it was really only $5 or $6 in cuts for $1 in revenue that was a stupid thing to do.
My brother is a government worker and he'd be surprised that he's a millionaire. His pension will come to about $1000/mo and he can get an early buyout for $15k. He's really living it up. And I don't know any union guys or government workers who are millionaires despite the fact that guys like you keep telling us we all need at least a million dollars to retire. He doesn't have it and I don't have it and I'm doing much better than he is. I don't know where you get that and if you've got some citation to back it up I'd be happy to take a look at it.
Shame on them.
My last company refused to lay anyone off and took great pride that they never did. They eventually had to lay off a few folks in early 2009. But they provided them with support, offices and job placement services. And they were a small company. They believed their people were their greatest and most valuable resource and treated them that way. They provided terrific health-care and benefits and still do and they and their employees grew the company during the recession.
Already told you cinn - I don't like either party. Never said that the Republicans didn't help it. I just have a real problem of the lockstep blame to Bush. The point is BOTH parties are responsible for this mess. But your solution is to put the clamp on free markets. That method is the same used in Europe. How is that working?
Obama's budget? If you can't get your own party to place one vote for your budget, no, it's not an issue to brush aside. The President's job is to lead the country and to do so without any fiscal measurement is irresponsible. Taxes become seen as wasted funding an deepening hole of government spending.
You're right, the spending cuts are of interest.
Don't have a problem with free markets but I do have a problem with predatory capitalism, CEO pay that has gone from 40 times average employee pay to 900 times, to guys like Al Dunlop and Jack Welsh who treat their employees like sh*t and fire thousands so they can pocket millions in capital gains on the stock price at a 15% tax rate. Maybe you need to stop talking to these captains of industry who are whining about not being able to afford that second home in Vail or the Keys and spend some time talking to the people who work for them.
cinn - There's a giant difference from a Jack Welsh and a small business owner that generally earn $250-$500 a year, but they pour all of their money back in to their business, including employees. You've made my point that the 1% casts too wide a net.
My sister is one of the government retirees at 54. She gets 70% of her salary, for life. Then it becomes a present value calculation which brings her pension worth over $3.5 million. I know several labor union employees that garner the same benefits. Just another example of the sinkhole of government spending.
cinn - regarding your comment about the business owners laying off people. Not shame on them but it's a shame that people have to resort to these actions.
It's because they're at the end of their rope. They've done exactly what you described, dipping in to their own personal savings for four years to keep their employees. Business hasn't improved, and they believe Obama offers them little encouragement that it will improve. Now it's become a matter of jeopardizing their own family's future. As much as they hate it, they have no choice. I don't blame them.
Interesting. Just what did your sister do and for how long? Presumably she wasn't a postal-worker and held a fairly professional position as, I would assume, the union guys also held professional or at least highly skilled positions. If they had held equally skilled positions in the private sector, been given private sector pay and garnered profit-sharing, pensions or 401ks plus whatever extra savings they managed to put away what would you estimate, ceteris paribus, they would have in retirement?
It is a shame but how is that Obama's fault. The economy fell off the cliff before he entered office and the first thing he did was provide a tax break for everyone, including small business making less than $250k and passed a number of tax cuts for small businesses since. It's the entire economy and with a dysfunctional Congress there is only so much the President can do to improve the situation.
Maybe we can play with the cutoff and make the cuts for all business below $500k but I'll bet some CPA with small business clients making over $500k is going to claim poverty and then the CEO making over $1 million/$2 million etc so where does it end? How many businesses do we give tax breaks to and how do we make up that revenue? Are they going to come back and plead poverty again when they have to pay for decent health care for their employees? Or if we start closing loopholes? Who gets taxed to pay for those all these exceptions for businesses?
Let me guess.
The position my sister holds isn't relevant. It's the fact that taxpayers pay for her to retire ridiculously young with a guaranteed benefit. AZWillie that contributes on this column has the same type of pension. All the number requires is a present value calculation.
