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Comments

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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ArcherB Re:Solution (410 comments)

Exactly! Tax consumption, not wealth!

about a month ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ArcherB Re:Solution (410 comments)

As OP stated, and I already repeated, a 20% tax on a $20,000/yr income...
See, that's where your mistake lies. When 75% of your income is spent on tax free items, you're not paying 20% of your income in taxes. ...is a much larger chunk of income than a 20% tax hit on a $200,000 income.
So? Class envy much?
$3.50 a gallon fuel is much more of a burden on a person making $20,000/yr than a person making $200,000/yr. Should we charge poor people less for gas? For that matter every dime a rich person spends is going to be less of a burden to the rich than the poor, and we are doing nothing about it? Did you know that rich people can afford to have other people cook their food? I've heard they can keep their houses at 55 degrees in Florida year round, and it's no burden at all. That's not fair at all! Why should eating be more of a burden on the poor than the rich?

about a month ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ArcherB Re:Solution (410 comments)

gas is taxed.
repairs are taxed
registration is taxed.

Why wouldn't the sale of a car be taxed?

How about clothing? Need clothes to live, right?
Nope. If it makes you feel better, you could make school kids clothing tax free, or only make new clothing taxable. If you don't want to pay the tax, buy second hand.

Now Paris Hilton can buy 400 pairs of shoe tax-free!
So? Why do you care what Paris Hilton does? See, that's the problem. You are so damn worried that a rich person might save $80 on a pair of shoes that you want EVERYONE else to go through hell so a rich bitch won't save a buck.

Watch out for that slippery slope you're on.
Odd. Nearly everyone of the 50 states has programs like this and they don't have a problem. Were you referring to the "slippery slope" fallacy?

about a month ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ArcherB Re:Corporate taxes (410 comments)

Rich people spend less of their money and save more of it than poor people, simply because there's more left over after paying for the necessities.
All money is spent eventually. Also, what do you think the bank does with the money people "save"? Banks loan that money to someone else and charge them a higher interest rate than they are paying the savings account. That is how banks make money. So the person who takes the loan will spend it, meaning it will be taxed. When the savings account is cashed out, that too will be spent, plus all the interest earned.

So, in this case, the same money is taxed multiple times. Also, all the money is taxed at the same rate. Currently, loan income is not taxed as income. But under a sales tax, the when the person taking the loan buys new office furniture, it will be taxed.

So, it would be even more regressive than the current system.
Currently, interest income and capital gains are charged a lower rate the standard income. This is how wealthy people pay such a ridiculously low tax rate (Warren Buffet pays less than his secretary). This would not longer be an issue with a sales tax.

Finally, all money is spent eventually. It doesn't matter if it was saved or invested at one point. Even if the person who earned it dies, eventually, all money is spent, even if by his heirs.

about a month ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ArcherB Re:Solution (410 comments)

someone who makes $200,000 a year does not spend it all in a way that would be subject to a sales tax.
All money is spent eventually. Even if you die and leave it to someone else, it will get spent by them. When it is spent, it is taxed.

Savings / Investing is not subject to a sales tax.
Nope, but it will be spent eventually. All money is spent eventually. As a bonus, the capital gains/interest earned will be taxed at the same rate as the rest of the money. Currently, capital gains and interest income has a much lower rate. This is how Warren Buffet has a lower tax rate than his secretary. This problem would be fixed.

Mortgage payments are not subject to a sales tax, etc.
Why not? Is buying a house not a sale, subject to a sales tax? If you wanted to tweak it, you could put a limit on how much a home is taxed. For example, allow one home to be tax free or only tax on every dollar over a certain amount.

about a month ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ArcherB Re:Solution (410 comments)

Most states do this. Back when I was a checker at a grocery store about 30 years ago, we had to learn what food is taxed and what food is not. For example:
"Juice" products, those that contain nothing but fruit or vegetable juice, are tax free.
Products labeled "drink" or "punch" are taxable.
All non-processed food was non-taxable.
Anything you cook at home was non-taxable. This includes frozen meals such as TV Dinners or frozen pizza.
Canned goods were non-taxed.
Potato chips, candy, and other "junk" food is taxable, (I think).
Anything served cooked and ready to eat, such as a hamburger or bucket of chicken is taxable.

Not that we worry about it much as it is all handled by the computer anyway.

about a month ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ArcherB Re:Solution (410 comments)

Except that the government will just increase taxes on other common goods to make up for the shortfall.
So? Low income people still spend a lower percentage on their income on those "common goods" than the wealthy.
You are also missing out on the idea that capital gains will be taxed at the same rate as income. For that matter, all income will taxed at the same rate, so even if you work "under the table", you will still pay taxes.

