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Sev
04-04-2011, 05:31 PM
This is a pretty shocking statistic. I was not aware it was that bad. 21.5 million working Americans that are nothing but a deficit to the nation.
All the more reason to have more privatization where ever we can.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...867182108.html

<span style="color: #000000"><span style='font-size: 14pt'>We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers</span>
More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined.

By STEPHEN MOORE

If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: <span style='font-size: 17pt'><span style="color: #660000">Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million).</span></span> This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

<span style="color: #660000">It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?</span>

Steve Moore has the details on Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to cut spending.

<span style="color: #660000">Every state in America today except for two—Indiana and Wisconsin—has more government workers on the payroll than people manufacturing industrial goods. Consider California, which has the highest budget deficit in the history of the states. The not-so Golden State now has an incredible 2.4 million government employees—twice as many as people at work in manufacturing. New Jersey has just under two-and-a-half as many government employees as manufacturers. Florida's ratio is more than 3 to 1. So is New York's.</span>

Even Michigan, at one time the auto capital of the world, and Pennsylvania, once the steel capital, have more government bureaucrats than people making things. The leaders in government hiring are Wyoming and New Mexico, which have hired more than six government workers for every manufacturing worker.

Now it is certainly true that many states have not typically been home to traditional manufacturing operations. Iowa and Nebraska are farm states, for example. But in those states, there are at least five times more government workers than farmers. <span style="color: #660000">West Virginia is the mining capital of the world, yet it has at least three times more government workers than miners. New York is the financial capital of the world—at least for now. That sector employs roughly 670,000 New Yorkers. That's less than half of the state's 1.48 million government employees.</span>

Don't expect a reversal of this trend anytime soon. Surveys of college graduates are finding that more and more of our top minds want to work for the government. Why? Because in recent years only government agencies have been hiring, and because the offer of near lifetime security is highly valued in these times of economic turbulence. When 23-year-olds aren't willing to take career risks, we have a real problem on our hands. Sadly, we could end up with a generation of Americans who want to work at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The employment trends described here are explained in part by hugely beneficial productivity improvements in such traditional industries as farming, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications. These produce far more output per worker than in the past. The typical farmer, for example, is today at least three times more productive than in 1950.

Where are the productivity gains in government? Consider a core function of state and local governments: schools. Over the period 1970-2005, school spending per pupil, adjusted for inflation, doubled, while standardized achievement test scores were flat. Over roughly that same time period, public-school employment doubled per student, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington. That is what economists call negative productivity.

But education is an industry where we measure performance backwards: We gauge school performance not by outputs, but by inputs. If quality falls, we say we didn't pay teachers enough or we need smaller class sizes or newer schools. If education had undergone the same productivity revolution that manufacturing has, we would have half as many educators, smaller school budgets, and higher graduation rates and test scores.

The same is true of almost all other government services. Mass transit spends more and more every year and yet a much smaller share of Americans use trains and buses today than in past decades. <span style="color: #660000">One way that private companies spur productivity is by firing underperforming employees and rewarding excellence. In government employment, tenure for teachers and near lifetime employment for other civil servants shields workers from this basic system of reward and punishment. It is a system that breeds mediocrity, which is what we've gotten.</span>

Most reasonable steps to restrain public-sector employment costs are smothered by the unions. Study after study has shown that states and cities could shave 20% to 40% off the cost of many services—fire fighting, public transportation, garbage collection, administrative functions, even prison operations—through competitive contracting to private providers. But unions have blocked many of those efforts. Public employees maintain that they are underpaid relative to equally qualified private-sector workers, yet they are deathly afraid of competitive bidding for government services.

President Obama says we have to retool our economy to "win the future." The only way to do that is to grow the economy that makes things, not the sector that takes things.

Mr. Moore is senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal editorial page.

</span>

pooltchr
04-04-2011, 06:13 PM
There are so many services governments provide that could easily be converted to private sector jobs. Why do cities own garbage trucks, pay for mechanics to keep them up, and drivers to drive them every day. There are companies like Republic or BFI or WM who would do the job. Great. Pick up my trash and send me a bill. Just give me a tax break when you give up this whole job.
Street maint.? Why use city employees. Private contractors would be much more efficient. City Bus service? The city doesn't do transportation. Turn it over to a private company. It works for cab companies. Why not for bus companies?

