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IMF: China to surpass U.S. economy in 2016

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Not particular to US.......

'A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research at United Nations University reports that the richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000, and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. The bottom half of the world adult population owned 1% of global wealth.[10] Moreover, another study found that the richest 2% own more than half of global household assets.[11]'

Distribution of wealth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's not particular to the U.S., I only mentioned the U.S. top 1% number because I read it when I was looking up the total wealth number and it seemed relevant to your post.

My main point was the only way you won't see such a progressive tax distribution is if you get rid of tax deductions or credits that are based individual cost of living.

FTR, the top 1% China owns more relative wealth than average, but less than the top 1% in the U.S. It's something like mid-40s.

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Let's also not forget that the IBD story just refers to federal income tax. And excludes a whole host of other taxes. Add up everything and the top bracket is taxed around 50% or more in some states.....then again, since I'm not in that stratosphere I'm not familiar with the means they shelter their assets and what percent of their income actually goes to the government.

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Unfortunately I'm starting to really buy into the doom and gloom. From what I've heard, 50% of adults pay no federal taxes, and 25-30% of those people actually have a negative effect on the federal income tax receipts. If true, than the system is going to eventually have some issues...

No, Half Of All Workers Aren't Freeloaders | The New Republic

total-tax-burden-bar-chart-shows-mild-progressivity.jpg

Even if the discussion is restricted to federal taxes (for which the statistics are better), a vast majority of households end up paying federal taxes. Congressional Budget Office data suggests that, at most, about 10 percent of all households pay no net federal taxes. The number 10 is obviously a lot smaller than 47.

The reason is that poor families generally pay more in payroll taxes than they receive through benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit. It’s not just poor families for whom the payroll tax is a big deal, either. About three-quarters of all American households pay more in payroll taxes, which go toward Medicare and Social Security, than in income taxes.

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You omitted this part:

'The 47 percent number is not wrong. The stimulus programs of the last two years — the first one signed by President George W. Bush, the second and larger one by President Obama — have increased the number of households that receive enough of a tax credit to wipe out their federal income tax liability.'

But I would agree payroll taxes should probably be more progressive.

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What did everyone expect? We have abused our power with the world reserve currency. Reckless spending has screwed our country. Im pondering whether I should move to Germany someday, because they actually have a decent economy. Bush and Obama even more so have failed to continue the american greatness that we have for so long enjoyed. FML

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Here's an idea! Why don't we put our tax levels at, oh I don't know, the levels they were at when our economy was thriving? Whenever the last time that was.... 90s probably. Slick Willy was alright.

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What did everyone expect? We have abused our power with the world reserve currency. Reckless spending has screwed our country. Im pondering whether I should move to Germany someday, because they actually have a decent economy. Bush and Obama even more so have failed to continue the american greatness that we have for so long enjoyed. FML

Supposing you do move to Germany, will you be changing your handle to Deutscher Michel or something?

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The reason people like IBD, Fox Business Channel and others of that ideological media bent keep pushing the federal income tax factoid at us is that they are trying to shift the debate on the tax issue entirely.

The factoid stipulates that 47% of all families do not pay federal income tax. That may be true in and of itself. But, as has been pointed out here before, federal income tax makes up only a portion of total tax receipts in the United States -- 26% of all taxes collected by all federal, state and local governments, actually. Most of the rest comes from social insurance taxes like Social Security and Medicare; ad valorem taxes like sales and property taxes, taxes on tobacco and gas and the like; and fees and charges, such as for tollways, hospital fees, utility fees and the like, most of which hit the poor and middle class harder than the wealthy. (Business taxes make up only 9% of all tax receipts in the country.)

However, by framing the issue as "47% of all families pay no federal taxes", they seek to shift the understanding of this, and the discussion about it, along the continuum to "47% pay no federal taxes", "half of people pay no income taxes", and eventually to "half of all people pay no taxes". It's a shift that is helped along when someone on the talking head shows has an oopsie in which they mistakenly say half of all people pay no taxes and they don't get corrected -- and eventually that idea seeds itself into the public consciousness.

