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  #1  
Old August 5th, 2011, 02:15 PM
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Default Discussing politics - SOLUTIONS - not blame

I just smacked on another web site for discussing politics (they don't allow it at all).

So, I admit I am cioming here because i appreciate the fact that CruiseMates does not ban political discussion completely. So, I just wanted to clarify something for our readers. I know I came down on posters for discussing politics - but that was because of the nature of the discussions. What I personally dislike is blanket statements that fall into the category of "someone was to blame for something"

examples:

Wall Street caused the current economic crisis.
Liberals are all socialists who only want to take from the government.


Now - I can tolerate a discussion about politics as long as we are focused on solutions. We all know this country is in really bad shape right now - but what are the SOLUTIONS to our problems?

I see a lot of blaming going around - and I have never seen "blaming" someone for anything lead to a solution to a problem. I suggest it is time to stop blaming people and start looking for solutions.

What would you change in this country right now - if you had the power to do change anything?

Personally, I would focus on finding incentives for corporations to create new jobs for Americans. Yes, they would be tax incentives (because I can't think of a better way for government to aid a business than helping them make (or keep) money.

What about the housing crisis? I do not care to hear one more word about who caused it. I can tell you who caused it starting back in the 1960s and on through to today. What I do know is that no one has done anything to fix it, and that I don't understand.

What would you do to FIX the housing market today?

(just FYI - people who get into blame-based arguments about the political past will have their comments deleted).
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Old August 5th, 2011, 02:25 PM
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Paul, can we also get rid of regional stereotyping posts? Me, I prefer to get rid of all political posts but understand that you are in charge and want to keep them; however, it is not just "blame" that we need to avoid. We also need to avoid regional bashing. If I placed the Alabama state flag, or the Confederate Flag, in my signature block, some might consider it inflammatory. If I posted the story of blacks in Wisconsin beating up white folks at the State Fair, some might consider it inflammatory. If somenone posts that Alabamians are hypocirtical, I found it inflammatory. It is not just politics.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 03:03 PM
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Personally I dont believe that Political discussion should even be allowed on the cruise boards, unless it is "cruise related"..... kinda defeats the purpose of the cruiseboards all together.

Discussing solutions to the politial issues and world problems will only get turned into a blame game......

Political discussions have a place, but not on cruise boards, period !
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Old August 5th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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Hi Marc...

Wow - your post just completely threw me for a loop.

I didn't start this thread to discuss board policy - I really wanted to talk about solutions to our economic problems. One thing I really can't seem to control is people changing topics in a message board - and that is yet another problem we have in our boards.

I am trying to steer our readers into ways to post so we don't have to actually ban any topics. It's a simple matter of respect for individuals. The problem with most political posts is that they tend to be "blanket accusations" that paint all people of any certain persuasion with a single broad brush - and that is not right.

OK - just because you want to post the Alabama or Confederate flag in your signature you are saying that doesn't mean I should assume anything about you, right?

So I don't understand why would you want to post an article about black people beating up white folks?

Isn't that exactly the same type of stereotyping your were just railing against? I'm sorry, but those are exactly the kinds of posts I don't want to see here. I don't understand the point of posting anything that stereo-types people in any way.

And foremost - I don't care to read that stuff. I am looking for solutions, not accusations.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 03:26 PM
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First of all - this is the open topics area - so any topic is supposed to be allowed. I am just trying to make some suggestions on how we can continue to have discourse on this web site without it becoming a free-for-all battle.

Now - a couple months ago I ran a similar thread and people mostly said they don't want any censorship here. The post did cool down the more biased rhetoric a lot, which is good, but let me explain my concern - in about 6 months we are going to start what I predict will be one of the most contentious presidential races in history.

There are going to be people who will still try to blame everything wrong with this country on one party or the other. I am personally already sick & tired of the blame.

I was just saying I want people focused on solutions - not blame for the past or eve the present. The past is irrelevent. The future is what matters. No matter what - we have problems that need to be fixed.

All I am saying is that I do NOT want to see condemnation types of posts. I find them to be counter-productive and generally biased in a stereo-typing sort of way.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 03:33 PM
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Hi Marc...

Isn't that exactly the same type of stereotyping your were just railing against? I'm sorry, but those are exactly the kinds of posts I don't want to see here. I don't understand the point of posting anything that stereo-types people in any way.
Exactly. I am getting pretty tired of the USA bashing by the Canucks and the Brits and the bashing of the south by those on the coasts. Live and let live.

