Author Topic: Political Humor  (Read 101851 times)

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Offline Genowyn

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #350 on: October 20, 2015, 09:05:13 AM »

...my name is Araragi.

Offline Chino

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #351 on: October 23, 2015, 12:21:19 PM »

Offline Chino

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #352 on: October 23, 2015, 02:02:52 PM »

Calvin6s

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #353 on: October 23, 2015, 07:10:41 PM »
Ben Carson is the best dancer and Sanders is the worst.  Can't speak for Carson's actual dancing ability, but they probably nailed Methuselah Sanders.

Offline Chino

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #354 on: October 29, 2015, 06:37:19 AM »

Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #355 on: October 29, 2015, 08:44:52 AM »


Ugggh, I assume you are celebrating Patton Oswalt's twat - I don't get it, personally - but I have to say:  most of them were as annoying as hell, and at one point I turned to my wife and said "if I ever get on Twitter, please punch me in the face as hard as you can".   MOST of those comments - even the ones I nominally would agree with - were at best inane.   YOU CANNOT SUMMARIZE THESE ISSUES IN 50 CHARACTERS!!!

Offline portnoy311

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #356 on: October 30, 2015, 02:12:39 PM »
I think it's that CNBC played a tweet from a comedian making fun of their own coverage. Either an intern was having a laugh or their algorithm screwed up somehow. (I'm an Oswalt fan, but I don't get the joke either. I think he's making a reference to something I missed, either way he's saying he's schnockered.)

I don't personally use Twitter, but it can be a good tool. It is not the end of the world mindless tool you make it out to be. It's made to emulate text messages. I have multiple friends who live out of state that I speak to daily via text, character limit and all. It's just how the world communicates, I don't need to sit down and write a letter every time I want to send my buddy a link or ask how his day went, etc. That is how Twitter is meant to be used, and 99% of its traffic is used. Twitter is supposed to be a rapid fire communication social network, not something news broadcasts use during debates. It's supposed CNBC had the scroll going, but that's not on Twitter.

And hey, it's not like "these issues" can be summarized in 30 seconds of rhetoric by the candidates anyway (or to be more succinct - a post on DTF).

Offline portnoy311

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #357 on: October 30, 2015, 07:02:02 PM »
This gave me a good laugh.

https://i.imgur.com/HUdUjo0.gifv

Offline jsbru

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #358 on: October 31, 2015, 06:19:28 PM »
It's funny because they don't actually understand how debt works on a national scale and the difference between personal and national debt.

Yup.

The United States economy is enormous compared to its government's debts.  Without even raising tax rates, you could close a handful of loopholes and have a surplus starting tomorrow.

Also, all this debt/deficit talk ignores the trillions of dollars the US government holds in assets.  What if that "family" in that picture owned a $1 million dollar mansion despite, for whatever reason, their low income?

That's not to say we shouldn't get the budget balanced--but smart economics tells us that the wrong time to do that is with an economy that's still recovering from one of the most dramatic recessions in our country's history.

Governments should act as a counter-cyclical force in an economy: spending more when the economy is hurting, and collecting more taxes and paying off debt when the economy is reeling.  It's not rocket science.  The only reason you hear all of this debt talk right now is because there's a Democrat in the White House.
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Calvin6s

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #359 on: October 31, 2015, 08:34:23 PM »
Without even raising tax rates, you could close a handful of loopholes and have a surplus starting tomorrow.
That's relatively faulty as well.  You can't figure.

100 (total US income) x 25% (stand in tax rate), then
100 (total US income) x 30% (new effective tax rate with *loopholes* closed)
One has an effect on the other.

Quote
That's not to say we shouldn't get the budget balanced
I don't want a balanced budget amendment.  At least not consistently balanced (or even annually).  But I wouldn't mind a longer time frame "balancing).  I really have never zeroed in on a hard time frame, but obviously it would have to be long enough to take care of an emergency, but short enough so one set of politicians get to spend, leaving it up to their predecessors to balance (the bad practice politicians will be viewed as good and cool, and those with the burden of balancing will be viewed as archaic and evil).

I like 3 years (half a Senate term, 1 to 3x per President term, 2 years is too short for the HoR term)

Quote
The only reason you hear all of this debt talk right now is because there's a Democrat in the White House.
Do you really want to stick with that answer?  I remember Reid, Pelosi and Obama talking about W and all by his lonesome.  I recall Obama supporters passing around a comic strip frequently on W's debt.  If you want to say it is coming up because of the opposition party, that's more accurate.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #360 on: November 02, 2015, 08:08:04 AM »
I think it's that CNBC played a tweet from a comedian making fun of their own coverage. Either an intern was having a laugh or their algorithm screwed up somehow. (I'm an Oswalt fan, but I don't get the joke either. I think he's making a reference to something I missed, either way he's saying he's schnockered.)

