Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby APB » Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:58 pm

flapackfan wrote:Another immediate savings could be obtained if bonus money was stopped to every Federal employee. Bonus for being a federal employee, what a joke. No trips, no conventions, no team building seminars. How about do your job of serving the public?

I'm a federal employee and would be fine with this in most instances. I retired from military service in 2012 and took a position as a civilian with DoD shortly thereafter and have yet to see a bonus or attend a convention anyway. And for the record, those conventions and seminars you speak of have mostly been eliminated and/or are now held locally in government facilities at zero/little cost to the taxpayer. Not that it will dissuade folks like you from harping on about those past indiscretions.

And I'm not discounting the level of ridiculousness those past events had. I completely agree. I'm only saying it has been addressed and that any future events are/will be closely scrutinized - at least are supposed to be - if they happen at all.

As a side note, there are some federal employees, believe it or not, that are quite deserving of the bonuses they receive. "Above and beyond" service type thing. Not that I'd expect you or others to believe there are actually competent and/or deserving folks on the government payroll. So yeah, let's slash all bonuses because, as you say, they're a joke.

So what's next on your checklist against the overpaid/over-compensated leeches in government service? Pay freeze? The 1% pay raise in 2014 was the first wage increase for federal employees since 2010, which I'm sure mirrors your job, right? Doesn't matter, we should eliminate any consideration for pay raises for the foreseeable future for all federal employees because they're all undeserving. Hell, while we're at it, how about a pay reduction?! Reduced vacation time? I'm sure it's all up for consideration, right?

See, this is the crap that pisses me off. The clumping of all individuals of a group/organization, no matter what group we're talking about, into one giant worthless entity deserving of scorn because a few jackasses went out and betrayed their oath of service and wound up on CNN. So now, like in this discussion, all government employees are worthless and undeserving.

How about do your job of serving the public?


I do, every day, along with thousands of others without fanfare or flaw, just the way it was intended.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby wallyuwl » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:07 am

I hard a hard time believing that Paul's tax plan would reduce the government's annual revenue by $2 trillion per year, or over half of what it currently confiscates, I mean collects.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby APB » Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:17 pm

wallyuwl wrote:I hard a hard time believing that Paul's tax plan would reduce the government's annual revenue by $2 trillion per year, or over half of what it currently confiscates, I mean collects.

Yeah, that does seem a bit off. Found this:

What can be said is that his flat tax proposals would bring in far less revenue than the current system. Why? If he wanted to maintain the current amount of revenue, that would require a flat rate of at least 25%, said Joseph Rosenberg, a senior research associate of the Tax Policy Center.

Paul's proposal outlined Tuesday would, by the candidate's own estimate, bring in $700 billion less revenue every year than the current income tax system.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/07/pf/taxes/rand-paul-flat-tax/

Hell, we could trim $700 billion just by cutting all those federal employee bonuses and free paid vacations...er, I mean team building seminars!
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby flapackfan » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:53 pm

APB, As a business owner who gets paid only on results, it is easy to lump all govt. employees into a group of leeches who suckle off the teat of society. Taking a pragmatic step back, I agree with what you said. If your output is deserving of compensation, it would be hypocritical of me not to want to reward a deserving individual or group. That said, going back to my entire post, it is the base line funding/appropriations that cause me to not want to recogize and reward the deserving employee(s).
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby get louder at lambeau » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:31 am

flapackfan wrote:APB, As a business owner who gets paid only on results, it is easy to lump all govt. employees into a group of leeches who suckle off the teat of society. Taking a pragmatic step back, I agree with what you said. If your output is deserving of compensation, it would be hypocritical of me not to want to reward a deserving individual or group. That said, going back to my entire post, it is the base line funding/appropriations that cause me to not want to recogize and reward the deserving employee(s).


Agreed. I'm sure most people in government are good, honest people doing a decent job. They don't deserve the blame. They are not the problem. The problem is massive corruption at the top levels.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby get louder at lambeau » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:19 pm

Here is where the most money can be saved. Over half the budget goes to war.

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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby Waldo » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:34 pm

Pckfn23 wrote:The next question would be, what is the fat? Where would you cut the $2 Trillion from? Keep in mind that the total expenditures for 2014 were $3.5 Trillion in 2014.


Social Security of course, which Rand wants to eliminate.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby Waldo » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:46 pm

flapackfan wrote:HAnother immediate savings could be obtained if bonus money was stopped to every Federal employee. Bonus for being a federal employee, what a joke. No trips, no conventions, no team building seminars. How about do your job of serving the public?


You obviously know nothing about being a federal employee.

