Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid October

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Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid October

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:40 pm UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/26/us/jo ... .html?_r=0
Mr. Dent said there had been “a lot of sadness in the room” when Mr. Boehner made his announcement to colleagues, and he blamed the House’s hard-right members, who he said were unwilling to govern. “It’s clear to me that the rejectionist members of our conference clearly had an influence on his decision,” Mr. Dent said. “That’s why I’m not happy about what happened today. We still have important issues to deal with, and this will not be easier for the next guy.”


“The early reports are discouraging,” Mr. Cruz said. “If it is correct that the speaker, before he resigns, has cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi to fund the Obama administration for the rest of this year, to fund The Affordable Care Act, to fund executive amnesty, to fund Planned Parenthood, to fund implementation of this Iran deal, and then presumably to land a cushy K Street job after joining with the Democrats to implement all of President Obama’s priorities, that is not the behavior one would expect from a Republican speaker of the House.”


John Boehner is the current Speaker of the House, the most powerful position in the House of Representatives. He's the leader of the Republicans and has been working hard to not shutdown the government. It is clear however that his caucus wants to shut the government down again and has had an adverse effect on the speaker.

With this move, the government is unlikely to shutdown (since Boehner can just say "shove it", push the budget forward and not have to worry about criticism anymore). To see the rejectionists within the Republican Party grow this powerful however makes me scared for the future of our country. John Boehner's parting blow will keep the government functioning... but what about the next crisis?

The Debt Limit needs to be raised again come November. The imminent October shutdown has likely been averted due to Boehner's actions. But we're not out of the woods yet...
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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

So, despite Boehner's relatively unstellar popularity, does anyone think his replacement will be better? Anyone?

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:54 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:So, despite Boehner's relatively unstellar popularity, does anyone think his replacement will be better? Anyone?


It means that the worst is true for the Republicans: there is no leadership and there hasn't been any leadership for the last few years. Boehner was never able to rally the Republicans on important issues, and this resignation is just an admission of that fact.

Things aren't going to get better for the GOP (or the House, since Repubs are entirely in control) until they can actually unite themselves.
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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby morriswalters » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:21 pm UTC

You can't rally rabble.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Paul in Saudi » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:49 pm UTC

Herding cats is a tough job, but few are as bad at as Boehner. You can see tabby footprints all over his back. Better luck to the next fellow.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby mcd001 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:59 pm UTC

I for one am happy to see him go. He is a symbol for everything that is wrong with the republican party. You want an explanation for why Donald Trump is leading in the polls? Look no further than Boehner (and his counterpart in the senate, Mitch McConnell). Many of Trump's 'supporters' are simply giving a great big finger back to the republican establishment.

Republicans in congress have not kept the promises they made to voters when we gave them majorities in both the house and senate. They fold at the first sign of resistance from democrats and refuse to fight for anything, except business as usual and more government largess for their cronies.

KnightExemplar wrote:To see the rejectionists within the Republican Party grow this powerful however makes me scared for the future of our country.

Really? that's interesting. Unrestrained spending, ever-growing entitlement programs, and ever-increasing debt (18 trillion and growing) makes ME fear for the future. I think my fear (that no one will act until the debt becomes unsustainable) is more rational than your fear (that republican 'rejectionists' might actually manage to reign in the size and power of the federal bureaucracy).

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Dauric » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:07 pm UTC

Paul in Saudi wrote:Herding cats is a tough job, but few are as bad at as Boehner. You can see tabby footprints all over his back. Better luck to the next fellow.


I'm not sure how much of that is really him being bad at herding cats, or that the makeup of the Republican party changed dramatically while he was in the leadership position. Boehner became leader for the Republicans in the House just two years before the Tea Party movement started having candidates declaring themselves as Tea Party and winning elections under that banner (2007 and 2009 respectively).

It used to be the conventional wisdom that getting the Democrats to all agree on something was the case of herding cats. You had policy interests ranging from environmentalism to welfare, education, various government programs, etc., etc. all pulling Democratic politicians with different emphasis, and getting them all to agree on common policies to back was the "Herding Cats".

