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Cravaack Town Hall

I didn’t wanted to go off topic on the thread regarding signs and free speech at the Cravaack town hall meeting, so I thought I’d start another one to discuss the content of the meeting.

27 Comments

Dave Sorensen

about 8 years ago

Mr. Cravaack said that Social Security is bankrupting our country. In fact, Social Security is self-financing, does not draw from the U.S. Treasury, and has not contributed one nickel to the debt.

maria

about 8 years ago

He compared the private health care voucher program he supports to LASIK eye surgery. LASIK used to be expensive and performed by only a few doctors; now it's cheap(er) and many docs can do it. WTF did he mean by that? Your guess is as good as mine. 

But if he's saying that his voucher program will pay for cosmetic surgery, I'm all for it! I could use a few touch-ups.

Bret

about 8 years ago

The GOP Congressfolk seem to be given a power point presentation on a flash drive and talking points and sent out to talk to (rather than listen to) their constituents.  I'm sure he doesn't have a good grasp of economics and governance and is just parroting what he was told to say.

Sam

about 8 years ago

It was obviously a pre-packaged powerpoint to push an ideology rather than sensible economics.  And a pre-packaged ideological presentation is hardly a town hall meeting with an exchange of ideas.  But I'm afraid many politicians do that regardless of political party.

Eric Meyer

about 8 years ago

I totally saw that "Widen the Tax Base" crap coming from a mile away when he started complaining that the bottom 47 percent "don't pay any taxes."  He would have had to add the words "federal" and "income" into that sentence to start making it factual.  "What about sales tax?!" I yelled.  

You've got to hand it to the people of Duluth though: not one single pitchfork or torch at the meeting.

If you were there I was the guy who got the last question. If you have 20 minutes, watch this video about LFTR (liquid flouride thorium reactors), the nuclear power plant that can't melt down, makes it's own fuel once you get it started, and is cheaper than coal while being carbon neutral.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-uxvSVIGtU  

Oh yeah, and the "waste" is incredibly valuable isotopes that can be used as a cancer "smartbomb" and run the batteries in NASA deep space probes.

Lojasmo

about 8 years ago

Good to see the voters in the eight decided to elect a congress critter who is as profoundly factually challenged as the estimable Ms. Bachmann.

edgeways

about 8 years ago

Soooo, Duluth had to beg it's congressman to show up, his office was in the dark about it, the meeting is held at the edge of town during the business day, and he gives a stock power point presentation. 

This is representation? It certainly wasn't terribly coordinated or meaningful.

Dave Sorensen

about 8 years ago

So the poorest (approximately) 50% of Americans don't pay any taxes?  How about sales tax, and payroll tax ? And how about the fact that the bottom 50% of Americans only own 3.5 % of the wealth?! That perspective goes missing with this latest talking point.

Claire

about 8 years ago

So, Cravaaack gave a power point presentation for 25 mins and took questions for 35 mins -- oh, and the first two rows of seats were reserved for his supporters. Sounds like I didn't miss much. We were out of town, but heard of the hastily called town hall from PDD and from the DNT news alerts. It's on, it's off, no it's on. How half assed. Hope he doesn't run his office the same way as he runs his mouth.

Slingfade

about 8 years ago

Sales tax: Not a federal tax, and not paid on housing, food or clothing.  Any sales tax paid by "the poor" is by their own choice.

Payroll taxes: Only half are paid by the workers, yet the worker reaps ALL of the benefits in retirement.  Hardly a tax.....more like a shifting of "wealth".

Maybe the bottom 50% should re-evaluate what they're doing in life if they have a problem with only owning 3.5% of the "wealth".  No one is standing in their way if they want to go out and do something more lucrative.

Dave Sorensen

about 8 years ago

@slingfade- self-employed people pay ALL of their Social Security tax. Wages over $106,000 are not subjected to SS tax, so average Americans pay a disproportionate share of their income to Social Security, compared to the rich. The poor can "choose" to not buy anything besides housing , food or clothing? Really? Maybe the bottom 50% can join unions to try to make their employment more lucrative. But from the sounds of your assinine comments you're probably against unions. Am I wrong? Would you support a living wage?  Most of the bottom 50% work a lot fucking harder than those reaping "passive income" in the upper brackets, and suggesting they just get better jobs is clueless beyond belief. Nothing stands in their way? How about the class-war being waged against them by your Republican ilk? Oh that's right, we have a "classless" society, with unlimited social climbling, available to all. Except 60% ( at least) of employment is in the mostly low-paying service sector. Hey everyone- go out and do something more lucrative, OK?

dbb

about 8 years ago

I'm curious about the background or basis for the 'nearly 50%' quote. The way I've seen it printed it says 'nearly 50% of US citizens do not pay any federal income tax'. Anyone know what the percentage is of US citizens who are under 18 years old? I'm guessing they don't pay much income tax, which I'm mostly ok with. I'd much rather see children taxed via other means than the income tax.

edgeways

about 8 years ago

"No one is standing in their way if they want to go out and do something more lucrative."

Yeeeeah. That's almost funny it is so clueless.

adam

about 8 years ago

How do I get $92k in disability for sleep apnea?

dbb

about 8 years ago

Pretty sure you'd need to be in the Delta Airlines pilot's union to score a deal that rich.