I don't personally use Twitter, but it can be a good tool. It is not the end of the world mindless tool you make it out to be. It's made to emulate text messages. I have multiple friends who live out of state that I speak to daily via text, character limit and all. It's just how the world communicates, I don't need to sit down and write a letter every time I want to send my buddy a link or ask how his day went, etc. That is how Twitter is meant to be used, and 99% of its traffic is used. Twitter is supposed to be a rapid fire communication social network, not something news broadcasts use during debates. It's supposed CNBC had the scroll going, but that's not on Twitter.

And hey, it's not like "these issues" can be summarized in 30 seconds of rhetoric by the candidates anyway (or to be more succinct - a post on DTF).

I suppose you are right on all accounts (certainly on your assessment of my opinion of Twitter; I DO consider it an "end of the world" mindless tool, at least how it is used to reach people like me that AREN'T part of the 99%. 

I do think over the last ten years or so, there is a very dangerous level to which we've made it so that every single person feels their opinion - even if "opinion" really means "misstated fact" - is as worthy as every one else's.  They just aren't, and no app in the universe is going to change that.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #361 on: November 02, 2015, 08:19:52 AM »
It's funny because they don't actually understand how debt works on a national scale and the difference between personal and national debt.

Yup.

The United States economy is enormous compared to its government's debts.  Without even raising tax rates, you could close a handful of loopholes and have a surplus starting tomorrow.

Also, all this debt/deficit talk ignores the trillions of dollars the US government holds in assets.  What if that "family" in that picture owned a $1 million dollar mansion despite, for whatever reason, their low income?

That's not to say we shouldn't get the budget balanced--but smart economics tells us that the wrong time to do that is with an economy that's still recovering from one of the most dramatic recessions in our country's history.

Governments should act as a counter-cyclical force in an economy: spending more when the economy is hurting, and collecting more taxes and paying off debt when the economy is reeling.  It's not rocket science.  The only reason you hear all of this debt talk right now is because there's a Democrat in the White House.

Your general premise is right, I believe, but you undermine it with some basic fallacies of your own.  I don't know if this is where Calvin is going with his post, but the math is not as simple as changing one variable and recalculating.   The variable are co-dependent, so changing one by definition changes the other.  There are OPTIMAL tax rates in order to generate optimal revenue, and we are already well past that with our taxation of the mythical "rich".  There is a point at which "closing loopholes"* results in lower gross, pre-tax income on which the tax is placed.   I put an asterisk there, because there is a fudging of the word "loophole" in this discussion.  "Loophole" is a way in which an actor can subvert the intent of the law.  Closing these loopholes doesn't get us where we need to be.  "Loophole" sounds like something that has to be fixed, but it has come to mean even those tax deductions and exemptions that Congress fully intended all of us to use to our benefit, but result in a reduction of tax revenue. The "mortgage interest" deduction for example - often included in the list of things that might have to go - is NOT a loophole; this was absolutely intended, specifically to induce home ownership for those who were on the bubble with buying.  These aren't "loopholes" per se, but using that term is how you build consensus for attacking them. 

Also, the "debt" talk is not because there is a "Democrat" in the White House; it is because there is a President who said one thing about debt and is not only acting opposite (that is to be expected in a politician) but is acting with such reckless abandon.    It's not the same as personal finance - we can literally make money - but at that level, consumer confidence (the lack of which caused the recession in the first place) is a powerful tool, and if the world economy gets to have the impression that we can't control our spending and that we can't effectively manage our assets, we're fucked in a way you can't even imagine.  It would make the recession seem like a slight stumble.

Offline Progmetty

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #362 on: November 02, 2015, 01:54:23 PM »
"I'm the only candidate up here who's not a billionaire, I don't have super PAC, I don't even have a back pack, I carry my stuff around loose in my arm like a professor, you know between classes" :lol
https://youtu.be/pfmwGAd1L-o
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Offline jsbru

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #363 on: November 02, 2015, 07:36:43 PM »
Your general premise is right, I believe, but you undermine it with some basic fallacies of your own.  I don't know if this is where Calvin is going with his post, but the math is not as simple as changing one variable and recalculating.   The variable are co-dependent, so changing one by definition changes the other.  There are OPTIMAL tax rates in order to generate optimal revenue, and we are already well past that with our taxation of the mythical "rich".