The Republicans and the Tea Party movement aren't so much a case of "herding cats" as it is "Lion Taming". The Tea Party has a fairly uniform emphasis across it's members, but the politicians flying under that banner will not compromise on anything and will fight 'establishment' Republicans tooth and nail to maintain their policy positions at all costs.
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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:12 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:To see the rejectionists within the Republican Party grow this powerful however makes me scared for the future of our country.

Really? that's interesting. Unrestrained spending, ever-growing entitlement programs, and ever-increasing debt (18 trillion and growing) makes ME fear for the future. I think my fear (that no one will act until the debt becomes unsustainable) is more rational than your fear (that republican 'rejectionists' might actually manage to reign in the size and power of the federal bureaucracy).


Where the hell is the budget? Republicans have had literally years to pass a budget to fix spending, entitlement programs and debt. And they have refused to even bring any up.

The fact of the matter is, Boehner needs to work with Democrats to get anything done, because his base is too busy rejecting anything than actually writing a law. Republicans have a majority in both the Senate AND the House, and have yet to even get a budget to Obama's desk or through a Democrat Filibuster. The promised era of Republican leadership is a failure and it worries me even more if the level-headed compromising Republicans (who can indeed reach across the aisle and work with political opponents) are dropping out of Congress.

Our Constitution is designed so that the President checks and balances Congress. The Tea-Party Republicans refuse to work with the President, despite the Constitution giving him a major tool (the Veto threat) against them. That just demonstrates to me the short-sightedness of the Tea Party.

Republicans in congress have not kept the promises they made to voters when we gave them majorities in both the house and senate. They fold at the first sign of resistance from democrats and refuse to fight for anything, except business as usual and more government largess for their cronies.


My sister's department was furloughed when she was at the CDC during the 2013 government shutdown. You know what that did? That screwed up the flu vaccine for the next year. Thousands died due to a poor flu vaccine. The government furlough cost the government billions of dollars in waste and backpay, while the US People were screwed out of their services for those weeks.

You know, it is stupendously funny. Tea Party Republicans constantly talk about "not fixing the budget", when their political inaction is literally costing Taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

The fact that there are House leaders who don't see the importance of keeping things running scares me. Trim the bureaucracy if you like, but don't shut random parts of it down. Pass a law and write a budget. Don't withhold paychecks from the men in Afghanistan because you're unable to compromise.

Write a law, pass a budget. I promise you, when Bureaucrats are able to make a plan that actually has a chance at lasting for more than 6 months, the bureaucracy will find efficiency in the system. For now, agencies don't even know what the budget is going to be next week and are completely unable to plan anything because of this silly political football.

-------

Actually, I hereby issue a challenge to you if you don't care for Boehner. Name a good replacement! Shift the debate, actually move the discussion forward. There's a job to fill in the House and no one seems to have an idea who can do it.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:19 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby morriswalters » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:06 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:Really? that's interesting. Unrestrained spending, ever-growing entitlement programs, and ever-increasing debt (18 trillion and growing) makes ME fear for the future. I think my fear (that no one will act until the debt becomes unsustainable) is more rational than your fear (that republican 'rejectionists' might actually manage to reign in the size and power of the federal bureaucracy).
The Republicans can't, and I hope won't, ever get unrestricted power to do what they want. And if the answer to that problem is to shut down the government every time they can't pass legislation as they see fit then, then perhaps we need to see if the public at large is prepared for the costs associated with that.

Sequestration achieved what neither party has been able to accomplish on their own. The first real budget saving in years. And Republicans want to undo it, as well as some Democrats. Neither wants to save money. They just want to spend it differently. Democrats aren't any better, but currently they are more disciplined.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Lucrece » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:32 am UTC

I don't understand how Boehner can be blamed for being pushed to resign.

Much like Democrats with the progressive crazies from Salon/Daily Kos Land have had problems with the leftwing fringes taking over the party via primaries, so do Republicans face Tea party right wing fringes push the party in the opposite direction.

Us independents and centrists end up losing out. Colleges churn out leftwing indoctrination (well, mostly from the humanities; luckily engineering, math, and physical sciences stay pretty clear from that crap, while life sciences are feeling the pull and I hope they resist) while church groups are spitting out the right wing warriors.
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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby sardia » Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:45 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:I don't understand how Boehner can be blamed for being pushed to resign.

