Tell 'em Taylor sent ya
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17935) 10 years ago
Taylor Brown recently wrote an op-ed piece, appearing in most major Montana newspapers, slamming President Obama for his recent remarks suggesting that no one builds a small business in a vacuum, everyone receives some assistance from the government in some way:

http://www.greatfallstrib...work-taxes

Today, retired Commissioner of Higher Education Lawrence Petit wrote a very nice rebuttal to it.

http://helenair.com/news/...f887a.html

Makes you wish for the days of Rick K. and his strawman arguments here.

The irony is that Taylor's business is built around one of the most heavily government-subsidized industries in the country, agricultural. Hey Taylor, why don't you tell the President we don't need no stinking farm bill, our farmers and ranchers can do just fine without any government assistance?
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+583) 10 years ago
I thought maybe radio stations were subsidized. Do they have protected territories?
The farm bill should be called the food bill.
Farmers and ranchers are a world apart in the receiving subsidies department.
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Posted by Stewart (+147) 10 years ago
Bridger, yes, I guess welfare does in a round about way subsidize agriculture...and every other industry in the world. I have a good number of friends on the government dole and their welfare dollar also, by your definition, significantly subsidize the housing industry, telecommunications, the big-screen TV and video game industry, the clothing industry, and the list goes on and on.

And before you start, I know not all welfare recipients blow their money on big screen TVs and video games, just all the ones I personally know do. And, yes, it does make me a little bitter as my things aren't nearly as awesome. That's me being petty. The bigger me is glad I'm able to work and earn my own money for food and fun and I'm glad to help those who are truly in need.

PS.Just saw your edited post and would like to note that the railways ship a lot of everything including masses of coal, iron, cars, building supplies, etc. I don't see how that's any different from roads or how it supports ag any more than other infrastructure that supports our country as a whole. Also, curious where you got your data that leases on government land are under market value. Usually government land is pretty undesirable, so if you're comparing it to high quality pasture rates, you're off. I don't have experience with that, though, so maybe you're right. I'd just like to see it backed up.

[This message has been edited by Stewart (8/14/2012)]
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
I don't think "welfare" (although we were talking about SNAP, not TANF, but ok) works the way you think it does.

In fact, I KNOW it doesn't work the way you think it does, but that's neither here nor there.

My POINT wasn't that AG is a bigger subsidy recipient than any other industry - it's that, particularly in the west, AG exists in its current form primarily due to the largess of the federal government, which provided both the initial investment of land resources and the ongoing maintenance of said land through infrastructure upgrades and additional inputs such as subsidized irrigation water.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (8/14/2012)]
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Posted by Stewart (+147) 10 years ago
OK. Ag is NOT the biggest receiver of government subsidies.

According to the New York Times, clean energy funding alone peaked at $44.3 billion in 2009. That's a helluva lot more than ag. It is on the decline, however, now approaching the level of ag subsidies.

Transportation is another area that receives massive funding. One thing energy, transportation and agriculture all have in common is that they are essential to the stability of our nation and the subsidies that funnel into those industries are the little insurance policy that keeps us sleeping soundly at night.

And, as an aside, I know that food stamps can't be spent on big screen TVs. It's the massive tax "refund" (way more than they pay in) that should be saved to pay for food and other necessities that goes to those fun things.

I'm done now, back to work.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 10 years ago
My POINT wasn't that AG is a bigger subsidy recipient than any other industry - it's that, particularly in the west, AG exists in its current form primarily due to the largess of the federal government, which provided both the initial investment of land resources and the ongoing maintenance of said land through infrastructure upgrades and additional inputs such as subsidized irrigation water.


But if none of this existed, the most significant difference would be that taxes would be lower and food would be more expensive. The real beneficiaries of these programs, and the people that they were designed to benefit, are the poor, not the farmers.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
But if none of this existed, the most significant difference would be that taxes would be lower and food would be more expensive. The real beneficiaries of these programs, and the people that they were designed to benefit, are the poor, not the farmers.


Pretty sure the various homestead acts were designed with farmers in mind, not the poors, same with the interstate infrastructure,

Actually, I think the biggest difference would be that there would be no large population centers west of the Mississippi or east of the sierra nevadas.

