Democrats & Liberals Archives

Reps Borrow $70 Billion To Aid Needy Billionaires

I guess $3 trillion in tax cuts wasn’t enough for America’s wealthy elite. Republicans just gave these poor tycoons, who amass their wealth by playing the stock market, another $70 billion — and judging by the depressing performance of the world’s markets the last couple days, it’s not a moment too soon. Some of these guys are down to their last billion.

As a fiscal conservative, I have a whole bunch of problems with this Republican spending spree: For one, the $70 billion price tag looks odd until you find out that the Republican's "fast track" rule allows any kind of deficit spending to be immediately put to a vote with no debate, as long as it's less than $70 billion. Republicans rightly concluded that borrowing $70 billion from China and passing it right along to America's most wealthy might lead some in the Democratic Party to question their colleagues' sanity and try to put a stop to it.

Good thing you never allowed Democratic legislation to eliminate fast tracking to ever see he light of day, huh Mr. Frist (Yes, that's sarcasm).

Next, the only thing about this $70 billion giveaway that doesn't totally reek is that it extends the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch for another year. But seriously, if Republicans were any good, they'd have solved the problem rather than just extending last year's temporary fix.

And it's no surprise that the lion's share of this $70 billion hand out goes to the rich. Again. But it seems to me, if Republicans really feel the need to borrow money and then hand it out, they might want to give consumers like us -- who drive two-thirds of the economy -- a break, or better yet, invest it in infrastructure and R&D so that America can remain strong and competitive. Why are Republicans so intent on shoveling more money into the off-shore accounts of the idle rich?

But the absolute worst thing about this new windfall for the wealthy is that it's not really a tax cut at all. Republicans refuse to offset the revenue loss with spending cuts, so this is just more deficit spending on top of all the deficit spending they've done since they blew through the budget surplus they inherited. Republicans are borrowing $70 billion from China, turning around and handing it to America's wealthy elite, and sticking the rest of us and our kids with the bill plus interest. That oughta' be illegal.

Is it really worth massive tax increases for all of us and our kids in the future, just so a few fat cats can get a break on short-term stock trades and dividend earnings right now? I don't think so. If my Republican Congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, wasn't in jail, I'd let him know that his job is on the line over this particular Republican borrow-and-spend scam.

Posted by American Pundit at May 19, 2006 6:19 AM
Comments
Comment #149391

The GOP, the party of borrow and spend, borrow and spend…. neither conservative nor liberal… rather, they’re delusional (read, psychopathic) and need a good anti-psychotic medication such as thorazine.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at May 19, 2006 7:16 AM
Comment #149396

Dr. Poshek,

Not Delusional, just ethically challenged. I am reminded of the infamous Death Tax

Death Tax

No political patron shall go unrewarded by direct cash payment from the bowed backs of the working class.

Posted by: gergle at May 19, 2006 7:46 AM
Comment #149398

There is nothing wrong with rewarding your Base. The loyalty the GOP shows to its followers is what America is all about.

Posted by: Aldous at May 19, 2006 8:03 AM
Comment #149399

AP,

“Our pro-growth policies stand in stark contrast to those in Washington who believe you grow your economy by raising taxes and centralizing power,” said Bush, joined at the signing ceremony by Vice President Dick Cheney.”

I especialy liked the part about “stark contrast”
and “centralizing power”.

When will enough be too much?

Posted by: Rocky at May 19, 2006 8:10 AM
Comment #149401


The loyalty that Hitler showed his base is what Nazi Germany was all about.

Posted by: neil at May 19, 2006 8:15 AM
Comment #149406

You seem to think the money belongs to the government and not to those who earned it. We run deficits when Congress spends more than they take in. Blame the Republican Congress and Bush if you wish, but drop the class envy.

Posted by: Keith at May 19, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #149409

Keith,

We are the government and when there isn’t enough money to do business, we all suffer.

I’m all for less government, but remember, we’re in a war, and we are borrowing against the future to pay for it.

We have serious bills to pay.

Soner or later China will want a return on it’s investment.

Posted by: Rocky at May 19, 2006 8:55 AM
Comment #149410

OK, Aldous, that accounts for 18+/- votes at a few billion. Is that what America is all about?

I know this is off topic, but I just read a disturbing article on Drudge

Holocaust II?

Posted by: gergle at May 19, 2006 9:03 AM
Comment #149413
You seem to think the money belongs to the government and not to those who earned it.

No, the money belongs to China, and Republicans are handing it out to the wealthy and sticking us with the bill plus interest.

If Republicans were any good, they’d offset the revenue loss of the tax cuts with spending cuts. But they won’t. They’re spineless.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 19, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #149419

American Pundit,

I’m not sure if you noticed, or even took time to look it up, but the government took in more money in 2005 from taxes than it has ever taken in (approx. $2.15 trillion). Not sure why you think there was a revenue loss. Not sure why you think the tax cuts were the cause of any loss.

Posted by: Keith at May 19, 2006 9:39 AM
Comment #149420
There is nothing wrong with rewarding your Base. The loyalty the GOP shows to its followers is what America is all about.

Yeah, buying votes is so American. That’s what this country is all about. Right.

Posted by: Max at May 19, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #149423

Keith, if you cut taxes, you lose revenue. That’s Counting 101.

But I know what you mean, and I’ll let Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke answer you:

“Because they increase economic activity, cuts in marginal tax rates typically lead to revenue losses that are smaller than implied by so-called static analyses, which hold economic activity constant,” he said. “However, under normal conditions, tax cuts do not wholly pay for themselves.”

In the short term, you’ll get a revenue boost as the financial guys shift money around, but there’s no getting around the fact that a tax cut is a revenue loss.

And both Greenspan and Bernanke both consistently criticized Republicans for borrowing money to fund their tax cuts.

What Republicans need to do is cut spending. They control all three branches of government, but they’re too spineless to do what’s necessary to balance the budget.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 19, 2006 9:54 AM
Comment #149425

AP why would you think the Republicans would take a “cutting edge conservative idea” like cutting spending and use it to benefit the middle class? well unless it came from the religious right. Oops is that class envy ?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 19, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #149426

AP-

On your last sentence we agree. But what party has ever had the spine to cut spending?????

At least the Republicans practice the “starve the beast” theory of Friedman (tax cuts plus deficit spending as a means of controlling the federal government). Increasing taxes only gives the government a larger share of the GDP.

This Q&A with Friedman is about a year old, but in it he touches on most of today’s topics (immigration, deficits, taxes, S.S., foreign ownership of our debt instruments)

Posted by: George in SC at May 19, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #149428
At least the Republicans practice the “starve the beast” theory of Friedman

I wish they would. Republicans are content to borrow money to cover the deficit. As long as they do that, nothing is “starving”. Republicans are irresponsibly trying to have it both ways and we already see the consequences with inflation and interest rates rising.

