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Town Square

Is the Tea Party Heartless?

Original post made by Cindy Cross, Parkside, on Apr 18, 2011

Is the Tea Party Heartless? By Cindy Cross
Unless you are lucky enough to expect a refund for 2010; today marks the deadline to file your 2010 tax return.
With the recent heated battle between the Democrats and Republicans about the 2010 budget, I'm sure many of you are wondering where your tax dollars are being spent. Here's a list of where our tax dollars go. I did not continue the list of items accounting for less than 1%.
Social Security……………………………………………. 20.4%
Defense……………………………………………………… 20.2
Medicare……………………………………………………. 13.1
Low income assistance………………………………. 9.3
Medicaid……………………………………………………. 7.9
Net interest Payments……………………………….. 6.6
Unemployment………………………………………….. 4.7
Veteran Affairs…………………………………………… 3.1
Education…………………………………………………… 2.9
Law enforcement Homeland Security………… 2.4
Transportation…………………………………………… 2.3
Health………………………………………………………… 2.0
Management of Federal Employees
And Buildings…………………………………. 1.4
Environmental Protection and
Natural Resources………………………….. 1.0

As many Americans filed their tax returns, many Tea Party members held rallies across the nation. Speaking to a group of approximately 300 Tea Partyers in Chicago today, Jonathan Hoenig of capitalistpig.com and a Fox News contributor said, "Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are in favor of actual reform, real reform," of government, he said. "Today's government…it's huge, yet none of this reform talk is actually about shrinking government. It's only about getting government to spend a little more cost effectively."
And this is a bad thing?
I strongly agree with Mr. Hoenig that government spending can use more monitoring to prevent outlandish waste, but he scoffs at the premise. Mr. Hoenig, from what I understand from his statement, is saying that the U.S. government should slash certain programs and leave certain segments of society out in the wind—"shrinking government."
Let's face it—if you look at the list of the government's spending, if we decrease spending where the Tea Partyers want, we would be cutting money to those who most need it—the young (by cutting education) and the old (by cutting social security and Medicare).
Is the Tea Party heartless, or am I missing something?

Comments

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Posted by lillieh
a resident of Parkside
on Apr 18, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Cutting money from education is a very dangerous thing...Our Nation's future lies in the hands of our youth and their education. Seems asthough taking money away from our youth's education is like taking candy from a baby. Not only do they want to money from our Nation's youth, but from elderly people. Evil, yes!
Q: If they did cut money from education and the elderly, where would the money go to?


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Posted by Individual choice
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I guess it goes to the question of need vs deed. Just because somebody NEEDS, does that mean they are entitled ? ? Dropouts and druggies may need, but are they entitled ? I think I must have missed that part of the constitution. I thouight each has the right to choose their 'direction' of choices they make. Just because single Octomom made the PERSONAL CHOICE to add 8 children to her existing, starving 6 children, why would that be a taxpayer problem. I suppose it could be an individual church's choice, IF they wanted., but in no way should a taxpayer be held hostage to another individual's choice. Evil? hardly, that's individual choice.
Example: for those who choose to come here, like my grandparents, also are choosing to 'assimilate', otherwise they may as well stay where they are.
To the elderly, math should be taught in school, 70 follows 60...that should not come as a surprise.
The ONLY real duty of a national government is to defend the people of the nation from enemies of the nation. Anything else is by degrees and with agreement of the majority.
lilleh, your question "where would money cut from education and elderly GO ???". It doesn't GO,...it stays with the worker who EARNED it. Parents pay for those they choose to breed....that's their choice, not mine. I responsibly chose to have one child. Americans fled serfdom several centuries ago.


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Posted by radical
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 7:59 am

Cindy - go ahead and tell me how the country is going to address giant deficits in the budget priorities you outlined above? 14.6 trillion in debt? S&P ready to trigger a lowering of the credit rating of entire nation if we don't do something about this?
please do not start off with tax the rich, because i have a really good answer for you on that one...

the tea party (I cannot account for Mr. Hoenig's specific view) want smaller government because of these problems and because of the waste, fraud and abuse that is taking place. Medicare, everyone agrees, is unsustainable in it's current form. But let the GOP make a proposal to fix things long term, and we get your brand of demagogery. That's right I said it. what you are attempting there is nothing less
you are in good company, the president is doing the same thing today.


