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The Social Security Administration announced on October 10 a 1.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment for 2020, meaning the average retiree will get $24 more each month. In 2019, the COLA was 2.8 percent,an increase of about $40 a month for retirees.
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Per Medicare FAQs, the Part B Premium will go up from $135.50 to $144.30, or an increase in $8.80/month. This hasn't been formally annouced yet, but it is considered an accurate estimate. But if it is the actual value, then any SS beneficiary with a monthly benefit of $550 will use all of the inflation adjustment to pay for the increase in the Part B premium. For the 'average' benefit wil then actually go from $24 to $15.20/mo. The top SS benefit for 2020 of $3,011 will see COLA increase of $48.18 or $39.38 after the part B increase.

A couple of other interesting Medicare changes beginning 2020:

Those who become Medicare eligible (turn 65) in 2020 will not be able to purchase 'first dollar' Medigap plans C, F and even high-deductible F. The purpose of Congress doing this is to expose all Medicare insureds to have to pay something out of pocket to prevent over-use. But this only applies to new eligibles, not to those already on these plans or those covered by a group plan who have deferred part B...they are grandfathered.

https://www.medicarefaq.com/faqs/medicare-changes-2020/

BruceM
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I'm remembering that it was Richard Nixon who proposed and got passed automatic COLA for Social Security.

One of the most important liberals of the Twentieth Century as President.

Of course liberals hated him.



Seattle Pioneer
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This Medicare discussion has omitted the impact of income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) on the Medicare premiums.

For me the 2.8% COLA of last year ended up being less than $10 per month after IRMAA! Let the senior taxpayer beware.


https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0601101020




sunrayman
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Government assistance putting money in one pocket always has an associated
hand reaching into your other pocket.

Howie52
Only the Fearless Leaders ever get rich from government support.
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HA, politician's make very little from it. Sure, they pander ad stoke their reelection funds and try to pocket some of it but that's how the vaunted "system" works. They are relative pikers in the process. The real gorgers are "the private sector." Where does all that money go? Poor people or delusional middle class people who would be poor without their government money live high on the hog and send the rest to Swiss and Cayman island bank accounts? Ha ha. No. The people those people buy things from and slum lords and cruise lines collect it at the distal end.
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Howie52 analyzes,

Government assistance putting money in one pocket always has an associated
hand reaching into your other pocket.

Howie52
Only the Fearless Leaders ever get rich from government support.

</snip>


That shows a complete misunderstanding of how a modern economy works.

If you give $1 trillion to poor people, they're immediately going to spend it on food, shelter, alcohol, tobacco, casino gambling, etc. And the wealthy people that provide those goods and services are going to profit from it.

If you just give $1 trillion worth of tax cuts to billionaires, it's spent on stock buybacks and tax shelters in the Cayman Islands, neither of which do anything to increase domestic US economic activity.

intercst
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"If you give $1 trillion to poor people"

***************************************************

Give?

Where did you get the $ to "give"?

Giving ain't the same as "earning" - and that is more important at all times than
the most absurd election rhetoric.

Howie52
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Giving ain't the same as "earning"

HA, and "earning it" is never the same as what the people concerned with other people earning it think it is.
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If you give $1 trillion to poor people, they're immediately going to spend it on food, shelter, alcohol, tobacco, casino gambling, etc. And the wealthy people that provide those goods and services are going to profit from it.

And don't forget that the $1 trillion in direct consumer spending leads to a multiplicative effect of something like 10x. That is, a $1 trillion injection becomes $10 trillion out in the economy.

For example, an extra $10 spent on booze means:
- An extra $1 in the liquor store clerk's pocket who then buys a coffee at the donut shop, which then puts $0.10 extra in the donut shop clerk's pocket, who then... etc
- An extra $4 of liquor bought from the distillery , of which $1 goes workers, who also buy more donuts. And $2 goes to the owners who then hires guys to renovate his house who then buy donuts, and $1 to grain farmers who buy more machinery and the machinery guys then go buy donuts too...
- An extra $5 in the liquor store owner's pocket, who buys a new HVAC system, putting the HVAC guys to work (they love donuts too) and he also sends his #3 kid to trade school, where an extra lecturer needs to be hired and goes to the donut shop celebrate.

