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  #46  
Old Feb 7, '12, 7:26 am
endoentropism endoentropism is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Hobbit View Post
It bugs me too. Surely no Christian, or good person in general, enjoys to see their fellow man live in poverty without the basic necessities, but to try and solve their problems by confiscating money from those responsible for creating an environment conducive to job growth is not just. Taxes must be competitive in a global economy
The United States already has amongst the lowest effective tax rates in the developed world.

I take for granted that people understand how marginal taxation works. If you're in the 35% tax bracket, that doesn't mean your total tax burden is 35%. It just means every dollar you earn after (say) $75,000 is taxed at 35%. Take this example:

$0 - 10,000: 0%
10,001 - 25,000: 15%
25,001 - 50,000: 25%
50,001+: 35%

Say you earn $60,000 -- that means you're taxed at 35%, right? Wrong. If you were taxed at 35%, your net income would be $39,000. Under a marginal tax system (like America has) that is not the case. In this example, the net income of someone earning $60,000 would be $48,000, or an effective tax rate of 20%.

Everything you earn below $10,000 isn't taxed. Everything you earn up to $25,000 is taxed at 15%. Everything you earn between $25,001 and $50,000 is taxed at 25%. Et cetera et cetera.

And for myriad reasons, America could never end up like Greece. One of the major impediments to Greece's recovery is the inability to print their own currency, which is not a problem the U.S. has. Greece's government was also massively corrupt. Their tax problem was that taxes were not being collected, not that they were too high or too low.
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  #47  
Old Feb 7, '12, 7:29 am
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

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Originally Posted by St Francis View Post
WRT the decline in the Church's involvement in charities in general: The Church is not some entity "out there," the Church is WE Catholics.

In the 60s, there was a huge exodus of priest, nuns, and monks from the religious life to join the exciting new secular world. This was not noticed and worked on by Catholic families praying and continuing to have lots of children; in fact, they too joined up, contracepting at the same rates as non-Catholic families.

So there were not enough religious to staff the Catholic schools, and there were fewer people (both because of the smaller families and people leaving the Church) to help support the Catholic schools, so tuitions had to go up, so people couldn't afford the school, so they sent their children to public school or homeschooled.

Yeah, Catholic schools are closing. Yeah, there's less outreach in other nations. Yeah, there are lots of Catholic charities closing down.

But it's not because of some outside entity called the Catholic Church, it's because of us, Catholics in the pews. If we don't have missionaries, schools, hospitals, charities, it's because we, the people in the pews, have not been praying, have not been supporting, have not been living Catholic lives.
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  #48  
Old Feb 7, '12, 8:07 am
Monte RCMS Monte RCMS is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

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Originally Posted by Aquila Lucis View Post
Two things: First, don't lump one point of view on the internet in with all of modern liberalism. Second, this notion has to do with the Acts of the Apostles, in which members of the Christian community gave everything they had to the community (Acts 4:32). Those who held back fell down dead (Acts 5:5).
Did they hold back? Or did they lie about it?
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  #49  
Old Feb 7, '12, 9:30 am
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is online now
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by endoentropism View Post

And for myriad reasons, America could never end up like Greece. One of the major impediments to Greece's recovery is the inability to print their own currency, which is not a problem the U.S. has. Greece's government was also massively corrupt. Their tax problem was that taxes were not being collected, not that they were too high or too low.
Uh, I don't think it's a slam-dunk that this government is not also massively corrupt. One could go on and on about that, but I don't want to derail the thread.
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  #50  
Old Feb 7, '12, 9:34 am
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

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Originally Posted by tqualey View Post
Hold on a minute there, Sally ...

My understanding is that you were advocating income re-distribution as the solution. Did I misunderstand you position?

God bless
Apparently you did. However, I am not conversely advocating that all taxes are theft. I am saying that the government has a legitimate role in carring for the citizens of the country. How that is accomplished, how much is done through public social programs vs private charity, is something that continually needs to be evaluated.
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  #51  
Old Feb 7, '12, 9:39 am
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by St Francis View Post
WRT the decline in the Church's involvement in charities in general: The Church is not some entity "out there," the Church is WE Catholics.

