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  1. #61  
    Quote Originally Posted by mgriffith View Post
    We can only work towards a system and society where people are not limited by artifical barriers and where the laws are equitably applied. Beyond that it should be up to the individual to achieve as much and their individual talents and drive permits.

    I see the Fair Tax being a good first step in that direction.
    Agreed. It is amazing the extent to which our society is determined by our tax system. Our present tax system is a mess, indefensible on any criteria except that it exists, and so is our society.

    Almost every law, no matter how bad, creates a constituency that resists its reform. Our tax system must be the best example. Imagine a law so clever that it creates an affinity between lawyers, accountants, bureaucrats, and home owners. One could not accomplish that by design and intent and we did it by accident.
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
  2. gatorray's Avatar
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    #62  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    However, the fact of the matter is that a tax of 17% is still felt more acutely by a family who makes that $120,000 than the family who earned $1.2 million dollars....or the billionaire who earned commensurately more.

    Not taking into account filing status....

    The family who earns $120000 is in the 33% bracket. Anyone above $175000 is hitting the 35% bracket.

    The family earning $60,000 is in 25% bracket.

    So I fail to see how a flat tax helps anyone. The flat taxes might reduce for the lower income folk, but it also reduces it for those who pay most of the nation's tax bill as well. The net effect would be less revenues, which seems to me to not be particularly constructive.
    I apologize in advance if this has been covered, but I skipped to the end after this post.

    Tax talk always seems to turn into semantics. Its all relative. If I pay 30% of my 100,000 per year, and I live in an average house with a 5 year old car, and invest/save moderately, my disposable income is very small, but I can live a pretty good life. If I pay 35% of my 1,000,000 per year, live in the same house, same car and invest moderately....yes, I paid more of the tax burden, but I also have alot more play money to make my life better (more vacation time, a new bike, a maid, etc...).

    Now, answer me this, isn't it okay for this successful person to have more disposable income to play with? Or do we continue to tax him/her so that they have to live just like the rest of us?

    I just can't bring myself to blame the rich for my money problems.

    Consumption tax scares me a little. Here is some fear mongering. Wouldn't it be a bit beneficial (for the tax man) for inflation to rise unchecked since the gov't would be getting more money as the price of goods rise? I am not an economist, but doesn't inflation affect the government differently than the consumer? Just a thought.
  3.    #63  
    Quote Originally Posted by gatorray View Post
    I apologize in advance if this has been covered, but I skipped to the end after this post.

    Tax talk always seems to turn into semantics. Its all relative. If I pay 30% of my 100,000 per year, and I live in an average house with a 5 year old car, and invest/save moderately, my disposable income is very small, but I can live a pretty good life. If I pay 35% of my 1,000,000 per year, live in the same house, same car and invest moderately....yes, I paid more of the tax burden, but I also have alot more play money to make my life better (more vacation time, a new bike, a maid, etc...).

    Now, answer me this, isn't it okay for this successful person to have more disposable income to play with? Or do we continue to tax him/her so that they have to live just like the rest of us?

    I just can't bring myself to blame the rich for my money problems.

    Consumption tax scares me a little. Here is some fear mongering. Wouldn't it be a bit beneficial (for the tax man) for inflation to rise unchecked since the gov't would be getting more money as the price of goods rise? I am not an economist, but doesn't inflation affect the government differently than the consumer? Just a thought.

    The idea is not to tax the rich to the point of bringing everybody to the same level of lifestyle, gatorray. That is not the point.

    One person makes $100,000 per year and pays 30% tax, or $30,000. He`s left with $70,000 to live on. $70,000 is not that much in the scheme of things.

    Let`s take look at the mortgage industry and its ever so gracious gift to our nationwide financial condition.
    Now let`s say a Countrywide`s CEO makes $150,000,000 (a made up number) per year for encouraging his mortgage brokers to push subprime mortgage contracts - just for a theoretical.
    35% of his salary is $45,000,000. That`s quite a sum, but there is still $110,000,000 left over. THAT`S a lot of buying power.