Let's not get confused about statutory vs. effective tax rates.  Statutory rates on income over $419,000 right now are 39.6% (it used to be much higher at 91% under the Republican Eisenhower in the 1950s) but effective tax rates (the rate you actually pay after all the deductions, loopholes, etc.) are much lower.

After all the loopholes, the rich pay something like 15% or so--a lower effective rate than a lot of middle-class families.  You're right that there is an optimal tax rate (you're referring to the Laffer curve), but our country's wealthy are actually effectively taxed below that level.

The reason why effective tax rates on the rich are so low is that a lot of their income comes not from earned income, but from investments, and capital gains are taxed at between 15-20%, and once you start fooling around with deductions and offshore accounts with these, you end up paying a rate somewhere in the low teens.

Quote
There is a point at which "closing loopholes"* results in lower gross, pre-tax income on which the tax is placed.

This is mostly a canard that is inapplicable to our economic environment today.  There comes a point where tax burdens will repress economic activity, but this point is nowhere near where our tax levels are at today.

Right now, the Federal government's tax receipts indexed to GDP are at or near historic lows.  This is because corporate taxes have effectively been slashed to almost nothing.  Sheltering profits overseas, carried interest, depreciation strategies, etc. are all ways corporations dodge taxes.  Corporate income tax in the 1950s used to make up close to 50% of all Federal tax receipts: now that number is down close to 10%.  The resulting burden has been picked up by individuals.

Our yearly budget deficit has been cut to something like $450 billion, but several think tanks have estimated that the total amount dodged in taxes each year is around $500 billion or so.  So even if we didn't close any loopholes, we could balance the budget tomorrow solely by prosecuting tax cheats.

Tax evasion is epidemic in this country.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

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Offline jsbru

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #364 on: November 02, 2015, 09:22:02 PM »
Also, I don't wanna just throw out assertions here without any proof, so I'll link to this chart, which shows historic tax receipts by the Federal government indexed to GDP.

https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=205

As you can see, corporations pay barely any taxes anymore, and individuals have take up the slack.

You can also see that the Obama years, especially 2009-2010, have been low-tax years, or moderate at worst.

A lot of narratives you hear about budget, spending, etc., are just political propaganda.  The idea that corporations are over-taxed is political propaganda.  The idea that our deficit today is a result of massive spending instead of choked off revenues is mostly political propaganda.

And here's an article on my point about tax evasion, published by none other than Forbes, a site that is usually pretty conservative.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2013/09/16/how-much-tax-cheating-is-really-going-on/

$450 billion in tax evasion, and we have a $450 billion budget deficit.  We wouldn't even have to raise taxes to balance the budget.  Just make people pay what they're supposed to pay.

So why do we only hear harping about too much government spending, when it's not even historically high?  When tax evasion is such a major problem?  Who knows.  Democrats are generally totally incompetent when it comes to getting messages across that cut through the political noise.  But there you go, those are the facts.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

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Calvin6s

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #365 on: November 02, 2015, 09:43:28 PM »
"I'm the only candidate up here who's not a billionaire, I don't have super PAC, I don't even have a back pack, I carry my stuff around loose in my arm like a professor, you know between classes" :lol
https://youtu.be/pfmwGAd1L-o
:tup

I almost forgot this was the humor thread.

Offline Progmetty

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #366 on: November 03, 2015, 07:15:06 AM »
:lol Realistically it's bound to drift every now and then, this is P&R after all and you'd rather this happen here than the jokes thread in general discussion section and have a lot of people thinking "can these fuckers take it elsewhere.." hehe
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #367 on: November 03, 2015, 07:58:28 AM »
Your general premise is right, I believe, but you undermine it with some basic fallacies of your own.  I don't know if this is where Calvin is going with his post, but the math is not as simple as changing one variable and recalculating.   The variable are co-dependent, so changing one by definition changes the other.  There are OPTIMAL tax rates in order to generate optimal revenue, and we are already well past that with our taxation of the mythical "rich".

Let's not get confused about statutory vs. effective tax rates.  Statutory rates on income over $419,000 right now are 39.6% (it used to be much higher at 91% under the Republican Eisenhower in the 1950s) but effective tax rates (the rate you actually pay after all the deductions, loopholes, etc.) are much lower.

After all the loopholes, the rich pay something like 15% or so--a lower effective rate than a lot of middle-class families.  You're right that there is an optimal tax rate (you're referring to the Laffer curve), but our country's wealthy are actually effectively taxed below that level.

The reason why effective tax rates on the rich are so low is that a lot of their income comes not from earned income, but from investments, and capital gains are taxed at between 15-20%, and once you start fooling around with deductions and offshore accounts with these, you end up paying a rate somewhere in the low teens.

