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Council Does Not Represent The People

REQUEST TO CANCEL PUBLIC VOTE PROMISED ONE AND A HALF YEARS AGO IS ARROGANT, WRONG

Posted: January 29, 2012 at 5:26 a.m.

In August 2010, the Ozark Regional Transit governing board, a representative body comprising mayors and county judges, set an election date for a quartercent sales tax to support the transit system.

This story is only available from our archives.

Opinion, Pages 13 on 01/29/2012

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RE-

"Regardless of what we might think about these projects, the council is entirely nonrepresentative of the people yet they are determining the layout and planning the future of our region. They represent the upper 1 percent for sure."

They very well may represent the top 1% if one constantly insists on classifying everyone by their respective paychecks. The Waltons, Tysons, Hunts, Harps, and Georges, just to name few, have done countless things to make Northwest Arkansas what it is to today. Without them, our home would possibly be nothing but a downtrodden backwater left over from a once booming fruit growing area devastated by disease.

-Tank

Posted by: Tankersley101

January 29, 2012 at 10:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

If the facts are ever reported, then readers will see that this elite, self-appointed know-it-all is incorrect in just about everything he is saying. Why this newspaper provides him a forum to cast stones based on misinformation is a real mystery. Its gone on entirely too long.

Posted by: Hawki

January 29, 2012 at 12:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Thanks for the terrific reporting Professor Hobson.

Ignoramus, you might consider changing your screen name to something less reflective of your actual qualities. But, thanks for the upfront warning about your comments.

Tank, you seem to be focusing too little on the content of the professor's column, and too much on the fine qualities of our home grown plutocrats. Is there a reason you think that people who never use public transportation should decide for those who do whether it should be available?

Posted by: FrankLloydLeft

January 29, 2012 at 1:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Art's column tells us the 1% have little use for democratic process.
.
Hopefully the word will go out to Washington County officials to WITHDRAW from the REGIONAL MOBILITY AUTHORITY which the dimwit Jerry Hunton got WaCo into. It's a scheme for WashCo to pay for a Bella Vista bypass and another bypass on the south end of Benton County. To pay for it with another tax.
.
The 1%ers are fearful should the mass transit tax pass they won't be able to pass the tax they've planned for NorthWest Mobility Authority to build bypasses in Benton Co.

Posted by: cdawg

January 29, 2012 at 3:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

ignoramus--

If you believe that Prof. Hobson's opinions and arguments are somehow not based on facts, you are certainly welcome to come up with a counter-argument. It might help to dispel the notion that your screen name is entirely appropriate.

Of course it might not. Maybe we'll find out.

Posted by: AlphaCat

January 29, 2012 at 3:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tank, since the Waltons, Tysons, Hunts, Harps (?) and Georges are the local aristocracy if not royalty, maybe we should let our betters decide public issues for us.

Posted by: Coralie

January 29, 2012 at 3:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

You've got it kinda of backwards Tank:
.
>>The Waltons, Tysons, Hunts, Harps, and Georges, just to name few, have done countless things to make Northwest Arkansas what it is to today. Without them, our home would possibly be nothing but a downtrodden backwater left over from a once booming fruit growing area devastated by disease.<<
.
Let me correct that for you:
.
The building of BEAVER LAKE made it possible for ALL of US.
.
You know, 'gubmint' spending. 'Gubmint' ownership of the assets, government run enterprise. In other words, Tank, socialism made it possible.
.
Without a healthy dose of socialism where would the super rich be? How many chicken plants and homes could Lake Fayetteville have supported? Lake Elmdale? That quaint body of water in Rogers, Lake Lucerne? Those two wells around Bentonville, once its water supply, would have supported what?

.

Posted by: cdawg

January 29, 2012 at 8:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Where to begin?

I am tempted to agree with the columnist that the sales tax for transit should go before the voters as promised, because if the sponsors make a strong enough case for it, then voters have shown to be willing to support it.

Unfortunately, the columnist (as he tends to do) misses the mark badly when it comes to certain facts. First, what he refers to as "the 1%" (a very inaccurate and perjorative term, but that is for another post) derive more benefit from urbanization than do the poor because it is easier for them to control those who do not have the option of moving around in a more compact location. Anyone who bothered to study early industrial history would have read about the "company towns" where the worker was compelled to live near the factory, buy his groceries at the "company store," and govern his life according to the whims and wishes of the owner.

Second, most of the usual suspects who follow their master's train of thought do not support the idea of a sales tax because it is regressive. Of course, that doesn't apply to the Value Added Tax that several of the same opinionists push for, but why quibble with consistency or facts, for that matter.

Third, it might have escaped the columnist, but the region is already sparsely populated outside of the narrow corridor along I-540 that connects the Big Four cities (and Bella Vista). While buses might be able to operate efficiently along Business 71, it would be much less effective in connecting employees to the east and west. Benton County has two major corridors, with Highway 59 connecting Siloam Springs with Gentry, Decatur and Gravette. With good reason, officials in Benton County suspect that the tax will mainly support 71 (and likely U.S. 62) while leaving people in the rest of the region to fend for themselves. They would rather spend their money on infrastructure that would (likely to the columnist's surprise) serve their constituents.

I lived in an area that was "served" by mass transit, and it was good in instances where employees of one particular company with one set shift of working hours could use it. It was useless in cases where seniors needed to get to a doctor's appointment or where individuals unfortunate enough to have a shift that did not fit the bus schedule (when the bus ran on time...which was a rare occurance) needed to commute to their jobs. Several attempts to tweak the system proved futile and the service has proven to be little more than a drain on local finances.

The sad (but entirely true) conclusion is that mobility would not be served by purchasing a fleet of buses, but by more highways. Perhaps the columnist is not really interested in mobility, since it makes it more difficult for the real elites (those who are inclined to side with the columnist) to control the masses.

Posted by: IrishMensa

January 29, 2012 at 10:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Cdawg,

RE-

"The building of BEAVER LAKE made it possible for ALL of US."

