December 7, 2012

"Almost every politician professes to admire it, almost none of them are willing to vote for it, and almost none of its supporters know what’s in it."

The Simpson-Bowles plan.

99 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

Isn't obvious the budget has become too ginormous to be addressed in one package? I think it should be broken down into 3-4 parts and we try to levy 3-4 separate taxes to support the separate parts. At least then, we may have a chance to fix at least a portion of our fiscal insolvency.

Seeing Red said...

They don't know what's in it? Pass it and find out!

Kevin said...

Simpson-Bowles, wasn't that the plot of a season one episode where Homer gives Marge a bowling ball with his name engraved on it, and she takes up bowling just to spite him and Albert Brooks gave one of the most hilarious short performances in TV history?

Otherwise it doesn't mean anything to me.

wyo sis said...

Wouldn't it be a good idea to write a bill so large and cumbersome that no one would or could read it and get it passed and then find out it was a fiscal reform plan that cut entitlements, opened up energy exploration and production, secured our borders and left taxes alone?

Paco Wové said...

I noticed this yesterday and thought it was interesting, despite its authorship. Is the "fiscal cliff" worse in some way than the sort of restraints that Simpson-Bowles would impose?

EDH said...

To be fair, many use S-B as shorthand to identify an "approach" to tax reform (broader base, lower rates), rather than adoption of a comprehensive budget blueprint.

MikeR said...

Sigh. Ezra Klein explaining why Republicans don't support it? Obviously, people like Paul Ryan were negotiating for a better deal. And why didn't the president support it? Obviously, given the budgets that he has put forth, the president didn't support it because he will not support any plan that balances the budget. All of them hurt too much.

I, on the other hand, would accept it as is. Spare me your complaints about the tax raises/cruel unfeeling cuts/dangerous cuts to defense. I will accept any plan that balances the budget. If you want a better plan, offer a different one - that balances the budget. We'll work it out. But only plans that balance the budget are allowed, and only people who are serious about doing it. Paul Ryan is serious by this definition. (As is Dennis Kucinich.) The president is not. Ignore him. Let the adults try to get something done for the country.

Seeing Red said...

I love people who talk about Kennedy & Clinton-era rates.......


Unless you were around then, you're just parroting.


I remember my parents bringing out the brown grocery bag full of receipts until 1986 when you couldn't write off all your sales tax. That bag contained all their sales receipts for the year. We had an adding machine, calculators were still a whiz-bang.

For you young'uns, you used to be able to write off car loan interest, too.

Nonapod said...

I, on the other hand, would accept it as is. Spare me your complaints about the tax raises/cruel unfeeling cuts/dangerous cuts to defense. I will accept any plan that balances the budget

Technically Simpson-Bowles doesn't "balance the budget" in the sense of revenues versus outlays.

It'd be interesting to see how many people would approve of a plan that would really wipe out the debt, a plan that would increase taxes by an enormous amount not just on the >250k set, but on everyone. Do people really want to pay for the government they apparently seem to want?

Colonel Angus said...

I will accept any plan that balances the budget.

The plan to balance the budget is like the one General Custer had. There isn't one.

Simply put, there just isn't enough taxable income to make any meaningful dent into the $1.1 trillion deficit. Go back to Clinton rates for everyone and we are still looking at over $800 billion annual deficit. Go back to Clinton era defense spending and we are down to about half a trillion in deficit spending.

It is unbelievable that we are spending the money we are and that the electorate thinks it cab he paid for by 2% of wage earners.

MikeR said...

Obviously, I don't mean that the deficit must be balanced by next year, or the national debt paid off. I'll take a reasonable plan with a reasonable time frame. Simpson-Bowles is reasonable, as is Paul Ryan's plan. The president's plan(s), on the other hand, do not pay off the debt ever - it just keeps growing.
Here are the three budget plans, according to their own numbers:
http://keithhennessey.com/2012/03/22/ryan-obama-bs/

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Colonel Angus,

What you said. It's amazing to me how many people (including media folk) confuse "reducing the deficit" with "paying down the debt." People, as long as there is a deficit, we are increasing the debt. And even the most ambitious plans don't do more than shrink the deficit. The "fiscal cliff" itself doesn't get us anywhere near zero deficit, let alone surplus.

Colonel Angus said...

The real tax breaks are in the middle class, mainly through deductions and income limits that essentially exempt many middle income households from paying income tax or at best, a nominal amount.

A progressive tax rate is fine, however the tax base in this country is narrowing every year where the real burden is laid on an ever shrinking number of income earners.

