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      05-08-2011, 07:35 PM   #1
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US BMW populous: Flat Tax?

This is a discussion on US tax policy. If you are a foreigner and your nation employs a flat tax and you have views, please chime in.

So, shall we all grab torches and raze the IRS administration building?? And before someone asks, no, I do not have back taxes. I enjoy paying my taxes because I love my country, but I do have a problem with how they're spent.

Today's socially-liberal (thanks Europe! "Enlighten" this! .!..) US population are entitled to anything in arms reach. Right?? Since neither party wishes to confront this issue, I've decided to move the topic on to how can we alter the US tax code to meet the government's entitlement programs.

A flat tax which is comprehensive and at least 25% (before state/county taxes) would be my favorite choice. The US tax system is SO fkd up that if you are over 25-30 / have substantial earnings via a small business etc, you MUST employ a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) to assist / file your taxes for you. And if you file small business taxes yourself it's too late to call the CPA, call the tax attorney instead......

The forms are beyond complicated. I could solve a rubiks cube before I understood that crap and I have a PhD.

Is it just me, or does anyone else think it's wrong that the tax forms have become so overboard that an entire "tax assisting" industry (CPAs) are required to help file?

Furthermore, who thinks the tax write offs and tax credits and vouchers and blah blah blah is all overboard?



WHY cannot we forgo all of this mess and lay down a SIMPLE AND COMPREHENSIVE FLAT TAX? It isn't about being conservative or liberal, rich or poor. It's about being pissed that so few people actually pay income tax now that our tax system is failing and a solution MUST be formulated. Period. End of story.

There are so many ways to evade taxes legally (not to mention illegally) that the system has become dilapidated and top heavy. "Raise taxes on the rich!" Are you kidding me? The Upper Middle and Aristocratic classes are the ONLY people who seem to pay taxes anymore! While studies show the lower middle class pay, that number gets smaller and smaller every year as more and more exemptions are passed. The lower classes seem permanently exempt.

So, let's MAKE THEM PAY. Hey, we gotta keep things "equal," right?? What's more equal than everyone paying a flat tax? Then maybe throw in luxury taxes for imported high end goods like BMWs and yachts, etc.

The US has two options in this tax dilemma,
A- cut entitlement programs by 75%
B- alter the tax system

I wish the very best of luck to the poor bastard who goes to D.C. and asks to cut entitlement.

I also wish the best of luck to the guy or gal NOT getting re-elected for proposing a flat tax. The liberal politicians (although surprisingly few actual "street libs") go insane at the mention of a flat tax. Such a thing will "crush the middle class and kill the poor."

We return:
A- cut entitlements
B - flat tax

A kills people, as established by libs above. B...kills people, as established by libs above. So if they are going to die either way....

Not to be socially incorrect, but, uh, can't we just kill them and get it over with so I don't have to worry about filing taxes next year / watch our nation go broke?
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      05-09-2011, 12:06 PM   #2
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I'm not very well versed in all the details but I do wonder if in the end it will help the "haves".

My wife worked many years as the HR for a major US retailer that typically paid just slightly over minimum wage. Most of the people that she worked with would come to work the day before payday running on fumes and a prayer. I suspect these types of people very likely fit into the non or very low tax payer group.

They already spend virtually every penny they make. If forced to pay more in taxes they would have less to spend in the local economy. The "haves" would have to pay less in taxes but their profits would suffer because their customers would have less disposable income. Just a thought....
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      05-09-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
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We actually went to a flat tax in 1986. GHW Bush killed it in 1990. Which cost him the election in 1992.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Reform_Act_of_1986
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      05-09-2011, 12:44 PM   #4
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I am all for it. A 25% flat tax would be a 50% tax INCREASE on the top 400 tax payers, who currently only pay an 16.62% effective tax rate.

It would be a 45% tax INCREASE for the top 5% of tax payers who currently only pay a 17.52% effective tax rate.


