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He promised 18.6 percent. Thats a lot of money.
Now he pays 3.1. Thats a big difference.
I have thought about this before:
There seems to have been taken place a shift in politics between "left" and "right" in western democracies.
Before the left where more willing to run into statal budget deficits.
Now in our "Keynes is death" time the right is more prone to make deficits.
O.k. The tax cut is a move to reduce the deficit. But there is a deficit.
There was no deficit under Clinton, thing which I admired, because in my country we discuss for 20 years about less deficit, but nothing has changed.
Axel
 
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No deficit. BS. The national debt increased every year under Clinton. Phony accounting only masked the true deficit. It happens with every administration. He also only got it because he was brought into it kicking and screaming. If we balance the budget in less than 12 years it will devastate the economy. 10 years 7 years next thing you know he agrees. Of course Michael will have some BS version that the 93 tax increases are what did it. Those where soley to support new spending (take over of medical system) that never happened because the Dems lost the house and the Senate.
Moving items off budget to make the budget appear balanced is an old trick. Also look at the last year of the Clinton administration. The economic data released while Gore was trying to get selected were greatly reduced. In other words fudged numbers.
 
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Of course I will have some BS counterproposal, that's my job!
But mostly on economics I look at the stuff that affect me, y'know? 3 years ago I could have had one of a dozen jobs. Today, I'm lucky to have one. It wasn't so long ago that the local soup kitchens and whatnot were sorry they couldn't stockpile donations, people were so generous.
In the last four weeks I've worked in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Nevada. I haven't been to one place, including home, where such centers are desperate for charitable contributions. We're on the brink of war, markets are uncertain at best, no one's predicting an economic turnaround for another year or more...
I suppose I'm simply provoking some BS argument that this is all Clinton's fault, too, but I'm not a Clinton apologist. The man was a masterful, powerful, popular politician. Republicans hated his guts. So explain to me why no Republicans shouted phony accounting during the man's presidency? This is the first I'm hearing such a charge.
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
The tax cut is a move to reduce the deficit. But there is a deficit.
There was no deficit under Clinton, thing which I admired, because in my country we discuss for 20 years about less deficit, but nothing has changed.
Axel


The general state of the economy probably has the biggest effect on govt revenues, but when Kennedy cut general tax rates in 1960's and Reagan in the 1980's, revenues increased contrary to many expectations at the time. Furthermore the tax cuts stimulated the economy and freed up capital that had locked up to avoid higher taxes.
 
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Give me a reason why we should keep pay rise to this bureaucratic system ??? They are doing a terrible job in an unbelievably slow pace using enormous human resource.
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by <bill>:
http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/11/30/bush.raises/index.html


Everyone will get their normal, expected, and promised pay raise except those covered by the "locality pay system".
 
Paul Stevens
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All administrations do it Michael. They bury things "off budget" so the deficit never looks as bad as it actually is. It is like taking your checkbook and saying things aren't working out. So, just take the house payment and car payment off the books. Wow now things look better. Follow the national debt number not what they put out as "the budget numbers".
As far as restating numbers for the last year of the Clinton presidency, there were many reports on this. I guess NPR and the New York Times decided not to run them.
Source
 
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Originally posted by Abadula Joshi:
Give me a reason why we should keep pay rise to this bureaucratic system ??? They are doing a terrible job in an unbelievably slow pace using enormous human resource.


So all civillian federal employees are doing a terrible job, and are also slow at doing it? May I ask on what basis you can make such a statement? What are your criteria and what are you judging all of them against in order to make such a statement? Do you know any US federal civillian employees? Do you know that on the average they are paid a good deal lower than their counterparts who work in private industry?
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
So explain to me why no Republicans shouted phony accounting during the man's presidency? This is the first I'm hearing such a charge.


Wouldn't an equally valid question be why was this corporate corruption not uncovered during the Clinton presidency?
 