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Posted by Individual choice
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 8:41 am

Do not lump me with teapartiers, since I am not a teapartier! Many of them are hypocrites and do eagerly meddle in personal lives.! However, Regardless of what kind of spending....all spending must be reined in. IF US credit slips further, we are in serious trouble. RIght now 42 cents of every dollar our government spends is BORROWED, mostly from China...so we have to stop throwing dollars around to groups like the teacher's unions, which have nothing to do with classroom learning. Each and every dollar must be carefully considered...no matter HOW great the need.! China may cut our borrowing and we'll be forced to shut down everything. That makes us very vunerable. STOP pushing the limits...need is not an issue. Face reality. Each squirrel needs to gather his own nuts
I'm sick of paying for free rides to everybody except my family. Not everybody is entitled, if they haven't put out their share of work and sacrifice.


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Posted by a democrat, but...
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

IC -- you make very good points. As a lifelong Democrat (who does NOT vote party line) I am leaning more and more toward throwing in the towel on all parties.
Our family works very hard -- 5 jobs between 2 of us -- to not only maintain our lives but save for our future. We have already saved more than enough to live past 100 (50 years away). We know that social seucrity will not be there for us, as we will be means tested even if there is money in the fund. We are tired of paying SS and COLAs to people who chose not to save for their own future. We are tired of seeing tax credits go to people with multiple kids who then expect Federal and state grants and funding for college. If you breed them then YOU fund them, stop asking me for more money.
The teachers union is a means for their management to make huge salaries while they protect the worst via tenure. The time has come to pay for quality, not just because the union holds us hostage.
Take some personal responsibility. If you choose to drive expensive cars, take lavish vacations and buy homes that you cannot afford then if you wind up in the gutter in your later years do NOT look to me to bail you out.


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Posted by John
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:15 am

radical,

To make this work, we will need entitlement reform and tax increases on most people (not just high earners). No one seems to want to talk about it, but it is the only way.


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Posted by two cents
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:29 am

I agree with reining in spending, and I think that most (working) people do for the sake of our children. These silly budget stopgaps are meaningless and are doing more harm than good in the long run as we are not tackling the root causes for our problems.

We are so close to a tipping point and the time has come to stop. There was also a report out yesterday that said that nearly half the US households pay no income tax and that the super-rich are also paying less than ever before. We're getting close to the point where taxpayers are outnumbered and people can just keep voting to make us pay more and more and we're getting very little benefit from it as services decline and decline.

From my perspective (not tea party, but certainly agree on the fiscal side, not the social side): We need to reduce spending and it's going to take changes in the big four spending areas: Medicare, Medicaid, SS, and Defense. Also, more households overall need to pay some taxes and the 250K+ need to pay more taxes.


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Posted by Jogn
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:35 am

"us pay more and more and we're getting very little benefit from it as services decline and decline."

The trouble is that most of us get Social Security and Medicare and won't vote to cut them.


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Posted by radical
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:38 am

john - your message is heard and understood -- if I see some movement in the area of entitlement reform, then I would be more likely to have some agreement in the area of tax increases. it is not only not happening, it is getting worse.

take an example i just learned about. why can't every county in CA implement what San Diego did with project 100?

In June of 1997 San Diego County implemented a program aimed at preventing welfare fraud called Project 100. Under Project 100, San Diego District Attorney fraud investigators conduct a field call to the residence of every applicant to verify eligibility. San Diego County reports that 25 percent of applicants who receive a home visit are denied benefits based on findings made during the home visit. Most importantly, San Diego uses home visits to identify individuals who are ineligible for aid before cash payments or other benefits are issued.