"Taxpayers on the 95th to 99th steps on the income ladder paid an effective income tax rate of 17.52 percent"

http://www.taxanalysts.com/www/featu...7?OpenDocument



The flat tax will never happen. The Flat Tax was proposed back when the top richest folks were paying effective tax rates around 30%, and it would have been a tax cut for them. Now they will never back the flat tax, because it will cost them too much money. Besides, their buddies in Congress have passed enough tax cuts and tax credits to nearly cut their taxes in half since then, so they have already won.

Funny, I don't remember having MY middle-class effective tax rate get cut in half.

Last edited by 11Series; 05-09-2011 at 12:50 PM.
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      05-09-2011, 04:35 PM   #5
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The only reason why the "richest" have such a low effective tax rate is because they are better informed (or better access to information) regarding tax shelters, tax planning, etc.. It's not like the middle class can't do the same things. The problem is that is the information costs money (lawyers, accountants, advisors, etc.), money that the middle/lower class can ill-afford.

To me, a simple flat tax is not the answer. The solution is two-fold:
1) Make tax shelter/tax planning info more readily available/economic. Not sure how, but then not sure why the government can't help more in this respect.

2) Allow taxpayers to have more decision-making authority on where its tax dollars are spent. To some extent, we indirectly do, in form of charitable contributions (i.e. donate money to the Red Cross = less adjusted income = les taxes). I think we should be able to "donate" money specific government departments or programs that we want to support, and then get a tax credit (rather than a deduction) for the "donation". I think it'll be interesting to have the government/gov't programs earn their funding by proving themselves to individual taxpayers (rather than our political representatives). Of course, there would need to be control over the gov't's ability (and funds used) to advertise ...

Edit: further thought on #2: if you don't want to spend the time or brainpower, you can also have the option of simply checking the "Decline" box which would default to letting your elected rep choose on your behalf by voting the next budget (which would just comprise of whatever taxes are left over).

Last edited by schoy; 05-09-2011 at 04:45 PM.
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      05-09-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
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^^^ Above is good thoughts. But what needs to be changed is the school system. There's calculus classes but no classes on investing, saving and financial planning. Sure there's accounting but that's only good if you want to be an accountant. But I'm all for a flat tax of 20%, and then another whatever the states want for their taxes. I'm very conservative but don't necessarily believe taxes are a bad thing, as long as they are moderated and low. What they are now are unfair and high. A flat tax would be popular to many people and would greatly simplify paperwork.
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      05-09-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
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Perhaps a flat tax would be an improvement over what exists, but it would be best to just repeal the income tax. Just get rid of it. And cut the federal governement budget to accomodate the lower tax base. Then collect tax for operation of federal government within Constitutional limits. It would be a small fraction of the present reach of Washington DC.
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      05-09-2011, 07:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoy View Post
The only reason why the "richest" have such a low effective tax rate is because they are better informed (or better access to information) regarding tax shelters, tax planning, etc.. It's not like the middle class can't do the same things. The problem is that is the information costs money (lawyers, accountants, advisors, etc.), money that the middle/lower class can ill-afford.

To me, a simple flat tax is not the answer. The solution is two-fold:
1) Make tax shelter/tax planning info more readily available/economic. Not sure how, but then not sure why the government can't help more in this respect.

2) Allow taxpayers to have more decision-making authority on where its tax dollars are spent. To some extent, we indirectly do, in form of charitable contributions (i.e. donate money to the Red Cross = less adjusted income = les taxes). I think we should be able to "donate" money specific government departments or programs that we want to support, and then get a tax credit (rather than a deduction) for the "donation". I think it'll be interesting to have the government/gov't programs earn their funding by proving themselves to individual taxpayers (rather than our political representatives). Of course, there would need to be control over the gov't's ability (and funds used) to advertise ...

Edit: further thought on #2: if you don't want to spend the time or brainpower, you can also have the option of simply checking the "Decline" box which would default to letting your elected rep choose on your behalf by voting the next budget (which would just comprise of whatever taxes are left over).

Interesting thoughts. Everyone always focuses on what they personally don't want to pay for, but they want their own pet programs funded. It sounds like an interesting idea to get people to put their money behind their political rhetoric.

Sadly, if it came down to a popularity contest, I think all the money would end up going to just two departments. The US Dept. of Kill Everything, and the US Dept. of Cute Puppies and Kitties.


