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Thread: Interrogations ... thought provoking

  1. #71
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by menmon View Post
    I get mad everytime they give a billionaire an advantage. I get mad when folks like you would rather this mess fall on the heels of a old person or a poor person. We get a lot for our taxes and no one likes paying them. But if we don't pay more, the elderly will be footing the bill when inflation goes through the roof and everyone will pay more then, we need to pay more now. Waste and fraud are nothing new...it is just an excuse because you want someone else paying for you
    A good piece in American Thinker yesterday ... facts ... using IRS and CBO figures for 2009 & 2012.
    The fact is that to balance the budgetary expenditures of 2012 with income taxes, it would take an income tax rate of 100% on everyone earning down to $100,000. If the govt then spent more, the tax would have to move down to lower incomes ... that is JUST for Federal expenditures. That does NOT include costs of running state and local govts.

    I keep mentioning, but no one seems to notice, that in addition to the income tax, we pay TONS of other taxes that are hidden in other ways we don't notice. I have my cell phone bill in front of me to pay. The program I have is $40 for 700 minutes. (It's amazing how cheap that is, since I "upgraded" from a plan of $39.99 for 450 minutes). On that bill are Fed tax of $1.72 and PA gross receipts tax (sounds a bit like the tax proposed on medical devices) of 2.25. There is also a "regulatory charge" of .16 (I suspect that is another tax passed through the utility from the govt). Total: $4.13. That comes to 10% of the original bill. We would be very upset if the Fed proposed a 10% sales tax on phone service ... but this tax is there, but nobody ever talks about it, or the legislation that imposed that tax on EVERY cell phone bill.

    EVERYBODY pays that tax who pays their own cell phone bill ... even the family of 4 earning a lot less than most of those on this forum. Those who get social services that provide them with a free cell phone don't have to worry about that 10% "tax". Cell phones were once considered a luxury. Today they are practically a necessity for most working people. As a Realtor, if I didn't have a cell phone, it would be unthinkable that I could conduct my business today. So, if we were complacent when these taxes were enacted because they would only apply to "the rich", we were snookered. The same is true of your land-line, except the percentage is even higher.

    Obama and the Dems continue to add in their speeches that we ALL have to sacrifice ... are you really willing to believe that they will stop at $200,000 earners? Unless we take a very serious attitude toward cutting spending, there is simply NO WAY that we will ever balance a budget, much less get out of debt.

    Look at where Susana Martinez started at cutting expenses ... with govt expenses that favored elitism for the high-level govt employees over the taxpayers. Just imagine the savings that could be made if ALL Fed employees, including the legislators!, were made to join the SS program. That, alone, would make a big dent in the expenditures; and if all the funds in that retirement program were put into the SS program, it would solve a large part of SS funding ... and if those legislators were dependent upon SS, just think how fast they would find a way to make it secure for the future.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  2. #72
    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    A good piece in American Thinker yesterday ... facts ... using IRS and CBO figures for 2009 & 2012.
    The fact is that to balance the budgetary expenditures of 2012 with income taxes, it would take an income tax rate of 100% on everyone earning down to $100,000. If the govt then spent more, the tax would have to move down to lower incomes ... that is JUST for Federal expenditures. That does NOT include costs of running state and local govts.

    I keep mentioning, but no one seems to notice, that in addition to the income tax, we pay TONS of other taxes that are hidden in other ways we don't notice. I have my cell phone bill in front of me to pay. The program I have is $40 for 700 minutes. (It's amazing how cheap that is, since I "upgraded" from a plan of $39.99 for 450 minutes). On that bill are Fed tax of $1.72 and PA gross receipts tax (sounds a bit like the tax proposed on medical devices) of 2.25. There is also a "regulatory charge" of .16 (I suspect that is another tax passed through the utility from the govt). Total: $4.13. That comes to 10% of the original bill. We would be very upset if the Fed proposed a 10% sales tax on phone service ... but this tax is there, but nobody ever talks about it, or the legislation that imposed that tax on EVERY cell phone bill.

    EVERYBODY pays that tax who pays their own cell phone bill ... even the family of 4 earning a lot less than most of those on this forum. Those who get social services that provide them with a free cell phone don't have to worry about that 10% "tax". Cell phones were once considered a luxury. Today they are practically a necessity for most working people. As a Realtor, if I didn't have a cell phone, it would be unthinkable that I could conduct my business today. So, if we were complacent when these taxes were enacted because they would only apply to "the rich", we were snookered. The same is true of your land-line, except the percentage is even higher.

