July 17, 2012

"If it was a bad idea to raise taxes... in a down economy then, why is it a good idea to raise taxes in a down economy now?"

Asked David Gregory, on "Meet the Press," after showing a clip of President Obama from January 29, 2010. At the time, Obama said:
I am just listening to the consensus among people who know the economy best. And what they will say is that if you either increase taxes or significantly lowered spending when the economy remains somewhat fragile, that that would have a de-stimulative effect and potentially you’d see a lot of folks losing business, more folks potentially losing jobs. That would be a mistake when the economy has not fully taken off.
How much of a President's work is done by just listening to the consensus among people who supposedly know something best? What's the alternative? Well, knowing stuff. But how much can one person know? He must defer to the experts, and presumably he's chosen the best experts, or, more accurately, he's chosen experts at choosing experts or experts at choosing experts at choosing experts at choosing experts. And then he can defer. Especially when these experts achieve consensus.

And yet, if he had his experts and they reached consensus, what has changed now? You could say: He's closer to the election, but why would that affect the experts...

.... if the experts are the experts who will serve?

... then I'm sure to get a brain... a heart... the nerve
...

The experts who are serving now are different experts, with different expertise. Bring in the new team of experts. And watch them achieve consensus: Tax the rich!

169 comments:

jeff said...

I'm kind of surprised they actually want to tax the rich. How can you then demonize them? And worse, once you raise the rates and the revenue stream you promised that would materializes....doesn't? Then what? And even worse, what if the rich stop producing past a certain point? Or move their investments to avoid the higher capital gains tax? What if everything other than the percentage of tax collected DOESN'T remain static? Now what?

rehajm said...

Consensus means hot dogs for dinner, and the vegans go hungry...

traditionalguy said...

The change in tactics is a signal that the crash of the American dollar is a sure thing now.

Who gets blamed for that is the wrestling match. The Story Line is the 1% did it by not paying for 1% of the deficits that have crashed the dollar.

The 99% are listening.

Jay said...

Inconvenient to the narrative fact time:

the top 10 percent of income earners paid 70 percent of all federal income taxes in 2008, while the bottom 50 percent paid only 3 percent. Remarkably, 49 percent of U.S. households paid no federal income tax at all.

Michael K said...

Democrats only use long term thinking when politics is the topic. The economy? Their thinking is all tactical.

Widmerpool said...

Yes. This is AUSTERITY. What does Paul K say?

Jay said...

President Obama has 36 staffers owing $833K in back taxes.

Hagar said...

In the good old days of 1960, Jack Kennedy ran for president to the right of Richard Nixon on a platform of cutting taxes and strengthening our military defense.

Ann Althouse said...

Speaking of consensus, and going back to my second post of the day about how much we Americans really do agree with each other, nearly all of us say taxation should be progressive. The only issue is the steepness of the progressivity.

Yes, even the flat tax people. Check it out. They've got some progressivity in their proposals. There's a mainstream consensus and we're only arguing about the degree of progressivity, pretending we're farther apart than we are.

Jay said...

In 2009, the top 1% of tax returns paid 36.7% of all federal individual income taxes.
That is more than the bottom 50% who pay 2%.

The share of taxes paid by the top 1% has increased from 18.4% in 1979 to 38.7% percent in 2009.

Lawyer Mom said...

Donor experts are his best! http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-campaign-cites-economic-research-donor_648645.html

(And he calls his experts "non-partisan" with a straight face.)

Here's a non-partisan Econ/finance guy who quantifies, and explains in plain language, why Obama's tax-the-rich plan is a big fat fail. http://brucekrasting.blogspot.com/2012/07/soak-wealth-not-income.html

Scott said...

President Truman was actually willing to admit that there were smarter men than he, which is why he relied on them to help him form public policy.

Obama, by contrast, is The Avatar of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as well as The Smartest President Everrr. So why is he fishing around for a consensus on economic policy? Perhaps he doesn't know what he's talking about? I find that shocking.

Jay said...

There's a mainstream consensus and we're only arguing about the degree of progressivity, pretending we're farther apart than we are.

When 1 party runs around the country willfully and purposefully lying that "the rich" aren't paying "their fare share" - when in fact the rich are the only people paying taxes - I'd say we are very, very far apart.

Gabriel Hanna said...

That's why elections matter. Romney is a RINO, conceded. But of the people he brings in with him, a large fraction of them will not be.

Suppose Obama had lived up to all his hype of being a cool, cerebral pragmatist. But he has a D after his name, so of the people he brought in with him, a large fraction would not be, but would be ideologues.

I for one am opposed to rule by the consensus of appointed experts, even if they do a fantastic job. And as I get older I am getting opposed to elections. I'm starting to think that public service, at any rate Congress, should be done by people appointed by lot, like jury duty. The Republic of Venice had a 1500 year run under that sort of system. I think we'd have a lot less crony capitalism, and a lot less government, and a lot less substitution of legislation by appointed officials who make regulations.

cubanbob said...

For Warren Buffet raising his taxes isn't going to affect his standard of living one iota. What Obama doesn't want to understand is the "rich" he wants to tax are mostly the pre-presidential couple of Barry and Michele Obama rich. Now if only he remembered that with a mortgage, private schooling, car leases and insurance, big property taxes and state and local income taxes and other fixed expenses, you have a problem when your income doesn't rise but your taxes do. Can't stop paying the taxes, the mortgages, the student loans, the kids education, the leases and insurance. So what do you cut back on? Savings, less investment funds for the economy. Luxuries and entertainment. Working people work for the providers of these things. Gets who gets laid off.

the wolf said...

Obama doesn't care about increasing revenues. He cares about "fairness" (an elusive concept that shouldn't be determined by politicians). He is on record on this point.

ricpic said...

But how much can one person know?

A great deal. Not slide rule knowledge. Knowledge of human nature: what motivates people in the economic realm; what discourages people in the economic realm. And therefore what broad policies will work, what broad policies won't. The details? There's an army of technocrats to work through the details.

Obama knows but one thing: how to push the resentment button. That ain't Chief Executive Ronald Reagan level knowledge. That's not much knowledge at all, except for destroying: Obama's MO.

hawkeyedjb said...

Mitt Romney would be wise to go in the tank now, and avoid taking up residence in the White House come January. Listen to David Stockman opining over the weekend... we are fooked, and it won't really matter who pretends to be in charge. The Gods of the Copybook Headings are coming for the debt economy.

Dose of Sanity said...

So, this is an interesting question: If we know spending generates jobs, and cuts lead to job loss, how to we justify our tax and spending proposals?

Essentially, both sides of the aisle have the same solution which is to grow the economy. The democrats propose the growth through government spending (more direct) and republicans through cuts in taxation (indirect).

This leads to an interesting problem for republicans - if taxes are progressive (and the mitt romney tax loopholes aside) they are - using tax cuts will most likely be regressive stimulus: Giving people that have the most, more.