Anyways, let me respond to your first point that "The only reason why the "richest" have such a low effective tax rate is because they are better informed".

Another major factor is that capital gains taxes used to be taxed at people's regular income tax rate, just like income that comes from paychecks. Then rich people who make the majority of their money as capital gains (instead of in paychecks) got Congress to tax Capital Gains at just 15%. Regular folks got a small tax break on wages from salaries, but folks who make a ton of money on capital gains often saw their tax bills cut in half.

Why didn't you get your tax bill cut in half for your wages paid in your paycheck? Because you didn't have a lobbyist buying off Congress on your behalf, and they did.
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      05-09-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottwww View Post
Perhaps a flat tax would be an improvement over what exists, but it would be best to just repeal the income tax. Just get rid of it. And cut the federal governement budget to accomodate the lower tax base. Then collect tax for operation of federal government within Constitutional limits. It would be a small fraction of the present reach of Washington DC.

Which Constitutional Limits are you talking about? Your fantasy dream about what you wished the Constitution says, or what the Constitution REALLY says (but you intentionally try to ignore)?

You've already had your fantasies about so-called Constitutional limits destroyed in a previous thread, including my personal favorite exerpt from the real US Constitution:

Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution:

"The Congress shall have the Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States...


http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=38
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      05-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #10
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Overall, I feel that what I pay has ZERO connection to me when it gets wherever it goes.

I pay my taxes, the gov't says "Thanks for being a Patriot!" and then I watch trillions spent on things I don't care at all about / don't effect me.

So, the general thought is this: I theorize that if EVERYONE were forced to pay flat tax, then everyone would feel "closer" to what they see the cash spent on. For example, I'm willing to bet a lot of the trash in this nation begging for handouts cause they spent their paycheck too fast would think twice when considering that fancy, new 55" LED TV and seeing a flat tax of three or four hundred dollars. They'd bitch and moan / freak out at the counter because 1.) they've never felt the sting of actually having to pay taxes 2.) they wouldn't be so quick to ask for handouts if they had to actually CONTRIBUTE to the handout treasury (you and me as it stands).

If people only receive and do not give a system is broken. The tax system shouldn't be a puzzle. It should be strait forward and contain a clear message "These tax funds will be spent on you and the things you feel are important. You will contribute and receive."

All men are created equal, and as such if more people don't start paying their damn taxes I'll equally distribute kick-ass amongst the assholes who don't.

In our capitalist society (which I am all for) we think "how can we get the most out of any situation." This is logical, no?
But when you're filing taxes...and let's say you have children, so you qualify for some sort of credit/deduction... do you take it? What if you were a multi millionaire and you're filing your taxes on a 10m yacht, do you still take the few hundred bucks in credits?

OFCOURSE YOU DO. "How can I get the most from this situation." But think about it, isn't it cruel to do that because that money could have been spent on grain and bread for the poor children, condoms for idiot teens who won't use them anyways, aid for disasters, and to pay the military who protect you??

NO. Cause we have ZERO clue how our tax dollars are spent. I want a damn chart that tells me what my congressman spent, too. Like down to every fkn compensated meal that ass ate. Because we do not see how every dollar is spent we mis judge many, many MANY things. For example, the priority of certain things getting tax dollars over other things. Like...what comes before what? It is common in America to keep everything run by the gov't on top priority. If there is a problem, pay to have it fixed and we'll borrow that money from China, because god forbid someone has to live without a gov't service for a whole day. (Did I mention the US pays $300 billion a year in interest payments on our debt?? That's just interest...not the actual payment..how sad.)
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      05-09-2011, 08:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11Series View Post
Which Constitutional Limits are you talking about? Your fantasy dream about what you wished the Constitution says, or what the Constitution REALLY says (but you intentionally try to ignore)?

You've already had your fantasies about so-called Constitutional limits destroyed in a previous thread, including my personal favorite exerpt from the real US Constitution:

Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution:

"The Congress shall have the Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States...


http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=38
It is only within your own mind that you think you have destroyed any argument. You have argued about various things and have not prevailed in any.