First time caller, or close to it, it seems, so I'll tell you I've written extensively here on taxes and taxation, so I get it.  And for the most part, you are right (though you fail to note that even though we are below the revenue maximizing point, we are probably above the growth maximizing point, and that this point for every dollar of increased revenue from raised taxes, we are reducing each household's income by about $20). 

In any event, I am responding to what I think is the real canard, and that is "get the rich to pay for shit".  As if the "rich" are all Mark Cuban burning $100 bills to light their cigars.  Got news; I am technically in that "rich bracket" (or was; not now that I am married).   And I can tell you unequivocally, I do NOT have an extra dollar to go to your programs.  I'm not paycheck to paycheck, thankfully, but this notion that "but for the rich paying their fair share, we'd be in the pink" is flat out bullshit.


Quote
Quote
There is a point at which "closing loopholes"* results in lower gross, pre-tax income on which the tax is placed.

This is mostly a canard that is inapplicable to our economic environment today.  There comes a point where tax burdens will repress economic activity, but this point is nowhere near where our tax levels are at today.

Right now, the Federal government's tax receipts indexed to GDP are at or near historic lows.  This is because corporate taxes have effectively been slashed to almost nothing.  Sheltering profits overseas, carried interest, depreciation strategies, etc. are all ways corporations dodge taxes.  Corporate income tax in the 1950s used to make up close to 50% of all Federal tax receipts: now that number is down close to 10%.  The resulting burden has been picked up by individuals.

Our yearly budget deficit has been cut to something like $450 billion, but several think tanks have estimated that the total amount dodged in taxes each year is around $500 billion or so.  So even if we didn't close any loopholes, we could balance the budget tomorrow solely by prosecuting tax cheats.

Tax evasion is epidemic in this country.

Please.  Well, actually, not please.  You have elements of truth in there, but fail to connect the dots.  Why are corporations doing this?   Well, the liberal answer is "greed", but it's not that simple.   The age of country borders is archaic.   In 1950, the number of markets around the world was a fraction of what it is today, and most companies (mine included) didn't have "in country" labor or manufacturing to service those markets.   It doesn't work to have one set of boundaries for operations and one set of boundaries for taxation.  Now multiply each by 100 and see.  Think of hockey; what if you had the goaltender in his crease, but you say "hit the red line painted on the boards with the puck and you get a goal!"  That's stupid.  But that's exactly what is happening today.  The only solution is draconian double-taxation (which my humble State, Connecticut, is trying through it's not so humble governor's new budget plan) and corporations are not going to stand for it.  GE WILL move.   We've already got two divisions that are effectively headquartered out of country (Great Britain, France) and that will increase as the United States increasingly tries to get others to pay for stuff.    Corporations are predictable, they are relentless, but they are not stupid.  They WILL pay their fair share, as long as the share IS fair, it is reasonably predictable, and it is reasonably evenly distributed between them and their domestic and foreign competitors.   For all your tax evasion stuff, and even though from a pure income level, the GE taxation rate is rather low, when you figure in individual tax rates, property taxes, and entitlement taxes (for which there are no deductions or loopholes), GE is the largest taxpayer in Fairfield, top three largest in the State of Connecticut, and a significant contributor on the national level.   Yet the "canard", that corporations aren't doing enough, persists.   

I abhor comparing national and international economics with personal finances - they are not the same, not even close - but an analogy is apt here.   I used to live in Center City, Philadelphia.  There is a reasonably significant homeless problem, and for the most part it's the same people on the same corners, with a few interlopers now and again.   And while I didn't feel right changing my route to avoid them, I would occasionally talk with them, and I remember telling one of them, "brah, you need a new spot.  You are getting people from that train station, but there are two people already there.  You are getting people from that bus stop, but there is one person already there.  And you are getting people walking in from Broad Street, but there are three people already between you and Broad; there is only so much to give."   I never saw him again, so I don't know how that worked out for him (so the analogy sort of fails there) but the point is, you can only get so much blood from a stone, and just because your particular chosen metric isn't being met doesn't mean that the blood isn't still being given. 

Offline jsbru

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #368 on: November 03, 2015, 01:39:50 PM »
That's an interesting response, but I was simply noting the facts.

As a percentage of our government's income, corporate taxes represent a tiny fraction of what they represented 60 years ago...and even 30 years ago.

That's fine if you want to cut taxes for for corporations to increase business activity, but that lost revenue has to come from somewhere.  If it's not coming from corporations, it's got to come from individuals, or possibly excise taxes, which are mostly paid for by consumers.

But as the data shows, spending in this country is not out of control, nor is it higher than it used to be.  It's perfectly in line with post WWII levels.

