# Taxation

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27 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

It is also an example of how short sighted many industries are. Many people idolize the wealthy and assume the best of them. We assume it is their intellectual brilliance which empowered them to become successful yet many actually have a very limited imaginations which is why so many businesses fail and are replaced over time as technology changes. From the music industry to major retailers we've seen wildly successful companies fail to adapt to online sales.

One notable exception is petroleum, and its attendant markets. Through a combination of favorable tax structures, subsidization, and massive efforts to squelch competition from alternative technologies, gasoline for automobiles has been on the market far longer than it should have been, imo. Another example of public funding being manipulated to favor private industry's needs over public needs.

Imagine if the vinyl record segment of the music industry had the same clout as Big Oil, doing everything they could to sabotage cassette tape and digital technologies. Actually, Big Vinyl might insist we do a better job fixing the roads so the record players in our cars don't skip.

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You mean someone is actually suggesting that the government let people keep their own money earned through effort and ability?  How is that ever going to work?  Everyone understands that only the government knows how to properly spend money.  Take the US for example.  The US government is so good at spending money their nation is now 20 Trillion dollars in debt.  Those crazy tax cutters.  It is as if they believe that an invisible hand guided by the will of the people spontaneously creates the economy.  What a crazy fantasy.  With more taxes everything everyone needed would be provided by government without effort.  It would likely be delivered to our doorsteps by solar powered flying robots.  We would have world peace and equality without effort.  No one would have to do anything and it would all be paid for by taxes.  It's an idea better than perpetual motion.  Those people with jobs and bank accounts are simply spoiling it for us all.

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Cutting taxes increases debt when you don't adjust spending itself or focus on investments with higher ROI. Starve the beast doesn't work. We can agree that spending should be wiser, less wasteful, and more focused on investment. Arguing to cut taxes given the deficit and debt you rightly admonish just makes it seem like you don't understand basic math.

No need to argue against obvious strawmen like "only the government can properly spend money" or "everything everyone needs can be provided by government."

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31 minutes ago, waitforufo said:

You mean someone is actually suggesting that the government let people keep their own money earned through effort and ability?  How is that ever going to work?  Everyone understands that only the government knows how to properly spend money.  Take the US for example.  The US government is so good at spending money their nation is now 20 Trillion dollars in debt.  Those crazy tax cutters.  It is as if they believe that an invisible hand guided by the will of the people spontaneously creates the economy.  What a crazy fantasy.  With more taxes everything everyone needed would be provided by government without effort.  It would likely be delivered to our doorsteps by solar powered flying robots.  We would have world peace and equality without effort.  No one would have to do anything and it would all be paid for by taxes.  It's an idea better than perpetual motion.  Those people with jobs and bank accounts are simply spoiling it for us all.

Do you think people in FL, GA, and TX won't be receiving a great amount of public investment in their communities in the coming months than they pay out in taxes? Keeping all your money and having a limited govt sounds great until one needs govt assistance.

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28 minutes ago, iNow said:

We can agree that spending should be wiser, less wasteful, and more focused on investment.

This is a great argument on common grounds. I don't know anyone personally who wouldn't agree with this. It's a pity the soundness of it gets drowned out by partisan misrepresentations and willful obfuscation.

56 minutes ago, waitforufo said:

You mean someone is actually suggesting that the government let people keep their own money earned through effort and ability?

It's the height of hubris to think you earned all the money you've made with no help from anyone else, including the People and the .gov. Did you hover above the roads so you didn't gain their benefits? Did you never go to the library to learn? Did you ever NOT get robbed because the police were on duty? Did your business ever NOT burn down because the People wanted you to have firefighters available? You spent more of your effort-and-ability-earned money in taxes for the military than it would have cost you to learn Russian, but you never seem to mind that.

Why can't you accept that your taxes are being misspent, but it's not the concept of taxes that are at fault? Are you so rich that you don't need public roads anymore? Are you so jaded that you don't think roads are a good public investment anymore? Or have you stopped driving, and don't care if the rest of us have to pay tolls to a private company?

I don't really think any of these things about you, but your arguments tend this way, making you seem like you don't agree with even the most basic publically funded services. You're so fixated on drawing distinctions that you never draw comparisons. They do exist, and lots of folks have tried pointing them out to you. For one thing, you could drop the stupid fantasy that liberals want everything paid for by taxes. You keep using this argument, and I'm not sure you realize how juvenile and unsophisticated it is. Just sayin'.

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Obviously some of you still think that remainder number on your pay stub actually belongs to you.  That number is simply your subsidy from the government.  A subsidy amount which was likely unfairly determined.  Think of all those people that are in need.  You must think you are better than those needy people because of your abilities.  Shame on you.  You were only lucky and the primary job of government is to distribute the luck evenly.

