August 16, 2011

"Obama common sense says: Increase taxes under virtually any circumstance."

He said it. His own words.

ADDED: Lots of comments on this post, mostly from people who don't get Meade's sense of humor. What Obama said was:
“I know it’s not election season yet, but I just have to mention the debate,” where Republicans said they would not increase taxes under virtually any circumstance, Obama said at a town hall. “Think about that. That’s just not common sense.”

482 comments:

1 – 200 of 482   Newer›   Newest»
Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol_Herman said...

He said "the cop acted stupidly" ... did it matter?

"O" needs to talk to his base.

The word "taxes" gets through to them! And, this includes his big donors on Wall Street.

So, call me unsurprised.

DADvocate said...

When was the last time not increasing taxes was part of the Democrat plan?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Your logic is faulty, Meade.

Saying it is not common sense to not raise taxes under virtually any circumstance does not imply that it is common sense to raise them in virtually any circumstance. It implies that it is common sense to raise them in some circumstances.

Now, you can disagree with what he says is common sense, and you can certainly argue that he believes what you imply. But what he said does not equal what you implied.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol_Herman said...

Sometimes, what's old, is new, again.

I think, if Jack Benny were alive, today, he could make a successful run at the presidency.

And, I know Ronald Reagan learned a lot from him! And, Ronald Reagan learned a lot when he worked for GE as a spokesman. And, he did his shtick factory floor to factory floor.

None of the "headliners" in the GOP, so far, know diddly shit about reaching across to Americans. Who come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Not just Lily White.

Sarah Palin is different. She's about the only one who matched Jack Benny. And, she gets most of the attention she picks up from Twitter/Facebook. It's an approach that's very one-by-one. And, is on par with those factory tours Ronald Reagan once did for a living.

garage mahal said...

Tax cuts! Light bulbs! Obama Bus!


ARRGGGH!!!!

dpoyesac said...

The logical opposite of "All swans are white" isn't "No swans are white" -- it's "at least one swan is black".

Similarly, the opposite of 'no tax increase under virtually any circumstance' isn't 'increase taxes under virtually any circumstance' it's 'increase taxes under at least one or a few circumstances'.

So not only did Meade fail his basic logic course, you, Ms. Althouse, use the phrase "His own words" to refer to something Obama manifestly did NOT say.

I'm flabbergasted at the intellectual sloppiness on display. You and Meade should take a nap, maybe have some caffeine before you embarrass yourselves further.

Hoosier Daddy said...

How much tax can we levy on the rich to fix that $1.7 trillion deficit?

MadisonMan said...

Logic Fail for Meade.

They would not increase taxes under virtually any circumstance. A better negation of that would be I would increase taxes under some circumstances. There are plenty of reasons to oppose Obama. Fisking his comments badly to make a point isn't really necessary.

MadisonMan said...

In other words, what dpoyasec said first :)

HA HA HA said...

Look, I intensely dislike Obama and I intensely dislike raising taxes, but I just read your Meade-quote update in the older post you link to, and if you're accurately quoting Obama, Meade is misrepresenting his clear meaning.

"Not never" does not equal "always".

"Not almost never" does not equal "almost always".

"Substantially more than 5%" does not mean "95%". More like "at least 10%". Maybe even "at least 20%". But not "95%".

If Ezra Klein made the same assertion about something a Republican said, you'd tell him essentially the same thing.

If fiscal conservatives object to raising taxes under virtually any circumstances, that means there are some rare circumstances under which they'd raise taxes. Well, Obama is saying the circumstances under which he'd raise taxes are significantly less rare.

In fact, I personally believe Obama would raise taxes under virtually any circumstances at all. But that is not the meaning of the words he uttered there.

traditionalguy said...

This game is called "tug of war."

Reagan lowered tax rates to set a limit to how much money the Dems could give away without a deficit that would cause the FED step in and stop inflation.

Now the Dems have figured out that they can jack up the deficit so high, with out a FED response, that the GOP has no choice except to raise tax rates.

The problem is that they are both playing the game that has no winners except themselves.

The Tea Party is the only thing new in DC since 1964.

Curious George said...

Yes, logic fail.

murgatroyd666 said...

Similarly, the opposite of 'no tax increase under virtually any circumstance' isn't 'increase taxes under virtually any circumstance' it's 'increase taxes under at least one or a few circumstances'.

Yes ... but it also includes "increase taxes under virtually any circumstance," and we have no assurance that this interpretation isn't what President Obama meant. In fact, given that he believes it's a good thing for government to "spread the wealth around," it's quite plausible that this is exactly what he meant.

rhhardin said...

Faulty negations of quantifiers have taken down entire telephone systems.

chickenlittle said...

Resentment and retribution never goes out of style for him.

Tim said...

Despite the quibbles with Meade's logic, isn't it absolutely obvious, hasn't it always been absolutely obvious since his candidacy, that Obama's first wish has always been to raise whatever taxes he can before he makes any cuts whatsoever?

How the hell else does one explain the fact of his monumentally stupid preference to raise the capital gains tax despite the obvious cost in jobs because of "fairness?"

You can look it up.

November '12 isn't just an election - it's an intelligence test.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

Republicans said they would not increase taxes under virtually any circumstance, Obama said at a town hall. “Think about that. That’s just not common sense.”
Think about that. Obama common sense says: Increase taxes under virtually any circumstance.

Meade's inference is incorrect.
The most Obama suggests is that, under some circumstances, raising taxes is proper.

(Ah Madman sort of got it).

Jay Retread said...

More intellectual dishonesty on display by Ann Althouse. What's new here?

Saint Croix said...

I would call it a citzen journalist gotcha fail.

chickenlittle said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
Your logic is faulty, Meade.

Faulty but accurate!

Saint Croix said...

Raising the capital gains tax when unemployment is over 9% is a logic fail.

Calypso Facto said...

Well played. I (like Meade apparently) thought the commentariat had a sense of humor...

Tank said...

Wow.

Lotta people fell into the trap.

MikeinAppalachia said...

Anyone have a reference for when or what Republicans actually said what Obama alledges?
I don't think that is accurate nor would I take Obama's word on the subject.
Or any other subject for that matter

John said...

But what does he mean?

Increase tax rates?

Increase tax revenues?

They are not the same thing. Raising tax rates will likely lower tax revenues and vice versa.

Pick one or the other. You can't have both.

John Henry

edutcher said...

Raising taxes in a recession has always been considered a bad idea and some tax increases have cause recessions ('91, f'rinstance).

Proof once more Little Zero and friends are out of ideas and have no clue what they're doing.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

No, St Croix, supply side econ. is a logic fail.

Increase capital gains rates on wealthy, and use the shekels to fund jobs programs. And to build more mental hospitals for teabuggers, Bachmannites, mormons, etc.

exhelodrvr1 said...

1) I would like to see the quotes that Obama is referring to

2) Agree that the title is misleading - that is not what he said.

3) Actual common sense, if he actually had any, would tell him that increases in taxes should not be considered at a minimum for the near future, no matter what he is claiming that the Republicans said.

John Althouse Cohen said...

My mom's and stepdad's inference is illogical. As Obama said, the Republicans in the debate said they would essentially never raise taxes. (For example, even if they got 10 times as much of what they wanted in spending cuts, they still wouldn't accept a slight tax increase even as a grudging compromise.) Obama says this extreme position defies common sense. What follows from that? Only that Obama thinks we should consider raising taxes sometimes. Not that Obama thinks taxes should always be raised.

Jonah Goldberg said in his recent Bloggingheads diavlog that the Republicans' position on this question in the debate came off as "unthinkingly unreasonable." Would you say that Jonah Goldberg is a left-wing extremist?

That's not common sense, and this blog post warrants deletion.

DADvocate said...

Are there any circumstances in which Obama and the Democrats would not increase taxes, or lower them? Never heard of them.

Clinton signed a bill lowering taxes under a Repbulican Congress and heavey public sentiment to do so. Obama wants more class warfare. Privately, he probably hopes for violence, which he will blame on the rich for not paying their fair share although most of the rioters paid nothing.

madawaskan said...

