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FL_Dawg
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Reged: May 04 2008
Posts: 6848
Loc: Austinburg OH

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Ballpeen]
      #896518 - Thu Feb 02 2012 09:36 PM

Quote:

We all have fears, and we are the same era, so the experiences are similar, at least in the broad sense.




I agree.

I have no envy for folks who have more then I do and I have help make a couple of people millionaires, but ethics is still a value that holds high value with me.

What a couple of hundred of key people did was to put their own interest above the greater good and prosperity for all.

Prosperity for the masses is how I would evaluate a system that can thrive and another that is doomed to falter if it can not achieve a level of prosperity for all.


Corruption brought down every great government that came before ours. I know you know this.

This can't happen with a few hundred people risking the wealth of all, but it did and the truth is that not enough has been done to ensure we won't keep going threw this pattern.

--------------------


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YTownBrownsFan
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Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 30759
Loc: YTown, Ohio

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: FL_Dawg]
      #896538 - Thu Feb 02 2012 11:53 PM

Here's the problem with trying to balance things on the backs of the "1%".

It won't work.

There's not enough income to generate enough taxes to balance the budget even if we go to the top 5%.

That's right around $150,000 in taxable income, by the way. It doesn't take a whole lot to move down that scale. I'd also be worried that we might get to the point where taxing the top 25% sounds pretty reasonable. That's about $70,000. Where do we draw the line?

Frankly, I don't think that anyone should have to pay more than 25% of their income to the government. Period ... counting every single tax we pay. That would allow people more money to spend on stuff .... and selling stuff is what keeps an economy going. Unfortunately, the government has gone to income redistribution trying to dump money into the hands of those who will blow it immediately to give the economy a fake bump each January.

No one should pay more than 25% of their income ..... but everyone should pay something. We have so many people paying nothing, and even taking money out of the system that it's appalling.

We'll never be able to bring things back into balance by raising taxes. We simply spend too much money. Until the government cuts spending,and cuts taxes back to a reasonable level, we'll have a heavy duty mess. The problem now is that government spends so, so much money that cutting that cord will hurt the economy in the short term ..... in a fairly heavy duty way. It's absolutely necessary at this point though, because the longer it goes, the worst it will be.

Of course, I don't care anymore, because I don't have kids, so leaving other peoples' kids a freakin' disaster doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother them.

--------------------
Welcome to the Browns Coach Pettine.

Hope you survive the experience.


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RocketOptimist
Dawg Talker


Reged: Jun 25 2010
Posts: 1999
Loc: Toledo, Ohio

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: YTownBrownsFan]
      #896590 - Fri Feb 03 2012 08:15 AM

How did it work a few decades ago when the upper income earners were taxed at a considerably higher level? Why can't we go back to that model?

This isn't a question to you Ytown but more so a general question to everyone. How come class warfare arguments start when anyone suggests bringing the tax rates to how they were a few decades ago?


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archbolddawg
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Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 15059


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: RocketOptimist]
      #896613 - Fri Feb 03 2012 09:44 AM

What were the tax rates a few decades ago, and what are they now? (honest question).

Also, what was gov't. spending back then?


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clevesteve
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Reged: Feb 04 2007
Posts: 9721
Loc: Pflugerville, TX

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: archbolddawg]
      #896621 - Fri Feb 03 2012 10:10 AM

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/151.html

I've tried to highlight the "eras" here. These numbers are all adjusted for inflation, using single tax filer as the example. It gets a little tricky between 1965 and 1981, as the same percentages are there, but you have to interpolate the dollar amounts pretty linearly between those two years.

You can see that the gov't has been much more "generous" over the past 25 years than it had been previously.

Code:

2003-2011
Single
Marginal Tax Brackets
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
10.0% $0 $8,500
15.0% $8,500 $34,500
25.0% $34,500 $83,600
28.0% $83,600 $174,400
33.0% $174,400 $379,150
35.0% $379,150 -


1993-2002
Single
Marginal Tax Brackets
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
10.0% $0 $7,483
15.0% $7,483 $34,861
27.0% $34,861 $84,439
30.0% $84,439 $176,174
35.0% $176,174 $382,967
38.6% $382,967 -


1991 , 1992
Single
Marginal Tax Brackets
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
15.0% $0 $34,305
28.0% $34,305 $83,003
31.0% $83,003 -

1988-1990
Single
Marginal Tax Brackets
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
15.0% $0 $33,391
28.0% $33,391 -


1987
Single
Marginal Tax Brackets
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
0.11 0 3555.310944
0.15 3555.310944 33182.90214
0.28 33182.90214 53329.66415
0.35 53329.66415 106659.3283
0.385 106659.3283 -


1982-1986
Single
Marginal Tax Brackets
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
0.0% $0 $5,077
11.0% $5,077 $7,513
12.0% $7,513 $9,724
14.0% $9,724 $14,351
15.0% $14,351 $18,773
16.0% $18,773 $23,851
18.0% $23,851 $28,498
20.0% $28,498 $33,145
23.0% $33,145 $40,208
26.0% $40,208 $51,918
30.0% $51,918 $63,629
34.0% $63,629 $75,339
38.0% $75,339 $91,676
42.0% $91,676 $122,160
48.0% $122,160 $180,712
50.0% $180,712 -


1981
Single
Marginal Tax Brackets
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
0.0% $0 $5,677
14.0% $5,677 $8,393
16.0% $8,393 $10,861
18.0% $10,861 $16,045
19.0% $16,045 $20,982
21.0% $20,982 $26,659
24.0% $26,659 $31,843
26.0% $31,843 $37,026
30.0% $37,026 $44,925
34.0% $44,925 $58,008
39.0% $58,008 $71,091
44.0% $71,091 $84,173
49.0% $84,173 $102,440
55.0% $102,440 $136,504
63.0% $136,504 $201,917
68.0% $201,917 $267,330
70.0% $267,330 -


1965
Single
Marginal Tax Brackets
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
14.0% $0 $3,562
15.0% $3,562 $7,123
16.0% $7,123 $10,685
17.0% $10,685 $14,246
19.0% $14,246 $28,493
22.0% $28,493 $42,739
25.0% $42,739 $56,985
28.0% $56,985 $71,232
32.0% $71,232 $85,478
36.0% $85,478 $99,724
39.0% $99,724 $113,971
42.0% $113,971 $128,217
45.0% $128,217 $142,463
48.0% $142,463 $156,710
50.0% $156,710 $185,202
53.0% $185,202 $227,941
55.0% $227,941 $270,680
58.0% $270,680 $313,419
60.0% $313,419 $356,158
62.0% $356,158 $427,390
64.0% $427,390 $498,621
66.0% $498,621 $569,853
68.0% $569,853 $641,085
69.0% $641,085 $712,316
70.0% $712,316 -