With a "flat tax," there isn't any way around that issue.
There are lots of ways around the issue.
You could tweak the system further. For example, allow a person to own one home tax free. All additional homes will have a sales tax levied on the sale. You could also charge a different rate on luxury items such as yachts and luxury cars.

about a month ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ArcherB Re:Solution (410 comments)

Think of it this way; if you make $24,000 a year, a 20% tax that reduces your income to $18,000 a year is a much greater burden than it is to someone who makes $200,000 a year and has their income reduced to $150,000 a year.

Good! Those making $24,000/yr will finally understand that government money is not free. Then you won't have the problem of people who don't pay taxes voting to raise the tax rate on those that do. Also, if you make $24,000/yr, most of your money is going to food and rent, both of which can be made to be non-taxable.

A sales tax is still going to a progressive tax since things like food, school supplies, and other absolute necessities won't be taxed at all. See, people only spend so much money on necessities, no matter how much they make. Sure, a billionaire might spend $5 million on a house, but his grocery budget is not going to be 50x more than the guy who spent $100K on a house. So low income people will spend a larger percentage of their income on non-taxed products, meaning they will pay a lower tax rate than the guy who eats out twice a day.

about a month ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ArcherB Re:Corporate taxes (410 comments)

Or you could just do a federal sales tax. Everyone pays, including corporations, so everyone has skin in the game. No loopholes. No moving out of the country to avoid paying your share. No April 15. No tax forms. No deductions or credits. Everyone knows exactly what they are paying. Everything purchased is taxed, period.

about a month ago
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Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

ArcherB Re:What will it take? (302 comments)

(sigh)
This is the comment I was responding to:
Think of it this way: Imagine the entire planet heated up by 20C, we wouldn't expect to see any permanent ice outside of Antarctica. (The North Pole might get some seasonal ice, but the much warmer oceans would melt it fairly quickly.) Now, with all of the oceans that much warmer, think how much additional water vapor would make it into the atmosphere. When the additional water vapor ends up over the South Pole, it will be cold enough for it to freeze and fall as snow. As the snow accumulates, it compacts into ice and we end up with a LOT more ice at the South Pole.

So: Less ice everywhere but Antarctica due to global warming, but a lot more ice in Antarctica due to global warming.

But the point is, when there was LESS ice, it was because of global warming. Now that there is MORE ice, it's because of global warming, per the original comment I replied to.

about 2 months ago
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Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

ArcherB Re:What will it take? (302 comments)

Yes. There is less ice in some areas due to global warming and more ice in other areas due to global warming.

OK. Maybe you should tell all the scientist this. Be sure to copy Algore as well.
See, they seem to think that the first thing to go is the polar ice. That's why they keep measuring it. See, a few years ago, a lot of the ice melted, and we were told that it was because of global warming. Now the ice is back and growing, and we are told it's because of global warming.

And that is my entire point. No matter what the symptoms are, it's always a symptom of global warming.

Also, if it's colder in Antarctica and warmer in Hawaii, that's not really a sign of global warming. That's a sign of global nothing because the average temperature remains constant.

about 2 months ago
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Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

ArcherB Re:What will it take? (302 comments)

But if there's more ice, it's because of global warming.

citation needed.

That would be comment I was responding to:
So much freshwater from melting glaciers that sea level isn't even level anymore, and some people still don't want to believe there might be a climate problem.

about 2 months ago
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Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

ArcherB Re:What will it take? (302 comments)

So much freshwater from melting glaciers that sea level isn't even level anymore, and some people still don't want to believe there might be a climate problem.

(I don't mean the people who question how to address the problem - that's still legitimately an open question - or the severity of the problem, I mean the people still in denial that there's a problem at all.)

So if there's less ice, it's because of global warming. But if there's more ice, it's because of global warming.

Just curious, if global warming were not a thing, what would the ice caps be doing?

about 2 months ago
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Exomoon Detection Technique Could Greatly Expand Potential Habitable Systems

ArcherB Re:We need faster-than-light travel (66 comments)

OK, so we build a ship that can take us anywhere in a reasonable amount of time. Then what? What's the point without a destination?

Right now, our technical ability allows us to detect planets that may be capable of harboring life. Why don't we go ahead and do what we can do rather than sulking over the fact that we can't do more? Once the day comes when we can actually go there, we'll do that. Until then, let's do what we can, which is detection.

about a month ago
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

ArcherB Re:Phones + 1 laptop. (260 comments)

Ditto. I like the old fashion network cables that is stable, secured, and fast. Wireless is only for portable devices and far away.

I've never had a wireless cord get unplugged from moving my PC. However, your point is well taken.

about 2 months ago
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Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

ArcherB Re:Easy, India or China (303 comments)

So why has every environmental initiative in the past 40 years been pushed by the Democrats and resisted by the Republicans?
You mean like this one?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...
Odd. I didn't know Bush was a Democrat.

