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Note: This live Hangout has concluded. Thanks to everyone that joined. Watch the video here:

Today at 4:00 p.m. EST, we're hosting a Hangout on the Buffett Rule and tax fairness. Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, will be here to answer your questions.

We hope you'll join us live at 4 p.m. During the Hangout, you can also post your questions here and +1 your favorites.
Delores Williams's profile photoMaciej Kulesa (Kulesa M.)'s profile photoThe vCompany's profile photoJaKobi Burton's profile photo
When will President Obama host his next hangout?
و همچنان تحریم های شما روی مردم ایران فشار میاره نه دولت
Do you actually believe that you can get sufficient bi-partisan support to pass this bill, or are you just trying to waste our time by forwarding a bill that has no hope of passing?
Will the President host a hangout of a game of basketball? That would be a great idea!
Kyle G
I have asked this before and I will ask again, where is the approval process at with Lightquared and the FCC at? They might be the best way to get internet across America, and have the best plan.
The solution to the economy: WAR WITH CHINA would allow the US to cancel it's debt to China and re-focus the nation's attention on the war and off of unemployment, gas prices and feudalism.

Published on Apr 5, 2012 by RTAmerica
On Wednesday the first 200 US Marines of 2,500 arrived in Australia. In November of last year, President Obama announced that the US will amp up its presence in the Pacific. The agreement between President Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard is the first since the Vietnam War. China hasn't taken the fortification of troops lightly and believes the US is shifting its geopolitical focus in an attempt to remain the world's superpower. So will the two world powers collide? Raymond Lotta, political economist, joins us for more.

US and China starting new Cold War?
The Buffett Rule is great, but it needs some help - ending the Bush Tax Cuts is an even better way to start.
Please consider simplifying the tax code substantially to enable a near progressive effective tax whereby the lowest income (already qualifying & receiving some state aid/assistance) have an effective zero taxable, the middle class (up to 250k) have a fair moderate tax (with incentives to encourage reinvestment in homes, communities, education) and above 250 a scale whereby the top most tier has an effective pre-investment rate of 90%. E.g. if you don't redistribute the resources via investment that you've been able to amass via market/labor advantage (from the general populous) then it goes back into the pot toward infrastructure improvements to assist the lower - middle income (bulk population).
I think it's interesting that the white house is having an live town hall of tax fairness during the same time Buddy Roemer is having his live feed. I'll be honest, ill prob vote for obama, but i'm donating my money to buddy, because the idea that a candidate attached to a political party wants a fair tax code is a joke.
Yeah.. Great. The top 1% earners make 16% of the income and pay almost 40% of the taxes. Meanwhile half of the US either pays no taxes or gets back more than they paid in.

Letz's ask those 1%ers to "pay their fair share."
I do have some question. How can you say you want a fair tax code, when you introduced 7 non permanent tax laws, 1/3 of which were loopholes? And when are we gonna start talking about taxing consumption over production?
How about that precision like cuts you spoke of during your last campaign? Oh that's right you didn't mean it. Stop the b.s class game. Actually cut waste and then we can debate funding the beast.
One comment I constantly hear from Republicans is that there are people who don't want to work and game the system (collect welfare, etc.) sometimes generation after generation. I have been told by Progressives who are familiar with the current system that those taking unfair advantage of the system are very few in numbers. If I had good proof that the number of people unfairly taking advantage of the system is insignificant, I could persuade many of these Republicans to vote Progressive. Please give me the facts. Thanks.
If you want to get people off the system EDUCATE THEM. Make education the number one priority and break the cycle of ignorance, poverty and apathy.
+Joel Carlson are you always under the impression that people with opinions that differ from yours are merely wrongheaded?
If the Buffet rule were implemented, what percent change would that make in our deficit spending?
Lets try not deal in absolutes or dismiss others as being wrong outright. Everyone feels they are entitled to their own opinion which is appropriate. We're all citizens of this country and we're facing problems we all need to work together on to solve.
+Michael Gallimore if you are talking about people whose wage is the same as or less than cost of living, then yes it is fair. 100%. It goes to the entire reason why richer people should pay more tax. Gas, food, electricity, heat does not cost them more, unless they excercize their choice to eat expensive foods and live in huge houses, choices poor people do not have.