    I see no reason why we shouldnt tax this "upstanding citizen" at least 60% for his role in contributing to the subprime crisis in this country. That might be just the right brand of punishment for playing a big part in getting us into this mess. Might discourage future ethical lapses as well, I might add.
    Willfully allowing or encouraging his brokers to selling mortgages to people with poor credit, whom they KNEW wouldnt be able to sustain the interest rate hikes? That`s criminal.

    WE, the people, shouldn`t have to foot the bills for problems which were brought about by the corrupt super elite. The responsible filthy rich should foot those bills, and they should pay through the nose.

    Even if that CEO is taxed by 60%, he is STILL left with $60 million to live on. Are you telling me THAT would be relegating a "successful" person to live humbly like the rest of us? Please. Cry me a frickin river.

    Who am I to say who should pay higher taxes? Who are YOU to tell me that I should have to pay taxes to correct problems which the selfish, greedy, superwealthy mortgage house CEOs perpetuated?

    We shouldn`t punish the many for a problem an elite few encouraged or allowed to come about. Sure some would say the borrowers were partially at fault for buying beyond their means, but that`s nonsense. Honestly. Those lenders should have kicked them out the door immediately after their credit scores were printed out. Period.


    Even if we went as high as 45 - 50% on all multimillionaires, those individuals would still be left with multimillions to live on. Its not as if we are reducing them to blue collar living after these tax hikes. Please.

    The majority of the nation`s wealth lies with these super wealthy. Therefore, those are the incomes we should be drawing from in order to fill the nation`s biggest deficiencies - such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, etc.

    I would think it would make sense to reduce the taxes on those making less than $500,000. That would probably boost the economy quite a bit as well as potentially enable some to better handle their mortgage situations. It would also enable these people to put more towards retirement, which could ease the pressure on social security later on - yet another crunch in the works.

    Come on. These super wealthy would STILL have MORE than enough to live as extravagantly as they wanted AND fund their retirements and trust funds for future generations.

    The claim that such a move would be "unfair" or an unwarranted punishment to the wealthy is just nonsense.
    Last edited by treosensei; 11/07/2007 at 07:52 PM.
  4. #64  
    Quote Originally Posted by treosensei View Post
    The idea is not to tax the rich to the point of bringing everybody to the same level of lifestyle, gatorray. That is not the point........................ Come on. These super wealthy would STILL have MORE than enough to live as extravagantly as they wanted AND fund their retirements and trust funds for future generations.

    The claim that such a move would be "unfair" or an unwarranted punishment to the wealthy is just nonsense.
    You "come on." Go back and read your own post and tell me one more time that you are not out to use the tax system to punish those you envy.

    "Don't tax you, don't tax me. Tax that guy behind the tree."
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
  5. #65  
    Buffet shouldn't pay any taxes. We are blessed to have a person of such character living around us. I would love to be friends anyone even remotely like him, money or no money.
  6. #66  
    Quote Originally Posted by RICHINMJ View Post
    Buffet shouldn't pay any taxes. We are blessed to have a person of such character living around us. I would love to be friends anyone even remotely like him, money or no money.
    Hear! Hear! He has enriched thousands of others, created an untold number of jobs, lived frugally, "counted his blessings, and given generously of his bounty."
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
  7. #67  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Hear! Hear! He has enriched thousands of others, created an untold number of jobs, lived frugally, "counted his blessings, and given generously of his bounty."
    Yup yup! Class act all the way. Yet, I'd bet there are more than a few up here that wouldn't find a single problem with Buffett if he hadn't broken ranks with Bush over his outrageous spending and the Iraq war. A true conservative and a gentlemen - I bet Goldwater is smiling down upon him and thanking god there is at least one real compassionate conservative, Warren Buffett.
  8.    #68  
    No, whmurray, YOU COME ON.
    You woefully misinterpret that as envy of the rich, when instead its a better way of taxing our nation's wealth in order to better fund the country's financial, healthcare and infrastructure deficits.

    Envy of multimillionaires? What nonsense. That's just a poor attempt to divert attention away from a viable solution to the current state of affairs. Of course we`d all like to be making millions of dollars every year, but that`s beside the point. Sincerely, if I was still bringing home a meager $44 million per year even after a 60% tax, I'm fairly certain I`d still be smiling ear to ear and would somehow, in some way, find the means to scratch by and carve out a lifestyle.