But the largest point that there seems to be an olympic competition to elide is this: Our society is built on subsidy. All of the things we like about our society are built on subsidy, and nobody is successful in a vacuum. If you make or sell things, then you need someone to be able to afford to buy them. John Galt is a myth, Ayn Rand was a sociopath.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (8/14/2012)]
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+583) 10 years ago
According to Cato Institute 90% of ag subsidies go to producers of 5 crops---
wheat, corn, soy beans, rice, and cotton.

The subsidies consist 8 types-
Direct paynents
Marketing loans
Counter-cycle markets
Conservation practices
Insurance
Disaster
Export
Ag Research

Of producers collecting subsidies the bulk of dollars go to the big producers.
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Posted by Stewart (+147) 10 years ago
Bridger: Homesteaders were the poor and, by and large, they were also farmers because a much larger portion of the population were farmers then. Now, we're more efficient and much of the population doesn't even understand what it takes to raise food. They just complain with their mouths full of food they take for granted.

Cindy: Yes, the biggest producers get the most dollars because the have the more acres, more input expenses and more risk. They also pay a greater share of the taxes.

Just like a 30% tax on a $100,000 income is more than a 30% tax on a $30,000 income, it's still the same percent. The same is true of subsidies. A family of 5 gets more food stamps (or whatever they're calling it these days) than a family of 2 is another way to look at it.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+583) 10 years ago
Baloney. The Homestead Acts had absolutely nothing to do with the poor.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
This is just moving into paste-eating territory now.

Yes, because the people who passed the homestead acts thought in terms roughly synonymous with those of the modern welfare state, including having our understanding of the word "welfare"

That's like opening up the bible to Leviticus and pretending that the people who wrote it 3000 years ago would even understand the premises of our current culture war obsessions.

But whatever. This is again, not what I was talking about.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 10 years ago
The homestead act has nothing to do with anything. It was an organized way to distribute a crap load of land. It was 1-200 years ago and not particularly relevant to this discussion.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
It's relevant to my point, which I've plainly stated numerous times already in the thread.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 10 years ago
According to Cato Institute 90% of ag subsidies go to producers of 5 crops---
wheat, corn, soy beans, rice, and cotton.


There's a good reason for this. Subsidies cause farmers to produce more of the subsidized crop than the market requires. The commodities listed above can all be stored long term. If you artificially increase the supply of something like lettuce, you can wind up with a lot of lettuce rotting somewhere. As I said, the subsidies are a way to manipulate the markets and cause farmers to do things that you want them to do, not to just fatten up some corn farmers.
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
I for one miss Rick K. I've been looking at this website for awhile because I grew up in Miles City. I just want to say you need to wake up!!! Our country is in dire straits! We can't continue to borrow, borrow, borrow. We will end up like Europe unless there is a turnaround in this election. Medicare and social security will go broke.Our kids and grandkids will be taxed to death. This country became the place people from all over the world wanted to live in because of individual freedom and opportunity. We are going to lose that if we don't make a change in November. Now I'll brace myself for the liberal onslaught!
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
We will end up like Europe unless there is a turnaround in this election


A question: which candidate is proposing European Union levels of austerity in his budget?
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
Obama is spending like Europe did and wants to continue on that path. Now Europe has discovered that this is unsustainable. Thus the austerity measures,riots in Greece etc. It can be corrected less painfully now or we can continue the way we are going and it will be a whole lot more painful when we are bankrupt. My apologies I meant for this to be on the Ryan thread.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
So the debt crisis in Europe was caused by spending?
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
The debt crisis in Europe was caused by unrealistic promises made by socialist governments i.e. Greece. People were able to retire I believe in their 50's and received a government pension. That sounds great! But again has turned out to be unsustainable. We have to get real and fix this! And yes they overspent, made promises they couldn't keep.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
Interesting.

Would you be interested in a counterfactual to your statements, or is this just going to be a waste of time?
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
Sure! Let's hear it!
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12204) 10 years ago
In Greece, not paying taxes is THE favorite pastime. No one pays what they owe. Everyone cheats. If people actually paid what they owed, guess what? Oh, and the retirement age is Greece is NOT 50.
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
I didn't say it was 50. I said people retire in their 50's. Go to Forbes.com. Or just google retirement age in Greece and you'll get the article. It is age 58. As for cheating on their taxes that may be so.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
I may be mistaken, but there's more countries in the European Union than Greece.
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
Yes there are! I think some others have also had financial problems. Spain and Ireland are a couple. Greece I think is in the worst shape. All goes back to the same thing. Unsustainable.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
Well, here's were we get into that counterfactual thing.