1944-1963
Marginal Tax Brackets
Tax Rate Over But Not Over
20.0% $0 $14,665
22.0% $14,665 $29,331
26.0% $29,331 $43,996
30.0% $43,996 $58,661
34.0% $58,661 $73,327
38.0% $73,327 $87,992
43.0% $87,992 $102,657
47.0% $102,657 $117,323
50.0% $117,323 $131,988
53.0% $131,988 $146,653
56.0% $146,653 $161,319
59.0% $161,319 $190,649
62.0% $190,649 $234,645
65.0% $234,645 $278,641
69.0% $278,641 $322,637
72.0% $322,637 $366,633
75.0% $366,633 $439,960
78.0% $439,960 $513,287
81.0% $513,287 $586,613
84.0% $586,613 $659,940
87.0% $659,940 $733,267
89.0% $733,267 $1,099,900
90.0% $1,099,900 $1,466,533
91.0% $1,466,533 -



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DCDAWGFAN
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Reged: Sep 12 2006
Posts: 29778


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: FL_Dawg]
      #896638 - Fri Feb 03 2012 03:59 PM

Quote:

No what I'm saying is that we live in the richest country in the world and that our poor should not be judged to be not poor, because they have more then some one living in that 3rd world country.



By what standard should they be judged? And what factors should be taken into consideration?

Quote:

Everyone likes to use welfare recipients as an example, but there are plenty of hard working Americans who are in poverty due to our economy and just as many young folks with large College loans who can't find a job.



Our economy is in the midst of a bad recession, brought on by the confluence of government and business.. we shall come out of this recession and at some point, it will happen again. I know there are people who are in bad situations but to make knee jerk reaction laws to try to prevent this from happening again will almost certainly succumb to the law of unintended consequences... Because basically you are asking the people who started this mess, to fix it.

--------------------
I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!!!!


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DCDAWGFAN
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Reged: Sep 12 2006
Posts: 29778


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: RocketOptimist]
      #896642 - Fri Feb 03 2012 04:03 PM

Quote:

How did it work a few decades ago when the upper income earners were taxed at a considerably higher level? Why can't we go back to that model?

This isn't a question to you Ytown but more so a general question to everyone. How come class warfare arguments start when anyone suggests bringing the tax rates to how they were a few decades ago?



It is my opinion that the focus of this debate needs to change.. if you ask any of the 1% bashers (and I'm not saying you are one of them) and even if you ask a lot of other well-meaning people, the focus of the debate seems to be.. "How much can each group, based on income, afford to pay?" And I think that is incredibly wrong thinking.. the focus of the debate must absolutely start with.. "How much money does our government really NEED?" Then once we answer that question, we can begin figuring out who should pay what share..

--------------------
I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!!!!


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FloridaFan
Legend


Reged: Sep 10 2006
Posts: 12727


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: DCDAWGFAN]
      #896648 - Fri Feb 03 2012 04:12 PM

Quote:

"How much money does our government really NEED?" Then once we answer that question, we can begin figuring out who should pay what share..




Spot on. with emphasis on the NEED part.

--------------------
Growing Old Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional.


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clevesteve
Hall of Famer


Reged: Feb 04 2007
Posts: 9721
Loc: Pflugerville, TX

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: DCDAWGFAN]
      #896651 - Fri Feb 03 2012 04:16 PM

Quote:

the focus of the debate must absolutely start with.. "How much money does our government really NEED?" Then once we answer that question, we can begin figuring out who should pay what share..




Well, we can start with at least $13 trillion and go from there. How about first, we come up with where the first $5 trillion comes from?


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YTownBrownsFan
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Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 30759
Loc: YTown, Ohio

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: DCDAWGFAN]
      #896654 - Fri Feb 03 2012 04:22 PM

Here's my entire problem with the whole "1%" thing.

When that's not enough ..... then we probably move on to the top 5% .... who aren't paying enough. When that's not enough, we probably start hearing about how the top 10% aren't doing their share .... after all, there are 90% worse off than them.

Maybe from there, since we still need more money, we move to the top 75% .... and so on.

When does it stop? Maybe when only the top 49% "pay their fair share"? For those who think it couldn't happen? It's still all just a matter of "Us against them" ..... only the numbers change.


Then what happens if that's still simply not enough either ..........?

--------------------
Welcome to the Browns Coach Pettine.

Hope you survive the experience.


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clevesteve
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Reged: Feb 04 2007
Posts: 9721
Loc: Pflugerville, TX

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: YTownBrownsFan]
      #896657 - Fri Feb 03 2012 04:25 PM

You don't have to get very far down to start running out of money...

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

Code:
Financial Wealth
Top 1 percent Next 19 percent Bottom 80 percent
1983 42.9% 48.4% 8.7%
1989 46.9% 46.5% 6.6%
1992 45.6% 46.7% 7.7%
1995 47.2% 45.9% 7.0%
1998 47.3% 43.6% 9.1%
2001 39.7% 51.5% 8.7%
2004 42.2% 50.3% 7.5%
2007 42.7% 50.3% 7.0%





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Browns Lifer
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Reged: Jan 16 2007
Posts: 3646
Loc: Medina, OH

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: FloridaFan]
      #896660 - Fri Feb 03 2012 04:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:

"How much money does our government really NEED?" Then once we answer that question, we can begin figuring out who should pay what share..




Spot on. with emphasis on the NEED part.




Honestly, I think the question is even more fundamental than that. First, I think we have to determine exactly what our government SHOULD be providing. Only then can we accurately define what it really needs. IMO, paring the federal government back to what it is constitutionally chartered to do would be a worthy goal and would, potentially, save us billions of dollars.

Some that cost would be picked up by the states, no doubt. It would be up to the citizens in each individual state, however, to decide what they would be willing to pay the state to provide. IMO, that's the way it ought to be.

--------------------
"Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."

-- Mark Twain


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YTownBrownsFan
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Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 30759
Loc: YTown, Ohio

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Browns Lifer]
      #896665 - Fri Feb 03 2012 04:55 PM

Unfortunately, that ship has sailed.

No one wants "unnecessary" federal programs ..... unless they are their programs.

Everyone thinks that tax credits should go away ... unless they are their tax credits.

--------------------
Welcome to the Browns Coach Pettine.

Hope you survive the experience.


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YTownBrownsFan
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Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 30759
Loc: YTown, Ohio

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: YTownBrownsFan]
      #896667 - Fri Feb 03 2012 04:58 PM

Oh .... and there is also the matter of legislators saying "Oh, you want my vote on your legislation? I'd love to ........ but ............ what's in it for me ..... or what can you add to it to make it worthwhile for me to vote for it?"