I have a number of friends that are extremely liberal and a number that are extremely conservative and a number that are pure libertarians (and some that are libertines). We all get along because we don't discuss politics.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 03:48 PM
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Marc...

Some people avoid mirrors in public (I am one of them) and many people don't like having their pictures taken and wince at the sound of their own voice.

Now - I have personally found there is nothing I can do about my looks (I have aged, so I just don't look in mirrors) and will glance at a photograph but I certainly don't jump at the chance to be in one as my wife does.

However - I never have a problem with reading what the "Canucks" or "Brits" have to say about us, anymore than I would expect them to get upset for what I might say about them. In general, we are all our friends (I sincerely believe) and friends often say critical things in a loving way.

So, no, I would never ban comments about Americans by outsiders - if the truth (or opinion) hurts too bad, consider the source. All they are doing is exercising that distinguished American institution of free speech.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 04:03 PM
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simply ban discussion of politics (unless cruise related) and I think alot of the problems will go away.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
I just smacked on another web site for discussing politics (they don't allow it at all).

So, I admit I am cioming here because i appreciate the fact that CruiseMates does not ban political discussion completely. So, I just wanted to clarify something for our readers. I know I came down on posters for discussing politics - but that was because of the nature of the discussions. What I personally dislike is blanket statements that fall into the category of "someone was to blame for something"

examples:

Wall Street caused the current economic crisis.
Liberals are all socialists who only want to take from the government.


Now - I can tolerate a discussion about politics as long as we are focused on solutions. We all know this country is in really bad shape right now - but what are the SOLUTIONS to our problems?

I see a lot of blaming going around - and I have never seen "blaming" someone for anything lead to a solution to a problem. I suggest it is time to stop blaming people and start looking for solutions.

What would you change in this country right now - if you had the power to do change anything?

Personally, I would focus on finding incentives for corporations to create new jobs for Americans. Yes, they would be tax incentives (because I can't think of a better way for government to aid a business than helping them make (or keep) money.

What about the housing crisis? I do not care to hear one more word about who caused it. I can tell you who caused it starting back in the 1960s and on through to today. What I do know is that no one has done anything to fix it, and that I don't understand.

What would you do to FIX the housing market today?

(just FYI - people who get into blame-based arguments about the political past will have their comments deleted).
The POTUS should give the American people the answers to all questions that have been unanswered for the past 50+ years unless by doing so it would involve National Security .
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Old August 5th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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As said, in another thread, there are no simple solutions. When you've let your slide into an abyss this deep, one rope isn't going to pull you out.

First suggestion to help though... means testing. Those who can afford to do without their social security check, medicare and other services the government provides to senior citizens, should do so to contribute to the well being of the future of younger citizens. (we do have means testing in Canada).

- illiminate Capital Gains taxes as an incentive for companies to make money, and illiminate inheritance taxes, so families who do amass some wealth can pass it on, and that will likely allow those who receive the money to reinvest, and stay above the means testing for government services first mentioned.

- raise (not lower) corporate taxes, but give a real tax credit for every new job created and maintained for over 1 yr.

- offer a real tax credit for companies operating overseas for every job they bring back to the United States.

- remove all tax breaks for those operating primarily with a work force outside of the United States.

The housing market won't find a quick solution for sure. Way too much inventory in the market. And all the failures that are still hidden in banks books, that we don't know about.

Simply put, no one should be granted a mortage without a minimum 25% cash downpayment. People used to save to buy their homes. That has to be the case again.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
The housing market won't find a quick solution for sure. Way too much inventory in the market. And all the failures that are still hidden in banks books, that we don't know about.

Simply put, no one should be granted a mortage without a minimum 25% cash downpayment. People used to save to buy their homes. That has to be the case again.
Yes - that is the problem with the housing market now. Even the banks know that a person could still just walk away if he didn't already have a substantial investment in a house and the value dropped another 20%.

Its very hard to continue paying a mortgage on a house that is ojnly worth half of what you paid.

The banks used to lend you more money when you house became more valuable - how about if they readjusted your mortgage when the house goes down in value? I guess that is some kind of pipe dream in reality - but so is expecting people to pay off houses with mortgages at twice the real value of the home.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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In the United States mortage interest is tax deductible. Here in Canada it is not.

