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Bernie Buying Votes?

Home Student Loan Management Bernie Buying Votes?

  • Avatar snowcanyon
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 540
    Joined: 10/22/2018

    Snowcanyon,

    In percentage terms (which is the only reasonable way to look at it since income tax is based on percentages), lower income earners received a larger income tax cut than those in the top bracket.  This is true when you look at just the marginal rates and is especially true when you factor in the increase in the size of the standard deduction.  My federal income taxes actually went up slightly (I’m in the top bracket and pretty sure would fit most people’s definition of “wealthy”).  How it affected the wealthy was largely dependent on how much state income tax/property tax they pay, but it ranged from a small tax cut to a small tax increase.

    “Tax cuts for the wealthy” is an inaccurate and misleading campaign sound bite that gets trotted out any time tax cuts are on the table.  It’s difficult to cut income taxes for people who pay little or no income tax which means any tax cut can be misleadingly characterized as “a tax cut for the wealthy.”  It’s really a silly argument.  But it sounds good as a campaign sound bite.

    Click to expand…

    You can certainly cut taxes more for the poor if you choose to- lotteries, sales tax etc. You can also cut taxes for the wealthy (hi Bezos) and corporations (hi Amazon). The marginal tax rates for the wealthy have declined massively since the 1980s. What I think is amusing is that most docs aren’t wealthy- we are the bourgeoisie, the UMC, on the backs of whom civilization is built. Very few of us will become very wealthy, a la Patrick Shiong. We in many ways have more in common with plumbers and electricians than the truly rich and powerful.  Yet we often think what benefits the .001% benefits us. And while I’m sure you are doing very well, and better than most, my guess is you don’t fit my definition of wealthy in 2019 where the top few thousand households have such concentrated wealth. Perhaps I’m wrong. I don’t know. It’s irrelevant to my point, which is that…

    …all politicians focus on benefits for the groups they wish to court. Some wish to court business. Some the bourgeoisie. Cancelling student debt (and I’m not convinced that either this will or would happen, or that it’s good policy) is no more or less buying votes/support/influence than, say, Cuomo’s plan to give Amazon a tax break, or the declines in marginal tax rates since the 1980s.

     

    #224711 Reply
    Avatar Tangler
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 405
    Joined: 08/23/2018

    Sure. But the tax cuts for the wealthy bought votes, too.

    Click to expand…

    Yes, I mean, It sure would be nice if Docs paid their “fair share”. We pay almost nothing and never work for our money. We certainly deserve to be punished.

    https://whitecoatinvestor.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=106bf0eb2d98400b0754830dc&id=a9ac30426c&e=03a94490be

    Click to expand…

    Docs being “wealthy” is relative.   Compared to the vast majority of the population, especially in rural areas, most doc’s are certainly wealthy.   Compared to my friends from college who are in finance or tech in NYC or SF, the average doctor’s salary is pretty pathetic.    The strangest part about it is that my patients from rural areas, who do no seem to have much money, are die-hard republicans.   My friends who make >1mil in NY or SF are Democrats.   Honestly, I don’t think it’s about the money.

    Click to expand…

    That is where you are wrong. For me, yes it is about money. Yes, it is about fiscal responsibility. Yes, I think they all suck. Yes I would like someone in the middle who would work with congress, but forced to pick between two knuckleheads I am picking the one least likely to increase government spending…..oh….wait…..they are all self serving and increase spending…….hmmmmm WCI would you run as an independent please!

    #224713 Reply
    Liked by Lordosis
    Avatar snowcanyon
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 540
    Joined: 10/22/2018

    Sure. But the tax cuts for the wealthy bought votes, too.

    Click to expand…

    Yes, I mean, It sure would be nice if Docs paid their “fair share”. We pay almost nothing and never work for our money. We certainly deserve to be punished.

    https://whitecoatinvestor.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=106bf0eb2d98400b0754830dc&id=a9ac30426c&e=03a94490be

    Click to expand…

    Docs being “wealthy” is relative.   Compared to the vast majority of the population, especially in rural areas, most doc’s are certainly wealthy.   Compared to my friends from college who are in finance or tech in NYC or SF, the average doctor’s salary is pretty pathetic.    The strangest part about it is that my patients from rural areas, who do no seem to have much money, are die-hard republicans.   My friends who make >1mil in NY or SF are Democrats.   Honestly, I don’t think it’s about the money.