What tickles me is when people decry wealthy buying influence yet its the wealthy that make up the vast majority of Federal income tax revenue. Funny how influence has a direct correlation to how much money is taken to support the system. Sure the middle class and poor have the votes but its the wealthy who have the money. Money talks and bullshit walks. If you want to have influence in politics than you should have some skin in the game.

damikesc said...

Obviously, I don't mean that the deficit must be balanced by next year, or the national debt paid off. I'll take a reasonable plan with a reasonable time frame. Simpson-Bowles is reasonable, as is Paul Ryan's plan. The president's plan(s), on the other hand, do not pay off the debt ever - it just keeps growing.

Ryan and S-B get more votes than Obama's plan. But the media will never report it.

They will report the Republicans' attempt to actually PROPOSE OBAMA'S PLAN as a ploy to kill it.

Why?

Because it WOULD die. Nobody would vote for it. Better to demagogue.

A progressive tax rate is fine, however the tax base in this country is narrowing every year where the real burden is laid on an ever shrinking number of income earners.

And people ignore how liquid money is. CA is basically bankrolled by 104,000 taxpayers, I believe. NY isn't in markedly better condition.

What happens if the payers...move?

What happens if the rich here just decide to invest...elsewhere? Open plants elsewhere. Hire workers elsewhere.

Nonapod said...

I'm just curious if people have a sense of what they seem to want.

Apparently they an overwhelming majority of citizens seems to have no problem with letting the Bush tax cuts expire on the vile >250k earners even though it admittedly won't really do much to address the real problems (ballooning entitlements). Which makes you wonder, why do it?

And must people agree in abstract that the government spends far too much, but at the same time people get squeamish when it comes to actually talking about specific entitlement cuts.

So there's a problem, everybody acknowledges there's a problem, but nobody wants to really attempt to solve it. We're all a bunch of idiots.

sonicfrog said...

Sigh. Ezra Klein explaining why Republicans don't support it? Obviously, people like Paul Ryan were negotiating for a better deal. And why didn't the president support it? Obviously, given the budgets that he has put forth, the president didn't support it because he will not support any plan that balances the budget. All of them hurt too much.

I, on the other hand, would accept it as is.


Yep. No proposed plan is going to be comfortable for anyone. But we can't continue to have no plan at all. Fiefdoms are going to have to gutted in some parts of the Federal govt. And yes, that include defense, and ending the multi-trillion dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (most everything that is happening in the middle east right now concerning the overthrow of govts is either directly or indirectly a result of our own interferences in the GWOT) I'm sorry, but taxes are going to have to be raised to help even start to pay this huge debt off.

chickelit said...

And here I thought that Simpson-Bowles had to do with divorcee British royal consorts...

Jake Diamond said...

A progressive tax rate is fine, however the tax base in this country is narrowing every year where the real burden is laid on an ever shrinking number of income earners.

Colonel -
If you want to discuss this topic seriously, you have to stop pretending that a majority of federal revenue comes from federal income tax.

Jake Diamond said...

CA is basically bankrolled by 104,000 taxpayers

Bullshit.

Tank said...

There was no point in learning what was in SB, because there was never any chance of it, or anything like it, being enacted into law. Has Mr. Wonderful ever talked about the provisions in SB?

I said this a few days ago, any debt reduction plan that does not cut spending/raise taxes $1.4T next year is a debt increase plan.

Blah blah blah

SteveR said...

Did Ezra Klein get a date to the senior prom yet? Now that his acne has cleared up he's got a better chance.

Marshal said...

I'd be fine with Clinton era taxes if they were combined with Clinton era spending. Somehow that's never on the table though. Probably just an oversight.

Seeing Red said...

Well, that would explain why California has the most poverty.

rehajm said...

Shocking true fact #12 about Simpson-Bowles: it is a debt and deficit reduction framework that calls for the lowering of marginal tax rates, including the top marginal rate.

edutcher said...

This is why I like the way Rand Paul talks.

Just cut and screw it.

Seeing Red said...

CA is kind of funky right now, it seems they're getting somewhat of an Asian influx which is causing housing prices to rise. Getting out of China while the getting's good?

Seeing Red said...

Bono is getting there, after all, they did switch to a lower tax nation:

Via Insty:

The three quotations below carry virtually the same message, yet come from very different sources:

1."Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid."
2."In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure."
3."Entrepreneurship is the most sure way of development."
On November 12, in a speech at Georgetown University, U2's Bono (quote #1) discussed the role of enterprise and capitalism in alleviating global poverty. For a rock star whose travels to developing nations and advocacy of foreign aid are well known, this recent focus on commerce has surprised many observers—and apparently the man himself:

Colonel Angus said...

Colonel -If you want to discuss this topic seriously, you have to stop pretending that a majority of federal revenue comes from federal income tax.