Conventions? Are you kidding me, that hasn't been done since the 90's. I've never met (or barely even talked to) the other people that do my job elsewhere in the country (which would be incredibly useful given the unique specialty of my job). We're not allowed to ever be in a group of 5 or more except at our duty station. Which also means training, which was eliminated when the R's took over the House and the budget wars started, going on 5 years now. Heck we had to disable all color printing functions because color ink costs too much, and print double sided to save paper. Travel is only done incredibly sparingly. I heard that one time a few years ago a guy got paid some overtime, the entire concept is utterly foreign if not bizzare, we work 40 hours period, there is no money for overtime even if needed (even stuff like disaster response, it has to wait, can't afford to go quick if OT is involved).

Bonuses, are you high? Maybe at the upper echelons of management, but actual federal employees don't get them; actual federal employees have gotten 2 raises since 2009, 1% at the start of 2014 and 1% at the start of 2015. As Obama said, we all have to do our part, Federal Employees still are, noone else is. If you aren't getting a raise at the rate of inflation each year, you are getting a paycut. Obama has cut cut the pay of Federal Employees every year he has been in office, not once under him have Federal Employees gotten a raise at the rate of inflation.

When they say that wages in the middle class are stagnant, it all starts with the government, who is the largest employer in the country and whose employees are virtually all middle class; the example they give is to keep wages stagnant; declining actually when inflation is considered.

The idea that the gov't is full of fat to be trimmed is a load of crap. They've been trimming good meat for a while, the fat is long gone.

Where they actually could save quite a bit of money is to go back to a lot more gov't employees; the contractors that replaced old gov't jobs are the worst moochers there are; they are expensive and terrible, actual fed workers do twice the work at half the cost. Privatizing inherently public functions just doesn't work, for profit companies simply can't do things cheaper; they try by hiring cheap low skill labor, in high skill fields this means they take forever to produce garbage work, but the sweet deals these contractors get pays them for their time (plus overhead and profit of course), which means there is zero incentive to actually do good work (quite the opposite, they make work for themselves by sucking, more time = more money, this is how the gov't contracting game works, the press harps on it for fighter planes, but it applies to all levels and all aspects of gov't, all of it is loaded with contractors). The privatization wave from the 90's and early 00's, a dismal failure noone cares about. And now they want to do that to schools. :shock:

I mean heck, we all know about the privatized, for-profit prison industry, who uses significant corporate muscle to lobby for stricter laws and longer sentences to drum up business. This is sick, and its even sicker that many people are ok with this. But they are but one gov't contractor, all are the same way (most are worse, at least prisons are run somewhat competently), the bigger and more powerful they are the sweeter deals they get to just suck off taxpayer money to fill their money bins, while producing next to nothing useful for all the money they take. It how the game works. Most actual gov't employees understand their duties as servants of the people, contractors don't have that burden, they are poorly paid corporate employees with what are effectively reverse incentives to do good work.

You realize the system is f-ed up when it takes a team of 5 contractors a month to do something I could do myself in an afternoon, and they got paid hourly to do it, with overhead and profit for their corporate bosses! :lol:

This system can't be fixed though because contractor accountability exists only at the highest levels, its how the system is built. Of course, gov't contractors are good campaign donors, which means there is no accountability.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby flapackfan » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:44 am

In all, the federal government paid $176.6 million in employee performance awards, down from about $332 million in the 2012 fiscal year, according to an Asbury Park (N.J.) Press review of federal payroll data.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... s/8708305/


You are right about one thing, I don't know crap about being a federal employee. As said earlier, bonus for being a public servant = Joke

I am pretty sure the most inexperienced of cost accountants could find a minimum of 1% of bloat in the monstrosity known as the federal budget.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby yoop » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:30 am

flapackfan wrote:In all, the federal government paid $176.6 million in employee performance awards, down from about $332 million in the 2012 fiscal year, according to an Asbury Park (N.J.) Press review of federal payroll data.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... s/8708305/


You are right about one thing, I don't know crap about being a federal employee. As said earlier, bonus for being a public servant = Joke

I am pretty sure the most inexperienced of cost accountants could find a minimum of 1% of bloat in the monstrosity known as the federal budget.


well someone without a degree of any sort can sure spot the bloat in industry, doesn't matter, there is and always has been bloat.

you seem to see a diff. with public versus private workers, private workers get bonuses, and extra compensation, why shouldn't state and fed employee's be intitled to it as well? many state and fed jobs are salary, so that bonus money is for extra hours on the job, overtime in the private sector, or don't you believe people deserve fair compensation?

which imo would be profit sharing, are you willing to pay me a set buck a hour, lower than the standard in the same craft in the area, but compensate me with a % of your net profit? or would you reneg at the end of the year and screw me out of what is fairly mine, because in many cases thats what has just happened to many state and Fed workers, now with years on the job they are forced to not only work the hours, but work them for far less than the original agreement.

you as a tax payer are the employer of fed and state employees, who the hell in there right mind would work for you? (quality public workers are getting out by the droves) all I hear from you is I want to pay you the least amount of money as I can and no benefits, because I want to lower taxes or save myself some money, at your expense of course.

