So let's see how much agreement there is on some U.S. issues.

HillsboroMom

Active member
Here are a few political issues with solutions that may have general bipartisan support. I'd like to see if people on both sides of the usual debates here agree with them. (This is concerning U.S. politics, btw. Sorry, for those who are not in the US ... feel free to do your own poll separately.)

In a separate post, I will list what publicconsultation.org says the majority of Americans say in relation to these questions.

Social Security
To address the projected Social Security shortfall and head off reductions in benefits, we should take the following steps: (Select any number of these options, or suggest your own suggestions.)
  • Reduce benefits to the top 25% of earners
  • Gradually raise the retirement age to 68
  • Increase the payroll taxes from 6.2% to 6.6%
  • Eliminate the cap on income subject to the payroll tax
Immigration
Select which changes, if any, should be made to immigration law in the U.S:
  • No changes are needed; simply enforce the laws that are already on the books.
  • Give immigrants who were illegally brought to the US as children legal status and a path to citizenship.
  • Provide a visa and path to citizenship to all undocumented workers who have been in the US for an extended period.
  • Increase the number of work visas currently given out.
  • Provide more immigration judges to deal with asylum applications.
  • Strengthen the barrier on the southern border
  • Require employers to use the E-Verify system to establish the legal status of all their employees and all new applicants.
Poverty Programs
Which actions, if any, should the federal government take to reduce poverty in the U.S.?
  • Increasing SNAP benefits (aka food stamps), but disallow use for sweetened sodas or candy.
  • Make pre-kindergarten available to all 4-year-olds in low-income families.
  • Raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.
  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Create a federal jobs programs in the event of an economic downturn.
  • Provide a universal basic income of $1,000 a month.
  • Provide every child with a bond.
Federal Budget
What changes, if any, should be made to the federal budget?
  • Cut defense spending.
  • Cut subsidies to agricultural corporations.
  • Raise taxes on individuals with incomes over $200,000 by rolling back the cuts they received in the 2017 tax bill
  • Treat capital gains and dividends as ordinary income.
  • Institute a financial transaction tax.
  • Institute a 4% surtax on income over $5 million.
  • Institute a 1% surtax on corporate income over $100 million
  • Institute a 0.15% fee on the uninsured debt of financial institutions.
Energy and the Environment
What goals should the US have regarding energy and the environment?
  • Adopt the goal of reducing US greenhouse gas emissions by 2% a year.
  • Provide various tax incentives to promote clean energy and greater efficiency in homes and businesses.
  • Require higher fuel efficiency in cars and trucks
  • Require electric companies to have a minimum portion of their electricity come from renewable sources.
Police Reform
Which of the following actions, if any, should be taken on the national level?
  • Require body cameras,
  • Make it a duty for officers to intervene when another officer is using excessive force
  • Establish a national registry for police misconduct.
  • Prohibit chokeholds,
  • Require police officers to receive training in implicit racial bias
  • Incentivize states to hire an independent prosecutor in cases against an officer.
  • Require officers to be trained in de-escalation and to use deadly force only as a last resort,
  • Ban no-knock warrants,
  • Amend qualified immunity,
  • Put greater limits on police departments acquiring military equipment.
Government Reform
Which of these would you favor?
  • Pass a Constitutional amendment to allow governments greater freedom to regulate campaign financing (thus overturning the Citizens United decision)
  • Require disclosure of campaign financing
  • Extend the period of time that former government officials must wait before working as a lobbyist
  • Make it easier for independent and third-party candidates to compete in elections.
  • Encourage more small campaign donations by providing matching funds and tax credits
  • Counter gerrymandering by having Congressional redistricting done by a citizen commission that is representative of the state.
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
Of all the suggestions, the only ones that did not have bipartisan support are as follows:

Immigration
  • No changes are needed; simply enforce the laws that are already on the books.
  • Strengthen the barrier on the southern border
Poverty Programs
  • Provide a universal basic income of $1,000 a month.
  • Provide every child with a bond.
All of the rest had at least moderate bipartisan support, with many having very large majority support. I found that interesting.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Social Security
To address the projected Social Security shortfall and head off reductions in benefits, we should take the following steps: (Select any number of these options, or suggest your own suggestions.)
  • Reduce benefits to the top 25% of earners
  • Gradually raise the retirement age to 68
  • Increase the payroll taxes from 6.2% to 6.6%
I approve all of these, but I would add another option: criminalize dipping into the fund by federal politicians who use3 the money for purposes other than SS.