What business owners see are economic policies that are without vision or real change. All they see are more obstacles put in their way to seek a profit. The Fraser Institute did a study recently on all the countries of the world, measuring investment risk and business opportunity. America was 18th last year and projected to drop like a rock under a second term Obama presidency. There are simply many other countries that are far greater investment opportunities than the US.
The tax code should be scrapped altogether including all of the loopholes. That way EVERYONE pays, not just the targeted few.
That's ridiculous. Of course it's relevant what her position was and what her earnings were during her working life. You can't make a judgement about her pension benefits without it and without comparing private sector outcomes.
So you send me to a Canadian conservative libertarian think-tank to prove a conservative libertarian point? You want me to send you to a liberal economic think-tank to prove the opposite point? C'mon, ehhh?
Businesses don't see economic policies with vision? How about $80 billion to jump-start an alternative energy industry run by a Nobel Prize winning physicist? How about revamping our education system so we have the workers they need? How about putting money back into the middle class so they can buy the things these business are selling? Or do they just want tax breaks, no requirement to provide healthcare for their workers and the ability to offshore their profits?
Do you want to know where the USA ranks in economic mobility(34), healthcare rankings(37), income inequality(.486) higher than most developed countries including Mexico? The Foster report highlighted dysfunctional government for the lack of US competitiveness and we can lay that squarely at the feet of Republicans and the Tea party. Scrap the tax-code. I'm all in - as long as it maintains progressivity.
the specificity of her salary isn't the point, it's the concept that's so wrong. She gets 70% of her salary, a lifelong benefit for 30+ years, guaranteed, and paid by the taxpayer, whose lucky if they retire at all. That's the point. Hypothetically, the increased taxes I'm going to pay are paying for her to retire in her 50's.
I sent you to the Fraser Institute because the US drop in the global market in what is deemed `free` is staggering. It's been sinking for years. It's no secret that there are many other countries far friendlier to do business with than the US. The data is sound if you stop forming an opinion before you read it. Otherwise you're not the independent thinker that you said you were.
We really do want the same thing but get there very differently.
Out of time - constraints.
That's what pension do. My mother-in-law worked for GM for 30 years and got a nice pension and excellent health care benefits. That's when companies actually took care of their employees.
Problem is that I can't trust numbers that are tied to a an ideological viewpoint either from the left or the right. Otherwise it's just self-reinforcing confirmation bias.
We probably do want the same thing although we have different ideas about the problem and the solution. My central point is that business will never recover until the middle-class recovers. Everything else is just politics.
Cincinnatus ... you are wasting your effort talking to mnjcpa about pensions.I've explained to him several times that my pensions come from hourly contributions taken from my paycheck over 31 years that were invested in my unions pension funds.But he continually comes in and claims my pensions are taxpayer funded ( well SS is ) but none of the others are.He claims to admire people who invested money in a business and are successfull but claims it is impossible to invest enough to get pensions like I do -- ignoring the reality that hundreds of thousands of retired union members have been getting them for quite some time.It doesn't fit with his idea of how things ought to be --- he doesn't seem to believe that commoners should be allowed to retire.You would think that as a supposed cpa he would well understand the power of compound interest and how pension funds operate.But no.
Thank you mnjcpa for you no-nonsense approach to economic health and the preservation of our liberties. Arguing with Cinn is like telling a pig not to roll in slop. Where did I put that lipstick?
Dialogue is never a waste of time especially with a country as deeply divided as our's is. Churchill was right, “It is 'better to jaw-jaw than to war-war". And I fear that we are engaged in a bloodless civil war these days.