    Click to expand…

    That is where you are wrong. For me, yes it is about money. Yes, it is about fiscal responsibility. Yes, I think they all suck. Yes I would like someone in the middle who would work with congress, but forced to pick between two knuckleheads I am picking the one least likely to increase government spending…..oh….wait…..they are all self serving and increase spending…….hmmmmm WCI would you run as an independent please!

    Click to expand…

    Your tone may be light, but I think you are making a great point regarding one of the deep flaws of democracy. Over time, the government has to promise more and more to various groups to stay in power, potentially bankrupting itself in the process. As you also point out, the solution is elusive.

    #224717 Reply
    ENT Doc ENT Doc
    Participant
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/14/2017

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the daily insanity of out-dumbing one’s political opponents (on both sides). With each passing day I’m more convinced that we’re in that intergalactic “Earth!” sitcom from Southpark. Idiocracy has come and gone.

    #224720 Reply
    Avatar Doc Spouse
    Moderator
    Status: Small Business Owner, Spouse
    Posts: 248
    Joined: 10/20/2017

    The strangest part about it is that my patients from rural areas, who do no seem to have much money, are die-hard republicans.   My friends who make >1mil in NY or SF are Democrats.

    Click to expand…

    This isn’t really that strange.

    People from rural areas are used to small government.  Parking is free, there’s no such thing as an “entertainment tax”, your politicians don’t get paid six-figures.  You may not make much money, but you keep more of what you make.  No city ordinances against guns, tobacco, alcohol, whatever. Rural folks are used to small government and they like that.  The Republican party tend to be all about small government; so they like that, too.

    Your >1 mil friends in NY and SF are used to big government.  State taxes, city taxes, borough taxes, city welfare programs, city road crews, paid parking, rain taxes, gun ordinances, etc, etc, etc.  A significant portion of their take home pay is going to the government. A significant amount of their personal freedoms are also dictated by the government.  They put up with all that because that’s where they want to live, but to them, it’s normal to have that many hands dipping into their pockets and telling them what they can/can’t do.  It’s what they’re used to, and the Democrat party gives them more of it.

    It’s about the money, but it’s also about people being people.  All of the above is an oversimplification, of course, but I feel there’s some truth to it.

    #224721 Reply
    Avatar Doc Spouse
    Moderator
    Status: Small Business Owner, Spouse
    Posts: 248
    Joined: 10/20/2017

    Your tone may be light, but I think you are making a great point regarding one of the deep flaws of democracy. Over time, the government has to promise more and more to various groups to stay in power, potentially bankrupting itself in the process. As you also point out, the solution is elusive.

    Click to expand…

    You were probably speaking lightly yourself, but this is also usually where I point out we’re (the US) are not a Democracy, but a Constitutional Republic.  The founding fathers were terrified of democracies after watching what it did to France.  They were very vocally against it in their own writings.  It’s also a fun party fact that the word “Democracy” doesn’t appear one time in either the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution.

    We’re not teaching Civics anymore and it’s a serious issue.  That’s how we get people petitioning to do away with the Electoral College.

    #224728 Reply
    Avatar orthodds
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 152
    Joined: 11/07/2017

    Snowcanyon,

    In percentage terms (which is the only reasonable way to look at it since income tax is based on percentages), lower income earners received a larger income tax cut than those in the top bracket.  This is true when you look at just the marginal rates and is especially true when you factor in the increase in the size of the standard deduction.  My federal income taxes actually went up slightly (I’m in the top bracket and pretty sure would fit most people’s definition of “wealthy”).  How it affected the wealthy was largely dependent on how much state income tax/property tax they pay, but it ranged from a small tax cut to a small tax increase.

    “Tax cuts for the wealthy” is an inaccurate and misleading campaign sound bite that gets trotted out any time tax cuts are on the table.  It’s difficult to cut income taxes for people who pay little or no income tax which means any tax cut can be misleadingly characterized as “a tax cut for the wealthy.”  It’s really a silly argument.  But it sounds good as a campaign sound bite.