Immigration
Select which changes, if any, should be made to immigration law in the U.S:
  • Give immigrants who were illegally brought to the US as children legal status and a path to citizenship.
  • Provide a visa and path to citizenship to all undocumented workers who have been in the US for an extended period.
  • Increase the number of work visas currently given out.
  • Provide more immigration judges to deal with asylum applications.
  • Require employers to use the E-Verify system to establish the legal status of all their employees and all new applicants.
I agree with all of these, but I confess I don't see that we actually have too much of a problem in the first place.

Poverty Programs
Which actions, if any, should the federal government take to reduce poverty in the U.S.?
  • Increasing SNAP benefits (aka food stamps), but disallow use for sweetened sodas or candy.
  • Make pre-kindergarten available to all 4-year-olds in low-income families.
  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Create a federal jobs programs in the event of an economic downturn.
  • Provide every child with a bond.
I like all of these. I'm still on the fence about minimum basic income and raising the minimum wage, but the fact is that I simply haven't done enough investigation of either to come down conclusively on one side or the other.


Federal Budget
What changes, if any, should be made to the federal budget?
  • Cut defense spending.
  • Cut subsidies to agricultural corporations.
  • Raise taxes on individuals with incomes over $200,000 by rolling back the cuts they received in the 2017 tax bill
  • Institute a 1% surtax on corporate income over $100 million
  • Institute a 0.15% fee on the uninsured debt of financial institutions.
I like these. A surprising number of them I did not, some of which I'm pretty sure a conservative would agree with me on.

Energy and the Environment
What goals should the US have regarding energy and the environment?
  • Adopt the goal of reducing US greenhouse gas emissions by 2% a year.
  • Provide various tax incentives to promote clean energy and greater efficiency in homes and businesses.
  • Require higher fuel efficiency in cars and trucks
  • Require electric companies to have a minimum portion of their electricity come from renewable sources.
I like all of these, and didn't remove a single one from your list

Police Reform
Which of the following actions, if any, should be taken on the national level?
  • Require body cameras,
  • Make it a duty for officers to intervene when another officer is using excessive force
  • Establish a national registry for police misconduct.
  • Prohibit chokeholds,
  • Require police officers to receive training in implicit racial bias
  • Incentivize states to hire an independent prosecutor in cases against an officer.
  • Require officers to be trained in de-escalation and to use deadly force only as a last resort,
  • Ban no-knock warrants,
  • Amend qualified immunity,
  • Put greater limits on police departments acquiring military equipment.
I like all of these - but given how long we've been working on this problem, part of me wonders how many more solutions we should be needing. There has to be a simpler way of addressing institutionalized injustice, without adding more training that likely wont change behaviors much (if at all).

Government Reform
Which of these would you favor?
  • Pass a Constitutional amendment to allow governments greater freedom to regulate campaign financing (thus overturning the Citizens United decision)
  • Require disclosure of campaign financing
  • Extend the period of time that former government officials must wait before working as a lobbyist
  • Make it easier for independent and third-party candidates to compete in elections.
  • Encourage more small campaign donations by providing matching funds and tax credits
  • Counter gerrymandering by having Congressional redistricting done by a citizen commission that is representative of the state.
I like all of these. Nothing removed from the list.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
Social Security
To address the projected Social Security shortfall and head off reductions in benefits, we should take the following steps: (Select any number of these options, or suggest your own suggestions.)
  • Reduce benefits to the top 25% of earners
Do you mean, "Reduce benefits *for* the top 25% of earners? The way you have it written, I take it to mean that only the top 25% of earners would receive SS benefits.

  • Gradually raise the retirement age to 68
  • Increase the payroll taxes from 6.2% to 6.6%
  • Eliminate the cap on income subject to the payroll tax
The last two will eliminate the need for the first one. I favor the last two.