In other words, real trickle down.

So if you need to inject cash into the economy, you don't do it by throwing it to the banksters and wolves of wall street.

Or you could manage (regulate) the economy better so you never get to the point of needing to "give" cash to anyone.

Spiffy
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Spiffy99 writes,

<<If you give $1 trillion to poor people, they're immediately going to spend it on food, shelter, alcohol, tobacco, casino gambling, etc. And the wealthy people that provide those goods and services are going to profit from it.>>

And don't forget that the $1 trillion in direct consumer spending leads to a multiplicative effect of something like 10x. That is, a $1 trillion injection becomes $10 trillion out in the economy.

</snip>


That's right. You want your money moving hot and fast through the economy to create the biggest economic affect.

Don't they teach economics in college any more?

Velocity of Money
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/v/velocity.asp

</snip>


intercst
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<<That's right. You want your money moving hot and fast through the economy to create the biggest economic affect.

Don't they teach economics in college any more?>>



Not so much since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Before that, I understand that "Patrice Lumumba University" attracted students from around the world.

[Spell check wanted that to come out as Patrice Lumbago University, but I resisted that temptation.]



Seattle Pioneer
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Spiffy and Intercst,
Thanks for the posts, I went to the link and that linked to the St Louis Fed Reserve Money Velocity Reports. Looks like money velocity slowly ramped up through 70's , 80's, Peaked in mid 90's through 2005, Then drops to the lows in 2008 to 2019 in a downward trend.
So even if the consumer economy is doing so well in the past few years, Who is holding cash and not moving it, causing a slower velocity? Is it banks or corporations?
Both the M1 and M2 money lines so a somewhat similar story.

Mike
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Spiffy and Intercst,
Thanks for the posts, I went to the link and that linked to the St Louis Fed Reserve Money Velocity Reports. Looks like money velocity slowly ramped up through 70's , 80's, Peaked in mid 90's through 2005, Then drops to the lows in 2008 to 2019 in a downward trend.
So even if the consumer economy is doing so well in the past few years, Who is holding cash and not moving it, causing a slower velocity? Is it banks or corporations?
Both the M1 and M2 money lines show a somewhat similar story.

The M2 chart shows a deeper drop in 2010 to 2019. Could this be because some people are saving (investing) more , rather than spending ?

Mike
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and tax shelters in the Cayman Islands, neither of which do anything to increase domestic US economic activity.

There's no tax shelters for US taxpayers in the Caymans, nor anywhere else. Your ignorant post shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the US tax code.

As amply demonstrated by the Panama Papers incident which caught foreign rich people in other, non-US countries, who can hide money offshore there but almost no US citizens did because they are taxed on worldwide income. 4 of the Americans named had already been convicted of tax fraud or ponzi schemes, so they got caught again I suppose. Most Americans who had accounts there were buying real estate in Panama and Colombia which is of course fine.

Liesel Pritzker, a famous rich American had this to say about her account there: 'My husband, Ian Simmons, and I are minority investors in Blue Valley Agroinvestment, a sustainable agriculture project in Colombia. Any income we earn is fully taxed. We are proud of the job creation and community development this project brings to an underserved part of Colombia.'

David Geffen was named for selling shares in a Delaware incorporate firm which owned a yacht he purchased, to a Panama offshore company. He himself did not have an offshore account.

Mossack Fonseca was shutting down their one US office before the leaks broke. They created no shell companies for US firms according to the ICIJ. No American banks appear among the list of the ten financial intermediaries that most often requested offshore companies for their clients. And owning shares in an overseas firm is perfectly legal of course - whether that be Sony or Vale or AliBaba or Hermes or Gucci or a private one.


Of course one may have an overseas checking account at RBS, or UBS, or HSBC but they're still paying taxes on it, and contributing to gov't spending, and thus to poor people.