Much like Democrats with the progressive crazies from Salon/Daily Kos Land have had problems with the leftwing fringes taking over the party via primaries, so do Republicans face Tea party right wing fringes push the party in the opposite direction.

Us independents and centrists end up losing out. Colleges churn out leftwing indoctrination (well, mostly from the humanities; luckily engineering, math, and physical sciences stay pretty clear from that crap, while life sciences are feeling the pull and I hope they resist) while church groups are spitting out the right wing warriors.

Don't blame college indoctrination without citation. The politicians are increasingly partisan because their electorate is increasingly partisan. Gerrymandering is part of it, but not the whole answer.
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/par ... at-age-18/
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... ung-voters
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Eat citations!
Your premise has at best a 1 point swing potential. These citations point to a 4pt swing potential, easily overwhelming any pitiful attempts at indoctrination. If you want your party to win, do well now with today's 15-18 year olds, and then keep doing it forever. Each generation will become lifelong members of whatever party is doing well at that time(economy is booming, no bad wars). What, this is unreasonable you say? Of course it is, but that's how the game is played.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby morriswalters » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:55 pm UTC

This isn't necessarily about political parties. It may be more about unrealistic expectations and changing demographics.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby sardia » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:05 pm UTC

He made the ridiculous claim that we were indoctrinating college educated graduates into partisan drones. Which isn't to say he's wrong, but the effect size is completely overstated and unsupported. So yea, I'm saying he's wrong.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby morriswalters » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:00 pm UTC

sardia wrote:He made the ridiculous claim that we were indoctrinating college educated graduates into partisan drones. Which isn't to say he's wrong, but the effect size is completely overstated and unsupported. So yea, I'm saying he's wrong.
And I agree with you. Indoctrination is a much overused word here. And college students are just as human as everyone else. With all that implies. People really don't need all that much help to be stupid, Liberals or Conservatives.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

sardia wrote:He made the ridiculous claim that we were indoctrinating college educated graduates into partisan drones. Which isn't to say he's wrong, but the effect size is completely overstated and unsupported. So yea, I'm saying he's wrong.


Sure, both parties cheerfully want more indoctrinated partisan drones, and view the efforts of the other side as bad and wrong.

And there is indeed a significant liberal bias in secondary education overall. Buuuut, it's not universal. And it's not as if right-wing oriented indoctrination never happens, or is intrinsicly different. It's usually fairly trivial to detect your teacher's biases and write to them in college, if you're so inclined.

I do agree that calling it indoctrination is somewhat over-representing it. It's pretty normal for your perspective to influence what you teach others.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby CBusAlex » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:01 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:Really? that's interesting. Unrestrained spending, ever-growing entitlement programs, and ever-increasing debt (18 trillion and growing) makes ME fear for the future. I think my fear (that no one will act until the debt becomes unsustainable) is more rational than your fear (that republican 'rejectionists' might actually manage to reign in the size and power of the federal bureaucracy).


The current shutdown fight has nothing to do with any of this. The Tea Party isn't trying to reduce federal spending at all here; they're just trying to make sure Planned Parenthood doesn't get any of it. In fact, the bill specifically states "Nothing in this Act shall be construed to reduce overall Federal funding available in support of women’s health."

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:48 pm UTC

Correct.

There is no doubt also a theme of complaining about debt, but realistically, we need not worry that ANY party will too severely rein in spending. Look over the history of spending, and you'll note that both parties cheerfully engage on it. They just have different spending priorities is all. So, of *course* the republicans would prefer to spend on their priorities, rather than planned parenthood, which they rather dislike.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby sardia » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:12 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Correct.

There is no doubt also a theme of complaining about debt, but realistically, we need not worry that ANY party will too severely rein in spending. Look over the history of spending, and you'll note that both parties cheerfully engage on it. They just have different spending priorities is all. So, of *course* the republicans would prefer to spend on their priorities, rather than planned parenthood, which they rather dislike.