Yeah, really? The Corps of Engineers loaded chicken into John Tyson's pickup before Beaver Lake was even completed (1960) and hauled the poultry to Chicago (1930s)? I don't think so. Jones Truck Line was around prior to that as well (1918). So were the Harps (they started the local grocery chain in 1930). Not to mention Sam Walton… How many jobs did he create and how many jobs does his legacy continue to create?

None of the other lakes you listed were designed to provide water for the poultry industry. Not one

Frank,

How many people really use public transportation in Northwest Arkansas and how feasible is it? Really?

I was an avid user of public transportation in Europe, a different place with a different culture were people lived crammed together in stairwell apartments. Do get me wrong. Public transportation is cool, but it has to be somewhere where it will pay off to be constructed.

"1%” has become a pejorative term.

-Tank

Posted by: Tankersley101

January 30, 2012 at 5:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Answer the question TanK:
.
"How many chicken plants and homes could Lake Fayetteville have supported? Lake Elmdale? That quaint body of water in Rogers, Lake Lucerne? "
.
Then we'll get to your chicken questions.

.

Posted by: cdawg

January 30, 2012 at 12:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Mr Hobson states as fact that living and commuting in a "compact" region enhances the quality of life. This comment is right out of the book of socialism. Ever visited Hong Kong? I have. That's exactly how they live there, and the place is basically a huge toilet. It's disgusting. The 'central planners' i.e. the socialists running this country now want us crammed into tight spaces, disarmed, because we are easier to control that way.
And why is it that every time a bleeding heart liberal wants to reach out to a small group of people, it costs me more money? They are always so generous with other people's money, but rarely put their money where their mouth is. A larger public transit system won't come anywhere near paying for it's self, and will need constant subsidies just to survive. If it were a sound investment, some private group would already be doing it. Amtrack is a great example.
I'm all for helping the poor, hell, I am one, but I'm sick to death of being taxed and taxed for greenways and bike paths and other boondoggle so called investments in our community that only keep government workers busy, and don't create any private sector jobs. When is the last time any of you heard Mayor Jordan, or Governor Bebe announce plans for tax 'incentives' to lure business here? Never. It's always new taxes on the working class to prop up the 45% of people who pay no taxes. I for one am sick of it. We should be cutting spending, not going back to the public trough for another 'feel good' project that will never pay for it's self.

Posted by: rushy

January 30, 2012 at 5:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

rushy--

Let me guess: after Mr. Limbaugh?

RE "Mr Hobson states as fact that living and commuting in a "compact" region enhances the quality of life. This comment is right out of the book of socialism."
That appears to be your own misreading of what Prof. Hobson said. But regardless of the book it comes from, it is a fact that mass transit enhances quality of life. Other chapters in the Book of Socialism include "The American Interstate Highway System" and "The American Military".

RE "Ever visited Hong Kong? I have. That's exactly how they live there, and the place is basically a huge toilet. It's disgusting."
I'll bet they didn't care much for you, either. Hong Kong is an example of a city that has exceeded optimal density by almost any standard, but remember that most of its residents are not American, so they have different expectations of quality of life than you do. When in Rome, do as the Romans do: feed the cats in the Colosseum. What do you think of New York City? (While you're at it, imagine NYC without the subways or bus system.)

RE "And why is it that every time a bleeding heart liberal wants to reach out to a small group of people, it costs me more money?"

If you live in Arkansas, your state is a recipient of $1.41 in federal money for every dollar paid in. Every time a "bleeding heart liberal wants to reach out to a small group of people", somebody else-- probably somebody from an area with mass transit-- pays for it, not you. Most of the red states are net recipient states-- see http://tinyurl.com/5wghh6

RE "It's always new taxes on the working class to prop up the 45% of people who pay no taxes."
That lie has been slapped down so many times that even most of the know-nothing Teabaggers have learned better. This will help you: http://fayfreethinkers.com/forums/vie...

RE "I for one am sick of it."
Maybe if you weren't so ignorant, your health wouldn't suffer. It's so sad to see people wreck their health through the stress caused by unfounded fear, paranoia and envy.

Posted by: AlphaCat

January 30, 2012 at 9:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

cdawg,

RE-
"How many chicken plants and homes could Lake Fayetteville have supported? Lake Elmdale? That quaint body of water in Rogers, Lake Lucerne? "
.
I'm sure Beaver Lake has "supported" plenty of farms to a degree, but the construction of Beaver Lake doesn't get credit for the success of the poultry industry in Norwest Arkansas. The hard work of John Tyson, the continual hard work of all the Tyson employees, and the vision of Don Tyson get credit for the success of the poutry industry in Northwest Arkansas. Tyson's is a company that is providing jobs to a new generation of Americans, many from beyond our borders. In essence, Tyson's is facilitating the American Dream. That is just one example.

Beaver Lake is awesome, but giving the construction of Beaver Lake credit for the success of any industry, except maybe energy, is rediculous.

-Tank

Posted by: Tankersley101

January 30, 2012 at 10:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Rushy: "I'm all for helping the poor, hell, I am one, but I'm sick to death of being taxed and taxed for greenways and bike paths and other boondoggle so called investments in our community">>

When Limbaugh can convince yet another poor person to be a rightwing nut and vote against their quality of life and "so called investments in our community," his job is done for the day. What a pitiful situation. As one fellow put it:

“The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous,…”

Posted by: fayfreethinker

January 30, 2012 at 11:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

FFT,

Why are you quoting Hitler? Are you trying to compare someone to Hitler?

Posted by: Tankersley101

January 31, 2012 at 3:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Frank loyd
STICK'S AND STONE'S MAY BREAK MY BONES BUT YOU WILL NEVER HURT ME.
YOU DIP !!!

Posted by: REPUBLICANSRNUTZ

January 31, 2012 at 8:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

When your only argument is to impugn your detractor's intelligence, then your words fall on deaf ears. You lefties, who have come up with just about every policy that has brought us to the brink of disaster, are so arrogant and condescending that it's not even worth arguing with you. If you're so in love with the system of collective socialism, why don't you just move to Europe, and stop destroying the greatest country God ever created.

