Comments on: Mindless tax slogans dominate our debate Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: jambrytay Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:24:09 +0000 I don’t know if the numbers you cite are 100% accurate, and I don’t care, and don’t have a problem with the disproportionate distribution of wealth in the US. Would you prefer the top 1% to have 1% of the wealth and the next 19% have 19%, etc, etc.

I don’t have a problem with the various income disparity stats (the Gini Index, etc.) that people like to quote as I believe that the absolute income difference isn’t really a problem. If the ranks of the poor are growing over time or if incomes across the board are dropping, different story, but that’s not what the data shows.

Our economy works, in part, because we put a big, fat brass ring out there for motivated, talented, hard working people to aim for. People are not going to work ridiculous hours, take big risks, and make sacrifices for socialist wages. US businesses have developed lot’s of great stuff over the years—pc’s, iPhones, cures for cancer, etc, etc.—how many of these things came out of the old communist bloc? I can’t think of any.

By: deLafayette Thu, 15 Sep 2011 13:45:59 +0000 {… but we spend like a country that resembles our socialist cousins in Europe.}

If only …

At least Europe “wastes” its taxes on Universal Health Care (that very largely covers ALL serious illnesses regardless of their tenure) and Education (primary, secondary AND tertiary education, where the last costs about $1000 in tuition).

The US spends 3 times as much on the military than the EU and its Social Investment Programs are much higher.

It has a much tighter safety-net than the American one, which would not stop an elephant in free-fall.

Europe is a better place to live than the US, because its Social Investment Programs take more of the randomness out of simply living than does the US with its inbred Income Inequity.

Let’s not forget one salient fact, in terms of who garners how much wealth in America, here is the breakdown:
Top 1 percent – 42.7%
Next 19 percent – 50.3%
Bottom 80 percent – 7.0%

Those figures are from a site that has demonstrated professional analysis to obtain the above breakdown. You are invited to investigate yourself, here: a/power/wealth.html

If you find a flaw in the methodology, do come back and post it here. (I’ve been putting that challenge up on various forums for years and have never had it accepted.)

By: FrankTrades Thu, 15 Sep 2011 00:23:43 +0000 Just tell me how much of each dollar I earn I should be able to keep. …a number, please…

By: FrankTrades Thu, 15 Sep 2011 00:22:45 +0000 C

By: jambrytay Wed, 14 Sep 2011 15:06:06 +0000 Citizendave makes an excellent point…the US was poised to grow after WWII given the state of the rest of the industrialized world regardless of our tax rates.

The scenario the author cites (post-WWII with more progressive taxes and higher economic growth v. now) is something you see all the time in economic debates. People will argue a point and cite a single variable as proof to substantiate their argument while ignoring lots of other very meaningful variables.

Economic performance is driven by lots of variables, so to Citizendave’s point, make sure you consider the entire picture before declaring cause and effect.

We’re facing a fundamental question in our economy about taxation levels and scope of government, and currently, the two don’t match We tax like a country that has more limited government programs, but we spend like a country that resembles our socialist cousins in Europe. We need to pick one or the other. I believe more limited government and lighter taxation is the way to go.

By: binder123456 Wed, 14 Sep 2011 10:25:49 +0000 No more new taxes until the government stops spending more than it takes in now.

By: deLafayette Wed, 14 Sep 2011 09:56:02 +0000 IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO …

… that taxes are all badness.

I suspect, in this debate, the key factor that escapes most American is that without taxes many things do not happen. No Police Force, no firemen, no garbage collectors, no Army to protect our nation, no … well, you get the idea.

Having posited the above, let’s think of what expanding tax revenues might bring in light of the question “does it make either moral sense or economic utility?”