Web Link

and tested and upheld in the courts, yes ACLU sued

Web Link

a group is pursuing this at the state level, but for SOME reason the state legislature doesn't favor it?
Web Link


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Posted by a democrat, but...
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

Two cents nails it -- my fiscal side is leaning waaaaay far into the teaparty realm, just cannot abide the social crap.
I agree with what needs to be cut. Although we hear a great deal about the super rich paying little or no tax (and it's wrong, they need to pay lots more) I feel that a major problem is the entitlement credits for many others. It is possible in this country to earn far above the poverty line, own a home and not only pay zero tax but get back refundable credits. The child tax credit is refundable. That means that if a family paid in, for example, $3,000 in withholding tax they could get a refund of $5,000. Those are just made up numbers but that's how a refundable credit works. For having more kids, the rest of us subsidize their lifestyle. Where is the personal responsibility in that?
As to the super rich, as long as the republicans control congress we are up a creek on that one.


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Posted by two cents
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

"The trouble is that most of us get Social Security and Medicare and won't vote to cut them."

Then you need to think harder about the future for your children and grandchildren. Nothing either party are thinking about cutting will affect you if you are already getting it.

I have been paying into the system for my whole life (like you did), but I will get nothing like you are getting - I know that for sure. If we cut a little now, it means there will some future for the rest of us. I've got to the point where I don't care if I'm affected (and no, I can't afford it), but I damn well do care for the sake of my kids. If we wait, the cuts will have to be more dramatic.


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Posted by crosse
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Tea Party Members must think they will never get old and need benefits or crazier yet, they must not see the need to educate their children. How about the government reigns in spending on these senseless wars they have us in.


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Posted by two cents
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm

"How about the government reigns in spending on these senseless wars they have us in."

Totally agree.

"Tea Party Members must think they will never get old and need benefits or crazier yet, they must nust not see the need to educate their children"

The money to educate our children is going to prison guards.

The money is already running out for my family is old unless we make some serious changes now. I understand I need to save for my retirement and have. Unfortunately lots of my money is being spent (or not making any bank interest at all anymore) on people who were not careful with their money, bought houses, cars and more that they could not afford.

The big areas of overspending are Medicare, Medicaid, SS and defence. It's possible to have a safety net and also expect the citizens of a country to take personal responsibility for the decisions that they make. It is also possible to have a safety net that you would like to get out of rather than being very content to stay in it.


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Posted by Individual choice
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Thank you two cents and democrat,but..............you both were clear on your pro fiscal conservative position, and that it's the social issues that keep you out of the tea party. That's me too. I'm as fiscally conservative as anybody I know, but I don't like the hypocrisy of meddling, snooping, and preaching about personal private lives....using a religion excuse, which has NO place in our government. So we're with our founders on those positions and the lines that should not be crossed. Beware of stealth political 'cross-dressers'. We need to have individiuals clarify....for personal meddling or not...can't have it both ways....for intrusive government or not? that is the question.


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Posted by lillieh
a resident of Parkside
on Apr 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Yes, not every lowlife is entitled to our well earned money...but despite who's "job" it should be to take care of their children, if a teen mom, junkie, etc. decides to have children and doesn't take care of the children it's not the child's fault. We either put our tax dollars towards supporting them or...?


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Posted by Interesting
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 19, 2011 at 8:57 pm

My father, who is very conservative, had an argument about medicare and unemployment. In his mind, unemployment is a waste and should be stopped once a person uses up the money they pay into the system. When I asked him what he felt the government should do with him, once he uses up the social security and medicare that he paid into, and he couldn't answer the question.

Sure, people who abuse the system should not be given anymore money. But in all honesty, how many people are truly abusing the system? How many corporation are not paying their fair share of taxes? Why do we have troops still in Germany and Japan, places that are considered our allies?

If the Tea Party members want to cut spending, they need to cut it across the board and not focus on social programs. Increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans, cut defense spending, and cut social programs. It's got to go all the way around.


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Posted by yusef
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm

"so we have to stop throwing dollars around to groups like the teacher's unions, which have nothing to do with classroom learning."

