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Its just the taxes, isn't it?

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  • 16-08-2018 1:24pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,552 ✭✭✭


    Country to county, i'm noticing that the guy who gave a giveaway budget (i.e tax cuts) is the guy who gets elected

    Trump just did some savage tax cuts in the states (bar those on less than 10K per annum).

    I'm pondering do people just "suck up" his other policies to keep him in? I mean personally i think all politicians are a waste of time and money so the less i have to pay to them the better.

    Short sighted maybe, but i'd imagine there's many more out there and it's why madmen get elected.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,509 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    The voters here elected CJH on a manifesto of clearly unsustainable tax cuts that ruined the country so it's not a new thing. Also FF buying the 2007 GE


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,775 ✭✭✭✭Gbear


    I half heard a quote from someone recently and I was able to root it out.

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the canidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy--to be followed by a dictatorship."

    -Alexander Fraser Tytler

    He was a Scottish historian classicist in the 18th/19t century.

    The bulwarks against this sort of thing in democracies have been things like constitutions and different independent levels of government that are supposed to hold each other to account. There's also supposed to be opposing organisations or individuals that will call this kind of behaviour out, or, if that doesn't work, and the demagogue is elected, when the house of cards falls down, they'll be there to clean it up.

    There's an element of it being taxes, but in general, there are groups of people who have been working the populist levers and preying on the general state of anxiety we find ourselves in, in a world that is changing at a faster pace than any time in human history. The rich pay the bulk of income tax, so it's not unreasonable for them to be preoccupied with that element of policy, however, we're seeing an obfuscation of their aims behind banners of individual freedom, nationalism and xenophobia.

    What has been found in the US and the UK, and perhaps in places like Poland and Hungary as well, is that it's far easier than we thought to dismantle the government as an effective, rational entity and hand the reins over to crooks or lunatics, with goals that have nothing to do with the welfare of the populace at large.

    In the US, the gentleman's agreement across party lines has been ground to dust in the past couple of decades, and adding in a bad faith actor to the executive branch has seen an implosion of US soft power, a gutting of several branches of their civil service and blatant corruption going totally unopposed.

    In the UK, it has become clear that the rules that govern the conduct of MPs can be ignored and they can blatantly follow party and personal goals at the expense of the country with little political cost.

    I think we're actually relatively well positioned in comparison in this country. We're not immune to populism, but I think we're in a position where it's difficult for any one party to get too much power because of the way our elections work, so even if an election is bought with tax cuts, or fears over immigrants are played up to, I think it's less likely to see that kind of unsustainable policy become normalised than it has become in a two party system.

    I'm not trying to suggest that Labour or the Democrats are as bad as the Tories or the Republicans, but even by existing in a two-party system, they become hostage to the same populist policies. The more parties, the more nuance to be found in political discourse, even if it's not engaged with that deeply by most people, the less able a single entity will be to consolidate separate populist points into one platform, and the less trapped those who aren't swayed by populism will be into having to side with them because of broader political agreement.

    "Whoever offers tax cuts" being the most successful is a bit simplistic, I think, but there's a huge amount of energy poured into whichever party espouses that, and they don't necessarily focus on that element of their policy. Other populist policies that are more likely to appeal to a vulnerable, desperate, fearful electorate sweeten the deal.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,796 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Country to county, i'm noticing that the guy who gave a giveaway budget (i.e tax cuts) is the guy who gets elected

    I've mentioned before that I was in Denmark a few years ago during an election, and the party that promised to raise taxes (in return for improved public services) was elected. They were subsequently turfed out when the promised improvements didn't materialise.

