August 1, 2011

Why do Democrats want high taxation as their brand?

Ezra Klein's piece this morning is headlined: "Democrats will lose now. But they can win later." The next thing you see is a chart depicting "Tax increases over 10 years if Congress passes..." various proposals (or nothing).  He begins:
Democrats are going to lose this one. The first stage of the emerging deal doesn’t include revenue, doesn’t include stimulus, and lets Republicans pocket a trillion dollars or more in cuts without offering anything to Democrats in return.
Pocket? There's nothing to pocket! All we're getting is a trillion less in overspending. The debt piles up at an alarming rate all the time. Holding back one trillion over the next 10 years isn't much (seen in proportion to the vast spending).

But, in the mind of Ezra, that nonexistent money goes to Republicans, and Democrats deserve something in return: taxing and spending. (Otherwise known as: revenue and stimulus.) That's the Democratic Party brand — as spun by Ezra Klein.

Why is that a desirable brand going into the next election? I would think the Democrats would want to own some of the spending cuts, to pose as reasonably frugal, mature, and realistic. Why cede all that to the Republicans? I understand the preference for taxing over cutting spending, but this giddy enthusiasm? Shouldn't you hide that?

155 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Um, they're stupid?

That would be my guess,...

Shanna said...

lets Republicans pocket a trillion dollars or more in cuts without offering anything to Democrats in return.

Insanity. This is what they are! All your money belongs to us.

AJ Lynch said...

The media rarely discusses the issues because it focuses mostly on the inside baseball politics of the Beltway. If they had informed the public about the issues, maybe we wouldn't have had the financial meltdown in 2008. So I say it's Ezra's fault!

vet66 said...

The democrats are strung out on the "high" of spending OUR MONEY. After huffing trillions of dollars of OUR MONEY they assume that by letting us keep OUR MONEY they will go into withdrawal and really get desperate.

Addiction is a fearful thing.

Kevin said...

lets Republicans pocket a trillion dollars or more in cuts without offering anything to Democrats in return.

Because Ezra and the Democratic Party represent The State. Any money that The State doesn't take goes to "Republicans" - that evil part of the country not yet completely controlled by The State.

Rialby said...

Umm, because they're crypto-Marxists who are bad at the crypto part?

Hagar said...

Whom the gods would destroy, they first strike mad.

Joe Schmoe said...

Here here, Ann. Well said.

Even the effusive substitution of focus-group-tested euphemisms like "revenue generation" for "tax hikes" isn't changing hearts and minds, thank God.

And another thing, implicit in the liberal argument is the MAJOR assumption that it's the government's money first and foremost, not ours. I hate that.

Like it or not, the 2 people or groups that have had the most impact on focusing attention on out-of-control govt. deficit spending in the last 20 years have been Ross Perot and the Tea Party. I like it, and it's the main reason why I don't think 3rd party candidates are a waste of time.

traditionalguy said...

In political theater, the question has a backdrop.

If the backdrop is a population of taxed wage earners who are struggling to support their families, the answer is that the Dems are stupid.

If the backdrop is a population of government benefit recipients who are struggling to get Government benefits increased, the answer is that the Dems are geniuses.

That was the reason that we were blessed with the ObamaCare, and why the Mexican border is a Federally mandated free crossing zone.

The Dems are singing and laughing from the Raising Taxes briar patch that they were born and bred in.

Curious George said...

This is easy. The Democrats are all in on the "stimulus plan" which is an abject failure, doing nothing more than heaping mountains of economy crushing debt (and funneling billions to their base.

Look, things are going to get worse between now and November 2012. The plan for 2012 is to say that the failure of the economy was caused by this halt in government spending by the bad and evil GOP.

Didn't you hear Durbin yesterday?

David said...

Their brand has been high taxation for the other person. It's misleading advertising and people are catching on to it but they do not have any other ideas.

Tim said...

No one reads Ezra Klein but the journolisters...this is just more dog-whistling for the pack.

AFG said...

Because 95% of people aren't going to have their taxes raised. It's not like Dems are proposing a huge tax hike on middle class & low income families. I def don't trust the government to spend my money, but chipping in an extra 3-5% (I make 50k-ish a year) to help straighten things out wouldn't kill me.

Sixty Grit said...

Men have lost their reason.

CrankyProfessor said...

It may nt be their brand but it IS their identity.

chickenlittle said...

A better question to my mind is why do Democrats want Ezra Klein as their brand?

Who put that guy in charge of liberal opinion?

Isn't it like having Andrew Sullivan speak for conservatives?

They're both Washington, DC bubblemeisters.

Come on garage, speak to me on this one.

AJ Lynch said...

AFG:

If that is the case, why don't you just send Uncle Sam a voluntary donation of $1,500 - $2,500?

Joe Schmoe said...

AFG said:

I def don't trust the government to spend my money, but chipping in an extra 3-5% (I make 50k-ish a year) to help straighten things out wouldn't kill me.

AFG, I just got whiplash from that sentence.

Rialby said...

AFG -

Do you think Democratic politicians like Barack Obama take tax deductions for things like mortgage interest and children? Why?

TWM said...

Until ALL our citizens are taxed to some extent, the Democrats are always going to use raising taxes to appeal to the entitlement class

TosaGuy said...

"Because 95% of people aren't going to have their taxes raised. It's not like Dems are proposing a huge tax hike on middle class & low income families. I def don't trust the government to spend my money, but chipping in an extra 3-5% (I make 50k-ish a year) to help straighten things out wouldn't kill me."

We are in the same economic boat and I could afford a bit more too; however, any tax hike makes it harder for me to save and invest in my own future and my retirement. My goal is to have enough saved so I don't have to rely a bit on social security because I am not considering that it will be there 30 years from now. Taking another grand or two so Uncle Sugar can buy more cowboy poetry or monkeys on cocaine are insults to the taxpayer and shows no respect for their contribution.

Not a single dime in new taxes until the feds show they can be responsible with our money.

Big Mike said...

You don't understand Ezra because you don't speak Yiddish. "Klein" or "kleyn" (or קליין ) means "little." I think it is referring to his IQ, though there's always the possibility that it refers to the length of something else.

X said...

there's not much point arguing with these people. they got a permanent trillion dollar a year increase in the the baseline and say they got nothing.

the democrat brand is more taxes, more spending, more regulation.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



Well, since 1968/72 the Democratic Party has been the PROGRESSIVE Party. And that means “statism” and high taxes. In their view it’s a feature not a bug.

I don’t claim it’s a smart view; merely that it is THEIR view. The Nazi’s, after all, viewed the Jews as their enemies and the enemies of all mankind. Was it true, no, but that didn’t mean they didn’t believe it, trumpet it, and act on it. Likewise, the Democrats, sorry to link them to Nazi’s, but hey I’m a Jew…anyway, the Democrats see no reason to not believe, trumpet, and demand higher taxes…it’s who they are.

Evil Otto said...