We all believe what we want to believe until we are dragged kicking and screaming to the truth. As long as so many in our country continue to choose to live in right-wing or left-wing info-tainment bubbles getting their "outrage" fix from Limbaugh, FOX, Hannity, Maddow, Mathews, etc. then it is incumbent upon us to provide some kind of rational opposition and governor on their excesses. We can only do that through dialogue. You never know when something you say will kick in and shift someone's viewpoint or when you will be struck by the sense of a position you previously thought nonsense. That's when we can find common-ground and is the entire purpose of argument. We don't argue with people we agree with,
K33, this whole thread started with a response to one of your posts that seemed to be an endorsement of Hansen's viewpoint. I re-read it and it still looks like an endorsement so I'm a little puzzled by your support. If it was meant to be sarcastic it was very hard to discern.
I retract my last. You weren't being sarcastic. And it was your last I read incorrectly.
You really are clueless and apparently not informed enough to provide a coherent argument since all you appear to do is snipe from the sidelines. How are the cheap-seats?
How can an article totally devoid of any substance evoke so much bile?Linda, why not just move to YFZ in Texas. That's as close to a foreign country you will find here.
AZWillie - I debate you about your pension because I know precisely how it works and what it means. No one could possibly put enough away in their paychecks every week with the stock market performance over the last 20 years to create a benefit that would fund sufficiently to pay for someone to retire in their early 50's!!!!!!!! It's nothing more than a simple finance calculation.
YOU DIDN'T SAVE IT! The customers of your company paid for it. And in the government or education union's case the TAXPAYER
Probably not a wise idea to keep posting off Linda's articles. It gives her a prominence she doesn't deserve and may mislead the EV Tribune into believing she's relevant.
That being said I thought the thread was relatively bile-free. With a couple exceptions. I can argue with anything but stupid then I tend not to be so patient.
Cincinnatus, I agree about the dialoging with the righties --- been doing it since '84.As long as one understands that there is little hope of penetrating the fog that surrounds their conciousness, and doesn't mind futile exercises it can be fun and interesting. :)
Sorry but you're wrong on that one.
I know any number of people who did it and did it in the last 3 years. I nearly did it myself before the crash.
It was a great discussion cinn - thank you.
BTW - check out Ron Paul's speech on his departure from Congress yesterday. I'm saving his speech on my computer - it's that good, and what he's saying is exactly what I believe. In my humble opinion, Ron Paul just nails the topic of what `freedom` and `free markets` mean to both sides in his speech.
mnjcpa ... you are one funny guy.You say I didn't save it --- well, in one sense you are correct.I DONATED IT.The money went into the union pension fund and it STAYS with the union pension fund even after I pass on. That is why and how our pension works.The union pension fund accumulates vast amounts of money because the contributions belong to the pension fund. In return for giving our money to the fund we are guaranteed lifetime payouts.You can fume and spew all you want but it doesn't change the facts that my pensions WERE NOT PAID BY THE TAXPAYER as you have so often claimed. And that YOU CAN INDEED INVEST ENOUGH money to get the payouts I get. I believe the current pension contribution for active workers in my local is over $6 / hour. I'd have to check on that to be sure.Even a cpa should be able to understand the financial power of the pension fund when it accumulates ALL the money paid in plus any excess interest left after paying the pensions of eligible retirees.Our pension fund is different from commercial pension funds in that it is NON PROFIT and we don't have executives with million dollar salaries and golden parachutes.And I had to laugh when I read your wonderful line " YOU DIDN'T SAVE IT! The customers of your company paid for it. And in the government or education union's case the TAXPAYER " and you complain that the customers of the companies I worked for paid for my pension.You seem to have the attitude that it is wrong for the customer to have to pay my pension.Yep, they sure did and the customers of the company you work for are paying for yours too. I bet you don't think that is wrong.
I'll no longer be posting under Linda's articles simply because doesn't deserve the effort or time wasted reading her articles and I don't want to encourage the Trib to keep printing her.
Hope to hear from you on other sites.
AZWillie, As long as we don't become victims of our own "fog" I would agree.
I'd propose we simply boycott Linda's product - it's harmful and misleading. I won't be posting off her articles anymore.
I don't fume and spew AZWillie, I study tax and pension law.