I'm sure my subsidy however is a little light.  You see I have needs as well.  When it comes to needs, I always go to the expert on needs, Maslow.  I'm up there at the top self actualizing.  You would be surprised how much money, fast vehicles, and gasoline that requires.  It's astounding actually.  Thank you for pitching in.  I'll let you know when my needs are filled.

Edited by waitforufo
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6 minutes ago, waitforufo said:

Obviously some of you still think that remainder number on your pay stub actually belongs to you.  That number is simply your subsidy from the government.  A subsidy amount which was likely unfairly determined.  Think of all those people that are in need.  You must think you are better than those needy people because of your abilities.  Shame on you.  You were only lucky and the primary job of government is to distribute the luck evenly.

I'm sure my subsidy however is a little light.  You see I have needs as well.  When it comes to needs, I always go to the expert on needs, Maslow.  I'm up there at the top self actualizing.  You would be surprised how much money, fast vehicles, and gasoline that requires.  It's astounding actually.  Thank you for pitching in.  I'll let you know when my needs are filled.

So that's a big NO on answering any of my questions with a meaningful answer. We'll just go with you hovering through life never needing taxes to be used effectively with regard to a national economy of scale, instead of as profit for private ventures.

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41 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

So that's a big NO on answering any of my questions with a meaningful answer. We'll just go with you hovering through life never needing taxes to be used effectively with regard to a national economy of scale, instead of as profit for private ventures.

Now hold on a minute.  I pay my taxes.  I couldn't avoid them even if I wanted to.  As I said before, my government subsidy is the remainder on my pay stub after government taxes.  I pay taxes on my yacht, my mansion,  my motorcycles, my servants.  I pay taxes at the check out and at the pump.  Taxis are woven into every aspect of my life.  I couldn't avoid paying them even if I wanted to.  The government doesn't just ask me to pay taxes, it makes me.  Since I'm not behind bars, I must be paying them.

How, however, am I to continue keeping all those road makers and pavers, petrochemical workers, yacht makers, slip maintainers, motor vehicle workers, etc. employed if my subsidy is not increased?  I'm keeping up my end of the bargain.  You don't want the economy to collapse do you?  The economy is as dependent on my self actualization needs as I am.

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3 hours ago, waitforufo said:

You mean someone is actually suggesting that the government let people keep their own money earned through effort and ability?  How is that ever going to work?  Everyone understands that only the government knows how to properly spend money.  Take the US for example.  The US government is so good at spending money their nation is now 20 Trillion dollars in debt.  Those crazy tax cutters.  It is as if they believe that an invisible hand guided by the will of the people spontaneously creates the economy.  What a crazy fantasy.  With more taxes everything everyone needed would be provided by government without effort.  It would likely be delivered to our doorsteps by solar powered flying robots.  We would have world peace and equality without effort.  No one would have to do anything and it would all be paid for by taxes.  It's an idea better than perpetual motion.  Those people with jobs and bank accounts are simply spoiling it for us all.

Sarcasm like this (if it's sarcasm) is an indication that you aren't interested in having an actual discussion, and/or have no clue how things actually work. (I don't think it's the latter) Either one responds to a snide comment you don't actually believe is true or has to spend significant effort educating you on something that should be known as a prerequisite for participating in the thread. Either way, though, you've added nothing to the thread.

40 minutes ago, waitforufo said:

Now hold on a minute.  I pay my taxes.  I couldn't avoid them even if I wanted to.  As I said before, my government subsidy is the remainder on my pay stub after government taxes.  I pay taxes on my yacht, my mansion,  my motorcycles, my servants.  I pay taxes at the check out and at the pump.  Taxis are woven into every aspect of my life.  I couldn't avoid paying them even if I wanted to.  The government doesn't just ask me to pay taxes, it makes me.  Since I'm not behind bars, I must be paying them.

I think that someone with a yacht, mansion and servants would know all of the additional loopholes available to them that do in fact let them avoid paying a large amount in taxes.

40 minutes ago, waitforufo said:

How, however, am I to continue keeping all those road makers and pavers, petrochemical workers, yacht makers, slip maintainers, motor vehicle workers, etc. employed if my subsidy is not increased?  I'm keeping up my end of the bargain.  You don't want the economy to collapse do you?  The economy is as dependent on my self actualization needs as I am.

More sarcasm. More wasted space.