This notion that very rich people don't consume is also hilarious, I can tell you don't have experience working with the billionaires you belittle. They may not spend more on food, but they certainly consume and in much larger gross dollar amounts. That $30 million plane they buy or $10m house or $5m painting pays for a lot more workers and taxes and GDP than an extra box of cheerios in North Philly.

The cash isn't buried in backyard somewhere, it's consumed or invested in firms that hire workers, build factories, pay dividends, create and innovate things from life-saving drugs to Teslas to whatever.
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If you just give $1 trillion worth of tax cuts to billionaires, it's spent on stock buybacks and tax shelters in the Cayman Islands, neither of which do anything to increase domestic US economic activity.

You sound like someone who didn't graduate from high school and is angry at the world.

What do you think those with names like Buffett, Bloomberg, Musk, Soros, Bezos and Gates...to name a few.... do with their billions? Hide their money somewhere off-shore so the US Gov can't find them? Lie and cheat on their tax returns to keep the government from getting their money? A poorly educated malcontent would certainly believe this.

These people got their wealth from hard work in their early years, taking a lot of risk, rebounding from set-backs and defeats along the way, playing economic hardball and reinvesting all their excess capital over their growth years. Its how you become a billionaire....not by hiding your money overseas and then lying on your tax return where ALL earnings from anywhere must be reported.

Excess earnings from such individuals goes into things like private equity, where they are constantly looking for ways to reinvest in even better returns on others entrepreneurial ideas. Its not about making more money, its about winning at the game....and these people LOVE the game....and it is economically good for all of us they do.

Individuals don't "buy-back" stocks....corporations do that. And if a corporation has excess capital for which the board cannot find a return exceeding their dividend yield, then buying back stock makes perfect sense.

And giving a poor person anything other than basic subsistence will do that person more harm than good. They have no idea where that money came from nor what was done to originally earn it. If you continue giving it, it will be viewed as an inalienable right. None of these individuals will contribute anything to the economy....only take from it. And any money going into the black market, to include illicit drugs, prostitution or other graft, does nothing to improve the economy but will do a great deal to our moral fabric.

BruceM
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Your condescension of the working poor is offensive.
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...I went to the link and that linked to the St Louis Fed Reserve Money Velocity Reports. Looks like money velocity slowly ramped up through 70's , 80's, Peaked in mid 90's through 2005, Then drops to the lows in 2008 to 2019 in a downward trend.
So even if the consumer economy is doing so well in the past few years, Who is holding cash and not moving it, causing a slower velocity? Is it banks or corporations?
Both the M1 and M2 money lines show a somewhat similar story.

The M2 chart shows a deeper drop in 2010 to 2019. Could this be because some people are saving (investing) more , rather than spending ?


Banks and financial services ballooned to be a much bigger percentage of the economy in the last few decades. In the "old days" the financial service industry acted as intermediaries between people who had excess cash and people who needed cash for productive uses.

e.g. I deposited my $1000 in the bank and they paid me 4% interest. The bank took the $1000 and lent it to GE at 6% so they could develop a new jet engine. The bank kept the extra 2% for their service. (In fact it was/is better than that, since under fractional reserve banking, the bank can lend more than the $1000 as they only need to keep a "reserve" of deposits against what they lend out. 20% or something like that, so the $1000 gets lent out 5x with the 2% skim).

But then came credit cards, overdraft fees, etc and other things like consumer vehicle leases (financed), and yes the mortgage debacle, which in aggregate put the US consumer deep into debt and basically locking up all their cashflow into debt servicing.

All the cash piling up with the banks, corporations, and billionaires gets put into assets. Which is why real estate, stocks, bonds, etc are all in bubble territory while the economy sputters at 2% growth. This was exacerbated after the mortgage lending blow-up with quantitative easing and trillions were handed to the banks. There's so much cash out there now that interest rates are going negative! You have to pay someone to hold your cash.

That's why Intercst and myself are talking about when everything comes crashing down again and trillions need to be injected... Put it into the hands of the little people and they will spend it, lifting the economy, not hoard it into asset inflation.