    But yes: many countries, including Ireland, have a problem with elections having to be bought with promises of tax cuts. It's a logical consequence of the widespread attitude in Ireland that we want improved public services paid for by someone else's taxes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,852 ✭✭✭✭Idbatterim


    L1011 wrote: »
    The voters here elected CJH on a manifesto of clearly unsustainable tax cuts that ruined the country so it's not a new thing. Also FF buying the 2007 GE
    What unsustainable twx cuts? Wasn’t the marginal rate like 65% in the eighties?! It’s the unsustainable and over the top spending that’s the issue in this country ...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,245 ✭✭✭myshirt


    Part of it always comes back to human nature. Humans are driven either by debilitating fear, or unwavering self interest. The graveyard is the place most rich in intellectual property, with people having died without doing what they wanted to do; because they were scared, or someone close to them who they loved and respected told them they can't do it. On the other side of our make up we are driven by self interest. If you look at a large wedding photo, who is the first person you look for?

    Look at Ireland, a cold hard analysis of the facts (and remember facts don't care about your feelings) show that those over 45 today (especially public service) should be taxed quite heavily to redress the balance of direct government intervention having benefited one group above another (while the second group pays). We have a pipeline of young people who were unemployed or precariously employed in their formative years, which will carry with them. There's an economic incentive to sort it, but we don't. We favour the gilt edge pensions and exhorbitant public sector salaries that were never, ever justifiable.

    Property taxes should go up massively. CAT thresholds down. CAT rates up, so as to not perpetuate the issue and pass on unearned wealth (that the rest pay for) to the next generation. Younger teachers, gardai, nurses, etc, should be paid better and those colleagues over 45 taxed heavily, very heavily, to redress the balance. Work longer, pensions cut to basic, etc, and avoid this pensions time bomb. Housing policy and economic strategy should be designed to bring people to the jobs and jobs to the people, not young people driving from Navan while a baby boomer gard sits in the city centre untaxed on their property and with an 800 grand pension.

    How many baby boomer / early genxers do we have around Dublin patting themselves on the back, or drinking a pint down the quays, thinking everything is all on the back of their own effort?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,509 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    What unsustainable twx cuts? Wasn’t the marginal rate like 65% in the eighties?! It’s the unsustainable and over the top spending that’s the issue in this country ...

    You may want to take the Lucinda-era Renua goggles off and read some Irish history.

    There was bog all public spending in 1977 to begin with. FF promised - and delivered - on destroying the tax base entirely by removing pretty much everything except income and purchase taxes; and it went sour within the year.

    Of course, they rebased the tax base towards purchase taxation again under McCreevy/Cowen with even more disasterous results.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,852 ✭✭✭✭Idbatterim


    L1011 wrote: »
    You may want to take the Lucinda-era Renua goggles off and read some Irish history.

    There was bog all public spending in 1977 to begin with. FF promised - and delivered - on destroying the tax base entirely by removing pretty much everything except income and purchase taxes; and it went sour within the year.

    Of course, they rebased the tax base towards purchase taxation again under McCreevy/Cowen with even more disasterous results.
    oh I’m well aware of what those morons did to the tax base. The outrageous marginal rate taxes on low incomes. I see it first hand every day. People turning down over time and promotions and they are right, the government earning more than you do over what pittance is it? 34k? Rewarding work lol. They created this farce. The chickens have come home to roost. Delighted!


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,509 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    the government earning more than you do over what pittance is it? 34k?

    Nearly 70k.

    At 34k its still under 50% (49.5% - 40% PAYE 5.5% USC 4% PRSI). First result on Google will say its over 50% but it is three budgets out of date and both rates and bands have been adjusted.

    The reality is that levelling out the bands is likely to end up screwing people who are close to but below the SRCOP currently as they'd be sucked in to whatever intermediate band there ends up being.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,852 ✭✭✭✭Idbatterim


    L1011 wrote: »
    Nearly 70k.

    At 34k its still under 50% (49.5% - 40% PAYE 5.5% USC 4% PRSI). First result on Google will say its over 50% but it is three budgets out of date and both rates and bands have been adjusted.

    The reality is that levelling out the bands is likely to end up screwing people who are close to but below the SRCOP currently as they'd be sucked in to whatever intermediate band there ends up being.