In the 60s, there was a huge exodus of priest, nuns, and monks from the religious life to join the exciting new secular world. This was not noticed and worked on by Catholic families praying and continuing to have lots of children; in fact, they too joined up, contracepting at the same rates as non-Catholic families.

So there were not enough religious to staff the Catholic schools, and there were fewer people (both because of the smaller families and people leaving the Church) to help support the Catholic schools, so tuitions had to go up, so people couldn't afford the school, so they sent their children to public school or homeschooled.

Yeah, Catholic schools are closing. Yeah, there's less outreach in other nations. Yeah, there are lots of Catholic charities closing down.

But it's not because of some outside entity called the Catholic Church, it's because of us, Catholics in the pews. If we don't have missionaries, schools, hospitals, charities, it's because we, the people in the pews, have not been praying, have not been supporting, have not been living Catholic lives.


As Brother JR has told us on many other threads also, most religious orders and communities returned to the vision of their founders starting in the late 60s, as directed by the Vatican. That meant that Franciscans were not running schools, Dominicans were not running hospitals, etc. So besides the numbers of individuals who left orders, orders themselves left off doing work that we as layfolk or the members of different religious groups should be doing.

So I challenge us all to start praying, supporting, and living Catholic lives!
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  #52  
Old Feb 7, '12, 11:15 am
St Francis St Francis is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquila Lucis View Post
Two things: First, don't lump one point of view on the internet in with all of modern liberalism. Second, this notion has to do with the Acts of the Apostles, in which members of the Christian community gave everything they had to the community (Acts 4:32). Those who held back fell down dead (Acts 5:5).
First of all, that practice was not continued practice Christians in general; this is the only time it wa mentioned and St Paul had a business so that he would not be a burden on the Christian community.

Secondly, the practice was voluntary, limited to a community, and not under government supervision.
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  #53  
Old Feb 7, '12, 11:55 am
tqualey tqualey is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Hi, Endoentropism,

The beginning of your post was accurate ... and how you wound up drawing all these invalid conclusions is beyond me! H-m-m-m-m-m... let me see if I can help.

"American could never end up like Greece..." we hope so - but we are doing NOTHING to prevent this. Right now we have a $15 trillion debt (this puts us a 100% of GNP) and the President will be submitting a 'budget' not only asking for an increase in the debt limit but will be offering no reductions in the 'Big Three Entitlements' (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security). The way we are going - we are going to be making Greece look frugal!

Just take a look at what is going on today (2/7/12) with riots going on in Greece because of threats to their entitlement programs (http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/s...terstitialskip ) The Greek government is still talking about their debt being in the billions - while we are at $15 trillion... imagine ... well, on second thought - here is a really good video of just where we are debt wise: http://alternativeeconomics.wordpres...mit-made-easy/ And, while both of my granddaughters are older than this ... I know some folks with grandkids in this age range!

In my opinion the only reason why we have gotten away with this for so long is that other countries see us as 'safe' and 'reliable' (ah, forget about that down-grade from S&P last summer ... here is the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...IxI_story.html Which sort of makes me wonder how long it is going to take before the rest of the world realizes that the Emperor really doesn't have any clothes on?! Seriously we are doing this all with borrowed money - and eventually those creditor nations like China and Japan and Great Britain will want to reconsider just why they are loaning money to us when they need to keep their money home for their own needs.

Finally, it is the ABILITY to print all the money we want that has landed us in this mess - Greece has a real asset here (their IN-ability to run to the printing presses) and you are making it seem like a liability. Want a horror story? Try Germany's hyperinflation from 1914 -1 923 http://www.usagold.com/germannightmare.html I apologize I was unable to find the picture of the old man with a wheelbarrow filled with German notes going to the store to buy bread. But, there are some other dramatic photos with this link. Ah, have you seen how prices have been rising here with the Fed's policy of almost 0% on savings?

You know, it may be that the US Occupy Group is really the canary in the coal mine. Yes, it would take a long time to get there - but, at the warp speed we have begun to accelerate to - our arrival may be sooner than we think.

How you don't think winding up like Greece is possible is simply beyond me. But, if you do have hopes of the riots in Athens calming down and people getting used to the austerity needed ... we just shift our attention over to Italy, then Spain, then Portugal ... There are many problems out there - so please, remove the rose colored glasses, and smell the trouble looming if we do not get our economic house in order.