Posted by: rushy

January 31, 2012 at 8:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

By the way Adolph, Rushy is my dog's name.

Posted by: rushy

January 31, 2012 at 8:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

TNK: "Are you trying to compare someone to Hitler?">>

Obviously not. I specifically left out the citation for that aphorism so as to not distract from the sentiment of the point made and unnecessarily inflame the ankle biters who so predictably like to fulfill Godwin's law.

Maybe I partly did it because I knew you'd trip over it as you did.

D.
------------
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

January 31, 2012 at 9:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

rushy--

RE "When your only argument is to impugn your detractor's intelligence..."
Until your post of January 31, 2012 at 8:19 a.m., you were not my detractor; you became my detractor when you attempted to.mischaracterize my post. I impugned your statements. Pointing out that you make ignorant statements-- and "It's always new taxes on the working class to prop up the 45% of people who pay no taxes" is abysmally ignorant-- says nothing about your intelligence: ignorance and stupidity are two different things. I will note for your future reference that if you ever make that statement again, you will cross the line from ignorant to stupid. I'm rooting for you.

Now would you care to try to defend the four-and-a-half statements I specifically addressed?

RE "By the way Adolph,..."
Is this another fulfillment of Godwin's Law? (See fft's reference.) If so, that's two conservatives mentioning the H-guy in two consecutive posts. And if so, you misspelled his name.

RE "Rushy is my dog's name."
Let me guess: after Mr. Limbaugh?

Posted by: AlphaCat

January 31, 2012 at 10:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Correction: 45% of the population pay no income taxes. Obviously, we all pay sales taxes. My point is that the tax and spend mentality is wearing a little thin. Every time we turn around the powers that be have their hand out for another mil here, and another mil there, and soon there will be no mils left to take. We already have a bus system, why spend more money on one that will never do anything but suck more mils out of our already weak economy. How about a tax cut? That would stimulate the economy, create new jobs, and maybe all the poor souls who need a bus to get around could actually get a job and buy a car. Gee, what a novel idea.
You've got yourself tied in a knot there pal. Lighten up. Your boiling anger isn't hurting anyone but you. Rage seems to be a common thread among you lefties. Just look at Occupy Oakland, your ideological soul mates. Those young privileged tree huggers are actually murdering, raping and destroying buildings, and even a children's art exhibit, made from recycled materials, in the name of what? Pure left wing rage. But you haven't even heard that story, I'm sure, since you probably get your news from Al MSNBC Jazeera. Do any of you people actually know what you're so angry about? You should seek counseling, then find a good church.

Posted by: rushy

January 31, 2012 at 1:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

rushy--

I'll address your obsession with failed economic policies at another time, if you like.

RE "You've got yourself tied in a knot there pal. Lighten up."
You said:
"And why is it that every time a bleeding heart liberal wants to reach out to a small group of people, it costs me more money?"
"I'm sick to death of being taxed and taxed..."
"I for one am sick of it."
"You lefties... are so arrogant and condescending that it's not even worth arguing with you."
"If you're so in love with the system of collective socialism, why don't you just move to Europe, and stop destroying the greatest country God ever created."
"maybe all the poor souls who need a bus to get around could actually get a job and buy a car."
"You should seek counseling, then find a good church."

My posts are the very soul of equanimity, and they adhere to facts. Please explain to to us, in light of the anger, rage and frustration suffusing your posts, how it is that I am the one who is angry or enraged. You might wish to refer to this first:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psycholo...
(You might not.)

Then you have three-and-a-half statements (from above) left to defend, if you wish.

Posted by: AlphaCat

January 31, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Rushy: "Correction: 45% of the population pay no income taxes.">>

Wrong. Your correction is false. Alpha_cat already been gave you the prescription for the medicine you need in order to correct your error. Here it is again:

http://fayfreethinkers.com/forums/vie...

Take 15 minutes, read my article, learn something new, then realize why your new correction is not correct.

D.
--------------
"81.9% of the population pays federal taxes based upon income or payroll, and of the remaining 18.1% that do not, 95% of these are elderly or very poor." --ibid

Posted by: fayfreethinker

January 31, 2012 at 3:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Rushy: "How about a tax cut? That would stimulate the economy, create new jobs,... Gee, what a novel idea.">>

It's a novel idea that has been tried, even recently. It doesn't work. Let's consider the record. Under Clinton taxes were raised and about 22 million new jobs were created. The strongest job creation record in 50 years. Under Bush, taxes were lowered (with most benefit going to very rich), and Bush turned in *the* worst job creation record in recorded history. Observe:
"Bush On Jobs: The Worst Track Record On Record" --Wall Street Journal, http://tinyurl.com/9ylluu

Under Bush and your novel "tax cuts create jobs" idea, the United States had a breathtaking tragic *net loss* of 673,000 private-sector jobs during Bush's term. http://tinyurl.com/4hq8dbt

What does a longer consideration of history show?

"...in the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now.” In fact, “if you ranked each year since 1950 by overall job growth, the top five years would all boast marginal tax rates at 70 percent or higher.” http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011...

One possible factor could be that when businesses have higher taxes, they reinvest more in growing their business in order to avoid those taxes. When they do that they either hire more people directly, or stimulate the economy by expanding, growing, buying more equipment etc, which also creates more jobs in the economy.

See also: "Job creation by the wealthy is mostly a myth" http://www.minnpost.com/community_voi...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

January 31, 2012 at 7:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Rushy- you seemed to have the idea that a better transit system in NWA will suck money out of the local economy. Maybe if people had a way to get around that cheaper, that they would not have to buy cars, and be dependent upon the price of gas, which by the way is only going to go up? A better bus system would allow them to save that money and spend it locally, you know in businesses here in NWA and that benefits everyone. Our road network is heavily subsidized, to a much greater extent than transit. And by the way, why do you think we going to the middle east? to vacation? NO. Because we don't think of the future and have no alternatives to driving a car. Forcing us to build roads for congestion. Because we don't have a choice but to drive. Riding a bike to Bentonville from Fayetteville for work everyday isn't going to cut it. Hey, thanks for reading, keep an open mind, and keep researching the issue!