    Unbelievable.
    Last edited by treosensei; 11/07/2007 at 10:18 PM.
  9.    #69  
    Buffett is generous in donating much of his wealth for the betterment of the community, and he is a wonderful individual. That is true. But you can't tell me that ALL multimillionaires are following his lead.

    Gates is another example of one who contributes a considerable amount to good causes, but not all individuals of this particular elite follow suit.

    People clamor around about the problems with healthcare, social security and how we can't seem to arrive at the solutions for problems within each, yet no one wants to consider drawing from the nation's wealth - those who could most easily afford it - to better solve them.
    Last edited by treosensei; 11/07/2007 at 10:21 PM.
  10.    #70  
    Moderateinny, this has nothing to do with Buffett's opposition to Bush's policies. Politics has absolutely nothing to do with it. Once again, the wrong assumptions are made here..

    This is not about punishing the wealthy out of envy. Its about a more effective tax system. I hardly consider $60 million left after a 60% tax to be "punishment" to anyone.
  11.    #71  
    Quote Originally Posted by RICHINMJ View Post
    Buffet shouldn't pay any taxes. We are blessed to have a person of such character living around us. I would love to be friends anyone even remotely like him, money or no money.

    Buffett IS a fantastic man. Of that there is little question. But this is not about attacking him as a person. I mentioned Buffett`s name only as an example of the financial tier which should be reconsidered within our tax system. Sports figures such as A-rod and Tiger Woods are other examples.
  12. gojeda's Avatar
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    #72  
    Quote Originally Posted by gatorray View Post
    Tax talk always seems to turn into semantics. Its all relative. If I pay 30% of my 100,000 per year, and I live in an average house with a 5 year old car, and invest/save moderately, my disposable income is very small, but I can live a pretty good life. If I pay 35% of my 1,000,000 per year, live in the same house, same car and invest moderately....yes, I paid more of the tax burden, but I also have alot more play money to make my life better (more vacation time, a new bike, a maid, etc...).

    Now, answer me this, isn't it okay for this successful person to have more disposable income to play with? Or do we continue to tax him/her so that they have to live just like the rest of us?

    I just can't bring myself to blame the rich for my money problems.
    Absolutely....it seems many that spend their time "blaming the rich" would be better off enriching their own lives. That seems, to me, far more constructive.
    Last edited by gojeda; 11/08/2007 at 04:54 AM.
  13. gojeda's Avatar
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    #73  
    Quote Originally Posted by treosensei View Post
    I see no reason why we shouldnt tax this "upstanding citizen" at least 60% for his role in contributing to the subprime crisis in this country. That might be just the right brand of punishment for playing a big part in getting us into this mess.
    What you are talking about here is civil penalties as opposed to taxes. The distinction is important, of course, because civil penalties are applied on an individual basis while everyone is subjected to taxes.

    Might discourage future ethical lapses as well, I might add.
    Willfully allowing or encouraging his brokers to selling mortgages to people with poor credit, whom they KNEW wouldnt be able to sustain the interest rate hikes? That`s criminal.
    Taxes are a poor way of "discouraging" ethical lapses. That is not what taxes are designed to do.

    That being said, it takes two to tango here. Those who sign up for these fantastical loans are just as guilty.

    WE, the people, shouldn`t have to foot the bills for problems which were brought about by the corrupt super elite. The responsible filthy rich should foot those bills, and they should pay through the nose.
    Why should the responsible rich foot the bill? Because they are rich?

    If you want more confiscatory taxes than what we have in place already, why not just come out and say it?

    Who am I to say who should pay higher taxes? Who are YOU to tell me that I should have to pay taxes to correct problems which the selfish, greedy, superwealthy mortgage house CEOs perpetuated?
    Because no taxpayers in this country has a say as to how our tax dollars are spent. My tax dollars go to things that I would never support, but I accept that because the system does NOT guarantee fairness.

    Sure some would say the borrowers were partially at fault for buying beyond their means, but that`s nonsense. Honestly. Those lenders should have kicked them out the door immediately after their credit scores were printed out. Period.
    That which is unethical is not necessarily illegal. I agree with you, there should have been oversight. That oversight should come from the federal government.