Further, they do pay taxes, just not income tax. They pay sales tax, property tax, payroll tax, fuel tax, etc etc.

Really, a child can see through that ruse
+Robert Hirsch yet so many adults are absolutely mesmerized by it.

What I find absolutely comic, is that conservatives have now locked arms with Fundamentalist Christians.

Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4

Mark 12:41-44King James Version (KJV)
41And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
The real answer to the tax situation is something along the lines of Bowles Simpson where all tax loopholes are permanently deleted and taxes are lowered. As I understand it, President Obama had a deal with John Boehner on this last year but crazy teapartiers would not support Boehner. If Congress continues to do nothing, the Bush tax cuts for everyone will expire and we go back to rates we had in the booming Clinton years. This might be a good option too.
+Joel Carlson "Loopholes" largely serve the very important purpose of economic stimulation. That said, maybe we are past being able to fix the tax code that way.
Why are you trying to mislead people? Capital Gains is very different than a Salary or Hourly Wage.
+Jeffrey Hamby right, unless all your income comes from investments. Then you get to pay less than anyone else who pays taxes. Which is of course the exact point of these posts
Yes, it is very different. No personal effort or trade is lost by the "investor". It is straight up money making money. Speculative Investment (most of what capital gains are) does not benefit anyone but the speculative investors.

Maybe it's time you take the advice given by your handle.
I see this bill as a very small step in a large series of steps needed to fix this problem (being national indebtedness and our government's problem of spending more than it takes in), yet even in the few comments posted here it is clear that the "Buffet rule" stands little chance of getting bipartisan support. My question is what will it take to communicate to all people the gravity of the situation so they will better understand why steps need to be taken to change our current self destructive course?
Doesn't everyone paying their fair share imply EVERYONE paying a fair share? Why all the talk about the ones who are already paying and have been paying, paying more? How about the 50 percent of those who pay NOTHING and have been instead collecting? How about a little discussion on them paying at least some?
siz ana diliniz türkçe konuşmuyorsunuz terörist ve amerikeyı yıkacak adam olarak görülebilirsiniz(her kürtçe konuşmak isteyene terörist demiştiniz ye where ıs the kurdıstan?)
+Dave Hardee it's going to take spending a ton more on education, just to start.

A government spending more than it takes in is perfectly reasonable under a number of conditions. Deficit spending on infrastructure as the only method historically shown, of repairing a damaged economy is not only reasonable, but the only sane course of action. Deficit spending to inflate a defense budget far beyond any task it might be called to do, is stupidity. Giving a tax break to people who will never want for anything, and are already paying the lowest tax rate in 50 years, and a lower tax rate than people not making a living wage, as a popular political maneuver, to gain support from a combination of ignorant and rich people, is evil.

The deficit is the LEAST of our worries.
+Jeffrey Hamby who cares how much of the revenue comes from rich people? What does that have to do with anything? They should pay the same percentage as everyone else. They pay half.

Taxes could be so simple. 0% up to 50K, 20% after that (or whatever number would equal same revenues). No loop holes, writeoffs, charities, etc. If corporations are people, then same rules for them. No such thing a nonprofits, if you are non-profit, dont show a profit.
Question: If the issue is that those in the bottom 99 are paying more in taxes, why not just lower their tax rate since with the Buffet Plan, they still are paying just as much?
+Bryon Carter that's all good and fair, but the government is terrible at spending! Do you want everything to operate like the post office?
+Robert Hirsch their income tax rate is higher than ours, they just don't draw incomes to speak of. Yet, even with a lower cap gain rate they're still paying most of what the federal government collects.