We need to get as many people as possible of public payrolls, and get them working for private industry. The same work would get done, taxes could be reduced, the economy would grow, and we could pay for the services we use, and not pay for those we don't.

I heard a discussion today about a so called "crash tax". If you are involved in an auto accident in some cities, you might end up getting a bill for the police officer(s) who respond, medics if needed, and a city crew, if you were to take out a stop sign in the wreck.

We have to stop looking at government as the daddy who is always there to bail the spoiled kid out of jail when he gets in trouble, and start dealing with our own problems.

I hope they do shut down the federal government this weekend. When people see how well we can get along without most of them, it might open some eyes.

Steve

Soflasnapper
04-04-2011, 08:02 PM
Leave it to little Libertarian Stevie Moore to blame the people for this problem.

This bad ratio couldn't be the result of slashing manufacturing in this country, could it? Who asked for that? The 'producer' class as represented by top corporate management, to further pad their already burgeoning bottom line.

pooltchr
04-04-2011, 08:56 PM
You blame the businesses for making prudent business decisions based on the existing environment.
I blame the government for creating an environment that does not support the businesses.

I doubt if I will change your mind, and I'm pretty sure you won't change mine. Maybe there is blame to be shared on both sides, but I just can't ignore the government's big hand right on top of this issue.

Our politicians keep saying they want to create more jobs. What specifically can a government do to create private sector jobs, other than working to make it easier for the private sector to grow and expand?

Steve

Sev
04-04-2011, 09:11 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Leave it to little Libertarian Stevie Moore to blame the people for this problem.

This bad ratio couldn't be the result of slashing manufacturing in this country, could it? Who asked for that? The 'producer' class as represented by top corporate management, to further pad their already burgeoning bottom line. </div></div>

The government is the root of the problem. Its rules, regulations and taxation do not provide for a business friendly atmosphere.

eg8r
04-05-2011, 08:48 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This bad ratio couldn't be the result of slashing manufacturing in this country, could it? Who asked for that?</div></div>Glad you asked. The Federal government did when they incessantly continued raising taxes. If you were having your lawn moved by some company and it started out costing $100/month but every 6 months he raised the price till you are at $250/month and found out the guy next door will do it for $75/month would you switch?

eg8r

LWW
04-05-2011, 09:59 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This bad ratio couldn't be the result of slashing manufacturing in this country, could it? Who asked for that?</div></div>Glad you asked. The Federal government did when they incessantly continued raising taxes. If you were having your lawn moved by some company and it started out costing $100/month but every 6 months he raised the price till you are at $250/month and found out the guy next door will do it for $75/month would you switch?

eg8r </div></div>

The correct answer is that since I can't afford $250 a month, I should demand that YOU pay $150 a month of it so that the GMU of America is bailed out.

Problem solved. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Soflasnapper
04-05-2011, 10:18 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This bad ratio couldn't be the result of slashing manufacturing in this country, could it? Who asked for that?</div></div>Glad you asked. The Federal government did when they incessantly continued raising taxes. If you were having your lawn moved by some company and it started out costing $100/month but every 6 months he raised the price till you are at $250/month and found out the guy next door will do it for $75/month would you switch?

eg8r </div></div>

And when did that supposedly happen?

The tax rates were their highest when we had a strong manufacturing sector and high employment there. During the '50s, the top marginal rate was over 90%. Kennedy took that down to the low 70%s. Carter took the top rate on earned income down to 50% (with the top rate on non-wage, so-called 'unearned' income still at 70%. Reagan took the top rate on unearned income to 50% matching the earned income top rate (which he kept in place 6 years). Yet it was during this long decline in top tax rates that the outsourcing began.

LWW
04-05-2011, 04:49 PM
Absolutely deceptive again.

Although true that the top rate was once 90% ... nobody actually paid it since essentially everything was deductible, and the effective tax rate was far less.

The top marginal rate was 91% ... for everything over $300K in 1955. Today that would be roughly $2.5M.

Keep in mind again that a suit of clothes ... a car ... and pretty much anything even remotely business or home related was deductible in 1955.

