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Mark Levin hangs up on "intolerant" atheist caller

#61kts123Posted 3/24/2014 6:58:16 AM
You may think I'm crazy for saying this, but this is exactly what the republican evangelical believes.



Bingo.
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#62JonWood007(Topic Creator)Posted 3/24/2014 8:23:31 AM
I mean, the key deal here is that what we think are "small" fixes are actually major changes. We live in a democratic system, which means that things are messy, which means that we can't always win the battles we want to win, which means sometimes we have to compromise. That's why I thought giving every American a free check-up would be an incredibly easy thing to do that would save us a ton of money in the long-term. Create a national database with everyone's social security number and tax return. If you qualified for a certain amount of a tax refund, then you also get a free medical checkup..


Yes, but I do think these are thinking too small at the same time. I know they are changes, but I think we need a more comprehensive approach.

I agree that automation is going to make things difficult for many people, but the people who still work aren't exactly going to be happy with paying for a subset of people who don't do anything. Which makes sense - if I put in 40 hours a week, I'm not going to be happy if 40% of my income goes to people who literally do nothing.


Except everyone gets it. And that offsets much of that tax burden. With my system, say you make $50,000 a year.

You earn $50k, then you get taxed for $20k. Then you get a $15k basic income along with everyone else. So what are you really paying? $5k? That's 10%, probably not much different than you're paying now (and possibly much less for a single earner).

Only those in the top quintile, who make, say, more than $80-100k actually see higher taxes. And that's really only single earners. A married couple can't expect to really have to pay a whole lot until they're well in the 6 figures, maybe $150k or something. The poor see a safety net, the working poor see a massive raise to "living wage" level, the middle class see a tax cut, and the upper middle class and the rich see a tax increase.

But that isn't the case now. Right now, many of the families who are struggling in America are employed. They just get paid like crap and have high expenses and debts out the ass. Part of this is self-manufactured, as Americans save almost nothing and the average American also has 10 grand in credit card debt. But the other part is simply, well, wages have fallen as a result of inflation, the average consumer has less to spend, and jobs aren't easily available.


My basic income plan would help that. Say you make minimum wage.

That's about $15k a year full time currently. You get taxed on $6k of that, which is 40%...so you go home with $9k. Then you get your $15k basic income check. So you're up to $24k a year. On minimum wage.

If you just stayed home, you would only collect the $15k, nothing more. But with working, you make an extra $9k, and increase your living standard by 60%. Compare this with our current welfare benefits that punish you for working and create welfare traps and welfare cliffs. You may wonder why we tax the poor at 40% as well, but that is the more efficient way of clawing back the benefits. You don't have massive cliffs that discourage and punish work. You simply collect a bit more in taxes and let them keep their benefits. The break even point is around $37,500 (where they pay $15,000 in tax and recieve a $15,000 UBI). Married couples dont start paying in until $75,000 (2 UBIs).

Even millionaires will recieve UBI....it's just that they pay so much more in taxes it's actually an increase for them. Case in point:

$1,000,000 - $400,000 (taxes) + $15,000 (UBI) = $615,000, or $385,000 in effective taxes (38.5%). Currently millionaires pay close to 20-23% due to loopholes and obscenely low capital gains rates. Here they actually pay their fair share, close to what their nominal tax rate of 39.6% is.
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#63Valnor50Posted 3/27/2014 6:03:42 AM
Hustle Kong posted...
...

You don't think people would be able to justify awful things without religion?


Sociopaths are going to be that way with or without religion. But we'd have less dumb/confused religious people raising them up that way and creating sociopaths. We'd also have a hell of a lot less awful things that are justified through religion, so yes, we'd be better off with out it.
#64Hustle KongPosted 3/27/2014 8:49:03 AM
Lol
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#65SSj4WingzeroPosted 3/27/2014 10:57:15 AM
Yeah I think ignoring Valnor is a pretty good choice.

Also, Jon, I think your system might make sense on paper. But in practice, there are generally so many things that find ways to throw a wrench into every plan. So many politicians have talked about simplifying the tax code, but how much simplification of the tax code have we seen so far? I mean, there are ways for rich people to get away with massive deductions, and there are things that screw poor people over and have them pay way more than they should. Plus there's the fact that sales tax and social security tax deliberately targets poor people since it's fixed at all income levels which means it doesn't adjust for the diminishing marginal value of money.

