Free Speech...protecting the Right

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Wise One
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Wise One » 2011 Nov 09 16:44

Here's an interesting take on muzzling Julian Assange by proxy. It's a compelling argument.

We gain far, far more from a free press than from suppressing it, not to mention its protection under the Constitution. Financial institutions, pressured by the Obama Administration, should have said simply, "Not our job. Show us a court order and only then will we comply."
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Uji
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Re: Say what you will, certainly...

Postby Uji » 2011 Nov 20 11:00

crux wrote:...but how do you ignore these things? http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/ ... _news_dump

From the site cited as evidence for the "implosion of Obamacare" in the above link:
Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.

This statement is equally true of social security insurance, auto-liability insurance, insurance against foreign aggression (aka, defense), for space exploration, for highways and schools and utilities and...

These, by Mr. Benson's rationale, are equally "taxpayer bailouts". They are of course, but the usual term is "taxes" -- the price we pay to live in a stable, safe and productive society.

If you don't want to pay taxes, fine. (And good luck to you.) But if you are willing to pay taxes, you are willing to pay taxes for all of the above items. How is health care any less essential a service?

If we all pay something, no one has to pay too much. I drive a car, I've never had an accident, but I'm content to pay for my liability insurance; I'm old, have no school age children, but am content to help pay for schools. Seems little enough for me to do to help maintain order, stability, and the welfare of my fellow citizens. Why not health care. I don't get it... :dontknow:

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Wise One
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Wise One » 2011 Nov 21 10:13

I like your take on taxes, accepted by everybody on some level and yet sometimes repudiated by ideologues using freakishly strident arguments.

Your opinion is evocative of thoughts expressed earlier by Neck. I am mystified and appalled that the top 1% holds such sway over the opinions and votes of the very people whose pockets they pick daily and whose environment is being scraped of sustaining life.

:tiphat:
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Sam
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Sam » 2011 Nov 27 05:15

I understand that roughly half of people living in the country do not pay taxes. I feel that if everyone pays something they have more of an investment in the,country. As for healthcare I pay a pretty hearty premium for health care and cant afford any more.
Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as
"extremists

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Uji
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Uji » 2011 Nov 27 14:34

Sam wrote:I understand that roughly half of people living in the country do not pay taxes.

You hear this claim often. But it's not true though.

What it's based on, I guess, is that over 40% of citizens do not pay any income tax. (That's because they make so little -- somewhere around $24k/yr, I think -- that the "earned income credit" cancels out their balance.)

But, they in fact pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than those of us who do pay income tax because the various payroll withholding taxes are a much larger percentage of their income. They don't pay income tax, but they pay more taxes in proportion to their income than do millionaires.

This is just the problem with most flat-tax/fair-tax plans out there: they are regressive. They are essentially consumption taxes. And, if you make 24$k/year (the average for Rockbridge County at the 2000 census), you're entire income is taxed because you have to spend it all to make ends meet. The more money you make, the smaller the percentage you spend for goods and services. Hence the effective tax-rate goes down as your income goes up. There is nothing "fair" about having me and Bill Gates pay the same tax rate.

Tax reform is needed, but in the other direction: the more you make, the greater the portion of your income should be paid in taxes. Remember, in 1950, someone making a million a year paid over 90% of his or her income in taxes; now s/he pays 35%. (Most pay even less than that since they pay lawyers first.) We could double the tax rate for millionaires and still have them paying a lower rate than they were 60 years ago!

Obama wants to increase the rate for millionaire by a few percentage points; the Republicans won't even consider that.

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Wise One
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Wise One » 2011 Nov 27 15:04

I agree wholeheartedly with the thrust of your argument.

On the other hand, there's a misconception that the "progressive income tax" is progressive in reality. It isn't. Smaller incomes pay a larger percentage of tax than large incomes for the reasons you mentioned and because of special tax preferences, deductions, and other provisions that only the wealthy can take advantage of.

My ideal federal tax system would have no payroll taxes whatsoever (medicare, social security, etc.), all revenue raised by either:
  • A true flat tax, say 25% on all income (of all kinds) in excess of $20,000 per year, no deductions whatsoever allowed for anything or anybody, or
  • A 25% sales tax on everything, no exemptions allowed, every individual also receiving a payment of $5,000 annually, no questions asked and no forms filed.
This would be considerably more progressive than the present system. Maybe not as progressive as you might like, but enough in the right direction to satisfy me.

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Uji
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Uji » 2011 Nov 27 15:33

Wise One wrote:My ideal federal tax system would have no payroll taxes whatsoever (medicare, social security, etc.), all revenue raised by either:
  • A true flat tax, say 25% on all income (of all kinds) in excess of $20,000 per year, no deductions whatsoever allowed for anything or anybody, or
  • A 25% sales tax on everything, no exemptions allowed, every individual also receiving a payment of $5,000 annually, no questions asked and no forms filed.