The deductible interest was one of the reasons Americans were using their homes as piggy banks. Rather than working to pay off their homes as quickly as possible, they were more likely to buy a bigger (more expensive home)... looking to make more as the houses became worth more.

When the crash occurred, no question MANY got hurt, and got hurt badly. However, to look at it realistically, lots of people made bad business decisions.

To expect the banks to pay for other's bad business decisions doesn't make a lot of sense either.

On the other hand, the banks would do well to take a much harder look at helping those who want to keep and pay for their homes, rather than just putting them up for auction. In the long run they'd no doubt make more money being of assistance by extending the lengths of the existing loans, accepting smaller payments.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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I say put the leaders of both political parties (and some TEA party folks) on the decomissioned cruise ship United States..tow them off shore for 3 miles..only supplies would be salty crackers and warm bottle water..make sure there are no lifeboats (and one ply toilet tissue)..and tell them they will not be rescued until they come up with a realistic bi-partisian solution to the top issues facing our Country today...make sure it's the first week of September so we would have a solution before the first weekend of the NFL season

I suspect that both parties know that the best way to ensure a one term POTUS is by keeping the economy in freefall (the policies put into effect to correct it will materialize in the next POTUS term i.e. Bush 41,Clinton benefit)...therefore ______

Marc...fyi, it's the State Flag of Mississippi that might cause some concern

our board could benefit by having more diversity of participants and perspectives which might lead to creative solutions..however we all know that there are only so many cruise topics that have not been covered in some shape,form or fashion..that's why Henry's postings of the day are refreshing...the fact that we have cruising as our anchor allows for the free exchange of ideas on other issues..this would be a very boring board if it was only restricted to cruising related topics (envision this board as open late seating at dinner at sea, at a very large table with lots of wine free flowing and unlimited refills of dessert)
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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:09 PM
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I've confessed before to being a "political animal", so obviously I'm against censorship of political comment in the "chat" area. In today's world, avoiding politics in any kind of chat is almost impossible.

The last few days, I have been positively appalled by how many people I meet who are incensed by the amount of time it took our elected representatives to come up with a "debt reduction" plan are TOTALLY unaware that the agreement reached does not reduce spending at all; in fact, it expects an increase in it. This, when our government is already spending more than 150% of its revenues. Any forum that can get that fact before even one or two more people is useful, IMHO.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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Paul,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
What would you change in this country right now - if you had the power to do change anything?

Personally, I would focus on finding incentives for corporations to create new jobs for Americans. Yes, they would be tax incentives (because I can't think of a better way for government to aid a business than helping them make (or keep) money.

What about the housing crisis? I do not care to hear one more word about who caused it. I can tell you who caused it starting back in the 1960s and on through to today. What I do know is that no one has done anything to fix it, and that I don't understand.

What would you do to FIX the housing market today?
The first step obviously should be to fix our economy by cutting taxes (or at least making the present tax rates permanent) and repealing the "ObamaCare" health insurance law to promote business expansion that creates jobs in the private sector, as that would fix a lot of our present economic difficulties. There are indications that a lot of people have been out of work for so long that the government no longer considers them to be part of the work force for purposes of computing unemployment statistics, and that the real rate of unemployment in the range of 20% to 25%. That means that somewhere between a fifth and a fourth of our real work force is out of work. In addition, there are many people who are underemployed -- that is, only working part time because they cannot find full time employment, or working at jobs that don't use their full qualifications because jobs that would use their full qualifications are not available.

>> 1. People who are unemployed don't pay taxes, and people who are underemployed don't pay as much in taxes as they would pay if employed to their potential. A return to full employment probably would raise tax revenues by 40% to 50% over current levels and perhaps more, considering that those who go from underemployment to full employment would move into higher tax brackets, reducing the deficit substantially.

>> 2. People who are unemployed or underemployed also are not contributing FICA and Medicare taxes to the Social Security and Medicare programs. Full employment would increase collections for both of these programs, making them more solvent (or at least diminishing their immenent insolvency).

>> 3. People who are unemployed are collecting unemployment benefits, putting an additional strain on federal and state budgets that's only exacerbated by extending unemployment benefits for those who have been unemployed for a long time. A return to full employment would reverse this.

>> 4. A return to full employment also would help to ease the crisis in the housing market. Quite simply, people who are unemployed cannot afford to buy housing at all, and people who are underemployed cannot buy as much house as they might buy otherwise. A return to full employment would create more demand for housing.