And once the terms of the debate are framed in that manner, it makes it far easier for the wealthy elite, their media subjects and their useful idiot constituency to press for tax cuts for business and the wealthy while removing tax credits, cutting services and even raising taxes on the poor -- because, you know, half of them don't pay any taxes at all right now, and that's just not fair. Right?

Edited by chasfh

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The reason people like IBD, Fox Business Channel and others of that ideological media bent keep pushing the federal income tax factoid at us is that they are trying to shift the debate on the tax issue entirely.

The factoid stipulates that 47% of all families do not pay federal income tax. That may be true in and of itself. But, as has been pointed out here before, federal income tax makes up only a portion of total tax receipts in the United States -- 26% of all taxes collected by all federal, state and local governments, actually. Most of the rest comes from social insurance taxes like Social Security and Medicare; ad valorem taxes like sales and property taxes, taxes on tobacco and gas and the like; and fees and charges, such as for tollways, hospital fees, utility fees and the like, most of which hit the poor and middle class harder than the wealthy. (Business taxes make up only 9% of all tax receipts in the country.)

However, by framing the issue as "47% of all families pay no federal taxes", they seek to shift the understanding of this, and the discussion about it, along the continuum to "47% pay no federal taxes", "half of people pay no income taxes", and eventually to "half of all people pay no taxes". It's a shift that is helped along when someone on the talking head shows has an oopsie in which they mistakenly say half of all people pay no taxes and they don't get corrected -- and eventually that idea seeds itself into the public consciousness.

And once the terms of the debate are framed in that manner, it makes it far easier for the wealthy elite, their media subjects and their useful idiot constituency to press for tax cuts for business and the wealthy while removing tax credits, cutting services and even raising taxes on the poor -- because, you know, half of them don't pay any taxes at all right now, and that's just not fair. Right?

Yup. At a minimum I find it intellectually dishonest to charge SS with contributing to the general fund deficit on one hand, and then on the other conveniently ignoring/denying that social security taxes are really just part of the federal income tax system, and by far the biggest part of it for any family up to about the 2nd income quintile.

And since SS is really a pay as you go system anyway, any separation of SS taxes from the rest of these figures in public discourse is just plain fraud.

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However, by framing the issue as "47% of all families pay no federal taxes", they seek to shift the understanding of this, and the discussion about it, along the continuum to "47% pay no federal taxes", "half of people pay no income taxes", and eventually to "half of all people pay no taxes". It's a shift that is helped along when someone on the talking head shows has an oopsie in which they mistakenly say half of all people pay no taxes and they don't get corrected -- and eventually that idea seeds itself into the public consciousness.

Who are you quoting?

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Who are you quoting?

Any number of sources.

And in fact, here are two examples of how certain people who work with microphones, people who are trusted sources of news to their listeners, morphed that factoid into 47%, or half, of all people paying no taxes at all:

Sean Hannity

Michael Savage

And of course, here's a discussion of the very issue of distorting these numbers to sell lowering taxes on the wealthy elite to ordinary Americans, while demanding that poor Americans start paying more in taxes, such as is being suggested here.

What's your take on this?

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Yup. At a minimum I find it intellectually dishonest to charge SS with contributing to the general fund deficit on one hand, and then on the other conveniently ignoring/denying that social security taxes are really just part of the federal income tax system, and by far the biggest part of it for any family up to about the 2nd income quintile.

And since SS is really a pay as you go system anyway, any separation of SS taxes from the rest of these figures in public discourse is just plain fraud.

How is Social Security "pay as you go"? I'm having trouble understanding what you're driving at, exactly.

