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Change?... yeah, right.

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Bruce Banner View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Banner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 12:58pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

The issue as I see it, is that government is preaching that we are in this mess because of greedy business...
 
When the facts are that government forced banks to make bad loans...
 
Both of those statements strike me as somewhere between simplistic and false.  It is a tad more complicated than that.
 
But whatever.
 
Quote
When the government spokepeople are dishonest, and don't follow the rules they impose on us.
 
And I agree that dishonesty is bad - but so far I am not seeing dishonesty.  Not paying FICA for your cleaning service?  How is that dishonest?  If that is dishonest, then frankly we will never find anybody who is honest enough to serve.
 
The Daschle thing is still developing, and certainly acknowledge the potential for real problems there, but so far I don't see any actual dishonesty here.  Mistakes, yes.  Dishonesty?  Not yet.
 
Quote When the government is about to pass a huge porkbarrel bill that by calling it "stimulus" most people think it is Okey Dokey.
 
This has what to do with dishonesty?
 
But regardless - this bill may be many things, but "porkbarrel" is a bit of an overstatement.  There may be some projects in there that may be considered porky, but that is only a small piece.  There are plenty of reasons to object to the bill, but I am not sure that complaining about excessive pork is anything other than nibbling at the edges.
 
Quote Government needs to check itself. We don't need another spending bill, we need tax relief.
 
Again with this.  On what basis do you think that tax relief is better than stimulus spending?  And can the two even be distinguished?  Some tax relief is really just spending in disguise, and vice versa.
 
Broad strokes like this are not meaningful objections.
 
 
BUT - what does this have to do with your concerns about the lack of change?  This sure looks like change to me.  A fulfilled campaign promise, at that.
 
You are welcome to disagree with the policy, but frankly right now you just look like another partisan hack indiscriminately complaining about everything the other party is doing.  Very unproductive, and most definitely not change.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:00pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldpbnoob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:09pm
Wife  just emailed me this link. Some interesting "stimulus" projects.
 
 
I wonder if the economic crisis has been a bigger issue earlier in the campaign if we would have seen someone with a stronger economic background rise to the forefront?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Banner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:12pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/daschle_taxes
good..
 
I agree with the good part - if for no other reason than that it was becoming an issue.  Daschle is replaceable, although this will slow things down.
 
But, FE - you didn't answer my questions:
 
1.  Do you pay sales/use tax on your internet purchases?
 
2.  Would you return the $35,000?
 
(Everybody else can play too)


Edited by Bruce Banner - 03 February 2009 at 1:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaiNTbALLfReNzY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:15pm
I would play but that would require me to read through 3 pages of quoting quotes, and I'd rather just be a spectator honestly. FE and BB debates are like battles of the titans.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Banner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:15pm
Originally posted by oldpbnoob oldpbnoob wrote:

Wife  just emailed me this link. Some interesting "stimulus" projects.
 
 
I wonder if the economic crisis has been a bigger issue earlier in the campaign if we would have seen someone with a stronger economic background rise to the forefront?
 
 
 
I don't know such a candidate would be.  It is hard to be an economist and politician at the same time.  Would have been interesting, though.
 
As to the list - no details provided, of course, but frankly most of the things on that list look like perfectly legitimate stimulus spending.  They mostly put Americans to work, and they mostly build things and/or reduce future costs.  Isn't that pretty much the definition of stimulus spending?
 
Sure, I am sure there are individual items that are less worthy than others, and I might have drawn up a different list, but by and large that list looks pretty good to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Banner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:17pm
Here, PBFrenzy, I'll make it easy:
 
 
1.
Originally posted by Bruce Banner Bruce Banner wrote:

Do you pay state sales/use tax on your internet purchases?  Amazon, Woot, ftd.com, etc.?  Anybody else want to volunteer their tax practice here?
 