So, if you're a libertarian, maybe you want spending to be cut to historic lows.  Fine, just say that.  But don't say the budget is out of control because of massive spending programs.

BTW, since we're talking about income taxes (the ones you pay on April 15), that's all discretionary revenue.  About 70 cents on the dollar of that goes to military/self defense.  Something like 55% goes straight to the Department of Defense, another 5-6% goes to the Department of Homeland Security, and the remaining 9% goes to stuff like the VA or security-related money funneled through the State Department.

I realize that libertarians want to cut everything, including defense.  But domestic spending, especially stuff like welfare, etc., is not a big part of the picture.  If you want to have spending levels far lower than historical standards, you're going to have to cut a big chunk out of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
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― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline jsbru

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #369 on: November 03, 2015, 01:48:44 PM »
However, I doubt the business community would really want a lot of that money cut from the Military.  Our military supremacy goes a long way to protecting and promoting world trade--stabilizing existing markets and opening new ones.  Not to mention all the domestic jobs it creates building planes, tanks, etc.  American businesses benefit tremendously from this kind of government spending.  I feel like people who complain about it are really taking this for granted.  And then it becomes the classic "I want all the benefits that these costly things bring me, but I don't want to pay for them."  That attitude pretty much sums up all politics, left and right, no matter what country.  Liberals take a lot of heat for this, but it's time Libertarians took some flak, too.  ;)

They just complain more about paying for it side, while liberals complain more about getting more benefits.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #370 on: November 03, 2015, 02:04:55 PM »
That's an interesting response, but I was simply noting the facts.

As a percentage of our government's income, corporate taxes represent a tiny fraction of what they represented 60 years ago...and even 30 years ago.

That's fine if you want to cut taxes for for corporations to increase business activity, but that lost revenue has to come from somewhere.  If it's not coming from corporations, it's got to come from individuals, or possibly excise taxes, which are mostly paid for by consumers.

But as the data shows, spending in this country is not out of control, nor is it higher than it used to be.  It's perfectly in line with post WWII levels.

So, if you're a libertarian, maybe you want spending to be cut to historic lows.  Fine, just say that.  But don't say the budget is out of control because of massive spending programs.

BTW, since we're talking about income taxes (the ones you pay on April 15), that's all discretionary revenue.  About 70 cents on the dollar of that goes to military/self defense.  Something like 55% goes straight to the Department of Defense, another 5-6% goes to the Department of Homeland Security, and the remaining 9% goes to stuff like the VA or security-related money funneled through the State Department.

I realize that libertarians want to cut everything, including defense.  But domestic spending, especially stuff like welfare, etc., is not a big part of the picture.  If you want to have spending levels far lower than historical standards, you're going to have to cut a big chunk out of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

You're bouncing from entitlements to discretionary spending and back and forth, and you're obfuscating the issue.    Healthcare - which includes Obamacare - accounts for one third of all entitlement spending, which has gone up from $1.7 billion in 2001 to almost $2.4B in 2011.   Non-military, discretionary spending is almost flat.  Yeah, the military spend is out of control, but if you're going to buy into the notion of "stimulus", then military spending isn't the worst use of a dollar on the planet.   For example, you buy one submarine you keep about half the state of Connecticut employed for the better part of two years.   

I am a libertarian (I like how you use that word as a perjorative) but one with reason.  We can't get rid of government; so I'm willing to compromise to libertarian application of government.  Get them out of decision-making for individuals, and get them back to doing the things they are equipped to do; provide security and services.  I do't care about absolute numbers; I'm not looking for "historic lows" in spending; I want what spending we do to be sound fiscally, and with an eye toward solving problems, not creating new ones.   

I'm not one to panic about the debt service (though I'm not thrilled that more and more of it is foreign owned) but what I'm calling for is more systemic approach to things, and a more cohesive plan to allow for growth.   Continually heaping cost onto business does not facilitate growth.  Continually taxing those with the means and wherewithal to remove their assets from the system entirely if it gets too onerous does not facilitate growth. 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #371 on: November 03, 2015, 02:13:07 PM »
However, I doubt the business community would really want a lot of that money cut from the Military.  Our military supremacy goes a long way to protecting and promoting world trade--stabilizing existing markets and opening new ones.  Not to mention all the domestic jobs it creates building planes, tanks, etc.  American businesses benefit tremendously from this kind of government spending.  I feel like people who complain about it are really taking this for granted.  And then it becomes the classic "I want all the benefits that these costly things bring me, but I don't want to pay for them."  That attitude pretty much sums up all politics, left and right, no matter what country.  Liberals take a lot of heat for this, but it's time Libertarians took some flak, too.  ;)

They just complain more about paying for it side, while liberals complain more about getting more benefits.