But what party has ever had the spine to cut spending?????

Umm… Clinton cut the federal bureaucracy by 426,200. That’s a big cut in salaries and benefits. He kept government growth at 2.4% over eight years while Bush grew the federal bureaucracy by over 11% every year in his first term. It’s about 40% bigger right now than it was in 2001!

Clinton also worked with the old Republican Congress to cut spending quite a bit. Frankly, what we need is a little old-fashioned gridlock. Give Democrats a majority somewhere and you’ll see how quick spending slows.

Give Democrats a majority in both houses, and you can bet we’ll repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 20% and balance the budget. You may not like the way it gets done, but we’ll have a balanced budget and a strong economy again. ;)

Posted by: American Pundit at May 19, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #149430

American Pundit,

You can quote our Fed Chair if that is what you must do, but the fact of the matter is.

Fed Receipts 2003 $1.78 trillion
2004 1.88 trillion
2005 2.15 trillion

The most the government ever took in before that was in 2000 at $2.05 trillion. These figures come from both the OMB and the CBO. I agree with you that rampant spending is the cause of high deficits. Your post was more a rant against tax cuts and the rich, both of which are misplaced.

Posted by: Keith at May 19, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #149435
You can quote our Fed Chair if that is what you must do

Fine, Keith. The Fed Chairman is just one of those college educated, liberal elite idiots who has no idea what he’s talking about anyway, right?

Your post was more a rant against tax cuts and the rich

No, it was a rant against tax cuts FOR the rich. :)

Seriously though, don’t you think it’s a bad idea to borrow $70 billion so that people who derive their revenue from short-term stock trades and stock dividends can get more money? I mean, you’re going to pay for it — plus the interest.

Republicans plowed through a $5 trillion dollar surplus, and then added another 7 or so trillion dollars to the national debt on top of that. The federal budget deficit is running about half a trillion dollars every year. Don’t you think a gratuitous spending increase like this without any offsetting cuts whatsoever is a bit irresponsible?

Posted by: American Pundit at May 19, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #149439

Keith,
convenient of the right to fixate on revenue. You do realize that an exponential increase in government spending will result in a corresponding increase in revenue, right? Spending $5 to bump the top line by $1. Is this sound economic policy?

Posted by: Schwamp at May 19, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #149443

If you are unhappy with our Republicn controlled White House and Congress, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Write letters: op/ed, your Congressman (if they give a hoot, most do not); volunteer at the local party hq, with candidates who share your vision for this country; give money to these candidates and most of all VOTE THESE ULTRA RIGHT WING PEOPLE OUT OF OFFICE. Plus tell your friends and neighbors about the candidates you are voting for and make sure they are registered to vote and that they have a way to get to the polls. Remember you can vote ahead of time, which saves time and energy.

Posted by: C.T. Rich at May 19, 2006 12:02 PM
Comment #149444

Keith wrote:

I’m not sure if you noticed, or even took time to look it up, but the government took in more money in 2005 from taxes than it has ever taken in (approx. $2.15 trillion). Not sure why you think there was a revenue loss. Not sure why you think the tax cuts were the cause of any loss.

That’s all because of economic growth, which happens every year (except during a recession). Tax RATES have gone down, not up. That is a revenue loss over what tax revenues would be without the reduction in rates.

Posted by: Steve K at May 19, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #149449

Just wondering if any of Kieth’s billionare heros are going to use any of their further tax break dollars to finance any hurricane relief projects or trips to the desert to help out the men and women fighting his blunderer in chiefs war…??? probably not . they wouldnt want to break the status quo or risk embarassing themselves in front of their crony’s at the yacht club eh spalding??

Posted by: red leg one at May 19, 2006 12:33 PM
Comment #149451

Under the republican rule our guys will not only have paid with their blood and sacrifice in the war , they will also have to pay for it years after they get out with thier tax dollars .. But so long as the right wing base stays happy and courted while our boys bleed ..

Posted by: red leg one at May 19, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #149462

Steve K:

You hit the nail on the head when you pointed to economic growth, but you missed the point. The economic growth was because of the tax cuts. Is it really conceivable to think that the economy was running sluggishly and then just happened to surge forward after the tax cuts were enacted?

Most are in agreement now that the tax cuts have helped the economy. The idea is rather than taking a bigger piece of the existing pie (increasing taxes), you take a smaller piece of a bigger pie (reducing taxes, but getting increased revenue from the economic growth).

NY state is an example: tax rates are exceedingly high in NY state, so people don’t want to live there. Newcomers dont come in and oldtimers leave. So what does the state do? They increase the taxes more on those that stay, thereby increasing the number of people who want to leave. Taken to infinity, eventually you have one New Yorker left to take on the entire tax burden for the state.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at May 19, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #149474
The economic growth was because of the tax cuts.

Which tax cuts? :)

The child tax credits, ending the marriage penalty, and expanding the 10% bracket stimulated the economy — just like everyone thought they would. But they’re only 25% of the whole $3 trillion package. The other 75% went to the wealthiest 20%’s offshore accounts and is nothing but a drag on the economy.

As for your New York theory, it’s irrelevent. All experts now agree that economic growth alone — ie, the Republican “plan” to do nothing — will not eliminate the deficit. Congress must either significantly cut spending, or do what Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton did: raise taxes.

The current level of deficit spending is unsustainable, but Republicans are too spineless to solve the problem. Rather than cut spending, it’s politically easier for them to borrow the money and screw the future.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 19, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #149476

And this new $70 billion handout to the rich just puts us $70 billion deeper into the hole.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 19, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #149479

Okay, everybody just relax! I have it on good authority (Dick “don’t get in my face or I’ll shoot yours off” Cheney) that deficits don’t matter.

I am sick and tired of this Right wing assertion that this wonderful booming economy, an economy whose recovery from the 2001 recession has lagged in every meaningful index the previous six recession recoveries) is because of these insane, profligate tax cuts. If the link below doesn’t drive a stake through the heart of this ugly beast, it’s because the reader may have an ideological ax to grind.


http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0514-20.htm

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 19, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #149493

AP

I agree heartily that tax cuts alone do not solve the problem. We HAVE to cut spending. The question is where. Set scheduled outlays such as Social Security and health care are eating up a bigger and bigger piece of the revenue pie, so something will need to be done with these issues. The porkbarrel spending is just too much—its sad that a good idea of politicians bringing needed money into their home communities has been so bastardized. We need to get a handle on the overspending, and this is a political issue.