Democrats get a different problem entirely: They appear to be totally incapable of balancing their budget and just spending wildly. Make no mistake that both parties are spending, but as mentioned the democrats version is direct.

So, let's circle back: Why do the dems purpose this tax on the rich when they know that raising a tax burden can have a negative effect on the economy? (in the same way a spending cut would?)

Look at their problem - balancing the budget. They want to appear to be fiscally responsible while making this direct spending plans (like the stimulus). "Look, we are finding ways to pay for it". The numbers show that this would NEVER be able to cover the cost of the stimulus - but the real goal of the stimulus is to create jobs and therefore increase tax revenue (grow our way out). This is the same method that republicans purpose in paying for tax cuts.

The democrats can hold up the Mitt Romney's and their 'clever' use of the tax code (the 2 and 20s aka deferred interest) to show that the Rich aren't paying their fair share. This leads to the AMT and the AMT v2 (Buffet Rule).

The republicans will point to the small business owners and other people already feeling a signifcant tax burden at the top tier of income.

So - what's the better solution? One: Admit that our plan, in both parties, involves short term debt/deficit INCREASES in the hopes of long term growth.

Two: Close tax loopholes that are being exploited by the super rich, like the 2 and 20 and other international exploits.

Just my two cents. Sorry for the wall-o-text.

Tldr version: Cut loopholes, leave the tax rate where it is. Stop playing games with the rate while ignoring the base.

Michael K said...

"For Warren Buffet raising his taxes isn't going to affect his standard of living one iota. "

Buffet has been playing Obama and the Democrats like violins. Meanwhile his companies are fighting taxes every inch of the way.

Berkshire Hathaway, the eighth-largest public company in the world according to Forbes, openly admits to still owing taxes for years 2002 through 2004 and 2005 through 2009, according to the New York Post. The company says it expects to "resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service" within the next year.

Yup, he loves taxes on the rich.

Dose of Sanity said...

He cares about "fairness" (an elusive concept that shouldn't be determined by politicians).

Errr, who WOULD you purpose worry about fairness in the tax code? Because, trust me, you are worried about it.

Joe Schmoe said...

Hmmmm...we must be getting close to another one of those "RAISE THE DEBT CEILING NOW OR WE'RE SCREWED!" deadlines. Dems will whine "well, we wouldn't have to do this if you raised taxes like we asked!".

Instead of budgets, we get this kind of posturing followed by a self-approved credit limit increase. Our government is a sick, sick junkie.

Maybe Roberts was right. We get the govt. we deserve. And if you want to play around with socialism? Roberts has got your socialism right here, pal. Suck. On. That.

Bryan C said...

He has top men working on it now. Top. Men.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Joe: Yes, we have to raise the debt ceiling anytime we might hit it. Mucking around with that has some serious consequences...like a credit rating reduction.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Bryan

Is the true tax code in a box in that warehouse?

drozz said...

He literally is "Napoleon" from Animal Farm

Donald said...

Raising taxes now is not a good idea if the goal is to improve the economy. But that's not the goal at this point in the election cycle. The goal is to strengthen appeal to Obama's economically illiterate voter base.

Astro said...

Obama's lamely trying to claim that allowing the tax rates to rise only on the 'wealthiest' won't hurt the economy. It's just more of his crass, class warfare, and he's hoping there are lots of stupid voters out there who will believe it.

lemondog said...

Tax all state and federal elected officials at 80%. If in office more than 2 terms increase to 90%.

Cut congresscritters salaries along with their staff to minimum hourly wage.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Lemondog

This is a popular but not very well thought out idea. It mean only the very rich could serve, and that those that did serve would be succeptible to bribery.

AJ Lynch said...

You misspelled "Obamanomics".

Michael K said...

"@ Joe: Yes, we have to raise the debt ceiling anytime we might hit it. Mucking around with that has some serious consequences...like a credit rating reduction."

Yes, adding more debt sure helps our credit rating.

Where do these people come from ?

Rob said...

All about political wisdom rather than economic wisdom.

AprilApple said...

All of Obama's proclamations have an expiration date. What difference does it makes if there's an expert behind them?

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Michael

Do you understand what the debt ceiling is? Do you understand why you have to raise it?

Because it sounded like you just said it would be worse for our credit rating to increase our debt than to NOT PAY our debt.

Cedarford said...

Jay said...
In 2009, the top 1% of tax returns paid 36.7% of all federal individual income taxes.
That is more than the bottom 50% who pay 2%.

The share of taxes paid by the top 1% has increased from 18.4% in 1979 to 38.7% percent in 2009.

=====================
That is what happens when wealth concentrates in the hands of a few.
They pay more taxes because they have grabbed more of the nations wealth.
Most Americans would love to be a billionaire, then multibillionaire then "burdened" with paying yet more taxes as the alternative is to be poor, jobless, or part of the shrinking middle class that has seen wages stagnant since the 1980s.

In Paraguay, in the 1950s, 300 Paraguyan families owned 88% of the disposable wealth in a land of millions and payed 73% of the taxes.
Yes, the burden of all those government progams fell on those Noble Few Paraguayan 300....who besides business, were the main source of generals and government ministers. They further heroically served the masses - since it was THEIR taxes the 300 families made that helped out the lowly peasants.

And the masses were soooo ungrateful!

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
So, this is an interesting question: If we know spending generates jobs, and cuts lead to job loss,


We 'know' no such thing, since it is untrue.

Why do the dems purpose this tax on the rich when they know that raising a tax burden can have a negative effect on the economy? (in the same way a spending cut would?)


Democrats have zero interest in using the tax code for revenues, economic growth, or anything related to the economy.

Note: cutting spending doesn't reduce growth.

AprilApple said...

Taxing the rich will pay for 8 days of Obama's big government spending.
Nevermind the fact that more jobs will be lost. Obama has that covered by killing off welfare reform. The plan there is to give democrats a claim, as people shift onto welfare, that the employment number is down. Even though it's up.

bagoh20 said...

The real problem with taxes is that too few Americans pay them. For moral as well as practical reasons, everyone should pay something. I'm cool with progressive taxation, but it should include us all. Everyone, no matter how poor, can afford to pay something. That would make taxation less of a stimulus killer, and make it's supply much more stable and dependable.

Nobody's income varies as much as the rich from boom to bust. In a downturn, it's the rich who have the biggest drop in income, so if you depend on them for revenue, you get an unusually big drop at the worst possible time. California's fiscal problems are a good demonstration of this, and everybody out here knows it now, but they can't do anything about it. So now the rest of you out there will be bailing us out, because when it comes to states, CA IS too big to fail.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Since you're channeling Scarecrow in the Wiz, how about this (with apologies to Yip Harburg)


Barry wiles away the hours
Among the fairway flowers
And cavortin' on his plane
And our heads we're a scratchin'
At the policies he's hatchin'
If they only worked like Bain!