Louder hit it, cut back on some military bloat and leave most of the public workers alone, most have easily earned there keep.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby Waldo » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:08 pm

flapackfan wrote:In all, the federal government paid $176.6 million in employee performance awards, down from about $332 million in the 2012 fiscal year, according to an Asbury Park (N.J.) Press review of federal payroll data.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... s/8708305/


You are right about one thing, I don't know crap about being a federal employee. As said earlier, bonus for being a public servant = Joke

I am pretty sure the most inexperienced of cost accountants could find a minimum of 1% of bloat in the monstrosity known as the federal budget.


Given that there are 2.7M fed employees, this means that bonus money averages $65/yr per employee, whoopdeedoo. The bulk of performance awards go to the highest levels. I guess we technically have them, there are like one or two 1K awards yearly in the agency for people get nominated for (generally its a right place at the right time situ, you can't do something really good unless the starting point is really bad, kinda like how a reasonably fit person will never win a weight loss contest); you're better off playing the lottery, there is no incentive value to them. Upper management that lead new programs get awards, but upper management is a tiny fraction of employees, less than 1%, and they are already well compensated to begin with.

In my industry (engineering), it is standard for private sector employees to average yearly bonuses in the thousands, with >10K not being unusual; of course profit sharing becomes the norm in private industry once you reach the level I'm at. The price you pay for being a fed is dramatically lower pay than private industry, however you have the benefit of a 40 hour workweek (not the norm in private industry, where salaried employees are expected to work 50-60 hr/wk and be on call 24/7), rock solid stability, and a good retirement plan. Plus you get to work on big stuff at a higher level than private industry, higher level design, which has a lot of appeal to an engineer.

I looked into making a move to NASA a few years back, but their situation is pretty dire, nowadays its little more than a stepping stone to a defense contractor position. Our talent drain isn't nearly as bad, and we don't get crapped on by congress nearly as bad as they do. Sucks that what was once seen as one of the highest prestige positions that an engineer could achieve, that which inspired you through your student years, has been totally decimated and is nothing to aspire to anymore.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby Waldo » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:32 pm

flapackfan wrote:APB, As a business owner who gets paid only on results, it is easy to lump all govt. employees into a group of leeches who suckle off the teat of society.


Your business could not exist were it not for the marketplace the gov't creates, that is its primary economic function.

From the military creating stability, roads (and other national transportation systems) enabling commerce, and rules that create a fair marketplace, much of what the gov't does is create the marketplace for your business.

The problem with marketplaces, especially high level efficient ones, is that it is an inherently governmental function; commerce uses the marketplace, market forces create efficient commerce within the marketplace framework, but commerce itself cannot create the marketplace.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby flapackfan » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:33 pm

Waldo wrote:
flapackfan wrote:APB, As a business owner who gets paid only on results, it is easy to lump all govt. employees into a group of leeches who suckle off the teat of society.


Your business could not exist were it not for the marketplace the gov't creates, that is its primary economic function.

From the military creating stability, roads (and other national transportation systems) enabling commerce, and rules that create a fair marketplace, much of what the gov't does is create the marketplace for your business.

The problem with marketplaces, especially high level efficient ones, is that it is an inherently governmental function; commerce uses the marketplace, market forces create efficient commerce within the marketplace framework, but commerce itself cannot create the marketplace.


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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby wallyuwl » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:47 pm

What Waldo is trying to say is that business owners didn't "build that". That being their business. The govt. did.
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Re: Rand Paul's Flat And Fair Tax

Postby APB » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:00 pm

Here is a piece of the Pentagon's response plan to the ever burdensome sequestration cuts:
Army Announces Force Structure and Stationing Decisions

The Department of the Army announced today force structure decisions and stationing plans for the reduction of the regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers. The reduction of force structure will occur in fiscal years 2016 and 2017; the reduction of 40,000 end strength will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2018, and will be accompanied by the reduction of 17,000 Department of the Army civilian employees. These cuts will impact nearly every Army installation, both in the continental United States and overseas.

As part of these reductions, the number of regular Army brigade combat teams, the basic deployable units of maneuver in the Army, will continue to reduce from a wartime high of 45 to 30 by the end of fiscal year 2017. The Army will convert both the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia and the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska into smaller units—maneuver battalion task forces—by the end of fiscal year 2017. While brigade combat teams consist of approximately 4,000 soldiers, these battalion task forces will be comprised of approximately 1,050 soldiers.