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Since when have Hannity and Savage become trusted information sources? And here you go changing the bar when you originally pointed to IBD and Fox Business. Now you say they are comparable to right wing entertainers. I'm quoting a news story (not on the editorial page) in IBD where they specifically say federal income tax. Very clearly 47% don't pay federal income taxes. On the other hand, a payroll tax, like SSI, was not designed to be progressive. It never has been. BTW, your first google reference returns over and over federal income tax. Are some on the right pushing propaganda? Yeah, and so is MSNBC on the left. Now if you want to discuss the need to make a payroll tax SSI progressive, I think that's a valid discussion. Not this.

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Since when have Hannity and Savage become trusted information sources?

Since their loyal listeners started listening to them.

And here you go changing the bar when you originally pointed to IBD and Fox Business. Now you say they are comparable to right wing entertainers.

The people who listen to them think they're more than just entertainers. They think of them as trusted information sources, particularly since their shows air on news stations.

I'm quoting a news story (not on the editorial page) in IBD where they specifically say federal income tax. Very clearly 47% don't pay federal income taxes.

I know that. That point was central to my post.

On the other hand, a payroll tax, like SSI, was not designed to be progressive. It never has been.

Irrelevant to my point. Just as it would be irrelevant for me to point out that SSI is actually a regressive tax.

BTW, your first google reference returns over and over federal income tax. Are some on the right pushing propaganda? Yeah, and so is MSNBC on the left.

Irrelevant to my point.

Now if you want to discuss the need to make a payroll tax SSI progressive, I think that's a valid discussion. Not this.

You're wrong. This is a very valid discussion. But I can see why you'd take this position on it.

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How is Social Security "pay as you go"? I'm having trouble understanding what you're driving at, exactly.

Look into the way it works. The Trust Fund is a fiction. SS simply pays this year's liabilities out of this year's SS tax collections - always has. The "Trust Fund" is just bookkeeping entries on the national debt. In the years that SS taxes are greater than disbursements, the excess cash is spent by the federal gov, and SS gets a book keeping entry that at some point in the future, regular tax revenue will have to be diverted into SS payments in a future year. No money saved anywhere. The actual excess SS tax just reduces the amount of deficit spending that has to be financed by the federal gov that year.

This is why with the shift from surplus to deficiency in SS taxes with respect to expenses that is occurring now with the baby boomers retiring, that SS is suddenly being talked about as such a problem. General tax revenues will have to be diverted into SS payments to 'pay back' those book keeping entries. Theoretically, there are entries in the 'Trust Fund' ledger book such that the system is solvent for another 20yrs, but using those credits means spending from general revenues - increasing the federal governments annual cash shortfall.

So the reality is that SS is nothing more than an ordinary welfare program, but one that has a special funding tax. In the years the funding tax has been greater than expenses, the federal gov spent the money and gave SS IOUs, (Treasury securities - i.e. part of the national debt). We are coming to the point where annual expenditures are going to become greater than SS taxes. Now what happens when the SS administrator tries to "cash" one of those Treasury bonds? The federal government, which has no free cash, simply has to sell another T bond to someone else to raise the cash to pay the SS administrator. Net result, the expenditure comes from the federal government's current account. All that happens is that "debt" being held by the SS administrator ends up being held by an outside party. The transfer of debt from the US gov to any other third party = US gov current spending.

Bottom line - the whole system is - always was - pay as you go. All expenses of the system in a given year are paid either from SS taxes or the current budget.

The false facade was put in place when SS was passed because FDR didn't want to be accused of being a socialist, and it has been sticking ever since because it has remained in the political establishment's interest to leave it that way.

EDIT: another way to look at it is: if you loan yourself money at some interest rate, who bears the cost and who makes the profit? Exactly nobody - you have to take money out of one pocket to put into the other. The federal government cannot "save" money by buying its own debt! But the SS system (part of the US Gov) is only allowed to buy US Treasury obligations. QED:THERE IS NO TRUST FUND.

Edited by Gehringer_2
added additional clarifications

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Since their loyal listeners started listening to them.

The people who listen to them think they're more than just entertainers. They think of them as trusted information sources, particularly since their shows air on news stations.

I know that. That point was central to my post.