Yet you think they should pay even more? How about asking your government to be fiscally responsible with your money instead?
Is this hangout with scripted questions or unscripted?
+Del Williams There is more than one issue. One of the biggest ones is a rapidly growing wealth disparity.
+Jonathan Langdale if our President were to participate I'd bet my life savings it would be scripted. Have you seen him speak without a teleprompter?
+Robert Hirsch yeah... But those gains are money that is already taxed as income, and as corporate income, so it has already been taxed twice, and capital gains is a tax on return on investment, not on profits earned.
The top 400 incomes paid a smaller percentage tax, using standard deductions, than a person making 29K with standard deductions, per year. Explain to me how that is a higher tax rate.

+Benjamin Cunningham No, that is incorrect.
+Drew Heyen lol really? Out government becoming a slave to communist china is a good thing?

Edit: also, have you ever heard of the AMT?
+Benjamin Cunningham just a suggestion, but I swear after I blocked Drew the average IQ of comments went up a full 10 points, while the hate level decreased substantially.
+Jeffrey Hamby they're still paying most of what the federal government collects

again, I say so what? they should, that is what fair is. If they are taking in the overwhelming amount of income why shouldnt they be responsible for paying for more of the budget. If you make more, you pay more, that is what it means when you pay a fair percentage of your income.
They dont share the same percentage cost of living. gas doesnt cost them more based on their income, neither does food, heat or electricity, so they beneft greatly there.

they're still paying most of what the federal government collects

what, now you are going for a tu quoque? Yes, the federal govt should get more efficient and lower taxes. then everyones taxes can drop, you know, by the same percentage. But that has nothing to do with how people are taxed.
+Bryon Carter because the military is entirely separate from the rest of the government. Which is why it works.
edit: plus you spelled "cite" wrong. maybe you need a better education than the crappy one the government gave you.
Wow, 3 bills that don't do what you think they do. What case does that rest?
+Robert Hirsch I point that out not to suggest it's not fair, but because there seems to be no end with some people as to how much more than the rest of us is a fair amount.

1% of Americans paying half of all tax revenue seems like it should be enough.

We all know, however, that or politicians can't help spending more than we give them. Additional tax revenue, fair or otherwise, will only lead to increased spending if history is any indicator.
Mine? I'm not gonna sit here and prattle the many wrong-doings with the bills. Nor am I going to sit and argue back and forth interpretations of said bills. Back to resting my case. -.^
argh, what did google do? why cant i italicize or bold ?
+Jeffrey Hamby perhaps, but it's still irrelevant to how we are taxed. fair is to make it the same percentage. By the way, to super rich, after they pay the same rate as the rest of us, cost of living expenses are still cheap. What si left over is still so far and away from what the rest of the country makes its ridiculous.

I agree, the pie of government spending should be smaller, there is a lot I would seek to remove. But that is a different discussion.
thanks, I tried that, you can even see the asterisks. Weird.
+Robert Hirsch I respectfully disagree... The two issues are very related.

This only came up as an issue when our current President became guilty of adding to the deficit at a higher rate than ever seen before. His solution? Collect more rather than spend less.
if you disagree, please explain it. I have no idea why increasing or decreasing spending has anything to do with why rich people should pay less of their income towards that total expenditure. If total expenditure goes down, the rich will save more. yay for them.
+Robert Hirsch I can't see them (or any markup on your posts fwiw) but to be fair I'm using the mobile app. Make sure there are no spaces between the * and _ and the alpha characters on both sides. Also, you won't see the markup until after it's posted.
+Robert Hirsch I've pointed out they're already paying substantially more and don't believe that should increase.

Furthermore the amount collected if passed would decrease the deficit by less than 1%.