What about this one?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...
Where are the Democrats pushing this bill and Republicans opposing it?

And although I'm stepping outside your 40-year limit, who created the Environmental Protection Agency in the first place? I'll give you a hint:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...

about 2 months ago
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No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

ArcherB Re:WOW (142 comments)

You forgot to include lifetime costs for VA health care for surviving vets, who tend to have fairly difficult to treat injuries that would have killed people in prior wars.

This is why there's such a backlog in the VA.

No it's not. The majority of the people at the VA are mostly Vietnam vets with a few WWII and Korean War vets hanging on. Most of your Iraq/Afghanistan vets are under the age of 50, meaning they have their own health insurance through the company they work for. For example, ME! I've never been to a VA hospital. Never had to. I always had my own insurance.

As for the total cost, right now, it ranks at about $1.5 trillion for 14 years. Since the expensive part of launching million dollar missiles to blow up a $100 tent and fueling tanks that get gallons to the mile are over, the rate at which the cost is increasing is slowing substantially. It is unlikely that it will reach $2 trillion.

Either way, you said "wastED", meaning past tense. We haven't spent $2 trillion and won't for many years, if ever.

about 5 months ago
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No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

ArcherB Re:WOW (142 comments)

Finance guys are so cute.
I was an IT guy so....

For example a retail bank needs two tables in it's accounts database. One for the account, a second to record the transactions.
The DB needs a customer table (name, address, phone, address, ect), transaction table, account type table, account table, interest rate table, payee table, payroll tables (complete with more account data from other banks, employee names, etc) etc. There's a LOT of data involved, and this still doesn't include the cutesie stuff banks throw in like customer preferences.

The database may be queried by other databases (ie: the guy approving loans), but it is not actually a part of those databases.
Actually, different systems maintain different databases. For example the Internet Banking side will maintain it's own database. the ATM side will have it's own side. Then there's the credit card system, ACH systems, wire systems, the core system itself and others. All of these systems must interact with eachother. For example, the a customer may log into the Internet banking side, which will have to hit the core to get the current balance, EOD balance from yesterday, unprocessed transactions, processed transactions, interest rates, any messages from the bank, and so on. It also has to be able to inject transactions such as payroll into the core system, wires into the wire system and so on.
Of course, all of these systems are different. The ACH system uses a flat text file. The core is usually an UNIX based system with a terminal interface. The Internet Banking is probably an Apache Tomcat connecting to a MSSQL system. Then, there is the bank end that is comprised of DB front-ends, screen scrapers, batch files, transaction injectors and so on.

You could probably convince a bunch of PHB-English Majors your database is more complicated because you have six different, totally unrelated databases in the same file, but don't try that shit in front of engineers.
Not just different DB's but completely different architectures. And, of course, different states have different laws. For example, all states that take income taxes have a different method to pay them. Then their are business taxes, both federal and for all 50 states, loan laws, interest rate laws etc.

And there is much much more, but this is getting out of hand. Suffice to say that you have no friggin' clue as to what you are talking about when it comes to everything a bank does, much less when it comes to tying all those systems together.

Compare that to the ACA system which involves user data, finance data, what companies are available per state, what plans available per company, and an interface system to communicate between the handful of ACA authorized insurance companies per state and the back-office system. Many states run their own system. The government has claimed that their system doesn't even keep the data!

about 5 months ago
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No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

ArcherB Re:WOW (142 comments)

HealthCare.gov does a lot of actual calculations itself. Once it knows your location it has to ask several other databases for your income level, at which point it compares that income level to the poverty rate. This is step one of determining your subsidy. Step 2 is to query a second database for a list of plans in your area. The second lowest cost silver plan is the "Base Plan" which is the second number used to calculate your subsidy. That's not just a database query, it's executable code.
Everything you described here can be done within a database engine, making HealthCare.gov essentially a database frontend that reinvented part of the wheel.

Moreover the database front-end is probably the most complicated database front-end in actual production anywhere.
No. No it's not, or at least it doesn't need to be. I would say credit card authorization databases would be the most complicated, followed closely by the banks. There are also several customer databases that are outright huge. You have parts inventories for large companies and databases used by engineers designing various components for bridges, air liners, jet fighters, combat vehicles, electric cars, etc. Of course, let's not forget the databases used by Internet companies like Google, government agencies like the IRS, census, and the Fed, and the multitude of databases need to run our phone and communication systems. All of these systems require front-ends. The frontend my bank uses for their online banking system is more complicated than HC.gov and deals with a more complicated system of DB's on the backend.
If this is one of the most complicated database front-ends in existence, that is proof that it is designed and written by incompetents.

it's querying multiple completely different databases, most of whom weren't designed to be compatible with each-other. It all needs damn-near-perfect security. It needs to deal with complex legal questions such as what happens when Louisiana decides some insurer has been cheating a bit on some legal requirement? Is the desired result under Louisiana law different then Ohio?
So, it's the type of system you find running every bank in America, minus the need for international transactions.