It is a more honest person who can admit that their argument appears to not have any of the intended effect. I recognize that my argument is not accepted by those who disagree with me, and that there would be few who would agree with me. You come from the perspective of a person who has accepted as the premise that the best limits on thought are those that are spoon fed by the politicians and the popular media. You are a lemming.

I will give you one piece of the Constitution here that should say it all for this part of the argument:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

It is only by interpreting this Amendment in a convoluted way, or ignoring it entirely, and then ignoring the purpose of the entire Constitution that one can interpret it the way you do, resting on two words you like to put in boldface.

In short, it is an arrogant ass that will claim they destroyed another persons argument when there is nothing but his high regard for his own words.
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      05-09-2011, 08:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoy View Post
The only reason why the "richest" have such a low effective tax rate is because they are better informed (or better access to information) regarding tax shelters, tax planning, etc.. It's not like the middle class can't do the same things. The problem is that is the information costs money (lawyers, accountants, advisors, etc.), money that the middle/lower class can ill-afford.

To me, a simple flat tax is not the answer. The solution is two-fold:
1) Make tax shelter/tax planning info more readily available/economic. Not sure how, but then not sure why the government can't help more in this respect.

2) Allow taxpayers to have more decision-making authority on where its tax dollars are spent. To some extent, we indirectly do, in form of charitable contributions (i.e. donate money to the Red Cross = less adjusted income = les taxes). I think we should be able to "donate" money specific government departments or programs that we want to support, and then get a tax credit (rather than a deduction) for the "donation". I think it'll be interesting to have the government/gov't programs earn their funding by proving themselves to individual taxpayers (rather than our political representatives). Of course, there would need to be control over the gov't's ability (and funds used) to advertise ...

Edit: further thought on #2: if you don't want to spend the time or brainpower, you can also have the option of simply checking the "Decline" box which would default to letting your elected rep choose on your behalf by voting the next budget (which would just comprise of whatever taxes are left over).

The idea of picking what programs to fund is an awesome idea. Perhaps certain ones that saved lives (SS, Medi-caid/-care, welfare) couldn't be cut below a certain level or disbanded, but they could certainly be questioned / reformed.

But if we got to pick where our money went I think most of America would be very ecstatic! Problem is... the current tax system doesn't yield enough money to pay for what we have now, much less what we'll have in the future. So even if we could chose we don't have any tax revenue to put there
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      05-09-2011, 09:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by scottwww View Post

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,


But the US Constitution clearly DOES delegate the United States to:

"provide for the common defense and general welfare"

I know you want desparately to ignore this. But there it is in bold.
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      05-09-2011, 09:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11Series View Post
But the US Constitution clearly DOES delegate the United States to:

"provide for the common defense and general welfare"

I know you want desparately to ignore this. But there it is in bold.
Tell us all what is your interpretation of general welfare since you are so enamored of it? Actually, it might be best for you to create a new thread dedicated to it as it is crucially important.
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      05-09-2011, 09:33 PM   #15
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I want the illegals that clog up our emergency rooms to be denied care for any non-immediate services. Sure if they got shot they must be helped but now they are sending in their kids for sniffles and are only using up our services and doctor's times. Make it so that theres a cop waiting in each E.R. and identify all people going in. Also, make any and all people that are on welfare and are physically and mentally able to work, work. I don't understand why these slobs can sit around all day not working because they're guaranteed a tax payer funded check. Make them do a remedial job, they should make tools or build/make other things for pay. Man this country needs to be fixed. I'm tired of all these nanny state ideals.
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      05-09-2011, 09:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by scottwww View Post
I recognize that my argument is not accepted by those who disagree with me, and that there would be few who would agree with me.
Add a few more people to the list who don't agree with you:

(1) The US Supreme Court
(2) A few other random peeps, like Alexander Hamilton.

See, Scott, your problem is not that you immediately dismiss any argument you don't agree with because you think the other person is misinformed, your problem is that you immediately dismiss any argument you don't agree with because YOU are misinformed and just don't understand what is being said.

I, for one, can readily admit (like I noted in previous threads), that for every founding father that said one thing, you can find another who said the other (for example, i'll even do your work for you, and tell you that James Madison felt the exact opposite way of Hamilton). But that's the beauty of the founding fathers, the Constitution, and the country as a whole -- there is very rarely a CLEAR black and white answer to these very complex problems.