Posted by: Ozark

February 1, 2012 at 4:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Ozark,

If we had been going to the Middle East for oil, we wouldn't have any problems regarding oil. We would have taken over the industry.

-Tank

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 2, 2012 at 2:04 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

rushy
kiss your newt picture and snuggle with your romney blanket and try to calm down. You are a typical republican, screaming, yelling, and insulting anyone who doesn't agree with your radical ways. I fell sorry for you----------NOT

Posted by: REPUBLICANSRNUTZ

February 2, 2012 at 8:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

I've never been to Hong Kong and don't want to go but I don't have to go there to see a huge toilet, we have one of our own, called Beaver Lake. And it's not even a lake but a reservoir. I remember before that toilet when we had clean water in the streams and doctors made house calls and there was prayer in the schools and not so many laws that we had to be too concerned about being politically correct. Up above somewhere is a list of who to thank for our area being in the shape it is in. No thanks, I'd bring back Monte Ne and the farms the toilet runoff displaced and my Iron V8 that got 35mpg. Admittedly some things have been changed for the better, but more things, not so much. Given the chance, would I go back to that time?; probably. I don't remember so much greed in yesteryear but I'm sure there was plenty of it.

Posted by: Oldearkie

February 2, 2012 at 10:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

rushy and tank, you don't have to go to Europe or Hong Kong to see public transportation. Just about every city of any size here and abroad has some public transit.
They had these systems even during the 1930s Great Depression.
I went to high school in Cleveland. Ohio on two streetcars in the 1940s. Wonder how come they could afford them then but we can't now?
Minneapolis, Chicago, and Rochester NY are other cities where I rode public transportation, whether streetcars. buses, the El, or some combination thereof.
In the 1974 recession I left Fayetteville, where you had to have a car to find work,, for San Diego. SD had a great bus system and I was able to find employment.
I first arrived in Fayetteville in 1951 on a passenger train that stopped at the depot on Dickson St.
Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Rogers, and associated commuities make a metro area that could certainly use some expanded form of public transportation.

Posted by: Coralie

February 3, 2012 at 3:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Fay Free Think - I am confused. Your link to the rebuttal of 40+% not paying federal income tax rebuts the presumption by making a differentiation between income and payroll tax. Yet you dispute the presented facts of nearly half the population not paying federal income tax? Is it not true that nearly 1/2 of the population pays no federal income tax and all that receive a paycheck pay payroll tax? Are they not two different taxes paid by differing percentages of the population? Your link refers to 'cherry picking'. Not sure i understand your position. Is it not fair to discuss these individually? As an example, do we not have 100% payment on sales taxes by individuals purchasing goods for final use or consumption? I don't understand why these two taxes cannot be analyzed individually.

Posted by: fightingthelibs

February 3, 2012 at 10:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

fightingthelibs--

As should be clear from rushy's two misstatements of the factoid, the fact that 40-some percent of taxpayers pay no federal income tax is usually cited in order to somehow demonstrate that about half of taxpayers are getting a free ride, or have no "skin in the game", or "can but won't", or some such claptrap. What other reason is there for singling out that particular tax for discussion?

When someone is attempting to make almost half of taxpayers out to be tax-dodging shirkers who don't pull their weight, it is appropriate to point out the taxes that those people pay.

The fact that almost half of taxpayers pay no federal income tax is not a good point to argue, as it gives an incomplete and therefore useless picture of our tax structure. For example, it is even less relevant than the fact that in 2008, the top 10% of taxpayers, with 45.77% of total AGI and income of $113,799 and up, paid no payroll tax on that excess booty. Since the cutoff income is higher than the limit on income subject to payroll taxes (up to $108,600), more than 10% of taxpayers are not carrying their weight, and letting almost 90% of taxpayers pay for the outrageous benefits they receive from the system. Payroll tax (40%, 2010) has become almost as significant source of revenue as individual income tax (41.6%, 2010), and the top 10% aren't doing their part to keep the country going in these tough times.

If you look at the potential benefit of the payroll tax cutoff for higher incomes, the welfare the wealthy can reap is far greater than the maximum EITC or other refund anybody in the bottom 50% can get from taxes, so this is actually a more valid cherry-pick than "45% of taxpayers pay no federal income tax". Big money equals big welfare. Isn't big welfare alleged to be the problem?

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 3, 2012 at 11:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Alpha Cat - So your argument is that since there is a cap on payroll taxes at $108K, it is ok that over 40% of wage earners pay no federal income tax? Again, everyone that earns a wage pays federal payroll tax up to that level. Yet nearly 1/2 of wage-earners pay no federal income tax? Not sure how you come to the conclusion that the 'top 10% aren't doing their part to keep the country going in these tough times"? Are they not paying 70% of the federal income tax?

http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbo...

Not sure what you mean by " Isn't big welfare alleged to be the problem?". The debate is the difference between payment of income tax and payroll tax. The former is paid by a little over 1/2 of wage-earners, while the latter is paid by all wage-earners. I'll give you the maximum cutoff on payroll taxes, buy why is the bottom 50% cutoff at 0% for income taxes? Are the bottom 50% not "doing their part to keep the country going in these tough times."?

Posted by: fightingthelibs

February 3, 2012 at 11:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Ozark - guess i am missing your point. I understand from your post you are for regional transport. Given the diversity of the regional population and the distance spread between Fayetteville and Bella Vista, what regional transport system do you propose that will allow citizens to access all these areas in a feasible and economic fashion vs. personal vehicles?

Posted by: fightingthelibs

February 4, 2012 at 12:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

fightingthelibs--

RE "So your argument is that since there is a cap on payroll taxes at $108K, it is ok that over 40% of wage earners pay no federal income tax?"
Not at all. My point is that selecting one tax for consideration does not give an accurate picture of taxation.