I mean, it's a jacked up system wherever we go, but I do agree that there are already many minor things we could do to improve. That's why I suggested the free checkup thing - it's something that you could see some Republicans get behind since it (in theory) wouldn't cost that much to give everyone in America a free checkup. Given diminishing marginal costs and whatnot, it shouldn't be that expensive to provide the materials and services of a free checkup to every American citizen, it'd save us a lot of money in the long-run, and we'd be able to make a huge step in the right direction. It seems less intrusive than Obamacare is, and I can't see anybody turning down a free checkup, so long as we don't put stupid laws about having to get a free checkup into the bill.

Yes, it's a minor change, but it'd be a huge step, since I don't think even Obamacare provides that. I'm talking a 100% free, government foots the bill checkup. You can get one for $150 in NYC right now without insurance. I'm sure it's cheaper in more rural places, and I'm also going to bet that the cost to provide everyone with a checkup could be had for less than $100 per person. So we're talking 21 billion dollars to provide it to EVERYONE. Provide it for half the country (which could probably use it), and it's 11 billion dollars, which, while it's a rather large sum to us, is a drop in the bucket compared to what we actually spend on healthcare, and it'd save us hundreds of billions in the long run since preventative medicine now usually costs much less than treatment later.

Also there are some things such as sales taxes and common bank practices which really should just be outlawed. A high sales tax disproportionately targets the poor, and some of the things which banks are allowed to do are seriously messed up, such as charging you a fee to view your balance, or to withdraw money from your own ATM. Seriously, one of the biggest steps towards having actual justice in the world would be shutting Bank of America down
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#66DarkContractorPosted 3/27/2014 11:59:55 AM
Are you serious about the banks charging to view your balance?

If a teller ever charged me for that I'd tell her to close my account right then and there.
#67JonWood007(Topic Creator)Posted 3/27/2014 2:28:26 PM(edited)

Also, Jon, I think your system might make sense on paper. But in practice, there are generally so many things that find ways to throw a wrench into every plan. So many politicians have talked about simplifying the tax code, but how much simplification of the tax code have we seen so far? I mean, there are ways for rich people to get away with massive deductions, and there are things that screw poor people over and have them pay way more than they should. Plus there's the fact that sales tax and social security tax deliberately targets poor people since it's fixed at all income levels which means it doesn't adjust for the diminishing marginal value of money.


We haven't seen much, but that's no reason not to put forth policy ideas.

Also, I don't propose a sales tax or social security tax. It's not even doable with UBI anyway. I wrote a large post on reddit about this too:

http://www.reddit.com/r/BasicIncome/comments/203l6w/a_closer_look_at_vat_as_a_means_to_pay_for_ubi/

In short, horrible idea.

I mean, it's a jacked up system wherever we go, but I do agree that there are already many minor things we could do to improve. That's why I suggested the free checkup thing - it's something that you could see some Republicans get behind since it (in theory) wouldn't cost that much to give everyone in America a free checkup. Given diminishing marginal costs and whatnot, it shouldn't be that expensive to provide the materials and services of a free checkup to every American citizen, it'd save us a lot of money in the long-run, and we'd be able to make a huge step in the right direction. It seems less intrusive than Obamacare is, and I can't see anybody turning down a free checkup, so long as we don't put stupid laws about having to get a free checkup into the bill.


It's a step in the right direction. It's just not a good comprehensive approach.

Yes, it's a minor change, but it'd be a huge step, since I don't think even Obamacare provides that. I'm talking a 100% free, government foots the bill checkup. You can get one for $150 in NYC right now without insurance. I'm sure it's cheaper in more rural places, and I'm also going to bet that the cost to provide everyone with a checkup could be had for less than $100 per person. So we're talking 21 billion dollars to provide it to EVERYONE. Provide it for half the country (which could probably use it), and it's 11 billion dollars, which, while it's a rather large sum to us, is a drop in the bucket compared to what we actually spend on healthcare, and it'd save us hundreds of billions in the long run since preventative medicine now usually costs much less than treatment later.


I'm not disagreeing with you. I just don't think you're going far enough.