Irrelevant to my point. Just as it would be irrelevant for me to point out that SSI is actually a regressive tax.

Irrelevant to my point.

You're wrong. This is a very valid discussion. But I can see why you'd take this position on it.

Right and Olbermann, Garafolo, et. al. are also trusted information sources. And they are feeding the same garbage Hannity, et. al. dole out but just across the other political spectrum. And if people choose to believe them, that's their problem. The problem is that they don't provide news. You say it's irrelevant to your point, but it is relevant when you argue an equivalency between them and news desks at IBD/Fox Business News. False. Editorial desks are a whole different matter.....NY Times and IBD are quite different. But IBD isn't going to push blatantly misleading information in their news section when they make their money on being right with the facts.

You started with IBD and ended with Hannity, and confused news and information with entertainment and propaganda.

You started with this:

'The factoid stipulates that 47% of all families do not pay federal income tax. That may be true in and of itself.'

That is valid. But you conclude with this:

'However, by framing the issue as "47% of all families pay no federal [income left out] taxes....'

....and who is doing the framing? Not IBD in this instance (BTW, have you ever picked up one of their issues?) They are clearly talking about federal income taxes in their page one news story (not editorial section) and if you read the article it is mentioned every time.....it's Hannity who is dropping the 'income' part. Basically because he doesn't give a ****. He admits himself he editorializes which in itself refutes your idea he should be trusted. Does anyone on this board consider Hannity news worthy? His show is not the same as Bret Baier's show. Read editorials and watch Hannity to reinforce your point of view. Do your own research for news.

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Right and Olbermann, Garafolo, et. al. are also trusted information sources. And they are feeding the same garbage Hannity, et. al. dole out but just across the other political spectrum. And if people choose to believe them, that's their problem. The problem is that they don't provide news. You say it's irrelevant to your point, but it is relevant when you argue an equivalency between them and news desks at IBD/Fox Business News. False. Editorial desks are a whole different matter.....NY Times and IBD are quite different. But IBD isn't going to push blatantly misleading information in their news section when they make their money on being right with the facts.

You started with IBD and ended with Hannity, and confused news and information with entertainment and propaganda.

You started with this:

'The factoid stipulates that 47% of all families do not pay federal income tax. That may be true in and of itself.'

That is valid. But you conclude with this:

'However, by framing the issue as "47% of all families pay no federal [income left out] taxes....'

....and who is doing the framing? Not IBD in this instance (BTW, have you ever picked up one of their issues?) They are clearly talking about federal income taxes in their page one news story (not editorial section) and if you read the article it is mentioned every time.....it's Hannity who is dropping the 'income' part. Basically because he doesn't give a ****. He admits himself he editorializes which in itself refutes your idea he should be trusted. Does anyone on this board consider Hannity news worthy? His show is not the same as Bret Baier's show. Read editorials and watch Hannity to reinforce your point of view. Do your own research for news.

First of all, your reply is essentially, "Oh, yeah? Well ... leftists are bad, too!" That's the irrelevant part.

Secondly, I did not say Hannity, Savage, IBD, Fox News and the New York Times are all equivalent, at least in terms of the unimpeachability of their information. I know you want to say I said that, because it services your argument. But if we're seeking the deal in the truth, then here it is: that's not what I'm saying.

What I am saying is that a factoid -- in this case, "47% of all families do not pay federal income tax", which you asked me to source and I did -- eventually gets twisted into "half of all people pay no taxes" by other sources that people listen to and trust. And I demonstrated that's what happens. The Hannity and Savage examples were the easiest to find. If you want someone saying it who is not what Hannity and Savage are, then how about Stuart Varney, who says in this clip:

"47% of households pay not a single dime in taxes".

He is neither Sean Hannity nor Michael Savage, but a leading anchor on the Fox Business Network.