I think virtually any-gets you at least one black swan.

"Virtually" is the wiggle room.

Like if Biden had said-

"almost a terrorist".

Then there is the Liberal factor which gets you-

two black swans and a rubber duckie-

in other words the Liberal media interprets for us all.

Therefore you get the situation where the statement-

"X" doing "Y" is almost treasonous" melting down the collective underwear of virtually all the Liberal media.


While the statement-

"X" is a terrorist"

gets ignored-mostly.


********

Michael E. Lopez said...

Quoth Dpoyesac:

"The logical opposite of "All swans are white" isn't "No swans are white" -- it's "at least one swan is black"."

If you're going to sit and pontificate about logic, then I suggest you actually learn some first.

There are two types of logical opposites: contraries and contradictories.

What you said is simply false.

That does not excuse Meade for mixing the two opposites up, of course. But at least he didn't deny that one of them existed.

MadisonMan said...

Obama's first wish has always been to raise whatever taxes he can before he makes any cuts whatsoever?

Versus Borrowing the money to avoid making cuts. DC is awash with politicians who would do both or either.

What DC needs is someone who can actually make cuts, who can tell managers to prioritize their staff, and let the deadweight go. Maybe that'll happen.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Of course, my mom's original post and my stepdad's comment also warrant deletion.

If this is the best you can come up with as a basis for attacking Obama, that's saying something.

Jay said...

J said...
No, St Croix, supply side econ. is a logic fail.


Hysterical.

You mean except for the 21 million jobs created between December 1982 and June 1990, right?

Keep flailing, clown.

DADvocate said...

this blog post warrants deletion.

No, it's the cover-up that gets you in trouble and this would be dishonest. Just admit a mistake or your failed gambit and move on.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama talks as if he can just raise taxes on the Rich all our problems will be solved. The problem is that if the Bush tax cuts are eliminated, that only raises $70 billion a year on top of a $1 trillion deficit.

I would consider raising taxes to pay off the existing debt, but not to cover the deficit. Any taxes raised to cover the deficit only perpetuates the big liberal governemnt that Obama is trying to make permanent.

PETER V. BELLA said...

We need tax increases to pay for the new luxury 1.1 million dollar bus.

madawaskan said...

essentially never raise taxes.

Essentially is your wiggle-I'm sure most of the candidates have their wiggles too-the media just didn't sound clip them for you.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If we need more revenue why did Obama extend the Bush tax cuts and why does he want to extend the payroll tax cuts?

Thought I'd ask since we are discussing logic.

rhhardin said...

The opposite of sect is insect.

Jay said...

J said...
No, St Croix, supply side econ. is a logic fail.


Really?

In 1997, the Republican-led Congress passed a tax-relief and deficit-reduction bill that was resisted but ultimately signed by President Clinton. The 1997 bill:

Lowered the top capital gains tax rate from 28 percent to 20 percent;


And what happened?

1. The economy averaged 4.2 percent real growth per year from 1997 to 2000.
2. Employment increased by another 11.5 million jobs.
3. Real wages grew at 6.5 percent.
4. The total market capitalization of the S&P 500 rose an astounding 95 percent.
5. The federal deficit went to zero.

You are a simpleton.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... If this is the best you can come up with as a basis for attacking Obama, that's saying something..."

Ok I will repeat the question: If more revenue is needed why did Obama extend the Bush tax cuts and why does he want to extend the payroll tax cut?

madAsHell said...

He asks us to "think about it", and "it's just common sense", but doesn't present a plan.

Barry is on the ropes.

At this point, I would be surprised if there WAS NOT a challenger from the Democrats. You know, someone with empathy like .....Debbie Wasserman Shultz

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

John Althouse Cohen said...

You don't need to engage in abstruse symbolic logic to see why this post doesn't make sense. As my logic professor pointed out, logic derives from our observations about the world, not the other way around. The fact that Obama rejects the Republicans' "Never raise taxes" position doesn't mean he is taking an "Always raise taxes" position.

If this interpretation showed up in a question on the LSAT (which doesn't require formal logic training), you would choose the answer saying it's wrong because it overlooks the possibility that Obama thinks taxes should be raised sometimes but not always.

You don't need to have taken Logic 101; you just need to understand how the English language works.

And for those who are saying the "essentially" provides for "wiggle room," I recommend listening to what Republicans have actually been saying. They've given themselves very little wiggle room.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

Canceling the Bush tax cuts would essentially be the biggest-

tax increase in 40 years.

It's been awhile since I've studied almost recessions-

but-

what happens when you raise taxes during a recession?

I don't remember too many econ profs recommending that.

But then there's always Krugman....

chickenlittle said...

John Althouse Cohen said...
Of course, my mom's original post and my stepdad's comment also warrant deletion.

Is that a defensive suggestion?
Because at another level it's kind of offensive.

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

John Althouse Cohen said...
If this is the best you can come up with as a basis for attacking Obama, that's saying something.



That is a pretty weak straw man.

Obama is pretty darn rich target at this point.

John Althouse Cohen said...

this blog post warrants deletion.

No, it's the cover-up that gets you in trouble and this would be dishonest. Just admit a mistake or your failed gambit and move on.


OK, then the whole text should be crossed out and the new text should say that the original text by my mom and stepdad was an incorrect interpretation of what Obama said.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Ah, all the abstract theory logic students are out today. Poor Meade. He has no chance.

But, not one of these over intellectual idiots, Mensa morons, or crepuscular cretins can give one good common sense reason why taxes should be raised on anyone.

Unless of course they are all freak S&M fiends who believe in punishment.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Versus Borrowing the money to avoid making cuts. DC is awash with politicians who would do both or either..."

We are spending one trillion dollars more than we were in 2008 yet the idea of scaling back to that level of spending is considered extremist by Obama.

Scott M said...

You know, someone with empathy like .....Debbie Wasserman Shultz

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


DWS...possibly the least telegenic Democrat since Barney Frank. Certainly less intelligent and without the cool rasp of Wrangle.

kcom said...

Jay Retread:

More intellectual dishonesty on display by Ann Althouse. What's new here?


Certainly nothing about your drive-by commenting. That's as lame as it's ever been.

Henry said...

What does "virtually" mean in Obama's context?

For that matter, what does it mean in Meade's (faulty) formulation?

I take it as an emphatic "almost". Really really almost. Most egregiously almost. Virtually means !!!

Obama throws "virtually" in there because it sounds more intellectual and professional than speaking in a Gilbert Godfried voice.

J said...

You mean Reagan's historic deficit spending (it's ok with Reagan but not with demos), and the decrease in GDP? A republican president and congress gave us massive spending (mostly DoD) and the US's highest deficits for six years.

Maybe refer to like fact, instead hype--like that Clinton tax revenues greatly outperformed Reagan (thus disproving the ridiculous Laffer Curve BS). Median income also increased mo under Clinton than RR.

By checking facts--instead of pullling BS from the teabug hole-- you'd note that average unemployment under Reagan was 7.54% and 5.20% under Clinton.

You may not care for Mr Clinton, but he wins the tale of the tape vs Reagan, even in terms of the deficit battle. Then, when yr a teabugger, lies will do as well as truth.

Hagar said...

But we are not talking about just "any circumstances." We are talking about these circumstances and what to do about them in the here and now.

madawaskan said...

Ya but it's a primary...

Have you ever studied the Balkans? Sometimes the Slavaks cross the bridge with the Croats later.

It's politics.

And are you sure you've heard what they have said in its entire context?

Sloanasaurus said...

(For example, even if they got 10 times as much of what they wanted in spending cuts, they still wouldn't accept a slight tax increase even as a grudging compromise.) Obama says this extreme position defies common sense.

It does make sense though if you think taxes are currently too high. If taxes are too high why would you accept a tax increase ever? If you believe federal revenues should be 17% and the current tax code allows up to 18%, then you want a tax cut not a tax increase.

Obama claims that raising taxes has to be part of any compromise, but if the republican position is to cut taxes, then isn't the compromise position to leave rates alone?