Also there are some things such as sales taxes and common bank practices which really should just be outlawed. A high sales tax disproportionately targets the poor, and some of the things which banks are allowed to do are seriously messed up, such as charging you a fee to view your balance, or to withdraw money from your own ATM. Seriously, one of the biggest steps towards having actual justice in the world would be shutting Bank of America down


I agree.

Again, I'm not disagreeing with your ideas. I just think we need a more comprehensive approach in order to actually fix problems. Not piecemeal measures that address aspects of it without actually fixing the problem at large.

Btw, here's another good UBI proposal I came across. Pretty similar to mine in practice, especially the flat tax variation, uses slightly different numbers, but if you wanna see another good proposal on paper, here's among the best;

http://www.usbig.net/papers/144-Sheahen-RefundableTaxCredit.pdf
#68hunter_gohanPosted 3/27/2014 11:03:04 PM
SSj4Wingzero posted...
hunter_gohan, look at the abolitionists of the 1850's, the songs that were popular then (i.e. the Battle Hymn of the Republic, John Brown's Body), for an idea. Look at the prominent ministers of the Second Great Awakening which occurred in the years prior to the Civil War and take a look at where they lived and preached. They were overwhelmingly northerners. Hell, Charles Finney, arguably the most noted preacher of the time, taught at Oberlin College for thirty years, where he admitted people of all races and genders and spent most of his time smuggling freed slaves across the Ohio river.


There are also Christians today who are and have been fighting for the rights of gay people. I have little doubt in a hundred years those names will be pulled out to show how Christianity was never really against gay people and in fact fought ferociously for them trying to take credit for that as well; eventhough, it's been their number 1 enemy.

It's actually super easy to get people to start defending slavery even today. Simply post the bible verses which talk about it. Not even the NT denounced that institution.

Colossians 3:22 "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord."

Epephesians 6:5 "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ."

So the favored go to of the "That's OT, not NT" defense can't even be used. Those against slavery didn't get that belief from the bible. The bible clearly condones slavery.

"The methods of the priest and the parson have been very curious, their history is very entertaining. In all the ages the Roman Church has owned slaves, bought and sold slaves, authorized and encouraged her children to trade in them. Long after some Christian peoples had freed their slaves the Church still held on to hers. If any could know, to absolute certainty, that all this was right, and according to Godís will and desire, surely it was she, since she was Godís specially appointed representative in the earth and sole authorized and infallible expounder of his Bible. There were the texts; there was no mistaking their meaning; she was right, she was doing in this thing what the Bible had mapped out for her to do. So unassailable was her position that in all the centuries she had no word to say against human slavery. Yet now at last, in our immediate day, we hear a Pope saying slave trading is wrong, and we see him sending an expedition to Africa to stop it. The texts remain: it is the practice that has changed. Why? Because the world has corrected the Bible. The Church never corrects it; and also never fails to drop in at the tail of the procession - and take the credit of the correction. As she will presently do in this instance."

"But at last in England, an illegitimate Christian rose against slavery. It is curious that when a Christian rises against a rooted wrong at all, he is usually an illegitimate Christian, member of some despised and bastard sect. There was a bitter struggle, but in the end the slave trade had to go - and went. The Biblical authorization remained, but the practice changed.
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The food that stands on his [Odin's] table he gives to two wolves of his called Geri and Freki. He himself needs no food; wine is for him both drink and meat.
#69hunter_gohanPosted 3/27/2014 11:04:30 PM
Our own conversion came at last. We began to stir against slavery. Hearts grew soft, here, there, and yonder. There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one - the pulpit. It yielded at last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession - at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery text remained; the practice changed, that was all."

"It is not well worthy of note that of all the multitude of texts through which man has driven his annihilating pen he has never once made the mistake of obliterating a good and useful one? It does certainly seem to suggest that if man continues in the direction of enlightenment, his religious practice may, in the end, attain some semblance of human decency."

Mark Twain (from Europe and Elsewhere and A Pen Warmed Up In Hell)
http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/twain01.htm
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The food that stands on his [Odin's] table he gives to two wolves of his called Geri and Freki. He himself needs no food; wine is for him both drink and meat.
#70Valnor50Posted 3/28/2014 12:52:55 AM(edited)
Yes, let's pretend pushing religion doesn't **** with a child's head. lol. I understand how it's hard for you guys to even address the issue. It's something that must be swept under the rug.