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About scrotos

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  • Birthday 04/18/1970

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    Cincinnati, OH
  1. [quote name='GoBengals' date='07 February 2010 - 01:30 PM' timestamp='1265567444' post='861960'] also i dont buy the food expense numbers, its seemingly impossible that it hasnt gone up, perhaps for the family getting mcdonalds and burger king all the time, but theres no way in 1970 they were spending the equvilant of [b]$40 dollars[/b] today on a meal pretty much daily. my family spends about $1700 on food each month. we both eat out fr lunch, and family typically eats out for dinner 20-25 times a month. [/quote] Of course, $40 in 2008 was equivalent to $7.15 in 1970.....[url="http://www.westegg.com/inflation/"]inflation calculators[/url] are scary!!
  2. [quote name='Elflocko' date='29 August 2009 - 12:31 PM' timestamp='1251559876' post='795977'] And yeah, the HSA sounds [b]great[/b]. [/quote] I wouldn't get too excited about HSAs. We have them available where I work (we jokingly call it the "don't go to the doctor plan"). The monthly deduction was much better than the PPO plan and since my wife and I are done having kids, I went for it for the last 3 years. Year 1: Lucked out and had some spare savings roll over to Year 2. Year 2: Lucked out again and had some spare savings roll over...wait a minute, the plan changed and the savings no longer rolls over Year 3 (2009): My son had an appendix issue. While waiting at Children's Hospital for two days for a surgical opening, the appendix burst. Longer hospital stay, pic line for antibiotics, consumer driven plan maxed, HSA depleted, and $10K out of pocket. Sadly, I still have 4 months to go before the CDP "renews", but I only have $2K of 100% out of pocket to go this year until the 80/20 split kicks back in. A cautionary tale...just be young, lucky or both with one of these.
  3. [quote name='Jason' post='722322' date='Nov 7 2008, 01:14 PM']When Bill Clinton ran he promised a tax cut for all but the rich. Once he was actually President he passed the biggest tax hike in US history.[/quote] Gotta clear this one up: [url="http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/tax-policy/library/ota81.pdf"]http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/tax-policy/library/ota81.pdf[/url] Refer to the charts on pages 19-21. Reagan had a larger increase in 1982 by all measures than the Clinton tax hike. Cut spending = catastrophic. Recessions are defined by negative GDP growth, GDP = Consumer spending + Investment spending + Government spending + (Exports - Imports). Consumer spending is declining, unemployment is increasing meaning there is excess capacity and less incentive to invest in new capital, we may get a boost from declining imports, but increased government spending would be the way to go in the short term to energize the economy. Evidence to the contrary of businesses passing on all taxes to consumers: Can't draw a graph, but the one here will suffice [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effect_of_taxes_and_subsidies_on_price"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effect_of_tax...sidies_on_price[/url] Prices do indeed increase, but the consumer and producer share the burden of the tax. Total lost value in the market is depicted by the area to the left of the supply and demand curves from point Pp to Pc on the y axis. This area is split by line Pe, the top half being consumer surplus lost, the bottom being producer surplus lost. Just sayin'
  4. [quote name='Vol_Bengal' post='719914' date='Oct 31 2008, 02:26 PM']since you're the resident Obama expert what exactly is his stance on gun control, specifically semi auto hand guns?[/quote] I'll tackle this one... it looks like gun control is so far down on his list of priorities that I'm unable to find his campaign's position on it anywhere in the hundreds of policy statements on barackobama.com. He does have some blurb about "Sportsmen" but nothing I saw about gun control. I'm not a big gun guy myself, but many of my friends are. Unfortunately, over in Green Township and Delhi (west side Cincinnati) I can't have an intelligent discussion about the candidates stances on the economy, Iraq, etc because my friends there all have pro-life and guns at the top of their personal priorities list and believe that Obama is a baby-killer and will take away their guns. I think your guns are safe for now.... between the economy, Iraq, Al Queda, education, moving to a new energy economy, health care, etc I think gun control / 2nd Amendment is pretty far down on the list of things Obama (or a large majority of Americans) are thinking about right now and for at least the next four years.
  5. I think that low Congressional approval rating is directly tied to the vote on the bail-out bill. Sure Bush proposed it but Congress, after the House voted it down originally, added some pork to an already huge bill and then voted for it.....kinda pisses me off as well.
