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Lance to Take Questions on State of Congress

Lance is holding a town hall meeting Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, holding a town hall meeting at the municipal complex on Commons Way, and inviting residents to speak to him about any of their concerns about Congress.

So we want to know, what would you like to speak to Rep. Lance about?

Do you have concerns or questions about any federal agencies? Do you have questions about current issues before Congress?

Lance will be answering any questions and addressing concerns, after making an opening statement about the state of Congress.

So tell us in the comments what you think are some of the most important topics Lance should be addressing for Somerset County right now.

And head to the municipal complex for the town hall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Kelly August 15, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I heard tell that Simpson-Bowles is being talked about on the Hill again. If I could be there, I would stress the importance of looking at this budget recommendation. I really do think it is the best solution - I can tell because everyone likes some parts and hates other parts. Even if not written into law in it's entirety, it is the best jumping off point for bipartisan compromise that we have had (it was written by a bipartisan commission, after all.) I would urge all members of Congress to take another look.
Gary August 15, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Why shouldn't Capital Gains, Dividends, and/or Interest Income be taxed as ordinary income and subject to the same tax rate and does the current tax system skew that tax benefit to a satistically significant small percentage of our population? Additionally, if the answer to the aforementioned question is to encourage investment for job creation what empirical evidence can you cite to support that relationship given the stock market has almost doubled in the last 4 years while total employment has decreased by approximately 1% over that same period of time.
Too many taxes August 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Gary, Why do you want to take other people's money. “Problem with socialism is soon or later you run out of other people’s money”.
Gary August 15, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Umm, to pay for 2 unfunded wars, medicare part D, infrastructure improvements, pay down the debt, and cover the basic costs of running a government are some of the reasons I would cite. As far as your use of the term socialism goes, the same can be said for monarchies except in reverse. Suffice it to say in every guilded age whether historical empires, the industiralization of Europe in the late 1800s, the Roaring Twenties here in the states, and essentially NOW in the new era of robber barons the people constantly being abused finally get fed up and you end up with social unrest. If people are serious about facing the fiscal realities revenue increases are necessary. How you define them is the tough part; anything to the contrary is voodoo math. Moreover, I would contend that if the ratio of your Un-Earned Income/Earned Income is greater than 1, your Un-Earned income should be taxed as Ordinary Income. This exclude 401K/IRA earnings since they're taxed as ordinary income. Fact of the matter is there is no good reason why someone making tens of millions in unearned income should have a lower tax rate than a macdonald's manager.
Gary August 15, 2012 at 06:41 PM
And if that philosophy makes me some sort of social boogie man I'll take that as a compliment.
William August 15, 2012 at 09:36 PM
How does he explain his vote against the debt ceiling,personhood amendment,and reduction of college loans (pell grant). Having singed Grover Norcross pledge what circumstances would or could he vote for a tax increase?
Gary August 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Isn't the second question a bit rhetorical? Since the pledge states, "...oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses...", isn't the answer self-evident?
taxman August 16, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Gary, the lower tax rate on unearned income encourages investment which creates jobs. If I have capital to invest which I earned and paid taxes on (45% I might add) already, why would I invest in government bonds at below market rates. I would not. I would invest the capital where I can get the highest return. You would too. Taxing unearned income at a lower rate allows government to fund itself at below market rates. The answer to how the government can live with the amount they already take in through taxes is to reduce expenditures. The Europeans have tried the heavy taxation model you want here. We see how that has worked out.
Gary August 16, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Taxman, if you read my initial comment I did say quote, "Additionally, if the answer to the aforementioned question is to encourage investment for job creation what empirical evidence can you cite to support that relationship given the stock market has almost doubled in the last 4 years while total employment has decreased by approximately 1% over that same period of time." I tried to purposefully make somebody who uses sound bites to help provide me info. Alas....
Gary August 16, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Moreover, I would also ask what % of the population do you think have an un-earned/earned ratio greater than 1?
Taxes August 17, 2012 at 01:52 PM
So it would be ok to take even more money from people so long as the percentage of people you take it from is below some level you set? Look, If the government needs more money let them take it from everybody. If everyone feels the pain of increasing taxes, a lot less people like you would be favor of increasing taxation. Everyone wants the government to give them something, but remember government is only taking it from somebody and giving it back to someone else. At some point the size of government becomes so large, it collapses. We need government to do the things that benefit the collective good but stop making it responsible for trying to do social engineering. No one wants to see people homeless and starving and I am willing to pay taxes to prevent that from happening but this class warfare of only take more from the rich because they can afford it is wrong. I have 42 men and women who work for me and I feel that I am personally responsible for each family. In 2008 when the crash came I did not take a dime from the business. I paid my employees even when we had no work for them. I did not lay them off or reduce their pay. In fact, the business has only made a profit these last two years. I survived because I had investments that paid dividends that allowed my family to pay its bills. It is really hard running a business, you should try it. I bet your viewpoint would be different. By the way, that “sound bite” was spoken by Winston Churchill.
Gary August 17, 2012 at 03:06 PM
To the extent that I do not want to live in a plutocracy where the government supports a greedy segment of society where in the last 30 years 40% of the incremental wealth in this country has gone to the top 0.00015% (15K of 100M house holds) and 95% the top 10% at the sake of other people not being able to obtain basic medical coverage and have some sort of annuity that will help them (or their family) when they are no longer able to help themselves. If that can be resolved by making un-earned income taxed as ordinary income then I'm okay with that. My only point (which we will clearly agree to disagree) is that "trickle down" theory does not work, it only enriches a statistically small percentage of the population. If that makes me liberal so be it, I can live with that.
Kelly August 18, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Taxman: "the lower tax rate on unearned income encourages investment which creates jobs" I keep hearing this argument but honestly, I disagree with it. What do savings accounts earn today? 1 or 2%? The government would have to tax my return on investment close to 98% to make it not worth it for me to invest. (I know that I am over-simplifying and not taking into account compounding interest, etc.) My point is, if you can have more $$ in 6 mo. than you have now, why wouldn't you invest? Because the tax rate is too high in case you make a bunch of money? That doesn't sound reasonable to me.
Average Joe September 10, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I agree that everyone should pay the same percentage of tax. That includes those who are on welfare, food stamps, unemployment income, disability income which is essentially unearned income.
Gary September 10, 2012 at 08:32 PM
No offense, but your suggestion applies a very skewed math to an equation that's heavily biased towards a statistically small % of the population. To contend that the 50M people making less than $50K should (on a % of earned income) pay the same % as top 400 earners (which btw starts at a net worth of >$1B) is really quite unfair.

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