    Over 34 k or thereabouts, you are losing over half your income. Also it’s splitting hairs, whether they take 51%50%,49%,48%. It’s outrageous, outrageous, outrageous and outrageous! With the cost of living here , Dublin in particular, to confiscate that amount of someone’s earning over that figure. But it’s ok because it’s revenue doing the armed robbery ...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    myshirt wrote: »
    Look at Ireland, a cold hard analysis of the facts (and remember facts don't care about your feelings) show that those over 45 today (especially public service) should be taxed quite heavily to redress the balance of direct government intervention having benefited one group above another (while the second group pays). We have a pipeline of young people who were unemployed or precariously employed in their formative years, which will carry with them. There's an economic incentive to sort it, but we don't. We favour the gilt edge pensions and exhorbitant public sector salaries that were never, ever justifiable.

    A bit young I would think. Those 45 year olds would have been 35 in 2008, and some would still be in negative equity, in fact some stlll renting ( although not perhaps the public service). A better solution here is to get rid of the pension differential entirely between public and private sector, but that will affect the young.
    Property taxes should go up massively. CAT thresholds down. CAT rates up, so as to not perpetuate the issue and pass on unearned wealth (that the rest pay for) to the next generation. Younger teachers, gardai, nurses, etc, should be paid better and those colleagues over 45 taxed heavily, very heavily, to redress the balance. Work longer, pensions cut to basic, etc, and avoid this pensions time bomb. Housing policy and economic strategy should be designed to bring people to the jobs and jobs to the people, not young people driving from Navan while a baby boomer gard sits in the city centre untaxed on their property and with an 800 grand pension.

    The only workable solution you have there, is in bold. The baby boomer guard already has his pension, and older public servants have their contracts. And that will affect the young again.

    For property taxes the only way to justify that to the average squeezed middle is to reduce his wage taxes accordingly. To my mind if you wanted to tax property wealth you would tax positive equity only. Taxing someone who had to buy a house in Kildare for 400K when he still owes 400k on the house doesn't make much sense, if you see this as a wealth tax.

    But even that is politically untenable though because it would mean taxes increasing though a lifetime and becoming their highest at the pension age, which could well put many private sector workers into poverty, if the state pension isn't already poverty.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    oh I’m well aware of what those morons did to the tax base. The outrageous marginal rate taxes on low incomes. I see it first hand every day. People turning down over time and promotions and they are right, the government earning more than you do over what pittance is it? 34k? Rewarding work lol. They created this farce. The chickens have come home to roost. Delighted!

    When the marginal rate was 65%, on a comparatively low income, there was no reason to continue working ( at least outside the PAYE sector where you had to) unless you cheated taxes. Imagine a plumber hitting the £10k limit in October. If he were honest every single job thereafter would get him 35% of the agreed price and that probably wasn't worth it. So either close up shop or get cash in hand.

    I wouldn't advise any major tax reductions soon, but something needs to be done to alleviate the stress on middle incomes. Maybe higher taxes on higher incomes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,852 ✭✭✭✭Idbatterim


    When the marginal rate was 65%, on a comparatively low income, there was no reason to continue working ( at least outside the PAYE sector where you had to) unless you cheated taxes. Imagine a plumber hitting the £10k limit in October. If he were honest every single job thereafter would get him 35% of the agreed price and that probably wasn't worth it. So either close up shop or get cash in hand.

    I wouldn't advise any major tax reductions soon, but something needs to be done to alleviate the stress on middle incomes. Maybe higher taxes on higher incomes.
    Are you serious? The ones already contributing far more than their fair share ? But as they probably make up a single digit percentile if the voters, they possibly could be hit, imorally. The real problem is the vast swathes paying in as good as nothing in direct taxes. They’ve created a right clusterf**k of a situation and they won’t be able to climb out of it easily...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    Are you serious? The ones already contributing far more than their fair share ? But as they probably make up a single digit percentile if the voters, they possibly could be hit, imorally. The real problem is the vast swathes paying in as good as nothing in direct taxes. They’ve created a right clusterf**k of a situation and they won’t be able to climb out of it easily...