For instance, when Homeland Security funds were made available, common sense would have dictated that the most money go to the areas most likely to need defense. Yet politics dictated that equal amounts go to everyone, and so much money was wasted protecting open fields in South Dakota or Montana, rather than the real areas that need protecting. This kind of stuff has to stop.

The New York theory is ultimately relevant. If taxes keep going up, people leave. The solution is lower taxes and less spending, which leads to economic growth.

Tim:

I’ll read into your link when I have time. I’d say that both AP and I disagree with your assessment, since both of us have stated that tax cuts DO in fact lead to economic growth. Allow me to ask you what you think has led to the economic growth we’ve seen, coincidentally directly following the tax cuts.

Posted by: joebagodonuits at May 19, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #149494

The property tax rates in upstate new york are sky high, it does matter. there,s still a lot of older folks in those small cities and towns.many live on fixed incomes ,it effects the quality of there lives!. yes houses are still a bargain there, i am going to move back to my birth place in upstate new york, i found a nice place in the country, 20 acres, a creek. price $235,000 not bad .property tax is over $10,000 a year, BAD! bad ,for young people who are trying to buy, and stay in there places of birth. half of them move out of state.or are forced to rent for ever, they sure would like a little piece of the american dream!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 19, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #149498

Jeobagodonuts: In Ohio income taxes have gone way down, especially for high income residents. To offset revenue loss, the state has cut spending on social programs, infrastructure and other needed programs. We have also raised sales tax rates and fees on licenses.

So, this good republican state has cut out a lot of wasteful needless spending and it has made the tax structure a lot fairer. And yet, Ohio ranks 47th out of 50 states in job creation. Ohio ranks 50th in new business startups. And, Ohio is constantly loosing residents. Taken to infinity, sooner or later there will be one Ohioan left to pay all the sales taxes and fees.

Posted by: jlw at May 19, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #149509

Here’s a link that casts doubts on the theory of tax cuts not affecting the national debt and that they pay for themselves.

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/14603575.htm

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 19, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #149516

All I know is that I had a whole bunch of money invested in the stock market in 2000 … (mostly blue chips) and today it is worth about the same as it was when Bush took office.

Also, no one at my company has had a raise in 3 years.
(In fact, due to gas prices, we have all had a net LOSS of disposable income).

I read somewhere recently that in terms of real income, American families make LESS than they did 20 years ago.

So when people talk about this “booming economy” that Bush supposedly engineered by giving tax cuts to super-wealthy Americans, I have to wonder — WHAT BOOMING ECONOMY? It may be booming for a tiny fraction of folks — but not for most of us.

I would be interested in hearing from any of you middle-class folks who have seen your incomes rise steadily over the past 6 years (without selling your house, and taking into account all the rises in health insurance premiums, gasoline, and local property taxes.)

Because when I add in all those things, my income is sliding down, down, down.

In 2001, Bush told us that the way to prosperity was to give billions in tax cuts to people who already had billions. And we went along with it . But nothing has changed —- except rich people got a LOT richer. The rest of us have not prospered. In fact, since Bush took office, more than 5 million Americans saw their incomes drop below the poverty line.

How is this responsible and competent leadership?

I really do think that Republicans have not got the faintest idea about the fiscal realities facing most Americans. They live in a dream world of borrowing and spending and rewarding their obscenely wealthy base with MORE money.

And no, this isn’t class envy. I happen to have several wealthy friends who are also sick at the irresponsibility of the Republicans in Congress. They can see the immaturity, greed and denial that underpins Bush’s policies.

I think it’s interesting that those who defend the tax cuts have had almost nothing to say about our rampant borrowing from China.

Posted by: PatiencePie at May 19, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #149517

jlw:

There’s always a lag time between policy and results. And of course, the overall business climate (workers, skill levels, industry base etc) all have a lot to do with how a state’s economy works. I was giving a very simplistic version of how taxes can hurt.

In NY state, property taxes are outrageously high, so it affects how much house one can buy. That in turn causes people to not want to live in the state because they pay so much in taxes. As an example, I pay 3 times more in property taxes than my brother does—-yet his house is worth 3 times more than mine.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 19, 2006 3:55 PM
Comment #149522
“Allow me to ask you what you think has led to the economic growth we’ve seen, coincidentally directly following the tax cuts.”

Only if I be allowed to ask you, “What economic growth?” I know, I know, GDP is up, job creation is up (although last month’s numbers of 137,000 was again sub-par), productivity is up, investment is up…in other words, everything seems to really be picking up for everybody in the rarified air the 100K and above income bracket. Wall Street is beaming—but Main Street is steaming. In fact, when I hear that Wall Street is happy about anything, it’s usually time to head to the bunker.

Meanwhile, closer to the ground where most folks in this country live, gas is over $3.00/ gallon, consequently everything else is climbing too, food, clothing, interest rates on borrowing, medical costs…I know I should be more grateful for everything the Republicans have done for me these last five years. And I can’t for the life of me understand why the general public doesn’t embrace this booming economy. Maybe it’s the loss of jobs, job insecurity in general, the unbelievable national debt and the slow dawning of realization that if they did something similar in their personal lives there would be hell to pay, and debtor’s prison in their future.

About 60% of this country now lives paycheck to paycheck, even two-income families can’t keep up. So, in answer to your question, I’ll explain this robust economy as soon as I start seeing some evidence that it’s really there.

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 19, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #149524

jbod, good point ! southern cal is a example, are you a upstate person? i am from the finger lakes region.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 19, 2006 4:09 PM
Comment #149531

Patience:

“WHAT BOOMING ECONOMY?”

You too? What are we doing wrong? Is our ingratitude showing again?:-0

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 19, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #149544

rodney:

Im just outside of Syracuse. Am going to Interlaken soon to open up a family cottage on Cayuga Lake in the heart of the Cayuga Lake wine region— Finger Lakes vineyards produce decent whites and lackluster reds if you are wine connoisseur. Apparently the growing season is simply not long enough to produce the deep hearty grapes for reds, so they tend to be more sweeter table wines.

Other than the taxes, which are a pretty direct result of one of the more corrupt political systems in the country, NY is a wonderful place. Oh, and the snow….gotta complain about the snow.

Tim:

I’m not an economist. I can’t explain all the facts and figures. What I do know is that people generally talk about how good the Clinton economy was—and it was. Clinton did a good job of allowing Greenspan to work his magic. At the end of his presidency, some of the smoke and mirrors started showing up, but generally, the economy was good.

Today’s economy, when ranked according to the same statistics and methods, is comparable to the Clinton economy. If the mid 90’s was good, so too are the mid-aughts. If you want to present a case that the mid-90’s economy was bad, then today’s would fit that as well. But its wrong to consider one good and one bad, when the statistics bear them out similarly.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 19, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #149552

joebagodonuts:

“If the mid 90’s was good, so too are the mid-aughts.”

