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 The dirty word. 
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Post The dirty word.
The election is over and hopefully emotions are getting checked on both sides. I was curious what the forums had any ideas on possible compromise. There were two areas that I believe could/should be worked on.

Debt Reduction
Increase Revenue via tax reform:
The right has, more or less, stated they were willing to go this route. Economists tend to agree that it will at minimum help. It will benefit businesses since they will know what they are working with each year.

5 year extension of the Bush era tax cuts on lower and middle class:
Both sides agree that this has to be done.

1.5 year extension of Bush era tax breaks on the rich:
This provides ample time to examine how much revenue increases from tax reform. If tax reform fails to truly make a difference we can let these breaks expire. Some may say that we should not separate the tax breaks from each other as it leaves Republicans without leverage. I would argue that if the reform is really doing its job Democrats woul dbe foolish to allow tax breaks to expire before an election.

Entitlement reform:
I will be honest. I have not delved into the options that exist here but they are a must for any chance of compromise.

Military spending cuts:
We spend way to much money on our military. I think it would however be reasonable to push cuts back to 2015 when we are out of Afghanistan.

Welfare/Marijuana
Some on the right want Welfare recipients drug tested. I say do it but legalize marijuana or decriminalize it.
This would
A) Save money keeping some people of welfare roles.
B) Save money by keeping people out of prison on the three strike rule.
c) Allow possible revenue increase with taxation.

Welfare/Planed parenthood
I think it would be wise to reform welfare that future welfare recipients will not receive additional aid for additional children. This should be combined with ensuring funding for planned parenthood.


Thoughts on these ideas? Ideas of your own?

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November 17th, 2012, 11:53 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
First,

My Prediction on How the Fiscal Cliff Will be "Solved":

A) Let the Bush Tax cuts (name at this point is really unfair, but oh well) expire on those making $250K

B) Raise SS/Medicare retirement age to 69

C) Vague future budget targets

Second,

My Thoughts on What Ought to be Done

Revenue doesn't need to be raised by a single $0.01. The government takes in more than enough money to run this society, in fact, revenue should actually be decreased with more across-the-board tax cuts. But, I'm fine with shifting around the balance of who's paying what. I also would say there's a huge distinction between someone making $250k-1M a year, and someone making $10M+. It's not the same ballpark, it's not the same league, it isn't even the same ****ing sport. Most of the people making $250k-1M are small business owners, doctors, or corporate workers nearing the end of their careers. Not your Warren Buffett types, who make $250k in about a day. (Of course, the Democrats need to keep the whole Coke/Pepsi thing going, and so they will insist on taxing the $250-1M group)

I think reworking the tax code is fundamentally overrated, and wouldn't solve our problems. But, that said, much of the tax code bothers me. Why is someone who makes money off the work of others (capital gains) rewarded more richly than someone who actually works every day for a paycheck? Why does the government encourage people to buy homes with the tax code? For that matter, why should anyone have the right to write off any form of interest payments? All this crap should be unwound, but it would have to be done slowly over a period of about 20 years so as to not cause major shifts in the market.

I would try to cut defense spending by about 50%. Non-defense spending, there's a lot of wasteful crap in there (PBS for example), but most of that stuff represents an insignificant amount of total spending. The real problem is SS/Medicare, and more specifically Medicare. The retirement age must be raised, and raised every year (it should be indexed to life expectancy). Both programs really ought to be means tested -- they should function as insurance, rather than a benefit. You shouldn't expect to get them, but if for some reason things go bad for you and you don't have money going into your final years, the government will provide some sustenance so you aren't "on the street." A lot of what Medicare pays for should be cut off. Yeah, yeah, death panels and all that. But, simply put, when you have a typical retiree paying in $150k and taking double that in benefits, it simply isn't sustainable. It isn't emotion, it's just math.


November 18th, 2012, 11:51 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
Blue: the tax code has been written for years, added to, heaped upon, and all of it done by people who have many more years of legal practice than I ever will; especially since I'm not a lawyer....

Would it not be easier, and smarter to do a flat national tax, everyone pays the same.

My thought would be to make a suggested NT of 10%, which is better than the 15% I've heard others say, but isn't too low. Prepare the legal jargon in a SHORT and CONCISE manner, and then put it up to the people for a vote.

