I.o.u.s.a. (2008)

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Nov 15, 2009 8:52 am

Just finished watching this documentary. Overall, I thought it was very good. But, I wish it went into the difference between the government borrowing money as an investment in our economy. And, borrowing money because you issued a tax cut and did not reduce government spending.

I did finish it feeling that health care reform and green energy initiatives are the right thing to be doing at this time.

I'd say it is worthwhile for anyone in this industry to watch just because it gives a clear overview of our national debt and its effects.

Nov 15, 2009 9:17 pm

There's also some great stuff in the extra features...some good quotes from W. Buffett, Greenspan, etc. 

Nov 15, 2009 9:30 pm

I've seen it.  I agreed with some parts and disagreed with some.  It was a while ago and I've forgotten what parts I liked and didn't like though!

Nov 16, 2009 6:42 am

I agree...not perfect, but at least some good information. The bonus features on the DVD are worthwhile too. Some interesting stuff on taxes, I especially liked this one by Buffett:

Take two people, you and someone else. One has to go to Bangladesh (and will pay no taxes there); And one stays in the US and pays a fixed percent income tax. To decide this tax, we have a bidding war and whoever bids the highest percent, gets to stay in the US. The other goes to Bangladesch.

You can be certain this percent will be higher than what you currently pay in taxes.


Nov 16, 2009 8:05 am
[email protected]:

I agree...not perfect, but at least some good information. The bonus features on the DVD are worthwhile too. Some interesting stuff on taxes, I especially liked this one by Buffett:

Take two people, you and someone else. One has to go to Bangladesh (and will pay no taxes there); And one stays in the US and pays a fixed percent income tax. To decide this tax, we have a bidding war and whoever bids the highest percent, gets to stay in the US. The other goes to Bangladesch.

You can be certain this percent will be higher than what you currently pay in taxes.


 
Buffett's always been a fan of higher taxes. Of course his money is largely in tax frees.....
Nov 16, 2009 8:11 am
[email protected]:


I did finish it feeling that health care reform and green energy initiatives are the right thing to be doing at this time.

 

In my humble opinion both of those, in their current forms in the Congress, are jokes that need to be defeated. Real health care reform would employ market forces and increase genuine competition, not feature a disguised attempt to build a path to a single payer system.


The “green initiatives” for the most part is spending money on pie in the sky energy sources that won’t be ready for prime time for decades while refusing to move the country towards energy independence today with sources and technology already on hand.


Both are fine examples of bread and circuses polices that do a fine job of giving the desired voting blocks a warm and fuzzy that will bring them back to the voting booth while accomplishing little aside from adding to the debit our kids and grandkids will have to pay off.

Nov 16, 2009 12:58 pm
alwaysaguest:

In my humble opinion both of those, in their current forms in the Congress, are jokes that need to be defeated. Real health care reform would employ market forces and increase genuine competition, not feature a disguised attempt to build a path to a single payer system.


The “green initiatives” for the most part is spending money on pie in the sky energy sources that won’t be ready for prime time for decades while refusing to move the country towards energy independence today with sources and technology already on hand.


Both are fine examples of bread and circuses polices that do a fine job of giving the desired voting blocks a warm and fuzzy that will bring them back to the voting booth while accomplishing little aside from adding to the debit our kids and grandkids will have to pay off.

Even though I was only commenting on the importance of addressing these issues, I would like to add that
Your "green initiatives" comment is not true. Most can be implemented effectively today.
Drill baby, drill,
Still

ps: healthcare is a clusterf**k, but what do you expect from politicians (also, pharmaceutical companies, old people, doctors, hospitals and CVS).

pps: Buffett said he pays 15% tax; slightly less than the woman who cleans his office. He believed that is unfair (which I agree). He said the reason it is this way is because investors have better lobbyists than office cleaners.
Nov 16, 2009 2:34 pm
[email protected]:
alwaysaguest:

In my humble opinion both of those, in their current forms in the Congress, are jokes that need to be defeated. Real health care reform would employ market forces and increase genuine competition, not feature a disguised attempt to build a path to a single payer system.


The “green initiatives” for the most part is spending money on pie in the sky energy sources that won’t be ready for prime time for decades while refusing to move the country towards energy independence today with sources and technology already on hand.


Both are fine examples of bread and circuses polices that do a fine job of giving the desired voting blocks a warm and fuzzy that will bring them back to the voting booth while accomplishing little aside from adding to the debit our kids and grandkids will have to pay off.

Even though I was only commenting on the importance of addressing these issues, I would like to add that
Your "green initiatives" comment is not true. Most can be implemented effectively today.
Drill baby, drill,
Still

ps: healthcare is a clusterf**k, but what do you expect from politicians (also, pharmaceutical companies, old people, doctors, hospitals and CVS).

pps: Buffett said he pays 15% tax; slightly less than the woman who cleans his office. He believed that is unfair (which I agree). He said the reason it is this way is because investors have better lobbyists than office cleaners.



Who gets more benefits from the government, Buffet, or the lady who cleans his office?


Nov 16, 2009 3:56 pm

Yeah, this is one palce I have to politely disagree with Buffett.  Paying 15% on a several million in income is a lot different than 15% on 45K.  So in reality, poor people get WAY more benefits than wealthy people.  How about Social Security?  Your benefit if you made 35K your whole life is going to replace a much bigger % of your income than if you made $1mm a year.

Nov 16, 2009 4:44 pm

Morean & B24. Based on this logic, do you think we should have a flat-tax based on dollar value? Everyone pays the same amount. Something like, everyone has to pay $24k/year.

Nov 16, 2009 5:47 pm
[email protected]:

Morean & B24. Based on this logic, do you think we should have a flat-tax based on dollar value? Everyone pays the same amount. Something like, everyone has to pay $24k/year.





