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April 28, 2011 - 3:04pm

NY-26 candidate questions: Taxes and debt

posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul, Ian Murphy.

This week, we asked each of the four candidates in the special election for the NY-26 Congressional District questions related to taxes, spending and debt.

Below are the questions. After the jump, the candidates' responses in the order received.

Let’s start with general economic theory. There are two primary, and opposing, schools of thought regarding modern economics and the role of government. Which theories most closely match your own economic view, those of John Maynard Keynes or Ludwig Von Mises?

A median-wage worker pays 23.4 percent of his or her income in federal taxes. A person in the top 1 percent of wage earners pays 16.9 percent.  Would you consider this differential something that should be reformed in the current tax code, or does this seem reasonable to you?

For purposes of political speech, corporations are considered persons. In tax law, persons must, at a minimum, pay an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Should the AMT be extended to the “persons” of corporations, such as General Electric Corp.? In other words, should corporations be required to pay at least some tax, regardless of write-offs and other tax advantages?

At the federal level, there are several departments and agencies – such as education, health, commerce, and more – that duplicate state and local services. Which, if any, of these departments and agencies could be eliminated or greatly reduced?

In 2009, Obama pushed through a tax cut cut for the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers that saved taxpayers from $800 to $1,600 per year. In December 2010, Congress overturned this tax credit. Would you have voted to repeal this tax cut if you were in office at the time?

Is it necessary to reduced the nation’s $14 trillion in gross national debt, and can it be reduced without tax increases? And if taxes have to go up, where should they go up first – corporations, the top 1 percent wage earners, the middle class, the poor?

Would you support a flat tax or national sales tax as an alternative to income tax?

Jack Davis:

(Q) Let’s start with general economic theory. There are two primary, and opposing, schools of thought regarding modern economics and the role of government. Which theories most closely match your own economic view, those of John Maynard Keynes or Ludwig Von Mises?

(A) I believe putting Americans to work is more important than any theory. The economic theories told us we don’t need to make anything in America anymore because we could sell derivatives and exotic financial debt instead. The theories were wrong. Economics 101 tells us the only way to create wealth is to grow, dig or manufacture a product. Common sense is more useful than academic theories in getting our economy on the right track.

(Q) A median-wage worker pays 23.4 percent of his or her income in federal taxes. A person in the top 1 percent of wage earners pays 16.9 percent. Would you consider this differential something that should be reformed in the current tax code, or does this seem reasonable to you?

(A) The current tax code needs to be reformed.   

(Q) For purposes of political speech, corporations are considered persons. In tax law, persons must, at a minimum, pay an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Should the AMT be extended to the “persons” of corporations, such as General Electric Corp.? In other words, should corporations be required to pay at least some tax, regardless of write-offs and other tax advantages?

(A) The notion that a corporation is a “person” with the same rights as a person is ridiculous. This is another example of a theory that is completely out of touch with reality and common sense. It is wrong for GE to earn $5 billion in U.S. profits in 2010 and pay zero taxes.  They are able to do this thanks to tax laws passed by both Republicans and Democrats. This is a perfect example of how both parties in Washington have been bought off.

(Q) At the federal level, there are several departments and agencies – such as education, health, commerce, and more – that duplicate state and local services. Which, if any, of these departments and agencies could be eliminated or greatly reduced?

(A) When we talk about federal agencies that need fixing, it’s hard to know where to start. The departments of education, commerce and energy are prime candidates for an “extreme makeover” or elimination. 

(Q) In 2009, Obama pushed through a tax cut cut for the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers that saved taxpayers from $800 to $1,600 per year. In December 2010, Congress overturned this tax credit. Would you have voted to repeal this tax cut if you were in office at the time?

(A) Working Americans – and those who would be working if we had a sane economic policy – should be first in line for tax relief. I oppose raising taxes.

(Q) Is it necessary to reduce the nation’s $14 trillion in gross national debt, and can it be reduced without tax increases?  And if taxes have to go up, where should they go up first – corporations, the top 1 percent wage earners, the middle class, the poor?

(A) We must reduce the crippling level of debt we are leaving our children and grandchildren. The first step is to stop digging ourselves deeper into debt, and that means cutting the deficit. We will do that by putting Americans back to work. Right now, 56 percent of Americans over the age of 16 are working. If that rises to 64 percent, Dan Fuss, vice president of the financial firm Loomis Sayles, points out the deficit disappears entirely. At the same time, we have to change the law so corporations like GE can’t hide profits overseas and avoid paying any taxes at all.