Immigration
Select which changes, if any, should be made to immigration law in the U.S:
  • No changes are needed; simply enforce the laws that are already on the books.
This needs to be done, and include enforcing laws on employers.
  • Give immigrants who were illegally brought to the US as children legal status and a path to citizenship.
Yes. Children are not responsible.
  • Provide a visa and path to citizenship to all undocumented workers who have been in the US for an extended period.
Depends on the details. Shouldn't be too easy in recognition of those who tried to get citizenship through the legal processes.
Poverty Programs
Which actions, if any, should the federal government take to reduce poverty in the U.S.?
  • Raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.
At least.
  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Create a federal jobs programs in the event of an economic downturn.
  • Provide a universal basic income of $1,000 a month.
  • Provide every child with a bond.
I dunno about these, and I wonder if there are other creative options to achieve the same goals.
Federal Budget
What changes, if any, should be made to the federal budget?
  • Cut defense spending.
  • Cut subsidies to agricultural corporations.
  • Raise taxes on individuals with incomes over $200,000 by rolling back the cuts they received in the 2017 tax bill
  • Treat capital gains and dividends as ordinary income.
  • Institute a financial transaction tax.
  • Institute a 4% surtax on income over $5 million.
  • Institute a 1% surtax on corporate income over $100 million
  • Institute a 0.15% fee on the uninsured debt of financial institutions.
Taxes on all but the poor and middle class should rise. Other countries do it without their economies going under.
Energy and the Environment
What goals should the US have regarding energy and the environment?
  • Adopt the goal of reducing US greenhouse gas emissions by 2% a year.
I don't know if 2% is the right figure, but GGE need to be reduced.
  • Provide various tax incentives to promote clean energy and greater efficiency in homes and businesses.
  • Require higher fuel efficiency in cars and trucks
Already happening, more is fine.
  • Require electric companies to have a minimum portion of their electricity come from renewable sources.
Dunno.
Police Reform
Which of the following actions, if any, should be taken on the national level?
  • Require body cameras,
Yes.
  • Make it a duty for officers to intervene when another officer is using excessive force
Might already be in place, although rarely practiced or enforced.
Government Reform
Which of these would you favor?
  • Pass a Constitutional amendment to allow governments greater freedom to regulate campaign financing (thus overturning the Citizens United decision)
Yes.
  • Require disclosure of campaign financing
Yes.
  • Make it easier for independent and third-party candidates to compete in elections.
Depends on the details of this.
Counter gerrymandering by having Congressional redistricting done by a citizen commission that is representative of the state.
Ideally, yes, bu depends on the details.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
For the record, @HillsboroMom , I think you should have tackled only one issue at a time - as in seeing if we could find agreement on just social security, or immigration, etc. Your lists were comprehensive, but I found there were so many things to consider that the only way i could answer your OP was to simply include or discount the various items as I saw fit. I skimmed really lightly over everything.

With that said, I like the idea of trying to find common ground here on the big issues.
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
I approve all of these, but I would add another option: criminalize dipping into the fund by federal politicians who use3 the money for purposes other than SS.
Oooh, I like that!

I agree with all of these, but I confess I don't see that we actually have too much of a problem in the first place.
There is a problem, and we need reform. There are too many undocumented persons who are living in fear, and unable to access much-needed services. For example, many undocumented persons go without medical care because they're afraid of getting "caught."

The biggest problem I see is that the current law limits the number of visas of each type to the same number for each country. So, we can grant the exact same number of visas to immigrants from, say, Tuvalu, with a population of just over 10k, as to India, with a population over 1.3 billion.

The laws need to be re-written, but only a few of the details have bipartisan support. So instead of enacting those pieces that do have bipartisan support, congress has been pushing their respective agendas and kicking the can when the bills fail due to lack of bipartisan support.

Which sucks.

I like all of these. I'm still on the fence about minimum basic income and raising the minimum wage, but the fact is that I simply haven't done enough investigation of either to come down conclusively on one side or the other.
I am against a federal minimum wage of $15. $9 may be right. There are places in the country where $15 is way too low (NYC and San Fran) and places where $10 is too high.

