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Fiscal Cliff looms! Some ideas to help us from going over the edge

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posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 09:37 PM
As we Americans peer out over the Fiscal Cliff, we wonder whether we are going to fall over or get pulled back. Right now it’s like watching an MMA fight night with two camps going at it, you have the Republicans and the Democrats, and the night is headlined by Boehner vs. Obama.

The Republicans want to extend all of the Bush tax cuts while Obama wants to end them for the wealthy. Republicans want to cut more social programs and government spending while Obama wants to preserve the programs. Both sides know they are going to have to meet somewhere in the middle.

Why do they have to? Why can’t both sides get what they want by seeking out other sources of income? Isn’t that how the business world works? Companies diversify to maximize profits. Certain products may produce more than others. In your home if you’re pinching from check to check you either have to cut something from the budget or take another job, or you may think of some other ways to raise money. You may have a garage sale or sell some stuff on Ebay. Better yet, maybe you are good at poker and you decide to play some online, if it were legal of course, which brings me to my next point.

The government could use online poker and other vices to raise money instead of raising taxes. Before I go on I just want to point out that I am a conservative and the normal thought process for conservatives would be to staunchly stand against gambling and other vices, but I’m also a believer in people’s right to live as they wish. If I choose to play online poker in my living room, it's not hurting anyone else. That’s why we make laws, for the public good, for the welfare and safety of citizens. How does my playing online poker jeopardize the safety and welfare of the citizenry?

I believe our government should regulate online poker and other vices instead of paying outrageous amounts of money every year to try to stop grown men and women from doing as they purely desire.

Now I know that taxing our vices won't raise near enough to solve the nation’s problems right now, but it’s a great start and it would ease the burden on the taxpayer. Think about it, instead of taxes going up on everyone without a choice, it would only hurt those who choose to have a vice. I may choose to throw some of my money into an online poker pot and if I win, I’d expect that some of that pot is going to get raked first by the government.

Analysts predicted a few years back that online poker could raise $2 billion a year, but they went by the numbers of people that were playing at the time. These were the millions of Americans who were throwing their money into illegal websites with no regulation. We at the time didn’t know if we’d get paid adequately, or if opponents were able to see our hands. We simply had to trust that everything was on the up and up. Also, we had to hope that the Feds weren’t going to kick down our doors and arrest us for playing because it was illegal. If it was legalized and regulated, I believe that more Americans would play than ever before. We’d feel comfortable knowing that the site operators had someone to be accountable to, and we’d know what we were doing is legal. So, $2 billion is a small figure.

How would the government make money from online poker? They would put a small tax on each pot that is played in cash poker games. For example, when you play in a casino, the casino rakes each pot up to 10%, or $4 or $5 maximums. Online is similar. Say the government chooses to place a 1% tax on each pot with a $1 maximum. There are literally hundreds of thousands of hands per hour played in the online poker world. The government would also charge a licensing fee to the operators of each online poker site.

Still not a large amount considering we spend over a trillion a year.

There are other vices government could tax and regulate that would add a little more to the federal coffers. Also, each state that allows these vices would tax as well off-setting their own budget shortfalls.

Of course, there would have to be some federal spending cuts. America is hurting right now so I’m not for cutting out spending on social programs to help the less-fortunate. First, let’s create more jobs then we can look at program cuts. But, what do we do to curb spending until then? Let’s take a look at some pork barrel spending that would be just plain hilarious if it weren’t so disgusting. During elections people always bring up social programs to be axed if a Republican wins, but why doesn’t anyone ever bring up these ridiculous pork barrel projects?

$107,000 to study the sex life of the Japanese quail.
$1.2 million to study the breeding habits of the woodchuck.
$150,000 to study the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
$84,000 to find out why people fall in love.
$1 million to study why people don't ride bikes to work.
$19 million to examine gas emissions from cow flatulence.
$144,000 to see if pigeons follow human economic laws.
$219,000 to teach college students how to watch television.
$2 million to construct an ancient Hawaiian canoe.
$20 million for a demonstration project to build wooden bridges.
$160,000 to study if you can hex an opponent by drawing an X on his chest.
$800,000 for a restroom on Mt. McKinley.
$100,000 to study how to avoid falling spacecraft.
$16,000 to study the operation of the komungo, a Korean stringed instrument.
$1 million to preserve a sewer in Trenton, NJ, as a historic monument.
$6,000 for a document on Worcestershire sauce.
$10,000 to study the effect of naval communications on a bull's potency.
$100,000 to research soybean-based ink.
$1 million for a Seafood Consumer Center.
$57,000 spent by the Executive Branch for gold-embossed playing cards on Air Force Two.
$3.1 million to convert a ferry boat into a crab restaurant in Baltimore.
$6.4 million for a Bavarian ski resort in Kellogg, Idaho.
$13 million to repair a privately owned dam in South Carolina.
$4.3 million for a privately owned museum in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
$11 million for a private pleasure boat harbor in Cleveland.
$6 million to repair tracks owned by the Soo Railroad Line.
$320,000 to purchase President McKinley's mother-in-law's house.
$2.7 million for a catfish farm in Arkansas.
$3 million for private parking garages in Chicago.
$500,000 to build a replica of the Great Pyramid of Egypt in Indiana.
$850,000 for a bicycle path in Macomb County, Michigan.
$10 million for an access ramp in a privately owned stadium in Milwaukee.
$1.8 million for an engineering study to convert Biscayne Boulevard in Miami into an "Exotic Garden."
$13 million for an industrial theme park in Pennsylvania.
$500,000 for a museum to honor former Secretary of State Cordell Hull.
$33 million to pump sand onto the private beaches of Miami hotels.
$6 million to upgrade the two-block long Senate subway.
$350,000 to renovate the U.S. House Beauty Salon.
$250,000 to study TV lighting in the Senate meeting
$130,000 for a Congressional video-conferencing project.
TOTAL: $162,180,000