Federal income tax accounts for about 47% of Federal revenues. Payroll tax makes up roughly 1/3. The rest is corporate and various excise tax.

Now if you would like to discuss the topic seriously, a little bit of education would go a long way for you.

Jake Diamond said...

Sorry Colonel, but 47% is not a majority. Please review the concept of majority before responding.

Balfegor said...

Re: Nonapod:

Apparently they an overwhelming majority of citizens seems to have no problem with letting the Bush tax cuts expire on the vile >250k earners even though it admittedly won't really do much to address the real problems (ballooning entitlements). Which makes you wonder, why do it?

It's been apparent from the very start that Obama in particular attaches huge symbolic importance to tax rates. In the 2008 primary, he was asked about cuts to capital gains taxation if the reduced level would result in more income. And his answer was that he opposed cuts even if they resulted in more income. His current obsession with gouging the rich is just a continuation of that trend.

It is also possible that he doesn't understand the scale of the gap between the revenues that would bring in and the revenues that are needed. Right now, we're projecting a 1.2 billion deficit next year. That incorporates something like $250 billion in revenues from expiration of all the Bush II tax cuts, especially the tax cuts for the middle class. It might also include a bunch of spending cuts from the sequester. So we're probably talking about a real baseline deficit of $1.5 trillion+. Raising taxes on >$250K + capping deductions raises $1.6 trillion, but on a ten year timeframe. So it's really only $160 billion this year -- but probably not even that because these things are always backloaded. If there's any revenue next year, it's probably on the order of $100 billion or something. That's better than the awesomely idiotic "Buffett rule" the President spent a lot of time bleating about ($4.7 billion, a rounding error against the deficit), but it's still not nearly enough.

If we're going to get the deficit down, we either need massive, broad-based tax increases -- not just on the "rich" -- or we need to slash spending by almost a trillion dollars a year. We could zero out the military budget and it still wouldn't be nearly enough. You can't get there without massively cutting entitlement spending. Means testing will get you partway there, but even that won't be enough.

The long-term solution is probably going to require some sort of rationalisation of our various federal welfare programs into a single, comprehensive program, severe means testing of social security and medicare, cuts to medicare and social security payments, and either massive tax increases on the middle class or a national VAT tax. And a downsizing of the federal government itself.

We've consumed $16 trillion+ worth of government that we didn't pay for -- about $6 trillion of that in just the last 4 years -- and there's no way to avoid that without a lot of pain.

edutcher said...

But it is a plurality. As the Colonel noted, there is no one majority revenue source.

Diamond doesn't understand these things.

Colonel Angus said...

Sorry Colonel, but 47% is not a majority. Please review the concept of majority before responding.

Perhaps you can enlighten the class as to where the majority of Federal revenue comes from. After all, you are the one making the claim.


Seeing Red said...

And jonesin' to raise taxes on $200K and above won't bring it into the majority.

I guess in short, there is no majority revenue source.

Unless you know something, Jake?

Colonel Angus said...

But it is a plurality. As the Colonel noted, there is no one majority revenue source.

Taxes on wages account for 80% of Federal revenue. Excluding payroll tax, its nearly half. Jack is just playing games and isn't interested in a serious discussion but rather at playing semantics.
Actually Jack demonstrates the mind of the typical liberal. Federal income tax doesn't represent the majority of federal revenue but we need to jack up taxes on wealthy income earners to pay down the deficit.

Genius.

Jake Diamond said...

But it is a plurality.

WTF? Hell, edutcher is dumber than I thought. Hard to believe, I know.

So basically what edumbshit is trying to say is that I'm right, the majority of federal revenue does not come from federal income tax.

Jake Diamond said...

Perhaps you can enlighten the class as to where the majority of Federal revenue comes from.

The painfully obvious answer is non-income tax sources.

Jake Diamond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

If we're going to get the deficit down, we either need massive, broad-based tax increases -- not just on the "rich" -- or we need to slash spending by almost a trillion dollars a year.

It's not the tax policy but the spending where we should be focusing our debate- looking only at tax policy, we run out of tax base long before we run out of deficit. And remember, the estimates for added revenues from the various changes in tax policy are based on static scoring. In the real world, people adjust their behavior as a result of the changes, and we won't raise as much as the estimates say we will...

Jake Diamond said...

Jack is just playing games and isn't interested in a serious discussion but rather at playing semantics.

I don't know who the fuck Jack is, but since he annoys you, he must be an interesting person.

Anyway, because the Colonel's mind isn't very sprightly nowadays, I guess I have to spell out the obvious for him:

If you are going to whine about the fact that our federal income tax is progressive, you should acknowledge that a huge chunk of our federal revenue comes from federal revenue sources that are regressive in nature. In other words, the wealthiest Americans are not carrying the federal revenue burden that you like to imagine.