RE "Not sure what you mean by 'Isn't big welfare alleged to be the problem?'"
Of course you're not. You seem to see nothing wrong with pointing out that a lot of taxpayers pay no federal income tax, as if that's some kind of big welfare scheme, and as if it is a problem for that reason. If you have a different reason for pointing out the isolated fact that some 45% of taxpayers pay no federal income tax, please state it.

The Bush tax cuts are the primary reason that the nonpaying percentage for federal income taxes is so high. Would you like to see them repealed?

As you appear to be a newcomer, maybe you should go back and read some of the older threads on this subject, as it's been covered in detail already.

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 4, 2012 at 12:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Fighting: "Fay Free Think - I am confused.">>

Glad to help out.

FIG: "...the rebuttal... rebuts the presumption by making a differentiation between income and payroll tax.">>

Actually, it does the exact opposite of that. It's those who are trying to pass along this canard that are trying to make an artificial semantic distinction between the two. Ignoring one federal tax while only pointing to another, is to commit the cherry picking fallacy. It's dishonest.

And as I note in the article:

...payroll taxes must not be excluded in any [honest] consideration of federal taxation... One is called Federal Income tax, the other is, if you are an employee, a Federal tax, calculated upon your income (payroll). Payroll taxes are a federal tax, are calculated based upon income (from work) and go into the same government coffers and are spent like all of the rest. What possible basis could there be to pretend one of these taxes can be ignored while only one of them is worth considering?
That's what this canard does.

FIG: "Yet you dispute the presented facts of nearly half the population not paying federal income tax?">>

No, I point out that it is completely dishonest to point to one tax that supports your prejudice, while ignoring another tax (that raises the same revenue for the government and hits the working the poor the hardest). That's what this canard does.

FIG: "Is it not true that nearly 1/2 of the population pays no federal income tax...">>

Old slogans and talking points are hard to give up, but this one will have to go. If you don't dishonestly isolate and cherry pick this one tax, while purposely ignoring another, and instead consider federal taxation as a whole then we find:

"81.9% of the population pays federal taxes based upon income or payroll, and of the remaining 18.1% that do not, 95% of these are elderly or very poor."

Also, state taxes are very regressive and lower income brackets pay a much greater % of their income than the rich, in every state. I will be updating that article with this information later today.

FIG: "Are they not two different taxes paid by differing percentages of the population?">>

No, they mostly overlap. And the only reason to divide them is to make a misleading fallacious point which dissolves upon examination.

FIG: "Your link refers to 'cherry picking'.">>

Yes, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_p...)

FIG: "Is it not fair to discuss these individually?">>

No, it is misleading and dishonest.

FIG: "I don't understand why these two taxes cannot be analyzed individually.">>

The only purpose of doing that is to mislead. Any fair consideration of federal taxation won't ignore nearly half of federal taxation. Unless the goal is to mislead, which of course is the goal with most of those who peddle this canard. See my Prius example posted here:
http://fayfreethinkers.com/forums/vie...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

February 4, 2012 at 11:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Alpha Cat: "My point is that selecting one tax for consideration does not give an accurate picture of taxation."

Ok. So given there are two different taxes being debated here, and given that all payroll earners pay a federal payroll tax, and given that only slightly more than 1/2 pay federal income tax. Those are the facts we agree on. Now - Since All pay payroll tax, and nearly 1/2 do not pay federal income tax, does that seem fair? We hear so much about people 'paying their fair share' in the liberal media. Is nearly 1/2 the population not paying federal income tax their 'fair share'? To go one step further, is it 'fair' that a large percentage of that 40 some % actually receive a net refund in their tax return over-and-above what they have paid in?

I realize you do not want to talk about this taxation individually as it cannot be defended. But debate it individually we must. The lower 50% of income earners paid an average of 1.85% in income tax. The top 50% paid an average of 12.5%. If we had a bottom minimum taxation of 10%, the federal income tax would increase by nearly $100 billion.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/sho...

If we take out the EITC, which is a federal welfare system hidden in our tax system, we would additionally increase federal income from taxation by another $57 billion.

So, as you can clearly see here, debate about federal income taxation and EITC are critical. Of the nearly 50% paying no federal income tax and/or receiving a net welfare payment in the form of EITC, 100% are reaping the benefits of living in our society and all the privileges associated with same. To say we cannot debate this unfair taxation system individually is to muddy the water and duck the issue. We have nearly 1/2 of our population not paying their 'fair share'. In fact many of those are actually benefiting from our taxation system as a hidden welfare payment. We MUST separate this out and debate it individually.

Posted by: fightingthelibs

February 4, 2012 at 9:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Fay Free Thinker: "One is called Federal Income tax, the other is, if you are an employee, a Federal tax, calculated upon your income (payroll). Payroll taxes are a federal tax, are calculated based upon income (from work) and go into the same government coffers and are spent like all of the rest. What possible basis could there be to pretend one of these taxes can be ignored while only one of them is worth considering?"

There are obviously lots of federal taxes that go into the same 'coffers' to fund this great country. The debate here is between a taxation that is equally applied across all US citizens earning a paycheck (federal payroll tax), and the taxation that is not so equally applied (federal income tax). They must be debated individually as they are applied in two totally different manners. The payroll tax applies to all. The federal income tax only applies to slightly more than 50% of US citizens. In the interest of fairness, why should we exempt nearly 50% of our citizens from paying 'their fair share'?

So here is your response in a nutshell:

FIG: "Are they not two different taxes paid by differing percentages of the population?">>

Fay Free Thinker: "No, they mostly overlap. And the only reason to divide them is to make a misleading fallacious point which dissolves upon examination."

They mostly overlap? Can you explain this comment? When 1/2 the population pays no federal income tax, and 100% of wage earners pay payroll tax, then how exactly do they 'mostly overlap'?

In addition to this misleading rhetoric, we must also consider the fact that a large percentage of the population that pays no federal income tax actually receives a net refund over-and-above what they paid in for federal income tax. This is a hidden welfare payment built into our taxation system.

There are no payments made to payroll taxpayers. Another key distinction.

So, as it is clear here, these are clearly two different taxation systems with one biased to only 50% of the population, and the other biased to 100%. So tell me again why you do not want to debate them individually?