Obama is playing a cute game with his balanced approach. But Obama's goal is to permanently raise government spending to fund his gross entitlement programs. If he gets republicans to go along with a tax increase, then his has won that battle.

Inestead the debate should be about spending.

Republicans should adopt this idea. We need to talk about spending cuts first. If we can balance the budget through cuts, then we will consider raising taxes on the rich temporarily to push the budget into surplus - i.e. to pay off the existing debt.

John Althouse Cohen said...

If this is the best you can come up with as a basis for attacking Obama, that's saying something.

That is a pretty weak straw man.

Obama is pretty darn rich target at this point.


Yes, although I didn't literally say there is no better criticism of Obama. I started my sentence with: "If..."

I have a notebook where I've written out a long list of things I'm very disappointed with Obama about. I don't think he's been a very good president. I've voted for Democrats for president from 2000-2008 (the whole time I've been eligible to vote), but I'm considering voting for the Republican this time. So I'm not that interested in defending Obama, but I don't like to see him criticized on the basis of misinformation. (This isn't partisan: I recently did a blog post defending Mitt Romney against unfair attacks on him for correctly pointing out that corporate tax cuts accrue to "people.")

Michael said...

Raise taxes on those who pay no taxes. Compel them to write a check annually to the Internal Revenue Service for a minimum of $100. That $100 will rise or fall with the maximum tax rate percentage increases on a going forward basis. In this way the former non-payer can decide if they really and truly like the idea of taxes going up.

Tim said...

"Maybe that'll happen."

Maybe it will, but experience says it won't, nor is there much reason to think it will under the current context.

The present political alignment favors stasis; the nation's fisc and economy will most likely have to get much worse before a decisive majority of voters determine spending is the problem. If that should happen, then a resulting political realignment to enact a sustainable structural realignment of expenditures to historic tax revenues of 18.+% of GDP could happen. In the meantime, we'll enact marginal changes that provide great theater but do little to halt the looming catastrophe.

Skyler said...

Is that an LSAT question?

Jay said...

J said...
You mean Reagan's historic deficit spending


Um, no, see the Democrats controlled the House the entirety of the Reagan Presidency. They also controlled the Senate for 6 of the 8 years.

Congress spends the money, bozo.

and the decrease in GDP?

Huh? When the Reagan economic program took effect in 1982, the economy took off and never looked back, growing at an average annual rate of 4.3%. As a comparison, average annual growth for the twelve years from 1990-2001 (since Reagan) was 2.95%, for 1991-2001 (previous trough to peak) it was 3.05% and for 1992-2001 (the last expansion) it was 3.4%.

A republican president and congress gave us massive spending (mostly DoD) and the US's highest deficits for six years.


Huh? The FY 2006 deficit was under $200 billion, you imbecile.

Maybe refer to like fact, instead hype

You have descended into parody.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickenlittle said...

The Germans should give all their money to the Greeks because that will equalize things. Everyone loves Hellenistic values, especially in view of German values, so there's virtue in this too.

And after the Greeks and the German equilibrate, we should just devolve all European wealth to Africa, because, after all it is only fair.

This can go ad infinitum because as the ancient Sumerians said:

Wealth is hard to come by, but poverty is always at hand. Link

Patrick said...

John Althouse Cohen: Although you are correct on the logic, you are incorrect when you say "the post warrants deletion." How about: "the post warrants discussion."

You've been hanging out with too many leftists.

Also, I'd feel better if I knew there really were some circumstances in which Obama would not raise taxes.

John Althouse Cohen said...

It does make sense though if you think taxes are currently too high. If taxes are too high why would you accept a tax increase ever?

Because one of the very hardest things is cutting spending, given the way entitlements become entrenched (i.e. the public refuses to lose benefits they already have). Spending tends to rise under Republican and Democratic administrations. So if you're a Republican who'd like to see major reductions in spending and taxes and the debt, and you get the chance to make massive spending cuts as long as you take the medicine of a tiny tax increase (which will, at least, help reduce the debt), you jump at that opportunity. If you're a reasonable Republican, that is.

Jay said...

like that Clinton tax revenues greatly outperformed Reagan (thus disproving the ridiculous Laffer Curve BS).

Really, stupid?

Because as has already been demonstrated, tax revenues increased at a faster rate after Clinton cut taxes?

Or are you trying to pretend that didn't happen?

You may not care for Mr Clinton, but he wins the tale of the tape vs Reagan, even in terms of the deficit battle

Yes, because Republicans wrote the budgets that eliminated the deficit under Clinton.

Reagan had to deal with Deomcratic congresses.

You are an utter fool.

Tim said...

...and demanding Republicans surrender on taxes is the same as demanding Republicans to surrender to a permanent Western-European style Socialism.

It makes the Liberals feel all warm and fuzzy, but it is no more sustainable than our current situation; in fact, it would make matters significantly worse faster, but Liberals are unable to see, let alone explain, the nascent meltdowns of the Euro project.

madawaskan said...

John-

Let's get to the important point-

do you know an economist that recommends raising taxes during a recession?

And, do you think we are headed towards a recession?

******

Yikes I thought it was Chris who voted for Hillary..

Jeff in Oklahoma said...

Paul Ryan for President. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ryan-president_590273.html

I actually subscribe to Senator Rubio, raise the number of taxpayers.

Freder Frederson said...

Your headline implies this quote is from Obama, when it is actually Meade.

You are very deceptive.

Original Mike said...

Tim said: "November '12 isn't just an election - it's an intelligence test."

Can I get that as a bumper sticker? It's perfect. It even has the plausible deniabilty that might keep my car from being vandalized in "open-minded" Madison.

John Althouse Cohen said...

John Althouse Cohen: Although you are correct on the logic, you are incorrect when you say "the post warrants deletion." How about: "the post warrants discussion."

No, it doesn't warrant discussion. The post is plainly false. As I said, if it's left up with a strikethrough and correction, fine. But there isn't a controversial issue here; Obama simply did not say what my mom and stepdad are saying he said. I'm not sure how this makes me a "leftist" or friend thereof.

madawaskan said...

What happens to tax revenue when the economy turns downward?

If you want to "collect" taxes you first have to make sure the engine keeps working..

Maguro said...

No, it doesn't warrant discussion.

And yet, here you are, discussing it.

Hagar said...

I think that when Ben Bernanke says his prayers at night, he thanks God that another day has passed and his house of cards still has not crashed.

madawaskan said...

And then what percentage of jobs are created by small business?

Why is the DOW a disconnect from the economy?

Believe me -those two questions are related.

Original Mike said...

Don't tease me like that, Jeff.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Guess no one wants to answer why Obama extended the Bush tax cuts and wants an extension of the payroll tax cut when GE claims we need more tax revenue.

Pogo said...

"The fact that Obama rejects the Republicans' "Never raise taxes" position doesn't mean he is taking an "Always raise taxes" position."

In terms of pure logic, you're right.

But in terms of Democrats, you're very very wrong.

Democrats favor an increase in taxes under virtually any circumstance.

I have never seen otherwise, not in the last 50 years. Clinton was forced into it by the GOP, so don't go there.

It would be illogical to suggest Democrats have ever been against increasing taxes (exempting friends doesn't count).

Read Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State, by William Voegeli.

There is no upper limit on taxes for Democrats. You're simply wrong about this.

madawaskan said...

Yep.

The econ questions will always send Obama voters-spinning....

Hoosier Daddy said...

I've seen numbers discussed that repealing the Bush tax cuts and going back to the pre-Bush cap gains rate will generate about $300 billion annually. That reduces the deficit to about $1.4 trillion.

Will liberals then admit we have a spending problem?

Jeff in Oklahoma said...

It isn't me Mike, blame Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard.

Sign me up: Silicon Valley billionaire funding creation of artificial libertarian islands.

Shanna said...

Increase capital gains rates on wealthy, and use the shekels to fund jobs programs.

Is there anything more useless than a jobs "program"? How bout leave the money with people who own business and can hire people, leading to actual jobs.