It is morphed statements like this, statements that frequently go unchallenged, that lead to these:

Half of Americans pay no income tax? - The Week

https://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=302109

About half of Americans pay no federal taxes | PennLive.com

Nearly 50 percent of Americans pay no income taxes at all: report

Half of All Americans Pay No Income Tax & May Get a Tax Refund Anyway

Nearly half of US pays no income taxes, experts find - Decaturdaily.com

Half of U.S. households pay no income tax... :: TeaParty.org

Almost Half of American Household Don't Pay Taxes

Yes, some of these are blogs. Yes, many of these headlines are clarified in the news copy. Yes, one of these citations is the Tea Party website. And yes, I personally think Newsmax is a sham when it comes to news.

The point is, people walk away from these stories believing that the bottom line is what the headline is telling them. This is how the fact gets morphed into something else entirely.

Lastly, your part in bold? "If people believe it, that's their problem?" That's the root of the entire issue. People, a lot of people, will believe it, but they can't just be dismissed as nobodies, as you appear to be doing here. It matters because these people act on this idea.

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Look into the way it works. The Trust Fund is a fiction.

I see what you're saying now. I was just fuzzy on the term, as you were using it.

Yes, it definitely is a wealth transfer program. Always has been. It's not a retirement account you are funding that is inviolably yours and always available to you and your heirs. In fact, many people and their families will never see even close to the return on all the taxes the breadwinner paid into Social Security, because the breadwinner ends up dying before he is eligible. On the flip side, some people live until age 100 and end up drawing many times more than they put into it -- especially given the rise of inflation from their working years.

It's a welfare program, all right. That's fine by me.

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It's a welfare program, all right. That's fine by me.

Also by me. It's just the political deception that I find counterproductive in US politics.

I have to give FDR's people their props though, the formulation is brilliant. The way it was put together, the truth is hiden because you can apply the same terms to SS that you can apply to an investment type pension system, but in a sort of intellectual reverse-gestalt jujitsu, the whole isn't quite the sum of those parts.

Ironically, the interest that gov 'pays' SS does at least shift the total burden for expenditures at least a little away from the extremely regressive SS tax to general taxation.

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First of all, your reply is essentially, "Oh, yeah? Well ... leftists are bad, too!" That's the irrelevant part.

Nope you first invoked Hannity as a trusted news source to support your argument. I made a parallel to lefties like him and grouped them all together as untrustworthy. When Keith says that Bush is a fear mongering terrorist operating at the end strings of puppetmaster Cheney, how much credibility does that have with people with half a brain? You're wrong.

Secondly, I did not say Hannity, Savage, IBD, Fox News and the New York Times are all equivalent, at least in terms of the unimpeachability of their information. I know you want to say I said that, because it services your argument. But if we're seeking the deal in the truth, then here it is: that's not what I'm saying

But you cited them to support your argument!

When I asked for your sources you mention Hannity and Savage. Read your own posts. It would help alot if you didn't change your argument along the way and interchange people who do news with people that comment on news.

What I am saying is that a factoid -- in this case, "47% of all families do not pay federal income tax", which you asked me to source and I did -- eventually gets twisted into "half of all people pay no taxes" by other sources that people listen to and trust.

Like Hannity and Savage. Then don't do news. Sorry.

And I demonstrated that's what happens. The Hannity and Savage examples were the easiest to find. If you want someone saying it who is not what Hannity and Savage are, then how about Stuart Varney, who says in this clip:

"47% of households pay not a single dime in taxes".

Yeah, thanks for the clip.....did you read the banner at the bottom...."INCOME TAXES".

He is neither Sean Hannity nor Michael Savage, but a leading anchor on the Fox Business Network.

It is morphed statements like this, statements that frequently go unchallenged, that lead to these:

Half of Americans pay no income tax? - The Week

https://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=302109

About half of Americans pay no federal taxes | PennLive.com

Nearly 50 percent of Americans pay no income taxes at all: report

Half of All Americans Pay No Income Tax & May Get a Tax Refund Anyway

Nearly half of US pays no income taxes, experts find - Decaturdaily.com

Half of U.S. households pay no income tax... :: TeaParty.org

Almost Half of American Household Don't Pay Taxes

Yes, some of these are blogs. Yes, many of these headlines are clarified in the news copy. Yes, one of these citations is the Tea Party website. And yes, I personally think Newsmax is a sham when it comes to news.