Spiffy
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Hello Lambchops!


Havwen't had occasion to have a pleased chuckle over your screen name recently!


Seattle Pioneer
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BruceCM offers,

And giving a poor person anything other than basic subsistence will do that person more harm than good.

</snip>


Right. Keep them poor and shoe less, then complain when they're not "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps."

They have no idea where that money came from nor what was done to originally earn it. If you continue giving it, it will be viewed as an inalienable right. None of these individuals will contribute anything to the economy....only take from it. And any money going into the black market, to include illicit drugs, prostitution or other graft, does nothing to improve the economy but will do a great deal to our moral fabric.

</snip>


Really? Our President has a long, documented history with most to all of that, and we're now told he's the most patriotic and Christian man in America -- and he "killed Isis", too.

intercst
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", to include illicit drugs, prostitution or other graft, does nothing to improve the economy but will do a great deal to our moral fabric.

</snip>

Really? Our President has a long, documented history with most to all of that"


========
Didn't Obama admit in his own book that he used & sold drugs in college?
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You sound like someone who didn't graduate from high school and is angry at the world.

Well, OK. I’m a college graduate and studied Economics at what is sometimes called a “second tier” Ivy League school (Lehigh). Here we go.

What do you think those with names like Buffett, Bloomberg, Musk, Soros, Bezos and Gates...to name a few..

You pick the most obvious, and we hope ethical names from the list. You miss the thousands of others farther down who don’t get the kind of public scrutiny that your selected list gets. Reuters (I assume you’ve heard of them) estimates the amount held in offshore accounts at 32 Trillion dollars, or roughly double the annual GDP of the biggest economy in the history of the planet - the US.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&...

Forbes (It’s a magazine, largely conservative) thinks 10% of world GDP is stashed in offshore accounts and tax havens. The IMF puts the number at $7 Trillion, just for individuals. These are some seriously big numbers, aren’t they?

not by hiding your money overseas and then lying on your tax return where ALL earnings from anywhere must be reported.

Your naïveté, or perhaps unwillingness to face facts, would be amusing if it wasn’t so distressing. The Panama Papers, a leak from just a midsize tax haven law firm specializing in holding offshore monies, revealed over 200,000 Offshore entities, many secretive and used for holding embezzled funds, illicit activity proceeds, and other monies the holders didn’t want the government to see. Many resignations, including high government officials and corporate executives followed the revelations. But wait! Most of the money was NOT illicit, it was just “wealth” that was hiding from the tax man. Only about $1.2 billion of those funds has been recovered so far. Still, $1.2 billion is not chicken feed. Here is one (just one!) example, to help bring you up to speed: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/06/us/panama-papers.html

And if a corporation has excess capital for which the board cannot find a return exceeding their dividend yield, then buying back stock makes perfect sense.

Here’s an idea: how about if they give their employees raises, so they don’t have to depend on food stamps to make ends meet? Suppose those that don’t provide health insurance started doing that? What if corporate CEOs cared as much about the front line people who have all the customer contact as they do with those at the top who clip coupons and stay at the Ritz? Yeah, stock buybacks make sense, as it narrows the base of ownership even further, while penny pinching the lifeblood of the system.

I seem to remember that the economy did best when the middle class thrived. That was during the great Union heyday, but unions are not the only way to get there. Maybe corporate managers could find something to do with the monies besides give themselves raises? Maybe they could lift people out of poverty by focusing on their workers’ paychecks.

And giving a poor person anything other than basic subsistence will do that person more harm than good. They have no idea where that money came from nor what was done to originally earn it. If you continue giving it, it will be viewed as an inalienable right. None of these individuals will contribute anything to the economy....only take from it.


More people making more money is better for the economy - and even for the rich, too - than keeping the lower class growing and subservient and dependent on charity and largesse. This has been demonstrated time and again through history and not doing so always ends badly, except for pitchfork makers.
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And giving a poor person anything other than basic subsistence will do that person more harm than good. They have no idea where that money came from nor what was done to originally earn it. If you continue giving it, it will be viewed as an inalienable right. None of these individuals will contribute anything to the economy....only take from it.

