The 2012 US Election

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tinwë
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Post by tinwë »

Holbytla wrote:I've heard it been estimated, that if a person making say $50,000/year added all of the fees, fines and taxes they pay during the course of a year, the tax rate would be near half, and I can believe it.
Even if I go back and take out the itemized deductions and just use the standard deduction, my total only goes up to about 29%. And that is including all of the taxes and fees you mentioned. Granted, I might be underestimating some things, and my situation might be different then most (I don't drive that much, for instance, and North Carolina has very high gas taxes), but I would be surprised if anyone is actually paying as much as 50% of their gross income. Taxable income, yes, but not gross.
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River
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Post by River »

It might also depend on the state, county, and city you live in. Some locations have higher taxes than others. Just to illustrate the point, the CO state sales tax rate is 2.9%. In Boulder, though, the overall sales tax rate is 8.21% because we who live in Boulder County and the city are willing to tax ourselves extra (no, seriously, we vote this in) for things like lots of open space and lovely bike trails.
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Post by Holbytla »

It may be a stretch, I admit, but it depends on where you live and your circumstances. If you own a moderate house in a highly taxed city or town, you can expect a property tax bill of nearly $4000. That is about 12.5% right there. Even if you rent rather than own, you are paying a portion of that tax if not all, and if you rent, you don't get that itemized deduction.

Obviously that is an extreme example, but I would be willing to bet that the average person is responsible for at least 8% of their income to be paid towards a local property tax.

The variables in determining Adjusted Gross Income, are too numerous to really quantify on an average, and I don't have any idea what the average is.
So just for the sake of argument, I'll combine federal tax and state tax and call it 18% for someone earning 50k/year.

At this point we are already halfway there, and we haven't even talked about other local or state taxes, SSI, FICA, sales tax, etc.

So maybe the number is more like 40%.
That leaves someone earning 50k with 30k to live off of.

The health insurance plan I have now, would cost me $13,000k/year if I had to pay for it out of pocket. Since you get to pay that bill before you pay taxes, we'll call it $12k.

I'm now down to $18k to live off of, and I haven't eaten, nor do I have a place to live. God help you if you have to pay alimony or child support.

I don't know, maybe that percentage rate is fair for what we receive, and maybe we should be thankful for our country and our lifestyle.

I just think we would be better served with a smaller, leaner federal government, fewer taxes, more state autonomy and money in the hands of people who are most likely going to spend it and boost the economy.
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Holbytla
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Post by Holbytla »

I am going to go finish digesting dinner, have a beer or two and watch the debate. I'll watch it on C-Span to avoid biased pundits as much as possible.
If I can make it all the way through without changing the channel in disgust, I think I will listen to some post debate reviews.
I may put on a pair of headphones, and listen to Ann Coulter from the right speaker and Bill Maher from the left and see if my head explodes.
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vison
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Post by vison »

It will.
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Post by Holbytla »

Holy cow!
I never thought I would utter these words, but Romney is beating Obama from pillar to post on every single topic, nuance and likability factor.

Not saying I am buying into all of what Romney is preaching, but he is coming across as a much more polished, intelligent, and connected person.

It isn't really even close. Romney is channeling Clinton, and Obama is acting like he has stage fright.
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Frelga
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Post by Frelga »

I'll wait for Jon Stewart to recap it for me. =:)

I watched just about 3 minutes, just long enough to catch Romney vowing to kill off the Big Bird. It already went viral.
Obama: I kill Bin Laden
Romney: I kill Big Bird
Gotta love the Internet. :D
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

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Post by Holbytla »

Frelga wrote:I'll wait for Jon Stewart to recap it for me. =:)

I watched just about 3 minutes, just long enough to catch Romney vowing to kill off the Big Bird. It already went viral.
Obama: I kill Bin Laden
Romney: I kill Big Bird
Gotta love the Internet. :D
And that is precisely why I despise memes and viral interwebs.
Out of context crap that has nothing to do with original meaning.

But hey. Big Bird should have been on the chopping block ages ago so whatever.
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Frelga
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Post by Frelga »

Nevertheless, that's what people will take away from this debate. It's going to be "Russia from my house" all over again.

And it's fitting. I really don't care what either of them says tonight. I would not vote for anyone committed to Republican agenda, regardless of personal merits. This election is not about individuals.


P.S.: the Wiki entry on th Big Bird has already been updated. :rofl:
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
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Lalaith
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Post by Lalaith »

I actually watched some of it. It was torture, as I expected.

I thought they both did a decent job, but Romney was better.
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Holbytla
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Post by Holbytla »

Frelga wrote:Nevertheless, that's what people will take away from this debate. It's going to be "Russia from my house" all over again.

And it's fitting. I really don't care what either of them says tonight. I would not vote for anyone committed to Republican agenda, regardless of personal merits. This election is not about individuals.