We only have these vicious fights over priorities because of the current generation isn't willing to cough up the dough in the first place. You don't get to blame both sides if the only reason we're fighting over it is because the GOP set us up for it by limiting our income. It be like me getting away with starving homeless people until they fight for a sandwich for my amusement on camera. I could blame those two homeless people equally for fighting...or I could take some responsibility over the fact that I starved them in the first place.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby jseah » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:29 am UTC

From my perspective as a non US citizen, you guys pay far too much in tax.

You don't need to ask me about UK or Australia.
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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby elasto » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:00 am UTC

jseah wrote:From my perspective as a non US citizen, you guys pay far too much in tax.

You don't need to ask me about UK or Australia.

Depends what you're trying to optimize for.

Research consistantly shows that the higher tax societies are happier (both rich and poor) than lower tax ones.

Seems counter-intuitive, right? I mean, if I told you you could pay $1000 less in tax this year, that'd make you happy right? But the reality is that tax cuts only give a temporary lift to happiness. Soon you go right back to being unhappy about how much tax you're paying.

Social safety nets, however - knowing that if you get ill, or lose your job through no fault of your own, or need extra education or whatever - the peace of mind that comes from having that is, so the research tells us, deeper and longer-lasting.

So, like I say, taxes being 'too high' depends on what you as a society is trying to optimize for. If you want to optimize for pure GDP growth, maybe super low taxes and an extremely high inequality rate is the way to go. But if you want to optimize for happiness both for the rich and the poor, a slightly higher rate seems to work better.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby dg61 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:21 am UTC

elasto wrote:
jseah wrote:From my perspective as a non US citizen, you guys pay far too much in tax.

You don't need to ask me about UK or Australia.

Depends what you're trying to optimize for.

Research consistantly shows that the higher tax societies are happier (both rich and poor) than lower tax ones.

Seems counter-intuitive, right? I mean, if I told you you could pay $1000 less in tax this year, that'd make you happy right? But the reality is that tax cuts only give a temporary lift to happiness. Soon you go right back to being unhappy about how much tax you're paying.

Social safety nets, however - knowing that if you get ill, or lose your job through no fault of your own, or need extra education or whatever - the peace of mind that comes from having that is, so the research tells us, deeper and longer-lasting.

So, like I say, taxes being 'too high' depends on what you as a society is trying to optimize for. If you want to optimize for pure GDP growth, maybe super low taxes and an extremely high inequality rate is the way to go. But if you want to optimize for happiness both for the rich and the poor, a slightly higher rate seems to work better.


I can sort of see more issues from here if taxes are high but people are not seeing any benefits from them, or if taxes are seen as onerous even if the overall benefit for the individual is great. I know a lot of Americans complain as much about the tax code being baroque and complicated and full of loopholes that disproportionately benefit those who are rich enough to demand loopholes or find out about them.

Incidentally, some people have I think mentioned that in many countries the government does your taxes-you get a pre-filled out form that lists your bill and if you're happy with that you can send that in and if you want to do the taxes yourself you can do so as well. I suspect that Americans would have dramatically fewer tax-related complaints (especially if their bills drop because the pre-filled form included deductions and credits they were not aware of already) and wonder why this is not done already.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby sardia » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:49 am UTC

jseah wrote:From my perspective as a non US citizen, you guys pay far too much in tax.

You don't need to ask me about UK or Australia.

We pay too much tax based on what? The sticker price of our tax rates?

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby jseah » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:59 am UTC

On the sticker rate of course.

I pay perhaps 2% in tax. On the bits that aren't covered by the deduction. My pay is perhaps 40k per year, depending on bonuses.

The SS equivalent is 11%, employer matched. I'm fine with that since its defined contribution, so I have an account with my name on it and pays out what I put in, plus minor interest.
I'll still prefer having it in cash of course.
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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:11 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Correct.

There is no doubt also a theme of complaining about debt, but realistically, we need not worry that ANY party will too severely rein in spending. Look over the history of spending, and you'll note that both parties cheerfully engage on it. They just have different spending priorities is all. So, of *course* the republicans would prefer to spend on their priorities, rather than planned parenthood, which they rather dislike.

We only have these vicious fights over priorities because of the current generation isn't willing to cough up the dough in the first place. You don't get to blame both sides if the only reason we're fighting over it is because the GOP set us up for it by limiting our income. It be like me getting away with starving homeless people until they fight for a sandwich for my amusement on camera. I could blame those two homeless people equally for fighting...or I could take some responsibility over the fact that I starved them in the first place.