By this logic, isn't it true that giving any person anything other than basic subsistence will do that person more harm than good? Isn't this risk especially high for the children of Buffett, Bloomberg, Musk, Soros, Bezos and Gates? Those families have billions of dollars sloshing around their households. Aren't the chances extremely high that some of it will accidentally spill onto their children and ruin them for life? They may even come to expect it! I think rich people should keep their children in shacks out back. Cold water only, one meal a day. Think of all the lifelong advantages and good habits that will grow from that kind of start in life.
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Trego posts,

By this logic, isn't it true that giving any person anything other than basic subsistence will do that person more harm than good? Isn't this risk especially high for the children of Buffett, Bloomberg, Musk, Soros, Bezos and Gates? Those families have billions of dollars sloshing around their households. Aren't the chances extremely high that some of it will accidentally spill onto their children and ruin them for life? They may even come to expect it! I think rich people should keep their children in shacks out back. Cold water only, one meal a day. Think of all the lifelong advantages and good habits that will grow from that kind of start in life.

</snip>


This is like the best thread ever. <LOL>

intercst
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" I think rich people should keep their children in shacks out back. Cold water only, one meal a day. Think of all the lifelong advantages and good habits that will grow from that kind of start in life."

We could start with the kids of Obama and Clinton....... or should have started on your plan decades ago...........

t.
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" I think rich people should keep their children in shacks out back. Cold water only, one meal a day. Think of all the lifelong advantages and good habits that will grow from that kind of start in life."

We could start with the kids of Obama and Clinton....... or should have started on your plan decades ago...........


I guess Fred Trump's wealth was responsible for producing Don "The Con" Trump.
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This is like the best thread ever.

And it all started about a SS COLA increase. :)
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"This is like the best thread ever.

And it all started about a SS COLA increase. :) "

*******************************************************

Threads about most government programs are much like the government programs
themselves - they evolve into unrecognizable entities after a time.

Howie52
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I think rich people should keep their children in shacks out back. Cold water only, one meal a day. Think of all the lifelong advantages and good habits that will grow from that kind of start in life.

Good habits -> MORAL FIBER!

And if they, in turn, treated their own children the same way ... we could achieve a full-on epidemic of MORAL FIBER.

culcha
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This is like the best thread ever. <LOL>



Ssshhh! Be careful! There are trolls about, looking to spoil boards heretofore unspoiled.
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BruceCM: "And giving a poor person anything other than basic subsistence will do that person more harm than good. They have no idea where that money came from nor what was done to originally earn it. If you continue giving it, it will be viewed as an inalienable right. None of these individuals will contribute anything to the economy....only take from it. And any money going into the black market, to include illicit drugs, prostitution or other graft, does nothing to improve the economy but will do a great deal to our moral fabric."

You need to meet some of the tens of millions of working poor who are harder working and more honest and ethical than you will ever be.


BruceCM: "You sound like someone who didn't graduate from high school and is angry at the world."

I think you inadvertently painted a very ugly self portrait with your post.
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"I think you inadvertently painted a very ugly self portrait with your post. "

*********************************************************************************

Nonsense!
The point made is that people do not develop habits that will lift themselves out of poverty
or hardship by government "gifts".
People generally work their way to better lives.
Sometimes people do need help and charity -- we all need others to lend a hand.
But lending a hand does not mean providing all things without limit or without
expectation of some activity where feasible.

Merely stating that people do better when they put out efforts does not make a
person "ugly" - it merely means that the person knows what is involved in living
and wants those benefits to be achieved by everyone.

Howie52
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Howie writes,

iampops: "I think you {BruceCM} inadvertently painted a very ugly self portrait with your post. "

*********************************************************************************

Nonsense!
The point made is that people do not develop habits that will lift themselves out of poverty
or hardship by government "gifts".

</snip>


I think this is more of a cultural thing. You've got large swaths of the country where folks are willing to cut their own throats as long as blacks, Hipsanics, and "undeserving" whites suffer even more. If that was the secret to growing the economy, Mississippi and Alabama would be as rich as Switzerland.