Look, throw all the barbs you want, I'm a Yorkshireman, I kin take it.   But make sure they are accurate.   I would NOT cut military spending, and I'm not sure where you got that idea from.  See my post above.   What I want my government to do, because it can, is what the rich do: put their money to work.   I find it infinitely fascinating when I have the conversation about Flex Spending programs (had it here, with someone who couldn't even contemplate that they might be wrong on this); "I don't have the money for that".  "The poor can't participate in those programs".  Why the hell not?   They get you an interest free loan (basically, for one year) and they allow you to pay $0.70 on the dollar for medical expenses.   It's money they would have spend anyway, but they don't want the "burder" of $20 per paycheck less income.   But by gosh, by golly, they WILL have the smartphone and the cable, at $300 a shot per month which isn't saving them or earning them a goddamn dime. 

It's said as a perjorative, but it should be a lesson, when that "evil" businessman in the movies leans over and says "from now... <pause>  until now, I just made $50,000" it's because his money is EARNING.  That's what our government should be doing.  Not paying for entitlements.  But investing in communities and businesses, allowing them to generate income on which they can be taxed, letting people earn, on which they can be taxed, allowing them to buy things, on which they can be taxed, and purchase homes, on which they can be taxed...

Offline jsbru

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #372 on: November 03, 2015, 02:19:08 PM »
I'm not one to panic about the debt service (though I'm not thrilled that more and more of it is foreign owned) but what I'm calling for is more systemic approach to things, and a more cohesive plan to allow for growth.   Continually heaping cost onto business does not facilitate growth.  Continually taxing those with the means and wherewithal to remove their assets from the system entirely if it gets too onerous does not facilitate growth.

I agree with you on all of this.  I think pragmatism trumps political ideology nearly all of the time.

I do disagree with your assumption that we're "continually heaping cost onto business" that does not facilitate growth.  Like I've shown, businesses are paying taxes at historically low rates already.  And even wealthy individuals have it pretty good by historical standards.

Businesses routinely take advantage of a lot of the spending that we already have.  Military, infrastructure, roads, trains, etc. all help businesses go about their business.  Police, FBI, the SEC, DOJ, patent office, etc. all protect the rights and interests of business owners and investors.  So a lot of even that domestic spending goes in to helping businesses.  In fact, it's hard to imagine how some sort of socialized health insurance plan wouldn't be great for American business.  Healthcare is a huge cost to them, and if more people were on Medicaid, they could remove the cost of paying for and administering their own health plans.  It is a fact that, dollar for dollar, Medicare and Medicaid patients get more treatment for less money compared to private insurance.  If we just put everyone in this country on Medicare, it would be an enormous cost savings for business.

So why some politicians who consider themselves "pro business" want to resist this is beyond me.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #373 on: November 03, 2015, 02:28:59 PM »
Well, economically, you are 100% correct on that.  I don't have anything to argue with that (and if that isn't "libertarian", so be it; I don't spend a lot of time with labels).   Not only is healthcare a big chunk of their spend, it is an UNPREDICTABLE chunk of their spend.  That's why Obamacare was so poorly received, even if, like you say, in theory it should be good for them.

I'm actually not morally or constitutionally (I mean my composition, not the document) opposed to a socialized medical program.  To me the "s" word doesn't carry the stigma it does for many that vote "R".  I want a plan that works for the most people, most of the time.  What I don't like is the current climate that stigmatizes 1% of the population while waving a banner for 60% of the population, but only actually HELPING about 15% of the population.   (I'm using rough numbers for "wealthy", "middle class", and "lower class").  I don't like this mentality of retribution and punishment that seems to surround every one of these discussions.  Listening to Hillary speak, it's like her tax and budget plan is out to punish a dog that shit on the carpet.   Federal economics is not zero sum.   It's not "take a dollar from Mark Cuban and it goes, dollar for dollar, to the homeless guy at the end of the I-95 off ramp in Philly".  All spending is not equivalent either.   Some is a black hole that stimulates nothing.  Other spending is growth-generative.  Again, resisting comparisons to personal finances, but allowing it makes the point, it's the difference between making a mortgage payment (and therefore building equity) and buying the premium package on cable, or going out to Applebee's for dinner (i.e. no tangible return on investment).   

Offline jsbru

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #374 on: November 03, 2015, 03:40:06 PM »
It's said as a perjorative, but it should be a lesson, when that "evil" businessman in the movies leans over and says "from now... <pause>  until now, I just made $50,000" it's because his money is EARNING.  That's what our government should be doing.  Not paying for entitlements.  But investing in communities and businesses, allowing them to generate income on which they can be taxed, letting people earn, on which they can be taxed, allowing them to buy things, on which they can be taxed, and purchase homes, on which they can be taxed...