We would still, obviously, be fighting over what to spend the money on. The two parties battling it out is kind of an old, old thing, and there's been some consistent themes with regards to spending priority.

The specific tactic of the debt limit just happens to be one way the current fight takes place.

elasto wrote:
jseah wrote:From my perspective as a non US citizen, you guys pay far too much in tax.

You don't need to ask me about UK or Australia.

Depends what you're trying to optimize for.

Research consistantly shows that the higher tax societies are happier (both rich and poor) than lower tax ones.

Seems counter-intuitive, right? I mean, if I told you you could pay $1000 less in tax this year, that'd make you happy right? But the reality is that tax cuts only give a temporary lift to happiness. Soon you go right back to being unhappy about how much tax you're paying.


Who the crap cares? Outcomes are about more than just happiness.

dg61 wrote:Incidentally, some people have I think mentioned that in many countries the government does your taxes-you get a pre-filled out form that lists your bill and if you're happy with that you can send that in and if you want to do the taxes yourself you can do so as well. I suspect that Americans would have dramatically fewer tax-related complaints (especially if their bills drop because the pre-filled form included deductions and credits they were not aware of already) and wonder why this is not done already.


That would indeed be a vast improvement. Even if I paid not a penny less. It'd mean I wouldn't have to take a day to go to the tax prep office, pay that guys bill, collect paperwork throughout the year, and so on.

Note that we traditionally pay state and federal taxes seperately, and local taxes are collected via a different time and means through property taxes. Sales taxes, etc also exist. The whole system ends up being a near-constant annoyance. Consider, it's common for state law to actually ban displaying prices with sales tax included. So, round pricing with taxes is somewhat hard to pull off, and at odds with other goals. It also adds annoyance to shopping on a budget.

Even if not a dime of actual tax burden changed, but the annoyances were removed, I think we'd be better off.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby HES » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:54 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Consider, it's common for state law to actually ban displaying prices with sales tax included.

I'd ask if it's common for state law to be fucking stupid, but I fear the answer is yes.
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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Mutex » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:07 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Sales taxes, etc also exist. The whole system ends up being a near-constant annoyance. Consider, it's common for state law to actually ban displaying prices with sales tax included. So, round pricing with taxes is somewhat hard to pull off, and at odds with other goals. It also adds annoyance to shopping on a budget.


This has always baffled me when I go to the States. I get the exact change ready to pay for my stuff... and then they ask me for 5% more, so I end up panicking and using bills and getting loads more coins back.

Is it done simply because it was always like that, and if a shop started including sales tax in their prices, their shop would look more expensive?

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:14 pm UTC

It's done because it's required by law.

I believe the intent of the law is to make it more obvious that sales tax is indeed being collected, and because it helps enforcement.

That said, I don't know how much it helps in practice, because frankly, the average person likely doesn't know the minutia of sales tax law to begin with(oh, this is that one weekend where sales tax isn't being collected, on clothing up to $100, in this state....), and has little to no motivation to report discrepancies even if they did know.

Sometimes certain goods do not require tax at all. These goods vary based on state and locality, as do the rates themselves.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby morriswalters » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:37 pm UTC

It should be fairly obvious. The people who have to collect it want you to know who forces them to do so. It's a way of saying this is a cost foisted upon you by the government. And a way of confusing the true price.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:52 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:It should be fairly obvious. The people who have to collect it want you to know who forces them to do so. It's a way of saying this is a cost foisted upon you by the government. And a way of confusing the true price.


No. All states allow you to advertise the non-tax price. Only some allow you to advertise the tax-included price. Differing standards exist for doing so, where it is even legal.

It's not some massive conspiracy to make government look bad, it's just following the law. And trying to deal with the massive non-standardization of the law.

In other countries, it's the exact opposite. You are frequently required to advertise the after-tax price. In both cases, it's just companies following mandated policy. It isn't the choice of the businesses, it's the choice of government.

Shit, sometimes MSRP is literally printed on the product, and then the good is sold nationwide. I don't even know *how* many distinct tax jurisdictions there are in the US. Hundreds? Thousands?