(Q) Would you support a flat tax or national sales tax as an alternative to income tax?

(A) We need to overhaul our entire tax structure. I will closely study all alternatives to the current system. Before the adoption of the income tax, the federal government derived most of its revenue not from working Americans, but from foreigners who wanted to sell their goods in this country.  

Ian Murphy

(Q) Let’s start with general economic theory. There are two primary, and opposing, schools of thought regarding modern economics and the role of government. Which theories most closely match your own economic view, those of John Maynard Keynes or Ludwig Von Mises?

(A) To give one an idea of how very obtuse Ludwig Von Mises was, he once called Ayn Rand “the most courageous man in America." As for the Austrian School of Economics he helped shape, that misguided philosophy can be directly tied to the unregulated “free-market” madness which wrecked our economy and has made the income disparity in America greater than any industrialized country in the world. The top 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 150 million. Mises represents economics for those 400 people.

Keynes was the man. Keynesian economic policies got us out of the Great Depression, they got Japan out of their “Lost Decade,” they are a proven way to boost an economy. For example: every $1 spent on food stamps returns $1.73 <http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/29/news/economy/stimulus_analysis/index.htm>  into the economy. And according to the CBO's assessment <http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10008/03-02-Macro_Effects_of_ARRA.pdf> of the '09 AARA stimulus package, government expenditure on goods and services has a far superior multiplier effect on GDP than does bogus trickle-down nonsense.

(Q) A median-wage worker pays 23.4 percent of his or her income in federal taxes. A person in the top 1 percent of wage earners pays 16.9 percent.  Would you consider this differential something that should be reformed in the current tax code, or does this seem reasonable to you?

(A) Hell yes, they need to be reformed; those tax rates are the antithesis of reasonable.

FUN FACT: Republicans worship Ronald Reagan. Even our Democratic President admires the Gipper. Oddly enough, during the Reagan years the tax rate for a millionaire was 47.7% <http://assets.motherjones.com/politics/2011/inequality-taxrate_3.png> . Not even a Democrat could suggest such a rate today without being vilified by the wealthy elite and their propagandist lapdogs in the press.

We need a progressive tax code in this country—that is, if we want a stable society. Otherwise, keep slashing taxes for the rich like Paul Ryan would have us do—or Bush and Obama have—and invest in pitchforks and torches because they'll soon be a very hot commodity.

(Q) For purposes of political speech, corporations are considered persons. In tax law, persons must, at a minimum, pay an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Should the AMT be extended to the “persons” of corporations, such as General Electric Corp.? In other words, should corporations be required to pay at least some tax regardless of write-offs and other tax advantages?

(A) Corporations are considered “persons” for the most illegitimate of reasons. This insane precedent started with a note made in the margins of an 1886 decision in the case of Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad by a court clerk. The clerk happened to be a former employee of Southern Pacific. The note was not legally binding, but through the hyper-litigious acts of Southern Pacific and other corporations, we've seen the 14th Amendment perverted in case after case, and the rights intended for slaves freed by the 13th Amendment extended to non-human entities. Forgive me the brief history lesson, but a pig is not a boat and corporations are not people.

There's really no need to be too clever about this. Outlaw corporate personhood, which is very important in terms of protecting the democratic process, and institute a progressive corporate tax. The end.

(Q) At the federal level, there are several departments and agencies – such as education, health, commerce, and more – that duplicate state and local services. Which, if any, of these departments and agencies could be eliminated or greatly reduced?

(A) Duplicate? Does that mean every local teacher has a federal doppelganger who teaches clones of our children in shadow classrooms? That doesn't sound right—accurate. At any rate, I'm against cloning.

If there truly are redundancies and inefficiencies, rather than federal departments working in concert with state and local agencies, then they should be eliminated. That's just common sense.

(Q) In 2009, Obama pushed through a tax cut cut for the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers that saved taxpayers from $800 to $1,600 per year. In December 2010, Congress overturned this tax credit. Would you have voted to repeal this tax cut if you were in office at the time?

(A) I was under the impression that the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, passed as small part of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, ranged between $400 for individuals and $800 for couples filing jointly. Regardless, I would not have voted to repeal this tax credit, which benefited most working Americans.

And as many competent economists have argued <http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/how-did-we-know-the-stimulus-was-too-small/> , the AARA stimulus package was not large enough. Though it should be noted that the House and Senate versions of the bill were drastically different.