Posted by: fightingthelibs

February 4, 2012 at 10:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Oh how they love this tax canard. I do believe it is their favorite bogus talking point of all.

FIG: "Since All pay payroll tax,...">>

No, not all pay payroll tax. Many receive income from sources, or in amounts, that exclude them from paying payroll tax (cutoff is $109k). This is all covered in my article on this. You haven't done your homework. See the 3rd and 4th chart:
http://fayfreethinkers.com/forums/vie...

FIG: "...and nearly 1/2 do not pay federal income tax, does that seem fair?">>

No, it doesn't seem fair that you would commit the fallacy of cherry picking data and purposely exclude a category that totals half of federal taxation when considering the topic of federal taxation. Why do you do this after your trick has been exposed?

FIG: "Is nearly 1/2 the population not paying federal income tax their 'fair share'?">>

Emphasis through repetition. It works on AM radio. Mr. Fig, upon what basis do you pretend to ignore nearly half of federal tax revenue, while choosing to point only to the other half. Do you not realize the difference is semantic? Did Rush Limbaugh not tell you?

FIG: "is it 'fair' that a large percentage... receive a net refund...">>

This has been covered ad nauseum. That's why, rather than walk each person through it again, I've compiled the remedy all in one location. If you had read this rebuttal you would already know your EITC angle is covered.

FIG: "I realize you do not want to talk about this taxation individually...">>

Again, upon what basis do you consider it fair to discard about half of federal tax revenue when the difference is semantic? You have none.

FIG: "But debate it individually we must.">>

Really? Why is it that you must commit this blatant cherry picking fallacy? Explain.

FIG: "The lower 50% of income earners paid an average of 1.85% in income tax.">>

False. You exclude state and local taxes which are exceeding regressive. I have updated my article to include a chart showing this for each state. Why don't you do a little homework, learn about this issue, and address the points I make directly, rather just repeating your canard over and over in different ways:
http://fayfreethinkers.com/forums/vie...

Also, the bottom 50% (155 million) made as much as the top 400 *individuals.* http://www.reddit.com/tb/g1k3v

You can't get blood from a stone as they say.

FIG: "debate about federal income taxation and EITC are critical.">>

EITC (created by Reagan) is separate from taxation and is dealt with above. When are you going to begin to address the rebuttal?

Posted by: fayfreethinker

February 5, 2012 at 11:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

FIG: "obviously lots of federal taxes that go into the same 'coffers'>>

Since Fed income tax and Fed payroll tax go in the same coffer, you provide no reason for your artificial and arbitrary cherry pick of one, while ignoring the other. The only reason to do this is to attempt to make it look like the working poor don't pay federal tax, which of course is false.

FIG: "a taxation that is equally applied across all US citizens earning a paycheck (federal payroll tax),">>

It is not equally applied. The vast amount of income by the wealthy is directly excluded from payroll tax. You haven't done you homework.

FIG: "and the taxation that is not so equally applied (federal income tax).">>

Again, when considering Federal taxation, what possible basis can you concoct for ignoring nearly half of it? You have none.

FIG: "The payroll tax applies to all.">>

Again, you reveal you don't know what you are talking about. Begin your education here:
http://fayfreethinkers.com/forums/vie...

FIG: "They mostly overlap?">>

See chart 3 and 4 at the above link.

FIG: In addition to this misleading rhetoric,...">>

I agree, your rhetoric has been extremely misleading. Please stop with the misleading rhetoric. It'll make your posts much shorter.

FIG: "[more EITC]">>

Dealt with at link provided. I can paste it over here and spoon feed it to you, or you can read it for yourself. Address the points directly.

FIG: "these are clearly two different taxation systems">>

Nope. They are both a federal tax and go in the same bucket. The difference is entirely semantic. To point to one while ignoring the other, is so obviously fallacious, it's dishonest.

FIG: "why you do not want to debate them individually?">>

I'll debate you anyway you like. But your canard has had it's pants pulled down around here long ago. You aren't going to fool anyone with this one. Your attempt to make a distinction between these two forms of federal taxation is entirely artificial and semantic. And it's only purpose is to mislead.

Now you have homework to do.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

February 5, 2012 at 11:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Is anybody comparing how many pay federal income tax during years that are NOT recession years with high unemployment?
These figures reflect just one year when a lot of people were out of work, so naturally they had very little income to tax.
In the past I have worked for minimum wage and still had to pay some income tax.

Posted by: Coralie

February 5, 2012 at 4:48 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

COR: "These figures reflect just one year when a lot of people were out of work, so naturally they had very little income to tax.">>

Exactly right Coralie, as I've referenced before:
"In a more typical year, 35 percent to 40 percent of households owe no federal income tax. In 2007, the figure was 37.9 percent." [link below]

But it hardly matters. There is no legitimate reason single out and highlight one aspect of federal taxation and ignore another. The only possible reason is to play a semantic word game and mislead. The poor and middle class pay a far larger percentage of their income in federal payroll taxes than the wealthy. Any attempt to discard the payroll category is an attempt to distract from this fact and present an entirely distorted picture of federal taxes paid, and who pays them.

As long as Mr. "Fighting" is learning about taxes he might snoop around this thread on "Tax Whoppers the Right likes to spread."

http://fayfreethinkers.com/forums/vie...

The tax canard he is passing along here is only one of a great many that are popular in his circles. He might find this useful also:
"Misconceptions and Realities About Who Pays Taxes"
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=...

D.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

February 5, 2012 at 5:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie--

It doesn't exactly answer your question, but here is some information I gleaned last year from IRS figures, the Tax Foundation and the Heritage Foundation. It shows how the federal revenue burden shifted toward the bottom fifty percent of taxpayers between 2008 and 2010.