God bless


Quote:
Originally Posted by endoentropism View Post
The United States already has amongst the lowest effective tax rates in the developed world.

I take for granted that people understand how marginal taxation works. If you're in the 35% tax bracket, that doesn't mean your total tax burden is 35%. It just means every dollar you earn after (say) $75,000 is taxed at 35%. Take this example:

$0 - 10,000: 0%
10,001 - 25,000: 15%
25,001 - 50,000: 25%
50,001+: 35%

Say you earn $60,000 -- that means you're taxed at 35%, right? Wrong. If you were taxed at 35%, your net income would be $39,000. Under a marginal tax system (like America has) that is not the case. In this example, the net income of someone earning $60,000 would be $48,000, or an effective tax rate of 20%.

Everything you earn below $10,000 isn't taxed. Everything you earn up to $25,000 is taxed at 15%. Everything you earn between $25,001 and $50,000 is taxed at 25%. Et cetera et cetera.

And for myriad reasons, America could never end up like Greece. One of the major impediments to Greece's recovery is the inability to print their own currency, which is not a problem the U.S. has. Greece's government was also massively corrupt. Their tax problem was that taxes were not being collected, not that they were too high or too low.
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  #54  
Old Feb 7, '12, 12:24 pm
tqualey tqualey is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Hi, Mrs Sally,

OK. Let's continue.

Jesus did not really leave a clear economic record - or, set of financial principles that we could honestly follow. For example:

Our Lord and the Apostles are invited to a wedding - and instead of the groom taking our a loan to pay for the extra wine needed, or getting his Father-in-Law to up the dowry or have the wedding party out there washing down carts and shining sandals - a miracle was performed and there is an abundance of wine. Future newly-weds had best not take this as an example of how to manage a wedding reception budget.

It was previously brought out that to pay a Temple Tax, Christ caused gold coins to be found in a fish Peter caught ... but, just enough for Christ and Peter - the other Eleven had to come up with their own funds. Fishing like this would not be recommended to pay an IRS bill.

When it came to the Apostles collecting money - Judas held the purse (apparently it was prone to developing a hole in it...) so, I am guessing that some people made donations to Christ and the Apostles - although nothing is written about this (I am just trying to understand what Judas is doing with the Group's money if they weren't collecting money.) But, in most everything - the Group stayed with others willing to put them up and feed them (ah, mooched?) Nothing is said about payment from the purse being made for lodging (putting up 13 men and then feeding them had to cost something).

Seriously, what kind of economic lesson can we learn from this. Going to the store for shoes and telling the clerk, "Look at the birds of the air..." (Matt 6:26) would probably get you thrown out of the store. I say this not to be disrespectful but merely to point out that the economic record left by Christ is one that most human being can not follow. As far as I can tell, Christ had no economic policy so that He could be labeled as a capitalist or a communist or pre-Keynesian or pre-Trickle-Down or any other term we use today.

There really isn't a conclusion that one can draw as to an economic system. Now, there are many conclusions that we can draw on how to treat our fellow human beings - and from that we can make the transition to any economic system that treats everyone with dignity and respect, gives all their due, does not extort taxes or other valuables like Zacchaeus did before meeting Christ (Luke 19:5) but to pay (render) what is owed to the government - even a corrupt one like the Roman Empire (Matt 12:17)

Using Acts 5 as the basis for calling the Early Catholic Church communistic is interesting. Most religious orders with their vow of Poverty would also qualify - having all goods held in common. But, most people understand communism as that preached - not by Peter - but by Lenin, and Marx and implemented by Stalin and Mao. So, that would be atheistic communism run by a dictatorship with world wide efforts to force people to accept it.

I really do not have an answer for this - except whichever answer (economic system) you chose, you will be held responsible for what you did with the wealth you did control right after your last breath!

God bless


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Sally View Post
Apparently you did. However, I am not conversely advocating that all taxes are theft. I am saying that the government has a legitimate role in carring for the citizens of the country. How that is accomplished, how much is done through public social programs vs private charity, is something that continually needs to be evaluated.
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  #55  
Old Feb 7, '12, 12:32 pm
tqualey tqualey is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Hi, St. Francis,

Thanks for pointing out those very real limitations.