So how do teachers have nothing to do with classroom learning?


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Posted by slumdog
a resident of Amador Estates
on Apr 19, 2011 at 9:51 pm

The ONLY real duty of a national government is to defend the people of the nation from enemies of the nation.


And who decided that? you?

I thought that government should provide a usable infrastructure. My mom thought that the goverment should protect the health and well being of all citizens(meaning health care for all). My friend thought the government was just there to protect his financial interests.

Apparently you have your own opinion and others have their own.


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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm

"The ONLY real duty of a national government is to defend the people of the nation from enemies of the nation."

Not according to the constitution. The government is also supposed to do things like run the federal court system. Maybe you want to amend the constitution to privatize the supreme court? That would be interesting. Then there's the whole thing about writing laws. What is congress for again? I think you need to think this one through.


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Posted by John Douglas
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:27 am

All you need to do is find out who funds the tea party, and that will tell you all you need to know. The billionaire Koch brothers are predatory capitalist, which means government is simply an impediment to unfettered business interests. The tea party is a pathetic front being manipulated by hardened souls who think that it is their birthright to be rich, very rich! The tea party represents the classical American story of fools who vote against their interests, all the while making a lot of nonsensical noise along the way.


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Posted by What?
a resident of Amador Estates
on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:28 am

Government is never the answer. Look at what organizations are the most inept, wasteful, and corrupt. Look at the criminal records of our politicians and wonder how they got elected. Look at social security and question why it is not just called a tax. Government decides if you "qualify" to get it.

We need to not give another dime to any other countries. They hate us and that is a fact. Thev trillions we give away to be hated would feed our homeless, compensate our veterans, create real plans to address crime, and take care of our own.

Address imigration. The price of reedom is not free. This is not a country where you can just come and have others fight to maintain that freedom. Make all immigrants join the military to demonstrate their commitment. Learn the common language so they can integrate and have a chance at a decent life.

You can't be a moderate anymore. The leftist loudmouths believe in free speech as long as they are talking. The right wing nut jobs want to judge everyone's lives and dictate what is right even though they have more issues than anyone. Liberals want us to die rather than hurt a blade of grass. Right Wingers want us to do as they want rather than as they do. The media promotes crime, sensationlism and idiolizes celebrity. Celebrities who commit crimes, lack education, and want to tell everyone how to live their lives.

Government will never fix our problems.


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Posted by Ive had enough
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 20, 2011 at 8:32 am

education could be cut in half if we took it out of the hands of government. if privite schools can give a better education for half the cost why cant the goverment.
As far as social programs I know people who live better than I do who are government assistant they drive cars that I cant afford.

And why in the heck to government keep getting raises when most people have taken pay cuts had to spend there 401k s and savings just to make ends meet.

Why do we keep letting government controll things when all they do is mess it up. All they do is breed lazzyness I say take away all non esentials.
I am getting tired of working verry hard to support poeple who are to lazzy to get a job and carrer governmen buracrats who have no Idea what a real job is all they care about is what is in it for them and there decisions are based on what is good for there carrier and not based on what is good for the country


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Posted by Paintbrush
a resident of Happy Valley
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:36 am

Yes Cindy, you are missing something. Congress never cuts their income, retirement, medical (not Obamacare), or per diems. Congress does nothing to retain business or industry on our soil. To find the heartless ones, look to the 520 plus self serving, lobbist serving folks making decisions for you in Congress.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:41 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Cindy,

What's your data source for the list of percentages about where the tax money is being spent? Is the 20% for SS a percentage of the total budget or just the part that's isn't funded by FICA?


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Posted by Kemo Sabe
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

To learn why the education system is a mess, just watch the movie:

Waiting for Superman!

It is very revealing and troubling. You'll see that there is nothing us lowly mortals can do about this mess. I hope superman shows up some day to fix education and anything else he can get his hands on - Obama is certainly not the guy!