We live in a culture today where people expect someone else to take care of you. All you're doing is illustrating very well I might add, the failure of the public education system to educate people properly on capitalism. People vote themselves a lifestyle that they're unwilling to earn on their own.
I understand your pension much better than you. You got a windfall AZWillie. Your benefits are unrealistic in relationship to what you invested and what you got in return.
A simple, example of capitalism distorted, `modernized` by our public education system.
Cin,Right about people thinking she might have something worthwhile to say.So far, hasn't happened. No reason to think she will ever say anything profound.
You're getting pretty confusing. Appealing to your expertise in tax/pension law doesn't make the argument.
You need to provide some comparative historical and private sector data. Because we need some baseline to make judgements about both your claims.
I know people who've retired very nicely in their mid-50's and it wasn't impossible and they didn't get some windfall. And if they can do it in the private sector with 401ks and profit sharing why is it outrageous if they do it in the public sector?
The math is simple.
I would say if you understand pension and tax laws you DO understand how pensions work.
Let’s go back to the example of my sister, a government union employee. Let’s say her salary was $50,000. She retires at 54 on 70% of her salary = $35,000 per year. Life expectancy - 30 years. Using a present value factor of 6% her pension is worth $2.6 million. And this calculation doesn’t include healthcare that’s paid for which brings her pension worth over $4 million.
The KEY difference between these pensions and a 401(k) or IRA in the private sector is in one word – GUARANTEED. My sister and Willie are set for life with that guarantee. No matter what, the taxpayer or customer is paying for the union worker to retire at an unrealistic age. That's the point. AZWillie’s pension works the same way - it's a defined benefit plan.
Do the math yourself and you'll see I'm right.
So it's not the amount you have a problem with? It's the promise of the government to honor it's pension promises throughout her lifetime?
Sounds like your jealous. I'd sure as hell rather have my portfolio guaranteed by the US government than left to the nimrods and financial geniuses who keep blowing up the financial system. Seeing as how it's nearly impossible for anyone making $50k annually to accumulate the amount of money your industry keeps telling us we need to retire plus the $250K we're told we're going to need in retirement for health care I'd say good for her. At least some of us can retire in some comfort and enjoy it for a few years before we keel over.
I find it troubling that you want me to sympathize with your 1%'ers but feel bad because one of the 99%'ers is doing well. Poor little rich guys?
Jealous? Hardly cinn. I've been an entrepreneur for 30 years.
You're correct - what I have a problem with are guaranteed promises to pay throughout a lifetime. Hypothetically, my taxes are increasing to pay her a lifetime pension that's unrealistic given 1) her job is supposed to be a civil servant not a promise to make her a millionaire and 2) you and I are paying for it.
I don't hold it against her - I'm simply pointing out the design is structurally flawed.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners are the ones who should be rewarded, not a government or labor union employee. But culturally the tone (even from you) is yeah, tax those evil successful people, not realizing they employ over 70% of the workforce. Many of these businesses fit squarely within the wide net of the 1%. They don't have windfall pensions as I've illustrated.
They rely on putting their own money at risk to attempt to get even close to a similar return. Our education system has produced a perverted twist on capitalism that in my view is an upside down world. This pension example is another one of the MANY reasons liberal policies don't work. Solid Democrat states like California, Illinois, Michigan are all broke and I will bet in Obama's second term one of them will require a bailout.
It's real simple cinn. You can't pay people lifelong unrealistic benefits and expect to stay in business long. My opinion is nothing more than understanding the math.
I don't have a problem with entrepreneurs and business people. I'm just not willing to hand over the entire freaking country to them.
And I can pick out any number of red states with Republican governors whose economy is a wreck so that anecdotal CA stuff really isn't relevant.
If your clients are in the top 1% then they're in the top 1% of income earners in this country! Period! I don't feel sorry for the richest cohort of people on the bloody planet because they have to pay more in taxes. That isn't socialist or anti-business that's common-sense.