"but chipping in an extra 3-5% (I make 50k-ish a year) to help straighten things out wouldn't kill me."

What's stopping you, AFG? The federal government takes donations. You can write them a check for that 3-5% any time you like.

Ah, you don't mean that you should chip in 3-5%... you mean that I should. Awfully generous of you, spending other people's money like that.

And you yourself admit that you don't trust the government to spend your money, yet you think that sending them MORE money will somehow magically make things better. Geez, man, would you please take a few minutes and think logically about what you believe?

TWM said...

"What's stopping you, AFG? The federal government takes donations. You can write them a check for that 3-5% any time you like."

No one does this - especially people who say they don't mind higher taxes.

Big Mike said...

Those people who say they want higher taxes -- they wouldn't happen to have a tax shelter (or two or three or four) that aren't available to us proles, would they?

Just thought I'd ask.

Big Mike said...

Anyway, Ray Stevens gets it.

AllenS said...

AFG, don't listen to these people. 3-5% isn't squat. Start sending the government something meaningful. How about 15-20% more.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
I def don't trust the government to spend my money, but chipping in an extra 3-5% (I make 50k-ish a year) to help straighten things out wouldn't kill me.


Really, you’re willing to give 1-3 house payments EXTRA to the “government?” You have that much extra income? Why not make the extra house payment(s) and save yourself some money? Why not give the money to your synagogue? Why not buy some poor deserving family health insurance?

Yours is merely moral preening, it seems to me. Kinda like the person in one of my classes who explained World Hunger could be defeated if we all just planted a 5X8 garden. This person was a little vague on how EXACTLY this was going to defeat Hunger, but they were CERTAIN it would, because Wendell Berry said so. But, of course, the point wasn’t to actually plant such a garden or end Hunger, it was to show that s/he “cared” and had a REAL solution, but the rest of us “squares” weren’t buying it, and so s/he didn’t actually have to DO anything, but could FEEL superior.

Kinda like you, you say you COULD give up an extra 3-5%, not that you DO…and it requires ALL of us to do so, right, and so UNTIL, we ALL do, you won’t, but you’ll feel better about yourself.

Rich B said...

Having to live within our means (without tax rate increases) is death for the Democrats. Their whole approach is to offer "free" benefits to everyone and delay the day of reckoning, at which time they call for "shared sacrifice". If the Dems had to live with a certain amount of revenue (say 18% of GDP), spending would have to be restrained and the game is over.

Robert Cook said...

"Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Rumpletweezer said...

I was a big-time lefty in the late 60s because I didn't think the government had the right to send people off to Vietnam without their consent. I want to know when the lefties I marched with became The Man.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Since I farm for a living, I'll use the USDA for a couple of vignettes illustrating why spending cuts are the only sustainable way to go.

The USDA spends $203,000 every year to subsidize the Alabama Peanut Queen Festival. Yes. I'm serious.

The USDA recently boasted that for every billion dollars poured through SNAP ("food stamps") 8900 full-time jobs are created. That is over $110,000 per job, and the USDA says nothing about the durability of those jobs.

For $110,000 in very specific improvements to my produce business I could create and thereafter sustain at least three (perhaps four) full-time jobs in my own operation, not counting roughly one temporary FTE for construction and equipment manufacture.

By extension, leaving that billion bucks in the private sector -- and by not having the government suck it away from small business lending (because rather than understand and evaluate small businesses, banks have opted for lending to people with the power to tax) -- would probably engender the creation of something north of 30,000 reasonably permanent full-time jobs.

How many billions are wasted in Washington?

Tank said...

Holmes prolly wasn't sending 50-60% of his income to Fed, State, Local, Property, Sales, etc taxes.

Gov't is [forcably] taking plenty of money from us. We don't have a revenue problem. We have a SPENDING problem.

End of story.

traditionalguy said...

The socialist nanny State needs serfs to work for its needs.

The best solution would be a National Serf Service requirement.

Everyone has to serve five years of their lives as an underfed and overworked serf...but the rich can pay the State to have another serf in their place.

When the State needs more , then the serf service times are extended by fiat.

This combines the military and the tax increase into a Roman Empire method as neat as a Maoist Cultural Revolution.

That sounds funny, but it is the Progressive's unashamed goal for us.

If you don't like it, so what. The 14th Amendment gives the Emperor all power.

Life is so simple in an Empire with an Emperor.

Rialby said...

"It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough."

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

SMGalbraith said...

Yes, Ezra, instead of spending roughly $60 trillion over the next 10 years, Washington will now spend a paltry $59 trillion.

Those Republicans are pocketing that extra trillion that won't be borrowed.

Not borrowing another trillion is pocketing it.

Man....

chickenlittle said...

@Cook: You need to pass out some tax lube to ease that sentiment.

AprilApple said...

Pro-democrat writers are a pack of liars and spin machine hacks.
The progressive democrat machine assumes that all private money belongs to the government. The left assume that government spends money wisely and that it is a crime to leave 1 trillion in the private sector. So yeah - it's no surprise to see a hack like Ezra spin it as "Republicans pocketing money".
It's a lie, but so what. Pro-democrat writers are encouraged to lie.
Besides, that's how Ezra sees it. All your money belongs to the democrat government stimulus machine. You crazy tea partyers.

TWM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Its just like the public sector union scam: democrats clamour for more of our tax dollars so they can buy off more parasites to clamour for more of our tax dollars.

Without massive entitlement spending, the Democrat party is dead.

chickenlittle said...

@Cook: Take a page from an old Wisconsin Democrat, Bill Proxmire. His "Golden Fleece Award" used to garner lots bipartisan support. Yet guys like Klein can see absolutely none of this. To them, there seems to be no such thing as wasteful spending. That is why they lose today, and will lose tomorrow.

Fred4Pres said...

They want to steal from the rich so they can give to the poor (missing the whole point of Robin Hood was Prince James and the Sheriff were stealing from Yeoman farmers and tradesmen to give to themselves, and Robin was just reversing that crime).

They seem to think there is something dirty about making money. Unless of course you are a Kennedy or Ayers or even Obama, then it is a means to an end.

MayBee said...

Its just like the public sector union scam: democrats clamour for more of our tax dollars so they can buy off more parasites to clamour for more of our tax dollars.

Yes. And then when they've spent to much and the idea of cuts are discussed, they get to say the cuts are being made "on the backs of" the people who had been on the receiving end.

Is there any other country with a whole political party devoted to promoting hatred toward the people who actually pay for government?

Brennan said...

Dear Ezra,

You got votes for the bill. That's what the Democrats got. OH, and some more debt ceiling space to tinker with the world's largest economy.

t-man said...

They do not want to steal from the rich to give to the poor, they want to use the poor as a shield, so they can steal from the non-politically connected to give to the politically-connected.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

TraditionalGuy -- in standard serfdom arrangements the serfs only had to pay 20% of their income to the lord of the manor.