Ireland had a housing bubble brought on by a glut of external investors, culminating in the Irish governments inexplicable decision to nationalize the bank debt. The "Celtic Tiger" http://en.wikipedia.org/w...ltic_Tiger was in fact lauded for their pro-business tax structure prior to the recession.

Spain appears to have been bitten by a combination of a housing bubble, and irregular banking practices, coupled with high inflation: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...ial_crisis. In fact, Spain's public debt is LOWER than the Eurozone average.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (8/15/2012)]
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
Thanks, I'll check it out. Still think about Greece. The government promised too much and now they are in trouble. We are on that path now.And we'll be in even deeper if we don't change course. Hope to talk with you again sometime!
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
Yes, you're right. Greece, the country that NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN LET INTO THE EUROZONE (who helped them get in? Goldman Sachs: http://articles.businessi...s-greece-s) is a prime example of a country that spent far more than it took in.

I think our fundamentals are a little bit better than those of Greece, even with a Kenyon Muslin running the show.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17935) 10 years ago
Yes, Greece. As Bridgier pointed out, they should have never been admitted into the Eurozone. They pretty much lied about their existing debt.

There are several European countries who did not join the Eurozone, because of these concerns. The Scandinavian countries, in particular. They seem to be slogging along fine without German austerity programs.

Austerity will only make matters worse. I believe the best way to formulate your economic views is to go back 20-10-5 years ago, and see what economist predicted what, and compare that to what came true.

If you do that, the choice becomes pretty obvious who to vote for.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 10 years ago
They seem to be slogging along fine without German austerity programs.


Germany never needed an army to conquer Europe - they just needed access to a central bank.
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
So now because I disagree with Obama's policies I must be one of those right wing fanatics! Referring to: "even with a Kenyan Muslim running the show". Anyone who has a different idea is accused of being a racist or in this case I guess a "birther". Doesn't change the fact that we are in debt up to our eyeballs,and unemployment remains at over 8%, that doesn't include under employed.And whether or not Greece should have been in the European Union is irrelevant. They got in this mess because they overspent. But we are going to continue these policies even tho they haven't worked. Both parties are responsible for the mess. Now it's time to try something and someone different!!
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Posted by howdy (+4953) 10 years ago
There isn't anyone better to try as the Romney "you can't see my tax returns"and Ryan "who never met a millionaire that should pay taxes or a senior who shouldn't be thrown from a cliff" isn't a pair anyone should draw to...IMO...the thought of them being in charge is very frightening...Have you witnessed the video of a town hall meeting where he had a 71 yr old senior thrown out for daring to disagree with him about the meaning of entitlements and when police were dragging this old man out of the room Romney joked "oh dear, I hope he remembered to take his blood pressure meds today"....how disgusting...any American that isn't offended by that, needs to check their own concience...
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
Yes I saw the video. It was Ryan who said "I hope he remembered to take his BP meds". In fact I agree with the man being upset about the term entitlements being used referring to SS and medicare. We all pay into them. But the man started yelling and interrupted in the middle of the speech. I don't think they needed to tackle the guy either. That said those programs are going to go broke if they don't modify them. You said the thought of them being in charge is "very frightening". Scare tactics are being used to make people feel thst way. We need some fiscal sanity and right now it ain"t there. Ryan is very experienced in Economics and Romney has been a successful business man. However success is now considered bad. And class warfare is being used. At least listen to the proposals when the debates are on etc.
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Posted by Ingird Emilsson (+220) 10 years ago
I find it totally amazing that all the people clamoring for fiscal sanity now never said a word when the Shrub* was racking up the deficits with his unfunded wars.

Also if the Bush tax cuts are so necessary for the "job creators" to create jobs, how come they haven't created any jobs in the last 8 years?