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Posted by D W
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:23 am

Why don't we just put the Koch Brothers in a ring and see if they can get fired by public opinion by way of a certain Hairpiece? Then we can find out how similar Koch & Trump are or if they are polar opposites, or if the truth is somewhere in between, which is where the issues of government and private sector always are, as we can't trust either as each have too many bad apples. Can't trust the TPM either, which should stand for Toilet Paper Movement, because they want to dump their hateful views on those who need the most help and support, even through simple reference and not government.
Infrastructure, negotiation, agreement, compromise, teamwork - these excellent words shouldn't be treated like diseases by the TPM or any other zealot from either side of the aisle. It's going to take working together and finding middle ground to resolve the structural deficit. And we can do it in a most inspiring way if we try and we have the right open-minded and open-hearted people.


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Posted by New resident
a resident of Ponderosa
on Apr 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Why are so many people spending so much effort trying to find savings in the table crumbs (in education, libraries, Planned Parenthood) when the giant steaks (millionaires, hedge-fund billionaires, corporations) are sitting right there on the table?!?!

Everyone's being hood-winked by the right to focus ONLY on cost savings and not on raising revenue. Why spend all this effort to bleed the last $100M out of some program for the lower or middle-class, when that could be covered by one wall street hedge fund guy paying 10% more taxes on his individual 2010 income alone?!?!?

Why are SO many people in this country who earn well less than $100k per year, SO concerned about not raising taxes on people who earn millions each year, let alone hundreds of millions of billions -- and yes, there are people in this country making billions each and every year. And due to the wonderful "qualified dividend" loophole, they pay an effective rate under 15% on that. How does that make you feel?

So think about that Tea Party folks and others... when you vote republican against your own self-interest, you are saying that you would rather live with strict austerity than gosh-forbid have the billionaire give up a small dent in their massive fortunes.

Oh, and don't for one minute buy the bulls%#%t argument that taxing the super, super rich will have ANY impact on jobs/hiring... Larry Ellison has $40B in his personal bank account... if he has $41B will he spend more? Hire more? NO! He spends all he wants already, and it's his COMPANY that hires people, not his personal assets.

The real money in this country is not found by taxing people in the $50k, $100k, even $250k income ranges. It's taxing these folks who pull in over $1M to $1B+ per year, every year to add to their massive fortunes. And they won't change a darn behavior if they pull in $100M in 2011 versus $110M, or $800M instead of $875M.

If all of the relatively poorer folks in this country would STOP trying so hard to protect these billionaires' assets and realize how much their getting screwed, then perhaps the country could get back to greatness.

If all our problems are occurring while taxes on the wealthiest are at multi-generational lows, then why would them going even lower (or staying the same) have any positive impact?!?!?! WAKE UP! Trickle-down is BS and everyone in leadership knows it. But those of you who keep voting to save yourself $100 in taxes while the Koch brothers save $1 Billion keep getting F%$@* in the behind. Think about that when the library has to shut down or the roads go un-repaired. The Koch brothers are living high on the hog and thank you for your stupidity - they literally bank on it.

GET YOUR SELF INTEREST TOGETHER! Stop voting for these Republicans who are taking 100% advantage of you. Support raising taxes on people making over $1M per year -- it won't hurt you OR them and it will help this country get back to where it should/could be.

Fixing financial problems doesn't just happen on the cost side... just go raise more money!


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Posted by Tea Party Proud
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Don't touch my Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, or defense. That is just a small part of the budget anyway. Cut everything else. Most of the money goes to NPR and foreign aid and head start.


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Posted by New resident
a resident of Ponderosa
on Apr 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Or as that one congressperson said - to Planned Parenthood which spends 90% of its time and money on abortions.

(Of course it was quickly pointed out that the actual number is only 3%, to which the representative said his statement "wasn't intended to be factually correct." Isn't that called lying to congress then? Shouldn't he be kicked out? Or is that just how it is now - nobody cares about that pesky "truth" thing...)


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Posted by Not solving the problem
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I agree that tax rates for people like me should revert to the 90's tax rates, but don't fool yourselves that this is going to solve our fiscal crisis.