It is also often overlooked what drove small farmers into serfdom -- or alternatively into the monastic movement: during a period of favorable climate they became badly over-indebted in anticipation of ever-improving harvests.

When the climate turned cooler (probably a Maunder Minimum type event) their yields declined to a point at which paying their debt became impossible. Their only remaining options were serfdom, monasticism, or starvation.

Robert Cook said...

"To them, there seems to be no such thing as wasteful spending."

There certainly is wasteful spending...on the military and intelligence agencies most egregiously. We should dismantle much of our military and intelligence insfrastucture...but we won't, because those crooks have their hooks deep into our tax dollars.

Bruce Hayden said...

There certainly is wasteful spending...on the military and intelligence agencies most egregiously. We should dismantle much of our military and intelligence insfrastucture...but we won't, because those crooks have their hooks deep into our tax dollars.

Why most egregiously? How about the massive fraud in Medicare? The tens of billions going to high speed rail (that was part of what Obama refused to have on the table)? Requiring that the govt. buy all those Volts (at twice the price that their gas equivalent costs)? Doubling CAFE? Regulating CO2 as a pollutant?

I would suggest that the only reason that you claim that Defense spending is egregious, is that your party and their primary constituents do not make as much money there as in the places that they do.

But you never address the simple problem that defense is one of the few things that a national government has to do, and is specifically called out in our Constitution. Most of this stuff that you think is less egregious, and better spent could be done by the private sector or local governments, but isn't because then the chance for graft and corruption at the top would be less.

Mick said...

Uh, because they're Ideological Marxists, bowing to a Usurping Marxist in the White House?

edutcher said...

The Gospel According to Harry Hopkins, "Tax, Tax, Tax, Spend, Spend, Spend, Elect, Elect, Elect".

The Demo formula for 80 years. They just don't understand that those rules no longer apply.

Rialby said...

Umm, because they're crypto-Marxists who are bad at the crypto part?

That, too.

Robert Cook said...

"Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


And we should listen to him, why?

holdfast said...

Um, because Klein is an immature little child? He has no sense of historical perspective and no idea what it is like to really work in the private sector. All he does is suck at the Democrat party teat, and he has therefor completely internalized the idea that higher taxes are a great thing, in and of themselves, and the same goes for spending/stimulus. Not that some certain kinds of spending are so important or necessary that it is worth raising taxes to do them (which would be somewhat rational), but rather than collecting ever more money and then shoveling somewhat less of it out the door is a sufficient economic and political platform.

This is one of the big problems with modern liberalism/progressivism - they've basically achieved all their historical goals (Obamacare being the first piece of their final goal), but since they must always be "progressing", never happy with their achievements, they just keep screaming "more, more" in lieu of the policy ideas which they so clearly lack.

Chuck66 said...

I'll say it again...the most liberal people I know are the ones who cheat the most on their taxes (via fruadulent deductions).

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Robert Cook said...

We should dismantle much of our... intelligence...

You first. Oh, wait...

Chuck66 said...

holdfast....that is a whole school of thought that I find very interesting.....when an organization reaches the goals it was organized for, they have to find new, more radical goals to push for.

-Greenpeace is a good example
-Any civil rights group that was orginally set up to give Blacks basic rights in the old south
-Teachers unions
-Other labor unions

Michael said...

They hate the rich more than they love freedom.

DADvocate said...

The Democrats don't want the 50% who pay nothing to carry the burden of the other 50% who don't pay their fair share.

sorepaw said...

AFG,

Because 95% of people aren't going to have their taxes raised. It's not like Dems are proposing a huge tax hike on middle class & low income families.

Not now, they aren't.

But to sustain the levels of spending the Democrats want, they will be demanding large tax hikes on everyone.

Raising income tax rates, laying a VAT on top. Cranking up Social Security and Medicare taxes (I ain't buying the pretense that Social Security is an insurance program), and diverting even more of the revenue they generate.

MayBee said...

I still remember Ezra trying to sell Orzag's idea that health insurance reform was deficit reform.


The beauty of needing more taxpayer money to solve any problem is the answer, when things don't work out, is they just need a little bit more money.

virgil xenophon said...

Yes, MayBee, it's the SNL Cheese-burger, cheese-burger, cheese-burger! solution. To the Dims EVERYTHING is cheese-burgers, er, taxes.

traditionalguy said...

Bart Hall...So maybe the South is going to rise again after all.

We can supply the country with "Overseers" for serfs".

And we can teach the north about Runaway Serf Law.

And we can teach the north about vagrancy laws with sentences to chain gangs.

The high speed trains will finally have a purpose: moving serfs rapidly around the country.

Original Mike said...

"Why do Democrats want high taxation as their brand"

Because it's not taxes on you or me. It's on that fellow behind the tree.

Charlie said...

"About four-fifths of the cuts go to households making less than $250,000 a year, and they don’t want to raise taxes on those folks."

I thought the meme during the Bush years was that the Bush tax cuts only went to the rich. When did this change?

PETER V. BELLA said...

Because Demcorats believe in punishing everyone, including working families to finance failures.

Wars on poverty that are wars on poor people, stimulus money which does nothing but meets bureaucratic payrolls, the ability to hire more government employees to do less work, and of course the children. We can't forget the children.

There is no such thing as income or wealth distribution. If there was we would all be driving a Rolls and licing in mansions.

AF said...

Because they believe in Medicare and Social Security and are intellectually honest enough to know it needs to be paid for.

In the long run, there is no Medicare and Social Security without tax increases.

Michael K said...

We should dismantle much of our military and intelligence insfrastucture...but we won't, because those crooks have their hooks deep into our tax dollars.

So we should end the one function of the federal government that is actually in the Constitution to fund activities that were not part of the federal role until 1965 ?

OK, I see where you are coming from.

Steven said...

"It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"When a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

sorepaw said...

In the long run, there is no Medicare and Social Security without tax increases.

Are they intellectually honest enough to say how high those increases will need to be?

gutless said...

Comparatively few Democrats actually pay Federal income tax. They are more likely to get an Orwellian named "earned income tax credit". Check the demographics, they are largely moochers and free riders.

Rialby said...

Michael K - Nice! I was about to write the same same thing,

AJ Lynch said...

AF said:
"Because they believe in Medicare and Social Security and are intellectually honest enough to know it needs to be paid for.

In the long run, there is no Medicare and Social Security without tax increases."

And the Dems & the Repubs can't pay for these programs when we give them 15% of our lifetime earnings. How much more of our money do you think they need?

Robert Cook said...

"Check the demographics, they are largely moochers and free riders."

Oh, really? Most of the Democrats are Wall St. CEOs, corporate executives, and so on? It's not implausible--assuming as true your unsourced assertion that Democrats, by definition, are largely "moochers and free riders"--given how little taxes these thieving swine or their companies pay.

Carol_Herman said...