Paul Stevens
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Jason we aren't talking corporate. We are talking about how items are placed off budget and show up in the National Debt figures but not as part of a budget deficit.
 
Michael Ernest
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Paul - ah, now I see it. We're conflating a bunch of numbers here: the National Debt, the budget deficit, and the trade deficit. Those are all different indicators, in any event. Even I can tell you these numbers have far more political haymaking value than economic importance. I spent a couple weeks two years ago here, learning what I could about it.
The Clinton Administration did manage to generate more revenue -- "on the books," yes -- than it spent. What they managed to erase was not the National Debt; rather, they found ways to take the growing deficit of government spending accelerated by <agenda alert!>a) the war-time spending; b) piss-poor trade negotiations; and c) brain-dead domestic policy-making ability of two prior administrations</agenda alert!>.
Paul I think is wise to say every administration does this kind of financial reworking in one form or another. I think it's evident from that acknowledgement forward that we're not talking about corrupt practices here, or even accounting shenanigans, but the methods and instruments of managing and leveraging the single largest, most complex budget in the world. Neither Ronnie or George I or Bill or George II ever held a checkbook, and they certainly do not dictate economic strategy; they authorize it, and the full consequences of such policy -- not policing, which is where Jason seems to be going -- always remains to be seen, the future being one of those nasty wildcards we can't nail down.
The huge windfall created by the Clinton Administration, mind you, was largely "paid back to us" by the following administration. How much was yours? My refund wasn't so much a steak dinner at Black Angus. It was more like a pastry from Cinnabon's. I couldn't remember having it a short time, but I sure wouldn't mind another one. What a good idea, stimulating a national economy a couple hundred bucks at a time. Can anyone think now why a reserve of cash in federal coffers might have been a good idea? Or were we right to throw some more bones into retail spending for a week or two?
Now, with Jason's comment, an interesting problem comes to mind. So long as government is seeing WorldCom's and Enron's raking in dollars, and taxing it (I presume), certainly that goes toward a windfall. So a good way to keep government off your back is to pay a lot of taxes, pump up the coffers, and who wants to complain about that? Individual taxpayers? So can you lull the world into believing you're actually making $9 billion more than you are? Yes! Apparently so. We're not taught to treat abundance and wild growth with skepticism in business.
What part of the business world, stakeholders, Wall Street, etc., stood up and said WorldCom's faking it? No one, that's who. The independent auditors were f***ing lying, all right? We were all intentionally deceived, including the government, which, by the way, is still made up of us. You know as well as I do, Jason, that the government's hands are tied by the appearance of propriety. If there's a bastard in this mix, it's the criminal behavior of those executives and their auditors.
You can point to Enron et al and tie that to Clinton if you want. You can tie Charles Keating to whomever, Michael Millken to whomever, the Orange County derivatives scandal to whomever. Fine, have at it. The fact is there are people for whom lying and cheating others, whether through ethically void practice or illegal scams, has tangible rewards. It seems to be to no one's benefit or best interest to scrutinize such people. We get 'em when we have proof. That's the way American Justice works.
What was happening to the people who were questioning the proprieties of the energy and telecom sectors? They were getting fired for opening their mouths, apparently. And that's an organizational practice -- neither business nor government can claim full credit for that.
[ December 02, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
Paul Stevens
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Glad I put the waders on before reading.
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
So a good way to keep government off your back is to pay a lot of taxes...
[ December 02, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]


What a queer conception of the term "off your back". I happen to feel the govt quite heavily on my back when paying taxes.
Sometimes paying less taxes gets the govt off your back as well, since lower tax rates can increase revenues in some cases :
http://www.house.gov/jec/fiscal/tx-grwth/reagtxct/reagtxct.htm
 