    My definition of higher incomes would be 100k plus. Personal not joined.

    I agree with the other point but also politically impossible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,852 ✭✭✭✭Idbatterim


    My definition of higher incomes would be 100k plus. Personal not joined.

    I agree with the other point but also politically impossible.
    Right. So the people already being robbed and getting f all back out of this great system ? The marginal rate should be slashed, let welfare freezes and lpt increases pay for it ...


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,186 ✭✭✭✭jmayo


    L1011 wrote: »
    The voters here elected CJH on a manifesto of clearly unsustainable tax cuts that ruined the country so it's not a new thing. Also FF buying the 2007 GE

    I think you are getting a little mixed up.
    It was actually ff under Jack Lynch, with sidekick Martin O'Donoghue, that gave all the tax cuts (motor tax and rates being the big ones) in 1977.
    cjh toppled him subsequently in late 79.
    L1011 wrote: »
    You may want to take the Lucinda-era Renua goggles off and read some Irish history.

    There was bog all public spending in 1977 to begin with. FF promised - and delivered - on destroying the tax base entirely by removing pretty much everything except income and purchase taxes; and it went sour within the year.

    Of course, they rebased the tax base towards purchase taxation again under McCreevy/Cowen with even more disasterous results.

    Actually we still had healthcare, social welfare and education spending in 1977.
    Now granted every Tom, Dick and Mary wasn't in some third level institution of some sort and our healthcare wasn't as admin bloated, but there were still costs and even less people working here.

    Other factors especially at play in the 70s were the oil crisis in 73 and again in 79.
    Inflation was huge and Lynch's budget didn't help.

    I am not allowed discuss …



  • Registered Users Posts: 20,049 ✭✭✭✭neris


    Its not just tax cuts in this country it,s promises of more social welfare payments that buy them votes too. The pension and childrens allowance been the 2 big ones.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,186 ✭✭✭✭jmayo


    Gbear wrote: »
    I half heard a quote from someone recently and I was able to root it out.
    ...
    There's an element of it being taxes, but in general, there are groups of people who have been working the populist levers and preying on the general state of anxiety we find ourselves in, in a world that is changing at a faster pace than any time in human history. The rich pay the bulk of income tax, so it's not unreasonable for them to be preoccupied with that element of policy, however, we're seeing an obfuscation of their aims behind banners of individual freedom, nationalism and xenophobia.

    What has been found in the US and the UK, and perhaps in places like Poland and Hungary as well, is that it's far easier than we thought to dismantle the government as an effective, rational entity and hand the reins over to crooks or lunatics, with goals that have nothing to do with the welfare of the populace at large.

    In the US, the gentleman's agreement across party lines has been ground to dust in the past couple of decades, and adding in a bad faith actor to the executive branch has seen an implosion of US soft power, a gutting of several branches of their civil service and blatant corruption going totally unopposed.
    ...

    I think we're actually relatively well positioned in comparison in this country. We're not immune to populism, but I think we're in a position where it's difficult for any one party to get too much power because of the way our elections work, so even if an election is bought with tax cuts, or fears over immigrants are played up to, I think it's less likely to see that kind of unsustainable policy become normalised than it has become in a two party system.

    Ah yes the idiots are voting for right wingers because they are being played by the rich.

    Care to explain then what the rich like George Soros and Peter Sutherland were doing championing open borders and in the latter's case no borders and no national identities?

    Yes it is true than in places like the states the likes of the Kochs are up to their necks in trying to twist democracy, but it is too simplistic an appraisal I believe ?

    Maybe if the mainstream political parties, political commentators, media actually started listening to the concerns of the populace instead of trying to ram stuff down their throats then maybe just maybe they wouldn't be flocking towards those awful populist evil right wingers.