I don't buy that our government should be primarily concerned with "earning."  There's a lot of things beneficial to society that don't involve earning a profit.  Police work, firefighting, etc. are a good example.  Providing healthcare or education for people who have no money to pay for it is never going to turn a profit, but it's probably better for society to educate everyone (although I wish everyone would take it more seriously).  And it's probably better that we do provide healthcare to the poor, because sitting around having people living in lean-tos dying in ditches probably isn't good for society, either.

Bottom line is that there's costs to living in a civilized society that a market driven by profit simply can't address.  Our country has been mostly stable and successful for quite a long time now, and I think people kind of take a lot of these costs for granted.  To give a home economics example, sometimes you just have to spend money so that things don't fall apart.  Like cleaning up the basement, getting some Killz, and a dehumidifier before mold spreads all over your home.  Or fixing a roof leak.  These things are not going to be profitable.  They're not really going to increase the value of your home, either, like spending money on an upgraded kitchen would.  But taking care of them makes the home better.

If you want to go down the road of the government getting into the for-profit arena, then you'll have a lot of businesses cry "socialism."  I guess you could have the Post Office jack up its rates or something, because it sure as hell costs more than 50 cents to physically pick up a letter in Los Angeles and place it at someone's doorstep in New York in a matter of days.  I probably wouldn't mind, since 90% of the stuff I get these days is junk mail.  But it helps when I have to send a few letters out.  Same thing with something like the SEC.  They're not going to the investors they protected and claim they owe them attorneys' fees.  They protect investors' interests whether they can pay or not--not because it's profitable, but because it's beneficial to a free society to try to ensure that when you invest money, you don't get scammed.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline yeshaberto

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #375 on: November 03, 2015, 03:57:19 PM »
Obviously this thread is bound to include commentary.  However, the intent of the thread is a place to poke fun at politics.

The current discussion is good, but I would prefer it be in its own thread.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #376 on: November 04, 2015, 08:16:34 AM »
It's said as a perjorative, but it should be a lesson, when that "evil" businessman in the movies leans over and says "from now... <pause>  until now, I just made $50,000" it's because his money is EARNING.  That's what our government should be doing.  Not paying for entitlements.  But investing in communities and businesses, allowing them to generate income on which they can be taxed, letting people earn, on which they can be taxed, allowing them to buy things, on which they can be taxed, and purchase homes, on which they can be taxed...

I don't buy that our government should be primarily concerned with "earning."  There's a lot of things beneficial to society that don't involve earning a profit.  Police work, firefighting, etc. are a good example.  Providing healthcare or education for people who have no money to pay for it is never going to turn a profit, but it's probably better for society to educate everyone (although I wish everyone would take it more seriously).  And it's probably better that we do provide healthcare to the poor, because sitting around having people living in lean-tos dying in ditches probably isn't good for society, either.

Bottom line is that there's costs to living in a civilized society that a market driven by profit simply can't address.  Our country has been mostly stable and successful for quite a long time now, and I think people kind of take a lot of these costs for granted.  To give a home economics example, sometimes you just have to spend money so that things don't fall apart.  Like cleaning up the basement, getting some Killz, and a dehumidifier before mold spreads all over your home.  Or fixing a roof leak.  These things are not going to be profitable.  They're not really going to increase the value of your home, either, like spending money on an upgraded kitchen would.  But taking care of them makes the home better.

If you want to go down the road of the government getting into the for-profit arena, then you'll have a lot of businesses cry "socialism."  I guess you could have the Post Office jack up its rates or something, because it sure as hell costs more than 50 cents to physically pick up a letter in Los Angeles and place it at someone's doorstep in New York in a matter of days.  I probably wouldn't mind, since 90% of the stuff I get these days is junk mail.  But it helps when I have to send a few letters out.  Same thing with something like the SEC.  They're not going to the investors they protected and claim they owe them attorneys' fees.  They protect investors' interests whether they can pay or not--not because it's profitable, but because it's beneficial to a free society to try to ensure that when you invest money, you don't get scammed.

I don't mean "profit" literally.  I mean using money smartly.   There's no reason that a Post Office can't offer products (fancy pants stamps; colorful boxes for the holidays; packing services) that charge a premium to offset the loss leader that is regular mail.   I'm all for non-profit services; that's, in my view, the role of government.   I get that.   But that doesn't mean we get to be fiscally dumb.   No matter what we're talking about, there is a smart way and a dumb way to do it, and I'm voting for the "smart way".  Unfortunately, we seem to want to incorporate the "dumb way" out of some misplaced obligation to an unnamed victim, or through that scourge of good decision-making, "common sense". 