--------------------
Welcome to the Browns Coach Pettine.

Hope you survive the experience.


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DCDAWGFAN
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Reged: Sep 12 2006
Posts: 29778


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Browns Lifer]
      #896670 - Fri Feb 03 2012 05:14 PM

Quote:

IMO, paring the federal government back to what it is constitutionally chartered to do would be a worthy goal and would, potentially, save us billions of dollars.



If you mean "billions of dollars per month" then you are probably right.. and I agree whole heartedly with everything else you said.

--------------------
I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!!!!


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YTownBrownsFan
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Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 30759
Loc: YTown, Ohio

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: DCDAWGFAN]
      #896672 - Fri Feb 03 2012 05:18 PM

Maybe even billions of dollars per day ........

Or hour.

--------------------
Welcome to the Browns Coach Pettine.

Hope you survive the experience.


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FL_Dawg
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Reged: May 04 2008
Posts: 6848
Loc: Austinburg OH

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: DCDAWGFAN]
      #896683 - Fri Feb 03 2012 05:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

No what I'm saying is that we live in the richest country in the world and that our poor should not be judged to be not poor, because they have more then some one living in that 3rd world country.



By what standard should they be judged? And what factors should be taken into consideration?

Quote:

Everyone likes to use welfare recipients as an example, but there are plenty of hard working Americans who are in poverty due to our economy and just as many young folks with large College loans who can't find a job.



Our economy is in the midst of a bad recession, brought on by the confluence of government and business.. we shall come out of this recession and at some point, it will happen again. I know there are people who are in bad situations but to make knee jerk reaction laws to try to prevent this from happening again will almost certainly succumb to the law of unintended consequences... Because basically you are asking the people who started this mess, to fix it.




I'm quite sure that I am not the most intelligible to answer the first question, except to say that I think a countries wealth goes a long way in determining that question.

On your second point ... It hits on the point that I was trying to make about the factors that caused this rescission and are still not corrected. I agree.

The 1% I was referring to was not meant to become a tax code debate (that's a good debate), but rather it's the % of people who have put their greed above the greater good of this country and really you can add the world to that debate as well. They are still doing the same risky business that put us in this mess we are in today.
"Too big to fail" has gotten even bigger since 2007 and not enough has been done to ensure this doesn't happen again ... It's like you said. Those who should make the changes are one in the same.
Wall street and the banks are left to police themselves.

--------------------


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NickBrownsFan
Dawg Talker


Reged: Oct 25 2006
Posts: 2061


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: FL_Dawg]
      #896714 - Fri Feb 03 2012 09:10 PM

interesting debate but what does that have to do with the fact people are living free on my dime? I dont make alot of money Im probably close to poverty. I have what I need because I earn it. I have no need to tax the rich to help me. I have no need for the gov to pay my rent and let the landlord charge outragous rents to the Gov and thus raise all the rents in the area.
I dont need gov assistance to pay my gas bill and dont think the gov should make us pay for the utility comps muck ups (see Puco) while I get taxed yet again for assistance programs for the needy.

I dont need the gov telling me I have to have health insureance because it cost them to much to pay for others if you dont get it we will tax you the amount you should pay.

Why didnt the bill this year pass in Ohio that would have leveled the playing field of gov workers with normal workers? Because they get a steady ride steady raises and all the benefits while the normal joe worker gets stiffed paying the bill for the 25% guy.they out number probably all the workers in Ohio.
If the biggest employer (of all companys combined) in the state is the Gov you have problems that lay way deeper then the 1%

Its a nice pipe dream to believe that some rich guy is holding the country down and can fix the gov spending money to secure votes but its nothing but a pipe dream.

Remember your rights.
You have the right to own land
You have the right to bare arms to protect your life and propery
You have the right to choice of religion
and you have the right to freedom.

I dont see in there anywhere you have the right to be taxed no matter what percentile you fall in.

The only people who favor taxes as way to advance a country are politicians and poor people. The only reason this country has actaully survived is because we are a republic and not a dem. The politicians know this and thus create a class dependent people of greater numbers then the actual working class so that we can call it a democracy but we wont all just wont step up and put this on the ballot

Vote for only 1
No taxes
Taxes as they are with increases as seen fit by your gov.

Wonder which would win.

Did you know that the taxes on your phone bill were from the spanish american war? That was a tax on the ultra wealthy at the time and although it has been repealed and brought back a number of times the general idea was a tax on the super wealthy.

Once you bring a tax into place it really never goes away. The Gov continues to borrow against SS yet cuts their benefits then crys they dont have any money. Whos falt is that the 1%

I can see your point in that we had a time where companies were raiding pension funds and that was totally wrong however as you said that could have been corrected by who? The Gov. The big spending Gov that wont cant and refuses to live within its means and asks me the guy trying to stay above water but refusing to ask for handouts for more and more and more while trying to keep people in line by using the 1%

Heck the people telling us this (the politicians) are almost in the top 10%.

Finally ask why is a person willing to spend millions of dollars to get a job paying 100,000's? What doesnt add up there?

Ouch I fell off my soap box. Im done now.

--------------------
If you need 3 years to be a winner you got here 2 years to early. Get it done Browns.


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FloridaFan
Legend


Reged: Sep 10 2006
Posts: 12727


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: FL_Dawg]
      #896720 - Fri Feb 03 2012 09:22 PM

jc,,,


I recently read somewhere that if you make 350k or more, your in the top 1% of earners in this country.


I would consider that well to do, but not wealthy.

--------------------
Growing Old Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional.


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FloridaFan
Legend


Reged: Sep 10 2006
Posts: 12727


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: FloridaFan]
      #896721 - Fri Feb 03 2012 09:24 PM

found this

Quote:


It's usually considered impolite to ask how much money someone makes, but that question is at the forefront of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Protesters announce they are among the 99 percent of income earners who aren't getting the financial and tax benefits the top 1 percent receives.

So just how much do you have to earn to be part of the elite 1 percent?

That depends on whose figures you use.

Based on 2009 tax year filing data, the Internal Revenue Service says an adjusted gross income, or AGI, of $343,927 or more will put you in the top 1 percent of taxpayers.
z



LINK

--------------------
Growing Old Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional.


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Ballpeen
Legend


Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 21251


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: NickBrownsFan]
      #896723 - Fri Feb 03 2012 09:27 PM

The bottom line is President Obama is a Socialist and the majority in this country are stupid or on government assistance.

As Neil Boortz says, we have become a nation full of mooches and leeches.

--------------------
If everybody had like minds, we would never learn.






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NickBrownsFan
Dawg Talker


Reged: Oct 25 2006
Posts: 2061


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Ballpeen]
      #896732 - Fri Feb 03 2012 09:59 PM

Quote:

The bottom line is President Obama is a Socialist and the majority in this country are stupid or on government assistance.