    There is too much cr** coming from political parties, the EU hierarchy, media lackies and celebrity types.

    Once prosperous communities, cities and regions throughout the western world have watched as the great sweep of globalisation has sent their jobs to some developing country.
    Added to that the rise of automation means there is less need for unskilled labour.
    The people there know they have no future and even worse they know must of their kids don't.

    And what do they hear from politicians?
    Oh yeah they will all have jobs in the new better knowledge economy, they will all be retrained as analysts, scientists, customer support, etc.

    Then to add to it people are being told that large numbers of unskilled uneducated migrants are coming to compete with them for what jobs there are, for education, healthcare and social resources that are getting scarcer as time goes on.

    And what has been one of the official lines on these migrants?
    Oh yeah they are needed to help pay the pensions of the future.
    Talk about pi**ing on someone and telling them it's raining. :rolleyes:

    Anyone with a bit of cop on knows that someone with no skills, no education, no language skills, going on social welfare is not going to pay anyone's pension, ever.
    Even worse people can see some existing immigrants and migrants have added very little and if anything have brought huge social disharmony and strive to their host nation.

    But the political class and the connected ones don't see this.
    The media don't see this.
    They just see ignorant people, who are xenophobic, nationalistic, racist and they are often not backward in telling them this.

    And then they wonder why they vote for someone that actually appears to listen, even if they are not ala muppets like trump.

    Case in point the labour party in Britain has deserted a lot of it's voter base and has been hijacked by student types more interested in fighting identity politics than getting jobs for working class areas.

    Clinton could not be ar**ed visiting states like Michigan and Wisconsin, because after all they voted for Obama twice.
    Sure they had always voted for democrats.

    Well they had enough.

    I am not allowed discuss …



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,509 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    jmayo wrote: »
    I think you are getting a little mixed up.
    It was actually ff under Jack Lynch, with sidekick Martin O'Donoghue, that gave all the tax cuts (motor tax and rates being the big ones) in 1977.
    cjh toppled him subsequently in late 79.

    Indeed, you're correct here. Forgot that it was Lynch who actually got re-elected.

    jmayo wrote: »
    Actually we still had healthcare, social welfare and education spending in 1977.
    Now granted every Tom, Dick and Mary wasn't in some third level institution of some sort and our healthcare wasn't as admin bloated, but there were still costs and even less people working here.

    Other factors especially at play in the 70s were the oil crisis in 73 and again in 79.
    Inflation was huge and Lynch's budget didn't help.

    Amounts spent were tiny compared to now, for them all. Nothing was really at the level that could be claimed to be "unsustainable and over the top" by a libertarian.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    Right. So the people already being robbed and getting f all back out of this great system ? The marginal rate should be slashed, let welfare freezes and lpt increases pay for it ...

    We’re talking about a 200k family income. The idea is to reduce the tax on median to high incomes, compensating with an increase on the very highest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,775 ✭✭✭✭Gbear


    jmayo wrote: »
    Ah yes the idiots are voting for right wingers because they are being played by the rich.

    Care to explain then what the rich like George Soros and Peter Sutherland were doing championing open borders and in the latter's case no borders and no national identities?

    Yes it is true than in places like the states the likes of the Kochs are up to their necks in trying to twist democracy, but it is too simplistic an appraisal I believe ?

    Maybe if the mainstream political parties, political commentators, media actually started listening to the concerns of the populace instead of trying to ram stuff down their throats then maybe just maybe they wouldn't be flocking towards those awful populist evil right wingers.

    There is too much cr** coming from political parties, the EU hierarchy, media lackies and celebrity types.

    Once prosperous communities, cities and regions throughout the western world have watched as the great sweep of globalisation has sent their jobs to some developing country.
    Added to that the rise of automation means there is less need for unskilled labour.
    The people there know they have no future and even worse they know must of their kids don't.