It's really not a riddle
He accomplishes so little
Save trouble and much pain

With the thoughts he is thinkin'
Fancies he's another Lincoln
Is he certified insane?!

Oh, he will tell you why
That business isn't yours
But he'll think of things to tax
And regulate, and tax some more.

It because he's just a nuffin'
His head all full of stuffin'
His heart all full of rage
We will dance and be merry
Life will be a ding-a-derry
When we throw him off the stage.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
Yes, we have to raise the debt ceiling anytime we might hit it. Mucking around with that has some serious consequences...like a credit rating reduction.


Where do you get such stupid ideas?

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Jay

In 2009, the top 1% of tax returns paid 36.7% of all federal individual income taxes.
That is more than the bottom 50% who pay 2%.


Some questions: Is the top 1% of tax returns referring to the tax returns of the top 1% of earners, or the top 1% of revenue collected tax returns. (let me know if that makes sense)

Two: Does this factor in social security tax? (undoubtedly a federal income tax).

Three: What's the source of this? I'd be really curious.


Thanks

Jay said...

That is what happens when wealth concentrates in the hands of a few.

The number of millionaires in America was growing steadily for the last 30+ years until 2011.

Where you get such ideas boggles the mind.

Jay said...

Does this factor in social security tax? (undoubtedly a federal income tax).


Social security is not a federal income tax.

You've already made an utter jackass out of yourself, so you can stop there.

Jay said...

By the way, I fat fingered that first sentence.

The top 1% of filers (based on AGI) paid 38.7% of federal income taxes in 2009. Not 36.7%

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Jay - As for the credit rating reduction - look at the last year? I'd be shocked to find a source that would say that the threat of default, because of the debt ceiling debate, wasn't the cause of the reduction.

As for the cuts in spending leading to cuts in growth, I'd make the same challenge. If it is NOT the assumption that most economists make, I'd be very curious. (Talking short term, as I referenced)

bagoh20 said...

NEEDING to raise the debt ceiling is what screws with credit ratings.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Jay:

Define a federal income tax.

Then explain why social security ISNT a federal income tax. It can't be done, because it obviously IS a federal income tax.

Dose of Sanity said...

NEEDING to raise the debt ceiling is what screws with credit ratings.

Objectively false: See the other 75 times we needed to raise the debt ceiling which didn't result in the credit rating reduction.

bagoh20 said...

We could raise the ceiling all we want, but it's the level of debt that's the problem. We could raise it to double what our debt is if we wanted to. It wouldn't make us more solvent or more safe.

Saint Croix said...

Why is Obama raising money abroad, including $30,000 a plate dinners in Switzerland? You don't want to ship American jobs overseas? How about not shifting American government overseas? Who is buying your government, Mr. Obama, and what are you selling to them?

Dose of Sanity said...

The top 1% of filers (based on AGI).

Based on AGI. hahaha. I like this, it's not like the above-the-line deductions help a certain group of people more than others.

bagoh20 said...

Dose, why don't we just raise it through the roof and get a perfect credit rating forever.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
@ Jay - As for the credit rating reduction - look at the last year? I'd be shocked to find a source that would say that the threat of default, because of the debt ceiling debate, wasn't the cause of the reduction.


Of course you would. Note (To avoid a downgrade, S&P said the United States needed to not only raise the debt ceiling, but also develop a "credible" plan to tackle the nation's long-term debt. )

You're not that bright and easily misled.

Can you just stop with any talk on this topic?

Please?

prairie wind said...

Too much talk about spending and not enough talk about spending cuts. Leave the money in the economy to begin with. Taking it out of the economy, sending it to DC, and then getting, what--70% of it back in ways that you cannot control...that has to stop.

I'm sick to death of paying taxes only to see it spent on law enforcement, education, and enormous bloated regulatory agencies.

I'm voting for Romney because he is most likely to be influenced by the Tea Party.

Paul Zrimsek said...

By the way, why are we still interested in what Warren Buffett thinks now that we've learned his success wasn't his own doing?

Dose of Sanity said...

We could raise the ceiling all we want, but it's the level of debt that's the problem. We could raise it to double what our debt is if we wanted to. It wouldn't make us more solvent or more safe.

Totally and absolutely agree. I was just responding to an earlier post about the debt ceiling debate being "manufactured". It's really a debate over "do we pay our debt?". If we press so hard for no, like last time - the people who are expecting to get paid get nervous. That's what resulted in a credit rating reduction for us last time.

The systemic debt problems aren't AT ALL effected by the debt ceiling, except the affect a credit reducation might have upon it.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...


Based on AGI. hahaha. I like this, it's not like the above-the-line deductions help a certain group of people more than others.


HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA

You have not one utter clue what you're talking about.

Seriously, why do you bother, jackass?

Dose of Sanity said...

By the way, if you want to see a country that tried to the "spending cut" route, Greece is a good example. It leads to a cycle of contractions within the economy - each cycle creating the need for further cuts.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...


Objectively false: See the other 75 times we needed to raise the debt ceiling which didn't result in the credit rating reduction.


The reasons for the downgrade were provided publicly at the time.

Your ignorance doesn't constitute facts.

Idiot.

Jay said...

ose of Sanity said...
By the way, if you want to see a country that tried to the "spending cut" route


Idiot:

You have not one utter clue as to what Greece proposed or enacted.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Jay -

You know what ATL deductions are?

You understand what AGI is?

If you do, my comment DOES make sense.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
@ Jay:

Define a federal income tax.

Then explain why social security ISNT a federal income tax. It


Federal income taxes are defined by statute.

I'm not at all interested in what a silly, ignorant, dipshit like you "defines" as a federal income tax.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
@ Jay -

You know what ATL deductions are?

You understand what AGI is?

If you do, my comment DOES make sense.


Your comment makes no sense what so ever, you effing idiot.

Nor does it at all address the topic.

Which is the whole point of you making it.

Dose of Sanity said...

The reasons for the downgrade were provided publicly at the time.


Yes - they were? Perhaps you should look at them again? Political Brinksmanship? That was a direct reference to the debt v. debt ceiling debate.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...


Objectively false: See the other 75 times we needed to raise the debt ceiling which didn't result in the credit rating reduction.


I love that the simpleton thinks this is some sort of response when the S&P specifically mentioned the historic level of deficit and debt when announcing the downgrade.

Why, it is almost as if the idiot doesn't know what she's talking about or something.

Michael said...

Dose of Sanity: You do understand that the implication of Social Security as a percentage of income for the top one percent is measured in basis points do you not? To even inquire if SS is a part of the tax calculation for this cohort suggests you are unclear about where SS cuts off. It would be paid in full for any given year in the few days of income of the top one percent.

Dose of Sanity said...

Federal income taxes are defined by statute.

You are ALMOST there. Keep trying!