Related to the last issue, it might be worth considering introducing some sort of incentive for companies to expand or relocate into areas where there's a gross surplus of housing, as this would create demand for housing where it's most needed.

Our second priority should be to establish energy independence -- that is, enough domestic production of energy so we would not be dependent upon foreign supplies, the price swings that occur at the whm of foreign authorities, and the resuting transients in our economy. Here, a few sensible changes to our present policy would make a huge difference.

>> 1. Our civilian nuclear industry should adopt our Navy's standards for safe design and operation of nuclear power plants. The design of the plants would be a LOT simpler, the operation and maintenance would require a lot fewer personnel, and the overall operation actually would be much safer.

>> 2. We should streamline the approval processes for new power plants, both conventional and nuclear. Right now, a utility must obtain permits from several federal agencies to build a new power plant. The process is so cumbersome that most utilities are reluctant to make the investment.

>> 3. We should find a way for petroleum that we are now extracting from the ground in northern Alaska to reach the rest of the country. At present, it goes by the pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to the port of Valdez, where it's loaded onto vessels of foreign flag load that transport it to foreign countries because they can't land it elsewhere in the United States. (One solution might be a collaboration with Canadian authrities that would site refineries on the coast of British Columbia, from which it would be possible to distribute the refined product throughout North America by rail.)

>> 4. We really need to stop using excessive environmental regulations to block development of our own resources. I support reasonable regulation to maintain clean water, clean air, and clean land, but the present degree of regulation that prevents development of many of our natural resources, including but not limited to petroleum and natural gas, is excessive and economically devastating.

>> 5. We should move to nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity to the maximum extent practicable to minimize our dependence on fossil fuels, taking the lessons learnd from the recent nuclear disaster in Japan into account. This is the most environmentally friendly way to meet our energy needs. Once we have enough nuclear power plants coming on line, we can look for ways to reduce consumption of fossil fuels even furhter -- for example, by stringing catenary on rail lines and replacing the present diesel-electric locomotives with all-electric or hybrid locomotives where the density of traffic is sufficient to justify the investment.

We also should review every government agency that did not exist a hundred years ago and ask whether we really need it now if we did not need it then. Clearly there will be some agencies that will yield an affirmative response, but there probably are many that will not. Those that we don't need, we should eliminate. The elimination of unnecessary government agencies would allow us to wipe out our federal deficit and cut taxes even further, stimulating further economic growth to absorb the displaced workers in the private sector.

Norm.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:53 PM
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I wish I had the answer for what could be done to make things better, but I am afraid we have taken a turn for the worse, and it might take something big to get us out.

I use to tell my students and especially my boys that it was wrong to group people into one catagory. That it was only right to decide what is right or wrong about an individual.

They hopefully heard me, so I would like to extend that common sense to those who read this.

You cannot slam a whole state for the faults of a few. You cannot slam a group of people who have organized themselves to stop the crazy spending going on.

Calling people names gets no where in this world. It is a waste of time. Just this week I have heard on the news words like terrorist, kidnapper, all because of a group of people called the Tea Party. This is coming from people who have been given the right to lead this country.

If I recall my History, we were given the right to disagree with our govenment, to protest when we felt the need, to elect reps who could speak for us in Washington. One more thing on the Tea Party. We have two(that I know of) Cruisemates members who have been a rock around here. Been here to help support, encourage, and show nothing but love for all of us. Both are card carrying members of the Tea Party. I noticed today that both have not posted lately.

What the heck has happened to this country? Where did we go wrong?

Is it the intent to cause so much pain on the American people that voters will either not vote in the next election, or they will only vote Dem.? Is that what has been decided?

Venice, You know I love you, but if I had said that we needed to put a group of African Americans on an old ship and sent them out to sea so they could work out their problems, there would be an uproar as there should be.

AR, I also love you dearly, but Alabama is a wonderful state, with problems, not unlike is happening in many states these days.

I tell you, if this is the way the next year is going to be, where issues are not talked about but slander is, then put me to sleep, and let me wake up later. We will not get anywhere with this behavior.

Now I would like to lighten up things a little bit. This is for those who have not been around that long.

Venice and I became friends several years ago. We bantered around, and people were sure we were fighting, but it was always fun to me, to get people going as if a huge fight was about to break out.

One night after we had been at it all day, I received an e-mail from a fellow CMer. It in part said," I am not sure you should tell him those things, because I think he is a black man, and I am sure you are white."