Sorry, I ain’t buying—for the simple reasons that the monstous deficts, very slow job growth and stagnant wages indicate to me trouble in paradise.

Let me assure you that I’m no economist either. But, over the years I’ve noticed that you lay all economists end to end, you still don’t reach a conclusion.

Did you read the article? It has some telling points. I have heard numerous economists explode supply-side orthodoxy—some of them I even believed! I’m ready to listen to rebuttals, but I have serious doubts about the efficacy of tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, being the only way to economic nirvana, especially with that Chinese guy’s lean and hungry look over across the way.

I just think there’s something out of wack—seriously out of wack. I sometimes lack the technical language and the expertise to articulate my concerns. But I got a bad feeling about this, and it won’t go away.

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 19, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #149565

Gee,if the economy is so good why is it getting harder to make ends meet?

I know Paris Hilton and Leona Helmsly really needed a tax break and it is the least I can do to help the poor dears by shouldering more of the load.

Posted by: BillS at May 19, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #149570


Rodney B., JBOD: Rodney, by the wording in your statement, I am assuming that you considered the price you paid was a decent deal. By this, I mean that your property is worth at least the 235,000 you paid for it and possibly more. So, assuming your property, for tax purposes, is worth 235,000 and you are paying 10,000 per year then your property tax rate is about 4.25%.

I think that if you were to check what the tax rate was 10 years ago you will find that the rate has changed very little, while the value of the property you purchased has gone up quite a substancial amount. And, it is probably due to land speculation and inflation.

I don’t know what the voters are like where you live, but where I live, the people get a chance to vote for a property tax increase every blue moon or so. A property tax increase passes once every 10 or 15 blue moons.

Joe, this is just speculation on my part but, assuming,since you live in N.Y. to, your tax rate is similar to Rodney’s 4.25%. If you are paying 3 times as much as your brother and your brother’s property is worth 3 times as much as yours, your brother’s tax rate would be about 0.47%. May be we should move to where your brother lives.

Meanwhile, speaking of tax breaks for the rich, down here in the land of the low income worker, they only happen to the lucky guy whose extra income retirement plan (mega-millions) comes in. And the great economic prosperity that has been created by those tax breaks sure hasn’t trickled down to us yet.

Just the other day, a frend of mine asked if I would tutor him so he could pass his GED and find a job because he and his co-workers at the cedar plant have graciously voluntered to give up their jobs at the end of May so the plant can close and the new plant in China can open June the 1st. I hope the Chinese workers are thankful for the sacrifice their American counterparts have made for the economic successes we are enjoying.

My friend and his wife are raising three grandchildren. He is 52 years old, over weight and has hypertension. He has worked nearly every workday since he was a teenager. Is anyone out there who is closer to the top of the economic ladder interested in giving him a job? Probably not.

Posted by: jlw at May 19, 2006 7:12 PM
Comment #149571

AP, great article and follow-up posts. Same for Tim Crow and PatiencePie (btw, like that blogtag). BillS, yours totally cracked me up! Thanks.
Now all that’s needed here is for phx8 to jump into the thread… I love it when that guy blogs on economics.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 19, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #149577

jlw thank you for the info, btw. i live in so cal look up prop 13 by howard jarvis. thank you

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 19, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #149579

jlw:

I’ve never figured out the mill rate or percentage rate of my taxes. I know some places do full assessment while others don’t.
What I DO know is this:

Per capita property tax burdens in New York are 49 percent higher than the national
average and property taxes measured as a share of personal income are 28 percent higher.

Local property tax levies grew by 60 percent from 1995 to 2005, more than twice the rate of infl ation during that period (28 percent). Most of this growth occurred in the last 5 years – when property tax levies increased by 42 percent,
compared to inflation of 13 percent.

New York taxpayers have the highest combined State and local tax burden in the nation, with a
total tax bill of $131 for every $1,000 of personal income in 2002, nearly 26 percent higher than the national average.

Local property taxes in New York were $1,406 per capita in 2002, or 49 percent above the national
average, and $40 per $1,000 of personal income, or 28 percent above average.

The point of my comments is to show that high taxes don’t help in the long run. They do help in the short run. We need to be taxed fairly and equitably, and EVERYone should pay some taxes. I favor a flat tax of around 17-18%, with the caveat that the poorest 10% pay a slightly smaller amount and the wealthiest 10% pay a slightly higher amount.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 19, 2006 8:02 PM
Comment #149583

And they announce today there will be no additional funding for No Child Left Behind. Sorry, kids, we had to give the money to the rich people so they would stay our friends.

The rich people are the only friends the GOP have left.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 19, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #149584

AP:

You quoted our fed chairman who said:


“Because they increase economic activity, cuts in marginal tax rates typically lead to revenue losses that are smaller than implied by so-called static analyses, which hold economic activity constant,” he said. “However, under normal conditions, tax cuts do not wholly pay for themselves.”

Thenk you said:


Give Democrats a majority in both houses, and you can bet we’ll repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 20% and balance the budget. You may not like the way it gets done, but we’ll have a balanced budget and a strong economy again. ;)

The knife cuts two ways. If you believe taxcuts partially pay for themselves through increased activity, then you also have to admit that tax increases do not totally “pay for themselves” because of reduced economic activity.

So how much are you willing to raise taxes to balance the budget? How much are you going to slow down the economy to do it? I certainly am not ready to raise taxes after the spending spree my republicans have been on. That is called enablement.

Also, we don’t need democrats to strengthen the economy as you say. The economy is already strong.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at May 19, 2006 8:26 PM
Comment #149586

jlw, btw, a report called high taxes in new york state on the web, the report states new york property taxes increased over three times the rate in inflation from 2000 to 2005. the increase is 49% above the national average!!!!….. save the hot air for ohio!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 19, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #149587

Get phx8, Craig holmes has arrived.!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 19, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #149588