As to the AGI thing: There are two types of deductions: Above the line and below the line. Above the line apply to GROSS income and are used in calculating AGI (Adjusted gross income). Many ATL deductions are only available to the very rich. Thus, using the top 1% based on AGI is a very misleading number.

Does THAT make more sense?

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...

Yes - they were? Perhaps you should look at them again? Political Brinksmanship? That was a direct reference to the debt v. debt ceiling debate.


Um, no. See I already provided a note on this for you.
(Note: “The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics,” S&P said in a statement late yesterday after markets closed. )

But you'll persist in the lie.

bagoh20 said...

"... if you want to see a country that tried to the "spending cut" route, Greece is a good example."

Oh, it's a good example all right, but not of what you think.

Why did they have to cut spending, why not just keep spending more and more, and then double that? If that worked, who would be against it? Free lunches all around has to be very popular, and if it helps the economy, then let's party.

An example to look at would be Sweden, who when faced with the same thing in the 90's cut back drastically and now is sitting pretty.

Look at what has worked, not at some failure and then guess what they did wrong. Greece did everything wrong, and continues to. They are not cutting back, they are crashing.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...

As to the AGI thing: There are two types of deductions: Above the line and below the line. Above the line apply to GROSS income and are used in calculating AGI (Adjusted gross income). Many ATL deductions are only available to the very rich. Thus, using the top 1% based on AGI is a very misleading number.


Oh my God are you effing stupid.

It was based on AGI for all the categories becasue the CBO also looked at tax rates.

You are an idiot beyond belief.

Jay said...

Does THAT make more sense?

No.

It demonstrates you are a moron who has never looked at this type of data before.

Dose of Sanity said...

Dose of Sanity: You do understand that the implication of Social Security as a percentage of income for the top one percent is measured in basis points do you not? To even inquire if SS is a part of the tax calculation for this cohort suggests you are unclear about where SS cuts off. It would be paid in full for any given year in the few days of income of the top one percent.

Well, SS tax is a regressive tax - everyone above approximately 100k in income pays the same amount. (its got a cutoff) What I was bringing up SS tax for was a reference to a "1% pays x amount of revenue, 50% pays less than y". This probably ignores the proportionally higher amount paid by the lower bracket income PRECISELY because of the regressive nature of SS tax.

There. Now you know I know. :)

Jay said...

You are ALMOST there. Keep trying!

Idiot:

I dont' have to "try"

Social Security is not an income tax. And the fact that you're asking idiot questions is a referendum on your ignorance.

Eric said...

They pay more taxes because they have grabbed more of the nations wealth.

"Grabbed"? That implies they took money to which they weren't entitled. Why do you say that?

Eric said...

This probably ignores the proportionally higher amount paid by the lower bracket income PRECISELY because of the regressive nature of SS tax.

Might be true if not for EITC.

Dose of Sanity said...

Oh my God are you effing stupid.

It was based on AGI for all the categories becasue the CBO also looked at tax rates.

You are an idiot beyond belief.


You know Jay, you constantly attack me when I try and engage in a reasoned debate. I'll try again. What does "based on agi for all the categories" mean? You mean the rate "categories" (brackets)?

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...

If we press so hard for no, like last time - the people who are expecting to get paid get nervous. That's what resulted in a credit rating reduction for us last time.


Idiot:

Congress & the President had a debt ceiling deal on Aug 2, 2001.

The S&P downgrade was on Aug 6, 2011.

Just stop.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...


You know Jay, you constantly attack me when I try and engage in a reasoned debate.


You are not capable of "reasoned" debate.

You are here typing silly bullshit lies and trying to change the subject.

On top of being utterly stupid.

Which is why you're being mocked.

DADvocate said...

presumably he's chosen the best experts

Hohoho! Hahahaha! That's a goodone, a real knee slapper. Funnier than any rape joke. i doubt any of his advisors are the best experts. But, what if they were?

Remember the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board, led by a former Federal Reserve chairman, Paul Volcker? Remember how he followed their advice? Hahahahaha!

Dose of Sanity said...

This probably ignores the proportionally higher amount paid by the lower bracket income PRECISELY because of the regressive nature of SS tax.

Might be true if not for EITC.


It's still true, but thats a good point that the EITC does offset some of this burden.

Dose of Sanity said...

Idiot:

Congress & the President had a debt ceiling deal on Aug 2, 2001.

The S&P downgrade was on Aug 6, 2011.

Just stop.


So that august second deal was the reduction in spending in exchange for raising the ceiling. The Brinkmanship that actually BROUGHT US OVER THE LINE was referenced in the reduction. You are also welcome to find me one economist who says otherwise.

Joe Schmoe said...

Thread hijacked. Dose of Inanity does it again. Dose, you missed my original point, and now you'll make up all sorts of illogic to prove to yourself how you were right all along. I've been on this ride before and I know how it ends. Cue up the Hindenberg footage.

Cedarford said...

Eric said...
They pay more taxes because they have grabbed more of the nations wealth.

"Grabbed"? That implies they took money to which they weren't entitled. Why do you say that?

================
Because every wealthy Elite thinks that they are fully entitled to their wealth and power. That they EARNED it!!
The French nobility.
The JD Rockefellers and other robber barons that sweated and slaved to build their monopolies.
The 300 Paraguayan Families who alone were responsible for what little wealth and prosperity Parguay had.
The Soviet Elites of the Nomenkultura...entitled to all the wealth, dachas, power, and perks they had for out-competing others in the Communist hierarch.
Bernie Madoff.
The toy executive that shuts down 3 US factories and 600 workers but through his genius, doubles his annual wealth gains as the cheap China stuff comes in.

Dose of Sanity said...

You are not capable of "reasoned" debate.

You are here typing silly bullshit lies and trying to change the subject.

On top of being utterly stupid.

Which is why you're being mocked.


You are welcome to "mock" me to your hearts content. I'm honestly willing to explore ideas other than mine, and to change my beliefs if I'm proven wrong.

I'm not going to listen to people who start/end everything directed towards me with "idiot" or "how f-ing stupid" etc. Grow up.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
So that august second deal was the reduction in spending in exchange for raising the ceiling. The Brinkmanship that actually BROUGHT US OVER THE LINE was referenced in the reduction. You are also welcome to find me one economist who says otherwise.


Huh?

I don't need an "economist" when I can read what S&P said.

Dose of Sanity said...

Thread hijacked. Dose of Inanity does it again. Dose, you missed my original point, and now you'll make up all sorts of illogic to prove to yourself how you were right all along. I've been on this ride before and I know how it ends. Cue up the Hindenberg footage.

I'm sorry if I missed you original point - I seized on the debt ceiling comment because those misunderstandings annoy me.

I'm really sorry if you find me illogical - I try to be the opposite.

As for thread hijacks - I blame Jay.

p.s. +1 for dose of inanity. That's a great insult/pun, so I give you credit.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
I'm honestly willing to explore ideas other than mine, and to change my beliefs if I'm proven wrong.


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA

I bet you are!