AR and have been friends for several years as well. Our best laugh was when my husband and I were to meet him in Washington, and Jim kept getting us lost. When we finally met, Ar was on his cell to me, as we walked up to each other.

These are both wonderful people, and between the two of them, could probably solve all our problems.

I join Paul, in encourging both of you, as well as others on here, to help us to understand. To offer suggestions on what we can do as Americans to make this a good place to call home.



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Old August 5th, 2011, 09:11 PM
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Just thought I would add I don't understand UK politics so DEFINITELY won't be commenting on yours!!
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Old August 5th, 2011, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
In the United States mortage interest is tax deductible. Here in Canada it is not.

The deductible interest was one of the reasons Americans were using their homes as piggy banks. Rather than working to pay off their homes as quickly as possible, they were more likely to buy a bigger (more expensive home)... looking to make more as the houses became worth more.

When the crash occurred, no question MANY got hurt, and got hurt badly. However, to look at it realistically, lots of people made bad business decisions.

To expect the banks to pay for other's bad business decisions doesn't make a lot of sense either.

On the other hand, the banks would do well to take a much harder look at helping those who want to keep and pay for their homes, rather than just putting them up for auction. In the long run they'd no doubt make more money being of assistance by extending the lengths of the existing loans, accepting smaller payments.
Kukimoon, very well said! I am very willing to give up my mortgage deduction if they dropped the 25% bracket to 21%. Also, being able to buy a house is not a right; just as it is not a right to live in a flood plain and expect someone else to pay for the reconstruction of your house when a hurricane comes through.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 09:25 PM
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Responses included below.

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First suggestion to help though... means testing. Those who can afford to do without their social security check, medicare and other services the government provides to senior citizens, should do so to contribute to the well being of the future of younger citizens. (we do have means testing in Canada).

WRONG - Social security and medicare are self funded; I am paying for those benefits for 40 years.

- illiminate Capital Gains taxes as an incentive for companies to make money, and illiminate inheritance taxes, so families who do amass some wealth can pass it on, and that will likely allow those who receive the money to reinvest, and stay above the means testing for government services first mentioned.

NO, you are taxing the money twice already.

- raise (not lower) corporate taxes, but give a real tax credit for every new job created and maintained for over 1 yr.

WRONG, we already have the second highest corporate taxes in the world.

- offer a real tax credit for companies operating overseas for every job they bring back to the United States.

- remove all tax breaks for those operating primarily with a work force outside of the United States.

The housing market won't find a quick solution for sure. Way too much inventory in the market. And all the failures that are still hidden in banks books, that we don't know about.

Simply put, no one should be granted a mortage without a minimum 25% cash downpayment. People used to save to buy their homes. That has to be the case again.

AGREE
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  #20  
Old August 5th, 2011, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
The POTUS should give the American people the answers to all questions that have been unanswered for the past 50+ years unless by doing so it would involve National Security .
Henry, do you really think the POTUS (or even TOTUS) know how to build a perpetual motion machine?
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  #21  
Old August 5th, 2011, 09:33 PM
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(First of all - this is the open topics area -), Paul I agree but what does politics have to do with cruising. People have different ideas and views, I understand that. I believe we are all better off to stay with cruise subjects.... Believe me there is loads of room for controversy for the people want to argue. If you don't think so just bring up smoking...
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  #22  
Old August 5th, 2011, 09:39 PM
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WRONG - Social security and medicare are self funded; I am paying for those benefits for 40 years.

I'm not an expert on the US system, but I thought only the SS was self funded. If the medicare is, why do they say it's going to run out of money?

That aside, if over the 40 yrs you have done well enough to not qualify under a means test, do you really need that SS cheque, or do you just want it? Or could you do your share to drag the country out from under, to show appreciation for the opportunities the country provided which you were able to take advantage of.


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WRONG, we already have the second highest corporate taxes in the world.


Marc... that's just a "line". The REAL corporate tax rate... that companies actually pay doesn't even come close. It's like the brochure rate on cruises.


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  #23  
Old August 5th, 2011, 09:44 PM
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Kuki, the problem is that we have continued to expand the social security and medicare benefits to cover items that they were originally not meant to cover.

