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View Diary: Surprise! CBO report shows 50% of government tax expenditures go to top 20% of earners (50 comments)

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  •  The fungibility of money says otherwise (0+ / 0-)

    A tax cut of $1000 is economically equivalent to a check from the Treasury for $1000, once all is added up.  If I get that and you don't, I have an extra $1000, and you don't.  What's different is our perception--- it's not a handout, we tell ourselves, we're not dependent, we tell ourselves, "I didn't get any help", and so on.

    Also, a large amount of tax credits and deductions have been paid through withholding, and are disbursed as a refund.  So the sequence you mention is maintained in large part, in any case.

    Or am I missing something?

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Thu May 30, 2013 at 05:49:45 PM PDT

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    •  "Give unto Caesar the thinge that are Caesars." (0+ / 0-)

      This whole rigamarole of using our currency to reward and punish has got to stop. Dollars are a utility, a unit of measure, a tool. Doling them out and withholding them differentially to manipulate the populace, which is supposed to be served, is an abuse of authority. If people don't want to pay taxes, send dollars back as revenue to be counted and sent out again, they should simply not use them. They can, after all, rely on hand shakes and barter and company shares. And, indeed, an increasing number are working around the hassle of Congressional rationing of the currency -- which is over and above the shadow or underground economy that uses cash, but doesn't file reports with the IRS. The latter is now estimated to account for 18% of GDP. Which is not as "bad" as the Greeks' shadow of 40% or Italy's 30%.  The banksters and bean counters who are trying to not just monitor exchange and trade but control its flow are undermining their own intent by prompting this evasion of monitoring.
      Edgar Feige, whose been trying to track the shadow economy for many decades by following things like the use of cash for various kinds of transactions, not only asserts that, contrary to all predictions, more and more cash is in use, but that the numbers suggest a real unemployment rate closer to 5%. While this is good news for people, if it is true, it means much of the economic data collection is getting more and more unreliable and people trying to make adjustments to the economy are doing it blind.
      Our data collection more and more resembles the medieval counting of angels dancing on heads of pins.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Fri May 31, 2013 at 04:33:35 AM PDT

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      •  Hardly a rigamarole (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        socindemsclothing
        This whole rigamarole of using our currency to reward and punish has got to stop.
        Governments find it easier to affect public policy by nudging individuals via allocations or tax breaks than by simple coercion via mandates or regulations.  

        For instance, governments with extremely low birth rates tend to be very generous towards people with children, in the hopes of granting an incentive to have more.  The alternatives are: Force people to have children, or do nothing about the extremely low birth rate.

        The same goes for other examples, in business, home-ownership, etc.  You might find it unnecessarily complicated, but there is a purpose behind it.  

         

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Fri May 31, 2013 at 07:54:32 AM PDT

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        •  The agents of government, to my way of (0+ / 0-)

          thinking, have no business directing the behavior of the individual persons who govern. The agents of government  are to serve and manage our common assets. They are not to be a secular moral force to either bribe or coerce.
          That governments are organized to rule is, of course, the Cons' assumption. Progressives are committed to individuals ruling themselves. Only those who offend, not just be words, but by deeds, are subject to restraint.
          Of course, if one proceeds from the notion that public corporations are organized to coerce, then, in the interest of liberty, the use of force needs to be minimized.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Fri May 31, 2013 at 10:19:27 AM PDT

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