We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I recently read that there are only 1 million Americans with net worth of $5-25 million, and only 142,000 Americans with over $25 million in net worth. There are so many millionaires in NYC, you would think it's normal and end up with a distorted view of life.
All inequality statistics could be solved by confiscating all of these wealthy assets. However, it would not even put a dent in American's debt to China. Another problem is that those people would go out and do it again, so best just to take their money and houses and stuff and then kill them, and kill their kids too just to be on the safe side. Kill the kulaks.
Maybe better just to confiscate the wealth of old people who lack the energy to make money again. Hey - there's a policy to campaign on.
I prefer a sales tax (not a VAT) to a flat tax but I'd take either one over what we have now. But as much as I hate the current tax system, I would even keep it if we ended all (even most) transfer payments - taking money from one to give to another.
The poor in this country live a lot like the middle class in Europe. The poor in this country are the envy of close to 6 billion people in the world. Our standard of living, even for our poor, is great, it's awesome, it's singularly incredible in human history. Why is that? It's a number of things: our democracy, our freedom, our constitution, our resources, our education, capitalism and more. If the government and the citizens were stupid enough to choose to end all that and reduce us to a banana republic, how would you go about doing that? Taxes, more and higher taxes especially on the rich. More regulation and out of control government agencies like the EPA, HUD, HHS, Dept of Ed, Dept of Labor, and for the last 6 years the DOJ. More legal and illegal immigrants to overwhelm the system. If it were actually our intent to kill the golden goose and destroy our country what would we be doing differently?
The millionaires, the rich, are like the spotted owl or the pup fish in that they are being threatened with extinction by the far left and the very same things that will harm them will harm us all. The pollution of excessive government regulation and taxes will destroy the rich, the middle class and the poor. I can't help but believe it is all intentional.
It may be $18 trillion right now (actually $24T with Fannie and Freddie included), but future obligations puts the number in the $100-200 trillion range. Let's see if we can survive the next ten years with a slow economy and most of the boomers collecting social security/medicare.
Otto Maddox: It may be $18 trillion right now (actually $24T with Fannie and Freddie included), but future obligations puts the number in the $100-200 trillion range.
Unfunded federal liabilities over 75 years are about $87 trillion. However, over that 75 years, assuming no economic growth, the U.S. will produce $1260 trillion. Assuming modest 2% growth, the U.S. will produce $2869 trillion.
The U.S. has a short-term cash crunch due to the retirement of the baby-boomers, but it's not a permanent problem.