  6. [quote name='Homer_Rice' post='714262' date='Oct 16 2008, 10:30 AM']The secret memo can now finally be leaked: "Fellow Board Members, you really suck, You can't dump Glass-Steagal just to scratch an itch for exotic securities and other muck. Heed my words, I'm the Fed Juggernaut, bitch!"[/quote] I knew someone would get to it....and I'm sure that's exactly how it went down.
  7. [quote name='CincyInDC' post='713979' date='Oct 15 2008, 12:00 PM']I was thinking when the shit [i]really[/i] hits the fan is when the re-evaluation would take place, and hopefully, maybe he'll step up. I believe the probability of Obama stepping up is far greater than McCain.[/quote] The next president can re-evaluate that bill immediately based on who he replaces Paulson with. Obama does have Volcker in his camp who looked like freakin' Nostradamus when he opposed the Federal Reserve Board in 1987 over easing regulations under Glass-Steagall by expressing fears that lenders would recklessly lower loan standards in pursuit of lucrative securities offerings and market bad loans to the public. Well here's to hoping :anticipate:
  8. And perhaps just as interesting was the response he got.... [url="http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-14/sorry-dad-i-was-fired/"]Buckley Bows Out of National Review[/url]
  9. Interesting....I pulled this off of the [url="http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/taxes/Factsheet_Tax_Plan_FINAL.pdf"]Obama/Biden tax plan PDF[/url] Points of interest below: 1. [b]Ordinary Income[/b]: The top two income tax brackets would return to their 1990's levels of 36% and 39.6%. All other tax brackets would remain as they are today... 2. [b]Dividends[/b]: The top dividends rate for people making over $250,000 would be set at 20 percent. Dividends will not return to being taxed at ordinary income tax rates. 3. [b]Capital Gains[/b]: Families with incomes below $250,000 will continue to pay the capital gains rates that they pay today [15%]. For those in the top two income tax brackets - likewise adjusted to affect only families over $250,000 - Obama will create create a new top capital gains rate of 20 percent..... 4. [b]Cutting Corporate Tax Rates for Firms that Create Jobs in America[/b]. Barack Obama will repeal tax breaks and loopholes that reward corporations that retain their earnings overseas, and will use those savings to lower corporate tax rates for companies that expand or start operations in the United States. Based on that, I'm not finding anything adding up to 2/3 of income taxed. I didn't add the other things about small business benefits, just the stuff that goes directly to trying to figure out this "66.7%" tax rate number and that relates to corporate taxes. Sadly the "Cutting Corporate Tax Rates" section didn't have a defined number.
  10. [quote name='Elflocko' post='712156' date='Oct 12 2008, 10:42 AM']Now, independent of ideology, what has to happen over the next few years? I don't imagine that folks will object much to the following: 1) We need to put folks back to work in productive jobs. - This would require the reclamation of our industrial base which has been almost entirely sent overseas, as well as a large chunk of our technological base. McDonalds and retail is not a productive job, unless you own the store. 2) We need to subordinate the financial aspects of our economy within the context of real economic growth, in which products and useful services are created and exchanged. What? You mean this fiscal "Perpetual Motion Machine" our economy has been running on is a bad thing? Every time I hear the phrase "Consumer Driven Economy" I want to throw a shoe at the TV. 3) We need to adjust our attitude towards the rest of the world, being less of a dictator and more of a cooperator. That doesn't mean enfeebling our ability to defend ourselves. It does mean that all this nonsense about preemption and the circumvention of international law must stop. Right on. The purpose of our military is to defend our borders, not everyone else. We can do more positive to build democracy leading by example than by dropping bombs. Kind of like when the Spanish explorers were "Christianizing" American Indians... 4) We need to work towards a future that creates more opportunity and security for future generations and not live off a past which robs future generations of the flexibility they'll need to meet the demands of their time. Grandkids will thank us for this. I think if you take care of the first three, this one will sort of take care of itself. 5) We need to be more honest with ourselves such that we do not follow mistaken policies to their ultimate ends. We have to make adjustments well before we risk another collapse of the kind we are now facing. That would require life-long politicians and people in power setting aside their egos and acknowledging the error of their ways. It takes a special type of leader to do that, and I don't see any of those today. Hell, I don't see any leaders, just politicians.[/quote] Sweet....a double-quote of Homer...and some responses to Elflocko 1. We probably would have lost our unskilled industrial base anyway. We need to regain / maintain our lead in the "productive" skilled bases (sciences, R&D, engineering, etc). Pumping dollars won't necessarily do it, we need to incentivize (sp?) people to get engineering / science degrees again. Some of the best and brightest have chosen to go into the financial sector because that's where the outrageous sums of money are being made. I'm not sure how to go about making engineering degrees more attractive without somehow diminishing personal returns on financial markets (heavy regulation and taxes) and heavy spending in R&D, sciences, etc by the government. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Without some solution to this situation, we are going to continue to produce human capital that leans heavily toward the "FIRE" sector (borrowing the appropriate acronym from Homer) and away from "productive" endeavors. 2. Consumers are the driving force behind GDP...The investment portion (the major GDP lever in supply side economics) seems to have taken a hit as people chose to invest in existing "paper" assets instead of Property, Plant and Equipment. 3. The Russians apparently found Jimmy Carter just as terrifying as Ronald Reagan because of his annoying insistence on Human Rights rhetoric. 4. Agreed 5. Here's to hoping.