God bless


Quote:
Originally Posted by St Francis View Post
First of all, that practice was not continued practice Christians in general; this is the only time it wa mentioned and St Paul had a business so that he would not be a burden on the Christian community.

Secondly, the practice was voluntary, limited to a community, and not under government supervision.
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  #56  
Old Feb 7, '12, 12:37 pm
Monte RCMS Monte RCMS is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by endoentropism View Post
"Render unto Caesar (up to x% -- then overthrow the government.)"
No, Jesus recommended using the Laffer Curve for government to optimize revenue collections ...
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  #57  
Old Feb 7, '12, 12:51 pm
endoentropism endoentropism is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by tqualey View Post
"American could never end up like Greece..." we hope so - but we are doing NOTHING to prevent this. Right now we have a $15 trillion debt (this puts us a 100% of GNP) and the President will be submitting a 'budget' not only asking for an increase in the debt limit but will be offering no reductions in the 'Big Three Entitlements' (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security). The way we are going - we are going to be making Greece look frugal!
Greece's debt is currently 144% of their GDP and their budget deficit is 10.6% of their GDP.

In contrast, the U.S.'s debt is 100% of GDP and its budget deficit is 7-8%, which isn't so bad considering the world is just coming out of the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression. Throughout the 90s the budget deficit was usually below 5%, and there was even a budget surplus before the dot com crash in 2001.

Heck, even before the 2008 crash the budget deficit was very low -- only ~2% in 2007.

Quote:
In my opinion the only reason why we have gotten away with this for so long is that other countries see us as 'safe' and 'reliable' (ah, forget about that down-grade from S&P last summer ... here is the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...IxI_story.html Which sort of makes me wonder how long it is going to take before the rest of the world realizes that the Emperor really doesn't have any clothes on?! Seriously we are doing this all with borrowed money - and eventually those creditor nations like China and Japan and Great Britain will want to reconsider just why they are loaning money to us when they need to keep their money home for their own needs.
The rest of the world might, but it wont be for a while. Countries like China have nothing to gain from 'calling in their debts'.

In 2011, the U.S. imported $366 billion worth of Chinese goods -- 3.23% of China's GDP. If China called in its debt and sank the U.S., and the U.S. plunged into a Greek-style depression, it would be catastrophic for China and the world at large. It would be economic suicide.

Quote:
Finally, it is the ABILITY to print all the money we want that has landed us in this mess - Greece has a real asset here (their IN-ability to run to the printing presses) and you are making it seem like a liability. Want a horror story? Try Germany's hyperinflation from 1914 -1 923 http://www.usagold.com/germannightmare.html
It's not that simple. When you have control over your own currency you can devalue it relative to other currencies so that foreign investment becomes more attractive. This is exactly what China does and why many economists are angry at China -- all that cheap manufacturing labour wouldn't be nearly as cheap if China let its currency accurately reflect its value.

Greece does not have this option. One of the biggest problems with the EU at the moment is that fiscal policy and debt is sovereign but currency is not. Greece cannot devalue its currency relative to its neighbours. Without an economic incentive to do so, would you choose a Greek manufacturer over a German one? I wouldn't.

Quote:
How you don't think winding up like Greece is possible is simply beyond me. But, if you do have hopes of the riots in Athens calming down and people getting used to the austerity needed ... we just shift our attention over to Italy, then Spain, then Portugal ... There are many problems out there - so please, remove the rose colored glasses, and smell the trouble looming if we do not get our economic house in order.

God bless
Very specific economic conditions existed in Greece that enabled their country to go in the direction it did.

For one, Greece basically committed fraud to join the EU. Their numbers were fudged bigtime. But perhaps most importantly, tax fraud was(/is) widespread and systemic. Tax collectors were on the take and few people paid what they owed to the government. This simply isn't an issue in the United States, where taxes are some of the lowest in the developed world -- not only are taxes largely paid on time, but raising revenue will always be an option for the foreseeable future (not to mention basic things like closing loopholes!).

This is less true in struggling European countries which are already highly taxed (in theory), such as Greece. Greece could have tripled their income tax but it wouldn't have mattered if nobody collected it. Italy had its own problems -- hit particularly hard by the 2008 recession, debt at 116% of GDP, weak coalition government, and very low capital investment by the government.