Really!

Totally!

I mean, you're asserting "economists" will tell us all about the S&P downgrade and stuff!

And Greece went the budget cutting route!

They did!!!!

Idiot.

Jay said...

I seized on the debt ceiling comment because those misunderstandings annoy me.


Hysterical.

Says the idiot, no less.

Cedarford said...

Hagar said...
In the good old days of 1960, Jack Kennedy ran for president to the right of Richard Nixon on a platform of cutting taxes and strengthening our military defense.
--------

In the good old days, Nixon said that fiscal responsibility meant we had to live within our means, have a balanced budget and positive balance of trade. And that meant JFK with his pandering ideas of tax cuts combined with big new deficit spending was wrong.
Especially since no "missile gap" existed.
Nixon warned that if we cut taxes but did not cut spending, or thought cool new military stuff and military adventures like Vietnam were not to be paid for by citizens.....
America would slowly lose its prosperity, become a debtor nation.

Jay said...

To be clear, the author of:

Dose of Sanity said...

If we press so hard for no, like last time - the people who are expecting to get paid get nervous. That's what resulted in a credit rating reduction for us last time.


Wrote this:

I seized on the debt ceiling comment because those misunderstandings annoy me.


Which is beyond parody.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Jay:

Just google it. Try reading moody's statement since you are fond of the credit agency's statements.

I stand firmly by those two statements.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...

Just google it. Try reading moody's statement since you are fond of the credit agency's statements.


I did google it, idiot.

Moody's didn't downgrade, S&P did.

Idiot.

Jay said...

I stand firmly by those two statements.

Of course you do.

You don't have an effing clue.

Nor are you interested in having a clue. Despite boasting that you explore ideas other than mine, and to change my beliefs

Which of course is why you're interested in statements by Moody's when the S&P downgraded the US from AAA.

Dose of Sanity said...

Did you read WHY moody's didn't downgrade?

Eric said...

Because every wealthy Elite thinks that they are fully entitled to their wealth and power. That they EARNED it!!

So... your answer is class envy?

It's not that they earned it, in the same way you and I earn money by doing a task someone is willing to pay for. Wealthy people make money through risk. And yeah, we all benefit when they risk their money, so I don't begrudge them the profit.

edutcher said...

Let's remember that, when Ann asks, "How much of a President's work is done by just listening to the consensus among people who supposedly know something best? What's the alternative? Well, knowing stuff.", we're talking about someone with a graduate level Ivy League education who still qualifies as the most ignorant person to ever sit in the Oval Office.

Like Feldwebel Schultz, he knows NOTHING!

All he will do is pick yes-men like Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner and more Ivy League theoreticians whose ideas don't work.

Jay said...

This is a trend that can't continue;

average effective income tax rates have declined considerably for almost everyone, except the top 1 percent of earners. The decline is most pronounced for the bottom quintile (bottom 20 percent) of households, whose average tax rate went from zero in 1979 to a new record low of -9.3 percent in 2009. That means low-income households now receive more from the IRS in terms of refundable tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, than they pay in taxes.

Dose of Sanity said...

Jay, can you please try relaxing? You seem like you are ready to have a meltdown, curled up under your desk, foaming at the mouth, just saying "idiot" over and over again.

Relax. Debate with me. At the end of the day, it won't be so bad.

Eric said...

This is a trend that can't continue;

Agreed. Everybody with an income should pay taxes, even if it's only a token amount. Only the top few quintiles in the US have skin in the game.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
Did you read WHY moody's didn't downgrade?


HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA

First the imbecile asserts:

Dose of Sanity said...
@ Jay - As for the credit rating reduction - look at the last year? I'd be shocked to find a source that would say that the threat of default, because of the debt ceiling debate, wasn't the cause of the reduction.


Then when the very words of the ratings agency doing the downgrading are provided, she is left with referring to an agency that didn't downgrade.

Also note: the downgrade took place after the President signed legislation increasing the debt ceiling.

Bravo, idiot.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...


Relax. Debate with me


You typing utter fabrications is not a "debate"

Jay said...

So to be clear. Troll asserts:

As for the credit rating reduction - look at the last year? I'd be shocked to find a source that would say that the threat of default, because of the debt ceiling debate, wasn't the cause of the reduction.


S&P who downgraded after debt ceiling was raised asserts:

The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics

Troll sputters Moody's!!!

Robert said...

Univeral truth:

in the media 'expert' = leftist.

Every time.

A conservative with 17 PHds would never be an expert. He'd be a conservative.

Dose of Sanity said...

Then when the very words of the ratings agency doing the downgrading are provided, she is left with referring to an agency that didn't downgrade.

Also note: the downgrade took place after the President signed legislation increasing the debt ceiling.

Bravo, idiot.


The very words of the agency do reference the threat of default. That's what they are referring to as politcal brinksmanship. Please, please, please go back and read the source materials other than the out-of-context release. It will help.

Dose of Sanity said...

And I'm a he, Jay. :)

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...


The very words of the agency do reference the threat of default. That's what they are referring to as politcal brinksmanship


No they don't, you liar.

Dose of Sanity said...

Yes, they do. That's why I'm trying to get you to learn/remember the context.

All the agencies warned about a credit reduction. The debate in congress revovled around spending cuts being linked to debt ceiling increase. We risked a default when republicans refused to raise the debt limit. (those cuts are haunting us again via sequestiarion, but that's another story)

All of the news articles, all of the releases reference that. S&Ps reference to political brinksmanship is absolutely a reference to risking default.

prairie wind said...

It's not that they earned it, in the same way you and I earn money by doing a task someone is willing to pay for.

I agree with your point but will go a step further: If I leave a million (or a hundred or a thousand) dollars to my heirs, the money belongs to them even if they didn't earn it. Rich people have money. Their money. They might have earned it, they might have inherited it...but it is still their money.

People don't understand ownership anymore. Somehow, having a lot of money is a bad thing but wanting money that belongs to someone else is okay.

Jay said...

Please, please, please go back and read the source materials other than the out-of-context release.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Hysterical.

Keep flailing.

Idiot.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
Yes, they do.


No they don't, idiot.

See, I am quoting the agency that did the downgrade on why they did the downgrade.

You are not.

Just stop, stupid.

bagoh20 said...

Cedarford, When you purchase a good or service, do you:

look for the one that cost the most? buy from the company that pays it's people the most?
tip every low paid worker who's toil you benefit from?
only buy union, or American, regardless of the price?

Jay said...

&Ps reference to political brinksmanship is absolutely a reference to risking default.

They made no such reference.

You are an embarrassment at this point.

Dose of Sanity said...

Yes, I am?

No matter how much you try and get me to cower by spaming the ridiculous "HA HA HAs" or calling me an idiot or stupid, I'm not going to submit and stop trying to get you understand the facts.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
I'm not going to submit and stop trying to get you understand the facts


You don't have any "facts"

You're not capable of facts.