Calypso Facto said...

JAC said "The fact that Obama rejects the Republicans' "Never raise taxes" position doesn't mean he is taking an "Always raise taxes" position."

Except that so far Obama has, in fact, proposed raising taxes at every given opportunity. Perhaps if he ever actually presented a budget that didn't include tax increases, or waded into any budget discussion without wielding his tax-the-rich class warfare whip you'd have a credible hypothetical...

Jim at Polimerican.com said...

For all those who are claiming that Obama does not want to claim that he does not want to raise taxes in every circumstance, consider this:

1) He has been railing against the "Bush tax cuts" for his entire career. That means back when the economy was growing, he wanted to raise taxes. In 2007, he wanted a tax increase. In 2008, he wanted a tax increase, In 2009, he wanted a tax increase. In 2010, he wanted a tax increase - right up until the point that he signed the extension of them because he said raising them in a bad economy would be a bad thing to do. He has since disowned that extension by claiming that he only did it because Republicans were holding the unemployment benefits extension increase hostage. In 2011, he wants a tax increase again.

2) In "virtually any circumstance," he has ACTUALLY called for a tax increase. That's a FACT.

3) So in what way was the interpretation of his comment INCORRECT?

Answer: it wasn't. Obama's words and actions prove the statement true: Obama wants to increase taxes under virtually any circumstance.

Saint Croix said...

Increase capital gains rates on wealthy, and use the shekels to fund jobs programs.

"Jobs programs" is like workfare. It's more moral than welfare, since you're requiring people to work. Theoretically we got more people sweeping the streets, and bridges being built, etc.

The problem is that you don't hire people as an excuse to give them money. You hire people because you need people to work on this money-making idea that you have.

Your attempt to hide our economic problems by putting more people on the government's payroll is similar to Obama raiding the strategic reserve to hide the rise in gas prices.

If you want more hiring in the private sector, then repeal Obamacare. Repeal Frank-Dodd. Repeal Sarb-Ox. And while you're at it, let us drill for oil again.

Creating more government jobs is hardly a fix for unemployment in the private sector. Instead it just shows that liberals really, really want to centralize power in Washington D.C.

Patrick said...

JAC: Oddly enough, things that are plainly and demonstrably false warrant discussion. You explain a very simple concept of language and logic nicely. Errors lead to learning. Discussion is good. Even if errors could all be deleted, nothing good would come from them I have the experience of many, many mistakes. Learning from them is vital to growth. If I'd simply deleted them, or forgotten them, I'd still make them. Now, I have time to make other, newer and better mistakes.

I didn't say you were a leftist, I said you'd been hanging out with too many leftists. As your mother would say, leftists have a propensity to censor rather than discuss or argue. That is the root of that particular comment.

Original Mike said...

@Jeff: Bill Kristol has been talking up Ryan for a long time. That article may be more wishful thinking than reality. We'll see.

Patrick said...

JAC: I'm also curious - are you disappointed in Obama because he hasn't governed as a liberal, that he's too liberal, or just not leading? Something else?

John said...

J thinks the Laffer curve is "ridiculous BS"

Why pray tell?

Would you agree that at a tax rate of zero tax revenues would also be zero?

Would you agree that at a tax rate of 100% tax revenues would fall to close to zero?

Would you agree that somewhere between 0% and 100% there is a point at which revenues will be maximized?

That is all the Laffer curve says.

We could certainly have a spirited debate about which side of the curve we are on. ie; will raising tax rates increase or decrease tax revenues.

But to deny the curve exists?

You really are too stupid for wards, aren't you?

John Henry

J said...

Yeah, really Jay the Log Cabin perp
Clinton beats Reagan on nearly all standard indices (oops--google that one, joto)


But like facts are a problem for one afflicted with ...the Teabug disorder. So like pull shit out of your GOP-pussay, Jay grrl, the Laugher specialist.

Original Mike said...

BTW, can Ryan run for President and Congress at the same time? It would be a shame to lose him in Congress.

Jim at Polimerican.com said...

JAC said:

But there isn't a controversial issue here; Obama simply did not say what my mom and stepdad are saying he said

Yes he did. He simply repeated the same thing he has been calling for his entire career: higher taxes.

You can try to redefine what the meaning of the word "is" is, but Obama has always and everywhere called for higher taxes no matter what the current budget deficit was and no matter what the state of the economy.

You're trying to defend the indefensible: Obama's record says "You lie."

TosaGuy said...

"(For example, even if they got 10 times as much of what they wanted in spending cuts, they still wouldn't accept a slight tax increase even as a grudging compromise.)"

Reagan and Bush 41 fell for this ploy. Immediate and concrete tax hikes for future and nebulous spending cuts (that never happen). Lets raise taxes one real dollar for every $100 of fake spending cuts, that will fix everything!!!! The GOP position on tax hikes should be, real spending cuts first then, and only then, can tax hikes be considered.

Original Mike said...

"Would you agree that at a tax rate of zero tax revenues would also be zero?

Would you agree that at a tax rate of 100% tax revenues would fall to close to zero?"


I always find it amazing that people deny the validity of the Laffer curve. (Paul Soglin is one of these people, BTW.)

You can argue about the shape of the curve (and it seems likely we really don't know), but how can you deny the endpoints?

alwaysfiredup said...

"So if you're a Republican who'd like to see major reductions in spending and taxes and the debt, and you get the chance to make massive spending cuts as long as you take the medicine of a tiny tax increase (which will, at least, help reduce the debt), you jump at that opportunity. If you're a reasonable Republican, that is."

The problem is trust. The allegedly "massive" cuts being offered take place mostly 5-10 years out. Those of us who are truly interested in cutting the budget do not trust Democrats or the GOP leadership to follow through. Time and again they promise budget cuts that don't materialize or simply reduce planned increases. The rational, reasonable response when one party never lives up to its end of the bargain is to refuse to bargain. If you really want the Tea Party to accept a tax increase you have to prove you're serious by making real, actual, "massive" budget cuts this year or next. We aren't going to fall for the same tripe this time. Cut the crap and balance, indeed.

madawaskan said...

John-

And here is something for you to consider:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2011,
(that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the
Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.4 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on
source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page
3). The "second" estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on
August 26, 2011.


Source:bea.gov

******

A) Those numbers aren't good.

B) See where those abysmal numbers could be "revised"-they could be revised downward.

There are those that argue-the recession has started already.

And unemployment is at record highs-all of that is not good.

Basically you don't raise taxes in that kind of environment.

Henry said...

John Althouse Cohen wrote: So if you're a Republican who'd like to see major reductions in spending and taxes and the debt, and you get the chance to make massive spending cuts as long as you take the medicine of a tiny tax increase (which will, at least, help reduce the debt), you jump at that opportunity. If you're a reasonable Republican, that is.

I almost agree with this. I do wish Obama had been a good enough negotiator to cut some deductions and credits in the last go-round. But the man can't help himself. He has to talk to the tax-the-rich talk. If he focused on tax simplification he would have made it much harder for the Republicans to hold firm.

But he didn't and there's the problem. I would happily subscribe to a more progressive tax code with much fewer deductions and elimination of most credits. I love my kids, but the government shouldn't be throwing money at me to have them.

In the Warren Buffet editorial the other day -- and the substantive critiques of it -- it becomes obvious that many financial activities are made hopelessly complex by the tax code. It is also apparent, by looking at the numbers, that unless the tax base is broadened to include lower income brackets (in at least some nominal duty), the tax-the-rich scheme will fail.

The problem is that I have no faith that this administration or congress could actually follow through on a real reform package.

For proof of their good faith I demand spending cuts first.

Bender said...

You all seem to be operating from a grossly erroneous and false premise, that Obama has increased revenue (or debt reduction) in mind when he speaks about increasing taxes on the wealthy. He does not.

For Obama, tax increases have absolutely nothing to do with reducting the deficit or providing the government more money to do things. Rather, the tax increases are all about depriving "the wealthy" of that money, the tax increases are all about TAKING from "the rich," period. It is all about class warfare, French Revolution style. It is about destruction, not anything else.