Frankly I'd rather they invest the money (you know it's not sitting in a savings account) where it's put to work as capital than let our government squander it.
ah. fixed. the * had no spaces between it and your name.
They're paying considerably more in dollars, not percentage.
i agree. so what? They should. that is what a percentage is.
+Sean O'Hara So, you're going to make a demonstrably incorrect statement and then refuse to support that statement in any way. OK, I have no trouble dismissing that kind of contribution, at all.
I am not going to "discuss" these things in a mostly unrelated post. I said my piece, whether you think you know what I meant or not is irrelevant to me. Make remarks all you like, you're a screen-name.
+Sean O'Hara If you aren't interested in actually discussing an issue, why bring it up? For that matter, if you aren't willing to explain what you mean by your post, why bother posting in the first place?
The lulz. Also, those 3 things were my questions, nothing more. If people want to address them, by all means, positive or negative. #awareness was my whole point and that's a lot easier to say now that I'm at a desktop and not on a phone. If you want to discuss/argue about those, wait until the White House post says something about them (lol) or make one and invite me, or whomever you want.
The people that are discussing this topic own this "forum" and should be left to deliberate their points without the extra clutter I've meaninglessly added. :)
+Bryon Carter I'm not saying its separate like that. It is part of the department of defense. And it is the only, I repeat only part of the government that has managed to cut back AND still do its job perfectly. The military is a separate entity, and members of the armed forces are under very strict regulations. Have you been following the case about the marine who insulted President Obama on Facebook? How about Patraeus? These things wouldn't even be an issue under any other part of the government.
How are you defining the military doing its job "perfectly"? That's a pretty broad assertion - one I'd venture not many would make under any circumstances.
P.S. +Jeffrey Hamby , thanks for the tip on using italics. I've missed having them available in most social media contexts - they are so useful in conveying nuance.
+Christina Talbott-Clark +Drew Heyen Are you alive? Have there been any successful terrorist attacks on the US in the past 10 years? Have there been any unfriendly troops on our soil (since... the Civil war?)?

Did we successfully capture and kill Osama bin Laden?

Meanwhile, we're spending trillions on healthcare and getting soooooo little out of it. When I go to the post office I have to spend an exorbitant amount of money just to send a letter, and hope to God it actually gets where it needs to go. Or I could spend $50,000 on a Chevy Volt, that will start saving me money in 27 years, thanks to all those great subsidies for the auto industry!

Yeah, I totally want the people who [//f-ed up//] "did", escuse me, all that stuff to have more money. Why wouldn't I? I mean, who cares about the free market, or economics, or personal responsibility, right?
+Benjamin Cunningham Um.....because the military (and I very much question the defense budget in the things you listed) has done its job, we aren't paying 10 times the value of the service we receive? That's SOME math you have there.
Well they've done their job with the money Congress appropriated to them. Other government-funded entities? Not so much.
+Benjamin Cunningham You are putting some serious effort into missing the point. The Military is the biggest tax payed social service IN our budget, and half of the discretionary spending. You don't suppose that having truckloads of cash dumped on it, might have something to do with that success do you? Gee, almost seems like you think we need to dump truckloads of cash on EVERYTHING the government does. Is that what you are suggesting? It is the logical conclusion of what you are saying. If it isn't what you mean, then you might what to reconsider your statement.
Understandable, but how would this fair head to head with a simple flat tax?
Which flat tax, a flat percentage or a flat dollar amount? Neither is fair to the bottom margins.
Percentage of Course, and its fair for top margins I suppose? For producers? Flat tax rate which would be fair for all, something to consider.
The problem is that money is able to earn money. A flat tax ISN'T fair to the bottom margin. It IS, however, more fair than what we have, so, I'm open to negotiations.
I don't think anyone seriously proposes a flat tax. A fair tax however would simply be free to some value, let's say 50k, then some percentage of the remainder. No write offs, no loops holes.
+Drew Heyen The point I'm making is that the military works. We dump truckloads of cash on it, and it does its job. We dump truckloads of cash on the rest of the government, and it fails. I'm not in favor of truckloads of cash for anywhere. What I'm saying is that government cannot spend money as efficiently as the private sector to grow the economy, and nothing the government can do short of theft will drive down prices on anything better than good old competition.

I'm a big fan of Milton Friedman's 4 ways of spending money theory.

1. Spend your own money on yourself. - in this case you care both the quality of what you get, and how much it costs.

2. Spend your own money on somebody else. - in this case you care what something costs, but not much about what you get for the money

3. Spend somebody else's money on yourself. - in this case you care about the quality of what you get, but not so much about how much it costs.