As Neil Boortz says, we have become a nation full of mooches and leeches.




That is so sad and so true. I got a bunch of college loans and cant find a job working for the gov for 75K~200 a year its the gov fault AND they want the money back? Hey I will just live on them then, its the 1% fault. I get section 8 pay my rent and they want me to actually have to pay 35$ week for my 1200$ month house?
I get food stamps or WIC and they wnat me to actually get a job? I can now get a cell phone??? give me a break. I pay for my stuff and if I cant afford it then I cant have it. Plain and simple.
Guys standing on the side of the freeway asking for handouts making 100$ a day because people feel 'sorry" for them all the while they get every hand out from the Gov there is and want more.
Mean while Im killing myself to make a living and keep off/up the Gov assistance programs AND paying his rent childs health care utilities and cell phone?

In the mean time dudes rolling with a Lexus while I drive a Chevy from 1990.

--------------------
If you need 3 years to be a winner you got here 2 years to early. Get it done Browns.


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RocketOptimist
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Reged: Jun 25 2010
Posts: 1999
Loc: Toledo, Ohio

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Ballpeen]
      #896738 - Fri Feb 03 2012 10:16 PM

Two part reply to Peen and Nick....

Quote:

The bottom line is President Obama is a Socialist




How is this any different than those who argued that Bush was a facist? Is it possible for us as a country to move away from polarizing rhetoric which has no backing?

Quote:

and the majority in this country are stupid or on government assistance.




Don't attack the victim. Those who have the power and control in this country want it this way. No one in power wants smart and enlightened citizens.

Quote:

I got a bunch of college loans and cant find a job working for the gov for 75K~200 a year its the gov fault AND they want the money back? Hey I will just live on them then, its the 1% fault.




It's not entirely their fault. College has been marketed as a job factory for the past ten years. I'm not sure if you've been to a university open house the past decade but all universities guaranteed a degree would get you a well paying job. Should the students done some research into a career after the degree? Of course they should have but the general consensus was that "Don't worry, everything will be ok as long as you get a degree from our University."


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NickBrownsFan
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Posts: 2061


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: RocketOptimist]
      #896741 - Fri Feb 03 2012 10:46 PM

Although I can see most your points I do have some problems with other parts.

The victim part really I dont agree with. They know the system and we the tax payers are more the victim then the mochers. They know the system and play it to the fullest. I do agree though that the powers that be want them to act like victims and keep them in check.

As for the college part yeah you are right they should have done some research but on the other hand it should have been A into the field of study and B as with any loan How am I going to pay this back? If a car salesperson says hey you can afford this car and you buy it not paying attention to if you really could afford it who made out? As you said the college why because the GOV gave those loans and who payed for those loans? We did.
Should I be expected to pay for loans that went into default (much like what happened to housing) because expectations didnt meet results? Should the 1% or any percent be expected to pay for that?

So now a person has a Degree and doesnt have a job Ive paid for the degree along with everyone else they default on the loan and say its someone else's fault? Who's, oh yeah the 1%. You hit much closer to the nail then they did (the tax 1%ers) and when its all said and done they will find a job and make much more then me off my dime.

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If you need 3 years to be a winner you got here 2 years to early. Get it done Browns.


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FL_Dawg
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Reged: May 04 2008
Posts: 6848
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Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: NickBrownsFan]
      #896743 - Fri Feb 03 2012 11:04 PM

Man you really brought up some good points, but I have to reiterate that the 1% of the population is what I was making reference to and not the 1% of the highest tax base that being another issue. I'm talking about the few hundred crooks on wall street and some of the biggest bankers who gambled the greater prosperity for all and there is really nothing from stopping them from causing an even bigger calamity.

We had a bill that helped to keep the balance and it got killed in 1987 IIRC by the Clinton administration and now there are no breaks.

Why do we have breaks on cars?

To stop ... Nope it's so we can go fast.

I know that there are many other things that need fixing and you hit on many of the same things I think of as well.

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YTownBrownsFan
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Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 30759
Loc: YTown, Ohio

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: RocketOptimist]
      #896755 - Sat Feb 04 2012 12:18 AM

I'm curious ...... for those who believe so .......... in what was was Bush a fascist?

He expanded Medicare and Medicaid ..... expanded and increased the EITC and Child Tax Credits ...... created the Medicare prescription plan ....... used a trillion dollars for the TARP bailout fund .......... he increased funds available for first time home buyers, and college students .......

He did cut taxes on everyone ....... including you, if you pay taxes .... because he increased the individual deduction and also lowered the bottom rate to 10% from 15%. He then also increased the limits on each bracket.

He did not pursue a "1 race" solution in any way. In fact, he appointed the first 2 black Secretaries of State in US history, the first black National Security Advisor, and so on. This type of activity flies in strict disagreement with a fascist view of a one race country/government. He also reached out to Muslims after 9-11 ..... despite many calling for their heads. That flies in the face of a monotheistic approach. Further, Bush tried to get his agenda through by being nice to the opposition, at least at first ...... by having people like Ted Kennedy and others to the White House to help work on policy. He didn't blast them on TV and say how he wanted to work with them while avoiding it at every opportunity, he actually did work with them. Hardly a fascist approach.

None of that is fascist behavior. The first paragraph is far closer to socialist behavior.What was fascist?

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Welcome to the Browns Coach Pettine.

Hope you survive the experience.


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Tulsa
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Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: YTownBrownsFan]
      #896767 - Sat Feb 04 2012 05:30 AM

Man y'all get really windy on this subject and the real answer is so simple.

Who are the poor in this country?

The people who want to draft RG3, especially those that want to move up to get him.

I read those posts and just shake my head thinking, "poor folks, they're just ".



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Pdawg
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Reged: Sep 10 2006
Posts: 9663


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Tulsa]
      #897425 - Mon Feb 06 2012 02:41 PM

j/k

When we talk about what the poor have, what poor people are we talking about? Those in government housing with low rent? With the reduced cost of living they can afford "creature comforts" others cannot afford at the same wages. Are we talking about the elderly who live on social security? Many of whom own their own homes with money saved.

As far as those two groups above they may be considered poor but do make enough money to buy some of the above items and I can't fault them for it. I do find it irresponsible for those in government housing to have high end things on the list but there is really no way to regulate it.


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NickBrownsFan
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Reged: Oct 25 2006
Posts: 2061


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Pdawg]
      #897573 - Mon Feb 06 2012 09:13 PM

perhaps yiou should look at the mom that works 2 jobs pays daycare and eats maybe once a day to keep her childern feed while taking nothing from the Gov becasue well shes working and making above what would be poverty?

That person is poor.