Whoa... I'll have to think about that one. I don't get the annual payment -- though I suppose it must be a means of equalizing the burden.

But how is either a 25% across-the-board income tax (no deductions) or the 25% sales tax "progressive"? If I have to spend all of my income to maintain myself and my family, a consumption tax is not progressive because it taxes 100% of my income while progressively less of the higher incomes. A 25% across-the-board income tax (no deductions) is not progressive either: it allows higher incomes to pay a smaller percentage of that income in taxes. It's not progressive and it's not "fair": If I make a lot of money it's because I can ship my goods over publicly maintained roads, etc. Higher earners use, in general, more public resources. It is fitting (and progressive) to have them pay a greater portion of that income in taxes.

I'd be interested to hear you explain your tax plan a bit more thoroughly.

(Well, at least you have a plan; all I've got is a beef... :dontknow:)

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Wise One
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Wise One » 2011 Nov 27 21:50

Uji wrote:Whoa... I'll have to think about that one. I don't get the annual payment -- though I suppose it must be a means of equalizing the burden.

Exactly. A $5,000 payment to every individual if we adopt a 25% sales tax, is arithmetically identical to a $20,000 personal deduction if we adopt the 25% flat income tax alternative.

Both are devices for introducing an element of progressiveness into the tax system, desperately poor people simply being unable to shoulder any tax burden. In the sales tax alternative, a fixed rebate to every individual has nearly zero administrative cost, is extremely valuable to the desperately poor especially when that individual has no income at all, and costs little to send to the rich while being an insignificant percentage of their incomes.

Uji wrote:But how is either a 25% across-the-board income tax (no deductions) or the 25% sales tax "progressive"?

Simple. We already have "progressive" tax rates, but it's all smoke and mirrors, a lie. Wealthy people don't pay the high rates that wage-earners pay, certainly not the higher theoretical rates listed in the tax tables, and the wealthy have ways to evade sales tax on many of their purchases. Similarly, corporation don't really pay the high 35% corporate tax rate that one sees on paper .... there are thousands of ways to reduce the rate significantly and virtually all do.

Payroll taxes, a huge burden for poor wage-earners, are insignificant gnats for the wealthy since they're capped. The wealthy derive much of their income from long term capital gains, taxed at a much lower rate. Ten thousand deductions and other tax fiddles are available to he wealthy and not to the poor, the net result being that they skate by without pain on the backs of those who are really, really hurt by the present regressive tax system masquerading as "progressive."

The key to true tax progressiveness is dumping the tens of thousands of tax deductions, preferences, exclusions, exemptions, plus distinctions in tax law between earned income and capital gains. If one looks closely at Republican "flat tax" proposals, they all preserve such evasions for the wealthy. Mine would not, while also correcting many inequities in the present system.

Finally, the tax system is for raising money and should not be conflated with other objectives. It is inefficient and ineffective for addressing "hard cases" and other national needs. Direct payment systems are more efficient and should be relied on instead of tax preferences.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Uji
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Uji » 2011 Nov 28 09:33

Wise One wrote:...The key to true tax progressiveness is dumping the tens of thousands of tax deductions, preferences, exclusions, exemptions, plus distinctions in tax law between earned income and capital gains... Finally, the tax system is for raising money and should not be conflated with other objectives. It is inefficient and ineffective for addressing "hard cases" and other national needs.

Thanks for sharing that. Makes a lot of sense -- especially the last. Can you link to any discussions of such a scheme?

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Wise One
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Wise One » 2011 Nov 30 12:19

I guess there's stuff out there but most of the Republican "flat tax" stuff is fraudulent, preserving evasions for the wealthy. My alternatives, flat income tax or sales tax, are genuinely flat with the exception that roughly the first $20,000 per year is exempted. This is considerably more progressive than our present system.

And on the corporate tax front, here's another example that will make you want to puke.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=5033

Postby Crux » 2013 Sep 04 07:58

http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=5033

Yes. What we have here is a nice little example of what passes for high minded leftist thought, espoused be a Professor...

This guy is like AO, Clown, Red, and Amy P. rolled into one!

We'll see if MSU chastises guy.

This is BLATANT INDOCTRINATION AND INTIMIDATION.

I would call it voter suppression too.

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Coondog
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Coondog » 2013 Sep 04 11:17

Sure sounds inappropriate to me............

.......however, there is no context.

The text says it was 8 minutes, but the clip is less than two minutes. Nixon's secretary get ahold of it?