Paco Wové said...

35% = "huge chunk"
47% = trivial, apparently.

OK!

Colonel Angus said...

The painfully obvious answer is non-income tax sources.

It's painfully obvious you're not very bright.

Jake Diamond said...

I'll add one more thing here...

You dumbshits elected clowns like Reagan and Bush who created massive deficits relative to GDP. You idiots thought starting two wars was a swell idea, just as long as you didn't have to pay for them. Of course, you adored the Bush tax cuts because, as the dumbass in chief said "It's your money!" Too bad Dubya didn't apply that same logic to his spending sprees; instead we got "We'll just put it on the national credit card!"

Some of you idiots still drool at the thought of more tax cuts. Seriously, stop blaming the poor and the elderly for YOUR bad decisions and YOUR bad political choices. Blame the incompetent and corrupt politicians you elect year after year and take personal responsibility for your votes that put these losers into office.

And, anticipating edumbshit's whining, don't try to blame one party or the other. You dumbfucks are so wrapped up in partisan hysteria, you care a helluva lot less about good policy outcomes than you do about electoral outcomes.

EMD said...

I'd be more than willing to play the role of the villainous hatchet man.

All I need is the "budget" and a red pen.

Jake Diamond said...

47% = trivial, apparently

Only to you, dumbfuck. Take your straw man and shove it up your ass.

Jake Diamond said...

Ok, Colonel, so you don't understand the idea of subsets. You don't understand what majority means. And you are innumerate. Does that cover it?

EMD said...

You dumbshits elected clowns like Reagan and Bush who created massive deficits relative to GDP.

Porkbusters. Remember that? Of course not, because it doesn't fit your narrative of everyone loving GWB's spending habits.

As for Reagan, he had the luxury of a Democratic- controlled congresses did he not?

Colonel Angus said...

If you are going to whine about the fact that our federal income tax is progressive, you should acknowledge that a huge chunk of our federal revenue comes from federal revenue sources that are regressive in nature. In other words, the wealthiest Americans are not carrying the federal revenue burden that you like to imagine.

As I said, you're not very bright as demonstrated by your poor reading comprehension. If you read my original comment, I said progressive tax rates are fine. My complaint is that the tax base is becoming increasingly narrow. Perhaps I can get Chip Shit to draw you a picture to make it easier to understand.

Also you are incorrect that a huge chunk of federal revenue sources are regressive in nature. Payroll taxes account for about 1/3 of revenue which means income tax, corporate tax and excise taxes account for the remainder.

Fact of the matter is the top 20% of wage earners shoulder the vast majority of the tax burden in this country. It's a fact I'm sure you will deny as the cock crows but its a fact nonetheless.

Jake Diamond said...

I'd be more than willing to play the role of the villainous hatchet man.

All I need is the "budget" and a red pen.


You may know about this, but there's a website where you can play the budget game. It's moderately instructive. I'll find the URL if you're interested.

Paco Wové said...

Screech, screech, screech, 'Jake'. Go insult somebody who cares.

EMD said...

51% of revenues are derived from income taxes (personal and corporate.)
40% payroll taxes
6% other
3% excise taxes.

Make of these numbers what you will...

Colonel Angus said...

FDR put WW2 on the national credit card to the tune of 120% of GDP.

Colonel Angus said...

And that should say Chip Ahoy. Not sure how auto correct got shit from Ahoy. I blame Bill Gates.

EMD said...



I've tried a few, but they're very static in nature in terms of measuring any tax cut as revenue (ugh) negative without considering economical impacts of such activity.

In one such, I got to 60% Debt/GDP ratio by 2023 without raising taxes. I did, however, strip a lot of deductions and subsidies.




EMD said...

Oh great, now we're going to have to call him Chip Shit.

EMD said...

For some reason, Blogger deleted my reference to Jake's comment about budget simulators.

Jake Diamond said...

Fact of the matter is the top 20% of wage earners shoulder the vast majority of the tax burden in this country.

Well, since you don't know what "majority" means, "vast majority" might mean 34% to you. Why don't you quantify what "vast majority" means before I prove you wrong?

Jake Diamond said...

I blame Bill Gates.

As long as you don't blame yourself.

Another "personal responsibility" Republican in action.

damikesc said...

You dumbshits elected clowns like Reagan and Bush who created massive deficits relative to GDP.

And who are trumped, routinely, by Obama's MONTHLY deficits.

MONTHLY.

Get that? Obama overspends more in a month than Reagan or Bush did in a year.

You idiots thought starting two wars was a swell idea, just as long as you didn't have to pay for them.

