General Question

ideabrian's avatar

After watching this video, do you think Jay Leno is pro Ron Paul?

Asked by ideabrian (404points) December 4th, 2007

It’s hard to know how Hollywood will vote, but I imagine most business folks (including actors and show people) would consider abolishing the IRS a positive thing.

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22 Answers

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I didn’t post it, I swear

Perchik's avatar

I think Jay looks like most night show hosts while interviewing a candidate. They have to appear interested while masking their own views. I don’t think Jay is biased one way or the other

Modern_Classic's avatar

I quit watching 3 minutes into the 15 min. video as it was (up to that point) nothing but RP shaking hands with a bunch of supporters and people on line in front of the broadcast building, with a loop of the Johnny Carson Tonight show theme repeating in the background.

Perchik's avatar

Yeah I skipped forward to the actually interview with leno.

sferik's avatar

…which starts 5 minutes and 26 seconds into the video.

Michael's avatar

“Taxes are the price we pay for civilized society.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

No one likes the IRS, but everyone needs it. You like highways? You benefit from firefighters and police? How about security at the airport? Or vaccines for poor children? Should we scrap small business loans? Should we toss out Pell Grants? How about the Centers for Disease Control or the National Institute of Health?

No one likes to pay taxes, and demonizing the IRS is easy. Ron Paul is not courageous for calling for the end to the IRS. Taking that position is like running for middle school class president on a “More Recess, Fewer Math Tests” platform. It’s a crowd pleaser, but it ain’t gonna happen, nor should it.

Show me a politician who says, “We need to invest in our future, and we all need to sacrifice a little now for the sake of our children,” and I’ll show you a real leader.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

most of the things u talk about our fed taxes pay are wrong. If u abloished the IRS, the fed govt will have the same revenue as in 2000. He does care about our future. Watch some more videos of him. He’s not pulling this out of his butt, it is very very possible. Plus about 40% of the fed taxes we pay, go towards nothing but interest of the paper the govt borrows

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

the key is to cut spending, especially over seas. We work about 4 months just to pay taxes. We obviously need some taxes, that doesn’t mean we pay whatever they tell us to. Especially on the fruits of our labor we the ppl need to take back control of the govt.

Michael's avatar

Look, I don’t want to get into it too much, because the talking points you just spewed out are so utterly disingenuous. But let me just address a few points.

First, if you take how much money the federal government spent on interest in 2006 ($226.6 billion) and divide it by the amount the federal government collected in income, corporate, excise, and estate taxes (which means I’m excluding all the revenue from social security taxes and the like), that comes out to less than 15%. Now you can argue, as I would, that 15% is still too high and that we need a balanced budget to so we can pay down some of that debt, but saying that we spend 40% is just completely, utterly wrong. And it’s not a matter of opinion or judgment, it’s just basic math.

Second, even if it were true that eliminating the IRS would “only” reduce government revenues to year 2000 levels, that is still a drop of over $500 billion (about 20%). You say that the key is to cut spending, “especially oversees.” Well, last year the US federal government spent a whopping $29.5 billion on international affairs (which, by the way, comes out to 1.1% of total federal spending), where do you propose we find the other $470 billion in cuts?

The problem with your position is that when faced with the real numbers, it falls apart. Either you need to advocate for some really deep cuts in programs that most Americans support and rely on (as opposed to nebulous, “cut funding oversees” bologna), or you need to admit that eliminating the IRS isn’t a serious proposal. So which is it?

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

can you please list your sources?

Do your numbers for international affairs include supplemental spending on the iraq war?

Michael's avatar

Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2008.

That’s 325 pages of budget data going back to 1789. Have at it.

As for my international affairs numbers, no, they do not include supplemental spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but neither do any of my other numbers. That funding is separate. Ending the war in Iraq would not change single number in my previous post.

I’m still waiting, by the way, for your list of programs totaling $470 billion that you would cut. Those budget documents should help you find a few.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Im still reading. I have a quick question from that link that I have observed.
In 1913 the Federal Reserve was created.
1917 our debt was $3 billion
1930 16 billion
1946 242 billion
1976 477 billion
1992 3 trillion
currently 9.1 trillion
Where does this money come from? Has this devalued the money that I make?
Notice how expensive things have gotten since then? A bag of chips used to be a .25 ten years ago, now its $1. In the past ten years, everything has gone up but my pay.

drumbo's avatar

Michael, while your quote of “Taxes are the price we pay for civilized society,” by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. may be that of an educated person, there is one thing about it that you are missing: That kind of a quote NEVER came from a Founding Father of our country. In fact, our country was founding WITHOUT an income tax and over taxation in general. I would say that the price we paid for a civilized society was done by a few patriots defeating the British.