Michael Ernest
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Paul - hope them waders go up past those hips. I edited for brevity, thinking boutcha.
Herb - I hope you can see my comments were meant in the context of a large corporation, intending to deceive shareholders and government overseers alike, not the average taxpayer.
I'm not going to follow the link you posted and I'll tell you why. If I had a dime for every yahoo in the northwestern states, Nevada on up, tell me that they keep their legislatures in line by limiting the amount of money they have to spend, I'd have about a buck. If I charged them twenty cents to tell me that what's sufficient to govern a BLM landmass, some ranchers, retired military, homesteading Mormons and a dash of fed-up Californians could also work as a federal model, I'd have two bucks. Hopefully that's enough money to keep drinking for the time it takes for those people to say that same tired bit for the umpteenth time before they have to go tend the compost heap and make their own soap. PLEASE, enough with the rural-state model as a federal plan.
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
What a good idea, stimulating a national economy a couple hundred bucks at a time.
[ December 02, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]


Its easy to sneer at the $300 that millions of Americans received, but there are a lot of families out there, especially in this economy, where the $300 or $600 helped pay rent and other necessities. Oh, wait, I forgot, the govt could have provided those goods or services more efficiently. Never mind the fact of what economists call the "transaction" costs (buldings, salaries, and other administrative costs in transfering wealth) involved in all govt programs. Lets not lose sight of the moral dimension as well. A tax is a forced taking of the wages that people worked and earned. Keeping the money they earned without a real good reason can be seen as a type of theft.
All of those sneering at the $300 are free to donate it back to the govt for more noble purposes. Isn't there actually a little box you check on your income tax form for such occasions?
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
You know as well as I do, Jason, that the government's hands are tied by the appearance of propriety. If there's a bastard in this mix, it's the criminal behavior of those executives and their auditors.


Despite my comment, I actually agree with you on that point. I don't really feel that the government is particularly to blame for the actions of Enron, WorldCom, et al. It is as pointless to point fingers at the Bush administration as it is the Clinton administration. Keep the blame where it belongs, which is with the criminals (not referring to Clinton in this case ).
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
I'm not going to follow the link you posted and I'll tell you why. If I had a dime for every yahoo in the northwestern states, Nevada on up, tell me that they keep their legislatures in line by limiting the amount of money they have to spend, I'd have about a buck. ...PLEASE, enough with the rural-state model as a federal plan.


You completely missed the entire point of my 3 sentence post. Lowering taxes doesn't "limit" the money of govt, it can increase it in some cases. If you want to argue that the Kennedy, Reagan, etc, tax cuts don't apply in our sitution today thats a valid argument if you provide specific reasons.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
What a good idea, stimulating a national economy a couple hundred bucks at a time.


If you believe that the government should not have returned this money to us, do you similarly believe that you when you file your income tax return you should not receive a tax refund when the government collects too much tax?
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

Herb - I hope you can see my comments were meant in the context of a large corporation, intending to deceive shareholders and government overseers alike, not the average taxpayer.


What happens when you increase taxes on corporations? Do you think its possible that they might pass along those taxes to consumers through higher prices? 'Sometimes' that's what happens.
Also a large segment of average taxpayers are stock holders either directly or through mutual funds, retirment accounts, 401ks , etc. Is it possible the "average" tax payer has his wealth reduced to some degree there also.
As you increase the costs of doing business through taxes, regulations, etc, you can also be limiting the rate at which businesses can expand and create new jobs. Maybe the "average taxpayer" gets hurt there also.
 
Abadula Joshi
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So all civillian federal employees are doing a terrible job, and are also slow at doing it? May I ask on what basis you can make such a statement? What are your criteria and what are you judging all of them against in order to make such a statement? Do you know any US federal civillian employees? Do you know that on the average they are paid a good deal lower than their counterparts who work in private industry?


I am working in Federal goverment, sir.
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by Abadula Joshi:

I am working in Federal goverment, sir.


ROFL LMAO.
I'm in a governemnt job also. I think we both have good knowledge of govt waste and inefficiency.
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by <herb slocomb>:

ROFL LMAO.
I'm in a governemnt job also. I think we both have good knowledge of govt waste and inefficiency.