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3 minutes ago, swansont said:

Sarcasm like this (if it's sarcasm) is an indication that you aren't interested in having an actual discussion, and/or have no clue how things actually work. (I don't think it's the latter) Either one responds to a snide comment you don't actually believe is true or has to spend significant effort educating you on something that should be known as a prerequisite for participating in the thread. Either way, though, you've added nothing to the thread.

I think that someone with a yacht, mansion and servants would know all of the additional loopholes available to them that do in fact let them avoid paying a large amount in taxes.

More sarcasm. More wasted space.

Are you trying to tell me that the post following the last moderator's note a page back have not all been sarcasm?  They read that way to me.  I found them all to be sanctimonious as well.  I think they can be all summed up like this... "Oh how during this time of national tragedy can anyone suggest that taxes be cut?!"  Well I'll tell you how.  "A rising tide lifts all boats." -JFK  A growing economy and the increased tax revenues it brings is what the country needs.  What it doesn't need is more taxes stifling the economy.

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6 minutes ago, waitforufo said:

Are you trying to tell me that the post following the last moderator's note a page back have not all been sarcasm?  They read that way to me.  I found them all to be sanctimonious as well.  I think they can be all summed up like this... "Oh how during this time of national tragedy can anyone suggest that taxes be cut?!"  Well I'll tell you how.  "A rising tide lifts all boats." -JFK  A growing economy and the increased tax revenues it brings is what the country needs.  What it doesn't need is more taxes stifling the economy.

We've done that experiment. Lowering taxes on the wealthy does not stimulate the economy. Reagan tried it, and it failed. Bush tried it, and it failed. See also: Kansas. We had a long stretch of economic growth under Obama after (wait for it) taxes on the wealthy were increased.

Peddle your fantasies somewhere else. Serious inquiries (backed up with facts) only, please.

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8 minutes ago, swansont said:

We had a long stretch of economic growth under Obama after (wait for it) taxes on the wealthy were increased.

That's why Hillary is president right?

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1 hour ago, waitforufo said:

A growing economy and the increased tax revenues it brings is what the country needs.  What it doesn't need is more taxes stifling the economy.

OK, when I remove the partisan rhetoric you constantly want to introduce like a fart at a party, I find this is a sentiment we can deal with rationally.

You've always made the assumption that taxes stifle the economy, but always fail to show how, historically. Most of your arguments are for solutions that historically only help the wealthy at the expense of the middle and poor classes. You mention a rising tide helping all boats, and that seems fair to you, because you don't acknowledge how unfair it's been up till now for all the non-yachts. Nobody minds competing fairly, but if you're going to make your sails so big it steals everyone else's wind, or if you're going to make your engines so powerful that it swamps all the smaller craft, then I think the government is the perfect tool for society to remove your stifling influence from the economy. Just like the person in traffic who's causing most of the traffic, you are the problem with our economy.

Go ahead and have your extreme sails. Anything above a certain size and you should pay 90% in taxes.

1 hour ago, waitforufo said:

That's why Hillary is president right?

Seems pretty clear you were waiting for any chance to say THAT, since it's a really goofy response to swanson't point about what actually grows the economy.

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2 hours ago, swansont said:

We had a long stretch of economic growth under Obama after (wait for it) taxes on the wealthy were increased.

My guess is that 9 Trillion dollars of stimulative deficit spending had more to do with the economic growth under Obama than taxes on the wealthy did.  I think John Maynard Keynes would agree.  Maybe if taxes hadn't been raised by Obama we wouldn't have had the slowest economic recovery since the great depression.

44 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

OK, when I remove the partisan rhetoric you constantly want to introduce like a fart at a party, I find this is a sentiment we can deal with rationally.

You've always made the assumption that taxes stifle the economy, but always fail to show how, historically. Most of your arguments are for solutions that historically only help the wealthy at the expense of the middle and poor classes. You mention a rising tide helping all boats, and that seems fair to you, because you don't acknowledge how unfair it's been up till now for all the non-yachts. Nobody minds competing fairly, but if you're going to make your sails so big it steals everyone else's wind, or if you're going to make your engines so powerful that it swamps all the smaller craft, then I think the government is the perfect tool for society to remove your stifling influence from the economy. Just like the person in traffic who's causing most of the traffic, you are the problem with our economy.

Go ahead and have your extreme sails. Anything above a certain size and you should pay 90% in taxes.

Seems pretty clear you were waiting for any chance to say THAT, since it's a really goofy response to swanson't point about what actually grows the economy.

Yes some people have it better than others.  Your goal is income equality.  I'm sure you will be happy when everyone is poor.  That in your eyes will be fair.  Like Venezuela, North Korea, etc.