Additionally, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division will remain a brigade combat team, but will convert its primary maneuver platform. Currently, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division is a Stryker brigade combat team, however, it will become an infantry brigade combat team without Stryker combat vehicles. Additionally, the Army is analyzing a proposal to use the brigade combat team’s current Stryker equipment to convert an Army National Guard brigade combat team in the Pacific Northwest to a Stryker configuration.
The Army selected these brigade combat teams for reorganization based on a variety of factors including strategic requirements and the inherent military value of the installations where they are based. The force structure decisions announced today best posture a smaller Army to meet global commitments.

“Budget constraints are forcing us to reduce the Total Army,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Army deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7. “These were very difficult decisions to make as all of our installations and their communities offer tremendous value to our Army and the nation. In the end, we had to make decisions based on a number of strategic factors, to include readiness impacts, mission command and cost.”

If the fiscal-caps of the 2011 Budget Control Act caps, commonly referred to as sequestration, are not addressed, the Army’s end-strength will be further reduced to 420,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal year 2019. This will result in a cumulative loss of 150,000 soldiers from the regular Army – a 26 percent cut over a seven year period. The resulting force would be incapable of simultaneously meeting current deployment requirements and responding to the overseas contingency requirements of the combatant commands.

The focus appears to be on cutting civilian support personnel and the active fighting force. A 26% cut in overall troop strength once it's all complete. Having suffered through multiple deployment cycles of the 2000's, I can't fathom how remaining members will deal with the demands of future conflicts.

Surely cuts are being realized across the board in defense spending, right? Not if you're a part of the continually under-performing F-35 program.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/02/02/Pentagon-s-Too-Big-Fail-F-35-Gets-Another-106-Billion

And the hits just keep on coming for the embattled fighter program:

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/04/27/New-Red-Alert-Billions-Over-Budget-F-35-Fighter

So why aren't these contractors being held accountable for these continual cost overruns and failures?
All together, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and BAE Systems donate millions of dollars every couple of years to lawmakers in the Capitol. Following slightly differing time frames, their individual giving has grown enormously since the JSF program started in 1997. The main contractor, Lockheed, and Northrop Grumman led the pack in 2014, each contributing $4.1 million to campaigns. UT spent $2.1 million, and BAE gave $1.4 million. For all four, 2014 was a record year.

Giving from the contractors typically favors Republican candidates by large margins. In the case of Lockheed, for instance, Republican support generally hovers at 60 percent of its total giving (2008 and 2010 were two recent exceptions to the rule, but, as seen in the chart above, Republicans are once again the favored party).

At the top of their recipients list, however, are lawmakers on both sides of the aisle with powerful spots in important committees. The House Armed Services Committee, House Appropriations Committee, and Senate Appropriations Committees were the biggest targets of all of the companies; lawmakers in each received $1.7 million, $1.3 million, and $658,499, respectively.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is the only lawmaker in the top five of each company. Now the Senate minority party’s No. 2, and ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Durbin in 2014 took $62,000 from Northrop Grumman, $54,000 from UT, $29,600 from Lockheed, and $29,299 from BAE.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) showed up in the top five of two of the contractors — $27,400 from Lockheed, $23,500 from BAE — as did Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) — $14,000 from BAE, and $11,500 from UT.

Members of the House appropriations and Armed Services Committees were up there as well — often taking in more than the lawmakers in the Senate.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, received $75,900 from Lockheed, and $29,000 from Northrop Grumman. The top Democrat in the Committee, Washington Rep. Adam Smith took in $28,200 from Northrop Grumman. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), the ranking member of a subcommittee in Armed Services took in $11,500 from UT. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), just a member of the Committee, got $11,500. Hunter is also the son of former House Armed Services Chairman, former Rep. Duncan L. Hunter (R-Calif.).

In Appropriations, several subcommittee chairs make a showing in the companies’ top fives as well. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) the chairwoman for the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee and vice-chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee received $73,350 from Lockheed (Granger also lists herself as co-chair of the JSF caucus on her website with a link to the 2011 press release announcing the caucus). The ranking New Jersey lawmaker on the panel, Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, saw $73,350 from Lockheed (Frelinghuysen is also the chairman of the Homeland Security and Defense Committee). Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) took in $35,700 from Northrop Grumman, and $13,600 from BAE.

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2015/05/f-35-contractors-under-fire-spent-record-amounts-in-2014/

It's all a charade. A sickening charade of corruption. And nobody seems to care.
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