There are many programs that match either qualification and a couple that match both. Here are two that match both:
* A national health care system that is “world class” will take America out of the dark-ages. World class means “like Europe” – which learned long ago that health care is so universal in need that it must be a Public Option. It must be provided by the state and also price-mandated as well. Without those criteria, HC becomes enormously expensive – which has been the case in the US where it costs twice to three times as much per person as in Europe. And its indirect weight on the budget is pronounced as well, since much corporate HC-benefits are subsidized by the Treasury. And, of course, so is all Medicare/Medicaid.
* We live in a world well into the transition from the Industrial to the Information Age. The paradigm shift has dislocated jobs to the Far East throwing many of us into permanent or semi-permanent unemployment. But rather than lamenting the fact, we can actually try to do something. That something is making Tertiary Education (vocational, college, university and job retraining) as least costly as possible. It costs a young adult in France $1100 a year to go to university. It costs even less to enter two-year postsecondary schools. We should not be placing high barriers to those who need most training/education to get “decent jobs”. And those decent jobs certainly are not un- or semi-skilled as they were in the past.

The above are just two calls to action in order to get us out of the Deep Doodoo into which we have fallen.


Taxation at the upper-classes should be put back to pre-Reagan days, where they had been for decades. (They were in the 70/90% range.) It was Reagan’s lowering of them that opened Pandora’s Box of Ills. How’s that?

Here’s how:
* It created the feeding frenzy on both Main Street and Wall Street that brought about the SubPrime Mess, the Toxic Waste, and the Credit Mechanism Seizure of 2008 that spawned the Great Recession of 2009.
* The reduction in taxes had a serious and permanent effect upon our National Debt. See that in this infographic showing the coincidence between the lowering of upper-income taxes and the inflection upwards of the National Debt here: debt.png

Need more be said?

By: Jaigar Wed, 14 Sep 2011 08:33:32 +0000 Ugh, this article is so full of holes, I can’t believe these people can teach economics.

His arguement against the “All taxation is theft” is 2 things: an ad hominem attack and the current paradigm of “public goods”. The idea that perhaps the market would build roads or bridges out of its own interest is completely absent (how do you think roads were paid for in the early days of the country?). He tries to compare a gov’t who can’t tax to Sudan and Somalia, but is this really fair? Theres several issues in these war torn countries and trying to say that lack of taxation or government power caused the problem is oversimplifying the issue.

“Higher taxes reduce the reward for effort, just as trickle-down theorists claim, but they also make people feel poorer, which creates an incentive to work harder than before.”
I honestly do not understand the logic of this, it just completely boggles my mind. Its ok to take from people so they will be more productive? It never even addresses the morality of forcibly taking something from someone else.

And quoting Warren Buffet, cmon. The man just dumped a pile of money in BOA and do you know why? He knows they will get bailed out again if they’re in trouble.

By: Shohola Wed, 14 Sep 2011 05:33:14 +0000 There is a lot of misinformation being perpetrated. For instance, the myth about Obama growing the national debt at historical rates. I encourage everyone to do your own research!  

As of the end of FY2008, the debt stood at $10.0T.  Estimates for the end of CY2008 puts the accumulated debt at $10.7T, with the passage of TARP having taken place in December 2008.  The CBO Outlook published 1.1.2009 projected deficits for 2009 and 2010 combined of $1.9T based on existing economic policies and commitments carried over from the Bush administration.  This was before Obama even took office!  

As of 1.1.2011, the deficit stood at $14.0T.  Bridging from 1.1.2009, $10.7T + $1.9T + $0.8T Obama stimulus = $13.4T.  That leaves $600B of TOTAL debt growth outside of previously planned debt growth and stimulus during Obama’s term.  Now we can argue over the necessity of the stimulus (I personally think it was warranted given the state of the economy Obama inherited), but $600B growth over two years (which includes funding for two unfunded wars) is a fraction of the Bush era annual growth rate as calculated against existing debt.  

By: Gen Wed, 14 Sep 2011 04:04:00 +0000 It is interesting that only the right’s mindless slogans are listed. The left has just as many mindless slogans as the right. We did not get into this situation through only one parties bad leadership and failure.

We have serious structural issues to address in this country that require hard work and difficult choices to repair. Neither party has shown anything close to good leadership. They are great politicians but very poor government leaders.