Sorry:  A priest, a rabbi, and Hillary Clinton walk into a bar...

Offline portnoy311

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #377 on: November 04, 2015, 11:22:54 PM »
The US Postal Service has plans to issue a new stamp commemorating prostitution. It's a 10 cent stamp, but a quarter if you want to lick it.




My roommate and I watched the first ever episode of SNL last night, and that gem was in there.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #378 on: November 05, 2015, 07:40:40 AM »
The US Postal Service has plans to issue a new stamp commemorating prostitution. It's a 10 cent stamp, but a quarter if you want to lick it.




My roommate and I watched the first ever episode of SNL last night, and that gem was in there.

I know it's tre hip to say "the first cast was the best cast", but the first cast WAS the best cast.  I think some of the (in)famous skits are a little over-rated (never really went in for "Roseanna Rosanna-danna") but Dan Akroyd is pure comic bliss.  He gets my vote for best cast member ever. 

Offline portnoy311

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #379 on: November 05, 2015, 01:01:47 PM »
I had never seen a full episode of the first season. I think the original format was so, so much better. Now it's a monologue, 2 songs from the band, and an hour and a half of skits, with a "Daily Show" type weekend update.  I never realized that the first episode had TWO musical guests, each olaying multiple songs, multiple stand up segments from the host, Carlin, a segment from Andy Kaufman (who I actually can't stand), the Weekend Update was just a joke local news broadcast, complete with fake commercials, and the skits were drastically less in number allowing them to be the highest quality. Now there are so many times a skit just doesn't seem finished because they had a week to fill in an hours worth of skits, and dont really have the luxury of throwing out ideas if they're not working late in the week.

I think the original variety show format was a huge asset and allowed for the best material.

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #380 on: November 05, 2015, 10:25:17 PM »
You guys are crazy.  I bought the SNL Season 1 and 2 DVDs when they came out.  The nostalgia was overflowing, until I started to watch *a whole show*.  It was very hard to get through some of them.

A very good cast, but I'm not even sure I'd say the best.   And their "best" comes from what they did post-SNL more than the SNL stuff.   You can probably string together a few hours of top notch stuff, but when you seen an entire episode, you realize those weren't just the highlights, but the only good stuff.

The Jim Henson muppet weekly skit was gawd awful.

Offline Chino

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #381 on: November 06, 2015, 07:16:17 AM »
You guys are crazy.  I bought the SNL Season 1 and 2 DVDs when they came out.  The nostalgia was overflowing, until I started to watch *a whole show*.  It was very hard to get through some of them.


I can't watch full episodes of SNL. That being said, the 'Best ofs' (Sandler, Farley, Farrell, etc..) are side-splittingly funny.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #382 on: November 06, 2015, 07:22:50 AM »
You guys are crazy.  I bought the SNL Season 1 and 2 DVDs when they came out.  The nostalgia was overflowing, until I started to watch *a whole show*.  It was very hard to get through some of them.

A very good cast, but I'm not even sure I'd say the best.   And their "best" comes from what they did post-SNL more than the SNL stuff.   You can probably string together a few hours of top notch stuff, but when you seen an entire episode, you realize those weren't just the highlights, but the only good stuff.

The Jim Henson muppet weekly skit was gawd awful.

I don't know; I am able to view it through the lens through which it was created. That was pretty bizarre stuff for the time.  If you watch it through the lens of recent SNL (host mocking him/herself in monologue, fake commercial, recurring character skit I, recurring character skit II, hot new singer I, Tina Fey getting cheap laughs over cheap liberal political jokes, recurring character skit III, recurring character skit IV, hot new singer II, obscure skit that was put in to fill time, closing montage) yeah, it's not really the same.  But it never went for the cheap laugh in the same way the new SNL does. 

Calvin6s

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #383 on: November 06, 2015, 07:43:18 AM »
I stopped watching SNL.  Like most TV shows I loved at one time, I watched longer than I should have.  The 90s had some great stuff.  The Eddie Murphy stuff was top notch.  Will Ferrell ... awesome.  Not even a cast member, but Christopher Walken was gold on that show.  After Hader, Samberg, Wiig and that generation left, I just couldn't take it any more.

The 70s SNL was a very uneven show.  When it was good, it was great.  When it wasn't, ugh.  I guess just like every SNL season (except the current seasons which are ugh from beginning to end).

Offline Chino

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Re: Political Humor
« Reply #384 on: November 06, 2015, 09:35:09 AM »