Exceptions DO exist for certain taxes, in the US, where the law is written otherwise. Gas taxes, for instance, are universally included in the price.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby cphite » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:01 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It's done because it's required by law.

I believe the intent of the law is to make it more obvious that sales tax is indeed being collected, and because it helps enforcement.

That said, I don't know how much it helps in practice, because frankly, the average person likely doesn't know the minutia of sales tax law to begin with(oh, this is that one weekend where sales tax isn't being collected, on clothing up to $100, in this state....), and has little to no motivation to report discrepancies even if they did know.

Sometimes certain goods do not require tax at all. These goods vary based on state and locality, as do the rates themselves.


Even without the law, it makes sense from a retail point of view. Tax rates can vary between municipalities, and it's just a lot easier for the retailer to mark something the same price from store to store and calculate at time of sale. So for example if you opened a chain of widget shops, you don't want to be displaying $100.99 for a Widget at one store and $103.99 for the same Widget a few miles down the road. For one thing, that places additional work on your staff; and for another it gives the store down the road a reputation for being more expensive. And, it would make advertising your prices problematic.

Plus, as you mention, you'd have to account for tax free days, changes in the tax rate, etc.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby morriswalters » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:38 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It's not some massive conspiracy to make government look bad, it's just following the law. And trying to deal with the massive non-standardization of the law.
Price tag printers in stores could well handle this chore. Point of sale machines do it and the same software drives both. Online sales may vary. But prices could be given before the sale is finalized(and it may be in some cases). Amazon doesn't have any problem charging me. MSRP are meaningless, as much fantasy as anything. Airlines play this game all the time, which is why online ticket sellers became so popular, and why airlines have been adding so many fees to the base ticket price. I don't believe in conspiracies. I simply believe business wants you to be at the short end of the information war.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:34 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It's not some massive conspiracy to make government look bad, it's just following the law. And trying to deal with the massive non-standardization of the law.
Price tag printers in stores could well handle this chore. Point of sale machines do it and the same software drives both. Online sales may vary. But prices could be given before the sale is finalized(and it may be in some cases). Amazon doesn't have any problem charging me. MSRP are meaningless, as much fantasy as anything. Airlines play this game all the time, which is why online ticket sellers became so popular, and why airlines have been adding so many fees to the base ticket price. I don't believe in conspiracies. I simply believe business wants you to be at the short end of the information war.


1. I don't do it, because it my locality, it is not legal. This is not my decision.
2. If I did it, and it was legal, it'd be obnoxious. Restickering everything in the store is really tedious. I can understand why chain stores do not wish this. No, the POS machine may not be the same software as the price tag system. This is particularly obvious when the tag systems are manual, but it's quite common.
3. MSRP is not meaningless. Many companies enforce advertised price agreements if you wish to carry their products. You have contractual limitations on what prices you may advertise. In addition, people are usually annoyed by paying $50 if $40 is printed on the item itself. Such a thing is confusing to them, and is viewed as deceptive, taking advantage, etc. This is a big deal with some areas, like books.
4. Amazon's retail engine doesn't generally operate at a profit, and can only exist even in it's current form due to scale. It's a really poor model for anything else.

There are additional complications. Let's take an actual example that a fellow I know is going through. His locality in Oregon* is, on fairly short notice, raising sales taxes .005% on fairly short notice. Yes. This is a ridiculous number to raise it by, but nevertheless, it changes the break points at which pennies are rounded off, and the extra cash is expected to have a pleasant effect on local tax income. Which means that enforcement will be going around to randomly test and ensure that taxes are being calculated correctly. If your POS system didn't happen to predict this, you're pretty screwed if you opted to include sales tax in pricing, as he did. He now gets to go through everything manually to ensure it's right(yeah, you can make tables by running the math, but still, it's obnoxious).

This is all wasted effort and cost.

Nobody gives a shit about "customers having less information". That's as much of a myth as the magical thinking surrounding the "evil" businesses addopting .99 pricing.