But the fact remains that about 70% of the US economy is consumer spending. So if your goal is to spark growth, the most efficient way to do that is to put money in the hands of poor people who will actually spend it on goods and services. Borrowing an equivalent amount of money, and giving it to billionaires in tax cuts (as we did in December 2017) and hoping the crumbs will filter down to the poor folks who'll spend it is going to leave you disappointed in the result.

intercst
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Trickledown is a lie the rich tell the poor. There’s no evidence it has ever worked.
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"Trickledown is a lie the rich tell the poor. There’s no evidence it has ever worked. "

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Working for a living allows a family the chance to improve their lot in life.
Handouts allow a family to survive until the next handout - until the economy tanks
and the handouts do as well.

Y'all may have observed handouts actually lifting folks out of poverty but I have only
seen jobs bring folks a better life.
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Goofyhoofy:

Your posts usually make a lot of sense, and this one especially so.

I seem to remember that the economy did best when the middle class thrived. That was during the great Union heyday, but unions are not the only way to get there. Maybe corporate managers could find something to do with the monies besides give themselves raises? Maybe they could lift people out of poverty by focusing on their workers’ paychecks.

Money flowing into the hands of lower or middle class people tends to be SPENT, and that money then allows other people and businesses to spend and/or hire more people to do work, and that allows more money to flow outward, etc. It also benefits retirees, by the way. Like the well-known "ripples in the pond" concept. It all also puts more money into the government coffers, of course, in the form of taxes.

We keep hearing about how the nation's infrastructure is in sad shape and desperately needs a lot of funding -- and work -- to bring it back into shape. However, some politicians immediately claim that pouring money into that is a waste. How? More people working on our infrastructure obviously will improve the country's roads, bridges, etc., to the betterment of all of us, but the workers and supplier will also then have more money to pour back into the economy, buying homes, cars, and other goods, hiring more people -- and even returning money back to the government, in the form of taxes.

"Trickle down" is BS, and most people know it.

Vermonter
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Howie52:

Working for a living allows a family the chance to improve their lot in life.
Handouts allow a family to survive until the next handout - until the economy tanks
and the handouts do as well.

Y'all may have observed handouts actually lifting folks out of poverty but I have only
seen jobs bring folks a better life.


Exactly. A lot of people 'on handouts" WANT to work but simply cannot climb out of the trenches, for a variety of reasons. Sure, some may be simply "lazy", but a lot are blocked by so many factors -- even including mundane things like having decent clothes to wear to apply for work, or transportation to find that work.

Right now, for example, a lot of farmers are suffering because they can't market their crops, in part due to tariffs, and trying to buy them off with handouts is a slap in the face. I hope some of them remember that in the next election.

Vermonter
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<<Money flowing into the hands of lower or middle class people tends to be SPENT, and that money then allows other people and businesses to spend and/or hire more people to do work, and that allows more money to flow outward, etc. It also benefits retirees, by the way. Like the well-known "ripples in the pond" concept. It all also puts more money into the government coffers, of course, in the form of taxes.>>


Your argument seems to be that it is a lot easier to pillage working class and middle class people to pay for money that government and retirees want to spend.


I think that's quite true, but what's ethical about it?



Seattle Pioneer
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sp:

Your argument seems to be that it is a lot easier to pillage working class and middle class people to pay for money that government and retirees want to spend.


I think that's quite true, but what's ethical about it?


I didn't say that. I said "Money flowing into the hands of lower or middle class people tends to be SPENT, and that money then allows other people and businesses to spend and/or hire more people to do work..."

How does pillaging middle class compute with giving those same people money? Isn't it better to have people working to earn money, rather than handing them money? I don't think you understood what I said.

Vermonter
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RV: I didn't say that. I said "Money flowing into the hands of lower or middle class people tends to be SPENT, and that money then allows other people and businesses to spend and/or hire more people to do work..."

This is why many of us have this poster in ignore. Willful misreporting what was said into some outlandish conservative talking point.

CNC
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