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Comment Re: It's pretty simple (Score 1) 269

So believing what Hamilton, Jefferson and Madison put in writing during the ratification debates about what the phrase meant is arguing the writers on the Constitution were unable to properly express themselves??? You obviously didn't bother to read the quotes from them in the link.

I'm not twisting anything. The real puzzle is why some people have created this myth that it somehow includes everything. Standard legal construction (for hundreds of years) is to read phrases as adding meaning to the text, not being superfluous. If it can cover any kind of spending, then there would have been no point in adding it to the Constitution. Only if it expresses a limitation on what kind of spending is allowed does it convey a meaning.

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 353

For a consumption tax, you don't have to track people's purchases. Instead, you track people's sales and the tax is collected by the seller.

In terms of privacy, this is much better, as you pretty much already know that Widget Corp. is a seller of Widgets and the government doesn't need to collect exactly _who_ they sold widgets to, just how much they sold them all for.

In terms of tracking, 90% of the States currently already track sales. It's how they collect State-level sales taxes. Piggybacking on an existing system is much cheaper/easier than running a completely different system, which is why most States currently piggy-back on the federal system for their income taxes.

In terms of black markets, even income made on the black market (currently untaxed due to the income tax system) gets taxed when used to consume things.

As for cheating, it's relatively simple to catch businesses cheating and they already have the structure and the . For the most part, individuals can't cheat because they're the buyers, not the sellers. You may get some used-market under the table cheating, but you can either call that a recycling incentive, or else create monetary incentives to catch it, i.e. a reward (no penalties) to any buyer who turns in a seller who sold them something without charging the tax.

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 353

It's funny how you respond to a post almost entirely about interest representing the compensation for the choice to defer consumption with no mention whatsoever of that point.

Just repeating your mistaken economic views over and over again while deriding the views of actual economists isn't very convincing. Try addressing the actual argument next time.

Comment Re: This needs to stay (Score 1) 269

you're dumb enough to esteem the judgment of a guy who hired someone dumb enough to take money from foreign sources and not report it

Oh, you're referring to the guy THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION gave a security clearance to in 2016, following a review of his business dealings in Russia? That guy? One of the reasons he didn't get even more scrutiny while being considered for that job was the fact that the previous administration had just vetted him post Russian involvement and considered him worthy of an unsponsored security clearance. Which you know, but you're pretending you don't so you can spew your usual phony ad hominem. Thanks for tending so carefully to your ongoing hypocrisy display. Continue!

Comment Re: What is needed.. (Score 4, Informative) 277

Cobal is a crazy nuanced language that is hardware specific.

Absolutely wrong. One of the language's biggest selling point when it was first created is the source code is completely hardware agnostic. To demonstrate this, the developers compiled the same program (from the same deck of punched cards) on three different brands of computer, ran the program with the same deck of input data and got the exact same results. The only change they had to make was one card in the Environment Section, and all that card did was specify the target machine.

Comment Re: It's pretty simple (Score 1) 269

There is a huge misconception many people have about promoting the general Welfare. It's a phrase that basically means no crony capitalism (which in practice tends to appear even more with socialist politicians). The general welfare is the welfare of everyone in the country, as opposed to the specific welfare of individuals or a geographic or other subset. So defense spending defends everyone, but solar panel company loan guarantees benefit only the people who buy and sell solar panels, making it out of scope for Congress' power to raise and spend money.

In terms of Energy Star specifically, it's a completely useless rating which just encourages manufacturers to have their default "energy saving" rating take say, two hours to do a load of dishes (because then the energy consumption per minute is really low!) and when consumers complain, they add a speed wash mode you can select which uses way more energy but actually does the dishes in a reasonable time.

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 353

If you want to play the extreme example game, it's a game two can play at in this discussion.

If all wealth were managed to be consumed tomorrow (apparently your ideal world), we'd have a really big party and then on the day after tomorrow life would suck horribly because we'd be in a rapid downward spiral to starvation for many.

No one has suggested no consumption. Obviously the point of growing wealth is later consumption. Ideally people decide for themselves how much investment vs consumption is useful in their life. They know their life better than others. So sure, I'd vote for absolutely no taxes to achieve that. They respond to market interest rates, which are the price accounting for the time value of consumption.

Short of that situation, the ideal tax from an economic perspective is a consumption tax, because that creates the least distortion and reduces ongoing wealth creation the least. In other words, over time it leads to the ability to consume more for everyone compared to an investment or income based tax system. If you doubt me, check with whatever economist you know.

Your example is just criticizing Alice and Bob's time preferences for consumption. If Alice's excess is as "useless" as you claim, why does Bob constantly want it? What really happened is that Alice deferred her consumption in order to create something for other's to use so that she can have more consumption later. In turn, their preference was to consume that now in return for her deferred consumption of it. How much they pay for that privilege/preference is what we call interest. Without the interest, then Alice has no incentive to defer her consumption and thus Bob ends up with no place to live and both are ultimately worse off.

Bottom line, your proposed tax distorts the market for time preferenced consumption (by taxing it and thus resulting in less of it) and in the process makes the landlords and the renters both worse off. You can say you're fighting for the renters, but making it so they have to pay more in rent and/or otherwise have no place to live isn't going to feel like "help" to them!

Comment Re:This needs to stay (Score 1, Informative) 269

It's one of the few things the EPA does that's useful and efficient. Setting a national standard is well within the things that government should do. Compared to all the really wasteful things they do this should certainly be kept.

Except it's the manufacturers that self-report their own idea of efficiency, essentially self-awarding themselves this meaningless label. You'll recall the famous experiment where someone sent in an Energy Star application featuring their design for a gasoline powered alarm clock. Which was of course granted Energy Star status, not only sight-unseen, but obviously without even a moment's critical thinking on the part of whatever bureaucratic clerk is holding the exact job that Trump very reasonably considers a waste of your taxes. If consumers want a real standard, they should embrace something the Underwriters Laboratories standard for safety. Privately run, and rigorous.

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 1) 353

The point is to encourage the increase of the overall level of wealth, i.e. have people on average be wealthier.

Your prescription is for the opposite, i.e. keeping people poor.

Distinguish between actions which create wealth, investment, and actions which consume wealth, hence the word consumption.

Any savings beyond a little cash in a mattress (i.e. real savings) is invested. Investments are what lead to wealth creation. For example, money is lent to a business to expand, equipment is purchased to make people more efficient, people are hired to work in an industry to create products or services. All of that is ultimately paid for from someone's savings.

When someone consumes a car, or food, or a shirt, or whatever, those resources are what don't return to the economy. Even if something is re-sold, it's typically worth less than it was purchased for, i.e. part was consumed and that part of the stock of wealth was destroyed.

Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 0) 353

You need to distinguish between actions which create wealth, investment, and actions which consume wealth, hence the word consumption. Don't confuse nominal money flows with the underlying reality of what happens.

Any savings beyond a little cash in a mattress (i.e. real savings) is invested. Investments are what lead to wealth creation. For example, money is lent to a business to expand, equipment is purchased to make people more efficient, people are hired to work in an industry to create products or services. All of that is ultimately paid for from someone's savings.

When someone consumes a car, or food, or a shirt, or whatever, those resources are what don't return to the economy. Even if something is re-sold, it's typically worth less than it was purchased for, i.e. part was consumed and that part of the stock of wealth was destroyed.

In terms of food, what you're trying to say is that low income earners spend a higher percentage of their income on consumption than higher income earners. What you aren't considering is that in order to get a benefit from their investments, at some point those higher income earners must consume that income. Ultimately, taxing consumption is the most fair system and the closest which corresponds to an individual's level of wealth.

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