What an easy answer! The government is the largest employer. They hire the crap that couldn't get good paying jobs elsewhere. And, they want more jobs! The same way the unions want to represent these bums.

"Higher taxation" ... is just like more "stimulus." It hurts the country. Especially independent people. Small businesses. And, the private sector. Where a lot of the manufacturing has left to the competition from China.

The harms are done.

Just like they've been done in education. Where stupidity also reigns.

Why would politicians want less pork?

PLUS, they think if they bombard the airwaves with your advertisements ... you'll fall for the pitches again and again.

And, that's their ammunition.

If you see an increase in government employees ... you're looking at the problem. And, you can't solve it, either.

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, and we're told "half the country doesn't pay taxes."

Who pays taxes? People who get a pay check. The government regulations forces CONTROL! When they're spending "tax money" ... those are the revenues.

There's also the local stuff. Where the police can ticket you. And, if you make a RIGHT TURN on a red light, they snap a picture of your car. And, you're sent a $450 fine in the mail.

Oddly enough, you don't have to pay this fine. In small print, it says your payment is voluntary.

Or maybe, it's just a habit?

And, DC has already run out of other people's money.

Default, however, won't come until the funny money stops being produced ... and we can't pay our debts.

UNLESS WE GET INFLATION. Such a bargain. You'll have to roll wheelbarrows of cash to retail stores ... to pay for items that cost, at a minimum, a million dollars per egg.

You think I'm kidding, huh?

Robert Cook said...

"So we should end the one function of the federal government that is actually in the Constitution to fund activities that were not part of the federal role until 1965?"

I guess you simply choose to ignore the phrase that comes AFTER "provide for the common defense"--(and I'll point out that NONE of our several wars now destroying lives and swallowing our tax revenues are in support of "the common defense,")--that phrase being, of course, "promote the general welfare."

Moreover, Article 1, Section 8 states:

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welware of the United States...."

DADvocate said...

Because they believe in Medicare and Social Security and are intellectually honest enough to know it needs to be paid for.

Are they intellectually honest enough to admit the huge amount of debt created by their failed social programs, that discrimination against whites, and males is still discrmination? Intellectual honesty is not a Democrat strong point.

Rialby said...

Cookie - so it's up to you to read one part of the Constitution very conservatively and another very liberally? Good enough. Perception is your reality.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Getting to a balanced budget is not complicated. The problem is that it is not easy (politically).

Revert to 2005 expenditure levels for FY'12 ... balanced budget at current levels of taxation. Shift something from defense to Social Security (from whom they "borrowed" that money in the first place) because Iraq is nowhere near as hot as it was seven years ago and you've got things more or less covered.

Longer term:

Cut defense an additional 20 percent. America is primarily a sea, air, and space power. We are not a land power and have never been good at it except briefly in Europe two generations ago. Cut the Army, and cut 'em hard. We no longer need to defend the Fulda Gap. In an era of drones and great CAS, artillery is nearly irrelevant, as is most armor.

Cut Medicare (gradually) by 40%. In particular, let's get rid of the atrocious Bush/Kennedy Part D (drugs). Repeal Obamacare's elimination of Part C (basically vouchers to continue high-deductible policies after age 65), and allow HSA arrangements up to $10,000 deductible under part C.

Cut federal participation in Medicaid (somewhat less gradually) by 60 percent. If individual states find it valuable they will fund it -- that's basically how it's done in Canada (where I lived for 20+ years).

Increase employee payroll taxes for Social Security by 2% and for Medicare by 1%, and eliminate all salary caps. Yes, I support tax increases, especially when they flatten the tax.

Eliminate nearly all tax deductions at all levels. Mortgage interest first. There is something very wrong -- not illegal -- when Buffet pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretaries.

Simplify income tax drastically by establishing a $10,000 standard deduction for each adult, and $5,000 for each child under 18.

10% on the balance up to $100,000. 18% on income above $100K. 25% on income above $1 million No deductions beyond standard. No difference depending on source -- wages, dividends, business, interest, royalties or whatever.

30% cut in all federal 'discretionary' spending. I'd eliminate the departments of agriculture, labor, education and energy, whilst allocating their few key functions to other pertinent departments.

It CAN be done, but I very much doubt it will be done until forced into it by the refusal of world lenders to continue as enablers of the current spending addiction.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...that phrase being, of course, "promote the general welfare."..."

I'll also point out that general welfare didn't mean taxpayer funded handouts to layabouts and illegal aliens either.

Hoosier Daddy said...

".... I def don't trust the government to spend my money, but chipping in an extra 3-5% (I make 50k-ish a year) to help straighten things out wouldn't kill me..."

Me neither. I've said before I'd pay 10% more, cheerfully if I had assurance it would be used to get our debt under control but in all likelihood it would just fund another wasteful social program.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie - so it's up to you to read one part of the Constitution very conservatively and another very liberally? Good enough. Perception is your reality."

I'm just stating what is said in the preamble and in Article 1, Section 8. How am I reading either phrase in a "liberal" or "conservative" fashion?

I merely offer the language to refute the misinformation that "until 1965" Congress was not seen to have a Constitutional role in providing funds for services other than military expenditures.

I didn't say ALL spending on military preparedness should be erased, but we can and should certainly cut over 50% (at least) of our military budget...given that we are fighting no wars of self defense at this time. (I will point out for sticklers that there is no provision for Congress to use tax revenues to pay for spy agencies...cut 'em ALL, I say.)

Robert Cook said...

"I'll also point out that general welfare didn't mean taxpayer funded handouts to layabouts and illegal aliens either."

It's an open-ended phrase, and can legitimately mean whatever the people, (as opposed to the financial jackals rending this nation's carcass to the bone), working through their elected representatives in Congress, decide it to mean.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...It's an open-ended phrase, and can legitimately mean whatever the people, (as opposed to the financial jackals rending this nation's carcass to the bone), working through their elected representatives in Congress, decide it to mean..."

Of course, which is why folks like yourself cheerfully vote for an ever increasing welfare state.

Paddy O said...
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Paddy O said...

"They do not want to steal from the rich to give to the poor, they want to use the poor as a shield, so they can steal from the non-politically connected to give to the politically-connected."

Exactly.

Though, I don't think this is true for them all. I think there are people, I know them personally, who really do want to help the poor. But, they're pawns of the corrupt. Just as in so many South American or East European countries, and elsewhere. The corrupt use true believers as their foot soldiers, which is precisely why even though I very much want to help the poor too, the only way to do it is by bypassing the corrupt. And right now, the poor are the shield which hides massive corruption all around the world, the worst corruption being among those who say they are 'for' the poor.

They hate the poor. Pelosi hates the poor. Obama hates the poor. Reid hates the poor. They hate them so much they'll step on their backs to gain power and wealth for themselves and their associates.

This is precisely why I'm conservative for liberal reasons. The only way to bring help to the poor is to help them move out of the shadows of the corrupt, who steal from the poor and make themselves rich.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I went to access.gov and looked at the 2012 budget.