I am not (although that is the most fair method). But there is no reason to have the percentage increase as you move up in brackets.



A flat tax based on percentages is fine. Or a national sales tax.













Nov 16, 2009 8:04 pm
Moraen:
[email protected]:

Morean & B24. Based on this logic, do you think we should have a flat-tax based on dollar value? Everyone pays the same amount. Something like, everyone has to pay $24k/year.




I am not (although that is the most fair method). But there is no reason to have the percentage increase as you move up in brackets.


A flat tax based on percentages is fine. Or a national sales tax.



I agree it is the most fair method. The downside is McDonalds would have to pay $40k-$50k/year to get people to show up for work.

Flat rate is best for you & I and best for people who inherited millions of unearned dollars (like Steve Forbes) but I don't think it does enough to encourage growth in our economy.

I would like to see the US have a tax code that encourages an income distribution similar to Japan (almost linear). This would certainly be best for the Jones reps...I believe it would be best for our country.

Nov 16, 2009 8:54 pm

[email protected]:


Your "green initiatives" comment is not true. Most can be implemented effectively today.


Which ones can be implemented today that genuinely move us towards energy independence and end the need for more nuclear power and increased domestic production of fossil fuels as the Whitehouse claims?  And don't even get me started on "green jobs".


[email protected]:

pps: Buffett said he pays 15% tax; slightly less than the woman who cleans his office.


He says that, but few believe his numbers, and since Warren never shows his work, he's a no-go in my book.


http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2007/06/29/warren-buffets-faulty-tax-math/


 
Nov 16, 2009 8:57 pm
[email protected]:

 

I would like to see the US have a tax code that encourages an income distribution similar to Japan (almost linear). This would certainly be best for the Jones reps...I believe it would be best for our country.

 
Why is income distribution a matter for the government? Isn't what's really important the lifestyle the people at the very bottom can attain and not the so called "gap" between them and the richest?
 
If the poorest person in the US earned $100,000 in current dollars and the richest earned severl thousand times more than that would that be a problem?
Nov 16, 2009 9:06 pm
[email protected]:
Moraen:
[email protected]:

Morean & B24. Based on this logic, do you think we should have a flat-tax based on dollar value? Everyone pays the same amount. Something like, everyone has to pay $24k/year.





I am not (although that is the most fair method). But there is no reason to have the percentage increase as you move up in brackets.



A flat tax based on percentages is fine. Or a national sales tax.

I agree it is the most fair method. The downside is McDonalds would have to pay $40k-$50k/year to get people to show up for work. Flat rate is best for you & I and best for people who inherited millions of unearned dollars (like Steve Forbes) but I don't think it does enough to encourage growth in our economy. I would like to see the US have a tax code that encourages an income distribution similar to Japan (almost linear). This would certainly be best for the Jones reps...I believe it would be best for our country.




Explain to me the logic of how a flat rate would not work.



I make $100000 at 15%, I pay 15000 in taxes. I make $1 million, I pay $150,000 in taxes. Why would that not encourage growth? Japan's system is progressive, like our current idiotic method.



If the tax bracket jumps from 35% to 40% at 300k, why would I not try to have my business pay me just under 300k? Seems like the system stifles growth in a progressive system.



It is not the government's job to play wealth redistribution games. Why should I have to pay more for the privilege of living here if I make more. Simply ridiculous.   

Nov 16, 2009 9:23 pm
iceco1d:

Huh? Federal tax brackets are marginal. If the tax rates jumped from 35% to 40% over $300K, only the amount you make OVER $300K is taxed @ 40%. Then again, I'm guessing I'm just reading this example incorrectly, and you already knew that...





Oversimplification (bad oversimplification - I hate taxes) on my part. You didn't read it wrong, I wrote it wrong. The fact remains that a progressive tax punishes success.

Nov 16, 2009 9:29 pm

You mean, do I believe there is an optimal rate of taxation? Unfortunately no. Empirical evidence so far is inconclusive in the U.S. And anywhere else where the principles are implemented (Balkans) there is not enough data.



What if our system was needs-based? Just spitballing here and there is no real theory behind this. For instance, we need x-amount of dollars to provide the best military in the world. How much tax revenue do we need for that next year? And so on.

Nov 16, 2009 10:03 pm

Dang ice - I answer your question and you leave.

Nov 16, 2009 10:09 pm
Moraen:
[email protected]:
Moraen:
[email protected]:

Morean & B24. Based on this logic, do you think we should have a flat-tax based on dollar value? Everyone pays the same amount. Something like, everyone has to pay $24k/year.



I am not (although that is the most fair method). But there is no reason to have the percentage increase as you move up in brackets.

A flat tax based on percentages is fine. Or a national sales tax.

I agree it is the most fair method. The downside is McDonalds would have to pay $40k-$50k/year to get people to show up for work. Flat rate is best for you & I and best for people who inherited millions of unearned dollars (like Steve Forbes) but I don't think it does enough to encourage growth in our economy. I would like to see the US have a tax code that encourages an income distribution similar to Japan (almost linear). This would certainly be best for the Jones reps...I believe it would be best for our country.



Explain to me the logic of how a flat rate would not work.

I make $100000 at 15%, I pay 15000 in taxes. I make $1 million, I pay $150,000 in taxes. Why would that not encourage growth? Japan's system is progressive, like our current idiotic method.

If the tax bracket jumps from 35% to 40% at 300k, why would I not try to have my business pay me just under 300k? Seems like the system stifles growth in a progressive system.

It is not the government's job to play wealth redistribution games. Why should I have to pay more for the privilege of living here if I make more. Simply ridiculous.   


 
Try 43-50% on income over $100k (approximately)
Nov 16, 2009 10:10 pm

It was all hypothetical. Was trying (not very well) to make a point.