2.
Originally posted by Bruce Banner Bruce Banner wrote:

]And I do challenge you, and everybody else reading this:  If the IRS rolled up to your door, and made the following statement:  "Hello, sir.  We discovered that six to ten years ago you made an honest mistake on your tax returns that resulted in underpayment for those years totalling $35,000.  We have no legal right to claim the money anymore, but would you please right us a check anyway?"
 
How many of us would write that check?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnnyHopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:22pm
Originally posted by Bruce Banner Bruce Banner wrote:

you pay state sales/use tax on your internet purchases?  Amazon, Woot, ftd.com, etc.?  Anybody else want to volunteer their tax practice here?


Ouch, I thought what happens on the interwebs stays on the interwebs. Unless your name is Bernie Ward.

Edited by JohnnyHopper - 03 February 2009 at 1:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:25pm
Originally posted by Bruce Banner Bruce Banner wrote:

Here, PBFrenzy, I'll make it easy:
 
 
1.
Originally posted by Bruce Banner Bruce Banner wrote:

Do you pay state sales/use tax on your internet purchases?  Amazon, Woot, ftd.com, etc.?  Anybody else want to volunteer their tax practice here?
 
Yes, I keep track of all my online purchases, if the law states I have to pay tax, then I do. Luckily I don't live in PA with all their rediculous state tax laws... (no wonder that state is hurting) If the vendor that Amazon is using is in my state they automatically take it out when purchased.
 
2.
Originally posted by Bruce Banner Bruce Banner wrote:

]And I do challenge you, and everybody else reading this:  If the IRS rolled up to your door, and made the following statement:  "Hello, sir.  We discovered that six to ten years ago you made an honest mistake on your tax returns that resulted in underpayment for those years totalling $35,000.  We have no legal right to claim the money anymore, but would you please right us a check anyway?"
 
How many of us would write that check?
 
This is a strawman...
 
"honest mistake" is the issue. I am sure that everyone looking at Daschle will see that he was unethical in his decision to not pay his taxes.
 
But, to answer your question, yes, I would pay.
 
Its my patriotic duty...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Banner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:54pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

 
Yes, I keep track of all my online purchases, if the law states I have to pay tax, then I do.
 
...
 
But, to answer your question, yes, I would pay.
 
Its my patriotic duty...
 
And in that case hats off to you - but I feel confident in declaring you in the distinct minority in both cases.
 
There are some number floating around for the use tax - and it is quite certain that most people are not paying use tax.  I certainly don't.
 
 
And there are other examples- FICA payments are very difficult, of course, and many people (unintentionally) fail to report all their earnings.  Getting charitable donations right is also tricky.
 
I will make the bold claim that for the vast majority of personal returns that raise enough flags to get audited, the IRS could find a discrepancy if they really tried.  When things get messy, there are many gray areas, and it is very, very difficult to get it right.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Banner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 1:56pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

 
"honest mistake" is the issue.
 
It is certainly MY issue.  If these were not honest mistakes, then certainly they should be disqualified - and prosecuted if possible.  But you seem to be implying a higher standard than mere "honest mistake."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 2:11pm
Obama ran on a "change" platform. And yet, to me it looks like more of the same.
 
Same guys from Clintons time in office. Same conflicts of interest. (secretary of state anyone...) Same deceit. Even though he made tons of lofty promises.
 
I say get rid of all of them. Dems and republicans alike. Find me some guys that mean what they say, and actually care about doing the right thing for a change. I haven't seen one iota of "changing the culture of washington" yet...
 
 
 
I love the spin on this article.
 
 
its not only about taxes, its about hiring illegals and paying them under the table...
 
sad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benjichang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 2:13pm
Once again, how is a direct reversal of so many Bush policies "more of the same"? I don't want to debate you FE, because no one's going to change their minds, but you keep sucking back in. Successful troll is successful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 2:20pm
Oh, the irony.
 
 
"Gregg Voted to Kill Commerce Before He Agreed to Lead It "
 
DURH!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Banner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 2:23pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

Obama ran on a "change" platform. And yet, to me it looks like more of the same.
 