Of course, none of this is to say U.S. debt isn't a serious and ongoing concern. It's just not nearly as serious as people think. If the U.S. somehow goes the way of Greece in the near future, it will be because civilization is collapsing, not because politicians in 2011 mismanaged the debt.

There will come a time when America is no longer the beating heart of the world -- all empires rise and fall. But until then, it's in the world's best interest to not play games with American finance.
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  #58  
Old Feb 7, '12, 1:02 pm
tqualey tqualey is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

Hi, Endoentropism,

Thank you for a good post...

Yes, you had some good points - I, too, can not imagine China recalling its US debts, and yes Greece did 'cook their books' in addition to seriously lying in an effort to get into the EU - and now the EU is stuck with them. And, yes, Greece has a truly unbelievable system for NOT collecting taxes. But, I tell you ... there is one item where sliding past Greece is a real possibility - and that would be on the collapse of civilization as it unfolds via the 9th Circuit Court's opinion today: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...n-8/53000180/1

God bless


Quote:
Originally Posted by endoentropism View Post
Greece's debt is currently 144% of their GDP and their budget deficit is 10.6% of their GDP.

In contrast, the U.S.'s debt is 100% of GDP and its budget deficit is 7-8%, which isn't so bad considering the world is just coming out of the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression. Throughout the 90s the budget deficit was usually below 5%, and there was even a budget surplus before the dot com crash in 2001.

Heck, even before the 2008 crash the budget deficit was very low -- only ~2% in 2007.


The rest of the world might, but it wont be for a while. Countries like China have nothing to gain from 'calling in their debts'.

In 2011, the U.S. imported $366 billion worth of Chinese goods -- 3.23% of China's GDP. If China called in its debt and sank the U.S., and the U.S. plunged into a Greek-style depression, it would be catastrophic for China and the world at large. It would be economic suicide.


It's not that simple. When you have control over your own currency you can devalue it relative to other currencies so that foreign investment becomes more attractive. This is exactly what China does and why many economists are angry at China -- all that cheap manufacturing labour wouldn't be nearly as cheap if China let its currency accurately reflect its value.

Greece does not have this option. One of the biggest problems with the EU at the moment is that fiscal policy and debt is sovereign but currency is not. Greece cannot devalue its currency relative to its neighbours. Without an economic incentive to do so, would you choose a Greek manufacturer over a German one? I wouldn't.


Very specific economic conditions existed in Greece that enabled their country to go in the direction it did.

For one, Greece basically committed fraud to join the EU. Their numbers were fudged bigtime. But perhaps most importantly, tax fraud was(/is) widespread and systemic. Tax collectors were on the take and few people paid what they owed to the government. This simply isn't an issue in the United States, where taxes are some of the lowest in the developed world -- not only are taxes largely paid on time, but raising revenue will always be an option for the foreseeable future (not to mention basic things like closing loopholes!).

This is less true in struggling European countries which are already highly taxed (in theory), such as Greece. Greece could have tripled their income tax but it wouldn't have mattered if nobody collected it. Italy had its own problems -- hit particularly hard by the 2008 recession, debt at 116% of GDP, weak coalition government, and very low capital investment by the government.

Of course, none of this is to say U.S. debt isn't a serious and ongoing concern. It's just not nearly as serious as people think. If the U.S. somehow goes the way of Greece in the near future, it will be because civilization is collapsing, not because politicians in 2011 mismanaged the debt.

There will come a time when America is no longer the beating heart of the world -- all empires rise and fall. But until then, it's in the world's best interest to not play games with American finance.
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  #59  
Old Feb 7, '12, 1:17 pm
Monte RCMS Monte RCMS is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

The United States [Federal] government budget deficit:


Tax collections: $5 billion per day

Federal Spending: $10 billion per day.

Deficit = 100%

Projected federal spending in 2014: $13 billion per day.

Deficit = 160%.

Dunno where you got the 7% number.
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  #60  
Old Feb 7, '12, 1:24 pm
endoentropism endoentropism is offline
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Default Re: Why do modern liberals believe that Jesus would support involuntary redistribution of wealth

I was looking at graphs so my numbers were a bit off.
The actual number for 2011 was 8.7% of GDP, down from 10% at the height of the crisis:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1...scal-2011.html
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