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Author Topic: Current Events - US Politics Edition  (Read 28343 times)

Jason

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #390 on: July 07, 2019, 02:53:31 pm »
Yes, the Declaration of Independence was the foundation for the thought that the government procures our rights. I began thinking about this after listening to a podcast which outlined it. That this is in the Declaration of Independence means that these thoughts have been around for a long time.

The source of the rights matters because I would want atheists, agnostics, and those that believe in a hands off God to agree with this concept. We create the rights based off of our combined history and experience, as well as what values we hold dear. This also means that the rights can be added to, as time goes on. There are rights that are not specifically outlined in the founding documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution) which are still rights nonetheless, or which will become rights, and it is worth utilizing the government to empower us to exercise those rights. Ending slavery was a strong use of the government to secure rights. But empowering our rights does not come easily, and is often worth fighting for, one way or another. Ending one battle does not mean the fight is over.

In the USA the state exists to serve the people (mostly). In other countries the people exist to serve the state, with the reason that a strong state means that the people are generally happy. In those countries, the concept of rights preceding the state may be very foreign. So far, the US model has been the most successful in history, allowing other countries the opportunity to try out their versions, as well.

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In response to JLM. The term wealthy is very nebulous. I consider myself wealthy. I pay far, far more income taxes than the middle class and lower class households, both in percentage and absolute value. But I do not get the loopholes that most think the wealthy have. The only loopholes that I have are 401(k), HSA, charitable giving, capped mortgage interest, and capped property tax deductions. I am phased out of most all other deductions that the middle and lower class enjoy. The loopholes I do have come at a cost, as it is money that I cannot use for myself, except for retirement or healthcare. The middle and lower class get far more income tax loopholes than I do, many to the point of not paying any income taxes at all or receiving a net positive from the government.

I think what you might mean by super wealthy (which term is used later) would be those who live off of long term capital gains, which is still taxed at 22%, which is more than the middle and lower class pay. In order to live off of long term capital gains, one needs to have wealth (not income) in many millions of dollars, probably $10 Million, at least. This could be a high paying specialty doctor at the end of his career after living frugally, but most doctors are bad with money. There are relatively few people that are wealthy enough to live off of long term capital gains. Definitely not enough to fix the budget.

I would keep a progressive tax code. I would eliminate all deductions. I would engage in wealth redistribution mostly through benefits rather than tax rebates. I would prevent large generational wealth transfers (progressive estate taxes, very high rates at very high levels of wealth). I would make it harder for people to set up quasi-charitable trusts. I would especially change the tax laws to target multinational corporation tax shelters. To protect the environment I would likely set up a national value added tax, too, even if this is considered regressive.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 03:02:20 pm by Jason »
 
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Roper

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #391 on: July 07, 2019, 09:33:19 pm »
While I agree with tax reform, I think there should still be 100% deduction for charitable giving. Lose (or lessen) the deduction and you eliminate the incentive for many people.

I think we should get the government out funding public education. Let public education compete in the market. Fund it by making donations to education 100% deductible. If Lockheed wants a tax break, Lockheed can donate $150 million to fund a STEM school available to students at no cost. Lockheed wins by investing tax-free money to strengthen the pool of potential employees, schools win by having enough money to attract top teaching talent, parents win by having a choice in education and by relief from property tax to support education, and students win by having schools with enough resources.   
 

JLM

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #392 on: July 07, 2019, 09:39:14 pm »
I don't think we can eliminate public schools, because there will always be rural and poor communities that can't be effectively served by private interests, but I do favor school choice, vouchers and tax deductions for private school tuition,  all of whild would make alternative school opportunities more available and affordable to many low and middle income families.
 
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JLM

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #393 on: July 07, 2019, 10:01:58 pm »
So, Justin Amash.  While I'm not a huge fan of some of his more hyper-libertarian positions, I give huge credit for standing up for what he believes is right and for calling out both parties for putting party power over doing what is right for the wellness of our nation and and government.
 
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Roper

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #394 on: July 07, 2019, 10:24:28 pm »
 :) I'm glad I'm not the only one who knows about Justin Amash. I think his more extreme positions will temper with time and experience.
 

N3uroTypical

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #395 on: July 07, 2019, 10:54:16 pm »
I think we should get the government out funding public education. Let public education compete in the market.

Colorado is a pretty favorable environment for school choice.  One school district about 20 miles away from us has been pretty aggressively advertising themselves outside of their own boundaries, and has been thriving as people "choice in" their kids from other school districts.  With the child's enrollment goes the per-child state funding.  Not pure competition, but better than nothing.
 
They offered better homeschooling outreach options than our school district, so my daughters have been choicing in to that district for a lot of years.  These days they're both in a hybrid online high school program, with a building and teachers/mentors/advisors that take 'em 4 days a week from 10-2. 