    And what do they hear from politicians?
    Oh yeah they will all have jobs in the new better knowledge economy, they will all be retrained as analysts, scientists, customer support, etc.

    Who oversaw the massive shift away from manufacturing economies without transitioning those regions to anything else?
    Quite frankly, people in developed countries shouldn't be going down coalmines, but you can't shut them overnight and expect those communities to be able to remain functional.

    The Tories have been undermining the NHS through starving it of funds and they have overseen white working class boys becoming the lowest acheivers in education.
    The Republicans roadblocked an attempt by Obama to fix the worst healthcare system in the developed world, and then the little that was achieved was then torn up anyway.

    The issue between right and left at the moment is that the left has culturally diverged from it's base but largely seeks to implement reforms it think will help them, while the right has secured their vote but is ****ing them at every opportunity.

    Whether or not the policy of one or the other will actually do what those implementing it intend (I certainly don't believe Corbyn's nationalisation platform has any merit at all), you cannot credibly claim that the right is putting any effort in to do anything for the working class.

    They've invented a strawman for the working class to blame unreservedly for their problems while they've been doing everything in their power to remove all forms of benefits and entitlements that they have either previously depended on, or might serve to reduce the immediate impacts from globalisation.

    You might argue that the working class are not entitled to those supports from the government at the expense of the wealthy footing the bill, but the point is, it's the working class who are supporting these policies when they do things like elect the Tories, the Republicans, Trump or vote for Brexit.
    jmayo wrote: »
    Then to add to it people are being told that large numbers of unskilled uneducated migrants are coming to compete with them for what jobs there are, for education, healthcare and social resources that are getting scarcer as time goes on.

    And what has been one of the official lines on these migrants?
    Oh yeah they are needed to help pay the pensions of the future.
    Talk about pi**ing on someone and telling them it's raining. :rolleyes:

    Anyone with a bit of cop on knows that someone with no skills, no education, no language skills, going on social welfare is not going to pay anyone's pension, ever.
    Even worse people can see some existing immigrants and migrants have added very little and if anything have brought huge social disharmony and strive to their host nation.

    And yet there's a shortage of unskilled and semi-skilled workers in many industries. The UK is looking at a labour shortage in the agriculture industry as EU labourers' positions are being put at risk.

    Trades are short workers.

    And yes, the social welfare pyramid scheme relies on having a large enough young, tax-paying base to cover the ageing native populations in the western world.

    The economic case for immigration is pretty straightforwardly positive.

    The cultural case is what the right are currently succeeding in making and the left are failing to address.
    Even if the only problem was that people fear change and that breeds xenophobia, that isn't something that can just be left to work itself out.
    jmayo wrote: »
    But the political class and the connected ones don't see this.
    The media don't see this.
    They just see ignorant people, who are xenophobic, nationalistic, racist and they are often not backward in telling them this.

    And then they wonder why they vote for someone that actually appears to listen, even if they are not ala muppets like trump.

    Case in point the labour party in Britain has deserted a lot of it's voter base and has been hijacked by student types more interested in fighting identity politics than getting jobs for working class areas.

    Clinton could not be ar**ed visiting states like Michigan and Wisconsin, because after all they voted for Obama twice.
    Sure they had always voted for democrats.

    Well they had enough.

    Well the point I was making was broader than left-vs-right. Corbyn/May or Labour/Tories is a **** selection to have available. There's absolutely no nuance to it and it's easy to hijack by narrow, IdPol platforms, whether they're "kick out the foreigners" or "all white rich people are muck".

    There is no representation in the UK or the US, with the broad churches leaving people with very little choice, and parties being left to chase the lunatic fringes for solid voting blocks that turn out to vote.

    We've seen in Ireland that a center-right party of catholics has brought in gay marriage and abortion, because in our system if they didn't, they'd be out on their ear, because they were chasing the consensus opinion of our whole country.


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