Everyone pays the same regardless. This requires the free loaders to contribute, and lightens the burden on "1%" who are the people that employ the rest of us, unless you're a small business owner.

The other key factor here is STOP SPENDING. No more free phones, computers, and so on. These are LUXURIES.

Working in inner city for the last ten years, I am nauseated by the amount of cigarettes, and alcohol, and x boxes with all the games, and boot leg movies and so on. There is NO PERSONAL RESPONSIBLITY being taught or encouraged anymore.

Maya Angelou has a quote, "There are plenty of willing people, some are willing to work, and the rest are willing to let you."

We can't keep giving entitlements to people who don't want to work, or won't stay in school long enough to get qualified to work, let alone illegal aliens who come across the boarder, find they can't make it, and then get on our systems drying up the tap that much more.

I think there's a huge society change the needs to happen but won't.

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November 19th, 2012, 8:53 am
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Post Re: The dirty word.
Why is it that every time someone brings up poverty or welfare people who have little but have an Xbox are seen criminally lol. They likely don't have the 5 televisions, Samsung galaxy phones, Ipads for every kid, 2 luxury crossovers, etc that other people have. An Xbox is a relatively inexpensive thing these days.

Unfortunately for the pull yourself up by your bootstrap folks that's not the way it works. If you were born in the projects...had no father...saw no one working or had limited access to working because you had no transportation and everyone else around you that would be your vision of what life is. It's another person’s version of keeping up with the Jones’s. The high school I went to the question was 'which university will you attend?'. In these areas it's more apt to be 'which grade do I leave high school at?'. That is a cultural problem that is very difficult to solve within and it must be a community and societal effort to solve. If you grew up in those conditions statistics suggest you would grow up to live in the same circumstances as the cliché 'history repeats itself' suggests.

You can denigrate people for being lazy but if you look at other afflictions such as child abuse physical and sexual they are ALL driven by patterns and often repeated. It's the VERY few that can break out of those vicious cycles so I think a more holistic approach needs to be taken rather than just hoping welfare to work programs will motivate people. Poverty begets poverty the same way that a millionaires son is likely to be a millionaire even if he is given no money...he has been shown the pathway and has access to people and resources to maintain his financial experiences.

Not really a solution to the budget problem but a view that is often not taken because it's easier to categorize groups of people and disregard because 'they're lazy'. I think the problem of poverty in America will never be resolved without addressing this as a root of the issue and no matter if you take a left or right approach they will always be a drag on the economy and therefore it's actually a wise investment to start to discover the root issues and work to resolve them in a substantive way.

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November 19th, 2012, 11:43 am
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Post Re: The dirty word.
theAlphaMale wrote:
Why is it that every time someone brings up poverty or welfare people who have little but have an Xbox are seen criminally lol. They likely don't have the 5 televisions, Samsung galaxy phones, Ipads for every kid, 2 luxury crossovers, etc that other people have. An Xbox is a relatively inexpensive thing these days.


I'm not so sure, my wife just coordinated a big "Free" shopping day for Kohls. Basically, poor kids could come and get a free $100 to spend. Each family was paired with a shopper so my wife did this a couple of times because she speaks fluent Spanish. Kohl's game away 1,000 shopping sprees to families that qualified. Her findings, 1st most of the families drove large and fairly new SUV's. Kids wore brand name clothes and instead of buying a number of items each wanted basically one big ticket (expensive item). The parents spent almost the entire time on their smartphone (mostly iPhones) while she was shopping with the kids.

theAlphaMale wrote:
I think the problem of poverty in America will never be resolved without addressing this as a root of the issue and no matter if you take a left or right approach they will always be a drag on the economy and therefore it's actually a wise investment to start to discover the root issues and work to resolve them in a substantive way.


You are onto something here. The entitlement programs, IMO, often work against the disadvantaged over the long run despite good intentions. They create a cycle of dependency that is very hard to break. They need to be temporary solutions, no permanent programs, that help people deal with bad situations - not a lifelong handout passed down from generation to generation.

That said, I don't think it the governments job to get involved at the family level to solve these issues nor do I think they could do so effectively even if they wanted to. As a result, we throw money at the problem. A lot of money. And the money is the enabler at this point the way it is being distributed.