Note: I'm quoting S&P, you're making shit up on the Internet.

Dose of Sanity said...

From the S&P News release,

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as
America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective,
and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt
ceiling and the threat of defaault.


Now what Jay. Now. What?

Dose of Sanity said...

Oops, cut off the rest of that sentence:

have become political bargaining chips in
the debate over fiscal policy.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...

Now what Jay. Now. What?


You get the booby prize.

Because you are assigning a motive to a scenario in order to validate silly political beliefs.

See stupid, the downgrade wasn't because of any politial debate.

But you get to pretend it was.

Keep pretending.

prairie wind said...

117 comments on this thread but you can skip the Jay/Sanity argument and get through it pretty quickly.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ praire

Sadly true. Don't skip my first comment though - it was on topic :)

Dose of Sanity said...

@jay

"We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the
prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related
fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the
growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an
agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and
will remain a contentious and fitful process."

Oh look. I'm totally validated. Next?

bagoh20 said...

Omama is the worst I have ever seen at following advice, especially his own. He doesn't do anything he's in favor of. I think the Obama administration has a saboteur at the very, very highest level.

prairie wind said...

Sanity, I did start out reading all of them but lost interest.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...


Oh look. I'm totally validated.


Hysterical.

Yes "validated" if you ignore the last 3 sentences of the paragraph you quoted and everything else the S&P said.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ prairie

Don't read all of the ones after you see any posts from jay at me or me at him. He thinks I'm a total idiot so it usually devolves quickly. I also don't know when to backdown so its very "smash face against wall" conversation.

Just the first one I wrote I thought was on topic. It was actually a cool topic, so I'm sad to see it get derailed.

Michael K said...

"Because it sounded like you just said it would be worse for our credit rating to increase our debt than to NOT PAY our debt."

Sorry to be slow responding. The debt ceiling has nothing to do with paying our debt. It means adding more debt. If we cut enough spending (yes, it's unrealistic) so the debt ceiling did not have to be raised, there would be no issue with repaying.

I hope you understand that as you seem to be posting lots of comments.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...

Oh look. I'm totally validated.


Yes, because "validated" means ignoring relevant facts.

I mean, people who are "validated" do that all the time.

They do!

prairie wind said...

I think the Obama administration has a saboteur at the very, very highest level.

Chuckling.

Dose of Sanity said...

"Yes "validated" if you ignore the last 3 sentences of the paragraph you quoted and everything else the S&P said."

I don't take things of context for the sake of argument, thank you.

I find it validates my point pretty throughly though.

Michael said...

Bagoh20. Your questions to Cedarford are spot on. In many ways "buying American" has become something like solar energy or organic food: something for rich people to acquire and preen about. I make an effort to look at labels and I prefer, for example, to buy American made suits of high quality. I do so in an effort to keep a dying trade alive and I frankly know that in the end it is fruitless. Before long the skills to make fine clothes will be gone along with the need to wear them. Most American made goods are more expensive than their foreign counterparts. Worth it to me, perhaps, but not available to most.

That said, I do buy an incredibly cheap but American made blazer by a company called Anderson Little. To encourage him to keep it up.

Roger J. said...

This thread seems to have crashed and burned--I thought the issue in the initial post was the wisdom of raising taxes in a recession, a point supported by Mr Obama several years earlier. So--is that issue or not? This becomes very tedious.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...


I don't take things of context for the sake of argument, thank you.


Note: you've gone from asserting that "economists" need to tell us all about it, to parsing sentences.

Because you're like totally "validated" and stuff.

Really!

Jay said...

I find it validates my point pretty throughly though.

GET OUT!!!!

Really?

I mean, what about Moody's!???

Idiot.

Dose of Sanity said...

Sorry to be slow responding. The debt ceiling has nothing to do with paying our debt. It means adding more debt. If we cut enough spending (yes, it's unrealistic) so the debt ceiling did not have to be raised, there would be no issue with repaying.


Haha, very true - sorry to run the thread out. As to your point - actually the debt CEILING does have to do with paying out debt, and it's fairly easy to explain.

We owe payments on the debt each year (as well as plenty of other obligations). We pay for these obligations via the budget, which at this point runs a deficit: Should we not raise the debt ceiling, we can't hae a deficit. This means we will not be able to pay all of our obligations and will result in a default to at least some of our creditors. (We could choose who to pay and who not to). It's not a matter of lowering the spending at the time the debt ceiling stops - we have already made those obligations to pay.

This was a big concern during the debt ceiling debate. Does that make sense?

jacksonjay said...

Most of you fail the quiz! The Professor's question was about the experts not the policy!

The "experts" jumped ship after sighting the first leak! Rohmer, Summers and Goolsbee fled the scene of the stimulus crime. We were told that these brilliant economist had been called to D.C. to save the Republic. We are now mocking their efforts and predictions.

Dr. Steven Chu is another great example of an "expert" who would supposedly tranforms American energy policy! I think his most laughable suggestion was to paint all the rooftops white, in order to reflect sunlight!

Blameless Barry constantly cites the consensus of (nameless)"experts" that all agree with his agenda.

garage mahal said...

brinkmanship [bringk-muhn-ship]  
Origin
brink·man·ship   [bringk-muhn-ship]
noun

the technique or practice of maneuvering a dangerous situation to the limits of tolerance or safety in order to secure the greatest advantage, especially by creating diplomatic crises.

see also: debt levels!

Michael K said...

"The JD Rockefellers and other robber barons that sweated and slaved to build their monopolies."

So the discovery of oil made him a robber baron ? There were a number of large fortunes made in the late 19th century by people who invented/discovered major innovations.

That didn't make them "robber barons" The populists who never invented anything made that term up.

Michael said...

RogerJ i think even the lefties know it is a bad idea bordering on horrible. But their base is so ignorant of economics and so suseptible to envy and hatred of those who have done well that it is politically irrestible to keep up the threat. They no longer bother to defend it as you can see from this thread.

edutcher said...

Roger J. said...

This thread seems to have crashed and burned--I thought the issue in the initial post was the wisdom of raising taxes in a recession, a point supported by Mr Obama several years earlier. So--is that issue or not? This becomes very tedious.

That's the idea - dissemble, deflect, distract. Get people talking about anything else and wear them out so they just walk away.

But Michael K's right. The Lefties are playing to the gallery, although I've heard people like Patty Murray and Senator Ma'am have lost arguments with bricks.

holdfast said...

Well, Obama has a problem because (1) Obama really wants to raise taxes and (2) under Obama, the economy will always be a "down economy", because everything he does, says and thinks is anti-growth and ant-free market. Not necessarily anti-all-business, because he does take care of his buds like Warren and Jeffrey. Of course, GE is probably among the top 5 outsourcers ever, and Berkshire doesn't actually create jobs, they just invest money for Warren and others (which is perfectly cool, but being a great stock-picker doesn't make you a guru in all fields of business).