The Senate sharply cut back spending on states and wasted approximately $70 billion extending revisions of the alternative minimum tax, which the Tax Policy Center <http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/senatereportcard.cfm>  rated as D-, writing that this was “[n]either timely nor targeted; makes no sense as economic stimulus.” I would have voted to overturn that extension. 

(Q) Is it necessary to reduced the nation’s $14 trillion in gross national debt, and can it be reduced without tax increases? And if taxes have to go up, where should they go up first – corporations, the top 1 percent wage earners, the middle class, the poor?

(A) Yes, it is necessary in the long term. Unfortunately, politicians constantly evoke the metaphor of personal, family finance and belt-tightening, which is not really how large scale economies work. Unlike personal finance, it's often necessary to spend your way out of a recession, rather than cut back on spending. As it ties into the above questions, consider the return of investment on food stamps and the multiplier effect of other Keynesian programs.

In theory, the debt could be reduced without increasing taxes. But why would we do that? Sure, we should cut our bloated military budget and take measures to maximize efficiency, but we have a vast river of untapped revenue in the super-wealthy and corporations. It's astoundingly irresponsible and immoral not to raise taxes on the very wealthy.

Instead, what you'll get from Republicans is a disingenuous lecture on 'austerity' and the slashing of vital social programs on which most Americans rely. And most tragic, by my estimation, is the absolute spinelessness of Democrats. Applauding a compromise between evil and a lesser evil is evil in itself. These people would have made FDR embarrassed to be a Democrat.

The people of NY-26 may not even be aware of how their very democracy is being taken from them by hatchet-happy Republicans and their simpering, acquiescing Democratic counterparts.

One small example is a Hochul press release <http://thebatavian.com/howard-owens/hochul-lauds-budget-compromise-calls-opponents-apathetic/25342>  I came across on this very Web site. My opponent “called on [her] opponents, Republican Jane Corwin, and Tea Party-endorsed candidate, Jack Davis, to join [her] in supporting a budget compromise to no avail.”

I'm glad you didn't ask me, Kathy. I will not support a $39 billion cut in non-defense discretionary spending. I will not support the slashing of funds for roads, bridges, schools, and myriad programs for women, the poor and the middle class. I will not support a budget that will hurt average Americans.

Excuse the rant, but that “wonderful” compromise slashed funding for PBS and, as I understand it, WNED cannot afford to produce a debate for this special election because they're broke. So it seems this is my only opportunity to rail against the evil, dumb and cowardly stances of my opponents--because of the evil, dumb and cowardly stances of my opponents.

We need to maintain the social programs we have and invest in our society again, rather than feeling lovey-dovey about being screwed by bipartisan compromise.

(Q) Would you support a flat tax or national sales tax as an alternative to income tax?

(A) Never. A flat tax or a national sales tax would shift the burden to the poor and middle class. And anyone who talks about these things as a serious option for America is either a tremendous fool or an incorrigible liar.

I'd also like to add that we need to close all tax loopholes, regulate Wall Street in a meaningful way (reinstate the Glass-Steagal Act), appropriately tax capital gains, and eliminate the Federal Reserve's disturbing and secretive, risk-free lending to wealthy jackals.

In case you didn't know, a bipartisan group including Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders recently pressed the Fed to open their books. They only were allowed to view two years of data, but what they found was shocking—a shadow budget rivaling the size of our official one.

All done without congressional oversight or presidential approval, there were literally trillions spent bailing out banks in Mexico and Bahrain—loans given to foreign car manufacturers and risk-free loans given to anyone with a connection on Wall Street.

If the beneficiaries (most notably two wives of investment bankers with no financial background <http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-real-housewives-of-wall-street-look-whos-cashing-in-on-the-bailout-20110411> ) made money off of the multimillion dollar loans, they'd pay them back at next to no interest. If their deals went south, they simply walked away. There was no penalty for default. And the American taxpayer was stuck with the bill. Again.

This is an outrage, and all abuses at the Fed must be put to an end. If I'm elected to Congress, I will demand transparency and accountability at the Federal Reserve. 

Kathy Hochul:

(Q) Let’s start with general economic theory. There are two primary, and opposing, schools of thought regarding modern economics and the role of government. Which theories most closely match your own economic view, those of John Maynard Keynes or Ludwig Von Mises?

A median-wage worker pays 23.4 percent of his or her income in federal taxes. A person in the top 1 percent of wage earners pays 16.9 percent.  Would you consider this differential something that should be reformed in the current tax code, or does this seem reasonable to you?