Same guys from Clintons time in office. Same conflicts of interest. (secretary of state anyone...) Same deceit. Even though he made tons of lofty promises.
 
So...  so are going to ignore the major changes he has already instituted, and instead focus on a few perceived familiarities and declare "no change?"
 
That does not seem intellectually honest.
 
 
Quote
 
its not only about taxes, its about hiring illegals and paying them under the table...
 
sad.
 
Are we clear that the help was illegal?
 
There are two issues here, and both go back to my previous point.
 
First, whether or not FICA is owed can be tricky.  I do not know the facts here, but in general this is a common sticking point.  Do you pay FICA for your babysitter?  Almost certainly not.  Are you sure that you shouldn't be?
 
How about the guy that cuts your lawn/clears the snow, or the handyman that helped you with drywalling?  The line between independant contractor and employee can be very thin and tricky.  This is the kind of stuff that tax lawyers have arguments about.
 
What IS clear is that it is common practice in many parts of the country to have regular cleaning help, and very UNcommon to pay any tax at all for those services.  If this is a disqualifier, then we probably just disqualified a big chunk of the eligible candidates.
 
Second, assuming the help WAS undocumented (very possible, since FICA is a common way to get at the illegal nannies), again this can be tricky.  I have never asked to see the papers of anybody I hire for random jobs around the house.  My lawncare crew speaks only Spanish.  Does that put me on notice that I ought to be asking for papers? 
 
And again, in many parts of the country, illegal maids/nannies are standard.  By making this a disqualifying feature we just knocked out a big chunk of eligible candidates.
 
Which brings me back around to my unrepentant speeding.  Does that disqualify me from serving in public office?  Should it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mbro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 2:35pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

Oh, the irony.
 


 

"Gregg Voted to Kill Commerce Before He Agreed to Lead It "

 

DURH!
How did you feel about the Bush appointment of Bolton to the UN?

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 2:39pm
Originally posted by Bruce Banner Bruce Banner wrote:

Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

Obama ran on a "change" platform. And yet, to me it looks like more of the same.
 
Same guys from Clintons time in office. Same conflicts of interest. (secretary of state anyone...) Same deceit. Even though he made tons of lofty promises.
 
So...  so are going to ignore the major changes he has already instituted, and instead focus on a few perceived familiarities and declare "no change?"
 
That does not seem intellectually honest.
 
 
Quote
 
its not only about taxes, its about hiring illegals and paying them under the table...
 
sad.
 
Are we clear that the help was illegal?
 
There are two issues here, and both go back to my previous point.
 
First, whether or not FICA is owed can be tricky.  I do not know the facts here, but in general this is a common sticking point.  Do you pay FICA for your babysitter?  Almost certainly not.  Are you sure that you shouldn't be?
 
Lets see, I don't hire babysitters, I use familly... Besides, its free, and trustworthy.
 
How about the guy that cuts your lawn/clears the snow, or the handyman that helped you with drywalling?  The line between independant contractor and employee can be very thin and tricky.  This is the kind of stuff that tax lawyers have arguments about.
 
I cut my own grass (over 5 acres), and clear my own snow. I hired a company to do my drywall, sure it was more expensive than getting some handyman under the table, but that would have been unethical. People make choices everyday. Some choose to live in the gray area, others don't. Depending on their world view.
 
What IS clear is that it is common practice in many parts of the country to have regular cleaning help, and very UNcommon to pay any tax at all for those services.  If this is a disqualifier, then we probably just disqualified a big chunk of the eligible candidates.
 
Yes, if a candidate is doing things that are unethical, and we are asking them to make ethics laws... Then they should be disqualified, regardless of how many people this affects.
 
Second, assuming the help WAS undocumented (very possible, since FICA is a common way to get at the illegal nannies), again this can be tricky.  I have never asked to see the papers of anybody I hire for random jobs around the house.  My lawncare crew speaks only Spanish.  Does that put me on notice that I ought to be asking for papers? 
 