Cedarford said...

bagoh20 said...
Cedarford, When you purchase a good or service, do you:

look for the one that cost the most? buy from the company that pays it's people the most?
tip every low paid worker who's toil you benefit from?
only buy union, or American, regardless of the price?

=======================
When I buy things, I go with the best price for the best quality...because that is how Americans have been conditioned to shop...along with marketers many influences to buy on brand, perceived "hotness", getting the stuff will lead to more success and sex, etc.
But that does not mean the idiot notion of the consumer market being wise and deciding if it is best we destroy all our local industries for China stuff is sustainable.

We recognize that in laws that "impede customers sacred Freedom!" in many ways.
I could get a hell of a deal on a stolen Rolex or Honda Accord...but the law says that would be bad for society overall and shuts down my cherished freedom to get stolen goods bargains.
We decide that consumers do not know best when opium floods into China or consumers want the best methadrine or crack at a good price.
We decided for most of our history that in developing jobs and industries - we needed to be able to plan for and invest in that growth without it being destroyed by foreign colonial empire's cheap labor pools or by sudden technical advances that could destroy millions of jobs - Germany and steel...
We put tariffs up.
When we did let foreign firms push their goods in, we normally isisted that they were not going to push finished goods in - but semifinished goods at best and always with a deal they would help build the factories and share their technology with America in return for profits.

(Just the one-sided game China is playing us for suckers with, now)

Jay said...

actually the debt CEILING does have to do with paying out debt, and it's fairly easy to explain.


Good grief, are you a simpleton.

Let me help you.

Instead of borrowing anymore, the US government could simply stop all the wasteful stuff it does, and meet its obligations.

All the silly stuff you typed was a waste of space.

Jay said...

By the way, I love how someone can read:

the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements

and feel their view of:
the people who are expecting to get paid get nervous. That's what resulted in a credit rating reduction for us last time.


Is "validated"

Why, it is almost as if that person isn't that bright, or something.

Michael K said...

"the technique or practice of maneuvering a dangerous situation to the limits of tolerance or safety in order to secure the greatest advantage, especially by creating diplomatic crises."

You mean like the Patty Murray threat to let all tax rates climb in January if the GOP doesn't join the class war ?

That crisis ?

Dose of Sanity said...

Oh, poor jay. He had to find the one post of mine which didn't match with that.

If you want proof to validate THAT specific paragraph, you can look up why china's credit agency downgraded us.

Now who is flailing? :)

ndspinelli said...

If we tax Jay by the comment we'll have a balanced budget.

This thread is a stupid pissing match. Now, shake your dicks and move on!

Michael K said...

"It's not a matter of lowering the spending at the time the debt ceiling stops - we have already made those obligations to pay.

This was a big concern during the debt ceiling debate. Does that make sense?"

Only if you are ignorant of economics and national debt. You cut spending enough to pay the obligations without borrowing. Then you don't have to raise the debt ceiling. At least, those of us who understand this know that a requirement to cut spending in a series of compromises that include raising the ceiling will improve our credit rating.

The ignorant and the Democrats (sorry to be redundant) don't seem to appreciate this. The psychological effect of such sensible policies would do much to get the economy going again. That would increase GDP and set off a virtuous cycle.

Unlike Greece which seems to prefer bombing banks.

Michael K said...

"This thread is a stupid pissing match. Now, shake your dicks and move on!"

Yes ! I went off to another blog and returned to find poo throwing taking over.

EMD said...

I believe the word we are looking for to describe the desired tax code is not "progressive" but "punitive."

Do people understand that a billionaire does not necessarily generate a billion dollars of income per year, correct?

The fairness Obama seeks has nothing to do with the code itself, but the supposed outcome of the tax policy.

buwaya said...

As to whether SS (and Medicare, and etc. pulled out of ones paycheck or "contributions" paid by employers) is a tax -

- By the letter of the law, no. But this is a fairly narrow point that may matter to individuals (in terms of calculating or legally securing future SS benefits, etc.) but its economically not very relevant.

- As John Roberts has shown, things not called a tax can be constitutionally construed as taxes. Also a limited point.

- Practically, for macroeconomic analysis, as opposed to legal analysis, anything that goes in to the government black box is a tax (in the case of the US government; some governments that collect significant funding by sovereign investments, state enterprises and sales of mineral rights, etc. are special cases). Within the black box, what the government does in issuing promissory notes to itself is an irrelevant mechanism. The CBO, etc. calculates deficits by including SS payments offsetting current spending. Thats the only reasonable way to treat SS.

- From the point of view of class warfare arguments, SS and etc. should certainly be included in tax burden calculations. SS benefits are only imperfectly determined by whats paid in. SS is effectively unearned welfare for many, and a lousy investment for many. Easiest just to think of it all as just an additional category of spending according to government whim.

bagoh20 said...

Get past the point: The credit rating was lowered because the debt is too high and we were not dealing with it, including cutting spending AND raising the ceiling.

But, the ceiling is irrelevant if your debt is under control. Raising it doesn't fix anything, but it does prevent immediate credit issues, in other words it kicks the can, which satisfies some with very narrow concerns, namely credit rating agencies.

The ceiling is not our problem - it would be great if it was.

Eric said...

buwaya,

If the government forces you to pay something and will throw you in jail if you don't, either it's a tax or it's a fine. Social Security is a tax except in the narrowest legal sense in which Congress has redefined common words in order to avoid calling it what it is.

buwaya said...

Eric,

Certainly. Its another of those John Roberts cases that way also.

Rabel said...

"There's a mainstream consensus and we're only arguing about the degree of progressivity, pretending we're farther apart than we are."

Yes, and the Republicans are missing the opportunity to take the issue away from the Democrats by offering a compromise on rates.

Instead of the full 4.6% increase over 250k they could (for example) propose a 2% increase at 500K or 1 million.

That would seriously weaken Obama's tax the rich argument (which resonates with many voters) without doing any significant harm to the economy or the wealthy.

The current leadership of the Republican party is a weakness that threatens the future of the country. If they can't play politics well enough to win the presidency this year, they deserve the name "The Stupid Party."

Bruce Hayden said...

So, this is an interesting question: If we know spending generates jobs, and cuts lead to job loss, how to we justify our tax and spending proposals?

Ok, great, start with a false assumption, and go from there, and ignore that an additional $5 trillion or so of spending and 5% of GDP since the 2008 elections have cranked unemployment levels up to levels we haven't seen for this long since the Great Depression.

No, government spending does not create jobs, and no, it doesn't create wealth. It destroys jobs and redistributes wealth, and by doing so, reduces the size of the pie being divided up.

It has never been the case, and any justification that was used during the Great Depression to do so (which arguably greatly lengthened and deepened the Depression) was predicated, at least, in part, on building infrastructure. Now, infrastructure construction takes on average six years, which is, in terms of fiscal stimulation to the economy, most often counter-cyclical. So, if you hear someone talk about shovel-ready infrastructure projects, either laugh at them, or know them to be fools.