*Sales taxes in oregon happen to be on a per-locality basis. City and/or county, so the specific one of each you are in determines overall sales tax rate.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby HES » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:26 pm UTC

So you use a label that has two prices "$5/$6 inc tax". Tax-free days you use the lower price. Customers actually know what they're paying, and can budget properly without the store exploiting their ignorance.

The state changing the rate at short notice is sucky, but how often does that happen?

It's really not that difficult. Trade stores in the UK list both prices as business customers can skip VAT.
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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby icanus » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:35 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:There are additional complications. Let's take an actual example that a fellow I know is going through. His locality in Oregon* is, on fairly short notice, raising sales taxes .005% on fairly short notice. Yes. This is a ridiculous number to raise it by, but nevertheless, it changes the break points at which pennies are rounded off, and the extra cash is expected to have a pleasant effect on local tax income. Which means that enforcement will be going around to randomly test and ensure that taxes are being calculated correctly. If your POS system didn't happen to predict this, you're pretty screwed if you opted to include sales tax in pricing, as he did. He now gets to go through everything manually to ensure it's right(yeah, you can make tables by running the math, but still, it's obnoxious).

But sales tax is a cost that the seller is liable for. Retailers manage just fine when their electricity bill goes up by 0.005% without having to tack on an extra charge for it after the customer already has their wallet out - why is this cost different?

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:03 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:2. If I did it, and it was legal, it'd be obnoxious. Restickering everything in the store is really tedious. I can understand why chain stores do not wish this. No, the POS machine may not be the same software as the price tag system. This is particularly obvious when the tag systems are manual, but it's quite common.
Yes, I know, because I have done it. Retailers reticket constantly. Moving the price up or down as they see fit. Tickets can either be manually marked or completely reticketed. Furniture sales gave me a headache because furniture was held at multiple prices, depending on who shot what.
Tyndmyr wrote:3. MSRP is not meaningless. Many companies enforce advertised price agreements if you wish to carry their products. You have contractual limitations on what prices you may advertise. In addition, people are usually annoyed by paying $50 if $40 is printed on the item itself. Such a thing is confusing to them, and is viewed as deceptive, taking advantage, etc. This is a big deal with some areas, like books.
Your looking from the wrong end. MSRP is the high price, not the low. It lets the seller appear to be selling merchandise at a sale point better than the MSRP. The manufacturer may value the cachet of his product, if so he doesn't want the seller to devalue it by selling at less than the MSRP.
Tyndmyr wrote:4. Amazon's retail engine doesn't generally operate at a profit, and can only exist even in it's current form due to scale. It's a really poor model for anything else.
Take that up with Amazon. I believe they are currently the largest retailer in the world, having surpassed Walmart.

However my point isn't that you aren't correct in some ways, but that it isn't as simple as you seem to think. I spent more time in retail than I care to admit. The process is not transparent by design. This is about a disparity of information and psychology.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:57 pm UTC

icanus wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:There are additional complications. Let's take an actual example that a fellow I know is going through. His locality in Oregon* is, on fairly short notice, raising sales taxes .005% on fairly short notice. Yes. This is a ridiculous number to raise it by, but nevertheless, it changes the break points at which pennies are rounded off, and the extra cash is expected to have a pleasant effect on local tax income. Which means that enforcement will be going around to randomly test and ensure that taxes are being calculated correctly. If your POS system didn't happen to predict this, you're pretty screwed if you opted to include sales tax in pricing, as he did. He now gets to go through everything manually to ensure it's right(yeah, you can make tables by running the math, but still, it's obnoxious).

But sales tax is a cost that the seller is liable for. Retailers manage just fine when their electricity bill goes up by 0.005% without having to tack on an extra charge for it after the customer already has their wallet out - why is this cost different?


It isn't the monetary cost of the tax itself. This particular change is not large.

The point is that if you advertise all sales with tax figured in, you now have to redo all pricing, and any automated systems that incorporate tax law have to be modified accordingly. There's a big compliance cost that's not part of the tax itself.

Pricing without tax included reduces that cost.

HES wrote:So you use a label that has two prices "$5/$6 inc tax". Tax-free days you use the lower price. Customers actually know what they're paying, and can budget properly without the store exploiting their ignorance.

The state changing the rate at short notice is sucky, but how often does that happen?