Maybe look at the guy living in the bushes off I-90 at W117 exit and the police move in and clean out what little he has into a dumpster and tell him to move on perhaps he is poor as well?

The person getting food stamps working at not working and getting free housing all the while driving around in a better car and now getting cell phones isnt poor. They are living off my dime and the Politicans will drive him to the polling station to vote every time.

The poorest citys in the county are all kept content so that the Politicians can keep their jobs making 3 figures as long as the poor continue to live like me for free.
JUST VOTE.

--------------------
If you need 3 years to be a winner you got here 2 years to early. Get it done Browns.


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Ballpeen
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Posts: 21251


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: NickBrownsFan]
      #897576 - Mon Feb 06 2012 09:26 PM

No doubt Dems buy votes.

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If everybody had like minds, we would never learn.






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FL_Dawg
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Reged: May 04 2008
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Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Ballpeen]
      #897579 - Mon Feb 06 2012 09:43 PM

Quote:

No doubt Dems buy votes.




By pacification.

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brownsfan1508
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Reged: Sep 29 2006
Posts: 570
Loc: Kent/Steubenville, OH

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Ballpeen]
      #897603 - Tue Feb 07 2012 01:04 AM

I agree. I also think the powerful corporations buy the republicans. Therefore no one speaks for you or me.

I work hard, but at the end of the day I bring home more than enough money to support myself, even if I'm drivin a '97 rust bucket with 174000 miles on it, have a 15 year old TV, and a 7 year old computer. I wouldn't be a better person with new stuff, just as my character is not determined by my older stuff. I think it would do our society a great deal of good to "do without" some things. The materialistic, entitled, stance our society has, disgusts me.

I like to add personal stories that relate to my posts, and here's one regarding entitlement: I work as a meat cutter, and the store I work for provides a training program for those who are interested and show work ethic. Once I finished school, and didn't want to move out of state, that quickly became plan B for me.

I had about 10 years of experience as a wrapper, and put my letter of intent in. I was quickly put into the program. Well a couple of people weren't happy that I was promoted over them. These folks are always late, lazy, and generally unknowledgeable. They screamed it was unfair, since I left the company to go to school I was under them in Seniority.

They didn't see that I worked hard and went above and beyond what was asked of me. Just that it wasn't fair I make more money than them. They even went as far as telling me "it shouldn't matter how hard you work, you don't deserve it"

I think that situation represents a sad microcosm of our society as a whole. As always JMHO


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Ballpeen
Legend


Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 21251


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: brownsfan1508]
      #897612 - Tue Feb 07 2012 06:03 AM

No doubt corporations support candidates, who might mostly be republican.

The difference is corporations can't vote in elections, and while some may disagree, I think the favors they seek by giving their support aren't to the determent of the American worker. IMO if it is good for the business, it is good for the workers as well.

In the case of the democrats/socialists, simply giving people money in the name of social support programs bogs this nation down.

I am of the opinion that once a person has been on public assistance for a given person of time, say a year or two, they shouldn't be able to vote. To me it's the same as if corporations were allowed to cast votes X number of times based on how much money they provided..

It's a conflict of interest IMO.

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If everybody had like minds, we would never learn.






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DCDAWGFAN
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Reged: Sep 12 2006
Posts: 29778


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Ballpeen]
      #897631 - Tue Feb 07 2012 08:36 AM

No doubt. My kids think I'm father of the year when I'm giving them stuff... when I make them work for it, I lose their vote.

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I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!!!!


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waterdawg
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Reged: Sep 10 2006
Posts: 5402
Loc: Back home now !

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: DCDAWGFAN]
      #897667 - Tue Feb 07 2012 11:16 AM

Child abuse !

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Pdawg
Hall of Famer


Reged: Sep 10 2006
Posts: 9663


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: NickBrownsFan]
      #897677 - Tue Feb 07 2012 11:43 AM

Quote:

perhaps yiou should look at the mom that works 2 jobs pays daycare and eats maybe once a day to keep her childern feed while taking nothing from the Gov becasue well shes working and making above what would be poverty?

That person is poor.

Maybe look at the guy living in the bushes off I-90 at W117 exit and the police move in and clean out what little he has into a dumpster and tell him to move on perhaps he is poor as well?

The person getting food stamps working at not working and getting free housing all the while driving around in a better car and now getting cell phones isnt poor. They are living off my dime and the Politicans will drive him to the polling station to vote every time.

The poorest citys in the county are all kept content so that the Politicians can keep their jobs making 3 figures as long as the poor continue to live like me for free.
JUST VOTE.




Without a doubt those people are poor. The point I was trying to make (apparently badly) is there is a way to explain away the amount of poor who have some of the items mentioned. I believe it can skew the facts as to how many of the truly poor have these items.


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PDR
Legend


Reged: Sep 10 2006
Posts: 10232


Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: Ballpeen]
      #898299 - Thu Feb 09 2012 02:22 PM

Quote:


The difference is corporations can't vote in elections, and while some may disagree, I think the favors they seek by giving their support aren't to the determent of the American worker. IMO if it is good for the business, it is good for the workers as well.




Generally, most of the stuff on the federal levels has nothing to do with the workers. They're not really impacted positively or negatively. The guy who manages a Verizon store isn't going to be living any larger because Verizon got a federal subsidy.

But there are some things, like minimum wage, that certainly have an effect on the worker, and generally the corporate lobbies don't have them in mind, for obvious reasons.

The problem with corporate money in politics is that corporations accumulate a lot of clout in terms of what happens legislatively in our country, yet they have no real allegiance to the country. Their allegiance is, understandably, to themselves. So you have a source of immense influence, who will tend to push for things that benefit them, but not necessarily the greater good of the country. This isn't limited to corporations; to an extent you can catalog unions and other lobby groups in there. But there's an inherent flaw in having a government that's heavily influenced by entities that, in the end, have no real allegiance to the country itself.

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PETE314
Dawg Talker


Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 2507
Loc: Mentor, Ohio

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: brownsfan1508]
      #899305 - Mon Feb 13 2012 08:00 AM

Quote:

I agree. I also think the powerful corporations buy the republicans.


This is a the biggest CROCK I have heard yet. Corporations don't buy Republicans...They Buy POLITICIANS!!!!

You are completely off of your rocker if you don't think the Democrats and Independants aren't in bed with the Corporations. and in bed HEAVY!!!! It is a media sham that has most of the public thinking that Repubicans support Corporations and Democrats support Workers...

Corporations lobby ALL SIDES of the aisle because they are SMART and as Phil mentioned are looking out for their own interests. They have been able to do what The common people have not been able to do...which is ORGANIZE, and Influence Legislation towards those interests.