    Obama and the Dems continue to add in their speeches that we ALL have to sacrifice ... are you really willing to believe that they will stop at $200,000 earners? Unless we take a very serious attitude toward cutting spending, there is simply NO WAY that we will ever balance a budget, much less get out of debt.

    Look at where Susana Martinez started at cutting expenses ... with govt expenses that favored elitism for the high-level govt employees over the taxpayers. Just imagine the savings that could be made if ALL Fed employees, including the legislators!, were made to join the SS program. That, alone, would make a big dent in the expenditures; and if all the funds in that retirement program were put into the SS program, it would solve a large part of SS funding ... and if those legislators were dependent upon SS, just think how fast they would find a way to make it secure for the future.
    I've noticed

    Not to mention all the other consumer taxes.

    A Tax Revolt by the people is in order!
    Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery. Calvin Coolidge



  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by menmon View Post
    No they don't...Romney only paid 14%.
    A false issue.

    From "Savings2Invest"...

    >The bulk of Romney’s 2010 income came from long-term capital gains ($12.6 million) and dividends ($8.2 million). This was really why his effective tax rate was so much lower than it should have been, since the highest tax rate on income from long-term capital gains and dividends is typically only15%, considerably less than the top rate of 35% levied on regular salary income.This lower rate on investments was instituted as part of the Bush-era tax cuts to spur investment.

    You see he paid taxes on income and then used that income to invest. The 15% tax rate is on investment, not salary and wages. Most of his income was investment.

    Then from Forbes Mag...

    >PWC’s (Price Waterhouse Coopers) letter said the Romneys’ effective state tax rate during the period had averaged 8.36%, while they had donated an average of 13.45% of their AGI, for a total of an average of 38.49% of their AGI going to federal and state income taxes and charitable giving.

    Note that I'm including charitable giving. However, as a benchmark, Joe Biden... (again Forbes)

    >In 2011,Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, paid at an effective tax rate of 22.9%...

    You could add the $500 in charitable giving to the Biden's if you want to make it "even".

    I simply don't understand why the Democrats are holding the middle class hostage in order to invoke a tax hike on the upper class that won't make a bit of difference. If the desire is to control the deficit, you'll have to cut spending. Increasing the revenue by further taxing those who do pay the taxes won't really accomplish anything.

    I note that elsewhere you've cited DoD and Bush as the cause of the issue. Do you know how much has been added to the deficit by President Obama by non-DoD programs? I'll venture a guess that the growth in entitlement spending over the past 4 years exceeds marginal DoD spending by a bunch.
    Eric

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  4. #74
    Senior Member menmon's Avatar
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    So just work at making all your earning capital gains and you only have to pay 15%...trust me I know the game. The capital gins tax will go back to 20% when the bush tax cuts exprire. They were 33% when Reagan was president and 28% when the first bush was president. Suppose to increase revenue by cutting them...has not worked

  5. #75
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    LOL!I missed another $2.80 on the phone bill (on the reverse side of the last page) ... that's the PA sales tax. So, we end up paying the company's "gross receipts tax" (sounds a lot like the medical devise tax in Obamacare) and ALSO the sales tax! Total $6.77 on a $45.91 in services = 14.7%

    Menmom, don't forget the $250,000 figure is for a married couple, which would mean they are paying the tax on earnings of $125,000 each, even if one of them earns $70,000 and the other $180,000. I suppose the govt is figuring that they both live in the same house, so their living expenses are not as much as two individuals maintaining in separate houses. And their adjusted gross may also then include children, though not all might have the same exemptions.

    The tax code is not "fair". Increasing the rates without revamping the tax code doesn't make sense if fairness is the goal. The Dems keep saying that we need a fairness.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

  6. #76
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by menmon View Post
    So just work at making all your earning capital gains and you only have to pay 15%...trust me I know the game. The capital gins tax will go back to 20% when the bush tax cuts exprire. They were 33% when Reagan was president and 28% when the first bush was president. Suppose to increase revenue by cutting them...has not worked
    Yes, it did. When the cap gains taxes were reduced, revenue increased.

    When income taxes become confiscatory, people try harder to conceal income: paying "under the table" and bartering. In theory even bartering is taxable ... but you have to find it first.