4. Spending somebody else's money on yourself. - in this case you care little about the quality of what you get or about the cost of it.

Government spending is number 4, the worst of them all.
Mr. President, since you recently shared you do not need tax cuts will you lead by example and voluntarily pay the tax rate you feel all those who are at your income level should play? Or will it only be rhetoric?
There used to be slavery also. It seemed to work at the time... For some people.

A flat tax is a huge burden on those who make only enough to live. All of a sufden they have to give up some percentage of their income? Thry were already just getting enough to get by. This is not the case for those making more. That is why a fair tax has a grace area up to some amount, say 50k. 
+Robert Hirsch a quick google search would have led you to find it was 3% for anyone with an income over $3k/yr, and that was before the 16th amendment.

I see you chose the low road instead.... An assumption and a snide remark.
So then what you were talking about was a fair tax not a flat tax, the exact same thing I am promoting here.

My point was, just like lobotomies, just because something was done in the past doesn't mean it works or is good.

Further we do have more programs to pay for. Programs I would like to see continue. NASA. The FDA. The EPA. Social safety nets (although i wouldnt mind seeing a little more rigor in spending control), Strong military (but what we have is overboard). I do not believe in the free market fairy for all things. iPods yes. Healthcare and consumer and environmental protect no. Mostly because there is no free flow of information to let consumers make I formed choices. When that happens I may change my mind (not holding my breath for that to come).

So I expect to pay far more than 3% and am totally cool with it. So if everyone who makes more than 50k ends up paying 20% on everything over 50k they make, it seems fair, simple, should allow us to cut way back on the 2b/year we spend on IRS.
+Sean O'Hara - Thanks for elaborating. I'd forgotten we were encouraged to post our questions for the actual topic of the post... and it's so hard to show tone or nuance in text. I completely understand about abbreviated posts from phones. 
I didn't say just because it was done.... I said it worked.
And what we have with status quo presidents, congressmen, and candidates is politicians who only care about keeping their office and won't make the hard decisions to cut the out pig control spending. As long as people continue to believe only two parties exist that won't change.
+Benjamin Cunningham You are very very confused, and based on what you are saying, it is preached dogma, which is confusing you. What you are preaching is Laissez-faire, and it has NEVER worked. There are certain things which our government has been contracted to provide, and with an economy and a nation the size of ours, that means taxes. Period.

As for the state of the US military, you are not getting it, in an epic fashion not before seen. I mean, I'm done with you. We are spending as much on our military as the entire rest of the world, ebenies and allies alike. We are spending more on the military than anything else we spend it on, and your argument is, "It works, and nothing else does." See, that's broken thinking in several ways. One, plenty of things about our government work just fine. Federal Highways, Government regulation of resources, Parks and Wildlife, lots of things. Of course, that doesn't really fit in with your whole "No more Big government" delusion, but that doesn't make it untrue. Second, saying that the military "works" is idiotic. The cost of the defense of this nation is bloated like nothing this world has ever seen. If that is what you call "working", then I hope the rest of the government never works, and we need to get the military broken as soon as possible. Of course, I think using that terminology is stupid, but since you can't or wont get it out of your head, there it is.