So ATS, you can see that if we cut spending in the right areas, we don’t hurt the people who need it the most, which keeps the Democrats happy. And if we found other sources of income, such as taxing and regulating online poker, rather than taxing our incomes, we’d keep the Republicans happy.

This is all IMO. I’d love to hear what you all think.

posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 09:40 PM
I really don't think they are trying to prevent from going over the edge...

I think they have already gone over the edge and they're trying their best to not tell the public about it.

Look at the national debt.... How is it possible that it hasn't gone over the edge?

The whole system is rigged.

posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 09:44 PM
As a renter (taxpayer)
I care not about my Landlords bills,
I understand he may try to raise my rent (tax),
it will be up to me,
to continue renting (paying tax) from thee or,
move on.

posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 10:01 PM
reply to post by xxshadowfaxx

My thoughts exactly also.
The façade we see before us is no different to the bank running out of money in monopoly so why not just print more.

It's a giant juggling game and there's too many balls to catch.

the question is how long can they maintain this illusion ?

posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 10:59 PM
There is a way to recover the system and do it almost overnight..... It's just so unthinkably UnAmerican and so far over a bridge that could never be rebuilt once burned, I can't believe they'd really be looking at it this way, It's a solution that will remain viable for awhile longer, anyway. Out to about 22-25 Trillion as I'd guess...but everything is so interdependent, that's almost laughably impossible to do more than guess at by the time the solution and need met even for value.

While I was swimming around in the budget for a few weeks, I came across all kinds of little bunny trails I went hopping down to see what else I could learn, while basically putting all my time that direction for awhile anyway. Among them are the M-# Numbers published by the Federal Reserve Bank System and out of St Louis for the reports I found the most of. These track everyone and everything financial.

Everything with a Capital E. That's all the money in Savings accounts of various kinds, checking accounts, IRA's, Bonds, 401k's, Mutual Funds and whatever else of a traceable nature you can think of. The reports are totals world wide. The REAL money supplies in various categories as they are known to exist. At least the REAL numbers that have real human beings attached to them. There were a few other fields. Google will bring the stuff up for people wanting to read all the dry numbers. It'll take awhile, be ready to get comfy.

The bottom line though.....The Retirement funds of Americans when taken as a collective total and combined from IRA, 401k and the above listed things and a few more comes out about right. Wipe out what isn't in people's pockets yet and two things happen.....well, more than two but two big things. The debt would be paid overnight. The debt, not the deficit. The real deal and the big kahoona. It WOULD be paid that way. Also though, every American young and old would be without retirement options and 100% totally dependent on Uncle for elderly options, overnight.

I sure hope they've never been thinking down this path for what we've been seeing by otherwise illogical decisions for 6 years or so.. Some European nations have already done this to some extent, as I understand it?

posted on Nov, 26 2012 @ 11:08 PM
I think we should allow democrats everything they want. Let them have free, unfettered reign.

If it works, and the economy improves, jobs created, people off the dole, then great!

If it fails, the economy tanks, unemployment rises, more people on government assistance, then kick them all out.

Easy-peasy, lemon-squeasy

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 12:12 AM
reply to post by Rezlooper

Um, you and practically everyone does not have the ability to comprehend decimal places.

162 million is .0013 percent of 1.2 trillion which is our annual deficit. It is about 1/100th of 1 percent of our deficit. Earmarks are currently banned anyway so effectively they have already been cut.

Online gambling is only an industry of a few billion dollars per year, so maybe you get a billion or two from that if they legalized it and taxed it successfully.

So maybe, with your plan we make up, 2.5 billion or .2 percent of our annual budget - 1/5 of 1 percent of our annual deficit.

Your proposals mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. ALL the discretionary spending could be zeroed out - (EVERYTHING but Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, Social Security and the interest on the debt) and we still would not have a balanced budget - Yes that includes ZERO for defense. Entitlements is what has to be cut - NOBODY wants to hear that but it doesn't matter what anyone wants - the math is what it is.