Curious George said...

"John Althouse Cohen said...
Of course, my mom's original post and my stepdad's comment also warrant deletion.

If this is the best you can come up with as a basis for attacking Obama, that's saying something."

Seems you have the same failed logic there Sparky.

Original Mike said...

@TosaGuy: We should turn it around. "OK, we'll agree to raise taxes after spending cuts have been in place for X number of years." See how many Democrats would raise their hand to that.

EDH said...

"It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear and it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."

Triangle Man said...

Jim at Polimerican.com you ignorant slut. JAC is right.

madawaskan said...

Would you say that Jonah Goldberg is a left-wing extremist?

I would say Jonah Goldberg knows his audience-Bloggingheads.

Jim at Polimerican.com said...

BTW, can Ryan run for President and Congress at the same time? It would be a shame to lose him in Congress.

I know the reports are out there, but realistically I don't see how it happens.

He doesn't have access to the money men, he doesn't have a campaign infrastructure, he doesn't have executive experience, and he doesn't have a natural constituency.

He's a great asset to the Republican Party, but it's too late to start from zero and get started. Perry was in a unique position because his long executive experience, access to Texas money, his long association with the TEA Party, chairmanship of the RGA, etc.

madawaskan said...

Knowing Jonah Goldberg-as I don't-I would still bet that he might have followed through with an example of how Democrats are being-

"unreasonable" and maybe he was trying to get the Bloggingheads audience to see that in relative terms.

Tim said...

Ok Liberals, here's your chance: tell us, if you can, under what circumstances Obama does not want to raise taxes.

Not the times he did not because he could not; just the times he did not because he thought it was wrong.

Take your time.

Jeff in Oklahoma said...

Mike, I agree that it probably is wishful thinking. But, he is the dream candidate for debt/deficit issues.

madawaskan said...

John

IOW I suspect that it's context that matters again.

Jim said...

Yeah, this is pretty weak. I'm really surprised that a respected law professor would repeat that as if it makes logical sense. It doesn't.

And it's just factually untrue. He did extend the tax cuts, after all. If this is your best opening salvo for 2012, I feel sorry for you.

Jim at Polimerican.com said...

Triangle -

You can't make that argument unless you completely ignore Obama's record throughout his political career.

In what circumstance has Obama ever NOT called for higher taxes?

Good economic times and bad, he has called for higher taxes. High deficits and low, he has called for higher taxes.

In order to make the most charitable possible interpretation of what Obama said, you'd have to be able to point to at least SOME point in Obama's past where he has NOT called for higher taxes.

You can't because it doesn't exist.

Pastafarian said...

JAC said: "The fact that Obama rejects the Republicans' "Never raise taxes" position doesn't mean he is taking an "Always raise taxes" position."

From the quote in Meade's comment: "Republicans said they would not increase taxes under virtually any circumstances..."

So the Republicans' position, as described by that quote, isn't "Never raise taxes", it's "virtually never raise taxes", meaning "almost never raise taxes."

So Obama is clearly saying, according to the author of this quote, that the position of "almost never raising taxes is absurd."

Now, if it's absurd, then we're probably not dealing with a difference of degree here -- he wouldn't say it's "not common sense" if his position was instead "raise taxes slightly more often than them."

No, it must be a difference of kind: He's objecting to the notion that they're not in favor of raising taxes every fucking time.

But no, we don't need to resort to abstract logical diagramming here, because then your dishonesty, JAC, would be all to apparent.

You'll recall that during the primary, Obama was (shockingly) asked that if an increase in taxes would actually reduce revenue, would he still do it?

And equally shockingly, Obama let his mask slip, and he answered "Yes." Why? "Uh, uh, fairness."

So yes, even if we abandon the "abstract logic" of this and look at real-world positions, Obama is clearly in favor of increasing taxes at every possible opportunity.

Jeff in Oklahoma said...

Tim, I am no liberal; but I can answer your question. He would never vote to raise taxes among his core constituents. I.E. as Senator Rubio suggests, expanding the number of taxpayers (through greater employment and restructuring the IRS to expand the floor).

alwaysfiredup said...

Jim said... "He did extend the tax cuts, after all."

Obama didn't extend the tax cuts. Congress extended the tax cuts. Obama was merely presented with the chance to veto them and wussed out, as per usual.

Jim at Polimerican.com said...

Jim

And it's just factually untrue. He did extend the tax cuts, after all.

And even while he did so, he was saying that he only did so because Republicans were holding unemployment benefits hostage.

It wasn't the policy he advocated for.

Show me his advocacy for extending all the Bush tax cuts, and I could agree with you.

But you and I both know that he has NEVER advocated that, even on the day he signed the extension.

J said...

You really are too stupid for wards, aren't you?

That would be you Jonny the Dyslexic klansman on tweek. The "Laffer curve" BS has been refuted numerous times (see Uncle Krugman on the Laffer BS for starters).

Then , when yr a tweeker-klansman, uh complete bullshit is what you depend upon. What the supplys siders and TP/glibertarians really mean is...Reagan was better for the Klan than Clinton was. Whooop.

alwaysfiredup said...

J said..."The "Laffer curve" BS has been refuted numerous times."

Let's try this again: At 100% taxation, do you believe the gov't would raise any money? If so, why, and from whom?

Original Mike said...

"I agree that it probably is wishful thinking. But, he is the dream candidate for debt/deficit issues."

The thing I really like about Ryan, beyond his position on the issue I think trumps everything else, is he can actually think and talk at the same time. It amazes me the gobbledygook that comes out of the mouths of all these people who want to be President.

Jim at Polimerican.com said...

J-

(see Uncle Krugman on the Laffer BS for starters).

If you ever find yourself citing "Uncle Krugman" approvingly, it's time to re-evaluate your life choices.

You're doing it wrong.

t-man said...

I completely forgot that it's Total Recall 2 day!

Scott M said...

see Uncle Krugman on the Laffer BS for starters

Hysterical.

Jay said...

J said...
Yeah, really Jay the Log Cabin perp
Clinton beats Reagan on nearly all standard indices


You mean except for GDP growth, right?

You mean except for the situation each inherited, right?

Notice how you can no longer stick to your silly supply side doesn't work meme.

But like facts are a problem for

You.

You've presented no facts.

Original Mike said...

Paul Krugman says the Laffer curve is BS?

Figures.

Jay said...

The "Laffer curve" BS has been refuted numerous times

Laugh out loud funny.

It hasn't been "refuted" in the real world, clown.

PS, Clinton Lowered the top capital gains tax rate from 28 percent to 20 percent and jobs growth increased by over 11 million.

Reagan lowered the top income tax rate from 70% to 28% and over 18 million jobs were created.

And you're still a drooling Internet imbecile.

Pogo said...

For Democrats, taxes are never 'enough'. There's always more to take. That's been their position for the last half century.

Not raising taxes is only a theoretical possibility, as likely as Al Franken having won his Senate seat honestly or Tim Pawlenty becoming President in 2012.

Arguing otherwise defies logic.

Jeff in Oklahoma said...

Mike: If you are of the persuasion that the debt/deficit is the most important issue facing the nation (and why wouldn't the bankruptcy of the US not be very near or at the top of your list), then Ryan is the ideal candidate.

I confess complete ignorance to understand how a country with almost $2 trillion in income per year manages to spend all of that, and 40% more. Just friggin mind-boggling.

I've followed Ryan and his Prosperity PAC for some time. This guy knows the budget problems and nuances better than anyone (and I have to believe, due to its vastness, no-one else could possibly comprehend the cliff notes of the thing).

Even better, he an ability to explain the monstrosity in terms dolts like me can understand.

Pastafarian said...

JAC said: "...as long as you take the medicine of a tiny tax increase..."

Take the medicine? Will it taste nasty, mommy?

Way to infantilize conservatives and/or the productive segment of society (but I repeat myself.)