You are about the wrong headedist person I have interacted with this week.
Flat tax is dumb. Puts a great burden on the poor and limited burden on those who've benefited most from the poor. The best system is a TRUE and FUNCTIONAL progressive tax - like the one we had from FDR to Carter... If tax rates had stayed as they were under Kennedy and Johnson, in fact, there would be no national debt. And we had plenty of rich people then.
Barry Thomas Murtaugh
English Composition (5)
Persuasive Exposition
3. 30. 11
Evolving Democracy
Democracy is defined as free and equal representation of people. Socialism is defined as a political system of communal ownership. The goal is to discover the similarities and the differences between both. This will help to decide if the current trends of American democracy are moving toward a socialistic form of government. This is a complicated suggestion. However, there is a growing belief that the government of the United States has become veiled, hidden behind the shield (if you will) of democracy. A close look at the content of this essay will reveal the vast implications and possibilities that exist within this topic. The topic of how democracy is slowly evolving into a socialistic style of government. The above definitions given for democracy and socialism are not substantial enough to add clarity to the issue. The following Quote written by a well-known scholar may serve to clarify the pro-democracy anti- socialist view.
“If, therefore, the populace promises simply to obey, it dissolves itself by this act, it loses
its standing as a people. The very moment there is a master; there no longer is a sovereign, and thenceforward the body politic is destroyed”. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract, Book II, Chapter I)
This statement is not hard to understand. In simpler terms it could be read, “If we, the people just continue on, election after election and then re-elect as if it will make a difference, there will be no difference. After an election we give our power away, and then we as a people have done nothing. This is similar to socialism except that at least for a moment, the people get to decide who will rule.
There are many dramatic differences between absolute social government and a democracy. One of the most significant is that social government officials are not elected by the populous. Again, democracy is defined as free and equal representation of the people. Rousseau’s view is simple in expressing the truth of which multitudes of social liberals have known for centuries. The populous becomes dissolved when there no longer exists a right to choose. Stated more clearly, the people’s power is decreased after an election. The following quote is a little scary considering the instability of life, but should serve well in the quest to distinguish and identify democracy. Former President Jimmy Carter’s comment describes democracy as it compares to life.
"Democracy is like the experience of life itself - always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested for adversity." Jimmy Carter Speech to Parliament of India
The most visible flaws of a democracy are illusive. Nonetheless these flaws are so evident to the discerning observer that they often become intrusive into our thought processes. To disregard these thoughts due to a lack of evidence is not acceptable. To uncover the evidence, the populous must never promise to “simply obey”. The populous must take liberty in the exercise of its right to disobey. The body politic still retains its power to act as its own entity without rulers over it. Democracy, as described by President Carter, is always changing. The question is whether or not the current changes are for the good or bad. Consider the following statement by an expert in political science who is referring to a newer concept of democracy involving “peaceful competition between the elite”. Classical democracy may be replaced from “government of the people, by the people, for the people” as government by the leaders that the people choose in free elections. Weffort, Francisco C. "The Future of Socialism ." Journal of Democracy, Vol. 3, Issue: 3 (January 01, 2008): pp. 90-99.
This argument is often presented in varying degrees of complexity. To simplify the issue there is a need to understand what democracy is, and then assess its intended course. There are many who have already done this, only not as to steer toward the intended destination of the founding fathers. This belief does exist and the democracy known to the people of the United States is being altered and manipulated by elite special interest groups. These groups consist of not only elected officials but also many less visible powers. One of the most well-known of these groups is known as the Bilderberg’s. Groups such as these are significantly informed. They are small in number but their influence on government is extremely powerful. Ironically, it is because of the freedoms of democracy that these groups are able to openly exist. In a socialistic format, organizations such as these would be quickly dissolved. Yes, quickly dissolved if they were deemed a threat to the governing body. When these groups consist of members from within the government there is no threat. Conclusively, the Bilderberg’s seem to be a governing power, having much in common with the socialistic style of government.
Considering the Bilderberg’s influence within and outside the government, one may conclude the potential of their power. Wealthy and highly educated members are endowed with an extraordinary ability to manipulate the pre- conditions of the electoral process. Further elaboration on this concept will lead to the understanding of the existence of an increasingly limited ability of the populous to elect and negotiate within the democratic process. If a candidate is presented to the populous for election as being well qualified and politically stands on solid issues, the promise of his election quite sure. This in itself is a quality of democracy. However, if the same candidate has been chosen beforehand by certain other factions and prepared for the sought office; this would then be known to be a function of socialistic governance. In the current age of our democracy and historical record of corruption, the earlier mentioned is not unlikely; in fact it is of high probability.
To determine the successful results of this nation’s democracy it is necessary to research the history of the people’s power to create lasting effectual changes from outside the government. Movements such as The Boston Tea Party serve as a reminder of the possibilities that exist when people do not just “simply obey”.
The division between the people of The United States has occurred. There is no longer the unity that once existed. This certainly is a result of many factors, but most important to note is the “peaceful way” in which it has occurred, this being in direct reference to the earlier quote on the changing of democracy. The divide between the government and the people is also expanding. What lies ahead is dramatically different from a free society.
Fortunately the populous still has opportunity to unite. The U.S. Constitution is still intact. There are still some uncorrupt officials. It will be an awakening of the American spirit if a united population can decide to stand together to fight for the renewal of God and Country, the proper foundation upon which our government was built.
+barry murtaugh Wow, that is the most epic waste of space, ever. JUST to start with, "Socialism" isn't a form of government. Seriously, lets JUST start with that. You can EASILY have a Socialist Democracy, a Socialist Monarchy, A Socialist Republic, even a Socialist Representative Democracy. Socialism and Democracy ARE NOT mutually exclusive.