    Click to expand…

    You can certainly cut taxes more for the poor if you choose to- lotteries, sales tax etc. You can also cut taxes for the wealthy (hi Bezos) and corporations (hi Amazon). The marginal tax rates for the wealthy have declined massively since the 1980s. What I think is amusing is that most docs aren’t wealthy- we are the bourgeoisie, the UMC, on the backs of whom civilization is built. Very few of us will become very wealthy, a la Patrick Shiong. We in many ways have more in common with plumbers and electricians than the truly rich and powerful.  Yet we often think what benefits the .001% benefits us. And while I’m sure you are doing very well, and better than most, my guess is you don’t fit my definition of wealthy in 2019 where the top few thousand households have such concentrated wealth. Perhaps I’m wrong. I don’t know. It’s irrelevant to my point, which is that…

    …all politicians focus on benefits for the groups they wish to court. Some wish to court business. Some the bourgeoisie. Cancelling student debt (and I’m not convinced that either this will or would happen, or that it’s good policy) is no more or less buying votes/support/influence than, say, Cuomo’s plan to give Amazon a tax break, or the declines in marginal tax rates since the 1980s.

     

    Click to expand…

    I was simply pointing out that the campaign slogan you were parroting is factually incorrect.  It had nothing to do with lotteries or sales tax.

    The larger point about whether politicians buy votes is something I agree with and it’s not really worth debating.  Of course they all buy votes using tax payer dollars.  Of course they lie cheat and steal to gain and maintain power.  Is there anyone out there who doesn’t recognize this is the case?

    Cancelling student debt is a joke.  But of course it will be popular among those who have a lot of student debt.  Duh.

    #224739 Reply
    Liked by Tangler
    SerrateAndDominate SerrateAndDominate
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 501
    Joined: 02/01/2018

     

    Cancelling student debt is a joke.  But of course it will be popular among those who have a lot of student debt.  Duh.

    Click to expand…

    Yeah, the reddit thread r/politics with this news story is full of “interesting” takes.

    Earn everything.

    #224743 Reply
    Liked by Tangler
    Avatar jhwkr542
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1339
    Joined: 02/15/2016

    The primary system we have in place is dumb and panders to this sort of nonsense. I don’t get how just erasing student loan debt would work. So are we still paying for undergrad? Does everyone get it for free? Do you have to keep up grades? Can you just get it forever? What if colleges decide to raise tuition? Do I have to pay for out-of-state? The primary system making some of the most radical ideas come to the front, which doesn’t really represent most of the US. Moderate politicians really have no chance in the primary but would probably beat most ultra-conservative or ultra-liberal candidates. Of the Republican primaries in 2016, my favorite result was from the US Virgin Islands, where the winner, with 65.3% of the vote, was “Uncommitted”. That’s kind of how I feel about the Democrats now. Just stick to pragmatic principles and politics. We can’t go from the institutions we have now to free healthcare and tuition in a matter of 4 years.

    #224752 Reply
    Liked by MaxPower
    Avatar ajm184
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 662
    Joined: 07/14/2017

    I would respect a Presidential candidate more if they offered to buy my vote directly versus the  ‘lower taxes’, ‘free healthcare’, ‘SS at 40’, ‘free graduate school education’ dibble coming from US politicians.  At least the former is legal but not potentially impacting to the overall government coffers versus the later which is profoundly detrimental to this republic.

    #224754 Reply
    Avatar burritos
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 539
    Joined: 04/23/2018

    All this tax talk reminded me of this thing I saw years ago.  Thanks to google I found it rather quick.  Sorry it is long.

     

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes,it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that’s what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.’ Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

    But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so:
    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100%savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
    The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    ‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’ declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, ‘but he got $10!’

    ‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I got!’

    ‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!’

    ‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works!!

    The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    Click to expand…

    What frequency do rich americans leave to another country to pay less taxes?

    #224763 Reply
    Avatar Panscan
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    Status: Resident
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    Joined: 03/18/2017

    That reddit thread is so silly. Instead of talking about the actual issue they talk about spending in Iraq.

    Next one said ” I could have a mortgage if I didn’t have student debt.”

    So you don’t want debt for your education but you want debt for your dwelling. Got it.

    So sad.

    #224772 Reply
    Liked by Tangler
    Avatar Dusn
    Participant
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/02/2018

    I really hope there is a candidate in this next election who I can vote for in good conscience.

    Click to expand…

    Agreed.  Unfortunately the primary system is creating more and more polarized candidates.

    I have an appeal to make, especially to republicans:  since we already know who the republican candidate for president will be in 2020, vote in the democratic primary.  And don’t try to game the system by voting for the biggest nutcase on the other side’s primary….  as they just might win.   Vote for someone you’d be ok with (or at least the “least bad” candidate) if your side loses in the general election.