They are no more virtuous or harder working than 80% of the people I know who makes less than $50k a year, with cra%$py health plans and and no job security and utterly powerless to change their environment or negotiate the terms of their indenture to their employer. And don't talk to me about unions when membership is at all-time rock-bottom historical low.
So I say, good for your sister. I hope she enjoys her retirement.
An entrepreneur does something you, my sister, or AZWillie has never done in their career - INVESTED THEIR OWN MONEY. There's a simple economic reason for that expected return called risk. I and my clients should be able to keep substantially more money we earn because we put it at risk daily.
The anecdotal state information is very instructional to understand a microcosm of what works and what doesn't. Name one solid blue state that is economically healthy. You can't because economically unsound policies I've just described have driven them in to the ground.
I've proven my point well, and all you can say is it doesn't matter and that I should buck-up and be happy because I do so well. That's intellectual cop-out cinn. All you've confirmed for me is that redistribution of wealth is just fine by you. At least tell me I'm right.
It's not my job to make AZWillie or my sister a multi-millionaire and why I will devote the rest of my career helping business owners keep as much tax away from the government as I legally can.
I got on a little bit of a rant there - it was National Smokeout Day yesterday so chalk it up to nicotine psychosis.
You haven't proven anything. You've made a number of statements you believe prove your point without a great deal of evidence. You tend to do that a lot.
I invest my money all time. I run my own retirement portfolio and I've been a self-employed contractor having to deal with taxes and equipment, etc. I know a bit about risk since I deal with it every time I decide what stock to buy or sell.
Vermont would be one.
It's interesting that many red states don't even attempt to provide social safety nets for their citizens so federal monies from blue states end up subsidizing their poor. Perhaps that might help explain why so many red states are doing well and why so many red state politicians talk about cutting government spending but always have thier handout when the federal government ice-cream wagon comes thru town. Maybe we should stop those transfers and see how well red states do?
A rose is a rose is a rose and being in the top 1% is still being in the top 1%. And you're absolutely right. I have no problem whatsoever with redistribution, neither did the Ancient Greeks or the Ancient Romans or the US for much of it's history. The only difference between us is the redistribution you're willing to live with is from the bottom to the top.
And you know quite well being a pension expert what corporations have done in that arena and the royal scre*$ing the average worker has taken since 1980, To the extent that continues I'll be rooting for the worker and not your clients.
cinn - I did too prove my point that government and labor union pensions represent in most cases a multi-million dollar retirement. I gave you the specific criteria and the math. The math doesn't lie.
Now I see the root of our differences. You're all for wealth redistribution, a similar economic policy practiced in Europe. That's working real well isn't it?
Our social safety nets include allowing people that aren't citizens of the US to financially benefit, and the war on poverty has drained trillions from the economy since Johnson put it place and poverty is worse than its ever been. Government programs are never monitored for effectiveness, reduced, eliminated or revised to assure they're working. $7 billion alone went to ILLEGALS last year via the earned income credit. The government sinkhole goes deeper and broader. You could never get away with this kind of fiscal irresponsibility in the private sector.
I think you will see red states cut their ties with the federal government in our lifetime.
There's a terrific article in the Wall Street Journal today by Stephen Moore whose topic is lower tax rates are good for everyone. He's right. If you want millionaires to pay more taxes, you've got to create an economy that creates more millionaires. NOTHING Obama has proposed has ANYTHING to do with growing an economy and has demonstrated how disconnected he is with the private sector.
Time will tell. But I bet I'm right again. Take care cinn - and good for you giving up those smokes!
Linda must be angry that she wont get a tax cut to help cover the cost of her next clownish face lift, since the last one obviously didn't disguise the fact she's a fear mongering racist. I'm still trying to figure out what this day is that has come. Today isn't any different that before the election, other than the fact that Mitt and his racist cult can't strong arm their rhetoric down our throats like they thought they would. By the way Linda, stay far away from me, your strange interest in my lady parts make me uncomfortable.
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