    If you work hard enough to save and invest, you have contributed to the welfare of the entire economy. A senior with sufficient investment income will not be using Medicaid or welfare. They'll be able to pay for their own nursing home, not be dependent on Medicaid. What they pay for their nursing home will allow the nursing home to use those excess funds toward their Medicaid residents
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

  7. #77
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    what does this have to do with interrogations.....oh I forgot where I was..
    All my Exes live in Texas

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  8. #78
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Recently watched a "Law and Order" episode that was very thought-provoking. They always disavow that their episodes are directly related to "real" people ... but this one certainly did seem to do so.

    The DA decided to prosecute a case about waterboarding interrogations (it also cited other methods of physical abuse such as hanging people by their wrists, as was done to McCain in Viet Nam). It revolved around a detainee who died from the interrogation methods. The suit filed by the DA cited as co-conspirators several members of the Bush administration, including Cheyney.

    Nobody wanted the DA to tread on this ground, but he went ahead anyhow. The show explored the varied emotions of those involved in the prosecution. Keep in mind the show's setting is NYC, and those staff members had watched the Towers burn on 9/11.

    The Fed govt also wielded their power to prevent the local DA from moving forward. The political implication cited was that a sitting administration would not allow the trial to proceed, because it would set a precedent for allowing prior administrations to be held legally liable in civilian courts; and, obviously, that also meant that a present administration would then have the same exposure under a new administration. A new twist to an old adage: "The enemy of my enemy is also my enemy"?

    The episode carried through the legal arguments of both the prosecution and the defense ... a thought-provoking summary of the reasoning behind both sides of the argument. The episode ended: the jury had just returned to the courtroom with its verdict, but the verdict was never heard, because at that moment, a Federal marshall entered the courtroom with an order from a Federal court that ended the trial. That Federal court order ended the trial, period, so that the jury's verdict could not even be heard, even though it had already been decided.

    When we have discussed this issue of these interrogation methods in the past, they have centered on the waterboarding. Whether other injurious methods are also involved has never been approached. Are things done that go beyond waterboarding? If so, will we ever know?

    I really feel non-partisan about this. As we have all often mentioned, both political parties (and their adherents) have plenty of dirty laundry in their closets. It is not more right for one or the other party to ignore the laws of the country ... yet, it appears that both parties do that more often than we may know.

    Does war really wipe out our belief in human rights and rule of law, even when the particular human is obviously reprehensible? Even the worst murderers in our society, totally reprehensible humans, will get a trial in our courts before punishment is inflicted. Our laws don't make distinctions WRT whether the criminal is a citizen or not. The laws are supposed to be applied equally to citizens or non-citizens. Even the Nazi war criminals got trials. Even Sadaam Hussein got a trial.

    I don't confuse this issue with whether these potentially dangerous people should remain confined at Gitmo or not; or whether trials should be brought to the mainland. Those are separate issues.
    Interesting article:
    Senate report finds harsh CIA interrogations were ineffective

    By Greg Miller


    Washington Post


    After a contentious closed-door vote, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a long-awaited report Thursday, Dec. 13, concluding that harsh interrogation measures used by the CIA did not produce significant intelligence breakthroughs, officials said.

    The 6,000-page document, which was not released to the public, was adopted by Democrats over the objections of most of the committee’s Republicans. The outcome reflects the level of partisan friction that continues to surround the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other severe interrogation techniques four years after they were banned.

    The report is the most detailed independent examination to date of the agency’s efforts to “break” dozens of detainees through physical and psychological duress, a period of CIA history that has become a source of renewed controversy because of torture scenes in a forthcoming Hollywood film, “Zero Dark Thirty.”

    Officials familiar with the report said it makes a detailed case that subjecting prisoners to “enhanced” interrogation techniques did not help the CIA find Osama bin Laden and often were counterproductive in the broader campaign against al-Qaida.

    The committee chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., declined to discuss specific findings but released a written statement describing decisions to allow the CIA to build a network of secret prisons and employ harsh interrogation measures as “terrible mistakes.”

    “I also believe this report will settle the debate once and for all over whether our nation should ever employ coercive interrogation techniques,” Feinstein said.

    That conclusion has been disputed by highranking officials from the George W. Bush administration, including former vice president Dick Cheney and former CIA director Michael Hayden. Both of them argued that the use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other measures provided critical clues that helped track down bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan in May 2011.