Yes. Giving money to people who are breaking the law is aiding and abetting...
 
And again, in many parts of the country, illegal maids/nannies are standard.  By making this a disqualifying feature we just knocked out a big chunk of eligible candidates.
 
Good, they should be disqualified. When running for office, you swear an oath to uphold the laws of the land. The whole "everyone" does it doesn't fly...
 
Have some character.
 
Which brings me back around to my unrepentant speeding.  Does that disqualify me from serving in public office?  Should it?
 
Yes, if you are an unrepentant speeder, and you are running for office, that will have a hand in making laws concerning speed limits, Yes, you should be disqualified.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldsoldier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 2:51pm
I still have a problem with these nominees. Not paying taxes to me follows two tracks. A. Criminal (if the nominees were Republicans during the Bush years, they would immediately be put into this catagory by the Democrats) B. Inept (so if these well educated individuals that we are going to put in charge of our country can not understand the laws they plan to enforce, or do not understand thier own personal finances, How may I ask can we trust them with the country?)

As more and more nominees with a (D) are coming up with tax "problems" I am noticing a trend. Maybe we should have a complete vetting process of the entire Congress, and let the chips fall where they may. Being an ex NY's I do find it interesting the Kennedy refused to disclose her finances during the potential nomination to replace Clinton in the Senate, makes you wonder in light of current high ranking Democrats and thier appointment "difficulties".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Banner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 2:59pm
Originally posted by FreeEnterprise FreeEnterprise wrote:

Lets see, I don't hire babysitters, I use familly... Besides, its free, and trustworthy.
 
...
 
I cut my own grass (over 5 acres), and clear my own snow. I hired a company to do my drywall, sure it was more expensive than getting some handyman under the table, but that would have been unethical. People make choices everyday. Some choose to live in the gray area, others don't. Depending on their world view.
 
 
"Gray area" isn't a moral statement - it is a factual/legal statement.  As in "whether a nanny is an independant contractor or an employee depends on facts and circumstances, and there are few specific rules."
 
Tax law is all facts and circumstances.  Anybody with complex taxes spends a lot of time and effort dealing with these gray areas.  It has nothing to do with morality, but simply that the law is fuzzy in these contexts.
 
I can PROMISE you that there are many people are surprised when they find out that they should have been paying FICA for their nannies.  Not because they are dishonest, but because it is very difficult to tell, even for professionals.
 
Of course, you don't know this, because you don't hire people - which is my point exactly.  Millions of Americans DO hire help for a variety of things, and most of these perfectly honest Americans have no idea whether or not they are breaking any laws in the process.
 
Originally posted by FE FE wrote:

Yes, if a candidate is doing things that are unethical, and we are asking them to make ethics laws... Then they should be disqualified, regardless of how many people this affects.
 
...
 
Yes. Giving money to people who are breaking the law is aiding and abetting...
 
...
 
Good, they should be disqualified. When running for office, you swear an oath to uphold the laws of the land. The whole "everyone" does it doesn't fly...
 
Have some character.
 
...
 
Yes, if you are an unrepentant speeder, and you are running for office, that will have a hand in making laws concerning speed limits, Yes, you should be disqualified.
 
So, in other words, nobody should ever be elected to anything.
 
It is fine to have high standards, but when your standards bear no relationship to reality then they stop being standards and start being foolish ideals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FreeEnterprise Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2009 at 3:16pm
nice try Bruce, but there are plenty of people out there that have ethics and are qualified.
 
But, they are not in washington...
 
Palin is a good choice. But, look what the media and liberal elites did to her...
 
On another topic, notice that Daschle quits, and the market rises... Hmm, maybe because investors think that maybe people with ethics need to be put in high positions of power...
 
PS. Obama is the one who claimed to run "the most ethical and transparent office ever"...
 
So, yeah, when someone promises me something I believe them, until they prove they are just smoke and mirrors...
 
 
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