I wouldn't drug test people to get welfare, but I would make them work for it if they are able bodied or go to school/skill training so they can be weened off.

There is a War on poverty, but we have no exit strategy (a critical component of any war)... That is my issue.

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November 19th, 2012, 5:49 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
theAlphaMale wrote:
Why is it that every time someone brings up poverty or welfare people who have little but have an Xbox are seen criminally lol. They likely don't have the 5 televisions, Samsung galaxy phones, Ipads for every kid, 2 luxury crossovers, etc that other people have. An Xbox is a relatively inexpensive thing these days.

Unfortunately for the pull yourself up by your bootstrap folks that's not the way it works. If you were born in the projects...had no father...saw no one working or had limited access to working because you had no transportation and everyone else around you that would be your vision of what life is. It's another person’s version of keeping up with the Jones’s. The high school I went to the question was 'which university will you attend?'. In these areas it's more apt to be 'which grade do I leave high school at?'. That is a cultural problem that is very difficult to solve within and it must be a community and societal effort to solve. If you grew up in those conditions statistics suggest you would grow up to live in the same circumstances as the cliché 'history repeats itself' suggests.

You can denigrate people for being lazy but if you look at other afflictions such as child abuse physical and sexual they are ALL driven by patterns and often repeated. It's the VERY few that can break out of those vicious cycles so I think a more holistic approach needs to be taken rather than just hoping welfare to work programs will motivate people. Poverty begets poverty the same way that a millionaires son is likely to be a millionaire even if he is given no money...he has been shown the pathway and has access to people and resources to maintain his financial experiences.

Not really a solution to the budget problem but a view that is often not taken because it's easier to categorize groups of people and disregard because 'they're lazy'. I think the problem of poverty in America will never be resolved without addressing this as a root of the issue and no matter if you take a left or right approach they will always be a drag on the economy and therefore it's actually a wise investment to start to discover the root issues and work to resolve them in a substantive way.


Alpha, sorry, but I'm from "the projects," and most poor people are incredibly lazy and DO infact have iPhones, "5 TVs (well at least a TV in every room), and drive new(er) SUVs. At my high-school approximately 30% of the kids there went on to college, and it was more the upper ends that lived in the "nice" neighborhoods where I grew up. I'm the only one of my core group of friends that graduated college. Not taking care of what you DO have, treating EVERYTHING as if it is disposable (because after all, you didn't "earn it" or even "work" for it, so it can't be worth anything, right?), and filth and uncleanliness is rampant in the ghetto.

Clean is free... Do you realize that there really isn't any reason that the streets of Detroit need to look like they do? That the citizens, with very little "work" can have something much, much nicer, but they don't. Do you realize how many BRAND NEW PARKS are built in Detroit, and DESTROYED in a matter of months?

If you want to say that its a pattern of their parents not working, and not caring, and their parents being lazy, and their parents doing this or that, fine. But the bottom line is they ARE in fact lazy, they have ZERO patience in getting what they want, they have no idea how to "save" or build wealth, and once they handed something, they destroy it, period. You can literally NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE ENOUGH for them to EVER be "well off," or satisfied. Further, whatever you DO give them you can count on them destroying in a matter of months, and you can pour MILLIONS into that sink-hole known as the ghetto, and never get anywhere.

What to do about it? Who knows... I really don't think the govt. can do anything... It starts at home, and it starts at wanting something different and better, but most people don't want to change, even if they're from the ghetto and their ghetto habits keep them there.


November 19th, 2012, 6:28 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
I have a huge problem when someone uses anecdotal evidence against those in poverty. My undergraduate degree is in education and I have about 7 months of teaching in some of Flint, Michigan's poorest districts. Many kids in poverty have some sort of creature comforts but it is almost always evident if they are struggling. You have to wonder sometimes to how much those creature comforts come from parents taking on debt. It is a hard thing to see your child go without when so many others do not.

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November 19th, 2012, 6:50 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
Stallion wrote:
I have a huge problem when someone uses anecdotal evidence against those in poverty. My undergraduate degree is in education and I have about 7 months of teaching in some of Flint, Michigan's poorest districts. Many kids in poverty have some sort of creature comforts but it is almost always evident if they are struggling. You have to wonder sometimes to how much those creature comforts come from parents taking on debt. It is a hard thing to see your child go without when so many others do not.