    However, since there is no oversight, the lenders can run amok. But there is also the notion of self-accountability here. Those borrowers ARE just as guilty. They KNEW they were getting into mortgages that have ZERO basis in reality. They KNEW they were buying into houses that they could not afford. They KNEW they were living in houses that do not correspond to their income.

    If you are wanting to banish subprime lenders to a desert island, you have to banish borrowers who are willing to take them up on their offer. I have little compassion for both.

    The majority of the nation`s wealth lies with these super wealthy.
    Not quite. Up until now, at least, the majority of the nation's wealth lies with the middle class. The middle class drives consumer spending in this country, and the middle class can do this because, collectively, they have the most wealthy

    I think what you getting at is that the rich has a disproportionate share of wealth in this country. That is self evident - and that is something that is not endemic to the United States.

    Therefore, those are the incomes we should be drawing from in order to fill the nation`s biggest deficiencies - such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, etc.
    We are doing this already. The top 5% of income earners pay 50% of the tax bill.

    I would think it would make sense to reduce the taxes on those making less than $500,000. That would probably boost the economy quite a bit as well as potentially enable some to better handle their mortgage situations. It would also enable these people to put more towards retirement, which could ease the pressure on social security later on - yet another crunch in the works.
    I think we need to reverse the assault on the middle class in this country. The fortunes of the country is directly tied to them more than anyone else.

    Come on. These super wealthy would STILL have MORE than enough to live as extravagantly as they wanted AND fund their retirements and trust funds for future generations.
    Extravagance is already taxed.
  14.    #74  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    Absolutely....it seems many that spend their time "blaming the rich" would be better off enriching their own lives. That seems, to me, far more constructive.

    We ARE enriching our own lives. We should enrich our tax structure so that our NATION is enriched as well, so we have a better healthcare, educational, and infrastructural conditions here. You see, that, to me, is far more constructive still.

    Apparently some have no problem with the fact that mortgage houses willingly sold mortgages to people with bad credit knowing full well that such agreements would fall through. Those decisions were based on greed, gojeda, and were allowed to take place by some pretty well off fat cats up at the tops of those companies.

    Rather than "punishing the majority" and apologizing for a unbalanced tax system, we would be better off deriving resources from those who are in better position to pay higher taxes.

    Like Ive said, lowering taxes on those making less than $500k would:

    1) very likely boost the economy, possibly lessening the likelihood of a recession.

    2) enable many to better handle their mortgage situations (possibly reducing pressure on the Fed to lower interest rates again which hurts the US dollar`s value and investment from abroad)

    3) enable many to put more towards retirement, which would ease the pressure for social security in the future.
  15. #75  
    Quote Originally Posted by treosensei View Post
    No, whmurray, YOU COME ON.
    You woefully misinterpret .........
    Perhaps. I think that your words speak for themselves. Apparently, I am not the only one to read them that way.
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
  16.    #76  
    "Taxes are a poor way of "discouraging" ethical lapses. That is not what taxes are designed to do.

    That being said, it takes two to tango here. Those who sign up for these fantastical loans are just as guilty."

    - gojeda


    No. People with poor credit should have been kicked out the door after the credit scores were discovered. Period. Those contracts were signed out of greed - fees. Who cares if they cant possibly pay the mortgage. We get paid fees, and we will sell this mortgage off to some other sucker bank to take the pain when these people run out of money.


    "Why should the responsible rich foot the bill? Because they are rich?

    If you want more confiscatory taxes than what we have in place already, why not just come out and say it?"


    - gojeda


    For their roles in allowing this crisis to unravel, the CEOs and higher ups within these companies should have their taxes raised as a consequence for crippling the country.


    " That which is unethical is not necessarily illegal. I agree with you, there should have been oversight. That oversight should come from the federal government.

    However, since there is no oversight, the lenders can run amok. But there is also the notion of self-accountability here. Those borrowers ARE just as guilty. They KNEW they were getting into mortgages that have ZERO basis in reality. They KNEW they were buying into houses that they could not afford. They KNEW they were living in houses that do not correspond to their income.