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1 hour ago, waitforufo said:

Yes some people have it better than others.  Your goal is income equality.  I'm sure you will be happy when everyone is poor.  That in your eyes will be fair.  Like Venezuela, North Korea, etc.

True. False. False. False. False.

Your caricature of me and my goals is only 1/5 accurate. I think this is a problem, and you must be going out of your mind with worry that you're so poor at understanding what others mean by the words they use.

Can I suggest you drop the constant sniping at convenient strawmen, and try to understand some nuance beyond the stereotypes you rail against? You might find we share a dislike for the way our taxes are spent, which could go a long way towards fixing the real problems, which incidentally might lower your overall tax burden.

It might take some creative solutions (since decades of conservative ones still leave both of us bitching) like investing in fighting the reasons for crime instead of investing in punishing it. It might take going back to the framework for prosperity that worked last time (when the rising tide really did float all boats), back in Eisenhower's day. We seem to agree that leadership is not doing well. I'm sorry you don't see how lopsided the economy is, and how much more it favors the wealthiest extreme capitalists in all things. I think these fat cats have been leaning on the pool table long enough, and I'm calling cheat because that's the only way to stop it.

I really hate the image of the US as poorly educated fodder for corporate maneuvering for profit. I don't understand Americans who don't want other Americans to be as well educated as possible, and grateful to a nation that cared enough to invest in their potential. Taxes can fix this, but we have to invest in education, starting with qualified leadership so our public dollars are more effective.

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1 hour ago, waitforufo said:

My guess is that 9 Trillion dollars of stimulative deficit spending had more to do with the economic growth under Obama than taxes on the wealthy did.  I think John Maynard Keynes would agree.  Maybe if taxes hadn't been raised by Obama we wouldn't have had the slowest economic recovery since the great depression.

Trump didn't win a majority or even a plurality of votes. You are suggesting a popular view towards Obama and the economy which wasn't. Many Trump supporters/voters like those in burning torches in Charlottesville voted for Trump based on things totally unrelated to economic policy.

Everyone agrees tax money should be spent only after careful consideration and with restraint but what that actually looks like varies considerably based on one's political beliefs. Some wish the govt would close the EPA while others wish the govt would reduce military spending. No one is entirely satisfied but that has been the case throughout history. Every dollar spent which an individual doesn't agree with can be debated as wasteful by that individual. Democracy forces a modicum of compromise and shared responsibility to each others positions.

Where is it better? Which nation in the world serves as the model for the U.S. regarding tax policy. A country which thrives on limited govt and limited taxation?

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2 hours ago, waitforufo said:

Maybe if taxes hadn't been raised by Obama we wouldn't have had the slowest economic recovery since the great depression.

Sure. It was the slowest recovery since the Great Depression. Quite right, though lacking context. It was so slow in large part because it was also the largest recession we've faced since the Great Depression; nearly another Great Depression itself.

I agree with you that we must always strive to do better, but cutting taxes is not the panacea you claim. It puts more money into the hands of those who can invest, but the numbers clearly show those wealthy enough to do so were already stockpiling and sitting inactive on massive stores of cash. Cutting taxes would've given them a bit more cash, but they weren't even spending the reserves they already had.

Since it's hard arguing a counterfactual, what we CAN do here is compare the US recovery against other nations who faced the same economic disaster. It's clear to anyone with open eyes and honest heart that we did quite well:

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many Americans are so accustomed to having a powerful economy; they have been dismayed by a rebound that hasn't been stronger.

But the OECD says that compared with our chief competitors, the United States is leading the pack — by miles. From the first quarter of 2008 until the same period this year, U.S. gross domestic product expanded by 10.85 percent. That compares with growth of just 0.64 percent in the Euro area and 0.06 percent in Japan.

"In so many ways, the U.S. economy is a role model for other OECD countries," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said.

Continuing along in this theme of using data and evidence instead of bluster and barbs to support our points, here is how cutting taxes has performed hostorically (as a supplement to swansonts remedially true comments above):

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In reality, tax cuts — particularly for high-income people — are an ineffective way to spur economic growth, and they’re likely to harm the economy if they add to the deficit or are paired with cuts to investments that support the economy and working families.

Quote

Since Kansas enacted tax and spending cuts in 2012 and 2013, Brownback and his allies have argued that this fiscal potion would generate an explosion of economic growth. It didn’t. Overall growth and job creation in Kansas underperformed both the national economy and neighboring states. From January, 2014 (after both tax cuts passed) to April, 2017, Kansas gained only 28,000 net new non-farm jobs. By contrast, Nebraska, an economically similar state with a much smaller labor force, saw a net increase of 35,000 jobs.