The point is, people walk away from these stories believing that the bottom line is what the headline is telling them. This is how the fact gets morphed into something else entirely.

And yes, those that I sampled also mention "INCOME TAXES" in the article and used shorthand in the story title. And pretty much all say 'income taxes' in the title. Believe or not, that is accurate despite your desire to twist this into some sort of vast right ring conspiracy to obfuscate income vs. payroll taxes. And your list of references is pretty pathetic. Give me a WSJ, Barron's or other reputable source, not the Hannity's of the world.

Oh, BTW, what did you think of BHO's declaration that the Arizona immigration law permits officers to detain Latina families on the way to Brahms for ice cream and demand identification? And then have President Calderon stand by him at a presser and repeat the lie. And all of which mobilized that group and their supporters to take to the streets to protest and otherwise cause mayhem, not to mention the boycott of commerce to Arizona from a number of left leaning cities and states........all based on a calculated lie. Which was repeated by the mainstream press. I bring that up to demonstrate a true propaganda campaign. What you suggest the right is doing is non existant in comparison.

Edited by Greenwit

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You omitted this part:

'The 47 percent number is not wrong. ...

Omitted because original context was "From what I've heard, 50% of adults pay no federal taxes, and 25-30% of those people actually have a negative effect on the federal income tax receipts" rather than a specific statement as to federal income taxes. There might be some irony here..

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Omitted because original context was "From what I've heard, 50% of adults pay no federal taxes, and 25-30% of those people actually have a negative effect on the federal income tax receipts" rather than a specific statement as to federal income taxes. There might be some irony here..

No. I read your link.....this is the context:

'The 47 percent number is not wrong. The stimulus programs of the last two years — the first one signed by President George W. Bush, the second and larger one by President Obama — have increased the number of households that receive enough of a tax credit to wipe out their federal income tax liability.'

No, Half Of All Workers Aren't Freeloaders | The New Republic

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{snip}

Your responses either do not answer my points, answer points I did not make, or represent a lawyerly parsing of language that ignores that effect of the morphing of fact into close-sounding fiction.

I've think you and I have gone as far as we can on this. I rest my case and leave it to the jury to decide.

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I believe you were stretching so much to make a weak argument, that you were bound to tear a groin muscle.

But I would like to see your comment on the point I made at the end. The president blatantly lying about the Arizona immigration law. Talk about propaganda. Fact is, that law does not allow for a Latina family to be stopped on their way for ice cream (note the sympathetic but false imaging). In fact the law expressly forbids it. People must have already been stopped on a matter all together different than suspicion of being an illegal alien. The left argues that the police can make something up. Well, they could have made something up before the law was passed. Do you not agree the president lied when he said

"You can imagine, if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona ..." the president said Tuesday at a campaign-style appearance in Iowa, "suddenly, if you don't have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you're going to be harassed."

Read more at the Washington Examiner: How Obama could lose Arizona immigration battle | Byron York | Politics | Washington Examiner (note that I used this source just for the quote....you can find the quote reported elsewhere).

The law specifically reads:

'For any lawful stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. Any person who is arrested shall have the person's immigration status determined before the person is released. The person's immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States code section 1373©. A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution. A person is presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States if the person provides to the law enforcement officer or agency any of the following.....'

SB1070 - 492R - House Bill Summary

In other words, the stop must be lawful and not performed on the basis of profiling.

Note that when the federal lawsuit against Arizona was filed, the government did not argue profiling. It argued jurisdiction.

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You insult me, then you want to bait me into a sidebar issue?

I need to nurse my groin muscle. Or ... whatever. :bored:

As for my argument, I'll leave it to the jury. And far as I can tell, so far, I got one point to your zero.

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