Are you aware, oh poster child for abortion, that the costs of the war were very much included in the national debt the entire time?

And Obama has STILL spent more. A LOT more.

Don't fucking lecture us on fiscal responsibility with the moron in charge right now.

And, anticipating edumbshit's whining, don't try to blame one party or the other. You dumbfucks are so wrapped up in partisan hysteria, you care a helluva lot less about good policy outcomes than you do about electoral outcomes.

As you spend all of your time blaming a party.

Funny.

Why not support tax hikes that will be needed to MAYBE keep us solvent in 2025...assuming that Obamacare doesn't do what every single gov't program has ever done and end up costing multiples more than originally promised.

Would only require middle class taxes to increase more than 50%.

If you are going to whine about the fact that our federal income tax is progressive, you should acknowledge that a huge chunk of our federal revenue comes from federal revenue sources that are regressive in nature. In other words, the wealthiest Americans are not carrying the federal revenue burden that you like to imagine.

Bush made their tax burden MORE Progressive.

Do you realize that?

I say the House should pass with all Republicans voting present Obama's proposal and refuse to consider anything else.

"Moderate" Dems want to win elections in 2014.

damikesc said...

Why don't you quantify what "vast majority" means before I prove you wrong?

He should define something to enable you to beclown yourself further?

virgil xenophon said...

Jake reveals himself to be more ignorant of the facts than even the average bear. The Regan deficits were NOT caused by lowering the tax rates--in fact tax revenues to the government more than doubled (you can check the Cong Budget Office)--but because Congress incautiously spent the increased revenue on new & expanding existing programs rather than retire the debt. That the Democrats were in charge of the House 100% and Senate 75% of the entire time Regan was in office and during Bush's Presidency the GOP had a bare majority in the House until they lost it in 2007; and the Senate was split 50-50 (or 49-49-2) during his entire tenure seems to have escaped Jack's notice..

virgil xenophon said...

PS: And Jakes too, lol

Shouting Thomas said...

Jake, do you ever pull that corncob out of your ass?

You are so appallingly stupid, vicious and angry that I picture you blowing up like that guy in The Story of Life.

Colonel Angus said...

Well, since you don't know what "majority" means, "vast majority" might mean 34% to you. Why don't you quantify what "vast majority" means before I prove you wrong?

Since you failed to comprehend the words from my initial post and created a strawman to bash against the wall, I find it rather pointless to continue to engage in any kind of dialouge with you.

I suppose if I am feeling magnanimous later, I can attempt to educate you on the difference between payroll taxes and income taxes and, as sources of Federal income, where each are allocated and in what proportions.

Since Obama is so keenly focused on raising income tax rates on us fat cats, I guess he thinks that's where the majority of revenue is to he found. Maybe you should call him and let him know its elsewhere.

Nonapod said...

Fact: We are spending far more than we are taking in.

Fact: Raising taxes on the top earners won't result in nearly enough revenue to cover future outlays (about 1.6 trillion in revenue over 10 years evidently, or roughly 10% of the current public debt).

I'd be curious to know at what tax increase level would we the debt begin to decrease. If we raised the income tax on people making >$250 a year to 90%, would that cover it?

At what point does do things become absurd in the minds of these progressives? At what point does reality intrude upon hatred of the GoP, conservatives, the rich, and whomever else are considered the great oppressors of the moment? At what point do they acknowledge that they have to stop blaming their opponents for all the perceived slights and ills and actual deal with this entitlement problem?



Balfegor said...

RE: Colonel Angus:

Also you are incorrect that a huge chunk of federal revenue sources are regressive in nature. Payroll taxes account for about 1/3 of revenue which means income tax, corporate tax and excise taxes account for the remainder.

Well, in fairness, "1/3" is a pretty big chunk. Let the man enjoy his victories where he can. Also, corporate taxes are probably mildly regressive -- or at least much less progressive than our income taxes -- since they're going to be paid for by customers, employees, and owners (often pension funds and ordinary investors, in the case of public companies). As a result, practically speaking, a lot of that corporate tax money is coming out of the income of the middle-class the poor, rather than the top-hatted and monocled capitalists that people sometimes seem to imagine pay corporate taxes.

That said, you're obviously correct on the broad point. The wealthy are paying for all the rest of us.

edutcher said...

Jake Diamond said...

But it is a plurality.

WTF? Hell, edutcher is dumber than I thought. Hard to believe, I know.

So basically what edumbshit is trying to say is that I'm right, the majority of federal revenue does not come from federal income tax.


No, the man made of dumbshit (he's the expert on things dumb around here) doesn't understand the English language. I was agreeing with the Colonel in his point that more comes from income tax than anything else.

I'll add one more thing here...