(...)

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20 hours ago, waitforufo said:

That's why Hillary is president right?

WTF does that have to do with anything we're discussing?

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Speaking of the real-life experiment of waitforufo's tax cuts cure what ails ye ideas we saw in Kansas:

Quote

In a decisive repudiation of conservative tax-cutting philosophy, Kansas Republicans voted this week to reverse deep tax cuts enacted by Gov. Sam Brownback (R), a move that lays bare the challenges of one-party control and the risks for Republicans in Washington pursuing a similar policy at the national level. […]

In recent years, Kansas has served as a real-world example of what can happen if tax cuts fail to deliver promised growth. Since Brownback began cutting taxes in 2012, the pace of economic expansion in Kansas has consistently lagged behind that of the rest of the country. Last year, Kansas’s gross domestic product increased just 0.2 percent, federal data show, compared with 1.6 percent nationally. At the end of 2015, the state was in what many economists would describe as a recession, with the economy shrinking for two quarters in a row.

Unsure why Kansas is relevant? Here's a recap:

Quote
• In 2012, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) sought to boost the economy by sharply cutting income taxes across the board.
• Under his plan, the tax rate on pass-through business income fell to 0. The idea was to boost investment, raise employment, and jump-start the economy.
• This type of supply-side trickle-down theory has been proposed by Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and many others.
• The program in Kansas served as a lab test for how supply side tax cuts may work at the federal level. In Kansas, however, these tax cuts proved unsuccessful.
• The Kansas economy did not grow faster than neighboring states, the country itself, or even Kansas’ own growth in previous years.
• The experiment with tax policy was such a failure that a Republican controlled legislature not only voted to raise taxes, but did so over the veto of the governor.

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10 hours ago, swansont said:

9 Trillion? The stimulus was about 1/10 of that.

(and, of course, the GOP position for a long while is that the stimulus didn't work)

Or did you mean the actual amount of the deficit? That was ~$6.5 billion in Obama's budgets. But I don't see why the deficit amount matters. It should be total spending, and one should also account for the shrinking of state government spending over that period a well. (but that brings to another GOP talking point, that government spending doesn't create jobs) Perhaps you should put a bit of effort into studying Keynesian economics. In Keynesian economics the government manipulates the economy through fiscal and monetary policy. To stimulate the economy fiscally, the government runs deficits. Every penny of deficit spending is stimulative. Obama increased the national debt by more than 9 trillion dollars. Every penny of that was stimulative. To stimulate the economy monetarily the government increases the money supply. To do that the government generally lowers interest rates thereby increasing the money supply. With interest rates at or near zero the government increases the money supply through quantitative easing where the government buys under performing assets, often worthless, from banks to increase the money supply. Obama had three rounds of quantitative easing increasing the money supply by over 4 trillion dollars. So it wasn't just 9 trillion dollars of stimulus, it was 13 trillion dollars worth of stimulus. Thirteenth trillion dollars of stimulus, and yet you think tax increases caused the economic recovery. Taxes depress the economy. Like I said, you should study Keynesian economics. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Quote Annual federal deficits hit$1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2009. As we’ve documented elsewhere, Obama inherited most of that deficit and signed spending measures that contributed, at most, $203 billion to FY 2009’s red ink. Since then, the yearly deficits have declined markedly. In fiscal year 2015, which ended last Sept. 30, the deficit was$438 billion, a drop of 69 percent from FY 2009.

The debt grew because of deficits (spending commitments) which were put in place prior to Obama taking office.

Obama then managed to drastically reduce the deficit amount, a drop of 69%, thus lowering the debt growth amidst an obstinate "just say no to everything" congress.

If you have to lie or misrepresent the truth in order to argue your position, you should consider instead changing your position.

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Obama budgets accounted for 6.5 trillion, part of which was due to the mess he inherited. Stop making stuff up.

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16 hours ago, iNow said:

The debt grew because of deficits (spending commitments) which were put in place prior to Obama taking office.

Obama then managed to drastically reduce the deficit amount, a drop of 69%, thus lowering the debt growth amidst an obstinate "just say no to everything" congress.

If you have to lie or misrepresent the truth in order to argue your position, you should consider instead changing your position.

12 hours ago, swansont said:

Obama budgets accounted for 6.5 trillion, part of which was due to the mess he inherited. Stop making stuff up.

So you two are claiming that stimulus injected into the economy by George W. Bush was responsible for the economic recovery?

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6 minutes ago, waitforufo said:

So you two are claiming that stimulus injected into the economy by George W. Bush was responsible for the economic recovery?

Doesn't seem likely...

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