As for corporate taxes, i agree with you; lower the rates and fix loopholes, that is fine. Then, don't tax dividends as that is double taxation.
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  #24  
Old August 5th, 2011, 09:57 PM
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(no one should be granted a mortage without a minimum 25% cash downpayment.) Kuki, thats the way it was when I was young and purchased my first house. If you look at the records Clinton changed the rules, and required lenders to make loans to low income people because it was determined that the current system was a form of discrimination. I think you are right, but some might say it is discrimination?
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  #25  
Old August 8th, 2011, 07:16 PM
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Marc,

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WRONG - Social security and medicare are self funded; I am paying for those benefits for 40 years.
That's the fiction that many of our elected officials have spoon-fed us for the past seventy-five years.

The reality is that the so-called "Social Security Trust Fund" and "Medicare Trust Fund" contain nothing but government bonds that bear interest at the rate of 2% per year. Since the inception of both of these programs, the Congress has "borrowed" the net "surplus" by which the respective taxes have exceeded the respective benefits on the "good faith and credit of the United States" and spent (squandered) the money, while continuning to pay current benefits out of current revenues from the respective taxes. Thus, the truth is that the money that's supposed to be in the Social Security and Medicare trust funds is really GONE.

There are two additional complications with the Social Security system.

>> 1. The increase in life expectancy has invalidated the actuarial calculations on which the social security system was founded, creating a shortfall between what the average citizen pays and what the average citizen actually receives in benefits.

>> 2. Back in the 1970's and early 1980's, we had a period of extreme inflation when costs and salaries increased by about a factor of ten in a relatively short time. Many senior citizens found that their savings were dwindling because their social security pensions were fixed, The Congress responded to this situation by raising benefits and linking future benefits to an inflation index, but the method of calculating the increase actually caused benefits to increase faster than inflation. However, there was no corresponding adjustment to the balance in the Social Security Trust Fund or the interest rate on the bonds that it holds to provide the means to pay the additional value of benefits to those who had already retired.

The first of these also affects Medicare. The impact of the second on Medicare is much less serious because Medicare was relatively new at the time, but Medicare is also affected by the current escalation of the cost of health care associated with novel medicines and therapies.

At some point, the retirement of the so-called "baby boomers" will cause the payments in Social Security and Medicare benefits to exceed the collections in the respective taxes if we don't restructure both systems to make them sustainable -- and there is not a lot of time left. When this happens, there are three options.

>> 1. The respective trust funds can "redeem" their bonds to make up the deficiencies, for so long as the bonds last. Note, however, that the money to pay off the bonds will come from general revenues, thus requiring either cuts in other government expenditures or an increase in revenue from federal taxes.

>> 2. The Congress can raise the Social Security and Medicare taxes to a level sufficient to cover the respective benefits, but only so far before the workers revolt.

>> 3. The Congress can enact a law reducing benefits under these programs in one way or another. Means testing has been discussed as one way to do this without people starving.

The bottom line here is that I'm doing all of my retirement planning on the assumption that I won't get anything from Social Security because, unfortunately, that might in fact be the case.

When President Bush proposed reforming the Social Security System and the Democrats refused to discuss the issue in 2005, the official estimates were that the Social Security Trust Fund would need to start redeeming bonds between 2020 and 2025 and would run out of bonds between 2040 and 2045 -- but that was when the rate of unemployment was less than 5%. Alas, the current recession has changed that, and not for the better.

The best way to deal with this problem is two-fold.

>> 1. The Congress should immediately change the law so the Social Security and Medicare "surpluses" go into real investments.

>> 2. We also need to raise the "minimum" and "normal" retirement ages gradually to ages that will be actuarially sound based on current life expecancy.

Norm.
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  #26  
Old August 8th, 2011, 11:59 PM
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Exactly. I am getting pretty tired of the USA bashing by the Canucks and the Brits and the bashing of the south by those on the coasts. Live and let live.
.
I don't see where the Canadians or the British bash the USA anymore than we bash people from other countries.

As far as bashing the South by the North that is not right, but neither is the South bashing the North.
If I visit your neck of the woods I don't want to be called any names because my parents decided to live in Connecticut.

Yes I believe in live and let live because that is what I learned from my parents. But I have met people who are not so diplomatic.