Somewhat more seriously, our economic paradigm is fundementally flawed. More credence given as to how economic factors actually effect people’s lives should be the basis for rating economic well being. One good guidline is infant mortality rates. The US is now only slightly better than Latvia,for Gods sake. Worse than Cuba. Far worse than Canada.How about using the number of days an average worker has to work to make ends meet for example? The GDP or average income rates when so dramatically tilted to the wealthy are misleading. A better question is how much benefit for the most people is an economy producing. If not,what is the point of an economy? Until we start asessing things differently it remains quite easy for us to be deluded. Take inflation. Many of our leaders,political and economic, have been saying it is under control. They sited “core inflation” rates as tame. “core inflation ” means they disallowed energy cost and houseing,the two sectors those of us in the real world have been struggling with for years. In other words they figured out how to fix inflation,just lie about it.
Well folks,the chickens are about to come home to roost. One of the most inflatioary forces on any economy is military spending and we have been spending at levels comparable to WW2. The reason it is so inflationary is that it produces huge demand but does not put any supply back in the economy. That is why during every major conflict some type of wage/price controls have been implimented,usually with mixed results at best. I am not saying defense spending is not necessary,just that we are paying far more than we can support and expect a decent economy and we are paying far more than is appropriate to the security threats we face. Much of the budget is earmarked for obcenely expensive systems that are both dangerious and useless. The poster child for this is the anti-missile system that even if it worked would only protect a section of Alaska and then only if the enemy was polite enough to tell us when and where the missle being fired.It would most likely miss anyway. Our current enemy is more likely to bring a warhead in in a canoe than an ICBM but never mind, Alaska needs useless jobs and there is a senator to grease. 2.2 billion for one airplane? Lets see,thats a thousand new grammer schools. We can’t go on like this ,boys and girls.

Posted by: BillS at May 19, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #149589

49% read it, different post times!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 19, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #149591

Republican view on Democrats…
“Tax and spend”
Democrat view on Republicans…
“Spend and spend”
Until we get the “spend” portion of the equation under responsible control none of the revenue increases are worth a damn.
A 0.27 trillion increase in revenue offset with the increased spending just makes no sense.
We must teach them that if they want to keep their jobs in DC they must do better.

Posted by: Ted at May 19, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #149595

Joebagodonuts,

You wrote:
I’ll read into your link when I have time. I’d say that both AP and I disagree with your assessment, since both of us have stated that tax cuts DO in fact lead to economic growth. Allow me to ask you what you think has led to the economic growth we’ve seen, coincidentally directly following the tax cuts.

Answer: Deficit spending has led to what mediocre growth in some indexes of the economy. Indicators such as real income and savings are not up when you factor out the huge increases in the very wealthy. The mean income of Bill Gates and 99 bums is in the million per year. You still have one extremely wealthy guy and 99 bums at the end of the day.

You wrote:
There’s always a lag time between policy and results. And of course, the overall business climate (workers, skill levels, industry base etc) all have a lot to do with how a state’s economy works. I was giving a very simplistic version of how taxes can hurt.

Reply: Then how can you account for the tax cuts being responsible for the ‘great’ economy we have now?? You can say that Bush II’s tax cuts remedied the recession AND Clinton’s policies resulted in the great economy of the 90’s OR you anc say that Clinton’s economy was the result of Bush I’s policies and we’re currently living in Clinton’s policy’s results… but you can’t have it both ways. Personally, I think the Consumer Confidence Index has a great deal to do with the economic status. It was high under Clinton and is mediocre under Bush. Average Joebagofbluecollarwork knows what is happening around him when it comes to earning money and being able to spend money. Right now he’s living on the edge and is afraid to spend or is spending with the hope that things get better.

You wrote:
I’m not an economist. I can’t explain all the facts and figures. What I do know is that people generally talk about how good the Clinton economy was—and it was. Clinton did a good job of allowing Greenspan to work his magic. At the end of his presidency, some of the smoke and mirrors started showing up, but generally, the economy was good.

Reply: You didn’t have to tell us that you can’t explain economic facts and figures. Your statements make clear that you don’t really understand how the economy works. Greenspan helped keep interest rates and the money supply stable. He didn’t legislate policy which transferred money from the wealthy (who also GAINED wealth from the Clinton economy and put it in the hands of the consumers who pumped up the economy by circulating the money instead of putting it in a Carribean bank.

You wrote:
Today’s economy, when ranked according to the same statistics and methods, is comparable to the Clinton economy. If the mid 90’s was good, so too are the mid-aughts. If you want to present a case that the mid-90’s economy was bad, then today’s would fit that as well. But its wrong to consider one good and one bad, when the statistics bear them out similarly.

Reply: Sorry, you are giving misleading information. On some indices the numbers are similar, but on other indices the numbers are way down. Median savings are down, median wages adjusted for inflation are down, consumer confidence is down, growth in wealth by the top 5% is up sharply, growth in wealth by the top 1% is up astromomically. http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2513/ http://www.sharedcapitalism.org/scfacts.html

You need to turn off Fox TV and do some real homework about ecomomics. The Republican Monopoly Game economic theory has us in deep trouble. What happens in the game when the wealthy own all the properties and the other players cannot pay? Is it Go to Jail for everyone? What markets will the wealthy go to for investing their money? Are we going to solve the immigration problem by emulating the Mexican economy? When our jobs pay no better than their jobs the tide will stem.

Sheeshh… though economists argue over the effects of policy, when they write the next college Economics 101 textbooks, the Supply Side Theory will be an example of what doesn’t work. Guns and Butter all over again along with the topping of Supply Side economics… how many ways do the Republicans want to kill the Golden Goose?

LibRick

Posted by: LibRick at May 19, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #149617

LibRick:

Well, easy there, big fella. You sure know how to sling it, or at least you try to.

My comments about Clinton were deadnuts accurate. So were my comments about a lag time. We didnt see the economy immediately move upwards after the tax cuts—it took a while. You seem to think that the lag time must be a set time frame, from your comments. Its not.

You fail to mention that part of the great economy during his tenure was the tech bubble that burst along with the shady accounting that became known in Bush’s first year. I’m not blaming Clinton for these, but they were there nonetheless.

Bush took over an economy that had peaked and was on the way down at the end of 2000. It stayed down a while. Obviously, you think it was just coincidental that the economy picked up after the tax cuts. There are of course multiple reasons for an economy going up or down, but I say tax cuts are one of the reasons our economy is up. You can feel free to disagree, despite the evidence.

You can also feel free to continue the “sky is falling” mantra. I’ll keep on investing and earning money. And no, I’m not one of the so-called “rich”. I’m just an average joebagodonuts who recognizes that there are opportunities for those who want to take them. There are also crying towels for those who want them. You decide for yourself which you prefer.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 19, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #149631

joebagodonuts,

I’m not crying or playing the pessimism card. I’m just trying to use the latest data to analyze what drives an economy. I agree that there are many, many factors, but macroeconomic theories abound and Supply Side economics (tax cuts and other tools used to put money in the pockets of the wealthy) is pretty much showing to be a fool’s paradise and propaganda of the rich. It’s just not working.

The Clinton years did prosper from the tech bubble, but that occurred concurrently with the policy of increasing the tax rates of the wealthy and reducing taxes on the lower middle classes. Are you going to say that the massive amounts of money pumped into tech stocks and investments in the 90’s were all from the Reagan years? No, the wealthy invested during Clinton’s term inspite of the higher tax rates because they knew where the money was being earned.