I sometimes wonder if my local school district is upset, or even notices.  But I'm doing what's right by my kids.
What-about-ism is pointless. I like to think most people's responses to such arguments would be, "Yup. That person, who happened to wear the same political jersey I do/did, was totally wrong on that, too."
-Taalcon
 
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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #396 on: July 08, 2019, 12:26:40 am »
I work at a charter school in Utah. It's publicly funded based on enrollment. We are able to use a teaching philosophy/methodology different from traditional public schools, but we still have to meet accountability standards (state tests.) I like the choice it gives to families. I dislike the reality that the per-student funding we get is significantly less that what traditional schools get. That needs to be fixed.
 
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Jason

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #397 on: July 08, 2019, 04:51:41 pm »
There are some things that I do not think pure competition works especially well for. Education is one of those things. The only way to really know how well your child will do in a specific school is to enroll them. Then competition would have you withdraw them and try out a different school. But after 2 years, your child's needs will be different, so all that information you learned from trying out the 2 different schools will no longer be valid.

I also believe that a lot can be done to game the system to get more money for not a lot of improvement in outcomes. Cherry picking students is one of those methods. That school gets better outcomes, but those outcomes are on students who would have done well no matter where they went, so the students that need more intensive teaching and money are going to be shortchanged.
 
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Roper

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #398 on: July 09, 2019, 01:44:39 am »
Valid concerns, Jason. Those are logistics. Of course, schools would have to be regulated. Just like every market enterprise which serves the public. Competition improves the breed. Public education has proven now for 30 years that we are incapable of reaching our goals for children. Time to try a new model.
 
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N3uroTypical

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #399 on: July 12, 2019, 07:27:04 pm »
NT:
With the notable exception of the standard govt deficit spending, I really, really, really like his approach to the economy.  Me and my wife's retirement funds are 42% higher than on the day he took office.

Taalcon:
It's constantly amazing to me (although by now it probably shouldn't be) what people are willing to let others go through and have done to them and find some way to justify it so that they can feel slightly more financially comfortable than they were before.


Had to chuckle, because a few nights ago, I actually had a dream about this part of the conversation.  Nauvoo was a fancy dinner party around a table where witty ripostes are hurled with startling precision in between the Dessert and Mignardise courses, with monacle firmly in place and pinkie upraised during a sip from the water glass.  There I was, new money - the son of a blue collar guy, who stood up so fast my belly bumped the table and all the water glasses sloshed around, and I yelled "you got something to say, come say it to my face!" 

The poor hostess fainted.  Someone assisted her to a couch.  At least one monacle dropped off one eye.  Lots of sculpted moustaches twitched and mouths sputtered.  My waking thought was "good way to not get invited back to this dump". 

By the time I was out of the shower, I had started giggling, and I giggled through half the day.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 08:46:21 pm by N3uroTypical »
What-about-ism is pointless. I like to think most people's responses to such arguments would be, "Yup. That person, who happened to wear the same political jersey I do/did, was totally wrong on that, too."
-Taalcon
 
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JLM

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #400 on: July 12, 2019, 11:54:50 pm »
For the record, I am unable to grow a mustache sufficiently thick to be sculpted.  (Can't speak for the others though.  Roper might sport quite the luxurious handlebar mustache.)
 
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Roper

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #401 on: July 13, 2019, 05:19:19 pm »
 ::) I think handlebar mustaches look ridiculously hipster. Nah...I'll just stay with the Chuck Norris look  8)
 
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Iggy

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #402 on: July 13, 2019, 07:08:03 pm »
::) I think handlebar mustaches look ridiculously hipster. Nah...I'll just stay with the Chuck Norris look  8)

In serious need of a shave???
 

Roper

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #403 on: July 13, 2019, 07:15:47 pm »
It's comments like that which make me want to go for the Lorenzo Snow look  ;)

Out of all the prophets' beards, I think I like Heber J. Grant's best.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 07:18:03 pm by Roper »
 

Taalcon

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #404 on: July 15, 2019, 10:45:13 am »
I stand by everything I've said about my thoughts and bewilderment about those who still feel justified in supporting Donald Trump. This is the one place I feel I don't have to put on a public generally neutral face to have influence in my own sphere. I haven't seen any arguments that make any moral sense whatsoever to me of someone still being willing to pledge support for him, and to vote for a continuing run of his administration today, in 2019.

My North Georgia ward is full of proud Trump Supporters. Not just reluctant, but PROUD. There have been literal Testimony Meetings where individuals bore testimony of him as a Great Example of a Father, and defender of Truth. His rhetoric of othering those who are different have made their way into Elders Quorum lessons, and ward member comments in classes, generally met by approving laughter and nods of approval.

And most of these comments have nothing to do with so-called Economic Anxiety.

For context, my ward is also full of those who proudly wear Confederate Flags on their vehicles, homes, and clothing. This includes my Bishop's family.

I serve with them, I love them, but I just absolutely cannot understand or smile at the disconnect. I am regularly EXTREMELY uncomfortable.

And feel very lonely. And it feels that in the Church of Christ, on THESE subject? I shouldn't be. I just SHOULDN'T BE. And that makes it worse.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 11:22:27 am by Taalcon »
 
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