(disclaimer: I've worked in Internet Banking Systems and the defense industry)

about 5 months ago
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No, HealthCare.gov Doesn't Require 500 Million Lines of Code

ArcherB Re:WOW (142 comments)

Exactly. Should have just implemented Canada's Single Payer National Healthcare for 1/20th the cost.

The resulting health improvement in the US would have saved Trillions that we could have wasted in IraqIranAfghaniPakistan.

First, the cost of both wars was less than $2 trillion, making the 's' on the word "Trillion" misleading and dishonest.

Next, we have a government run, single payer, health care system now. It's called VA. How's that working out?

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Ready for global taxes?

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ArcherB (796902) writes "According to InfoWars and several other sites, the true goal of Global Warming Alarmism has come to light: Global redistribution of wealth.

Following a discussion entitled "A Global CO2 Tax," a UN panel yesterday urged the adoption of "a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations," to impose a tax on plant food (CO2).
Othmar Schwank, one of the participants, said that the U.S. and other wealthy nations need to "contribute significantly more to this global fund." He also added, "It is very essential to tax coal."
The bounty from this $40 billion dollars a year windfall will go straight into the coffers of a UN controlled "Multilateral Adaptation Fund".
Of course, if passed, it will be without the need for those pesky elections."

Link to Original Source
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No consensus view on man-made global warming?

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ArcherB (796902) writes "DailyTech took a look at peer reviewed scientific papers to see if there really was a consensus view, concerning whether humans were having at least some effect on global climate change.

Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers "implicit" endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no "consensus."
and goes on to say

Schulte's survey contradicts the United Nation IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (2007), which gave a figure of "90% likely" man was having an impact on world temperatures. But does the IPCC represent a consensus view of world scientists? Despite media claims of "thousands of scientists" involved in the report, the actual text is written by a much smaller number of "lead authors." The introductory "Summary for Policymakers" — the only portion usually quoted in the media — is written not by scientists at all, but by politicians, and approved, word-by-word, by political representatives from member nations. By IPCC policy, the individual report chapters — the only text actually written by scientists — are edited to "ensure compliance" with the summary, which is typically published months before the actual report itself.
"

Link to Original Source
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Bush Orders No Cruel Treatment of Terror Suspects

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ArcherB (796902) writes "President Bush signed an executive order Friday prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment, including humiliation or denigration of religious beliefs, in the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects.

Read the whole executive order HERE."

Link to Original Source
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Cheney to be President (for a few hours)

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ArcherB (796902) writes "From HERE:

US President George W. Bush will undergo a "routine colonoscopy" at the Camp David retreat on Saturday, temporarily ceding his powers to Vice President Dick Cheney, the White House said Friday. Cheney will serve as acting president until such time as Bush, who will be under anesthesia, says he is ready to resume his duties, presidential spokesman Tony Snow told reporters. "The president has had no symptoms" of cancer, said Snow, who noted that Bush had been scheduled for such an examination since undergoing a colonoscopy in June 2002.
Please, no colonoscopy jokes."

Journals

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Yes, Fire collapses steel structures

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 7 years ago

"9-11 Truthers" say that there is no possible way that fire could cause the support beams in The World Trade Center to weaken, causing the buildings to collapse. On April 29, 2007 in Oakland California, a tanker truck hauling gasoline wrecked and burst into flames. Fortunately, no one was killed, but the resulting fire weakened the support structure of an overpass causing it to collapse. This, according the the truther argument, is impossible.

Of course, jet fuel is not gasoline. Jet fuel is much like diesel, it burns much hotter and slower than gasoline. Also, the Boeing 767 has a capacity of up to 24,000 US gallons of jet fuel. The tanker that crashed in Oakland had 8,600 gallons capacity.

Any truthers (other than Rosie, of course) care to take a stab at this one? Is this enough to make them say, "Hey, maybe planes did take down the WTC", or did the government secretly blow up the overpass to prove the truthers wrong?

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Moderator Guidelines

ArcherB ArcherB writes  |  more than 7 years ago

From HERE:

Concentrate more on promoting than on demoting. The real goal here is to find the juicy good stuff and let others read it. Do not promote personal agendas. Do not let your opinions factor in. Try to be impartial about this. Simply disagreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it down. Likewise, agreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it up. The goal here is to share ideas. To sift through the haystack and find needles. And to keep the children who like to spam Slashdot in check.

I only bring this up because it seems that SlashDot is turning into more of a DailyKOS than a TomsHardware or an Engadget.

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