  11. Oh...forgot to mention that your avatar (Vol_Bengal's, not Jamie_B's) has made the shower list.
  12. Well...since this is give and take, I now get to respond with a little more detail I don't think that sitting down with Iran lends credence to their position. I disagree with the "legitimizing" argument because they are, after all, a sovereign nation. I don't think they'll take back the "rotting corpse" statement by sitting down with them, but with concerted International pressure and some diplomacy, I think we can get them to ramp down nuclear development...something that's good for us and Israel (and Russia, China, etc). Doesn't hurt to try. The Chicago thing is admittedly an opinion based on observation and our own personal filters. Since we can't read minds, no sense in carrying on. In general I'm for choices as well, but I'm not seeing where the Obama health plan is limiting choices. Seems to me he's keeping the current system intact while making available the Federal employee system. As for the efficiencies and quality of nationalized health care, our own Medicare system seems to do fine (http://www.kff.org/insurance/7031/ti2004-1-10.cfm) with some high satisfaction rates (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=221504). Now admittedly FEHB (the system in question) is less efficient than Medicare, but it's comparable to private firms still (I'm pissed that I lost that link) As far as Obama's plan "blistering" small business, I don't see it. Most small businesses that I deal with (and as it happens, nationally) are sole proprietor ships and partnerships organized into LLCs or S Corps. The income from those pass straight to the owner(s). I know some who are exceeding the $250,000 income level from their business, but most are not. I also know that I would jump for joy to be able to pay that extra 4-5% taxes on income over $250,000...cause that means I'm making over $250,000. Even on the margin I would say that you're not quite thinking clearly if you are going to reduce production, not hire someone or fundamentally rearrange your business to avoid that extra 4-5% tax. I'm also digging the 50% tax credit proposed on the health insurance we do provide to our employees. Would I mind the extra 4-5%, sure. But I also know that we've got some digging out to do and I wouldn't mind paying the extra tax. Even at my (much) lower income, I've managed to take care of my family, save a little, and allow my wife to raise our 3 kids at home. As long as my family is taken care of I don't mind giving a little bit more to help people down on their luck and pay off the massive national debt. Now I will say that I live in the professional small business realm and am not impacted in changes in the minimum wage. I'm not as familiar with builders (though I have one as a client), landscapers, franchise owners, etc. I'd be very interested in hearing from other small business owners and how they see the proposed tax plans from both sides impacting them. Diplomacy and international support: another opinion issue, but I will point out that Obama does consistently mention that military action will never be taken off the table. By organizationally I mean that he put the right people in the right place, set the overall tone and helped in formulating the grassrootsiness (is that a word?) of it. Certainly there are advisers, campaign managers, etc, but the Democrats are normally a mess compared to Republicans and I believe that he had a hand in changing that. eh...enough for now...gotta work. Vol_Bengal, I'll thank you for the the very civil give and take. I know that you take some shit on this forum and I appreciate you not taking your ball and going elsewhere to play.