Total spending: $3,646,093 (in millions)

Defense, SS and Medicare combined =$1,969,086

That leaves $1,677,007 on non welfare and non-warcrimes.

that's what Winston Zedamore would call a big twinkie.

Jim at Polimerican.com said...

Since when has Ezra Klein ever been smart about pretty much anything?

If you ever have a doubt as to what constitutes sensible policy, then just Ezra Klein every morning to see what he thought. Figure whatever is the polar opposite of that advice. Do that instead.

Who, outside of the farthest Left fringe, actually reads or takes seriously anything he says?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Since when has Ezra Klein ever been smart about pretty much anything?..."

Oh come on! The dude is 27 years old. Think of the wisdom he has amassed.

Don M said...

I would refer people who quote Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. to Oliver Wendell Holms Sr.

"The Wonderful One Horse Shay"

Logic is logic, that what I say.

Mark said...

Smart people know more taxes are good. Democrats are smart. Therefore, they have no problem defining themselves as the party of more taxes.

There's a certain kind of smart that circles all the way back around to stupid. And then there's Ezra, who doesn't seem to have had to move to get there.

Person 85015, PhD said...

Progressives believe in taxes the same way Christians believe in Jesus. If you have faith in taxes, your sould shall live forever in paradise...

Unknown said...

That should say "soul", not "sould". Everyone knows there's no such thing as a sould.

Gahrie said...

Until ALL our citizens are taxed to some extent, the Democrats are always going to use raising taxes to appeal to the entitlement class

Amen. Which is why I propose thatthe lowest tax rate be 5% and that the lowest tax bracket be $10,000. If you receive more money from the government (and this includes farm subsidies and other corporate welfare) than you pay in taxes, your right to vote is suspended for two years.

In 2008, the last year I can find numbers for, the bottom 50% of "taxpayers" paid 2.7% of all income taxes paid. Is that "shared sacrifice"? Since most of that 50% actually receive a check for more monet than they had withheld, soon (if not this year) that number for the bottom 50% will be a negative number!

Peter Friedman said...

Why do Democrats keep high taxes as their brand?

Probably because most people think that taxes on the rich should be raised. And I don't think those are people who think doing so will create "high" taxes.

Why do Republicans want "any tax is a high tax" as their brand?

optionsgeek said...

Every time poor young Ezra puts his lack of self-discipline on display I think - you know, that's exactly the sort of behavior I'm trying to teach my pre-teen son *not* to engage in.

Joe said...

Bart, you forgot eliminating the department of education. Frankly, HUD should go as well.

I suspect Social Security would need to be raised only 1% if the salary cap were lifted.

How about making all compensation income? Company leases you a car, that's income. And make ALL income subject to social security, including capital gains. (ANd for heaven's sake, get rid of this distinction between long and short term capital gains which now has such a silly definition that it makes no sense.)

Robert Cook said...

"Of course, which is why folks like yourself cheerfully vote for an ever increasing welfare state."

I certainly will vote cheerfully for programs that will benefit the poor, the elderly, and any of us who may find ourselves in need, (as opposed to the rich and the powerful who are the greater beneficiaries of government largesse.)

Unfortunately, no one seems to want my vote, as our assistance to those in need becomes ever more meager; everyone is too eager to stuff more money into the wallets of the already rich.

Bruce Hayden said...

I didn't say ALL spending on military preparedness should be erased, but we can and should certainly cut over 50% (at least) of our military budget...given that we are fighting no wars of self defense at this time. (I will point out for sticklers that there is no provision for Congress to use tax revenues to pay for spy agencies...cut 'em ALL, I say.)

Except that spying has, since the first, been seen as part of providing for a common defense.

And, I appreciate that you apparently believe that we would be sufficiently safe if we gave up the ability to project force around the world and that not knowing what is coming at us would be advantageous. Then, we could just sit fat, dumb, and happy on this side of the pond, thinking that we were safe.

It worked well ten years less maybe five weeks ago, and should work just fine in the future. Eight years of Clinton led our enemies to believe that we would not respond to attacks on us.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the world believes that we should be safe if we give up our offensive capabilities. We have found that the appearance of weakness and of an unwillingness to strike back encourages some to believe that they can attack this country with impunity.

And, it is fine to talk about what would be required to fund a force sufficient to protect us defensively, but the reality is that we are currently engaged in 3 or more shooting wars right now, and pretending them away is just not realistic.

Frankly, you sound like a simplistic ideologue when you start prattling about how and why we should cut defense and intelligence spending to the levels you suggest, using the logic you employ.

Northwest Viewer said...

I seem to be quite alone in my thinking about what they can do to reduce the debt.

It seems to me we have a bloated bureaucracy, duplicate functions and a whole ton of waste among the various departments of the government. Why couldn't we start with cutting the Dept. of Education, Dept. of Interior, and some others in half? And then where responsibilities overlap, eliminate them from one department?

Is that really too much to ask?

Gahrie said...

everyone is too eager to stuff more money into the wallets of the already rich.

See, here is the fundamental problem. The Left believes that all of your wealth and income belong to the State, and allowing you to keep more of your wealth is the same thing as "stuffing money into the wallets of the already rich".

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Unfortunately, no one seems to want my vote, as our assistance to those in need becomes ever more meage..."

Well unfortunately for you, the facts don't support your assertion about the needy.

I'm guessing you're one of those who think 99 weeks of unemployment insurance is meager.

Bruce Hayden said...

And, yes, providing for the common welfare is mentioned in the Constitution. But pretty much up until LBJ, that was not seen as a justification for anything. And, indeed, to this day, it is not seen as power granting - rather, those government programs allegedly dedicated to that end are instead justified and authorized by power granting clauses such as the Commerce Clause.

Bruce Hayden said...

And, yes, providing for the common welfare is mentioned in the Constitution. But pretty much up until LBJ, that was not seen as a justification for anything. And, indeed, to this day, it is not seen as power granting - rather, those government programs allegedly dedicated to that end are instead justified and authorized by power granting clauses such as the Commerce Clause.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Joe ... really?

I'd eliminate the departments of agriculture, labor, education and energy, whilst allocating their few key functions to other pertinent departments.

I agree about the Department of Urban Development (DUD), and honestly I'd go farther than either you or I indicated.

Were I President -- not gonna happen -- my cabinet would consist of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Justice, Commerce, Natural Resources, and Human Services.

All other department and "cabinet-rank" outfits like EPA or OMB would be cut back to the barest of essentials and subsumed into appropriate departments.

Bruce Hayden said...

It seems to me we have a bloated bureaucracy, duplicate functions and a whole ton of waste among the various departments of the government. Why couldn't we start with cutting the Dept. of Education, Dept. of Interior, and some others in half? And then where responsibilities overlap, eliminate them from one department?