Also, a family of 4 had $2.6 in dependent deductions ... plus sick pay was deductible ... plus 10% of adjusted gross was deductible, or more if you filed long form ... plus all interest was deductible ... plus local and state and property taxes were deductible ... plus all charitable contributions ... plus medical and dental and prescription and OTC meds ... plus uninsured losses ... plus stock losses ... plus real estate losses ... pluss cousins and uncles and any relative living with you could be used as an exemption ... plus depreciation ... plus anything associated with your occupation, such as suits and ties and blah blah blah blah.

So, although technically it is true that the top marginal rate was 92% at one point, I have never heard of a case where anyone actually paid it.

OH DEAR! (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/oct/02/michael-moore/michael-moores-film-capitalism-claims-richest-paid/)

OH MY! (http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php#fn-2)

GOOD GOLLY! (http://www.dollartimes.com/calculators/inflation.htm)

TRUTH VERSUS TRUTHINESS! (http://www.taxhistory.org/thp/1040forms.nsf/WebByYear/1955/$file/1040_1955.pdf)

Qtec
04-06-2011, 01:21 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The Federal government did when they incessantly continued raising taxes. </div></div>

When was that then?

Q

pooltchr
04-06-2011, 06:39 AM
Q. They have been raising taxes for years. It may not be in the most obvious form of income taxes, but taxes at all levels of government have been increasing. It has been posted from time to time, and to be honest, I'm just not inclined to go find it for you, but there is a list as long as your arm of all the new taxes that have been added over the years. Maybe someone with more time on their hands will be willing to research it for you...but rest assured, we are paying far more to the government than our parents did.

Steve

pooltchr
04-06-2011, 06:44 AM
Oh, what the heck. I decided to donate 60 seconds of my life to google so you wouldn't have to.

http://www.nowandfutures.com/taxes.html

Steve

LWW
04-06-2011, 07:21 AM
Excellent link.

I'm hoping he reads it.

eg8r
04-06-2011, 07:48 AM
The past 20 or so years. Go take a look at California and google your tail off as to why they have been going broke for quite some time.

eg8r

eg8r
04-06-2011, 07:50 AM
You are wasting your time. He thinks there is only one type of tax and it is all he ever refers to. Can you believe he actually asked when taxes were raised?

eg8r

pooltchr
04-06-2011, 08:15 AM
It's not his fault. Unless you actually live here and pay taxes, it's hard to understand how our government uses so many different way to separate the American public from their earnings.

Steve

Soflasnapper
04-06-2011, 08:51 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Absolutely deceptive again.

Although true that the top rate was once 90% ... nobody actually paid it since essentially everything was deductible, and the effective tax rate was far less.

The top marginal rate was 91% ... for everything over $300K in 1955. Today that would be roughly $2.5M.

Keep in mind again that a suit of clothes ... a car ... and pretty much anything even remotely business or home related was deductible in 1955.

Also, a family of 4 had $2.6 in dependent deductions ... plus sick pay was deductible ... plus 10% of adjusted gross was deductible, or more if you filed long form ... plus all interest was deductible ... plus local and state and property taxes were deductible ... plus all charitable contributions ... plus medical and dental and prescription and OTC meds ... plus uninsured losses ... plus stock losses ... plus real estate losses ... pluss cousins and uncles and any relative living with you could be used as an exemption ... plus depreciation ... plus anything associated with your occupation, such as suits and ties and blah blah blah blah.

So, although technically it is true that the top marginal rate was 92% at one point, I have never heard of a case where anyone actually paid it.

OH DEAR! (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/oct/02/michael-moore/michael-moores-film-capitalism-claims-richest-paid/)

OH MY! (http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php#fn-2)

GOOD GOLLY! (http://www.dollartimes.com/calculators/inflation.htm)

TRUTH VERSUS TRUTHINESS! (http://www.taxhistory.org/thp/1040forms.nsf/WebByYear/1955/$file/1040_1955.pdf)
</div></div>

Your point is that no one paid the top rate? If not, then what did they pay? The same as now?

It's always been true that the effective rate of taxation is somewhat less than the top rate, even for the top earners. If you would say the 90%+ top rate times saw the REAL, effective top rate at 70%, that might be in the ball park.

Just as when it was dropped to 70%, the effective rate was also lower, at maybe the top 50%s or something. And just as now, at a 35% nominal top rate, the effective top rate is probably in the high 20%s.