Forgot to mention my father worked in federal govt a while and observed corruption (which he reported and even photographed to no avail) where amongst other things, supervisor would take home truckloads of building materials. Private businesses are generally more security conscious.
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

If you believe that the government should not have returned this money to us, do you similarly believe that you when you file your income tax return you should not receive a tax refund when the government collects too much tax?


I pay as much taxes as I owe, and I want the difference back if there is any. Me being me, I always owe about 5% of my total tax liability, meaning a) I'm not a feasible target for improper withholding and b) the government never holds more of my hard-earned coin than the law deems them entitled to. At reporting time, they get the balance.
I pay what I'm told I owe when the time comes. Later, a new president comes around to say I paid too much? Fine, I'll take my cut and the name of the person I sue for fraud, because I'm entitled to damages for that money that I should have been able to keep that would have kept my mom alive for just enough longer, or keep my business afloat, or any number of other tragedies that wouldn't have occurred if I hadn't been forced to pay more than I was required to.
Wait, what do you mean I can't sue? Right, Jason, because we weren't "overcharged." Nothing in federal tax requires the government to balance tax revenue against costs on a year-to-year basis. So by definition there is no such thing as charging too much as long as you pay what the tax law requires. There's no actual legal recourse, so by definition there's no admission of wrongdoing. In short, we didn't pay too much. If you withhold my refund, THEN I'm paying too much.
Did I really have to explain that, or did you think I didn't understand what I was saying?
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Abadula Joshi:

I am working in Federal goverment, sir.


So you are in a position to speak on every federal worker in every federal agency? I think not. The government is a very large place and just because the agency you work for may be rife with incompentent slackers does not mean this is the case across the board. I have been fortunate that the majority of the ones I have worked with in the past have been hard working, dedicated, and competent professionals.
Painting all federal employees based on your experience is a gross disservice. I worked with DOD civillians when I was in the military. These guys were very dedicated, had a great deal of technical expertise, and left their families to deploy to combat zones the same as we did, where they would often work weeks at a time without a day off. They were hardly "doing a terrible job [at] an unbelievably slow pace".
 
mister krabs
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A friend of mine was a supervisor for government submarine contracts. He would go out on submarines for weeks at a time with the contractors to make sure that the work was done to the satisfaction of the commander and crew of the submarine. He was the hardest working guy I ever met. The job cost him his marriage.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
I pay as much taxes as I owe, and I want the difference back if there is any.


My point is that saying that the government should not return $300-$600 (or whatever it was) per taxpayer which was misappropriated and instead should have kept it in reserve, seems to be the same as saying the government shouldn't refund income tax when your return shows that too much was witheld from your wages. Why shouldn't the government just hold on to any additional witholdings? As the money is rightfully yours in either case, both seem equally absurd.
 
Abadula Joshi
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So you are in a position to speak on every federal worker in every federal agency? I think not. The government is a very large place and just because the agency you work for may be rife with incompentent slackers does not mean this is the case across the board. I have been fortunate that the majority of the ones I have worked with in the past have been hard working, dedicated, and competent professionals.
Painting all federal employees based on your experience is a gross disservice. I worked with DOD civillians when I was in the military. These guys were very dedicated, had a great deal of technical expertise, and left their families to deploy to combat zones the same as we did, where they would often work weeks at a time without a day off. They were hardly "doing a terrible job [at] an unbelievably slow pace".


Jason, it doesn't have to be "everyone" in "every work place". There are always good and bad sides of an organization. You see those good and hard working people and I observe many lazy and incompetent people. I am wondering whose observation is more realistic reflection of the majority ? Don't just look at your DOD peers, as a matter of fact we all know some scientisits working in national labs and institutions are way more competent than average people and they are the treasure of this country. But, have you ever looked at the side of the story ? How many government agents have you worked with ? How many average employees have you contacted ? Do you know about the average emploees working in IRS, INS, and other civilian work force agents ? Do you know how slowly they process citizens' taxes, how quickly they issue visa to terrorists ? I mean, you can't tell the depth of sea by standing on the shore.
 