I am not sure that you could get a 1/2 cut of Interior. The problem is that they oversee a significant chunk of our nation (along with Agriculture and Defense). Agencies like BLM have been running fairly lean for a long time now, and I really don't think that they can afford to be cut. BLM has long run a lot leaner than the Forest Service, with somewhat comparable mandates. We are talking probably hundreds of square miles of land, if not more, to be managed, per BLM employee.

And, I think that if you were to remove agricultural subsidies from the Department of Agriculture, you would find that its remaining budget and headcount was not all that high either. I would suggest that it is those subsidies that bloat the department's budget, and not the headcount.

Rather, I think that you will find the bloated headcount in such departments as Education, Health and Human Services, Transportation (because of all the rent seeking there), etc. Of course, cutting these departments was mostly not on the table this time around, according to the White House, since these are the departments that shovel the most money to Obama and Democratic constituents.

Chip S. said...

"Social justice" is their brand. High taxation is their product.

Bruce Hayden said...

Were I President -- not gonna happen -- my cabinet would consist of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Justice, Commerce, Natural Resources, and Human Services.

Not sure if I would agree with keeping Human Services, except that SS and Medicare are sacred cows.

And presumably, you would move much of Interior and Agriculture into your Department of Natural Resources. For better or worse, a large chunk of the western U.S. is owned by the Federal Government, and managed by agencies like the BLM, Forest Service, and Park Service. My memory growing up in Colorado is that that state is about 1/2 federal, with most of that half being split fairly evenly between Interior (BLM and Park Service) and Agriculture (Forest Service). It is much worse here in Nevada, but with I think Defense and Interior (BLM again) controlling most of it. Alaska, again, is mostly government land, but with a lot of Forest Service land along side that managed by the Interior Department. Oh, and aren't tribal lands controlled by Interior too? I used to routinely drive across the Navajo reservation, and it is larger than some states (but smaller than the military reservations we have here in NV - one of which would rank about 40th in size, if it were a state).

Bruce Hayden said...

All other department and "cabinet-rank" outfits like EPA or OMB would be cut back to the barest of essentials and subsumed into appropriate departments.

Not so sure about OMB. Maybe cut back a bit, but people I work with have used it on a multiple occasions to limit agency rule making, which is more often than not, a good thing.

Paddy O said...

It is interesting to me how inconsistent enforced morality is in political parties.

Progressives are aghast at the idea of government getting into the bedroom, but over eager to get into the bank account. And it's all language of ethical duty, as if soaking the rich were some high moral demand that everyone must agree to, whether they like it or not.

Personally, I think that rich people should be allowed to marry and make their own economic decisions.

Jesus, after all, told the adulterous woman not to sin anymore and for the tax collectors to give back all the exorbitant money they charged the people.

Ned said...

Believe it or not there are FOOLS out there who vote Dem (Tax the RIIIICH)...even for obame...they think they are rational!!!!
But unfortunately...they are idiots who survive solely off taxpayers!

Kim Priestap said...

"chipping in an extra 3-5% (I make 50k-ish a year) to help straighten things out wouldn't kill me."

Multiply that 3-5% by a hundred million taxpayers and that's billions of dollars removed from the economy and placed into the governments's hands. It may not kill you personally but it would kill our economy.

Chip S. said...

@KimP--100% of federal spending is money that is already "in the hands of the government". Cutting taxes without cutting spending does nothing but replace a tax problem with a debt problem.

Dean said...

It is not just higher taxes, the brand is to punish the 'rich'; i.e., everybody who makes over $200,000 per year and isn't connected enough to get a tax favor.

Brad said...

Robert Cook said...

"Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


If you ask me, we're "over-civilized."

Kim Priestap said...

@ChipS: I was talking about tax increases not government spending. Increases of 3-5% may not hurt people individually but it would devastate our already hurting economy. People need more of their own money in their pockets, not less.

sorepaw said...

Unfortunately, no one seems to want my vote

Does this mean that Robert Cook will sit out the election in November 2012?

That's fine by me.

Chip S. said...

If you ask me, we're "over-civilized."

I'd say the evidence points to a "Holmes Curve" that's a sort of Laffer Curve for the relation between taxes and civilization, and we're well past the top of that curve.

wv rebra: The sort of rebranding that breast implants are meant to achieve.

LPF said...

Dems don't want 'high taxation' as their brand, they want 'punish the rich' as their brand. The Dems know about the Laffer Curve. They know higher taxes will lead to less revenue. It isn't about increasing revenue, it's about fomenting class warfare. Sure rich bankers support the Dems - but that's because they're the ones they go to to borrow the money. But there aren't enough of them to matter (vote-wise). It's about turning productive citizens into slaves to the lower classes and the elites. It's about the 47% who pay nothing teaming with the 5% of the 'rich' to ensure that the productive middle class supports both ends and can never get ahead.

Chip S. said...

I was talking about tax increases not government spending.

I know. I was talking about how it's pointless to separate them unless you think that annual deficits of >$1 trillion on top of $17 trillion in debt are no problem.

People need more of their own money in their pockets, not less.

When is this ever not true?

Joanna said...

I just erased the post I had been writing to say this:

I'm listening to C-SPAN. A guy just called in to comment about the lack of shared sacrifice in the country. Direct quote: "The millionaires get all the favors, get all the breaks. The billionaires.... And most of them have probably never had to do a day's work in their life."

Chip S. said...
"Social justice" is their brand. High taxation is their product.


LPF said...
It isn't about increasing revenue, it's about fomenting class warfare.


Taxation is the means to the end goal of dividing the country against itself and solidifying the existence of a Dem base forever.

Democratism is based upon the exploitation of inequity. Focusing on high taxation (for some) indirectly focuses on the existence of monetary inequity, thus exploiting the have-nots' greed and solidifying the existence of the Democrat Party.

It's a shell game.

spunky said...

I guess you simply choose to ignore the phrase that comes AFTER "provide for the common defense" [snip] that phrase being, of course, "promote the general welfare."

Ponies! Free ponies for everyone is in the constitution! Yay!!!!!

murgatroyd666 said...

It comes down to this:

The Republicans are the party of the rich, successful entrepreneurs and of middle-class independent workers and small business owners.

The Democrats are the party of poor, downtrodden, and dependent people and of those who believe that society should be directed by the most credentialed and enlightened people (i.e., themselves -- typically those who have gone to the Right Schools and know the Right People).

In a democracy, Republicans are voted into office by their base, and their policies are intended to increase the population of their base.

In a democracy, Democrats are voted into office by their base, and their policies are intended to increase the population of their base.

And now we see the results.

Chip S. said...

When your best argument for big government is the "general welfare" clause, you're simply Cooked.

Anyone even minimally aware of US history knows that in 1787 the phrase "general welfare of the United States" referred to the role of the federal government to undertake actions that required the several States to act jointly rather than independently in order to pursue their common interest. Like setting up a Post Office to offer interstate mail delivery. Or a Department of Interior to manage lands not subject to the sovereignty of any one state. Or to organize diplomatic relations with other countries, through a Department of State.