For purposes of political speech, corporations are considered persons.  In tax law, persons must, at a minimum, pay an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).  Should the AMT be extended to the “persons” of corporations, such as GE? In other words, should corporations be required to pay at least some tax regardless of write-offs and other tax advantages?

(A) When a company like General Electric reports worldwide profits of $14.2 billion without paying a single dollar in federal income tax, we know there is something wrong with our tax code. In fact, due to G.E.’s intense lobbying efforts and slick accounting, the company was able to claim a $3.2 billion tax benefit – money that could have been invested in small businesses that create jobs here at home. The fact that every taxpayer in the 26th District paid more in taxes last year than General Electric is plain wrong. 

So yes, without question, our tax code needs to be reformed.  Once elected to Congress, I will fight to ensure the wealthiest Americans and corporations start to pay their fair share. I’ll work to close corporate loopholes and end tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas. We need to invest in local businesses that create jobs for hard working American families

(Q) At the federal level, there are several departments and agencies – such as education, health, commerce, and more – that duplicate state and local services.  Which, if any, of these departments and agencies could be eliminated or greatly reduced?

(A) There is no question that we need to make substantial cuts in spending and streamline government services, just like I’ve done in Erie County. However, we cannot stop investing in education, medical research or high-tech research, since these programs help small businesses innovate and grow. And we cannot support any kind of budget that will decimate Medicare. 

There are numerous programs managed by the federal government where we could cut wasteful spending. For example, under the recommendations of the Department of Defense and Defense Secretary Gates, we can cut $178 billion in inefficient programs from that one department. It is time we enact this, and so many more, meaningful reforms and get our national debt under control.

(Q) In 2009, Obama pushed through a tax cut for the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers that saved taxpayers from $800 to $1,600 per year. In December 2010, Congress overturned this tax credit.  Would you have voted to repeal this tax cut if you were in office at the time?

(A) The current financial climate is hitting middle-class families and small businesses harder than anyone else. Last year, Congress did not extend one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in history. The Making Work Pay Credit saved individuals $400 and married couples, who filed jointly, $800. If I were a member of Congress, I would have supported this tax credit. In economic times like this, we cannot raise taxes on those individuals struggling to get by.

(Q) Is it necessary to reduce the nation’s $14 trillion in gross national debt, and can it be reduced without tax increases? And if taxes have to go up, where should they go up first – corporations, the top 1 percent wage earners, the middle class, the poor?

(A) There is no question we must work to reduce our national debt.  The number one way to cut our yearly deficit and reduce the debt is by cutting wasteful spending. There are plenty of federal programs that only add more and more to how much we owe each and every day.

Nonetheless, it is disingenuous for any candidate to talk about balancing the budget without discussing closing corporate loopholes on companies like General Electric, Wal-Mart, Bank of America, and so many others that paid absolutely nothing in federal income taxes last year. We then need to look to America’s wealthiest citizens and ensure they pay their fair share. I will not, however, raise taxes on middle-class families and small businesses, which fuel our economy and create much needed jobs.

(Q) Would you support a flat tax or national sales tax as an alternative to income tax?

(A) I reject any tax proposal that would shift the tax burden to middle-class families and small businesses, while giving large tax breaks to corporate giants and America’s wealthiest individuals.

Jane Corwin:

(Q) Let’s start with general economic theory. There are two primary, and opposing, schools of thought regarding modern economics and the role of government.  Which theories most closely match your own economic view, those of John Maynard Keynes or Ludwig Von Mises?

(A) I am a believer in the free market and limited government. That’s what allowed the family business my father started out of our garage to get started, and it’s what allowed my siblings and I to help grow it and create hundreds of jobs here in Western New York. That’s one of the most basic choices in this election -- other candidates in the race think that the government should have more control over how you spend your money. I believe that individuals are the ones who best know their own needs and how their money is spent most wisely.

(Q) A median-wage worker pays 23.4 percent of his or her income in federal taxes. A person in the top 1 percent of wage earners pays 16.9 percent.  Would you consider this differential something that should be reformed in the current tax code, or does this seem reasonable to you?

(A) Our tax code needs to be fair, and that’s something I believe Congress needs to address and if honored to be elected on May 24th that is something I will fight for. Along with most Western New Yorkers, I understand that some taxes must be paid for basic civic and social services and that we need to provide a safety net for those in need. As I said, I believe that individuals are the ones who best know their own needs and how they want to spend their money, whether they make $30,000 or $300,000.

(Q) For purposes of political speech, corporations are considered persons.  In tax law, persons must, at a minimum, pay an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Should the AMT be extended to the “persons” of corporations, such as General Electric Corp.? In other words, should corporations be required to pay at least some tax regardless of write-offs and other tax advantages?