Some context may or may not explain what appears to be a highly inappropriate rant by someone who has an even lower opinion of Mitt Romney than average. And, what's with the Ann Romney jag? She's just doing her job!

Context?

Context?

Edited tapes?

Coondog :hum:

Maybe he was just answering a question?

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Wise One
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Wise One » 2013 Sep 04 11:28

Indeed. Context is everything.

His job, apparently, is to teach a class in creative writing and he should be judged by the university on whether or not he delivers on that objective.

Personal beliefs and their statement, usually, are not relevant to a judgment by his employer unless they detract significantly from the doing of his job, teaching and doing research competently in most such institutions. His performance with respect to those duties deserves, and will get, all the criticism it deserves.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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Context?

Postby Crux » 2013 Sep 04 21:50

You two are so wanting. CONTEXT?

The "Professor" was so far off base on several levels as to make context null.
I doubt you even care about context. You just don't want to call it for what it is.
That makes you two well, loathe... Honest Brokers? High minded? Well, high then.

To the visitor. AO and clown demonstrate spinelessness.
Point to common sense and, well, CRUX. Admit it.
You two are LOATHE to call it for what it is. :dontknow:
Blatant stupidity and indoctrination mixed with bigotry.

me

Or as one commenter said:
"I am a university professor and I am utterly appalled. I agree that MSU needs to reevaluate
their relationship with this pompous, hypocritical, Leftist, racist, sexist, bully.
This has no place in the classroom."

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Coondog
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Coondog » 2013 Sep 05 12:20

Sorry, cruxnatious......

Just cant manage to get all that passionate over it.

Audit a few classes at Liberty University sometime......then talk about indoctrination on a more informed level.

Then maybe Coondog will give a hoot!

Coondog

Liberty U. Where Gov. Bob Macadoodle learned all about ethics!

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Crux
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Informed? Who, you???

Postby Crux » 2013 Sep 05 14:12

This is why I like you clown. Becauase you talk like you ARE informed. I don't even have to look very deep EVER, to find the holes in your understandings. You are here criticizing me for being informed, by comparing an essentially outright CHRISTIAN PRIVATE UNIVERSITY, Liberty, and wishing to draw comparisons on indoctrination with MSU, a STATE school?

You are lost.... Point to CRUX, again... :tiphat:

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Wise One
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Re: Informed? Who, you???

Postby Wise One » 2013 Sep 06 12:27

crux wrote:... by comparing an essentially outright CHRISTIAN PRIVATE UNIVERSITY, Liberty, and wishing to draw comparisons on indoctrination with MSU, a STATE school?

Aha, so your goal is now clear. State control over speech in state institutions. Freedom only in private institutions.

We now have clarity. We know with certainty that you have no inkling of our rights under the Constitution, or of Academic Freedom.

What a statist!

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"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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From the link AO provided on academic freedom...

Postby Crux » 2013 Sep 13 07:45

"Academic freedom is a contested issue and, therefore, has limitations in practice. In the United States, for example, according to the widely recognized "1940 Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure",[1] teachers should be careful to avoid controversial matter that is unrelated to the subject. When they speak or write in public, they are free to express their opinions without fear from institutional censorship or discipline, but they should show restraint and clearly indicate that they are not speaking for their institution.[citation needed] Academic tenure protects academic freedom by ensuring that teachers can be fired only for causes such as gross professional incompetence or behavior that evokes condemnation from the academic community itself."

The MSU Prof was way out there overboard in his comments and he will be disciplined. His comments were inappropriate.

Thanks for the link as it aptly goes to the heart of the matter here. We shall see.

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Crux
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It ain't rocket science...

Postby Crux » 2013 Sep 17 22:20

crux wrote:"Academic freedom is a contested issue and, therefore, has limitations in practice. In the United States, for example, according to the widely recognized "1940 Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure",[1] teachers should be careful to avoid controversial matter that is unrelated to the subject. When they speak or write in public, they are free to express their opinions without fear from institutional censorship or discipline, but they should show restraint and clearly indicate that they are not speaking for their institution.[citation needed] Academic tenure protects academic freedom by ensuring that teachers can be fired only for causes such as gross professional incompetence or behavior that evokes condemnation from the academic community itself."

The MSU Prof was way out there overboard in his comments and he will be disciplined. His comments were inappropriate.

Thanks for the link as it aptly goes to the heart of the matter here. We shall see.


YUP. Suspended. Point for crux. You guys have very little credibility. Sad really... clown and the "wise"1
:laughing:

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Wise One
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Re: Free Speech...protecting the Right

Postby Wise One » 2015 Jun 18 21:32

Evidently William Penn made amends for whatever missteps he might have made, trumpeted by the hysterical right wing press.

Here's his current web page showing he's employed as a respected and productive member of the faculty.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."