It had nothing whatsoever to do with implementing social-engineering schemes. It is simply a nod to the obvious reasons--aside from common defense--to create a federal government in the first place.

DCS said...

I never have the nerve to ask my liberal friends (those that are left)just what they envision when they talk about all those evil millionaires with their tax breaks and so forth. Do they imagine King Midas sitting in a vault somewhere, counting and throwing his loot around? Since when did money spent by the government become the only worthwhile use for it? I guess that explains the obsession with "stimulus." The economy can't possibly function without the pump priming performed by government in their minds. I hope there is a drug for that kind of delusion and that some perceptive physician prescribes it for people like Ezra Klein and Paul Krugman. ALthough Krugman is so far gone that even shock therapy probably wouldn't help.

caradoc said...

They're quite comfortable with their brand. The democrat party (and liberals in general) are now completely divorced from reality. Their media has abandoned what vestiges of honesty they still had and are now reporting pure fantasy as reality. They have convinced themselves that government spending is the backbone of the economy, that wealth is not created but rather divided. This is what happens just before a country collapses into communism/severe socialism. We can hope there are enough rational people left to stop it. But even fiscal 'hawks' are not truly willing to deal with the issues. We're at the very edge and almost everyone is in denial.

cubanbob said...

Robert Cook said...
"So we should end the one function of the federal government that is actually in the Constitution to fund activities that were not part of the federal role until 1965?"

I guess you simply choose to ignore the phrase that comes AFTER "provide for the common defense"--(and I'll point out that NONE of our several wars now destroying lives and swallowing our tax revenues are in support of "the common defense,")--that phrase being, of course, "promote the general welfare."

Moreover, Article 1, Section 8 states:

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welware of the United States...."

8/1/11 12:10 PM

The common defense issue was decided by Congress and the president. Your opinion to the contrary means nothing. General Welfare as understood at the time of enactment referred to bridges, roads, canals, harbors and the post office and government buildings. Not your welfare check. Its time to bring the spending in line with the constitution and eliminate all the entitlement programs immediately.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Greece has a nice social welfare state and a minuscule military and we see how they turned out.

Robert Cook said...

"If you ask me, we're 'over-civilized.'"

To a Yahoo, any mitigation of barbarism is "over-civilized".

Robert Cook said...

"I'm guessing you're one of those who think 99 weeks of unemployment insurance is meager."

If you've been looking for work for 100 weeks and can't find anything...yep!

Especially if, prior to having to hunt fruitlessly for work, one had been gainfully employed for years and one's employer had paid into the unemployment insurance program all that time.

It's not just how many weeks of unemployment but how much per week in benefits one receives. No one is getting rich on unemployment, just as no one lives high on welfare.

Lee Reynolds said...

Because they really are that evil and crazy.

They want to drown our republic under a mountain of public debt that we'll never be able to pay off. They are attempting to do from within what the Soviet Union could never do from without.

Reliapundit said...

it's not just that they seem to be openly branding themselves for higher taxes, but also for deeper cuts to defense.

idiots.

caradoc said...

If you've been looking for work for 100 weeks and can't find anything...yep!

If you've spent 2 years "looking" for work and "can't find anything" there is something seriously wrong with you. What you're claiming is simply impossible for any motivated responsible adult. You may not like the jobs that are available but it is impossible that in 2 years you didn't find one. You're a parasite.

Bruce Hayden said...

The Republicans are the party of the rich, successful entrepreneurs and of middle-class independent workers and small business owners.

The Democrats are the party of poor, downtrodden, and dependent people and of those who believe that society should be directed by the most credentialed and enlightened people (i.e., themselves -- typically those who have gone to the Right Schools and know the Right People)
.

The later is why the very richest, and, in particular, the rich who didn't work for their money, or who seemed to get it all of a sudden, instead of through long term effort, tend to vote Democrat.

So, it is really wrong to suggest that the rich support Republicans, or that the Republicans support the rich.

Rather, what you see, esp. under Obama, is that the rich get richer by supporting Democrats. The size and immensity of this is such that most of us cannot comprehend the magnitude of this, and so miss seeing it. TARP? Much of it went to bail out large banks, including, seemingly by magic, GE. The Stimulus bill? Much of the green energy money went to the well connected, notably, again, GE.

So, we now have Wall Street running Treasury, IBM running the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, GE scheduled to take over either commerce or treasury. That sort of thing.

Is any one the least bit surprised that Dodd-Frank effectively ignores the too-big-to-fail companies that really caused the financial meltdown? You shouldn't be. Rather, it just disadvantages the smaller financial institutions in favor of the mega players. All according to plan. It is called "crony capitalism", and is something that the Democrats do far better than the Republicans. (and is why you should consider anyone a fool who tries to tell you that the Republicans are the fascists).

What the Republicans represent is small business and the middle class, or at least the part that doesn't expect to be on the gravy train of government spending.

Bruce Hayden said...

Especially if, prior to having to hunt fruitlessly for work, one had been gainfully employed for years and one's employer had paid into the unemployment insurance program all that time.

I think that you are conflating state and federal unemployment funding. The state funding is tied to corporate contributions and how long you worked there. The federal extension is funded through borrowing. And, we are talking the federal extension right now, not the state part of it - which has to be limited because it is typically limited by how much has been and is being contributed.

If we extend unemployment beyond the 99 weeks, it will be with federal monies, which will have to be borrowed.

Yes, some of the recipients paid federal income tax in past years. Many did not, esp. with around a half of those who might pay federal income taxes not doing so, and those on unemployment likely being more likely than not to be in that group.

Greg said...

While "general welfare" is in the Constitution, "welfare" didn't mean social programs for the needy until the 20th Century. Using the Preamble to justify federal welfare programs means you think the Founding Fathers were time travelers.

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, the new meme is officially that the Republicans, and, esp. the Tea Party, are terrorists. This is from almost the top of the Democratic party (from the man who is a heartbeat away from the Presidency).

And, true to their ideology, I have seen this crop up quite a bit in the last couple of hours, after the VP made the meme official.

I can't help but think that this focus group tested meme is going to be more successful than that we need high taxation. Or more "investment" (i.e. feckless pork barrel spending) in green jobs.

J said...
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J said...

Teabuggers regularly forget ..US history--current tax rates are, historically speaking quite low. Even under Reagan's first term (, and until '86) the rates were approx. 50% across the board. They're also going to have to raise taxes-- on the wealthy, at least-- to pay for bipartisan war phunn: drones, jets, supercarriers, soldier's pay, soldier whore's pay, etc (and let BushCo slashes for the wealthy expire).

North Dallas Thirty said...

Teabuggers regularly forget ..US history--current tax rates are, historically speaking quite low.

And yet Obama supporters and liberal leaders like Charles Rangel, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda Solis, Timothy Geithner, Claire McCaskill, and an overwhelming number of Obama aides still refuse to pay them.