Michael Ernest
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My point simply is that it wasn't a misappropriation at all; it was an overage. What was wrong with acknowledging that overage and simply reducing tax levies next time around? Seems to me it would have been easier to deduct that difference from the next reporting year.
But that's not politically sexy? George wants me to know that he rescued my captive dollars from the porcone excesses previous administration and wants me to have them back. But even Dubya didn't go so far as to allege wrongdoing or misappropriation.
C'mon, admit it: political grandstanding. But as we said before, who complains about getting money they weren't expecting?
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Abadula Joshi:
Jason, it doesn't have to be "everyone" in "every work place". There are always good and bad sides of an organization. You see those good and hard working people and I observe many lazy and incompetent people. I am wondering whose observation is more realistic reflection of the majority ? Don't just look at your DOD peers, as a matter of fact we all know some scientisits working in national labs and institutions are way more competent than average people and they are the treasure of this country. But, have you ever looked at the side of the story ? How many government agents have you worked with ? How many average employees have you contacted ? Do you know about the average emploees working in IRS, INS, and other civilian work force agents ? Do you know how slowly they process citizens' taxes, how quickly they issue visa to terrorists ? I mean, you can't tell the depth of sea by standing on the shore.


Incompetancy exists everywhere, both in the private sector and in the government sector. As far as the number of civillians I have worked with, let's just say it is a sufficient number.
My only point was this. You made the sweeping statement:

They are doing a terrible job in an unbelievably slow pace using enormous human resource.


I am only presenting the counterpoint that it is quite unfair to paint an entire class of worker with such a broad brush. If that is your experience, that's fine and I don't question it. However my experience has been a bit different and I merely felt the need to stand up for those individuals being unjustly slandered.
 
Axel Janssen
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Originally posted by <herb slocomb>:

when Kennedy cut general tax rates in 1960's and Reagan in the 1980's, revenues increased contrary to many expectations at the time. Furthermore the tax cuts stimulated the economy and freed up capital that had locked up to avoid higher taxes.


This lower-tax-more-tax-revenues paradoxon has a special name in economics, I don't remember.
I have read of articles from liberal economics who claimed that the figures does not support the theory (no_time_to_search_sources)
Disdain undifferentiated bashing of public workers or the state in general. Its very popular in Germany, now. This is a monocausal logic. My country has lots of other problems (demographic, education, unrealistic expectations about how much I have to give / how much will I return- ratio).
Monocausalism is my problem with the neoliberal agenda I know quite well, believe me. I am by no means a socialist, but this "just cut down state and the economy will thrive" - argument might be a little bit to cheap.
Perhaps this "companies are good / public sector is bad"-logic accepted by more and more people leads to lowering of ethical standards in decision takers of companies.
 
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Originally posted by Axel Janssen:

This lower-tax-more-tax-revenues paradoxon has a special name in economics, I don't remember.


"Laffer Curve" or aka "Supply Side", "Vodoo Economics", or "Trickle Down" depending on the context.


I have read of articles from liberal economics who claimed that the figures does not support the theory (no_time_to_search_sources)


There are some facts that cannot be disputed, even by liberals (<smirk>) :
1. Revenues increased after the tax cuts in the 1920s, in the 1960s and in the 1980s.
2. Capital investment decisions are influenced by tax laws.
3. The higher the taxe rates, the greater the incentive to avoid them.
4. People avoid taxes by using tax shelters and also by delaying selling assets that would be subject to capital gains taxes. When capital investment decisions are influenced to a certain degree by such tax considerations instead of the consideration of seeking higher returns, we can say the market has been distorted. Such distortions corrupt the prime virtue of the free market which is efficiency.
Given the rather common sense axioms above, I see no reason to doubt the assertions that when tax rates were lowered people sold assets they had been holding to avoid previosuly higher capital gains taxes. Their subsequent investment decisions would also have been less distorted by taxes hence they could have invested in more profitable businesses which could also have increased tax revenues indirectly.