Of course you can see that they're struggling. They'll wear the same damn pair of pants for 3 days because they HAVE to have designer jeans.

The parents don't buy for these kids out of guilt, they buy these things for them because they're rockin' designer stuff too.


November 19th, 2012, 7:04 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
As a husband of a teacher with 19+ years experience I can tell you full well that we are seeing the decay of a society.

Work ethics have been degraded, and are not something that's encouraged from a society stand point. It has boiled down to the family unit to teach the young how to work, why they should, and what they can get for it.

I have been thinking about this on and off as I've gone through my day, and y'all are correct in that we can make assumptions and "judgments" sitting on this side of the fence, but let's call a spade a spade.

Should welfare provide creature comforts? OR Should welfare, meet your house payment, utilities, and food needs only. If you want A/C, Televisions, Cable, Computers, Iphones, Alcohol, designer clothes and the like, these should be INCENTIVES TO WORK.

But I already know that bleeding hearts will be climbing all over me about how harsh and hard core I am, and how cruel my stance is. HOWEVER, what third, fourth, fifth world child wouldn't see America's poor as paradise?

IMO, welfare should cover the basic survival needs, anything beyond that is up to the family to provide for itself.

Schools should/could reimpliment training courses in Home Ec./ Budgeting, and at a minimum general labor and mechanical training. One of the things that drove me up a wall with this past election was Obama's bringing up of the mfg. jobs he's created. Where we can go to school get a degree and get a job in manufacturing! Oh happy day, we get to be like China! What if I wanted to be a geologist? Do I now need a special request chit signed in triplicate from Washington, approving my choice of Geology?

I digress: The break down of the American family is the ROOT cause of our societal ails, and I wonder if anyone has ever done a study in the African American community to see how quickly the family unit degraded after LBJ brought in the whole welfare program.....

This isn't predominantly an African American problem, it is an American problem, and we need to deal with it. However, with the programs in place to keep training for dependency upon Uncle Sam, we're not going to win this battle.

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November 19th, 2012, 7:49 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
I've said it many times:
special stores where your g'vment issued "CC" can be used only with your ID.
These stores have the basic food, used clothing that has been donated. I don't care if thats makes
them feel bad or people will know that they are on assistance by going to this special store.
There use to be some shame in needing assistance and people did what they had to to get off of it, and
were thankful it was there when they needed it. Now they expect it and when they don't qualify for more
they bitch that they aren't receiving enough.

Do not give any Cash money to those who don't earn it. I also see it all the time. I
happen to work with a lady who couldn't afford a winter coat for her 6 year old boy,
but she affords cigarettes and cable T.V. She is also only available to be at work for 3.5 hours per day
due to child care difficulties. By difficulties I mean she makes 7.40/hr and doesn't want to pay her neighbor
$3.00/hour to watch her son after school because...I quote " then I'm only making 4.40/hour thats not worth it."
How in the world are people like this ever going to get ahead...They want everyone to feel sorry for them. I did give
this little boy a coat that my son has now outgrown...not to help her, but the little boy. Very sad. oh ya heard her talk
about how much she gets a month in food stamps.. Its more than my family spends a month on food. She uses this for food and sells the rest for $0.50 on the dollar to get more cash that she then blows on Big B $8.00 coffee's and the like.

Also, not that I really want more government but maybe if on Public assistance and kids in a family on public assistance should be mandated birth control. Girls on pill/ or something and if the was a pill for men to them also. Stop the insanity of poor people having kids the rest of us have to support.

I'm all for helping out those in need, but don't want to help those looking for a hand out.

Frok.

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November 19th, 2012, 8:56 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
Unfortunately you guys are missing the point.

Welfare isn't the problem. The problem is social security, medicare and defense spending.

The rest of the spending, while largely wasteful and bloated, isn't really the problem.


November 19th, 2012, 9:00 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
I guess I have a different perspective than some of you guys. I'm a flint public school kid myself so I grew up in the middle of it. From my perspective, it's not about the culture, it's not the video games, it's not the neighborhood, schools, music, or whatever else excuses there are. It's about parenting. Plain and simple.