Federal Revenue Sources, Percentage of Revenue and Revenue Amounts in Dollars
2008 -- Individual income tax, 45% ($1,125B); payroll tax, 36% ($900B); corporate income tax 12% ($300B); total of revenue, $2.3 trillion
2010 -- Individual income tax, 41.6% ($898.5B); payroll tax, 40% ($864.8B); corporate income tax 8.9% ($191.4B); total of revenue, $1.95 trillion
From that information, we see that between 2008 and 2010:
individual income tax dropped 7.6% as a revenue source, or 20.1% in dollars;
corporate income taxes dropped 25.83% as a source, or 36.2% in dollars;
payroll tax went up 11% as a source, and dropped 3.9% in dollars.

In other words, revenue from payroll taxes not only failed to drop in dollars as much as from individual income taxes (5 times as great a drop) or corporate income taxes (over 9 times as great a drop) during this period, but they actually went up as a revenue source despite dropping in dollars. This clearly apportioned more of the revenue burden to the bottom 50% of taxpayers, as every working one of them pays payroll taxes on their entire wage incomes, while wage incomes above $106,800 are not assessed payroll tax.

While almost fifty percent of taxpayers weren't "pulling their weight" or "contributing to society", "had no skin in the game", "could but wouldn't", and whatever else it is that conservatives say about them, they actually provided an increasing amount of federal revenue.

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 5, 2012 at 8:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

fightingthelibs asks "Given the diversity of the regional population and the distance spread between Fayetteville and Bella Vista, what regional transport system do you propose that will allow citizens to access all these areas in a feasible and economic fashion vs. personal vehicles?"
First, what do you mean by "diversity"? This region is certainly no more diverse than many others.
**
The driving distance between Fayetteville and Bella Vista is 36 miles. This is no greater than the distance between two suburbs of many cities.
**
I assume you think that personal vehicles are economic? They are NOT either for the govt. (subsidizing roads and oil companies) or for the individual.
According to the AAA, the average yearly cost to own and operate a vehicle is $8,500.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html...
That is almost as much as I get from Social Security.
**
I think a light rail system makes a lot of sense, and its cost should be compared with the cost of building highways.

Posted by: Coralie

February 7, 2012 at 2:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie - on the light rail system: how do you propose to economically transport an individual from Cave Springs to Pea Ridge via light rail? How about Elkins to Lowell? Do you not see how light rail is not a solution to transit in this society? You want to compare costs of building highways which everyone uses to light rail from Cave Springs to Pea Ridge? How many riders would you have on said rail, and what would their costs be? Would their tickets pay for operation of this transportation plus the costs of building that infrastructure?

As for the 'average cost of owning a vehicle', let's look at that. It is an 'average'. To use that number as an argument against owning cars is misleading. What would the economic costs be of providing rail service to all the communities in NWA at an interval that would be useful for the public? And then, how do riders then transport their 12 bags of groceries via light rail? How about that television they bought at Walmart?

Light rail is for condensed populations traveling to similar destinations at similar times. Subways operate on the same philosophy. How much of that do we have in NWA?

Posted by: fightingthelibs

February 8, 2012 at 10:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Fay Free Think: "No, not all pay payroll tax."

So there are individuals in this country that are earning a payroll that do not pay any payroll tax? The Elderly and those making less that $20K pay no payroll tax based on your 'chart'. Something like 17%. That is a much different scenario than nearly 1/2 not paying federal income tax. "But, but, but wait. They are paying payroll taxes. That makes it all ok. And we can in no way separate the two because it makes my argument fall apart."

You are one piece of work. They are truly two different taxes. We have hundreds of different taxes in this country. For you to take some elite stance and not recognize the difference shows your cowardice in this debate. You cannot defend why individuals making significant income in the country are paying no federal income taxes, while their neighbors are. Sometimes only separated by a thousand dollars in income.

And yet you will not debate this tax separate of other taxes? Keep throwing your punches. The average reader can see through your tactics i am sure. It is clear from your postings that you can't defend it, so you muddy the water. You use diversionary tactics to attempt to throw the reader into a firestorm of debate around extraneous taxes that keeps the whole debate in a smoke screen.

I would bet that the average reader of these posts can clearly see through this. I'd like to hear from them.

Posted by: fightingthelibs

February 8, 2012 at 10:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Coralie: "Federal Revenue Sources, Percentage of Revenue and Revenue Amounts in Dollars
2008 -- Individual income tax, 45% ($1,125B); payroll tax, 36% ($900B); corporate income tax 12% ($300B); total of revenue, $2.3 trillion
2010 -- Individual income tax, 41.6% ($898.5B); payroll tax, 40% ($864.8B); corporate income tax 8.9% ($191.4B); total of revenue, $1.95 trillion"

Coralie: "In other words, revenue from payroll taxes not only failed to drop in dollars as much as from individual income taxes (5 times as great a drop) or corporate income taxes (over 9 times as great a drop) during this period, but they actually went up as a revenue source despite dropping in dollars. This clearly apportioned more of the revenue burden to the bottom 50% of taxpayers, as every working one of them pays payroll taxes on their entire wage incomes...."

My comment: You state this 'clearly apportioned more of the revenue burden to the bottom 50% of taxpayers..." Really? So their payroll tax increased individually? Payroll taxes for the top 50% of wage earners decreased? Neither happened. Each continued to pay the same percentages. Using 'percent of federal income' as a point about changes in contribution are misleading. These taxes did not change from the bottom to the top percentages. What did change is an economic recession that decreased corporate profits and therefore corporate taxes paid. It also decreased small business income and therefore their profitability. So small businesses (most of which are reported as 'individual income tax') payed less in federal income tax due to a recession.

So that begs the question. What is your point? We have a recession and federal taxes decreased. Are you surprised by this outcome, or simply confused by the numbers?

Posted by: fightingthelibs

February 8, 2012 at 11:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Clear example of smoke and mirrors: --------------

FIG: "these are clearly two different taxation systems">>

Fay Free Think: "Nope. They are both a federal tax and go in the same bucket. The difference is entirely semantic. To point to one while ignoring the other, is so obviously fallacious, it's dishonest."

Fay - you do realize that ALL federal taxation goes into the same 'bucket'? Fuel taxes, fed phone bill taxes, alcohol taxes, etc, etc? So we can only debate these individual taxes collectively based on your argument. I presume you are willing to provide the compilation of ALL federal taxes paid by all individual income levels for a period of 20 years so we can debate the issue. -----?