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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:13 AM
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It would be nice to find a "simple solution" to our country's economic problems. Personally, I think the biggest problem that got us into this mess was "greed". The unscrupulous mortgage brokers approved people for mortgages that didn't qualify for them. This certainly did not happen in Canada, where there are more stringent laws governing mortgages. Another issue is the "laissez-fair" attitude on Wall Street. Wall Street does not have the "checks and balances" govening their financial institutions. People like, Bernie Madoff, literally "made off" with the life savings of many hard working people. Another issue is Congress; they had a whole year to work on the budget and waited until the last minute, leaving many Americans wondering why they even bothered to "cast their vote" for the people who represent them. It would be in the best interest of this country if our representatives would work together, putting party differences aside, for the betterment of the United States. Right now the members of congress are not a good "role model" for future generations.
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  #28  
Old August 9th, 2011, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by balabusta View Post
It would be nice to find a "simple solution" to our country's economic problems. Personally, I think the biggest problem that got us into this mess was "greed". The unscrupulous mortgage brokers approved people for mortgages that didn't qualify for them. This certainly did not happen in Canada, where there are more stringent laws governing mortgages. Another issue is the "laissez-fair" attitude on Wall Street. Wall Street does not have the "checks and balances" govening their financial institutions. People like, Bernie Madoff, literally "made off" with the life savings of many hard working people. Another issue is Congress; they had a whole year to work on the budget and waited until the last minute, leaving many Americans wondering why they even bothered to "cast their vote" for the people who represent them. It would be in the best interest of this country if our representatives would work together, putting party differences aside, for the betterment of the United States. Right now the members of congress are not a good "role model" for future generations.
Approximately 2 days prior to the Madoff scandal his alma mater was planning to change the illustrious name of its school to Bernie Madoff High School .
I believe that at one time nearly all members of congress believed that if elected they would do a better job than previously elected members.
I've posted this before but I am doing so once more . I currently personally know 2 US Senators ,one from NY and one from California .Both of them went into politics believing that they had the answers to solve this country's problems . I also know several members of Congress who had similiar opinions .I'm sure that the current POTUS also had similiar thoughts prior to being an elected official.
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  #29  
Old August 9th, 2011, 12:53 PM
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The problem with the whole Mortgage crisis is that there were so many different events and elements that led to the eventual mess. Almost any one thing leading up to the mess taken on its own would not generally be considered controversial - but put together it became a catastrophe.

The catastrophe was that while we were in the real estate bubble no one said "Hey - this is a bubble - we have to warn people not to buy house now!" Where were those people?

No - in fact what happened was banks could not lend more money fast enough - and real estate appraisers were backing up the valuations, and bond rating agencies like Moody's were saying the Mortgage Backed Securities were as good as gold. That was all just plain wrong.

In fact - I get tired of people blaming "Wall Street" for what happened. "Wall Street" represents the entire American financial system. Blame the bond rating agencies, but not "Wall Street."

I personally think the local banks who made all those loans are the most at blame - they had to know they were writing loans that people would never pay off if the housing market slipped, they were just in denial that real estate could ever go down (boy, were they wrong!).

But the government (specifically the people in Congress overseeing the banking industry) made it possible for Fannie Mae to buy up every single mortgage any banker could write and wrap it up in a Mortgage Backed Security. These bankers had no personal responsibility for their actions - and that was a horrible problem.

The "solutions" to this, in my mind, would be to allow people to re-mortagage their houses according to current values - or alternatively -

WHAT IF WE DID THIS: What if we passed a law that said banks had to lend money to people with jobs (you all know banks are barely lending money for mortgages right now, right?) so people could SELL their house and buy new ones of similar quality as the ones they are in, but buy them at today's lower prices?

The point is that this housing surpus could be sold off IF people had the means to get out of their mortages and get into a new at today's prices.

The problem is that you can't sell a house today without having the obligation to pay off that huge mortgage. The banks made the housing values artificially high. They took the TARP money to settle that. Now let that benefit trickle down to the consumer.
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  #30  
Old August 9th, 2011, 03:16 PM
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Growing up in Bergen County, New Jersey, I understand the housing situation all too well. New Jersey has the highest real estate taxes in the United States. This has left many senior citizens, who want to sell their homes because they are finding it very difficult to pay their real estate taxes, in a quandry. They can't sell their homes because nobody, unless they are well heeled, can afford to pay the real estate taxes. It is not uncommon for many Bergen County residents to have a real estate tax upwards of $15,000 or more! Rob and I are staying in Virginia Beach, where we have impact funds. (the United States government pays the city for dependents of military families to attend the public schools). Our real estate taxes are a little over $1,000 per annum!
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