Disdain undifferentiated bashing of public workers or the state in general. Its very popular in Germany, now. This is a monocausal logic. My country has lots of other problems (demographic, education, unrealistic expectations about how much I have to give / how much will I return- ratio).
Monocausalism is my problem with the neoliberal agenda I know quite well, believe me. I am by no means a socialist, but this "just cut down state and the economy will thrive" - argument might be a little bit to cheap.
Perhaps this "companies are good / public sector is bad"-logic accepted by more and more people leads to lowering of ethical standards in decision takers of companies.


Nothing wrong with adopting monocausation as a viewpoint if there is actually one predominating cause on an issue (not that I'm saying that applies here, I just wanted to defend this unusual idea of monocausalism).
None of us here is as actually so dense as to really condemn all public workers or govt agencies, but they do not operate under the same conditions as private companies. Governments are seldom threatened with extinction for not being efficient whereas in some industries this threat never diminishes for a moment. Governments are not under pressure to achieve the highest level of profits either so there is less risk taking.
Governments seldom have the threat of bankruptcy since they can raise taxes as is the proposal in New York city now.
Is it such a mystery, that as a general rule, governments are less efficient and more wastfull??
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Is it such a mystery, that as a general rule, governments are less efficient and more wastfull??


I don't think anyone would doubt this assertion, and I don't think anyone has. My problem was with sweeping generalizations of government workers, not with labeling the government as being a generally wasteful organization.
 
Paul Stevens
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Actually Michael you have it wrong again. The 300-600 was a Dem idea not a Bush idea. You are also wrong when you said that more revenue came in than went out in the Clinton admin. You are referring to the fraudulent numbers that both the Dems an Repubs put out on the budget. There is billions in off budget accounts that don't show up in those numbers. But if you are only referring to the bad numbers for public consumption then ok.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

I don't think anyone would doubt this assertion, and I don't think anyone has. My problem was with sweeping generalizations of government workers, not with labeling the government as being a generally wasteful organization.


In the context of the high taxes vs lower taxes debate, one possible criteria (not the best) of how society should distribute its wealth is efficiency. Allocating relatively less to the public sector may increase the overall productivity of society and hence support the tax cut arguments. Hence my elaborations.
In another context, if an organization is less efficient in motivating, supervising, training, and regulating its employees (an example being me at work at my govt job posting on Javaranch all day long), then again the generalization made in earlier posts has usefullness to the debate.
The sweeping generalization of govt workers does have some validity even if a large number of good workers are unfairly maligned. Truth is not always how we prefer it nor in the form we prefer. For many reasons I have no doubt that its quite probable DOD employees are not typical govt workers for many reasons not covered thus far in these posts. My apologies to them if they were offended.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
Actually Michael you have it wrong again. The 300-600 was a Dem idea not a Bush idea.

Wasn't an idea like that originally proposed by George McGovern during the 1972 election?
 
Jason Menard
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Regarding the effects of lower or higher taxes on businesses, Wired ran this article today, talking about the productivity gap between the US and Western Europe.

In fact, the American productivity boom has continued throughout the recent recession. ...
But in Europe? Last year, real GDP grew only 1.5 percent, even though the average unemployment rate fell 0.8 percentage points and total hours grew 1.4 percent � that�s a zero on labor productivity. ...
Turns out the productivity gap is due to wholesale and retail trade, financial transactions, and other service industries that intensively use information and communications technology. ... The big difference between the US and Europe is that the US has been using ICT to improve service sector productivity, and western Europe has not.
Why not? The Federal Reserve and the IMF think that businesses invest heavily in high tech only when they smell immediate productivity gains from reorganization and restructuring; meanwhile, European red tape and high taxes keep service sector firms from trying to reorganize and restructure.

 
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