I went to school with people ho have achieved success in life, and others who fail miserably at counting to 10. The difference was always in the parenting. Kids with 2 attentive parents almost always found their way to a successful self sustaining lifestyle. Those with little to no parenting, almost to the person, found themselves spending at least One night in jail durring adolescence. ( I was the only kid in a 4 square block that didn't in my neighborhood....no joke).

The points made above are true in the sense that in a majority of cases poor parents, breed poor human beings. Money can't fix this problem. THe problem lies in motivation. Motivate couples to stay together and be parents, motivate friends and neighbors to help the single parent kids. Kids need mentors. Without em they look to the wrong neighbors to look up to.

If you truely want to quityerbitchen and be a small part of the solution, please visit www.bbbs.org. I can honestly say that big brothers big sisters is always looking for mentors willing to spend a couple of hours a week with a kid who still has a chance.

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November 19th, 2012, 9:30 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
theAlphaMale wrote:
Why is it that every time someone brings up poverty or welfare people who have little but have an Xbox are seen criminally lol. They likely don't have the 5 televisions, Samsung galaxy phones, Ipads for every kid, 2 luxury crossovers, etc that other people have. An Xbox is a relatively inexpensive thing these days.

Unfortunately for the pull yourself up by your bootstrap folks that's not the way it works. If you were born in the projects...had no father...saw no one working or had limited access to working because you had no transportation and everyone else around you that would be your vision of what life is. It's another person’s version of keeping up with the Jones’s. The high school I went to the question was 'which university will you attend?'. In these areas it's more apt to be 'which grade do I leave high school at?'. That is a cultural problem that is very difficult to solve within and it must be a community and societal effort to solve. If you grew up in those conditions statistics suggest you would grow up to live in the same circumstances as the cliché 'history repeats itself' suggests.

You can denigrate people for being lazy but if you look at other afflictions such as child abuse physical and sexual they are ALL driven by patterns and often repeated. It's the VERY few that can break out of those vicious cycles so I think a more holistic approach needs to be taken rather than just hoping welfare to work programs will motivate people. Poverty begets poverty the same way that a millionaires son is likely to be a millionaire even if he is given no money...he has been shown the pathway and has access to people and resources to maintain his financial experiences.

Not really a solution to the budget problem but a view that is often not taken because it's easier to categorize groups of people and disregard because 'they're lazy'. I think the problem of poverty in America will never be resolved without addressing this as a root of the issue and no matter if you take a left or right approach they will always be a drag on the economy and therefore it's actually a wise investment to start to discover the root issues and work to resolve them in a substantive way.



You make some solid points. There needs to be better public education in those areas - not just for kids but for adults in the community too. Positive ideas need to be reinforced. They need to have access to better foods not just fast foods and whatever they can get at Walgreen s or the local convenience store. I think welfare programs help some but for many it just enables them to be more comfortable with the lifestyle they already have.


November 20th, 2012, 10:15 pm
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Post Re: The dirty word.
regularjoe12 wrote:
It's about parenting. Plain and simple.


This! (and I hope the gov't understands this)...

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November 21st, 2012, 10:08 am
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Post Re: The dirty word.
Pablo wrote:
regularjoe12 wrote:
It's about parenting. Plain and simple.


This! (and I hope the gov't understands this)...

They dont. If they did they would offer more tax incentives to married couples, they'd fix the welfare program so that the average single mom can still get some assistance even if working full time.

I had a friend who struggled financially as a single mom. She was offered a raise and to go from full time at her (then) place of employment durring her sons infancy. She did the math and even though the raise put her at a decent wage, she still would have brought home about 200.00 more by staying at her current wage and working part time. Can you blaim her for staying at part time? More money and more time with her infant?

For the record she was one of the good ones. She didn't waste her money on luxuries like cable, ect. Her car was a cavalier not a luxury suv. And she never sold her food assistance. Whatever she didn't use went back to the state. Her son now is doing great in school and as soon as he entered school she became a full time professional. She doesn't fit the profile of the lowlifes above, and can you really hold it against her for doing what was best for her son?

Her being a good mom is why her son is doing well now, but that doesn't change the fact that the assistance she needed needs to be reformed. There needs to be an incentive towards removing yourself from the assistance programs. The way they are now, they are set up so that you benefit more by not contributing to society, and IMO that's why the slugs of society will always be slugs...it's more beneficial.

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November 21st, 2012, 7:58 pm
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