If they do nothing and let us hit the "dreaded" fiscal cliff with all of its proposed tax increases and cuts it would at best make 500 billion in difference to our annual budget - So less than half of 1.2 trill.

None of the lawmakers want to hit that level they think it would be unacceptable because it would drop us into a depression - and it probably would - but that is no longer a choice. The truth is we will be going into a depression, its only a question of how deep and how long it lasts, it cannot be avoided at this point.

The market is going to force 100% of the deficit to go away within a few short years at most whether the politicians like it or not.

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 12:40 AM
I think it would be easier to go back to the gold standard , round up all those involved with the whole fiat currency b.s , (if the main players are dead , lets send their children and their childrens children) ship them off to china or whoever else they sold the people out to , and let those countries figure out the best way to recoup their loses with them.

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 07:17 AM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Ouch! That would ruffle a few feathers. Who would be the first to step forward and pitch that solution? Bipartisan or not, they'd be sacrificial lambs. None of them have the balls to come up with real solutions like that.

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 07:19 AM

Originally posted by beezzer
I think we should allow democrats everything they want. Let them have free, unfettered reign.

If it works, and the economy improves, jobs created, people off the dole, then great!

If it fails, the economy tanks, unemployment rises, more people on government assistance, then kick them all out.

Easy-peasy, lemon-squeasy

If we did that, they'd mess everything up so badly, there'd be no chance of return. It's easy for these government bums to pass laws, but once passed, it seems they never get thrown out and our government just continues to grow beyond control!

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 07:22 AM
reply to post by proximo

I do agree with you here. I know these numbers are but a spec when you're talking about a tril in debt every year. We're in trouble either way, but at least we'be be able to play some poker along the way

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:01 AM
reply to post by Rezlooper

"Seeking other sources of income"...

Hey, Ive got a crazy idea!!!! How about we CUT SPENDING??? We dont have a revenue issue, we have a spending issue. I can promise you, if I found out my wife was overdrawing the check book by thousands of dollars a month my first and likely second thought wouldn't be...

"Dang, Ive got to find a way to get this woman a lot more money!!"

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:13 AM
This economy is unsustainable and we all know this. There is no "magic bullet" to fix it. We have wallowed in our opulence at the cost of the future for so long, there is no going back. Perhaps going over this "cliff" is exactly what must happen. I was looking over what is supposed to happen if it goes over the edge...and quite frankly...grow up and deal with it. If this "cliff" is the worst we are going to suffer, then we lick our wounds, pick ourselves up and move along.

The terminology of this "fiscal cliff" is pure fear mongering. The proposed cuts and tax increases are what they one said "fixing" things was going to be painless. Or do we just pretend to want to fix it and jump around like our heads are on fire...not really doing or changing anything?

This is one of the things that freaking kills me about people...they say they want our Gov to be responsible...until something is on the chopping block they think they want or need then it's "no!..can't touch this!"

The Gov needs to be rolled back to it's Constitutional powers and let the chips fall where they do. All of this spending and taxing is and has always been un-Constitutional. If going over a damn cliff fixes be it.

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:21 AM
There is no Fiscal Cliff.

It's all been a PsyOp to make everyone think the nation is bankrupt. Made it easier for them to take mega Trillions and invest it around the globe year after year...instead of giving Americans jobs.....and spending money on you.

Made it easier for a few people to fill their own pockets.

Since the 1950's Americans have been forced to buy "car insurance', and generation after generation of Americans have been paying into these BONDS. There's HUNDREDS OF TRILLIONS missing in just the "auto insurance bond" scandle alone.

President Clinton's "Quadrennial Defense Review" was a plan to fire alll the blue collar Federal Wage Grade employees in DOD and entire military units. So MEGA BILLIONS could be used abroad year after year and a few smart people in the know could fill their own pockets and become KINGS.

The "Fiscal Cliff" is the biggest bank robbery in the History of EARTH.

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 12:19 PM
Hey, I’m with you all on your comments. Cut spending first. It’s a must. But, over the past couple of years I have had an up close and personal view of what hardships are on people. These are people who legitimately lose their jobs and end up with no where to turn. I said in my post that I’m a conservative and prior to a couple of years ago I came out hard against this Entitlement thinking, and I’m still against it because I know there is a lot of abuse, but I also saw a couple different people I know go through some serious hardships after losing their jobs and if they hadn’t had that lifeline thrown to them, who knows where they would be.

How I see it is if we completely cut off all social program spending and see where the chips fall, it would be very dangerous for all law-abiding citizens because crime would run rampant in our streets. The ghetto would no longer be restricted to the inner city, it would be in your neighborhood out there in the suburbs or the small rural towns, where we all feel safe and secure.

Regardless of how we got here, we’re here and there’s no easy way out of this. I agree that spending has to be cut first and that no one should have their taxes raised just to pay for more entitlements. But, how do we do it? If we go over the cliff, it’s going to be real ugly!

Pervius nails it here. If anything, the first cuts should be the billions in foreign aid we send around the world. Why should we ease the suffering of others in the world when we can’t even ease our own?

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