    Largely because of those political battle lines, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee refused to participate in the panel’s three-year investigation of the CIA interrogation program, and most opposed Thursday’s decision.

    Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the committee’s ranking Republican, said in a statement that the report “contains a number of significant errors and omissions about the history and utility of CIA’s detention program.” He also noted that the review was done “without interviewing any of the people involved.”

    The 9-6 vote indicates that at least one Republican voted in favor of the report, although committee officials declined to provide a breakdown.
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

  9. #79
    Senior Member Golddogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Recently watched a "Law and Order" episode that was very thought-provoking. They always disavow that their episodes are directly related to "real" people ... but this one certainly did seem to do so.

    The DA decided to prosecute a case about waterboarding interrogations (it also cited other methods of physical abuse such as hanging people by their wrists, as was done to McCain in Viet Nam). It revolved around a detainee who died from the interrogation methods. The suit filed by the DA cited as co-conspirators several members of the Bush administration, including Cheyney.

    Nobody wanted the DA to tread on this ground, but he went ahead anyhow. The show explored the varied emotions of those involved in the prosecution. Keep in mind the show's setting is NYC, and those staff members had watched the Towers burn on 9/11.

    The Fed govt also wielded their power to prevent the local DA from moving forward. The political implication cited was that a sitting administration would not allow the trial to proceed, because it would set a precedent for allowing prior administrations to be held legally liable in civilian courts; and, obviously, that also meant that a present administration would then have the same exposure under a new administration. A new twist to an old adage: "The enemy of my enemy is also my enemy"?

    The episode carried through the legal arguments of both the prosecution and the defense ... a thought-provoking summary of the reasoning behind both sides of the argument. The episode ended: the jury had just returned to the courtroom with its verdict, but the verdict was never heard, because at that moment, a Federal marshall entered the courtroom with an order from a Federal court that ended the trial. That Federal court order ended the trial, period, so that the jury's verdict could not even be heard, even though it had already been decided.

    When we have discussed this issue of these interrogation methods in the past, they have centered on the waterboarding. Whether other injurious methods are also involved has never been approached. Are things done that go beyond waterboarding? If so, will we ever know?

    I really feel non-partisan about this. As we have all often mentioned, both political parties (and their adherents) have plenty of dirty laundry in their closets. It is not more right for one or the other party to ignore the laws of the country ... yet, it appears that both parties do that more often than we may know.

    Does war really wipe out our belief in human rights and rule of law, even when the particular human is obviously reprehensible? Even the worst murderers in our society, totally reprehensible humans, will get a trial in our courts before punishment is inflicted. Our laws don't make distinctions WRT whether the criminal is a citizen or not. The laws are supposed to be applied equally to citizens or non-citizens. Even the Nazi war criminals got trials. Even Sadaam Hussein got a trial.

    I don't confuse this issue with whether these potentially dangerous people should remain confined at Gitmo or not; or whether trials should be brought to the mainland. Those are separate issues.

    Another opinion from someone who's been there:

    McCain rejects torture scene in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

    Senator brutalized in Vietnam War



    By Donna Cassata


    Associated Press


    WASHINGTON — The movie “Zero Dark Thirty” suggests the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques led the U.S. to Osama bin Laden. Sen. John McCain watched the movie Monday night and says it left him sick — because it’s wrong.

    McCain, who spent 5½ years enduring brutal treatment by his captors during the Vietnam War, has insisted that the waterboarding of al-Qaida’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, did not provide information that led to bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

    The movie, a copy of which McCain said he received Monday, indicates that’s how the United States found the al-Qaida leader. The filmmakers fell for it hook, line and sinker, McCain, R-Ariz., said Tuesday, Dec. 18.

    Last year, McCain asked then- CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he said the hunt for bin Laden did not begin with fresh information from Mohammed. In fact, the name of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed al- Kuwaiti, came from a d e t a i n e e held in a n o t h e r country. “Not only did the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information,” McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, backed up McCain’s assessment that waterboarding of Mohammed did not produce the tip that led to bin Laden.

    McCain has said he opposes waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning, and any form of torture tactics.

    “I do not believe they are necessary to our success in our war against terrorists, as the advocates of these techniques claim they are,” he

    said.
    Never trust a dog to watch your food!

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