Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More Mel and Me

The response to “Mel and Me” was so invigorating that I decided to continue the topic. I loved the comments:

Mel should read the LA and New York Times and then come back to the BLOGS for the other side.

Bill you are "nuts"... that is not scientific, it is wishful thinking on your part.

He was Middle Eastern. I asked him how he like living here, etc. and he said to me (I'll NEVER forget this) "We're not here to just live, we're here to take over." He was as serious as a heart attack.

Mel's a heckuva guy. It's like he turned you into an adult and increased your IQ by 50 points overnight.

Mel, shsmell!

I agree with Karen. Keep on being you, Dad.

Great stuff that, and thanks Daughter. Tex mentioned another argument against the war: “The invasion of Iraq has increased the influence and confidence of the extremist Shiites in Iran. We're going to have more trouble dealing with that than we would have if we weren't mired in Iraq.”

My counterpoint: The democratic Iraqi government with its Shiite plurality will provide an inspiring example to the Iranian people who overwhelmingly oppose their own extremist government. The best approach to the Iran problem is to support the Iranians in a revolt against their Mullah masters.

Aside from the war, Mel and I agreed on a surprising number of things:

(1) All workers should pay some income taxes.
(2) Tax cuts helped the economy recover.
(3) Public schools could do a far better job for less money.
(4) Competition, ie privatization, is the route to improved schools.
(5) Social security taxes should be "locked up" (invested) and not used by the federal government.

We discussed, without agreeing completely, several other points. Here are my positions.

(6) The issue of wiretapping without FISA court approval is whether the president has the constitutional authority or not. I believe that most judicial scholars say that Congress cannot impede the presidential powers to make war and that previous presidents have all upheld that position.
(7) The CA infrastructure is in disrepair. I agree that bonds are appropriate, as long as the budget is balanced without new taxes. Arnold promised to do that but the latest budget is $16Billion over balance. I would not increase gas taxes because of the burden on poor people.
(8) The LA traffic is terrible. The new roads will help. I would also provide incentives to businesses to move to outlying areas. Mel would fund mass transit.
(9) We both oppose "corporate welfare." I would also eliminate corporate taxes completely as all they do is put our companies at a disadvantage in the global marketplace. Our corporate tax rates are among the highest. The lost corporate taxes would be partly offset by personal income taxes that would ensue from a growing economy.
(10) We agree that a huge budget deficit is a problem, but I contend that it is not out of line relative to GDP. I want government spending at the federal and state levels to be cut substantially (say 10% for a start).

It's amazing how many topics we covered in a half hour at the gym. Thanks Mel, and thanks dear readers.




4 Comments:

Blogger fetching jen said...

How can Mel be so off base and yet agree on so many valid issues? And he's not atypical.

If he understands economics and politics the way it appears, how can he not understand why we are in Iraq and the very real threat to the USA?

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Corporation has ever paid a tax. The financial people know the approximate tax bite the Corporation with have to pay and the amount of both retained earnings and dividends they want to target. Therefore, the taxes become a part of the cost of doing business and are factored into the pricing. Ergo, we, as consumers, ultimately pay all the taxes. Even Congress has admitted that 41% of every dollar a consumer spends goes for hidden taxes in the cost of the goods or services purchased. Reality is, the number is over 60%. Also, we are the only country that taxes corporations on earnings inside a foreign country. Germany does not tax Mercedes on income earned in the U.S. but we tax G.M. on profits earned in Germany. To throw the U.S. companies a "bone" FASB ( Federal Accounting Standards Board ) allows U.S. companies to shift certain expense/losses to "off shore" subsidiaries. This benefits the company by it's ability to show higher profits which, in turn, keeps the stock price up (nice if you're an exec with options) and the IRS gets to tax a higher figure. Then, FedGov comes in and says Enron, who did just that, was being crooked. Enron's exec's were wrong for insider trading but the accounting was within FASB rules.

Jim

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill,
In your blogs you are presenting YOUR views. As for me, I like them because they agree with mine in most instances.

It is refreshing to read the conservative and generally the TRUE side of events which I cannot say is true of our newspapers. Too bad the newspapers don't report unbiased pros and cons of issues, as newspapers should do unless submitted as editorial.

Janey

6:38 PM  
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8:55 PM  

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