You dumbshits elected clowns like Reagan and Bush who created massive deficits relative to GDP. You idiots thought starting two wars was a swell idea, just as long as you didn't have to pay for them. Of course, you adored the Bush tax cuts because, as the dumbass in chief said "It's your money!" Too bad Dubya didn't apply that same logic to his spending sprees; instead we got "We'll just put it on the national credit card!"

Some of you idiots still drool at the thought of more tax cuts. Seriously, stop blaming the poor and the elderly for YOUR bad decisions and YOUR bad political choices. Blame the incompetent and corrupt politicians you elect year after year and take personal responsibility for your votes that put these losers into office.

And, anticipating edumbshit's whining, don't try to blame one party or the other. You dumbfucks are so wrapped up in partisan hysteria, you care a helluva lot less about good policy outcomes than you do about electoral outcomes.


Gee, tell us again how Willie returned budget surpluses while he was Serial Rapist In Chief.

Diamond can also tell us how he put things like Desert fox on a credit card, too.

And the Demos had a chance to fix this with their ubermajorities, but decided to make things worse.

As they say, if you want to get out of a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging.

PS Diamiond should talk about 47% being a majority, especially an electoral majority.

He hasn't heard how, after his Secretaries of State project went nowhere, Dr Evil invested heavily in companies that write software for voting machines.

Paragraph 5 is the killer and the conclusion is devastating.

Balfegor said...

I'd be curious to know at what tax increase level would we the debt begin to decrease. If we raised the income tax on people making >$250 a year to 90%, would that cover it?

Yes, but only because the bar has been set down at $250K. I looked at this once before in the past, to see what level of taxation of the top 1% of income-earners would be needed, but alas, I cannot find the IRS AGI tables I used to calculate it out. At any rate, it would only close the deficit, not eliminate the debt, so we'd be in a pickle if marginal rates of 90% led to contraction in the economy (they totally would).

Balfegor said...

re: Nonapod:

At what point does do things become absurd in the minds of these progressives? At what point does reality intrude upon hatred of the GoP, conservatives, the rich, and whomever else are considered the great oppressors of the moment? At what point do they acknowledge that they have to stop blaming their opponents for all the perceived slights and ills and actual deal with this entitlement problem?

Some Democrats and progressives have read the writing on the wall. Senator Durbin, for example, is facing protests from progressives who are terrified that he is going to agree to entitlement cuts (cannot find a good link, but while in a cab, I heard a radio interview with Durbin where without saying it in so many words, he told the interviewer that cuts would need to be made). Also, Steny Hoyer has made clear that entitlement cuts need to be considered.

The President is mostly off in la-la land where rich people will still pay for everything, but it's possible his so-called "balanced approach" includes entitlement cuts, not just cuts to discretionary spending.

Roger J. said...

Seems to me Balfegor make an excellent point re te effects of taxation on spending choices. Discussions (and probably most simulations) fall into the ceterus paribus trap--raising rates will result in unforseen consumer and tax payer choices that will ripple throught the economy and thereby affect future tax revenues from future, as yet unforeseen, sources.

Case in point--Bush 41 raised the luxury tax on yachts--well heeled buyers stopped buying yachts and drove some yacht manufacturers out of business. (a bit more complicated than that, but I think the basic point stands).

Colonel Angus said...

Also, corporate taxes are probably mildly regressive -- or at least much less progressive than our income taxes --since they're going to be paid for by customers, employees, and owners (often pension funds and ordinary investors, in the case of public companies).

Of course although the realities are lost on the Jack Diamonds of the world. Rather than debate facts, Jake wanted to score points by erecting a strawman out of what constitutes a majority of Federal revenue as if it all goes into a big pot. The fact that Obamas plan calls for raising Federal income tax, not payroll, excise or corporate tax tells you where the lions share of Federal expenditures are derived.

Jake Diamond said...

Get that? Obama overspends more in a month than Reagan or Bush did in a year.

Obviously I have to repeat everything for the benefit of the mental slowpokes here:

"Reagan and Bush who created massive deficits relative to GDP."

Key words: "relative to GDP." Please pay attention, dumbass. Also, for the record, the largest deficit (without reference to GDP) belongs to Bush for FY 2009.

Now, that doesn't mean that Obama hasn't created his own set of large deficits, but you don't get to pretend that you believe in fiscal responsibility if you are a Reagan-Bush Republican.

Are you aware, oh poster child for abortion, that the costs of the war were very much included in the national debt the entire time?

Dear Dumbfuck,
In what world do you think adding the costs of wars to the national debt constitutes paying for the wars? Was there any attempt to raise revenue to cover the costs of the wars? No.

As you spend all of your time blaming a party.

Actually, no, I spend most of my time here blaming dumbshits like you.