Do you honestly think they have been able to do that by working JUST on the Republicans???? Heck they are playing All sides AT THE SAME TIME...
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Someone mentioned something about Colleges marketing as job trainers(or something close to that)......and as such it is not the students fault because they were duped into that thinking....

I say Horsepucky!!!!!! So what...they can market themselves as job creators.....it is still up to the BUYER to make sure the claims are true before purchasing the product. I mean Fruity Pebbles is being Marketed as being part of a Healthy Breakfast ...But that doesn't mean I want my kid ingesting all that sugar every single day.

WHERE IS THE SENSE OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY?????? Somewhere, somehow, SOMETIME.....we have got to start taking responsibility FOR OUR OWN CHOICES AND ACTIONS.

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I thought I was wrong once....but I was mistaken...

What's the use of wearing your lucky rocketship underpants if nobody wants to see them????


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FL_Dawg
Hall of Famer


Reged: May 04 2008
Posts: 6848
Loc: Austinburg OH

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: PETE314]
      #899362 - Mon Feb 13 2012 11:08 AM

well said.

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clevesteve
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Reged: Feb 04 2007
Posts: 9721
Loc: Pflugerville, TX

Re: Just who are the poor in this country? [Re: PETE314]
      #899379 - Mon Feb 13 2012 11:43 AM

I thought this was a good article. Seemed like best-fit was in this thread.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/us/even-critics-of-safety-net-increasingly-depend-on-it.html

Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It

LINDSTROM, Minn. — Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government.

He says that too many Americans lean on taxpayers rather than living within their means. He supports politicians who promise to cut government spending. In 2010, he printed T-shirts for the Tea Party campaign of a neighbor, Chip Cravaack, who ousted this region’s long-serving Democratic congressman.

Yet this year, as in each of the past three years, Mr. Gulbranson, 57, is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice.

There is little poverty here in Chisago County, northeast of Minneapolis, where cheap housing for commuters is gradually replacing farmland. But Mr. Gulbranson and many other residents who describe themselves as self-sufficient members of the American middle class and as opponents of government largess are drawing more deeply on that government with each passing year.

Dozens of benefits programs provided an average of $6,583 for each man, woman and child in the county in 2009, a 69 percent increase from 2000 after adjusting for inflation. In Chisago, and across the nation, the government now provides almost $1 in benefits for every $4 in other income.

Older people get most of the benefits, primarily through Social Security and Medicare, but aid for the rest of the population has increased about as quickly through programs for the disabled, the unemployed, veterans and children.

The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last year.

And as more middle-class families like the Gulbransons land in the safety net in Chisago and similar communities, anger at the government has increased alongside. Many people say they are angry because the government is wasting money and giving money to people who do not deserve it. But more than that, they say they want to reduce the role of government in their own lives. They are frustrated that they need help, feel guilty for taking it and resent the government for providing it. They say they want less help for themselves; less help in caring for relatives; less assistance when they reach old age.

The expansion of government benefits has become an issue in the presidential campaign. Rick Santorum, who won 57 percent of the vote in Chisago County in the Republican presidential caucuses last week, has warned of “the narcotic of government dependency.” Newt Gingrich has compared the safety net to a spider web. Mitt Romney has said the nation must choose between an “entitlement society” and an “opportunity society.” All the candidates, including Ron Paul, have promised to cut spending and further reduce taxes.

The problem by now is familiar to most. Politicians have expanded the safety net without a commensurate increase in revenues, a primary reason for the government’s annual deficits and mushrooming debt. In 2000, federal and state governments spent about 37 cents on the safety net from every dollar they collected in revenue, according to a New York Times analysis. A decade later, after one Medicare expansion, two recessions and three rounds of tax cuts, spending on the safety net consumed nearly 66 cents of every dollar of revenue.

The recent recession increased dependence on government, and stronger economic growth would reduce demand for programs like unemployment benefits. But the long-term trend is clear. Over the next 25 years, as the population ages and medical costs climb, the budget office projects that benefits programs will grow faster than any other part of government, driving the federal debt to dangerous heights.

Americans are divided about the way forward. Seventy percent of respondents to a recent New York Times poll said the government should raise taxes. Fifty-six percent supported cuts in Medicare and Social Security. Forty-four percent favored both.

Support for spending cuts runs strong in Chisago, where anger at the government helped fuel Mr. Cravaack’s upset victory in 2010 over James L. Oberstar, the Democrat who had represented northeast Minnesota for 36 years.

“Spending like this is simply unsustainable, and it’s time to cut up Washington, D.C.’s credit card,” Mr. Cravaack said in a February speech to the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce. “It may hurt now, but it will be absolutely deadly for the next generation — that’s our children and our grandchildren.”

But the reality of life here is that Mr. Gulbranson and many of his neighbors continue to take as much help from the government as they can get. When pressed to choose between paying more and taking less, many people interviewed here hemmed and hawed and said they could not decide. Some were reduced to tears. It is much easier to promise future restraint than to deny present needs.

“How do you tell someone that you deserve to have heart surgery and you can’t?” Mr. Gulbranson said.

He paused.

“You have to help and have compassion as a people, because otherwise you have no society, but financially you can’t destroy yourself. And that is what we’re doing.”

He paused again, unable to resolve the dilemma.

“I feel bad for my children.”

Middle-Class Blues

Mr. Gulbranson has tried several ways to make a living in the storefront he bought from his father in 1979. He ran a gift shop, then shifted to selling jewelry. Nine years ago, he moved the gold scales to the back and bought equipment for screen-printing clothing. Through it all, he has never made more than about $46,000 in a year.

Meanwhile, the cost of life — and of raising five children — has climbed inexorably.

“I used to go out and try to have a meal at Perkins, which is a restaurant here, and get out of the store with $5,” Mr. Gulbranson said. “And now it’s probably up to $10.”

In recent years he has earned so little that he did not pay federal income taxes, although he still paid thousands of dollars toward Medicare and Social Security. The earned-income tax credit is intended to offset those payroll taxes, to encourage people with lower-paying jobs to remain in the work force.

Mr. Gulbranson said the money covered the fees for his children’s sports leagues and the cost of keeping the older ones on the family’s car insurance.

“If we didn’t get these government things, then probably my kids could not participate in some of the sports they do,” he said.

Almost half of all Americans lived in households that received government benefits in 2010, according to the Census Bureau. The share climbed from 37.7 percent in 1998 to 44.5 percent in 2006, before the recession, to 48.5 percent in 2010.

The trend reflects the expansion of the safety net. When the earned-income credit was introduced in 1975, eligibility was limited to households making the current equivalent of up to $26,997. In 2010, it was available to families making up to $49,317. The maximum payout, meanwhile, quadrupled on an inflation-adjusted basis.