    #224778 Reply
    Liked by Tangler, mapplebum
    Avatar Tim
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    Status: Accountant
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    Joined: 09/18/2018

    @Doc spouse,
    Katie did a beautiful job of explaining the compromises that underlie our government. Checks and balances are in place. Individual, local, county ,state , and federal all interplay. The simplest illustration is the House and the Senate and the Executive Branch. Your vote is weighted differently. You vote only for one member of the House but two Senators and one President (via the Electotal College). The impact of a vote for Senator is drastically different depending on your state. Example, Supreme Court Justices that seem to be getting drawn into political issues rather than legal issues. Majority, even near unanimous cannot take away your individual rights.
    You can walk backwards and you are protected from being penalized. We have lost our way understanding the difference in right and “rights”. There is an extremely different meaning.

    Tax cuts: I missed the federal lottery and sales tax. The “slogans” fail to distinguish between the purpose and two drastically different goals.

    Corporate tax changes and personal tax changes.
    Globally, US companies were at a huge disadvantage compared to virtually the rest of the world. It’s not about how much tax is paid to the treasury, the premise is to at least make the tax environment competitive so companies would at least make economic choices, not flea because of extremely unfavorable taxes. The US was shooting growth in the foot. It’s not how much money they make, it’s about make it in the USA or at least consider it. Fiscal policy for our companies. If one doesn’t like it, it’s a global issue.
    Individual tax cuts were “temporary”, the intent was to stimulate spending. Broad based economic goals to spread the cuts. There definitely was a target to minimize the cost, the high income and property taxes were being used by some states for significant funding.
    Adjusting the standard deduction and limiting the Salt to $10k hit only the wealthy hard. Most, even with substantial incomes and property it was basically neutral. Even the marginal rates were tweaked to soften the hit. Taxes were redistributed to the masses.
    States are going to feel the pressure to lower the state tax burdens. Governor, I lost $50k of tax deductions, now why am I donating to you $10K? NY and Cali both have only two senators. Spin a story that pressures my deductions or no money for you. Thus the line that the big corporations and fat cats got the breaks. The alternative is to cut state revenues.
    Yes, fiscal reforms are needed at the state and federal level. Is it a revenue problem or a spending problem? If it works out, the Corp cuts will pay for themselves. The vast majority of lower income to upper middle class were neutral or a little better. The high income in high tax states will pressure state officials for relief.

    That’s one way to spin it. Haven’t heard the lower 80% of taxpayers complaining. A lot of noise on “their behalf” that seems to be going nowhere. Plan B, promise a lot of goodies at the federal level. What could happen? Maybe I keep a job, maybe not. They sure won’t vote for me if I cut all these programs that give them stuff.

    Economics were clear and seem to be working. How to pay for goodies is for another election.

    The above has not basis in fact. A lot of hot air from both sides. Conflict was intentionally built into the system to force equilibrium. I just wish right and rights have clarification. Stalemated now.

    #224780 Reply
    The White Coat Investor The White Coat Investor
    Keymaster
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 4656
    Joined: 05/13/2011

    Sure. But the tax cuts for the wealthy bought votes, too.

    Click to expand…

    Yes, I mean, It sure would be nice if Docs paid their “fair share”. We pay almost nothing and never work for our money. We certainly deserve to be punished.

    https://whitecoatinvestor.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=106bf0eb2d98400b0754830dc&id=a9ac30426c&e=03a94490be

    Click to expand…

    Docs being “wealthy” is relative.   Compared to the vast majority of the population, especially in rural areas, most doc’s are certainly wealthy.   Compared to my friends from college who are in finance or tech in NYC or SF, the average doctor’s salary is pretty pathetic.    The strangest part about it is that my patients from rural areas, who do no seem to have much money, are die-hard republicans.   My friends who make >1mil in NY or SF are Democrats.   Honestly, I don’t think it’s about the money.

    Click to expand…

    T….hmmmmm WCI would you run as an independent please!

    Click to expand…

    No, but I will close this thread. I really don’t want to run a political forum. If you can focus on the finances, I let these run. But this one is way past that.

    Site/Forum Owner, Emergency Physician, Blogger, and author of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing
    Helping Those Who Wear The White Coat Get A "Fair Shake" on Wall Street since 2011

    #224784 Reply
    Liked by Tim, MPMD, jfoxcpacfp

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