11/07/2004

The Agenda



Simplify The Tax Code
How could this possibly be a bad thing? Democrats should be jumping for joy. A simplification of the tax code will help to eliminate the loopholes that many of the rich use to reduce their share of taxes. I thought this is what the Democrats wanted.

Reform Social Security
This is not as Senator Kerry contended, an attempt to take Social Security Benefits away from seniors. This is a needed reform to the Social Security program. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Social Security program is in utter disarray and showing signs of imminent failure. What the President is proposing is that younger Americans should be able to defer some of their FICA into investments (similar to a 401K). This means that when these people reach retirement age, they will not be looking at living on a subsistence wage. The plan is fiendishly clever in that its benefits are two fold. Firstly as I've stated it bails out the ailing Social Security System. Secondly, it helps reinvigorate our economy with a fresh shot in the arm of badly needed capital.

Make Tax Cuts Permanent
It's our money. If we keep it, we will spend it or invest it. This helps the economy. If people spend money, they are creating demand. That causes a need for companies to increase the supply. (Simple supply and demand economics.) how does a company increase supply? By manufacturing more goods. This generates jobs, which means fewer unemployed people. I do have to differ with the graphic the AP has provided though. This measure does not cost 1 trillion over ten years. In fact it has no cost. Of course I'm arguing semantics here. It reduces the Federal Government's income by a projected 1 trillion dollars. Remember those jobs I mentioned earlier? That's where some of the difference is made up. If I need 10 dollars and I have 2 people with money, then each person has to provide 5 dollars to meet the goal. If however, I have 5 people working, then I require only 2 dollars per person. Of course this is overly simplified. There are other gains realized through increased corporate tax revenues and further gains from closing down the loopholes mentioned above. Lastly, by reducing the number of people receiving entitlements (due to their unemployment), you reduce the amount the government requires.

Energy Legislation
OK, here I have a problem. I love this planet, especially its wild places. If however, this can be achieved without a huge ecological impact, sure, why not? It would reduce our reliance on foreign oil reserves and the economic volatility inherent to that reliance.

Democracy To Iraq
Stay the course. We've invested heavily in this enterprise already. I've already explained the benefits this will bring in my Middle East in Detail post. We honestly cannot turn back now. Not since we've come so far and paid so dearly for this endeavor.

There it is, the whole bill of goods. This is what the Democrats are all in a tizzy over. This is the Democrat's apocalypse.
Blogger gblagg said...

Have you heard of 'The Fair Tax'? If not go to fairtax.org. An interesting idea that brings choice to the tax code. But it also tkes away power from politicians, so it's an uphill climb.

10:47 AM  
Blogger The G-man said...

It is an intersting concept. Somewhat akin to the flat tax. Frankly I doubt the Democrats will go for it though. Instituting a flat tax rate like that, doesn't allow you to punish those horrible rich people with oppressive taxes. Not that they have much to say for the next 4 years!

2:40 PM  
Blogger honestpartisan said...

For the best argument I've seen against the privatization of Social Security, check this out: http://www.slate.com/id/112604

3:14 PM  
Blogger The G-man said...

Nice try, but Mike Kinsley is hardly a non-partisan source.

6:36 PM  
Blogger gecko said...

I find it funny that people (especially Democrats) discount a persons opinion just because they are not an avowed non-partisan.

I have to agree though that his (Kinsley's) opinion is full of double-speak.

I'm no economist, but I would hope there would be some sort of guarenteed earnings involved.

4:55 PM  
Blogger honestpartisan said...

As Gecko correctly points out, G-man didn't address the merits of Kinsley's argument, the main point of which (as I read it) demonstrates that privatization will not make up the potential shortfall in Social Security revenues. He just makes the argument more eloquently than I could.

Another problem with privatization is the first group of retirees who retire in a bear market. Social Security is already not a lot of money to live on. This leaves two possibilities of how to deal with this eventuality: either let a traditionally politically active age group live on cat food, which I find pretty unlikely, or agree to pay them full benefits anyway.

Of course, if the latter course is taken, and to the extent that people suspect is will be taken, it gives Social Security recipients an incentive to make as high-risk investments as possible. It's this kind of privatization of the costs and socialization of the risks that led to the S & L crisis.

I just don't trust it, and don't see why it's necessary. Let there be a baseline system of social insurance that allows people to have a safety net when they retire. The tax code is already littered with opportunities and incentives for people to save (IRAs, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, etc.). Why shouldn't people just take advantage of those plans rather than divert the FICA tax revenue away?

6:32 PM  
Blogger The G-man said...

Kinsley has a degree in law. That hardly makes one an authority in economics. Add to that his obvious partisanship and it relegates his opinion to be no better qualified than yours or mine.

You are of course correct in the fact that we already have 401K's and such. Put simply, Bush's plan is to allow you basically to increase your contribution to such a plan. While some may loose some money, they are none the less saving for their retirement. It is as equally likely that someone will wind up hitting that jackpot as it is that some one will go completely bust. Most will make modest gains on their savings. This is proven by the historical performance of 401K accounts. That my friend is where you are going wrong.

7:26 PM  

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