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  • posted a message on Should We Go Over The "Fiscal Cliff"?
    A reasonable timeline, presuming a deal comes together, might be the release of a plan in the first week of December, followed by two weeks of legislative activity, with a target of wrapping up in the middle of the month. 15 December is a soft deadline, because payroll companies generally require two weeks to update withholding software to accommodate changes in income tax rates; a patch to the alternative minimum tax for 2012 will also need to be clear well in advance of 1 January so as to not delay tax filing. But Friday, 21 December, is seen as the real “last ditch” deadline so that members can adjourn before the holiday.

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Should We Go Over The "Fiscal Cliff"?
    Quote from Undisputed-
    Other countries want to buy the reserve currency to put it in their vaults, and the issuing country can therefore inflate it's money supply without immediate price inflation. Money printing normally just makes that money worthless, but if other countries want to buy that money as a reserve, it disappears in vaults and printing more doesn't cause an increase in the money supply out in the wild. You can print money and get stuff for it from other countries, and print more money and get more stuff, and there's no inflation. It essentially comes at the expense of other countries who have to expend their goods in return for paper that you just print. It's a great gig if you can get it, because those in control of the reserve currency, the bankers, can print massive amounts of purchasing power at the expense of everyone else. That's why ruling classes in different continents are attempting to establish more centralized, powerful currencies in favor of local currencies, e.g. the Euro.

    The Euro over local currencies is an attempt to spur trade across borders. Imagine the US before the Constitution when every state had their own currency. Then imagine keeping track of your North Carolina dollars with your South Carolina dollars as you travel back and forth. The Euro is having trouble because there isn't an effective governing body across the Eurozone, so there's wide disparities in economies from country to country. But back to America.

    Quote from Undisputed-
    It's not really a matter of if but when, politicians will do whatever it takes to push it off while they are in office instead of fixing the core problem. The only reason we have made it this far is because the dollar is the world reserve currency which gives the US increased opportunity to expand the money supply. We inflate our currency at the expense of the rest of the world, it's only a matter of time until that ends.

    The when is January 1. If no deal is reached then there is $500 billion in immediate deficit reduction, and we'll have until March or April to rechange the tax code before people pay their taxes. We want the legislature to put some of this off because it has a huge negative impact on our economy. Other countries are begging us to put this off, because they can't stand to have the US in another recession.

    The dollar is the global currency for a reason. The US is the largest economy in the world, we're the head member of the UN, we have a lot of guns and a lot of bombs and we favor ourselves as world police. None of that will change with the fiscal cliff.

    If the US austerity cuts are too severe there could be Greece like riots.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Should We Go Over The "Fiscal Cliff"?
    It was put there to force a proper deal on deficit reduction. It is more than just the expiration of the 2001, 2003 income tax breaks, the capital gains tax break, the alternative minimum tax break, the 2011 payroll tax break; it is the automatic across the board spending cuts to government spending. The "gang of six" the Simpson-Bowles committee put forward a bipartisan agreement for responsible cost cutting, which has been scoffed at and rejected for the time being.

    Liberals are calling it the "fiscal curb" because they want to avoid the hysteria that goes with failing to reach a deal by this time. But if we do fail to reach a deal by January 1, we have real problems in our legislature. Some of these cuts and expiring deals have more return than others. It shouldn't be so difficult to figure out which to keep.

    Talks have been more favorable in the last few days. Stock market was up 200+ yesterday. We need a functioning legislature not just to reduce the deficit while also supporting the economy, but also to cooperate on the debt ceiling sometime later this year. One of the more encouraging suggestions was when the treasury secretary proposed we get rid of the debt ceiling, which gets rid of a lot of financial uncertainty.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Twinkies and Unions - the plot deepens
    Quote from the_cardfather
    As I understand it, there are numerous chinese companies lined up to purchase the twinkie name at least. What's in that cream filling after that is anyone's guess.