It's really not that difficult. Trade stores in the UK list both prices as business customers can skip VAT.


Putting two prices on the product will not reduce confusion, and may run into legality issues. it's customary to put sale prices on items even if they are already marked with a lower price, and the lower of the two is used. So, you're using a convention in an unexpected way. It's gonna result in confusion.

Rates change pretty frequently, how often exactly depends on locality.

It is frequent for businesses to be able to skip sales tax as well, and there's a system for that(it depends. Also there's use tax. it's complicated).

morriswalters wrote:quote="Tyndmyr"]3. MSRP is not meaningless. Many companies enforce advertised price agreements if you wish to carry their products. You have contractual limitations on what prices you may advertise. In addition, people are usually annoyed by paying $50 if $40 is printed on the item itself. Such a thing is confusing to them, and is viewed as deceptive, taking advantage, etc. This is a big deal with some areas, like books.
Your looking from the wrong end. MSRP is the high price, not the low. It lets the seller appear to be selling merchandise at a sale point better than the MSRP. The manufacturer may value the cachet of his product, if so he doesn't want the seller to devalue it by selling at less than the MSRP.[/quote]

That's a Minimum Advertised Price*, yes. It's common, but it's hardly the only restriction available. Maximums also exist.

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:4. Amazon's retail engine doesn't generally operate at a profit, and can only exist even in it's current form due to scale. It's a really poor model for anything else.
Take that up with Amazon. I believe they are currently the largest retailer in the world, having surpassed Walmart.


Yes. How does that contradict *anything* I said, or make Amazon a valid model for other businesses?

*RPM, for our european cousins.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:28 pm UTC

I didn't know that Amazon had to be a model for other businesses. But oddly enough other businesses are starting to catch up and emulate Amazon more closely.
Tyndmyr wrote:That's a Minimum Advertised Price*, yes. It's common, but it's hardly the only restriction available. Maximums also exist.
It's odd that you used MAP. We could bat this around but what's the point. I have never said it was a conspiracy, it is simply how things work. Advertised prices mean shit. They are a focus, to get you in the door. The real cost is the amount you pay at the register.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:38 pm UTC

Well, this is getting rather far afield.

Suffice it to say that not only are US taxes needlessly complicated, and we'd all rather they were much simpler/easier, even sales tax alone is sometimes larger than the net profit made on the same. With other taxes calculated in, it's a cinch that most businesses are far, far more profitable to the government than to those running them(let alone those working in them). This seems odd. Though, perhaps, inevitible. Business and government having an incestuous relationship is extremely common. Not sure I have a perfect fix for that, but not really happy with the current state of affairs either.

If we're going to tie this back into tax policy and the shutdown, it seems somewhat reasonable that there be *some* cap on the debt the government should have. It seems rather less reasonable that the "maximum" is routinely increased as a matter of course, and is routinely encountered. The debt limit does not seem to be effective at reducing spending, really. Sure, in theory, it would be desirable to spend at a more modest pace, rather than run out and shut the government down, but that's not how things actually work. It's just a political football/method of attack/blame.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:14 pm UTC

Spend at a more moderate pace? For who? You were in the military, how about we gut those benefits to cut costs? Oh, we did that and got the va scandal? At some point, you can't run from it anymore, you just have to raise taxes.
We run into the same problem, we have all these constituents who have needs, but not enough pie. And then some moron comes in demanding we shrink the pie because of the bill he ran up years earlier.

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Re: Speaker of the House John Boehner: To Resign in Mid Octo

Postby elasto » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:19 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Who the crap cares? Outcomes are about more than just happiness.


There isn't really a whole lot more to life than happiness. If you had one wish for your child, would it be for them to be wealthy or happy? Obviously you'd like both, but I would choose happiness over wealth any day, and I hope you would too. On your proverbial deathbed, will it give you more satisfaction to look back and say 'I lived a happy life' or 'I made loads of money'?

(The key point here is that poverty will tend to make you unhappy, but wealth won't in and of itself make you happy)

The duties of a country are little different to that of a parent imo - though obviously they should care about the happiness of future, unborn citizens as well as current ones. Fortunately reducing inequality and fostering growth are not mutually exclusive, as many countries demonstrate.


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