Given the high position of all these individuals, it can be clearly shown that the Obama Party, for all its rhetoric about the necessity of higher taxation, does not have any intention of or belief that they need to pay taxes.

Notice how Obama supporters never call out these people, never criticize them, never call them unpatriotic, and never demand that they be stripped of their jobs.

walter said...

Once I heard a UW Madison graduate level econ major tell me taxation is the source of wealth, I got where they are coming from. It's a thing to be harvested at regular intervals. Stopping a harvest is insanity, ya know.

walter said...

TaxBlaggers regularly forget about the historically supported Laffer curve. Wait..many never heard of it in their circles.

J said...

Mostly irrelevant to the larger point, Dallas (and..perhaps you could include cite ). They should pay them. As should the many corporate execs who avoid paying US taxes via money laundering schemes (Kochs, for one). And with the low capital gains rates, the uberwealthy are making a killing, since like 9-11 --the small town Teabagger has no idea what sort of shekels big speculators rake in, say in crude, gold, cattle, bond markets, with the Bush-era low rates in place.

Im for tax breaks on middle class--say up to 250,000+ . Help out Ma and Pa Meth-kettle, yall! The prog. tax rate should then kick the F. in (and formerly did, until Reagan and his supply siders dismantled the older bracketing plan, in '86 or so) . But ah don't lose sleep over it

J said...

You mean the refuted quack BS aka the Laffer Curve? Yeah some of us have heard of it. Like we heard of...chupacabras

walter said...

And J is so knee jerk case in point. I knew I could count on him for supportive material.

J said...

"knee jerk"--a typical AA/TP ad hominem. The point is the TP hype ignores the actual history of tax rates--the teabugs want to create this bogus meme that taxes are "sky high", when they are not. Im not a demo anyway (or in GOP-TP). You're just a wannabe Rothschild, like most delusional teabugs. Besides, the deficit is due mainly to spending (like for BushCo war) without enough revenues coming in.

walter said...

Harvest them taxes J

Synova said...

"If you've spent 2 years "looking" for work and "can't find anything" there is something seriously wrong with you. What you're claiming is simply impossible for any motivated responsible adult. You may not like the jobs that are available but it is impossible that in 2 years you didn't find one. You're a parasite."

Bull-f*cking-shit.

"Displaced Homemaker" and it took me two years of looking to find my job. Not *like* my job? What's not to *like* about minimum wage, part-time retail, unloading and unpacking boxes for someone who says, "Stop talking, work faster, go to the bathroom before you clock in and not after, oh did we forget your break?" And I've shown up for more than a year and I've been grateful.

I don't complain. I am *grateful*. Because I couldn't get hired at McDonalds if I tried. I couldn't get called *back* by McDonalds.

No one is hiring, no one WAS hiring, and why hire someone without experience for minimum wage labor when the market is glutted with people who do have experience? The only reason I got hired at all was they opened a new store and hired 60 people expecting to lose half of them within a few months. They lost 2/3.

To compare... General Mills expanded here (I also applied for them) and pledged to hire 60 full time production line people, entry level labor, and they held three days of presentations at the convention center with attendance at morning and afternoon sessions of something like 200 people. Oh, lets do the math there... 1200 people applying for 60 full time jobs hired no more than 20 at a time in three intervals three months apart for entry level labor.

My son who turned 20 has been looking for more than 2 years, but he's in the higher teen unemployement sector. He just got a job by showing up and saying hello when the take-and-bake place had "hiring" signs up for the last six months. Proved he really meant it and was reliable.

Robert Cook said...

"While 'general welfare' is in the Constitution,
'welfare' didn't mean social programs for the needy until the 20th Century. Using the Preamble to justify federal welfare programs means you think the Founding Fathers were time travelers."


"General welfare" just means: whatever the country's needs are at any given time. Those needs will change over time, and can include anything from public works--building bridges and roads or funding schools, to providing places for the indigent to find shelter or food.

The founders weren't time travelers...they simply knew it would be up to the people at any given time to decide how best to spend the public money for the public good.

Jack said...

Ms Althouse, how the hell did you ever vote for President the Senator with the most liberal/progressive/pro-tax record - Obama?

murgatroyd666 said...

Ms Althouse, how the hell did you ever vote for President the Senator with the most liberal/progressive/pro-tax record - Obama?

Huh? She did it to Help Make History. She did it to Feel Good About Herself. She did it to Prove That America Isn't Really Racist. She did it to give the Smartest Man in the Room the opportunity to Fix What's Wrong with America.

Too bad she couldn't tell shit from shinola.

Kev said...

I certainly will vote cheerfully for programs that will benefit the poor, the elderly, and any of us who may find ourselves in need, (as opposed to the rich and the powerful who are the greater beneficiaries of government largesse.)

Sorry, Cook, but that's not the purpose of government. When someone is "in need," government should be at best, the avenue of fourth resort, not first.

So what are the first three avenues?

1) Family
2) Friends
3) Church (or private charity; I'm by no means saying "starve an atheist" here)

Only when these avenues have been completely exhausted should someone even think about going to the government (i.e. taking money from his neighbors). And with the exception of the most severe cases (a bankrupting medical issue, perhaps), if someone can't or won't get help from friends, family or church, perhaps that person needs to take a hard, long look at his or her life and what he/she might have done wrong up to this point.

"General welfare" just means: whatever the country's needs are at any given time.

Ahh, you're one of those "the Constitution is a living document" types. Not surprising at all...

Evil Otto said...

"General welfare" just means: whatever the country's needs are at any given time. Those needs will change over time, and can include anything from public works--building bridges and roads or funding schools, to providing places for the indigent to find shelter or food.

That is a blank check. What you are really saying is this: the government can do anything it damn well pleases if it can be justified by helping someone, somewhere.

And everything can be. Everything.

Want to redistribute money from one group to another? Claim it is for old people's health care and have at it. Want to help out a corporation that's in trouble with a few billion taxpayer dollars? Why, you're just helping to preserve jobs. Want to control what people eat or what kind of light bulb they use? You're protecting the people from global warming or preventing them from becoming overweight. ("We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money." -Steven Chu)

Your whole argument, when it comes down to it, is that those two words, "general welfare," negate everything else in the Constitution... a document designed to LIMIT the power of the federal government. The Constitution specifically spells out what the government can do, and the Founder's belief was that it had no power to do anything else. If you read their words, they specifically said so. Here are just a couple.

"With respect to the words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."
-James Madison

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."
-Thomas Jefferson

Da_Truth_Hurts said...

High taxes worked long ago because the world ecomomy was in ruins after WW2. The United States was the major industrial power not affected by bombing.

So, all we need to do to recover the economy in liberal fantasy land is jack marginal rates up to 90% and blow up everyone else. Sounds like a winner, where do I sign up?

Tom Perkins said...

"Why do Democrats want high taxation as their brand?"

Because they believe their own bullshit.