    Not if court ordered mediation talks salvage the negotiations.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Whats wrong with Fox?
    Does Fox have any liberal hosts or contributors anymore? I know they used to have Alan Colmes as a punchingvbag for Hannity. MSNBC has Steve Schmidt, former Republican presidential campaign advisor, Michael Steele former Republican party chairman, David Frum Republican speexhwriter has been on lately, Joe Scarbarough was a former Republican congressman and he has his own show. Theres another Republican host thats on in the afternoons as part of a panel.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on Twinkies and Unions - the plot deepens
    I never had much love for twinkies. Declining sales killed Hostess. The union is a convenient scapegoat.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The National Debt
    Quote from bocephus
    Like I have been saying for some time, medical technology is what is killing America. We are taking care of more and more people who without those medical improvements would not be with us. Its the cost of living longer, and no so healthy.

    The global economic downturn is what's really driven the US federal debt in recent years. The housing meltdown is also pretty huge, hence more regulations on lending standards and mortgages.

    Old people are important too. The elderly don't just drop out of the economy because they retire. There's a reason why McDonald's has a senior citizen's discount. Japan, China, Europe have significantly longer life expectancy than we do in the States, and their health costs are significantly lower.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The National Debt
    Quote from Vaclav
    Wait, wow - that infographic has far different information than I thought on the cut scenario - got a text elaboration on it handy?

    I for example thought the defense cuts were much more substantial than that. And Payroll/UI? Is that a Federal workers cut or something?

    Washington Post article of a CBO report.

    A lot of different numbers are from 10 year projections and immediate economic impact. Expiring the Bush tax cuts on the top two tax brackets is about a trillion over ten years, an average of a hundred billion a year, but only has $42 billion saved next year.

    The payroll/UI is the payroll tax breaks from the last couple years and extended Unemployment Insurance.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The National Debt
    If all we want to do is reduce the deficit we can go over the fiscal cliff in January, let the automatic spending cuts happen, reduce the defict by $500b+

    The problem is this has a huge effect on the economy, and our GDP could shrink by 3%. So we need to figure out specifically what to cut without reducing GDP too much.

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on A social floor: should one exist?
    Government spending for the social safety net works far better than incentives for the wealthy. Citizens that need the money are more likely to spend it, businesses are more likely to work off of consumers spending their money, and it isn't good for the economy or crime rates to watch people and their children starve on the streets.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on What to eat?
    Do you have/use an oven? Microwave pizza/noodles are weighted with sodium. I had two sleeves of pizza bagels the other day and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. If you're not in your mid 20's, you probably will.

    If you have access to an oven and you feel good using it, those frozen pizzas are bigger, healthier, and cheaper.

    I feel like a peanut butter sandwich with grape juice, but I'm out of juice.
    Posted in: Real-Life Advice
  • posted a message on The future of The Republican Party
    The Republican party needs more rhinos so they can make more elephants Smile
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on What makes something a game?


    Quote from aurorasparrow

    All of these activities invariably have outcomes, but are they all quantifiable?

    What is and is not quantifiable is for the player to decide. Do you measure success in jogging by the number of steps you take? By the size your quads grow in a month? By the number of problems you forget on the run? By that bucket of sweat you keep in your closet?

    And to a large extent how easily quantifiable the outcomes are goes toward whether it is useful to map a situation as a game in game theory. It might be more pragmatic to label something without easily or useful quantities to measure as an activity rather than a game, so the debate here really is what is the proper lexicon and what makes something more suitable for the activity label rather than the game label. Generally games are associated with competitive, social recreation with quantities. But just about everything is quantifiable, and if it is not currently quantifiable, it is my job as a mathematician to make it quantifiable Smile

    This debate on what is a game can be mapped as a game, scoring by 'likes' or replies or number of people my argument convinces, number of people I think my argument convinces, whether or not I have the longest post, whether or not I have the last post, etc. Of course this would be with myself as arbiter, making up the rules after your challenge to define the term game, so then the social aspects of whether or not you consented to the rules comes into play.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on The National Debt
    On the bright side, U.S. Oil Output to Overtake Saudi Arabia’s by 2020

    The United Arab Emirate has no income taxes, they are completely funded by their oil revenues. Energy independence for the win.
    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on [[Official]] 2012 US Presidential Election Thread
    Quote from mystery45
    it isn't warren buffett. he maximizes his tax deductions every year.



    not sure about bill gates. i suspect that he does the same thing only he funds it through his charity.

    That's kind of the point. Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Eliminate deductions, tax capital gains closer to regular income, fix the deficit.
    Posted in: Debate
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