Long lag times, short lag times on the effect of policies on the economy… it is easy to use this to one’s favor in any argument. I could as easily use a lag time excuse to argue for any economy I wanted. 3 months, 8 years, whatever. This is a constant point of Reaganomics and supply siders. It doesn’t hold water. Check the S&P’s or the Dow’s performance during Democratic presidencies versus Republican presidencies. Would it surprise you to learn that the Democrats win this one over the last fifty years? Even over the last 25 years. Sorry. Your understanding of what drives the economy is just flat wrong.

I’m not trying to attack you personally. Far from it. And, BTW, I AM in the bracket which benefits from the current Bush tax structure. But the long term costs will outweigh the short term benefits I fear.

I’m currently plowing all my extra funds into education for my three offspring. Top schools cost big money and I fear for their economic future with the rising debt to foreign nations. America is only as strong as its middle class. When will that become apparent to the current Republican leadership???

Posted by: LibRick at May 19, 2006 11:01 PM
Comment #149642

MY consumer confidence has been dropping for about four years. I started paying off my debt and buying less. Right now I have less debt than at any time in forty years, but am still not buying much. These tired old bones are not up to a complete failure of the economy that I see coming, and I don’t want the witch-woman to come around to get all I’ve worked so hard for.

If I feel this way, I wonder how many other Americans have been quietly doing the same thing…

I know this. No economy is growing as long as the debt increases at a greater rate than the growth. That is truely VOODOO economics.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 19, 2006 11:34 PM
Comment #149647

Repeal the 16th ammendment.
RT16A

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 19, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #149663

>>Repeal the 16th ammendment.
RT16A


Posted by: Weary Willie at May 19, 2006 11:45 PM

It ain’t the taxes that are the problem, it’s the debt. We just can’t keep cutting taxes (especially on the rich), and expect to survive economically. It has been pointed out that the economic indicators look good right now, because revenues are increasing annually. But the debt is increasing more than the economic indicators, so our balance is out of whack…go figure…

Posted by: Marysdude at May 20, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #149665
I’d say that both AP and I disagree with your assessment…

No, Tim’s right. It’s a fact that the Republican’s trickle-down economics guts our economy. It’s all the Republican borrow-and-spending that gives it the appearance of health, but eventually we’ll pay for that. Or, rather, the poor and middle class will pay; the rich will be living it up on the Riviera.

…since both of us have stated that tax cuts DO in fact lead to economic growth.

…in the short run. It’s not sustainable, and there will come a day of reckoning for the Republican’s fiscal irresponsibility.

JBOD, Tim’s article is a bit biased in editorial style, but it’s right on with the facts: demand-side economics drives a healthy economy, and the Republican’s supply-side economics kill it. The last twenty-six years proved that.

Rich people do not drive the economy, consumers do. The vast majority of Americans are employed by Mom & Pop operations, not tycoons. It makes zero economic sense to give rich people massively disproportionate tax cuts.

If you cut taxes on the wealthy, it gets stashed in off-shore accounts and is spent outside the country on French wine and Russian caviar. It doesn’t stimulate the American economy, except initially as the money managers shift things around to take advantage of new tax and investment opportunities.

If you cut taxes on the middle class — and the child tax credits, ending the marriage penalty, and expanding the 10% bracket (a mere 25% of Republican tax cuts) were good starts — then people buy stuff. Consumers drive two-thirds of the economy, and when they can’t afford to buy stuff (and save money), the economy stalls.

America’s economic problems — and yes, we do have problems beyond our rising debt — are not capital problems. The problem is that people can’t afford to buy stuff or put money in the bank for the future.

For example, if you’re a factory owner and low demand is only keeping your factory half busy, what are you going to do with more money? It would be foolish to build another factory when people can’t even buy half of what your first factory is capable of producing. You don’t need capital, you need consumers.

Give the middle class more tax cuts and you’ll see a healthier economy.

The Democrat’s view on the economy is to let the working class keep more of their money because they need it more than the rich — and it drives a strong American economy.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 20, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #149671

How long are you going to wage this class warfare? You can’t say cutting taxes will only result in short term economic groth when it has been proven over the last 30 years that tax cuts promote economic groth.

J.F.K. promoted tax cuts.


Posted by: Weary Willie at May 20, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #149675

Marysdude:

MY consumer confidence has been dropping for about four years. I started paying off my debt and buying less. Right now I have less debt than at any time in forty years, but am still not buying much. These tired old bones are not up to a complete failure of the economy that I see coming, and I don’t want the witch-woman to come around to get all I’ve worked so hard for.

If I feel this way, I wonder how many other Americans have been quietly doing the same thing…

Very few. Consumer confidence is about where it was ten years ago, and we have been using out homes like cash machines.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at May 20, 2006 12:59 AM
Comment #149681

“How long are you going to wage this class warfare?”

Hah!! Guess who’s been watching Fox ‘News’!!! Talking point 213! I know you didn’t think that one up by yourself!!!

“You can’t say cutting taxes will only result in short term economic groth when it has been proven over the last 30 years that tax cuts promote economic groth.”

Yes, I can say it!!! It has been proven in your mind only. There were times when tax cuts coincided with economic indicators that rose. But to say that those cuts CAUSED the economic growth is a leap that only one who is already convinced could make. Learned economists argue over the causes of economic growth. It is neither a given fact nor do all concede that tax cuts promote growth in every situation. So… I can say quite honestly that I don’t believe that the recent tax cuts (last 6 years of targeted cuts given primarily to the wealthy) are what’s driving the current economy.

You may believe that the moon is made of cheese. It doesn’t make it so.

The class warlord Bill Clinton increased taxes on the wealthy only to preside over the most robust economy since WWII without the aid of deficit spending. Pretty solid evidence against your tax cut/growth theory.

Oh, and BTW, the wealthy ended up still increasing their share of wealth.

LibRick


Posted by: LibRick at May 20, 2006 1:17 AM
Comment #149687

AP:

Thanks for reading the link—I’m glad somebody did!

There is an unspoken challenge to the way money is being distributed in this society. That nearly fifty per cent of the country is owned by one percent of the population is a direct and pernicious challenge to democracy. We see tell-tale evidence every day in Washington. Our representatives are not hearing the whole story because corporate lobbyists are waving money under their collective noses.

This economic chasem between the haves and the have-nots is growing rapidly. The last five years of Republican policy has exacerbated the issue.
This isn’t about class envy, or whether you can buy that house, or afford a college education for your twins. This is about the survival of our way of life.