Bush made their tax burden MORE Progressive.

Bullshit.

He should define something?

It's his unsubstantiated, vague claim. Yeah, defining what he means and providing evidence to support it is his burden.

damikesc said...

How much would taxes have to go up?

Here's a good piece on that:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/334549/kindly-note-impending-bankruptcy-mark-steyn#

and

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/12/06/why-rush-limbaugh-should-back-ginormous-tax-increases-now/

damikesc said...

Key words: "relative to GDP." Please pay attention, dumbass. Also, for the record, the largest deficit (without reference to GDP) belongs to Bush for FY 2009.

The budget never presented to Bush and signed by Obama?

That one?

In what world do you think adding the costs of wars to the national debt constitutes paying for the wars? Was there any attempt to raise revenue to cover the costs of the wars? No.

The war cost 1 or 2 Trillion. A lot of money to be sure...

It translates to about 20 months of the Obama administration.

Where is your plan to cover Obama's costs? A tax hike to raise up enough revenue to pay, maybe, for 8 days of one year's spending?

You also ignore that Obama escalated the war in Afghanistan, vastly increased drone usage, and got us involved in Libya.

Bullshit.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/everyday_economics/2004/10/bushs_tax_cuts_are_unfair_.html

edutcher said...

Diamond thinks if he qualifies everything according to his whim and calls everybody dumb, this makes him right.

Sounds like Diamond and Hatman are sharing the same id.

Jake Diamond said...

Ok, I have to admit, Virgil is an idiot. First, I didn't make any assertions about what CAUSED the Reagan deficits. I simply acknowledged that they occurred, which is undeniable.

Second, Virgil drools on about the history of the federal budget during the Reagan years without acknowledging several very important points:

- Federal income tax rates were lowered and federal income tax receipts decreased, predictably.

- Federal payroll tax receipts increased dramatically as a result of Social Security reform.

- Federal tax receipts did not "more than double" during the Reagan years.

Facts trump fantasy, Virgil. Sorry.

Jake Diamond said...

Shitting Dumbass -

Your continuing obsession with me is noted. Unfortunately I find your stupidity revolting. Please look elsewhere if you hope to have your affections returned.

Good luck.

Jake Diamond said...

I find it rather pointless to continue to engage in any kind of dialouge with you.

Ah, so the Colonel has chosen to retreat. A wise move, Colonel. Better to withdraw than lose.

"He who babbles and runs away, may live to babble another day."

Jake Diamond said...

Since Obama is so keenly focused on raising income tax rates on us fat cats

Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Jake Diamond said...

Also, corporate taxes are probably mildly regressive

Federal excise taxes are also regressive.

edutcher said...

No, he just doesn't want to waste his time in a battle of wits with someone who still is learning his colors.

Jake Diamond said...

I was agreeing with the Colonel in his point that more comes from income tax than anything else.

Ah, so like the Colonel, you believe 47% is a majority. It must suck to be as stupid as you.

Jake Diamond said...

He hasn't heard how, after his Secretaries of State project went nowhere, Dr Evil invested heavily in companies that write software for voting machines.

Paragraph 5 is the killer and the conclusion is devastating.


You know, your wacky "Romney won in a landslide but the Democrats stole the election" conspiracy theory was amusing the first 100 times you posted it. Now it's yawn-inducing.

Roger J. said...

Seems to me income taxes come from two sources: personal income and corporate income. According to EMD's figures, which I assume come from the Brookings Institute, those two income figures add up to 51 percent. Which, the last I looked is an absolute majority. But mostly, this has been an exercise in parsing, strawmen, and goal post moving, and does little to inform the larger issue. but it does keep the commentariat occupied.

Balfegor said...

Re: Jake Diamond:

Key words: "relative to GDP." Please pay attention, dumbass. Also, for the record, the largest deficit (without reference to GDP) belongs to Bush for FY 2009.

Yes . . . for most of which Obama was president. I understand the point you're trying to make here, but it breaks apart when you put it under scrutiny. First, much of the discretionary spending for FY2009 wasn't even signed by Bush II -- it was actually signed by Obama. Second, approximately $114 billion of the spending in FY 2009 was due to the 2009 "stimulus" bill also signed by Obama. And there are other quibble too, but this is sufficient to illustrate the point.

Even if you attribute the spending bills Obama signed to Bush II, once you back out the $114 billion, the deficit in FY 2009 is actually smaller than 2010 or 2011.

That's not to say that Bush II would have been better than Obama -- his solution to problems (throw money at it) was basically the same as Obama's. Or rather, the reverse. Just that trying to put FY2009 under Bush II's ledger doesn't really work.

Balfegor said...