(A) If we focus on reforming our current tax system we will ensure that everyone pays their fair share. That will enable us to eliminate the loopholes that corporations take advantage of. Again, Kathy Hochul has said that she would vote to raise taxes on anyone – individuals and small businesses – making more than $500,000.

This week I discussed my plan to lower gas prices and met with local independent station owners. Under Kathy Hochul’s plan, these Western New York small businesses would send more money to Washington instead of keeping it here in Western New York and growing and creating jobs.  

(Q) At the federal level, there are several departments and agencies – such as education, health, commerce, and more – that duplicate state and local services. Which, if any, of these departments and agencies could be eliminated or greatly reduced?

(A) We absolutely need to focus on is shrinking government, instead searching for ways to grow it, which is what we’ve seen over the last few years. For example, the Obama health care law created about 160 new government agencies, bureaus and departments.

I’m honored to have been selected as the only minority Assemblymember to serve on Governor Cuomo’s Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission that will be looking at how we can rightsize government and allow individuals more of a say in what their hard-earned taxes are paying for, instead of leaving those decisions up to career politicians and bureaucrats.

I also believe that we need to constantly review existing agencies, departments, and regulations to ensure that 1) the departments/agencies/regulations in place are still needed, and 2) any new departments/agencies/regulations do not duplicate what is already in effect.

(Q) In 2009, Obama pushed through a tax cut for the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers that saved taxpayers from $800 to $1,600 per year. In December 2010, Congress overturned this tax credit. Would you have voted to repeal this tax cut if you were in office at the time?

(A) Even President Obama said that the bipartisan December 2010 tax compromise “would have raised taxes by $3,000 for a typical American family.” He added that allowing that tax increase “could cost our economy well over a million jobs.”

Repealing the part of the failed “stimulus” law and replacing it with an across-the-board payroll tax cut, which reduced the Social Security payroll withholding from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. President Obama said that “economists across the political spectrum agree is one of the most powerful things we can do to create jobs and boost economic growth."

(Q) Is it necessary to reduce the nation’s $14 trillion in gross national debt, and can it be reduced without tax increases? And if taxes have to go up, where should they go up first – corporations, the top 1 percent wage earners, the middle class, the poor?

(A) We absolutely need to reduce our $14.3 trillion national debt. It’s owed increasingly to foreign countries such as China and eventually it will need to be repaid. What do we do then? We simply don’t have the money to repay our debts. We need to get serious and focus on cutting spending so we can improve our country’s fiscal situation for current and future generations. If we focus on cutting spending we will eliminate the constant calls for tax increases.

(Q) Would you support a flat tax or national sales tax as an alternative to income tax?

(A) We should closely examine all feasible ways to simplify our tax system. One thing is for certain, however – if we don’t get serious about cutting spending so we can strengthen our economy and create jobs, the pressure to raise taxes will only grow stronger. We need to focus on cutting spending and not raising taxes, as some of the other candidates have advocated for.

