People Support Higher Taxes to Reduce the Deficit by a 2-to-1 Margin

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Industrialsize, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    It appears that Republicans have walked away from a historic opportunity to reduce the deficit because of their obsessive insistance that not one penny come from higher revenues. Recent polls, however, suggest that the American people are not so obstinate and are more than willing to accept some increase in taxes to reduce the deficit. There is a high degree of consistency in every poll I could find on this topic.

    Can/Should the Budget Deficit Be Reduced with Spending Cuts Alone
    or Should There Be Some Increase in Taxes?

    Click here to see the compendium of polls:
    People Support Higher Taxes to Reduce the Deficit by a 2-to-1 Margin | Capital Gains and Games
     
  2. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    It's as if they can't shut off "campaign mode" for even a second. Always looking for the usual cheers & jeers when talking about taxes, when most people (according to the polls sourced in the article) understand that sometimes a raise in taxes is necessary for our country to keep moving forward.

    I've used this simile before, but it's like watching a game of Sim City unfold in real life.
     
  3. liberalcynic

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    Americans would like things to be better. According to public opinion surveys in recent years, everyone would like their child to have improved life chances at birth. They would prefer it if their wife or daughter had the same odds of surviving maternity as women in other advanced countries. They would appreciate full medical coverage at lower cost, longer life expectancy, better public services, and less crime.

    When told that these things are available in Austria, Scandinavia, or the Netherlands, but that they come with higher taxes and an “interventionary” state, many of those same Americans respond: “But that is socialism! We do not want the state interfering in our affairs. And above all, we do not wish to pay more taxes.”

    This curious cognitive dissonance is an old story. A century ago, the German sociologist Werner Sombart famously asked: Why is there no socialism in America? There are many answers to this question. Some have to do with the sheer size of the country: shared purposes are difficult to organize and sustain on an imperial scale. There are also, of course, cultural factors, including the distinctively American suspicion of central government.

    And indeed, it is not by chance that social democracy and welfare states have worked best in small, homogeneous countries, where issues of mistrust and mutual suspicion do not arise so acutely. A willingness to pay for other people’s services and benefits rests upon the understanding that they in turn will do likewise for you and your children: because they are like you and see the world as you do.

    Conversely, where immigration and visible minorities have altered the demography of a country, we typically find increased suspicion of others and a loss of enthusiasm for the institutions of the welfare state. Finally, it is incontrovertible that social democracy and the welfare states face serious practical challenges today. Their survival is not in question, but they are no longer as self-confident as they once appeared.

    But my concern tonight is the following: Why is it that here in the United States we have such difficulty even imagining a different sort of society from the one whose dysfunctions and inequalities trouble us so? We appear to have lost the capacity to question the present, much less offer alternatives to it. Why is it so beyond us to conceive of a different set of arrangements to our common advantage?

    Our shortcoming—forgive the academic jargon—is discursive. We simply do not know how to talk about these things. To understand why this should be the case, some history is in order: as Keynes once observed, “A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind.” For the purposes of mental emancipation this evening, I propose that we take a minute to study the history of a prejudice: the universal contemporary resort to “economism,” the invocation of economics in all discussions of public affairs.

    For the last thirty years, in much of the English-speaking world (though less so in continental Europe and elsewhere), when asking ourselves whether we support a proposal or initiative, we have not asked, is it good or bad? Instead we inquire: Is it efficient? Is it productive? Would it benefit gross domestic product? Will it contribute to growth? This propensity to avoid moral considerations, to restrict ourselves to issues of profit and loss—economic questions in the narrowest sense—is not an instinctive human condition. It is an acquired taste.

    We have been here before. In 1905, the young William Beveridge—whose 1942 report would lay the foundations of the British welfare state—delivered a lecture at Oxford in which he asked why it was that political philosophy had been obscured in public debates by classical economics. Beveridge’s question applies with equal force today. Note, however, that this eclipse of political thought bears no relation to the writings of the great classical economists themselves. In the eighteenth century, what Adam Smith called “moral sentiments” were uppermost in economic conversations.

    Indeed, the thought that we might restrict public policy considerations to a mere economic calculus was already a source of concern. The Marquis de Condorcet, one of the most perceptive writers on commercial capitalism in its early years, anticipated with distaste the prospect that “liberty will be no more, in the eyes of an avid nation, than the necessary condition for the security of financial operations.” The revolutions of the age risked fostering a confusion between the freedom to make money…and freedom itself. But how did we, in our own time, come to think in exclusively economic terms? The fascination with an etiolated economic vocabulary did not come out of nowhere.
     
  4. liberalcynic

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    #4 liberalcynic, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  5. parr

    parr New Member

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    Raise the taxes, the unemployment will soar to a new record.:rolleyes:
     
    #5 parr, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  6. MercyfulFate

    MercyfulFate New Member

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    Like back when taxes were much higher and unemployment was lower?
     
  7. Mensch1351

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    QUOTE: "But my concern tonight is the following: Why is it that here in the United States we have such difficulty even imagining a different sort of society from the one whose dysfunctions and inequalities trouble us so? We appear to have lost the capacity to question the present, much less offer alternatives to it. Why is it so beyond us to conceive of a different set of arrangements to our common advantage?"

    My God --- who ARE you??? This post has to be one of the most thought provoking of the overall problem that I've read (and I've copied it for further reading)!!

    The overall problem in current America with our economic perspective in my estimation is twofold (maybe three)
    1) You're right --- we don't ask "Is it good for America?" But "how much does it cost and can I make a buck from it?" Someday --- that may change when wisdom begins to rule us as a nation -- which leads me to my 2nd point

    2) We're still a young pup of a nation. We are still coming off that "rugged individualism" mindset that forged the push Westward. The attitude among many is, "I made it -- how come you can't?" And then SEVERE judgments against those whose life situations have left them more "empty" than "full". Soooooo --- when we begin to think like a NATION instead of a nation of INDIVIDUALS we will begin to see the wisdom that whatever the COST, the nation benefits when...............fill in the blank here!

    3) Capitalism is not necessarily an evil system until the system is manipulated to leave behind large numbers of people -- when the wealthy hoard their wealth AT THE EXPENSE of keeping the poor poor --- well -- it's only a matter of time before the 2nd American Revolution takes place among the economically disadvantaged (who work hard -- but never seem to get ahead!) Ergo -- Capitalism without COMPASSION is pure GREED!!

    And...................contrary to sooooooooo many of the conservative religious right who see absolutely nothing with their Anti-Christian capitalist Greed mongering ---- it is NOT lust that is going to bring this nation to ruin!!

    Well -- just my 2 cents (before taxes)!!:biggrin1::rolleyes:
     
  8. Mensch1351

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    Oh yeah --------- tell me with FACTS what the tax breaks for the wealthy have accomplished to date??? 10 years..........10 years!!!!!!!!

    .............and thanks for the fear mongering!!! We'll PUNISH you if........

    One of these days pal there's going to be a general strike among the working class and we're going to show the uppity mucks that they cannot RUN their companies without the little guy -- we aren't the enemy we're the people who MAKE IT WORK!
     
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