States should set their own, and I would also support legislation that strengthens unions, because unions almost always have minimum salary and wage standards way above federal and state minimum wages.

I like the idea of the Universal Basic Income. It should be large enough to survive, but not large enough to live comfortably.

I like these. A surprising number of them I did not, some of which I'm pretty sure a conservative would agree with me on.
Surprisingly, there was bipartisan support for all of the items on the Federal Budget list.
  • Taxing cap gains at the same rate as regular income had very large bipartisan support. Personally, I would tax cap gains at a HIGHER rate than earned income. But that's just me. I'm a socialist, and believe that work (earned income) should be taxed less than money you get from sitting on your butt.
  • The financial transaction tax and 4% surtax on extreme wealth had more modest bipartisan support, but still, more than 50% of Republicans supported both.

I like all of these - but given how long we've been working on this problem, part of me wonders how many more solutions we should be needing. There has to be a simpler way of addressing institutionalized injustice, without adding more training that likely wont change behaviors much (if at all).
I hear you.

Many police forces are adding unarmed "community crisis workers" to their staff, and having these people respond to many of the calls that used to have the typical police response. Sometimes these unarmed workers go without armed backup, and can assess the situation, and request armed back-up if needed. Sometimes they go with armed back-up. That's one step that is a recent step in response to the protests this summer, and we need to give it a few years and see if it works.

Institutionalized injustice means it isn't just in the police force. It's in the entire society. We can't just "fix" police and think it will take care of the entire institution.

Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I hope some of our conservative brothers and sisters join in this discussion.
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
For the record, @HillsboroMom , I think you should have tackled only one issue at a time - as in seeing if we could find agreement on just social security, or immigration, etc. Your lists were comprehensive, but I found there were so many things to consider that the only way i could answer your OP was to simply include or discount the various items as I saw fit. I skimmed really lightly over everything.

With that said, I like the idea of trying to find common ground here on the big issues.
LOL, good point. Some of the people I'm trying to reach with this may not have the ... erm ... intellectual or emotional ability to deal with a post of that size :)

That said, perhaps some of them will respond to one at a time?
 

HillsboroMom

Active member
Do you mean, "Reduce benefits *for* the top 25% of earners? The way you have it written, I take it to mean that only the top 25% of earners would receive SS benefits.
Interesting point.

I copied this from the source site's page, and that's how they worded it. I read it as "Reduce benefits that go to the top 25%," but yes, you're right, this could be misread easily.

The last two will eliminate the need for the first one. I favor the last two.
Actually, the last one alone would eliminate the need for all the others, but there's not bipartisan support for it. All of the others except the last one would almost do it, but not quite.

I dunno about these [poverty issues], and I wonder if there are other creative options to achieve the same goals.
Possibly. Feel free to suggest some.

Taxes on all but the poor and middle class should rise. Other countries do it without their economies going under.
Amen, brother.

As a licensed tax consultant, I've actually come up with a tax system I think would be very popular among all but the Libertarians. I just need to talk to someone who would both understand it and have the power to help push it into law.

I don't know if 2% is the right figure, but GGE need to be reduced.
For me, I would want to see the federal government establish a team of the top climate scientists, a think-tank, to come up with specific things we can do: a list of strategies and the practical costs and results of each.

Already happening, more is fine.
Actually, many of the incentives phased out and the Trump administration did not renew them.
 

Harry Leggs

Well-known member
Here are a few political issues with solutions that may have general bipartisan support. I'd like to see if people on both sides of the usual debates here agree with them. (This is concerning U.S. politics, btw. Sorry, for those who are not in the US ... feel free to do your own poll separately.)

In a separate post, I will list what publicconsultation.org says the majority of Americans say in relation to these questions.

Social Security
To address the projected Social Security shortfall and head off reductions in benefits, we should take the following steps: (Select any number of these options, or suggest your own suggestions.)
  • Reduce benefits to the top 25% of earners
Monthly payouts are already capped for high incomes. Although their earning are not as far as i know.