Michael's avatar

Ok, excellent tactic. You can’t defend Mr. Paul’s proposal to abolish the IRS so you pivot over to his position on the Federal Reserve (still breathlessly waiting for $470 billion worth of reductions).

I’ll bite anyway – just cause I’m having so much fun.

Your numbers are quite right. The national debt has grown and, in recent years, has grown quite a lot. The Federal Reserve, however, has nothing to do with that. The Federal Reserve regulates monetary policy, not fiscal policy. In plain terms, the Fed helps decide how much money flows into the system. It affects interest rates, and indirectly, inflation rates (a topic to which I’ll return in a moment).

If you don’t like the growing debt, your culprit isn’t the Fed, it’s Congress and the President. If you want to take the position that Congress should only spend as much money as the federal government takes in, then I will gladly agree with you on that point. In fact, the Democrats, upon retaking Congress, instituted just such a rule (it’s called Paygo).

As for the Fed, raising and lowering interest rates indirectly affects how much people choose to save or to spend (higher interest rates incentivize saving). That’s why when the economy hits a rough patch, the fed lowers interest rates, making saving less attractive, and thereby causing more people to spend. More spending leads to more economic activity and then, hopefully, gets the economy going again. You want proof it works? Take a look at the GDP since the Fed was created (and we’ll even use real value per person, which takes account both of population growth and inflation): 1913 – $5462, 2006 – $37807. That’s a 700% increase. In the 100 years before 1913, real GDP per person grew at less than half that rate. Of course, not all of it can be attributed to the Fed, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

Perchik's avatar

Chris, take a economics class.

Poser's avatar

@ Michael—

Just because changing policy would initiate “some really deep cuts in programs that most Americans support and rely on” doesn’t mean that those changes shouldn’t be made. Just because thousands of government programs have been created, and millions of Americans have come to rely on those programs doesn’t mean that it’s morally right. Civilized society isn’t contingent upon the National Institute of Health or the Centers for Disease Control. It isn’t morally right for the federal government to take my money under the threat of force to pay for someone else’s child to attend college. If a citizen does it, it’s theft. If the government does it, it’s taxes, and it’s supposed to be our responsibility as citizens.

I don’t buy it. The founding fathers didn’t envision a society that would be completely dependent upon the governement. They started a war over a $0.06 tax on tea. Now our tax system takes almost half of our earned wealth. And every time someone suggests the atrociousness of that, they are attacked with your argument—“what about all those people that depend on those programs?”

It’s immoral.

drumbo's avatar

Last time i knew, we don’t send any of our money to Congress to spend. What they do is take the money they collect from us and then use that to pay interest on the national debt (to the tune of appx $40M per HOUR). Then, they have their “budget” items and they go back to the Federal Reserve (private bankers who LOAN the US money) and ask for more money and they call the treasury and print more money based upon those needs.

So, every dime you spend goes to pay on interest on debt our Congressmen/President get us into with the Federal Reserve.

We are, as a population, allowing our elected representatives to back us into a corner, obligating our families into obligation debts. A four-person family owes China somewhere in the the mid $40k just on the money we BORROW from them for this war.

Remember, the borrower is slave to the lender. Some day, China will call in our debts and we will go into an immediate recession. Research a few weeks ago when their economics ministry mentioned that they were going to divest from the US Dollar to reinvest in other foreign currencies. That same day, the DOW plunged and continued for a few weeks…and that was just them “mentioning” it.

Wal-Mart’s corporatism (not to be confused with pure capitalism) is beneficial on the outside but creating China’s return to an economic powerhouse.

Note: The interest on debt issue is fully disclosed in America: Freedom to Fascism (available on Google video & YouTube).

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I would appreciate a little patience. I am looking through the whole text of the link you gave me, which I appreciate. I am hoping to be able to respond in a day or two. I wasn’t changing tactics, I was just responding to an on going conversation that is in another post on this site, bc I feel I had a legitimate question based on the information that I saw on page 6–7. I am looking through the whole text, not just what you want me to read. I am not giving up on yhis conversation, i am trying to learn more about this subject, not argue or be dustedpectful about it.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

im sure theres a few departments in there we could eliminate.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

any suggestions/complaints?

Michael's avatar

too many to mention.

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