P.S.: the Wiki entry on th Big Bird has already been updated. :rofl:
I understand that, and that is what is going on throughout this country, and has been for ages.

That..is essentially the problem with this country.

I don't suggest that anyone change their ideals based on one debate, but to go into an election with a closed mind is why we are where we are. Divisive, biased, partisan, politics is why we are failing.

I'm not naive enough to determine a vote based on what I saw tonight, but Obama is pretty much going to have to turn water into beer to turn around his campaign.

In any case I wouldn't vote for him, because I have seen what he has done rather than because I am a biased dissenter based on party affiliation.
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Post by River »

I didn't watch the debate. Supposedly, contractors are coming tomorrow to blow insulation into the walls and the hubby and I had to move and cover furniture. I'm also bloody sick of this campaign (I swear if I get another robocall in my voicemail I'm going to find their nearest office of the responsible campaign and throw a brick through their window). I do think the debates happen too late to have much influence on campaigns these days. They do keep the media entertained though.

I really really wish there was a law that limited the entire campaign season to the two months (I'm being generous) before the general election. That includes the big "I'm running for office!" announcements and the primaries. It would allow elected officials to spend more time doing the jobs they were elected to do and less time campaigning. It would also be much less wearing on the public as a whole. But I'm sure everyone with the power to implement such a plan is against it because reasons.
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Lalaith
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Post by Lalaith »

That's actually a really great idea, River! I'd vote for that.
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Post by axordil »

You could do that for state-level offices. Not for President, alas. Parliamentary systems can get away with it because there's no direct election for the top spot, and smaller political entities can do it because one can make oneself known in a shorter period of time.

Incumbents would have an even bigger advantage if there were no time for challengers to introduce themselves and present their ideas across the country.
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Post by Holbytla »

It isn't the amount of time that irks me, but the method of delivery.
They could take a year for all I could care, as long as I didn't have to see the crap if I didn't want to. If anyone were interested in hearing their messages, it would be easy enough to seek them out without having to have them thrown in your face on a minute by minute basis.
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Post by River »

Try living in a swing state. :help:

The answer to that, I think, is tightening up the money spigots. If there's less to spend, they can't make as much noise. Overturning Citizens United would be a start. Putting a hard limit on how much can be spent by both campaigns and PACs, or just banning PACs altogether, would be another step, though that's not going to happen either.
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Post by SirDennis »

Holbytla wrote:Holy cow!
Romney is channeling Clinton, and Obama is acting like he has stage fright.
It must have been difficult for Obama to keep his cool when Romney kept saying that he worked with Democrats to find solutions at the state level. From where I sit, the biggest stumbling block to progress for the past four years has been Republican partisanship and/or not wanting to work with the President for the good of the country. Instead they have spent 4 years running interference. They were not elected to topple Obama but that has been their overriding objective... they should be ashamed.

Also, imho the US and to a certain extent Canadian economies are still reeling from 8 years of Bush brand Republicanism -- it's not as if everything he set in motion suddenly stopped when Obama took over -- those chickens are just starting to roost now. Besides, Obama's hardly had enough time to put out all the Bush fires he inherited, let alone make any head way. Finally what Romney is suggesting has been tried for years, going back to Reagan and beyond... it don't work.

What I heard Obama saying is he has a vision for a country whose citizens care about each other and try to lift each other up rather than vote for policies that only benefit themselves personally. As well, it doesn't matter if your taxes are low and you have a job if one complicated illness can put you on the street (not that I believe Romney's promise of lower taxes and lower unemployment).
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Primula Baggins
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Romney won that one, unless you insist on factual accuracy.

I do hope Obama's campaign will treat tonight as a wake-up call. It doesn't do Obama any good to be polite and patrician and bipartisan and restrained when Romney is baldly lying. Call him on it, much more sharply than tonight, or he wins.

Romney was obviously much better prepared, much more on his game, or both.
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Túrin Turambar
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Post by Túrin Turambar »

"Trickle-down government" was a good line. But on the topic of fiascal policy (or as a former Senator from my state once spelled it, fiskal policy) -
axordil wrote:What Frelga said. The US is a low-tax, low-service state in comparison to other industrialized republics, with a tax structure that privileges the means of income utilized by the rich (investments) and punishes the means of income the rest of us subsist on (wages).
It's true that there must be tax increases in either degree or type on wealthy individuals.

But at the same time, while the American state and federal governments may be low taxing and low service-providing, the services that American taxpayers do get are still extremely expensive. Medicare costs more per person than the British NHS. Education expenses per capita (public and private) in the U.S. are twice the OECD average. State and local governments pay a huge amount for law enforcement due to America's large per capita prison population. These things all need to be paid for, even if taxpayers aren't getting value for money.
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Post by Erunáme »

Primula Baggins wrote:Romney won that one, unless you insist on factual accuracy.
Yeah I don't get how you can win a debate when telling lots of lies. :scratch:
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