But these facts do not make your point. Whatever difference there was between the nominal top rate and the effective top rate, the top earners paid at FAR HIGHER RATES than later (if not quite so high as the nominal rate might make appear), even granting the discount to effective rates.

pooltchr
04-06-2011, 09:11 AM
All of which is just another reason to enact the Fair Tax. If we are going to set a tax rate, then set a tax rate, get rid of the BS numbers used in the tax laws, take away all the deductions, get rid of the IRS, and just let everyone pay the same rate, based on how much they consume.

Steve

Soflasnapper
04-06-2011, 09:30 AM
The chart starts off badly, asserting some kind of average American pays 17% of their AGI in federal income tax. Wait! 18% estimated for 2011. (Was this chart created before the December 2010 deal extended the rate cuts? Guess so.)

Actually, the MEDIAN income American, meaning someone who has half the population making more than them, and half making less than them, pays a 5% effective federal income tax rate, not 17%, and not 18%.

What accounts for this discrepancy? It's not entirely clear, but one factor is the footnote that they do not include the tax net of the effects of the EITC, because that is classified as a spending program, not as a tax credit (even though it's called the earned income tax credit program). However defensible as a method that may be, it does not reflect reality, and obviously, when people are given subsidies within the tax system, by such things as the EITC or the $1,000 per child tax credit, that is less taxation, effectively.

The other thing is probably using AVERAGE instead of MEDIAN numbers. When things are skewed, averages mislead, when median figures are more representative of what's going on.

Let's say you make $85,000, I make $65,000, and the third guy is a hedge fund manager making $3 billion. Our AVERAGE income is a little over $1 billion each. The median income is $85,000, which is far more realistic a gauge of our little group of three, where the average is totally unrealistic as to your and my income picture.

And, btw, if we were to look at effective tax rates, the hedge fund manager's preferred 15% rate would be less than our two rates, and actually average the total effective rate down. (Not the median rate, however.)

So there are a lot of funny numbers in doing tax tables, and as soon as you're dealing in averages rather than median, the skewing effects are a significant problem in trying to get an accurate picture.

Soflasnapper
04-06-2011, 09:34 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">All of which is just another reason to enact the Fair Tax. If we are going to set a tax rate, then set a tax rate, get rid of the BS numbers used in the tax laws, take away all the deductions, get rid of the IRS, and just let everyone pay the same rate, based on how much they consume.

Steve </div></div>

Try selling that to the families enjoying the $1,000 tax credit per child, or gaining a large tax deduction from their mortgage interest.

Sure, they'd accept losing those things, if their effective taxation was the same, or lower. Otherwise, they will object, as would many people, at having their taxes go UP from here.

The ultimate reason that thing can never be passed is that it would reduce the effective tax rate for the better off, and thus, fairly obviously, soak the worse off for the difference.

And the ultimate reason that the thing might be put through anyway is that it would reduce the effective tax rate for the better off.

pooltchr
04-06-2011, 12:15 PM
I would be happy to give up those deductions if I could get my TOTAL effective tax rate from the roughly 54% it is now, down to 23%. And when it is explained as it is in Neil Boortz's book, it's pretty easy to understand.

As for it being tilted toward the wealthy, all it really does is allow everyone to have some control over how much tax they pay. If I decide to go out and buy a small fishing boat to take out on the lake, I pay my tax on it. If you decide to buy a million dollar yacht, which I can't even afford, you are going to pay more tax than I do. (Wow, the rich paying more taxes????? Isn't that what you want?)

The lower income brackets would be given a break on the necessities, so the tax isn't on what we NEED, it is on the things WE decide that WE WANT.

Have you even read the book?

Steve

Soflasnapper
04-06-2011, 12:25 PM
No, I haven't read it, but I've looked through the web citations of it and its earlier proposed law form.

And we've had this discussion here before.

Fact is, used things won't have this tax, and I'm guessing there will be a cottage industry in creating supposedly 'used' (very, very slightly used) things out of new things.

Also, a corporate LEASE of some plane or yacht would also not create a taxable event (in fact, it would be a tax deduction), so what you'd see undoubtedly is a bunch of people enjoying these luxury goods as corporate leases, or buying slightly used, and entirely avoiding this tax.