It also reflects the deterioration of the middle class. Chisago boomed and prospered for decades as working families packed new subdivisions along Interstate 35, which runs up the western edge of the county like a flagpole with its base set firmly in Minneapolis. But recent years have been leaner. Per capita income in Chisago excluding government aid fell 6 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis between 2000 and 2007. Over the next two years, it fell an additional 7 percent. Nationally, per capita income excluding government benefits fell by 3 percent over the same 10 years.

Mr. Gulbranson’s business struggled as other companies, particularly construction firms, stopped ordering logo-emblazoned shirts. In 2009, the family claimed the earned-income credit for the first time on the advice of their accountant, who was claiming it for herself. The share of local families claiming the credit climbed 33 percent between 2000 and 2008, the most recent year for which data are available.

To make extra money, Mr. Gulbranson refereed 40 soccer games on Tuesday and Thursday nights last fall. His wife sold clothes at equestrian events and air-brushed novelties at craft fairs, driving around the country with a one-ton trailer hitched to a 20-foot van.

Their difficulties, Mr. Gulbranson said, have made it hard to imagine asking anyone to pay higher taxes.

“I don’t think most people could bear to pay more,” he said.

Instead, he said he would rather give up the earned-income credit the family now receives and start paying for school lunches for his children.

“I don’t demand that the government does this for me,” he said. “I don’t feel like I need the government.”

How about Social Security? And Medicare? Can he imagine retiring without government help?

“I don’t think so,” he said. “No. I don’t know. Not the way we expect to live as Americans.”

A Starring Role

Bob Kopka and his wife often drive to the American Legion hall in North Branch on Thursday nights, joining the crowd gathered in the basement bar for the weekly meat raffle. Almost everyone present relies on the government to pay for their medical care.

Mr. Kopka, 74, has had three heart procedures in recent years. His wife recently had surgery to remove cataracts from both eyes.

Without Medicare, Mr. Kopka said, the couple could not have paid for the treatments.

“Hell, no,” he said. “No. Never. She would have to go blind.”

And him?

“I’d die.”

Few federal programs are more popular than Medicare, which along with Social Security assures a minimum quality of life for older Americans.

None are more central to the nation’s financial problems. The Congressional Budget Office projects that government spending on medical benefits, even taking into account the cost containment measures in the 2010 health care law, will rise 60 percent over the next decade. Then it will start rising even more quickly. The cost of caring for each beneficiary continues to increase, and the government projects that Medicare enrollment will grow by roughly one-third as baby boomers enter old age.

Spending on medical benefits will account for a larger share of the projected increase in the federal budget over the next decade than any other kind of spending except interest payments on the federal debt.

Medicare’s starring role in the nation’s financial problems is not well understood. Only 22 percent of respondents to the New York Times poll correctly identified Medicare as the fastest-growing benefits program. A greater number of respondents, 27 percent, chose programs for the poor. That category, which includes Medicaid, is slightly larger than Medicare today but is projected to add only half as much to federal spending over the next decade.

Medicare’s financial problems are much worse than Social Security’s. A worker earning average wages still pays enough in Social Security taxes to cover the benefits the worker is likely to receive in retirement, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute. Social Security is still running out of money because the program must also support spouses who do not work and workers who earn lower wages. But Medicare’s situation is even more dire because a worker earning average wages still contributes only $1 in Medicare taxes for every $3 in benefits likely to be received in retirement.

A woman who was 45 in 2010, earning $43,500 a year, will pay taxes that will reach a value of $87,000 by the time she retires, assuming the money is invested at an annual interest rate 2 percentage points above inflation, according to the Urban Institute analysis. But on average, the government will then spend $275,000 on her medical care. The average is somewhat lower for men, because women live longer.

Medicare is often described as an insurance program, but its premiums are not nearly high enough. In simple terms, Americans are getting more than they pay for.

But many older residents in Chisago say this problem belongs to younger generations. They paid what they were told; they want to collect what they were promised.

Some, like the Kopkas, have savings they can tap. Mr. Kopka still owns the landscaping business he started after leaving the Navy in the early 1960s. He and his wife own a three-bedroom home on three acres, valued by the county at $153,700. The mortgage is paid. They hope to pass the house to their children.

Others have nothing else. Barbara Sullivan, 71, moved last year to the apartments above the Chisago County Senior Center in North Branch. Waiting on a recent Friday for the hot lunch, which costs $3.50, she watched roughly 20 people play bingo for prizes including canned soup and Chef Boyardee pasta.

“Most of the seniors around here are struggling to make it,” she said.

She counts herself among them. She lives on $1,220 a month in Social Security benefits and relied on Medicare to pay for an operation in November.

She believes that she is taking more from the government than she paid in taxes. She worries about the consequences for her grandchildren. She said she would like politicians to propose solutions.

“We’re reasonable people,” she said. “We’re not going to say, ‘Give it to me and let my grandchildren suffer.’ I think they underestimate seniors when they think that way.”

But she cannot imagine asking people to pay higher taxes. And as she considered making do with less, she started to cry.

“Without it, I’m not sure how I would live,” she said. “With the check I’m getting from Social Security, it’s a constant struggle on making sure that I pay my rent and have enough left for groceries.

“I haven’t bought a Christmas present, I haven’t bought clothing in the last five years, simply because I can’t afford it.”



Keeping a Promise

Representative Cravaack often says he entered politics to lift the burden of debt from the shoulders of his two sons.

“I vision that I open up their backpacks and I put in a 50-pound rock and zip it back up again,” Mr. Cravaack told the Minnesota Freedom Council in October 2010. “And I say, ‘Sorry, son, you’re going to have to hump this the rest of your life.’ Because that’s exactly what we’re doing to our national debt right now to our children.”

Mr. Cravaack, a 53-year-old Navy veteran and a retired pilot for Northwest Airlines, was grounded by sleep apnea in 2007. He and his wife, an executive at the drug company Novo Nordisk, decided he would stay home with their sons. He soon became the first man to serve as president of the Chisago Lakes Parent Teacher Organization.

In August 2009, while driving the children to North Branch, he heard a talk radio host urging people to protest President Obama’s health care legislation. Mr. Cravaack and about two dozen others spent more than two hours the next day in Mr. Oberstar’s North Branch office before a staff member told them the congressman would not meet them. The rejection convinced Mr. Cravaack that Mr. Oberstar should be replaced. One of the other protesters, a woman who had taken her six children to the office, became Mr. Cravaack’s campaign scheduler.

Two weeks after speaking to the Freedom Council, he beat Mr. Oberstar by 1.6 percentage points, or 4,407 votes. Voters in Chisago, the southern tip of an expansive district, provided the margin of victory.

“We have to break away,” Mr. Cravaack told supporters, “from relying on government to provide all the answers.”