Democracy has never seen the challenges we’re facing now: peak oil, environmental degradation, the threat of nuclear holocaust, economic collapse. There is no question that in economic terms, democracy has taken some serious hits in the last 30 years, because of corporate takeover of government. The economic divide that has accelerated in this generation is cutting millions out of the American dream.

Every time this is mentioned, Republicans claim that such discussion is ‘class warfare’. And they’re right. Economic Darwinism, tax cuts for the people that don’t need it, corporate welfare so stunning I don’t know how they can look themselves in the mirror ($14 billion in tax cuts and incentives for the oil industry?)is indeed class warfare—and the American working class is starting to wake up, it seems.

There is a simple credo that I think should guide American economic principles: everybody does better when EVERBODY does better.

Right now, and in fact, for some time now, that has not been the case.

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 20, 2006 2:02 AM
Comment #149688

BillS.:

I’ve appreciated your input on this thread. Your concern about the wages of militarism and the cost of the “defense” budget are well-founded IMO.

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 20, 2006 2:06 AM
Comment #149708

AP:

I wasn’t trying to put words in your mouth when I stated that both you and I disagreed with Tim’s assessment that tax cuts do not lead to economic growth. I was basing that on your statement that “the child tax credits, ending the marriage penalty, and expanding the 10% bracket stimulated the economy — just like everyone thought they would.”

I understand that statement to say that tax cuts DO stimulate the economy, IFFFF they are targeted properly. If that’s the case, then the question changes from “Do tax cuts help the economy” to “We know tax cuts help the economy, so where specifically should we cut taxes”. That’s precisely what your statement in your last post says….”Give the middle class more tax cuts and you’ll see a healthier economy.”

By your statements, you are saying that tax cuts, when targeted to the middle class, help the economy. That is at odds with what LibRick and Tim Crow are saying. They say tax cuts do NOT grow the economy.

Tim:

Thanks for the articles. I scanned them both very quickly, they had lots of info to digest, which I’ve yet had the time to do. I WILL read them in depth, as I’m interested in your point of view. I know there are alternate points of view as well, and I like to get info on all sides. I do appreciate your comments and info—just haven’t had the time to analyze them.

LibRick:

Thanks also to you. I do think the tax cuts have helped the economy. I don’t think its a coincidence that the economy moved upward directly after the tax cuts. One can argue that its a short term fix, but its hard to say that it didn’t provide a fix at all.

As I stated, I’m generally in favor of a flat tax structure, with mild fluctuations at both ends. I think that would be the fairer way to drive revenue, and would also, if done properly, be revenue neutral.

As AP and I have agreed, the spending must come down. Our nation spends too much on things we WANT, but do not NEED. “Wants” are now becoming defined as “needs”. I see poorer sections of town where ramshackle houses sport a satellite dish, but no paint. I see people who qualify as poor driving expensive cars. I see government pouring money into “bridges to nowhere” ad infinitum when Medicare and SS are the real issues. We need to bring fiscal responsibility back to the spending side. Without it, none of the plans will work. In the end, I believe tax cuts do help the economy grow, but I will pause for now and read Tim’s information before continuing with that belief.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 20, 2006 7:11 AM
Comment #149745

joebagodonuts:

You’re welcome. I don’t pretend to think these articles are the end-all-be-all to these economic discussions we’re having.

Like AP said, I believe these tax cuts have been a jolt to the economic system, and perhaps have helped in the short run. I just wonder what the mid-term (and long-term consequences) are.

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 20, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #149758

Is anyone really surprised by this?

What should we expect, if we keep empowering and re-electing the very same incumbent politicians that keep using and abusing us?

If you don’t like these irresponsible, arrogant, unethical, dishonest, ponzi-schemes, then stop re-electing those that do it.

Or, keep doing it, and keep complaining. Perhaps that’s the truth. Perhaps voters would rather complain, rather than take action? It’s much easier to just pull the party lever, than give it some thought.

Do you know any responsible incumbent politicians ? Who are they ?

With such a corrupt and dysfunctional government, with the bar set so, so very low, and a severe lack of transparency, who can really know ?

Have any incumbent politicians done anything to distinguish themselves from the typical irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbents ?

Can anyone list 10, 20, 50, or even 268 incumbents (half of the 535) in Congress) that:

  • do not vote irresponsibly for pork-barrel (while our troops risk life and limb, go without body armor, armor for vehicles, and adequate medical and health care) ?

  • do not vote themselves cu$hy perks and raises (e.g. such as the extravagant retirement plans, funded by tax-payers, that are not part of the same mismanaged Social Security and Medicare systems that tax-payers are relegated to) ?

  • do not ignore problems for fear of risking re-election or defying their big-money-donors ?

  • do not prevent newcomers from passing badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms ?

  • do not tempt, pressure, and threaten newcomers with the loss of party support if the newcomers don’t accept the status quo ?
  • do not pander ?

  • do not peddle influence and accept money from big-money-donors ?

  • do not fuel the petty partisan warfare that distracts the nation from our many pressing problems ?

  • do not spend a great deal of time and tax-payers’ money (via allowances) trolling for money for their campaign war-chests ?

  • do not abuse their allowances (provided by tax-payers) to retain their cu$hy, coveted seats of power ?

  • do not look the other way ?

  • genuinely embrace campaign finance reform, election reform, tax reform, or any reform that will create more transparent, accountable, and responsible government, even if it diminishes their opportunities for personal gain ?

  • are fiscally responsible ?

  • deserve to retain their cu$hy, coveted, and prized seats of power ?

Not likely, since government has become so perverted, corrupt, and dysfunctional, that it corrupts almost all within it. That is why the bar is set so, so very low. And that will continue to get worse, until voters make it obvious to all irresponsible incumbent politicians that their careers will be short, indeed, if they succumb to the status quo too!

Yes, study:

  • their voting records to see the pork-barrel they voted for while our troops risk life and limb.

  • go to cagw.org and see their handi-work.

  • the things they do and say.

  • go to issues2000.org and see how they vote.

  • run an internet search on their name (e.g. Joe AND Biden AND scandal (fond of plagiarism), or Lynn AND Woolsey AND scandal (who begs for leniency for a rapist), or Randy AND Cunningham AND scandal, or Ted AND Stevens AND scandal (the king of pork-barrel, 36 years in office), or Ted AND Kennedy AND scandal (43 years in office), or Tom AND Delay AND scandal, or Daniel AND Inouye AND scandal (42 years in office), or Hillary AND Clinton AND scandal, etc., etc., etc… . )

  • their attendance records; many (such as Sen. John Conyers) don’t even bother to vote much of the time ;

  • their travel habits and expenses paid for by the tax-payers.