  • Gradually raise the retirement age to 68
They can do it at 62 with full at 66 or so now. Full retirement age is maxed at 67. Elevate that 62 to 63 or 64.
  • Increase the payroll taxes from 6.2% to 6.6%
  • Eliminate the cap on income subject to the payroll tax
What they need to do is use SS for retirement only as originally planned. Not include disability for people under 60 yrs old. They simply cannot spend according to original plan. They have to find ways to spend elsewhere like disability payments for younger persons.
 
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HillsboroMom

Active member
Keep in mind high-income earners pay s lot more into SS. 12.4% of 200 K is a lot more than 12.4% of 50 K.
Except that the current code says that they stop paying at $142,800. Also, they only pay 6.2%, the employer pays the other half.

So yes, 6.2% of $142,800 ($8,853.60) is more than 6.2% of $50k ($3,100)

But the person who earned $500,000 in 2020 paid the same $8,853.60 in social security tax as the person who earned $142,800. The person who earned $2 million paid the exact same amount in SS.

There is an additional 0.9% medicare tax on salaries over $200k, but that's almost ALWAYS paid by the employer as well.

Also, many high-income taxpayers have a significant amount of their income from investment income, of which 0% is paid to social security. Rental and royalty income? No social security tax, just income tax. Capital gains? No social security tax, AND it's taxed at a LOWER rate than earned income. For sitting on their butt and collecting money from other people's sweat.

So no, high-income taxpayers do NOT pay a lot more into SS.

Don't argue taxes with me. I'm a professional. You will lose every time.
 

Harry Leggs

Well-known member
Except that the current code says that they stop paying at $142,800. Also, they only pay 6.2%, the employer pays the other half.
The rich are usually self-employed which means they pay both ends.
But the person who earned $500,000 in 2020 paid the same $8,853.60 in social security tax as the person who earned $142,800. The person who earned $2 million paid the exact same amount in SS.
Yeah so? Aren't they capped on how much they get back on retirement? Did you pay to SS every dime you made? I did not and i don't now.
There is an additional 0.9% medicare tax on salaries over $200k, but that's almost ALWAYS paid by the employer as well.
Assuming they are employed and not self-employed?
Also, many high-income taxpayers have a significant amount of their income from investment income, of which 0% is paid to social security.
Yup and so do I. So?
Rental and royalty income? No social security tax, just income tax. Capital gains? No social security tax, AND it's taxed at a LOWER rate than earned income. For sitting on their butt and collecting money from other people's sweat.
Yeah well? Like i said i do not pay into SS all my income. Nobody does. For one they reduce income by pre-taxing. That way SS does not have to pay out all that much when we get to full retirement age. If i paid into SS all my income that i earned in my life i would be collecting a lot more from SS than i am now.
So no, high-income taxpayers do NOT pay a lot more into SS.

Don't argue taxes with me.
LOL! Defensive. Perhaps you have good reason since you sucks so much at abortion.
I'm a professional. You will lose every time.
Yeah yeah yeah except you are cherry-picking. 🤓

If you want agreement then don't come off like an A-hole about losing every time! You can't keep it together indicative of non-professional. So don't tell me you are a professional since your posts say otherwise.
 
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Yakuda

Well-known member
Here are a few political issues with solutions that may have general bipartisan support. I'd like to see if people on both sides of the usual debates here agree with them. (This is concerning U.S. politics, btw. Sorry, for those who are not in the US ... feel free to do your own poll separately.)

In a separate post, I will list what publicconsultation.org says the majority of Americans say in relation to these questions.