Mr. Cravaack has said he drew unemployment benefits during a furlough from Northwest in the early 1990s. He did not respond to several requests for an interview, nor to an e-mail with questions about his views and about whether his family has drawn on other benefits programs. This account is based on a review of his public statements.

Shortly after arriving in Congress, Mr. Cravaack voted with a vast majority of House Republicans for a plan to remake Medicare by providing money to its beneficiaries to buy private insurance. Senate Democrats have rejected that plan.

But Mr. Cravaack has also consistently said the government should not reduce its largest category of spending — benefits for the current generation of retirees. He also says he does not support cuts for people who will turn 65 over the next decade.

“If you’re 55 years and older, you don’t have to listen to this conversation because we have to keep those promises,” Mr. Cravaack told The Daily Caller last April. “People like myself, 52, if you’re 54 or younger, we’re going to have a conversation.”

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

The government helps Matt Falk and his wife care for their disabled 14-year-old daughter. It pays for extra assistance at school and for trained attendants to stay with her at home while they work. It pays much of the cost of her regular visits to the hospital.

Mr. Falk, 42, would like the government to do less.

“She doesn’t need some of the stuff that we’re doing for her,” said Mr. Falk, who owns a heating and air-conditioning business in North Branch. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing if society can afford it, but given the situation that our society is facing, we just have to say that we can’t offer as much resources at school or that we need to pay a higher premium” for her medical care.

Mr. Falk, who voted for Mr. Cravaack, said he did not want to pay higher taxes and did not want the government to impose higher taxes on anyone else. He said that his family appreciated the government’s help and that living with less would be painful for them and many other families. But he said the government could not continue to operate on borrowed money.

“They’re going to have to reduce benefits,” he said. “We’re going to have to accept it, and we’re going to have to suffer.”

One of the oldest criticisms of democracy is that the people will inevitably drain the treasury by demanding more spending than taxes. The theory is that citizens who get more than they pay for will vote for politicians who promise to increase spending.

But Dean P. Lacy, a professor of political science at Dartmouth College, has identified a twist on that theme in American politics over the last generation. Support for Republican candidates, who generally promise to cut government spending, has increased since 1980 in states where the federal government spends more than it collects. The greater the dependence, the greater the support for Republican candidates.

Conversely, states that pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits tend to support Democratic candidates. And Professor Lacy found that the pattern could not be explained by demographics or social issues.

Chisago has shifted over 30 years from dependably Democratic to reliably Republican. Support for the Republican presidential candidate has increased relative to the national vote in each election since 1984. Senator John McCain won 55 percent of the vote here in 2008.

Residents say social issues play a role, but in recent years concerns about spending and taxes have predominated.

Voters in the North Branch school district have rejected increased financing for local schools in each of the past three years. In 2010, the district switched to a four-day school week, striking Monday from the calendar to save money.

Some of the fiercest advocates for spending cuts have drawn public benefits. Many, like Mr. Falk, have family members who rely on the government. They often cite that personal experience as the reason they want to cut government spending.

Brian Qualley, 49, has a sister who survived a brain tumor but was disabled by its removal. The government pays for her care at an assisted-living facility. Their mother scrapes by on Social Security.

Mr. Qualley said that the government should provide for those who need help, but that too much money was being wasted. Mr. Qualley, who owns a tattoo parlor in Harris, north of North Branch, said some of his customers paid with money from government disability checks.

“They’re getting $300 or $400 tattoos, and they’re wearing nice new Nike shoes that I can’t afford,” he said, looking up from working a complicated design into the left leg of a middle-aged woman. “I guess I shouldn’t say it because it’s my business, but I think a tattoo is a little too extravagant.”

But Mr. Qualley said he did not want to reduce benefits for the current generation of retirees. Rather, he said his own generation should get less, because they have time to prepare. This is a common position among the young and healthy in Chisago.

Mr. Qualley said he was saving some money for retirement, although, he added, “I don’t have a 401(k) or anything like that.”

“I also have a job that I don’t necessarily ever want to — or have to — retire from,” he said.

What if his hands start to shake as he gets older?

“Actually,” he said, the electric needle falling silent in his hand, “it’s my shoulders and neck that bother me most.”

Safety in Numbers

Barbara Nelson has little patience for people who say they will not need government help. She considers herself lucky she has not, and obligated to provide for those who do.

“Catastrophes happen in life,” she said, sitting in a coffee shop in Taylors Falls. “To be so arrogant that you think it won’t happen to you, that somehow you’re going to be one of the special ones, I disagree with that.”

Ms. Nelson, 61, who describes herself as a centrist Democrat, also dismisses the claim that people cannot afford to pay more taxes.

“Anyone who can come into a coffee shop and buy coffee is capable of paying more,” she said. “If someone’s life can be granted, in terms of adequate health care, if that means I give up five cups of coffee a month, that is a small price to pay.”

Gordy Peterson, 62, who has used a wheelchair for 30 years since a construction accident, has reluctantly reached a similar conclusion.

“I’m a conservative,” he said by way of introducing himself. He built his own house before his injury and paid for it in cash. He still thinks the government should operate that way. He never intended to depend on federal aid and said he sometimes felt guilty about it.

But for the last three decades, he has received a regular check from the Social Security disability insurance program, and Medicare has helped to pay his medical bills.

“Here I’m getting money, and everybody is struggling,” he said. “Even though it ain’t no cakewalk for me.”

Mr. Peterson used a workers’ compensation settlement to buy a farm that he managed with his brother-in-law, who is mentally handicapped and also on government disability.

“He was my legs, and we worked it,” Mr. Peterson said.

They grew corn, soybeans and rye, and even kept steers for a while. In good years they earned enough to live on. In bad years they lived on the government’s checks. Life would have been very difficult without them, he said.

Mr. Peterson, an easygoing man who looks down when he thinks and smiles sheepishly when he offers an opinion, looked down after completing the story of his own dependence on the safety net.

“It’s hard to beat up on the government when they’ve been so good to you,” he finally said. “I’ve never really thought about it, I guess.”

Lately, the government has been very good, indeed. The county, with federal financing, bought a corner of Mr. Peterson’s farm to build a new interchange for Interstate 35. He used the money to open a gas station at the edge of the farm in 2008 to serve the traffic that rolls off the new ramp. The business is prospering, and he no longer worries that he will need to depend on Social Security.

“But you can’t take that away,” he said. “My own sister has only Social Security. That’s all. That’s all she’s going to have. And if you take that away from her, Christ, she’d be a street person. I don’t think we can cut them off on that.”

How about higher taxes?

Maybe a little higher, he said. Maybe.

“I’m glad I’m not a politician,” he said. “We’re all going to complain no matter what they do. Nobody wants to put a noose around their own neck.”


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