    If you are wanting to banish subprime lenders to a desert island, you have to banish borrowers who are willing to take them up on their offer. I have little compassion for both."

    - gojeda


    Yes those borrowers knew they were buying houses they couldnt afford, which is why the lenders should have sent them out the door with a kick in the rear. As a result of this crisis, there SHOULD be oversight now. We obviously need guard rails to prevent these irresponsible mortgage houses from driving themselves, and us for that matter, into the gutter. Checks and balances. Sure, a portion of the blame goes to the borrowers, but ultimately the majority ends up with the lenders, who allowed the careless to take on a hopelessly doomed contract.


    "We are doing this already. The top 5% of income earners pay 50% of the tax bill. "

    - gojeda


    Yes but the top 5% barely feel the impact of taxes each year because of the sheer size of their annual salaries. The middle class certainly feels it. The middle class lives are limited and restricted by taxes, the super rich are not. Sure they pay the majority of taxes but they could pay quite a bit more and STILL have plenty left to live as extravagantly as they wanted.


    "I think we need to reverse the assault on the middle class in this country. The fortunes of the country is directly tied to them more than anyone else"

    - gojeda

    I agree absolutely, gojeda.
    Last edited by treosensei; 11/08/2007 at 09:09 AM.
  17.    #77  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Perhaps. I think that your words speak for themselves. Apparently, I am not the only one to read them that way.

    If you interpret them that way, that`s your perogative. My purpose behind them is simply to point out the fact that our national crises might better be resolved by drawing from the largest reserves.

    To me, whmurray, thats sensibility, not envy. I can tell you that until Im blue in the face that is the case, but if you choose to brush it off as something else, hey, thats your decision.

    Lets see we have someone making $150 million, and we have someone making $100,000, where might tax hikes be best placed to suit both scenarios most effectively?
    If we raise the tax on the former, which still leaves him with a wealth to live on, and reduce the tax on the latter which eases pressure on his lifestyle, might the situation be better? Yep. I think so.

    But if you`d rather write it off as simple envy than thats your deal. I can sleep soundly at night knowing you've simply made an incorrect assumption.
  18. #78  
    Quote Originally Posted by treosensei View Post
    Buffett is generous in donating much of his wealth for the betterment of the community, and he is a wonderful individual. That is true. But you can't tell me that ALL multimillionaires are following his lead.
    ......
    Perhaps not. However, I can tell you that they are not the evil rapacious lot that you characterize them as so as to justify punitive tax laws.

    Government must raise revenue. However, government should tax equitably. It should not tax so as to create an equity chosen by the political elite.

    The Soviet Union gave that system a more than fair test, seventy five years worth. They not only impoverished themselves but their neighbors into the bargain.

    I am sure that you think that the equity that you would design would be better than what the USSR created, and more desirable than what we have. However, the rest of us do not trust you to choose. We do not trust the government to choose. Communism did not fail because the bureaucrats made bad choices but because the bureaucrats, not the people, chose.

    We have already tried giving the government more money. It does not work. The problem is not that government does not have enough money. There are simply limitations to government that all the money in the world will not fix.

    It is more important that we produce lots of food, clothing, shelter, and health care than that it be distributed as you would have it distributed.

    I trust people to produce. I trust them to dispose of that production as they see fit. I trust that some will produce more than others. I still prefer the choices that they make for the disposal of their wealth to those choices that others, no matter how well intentioned you may be, would make for them.

    You seem to think that is alright for the government to make choices for the wealthy that you would not have it make for you.
    Up the next election, my citizens; always the next election.
  19. gojeda's Avatar
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    #79  
    Quote Originally Posted by treosensei View Post
    No. People with poor credit should have been kicked out the door after the credit scores were discovered. Period. Those contracts were signed out of greed - fees. Who cares if they cant possibly pay the mortgage. We get paid fees, and we will see this mortgage off to some other sucker bank to take the pain when these people run out of money.
    If people are automatically kicked out the door due to poor credit, then even a larger portion of the population would be affected.

    Whether greed or not had anything to do with it is irrelevant. Blame needs to be accorded to all parties who willingly enter a transaction that is ill-advised from the get-go.