Justin Burger
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Seems to me that once again Ian Murphy was the only one to actually fully answer the questions at hand.
Kevin Manne
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Agreed. And thanks, Howard for doing this series of questions. Without a debate (which likely would have excluded Murphy anyways), this is a great way to get some insight on the candidates.
Mark Janofsky
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I would think that someone with an MBA from Pace would hit a home run with these questions. Instead, we get political excrement.
Mark Janofsky
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Howard, did you ever consider sharing these questions and answers with the larger news outlets in Buffalo and Rochester?
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Mark, most of the larger news outlets in Buffalo and Rochester pay close attention to The Batavian. And any good political reporter has set up google alerts for mentions of the candidates.
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Mark, I'm not claiming I asked great questions. In hindsight, I can see a couple of flaws. But the candidates have released so many press releases on these topics that I did try to fashion questions that would hopefully get them off their talking points. I tried to be as specific as possible. In my estimation, that goal was met only marginally.
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I would have to agree that there is a lot of waste in the dept of Defense. When I was the warehouse chief at 2nd Battalion 11th Marines we had these really nice tents made by Johnson outdoor (eureka) to the tune of $9,500 a piece. They were general purpose tents just shy of 1000 sq ft at 54 ft long by 18 ft wide and 11 feet high. They weighed roughly 1000 lbs. And they sat in my warehouse taking up space sitting all brand new and shiny still packed in the shipping containers doing nothing for the unit. Why because the artillery unit never sat in one place long enough to justify setting up a tent of that size. We had 30 of them. They cost the Marine corps a lil over a quarter of a million dollars. I told the command group time and time again that we could use netting instead and time and time again I was told we have no choice because some chair born ranger in the pentagon came up with a list of things that every single unit absolutely needed no matter what. So yeah we can save some money in the dept of defense. But they are not the only dept leaking money like a old man with a bad prostate.
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I think they're great questions. Unfortunately Ian is the only one giving great answers (followed by Davis then Hochul and lastly Corwin). It's ironic to me that the person giving the best answers is least likely to win. Oh well, good luck Ian!
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I have grown tired of candidates from the 2 main parties refusing to answer questions as asked. That we continue to vote for people who won't even provide a straight answer to simple questions is an embarassment. Those of you readers that work for the Democrat and Republican parties locally please heed the following message; there is a large and growing cadre of us that have had our fill of the non-speak and coverups of your real intent. Continue to do things as you currently are at your peril. No, that wasn't a threat of violence. It is notice that we aren't voting for your candidates anymore. Both parties have lost touch with the people they are supposed to represent. Both Repub and Dem responses to these questions were non-answers intended to hide their real positions on these issues. A sort of plausible deniability so that they can answer to party leadership with clear consciences. As if they had one. And thank you Howard for providing this service. Without it we are stuck making decisions based on the hyperbole and outright untruths in their political ads.
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29 years I've been a registered Republican. I've only voted for a non-Republican 3 times, this will be the 4th.
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Jeremiah's comment reminds me of something I believe. I'm not impressed when a politician says we're going to cut waste from this or that department or agency. You don't cut waste by decree. You can't cut waste by wishing it. You don't cut waste siting in a Capitol Hill office saying "waste should be cut." You cut waste by elimination and reduction. Large organizations -- whether public or private -- are by default wasteful and inefficient. I worked for a large corporation and the CEO sent out a memo saying in an organizations as large as ours, every nickel saved could add up to a lot of savings fast. So, you know, use both sides of a notebook page, recycle paper clips, etc. I have no idea whether any of the thousands of people in the company listened, but human nature being what it is, what do you think? The Founders wanted government close to the people for a reason -- because big is inefficient, wasteful by nature and oppressive to the people. Instead of saying "I'm going to eliminate wasteful spending," I'd like to hear a politician say, "I'm going to eliminate the Department of Education," or "I'm going to cut $600 billion from the military budget and let the generals figure it out." Outside of Ron Paul, and maybe a couple of others, who in politics today is talking like that?
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Howard, that would be Jack Davis. Jack Davis the only ones who support large reductions in military spending and eliminating whole departments if that is what it will take to get America back on track, and like Ron Paul he does not support the wholesale changes in social programs like the Republican Ryan's plan to eliminate medicare and replace it with a voucher that leaves seniors at the mercy of insurance companies like Jane Corwin does.
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Howard, the question relating to the Citizens United decision was a very good one. Kudos.
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Excellent questions Howard and excellent comments everyone. It appears that Ian Murphy is the only one who even knows who von Mises and Keynes are! Even if he's completely wrong, in my opinion. Ian is totally right about the Fed. I can agree with Mr. Davis that theories won't solve anything, but why re-invent the wheel? I want to add my thanks as well again, Howard for doing this. http://www.rebelyid.com/2010/04/keynes-vs-von-mises/
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The video is very funny and well done http://mises.org/daily/4095
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Another round of great questions Howard. I’ve read and tried to understand the economic theories of several members of the great “Dead Economists Society” as well as those of present day economic theorists. The only thing that seemed clear to me was that each theory relies heavily on the existence of a specified set of economic conditions, such as, inflation, deflation, full employment, high unemployment, etc. The theories all seem viable if all the necessary conditions are present, but determining the precise conditions seems to be the most elusive part. None of the theories are proposed as one-size-fits all solutions. So, applying the wrong theory at the wrong time under the wrong conditions could, theoretically of course, do more harm than good. Today I read an interesting article titled “The Destruction of Economic Facts”. I guess you could call it the economic theory of “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_19/b4227060634112.htm
Dave Olsen
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"The theories all seem viable if all the necessary conditions are present, but determining the precise conditions seems to be the most elusive part." If you could figure that one out JoAnne, you'd be richer than Warren Buffett. You'd be the "Oracle of Genesee County" and you would never share the formula.
JoAnne Rock
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I'm working on it Dave, LOL!
Dave Olsen
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don't forget me, I've always been nice.

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