Second, Who, exactly, has suggested we be a fully "Socialist" nation? Obama? When? Are YOU suggesting that we be Laissez-faire? Even the most passing glance and human and US history will tell you, CONCLUSIVELY, that Laissez-faire DOES NOT WORK. I would explain why, but I doubt that anyone who doesn't already know, has even made it this far, and the fact that the evidence is definitive, SHOULD be enough. Did I mention that there has never been a fully Socialist nation, in the entire history of man?

Maybe, JUUUUST maybe, you should consider knowing......anything, about the subjects you compose gigantic diatribes on.
+Drew Heyen did i say i liked all the money spent on defense? No. I would advocate lower defense spending. But the marines don't decide how much money is appropriated to defense, and the department of defense doesn't really either. It's Congress. Congress gives them money, and the department of defense (which is organized entirely differently than the rest of the government, and provides millions of jobs) has done its job perfectly. Defense. Do you know what it means?

My point, which you're missing entirely, is that while some parts of the government work (defense (which is separate from the rest of the government), and as you mentioned roads and the like (which are contracted out to private companies...)), other parts of the government -- most of it -- fail miserably, and waste more money than can be imagined. Besides, the "Buffet Rule" fails even worse, returning an estimated 31 billion or something over 11 years! Warren Buffet could pay that himself!

$150,000 every year that goes to a private investor is so much more valuable to the economy than the same in the hands of the government, no matter what its spent on (defense, healthcare, the post office). I'm not advocating no taxes, but less taxes. A simpler tax code, that isn't so dumb. Also one that is kinder to illegal immigrants. I mean seriously, get rid of the welfare, get rid of all the stupid regulations and let anyone who lives in the US get a job and pay taxes.

And crazy liberals often don't understand 1) where their party came from (which was the Jeffersonian Democrat-Republicans, who were strongly in support of limited government, lower taxes, and internal spending only when there was a surplus. and 2) the 10th amendment. Read it.
+Benjamin Cunningham Yeah, you are very confused about a lot of things. What "separate" means. What "works" means. What "fails" means. What "private investor" means. What "less taxes" means", or more importantly, doesn't mean. Why the tax code IS complicated in the first place.

Where either party came from is ABSOLUTELY irrelevant. They have mostly traded positions, since they were created. So, what is in a name?

You are a very very confused person. You do not have the knowledge base or understanding to have the conversation you are trying to have. You have made that crystal clear, in your posts.

+Susan McHugh No, you are correct, "equal opportunity" does not mean equal outcome. There is no evidence, at all, that there is, in fact, equal opportunity. The thing is, you see, if there WERE equal opportunity, you would then expect to see trends toward equal outcome. It would by no means be definitive, but it WOULD be the norm. That is ABSOLUTELY not the case. In fact, what we do see, is a STRONG, almost definitive, trend toward ending exactly where you start, or worse. That is not the trend you would expect from "equal opportunity". Not at all. No, the trends that we DO see in our society, are EXACTLY what you would expect to see, if the game were completely rigged.
+Susan McHugh... Incorrect! The debt initially bloomed in an unprecedented fashion under REAGAN! Our programs were not becoming a fiscal burden until someone went in and started undoing a policy that was fairly consistent from FDR to Carter.
+Kevin MacDougall You left out the WONDERFUL economic theory which has definitively FAILED to produced the results that were promised from it.
+Drew Heyen You keep telling me I "don't understand." What is it I don't understand? Why don't you explain it to me? Because right now logical economics makes a lot more sense than whatever you're spreading.