But again, so long as you continue to pretend these issues are easy, and that you have all the answers despite decades of precedent and law saying otherwise, you'll continue to look like a buffoon.
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      05-09-2011, 09:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelinIsRich08 View Post
I want the illegals that clog up our emergency rooms to be denied care for any non-immediate services. Sure if they got shot they must be helped but now they are sending in their kids for sniffles and are only using up our services and doctor's times. Make it so that theres a cop waiting in each E.R. and identify all people going in. Also, make any and all people that are on welfare and are physically and mentally able to work, work. I don't understand why these slobs can sit around all day not working because they're guaranteed a tax payer funded check. Make them do a remedial job, they should make tools or build/make other things for pay. Man this country needs to be fixed. I'm tired of all these nanny state ideals.
And what do you propose we do with illegal immigrants that are ill and need treatment? Send them away to die? Not only is that immoral but it is directly antithetical to the oath that every physician in this country takes.

There first of all needs to be a comprehensive plan to control the influx of illegal immigrants, and convert those that are in the country to a legal status (so that they can pay taxes, etc.). Secondly, there needs to be a comprehensive health care policy so that people don't have the need to go to the ER instead of a primary care physician for basic needs. The Democratic party advocates the use of subsidized and eventually nationalized healthcare. Personally, I think we need a system akin to Singapore, where each person has mandatory income contributions to a healthcare savings account. Leave Medicaid (for people who have no/insufficient income/ for children) intact, and medicare will become redundant and unnecessary.
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      05-09-2011, 10:02 PM   #18
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Tell us all what is your interpretation of general welfare since you are so enamored of it? Actually, it might be best for you to create a new thread dedicated to it as it is crucially important.
Ask Alexander Hamilton, and you'll get one answer.

Ask Thomas Jefferson, and you'll get another answer.

As the Supreme Court, and you'll get a hybrid answer.

Why don't you understand this?

However, no matter what you or I think, the Supreme Court's precedents clearly say that General Welfare is a very broad term. I'm not saying that I even agree with it. I'm merely presenting the FACTS.

There are plenty of other Supreme Court precedents that I personally don't agree with, but it doesn't make the law and the precedents they're based off of any less true.
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      05-09-2011, 10:02 PM   #19
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^^^^^^ Non-immediate doesn't include deathly ill. Haha.
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      05-09-2011, 10:14 PM   #20
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^^^^^^ Non-immediate doesn't include deathly ill. Haha.
Where and how do you draw the line between immediate and non-immediate?

A leukemia or lymphoma is not immediate, but certain types can lead to death in a matter of months.

I don't know about you, but I would have a very hard time turning away people I know that have even the remotest possibility of dying
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      05-09-2011, 10:35 PM   #21
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^^^ Then they should pay or go back to their own country. It sounds terribly harsh but isn't it unfair to the doctors who are doing all that work for free and the taxpayers footing some of the bills?
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      05-09-2011, 10:53 PM   #22
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Tell us all what is your interpretation of general welfare since you are so enamored of it? Actually, it might be best for you to create a new thread dedicated to it as it is crucially important.

"General Welfare" is a very broad category that includes way more than what we should be logically spending our money on. By that I mean that there are plenty of things that we could cut from the federal budget --- not because the spending is unconstitional, but because we can't afford the spending and there are better priorities.

There is a great debate to be had about exactly what these priorites are.

The problem is that the Republican Party is trying to chop off the debate by trying to wrap themselves falsely in the US Constitution. The Republican Party is trying to say their priorities for spending on National Defense are constitutional, while saying spending on General Welfare is unconstutional. This is clearly a lie, and it only takes a moment to READ the constitution to see this is a lie.

So you can keep repeating the lies you have been told to repeat, like a good delivery boy, or you can admit that the budget debate isn't a constitutional debate. You can't be part of the budget debate until you first recognize that you are dogmatically repeating Republican talking points specifically designed by Republican Party wonks to derail LOGICAL and HONEST debates about priorities.
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