Sam

about 8 years ago

The "47% pay no federal income taxes" is misleading.  90% of Americans pay "Federal Payroll Tax" on their income.  The "Federal Payroll Tax" on income that 90% of Americans pay is a very regressive tax that only taxes the first $106,800 of earnings, so a billionaire pays just as much as someone who makes $106,800.

But the "Federal Payroll Tax" is a legal fiction that is separate from the "Federal Income Tax," another legal fiction.  There are also taxes on investments, which is a form of income for many and do not fall within the "Federal Income Tax" category.  

So there are many taxes on income that are not technically in the "Federal Income Taxes" category, including the payroll tax.

They are also cherry picking the dates.  In the worst part of the great recession, it did get up to 47% for "Federal Income Taxes," which are just one of many types of federal tax on income.  But normally that number is closer to 20%, and that number does not apply to other forms of federal taxes on income (like the payroll tax).  

And the rich hide their money in multiple legal categories, so many (Fox News) can exaggerate how much they pay of their "Income" since their real income is not in the legal "Income" category.

And the rich pay much lower overall state and local taxes (the middle class in MN pay about a 40% higher tax rate than the rich).

The real question is "What OVERALL tax rates do they pay?"  The rich pay a far lower tax rate than the middle and working classes OVERALL.  The rich get far more tax loopholes, tax shelters, and tax breaks.  After loopholes, the rich pay a much, much lower tax rate.

http://crooksandliars.com/jon-perr/debunking-47-pay-no-taxes-talking-point

Bruce

about 8 years ago

We need more town hall meetings up here.

Aaron

about 8 years ago

Here's a good breakdown of who pays no federal income tax and why. It works out that the very old, the very poor and the very young don't pay federal income tax. The number is higher in 2011 than in other recent years because there are many more who are very poor. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/why-do-half-of-all-americans-pay-no-federal-income-taxes/2011/07/11/gIQA8olBuI_blog.html

Carla

about 8 years ago

I have noticed that our employees at Chester Creek Cafe pay proportionally more taxes than I do as an owner. The law is genuinely designed to benefit the wealthy. I feel weird about it but don't know exactly what to do. So many people (conservatives) consistently vote against their own interests. It is puzzling.

Spy1

about 8 years ago

From Chip's "This Week in Washington" email:

On Thursday, I held a town hall meeting at the airport in Duluth. Over 200 people squeezed into this open event and had an opportunity to speak their mind. It always amazes me how active and savvy the people of the 8th are and I thoroughly enjoyed the spirited discourse. As I have said many times before, it is my job to listen to the concerns of all my constituents and that mantra will guide me through the 112th Congress.

Jake

about 8 years ago

Sounds like you have a perfect argument for the flat tax.

double barrell darrell

about 8 years ago

Flat tax with no hidey-holes, offshore or other.

Joel

about 8 years ago

I was unable to attend the Cravaack town hall, but I did attend the Duffy town hall in Superior a month or so ago.  It sounds like Cravaack's PowerPoint was identical to Duffy's, right down to weird China-phobic stuff (which Duffy presented in his best scary-sounding voice).  In Duffy's case, every time he was forced to go off script it became perfectly clear he actually has no knowledge whatsoever of economics or economic policy. It sounds like Cravaack did a better job making sure no one forced him off his script.

Joel

about 8 years ago

And on the flat tax issue, a flat income tax would make things worse.  Most taxes (like sales and property taxes) fall more heavily on middle and lower income people.  The progressive income tax (in which the wealthier pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes) was developed to balance out the sales and property taxes (which fall more heavily on middle and lower income people) so that the overall tax system would be fairer.  The fact that the right-wing is appalled that people who pay a huge portion of their income in sales, payroll, and property taxes don't pay federal income tax shows just how twisted these people are.  (And yes, renters pay property tax indirectly through their rent.)

Baci

about 8 years ago

I think we have an opportunity to act locally and provide an example. I like the mayor's idea of referendum based levies to generate funding for the stuff we value. It be great to have some smart shared sacrifice to achieve communal goals. If that's a more library branches then let vote for it and send a signal that there are communities willing and able to pay more collectively to met our goals. Now I don't think this cyan replace smart and progressive taxe reform and fiscal oversight at the federal level but at least we can make a difference here. I, as well, continue to be amazed at the thoroughness of the mind/spirit numbing that allows people to blindly vote against their own, and the country's, best interest. The shared rewards of democracy and liberty can only be earned with shared and balanced sacrifice

Baci

about 8 years ago

Btw was thumbing that last one in from my phone so I apologize for the spelling issues - wish I cld log in and edit my comments

emmadogs

about 8 years ago

Baci, I know Ness has an impossible job re: budget cuts, but closing branch libraries??? Really???  And I'll pay the tax increase to keep them open, but it's exactly the wrong premise that we have to 'volunteer' to pay even more to keep essential services open.  That said, if we're going to have to vote for tax increases to keep libraries open, then I want to vote for tax decreases to eliminate spending I oppose at local and national levels (military funding, expensive local school reform, etc).

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