And you assume that raising taxes (I assume you mean marginal rates here) will increase revenue. It won't. Atlas is already shrugging, in case you hadn't noticed. Every dollar you pull out of private enterprise now will reduce their ability to reinvest and will impact their net income later, and they'll end up paying less in taxes over the next several years, after laying more people off.

So if taxes are already over the line at which revenue can actually increase with any increase in marginal rate...what sane person would favor a tax increase, ever?

Jay said...

But you and I both know that he has NEVER advocated that, even on the day he signed the extension.


Really?

In remarks before signing the bill, Obama called it "a substantial victory for middle-class families across the country." He added: "They're the ones hardest hit by the recession we've endured. They're the ones who need relief right now."

Obama described the bill as "a package of tax relief that will protect the middle class, that will grow our economy and will create jobs for the American people."



It is always interesting to observe the lies you leftists have to tell yourselves in order to get through the day.

Original Mike said...

"Ryan hinted at his thinking during a candid interview Friday with Charlie Sykes, an influential talk radio host in Milwaukee, telling Sykes that he was unsatisfied with the current crop of Republican candidates."

Me too. I'm really not enthused with any of these candidates.

Sloanasaurus said...

If fairness is what Obama wants' perhaps a proposal to make the tax code more progressive would be a reasonable compromise. Say we raise taxes on the super rich like Warren Buffet, but offset that increase with tax deductions for the middle class.

This would satisfy Obama in bringing more "fairness" and satisfy conservatives in not raising more total revenue (to support Obama's sick spending programs).

Calypso Facto said...

"The "Laffer curve" BS has been refuted numerous times"

Refuted. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means..."

Original Mike said...

"Even better, [Ryan has] an ability to explain the monstrosity in terms dolts like me can understand."

Yep. (Not that I'm calling you a dolt, mind you.) ;-)

geokstr said...

John Althouse Cohen...

Although I agree with you that Ann and Meade have made a logic error here, I think this part of your comment needs expanding on:

(For example, even if they got 10 times as much of what they wanted in spending cuts, they still wouldn't accept a slight tax increase even as a grudging compromise.)

Because they intuitively know that the taxes will be quickly signed into law, effective immediately, while the spending cuts will never happen. At best they will just be backloaded small reductions in inflated future baseline spending in out-years, for which the Republicans will be mercilessly slammed for throwing granny off the cliff onto the snow covered road just before the bus arrives to run her over. And the budgeted projected spending is itself always based on rosy economic scenarios that will not happen.

Both Reagan and Bush the Former were promised 3 to 1 spending cuts in exchange for raising taxes, which actually was instrumental in causing Bush's defeat by Clinton (in addition to Perot.) Yet spending went up every year because Democrats and leftists (but I repeat myself) lie, and the Lewinskyite media covers for them.

Fool me once...yada yada. But fool me thrice, and a pox on all their houses.

In the debate I wish one of them would have presented this compromise instead - that the tax increases they agree to only take place proportionately in the same years as the so-called spending cuts, and if the cuts don't happen in any given year, then no tax increases. So, 50 billion spending cut next year, 5 billion in tax increases, 100 billion in 2013 in spending reductions, 10 billion in taxes. No actual spending cuts happen, then no tax increases in any such year.

Watch the D's squirm over that eminently reasonable approach.

Original Mike said...

"If fairness is what Obama wants' perhaps a proposal to make the tax code more progressive would be a reasonable compromise."

More progressive? 50% don't pay income taxes now.

Alex said...

I just noticed a sudden invasion of trolls I'd never seen before. Interesting to say the least.

Alex said...

At best they will just be backloaded small reductions in inflated future baseline spending in out-years, for which the Republicans will be mercilessly slammed for throwing granny off the cliff onto the snow covered road just before the bus arrives to run her over.

I can't believe for a moment anyone would fall for this! The American people would see right through it.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

As Obama said, the Republicans in the debate said they would essentially never raise taxes.

I think this is horrible strategy for our side, by the way.

It's not the income tax that has ruined our economy. It's not the income tax that is responsible for our massive debts.

It's over-regulation that has caused the most damage over the last decade.

Federal laws requiring subprime loans. The horrible mismanagement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Sarb-Ox, which killed off a lot of venture capital investment (the engine of capitalism).

And of course we should be railing against Obamacare, which has single-handedly made this a jobless recovery. 1 out of 3 businesses are not hiring because of Obamacare.

Federal laws that keep us from drilling for oil. EPA oil laws creating unemployment in the gulf. EPA coal laws about to create massive unemployment in Indiana.

The Republicans really need to talk about jobs, and who has been killing them.

The Democrats.

Every regulation is a hidden tax, a hidden expense. And regulations are a horrible tax because it doesn't actually bring any money into the public till. The Democratic need for bureaucratic oversight, for top-down management, is absolutely ruining our economy.

And of course the double whammy has been the Democratic love of debt. They are the Party of Debt. They love debt so much and they want to go deeper and deeper into debt. Every debt is a future tax that will have to be paid.

That is the way to talk. Our debt is a future tax. Our regulations are a hidden tax.

The Democrats are crazy on regulations and they are crazy about the public debt. Keep the focus on that and quit talking about the damn income tax, which is not the issue and never has been.

Chip S. said...

You can argue about the shape of the [Laffer] curve (and it seems likely we really don't know), but how can you deny the endpoints?

Consider just how meager this knowledge is--the peak could be anywhere, and what matters anyway is the severity of the slope.

Ezra Klein surveyed a bunch of economists about the Laffer curve a while ago. Basically, only the liberal ones would commit to a number for the revenue-maximizing income-tax rate (around 60%). The conservatives mostly argued that it was tough to know the answer. No actual economist argued that we're on the "wrong side" of that curve.

As Martin Feldstein pointed out in his response to Klein, that's not even the right question to be asking. The right question is simply what is the level of taxation that represents the best tradeoff between the benefits of public spending and the adverse economic effects of taxes.

I'd gladly trade some tax increases for full Ryan-style reform of entitlements. But the entitlement reform should come first.

Original Mike said...

"For example, even if they got 10 times as much of what they wanted in spending cuts, they still wouldn't accept a slight tax increase even as a grudging compromise."

My response to that is, "OK, lets talk about the cuts you're going to agree to first. THEN, when I know you're serious, we can talk about taxes." The question, as posed, was pure pap.

themightypuck said...

Obama wants to get reelected. His only shot at this is for the economy to turn around. The idea that he wants to trash the economy because he hates the rich is nonsense. This is why he went along with extending the Bush tax cuts. He is a Keynesian. His advisors are Keynesians. Obama knows raising taxes during a recession is bad mojo so he didn't do it. Keynesians think taxing the rich makes more sense than taxing the poor because it puts more juice into the economy. Whether this is true is up for debate, but I'm pretty sure Obama believes this.

Original Mike said...

"Consider just how meager this knowledge is--the peak could be anywhere, and what matters anyway is the severity of the slope."

There's a reason they call it "The Dismal Science."

Triangle Man said...

Should the federal government really be seeking to optimize its revenues? What if the true optimum is at a marginal tax rate of 75%? This is why the Laffer curve is BS. Because there is no empirical evidence for the shape of the curve, people imagine the shape of the curve supports their existing views of how tax rates should be structured.

J said...

Obama was (shockingly) asked that if an increase in taxes would actually reduce revenue, would he still do it?

And equally shockingly, Obama let his mask slip, and he answered "Yes." Why? "Uh, uh, fairness."


A mostly moot question since the wingnuts' Laffer Curve crapola has been refuted. But ..what about "fairness"? A word unknown in the Teabug lexicon. Yet Obama however hypocritical had a point.

Rush Limbaugh is an uneducated multi-millionaire blowhard yet teachers and other professionals with real educations are facing lay offs. No problem to the TP nihilists--their economic model being the ...Virginia City School (ie, whoever's had the best luck at the casino over the last few month's Mayor, pardner, Chief of Po-lice, AND bordello proprietor).

Verstehen sie, dreck

Shanna said...

I always find it amazing that people deny the validity of the Laffer curve. (Paul Soglin is one of these people, BTW.)