You seem to think that government should be the gamemaker for the world, making sure the successful are put in their place and that the unsuccessful are made successful. Government can never beat good old fashioned God-given freedom, no matter how many social programs she has.
"You seem to think..."

You need to stop right there. It is clear that you do not, at all, understand, what I think.

You want explanations? No Problem. Not even my own words.

What I THINK our government's job is -
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Economic Flaw of a "flat" or "non-progressive" tax. As explained ~2000 years ago.
Mark 12:41-44King James Version (KJV)
41And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
42And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
lol great. I love the preamble as much as the next guy.

Earlier you suggested that the "only sane method" for building the economy is for the government to go into debt. Really? Do you really think that government spending more money it doesn't have will help stimulate economic growth? Your opinions of what will "work" are laughable.

Loving the bible quote. Thank you for demonstrating once again that you don't understand the difference between government and charity. In the past they were one and the same. In many European countries they are still one and the same. In America? They have never been the same. Government shouldn't try and replace the church.

The point of that passage is that the poor woman gave more, because that penny meant more to her than all the stuff the rich people threw in. It is about tithing, not about taxes.
I love how you took the conditional off of my conditional statement, thus ENTIRELY changing what I said. No wonder you don't understand.

The effect of contribution of any kind, in any society, performs EXACTLY the same way. However, "Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury". "Charity"? I think perhaps you need to learn to read.
+Drew Heyen Do you understand the difference between a church and the government, or are they both "contributions to society" in your eyes?

If you know an ounce of history you will remember that at that time the church was intensely involved in the government. In America that isn't the case. Here people are outraged when Pennsylvania, a commonwealth separate from the Federal government of the United States, makes a declaration that 2012 is the "year of the Bible."

Contributions to the government are nothing like those to the church or charities. Government wastes so much money, it isn't even imaginable. You said it yourself! Did you know that there are still countries with mandatory church taxes? Countries that provide funds for religion, or even support a state church. The US is a free republic, and there are some things the government shouldn't be involved in.

It is evident that you don't understand anything about how money works. You see, when you only have $12, you can't go around spending $15 without some plan to pay it off. There's a debt limit for a reason, it doesn't exist simply to raise it again. Get back to reality.

I'm getting a bit off topic here, but I don't really care about it anymore, because you clearly aren't willing to see obvious truths.

I'll let you bask in your ignorance, and continue proposing restrictive progressive taxes and condemning successful business.
+Benjamin Cunningham You focus on the part of a statement which supports your a priori beliefs, while ignoring any and all parts which do not. I don't think you understand what "ignorance" means. In either situation, the money of individuals is placed into a "pool" for purposes supporting the whole, and as it is MY example, it means what I intend it to mean. Whether intended to be applied to tithes specifically, or not, the factors involved parallel perfectly, and your willing blindness to that fact certainly explains why you are the particular flavor of repugnant that you are.
+Joel Carlson It isn't "proof", there really isn't any such thing, but it is STRONG evidence.

The hardest thing you are going to fight here is "personal experience". The fact is that "eye witness testimony" is the WORST form of evidence that there is. None the less, what people see, viewed through the filter of their own bigotries and a priori beliefs, is their reality. You are unlikely to win that battle.
+Drew Heyen The composition was my first try at discovering what any form of government actually and truly means. I am very uneducated. Had to turn in something. You know. I worked very hard. Thank you for your input. Be well and prosper friend!
+barry murtaugh
That reply makes a MUCH bolder statement than your original post. It isn't a crime to be "wrong", but it is perhaps the bravest of acts to admit your limitations. I am impressed. Keep up the very good work.
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