Social Security
To address the projected Social Security shortfall and head off reductions in benefits, we should take the following steps: (Select any number of these options, or suggest your own suggestions.)
  • Reduce benefits to the top 25% of earners
  • Gradually raise the retirement age to 68
  • Increase the payroll taxes from 6.2% to 6.6%
  • Eliminate the cap on income subject to the payroll tax
Immigration
Select which changes, if any, should be made to immigration law in the U.S:
  • No changes are needed; simply enforce the laws that are already on the books.
  • Give immigrants who were illegally brought to the US as children legal status and a path to citizenship.
  • Provide a visa and path to citizenship to all undocumented workers who have been in the US for an extended period.
  • Increase the number of work visas currently given out.
  • Provide more immigration judges to deal with asylum applications.
  • Strengthen the barrier on the southern border
  • Require employers to use the E-Verify system to establish the legal status of all their employees and all new applicants.
Poverty Programs
Which actions, if any, should the federal government take to reduce poverty in the U.S.?
  • Increasing SNAP benefits (aka food stamps), but disallow use for sweetened sodas or candy.
  • Make pre-kindergarten available to all 4-year-olds in low-income families.
  • Raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.
  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Create a federal jobs programs in the event of an economic downturn.
  • Provide a universal basic income of $1,000 a month.
  • Provide every child with a bond.
Federal Budget
What changes, if any, should be made to the federal budget?
  • Cut defense spending.
  • Cut subsidies to agricultural corporations.
  • Raise taxes on individuals with incomes over $200,000 by rolling back the cuts they received in the 2017 tax bill
  • Treat capital gains and dividends as ordinary income.
  • Institute a financial transaction tax.
  • Institute a 4% surtax on income over $5 million.
  • Institute a 1% surtax on corporate income over $100 million
  • Institute a 0.15% fee on the uninsured debt of financial institutions.
Energy and the Environment
What goals should the US have regarding energy and the environment?
  • Adopt the goal of reducing US greenhouse gas emissions by 2% a year.
  • Provide various tax incentives to promote clean energy and greater efficiency in homes and businesses.
  • Require higher fuel efficiency in cars and trucks
  • Require electric companies to have a minimum portion of their electricity come from renewable sources.
Police Reform
Which of the following actions, if any, should be taken on the national level?
  • Require body cameras,
  • Make it a duty for officers to intervene when another officer is using excessive force
  • Establish a national registry for police misconduct.
  • Prohibit chokeholds,
  • Require police officers to receive training in implicit racial bias
  • Incentivize states to hire an independent prosecutor in cases against an officer.
  • Require officers to be trained in de-escalation and to use deadly force only as a last resort,
  • Ban no-knock warrants,
  • Amend qualified immunity,
  • Put greater limits on police departments acquiring military equipment.
Government Reform
Which of these would you favor?
  • Pass a Constitutional amendment to allow governments greater freedom to regulate campaign financing (thus overturning the Citizens United decision)
  • Require disclosure of campaign financing
  • Extend the period of time that former government officials must wait before working as a lobbyist
  • Make it easier for independent and third-party candidates to compete in elections.
  • Encourage more small campaign donations by providing matching funds and tax credits
  • Counter gerrymandering by having Congressional redistricting done by a citizen commission that is representative of the state.
Before anything else gets done the breath and depth of the federal govt MUST be reduced. First any and all govt employee pay increases MUST voted on by the American people.

Next get the govt out of the business of education, energy, transportation, labor and homeland security. Unless we get the federal govt under control nothing else matters
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
publicconsultation.org
I"ll check it out.
Before anything else gets done the breath and depth of the federal govt MUST be reduced. First any and all govt employee pay increases MUST voted on by the American people.

Next get the govt out of the business of education, energy, transportation, labor and homeland security. Unless we get the federal govt under control nothing else matters
NM, replied to the wrong person.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
Before anything else gets done the breath and depth of the federal govt MUST be reduced. First any and all govt employee pay increases MUST voted on by the American people.

Next get the govt out of the business of education, energy, transportation, labor and homeland security. Unless we get the federal govt under control nothing else matters
Do you think that what those departments do should not be done at all, or should be done by someone else (states, counties, cities, private companies, individuals, etc.), or some mix of those options?
 

Harry Leggs

Well-known member
High-income earners are leaving high-tax blue states for low-tax red states like Florida. Trump is in Florida. It means high tax blue states are losing their tax base. Shortfalls and that is why they cheated in the elections and got Trump out. Blue states were losing money and needed federal bailouts. Interest rates are going up and so is gas prices. Housing interest rates are going up. It is on account of the Dems and Biden. I just came back from an office visit with my accountant. Barrell of oil prices going up. 61.50 now 45.57 Nov. 20.
 
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