Sorry, smaller than 2011 or 2012(estimated), not 2010.

Jake Diamond said...

damikesc -

Your link doesn't support your contention that Bush made the tax burden more progressive. Good effort but a fail nevertheless.

EMD said...

Ah, so like the Colonel, you believe 47% is a majority. It must suck to be as stupid as you.

But 51% is, which is where we are at in 2012 in terms of income tax as a portion of total revenue (damn, I hate that term.)

Jake Diamond said...

Balfegor -

Just to be clear about this, I'm not defending Obama. In fact, I explicitly stated "don't try to blame one party or the other. You dumbfucks are so wrapped up in partisan hysteria, you care a helluva lot less about good policy outcomes than you do about electoral outcomes." I specifically identified Reagan & Bush deficits because (a) a "vast majority" of Althouse readers appear to be Republican, (b) a "vast majority" of those Republican Althouse readers whine about deficit spending, and (c) I'm damn tired of idiots who filter out information they don't want to hear.

Anyway, I appreciate your open-mindedness. I don't agree with your take on the FY 2009 budget, but it's a point not worth quibbling about.

virgil xenophon said...

@Jake

Proof please that Federal Income tax receipts were reduced as a result of Reagan's lowered rates. Lets start with the CBO, for starters... and yes, I AM a fool for entering into a dialogue with the likes of you--but better a fool than a moronic imbecile..

Jake Diamond said...

But 51% is, which is where we are at in 2012 in terms of income tax as a portion of total revenue

You're combining personal income tax with corporate income tax to get 51%, right? You realize we were talking only about federal individual income tax, right?

Roger J. said...

Virgil: recall George Bernard Shaw's aphorism with respect to pig wrestling.

Balfegor said...

Re: Jake Diamond:

I think if your tone were less abrasive, you'd discover that a lot of the commentators don't think Bush II's spending was all that great either. They (and I) just think Obama's is worse, because Obama and Congress decided to continue those elevated levels of spending even after revenues dropped $400 billion due to the recession and outlays jumped $500 billion, largely due to automatic spending. That ought to have been a wakeup call that we need to retrench. Maybe not immediately (in the depths of the recession). But that we needed to change course pretty dramatically.

That obviously didn't happen.

Roger J. said...

Jake Diamond--I am too lazy to scroll back thru all the comments, but the basic issue with respect to the definition of income is this: personal income? or corporate and personal income? if its personal income then it is not a majority; if it is total income then it is a majority.

Seems to me this particular discussion point has been an exercise in pole vaulting over mouse turds with a health dose of ad hominems thrown in for effect, and does little to forward any workable policy solutions--but, of course YMMV.

Roger J. said...

As far as a political solution to the problems of the economy? Neither party has an interest in solving it; they only have an interest in prolonging it and scoring political points, most likely aimed at the 2014 midterms.

I continue to believe, with few exceptionsm, that a principled politician is an oxymoron.

I am old enough to weather any budget crises and come out on top; my children, however, are truly fucked.

elkh1 said...

Like Obamacare, we need to pass it before we find out what is actually there, don't we?

edutcher said...

Jake Diamond said...

I was agreeing with the Colonel in his point that more comes from income tax than anything else.

Ah, so like the Colonel, you believe 47% is a majority. It must suck to be as stupid as you.


I called it a plurality, moron. If you actually read what I said.

My God, you're that dense and you have the nerve to call everyone else dumb?

And we're supposed to believe, with people like you supporting him, Little Zero won?

gsgodfrey said...

Jake, you started by quoting the Colonel "A progressive tax rate is fine, however the tax base in this country is narrowing every year where the real burden is laid on an ever shrinking number of income earners."

You respond "Colonel - If you want to discuss this topic seriously, you have to stop pretending that a majority of federal revenue comes from federal income tax. "

1. The Colonel never used the word majority, you did.

2. When someone adds corporate income tax, you complain "You're combining personal income tax with corporate income tax to get 51%, right? You realize we were talking only about federal individual income tax, right?" Well, you chose "federal income tax" above. If you meant individual, you should have said it.

3. Whether it is a majority or "only" 47%, the Colonel's comment regarding the burden is true.

gsgodfrey said...

edutcher says: I was agreeing with the Colonel in his point that more comes from income tax than anything else.

Jake says: Ah, so like the Colonel, you believe 47% is a majority. It must suck to be as stupid as you.

Fine, Jake. Bill Clinton had more votes than anyone else in his two elections. Doesn't mean that it was a majority either time or that we think so. Why are you so hung up on the word majority, when it's not part of anyone's argument but yours? Let it go.

EMD said...

You realize we were talking only about federal individual income tax, right?

You realize that most individuals pay both, right?

Not robots.