Here is an interesting video that shows that even if you took all the assets and income of the richest Americans, you wouldn't even solve the problem for one year. We are in deep ...

Web Link


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Posted by radical
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Thank you for posting something with some facts about the situation, instead of a rant based almost entirely on lies like what we have above from new res.

Kind of compares to an actual budget bill, as produced and voted on by house republicans
Web Link

vs a speech with a vague outline, followed by a campaign-style tour from our Democrat President demonizing the GOP
Web Link

accompanied by lies (as documented by politifact) in Democratic TV commercials
Web Link

Web Link
Ruling: Pants on Fire!


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Posted by New resident
a resident of Ponderosa
on Apr 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm

What lies?

That rich people could easily pay more and know that it wouldn't affect them or affect their spending or so-called "hiring" patterns one bit? (and in fact many are supporting raising the taxes on the wealthiest). I can provide links if you need.

The fact that there are millions of people in this country with incomes lower than $50k/year that say they vote republican to "keep their taxes lower" even though the $200/year they might save is more than eaten by the city raising local fees now that they have no money for road repair or a police department (San Carlos anyone?) or schools, while each one the top 400 in this country get to keep hundreds of millions a year each because the same 2% tax break benefits them several magnitudes more than it does the rest of us? Is that a good deal for the masses? That's not voting against one's better interests?

The fact that hedge fund managers who are pulling in upwards of $1 billion or more a year in income (seriously!) are taking the money as "dividends" in such a way as to pay only the 15% tax rate on them instead of 35% like everyone else would have to? That's well documented.

The fact that "trickle down economics" has been completely debunked by everyone including the originator of it? That's well documented too, but it doesn't stop those who continue to push for apparently now 25% tax rates on the richest "because it will spur the economy." Plain and simple BULLSH$T... it's well known and proven by non-partisan economists and others.

That's pretty much everything I posted. So what lies exactly did I introduce??? I'd appreciate the opportunity to respond to something specific, not just a blanket Joe Wilson-style "you lie" comment.

Thanks.


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Posted by Cindy Cross
a resident of Parkside
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Cindy Cross is a registered user.

Stacey- follow this to link to get the data that was referenced for this blog. Web Link


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Posted by radical
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm

OK, $100M = one wall street hedge fund guy paying 10% more taxes on his individual 2010 income - bad math, unless you are saying to raise his effective tax rate 10%, which would require marginal tax rates at a much higher rate

"qualified dividend" loophole - man, many average taxpayer pay dividend rates for much of their annual income, like many retirees on SS and pension & IRA distributions

Larry Ellison has $40B in his personal bank account - net worth does not equal your bank balance

taxes on the wealthiest are at multi-generational lows - false when you are discussing tax RATES, which you do in your entire rant


In addition, you present several false premises to enhance your arguments:

you would rather live with strict austerity than gosh-forbid have the billionaire give up a small dent in their massive fortunes. --simply not a realistic premise

Of Larry Ellison: it's his COMPANY that hires people, not his personal assets. --Another false premisethese millionaires and billionaires that get compensated in company stock do have their personal assets IN the company they built or work for, so they have far more skin in the game of USA, Inc. than the average taxpayer ever will.


According to the Tax Foundation: In 2008, this top 0.1 percent filed 140,000 tax returns, reporting nearly 10 percent of all adjusted gross income earned and paying approximately 18.5 percent of the nation's federal individual income taxes. The average income for a tax return in the top 0.1 percent was $6.0 million in 2008, while the average amount of income tax paid was $1.36 million.
And the top-earning 5 percent of taxpayers (AGI over $159,619), however, still paid far more than the other 95 percent combined.

So that shows it is not an issue of people with incomes over $1B, people with AGI's of $160k are your Pleasanton neighbors.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

radical,

The bottom line is that tax rates for everyone are too low, rich and poor. If we are going to fix the deficit, we'll have to raise taxes on everyone and cut spedning.


