Show of HandsShow of Hands

Rotavele November 8th, 2014 10:09pm

If the war on poverty was a real war, America would be more than happy to spend billions on it.

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Think Lovin Life
11/08/14 11:50 pm

Yet another ridiculously out of touch question.

Think Lovin Life
11/09/14 11:14 pm

Point ... yet another ridiculous poll. By the way SOH calls polls questions. Just saying!

NDAmerican Florida
11/08/14 8:45 pm

Well we spend $800 billion on Social Security, $700 billion on Medicare and Medicaid. Though you may believe those are paid into programs, they are receiving taxes from current payers. We also spend $15 billion on TANF and a few dozen billion on SNAP

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NDAmerican Florida
11/08/14 8:46 pm

As well as $6 billion on HeadStart.

Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 11:26 pm

What is head start? At first seeing the name I thought it was a hair place.

jalapeno verdadero
11/08/14 11:37 pm

Where in the fuck are you getting these numbers, wv?! The entire federal budget is about 1.2 trillion. I know a lot is spent on welfare, but it's not as much as you're saying, given that we spend more on "defense" than anything else.

Rotavele Alabama
11/09/14 1:20 am

He got it from 9 billion different websites jalapeño. (Jk, no offense intended wv)

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/09/14 3:31 am

jalapeno, the U.S. budget projects $3.7 trillion in outlays this year. You can view the summary tables here: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2015-BUD/pdf/BUDGET-2015-BUD-28.pdf

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/09/14 3:33 am

The $1.2 trillion is only discretionary expenses. The remaining $2.5 trillion are mandatory expenses. Defense is second to Social Security, with Medicare right behind it.

NDAmerican Florida
11/09/14 11:23 am

Exactly Justin, I don't know where you're getting your numbers, you believe we spend only $1 trillion on our budget you're back decades ago.

NDAmerican Florida
11/09/14 11:25 am

Oh and head start is an education program to help poor kids in the first few years of school leant certain materials.
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_Start_Program
Actually spending was $8.1 billion not $6 billion.

NDAmerican Florida
11/09/14 11:26 am

The total amount of social spending we have put forth to reduce poverty far out ways spending towards actual wars.

duey in a fools paradise
11/08/14 8:35 pm

online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303345104579282760272285556
SS and Medicare are funded by individuals and the companies they have or do work for so not part of the war on poverty.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 8:53 pm

Not directly part of the so-called "War on Poverty", but they are an effort to alleviate poverty among a vulnerable class. They constitute trillions per year of money taken from those working and given to those not working to stave off poverty.

duey in a fools paradise
11/09/14 8:01 am

Every worker is FORCED to pay FICA and every business matches it. Had the idiots in our government kept it out of the general fund it would look a lot different. Great example of why people should control their own retirement funds.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 4:09 pm

What do you call a trillion dollars a year on Social Security? Another $700B on Medicaid and Medicare? These far outpace spending on defense.

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Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 6:54 pm

Disability is not fighting poverty that much.

Arananthi Literal Ninja
11/08/14 6:59 pm

Those things are just paying back the venerated elders who paid into them for their entire lives. That's not fighting poverty, it's properly respecting our elders.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 7:02 pm

Disability is a small part of these programs. No, it's not just respecting our elders, it's designed to fight poverty in old age by ensuring that they have at least enough of income in old age to support themselves.

Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 7:03 pm

But they paid that money in, it's not money we give to fight poverty. It's like a poor person dropping a quarter and picking it up again.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 7:36 pm

No, they paid seniors while they were working. Workers now pay seniors now. There is no "paid in" to it. Money paid now goes directly to seniors. That's why it's destined to fail: Ponzi schemes work exactly the same way.

Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 7:43 pm

It will have a horrible time due to baby boomers retiring. I don't think it's going to fail though.

Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 7:44 pm

Because it's not for a profit. Ponzi schemes are.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 7:53 pm

True, but the key similarity is that they take from the newcomers to pay the old investors. Eventually there aren't enough new investors. When Social Security started there were twenty workers for every retiree. Now there are only three for every one

SugarShaq
11/08/14 4:00 pm

Rota: you should do your research first.... "Over, the last 50 years, the government spent more than $16 trillion to fight poverty."

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SugarShaq
11/08/14 4:01 pm

Funny coincidence...it's almost exactly our debt. And more people are in poverty than ever before.

Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 6:19 pm

I'm sorry but that sounds just like something a rich man would say to persuade poor people it doesn't work.

"We've spent trillions of dollars fighting poverty, it doesn't work! You're always going to be poor, stop resisting!"

Arananthi Literal Ninja
11/08/14 6:50 pm

The problem is that the money we spend to fight poverty is horribly misspent because of conservative idiocy that insists on things like means testing, limiting funds to very narrow uses ("These goddamn food stamps don't buy diapers"), and other

Arananthi Literal Ninja
11/08/14 6:51 pm

expensive and useless administration. Get rid of the work-for-welfare concept, and just give people money to spend on improving their lives however they see fit. That's the proven best way to reduce poverty, but every right-winger anywhere panics

Arananthi Literal Ninja
11/08/14 6:52 pm

when you suggest just giving those lazy, drug-addicted poors money without watching them like a hawk to make sure they don't spend it on something you don't approve of. Because they'd rather lose than win by having someone else get free money.

Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 6:54 pm

Aran, do you not remember the bible story where Jesus fed all of the people with two fish?

Well surprise! He only fed the ones who had a job.

Arananthi Literal Ninja
11/08/14 6:57 pm

Google "Mincome Canada", "Million-Dollar Murray", and "free money ends poverty" to see some of the best evidence.

SugarShaq
11/08/14 7:40 pm

16 trillion spent on modern day slavery and telling a group of talented, capable people that they cannot function without government handouts. It's disgraceful!

Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 7:44 pm

LateGreat what source said that?

azsageguy
11/08/14 3:58 pm

War on drugs and war on terror cost billions and we still haven't won those wars.

skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 3:50 pm

We already spend huge sums of money in our efforts to fight poverty with minimal success. What may be a better technique is to lower taxes, thus reducing the dead weight loss and expanding the worker and employer surplus. Some tax reductions may even

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skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 3:50 pm

result in higher revenues if the taxes are truly high.

Arananthi Literal Ninja
11/08/14 7:03 pm

Or if you can't be arsed to read all that, in short, the notion that tax cuts create jobs (or increase revenue) is yet another one of those Austrian-economics thought experiments that "makes sense" in your head, but utterly fails the reality test.

skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 7:29 pm

Obviously it's the subject of much controversy, but it's a fact that taxes reduce the worker and employer surplus. That doesn't have to be a bad thing. That revenue can be used for positive purposes, so economists generally don't consider that money

skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 7:31 pm

to be wasted. However, taxes create what is known as dead weight loss, which is understood by economists to be a part of the economy that is completely wasted as a result of taxation. This is an economic model known as the tax wedge, so even if

skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 7:32 pm

your contention that the fundamental principles of supply side economics are incorrect is accurate there are still adverse consequences for taxation.

images.flatworldknowledge.com/coopermicro/coopermicro-fig11_017.jpg

skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 7:34 pm

Regarding the idea that cutting taxes can raise revenue it really depends on the circumstances. If there is a small tax then there is a small tax wedge and small revenue. If you have a large tax wedge you have a larger dead weight loss but also

skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 7:36 pm

larger revenue, finally if you have a large tax then your dead weight loss is so large that the tax attains less revenue because it is taxing a much smaller market. It is accepted by most economists that taxes can act as a disincentive towards

skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 7:38 pm

enterprise and if high enough can shrink the market to disastrous levels. Where economists tend to disagree is what defines a large tax and how we can quantify the US tax system to discern whether or not our taxes are high. So my opinion is that

skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 7:41 pm

if certain taxes are reduced we may see higher revenue, but that may not be the case with some other taxes. It's hard to be certain on these things. Economic liberals will point to the tax cuts of the Kennedy and Reagan administrations as evidence of

skinner Wisconsin
11/08/14 7:42 pm

the assertion that reducing taxes will increase revenue, but it's impossible to know for sure if revenue would have increased without the tax cut. As a result economics is an imperfect science and we just don't know for sure.

Arananthi Literal Ninja
11/09/14 10:57 am

Oh, believe me, I'm VERY familiar with the theory and the math. The problem is that over and over again, there are powerful examples of the market acting completely the opposite of what the theory suggests.

rons screw politicians
11/08/14 3:35 pm

In Obamaland everything is fine!

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GlockMan1 Alabama
11/08/14 3:16 pm

We have spent billions on it and millions are still living in poverty.

GlockMan1 Alabama
11/08/14 6:42 pm

What about the War in Drugs? Have we spent enough money on that war? Why do you think the War on Drugs and War on Poverty will produce any results?

Arananthi Literal Ninja
11/08/14 7:15 pm

They don't produce results because we're attacking symptoms, not causes. The War on Poverty needs to start by supporting worker's unions, raising the minimum wage, and shifting the tax burden upward. Welfare is a band-aid over a bleeding stump.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 7:57 pm

The tax burden is already shifted upwards. The bottom half of workers pay no taxes while just the top 1% pays 35% of all taxes. How much more can we shift the burden before they just move elsewhere?

Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 8:07 pm

Wait what? You're telling me half the work force at the bottom doesn't pay taxes? I'm sorry justin but that's completely absurd. Where did you see this?

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 8:19 pm

From the IRS, of course. They have hundreds of stats you can browse. And it's not quite 50%, but it's a large enough percentage. 144 million tax returns were filed in 2012, only 93 million had a taxable income.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 8:22 pm

According that same source, ya know the organization that collects taxes, people making under $40k paid 3.6% of all taxes. 56% of all returns paid 3.6% of taxes. Just wow.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 8:31 pm

So I guess my question remains: how do we shift the tax burden any higher? It's already pushed pretty hard on those even making the median salary, and it follows a really steep curve above that. We can't just keep taxing more and more.

Rotavele Alabama
11/08/14 10:28 pm

I haven't heard of anyone paying that low of taxes.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
11/08/14 10:41 pm

It's right there in black and white on the spreadsheets offered by the IRS. It's not difficult to find. There are a lot of very interesting things there.