You can argue about the shape of the curve (and it seems likely we really don't know), but how can you deny the endpoints?


The people who deny it don’t know what it is, except that it’s somehow republican.

Of course, it does lead to the thought that there is an optimum level of taxation (for revenue purposes) and some people don't want to even think about the fact that it might be less than our current leve. It might also be more. That doesn't negate a discussion about whether it's good for the country to have higher taxes or not, it's just about the level of revenue for the govt. But then, Obama gave the game away, didn't he. He said in the campaign that he thought taxes should be raised even if it resulted in no additional revenues because it's FAIR. That tells you everything you need to know about all this!

Pastafarian said...

Freder said: "Your headline implies this quote is from Obama, when it is actually Meade."

Actually, your comment is rather deceptive, Freder, since the quote is from the Washington Post. Meade quoted it in his comment; that's why it's italicized.

Henry said...

Say we raise taxes on the super rich like Warren Buffet, but offset that increase with tax deductions for the middle class.

No! No! No! No more tax deductions.

Fewer deductions, no tax credits, lower rates, but everyone with an income pays something. That is what we need. We also need, as Buffet points out, some rational tax law for the very rich -- the people that make money with money (talking about income tax rates in the context of people who are very very wealthy totally misses the point).

Tax deductions and credits turn the lower middle class into non-tax payers and give the upper middle class perverse paybacks for personal decisions.

Original Mike said...

"I'd gladly trade some tax increases for full Ryan-style reform of entitlements. But the entitlement reform should come first."

Me too. On both counts.

garage mahal said...

More progressive? 50% don't pay income taxes now.

So, why aren't Republicans running on raising taxes for half of the country?

[Aside from the fact that what you asserted is ridiculously not true.]

Saint Croix said...

Look at the fucking polls. Are people worried about taxes? No! They're worried about jobs! Talk about jobs!

Obama has destroyed jobs. That is our mantra. Let him go on the road saying how we need to raise taxes. Our focus has to be on him, and his job-killing record.

Obama on taxes, he's barely moved the needle. So we have to hammer home the other ways he has destroyed our prosperity.

traditionalguy said...

Obama pals around with the super rich just like Clinton did. The have a co-dependent relationship.

He is using the increase of tax rates on the super rich as a cover for increasing taxes on the middle class.

But the, the never paid a dime crowd would not have the slightest idea what it all means. That is Obama's ace in the hole on election day.

The day Obama defines Rich as over a million dollars a year in net income is the day he accidentally tells the truth.

Canuck said...

"Basically you don't raise taxes in that kind of environment."

That's exactly right. You don't do anything that could put the brakes on the economy -- a country should not do anything that slows GDP growth when you're in danger of a double dip.

At this point things are so precarious I would advise the USA to give people money for digging ditches and filling them back up.

geokstr said...

Sloanasaurus said...
If fairness is what Obama wants' perhaps a proposal to make the tax code more progressive would be a reasonable compromise. Say we raise taxes on the super rich like Warren Buffet, but offset that increase with tax deductions for the middle class.


Uh, whose side did you say you were on?

This proposal would just increase the number of people with no skin in the game. Once we have over 50% that pay no income taxes, we'll have a permanent majority voting class that will have no interest whatsoever in keeping taxes low. We are very, very close to that point now.

Instead if they want to increase tax revenue enormously, we can keep the current tax rates and institute new tax brackets for those who now pay nothing, at smaller percentages then the current minimum rate.

Then everybody will be in favor of lower taxes. Watch the Democrat base evaporate overnight.

We could also pass a law that raises the rates specifically for everyone who publicly claims to be in favor of higher taxes, while everyone else still pays the current rates.

Scott M said...

He didn't say taxes, GM, he said income taxes, in the specific legal sense.

Please explain what was untrue about his statement or are you quibbling about a percentage point or two?

Henry said...

Chip S. and Triangle Man are right.

Megan McArdle had an interesting rejoinder to Dylan Matthews:

I mean, it's an interesting side question, but it doesn't really tell us much about policy, unless you actually think that the object of policy is to maximize the share of income the government takes. Knowing that the curve maximizes tax revenue around marginal rates of 60% or 70% or 80% doesn't tell you that we maximize public welfare at those rates. The negative effects of high taxes will kick in long before we've extracted that very last feasible dollar.

Original Mike said...

It's true, garage. Even Jeremy admits it. You remeber Jeremy.

John said...

J said:

That would be you Jonny the Dyslexic klansman on tweek. The "Laffer curve" BS has been refuted numerous times (see Uncle Krugman on the Laffer BS for starters).
+++++++++++

You really are fresh out of ideas (as well as knowlege) aren't you?

How about an answer: How much revenue do you think the govt would get at a 100% tax rate?

Or try this: How many Slurpees would 7-11 sell if they raised the price to $10 each?

Same principle. You price to maximize revenue. Higher prices mean fewer sales.

Taxes are simply the price we pay for government. Raise the price and we will purchase less of it.

It is not really hard. Perhaps when you get to Middle School they will teach you about supply and demand.

John Henry

Triangle Man said...

That's exactly right. You don't do anything that could put the brakes on the economy -- a country should not do anything that slows GDP growth when you're in danger of a double dip.

Of course, when the economy is going gang busters we should probably lower tax rates too because we wouldn't want to slow things down.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ok so after we implement Buffet's tax plan and we still have a $1 trillion+ deficit, then what?

Do we still have a spending problem or a revenue problem?

Pastafarian said...

J said: "...the wingnuts' Laffer Curve crapola has been refuted."

I don't know why, but I'll try: Suppose marginal rates were zero across the board. Then revenue (the total actually collected) would be zero.

Now suppose that marginal rates were 100%. Revenue would be some positive number, but certainly lower than the current number collected, since no one would have any motivation to work.

So we have 3 points on a graph, with average effective marginal rate as one axis, from zero to 100 percent, and total revenue as the other axis: We have (0,0), we have (100, + small number), and we have the point that shows where we are right now.

Let's assume that the function of these two variables is a smooth, continuous curve through these 3 points.

That's all Laffer posits. The rest (the idea that there is a high point on this curve, somewhere) follows from simple algebra.

So there is some particular tax rate that will maximize revenue. Anything beyond that is counterproductive, not only from my perspective (wanting to keep my money), but from yours (wanting to collect and spend it for me.)

By the way, J: Are you, in fact, the grandson of Cedarford and Carol Herman? Just a hunch.

Original Mike said...

Saint Croix: Good post at 10:56.

J said...

I got an idea for you John Henryski--like your imprisonment, swine.

How's that.

In traditional euro style politics, the libertarians (ie anti-statist/freemarket/ casino scum, aka Nozickians/Randians) are the liberals. You're the liberals, trash,--just don't know it. Malcolm Forbes types

Pastafarian said...

Triangle man said: "Of course, when the economy is going gang busters we should probably lower tax rates too because we wouldn't want to slow things down."

Actually, increasing tax rates could be considered a braking mechanism that could be used to keep a hot economy from over-heating.

Or you could consider lowering rates then, because revenue will be plenty high enough to cover government spending, and technically the money does sort of, you know, belong to the people who earn it. But that doesn't really enter into it for you, does it?

Scott M said...

You guys should know better than to feed a troll that doesn't even bother to write coherently let alone debate in good faith.

John said...

triangle man:

Are you questioning the general shape of the Laffer Curve? That seems pretty hard to do.

Here is the shape:

Revenues close to zero 0%. Rising to some point. This point may be high or low but it will be non-zero. It then declines back to close to 0 revenues at 100%.

You are right that we may not know how steeply it rises, what the peak is and where it occurs, or how steeply it declines.

We do know the general shape of the curve.

Businesses use the Laffer Curve all the time to determine the best price for their products. Best price = price at which revenues are maximized.

They usually don't call it the Laffer Curve but it is the same thing.

John Henry

Scott M said...

Businesses use the Laffer Curve all the time to determine the best price for their products. Best price = price at which revenues are maximized.