But yes, certainly, if you are in a reasonably high bracket, the fair tax would be a massive tax break. Which IS THE PROBLEM. For that is supposed to be revenue neutral. If some people, and the top bracket people in particular, get a massive break, and the same amount of money is raised, guess how that occurs? Clearly the plan is to soak the less well off.

BTW, most of any listing of the phenomenal numbers of taxes are heavily comprised of the state and local tax varieties, which this fair tax doesn't address at all.

And PS, if you want to immediately get rid of your state income tax, you can vote with your car by moving to one of the 4 or 5 states where it doesn't exist.

pooltchr
04-06-2011, 12:49 PM
There couldn't be any tax deductions, because there wouldn't be any income taxes to pay in the first place.


Now if I lease a car, I have to lease it from somebody, who would be the owner of the car, so yes, taxes would be paid by someone on that car.

And I did live in a state without a state income tax for several years. The fees for things such as car registrations, property taxes, etc pretty much offset any savings. States are going to get their operating money one way or the other.

Steve

Qtec
04-07-2011, 04:00 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Q. They have been raising taxes for years. </div></div>

No they haven't. Taxes on the rich have been going down, down, down. <span style='font-size: 20pt'>THAT'S A FACT</span>.

<span style='font-size: 26pt'>Another fact</span> is that <span style='font-size: 20pt'>the wealth HAS BEEN REDISTRIBUTED over the last 30 years, and its all one way.</span>

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It may not be in the most obvious form of income taxes, but taxes at all levels of government have been increasing. </div></div>

Boy, what a turnaround. Not long ago you jumped on the "50% of Americans don't pay tax " crap??????????

You can't have it both ways.

Q

LWW
04-07-2011, 04:10 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">No, I haven't read it, but I've looked through the web citations of it and its earlier proposed law form.
</div></div>

So ... you accept whatever "OPINION": is spoon fed to you and won't bother to actually find out what it's actually about?

LWW
04-07-2011, 04:14 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">No, I haven't read it, but I've looked through the web citations of it and its earlier proposed law form.

And we've had this discussion here before.

Fact is, used things won't have this tax, and I'm guessing there will be a cottage industry in creating supposedly 'used' (very, very slightly used) things out of new things.

Also, a corporate LEASE of some plane or yacht would also not create a taxable event (in fact, it would be a tax deduction), so what you'd see undoubtedly is a bunch of people enjoying these luxury goods as corporate leases, or buying slightly used, and entirely avoiding this tax.

But yes, certainly, if you are in a reasonably high bracket, the fair tax would be a massive tax break. Which IS THE PROBLEM. For that is supposed to be revenue neutral. If some people, and the top bracket people in particular, get a massive break, and the same amount of money is raised, guess how that occurs? Clearly the plan is to soak the less well off.

BTW, most of any listing of the phenomenal numbers of taxes are heavily comprised of the state and local tax varieties, which this fair tax doesn't address at all.

And PS, if you want to immediately get rid of your state income tax, you can vote with your car by moving to one of the 4 or 5 states where it doesn't exist. </div></div>


<span style='font-size: 26pt'>LEARN ABOUT THE FAIR TAX (http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer) </span>

Qtec
04-07-2011, 04:16 AM
You brainless moron.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So ... you accept whatever "OPINION": is spoon fed to you and won't bother to actually find out what it's actually about? </div></div>

<span style='font-size: 20pt'>That's YOUR OPINION...dickwad.</span>


Geez, what a dork.

Q

LWW
04-07-2011, 05:14 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You brainless moron.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So ... you accept whatever "OPINION": is spoon fed to you and won't bother to actually find out what it's actually about? </div></div>

<span style='font-size: 20pt'>That's YOUR OPINION...dickwad.</span>


Geez, what a dork.

Q </div></div>

No, that's what he admitted to.

Sev
04-07-2011, 06:06 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You brainless moron.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So ... you accept whatever "OPINION": is spoon fed to you and won't bother to actually find out what it's actually about? </div></div>

<span style='font-size: 20pt'>That's YOUR OPINION...dickwad.</span>


Geez, what a dork.

Such language. Oh my!!!
Q </div></div>

pooltchr
04-07-2011, 07:21 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You brainless moron.



<span style='font-size: 20pt'>That's YOUR OPINION...dickwad.</span>


Geez, what a dork.

Q </div></div>

I have to wonder why the mods would allow this kind of personal attack on another member to be posted.

Steve