*TM Molly Ivins
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15279) 10 years ago
+10 for Ingird.
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Posted by howdy (+4953) 10 years ago
Yes, Becky, where were you when Bush had an unfunded two wars going on as well as an unfunded precription program?? Why r u blaming this all now on the present administration and saying that they shouldn't be given another 4 years ...this type of mess simply cannot be turned about in 4 years when you have the republican party stalling on all things fiscal to make him look bad in congress...their one goal is to get rid of Obama not to help Americans and help job creation...just cut taxes for the wealthy and pile it all on the poor and middle class...the filibuster is being used at every turn or don't you realize this??
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Posted by tax payer (+354) 10 years ago
6-9 million jobs were created from 2001-2008
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Posted by howdy (+4953) 10 years ago
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Posted by tax payer (+354) 10 years ago
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Posted by howdy (+4953) 10 years ago
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Posted by howdy (+4953) 10 years ago
LOL, I suggest Tax Payer, that you read that article all the way to the bottom where it rates it as false overall for accuracy...how is your reading comprehension??


Last paragraph of article says:

"So the numbers Boehner offers are accurate only with significant adjustments. Overall, we find his statement too flawed to give it a rating higher than False."

[This message has been edited by howdy (8/16/2012)]
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Posted by tax payer (+354) 10 years ago
Well ms snooty, they are talking ten years as the title of the article says. I stated 2001-2008..We turned to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- specifically, figures from the Current Employment Statistics series, which is calculated using a broad survey of employer payroll data. Here are the numbers:

June 2001: 132,047,000 people employed
January 2008: 137,996,000 people employed
Increase during that six-and-a-half-year period: 5,949,000 people ....
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+12204) 10 years ago
Lowest taxes in decades so we should have jobs up the wazoo. Why don't we?
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4458) 10 years ago
I'm voting for Romney. I heard a rumor Obama is going to outlaw abortion, cut taxes on the rich, and do away with Medicare. Naturally, conservatives will suddenly defend women's rights, raise taxes on the rich, and do all they can to keep Medicare afloat.

Dumbasses.
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Posted by tax payer (+354) 10 years ago
"
"Some simple examples: If the tax is on the income that comes from selling a particular good, and the demand for that good is inelastic, then the people who buy that good will bear the burden of the tax. Even if the intention was to tax the income of "greedy, evil corporations", the reality is that the consumers pay the price, because they really want the good and they are not very sensitive to changes in its price. Alternately, if the tax is on income from selling a good for which demand is elastic, the producer will not be able to pass on the tax increase, and the firm will bear most of the burden of the tax (as an aside, when firms face elastic demand, they are often operating on small profit margins, so imposing a tax may lead to firms leaving the market, leading to higher prices and less consumption of that good. How's that for an unintended consequence?)."
"
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4458) 10 years ago
Parrot.
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+795) 10 years ago
All right, class, back to agriculture subsidies. Open your books to the Homestead Acts which were created to settle the wide open spaces and to create clients (farmers and ranchers) to ship produce on the railroads, which were and still are heavily subsidized by the government. Anyone who accepts a dime from the governmentif they didn't actually earn it, whatever the reason, should have to go to the welfare office to apply for it.
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Posted by Becky Packett (+12) 10 years ago
We are off topic which was my fault. Let's start a new thread. How about Election 2012-America's Future?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15279) 10 years ago
We are off topic which was my fault. Let's start a new thread. How about Election 2012-America's Future?


I'd recommend that you do that ONLY after you have read and understood (as much as possible)The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes.

Unless or until you understand both sides of the augment you really have no idea how wrong you are.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+583) 10 years ago
Homestead Act 1862 & settling the Territories was considered Manifest Destiny.

The method of settling and holding the land was political--Northern Free Soilers vs Southern Slaveholders. Free Soilers with Lincoln won. The act had a 5 year ownership time limit included in it which quashed the land speculators that throughout history would buy govt land and flip it.

Later Homestead Acts of 1900s were to settle farmers in dry lands out of river valleys in 320 acre parcels. The 1916 one was to promote ranching with 640 acre dry land parcels.

The dry lands were considered undesireable by government. Getting them in hands of someone who might make income from them provided government with potential revenue stream to tax.

The railroads were given every other govt section as part of payment for construction. They divided those sections and sold to speculators and ran international promotions in attempt to sell to farmers. The railroad owners were major land speculators.

[This message has been edited by Cindy Stalcup (8/17/2012)]
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