  13. [quote name='Vol_Bengal' post='711386' date='Oct 9 2008, 01:54 PM']Homer - I know what you're saying and typically I agree with you. I've voted in all previous presidential elections because I felt like it was extremely important. But, in this go around, what am I accomplishing by being engaged? Both of these guys aren't worth the potential jury duty that would be brought into play. I'm being sincere in that. You (not you specifically Homer) guys that are all gung-ho for Obama... are you because you really like what Obama presents (which I've not received a nice detail of) or just anti-republican and McCain is "another Bush"... you guys voting for McCain - is it because you like what McCain is offering or is it becaue you just don't want Obama and what he represents / a democrat in the White House? Because I here a lot of Obama support that is actually anti-repub / anti-McCain / anti-Bush support. You know the "anybody but Bush, Jr."... or, "I'm voting McCain because I can't vote a black guy / democrat into the White House". Very few are actually enamored with Obama or McCain and rightly so. There isn't much to be enamored with. I know what you're saying just feels like this cycle engaging isn't going to be productive.[/quote] This is a good statement / question, so though I rarely post, I'll throw 2 cents in: I'll preface by saying that the way politicians have behaved for decades now, Abraham Lincoln or George Washington could be up for election right now and no one would be gung ho about either....such is the cynicism that's been beaten into the American public..... That said, I feel "hopeful" about Obama because: - During the summer when both Hillary and McCain going on about rolling back the gas tax (politicking), it was Obama who stood up and said it would save the average American $20 over the summer and we'd have no money for highways. - Sitting down with Iran without pre-conditions ain't a bad thing...I don't think he meant that he'd be sitting down personally, his office would open a dialogue without pre-conditions. - He had the resume to be one of the guys that everyone routinely bitches about (high powered corporate lawyer, Wall Street lawyer, etc) but he chose to go to Chicago to help the underprivileged. I think that's pretty commendable and I don't know a lot of people who would've done that. (Sadly he became a politician and everyone bitches about him anyway). - I think his health care plan is sound. Its not a massive change, still provides "freedom" for the libertarians out there (adult coverage not required) but expands coverage significantly. I'm gonna love the savings of having my small business provide health care out of a Federal pool instead of the Chamber of Commerce pool. - I think he'll regain our respect within the international community again. We NEED their support to clean up the messes that we're stuck with now (Iraq / Afghanistan / Iran / North Korea / and on and on). - Despite inexperience and the flogging he took in his first run for Congress, he managed to learn his lessons and knock off the woman who a year ago was the odds on favorite for the Presidency. Shows serious leadership and organizational skill. - He's charismatic as hell and has a clear message of "Hope" in his campaign that can emotionally uplift America. Haven't seen that since Ronald Reagan. During bad times, never underestimate the power of an uplifting message. Say what you will about Reagan's policies (this means you BJ ) , his message of optimism helped pull America out of the hangover of Vietnam, Watergate, oil crisis, etc. - Despite the "surge" argument, I think Obama has it right. We're fighting and spending to much money in the wrong place. Give the Iraqi government a time-bound goal to get their shit together and go get the enemy that we were supposed to be going after in the first place. I might be fooling myself based on who he's surrounded himself with, but I think he will re-regulate the markets a bit. I know that he'll at least take the leash off of the SEC and let them do their job again. There, bullet points off the top of my head on why I like Obama.....and without bashing McCain! PS...on a selfish note, I'm up for a tax cut as well.
  14. [quote name='Bean Counter' post='695220' date='Sep 4 2008, 05:21 AM']From an economics 101 stand point the problem is not deregulation. You have government entities meddling with a market that is dependent on a cartel. There is not a better recipe for a market failure out there.[/quote] I believe that we're talking about two different things. I'll clarify by saying that historically I've been a libertarian Republican and generally don't mind deregulation that promotes more competition in the markets (breaking up the Bells, airline deregulation [though I appreciate the FAA cause airlines would attempt to fly a plane with one wing if they could]). My issue occurs with two types of deregulation: 1. Any deregulation that makes information within the market harder to get (Enron loophole/commodities trading over unsupervised exchanges, allowing the creation of securities packages that even experts in the field can't figure out, etc) 2. Deregulation on an industry that is beneficial to the society as a whole and where the profit motive is opposed to "the greater good". For example the insurance industry. To maximize profit in that industry, you would seek out a customer base that pays in and requires fewer payouts (young healthy people). It encourages companies to search for loopholes to avoid making payouts and to flat-out avoid covering people who need the service the most (older and/or sick folks).
  15. Though I never post, I'll add my two cents as well.... One of the major assumptions made by your basic "supply and demand" mechanism is that all participants in a market have access to the same information as everyone else in the market and that the information is fairly complete. When this information is incomplete or not evenly distributed, markets don't function as efficiently as they should. The problem with deregulation of the markets is that the "transparency" of the markets goes down (since transactions are no longer recorded/reported), information is therefore incomplete and unevenly spread, thus the efficiency of the market actually goes down. Therefore deregulation causing markets to operate more efficiently is complete bs...in an Economics 101 sense.
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