The TV-ad ubiquitous $19.99 crap always seemed the best example of this. There's a psychological barrier at $20 for some reason and, through trail and error, one would think, $19.99 is the point on the curve at which they will receive the most revenue.

Canuck said...

"Are you questioning the general shape of the Laffer Curve? That seems pretty hard to do."

Isn't the USA basically in a liquidity trap?

Original Mike said...

"You guys should know better than to feed a troll that doesn't even bother to write coherently let alone debate in good faith."

I have no intention of getting into a debate with garage. I debated with him in good faith for a long time. That good faith was not returned. I'm through.

Oh. You meant J.

J said...

Problem with that is, Pasta, like history itself--had you looked at some real econ. data, instead of creating a little BS model, you'd see the tax revenues (ie receipts) are always significantly higher on the average with higher tax rates (as with Clinton vs Reagan/Bush). There may be a few short periods where it appears that revenues are increasing with lower rates (ie the so-called trickle down), but's it's short term--a mini boomtown--, and negligible, or in Teatard speak, doens't mean shit, statistically speaking. Besides the trickle-down quasi-Boomtown's generally only good for the very wealthy--ie executives speculators and other gamblers.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

[Aside from the fact that what you asserted is ridiculously not true.]


I can't wait to see you offer facts to support your assertion.

David said...

Main point here: It's hard to figure out just what the fuck Obama is saying.

geokstr said...

garage mahal said...

More progressive? 50% don't pay income taxes now.

[Aside from the fact that what you asserted is ridiculously not true.]


Garage, as usual either you can't actually read or leftling blinders prevents you from understanding what you can read.

He didn't say that half the country pays no taxes at all, he specifically said they pay no income taxes, which is at worst only a small overstatement. There is so much documentation out there, even IRS statistics, that proves this to be true that you can't possibly not know this.

Or is this just typical leftling hyperventilating hyperbole because he didn't say 47.2367% or whatever the actual percent it? It's getting damn near 50%,

Pastafarian said...

I don't think you'd call this debate, so much as instruction. We're reaching out to him. We're like Edward James Olmos in Stand and Deliver, if his class had bombarded him with anti-Mormon slurs and misspelled Italian slang.

Jay said...

since the wingnuts' Laffer Curve crapola has been refuted

"Refuted" how?

When?

By whom?

You sound like a spam bot

themightypuck said...

I'm not sure what Prof. Althouse and Meade are getting at. Did Obama pull the same shenanigans on someone? Is this about how people play fast and loose with logic to get a nice gotcha quote like they did with Mitt and corporations are people?

Scott M said...

It's hard to figure out just what the fuck Obama is saying.

Naw. People thought the same thing in '08, but turns out he meant exactly what he said, more's the pity.

John said...

Scott m said:

The TV-ad ubiquitous $19.99 crap always seemed the best example of this. There's a psychological barrier at $20 for some reason and, through trail and error, one would think, $19.99 is the point on the curve at which they will receive the most revenue."

Good example, Scott.

Now watch closely J, I will try to keep the math simple.

Let us say that at $19.95 they can sell 100 widgets. Total revenue = $1,995.

Let us say that at $20 one person will say "never mind" and they sell 99 widgets.

Total revenue = $1,980.

So are they better off raising the price to $20 or not?

Tax revenues and tax rates follow the same principle.

John Henry

Bender said...

OK, let's play the game.

About the refusal of that ten-to-one cuts-to-tax proposal --

Is there ANYONE on this planet who truly believes that Barack Obama would agree to immediately cutting $1 trillion from this year's spending in exchange for raising $100 billion in taxes over the next ten years??

Anyone who thinks that Obama would go along with that deal?

Bender said...

What's that? It is unfair to compare an immediate cut this year to tax increases over ten years?

Sure it is fair. As fair as the one year to ten years debt-ceiling deal Obama just signed.

But, OK, let's equalize the years.

Is there ANYONE in the world who really believes that Obama would agree to spending $1 trillion less THIS YEAR in exchange for $100 billion in tax increases this year??

Is there anyone who believes that Obama would agree to a ten-to-one cuts-to-taxes deal?

Original Mike said...

"There is so much documentation out there, even IRS statistics, that proves this to be true that you can't possibly not know this."

He knows it. The guy is dishonest to the core.

Jay said...

Rush Limbaugh is an uneducated multi-millionaire blowhard yet teachers and other professionals with real educations are facing lay offs.

"Uneducated" doesn't mean what you think it means.

I do rather enjoy watching your blind hatred of capitalism

J said...

you're the troll Squatti , another biz major reject crossdressing as Ayn Rand. You're the mumbler here grrl.

You're human excrement, Alttards, like your sleazy carny-boss Rush Rush Limbozo. That's logic.

Scott M said...

I do rather enjoy watching your blind hatred of capitalism

Better not mess with him. He can bench 400 pounds. He said so himself.

Saint Croix said...

J, Garage, libs, whoever...

You're going to have to find another name to drop. Krugman acknwledges the truth of the Laffer curve.

He just thinks the optimal point is around 70%.

And see Hoover, Kennedy, and Reagan for real life examples of high tax rates being slashed and tax revenues going up.

Calypso Facto said...

It really is a shame that the we would actually seek to find the revenue-maximizing point of the Laffer curve to enable the biggest government possible rather than starting from a basic discussion about the legitimate, limited role of government and the MINIMUM mount of confiscatory taxation needed to accomplish it.

Joe Schmoe said...

madawaskan said:
Knowing Jonah Goldberg-as I don't-I would still bet that he might have followed through with an example of how Democrats are being-

"unreasonable" and maybe he was trying to get the Bloggingheads audience to see that in relative terms.


Jonah was merely pointing out the farcical question from the debate moderators. Saying you'd never agree to a tax increase even if you could get a guarantee of $1000 in cuts for every $1 tax increase makes you look stupid and inflexible. As hypotheticals go, it's a whopper.

He posited that the best response would've been "Yes, I'd do that if it was that black and white, but it's never going to work out like that in the real world." I paraphrase, but that's the gist. It's actually very sound conservative logic and not playing to any particular audience. Maybe the debaters answered based on the implications of 'cut' tricks (only decreases in future spending, promises of cuts that never materialize, etc.), but since nobody added the caveats it did make them look bad.

madawaskan; are you from madawaska maine?

Chip S. said...

Are you questioning the general shape of the Laffer Curve? That seems pretty hard to do.

Actually, it's quite simple to do. Pinning down the two endpoints doesn't tell us one single thing that's useful in the current situation.

I can very easily write down a simple and quite plausible model of household behavior in which the Laffer curve hits its peak at a 99.99% tax rate. But that very same model indicates that there would be a large amount of economic cost associated with this tax rate.

This Laffer curve business is a total sideshow. The main event is reform of entitlements and, as Saint Croix noted, regulation.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pastafarian said...

OK, J, it sounds like you agree, then, that there is some average effective rate (total receipts as a percentage of total income) that maximizes revenue.

I would say it's somewhere around 20%.

Where would you say it is? 50%? 90%?

Jay said...

And see Hoover, Kennedy, and Reagan for real life examples of high tax rates being slashed and tax revenues going up.


And Bush:

Tax revenues are climbing twice as fast as the administration predicted in February, so fast that the budget deficit could actually decline this year.

The main reason is a big spike in corporate tax receipts, which have nearly tripled since 2003, as well as what appears to be a big increase in individual taxes on stock market profits and executive bonuses.

John said...

Another laffer....err laugher, from J:

Rush Limbaugh is an uneducated multi-millionaire blowhard yet teachers and other professionals with real educations are facing lay offs.
++++++++++

Do you really think that most teachers have an education?

The bulk of them graduated from ed school. These are the dregs of academia by any measure.

They are devoid of any substantive content.

This is the primary problem with public education today.

Want to fix education? Start by burning down all the Ed Schools.

I know from experience. I have an ed degree, along with several other non-ed degrees.

I do not give a shit about the overpaid undereducated non-accountable failures who teach in our schools. Most of them could not hold a job in a McDonalds.

there are exceptions, but they tend to get steamrollered by the others.

John Henry

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