    For their roles in allowing this crisis to unravel, the CEOs and higher ups within these companies should have their taxes raised as a consequence for crippling the country.
    Then penalize those who actually did something wrong here. Blanket generalizations about the rich doesn't work here.

    Yes those borrowers knew they were buying houses they couldnt afford, which is why the lenders should have sent them out the door with a kick in the rear.
    Lenders are not the police. Lenders are there or offer mortgages. They run the risk of foreclosures.

    Financial responsibility begins at home. If you say lenders are greedy, so are the borrowers who agree to those loans. You can't have one without the other.

    If we, as a country, do not want to repeat the same episode, we need oversight.

    As a result of this crisis, there SHOULD be oversight now. We obviously need guard rails to prevent these irresponsible mortgage houses from driving themselves, and us for that matter, into the gutter. Checks and balances. Sure, a portion of the blame goes to the borrowers, but ultimately the majority ends up with the lenders, who allowed the careless to take on a hopelessly doomed contract.
    They both get the blame....and they both get the liability.

    The lender gets screwed because the house is in foreclosure. The borrower gets screwed because he loses the house and his credit takes a huge hit.

    I agree with you in that responsible taxpayers should not bail these people out, but ultimately that is a political decision. Fairness has nothing to do with it.

    Yes but the top 5% barely feel the impact of taxes each year because of the sheer size of their annual salaries. The middle class certainly feels it. The middle class lives are limited and restricted by taxes, the super rich are not. Sure they pay the majority of taxes but they could pay quite a bit more and STILL have plenty left to live as extravagantly as they wanted.
    So, in essence, you want to tax people "until they feel it"?

    I seem to recall we fought a war of independence over such a notion.

    The idea of taxation is not so we "can feel" getting skinned. The idea of taxation is to provide enough revenues so that government can do its job.

    What you want here is an entitlement socialist state based on wealth distribution.

    I will have to whip out supporting material here, but I have just recently read that the wealthy earn 35% of the nation's income, and pays 50% of the nations tax bills. So while those who earn less "feel" the pinch of the tax man, the rich are not being treated equitably either.

    I agree absolutely, gojeda.
    At least we agree that the middle class is the most important one. The notion of taxation is distasteful to everyone, but I believe there are some creative ways to get the job done without increased confiscatory taxation.

    As usual, it comes down to political will.
  20. #80  
    Quote Originally Posted by treosensei View Post
    No. People with poor credit should have been kicked out the door after the credit scores were discovered. Period. Those contracts were signed out of greed - fees. Who cares if they cant possibly pay the mortgage. We get paid fees, and we will sell this mortgage off to some other sucker bank to take the pain when these people run out of money.

    For their roles in allowing this crisis to unravel, the CEOs and higher ups within these companies should have their taxes raised as a consequence for crippling the country.


    " That which is unethical is not necessarily illegal. I agree with you, there should have been oversight. That oversight should come from the federal government.

    However, since there is no oversight, the lenders can run amok. But there is also the notion of self-accountability here. Those borrowers ARE just as guilty. They KNEW they were getting into mortgages that have ZERO basis in reality. They KNEW they were buying into houses that they could not afford. They KNEW they were living in houses that do not correspond to their income.

    Yes those borrowers knew they were buying houses they couldnt afford, which is why the lenders should have sent them out the door with a kick in the rear. As a result of this crisis, there SHOULD be oversight now. We obviously need guard rails to prevent these irresponsible mortgage houses from driving themselves, and us for that matter, into the gutter. Checks and balances. Sure, a portion of the blame goes to the borrowers, but ultimately the majority ends up with the lenders, who allowed the careless to take on a hopelessly doomed contract.
    Excellent points, all. However, all one needs to do is research the history of what happens to the funding of the inspection and enforcement arm of government depts, such as FTC, FDA, EEOC, etc. under the primarily 2-party political system. Starkly dangerous contrasts which are shown almost on a weekly basis with consumer products of all types , from kids toys, to ground beef, to financial instruments. Just as is being alluded to elsewhere, which class of people are those primarily within the crosshairs and most likely to be effected by today's "let them eat cake" doctrine?
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