So, after clearing that up, where were we?

""If it was a bad idea to raise taxes... in a down economy then, why is it a good idea to raise taxes in a down economy now?""


Because, of course, it is still a horrible idea. The Dems want to do it now, because they know that next year, they won't have a chance, and probably won't have a chance again to increase the size of government by much for the next generation or two.

You can find plenty of economists who say just that - the problem is, of course, that the Obama Administration isn't listening to any of them. They are just listening to the economists who can come up with reasons to increase taxes and the size of government.

Jay said...

Dose of Sanity said...
Oh, poor jay. He had to find the one post of mine which didn't match with that.


Um, none of your posts match.

Which is kind of your point, troll.

Rusty said...

Eric said...
buwaya,

If the government forces you to pay something and will throw you in jail if you don't, either it's a tax or it's a fine. Social Security is a tax except in the narrowest legal sense in which Congress has redefined common words in order to avoid calling it what it is.



Thank you, Eric, for being so clear and concise.

If it weren't a tax our SS payments would go directly to the mythical SS trust fund instead of the treasury.
Byr,bye, all the money you paid in.

Rusty said...

Cedarford lives in Paraguay?
That explains a lot.

cubanbob said...

Michael said...

There are fine quality American made clothes. I buy them. It's called having an American citizen tailor make me a handmade suit.True the wools are either English or Italian but the the tailor made them and for the same or less than buying a comparable suit of the rack. Same for the dress shirts.

The problem with American's bemoaning loss of US made articles is that one never sees what the US exports.

The US is the world's third largest exporter, we could export even more if we actually had an intelligent congress, administration and state governments and removed unnecessary impediments to manufacturing in this country.

Dose, you seem nice enough but rather uniformed. Social security is not an income tax, it's an excise tax on income that is tasked for one thing only, your retirement. It's a government annuity (albeit run as a Ponzi scheme and with no property rights). That's why you get your annual statement of benefits at age X based on your contributions. So to say the poor pay an out sized contribution because it encompasses their entire income is a falsity, they are prepaying their retirement and nothing more.

Credit ratings: a rating is simply the estimate of credit worthiness, in other words the ability to repay debt. Raising the debt ceiling doesn't fundamentally change the underlying factors that correlate in to the ratings. Investors, even the less than superbly educated and sophisticated ones are quit capable of seeing and understanding a trend line.You have noticed that long term bonds aren't selling all that well. That is all you need to know. Otherwise the government could do the mother of all re-fi's and roll over the debt in to 50 or more year bonds at these low rates. I haven't seen a big market for those tenured bonds, have you? When you do, then the trend lines will be positive. Eventually the market will be even harder to please demanding shorter terms due to the expectation of at some point going into default.The only thing saving the treasury today is the EU is so messed up we look less bad in comparison and countries with solid economies and economic management are discouraging foreigners from shifting funds to them less it creates too high an exchange rate against reserve currencies.

As for your comments on AGI/ATL, you have zip idea what you are talking about. Because if you are right then I am wasting a lot of money on fancy NYC accountants. Although on the Internet nobody knows you're a dog, for what its worth my quarterly payments exceeds most people's annual income and as long as I earn ordinary income there ain't no magic deductions or special exceptions. The trick is to be able to retain enough earnings to eventually be able to shift one's income to capital gains, dividends and and muni tax exempts.

As for 'fairness' in renumeration and taxing, the business owner and or investors takes the risk, not the employee. The employee is no more risking his or her capital than any other vendor that provides a service, but unlike other creditors in the event of non-payment has better legal protection. As long as the employer fulfilled their contractual obligation they owe the employee nothing more. As long as the employee gets paid, they risked nothing. This was better stated by a previous comenter.

Bage C4 is a Klansman without the robe. Same racial and economic views.

jr565 said...

The problem with Obama's experts is that they are not expert and running an economy nor fixing a troubled one. WHat they are expert at is demagoging business and enacting left wing economic policies that stifle economic growth.

jr565 said...

Obama's experts are guys like Geitner who can't even use Turbo tax to file his own taxes and the 30or so other members of his staff who owe close to a million in taxes (each). We are getting the exact economic outcome you'd expect with experts like this.

jr565 said...

also, the reason he is now falling back on his tried and true, "the rich are evil" talking points, is that's all he has.
Yes, the statement he made in 2010 makes logical sense, but he's running against a businessman arguing to keep taxes low to stimuatle the economy. Considering the mess he finds himself in, the only thing he can argue is black is white, up is down, right is wrong. ie Doublespeak.

Oso Negro said...

All dis mad bugged out accounting shit on Althouse be remindin' me 'bout dis:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/what-yall-heard-about-tha-cpa-convention-be-lies,16285/

ken in sc said...

The original 'Robber Barons' were European knights who had earned or been given Baron status during the crusades. When they returned to Europe, having no skills except violence, they set up trade barriers across their territories and extorted tolls from commercial traffic. They did not create any value of their own. They are the opposite of the captains of industry of the 19th century. Calling those people 'Robber Barons' is one of the great injustices of history.

bagoh20 said...

Cedarford to refine your answer: no you don't do any different than the CEO's you are criticizing. Just like them, you buy based on value, and you don't value American jobs enough to pay extra for everything you buy. That really gives them no choice. You have a choice, you will just have less money. They will go out of business, and the result will be the same, because you can't control the global market. Play or don't, but don't complain about the ones playing by the only rules that are real.

I run a successful U.S. manufacturing business dedicated to buying, building and selling American as much as possible, but I don't pretend that everyone can do that.

Like you, Americans and everyone else wants value, and for most that means the lowest price. Those are the rules, no matter what you would prefer they be. Don't blame the CEO's - they either know that the customer is always right, or they quit. Business is not a political hobby.

XRay said...

You know, Jay, you may be the smartest person in the world for all I know, and everything you say true. But your shit-hole, arrogant attitude causes me to conclude that 'anything' you espouse is something I would fight against.

Just because you are such an ass. You would have no hope of me following you into combat, other than with a pistol held to my head. Even at that, at some point that threat would fail.

bagoh20 said...

Oso Negro,

I remember Herbert Kornfield. A great man, unappreciated by his peers. I read all his posts years ago.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Speaking of consensus, and going back to my second post of the day about how much we Americans really do agree with each other, nearly all of us say taxation should be progressive. The only issue is the steepness of the progressivity.

Then I'm a radical. Because I believe that the federal budget should be paid for, equally (in terms of absolute dollars) by each able-bodied adult.

You want everyone to pay their fair share? Well, the lower 50% who pay only 3% of all tax dollars today would pay their fair share of 50%.

Just because someone is able to pay more should not obligate them to pay more than anyone else.

Paul Hopkins said...

I think is All about political wisdom rather than economic wisdom.