  • the use of their time, and how much of it is spent raising big-money for their campaign war-chests.

  • the way they vote themselves raises, special perk$, and cu$hy retirement plans while they totally mismanage and plunder Social Security ($12.8 trillion in the hole)and Medicare Systems.

Yes, study all those things, and you will probably be surprised at what you find.

If an incumbent really is responsible, then they deserve to stay.
However, there are very few (if any).
Therefore, few (if any) of the incumbents deserve to stay in their cu$hy, coveted seats of power, and perhaps that is the price that the irresponsible incumbents should pay for looking the other way?

  • If In Doubt, Vote Them Out !
Posted by: d.a.n at May 20, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #149822

Dan:

Democracy has never seen the challenges we’re facing now: peak oil, environmental degradation, the threat of nuclear holocaust, economic collapse.

Not since the seventies anyway.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at May 21, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #149921
The loyalty that Hitler showed his base is what Nazi Germany was all about.

Neil:

Youre smart enough not to associate Bush with Nazis, aren’t you? Or are you truly disillusioned, selling your soul to the likes of Dick Durbin, who compared US actions at Gitmo to Nazism and Stalinism, and Dianne Feinstein, who enjoys undermining our troops with comments like the Iraq War is “Bush’s War?”

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at May 21, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #149952

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Dem congressman accepting $100,000 in $100 bills…
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/05/21/D8HOCUJ81.html

Posted by: Slick Willie at May 21, 2006 5:08 PM
Comment #149973

Slick Willie:

I’d like to see the liberal response now that their misinformed labeling of the GOP as a corrupt party backfires right into their faces.

”Whoops, there goes our party platform. Guess we have to find something else to gripe about.”

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at May 21, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #149974

Gee, a corrupt politician from New Orleans.

Stop the presses!

Posted by: Rocky at May 21, 2006 6:55 PM
Comment #150064

Rocky:

A corrupt DEMOCRATIC politician from New Orleans. Along with the guy from the Ethics committee who resigned due to his legal and ethical problems.

This does cut a hole in the sail of the Democratic mantra about Republicans being corrupt. The problem is that it shows that both parties engage in corruption—-the Republicans hold more power now, and so have more opportunity for corruption.

Instead of giving Jefferson a pass, as you did with your sarcastic response, you should hold him accountable. I’ll show ya how. When Tom DeLay was charged with crimes etc, I said there should be a full investigation and IFFF found guilty, throw the book at him. What you did re Jefferson is to minimize his alleged criminal activity—-which would be a rather partisan position to take.

In the hopes that you simply didn’t state your position very well, or that I mistook it, allow me to ask you: What should happen to Jefferson at this point, and what should happen eventually if he is convicted?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 22, 2006 8:08 AM
Comment #150083

Joe,

“Instead of giving Jefferson a pass, as you did with your sarcastic response, you should hold him accountable.”

Give him a pass?

All of our Representatives should face the strictest of penalties for abusing the peoples trust, yet most of the time they get a slap on the wrist.

Louisiana has long been a state where corruption has been the mantra.
Democrat, or Republican, the residents of this state have always gotten the representation they deserve, and unless something changes, they always will.

Posted by: Rocky at May 22, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #150101
By your statements, you are saying that tax cuts, when targeted to the middle class, help the economy. That is at odds with what LibRick and Tim Crow are saying.

No, it’s not. You really need to read the article Tim posted. Supply side tax cuts: ineffective. Demand-side tax cuts: proven to stimulate the economy.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 22, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #150127
the government took in more money in 2005 from taxes than it has ever taken in (approx. $2.15 trillion)

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/05db01co.xls
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/00db01co.xls

According to the IRS the net collections for 2005 was $879,929,524,000 in individual income taxes and $272,762,788,000 in corporate taxes for a total of $1,152,692,312,000.

The net collections for 2000 was $978,351,206,000 in individual income taxes and $205,272,105,000 in corporate taxes for a total of $1,183,623,311.

Adjusting for inflation and expressed in 2005 dollars the collections for 2000 would be: $1,119,724,927 in individual income taxes and $ 234,934,338,000 in corporate taxes for a total of $ 1,354,659,264,000.

The net individual income taxes, where the tax cuts were focused, went down 21% while the corporate taxes, which received little attention, went up 16% and the total was down almost 15%.

The IRS takes in other taxes that were not effected by the tax cuts but their collections have no relevance to the discussion on whether or not tax cuts increase tax collections.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at May 22, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #150133

“I know this. No economy is growing as long as the debt increases at a greater rate than the growth. That is truely VOODOO economics” Marysdude finally gave the Republican program the correct name. It’s also known as trickle down economics. The theory being that the rich will invest the money they saved in taxes and put it into factories, etc.. which will provide jobs for the lower classes. Unfortunately, greed being what it is Voodoo economics didn’t work when Reagan tried it and it isn’t working now. The rich do NOT reinvest these profits, but silently put them to sleep in an off-shore account. And don’t forget, the Bush and Cheney families are two of them that gain the most from these policies.

Posted by: Betty Miller at May 22, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #150190

What effects do changes in tax rates have?

After the 2001 recession there were several tax cuts and the economy improved. Were the changes in the tax rates responsible?

In 1917 and again in 1918 there were tax increases. We ended up in a World War in 1917 and a recession in 1918. Were the changes in the tax rates responsible?

In 1919 there was a cut in taxes. In 1920 there was a recession. Were the changes in the tax rates responsible?

In 1925 there was a cut in taxes. Four years later the Great Depression began. Were the changes in the tax rates responsible?

More recently:

In 1965 there was a cut in taxes. In 1969 there was a recession. Were the changes in the tax rates responsible?

In 1994 there was an increase in taxes for those with an AGI of $140,000 or more. In 2001, seven years later, there was a recession. Were the changes in the tax rates responsible?

For anyone who cares to do an in-depth study the data is at:
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/70xx/doc7000/12-29-FedTaxRates.pdf
http://www.nber.org/cycles.html/

It would seem difficult to prove a direct relationship between changes in the tax rates and significant changes in the economy.

The Federal Reserve is much more responsible for the expansion and contraction of the economy than either tax cuts or increases.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at May 22, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #150406

As far as I know, the republicans do know how to cut spending, the problem they cut it from the people that are already disadvantaged. In my home state they have cut medicaid for thousands of poor and elderly and the children. On the frederal level they are cutting funding for healthcare, they have almost eliminated the federal grant program for education and sold the student loan program to a bunch of rich robber-barons who only care about profit, not people. The only way to stop this crime is to get the vote out in November, and get these idiots out of office.

Posted by: jimmy mitchell at May 22, 2006 10:39 PM
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