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Posted by Phil
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:29 pm

How much could be cut by stepping on the special interest and pet programs touted by politicians. The pork and etc. You don't hear that much about these expensive "entitlement" programs because they generate votes. Politions on both sides of the isle push these programs because they generate votes and campain revenue.

Illegal immigration is not dealt with by the government because the Republicans want cheap labor and the Democrats want cheap votes. And the cost to the state is enormous. More guards on the border is a government flim-flam to make it look like they are trying to do something when they really don't want to do anything. It's like trying to put a band-aid on a hemorage. And they know it.


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Posted by Answers1
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:29 am

It is heartless to tax and spend, then borrow and spend, then print and spend, in order to support America's bloated welfare state. This destroys the currency and credit rating and annihilates our standard of living.


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Posted by Answers2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:35 am

Have you tax lovers ever heard of the Laffer Curve? Increased taxes cause reduced revenues because there is less incentive to earn income that would be taxed away.


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Posted by Answers3
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:58 am

Oh, no, we're not overtaxed! Let's take a look:

Federal Income Tax: 35%
State Income Tax: 10%
Property Tax: 10%
Sales Tax: 10%
Social Security Tax: 4.2%
Medicare Tax: 1.45%
FUTA Tax: 0.8%
Workman's Compensation Tax: 1%
TOTAL: 72.45%

Then there are additional taxes on gasoline, liquor, cigarettes, gambling, automobiles, utilities, dividends, capital gains and investments. There are also city, county and district taxes, and a tax on death. Now there is an idiotic parcel tax proposal, too. Taxes can easily exceed 100% of income if you have managed to accumulate even a small amount of wealth and property.

So let's just increase taxes some more and then spend it on useless liberal social programs that don't work anyway, just to make us feel good. What idiots.


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Posted by Math anyone?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:36 am

You just added up those tax rates to conclude we pay 72% tax?? You pay 10% property tax? you pay 10% sales tax on your entire earnings?

And don't forget you don't pay 35% top rate on all income. You pay the lower rates on lesser amounts until you get to the top "marginal" rate. So even if you make 500k income, you don't pay 35% on all of it.


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Posted by Actual number
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:46 am

I've done this calculation for my family and we pay 37% of our total income for taxes (fed, state, fica, medicare, property, other special taxes). This does not include sales tax. 37 cents of every dollar we earn goes to the government.

How much is enough? I am already at the point where there is a disincentive to work.

We have a broken tax system. 50% of the people don't pay any taxes. The super wealthy pay 17%. Which leaves the majority of the burden on upper middle-class people. And we are saying NO MORE! We already pay enough as it is.


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Posted by Math anyone?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

So paying 37% of your income in taxes is a "disincentive to work?" You don't need the other 63%? What would happen if you stopped working?


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Posted by Individual choice
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 8:50 am

Yes John and slumdog, the founders were very clear on defending our shores and our people was the main duty of the national government....To do, and only do, what individuals alone cannot do for themselves.
Individuals are suppose to feed what they breed. Churches and volunteer groups offer charity to worthy individuals in their community who have bad things happen TO them (as opposed to callously breeding a 4th, when they can't feed the 3 they have, or people who use drugs, etc) US allows freedom of choice and freedom to help individuals with similiar issues and choices, but for hard working, responsible people to be taxed against our will for such irresponsible people is confiscation of rewards the responsible have earned.


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Posted by common decency
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 9:07 am

... and so on the logic of 'individual choice' (who treats the constitution like a bible, not like a living document), we withhold assistance to the parent of the 4th who has trouble feeding the 3rd, thereby ensuring that the 4th child starves.

any bets on 'individual choice' being in support the right of women to choose abortion? didn't think so. idiocy brooks no consistency.


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Posted by Corrector!
a resident of Happy Valley
on Apr 26, 2011 at 11:31 am

Folks, a terrible mistake has been discovered. The title was not meant to ask 'Is the tea party heartless?' Rather, it was meant to ask 'Is the tea party brainless?' thereby making the question far more relevant. See above contributions as examples.