What a corner you have painted yourself into. Your position is that we cannot debate cigarette tax separate of income, payroll, fuel, phone, or tariff taxation? Do they not all go into the same 'bucket'?

Posted by: fightingthelibs

February 9, 2012 at 12:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

fightingthelibs--

RE "Coralie: "Federal Revenue Sources..."
That was alpha_cat.

RE "Using 'percent of federal income' as a point about changes in contribution are misleading."
How is it misleading? We are discussing the sources of federal revenue. If the government gets less of its total revenue from income tax, which the less well off don't pay, and more of its total revenue from payroll tax, which they do pay, then the less well off are doing more to support the government. Remember: payroll tax isn't paid on wage income above $106,800, so people who made more than that in wages, and people who made their money on investments-- that is, the better off-- supported the government less.

RE "What did change is an economic recession that decreased corporate profits and therefore corporate taxes paid."
2010 saw record corporate profits. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03...

I find it interesting that the conservative businesspersons who post here have so much trouble reading and understanding simple numbers. Speaking of business, what was that job you were interviewing for? Is it still available?

RE "What a corner you have painted yourself into. Your position is that we cannot debate cigarette tax separate of income, payroll, fuel, phone, or tariff taxation?"

Hardly a corner at all, and if you weren't so desperate for a comeback, you would know that. Note that fft specified only income and payroll taxes because they are paid under similar circumstances and produce similar amounts of federal revenue (about 40%; the taxes you mention total less than 10%); this should have been clear to you from the context of the discussion. Income tax and payroll tax are levied on everybody who meets the relevant income guidelines. Tobacco, fuel, alcohol and phone taxes are paid directly only by people who use fuel, alcohol and phones, and so are voluntary. They are paid indirectly as part of the price structure of consumer goods, and it is possible to minimize one's exposure to them. It's the same with tariffs.

You're not putting up much of a fight.

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 9, 2012 at 1:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

FIG: "how do you propose to economically transport an individual from Cave Springs to Pea Ridge via light rail?">>

Who has proposed a light rail system from Cave Springs to Pea Ridge? Do try to make your strawman arguments less obvious.

FIG: So there are individuals in this country that are earning a payroll that do not pay any payroll tax?">>

Again with the transparent word games. There people earning money that do not pay payroll tax.

FIG: "we can in no way separate the two because it makes my argument fall apart.">>

Correct. When you aren't allowed to artifically divide federal tax into two categories for the express purpose of ignoring the vast category that the working poor pay into, your argument (and that's being charitable), *falls apart.*

FIG: "They are truly two different taxes.">>

Of course they aren't. They are both federal tax, largely based upon income, and they both go in the same bucket. Your attempt to only point to one while ignoring the other, is misleading and dishonest.

FIG: "We have hundreds of different taxes in this country.">>

Yes we do, and I am all for a broad consideration of them. But if you want to point to Federal taxes, based upon money earned, you can't throw half of them out to make a dishonest point. Not unless you want to get a spanking.

FIG: "You cannot defend why individuals making significant income in the country are paying no federal income taxes,">>

I've simplified this to a single sentence, read it a few times if need be:

"81.9% of the population pays federal taxes based upon income or payroll, and of the remaining 18.1% that do not, 95% of these are elderly or very poor." http://fayfreethinkers.com/forums/vie...

Please explain how this is an inappropriate coddling of about half the population or of the poor (47% of whom live from paycheck to paycheck).

FIG: "Keep throwing your punches.">>

Mr, Fighting, you haven't even stepped in the ring. If you wish to go about the business of "fighting libs" I suggest you do your homework and begin.

FIG: "I would bet that the average reader... can clearly see through this. I'd like to hear from them.">>

Oh, there used to be several folks around here peddling this favorite canard. They've all been spanked and put to bed. Now it's your turn, should you be up for the task.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

February 9, 2012 at 10:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

>>"How many chicken plants and homes could Lake Fayetteville have supported? Lake Elmdale? That quaint body of water in Rogers, Lake Lucerne? "
.
I'm sure Beaver Lake has "supported" plenty of farms to a degree, but the construction of Beaver Lake doesn't get credit for the success of the poultry industry in Norwest Arkansas. <<
--Tankersly
.
Obviously, you've never been a businessman. Otherwise you would recognize that production is strictly limited to available resources. Ask around how many million gallons of water are needed to operate poultry plants in NWA, that's millions of gallons per day.
.
Tyson, George's, Jones would still be fledgling industries had not the U.S. Government spent hundreds of millions buying up private property and building Beaver Lake. They would still be putting up
2,000-bird houses today instead of the 50,000-bird houses they presently use.
.
Harvey Jones made it via hauling chickens/food and chicken producing supplies. Jones expanded right along with the poultry industry. Neither would have amounted to much without a large water supply.
.
Without adequate water for hundreds of thousands of homes WalMart's Corporate offices would be elsewhere. Had not local residents agreed to build XNA with Government Money, Walmart would have had no choice but to relocate since they've become international, like Tyson's, and depend on air access for international travel.
.
You see Tank, very little happens in the corporate world without first a large public investment.
.
1. Interstate highway system built when income tax rates went to 91%.
2. Satellite Communications. All done with government money and now allows for international finance to execute trades across continents in seconds. Launched when income tax rates were 77%.
3. Huge water supplies, mostly built with federal funds when top income tax rates were over twice today's rates.
4. The latest boon was internet communications, accomplished with military spending, i.e. government money. Also see Telecommunications Act of 1996 which gave billions to telecoms to develop high speed internet networks.
.
"Senators are sent." --the late James Gregory.

Posted by: cdawg

February 9, 2012 at 2:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

.
Anyone who wishes to read Art Hobson's original column, "The Northwest Arkansas Council and the Transit Tax Election" can find it here since this paper has taken it down:
.
http://physics.uark.edu/hobson/NWAT/1...

Posted by: cdawg

February 9, 2012 at 2:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )