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RRH Black Friday Policy Thread: Fiscal Cliff

by: Ryan_in_SEPA

Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:17:26 AM EST

How would you resolve the Fiscal Cliff?

As usual, keep the discussion civil unlike the Black Friday shoppers.

Ryan_in_SEPA :: RRH Black Friday Policy Thread: Fiscal Cliff
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I am warming to the idea of flooring it and going right off the cliff Themla and Louise style.  Austerity is going to happen eventually and that means deep spending cuts and tax increases.  Lets begin it before things get worse.

Ideally I would like to see more spending cuts and a broader reform of the tax code with more revenue.  Ideally I would accomplish the increase in revenue by lowering the rates and phasing out most deductions for wealthier individuals.  I would also support a substantial reduction in the number of deductions.

29, Republican, PA-6

I think this is our only real chance to get some austerity in manageable chunks before things go to hell(enic). It's going to be painful but now is the time to say point-blank that it's going to take some pain from everyone in order to solve this problem.

An unintended positive side effect is that this might wake people up to the need for entitlement reform.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
The political problem with this is...
Democrats will blame the GOP for holding everyone hostage for the tax rates of the top 2%. And Democrats will then push for extending the Bush tax cuts for the 98% and the GOP would then look weak at that point.

30/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

Marco Rubio For President!

[ Parent ]
Both sides will be blamed
Both sides being blamed are the only way we will get substantive reform.  Both sides have to agree to put their butts on the line.

This could lead to a radical reaction as well.  Both sides could just start primarying anyone that compromises and we could get more ideological legislative bodies.

29, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
We could use a few primaries for that
I've had it up to here with government overspending and having us bail them out with little to no real changes and the same thing repeating later.  

I don't care if it's from Granholm, Snyder, Bush, or Obama.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

[ Parent ]
Both sides will get blamed
However, after all the tax rates go up, Democrats will push for lowering 98% of tax rates to go back to the Bush levels. And at that point, either the GOP caves or they fight it out for more substantive tax reform, while getting blamed by the media.

30/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

Marco Rubio For President!

[ Parent ]
How would I solve it or how will the Govt solve it?
How I would solve it is by throwing out the entire tax code and 72,000 page tax code and replace it with a pro-growth, simple, fair and flat tax code that everyone can actually read. I would then form a commission to enact serious entitlement reforms for both Medicare & Social Security, cut spending across the board, shrink the size of the federal workforce, sell US govt assests to raise cash & pay down debt and allow oil companies to drill baby drill. I would also legailize (and tax) online gambling and repeal the federal ban on marijuana and replace it with a tax!  

How the govt will solve it?
Why they will kick the can down the road and change the deadline for the fiscal cliff until Dec 31 2014!

[ Parent ]
How would I resolve it
1. Control spending and audit.

By that I mean go through every single department and find out:

A. How much is spent.
B. Is the department needed at the federal level.
C. If not, eliminate it. If so, does it need "x" number of dollars. If not reduce.  
D. Repeat for all departments.

Hell no when it comes to new taxes. It's not about tax "fairness" or paying "fair share." It's about government not being fiscally responsible, wanting us to bail them out, and government not earning new revenues due to their fiscal mismanagement. Frankly, the 2008 levels suck which were proposed in the past by republicans. Those were records until Obama.

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

I agree with all the above.

"Dictator Jon" would also be selling off federal lands not used for defense related purposes.
(National Parks & Forests to the states they are located in; federal land that isn't in that category sold to any private enterprise that wants it)

I'd also replace the current income tax structure with flat tax at a lower rate but no deductions.  

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
What I think WILL happen
Is that Simpson Bowles will be modified such that there are reforms made to medicare and social security with regards to benefits and eligibility. In return, I think that the top tax rate will go back up to where it was pre-2001. In addition, I think that the tax code will be modified such that deductions are limited for people making over X amount. I think that some things like foreign aid and other domestic projects are cut or eliminated. I don't think we get to a balanced budget or anything close to it, but this is going to be grumbled about by both sides instead of hailed as a major accomplishment.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

A realistic but painful solution
Which will actually solve the deficit.

Hike taxes and cut spending like crazy.

It will have many side effects, but we'll get rid of the debt.  

26, Male, R, NY-10

Scott Walker for President!

If I may
I'd merely say that you can not hack'n slash your way out of this hole. Yes, there have to be significant spending cuts, but it must be accompanied by real and meaningful reforms.

Quite frankly ... I don't see that happening.  

German citizen - Conservative by heart, non native english speaker

[ Parent ]
I would replace the income tax system with a FairTax system (basically a value-added-tax). I would privatize Social Security, with a public safety net component. I would replace Medicare, Medicaid, and so on with a single-payer health-care system. I would phase in a 60% cut in defense spending, taking it back to the level where it was at when GWB took office.

By my math, that would result in a half trillion dollar budget surplus, assuming that health care costs per capita drop 33% to match the next most expensive health care system. On that basis, I would mandate that the budget surplus go to paying off the national debt over a 30-year period, and pass a spending-equals-revenues balanced budget amendment.

Democrat, NC-11

The FairTax is not a value added tax
In fact, it is quite the opposite, since it only taxes at one level, whereas a value added tax does so at every transactional  level.

30/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

Marco Rubio For President!

[ Parent ]
What I was trying to say is that I would implement a VAT version of the FairTax concept.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
The point if the FairTax is to eliminate all federal taxes and leave just one at the retail level
So, what you prefer isn't that concept, but rather a European VAT that would simply be an enhanced version of what we currently have (when considering embedded taxes/costs to the consumer), while eliminating other means of taxation (ie income, excise, etc...).

I'm not so much opposed to this, but I would need to have a constitutional amendment eliminating the income tax. As it would be a slippery slope to being taxes at greater levels down the road. I'm a big FairTax fan, but I could live with such a compromise.

30/Male/Married/Father of One/Republican/CA-3

Marco Rubio For President!

[ Parent ]
VAT vs. Sales Tax
The main rationale for a value-added tax rather than a retail-end sales tax, or at least the reason I support a VAT instead of a basic sales tax, is to prevent the massive tax avoidance that would take place if a sales tax was high enough to replace the income tax code. Perhaps a better way to put it is that I'd support implementing the FairTax framework in whatever way would preempt the incentive to circumvent paying taxes.

I certainly wouldn't object to amending the Constitution accordingly, so long as it ensures that the U.S. has the flexibility to respond to an extreme crisis like the Second World War. I would favor requiring a super-majority with annual renewal, but there are other ways to do it.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
Off the top of my head...
Cap Medicare growth
Create Medicare premium support option
Nix Bush tax cuts for $250K+
Nix loopholes
Raise Medicare eligibility age to 70
Raise Social Security eligibility age to 70
Reduce estate tax to Clinton levels
Social Security means testing
Tort reform

25, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Jeb 2016. Visit me at

I could
Agree to most of that actually.  Let's make a deal!

34/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Almost agree to it
The average lifespan used to be 65 years old. Back then most people got no more than 10-15 years of Social Security. Now they get twice that.  

People are living a lot longer and a lot healthier. My dad is 75 and still in charge of his business. His dad's generation couldn't imagine that. If 75 is the new 65, then we can surely raise the retirement and Medicare ages.

In 2001 the top 1% paid 34% of all income taxes and the top 5% paid 53%. In 2007 those numbers were 40% and 61%. Those numbers have dropped during the recession, since the rich get richer much faster when times are good and get poorer faster when times are bad.

The part of the Bush tax cuts that liberals deny exists is that 82% of all the tax cuts went to the 99%, wiping a lot of effective tax rates to near 0%. When one group inordinately pays so much of the taxes you run into revenue problems because their income is so volatile and you simply can't fund 99% of the people on what 1% make. Eventually someone will realize that we need to repeal all of the Bush tax cuts to generate real revenue.

California decided to ignore that and greatly increase taxes on the rich, the same people whose volatile incomes were the chief cause of revenue drops. We won't see the revenue we're promised here and that'll be a lesson to the nation.

But forget all that. No one will ever raise taxes on anyone but the 1%.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
If you both raise taxes on $250+ and nix loopholes
you will end up demolishing people/couples in the semi-wealthy spheres.  Higher taxes with no shelters will crash small business and/or discourage people in those categories.

[ Parent ]
Suggestions for balancing the budget
1)Drastically reduce overseas presence. Remove troops and bases from Japan, Korea, Germany, Poland, etc; Europe and Asia need to start paying for their own defense. Withdraw all military units and operations from the Middle East region including Libya, Afghanistan, and what's left in Iraq.  The Middle East can deal with the consequences of its affairs on its own.  Besides intelligence agents, diplomats, and security protecting our direct interests, we should have very limited presence internationally.

2)Eliminate foreign aid to ALL countries.

3)Repeal NAFTA and CAFTA. Enact a sizable, flat, across-the-board tariff on imports that do not discriminate between countries or products. (This would include oil and other commodities)

4)Withdraw from the UN. Auction off the real estate in Manhattan to the highest bidder and put all profits towards paying down debts.

5)Sell off ~50% national lands to the states. Possibly some to private interests. Put profits towards paying down debt.

6)Enact a flat 8-12% income tax with no deductions and no exemptions for anyone over the age of 18. Must be renewed by Congress every ten years. Designed as a supplementary revenue source to the tariffs.

7)Repeal Obamacare.

8)Privatize social security.

9)Eliminate the Department of Homeland Security and repeal the Patriot Act. Privatize airport security.

10)Eliminate the Department of Education.

11)I am no expert on health care policy but some reforms must be made to Medicare and Medicaid to bring costs under control. Particularly Medicare with the exploding senior population. Would need to include raising the age of eligibility.

12)Eliminate the death tax.

Even if this was enacted in its entirety, more cuts would still need to be made to balance the budget. But its a start.

Saint Paul (MN-4)  

The real problem is we tax the rich rather than wealth
Virtually all of the 250K+ tax increases are going to fall on the bottom of the top 2% of earners, because simply raising rates will do nothing to ensure that the genuinely wealthy actually pay anything anymore than our high corporate rate ensures companies actually pay.

I actually favor, at least in theory, replacing the income tax with a net worth tax. Basically tax % of the increase in net worth between January and December. Net worth on December 31st - Net Worth on January 1st is easily to calculate. Furthermore, deductions write themselves. Spending on health insurance, food, utilities, and education do not increase net-worth, and therefore living expenses and education are automatically untaxed. Buying a new car, tv, house, or boat do increase networth. And go after Capital Gains income. I know everyone loves bubbles and the fictional wealth the financial industry creates, since it allows politicians to claim the economy is growing rapidly when its in fact imploding in 98% of the country, but the reality is that moving money out of the market and into capital investments would produce more jobs, infrastructure, and furthermore encourage manufacturing to move back to the country. I can see Sam Walton in the role of job creator. I have trouble seeing Jon Corzine and Hank Paulson that way.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

Taxing Net Worth
Taxing net wealth sounds nice in theory, but it's a bad idea in reality.

What if I'm holding millions in stock of a company that's doing okay on December 31, but the investment is worthless on April 15? What am I paying taxes on? And where am I supposed to get the money?

My house is my main asset, most of my net worth. Should I have to sell it to pay my taxes? That's not a hypothetical. If we taxed wealth, I'd have to do that.

What about the person whose net worth is based on his share of a company he's involved in? The company might be worth millions, even if it doesn't turn a profit. People couldn't start up new companies, because they're likely to have a value long before they are profitable.

Finally, whose valuation are we going on? I have baseball cards that Becket's price guide says have value, but no one will buy. I'd be better off throwing them in the trash rather than pay taxes on them.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Fiscal Cliff: Taxes and Social Security
On taxes:

Agree to keep the Bush Tax cuts where they are now if Conservatives will agree to a carbon tax.

Other items coming due:
End the payroll tax cut.
Make the doc fix permanent, but don't "fix" it all the way. Maybe cut payments to doctors 10-25%.
Make the AMT tax patch permanent, but again, don't "fix" it all the way. Another 10-25% adjustment.

Use these savings to make sequester cuts less severe.

On Social Security:
Change to the chain weighted CPI.
Raise the retirement age to 68 for blue collar workers, but raise it to 73 for white collar workers. (A 1 yr raise for blue collar, a 6 year raise for white.) For those who change between blue and white collar jobs, their full retirement age would be somewhere in between.

Also, incentivize businesses to allow workers to "phase down" rather than fully retire all at once.

Change from fee for service to global payments system as soon as is reasonably possible.
Increase cost sharing for seniors making over 250k a year. Thus these seniors will have to pay more for Medicare and prescription drugs.
Try to have a reasonable conversation about end of life care that doesn't involve the word "death panels."

Mainstream Dem.  


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